NBC star Al Roker is filmed getting drenched by waves while reporting on Hurricane Ida


Windswept Al Roker was pummeled by angry waves alongside Lake Pontchartain as he and the TODAY team reported live from New Orleans just hours before record-setting Hurricane Ida made landfall this afternoon. 

The footage of the 67-year-old meteorologist laid bare the immense force of the Category 4 hurricane that careened from Cuba up into the Gulf of Mexico on Friday and led tens of thousands to evacuate their homes. 

The power of the storm’s 150mph winds, which made landfall around midday local time Sunday, were apparent as Roker’s rain jacket and pants fluttered around him and roiling waves crashed down onto his head. 

Behind-the-scenes footage of weather conditions that Roker shared to Instagram early Sunday morning painted an even clearer picture of the storm’s ramping severity.

‘We just got word that this will most likely be one of the top five strongest landfalls ever,’ shouted weatherman Al Roker in a broadcast aired from New Orleans around 7 am EST this morning.

Roker was barely visible as one huge wave crashed over him - but he later assured viewers that he'd done nothing to compromise his personal safety

Roker was barely visible as one huge wave crashed over him – but he later assured viewers that he’d done nothing to compromise his personal safety 

‘We just got word that this will most likely be one of the top five strongest landfalls ever,’ shouted Roker in a broadcast aired before 7 am EST this morning. 

‘It is a beast and just getting stronger,’ he said.

He said that Ida was ‘already tied’ with 2020’s Hurricane Laura, which is the current strongest hurricane on-record to make landfall in the state of Louisiana and was ‘blowing [Hurricane] Velma out of the water.’ Today’s storm made landfall just before 2 pm near Port Fourchon, Louisiana. 

Roker said this morning that the storm had sped up by 65MPH within 24 hours, and that the weather system’s 150mph winds were moving toward the coast at a speed of 15mph.

Over 20 inches of rain could fall onto ‘already saturated ground’ before the storm blows over –  the weatherman predicted widespread power outages, possibly impassable roads and ‘significant damage.’

‘This is going to be a devastating storm for this evening,’ he said. 

He described the Hurricane’s eye wall, the most damaging portion of a hurricane just outside its center, as ‘basically a 15 mile wide F3 tornado’ in another segment shot that day, in which waves are even stronger.  

Instagram footage shot from behind Roker’s film crew shows the newscaster being struck by waves as plastic protecting the crews’ camera, lights and equipment flaps loud and fast in the storms’ winds. 

‘It’s a wild morning here in #neworleans along #lakepontchartrain as we await #ida which will most likely be a #top5 strongest land falling US #hurricane,’ he captioned the post. 

TODAY co-anchor Hoda Kotb posted a photo on her Instagram that appears to have been taken around the same time as Roker’s video, showing him in knee-deep water with a dark sky behind him. 

TODAY co-anchor Hoda Kotb posted a photo on her Instagram that appears to have been taken around the same time as Roker's video, showing him in knee-deep water with a dark sky behind him.

TODAY co-anchor Hoda Kotb posted a photo on her Instagram that appears to have been taken around the same time as Roker’s video, showing him in knee-deep water with a dark sky behind him.

‘Be safe buddy xoxo,’ she wrote. 

Instagram users were quick to express concern over the beloved weatherman’s safety, prompting him to post another Instagram video from his hotel room. He films his feet as he strips off thick rubber boots in a bathtub and water pours out. 

Instagram users were quick to express concern over the beloved weatherman's safety, prompting him to post another Instagram video from his hotel room. He films his feet as he strips off thick rubber boots in a bathtub and water pours out.

Instagram users were quick to express concern over the beloved weatherman’s safety, prompting him to post another Instagram video from his hotel room. He films his feet as he strips off thick rubber boots in a bathtub and water pours out.

Roker also shared these graphics showing just how severe Storm Ida would get

Roker also shared these graphics showing just how severe Storm Ida would get 

 ‘Just got back from Hurricane Ida with heavy boots on and I brought back a little bit of Lake Ponchartrain with me,’ he can be heard saying.

‘For all those who were worried about me out on #lakepontchartrain, a) I volunteered to do this. Part of the job. b) My crew and I were safe and we are back at our hotel and c) for those who think I’m too old to to be doing this, try and keep up,’ he captioned the video. 

 If Hurricane Ida reaches wind speeds over 157MPH, its designation will be upgraded to a Category 5 – only four storms have ever reached this level of severity in the last century, according to NBC News

 On Monday, the storm is expected to grind inland over Louisiana and Mississippi and weaken rapidly upon hitting land. Tornadoes are possible between Sunday and Monday from southeast Louisiana to the western Florida panhandle.



Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button