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Ocean Grove Boardwalk Reopens For First Time Since Superstorm Sandy

Gov. Chris Christie and Congressman Chris Smith at ribbon cutting for restored Ocean Grove boardwalk (credit: Peter Haskell/WCBS 880)

Gov. Chris Christie and Congressman Chris Smith at ribbon cutting for restored Ocean Grove boardwalk (credit: Peter Haskell/WCBS 880)

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OCEAN GROVE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The final Jersey Shore boardwalk damaged by Superstorm Sandy has been reopened.

Gov. Chris Christie was on hand Thursday, helping town officials in Ocean Grove reopen the boardwalk for the first time since the October 2012 storm.

Ocean Grove Boardwalk Reopens For First Time Since Superstorm Sandy

ocean grove boardwalk Ocean Grove Boardwalk Reopens For First Time Since Superstorm Sandy
Peter Haskell reports

“It was 613 days ago that Hurricane Sandy demolished and wreaked havoc on the Jersey shore,” said Dale Whilden, president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. “It has been a long road. We in Ocean Grove have been counting those days.”

“Last year it was all torn up. It was very sad to see that it wasn’t open. There were no lights on the boardwalk, it was all dark,” Ocean Grove resident Cara Stevens told 1010 WINS’ Rebecca Granet.

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said getting the funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency wasn’t easy.

“There was an initial decision of a denial followed by an appeal denial,” Smith said.

Gov. Chris Christie greets people at the reopening of Ocean Grove boardwalk. (Credit: Peter Haskell/WCBS 880)

Gov. Chris Christie greets people at the reopening of Ocean Grove boardwalk. (Credit: Peter Haskell/WCBS 880)

Christie said this was the last and most challenging boardwalk to get fixed.

“It took the most jumping up and down and the most yelling and screaming and that’s what they brought me in for,” Christie said.

Whilden was appreciative, saying that if it wasn’t for FEMA and their $2.4 million grant “none of us would be here today.”

Ocean Grove Boardwalk Reopens For First Time Since Superstorm Sandy

ocean grove christie 1 Ocean Grove Boardwalk Reopens For First Time Since Superstorm Sandy
1010 WINS' Rebecca Granet reports

Christie said he sees the reopening of the boardwalk as a big step forward.

“To be able to have this as the start of our Fourth of July weekend is really a cap on another stage, not the completion, but another stage of our recovery,” the governor said.

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