The Secret Service blocked off the avenue and Obama walked along talking to residents. At 172 Fayette, Obama stopped to talk to Francisco Alarco, his wife, and two teen-aged sons. Their house was badly damaged. They had electricity but no telephone or cable service.
Across the street, Obama stopped to talk to a woman whose dog began yapping at the swarm of press and neighbors who crowded around the damaged home. “I’ll sic Bo on you,” the president quipped.
Mr. Obama also stopped at the home of a shirtless man with both arms covered with tattoos. “We’ll do everything we can,” to help, Obama said. In addition to Gov. Christie, Obama was accompanied by the state's two US Senators – Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg.
Both consoler and candidate were on display at the next stop, the Temple Street Bridge in Paterson. Last Sunday, the Passaic River crested at 14 feet – twice its flood stage, the White House said. Even a week later, the river under the bridge flowed swiftly and debris lined the bridge.