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Snowstorm Forces Cancellation Of Gov. Christie’s Inaugural Reception On Ellis Island

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By Cleve Bryan

TRENTON, N.J., (CBS) — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was sworn in for a second term.

As CBS 3’s Cleve Byran reports, the governor’s speech didn’t last very long. By 12:30 p.m., people were trying to get out of the capitol complex, but for some people it took more than two hours to get out of these parking lots.

Snow-covered guardsmen gave a 19 gun salute as Governor Chris Christie delivered his second Inaugural Address Tuesday in the midst of a snowstorm.

“Today, once again, the people of New Jersey have given me the opportunity to serve,” Christie said.

While the governor’s words about bipartisan cooperation received a warm reception, a chilly blast awaited guests outside. Mercer County government closed down at 1:00 p.m. and getting around the capitol complex became an exercise in patience. The snow and ice didn’t deter Occupy Sandy protesters who showed up outside the Trenton War Memorial building.

“The administration has completely botched the Sandy relief, especially for poor and vulnerable people,” protester Nate Kleinman said.

As snow accumulated throughout the afternoon, the governor was already out of the Inauguration mode by 2:30 p.m. and declared a State of Emergency for New Jersey (See Related Story).

The governor’s plans changed tonight. This morning, the governor’s office announced that they will not have their inaugural ball on Ellis Island as planned.

The Inaugural Committee released the following statement:

“Unfortunately due to the anticipated severe weather conditions posed by today’s winter storm, we have made the decision to cancel this evening’s Inaugural Celebration at Ellis Island. This action has been taken out of an abundance of caution based on the most up-to-date reports which predict that the incoming storm threatens the region, including the northeastern portions of New Jersey and the shore areas, with significant snowfall that will pose a serious hazard for individuals traveling on road ways.

“While we regret to cancel this special evening for our guests, their safety is our first priority and takes total precedence in our planning. We thank all of our supporters for their generosity and urge New Jerseyans to stay safe in today’s conditions and heed the guidance of emergency management officials.”

All of the food planned for the event will be donated to local food pantries in Jersey City.

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