Paterson, NJ - Today, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez joined President Obama in his motorcade to tour flooded areas of Passaic County Hurricane Irene. This unique opportunity not only allowed Senator Menendez to brief the President on the dire situation of thousands of New Jerseyans affected by Irene, it also allowed Senator Menendez to ask Obama for federal funding for long-term solutions on the Passaic River Basin. President Obama arrived on Air Force One at Newark Airport where he met Senator Menendez.

The President's motorcade stopped at various locations in Passaic County along the river, including Wayne and Paterson. Menendez was able to see up-close what affected residents were coping with and was able to speak to the personally:

"I was moved to see these New Jersey parents and their children who have endured the wrath of Hurricane Irene and now depend on the resources we can advocate for to provide the much needed assistance that will begin to get them back on their feet," said Senator Menendez. "President Obama and I are committed to fight for the federal aid that they and so many other New Jerseyans need so they can rebuild the lives they had before this natural disaster."

Senator Menendez, who had already requested a speedy response for federal assistance from FEMA and granted last week, had been on a flyover of affected areas in the northern and central part of the state with the U.S. Army Corps on Engineers. Today, Senator Menendez was able to speak to President Obama in person while they toured flooded areas that are still under water. The President was able to witness flooding, families out of their homes for days, and businesses in dire need of assistance.