As the sun rose Thursday, so did the water. Many homes in Lodi took on a devastating amount of water from Wednesday night's storm. Entire chunks of the city are under several feet of water, CBS2's Nick Caloway reported.
"And pretty soon, all their belongings will be on the curb. And we see their whole life on the curb. It's heartbreaking," said Karen Viscana, the former mayor of Lodi.
Viscana said many of the people who live in the city won't be able to sleep in their homes Thursday night.
"It's just sadness. Sadness," Viscana said.
"It's mayhem," resident Dennis McQuaid added.
Countless drivers who took the chance and drove through high water had to abandon their cars and trucks and swim for it.
Just to the north, in Rochelle Park, flooded out cars littered roadways on Thursday morning, while firefighters worked to get drivers to safety.
One town over in Saddle Brook, water bubbled up from floors and walls in John McKay's home.
"We had six inches of water, so we'll hopefully be OK. Nobody's injured, hurt, so we're happy that we have what we have," McKay said.
All the water came from the nearby Saddle River, which swelled overnight, swamping cars and homes.
Even after the rain stopped, the river kept rising.
"We got water in our basement for the first time in 15 years, so that tells you how bad. There's no place for it to go," Saddle Brook resident Tommy Hayes said.
Fifteen minutes north, the relentless rain and high winds devastated parts of Ridgewood.
"Yeah, you just heard a loud 'shush.' Then you saw the flash from the power line going down," resident Todd Allievi said.
On Woodside Avenue, a large tree toppled onto a home at around 10:30 p.m., bringing down power lines and a transformer. Fortunately, no one was injured.
The storm flooded the Cresskill High School auditorium with about three feet of water.
Students were set to start the school year next week, but now, about 1,000 sixth through 12th grade students will attend classes virtually for what could be a while.
Students pre-K through fifth grade will have in-person classes.
Caloway was told thousands of people were rescued from their homes and cars across Bergen County. On Thursday afternoon, he spoke to the county executive, who said it's not complete devastation, but close to it.
CBS2's Nick Caloway contributed to this report.
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