Jim Cantore; Weather Channel Reporter Hit by Tree Branch During Live Hurricane Ian Broadcast: ‘Going too Extreme’

Jim Cantore; Weather Channel Reporter Hit by Tree Branch During Live Hurricane Ian Broadcast: ‘Going too Extreme’

A veteran storm reporter got a first-hand look at how powerful Hurricane Ian was after it made landfall in Florida.

On Wednesday, The Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore was on the ground in Punta Gorda, reporting live amid 110 mph winds, according to footage of the broadcast.

“Yeah, this is extreme,” Cantore said at one point while standing in the street. A short while later, he could be heard letting out a grunt as he fell to the ground after being struck by a flying tree branch.

Afterwards, Cantore picked himself up and began making his way out of the street.

“Alright, you know what, I think I’m just going to come in here a second,” Cantore remarked, before grabbing onto a street sign to brace himself. “Just give me a second.”

Cantore reassured his team that he was fine but said it was incredibly difficult to “stand up” due to the hurricane gusts.

After finally making it back, Cantore remarked, “I’m just, I’m going to let you guys look at the pictures, OK? And I’m going to stand behind this wall a little bit.”

“That was definitely our strongest gust,” he added from behind the camera. “That one took my wind.” A number of social media users voiced concern for Cantore’s safety.

“Please get this man off the street,” wrote one, while another remarked, “IDK what Jim Cantore is getting paid, but it’s not enough.”

Others pointed out that Cantore — whose Twitter bio reads “always awaiting mother natures latest temper tantrum” — has been reporting on the ground during storms for years.

“Hurricane doesn’t start until we see Jim Cantore holding a street sign for dear life,” wrote one social media user.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a Thursday press conference that the state is dealing with a “500-year flooding event.”

“We’ve never seen storm surge of this magnitude,” added DeSantis. “The amount of water that’s been rising, and will likely continue to rise today even as the storm is passing.”

DeSantis spoke with President Joe Biden Thursday after a major disaster declaration was made overnight for Florida, according to the White House.

Biden later appeared at FEMA headquarters and said Ian “could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida’s history.”

“The numbers we have are still unclear, but we’re hearing early reports of what may be substantial loss of life,” he said.

In an appearance on Good Morning America Thursday, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said he feared fatalities could be in the “hundreds,” though he added that those numbers were not confirmed.

Later on CNN, Sheriff Marceno said he didn’t know “exact numbers” given the “very preliminary” stages of recovery and rescue efforts in Lee County.

In response to Marceno’s earlier comments, DeSantis said during Thursday’s press conference: “I think you’ll have more clarity about that in the next day or so as they’re able to go to those locations and determine whether people need services or are able to be rescued.”