Watch CBS News

Flood Waters Force Residents In Wallington, NJ To Evacuate

WALLINGTON, NJ (CBSNewYork) - The situation is a dire one in Wallington, New Jersey, where residents were ordered to leave the flooded town.  Tidal flooding was occurring along the Passaic River and officials said they were still unsure of how high the water might ultimately rise.

Even with Hurricane Irene long-gone, the flooding she has caused continues to bring misery to residents in the Garden State. Wallington resident Monica Krol said she had a "sense of fear and the feeling of being trapped."

Earlier Tuesday evening, there was a mandatory call for the town's residents in low-lying areas to evacuate because of flooding concerns. The waters have endangered about a thousand homes.

1010 WINS' Terry Sheridan Reports From Wallington


Mayor Walter Wargacki said while he ordered the evacuation, not everyone listened.

"In America, we believe in private property and people if they decide to stay, they stay," Wargacki told CBS 2's Sean Hennessey.

The river went over the Eighth Street Bridge and both Locust Avenue and Main Avenue were flooded with several feet of water, 1010 WINS' Terry Sheridan reported.

Residents in Wallington said they received messages Tuesday morning that evacuations would take place.  Some people struggled to make sense of the flooding and were shocked by the pure scale of the damage.

"My mother's got a friend who's in the nursing home...this lady -- when she comes out -- she's not going to have a home to come to," one woman said.

Earlier Hennessey spoke with the owner of an area gas station who said he had never seen flooding this bad in his 25 years in the community.

"We have a big loss -- look at the garbage. Look how much stuff we had to throw away already.  We still have a way to go," he said.


Driving through Paterson in CBS 2's Mobile 2 Unit, reporter Tony Aiello said that officials were being overwhelmed by calls. Many of them came from residents stranded in homes and apartment buildings surrounded by flood waters.

Currently, the rescue calls are being evaluated and prioritized.

"Right now, if people have medical needs, we're going for the people who have medical needs, picking them up, bringing them to safe ground," Paterson City Council member Anthony Davis said.

Entire blocks of Paterson were left in the dark Tuesday night because the flooding has forced PSE&G to turn off the electricity.

"It's crazy.  It's crazy," Alvin Burnett told CBS 2's Derricke Dennis. He said the fact that many people in the area had families with children made the situation that much worse.


Friends were out comforting other friends in Wayne. Jennifer Philip and her two daughters lost everything to Irene after their home was filled with about five feet of water.

1010 WINS' John Montone Reports: More Water, More Damage


"The home we built for our kids is gone. Adults can handle it, but the kids -- they don't have anything," Philip told CBS 2's Christine Sloan.

"I'm not too happy that our house is going to be flooded and I don't know where we can go next," one of Philip's daughters said.

The same heartache was affecting others in a nearby devastated mobile home community, where dozens are under water.

"To lose everything and when you have kids -- it's even worse," Rosanna Hastings said.


Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses also remain without power in the state. For residents of Little Falls, near the Passaic River, it's hard to imagine things could get worse.

"I kind of don't want to look," said Leon Dupas. "Just all the time and effort, and the memories... they're just getting washed out.

WCBS 880's Levon Putney On Persistent Flooding Along The Passaic


WCBS 880's Marla Diamond In Manville


WCBS 880's Rich Lamb In Union County


1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg Reports From Lyndhurst


Lincoln Park resident Eddie Kribs has had enough of the flooding - and of what he sees as ineffective efforts by leaders to address it.

"They've had constant meetings to fix this problem and haven't come up with anything yet," Kribs said. "Every time, it's 'a study.' That's the worst around here, everybody knows: 'Oh, and we're going to have to do another study.'"

Do you agree: Is it time for another study,  or is more drastic action required? What do you think officials should do about the flooding? Sound off in our comments section.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.