Erica: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was supposed to be on the campaign trail in New Hampshire this weekend. He returned to his home state to help residents ride out the storm. He joins us on the phone this morning. Governor, good to have you here with us. I am not sure you could see Rehema there before we came to you, but you can likely hear her. She is on the coast of New Jersey. Where is your concern focus this morning, Governor? Is it the coastal area?
Governor Christie: It really is not any more than other part of the state. We do not expect major flooding on the coast. We expect some street flooding, which is fairly typical for storm events on the coast in New Jersey. But at least as of now, we are not expecting any type of major flooding incidents along the coast. They will actually be a bit better off from the snow perspective as Rehema mentioned in her report. In other parts of the state, we are getting much heavier snow than we thought we were, 6 to 18 inches in the north and up to 2 feet in central and inland and southern part of the state.
Erica: As you well know, there was a fair amount of criticism over your timing in terms of leaving the campaign trail in New Hampshire to return home to New Jersey. How do you answer those critics this morning, Governor?
Governor Christie: I do not know why they would be critical. I was here last night before the first snowflake dropped. So I do not understand any basis for criticism. My view all along was I wanted to get the best information I possibly could as to whether my presence was going to be needed here. Once I got the final forecast at 11:00 yesterday morning, I made the decision at 11:30 to be home. Despite the fact that flights were canceled. I drove from New Hampshire back to New Jersey. I was home last night before 8:00 p.m.
Erica: I know you have been advising folks to stay inside their homes but you mentioned, of course, those revised snow totals, we are seeing some of that here in New York City. When, in your estimation, will it be safe for folks to be out again.
Governor Christie: I would think tomorrow, is the way it looks now. I think today and tonight, folks should expect that this is as an inside day for them. We are doing really well though in terms of keeping our roads passable for emergency vehicles and others who absolutely have to be on the road. Up in the north here, we still have mostly just wet roads with traffic moving pretty freely. In the central and southern areas the roads are snow covered due to the heavy snowfall, but all the roadways are passable, due to the 35-mile-an-hour restriction on our major roads like the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. But our Department of Transportation has over 3,800 pieces of equipment out there right now spreading salt and sand and moving snow off the roadways. So, right now, we feel like we are doing well from that perspective. We have about 17,000 power outages so far across the state. Most of those focused in the most southern part of our state. About 15,000 of them being in Cape May County.
Erica: Well we know you will be a busy man today. We appreciate you taking time for us. Governor Christie thank you.
Governor Christie:: Thank you very much.
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