I was age 9 when the Flood of 1955 hit Waterbury. We had heard from neighbors that the Naugatuck River overflowed its banks, so my dad and I drove from our house down Piedmont Street to South Main Street near Shakers Lincoln-Mercury car dealership.
What we saw was an unforgettable sight. The river completely covered buildings as far as we could see, with all sorts of debris floating by, to include houses and railroad box cars.
Across the river from us was the crumbling Waterbury Petroleum Products building. We could see that there was a woman on the roof top standing on the building's big sign waiting to be rescued. As more time went by, the river continued to rise while the building and sign she was clinging to crumbled around her.
Just when we feared the worst, a helicopter arrived on the scene and was able to pluck her from the rooftop and save her life. Shortly thereafter, the entire building fell into the river. People told us that the helicopter was from Sikorsky in Stratford, but that may not have been the case. The pilot(s) deserve to be recognized for their heroism in saving that woman's life.