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S.I. Residents Have Plenty Of Questions To Ask President Obama About Storm Relief

From FEMA To The Insurance Companies, Questions And Concerns Abound
Staten Island residents say they have questions to ask the president when he visits the area on Thursday. (credit: CBS 2) | Image of President Obama  (credit: Getty Images)

Staten Island residents say they have questions to ask the president when he visits the area on Thursday. (credit: CBS 2) | Image of President Obama (credit: Getty Images)

Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — President Barack Obama is expected to visit parts of Staten Island damaged by Superstorm Sandy on Thursday.

Sandy tore apart homes and knocked out power to thousands, forcing many residents of the borough to live like nomads for weeks.

Storm victims said they have plenty they’d like to ask or say when the president comes to town.

In wounded Midland Beach, they love their country and Thursday they’ll welcome their president.

Frank McDaniel said he wants to tell the president of his gratitude for those helping to gut flooded houses.

“He’s got a great country. That’s the only thing I can tell him,” he said.

While Natalie Gaweda wants Mr. Obama to see the magnitude of the challenges in Midland Beach.

“This is one of those remarkable moments in time. How will we define this time in history? What will this tell our children?” Gaweda said.

Gaweda said she is impressed with FEMA and other federal responders, but others have complaints for the president.

“Yeah, you know [FEMA is] supposed to do a lot of stuff. I see them taking applications, but I don’t see anybody getting anything,” Tom Grossman said.

Thomas Ratel said he would ask the president to stay after the insurance companies.

“It’s affecting us, we lost a lot,” Ratel said.

A number of residents said they’d like to share with the president their stories of barely escaping with their lives, as water rose higher and faster than any of them could have imagined. Walter Lotz said he hid in his attic as water filled his Midland Beach home.

“My neighbor’s two doors over, she was screaming and screaming. I can’t get to her, you know? The worst feeling — helpless,” Lotz said.

Many residents, exhausted and frustrated, have the same request of Mr. Obama.

“Just for help. Just help. I want to come home. That’s it. I want to come home,” Lotz said.

During his brief visit, President Obama is expected to take an aerial tour of damaged areas, and meet with several Staten Island residents.

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