President Barack Obama, alongside Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, spent Thursday surveying areas of New York City that remain in ruins more than two weeks after Hurricane Sandy struck the city. 

Reuters reports that Obama toured the borough of Staten Island, one of the hardest-hit areas. Twenty-two Staten Island residents died in the storm, including Connor and Brendan Moore, two young children washed away by the floodwaters.

Obama praised New York police Lt. Governor Kevin Gallager, who stayed with the Moores throughout the night to console them on the loss of their sons.

"That's not in 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," the president said. 

"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.”

The visit was Obama's first to New York City since the storm struck the Northeast, though he did  visit New Jersey storm victims right after the hurricane hit. Obama was then accompanied by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican and a previously outspoken critic.