tv MSNBC Live MSNBC September 9, 2017 4:00am-4:30am PDT
good morning, everybody. >> here is what's happening now. hurricane irma is now a category storm 4 pounding cuba with storm surges as high at 10 feet on the coast. thousands of tourists have been evacuated on low lying areas. >> the storm is now 24 hours away from florida. when we started the show at 5:00 a.m., the storm was 300 miles away, now 240 miles, so moving pretty fast at that. irma is expected to travel along florida's west coast hitting the entire state with hurricane force winds and heading inland. over 5 million people are under mandatory evacuation orders, many waiting for hours to get into shelters like this one. you see right here in miami, people lined up there. governor rick scott urging those
who have not evacuated to leave immediately. >> 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 straight has never seen. >> governor scott also taking to twitter asking for 1,000 volunteer nurses to help in special needs shelters, 1,000 red cross volunteers and 7,000 florida national guard members stationed across this state. georgia is preparing for irma's path with governor nathan giel in that state ordering 450,000 residents on the coast to start evacuating at 8:00 a.m. some are trying to leave sooner as they try to make the mass exodus. >> at least 25 are dead in the caribbean where downed power lines left nearly 1 million
people without power. roofs were torn off buildings and trees scattered across the roadways. in haiti, entire roadways were left flooded in the impoverished nation. residents returning home to save whatever was left of their belongings. and barbuda left nearly uninhabitable. for many in the caribbean, the worst may not be over with hurricane jose closing in. >> our next guest understands how communities work to get people back on their feet. joining us is congresswoman and former dnc chair debbie wasserman schultz. this is a difficult time for those across southern florida and across the state. if you can, give us a perspective on the response that we're seeing from the federal, state and local governments, particularly in the wake of had hurricane harvey which some have said has taken some of those fema resources away. are they getting now to florida
in time for what we're about to see? >> actually, we really know how to do hurricane response here in florida. we have had, for many years, a very consistent and well coordinated response. we've learned a lot of lessons from the significant storms we've experienced like wilma and andrew 25 years ago and some other storms that grazed the state if in between and since. our federal, state and local governments have been working well together. didn't see a hurricane forms off the coast that appears to be headed towards our area. and so i know last night there were convoys of prepositioned equipment and supplies making their way down south to respond and be mobile and go in any
particular direction depending on the path of the storm and where we're going to be hardest hit. we went on many calls, fema calls, the congressional delegation has been well briefed and we've participated, i know i've participated in person at our emergency operations center for the last couple of days and then i've been canvassing and walking door to door with my mayor, tamara james and in hollywood in our liberia section just to make sure that our -- even some of our more vulnerable neighbo neighbors are getting prepared and encouraging people to help one another. >> congresswoman, we've had a couple of people on our air in the last couple of hours that decided to hupger down in the miami beach area. and we were wondering sort of off cam are ra what authorities' thoughts were when seeing that. and i started to see you take a big breath there. so give me your thoughts on that. >> it's very disturbing to learn that there are folks who have not heeded the mandatory
evacuation order. i represented miami beach for my entire congressional career up until last november and those folks are a hearty bunch. but it is fool hearty to be staying in place when we are going to have, you know, even with the storm shifting west, at least around, you know, 8 to 10 feet potentially storm surge. the further south it is on the east coast because it's going to come up and hit the keys, that storm surge is really jeopardizing our east coast and the southwest coast and it's incredibly fool hearty ask dangerous to remain in a mandatory evacuationer order. i mean, at this point, we're about to and just beginning to experience the low end of tropical storm force winds and it's going to gradually increase throughout the today and, really, once we're at tropical storm force winds, people need to stay indoors. >> and congresswoman, i know you talked about florida having experience dealing with hurricanes in the past.
our weather reporting throughout the course of the morning has been described as historic, unprecedented. it's the first time that you've had 5.6 million people being evacuated from the state of florida. you have two hurricanes, a category 4 strengthwise making landfall in the u.s. within the same week. do you really think florida is prepared for this when you look at everything that is under way? what concerns you the most, given the -- what is being described as the historic and unprecedented nature of this hurricane? >> well, i'm a member of the appropriations committee. so what concerns me the most is when we do have the opportunity to come out of this storm next week and i go back to washington, that given that we just passed a $15 billion hurricane harvey emergency supplemental appropriations bill, we are going to need to come right back in and it will be a more significant need in florida. as much as we can prepare, no
state, no matter how well coordinated, can really prepare for the type of devastation that we're about to experience here, no matter where it hits. and we're going to need to all pull together and we're going to need our colleagues across the country to step up yet again because we are going to have people who are -- who have really been crushed and the infrastructure needs here, the need to rebuild, we've been through andrew. i remember how many years it took for us to rebuild from andrew and this is going to pale in comparison. >> congresswoman, what's your assessment of the evacuation that's taken place so far and how people have responded to sort of the warnings that you've sort of dolled out. you got one highway leading out of that state there. you really had about a ten-day -- a week or so or a ten-day build up to this storm. we've known this was coming. and i'm sure a lot of authorities looking at what took place for harvey want to go prepare this state so that you don't have as many people stranded in their homes when that surge does come in.
so what's your assessment so far of what's taken place? >> just to correct you, we have one highway coming out of the keys. we have thankfully several highways, 75 and 95 on the turnpike had here that lead out of the state. but, you know, we were actually, i think, fortunate. i hate to say it, that harvey and the devastation that we saw with harvey coming on to texas so quickly and the aftermath of harvey that was really shown all across the country on television, i think that really probably motivated our florida residents here a lot more than it usually would because we're used to, unfortunately, the more you prepare and board up and evacuate and then nothing happens or it's not as bad, we all worry. i know i worry as a government official that the next time it's that much more or less likely the that people will prepare. because of harvey, people really were concerned and this one was bigger and so people got ready.
>> congresswoman, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. my pleasure. >> as we were talking about people trying to evacuate even still as the storm moves closer and closer, about 250 miles or so away from there are, gas stations, they are running dry across the the state as millions try and head north. nbc's phillip menna stand big in front of one of those gas stations in hollywood, florida, for us. phillip. good morning. we are at a gas station, as you mentioned, about a block away from the beach. we are in hollywood, there are, in broward county. we haven't seen much activity here. with the exception of vehicles and employees here, there hasn't been much activity. and that's thanks in part to the mandatory evacuation. but just a few minutes ago, we saw the first person we had seen in hours and i want to talk to her. edith white. we know there's no more gas here. there's hardly any supplies. what brings you out here at this hour? >> well, i've been playing the
lotto for same years, same numbers, so -- >> the lottery brought you out. >> yes. >> you must be feeling lucky if you are going to stay here in a major hurricane. >> well, i have faith, first of all, and a responsibility to the people who depend on me. so with that, i'm staying here and being prudent with safety, the shutters are closed, proper food and water .that kind of thing is in place because i don't want to become a burden to anybody. i want to be a help to people. >> but you know that could possibly be a scenario because it's going to be hard for them to get to anybody if they do need help and that's why these mandatory evacuations were ordered. >> that's correct. but since i am a certified general contractor, i have certain jobs around and i have a responsibility to those people to watch over it as best i can. >> so there are multiple people staying with you right now. >> no, no. i'm by myself.
i'm not going to put anyone else in harm's way. >> okay. >> that would not be wise. >> but you're boarded up. >> i'm all shuttered up. >> you have supplies enough to last? >> i do, for a week. >> and now you have your lottery tickets. >> oh, yes. oh, yes. >> good luck both with the lottery and with this storm. i appreciate you taking the time to talk with us. >> thank you. you're welcome. >> again, under a mandatory evacuation, only a few people we've seen now that daylight has come. we're starting to see a few more people. there is no more gas here and they're about to close up shortly and then people will be on their own in this part of town at least through to the end of the weekend, really. >> live for us in hollywood, florida, let's cross over to miami. obviously the conditions have worsened in miami in the last hours or so since we've spoke ton marianna. guys, i can't hear you very well, but as you can see, it just started pouring here in
miami beach. it was an immediate change. the wind really picking.up and it started to feel like the storm is heading this way. here in miami beach, it looks like a ghost town if you can see. there's a lot of boarded up businesses and businesses that haven't decided to board up, but they've placed sandbags undernea underneath each of the doors. we've been talking to people here who have decided not to evacuate, even though this entire barrier island is under mandatory evacuation orders. people have been telling us they don't want to leave because of their pets and their homes, but i just spoke to a police officer here in miami beach who told me they are still trying to urge people to leave. they are still busing people out of here, still knocking on doors to make sure that people know that there is still an option, a window to leave today. but that police officer told me that if the wind gusts reach 39 miles per hour, and it looks like we're going to get to that
point quicker than we thought here, the police officers are going to be taken off the streets and people are not going to be able to leave if they want to leave. so, again, that officer urging people to just take the opportunity of this small window of time to leave here from miami beach, those folks who have not decided to evacuate. as you see, the weather is worsening by the minute here so that window may be closing pretty soon. back to you guys. >> and marianna, we have the weather map sort of on the bottom of everybody's screen there and you can see these bands getting closer and closer to the south tip of florida. so we're watching literally on the maps what you're experiencing and understanding why it is you're starting to feel the wind and rain even though the storm is still 245 miles south of the coast of florida. in talking to these officers, at what point do they pack it in themselves and hunker down b and find safety?
>> they said that when sustained winds reach 39 miles per hour, they are going to be pulled off the streets. they simply cannot keep driving around taking people to safety. so, again, he told me there is still a small window for people here to leave. for those folks that we've been talking to this morning here on this show who have decided not to evacuate, it is still possible to do that. there are still buses that are busing people out of miami beach here, this barrier island that is especially vulnerable. you hearder the mayor of miami beach saying all week this is a nuclear hurricane for miami beach. there are smaller islands around here. the one guy we just spoke to the last hour lives on an island that is smaller than miami beach. so, again, for people that have decided to not evacuate, officers are still patrolling the street and making sure that they can do that, but they will be taken off the streets pretty soon when these winds reach 39 miles per hour. >> and a lot of those people that have decided to stay on the smaller islands, only one bridge
connects them to the mainland, who knows what sort of the status of those bridges is going to be after the storm drives through southern florida. they could be stranded there for days maybe up to a week or so until they can get that infrastructure back in place to make it safe for them to driver over. marianna, stay safe for us and we'll talk to you soon. and just north of miami, the city of jupiter is preparing for the worse. joining us by phone is jupiter's mayor, todd ruska. we've been speak to go officials throughout the course of the morning assessing what their concerns are as this storm moves in. jupiter initially perhaps considered in the eye of the storm along the eastern coast. it seems now that the eye of the storm is going to shift more to the west coast. do you feel that you've dodged a bullet? is there a sigh of relief, officials there are perhaps taking this morning? >> well, yeah, good morning. we were concerned just a day ago
that we were in the -- the main track of the hurricane. and now, yeah, we're breathing a bit of a sigh of relief. but i think our biggest concern is that people are not going to take this -- take it seriously that we're going to get, you know, tropical force or potentially hurricane-type gusts. because we watched this track move to the west. so we still want to make sure that people don't go out there and do something foolish. we've seen reports of surfing and people not taking -- not taking these types of storms and winds seriously. so we still have a day and a half or a couple days ahead of us that might be pretty uncomfortable. >> and mr. mayor, let me ask you quickly what concerns you the more, the water surge, we've heard it could be as high as 10 feet in some areas or are you more concerned about potential debris and the winds that are reaching 155 miles per hour? what is more vulnerable for
jupiter? >>. >> based on the current track, we thought the winds were going to be a problem, but we've taken precautions for that a couple of daes ago. jupiter, we're on the northern end of the palm beach county, coastal community, we have an inlet, smiles of beaches. so storm surge is certainly a concern. but as we've watched the this storm kind of move to the west, we are in a very similar situation last year with matthew where i was getting phone calls because it appeared like we were going to be the direct hit for hurricane matthew about a year ago. and that storm wobbled to the east out of the bahamas. so we do feel as though we're
living the blessed life. >> mayor, we appreciate you joining us this morning and we are thinking and hoping for the best for your residents there and for you and your team. thank you for talking to us. we are following the track of hurricane bringing you breaking news as it develops. we'll have an update after the break.
area. irma, of course, being the headline. michael, give us an update of the path, the shift and what we've been seeing over the past couple of hours in regards to the eye of irma. >> you can see the eye of irma has been skirting along the keys and the coast of cuba. the eye has gotten less impressive, which isn't surprising given ta part of the circulation is impacting with the cuban land b mass. we are expecting irma to move back out into the florida straites and that could allow for restrength bing before the storm reaches the florida keys and the west coast of florida as we go in through tonight and tomorrow. we're speccing this
north-northwest ward turn to bring the core of irma across the skis and up along the southwest coast of florida during the day on sunday. >> i know would have been covering this storm in the path for the past couple of days. i would say that the general consensus based on several models has been that it was either going to be along the eastern coast of florida, perhaps down the middle, but it seems now it has shifted a little bit to the left. was that within the expectations all along or is it taking a course that we are not -- we were not expecting to say exactly? >> well, we were always emphasizing there were several possibilities here with the uncertainty, especially a couple of days ago that the storm could have gone a little to the right of our forecast and a little to the left .now it's moved a little to the left of our forecast from a couple of days ago. because the big ridge of high pressure over the western atlantic has been stronger and it's pushed irma farther westward and that's going to allow that turn to occur a little later now and take the core of the hurricane across the lower keys and up along the west
coast of florida. so those are the folks that at this point have to expect a core of the hurricane to move across them the next couple of days or so. >> is there any possibility we could see yet another shift where it could sort of just sort of toggle a little bit to the east here or are we pretty confident that that eye will drive straight up the west coast sort of with those outer bands toggling, really, the whole area of florida? >> well, yeah, irma is a very large storm as you can see here on the satellite imagery. but yes, the track could still shift a little bit. we're down to the point now where the uncertainty is quite small. but when you have this track going parallel to the coast of florida, a small shift to the right may bring the storm on shore. say you're at naples, a westward shift could bring it up and have it make landfall in the vicinity of tampa bay.
so that is why everybody in this area has to be prepared for the core of that major hurricane. you're talking about just a slight change in motion could be t a very big difference in what conditions are expected there in terms of when. but the storm surge is a real big concern here on the west coast of florida. we could see 8 to 12 feet of storm surge here in southwest florida, 5 to 8 feet between captiva, into venice, 3 to 5 feet of inunaddition. all these areas you see in pink are under a storm surge warning. we can see 5 to 10 feet of inunaddition there. >> what is the best case scenario from hurricane irma now? >> i suppose the best case scenario would be that it would continue to weaken due to the
interaction with circulation of cuba. but that is only going to weaken so far so much. the west coast of florida is so sensitive to storm surge, that may not make much of a difference there. >> and devastation from irm the ma is across the caribbean and parts of cube yeah. let's get an update on how this has mayed out over the past couple of days. >> as the sun is coming up here in if a saw, it's with overcast skies and it really reflects the mood of so many people throughout the caribbean. it has been a very heartbreaking time for people and now that heartbreak is centered right in the island of cuba where irma slammed into that island overnight with winds of 150 miles per hour punishing winds and that's expected to linger over that island through much of the day.
this is a storm that cannot be taken lightly. it has already shown that it has taken lives. 23 deaths have been reported as a result of this storm. here in the caribbean, the island of barbuda, leveled, decimated, st. thomas, st. john, those islands are trying to figure out how will they possibly recover after the storm has occurred and even here in the southern bahamas, people are saying islands like inagua where we've got something like 60,000 flamingos, one of the populations that people come to these islands to see, that section of the bahamas has also been really hard hit by this storm. so many people evacuated and there's really a question of what are they going to have to go back home to. a hurricane warning remains in effect for the northwest and central bahamas where i am right here in nassau and what peemp are concerned about today also, you've been talking about it,
the fact that another hurricane is on the heels of irma. and so whatever people have done to prepare themselves for had this storm, those preparations have to remain in force. we've got tropical-force winds expe expected here today. thunderstorms, showers, lightning is what we had overnight. some of that is expected during the day, as well. and everyone is still very serious about the impact of the storm, even though you don't see as much damage right here where i am right now. it doesn't mean that people think that this has passed them completely. again, as i say, because another storm called jose is on the way. >> and you bring up the smaller islands, the smaller bahamian islands, i remember reading i believe it was yesterday someone on the island of st. john through yot the storm who said don't forget us, we need your help, we've been decimated. and it's those small islands that have forgotten so often
because we're not able to get our people and reporters there. you talk about jose. how are authorities in nassau as well as the bahamans islands to tell people to stay in place, have these hurricane warnings in place until these hurricanes pass? >> they've not said when they're going to lift it. as you know, these storms move and they shift. so they're not clear just yet. we were talking with authorities yesterday. they've said that the airport here is going to remain closed at least until tuesday. now, that could change because, again, the winds change. but this storm that's passing and the one that's coming, there's a tremendous amount of concern and fear about what could happen because what's already happened has been devastating. but as you point out, those outer islands, they've been sorely affected and some people wonder what's left for these storms to do now that so many places have already been