7 years after Sandy, NJ prepares for the next hurricane

David Madden
October 29, 2019 - 1:59 pm
Gov. Phil Murphy signs an executive order to establish a statewide Climate Change Resiliency Strategy on October 29, 2019.

Edwin J. Torres/Governor's Office

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HOBOKEN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — On Tuesday, the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Sandy hitting New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order to address the next weather disaster — and climate change in general.

Murphy traveled to Hoboken, a city hard hit by Sandy, to sign the measure which creates a resiliency program within the Department of Environmental Protection. Its charge: Work with 16 state agencies to develop short- and long-terms plans. Hopes are to have the start of a statewide climate change policy in less than a year. Their first report is due next September.

"It took all of us pulling together to put our New Jersey back together after Sandy, and that's still a work in progress," the governor said. "And now we'll all work together to make sure we leave our children a stronger and more resilient state."

But there are still over 750 families out of their homes, about half the number Murphy inherited when he took office.

Related: Murphy announces $50M in funding for rebuilding Sandy-damaged homes

"Our goal is to get that number to zero, but that takes a lot of different parties doing their share and their part, including the individual homeowners," he added. "So we could control a significant amount of the factors that would contribute to that number, but we can’t control all of it."

Those still affected by Sandy's aftermath are eligible for financial help in rebuilding and paying for rent while the work is being done.

But the governor can't say when the recovery effort might be concluded.