Over the weekend, Americans prepared for a weather system that President Obama warned Sunday is a serious and big storm that is moving slowly.
Even amid a campaign, duty calls. Mr. Obama met with federal emergency officials and spoke about the danger the so-called frankenstorm poses for the Middle Atlantic States and New England. He said emergency officials believed that preparations for the storm front were in place.
My main message to everybody involved is that we have to take this seriously, he said, and directed people to listen to your local officials.
Throughout the weekend, Americans learned that Hurricane Sandy would strike the East Coast sometime Monday, then be joined by two other cold weather systems as it headed inland. Forecasters spoke about a giant superstorm with high winds, tidal surges, extensive rain and snow in some areas.
Mr. Obama appeared at the Federal Emergency Management Agencys headquarters to meet with workers and thank them. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate spoke with governors from states making preparations for the tempest, including New York. Mr. Obama spoke with mayors from cities in the storm path.
My message to the governors as well as to the mayors is anything they need, we will be there, and we will cut through red tape. We are not going to get bogged down with a lot of rules, he said. We want to make sure we are anticipating and leaning forward into making sure that we have the best possible response to what is going to be a big and messy system.
Through all the warnings and predictions, there has been a sense of not knowing exactly what to expect from this new perfect storm. Today and Tuesday will show how effective the warnings and preparations have been.