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Storm chaser in dramatic video: Hurricane Irma winds strongest I've ever faced

by Eun Kyung Kim / / Source: TODAY

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A meteorologist and storm chaser who was shown in a video struggling to stay on his feet while measuring the ferocious winds of Hurricane Irma told TODAY that he knew exactly what he was getting into and took every necessary precaution.

“We did everything possible we needed to make sure that nothing was going to put us in any physical danger,” weather Juston Drake said Monday.

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“In that particular spot we were at, we made sure there was not going to be any objects that were going to be picked up in the wind that would hit me, so I could go out there and safely measure the wind to see just how strong they were in that location.”

A dramatic video that was posted on social media a day earlier showed Drake being pushed by fierce winds, and even getting knocked down at one point, as he measured gusts that had hit Key West.

Drake's fellow storm chaser, meteorologist Simon Brewer, posted the video on his Twitter feed.

Drake then shared a video of Brewer bracing the same winds, which he said reached at least 117 mph.

Irma made landfall in the United States early Sunday morning in the Florida Keys, bringing torrential rains and triple-digit wind gusts.

Drake said he believed that the winds Irma brought were the worst he had ever experienced, worse than even the ones that Hurricane Harvey brought last month to Texas.

“It definitely went a step above even that particular one,” he said. “I think that Irma had stronger winds at its landfall that even Harvey did.”

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