Lodi streets flood as Saddle River crests, some residents evacuate

ByPhil Taitt, Eyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, January 11, 2024
NJ residents attempt to deal with flood damage after storm
Jim Dolan has the story.

LODI, New Jersey (WABC) -- The Saddle River crested and spilled into the streets of Lodi, New Jersey, causing flooding in some homes and spurring people to evacuate in some cases.

The river crested at levels higher than expected and the Office of Emergency Management reported at least 35 rescues on Wednesday.

Neighbors were seeing the impacts of the winter storm as the floodwater rose by the minute, creeping right onto the doorstep of those living on Money and Sidney streets.

As the water rose, Eyewitness News saw a family evacuate their 92-year-old mother-in-law to safety.

Darla Miles is in Lodi with the story.

The family worked together to wheel their loved one through the water from their doorstep. At one point, they weren't able to make their way on the outskirts of the home by using the sidewalk, as the water deepened.

They had to cut through the back of another neighboring home just to make sure they were safe.

The family said since 1999, this has happened about five times, changing the way that they live.

They say anytime it rains they are watchful as the Saddle River could potentially rise, with water pouring into their homes, and streets left flooded. The family is frustrated.

"Help us, help us. We've lived on the street 90 years. My mom and dad were on the street 90 years, so we need some help. Somebody needs to help us," said Marisa, an evacuating resident.

"It's just too much water, you can only do so much. They do truly their best but you know, it is what it is," said neighbor Al Chasey.

Governor Phil Murphy, who surveyed the flooding in Lodi on Wednesday, touted a program that provides money to buy people's homes along deluge plains. "I think you're going to see a lot more acquisition," said Murphy. "We can't have families see the same movie every other year forever and for always."

However, resident Bianney Garcia says the program is a bureaucratic nightmare.

"It's been months already and we're not getting anywhere right now," said Garcia.

Several roads are closed due to flooding and drivers are advised not to drive into water.

All Lodi Public Schools were closed on Wednesday due to the flooding conditions.

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