Jack Ciattarelli spent Wednesday night in his car along flooded Route 78.
“I got home at 6 o’clock,” the Republican gubernatorial candidate said today in a phone interview with radio station 101.5.
Ciattarelli explained that he was at an event last night in Cliffside Park, Bergen County, that ended early because of severe weather alerts. He and his traveling partners then began driving to the candidate’s Somerset County home at around 8:30 p.m.
The trip south to Route 78 was uneventful, but problems soon developed.
Ciattarelli said the group encountered two heretofore unknown “rivers” cascading across Route 78. They had no choice but to wait for the water to clear.
He said he fell asleep around midnight and woke up at 3 a.m.
But it was three more hours before he got home.
Calling the events of the past 24 hours a “very, very sad” time, Ciattarelli said that many people suffered more than he did.
By mid-afternoon Thursday, at least 10 people were reported killed in a storm that not only brought rain of biblical proportions to the state, but caused at least five tornadoes.
“We’re experiencing something in regard to our climate,” Ciattarelli said. That may sound like an obvious observation, but some Republicans remain dubious about climate change.
He also talked about those emergency flash flood messages popping up on cell phones that some people may ignore. He said he expects more will take them seriously now.
Ciattarelli was originally scheduled for an in-studio interview about his campaign, but that was postponed until next Thursday because of the storm.