Hurricane Irene struck the state last week, and dealt catastrophic, and sometimes fatal damage to communities across New Jersey. In Lawrence, rescuers found the body of a man on Tuesday who was sucked down a manhole. Cesar Ortiz, 50, was trying to clear floodwater from his landscaping supply company.
Princeton EMT Michael Kenwood was laid to rest in Paramus on Wednesday after he was killed during an attempted water rescue during Hurricane Irene. First responders from across the state paid tribute to Kenwood, an East Windsor resident. Kenwood died in Princeton, while he and another EMT were trying to reach a submerged car.
Kenwood and Ortiz were among 12 New Jersey residents killed during the storm. The deceased ranged in age from as old as 74 to as young as 20.
Still, not everyone took the storm seriously. A New York man jumped into the Hudson River during the height of Hurricane Irene early Monday "for the thrill," police said. Paul Decker, 29, was with a friend in Hoboken when he decided to take a dip. Police started a search for Decker after his friend lost sight of him. They found him safe, but charged him with disorderly conduct, police said.
Hurricane Irene left many without power and even water, as New Jersey American Water warned customers to boil water after the storm. A water treatment plant in Millburn was severely flooded and lost power during the storm. Residents had to boil water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit for safe consumption.
The storm displaced many residents for days, but perhaps the most unlikely was a 2-foot-long alligator found by Gloucester Township Police on Sunday. A resident reported seeing the reptile near Blackwood lake near an apartment complex. Police believe the alligator is a pet that somehow got loose.
A week after ordering evacuations on the Jersey Shore, Gov. Chris Christie was at Point Pleasant Beach inviting residents to return in his own way. "Get the hell back on the beach," Christie said.
Hurricane Irene dominated the news last week, but violence in Newark continued as soon as the storm left. An argument outside a back-to-school party in Newark erupted into gunfire Monday night, leaving a woman clinging to life on the sidewalk. Dechania Edwards, 23, was pronounced dead at University Hospital in Newark just minutes after being shot, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office said. Police have not identified a suspect.