by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Nov 9, 2012
President Barack Obama will travel to New York next week to view the damage caused by superstorm Sandy and meet victims of the disaster, the White House said Friday.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said the visit next Thursday was to "view the recovery efforts, meet with affected families and local officials and thank the brave first responders who have worked tirelessly to protect communities following Hurricane Sandy."
"He's coming next week, we're honored to have him," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a news conference, denying reports that he had asked Obama not to visit during the height of the crisis, just before the presidential election.
"That's not true. I didn't ask him not to come," Bloomberg said.
Obama, re-elected Tuesday, interrupted his campaign for four days when the storm blasted ashore with hurricane force on October 29, triggering major floods and tidal surges in New York and New Jersey.
Although he did not go to New York, he did visit neighboring New Jersey on October 31, touring the wreckage with Republican Governor Chris Christie in what proved to be an unexpectedly welcome photo op for the Democratic president less than a week before polling day.
More than 110 people lost their lives in the storm, and 11 days later tens of thousands were still without power, while gasoline was being rationed in New York City and New Jersey due to shortages.
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