September 4th, 2011
03:56 PM ET
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."
August 31st, 2011
03:37 PM ET
The White House announced President Obama will travel to Paterson, NJ Sunday to view damage from Hurricane Irene. Thousands have been evacuated from the area after the Passaic River crested late last night.
August 27th, 2011
12:38 PM ET
(CNN) - President Barack Obama toured FEMA headquarters in Washington Saturday as Hurricane Irene continued up the east coast of the U.S.
On a conference call with emergency officials, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and FEMA administrator Craig Fugate, while at the command center, Obama warned of the worsening conditions, saying “it’s going to be a long 72 hours.”
August 25th, 2011
07:21 PM ET
VINEYARD HAVEN, MA (CNN) - After a series of briefings on Libya, Irene, and the economy, President Obama hit the beach with his family Thursday, as many people onMartha’s Vineyardwere scrambling to exit the island.
Ferries and flights were packed with passengers.
“It does get pretty chaotic on the island,” said a woman waiting to board a Cape Cod-bound ferry, “so we decided to head back home.”
Darren Johnson and his family were also waiting to board the same ferry.
“We are cutting our vacation short by three days as we go through the storm so we’re absolutely unhappy,” he said.
Those staying behind headed to a Vineyard Haven hardware store to load up on emergency supplies.
“We started seeing gas cans go, flashlights, batteries,” said store manager John Watson. “We are now pretty bare, bereft of everything. They came in for cases of water, out in the lumber yard they've been buying sheets of plywood to board up their windows and doors.”
Watson is used to this routine. While Martha’s Vineyard hasn’t been hit by a hurricane in years, he said just the threat always sends people scrambling.
“Usually as soon as it looks like it's heading our way people start moving in.”
Some marinas on the island that were packed with bobbing boats just a few days ago emptied out.
“Our customers…they've started realizing that their boats are at risk, and so they started calling to say could you pull my boat our pretty quickly,” said Sheryl RothRogers, who bought Edgartown Marine just ten weeks ago. FULL POST
August 25th, 2011
12:45 PM ET
(CNN) Martha's Vineyard, MA–President Obama held a conference call Thursday morning with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and White House chief of staff Bill Daley about the current track of Hurricane Irene, its potential impact and the government's preparations according to White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said his agency is deploying teams from the Carolinas to Maine along the east coast of the United States.
"[O]ur briefing to the president was to update him on that status. And his direction back to us was to make sure we had what we need, keep him up to speed and he wants to make sure you know that we are stay in close contact with the governors and the metropolitan areas that are along the path of this storm," said Fugate.
The White House spokesman said they have no plans "at this point" for changes in the president's schedule for his vacation on Martha's Vineyard due to Hurricane Irene. "The President of the United States is responsible for fulfilling his responsibilities as the President of the United States regardless of where he is and regardless of where he goes," said spokesman Josh Earnest. "I think as the briefing call that he did with Administrator Fugate and Secretary Napolitano and others this morning demonstrates...the president is fulfilling those responsibilities and is committed to ensuring that everything that needs to be done from the federal government to prepare for this is being done," said Earnest. FULL POST