Warren, NJ (CBSNewYork) – Remnant Ida went off the floor of a massive disaster last month.
But what helps travelers shine?
CBS 2 found Meg Baker, a Somerset County man on a heroic floodwater rescue quest.
Joseph Rotondo pointed to the fence to show how deep the water got through the rider trapped in the car.
“It was seconds, okay. I also had a Rubicon Jeep Wrangler and I started floating,” Rotondo said.
Rotondo was on a rescue mission. She called her daughter to say she couldn’t get home because of the flood, but says she quickly turned into a crazy river when she drove just a half-mile to Brookside.
Pictures: Hurricane Ida maintains batter status in three states
“Eventually I hit a telephone pole,” he said.
Rotondo, 63, said the telephone pole saved his life by preventing him from going further into the river.
“When you look around and the water is all around you and you get in the car and you say, well, there’s not a lot of options,” he said. “Can’t figure out how to stop it. It can’t end.”
The father said after trying to stay calm four times.
“In my mind, I told you if it passes” [my chin] It would start to scare me and I would probably get out of the car at that point,” he said.
Water goes up to the breast and not up to the chin.
Then the big pickup truck raised its headlights.
Peleus’s horn and his eyes flashed. I don’t know if it worked or not. Waving you don’t know, you’re in that situation,” Rotondo said. “He pulled the basket as close to the car as he could…… So I opened the door, lifted his arm from his salt, He grabbed me and dragged me.
“He’s like, ‘Where do you want to go?’ I’m not like, ‘I don’t care,'” Rotondo added. “Put me on dry land. I don’t care.”
The mysterious driver brings Rotondo back home.
“You’re trying to figure out who it was because everything happened so quickly,” Baker said.
“At that point it’s overwhelming. Then you say: Wow, thank you. Where have you been? God sent you,” Rotondo said.
The only word he had received from his rescuer was that he was trying to reach a village called William Penway on the other side of town. Hope to see him again.
Rotando’s daughter remained in her chariot safe from the flood waters.
CBS2’s Meg Baker contributed to this report.