NBC New York
Firefighters rescued dozens of people by boat on Sunday as Irene passed through New York City.
Firefighters made dozens of water rescues around the city due to Irene, which pounded the tri-state with soaking rains and high winds before it arrived Sunday morning as a weakened tropical storm.
The FDNY has rescued 61 adults and three babies from 21 homes around the city.
FDNY spokesman Paul Iannizzotto says fire department responders in boats rescued 26 people on Staten Island Sunday morning after their three homes were flooded.
Batallion Chief Richie Callery said at some points, the water was 5 feet deep.
Nabiel Gurges and his son Danny Gurges were among those who had to be saved.
At about 8 a.m. Sunday, they woke up in a panic because water was gushing into their basement. Very quickly the water flooded the first floor and they were knee deep when firefighters rescued them in boats.
"It looked like waves, just attacking," said Danny Gurges.
The ordeal was "very scary, I could not believe what I seen," said his father.
In Broad Channel, Queens, rescue workers were using boats to search bungalows that were actually floating down the street.
Fire Department staff were performing the searches to make sure no one was trapped inside.
A weakened Irene, which left 11 dead in its path of destruction up the East Coast, made landfall just before 9 a.m. in Coney Island, which was one of the areas under a mandatory evacuation.
Some 370,000 people in total live in the city's low-lying areas that were told to evacuate. Many refused to go on Saturday.
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