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Christie: Only 'villain' in disaster is Sandy

Associated Press Modified: November 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm •  Published: November 8, 2012
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Much of the frustration being expressed Thursday was by customers who had lost power during Sandy, had it restored, and then lost it again.

"You get kind of tired of this," said John Monticello of Point Pleasant Beach, who drove to the oceanfront to see whether the 12-foot-high emergency piles of sand that public works crews had plowed to the water's edge had held during the storm. (They did.)

"We lost power last week, just got it back for a day or two, and now we lost it again," he said. "Every day it's the same now: Turn on the gas burner for heat. Instant coffee. Use the iPad to find out what's going on in the rest of the world."

Monmouth and Ocean counties, which took a beating from Sandy, appeared to have received the most snow from the nor'easter: 13 inches fell in Freehold and a foot in Manchester Township. Accumulations were much lower at the coast, but much of it still got 4 inches. The snow covered hulking debris piles that residents had dragged to the curb after Sandy.

At its peak, last week's superstorm left more than 2.7 million utility customers without power.

Christie said the odd-even gas rationing system in most severely affected counties was working well and would remain at least through the weekend.

He said plans were being made to lift the evacuation order on Long Beach Island once mayors there have a plan for the orderly return of residents. Controlled visits by bus were also being planned for the northern Shore, from Berkeley Township to Brick, starting by Saturday.

Christie said three-quarters of New Jersey schools were holding classes, though some had delayed openings Thursday because of the nor'easter.

Wednesday night's storm set back efforts to restore water treatment facilities. Eleven water systems had boil-water advisories on Thursday and five wastewater treatment facilities were not operating properly.

Millions of gallons of untreated and partially treated wastewater continues to flow into New Jersey's waterways as a result of Superstorm Sandy. About 50 million gallons a day of untreated wastewater is flowing into the Raritan River from the Middlesex County Utility Authority's system, according to the Environmental Protection Department. About 250 million gallons of partially treated wastewater is flowing into Newark Bay and New York Harbor from the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission's system, according to the agency.

Christie said both the Passaic and Middlesex facilities suffered serious flooding damage. Forty-eight towns served by the Passaic Valley authority are under orders to restrict water use.

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Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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Parry contributed to this report from Point Pleasant Beach.