>>> we really have seen an unbelievable turn of events following the storm here in the east named irene. long gone but it's continuing to unleash incredible damage and chaos. first, some numbers. 43 people are now dead. 3 million americans still without power going into tonight. 13 separate communities in the state of vermont alone are still cut off. there were 700 boat rescues today in just the state of new jersey. it goes on and on and connecticut, 1,000 roads, at least, still blocked. north carolina, this storm changed the map of the outer banks as they had feared. crippled infrastructure in new england. these power outages, 500,000 in connecticut. 300,000 in new jersey, have, as you might imagine, dramatically cut into the quality of life and people's ability to make a living. we begin with michelle franzen. she is in manville, new jersey, michelle, good evening.

>> reporter:  you mentioned the water rescues. it's not hard to believe when you're dealing with this storm. people are still not trying to escape the floodwaters. they are overwhelmed with the cleanup. rising rivers unleashed more pain today in the northeast. and help rushed in just as quickly to those areas hardest hit by irene. in patterson, new jersey, one family after another were rescued by boat as their homes and neighborhood fell victim to floodwaters. tonight, mandatory evacuations were ordered for 1,000 families in wallington with floodwaters on the move.

>> the floodgates, we got to do something about this.

>> and the governor surveyed the latest assault on his state.

>> these floodwaters happen quickly and you can't survive.

>> reporter:  rivers in upstate new york overwhelmed from the massive runoff from the 'hurricane's rainfall quickly overtopped their banks.

>> the challenge for us is to assess the damage and get back to work.

>> reporter:  in the catskills, towns like prattsville were among the hardest hit. today, looking where her daughter's trailer once stood.

>> she lost everything. she has a 2-year-old baby and she's having a baby any time now.

>> reporter:  meanwhile, in land-locked vermont, people in more than a dozen towns are reportedly cut off after raging floodwaters badly damaged or even washed away roads and more than 200 bridges. after getting married over the weekend at her childhood summer camp.

>> the wedding was beautiful. the rain had not set in. it was gorgeous.

>> reporter:  the wedding party and more than 100 guests might be trapped for days until they can replace the washed-out bridge. in ludlow, bulldozers cleared debris. neighbors got to work, too.

>> is there anything i can do, really?

>> we're probably going to run out of groceries.

>> reporter:  in manville, new jersey, resources and emotions stretched to the limit.

>> it's tough, but life goes on, you know? my dad built this house. and now i lost it.

>> reporter:  brian, there are decisions being made all up and down the east coast, whether it's worth rebuilding or whether people should cut their losses and go.

>> unbelievable scene. you work for something all your life and comes along quarterback barely a category 1 storm at the tail end of its life. and it just keeps on going. michelle franzen from new