News / USA

    In Coastal New Jersey, Flood of Criticism for Christie Follows Storm

    Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks as he meets with a supporter before a news conference, Jan. 25, 2016, in Concord, New Hampshire.
    Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks as he meets with a supporter before a news conference, Jan. 25, 2016, in Concord, New Hampshire.
    Reuters

    Residents of New Jersey's southern shorefront towns on Monday cleaned up homes and businesses flooded by a storm surge during the weekend's massive blizzard and rued what they described as Governor Chris Christie's
    dismissive treatment of the damage.

    The storm that walloped Washington and New York with about 2 feet (60 cm) of snow hit coastal Cape May County in New Jersey with tides higher than those measured during 2012's Superstorm Sandy, sending salt water into properties and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate.

    Jim Hand voiced exasperation as he surveyed the damage at Fred's Tavern in Stone Harbor, a bar and liquor store about 35 miles (56 km) down the coast from Atlantic City. Hand, a member of the third generation of his family to own the shop, said that the property's kitchen, electrical wiring and floors would all need to be replaced.

    "We're doing the same thing today we did after Sandy," said Hand, 61.

    He was one of a handful of local business owners to criticize comments by Christie, a Republican White House contender who told CNN on Sunday that he had "no concerns" about flooding as a result of the storm.

    "Keep this in perspective," Christie told CNN during a one-day return to the state from the campaign trail in New Hampshire. "Cape May County area was the least flooded area during Hurricane Sandy and had almost no damage in that area."

    No immediate estimate of the financial toll of the flooding damage was available but reinsurance broker Aon Benfield said that total insured losses along the East Coast will run into the billions of dollars.

    Hand had no patience for Christie's words, saying, "It shows you how out of touch he is with what's going on in his state."

    Angry comments from New Jersey residents immediately flashed across Twitter and raged into Monday, some showing images of street flooding and tagged to Christie with comments like "nothing to see here."

    Christie spokesman Brian Murray said that the governor's words had been taken out of context.

    "Cape May County and lower Atlantic County did not sustain the direct hit from Sandy suffered by more northern parts of the Jersey Shore. But the governor did not say they were not impacted by Sandy," Murray said. "He only cautioned news reporters to use some context when pointing to Saturday's flooding in Cape May and saying it's 'Worse than Sandy.'"

    Sandy was directly responsible for 147 deaths in the United States, destroying more than 650,000 homes around the greater New York area and causing nearly $50 billion in damage.

    Christie said in a statement on Monday that he had sent teams to the storm-hit areas to determine whether the damage was severe enough to seek federal assistance, a process that he said could take days.

    Children's clothing store owner Maggie Day sprayed an anti-bacterial mix over her ruined merchandise as she surveyed the damage to her shop in Stone Harbor in Cape May County.

    "I did walk away from Sandy with a lot of damage," said Day, 39, who had to replace flooring, walls, insulation and merchandise after the 2012 storm and was working with a "water excavator" to get a handle on the latest damage.

    "It's not even help that I'm asking for," Day said. "It's just a little bit of compassion with a public leader on TV. You can't pooh-pooh it publicly when you're a leader."    

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora