BOGOTA, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Heavy rain caused sporadic flooding through parts of northern New Jersey Tuesday afternoon, trapping cars and complicating the ride home for countless drivers.
Video and photos show vehicles trapped along River Road in Bogota, including a taxi driver and elderly passenger who had to be rescued by police officers using a Humvee.
Officer Thomas Riedel pulled the driver to safety, before learning of the elderly woman in the backseat. Water had already flooded the car, and currents were rapidly pushing it away from the rescue vehicle.
“The car was moving as we were able to reposition,” Riedel said. “I climbed down and removed my vest and my belt, climbed into the car, and realized I wasn’t going to be able to get her from behind me.”
The officer opened the car’s back door and pulled the woman out. She complained of being cold and feeling scared.
“Water just kept going in and the officer got her, like, just two minutes before she completely went under,” witness Ronnie Sanchez said.
Water even managed to find its way into the Humvee that performed the rescue. Police say it was the second time they’ve had to use the vehicle to get someone out of a flash flood.
“If they were there a few more minutes, I think the water may have gotten over the rear seat passenger’s head,” Riedel said. “She wasn’t really able to help herself.”
The elderly woman was taken to a nearby hospital for an exam as the driver walked away unscathed. Officials say he could, however, face some traffic charges.
Flooding was also reported in nearby Hackensack, where members of the town’s fire department tended to drivers trapped along South Newman Street.
CBS2 crews found flooded roads on Route 17 near Lodi, with cars struggling to drive through unexpected ponds.
In North Bergen, Instagram user @Truckboylife posted video showing a minivan stranded by rising water levels as a tractor trailer lumbered ahead nearby.
Bus service to and from the Port Authority was subject to delays through much of the evening due to weather-related road conditions.
CBS2’s John Elliot reported that rain would remain heavy at times into Tuesday evening, with the chance for flooding transitioning into a possible risk of thunderstorms for Wednesday.