PATERSON, N.J. — The rain may be over, but flooding was still a major concern Saturday for New Jersey residents living near the Passaic river.
In Paterson, much of the city remained under water, with cresting rivers posing and even greater threat.
FEMA workers have been deployed to New Jersey as recovery efforts throughout the region are underway.
David Draper escaped his first floor Paterson apartment Wednesday night by boat, with only the clothes on his back.
Rescue crews brought him and his fiancé to the American Red Cross shelter at the International High School.
Several days after the storm, Draper can’t return home, because it’s still underwater.
Officials said throughout Paterson, 300 people had to be rescued, and nearly 100 cars were abandoned throughout the city.
Before Ida, Paterson resident Harry Bosque dropped his car off at the auto shop on Bergen Street.
He won’t be getting it back.
“The rain came ferociously and quick — and as you can see, everything is flooded down there, so it’s the end of the body work for that. We’ll have to replace it,” said Bosque.
Many of Paterson’s urban homes run adjacent to the Passaic River.
Mayor Andre Sayegh said American Rescue plan money will fix the sewer system of some of the most neglected areas to help alleviate this from happening again.
“This is a clarion call for infrastructure improvement. And if you didn’t believe climate change was legitimate, it is — storms are getting fiercer and fiercer,” said Sayegh.
Meanwhile, residents waited for the river to crest Friday, and now pray the water will recede so they can begin to clean up.
“I’m confused, I don’t know what to do; I mean, I want to go back home,” said Draper.
Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh told PIX11 News Monday at least 20 people remain in emergency shelters and have not been able to return home since the storm struck.
He also said due the storm, schools in the district will be remote for the first week while cleanup continues.
There are currently three shelters set up around this region for families in need of a place to sleep or a hot meal. The Red Cross is also offering condolence care packages which includes resources for those who’ve lost loved ones.
Call 1-800-Red-Cross for help, and visit PIX11’s list of resources here.