New Jersey Woman Survives After Flash Flood Sucks Her Into Storm Drain

A 24-year-old woman from New Jersey is lucky to be alive after she was sucked into a storm drain during a severe storm last week. Nathalia Bruno was delivering food for DoorDash in Passaic when a powerful storm moved into the area.

The heavy rains caused flash flooding, and Bruno found herself trapped in her Toyota Prius by the rising water. She managed to get out of her vehicle as the water rushed inside, but got swept into an underground storm drain.

"I tried to grab the car, but I couldn't, I remember trying to grab the wheel but I couldn't," Bruno told WABC.

While her car crashed into a support beam in the storm drain, Bruno managed to avoid a similar fate. She struggled as the water carried her through the pipe before shooting her out into the Passaic River.

"For me, it was five minutes, all dark, trying to breathe, trying to put my feet on the ground, to pull me and get me some air," she said.

Once Bruno was free from the storm drain, she managed to swim to the shore. She was taken to the hospital for treatment, but miraculously, was not seriously injured.

"She was stunned," Rutherford Police Chief John Russo told "She was out of it. In shock. She really didn't know what happened to her."

Bruno said that she thought about her mother and boyfriend and kept reminding herself, "I have to fight, I can't die right now."

"This thing keeps getting in my mind - unbelievable I'm alive," she said.

Photo: WABC-TV