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 get out."
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 their mother.
"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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