Security camera footage caught the terrifying moment the walls of a New Jersey basement gave way to a deluge of floodwaters, trapping and nearly drowning a mother and her son.
Video showed Janice Valle’s Cranford home getting wrecked when the remnants of Hurricane Ida slammed the northeast late Wednesday and into Thursday, killing at least 46 people across five states, including 25 in New Jersey and 13 in the Big Apple.
“My son called his father to say goodbye to him, he thought he was going to die,” Valle told NBC New York on Friday, recalling the horror.
In the video, Valle’s son can be seen walking across the already flooded basement out of the steps to safety. Then, the wall suddenly gives way, and Valle can be heard screaming as the waters rage in, quickly filling the room separating her from her other son, who was still in the basement.
“Thank god [my son] made it to the stairs because the wall caved in and the water came in and would have crushed him,” the mom told NBC.
Her other son punched a hole in the ceiling for an air pocket, where his brother and dad used an outdoor umbrella to smash out a window and pull him to safety, NBC reported.
“All he knows is he was in between two beams so he’s breathing, he lost his sense of where he was,” dad Marlon Valle, told the outlet.
At the same time, Janice Valle remained trapped with just inches of water to spare at the other end of the basement.
“Janice, you have to come here and open the window so I can pull you out,” she recalled her husband telling her.
“We’re definitely going to live differently, enjoying everything. Everyday is precious,” Janice added of the life-changing scare.
The New Jersey death toll from Hurricane Ida will “sadly likely” increase again with at least six people still missing, Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday, as more buildings were razed by fires and explosions and the state faced the threat of renewed flooding.