Signalman Third Class Harold Lewis was the radio operator on the USS Hickory; a supply ship of the US Navy when it (and was hit by Hurricane Susan, having ironically left harbour (along with the battlegroup to which it was attached) to escape the Hurricane, only for it to suddenly change course and hit them while in the open sea.
Lewis happened to be working in the radio shack when the storm hit and suffered unclear minor injuries; he reported he had hit his head and was bleeding. With the larger ship's radio's already knocked out by the storm, the USS Hickory was the only means of communication with the outside world and a result, the injured and scared Signalman Lewis found himself speaking with President Jed Bartlet, who was attempting to learn what the status of the battlegroup was.
Whether due to his injuries, the weakness of the signal or the difficulties of operating the radio in the volatile seas all around him; Lewis appeared to struggle throughout his conversation with Bartlet, often struggling to answer the President's questions. After some prompting however he managed to report the Hickory's condition: the waves were at 80ft, the wind was at 120 knots, there was a fire in the engine room and it's running lights were down, leaving it vulnerable to collision with one of the much larger aircraft carriers that would have almost no hope of seeing them in the dark.
Unable to offer any tangible assistance; President Bartlet instead sought to comfort Lewis. Despite this event occurring during a major state dinner Bartlet elected to remain on the phone and talk to Lewis for as long as the radio remained functional.
It was later revealed in Two Cathedrals that the USS Hickory and its crew was lost during the storm.