My daughter and her husband live in Tampa.

Needless to say, my wife Mary and I were a bit anxious last weekend.

Everything turned out just fine. Their apartment wasn’t flooded or damaged and their power came back on Tuesday afternoon after going out early Monday.

While watching hurricane coverage throughout the weekend I heard some dire predictions.

I understand that the worst thing media could do is create a false sense of security. I mean, media need to warn the public of impending potential disaster and encourage evacuations wherever necessary.

So I get why they were reporting that Hurricane Irma could head up the Gulf Coast of Florida as a category 4 or 5 storm. I get why they warned of total devastation of Gulf Coast cities – like Tampa – with storm surges of 10 or 12 feet.

All that stuff could have happened. And it was very fortunate that none of it actually did happen.

The storm was dangerous, no question. Its sheer size – spreading across the entire state all at once – was unprecedented.

It pounded the Caribbean islands with 180 mph winds and the destruction there was massive.

It was a category 4 storm when it hit the Florida Keys and a category 3 when it made its second landfall at Naples.

As the storm moved ashore, it lost strength. The eye became disorganized and wind speeds diminished by the time it moved north and east of Tampa.

There were lots of tree damage and power outages around Tampa, but none of the “historic” flooding and wind damage predicted with a different track along the coast.

Of course, Hurricane Irma was bad. It caused a lot of widespread damage. But it wasn’t nearly as bad and it didn’t cause nearly as much damage as storm reporters told us it would.

My sense of media coverage of storms is that it’s more about ratings than it is about news.

Reporters tell us they’re out there to be our eyes and ears. No they aren’t.

Anybody with an ounce of intellect knows that hurricanes have wind and rain and ruin stuff. They’re not showing us anything we didn’t know. You could literally run two-year-old tape of a reporter leaning into the wind and rain and it would be just as informative as the live shot.

They say they do it so we don’t have to – that they can give us updates on conditions so we don’t have to check for ourselves. That’s bogus. They are showing us one tiny swath of the storm. Unless you happen to own the property that’s in their live shot, they’re telling you nothing about your property.

And the “don’t try this at home” thing is a joke, too. Vast numbers of people stay behind to weather the storm even though storm reporters – and government officials – repeatedly admonished them to do precisely the opposite.

It sells, so they cover it. I must admit that I watched.

But it becomes bothersome when they start out with a pre-conceived notion and then try to find facts on the ground to support that notion.

It’s interesting, for example, to note the difference between local news accounts and those of the national media.

Here’s an account from the Naples Daily News from last Monday:

Snapped palm fronds, broken branches and the occasionally uprooted tree littered the sidewalk along Naples' Fifth Avenue South Monday morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the downtown street.

Only a few pedestrians and bicyclists ambled along the boarded-up store fronts and restaurants, less than 24 hours after Irma wreaked havoc on the Gulf coast.

Structural damage in Old Naples appeared far and few in between. There were a few bent street signs and some twisted metal pieces.

The dreaded post-hurricane storm surge also didn't arrive though parts of Gulfshore Boulevard and Gordon Drive were flooded.

At the Naples beach, angry waves crashed onto the pressed sand, but the Naples Pier appeared intact. It was closed Monday morning but a few curious passers-by still walked down the wooden planks.

Is the local news reporter just being overly optimistic? Because that’s far different from what we were hearing from major news networks about Naples. I kept seeing and hearing words like “catastrophic” and “devastation.”

Who’s accurate? My money’s on the local reporter in Naples.

Another example is the  gasoline situation in Tampa.

On Tuesday, a CNN story was running in the afternoon with the tagline “Fuel tankers race to Florida as state runs short on gas.”

The CNN correspondent reported that there was no gas in Tampa and that she had to drive “all the way to Brandon” – a suburb 10 or 12 miles east of downtown – to find fuel.

She said she and her crew had just arrived at this particular gas station, but noted that it wouldn’t be long before motorists got wind of this rare oasis of gasoline and lines would be forming. She made it sound desperate.

I thought that was strange because I knew my son-in-law bought gas. So I fired up my Gas Buddy app. Low and behold, there were literally dozens of gas stations in and around Tampa metro reported by motorists as having fuel.

To be fair, I would say around 40 percent of the gas stations around Tampa were without gas, but that means 60 percent of them had gas. So yes, there was a “gas shortage.”

But I’m wondering why the CNN correspondent was reporting she had to drive 10  or 12 miles through urban traffic – a 20-minute trip – to find gas, when clearly, there was gas near her in Tampa.

CNN returned to the gas story later during the broadcast and the reporter was still at the gas station in Brandon, talking about the shortage. There was a car at one pump, but the rest of the pumps were open – not unlike what you would see on any run-of-the-mill Tuesday afternoon. No gas lines had formed.

Then I looked on and found a story under the headline “Florida’s Largest Fuel Port Reopens To Vessels.”

The story said:

Port Tampa Bay reopened to vessel traffic Tuesday. And 10 ships are scheduled to unload more than 10 million gallons of gasoline in the next 48 hours.

That reporter was just minutes from Port Tampa Bay, but didn’t bother to report this part of the story – or look at her Gas Buddy app for that matter.

Sometimes it seems if conditions on the ground don’t fit the narrative they’ve  set up, big media just misreport the conditions on the ground.

That’s just wrong.