STAFFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (WABC) —
Governor Chris Christie was raw and uncensored on the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, unleashing a nasty rant on a heckler.
Christie went off on the man when he interrupted his speech about the recovery efforts in Belmar.
It was a carefully choreographed opportunity for Governor Christie to trumpet progress since Sandy in the shore community of Belmar.
“Sit down and shut up,” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said.
But he didn’t expect to find himself in a shouting match with a man in the audience.
“Somebody like you doesn’t know a damn thing about what you’re talking about except to stand up and show off when the cameras are here,” Christie said.
But Jim Keady, a former Asbury Park town councilman, told Eyewitness News he’s no mere heckler.
“It took a year and 45 days to build the ESB. And we can’t get a one-story home on the Barnegat Bay elevated and get someone back in, when there’s $1.1 billion available to make that happen?” Keady said.
He’s now part of the group “Finish the Job New Jersey” which claims Christie’s administration simply hasn’t moved fast enough, failing people like Sandi Mackay.
“Yes, my name is Sandi. Ha-ha the irony of this whole thing has not escaped me at all,” Mackay said.
Two years ago, her Stafford Township house couldn’t escape the devastating floodwaters.
Now, she’s among as many as 5,000 families the group says still haven’t seen a dime of federal funds earmarked for them.
In her case, she needs the funds to raise her house out of the water’s reach.
“I just want to come home and stay home,” Mackay said. “You can see look how dark it is. There’s nobody living here yet.”
She blames a flood of red tape for delaying the help. Of $1.1 billion allocated by the federal government for the state to distribute, the group says only $514 million has been allocated, and just $219 million actually handed out.
With thousands still on waiting lists, Lisa Stevens says she too is one of them.
“The governor likes to focus on Seaside Heights and the boardwalk and the rides. Well guess what, we don’t live on the rides. We’re on our own rollercoaster. We need action,” a resident said.
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