In Little Ferry and Moonachie, more than 1,000 people — along with their dogs and cats — had to be carried to dry land. Many were taken to local shelters because of the flooding. The water level easily reached the first floor of many homes after a tidal surge from the Hackensack River swamped barriers designed to keep the low level areas dry.
First responders, including the National Guard, came from all over the state. Even a national guard truck ran into trouble in the high waters.
Those rescued say it was one of the most terrifying nights and then mornings of their lives.
“The rain was crazy. About 7 in the morning the fire department pounded on our doors, got us all out. Then they took us … by boat to Dunkin Donuts because it was too high to walk,” said Little Ferry resident Lori Wilkens. “And now they’re escorting us out through these trucks right here. They’re doing an amazing job.”
When asked how high the water came, Wilkens said it was up to the door handles of her car.
“Last night I went to sleep looking out and everything was flooded. So this morning when we took a look outside again and our basement is completely flooded,” said Little Ferry resident Jennifer Dounis. “I was trying to reassure the kids we would be OK and we saw everyone getting rescued.”
Little Ferry resident Angela Lofaro said as long as the children are safe, that’s what matters. But she did say the damage was severe for her and her family. “We lost everything,” she said. “The water started coming up to the main floor of our house.”