NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Eight inches of rain fell in some areas Monday. On top of the rain over the weekend, it’s created a messy, dangerous, and costly situation in New Jersey.
Brick Township was among several municipalities to declare a state of emergency. A police drone flew over homes that were destroyed by dirty and destructive flood waters which rose so fast, people who’ve lived there for 25 years tell CBS2 they’d never seen anything like it.
80 people in the Briarcliff community were rescued by fire boat on Monday, the rain falling so fast they had little time to react. The majority who were rescued were given food and something to drink.
From Neptune to Lakewood, social media video shows how bad the shore areas got slammed with over a half-foot of rain in a very short amount of time.
“We lost everything in our house,” one distraught homeowner said. “The worst part about it is I’m standing in my house looking through the window watching the water come in and not being able to do anything about it.”
The storm also forced the town of Little Falls to declare a state of emergency. Video from the weekend shows at least eight cars washing down the Peckham River in Little Falls, N.J., swept up from the Route 46 dealership and piling up under the overpass after Saturday night’s storm.
“The cars got washed into that stream and (made) the bottleneck, and the water came rushing down over 46, off the exit ramp, down to my area,” said resident Kristy Barry.
Some residents believe the cars formed a dam that diverted water onto properties along Paterson Avenue.
“(The cars) ended up blocking that river, which now comes back into our neighborhood, which finds a weak spot in the bank, and busts through and causes all this devastation,” resident John Riley said.
People were leaving piles of furniture as their once-precious belongings are now in ruins.
Resident James Gallone woke up early Monday to clean up his basement and try to figure out if he could salvage his car. He said most of his prized possessions he has to toss.
“They’re gone. The picture … everything is gone. Stuff like this can’t be replaced,” Gallone said.
Down the block, the foundation of one home was literally washed away, after water rushed through it and left residents homeless.
“Everything, all my belongings gone, everything,” said Mohamed Mohamed. “If they knock down the house, the whole year I have nowhere to go.”
Some said they haven’t seen anything like this since Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
“Almost like a tsunami came in, almost a mini tsunami,” Marino Florio said.
Governor Phil Murphy toured a neighborhood Monday afternoon as the lingering rain made cleanup even more difficult.
“We’re mobilizing as much as we can at the state level and we gotta try to get the feds here,” said Murphy. “I promise you we’re gonna work together to try to find every available resource we can.”
The flooding did not stop there. It also rushed through downtown Caldwell. The town recorded some of the highest rain totals at just under 5 inches. Cellphone video shows one woman trying to get to her car, with water up to her knees.
“It’s never happened here. I spoke to some people today and they’re like we haven’t seen this happen in like 50 years,” resident Yash Shah said.
And when the flood waters eventually receded there was more chaos, as a fire erupted from a manhole on Bloomfield Avenue.
Red Cross volunteers are in the impacted areas, distributing relief supplies. They are also putting up some families in hotels indefinitely as the full extent of the storms’ damage sinks in.