Local Hero Used Pool Noodle To Direct Traffic At Busy Sydney Intersection During Blackout
Armed with nothing but a pool noodle, Matt Roy has been dubbed a local hero for helping commuters avoid chaos at a tricky intersection during a blackout in Sydney's south on Monday.
The father of two had been driving home from work in the city when the storm hit, causing the power to go down and the traffic lights to go out.
After checking in on his family, Roy took to the streets wearing "the brightest shirt he could find" and wielding a pool noodle to direct the traffic.
"Even with the lights on, it's a pretty sketchy place and I thought the one thing I can do is to get the lights moving. As I was running out the door I saw a pool noodle and I thought, that'll do," Roy told 10 daily.
For two hours, Roy helped commuters pass through the six-lane intersection on Kingsway and Sylvania Road in Miranda until the police took over.
He estimates during the time he was out on the street, he helped moved up to 800 cars through the intersection.
"I'm not a certified traffic controller but I know that intersection well so I could work it out," Roy said.
"There were a few trees down on some of the roads so it was nice to help emergency services, ambulances and police get through," he said.
Roy said apart from a few unhappy commuters, he received a great deal of support from his community for helping out.
A grateful local passing by offered Roy a hi-vis vest, while another saw he'd been sweating in the heat and bought him a Gatorade and a couple of bottles of water.
The praise continued overnight, with Roy flooded with messages of thanks, while some took to social media calling on their neighbours to "buy this man a beer".
"I'm obviously no authority but most people were cheering me on saying 'thanks mate for helping us get through'," Roy said.
"It's nice to be recognised but I'd do it again without any praise," Roy said.
A clean-up is now underway after 14,000 home-owners lost power on Monday night after strong winds, lightning and hail struck Sydney's Sutherland Shire and northern beaches.
Fewer than 4,000 people were still without power on Tuesday, with NSW's State Emergency Service responding to more than 800 calls overnight.
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