Nightly News | August 31, 2011
>>> good evening. and we have a live picture to show you tonight of the floodwaters cascading through paterson , new jersey and for all the people who were wondering what the fuss was about surrounding hurricane irene , a category one storm when it's made it's final landfall, there's this, the estimates now are that irene will end up being among the top ten most costly and destructive natural disasters in u.s. history . there are now 45 dead from this storm. the early damage estimate over $12 billion the other numbers here are staggering. there are over 300,000 people still without power just in the state of connecticut. remember the storm was sunday, 2 million people in all are going into another dark night. some roads are still blocked throughout new england and food is still a problem in some towns and rescues are still going on. we begin our coverage with nbc's anne thompson in patterson, good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, brian, and there's actually good news to report from virginia, the waters are receding but it's not happening nearly fast enough. paterson , new jersey woke up to the passaic river out of its banks and out of control. the crest set a new report, 24 feet. the gorsky family, among the 1,000 residents forced to evacuate. their town now engulfed in water and despair.
>> i don't know where to begin, we have lost everything.
>> reporter: it's only from about 1,000 feet above that you can see the true scope of this disasters.
>> the new jersey reported its wettest rain in history and you add another 11 to 12 inches that irene brought and it was just too much. the damage in new york alone will approach $1 billion. janet napolitano promised aid. it is moving day at this shelter in paramis, new jersey. but nobody is going home , they. april lech has two daughters.
>> i want to cry, but i can't cry, i got to keep strong for my kids.
>> reporter: clinging to the few things they have left, including hope. nbc news, in paterson , new jersey.