Christie, HUD head address Sandy rebuilding in NJ, discuss strategies

Gov. Chris Christie spent time with members of the federal Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force near the Meadowlands Tuesday, in an area devastated by a tidal surge during Superstorm Sandy.

Gov. Chris Christie spent time with members of the federal Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force near the Meadowlands Tuesday, in an area devastated by a tidal surge during Superstorm Sandy. (8/20/13)

LITTLE FERRY - Gov. Chris Christie spent time with members of the federal Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force near the Meadowlands Tuesday in an area devastated by a tidal surge during Superstorm Sandy.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, who heads the task force, toured parts of northern New Jersey with the governor before holding a joint news conference in Little Ferry.

Donovan released a report Monday that makes 69 recommendations for developing a strategy for rebuilding areas damaged by Sandy.

The recommendations focus on planning for future storms since the frequency and intensity of storms like Sandy have picked up in recent years, causing billions of dollars in damage.

Christie says he is ready to make the needed changes. "I'm tired of hearing the 100-year storm garbage. I've been governor for three and a half years, and I've had three 100-year storms, and I know I'm not 350 years old, so that's not working anymore."

The recommendations include improving Telecom, fuel and electricity lines, and it includes ways to deal with the rise in sea level due to climate change.

Christie has refused to address climate change as a guideline for improvements. "We are pursuing significant infrastructure improvements to our state in order to make ourselves stronger and more resilient for when the next storm comes," Christie says. "The rest of that is a scientific discussion and debate that I am simply not engaged in."

The governor says the state is making progress on getting people out of harm's way ahead of the next big storm. Christie hopes to close on the first round of buyouts in flood prone areas, before the one year anniversary of Sandy on Oct. 29.
 

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