By Josh Mabry, Local News Partnerships
As Hurricane Irma hit Florida, local newsrooms across the state used Facebook to engage with audiences around the clock, especially as homes lost power and needed vital information on the storm’s movement. As the chief meteorologist for FOX 13 in Tampa Bay, Paul Dellegatto has seen several of the state’s worst hurricanes narrowly miss his city over the last decade. This time however, Hurricane Irma’s path went through the city, making it the biggest storm to hit Tampa in years.
Between September 7 and 15, Dellegatto relied on Facebook to keep his audience informed before, during and after the storm. Like so many meteorologists in Florida, his feed became an indispensable source of information. His follower count and engagement levels grew more than ever before as the city’s population turned to his live videos and posts to get the latest updates.