Fox reporter as Hurricane Ian makes landfall: ‘Dangerous as heck out here’
Fox Weather correspondent Robert Ray described the scene along Florida’s Gulf Coast as dire and dangerous when Hurricane Ian approached landfall on Wednesday.
“My goodness, what’s going to ensue in the next few days is going to be, likely to be historic. You just don’t see powerful systems like this make landfall often here in the United States,” Ray said during a livestream from Fort Myers. “To have it come in such a densely populated area … I just pray that people are okay and that they have hunkered down.”
Ray was interrupted by a large gust of wind which nearly knocked him down as he bent over to avoid being blown to the ground. During an earlier report for Fox Weather, the outlet’s streaming weather service, Ray was hit by a piece of debris during a gust of wind.
“These wind gusts are just tremendous, they take your breath away,” the hunched-down reporter said. “I gotta be honest with you, you have to stand like this to reinforce yourself, it’s just dangerous as heck out here.”
Ray is one of a number of correspondents that Fox, like other major television networks, has fanned out across the Sunshine State this week to cover the arrival of Ian and what is expected to be its devastating aftermath.
The storm, which approached Florida as a major Category 4 hurricane, is expected to bring winds of more than 100 miles per hour and feet of rain, with threats of flooding and power outages expected for millions across the state.
Each of the major cable news channels provided continuous live coverage of Hurricane Ian on Tuesday afternoon, with correspondents like Ray providing updates and images from the ground in real-time.
Fox said popular late-night show “Gutfeld!” would not air on Wednesday night so the network could continue to cover the hurricane live.
Fox News Media launched Fox Weather late last year. Industry experts say the audience for weather news is expected to grow in the coming years due to predicted climate- and weather-related events becoming more impactful.
On Wednesday, the streaming service announced it had expanded distribution on Verizon Fios and Amazon Freevee so viewers in the Northeast with family members in Florida could keep up with coverage of the hurricane.
Ray earned headlines earlier this month when he helped save a woman trapped in her car amidst flash flooding in Dallas.
“She literally, as I was standing here setting up for the shot, guys, pulled in and didn’t realize it,” Ray said. “The next thing you know, her car was floating. So, I went out there and tried to push her vehicle as best I could.”
Hurricane Ian dominated the news cycle Tuesday night into Wednesday, while the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol delayed a planned hearing due to the storm and the anticipated media coverage it would garner.