New Jersey

Jersey Shore Storm Victim Dodges ‘Icebergs,' Floating TVs to Rescue Dog From Floodwater

A man with his pants rolled up and a dog under his arm waded through waist-deep floodwater as an old television floated by.

The moment captured Saturday in Ocean City is a lasting image of the Blizzard of 2016 that battered the region with snow and wind, causing major flooding along the Jersey Shore.

Gunnar North, 29, told NBC10 he decided to make a daring dash after he woke up to water near his front door and no power in his home.

"I wake up around 10 o'clock, I look out the door and there's literally 3 1/2 feet of water outside my door," said North.

North, who works for his family company, lives in a Gunnar Builders-constructed apartment along 7th Street near the bay in Ocean City, New Jersey. He had never before faced such significant flooding.

"I didn't know what to do," said North, who lived most of his life on the mainland. "I guess you could say I wasn't really prepared.

"I was afraid the water was going to go up to my door — my door's 4 feet in the air. I didn't think I had anything to worry about, but I was definitely wrong."

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Posted by Gunnar North on Saturday, January 23, 2016

After two hours or so, North saw an opening as the tide receded, so he stuffed a backpack with some clothes, grabbed his dog, Red, and made a dash for it.

"I was just worried about keeping my dog safe, honestly. I don't know what I would do if anything happened to him," said North. "It was waist deep out front of my house, I tightened up my pants… and I made the journey."

"It was freezing... there were little icebergs everywhere — just chunks of ice — it was hard, I was getting cut up," he recalled.

Red, 2-year-old pit-boxer mix, weighs about 80 pounds.

"It really wasn't that easy to carry him through," said North.

Along the way, Instagram user FSBarnard captured an image of North and Red wading through ice-filled water as a television floated by.

"That TV was just floating behind me, I wasn't carrying my TV," said North. "I had my dog and that was enough."

North also had to dodge other items in the water.

"I saw wood floating down the street," he said. "It was like a big freezer or something like that — it was huge — it was just floating down the street."

After a six-to-seven-block journey to higher ground — it would have been shorter but North said he initially went to wrong way — he and Red were picked up by a friend with a big truck.

Later, on Facebook, he thanked the guys who rescued him for saving "me and Red's life."

Once the power came back on late Saturday and North returned to survey the damage, he found some — the carpets need replacing — but mostly, his apartment was unscathed.

"It's shocking because the water has never gotten that high," he said.

North made at least made one preparation that helped keep the damage to a minimum.

"Thank God I parked my car off of the island — I knew that much, to do that," North said.

Next time a major storm comes, expect North and Red to get out of dodge.

"I'm going to get off the island before the storm starts," he said.

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