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Christie: New Jersey's "new normal"

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 12 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 12 2012 10:13:46 PM CST

The "new normal." That's what New Jersey's governor calls the situation there, two weeks after Hurricane Sandy.

LIBERTY TWP., Pa. -

The "new normal." That's what New Jersey's governor calls the situation there, two weeks after Hurricane Sandy.

So what does that mean? Gov. Chris Christie said Monday the state has moved from the "recovery" phase to the "rebuilding" phase. In many places, life is getting back to some form of "normal."

In tiny Liberty Township, Warren Co., the lights are finally back on -- after almost two weeks in the dark.

"Everybody has their power back, and people are starting to refill their refrigerators and get life back to normal," said Mayor John Inscho.

It's a long way from last Thursday, when Inscho was personally going door-to-door checking on residents. Most schools and roads are also back open in the Garden State.

"We have achieved a 'new normal' in post-Hurricane Sandy New Jersey," Christie announced in a Monday news conference.

That "new normal" includes an end to more than a week of gas rationing, where fuel was distributed based on license plate numbers. But problems remain. Many New Jersey Transit and PATH trains are still down, and the governor is still worried about price gouging.

"Raising gas a couple of bucks a gallon when people are in a crisis may seem like a smart idea, but when you get banged with a big fine afterwards that wipes out the profit and then some, it's going to seem like a pretty stupid idea, and a pretty small idea," he said.

Back in Liberty Twp., the mayor said, although this area actually suffered even worse last year's storms, Sandy won't soon be forgotten.

"We have to pick up where we left off and march forward," he said, "and it's going to be tough for some people to get their feet back on the ground. Some people lost a lot."

Gas rationing officially ends Tuesday at 6 a.m. As for New Jersey Transit, limited service resumed Monday out of High Bridge, but trains out of Hackettstown are still shut down. You'll have to drive to Dover for to catch the train to New York. Even then, riders can expect up to 90 minute delays.

For the latest on NJ Transit: http://www.njtransit.com/sa/sa_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=CustomerNoticeTo&NoticeId=2313