Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Catskills Flash Flood Update: Town of Colchester

Oneonta Daily Star: Four missing after flooding in Colchester

DOWNSVILLE— Four people were missing and at least was one presumed dead after an 8-foot-high wall of water rushed through two valleys in the Delaware County town of Colchester, officials said Wednesday.

Downsville Fire Department First Assistant Chief Mark Mattson said searches had been going on since the storm hit Tuesday night. However, late Wednesday, The Associated Press reported that police were forced to temporarily call off a search, citing darkness and safety. The AP said two people initially unaccounted for were found, and searches were expected to resume in the morning.

In Colchester, Gertrude Melvin, who was visiting her daughter and son-in-law, Elaine and George Finkle, was presumed dead after she was swept away by the water as her son-in-law attempted to rescue her, according to a family friend.

Fred and Marjorie Shutts were also missing after their home was washed away. The Shuttses’ home was next to the Finkles’ home, officials said.

“Holiday Brook Road is basically nonexistent, and county Route 7 is almost as bad,” Mattson said Wednesday.

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