Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irene gone? New Jersey still flooding, evacuating



WAYNE, N.J. — Hundreds of people evacuated in northern New Jersey on Tuesday as flooding continued nearly three days after Hurricane Irene tore through, and one town was told it would be swamped for up to a week.

In Vermont, several towns cut off by destroyed roads got supplies airlifted in, while in N.Y.'s Catskill Mountains national guardsman arrived to help clean up. Asked one guard: "Where do you start?"

Across the East Coast, power outages, while down by half, impacted millions on Tuesday.

Irene has been blamed for at least 44 deaths in 13 states, the latest being a Maine couple who died from carbon monoxide poisoning.


In New Jersey, the Passaic, Ramapo and Pompton rivers were still overflowing.

In Wallington, 1,000 families were ordered to evacuate Tuesday evening as the Passaic was not expected to crest until late Tuesday night, NBC New York reported.

"Many people were caught off guard," said James Furtak, acting emergency management coordinator of the borough of 11,000 residents. "Their basements were flooded up to the ceiling and the first floor."

People were climbing out windows to get out of their flooded homes, he said.

In Patterson, search and rescue teams pulled nearly 600 people from homes in recent days with the most intense efforts Tuesday when the Passaic measured 13 feet above flood stage, the highest level since 1903, said Paterson Police Sgt. Alex Popov.



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