WAYNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Parts of northern New Jersey are still drying out after all the rain and flooding. Now, they’re bracing for more later this week.
Forecasters said between one and three inches of rain could soak the state Thursday and flooding could continue into Friday evening.
For Andy Monaco of Lincoln Park, rowing to and from his home was to be the new normal for at least for the next few days.
“If you’re rowing that means you’re flooded. And if you’re flooded, you’re in a bad way,” Monaco told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.
Monaco said that with more rain headed to the area later in the week, he was “scared.” As he hopes to prevent last year’s flood damage from repeating itself, Monaco’s wife said she has had enough.
“Regardless of what happens on Thursday, I mean I’m not going to wait next year and just keep my fingers crossed,” she said.
While pumps trying to clear the water were working overtime, it wasn’t enough for other area residents. Rada Pezic had her basement destroyed and with more flooding on the way, she said all she could do was pray.
“I hope it’s going to be not too bad, but…we can do nothing about it,” Pezic said.
The Passaic River had already cracked into Sam Kabalos’ backyard so the Little Falls resident said he was already making contingency plans.
“We’re packing up, you have to get ready, pack up. I take the dog out and the bird and get that ready,” he told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.
Another Little Falls woman said she and her husband spent a week at their daughter’s home this exact time last year because of flooding.
“I mean if it was every ten years you could cope, but now it just keeps coming sooner and sooner,” she said.
Homeowners also continued watching the Passaic, everything was rising: water, damage estimates, and the frustration level of residents.
“It’s very inconvenient. You got kids. You got to get out if your water or heat goes off,” said Rich Salvanto.
Dawn Marinnelli fled her Fayette Avenue home as the Pequannock River spilled its banks and filled her Wayne neighborhood for the second time in a year. “I don’t want to stay here anymore, enough is enough, I’m sick of the water,” she said.
“This is ridiculous, this is not a way to live,” one homeowner told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.
A homeowner tells 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg that he didn’t sleep, hoping that the water would go down more
Many homeowners who live near or along the river have already begun their pre-flood response routines, and by the end of the week, they’ll likely begin the process of deciding what stays and what gets sent to the curb.
OEM Coordinator Fred Batelli said another two to three inches of rain will turn the streets into streams.
“We’ll have some water into the streets, we’re talking about inches, not feet, but what we’re really concerned about is what’s going to be coming,” Batelli said.
In Wayne, life wasn’t getting any easier for residents on Hobson Avenue, which runs parallel to the Passaic.
Corinne Martin said the river flooded three years in a row. “I’m tired of it. Getting too old for these boat trips.”
Wayne’s Chie Cua had to hop on a rowboat to drop her son off at the bus stop. She also occasionally questions the decision to settle down in an area prone to flooding.
“We knew that it was a flood zone,” Cua admits. Asked if she regrets her decision, she said: “Sort of, but besides the floods it’s a really nice place.”
Rich Jastrzebski got in his boat and headed to flood-ravaged homes to rescue a friend trapped in a house with his two dogs.
He was able to help his friend Frank Monaco and his dogs Jake and Blue get to safety. Monaco told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan his dogs sensed the flooding a day earlier.
Stranded cars were little more than water depth markers in Pompton Lakes, due to flooding from the Ramapo River, which left homeowners trapped in their homes and reluctantly making their annual pre-Spring scramble.
“We had to pick up most of the stuff we had downstairs and bring it upstairs so we don’t lose everything like we did last time,” said resident Manir Toska.
“The south end of Pompton Lakes is under water, I would estimate probably about 10 or 12 blocks where the basement of the homes were completely gone,” Detective Lieutenant Steve Seifried said.
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