Joseph Rotondo Of Warren, N.J. Searching For Man Who Rescued Him During Ida Flooding


WARREN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The remnants of Ida swept by means of out space final month, inflicting mass destruction.

But what shines by means of was strangers serving to strangers.

CBS2’s Meg Baker discovered a Somerset County man on a quest to search out the hero who rescued him from floodwaters.

Joseph Rotondo pointed to a fence to point out how excessive the water had reached as he sat trapped in his automotive.

“It seemed like seconds, less than a minute. I have, or had, a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and it started floating,” Rotondo stated.

Rotondo was out on a rescue mission. His daughter known as, saying she couldn’t make it dwelling due to flooding, however he solely made it a half a mile when he says the brook off Brookside Drive rapidly became a raging river.

Photos: Hurricane Ida Remnants Batter Tri-State

“Finally crashed into a telephone pole,” he stated.

Rotondo, 63, stated the phone pole saved his life, stopping him from going additional into the brook.

“When you are looking around and there is water all around you and it’s coming in the vehicle, and you say, all right, there is not a lot of options here,” he stated. “This can’t be how it ends. It can’t end this way.”

The father of 4 says he tried to remain calm.

“In my mind, I said if it gets past [my chin] I’m going to start to panic and maybe at that point I’m going to get out of the vehicle,” he stated.

The water bought as much as his chest, not his chin.

Then headlights, and a big, raised pickup truck.

“I was beeping the horn and flashing the lights. I don’t know if it even worked. Waving. You don’t know, you are in such a state at that point,” Rotondo stated. “He pulled this truck as near my automobile as he may… so I open the door, he reaches out his arm from his truck, grabs me and pulled me in.

“He’s like ‘Where do you want to go?’ I’m like ‘I don’t care,’” Rotondo added. “Drop me off on dry land. I don’t care.”

The thriller driver took Rotondo again dwelling.

“You are looking to find whoever this was because it all happened so quickly,” Baker stated.

“In the moment, there’s just too much going on. Then you say ‘Wow, thank you. Where did you come from? God sent you,’” Rotondo stated.

The solely info he bought from his rescuer was that he was making an attempt to achieve a road named William Penn Way on the opposite facet of city. He’s hoping to fulfill him once more.

Rotondo’s daughter stayed secure in her automotive, away from the flood water.

CBS2’s Meg Baker contributed to this report.

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