(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden met first responders who had lost their homes to Superstorm Sandy and saw the damage for himself on Sunday as he toured parts of the New Jersey coastline hit hard by the storm.
He received a briefing on the recovery efforts in Seaside Heights, where Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno told him, "If we don't get Seaside Heights back up, we're going to lose our entire economy."
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Biden's visit follows two visits to the area by President Barack Obama, who on Thursday toured damage in New York and visited New Jersey on October 31. That weekend, the storm ripped up the East Coast as a Category 1 hurricane, before losing speed and hovering over New York and New Jersey.
About 600 customers remained without power in New Jersey on Saturday, three weeks after the storm hit. Outages peaked at 2.1 million customers in the Garden State. The storm was responsible for 24 deaths there, authorities said, and a total death toll of at least 113 in the United States.
Biden viewed the battered coastline by helicopter in the morning, then shook hands and received his briefing at a fire station in Seaside Heights.
From the air, reporters traveling with the vice president said they could see boats at a marina stacked like matchsticks, houses that had been smashed and pushed from their foundations and sand on streets and yards that looked like snowdrifts.
Mayor Robert Matthies joined Biden on the city's dunes, and the two went down a boardwalk where nails protruded. At another nearby boardwalk at Island Beach State Park, Biden stressed the recovery is a "national responsibility" and there remains "an awful lot of work to do."
"We're not going anywhere, and you've got a homeboy in the deal who gets it," he said. Biden is from nearby Delaware.
Late in the afternoon, Biden flew north along the coast toward New York Harbor and lower Manhattan. He was slated to visit Hoboken, New Jersey, where many residents were stranded as floodwaters submerged the city.