Biden Visit to Jersey Shore Inconveniences Local Storm Victims
Seaside Heights–Vice President Joe Biden and an entourage which included Congressman John Runyan and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno is being criticized by local storm victims who were trying to salvage their lives on the barrier island this weekend.
After a flight over the Jersey Shore, the delegate drove into Seaside Heights, where the iconic boardwalk and amusement piers were ravaged by the storm. Witnesses claim the Veep motorcade stormed down State Highway 37, enroute over the Barnegat Bay, just blocks from the house where MTV films their hit television show, Jersey Shore.
The group posed for pictures on the Casino Pier, where the section of the pier with a roller coaster fell into the Atlantic Ocean the night Sandy rolled in.
The photo opportunity wasn’t taken lightly with locals who had just a few hours on Sunday to visit their homes, citing a shutdown of the island during the visit.
“You should have seen them traveling down 37,” said Michelle Robbins-Hallock. ”You would have thought it was a raid or something.”
Others questioned the cost of the politically star-studded visit. , saying that money could have been better served in the form of disaster aid to victims.
George Stergion said of the visit, “I truly hope they enjoyed there photo op. Now get off your asses roll up your sleeves and help the people of New Jersey restore our lives. We need your money not your worthless comments or photos.”
Some storm victims claim the visit cost them precious time to visit their homes. Towns along the coast have allowed residents restricted access during limited hours and the trip happened in the middle of one of those periods.
“Because of Biden’s visit they closed the roads and our neighbors waited 90 minutes on the Route 37 bridge to get to the island so they could work in their homes,” said Bobby Ring. ”This was really an unnecessary trip as President Obama was already in New Jersey. Waste of resources and our money and kept evacuated homeowners from returning to their homes. How about meeting with homeowners to hear their personal stories and learn what they really need?”
Yet other residents who have not yet been allowed to go to their homes are beginning to grow frustrated over the many political photo opportunities and gawking done over the past few weeks.
“I think if politicians are allowed onto the island to showboat [and] sight see, residents should be allowed to get to their homes and their properties,” said Elizabeth DeRiggi. “These visits may be for the press; they may bring money– but to continue to allow politicians and celebrities to walk around where people’s homes, hopes and dreams have been shattered….is absurd and uncalled for.”
“ On a day when many are seeing what is left of their houses for the first time, Joe Biden decides to take a fly over and stop on in? Really Joe?” said Frankie Aitken. ”Your timing could not have been worse that is unless you saw the blood, sweat and tears of people pulling out every item they had in their house and the reason you stopped by was to announce you are sending more Federal dollars there way.”
Stacie Horner said, “That’s nice they showed, but because of them my friend sat on 37 for 2 hours! Waiting to get what’s left of her things!”
Photo: Vice President Joe Biden and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno survey the Vice President Joe Biden and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno survey the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy with Office of Emergency Management and local officials on Casino Pier Boardwalk in Seaside Heights, N.J. on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen) New Jersey Governor’s Office