tv MSNBC Live MSNBC September 10, 2017 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
the last 60 seconds. that's how fast all of this is -- you're in the eye and imagine how fast the clouds are moving and how quickly that can kind of move out. people watching this with interest in tampa, the more highly populated and densely populated area, they're watching this and they're shaking their head saying we have to deal with this first and then the storm surge? it is a one-two punch with the first punch knocking the wind out of you and the second one knocking you out. >> since the last time florida has had a tornado up thissally, something notable has happened and that's called urban development and it has the population has exploded on the upper gulf side of the state.
think of the sports teams headquartered in tampa. >> irma is now a category 2 hurricane. it is no longer a category 3. this does not affect storm surge at all which we expect to be the worst part of the storm. >> 5:00 here in the east coast. 5:01 p.m., in fact. perhaps you heard there the news from the national hurricane center through bill caron's our meteorologist as we've been watching mike bettis from the weather channel. the good news and it is nothing, but good news for those in the north as this formidable, sprawling storm makes its way there is that we are no longer talking about a category 3. irma is a 2. so it looks like bill caron, our
biggest weather gust in the last hour will turn out to be 147 miles an hour. >> yeah. 142 was the one from naples there and that was the highest that i saw. i'm just trying to get the new stuff from the 5:00 update. it is now moving to the north at 14 miles per hour. we were at 12 and now to 14. >> why thz more thhas it more t its speed? >> it's hitting the trough and escaping to the north and gaining in latitude. we expected this to continue to accelerate as we go throughout the day and the night. so what means for areas further north is if naples was in the eye for 15, 20 minutes and maybe it will be in the eye for ten to 15, and you will still go through it. 110 is the key number and it was only at 115. so that number, 110 is the max sustained estimated winds in the storm. gusts could be up to 130.
bettis was just thrown from a rogue wave of wind and this is crazy and so changeable. hey, let's check in with kristin -- hang on. the sun is out. at the mike bettis location. cause for celebration. >> i'm hoping for it. there it is. there's the eye after getting beaten, bruised and battered. there's the eye. that's nice. that's real nice. >> watch something else extraordinary here. watch the wind as it hits the wind in the street behind him and watch that start to change. when you're in one of these, it's as surreal a moment as he just expressed to us on live television. there's the eye. there's what passes for the eye
of this storm. >> and it's hard not to -- you're in the moment and he's out in this and he just saw and went through the eye wall and so -- >> look at that cloud bank right there, and he's relieved. >> look at that cloud bank. >> the image we have in the right and we call this the bug in the satellite. the eye has disappeared and we don't have the crystal clear blue sky eye anymore. the storm has weakened and it doesn't have as strong of an eye for that and this is pretty much as close as we're going to get. >> and very shortly, you will see that detroit is in the street and the kind of wind-driven bands of rain coming back toward us, toward the camera location forgive me for a false start and let's go to kristin dahlgren in fort myers. we've been talking about the areas and the territory ahead of this and now you're starting to
get in the teeth of it, aren't you? >> reporter: yeah. we really are, brian, and i would be looking forward to the moment in the eye and i kind of got emotional listening to you guys talking about it because it is that surreal moment. i would look forward to that, but for what's coming until we get to that point and we still have the eye wall to go through here and not something we're looking forward to as we're already feeling these really powerful gusts coming through and the roar when that wind whips through here and it's deafening and incredible to hear. keep in mind, we're trying to stay safe so we have a huge, concrete building here, the local nbc 2 affiliate in fort meyers and we're protected and i'm still getting battered here by the wind and the rain. so things have really been deteriorating here in fort meyers as we've gone through the
past half hour or hour, and we know there is a lot to come to potentially that eye and of course, we all know that the back side of irma, unlike other hurricanes where the storm surge goes out ahead of it. it is the back side when the winds start whipping onshore. it will push that water that we've seen going out through the day today. that's all coming back and potentially more so there is still a long night ahead for people here in fort meyers, brian. >> kristin dahlgren. the misery is going to spread north at a forward speed and we now know is going to be in the teens. this storm got very slow overnig overnight. it was, in effect, feeding on the very shallow and warm, warm waters, 90 miles between cuba and florida. we would be remiss if we didn't point out the misery going on in
places like miami. the urban flooding we have seen really just the forecast of storm surge coming through. calipery, you're been looking at the still and moving video. we're following these, vents on the gulf side, but tell us how bad it's gotten in downtown miami. >> downtown miami has seen significant storm surge and significant flooding. this is a store in downtown miami. i'll let this go. amazing that they sealed it up the way they did and that the water hasn't rushed in, but it givious an idea of what's coming. >> just to the control room. there. look at that. >> so these are french doors that are holding back -- that's unbelievable. >> the other thing that's happened since we've been looking at those amazing live
shots is we've finally gotten our first look at the damage from marco island and the police department there was able to get up to the roof of the building and this is what happened when the eye passed over giving you a look as you said, the vegetation being ripped from the earth. people in marco island are being told to, quote, evacuate vertically. so get upstairs because that storm is just coming. let me give you one more look. that is the storefront in miami and this is what's happening and this is what's headed. >> it looks like in a fish tank, and the warnings that our colleagues at the weather channel have been superb at pointing out. when we talk about storm surge it's not pretty, pristine water. it contains everything you can imagine your block or your neighborhood containing. it contains every obstruction, every projectile and it's dangerous. that is just one place and one perspective and they're trying
to hold back the water. surely it looks like there's some sort of storm door layer on the outside and not just those manual top and bottom closure, french doors holding that water back, but we're happy for the store owners that whatever it is it's working. that is in downtown miami. we're going see those scenes over and over, i'm sure and a word about the coast guard in advance. the next 24 to 48 hours will belong to them in part because we'll need people to get plucked off their roofs and they've gone to work in an amazing way in texas and they'll be concentrating their efforts in florida. kerry sanders on the parking installation. kerry, we're coming up on the time that we were thinking you would be able to trace the storm surge three blocks from the water where those condos are.
>> you know, we don't see it yet. there is something interesting and i've moved myself to a more protected position and you'll notice there is very little wind and i'm hoping bill can help us out here. look over here. you see how dark the clouds are there and then when i bring you over here you can see the actual cut of the cloud there from dark to light. this would not be a classic eye, and i know the radar can help us out better, but it certainly is a shift in the something that's taking place. i know that we'll be seeing the winds coming off the gulf of mexico towards us here and the reason we've put ourselves right here with the cameras. i'll have you look right down there. i know we have a fogged up lens and it's hard to see, but this street here and these houses here, this leads right up to where the gulf of mexico is. so if you can see through the foggy lens.
those condos over there. one, two, three, four. they sit right on the gulf of mexico. so we would see the storm surge push here, but the direction of the wind right now does not nothing that the storm surge has started because the wind needs to push that water towards us here. it needs to go from there to here and you see the direction that the trees are blowing right now. they're blowing south. so when we see those palm fronts turn towards us, that's where we will begin seeing the water moving this direction. >> kerry, we just witnessed mike bettis. >> mike bettis is out on 41, and we just witnessed him when he said here's the eye. it brightened. we saw the sun for a moment and we saw clouds similar in contrast to the ones you just pointed out to us. go ahead. yeah. we didn't see the sun which we would like to, but it had the
feeling of some type of eye and maybe it's the changing nature of irma. one of the questions that we talked about earlier, brian was about the damage and now that we have that sideways rain stopped and i'll point over here and you can see the roofs, but if you see the brown spots on the roofs there, that's where the shingles have ripped off the tar paper underneath has ripped off and that is where, of course, for these homeowners, the greatest problem will be with roof leaks, but as i scan the horizon here, i don't see any roofs that have actually been ripped off, but i can see here to the left the trees that have literally snapped and that are down and then, of course, we've got the palm fronts and the palm trees that are down as well. so we're giving you an early assessment of the damage that we can see in just one little area and if mike bettes was on 41 he's literally blocked from us. so he was i don't know how far south or north he is, but we're
sort of experiencing the same thing and just as an aside, you know, it's been kind of exhausting to be out here and to have the wind let up like this is a welcome relief. >> yeah. i'm going show our viewers now mike bettis who is on camera not far from where carrie is. don't be fooled kerry's lens is fogged because the camera got wet at the height of it. kerry is not in a fog bank. this is mike bettis who is in what passes for the eye now. i'm kind of nodding to bill carons. that's as calm as we've seen it all day. >> the leaves are barely moving on the trees and it looks like he is practically in the dead center of the eye which would be the lowest pressure of the hurricane and it's barely a breeze. >> so bettes is on 41. where is that from where you are? >> he is, like, three blocks, if that from us.
>> wow. we will lose the battery on this camera. what we'll do is we'll change the battery and see if we can change the lens and we'll be back with you shortly. >> thanks. >> now what we are going to watch is this is the first shot of the rain returning on the back side and as we watch this picture, the winds will start to slowly increase again and on the north side of the eye, the wind speed peak gust at 130. on the back side, we can still see a gust of 190 miles per hour and the winds could be sustained between 70 to 80 miles per hour. >> let's talk about precip on the back side because i noticed looking at the radar, it seems to draw its food from the warm water of the gulf and has an endless supply of water. >> we were very fortunate that some dry air got sucked into it
and that the back side of this storm doesn't look healthy. the north side, and we just witnessed it, plenty healthy, but do not expect to see our reporters after we go through the eye on the back side standing in the sheets of almost white-out rain conditions. it will still be rainy, just not like that, but it will still be windy and we'll watch the rain picking back up because the eye is now over -- the heaviest and worst of the weather is located in the radar screen there. that's rid over bonita springs and north napels is now seeing the center of the eye heading your way. so we're about to see the back eye of the storm and it won't look as dramatic as the northern eye. fort myers, 30 minutes, and everyone in the fort myers area will experience almost category 3-type hurricane. >> these categories are getting
stripped over the course of the day, being blown and look at that rain effect, being blown from right to left are now going to get blown from left to right. the skies have brightened briefly. that will go away as the back side of the storm starts up expect a lot of our correspondents will have the rain at their backs and they'll have the precipitation coming in around from the other angle. kerry sanders, as you heard, his crew is changing out a battery and a lens as a lot of this is kind of battlefield surgery on our equipment which is recovering from coming in contact with a lot of water both audio and video. mike bettis' location will look for that precipitation to change and then begins this kind of nauseating wait. >> it's coming, brian. >> for the storm surge. >> the water has risen in naples
5 1/2 feet in an hour and now we are officially going above ground level and the water is now about one foot above ground level and the forecast is for ten to 15 feet and we're now starting in one hour, the water rose five and a half feet in naples. >> that's the kind of thing that makes you wonder. the hotel we've been watching across the street in downtown naples. will those sandbags be near enough for what they're going to need to keep water out of their lobby? >> not if the storm surge has wave action on top of it and everything else, but remember, our crew, the kerry sanders crew up on the third floor of the parking garage. he said his elevation is six feet. we know that water level is one foot. technically, if he was correct with the elevation and if it rises five or six more feet in another hour he should be able to shoot down the water starting to surge around his parking garage and that's in an elevation of six feet and that's
what we're waiting for in this next hour is to see if we get these incredible pictures of what a 10 to 15-foot storm surge looks like. we don't have our crews in situations near the coast. that's where it will be the worst, of course. they're further inland in parking garages with a little bit of elevation. so even our pictures, if we get them live enough may not tell yoi the whole story, but they'll give you an idea of of how bad it will get. >> we're platooning our coverage and we're not leaving the air or taking our eye off of this. i'll be back with folks from 8:00 to 11:00 eastern time. we'll still have an active storm and we'll just then be able to look at what we've witnessed here as more damage reports and weather report comes in. so we're staying with it. our coverage continues with ali velshi. wow! i've got to say, guys, this is the strongest. in fact, i'm just going to take
a knee for a second because it's exhausting to stand there for a little bit. >> this is the rain that's -- wow! hitting me. >> gabe, why don't you get under the overhang? >> these winds are coming and they have not stopped in the last five, six, seven minutes and it does not look like, brian, there's any sign of them letting up. >> right now it's full-force hurricane, no question about it and the beating that marco island, naples, everglades city and fort meyers are going to take is going to be something you're not ever going to forget. >> all right, everyone. i'm ali velshi in new york. our continuing coverage of the devastation being wrought by hurricane irma as it moves up florida's western coast after tearing through the florida keys this morning, irma made landfall about an hour and a half ago at marco island. that's just south of naples. the winds, when they made landfall were 130 miles an hour.
that means that this hurricane had strengthened after being out over the open ocean. the storm is now over naples and is moving north toward fort myers and it is on pace for a direct stake on tampa. a low-lying and extremely vulnerable city of nearly 400,000 residents. more than 2 million people were without power as of 4:00 p.m. today. that number has surely increased with the winds that we've been watching. the storm is downing trees. it's tearing off roofs. it's flooding roadways even in areas that are nowhere near a direct hit. nbc news meteorologist bill carons is here with the latest. i want to get an update for those of you watching, bill, what are we looking with the storm? >> this is what i'm staring at. this is the water height in naples and this red line is where the water level is, and you see this jump right here?
that's the storm surge coming into naples and it's now up about five feet and one foot above ground level and that's supposed to go upward of ten to 15 feet and we'll continue to watch this and we'll start to look for pictures to show everyone of this in this once in a lifetime and once in a generation storm surge. >> let's describe what it means to folks. as this hurricane has come in. it is coming in with winds that are doing this. >> correct. >> if you were in fort meyers you were facing the winds over florida, blowing them out. >> it happened at low tide so we have these amazing pictures and tampa looks like a dog park on the bay. we've never seen the water so low. the wind was blowing out. >> it was the opposite of what you expect. when people are talking about storm surges you are seeing the opposite effect and very, very
low water and with in the half an hour, the water has gone up five and a half feet in one hour. >> here is the center of the storm right now. it's located now just north of naples. >> bonita springs. i feel for you. you are in the heart and the worst of the band right now, but the story that's developing is the winds on the back side is piling like this and that's piling the water into southwest florida and from the marco island area to napel, the wind will continue onshore and the water will pile up and it's not going to be able to escape and that will get higher and higher and that's why they're saying 10 to 15 feet of storm surge and that's why there is a flash flood emergency in that area because they're afraid of people that maybe stayed or -- >> think the water is really low. >> there are people that we know -- we talked to some of the mayors in this area and we know people stayed in areas that were in evacuation areas. imagine being in your house and the water has been gone all day long and you survive the eye and
imagine you all of a sudden see the water rising five feet in one hour. >> it's not just that they stayed and people from the atlantic coast to florida who stayed here to seek solace. >> if you're up in the tampa area, you're still seeing the wind go the other way. >> that's correct. >> you're still seeing the water levels go out, but that will change for everybody. >> we're watching what's happening in naples and then that will play out all of the way up the coast and all of the way through the night. the areas that are at high tide will be even worse. >> we're about an hour past high tide in naples and it was at 4:07 p.m. and the water is still high, so it's not going to help, but at least as we get the rest of the storm surge flooding in the fort myers area towards port charlotte, we'll be heading closer to low tide. it helps a little. >> we won't add to the ten to 15 feet and you were mentioning the tampa area and sarasota, too.
the whole storm will play up right along the coast here and then we get up towards tampa here at the top of the screen. >> let's talk about the speed of this storm and the intensity of the storm. it picked up from what it was doing over the water. >> i've been impressed. >> this was a cat 3 and usually with a cat 3. you can expect gusts of 120. that 142-mile-per-hour wind gusts at the naples airport. that was -- wow, that would do significant damage to not only trees, but structure snoors the people who say they have these hurricane-proof windows, it's meant to withstand something hitting it at 140 or 150 miles an hour. we're at the top of that. does the fact that it made landfall at marco island, does that mean it will weaken and slow down? >> it may help lower the winds a little bit. these are some of the tide gauges and we'll be updating these. this is st. petersburg toward the clearwater beach area.
this is st. petersburg near tampa. you can see the red there. that was the low water when the water was blown out and then you will see the red line shoot way up and that's how the pattern will work and we'll be updating you and showing you all these tide gauges as we go through the storm surge. honestly because we don't know how good the pictures will be that we'll be able to show you. it's easy to put a reporter safely on the parking garage and show you the wind and the rain and it's harder to show you the storm surge because we don't want -- that's what kills people. >> kerry sanders is that's the first time he's watched it from the safe spot just so people can perhaps understand from the first time in their lives what that storm surge looks like going from minus five feet to another ten or 15. we'll get there shortly. that is the populated area now in the bull's-eye. the if you live in tampa you'll
be familiar with the area a, the low-lying areas in tampa all in and around here. those have had a mandatory evacuation. >> this hasn't changed with the 5:00 update we got from the hurricane center, i was hoping they would lower the storm surge predictions. from captiva southward is the 10 to 15 including the fort myers area and sanibel. that's ten to 15 storm swell, that's thousands of homes with water in them. from ana marie to captiva. the tide prediction still, the surge -- not the tide, the surge of five to eight feet is still predicted here along clearwater beach and into tampa. that hasn't change happened. >> even though it's weakened a little bit windwise, tampa we were looking of gusts of 120. i would say by the time it gets to you, maybe it would be 101 to 110. >> your issue here is the water. >> i don't want to ignore what's
happening because the northern eye wall. >> this was the high tide stuff, too. we're past the high tide. >> we're still pretty high in fort meyers beach and the naples area. >> it's not going to peak at high tide. >> that's good news. >> by the time to gets up here, and it may weaken over land, and it doesn't get it at high tide and the low lying areas will stay as expected and i want to bring in chris hayes, host of "all in," chris, what's the situation where you are? >> it's actually pretty remarkable because what just happened in the last 45 minutes or so is that the eye wall passed through naples and there was debris flying through the air and thumping against the window and boom, we passed into the back of that storm. the eye really didn't catch us now.
it's basically nice out and one of the things you see in the formation of that and bill can speak to this it was a very well-formed storm for a long time and it's sort of broken up so the northern part of the storm is bringing in all of that wind and rain. the back side is pretty calm. the problem here that bill was talking to and it's something i worry about, sort of viscerally is that folks in naples are going to say, oh, it's fine and head toward their property that's along the beach as the storm surge starts to come up. there is a weird sort of temporal mismatch now between what the weather is doing up here and what the storm surge is doing down at the water. >> that's right. >> you're going to get the other side of it, chris, just as we were speaking, the president has approved a disaster declaration for florida. funding is now available to the counties that have met the requirement, charlotte, colyer, hills borough, lee, monroe, pinellas and sarasota county are now available for assistance.
this doesn't change the fact that there has been a declaration that has allowed the national guard to get out there, but, chris, so you're in a temporary respite at the moment. you will get the other side of this very shortly. anything obvious to you, around you, in terms of damage that you're seeing? >> you know, the palm trees are sort of a miracle of engineering and they evolved for precisely that reason and even that, there are a bunch of palm trees down and palm fronts down. it is going to hold which is that the winds were very intense and they were 110 miles an hour, but a lot of things that were built here have been built fairly recently. the ratings that were required after hurricane andrew here for a category 2 were above winds and the construction were rated even higher. on the whole, the wind damage isn't going to be the worst part of this and the worst part of of this is that there are hundreds of millions of dollars of property lining an ocean that's
swelling to 15 feet as i speak to you and that will send seawater rushing toward all of it which is where most of the property damage will be and hopefully people aren't along that narrow strip. i think the folks got inland and they weren't in structures like mobile homes, i think, by and large people will be all right. the other big thing to worry about now is power and we've been having a wink here in and out. there are 1.5 in florida and general and power and gas and flooding will be the big three challenges for folks here in naples over the next 12 to 24 hours. >> right. it's important to remember that while you're in the eye it looks calm, but power repair crews are not going to go out. those teams that fox those trees, that's not going to happen. there may be the random 911 call that gets responded to because it can be done quickly and no one gets fixed anything until the back end of the storm and bill said it's not going to feel as bad as the front end of the storm is, but it's bad enough. if there is a precarious pole or
tree it will bring down more power and that number of 2 million out of power in florida will increase particularly on your coast. yes. absolutely. what we've seen in disaster after disaster and katrina is the most iconic in all of of this and lower manhattan flooded and lost power and we saw it in harvey which is the moment of impact and the disaster and the duration of that and then there's the aftermath and a lot of times, the most arduous and the most deadly and the most difficult for folks, the period in which socioeconomic status comes to play when there are scarce resources and the underlying infrastructure of daily life continues to be wiped out. so folks that were able to get to a shelter with their pet, elderly folks, people on dialysis who need constant medical attention. all of those issues you can get through that 12 or 14 hours or however long the storm takes, but that's when the
infrastructure of society, you start to miss and the longer that goes on, the more damage it does in terms of property and more importantly, in terms of actual human beings. >> even if you have six inches of water there will be mold damage and one thing you point out because of the work on sandy. in new york we don't think of it as being surrounded by saltwater. it's different than fresh water. it doesn't just drain and everything is okay. it could take years to repair. and not only that. there is another problem above that and we've seen some of that in harvey, actually. we have the toxic risk from super fun sites and then you have something much more mundane which is septic systems and septic systems failing when inundated by this kind of amount of water and the quality of that water being an immediate and safe concern and that's the case in miami-dade where they took a
fair amount of water. it will likely be the case close to that water, behind me along the coast in napel ands that is not the water that you want to be by any stretch of the imagination. it's not clean water. it's not going to be clean water. the one thing that helps here and it's important to point out the difference in harvey which was caused by the incomprehensible one in 500,000-year rainfall that brought 15 inches of rain. the storm surge will come in and go back out. in harvey, they were dealing with pools that had filled up and were going to sit there for a very long period of time. the hope here is the storm surge comes in, it gets out relatively quickly and you're not sitting with that water there for a long period of time. >> all right. you will start to get that surge. your water levels have increased dramatically in the last half an hour. if anybody were in naples and were looking at the water they would find it how low it was because at low tides is when they were blowing out to sea and
you have high tide. we passed high tide there and area water levels have increased and your storm will start again fairly shortly. so this picture of chris hayes that the country is seeing will be short lived, but enjoy it while you have it, chris. i'll be back to you in a little while. let's go to randall henderson in naples. this is headed north from napels to fort myers where we have a similar problem there in that it's going to start to seem a little more relaxed and then that storm surge is going to come in. randall henderson, what's the situation in fort meyers as you know it to be right now? >> it is definitely in full mode right now. i can share with you that the caloosahatchee river has diminished to the gulf of mexico. we are laser focused as you have been talking about with the backlash of the surge that will whiplash back up to us. we're encouraged that the storm
has been weakened somewhat. we think that friends in marco and napels have contributed over the land area and that could save us a little bit on the surge, but we're anxiously, awaiting her arrival and it is messy right now. >> sadly, each one of you who takes a hit from the storm saves north of you, so by coming in with marco and naples, you will get it probably less than you might have and you'll take strength out of the storm for the folks out in port charlotte and sarasota and then into tampa. what's your situation in terms of low-lying areas where people have evacuated versus where people have stayed. >> i'm happy to report that we've had substantial evacuations out of the flood a and flood b zones. our citizens took it very serious. we have moved them to shelters and those who could not leave and go other places and we were very successful in that and
we're bunkered down now in shelters and safe and ready to endu endure this. >> shelters of last resort, without cots and mattresses and without beds and without amenity, and what's the situation in the shelters as you know it, in terms as far as capacity and what are the circumstances in those shelters? >> some of them are definitely at capacity. some shelters have extra room. certainly, there's nothing convenient about this. we're laser focused on the preservation of life and we're asking friends who are together to help one another and to comfort one another and to make them as comfortable as possible and hearing reports that that's exactly what's happening. it is uncomfortable. it's inconvenient and yet, it will save many, many lives. >> the eye above naples right now looks very calm.
the eye wall looks to be at about bonita springs and it will be calm. you will get the eye wall coming in very shortly and then you are going to be in that eye, but even though it gets as calm as it does and maybe in naples you will still get a little bit of sunset, you're not in a position to have emergency services go out and help until you're on the other end of the storm, is that correct? >> that is correct. the emergency medical staff are ready to be deployed, but that will be after irma passes and they can do so without risking life and limb because they're going to need to help others and they can't be hurt themselves. >> and are you out of power there or you still have power where you are? >> we have been out of power for several hours now. things are okay, and again, it's going to continue to get less and less comfortable, but we'll be fine as long as we can stay out of the scourge of this storm. >> we pray for you and we have our mind on it and we'll continue to cover the situation.
mayor randall henderson, right now bonita springs will be the next place to get this storm and then fort meyers. this is a big, big, big storm. it's bigger than the entire florida peninsula and everyone in florida will get a piece of this and on the phone is florida senator bill nelson who is in orlando. you don't have the same concerns in orlando, senator, but you are watching the whole state right now. what are your thoughts? >> ali, i just came from tampa, and of course, they are going to get what mayor henderson just described down in sport myers. they'll get it in a few hours as it moves up the coast. thankfully, since it's hitting land it's going to weaken, but that same phenomenon that he has talked about, tampa bay is being drained out into the gulf of mexico and then when the storm comes by it's going to send it in that counter clockwise motion right back in to tampa bay.
we've been talking to the mayor of tampa bay a lot as we have with you over the last 48 or 72 hours. he's confident that the evacuation of the low-lying areas in tampa which are very obvious to anybody who lives in tampa, all of the low-lying areas are exactly where the water touches the land and that's where they ordered an emergency evacuations. obviously, tampa is our concern. when you or i talked about this 24 hours ago and 36 hours ago, miami and the population centers in southeastern florida were the concern and now this is the concern. what's your sense of the level of preparation in tampa? >> i've been with the emergency operations people in tampa for the last two days and they are excellently prepared and there is a seemless and i'll give you
an example down in naples and there's the university, and the university president of ave maria university opened the gymnasium and brought it in and it is entirely a private matter on his own and did that. people are helping people. i am very proud of our floridians. >> and senator, just as you're talking to me, i want to show our viewers, these are the various levels in tampa, starting with level a, b, c, d and e. if you look at a map of tampa right now. what the senator is saying water has all gone out and tourists are coming out to understand why there is no water in this area. it will come back in and all of the red is the level a. these are the areas with the mandatory evacuations. if you're a level b you may consider going further in, but
it's easy because in tampa the distances are not great. the level as is where the land hits the water and as soon as you go inland you're relatively safe. once you are here you are safe to 30 or 40 feet above sea level. so the good news, senator, about tampa, so while the areas that are lowest will get inundated quickly, it's actually easy to get to safety. >> and folks obeyed the evacuation orders and that's what is so great and now the shelters are taking care of them. once the storm passes then we're going to see how much water damage happened when it came flooding back in to tampa bay. >> senator, i know you will take the opportunity and there are a lot of people who say this isn't the time to discuss the effect of rising sea levels and climate change and you'll need to take the opportunity to remind floridians that this is a matter that has to be taken seriously in all levels of government and
i would argue with you that in florida, some levels of government including sometimes federal representatives there is not taking it as seriously as it should be. >> that's right. you don't have to wait for a storm to understand that the sea level is rising. we see, for example, downtown miami it is covered in water, but before the storm at high tide, miami beach has the water over the curbs and they've had to spend tens of millions of dollars in pumps to get the water off and this is as a result that the sea is rising. >> senator, it's good that you've been talking to us as far as you are to keep us posted on what's going on across florida and our thoughts are with the people of florida and bill nelson, thanks for your time. i expect we will get more chances to talk in the coming
days. bill nelson. bonita springs is probably right now at the eye wall. fort myers is the next population center above it. so kristin dahlgren there, look at her. she is blowing away, kristin. you're langing hanging on there looks like you're getting some guests. >> we are. we're expecting the eye wall to go right over us and we'll get the break in the center, but not before we get the worst of these winds, just a little bit of calm. i'll take you back here and show you what's going on here and we're obviously in a parking lot here. we've been behind a big concrete building trying to stay safe, but take a look at how many branches are down here and this is a protected area. this was our fallback plan. so we're not out on the beach or anything where they're getting the worst of it. so this is a powerful storm coming through. the roar as these winds come through is absolutely incredible, and then we're expecting it to get worse and worse through the next few minutes and maybe within the
next 20 minutes or so, we could see a break in this and the eye wall and then that means it's ahead and the wind shifting and all of that water going out, that will get pushed back onshore and that is the potentially catastrophic storm surge. so all of the water that was pushed out and potentially more than going to be coming back and going to be coming back fast. so think of it like a flash flood. if you think it will be time to go out and take a look at what's going on down by the gulf, this is not the time because that gulf will be coming right back. >> it came up about five feet in 20 minutes. stay where you are. i wanted to show our you vooers what we're talking about. the green here is the eye. take a look at where it is. it's right on the edge of bonita springs right there. fort meyers is over here and this thing is moving north at 14 miles an hour and it will not be
long before it gets to fort meyers. everything in here is very, very powerful. once the eye crosses over into fort myers kristin and the team will be in the green. you can see right through it into the ground. so there are moments in the eye of the hurricane when there is no rain, no wind and nothing there and it is simply beautiful and then the other side of the storm hits and kristin, that's the problem you will have when the other side of the storm hits, the wind is then coming from the ocean. it's not coming from the east the way it has been all day where it's come from the atlantic ocean over dry land so you're not getting added water. you have water pushed out and now you'll see water pushed in to fort myers. >> yeah. exactly, and you talk about going through the eye. i went one with another hurricane and it's this eerie, surreal feeling after going through this for hours and hours when you're getting absolutely pounded by the wind and the rain
that it all stops and the sun comes out in many cases and it's this calm and then all of a sudden like that, the winds shift and they're coming in another direction. with any hurricane that's a problem and because of the track that it's taken, that's when all of that water comes in and water and storm surge is the deadliest part of a hurricane. so while all of of this and me blowing around may look very dramatic, what we can't show you and what's too dangerous for our crews to be out showing you is the storm surge coming in. this is the important part for people who are in fort meyers or bonita strings or port charlotte or sarasota or tampa to think about right now, that if you think you're in the worst of it and the worst of it goes away and all of a sudden it seems calm, that's just not going to be the case. the rest of it, the part that's coming later is actually going to be more serious than the part you're seeing now, even though,
kristin, it might be substantially lower than the one you're feeling right now. >> right. exactly. it can fool you. there are so many things about this storm that if you don't understand hurricanes people might get confused and think it's over and think that it's weakened and think that it will be less on the back side and it is so important for us. the reason we're out here is so you don't have to be so people at home can be watching and know that it is not safe yet to come out. >> do you know anything about the power situation where you are? is the power out? i see the lamp behind you and you're in the parking lot. >> right. we're at nbc 2 our local station in fort meyers and we're prepped for storms like this and they have backup generators and they did in the building where
they've been staying and generators kicked on and we're able to have that back and as we were dry driving around earlier we saw traffic lights that were out and so power out in a lot of places and i will just say for anyone watching who thinks that they can just go out and maybe drive through where those signals shally are, you have to pay attention because accidents when someone drives through a lot and they're not showing in red and someone is coming through the other direction, as well. so many dangers still to come with the storm. stay safe. and i see sam champion. you are so good, and in that
storm surge that's coming in in fort myers and naples and bonita springs and later on in tampa. when water is coming in at that speed and velocity, six inches of water which most people wouldn't pay attention to ask knock you off your feet and two feet can take your feet out. >> absolutely. it will lift and float the heaviest suv. you're right. ali, we measure those things and put them in graphic details so we can explain it to people and people are often surprised by the fact that florida, six inches of water can take a sizeable grown person right off their feet, but it is the weight and the movement of the water that will do it. and this water is not trickling in lightly and that water is moving in with some force and water is pretty darn heavy and it has the ability to move things and it has the ability to lift you and float you very quickly, as well.
if anyone has been near an undertow, you know the power of water. if you felt like your feet would be pull out from under you, that's exactly what we're talking about the are being pulled out from under you. right here in miami what you're seeing right now in this area is still a little surprising to me. it is testament to how big this storm really is. we have had a little bit of a break in the back behind the storm. we would have expected that the winds would have died down quite a bit and the rain would have let up a little bit here. as this storm continues to drive up the west coast. but as big, as huge as that circulation is, we still have not quite switched over. we've been doing a battle between winds but we have not switched over to getting those winds back from the west yet. because we're watching our friends, the palm trees here. and whichever direction they go, we know what that wind is doing. so that's still very surprising to me. remember, just a quick recap here.
we've been in those tropical storm winds for 24 hours. we've had two bursts of 90-mile-per-hour-plus winds with 110 reported back at the airport and each time we got one of those gusts we took one of those giant cranes in downtown miami and folded it over on a building. we've seen the roof of the americanairlines arena just kind of ripped around and destroyed a little bit there. we've had other reports of roof damage all along biscayne boulevard and brickell. and we've seen biscayne bay standing on biscayne boulevard up to people's like calf high. this has been -- it has been a very damaging storm for the area. i don't want people to go outside yet because this is where we're going to lose a lot of trees, ali. because all day long we've been
soaking that ground and these trees with this wind are just going to go. it is a dry ground that holds the root ball in the ground. >> we got the weather channel there on the left-hand side. you see that blowing around. that is ft. myers, florida. we are now seeing the worst of it there in ft. myers. you and i, sam, were talking to mariana atencio and the streets if miami were clear this morning and now they are full of trees. trees are still coming down, things can still fly around. bottom line is there is a very big difference between a water that's trickled out of storm drains up to six inches or two feet, and water that is part of a storm surge. it is why we call it a storm surge. stand by, sam. chris hayes is in naples, florida, right now. i don't know if anything's gotten any more serious for you there. looks like there is a little more wind but you are still in the dry there, chris. >> we're taking advantage of the
eye right now to come down and check our cars which, unfortunately, this is our fleet here. which got taken out by a bunch of trees. what sam was saying before, palm trees are -- again, they're sort of evolutionarily designed to withstand this. you see that root bowel just falls out and pops over. as the ground gets wetter and softer and the second round of wind is going to come, they're just going to take these out. >> chris, let me just ask you something. you and i have had an interesting conversation here. if you go to dubai or abu dhabi or places like that, you think humankind's won the battle against the desert where they have a he created these cities that are completely livable in the desert. we don't think of florida that way but this has been a battle against the elements for more than 1 00 years in florida. the idea that you can settle and inhabit florida where these things happen and humanity's
been able to live there is a constant battle and it is not really clear yet who's won entirely. >> reporter: it is a battle against one thing. it is a battle against water. florida was considered essentially a huge swamp for hundreds of years. the towns here on the gulf's west coast were settled in the 1880s, 1890s. south florida, miami-dade, doesn't get settled in any real way until the 1920 s. the reason is it is all swamp land. you can't farm it. you get flooded. what happened was an incredible feat of engineering over a period of 120 years that dredged and drained and channeled all that water in all sorts of ways that to make florida what it is today which is a place with $1 trillion-plus real estate and 19 million people. but the water still comes. that's where the sort of equilibrium of climate change really makes a big difference. when you look at these systems that were built, the drainage system in miami-dade, it's built based on 1930 sea levels. when the sea comes up a foot, foot and a laugh, as half, as i
more -- the architecture that takes it from high ground and pushing it downstream into the ocean starts to alter. you see that all across the areas in florida. keep in mind, also, the coast are the areas most built up, the coasts are the places that retain the most valuable property. >> that's where they want to build their buildings. >> reporter: that's exactly right. so right now four miles west of where i am where that storm surge is spiking up, the latest readings have it two miles above ground. that's going to get a lot more feet of water. and when naples is rebuilt, that's something that everyone's going to have to be thinking about. we saw what happened to building codes in florida after andrew in '92. basically the strongest building codes if country. a new round of revised building codes even after that, some after katrina. but you are already seeing architectures and engineers start to struggle on the reality of the front end of climate change of maintaining a society and civilization in a place
that's under constant assault from water and water whose levels we are every day, because of pollution, raising the level. >> you'll get a lot of angry tweets about that. but whether or not you believe the argument you just made -- i happen to -- but whether or not you do, it is not really even the point in florida because the water levels are rising. you can doubt why it is happening. but it is happening, and that concrete having replaced those marshes and swamps means that when extra water and extra wind comes in there, it cannot be absorbed. >> reporter: yeah. you don't really even need to talk to scientists. just talk to the engineers that work in miami-dade. they're not ones who are taking the measurements in noaa and measuring the parts per million of carbon in the air. what they're doing is designing buildings and designing structures and designing sewage treatment that can withstand a rising sea level. it is not some sort of fiction or distant abstraction in their minds. it is very real. we're going to see that up and
down both coasts in florida where all that coastal real estate is, where all that value is. you're going to see some very brilliant minds come together to try to figure out how to engineer their way out of the immediate threat. the problem though is that if the waters keep coming up, you reach a point where engineering your way out of it becomes very difficult. >> so perfect example, you were in miami beach yesterday. they have built pumps in miami beach because you can be in miami beach on a sunny day and look at a storm drain and see seawater coming up in that drain. so they have built pumps and we were talking to the city manager and mayor there. he said our pumps are supposed to deal with that problem, not a problem of even normal rain, let alone storm surges and the kind of thing we are going to see today. so you are going to expect places like that to flood, and that battle is ongoing. the reason i say this to you, i was just talking to senator bill nelson about there, there are people in florida who are not on the side of that discussion. there are people in the federal government who don't think you should take that sort of thing
into account when building federal public works. the rising of water. >> reporter: one thing i will note, however, for an issue that has been very partisan for a very long time, largely because the republican party has a different view on this than consensus of scientists. the republican congressional delegation in south florida has no illusions about this. k the republican mayor of miami who i saw on your program just the other night, republicans have no illusions about what they're dealing with down there. >> all right, chris. >> reporter: in fact -- go ahead. >> i was just going to say, enjoy the next few minutes of dry. it is not going to last very long. we'll be back in to you when the other side of this storm hits. chris hayes for us in -- you're in naples. i want to go to the other side of florida. let's go to the gulf coast, the atlantic coast of florida, jo ling kent is in ft. lauderdale.
she's been hanging around that area on the east coast of florida. wow, jo ling. you got a lot of water around you. where are you? >> reporter: yeah. we got a lot of water. we are off cypress creek road here in ft. lauderdale in a low-lying parking lot area, adjacent to a private airport. i want to show you, you've got the driving rain coming in, the winds really ramping up here. this is another outer band of irma coming at ft. lauderdale. as a result, people are still under curfew. they are told mott to not to go. broward county sheriff says get to the safest room in your house. you can see the rising water damage here. this water now is coming up near the engine. this is going to cost a significant amount of money to fix if that engine is flooded. it is also happening with the car next to it, this dodge right here. as the wind and water surges in, what we've seen today, ali, is the water go in and out. it's come in with the bands, it's left as the bands have left
us. what we're feeling here is the concern about tornadoes as well. there was a warning and a watch throughout the day today and last night. you can sometimes see wall clouds forming. some people have spotted a funnel cloud or two. but with the changing weather out here on atlantic coast, that's what the major concern is, is what about tornadoes. >> jo ling, what's the situation with the airports? you're near a private airport. obviously ft. lauderdale is a major airport near you. you're about 25 miles north of miami airport. what's the situation? >> reporter: well, the situation is the airports are closed. this private airport here -- ft. lauderdale airport is closed, of course. but this smaller airport is also completely shut down. what we have seen as some of these smaller airplanes airplaairplan, not the jets but smaller aircrafts, their doors have been blown open and some of these trees in the nearby area have fallen down on them. that's also what you're seeing on the streets as well.