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Orlando reporter reunites with woman he saved from floodwaters


That’s the video that’s being shared around the world – the heroic rescue of a woman trapped in waist-high flood waters in Downtown Orlando. WESH 2 News reporter Tony Atkins performed a brave act as he waded through the water and performed a daring rescue. On Friday, he had to meet the woman he carried on his back to safety, Tonya McCullough. “Thanks,” she said. “I didn’t get a chance to say thank you in all the madness, I appreciate you.” It’s an emotional reunion of two strangers brought together in a time of need during hurricanes. Ian.McCullough is a nurse. She was on her way to work during the overnight hours when Ian rained relentlessly in Central Florida. “It’s dark and rainy and overcast, and you don’t know how deep it is,” she said. “I realized I couldn’t drive through this place and I tried to reverse the car, water was filling up inside the car.” Atkins, along with photojournalist Jerry Clearman, watched the storm for hours and knew conditions on Orlando Avenue. “I was there all morning, so I thought it was safe. I didn’t see power lines, I didn’t see animals, I didn’t see anyone else, and that’s why I was there. jump in it.” McCullough knew she had to lower the window as the water continued to rise. Atkins was there every step of the way. Atkins said: “I climbed out the window – didn’t realize I could climb out. windows. so fast,” said McCullough. “You climbed out, but I was confused when you gave me the wallet,” Atkins laughs. “And I was like, ‘surely I’ll get the wallet.'” “He’s there for me – he’s my knight in shining armor – he’s there to rescue me,” McCullough said. She has a beautiful family consisting of two sons, a daughter and two grandchildren, all waiting for her return home. that she will feel better,” one grandchild told WESH 2. There were even cards that appreciated Tony. Atkins said, showing off his card.Onya’s son, Stephon, is in the air force. “We’re actually talking to my commander about getting the medal to say thank you,” he said. “Keep doing what you do,” McCullough told Atkins. “Show the love you’re having, keep being helpful because you never know when someone like me will need it and appreciate it – I’m so grateful.”

That video is being shared around the world – the heroic rescue of a woman trapped in waist-high flood waters in Downtown Orlando.

WESH 2 News reporter Tony Atkins bravely waded through the water and made a daring rescue. On Friday, he had to meet the woman he carried on his back to safety, Tonya McCullough.

“Thanks,” she said. “I didn’t get a chance to say thank you in all the madness, I appreciate you.”

It’s an emotional reunion of two strangers brought together during the rough times of Hurricane Ian.

McCullough is a nurse. She was on her way to work during the overnight hours when Ian caused unrelenting rain in Central Florida.

“It’s dark and rainy and overcast, and you don’t know how deep it is,” she said. “I realized I couldn’t drive through this place and I tried to back up, water was getting inside the car.”

Atkins, along with photojournalist Jerry Clearman, watched the storm for hours and knew conditions along Orlando Avenue.

“I was there all morning, so I thought it was safe. I didn’t see power lines, I didn’t see animals, I didn’t see anyone else, and that’s why I jumped in. there. “

McCullough knew she had to lower the window as the water continued to rise. Atkins was there every step of the way.

“I climbed out the window – didn’t realize I could climb out the window,” she said.

“She walked out the window so quickly, it was like seamless,” Atkins said.

“I didn’t know I could get out so quickly,” McCullough said.

“You climbed out, but I was confused when you gave me the wallet,” Atkins laughs. “And I was like, ‘surely I’ll take the wallet.'”

“He’s there for me – he’s my knight in shining armor – he’s there to rescue me,” McCullough said.

She has a beautiful family consisting of two sons, a daughter and two grandchildren, all waiting for her return home.

“I was very upset, and I made her a card to make sure she would feel better,” one grandchild told WESH 2.

There are even cards that appreciate Tony.

“I love you, Mr. Tony”—I have to put this on my desk,” said Atkins, showing off his card.

Tonya’s son is Stephon in the Air Force and FaceTimed family.

“We’re actually talking to my commander about getting the medal to say thank you,” he said.

“Keep doing what you do,” McCullough told Atkins. “Show the love you are having, keep being helpful because you never know when someone like me will need it and appreciate it – I’m so grateful.”

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