Suzana Piamenta felt as if she were in the movie "Titanic" as she stood trapped in her Manhattan apartment building's elevator Tuesday -- with her 17-pound dog standing on her shoulders -- chin-high in water that had gushed in from a break in a water main.
"I told my husband I thought I was in the movie 'Titanic,' standing on the lower level as the ship went down," Mrs. Piamenta said hours after being rescued by her superintendent and a construction worker who had to break open the elevator's trapdoor.
Mrs. Piamenta's ordeal began about 7 a.m. as she returned home from walking her Jack Russell Terrier, Cloe. They got on the elevator, and she pushed the button for the 18th floor. But instead of going up, the elevator dropped into the partially flooded basement.
"Water began gushing in the sides and the door," the 22-year-old said calmly. "I panicked, my dog panicked."
Mrs. Piamenta said that she began screaming and that luckily, her husband and the superintendent's young son heard her.