tv MSNBC Live MSNBC September 10, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
per hour. there's the center of it located right here. still on the bright red shows you the convention and thunderstorms were over the coast near miami. have kicked near the bahamas. the be wind field is the legacy of this storm. it's still huge. the storm is located here. and there's the wind field in the yellow. so we still have tropical storm force winds down to key west. i have to widen out more than this. it's ridiculous. >> remind us what that trenstre on when you say tropical storm force winds. >> as the night goes on here, my -- >> don't make me come over there. >> we'll fast forward it and go back to it. here's the map that shows you the current wind gusts. how large the wind field is. and now back to the map i was trying to show you brian was talking about. so here's the yellow. the yellow is the potential for tropical storm force gusts. that's going to be 39 miles per
hour-plus. and to the top of the map, it's now arriving in the jacksonville area ocala to gainesville, flagler beach area, daytona beach, new smyrna. they're getting the wind off the water. and you still have a little storm surge to go. so almost the entire peninsula from the keys to jacksonville right now is getting the tropical storm force winds. where we still can get the hurricane gusts and we just had that gust to 70 at the atlanta international airport. it's almost up to hurricane, the hurricane gust. but not quite. this entire area of red is still where the power is either out or still going out and that's shifting north with the storm. now more power outages around tampa and the i-4 corridor. those people were watching and now not able to as much. here's what's left of the northern eye. gusts to 74. still at 64.
now we're not going to get with the center of the storm almost heading towards in between orlando and tampa, we're not going to get those high gusts in tampa and the sarasota area. this is probably as high as you'll get in the 50 to 60, maybe at worse the 70-mile-per-hour range. no complaints from you on that. try to go in one more time here just to show that northern eye. if we do still have the potential for 100-mile-per-hour wind gust it would be in this area here. let's see if we can pinpoint smaller towns further up to the north here. there's port charlotte. this is placid lake. so this is the area from arcadia to placid lake in this eye. what's left of the northern eye wall could get 100, 110-mile-per-hour wind gusts. enough to knock down significant trees and do significant roof damage. it's getting smaller and more confined as the storm continue to weaken. >> let me ask you about cape coral. i meant what i said.
nothing scarier than wind-driven structural fires and structures that are spaced together. you could lose -- you can lose a block of them. there's nothing more frustrating than knowing it is going on and not being able to get to them because routes are blocked. you can't risk your personnel or apparatus. but the mayor of cape coral said they are awaiting a storm surge up until 6:00 a.m. tomorrow. >> yeah, i heard that and i did a double take. maybe -- we tend to -- the way it kind of works is the hurricane center comes out with their storm surge forecast. those forecasts get passed on to the emergency managers for every county in florida and the emergency managers pass that information out to all the mayors and city officials that need that for their own districts. the hurricane center from what i saw, they still haven't lowered
the surge values. ed rappaport told us they were likely going to. that won't be until the 11:00 p.m. update. some of that information was likely kind of old information. not her fault because she has to go by what her emergency manager says and the hurricane center says if that makes sense. >> somewhere on cape coral, what an agonizing night for the mayor and the fire chief with a job to do and they can't get to it. >> yeah. we saw that with sandy, right? the huge blaze out there, out toward the rockaways. and, yeah -- >> breezy point. >> thank you. it's a helpless feeling for the firefighters. you know, it's what you train for. that's your job, right? and you're told you can't go out there and do what you think you should be doing. >> it is a tragedy. we'll be thinking of them all night tonight. and let's hope they get some good news. perhaps water will assist their fight. bill, thank you.
we're joined by rick kritman, mayor of st. petersburg, florida, and the man at much of the attention tonight as is st. petersburg. give us a status report on st. pete. >> so we're -- and thank you for having me on. we're at a point where we are prepared for the storm, which is -- we're going to get the hurricane-strength winds somewhere between 1:00 and 3:00 a.m. we're expecting gusts or sustained winds of somewhere between 80 and 85 miles per hour with gusts up to 100 miles per hour. but what we're really most concerned about, which i think some of the other mayors around the state have worried about is this storm surge. we have a number of our neighborhoods in st. petersburg that historically have always flooded with medium to heavy rains. when you add 6 to 10 inches of rain, high tide and then anywhere from 3 to 8 feet of
storm surge, it causes significant problems. >> yeah, we started our 8:00 p.m. hour perhaps a little too optimistically that the storm surge hadn't materialized as predicted. when we take a step back and look at this radar over the scope of florida and realize that the back end of all this circulation, as you said, is going to be hours from now and that that brings the actual danger of storm surge, i know you'll be happy when the hour arrives when you can sound the all clear. but it may be a dicey night ahead of you. >> absolutely. and one of the difficult parts in this, and it's so important for us and i appreciate the opportunity to communicate this to our residents is just because the winds have moved on doesn't mean the danger has gone away.
and, you know, we're going to see the storm surge after we start seeing the winds and the sustained winds decrease in their strength. and so people have got to remain -- those who were in the shelters remain in the shelters. those in their homes need to stay in their homes until we give that signal that we've made sure it's clear and safe for you to either come back into the area or to come out of your homes and start assessing the damage. >> there you were minding your own business and thanks to some forecast models, very late in the game, through no fault of yours, you were handed this storm late in the game. what percentage of our population do you think got out of town? >> well, we do know that in our city, we've got over 7,000 of our residents who are in shelters. fortunately in our firefighters and police officers, just yeoman's work.
257 folks with special needs who were individually transported to shelters. so our -- the emergency management, our team and our county and state officials really did a pretty good job of getting us information with advanced notice so that we could at least get folks out. i wish i had an exact number of how many were in zones a and b did leave because that would make our job tomorrow, as we start trying to assess the damage and make sure that everyone is safe, that we know who is still left in those zones. but as soon as it gets safe where we can get our folks out, we're going to start going out right away and assessing because that's the next phase after we try and keep people safe during this part is to make sure that we get everybody back to normalcy as quick as possible. >> the big city mayors in florida have a huge responsibility. mayor christman among them from st. petersburg, thank you for joining us tonight.
to the control room, i'd like to -- can you first take the weather channel's correspondent in -- we just lost it. let's go to jacob rascon in st. pete. the very same city. we were just talking to the mayor. jacob, how have conditions worsened there in the plast cas couple of minutes? >> we were talking in the last hour. the wind gusts, almost impossible to see, but there are parts of treesal over the road and sidewalks. the rain has been really steady for hours. and the wind is up and it's down. i believe that we're still expecting five to eight feet of a storm surge which is what they've always been concerned about because a lot of this city and a lot of the tampa bay area is built on sea level. and as we saw in a lot of other areas, the bay was sucked out. we expect it all to come back with high tide with an extra five to eight feet. we are still expecting that.
and the evacuation "a" areas where they're expecting that flooding, a lot of those people have left. that's the only change in the condition is that the wind is picking up, brian. >> i want to show to our audience there, back on the correspondent, your colleague over in tampa, at the weather channel is really getting a lot of gusts. steady at 35 but gusts well over 40. and scenes that look a lot like what we saw earlier today. let's listen in. >> hurricane force, absolutely. we're not even on an open body of water. there's a lot of friction this wind has to pass and it's not weakening. you can tell throughout the city of tampa, this is what we're expecting. it can be stronger if you're right on the water say like tampa bay, hillsborough bay or near the gulf. we're here at the hilton, about a 12-story building straight ahead. most of the buildings here have no power now. and, really, that's been the
case. we've been watching transformers blow throughout the night. it looks like almost lightning but then you realize that was a transformer because it was a green flash. we've seen these green flashes of transformers blowing one after another after another. this is why you have to stay put, guys. it may simmer down and then this gust that can easily take you off course. that can just fly your door right open and cause damage and get those winds into your house. stay put. stay inside where it is safe. i'm just going to step out of the way. there's trees that could fall off, fall down and there's branches that could really come at you and become projectiles. that's what you have to start worrying about. that's the case not only in tampa but bradenton. and, steph, i do know there was a -- >> so this was weather channel coverage that's going on all night. we just, in the last few minutes, heard from both tampa and st. petersburg. and you saw how for kind of twin
cities, the conditions can vary. we saw a lot of that throughout the day. let's go to the east coast, maya rodriguez. let's check in with her again in miami. i want to continue to emphasize that while we're talking about the gulf, the east coast got, in many ways, more of this storm than a lot of people expected because the story line and those spaghetti lines in the forecast really shifted dramatically west so you couldn't blame people in miami for thinking they were perhaps out of peril. >> in fact, when we spoke to some residents in miami, they were basically breathing a sigh of relief. we feel so bad for everybody on the southwest coast of florida. they'll get hit by this storm. better them than us is basically what they were saying but it turns out that miami had its own set of issues. we came down about two blocks down the road from where we were
last hour. i can tell you for a fact that it is much deeper over here. i'm standing up on the sidewalk now because when you step down the curb, it's another six, eight inches deeper over here. we've seen some vehicles come down this way and just turn around. they don't even want to do it. here's what caught my eye. we're heading further away from the bay. heading away from biscayne bay. this water goes all the way back to the next block. we're talking about now three blocks inland here from miami. the water goes all the way into this building. they have put down some sandbags down there. obviously, they seem to be inclined to think that perhaps there would be some flooding here and, in fact, that did turn out to be the case. there is so much water out here. it's kind of shocking at this point based on what we thought might happen with storm surge. we thought, hey, this will go out with the tide at some point. here's the bad news, brian. we have high tide again at 12:39 a.m. so any water that's here, it's
going to have a tough time making its way back out to the bay. looks like we have some first responders now. miami-dade fire, rescue here trying to make their way down brickle avenue. these are the kind of vehicles you need because, guess what. if it's not high off the ground, if it doesn't have a higher clearance, you're not going to make it. another suburban making its way down here. it's much deeper about a block down from here. we've seen some vehicles make their way down there. we saw a tow truck. it went up to the lights, over the bumper. unbelievable. so there is quite a bit of water down here. i think it's come to a surprise to many people who live here in the brickle avenue area. they did not think it would be quite this bad. >> somebody was on i-75 yesterday and they captured video that was put out on social media last night much the los angeles county swift water
rescue unit. when you see first responders who have driven across this country on go where they thought the need would be the worst, i hope there is a limited number of occasions where they are required. i know the coast guard is going to have to go to work tonight and tomorrow, but what you said about high tide, it really gets your attention. especially if levels have just been slowly but precipitously rising in just the time you've been down there. >> not to mention that but just about ten minutes or so ago, we had more rain. we had another band come through. frankly, the last thing this area needs is more rain. on a good day, when there's a regular rain storm in miami, sometimes you have puddling and a little bit of minor street flooding in this area. you just don't need to add to that what's already a serious situation with this storm surge here. >> maya rodriguez in miami. we'll be coming become to you
and keeping an eye on that as the water continues to pile up. another break for us. when we come back, we'll continue to update conditions around the state. we'll check in with al roker, among others, as our live coverage continues. >> i've moved to a difference position where i can put the wind at my back. it's still very hard to hear you. the wind gusts are extremely strong. as bill karins said, we're really feeling the eye wall here. >> this is downtown miami. this is the brickell section of miami. brickell is right up meehere. we're on southeast 12th. this is what happens when you have a hurricane. >> we are being slammed right now. debris around this area. we're trying to stay close to our hotel.
we are back. we're continuing to cover the northern progress of hurricane irma. and we're joined by the town manager of long boat key, florida, who happens to be calling from the sarasota emergency center because of evacuations in long boat key. david bullock, i assume you can hear us and you're on the line. tell us, last you knew, what the circumstances and the situation was in long boat key. >> i can hear you just fine. long boat key was evacuated yesterday. we pretty much got almost everyone out, but we got everyone who wanted to go. there's a few hold outs. not very many. we believe most people are in a secure location. the shelters here in sarasota
and manatee county have a lot of people in them. thousands and thousands of people. we expect the winds are kicking up strong as the storm is approaching, it's going to pass to our east. that will cause some amount of storm surge. we don't know how much yet and that's a big concern for barrier island like long boat key because we're basically a strip of sand that stands between the mainland and the gulf of mexico. so right now wind and surge is the biggest concern. our electricity, some is on, some is off. it's hard to predict what it will be like when it's all over. >> for folks who don't know long boat key, which is one of the prettiest stretches on the gulf, what's your highest elevation on a good day? >> maybe eight feet. >> yeah. and tonight you think the
highest winds have yet to arrive? >> looking at the progress of the storm, its location, we're expecting them within the next few hours. the storm will pass us slightly to our east. and then we'll start to see the real -- the significant storm surge to whatever level it is. it's largely a function of wind speed at this point. we also have our high tide at 4:00 in the morning. so it's kind of several things coming together to, you know, potentially give us a storm surge that will be problematic. >> yeah, and, of course, you just won't know until you know. here you are in another town's emergency operation center being kind enough to call in to us. we will add longboat key to the list of places we will be concerned about and sending good thoughts and positive thoughts overnight. and hopefully things will end up
better than worst fears. we'll put it that way. david bullock, town manager of longboat key. good luck. be strong during this long night. bill karins is here with us at the desk. >> happy to hear him say, he made a good point. the next high tide cycle is around 4:00 in the morning. and the winds will still be coming from the gulf towards the shore. so now we're heading towards the low tide. high tide around 4:00 this afternoon. 3:00 to 4:00 ish. another couple 12 hours, another six hours is about the low tide coming 10:00, 11:00 and the next high tide cycle, where we're hoping the storm is even weaker. it's still a huge field. i tend to do things by impact by minor, moderate, major, historic, catastrophic. the storm surge probability, possibility of 10 to 15 feet went into the catastrophic. that's like houses washed away. now that those totals have not been realized, and it's down --
miami was four feet of storm surge. we know in the naples area around 5 to 6 feet. marco island similar. i would put that in the moderate. i don't even know if i'd put that in the major. moderate damage. some houses with water in them. most of that damage will probably be reparable. obviously, huge inconveniences and property lost inside the houses that got water in them but not catastrophic. at this point, i haven't really seen what i would consider either major storm surge damage, with the exception of the keys. we saw pictures of the property just washed in the middle of the road and just dropped wherever the water receded. the keys got major to possible catastrophic storm surge but not really anywhere else. >> we've been given another and rare opportunity to talk to ed rappapo rappaport, acting director of the national hurricane center. you can be very helpful here. we just talked to the town manager of longboat key and they are really fearing the storm
surge that you have drilled home every time we've spoken. a 4:00 a.m. high tide and it's not the first mayor or town manager on the upper gulf communities that has expressed great fear over that storm surge tonight. do you have any good news for them? >> the weakening we've seen over the last 12 to 18 hours, certainly helpful. but we still think we'll have some storm surge there. supposed to be the conversation you had just a moment ago. the surge isn't quite as high as it could have been partly because of how the storm approached the angle to the coast. also haven't seen, i'm not aware of what's gone on at marco island which is where the strongest winds, the northeastern eye wall would have gone. so it's still possible we have some high surge there. plus also wave action on top. it's more than just the rise of the water. the beach front areas are going to be susceptible to the waves because they're right along the storm surge that goes inland. >> you were predicting just
about inundation for some place in the keys. we lost the ability to get readings out of the national weather service key west station, though that doesn't indicate any structural damage at the national weather service. >> right. key west was on the western side, which is the relatively weak side. we're still looking to see what happened at big pine key which would have been on the east side and that area where they would have the strongest winds and highest surge. there has been some significant damage to the overseas highway between the mainland and the keys. at least one place, maybe twice or two places, but i don't know any details yet. >> go ahead. bill karins is here. >> this is bill karins. i just saw a prediction for the storm tidal gauge in charleston, south carolina. that was as bad as matthew last
year. that really caught me off guard. that would be for monday afternoon. can you speak at all about the people in coastal georgia, in south carolina, with what kind of surge they can still see from this? >> we're still talking about several feet plus there because of the very large size of the storm. matthew is large, too, but for the most part, they were on the other side of the storm. on the west side of the storm as matthew veered off and away. this is a case we'll have the onshore flow coming with the hurricane, tropical storm force winds but accompanying the hurricane farther to the north. >> ed, what about southern pine country in georgia. georgia is going to get a heck of a lot of weather out of this system. >> they certainly are going to get a lot of the rain we've been seeing in florida with observations already over 15 inches and possibly getting to 20, 25 inches in some places. they'll be near to the right and center. all that rain we were looking at
just a minute ago, here's the center now. huge area of rain still to the north and mainly to the east. coming around to the west as well. everywhere the center goes, it's still going to have that possibility of the 8 to 15 inches, maybe higher amounts. >> did you ever think in your career you'd see the entire florida peninsula under a hurricane warning on the same day? >> not really that surprised. we've had big hurricanes in the past in florida. just not recently. talked about one in 1926 which was huge. hurricane force winds up the east coast and across to the west coast in some areas. so not only warnings there but had the hurricane force winds spanning the entire peninsula. >> ed rappaport, thanks for your time and your patience talking us through what is still a changing situation. we are going to continue our coverage of this sprawling storm as we go on through the night. another break for us. we'll be back with more right after this.
a little bit after half past -- >> and they actually had these fo forklifts installed to avoid this from happening. conditions are worsening by the minute. >> earlier today, earlier today in miami beach. 9:32, coming up on 9:33 eastern time. i want to read you something that was just handed me. this gets your attention. this is associated press.
the county administrator in the florida keys says crews will begin house to house searches monday morning looking for people who need help in assessing damage from hurricane irma. monroe county administrator says relief will arrive on a c-130 military plane monday morning at the key west international airport. now that also assumes they can clear that runway and guarantee it's free of obstructions. once it's light out they'll check on survivors. they fear they will find fatalities. and the county supervisor says they are prepared for the worst. we are covering a statewide emergency from the southern tip to the north. and a moving story. a changing plot line. let's go up to the northern end of the storm zone. katie beck has been dutyfully standing by to talk to us in orlando. when you say orlando, this is where the world goes on
vacation. you think universal studios n disney and epcot and seaworld and legoland and all the attractions there. a big physical plant worry with all that's around you. what are the conditions like? >> well, brian, i think it's fair to say irma has now landed in orlando. as you said, disney world, the main attraction was completely vacant today. it was a ghostland. it's a very rare day in orlando. and every theme park is empty and every hotel is packed. and that's with evacuees, people coming from south florida seeking refuge here but that refuge right now is sort of in peril. these winds gusting at 75 miles an hour. that's sustained winds here in orlando. orlando not a coastal area. not used to seeing this type of wind. another concern is pretty much all of central florida is under threat of tornado. either a watch or a warning. they have been for most of today and that's really what these
folks are going to be facing in the coming hours is that possible tornado. you hear that whistling wind? you can -- wow. yeah, it is absolutely powerful the wind right now and the rain coming down at a very heavy pace. we've not seen weather like this all day in orlando. for now you can hardly stand on your own two feet. >> we hadn't heard that whistle. sometimes during the height of the storm today, just because of where people were, but that is a calling card of really high winds. these are some of the toughest gusts we've seen since this afternoon. seems to be taking it right on the chin. >> we were in an area today where basically a tornado touched down. 19 homes had their roofs torn off. this is going to be a significant and ongoing threat as irma continues to pass through orlando. the threat of tornadoes. the wind sweeping through here
is just -- it's basically got every tree bent in half. i'm kind of watching a fence line behind me because it's wobbling but fort notally we have a barrier wall protecting us. our light just fell over with that last gust. but definitely orlando is seeing the weather that the rest of the state has been seeing for the past 24 hours. >> go inside unless something so compelling takes you outside again. we'd rather have everybody safe and under wraps. thanks so much, katie beck, for that sporty report from orlando. and, bill, show us the cell she's in the middle of. >> she is in this right here. this is an outer band that extends from off the atlantic. over the space center. down the bee line 528 and heads into the orlando area. that's the band that she was in. this right in here. then she gets a break.
i put an x on the map where the disney complex is located. just to the north of there is seaworld and the universal studios. this center which we thought was going to be going over the top of tampa 24 hours ago is now almost heading for the disney complex in the orlando area. it looks like the highest winds. we still have a category 2 hurricane that's over land that's doing significant tree damage and some roof damage. you just watch the center of it. head into the north here and it looks like it's going to go in the general direction, almost right in between, but that puts the disney complex, the celebration area, universal studios and all of orlando in that right front dirty quadrant where they'll get higher wind gusts. the storm only moving at about 12 to 14 miles per hour to the north. that's still a significant distance there. i had one friend in the orlando
area that was telling me that it already feels worse than charlie and longer duration than when charlie came through about 12, 13 years ago. that's only those initial bands. gusts up to 80 in the orlando area. could see something similar to that. if you've ever been to the downtown orlando area or anywhere around this, there's a lot of old, big trees. and there will be a lot of significant problems with trees on houses and with power. if you haven't lost power yet, get prepared and you haven't been talking about this in a while. make sure you have all your flash lights, candles. in addition to that, make sure you have your water, too. that you don't know how long the situation is going to last in that area. >> it's never good news when we hear any community is in the path of this thing. it's harrowing given the real estate in orlando. again, no more or less valuable than the rest of the state but
so much of the tourism revenue that is the engine of florida comes through orlando. all those valuable theme parks and if your storm track is even anywhere close to correct, this wild storm still a 2. and think of this. the band you say is over orlando -- >> that's 83 miles away from the center. >> has just come over the atlantic, coming off fresh fuel on the atlantic ocean. one of the sprawling arms from a storm that came ashore the size of texas. >> i mean, the rain bands are still exiting south florida. now we're really starting to pick up. our crew there with thomas roberts that's located over here in the tampa area. this outer band is going to come through and probably knock power out. probably more additional flashes when he goes through that. and this area is fairly rural. where the center is located now. once we get to lakeland and
start to approach i-4, that's very highly densely populated areas up here that are -- they're going to be going through this almost until daybreak tomorrow. still have to watch out for tornadoes, too. we've had a couple tornado warnings with this band over here near the titusville area. we'll continue to monitor that, too. the wind story is going to last into tomorrow with those power outages spreading to georgia. this was a huge storm. even though the eye is starting to weaken, the wind field is so huge, it's going to take a long time for this to wind itself down and it only takes 50 to 70-mile-per-hour wind gusts to knock trees and power out. that will go over 24 more hours. >> talking about titusville. we're thinking about our friends along the space coast. a lot of whom thought they were perhaps going to be okay. i'm sure they're getting some sporty winds and rain off the water. >> they are getting the storm surge also. we saw that storm surge in
miami. what that did to four feet of water. wooefr still expecting two to four feet. the wind is coming off the water all night long. just because we're not having the 10 to 15-foot catastrophic storm surges, we're still going to have problems with a severe beach erosion, dune erosion. i'm sure we'll get some water going over the dunes in some areas into the streets. that's still going to happen on the east coast of florida. we'll continue to monitor that and get those pictures in. also pictures from the keys. the statement that you read a little while ago is, it's pretty dire when they says they're waiting 24 hours until after the eye to search for people that need help. >> that got our attention. >> bill karins, thanks. over to cal perry. what have you gathered? >> we're chasing images down from cuba. 48 hours ago when the storm hit cuba. and the images coming in are stark. we've got some still photos we'll put up for you now and i'll walk you through this. the storm hit on late friday.
the northern keys of cuba. these were 125-mile-an-hour sustained winds. this was the first category 5 storm to hit cuba since 1932. a lot of the area that was hit are these one-story buildings. you can imagine the damage that was taken there. the flooding then went into havana. some video from havana. this storm surge came in about five blocks. it came into the u.s. embassy. it surrounded that entire area. and it's waist deep water at the very least for five blocks into the city of havana. here's what i don't like. we haven't heard specifics out of cuba. we haven't heard a death toll or anything from the florida keys. marco island. we haven't heard cape coral. we're not seeing those images. so we have this lag time here, and while it's 2017 and the technology is instantaneous and we want it right away, the storm was incredibly powerful. and, bill, it probably weakened.
we should be looking at cuba and be a little thankful, right? >> in a weird sort of way. the forecast for this to be a cat 5 when it hit florida was assuming it didn't go into cuba. and instead it went into cuba for 12 to 24 hours. so the damage, you know, as extreme as it's going to be in florida, could have been a lot worse. and at the expense of what you're seeing. >> this video is incredible. this is the first time we've been able to concentrate on the high water in havana. that shot is unbelievable. because that lighthouse is -- >> look at the guy in the water. >> there's a shot coming up. i've been to havana enough to recognize some of these scenes and some of these streets. there's one shot coming up that is a vehicle that we know has arrived in havana after the more recent, shall we call it, normalization between the united states and cuba. and that is the unmistakable
shot of a white ford econoline van there. you didn't see those before the recent diplomatic warming, the thaw between the two nations. >> i'll just yauadd, the bridge that go out there, they are out. they're having trouble getting tos the islands. getting there, finding out the damage. >> we also received a lot of questions about the turks and caicos island chain, about which there's been so little. >> right. the entire caribbean. and we're hearing these stories out of the u.s. virgin islands as well. there's an evacuation going on right now with the u.s. air force trying to get people up and out of that island. turks and caicos got hit very hard. and one of the other things we were adding to this, jose is on the way. and people don't have power and don't have access to these broadcasts so it's word of mouth and trying to get people out of these islands before the next
hurricane comes and basically picks up what is now debris and redistributes it. >> cal perry, thanks. stay on it, please. and a lot of what we've learned about these communities has been through the mayors or city managers who have been kind enough and generous enough to join us over the phone. we have another with us. mayor george credikos. >> we're very blessed here so far as you all were saying earlier. the path of the storm is going to come right through tampa bay. tampa-st. petersburg, clearwater. it has shifted to the east and we feel sorry for our friends and neighbors in orlando, but it makes it a whole lot easier for us. we evacuated our beach communities all along pinellas county yesterday and friday. and they are deserted so we have
closed the beach off now. we have people in our evacuation shelters. we're just standing by for the storm to pass through. we're confident. we were looking at a category 4 or category 5 storm. there's a substantial difference between what we were thinking we were going to get and what we're going to -- what's going to happen to us. so we feel blessed even though we know we're going to get some damage. >> we were surprised and had a lump in our throats over marco island and naples earlier today. for folks not familiar, especially with the gulf shoreline in florida, you are on the outer edge, the western edge of tampa bay, the greater tampa bay. what have you been told about timing. when can you relax about the storm surge and assume if it
hasn't come yet, it's not coming? >> we're not going to be able to relax until some time tomorrow afternoon, probably at the earliest. our tampa bay has -- it was -- some photos on the local media of manatees that have gotten stranded because the storm has emptied the bay. the potential of all that water coming back into the bay is dangerous. and we're just holding our breath that the surge will not be as great now because the track of the storm has moved further to the east. >> you ever think you'd see a day when people were walking their dogs across tampa bay? >> brian, i am a native of pinellas county and florida. this storm had me really scared. we were all saying our prayers,
and, like i say, i feel bad for the others, but we feel relieved that we think that we're going to -- 180-mile storm like was hitting the caribbean earlier compared to 100-mile storm, it's a big difference. >> yeah, well, we'll put clearwater on our list of communities we concerned about, and we're hoping for the very best. mayor, thank you for joining us. >> can i just take one more second because you all haven't mentioned this yrket, or i havet heard it yet. a shoutout to our first responders and our families of the first responders because they are on call now, and their families are just standing by. and i know that all of us appreciate what they are doing. and we appreciate what the media is doing trying to get the word out to evacuate to heed our governor, heed our senators and following these rules so that we can stay safe. >> hear, hear. thank you very much, mayor. because whether they are career
or volunteer, it's not just the first responders who, in most cases, are spending yet another night in their fire or first aid station. as the mayor points out, not unlike the military. it's their families -- >> thank you very much. >> it's their families at home who are in on the sacrifice because during an emergency, they don't have their father or mother, son or daughter at home because they have signed up to be first responders. and they will make the difference throughout the state of florida. control room, give me the next location. ah, we're going back to chris hayes in naples, florida. chris was part of our initial coverage when it was a violent afternoon down there, chris. tell us how conditions have changed. and i imagine you're getting wind from a whole different direction. >> we are. and first i should say, the
power is out. we're running off battery power. you may see power blinking on and off as we jerryrig together the circuitry. the wind is now attacking us this way. the duration of the storm is something. but the best news out of naples so far is just that far is that surge is looking like it is not going to approach 10 or 15 feet which would have produced a tremendous amount of damage. a more manageable range for naples. the wind is still out, but earlier, about 30 minutes ago, i saw cars driving. i imagine those are police officers starting to make patrols. i think overnight and in the early morning you'll start to see folks come out here and begin to assess. right now we still have a pretty good gusty wind coming right off the water. you don't want to be out in this at all, but you can feel the worst is passed. >> chris, we did hear that the
police chief has cleared police officers to conduct a kind of triage on the street and see where the need is the most urgent. we can't believe the story that the storm surge, which was one of our great fears today is not going to materialize on the high end. i mean, everybody has all the water they can handle. but boy, let's hope that holds all night, huh? >> yeah, that will just make an enormous difference. and one of the things to think about is that that height number equals distance from the shore. so when you're adding feet, you're adding hundreds, thousands of yards that that water is going to push out into. so entire blocks of properties are going to either take water or not take water depending on how high that surge comes up. and so the lower it is, the better it is for everyone. if this storm can track and miss tampa, we may end up with something far short of the worst fears.
>> chris hayes in naples. nights in a hurricane are no fun, whether the hurricane has kind of passed through there hours earlier or not. nights are no fun. and the people with battery operated headlamps usually rule the roost, as do batteries and generators. i want to read just this about power. florida power and light says 3.2 million of its 5 million customers are without power. that's about 65%. this is a state of about 20 million people. and remember, when we say customers, the number of people is far higher. customers is a power hookup and can mean families of multiples. al roquer er roker is standing in tampa, florida. al, we've been watching you all day as well. tampa is one of the places this storm has been aiming at all day. and i can see in the picture of you, al, you're getting all the
storm you can handle right now. >> yeah, we are, brian. but i'll tell you, what we're hoping as chris hayes was talking, you've been talking, we're hoping that as this thing makes its way north right now, 105-mile-per-hour winds, category 2 storm. but it hopefully is going to start to break down a little bit. the storm surge. look, tampa has not seen a direct hit on it with the hurricanes since 1921. and with any luck, this thing is going to go to our east. and with a little less ferocity that was originally forecast. and believe me, we're happy about that. because tampa is a city that is very vulnerable to storm surge. and we do not want to see anywhere near what they were forecasting. right now i think if we're lucky, we end up with maybe 4 to 6 feet of storm surge. and i think things could -- this town could handle that right now. but it's still to our south.
we're still looking at passage here some time around midnight to maybe 1:00 a.m. so we still have some ways to go before we end up seeing irma make its way past us. and that will be good news. and we wouldn't see that storm surge until it gets either parallel to us or to our north, brian. >> al, as one of the best known faces in the weather business across the country, i'm curious to get your -- i guess there is no better word for it, your review of the storm so far. its performance versus predictions and how you think the state of florida did in launching the largest mass evacuation in its history? >> well, i think the state itself, i think by all accounts did what they were supposed to do. both on a state level and on a city local level. i think they got the word out. i think what maybe folks did,
once the forecast went from being maybe focussed to the east side to the west side of the state, i think folks may have breathed a sigh of relief and said oh, okay, well, not so bad. but what we were trying to tell people is don't focus on the track. look at the cone. if you're within that cone of uncertainty, you are vulnerable. and i think maybe folks on the west side of the state didn't focus -- didn't listen to that as well as maybe they should have. and all of the sudden when it shifted back to the west, folks said oh, my gosh, we better start looking at getting to some sort of shelter. and then all of the sudden you had people lined up, as we saw here at the granger center. they were lined up in the thousands, trying to get in. but i think from a government standpoint, i think the folks from the state level, from the governor's office to the mayor's offices up and down the coast, i
think they got the word out and were trying to get people into their respective shelters, or to try to get them to move out and head to higher ground. >> al, i'll let you go after this. a little bit of a concern tonight to your northeast is that orlando and given the valuable real estate there in just how much of the tourism business that florida needs and wants flows through that city. orlando is going to get more storm that they had banked on. >> well, look, we kept telling -- not to say -- to beat a drum here, but we kept saying this system, and i know you talked about it too, this system was so big that it was going to affect the entire state. that the state, about 150 miles wide. this system over 400 miles wide, that it was going to have an effect. and that tornadoes were going to be a factor. that there was a lot going on
here. and in that aspect, i think it's lived up to it. the idea that maybe we weren't going to see the 15 feet of storm surge in naples. that's good news. i would rather be overprepared and have people make their way to shelters than to say not prepare people and then the worst happens. i think this has played out, i think pretty well. and when you look at it, there has been a tremendous amount of damage, especially down in the keys in southeastern florida, miami, broward counties. i think it's lived up to what we said it would do. >> al, it's bill here. i know you were in miami area and then you traveled all the way across the state. i'm sure you talked to a lot of people on your journey. what were they thinking going into this storm? i'm sure they were seeking to you for advice. >> well, i think everybody was asking, do you think this thing
is going to live up to it? and should we, you know, pay attention to this? and i said yeah. gosh, i mean, bill, look, you were doing as much forecasting, more probably than i was. you know, you're looking at the spaghetti strands in the beginning. it covered the entire state from the gulf to the east side. and then they started to kind of constrict. but they still were -- the spaghetti strands were still covering the entire state. and we kept saying you got to look at this. if you're within that cone of uncertainty, you've got to pay attention. you've got to be vigilant. this is pretty much where it is focused on. and that's where we've seen damage from the eastern coast to the western coast to the central parts of the state. this was what was forecast and this is what's happened. >> you're right. just look at what happened since this morning when we woke up
when we thought it would break and go straight up the coast whom. would have thought that the winds in orlando would be worse than the winds in tampa? >> that's right. look, the best we can do is give you the probabilities. and we show you the cone of uncertainty and that line. but i think we keep trying to tell people don't focus on the exact path. don't focus on those spinning symbols with the numbers in them. look at this cone of uncertainty. and you're always best served with that and its borne itself out. >> al, i'm your witness. i heard you say that all week long, especially in the days and hours leading up to this. do us a favor. thank your crew for standing throughout in this weather with you. we appreciate it. thank you for joining us
tonight. we appreciate it. al roquer from the rainy, windy streets of tampa. >> al has been doing this a long time. he has a very good feel. he has been right in forecasts. he has been wrong in forecasts. he has a really good feel for not getting too excited when the line was over miami, when the lines shifted to tampa. the focus on that cone, the probability cone instead of the red line on the maps. some meteorologists argue you shouldn't put the red line on the maps. you can't help but to be drawn and stare right at that red line. the red line is over me. that's horrible. the hurricane center gives us the center points. maybe we shouldn't. maybe we should. >> to know it and not broadcast it, we would feel strange doing that tire, we would. now we're at the top of the hour. we're here back up at 10:00. and i want to kind of just walk you through here and just give you a view. i just put this imagery up. weald