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'Sesame Street's' Elmo calms children in the wake of Sandy

Victoria Will / AP file


Superstorm Sandy made for a frightening time even for the bravest adults in the storm's path. So just imagine how scary the devastating storm was for children who lived through it first hand or even those who simply saw the images of destruction on their televisions. For kids, no amount of statistics or estimated recovery times really explain the weather event or provide comfort in its wake.

Parents have no doubt been working overtime to soothe their affected tykes, and now they have some help from a voice every child trusts.

On Tuesday morning, "Sesame Street's" Elmo visited Brian Lehrer's WNYC's radio show and spoke directly to his young audience. And as it turns out, the Muppet is a hurricane pro, having been through a scary storm on "Sesame Street" in the past.

"Well, the wind started blowing really bad, and we had to put tape on windows and stuff," he explained of the episode. He even had to help his pal Big Bird put his nest back together after the storm destroyed it.

Joining Elmo and host Lehrer was Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, the vice president of education and research for Sesame Workshop. She explained that the episode was created long before Sandy or even Hurricane Katrina. It was meant to help parents if their kids should ever face a similar storm.

"'Sesame Street' is based on a whole child curriculum, and so we focus not only on the cognitive skills, but social and emotional skills of children," Truglio said. "We wanted to have a community show like this where we could model for parents tips -- so that we could model how you prepare for a storm and how you get through the storm with activities ... and keeping your child calm and safe."

As for Elmo, he took a question from a fan who wanted to know if he was scared on Monday night, as Hurricane Sandy hit his hometown.

"Yeah, but Elmo was with his mommy and daddy, so Elmo asked a lot of questions and learned a lot about what was happening," he assured.

His main question of the night was, "Will the wind ever stop blowing?" And he shared the answer he got.

"The windows were moving and stuff and they said, 'Yes, everything would calm down and be OK."

And so it was for Elmo, and hopefully it was for all of his young fans, too.

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