Camera goes underwater, then viral as Hurricane Ian floods Fort Myers Beach: 'RIP Cam 9'

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Video of rising water at Fort Myers Beach was caught on a storm chaser's livestream as Hurricane Ian neared landfall Wednesday.

Streaming with multiple cameras set up from Port Charlotte to Punta Gorda to Sanibel Island, Kory Hartman narrated developments to an audiences of tens of thousands on his YouTube channel, Severe Studios, as the storm approached.

"SG 9 at Fort Myers Beach is still going even with waters pounding it, with debris hitting it," Hartman said during the stream.

Thursday morning, Ian was on track to weaken to a tropical storm after flooding homes, uprooting trees and leaving more than 2.5 million homes and businesses across Florida without power.

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'Oh my goodness, 9 is almost completely underwater'

While certain cameras were taking offline because of the rough conditions, the camera set up about 6 feet high at Fort Myers Beach caught the attention of those watching as high waters showed the camera nearly underwater.

"Oh my goodness, 9 is almost completely underwater," Hartman said. "I think we have gone almost completely underwater. Oh yeah, we're only going to get glimpses now on 9."

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Live commenters reacted once the camera went offline, with comments from the audience like "RIP Cam 9. Thank you for your service" and "Cam 9 went 6 rounds with a heavyweight. Much respect."

A video clip of the the rising waters caught by the camera was picked up by The Weather Channel to show the impact of Ian on the coast. A clip tweeted by meteorologist Micheal Bettes had more than 5 million views within six hours of its posting.

You can watch a replay of Hartman's stream here.

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Hurricane Ian camera in Florida falls underwater in viral livestream