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Dylan Dreyer has encountered all types of extreme weather as a meteorologist for TODAY, but even she had to admit to her fears of being in the path of a Category 5 storm during her coverage of Hurricane Irma.
"I'm going to be honest, as a meteorologist, I understand the situation,'' Dreyer said alongside Al Roker and Sheinelle Jones on TODAY Wednesday. "I'm not a storm chaser of tornadoes. I understand that that is out of my comfort zone and I'm not going to chase a storm because I know the danger of it. Going into at the time a Category 5 hurricane even if it weakened to a Category 4, I really didn't know what to expect with 150-mile-per-hour winds.
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"Are we staying in a hotel that's safe enough? I had visions of putting my mattress up against the window."
She confided in her husband, NBC Nightly News cameraman Brian Fichera, who gave her a lift when she needed it most.
"I texted Brian and I said I'm scared, I'm actually kind of scared for this,'' she said. "I know I'm with a good crew, I know I'm with a good team of people and we're going to keep each other safe, so I sent him this (text message).
"I said I've got a lot back home. With (baby son) Calvin now I do get nervous being out on the road. And his response was, 'You're smart, you're athletic, I believe in you 100 percent,' and then he goes on to say if you can give birth, you can handle anything."
She was part of an advance team that was often just ahead of the storm before it hit. Despite driving in blinding rain that rendered windshield wipers obsolete and witnessing historic storm surge of the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida, Dylan was able to put aside her fears thanks to her husband's supportive text.
"It just kind of gave me that boost I needed,'' she said. "I knew I had my heart at home, and we ended up being very, very safe."
"Not to take anything away, but he sent me that same message,'' Al deadpanned.
The two TODAY meteorologists know they are fortunate to return back home when so many others are trying to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Irma.
"I think I speak for Dylan when I say that no matter what we went through, we go home and have our home intact and have no idea what it's like for these people from the Caribbean to Florida and Georgia and South Carolina who lost homes and livelihoods,'' Al said.
"There is this level of guilt that I feel when I have to leave what I see down there to go back to normal,'' Dylan said. "My heart is still there."
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