President Obama singled out an NYPD cop today for his work during Hurricane Sandy, giving him a “shout out” for comforting a grieving Staten Island family.
The president toured some of the hardest hit neighborhoods of the island today, 2 ½ weeks after the killer storm ravaged New York and New Jersey.
At least 23 Staten Island residents were killed by Sandy, including Brandon Moore, 2, and his 4-year-old brother, Connor, who were swept out of their mother’s arms as she tried to take them to higher ground.
“I expressed to them, as a father as a parent, my heart break over what they went through,” Obama said after meeting with grieving parents Glenda and Damien Moore.
“They, in particular, mentioned Lt. Kevin Gallagher of the NYPD who … when they knew that their sons were missing, Lt. Gallagher made a point of staying with them and doing everything he could, so they could ultimately [find out] what had happened with their boys.”
Obama said Lt. Gallagher went beyond his call of duty.
“And [Gallagher] has been there with them as a source of support ever since,” Obama said. “That’s not int the job description of Lt. Gallagher.
“He did that because that’s what so many of our first responders do. They go above and beyond the call of duty to respond to people in need.”
Damien Moore is a city sanitation employee, who was on the job when Sandy struck three Monday nights ago.
“So I wanted to give a shout out to Lt. Gallagher, but I also want point out the Moores — that even in their time of grief — asked me to mention Lt. Gallagher and that says something about them as well,” Obama said.
Obama toured Staten Island along with Gov. Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer.
The president said Donovan, formerly head of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, would be his point man for Sandy recovery efforts.
The president was to visit a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), one of six open locally. The DRC has a variety of resources on-hand for survivors including hot meals, nonperishable food, clothing and showers.
In addition, FEMA, SBA, IRS and the Red Cross have tents on-site to help survivors register for assistance, get answers to questions and find information about state, federal and local programs. As of Monday, approximately 1,500 survivors have received services at this particular center.
Obama traveled to New Jersey on Oct. 31 to meet with Gov. Chris Christie and viewed recovery efforts in coastal communities. The president got a close look at flattened houses, flooded neighborhoods, sand-strewn streets and a still-burning fire along the state’s battered coastline. Parts of the New Jersey shore’s famed boardwalks were missing.
The White House said Obama didn’t visit New York, back then, because he didn’t want to interfere with recovery efforts.
Source: The NY Post