‘Setback’ in search for missing Pa. kids swept away by flash floods
🔎 Two children swept away in Bucks County flash floods remain missing
🔎 Weather conditions have created a "frustrating" setback, police said
🔎 Vigils are being held Thursday and Sunday for victims and the community
WASHINGTON CROSSING, Pa. — More heavy rains are creating a frustrating setback as rescue teams in Bucks County look to continue their search for two children lost in flash flooding caused by torrential downpours nearly four full days ago.
Nine-month-old Conrad Sheils and his two-year-old sister Mattie have been missing since the five-foot wall of water rushed from Houghs Creek to Washington Crossing Road as a result of up to seven inches of rain in less than an hour Saturday evening. The body of the children's mother Katie Seley was found on Sunday.
Rescue teams have combed the 117-acre flood zone more than a dozen times, Upper Makefield Fire Chief Tim Brewer said.
"It is still an active search. We still have assets operating in the area and will continue to do so until we find what we're looking for, which obviously are two missing angels," Brewer said.
The search had been expected to transition Wednesday morning from searching the land to searching underwater in the creek. However, the Upper Makefield police on Facebook said that weather conditions have interrupted those plans.
"The area and conditions will be continuously monitored throughout the day and if we are able to deploy our assets we will do so. This setback has us all frustrated as we are desperate to bring Mattie and Conrad home," police said.
Search efforts had still not resumed as of 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
🙏 Vigils for Upper Makefield flash flood
Two vigils are planned for the coming days after Saturday's flash flooding.
A prayer vigil will be held for those who lost loved ones at the Washington Crossing United Methodist Church located at 1895 Wrightstown Road in Washington Crossing at 7 p.m. Thursday night.
Three Newtown Township residents were killed in the flash floods including Yuko Love, 64, and married couple Enzo DePiero, 78, and Linda DePiero, 74. The DePieros had recently celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary, the Bucks County Courier Times reported.
A New Jersey woman was also killed. Susan Barnhart, 53, of Hopewell Township was known to those in Upper Makefield as she worked at the local post office, police said. A GoFundMe supporting her family including her 80-year-old mother had raised $11,745 as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
"She was always so welcoming and kind to us and we will miss her deeply," Upper Makefield police said.
Another vigil in solidarity with all those in Bucks County impacted by the flash floods is planned for Sunday evening at the Garden of Reflection, a memorial park in Yardley created to remember the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The vigil will be held at 7 p.m.