Obama views Sandy recovery in aerial tour of NYC
NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama got his first look today at the devastation that Superstorm Sandy waged on New York City, with a helicopter tour above flood-ravaged and burned-out sections of Queens and Staten Island.
Two and a half weeks after the massive East Coast storm displaced New Yorkers and still has left thousands without power, Obama made an aerial tour that included the Breezy Point community where roughly 100 homes were burned in a massive fire. Below Marine One, blue tarps covered some homes instead of roofs and debris was scattered across neighborhoods still drying out after the storm.
“The storm passes and sometimes attention turns elsewhere,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters traveling with the president aboard Air Force One. “But the fact is there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done.”
Obama was to be joined on the tour by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.
Cuomo said earlier this week he plans to request $30 billion in federal aid to rebuild, including for improvements such as the construction of a power grid meant to buttress utilities’ ability to find and fix outages. It would also upgrade New York City’s fuel supply capacity to help prevent consumer shortages and bring new oil and gas pipelines from New England to reduce dependence on shipping the fuel.