An Orlando, Florida, news reporter helped save a woman whose car got stuck in floodwaters caused by Hurricane Ian.
The woman was a nurse on her way to work early Thursday morning when her vehicle became trapped in the rising waters on Orange Avenue in Downton Orlando.
Tony Atkins was working nearby for NBC-affiliate WESH 2 when a colleague noticed the woman’s vehicle trying to plow through the flooded street. The reporter then saw the driver — whose car was now at a standstill — waving her hands out the window and pleading for help.
“I looked around for a number of things … alligators and things like that. Also downed power lines. But most importantly, I looked for law enforcement that could help rescue that woman, but no one was there. It was so dark. She did ask for help, and I just didn’t know her status,” Atkins recalled during a segment.
Atkins began trudging through the water to help get the woman out of the vehicle. Once she was out, he piggybacked her to safety.
The camera crew working with Atkins captured the entire rescue on video.
— KTNV 13 Action News (@KTNV) September 29, 2022
The woman explained to Atkins that she is a nurse and was in a hurry to get to work on time.
Later in the day, the woman’s daughter got in touch with Atkins to thank him and let him know her mother made it safely to work on time.
Our woman from early this morning made it to work. Her job as a nurse hung in the balance, according to her daughter. I got this message from her daughter today! So glad things worked out. #NoCarNoProblem pic.twitter.com/8yBHaGY8jI
— Tony Atkins (@TonyAtkinsTV) September 29, 2022
“So glad things worked out,” tweeted Atkins while sharing images of the daughter’s direct message and a Facebook post appreciating the reporter’s actions.
“I have so many emotions right now but the main one is gratefulness,” the nurse’s daughter wrote. “Grateful to God, Grateful the news was right there, Grateful she was able to get out that window, Grateful for Tony Atkins.”
Officials in Florida have advised residents not to attempt driving through floodwaters as it is extremely dangerous.
As #HurricaneIan passes, do not rush to come home—we have crews working to clear the roads and restore power. Avoid downed power lines, flood water, downed trees, and do not drive in standing water.
Follow @FLSERT for up-to-date information.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 29, 2022
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.