Gov. Chris Christie viewed the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, which left six dead in New Jersey. The governor took a four-and-a-half-hour helicopter tour along the Jersey coastline, making stops in Belmar and Avalon.
In Belmar, the boardwalk south of 10th Avenue had been washed away.
"I was just here walking this place this summer, and the fact that most of it is gone is just incredible," Christie told Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty while surveying damage on Ocean Avenue.
Doherty issued a mandatory evacuation for Belmar, which most residents heeded, he told Christie. For those who didn’t leave, there were Good Samaritans in the area the morning after. During his visit to Belmar, Christie said he encountered a group of lawyers who were using jet skis to help evacuate people from the area.
“These guys told me they rescued an 85-year-old woman on a jet ski from her home,” Christie said.
Returning to the aerial tour of the shore, Christie said he observed the damage visited upon Seaside Heights.
“I flew to the Jersey Shore of my youth and it is gone. The pier with the rides in it where I took my kids this summer is gone,” he said. “The log flume is in the Atlantic Ocean.”
The state’s search and rescue efforts along the shoreline have largely been successful, Christie said, however New Jersey did experience loss of life attributed to the storm. Six confirmed deaths have been reported: a Mendham couple killed after a tree fell on their vehicle; an Atlantic City resident who suffered a heart attack while being evacuated; a Jefferson man died after a tree crashed into his home; a Princeton man struck and killed by a tree; and a Hawthorne man, who was also killed by a falling tree.
Some 2.6 million New Jersey residents remained without power Tuesday night.
This article includes pool reporting provided by Angela Delli Santi of the Associated Press.