Woman rescued from swollen Susquehanna

By Perry Russom

Woman rescued from swollen Susquehanna

July 2, 2013 Updated Jul 2, 2013 at 11:48 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Crews from the Binghamton Fire Department happened to be at the right place at the right time Tuesday evening. And because of that, a woman is alive.

A yet-to-be named woman was walking by herself along the bank of the Susquehanna River early Tuesday evening when she stepped into the water and was swept away by the river, fire officials said.

"So often you get a report of someone in the river and you're not always sure in fact is it a true report," said Binghamton Fire Chief Daniel Thomas. "This was one we knew we had somebody."

On the other side of the bank, crews were checking rising river levels and planning for how they'd approach a water rescue. They just didn't think one would happened so quickly.

"As soon as we saw her go in, I asked for river assignment on the radio and we headed this way," said Binghamton Lt. Daniel Vail.

Vail said the woman had gone through the boil in the river and was below the dam. The boil is a naturally occurring vortex created in the water at the base of the dam. It's powerful suction can be deadly. Action News archives show three firefighters died at the dam in 1975.

Within two minutes, the station's water rescue team arrived and pulled her from the rain swollen river.

Thomas said with the recent incessant rain, the river is higher and stronger -- and the banks weaker -- than what it usually is

He said residents should stay away from the rivers, especially in the coming days.