Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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President Obama in NYC to tour storm damage

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Albany/HV: President Obama in NYC to tour storm damage
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President Obama visited Staten Island, viewing the damage inflicted by Sandy and promising aid. He also appointed someone familiar with city government to oversee the federal response. YNN's Josh Robin has the story.

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- The president saw the destruction Hurricane Sandy unleashed on New York. But he says just like homes will rise again, so will spirits.

"I'm very proud of you, New York. You guys are tough. You bounce back, just as America always bounces back. The same is going to be true this time out," Obama said.

It's going to take just not time, but money. He's announcing overseeing it will be Shaun Donovan, his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development who served a similar role for much of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's first two terms.

Obama said, "He's going to be working with the mayor, the governor, the borough presidents, the county officials to make sure that we come up with a strong, effective plan."

A plan that will lots of money. Governor Cuomo already asked for $30 billion. But he apparently ruffled feathers by not coordinating it with New York's congressional delegation first.

"It should be a bipartisan request. And it should be a regional request. We're going to try to work with Governor Christie as well as Governor Cuomo, the delegations from New York and New Jersey, to put together a comprehensive package," said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

A package that would need Obama’s support and after Thursday, he understands the damage from personally seeing it. He met with the parents of two little boys swept away by the storm before witnessing the torn homes.

The president stopped at the corner of Cedargrove Avenue and Maple Terrace in the New Dorp Beach section. From the air, he also saw other parts of the city damaged by Hurricane Sandy, including the Breezy Point section of Queens that was destroyed by fire.

From a visit last month, Obama knows how New Jersey is suffering. Mayor Bloomberg rebuffed Obama’s offer to see the city then, saying police were better used elsewhere resources.

Today from the air, the mayor could point out ravaged areas, which, despite some progress, remain far from how they were less than three weeks ago.

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