Charles Petzold

Bad Flash Flood Near Roscoe

June 21, 2007
Roscoe, N.Y.

Tuesday evening we had dinner at the Rockland House, about two miles north from our house on Route 206. All day Deirdre had been monitoring an approaching storm on, and we got a seat near the window to watch it if it came. The sky was dark, a few bolts of lightning struck the mountain, the lights occasionally flickered, but the rain just didn't seem to be coming.

Soon after we got home, the heavy rain and lightning began — probably more lightning than we've seen since we've been coming here. We sat out on our porch for about an hour watching the show.

We only discovered the next morning that the storm had been much worse than what we experienced. Just a couple miles further north beyond the Rockland House, across the Sullivan Country/Delaware County border in Colchester, flash floods as high as eight feet destroyed houses, swept away cars, and killed at least one person. Five more are still missing. A good chunk of Route 206 — a major thoroughfare in these parts — was torn apart. Here's the article from today's New York Times:

This was quite different from the floods we've had in recent the past years, such as this one I blogged about last summer. Those floods resulted from a sustained build-up of river and creek water levels; the one on Tuesday evening was caused by massive rainfall within a short period of time and was quite sudden.

We found out about the flood yesterday morning while driving to New York City for the day, and only later did we get some phone calls from friends and family asking if we were OK. We're fine. We drove back to Roscoe last night. We don't have cell phone service; we don't have a land line; but we do have electricity, Time Warner Cable, and Road Runner internet access.