Officials in the city of Hoboken, N.J., are defending their response to severe flooding from superstorm Sandy.

Public Safety director Jon Tooke says at least 25 percent of the city on the Hudson River across from Manhattan remains under water. He estimates at least 20,000 people are stranded and says most are being encouraged to shelter in place until floodwaters recede.

Tempers flared Wednesday morning outside City Hall as some residents complained the city was slow to get food and other supplies out to the stranded.

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