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National Guard called to save stranded Hoboken residents


Members of the Army National Guard Unit Gulf 250 from Morristown, NJ prepare to evacuate victims from Hurricane Sandy on October 31, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey.


Michael Bocchieri

The west side of the city of Hoboken in hard-hit New Jersey is badly flooded, the New York Times reported. Thousands of residents have been trapped in their homes, stranded by sewage-laced floodwaters. Mayor Dawn Zimmer appealed for aid on Tuesday, saying that as many as 20,000 people could be stuck in their homes. National Guard troops arrived early this morning, just before midnight. 

Hoboken resident Kevin McGowan had to wade into water 3-feet deep outside his second-floor condo to escape. He claimed that he never heard police vehicles or National Guard trucks on Tuesday. “I had to walk up in the gasoline and water basically to get out,” McGowan told Bloomberg News. “For all the taxes I pay, they did nothing. The government was derelict in its duty.”

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But on Wednesday, the Hoboken Facebook page announced that the National Guard had arrived. 

New Jersey National Guard troops distributed food and dry clothing and evacuated thousands, USA Today reported. By midday today, 12 National Guard trucks and two Humvee vehicles were in Hoboken for the rescue effort, the Times reported. City officials have not reported any fatalities, even though those rescued included a 5 days old baby. However, officials are concerned because the flood waters are contaminated with sewage.