Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle this week, putting everything and everyone in its path in danger — including the brave reporters who were on the ground.
During a live broadcast from the shores of Panama City Beach, Florida, The Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore, 54, narrowly avoided a flying 2×4 of wood being blown around by the Category 4 storm’s 155 mph winds.
At the time, Cantore was mid-sentence, saying “the wind is relentless.” He cut himself off though when he saw the potentially deadly object heading his way, running, instead, for safety.
Reps for the Weather Channel did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment as to how Cantore is doing now, but that wasn’t the only video clip getting the veteran reporter attention.
He also helped NBC’s Kerry Sanders, who was nearly blown into a concrete pillar.
“My long time friend @JimCantore just rescued me as #hurricanemicheal was too strong for my balance during a live report,” Sanders tweeted afterwards. “I’m inside and safe. Thanks Jim & @weatherchannel.”
“A batter helmet prevented a concussion. #hurricanemicheal2018 category 4 winds blew me into a concrete pillar,” Sanders added. “@JimCantore then rescued me from tumbling over. @NBCNews @weatherchannel Thank you my friend. You’ve taught me again, back-up support always needed.”
Florida residents in the Gulf Coast haven’t seen a hurricane of this strength in their lifetimes. According to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, tropical scientist at Colorado State University, the Gulf Coast has never recorded a Category 4-plus hurricane landfall in records dating back to 1851.
More than 486,000 were without power in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas in the wake of the storm’s landfall, according to CNN.
Of all the damage, Mexico Beach might have gotten hit the worst. The area, which is home to 1,200 people, appeared to be completely flattened in helicopter video posted by a storm chaser on WX Chasing. The footage showed debris of houses strewn across the ground, structures leveled or sunk into the water, boats dislodged, trees damaged and roads obstructed.
“Mexico Beach was wiped out,” FEMA administrator William “Brock” Long said, according to CNN — adding, “that’s probably ground zero.”
“You are going to see a lot of destruction when the rescue crews get into Mexico Beach,” added Sen. Bill Nelson, according to CNN. “That’s where you’re going to see the extreme, extreme devastation.”
At a press conference recorded by the Associated Press, Gov. Rick Scott said on Thursday that the Florida National Guard entered Mexico Beach on Wednesday night and “made contact with about 20 residents that thankfully were not injured or in distress.”
So far, at least 13 people have died from Hurricane Michael, The New York Times reported. Officials have warned that the death toll could rise amid search and rescue efforts as the storm continues on.