ORLANDO, Fla. – Chief Meteorologist Tom Sorrells flew over parts of Central Florida to survey the damage and flooding caused by Ian.
Sorrells spent hours on air Wednesday and Thursday tracking the progress of Ian as the monster storm tore across the state, but seeing its path of destruction was a different experience for the veteran broadcaster.
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“It’s one thing to see it on radar and watch it on satellite and another for a meteorologist like myself to come out and see what we are forecasting as a verified result,” Sorrells said. “It’s depressing, scary and enlightening and almost overwhelming to be out here where all the reporters go all the time, seeing it firsthand. We wanted to give the folks at home a view of what catastrophic looks like and there it is.”
Sorrells said that viewing the damage likely won’t change his perspective on forecasting; however, he feels as though he better understands the message he needs to share with viewers.
“I think seeing this is not going to make me a better forecaster, but a better communicator of the harsh reality of boots-on-the-ground—what it looks like and what you’re going to have to go through.”
The meteorologist noted that the damage he is seeing puts his own hardships from the storm into perspective.
“I was crying the blues all day yesterday to anybody that would listen being like, ‘Well, you guys have power, I don’t have power.’ Well, compared to having water in my yard, coming into my front door, (not) having power is a breeze,” Sorrells said.
On a positive note, Sorrells believes the weather will cooperate in allowing the high waters to recede without bringing any additional rain to Central Florida.
“This dry air today is going to help and maybe the next will do God’s work faster and get this stuff out of here,” he said.
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