ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he is trying to mitigate any damages in the state due to Hurricane Sandy, which has been blamed for the death of at least 58 people in the Caribbean as of Sunday afternoon.
Christie, in a press conference Sunday afternoon on the storm (watch below), said residents should plan to see heavy rain that will last up to 36 hours starting Sunday.
The governor, forced to cancel an out-of-town fundraising trip for a Republican colleague, reinforced the mandatory evacuations of several Jersey shore towns, including all the barrier islands from Sandy Hook south to Cape May.
He also repeated the ordered evacuation and closure of Atlantic City's 12 casinos as of 4pm Sunday.
It was later reported that buses were on the way to Atlantic County and other shore communities to transport evacuatees who didn't have other transportation options Sunday afternoon.
Christie discussed local, state and county shelters being available for evacuees who cannot stay with friends or family as well as the closure of state government on Monday and possibly Tuesday. Christie urged schools to make decisions whether or not to close Monday or Tuesday "on a local level," but encouraged schools throughout the state to be closed on Monday,
"This is a serious storm," said Christie. "But it's going to make landfall in New Jersey ... somewhere between Atlantic City and Tom's River.
"We have to take this seriously," he added, "[And] we're ready."
Christie thanked President Obama for his telephone call Sunday to see how things were going in the state. He said Obama told him to call at any time with any concerns regarding New Jersey and Hurricane Sandy.
The recently publicized statistics telling us there are still upwards of 30 percent of the population on the East Coast who think that the Boardwalk was completely ruined and that most casinos are still not fully operational means we have a lot of work to do.
"I could almost guarantee that the ones who wanted the mayors to let them return home would also be the ones to protest if they had been put in danger by returning too soon. "
Obama: "I want to thank all the first responders who have been involved in this process -- the linesmen, the firefighters, the folks who were in here shuttling out people who were supposed to 'get the hell out' and didn’t."
Obama: "You had a 15-year-old young man whose mother was disabled, and he was making sure that she was okay, and taking on extraordinary responsibilities for himself but also for his mom."
The latest Sandy storm coverage for the Atlantic City, New Jersey area.
Gov. Christie gives Sunday evening press conference urging residents of the Garden State to heed advice of officials and stay at home Monday unless they have already evacuated.
According to the report, "Each New Jersey power company gave out a slightly different power outage estimate, but the longest outages during Hurricane Irene were seven or eight days, said Greg Reinerk, a spokesman for the state Board of Public Utilities
Atlantic County under state of emergency effective 6am, Oct. 27. Residents urged to relocate.
The storm, which has killed several dozen people in the Caribbean, is expected to be a "storm of historic proportions" for the Mid-Atlantic region, including the New Jersey shore, New York City, Delaware, Pennsylvania and possibly Ohio.
“July and August are the two best months of the year and to lose [last weekend], you can never really get it back. It’s not something that you can recoup. So it’s just gone. And that hurts a lot, but it’s not something we are not going to overcome.”
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