Reporting Steve Sandberg
WAYNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The waters have receded but it will be a while before some northern New Jersey communities return to normal after flooding.
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Many roads in flood-struck areas were expected to remain closed until sometime Monday or even Tuesday. Stretches of Routes 23 and 46 in Essex and Passaic Counties were not expected to open until sometime Monday.
For four nights Lois Perry and her Shitzhu, Susie, have slept in their Buick after being forced out of their Little Falls home on Friday.
“It’s not just a house, a piece of wood, it’s a part of me, this whole town is a part of me,” Perry said.
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The town has set up a shelter for flood victims but Perry had told reporters that she didn’t want to go because she wanted to be with her dog and near her home.
“I know there’s lots of shelters and they don’t take dogs and it does make it harder anytime there’s an emergency,” Perry said.
Now, loyal 1010 WINS listener Deb Derby, a pet lover from Mahwah, N.J., is offering to put up Perry and Susie in a pet-friendly hotel for as long they need.
“Wow, I’m so overwhelmed, I don’t know what to say,” Perry said. “I’m just so overwhelmed and I really thank you.”
“I thought I’m in a good position where I can help and I’d like to,” Derby said. “You’re not always put in touch with people to make it happen.”
“I have a couple of dogs myself and I wouldn’t be able to leave them if something happened,” Derby added.
Another listener, Sheila Amarnath, is offering to replace Perry’s washed-out hot water heater.
“I thought at least the small thing that I can do can help her,” Amarnath said.
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Peter Mattiace has lived on Wayne’s notoriously flood-prone Fayette Avenue for less than a year. He’s returning to his rented home for the first time since it flooded and walking through the deep water hasn’t been easy.
“It’s strong and there’s stuff floating around you can’t see, hitting you in the legs. I saw a TV go by the other day, a barbecue go by, it’s crazy,” he said.
At least 2,000 homes across New Jersey were evacuated as a result of floods. While many main streets were clear, pockets of severe flooding remained, including in several commercial parking lots.
That was good neither for business nor the patience of homeowners.
“It was 2005, 2007, 2010. How far we going to go? I don’t know,” lamented Wayne resident Rada Pezic.
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Peter Mattiace knows his limit. Asked what he’s going to do differently this year, his answer was: “Leave. I moved in in may. And this is the first and last flood I’m dealing with.”
“And God bless the people who are [flood veterans], because they love their homes,” he added.
The Salvation Army was providing food, water and cleaning kits to residents forced into shelters by the weekend flooding.
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