This 50-year-old New Yorker is being hailed as a “highway hero” after she took it upon herself to clear a flooded expressway with nothing but a traffic cone.
Daphne Youree had just picked her cat up from the veterinarian’s office last week when she started driving down the Long Island Expressway.
To her shock, she found that the highway had been flooded due to a recent storm. When she and her fellow motorists realized that there was no way for them to drive through the floodwaters, they all parked their cars and watched in helplessness.
“When I got out I saw a bunch of guys standing around talking about how someone needs to go do something,” Youree told The Gothamist. “Someone suggested we see how deep it was. But no one wanted to do it. So I volunteered.”
So without any further ado, Youree marched into the muddy floodwaters in her Crocs and found that the expressway drains had been clogged with dirt and sticks from the flooding. She then grabbed a traffic cone and began clearing the dirt from the drains.
“It didn’t really smell bad, just rain water with pieces of wood and dirt in it—that was what was clogging the drain,” said Youree. “So when I unclogged it, it cleared pretty quickly. At deepest it went above my knees.”
Guess what. I cleared it ! pic.twitter.com/DpHagvg5c9— Daphne Youree (@DaphneYouree) July 23, 2019
After Youree managed to successfully clear the highway, she responded to a tweet from the Emergency Management Department announcing that she had cleared the floodwaters.
In addition to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson thanking her for being a “great New Yorker,” Twitter users have begun rallying for Youree to be elected as the new mayor of New York—but the photographer says that she was simply happy to do her civic duty as a city-dweller.
Thanks Daphne for being a Good Samaritan and great New Yorker! https://t.co/v3X7lbvlSI— Corey Johnson (@CoreyinNYC) July 23, 2019
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