Little Falls residents sort through belongings damaged by flood

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LITTLE FALLS -

Little Falls residents spent part of Tuesday sorting through their belongings damaged by major flooding over the weekend.

The Passaic County community was one of the hardest hit by Saturday’s rain storm. The mayor says that he estimates about $5 million worth of residential damage.

News 12 New Jersey caught up with resident Cheryl Savittieri as she was sorting through family photos while cleaning up. She says that the items stored in her basement were destroyed by the flooding.

RELATED: Gov. Murphy tours flood-damaged areas of Little Falls
MORE: News 12 New Jersey Weather Center
Photos: Flooding around New Jersey

“That had a lot of our pictures in it,” she says, pointing out a box. “I have everything drying out.”

Sanitation crews went through the town Tuesday, collecting discarded items from homes in the community.

Residents say that some homes will be uninhabitable for the time being due to the damage.

“The house, we can’t live in it. There’s no way,” says Dana Youssef. “The smell is awful. There’s mud everywhere. We’re trying to clean it up today.”

Youssef says that she believes that it will be months before her family can move back in to their home. She says that 14 inches of water surged into the first floor.

Jimmy Carouth was outside his home, tossing out piles of ruined possessions from his basement.

“I wasn’t even here. My parents were. I was on vacation. They were taken out of the second floor by police,” he says.

Little Falls Mayor James Damiano says that he believes that 42 vehicles that washed off a nearby car dealership lot dammed up the Peckman River, worsening residential flooding. He says that the circumstances that led to that situation will be investigated.

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