‘Today’ Host Hoda Kotb Tells Al Roker to ‘Be Safe Buddy’ as He Covers Hurricane Ida

by Courtney Blackann

As Hurricane Ida races for the coastline of Louisiana, most people are evacuating and moving outside the state. However, “Today’s” favorite weatherman Al Roker plans to hold fast on the scene. His fellow “Today” host Hoda Kotb shared her well-wishes for Roker as he prepares for the storm’s arrival.

In a picture posted to Instagram, Kotb captioned a photo of the weatherman standing in some turbulent water. He’s also wearing a heavy-duty rain jacket.

“Be safe buddy. xoxo.” Kotb captioned the photo.

While some commenters wondered why Roker had to stand in the water to report on the Category 4 hurricane, others just cautioned him to be smart.

“Omg please project this national treasure from being swept away!! #staysafemrroker,” one Instagram user commented.

Roker shared his own video in a social media post early Sunday.

“It’s a wild morning here in #neworleans along #lakepontchartrain as we await #ida which will most likely be a #top5 strongest landfalling US #hurricane,” Al Roker posted on Instagram.

However, the 67-year-old Roker is a seasoned weatherman with lots of experience covering tropical storms and hurricanes. He will be there to break news and give regular updates to the nation. We agree with Kotb’s sentiment: Stay safe down there!

Ida’s Storm Surge a Major Threat

While Louisiana is not new to devastating hurricanes, the ever-strengthening Ida moves quickly and will produce storm surges that officials are calling “unsurvivable”.

With winds in excess of 130 miles per hour and the storm expanding miles beyond New Orleans, government and weather officials are begging residents to “leave now”.

“You have time to get out,” Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Sheng tells residents today as part of a news conference. “Especially in those areas where there is a mandatory evacuation. We need you to leave immediately.”

Most residents are taking the warning seriously. Highways extending for miles and miles out of New Orleans are backed up. But, as officials feared, some residents are refusing to go – increasing risk to their lives. Flash flooding will once again be a major concern as well as the storm surge which will overtake roadways and streets.

It was on Aug. 29, 2005 – sixteen years to the day- that New Orleans was struck by Hurricane Katrina. The ensuing damage and loss are still unforgotten. In many ways, Hurricane Ida is mimicking Katrina. And its path is just as destructive.

Residents are encouraged to heed the warnings of city and government officials and leave while there’s still time.