A New Jersey woman caught in a terrifying flash flood went whooshing on a mile-long trip under her city and ended up being shot out into a river, in a miraculous journey of survival.
Nathalia Bruno, 24, a driver for the food delivery service DoorDash, was in Passaic, New Jersey, just across the river from New York City, when sudden torrential storms hit the area and inundated streets on Monday afternoon, cutting off power to thousands of homes and trapping cars.
Bruno attempted to drive through flood water, the Passaic fire chief, Patrick Trentacost, said, according to the news site NorthJersey.com.
But Bruno’s car was rapidly filling with water and floating, with the flow moving it toward a large viaduct opening, Trentacost said.
She scrambled out of the vehicle but the powerful current dragged her and the car into a brook that is channeled below the city into a drainage system, where the water travels at 30mph, the authorities said.
Bruno was carried in the rushing water underground, reportedly about a mile, until it reached its outlet above the Passaic River.
“When the fire department arrived, this was already over. That’s how fast this was,” Trentacost said.
The Rutherford police chief, John Russo, said the woman was “shot out” of the drainage pipe into the river, swam to the other side and managed to climb out.
A homeowner called an ambulance.
“She was stunned,” Russo said. “She was out of it. In shock. She really didn’t know what happened to her.”
Bruno’s car has yet to be recovered, the news website reported.
Door Dash confirmed that Bruno is a contractor and offered her the company’s support “during her recovery”, according to a statement.