tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC October 6, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
i'm stepping down here onto the street. i mean, this is only about ten inches now. it has receded some from when we first came out a few hours ago. >> yeah. >> reporter: i mean, there are neighborhoods that have three feet of water in their frontyards. >> you've got a story to tell for all times, tammy leitner, thank you, from nassau in the bahamas. what a look. that does it for us this hour. our continuing coverage of hurricane matthew continues now with chris hayes. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. breaking news at this hour, as hurricane matthew, the first major hurricane to hit florida in 11 years, possibly the worst since hurricane andrew in 1992, possibly even worse than that, is on course for a potentially catastrophic collision with the florida coast and beyond. even if it never actually makes landfall. the category 4 storm forcing the emergency evacuation of more than 2 million people and directly threatening a 300-mile swath of the florida coastline
from palm beach to jacksonville. before it is expected to move further north impacting 19 million people in all, and then potentially looping back around for a second hit. tonight's impact expected to bring sustained winds of up to 140 miles per hour. storm surges of up to 11 feet and rain amounts up to 15 inches along a path that ensures the storm's intensity and to repeat, risks looping, lingering trail of destruction. we will, of course, have live coverage throughout the hour and this evening as florida endures a blow for which officials have been preparing. governor rick scott issuing an update just an hour ago. >> protecting lives remains our number one priority. as i've continued to activate more troops for life-saving missions. they're prepositioned all across the state. helping people evacuate right now for safety. >> the sheriff of two of the counties expected to be most heavily impacted, palm beach and st. lucie county, expressed
grave concern about some residents not heeding those warnings. >> people do not seem to get it and are not leaving, and i have already checked, i'm not saying this to be theatrical, you all know me. i don't lean toward bravado, but i talked to my detective captain earlier today and i asked him do you have body bags? are you prepared for mass casualties? because if people do not leave, and we get 140 mile an hour wind gusts in some of our mobile home places, we are going to have fatalities. >> many of us have dealt with storms in the past. we've dealt with charlie, francis, gene, wilma. this is like none of those. >> 3,500 national guard have been activated. thousands have already taken advantage of prepositioned shelters. hospitals on the east coast of florida have been evacuated. thousands of flights have been canceled. up to 10 million people could lose power. president obama declared a state of emergency in florida and south carolina. authorizing the federal emergency management agency to coordinate all disaster relief
efforts. but with storm surge expected to be even more damaging than the devastating catastrophic winds, officials are warning some areas may be uninhabitable for weeks or months. this after hurricane matthew has already ripped through haiti and much of the bahamas killing hundreds. craig melvin is in melbourne, florida, tonight, and craig, what's it look like there? >> reporter: chris, over the last hour or two, i can tell you that the conditions here have started to deteriorate just a bit. the winds have picked up. the rain is sporadic. right now, it's not falling too badly, but a short time ago, it was coming down in sheets. i want to show you downtown melbourne. melbourne is a town, city of about 75,000. crickets here. it's a ghost town. the good news, most of the folks seem to be heeding the pleas from local officials to get the heck out of here. the cars that we have seen by in large have been law enforcement
vehicles, emergency vehicles. we've also seen the trees start to -- palm trees -- [ inaudible ] these palm trees, some of the husks there in the streets. the major concern, just mention t mentioned it, the storms, i'd say maybe 500 feet or so from the ocean. 3:00, 4:00 tomorrow morning when the winds have picked up north of 100 miles per hour, they're expecting at least 10 inches, close to a foot of water to come down this street to a certain extent, flooding a primary concern here. we're about an hour south of orlando. the drive in from the airport, boarded up businesses. gas stations shut down. again, the good news, most folks seem to have gotten the heck out of here. there is a causeway that typically they shut down when winds pick up to 35, 40 miles
per hour. i talked to a local official about 30 minutes ago. he said they're not going to do that because they want the remaining folks who aren't he h get the heck out. this is a barrier island. in a couple hours when the conditions deteriorate even more, we're also going to be getting the heck out of here as well to the mainland. they shut off the water around 6:00. they do this when bad storms come. they shut off the water to protect the infrastructure. so folks who are here won't have water probably very much longer. i can also tell you that the airport, the orlando airport shut down 8:00, no incoming flights, no outgoing flights as well. there is no curfew. i talked to the police sergeant a short time ago. that was something that had been considered, but they said right now since folks by in large seem to be heeding local officials, they're not going to put that -- we do have one -- sir, are you
a -- hang on one second. are you -- >> want to let you know we're -- we saw you -- >> reporter: thank you. you are with the fire department? can you tell me how things are going so far? >> right now it's not that bad. you know, coming into the middle of the night, just waiting for it. >> reporter: it seems to me at least that folks have listened to you guys. >> they actually have. it's a ghost town. not very many cars right now going around. they have listened to the warnings and looks like they've evacuated. >> reporter: what's the primary concern, what's the main concern for you? >> wind damage. flooding. then people getting stuck, ones who did stay here getting stuck in their homes. >> reporter: fire department, of course, you are all sheltered in places over here just waiting first thing. after the fact you'll guys be deployed and respond to do what you guys do so well.
>> yeah, basically in the morning when it's calmed down a little bit. we can't go out in it. >> reporter: 2004, 2005, i know this is a community that was rocked by at least -- tropical storms, ivan doing among the worst. are we expecting it to be that bad this time around? >> we've been listening to the weather reports and they're saying yes, we are. >> reporter: thank you for sharing again. >> yeah. >> reporter: be safe out there. thank you, again, for -- the geographic correction. you guys, we're just outside melbourne. >> thank you. >> reporter: thank you, jeff. chris, that's the latest from here. >> all right, craig, melbourne, florida, please don't stay out there too long. okay, craig, get safe. joining me now, nbc news ron motte who is in daytona beach. ron, you're driving around daytona beach which is also, as i understand it, an area under mandatory evacuation. what are you seeing? >> reporter: well, we're just -- we decided to take a quick ride while we can still do this, chris, so we're on the main north/south drag for all the folkses who know daytona beach.
this is the beach, just to our east by a half a block or so. this is what officials, if you take a look outside, this is what they want to see is very little to no traffic at this moment. we have seen a sporadic car or two pass us, and we do know that further down the road, there is a police officer stopping vehicles making sure that they know to get inside and that they're not out here joyriding trying to be a part of this storm. we can tell you that a lot of the businesses along atlantic avenue here have not boarded up and maybe they're taking a chance thinking that if this storm, if the eye of the storm stays to our east, and over the water, that we would have pretty much straightline winds from the north, maybe northeast to the north, and then at some point they will switch around after the eye passes through this area and start coming from the south and southwest. but a lot of businesses have boarded up. we can tell you that a lot of the shelters here filled up pretty quickly. we met with the woman who is fairly new to florida, she's been here three years or so.
she's very nervous. this is her first hurricane. she lives in a mobile park. she did leave and evacuate. she left her pet with a neighbor there who she says has a little more substantial mobile home and she thinks her pet and her neighbors will be okay. but this is going it be a long-lasting weather event, chris. you know, hurricanes typically will pass through 8, 10, 12 hours then it's sort of safe to come back outside. we're looking at late tomorrow afternoon, maybe tomorrow night or even further into early saturday morning before it's safe for people to get back out here and start assessing the damage. so we probably have a couple, two, three hours before we're going to start to see the real business end of this thing passing over daytona beach, chris. >> all right. ron motte in daytona beach. thank you for that. joining me now, msnbc meteorologist bill cairns. this storm is an idiosyncratic storm and that's the reason that so many people are so freaked out about it. it's doing a lot of things that are not normal for even very
strong hurricane. >> the potential in the forecast of a category 4 raking the coast from west palm beach all the way to jacksonville, florida, is unheard of. we've never hard a forecast like that. that's why we had such dire forecasts all day long today. now that we're getting closer to the event, we think the hurricane-force winds will get onshore here in the next three to four hours. this is when the slightest shifts make a huge difference. we have had some of those shiftses >> please. >> the latest forecast path from the hurricane center shown here on this map, that's the red line. little earlier today it was a little bit closer to the melbourne area. now it has shifted a little bit further off the coast. you think big deal, what, 10, 15 miles? it makes a huge difference to the amount of damage we're going to get in those areas. if we take a path a little off the coast, goes from historic, cross that off, bring it down to major, moderate type damage from the hurricane. if it goes a little further inland, we're still talking historic. this is what really the forecasters that are watching this including myself, this is the eye of the hurricane right here. notice this little black squiggly line, that's the path
of the storm. that's where it has traveled, the eye. we're tracking it every hour putting a little pin on the map, going to draw the line and connect it. look at these wobbles. took a wobble to the northeast, wobble to the west, just took a wobble to the north. all of these little wobbles, look, is that a motion that's going to affect where the landfall is going to be? or is this greater outer cone here, the greater outer wall, is that what we're tracking? the highest winds we know for sure from the hurricane hunters are in this. that's the eyewall right there. if you go through that, that's where you could get category 4 rin winds. where we bring that onshore is key to the forecast. all the wobbles make a difference between a landfall in ft. pierce or landfall in cape canaveral. if the landfall is to the north, the forecast is better for you. in ft. lauderdale, this storm is not half as bad as what you were possibly looking at early this morning. that's great news for you. west palm beach, when you see jogs to north, you're cheering saying that's fantastic for us, all the people who evacuated,
you like to see the little jogs away from you. obviously we have a lot of concerns up the coast. if we can clear highly foplated cities to the south, that's billions of dollars of damage that will not occur. let's take a look at what we're dealing with over here. this is the current winfield, key throughout the overnight hours. this orange is the tropical-storm-force winds. that's on shore. we saw that. is is where the damage occurred. when this orange, the hurricane-force winds move onshore. that's the key to the forecast. let's track that. this is one of our latest computer models. that comes out every three hours. that's the eye. 10:00 this evening. the white is the hurricane-force winds. you start getting significant damage, widespread power outages, stuff like that. we track that hat 10:00 p.m. this evening then we move it up the coast. close to a landfall, about 1:00 a.m. in the morning. four to five hours from now, right over the top. this model says between jupiter and palm city that would have the worst of the high winds up around the ft. pierce area
heading toward sebastian, up 5 he 95 here. the overnight hours, we track the eye potentially up the coast, the melbourne area where we just saw craig right in the atlantic area, melbourne area, coca beach. 5k a.m. in the morning the winds will be howling. up the coast we track it. 11:00 a.m. in the morning, daytona beach time. it makes a fine difference. the computer model i showed you may be right, it may shift a little bit between now and then. >> give me best case/worst case in terms of what the trajectory is, where it hits, what strength. >> right now, if that model came true, we would get the historic to catastrophic wind damaging storm surge from about melbourne, coca beach northwards. >> okay. >> that's if that comes true. these models are updating every three hours. i'll get another update of that coming if. that could be a little further up the coast. that's taking in account all these little jogs that we're getting. the hurricane hunters are flying through it, they give us that position, tell us right where it
is. the lat and long. that get s fed into the weathe computers. it's such a fine line between historic or -- >> let me ask you this. part of what i think makes this strange, right, if you've covered hurricanes and watched hurricanes, is this sort of brushing the coast trajectory. i think the thing we all learn is they gather their energy over the water, they lit lanhit land dissipates it. how long can a hurricane sustain at a category it's at, 4, 3, if it's moving up the coast like that? >> as long as the water is very warm, the winds up high aren't shearing off the tops of the thunderstorms, it can survive infini infinitely. the water will get cooler. the winds are supposed to increase and shear off the top before the time it gets to jacksonville, why the hurricane center weakens it to a category 3. it's so much easier to forecast a hurricane that's hitting a coast like a "t." the ones coming up along the coast, it's the hardest forecast. you have to prepare for the worst which we have done. this is a category 4. >> right. >> this is as bad as it gets.
if it happens to go a little more off the coast all night tonight, we don't get the historic to catastrophic damage, i'd be more than happy to take people piece calls and say it wasn't that bad. >> keep your fingers crossed. thank you for that. joining me by phone from weston, florida, near ft. lauderdale, congresswoman debbie wasserman-schultz representing parts of ft. lauderdale. congresswoman, how are folks in your area doing? >> well, we're in the midst of the tropical-storm-force winds that you guys were just talking about. we have pretty heavy gusts here. i, you know, weston, which is my hometown, is inland from the coast. about 20 miles. just along the everglades. and, you know, it is pretty significant wind, but not nearly as bad as hurricane-force, and so our area is not, it looks like, going to be hit directly by the hurricane-force winds, but it is and has been and continues to be an important
preparation event because we do have, since we've not had a hurricane hit florida in over ten years, chris, we have millions of people who live here now, plus the tourists who visit here who have not experienced a hurricane and certainly not a hurricane of this magnitude. and so making sure that people prepared and are ready, i'm sitting in my hurricane-shuttered home. we have our 72 hours of supplies because that's critical for the aftermath of the storm. the other thing that we're all worrying about is right now the forecast track potentially could have it circle back around and hit us again. and so making sure that we are keeping our eye on this is really, really critical. >> since i have you on the phone, congresswoman, i know that politics are not front of mind for anyone on that coast at this moment. >> no, right. >> because of the catastrophe. there is, of course, the election. there are questions about voter registration, if you have massive, millions of people moving around possibly areas that they can't get back to, there's a request put in from the clinton campaign for the voter registration deadline to
be extended. my understanding is the governor rick scott has said he will not be extending that deadline. i wondered if you had a response to that. >> well, i'll be sending a letter signed by many members of the delegation whose districts have been experiencing and will have felt the full force of the magnitude of hurricane matthew tomorrow morning. formally asking him to extend that voter registration deadline. the deadline is this tuesday october 11th. clearly the responsible and essential thing to do, we have people who have been expecting to have a few extra days before that deadline to register to vote. that's the most fundamental right we have is to be able to register and cast our ballot to select our leaders and, you know, i certainly hope governor scott will when he gets more requests from representatives from the state of florida, representing these areas, that he'll reconsider because there's certainly precedent for it and it's absolutely critical that people have the ability to
register to vote and make sure they can cast their ballot. this is an extremely consequential election. we're asking, my letter will ask him to extend the deadline to next friday. that is certainly doable and won't make anything, you know, won't provide any additional hardship for our supervisors of elections and i will be following up with governor scott after that letter goes out to him. >> all right. congresswoman debbie wasserman-schultz. thanks for your time tonight. appreciate it. stay with us as we continue to monitor hurricane matthew's path. we'll be checking on the ground in florida throughout the hour. i'll speak with daytona police chief michael chitwood next about the importance of evacuating residents in those mandatory areas. do not go anywhere. [text message alert rings] [texting keystrokes]
so we didn't get hurt during the flood. >> it's 50/50. if friday morning it's going to really be a bad one, i'll go ahead and get out, right now i'm going to stick it out. >> despite evacuation orders across dozens of counties in florida, georgia and the carolinas, many of them mandatory, some people have not left. this afternoon the weather channel took the extraordinary step of broadcasting a special message to floridians over a million and a half of whom live in evacuation zones. take a listen as senior hurricane specialist brian norcross. >> this is like no storm in the record books. we are concerned about reports of people deciding to stay in areas under mandatory evacuation orders. this is a mistake, this is not hype, this is not hyperbole and i am not kidding. i cannot overstate the danger of this storm. >> let's go now to nbc news channel's jay gray in daytona beach. jay, what are you seeing there? >> reporter: hey, chris. we're on the edge of this storm.
the outer bands really are what we're feeling. winds picked up. the rain is continuing to fall. the surf has been heavy all day. you talk about people leaving and not getting out. i want to give you an idea of what's going on in daytona beach. not beautiful tv but it gives you a good, descriptive idea. ryan ryan, if you can show him. we have our camera under the tunnel to protect the gear. you can see it's an empty area down there. the streets have been empty for quite some time. if you're going to evacuate, the time's run out. if you're still here, you're inside your home, boarded up, moved whatever you can, and that's how you're dealing with it. there have been a lot of people, unfortunately, chris, that we've talked to here in daytona beach who tell me, yeah, we're going to ride this thing out. we've been through them before. the problem is each hurricane is different and we've been in quite a few. this is a major hurricane. a category 4. we haven't seen that in this area in over a decade and there are a lot of transplants here. i've talked to a lot of people who've never been in a hurricane.
they're staying for their first one that's a cat 4. i talked to emergency officials here. what they tell me is we can't make anyone leave. if they decide to stay, they do that at their own risk, their own peril. we're not sending out our teams at the height of the storm when conditions are their worst because we can't put our people in harm's way. they'll get in as soon as they can. at the height of the storm, those who decided to ride this thing out are doing it on their own. >> jay gray in daytona beach. appreciate that. thank you. joining me by phone, mike chitwood, police chief for the city of daytona beach. and chief chitwood, let me ask you this. i know there's some nofolks who are opting to stay because they don't believe the storm will be bad, they think they'll be fine. there are some category of folks in any storm maybe staying because they don't have the economic wherewithal, don't have family nearby, can't afford a place to go, may not have mobility, they may be infirmed. are there resources, ways to get those people out? >> there are resources to get out. you can call us. we have an emergency number set
up. we will provide transportation in the city of daytona, beach, alone, we have over four shelters, approximately 1,000 people have taken advantage of that. i think countywide, maybe 3,500 have. so there are still shelters that have room. there's still time to call us. for those who think this is a joke or that this is, i've ridden them out before, that's pure idiocy. this is a storm the likes of what we have never seen before. we are being projecting there's going to be devastation. there's going to be loss of power. loss of cell phone usage. loss of the internet. torns tornadoes. if you think you're going to make a phone call later on this evening, the morning, come get me, it's not going to happen. once the wind speeds reach over 50 miles an hour sustained, first responders can't get out to help you. we can't get across the bridges to get to the peninsula to help you. now's the time to go. the window of opportunity is there. get out. i don't know what you're trying
to prove because you're risking your life and that of your family's. >> chief, there has not been a hurricane hit florida in a fairly long period of time, and nothing as far as i can tell in the history books since 1851 that's hit at this wind speed that far north. are you folks prepared there? >> as much as you can be. we have all the manpower we can possibly have in place and we're dealing with mother nature. i mean, i try to tell everybody, think katrina. think katrina. and people like you had in your interview there, i mean, we had a mother today when i was up on the beachside going through neighborhoods, she had her two kids outside riding bikes. i must have spent 20 minutes talking to her. she refused adamantly said there's no reason for me and my children to leave. i even offered to bring them to the police station where we have our family shelter, there will be plenty of kids. she said, no, i'm not leaving. i can't find the lodger behind that. >> all right. fingers crossed that everyone who is getting out, heeding your
words. chief mike chitwood of daytona beach. i appreciate you taking a little time tonight. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> we're, of course, continuing to track the path of hurricane matthew as the outer bands start to hit the florida coast. the latest ahead. [ crowd noise ] whoa. [ gears stopping ] when your pain liever stops working, your whole day stops. bujust one aleve try this. has e strength to stop pain for 12 hours. tylenol and advil can quit after 6.
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of coast going up into south carolina and even north carolina. joining me now on the phone from orlando, u.s. senator bill nelson. democrat from florida. and senator, have you been in touch with federal authorities and what, how does the response look to you at this moment as you await landfall? >> i've been in touch with everybody. including the top man of fema who, by the way, is a floridian, and who had helped us get through that massive number of hurricanes in the 1990s and then in 2004 and 2005. and by the way, just another historical reference point, the fellow that you had on, bryan norcross, he was the hero of the worst storm that this one is being compared to, hurricane andrew. it was a monster.
1992. and bryan norcross kept people on the air, stayed on the air and talked people through that storm that flattened south dade county and homestead, florida. so when we compare this as a monster to andrew, we're talking serious business. >> you've been representing florida for over a decade in the united states senate, and you've been there for a very long time. what have you learned over your time as a u.s. senator about what makes for effective preparation and response from the perspective of the government? >> we've seen the good times and the bad. andrew was a time that neither the federal government nor florida was prepared. that has changed. what i saw this thing, six emergency operation centers over the last couple of days is
professionalism, they're ready, and the cooperation between the federal level and the president has declared the pre-event emergency as of earlier this afternoon. between state, federal and local governments, it has been a seamless preparation. now is going to come the tough part, enduring the storm, cleaning up afterwards, and hopefully not dealing with a lot of fatalities, but those people, as people have been talking, as the chief of police just told you, you stay on that barrier island where you got a wall of 9 to 11 feet of water and a surge combined with the high tide tomorrow, combined with 140 miles an hour winds, and you're going to have some fatalities.
>> all right. senator bill nelson, thank you so much for taking some time tonight. i really appreciate it, start. >> okay, chris. >> all right. let's bring in michael grumwalt author of "the swamp, the everglade, florida, the paradise." michael, i want to talk to you because that book you wrote is a classic, incredible book about the kind of architecture that makes florida work and you've been reporting on the fact that florida is uniquely exposed. both in its interior and on the coast. we're seeing the possibility of 111 foot storm surges and we know that storm surges tend to be the most deadly part of a hurricane. what are the possible effects for florida? >> that's right. that's right, chris. well, water kills, and, you know, you can see a sort of perfect storm coming where you have florida which is so low lying, you know, i just moved from seven feet elevation to 18 feet and part of the reason was because we're also getting these rising seas where you're having about an inch of sea level rise
every year which doesn't sound like much, but it's the difference between wet and dry in some of these cases. plus you add in that as you've been talking about, we haven't had a really monster hurricane in at least a decade. it's sort of like i've been on your show talking about financial crises and this is a little bit like that. when you don't have one for a while, you start to think it can't happen, and it can happen. >> you've got a governor there, of course, i mean, we've seen sea level rise due to climate change, human-caused climate change. you got a governor there who continues to deny the existence of that but you also got insurance companies, developers and all sorts of folks, billions, if not trillions of dollars of value along that coast. is florida adapting to what its present reality now is going to be? >> well, in some areas we are like in miami beach, you know, we're spending $400 million on pumps to, you know, because we were getting, you know -- it
would be sunny, it would be beautiful and at high tide, you know, biscayne bay would be in the middle of our streets. so we're starting to deal with that. we're adapting. what we really need to do is restore the everglades by restoring that flow, you would really -- that would be the best way to kind of hold back the everyday sea level rise. but when you've got ten feet of water coming at you, there isn't much you can do to adapt and that's why some people think that in the long run, south florida just might not be sustainable. >> very ominous thought as we prepare to watch matthew make landfall. michael grunwald, thanks for making time tonight. stay safe down there. >> thanks, chris zblmp. still to come thousands are without power already from matthew. that number could reach 2.5 million. we'll talk about that and more as our coverage continues after this break. ♪
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hurricane matthew is nearing florida. the outer rain bands are starting to come through. the winds are picking up. it's only going to get worse through the night. joining me from miami at rapaport, deputy director of the national hurricane center. ed, the national hurricane center has issued increasingly dire warnings about this storm. i talked to bill a little bit about what makes it so distinct. from your perspective, how are things at this moment in terms of its trajectory? >> the biggest concern now, of course, is that now that the center is passing the bahamas is the threat to florida as you mentioned. right now, the center is located about 75 miles offshore from palm beach. the forecast track takes it very close to the coast over the next couple, three days, in fact, the longer term takes it all the way up to along the georgia and south carolina coast by the weekend. and the greatest risk from a hurricane of this strength is not only the wind, but it's the wind that will be driving ashore the water.
that's what we call a storm surge. a storm centered here, strong winds blowing like this, we're expecting a storm surge on the order of 7 to 11 feet. that's the depth of the water at the coast that will flow inland, be waves on top so here what we're showing on this red along the coast is where we believe there's life-threatening storm surge of at least three feet. as you said, as much as 7 to 11 feet further north. >> ed rappaport, thanks for that update. joining me now nbc news miguel almagare in west palm beach. how are things looking there? >> reporter: weather conditions have been deteriorating all evening long. we're in a bit of a break in the serious conditions we saw earlier today. i do have to tell you a few moments ago, the sky here exploded in a green light. it was a transformer that gave way. this area is running on backup power. that's going to happen probably through the rest of this evening, as a matter of fact, officials have told us that they can expect to lose power here.
locals can for several days. if not weeks at a time. we're blocks way s away from th beach, one of the busiest thoroughfares. not tonight. it appears people are heeding the evacuation warnings. down the road here where police were coming through earlier today, they were telling everyone that it was a mandatory evacuation, that they were forced to leave. people have been heeding that warning for the most part, though we have seen a couple of people over the past couple hours out here taking pictures. we even see some parents with children here a short time ago. for the most part it seems as though they've retreated back inside. the weather conditions while right now are a little bit wet and a little bit windy are certainly expected to intensify tonight as just mentioned. the storm is roughly 75 miles off the coast from here, but we do expect to see more of those outer bands slamming this region at around 6:30 eastern tonight, we got hit with a very vicious squall. it was very difficult to even stand in that type of weather,
much less see the sheets of rain that have been coming. the weather has been intermittent here. again, here, a major thoroughfare right here, completely quiet, completely shut down. at least that's what the situation is for now. it's exactly what police wanted. later on tonight, they tell us these high-rise buildings, windows could explode. the buildings will lose power, debris will be flying through the area. right now police tell us at this location we're safe for the next several hours but later on tonight they want everyone out of this area. >> miguel almaguer in west palm beach. stay safe. joining me by phone, florida power & light's dave mcdermott. what is the state at this point and what are your projections for the grids' integrity as the storm makes landfall? >> well, as your correspondent has said, there's no question that hurricane matthew is going to be a monster storm. a category 4. and fpl, there hasn't been a major hurricane or any hurricane
for that matter in florida for 11 years. and during that time, we've invested an enormous amount of money in strengthening the grid. but that said, you know, no utility is hurricane proof and we expect extensive damage to the power grid as a result of this storm, and we're looking at as many as 2.5 million of our customers to be without power and some of them, frankly, some areas are going to be experiencing extended outages. >> can you explain to me what is it when a storm makes landfall that is what causes the power? is it the storm surge, floods, in needed equipment? is it power lines get knocked down by the wind? what are the parts of the storm that actually account for the grid going out? >> well, it's any number of things. it's certainly wind. wind is the biggest -- the biggest factor that affects our power grid. and in florida, there is intense
and enormous foliage. it's a 12 hour -- 12 month growing season throughout the year. as a result of that, there's a number of palm frauns, tree branches, trees, you know, they break off and they become missiles so they slam into our power lines and our substations and that's what causes the bulk of the damage. you know, we have an army of restoration workers upwards of 15,000 including our own workers and we put the call out and now have workers in from across the country, so they're standing ready and on high alert ready to go into action just as soon as the storm passes, when it's safe to do so. >> all right. dave mcdermott, thank you very much. we'll have much more coverage of hurricane matthew ahead including a look at the destruction it's already left in its wake in the caribbean. don't go anywhere.
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as millions along the florida coast are bracing for hurricane matthew tonight, rescue workers are just beginning to assess the full extent of the storm's destruction in haiti. there are reports that hundreds of people there are dead as government agencies and international relief crews start to reach some of the worst affected areas. aid organizations are expecting food shortages and feari inin i cholera outbreaks.
the interim president said earlier, "the situation is catastrophic." the storm also battered other parts of the caribbean. nbc's tammy leitner joins us from the bahamas where matthew has already caused significant damage, massive flooding significant damage, massive flooding and is still wreaking havoc. how are the bahamas doing? >> you know, chris, the rain has finally subsided. and we got a chance to go out and take a look around the island. the damage, oh, it is so extensive. there are power lines down, trees on top of houses, roads completely washed away. and keep in mind, the winds were about 125 miles an hour today. i want to give you an idea of just how powerful they were. so this is the roots here of this tree. this is at least ten feet maybe 12 feet tall. and so it gives you an idea of the massive, massive power of these winds that just devastated this island. we know that tonight people are still trapped in their homes. there were actually people calling into a local radio
station all day, and these are people that live on the south and the east side of the island where the hurricane first hit. and they were describing a storm surge that came through. now, remember, they were predicting about 15 feet. they're saying it was about eight feet. and some of these people, they were hiding in their attic taking cover there. that was the only way they say they were able to survive this surge. so we'll keep an eye on this. we haven't been able to get over to that side of the island yet because the damage is so extensive. >> tammy lightner in the bahamas for us tonight. thank you. our coverage of hurricane matthew continues next. g new ca.
we are back with our continuing coverage of hurricane matthew, the massive category 4 storm with winds up to 140 miles per hour has prompted evacuation orders for more than 2 million people in the united states. president obama has declared a state of emergency for florida as well as south carolina making federal emergency aid available. he is strongly encouraging americans to listen to local authorities as are presidential candidates hillary clinton and donald trump. in a personal tweet clinton said, i urge everyone to follow emergency instructions and evacuate if you're told to. stay safe, florida. trump said in a statement, if your home is in the path of a hurricane and you are being advised to leave, you need to do so right now. nothing is more important than the safety of your family. joining me now from ft. pierce, florida, nbc news correspondent kerry sanders. how are things looking down there? >> reporter: well, you know,
there's a lot of people on the east coast of florida who are inside their homes with shutters up. they can't tell what's going on outside. but they hear some sounds and they're wondering if they're getting hit by the hurricane. i'm standing outside in ft. pierce. the hurricane has not arrived here yet. we've had some strong winds, but they've just been gusts and they've certainly not been hurricane force winds. the real concern tonight is that there are about 1.5 million people in a mandatory evacuation zone along the coast who chose not to evacuate. as you can see the wind behind me and you can see the rain and we've had power outages here. the publix grocery store lights have flickered as well as our own lights have flickered, the concern is those who have decided not to evacuate are staying put. and now it's way too late for them to leave, but the authorities, the police who are most likely to help them, have left. they've pulled back. they're back on the mainland about four to five miles inland from where the atlantic ocean
is. and so anybody who needs help may decide to dial 911. that will not help them. there's nobody who is going to come help them at this point. in fact, the authorities spent some time today going from door to door talking to those who chose not to leave. and actually writing their names down and their addresses so that after matthew passes through, they can go check on them to see whether they have survived the storm or not. the authorities say that they're disappointed that some people seem to have egos of invincibility by staying put in some cases so close to the beach that this 12-foot storm surge likely will fill their homes with water and cause them, especially those that don't have two stories, to have to crawl up in their attics. something we saw in katrina in a very different way but something that's just a horrible panicked ridiculous moment that could have been prevented. and i just heard a little explosion. that no doubt is one of the electrical transformers going off. again, we don't even have the hurricane force winds here yet,
chris. >> kerry sanders in ft. pierce, thank you for that. joining me from jupiter florida, congressman, your district, the sbirt of your district runs along that part of the coast that looks like it might take the most direct hit. we're close to it. how are folks preparing there? >> thank you for covering this because it's quite alarming to have a hurricane of this strength that is potentially going to be the worst that we've seen. very rarely do you have a hurricane run the entire east coast of florida. they typically cut across the state. so we have been urging folks to evacuate up until about 2:00 today we told them, please, please, get somewhere safe, go to a family member, go to the west coast, go to a shelter. unfortunately, not everyone evacuates. as i was walking around. i went to some shelters, you know, people were basically saying that they're going to ride it out, that they think it will be a bad thunderstorm.
i was trying to work with law enforcement and they did a great job today urging people, please, take this seriously. this is not a thunderstorm. you need to take shelter. and at this point now, you cannot leave your house. you need to stay where you're at, hunker down and don't leave until this is well past. >> i know that politics are not on your mind tonight, obviously everyone focused on survival, but there is registration deadline on tuesday. i talked to congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz who said she'll be formally petitioning the governor to extend that registration deadline to friday with million of people, floridians possibly displaced. will you be joining that call as well? >> yes, i've signed on that letter. i'm pretty sure most of the -- quite a few of the delegation members have signed on to that letter. and i've been told that it doesn't look like the governor is going to extend that, unfortunately, but we are going to keep urging him to reconsider that because people are distracted. this is not what's on their minds, the election, they need
to worry about their own safety now. >> democratic congressman patrick murphy, also a candidate for u.s. senate in that state. that's "all in" for this evening. msnbc's breaking coverage of hurricane matthews continues next with brian williams. >> well, good evening from our headquarters near in new york as we settle in for what is going to be a night covering this history-making storm that is approaching the coast of florida. our first job here is going to be to talk to meteorologist bill karins because he's been tracking along with all his colleagues in the weather business, an interesting little bit of movement over the past hour or two along with this structural changes, few changes on the winds at the core, and so th