Their car turned into a catamaran.
A New Zealand mother is making waves online after filming herself driving through raging floodwaters with her family amid a cyclone. A video of the apocalyptic scene currently boasts 1.1 million views on TikTok.
“I was only afraid for my kids,” Dayna Nuku told the New Zealand Herald of the frightening moment, which occurred on February 14 after her hometown of Omahu was inundated during Cyclone Gabrielle.
Unfortunately, the mother of five said she didn’t receive any “evacuation notices,” and therefore “didn’t realize how serious it was” until the deluge was at her front door.
“We all grabbed what we could, put the babies on our shoulders and made a dash for it,” the Kiwi described.
In the POV clip, the family of six, along with Nuku’s brother and sister-in-law, can be seen desperately trying to reach a bridge over the severely flooded Ngaruroro River.
“We’re trying to make it to the bridge right now but we don’t know if we’ll make it,” frets the mom as the ferocious currents swirl about her car like a scene from a tsunami movie.
Unfortunately, the flood becomes only more treacherous near the crossing, prompting Nuku to tell her children to put their “feet up.” The clip then cuts to one of her son’s bare feet propped up against the dashboard as brown water fills the floor of their car.
At long last, the family finally manages to ford the rising waters and make it onto the bridge. Thankfully, the Hukus escaped the ordeal unscathed and are currently staying with family in Flaxmere, the New Zealand Herald reported.
In retrospect, Nuku said she made the right decision by leaving their house rather than waiting for rescue.
“I had a feeling no one was coming for us and the only way out that we knew for sure that it was the safest and fastest way was over the bridge,” she said. “It was the same way the rescue people went, over the bridge.”
The mother added, “I know it may have looked risky but we knew it was the best decision for my kids.”
She was one of the hundreds of Omahu residents to evacuate their homes during the Cyclone, which reportedly resulted in at least four casualties, including a young child.
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