tv Today in the Bay NBC September 10, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PDT
half of the week. kira? >> something to look forward to, rob, thanks. i'll have another local news update in half an hour. ♪ good morning, breaking news. irma, the most powerful hurricane ever pounding florida right now. 130-mile-per-hour winds. flooding rain. a life-threatening storm sturge expected. 1 million people without power in florida. more than 6 million people, a third of the state's population under mandatory evacuation orders. our correspondents are all across the region, as this historic storm hits today, sunday, december 10th, 2017. >> announcer: from nbc news, this is a special edition of
"today" hurricane irma. with matt lauer and savannah guthrie. live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. and lester holt live from florida. and good morning, everyone. welcome to a special edition of "today" on sunday morning. lester and al are in tampa. if used just visiting us, it's going to a special day on the florida state. >> let's get the very latest now on the storm. it has been battering the florida keys all morning long. but its center just made official landfall there at 9:10 a.m. eastern time. >> utility officials in florida now say more than 1 million customers have lost power as irma has hammered that state. that number is expected to keep rising throughout what's going to be a long day down there. >> and to give you an idea how big the storm is, a tropical storm warning was just issued
for atlanta, georgia. yes, that's 600 miles north of southern florida. it is inland and north of the storm. and yet that tropical storm warning for atlanta. >> we have correspondents all over florida beginning with nbc's gadi schwartz. he's made his ways to the keys this morning or at least the northern part or eastern part. gadd d gadi, take it away, what's happening? >> reporter: yeah, matt, did you see that, debris is about to get ripped off and go over there and banging against the trees. over on the other side, if you walk with me, we're protected by this ed sed by building but we' strongly considering going to the other side of the street. it looks like a building that is sturdier. we're going to wait to see what the situation brings. just be careful, there's some that debris, just flying over there. got stuck in the bushes over here. this right here, this is cardboard we just checked.
so, this can't pose any damage to us. we have been trying to clear this area of debris that can hit us. we're going to try to stay close to this wall here. >> gadi, can you hear us? as much as we love your images, we wouldn't mind in your camera person and crew backed up and got away from that overhang. >> reporter: yeah, that's what we're thinking. it looks like it's going to fall that way. right now, we're devising a plan to get back to the other side of the street where there's not an awning starting to wobble. as soon as we're done here, that's what we're going to try to do. >> yes, the storms evolve, the winds can be volatile. we don't want you so close to the danger, gadi, you and your crew. thank you so much. let's go to nbc's miguel almaguer, in florida city this morning. how's it looking, miguel?
>> reporter: well, savannah, conditions continue to deteriorate, it's not just the flooding rain that's been pounding us, but it's this relents wind that's knocked out power to so many people in the city. as a matter of fact, so many are still without electricity. we're actually staying embedded with the police department. i want to give you a tour of how we're able to broadcast here. the police department is actually working out of this building right here. and we're taking cover, our crew is, underneath the awnings here so we're able to broadcast live to you. they're so concerned about all across the street and the winds that are just whipping right now here. if you even take 20 or 30 steps out into the center of this street, you can feel the winds increase and pick up their speed. they're saying power will be out likely for days. and they're calling these conditions potential catastrophic, so the first responders that are hunkered down right beside us actually tell us they won't be making their way on the streets to make
rescue because it's simply too dangerous. at this hour, they haven't received any calls for help, one reason may be because power lines are down, phone lines are down and cell towers are starting to go down in the area. expect the conditions to deteriorate over the next couple of hours here. inside of city hall, we could actually hear what was like the roof beginning to peel off. this building was brought down during hurricane andrew. but 15 years ago, it was rebuilt with better building codes. the building has stood up very, very well over the last 24 hours. they say it's really going to be a test. it's about every home, every neighborhood, every business on the street is shuttered. the mayor tells us the majority of the city did not evacuate. that means they're hunkering down. they're going to have to ride out the storm. back to you, guys. >> miguel, thank you so much. so, the 10:00 update on this storm has just come in from the national weather center. still category 4. winds at about 130 miles an
hour. and the storm is moving 8 miles an hour to the north and northwest. >> and they've been seeing wind gusts up to 95 miles percent hour near key largo. 80 miles per hour plus at the orlando international airport. let's go to miguel, where mariana atencio is in miami beach for us this morning. it looks a little calmer there, mariana. what's the scene? >> reporter: a little bit calmer, but any second now, savannah, i just want to you look at the debris that's been flying around for the past hour, it's sustained completely. i stepped away from the beach now to one of the side streets here along miami beach. the trees flying everywhere. i want our cameraman to pan this way. this is where things can get really dangerous, as we you just saw with our gadi schwartz, you have no idea what can be flying around.
we saw awnings with buildings and roofs with structures peel off. don't forget you have modernized buildings here in miami. but here on the beach, a lot of the buildings -- i stepped on some debris to my right. a lot of the buildings as i was saying are older structure so they're not equipped to sustain the winds. i also want to report to you guys that the miami-dade police has officially tweeted out that the officer, sheltered up for the moment. they cannot respond to any emergency calls. they say do not venture out. do not leave your homes. we saw one person, i'm on air with you, but people walking around. not officials want to be looking at right now. and we look at some of these structures that have fallen here. a lot of businesses, don't forget, this is a very commercial area, people boarded
up, and other businesses didn't. you don't know how they will fare with the wind gusts and the water that we're seeing. we'll see if our producer will take us up to where we stayed, to put the camera on the back of an suv to keep moving around to show you guys. just what the streets here in miami look like. it is insanity right now. i've been living in miami for five years. for hurricane matthew, and i was here for hurricane andrew when i was younger. this is something that i haven't seen in a long time. especially here on the beach. especially when you're not even talking about a direct hit. you're seeing the last of the hurricane pounding southeast miami right now. it's getting worse by the minute. first responders telling us, the next couple of hours are going to be incredibly dangerous. people should hunker down. we are doing the same. we're not on the air with you.
we're sheltering to safety and coming out to bring you images live. >> mariana, have you and your crew as safe as possible. we want to go to jo ling kent in ft. lauderdale this morning. we have flooding and other damage. what do you have now? >> reporter: savannah, we have brand-new numbers in broward county. 230,000 people now going without power. we have just stepped outside where we have been taking shelter. it would seem very large sustained winds here, you can see some of the local structures here. this stop sign was turned 180 degrees in the other direction. it is now down and facing the street. we're going to take you down this very busy thoroughfare here. it's isolated today. it's starting to flood a little bit. you can see more signs drifting in the wind here. you can see here, most of the debris in ft. lauderdale, palm tree fronds, branches, trees splitting in half. what we expect to see as
hurricane irma makes its way up towards fort myers, very huge bands of rain. it feeling very much we're getting pelted in the face. come with me over here. i want to show you, this is cal caller calvary chapel, one of the beg mega churches here. the sign has blown down. as mariana mentioned we're not in the eye of the hurricane, but ft. lauderdale very well prepared. residents here mostly heeding the evacuation warnings. most people are taking shelter in their shelters or churches or their own homes. you but ft. lauderdale residents are optimistic, they made the right preparation. they overprepared. and it seems like you can't overprepare in this situation, because of how much the winds starting to pick up here, savannah and matt. >> thank you, jo, we appreciate it.
the rain is picking up in tampa. lester and al are there. guys we came on the hair at 6:00, about four hours ago. describe the condition? >> i'll give it to the nonweatherman. >> luckily, we haven't gotten the winds yet, but we've got feeder bands coming in. and this is just the beginning of this. we are going to be in this all day. and it's going to deteriorate, and tonight -- in a way, for tampa, this is probably the worst case scenario in that the worst of this is going to come overnight. when it's pitch black out. you can't see anything. power goes out it's going to make it even harder for things to happen. let's give you the latest with what's happening with the storm. irma is a category 4. this is a visible satellite picture. this is infrared. this isn't using the temperature of the clouds. this is an actual photo of the system. and so, you can see, basically, 25 miles northeast of key west,
florida, 130-mile-per-hour winds. it's moving north-northwest at 8 miles per hour. and the track of this system is going to bring it right now, right along the coast. so, here's what we expect. right now for key west, 100 to 122-mile-per-hour winds, 5 to 10-foot waves -- i should say storm sturge. now, we continue to push this up, our friends in the southeastern part of the state, 100 to 75 mile per hour winds. fort myers, 10 to 20-foot storm sturge. in the tampa bay area, overnight, 75 to 100-mile-per-hour winds. you know, if this wobbles just a bit it could be a direct hit on tampa. we're not saying that it's going to happen. but it is very close. it's still close. it's something that we have to consider.
jacksonville tomorrow, winds 50 to 75 miles per hour. and those winds will continue to push on up. the storm sturge is going to be something that's going to be fierce. on the rainfall, we're talking anywhere in total 10 to 15 inches of rain generally, the keys will probably, all in all, when all said and done, see 25 inches of rain, in the panhandle of florida, that will probably be the least amount, 8 to 10 inches of rain. here, in the midsection of the state and along the coast, we are probably looking at anywhere from 10 to 20 inches of rain, lester. and that storm sturge, that is the thing that is of most concern. i mean, there's going to be a lot of wind damage. but the most zadamage comes and unfortunately the most deaths comes from the storm sturge. especially here, the storms are the greatet. >> we're not experiencing any wind right now, the rain is coming this way and maybe
directly to tampa. it's a good chance to bring in the mayor, mayor buckhorn, good to see you. >> thanks, sir. >> you got the mythical hurricane phoenix, 500,000 homes destroyed. 2,000 people dead. there are people that say this is the most vulnerable city in the country. are they wrong? >> history would indicate they are. we are due for a hit. we train as if we're going to get one every year. most of this area that you see here will probably be under water. davis island, harbor island, all of which you heard al talk about with the surge. >> your home included? >> my home concluded. and the surge is what we worry about, that's what we talk about all the time. we want people out of the surge but i think we'll have a long difficult night, guys. >> and you also deal with sea level on a normal basis and a good size storm can cause
flooding. what are you doing, or what are you prepared to do to mitigate what could be a catastrophic storm sturge? >> well, i don't know if we can mitigate anything. at this point, it's in god's hands. we're prepared for the cleanup afterwards and prepared to help people get back in their homes. we spent the last two years trying to strengthen our inf infrastructu infrastructure. to the extent that we're ready for this, as city city might be ready, i mean, we're dealing with 100-year-old pipes that we've been duct taping for the last three decadinedecades. if it's not done, it's not going to get done. >> you've got a lot of people in shelter. i worry about the folks we encountered on the roads like i need gas. how much of the population do you think -- at-risk population is in a safe place this morning? >> you know, my hope is most of them. the reality is, probably not as many as i would prefer.
a lot of floridians get hurricane amnesia. they've ridden these things out. they think they can survive. this is going to affect every part of the state. so, we've really worked hard to evacuate people. obviously, we didn't have as much time as the folks in miami did to prep for this. we've been warning this for three or four days not to necessarily trust of the models because we know how they wobble. we've been watching you for a week now. we've been preparing them, we put an evacuation notice on all of this area 36 hours ago. so, a lot of people have left. but again, there are going to be those people that will hunker down and say i can withstand this? >> what's your biggest fear? >> surge. we're going to live through the rain and the wind. what i'm concerned about the impact of the surge. most particularly, the surge will occur at the same point that the high tide curse here. monday morning, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, same time, you'll see high tide on the bay and on this
river, so you're going to add to that surge level. for those low-lying areas it's going to be increasingly problematic. >> it's good to talk to you. the six circumstances are lousy. >> we are indeed. it's game time. >> matt and savannah, he doesn't paint a good picture. >> no, that's scary when you talk about high tide and high surge at the very same time. and he's a guy who knows what that's going to be like. >> and when you look at it, geography is just not on the side of the folks who are living in tampa, boy, we're worried for them right now. and the u.s. coast guard as you might imagine is very busy during a storm like this. and we're joined on the phone by rear admiral peter brown. admiral good morning. what are you dealing with and what are your concerns? >> good morning. and thank you for having me on the show and give an opportunity to explain how the entire coat guard is preparing to respond to
the storm. i'm in charge of what covers south carolina, georgia and most of florida, the area under the direct impact of hurricane irma right now. for the past several days we've been repositioning and protecting our people, and our operational assets, our airplanes, our small boats. and mostly, we've taken them to shelter outside the threat area of hurricane irma. and we've positioned them and readied them, to be able to respond to our top priorities which are life-saving search and rescue operations. and then restoring the ports, especially the fuel critical ports of ft. lauderdale and tampa. >> you know, obviously when a storm passes through, it's not like someone flips a switch and the seas calm down and the water waves calm down. how quickly after irma goes through, admiral, do you think you'll be able to get those resources you talked about into action? >> that's a great question. and those resources are
positioned as close as we safely can. in alabama, in georgia, in south carolina and north carolina. but as you state, we're going to be hampered by the unusual size, intensity and impact of this storm, all of those aspects will have to traverse the whole length of the state of florida to get to the florida keys. it remains my top priority. it's the top priority of the entire coast guard right now. all of our operational forces, particularly from the east coast, are available to respond to this storm, just as you saw them respond to hurricane harvey a few weeks ago in texas. >> well, rear admiral peter brown, thank you so much, send our regards to the people doing the good work for the u.s. coast guard. thank you. >> thank you. >> good luck. let's take a shot again that we took much earlier in the morning. this is mike sidell of the
weather channel. he's right along the coast. take a look at how the sea is churning. can we listen into what he's saying, guys? >> reporter: three, two -- >> before when we saw him, he was in the streets, he had a foot of water rushing past him. look at what's going on behind him now. >> i know, i wish we had a better idea of how this location relates to the one we saw earlier. he, all morning long, has just been getting battered and giving us a good idea of what folks in miami are dealing with. as we look at that, we remember, they're not in the eye of the storm. this is the southeast side of the storm, not as intense as what's going to be bearing down on fort myers there and tampa and the western coast of florida. >> apparently now, we're looking at the miami river. so what is that, about a block or so from the coastline? something like that? and it's just going crazy there. i want to bring dylan dreyer in, i don't know, dylan, if you can
see what we're showing people, mike sidell in miami. even though it's that side of the storm. people know it gets gnarly on that. is that surprising at all to you? >> reporter: i was just looking at where he is. it is surprising, because we saw the storms and we always know the northeast quadrant of those storms certainly has the most effect. but miami is so far from the center of the storm. it's incredible to see the wind gusts they're seeing 80 to 100 miles per hour. and then to see with winds like that how much it churns up the water. so it really is incredible in just those outer bands. we are driving from sarasota to tampa. i want to take a look out of the front of the car. because we are driving through one of the extreme outer bands right now. we're so far away from the center of the storm, still 300 miles away. and we're not dealing with that much wind. although every once in a while we do get a gust that tosses the
car a little bit. we're on the outer edge of the band. i want to bring it back in and show you what the radar looks like. you can see the yellow area and oranges, that's the heavy rain that we're driving through. the reason why we left sarasota and headed to tampa because there are no hotels in sarasota. and we needed to get out before the storm got really bad because we do have a hotel in tampa. everybody heeded the evacuation warnings it seems from zone "a." the six outer barrier islands and also the lower levels along the coast in sarasota. everyone evacuated and the hotels are full in that area. that's why we decided to head north to get back to our hotel so we have a place to ride out the area. the whole area, you will see conditions deteriorate because of heavier bands moving through. we're not going to see the eye until closer to 9:00, 10:00 tonight from here on out, it's only going to get worse. >> dylan, please be careful as
you drive along that road. we want to check in with kerry sanders who is in naples on florida's west coast. we checked in with you earlier, about 7:22 west coast time. how's it going there, kerry? >> reporter: the winds are picking up, the gusts are up on the naples pier. i want to keep a hand here in case we get another one of those gusts. as you look, you can see the trees beginning to sway here. what we're really looking at here is the storm is sending its wind right now from the east coast to the west coast. so, it's coming across land. it's when the storm, when irma makes her way off the coast here, you can see, that wind is actually even keeping the gulf of mexico kind of flat, you know? but when the eye comes here and passes us, then it's the back side that's going to be the real hell to pay here. the wind is going to come up, drive the water up, and we're going to get that storm sturge.
and that's when we're going to be much farther inland. because we're talking 15 feet of water. the city here in naples could find itself completely under water. depending on how this happens. if the calculation is right. we may see that the eye wall passes through here around 2:00 or so. that means that 4:00 is high tide here. it couldn't be worst timing, savannah, because that means the back side of the winds which are counterclockwise and start pushing in here, will be coming at a time when -- you can see the line right here of the debris, that's the normal high tide line. the water will be high tide then more pushed in. so, 15 feet probably is not -- is probably not, you know, a guesstimate number. it's probably a very real number. and, of course, that's a serious problem, because i think we've repeated this enough. more people die in hurricanes from drowning than anybody else. it's very often as a result of a storm sturge, savannah.
>> it's scary knowing in a couple hours what a situation it will be. thank you. we'll check back in. >> all of this happening to the people in florida on an anniversary? >> the anniversary of donna hitting the keys on this date. as we take a look and try and anticipate what's going to be happening in tampa bay, this is an area that's invested billions in high-rises now. in enhancing their piers, their hospitals, built on an island in the bay. and they've just been very lucky to have avoided a storm like this. but i think it was just last year that the mayor said if a category 3 or greater storm hits here we'd be under 15 feet of water. that's a very big fear. >> and also happening at the peak of this -- >> the climatological peak of the hurricane season, atlantic hurricane season, september 10th. >> to say nothing about high tide. thank you. we'll continue to cover this. we're back in a moment, after a
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returns in a moment - as hurricane irma slams florida this morning. here )s some local perspective.. wipe vo there are crews from the bay area in florida... poised to help with rescue and relief efforts. the california air national guard )s rescue wing is there. they specialize in chopper search and rescues. wipe vo-same banner california task force three - based in menlo park - also is there to help. wipe vo-same banner and pg&e is sending staff to help with power outages from the storm. kira meteorologist rob mayeda with a quick look at the micro climate forecast. wx kira/cu i )ll have another local news update for you in half an hour.
10:30 now on this sunday morning september 10th 2017. this is a special edition of "today." we've been tracking, trying to track hurricane irma, wobbling a little bit, moving east to west. it's a massive storm. it did make its official landfall in the u.s. the lower keys. that happened a little more than an hour ago. >> 7:30. we've been all morning long. >> we've been showing you monster winds at 100 miles an hour. category 4 storm and not showing signs of slowing down. >> conditions getting worse. we're seeing winds and rain pick
up. all of it with major concerns over storm sturge, that could get as high as 15 feet some some areas. >> power obviously, people losing power. a major concern. a number of people without power is increasing by the power. when we first came on the air at 6:00 east coast time. this morning, 200,000 people without power. that number is now over 1 million. >> we'll probably continue to see it climb. we've got a team of correspondents across florida, as hurricane irma hammers the area. let's start with correspondent miguel almaguer in florida city. miguel good morning again. >> reporter: the wind is still blinding out here, the and ten miles inland from the coastline, they say the storm sturge is is not going to be a major issue. but these winds here that continue to knock down power lines and knock out power to this entire city. still, much of this region remains in the dark here. the winds are strong enough that
first responders now say they will not leave the station. they are hunkered down. we're actually here at the police department. they're hunkering down here overnight, with city officials and the police department. they say at this hour, in these condition, they will not respond to emergency calls simply because it is too dangerous for first responders to go out here. we rode out this storm overnight. it did sound as though parts of the building were beginning to come off. the building was completely destroyed during hurricane andrew. but 15 years ago, it was rebuilt to tougher and better building codes. it's made it through the night here. many of these homes and businesses up and down the downtown area are completely boarded up. the mayor says this is a hurricane-hardened community. they've been through storms like harvey before. they've been through hurricanes in the past. they're used to these conditions. he says the majority of the cities did not evacuate. we're actually at the door step to the keys which is experiencing a lot of flooding at this hour. we've seen a few cars driving
down this area. as a matter of fact, we saw one 45 minutes ago. it was a neighbor canning inas we're okay, which we are. the wind is powerful enough to potentially push a car down the road. the water is slowly beginning to rise. it's not an issue here. flooding is not a concern. whipping winds still many without power and will be so for several days. savannah, back to you. >> let's check in with gadi schwartz down the road in the florida keys. gadi, good morning to you. you've come indoors, we're happy to see that. >> reporter: yeah, savannah and matt, immediately after we talked we spotted a policlace. we found a church. you see it there, you see the winds whipping through. we're in a wonderful shelter. this is the baptist church here. it is made out of solid concrete. we've found a couple families
here. we've actually got an audience. you guys are sitting here watching the hurricane, right? first of all, some of you guys were saying you were a little bit nervous earlier. i'm going to just show you what we're looking at. i know cell phone service is kind of hard out here. we've got this image and that's the hurricane right there. and it's going this way. and this is where you guys are. eventually, this is going to go up this way in the next couple of hours. and we're going to see this go by. so, maybe two or three more hours of you guys sitting tight and watching out the windows and everything is going to be okay. let me ask you, what do you guys think? you're here, you're watching the winds, what's going through your minds? >> we're scared. and wind. very mad. >> reporter: mad at the hurricane? >> no, because it won't let me go outside. >> reporter: mad at the
hurricane because it won't let you go outside. that's what we're hearing here at the baptist church in key largo. for now, we're safe, we're dry. >> more like the mom and dad, gadi never wants to have. le. >> glad you guys are safe. >> let's go to willie in the orange room. interesting news you've got. >> earlier this week, the city of miami issue a warning to residents about the danger of construction cranes in the storm. take a look at this photo posted by a twitter user named savannah. it shows a collapsed crane on top of a building. this was a great fear that many people had in the city of miami. officials saying those things can become missiles in some of these winds that we're seeing, as dave price told us 80 to 100-mile-per-hour gusts. one has gone down. at least two dozen cranes still standing. it takes too much time to get
them down. it could be a week or more to dismantle one of those. the counterbalance on those can weigh up to 2,000 pounds that, too, very dangerous if the crane collapses in high winds. guys, these are 900 feet tall in some cases. there are more than 20 in the miami area. many people watching this anticipating this over the last week, were very worried about this exact scenario. and now, we do have one of the cranes collapsed on top of the high-rise in miami. >> not a good sign, willie. appreciate that. jo ling in ft. lauderdale. jo, we're been tracking you. how's the weather now? lost her microphone. we'll get word that she's not technically being heard right now. we'll get back to her. let's go to lester and al. >> live weather coverage, boy,
our crews are doing yeoman's work trying to get those shots on the air. lester and al in tampa, hi guys. >> you're right, hi. and hats off to these crews working to get us on tv. we saw that image shared a moment ago about a crane collapse apparently in miami. when you take a picture, we're right across the river from a couple of these cranes. they're meant, of course, to swing, kind of weathervane. but there's a lot of attention put on this at a time like this. we'll be keeping an eye on those as well as other major cities. we had the mayor on a while ago who reinforced what is widely known, is this an at-risk city. they haven't had a major hit of a hurricane, al, since 1921. somebody pointed out the population was around 100,000 then. there are about 3 million people in this tampa area? >> that's right. this is a vulnerable section.
hillsborough river. and davis island. they've spent millions upgrading the children's hospital there. there's a lot of residential homes on this island. i mean, this is really a -- this is the most vulnerable city in america. >> we do not expect to be able to broadcast during the height of the hurricane here. we were doing the math, it becomes to high tide. i was looking at the clearance, you can see the marks where the high tide normally is you add 8 to 10 feet, we would be standing in water. >> that's right, we're starting to get into one of those feeder bands. you take at look at where we are, as far as irma is concerned. it's still a category 4 storm with 130-mile-per-hour winds. it is currently 25 miles north east of key west, moving north-north west at 8 miles per hour. so, it's been fairly steady in its forward progress. and as you can see, we're going to start to get a little forward movement. it is near fort myers, by this
afternoon. later today, into tonight, and the overnight hours, it's right here in tampa. we worry about that wobble, could we see a direct hit in tampa? we can't rule that out. by monday afternoon, it's in tlc, motlc tallahassee, and by as the system moves on, there's a tropical storm warning for atlanta. storm sturge is the other big problem. anywhere from 5 to 15 feet, especially along the west coast of florida. that heavy area from marco island all the way down to the keys. we've got storm sturge and sanibel. all around this region. we are talking about anywhere from 9 to 15 feet of storm sturge. and that's going to be a big, big problem. tornado watches also. we've had numerous tornado warnings, they spin up very quickly. they've been in effect. and then they drop out. but everybody's got to be
concerned about that. and on the lookout for a possibility of waterspouts and tornadoes. rainfall. the heaviest rainfall will be in the keys. upwards of twi in25 inches. 8 to 15 inches of rain locally up to 20 inches. the least amount will be probably in the panhandle, 4 to 8 inches, maybe 10 or 12 in some isolated spots. right now, all eyes watching this. and when you seal the radar, you see how massive the system is, affecting both coasts at the same time. >> as advertised. as advertised. virtually everyone in the state is at some risk from hurricane irma. back to the studio. >> lester and al, let's take a look at the monitor. we want to show you what's going on on the east coast. this is a location where our good friend mike sidell is. this is brickle key, in miami.
take a look at what the water is doing there. >> wow. you know what, matt, in the next couple of hours, this is going to get worse. as the storm system, if we put the radar back up, as irma starts to parallel miami, and southeastern florida, that return flow into the system that counterclockwise low is going to get stronger. they're by no means out of the woods yet. they probably are getting into what's going to be their storm surge, as the system slowly makes its way north-northwest. they're going to get that strong onshore flow and that's going to push that water right in there. >> that's the east coast. you guys are on the west coast, and you're going to get to yo each other very well over the course of the next several hours over there. >> and right now, the storm in tampa, and they're going to have move because the fear is that
spot will be under water. let's go to the mayor of fort myers on the phone, mr. mayor, glad to have you with us. i wonder what's on the top of your worry list right now? >> well good morning, our concern, is the preservation of life. as we speak, we're moving citizens into safer shelters. but that time is growing to a close. we are now just beginning to embark on getting the message out that if you have not mobilized at this point, it's not safe, and you need to stay in place. >> do you feel like you had enough time? because of course, we all knew that the whole state was at risk. but yet, there was a thought that it was going to be miami and southeastern florida that got the direct hit. do you find that you had to scramble, or some people really had to scramble? >> well, there were certainly some who felt that they wanted to ride it out. and for those who made that
decision, there was certainly a scramble. and, of course, in large part, they've been able to get out. this thing is pointed to us and we're bracing for a direct hit, yes. >> we wish you luck. obviously, we're going to keep a close eye on what's happening in your city and all up and down the west coast. mayor henderson, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> we've got jo ling kent back with us in ft. lauderdale. jo, what's the latest? >> reporter: hey, matt, the clouds are really moving in. the skies are darkening as the outer bands of irma come and make landfall here. of course, we're far away from the eye of the storm. you still feel the winds and rain picking up. it's doing significant damage here. you can see, we're out if ft. lauderdale and some big tree branches have fallen in the last couple of hours. in fact, we're following along with the broward county sheriff. they have issued a curfew until
10:00 a.m. monday morning. what they're saying with irma making landfall, you need to find the safest room in your house in broward county and get to it. you need to put your cell phone in safe mode to keep your battery recharged if you do need to reach emergency services and if your phone lines go down. take a look where we'll be. these streets continue to be empty. these winds are below 40 miles per hour. they've been patrolling to make sure that the debris is out of the roads. so far, we remain with power in this particular section of ft. lauderdale. but the issue really is 200,000 people in the area. completely lost power there. they're bearing down. we've seen major signs come down along this street. but ft. lauderdale, well prepared. they thought the eye of the storm was coming here. so, they've hunkered down. they got their supplies early. and there's really no one on the street. we've seen a couple of people drive by, taking a look at the storm. but it really is coming down
now. and you can feel the clouds are moving super fast. and it's getting quite dark. matt. >> jo, thank you very much. >> we have been showing you video this morning. it's pretty incredible. this is a storm chaser in the florida keys who got out of his car. he said he was testing the wind speeds there. his name is justin drake. he's been at this for years. we spoke to him earlier and started asking how he was doing after that? >> i'm good. yes, that's correct. me and the meteorologists, we know exactly where we can get to when it comes to hurricane and stay safe. because i was out there as well. >> we're exactly -- we're looking at this video of you kind of bracing yourself into the teeth of the wind. where exactly were you at that moment? >> we were up on the key, on the causeway, it's a higher area in the region where we know we can
avoid the storm sturge. we just picked a spot where we knew there was nothing downwind of us if any debris started blowing around, you were not able to hit us. >> you broke up. you're on a causeway in what area? >> saddlebunch keys. >> justin, we see the picture. the picture tells the story quite well. what did it feel like to be facing down that wind? >> it was, by far, the strongest winds that i've ever experienced. we actually got a wind gust measurement of 117 miles per hour. but i have no doubt there are wind gusts stronger than that the anemometer were unable to measure. you can see the video where i fell down. >> justin did you see much damage to the local structures?
>> we actually sue kaw key west earlier today, there was a lot of damage on the outer feeder bands. because we wanted to get in the eye of the hurricane, we decided to head east to get in the eye of the hurricane after it made landfall on one of the keys. >> everybody's worried about the storm surge here. have you seen any flooding, seen any of that or heard about it? >> we have experienced a 15-foot storm sturge when we were exiting out of key west. when we were on the causeway trying to get out of one of the other keys, we ended up on the road and actually got up to vee how deep the water was to drive over it, knee deep, 2 1/2 to 3 feet high. >> justin, you said a second ago, you said those were the
strongest winds you've personally felt. again, you do this as your hobby or living. compare it to what you've experienced? what was the next severe winds you've felt? >> i'd compare these winds to hurricane harvey. we were actually facing that hurricane at the rockport airport when it made landfall. up to that point, that was the strongest hurricane that i've experienced. this one, even stronger, to put everything in perspective, just how powerful this hurricane is. >> the conversation earlier with a storm chaser with those dramatic images. philip levine is the mayor of miami beach. mr. mayor, good to talk to you again this morning. as we say hello, we're staying that the storm sturge in biscayne bay where you are, is 4 feet at the moment. the bad news you've got high tide coming there about 12:50 early this afternoon. >> that's very, very true. as a matter of fact, we're
getting reports that the tides are 3 feet above predicted. that's virginia key on key biscayne. this threat remains. and flooding for us is likely to occur. as i said before, we have portable generates, some in the city, but they're no match, no match whatsoever, for the tidal surgeriy surges you're about to experience. for everyone listening, number one, we want to you know, you should stay inside. this is very dangerous. assumer powerful and potential flooding there's no place for anyone to be outside. we don't want anyone to return to miami beach. and our curfews tonight and tomorrow are fully in effect. >> mayor when we talked to you first thing this morning, we were remarking that it was somewhat of a relief that miami and miami beach weren't a direct hit of the storm. and yet, since then, the worst images we've seen have been from your area, from that area. has it been worse than expected? >> no, this -- listen, we could have been a direct hit, a
category 5 hurricane, we're somewhat relieved for that. but of course, as we've been saying we're a low-lying barrier island. we're so susceptible for flooding. when you have a tidal surge like we're having right now, it's a very, very big deal. it's very serious. >> you had a evacuation in your city. you deserve the credit for that. you gave the alarm early. do you have an idea when you'll send crews to check communities to make sure people didn't ride it out? >> right now, about two minutes going into an emergency operations meeting we'll be talking to all of our department heads. our plan is as soon as this storm ceases, we'll be able to put first responders on the streets. then our crews from the mainland will begin being deployed coming back into miami beach. and the first order of business is going to be able to clear the
roads. once we clear the roads we'll have an opportunity to assess any issues going on. >> that is the mayor of miami beach, philip levine. mr. mayor, good luck to you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> that combined with the devastation of hurricane harvey in texas of course say major test and stressor on washington and the trump administration. we're going to talk about that more with chuck todd who joins us more. chuck, these back-to-back disasters really stress the system. >> it does stress the system. and it's really going to be a test for fema. i want to echo something because i remember this in my personal experience during andrew, and i echo something that marco rubio, senator rubio said, south florida, and southeast, it's going to be delayed when some of the reinforcements which come in. because there's only one way to get back in. and that is going to be yet another stress on vocations of
folks living down there and fema to find the ways to get down. neb mind the evacuees who are wanting to come back home. so, the system is getting stressed. and because of what the biggest damage is going to be and geographically where it's locateded. this is going to stress fema. it's beyond the financial issue. it's simply getting down there. >> and months now, every time we see you, we're talking about some kind of political division in this country. >> right. >> this is one of those episodes, or situations where politics simply does not apply. >> it doesn't. and it hasn't. and by the way, i should update you what the president's been doing this morning. he hunkered down at camp david. he's already spoken to four different governors in some states, as we saw al's forecast, the remnants ever this is now going to hit places like alabama and tennessee and georgia. and the president of the united
states has been on the phone with those governors already this morning, as they need to prepare for, while it's not going to be hurricanes forrican winds, obviously, they're going to have torrential rain and concerns with tornados and things like that. you're right. i think we've seen politics almost take a backseat. although we saw last week, even harvey aid got political there at the end when they start defining things like the debt ceiling and things like that. yes, politics for the most part does take a backseat. but it is still in the backseat, matt. >> chuck, thank you. thank you very much. they're telling us they have new video of that crane that toppled in the city of miami. there you can see it's now come down over the side of the building. that is what so many people worried about. all of those construction cranes in south florida. and if the wind got ahold of one of those in just the wrong way. that could be the result.
>> we've seen that in the past. >> we just got the 11:00 readings in. the storm is maintaining its strength. 130-mile-per-hour winds. it's moving now to the north. that is of note. so, not to the west. but due north at this 30i7b9poi. now, it's picking up speed just a touch at 9 miles an hour. pressure up to 933 millibars. you know, al and lester are with us. >> do we still have them? >> right now, guys? >> yeah, we're here. >> we were talking about where you guys are and the fact that the water would probably be right over that area at this point. and where safe space is. in looking at the tampa area, the salvador dali museum, this is a good example of post-andrew construction. salvador dali museum, built to standards, and now they have 18-inch reinforced concrete walls. and glass, which is both 1 1/2
inch thick and pressure-sensitive. so, that is one -- >> that's interesting because it's actually -- it's actually better reinforced than the hospital is on the same island. so, you know, they really made a decision to change that and make that better. >> yeah. >> one of the points that the mayor said, we can take the wind, but it was the flooding. >> yeah, the storm sturge is the big problem. >> that's keeping him up at night. >> yeah, without a doubt. and again, we're expecting the possibility of winds gusting up to 125 miles per hour. in that area. and, you know, we talked about it before. but this water will overtake you in minutes. >> so, lefter and al, dave not only helping us outside here but doing location scouting for you later on. >> we will take it. >> to say nothing of -- >> yes. >> yes. >> we've got folks out scouting and doing that research as we speak. >> all right.
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wipe vo+snipe first we want to tell you about people who flew (to ( the bay area - to take refuge from hurricane irma. you can hear their stories right now on our website. wipe vo-same snipe also on nbc bay area.com ... we speak with with a former bay area couple - riding out the storm in florida. ==kira/fs== and our own vianey arana is in south florida covering irma. follow her on facebook and twitter ... she )s constantly posting new pictures, videos and stories. kira meteorologist rob mayeda has a look at the local forecast. wx anchor/cu i )ll have another local news update for you in half an hour.
we're back, sunday morning, 1:00 a.m. eastern, 8:00 a.m. on the west coast. hurricane irma's fury is being felt all across the state of florida. >> the whether channel's mike seidel is in miami being battered by this storm. >> just about the entire boardwalk on the other side of the sea wall. can you imagine being in the upper floors of these condos right now and these hotels? the sound of the wind down here at this level, and the roar higher up. as you go up to 25 stories, the wind increases about 17%. that's another category up. so you fe