BELMAR – Gov. Chris Christie says if given the chance to do things differently before and after superstorm Sandy he would have been more forceful in his evacuation orders and instituted odd/even gas rationing more quickly.
The governor was asked by a young girl during his first town hall since Sandy struck the state whether he thinks now if he could have done things differently.
“I have to tell you something, I really haven’t had the luxury of time to start to think about that, … [but] I’ll give you two things off the top of my head I would have done differently,” Christie responded.
The governor first said he would have called for the gas rationing order two days earlier than he did to “lower stress and tension” levels in the state and that he would have also liked to “been tougher in [his] evacuation order.”
“Irene turned out to be a storm that was much more damaging inland than it was on the shore,” Christie said, explaining he was originally hesitant to jump the gun and have another “get the hell off the beach” moment unless it was absolutely warranted.
“You start to wonder about what you should do this time,” he said. “Now, I ordered the evacuation but I didn’t yell as much as I did the year before.”
Christie stressed that he felt comfortable with the evacuation orders he did give and criticized some New Jersey residents who failed to heed the orders.
“… We still had a bunch of people who stayed [and] who thought they were smarter than the National Weather Service,” he said.