Pallone asks Obama to tour N.J. to inspect damage from Irene

LONG BRANCH – President Barack Obama has been invited to tour Irene-ravaged parts of New Jersey.

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. today invited the president to visit New Jersey for a firsthand look at the damage caused this weekend by Hurricane Irene, including the post-storm flooding.

In the letter he sent, Pallone pointed out the great deal of damage sustained in Ocean and Middlesex counties.

Here is the text of the letter Pallone sent to Obama:

“Dear President Obama,

Hurricane Irene, which devastated major parts of the East Coast this past weekend, has left many residents of New Jersey displaced, under water and without power. I write today to request that you visit New Jersey to tour the distressed areas and meet with local officials to discuss disaster assistance.

“Since Hurricane Katrina, it is clear federal and state governments have made significant improvements in disaster preparedness. Coordination between federal and state officials was well-organized and I was struck by the number of New Jerseyans that heeded the calls to evacuate threatened areas. Despite our best planning, however, flooding has damaged homes, businesses and roads in my district and across the state.

“My Congressional District was hit particularly hard by this storm due to its proximity to the ocean and several major rivers. In Middlesex County, severe flooding damaged homes and made roads impassable in the boroughs of Middlesex and Dunellen.

“In Monmouth County, severe flooding affected the Poplar Village senior community in Ocean Township. Many residents in this area, most of whom are elderly, were forced from their homes while many of their possessions were ruined.

“These are just a few examples of the devastation in a state that was hit extremely hard by Hurricane Irene.

“I applaud your administration’s work to stay engaged with the public and local officials during the course of this dangerous storm. Even though the storm has passed, many areas in New Jersey are still dealing with dangerous flooding.

“Therefore, I urge you to visit New Jersey to see first-hand the damage this storm has caused. The destruction inflicted by this storm will likely reach into the billions of dollars and federal aid will be crucial to rebuilding damaged communities.

“I look forward to working with you as the response effort moves forward. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance in any way.”

Other congressmen are involved in assessing the storm’s damage as well.  Pallone asks Obama to tour N.J. to inspect damage from Irene