NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - New Yorkers caught in a jam from now on may ask themselves "what would Daphne do?"
During the deluge on Monday night, severe flooding shut down all lanes on the Long Island Expressway near 164th Street in Queens. With some cars stalling, other drivers pulled over.
That's when a video captures Brooklyn mother Daphne Youree wading into the deep lake that had formed. Youree saw the waters had gotten too deep for cars to safely pass, so she went to the side of the road and took an orange traffic cone.
The next part of the video has gone viral. It shows Youree, in her sandals in deep murky waters, hacking away at the debris that clogged the drain on the highway.
"It was way too deep and it was above my knees," Youree told FOX 5 NY. "I'm reasonably tall and I'm sure that's not good for a car."
To the disbelief of onlookers, the water level started going down. Eventually, two others joined her to clear the remainder of the three drains.
Youree's proactive determination got cars back on their way and averted what looked to be a massive traffic problem on an already nasty night.
Before this week, Youree was most known for her work as a photographer specializing in lifestyle portrait captures. But the wife and mother of two, who lives in Williamsburg, is equally proud of her volunteer work photographing foster children so that they have photos that follow them through their lives.
During Monday night's incident, Youree's 11-year-old son, who was in the car, shot the now-viral video. She wanted him to see a real-life example of the importance of problem solving and self-reliance. The lesson?
"To take charge and not be afraid to get involved," Youree said. "If someone needs help and there's something you can do within reason, to just do it and not worry about getting down and dirty."
Just to be safe, Daphne contacted her doctor the following day to make sure what happens on the LIE, stays on the LIE. So far, she is perfectly fine, she said.