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:

New Yorkers Stuck with Buses Onlyi
|| 0:00:00
X
October 31, 2012 7:47 PM
Two days after Hurricane Sandy, bus service resumes in New York City. Many passengers are residents without power who are riding further uptown where electricity and water service are available.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid