National Guard Called Into Hoboken; 15,000 Without Power [UPDATED]
Mayor Dawn Zimmer called in the National Guard around 10 p.m. on Monday night. As of 3 a.m. on Tuesday, they had not arrived in Hoboken.
UPDATED 2:45 a.m.—Flood water started receding in Hoboken around midnight, but not after causing major flooding, power outages and damage all over town.
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer called in the National Guard on Monday night for extra assistance as raging floodwaters from Tropical Storm Sandy ravaged Hoboken. Roughly 15,000 people were without power as of 9:45 p.m. on Monday night, with two substations in town underwater.
The National Guard did not make it to Hoboken as of 3 a.m. Tuesday.
Much of the west side was in the dark as of 10:30 p.m. It's unclear when power will be restored.
Zimmer said Public Service Electric & Gas workers were attempting to get to Hoboken to restore power, but weren't able to enter the city due to widespread flooding, Zimmer said.
A swollen Hudson River overflowed on Newark, First and Second Streets from Garden through Grand.
"It was like a river," according to one city employee. "In all my life, this is the worst I have seen it."
The Hoboken Municipal Garage was completely flooded as of 8 p.m., covered in about three feet of water.
Downtown cafe Legal Beans Coffee was completely destroyed, according to one eye witness, with the windows shattered.
The Hoboken Fire Department put out an electrical fire at 219 Park Ave. No one was hurt, and the one tenant in the building was taken to a safe place.
Trees were down all over town and pockets of power outages were reported.
Heavy flooding was reported on Jackson, Clinton, Monroe and Willow. Uptown Washington Street, at 14th Street, and the area around the Shipyard were completely flooded, as was Observer Highway. City Bistro and Maxwell's were reportedly underwater as of 8:30 p.m. on Monday night, as heavy winds picked up.
A traffic pole came down in downtown Hoboken, taking wires with it.
The Fox Hill Senior Center on 13th Street was without power for a few hours, said Executive Director Carmelo Garcia. About ten residents on respirators were evacuated from the building and brought to a hospital or the Wallace Shelter, he said.
The other buildings in the Hoboken Housing Authority (HHA) still had power as of 8 p.m. on Monday night. Elevators in all HHA buildings were shut down, Garcia said.
While the Housing Authority was hit hardest during Hurricane Irene, the flooding on Monday night was relatively minimal, according to Garcia.
Around 5 p.m. all traffic signals in Hoboken were down due to a blown transformer, Zimmer said, urging all Hoboken residents to get off the roads.
"It is crucial that everyone gets off the roads," she said. "We have no signals at all. We mean business."
Power went out in different places around town, while other pockets still had working electricity as winds picked up speed, rapidly causing wires to go down and trees to fall.
Full power was working in the shelter at the Wallace School, Zimmer said.
Power was lost in areas from Fourteenth Street to City Hall as well as pockets of downtown Hoboken.
As Hoboken prepared for the arrival of Sandy earlier on Monday afternoon, most businesses on Washington Street were closed and boarded up, the shelter was looking for more volunteers, and the Hudson River already flooded well into the Lackawanna Terminal.
The city announced a 6 p.m. curfew for Monday, until 1 p.m. on Tuesday. All cars were supposed to be off the road by 4 p.m.
A transformer exploded at Second and Madison Streets earlier on Monday, likely due to heavy winds, and kept popping and blowing sparks in the air around 3 p.m. Hoboken Fire Deparment officials and Public Service Electric & Gas representatives were present at the scene.
Around 2 p.m. on Monday there were about 35 people in the Wallace School evacuation shelter, with about five volunteers working. More volunteers were needed to man the shelter overnight.
Large groups of people were out by the waterfront on Monday afternoon, taking pictures and looking at the rising water of the Hudson River as it spilled over Pier C Park's edge. Warrington Plaza was completely flooded as early as Sunday night.
While police tried to shut down Frank Sinatra Drive and told people to leave, curiosity won.
"I came to check out the flooded waterfront and terminal," said Hobokenite Matt Mateo, 45.
Doug Cruickshank came down from Weehawken to look at the water, posing for photos in the pouring rain.
"This is pretty unique," Cruickshank said. He added that he thought this storm would be "a lot more serious than Irene."
On Washington Street, people were seen doing some last minute shopping and stopping at CVS and in bodegas, which were some of the few businesses open.
S.Sullivan's Bar & Grill was full of patrons around lunchtime on Monday, a time that's usually quiet.
"We never close," said the bar's manager, Michael Falco. "Today's a family day, it's a family business."