President Obama urged Americans in Sandy's path Monday to "please listen" to local officials, and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, urged help for those affected by the superstorm.

"The most important message that I have for the public right now is please listen to what your state and local officials are saying," he said in a statement from the White House. "When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate. Do not delay. Don't pause. Don't question the instructions that are being given. This is a serious storm and it could potentially have fatal consequences if people haven't acted quickly."

Speaking earlier in Avon Lake, Ohio, Romney said people on the East Coast were "enduring some very difficult times."

"I'd like to ask you, who are here today, to think about making a contribution to the Red Cross or to another relief agency; to be of help if you possibly can in any way you can imagine to help those who are in harm's way," Romney said. "We've faced theses kinds of challenges before and as we have it's interesting to see how Americans come together, and this looks like another time we need to come together."

Obama said he wasn't concerned "at this point" about the impact the storm may have on the election, but the president cancelled a campaign event in Orlando, Fla., so that he can fly back to Washington, D.C., to monitor the storm.

Romney cancelled an event in Wisconsin and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, canceled an event in Florida. The Romney campaign said all events scheduled Tuesday for the Republican presidential ticket were also being canceled.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit