JACKSON – Mayor Michael Reina criticized Governor Phil Murphy and two Democratic State Senators for their lack of contact in the matter during the tornado that touched down last month, but the governor’s office said that they reached out prior to the natural disaster.
The mayor, a Republican, noted that other officials had reached out to him with offers of help during the situation. “I am sure this is going to get out throughout the state, April 1 Jackson Township made history with an EF 2 (Enhanced Fujita scale) tornado and it is nothing short of a miracle that we didn’t even suffer one injury and thankfully not a loss of life.”
The Enhanced Fujita scale (abbreviated as EF-Scale) rates tornado intensity based on the severity of the damage they cause. It is used in some countries, including the United States, Canada, China, and Mongolia.
Reina thanked the police department, all fire companies in the community, Jackson First Aid, Jackson Department of Public Works, OEM, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office. “They worked as hard as I have ever seen them work during a time of crisis that we had.”
“The areas that were affected were very bad and the fact that nobody was hurt is amazing. What blew me away more than anything else, with the amount of people who called, neighbors in town, Congressman Chris Smith, the 12th (Legislative) District, the Ocean County Sheriff, our (Ocean County) Board of Commissioners, neighboring townships, even though they got some wind damage, they called and again it was a miracle,” the mayor added.
He added, “what you need to know is, Governor Murphy never bothered to call the town to ask if we needed any assistance and if everyone was okay. Neither did Senators (Cory) Booker or (Robert) Menendez, people who represent the state of New Jersey decided to thumb their nose up at Jackson.”
Mayor Reina called that, “disgraceful and something I had never seen in my 15 years as mayor that they couldn’t even reach out. Just remember the people I mentioned tonight, including our law enforcement officers, fire and first aid, the people you see every day in the town and how they all came together.”
“I was out with them through the whole storm and I watched neighbors picking up debris out of other neighbors’ yards. Jackson Township – we went through something and I am very proud of all of you,” he said.
The governor’s press secretary, Tyler Jones, responded to an inquiry by The Jackson Times about Governor Murphy’s communication during the tornado. “The Governor’s Office proactively reached out to mayors and local officials, including the Mayor of Jackson, earlier this month (April) to see how we could assist with the response to severe weather and tornadoes.”
“Our office will continue to support communities in their times of need. We encourage local officials to contact to us with any requests they may have,” Jones added.
Councilwoman Jennifer Kuhn commended police, fire and EMS members who responded to the scene of the tornado.
Councilman Scott Sargent echoed those sentiments noting the Township “Public Works Department, Fire Department, EMS, Police all responded very quickly and “should be commended for everything they did.”
Council Vice President Steve Chisholm also commended all the first responders adding his thanks that “no one got hurt which is remarkable considering the amount of damage that was caused.”