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At its peak, the storm’s wind field stretched from North Carolina north to the Canadian border and from West Virginia to a point in the Atlantic Ocean halfway to Bermuda, easily one of the largest ever seen, the hurricane center said.
Obama and Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney put campaigning on hold for a second day instead of launching their final push for votes ahead of the Nov. 6 election.
Obama, who has made every effort to show himself staying on top of the storm situation, faces political danger if the federal government fails to respond well in the storm’s aftermath, as was the case with predecessor George W. Bush’s botched handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
But Obama also has a chance to look presidential in a national crisis.
With politics cast aside for the moment, Republican Christie heaped praise on the Democratic incumbent for the government’s initial storm response.
“The federal government response has been great,” Christie, a staunch Romney supporter, told NBC’s “Today” show. “I was on the phone at midnight again last night with the president personally … and the president has been outstanding in this.”
NEW JERSEY TOWNS FLOODED
Three towns in New Jersey, just west of New York City, were inundated with up to 5 feet (1.5 metres) of water after the nearby Hackensack River flooded, officials said. Rescuers were using boats to aid the marooned residents of Moonachie, Little Ferry and Carlstadt.
In New York, a crane partially collapsed and dangled precariously from a 90-story luxury apartment building under construction in Midtown Manhattan.