Reporting Steve Sandberg
ELIZABETH, N.J. (CBS 2) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was hoping to get federal aid to cover the cost of clean-up from the post-Christmas blizzard. The Federal Emergency Management Agency started to survey the damage in the Garden State Monday, Jay Dow reports.
Mother Nature finally did over the weekend what salt and plow trucks could not: melt away almost three feet of snow. The damage, however, is done.
In a letter to President Obama, Christie asserts storm conditions in 13 counties exceed FEMA’s minimum aid standards. “Federal assistance is critical to properly and fairly mitigate the financial impact of this major snowstorm on State and local budges, which are both currently under tremendous pressure due to severe economic conditions,” he wrote.
Christie filed the letter just hours after returning from a Disney World vacation with his family. He’s taken some heat for the trip, which he took the day after Christmas, just as the blizzard was coming in.
“It must have been nice, since we were shoveling roads, but people have their priorities I guess,” said A.J. Benjamin of Neptune.
On Monday, Christie continued to deflect the criticism saying his number one priority is “to be a husband and a father.”
Both Christie and his lieutenant governor were out of town, which left New Jersey in the hands of the State Senate president. Christie conceded he momentarily considered breaking a promise to his children for a Christmas at Disney in order to perform his administrative duties as governor from New Jersey.
“Of course I did. But life is about choosing and decisions. I made a decision to be a father first,” he said.