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Sandy one year later: Christie criticizes slow movement of aid to N.J.

Oct. 29, 2013 at 10:17 AM   |   Comments

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NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 29 (UPI) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday began his tour of the Jersey shore damaged a year ago by Hurricane Sandy by criticizing the congressional response.

"Let's start off with the fact that it took 92 days for Congress to act on aid for Sandy victims. That's unprecedented. It took 10 days for Katrina and 17 days for Gustav," Christie said on "CBS This Morning." "The first federal dollars from aid package didn't flow to New Jersey until the end of May."

Christie, facing re-election next week, appeared on network morning shows before embarking on a 10-stop tour of Sandy-ravaged communities and a prayer service in Newark, The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported.

He also was critical of the administrative red tape "that we call the 'Katrina hangover,'" Christie said on NBC's "Today." "Because some of the waste and abuse [in the wake of that storm], there is a lot more federal regulation that folks are having to deal with."

In his first stop, Christie visited with volunteers repairing the Seaside Park Fire Department, which got about 8 inches of water during the storm.

Christie, who spent Monday night at the governor's beach house at Island Beach State Park, thanked volunteers for their work since the storm and said their service was still needed, even a year later.

He said he was glad that tens of thousands of residents were back in their homes, but noted thousands more were still displaced and shouldn't be forgotten, The Star-Ledger said.

"I want us to all think about just how much better things look today than they looked a year ago and celebrate that" Christie said. "But we also have to acknowledge that there's still thousands of people out of their homes."

"We can't forget them. Until they're back home, we cannot forget them," he added.

President Obama, in a statement issued Tuesday, recalled Sandy as a "tragedy that demanded massive rescue, recovery and rebuilding efforts."

"Today, we remember our fellow Americans who lost their lives to that storm, and we comfort the families who grieve them still," Obama said. "And while there are still homes to rebuild and businesses to reopen, the last year has also served as a reminder of the strength and resilience of the American people."

"There's more work to do," he said, "but that's the spirit with which we'll continue to do it for our fellow Americans who still need a hand."

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