The Jersey Shore is open for business as Memorial Day weekend kicks off the unofficial start to summer. This is the second summer since Superstorm Sandy devastated the Jersey coastline, destroying or severely damaging more than 300,000 homes.
Beach replenishment is still underway in several communities, including Point Pleasant. Owners of businesses on Jenkinson's Boardwalk said they are praying for great weather this summer and customers willing to spend money.
In an effort to boost tourism, Gov. Chris Christie is visiting several beach towns this weekend. Friday he spent some time in Point Pleasant, where he met with business owners and people visiting the boardwalk.
The governor spoke to Fox 5, acknowledging that many residents still need help.
"I don't think there's anybody who could logically think we've forgotten about them," Christie said. "I've been having town hall meetings, we have mobile Cabinet meetings, we have folks who are dealing with folks literally on a one-on-one basis. And one of things you need to remember is hundreds of thousands of families have been helped and are back in their homes. Now the ones that are left are the real difficult problems that need to be solved."
He also pointed out that federal funding has been delayed. The second round of funding that was announced back in January has not been delivered to the state yet, Christie said. He expects that money at the end of May, when another 3,000 families will be taken off the waiting list, he said.
On Friday, a government official announced a third round of funding under the community development block grant program is planned for New Jersey, New York, and other states, the AP reported.
Christie also confirmed to Fox that he is seriously considering a run for president in 2016. He said that the controversy over the lane closures at a toll plaza for the George Washington Bridge would play "zero" role in his decision to run or not.
"I didn't do anything wrong," Christie said. "In the end, that will be confirmed. There's been no, nothing new that's been reported on this story since January," when, he said, he learned that an aide apparently lied about plotting with a Port Authority official to close the lanes as political payback to the mayor of Fort Lee.
"The facts are what they are," Christie added. "There might be some of my political adversaries who wish it to be otherwise, but it's not."
The governor said his decision to run for president will be based on whether he decides that he is the best person to do the job and he and his family (he and his wife have four children) decide that campaigning and then potentially serving would be right for them.
With MyFoxNY.com staff