A weather reporter in town to cover Hurricane Idalia strayed from his herd and has been found aimlessly wandering 7th Avenue in Ybor City.
“Even though the storm has pretty much passed, lots of places are still closed,” said Tampa Police Department (TPD) spokesperson Loretta Ailada. “So Ybor was almost deserted, which makes someone staggering around in the middle of the street unusually noticeable.”
TPD officers approached the man who was disoriented, hungry and frightened.
“He was pretty out of it,” said Ailada. “He just kept yelling, ‘The surge! It’s the surge! The surge! Mind the surge!’ over and over.”
“He didn’t even know his own name,” she added. “Might be Jim or Dan or Ted or Nick or something like that.”
It’s unknown what media outlet he’s with or how he ended up in Ybor.
“Our theory is that with all these weather correspondents in town that the usual spots like the Riverwalk here in Tampa, the pier in Clearwater and the Gulf beaches were all so overcrowded that he wandered off on his own to find fresh story angle feeding grounds and got lost,” she said. “His station-issued action team windbreaker and baseball cap had lost their logos in the high winds so we didn’t have a way to identify where he’s from to return him to his pack.”
She said Bob, Gary, Rick or maybe Doug is a white man in his late 30s or early 40s who is good looking but not handsome enough for an in-studio gig. TV stations who may have lost a meteorologist can claim him at the TPD headquarters on Franklin Street in downtown Tampa.
“But we can only hold him til next Tuesday,” said Ailada. “After that, I’m afraid we’ll have to have him put down.”