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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  September 10, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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and good evening from tampa where people are waiting and wondering. waiting for hurricane irma to hit. it is obviously now a cat 2 storm. they have been waiting all day to see what sort of an impact it is going to have on this city not only those hurricane-force winds which we expect to come here around 10:00, but also that
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storm surge predicted to be five to eight feet. yesterday those were the early estimates and all day we've been seeing the water here moving out along this river, and moving into the bay, to the hillsborough bay and then into tampa bay and then all of that water as we've been showing you, it was going to be coming back in a storm surge moving quickly. we've already started to see a little bit of that in naples, florida. naples florida where chris cuomo and ed lavandera have been covering for the last several hours and the storm hit and the wall hit about two hours ago and hit very hard. we're going to show you some of those images and also images tonight from miami. miami beach, water flowing through the streets like rivers. extraordinary images out of miami and all points in between. first, though, i want to go to miguel marquez who is in punta gorda right now. miguel, how are things there? >> about 60 miles north.
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we're about 40 miles north of fort meyers. i want to show you that phenomenon you guys are seeing right there in tampa and we're seeing here as well, this is the marina for the city of punta gorda. all of the boats in there are not on water. they're on mud and you can see there's a big one off in the distance there and a sail boat right in front of it and those are sitting in mud. the water that you see in that marina is the runoff and the rain into that marina. we are also seeing the strongest winds that we've seen so far today. i mean, it's painful to the skin and it is also painful to your jacket and on to your body. there's a sign over here that's just about to let loose and the trees, you can see the palm trees are just in that unnatural shape as the wind is just pummeling the area. they are expecting once the eye wall goes through to have that five to eight-foot storm surge here, as well. they were calling for 10 to
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15-foot storm surge, but it's come down a little bit, but charlotte county here, very, very low lying so they are not sure how far it's going to go in, but they're saying up to three feet on the ground, in the town, basically. it could get up to three feet of standing water through here when the storm surge comes, anderson. >> miguel, it's extraordinary to see the water level drop. you can see over here, was there a sandy bank and that was not visible earlier today. it's dropped at least -- i don't know, six to eight feet, i would say. the hillsborough river and all of that water has to come back and come back hard. miguel, just in terms of what time you are expecting the worst of it there in punta gord a what have you been told? >> reporter: it was three, three and a half hours and emergency folks say between 8:00 and 8:30 eastern time we should see
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110-mile-per-hour sustained winds in this area. i just want to make clear. this what i'm standing on is a boat ramp. you should be able to back your boat into back here and launch your boat from here. incredible to see how much water has gone out of this marina. so the worst of the storm is yet to come. we still have a couple of hours before the storm gets here and then the eye. i would guess we're probably in the 60, 70 maybe sustained winds right now only because i can feel it through the jacket. it feels not like raindrop, but like metal bead, just millions of them hitting your body at the same time. not exactly a great feeling and amazing the power of the wind and how you have to lean into it just to stay up, anderson? >> reporter: miguel, of course, when the storm surge comes it will come several hours after the worst of the winds, once those winds change direction, once that eye has moved through.
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>> yeah. this is the big concern that they have. it is that storm surge. they don't want anybody lulled into a sense that everybody is fine once the eye comes over because that storm surge, they're afraid, will come in and rush quite a ways into town in different areas of charlotte county. 60% of charlotte county is in the evacuation zone. they don't even have places high enough in the county high enough to build shelters. they only have three places for three shelters in the county because it's so low lying. so they're very, very concerned that when that water comes rushing back up that it is fast. it comes back pretty darn quickly, rushes in and washes out again and a bit like a tsunami, i suppose, but far less serious or far less aggressive and far less powerful than a tsunami would, but certainly comes on very quickly and then rushes out very quickly, as well. you don't want to get caught in that particularly in a vehicle or something that you can't get out of, anderson?
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>>. >> yeah. miguel, we'll continue to check in with you throughout the hour and i want to go to brian todd in west palm beach, i know you've been seeing some very high winds. >> we have been, anderson, and we're going on seven hours where we're seeing the most intense winds and it hasn't died down much and we know the verocity of the storm is on the west coast and we know the eye wall is on the west coast and of course, that place is in a lot of peril right now, but don't believe for a moment that the danger has passed on the east coast and this is evidence of it. my team and i just witnessed the transformer blowing just down the feet from us a couple of blocks and it was a blue explosion and then it shorted out. there is a lot of heavy debris flying through the air. we've got construction sites behind you where debris is all day, and we have a modern art sculpture that got picked up and moved about 40 yards away and
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very intense wind bursts here. we are told we are on the northeast quadrant of the storm which is the so-called dirty side of the storm and a lot of the repurposed energy that is circulating and is now pounding us in west palm beach, as you can see. >> i heard miguel talking earlier about the verocity of the wind feeling like needles and that's how it feels here and not a comfortable feeling. >> we learned a short time ago that we do have confirmed two fatalities of law enforcement officers in hardee county who died in that collision with each other in two separate vehicles. so we can report that tonight. people are telling authorities here, do not -- do not venture out in this tonight because you could get arrested or you could get seriously hurt, anderson. >> reporter: the death of any law enforcement or first responders and that's the worst-case scenario who have been saying, look, when it gets
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too dangerous to go out, protection of the officers is paramount. that's awful to hear about those two officers. we'll try to find out more details on that. brian, just in terms of storm surge, i know that had been a concern in west palm beach. have you seen any of that? is there water on the ground? >> i think for the most part they dodged that bullet here and we were told to expect flooding on flagler drive just to my left and your right from the intercoastal waterway. thankfully, that has not happened. the water's intense there and a lot of white caps and we're not out of the woods here yet and so far we have not thankfully seen the storm surge. what we have gotten was tornadic activity and water spouts have developed in the intercoastal waterway that have threatened inland in this area with tornadoes or tornado warnings just to the west of us and tornadoes that were spotted to the south. we're surrounded by tornadic activity and luckily, none have
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touched down right where we are, but it's close at hand. >> yeah. >> okay. we'll check back with you, brian. be careful with those winds. i want to go to tom sader just to get a sense of the time line of what to expect for the residents on the west coast and obviously on the east coast, as well. let's just talk about where the storm is now, the power and where it's heading. >> believe it or not it's 15 miles east-northeast of fort myers. so it doesn't look like they'll get in the eye and we'll break it down. at the top of the hour we've seen a rise in the pressure which means we're trying to weaken and it takes a while for the wind speed to catch up with its strengthening when the pressure rises, it takes a while for the wind speed to react to weakening. what this means is a category 2, pay no attention to that. we are still one miles per hour away from a category 3 which is considered major. we still have red on the infrared ima knowledgegery and h
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cold or cloud tops and we're seeing that. now the tornado watch to the north and we cannot forget about these tornado warnings and they're near the orlando area and they're out to the east on the coastline, but when you get in closer and look to the center here and a couple of things we'll be talking about and that's the surge and notice the heavy activity of the convective activity to the east of fort myers. we are looking at fort myers and look looking at the eye east-northeast of them. so again, they'll miss the eye and it will continue on its movement to the north. we're still getting some pretty good wind gusts out of this. in fact, we're looking at fort myers and they have a wind gust of 88 miles per hour. you get into around a little closer and even around cape coral and 101. as it continues to move and around punta gorda we are still thinking about 8:30, 9:00 and if the system continues to move at 15, our question is will it move due north or will it start to
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move back toward tampa. for you, anderson, it's still a good -- it may be late tonight in the darkness and six, seven hours or so and that's the frightening part of this and if we get closer and we look at the other side besides looking at the tornados and the east to the northeast, we look down to the south. marco island right now, they are completely seeing water now not just submerge the dots and it's over to the sea wall and now we have in fort myers and this is napel, excuse me, naples, we're seeing a 4.9 increase. that's above normal tide. 4.9, that's above the ground. the forecast is five to say the so after the water receded and pushed out and away toward the west and the last three hours, the water height has increased by nine feet. so it continues to go up at 4.9. that's above normal height and we'll continue to see more. that is on those westerlies that are coming in and that will be the problem for the entire west coast as the storm moves
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northward. again, we're not going to see the eye move over fort meyers, but you don't have to be and you're still seeing the wind gusts worth mentioning that are 88 to 101 miles per hour. we're hoping the system will start to choke itself down now that it's over land and it's still a massive storm that's going to take a while. the heavy bands of rain will be blinding areas of central florida and toward the east. they will try to wrap around this eye somewhat, but it's going to be in the darkness of night and i can't stress this enough as the system moves northward, we're not going to have the pictures that we've been able to see all day of the flying debris knowing what direction the winds are blowing in. so it will be quite harrowing for millions of people that will just be hearing objects hit the home. they'll hear shingles come off and they'll hear trees break and fall and they'll not know what they're dealing with and that's why you have to hunker down without power or with it if you're one of the lucky ones. i don't think the eye will move right over tampa where they are, but we'll watch it closely and you may be on the western eye
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wall which is strong enough, anderson. >> it's a little hard to hear you, so you're saying the eye will not cross over fort myers? >> no. it's 15 miles east-northeast. they're still in the eye wall and they're just on the western eye wall. it's still strong, but they're not going to see a calm in the winds and they'll continue to deal, of course, with that surge coming in on the back edge, but it doesn't look like they're going to get in the eye. it's already passing to the east-northeast. >> that's a little bit of good news for them. thanks very much. i want to go to drew griffin who has been in fort meyers. that's good news and you will get the westward part of the eye wall and not the eye passing over itself. >> anderson, actually, we are at the airport near the airport which is east, just east and south of fort myers and we experienced the eye. we experienced the calmness of
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that eye and we experienced the birds coming out and chirping and everybody out here kind of ran out and they're gone now, but they ran out and took their dogs out and took a little picture and then ran back in because just as we were coming back up that eye wall dissipated and now we're getting the wall directly from the opposite side and we're panning up to the clouds and i know you can't see this, anderson, but not an hour ago those clouds were going in the exact opposite direction. if you've never been in a hurricane, this is the experience of the swirling radar that you see in real life. these clouds that were hitting us from the northeast are now coming around and about to hit us from the southwest. we are getting battered almost straight from the west right now as that eye, the southern end, i guess, of the eye wall is pushing through us now and now we're getting what is the back
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side of the hurricane. it usually has less winds and we had top winds of 110 when it came through. it's usually less, but now all of the debris is on the ground. now all these big branches that blew down like this one from the first part of the storm and the gutters that have been blowing down are all over the place and so even though the wind may be less, it's still very treacherous because everything is loose. the rain is here. ditches are flooded and there's so much precarious danger left out here even though people may think we survived the worst part of the storm. >> there is no really worst part of the storm until the storm is completely gone and that's why the authorities say just stay inside until it's over. anderson? >> i know one shelter that you were outside of earlier had lost power. i assume power is still out there? >> reporter: yeah. i mean, i don't know if i can
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drive there tonight to see what the situation is. i am sure they have some sort of emergency power where there is some sort of light, but yeah, this whole area has lost power and people are just going to have to deal with that tonight as darkness falls, but it does look like eventually in the next couple of three hours we're going to see these winds really begin to fade and irma begin to move on up the coast towards you. anderson? >> drew, thanks very much. i want to alex marquardt about 50 miles south of where i am in tampa. alex, the worst has not gotten to you yet, but what are you seeing? >> reporter: no, it hasn't, but it is very clear that irma has headed straight for us. we've seen what happened in miami and in naples and in punta gorda, 40 miles to the south of us ask we know what is coming to sarasota. the weather conditions have deteriorated significantly in the past hour. what we are looking at here is
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wave after wave of rain and wind just sweeping down this main street in central sarasota. if you look across the street you can see the tops of the palm trees getting tossed around like rag dolls. we still do have power. i can't imagine that that will last through the night. officials here tell us that the power could be out for weeks. it is still on now. what we are beginning to see are the branches and the palm fronts and metal siding and the debris in the street that as the winds become more violent and become much more dangerous and become those flying projectiles. anderson, it is a funny feeling that this is about as good as it will get outside tonight, minute by minute, hour by hour and the conditions are getting worse. we are expecting the eye of irma to pass over us or nearby around midnight, but the winds will pick up significantly in the next two hours. it's just after 7:00 now. we are expecting hurricane-force winds at around 9:00.
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somewhere around 75 miles an hour with gusts of 100 miles an hour. >> i was speaking with the city manager's office today. they said they are ready and waiting for irma. anderson, they don't have to wait much longer. >> yeah, alex. it's bad enough to experience an earthquake as people on the east coast did during the day as we saw in miami and miami beach and west palm beach. it is an entirely different thing to experience hurricane-force winds in the dark of night when you can't see what is hurdling toward you. when you can't see and you hear things snapping and you hear things breaking and you hear metal twisting. you may see transformers exploding with the erie blue light and you can't see what is moving down the street. it makes it all of the more terrifying for people down in their homes and in shelters, alex. >>. >> yeah. that's absolutely right. thankfully there are very few people and once the debris starts flying, hopefully very
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few people can be hurt. we've seen people walking around and we have seen some cars and hopefully they will be going inside soon, but what the city manager tom barwin told us is that he was hoping that this storm would barrel through earlier in the day. it shlowed down. we heard from the meteorologist it was moving at 14 miles an hour and that may have changed recently and what that means is that you're absolutely right. the worst of this is going to happen in the middle of the night. what the city managers here had been hoping is that the worst would come through during the day which means that they would be able to start assessing and rebuilding once the storm had passed. now they won't be able to do that in the middle of the night, but we're being told that they'll go out first thing in the morning as dawn breaks to make their post-storm assessment, but keep in mind the winds will still be howling at that hour, anderson. >> reporter: alex, we'll check in with you and we're getting a sense of the damage in the keys
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and our bill weir who rode out the storm in key largo is there. you were driving around earlier, and i saw you starting to see some of the debris in the road. how are things now that you're seeing them? >> anderson, i'm about to show you something that has shaken me unlike anything i've seen in 25 years of reporting and eight other hurricanes. thursday night i stood right here and interviewed the owner of a bar called snappers, and a bunch of very festive key west residents who were debating whether to evacuate or stay. peter was at that time determined to stay, holed up inside his bar. he changed his mind and good thing he did because it's completely gone. look at this. gone. the entire bar right here where i sat and had shrimp tacos with my crew at the live shot and hung out with these amazingly warm, gracious people, it's gone. it's been shoved up by the storm surge into the side of the
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fence, of the neighboring businesses here. this was the bar. >> you can see they tried to board up with plywood, but the storm and the winds blew through it and inside the restaurant shoved everything up against the western wall of this place and your heart just breaks. peter, the owner of this place, i just left him a voice mail. one of his employees told me he had aa assurance. i hope that's the case because this is a total, total write-off. you can see these are all slips for jet skis that have been shoved up and blown into the restaurant. this was a hugely popular place on the atlantic side of key largo, an institution for many years. peter is from the netherlands, he bought it a couple of years ago and expanded it, but if this is a sample of what we're going to find down in key west, you know, paradise, the southern
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paradise of the united states as we know it has fundamentally changed, anderson. >> reporter: bill, i know we have some before pictures of that location that you had been at, and we'll put it up on the screen. i can't actually see them, obviously, but we want our viewers to be able to see before and what it looks like now. there were so many people, bill, who you had talked to who were talking about riding out the storm. some of them did change their minds in the last minute, but a lot of people did stay in the keys. >> a lot of people stayed because they're afraid of gas lines and they didn't want to get on the highway, but i'm guessing this might serve as a lesson. head over here, i really can't get over it. we did all of the morning live shots on friday. we had tap water coffee at the bar standing right here. it's hard as a reporter and you come in and meet people and hear their stories of what it was
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like before the devastation hit, but to spend some time here and see it this way is just -- i get a little taste who lived and loved this place are in for the worst hit parts. unbelievable. >> yeah. yeah. terrible to see it like that, bill. we'll talk to you later on. we'll take a quick break. more with our reporters. we will talk to the fire chief here in tampa just to get a sense of what he has been seeing and what he is concerned about at this hour. we'll be right back. . looking for adventure this labor day? holy smokes. oh man, that's pretty intense. look no further than chevrolet. this is a fast car. i feel like i left my soul back there. wow. this has power! head to the chevy labor day sales event and ride out the summer in a new chevrolet. current chevy owners can use labor day bonus cash to get a total value of eleven thousand- six hundred dollars on this silverado all star. or, get 0% financing for 72 months on all tahoe and suburban models. find new roads at the chevy labor day sales event.
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looking at some of the images in punta gorda. we are in tampa and i am with chief tom with the tampa fire department. the biggest concern is storm surge? >> the storm surge is our greatest concern although, anderson, we are concerned about the amount of wind and the velocity of the wind and the amount of what the storm will do to the tampa bay community. >> when you look at this river with the amount that it has dropped today, that's got to make you worried. >> that is a very serious concern, anderson. as you see how far this river has dropped down, we know that this water has gone out into the bay and is being stacked up and after that eye passes us, this water's going to return back with a lot of water with it. so that's a major, major storm surge for tampa bay communities. >> a lot of people may not realize, tampa bay has 700 miles of coastline and some of the
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most beautiful coastline in the country and that means a lot of houses close to the water and very close and very low. >> the bulk of the infrastructure is right on the tampa bay and because of the lowellvation, wz well, and with the amount of storm surge and the amount of water we're considering, we are at about three feet above the sea level. so when we get anything that exceeds a three-foot storm surge, it creates havoc for our community. >> there is a big hospital right down there and also tampa, again, this is a city that has not experienced a potential of this level category 3 and right now below category three since 1921. you get a good rainfall here and there's flooding in parts of tampa and st. petersburg. >> we have a number of very low areas and the entire tampa bay community and the city of tampa we're very familiar with all of those vulnerable wears and those low areas, but when you have a storm like this with the velocity and the magnitude that
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is coming and what it's doing to the bay, it absolutely brings another set of conditions that we really have to be prepared for. >> i wish the best to you and your firefighters. >> thank you so much. i appreciate it. >> i want to go to ryan young now standing by in clearwater, florida. ryan, how is it there? >> guess what? the winds have picked up tremendously and mostly people trying to make the decision of whether they'll leave or not because they're not sure if it will be the winds or the water. we know this area floods and we want to wait it out in our homes because we're scared about the aftermath. at this point you can just hear how the wind is pounding us. that's got a great one-two punch here. we've seen some signs already whipping down. if you look at this direction, you can see the rain blowing sideways and it's making us stand in this area and we've been told by the st. pete police
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department that they've pulled the officers off the street because they wanted to make sure their first responders were okay. we've seen some highway patrol going by and for the most part, people have cleared the streets here. in fact, we even talked to someone who came in this area to restore power after all this is all over. they say they haven't seen the wind gusts pick up this quickly, this fast in a long time with all of the storms they've been through and you can imagine what people are bracing themselves for as this storm starts to move through. this is something that people will be waiting for and the power is still on and that's the good part. >> it's interesting. just as you were saying that the winds have started to pick up and the rain started to pick up in clearwater. and clearwater is just west of where i am, not too far and it makes up the bay area and clearwater and st. petersburg, tampa. the winds now just in the last, i don't know, 30 seconds or so while you were speaking, they had picked up here, as well and
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a lot more rain coming in sideways and i want to bring in tom sader. can you just explain what we're seeing in clear water and what we're seeing in tampa? >> if we break down the radar, it pretty much explains everything. we are 20 miles east-northeast of the area, of course, of concern and when you have to talk about the radar as far as cape coral, they are suspending, by the way, all emergency services because the bands are moving into the area. if we can show you where the eye is and you will see it right here. as it continues its movement, what is a concern and we're not sure if it will continue on a northerly track or if it will curve back to the northwest. again, as we continue to watch this area, you can almost, for the most part, give it an hour by hour progression. again, we'll be watching every couple of hours and it will probably be 1:00 in the morning in the tampa wear, and our concern is, however, as it continues to break down, it's the surge on the back end that's
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coming in from the west and that will continue to happen, but for the most part, we're really kind of just watching this on a radar image right now because we know the system is breaking down. when you look at the satellite imagery and we'll continue to watch this, it's lost its eye. we no longer can follow it as far as an eye. we know that there's still circulation with that and the continuing track is kind of confusing right now because if you look at the cone of uncertainty here, it almost brings it offshore again or the possibility around the big bend. yes, it takes it to the north. by the way, we're seeing some of these wind gusts that are quite astounding at 142 in naples and big pine is where we had the landfall around 9:00 a.m. between key west and big pine and they were at 120. again, anderson, as we continue to monitor these movements we'll continue to watch these wind gusts most likely break down and they'll become to 99 and they'll drop down to 90 and the models are still differing and now that the system is on land because we choked off the main supply of
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water source and it will start to wobble somewhat and we're still trying to gather exactly the movement of time, hour by hour as it makes its way northward. we're not going to see the strongest wind gusts create much damage, but you know, it gusted over 75, 75 miles per hour and it's possible from orlando all of the way to tallahassee. governor nathan deal has put up a state of emergency, and they'll see tropical storm force winds possibly around 50. but again, the radar is telling everything right now. 20 miles east-northeast now of fort myers. they're missing out on the eye, but again, we'll continue to watch where will that center go? because that means everything for the next couple of hours. if we broaden out a little bit you will see all we have around the eye is excess of heavy rainfall on the north and eastern quadrant. so that's the area where the winds are still the strongest. the heavy rain is still pounding and that heavy rain forces those
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stronger winds down to the surface and that is really the concern and will it make its way and curve more toward you, anderson? we do believe so, and of course, it's got to make that turn again in the next couple of hours. >> and you talk about the breakdown of the eye. just explain the significance of that because it is now a cat 2. i assume it will be weakening which is good news for anybody in its path in the hours ahead. >> it is. when you lose that eye it starts to kind of become an entire rain shield. when you lose the eye, you're losing what basically is the exhaust of this engine. when everything gets funneled up from the bottom, remember the moisture and the fuel and no longer do you have that column of upward movement and fanning out high above. so the eye will start to close up and it will put and choke and spit like an engine, but it's losing its force. there will still be wind gusts
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and we're not going to see it as sustained as you see earlier and we are only one mile per hour off of category three, but the pressure is rising which means we'll lose strength with this, but again, we don't want to use the word downgraded because it is such a massive storm. we still have tornado warnings and we still have a surge on the east coast. we are starting to see and down to the south, we will get a little bit of a break when it comes toward miami. don't be fooled by these feeder bands sliding west to east and northeast because the winds are still coming in from the south a and they're still feeding in with the bands and still in biscayne bay and the unprecedented flooding in the financial district in miami and it's farther to the north where it will be more inland. this will start to subside once the system moves to the north and the flooding in miami-dade into monroe, but again, as long as we have some circulation, we still have some sort of a motor.
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it is not the horsepower that it was earlier in the day, but again, it will knock out power and it will still throw a lot of debris around. anderson, we're not going have harvey again. it will be retired. we're not going to have an irma again. these names will be retired and it's the first time to have back-to-back hurricane names retired since rita and stan 12 years ago. these are formidable storms in the days ahead and this is re-writing the record books. >> i want to go back to ryan young in clearwater not far from here. >> just as we were talking about with chief forward of the fire department in tampa, there are so many houses built around the tampa bay. construction in this area, in the bay area has exploded over the last couple of years and you see the cranes behind me there, and there's been so much development here in tampa, and also in clearwater and also in
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st. petersburg and the chief was saying floods of three feet and the storm surge of three feet even. you're going to get problems in people's homes. on top of that you will have the hurricane-force winds with waves on top of that storm surge where you are. that's the absolute conversation and tampa is a beautiful place. >> you don't have to be rich to live near the water and that compounds things and so many people have moved into this area. when you talk to people who are residents here they say there's nowhere for the water to go at this point and we did talk to new homeowners who have new fema-certified homes that are nine feet off the ground. that's great for those people who have the wind-resistant roofs who can sustain this, but when you talk to other people who have lived their whole lives in the tampa area, they're hoping to get to this storm and avoid the flooding area. in fact, we went to a trailer park this afternoon and the woman said i can't leave this. this is my prized possession.
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i would never want to leave this area. you can understand the wind and the water and the flooding comes all of the time anyway and you understand the decisions they're trying to make at this point and when you feel this, you can understand how dangerous this could be. we are doing our best to stand up here and the idea that the water could be coming and the flooding could happen and that's what everyone has been talking about for the last few days especially when the water just left and we saw certain areas and the bays and the inlets that had no water and you know the water will come rushing back in. you have to get across your fingers and they're able to get to the night especially with darkness coming. >> yeah. >> we'll talk to you shortly and we'll continue to check in with our correspondents just to try to assess the damage in the keys. obviously, that was the place it made landfall and the place a lot of folks were most worried about, but even in naples. if you were watching cnn earlier with the coverage of chris cuomo
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and ed lavandera, they were just battered and the property in naples and just sheets and sheets of water. hour after hour, it was extraordinary to see those images and we're trying to is aes is what sort of damage there is there, as well. more ahead. where are we? about to see progressive's new home quote explorer. where you can compare multiple quote options online and choose what's right for you. woah. flo and jamie here to see hqx. flo and jamie request entry. slovakia. triceratops. tapioca. racquetball.
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we -- where sheets of rain, waves of rain are coming and the worst still hour ahead for the people of tampa. i want to the go to brian todd on the eastern side of florida. brian, the images there, i mean, you are still getting hammered there. >> reporter: we really are, anderson. this has been going on for close to eight hours. people thought they might be late in the process by now, but it has been very intense for about eight hours now and it doesn't look like it's letting up any time soon. just about anything you can see -- whoa, i just -- i just have to tell you we saw a huge blue light over the distance. it looked like an explosion. we saw a similar event just down the street here and it was a transformer explosion and i just saw one very intense over to my left. so it looks like -- yeah. it really is. it was a large one. it was behind a building, but i
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can see it. these lights have been going on and off and we're talking about projectiles, anderson and there are so many things that have turned into projectiles and large palm fronts that weigh 20 pounds or more. there was a modern art sculpture that weighs hundreds of pounds and it was weighed down by sandbags and that thing flew about 40 yards. we can tell you that residents here have been worried about the cranes. i can see them in the faded distance behind me. the construction crane, i know we've been talking about that for days and you had the incident in miami where two construction cranes cracked. these ones behind me have held up for the most part. i talked to a local fire official and they were confident that they would hold up and i can tell you that local residents here are a little bit worried and some of these apartment buildings were not completely evacuated and some were under voluntary evacuation notices and there are apartment
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wou buildings behind this, and again, this has been an incredible wind event here in palm beach county. it really has not let up. we can also report some horrible news from hardee county in the middle of the state where palm beach officials here were telling us about it and it was reported earlier, two law enforcement officers in hardee county died in a vehicle collision. they were in an evacuation zone and it tells you that about the risks that some of these law enforcement officers are taking to try to save people. we were told by palm beach officials and officials in other countries that they were not able to send other people, and they were not going to be able to send first responders and don't call 911. they can't come for you. will, still in hardee county these officers risk their lives and unfortunately, two officers lost their lives tonight. the circumstances around the vehicle collision aren't quite clear right now, but we do know that they've passed away. so anderson, the intensity on the east coast, as bad as it is
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on the west coast and we know it's horrible. i don't think for a moment the intensity has decreased on the east coast. >> yeah. well, our thoughts and our prayers are certainly with the families of those officers. there is still a lot to learn about the damage that has been done and the toll that has been taken in human lives all across, not just in the united states, but in the caribbean, as well. we know more than 20 people have lost their lives thus far. we now just got the latest figures in florida. some 3 million people are now without power. this is a huge impact on people. 3 million people and the fema administrator that we talked to, brock long, said that in some parts of florida, it could be weeks before power is restored depending on what happens in the next 24 or 48 hours. so this will have lasting effects on florida. obviously, a huge economic toll, as well, that will not be calculable for quite some time. i want to say, though, on the
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east coast which a lot of people might be surprised still as you saw with brian todd, still in the danger zone and still getting those winds and that rain in daytona beach with us. sir, i know it's been windy there, as well, just a few minutes ago. >>. >> yeah. it's really picking up, anderson, and we've been seeing the bands of rain and wind that come slamming through this area and you were looking at daytona beach and we're standing on the fifth floor of a hotel that is a hurricane-rated hotel. we are staying with dozens upon dozens of florida power and light contractors and you will see their vehicles down there, but there is a whole sea of them that is at the daytona speedway where they had the daytona 500. these were the first responders to get people's power back and first you have the guys who will trim the trees and the guys and women who will fix the lines and they are waiting the storm out alongside us looking out and trying to figure out what they're going to do. we know a couple of shelters are
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full here and we talked to authorities and we've been in touch with them and it's really become quite a windy storm, but the truth of the matter is this is nothing and we are more than 200 miles from where the eye when it was hitting naples and you saw those insane pictures. we are more than 200 miles away on the other coast and it gives you an idea of just how strong this is and lastly, fp & l says this is the largest workforce of florida power and light that its ever deployed because of irma. anderson? >> brian todd, we were talking about transformers exploding and we just while you were talking we may have seen me point off camera. you can just pan over here. this is the over toward the university of tampa and we saw off in the distance that freakish blue light that kind of whitish blue light light up the night sky and it clearly was a transformer and it's got a distinctive look when those things explode and anybody who
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has been covering hurricanes has seen that time and time again, and even for residents to see that off in the distance and maybe some people don't know what it is and that's formally what it is a transformer and, and the lights went on in the kennedy boulevard bridge which is just a little bit up that way and you can see lights on still in the city and 3 million people right now without power. it is going to be a miserable night and a miserable days and weeks for a lot of those people in -- coming up. we'll take a quick break. we have reporters all over the east coast, west coast, florida and points beyond. we'll be right back. long, long . reminds me of how geico has been saving people money for over 75 years. hey, big guy! come on in! let me guess your weight! win a prize! sure, why not. 12 ounces! sorry, mate. four ounces. i've been taking the stairs lately. you win, big guy.
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you're looking at an image out of clear water, florida. you get a sense of the power of the wind which is just due west of us here in the bay area, clearwater, tampa, st. petersburg. very high winds there, one of the outer bands of the storm coming around because the bulk of the storm, the worst of it is still several hours away according to tom sater. the wind is going horizontally. we're blocked by the sheraton hotel we think somewhat but the wind here is not quite as much as we're seeing in clearwater, but again, the worst yet to come. i want to go to miguel marquez, who is south of us in punta
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gorda, a town which was just hit so hard, devastated back in 2004 in hurricane charley which we were covering. lot of people thought tampa would be hit. the storm took a turn at the last minute and hit punta gorda directly. miguel it's very dark there, obviously darkness has fallen all over this area, that's what makes it so scary for people now at night just to not be able to know exactly, not be able to see what is postentially coming at them, at their house especially with the storm surge due in the early morning hours on tomorrow morning. >> reporter: yes, i think, look, it is getting dark. it shouldn't be this dark but because of the cloud cover, the rain and intense wind, you can barely make out anything. i'm only about 30 or 40 feet from the camera. that is the bay. it is almost impossible to look into the rain right now, because it is just like metal shards coming at you right now. you can feel it across your
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entire body. it's a really intense feeling. the wind is as intense as it has been, but perhaps not as intense as they thought it was going to get. it's about 8:00 p.m. eastern time here, and this is the time when the emergency operations folks thought the wind was going to be the most intense here in punta gorda. it does not look like they are going to get it like they did with charley. that is a storm that nearly wiped this town off the map. but people have come down here all day to this bay, and they haven't ever seen this, even during charley, they didn't see the bay get the lack of water, and the sea water basically blown out of the bay, so now the concern obviously is that a storm surge once we get past the eye wall passes us, and that the wind turns around, and everything that went out must come back, and they believe it will get up to about three feet in some places in town, but the wind right now really, really
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getting intense, clearly we are in the center and we're getting very close to the worst part of this storm. anderson? >> yes, miguel, such a strange phenomena to see the water going out. we're seeing it here in tampa along the hillsborough river which feeds into hillsborough bay and tampa bay. miguel, i know you and people there in punta gorda have been warned that surge water that's gone out can come back in very, very quickly, sometimes even in a matter of minutes. >> reporter: yes, that is one of the concerns that they have. it could come back quickly. they're not entirely sure how fast it will but that's the problem. you can be out driving a car and may think everything is much better and you're beyond the worst of the storm. three or four feet of water comes in and sweeps knew a gully or culvert and overturns your car and that's it. sense of what's happening here look at the trees here. get a sense of how intense that wind is here in punta gorda. the lights appear to be out across town. as far as i can see around the
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city right now, the lights seem to be out around punta gorda which is across much of the state. it's not clear if they are going to remain out for a long time. they were certainly expecting that this was probably happening at some point tonight but not clear why they've gone out. i didn't see any transformers exploding, i didn't see any obvious reasons for it to go out but it is out right now and they have to figure out how to get it reestablished, like much of the state, millions and millions of people tonight without power. anderson? >> yes, miguel, be careful. alex marquad is in sarasota, 50 miles south of us. i assume it's just as dark and dangerous. what are you seeing? >> reporter: yes, anderson, you were telling viewers it's about to get worse, i feel we'll have to tell people that several times over the course of the next few hours. it's hard to believe that what we're seeing right now pales in comparison to what's coming. it's hard for me to look at you in the camera, there's so much rain coming this way, pelting us
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in the face. feels like tiny bee s stinging you, wave after wave of rain shooting down the street, using it as a wind tunnel. it has gotten eerie in the last few moments. the sun has set, it has gotten dark. thankfully there's no one out here but the power is starting to go. it's somewhat surprising the power is still on, just moments ago, all the power in this area went off, all the street lights, all the shopfronts, everything went down, including where we're staying. it has come back on but you're hearing this ringing noise which you can tell is that the power systems trying to struggle with all of this water and all of this weather. now, we are starting to see branches snapping off of trees, those palm fronds littering the streets, pieces of metal, signs shaking in the wind, all this stuff that is going to become these projectiles, as these winds pick up. hard to say of course how strong
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the winds are right now. we know that in about an hour, we can start to begin to feel hurricane force winds, somewhere between 75, 95 miles an hour with gusts up to over 100 miles an hour, so anderson, in the coming hours, in this darkness, it is about to get much, much worse. anderson? >> alex, just in terms of the next hour, you've been told tom sater told you 100-plus winds at this point, that's the estimate? >> reporter: yes, i just lost you for a second but yes, what we're being told is that around midnight, so four hours from now, the eye of the storm of irma will pass over or near to us, and so that will be the peak of it, and of course there will be horrible winds coming out of that, tropical storm force winds coming out of that into the early morning hours. slowly and steadily, these winds are ramping up.
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the hurricane force winds around category 1, maybe category 2, if it goes significantly over 100 miles an hour, those we can expect to start feeling in about an hour, anderson. >> all right, we want to check in with tom sater soon because we want to get a sense, the last time we talked to him that eye, the eye wall had started to break up, which obviously starting to dissipate a little bit. obviously though, that is, does not mean people in any way are out of the woods. it just means the storm is sort of spreading out a little bit. tom wasn't sure exactly the direction this was going to go. could go back over the water, try to reform a little bit. ryan young is in clearwater again, just west of us here in the bay area. ryan, you've been getting a lot of winds and a lot of that sideways rain. >> reporter: yes, definitely a lot of wind and sideways rain. we're trying to kind of stand under an awning at this point to give


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