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 Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf 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.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs