Passaic, New Jersey, is reeling from the aftermath of excessive rainfall on Wednesday. Parts of the town saw up to eight feet of water, Mayor Hector Lora told CNN on Thursday.
"In the area where we unfortunately experienced a loss of life — I must say our prayers and support go out to the family of this individual — that area had over six feet of water. The fire department and police had to call off efforts because our fire truck literally got stuck in the road. We had ambulances stuck on the road. There were areas in our city where we saw up to eight feet of water," he said.
Apart from one storm-related death, authorities are also investigating reports of two young adults who may have been swept into the river, Lora said.
"We presently have two individuals, who are reported, they may have been swept in the river. We have 60 individuals that we evacuated from our downtown area because of the potential of the river, which crested last night and came over the banks," he said. "We will be tallying up throughout the day and trying to make sure that every individual is accounted for."
He urged residents should stay home and off the roads.
"Obviously vehicles can be repaired. Property can be replaced but loss of life cannot be returned," he said. "Nothing can be more important than your life."
The current efforts are also focused on cleaning up roads and drains, but Lora emphasized that the impact of this storm could not have been anticipated.
"No one could predict the impact that this storm would have with such intense rain, all coming down so quickly. It truly devastated areas around our state and specifically, here in the city of Passaic," the mayor said.