Weather Channel Stands By Reporter Accused of Exaggerating Hurricane Danger

9/16/2018 7:28 AM PDT

Weather Channel Defends Reporter Accused of Exaggerating Hurricane Wind

The Weather Channel is standing firm ... backing the reporter who seemed on the brink of getting blown away by Hurricane Florence as others behind him strolled along with no problem.

Reporter Mike Seidel is getting skewered on social media after doing a live shot where he seems on the verge of losing his footing, exclaiming, "This is about as nasty as it's been."  Meanwhile, 2 guys are walking behind him with zero problems.

The Weather Channel has an explanation ... "It's important to note that the 2 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 AM ET this morning and is undoubtedly exhausted."

Watch the video closely and check out Mike's pants ... you do see pretty strong gusts. 

So far 14 people have died as a result of Florence.