Hurricane Florence: Reporter Accused of Pretending To Struggle Against Storm as People Casually Walk By

A video of a Weather Channel reporter seemingly playing up the strength of Hurricane Florence on live TV has gone viral.

The video shows channel meteorologist Mike Seidel struggling to keep his footing as the storm hit Wilmington, North Carolina, on Friday.

"This is about as nasty as its been," Seidel says, seemingly bracing himself against the impact of wind and rain.

The camera then pans to two people in background, casually strolling past and seemingly unaffected.

So dramatic! Dude from the weather channel bracing for his life, as 2 dudes just stroll past. #HurricaneFlorence pic.twitter.com/8FRyM4NLbL

— Tony scar. (@gourdnibler) September 14, 2018

A clip of the broadcast has gone viral, being viewed more than 3 million times by Saturday morning on YouTube and tweets with the footage shared thousands of times, with many claiming the clip shows Seidel exaggerated the force of the storm for dramatic effect.

Not to downplay the intensity of tropical storm Florence, but this reporter for the Weather Channel is acting as if he was hanging on for dear life when two guys bomb his report as they casually stroll by... pic.twitter.com/42yN5xAvNF

— Jamal Dajani جمال (@JamalDajani) September 14, 2018

However in a statement to The Hill, the Weather Channel defended its reporter.

"It's important to note that the two individuals in the background are walking on concrete, and Mike Seidel is trying to maintain his footing on wet grass, after reporting on-air until 1:00 a.m. ET this morning and is undoubtedly exhausted," the network said.

Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina on Friday, and is moving inland, having been downgraded to a tropical storm. Authorities have warned of floods as the slow moving storm causes up to 20 inches of rain to fall in some areas.