tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN September 10, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
pounding us for hours and hours and hours. >> all right. i'm chris cuomo in naples. we have been waiting to see what irma would do to the west coast. there are vulnerable areas here and we're starting to see it light now. reported gusts in excess of 80 miles an hour. the situation has changed here. there's now a significant debris field, and it has been hours of punishing rain. we've seen this phenomenon with hurricane irma where the energy is given and taken away. the water sha should be here on the gulf side of naples is gone, and we're waiting for it to come back in the form of storm surge and people are very worried what that will mean. the good news is, most of this place, according to the city manager, of about 19,000 normal residents, have evacuated. they believe two-thirds have done so. now, the question is, what will the rest of the people encounter? for that we go to chad myers.
chad, what is the timing and what should we expect here and along the west coast and parts north? >> marco island getting it right now. the northern eyewall, chris, you are less than 20 minutes from there as the eyewall moves north at 12 miles per hour. the white area is still the area that's going to pick 100 mile-per-hour winds over ten-second periods. it's gusts. 100 mile-per-hour gusts right over fort myers, sarasota, pinellas and through hillsborough county, going to get bump in the night kind of wind. things will be flying around because it's going to be dark. you're going to hear it but won't know what it hit. you won't know if it hit your window or not. stay on the side of your home that's not facing the wind. especially if you don't have storm shutters up, because that's going to be the safest side. shingles will fly off roofs today and they're going to break windows. you don't want to be anywhere near that flying glass. there will be some flooding, but
that's not truly the issue. the issue is wind on the west side and flooding on the south side. there it is making landfall in the south keys, lower keys, earlier this morning, about 9:00, and now making landfall as a 120 mile-per-hour storm. the latest radar. marco island. naples, here, zoom in. a better shot what's going on. the eyewall itself. hard to see. marco island, the word, got in the way. naples next. fort myers after that, port charlotte and all the like. the area that will see the isle wall move to the north and still for john berman one cell after another pounding the east coast from miami to lauderdale to west palm. still significant damage going to happen here. more flooding going to happen here. a widespread storm. chris, we talked about this. there's going to be a hurricane from one side of florida to the other, and there is.
>> chad, let me ask you something. you say in about an hour. what about duration? what are the concerns for people here? how much can they take? you know, very low-lying area. the entire city. taking rain a long time. a lot of pooling on water of streets already and that storm surge hasn't come into effect and they're worried how many structures, how they're fey over time. what are they looking at in terms of a window? >> just tweeted out a man on marco island showing video. just minute after minute, waiting for it to stop, and it's not stopping. the wind has been over 100 at least. gusts over 100, for 20 minutes. then i guess we're going to see the eyewall in those shots. you can go on to my twitter feed and find the link, but then the wind comes in from the other direction. so this will be hours of damaging, punishing winds. at least an hour in the northern and the southern eyewall, because all of the cities, all the way up the west coast will get eyewall.
get northern eyewall. then calm. and then southern eyewall. and the wind will come from the opposite direction at the same speed just about that the northern eyewall did. wind coming from both directions. hard to stay out of there. hunker down. get in your home, inside of a place where there are no winds. if you don't have that place, knock on your neighbor's door and find one, because this is real. this isn't something you want to sit out in a parked rv and hope for the best. we can't hope for the best here. you have to take precautions and make the right choices. >> and this is why they were asking government officials for people to evacuate. that was the case and believe they got most of the people out. i can't even keep a hat on my head, chad. trying to do it, because it keeps you dry, it buffers a little of those twigs that bang you in the head when in this snap, crackle and pop phase of the first wave of the bad stuff with hurricane irma. get to drew giffin, farther north from us. checking out the situation in
shelters. we lost our power here. we understand that you lost power in one of the shelters you were monitoring up there. drew, what's the latest? >> reporter: yeah. the latest, we're starting to feel the really, really strong winds that chad was talking about. we've had a couple of experiences where we've seen some gutters blowing around. you can see the trees, i think, chris. it has really become a violent wind situation, which is dangerous to be out. we have barricaded ourselves against, believe it or not, i'm buffered against the side of a wall and it's still blowing pretty strong. the power did go out. it went out about an hour ago. that was to be expected. there are not many hotels in the area with general raters. the shelter, they're just hunkering down. they're going to have to be there through another miserable night but hopefully a safe night as irma continues to make her way up and we continue to watch the wind situation and then as you have been reporting, chris when that water comes back in
and any potential surge we're going to have down here in the fort myers area. chris? >> all right. drew, keel keep checking in. give me a heads up if there are things people need to know and i'm come right to you. and ed lavandera, my partner, surveilling the area. once it started to deteriorate we had to fall back to the hotel. waiting for ed to get a shot up. ready to go? tell us what's going on from the ground level. >> reporter: chris, you know, talking throughout the morning. we had a chance to venture out and kind of at least survey a little bit of the initial bands of the storm, as it was approaching here in the naples area, and -- within minutes of the worst bands starting to hit, just a couple hours ago, we'd already seeing trees falling down, and -- that is only going to continue to get worse. also, an area of concern is about -- 20 miles south of us. that's marco island. a popular tourist destination
full of high-rise condos and that sort of thing. i've been speaking with the police chief down on marco island. he messaged me saying they lost power, on backup radios. there are about 80 first responders hunkering down there on the island, bracing for the worst of the storm. the police chief says they're on the edge of the eyewall there. the worst of the storm they've seen so far. and they are without power and on backup radios but holding on as best they can. they say they won't be able to go out and survey any damage until the worst of this storm clearly has passed by. but obviously, the path of that storm now, chris, will come up from marco island here towards naples where we are this afternoon. and as you can see here, this will only continue to intensify by far the worst and strongest gusts, and that we've seen here throughout the day, and for the next several hours, it will continue to be like this. we also noticed that water along some of the gulf shore drive,
along the western edge of the city, this is an area that is under a mandatory evacuation. it has been a deserted ghost town for some days now. we saw the water quickly rising out there on some of those streets and a lot of those areas where that -- those trees were falling down as well. so we are here between the gulf side, which is here about a half niall my level. also there's a river that cuts through town. and one of the things that officials here also are taking a close look and are very concerned about is high tide, expected later on this afternoon. that high tide and in combination with this storm pushing the water up. that could possibly cause serious concern for this storm surge here in this area that's expected to reach 10 to 15 feet, and that could be catastrophic for many neighborhoods here in the naples area. chris? >> yeah. hey, ed, hold on one second. dave, do me a favor. open up, sneak out with the camera.
we want to be careful with the camera. once they are wet, they're done. we have to venture out to see what i'm doing. why am i looking around? i said earlier. this is what we call the snap, crackle and pop phase. not to trivialize it. we start to hear sounds. almost eerie and look around to assess, which trees are these? which structures? where is that bang coming from? where is that transformer? so you know what to shelter yourself from. just, you get -- why i'm looking around. the task for ed and for me is to assess what the duration of this storm is going to mean. these trees have been getting battered. we've been seeing these storm shelters start to flail. start to move more and more. so it's not just about the intensity, but it's about the duration. you know, how long can these trees sustain and when they don't, and they break, that failure leads to a projectile. it goes through windows. it goes through cars. god forbid, there are any people
around. we have not stheen een that to case. you know what it would be like if you get hit by anything like that. that's why it's on ground level. i'm up here to assess what is happening here, because this has been hours of this. and if we can bring chad bad. ed, sneak inside. get yourself out of this. duration and the idea some of this has been tenderizing to the naples city area, that while it's been waiting for hours for irma to come in earnest, it's been getting hit with wave after wave and wind, as i've watched john and all the correspondents down in the miami area, it hasn't looked that much worse than they've had here for about five hours. that tenderizing effect. what can you tell us about that? >> right. very typical of a hurricane when we talk about a category 3, 4 or 5. the 3, 4 or 5 only happens in a band about ten miles wide, right along the eyewall. the rest of the hur taricane is
hurricane. 75 to maybe to 100. that's what we've had all day. that 75 to 100, chris, write you're standing right there. but now marco island, honestly, 10, 15 miles to your south, just had a wind gust to 130 in the northern eyewall. there's the eyewall there. marco island right underneath it. get my finger out of the way so you can see the orange right through here. that's the northern eyewall. there isn't truly a southern eyewall, and that's because it hit cuba. the storm never truly regained strength, and that is fantastic news, even though the model said it would, it didn't. you know, like i said earlier, yesterday, irma doesn't know if there's an american mold or a european model and doesn't care. it's going to do what it wants to do. now a northern eyewall, no southern eyewall, but that will get to you. your pictures, if you can stay on the air, will be dramatically different in 15 minutes than
they are right now. your winds will honestly go up by 40%. i don't want to say double, but close. the power of the wind will double. so all of those trees, all of those palm trees sitting there getting wet feet are all of a sudden not going to have a lot of traction for those roots, and they will begin to fall over. not saying the ones behind you. i don't know how protected that area is, it seems so, but in downtown miami, with the winds gusting to 94, there is a wind tunnel effect going on there right now. and the pictures coming out of downtown miami especially near brickle, where it looks like you're in a car wash. it looks like someone is just spraying you with a pressure washer. >> yeah. >> chris? >> yeah. those are good descriptive phrases, and you know, i have to figure out what that sound is. i don't know if you hear it. there is a big piece of met that has something rubbing against it or is shifting around. we've been hearing it increasingly. one of the reasons we're looking around.
certainly not in our proximity pi. i've been doing this long enough and have no interest in being a statistic. trying to figure what it is to assess the risk. kma chad, guys like you and me, we've been built to withstand a storm, not shifted by wind easily, but this tunnel effect is manifesting itself tiffly here. if ed lavandera's shot is still up, ed, let me know if you can hear me. you, too, a solid base on you. these little bit taller buildings funnel the wind down into these area, chad. if you can hear me, ed, let me know, because i've been watching on either side where we're stationed. the wind comes through, and it's like tush rbo charged through te avenues where the trees are getting plucked off like twigs. that's part of dealing with the topography. this gust as it comes through now, it's -- it's magnified by
this channel as it's coming down and we can see the trees here just 23409 faring as well. buildings not fares as well and we'll see what it does over time, chad. let me give you a little chance here. >> all right. >> so this is an avenue. fifth street. right? and park street here. fifth avenue south. park street. as this wind comes down, we've been watching. this tree, it's a shocker. they wisely cabled it, literally mean what's it sounds like. there are pieces of wire is inside that tree holding it together, as a reinforcement to its integrity. what a difference it's made. i can't believe it's made it. because right down the street, dave, if you can take a cheat. look down the sidewalk. a tree of equal side didn't make it. and now we're getting more of this effect of it. coming strong now. i don't know if chad can give us a reading of what kind of gusts we're getting, but -- let me tell you, i've been in enough of these. ed, if you're back with me now, this is real deal wind we're
feeling now. what are you getting down where you are, pal? can you hear me? >> chris, i can hear you. we're here in -- essentially downtown naples. about a half mile away from the gulf coast. and then if you look back in this way, this is looking back towards into town. we're watching this, over here with the tarp, that rooftop has been buckling up and down rather severely the last couple of minutes and we'll continue to monitor things like that. the wind is just -- ferociously blowing from the east to the west back towards the gulf, and that's clearly an indication we are on the north side of this storm as this thing swirls around us, and the eye continues to creep closer to us. after the eyewall gets here, the winds are going to shift. it's going to be from the west to the east. i was out on the beach just a little while ago. monitoring the situation there. it was amazing. the surf had been pushed back by
these winds a good 100 yards from where we saw it yesterday. essentially all of that moisture pushed back out into the gulf waters. as we stand out here, obviously keeping close tabs on what's coming from our eastern side over here, chris. you know, the dang sir that things are flying around so quickly that these large palm tree branches we have seen flying off trees relentlessly throughout the day continue to do so. you can see them all over here littered on the ground and then can you see water pooling up here on the ground. this is a minor little pool of water but gives you a good indication of what's happening -- more severely and more seriously in other parts of the neighborhood, where this is the -- all the water getting pushed up, and the real concern is back over here to our east. it is the river that comes pushing in from south to north on the edge of naples, florida, where we are, and it is that water and into that marina. the water with the winds, it's
going to get pushed up from the north causing that storm surge in a lot of parts of the naples area and in fort myers, all the way up into tampa as well. that is the concern here throughout the day. obviously, these winds will be a major concern as well. structurally everything seems to be holding rather well from what we've been able to tell. it's things like this, i mentioned here, off the top, chris, this tarp on top of this, the, this -- what i believe is a recreation center. i have to double check that. you can see it buckling back and forth, probably designed to do that to a certain extent. as we get closer to the eye of the hurricane, structures like that could rip apart as these winds become the most fierce. chris? >> all right. eddie, do me a favor. pace ourselves. get back inside. keep yourself and the photographer safe a little bit. we'll start checking in with other areas. before we do, chad, if you're
still hearing us, chad myers what can you give us as a reading in terms of gusting? look, we're all worried about the water. the storm surge will be the tale of the tape here. that's what kills us in hurricanes. you tell us all the time. lethality is from drowning. the winds gets the headlines. just to measure where e are in terms of the part of the process. what are we getting right now that we're feeling? >> clocked at 81 miles per hour, and the yellow on the map here, i know you can't see it, chris, there's a yellow area on the map. that area just went over marco island right there with 130 mile-per-hour gusts. so the winds are going to get 50 miles worse per hour, miles per hour, than what you just saw as this eyewall gets to you. and if you're on the south side of naples you're already feeling it. the north side of naples, you aren't in the eyewall yet. and, chris, you're not seeing it yet. you're going to be honestly in
five minutes, the pictures coming from your camera, if we can keep you on the air are going to be amazing but i want you, the photographer and producer to, please, stay safe, because this is about to get real. >> well, okay. absolutely. you know, we do the job on a regular basis. so it's not -- not the first time and that's important, because often when it is the first time you're a little overly ambitious, but making me feel my age, chad, because what i'm getting hit with right now feels a lot more than 80. maybe it is just because, again, of the dynamic of the building. check in on another area here. again, as chad's been educating us throughout this hurricane coverage, these areas that we're going to start going to, now we'll going to punta gorda are especially vulnerable to components of a storm like this, this kind of breadth and duration of impact for these areas that can't take much, they're particularly vulnerable. so miguel marquez, punta gorda.
what are you dealing with there now? >> reporter: we're dealing with what chad has been talking about a lot today and how the storm, you really get a respect for the power of mother nature with this storm. i'm standing on the marina. on the muddy bottom of the marina here. you can see mussels down to the bottom. it wouldn't be possible, except that the water's being pushed all the way out of the bay here. out to sea as this storm is coming around from the top of us pushing everything out. when that eyewall passes and it changes direction, everything that must go out must come back in. so they're expecting a five to eight-foot storm surge in this area. they're talking about three feet of standing water. three feet of water on land. with a five to eight-foot storm surge. basically a giant wave that would sweep in here. very low-lying areas. look at this. this dock should normallien floating here, but that boat, it's sitting in mud. all the boats are pretty much
sitting in mud and would not be able to get out. the weather, we're a little protected by this -- jetty here, but the weather here definitely has taken a turn. we're probably at 50 miles sustained winds, and probably gusting up to close to 60. it's going to get worse, though. this is about half way. they're expecting category 3-ish winds in this area. 110 sustained gusts up to 135. i'm going show you this. that debris you see out there in the bay -- that's the old bridge. they knocked it down years ago. people in this area haven't seen that in years and years and years. they have two new bridges across 41. it's likely that emergency services in this area have stopped now, because winds are up over 40 miles per hour. sustained. and authorities are saying at this point, shelter in place. don't try to get anywhere else. stay where you are. but that storm surge, the wind
is coming. and that's going to do damage, but that storm surge is what they're really worried about. 60% of charlotte county is in evacuation zones susceptible to flooding. chris? >> all right, miguel, please, keep me honest on what's going onnie were you and when to come back when the situation changes. dealing with one little piece of hurricane hypocrisy. trying to shoo somebody back inside. poked out to see, starting to get more violent gusts. we get the consistency of the message. don't come out, they see us, but we're here to satisfy that curiosity, inform what the xwags is situation is on the ground and let responders, first responders and others know what the situation is in their area. you don't want to be out here if you don't have to be. ed lavandera, i understand you found a way to show people what's going on without exposing yourself to too much of it.
it's definitely picked up. what do you have, my friend? >> reporter: look, so people understand what we're doing. we are inside, kind of tucked away underneath a building preb protected on three sides so it shields our photographer from the worst of these winds and we're able to jump in and out of the scene here. as safely as we can. kind of the way we operate. so people understand that if they do have that, that curiosity. but we are watching the winds, as the camera angle you're looking at from our viewpoint is looking towards the south, towards the eye of hurricane irma, and that is crossing the marco island area, about 20 miles south of where we are. and you can see the -- intensity of the winds here. by far the strongest we have seen here all day and anticipating that this will only continue to worsen here over the next couple of hours. en and that wind you see pushing from the left side of your
screen -- [ no audio ] >> we lost ed's shot. we'll make sure that he's okay. he's back now. keep going, ed, if you can. >> reporter: still here. as i was -- sure. as i was saying, the winds you're seeing are moving from the east to the west across your screen there. we are on what appears to be, this might have changed in the last couple of minutes, chad myers can clarify a little better, but it sounds -- [ no audio ] >> i lost ifb. all right. all right. so -- all right. so ed lost communications. not unusual in this kind of situation. especially when it starts to pick up. we'll get him back. what we're dealing with here, though, in naples, is exactly what they were worried about. this sustained battering of wind and rain. and then there's another huge component, which is going to be the storm surge.
i don't know if you can hear ed lavandera and chad myers, if you heard them earlier talking to us about it. they were saying where the water should be, it's now gone. that's part of the energy exchange system of this hurricane. this counterclockwise force. it dumps it on one side. it pulls it out of the other. chad myers, if i can bring you in here, we haven't had that water come back yet. at least not in the main, and what it does, it's going to be bringing friends in the form of a surge. that's what we're worried about. how will this combine with that flow of water? what will the net effect of that be on this population? >> just issued, a flash flood emergency. now, that is above flash flood warning. that is because the water will come crashing back onshore and is about to do so here at marco. if you are, let's say, here -- your winds are now beginning to push this direction, and this
entire area from everglades city back into everglades flooding. flash flooding. 10 to 15 feet. it you're still here in naples, the wind blowing offshore and not bringing your water in yet. but marco, the eye just went by you. and as soon as that eye gets to the other side, all of a sudden the winds will shift and move that water back in. so from where we are now, chris, in your harbor, somewhere four feet below where we should be, we are going to push all of this water back in and possibly be 15 feet above where we should be. it's the bubble of water that happens below a hurricane, because the air's being sucked in. it's a low pressure. there is a bubble of water and yet also there's the forward motion. now the forward motion of that bubble has stopped. it has stopped, because land is now in the way. for a while key west was in the
way. so was the key and just islands, the water ripped by. the water kept going, and now it's smashing onshore from marco and eventually to naples. if we can get chris' shot back. i can see chris now. wind is still picking up for you. you have at least another 30 miles per hour to go, chris. so all we're trying to do with your shot is stay on the air, because we want you to be safe, but we also want the people just north of you to know what they have in store, because it's coming. >> that is definitely the point, and i appreciate the concern. and my p.j. is a good man, dave, pop off the sticks and come up here to give them a sense. you're right. if you are -- in naples or in parts north, you have to understand, here's what's coming your way, because cities are similarly constructed. pan to your right. all right. this is where it's happening.
these trees, these structures have been taking it for hours and we are seeing them start to give way. there were more of them not so long ago and a lot of them, you can see, they're going to be particularly vulnerable. the concern is, where do they go? when these trees start to come, with these gusts that are increasing where do they go? what windows do they hit? what structure doss they hit? what does it do to power, and what does the soaking storm surge do? all right. get back inside, dave. what happens? help dave get inside. what happens once these trees have ripped up? you good? good? once these trees have ripped up with they're root system, a lot of the power here that is underground and the water rushes in to it, that's when you get a power outage. we're nearing about 2 million customers now without power. now it's flood and goes from hours to days to weeks for recovery. i believe ed lavandera is back
up. ed, if that's true, pipe up, let me know what you're seeing from where you are. >> reporter: yes. i'm here. i think we got cut off a little last time, but fixed up -- our microphone situation a little better. as we were saying, chris, earlier, the winds you're seeing on the north side of the storm pushing from the east towards the west is what you're seeing right now. and as the eyewall of this storm gets closer, the winds will only intensify them. if the eye comes right over where we are, we'll obviously have that lull in the system for some time, but that does not mean by any means that the threat is over. then the winds shift. we'll be on the back side of the storm. the winds will come from the west to the east and that is the concern of the storm surge. officials here have been saying over the last couple of days that storm surge could reach anywhere 10 to 15 feet. we've seen waters start to rise in some neighborhoods. the question, where is all that water going to go and how high
will it go? once the storm passes through and it is the gulf waters that are starting to get pushed in here inland, that will be a major concern, and some people have to continue to monitor. everyone here that i've spoken with in naples over the past 24 hours mesh es it from 2005 and hurricane wilma. talking to the mayor yesterday, i asked if that's a fair comparison, really any way to prepare for this. he acknowledged, it's the only hurricane we have, hurricane wilma a strong storm here in southwest, florida and whether or not is it the a true indication of what this storm, hurricane irma is bringing remains to be seen. with the measuring stick, i have a feeling hurricane irma will be a completely different measuring stick for naples as they see what type of storm surge damage irma brings. you can feel the intensity of
the winds. pan to the left. look at this one particular structure. all of the structures around this that i see continue to hold up rather well. it's this tarp on top of this rec center area over here that is still of major -- whoa. major concern. you know, when you're looking into the rain, it's -- very disconcerting. you don't know. i'll step up here, so i can speak a little more clearly, but it is that tarp as it buckles up and down and wondering how much long ter will last and whether or not it will rip apart from that structure and just get shredded near those winds. we'll continue to monitor that, chris, as these winds and the eye of hurricane irma get much closer here to naples, florida, in southwest, in the southwest corner of the state. >> well, this is what they were worried about, that a place like naples, that's already very tight to sea level, was going to get hit and hit for a long time by hurricane irma and
unfortunately, that's what seems to be happening. dave, if you can pan over to the left. this is the direction that ed is. you can see the water coming in sheets, sideways. you know, obviously the wind is going the way that the trees are going. but there are sheets of water going that way, and each one is like another punch. you know, another tenderizing blow, and this is a fight of many different rounds, and they've been taking it for round after round here. and, remember, with the knockout, from chad myers' perspecti perspective, this storm surge. we still haven't steen yet, but there is flooding around, ed lavandera. do you think that's just drain water and rain you're seeing there, ed, or some kind of sign of water coming from the gulf side? >> reporter: no. i don't think water's coming from the gulf side yet. i think a lot of this is rain water pooling up on lower lying areas of the streets. obviously, that was based on what we saw this morning. the last time we were able to
venture out into some of the neighborhoods was about -- two to three hours ago and then it became too treacherous and dangerous to get out there and we had to pull back. for now what we've seen is rain water pooling up in various locations but that just adds to the problems, because the storm surge will come in over the top of that. and we haven't been able to make it over to the river side here of naples where there is an extensive marina system. a lot of people who live on the canals and have their boats there, it is that river that the storm surge will push up through and then push into the more inland areas of naples, creating that storm surge and that flooding there. that's of concern. but once the eye passes through, that's the point where we start worrying about the gulf water surge coming in to the area. that will be fascinating to see how much this city can with it stand that surge coming in from the gulf of mexico.
and we'll see what condition those streets are. everyone that was on the western edge of collier county and in naples was told to evacuate by far everything that i've seen, i haven't seen, but maybe a handful of people on these western, the western edge of this city over the last 24 hours. so -- according to various officials we've spoken to, they feel a majority of people evacuated homes, went to shelters here in naples or left town several days ago to get away from this storm. that is the good news. sounds like human life in the path of this storm for the most part evacuated. of course, that is not sow say everyone evacuated. first respoders know there's also a segment of the population stubborn to leave and willing to ride it out in these conditions and they're prepared for that, and in speaking with the police chief on marco island which is about 20 miles south of where we are, that is a barrier island,
with about 16,000 people that call that full time as their home. the police chief told me last night as the storm was starting to approach, that he believed most of the people evacuated the area. but they are on the island, 80 first responders and firefighters on the island, dispatched in various high-level locations around the island to prepare for this. those people are in the middle of this storm. perhaps even in the eye of the storm as we speak, probably trying to gauge the situation, but they had deployed boats, waterkraft, into various areas prepared to launch any high-water rescues if need be or anybody was trapped and wanted to escape after that. they're waiting for the worst of the storm to go by. chris? >> all right. ed, you dip inside. get everything together. let me know when to come back to you, but, dave, i want to go back to miami and check in with john berman. before we do, let's give an opportunity to just get what it is here right now. you're not going to hear from
me. doesn't mean anything's happening, try and catch some of the sound and the sights of what is going on in naples, florida, right now. dave's going to give you the full pan the situation and take it in for what it is. [ the sound of pouring rain ] >> this is what naples has been dealing with for about an hour or so. and we have hours and hours to go. this is it. this is mother nature at her worst. we're going to hope that we respond with human nature at its best. to john berman down in miami. we know you've been seeing it like this. we're getting unique aspects here, john, because of this corridor effect we're getting where we are in naples. how is it where you are?
>> reporter: i keep listening to your coverage, chris, as it gets worse there i keep thinking will get better here but it just hasn't happened. not yet. in fact, miami continues to get hammered by powerful winds. gusts as strong as we've seen them. the rain maybe left for a second here, which is nice and we learned a second crane has collapsed now in downtown miami at -- [ inaudible ] if you're familiar with the geography here. that's two cranes. one collapsed -- [ inaudible ] a possibly failure, and the bottom line, this crane is hanging, part of it is hanging down. these cranes, more than 20 of them in downtown miami. a sign of the progress and economic sort of boom times that miami has experienced but they couldn't get them down in time. it takes six days to a week to get a krcrane down and didn't he that much lead time. they secured them. told they were built to
withstand 145 mile p-an-hour winds. i don't know whether we got that here. down on the ground, 80, 90 miles an hour. told up in the skyscrapers gusts of 100 miles an hour, but clear two of those cranes at least have failed. authorities are telling people not to go anywhere near the areas of those two cranes, and, of course, it's not just the cranes that are a problem. also the storm surge. very much what we anticipate to see on the west coast of florida. a very real problem at this moment in miami. the streets the people know so well. covered in water. and very hard to move around these areas, and they're exact areas that miami officials ordered mandatory evacuations for. they wanted people out, because they were scared of just this thing. we were told four to six feet worth of storm surge here, chad myers at last check said 5 1/2. 5 1/2 was enough to get over some of the storm walls and flood the streets.
where we are right now, we've been out here -- [ inaudible ] straight days nearly. the water came up -- the water came up. you can see the cement here. it came up about a foot from the top. it has begun to recede, because the tide is going out. so our immediate situation right around here appears to be better. the boats in this marina have taken a beating. it's behind the camera you can't see it, but there was one of the larger boats at one point tied down by eight ropes. only one rope holding it on at a center point. people rushing out, trying to secure it. i think maybe they did. we have seen parts of docks float off into the water here. and then another sensation we saw for much of the morning was bursts of green light out there from miami beach. where miami beach is and those bursts of green light were transformers glowing. that, of course, meant that miami beach was going to be without power. they could be without power for
some time. a lot of miami-dade has lost power as well. again, just the beginning for what will happen in florida as this storm has made the turn and heads right towards where chris christie is in naples. chris, i've been listening to you. you know, hang in there. if it's anything like it's been in miami, it's going to be a problem for many, many hours. >> yeah. i mean, the duration is going to be a big part of this story. i'm going to stand out of the shot right now. just so that dave can give you our -- dave, our photojournalist, can give you the full effect what we're getting hit with now. it's certainly intensified and the acute concern on the west coast is just the inability to absorb that much because these cities and areas are so low-lying. the extra component here as chad myers has been explaining will be storm surge. that hasn't even come into effect yet. nothing here has been affected
by what could be an additional 10 feet of water. that could come in. it could come up many blocks, affect power, affect a lot of different things, and for a long time. that's why evacuating was such a key concern, and it's important to note that they got lucky here. i know that this looks like nothing close to luck. understood, but everything is relative in a hurricane. and the people here decided to evacuate days in advance. this is a little bit of a snowbird city. snowbirds, the people come during the winter. so this is the off-season so there aren't as many people here, but of the 19,000 or so the city manager was worried about, believes as many as two-thirds according to the mayor may have left in advance. that's really important. here's somebody coming down the road right now. it's not something you see too much, but i think they're one of us. i think those folks were media going down the road.
you've seen ualmost nobody. that's a very good sign. you haven't seen people out. you haven't seen awkward spectating or anything like that. we've been told the police are keeping people away from the waterfronts. that's key. chad myers tells a harrowing tale of what happened in lake okeechobee some years ago where the water was gone. people went running out there. just out of fascination, and collecting fish and stuff like that exposed, and then the water came back, and it was a lethal, a deadly event, and god forbid, we don't want to see anything like that and they're trying to keep people away from the waerpt ed water's edge. it's freaky to see where the ocean was and places like this is. maybe it's a little different because we're elevated here. i'm probably -- i don't know. 25 feet or so off the ground? so maybe just feeling it as more
intense, but it is -- just twisting trees like twigs. chad myers, never one to question your calculation for sure but i have to tell you, it's hitting us pretty hard and making a difference. taking down trees with pretty -- pretty much ease right now. i'm watching trees and parts of trees flying through the air. picking up, my friend. what can you tell us? >> it is going to continue to pick up. and i know that doesn't sound reasonable, and you can ask john how long he's been standing in that brutal weather out there. just -- i feel four, john. you have a little while to go. i mean, honestly it was an hour ago i said you're half time. now third quarter, but not fourth quarter. and for you, chris cuomo, you are now in the lightest part of the eyewall. the lightest part of the eyewall. you went through a small, little outer eye here. that's now moved to the north. our chris christie, right there
downtown naples, but the major part of the eyewall here, you can see the difference in colors in the red. that is about to move over you, i would say that's three minutes away, and that is what's going to be hitting you as soon as we toss back to you essentially. there's the eyewall. what i noticed for everyone in tampa is that the storm has slightly turned right. i don't know if it's a wobble or a trend, came out of the keys and now slightly turned to the right. if that continues, tampa, you're going to be in much better shape tonight, because the storm of the -- the eye of the storm will be right over land for a longer time. the original fast, to come something like this and stay half on land, half off land, and that would continue to be a strong storm all the way to tampa. if we continue to see this, then we won't see a stronger storm in tampa at about 8:00o 9:00 tonight. there is the eye of the storm now. chris christie heading to you, i
can see damage on some picture there's. trees down, it's going to get worse. you're add at least another 30 miles per hour on to what you just saw when you get that part of the eyewall there and that's five minutes away. chris? >> and then we have to deal with the residual storm surge and see what that does. >> yes. >> we spoke to someone on marco island. you're saying that the storm went over there as a category 3. wayne, please check in with us. wayne is a 61-year-old man, decided to stay in his condo. he said about a dozen people, maybe a little less, decided to stay along with him and in their own units. check in, let us know you're okay. because a lot of the people decided to stay behind wound up being our eyes and ears as the first responders will be when they get back out. let us know you're okay. john, they're telling me they will put up on the screen a radar comparison where we are right now. i don't think either of us have returns. maybe in the control room, you can kind of talk us through. what are you seeing in terms of
similarities between miami and naples right now? >> well, they're both being hit very hard. >> i can tell you, chris, i think -- >> which i think we could have figured out. go ahead? >> yeah. chris. exactly. exactly. thank you. control room, tells us we're both hit hard by the hurricane right now. but that is actually, i think, an exceptional image, because if you look at the map of florida, where chris is, it's in naples, right? all the way on the west coast. i'm in miami. that's on the east coast. we have all of florida in between us, and we are both getting hammered right now by hurricane irma. in miami, it's been hit since last night. out here last night beginning to feel the impact of these winds. it's been nearly 24 hours of consistent winds. chad myers promises me we're in the fourth quarter of this game. if it goes into overtime i'm not talking to chad anymorph again. chris, you have a lot more ahead of you, but, against, you know,
chad's the meteorologist here. it feels to me like the size of this storm is highly unusual and the fact that it's delivering the force on both sides of the state is something we haven't seen before. it's a contributing factor, frankly, to what you're about to see there with the storm surge as well, chris. >> all right. so, john, try and bring in somebody else on this west coast here. a different sense of perspective, a place that's just starting to get into this. so you've got john berman in miami and all of our correspondents there obviously from downtown miami over on to the east coast. they've been dealing with this in excess of 12 hours really if you think about it. again, as john told you, testament to the size, the breadth of hurricane irma. not just strong, but very long. so that the range of hurricane force winds goes about 75 miles outside the eye, tropical force winds about 100, 125 miles is
enormous, and why miami and naples are getting battered equally. who comes next? drew griffin, a little ways up north here on this west coast. you've been dealing with the shelter system. this is that heavier band that chad was telling us about. definitely is picking up. it is a wall of water coming sideways. it is like standing in a car wash. and i know that, because i've actually done that before, drew. >> so what is it like where you are right now? we lost power here. is your shelter back up and running? did they get power up? >> reporter: the power is not up. we're still out and still getting heavy, heavy bands which are just going to increase, like the event for berman and you and we're getting it up here. if you're in a dry place and look at the map of florida and see where all of us are, just the incredible strength of this storm and the breadth of this storm is wild. we're blocked by a large hotel. so we're in the block zone, but these trees are just on the
other side and the light posts. those are light posts where they've dropped the lights down to the ground here in florida, to protect them from the wind, but that light is just would bebling now in and it gives you a sense of the strength of the wind that is coming through here. i know it's bad there. i know it's bad in miami. it is also bad here and it's bad i think remarkably, chris, all at the same time, irma is just churning through all of southeast and southwest florida as it makes it's way now up towards tampa, chris? >> reporter: i'm going to stick with you for a second. we just got word that the president i believe control room, correct me if i'm getting it wrong, what i'm hearing isn't perfect, that president trump has been talking about the
storm, that media is coming in when we get it, we will bring it to you. obviously he is monitoring the situation but as you can see, this is just turned into a male strom here in naples. this water is coming downsideways, the wind gusts have gotten really intense here drew and it's not just the intensity, it's the duration, like it doesn't end as chad was telling john berman, hopefully they're in the fourth quarter but these quarters are hours long and it's got to be raising the level of anxiety of the people up in that shelter. what are you seeing in terms of how they're coming together and how they're processing what's about to come their way? >> reporter: well, everybody's trying to stick together, trying to share food. we've seen a lot of people here. they're all in the same boat, right? nothing brings people together like terrible tragedy, so they're all trying to work with each other. we are currently at a hotel which is just filled with
evacuees and the power is at, has been out. people are congregating in the lobby. power cell phones is starting to run dry on some of these folks. they're losing all their communication and what you see a lot more of is the social interaction where people are trying to share news with each other, hey, did you listen to a radio? did you hear anything? did you get a call out? what did they say? so you're in that phase, when people are really -- they're starting to realize they are going to survive this storm together and alone until its over with. it's basically hunker down philosophy but it's still this incredible wind. not many people venturing out, that is for sure. >> reporter: that's for damn sure, drew. people would have to be just off it to want to go outside right now. i don't know how they physically could do it even if they wanted to for some nuts reason. here where we're standing now on this balcony, it's like a little
microanalogy of what this entire area is dealing with. we're flooding on our debris, just twigs and stuff that are coming down on the tree are blocking the drains so the water fills up so quickly. imagine that mag if iified for the sewer system here, which already say very low water table. it's very shallow because the water tables very high. so it floods very easily. just this rain alone would have completely overwhelmed it and still we're waiting on the storm surge and these gusts are the real deal. ed lavenderra is at ground level, we're up 25 feet, it is like a sand blasting to the face. what is it like down where you are? it's not about the levity, it's about the concern for the longevity? how long can naples take this kind of pounding and then when that storm surge comes in, then what? what are you seeing?
>> reporter: chris, this is unbelievable. if we can make our way this way across the shot here to give you a look -- oh, man. the visibility is cut off. that building structure that we were able to show you a little while ago, is no more than a hundred yards away from us and i can barely see it any more. the water's pulling up here on the street. the lack of visibility has just disappeared on us in the last few minutes is absolutely stunning. the fact that we can even see a build anything more -- no more than 100 yards away from us is just stunning. obviously, now come -- now lightening up a smith. i don't know if i can get you to come back this way, this is a park which is the area back to where we are -- i'm going to get out of the way here, chris, if
you can still hear me, i needed to jump out of that. >> reporter: i hear you. keep going. >> reporter: looking back toward that building, you can see that's -- it's basically an outdoor concert venue with that soft tarp on it and that is a park in downtown naples and that roof, that structure there continues to hold. i thought for sure that that tarp would come flying off and ripping to shreds here as these winds have intensified and now you can kind of see that structure again a little bit. but as we were starting to talk, i couldn't even see it. just absolutely stunning the amount of rain and the way it was whipping through here and then if you look down here on the ground, you can see just how much the water is start to pool up on the ground, definitely covering my feet here. that's that storm surge concern, we feel like we're in a really good spot as far as storm surge and the water rising. we're halfway between the gulf side and the river that cuts
along the eastern side of town but it is that storm surge that's going to continue to push its way north and cause a lot of flooding that ten to 15 foot storm surge that was expected in this but it is the back half of that storm as it brings the water in from the gulf side and pushes it back here toward the east that is going to be of major concern. but you can just see how little visibility we have here at this point and the dramatic nature here as the eye of this storm, hurricane irma, had just made landfall in marco island about 20 miles south of where we are in the eye of that storm coming directly to where we are right now and it is that closer -- that edge being close to the eye of that storm which brings you the most intense part of these hurricanes and that's what we are approaching here right now, chris. >> reporter: all right. back up to where we are, there's no questions it's going to be more intense because of the
elevation, but this is it, now. these are hurricane force winds. there's no question about it. this just came over -- we know that the hurricane made landfall not far south from here, not long ago, chad myers said that we were going to get an intensification and he was exactly right. we're seeing it now. the visibility is almost gone. i don't even know what i'm hearing right now but we're having some kind of weird sound come from around the corner but not unusual. things break free. the visibility has been cut down to maybe 200 feet maybe and these gusts have to be well in excess of general hurricane force gusts. you're seeing the structures, they're not going to be able to take it. you can just see these trees are starting to split.
and you're seeing that over time this is going to create problems that they're going to have to deal with for a long time here. look at this. this is water that's coming sideways here. chad myers, i know you're listening along with me, on the balcony where we're standing as a little like microof what we're dealing with here, the leaves from the flooding, from the rain, from the air, from the wind, has logged up so it's flooding the whole balcony and that's what's happening to the roads to the sewer system and when that storm surge comes on top of it, what can they expect here in naples especially if they have hours of this to go? >> they truly do have hours to go and you have not seen the worst yet. i know that might be impossible
to believe, but the real part of the eye wall that's going to go over naples that has already effected marco island with a wind of 130 miles per hour is still coming. what you've received there is about 105 to 110 gusting back and forth but you still have another possible 20 miles per hour added to that event and you can see it appears to me like -- all of the rain pellets or the rain drops are just broken up into spray. it's no longer a rain event, it is a misting, blowing event. so what chris is going to go through and if you are stuck it out the in naples, this is what they already received in marco island. marco, you're in the middle of the eye. your wind is zero and the winds about to come from the other
direction at the same speed that you already saw. so chris, i'm so glad you kept the pictures up but i'm also concerned about the security of our forces out there. please make sure everybody's away. i don't need you standing out there in the rain. i don't need you being hit by a palm tree or frond or whatever because it's happened to me before as anderson and i stood and just got pelted with things. the pictures are enough. the pictures tell the story as the wind continues to go up from here another 20-miles-per-hour. i'm suspecting we won't get any visibility whatsoever and we'll not even be able to see that building across the industry. there you go. i've seen before was a crane. i'll be interested to see what that crane looks like when it finally stops. >> reporter: yeah. she's okay, chad and we're lucky that this crane isn't as high elevation as the ones you have down in miami and basically she's working as like a