Two days after Hurricane Sandy made landfall in southern New Jersey, President Obama was on hand to witness the devastation, comfort residents, and pledge the full support of the federal government in the recovery effort.
Across the state, the storm damaged homes, flooded communities, and left more than 2 million people without power. The President and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie surveyed the effects of the hurricane from Marine One, then walked the streets of Brigantine, a town near Atlantic City. The two leaders also visited a community center now serving as a shelter for displaced residents.
"One of our challenges now is to get back to normalcy," said Gov. Christie. "And so the things we need to do is to make sure that we get power restored as quickly as possible; make sure that people have clean drinking water, and waste water treatment plants are working; hospitals are taken care of the way they need to; and that we get kids back to school. And so, I discussed all those issues today with the President, and I’m pleased to report that he has sprung into action immediately to help get us those things."
President Obama outlined the steps being taken by federal emergency responders. Even before the storm hit, FEMA and other groups were able to preposition supplies like water, food, and power generators. Now more than 2,000 FEMA personnel are on the ground in the state, and the President promised that the recovery effort would continue.
"Number one, and most important, our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones," he said. "For those like the people I just had the chance to meet on this block and throughout New Jersey and throughout the region whose lives have been upended, my second message is we are here for you, and we will not forget; we will follow up to make sure that you get all the help that you need until you've rebuilt."