Nearly two-thirds of New Jersey residents said that assessing for future flooding risks should take precedence over quickly rebuilding storm-damaged properties along the coast, according to a Rutgers University Eagleton Institute of Politics poll released Wednesday.

Additionally, nearly 80 percent want the government to pay for rebuilding costs.

The poll, which surveyed 796 adults statewide by phone, also found that nearly 75 percent of New Jersey residents said life has not returned to normal following Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall Oct. 29 near Brigantine.

However, according to the poll, where those surveyed lived and the storm’s effect on their property swayed their viewpoint on rebuilding. Those personally affected by the storm were slightly less inclined to want rebuilding to take precedence over conducting a future damage assessment. But shore residents overall were more likely to favor rebuilding immediately than those who lived farther from the coast, the poll found.

Most of those surveyed said they felt the government should pay to repair damage done by the storm — 78 percent said the government should pay for at least part of the damage. However, 38 percent of respondents said they wanted the bill to be paid solely by the government, while 40 percent said the govenrment should pay for a portion.

Republicans and independents were twice as likely to say property owners were responsible for the full cost and half of the Democrats surveyed said they thought the government should pay the full bill.

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