The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

October 31, 2012

Guard evacuating people, taking in food to NJ city

— HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — National Guard trucks rolled into this city on the Hudson River to deliver ready-to-eat meals and other supplies and to evacuate young professionals and other residents who decided that after two days stranded by floodwaters, they wanted out.

The mayor issued an appeal for people to bring boats to City Hall to help take people from their condo high-rises, brownstones and other homes as an increasing number of calls came in from people asking to be evacuated.

"We are doing what we can but we really need more help," said the mayor's spokesman, Juan Melli.

Hoboken is a compact, one-square-mile city of 50,000 with many narrow streets that still retains its working-class grit, but also has come to be known as a great place for young professional families, including workers on Wall Street just across the river in Manhattan.

Samuel Scott Cornish, 34, who lives with his wife, Katie, and newborn son, Jack, in a luxury apartment complex on the border of Hoboken and Jersey City, said he was told to move his Subaru to a different area inside his building's garage for safety before the storm, only to discover it floating in water.

Superstorm Sandy sent the raging Hudson overflowing its banks into their building at least a quarter-mile away. The garage is now filled with water-soaked cars, including a BMW floating upside down in a deep rampway full of water.

Cornish said the storm itself was initially a bonding period with neighbors he once only nodded hello to at their doors — and now considers friends.

Many downtown streets still have 2 to 4 feet of water and are nearly impassable.

But now that Cornish and others have been able to get outside their homes and see a bit of dry sidewalk for the first time in days, folks are realizing the full scope of the damage and are getting antsy.

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