Obama pledges help to hurricane-affected people
Updated: 2012-11-01 09:03
WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama on Wednesday promised quick and continued federal help for Americans affected by Hurricane Sandy, as he toured the state of New Jersey to inspect firsthand the damage caused by the superstorm.
Speaking on a marina in New Jersey's island city of Brigantine, Obama told the storm victims there: "We are here for you. We will not forget. We will make sure you get all the help you need to rebuild."
The president stressed that the federal government is focused on helping those worst-hit states, including New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
US President Barack Obama hugs North Point Marina owner Donna Vanzant as he tours damage done by Hurricane Sandy in Brigantine, New Jersey, Oct 31, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
"We will not quit until this is done," he added.
Before making the statement, Obama took an aerial tour of some of the areas most affected by the storm, accompanied by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate, according to the White House.
The president arrived earlier in the day at Atlantic City, where the storm made landfall on Monday night.
After the helicopter ride, Obama and the officials visited storm victims sheltered at a community center in Brigantine, northeast of Atlantic City.
Obama promised the victims that federal help will be there for the "long haul". He also lavished praise for Governor Christie, who he said "is working overtime" to respond to the disaster.
"The entire country has been watching what's been happening. Everybody knows how hard Jersey has been hit," said Obama, pointing out that the first priority is to get power back on.
Christie, a Republican, also gave his praise to Obama, stating that it's "really important to have the president of the United States here".
With just one week to go before the 2012 presidential election, Obama has suspended his reelection campaign to respond to the superstorm. According to White House spokesman Jay Carney, Obama's decision to tour New Jersey is not political.
"The president appreciates the efforts of governors, state and local officials across the various states that were affected by the storm, regardless of political party," Carney told reporters on the flight to Atlantic City.
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