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FOX Weather reporter caught in strong flood water dodges palm tree debris

FOX Weather correspondent Robert Ray narrowly avoided a palm tree branch as he attempted to stand upright in strong floodwater from Hurricane Idalia.

During a report on Hurricane Idalia, FOX Weather correspondent Robert Ray was nearly struck by a piece of palm tree while facing strong winds and pummeling rain.

On Wednesday morning, Ray was reporting from Clearwater, Florida, where he stood in knee-high surge water that violently swept through the street.

In the heart of an intense rain band, Ray attempted to stand upright and hold onto his microphone. Moments later, a large chunk of palm branch broke off a nearby tree and quickly flew past the reporter's head.

"It came on quick and thankfully, you guys notified me. Our meteorology team in New York sent me a ping on the phone that said, 'hey, get ready, you got a heck of a band coming through," Ray said after the incident.

HURRICANE IDALIA MAKES HISTORIC LANDFALL IN FLORIDA

He also thanked his two "incredible" FOX News channel reporters who held the lights and cameras down as the water and debris from Idalia whipped across the road.

"We did see a large garbage dumpster float in the distance. This all happened just before the sun rose," Ray said.

While no structural debris impacted the dangerous filming location, Ray said he could "taste" the sea and elements as water repeatedly splashed up into his eyes and mouth.

FLORIDA HURRICANE IDALIA TRACKER: LIVE FUTURE PATH, WATCHES, WARNINGS, SPAGHETTI MODELS AND MORE

"We're glad that's over and I'm sure everybody that lives here feels the same way," he added.

Hurricane Idalia made landfall over Florida's Gulf Coast as a "catastrophic" Category 3 storm Wednesday at 7:45 a.m., leaving hundreds of thousands of residents without power, officials said. It has since been downgraded to a Category 1 storm.

Idalia produced storm surges that reached several feet in some areas and brought damaging winds that howled up to 130 miles per hour at one point, according to the National Hurricane Center. It also caused flooding that completely encompassed Floridian roadways when it passed the Apalachee Bay and landed over Florida's Big Bend region, where the peninsula merges into the Panhandle.

HURRICANE IDALIA EVACUATIONS IN FLORIDA: THE DANGERS, STORM SAFETY TIPS AND EMERGENCY SUPPLY PACKING

It is directly affecting Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Dowling Park, Lake City, Cedar Key, Chiefland, Newberry, Cross City, Apalachicola, and Perry. Its impact will also be felt in Orlando, Spring Hill, Bradenton, Bartow, Ocala, Lake Placid, Tampa, Sarasota, and Fort Myers, and southern Georgia will also deal with the storm.

By 11 a.m. Wednesday, the storm was a Category 1, with sustained winds of 90 mph, and its impact was being felt in Georgia, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Authorities continue to urge caution as, despite the slight decline, the storm remains dangerous and potentially life-threatening.

For more Culture, Media, Education, Opinion, and channel coverage, visit foxnews.com/media

Fox News' Lawrence Richard contributed to this report. 

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