PATERSON - President Barack Obama visited New Jersey today to tour parts of the state damaged by flooding from Hurricane Irene.

The president began with a helicopter tour over the Passaic River, seeing first-hand the devastation caused when the river overflowed its banks.

He then traveled by motorcade to Paterson to see more of the damage, including areas that were only recently inundated with floodwaters.

"We're one country, said President Obama. ?And when one part of the country gets affected, whether it's a tornado in Joplin, Missouri or a hurricane that affects the eastern seaboard, then we come together as one country and make sure that everyone gets the help that they need."

Officials say that Paterson was chosen for the visit because of the particularly severe amount of damage caused by the floods.

The president took time to walk through a neighborhood devastated by flooding and met with homeowners who had been affected by Irene's wake.

AP wires contributed to the report.