CLIFFVIEW PILOT SCOOP: The Westwood fifth-grader looked up at Gov. Christie and asked: “Are you in charge of the senators?” For once in this harrowing week-plus of ‘Chris’-crossing the state, the governor broke into a huge smile. Then the kids began singing “Fifty Nifty United States” from “Schoolhouse Rock.”
In a different type of visit on his barnstorming tour of post-Sandy New Jersey, Christie came to the Berkeley School in Westwood this morning. Then he came out and delivered a stern message to the utility companies.
If they don’t pick up the pace, the governor said, “Hurricane Chris might come at the end of the week.”
With 11,000 crews at work in the state, PSE&G has 84 percent of customers back, Rockland Electric 74 percent, the governor said.
That leaves 566,000 New Jerseyans still juiceless.
Christie said his own power came back up last night.
He also told officials sending robocalls for people to flood PSE&G call centers to “cut the crap.”
Bergen County is receiving 80,000-100,000 gallons of fuel today for service stations that have power but no gas, Christie said.
“We do not have a fuel shortage in New Jersey,” Christie said, “so you should not panic. Don’t run out at 6 o’clock in the morning to get in line because you’re afraid we’re going to run out of gas. We’re not going to run out of gas.”
He also emphasized the need for schools to share space and “be creative.”
“Kids need to be back to school,” Christie said. “It’s important for the children and families.”
Moments earlier, the governor met with youngsters outside the media presence in a Berkeley School classroom.
Several of the 40 or so pupils sat in rows in the center, with others at desks flanking and behind them.
Christie answered questions from the fifth-graders about his hobbies (reading, coaching his kids), as well as his favorite part of being governor — the opportunity to do great things every day.
“If you get a chance to get a job like that,” he said, “take it.”
The governor began his day by voting in his home county of Morris around 9 (he lives in Mendham) before heading to Westwood.
“I’m amazed at how resilient people are,” he said after voting. “I think there’s a tremendous interest in the election, both here and across the country.”
A State Police chopper whisked Christie from Westwood to Mercer County for a cabinet meeting at the NJ State Police Regional Operations Intelligence Center.
ALL PHOTOS (except where otherwise noted): CLIFFVIEW PILOT