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Was hurricane Irene the result of bad karma?
Obama declares 'disaster' in NJ|
Thu Sep 1, 2011 1:45AM GMT
Flood waters from the Passaic River overrun their banks, filling the streets of Paterson, New Jersey, August 31, 2011.
US President Barack Obama has declared a “major disaster” status in several areas in the state of New Jersey, following tropical storm Irene that swept the east coast with heavy winds and flooding.
The declaration allows low-interest loans and federal funds to be made available for individuals affected by the storm, AFP reported on Wednesday.
Moreover, the declaration comes as Obama plans a visit to the city of Paterson in northwestern New Jersey on Sunday, to view the damage caused by the storm.
Some 180,000 people in New Jersey are still without electricity, and more than 10,000 people who were forced to evacuate have yet not returned to their homes.
This is while more than 2.5 million people across the storm-hit states are without power.
Irene, which has now killed nearly 50 people across 13 states, also caused over USD 10 billion in damages.
Obama had earlier on Wednesday declared a major disaster in parts of North Carolina and New York.
On Sunday, the US National Hurricane Center downgraded Irene from a Category 1 hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone.
Obama had on Sunday warned that the impacts of Irene will not be over even after it leaves the US.
“I do want to underscore, that the impact of the storm will be felt for some time. And the recovery effort will last for weeks or longer,” Obama added.