Andrea Mitchell   |  August 30, 2011

Hurricane causes massive floods in N.J.

Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., discusses the devastation and clean-up efforts in the state.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> new jersey governor chris christie is warning residents they aren't out of the woods just yet. nine rivers have hit record flood levels, nine. alon long the passaic river in patterson rescues were still taking place three days after the storm. seven are confirmed dead , an eighth man is still missing. the storm flooded several miles of rail line and washed away portions of two major highways. the headline "a waterlogged state." patterson is the district of new jersey congressman bill pres grow. he's with us on the phone. tell us what you're seeing right now.

>> chuck, i've been throughout the passaic river basin over the last few days. the hurricane has caused a very severe flooding in the area. records certainly of the last 30, 40 years. we're about to crest the passaic river about 3:00, 4:00 this afternoon. it will crest from little falls just about patterson about 13.2. you have to go back to 1904 to see a higher level of water. we just have two -- you referred to it, chuck, we had two great rescues this morning right out of the pasic river. -- passaic river . all bridge is closed. when you're trying to evacuate people, when you're trying to respond to a tremendous need and your bridges are closed. you've got major problems of traffic in the area. two people rescued that fell into the passaic river by our brave firefighters who are called on to do things like this day in and day out. they don't need a pat on the back. they need our support 365 days a year and our police officers particularly for a member of congress. that's a commercial for me.

>> tell me, that's fine. ob absolutely, that's why we all endorse that message. congressman, tell me this, what are experts telling you you say the river's going to crest in a couple of hours here. how long is it going to take it for to fully recede to see the bridges opening?

>> i don't think we'll see it fully receding until this weekend being realistic about it. the water is still rising . we may have to reevacuate about 3,000, 4,000 more people out of the presidential apartments. a lot of seniors will have to be evacuated more so than have been evacuated already. putting them into a particular place that's what we're working out with the red cross . the mayor's trying to stay on top of things. this is going quickly. we've had cooperation from the state, the locals. the o.e.m. office has done a spectacular job staying on top and coordinating. coordination is so important. you can go through this thing one at a time. every specific thing is unique. we have a situation up at one of the public schools, lincoln school because of what happened up river on the other river where toxins have been spilled into the water it's coming down here and the smell is just -- it will knock you over. we've got people going up there as well. i'm trying to stay on top of it as best i can. look, i support what the governor just did. he sent the letter yesterday to the president asking for expedited declaration of major disaster . just sent my own letter asking the other congressman to join on in supporting the governor's request. it's realistic. i just not to get political about this, where is this money going to come from? we didn't ask where the money was going to come from when we responded to tornados in the midwest, when we responded to hurricane katrina , regardless of the situation, we're americans. if we don't come together now, when are we going to come together?

>> we're going to be monitoring the situation. talking more about that issue of fema later in the show, congressman, thanks for your thoughts. our thoughts and prayers to everybody. nice