Gov. Christie: Damage not as severe as initially feared

EDISON - The rain has stopped falling in New Jersey, but the danger from Hurricane Irene is far from over, and plenty of damage has been left behind.

Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) held a press conference shortly after noon today to update residents as to the status of the Hurricane's wrath on the state and what assessment still needs to be done.

As of noon, the governor announced that 650,000 homes still remain without power throughout the state. Trees and utility poles are down, streets are flooded, as are many homes, and more evacuations may be needed as rivers continue to rise.

Although the governor has said the damage, so far, has not been as severe as initially feared, the hurricane is not without tragedy. One victim was killed in Salem County, trapped in a car, stuck on a flooded road. The governor also mentioned that a firefighter in Princeton in Mercer County died while attempting a swift water rescue, but the governor's office later admitted he had misspoken and that the firefighter is still alive.

However, since the noon press conference, two more deaths have been confirmed. In Kearny, a man drowned. And in Edison, an elderly man died of a heart attack in his flooded basement.

The governor also said that many streets remain closed off due to flooding, downed power lines, or trees.

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