Obama to Visit Post-Irene Devastation in Paterson Sept. 4
Pascrell: "Obama will . . . witness first hand 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.”
On Sunday, September 4, President Obama will visit the flood-ravaged areas of Paterson to witness the damage caused by Hurricane Irene.
Obama’s trip on Sunday follows an August 31 visit by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate. Napolitano and Fugate toured New Jersey and New York to survey response and recovery efforts on the ground following Hurricane Irene. Administration officials made similar trips to Connecticut, North Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia.
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., (D-8th District), a Paterson resident and former mayor of the hard-hit city, said 4,000 to 5,000 people in Paterson and the surrounding metropolitan areas had been evacuated as of August 31.
Pascrell did not provide details of President Obama's visit, which he said is still being arranged. But at 4 p.m., he issued the following statement: "I look forward to welcoming President Obama to my hometown of Paterson, and it means a lot that he is coming to our community during this time of great need.
President Obama's being here will show that he is personally concerned about the people of Paterson, Passaic County, and all people who have been affected by this disaster. The President understands that the federal government has a responsibilty to help Americans facing a crisis, and we all have a responsibility to each other."
In August, Obama declared New Jersey a major disaster area, a move supported by Pascrell, who said the declaration would allow the federal government to award FEMA assistance to local residents, and state and municipal governments.
Upon hearing the confirmation of the President’s visit during the meeting with DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, Pascrell said, “The people of Passaic County and Paterson have been suffering greatly from the worst flooding witnessed in a century. I appreciate that President Obama will come to the city of Paterson and witness first hand 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.”
More details on the President’s travel to Paterson will be released as they become available.