NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — President Barack Obama is supposed to visit Sandy-ravaged Staten Island on Thursday when he travels to New York to view recovery efforts from the superstorm.
Republican City Councilman James Oddo believes the president’s visit to the hard-hit borough could provide residents with the emotional lift they need.
“The president coming here is a recognition of just what we’ve gone through,” Oddo said. “I want him to hear from Staten Islanders and then look Staten Islanders in the eye and say, ‘We’re going to be with you for the long haul.’”
“I need my house taken down so I can build another one,” said New Dorp Beach resident Ronnie Shrieffer, whose entire house was move eight feet by the floodwaters.
Amid the damage there was also death. Of the 43 known fatalities from the storm in the city, more than half were killed on Staten Island.
Many residents who felt neglected in the aftermath of the storm said Obama’s visit makes them feel as if their borough is no longer forgotten.
“It makes everybody feel important,” New Dorp Beach resident Lorraine Griffin said.
“I’d love to have him come down and see what happened to us,” resident Joseph Inginito said.
Obama is expected to meet with affected families, local officials and first responders.
The president traveled to New Jersey on Oct. 31 to meet with Gov. Chris Christie and view recovery efforts in coastal communities.