EDISON - It was one year ago that Tropical Storm Irene hit New Jersey springing the Office of Emergency Management teams into action.
As the storm approached, officials believed that New Jersey could have been the primary target landing for Irene. They began talking with southern states, the National Hurricane Center, and Gov. Chris Christie to determine needs like when to begin evacuations a week and a half prior to the storm.
Surprisingly enough, the first calls for rescue efforts did not come from the coast, but Monroe Township, Dover, Wayne and Kenilworth.
"A lot of the streets were flooded," said Sgt. Paul Karagais, from the Office of Emergency Management. "We had some people stranded on vehicles."
In all, teams rescued 140 people and close to 20 pets from homes where people were stranded without power.
Some are still dealing with the effects of Irene, mainly buyouts from homes that were flooded. Officials say over 200 homes were able get on a to-be-purchased list but the process has taken longer than they had hoped.
Families along rivers and flood plains are hoping the homes can be purchased and then demolished as soon as possible.