Gov. Christie: good strides, more work to do at Jersey shore

BEACH HAVEN, N.J. - August 29, 2013

The Governor was in Beach Haven Thursday, the next stop on his Rebuilding Board by Board Tour.

Shaking hands and posing for pictures, Christie visited Schooner's Wharf to, in his words, "shine a spotlight" on continuing recovery efforts at the Jersey shore.

"We made good strides," said Christie. "We have a lot of work left to do. But I want to let people feel good about what we've been able to accomplish this summer and also put a spotlight on the fact that there's more for us to do."

The boardwalks and most beaches are back.

"We made a phone call to the family we rent from," said Connie Russo of Brooklyn. "He said, 'No, we are doing well.' We sent our deposit in, and we're very happy that we did."

"The water's great," said Phil Hof of Easton, Pa. "Lifeguarding's been great. Everybody's attitude has been incredible."

"We are about 80% back," said Al Vallese of Holgate, N.J. "And it's amazing how everybody has done what they were supposed to do."

Businesses that have reopened since Hurricane Sandy are seeing mixed results.

"June was up but July wasn't so great," said Missy Maschal of The Candy Store in Beach Haven. "But August came back, and we are right with last year's numbers."

"I'm looking at about 35% off from last year, 35% down from last year," said Karen Rosania of Mrs. Tee's Golf & Games. "They're just not here."

The hope is renters who went elsewhere this summer will bring their business back next year.

Over eight months after Sandy hit, teacher Patti Herrmann is still trying to get her house back in livable shape. Progress is painfully slow.

"We just got electricity in our house two nights ago," she told Action News. "We are living upstairs like hoarders. My whole house is on my second floor."

"It's sad," said Dawn Nalepa of Beach Haven. "There's times we come down here and a little tear comes to your eye. But there's a lot of things that are starting to turn around and pick up."

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