Nightly News | October 30, 2012
>>> welcome back, good evening once again for those of you watching on the nbc stations joining us for this second half hour, an hour of coverage tonight after this monumental storm damage we have witnessed. most of it along the eastern seaboard where you see some of the fresh aerial pictures of what's left of portions of the new jersey shore as shot from the helicopter carrying governor chris christie today, we'll have a live interview with the governor coming up moments from now. we are also following another drama in new jersey today in the town of little ferry and surrounding towns where they dealt in the midst of all of this, with a water surge that came after a levee break. katy tur is there.
>> reporter: there are still rescues going on right now, brian . hundreds have been rescued. they have some more to go. they're used to flooding in these parts of new jersey, but they could not prepare for this. soaked and carrying whatever they could grab, some fled only in pajamas or slippers.
>> the backyard was a swimming pool.
>> reporter: there was a 93-year-old and kids piggybacking on rescuer's shoulders. the flood didn't discriminate. hundreds of people were forced out of these homes after the hackensack river surged over a berm.
>> within ten minutes we had four feet of water in the basement. it was unbelievable. i never saw anything like that in my life.
>> reporter: it was a rushing river of water that overwhelmed parts of five small new jersey burr ror rows. in one town alone, they lost a police station , a firehouse, a civic center , ambulance, utility truck. that's just in one town. here in little ferry , at one point, 80% of it was said to be under water. half a mile away at a local high school , the now homeless climbed out of buses and trucks. inside a father described his panic when he realized he didn't know how high the water was going to get inside his little ferry home.
>> it's the scariest experience of your life, you call 911, the police, it's busy. you have no one to go to, water's rushing in, and you don't know what to do.
>> reporter: his son happy harley didn't try to run away . now entire blocks are empty, the people and pets are gone, the water, though, is still an unwelcome house guest. brian , if you can imagine, the water was 6 to 10 feet high around here. it's since receded significantly. we can show you what it looks like now. what we can't give you is what it smells like. there is a strong odor of gasoline here. you don't even want to think before what could possibly be in this water. brian ?
>> katy tur, little ferry , new jersey. environmental hazards are just being talked about now as we get people rescued and away from the water.