You Can Watch Hurricane Ian Live on Social Media

Livestreams are showing the damage on the Gulf Coast

Naples, FL, Vanderbilt Beach, waves and spray after Hurricane Harvey
Naples, FL, Vanderbilt Beach, waves and spray after Hurricane Harvey
Westend61 via Getty

As Hurricane Ian makes landfall on the Gulf coast of Florida, residents are showing the full scope of the disaster on social media.

Videos from the region show houses floating off of their foundations, streets flooded and cars fully underwater, with some cameras showing first-person views of storm surges. One video shows a man going into flood water to rescue a cat perched on a fence.

Other social media users are creating livestreams of the hurricane to showcase the damage. NBC News found TikTok streams showing beaches and backyards getting pummeled by rain and wind. One user noted that the livestream shows “an accurate portrayal” of what it’s like to be in the path of a hurricane. 

This isn’t the first time that social media has been used as a breaking news source, with everything from videos of the Russian invasion of Ukraine to photos from the current protests in Iran being found and spread on apps like TikTok and Twitter.

With the climate crisis reaching a point of no return, superstorms are increasingly becoming the norm and more people will be at risk. And with ubiquitous access to cameras, and citizen journalism becoming a new normal, this means an influx of images from the frontlines of the climate crisis courtesy of social media users — and even neighbors — just like us.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.