PASSAIC, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Crews searched well into Monday evening for a worker who was swept down the Passaic River during a storm.

As CBS2’s Weijia Jiang reported, Passaic police said around 2 p.m., a private contractor working for Passaic County somehow ended up in the river and swept away by extremely heavy bands of rain.

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The worker was one of two bridge inspectors checking a bridge over the canal, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.

The rain came through the area between 1:45 p.m. and 2:15 p.m., and the worker was caught up right in the middle of it. He slipped off the bridge in an area known as Weasel Brook, and right into the water.

The search was suspended for the night around 7:30 p.m., and was to resume around 8:30 or 9 a.m. Tuesday, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.

Valentine Beltran said when he saw the victim slip into the raging waters, he dove in desperately to help.

“When he saw the guy fall in, his first reaction was to save him, that was his first reaction,” Beltran said through a Spanish interpreter.

Beltran said the current was too strong, and only saved himself by grabbing onto a nearby tree trunk. But he rushed into the water a second time.

“He said it was so strong, so quick,” Beltran said. “When he went in, he couldn’t find him — couldn’t find him.”

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Rescue boats scoured the river for hours, but crews only found a floating flashlight and construction helmet that were believed to be the victim’s.

“Today, the water is very, very high,” Said Adam Din.

Din’s car dealership sits along the river. He watched the frantic search unfold.

Din was hopeful, but not optimistic.

“It’s a sad thing,” he said. “I wish they can find him and he survives.”

Severe weather caused several other problems in the area Thursday. Streets were flooded in Union County, New Jersey, and NJ TRANSIT commuters had to deal with the stairs turning into a waterfall at the Short Hills station.

Flooding at the Short Hills NJ TRANSIT station on Monday, June 15. (Credit: CBS2)

Flooding at the Short Hills NJ TRANSIT station on Monday, June 15. (Credit: CBS2)

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