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Obama: Sandy recovery 'not going to be easy' (+video)

More than two weeks after Sandy struck, many are still struggling. On Thursday, President Obama visited New York to survey the damage and comfort some of those devastated by the storm. 

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President Barack Obama consoled grieving victims of Superstorm Sandy on the ground and surveyed disaster zones from the air on Thursday, visiting parts of New York City still struggling to recover 17 days after the storm devastated the U.S. Northeast.

Wearing a wind breaker and sturdy shoes, the president walked through destroyed sections of the borough of Staten Island, hugging and chatting with people whose lives were shattered when Sandy slammed ashore on Oct. 29, bringing a record storm surge and killing more than 120 people.

Among those he consoled were Glenda and Damien Moore, the Staten Island parents of 4-year-old Connor and 2-year-old Brandon, two boys who died after being torn from their mother's arms by raging floodwaters.

At the request of the Moores, Obama also praised New York police Lieutenant Kevin Gallagher, who stayed with the Moore family to help them through that tragic night.

"That's not in the job description of Lieutenant 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," Obama told reporters.

"That spirit and sense of togetherness and looking out for one another is what is going to carry us through this tragedy. It's not going to be easy," he said before returning to Washington aboard Air Force One.

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