N.J. residents in 2 towns rescued amid dramatic flooding

(CBS News) Just as the storm seemed to be ending Tuesday, two New Jersey towns were hit by massive flooding. Hundreds of people had to evacuate.

Throughout New Jersey, first responders were heading toward emergencies - to those who couldn't help themselves and those who didn't see it coming.

Among those who were most surprised were the residents of Moonachie and Little Ferry that are located miles inland and were submerged by more than five feet of water in less than 45 minutes after a tidal surge from superstorm Sandy pushed the Hackensack River over its banks.

Floodwaters destroyed Moonachie's only firehouse. Teams from surrounding towns joined National Guard troops to save more than 1,200 people and bus them to temporary shelters.

Seneida Medina Tomasetti was in Little Ferry to help her parents weather the storm. "It was devastating," Tomasetti said. "Certainly not what we were expecting. We have been through something like this in the past -- thinking it was going to be small waters -- but not like this."

And Sandy claimed all of Christina Baraicevic's belongings in her basement apartment. "The water was up to my waist outside. I was like, 'Oh my gosh,' it's coming through like a pocket of water," she said.

But the experience gave her perspective. She said, "As long as (my dog) is safe and I'm safe, that's all that matters. It's just stuff. Everything can be replaced."

She spent Tuesday night at her mother's house. They don't have power, but have what they need.

Baraicevic said, "I have a beautiful, big family, and a nice warm house to be in and not everybody has that."

Others have not been so fortunate. Authorities found the body of a 69-year-old man in the Hackensack River and there are 4,500 people in shelters throughout the state.