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Strong Winds Topple Jersey City Building Under Construction; 'Devastated' Neighbors Left Homeless: 'It's A Disaster Right Now'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A Jersey City building under construction that was nearly blown over Monday night by powerful winds is now being demolished.

As CBS2's Kiran Dhillon reported, the demolition process started early Tuesday morning. Crews were busy at work tearing down the four-story home.

For safety reasons, the building next door will also have to come down, officials said.

Jersey City Building Knocked Over By Wind
(credit: CBS2)

Piece by piece, from the top down, the building that was under construction on Fisk Street was being taken down. Fire officials said the high winds pushed it off its foundation.

"The wind hit it. There was an unobstructed wind that came across the Newark Bay, we believe, and came straight across. First thing the wind hit was this building," said Jersey City Fire Chief Steven J. McGill.

Three buildings on either side, including a learning center, were evacuated as a precaution when it happened. Ten people were displaced.

Tuesday, the DeJesus family that lives in the home next door learned it will also need to be demolished.

"What was your reaction when you saw it?" Dhillon asked.

"Really devastated," Coraima DeJesus replied.

Horrified, the family gathered their belongings, unsure where they would go to live next.

"It's a disaster right now. I can't believe that this is happening," DeJesus said. "This is such a traumatic situation right now for our family, like, I don't understand."

The city said it is offering help to those who are displaced. United Cerebral Palsy of Hudson County, which runs the learning center, said the school services 120 3-year-olds.

They're all at home for now.

Gino Ferrulli owns the building that houses the center and the home that will be torn down. He said the center was spared, but he feels for the family.

"It's a sad day," Ferrulli said. "The learning center, we have some structural damage in the back, nothing major. But hopefully once this gets all knocked down, hopefully by the end of the week it should reopen, most likely probably on Monday."

Neighbors said they're just glad no one was injured in the collapse.

Fire officials said the demolition of the first home will take several days and will likely last until this weekend.

CBS2's Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report. 

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