Covering Hurricane Irma: journalists go to extremes to report storm

Chloe Watson
Weather reporters jump to illustrate the force of the winds caused by Hurricane Irma as it arrives in Miami. Photograph: Marcus Yam/LA Times via Getty Images

Evacuate or stay indoors was the general advice given to Florida’s residents ahead of Hurricane Irma. Many packed up their cars or sought refuge at home but, there was one particular group of people who remained.

It seems it is a rite of passage for every TV journalist and meteorologist to venture out into the elements during the midst of a wild storm. Live broadcasts are often met with wind-swept hair, drenched parkas and soaked microphones, as journalists attempt to maintain composure and report to camera.

Dramatic footage posted on Twitter on Monday shows CNN’s Chris Cuomo braving torrential rain and howling winds in his coverage of Hurricane Irma from Naples, Florida.

His experience is not unique. We are all too familiar with a live cross to a soggy journalist reporting against the backdrop of a ferocious storm. Hurricane Irma was no exception, with many videos emerging on social media of meteorologists and reporters a like, battling the unthinkable.

The most infamous was Mike Seidel, a meteorologist for the Weather Channel, who got a little too close to the action during his coverage on Saturday afternoon.

Social media has reacted to much of the wild reporting emerging from Hurricane Irma, with many describing coverage tactics as “unnecessary” and “life-threatening”.