Have you ever imagined your town looking like a big bowl of mixed cereal? New Jersey was a state that rarely got hit with natural disasters, but on August 28 the pretty little town of Paterson became the target for a massive disaster.
Rain began pouring into major rivers all over Paterson. From the Raritan River to the
Passaic River, each of the rivers in Paterson began to get filled with water until it made our perfect streets look like lakes. The cause is quite obvious: it’s a hurricane!
I know what you’re thinking: “Paterson has not had a hurricane since 1903, but who said we will never have another tragedy like a hurricane again?”
Hurricane Irene was a Category 3 hurricane, which can cause some serious damage, and it did. Flooding all over Paterson was the most intense part of this catastrophe. Streets which teens ride their bikes on turned into lakes that ducks now swim in. The flooding got so bad that people had major trouble getting out of their homes because their house had been flooded up to the first floor. Over 600 people were pulled from their homes and cars by search and rescue teams. The flood measured 13 feet, which was above the flood stage, making it the highest level since 1903. Six people died in their houses, jobs, and cars. New Jersey itself had damage that may cost between 10 to 15 billion dollars.
The President visited New Jersey to see the damage done to Paterson December 4. He stated, “We want to make sure that we’re there to help and I’m going to make sure that even after the cameras are gone and attention is somewhere else, that FEMA and federal officials continue to work with our local officials to make sure we’re doing the right thing.” Obama said the government will uphold its promise to support communities that were hit by the storm. There were over 3,500 people put in shelters because their homes were destroyed by hurricane Irene.
Through horror, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers and once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situations might be, you can survive it.