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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  August 26, 2011 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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homeland security secretary janet napolitano says the time to prepare is shrinking. >> if you are in the projected path of the storm, please listen to your state or local officials, please listen to emergency radio or television. if you are told to evacuate, please do so. >> hi, everybody. good morning. i'm thomas roberts. this morning for the east coast, it is all about irene. and we are going to keep you up to speed. bottom line, irene is huge, ready to wallop the east coast. while the storm was weakened to a category 2, it will still bring up to ten inches of rain in certain areas, areas of the east coast can expect historic flooding out of the storm from the barrier islands on the coast, many of which under mandatory evacuations, to new york city, where they are tying down 13 giant cranes at ground zero. irene is sure to bring a punch. now, seven governors have
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declared states of emergencies, up to 65 million people from north carolina to new england are going to feel the impact. >> from the time perspective, this could take weeks, maybe even months to be able to respond to. >> we have all the angles covered. we want to start with bill karins who has the very latest advisory. this came out at 11:00 a.m. what are they saying? any differences? >> there is three stages to the hurricane, the forecasting, the event and then the aftermath. we're almost done with the forecasting part because the center and the event portion is about to begin in the carolinas. let me get to the latest update from the hurricane center and show you what we're dealing with. first things first, nothing changed with the watches, nothing changed with the warnings. i think southern new england, new york city, long island, you'll probably go under the hurricane warning later on tonight. that's the 5:00 p.m. odd adviso. the first thing that got my attention, they're not calling this to go up to a category
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three. it weakened down to 105 from 115. we have this big, huge hurricane but we don't have a big, hugely intense hurricane. there is a big difference. wide area will be felt -- feel the effects of tropical storm force winds. i don't think we'll see a lot of devastati devastation, houses blowing apart and blown away and in the coastal areas of the carolinas. here is what they're thinking. landfall, sometime close to saturday, about 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., right along the outer banks. then over the outer banks during the overnight hours, near norfolk, virginia, as we go throughout saturday by 8:00 p.m. as we go through the timeline here, things have sped up a little bit. you notice by 8:00 a.m., this storm at day break is along the jersey coast from wild wood to atlantic city, still a hurricane. the forecast takes it over another landfall, over long island. let me break this down for you, step by step. this is for everyone that is in north carolina and virginia. we are calling for a category 2 landfall at this point, still
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looking at a storm surge. instead of 6 to 10, probably down to 6 to 9. rainfall will be huge no matter what the strength of the storm is. we're also going to be watching the peak of this storm for the outer banks and north carolina, sometime from saturday 4:00 a.m. to about 11:00 p.m. it is going to take so long to get through the tropical storm force winds, you'll probably be in your homes for a good 18 hours. further up the coast, again, still looking at a cat 2, cat 1, this is for people in jersey shoreline, delaware, chesapeake bay and virginia. your impact will be as early as tomorrow morning. to all clear probably by about sunday into the middle of the day, maybe noon, 2:00. you'll have sunday evening to assess your cleanup. but saturday is your day you'll want to be inside and extensive damage, still expected virginia beach, norfolk area, all the way up along the coast. now, with the weaker storm, the storm surge and that path away from new york city, again, you'll notice it is over long island, along the nassau, suffolk border, new york city on the dirty side of the storm, would not be looking at the
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incredible storm surges we're talking about yesterday. it still would be bad, but not incredibly bad. you'll notice the storm surge in new york city probably more or less 2 to 4 feet out of long island, possibilities of up to 6 feet. that's very historic for the locates along with rhode island and the storm should weaken after that. i think we'll have the all clear in southern new england by the time we get to sunday at 6:00 p.m. the storm, as i mentioned, thomas, it is coming in now and it is coming in soon. our computer models are an excellent agreement on this. we don't think that will change. i want to show you the radar. charleston, south carolina, getting bands now. this is about to move into wilmington. as i said, we're going from almost done with the forecast, now we'll watch the event unfold. >> as we do watch it unfold, if we can get back up that shot open your radar with the different streaks of where it potentially could go, when do you know the prediction when it will fall into the models? at what certain point? >> we're getting there. now we're within 48 hours, i'll fast feerd to that map yforward
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you were talking about there. the cone of uncertainty is the yellow. now it has -- it goes from nantucket back over outside of philadelphia. as we get closer and closer, it narrows. i don't see anything showing us it is not going to take the path along the coast. >> people need to stay vigilant about the forecast, the track and being prepared. >> the wind is one element. this is a huge storm. it is going to produce the huge waves. it already has the huge waves with it. a lot of people forget, katrina was category 5, it made landfall as a category 3, it wasn't a t category 5 at landfall, but they have all that momentum with them, with the waves and the rain. i think by the time this is said and done, the legacy will be one of the most widespread power outages our country has ever seen. >> we'll let you get back to work. thanks so much. all day long, we are keeping an eye on what is taking place around this country. governors and emergency officials too along the east coast, they're going to be holding different briefings as
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they watch the storm move along the coast, giving updates on the situation for their individual states. right now we want to talk with one of the governors, virginia's governor, bob mcdonald. he joins us now. governor mcdonald, it is good to have you on the phone. virginia has the eastern seaboard, it has the chesapeake bay, all of hampton roads with its tributaries. explain to us what you're telling your people within the state of virginia as we watch the clock tick and the major weather is moving closer to virginia. >> thomas, thanks for having me on. we declared a state of emergency yesterday morning and then the afternoon gave us 44 local governments to issue mandatory evacuation orders. some have done that and particularly in the coastal areas, low lying areas we're expecting significant flooding, others have asked for volunteer evacuation orders and that's all ongoing now. we have as many as a million people in hampton roads area, most of which will experience hurricane force winds. we're telling people it is a
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very dangerous storm, prepare now. we have the national guard called up. we have an extra state police out and any number of additional road crews that are in place, prepositioned, supplies, we feel like we're ready, we just got a briefing for the white house at 10:30 with the president, secretary napolitano and fema help, fema groups on the ground. so we are preparing for the worst. >> we're showing some of the navy ships that are being taken out to sea there from norfolk naval station. they did that yesterday to prepare for what is coming their way to safer waters. but explain also, officials are warning there is the potential for tonights that could be spawned out of this in virginia. >> well, absolutely. any time there is land falling hurricane at the point of that landfall there is a potential for tonightrnadoes. the outer banks and the hampton roads area, eastern shore of north carolina, of virginia and maryland, we're on the lookout
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for tornadoes. that's one more element. it has been quite a week here with fires and earthquakes and now this. it is a lot for our people. but we have great folks, emergency personnel that are prepared very well. and i'll be -- this afternoon we'll be in norfolk, virginia beach and hamten to visit the emergency operation centers. they're up and running at the state headquarters in richmond and i think our legal government folks are doing a great job of advising people. we need our people to listen, prepare, help the neighbors and do what they need to do. >> i lived in hampton roads for a couple of years and i know how many water towns you got to consider here. a lot of surfers on the screen, sir. they're warned to stay out of the water, though it looks attractive to them now. but they're policing the beaches there in virginia beach extra hard. >> today it will be fun. tomorrow it will be dangerous. they're going to be rip currents with the storms and we urge people to stay off the beach. it is still a very dangerous storm and obviously while the
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track looks pretty certain, a slight move to the west again and we have got catastrophic problems in the eastern part, southeastern part of virginia. for people to listen to the warnings of the emergency personnel, go to the websites, and find out the evacuation routes and the shelters. when we hit tropical storm force winds tomorrow, bridges and tunnels will likely be closed, which really changes the options to get out of the southeastern part of virginia. so people that want to leave, need to leave today. >> we're going to -- i know you have an update at 1:00 for yourself for the people of virginia. governor mcdonald, thank you for joining us today. appreciate it. >> thank you for your coverage, thomas. appreciate it. >> absolutely. now we're waiting for president obama to make a statement on hurricane irene. he is scheduled to speak at 11:30 eastern time from martha's vineyard where he's been on vacation with his family. the island off massachusetts also on the path of hurricane irene. kristen welker joins us now to
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talk more about what we can expect from the president. president obama keeping a watchful eye on what this means for everybody on the eastern seaboard. >> that's right. when president obama speaks, we expect him to reiterate the importance of heeding the advice of state and local officials, particularly if you have been asked to evacuate. the president has been briefed regularly on irene, including just this morning and we have a photo of the president being briefed by fema administrator craig fugate and dhs secretary janet napolitano and chief of staff bill daly. administrator fugate, according to white house officials, has been making the point they're really getting out in front of this storm. this is one of the lessons they learned from katrina, the importance of this. they have already dispatched crews from north carolina all the way up to maine. they have also set up a number of warehouses that include things like massive generators, big enough to power entire hospitals as well as food, emergency supplies, baby food, so they're really getting out in
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front of this so that they can be prepared for anything. you also heard when the red cross spoke earlier today, they're prepared to offer as many as a million years if necessary. states of emergency declared in north carolina. that means that north carolina is already getting the full help of the federal government. president obama trying to stay on top of this situation. and thomas, there have been a lot of discussion about whether or not president obama was going to cut his vacation short because of weather conditions or otherwise, he is still scheduled to leave tomorrow as previously scheduled. >> moammar, earthquake, now irene, we'll see what happens. kristen welker, thanks so much. the president will be speaking at 11:30. we'll bring you that statement. more now on safety and concerns around the nation's capital. they have put a major ceremony on hold. this sunday afternoon the dedication of the martin luther king sculpture on the national
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mall has now been postponed due to the expected rain and heavy winds. nbc's luke russert is live in washington. luke, bring us up to speed. i know airlines and transit systems are trying to get ahead of the storm. >> they are indeed, thomas. they're taking some precautionary measures now and that's coming in the form of actually canceling a lot of flights. if you were looking to fly between north carolina and new england, this weekend, a lot of airlines, specifically jetblue, delta, american airlines, they're offering fee free travel rearrangements. if you were supposed to go to some place along the eastern seaboard, you think it will get canceled because of weather, most likely it will. you can change up your reservation and not have to pay what is usually a large fee. it is not just in the form of airlines. also amtrak, all trains below washington, d.c. right now are canceled indefinitely. they're worried about low lying areas of track, not just below washington, but between here and new england. you have to watch for those warnings in the next few days because some of that track could be submerged in floodwater.
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as far as what is going on in washington, d.c., specifically, there have been some shall we say instances of folks getting prepared for the hurricane here in our nation's capital, specifically sandbags. some sandbags being handed out, sort of area residents and i actually saw this morning d.c. workers putting sandbags around the grates that comfort metro train system, worried about any flood that could go over into those grates. d.c. is being prepared. you mentioned the martin luther king jr. thing that's been canceled, that memorial service for the monument being opened up. the monument is still open, so if you're planning to come to washington and want to see it, you can see it, but you won't seat president speaking. a lot going on here in washington to prepare. but if you're traveling between north carolina and new england, check your flights and trains, most likely they'll be cancelled this weekend. >> luke, thanks. a live look now at nags head, north carolina, where the waves slowly are growing ahead of irene. here is a sign of a surf shot in
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nags head telling irene where she should go. king forward to my flight. try this. bayer aspirin? i'm not having a heart attack. it's my back. no, this is new bayer advanced aspirin... clinically proven to relieve tough pain twice as fast as before. what, did you invent this or something? well, my team did. i'm dr. eric first, from bayer. wow. look. it has microparticles. it enters the bloodstream faster and rushes relief right to the site of pain. better? great! thanks. [ male announcer ] new bayer advanced aspirin. extra strength pain relief. twice as fast. test our fast relief. love it, or get your money back. test our fast relief. or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business -- it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities, so we're helping them with advice from local business experts and extending $18 billion in credit last year. that's how we're helping set opportunity in motion.
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what's your story? citi can help you write it. welcome back, everybody. want to fill you in on breaking news we had in the last hour this being from amtrak, saying a train with more than 175 people aboard hit a vehicle and derailed in southwest nebraska, a town of max, nebraska. no reports of any serious injuries. the train was traveling between chicago and san francisco, california. again, it derailed roughly around 8:00 a.m. a spoekesperson says the two locomotives in first three of the ten passenger cars left the track. 175 people on board hit this vehicle, derailing in southwest nebraska. as soon as we get pictures and more information, we'll bring
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them to you right here. the big story that we're following today is irene, keeping a close eye on the latest developments of this storm. residents along the atlantic coast are heading west, evacuating before the expected massive storm surge hits the area. north carolina governor bev perdue spoke minutes ago. >> this hurricane is real. we have had tremendous briefings from our staff and from the meteorologists. by the end of today, late this afternoon, we will have 11 counties with fully stacked operational shelters with supplies and medical personnel and equipment. >> tourists and locals along the north carolina coast are hitting the road ahead of a hurricane that could bring a 10 foot storm surge to the state's shorelines. >> best case is five feet of water and it goes away. worst case is my house is gone. >> some of the old-timers around here, when this first came out, were calling this a hurricane made for tv because you guys get
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all excited about it. but that same guy yesterday was boarding up his house. so they're taking this one seriously. >> nbc's carrey sae kerry sande atlantic beach, north carolina. >> it can seem look a real hassle and maybe you get caught up in thinking this is hype, but it is not. the evidence is here in north carolina where people here and up the coast are in a mandatory evacuation and they're following the mandatory evacuation orders, which means that they have been through this before and they understand why they're being told to leave. the atlantic beach police department planned to get in their vehicles later this afternoon and they'll go around on their speakers and cars just announcing evacuations, just for that one person who may not have a radio or a tv or may not just really be paying attention because they want everybody to know this is not the place to ride out a storm. i'm going to have dan sort of pan the camera here and show you as we go along here, this is first -- first line of defense.
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it is mother nature's line of defense, the sand dunes here. you know about the surge, the storm surge that comes. it will hit these dunes. we're talking about potentially about ten feet of storm surge with the storm. but got news is that it appears by the current timing that this storm may come ashore and hit this region of north carolina at a low tide which means that there is a little bit of help. just beyond the dunes, you can see some homes here, condos that have built in shutters. that's just a routine way to protect your houses here. you bring the shutters down. as we go a little beyond here, you can see an older building over there, thats th has no protection at all. when you have the hurricane force winds coming in, that glass shatters, the winds get in there and if one unit gets damaged, then it can get into all the units and create quite a mess. one last piece of advice for those who heard me talking to chris jansing, about putting the bottles of water in your freezer. don't worry about them cracking,
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they'll do just fine, you don't have to take any water off with the expansion of the ice and everything else. it will work just fine and you'll be glad you'll have that ice so that it then melts and you some nice cool water to drink. >> great advice. as irene roars up the east coast, more than 65 million people in the storm's path, they're preparing for possible dangers that may lie ahead, the flooding, the power, the phone outages and contaminated water, a few of the concerns. discovery channel host eaton edwards is the author of "preparedness now" here with a few other tips for us. all this stuff is intimidating. >> no. >> let's talk about the simple suggestions first for people out there that want to be prepared, that feel that -- what they need to do to accomplish it if they have little time. >> okay, one of the first things wasn't to start with is something as simple as a note bad. this is a write and rain or all weather note pad. this can be used for reunification. oftentimes families get
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separated. you need something you can write information about where you're going to be, what telephone numbers to call, all that, just a pad like this and a sharpie will keep you ahead of the game if you find yourself in a disaster shelter. >> will go a long way. >> will go a long way. we have to worry about the water. water treatment facilities will be going down because there will be no power and the water will be contaminated. what people can have are trail filters. hikers use these in the woods when they go out. you can't drink the water out in the streams and everything. having a water filter on hand is something you might want to have besides storing water. let's go back to the other stuff, the regular stuff, like these lights. these are all crank lights. people talk about batteries. batteries in a disaster are just no good. this is a crank lantern. what it does is it uses leds, i didn't fully charge it here, obviously. you have bright light you can use and it doesn't use batteries
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and you can use it for a long time. >> i like this compass too. >> a compass. that's a good little compass there. the hand crank radio, this is a solar and it is also hand crank. you can't find batteries in an emergency. i have batteries up here, but the thing is that these batteries are rechargeable batteries. the people start to -- should start to look at this as an option. they're more expensive, but you're going to need them and you get a charger and everything else and you'll be good to go. there you have survival candles. these will burn for 36 hours continuously. >> that doesn't look like it would burn for 36 hours. that's cool. good to have. >> they come with more than one wick. if you use three wicks at one time, don't have power to cook or anything have an electric stove, you can use this to boil water and cook an egg if you need to. you have a variety of -- >> baked beans on your 36 hour candle, people. >> baked beans if you have to. this is a happened crank little tiny hand crank little mini light. the hand crank stuff, you have options now. it is not fully charged, but it
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can get very bright. and here you have one of the most indispensable items this is a multitool. what this is, this is basically has all these different functions, screwdriver, a wrench, a plier, all these things in one. this essentially can be used in a variety of ways to pry, to cut things if you need to, a little knife blade on there. those are multitools. these are essential items, things that people have got to have. of course, all of it goes into your gold bag along with food, stuff that you need for toiletries because if you find yourself in an evacuation shelter, one of the first things that goes is personal hygiene. >> absolutely. >> and people find out when they get in the shelter that people have different standards of personal hygiene. >> on that fine note, we'll leave it there. eaton, thanks so much. if you want to find out more information on this yourself, you can go to also, send us your video, photos, personal stories about
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this. we'll feature a selection of them on our website. officials up and down the east coast are watching what is taking place with irene, warning residents to seek higher ground as the storm approaches as a strong cat 2 storm. and the reminder we're minutes away from the statement by president obama live from martha's vineyard. keep it here. mike and brad wanted to personalize the surfing experience. so they started grain surfboards out of a farm in maine. customers can buy a kit and design their own board or they can take a course at the farm where mike and brad share their expertise and passion. for more, watch "your business" sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc. [ male announcer ] the network --
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and form a layer called biofilm so strong it survives brushing. thankfully, there's listerine® antiseptic. its triple-action formula penetrates biofilm, kills germs and protects your mouth for hours. fight biofilm with listerine®. welcome back, everybody. we're just minutes away from president obama talking to the country from martha's vineyard. look at some of the images as we're seeing the start of hurricane irene come ashore. the waves that it is bringing along with the storm surge on certain beaches. north carolina bracing especially hard for what is going to be coming its way. president obama is speaking now. let's listen in. >> and provide an overview of our ongoing federal preparations for what is likely to be an extremely dangerous and costly
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storm. just convened a conference call with senior members of my emergency response team and directed them to make sure we're bringing all federal resources to bear and deploying them properly to cope not only with the storm, but also its aftermath. i also have spoken this morning with governors and mayors of major metropolitan areas along the eastern seaboards to let them know that this administration is in full support of their efforts to prepare for the storm and stands ready to fully support their response efforts and we will continue to stay in close contact with them. i cannot stress this highly enough. if you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now. don't wait. don't delay. we all hope for the best, but we have to be prepared for the worst. all of us have to take the storm seriously. you need to listen to your state and local officials. and if you are given an evacuation order, please follow
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it. just to underscore this point, we ordered an aircraft carrier group out to sea to avoid this storm yesterday. so if you're in the way of the hurricane, you should be preparing now. if you aren't sure how to prepare your families or your home or your business for a hurricane or any other emergency, then you can visit, that's or now, since last weekend, fema has been deploying its teams to staging areas and communities up and down the coast. fema has millions of liters of water, millions of meals and tens of thousands of cots and blankets along with other supplies prepositioned along the eastern seaboard. the american red cross has already begun preparing shelters in north carolina and other states.
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these resources are being coordinated with our state and local partners and stand ready to be deployed as necessary. but, again, if you are instructed to evacuate, please do so. it is going to take time for first responders to begin rescue operations and to get the resources we prepositioned to people in need. so the more you can do to be prepared now, making a plan, make a supply kit, know your evacuation route, follow instructions of your local officials, the quicker we can focus our resources after the storm on those who need help the most. to sum up, all indications point to this being a historic hurricane. though we can predict with perfect certainty the impact of irene over the next few days, and the federal government spent the better part of last week working closely with officials and communities that could be affected by this storm to see to it that we are prepared. so now is the time for residents
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of these communities and in the hours that remain to do the same. and fema and craig fugate, the director of fema, will be keeping people closely posted in the next 24, 48 hours. thank you very much. >> there we have it. president obama speaking from martha's vineyard, telling us federal resources are in place for the storm and its aftermath now, pointing out what fema has done. also the fact that the president has been speaking with governors and mayors along the eastern seaboard to express the fact they'll have the full support of the administration, however this storm plays out. joining us is msnbc's mike viqueira, our white house correspondent. and joins us now to talk more about this. mike, the president not saying anything about leaving, not getting rattled by an earthquake, moammar or irene. >> that's right. the president and his family continuing their ninth day of a ten-day viks acation on martha' vineyard. the president is scheduled to
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leave there tomorrow saturday, well before the worst of it gets up there. 65 million people, american citizens, potentially in the path of this storm, thomas. the president, almost as if the mayor in chief, asking h ining o prepare for the worst. have the supply kit ready to go in case you need to evacuate, urging people to listen to their local authorities and when that evacuation order comes if it is to come, to pay heed to what people are saying because this could be a hurricane of historic magnitude. the president driving that point home. >> i think the president used grate example about the fact that they drove that group from the underfolk naval station out to see, using that as an example of take this seriously and evacuate if you're told to. >> that's right. the president also pointing out that you need to have water on hand, meals, blankets. he's emphasizing the fact, he did convene the conference call with janet napolitano, from homeland security and craig fugate, the director of fema who
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works under napolitano, and the organization and bill daly, the chief of staff, emphasizing that resources were being prepositioned this is something the government learned from disasters past, most notably katrina. getting them prepositioned because sometimes it is just too late, days, there could be lag time in the path between identifying the areas and the people that need the most help and getting them the supplies. there will still be lag time. but now the president emphasizing that water, meals, blankets, things of that nature, could t cots are already in place up and down the eastern seaboard and beginning in north carolina. >> mike viqueira at the white house this morning. thank you. we'll get the latest track now from nbc meteorologist jeff ranieri to talk about more what we can expect. >> from the east coast the northeast all the way down to the southeast, we're seeing the wide impacts from this storm system that does stretch several hundred miles in its overall
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size. we're talking about tropical storm force winds span something 250 plus miles from the center of this storm. so really the entire east coast will be impacted here as we head through the next 72 hours. we want to show you the center of the storm system. it has started to waver a bit in its overall strength. a little bit of weakening with the last update, but still a strong category 2 storm now as it begins to approach south and north carolina. you can see some heavier bands are starting to make it on shore into the carolinas as well. so over the next six hours, we'll start to feel the beginning impacts of this, winds that will be ramping up 30 to 40 miles per hour and some intensity with this rain as well. now who was under hurricane watch, under hurricane warning. look at this. from basically south carolina all the way up to central new jersey, you are under hurricane warning. if you're under an evacuation notice, it is time to do that
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now. especially if you're you'on the coastline and long island and sections of massachusetts, you're under hurricane watch at this point. a lot of these vulnerable coastal areas really have not seen a storm this size in decades. this is a once in a 25 year storm here for much of the northeast and in some cases once in a 75 year event. one other thing i wanted to underscore, thomas, the fact that our forecast models now, they're not wavering at all. is right now it does look good for a secondary landfall in and throughout central long island. >> we'll continue to watch and see how it unfolds. jeff, thanks so much. we're also going to check back with you later on in the hour. the national weather service is saying irene may pass close to new york city this weekend. that's a big deal. this animation shows worst case scenario, flooding that could swallow parts of downtown in manhattan if this cat 2 storm moves further inland. >> we will mackke a decision abt whether to order a mandatory
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evacuation by 8:00 a.m. saturday. we recommend that people start going to alternative locations if they have them because of potential traffic jams and mass transit limitations on saturday. >> rehema ellis joins me from downtown new york. new york city's mass transit system, the largest in the nation, may be shutting down tomorrow, so walk us through some of the storm preps under way now. >> one of those, the mayor, as you heard him say, telling people to go to higher ground if you can. the other thing, if they shut down the mass transit system, it will be hard to move quickly. the mayor ordered evacuation of some hospitals and nursing homes and senior citizens homes here in lower manhattan. people are already moving out and that is mandatory. in addition, the city has brought in for the police department row boats in the event that there is a flood in the area. if it surges down here, it could be anywhere from 6:00 to 12 feet
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that this area would be underwater. and boats might be the only way that people get around. they had crews out cleaning storm drains and it is all hands on deck essentially to make certain that people will be prepared if this storm hits with the intensity that they're predicting. thomas? >> rehema ellis in downtown new york for us. thanks so much. want to show you what long lines are showing up now on the jersey shore as people are starting to leave their vacations, leave their vacations early under the evacuates taking place there. and the long lines, see how that is stretching, but they are getting out well ahead of what is expected along the jersey shore. experts do predict that the economic damage from the hurricane this is a major one, hurricane irene could run into the tens of billions of dollars, especially if it makes landfall in the big apple. we were talking to rehema about that. situations like this, business, governments, they turn to risk modeling software to predict and prepare for the losses. and karen clark develop the first catastrophe risk model in
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the 1980s. she joins me now from boston. karen, we're seeing there the long lines of people leaving new jersey. i think a lot of people heeding the warnings that are coming from the different governors alon the coastal states, which is good news. i want to talk about how your company analyzes the possible impact of these major storms, like irene, like irene, and your estimation, what kind of economic damage could we see from this after it is all said and done? >> well, thomas, right now everything hinges on the track of irene. that's going to dictate what the economic impacts are going to be and unfortunately right now the projected track, which is to make a small landfall on north carolina but then hug the new jersey coast and make a second landfall somewhere near western part of long island is the worst track. because the thing about hurricane -- it is a couple of reasons why this is a very dangerous track. one is for the wind damage, hurricanes are right-handed. so the strongest winds are always on the right-hand side.
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so the further that track is to the west, on long island, the larger population area that is going to be impacted by the strong winds. so if the track does move more to the east, that's going to be better for everyone in terms of winds. and then secondly, the storm surge potential is going to be much higher with a more westerly track where it is closer to the new york -- where a tremendous amount of water can build up there and make the -- and create what people have been talking about, the tremendous amount of flooding along even lower manhattan and long island. this is a very dangerous storm. >> the right side is the worst. the left side, the dirty side as we have been hearing it referenced to this morning, is the side that people would like to see. but look at the long lines coming out. if you were to say best comfort case scenario for the next couple of days, what would your
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predicts be? >> it all depends on the track. it is likely that it is going to be a major event and economically what we do is we assess the property damages that will be paid by insurance companies, which is predominantly the wind and it looks like this storm is going to be at least a $10 billion insured event unless it changes significantly. that means that the total damages are going to be much higher. probably greater than $20 billion and the thing that most people unfortunately don't realize until it is too late is that homeowners insurance typically does not cover the damage from the water, the surge or the flooding. so a lot of that flooding damage is going to be -- is not going to be covered by private insurance and that could also be very large number in terms of the damages. so, of course, people, if they are warned, if they are in low lying areas should take
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evacuation warnings very seriously and not hesitate. i had -- a friend, nick koch, from queens college had a great saying i love, which is don't be a safire simpson suck, even though the storm is likely to be a category 1 or 2 on landfall in the northeast, a category 1 or 2 can cause tremendous damage. >> karen clark, thanks for joining us today. great stuff from you. wee apprecia we appreciate it. we're watching people leave the jersey shore on atlantic city expressway, taking people back to philadelphia. as we come to the close of the summer driving season, hurricane irene is expected to drive gas prices up as oil refineries along the coast shut down in preparations for this storm. prices saturday at about $3.30 a gallon earlier this week, many stations selling gas for $3.75 a gallon. as prices at the pump rise, the markets today are green arrows across the board.
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all right, let's show you a look at the crowds evacuating the jersey shore, this ahead of hurricane irene. this is the atlantic city expressway, near egg harbor. the third time in history the atlantic city casinos are shutting down because of whether these people are getting away. they're heading towards philadelphia. look at those mass crowds there. they are heeding the advice about what irene could be bearing toward the eastern seaboard. technology, though, is giving families along the eastern seaboard a true advantage when the power goes out. we want to look at some of the ga gadgets that will keep people connected and safe through the storm as it moves through the northeast. joe brown is editor in chief of and joins me now. if you have the ipad, the iphone, any other device that you have at home, give us the best case scenario of how we can use these to our advantage during this storm. >> information is power in this situation. the better informed you can be,
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the more you know, the safer you're going to be. what is great now is the internet as a whole is providing a lot more data and more information for people to look at. it starts with know,s had page on the web, where you can go and see all sorts of really granular information. this page, it is made for meteorologists. the information there is really good. >> complex. >> it can be a little hard for a regular person to parse. a lot of awesome nerds are out there making things easier for people to look at. storm pulse is another website,, go on any web browser, your computer, old computer, new computer, ipad, iphone and see a lot of the hurricane tracking. it is really helpful. if you have an ipad, though, there are some very, very, very good apps that make it sort of wysiwyg and fun and you'll obsess over it like i have been. >> what about kitty code? >> they make an app called hurricane hd, really simple, drilled down, shows you where
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you are where the storm is going to be if you should move. >> okay. >> a lost satellite imagery, stuff you can geek out on. >> but something relatable to the current situation that people can put into use right no you. >> exactly. >> if you're in the middle of the storm and out on the west coast, and your family is trying to get a hold of you and they can't, probably a lot of people went through this situation in the earthquake there was so much cell phone activity going on, a lot of people couldn't get through. texting worked and e-mail worked. explain why your cell phone will not work but texting with ill. >> talking over the airwaves takes a huge amount of bandwidth. when everybody calls at the same time and talking, it is like an mp3, larger than a text file, right? so when you're talking on your cell phone network, you're jamming up the network. send an sms instead. it goes through, squeaks through the tracks in the bandwidth and can get out easier. the internet is really robust. there are several different i was to connect. it is not dependent on your
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local infrastructure. it is global. so you can usually get an e-mail out to tell people you're okay. >> don't forget to charge the devices. >> charge them. keep them charged right now. >> 100%, 100%? you can get little backup battery thing like i have this duracell guy and costs me less than 20 bucks, charge item and it give me an extra, like, five charges. really great. >> and when you talk about the five extra charges, you mean five extra hours or literally five extra full power charges? >> five times, yeah. >> that costs you how much? >> 20 bucks, best buy, amazon, probably won't get it delivered in time. >> it is a really good deal. thank you for this. days. let's show yousome new pictures coming in out of north carolina. still pictures that are being sent to us here at msnbc. and look at the ominous sky there and some of the storm surge that is come on. we'll be back after a quick break right here on msnbc. [ male announcer ] heard this one?
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welcome back. want to update you on that breaking news coming to us this morning out of nebraska, where am track says that a train with more than 175 on board hit a vehicle and derailed. this happening in southwest nebraska. we are now getting information that nine people were injured as a result of that collision. the train was traveling between chicago and san francisco, california. this happened roughly about 8:00 a.m. near max, nebraska. nine injuries. also a total of five patients are under observation, while four others have been transferred to hospitals in re, colorado, and chase, nebraska. this was coming from one of is spokes people for a hospital there in dundee county, nebraska. we'll continue to work this story, get more information and pictures soongs we can to you right here on msnbc. want to update you now on hurricane irene as well. still a category two storm with
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winds over 100 miles per hour. right now the president advising earlier within the half-hour to pay attention to the tract, to pay attention to the forecast, and pay attention to the evaiks that are coming from your town. he did say that he has been talking with governors and mayors all along the eastern seaboard to explain to them that the administration stands fully behind them and will be there before and after the storm as well. it's time now for the flip side and it's our look behind today's headline. it may be hard to imagine that hurricane irene having a major impact on east coast cities. history shows that hurricane damage on the eastern seaboard can be severe even in cities. eight years ago hurricane isabel tore up the east coast along a similar course downing power lines and leaving massive blackouts in its path. power outages led to a water shottage. the new york stock exchange had
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to kick in a back up generator. the so-called long island express hurricane 1938 wreaked havoc of steady winds on 121 miles per hour. ripped up trees. the one hurricane to score a direct hit on new york city in 1821 was so powerful water levels around the city rose 13 feet in just an hour. storm surge actually caused the east river to converge with the hudson flooding much of lower manhattan. if you are on the east coast, listen to the warnings, beprepared and don't forget to stock up on flashlight batteries. i'm going to be with you from 10:00 principle to midnight with extended coverage of hurricane irene. that's going to do it for me. i say hello to contessa brewer. >> we have a lot to get through. we just got the pictures of the atlantic city expressway where now the cars are bumper to bumper trying to get out of dodge as people evacuate the
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jeer see shore. there are mandatory evacuations. more on that. in new york city they're prepping for this weekend. the mayor has halted all construction projects. and he says anybody who had a permit for water side events a 5 k run or charity event, they're off. here's the path of irene. we have much more ahead on msnbc. announcer ] anan the netwo. a living, breathing intelligence that's helping drive the future of business. in here, inventory can be taught to learn. ♪ machines have a voice. ♪ medical history follows you. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities... committed to delivering the most advanced mobile broadband experience to help move business... forward. ♪
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