President Obama to view storm damage in New Jersey
October 30, 2012 (WPVI) -- President Barack Obama will travel to storm-stricken New Jersey on Wednesday to view damage from the massive storm that struck the East Coast and to thank first responders.
The White House says Obama will join New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in viewing the damage. Christie is a Republican who has been an Obama critic. But on Tuesday he praised Obama's leadership in dealing with the storm disaster.
Obama said Tuesday at Red Cross headquarters that the storm "is not yet over." He said there are still risks of flooding and downed power lines and called the storm "heartbreaking for the nation."
The president offered his thoughts and prayers to those affected and said "America is with you." He said he told government officials coordinating the response that there was "no excuse for inaction."
Earlier in the day, Obama signed a disaster declaration for the State of New Jersey on Tuesday, which will designate Federal aid toward the recovery from Hurricane Sandy. The Federal funding will be available to affected individuals in Atlantic, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties.
Included in the grants can be assistance for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, among other recovery programs for individuals. State and local governments as well as certain private nonprofit organizations will receive funds to assist with debris removal and emergency protective measures.
FEMA damage surveys are continuing in other areas, so there may be more additions to the list of eligible counties for disaster relief.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
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