Chapter 8

Devastation on the Delaware: Stories and Images of the Deadly Flood of 1955

by Mary A. Shafer

Excerpt from Chapter 8:

Ed Burnett, a staff writer for the Easton Express, has been at the movies in East Stroudsburg, too. He has lingered a bit longer after the show, talking with friends. By the time he gets on the road to head back to Stroudsburg, the Interborough (State) Bridge is already closed. He and his companion turn about and hurry to the paper mill bridge in Minisink Hills. They cross just as waves are beginning to break over the sides of it.

Once home, he watches McMichael’s Creek rapidly rising at a rate of nearly a foot every fifteen minutes. He’s awestruck to see the gentle streams he played in as a boy turning to deadly, destructive rivers.

Police are running through the streets, blowing their whistles to alert residents to the danger. One of them tells Ed that he could hear cries from treetops near the State Bridge as the water swirled up around them. The cop had also seen a man straddling the street sign at Washington and Brown Streets. Others would later report seeing the man get washed away from his precarious perch.