A mother caught up in the tropical storm Harvey disaster in Houston has lambasted a reporter live on air who was attempting to interview people "during their worst times".

CNN reporter Rosa Flores was filming a segment at one of the emergency shelters set up in the wake of floods which have killed at least 18 people and devastated the lives of tens of thousands of more.

During the report, Flores stops to speak to a woman named Danielle, who was seen with her young daughter, who had just arrived at the shelter.

When asked how she was rescued, the woman explained she had been at her home for around five days until somebody came for her.

When Flores asks Danielle to respond to some reports of mothers attempting to save their children from rushing water, the visibly upset mother says: "We got through four feet of water to go get them food on the first day. Yeah, that's a lot of s**t."

The woman adds: "But y'all trying to interview people during their worst times. Like, that's not the smartest thing to do. People are really breaking down and y'all sitting here with cameras and microphones trying to ask us what the f**k is wrong with us.

"And you really trying to understand with the microphone still in my face. With me shivering cold, with my kids wet. And you're still putting a microphone in my face."

During this time, Flores repeatedly apologises for asking her questions before CNN anchor Jim Acosta says back in the studio: "It sounds like you've got a very upset family there."

The channel then cuts away from the live broadcast from the shelter.

After clips of the video began to go viral, a CNN spokesperson said: "Our hearts go out to this woman and her family. Our reporter handled the situation graciously."

The report was filmed at a shelter in Houston CNN