Obama visits storm-battered New Jersey
Pool Photo
September 4th, 2011
03:56 PM ET

Obama visits storm-battered New Jersey

By the CNN Wire Staff

PATERSON, New Jersey (CNN) - President Barack Obama reviewed damage inflicted by Hurricane Irene in northern New Jersey on Sunday, promising residents, "We'll be there to help."

Obama visited the towns of Paterson and Wayne, where residents showed the high-water marks from the flooding spawned by last week's hurricane. The Passaic River and one of its tributaries, the Pompton, overflowed their banks through the area after Irene dumped heavy rains across the Northeast.

"I know it's a tough time right now," Obama told people whose homes had flooded in Wayne, on the banks of the Pompton. "You guys hang in there. We're going to do everything we can to help."

Irene inflicted at least $1 billion in wind damage alone from North Carolina to New England, according to federal government estimates. Private-sector analysts have put the total expected losses as high as $6 billion.

During the visit, Obama hugged several people, including one woman who was overcome with tears, and at one point he theatrically rummaged through his pockets for change.

"I know it could have been worse, but we should not underestimate the heartache that's going through these communities and affecting a lot of these families," the president said.

Obama viewed the Passaic, which had crested Tuesday at seven feet over its flood stage, from a bridge in downtown Paterson and visited a relief center set up in the parking lot of a home-improvement store. About 600 utility customers remained without power in the Paterson area, out of about 6,600 remaining outages statewide.

Obama was accompanied by various federal and state officials, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, and the state's two Democratic U.S. senators, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez. He was also joined by his Federal Emergency Management Agency chief, Craig Fugate, and the agency's coordinating officer, Bill Vogel.

Topics: FEMA • Hurricane Irene

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. vick

    Its nice to see a republican standing by the President's side for a change. Its sad that it takes tragedy to bring folks together sometimes. I wish they could all stand together in Washington and work together for us Average Americans.

    September 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm |

    Eric Cantor see this time there is white area's being affected by the storm Republican and Democrats, Un-Employed and Employed in fact the only Black in this photo is the President yet and still Do you plan to hold up funding to help them too?

    September 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • jean2009

      Cantor doesn't care, his only rule of thumb is to help fund rich Americans...no others need apply.

      FYI and not that it matters; the President is bi-racial...how many seem to forget his mother was a white woman from Kansas.

      September 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
      • Pete

        How many forget his father was a Muslum radical from Kenya

        September 6, 2011 at 8:26 am |
      • Pete

        Jean your obsessed with fact that there are people in America that make money
        people that don't sit around and feel sorry for themselfes
        they worked all thier lives and planed a retirement they did not sit back and depend on SS or other programs
        stop your bitching about people who better themself by themselfs

        September 6, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • maikl

      He is the worse president ever., and it's nothing to do with be a black. You try to have cheap reason to his low approval rating. The Obama don't now what to do and it show.

      September 4, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
      • Republicans elect and attract the not so smart


        Its really pathetic you have no recollection of anything that occurred before 2009. "Worst President Ever"? Really? Is your incredible lack of coherent arguments a natural talent (i.e. failing) or are they totally Faux News derived?

        September 5, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  3. Jay in NC

    Why did these people have to wait, oh, yea thats right, Barry had to finish his game of golf, back to the White House then back to Camp David, work on his speech, play ball with the kids, then visit the hurricane victims.

    September 4, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Republicans elect and attract the not so smart

      @Jay in NC

      Calm down dude! Don't get yourself all spun up in a knot. This is how intelligent presidents proactively handle and avert the worst effects of a natural disaster. You didn't see this with dubya, but rather a press conference with that supreme court elected president saying "fine job Brownie" as bodies where floating down city streets.

      Now, go take your meds and try again

      September 5, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  4. maikl

    Thanks Obama ,we got your promise change. You change your bla-bla-bla from sept.7 to sept.8. What achange.!?!?.

    September 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Republicans elect and attract the not so smart


      pssssst..................We all realize you tend to get off track with your rants against this president, but this article is about the hurricane, not the jobs crisis. Do try to keep up with the discussion, instead of typing every disparaging remark you can think of, just to give yourself the illusion, there is some sense to what you are posting. Unfortunately the rest of us clearly see your tea bag needs to be throw out with all the rest.

      September 5, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  5. Mariee

    I'm sorry Christie does not look like a president. I hope if he ever decides to run he gets to a healthy weight. I don't think he is the worse president ever I think Bush earned that because we are still suffering from his actions, but he seems weak to the Republicans and he needs to get tougher for me to vote for him again.

    September 4, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Pete

      He's more preidential than the Moron obama
      Carter and Obama so far hold the title for Worst President
      If (GOD FORBID) the idiot obama gets reelected we are in for worst times than we have ever seen
      We need Business men like Petty and Romney to be President not a comunity Organizer

      September 6, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  6. Liz Carter in Georgia

    You're so right Jean! That's why I'm so flabergasted and taken-aback when I continue to see this man, born of that 'WHITE WOMAN' from Kansas being treated with so much disdain. Never seen a whiteman treated with so much ill-behavior; much less a US President! The treasonistic, obstructionistic Tea-drinkers of the 'Greed Over People' Party aka GOP, even a few of our own bought-out, turn-coated, backstabbing DEMS have joined in on the refrain! They hate his black side so much, his white sides' got to go too!

    September 5, 2011 at 1:20 am |
  7. Liz Carter in Georgia

    They don't even plan on trying to work with, nor pretend to work with his white side; much less his black side. WHY? Because black is his skin color, and AFRICAN AMERICAN is his race. He had a choice; so he himself chose his own race; his fathers' race...The Black man from Kenya. I often heard my own mother say to people as I was growing up...'a child belongs to its' father'..She was speaking of bloodline..lineage, etc. She said to us...'you're mine...but you belong to your father'. My mother was deep.

    September 5, 2011 at 1:45 am |
    • Jay in NC

      If what you say it true, then why should we re-elect him?

      September 5, 2011 at 4:12 am |
    • Pete

      Obama's an Idiot if he was black or white you liberals are the ones that make it a race issue

      September 6, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  8. Republicans elect and attract the not so smart

    @Jay in NC

    No one is expecting YOU to elect a intelligent / smart president. Thank Goodness there are enough smart, educated americans in the country to take care of that for this country. I honestly don't think you have the mental capacity, given you bash this president for play golf, playing with his kids, going to camp david etc etc. Its funny, I would seriously doubt you said anything about dubya's time at the Crawford ranch. That was a record. Instead you trumpet your Fox news comments hear on this site, so that we can all be embarassed about America's educational system and/or lack thereof.

    Why don't you just watch the election results on TV? We would hate to have the village idiot wondering around, lost somewhere trying to vote.

    September 5, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  9. Lydia

    I saw pictures of the President’s visit on another cite. The pictures were wonderful. The pictures showed the love that the people had for the President and the compassion that he had for them. He was clearly the the Comforter and Chief. to white, black, and brown Americans. The pictures depicted how the federal and state governments work together. The pictures of Gov. Christie and Pres. Obama illustrated how leaders of different parties share an objective in governing for
    the common good.

    Check out some of these beautiful photos and feel the love!:


    September 5, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
  10. Liz Carter in Georgia

    You know, I'm sorry but', I can't see the pictures on my hand-held device, but if what you say is true, Lydia, that IS beautiful! And I'm glad to know it! However, did you know that these anti-OBAMA DEMONS are hating to see such a picture?!? Especially if it's showing or portraying any sign of comradery; or anything like the 'Rodney King' message of 'can't we all just get along'? They're evil and thrive on disappointment, divisiveness, deception, depression, disgruntleness, and most of all HATE and BIGOTRY!

    September 5, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  11. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Pete; Muslim radical? Where do you get your information? Muslim-YES! Radical-NO! Furthermore, since some of you like to remind us whenever it suits your devious opinions, what was his mother, grandmother and grandfather who raised him?

    September 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  12. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Jay, Did I miss something? What did my post have to do with the cost of 'tea' in China? You asked; 'If what you say it (is) true, then why should WE re-elect him'? Well Jay, you don't have to worry. LOL! We certainly aren't waiting on a vote from you for OBAMA, OK?!? LOL! Just know this; even if you decided to 'in the nick of time', a vote by Jay in NC will never be the deciding ONE! LOL! 'WE'? LOL! I'm like Andy of 'Mayberry'..'Now if that just don't beat all'! LOL!

    September 6, 2011 at 8:40 pm |