Flood waters kill New Jersey man in Tuxedo

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:05

    TUXEDO — A 52-year-old Hewitt, N.J., man’s body was recovered Wednesday afternoon in Tuxedo, making him the area’s first fatality - and the seventh in New York State - resulting from Hurricane Irene’s epic flooding. The body of Howard Bulter Jr. was found in an area of the town submerged by flood waters, according to Town of Tuxedo Supervisor Peter Dolan. Police said in various reports on Wednesday that Bulter drove around barricades indicating that roads ahead were flooded while heading south on Route 17 through Tuxedo on Sunday morning. Apparently, Dolan said, he drove into a large body of standing water as overflow from the nearby We-Wah Lake and Warwick Brook River overtook the area. Dolan said he made calls from his vehicle on Sunday indicating he was stranded in flood waters. But when emergency responders reached his vehicle in response to his call to them about 10:45 a.m., Bulter was not in it. Later, Dolan said, police received reports of a man walking north along Route 17, but emergency responders could not locate him. Tuxedo police received calls from his family and a missing person report was filed on Wednesday. Dolan said on Wednesday morning, the New York State Police Aviation Unit dispatched a helicopter to search for Butler. Between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. the helicopter crew searched, but to no avail. About 2:15 p.m. that same day, Dolan said, his body was located along Route 17 by the railroad tracks near the Warwick Brook. Media reports said it Butler’s father who found him. The family came to the area to join in the search. Dolan said Butler’s body was only 75 yards from where his car was found. - Nancy Kriz