Obama signs disaster declaration for NJ

President Barack Obama has signed a disaster declaration for New Jersey as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Irene, freeing up federal recovery funds.President

TRENTON - President Barack Obama has signed a disaster declaration for New Jersey as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Irene, freeing up federal recovery funds.

President Obama will travel to the Garden State on Sunday to survey damage caused by the powerful storm.

The White House says Obama will visit Paterson, where flooding continues to cause problems as the state's rain-swollen rivers crest and slowly recede.

The storm caused record flooding across New Jersey, with some communities still under water days later.

The president's action Wednesday makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic and Somerset counties.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured or underinsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding also will be available to state and local governments for emergency work and storm-related repairs of facilities damaged by the storm in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem counties.

Affected individuals in the designated counties can begin applying online or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA.

AP wire services contributed to this report.

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