On Monday afternoon, President Barack Obama took a break from last-minute campaigning for the election to address the nation about Superstorm Sandy and its danger toward the eastern seaboard.
Superstorm Sandy is a storm consisting of exceptionally low pressure and high winds, as previously reported. The storm is entering the East Coast, and emergency services across the east are taking appropriate measures, Obama said, according to a transcript issued by the White House from the James S. Brady Briefing Room..
“We expect that the center of the storm is going to land fall sometime this evening,” Obama said. “But because of the nature of this storm, we are certain that this is going to be a slow-moving process through a wide swath of the country, and millions of people are going to be affected.”
He said that the public should pay attention to state and local officials and to not question the instructions being given. This could include events such as evacuations and other consequences, he said.
Not listening to instructions concerning evacuations will put first responders and others in danger, he said.
Obama said search-and-rescue teams will be in and around multiple states, as well as having the Coast Guard and the Department of Defense positioned.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also released a statement about the storm after returning from Florida Monday afternoon. He said Obama would not be traveling from Washington, D.C. on Tuesday in order to monitor the impact of and response to Superstorm Sandy.
“We have to focus on not the campaign and not the election, but on making sure that all federal resources are both prepositioned and in place to help states and localities respond to the storm, to help Americans affected by the storm,” Carney said in the release. “That’s our focus right now.”
As well as defense, Obama said transportation and power outages are going to be another big concern throughout the duration of this storm.
He also said there is a high expectation of downed trees and a lot of water, and power companies are working with local and state officials to make sure they are bringing in as many assets and as much preparation for the storm as possible.
However, Obama said a lot of these emergency crews will not be able to restore power until some of the winds die down, which could take several days due to the nature of the storm.
Obama said the most important thing for the public to do is to follow instructions from state and local officials concerning the storm, as well as being prepared. He said people could go to Ready.gov to gain information about what families need to prepare for the storm.
“This is going to be a big storm. It’s going to be a difficult storm,” Obama said. “The great thing about America is when we go through times like this we all pull together.”