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N.J. Residents Still Boiling Water
Associated Press, September 20, 1999

More than 1 million people in New Jersey were under orders Monday to boil their tap water because the flooding from Hurricane Floyd may have contaminated it. Thousands of residents of Edison and nearby towns lined up for bottled water, offered free to the elderly and families with children under 2. Police delivered water to hundreds of elderly unable to leave their homes. “It's amazing how you take it for granted. You run the tap and that's it, and now it's like an emergency,'' said Christina Hussein, who brought her 5-month-old son, Tamir, on her arm as she picked up bottled water. Herman Prosk and his wife, Arlene, both retired and dependent on prescription medications, said they had come for free bottled water every day since Thursday. “How you miss simple things. You can't eat decently because you can't clean a dish,'' Prosk said.

In Edison and neighboring Middlesex County communities, tens of thousands of residents were getting nothing more than a rude cough as they turned on their faucets. A regional water supply plant in Bridgewater remained crippled after floodwaters damaged pumping equipment. The plant is on low ground near the confluence of the Millstone and Raritan rivers, which flooded when Floyd dumped nearly a foot of rain Thursday. In other areas, drinking water was contaminated by the muddy runoff pouring into reservoirs.