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Saturday
Nov032012

President Obama's Weekly Address: Rebuilding and Recovering After Sandy

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In this week's address, President Obama speaks about the devastation he witnessed while touring New Jersey with Gov. Chris Christie in the wake of superstore sandy.

"This weekend, millions of our fellow Americans are still picking up the pieces from one of the worst storms in our history," President Obama says.
 
"I toured New Jersey on Wednesday with Governor Christie, and witnessed some of the terrible devastation firsthand.  It’s heartbreaking.  Families have lost loved ones.  Entire communities have been wiped away.  Even some of the first responders who repeatedly put themselves in harm’s way to bravely save the lives of others have suffered losses of their own. Today, I ask everyone to keep them in your prayers."

In the days following the superstorm, the president has repeated his promise to help the states affected to recover. In his address, he emphasized this message again, saying that "as President, I promise them this: your country will be there for you for as long as it takes to recover and rebuild."
 
Having been in "constant contact" with state and city leaders and officials in the storm ravaged areas, the president commends them for "doing and excellent job in extraordinarily difficult circumstances."  

"And we owe the first responders and National Guardsmen who have been working around the clock our deepest gratitude," he adds.

With so many left powerless, and in many cases homeless, or flooded, the president says the road of recovery will be long and hard. "There's a lot of work ahead," he says.

Even before the storm, President Obama says that FEMA pre-staged emergency response teams and deployed resources like food, water and generators up and down the East Coast from North Carolina to Maine.  But there's still so much work to do, he says.

The president encourages those directly impacted by the storm to call 1-800-621-FEMA, or apply at DisasterAssistance.gov for temporary assistance.  For those who don't live in an affected area, but would like to help, he says, "supporting the Red Cross is the best way."

"This week, we have been humbled by nature’s destructive power.  But we’ve been inspired as well.  For when the storm was darkest, the heroism of our fellow citizens shone brightest," President Obama says.

"That’s who we are.  We’re Americans.  When times are tough, we’re tougher.  We put others first.  We go that extra mile.  We open our hearts and our homes to one another, as one American family.  We recover, we rebuild, we come back stronger – and together we will do that once more."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio