Newspaper: 1956 SLV Reporter

SLV Reporter Jan. 19, 1956

Incidents at Felton Grove During the Flood by Natalie Bruce

Thumbnail sketches of some happenings in the flood area of Felton Grove on the night of the recent flood, Dec. 22, 1955, where humor and near tragedy rode side by side on the swirling, debris-filled San Lorenzo river, which suddenly went berserk, sweeping in, out and over buildings, driving out all moveable things with devastating fury, contemptuously leaving great deposits of mud and complete wreckage.

Hastily assembled row-boats, bobbing in angry waters-the Kendalls rescued by one which went back for the Kendall purp-One to the Witters-One for the Cohenour children-Mrs. William Nye, an invalid, and family walked out over two planks thrust through a broken-out window by rescuers all wading through electrically charged water in the house, caused by their furnace. The Paul Versaitis family struggling through water up to their shoulders, leaving two cats riding on a floating mattress-the water turning pickpocket, sending Paul’s wallet afloat. At the Bruce home, a man leaving with one of the grandchildren piggyback, a fur coat over one arm, dragging in the mud, a purse and a dog draped over the other, to return for the second grandchild-A gallant gentleman insisting he should carry la Bruce piggyback, she protesting she should wade like the others. He won, God love him. Guess her white hair fooled him. He struggled and slipped through the muddy water with a large, very dead fish, the eternal question in it’s staring eyes, slithering in the stream beside him.

The rescue of Frank and Fran McClusky at Capt. Ed’s Boyland by Red Sinnott and Roy Paganini. All four had a narrow escape from drowning. The George Korens, at the Recreation Hall, opening their doors to evacuees, giving shelter, comfort, hot coffee and sandwiches, as did Marjorie Wright-Beverly Koren and Dorothy Jeanotte on endless trips through the pelting rain and rising water between the Wright house and the Hall, carrying huge pots of coffee, Bev almost losing out, rescuing a drowning puppy; Dorothy grabbed her arm and jerked her to safety. A man and woman, strangers to each other, laughing hysterically as they battled the snatching water to reach a safe place. Bill Wright, Geo. Koren, and Paul Versaitis forgetting their own losses were a host of folks in themselves. Bud Hendricks in his radio-equipped car, directing his crew in the rescue work.

The residents of Felton Grove offer their deepest gratitude to all these men who worked so valiantly.

Practically all the houses in the Grove are beyond repair-upended, broken, shifted to alien ground, leaning dispiritedly against each other-Great trees crashed to the ground, and over all endless mud, debris, and the acrid stench of dead and rotting things…this is Felton Grove, since the night of destruction; darkness, of watching by feeble flashlight the fast rising tide, eyeing the frail boats bobbing and struggling at their moorings-wondering.

This entry was posted in 1955 Flood, Felton Grove History, Felton Grove Resort, Newspaper Archive, San Lorenzo River and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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