Water emergency to be repaired by July 4th
Oceanport, NJ- Governor Chris Christie implored Monmouth County residents to conserve water and to express their patriotism by not shooting off private fireworks for the duration of the water crisis caused by the major infrastructure failure at New Jersey American Water Company’s Swimming River water treatment plant. Addressing the press at the Wolf Hill Recreation area in Oceanport, Christie said “if a lot of things go perfectly” the water crisis will be over by the July 4th holiday.
Christie announced that residents of twenty two towns should boil their water before drinking or cooking. Those towns are :
Shrewsbury Borough and Township
West Long Branch
Outdoor water use is prohibited during the water emergency. Christie said that local police and Monmouth County Sheriff’s officers will be enforcing the ban, first with a warning and then with summonses.
NJAWC is trucking the replacement pipes for the water treatment plant from Alabama. The new mains are expected to arrive in Tinton Falls within 24 hours.
The governor said that the Board of Public Utitlites would conduct an investigation into the cause of the infrastructure failure once the problem is solved, but that as of now, all attention is focused on restoring water service to normal.
Christie noted that the use of private fireworks are illegal, “yet I’ve lived in New Jeresey all my life. For those of you who are about to become criminals in your celebration of July 4th, don’t do it. Express your patriotism by not shooting off your fireworks” and risking a fire that in this hot and dry weather will consume a potentially critically short water supply.
Christie arrived in Monmouth County via State Police helicopter shortly before 1PM. After landing at the Monmouth Park Grand Stand parking lot, Christie met with federal, state, county and municipal officials for a briefing with executives from NJAWC at the Port au Peck Firehouse in Oceanport before addressing the press at the Wolf Hill Recreation Area.
Before the governor’s arrival at Wolf Hill, his advance team informed the members of the media that the press conference was “on topic,” meaning that Christie would not answer questions about anything other than the water crisis. He re-emphasized the ground rules at the beginning of his remarks. The final question was from a reporter that no one seemed to know. He asked Christie about his address to the legislature on Monday. “Are you stupid,” Christie responded.
I was going to ask him if he thought the way he was handling this water crisis would impact Mitt Romney’s selection of a running mate, but I wasn’t sure he would think that was funny.
Christie left Oceanport at about three o’clock, via helicopter, to head to a briefing in Egg Harbor Township regarding the power outage in Atlantic County.