Aug. 13, 2014: The 5:15 a.m. alarm (WQXR) goes off at my home in Oceanside.

I brush my teeth, drink tea, and grab my gym bag, with plans to hit the gym by 5:45. I open the front door and find moderate rain. I recall pelting rain before I went to bed. I have no idea that Long Island is being swamped by a record deluge.

The usual jogger who slows me down each morning as I glide out of the driveway is missing. Clearly not devoted enough, got scared by the rain.

At the intersection of Lawrence Avenue, a thought: Will there be the usual flooding near Henrietta Avenue? There is. Turn the car around. Take another route.

On Henrietta, my Infiniti SUV jolts as if it has hit a boulder, and warning icons light up my dashboard.

Oh, my God! I have driven into a flood. My sexy crossover is not built to double as a rugged dinghy in a deluge. In the morning darkness, I hadn't seen the water. Brain: Turn off the ignition, Ro.

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Never been surrounded by so much water, other than when superstorm Sandy arrived in 2012. Ghosts of my two cars dying during Sandy flash before my eyes. I don't want to lose yet another car so soon. More important, I don't want to lose my life. Haven't written my best-seller yet. Brain: Call 911.

A not-particularly-friendly 911 operator: "Somebody will get to you as soon as possible. A lot of people are stuck like you."

It's now about 5:50. A man rides by on a wobbly bike on the sidewalk. The water is about 6 inches deep. Happy for him.

As I wait inside my dark maroon car, a vehicle is heading toward me with its headlights on.

Brain: Panic, Ro.

I blink my headlights several times. The other car stops and retreats. Next comes a car from behind. Thoughtlessly, I open the car door to wave away the driver. Water gushes in like a famished beast. Brain (back from vacation): Close the door!

I dial 911 again. Another operator answers. I repeat my location. Soon I see police vehicles several blocks away. I'm still marooned.

From one intersection, a burly guy wearing a pair of shorts and a heavy hooded raincoat, most likely from one of the police vehicles, wades up to my car in knee-deep water and asks, "If I help you out, will you be able to come out?"

"No way will I open the door," the feisty me protests. "I already have ankle-deep water inside."

"Through the sunroof then?" he asks.

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"No, it's still raining," the petite me says. "Why don't you get a vehicle to pull my car from behind?"

"No, we can't do that," he says. "Can you start the car?"

"Yes, probably," I say. "Yes, then maybe I can drive it in reverse and get back to the closer intersection."

This was actually my first thought when I got stuck, but at that time I had neither enough courage nor desperation.

Now, I push the start button, put the gear in reverse, and carefully steer my car-boat out of the river. Police leave. I feel like a freed bird. I must call the precinct to thank them.

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Too late for the gym. Moreover, all that water sloshing about in the car needs to be drained first.

At 8 a.m., I take the car to dealer for a previously scheduled checkup. He tells me there's water in the engine compartment. Thank God I got out of the flood. I love adventure, but I'm not sure it'll be worth the bill to repair the engine.

Reader Rohini B. Ramanathan, a consultant, writer and musician, lives in Oceanside.