WAYNE - Hurricane Irene was considered the costliest disaster in New Jersey’s history when it struck the Garden State in 2011.
The storm cost New Jersey $1 billion in damages.
Wayne Township was especially hard hit and residents spent the storm’s fifth anniversary reflecting on how far things have come since the storm.
"Five years ago it was all flooded and underwater, it was a disaster,” says Fayette Avenue resident Bayram Ozturk.
Ozturk says that he has lived in Wayne since he was 13 years old. He said when Irene hit his family couldn’t leave the home, which had to be full reconstructed after it was badly damaged.
The government actually bought out all of the homes on Fayette Avenue years earlier under the Blue Acres Program.. The homes were razed and the street was fully reconstructed because it flooded so badly. That construction still did not stop the flood waters of Hurricane Irene.
Ken Lewis lives a few houses down and says Irene was the worst he had ever seen in an area that is already very flood-prone.
"If you're not used to it, you better get the hell out and dodge,” he says.
Ozturk says that he and his family prefer the new Fayette Avenue better.
"In a way it's nice, its quiet, it's more private. It used to be a vacation place over here. Everyone that had a house, they'd vacation from New York to here,” he says.
Wayne had 10 inches of rain, making in the third largest amount in the state, following only Freehold and Jefferson.