'We've Achieved A New Normal For Life In Post-Hurricane Sandy New Jersey'

LINCROFT, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited a Federal Emergency Management Agency field office in Lincroft on Monday to announce the end of odd-even gas rationing and to thank the federal workers for their efforts.

“And after two weeks in the recovery phase, we’ve achieved a new normal for life in post-Hurricane Sandy New Jersey,” Christie told reporters including WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.

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WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

Christie said he expects to have a dollar estimate on total loss in the next day or two, Haskell reported. But the governor said he expects the combined damage in New York and New Jersey will be second only to the huge monetary cost of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.

Christie said the monetary cost is just one aspect of the extent of the damage suffered due to Sandy.

“It’s incalculable the amount of damages that have been done to the spirit of this state,” Christie said.

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“On behalf of all the people in the state, I can’t thank you enough,” Christie told FEMA staffers at the field office in Lincroft.

Christie said now that just about everyone has power and water restored, the next phase of recovery can begin.

The governor emphasized that this new chapter will be long and arduous.

“I’ve been pretty straight with the fact that the rebuilding process is not going to be easy. It’s going to be expensive, it’s going to be complicated and it’s going to take time,” Christie said.

Just a few thousand customers in New Jersey who can receive power are still in the dark, according to afternoon outage numbers from the utility companies.

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