LITTLE FALLS, N.J. (CBS 2 / WCBS 880) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency began inspecting parts of New Jersey, where late winter flooding still remains a threat.

Contractors hit the streets Wednesday in Little Falls to begin accessing the cost of the cleanup. For many families, their pre-damage assessments are the first step in receiving much needed financial aid.

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wayne nj flooding FEMA Inspecting Parts Of N.J. Wednesday

Flooding in Wayne, NJ (Photo: Marla Diamond)

CBS 2’s Jay Dow asked Tammy Stewart of Little Falls what she lost in the flooding. Her answer: “Washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove, all of our electric, our bathroom. We have to redo all the sheetrock, the flooring.”

So how old was all her property that was ruined? “A year. A year ago almost probably to the day,” she said.

“The best thing that they can do is document, take pictures of what has happened in their homes. If they have some before pictures and some after pictures, that’s even better,” said Donald Caetano of FEMA.


With the Passaic River still hovering above flood stage, Wednesday’s rain left many residents in northern New Jersey’s flood-prone neighborhoods questioning whether they can endure another post-flood clean up.

“It was 2005, 2007, 2010. How far we going to go? I don’t know,” said Wayne resident Rada Pezic.

FEMA inspectors visited Passaic County for the second consecutive year. Last year New Jersey received about $50 million in federal aid. Almost a third of that aid was approved for flood-affected households and individuals.

To help ward off the expected an wave of fraud, the New Jersey State Division of Consumer Affairs was alerting residents to beware of scammers offering structural repairs or portraying themselves as charity representatives.

Wayne resident Peter Mattiace said he was scammed last Spring when he moved onto Fayette Avenue. He claimed his landlord did not inform him of the street’s notorious reputation for severe flooding.

Mattiace lost everything this week and was planning to move, having no intention of becoming a flood veteran. “And God bless the people who are. Because they love their homes,” he said. “This is the first and last flood I’m dealing with.”

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