I don’t think the town of Moonachie was under an evac order... until they were underwater.
They’re at an elevation of like 10’, as I recall.
There are large swathes of New Jersey’s coastline that are at low elevations above sea level, and a really large storm surge at high tide (which is what happened here) are going to make a bunch of the rivers and major streams in that area of NJ literally run backwards - which lots of people don’t expect or plan for.
So you’re a municipal official, thinking “Hey, we’re dozens of miles inland off the shore... we don’t have much to worry about except the drenching rain and the usual minor flooding we have every other year in the spring rains around here...”
Until the river or stream runs uphill, and you find out that, yes, there were reasons to be very worried.
The town of Moonachie in northern NJ floods out periodically. The town sits on a flood plain and any significant rain causes flooding ...