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NY, NJ Governors Coordinating Economic Assistance, Recovery Efforts After Irene

Gov. Chris Christie (credit: Governor's Office), Gov. Andrew Cuomo (credit: Gov.'s Flickr Page)

Gov. Chris Christie (credit: Governor’s Office), Gov. Andrew Cuomo (credit: Gov.’s Flickr Page)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As New York and New Jersey continue to deal with the fallout from Hurricane Irene, the governors of both states are coordinating efforts to help get residents and businesses back to normal.

Gov. Chris Christie said President Barack Obama personally assured him Monday that New Jersey would get expedited federal disaster aid dollars.

SEE: User-Submitted Pictures Of Irene’s Wrath | Irene’s Aftermath From Chopper 880

Christie said Obama called him and offered to help get the Garden State aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He also praised the President’s response and reaction during Hurricane Irene.

Earlier Monday, President Obama said the federal government would do everything it could to help people along the East Coast get back on their feet after the hurricane.

“We’re going to make sure folks have all the support they need as they begin to assess and repair the damage left by the storm, and that’s going to continue in the days ahead,” Obama said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo took to the skies Monday to show FEMA officials the damage caused in New York by Irene. While New York City may have been spared the worst of the storm, residents upstate were pounded by the heavy rains that caused rivers to escape their banks, wreaking havoc across the region.

“The rainfall set records, the flood levels have set records and the amount of damage is devastating in some areas and will get worse before it gets better,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo said the state will seek federal funds to assist in the recovery.

“We’re going to need, in my opinion, the assistance of FEMA — they’ve been a very good partner to us. But the economic damage here will be significant,” Cuomo said.

Meanwhile, Christie said that nine rivers have already reached or passed “record flooding levels.”

“It was going to be after the storm that we were going to see some of the real devastating effects of the storm — not just when the storm was hitting,” he said.

The governor surveyed some of the hard hit areas of the Garden State on Monday. Christie also announced a series of business assistance services for people affected by the storm. The governor said that the state wanted to “ensure they are operational quickly.”

The services include: access to credit of up to $500,000 for businesses that need money to fix damaged property and grants for those training new workers hired to assist in disaster-related work.

What is the biggest need in your community following the hurricane?  Tell us in the comments section…