Hurricane Sandy: Obama signs 5 emergency declarations for East Coast

SHARE Hurricane Sandy: Obama signs 5 emergency declarations for East Coast
SHARE Hurricane Sandy: Obama signs 5 emergency declarations for East Coast

President Obama on Sunday signed five emergency declarations, authorizing federal aid and assistance to response efforts, as Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast this weekend.

That includes New Jersey, Maryland, Washington D.C., Massachusetts and New York.

The turbulent storm is hitting the East Coast a little more than a week before the Nov. 6 election. It had the president take a detour from several events in key battleground states.

However, he is still to appear with former president Bill Clinton in Orlando, Florida on Monday. Vice President Joe Biden will step in for Obama at other Clinton events.

Obama on Sunday was part of an operations briefing at the National Response Coordination Center at FEMA Headquarters in Washington D.C. and spoke with governors for potentially impacted states and mayors of the cities possibly impacted.

In an availability, Obama called Sandy a “serious and big storm,” and urged residents “to take this very seriously” and follow advice of state and local officials.

“As Craig (Fugate) has emphasized, this hasn’t hit landfall yet,” Obama said earlier Sunday. “So we don’t yet know where it’s gonna hit, where we’re going to see the biggest impacts and that’s exactly why it’s so important for us to respond big and respond fast as local information starts coming in.”

He sent a message to those potentially impacted by the storm: “Anything they need, we will be there.” And said the administration would provide the “Best possible response to a big and messy system.”

“As conditions worsen along the Mid-Atlantic and other parts of the East Coast, residents need to listen to the direction of local officials,” FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said in a statement. “This is a large storm and the potential impacts from wind, coastal flooding, inland flooding, rain and snow will affect many states. If you’re on the coast, it’s time to act and follow evacuation orders. If you’re inland, now is the time to make final preparations. Be ready for power outages and stock up on emergency supplies of food, water, medications, and other supplies.”

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