After Irene: Jet Skiing in the Streets of Newark

Joy riders wave waves in flooded Ironbound.

For some in Newark's East Ward, the flood waters that transformed some streets into lakes in the of Tropical Storm Irene became an occasion for fun on Sunday.

Two men were seen jet skiing up and down South Street in the ward's Ironbound neighborhood, sending rippling waves to people's already waterlogged homes. A black muscle truck and other vehicles also went on joyrides through Malvern Street, angering more residents who were pumping water out of their basements.

"It was crazy," said Lydia Matos, a Newark resident, who saw the jet skiers with her daughter Sandy Matos.

One man in his late 20s was riding a green jet ski on South Street around 1 p.m. and another man on a red jet ski also rode the more than one-foot tall waves that lapped the sidewalks as their friends watched, Sandy Matos said.

"They were having fun," she said.

Christina Queiruga said she heard about the jet skis and came to the scene to check whether they were still there in the late afternoon.

"I thought that was hilarious," she said. "It's the only way to get around Newark these days."

Finally, relatives of Matos who live near South Street, called the police because they were angered at the jet skis' waves that were sending water to flooded basements.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker tweeted, "A lot of complaints re the now two jet skiers and the real danger involved I've deployed police to address the situation."

It's unclear if those involved were arrested.


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