They begged her not to go. The floodwaters were rising by the second, but Pam Nugent, 42, had already watched her father’s backyard collapse during Sunday’s torrential downpour and feared the house would be next.
So she quickly ran out of her childhood home.
“We screamed at her, ‘Stay in the house! Stay in the house!'” her father, Edward Nugent, recalled, as his daughter attempted to cross the street in their Fort Montgomery neighborhood in Orange County, New York.
Just moments earlier, her father had already saved Pamela’s fiancé from the rushing floodwaters after he fell halfway out, trying to make his way against the roaring floodwaters. Ed Nugent went out after him, taking two big leaps across the street, and with one arm holding tightly onto a utility pole, he managed to grab Rob’s hand and yank him out of the floodwaters as the torrent was carrying him away.
But Pam wasn’t so lucky.
“She just got too scared at a certain point,” staying in the house, Edward said, and she started to make her way across the street, through the deluge of water as her fiancé and father looked on from the other side.
But the force of the raging floodwaters proved too much.
“She got to the middle of the street, (and) she’s gone, just like that… and the dog, too,” Edward told AccuWeather National Reporter Jillian Angeline.
Pam’s body was found the next day down the hill from her father’s house, in a ravine. The dog, Minnie, was found alive near Pam’s body.
“I kind of knew in the back of my head when I saw her go, it was like falling off a cliff,” her father said, adding that he hasn’t “processed it yet.”
“She was one of the kindest people I ever met in my life … she was good to everybody,” her father said.
Pam Nugent was the only fatality from Sunday’s onslaught of rain, according to authorities. New York and other parts of the Northeast received a summer’s worth of rain in less than a day. The Hudson Valley and parts of Vermont were the hardest hit.
Rainfall totals surpassed double digits in New York. In Putnam Valley, New York, which is located in New York’s Hudson Valley, 10.49 inches of rain was measured during a 48-hour period ending Tuesday morning. This was the highest rainfall total of the storm.
“Orange County experienced a one-in-1,000-years weather event [Sunday] night,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a press conference on Monday morning. “The rain has subsided, but the crisis is not over.”
Pam was a senior associate and development and operations manager at the engineering firm H&H in New York City. Her co-workers were remembering her this week.
“Pam, a remarkable leader and positive force at H&H, was not only a dear friend but also a big thinker who brought laughter, great conversations, and inspiring ideas to our firm,” said the company in a statement Tuesday.
“We are struggling to comprehend the loss of such an extraordinary individual. Our thoughts are with Pam’s family as they try to grasp the enormity of this tragedy, as is the H&H family.”
Produced in association with AccuWeather
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