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Fitzpatrick: Name post office for flood victim Susan Barnhart


Bucks County Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick and New Jersey Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman are mounting a push to rename the Washington Crossing Post Office after Susan Barnhart.

Barnhart, who had worked at the post office and lived in Titusville N.J., died July 15 in a flash flood that killed seven people in Upper Makefield.

“Susan Barnhart was beloved in Bucks County and made various contributions to our community,” Fitzpatrick, a Republican, said in a statement. “The flooding that devastated parts of Bucks County this past July tragically took several members of our community from us, including Susan.”

The congressman’s bipartisan bill — Watson Coleman is a Democrat — was introduced last week. H.R. 5476 calls for the U.S. Postal Service office at 1077 River Road to be called the “Susan C. Barnhart Post Office.”

“I am honored to remember Susan’s lasting legacy through this bipartisan legislation, and I thank Congresswoman Watson Coleman for joining me,” Fitzpatrick said.

Watson Coleman represents New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District, which includes portions of Mercer County, where Barnhart lived, plus municipalities in Middlesex, Somserset and Union counties.

She said the Susan C. Barnhart Post Office would stand as a symbol of Barnhart’s dedication to her community.

"Susan Barnhart was a model citizen who served with dedication and compassion,” said Watson Coleman in a statement. “Her tragic passing has left a community in mourning.”

Barnhart, 53, was well known to members of the Upper Makefield Township Police Department.

“We personally knew Susan Barnhart since she worked at the post office. She was always so welcoming and kind to us and we will miss her deeply,” the police department said in a statement.

Also killed in the flood were Enzo Depiero, 78, and Linda Depiero, 74, of Newtown Township; Yuko Love, 64, of Newtown Township; and three members of the Shiels family — Matilda, 2, Conrad, 9 months, and their mother Katie Seley. The Shiels family was visiting the area from South Carolina.

All were traveling in cars when raging floodwaters suddenly rendered them inoperable. They were then washed away after getting out of the vehicles in an attempt to reach higher ground.

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