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Tidal Surge Overruns Two NJ Towns with Floodwaters

Streets filled with up to 5 feet of water, and the body of a man was recovered from the river
Updated Tuesday, Oct. 30, 3:28 p.m. ET

With the aid of New Jersey State police, a man walks with his dog to a National Guard vehicle after leaving his flooded home at the Metropolitan Trailer Park in Moonachie, N.J., on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

MOONACHIE, N.J. (AP) - A tidal surge triggered by superstorm Sandy sent water overflowing a riverbank and gushing out of storm drains, quickly swamping two northern New Jersey towns and setting off a frantic middle-of-the-night rescue of people stranded in houses and rooftops.

Authorities said the body of a man was recovered from the river Tuesday morning upstream from the main flood zone, where rescues were carried out through the night.

Gov. Chris Christie said hundreds of stranded people were rescued when the tidal surge up the Hackensack River resulted in water overflowing a natural berm.

The body was recovered in the city of Hackensack, where flooding also occurred but was less severe. The victim was not immediately identified, and county officials said they did not yet have a cause of death.

PHOTOS ON SKYE: Twitter Captures the Megastorm
In Moonachie, a town of 2,700 about 10 miles northwest of Manhattan, police Sgt. Tom Schmidt said water rose to 5 feet within 45 minutes, making roads impassable and cutting off residents who thought the worse from the superstorm was over.

The floodwaters also knocked out the police and fire departments, forcing them to relocate to a business in a neighboring community.

Schmidt said rescuers had trouble using boats to carry out rescues because water levels were varying from several feet to only inches. Trucks were also used.

Mobile home park resident Juan Allen told The Associated Press that water overflowed a 2-foot-wall along a nearby creek during the tidal surge, filling the area with 2 to 3 feet of water within 15 minutes and eventually as much as 5 feet.

"I saw trees not just knocked down but ripped right out of the ground," he said. "I watched a tree crush a guy's house like a wet sponge."

He said rescuers moved in quickly to get people out.

"There's no way you're going to be ready for something like this," he said.

In neighboring Little Ferry, population 10,000, residents reported water suddenly started gushing out of storm drains late Monday night, and within 90 minutes, 4 feet of water was in the road and entering houses.

"I looked out and the next thing you know, the water just came up through the grates. It came up so quickly you couldn't do anything about it. If you wanted to move your car to higher ground, you didn't have enough time," said Little Ferry resident Leo Quigley, who was taken with his wife to higher ground by boat and later went to a shelter set up in a school gym.

Residents of Little Ferry, situated near the confluence of the Hackensack River and a major creek, had put out sandbags and said they thought they had escaped damage when the water started coming out of the storm drains.

Janice Kama was playing cards with her husband by candlelight Monday night after power went out when her poodle terrier mix started looking out the screen door.

"I thought she saw an animal," Kama said. "Then my husband looked out the back door and said, 'Oh, my god.' It was like rapids coming down the block and down the sidewalk, like someone turned on a faucet."

Rescued residents were taken to the gym at a vocational-technical school in neighboring Teterboro.

Local and county officials reported during the night that a levee had broken but the governor and emergency officials said that turned out to be incorrect.

Bergen County Emergency Management coordinator Dwane Razzetti said "an overwhelming tidal push" essentially caused the river to back up and overflow its banks.

"No one has ever seen water come up so quickly," he said.

PHOTOS ON SKYE: Rare Superstorm Slams East Coast

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Caridad Valdez

YO, LLAMO CARIDAD, ACE 44AÑOS VINE DE CUBA. Y MI SEUNDA PATRIA, A PEZAR QUE VINE PARA MIAMI, 1974. MI CORAZON LO DEJÈ ALLI, EN NEW JERSY, PUES FUE DONDE DSI MIS PRIMEROS PASOS DE ESPERANZAS; DE ESPERANZAS. COMO TODOS LOS EXILDOS QUE VINIMOS EN BUSCANDO LIBERTAD. HUYENDO DE AQUEL. INFIERNO MARXISTA LENNINISTA , QUE HASECHABA A NUETRA PATRIA, (CUBA) Y QUE HOY POR HOY AHI ESTÀ MATANDO DE HAMBRE A UN PUEBLO SIN DEFENSAS POR LA DEPENDENCIA QUE ESE SISTEMA LES HA CREADO FUNDO POR EL MIEDO Y TERROR,AHI ESTAN ESOS MISERABLES ASESISINOS Y EL MUNDO ENTERO INCLUYENDO A ESTE GRANDIOSO PAIZ.LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMERICA .NO HAN HECHO NADA ,COMO NO HARAN NADA, SI ESTE LLEGA A SER EL CASO AQUI. EN ESTA NACION,SOLO ME QUEDA DECIR QUE AUNQUE AQUI, EN MIAMI MI CORAZON LLORA Y ESTA CON TODOS LOS . SUFRIDOS POR ESE. DESVASTADOR FENOMENO. NATURAL,QUE DIOS BENDIGA A AMERICA, Y NOS PERDONE POR HABERLO OLVIDADO.. Y HABER PECADO TAN GRANDEMENTE. CONTRA EL. JESUS ES GRANDE. PIDANLE Y EL DARÃ PAZ. A SUS SUFRIMIENTO ...LOS QUIERO Y ESTOY AHI EN ESPIRITU Y ALMA. CARY

November 01 2012 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
asrmurthy

What is the effect of "Sandy " on waterside drive village,NJ07643

November 01 2012 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
asrmurthy

SANDY effect on waterside drive village,littleferry;NJ 07643

November 01 2012 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
none

Really? we're talking about real people here. Lives changed forever. Memories gone, lost, to nature. Nothing can be done. Rebuild & move on. Politics? Really? Get a ******* life. Muslim fanatics, go **** yourself.

October 31 2012 at 11:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ahmedaly Aly

Mercy dogs and kill people in the Arab countries and Afghanistan and helping the Brothers of the monkeys Jews money to kill people and plunder the country's wealth

October 31 2012 at 12:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ahmedaly Aly

U.S. President did not talk about the thousands of victims who were killed by the devastating wars and through his armies directly or at the hands of its ally, Israel.
Perhaps because the master of the White House belief that those killed in Lebanon and Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, all of them are terrorists and they were women or children!!
Bush's speech that is contrary to his actions throughout his reign can only be included in the box ridicule Muslims minds, if not a new deception to throw dust in the eyes. The U.S. president knows better than anyone else that the level of crime committed by its soldiers in Muslim countries can not hide, there is no any Muslim home in countries that have succumbed under the invasion and occupation and only pay one of his sons or his relatives a victim of America's wars.

October 31 2012 at 12:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hklbrries

ast8: IMy thoughts and prayers are with everyone who is suffering at this time. I know they're all trying to get by the very best way they can. Also, not all of us believe in 'the Creator,' nor do all of us subscribe to your particular brand of what you think it will take for us to make things better. I could go on at length but will suffice it to say that I find peace, joy and healing in seeking out the company of others, by attending concerts and other events. I find plenty of time for rest and reflection in these beautiful north Idaho woods in which I live. I wish peace for others - however and wherever they may find it.

October 30 2012 at 11:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Welcome King

It's always the east coast and the south side getting hurricanes.

October 30 2012 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lilgwn15

new orleans was first and more places to come

October 30 2012 at 9:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to lilgwn15's comment
kevin

recall FL or NC? think they were first.... Hazel, Hugo, Fran, Floyd, just to name a few....

October 30 2012 at 10:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
hellyon3too

Look up the Galveston hurricane of 1900. New Orleans was far from first.

October 30 2012 at 10:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shadyladymiami

FEMA is there, everything is being done that can be done. TOTALLY different than a President at a birthday party in Arizona while New Orleans was suffering through Katrina, OR .. and this I went through.. Daddy Bush left us here in Homestead w/out the LEAST bit of attention for FIVE days after Hurricane Andrew. WE did not flood, we were ripped apart with 190 mile per hour winds. THAT is not a typo, that is the last recorded wind speed before the entire Weather station blew away. We had NOTHING left standing that went through the eye of that storm. My husband and I and our dogs huddled in one room as the house blew apart. We watched the sliding glass doors that WERE boarded up explode anyway and the glass hit the far wall. 300 horses were dead or had to be shot. Thousands of dogs and cats were loose when their homes were destroyed or were abandoned when the evacuated owners never returned to look for them. FEMA was here finally AFTER our County called on national TV 'where is the friggin' Calvary!' It seems the Bush family were slow on the uptake, and it is hereditary! Thank GOD for a smart committed man as POTUS. Romney just wants the title, NOT the job and really, does anyone want such a self righteous out of touch mega wealthy vulture capitalist making OUR laws? If he won he would leave after one term like he did as Governor. Mormons believe power in life makes you a god (they have millions/billions of gods, all Mormon men in 'life') with a really good planet to rule. Problem is, Mormon 'gods' are flesh and blood and very busy having sex with many 'vessels' (aka females) to make 'spirit babies'. When you are a flesh and blood god you have very limited 'power' to change ANYTHING so prayers don't do Mormons any good; the Temple calls for wealth and power to be the guiding goals of every Mormon to advance the goal of their founder, Joseph Smith (now THERE was a psycho!) .. One World Religion...Mormonism. These are facts so before yu vote.. check it out.. do your research... and find out WHO you are voting for and WHAT drives him.. and WHY lying through his teeth is second nature to Mittens.

October 30 2012 at 8:13 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to shadyladymiami's comment
hellyon3too

And, of course, if Bush had been there, none of the destruction caused by Katrina would have happened. Right. And the various governors and good ole mayor Nagin did such an exemplary job of handling the situation, too.

Honestly, you sheeple can blame Bush if you get a hangnail, but Obama can do no wrong.

October 30 2012 at 10:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sissy

What the heck or you smoking, I mean really, come on grow the hell up. Obama is going to be on this one like white on rice because he screwed up big time with the attack on 9-11 that killed 4 Americans, so he's not going to sit by and blame this too on a video. He has to get the moron voters to believe he can do this. And I might add Shadylady falls right in line with the idiots that buy his BS

October 31 2012 at 12:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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