Unlucky Sky, ITV, and BBC reporters found themselves at the mercy of the elements today as they battled against the hurricane-force winds of Storm Ciaran live on air. The Channel Islands, particularly Jersey, faced the brunt of Ciaran's fury, with roofs blown off, windows smashed, and dozens of people evacuated from their homes. With winds reaching up to 110mph, the correspondents were on the front lines of the storm's havoc.
Ashna Hurynag, reporting near St Helier on Jersey, suddenly disappeared from screens after being knocked to the ground by the powerful gales. Speaking to her colleagues back in London, she shared her amazement with viewers, "It has to be said, I've never felt wind speeds like this." As she stood back up, Hurynag chuckled and warned viewers to stay at home, acknowledging how the winds had pushed her over.
ITV's Good Morning Britain also faced criticism from viewers who felt that sending journalists into the storm was irresponsible. While Jonathan Swain endured torrential rain in Bude, Cornwall, and Richard Gainsford reported from Brighton, East Sussex, waves crashed against the sea walls. Meanwhile, the BBC's Dan Johnson faced the treacherous conditions in St Helier, getting soaked with spray from the ferocious sea front and relentless rain.
Emergency workers urged people to stay away from coastal paths due to the risk of being swept away by 35ft waves. The Met Office issued an amber 'risk to life' warning due to flying debris. Many viewers were outraged by the decision to send reporters into such dangerous conditions, despite warnings for the public to remain indoors. Social media comments criticized the broadcaster for being "totally irresponsible" and suggested that the reporters should be brought inside with a cup of tea.
The storm, which hit the UK overnight, caused chaos on the roads and led to work-from-home advisories for commuters. Hundreds of schools were closed, and flooding is expected in 54 areas, primarily along the south coast. Hampshire and the Isle of Wight declared a major incident due to the anticipated pressure on local services. In Jersey, winds exceeding 100mph damaged property and forced people to seek shelter in hotels. Cornwall Council reported over 8,500 homes without power due to the storm.
Both viewers and Sky viewers voiced their concerns about the safety of the reporters in the treacherous weather conditions. Suggestions ranged from setting up a camera without risking anyone's safety to questioning the decision to send reporters to dangerous locations while people were being evacuated.
As Storm Ciaran continues its path, the impact on various regions is becoming increasingly evident, highlighting the need for caution and preparedness during severe weather events.