Recent IU grad covering Hurricane Ian in at Tampa Bay Times

Hurricane Ian Coverage
Hurricane Ian Coverage(WPTA)
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 5:30 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - A recent Indiana University grad is bracing for Hurricane Ian himself, but he’s a little more involved than others.

Matt Cohen is just two months into his first job out of college. He’s a breaking news reporter at The Tampa Bay Times. His first big assignment; Hurricane Ian.

“I’m from Washington D.C. initially so this is my first hurricane,” Cohen said. “I don’t think I anticipated covering this right off the bat after starting.”

Cohen says he interned at the paper last summer so he’s a little prepared for hurricane coverage, but this time is different. He says most of his job will be monitoring weather data and communicating with meteorologists, but he’s also been on the ground talking to people as they prepare for the big storm.

According to The National Weather Service, the Tampa Bay area hasn’t been hit with a significant hurricane since 1921. More than 100 years ago, the hurricane left the area until 11 feet of water. It was deadly.

“It’s been over a hundred years since Tampa has been hit, in the past we’ve been kind of close but it’s always just missed us,” he said. “So many people want to live in these water front places, we don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Cohen says so many people have moved to the area over the years, and they’ve built houses and building in the low lying ground. He says, not everyone is prepared for the impact.

“I am personally not in the flood zone but I’m walking distance. I’m hoping after this all passes I can go over,” he said. “We are hoping it’s nothing too significant though.”

He says, their team was supposed to be in a mobile newsroom near the airport but since it closed they’ll be working remote. Cohen says his apartment wasn’t in an area required to evacuate so he should be safe.

If you’d like to follow Cohen’s reporting, you can find his coverage on his twitter page or here.