Obama viewing Irene’s flood damage in New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) ? President Barack Obama is in New Jersey for a tour of the flood damage that Hurricane Irene caused in the state’s third largest city.

He flew to Newark and was taking a helicopter to Paterson for a firsthand look at the aftermath of the big storm that struck the Atlantic Coast.

In Paterson, the Passaic River swept through the once-booming factory town of 150,000. The rising river flooded the city’s downtown and forced hundreds to evacuate.

While Obama is in the Northeast, federal officials are keeping watch on Tropical Storm Lee, which is dumping torrential rains across the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts. That area is still recovering six years after Hurricane Katrina.