Rising floodwaters from downpours force evacuations and boat rescues in Trenton

(09/19/04) WEST TRENTON - Saturday's rains from the remnants of Hurricane Ivan have caused major flooding across the Garden State. Governor James McGreevey has declared a state of emergency in four counties: Warren, Hunterdon, Sussex and Mercer as well as other areas along the Delaware River.

The water in West Trenton was at least 25 feet high Sunday, so the entire area was evacuated. Residents were urged to evacuate Saturday but some refused to leave. By Sunday morning, it was too late to drive out. Residents took what little they could, and rescues were made by boat. The National Guard has been brought in to help police and local fire officials keep all homes secure.

The Delaware River is running over the banks of Trenton's west ward. At least eight blocks between Route 29 and the river had to be evacuated. Homes, cars and patio sets were seen submerged in water.

Meanwhile on Trenton's east side, 240 residents were evacuated from the Water's Edge Nursing Home and moved to hoes on higher grounds as a precaution. This operation brought ambulance squads from as north as South Plainfield.

The State House and state offices will be closed on Monday, but officials ask all essential employees to report to work.

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