Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: New Jersey Power Outages and Flooding Updates at Christie Press Conference

Thousands of residents of New Jersey are stranded in their homes and without power after last night’s storm surge broke levees, raised sea levels, and flooded much of the state’s coastal area after Hurricane Sandy made direct landfall.

Governor Chris Christie, in a 10:00am press conference, said the flood damage and loss of power “was beyond anything I thought I’d ever see — terrible.” Christie urged residents to be patient and “let the waters recede” before attempting any non-emergency travel.

The governor said that 2012’s Hurricane Irene took nine to ten days before New Jersey’s infrastructure could be back online. Given that twice as many households were affected in the recent storm, Christie projected that recovery will take significantly longer.

According to his press conference, it was estimated that a full damage assessment would take 24 to48 hours, but the widespread flood damage is already apparent. Flooded roadways caused “173 incidents on the highways.” A tidal surge next to Highway Twelve caused freight cars to be lifted off their tracks and scattered onto the New Jersey Turnpike, and large sections of rail tracks were entirely washed away by coastal flooding.

“Sea Side Park is completely under water,” said Christie, and the Jersey Shore Barrier Islands are so flooded planes cannot land to tour. According to NBC NY, in Hackensack New Jersey, a broken levee caused a five-foot wall of water to flood residential streets lifting cars, and even homes, off their foundations.

The most pressing issues are search and rescue for stranded citizens, and ensuring the safety of the drinking water supply. Christie told reporters that thirteen wastewater treatment centers were experiencing “operational issues because of flooding and loss of power.”

For those in the New York coastal area, flood alerts are still in affect from The National Weather Service until 3:00pm. Residents are advised to move the highest floor in their building but to not try to drive out of the area.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Marni Chan

Marni has a M.A. from NYU's Arthur Carter Journalism Institute's Cultural Reporting and Criticism Program, where she studied under Susie Linfield, Katie Roiphe, and Dennis Lim. She also has a B.A. in history and politics from Pomona College. Marni has previously written for Forbes, AOL, and Conde Nast Traveler.

MORE FROM

Conservative columnist Bret Stephens joins MSNBC

Stephens will remain a columnist at The New York Times.

Department of Homeland Security announces new airline security rules

The new measures could help end the electronics ban.

Democrats on Neil Gorsuch's first Supreme Court term: "We've got another Scalia"

Some say Gorsuch's even-handed performance during his confirmation hearings "might be more an act than it was a real persona."

Fox News just hired US Rep. Jason Chaffetz as a correspondent

Chaffetz is headed to Fox.

Here are the key rulings from the Supreme Court's busy June term

The court's term ended with rulings on immigration, the First Amendment, LGBTQ rights and more.

These 3 Republican governors could pose the biggest threat to the Senate health care bill

Why some Republican governors oppose their own party's health care bill

Conservative columnist Bret Stephens joins MSNBC

Stephens will remain a columnist at The New York Times.

Department of Homeland Security announces new airline security rules

The new measures could help end the electronics ban.

Democrats on Neil Gorsuch's first Supreme Court term: "We've got another Scalia"

Some say Gorsuch's even-handed performance during his confirmation hearings "might be more an act than it was a real persona."

Fox News just hired US Rep. Jason Chaffetz as a correspondent

Chaffetz is headed to Fox.

Here are the key rulings from the Supreme Court's busy June term

The court's term ended with rulings on immigration, the First Amendment, LGBTQ rights and more.

These 3 Republican governors could pose the biggest threat to the Senate health care bill

Why some Republican governors oppose their own party's health care bill