Elizabeth community reels from massive flood damage, deaths caused by Ida

The Elizabeth community is in mourning following major flood damage and at least five local deaths caused by Ida.

News 12 Staff

Sep 3, 2021, 8:36 PM

Updated 955 days ago

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The Elizabeth community is in mourning following major flood damage and at least five local deaths caused by Ida.
Many of the residents in the city tell News 12 New Jersey that they have never experienced flooding conditions like the ones that they saw Wednesday evening. Many people became trapped in their vehicles as the water rose, with some having to swim away to safety.
Giovanna Malagon, 18, says that she has lived in her Union Avenue home for her entire life. She says that on Wednesday evening, while eating dinner, the conditions in her community began to deteriorate as heavy rain poured down.
“I was on my phone and I saw the alerts – the emergency alerts that the flood is like life-threatening and I truthfully was not taking it seriously,” she says.
Malagon’s family rushed to the second floor of the home as water seeped into the basement and first floor. Eventually, the family had to go out onto the roof while they watched the water continue to rise.
LIVE UPDATES: Tracking Ida
"Seeing the rain and seeing the flood and knowing it was going to keep getting higher, it's just traumatizing,” she says. “You can’t do anything to stop it. It’s a natural disaster and you can’t do anything. You see people yelling for help down the street and it’s like you can call the cops, but they can’t come through here because of the water. You feel helpless.”
Hours after the rain stopped and the water receded, the family saw the damage that occurred to their home, with nearly 5 feet of water.
The cleanup process now begins for the community. There are still many cars left abandoned on the streets that will need to be towed away. But the towing companies say that they are inundated with calls and have their work cut out for them.
Fire officials tell News 12 that the headquarters also had 5 feet of water. This was as they were trying to answer calls for help.
Gov. Phil Murphy came to Elizabeth on Friday morning to tour the damage and offer help.


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