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Hundreds Rescued from Apartments in Impassible Neighborhoods, Nearly Half of Residents Stuck

About 85 percent of Hoboken is without power, half of the city still stranded.

The National Guard rescued hundreds of bleary-eyed residents trapped in their Hoboken apartments in heavily flooded neighborhoods Wednesday.

Families with small children, people with pets, seniors and residents with medical emergencies were taken out of their flood-ravaged homes with amphibious vehicles and brought back to City Hall by the military forces.

While rescues were voluntary in most cases, many residents said they didn't expect the storm to hit Hoboken so hard and thought they'd be able to ride it out. When the floodwaters rose, they were trapped with a dwindling supply of food and water. 

First priority on Wednesday went to people with medical emergencies. One woman with labor pains, a five-day old infant and a three week old were all evacuated overnight.

At Fourth and Madison, Swati Gadodi, 33, was evacuated from her house where she had been since Monday night without power. She said her basement was flooded and she was unable to leave.

“We were scared when the storm surge came,” Gadodi, who was at home with her husband Prashant and 3-year-old son Vihaan. “We were lucky that we were saved.”

“We were running out of milk for the baby,” Gadodi said. “We couldn’t have survived for one more night.”

Gadodi said she left Hoboken after Irene, but stayed in town this time around because there was no city-wide mandatory evacuation.

The National Guard, together with a large group of volunteers, brought water to those residents who decided to stay in their homes.

The Hoboken Housing Authority was still completely flooded Wednesday and meals and water were scheduled to be delivered there. 

Katie Murphy was evacuated from her apartment at First and Clinton Streets with her husband and 16-month-old twins. Murphy is five months pregnant and said she was happy to be out of her apartment.

“We thought we’d be fine for a couple of days,” she said,  “I’m happy to be out of there.”

One of the main problems for many residents was the lack of available information after power and most cell phone service went out in town.

“There was no way to get it,” said Lisa Chernick, who was stuck at Jackson Street between First and Second Streets. “We felt a little bit abandoned,” added Chernick.

For her daughter Charlotte, 10, the storm meant a boring and cold day. “It was boring,” she said, “We couldn’t do anything.”

Residents at Marine View Plaza were without power after its back up generator failed, and were without water as well. Elevators in Marine View weren’t working.

James Way, 50, was evacuated from his apartment at Fourth and Monroe Streets together with his dog shaggy.

“My dog is fine,” he said, “he’ll be much better now that he’s going to a house.”

In most Hoboken neighborhoods, communication remains at a halt. Residents without cell phone service, Internet connection and electricity were concerned about family members stuck in their apartments in the flood, and had no way of getting in touch with them. While most of Hoboken remains in the dark, power restoration could return by Monday, PSE&G has said.

Rescue operations by the National Guard started very early in the morning on Wednesday and were supposed to continue all day.

“It’s going to be a long process,” said Emergency Management Director Joel Mestre, “but we’re going to do it.”

Captain Kirk October 31, 2012 at 08:15 PM
“There was no way to get it,” said Lisa Chernick, who was stuck at Jackson Street between First and Second Streets. “We felt a little bit abandoned,” added Chernick. Are these people serious? I dont like the reform crowd and I am not a fan of the mayor. This storm was hyped ad nauseum in the media. These people should be thankful for the help they are getting. Their only response to that help should be one of gratitude. I read one guy was complaining that there should have been more notice given the property taxes he pays. Was the Hurricane suppose to spare those with high property taxes? "We felt abandoned"???? Really???? Fuck off. Anyone stuck right now decided to gamble and came up craps. Our cops and firefighters are busting their asses and risking life and limb because of your selfishness. They deserve our thanks. I would say the mayor does as well and I didnt vote for her. I see our cops and fire crews
Nick M October 31, 2012 at 08:49 PM
How do we get involved as volunteers in Hoboken?
Tina beckum November 01, 2012 at 01:39 AM
I am very thankful that my daugther was scheduled to be home in Georgia this week and is safe. Very concerned for the residents of Hoboken because they have been so kind and wonderful to my daughter , like she is one of their own.
Tina beckum November 01, 2012 at 01:40 AM
I am very thankful that my daugther was scheduled to be home in Georgia this week and is safe. Very concerned for the residents of Hoboken because they have been so kind and wonderful to my daughter , like she is one of their own.
Hobbs November 01, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Nick, Go to City Hall and ask how you can help.
Sam Richardson November 01, 2012 at 02:25 AM
I heard Connors school is flood. Is that true? My kids go there. Who can provide insight?
Jersey Mom November 01, 2012 at 02:31 AM
It makes me sad to think how ungrateful some folks are. We all had an opportunity to stock up on non perishables and water in time. Whether we live near waterways or not here in Jersey. There were so many warnings and notices. Discomfort, lack of convenience, that's nothing compared to loss of life. Thank God that you have a place to stay and that help will get to you. This is a large state with high density. It takes time. A little more preparedness on our parts could save us and those who have to risk their lives to bail us out if we aren't responsible enough to plan ahead. Humility should be the attitude of the day as well as the words thank you.
codydog November 01, 2012 at 03:09 AM
CNN reports tonight ablebodied should be able to walk out--water has receded--is this true? can someone get from 2nd and madison to 14th st ferry and if so any ideas best route? Thanks in advance
Nick M November 01, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Thank you
Jersey Mom November 01, 2012 at 01:55 PM
You are absolutely correct! This is a disaster and EVERYONE (fire and police departments, transit, water companies, cable/verison....etc) are doing their absolute best. We stocked up on everything that we could except gasoline but did fill up our car. We stood and sat in lines to prepare from four days ahead of the storm up until that very day. We wanted to be as self-sufficient as we could be until there was relief. Heaven help us if we lived in a third-world country. So spoiled and used to everyting NOW...reminds me of the brat in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. What role models some of us are for children. We say in the US we are religious....where is that faith? Thanks Captain Kirk!
Eric November 01, 2012 at 02:18 PM
With all of the post-game commentary about how we should all have known power would be out for more than a week, you have to ask one question: Why then didn't PSE&G sandbag their substations? Can anyone imagine that they couldn't have build dirt and gravel burms around them in the days leading up to this? I have always wondered why the facilities back by shop rite are sitting at ground level in an area that already floods during a bad storm let alone something like a noreaster or Sandy.
Eric November 01, 2012 at 02:24 PM
codydog, yes they should be able to get out by now. Most areas were passable yesterday afternoon after they cleared the storm drains and the water really started to drop in a few hours. The best bet is to head towards the higher streets before heading north. Willow was clear from about 3rd all the way to 14th, you didn't even need boots. 2nd and 1st you would have needed boots but it was no more than ankle deep. By now I would expect everything to be easily passable.
codydog November 01, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Thanks so much Eric--they left very early this morning and like you said had no problem getting out !
Michaela Murray-Nolan November 03, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Go to City Hall -they will direct you to deliver food and water to seniors, man the food trucks, etc.
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