(PUNTA GORDA, FLA) — Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday afternoon near Fort Myers as a menacing Cat 4, and is the fifth-largest storm in recorded history to brace the U.S.
Storm chaser, meteorologist, and adrenaline junkie Jim Cantore was on the streets of Punta Gorda, battling gusts of 110 mph, and reporting live to the Weather Channel
Cantore was knocked to his feet when a tree branch hit his legs. The strengthening wind gusts prompted the meteorologist to hold onto a street sign.
Jim Cantore literally hit by a flying tree branch during a live report. Please get this man off the street. pic.twitter.com/D6UOizGArc
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) September 28, 2022
Cantore then sought refuge on an elevated surface: ”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.”
“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,” he says.
*RARE* first person view of storm surge. This camera is 6 feet off the ground on Estero Blvd in Fort Myers Beach, FL. Not sure how much longer it keeps working. You’ll see it live only on @weatherchannel #Ian pic.twitter.com/WwHtvgVxjY
— Mike Bettes (@mikebettes) September 28, 2022
Hurricane Ian has winded down to a Category 1, after slamming into southwestern Florida with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph and a deadly 12-16-foot storm surge.
Various residents documented the devastating aftermath left by the Hurricane, showing submerged property and catastrophic flooding.
— Mike Seidel (@mikeseidel) September 28, 2022