ABC’s Good Morning America did a live remote this morning from a St. Augustine pier or beachfront balcony next to a very rough Atlantic Ocean with winds at 33 MPH and gusting to 48 MPH. The presentation occurred Friday morning while St Augustine had a forecast with some areas expected to experience Storm Surge Flooding of greater than 9 feet.
You can barely hear the reporter from the noise of the wind and waves, but you can hear her say the water is jumping over the storm wall in St. Augustine, located in St. Johns County Florida.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 7, 2016
The reporter could have been hit by an unexpected high wave, knocked to the floor, and then washed with the retracting wave into the rough water. She was not secured with any type of line, so there would have been no way to protect her from being washed into the sea. The line would have only saved her if co-workers were able to react fast enough to prevent her from falling of the edge. Once in the waves, she would have been battered and would have likely have suffered a severe head injury and drowned. There is no way the news crew standing by could have rescued her once she was in the rough seas. Even if the news crew used a safety line, that would not have justified the positioning of the reporter near the danger of high waves.
“And as you can see that’s what happens in the middle of our storm coverage … leaving the team, they’ll stay safe we can assure you of that.”
— David Muir
The St. Augustine Record reported that St. Johns County authorities anticipated that during the course of Hurricane Matthew, emergency response would be impacted and potentially unavailable in certain areas of the County until weather conditions improve.
St Johns County Government warned residents that due to deteriorating weather conditions along the coast, St Johns County Fire Rescue (SJCFR) relocated crews and apparatus from its most exposed coastal locations – October 7, 2016, 10:10 a.m. Stations 9 (South Ponte Vedra Beach), 7 (St. Augustine Beach) and 6 (Crescent Beach), to staging areas on the west side of the Intracoastal. 911 response to these areas continued on a case by case basis, with officers weighing the risks and benefits of each situation. Crews remained on duty and were responding to calls at Stations 10 and 1 in the Ponte Vedra Beach/Palm Valley area.
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