Colchester Recovers From Flash Flooding

By Justin Moss

July 22, 2010 Updated Jun 21, 2007 at 7:02 PM EDT

The waters came in a flash, and left a swath of destruction.

Crushed cars, ruined belongings, and piles of debris now litter this area of Route 7 in Colchester.

Susan Farrell was in her home Tuesday night when she saw the waves rushing down.

"I never seen such devastation. I don't live on the river, I thought we were safe here," says Farrell.

Farrell survived and stayed at her home to clean it up.

Paul Piatek and his family are also trying to recover.

The New York State VFW has an outreach program for new members called Flags for Soldiers.

Each Flag Day, the group will send American flags to every New York Veteran to thank them for their service.

"The waves came and took everything, took my garage, cars everything," says Piatek.

James Bernardo and his girlfriend were out of the area Tuesday night.

Now, Bernardo is anxious to see what's left of his property.

Since he's not allowed back, he's busy preparing for what's next.
"Nobody up there really has flood insurance, you never would have thought something like that would happen," says Bernardo.

And no one imagined the potential loss of life.

Searchers are busy sifting through the debris, getting to more properties as the water dries up.

But it's still dangerous, and they're relying on ATVs to move around.

"Cuz the water that's running and as it's draining from the road beds, the roads are continuing to collapse," says Len Govern of Delaware Co. Emergency Services.

With so much debris covering roads, police say it will be at least 10 days before this area re-opens.

Roads will have to be fixed, and bridges repaired.

"In Upstate New York we don't see that stuff very much, it's a shocker," says contractor Matt Wilcox.

And shocked homeowners like Susan Farrell and Paul Piatek will be busy picking up the pieces for a long time.

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