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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  September 9, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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have already been called out in apartments patience of the storm striking. governor rick scott earlier today via twitter, with an urge ebit call for furz, aski-- urge nurses, 1,000 nurses. 8:00 on the east coast, 5:00 on the west. we want to reset here for our viewers and listeners who might just be joining us. craig melvin in new york. we're expecting an update from the national weather service any moment now. so keep it here when we have that for you. we want to pass it to you. i'm looking for pill cairns to wave his hand once we have it. we have it? >> yes. >> governor scott here just a few moments ago as we get to that update in just a few moments. here is governor pence scott. >> i don't think anybody alive today has ever seen in this state anything close -- anything
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like this. i mean, 15 feet of storm surge above the ground level, i don't know how you survive that. >> right now that storm has already started to slam parts of south florida. some areas already experiencing tropical force winds. people without power right now. we're told it will climb into hundreds of thousands if north north of a million. we just got the new advisory on irma. here is meteorologist bill karins. >> here is how it works, every three hours intensity, every six hours path update. next path at 11:00. this is intermediate advisory they call this. center of the storm off the cuban coast, drifting off the cuban coastline painfully. that's the biggest headline with the new update. 120-mile-per-hour winds. it was 125. so they have lowered the winds a little bit. the weaker the winds the better.
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that means we'll have that much less wind damage. these storms do manage in many different ways, though. i think when it's added up, the storm surge will do so much damage than the wind will. the wind will do the most damage with the eye comes in. 120 miles per hour win. that is solidly in the major category 3 which goes from 111 to 130. smack in the middle of a very strong category 3 storm. this is the painful part. west northwest at 7 miles per hour. the storm is still about 100 miles from key west. we're waiting for this to start to move towards south florida. we're already delayed landfall. yesterday we were thinking, maybe sometime as we went through sunday morning. now it's looking like sunday afternoon. then if we continue with this slow drift we're going to push it back even longer. that means winds will be over areas of south florida even longer than what we were seeing. here is the path. again, it's moved a little west since the last path, and it's just been sitting there
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drifting. so it will be interesting to see if they tweak the centerline at all. regardless we're thinking it can regenerate. to get to a category 4 it only has to get 15 miles stronger than it is now. that's very doable over warm water. that's what they are thinking is going to happen. by sunday at 2:00 p.m. still offshore for the most part. then as we go through the afternoon, that's when we'll see it come onshore to the evening hours, near dark. by the time ft. myers, north ft. myers. not even to tampa until monday morning. we could be dealing with this storm 36 hours from now still as a a category 2 or 3 through florida. this is a long slog through florida hurricane force winds that will cause devastation. the big headline and the things that's the most scary to me that's going to have the potential to take lives is this 10 to 15 feet of storm surge ft. myers southward through san
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marco island. that's the biggest immediate threat that comes in tomorrow afternoon. you still have a chance to get out now. it will run out. we're really starting to see gusts pick up on the keys. there's the center of the storm. look at this drift. if you focus in, come in closer. this black line shows you the past path. this is when it was along the coast of cuba. then headed north. here is that north turn we were waiting for. then look what happened the last couple of hours. sitting there moving to the west. hasn't had a north component for three hours. waiting to resume northerly moment, drift, doesn't have much impact, west florida, who gets hit the hardest. if you've already seen reporters on the keys, 71 mile an hour gust, almost hurricane, key west and the storm is 100 miles away. what a long night and morning it's going to be for all those people that decided to stay down there. a storm that's moving at 7 miles
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per hour. humans walk at about 4 to 5 miles per hour. i mean, that's how painful this is going to be. of course if a hurricane is over warm water? >> gets stronger. >> doesn't mean it will. it has a chance. that's the question overnight. when people wake up tomorrow morning, will it have strengthed. >> again, going back to size and scope as it compares to andrew 25 years ago. >> yeah. >> got a graphic for that. >> just happened to get lucky on this one. andrew went into the size of andrew an area of devastation, if you've ever seen pekictures, google what andrew did. south of miami, narrow area of utter destruction. a small eye on the storm. hurricane windfield wasn't that large outside of it. miami didn't have the extreme damage like homestead did. this storm has an enormous windfield. that's why even if it doesn't
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strengthen, the storm surge is coming. the size of the storm -- the bigger it is, it can push more water. picture a bigger person jumping in the pool doing a cannon ball versus big. stretch across 358 miles, hurricane force entering spot keys extend 190 miles across. of course, i mean, that's just a huge windfield that's going to move up right through the peninsula of florida. as we predict the winds, this is a new run here, look at this with you. there's the landfall. they delayed it a little on the computer. 80-mile-an-hour gust in key largo would get your attention, don't expect winds to go up in miami overnight, pretty much staying where it is. this is where it gets really bad. as the eye comes northward, 1:00 in the afternoon, winds pick up marco, ft. myers, eye over the top of marco island 4:00 p.m.
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northern island north of ft. myers f you're looking, property interest, family interest in the this area of southwest florida, the key time for the worst destruction and people have to go to their shelters, in their homes, safe room, sometimes people go to the bathtubs and put mattress on top of them. tomorrow afternoon around 4:00 p.m. names, ft. myers, noon to 2:00. during the middle of the day. then further to the north, tampa looks like sometime around 10:00 or 11:00 is when the strongest winds get to you. right side, central florida, 77. that's the timing. the destruction. if you're watching coverage, with this slow drift tomorrow morning if you turn this on 12 hours from now, if you have any pictures out of the key would look horrendous. that's if. the technology once we get towards the eye we lose the reporters. we also want them to stay safe, they will them to go in the shelters. may not get pictures of devastation early in the morning
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because of the slow movement of the storm. >> we're of course still recovering from harvey. there's jose sitting out. >> i don't want to talk about jose yet. >> katia toward mexico. here we are talking about hurricane irma. we should point out, again, we're not even at the peak of hurricane season. national weather service promised us a busier hurricane season that usual. it would seem to me one of the things a bit absent from the conversation over the past few days, climate change. it's hard to believe that all of this can be purely coincidental. i don't want to put you on the spot, as i put you on the spot. >> have we had hurricanes this strong? yes. have we had two cat 4s back-to-back? no. what will happen in meteorologist climatology communities, once this is all done with, they can go and put these events into super computers, rerun them based on if climate change wasn't
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happening, if it was, see how much of a difference this storm will make. we won't know -- it's called post analysis. we won't know that for another couple of weeks. takes a while to put that together. it's not instantaneous. we'll find out on that people can argue that and do whatever. we're just trying to save lives whatever. we can have that argument later if somebody wants to argue that issue, if they still want to argue it. >> bill karins, thank you. i think i know where you stand on that. right in the past of the storm, last time we checked in with you, there had been intermittent rain, is that still the case? >> reporter: yeah, craig, it is. as a matter of fact right now we just have very, very light rain. a few moments ago we had heavier rain and of course that wind is still pushing all across this region. it seems to be hammering us kind of in waves here. we have our down moments and certainly our rough times with the weather. right now fortunately, though, the wind has subsided a bit.
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the rain is a very light drizzle at this point. it will probably start to pick up again fairly soon. at least that's what we're being told here. here at the police department they are asking folks to hunker down in place across the city. they are asking people who have not evacuated, there was the mandatory, voluntary evacuations, they tell everyone you have to leave. the realities most folks don't leave. they have been through hurricanes in this community before. just about every neighborhood we've gone up has windows shuttered, doors blocked in. this community does appear to be ready. they are preparing for catastrophic hit all across this area. we're just a few miles from the keys, hyper 1 that leads into the keys, we know they are expecting some very turbulent weather down there. we seem to get what we thought was early bands of irma arriving, heavy, pounding steady rain and wind. we expect to see more of that today. they are telling everyone they are going to have to hunker down in place. the police department is saying they are expecting catastrophic
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weather conditions here shortly. life threatening conditions shortly. they won't send their first responders, either police or fire, out into these neighborhoods because it will simply be too dangerous for first responders. as we have a car drive down the street here, i can tell you for the most part it's been very quiet. that looks like a typical car here, not a first responder. we do know make locals have stayed in the area. they have driven through the heavier downpours. for the most part this area is primarily deserted. we expect it to stay this way as the weather intensifies, craig. >> miguel almaguer. thank you. let's go right up the golf course to msnbc jacob soboroff. jacob is at an evacuation center. do they still have room there? is this one of the evacuation centers at capacity? >> no, thank goodness there is. this is germane arena, earlier gabe gutierrez was here, a line stretched blocks and blocks.
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i just met dan. did you wait in line to get in. >> yes. >> how long did it take? >> several hours. >> here with a dog. cowboy is blind. >> blind and 12 years old. >> you said there's about 500 other animals. >> 400 animals someone else said. it's amazing how they put people and animals together. >> there are people well, not so well. people that are sick inside and people that are quite healthy, obviously. what's it like inside there. >> what you're seeing some of the beautiful qualities of people. it's amazing how well people are getting along. of course, it's early. it's special to see people so caring about other people. >> when you look inside, everybody is packed in there like sardines. capacity on game night is 8,000 people. for the purposes of an evacuation center it's about 5500 people. have you ever spent the night laying next to 5500 people? >> no, i haven't. you described it well, like
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sardines. amazing how many people are right next to each other and dogs. >> you told me you're originally from portland, oregon, you used to have a home here, now your permanent home and you're retired. have you ever been through anything like this? >> no. i'm from freeport, illinois. we came down here a few years ago. always heard about hurricanes, but this the first time. >> your wife is in there as well. >> you're in good spirits, out taking cowboy for a walk. are you worried? >> worried but positive. it's in god's hands. we're feeling what's going to happen is going to happen. we may lose a lot in our home in naples but we have our lives and families. we have the -- i'm doing pretty good. >> can you say, dan, there's a lot of people there. i walked through, agitated
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people. you're sunny despite being in the bull's eye of where the storm is headed. how are you staying so positive? >> first of all, i am so impressed with governor scott and his leadership and people here as servant-of-service. i say thank you for your service. we've got military, people who are volunteers. it's incredible, the service and attitude these people last minute helped. >> i'm sure they appreciate you too, dan. nice to meet you. i hope you get a good night's rest. >> not sure that's going to happen. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> craig, if i could walk you over here real quick as dan walks in with cowboy. i want to give a shout out to holy environment and national guard as well. see national guard, deputies, they are keeping it organized where it was very hectic. talking about thousands trying to get in here the last minute. the storm was tracking eastern portion of florida where we were just last night. all of a sudden it switched over here. it was a mad rush for people to
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get inside here tonight. they handled it well, professionalism, courtesy. now you've got 5500 or so people sleeping next to their new best friends here tonight hopefully riding out this storm in safety together. >> jacob, thank you. a big thanks to dan an cowboy there. you're right. that perspective was absolutely refreshing. it was good to hear him talk about the worst bringing out the best. we see it time and time again. jacob soboroff, thank you. some cities on the west coast jacob just mentioned there, including tampa, they haven't taken a direct hit from a hurricane like this in nearly a century. nbc's joe fryer is in tampa. joe, to piggy back on what we heard from jacob, there was this sentiment this storm was really going to attack miami and those eastern cities far more than the palm beaches and anna maria's and tampa bays.
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we see that's not the case, the opposite appears to be true. the folks in tampa, douglas the sense they were ready for this? >> they are definitely caught off-guard by it that they have seen headlines it's the eastern part that's supposed to be hit by this. we talked to one family, they live in saint pete. they were planning to host evacuees from jacksonville. they are evacuating and going to those relatives in jacksonville. that gives you an idea of how much things have changed in a short period of time. i'm standing here in tampa is an area people say usually floods after a normal afternoon thunderstorm, so they are concerned. what's going to happen when a hurricane hits here. you have the winds, storm surge, a lot of rain in a long period of time, plus it's going to be high tide come monday morning. it's a major concern. as you mentioned, they have not had a major hurricane here since 1921. the mayor says they have been preparing for the possibility all along. until it actually happens, and
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it's been a long time, it's hard to know exactly what impact is going to be in this very populated city where there is a lot of development right on the water's edge. craig. >> all right. there in tampa for us, do appreciate you, sir. we'll come back to you in just a bit if we can. i need to get to former governor of florida, congressman on the phone now. congressman, where are you and what are conditions like? >> craig, i'm in st. petersburg, my hometown on the west coast of pinellas valley. i'm in a nonevacuation zone. the conditions are not bad. it's breezy, a little bit of rain. all in all it's not that bad but we know there's a lot more to come. >> do you get the sense that your constituents have prepared adequately since the storm shifted west? >> i think there's been an incredible amount of preparation, craig. from the state, the federal, the local level, people have really
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worked together and cooperated extraordinarily, to be honest with you. the citizens are the best. i mean, they are helping each other out. i was visiting the v.a. center today. yesterday a special needs shelter where nurses were volunteeri volunteering. it's an incredible outpouring of support, much like we heard from the gentleman. it warms your heart to see people reaching out to help each other as they are in florida. we're very, very grateful for it. >> we heard from homeland security secretary yesterday addressing the gas crisis there. we know there are a number of stations that ran out of gas along the evacuation route, lines were long and lots of the other stations, there was a growing concern there that after the storm had passed, folks were not going to be able to get gas for their cars, get gas for their generators. what more do we know about the
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gas shortage situation there, congressman? >> my understanding, i just gassed up my car today, as a matter of fact, and had no problem getting gas. just a little bit north of downtown st. pete. the understanding is they are trying to get a lot more tankers to be able to bring gasoline in so that once the storm passes people are going to be able to get around, get back to the grocery store, return to normalcy, if you will. that's what people are looking forward to, anxious about the storm approaching, trying to remain calm, listen to local officials and get updates from you and others that are in the media and doing a great job of keeping people so well informed of what to expect and when to expect it. you know, it's just all hands on deck and everybody working together thank god. >> charlie crist, governor of florida from 2007 to 2011 now represents florida's 13th congressional district which is on the golf course. congressman, thanks for your
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time, sir. keep us posted, okay? >> thank you, craig. will do, buddy. >> msnbc weather contributor sam champion still in miami for us. sam, it looks like -- do we have sam? >> yeah. we've had a rain band, craig. it's kind of wet now. i put some video up on twitter just to show folks that was barely about 40, 45 miles per hour that came in in a rain band that was pretty intense through here. just about anything that was down this was kind of washed and wiped down the direction. if you can see we put some lights on the water, pit a pretty strong chop on the water as well. that's exactly what's going to go on during the night as well. those rain bands will pick up. we did a comparison in the last three hours how this hurricane has barely nudged but the rain has really started to spread up to the north. when lou at that first radar and you see that big swirl around the eye electric, the orange,
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the yellow, those are the most intense thunderstorms involved, the most intense rain can you pull in. the first one, then the second one. look how that rain really has expanded just in filly hours then look at lightning signatures on there as well. this is all we're starting to see now that the eye stepped off the coast of cuba. we begin to see that warm water really start to feed and intensify this hurricane. let's just say reintensify this hurricane. we believe it will go back to that full strength. with that, you don't have to be right at the center of the eye. we're concentrating a lot on that damage. it's the worst damage the storm. we've got to get those communities on the west coast of florida and keys ready for the worst, category 4 hurricane moving over them. look at the other communities in florida as well. this is what the spire state of florida on that radar will be seeing. we'll show you wind streams.
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this is late tonight. notice the bright white shaded area. that's the area of hurricane force winds. you're looking at the keys in that, every bit of the keys, key west all way up into the tip of florida at 90 to 80-mile-per-hour winds at a pretty constant clip. gusts in west palm beach, melbour melbourne 32 miles per hour as well. now 8:00 a.m. on sunday. bright white hurricane force wind. that white shield move up. look at those numbers, 114 miles per hour at a pretty steady clip in key west. 119 in key largo. now you're getting that hurricane force wind band. that windshield almost moved. it is in homestead, even though the center of the storm is on the west coast. look at the winds at that point around ft. myers around 53. the storm, wind hasn't gotten there yet. by 3:00 p.m. on sunday based on the current forecast, look at that bright white area. that's the strongest winds with the storm, 102 miles an hour in
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ft. myers, 85 in west palm beach and 84 in key largo. that's finally the time that the winds start to drop down a little bit, craig, by the time we get into key west, dropping down to 67. i don't know if you guys were able to look at that video or see it, i tried to grab the phone and see that rain band come up in here. that was 35, 45 miles per hour. the wind was howling through here, the rain sideways through here. you've got to picture when we get to 60, 70, 80 miles per hour. you can't stand here. no matter how you brace, there's just no way. that wind will take you right out of here. unbelievable just to let people know what's going ahead of the storm. >> this is some video from miami that we shot just a short time ago. some of what you were just talking about there. sam champion for us in miami. sam, we'll come back to you in a bit. stay safe, my friend. do appreciate you.
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when our coverage continues saturday evening we're going to check in with the man riding the storm out at the ernest hemingway home in key west. our coverage continues right after this.
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welcome back. as we mentioned, some folks in southern florida have decided not to heed the calls to evacuate and decided to stay put. the staff at the hemings way
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home in key west are riding this thing out. an historic property where hemingway wrote celebrated novels, among them, a farewell to arms. they are sticking around, memorial way's daughter herself, actress mariel hemingway practically begging them to get out. i'm join on the phone by the curator of the home. he's there via skype. that's even better. dave gonzalez. dave, thanks for your time, sir. what are the conditions like outside now. >> it's just now starting to pick up just a bit. looks like 20, 25, 30-mile-an-hour winds. we're losing some of the minor palm fronds we'll call vanilla palm or christmas palms, smaller 10 foot tall palms. i was walking around outside, a clump of bananas fell off one of our banana trees so we know what we're having for breakfast tomorrow. >> well, this house where you are built in 1851, mr. hemingway
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lived there in the '30s. i know it with stood major hurricanes in the past. why not heed the warnings this time around, dave. you've heard from officials for nearly a week now this going to be unlike anything we've ever seen. >> that's correct. we did heed the warnings. there are two options in a hurricane. one is to evacuate. and two, is to take safe shelter, which tens of thousands of people in the state of florida have taken shelter, so have we. we just happen to own one of the safest shelters in the florida keys. >> what makes this shelter so safe? >> it's great. it's a singularly unique piece of property. we're located on one of the highest points of ground in florida keys. we're not in a flood zone. our building is built out of 18" blocks of solid limestone.
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with those two components alone, we were here -- i was here during hurricane wilma when two-thirds of this island went 3 to 6 feet under water, we were literally untouched. no water on this property at all. >> you've got a great deal of property in the property and the engineering. >> the property is magic. i think that's what hemingway found her when he came to key west. that's what inspired him to write 70% of his lifetime works right here on this piece of magical property. >> is this what hemingway would have done, do you think? would he have ridden it out at the house? >> i can't tell you that for sure, but he was a pretty tough guy. i kind of put my cards on the fact he would stay here, tie up his boat really tight and secure and then go out and check out the hurricane after it's all over. >> dave, a lot of folks watching and listening are wondering about the cats. how are they? where are they? >> we've located all the cats inside the museum, inside that fortress we happen to own right here. we have 10 employees on staff.
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my wife is here with me in what we call the situation room where i'm able to broadcast on skype with battery backups. we have eight employees located in the two-story building above me and the 54 cats. we checked off a list hour and a half ago we've got all 54 cats and all 10 employees safe inside this fortress of a building. >> 54 cats. my goodness. those employees there with you, dave, were they given a choice? >> the employees here what happened, people in low-lying areas and flood zones should take and pay heed to evacuation. some of our employees who had homes in unsafe areas and flood zones called upon us and said can we go ahead and stay at the hemingway home. basically since they already work here, they are familiar with the cats, the cats are family with the employees, they know the feeding process. they know the medications process. they know the names of the cats, which is important sometimes, too, to have that recognition between the employee and the
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animal. so we have the best staff, the best fortress, and we are fully stocked up and supplied. we have three power generators ready to go when the power gives out. >> sounds like you expect the power to give out. i'm not a cat guy, full disclosure. 54 cats, no power for a few days. how do we do that? >> three generators, craig. we just fire those up. we have more than ample supply of fuel. we'll keep those running mostly for refrigerator systems and air conditioning systems. >> i'm going to stop dancing around it. what about the smell? >> we have kitty litter boxes inside. we basically empty those and refresh them with fresh litter. >> okay. dave gonzalez, curator there at the hemingway home there in the keys. dave, good luck to you, sir. we'd like to check back in with you a little bit later if that's okay. >> hey, it's been a pleasure. we welcome msnbc in our home every night.
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a pleasure to personally welcome you to the hemingway home tonight. thank you, craig. >> i appreciate it. next time i want a tour. we'll go from that to the chief of police for key west. this is chief donald j. lee. again, chief, you correct me if i'm wrong, but your jurisdiction includes the hemingway house. is that right? >> yes, it does, craig. >> i gather thank you heard my interview there with mr. gonzalez. what do you make of that decision to ride it out and the property itself pretty much being hurricane proof? >> well, you know, i don't think it's a wise or prudent decision. i hope that it works out for them, and i hope it works out for everyone who has decided to stay. you know, we have done everything possible in key west to try to get everyone to evacuate. quite frankly those who have not done so remain at their own risk. we're getting ready to face the
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eye of a category 4 hurricane here. we're already experiencing tropical force sustained winds at this point. numerous tornado warnings so far. we have downed trees already, flooding. we are in the midst of this storm. and you know, we're expecting anywhere from 5 to 10 feet of storm surge. and you know, this could have devastating and catastrophic consequences down the road here. >> any idea how many citizens are still on the island there? >> we don't know exactly how many, but as far as we're concerned too many. there are a lot of people who did evacuate this time around, because we were just a couple days ago looking at a category 5 hurricane potentially hitting us. a lot of people -- that concerned a lot of people and they took it serious and left. not enough people left. what concerns us here is that a
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lot of -- i think people mistakenly rely on past storms and damage or impacts, you know. they rely on something that's happened in the past and each storm is different. this is a catastrophic storm that's heading right for us. >> are your officers still responding to emergency calls? >> no, sir. that's another opponent. our officers are no longer responding to emergency calls. rescue is no longer responding. fire is no longer responding. there is no hospital open. there hasn't been a hospital open since yesterday at 7:00 a.m. so quite frankly, people are here at their own risk. you know, they are putting their lives in danger. >> chief donald lee, chief of police, key west, florida. for all of us who have spent time there on your beautiful island, chief, our thoughts and our prayers. stay safe, okay? >> thank you so much. when we come back, a major
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challenge facing doctors and medical professionals as this storm bears down. our coverage will continue right after this.
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welcome back to our continuing coverage of hurricane irma this saturday night. so far roughly 6 million floridians have been warned to
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leave the state. just to put that in perspective for you, that is more than 25% of the population of florida itself. 55,000 or so have crowded into shelters trying to avoid the storm. governor scott telling usa short time ago they are going to be opening more shelters as well in anticipation of more arrivals. preparing the state for a disaster like this has been a daunting task. what about senior citizens and those suffering from alzheimer's specifically. i'm joined now by nbc news medical correspondent dr. john torres, who made his way to miami as well. dr. torres. >> craig, florida is home to more people over 65 than any other part of the country, a large number with dementia and alzheimer's. it's much better to keep them in place, even with evacuation orders and natural disaster like irma than it is to evacuate them
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to. help with this, miami health, largest facility in south florida property in extra help and supplies to keep these patients healthy and safe. this normal saturday inside one of florida's largest nursing homes is anything but to 700 seniors who live here, less than a mile from the storm swept atlantic will not evacuate. for florida's most vulnerable, studies show evacuating could be more dangerous than hunkering down. it looked at recent years. for those who evacuate, doctors found double the risk of death and quadruple the chance seniors would end up in the hospital. >> they all experienced adverse events when they moved patients from their nursing home to someplace else. >> reporter: it's especially risky for alzheimer's patients. more than half a million live in florida. >> new people, new faces, alzheimer's patients. if we can keep the sem plans of routine and order going, that's
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going to help. >> here at the miami jewish health complex, everyone, including staff, stays put through the storm. >> looks like you hunker down, ready. >> we're prepared for the long hall. >> supplies are stocked. more than 9,000 gallons of water. everyone has plenty to eat. make residents even pring their families. >> my mom has a mess, so traveling is not the easiest thing to do. this was the safest and best route for us. >> maybe not best for everyone. seniors should also consider the type of storm and the strength of the shelter they are in. this isn't just for seniors. this for everybody. if you get evacuation orders you need to heed the orders and get out of here. irma has proven to be deadly. this is a special group especially taken care of by people specially trained to be here. this is not an excuse to be here. they need to get out. >> you stay safe as well. joined now by flight commander
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jack pash par ir, flies with hurricane hunter for national atmospheric oceanic association. the plane is refueling in lakeland, florida. is that right? >> yes, that's correct. the aircraft just landed. we just cain after going through irma four times. the aircraft has to be evacuated to new orleans. some crew are getting off, some getting on. we just completed about an eighth hour mission, four passes through the center. >> take us inside that hurricane. what did you see? how does it compare to other hurricanes you've flown through? >> very good question. compares a great deal to hurricane hugo when it was making landfall in charleston in about '89. this one, itsmillibar, which is
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drop. we did not see winds increase very much the time we were there. what we were able to do was get a fix, half the center on cuba, half wasn't. during the time we were getting fixes, the center moved off cuba, which was our number one mission to figure out when this storm was starting to make the turn toward florida. i believe it has done that during our mission. >> that's our understanding as well. commander, for folks who might not necessarily be all that familiar with precisely how it is you guys are able to fly spoke hurricanes, explain that for us. how are you able to manage that feat. >> first of all, the noaa a hurricane fleet is made up of incredible professionals. we have the best pilots ever, because they are the best pilots when we get them and then we train them how to fly in hurricanes, so they get even per. we have this group in the back that keeps our computers running no matter how turbulent conditions get. i'm a meteorologist. we have a combination of noaa corps officers and trained civil
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servants. everybody on the airplane has a job. the focus of the crew becomes just incredible when we have to actually do the hazardous stuff, get through these eye walls, make the center hits, get the drops on to get the pressure in the center and move onto the next fix. your crews that flew with us tonight saw the way we spent most of eight hours seat belted in turbulent conditions. every moment of the time we did it safely tonight. >> how intense were the winds? >> we saw flood level winds gusting to about 115 knots. gemelli average or highest winds were about 110. the highest surface winds were 105 knots or 125 miles per hour. the winds were not quite as indicative of a cat fo4 as the pressure but pressure has been
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falling a little bit and now the storm gets to go out over warm water again. >> commander, all week we've heard ominous warnings from the governor, scientists like your self. at one point the national weather service said this was going to be a landscape altering storm. buildings would fall spot sinto sea. there are a lot of folks quite nervous, quite squared tonight. based on what you just saw inside the eye of that hurricane, are those concerns and fears justified? >> i think the concerns are quite justified. i think what's going to happen to florida now, the first thing that will happen is an outer rain band bearing tornadoes actually moving through florida at the moment. there's a huge area of heavy rainfall all the way from that tornadic band down to the center of the storm, so a lot of heavy precip. then of course the highest winds near the eyewall. not everyone is going to experience really high winds. there will be about a 50 mile
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wide swath of hurricane force winds. then other places will get hit by occasional squall lines and things like that so it's really now a matter of just tracking where the center of this thing goes, keeping very close track with the national hurricane center. that's what we're applying for. we send our data to them, they put out the forecast. it's absolutely trustworthy. everybody needs to have a safe place to go and follow safety management officials. >> i know you guys are refueling and got to get back up. i do appreciate your time. flight commander jack paar issue there with noaa. just in the process really of flying in the middle of this hurricane. commander, thank you. be safe, sir. >> thank you. >> thank you for the call. >> bill karins we'll check in with him in the "weather center." he continues to geek out as well. we'll check in with bill on the other side of the break. we'll be with you throughout
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this storm. this msnbc. as we leave you, some very important phone numbers. these are florida emergency hot lines. this information we also have on our website as well, nbcnews.com. we have these phone numbers and some other very helpful phone numbers and websites.
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let's go back to nbc news meteorologist. he's in the msnbc weather service for us. bill, this storm appears to have stald a bit. >> after. we're waiting for the north movement to occur. we know it's coming here, it might as well get it over with. this is cuba, poor cuba, we haven't seen pictures out of it yet. this category 5 storm, then a 4, then a 3, the hurricane has been over cuba almost 24 hours. the eye hasn't become much
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better defined. two close to land to get its act together. once it starts moving, which it can do any kind. this is like delaying thing. people are longer in shelters, without power, it's going to take forever. if you were with us a hour and a half ago, craig asked me what about the high tides with the storm surge in southwest florida. here's sunday 2:00 p.m., sunday afternoon. the high tied in naples is supposed to be at 3:00 in the afternoon. i mean, can we give these people a break? so the way this works, we'll go to the storm surge map. the storm surge is supposed to be 10 to 15 feet. it doesn't take into account high or low tide. the water goes up 10 to 15 feet whether it's low or high tide.
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if we add the difference between high and low tide in naples, is 3 feet, you can add 3 feet. that's like 13 to 18 photo, that's unimaginable damage in a shallow area with low elevations just coming inland. so that right now is, you know, we'll wait and see what the winds, how they crank up later this evening to see how much wind damage we get. a storm like andrew, that was mostly wind damages, it had wind of 160 miles an hour. we saw what that done literally flattened areas. i think the storm surge will be the story. a million people live from fort myers to naples. if you look how far inland the water will go, it's a couple miles inland in some spots. it's kind of unimaginable. i spent a lot of time in the fort myers area, my mom spend that time in the winter, she is -- 15 minute drive to the
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beach, and i had to tell her she's going to have a 9 foot storm surge at her house. >> she didn't believe it? >> no. she's not there, but she has friends still there. they can't believe the water will go that far inland. i think there's a lot of people they'll see water in places they couldn't imagine or thought it was unfathomable. >> msnbc chris hais is standing by for us in -- the rain appears to have picked up since our last conversation. there has been a part of this conversation, at least it would seem to me, that has been noticeably absent over the last few days, i know this is a cause near and dear to your heart, climate change and what we saw play out this summer can't be a coincidence. >> you know, there's a few things we know about how climate change affects ex cretreme weat.
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sea levels are rising. storm surges are the most deadly part of any kind of catastrophic storm. sea level rise is adding to that. it's about a foot up in south florida and going to get much higher. we know that's there. we know the water is warmer because ocean temperatures have been rising, they're at the hottest they've ever been right now and warmer water produces stronger storms. we also snow, third, this connects to harvey. we have seen more rain event. a lot of times the focus is on the hurricanes. there was a long period of time we didn't have hurricanes. it was a hurricane drought that confused a lot of the modelists. but during that same time, a incensefication of extreme rain which is why we see more and more flooding, like houston,
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before harvey. all that while energy is being put into the climate. extreme weather is when it rears its head. it's easy to say it's warm for march, but the real tail risk, the rail scary stuff is what happens to call the climate equal ibry ums, when you force more and more energy into the atmosphere. >> we have to talk about the effects and the cause. that will do it for me. standing by to pick up our coverage on hurricane irma after this.
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you are running out of the time to make a decision. evacuations are in place across the state. >> you don't know where to go? you go to tampa? >> these numbers are unreal. we don't know how it's going to play out until it does. that's tomorrow into monday. we have several days to go through. >> the fear for a lot of people on evacuating is suppose you're on the road and you run out of gas, what do you do. suppose you go to the shelters and they keep moving you saying they're full. >> wow. i've never seen it like this before. >> conditions here

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