is known for its , but Thursday's sudden downpour surprised even seasoned veterans.
That's because five cars and three people would up stranded in 9 ft. of water on a ramp leading off Route 9 in Keasbey.
"The rain came down so fast that it flooded the famp from Riverside Drive and Route 440 to Route 9 South," said Ken Nagy, a lieutenant with the Keasbey Fire Department.
Nagy and the fire crew were dispatched initially to Route 9 north on a call about cars stranded with passengers stuck in the vehicles.
"While we were on that call, people ran up the hill to where we were, yelling 'There's a woman stuck in the car and we can't save her,' " Nagy said.
The fire department headed to the south ramp and found a woman standing on the roof of her car.
"The water was already up to her knees," Nagy said. "It was a flash downpour."
The rescuers tied a rope to a fireman, who swam out to get the woman.
The Keasbey Fire Department called to Perth Amboy for a rowboat. "We wanted to make sure there weren't more cars underwater with more people stuck in them," Nagy said.
The firemen rescued two other victims who were also stranded on top of their automobiles who were stuck in a flood by Riverside Drive.
None of the rescued victims nor firemen were injured, Nagy said.
"People think the water isn't that deep. Then they get stuck," he added.
It's been five years since Nagy has seen a flood quite that bad, so it obviously isn't a new occurrence. "It's just a low spot with bad drainage. It's poorly planned by the DOT [NJ Department of Transportation," Nagy said.
Tow trucks and the moved the cars after the flood waters receded. He was glad that he and the Keasbey firefighters could help out.
"It could've been much worse," Nagy said. "We were just in the right place at the right time."