Two Local Deaths Reported in Wake of Flooding
Authorities Seek Help in Identification of Body
By Rick Hiduk
An elderly woman was the first Bradford County resident to be confirmed dead as a victim of the Flood of 2011. Dorothy Guethe, 95, was trapped inside her Coolbaugh Road, Standing Township, home with her son and the family dog when the rising Susquehanna River engulfed their remote home on Sept. 8.
Wysox Fire and Rescue personnel were performing door-to-door well-being checks on local homes and had to use boats to reach the house. In addition to the lingering high water, a large portion of Coolbaugh Road, which is situated between Mercur Hill Road and Route 6, was washed away.
Authorities report that the mother and son were found in the dining room of the home on Sept. 9 on chairs set up on a countertop, where they were waiting for floodwaters to recede from the single-story dwelling. They were trapped in five feet of water for more than 12 hours. Even at that height, they sat waist deep in the water, and Mrs. Guethe likely died of hypothermia. Her death was ruled accidental by the Bradford County Coroner. Her son was removed and transported to Towanda Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia and dehydration. The dog also survived the incident.
On Sept. 8, Bradford County 911 was dispatched to Mill Stone Creek along Deep Hollow Road in Monroe Township, where the partially submerged body of a white male had been discovered. Authorities are seeking assistance in identifying the deceased, whom they describe as about 6-feet 2.5-inches in height, 200 pounds, and covered in tattoos. He is estimated to be between 25- and 35-years-old. Tattoos include a Nazi flag, Betty Boop and other cartoon characters, an 8-ball, and a dragon. The cause and manner of death are still under investigation. Readers with helpful information may contact state police at Towanda by calling 570-265-2186.