tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC September 8, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT
facebook and twitter and instagram. i'm heading to the white house for a briefing as president trump gets updated on what's happening with hurricane irma. for now i'll turn it over to my colleagues ali velshi and stephanie ruhle. >> hope. i love her and love that story. thanks, hallie, good morning, i'm stephanie ruhle. >> i'm ali velshi. it is friday, september 8th, special coverage continues on hurricane irma. let's get started. >> irma's fury awe inspiring and terrifying. images from the caribbean in the wake of irma tell a story of paradise lost. >> all of south florida is now under a hurricane warning. >> forecasters saying it could pave a path of destruction the length and width of the state. >> every florida family must prepare to evacuate regardless of the coast you're on. >> those highways are going to have a hurricane on it before you can even get to the people that are being hit by the storm in the beginning. >> mass ee vak vagss labeled unprecedented are ramping up. >> traffic backed up for miles
as irma closes in. >> gas trucks are being given police escorts to help them get to the stations faster. >> well over 100,000 people in shelters for this event. >> we cannot save new the middle of the storm. >> the water will come up high. you get trapped in your homes. >> it's terrifying. it's terrifying, absolutely. >> it's a race against time now in south florida and beyond. >> all right, let's begin with breaking news, time is running out for millions of people to make their final preparations or their decisions before hurricane irma hits florida and its 20 million residents. highways are jammed. some have been turned around so all lanes go north. the state is running out of gas. more than 650,000 men and women and children are being ordered to evacuate out of miami-dade county. irma is the size of texas, just a short time ago florida's governor warned all floridians -- let me say that again, all floridians should be prepared to evacuate.
>> do not put yourself or your family's life at risk. if you've been ordered to evacuate and are still home, please go. today is the day to do the right thing for your family and get inland to safety. today is the day to do the right thing for your family and get inland for safety. this storm is wider than our entire state. it is expected to cause major and life threatening impacts from coast to coast. >> we need to remember for a lot of people it's not that simple. if you're on a fixed income and use public transportation. >> it is hard to get up and go. >> let's go indefinitely, i don't know where. tomorrow irma's outer bands will be lashing the keys and by sunday morning, irma could be pummeling parts of the state with winds between 150 and 175 miles per hour. trust what the meteorologists are telling you, please. >> you look at that picture and look at the one you just saw where the storm is bigger than
the entire peninsula in florida. listen to this. [ wind blowing ] >> irma is now being blamed for 17 deaths in the craribbean. these pictures are just from the dominican republic which wasn't even hit the hardest. dominican republic is the same island as haiti. haiti cannot afford to restructure after something like this. right now irma is swirling between the central bahamas and northern coast of cuba. >> check out these live pictures of miami. the line -- this is the line to get in one of the shelters. here's the good news, because it's had a lot of hurricanes it does have proper shelters. if you can get to a shelter, that's the place to go. let's go to sam champion who remains miami beach which is a
barrier island. sam, we don't know precisely where in florida irma is going to make landfall but those radar images are remarkable because the entire storm is bigger than all of the peninsula. >> exactly right. evacuation isn't as easy as people saying evacuate. at some point i'd love to come back and talk about that as well. let's show you this storm and size and strength of it. we've got it for you. the brand-new update, 11:00 update on the strength and size of this storm. let's get to it. here's the eye of that storm exactly where you guys just said at the top of the show in the area between the bahamas and cuba. irma is still a category 4 hurricane. highest sustained winds inside this storm in the eyewall of this storm at 150 miles per hour. now, don't relax. 156 is a cat 5. we're at 150. we're at the high end of a cat 4. this is a dangerous, dangerous
destructive storm. take a look what will happen with irma during the day. the center of this storm will cruise between the bahamas and cuba. early saturday morning there may be a touch and go with the coast of cuba. the models aren't sure whether the hurricane would bls and tou cuba or not. it may weaken a little bit, but probably not much. it makes a turn after that and heads right for florida. right now we have a 2:00 a.m. landfall in the central keys of a category 4 hurricane. 150-mile-per-hour winds. then the storm drives into south florida putting the eye some 70 miles across barreling up the middle of the state. that's the most destructive wind field of this storm, 70 miles wide through the middle of the state. >> explain the technological advances. when you talk about the rescission in the weather forecasting and i'm talking about my mom, who is watching at home, weather people always make us scared. in terms of technology, the
information that you have now to predict this storm versus what you had even a year or five years ago and how important it is for us to listen to these warnings today. >> okay, satellites were the big advancement in the '60s in weather forecasting and that was awesome. we had an eye in the sky and no longer standing there in the dark waiting for something to show up that we didn't know what it was or how big it is. since then people will satisfy what have you done since then? we have finally tooled forecast models, they look at weather patterns all over the world and predict what weather will move when. and a lot of people say, well, you're wrong with the weather forecast. we're not wrong with the weather forecast very often in short bursts up to three days, four days. when you look at the cone, the cone widens out about four or five days because there's a lot of variable there. these computer models are finely tuned to what happens with a hurricane. the two we use right now that are expensive to run and very big powerful computer forecast
models with a lot of input in them are the american and the european. and both of them, usually they don't agree very much and usually they are in different places, both of them put the center of this storm making landfall in south florida and driving right up the middle of the state at this time. models get new information every hour and that's why we look at the shift or change in the forecast track and in those models depending on the input. let me tell you something else that the national weather forecast service is doing right now to make their model even better. we have reporting stations all over the country that say wind speed, temperature, humidity and that goes into the model data. as of yesterday and couple of days, they were putting weather balloons up all over the country to get brand-new data, extra data they never had before into this model to make it more accurate. when we tell you this storm is headed to florida in a stronger level any storm has hit florida, i need you to pay attention and you can survive the storm, pay
attention to where you are during the storm. >> thank you so much. sam champion. listen to this man. >> he knows of what he speaks. >> let's go to bahamas where irma is passing over. at one point it passed by one of the islands with winds up to 150 miles per hour. nbc's rehema ellis is live in naus saw. the islands could see 25 feet storm surge. can you hear us? >> i'm afraid -- >> we'll get that mixed up. this happens in storm, we lose the connection once in a while. >> if you think about this, when you look at the images of miami, this storm is going to rake over florida and georgia and caroli e carolina. it's not like you can say let's
head north -- >> in south florida, here's new time lapse video just in in key largo showing the drive along u.s. 1. roads are mostly empty. you never see this on the drive north because everybody who has gotten out of here has largely left. irma is crawling towards miami. the latest update we just got shows it's 400 miles away. the storm's rain bands and gusty winds are going to start hitting the keys tomorrow morning. saturday morning. >> let's go back to miami beach. thomas roberts is live there. last we saw you, you were at the gas station which was packed. the line looked like it was a mile long, now there you are at the beach empty. we've heard the storm surge could be as high as 10 feet. if you combine that with 15 inches of rain and wind, what are we looking at? >> fema is saying it's going to
be a rough couple of days here and in miami beach, while it looks absolutely gorgeous today, it is going to be a totally different picture by dinner time tomorrow night and then in the 24 hours after that. we know there are no swimmers. the beach is closed today. that doesn't mean there haven't been swimmers. life guards are -- working today until 6:30 p.m., a regular day for them. since there are double flags, maybe we can show back here the life guard tower, double red flags mean the beach is closed and lower flag is the no swimming monicker. to your point about storm surge, i was talking to the two guards and they said the platform that they are in for the guard to we is 8 to 9 feet. typically much closer to the beach, 50 feet away. they've moved back obviously out of an abundance of caution as
we've seen most free standing buildings be moved back or removed. that would be would the storm surge potentially would look like. this wall of water that would come racing in to this barrier island and goo into all of these different structures along here. you see the different hotels and high rises built up. some have parking structures on the bottom. i was speaking to one lady, two streets back off of collins. she was out here saying she is going to ride it out. she's on the second floor. when we talked about storm surge, she was a little bit worried about that. she said her nephew was here during matthew and this was really her first hurricane season here, full-time, even though she's owned this place for two decades but only lived here two years full-time but will ride it out. i know the governor earlier also talked about opening up more shelters since there have been more announcements of school closings that are going to take place into next week and those schools are going to be utilized into storm shelters for people that want to evacuate.
most of the roads in miami, as you both well know, are always going to be crazy and very busy with traffic, no matter which way you want to go. since all of the tolls have been waived to get in and around on the different interstates and causeways here in miami, people have freedom to go north. but we were at gas stations overnight, starting at 2:00 a.m. and by 3:00 a.m., there were enough people, surge of people coming in to fill up that by 5:00, the gas stations were out. lucky a tanker came in and another gas station, again there was a long line of vehicles people not only gassing up cars but having spare gas tanks you can get at any type of home good store, so they can have a spare ready to go. because they do not know what irma is going to deliver. we'll find out together. but today, it's kind of deceiving right now. >> no kidding. that is often the case right before a hurricane strikes. it's calm, you slowly see the
water levels rise and then it hits. >> that's also the difference, there are tons of people who for financial reasons or security aren't sure if they can evacuate but those choosing to swim or surf, please don't, think of the lifeguards. >> the people -- that's what happens, people do go out and help those people. as much as we have talked to mayor after fire chief and police chief once the winds get above 35, 40 miles per hour we can't respond to things. this is america and it's full of heroes, people do and it hurts them too. >> don't mess around. >> don't take resources away that don't need to be taken away. >> let's go back to the bahamas where rehema ellis is live. are you there? >> reporter: i am here, stephanie, yes. i can tell you that the bahamas is starting to feel the effects of hurricane irma. the news right now is that irma is pounding the southern bahamas
as we speak. that's where they evacuated people from and that's where they got an eye out on how devastated that land is going to be. authorities believe that many people won't have anything to go back to when the storm is over. they are also worried about what's going to happen on the island of inagua, where 60,000 fl flamingos are located. here we're expected to get pounded as well. people are tieing things down and palm trees are blowing. jeff will show you the water. the surf picked up. we're see being white caps on the water. people in the babahamas, listeno what one woman told us about being prepared. >> i'm sure that most about 95% of bahamaians are taking this one serious, this could be the worst hurricane that the bahamas or caribbean could have
experienced. >> very concerned and i've prepared. >> reporter: look at this, stephanie and ali, this is a line they are hoping is going to hold this food cart down. i don't want to be here when the storm kicks up, here's why. they are saying the biggest fear in this area is the potential for a 20-foot storm surge. that's a wall of water. 20 feet high. this building over here, about 10 feet high. the surge could be twice that height. no one should be in this area and whether or not these tethers will keep these benches in place, we'll come back later and find out but i'm not going to be here during the height of the storm to tell you about it. >> that's important that you stay safe as well. we'll need you on the other side to talk about what happened and that is important for journalists all over this thing, it is -- we try to push our luck but we have to stay safe. this is going to be a serious one. >> let's bring in chief charles press of the key bis cane police
department, the town is on a barrier island under a mandatory evacuation order. chief, mandatory evacuation order is underway. but has everyone left? >> unfortunately no. i'd love to tell you that we have 100% compliance but we do have a population of old school key biscayners are tough to get out of there. we're talking to people and reaching out to people who know other people, anything to encourage them to leave. even to the point to where we're having hard core discussions about life and death and i think that's what this storm is all about. >> one of the issues is people who are on medical care or who are very ill, we keep talking about people who sometimes don't have the means to leave but people who are ill and elderly, many -- many parts of florida they are staying. >> well, our fire department has a list of those who need am what
tri care and they have reached out and done the things we need to do. we heard yesterday of an elderly couple, the husband having terminal cancer and they simply don't want to leave. it's hard to get past that mindset. again, we can't throw them over our shoulders and drag them out. we'll look until the last minute before we actually evacuate to try to convince people but i think you're right on the spot. it's some of our older population that just doesn't have anywhere to go. >> but what do you do in that situation? exactly that. you have a huge older population in key biscayne and family lives far away, the idea of getting up and going somewhere from an indetermined amount of time, what answers do you give them as you're trying to get them to evacuate? >> i think the time for being nice is past. i think the time for real life
responses to them and giving them the option of what's actually going to happen is the only way we can deal with them at this point. and at the end of the day, some people just aren't going to leave. so what we do is we make sure that we know where they are at, how many folks are going to stay in that apartment or in that home and when we make our return to the island as we do our rescue operations initially -- >> you know where to go. >> we'll probably identify those places that we need to go to first and see if we can't get to them. >> i know your people spent three hours last night convincing a 93-year-old woman to leave and she finally did but she didn't have family. so this becomes very tough. just in terms of infrastructure, sir, your storm surge is going to be probably one of your biggest issues and you are an island. do you have infrastructure concerns about the fact that access to the island may be damaged or you think once it recedes people can get back on?
during the storm people will not be able to get on or off. >> that's correct. water is always the number one killer during these storms anyway. we have three bridges all on one island, the one road in, one road out. and we have three bridges that get us to the village of key biscayne. we're certainly concerned how those bridges work during a storm of this magnitude. we've never faced anything like this. so our return team is going to have to gradually take a look at the structures from underneath and try to get vessels that we've identified that will help us take a look at those structures before we can even bring our resources back to the key. >> chief, thanks very much. we'll stay close to you and your people there and our thoughts and thoughts of the nation are with you, chief charles press of the key biscayne police department. >> something we can't forget, those who have already been hit. if you think about the british
virgin islands, places like st. martin and saint barts decimated. i got an e-mail this morning from his team saying they all hunkered down and were in yes, a wine cellar but now that they have emerged when you look around, whether it's virgin toretoll la -- >> the pictures from st. martin are incredible. it looks like destruction everywhere in the island. and i will be speaking today at 3:00 to the u.s. representative to -- from the u.s. virgin islands and she has just returned from there. i'm going to talk to her about that. with key biscayne, the bridge was found to be structurally defishl years ago. the chief talks about when the flood recedes they have to inspect this, can't just let people go back. that's something important to think about if you're in key biscayne or barrier islands, the access may be danged.
if you need help in two or three days, it may be longer. >> a lot of those people in the virgin islands don't have any cell service. if you have friends or family not knowing how they are doing -- it's a really scary time. >> all right, president trump just released a video message on twitter. let's listen to it. >> my fellow americans, as hurricane irma approaches, my administration is working closely with our state and local partners to help save lives, protect families and assist those in need. this is a storm of absolutely historic destructive potential. i ask everyone in the storm's path to be vigilant and to heed all recommendations from government officials and law enforcement. nothing is more important than the safety and security of our people. we are doing everything we can to help with disaster preparations and when the time comes, we will restore, recovery and rebuild together as americans. in times such as these, we see
the strength and resolve of the american spirit. and we see the kindness and courage of our people. with gratitude for our first responders and prayers for those in the storm's path, america stands united. and i mean totally united. from texas to louisiana, from florida to puerto rico, and always the u.s. virgin islands and everywhere in between, that has been affected by these terrible storms, we will endure and come back stronger than ever before. >> and he is right in terms of the country coming together. moments ago the house overwhelmingly voted to pass a $15 billion hurricane relief package. i just like to say thank you. the deal also increases the debt limit and keeps the government running for the next three months, which is what president trump agreed to do after that visit with nancy pelosi and chuck schumer. president trump concocted the deal with those democrats against many are many wishes. the gop not happy about linking
aid for harvey and future storms with the higher debt ceiling and it is now heading to the president's desk. >> worth noting it was not unanimous in the senator house. i'll put a picture up of everybody who voted against it. i appreciate the message from the president. not everybody is always on board with helping everybody in a disaster. >> i'm going to say, i'm certainly glad it went through. >> stand by, thousands of national guard troops have already been deployed to florida. we'll talk about military preparations next. >> this is what they did. the american heroes springing into action. remember, this is one of the biggest hurricanes florida has ever seen and it is hitting just as fema's funding is about to expire. stay with us. this is a part of this country in need of our help. we've got to focus on it. every year we take a girl's trip. remember nashville? kimchi bbq. kimchi bbq. amazing honky tonk?? i can't believe you got us tickets. i did. i didn't pay for anything.
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you're watching "velshi & ruhle" as we continue to track hurricane irma. landfall is expected in florida sometime sunday morning as a category 4, possibly a category 5 hurricane. >> jo ling kent is in fort lauderdale er dale which could see winds at 120 miles per hour. gas shortages are being reported in the miami ft. lauderdale area. we're telling people evacuate, but can't get anywhere with no gas in your car. >> reporter: that's right. we're at the gas station right now minutes away from cloegsing.
what you can see behind me a pump that's completely wrapped up. they are running low on gas but need to keep a reserve, they don't want the tanks underneath to float and become disconnected. the folks here are get being ready to close. we have a lot of people getting gas for their trip out. as they continue to prepare to evacuate. i'd like to introduce you to maria. you're about to leave. why are you leaving and evacuating? >> because we're on the water, we're on the canal and because of the surge. >> are you concerned about your property, what are you taking with you to make sure you've got what you need? >> the most important thing are our documents and our pets. >> reporter: what about getting gas? you're filling up -- >> we got lucky. it was very hardy drove from atlantic boulevard here to the 17th street bridge and this is the only one we found open. i just called my daughter to let her know as well. >> reporter: we wish you the best of luck. >> thank you very much. >> stay safe out there in the
hurricane. we want to tell you this entire economic impact here is pretty heavy. millions of people on yously are no longer coming to the south florida area. we'll see a big economic impact in terms of tourism and folks are continuing to complain about long gas lines as maria heads out hoping she stays safe in the hurricane. she is not riding this one out. >> thank you. ali, regulations were put in place since andrew that gas stations needed to have a generator. a generator doesn't help you when you got no gas. >> fema administrator brock long declaring that money would not stall hurricane irma rescue and recovery efforts. let's listen. >> i don't know anybody in florida that's ever experienced what's about toit to hit south flor daxt we're not going to let money and paperwork get in the way. this is a life safety mission and we're not going to stop. >> the national guard activating thousands of members from multiple states to deal with irma's impending devastation. this is what they train all year long to do.
>> fema regional director joins us now on the phone from tallahassee, she covers florida, georgia and the carolinas, all of which are under emergencies ahead of hurricane irma. thank you for being with us. brock long says the money won't get in the way. you've got 30,000 people on the ground in texas. you're spending $9 million an hour. that thing could end up costing $180 billion to recover from. that's just harvey. hurricane season doesn't end until november. this $15 billion relief package that congress has just passed is not enough to deal with a portion of a hurricane. tell me what the situation is financially. >> good morning, the situation financially is what the the administrator said, money will not get in the way. fema is aggressively preparing to support florida, north carolina, georgia and south carolina. we have teams and resources
prepositioned both inside and just outside of florida. and as you know, fema is just a much -- just a part of a much larger effort. we have representatives from across the federal family with us here in tallahassee and regional office in atlanta and head quarters and coordination centers. in addition we have deployed staff across florida. we have liaisons in some areas within county emergency operations center and they are giving us real time situational awareness. plus they are there to identify preand post landfall needs. so on the staff front, we have a lot of personnel on the ground in florida and all of the other states. here in florida too we have instant management assistance in florida. >> where do the resources come from? hotels are booked and gas is running out, thousands evacuated and hospitals closing. the whole state is in irma's
cone. so where exactly do people go? we can say we're here to support you. how and where specifically? >> we have people staged throughout florida and five other states. so when you ask where they go specifically, they go all of the states. and we are prepared to quickly put them in the states most impacted. we have plans we've been supporting the state of florida with plans to ensure that we had rapid response to any needs. >> one of the things brock long had said and this guy has a lot of experience with storms and hurricanes. he has told florida residents and north carolina -- the carolina and georgia residents to set realistic expectations for after the storm. while everybody else is talking about the hurricane, when we've heard from brock long during harvey, it's about the length of time it will take the weeks not days, months not weeks. what do you want people who are watching this and in florida or
georgia or the carolinas to be thinking about. this is not a three-day event. >> yes, what we tell people is they need to listen to the directions of the state local territorial and tribal officials. you know, they are instructed to evacuate, they don't need to be waiting. they need to go. it's not too late to prepare. residents at this time should have water and food and medicine for everyone in their household including pets. flashlight battery operated radio and copies of important documentation. plus, any other personal items they may need for extended stay away from home. so what we're telling people is we are there. we are working with all of our states so that we can ensure a rapid response but they also -- the residents need to be prepared to and have items they may need for that extended stay away from their home. >> you mentioned pets. what about places like aquariums
and miami zoo. you've got nature preserve there. what do we do about that? >> i know the states are working with all of those partners too to ensure everything and everyone is safe. >> all right, gracia, thanks for being with us and we'll take in touch with fema and you're busy and have things to do. responsible for alabama, georgia and florida, as well as kentucky and mississippi and north carolina and south carolina and tennessee. she's got a lot of work ahead of her. >> joining us from biloxi, mississippi, hurricane hunter lieutenant colonel shawn cross, has flown into katrina and hurricane hunters are flying through all three storms it's. walk us through exactly what they are looking for and how these missions are getting accomplished.
they are extraordinary. >> hey, stephanie -- >> colonel, we're having a hard time hearing you, can you go a bit closer to the receiver. >> can you hear me better now. >> much clearer. tell us what you're looking for. >> what we're doing right now we're really pushed hard, we're flying catia and jose and irma. irma is the big one. this is the major storm that's going to be talked about for decades. obviously katrina has been the benchmark for a long time now. hate to say it but irma will be the newest benchmark. we're working really hard and crews post toured to fly irma in the next couple of hours this afternoon. we will start flying irma from biloxi mississippi with the air force reserve. currently being flown down in the caribbean. we normally work out of saint
croix but they were hit pretty good. that forward operating location, we pulled back to cure sou to fly the storms 24/7. >> colonel, thank you for telling us these are civilian airmen, from the air reserve. what actually do they do? are they in the c-130s? >> correct, we're flying the wc-130 j by lockheed martin. it's a fabulous aircraft. we have ten here on the ramp and our crew is five individuals and pilot and co-pilot and weather officer and navigator and load master. our job is to take off and fly to an altitude of 10,000 feet, penetrate the eyewall of the hurricane, drop at the request of the national hurricane center. gather data and send it via satellite uplink to the national hurricane center in miami. they are the experts here in the united states. they plug all of that information and from there we
see it out on the worldwide web, all of the models to look at. >> walk us through what it is like specifically to fly into the eye of a storm. usually planes fly from dangerous weather systems and you're going head on into winds over 150 miles per hour. >> right, that's the interesting thing for a pilot in our squad ron. they are trained to avoid weather at all costs. we fly right into the belly of the beast. we're flying into the most intense weather that mother nature has created. it can be a very tremendous thrill ride at times but we always talk about the elevator ride. if you can kind of imagine you hear people talk about how the pressure drops in the center of the storm. that's when we experience an elevator ride. come in at 10,000 feet and looking for this pressure altitude of at 10,000 feet so the aircraft descends down into the eye and go out the other side we have to climb back out
to maintain that altitude. every storm has their own personality. just because irma is a cat 5, doesn't mean it will necessarily have a rough ride at 12,000 feet. i've had a reports from the crews that said it has been a pretty rough ride on those guys but what they are experiencing at 10,000 feet is in no way indicative of what's going on down at the ground. >> what do you mean? >> i can tell you this personally. i flew katrina. only a half of us who flew katrina left. those people most retired and moved on. i flew it and next morning i landed back here in biloxi, mississippi, rode the storm out 25 miles north of the coast. it was a very rough ride. my life evolves around hurricanes and i experienced andrew as it made landfall in louisiana, i've ridden out opal and ivan, multiple hurricanes in the florida panhandle. i can tell you, i would fly an airplane through the eye of a hurricane any day before ride it
out on the ground. >> that's impressive. thank you and thanks to all of those working with you. the danger you put yourselves in helps the rest of us understand these things and helps us warn people to stay safe and what they should do. lieutenant colonel sean cross, joining us from biloxi, mississippi. >> can i mention to you, think about a map. you've got harvey last week. you've got irma this week. what we haven't mentioned, jose. >> the earthquake, the 8.1 magnitude earthquake that hit mexico last night and there are now tsunami warnings on mexico's shores. those are scary times. stand by, it looks like miami will be the first major city in florida to be hit by irma. but the entire state, whole thing, irma is set to rake up the whole state, set to get slammed. we'll talk about what to expect in central florida and we'll also hear from the mayor of tampa, a city particularly vulnerable to major hurricanes. tampa, a very flat town. whoooo.
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haven't you ever wanted sowatch your step.ry? a pilot like you should be flying for the c.i.a. holy- shh... you are an airline pilot. that's how you support this family. this is gonna be good for us. based on an incredible true story... we need you to deliver stuff for us. just don't get caught. of c.i.a.'s biggest secret. i helped build an army, defend a country and create the biggest drug cartel this world has ever seen. that sounds made up barry. tom cruise. stop now if you want. it gets crazy from here. woo! american made. rated r. welcome back to special hurricane irma coverage of "velshi & ruhle." this hurricane now a category 4 storm, almost a cat 5 with 150-mile-per-hour sustained winds. >> it's side swiping cuba heading for the bahamas and makes a turn headed towards south florida.
expected to make landfall late tomorrow night or early sunday as a category 4 hurricane and then hopefully start losing strength. but it could still be a category 2 storm with 75 to 100 miles per hour winds when it arrives in central florida on sunday afternoon. >> with that, central florida is bracing from coast to coast, tampa to orlando and cities and communities nearby. joining us live now, bob buckhorn. what stands out to me, mayor, there are people i've spoken to from miami and palm beach who have evacuated to tampa. is tampa a safe evacuation zone? >> well, it is, steph, we're on the back side even though the track has moved a little to the west which puts us at a little greater risk. we anticipate this will largely be a wind and rain event but we are looking at the surge models. as of 2:00 this afternoon, i'll be declaring flood zone level a will be under a mandatory
evacuation, just to err on the side of caution but remember, we are on the water. if we took a cat 3 direct hit to tampa, my office in downtown tampa would be 15 feet under water. we are taking this seriously. we train for this all year round, guys and that's one of the challenges of living in this tropic environment. so we are prepared. we're ready to execute -- >> that's some of the good news because we see pictures of those roads of people getting out of plagss that they are supposed to evacuate from. i have a map up on the left side which is the area a, the red is the area a. that is what you are announcing you're going to be announcing today an evacuation for? >> that is indeed, ali. that is where my house is. my family will be evacuating as well. >> for all of those people who evacuated to tampa, where do they go from there? already your hotels are filled with people who left higher risk areas.
>> well, they are and i think in the case of tampa, as long as you are outside of level a, you're going to be okay. we're going to have a lot of wind on sunday and a lot of rain. we don't think the storm surge largely because we're on back side of that movement will be that significant but there are low lying areas in tampa that we all who live here are aware of. and so we're taking precaution to make sure people who live there know they need to move to flood zone level two or three or four. let's talk about gas. last i checked about a third of gas stations in the tampa area are out of gas. what are you doing about that? anything you can do about that? >> well, there's not much we can do. fortunately the governor has been aggressive about escorting tankers down through the state of florida. the state of florida has been wonderful partners, this is an example of how it should work. and it is working. i think to the extent we'll be able to get gas down here, we will.
sandbags are at a premium, we've done 70,000 sandbags and we're reloading with the sand before the pit closes and gasoline is a challenge. my advice is find a place that's secure and hunker down and look out for neighbors. >> we know gas is a challenge in terms of gas stations being without gas. but let's talk a little bit about price gouging, if you have any control of it. tampa, there are so many hotels and many of those hotels are now solace, where people from south florida are staying. is there any control you can have? any conversations you're having with any of these establishments about pricing? a win is for people to survive and be safe. there should be no business wins coming out of this hurricane. >> i couldn't agree more, steph, our attorney general has been very aggressive about pursuing those that price gouge. she has on the attorney general site an opportunity for someone to report those. i declared a state of emergency two days ago. as the local leader, i also have
the authority to enforce some of those things. you're absolutely right. that is unconscionable that any business would profit over the mystery of someone else, particularly in these circumstances. >> is it happening? what are hotels offering? >> well, i don't know specifically about individual hotels. i know we've had examples of chain stores charging exorbitant prices for water and things like that. the attorney general will go after them. she called them out personally yesterday. we're trying to send a really strong message that we're not messing around. this is not what you do to your fellow human being in circumstances like that. that is wrong. >> and for the people who do the right thing, they'll get the coverage on it so people know they did the right thing to their fellow human beings. we'll stay in close touch and keep an eye on the situation in your area. thanks for joining us and good luck. >> we can't forget how many senior citizens live on their own, where they retire to in florida. this is a time for friends and neighbors to reach out and take care of one another.
>> all right, we will continue to drum that home but please, keep in touch as the mayor said with your local authorities as the fema official said, with local authorities, if they tell you to get out, get out. >> tweet us if you're in florida, if you need help and don't have directions on where to go, tweet us, we'll try to help you. >> we're also following another natural disaster, a record breaking earthquake in mexico. we'll have details on that next. so that's the idea. what do you think? hate to play devil's advocate but...
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welcome back, here are some stories that we are watching right now. nbc news confirms at least six people are dead including children after an 8.1 earthquake struck mexico overnight. it was mexico's most powerful quake in a century. the quake sparked tsunami warnings, mexico's president said nearly a million people are still without power right now. >> that is a devastating story. a surge in refugees are crossing into bangladesh. the united nations says nearly 300,000 muslims, a majority of which are women and children, have fled to escape violence in myanmar within the last two weeks. a massive cybersecurity breach at one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the united states. equifax says an attack may have affected 143 million people. social security numbers, birthdays, address and credit
card numbers all affected. equifax is sorry, they've apologized and they're offering free theft protection for a year. >> we're going to have to dig into that story next week. three managers in the company sold stock before it was announced. one of them the cfo but they said they didn't know. that one i've got more questions for. we have more breaking information on hurricane irma. the deadly storm located about 400 miles south of miami. she is due to make landfall in south florida as a category 4 or 5. bringing a storm surge as high as 10 feet. highways are jammed and the state is running out of gas as more than 650,000 people were ordered to evacuate out of miami-dade county. earlier this morning, health and human services secretary tom price declared a health emergency in the state. the national weather service warns some places could be
uninhabitable for weeks or months because of the damage irma could bring. people don't know what they could be coming home to. >> we've been talking about for a while is the gas shortages. according to gasbuddy.com. the most critical shortages are in gainesville. that makes sense because you're driving out of gainesville. once you get to gainesville you have to fill up. 58% of stations in gainesville are out of gas. followed by miami, ft. lauderdale. 40%. these gas stations are closing in west palm beach. 40% of stations are out of gas. ft. myers, naples, 38%, tampa st. pete, 34 piece. orlando, 32%. jacksonville, you're nearly into georgia, and 26% of gas stations are out of gas. very specific problem, why is florida running out of gas? joining us live, someone i lean
on for these issues is steven short, the founder of the short report which tracks global energy supplies. you've been putting out notes. the issue is florida gets as much of its gasoline off of a spur of that colonial pipeline. it doesn't have a lot of ways to get gasoline. >> absolutely. for all intents and purpose whz s florida is an island. you have that one pipeline that feeds gasoline into the panhandle of florida. the rest is dependent on shipments coming into the ports. >> what do they do since a lot of the places where they get gas were affected by hurricane harvey, what do they do? >> right. well, they're going to suffer at this point. because the majority of the gas comes from gulf coast refineries, which as we know in the path of hurricane harvey, that supply is already limited. you're already dealing with low amounts of supply being able to avail itself to the state. now when we look at the ports,
we have jacksonville in the north, canaveral in the central and everglades in the south. those are your three main imports on the atlantic coast, where irma is likely going to hit. you're going to see a disruption to vessel traffic. you're going to see these ports cut off from their shipments. it's going to get worse before it gets better as far as gasoline supplies. >> the governor said there are some federal restrictions as it relates to the ports and gasoline that he's trying to work with the federal government on getting lifted. do you know what these are? >> well, some of them -- the main one is the jones act. it's an old maritime law that says any commerce intrastate has to be carried out on u.s. flagged vessels on the coastal waterways. if you're moving gasoline from a refinery in houston say to the port of tampa it has to be on a u.s. flagged vessel. the problem is that there's a limited amount of u.s. flagged vessels that can carry gasoline. you have a shortage of vessels, which could amplify the shortage
in gasoline. this is a decision that should have come to be, will be rescinded and any foreign flagged vessel will be able to move the gasoline. there are nuances with the ability to move gasoline interstate. and absolutely those will be rescinded. from a maritime standpoint and from an epa requirement, fuel standpoint, those restrictions will be lifted. at this point it's a matter of getting gasoline to where it needs to be. >> steven, one last question for you. harvey, obviously, took out refineries and that affected the rest of the country. florida doesn't do that, right? they don't have refineries? they're not an oil producing state so it shouldn't have much effect on the rest of the country? >> think about it. you're going to have very high prices in florida. and the commodity is going to follow where that high price is. hence price gouging in a sense
is good because it's a truism in economics that high prices are a cure for high prices. there would be gasoline that would be going else where that will wind up in florida. keep in mind, short lived, it will be a bullish impact on all of east coast prices but it will not be for a significant amount of time. >> steven, thank you for that. we'll stay in touch with you. steven short, the founder and editor of the short report. >> thank you. and thank you for watching this hour of msnbc our special report covering hurricane irma. >> we're going to be together on saturday night as we prepare for the landfall of hurricane irma starting at 9:00 p.m. you can see us again then. i'll be back at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon and 10:00 p.m. this evening. msnbc will be covering the breaking coverage of hurricane irma. now it's time for "andrea mitchell reports." and right now on "andrea mitchell reports," max exodus,
florida preparing for a direct hit from hurricane irma. with an unprecedented evacuation taking place. and residents rushing to prepare for one of the most powerful storms ever recorded. >> kind of frazzled right now. i'm very concerned. i'm hoping everybody makes it through safe. >> the beach right now, i went out this morning to look around, it's like post apocalyptic. >> i have a ticket for $700 and i refreshed and it had gone up $100. >> i had already paid $900 for a round trip ticket that they canceled and they're trying to ask me to pay another $900 ticket for one way. >> path of destruction, irma ripping through the caribbean. right now after flattening entire islands. and leaving at least 17 people dead. in the bahamas they're preparing for the worst and hoping for the best as irma approaches. >> very concerned and i prepare