Millions of people have been told to stay home for the day as one of the worst storms in a generation hits the UK.
Schools, roads and businesses closed, with major disruption to the transport network due to concerns over flying debris caused by gusts of up to 90mph from Storm Eunice.
Homes were left without power, while the Met Office issued two ultra-rare ‘red’ weather warnings – from 7 a.m. to noon along the Devon, Cornwall and Somerset coast as well as the south coast of the Country of Wales, and 10am to 3pm over East England and London – due to the combination of high tides, strong winds and storm surges.
Coverage of the storm dominated the Friday morning installment of the breakfast show, with presenters seemingly ignoring weather warnings from the Met Office.
Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway introduced presenters near the coast as meteorologists described the situation.
A reporter said: “The real concern is also that strong wind, flying debris is the thing that can be life threatening.
“In holiday homes, where static caravans are common, people fear being blown over.
“It’s calm here in Devon – all the schools are closed, people are being told to stay home, because of this wind which is getting stronger all the time.”
“At lunchtime, this whole area is going to be a pretty dangerous place, I think.”@lornashaddick is in Folkestone and says the winds have picked up over the past half hour. #StormEunice should bring gusts of up to 90 mph. pic.twitter.com/8Ee1FLFcLf
— Hello Great Britain (@GMB) February 18, 2022
ITV viewers slam Good Morning Britain
The scenes sparked debate on social media as viewers questioned the decision to send journalists to dangerous areas.
A viewer asked, “Why are they sending reporters to the coast and riverbanks when they are clearly in fear for their lives?”
“Sorry @GMB but there is a clear warning on time and you put your journalist @lornashaddick and the film crew in possible danger to get a story hope she and the film crew stay safe while everyone else @GMB are nice and warm in the studio,” another said.
Another viewer agreed, “Those were exactly my thoughts! Red weather alert, life threatening, so put our reporter and cameraman in danger!”
A fourth asked: ‘Why are they sending journalists to dangerous coastal areas when they tell people to stay and not travel?’
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV1.