Orlando reporter rescues nurse stuck in car during Hurricane Ian

An Orlando, Florida reporter helped rescue 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 got stuck in rising water on Orange Avenue in Downton Orlando.

Tony Atkins was working nearby for NBC affiliate WESH 2 when a co-worker noticed the woman’s vehicle trying to cross the flooded street. The reporter then saw the driver – whose car was now stationary – waving his hands out the window and pleading for help.

“I looked for a number of things…alligators and things like that. Power lines also downed. But most importantly, I searched for law enforcement that could help save this woman, but no one was there. It was so dark. She asked for help and I just didn’t know her status,” Atkins recalled during a segment.

Atkins began trudging through the water to help pull the woman out of the vehicle. Once out, he got her to safety.

The camera crew working with Atkins captured the entire rescue on video.


The woman told Atkins that she was a nurse and was in a hurry to get to work on time.

Later that day, the woman’s daughter contacted Atkins to thank him and let him know that her mother had arrived safely at work on time.

“So glad things worked out,” Atkins tweeted while sharing images of the girl’s direct message and a Facebook post appreciating the reporter’s actions.

“I have so many emotions right now, but the main one is gratitude,” the nurse’s daughter wrote. “Grateful to God, grateful that the news is here, grateful that it could have gone out the window, grateful for Tony Atkins.”

Florida officials have informed residents not to attempt to drive through flood waters as this is extremely dangerous.

You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.


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