June 26, 2019 | 82° F

Christie blames federal agencies for grant delays

Photo by Enrico Cabredo |

President Barack Obama visited Fort Dix in New Jersey in June 2013 to assess the damage with Gov. Chris Christie.

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy boosted Gov. Chris Christie’s political career, as his approval rating hit 72 percent, according to a Quinnipiac Poll in the days following the storm.

But as months went on, New Jersey residents began to wonder where the funding was to rebuild their homes. An article in The New York Times said some victims questioned why Christie did not follow New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s steps and write to the credit card and mortgage companies asking them not to penalize people having trouble making payments due to the storm.

But Christie blamed the slowness of federal agencies for delays in pushing grants out to residents affected by the storm, the article read.

Christie was also criticized for his “Stronger than the Storm” advertisements. A firm was chosen over an advertising firm that bid 40 percent less but did not propose using Christie’s family in the advertisement, according to the Asbury Park Press.

In an Oct. 18 Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, among likely voters along the Jersey Shore, 74 percent are supporting Christie.  

An Oct. 28 Monmouth University poll found current and former displaced residents tend to be more dissatisfied, 61 percent, than satisfied, 38 percent, with N.J.’s recovery efforts so far.

It is difficult to tell what Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono would have done if she was in the governor’s chair when Sandy hit. Apart from promising to get more funding to the residents, Buono, like Christie, has visited Sandy victims numerous times.

According to The Associated Press, the issue with flood insurance is widespread. Many homeowners who were affected by Sandy are receiving flood insurance checks nowhere near the amount they need to rebuild.

“They say policyholders are being shortchanged — sometimes by tens of thousands of dollars — because of adjusters’ inexperience and their over-reliance on computer programs, rather than construction know-how, to estimate rebuilding costs,” the article read.

Christie told The Star-Ledger that he did not predict the devastation to be as bad as it was.

“It just, to me, was so far worse than what I expected to see,” Christie said to The Star-Ledger.

By Julian Chokkattu

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