NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Rain and wind sent people running for cover, as hail pounded parts of New Jersey — looking like a water house, spraying buildings at times.
CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock was in Paterson, where a torrent of hail and rain was unleashed by Mother Nature.
The storm radar lit up like a Christmas tree as neighborhoods got slammed, and floodwaters rose, swallowing the bumper of a red Chevy.
“Sounded like people throwing rocks, a lot of rocks hitting the roof,” Malik Abuhabbeh said.
Abuhabbeh was driving with his cousin Belal Hamud as chunks of ice thrashed down on them. Hamud said he saw another van safely navigate a newly formed lake on Getty Ave.
“If he would be safe to go through, I would be safe to go through,” he said.
His trip didn’t go as smoothly — the water was past his knees when he was forced to get out, becoming stranded for more than an hour.
He said the fire department ensured them safe passage out of the vehicle.
“So we don’t fall into one of the manhole covers,” he said.
With clear garbage bags protecting his legs from whatever might be in the water, a Zagreb brothers employee rode a bobcat into the liquid mess, and worked to clear a drain — it helped, and it wasn’t long before the cousins could push their van to drier ground.
Lightning connected with a tree and power lines in New Milford, sparking a fire.
And powerful winds created problems in Wayne, where telephone poles were driven from their normally upright positions to a sharp angle with the earth. Wires were left dangling, and even downed, transformers too.
“Oh it was terrible, I didn’t know what it was. I have a dog in the house, didn’t know if the dog was okay,” Alan Sklar said.
The dog was fine, the house didn’t fare as well.
“Rain, the water is coming down the roof, and all the way down into the basement and the second floor is totally saturated,” he said.
In Crotona Park in the Bronx flooding created a river of rainwater about 3-ft deep. Commuters waited patiently on top of their cars for rescue as water rose in the typically busy intersection. An FDNY truck finally splashed through and carried several women to safety.
“He opened the door, the water was already car seat level then he just carried me over from the middle of the road to the other side,” Sylvia told CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
Once everyone was safe, good Samaritans helped drivers push their cars to dry land.
“There was a good Samaritan passing by, he helped me, then the other guys helped them, I went and helped them,” Wilson Taylor said.
There was flooding all around the Tri-State area; in Edison, Rt. 1 became a canal with waves up to the undercarriage of some stranded cars.
If all the water wasn’t dangerous enough, lightning struck a Bronx building on 182nd Street sending bricks falling to the sidewalk.