As Hurricane Sandy bears down to take a direct hit on his state, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) chided residents to remember “if it looks stupid, it is stupid” when taking action to deal with the devastation.
“If you do not have power, please do not choose today as the time you decide to tap in to your creative juices and jerry-rig a power source,” Christie said at a midday news conference. “We need to be careful of the potential dangers of portable generators and back-feeding during power outage, in addition to some of these dangerous alternatives that folks may pursue. Please, we said this the other day, if it looks stupid, it is stupid and you’re going to wind up hurting yourselves and others.”
New Jersey is one of the Sandy-affected states that prepared for the potential massive blackouts by bringing in out-of-state utility crews to help.
“There’s going to be a long period of time for some folks where we’re going to be without power here,” Christie said. “We are only in the beginning of the storm. The storm is still, you know, a couple hundred miles off the New Jersey coast and you’re seeing what’s happening already. So, it’s going to be a while.”
Christie called people who decided to ride out the storm — and put rescue crews in jeopardy in the process — “stupid and selfish.”
Newark Mayor Cory Booker told CNN by phone that he feared “epic flooding” in places like his city.
“And then you also get the problem where people might realize, hey, it’s time to go, but at that point many of the main access routes out of our city or to higher ground are blocked. And even during Irene, we had to do numerous rescues of people who were stuck in cars, where the water rose,” Booker said. “We had to get a small aquatic teams out to rescue them. So at this point we’re asking people to use common sense, to embrace prudence and caution and leave the flooding areas of our city.”
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md.) said on CNN that states were able to benefit from getting several days’ notice of the “Frankenstorm.”
“We prepared for the worst. And, unfortunately, given the turn of this storm, it looks like we’re going to be the recipients of her worst,” he said.
“I’m told that the winds at the center are now up to 90 miles an hour. It’s approaching a category two status,” O’Malley added.
“So far, as you’ve heard, the storm is as we predicted,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said at a press conference. “There’s going to be a lot of rain and there’s going to be a lot of wind. And that is proceeding.”
Cuomo announced the closing of the Holland Tunnel and the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but said bridges would remain open until winds hit 60 mph.