Watch: Storm chasers abandon truck at peak of hurricane as storm surge races ashore
MEXICO BEACH, Fla. -- Storm chasers Brett Adair and Stephen Johnson have to feel pretty lucky to have survived some harrowing moments as Hurricane Michael charged ashore Wednesday afternoon.
The two were on the road, covering the storm live on the internet when the eye wall roared ashore and wind speeds topped well over 100 mph. Their feed showed tons of debris swirling as torrential wind-driven rains howled through the air and power lines crashed down around them. It became more dire when water started covering the roads as the dangerous storm surge arrived.
Faced with rapidly dwindling options amid an increasingly perilous situation, the pair opted to park their truck between a house and a concrete wall, then abandon their truck as the waters kept rising around them. They could be heard on the stream saying they were going to attempt to find shelter in a nearby home.
But the now-empty truck kept on streaming its feed live to the world, and minutes later the feed showed water lapping over the hood of the truck...then moments later, waves were crashing over the top of the windshield. Through the brief periods of pause in the waves, you could see the truck was beginning to be picked up and carried around in the swirling waters. The feed eventually goes dead.
As hours passed and concern grew, Adair's wife posted on Facebook that she heard from her husband and chasing partner that they were OK in a nearby home, but stranded for the time being in a part of Florida cut off from the rest of the state by heavy damage.
Live Storms Media, which employs Adair, also sent out a statement that all their storm chasers survived the day and were safe.
Adair was lucky to find a home that survived the Category 4 storm. Other homes were not so lucky.
Michael was the strongest October hurricane to strike the U.S. As measured by central pressure (919 mb), according to Philip Klotzbach. Its rating of 155 mph winds was 2 mph short of being classified as a Category 5.