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Gov. Christie Warns Against Complacency As Residents Still Cleaning Up From Irene Brace For Damage

Resident: 'You Prepare For The Worst And Hope It Doesn't Come'
Gov. Chris Christie Holds News Conference Oct. 28, 2012 (credit: CBS 2)

Gov. Chris Christie Holds News Conference Oct. 28, 2012 (credit: CBS 2)

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POMPTON LAKES, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Gov. Chris Christie said President Obama gave him a call this afternoon to pledge federal assistance for the expected disaster once Hurricane Sandy makes landfall.

While the exact track of the Category One storm is still unclear, “it’s going to make landfall in New Jersey, that’s clear,” Christie told reporters Sunday afternoon.

Speaking in Pompton Lakes, Christie warned those used to flooding against becoming complacent ahead of Sandy’s impact.

“We have to take this seriously,” Christie said. “We need to prepare for the worst here.”

State government is closed on Monday and staff is asked to stay home, Christie said. He added that he’s trending toward keeping state government closed on Tuesday as well, though an official determination has not been made yet.

The matter of school closures is up to each district, but Christie warned Monday will likely be dangerous if people try to get around.

“I would encourage everyone strongly to not open schools tomorrow,” Christie told reporters.

HURRICANE SANDY: Track | Forecast | Severe Weather Guide |Traffic & Transit | Travel Guide

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“Property will be damaged, power will be down,” but Christie said he is confident all Garden Staters will band together in the aftermath of this storm, the same way residents did after Irene impacted the area.

In Manville, N.J., residents still cleaning up from last year’s aftermath from Hurricane Irene said they are concerned about the compounding of damage they already faced from Irene.

“I’ve been here three years and this is my second flood, so welcome to the neighborhood,” a Manville resident told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith. “My house isn’t finished from the last storm last year yet.”

WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports from Manville

Other residents said the clean-up from Irene has been slow.

“With Irene, we just had it in our garage, we had it in our shed,” a woman told Smith.

Gov. Christie’s administration announced preparations for the systematic shutdown of NJ TRANSIT bus, rail, light rail and Access Link service have begun.

Watch Gov. Christie’s News Conference:

Full closure will be implemented by Monday and officials cautioned it will take at least 12 hours to complete the shut-down.

Earlier, Christie announced all tickets will be cross-honored so everyone can move as quickly as possible before the shutdown takes effect.

“Still tired of it from last time. It gets old fast,” a Manville resident told Smith. “About all you can do. You prepare for the worst and hope it doesn’t come.”

Gov. Chris Christie announced Saturday that all barrier islands, Atlantic City casinos and other at-risk areas along the Jersey Shore must be evacuated by 4 p.m. Sunday. Christie has also already declared a state of emergency in advance of the impending storm.