tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC September 8, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT
we'll continue throughout this weekend on msnbc. that does it for our edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow us on twitter,@mitchellreports and follow us online as well on facebook. craig melvin is up next right here on msnbc. craig? >> hey there, andrea. we'll pick things up now. good afternoon to you. craig melvin here, msnbc headquarters. florida bracing for impact. here's the warning from the national weather service. their language, not ours. quote, storm surge of 5 to 10 feet possible for all of south florida. some buildings will collapse into the sea. the advisory goes on to warn, some areas near landfall will be uninhabitable for weeks or months. time running out for folks trying to evacuate by land and air. traffic, as you can see here, getting heavier and heavier. gas is now in short supply along the evacuation routes. the storm unlike any we have ever seen before. it is expected to roar ashore in
florida sunday morning. governor rick scott issuing the urgent warning a short time ago. >> do not put yourself or your family's life at risk. if you have been ordered to evacuate and are still home, please go. we are running out of time. the storm is almost here. if you are in an evacuation zone, you need to go now. this is a catastrophic storm that our state has never seen. >> at least 17 deaths confirmed so far. the destruction immense. the island of barbuda reporting widespread damage. an official on the island of st. martin says 95% of that island has been decimated. our correspondents are tracking storm preparations and evacuations from their vantage points along the gulf, and atlantic coasts of florida. also, along the northern coast of the bahamas, as well. we'll get to them in just a moment. we are also waiting on a white
house briefing any moment now on the federal response. we're told that's going to happen roughly 30 minutes from now. when it does, we will go there. but we start with sam champion, msnbc weather contributor in miami beach, monitoring irma's path of wrath, if you will. sam, what are you seeing now? what can we expect over the next 12 to 24 hours? >> hey, craig. everything is on track for the models that we have seen. and the forecasts that we have had for the past few days. now remember, we use two models and they're both in agreement this is a florida storm that will strike the tip of florida as a category 4. now, let's show you exactly where this storm is right now. look at the eye of this storm, and definitely in that satellite picture you can see it just south of the bahamas, north of cuba. we have a category 4, 150-mile-an-hour winds. but that should not make anyone feel better. remember, a category 5 is just 156 miles per hour. so got a very strong storm. here's the short track on this
over the next couple of days. working a little bit north of cuba, may interact with cuba a little bit on saturday. if it does, we could have a wobble in strength. and that wouldn't be good for cuba to get that direct eye right there. now, then we see that storm take a turn to the north. category 4. making landfall. sunday, about 8:00 a.m., in the central keys of florida. then here's the real problem, craig. watch the long-term track of this storm. you've got a category 4, about 340 miles wide. an eye that's about 70 miles wide. and it goes from the tip of florida to the top of florida. and then weakens beyond, and even some of that rain and those winds will end up in tennessee. now let's concentrate on the worst situation, and that's in florida. we're talking about a storm unlike the storm that everybody knows in florida. which is hurricane andrew. let's look at andrew versus irma. so andrew, category 5.
was a 5 for about 16 hours. was a 4 when it made landfall. the size of that storm, 180 miles wide, and the destruction was complete to homestead, and the tip of florida. now look at this. this is irma. category 5. longest running category 5 in hurricane history. anywhere in the world there has been no tropical cyclone that has been stronger longer than irma. size, 370 miles across. the state of florida is just 140 miles across. at just about its widest point. now, craig, you can't compare these two storms. and even though the categories may be similar, the storms are not. their destruction will not be. >> when we start talking about 150-mile-an-hour winds, sam, what's the practical effect of winds like that? >> all right. if you've seen images from what happened with andrew, and you can level buildings with that,
and you will level poorly constructed buildings, for sure. trees are down. neighborhoods are unrecognizable. a lot of people came out of their homes in andrew or what was left of it, and said they couldn't place themselves. couldn't tell where they were in their neighborhood. that's the same type of thing that we are likely to see if this path doesn't change. and there's really no reason for us to believe that it will. we'll see that kind of destruction through the southern tip of florida. wherever that eye wall goes. remember, the worst winds are right there. so that's why it's so important to place where that eye is on the tip of florida. and there's still a little wobble room with that. will it be on the eastern side toward homestead or miami or the western side toward the everglades? that will be very important to what kind of destruction you wake up to after that storm. but the destruction will be strong either way. because outside of that, there is still hurricane-force winds that will destroy buildings, homes, trees, cars, things that we know. >> and really quickly, i know, of course, all attention right now being paid to irma. there is another hurricane
sitting out in the atlantic. hurricane jose. >> there is. >> upgraded to a cat 4 as well, is that right? >> yeah. cat 4 now with jose. now, here's the bad news about jose. jose goes over -- you mentioned these islands at the top of the show, craig. barbuda, antigua, an quilla, st. martin. all are a 3 or 4. they're not set to take that storm. but that storm will curve. so it will stay in the latlanti, it is not a threat to the u.s. coast or puerto rico or haiti or the dominican republic or cuba at this time. >> all right. sam champion there for us in miami beach. sam, stand by. we would like to come back to you later, of course. msnbc's chris hayes has also made his way to miami, as well. chris is going to be airing a special "all-in" tonight, 8:00 eastern. you were there last year as well for a special report on the conditions that make miami
uniquely susceptible to hurricane damage. good to see you, my friend. what did you find? >> reporter: you know, miami, when you look at analyses of what parts of america are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, particularly sea level rise, miami is right in the cross-hairs. the reason is, almost all of miami-dade is only ten feet or lower above sea level. huge amounts constructed and dredged. so when you get a really big storm surge, which is a real concern in places like south beach, you already have sea level rise. we came here, and we looked at them fighting back the water on sunny days. take a look. >> less than 9% of miami-dade county is greater than 10 feet above sea level. >> reporter: adding to the problem, most of south florida is built on porous limestone, which allows water to move
around easily and seep up through the ground. flooding happens often here. and not just when it's raining. seasonal high tides occur when the sun, earth and moon align, leading to flooding, made worse by sea level rise. >> you can see that every day when you go into miami beach. at least in october, we will have four, five extreme flooding events when the sky is clear. it's just coming right up the sewer drains, flooding from sea level rise. that's a climatic impact that we're seeing already today. >> reporter: so, craig, you've got three elements, obviously, in a hurricane. you've got the wind, you've got the rain. we saw all the damage the rain did in harvey. images of what the wind has done to places like barbuda. one of the big concerns here, particularly in south beach, is the storm surge. a storm surge was the most destructive part of superstorm sandy up in new york. part of the reason, you get a lot of saltwater, which has really destructive effects. one of the big things to watch is as that eye wall approaches miami, approaches south beach,
how big that storm surge is, and what its effects are. >> hey, chris, while you've been talking, i've noticed a handful of cars behind you on the highway. by and large, does it look like folks there have heeded governor scott's begging to get out of town? >> reporter: so it's pretty interesting. i've got to say. just getting here and talking to people. and this was my experience when i've talked to people in other places and i remember talking to people in new orleans even after katrina. you know, there is a certain kind of habit folks have that hurricanes come and hurricanes go, and, you know, eye got my house and i've got my pets. i should be clear. there's really only mandatory evacuation for some of miami-dade. there's three zones, all three have mandatory evacuations. the rest of miami-dade is not under a mandatory evacuation. and it has been somewhat striking. i would say there is more presence on the streets, more cars driving around, people in stores, than i would have expected, given what's bearing down on this area. the governor today saying that floridans across the state should be prepared to evacuate.
but as of now, i think that by and large, people are outside of the mandatory evacuation zones, the ones that hug the coast, and particularly south beach, essentially a ghost town, are looking to shelter in place. >> chris hayes there in miami again. the special tonight, 8:00, "all in." chris, thanks, buddy. gabe gutierrez standing by for us, as well. he is in miami international airport, where evacuees, we're told, are being turned away from that airport now. gabe, what's happening there? >> reporter: hey there, chris. well, right here in floor 13 aamerican airlines terminal, you can see behind me, these are international travelers mostly being bussed to emergency shelters. my cameraman, aaron sassen, you can see, there are about 140 people there or so. we've been talking with a few of them over the past few minutes. they're telling us desperate stories. these are folks that were trying to get out of the country. one man was trying to get to
argentina. his flight was cancelled. and he really has no place to go. doesn't know where he's going to spend the night. he is debating whether to get on one of these buses to head to an emergency shelter or to try to ride out the storm in the airport. now, we should be clear, craig, the airport is saying that this is not an emergency shelter. people should find other shelters. and that's what's kind of happening right now. so this line, if aaron can come over here -- you see this, this is one of the buses that just showed up. and, again, these travelers are being bussed to coral park high school in southwest miami-dade, one of the new emergency shelters that is open. we're told there is room there. and another person we spoke with in just a few minutes, she said that she was trying to get back to germany. never experienced a hurricane before. had no idea what to do. she is being told to get on one of these shelters. she was at a hotel. she was kicked out of there, because the hotel had closed. and so her flight was in two days. she tried to get here to get a
flight today. but there's been a series of events which we have been covering where so many flights have been cancelled. hundreds of flights cancelled at m.i.a. today. a variety of reasons. one, the logistics, the planes, the crews, missing a crew member, some people have gotten on the plane only to sit on the tarmac for several hours, and they have just been so frustrated. so these -- these are the people we're seeing. this is the desperate situation ahead of hurricane irma, trying to figure out where to ride out the storm. many of these folks had never dealt with a hurricane before. much less a category 4 storm. and so right now it appears that authorities are trying to get this mass of people into emergency shelters. and that's where what we're seeing play out behind me, these folks being bussed to a newly opened emergency shelter in southwest miami-dade, craig. >> that's heart breaking. gabe, to be clear, though. there are still flights that are getting out of miami international, correct? >> reporter: that's true. that is true. there are still flights going out. there are some people that are
confused whether, you know, over the next couple hours maybe some more of those flights will be cancelled. however, these are folks that mostly, they had flights either earlier in the day or perhaps yesterday. they were trying to get rebooked on flights. and they have not been able to. in our last hour, i believe, we were in baggage claim, and there was some frustration there, because some of the people that had their flights cancelled, their luggage didn't make it. in other words, staying here at the airport, they're being separated from it. some of those passengers we spoke with were frustrated, and some of them had essential medicines. we spoke with one woman who needed her chemotherapy medicine, and she didn't have access to it, because that luggage was locked away. it's a very desperate situation with her. she was trying to figure out -- excuse me here. there's a bit of a crowding situation as people are trying to figure out where to go next. but that woman we spoke with, she is from colombia, trying to make it back to colombia, did not speak english and didn't have family members here. and so there was another fellow passenger that was trying to
help her figure out where to go next. but, you know, these are stories playing out over and over again today. these folks right here, you know, many of them, again, on international flights. may not have family members here in the miami area. and they right now are being bussed to emergency shelters. so certainly a lot of people domestically -- we heard of those cruise passengers that were dumped here in miami. tens of thousands of them there trying to figure out a way back home. but a lot of international travelers, as well. that's another thing with hurricane irma. where do all these folks go? now, again, authorities are trying to get them to these emergency shelters, and that's what we're seeing right now. hopefully they can get there safely, and, you know, right now miami international is saying it doesn't have any immediate plans to close, unless safety -- there is a safety hazard. but right now m.i.a. remains open, and the flights are still leaving at this point. but there is still a buildup of people here. craig? >> gabe gutierrez, do keep us posted on that situation, which, unfortunately, you've got to
think is only going to get worse. miami-dade facing possibly the largest evacuation that county has ever attempted, according to the "miami herald." nearly 700,000 people have been told to leave their homes. nbc's gadi schwartz is in florida city, florida. this is inside miami-dade. gadi, word a short time ago that hom home depot, those stores are shutting down. tell us about that. >> reporter: yeah, that's right. all home depot stores on the east side of florida below jupiter city have now shut down. so anything below jupiter home depot is starting to look like this. that in the back of the truck right there is an elusive piece of preparation there. that is plywood. and plywood is running out. earlier we were seeing home depot rationing supplies, and there was a line right here that stretched around the corner. hungs of people waiting for that plywood. they were given five pieces of plywood per family. but you can see right now, they have just closed down the doors.
they have just shuttered it. and this family over here seems to have gotten the last load. they have been rigging this up to the top of their car for a little while. senora, can we ask you a couple quick questions? >> yes. >> reporter: okay. so it looks like you got some of the last plywood around. how did you guys get this? >> oh, my god. we waited like three or four hours. >> reporter: you guys waited four hours to get these two pieces. >> four hours, yes. one line. the second line of the day -- because at this time -- i'm sorry. >> reporter: no, you're fine. >> this is very difficult at this time. because we knew home depot was open. we went yesterday to another store, for many, many hours. they didn't have supplies. and we came because he has a department here. >> reporter: so you guys are going to protect the apartment with these two pieces of plywood. >> yes. this is the only two pieces we could get in six days. >> reporter: in six days, you
guys have been looking for plywood in six days and this is what you have. >> yes. in miami -- we live in miami. but the reason we came over here is because he has an apartment over here. >> reporter: so today you board this up and then get back up to miami. >> yeah, we're the last one. >> reporter: last ones here. >> yeah, this is the story. i hope so. i do remember andrew. andrew was terrible, destroyed my business. >> reporter: you were here for andrew and it destroyed your business? >> yes, it was terrible. i had my business in miami, and it destroyed my business, and wilma. destroyed my other business. and this is the third one. >> reporter: and they're saying this one could be stronger than andrew. >> i believe so. that's what the news says. but i'm really, really nervous. because this is -- also i remember 9/11 -- september, 9/11, i was sleeping in new york. and that's another experience that's terrible.
but this year is going to be the worst. >> reporter: got it. >> okay? thank you. >> our thoughts are with you guys. we're glad you guys got these two pieces of plywood. >> yeah. we need more, but -- that's the only we could get. >> reporter: thank you very much. once again, this is the last of the plywood here in florida city. all home depots south of jupiter have been closed. they look like this. they have been shuttered, and the lines here, we just saw police come in. they have cleared out the lines. there were people waiting. people being turned away. and now everybody is basically going to take whatever they could here, go to their houses and try to fortify their homes. craig? >> to be clear, gadi, is this an evacuation zone, one of the mandatory evacuation zones? >> reporter: i believe -- it's in development right now. we understand that this will be one of the evacuation zones. and they're expecting a storm surge to come up here. we're still about 20, 30 minutes away from the ocean proper. but as you know, the mangroves,
they're expecting water to come up considerably, anywhere from 3 to 12 feet. so that storm surge is something that everybody is watching. and the evacuation zone has extended. and it will continue to extend. and we also understand that there are shelters that have been set up here in florida city. but those shelters are quickly filling up. >> gadi schwartz there for us in florida city, florida. thank you. jacob soboroff is standing by in miami beach. he is actually on the beach that is projected to be hardest hit. and for those of us who are familiar with south beach at 1:30 on a friday afternoon, this is a sight i probably have never seen. >> reporter: yeah, craig, you just saying that actually gave me the chills. to be out here in 80-plus-degree temperature, to think about being on one of the most famous beaches in the country, if not the world, actually, and see not a soul, it's chilling. i heard you and chris hayes talking about the fact that miami-dade county, much of it, is below sea level. when you talk about sea level,
this is it. we're starting to first feel the first kind of signs of clemeinct weather. i'm not a meteorologist. the wind is obviously picking up and you're seeing white caps here out in the atlantic ocean. when you look around, there is maybe tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars of potential damage to be done here on miami beach. very nice condominiums, hotels, apartments, as well as attractions that people come to. when we talk about the storm surge, 5 to 10 feet, maybe 15 feet, including the waves, according to bill karins, our own meteorologist, that means it's going up to the tops of -- check out this lifeguard stand right here. over the top of the lifeguard stand, if not to the buildings here on south beach. it could be a catastrophic situation for this whole area along ocean drive, on the barrier islands, along south beach, miami beach. and when you talk about the national guard, 7,000 troops coming in. one of the places undoubtedly they will have to check up on after this storm hits is right
here on miami beach. we have been out here for the past couple of days. and there are still people that are trying to go out in the water. that flag out there, the red flag on the lifeguard tower means do not go in there. the minute someone walks into the water, we're seeing ocean rescue come on in. and it looks like, actually, we're seeing some of these responders come by now. the number one mission out here is to make sure that people are off the beach, that they are in a safe place. and so far, it looks like people are heeding that warning. when you talk about the three evacuation zones a, b and c, this is a. this is the number one place people have been told to evacuate from in miami-dade county. when you talk about 600,000 people, the original 100,000 people were coming from this area. it doesn't mean people are all leaving, though. you see a lot of apartment buildings boarded up with wood, corrugated kind of steel, metal sheets that close in case of the hurricanes to make sure that nothing is breaking windows. but there are people that are hunkering down, even out here
along miami beach, along south beach, that have happened, i've been here for andrew, i want to stay here through irma, i want to make sure my house is okay, family is okay. i've got to be very clear. nobody is recommending that anybody does that, including law enforcement, including local elected officials, including people who have been through storms like this before. and this is a storm, frankly, that many people have not ever seen the likes of, craig. it's an extraordinary thing to be out here. and like i said, chilling. >> governor rick scott a few moments ago practically begging people to get out if they have been ordered to evacuate. jacob so jacob soboroff, thank you there in miami beach. irma's wrath now being felt in parts of the bahamas. that is where we find nbc's rehema ellis, in nassau. what's the scene? >> reporter: right here in nassau, i'm in the western area, one of the most popular areas of the beach. take a look at today. here's what's going on. you see people behind me, they
are trying to tie down these picnic tables ask to connect to their food shed. and hoping that it will hold. some of the folks here told me that last year during hurricane matthew, this was able to secure their property. but the worry that they have here right now is that there could be a storm surge up to 20 feet high. come over here and take a look at this. this building is about -- the height of a one-story building. that's ten feet. if you get a wall of water that's twice that height, this area could be devastated. and that floods everything around you. they are going through that right now in the southern part of the bahamas. that was hit by the hurricane early this morning. people were evacuated from there over the last couple of days. and authorities have said they fear there will be nothing for folks to go home to. while we are not expected to get the hardest pounding of the hurricane, authorities here are
telling people to prepare for a hurricane, nonetheless. because the kind of surge they're expecting here is life-threatening. craig? >> rehema ellis there in nassau, bahamas, where folks are clearly getting ready, bracing for this thing. thank you. fema, meanwhile, under pressure, with irma bearing down on the u.s. and the cleanup from harvey just starting. the agency is being put to the test. i'll talk to the man who ran fema during hurricane katrina. former director, michael brown. also, we've done all we can do. that's what the mayor of miami beach said about preparations for irma in his city. have folks heeded that warning to leave? mayor phil levine will join me this hour. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is
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gas shortages have become a serious concern at this hour, down in florida. nbc's jolene kent is at one of the last open gas stations along the evacuation path. she's about 45 miles north of miami. she's in pompano beach, florida. jo, what are you seeing? >> reporter: hey, craig, this is the sign i want to show you. the gas is running low here, so folks are being told vehicle fuel only. no gas cans allowed. if you had come a few days earlier, you could have filled up a few gas cans for your generator. the wind here is really picking up here in broward county. there have been reports of gas
gouging. the attorney general trying to crack down on that as the hurricane gets closer. we're here with rob. what's the plan for you and your family? >> we have done all our preparations. we actually started labor day. we've got some wood to put up. that's where we're headed now. >>. >> reporter: why did you decide to ride it out? >> we didn't have too many choices. we don't have family locally, and seems like the storm is headed way up north. so i figured we would stay down here and take our chances at home. >> reporter: have you been through a hurricane like this before? >> sure, we went through wilma. we were out of power for six days. so we've got some experience. i've got a generator. and, you know, all the necessary supplies. so we're good. >> reporter: all right. beautiful got a full tank of gas here. best of luck, rob. take care. be safe, you guys. >> likewise, you too. >> reporter: nice to meet you. i want to show you a few more lines down here. you can see, state troopers are actually organizing here in conjunction with the gas station staff. i want to make sure that everyone is safe, happy and getting the gas they need.
but not taking too much. resources definitely running low as irma bears down here. it's a pretty busy scene, but so far peaceful and folks are getting along. craig? >> are folks running out of gas on the highways as they try to evacuate? have you seen or heard of any stories? >> reporter: what we have heard from people, this is the third, fourth or fifth gas station they have tried to hit and they are getting lucky here in broward county. but a lot of gas stations are wrapped up in plastic. and some of those gas stations are completely out of gas. but the interesting thing, some of these gas stations are keeping a small reserve on tap, they're worried about the tanks underneath the ground and if there is major storm surge, and those are flooded, those gas tanks could actually become damaged. and they will float away from underneath. and they won't be able to get back online in time after the storm is over, craig. so what we're seeing here is gas stations are really hedging, and trying to figure out what's best for them and what's best for all those people here that want to get some gas. >> jo kent at agation, appears to be a shell station.
thank you. meanwhile, for those of you just watching, you saw the line of cars trying to get out of florida there. some highways, interstates looking like virtual parking lots. do we know what highway that is, guys? is that 95? why make it out from this vantage point. we don't have -- this is tampa. this is the scene in tampa, florida. we don't know precisely which highway. folks try to get out of town. with irma ready to slam florida during the aftermath of harvey, the federal emergency management agency is facing a two-front battle while also trying to keep its eye on hurricane jose, now a cat 4 storm in the atlantic, as well. i'm joined by michael brown. michael brown, of course, fema director under president george w. bush. mr. brown, thanks for your time this afternoon. it's difficult to handle one major crisis like this. how does fema -- how are they coping with multiple crises? >> craig, this isn't
unprecedented. in 2004, i think people have short term memory loss. but in 2004, we had four hurricanes strike florida within a span of about six weeks. and fema historically, since its beginning in 1979, has handled multiple disasters at one time. we've got harvey, we've got irma, we've got wildfires in the inner mountain west. we have disasters continuously in this country. so it's not unprecedented. and i think what -- the good news -- i don't think people recognize what the good news is. that you reported on earlier. as governor scott was giving his press conference, he was talking about the supplies that continue to come down i-95. and the reason that's important is, they're trying to get supplies in. now, my concern is, if i were the fema director, and i'm sure that brock is taking this into consideration, that as you move those supplies in, you have secure facilities to put those supplies in, so those supplies don't themselves become victims of the disaster.
and that's precisely why governor scott has not yet ordered contra flow. you talk about the traffic jam on i-95. the reason you have the traffic jam right now is because the southbound lanes of i-95 are still open to southbound traffic. so they can bring in those supplies. the key to watch is when they turn on the contra flow. when they shut down southbound traffic and allow everybody to use the southbound lanes to go northbound, that means they've got all their supplies in, and now they're opening all of the lanes for people to move north. >> you expect that's something that's going to be happening here shortly? soon? >> yeah. you know, not knowing all the details on the ground, but just from experience, i think that's probably going to happen easily within the next six to twelve hours. >> this disaster relief bill, as you know, is on the president's desk. we expect an update on precisely when president trump is going to sign it here in just a few moments. he may have already signed it, for that matter. i do want to show everyone a breakdown of this disaster
relief bill. more than $7 billion for fema. about half a billion for the small business administration. more than $7 billion to the department of housing and urban development's community development block grant fund. and just to remind everyone, again, current estimates are that harvey is going to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $180 billion. irma, $125 billion, at least. most suspect that is a conservative estimate. do you think there is a more efficient way to get fema and others the money that they need so we're not waiting a day or two before the money runs dry? >> well, yes. and this is one of my pet peeves. fema operates on two different funds. they operate on the operational funds, the day-to-day money that you and i, the msnbc, for example, has their daily operations. and fema has that amount of money that congress appropriates yearly. and then there is something separate called the disaster relief fund. and that normally has anywhere from three, four, five in it.
what congress needs to do is put a boatload of money in there, whether it's $20 billion, $40 billion, $50 billion. after 9/11 we put $20 billion in there just for new york city. i think congress would be well-served to just put a big pot of money in there. and i would just say $20 billion off the top of my head. and that may not seem like a lot when we hear estimates of, you know, this or that hurricane is going to cost s$150 billion. i could caution american citizens to realize something. fema doesn't make people whole. fema doesn't come in and rebuild your home or rebuild your business. fema will come in and rebuild infrastructure, roads, highways, bridges, public schools and help with those costs. but they don't make people ho whole. that's not the job of fema. fema's job is to provide temporary assistance so that you can get your feet back on the ground as kind of a jumpstart. so when people hear $150 billion in damages expected from
hurricane irma, that doesn't mean that fema is going to spend $150 billion to put everybody back where they were. >> all right. michael brown, former fema director under president george w. bush. mr. brown, stay close, if you can. we would like to, of course, be able to use you as a resource over the next few days. >> any time. >> and draw on your expertise. thank you. mayor of miami beach now, phillip levine, joins me now. mayor, thank you. i know you're very busy. i appreciate your time. you said earlier today that your biggest challenge is trying to convince people to get out. to leave the evacuation area. have we made progress on that front? are they getting out? >> i think we've made progress, craig. i mean, i've been all over this city. we're seeing people getting on our buses, taking them to -- i think i lost him. >> no, i still have you. >> yeah, we just last transmission. i think that what we're doing -- what we're pushing for is getting everybody off the beach. we have made a lot of progress, put people on the buses, we see
them leaving the beach. and at this point, we're hoping everyone please evacuate from miami beach. >> we saw a situation at the airport there at miami international airport -- >> so as we continue with this evacuation, we just want people to know, this is one of the strongest storms in history. you need to leave miami beach. i appreciate the opportunity to tell the people that. our residents, visitors. this is a very serious storm. it's most important that they leave. because at a certain point, the window begins to close. and there's no longer the opportunity to leave the beach. it's a barrier island. we're very low-lying. your safety is of paramount concern. we don't want heroes. we want people that are alive. >> we're going to leave it there, mayor phillip levine. we lost our ability to communicate with him, obviously, but a much-needed public service announcement, nonetheless. thousands of floridans jamming airports, rushing to get out of irma's path. i'll talk to the mayor of miami
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the entire state of florida, let me repeat, all of florida, is within the path of this storm with evacuation orders spanning across at least 13 southern counties. >> this is a complex forecast. anybody from alabama to north carolina should be watching this storm very closely. it's not a question of if florida is going to be impacted. it's a question of how bad florida is going to be impacted. i can guarantee you that i don't know anybody in florida that's ever experienced what's about to hit south florida. >> let's get the latest on the forecast and talk about what people need to be doing to prepare. dave price, wnbc's meteorologist, standing by for us. a lot of focus on the southern part of florida, dave. but let's put this thing into perspective. the full scope of this storm, we're talking about the cone being wider than the entire state of florida, as well. coast to coast, right? >> yeah. so, in fact, everyone practically is going to feel some effect from the storm,
craig. and we focused on the maps for days and days right now. but it gives people the sense of a game of stratego, how close is it going to come to me, in my enabl neighborhood, in my county. these are the pictures most important to show right now. look at the path of devastation as we take a look at scenes from st. martin and some of the caribbean islands, where this storm has already rolled through. now we return to the imagery. and if that didn't, again, bring you a sense of reality, and a sense of fear, quite practically, this should. this storm, again, stretching about 400 miles. here are the statistics we need to know right now. it's located about 225 miles east of cuba. winds about 155 miles per hour, and its movement now has slowed to about 14 miles per hour. now, let's not get stuck on exact specifics.
because this storm can begin to just move a little bit in one direction or another. and that could be significant for specific localities. but as you mentioned at the very top, look at it. it nagivates the spine of the state of florida. and what we haven't talked about a lot is where a lot of the folks from miami and fort lauderdale and west palm and tampa have gone. many have gone inland to a place like orlando, or some of those inland locations. you are going to see the strength of a category 2 or 1 storm as this continues to move through. so this is a statewide crisis. now, we are going to begin to feel those strong effects begin to roll on through of a category 4 storm, as we get to sunday morning. keep in mind, though, we're not done with potentially watching the storm strengthen a little bit. these are the two models. and, again, they have become common place for so many over the last several weeks, as we
have been talking about hurricanes, both in texas and here now. this is the gfs. it's also known as the american model. and this is the euro model. you can see the euro takes the storm a little bit west. the usa, that keeps it just a little bit east. so, again, it continues to move up. and this difference right here is negligible in the scheme of things. it depends on where you are when you're closest to that eye wall, perhaps. that determines where it's going to make landfall. but if it goes to the west, you're going to see a stronger storm surge in this direction. but those winds are going to be catastrophic, regardless of where you go. and watch as it progresses to west palm beach, ft. myers getting slapped, as well. the northeast corridor being the strongest s strongest section of this storm. there is tampa, and there is orlando. the storm, again, continuing to work its way, but a big question
for us now, and this could make a difference, is will it somehow impact sections of the cuba coastline. if it does, the storm could begin to shred a little bit and lose some strength. and it could redirect it. so we'll continue to watch that, and its implications for its path. but, again, all of these spaghetti models kind of converging at this point, over the state of florida, with the storm that's basically twice the size of the state. this is what we're looking at. this is our reality over the next several days. and it is not a good picture. again, i'd remind everyone, don't focus on the forecast. don't focus on the maps. focus on the pictures of devastation you've seen. and take the necessary precautions. this is an exercise in partnership between government agencies and the people they serve to make sure everyone is protected. and at this point, the
government's options for taking care of you are beginning to close, and your options for taking care of yourself are also beginning to become very limited. so in these next few hours, people need to take hold. we've got a very strong massive storm heading in our direction, craig. >> all right. dave price there for us in our weather center. dave, thank you. we'll be spending a fair amount of time with you over the next few days. much of the focus on irma has centered on miami and florida's east coast in general. but the west coast of the state is also very much in jeopardy. irma, about, again, as dave just pointed out there, 400 miles wide. it would more than cover that state from coast to coast. kristin dahlgren is stationed on the left coast there in florida, on the gulf coast, sanibel island. ft. myers there. how are folks preparing there? have there been evacuations yet? >> reporter: there are, craig. and there is growing concern here today, as we begin to see some of those models shifting to
the west. the big concern here is storm surge. take a look at where i'm standing. this water could very easily get pushed up and over and these homes are very low. that's why sanibel here, the low-lying areas under a mandatory evacuation. someone from the city of sanibel just came by to the house where we are, and was trying to make sure that every single person got the message. back to you. >> all right, kristen dahlgren there in ft. myers. let's go to the white house. sarah huckabee sanders expected to talk hurricane. >> in his weekly address to the nation this morning, the president noted this is a storm of historic, destructive potential, and he's asking that everyone in the storm's path remain vigilant and heed all recommendations from government officials and law enforcement. our message to the american people is this. with gratitude for our first responders and prayers for those in the storm's path, we are behind you 100%. with that, i'd like to write up the president's homeland security adviser, tom bossert,
to discuss specifics of the federal government's ongoing preparedness and response efforts. and afterward i'll be up to take care of questions. thanks. >> thanks, sarah. thanks to each of you for being here. i can't add too much more to that. let me see if i can just jump in a little bit to my thinking here. as you've heard me say before, i like to categorize my thoughts into informing, influencing and inspiring, if i can. in terms of informing, please recall the process here is that the federal government, under president trump's leadership and the leadership of his cabinet, is fully engaged. they're fully engaged in support of the governor. the governors are involved in various different forms and phases of what we consider incident management. so as i walk through irma, let me stop -- i would be remiss if i didn't, and talk about texas and harvey. so governor abbott and i have been in close contact and haven't stopped that contact, because his people in texas and the people of louisiana under governor edwards are involved in the early stages of what would be a long recovery effort.
the people in the u.s. virgin islands, puerto rico, and the other caribbean islands affected by harvey already are in the middle of acute life-saving, life-sustaining mover them out and reposition them for harvey. right now we're employing them in the islands to save lives and we will maintain a good footprint and posture as the storm progresses. i will come back to some of the path and the tracking forecast in a moment. i would like to suggest that we take this very seriously.
it's a dangerous storm, we have seen loss of live, this storm has taken lives already, it will take more, please take it seriously. i would also suggest now in terms of influencing people stopwatching the track and think about getting them into a safe place. this is a peninsula so people have to go south to north and that is a staggered and thought through process. at this point, this is a large storm and if it wobbles left or right, you need to start thinking through your own personal accountability. make sure it is a oxygen mask theory. take care of yourself, take care of your loved ones, and strangers and others in need.
that is something we have seen in texas, and i have ever reason to believe that other people will show that same american spirit and value. there has been a lot of coverage of florida, but not coverage of the u.s. virgin islands. i will give you a brief update where we stand there. as i just talked to the department of state and the department of defense officials, engaging in the life saving and life sustaining operation in the following way. they are experiencing loss of power, water as a result. loss of communications. and some other shelters. we're in the current any stages of final stages of getting ready. that was our planning assumption
parameter. those americans leafing by surface and air means, we had to do a planning adjustment for surf conditions and wind. unfortunately there are still havoc. that is where we stand on that. we will begin executing those plans soon today. that is where i stop on the update and i will start taking your questions. >>. >> what, if anything, could the federal government do, getting more fuel to them. >> i should stop you and mention by name the governor is showing
tremendous leadership. i have every confidence in him and his emergency management. they are showing same skill and quality of effort that we saw in texas. we are seeing fuel shortages. we are seeing the fuel shortages causing problems there. the need for fuel will come up against the tropical storm force winds. we're bringing in as much fuel as possible and we waived a statute that allows foreign flag vessels to help in that effort. the secretary of homeland security can waive that act. until it is waved, only u.s. flag vessels can move fuel from point to point, now we freed up
that prohibition so now foreign flag vessels, as many anchor ships as possible are being brought to bear on the effort to bring as much fuel as possible. and that is the best we can do in addition they're planning all of the intermodal points to get trucks from the tangership port l -- tankerships to the port locations. >> how fast can you get in there? >> conditions will dictate that. at some point they will have to stop the operations, that is a message here. it is not tough love, but at some point people are going to be on their own. they need to be prepared if they're in that path and have not taken some action to get themselves in a less dangerous position to be ready for at least a 72 hour period, that is my advice, to have enough food, water, and shelter before the
government can get back in. we have predeployed, prestaged, but we can't get there until conditions permit. >> one house keeping question, if you have resources and no broken -- i would like to start by thanking congress, they came in in a fast way to give us the emergency supplemental funding. fema has the money they need so there is no breaking operations. there will be a break in their operations if they run out of money. that is why that legislation was so necessary. thank you so the house and senate leadership for bringing every back in to pass that so quickly and responsibly. we anticipate honestly this is a realtime event. it may be on the way right now. it requires signatures by the
president, vice president, and speaker. if it is running south to north, how does it complicate the evacuation and some residents say i can ride this out, i have seen bad storms before. >> some call it hurricane amnes amnesia. i would start by saying there are some people that might not remember or have gone through the last big hurricane. it was 2004 and 2005. will ma was forgotten because of katrina. if you have experienced it, please recall that what i just described took place. you were without power and water
and sewer treatment for some time. the upper right, kind of the northeast quadrants. the second reason is if it goes over water it keeps strength longer. wind or flood. planning for all of those ev evenualities. i'm not suggesting that will happen, but it is everything from tampa to jacksonville. please plan for those things
accordingly. listen to the officials as they are tracking it closely. prepare to be in the storm's path just in case. >> instead of prepositions all of the commodities in places that may be affected by the storm, continue operations to the islands, they have thought through placing those supplies elsewhere up to delaware, new york, and -- >> after the chemical fire that occurred in texas, any extra precautions being taken this time to ensure that type of thing doesn't happen here, and how taxed is the system? >> the system can be taxed in different ways. the capabilities that we have,
the teams that are marshalled by the federal government. they were preparing for environmental losses as we should. we can't speak to each and every company's preparation efforts, we can stand up here, i think they take a warm shut down posture at some point depending on the track. we monitor those things. i was comfortable with the position of most of them. okeechobee is a big overflow risk. >> is there anything you're not comfortable with that is a overriding concern? >> this is the governor at this point, and to be honest with you, i am setting expectations appropriately here.