Weather Channel reporter slammed for 'faking it' in Florence winds as 2 people walk behind him

(FOX NEWS) -- As Hurricane Florence lashed through the Carolinas with howling winds and heavy rain, one reporter was captured attempting to keep it together as winds appeared to lash at him, but was mocked when two people were seen walking behind him with little difficulty. 

The viral video, which has more than 13.6 million views, showed Weather Channel correspondent Mike Seidel in Wilmington, North Carolina, trying to fight the heavy wind as he reported live from the storm on Friday.

“This is about as nasty as it’s been,” Seidel said.

A few moments later, the camera panned away and two people were seen walking behind Seidel, appearing to have no problem with the wind.

MORE: 7 dead as Tropical Storm Florence drenches Carolinas | Florence's wrath to bring flooding, power outages across Charlotte area

The internet was quick to mock the reporter, claiming he was exaggerating the storm’s severity.

“So dramatic!” one social media user tweeted with the video. “Dude from the Weather Channel bracing for his life, as 2 dudes just stroll past.”

The Weather Channel defended Seidel, saying he was “trying to maintain his footing on wet grass” while the two people seen in the background were walking on concrete, The Washington Post reported.

“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 channel said in a statement.

Florence, which was once a powerful Category 4 hurricane, was downgraded to a tropical storm hours after making landfall on Friday. Hundreds of people have been rescued, and at least seven people, including a mother and an infant, were killed in the storm.