David Muir and Lester Holt will both lead on-the-ground coverage in Florida this week, one of the earliest signals that the nation’s TV-news outlets are preparing for another severe cycle just days after trying to chronicle the havoc wreaked on Texas by Hurricane Harvey (above, pictured).
Hurricane Irma is one of the strongest storms ever recorded. The Category 5 hurricane has been steadily swirling over islands in the Caribbean and moving toward Puerto Rico and Florida. President Trump has already declared a state of emergency in Florida, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. At present, Irma is expected to reach Florida on Sunday, with severe flooding anticipated.
The coverage can bring new attention to some of the TV journalists attempting to bring details of the weather to viewers. CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell gained some notice for her recent work on the ground in Texas covering Harvey’s aftermath, as did CNN’s Drew Griffin. He helped a man stuck in a truck floating away in floodwaters as the cameras continued to transmit after he abandoned his efforts to do a traditional “hit” for the Time Warner-owned news service. Fox Business Network’s Jeff Flock experienced an emotional on-camera moment when he spotted his daughter Elizabeth, a PBS journalist, riding by on a military truck, enmeshed in her own assignment.
ABC News said Muir would lead the network’s news coverage starting later this week, with “Good Morning America” news anchor Amy Robach, senior meteorologist Rob Marciano,chief national correspondent Tom Llamas and correspondents Gio Benitez and Alex Perez also holding forth from Florida. Ginger Zee, ABC News’ chief meteorologist, will contribute from New York. ABC News will also have operatives in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
NBC News said Holt was expected to reach Florida Thursday, reporting for both “Today” and “NBC Nightly News.” Meteorologist Dylan Dreyer will join “Today” live tomorrow morning from the ground to report on the hurricane’s latest path. Meteorologist Bill Karins and weather anchor Dave Price will forecast the latest on Hurricane Irma for NBC News broadcasts and MSNBC programs in-studio. NBC News and MSNBC have correspondents including Morgan Radford, Gabe Gutierrez and Rehema Ellis in place in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
Others are also preparing for a news onslaught. Fox News Channel said it has dispatched a dozen reporters and correspondents to Miami, Tampa and other locations in southeastern Florida in order to present live coverage of the severe weather event. Lauren Blanchard, Peter Doocy, Matt Finn and Steve Harrigan are among the correspondents who will cover the storm. The 21st Century Fox-owned outlet expects its programming to be live throughout the week, and will feature meteorologists Janice Dean, Adam Klotz and Rick Reichmuth contributing to reports from New York City.
CBS News said Jeff Glor would be on the ground in Miami and would co-anchor “CBS Evening News” and “CBS This Morning” on Thursday evening and Friday morning. Correspondents including David Begnaud, Don Dahler, Tony Dokoupil, Meg Oliver, Elaine Quijano, and and Kris Van Cleave are expected to provide on-the-ground reporting from Puerto Rico, Florida and other coastal states in Hurricane Irma’s path.
CNN said it had correspondents on the ground in Miami, Orlando, San Juan, Cuba and Haiti.