A Weather Channel reporter was hit by a tree branch Wednesday while filming a live shot of Hurricane Ian as it slammed ashore in Florida.
On Thursday, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno told “Good Morning America” the storm’s death toll could be severe, according to the Fort Myers News-Press.
“So while I don’t have confirmed numbers, I definitely know fatalities are in the hundreds,” Marceno said. “There are thousands of people that are waiting to be rescued.”
“And again, I can’t give a true assessment until we’re actually on scene assessing each scene. And we can’t access, that’s the problem. We’re accessing the bridges, seeing what’s compromised and what’s not. And this will be a life-changing event for the men and women who are responding. They’re going to see things they’ve never seen before.”
The storm hurtled ashore Wednesday, with Weather Channel reporter Jim Cantore in the thick of it.
“Jim Cantore literally hit by a flying tree branch during a live report. Please get this man off the street,” journalist Scott Gustin tweeted.
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
A video posted on the Weather Channel indicated Cantore’s difficulties did not end there.
“The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore is having a rough time in the winds of Hurricane in Punta Gorda, Florida,” the video was captioned.
The video shows Cantore battling the wind, which obscures some of what he was saying.
After his right leg became entangled with the branch skidding along the street, he appeared to have come to a realization that discretion was the better part of valor.
“All right, you know what? I think I’m just going to come in here for a second,” he said.
But taking shelter was easier said than done. Cantore clutched a street sign.
“Just give me a second,” he said.
“Jim, are you all right?” a crew member asked.
“I’m all right. I’m fine. I’m fine. You just can’t stand up,” Cantore said.
“I’m gonna let you guys look at the pictures, OK?” he said as the video came to an end, indicating he would continue from a place where he could find shelter.
— Mike Seidel (@mikeseidel) September 28, 2022
A Twitter video posted by The Weather Channel showed a wind- and rain-whipped reporter identified as Mike Seidel reporting from what appeared to be the balcony of a building.
“We have come up here for safety from the surge,” he said.
“Look at the wind howling through here, and where we were earlier, it looks like there’s three or four feet of water. Waves crashing over the area from this morning.”
We’re officially in the thick of things.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) September 28, 2022
“Everything that’s not up 20 feet is under water right now,” he said.
“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,” he said.
“The ocean, the river and the gulf has taken over everything.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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