ABOVE: Watch the tense moments as the couple’s van is pushed towards a crevice by running flood waters
Cell phone cameras captured the tense scene as rushing flood waters pushed an elderly couple’s van towards a looming crevice on Nevada’s Interstate 15.
Lorne and Margie Miller had just set out on a cross-country trip when flash floods stranded the couple on I-15 near Moapa, Nevada.
“It’s like a movie,” Lorne told CBS News. “You just realize you’re in big trouble and it’s surreal, you just fight to stay alive.”
Seasonal monsoon moisture combined with the remnants of Tropical Storm Norbert caused flash flooding across the U.S. southwest on Monday.
Floodwaters submerged vehicles and homes in the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona, and are blamed for at least two deaths in southern Arizona.
Near Moapa, the flash flooding caused a torrent of water to wash out part of Interstate 15 – including the Miller’s car.
Cell phone camera footage shows the incredible scene as the Miller’s Toyota Sienna is pushed by the gushing water like a twig being carried along by a river.
The couple opened their doors to try and escape, but Margie was caught up by the fast-moving flood water.
Lorne struggled to hold onto his wife’s hands, but the force of the water was too much – and she was swept away.
“Deep down I thought I may never see her again,” Lorne said.
“I was praying all the time, just [saying] Lord help me and give me a miracle Lord,” Margie Miller added.
Luckily, a Las Vegas police officer managed to grab her from the murky torrent before she had been seriously injured – or worse.
Lorne, meanwhile, had climbed on top of his car in a desperate attempt to avoid the flood waters.
A nearby construction crew saw he was in danger, and worked to rescue him by throwing him a rope.
“I had to jump across this ten or twelve foot rushing river, this thing is really wild now,” Lorne said. “And they got me a rope and they pulled me up all the way to the bank.”
Incredibly, both Lorne and Margie escaped with only minor injuries. They say their car, and all the possessions therein, are a write-off – but what really matters survived the flood unhurt.
“We knew we’d lost our car and probably our stuff but what counted was us,” Margie said. “So we’re alive and we can start again.”
–With files from the Associated Press