FORT MYERS, Fla. — Video of rising water at Fort Myers Beach was caught on a storm chaser’s live stream as Hurricane Ian neared landfall on Wednesday.
Streaming with multiple cameras set up from Port Charlotte to Punta Gorda to Sanibel Island, Kory Hartman narrated the latest developments to an audiences of tens of thousands of live watchers as the stormed approached on his YouTube channel, Severe Studios.
“SG 9 at Fort Myers Beach is still going even with waters pounding it, with debris hitting it,” Hartman said during the stream.
Thursday morning, Ian was on track to weaken to a tropical storm after flooding homes, uprooting trees and leaving more than 2.5 million homes and businesses across Florida without power.
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‘Oh my goodness, nine is almost completely underwater’
While certain cameras were taking offline due to the rough conditions, the camera set up about 6-feet high at Fort Myers Beach caught the attention of those watching, as high waters showed the camera nearly completely underwater.
“Oh my goodness, nine is almost completely underwater,” Hartman said. “I think we have gone almost completely underwater. Oh yeah, we’re only going to get glimpses now on nine.”
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Live commenters reacted once the camera went offline, with comments like “RIP Cam 9. Thank you for your service” and “Cam 9 went 6 rounds with a heavyweight. Much respect” from his audience.
A video clip of the the rising waters caught by the camera was picked up by The Weather Channel to show the impact of Ian on the coast. A clip tweeted by meteorologist Micheal Bettes had more than 5 million views within six hours of its posting.