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Dismay as families return to flooded homes in parts of New Jersey

Families get first look at flood-damaged homes in New Jersey
Families get first look at flood-damaged homes in New Jersey 02:11

LITTLE FALLS, N.J. - Residents in flood-ravaged areas of New Jersey got a first-hand look at the damage the intense rainstorms left behind

Alaa Amin and her family are dealing with a huge mess in the home they rent in Wayne. The floods soaked up their mattresses, furniture and all of their belongings. 

"Everything like garbage," Alaa Amin said. "The smell is so bad we cannot stay here."

The Amin family has lost everything they own. 

"We don't know now what [we're] going to do. [We're] trying to do best to get out of this house," Manna Amin said. 

Video shows the raging waters as it made their way into their home. 

"We just stay in the living room, and I hear my sister, like, screaming 'Come on, come on! The water is inside the room,'" Alaa Amin said. 

The family moved to the U.S. from Egypt a year ago for a better life, but now, with no renters insurance and nowhere to go, they say their American dream has turned into a nightmare. 

"The first time we came everyone said it's so good, you are going to feel like the life is so good," Alaa Amin said. 

Alaa Amin has diabetes, and her sisters are the only ones working at minimum wage jobs. They say the landlord, who we were unable to reach, didn't tell them it was a flood zone. 

"We asked her, we need insurance for the home? Every stuff? She said no you don't need it," Alaa Amin said. 

"She said just clean the furniture and use it," Manna Amin said. 

In Little Falls, there was more pain. Piles of furniture were visible on William Street, the area that got the brunt of the storm. Police are only allowing residents, and no one else, in at the checkpoint. 

The entire neighborhood flooded earlier this week as the Passaic River crested over its banks and spilled into the community.   

More than 200 homes were affected by the floods. About 60 of the homes had a couple of feet of water inside. The American Red Cross handed out clean up kits to residents. 

"We just had water in our basement, and I need to Clorox," flood victim Joe Maffucci said. 

He said they haven't seen major flooding like this since Hurricane Irene. 

"I guess we were surprised it came up as fast as it did. In fact, this was a relatively short flood. Usually it takes a whole week and this was only a few days," Maffucci said. 

Most residents elevated their homes after Irene. Jody Lazarki said her 75-year-old mother stayed put during the storm. 

"I kept checking on her - nightmares thinking about it - is she going to be on top of the roof or not, if the heat was gong to go. She's tough, and old. She knows what is is doing," Lazarki said. 

"There is no good time to be flooded, but this is a particularly bad time of year, especially with those have young kids in their home. Not being able to wake up Christmas morning in your home is a terrible feeling," Little Falls Mayor James Damiano said.

Police said they'll be handing out gifts to kids as residents band together to once again rebuild their lives after yet another floo

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