WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama told emergency response officials on Saturday to cut through government "red tape" and work without delay to assist areas ravaged by monster storm Sandy to return to normal.

"There's nothing more important than getting this right," the president said at the beginning of a briefing with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and state and local governments.

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were among elected officials participating in the video briefing on efforts to help the East Coast states reeling from Monday's storm that left 102 dead, millions without power, and whole neighborhoods destroyed by flooding.

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