A moment of silence for Rozalia (Leah) Stern-Gluck, an 82-year-old Brooklyn grandmother and Holocaust survivor who tragically drowned in her Catskills cottage Sunday, as an overflowing creek caused by Hurricane Irene flooded the area.
Stern-Gluck was actually on vacation in Fleischmanns, a small village located in southeastern New York state. She became trapped when a nearby creek overflowed Sunday morning, flooding the cottage she was staying in with upwards of six feet of water.
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Hurricane Irene made its third landfall near Coney Island around 9:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 28, knocking out power for nearly one million New York state residents. The Catskill Mountains were especially hard hit, and even as cleanup crews moved in after the storm, people in some parts of the Catskills as well as Adirondack Mountains remained isolated.
Stern-Gluck’s husband managed to escape, but The Telegraph reports “rescuers were unable to answer her screams for help because of the surging flood water.” Her body wasn’t recovered by police until the next day, Monday, after the floodwaters had receded.
Brooklyn-based Jewish community leader Isaac Abraham said Stern-Gluck had been born in Russia and that she was a Holocaust survivor.
“She survived Hitler, but she couldn’t survive Irene,” Abraham told the New York Daily News.