Al Roker has a simple message for people who think he’s too old to be out in the field reporting on Hurricane Ida: “Screw you.” The NBC weatherman’s well-being became a topic of concern on Twitter after he made his way down to New Orleans this weekend to report on the Category 4 storm tearing a similar path through Louisiana that Hurricane Katrina did 16 years ago.
Standing in the turbulent waters of Lake Pontchartrain, Roker was hit with wave after wave amid the strong winds in order to report on the massive storm that has killed at least one person as of Monday. Watching the prostate cancer survivor, 67, weather the storm, Twitter users questioned why on earth he was the one in the field. “Al Roker is almost 70 years old, why is this necessary?” tweeted Huffington Post reporter Phil Lewis. Added another user, “Al roker is 67 lmao nbc doing him dirty.”
Al roker is 67 lmao nbc doing him dirty pic.twitter.com/XAnO939Pjc
— jw (@iam_johnw2) August 29, 2021
Others defended Roker’s vigor, with one person writing, “I’m sure he’s loving it. I’d you’re a weatherman it’s like being at the super bowl. But yeah, he needs to go inside!!” Roker confirmed he had volunteered for the gig in a tweet of his own, writing, “For all those who were worried about me out on #lakepontchartrain covering #Ida a) I volunteered to do this. Part of the job. b) My crew and I were safe and we are back at our hotel and c) for those who think I’m too old to be doing this, try and keep up.”
He echoed that message on MSNBC’s The Sunday Show, telling Jonathan Capehart, “I volunteered to come out here. I’ve done this for 40 years. Our crews, we all make sure we’re safe.” As for those bringing his age into the conversation, Roker joked, “Screw you. These young punks. I will come after them. I will drop them like a bag of dirt.”
Hurricane Ida made landfall around 1 p.m. ET Sunday, causing massive flooding and high-speed winds across Louisiana. Ida remained a Category 4 storm for about six hours before eventually downgrading to a Category 2 hurricane around 11 p.m. ET.