By Joe Holden

BRIDGEPORT, Pa. (CBS) — One of the areas hardest hit by floodwaters was Bridgeport, Montgomery County. That’s where rescue crews spent much of the day going door-to-door, rescuing people from their homes.

The rising Schuylkill River literally chased this man.

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“I tried to run out the front door but the water, as I opened the door, the water started gushing in so I had to run out the back door. The water was raising so high I couldn’t run straight to the street, I had to run up the fire escape. I winded up on the roof where they had to get a boat to rescue me,” Elliot Palmer said.

He was one of many Eyewitness News met: the dozens of people rescued by emergency workers Thursday morning in Bridgeport.

“It’s bad, it got up to 4 or 5 inches in my living room all through the house downstairs,” Jim Stalker said.

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Inundation began around midnight and continued all morning Thursday. The river’s crest smashed records, destroying property and turning lives upside down.

“We have no next step. We’re just at a complete loss. Hopefully, the powers that be actually step up and help people like us out. But there’s no next step. I just lost everything. Just like all of my neighbors, they just lost everything,” Justin Green said.

Officials confirm there was one fatality in the borough. Exact details were not available.

The area now reeks of heating oil and other toxins the river brought with it.

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Utility crews are here and now the long haul to assess how to get life back to normal.