FORT PLAIN, N.Y. – The body
of the 86-year-old Fort Plain woman, who has been missing after family
members say her home was swept away by flood waters, has been recovered.
When the deluge of water
poured in through the streets of Fort Plain early Saturday morning, it may have
been too much and too fast for Ethel Healey to escape, according to her family. Multiple
agencies joined in on the search effort Saturday, but her son and daughter
believe their mother lost her life in the flood.
"Our hearts are
broken," Mary Puznowski said.
Puznowski said her
mother was probably sleeping at the early morning hour when the water started
gushing in. State police K-9's and search units were up early Saturday morning
to search for Healey.
"I looked over where my
mom's house was and it was completely gone,"
Puznowski said. "There was like a fifteen minute window of time to
Police now believe it
is likely Healey was swept away along with her house in the flood waters.
"We're not suspending
the search," said Police Chief Robert Thomas Saturday.
The search and rescue,
however, had become a recovery effort by Monday morning.
Healey's son said neighbors
attempted to save his mother, but were unable to get there in time.
"She's 86 years old, she
didn't move too well," William Healey said. "She just could not get
out of the house."
With broken hearts, both
siblings are now trying to help their other sister whose home was also flooded.
In the process of cleaning up, they are also in search of things left behind by
"We're looking for any
bits and pieces that could have been my mom's," Healey said. "There
is nothing left. I just couldn't believe the scene I saw, it was like
something out of a disaster movie."
Her remains were found within the debris next to Lock 14 in the
Town of Canajoharie.
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