MOONACHIE, N.J. — The night Hurricane Sandy bulldozed New Jersey, the Moonachie Fire Department was already being tested to its very limits. So too, was the town levee. Around midnight the firefighters had just returned from a call when one of the guys noticed a white wall of water rushing down East Joseph Street, taking dead aim at the firehouse. The levee had broken, flash-flooding Moonachi and the neighboring town of Little Ferry under 5 feet of water in minutes.
The firefighters immediately scrambled to save the firetrucks. There was already 6 inches of water in the station but the men could hear the water raging past the firehouse right outside. When they opened the garage door, 3 feet of water poured into the firehouse. Somehow the firefighters were able to get two of the five vehicles out of the garage to a hill where they set up a mobile command center.
Safely on high ground, the Moonachie Volunteer Fire Dept. launched a rescue effort that would make both the local and national news. Using only small boats, the remaining two fire trucks, and true grit, they would relocate over 1,500 Moonachie residents over the course of the evening. Not a single life was lost.
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