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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  August 27, 2011 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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good morning. i'm alex witt at msnbc
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headquarters. we continue with the extended coverage of hurricane irene. that's where she is. she's proceed sisly squarely on top of the coast of north carolina. as we give you a look right now at nags head on the coast, we've watched mark potter and mike seidel really battle it out in nags head. they've been worried about flooding inland, but right there on the coast you can see the crew taking pictures. you can see between these water wave pictures, there aren't a lot of others out on the roads there. there have been mandatory evacuations and many people have heeded those warnings. of course, we should let you know we're monitoring very carefully janet napolitano, homeland security security and craig fugate the head of fema is letting us know what the federal government is doing to help those affected as a result of hurricane irene. we're watching so many things right now for you. we go from there now to jeff
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frenery who is our msnbc meteorologist. what's the status of irene? still a cat 1 despite the winds and tremendous water surges. >> that's really the thing. even though the winds as we've been saying all morning long at 85 miles per hour, we're talking about a long duration wind event for a good section of the coastline. the latest update, 85-mile-per-hour winds gusting higher over 100 miles per hour at this point. we've seen the central pressure staying steady. 952 millibars. that is a sign this storm is not wavering own though it made landfall at north carolina at cape lookout. what we see happening is this storm system just continuing to refuel here from these warm atlantic waters up the coastline, and that will enable this to keep its current strength. so once again, this storm system even though it has 86 miles per hour at the center of the storm with the latest update, it is very multifaceted.
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one of the biggest concerns that we've been talking about are these hurricane-force winds. that's the biggest thing to think about when it comes to evacuations. if you're ordered to evacuate and holding it out, it is the best bet to go ahead and definitely get out, because we're also looking at the potential of inland flooding in and throughout a lot of our coastline. >> okay. jeff, thanks so much as we look at kill devil hills and there's kristen waiting to see a live report. i'd like to put up that radar again, because as we look and see up close, you can see virginia beach is in its path. i have a bunch of friends and families that text me directly on the set here.
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my friend diane johnson there says that the winds and rains are starting to pick up there. there's a tornado watch. one hit already in sandbridge, virginia this morning. high tide is a huge worry there. pretty much everyone is hunkered down and no one is really out and about. two people were already rescued. they were in a sailboat off the beach at oceanview, which is actually -- that doesn't show a lot of good judgment for people out there on a sailboat in these situations. now there's a tornado warning in virginia beach and branches are hitting the roof of my friend's diane johnson's home. stay safe. thank you for sending in texts and all of my friends. send them to me. we'll get to them. let's go to those text on virginia beach to peter al alexander in battery park in new york city where things are 400 miles or so from where we see these harsh conditions.
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what is that? is that fog or rain behind you there? >> reporter: this is rain. we started getting hit pretty hard in the last 20 minutes or so. this is the first real rain we've seen start of irene, and we're going to try to do something nearly impossible and show you the statue of liberty. right now it's lost in that gigantic cloud. these dark clouds that have been moving through earlier. there were some blinding white clouds and now it's more ominous-looking clouds coming to the area. as we come back down this week, you get a better sense why the real concern exists heremanhatt. this is where the mandatory evacuation orders are in place. it's because the water just below us is expected to cause a storm surge this way throughout lower manhattan. this is a low-lying area. it's not just that storm surge but the tidal surge. it will be high tide at roughly the same time that we see really the strongest bands of irene beginning to hit us here.
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if you haven't got out of new york city yet or found your safe spot, you better do it soon. the subways, trains and buses will close, departing flights close at 9:00 p.m. tonight and incoming flights stop an hour from now. we get a sense this is the beginning of what is described as a very wet hurricane event. it's possible we have tropical storm-force winds here in manhattan and in new york city for 20, maybe 24 hours straight. tropical storm-force winds. that could be 30 to 70 miles per hour, alex. >> all right, peter. we look at a split screen here. we look at all the sandbagging being down there in lower manhattan and elsewhere because there are 370,000 people in the low-lying areas, that would include all the rockaways. eve been told you have to get out, and you make that point they have to do it within the next hour at the latest. >> reporter: that's right. it's not just the rain that's going fob a problem.
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robin, can we show them something? look over this direction right now. i'll show you a gigantic skyscrapers in new york city. the problem exists for these buildings. this one in lower manhattan has been evacuated. but the fear for emergency officials is glass that breaks in this as a result of the winds, trees and other debrees could shower down glass on the streets below. it's wise to stay inside. >> thank you very much, peter alexander from lower manhattan. we go right now to homeland security secretary janet napolitano with an update on behalf of the federal government. let's listen in. >> as expected hurricane irene made landfall early this morning along the north carolina coast. i have spoken with governor purdue this morning. she said they were now, quote, hunkered down, closed quote, but they are ready to do damage assessments as soon as possible, especially for assets like the bridges and the roads. irene remains a large and dangerous storm.
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people need to take it seriously. people need to be prepared. as we have suggested during the week, think of this in three phases. preparation, response, and recovery. some of our states are now moving into the response mode, but other states as you are further north along the atlantic seacoast are still in preparation mode. if you receive a warning to evacuate, please do so. even if you haven't received a warning during the storm, please stay inside, quote, hunker down until the storm passes. stay off the roads so the roads can be clear for emergency vehicles for our first responders. we anticipate heavy rain, potential flooding, and significant power outages throughout the area of the storm, which means all up and down the eastern seaboard.
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we'll hear here from craig fugate. >> thank you, madam secretary. i've got on the image the is the light loop, the visible loop of irene, the center of which is about 50 miles to the west of cape hatteras moving to the north-northeast at about 15 miles per hour. the outer banks and nags head area are going to be impacted over the next several hours. next in line is through tidewater, norfolk area. they're already having adverse conditions there. i'm talked to several relatives in the area where the rainfall has been incredibly heavy, and the water levels are coming up now. i'd like to also report a good story coming out of that. the information they've gotten in advance of this storm from local officials of what to do or not do in the event of the storm has been outstanding. it fits right in with what they should be doing. next picture, please.
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radar imagery of this. we see these bands coming around the top here. every now and then one of those will take on a characteristic on radar from our local forecast office on issue tornado warnings on those. they're fast and furious and they don't give you the long lead time like the supercells. you end up working in the great plains like in april across this area. we've had storm surge tides in the upper ends of the sound in the 7 1/2 foot range. 5 to 9 feet is the forecast depending on where you are on the upper ends of the sounds here. storm tides are high on the coast and you add to that the effects of high waves and the beach erosion and whatnot that's going on on out there. it's a very dangerous time if anyone is left out on the islands. heavy rain, a large areas have been getting rain since late, early afternoon. we'll see 5 to 10 and maybe
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isolated 15 inches across north carolina before the storm exits later today. next slide, please. here's the latest forecast track with some windfield information on it. by late this evening it should be moving past the -- the center should be moving past it is nor falk area. the winds are east and northeast and north and around the northwest as the storm comes past norfolk. i'm sure we'll see hurricane-force wind gusts through a lot of locations there. the sustained winds are mostly over the water with the now saturated ground. those kinds of winds -- remember isabel with a lot of tree damage in that area. i'll expect we'll see reports in that regard and that area also. then this evening overnight hours will go along the coast of the delmarva past places like ocean city impacting the delaware bay with storm surge and high winds. by either morning near
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north carolina moving up the coastline of nj new jersey very near new york city. i don't want you to get too carried away with that exact point on there. as you saw on the radar satellite imagery, the center is not a tight mgts eye. it's a broad area. right now hurricane-force winds, and we keep them in the forecast at least for now right up through a final landfall into new england. next slide, please. the tropical storm wind probabilities as we talked about for several days now, this gives you an idea of how large an area likely to be impacted by at least tropical storm-force winds while irene makes its trek up the eastern seaboard. whether they last for hours and we have the saturated grounds, that's the areas we focus on for
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the wind damage that is associated with trees coming down and the like. next slide, please. this is our probability of storm surge gauge of 4 feet exceedance. if you get higher than a 4 foot storm surge out of it, right now the highest probability of storm surge as you might expect is where it's actually happening. also i want to point out the likelihood of exceeding four feet in the upper ends of the streams that come into the janes river and the chesapeake and ocean in the norfolk hampton roads area and some parts of the lower xhes peek have a chance. the upper chesapeake is not looking like it will have the kind of flood issue you saw with isabel. maybe some small ones as the storm approaches, but the winds swing the other way and you see a lowering of water levels there. not so fortunate for delaware bay. the areas from north of delaware all the way down to bethany and
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then, of course, into ocean city. we have a high probability of exceeding four feet in storm surge. that coupled with the waves, a lot of these damage and any property at the low level is damaged also. and further up the coast we're still looking at about the same issue on storm surge when you get up into the long island sound and the new york metropolitan area. our forecast is going to carry from the hurricane center a broad forecast in that range of four to eight feet. your local offices, your local forecast offices will have detailed information that pinpoint the problem areas along your coast and in the bays and rivers and whatnot. there's a lot of variability in there within the four to eight foot range. next slide, please. of course, the rainfall, it's starting to show that now. as the storm moves northward, the rainfall shifting from being mostly in the northeast quadrant of the storm to actually in the nest. it's coming into the influence of the weather features pulling
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it off to the north. we expect a swath of 59 to 10 inches of rain right across the mid-atlantic centered over the philadelphia metropolitan area and into the new york metropolitan area and the western part of new england. all of these areas have had excessive rain in the past, so the ground is saturated and we'll have issues with flash flooding and probably issues with river flooding before it's all over. craig, i'm going to turn it to you. >> thanks, bill. when we talk about category of hurricanes, that does not complain all of the risk. di you deal with four principal risks. the winds and storage surge and also as bill talked about rainfall and tornadoes. they are not tied to the category of storm. so even though this may be a category 1 hurricane, rainfall
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amounts are not tied to category storm. it is due to the size and forward speed of the storm. some of our most devastating flooding occur in tropical storms. the other thing is the tornadoes are going to be very quick. they won't on the ground very long and not the type of tornadoes we staw this spring bt they're still very devastating. we ask people to stay inside and away from exterior walls and windows, interior areas like you prepare for tornadoes. you're dwg to be there for a longer period of time during the storm, so make sure you bring your supplies with you. the other key issue here is in the immediate aftermath of the storm as the secretary says, we're going to start the response phase in north carolina as irene moves north. the best thing people can do is stay home, stay inside. a lot of people like to get out and travel about. it's very hazardous with downed power lines and trees down, plus the responders and utility crews don't need to get behind you when they're trying to help.
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in the aftermath of the storm unfortunately we've seen as many people injured and lose their lives after the storm came through because it's still very dangerous. finally yesterday we had announced over our blog that we had released one of our apps for android. i want to show you right now that we are out with information coming out over the app, and again, what's good about this is it has the information that if you do lose connectivity, it has preparedness information about what to do during and after hurricanes as well as other hazards. again, this is for the android. it's on the market. it's the official fema app out there. if you go to it will give you that. the blackberry appears and iphone is coming soon, but we have this ready. the other part we talk about is the team. we talk about responding to this disaster. it's not what the government is
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doing at all levels. it's about what the volunteer agencies are doing. we have people from the salvation army and red cross. we'll talk about what our volunteer agencies are doing to support our citizens. >> thanks, administrator fugate, and thank you secretary napolitano. we appreciate your leadership. our organizations are very tightly linked. they continue to work well together, and we really appreciate the partnership. we're now in the middle of what could be one of the largest responses that the red cross operations have had in recent memory. there were a number of evacuations and that reinforcing the serious nature and how far-reaching this storm is. we have operations in more than a dozen states. our priority right now is sheltering, and last night we had 13,000 people in our shelters from the states that were evacuated. we have nearly 150 shelters open
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right now. we're preparing for open dozens more as the storm continues to go north, and many of them are opened as we speak. if you need the location of a shelter, you should go to there is an app on our site that will show you where our shelters are and where the nearest one is to you. we also have a brand-new app on the iphone that also is a shelter map. we've already had 15,000 downloads since the storm began. so we expect that to grow. like every other agency although times like this, the phones are probably going to start ringing off the hook. if you do need to get in touch with us, the internet is your best bet. also, local media will be covering where the nearest shelters are and listen for that as well. we also encourage people to register on safe and well, that's an application on our website. it's a way to tell family members that you're out of harm's way and okay.
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this storm is still ongoing. people in the northeast still need to take precautions. you've heard over and over again if officials tell to evacuate, i'm going to say again it's really important to heed those warnings. they're serious. if you're not in an area that's been evacuated, make sure you have supplies on hand. we ask that everybody have an emergency kit that has food and water for up to 72 hours. radios that are battery-operated, flashlights, lots of extra batteries, your personal medications, your kid's teddy bear, the stuff that you need. >> all right, everybody. we're keeping a close eye on what she's saying there, the head of the american red cross preceded from craig fugate, head fugate and bill reed from the national weather service and janet napolitano. we'll get the information and summarize it. we have a sad piece of news. paramedics report a man in north carolina was killed
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outside of his home because of a falling tree branch. of course, that's the kind of thing that can reek so much havoc and in a tremendous tragedy in north carolina, begin killed by a tree branch falling on him outside of his home. it's of grave concern of those homes beautifully surrounded with the landscaping by the trees. in a situation like this, doentd get anywhere near them. when you have winds of 70-mile-per-hour plus in that area, and, of course, north carolina has had landfall three hours ago of hurricane irene, this is a precarious situation at best. paramedics say a man in north carolina killed outside his home by a tree branch that went down. here's a look at nags head north carolina where you see some of these homes as you can see are built on stilts in order to withstand the flooding, but it doesn't look like some of the these homes have any kind of constitutional righty foundation regardless of how those concrete pilings down into the sand and
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beyond are able to hold up those houses under normal conditions. that one is tilting there to the right of your screen. goodness knows what is going to be the condition of that one on what would normally be pretty constitutional righty stilts to suspect a house. you're looking at a category 1 hurricane coming ashore with continued pounding of waves and winds for quite some time. you got to wonder how state of these things are, jeff frenery, who joins me right now. these look scary at best. there has to be nobody in there right now. >> they do their best to protect against these things. in 2008 i covered hurricane ike in texas, and sometimes you get homes on stilts where they get knocked off the pilings because of a long duration wind event like we see. this isn't just two hours of these winds. this is now about six hours of hurricane-force wind gusts in
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the 70-mile-per-hour range along nags head and into cape hatteras. it's pretty relentless. this is a small sampling of what we could see happening up the coastline as we just heard from the national hurricane center. they're not going to waver on the category 1 strength. they expect to keep this as we head into the next 72 hours. alex, right there that's another indication of the storm surge and how far it is moving into portions of the coastline. right there they could have had some motion of that storm surge of about 5 to 10 feet. >> yeah. it was interesting also before we get to luke russert standing by for us in alexandria. as we listened to bill reed from the national hurricane center, he talked about delaware bay north of dover. greater than 4 foot sorm surge, and eltsd you're going to have significant damage there. that extends to long island and the new york metropolitan area 4
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to 8 feet of storage surge in an area that's been pretty heavily saturated this month of august. >> right there. look at that. it heads off to the north, so you get it moving adjacent to the inlets, the chesapeake bay and the water has nowhere to go. it rushing into a lot of base, also the inlets and the harbors, and that's why that storm surge definitely could be a lot stronger than you would normally see with a category 1 storm. >> thanks for that and standing by as you have been all morning. let's go to luke russert in alexandria, virginia where things are jovial because of the folks in the area because they're a number of hours away from this coming their way. you have boat owners concerned about the safety of their boats. good morning, luke. >> reporter: good morning, alex. that's a point we're talking about. boat owners right now who kept their boats in the harbors here are doubling down to secure
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their vessels. they're going to triple tie them and put a lot of fenders off the side. the dock down here in old town alexandria means it's a stationary dock. because it's stationary, the big worry is if the tide is high enough, we expect 6 to 12 inches down here. the boat could go on top of the dock. these folks feel confident in their ability to secure the vessels, and we'll see whether or not they remain stationary. now, as to what's happening in old town alexandria, it's an area used to flooding and a low-lying area. if the amount of rain that eryan is supposed to put forth on this area comines to fruition. the mayor expecting some flooding. there is sandbags now in the first block away from this harbor that i'm stand inning right now. businesses essentially stay open as long as they feel they're safe to do so and as long as they're -- there's patrons. right now there's folks having brunch on the street in front of
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me. earlier today there was a lot of families walking around with their kids and dog to see the storm before it came. once the rain started, though, those folks went home and hunkered down. we told them it would be a good idea. the nexus of the storm is supposed to hit later this evening, the pinnacle around midnight and 1:00 a.m. the big worry here, alex is three things. it's the power outages when we're told are almost guaranteed to occur, the trees falling that could possibly go on power lines but there's a lot of homes that are constructed around trees here. most importantly it's the flooding. this area is prone to flooding and low lying. in 2003 hurricane isabel put a massive flood here and caused over a billion dollars of damage. that is the main worry here, alex. >> okay. luke russert, thank you so much for that. we want to let you all know who have been tweeting us at #irene, our tweet deck is full. this is the number one topic on
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social media right now as there were 65 million people up and down the sea boord affected by hurricane irene. we'll get out great tweets. take a look at new york city, surrounded and engulfed in fog right now. little bit of rain, spotty rain of course. we're about 400 miles north of nags head, north carolina where things look much different. this is all important. one half-hour from now, everybody, mass transportation in new york city will be shut down. it is unprecedented. we've got you covered here on msnbc. we'll be right back. they're two of a kind. and, just like toddlers, puppies need food made for them. that's why there's purina puppy chow... with all the essential nutrients your growing puppy needs. purina puppy chow.
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30 past the hour. getting a live look at manhattan's time square. you see the taxis running up and down broadway there. that's about. in a half hour you're going to have an unprecedented move by new york city. they're shutting down all public transportation. there are a number of subway lines through times square
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there. they will be closed down. also the port authority and bus service. that's not too far from times square in that picture you're seeing. every single piece of public transportation, everyone, shut down in 30 short minutes. it will bring new york city to a virtual standstill. there will be a few cars out and about and a lot of taxis will make their way until weather conditions prohibit that from doing so safely. we'll keep a close eye on new york city as we expect irene to pass over new york in about 12 hours from now. on the heels that let's go to jeff frenery. the national hurricane center gave the official up date 30 minutes from so. any changes from that? >> it made landfall three hours ago with 85-mile-per-hour winds in the center of the storm. the remarkable thing is the hurricane-force winds constitutional with the latest full update stretch out 90 miles per hour from the center of the storm. at that makes it different tan any other category 1 storm here,
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at least in recent memory. you can see winds still gusting close to hurricane force strength here at cape hatteras, 71-mile-per-hour wind gusts there. then also in newburn with a 74-mile-per-hour wind gust. you also notice here you have a tornado watch just off to the north. we've had several reports of tornadoes. that's a big threat with this storm system throughout tonight. 85-mile-per-hour winds north-northeast at 15 miles per hour, and that pressure is very, very strong at the center of the storm. i believe we'll join mike seidel in nags head. >> reporter: jeffrey. >> can you hear me? yes, that is my name. mike, you got us there. >> reporter: i just wanted to double check. i've never heard of an anchor there named jeffrey. >> i'm a weather guy. >> reporter: okay. thank you. >> we'll wait for him to get
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going here. you can see mike standing out there along the beach there in the outer banks of north carolina as this storm has been relentless with these winds here. do we have mike? is he dialed in, you guys? >> reporter: the water has backed off because the tide is low. we still have to deal with a lot of wind. the heavy rain is falling on the other side of the sounds where the center of the circulation is. on the western side of the circulation we're getting reports now of flooding, some significant flooding in hyde county up along the river where it's pouring down rain. those are the main bands near what was the eye, now the center of hurricane irene. we've also got unfortunately a report of our first fatality in north carolina. to give you a sense how large this storm is, this fatality occurred west of interstate 95 in rocky mound. a gentleman was out feeding his animals and a tree fell on him.
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this extends cloudwise from south carolina into maine. the first band of rain has moved through new york city, so it shows you how large this storm is. we're still getting winds out here sustained at about 60 miles per hour, and now another nasty band is coming in at us with more heavy rain and even stronger wind gusts. look behind me. this is what we've seen. we have good news. mark potter from nbc news was riding up the highway up to kitty hawk about 10 miles from her, and they surveyed their drive. they didn't see anything significant. not one power pole down, no power lines down. just what wee see here are shingles off roofs and i've seen some clap board and siding ripped off some of these houses. as far as any major structural damage, so far so good. no power outages here where we are. with surge here along the coast. now, we will have another high tide around 7:00 this evening, and at that point the wind will
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be blowing from the land out to the sea. that will be an offshore wind and bring the water across the sounds back in our direction. so property on the west side of the outer banks may be subject to some flooding. right now if you go over to the sounds, the water has gone way up because it's pushed in that direction, but it will come back out and slosh like a bathtub. we have a lot of heavy rain. we've had 8 to 10 inches of rainfall totals in parts of north carolina. that caused the flooding. the heaviest rainier -- rain near the river and we had a lot of fatalities during hurricane floyd in 1999. still a wild weather day out here. this gives you a sense of what happens during a category 1. it heading up the coast. winds like this battering the virginia beach area, southeast virginia up to ocean city up to the jersey shore and the south shore on long island. new york city, look over a tough
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overnight and tomorrow. maybe not quite as strong as these winds but enough to cause problems. if you're not on the coast, your concern is trees and power lines and losing power for several or more days. jeffrey, back to you in new york. >> thanks a lot, mike seidel report tlg from nags head, north carolina. here's a live shot right there. a true testament of how relentless this storm will be where a lot of coastline will endure a three to six-hour period of if not hurricane-force winds, very strong tropical storm-force winds that will continue to batter the coastline. he's having a tough time there standing up at some moments. alex, this is unbelievable that this made landfall about five hours ago, and we're still dealing with these sustained winds in excess of 70 miles per hour right now. >> well, i know. that's what's causing such concern as it makes its way up the eastern seaboard. you talk about a category 1, but
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the enorm mitt of irene. it's the sustained winds and storm surge that really poses such a problem. the nags head reporting has been extraordinary there from mike seidel from the weather channel on the beach. let's see if we can hook up now with nbc's mark potter also in nags head, jeff. mark, can you hear me? you've been up above where mike seidel is. things don't look like they're getting any better at all? >> reporter: i actually think, alex, they're getting a little bit worse. this may be the strongest wind we've seen so far. that center of the storm is to our southwest and moving so slowly northward as you guys are talking about, and that means now for several hours we have just had this sustained, heavy wind and rain coming at us horizontally. with the storm moving so slowly, we could have hours more of this. i heard mike in his interview a moment ago talking about the trip we took.
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last time i talked to you, right after that we drove north to the kill devil hills area and back, and we didn't see any damage at all to speak of. the roads were clear, even with this wind sxaul of this. the roads were clear, and we didn't see any debris. a couple knocked-over garbage cans maybe. we could not see any structural damage to the homes. here at the hotel where we stay, there has been a lot of water damage around the windows and in the roofs as the water is being pushed in by this heavy wind at first coming from the east directly into the windows. that's been causing some problems, but nothing you would normally expect with a hurricane is out there. we didn't see it. in terms of the surf, it's behind us. it's still an angry sea, but it's breaking behind us, and that's because of the falling tide as we approach the low tide now. so it looks terrible.
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it doesn't feel too good to be out in it, but in terms of damage to the area, it's been relatively minimal. that's good news for this area. >> okay. mark, real quickly with regard to the damage that's being sustained there, give me a perspective from your view there. we see the shingles being peeled away. anything else? can you see some flooding, or are the dunes keeping things at bay right now? >> reporter: we see the shingles go off, but that's about it. maybe some aluminum siding on a few of the houses, but we're talking about he relatively few homes affected. we dind see much as we took our drive. the sand dunes don't have to do their job right now. we'll have a problem later today as mike was explaining when the eye passes through and on the western side of the outer banks the water that's being pushed up into the albamarole sound gets
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pushed back on the back of the eye and slam into the western shoreline. that's later in the day. that's what we're worried about. the officials here are watching that one. we'll see what happens. the fact this is a category 1 storm, not a 2 or 3 as originally we were seeing to the south, means that the damage won't be as bad as it could have been in that regard. that's something that the officials are concerned about here. again, it seems pretty clear and the power is still on. we checked on all the houses up and down here. we see the lights on everywhere. >> that's incredible if the power is on. we look at aluminum siding to the left of the screen. thank you very much for that. let's head from north carolina to massachusetts hundreds of miles away and hours away from being hit by irene. the situation is critical there. joining us now is democratic
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representative keating live for us. you have about 24 hours or so until you see the kind of potential winds we were seeing there in nags head. talk about the preparations under way and how confident you are things will be okay. >> you can see just in the background the ferries coming in, the boats coming in. i've represented a coastal district and had a home here for nearly two decades. people know the drill and realize what they have to do. this storm is going to affect different parts of massachusetts differently. the most dangerous part frankly will occur in the buzzard's bay area, the upper buzzard's bay area and also in rhode island. they're going have a surge that will occur probably start at 8:00, i think, on sunday night. so that's going to be a situation with a high tide occurs there. the good news is that the height of the storm won't be at that
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point. where we are right now, alex, in falmouth, massachusetts and from wood's hole to chat ham, massachusetts there will be a surge and the height of the storm wilco l coincide with the tides rising. they're not going to get the dreblgt hit, but they're a fragile sea wall system there. we're preparing for different dangers. >> yeah. boy, wouldn't it have been a lot nicer if mother nature could have somewhat cooperated and had this come during low tide. that would have helped a bit there. as you say, you're prepared, certainly sandbags and the rest of it there. with regard to people who need to leave their homes, though, representative keating, are there shelters in place already? if so, where are they on the
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cape? >> otis air force base has a shelter. each community has their own plan. they made phone calls yesterday across the board to communities telling them where local shelters are. people are prepared. how do you prepare for a storm like this? it will always remain a mystery to people because things will occur. for instance, in central and western massachusetts, the flooding will be the big issue. here its going to be the surge and it's going to be power outages. >> well, a hearty bunch you are there in falmouth, massachusetts, and we do appreciate your time. representative william keating there. best of luck. >> alex, thank you. this brings out the best in people, i think, in our country when we face tough times. >> it's good for us all to stick together. thank you very much, sir. good luluck. from there to kill devil hills, north carolina, where we see tremendous storm surge there with mark potter and mike seidel. kristen, you look as bad.
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you have trouble standing up there because of the winds. >> reporter: yeah. you know, we're not seeing the big storm surge yet, but the winds here, alex, definitely picking up. just a few minutes ago, i had a scare. i heard metal rattling and i don't have a lot of production. a huge metal duct came off the building and flew over and landed on the roof next door. anything loose on these buildings really being ripped off by the wind and beginning to fly around. so we're starting to see things like that around here. right now the rain actually isn't too bad. it's pretty dry, but the wind just keeps whipping and the sand blowing off the beach. so far, though, good news is the power is still on where we are. i can see the lines whipping in the wind there. more than 200,000 was the latest count i saw of people without power at this foipoint and that
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number expected to go throughout the day. we also have another death unfortunately associated with this storm to report. a man in north carolina went outside and a tree limb fell on him right in front of his house. this is a dangerous storm. that's why people have been told to stay inside. things are beginning to fly around, tree limbs coming down and things coming off of building. irene has turned deadly. that man killed by a tree limb and a surfer in virginia killed when he went out to try and get ahead of the storm. the sea is really churning out there and really dangerous, alex. >> okay. glad you weren't hit by that metal you saw flying your way. thank you very much from kill devil hills, north carolina. as we've been looking at the maps everyone, you see north carolina is right in the middle of things. guess what's next? the state of virginia. after a short break we'll speak the mayor of fairfax who joins
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i think we'll be okay. we have plenty of food. we lowered the ac so it's really cold in the house just in case the power does go out. we're doing okay. >> well, that's a hearty soul right there in north carolina. there you see on top of the board those followings saying, hey, get away from here. or bring it on, you know. it's both. you have both attitudes there from the hearty soul there is in north carolina. well, right now we're covering everything with north carolina, nags head, and kill devil hills specifically being hit very, very hard by hurricane irene which made landfall about four hours ago. right now i'm joined by fairfax virginia's mayor. if you look at the radar, you see that you're right next for
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irene, north carolina is being pounded. we've got all the evidence of that from the pictures and radar. fairf fairfax, virginia is in the cross hairs. what's it like there? are you in your office? is that where you are? getting to work, what was it like? >> i'm in our community center with our city council and our key staff. we're, obviously, prepared for the worst, but we're kind of hoping that because the storm's going along the coast and not going to going along the coast and not going to make a direct hit and the fact that we're on the west side, this will be more of a rain event than a wind event and we'll weather right through it. >> so your greatest concern is just the winds? is that because of the amount of time you're going to have to be dealing with that? how about the system like the drainage system there in fairfax? >> actually, we're concerned more about the rain than the wind at this point in time. you know, the thing i need to
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caution everybody about, a 15 or 20 mile movement to the storm more to the west could change the dynamics. but this storm is shaping up different than isabelle was in 2003 where it made a more direct hit similar to what sounds like is going to happen in new york city. we're on the west side, which if there is a good side to be on, the west side is the side to be on. so we're expecting less concerns with the wind and more concerns with the rain and flooding. >> how about power outages in the region, what do you know about that? >> so far we haven't had any. and obviously the good news is if the wind isn't as strong as we anticipated, we should have less. but if the electricity goes out because the electrical company's resources are going to be spread so thin around the state, that it may take longer to get electricity back on. so we're expecting less
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electrical outages, but when it does happen, it may take longer to come back on because the resources will be spread so thin in the areas getting so pounded. >> i want to thank you for joining us. best of luck riding out this storm. we'll keep a close eye here on msnbc. >> thank you very much. >> we're going toe head to eric fisher in norfolk. boy, the rain is coming down and the winds are picking up. >> reporter: absolutely. we had a very intense rain band about half hour ago that came through here. when you're next to a building, the wind can really accelerate. on the side of the building here, that came right down and you have pieces of that roof now. the wind is not as intense as right next to the building, but once the air hits that structure, it accelerates.
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we've seen tree limbs coming down and one of the stop signs is in the road. the eye is still a long way away. we'll have several hours of intensifying weather before it gets better. one thing we've also noticed, there's been a ton of traffic, people who have been going up and down the street just taking a look at the weather. they want to be out in it, just urging people don't travel today. they've shut down the tunnel and shut down the hampton road bridge tunnel. if you go out in the road and you're driving around looking for a good time, the rescue crews have to come out in this, as well. we don't want anyone out in the streets. when we get the heavier bands rolling through, that's when we can get in trouble. west of rocky mount, north carolina, we seen someone killed because of a falling tree. so it's a dangerous day to be outside and it's not worth of it. this is a day to stay indoors
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and in safety. >> absolutely. even those in those heavy suvs, that projectile that you saw at the top of this report, you get things coming off buildings, it doesn't matter what kind of car you might be in, because that's dangerous. >> reporter: absolutely. in an suv, you're higher profile. you're going to catch more wind, so you're more in harm's way when you have an suv because of that wind profile. we've had reports of tornados in the area. none of those are confirmed just yet. but three houses have already lost their roofs on virginia beach. >> eric fisher, clearly braving things for us in norfolk, virginia. take some cover, because those winds look like they're about to gust you away. we've been talking about the tweets all day. many have been sharing your thoughts online about the
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hurricane. here are some of the tweets we've been getting at msnbc. poet icon 98 sends us a question asking if lower manhattan floods, is there a risk to the 9/11 memorial museum that is under ground zero? that is a very good question. we're going to get the answer for you and report them later. jimmy jay scott tweets, irene passed parallel to boca raton, florida. lucky for us it was far out in the ocean. it took out some trees. power just went on and off here in raleigh. and mike bettes from the weather channel. keep your responses coming to us here. use that hash tag irene.
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we're coming to the end of this hour as we leave you with a picture of new york city, everybody. that is times square. here's what's important about new york city. in addition to the fact that they're waiting for irene to come ashore later tonight, five minutes from now, mass transportation throughout new york will be shut down. that includes long island railroad, metro north railroad, all subways, all bus service. anything that has public transportation to it will be shut down. if you need to use public transportation to evacuate, you better already have done it or get in your cars and get out. thanks for joining us, everyone. uh, forgot jack's cereal. [ jack ] what's for breakfast? um... try the number one! [ jack ] yeah, this is pretty good. [ male announcer ] half a day's worth of fiber. fiber one. [ jack ] yeah, this is pretty good. or creates another laptop bag
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hi, everyone. msnbc is following breaking news on hurricane irene. in f


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