By Larry Shaughnessy
Governors from North Carolina to New England activated National Guard forces to respond to flooding and other damage from Sandy.
The most immediate demand was for Humvees and military trucks able to negotiate high waters.
The New Jersey Guard launched a helicopter to get a look at damage along hard-hit shore areas. One stretch showed sand washing into homes at least 100 yards from the normal high tide line.
New York had nearly 2,300 troops helping out, many of them in New York City where they will assist police and fire get through flooded areas.
Pararescue jumpers from the 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard used Zodiac boats for rescue efforts in Atlantic Beach, a community near Far Rockaway and John F. Kennedy airport.
Maryland's National Guard sent troops with vehicles capable of driving through deep waters in the southern part of the state and the Eastern Shore
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta briefed President Barack Obama on Tuesday on Pentagon-related developments.
In addition to Panetta, the video call included key governors, Vice President Joe Biden, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate, Adm. Sandy Winnefeld, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Charles Jacoby, the commander of the U.S. Northern Command, according to a White House statement.
Earlier Tuesday, Panetta briefed his top leaders, including Winnefeld, Gen. Frank Grass, the head of the National Guard Bureau, Lt. General Thomas Bostick, the commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Paul Stockton, the Pentagon's assistant secretary for homeland defense, Panetta spokesman George Little said.
Stockton has been communicating with the commander of U.S. Northern Command and the chief of the National Guard Bureau throughout the day to ensure that their capabilities and resources are ready to respond to the requests for assistance from emergency management officials and governors whose states are impacted by the storm, Pentagon spokesman Col. Tom Crosson told CNN in an e-mail.