Hundreds evacuated from New Jersey town as flood waters took over

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HELMETTA, N.J. — More than 200 people were evacuated from a Middlesex County hamlet Sunday, as floodwaters turned streets into rivers.

“All of the sudden there was like water everywhere. I was surrounded,” said resident Laura Hettinger. “It happened so fast.”

Hettinger lives on Railroad Avenue in Helmetta, one of the streets that became unrecognizable as flood waters from Henri took over. She and her family evacuated.

More thn 71 homes on John Street and Railroad Avenue were underwater for most of the day — beginning Sunday morning.

There were some dramatic rescues by boats and trucks to keep residents safe.

Residents said this is the fourth time the area has flooded in the last 30 years.

Helmetta’s mayor grew up on the block, and his parents were among those evacuated.

Mayor Chris Slavicek said he and town officials don’t yet have an answer to stopping this kind of flooding, he knows his community will rebound.

“Helmetta is a hidden gem, and the motto in this town is ‘Small town, big heart,'” he said. “The community will give support and will get through this.”

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