NEW YORK (November 15, 2012)—President Barack Obama got an up-close look Thursday at areas that are still unlivable after Superstorm Sandy and vowed to stick with residents of damaged New York neighborhoods "until the rebuilding is complete."
Seventeen days after the storm hit, Mr. Obama brought the spotlight to people still living without heat and electricity, and hugged some of those who are trying to rebuild their lives.
Speaking from a block in Staten Island that was demolished by the storm, Mr. Obama said, "We're reminded that we are bound together and we have to look out for each other."
Nine days after a closely divided country gave him a second term, Mr. Obama said that when it comes to helping people recover from the storm, "the petty differences melt away."
He met privately with parents whose two young boys were swept away in the storm.
They were among more than 100 people who lost their lives.
Before arriving on Staten Island, the president flew by helicopter over an area of Queens where about 100 homes burned to the ground.
One man whose Staten Island home was wrecked says he's been waiting in line every day, all day, hoping to speak with FEMA officials.
Anthony Gatti, who said Mr. Obama should have visited sooner, said that it would be "a great thing" if the president could speed up the process of dealing with the federal government.