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Gov. Christie returns from Florida vacation

December 31, 2010 3:08:46 PM PST
New Jersey will seek federal aid to help cover cleanup costs related to the monster winter storm that dropped up to 30 inches of snow on the state.

Gov. Chris Christie traveled to Freehold on Friday morning to formally sign a letter seeking money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The event was Christie's first public appearance since the blizzard hit last weekend. The governor had traveled to Florida last Sunday for a family vacation at Disney World and remained there until returning home early Friday.

"Life is about making choices, and I chose to be a father first," Governor Chris Christie said.

Governor Christie Friday stood firm behind his decision to take a family vacation to Florida, despite the snow storm bearing down on the state.

His perspective is clear.

"It's been a hard year, I promised this trip to my kids, no way was I going to let them down," Gov. Christie said.

The governor called the blizzard one of the worst five storms in the state in the last 100 years.

Parts of New Jersey were buried in nearly three feet of snow, stalling drivers on roads across the state.

There were 300 plus cars stalled on I-280, 100 on the Parkway, and 150 cars stuck on 195.

Hundred of rescues left abandoned cars in the way of snow plows that could not clear the roads.

"We had tow trucks coming out, they'd get stuck, then tow trucks to pull the other tow trucks," said Jim Simpson, NJ DOT Commissioner.

It was a huge mess.

Lt. Gov Kim Gaudagno was also away in Mexico with her critically ill father.

With Governor Christie in Florida, Senate President Steve Sweeney was in charge during a state of emergency.

"I trusted him to be able to do the job, I knew he could do this," Gov. Christie said.

In Marlboro, where roads in one neighborhood are still coated in ice and snow, the Governor's decision to stay in Florida got some support.

Christie says criticism from state leaders this week, rolled off his back and he gave reporters his hindsight view.

"Looking at it now, I would do the same thing again," Gov. Christie said.

Christie gave New Jersey an A for effort in dealing with the storm and a B-plus for the results.

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