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Flooding Continues In Parts Of Garden State

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Chopper 2HD over flooding in Wayne, N.J. (credit: CBS 2)

Chopper 2HD over flooding in Wayne, N.J. (credit: CBS 2)

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WAYNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Some streets remain closed in flood-prone sections of northern New Jersey after a two-day storm soaked the area with more than 4 inches of rain.

Forecasters said minor to moderate flooding will continue along the Passaic River at Pine Brook and Little Falls and the Rockaway River at Boonton.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: Residents are tired of the floods 

Rich Lauria, who was back in Wayne after a day of work in the city, had to put on waders just to get home.   He needs to walk the 200 yards there because the water moved in so fast and made getting to his home impossible to get to by car.

“I’m going to head home to see what I can raise to a higher level in case it floods again,” Lauria told CBS 2’s John Metaxas.

The water in Wayne seems to have reached garages and basements, but it’s not that far away from living spaces.

Municipal crews have been piling sandbags around homes on the river in Little Falls, but it was already too late for Marta Rojas. Her brand new furnace and hot water heater – replaced after last month’s flood – were already soaked.

“There’s water in the basement. I get it right away before anybody does. I guess I’m at the lowest point,” Rojas said.

CBS 2 meteorologist John Elliott said the Passaic was expected to crest at 8 p.m. at 8.6 feet, and to begin receding on Tuesday morning to about 7.7 feet by 2 a.m.

Firefighters used boats or trucks to evacuate some residents in Wayne, Pompton Lakes, New Milford and Lincoln Park on Sunday.

Many homeowners who live in flood-prone neighborhoods in New Jersey have decided to sell, but were having a difficult time finding buyers.

Others who are forced to stay were dealing with their third flood in the past month.

“People need to get involved now. Something needs to be done,” said Laurie Giordano of Lincoln Park.

Giordano, her husband Rich, and their dog were living out of their RV, again.

“It’s a campground home, but we use it for a flood home,” said Rich Giordano.

CBS 2 visited the Giordanos several times this spring, but never under pleasant circumstances. Their boat was still docked in front of their Lincoln Park home, which sits a block and a half away from the still-swollen Pompton River.

The Giordanos, like so many of their neighbors, love the neighborhood, but said local and federal officials were making life difficult by not dredging the river or properly managing a dam farther north in Pompton Lakes.

Both tactics, residents argue, would reduce severe flooding.

“We get four inches of rain, and that river spills over its banks?” Rich Giordano asked.

“They’re offering to buy us out, but what they’re offering is not enough for us to relocate anywhere, so it’s not worth it,” said Soraya Sabri of Lincoln Park.

A spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers told CBS 2 their data indicates the Pompton River Gates were operating properly and that the project was solely designed to protect the borough of Oakland, but that the Corps was sponsoring a study next year to explore flood mitigation options for the Passaic River Basin, which includes Wayne and Lincoln Park.

For Laurie and Rich Giordano – rebuilding from scratch year after year may no longer be an option.

“Our time is running out. Our time is running out,” Laurie Giordano said.

Forecasters said the threat for minor tidal flooding along the Delaware River has passed in Salem, Gloucester, Camden and northwest Burlington counties.

The weekend flooding came nearly a month after melting snow and rain caused millions of dollars in damage in northern New Jersey.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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