Residents recalled grabbing what they could and running to their second floors.
LAMBERTVILLE, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Neighbors in Lambertville, New Jersey are working together to survey the damage from Hurricane Ida, after water rose several feet Wednesday night, flooding homes and cars.
Residents recalled grabbing what they could and running to their second floors. Minutes before, many of them had been in their basements for tornado warnings.
"Coming in the front door and coming up through basement door into the first floor and he was like wading waist deep in the first floor," said Kyra Morris, who lives on North Union Street.
She and her fiancé had just bought their first home together last year. They're only now starting to dry out their possessions and realize just how much they lost.
"We're just lucky that we're okay, our neighbors are okay, the people are okay. So that's what matters most," she said.
North Union Street is a block off the Delaware River, which swelled Wednesday as Hurricane Ida pounded the Northeast. That water flooded cars, businesses, and homes.
"People were trapped. The electric was on, we couldn't come down because the water was in there. A man almost drowned in front of our house. We couldn't get down to help him," said Ray Kerr. He watched from his second story window as firefighters rescued that man.
Lambertville's fire chief says it will take this town years to recover from the flood.
"It's a very hurtful time right now. You could have never expected this in a million years. We are a river community, we do flood, but this was a flood of epic proportions," said Chief Mike Barlow.
He's also confident in everyone's ability to work together to rebuild. That's what Lambertville Helping Hands has been doing since Wednesday night. 500 people are donating supplies and their time to help those hardest hit begin to recover.
"That's the good part, is to see this community come together like this. It is amazing to see this," said Lucy Mahalchick.