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Thursday, November 1, 2012

What the President saw: Shocked Obama flies over Atlantic City disaster zone to witness massive trail of devastation left by Sandy

By MARK DUELL, TOBY HARNDEN , LYDIA WARREN and ROB PREECE

Reassurance: President Barack Obama (left) hugs marine owner Donna Vanzant (right) during a tour of Brigantine, New Jersey, which was badly affected by Sandy

President Obama comforted tearful residents today when he visited a stretch of the New Jersey coast devastated by Superstorm Sandy, seeing for himself how the disaster has wrecked buildings and forced thousands to abandon their flooded homes.
The President revised his election campaigning plans and travelled to Atlantic City to get an aerial view of the widespread damage caused by the storm.
He was joined on the presidential helicopter, Marine One, for the one-hour tour by Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has put partisan politics aside in the wake of the disaster.

Aerial view: The President saw how homes in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, have become surrounded by water after Superstorm Sandy lashed the Atlantic Coast

Ripped apart: During the helicopter tour, the President was shown how Superstorm Sandy tore away part of the Mantoloking Bridge in New Jersey

'I want to let you know that your governor is working overtime,' Obama told victims at an emergency shelter after the tour.
'The entire country has been watching what's been happening. Everybody knows how hard Jersey has been hit.'
Christie said: 'It's really important to have the president of the United States here.'

Up in the air: The Marine One helicopter, carrying President Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, takes an aerial tour of the Atlantic Coast in New Jersey

Obama returned the compliment.
The politicians' meeting came as people in the heavily populated US East Coast corridor battered by Sandy took the first cautious steps to reclaim their upended daily routines, even as rescuers combed neighbourhoods strewn with debris and scarred by floods and fire.

Walkabout: President Barack Obama talks to a resident as he tours a neighborhood effected by Superstorm Sandy in Brigantine, New Jersey Walking with with him are two Democrat senators, Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez

By Tuesday night, the winds and flooding inflicted by the fast-weakening Sandy had subsided, leaving at least 55 people dead along the Atlantic Coast and splintering beachfront homes and boardwalks from the mid-Atlantic states to southern New England.
The storm later moved across Pennsylvania on a predicted path toward western New York State and Canada.
At the height of the disaster, more than 8.2 million customers lost electricity - some as far away as Michigan. Nearly a quarter of those without power were in New York, where lower Manhattan's usually bright lights remained dark for a second night.

Engulfed: A collapsed house along the central Jersey Shore coast

Battered: The President was shown the damage to this amusement park at Seaside Heights, New Jersey, as he toured the area by helicopter

Christie, who is a vocal supporter of GOP nominee Mitt Romney, has changed his partisan tune after the storm, regularly singing Obama’s praises in relation to the federal aid given toward disaster relief support.
‘The president has been outstanding in this and so have the folks at FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency),’ Christie told the Today Show on Tuesday.
Christie later told news anchor Soledad O’Brien that Obama ‘has been incredibly supportive and helpful to our state, and not once did he bring up the election.’

Crossing the political divide: Barack Obama comforts the New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie, a Mitt Romney supporter who has sung the President's praises since Superstorm Sandy struck

Destroyed: An aerial view of the Breezy Point neighbourhood in New York, where more than 50 homes were burned to the ground as a result of Superstorm Sandy

Christie continued his new tact of effusively praising President Obama and the work that the federal government is doing in response to the hurricane, saying that the two spent a ‘significant’ afternoon together touring the Jersey Shore in Marine One.
‘I cannot thank the president enough for his concern,’ Christie said at the 5pm press conference.
‘The president has been all over this and he deserves great credit.’
The governor said that the two have put their partisan differences aside and had spoken six times including their afternoon-long trip today.

Nothing left: Tom Duffy (left) and his family look through the debris of his home which was destroyed in the fire

‘It has been a great working relationship to make sure that we are doing the jobs that the people elected us to do,’ Christie said of Obama.
‘I am pleased to report that he has sprung into action immediately while we were in the car together.’
The President was slightly more reserved with his praise, as he kept the majority of his remarks focused on the efforts of FEMA and ways for those who lost homes from the storm rather than his political rival.

Exposed: This home in the Sea Gatee area of Brooklyn, New York, had one of its walls and part of its roof ripped off by the force of Superstorm Sandy

Emptied: Residents take belongings out of a home in Sea Gate part of Brooklyn, New York, that was condemned after being damaged during Superstorm Sandy

'Governor Christie has been responsive aggressive, making sure the state got out in front of this incredible storm,’ Obama said.
During his introduction, Christie, known for his brash demeanor, said that he forgave residents of Brigantine for not following his order to ‘get the hell out’ before the storm hit Monday night. (He jokingly said ‘you’re forgiven this time.’)

Unusual pile-up: An aerial photograph shows boats lying next to a house near Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, where they were washed ashore during Superstorm Sandy

Resting place: A wider view shows dozens of damaged boats piled up by the house next to a marina close to Monmouth Beach, New Jersey

On fire: This photo from the New Jersey Governor's Office shows damage north of Seaside, New Jersey, on Tuesday after Superstorm Sandy made landfall

Not moving: Lucy the Elephant is still standing, seemingly unscathed on Tuesday after Superstorm Sandy blew across the area along New Jersey shore





source: dailymail



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