Residents in flooded NJ communities allowed home

Chopper 6 over the scene as the Willow Grove Lake overflows in Vineland, Cumberland County on August 29, 2011.
August 30, 2011 3:10:00 PM PDT
Residents who were evacuated in the area of the Willow Grove Lake Dam in Vineland, New Jersey are being allowed to return home.

Those residents were allowed back around noon on Tuesday.

Now residents are left to clean up from Hurricane Irene's mayhem.

Frank Di Mauro has been running several sump pumps continuously trying to remove the water from his home.

"This has been a nightmare." said Di Mauro.

Throughout the Vineland neighborhood, residents are still pumping water from basements non-stop.

"This is the worse that we've seen in 30 years," said Joe Giocondo.

Giocondo and his wife are still recovering from Irene's aftermath.

"It was enough to carve new rivers in places we didn't have rivers," said Joan Giocondo.

Just a stone's throw away is the Willow Grove Lake where yesterday, the water rushed furiously across Weymouth Willow Grove Road.

There are a series of lakes in the area and when it appeared the dam might give way, the National Guard ordered residents to evacuate.

Workers and engineers from Cumberland and Salem counties dumped rocks to prevent further undermining the road and sending more water into the local neighborhood.

The process worked but signs of how far the water travelled is evident everywhere.

Hurricane Irene dropped more water on an area already soaked and damaged from heavy rains earlier in August.

Tuesday, Lieutenant Governer Kim Guadano toured the areas hit hardest.

"I'm going to go back and report to the governer that its every bit as bad as we expected. The good news is everybody is ready to rebuild. Everybody is working together," said Guadano.

The two storms will be events treated separately in applying for funds but there is one common goal and that is to recover and rebuild.

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