Demolition begins on Totowa neighborhood damaged by Hurricane Irene
Demolition is underway on a Totowa neighborhood that was badly damaged by Hurricane Irene.
The homes on Norwood Terrace were built in the 1930s as vacation bungalows. The small-sized homes became somewhat of a tourist attraction with some visitors having the misconceived notion that smaller people lived in the homes.
"Kids would come from all over the place, New York, New Jersey, and it really was nothing to see," says Totowa OEM Director Allen DelVecchio.
Jill Blair is the longest surviving homeowner in the neighborhood. She says she remembers when it was a vacation community.
"They picnicked on the island in the river. They swam in the river. Everything was different in those days," she says. "Everyone got along, we loved each other and we still do."
But Hurricane Irene devastated these homes and the demolition is part of a flood buyout program.
Homeowners say they know the houses need to go, but say that it is still hard to let go.
"There was so much love in this house and it's one of the smallest ones I've ever seen," says homeowner Mellissa Vargas-Osorio.
Five homes will be torn down for now. The plan is to eventually knock down all the homes on the block and turn the area into a green space.