President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster area in New Jersey for the regions affected by Hurricane Irene, according to a release isued by the office of U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-8).
The decision to award individual and public assistance came following the announcement that Obama will visit Paterson on Sunday, and a bipartisan delegation letter co-signed by the entire Congressional delegation.
“Hundreds of thousands of New Jersey families and business owners have endured incredible losses and stress during the last several days,” said Pascrell, who was on a tour of the devastation in Passaic County with U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, when informed of the president’s decision. “The flooding in the Passaic River valley was of a historic magnitude and loss of power throughout my district was unprecedented. Municipalities all over the state are operating beyond their budget in order to rebuild communities and continue basic municipal services. I am relieved that New Jersey residents and businesses will have an opportunity to be compensated by the federal government and I will ensure that FEMA is adequately responsive to my constituents.
“The people of Passaic County and Paterson have been suffering greatly from the worst flooding seen in a century,” the congressman added. “I appreciate that President Obama will come to the City of Paterson and witness firsthand the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene. We need his leadership as the people of Paterson and New Jersey rebuild and recover from this historic disaster.”