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Roads Flood, Rivers Overflow As Nor'easter Dumps Heavy Rain On New Jersey

PASSAIC, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- The season's first nor'easter caused a rough commute for drivers in New Jersey, where cars were stranded in a flooded section of Route 22.

CBS2's Vanessa Murdock checked on conditions in Lodi, where the Saddle River busted its banks and overflowed, filling the parking lot of the Boys and Girls Club.

"I came at 6:30 in the morning to see how we're doing, but already the water was maybe half of the parking lot," Boys and Girls Club maintenance supervisor Diego Cruz told Murdock.

Cruz said he spent hours moving equipment and dumpsters, to keep them from getting carried away. He reported a small amount of water in the basement.

The club was closed Tuesday, but Cruz said the flooding didn't come close to the severity of Ida.

"We don't want that anymore. Right now, we can handle this," he said.

Watch Vanessa Murdock's report -- 

The Green Brook in Scotch Plains, wasn't babbling, it was raging out of the Watchung Reservation. The water flirted with the top of an overpass, pushed over a footbridge with no problem, filled the park like a pond, and swamped Route 22 westbound. The roadway shut down, but not before some tried their luck to pass and realized luck wasn't on their side.

A dump truck passed through a flooded intersection with no problem in Middletown, while officers diverted more susceptible suspensions away from the hazard.

Not far away, New Jersey Department of Transportation employees took a step back from the wake created by a semi-truck, so their shoes stayed dry. Meanwhile, their colleague was knee-deep working to clear a storm drain.

The force of the water moved through storm drains so significantly in Passaic, a geyser formed and filled the intersection of Westervelt and River Road.

The scenes were all too familiar across the Garden State. Gov. Phil Murphy asked everyone to remember the "tragic lessons" learned during Ida.

"If you're out on our roads and come across a flooded section, please just turn around," he said. "Flooded roads can have currents swift enough to wash a car and its passengers away."

In Saddle River, the water started to recede in many areas, CBS2's Nick Caloway reported, but the river continued to rage, causing chaos for many residents. In some areas, the river crested its banks, passing the six-foot minor flood stage threshold and getting to a little over seven feet.

The normally peaceful river was anything but Tuesday, busting its banks and flooding Waterford Gardens, a historic water lily farm.

Employees and owners spent the day pumping water out and cleaning up the mess left behind.

It's nothing new. Heavy rains often bring flooding to the area, but it never gets easier.

"So, we're basically stuck. This business is over 100 years old, doing the same thing that we do today. But it's a challenge," Waterford Gardens' David Meeks said.

"It's just been back-to-back storms and rain here," Saddle River Police Chief and Office of Emergency Management coordinator Jason Cosgriff said.

Cosgriff said many in the borough are still cleaning up from Ida.

Watch Nick Caloway's report --

A few minutes south, the Ridgewood High School athletic fields flooded again. They just underwent costly repairs, thanks to flooding from the summer storm.

It was a sad sight for 2020 graduate Brendan Powers, especially after the school just made a major investment to repair it.

"It flooded over maybe, like, a month ago. It was worse than this, but still, the fact that's it's flooding over this many times in such a short span of time, really unfortunate for the school," Powers told CBS2's Jessica Layton.

Officials in Saddle River said the worst could be yet to come.

"With more rain in the forecast, and especially rain north of us, which is going to fill this river, if we get more heavy bands of rain here we'll have significant roadway flooding again," Cosgriff said.

The police chief said where Caloway was standing was under about several feet of water during Ida.

Luckily, the area isn't expected to get anywhere close to that amount Tuesday night, but more flooding is possible.

CBS2's Nick Caloway and Jessica Layton contributed to this report.

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