Christie thanks emergency responders for Sandy efforts

Posted: Updated:
WEST ORANGE -

Gov. Chris Christie says much of the work done by New Jersey's emergency responders when Superstorm Sandy hit nearly five years ago will remain unknown to the public but not unappreciated.

The governor made the comments Tuesday while speaking at the National Guard Army warehouse in West Orange. The event was attended by several guard members, state troopers and administration officials who Christie called the unsung heroes of the recovery effort.

Christie noted many "familiar faces" in the crowd, saying he recognized them from the days immediately after the storm hit in October 2012.

VIDEO: Gov. Christie reflects on ex-President Obama during Sandy

National Guardsman Stefany Jones was among the National Guardsmen who helped out in the days after the storm. She says that it was a situation that she will never forget.

"Even though Hurricane Sandy was a devastating event, it’s a really good memory for me of how you build relationships with people and…the impact you had,” she says.

Superstorm Sandy damaged or destroyed more than 350,000 homes. Many of the National Guard members and state troopers who responded say that they were shocked by the amount of destruction.

“I think once daylight came, that’s when we saw the incredible power of the storm and what had happened,” says National Guard Captain Ryan Harty.

Christie said the state is about 80 percent recovered and has fared better since the storm than New York. He also said New Jersey is outpacing the recovery efforts of Louisiana and Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina.

Christie also took a moment to reflect on former President Barack Obama’s visit to New Jersey following the storm. He said that part of the reason New Jersey recovered as quickly as it did was due to the quick action of Obama in signing federal relief. Christie said that in times of crisis, it is important for leaders in opposing parties to work together.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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