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Some South Jersey Residents Homeless Following Weekend Storm

diana-web Diana Rocco
Diana Rocco joined the Eyewitness News team as a general assign...
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By Diana Rocco

VINELAND, N.J. (CBS) - Throughout Cumberland and Atlantic counties, the damage is severe. Thousands are still without power and some are now homeless.

“We heard a big boom, then I heard the whole side of the house crunch,” said Raquel Smith.

Smith woke up early Saturday morning to her seven-year-old son screaming for help. A tree split their trailer in two, throwing him from his bed. He was trapped under the branches.

“I heard him say, ‘Mom,’” Smith recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ panicking because I seen the damage. I had to crawl under and pull him out. He was covered in nothing but debris.”

In Vineland, trees have leveled dozens of homes at two trailer parks. One split Juan Roman’s sister’s home wide open. Her living room and kitchen are now exposed to the outside. She lost everything. Roman says she narrowly escaped with her life.

“She heard something cracking, tried to open the door.” Roman says she ran into the living room right before the tree crashed. “If she didn’t jump out of that window, in one minute she would have been dead.”

For the fortunate, a few generators are running, but most are in to their fourth full day without power in sweltering heat. John Haas would rather tough it out at home with a few bags of ice after looters are rumored to be making their way through damaged neighborhoods.

“I don’t want no body coming here taking my stuff. I worked hard for it, I want to keep it,” said Haas.

“We’ve been living day by day, stocking up on ice getting food for the kids,” said Alisha Villafane.

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