News / USA

    Obama Promises Storm Victims Support 'For the Long Haul'

    President Barack Obama, left, embraces Donna Vanzant, right, during a tour of a neighborhood effected by superstorm Sandy, Oct. 31, 2012 in Brigantine, N.J.
    President Barack Obama, left, embraces Donna Vanzant, right, during a tour of a neighborhood effected by superstorm Sandy, Oct. 31, 2012 in Brigantine, N.J.
    VOA News
    U.S. President Barack Obama toured the storm-battered New Jersey coast Wednesday, telling devastated residents the federal government will support them "for the long haul."

    Accompanied by state Governor Chris Christie, Mr. Obama sought to reassure millions of residents in New Jersey and the rest of the greater New York metropolitan area.  He said "our hearts go out to the families that have lost loved ones," and promised that "we will follow up to get all the help you need to rebuild."

    The president also said utility companies from as far away as California have pledged help.  He said he has ordered military transport planes to move equipment and crews to the area from other regions of the country as soon as possible.

    Meanwhile, New York's Bellevue Hospital Center, operating on unstable emergency power, evacuated several hundred patients Wednesday.  Hours earlier, New York University's Langone Medical Center also began evacuations when backup generators at that facility failed as well.

    Nearby, National Guard troops moved on Wednesday to rescue thousands of residents of Hoboken, New Jersey still trapped by toxic floodwaters in the city on the Hudson river.

    • Dave Skudin empties his home of household items that were destroyed by flooding from Superstorm Sandy on Nov 1, 2012, in Long Beach, N.Y.
    • Tricia Burke walks over debris which washed up onto her property in the wake of superstorm Sandy, Nov. 1, 2012, in Brick, N.J.
    • As temperatures begin to drop, people wait in line to fill containers with gas at a Shell gasoline filling station Nov. 1, 2012, in Keyport, N.J.
    • Tunisia Wragg, left, a staff member with New York Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, checks a cell phone at a charging station in Chinatown, NY, Nov 1, 2012.
    • Morning commuters walk and bicycle across New York's Brooklyn Bridge, Oct. 31, 2012.
    • Water gushes from a hose as it is pumped out of a basement in New York's financial district, Oct. 31, 2012.
    • People line up at a coffee truck in New York's financial district, Oct. 31, 2012 ahead of the first opening for Wall Street this week following a two-day shutdown due to superstorm Sandy.
    • Members of the National Guard stand ready with large trucks used to pluck people from high water in Hoboken, N.J. , Oct. 31, 2012 in the wake of superstorm Sandy.
    • People in New York's Tribeca neighborhood, without power because of superstorm Sandy, wait for a chance to charge their mobile phones on an available generator setup on a sidewalk, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012.
    • Kathy and Jeffrey Frey pose for a photograph outside their home on 7th Street which is flooded from the effects of Hurricane Sandy on Oct., 30, 2012, in Bayville, N.Y.
    • A canoe sits in the lobby of an apartment building in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, New York, October 30, 2012.
    • This photo provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority shows the South Ferry subway station after it was flooded by seawater during superstorm Sandy on Oct. 30, 2012.
    • Pedestrians walk past the boardwalk and cars displaced by superstorm Sandy, near Rockaway Beach in the New York City borough of Queens, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York.
    • Residents look over the remains of burned homes in the Rockaways section of New York, October 30, 2012.
    • A beachfront house is damaged in the aftermath of yesterday's surge from superstorm Sandy, Oct. 30, 2012, in Coney Island's Sea Gate community in New York.
    • Peter Andrews removes belongings from his father's beachfront home, destroyed in the aftermath of a storm surge from superstorm Sandy, Oct. 30, 2012, in Coney Island's Sea Gate community in New York.
    • Taxis are submerged in floodwaters in the wake of superstorm Sandy on Oct. 30, 2012, in Weehawken, N.J.
    • People stand next to a house collapsed from superstorm Sandy in East Haven, Conn. on Oct. 30, 2012.
    • Christopher Hannafin, of South Kingstown, R.I., enters a friend's cottage through a window to salvage belongings from the structure destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, on Roy Carpenter's Beach, in the village of Matunuck, in South Kingstown, Oct. 30, 2012.
    • Zoe Jurusik, 20, paddleboards down a flooded city street in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Bethany Beach, Delaware, October 30, 2012.
    • This photo provided by Metropolitan Transportation Authority shows people boarding a bus, as partial bus service was restored on Oct. 30, 2012.
    • Jeff Willard lights a candle in his living room as his girlfriend, Diana Conte, back left, and her son, Ricky, wait for electricity to return in Ventnor City, N.J., Oct. 30, 2012.
    • People stop along the Brooklyn waterfront to look at the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline, Oct. 30, 2012 in New York.

    With the presidential election less than a week away, Republican challenger Mitt Romney - campaigning in Florida - asked supporters do what they can to help the relief efforts.

    "People ...all over America [are] gathering their support in any way they can to help the people who have been subjected to this tragedy.  And so, please, if you have an extra dollar or two send them along and keep the people who have been in harm's way... in your thoughts and prayers .  We come together at times like this," said Romney.

    Tens of millions of people in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut on Wednesday viewed scenes of mass devastation never before seen in the heavily populated region.  New Jersey firefighters and other rescue personnel remained hampered by tons of floating debris as they tried to battle a series of natural gas fires in the barrier island town of Mantoloking, where several homes burned to the ground two days ago.

    Not far away, in New York City, people did their best to get back to work.

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street to ring the opening bell.  It is the first time traders have returned to work since Hurricane Sandy walloped the region, flooding parts of the city's famed subway system.

    Officials say it will likely be several more days before the subways are operating again.  But two of New York's three airports are beginning limited service, while the third - LaGuardia Airport - remains closed because of flood damage.

    Airports, railroads, and local public transit in other cities along the Eastern Seaboard are also resuming services.

    The storm's impact has even caught the attention of the Vatican, where Pope Benedict XVI offered prayers and condolences to victims of the disaster.

    Sandy has killed at least 45 people in North America, and another 65 people in the Caribbean last week before targeting the United States.

    Related video by Daniela Schrier:

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Cora Jackson from: San Antonio
    November 06, 2012 12:39 AM
    Watching this storm unfold I was hopeing and praying it would not take such a toll on us. We as Americans share the same grief and pain. I do not have much but I will be wiling to help someone that is in need of shelter and food, yes my doors are open to you. I believe if we would all pitch in and donate not just money but a piece to our life with some one who has lost everything! May God Bless you all, you will continue to be in my prayers. Love C Jackson

    by: 9dharma
    October 31, 2012 4:17 PM
    Gods bless them all
    In Response

    by: Richard ouko from: Nairobi
    November 01, 2012 10:12 AM
    Following closely at the storms that have ravaged parts of America, One thing struck me was despite the loss most people seem to stand with such resolve, What is it that make America to react this way in times of the midnight?

    Richard from Nairobi
    In Response

    by: Richard ouko from: Nairobi
    November 01, 2012 10:08 AM
    I have looked keenly at the Obama hug in times of trouble, I can't help it but only say that it is a heart of compassion propelled by Love. God bless you all America.

    Richard from Nairobi

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.