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Busted: Chris Christie Sends Lt. Gov to Assess Storm Damage He Says Doesn’t Exist

Time for some traffic problems at The Huffington Post.

New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential kitten-hanging-from-a-branch motivational poster Chris Christie has been taking a lot of flak for never being in New Jersey, and for returning to the state at the last minute to avoid criticism that he was absent for one of the worst snowstorms in history. Now, he’s back in New Hampshire even as our state is digging out from that storm, and the coastal flooding that came with it.

On Monday’s Morning Joe, Sam Stein, Senior Politics Editor for The Huffington Post, had the temerity to ask Christie why he took off for New Hampshire like a well-nourished Roadrunner cartoon while his state is still in rough shape, and Christie pissily explained that there was “no residual damage” from the storm, and that Stein was just “making it up”:

Sam, I don’t even know what critics you’re talking about. There is no residual damage, there is no residual flooding damage. All the flooding receded yesterday morning. And there was no other damage. People were driving around the streets yesterday morning in New Jersey. This is just what they wish would have happened. Unfortunately for them we know how to do this. We managed the storm extraordinarily well, New Jersey transit was back at noon yesterday after the storm, our roads were all open as of 7:00 a.m. yesterday and so, you know, I think that’s just folks who want to criticize me for anything that I do. I have not heard any of that criticism, I haven’t seen any of that criticism and I think you are just making it up.

That might come as a surprise to Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, who, even as Christie spoke, was headed to the shore to assess the damage that Christie says doesn’t exist:

Officials are beginning to assess the beach erosion and flood damage caused by a major nor’easter snowstorm that churned the surf and caused tides to swell in southern New Jersey.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin on Monday plan to visit the Ortley Beach section of Toms River, the Holgate section of Long Beach Township, Stone Harbor and North Wildwood.

Many homes were flooded on North Wildwood’s west side. Cape May, Stone Harbor and Ocean City saw record flooding.

Guadagno is also fielding complaints on Twitter from residents who suffered that non-existent damage.

Christie is right that this storm could have been much worse, and it was managed well, but even a well-managed worst storm in history needs a minute when its over. How does Christie think the families of the New Jersey residents who were killed in the storm feel about him taking off for New Hampshire the day after?

Maybe Chris Christie really hasn’t heard about any of this, but maybe that’s because he’s in New Hampshire!

UPDATE: Here’s a little more background on the residual damage from the storm, and the criticism that Sam Stein referenced, including this package from MSNBC’s Jacob Rascon, who reports widespread damage to homes because the water level from this storm was a foot higher than it was during Superstorm Sandy:

And this, also from Rascon:

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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