Weather reporter gets hit by flying tree branch while covering Hurricane Ian
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Featured Image Credit: @gifsports/Twitter/The Weather Channel.
Weather reporter Jim Cantore found himself on the brutal end of Hurricane Ian’s destruction when he got hit by a flying tree branch in the middle of his live broadcast.
The devastating impacts of Category Four Hurricane Ian on Fort Myers, Florida are being broadcast to the world as clips get shared to social media.
The storm has been named the fifth-largest to hit the mainland United States in recorded history, with winds of up to 155mph (250km/h).
Meteorologist Jim Cantore was at ground zero to document the arrival of the storm, in an equal parts brave and ridiculous assignment.
Footage has gone viral online of the reporter struggling to maintain his footing in the middle of the street with gusts of up to 110mph (177km/h) at the time of the report, according to Deadline.
It’s incredibly jarring footage that shows just how chaotic Hurricane Ian really is on the ground.
At one point during the footage, a tree branch comes flying down the street and catches Cantore, making him lose his footing.
The reporter thankfully decides to come off the streets at that moment - but not without its difficulties.
He attempts to hold onto a street sign as he exclaims: “I just can’t keep my footing.”
The struggle is further evidenced by another street sign blown down and out of the ground laying behind him.
In a later clip posted by The Weather Channel, it appears Cantore and his team have taken refuge on a building balcony.
We're officially in the thick of things.— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) September 28, 2022
Our coverage of #Ian continues on The Weather Channel. @mikeseidel gives an update from Fort Myers, Florida: pic.twitter.com/8PKjGLBKZz
He says: “We have come up here for safety from the surge…and where we were earlier, it looks like there’s three or four feet of water. Waves crashing over the area from earlier this morning.”
He continues: “This is one of the worst hurricanes I have ever been in. It may be the worst in terms of covering over 25 years and 90 storms.
“It looks like a North Atlantic Ocean storm here in Fort Myers.
“The ocean, the river and the gulf has taken over everything.”
People online were astonished that Cantore had even decided to get out there in the thick of things.
One wrote: “I don’t know man, maybe get the hell out of there.”
Another said: “I don’t know what Jim Cantore is getting paid, but it’s not enough.”
A third added: “Hurricane doesn’t start until we see Jim Cantore holding a street sign for dear life.”
Jim Cantore be like…#Ian #HurricaneIan pic.twitter.com/tYhf0XbVGK— BroadStBoss (@BroadStBoss) September 28, 2022
imagine being friends w/ Jim Cantore irl and being like “hey Jim, wanna come over for a cookout this weekend?” and he’s like “nah I can’t, I got this thing…”— brandon wenerd (@brandonwenerd) September 28, 2022
The thing: https://t.co/s19GVvAJoS
Many videos circulating on social media show debris and vehicles being dragged along by the strong current that has entered local neighbourhoods near the beach.
Some footage even shows the storm surge to be strong enough to have wiped a house out and be carrying it downstream.
Millions are expected to be impacted by the storm, which has already caused deadly flooding and power outages in Cuba, the BBC reports.