Eye of the storm: Reporter Josh Einiger reflects on covering hurricanes Irma, Harvey

Josh Einiger Image
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Intense wind as Irma approaches Naples
Eyewitness News reporter Josh Einiger was live as the eyewall passed over Naples, Florida.

I've been on the road 11 of the past 16 days, covering Hurricane Harvey's devastating impact in Texas and Hurricane Irma's fury across Florida.

The Gulf Coast may have escaped the ravages of a storm surge, but they will still have weeks or even months of power outages, just as it'll take a long time for Houstonians to get back to normal.

But at every turn, I've been struck by people's resilience in the face of hardship. Floridians today are picking themselves up, lending one another chainsaws to hack up trees and power chargers to juice their phones. In Texas, we watched strangers help their neighbors clear out waterlogged houses, and form a human chain to get a woman in labor to the hospital.

It's a privilege to be able to do this job, to be able to see a goodness in people that so rarely is on display in a country so fractured, so divided.

As photographer Mike Thorne and I head home from Florida, we thank the viewers who've had such concern for our safety.

Eyewitness News reporter Josh Einger and his photographer Mike Thorne.

We were in a perfect spot for Irma in a sturdy building with a balcony facing south. We could step right up to the balcony railing, reach out and touch the hurricane, and not even get wet! We were there so you didn't have to be, and we got amazing images of the inner eye wall. The whole experience was breathtaking.

Josh Einiger reports as Hurricane Irma made landfall in Naples:

Thanks to our partners at ABC News for giving us power and gas when our devices started to fail, and to our new friends at the DoubleTree Grand Hotel in Miami and the Inn on Fifth in Naples, dedicated workers who left their own homes behind (with no idea if they were even still standing) to serve and protect their guests.

See you back in New York!

Josh Einiger's final Facebook live from Florida before returning to NYC: