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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  September 10, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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welcome back. i'm cynthia mcfadden with continuing live coverage as hurricane irma pounds the entire state of florida. the storm is still a category 2 hurricane, even ten hours after making landfall. the national hurricane center says the eye of the storm is nearing lakeland, east of tampa, as it continues its trek north. the word from city and state officials from those hunkered down at this hour, stay put. the situation is still highly fluid. at least report, the storm still had sustained winds of 100 miles per hour, which has knocked out power for well more than 3 million customers and there is flooding from coast to coast as heavy rains and storm surge push water into florida cities. >> the river right now is going that way toward the gulf. what it should be doing is going in the opposite direct. >> we're getting serious winds. i want to show you this enormous
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tree that has just been uproot in the past couple of hours. >> and we've just gotten this video taken by a drone in naples, florida. those are flooded canals and streets and houses. that part of southwest florida got as much as 15 inches of rain. can you see flooding and damage left behind by hurricane irma. we have our team of reporters covering this storm from every angle. we begin with thomas roberts in tampa, florida. we just got a look at the front page of the "tampa bay times," headline is "slammed." slammed indeed. >> reporter: we can tell. millions without power. when you consider for this area of southwest florida, roughly about 2.7 million people live in this area and when you think about that and the earlier numbers we had of over 1.3 million reported outaged, just
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imagine how many more people are going to be able to telegraph and report exactly what those numbers are by tomorrow. we expect that to go up dramatically. as you mentioned about the eye, we have noticed it's gotten a lot calmer since the last time we had an opportunity to speak with you. so, the eye is just east of us here in the tampa/st. pete area. we remain here on the tampa riverwalk. a lot of people might be familiar with this iconic part of tampa itself, along the hillsborough river. so, we're in hillsborough county. hillsborough river right here. when we last spoke, we gave you kind of an indication of where the water was in terms of the surge because this has gotten sucked out as a part of tampa bay. weave slowly seen the water come back in and also -- hold on sec. one of the wind gusts. we've also seen the winds calm down a little more. maybe not for that moment specifically, cynthia.
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as you mentioned, we have these gusts up to 100 miles an hour. that would put this in tropical storm depression category. i mentioned before about the two cranes. we've the reporting out of ft. lauderdale of a crane situation that collapsed on top of the two in miami that collapsed. on the side of the area where we are, across from the riverwalk here, there's a construction area where there are two cranes side by side. we've been watching that. my field producer here just ran over to make sure we could check to give you a proper update and they're both okay. there's probably, minimal movement? was there minimal movement for the crane tops? they were pretty good. the "t" part of the top of the crane, cynthia, is what they leave open to actually move to be able to put up with these winds. they say they can sustain 145 miles per hour winds. we know in the cases of what we've seen, the visuals out of miami and what you're reporting out of ft. lauderdale, that
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might not be the case until we get specifics about the wind gusts that they sustained for those specific areas. what we know what we're supposed to do in the situation of the eye, things will calm down a little bit. but then after the eye moves through, they'll pick back up. since irma has been over land and the peninsula of florida for most of the night, that energy of what irma brought to the lower part of southwest florida is not going to be the exact energy that's received here. but the devastation and certainly the effects for people's houses, eat vak wags orders and the patience they'll need to display before they get back into their houses or get repair work they need done or even call emergency services for help, they're going to need a lot of that. we'll know more tomorrow certainly as we wait, when we see the sun come up. but for this area, we know that there have been thousands of people evacuated. also so many people from the east coast in the miami slash
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f /ft. lauderdale area that traveled have scattered around, trying to find the safest place to go. we were with a family addition a gentleman earlier today who was bagging sand himself to take home because he was going to ride out the storm. once he got home to his wife and kids, they decided to go to orlando. we know you've been speaking to our colleague there, they were bracing for irma over in orlando. there's not a lot of areas -- a lot of people in florida that haven't been impacted by this storm. we know southern states all the way up to delaware will feel the effects of irma. >> just across from where you are in clearwater beach, the national hurricane center said that a wind gusts of 96 miles an hour was just recorded. what you're saying of gusts up to 100 miles an hour in this vicinity are still happening
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even at this hour. >> reporter: the probability is high, yes. >> i want to ask you, we have had reports from miami-dade about 48 arrests for looting. have there been any reports in your area? >> reporter: so, i saw that same report, sign thecynthia, about taking place in the miami area about looting and arrests. for this area specifically in hillsborough and pinellas counties, they had curfews. in pinellas, which is clearwater and over in the area of st. petersburg, they had a curfew that went into effect at 5:00. here in hillsborough, they had curfews that went into effect at 6:00. now, earlier when we heard from sheriffs, they say they had no incidents to report of anybody that was breaking curfew or incidents they were responding to of a nature like we've been seeing early this morning and overnight out of miami. if i get new information on that, i'll bring it to you right
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away. >> i wish you would get somewhere warm and dry. we've got to get you a towel. you have been out there way too long, thomas roberts. >> reporter: from your mouth to god's ear, cynthia, i would love to get somewhere warm and dry, too. >> soon, soon thomas. joining us by phone is the mayor of venice, florida, on the western side of the state, about 75 miles west of tampa. thank you for joining us. what can you tell us? >> i can tell you the storm is not totally gone. inc. we're on the other side. we lost power last night at about, oh, 8:00 where i'm staying. probably more of your listeners probably know more of what's happening than we do because we're just hunkered down. >> we've been told the utilities department in venice announced they were going to shut off the water supply due to a water main break caused by the storm. do you know about that?
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>> that's correct. that was probably the last communication we had. and it's a big inconvenience, but in our shelter, plus -- i'm not staying at the shelter for the city. i left my spot for other residents, but where i'm staying we did collect enough water to continue to do things like flush toilets and the same holds true for the venice community center where we probably have well over 300 people. we have sufficient water, sufficient food and, above all, the building is in great shape. so, we'll make it through it. >> you know, this is probably a premature question because you haven't had an opportunity to assess the damage yet, but no power, no water for a great portion of venice. i'm wondering how long it's
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going to take for your town to get back to get back in business? >> well, you know, however long it takes. we're here to stay. we'll get the city back up in good shape. these are things that you hope never happen, but when they do, we have a resilient city. we have a wonderful population. we have great volunteers. we'll make it through it. >> the mayor of venice beach, florida, we thank you very much for being with us, john holic. with me now, nbc's mia rodriguez from the brickell section of downtown. what are you seeing and hearing? >> reporter: i'm tell you about the alarm you heard in my previous live shot. those are fire alarms from various parking garages. they've been going off since the storm went through. they haven't been able to get
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them shut off. the other thing we're seeing is water and how there isn't that much of it, especially on this street right now. when we spoke to you about 20 minutes ago, there was water covering pretty much most of this street up into the middle. now it's gone. when we got here hours ago, there was water clear from here all the way back to biscayne bay. that is no longer the case. you can easily drive down this road. what's left behind, unfortunately, all kinds of things are starting to show up. you have street signs that, frankly, a couple hours ago we couldn't even see these before. these are no stopping or standing parking signs here, obviously taken down by irma. a lot of muck also. as you would expect from seawater coming into downtown miami, tons of sand. all this will need to be cleaned out at some point. the good news is, despite the fact that high tide hit here at 12:39 in the morning, the water that was brought in, that 4 feet of storm surge that came in with hurricane irma, appears to be draining out, draining away from
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this area. make no mistake, those, there is still water here. mean, there's a bit of a bowl effect on brickell avenue. if you look down this way, tons of water remains in that particular intersection. the side streets that lead back to the bay, they appear to be draining away. eventually we expect the water here to do the same. >> thank you for that update. we hear the faint sound of police sirens in the background as well. joining us is justin grimes who lived through hurricane charley and now riding out the storm in his home in ft. mead, florida, east of tampa. what can you tell us? >> i can tell you it's loud outside. it goes from really quiet to all of a sudden it's like a freight train driving by your house. >> the windows still intact? >> pardon? >> you've lost power? >> we have, yeah. we lost power pretty early on this evening. we're some of the fortunate few that rigged ourselves up to have
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some backup power, but the official power is out, definitely, pretty much all over the city and i'm pretty sure all over the county it's getting to be that way. >> what can you tell us from inside about what's going on outside? >> i can only tell you what i can hear. we've had a few limbs falling down. it's pitch black, but someone is driving by and i can see limbs fallen down. the wind is howling pretty rough. that's about all i can tell you from inside in the dark. >> is it pretty scary? >> yeah, i mean, like you mentioned, we've -- my family lived through several hurricanes. we were here for andrew, also here for charley. it's something we're kind of used to. you never really get used to it, but, you know, you kind of know what to expect. yes, it is a scary thing but like i said, we're kind of used to it. >> you have kids there with you? >> we don't, no. i'm actually -- i'm here with my
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parents. everybody else is out of state so they're all safe, except for my sister in titusville. >> stay safe and thank you for calling in. we're thinking of you tonight. it be a long night, i'm sure snul coming, we'll go to the center of the storm when we come back. ah, dinner.
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throughout history, the one meal when we come together, break bread, share our day
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and connect as a family. [ bloop, clicking ] and connect, as a family. just, uh one second voice guy. [ bloop ] huh? hey? i paused it. bam, family time. so how is everyone? find your awesome with xfinity xfi and change the way you wifi. welcome back to our continuing coverage of hurricane irma. the eye of the storm is just east of tampa at this hour.
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standing by in tampa is nbc's sarah dallof as well as wtvj reporter jamie. sarah, what can you tell us where you are? it looks relatively dry. >> reporter: it's in a sheltered area so not 100% to say it's dry. although the rain has considerably lessened over the last half hour as well as the winds. for most people it's an anxiety-filled night in tampa as they wait to see what hurricane irma unleashes here on this area. we've been told to expect maximum winds as high as 85 miles an hour, maximum sustained winds, i should clarify, with some wind gusts in the triple digits. hundreds of thousands of people in the area are under mandatory evacuation orders. we're told about 28,000 people opted to ride this storm out in
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shelters so you can imagine their anxiety as they don't know right now the condition of their homes, their businesses, their livelihood. that storm surge remains a concern, although considerably less so than 24 hours ago when it was forecast to be about 8 to 10 feet. now we're told to expect about 2 to 4 feet here in tampa. a mandatory curfew is in effect to allow emergency personnel to get around and also to keep people safe. necessity say there are dangerous conditions with downed power lines, downed trees and it's best if folks stay off the road. >> speaking of downed power lines, any sense of how many people are without power in tampa at this point? >> reporter: we know across the state it's more than 4 million, but right now in tampa, as far as we can see, a lot of the power appears to be on in these apartment buildings and office
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buildings. we here at the hotel, knock on wood, have hung onto our power right now. i think -- i'm not an expert but obviously the fact that the winds haven't gusted to these extraordinary levels we've seen in other areas of the city yet, that has obviously helped us. >> thank you for your reporting throughout the day. stay safe and try to get dry. thank you. we'll go to jamie in tampa as well. you got the goggles on. tell us what you can tell us from your location at this point, jamie. >> reporter: hi, cynthia. we're on the south side of the hillsborough river. i want to show you this right here. this is a piece of a sign that the wind from irma ripped off. guess where it came from? all the way up there, the "s" from the sheraton hotel. the winds are so strong. when i face this way it's like pellets hitting my eyes so i put on goggles. i want to talk about the cranes
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we talked about at the top of the hour. earlier they were facing more in a northerly direction. they have now turned more to the west. it feels as though the wind is starting to shift. we possibly expect it to turn south. that is when, of course, that storm surge -- excuse me, i'm out of breath. that is when -- when it comes at you -- which it comes at you, i mean, it just knocks the wind out of you. >> it's hard work what you're doing there. >> reporter: basically, the storm surge should start to -- the moment they're waiting for is it should start to happen as we start to see a shift in the winds, we get that other band from hurricane irma. like we talked about earlier, there's a huge sense of relief we're not a direct hit. for so long they talked about tampa being a direct hit. we were staying in one of the hotels and people were worried. they brought their families -- there goes a piece of the sign.
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it keeps flipping up in the air because the wind is so strong here. it goes in and out, for a good while, 10 or 15 minutes, it was calm. there wasn't much wind or rain. if we have time, i can take you to the river and we can see if, perhaps, the hillsborough river is now coming from the gulf instead of going into the gulf. it shouldn't be doing that but because of this system we have the issue that's going to create the storm surge. >> how long have you been out there, jamie? how many hours have you been out there? >> reporter: well, we drove -- started in key west before all of this started happening and we were hoping to get a good vantage point from key west. we felt it wasn't safe to stay there so we drove up to homestead -- or florida city and then homestead.
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we were going to stay on the beach but when we found out it was going to be a make direct to tampa, we came here. that's much like the people trying to escape the wrath of irma from down south, came here thinking they would not get a hit. then they thought they were going to get hit. now they're not. so, we're at the hillsborough river. it's still going in the opposite direction. it's supposed to come -- it's supposed to not go into the gulf. the gulf is supposed to push the water over here. at some point it's going to reverse itself. that is when the flooding is going to happen. manny, if you can see across the river over there, you know, there's actually a little bank. the water is usually up to that bank. but because of the system and because the water is being pushed out, that's not happening at the moment. it certainly is going to shift at some point. that's when the flooding will become a concern. >> thank you so much. i hope you're going to get some sleep. i hope this is the end of the day for you, pretty soon. thank you so much for that
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report and for all day your incredible work. perfect time to bring in nbc meteorologist, steve. help me understand -- start with the river going the wrong way. >> it's confusing. now in miami, they're having the same situation that tampa had earlier today where the wind is blowing out the water, blowing out the tide. it's because the circulation is a pinwheel. the position of it was south of tampa today, which meant the wind came from the land towards the water. now that that circulation is to the north, that land breeze is now in miami. they're getting the same thing here. we'll break it down for you here. i'll show it to you on a map. maybe a little easier to understand. it's a little confusing situation to see tides actually blow out, but it does happen occasionally during tropical systems. that's what we have for you, indeed, this evening. in miami where they're getting the high tide tonight, ironically the water is being blown back out. that's because the circulation
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center is right about here. that was a terrible drawing. let's try that one more time. it's right there. with that, the wind now is coming back around. you saw in jamie's live shot, the wind is just starting to make that turn. so, it will continue to do so, but it's a weaker storm than earlier today. the concern is this comes up as a 3 or a 4. then you have those type of winds blowing in the water. it's still 100-mile-per-hour storm, still doing damage but not the intensity we were expecting because of that earlier landfall. another thing i'm concerned about is this next band of rain pivoting up here. i'm seeing flood warnings pepper add long the florida coastline. look out for river flooding, the streams, the canals will be overflowing their banks. orlando, you've had a very rough night. if we continue to show you the live shots out of orlando. it's just awful. the winds with howling. i know people in the orlando area that are sleeping in their
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closets tonight. it's a very scary night as the northern eye wall is starting to come over you. you have an hour to two more hours of very strong wind. and then it's going to relent a little bit and then comes backing out of the south and west. you have a couple more hours in orlando. out of the south, this is where the wind is coming off the water. again, the water could still be piling up here on the northern part of the east coast of florida. we have to break florida down into sectors of where this coastal flooding is occurring. 51-mile-per-hour wind gusts at tampa. 59 where thomas is out there at clearwater. 64 in st. petersburg. look, the wind is coming in out of the north now. soon enough, it will be coming in out of the west, which means that gulf water will be coming onshore with about a 2 to 4 foot storm surge. latest stats from hurricane center have winds at 100 miles an hour. we'll get a new fix at 2:00 a.m. this morning on the intensity. i would expect that it's down just a little bit here.
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but still, the storm blossomed in size. it went from having about 30 or 40 miles of a radius with hurricane-force winds to 80 miles. and the tropical storm force winds extend out 40 on miles. that just gives you perspective. the next people in line for this storm are georgia up through areas of northern florida into alabama and, again, the georgia/south carolina coastline where that water keeps piling on. remember, it's pouring rain, too. again, like what you saw in matthew -- remember, we had about 22 people killed in matthew, even though the storm didn't make landfall. that's the kind of situation we're dealing with. and then this thing will rain itself out and, good-bye. we want to get rid of this thing as soon as possible. a rough night, north central florida with rough winds, cynthia. >> steve, people at home could be forgiven for saying, hold, it we just haven't been able to track this thing at all.
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we thought it was coming up the east coast, then it goes up the west coast, then comes into the middle. is it the models that are broken or is there something we just didn't know about this storm? >> so these storms, when they become as big as what irma became, are their own engines, if you will. there's a lot of little intricacies that play into is it. for instance, on a global scale, if you think about it, 20 to 30 miles is not that big. 20 to 30 miles with the track is everything. that's the same thing we saw in matthew. we had the models bringing the center onshore, calling for catastrophic damage. that eye wall stayed 15 miles off the coastline and was the difference between -- yes, we had flooding and some damage. that would have been catastrophic damage. ironing out those details, you know, is a complicated thing. we have to error on the side of caution. a lot of our models, the reliable ones had this thing staying over warm water and coming into tampa as a cat 3 or
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cat 4. i think the game-changer with irma was the interaction with cuba. it weakened it a little bit. that was not in the forecast. and then the shear that took out the southern part of the storm. that saved us from an even worse situation. those 10 to 15 foot storm surges that were predicted, thankfully, did not happen. we had a lot of damage, a lot of clean-up but it could have been way worse. >> thank you for breaking it down for us. coming up, we'll head back to miami where there are reports of arrest tonight for looting and burglaries. stay tuned.
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we're getting serious winds. i wanted to show you this enormous tree that's been uprooted in the past couple of hours. >> the wind got so strong, the gusts, that it pulled this sign off that pole right there. it just came flying off the bolts that used to keep it together. >> our reporters earlier in the field in ft. lauderdale. hurricane irma continues to traverse florida on its way to the northern region of the state. the storm remains a category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 100 miles an hour. and gusts of up to 120 miles an hour.
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projections for storm surges have been reduced in some cities, like st. petersburg, which is in tampa bay, is now expected to see surging of 2 to 4 feet. and according to florida power and light which offers energy services to millions of floridans, more than 3.5 million homes have been left without power in the state. probably many mother than that. with me now in miami-dade county is msnbc's phillip mena. now are the conditions there at this point? >> reporter: right now we're in an intersection where police have blocked off a roadway. they're checking to make sure only residents get through there. they had problems with looting yesterday evening. miami-dade police made at least 29 arrests for looting. but 26 of those arrests were at one particular location, a walmart there. so, that's something they're looking out for. another thing police are out here doing, trying to identify road hazards, things like this. huge trees, downed power lines, anything blocking the road
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because come 5:00 a.m., public works will come and start trying to clear the space because the curfew that was implemented will be lifted at 7:00 a.m. come daybreak, basically. they'll be driving around, people will want to see the damage themselves to see what happened last night. what they want to avoid are things like this, road hazards, big puddles. there could be flooding still on the streets that could present more problems for police and divert those resources that way. they're trying to prevent that from happening so police out here all night doing those. again, we have police -- this is actually aventura police, not miami-dade police, but we've seen miami-dade out here patrolling. they have a big job ahead of them not only trying to prevent looting but keep the roads clear come daybreak. >> thank you for your update tonight. 48 arrests earlier this evening reported by the police down there in miami-dade. obviously, disappointing in a
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circumstance like this when people take advantage. good to see police are out there. thank you for that report. joining us by phone is roberto baltidano, a spokesman for the american red cross in miami. thank you for joining us this evening. what can you tell us? is the red cross out and working? >> we're working around the clock right alongside our government and community partners to provide that safe refuge to thousands of people. as a matter of fact, over the weekend we had 132,000 sought refuge at 510 government and red cross centers across six states. so, this has been quite an operation while at the same time we're responding to the gulf and over to puerto rico and virgin islands. >> largest evacuation in american history. >> indeed. it has been the largest response for the red cross, indeed. we're so grateful to have the support of the american people.
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of course, the power of those volunteers. >> so, what is the greatest need at this point? >> it is always helped by the american people, so people can actually text the word irma, the name of the storm, to 9099 and volunteers can visit redcross.org. we always need the support of the american public. >> how many volunteers do you have working in florida at this point, can you tell us? >> yes, of course. we had 560 on the ground and just about 400 on the way. at this point, close to 1,000 voss dedicated to this operation. while, again, we're responding to the gulf and we have a team actually from south florida in st. kitts and puerto rico providing support as well. >> we haven't spoken much in the last couple of hours about what happened in the caribbean prior to getting to florida. we saw the first pictures out of cuba where there appeared to be massive flooding. we know there was a tremendous -- barbuda
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essentially gone. can you tell us anything from your colleagues in those areas? >> yes. we're providing support to puerto rico. we have teams on the ground providing that immediate need that those countries need. we're doing it in coordination with the international federation of the american red cross. we had prepositioned equipment and people. we had a warehouse in dominican and warehouses in panama now providing those much needed elements the population in those areas are in need of. >> well, thank you very much for being with us this evening and filling us in on the work of the american red cross. of course, still working in texas in the wake of that hurricane and now raising funds and awareness and seeking volunteers and supported for irma. thank you for joining us tonight, sir. thank you. >> thank you, ma'am. there is a long night ahead for people riding out the storm. many of them in the dark.
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we'll have more about their stories straight ahead.
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welcome back to all of you night owls. we've been covering hurricane irma on the air and the ground all weekend long. here's some of our coverage of this very dangerous storm. >> reporter: yeah, wow. have i to say, guys, this is the strongest. in fact, i'm just going to take a knee for a second because it's kind of exhausting to stand there for a little bit. >> reporter: this is the rain -- wow, that's hitting me. >> wow. okay, why don't you get under the overhang there. >> reporter: this came off one of the palm trees to the east of me. and i'm not going to let go of it because it could actually fly around. probably weighs 25, 30 pounds.
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>> reporter: the angle of approach can make all the difference. a storm that's more parallel -- oh! that hurt. >> reporter: i'm just watching pieces of trees picked up off the ground and fly around into the air. i'm going to go inside now. >> that sounds like a really good idea. >> reporter: i have never seen these big palm trees, which are new, and they actually had reinforcements installed to avoid this from happening. they just completely gave way because conditions are worsening by the minute. >> reporter: right now it's full-force hurricane, no question about it. and the beating that marco island, naples, everglades city, ft. myers are going to take is going to be something you're not ever going to forget. >> i'm absolutely in awe at the wrath and the fury that mother
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nature has brought upon naples, florida. >> a group of very, very brave reporters. joining us is breaking news reporter j.d.gallop in melbourne, on the east coast. thank you for being with us. you're at the airport with first responders, as i understand it. is that correct? >> yes. >> tell us what's going on out there. >> right now i can tell you that we're getting a lot of wind now. from what i've heard from the forecasters, this is going to be going on all through the night as irma passes through central florida. right now most of the first responders are taking rest. most people are already in bed and we're trying to see what the day will bring. >> have you lost power? >> we are on a generator here. this is a first-class airport, orlando-melbourne international airport. there were a couple times the
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power went out but it has been restored here. >> i'm assuming the airport is closed to arriving and departing flights at this point. >> absolutely, absolutely. that decision was made earlier before the storm came in. this is one of the places where first responders from the melbourne area along with firefighters come n they hunker down, they can get something to eat here before they get out on the road to go out and help folks. so, this is -- >> j.d., this has been a very unpredictable storm. for many people that has brought enormous stress. you are one of them. tell us where you sent your wife to try to avoid being caught in this storm. >> we've been here for 21 years. our anniversary was a couple weeks ago. this time around we said, look, we don't want you here to go through this.
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i want you to take our dogs and, you know, go to orlando. really nice resort. pretty safe. it's in the central part of the state. well now this evening irma apparently did a wobble and is actually going up the corridor as a category 2 hurricane. some newscasts have mentioned the very area where my wife is located in a hotel. >> as so many people did trying to flee where they thought the hurricane was going to hit, they ended up going to where the hurricane may well, indeed, hit. it has been a long day. it's going to be a long day tomorrow. we thank you very much for that briefing from the airport there. we hope you stay safe. we'll be looking more from you in the days and weeks to come. >> thank you, cynthia. so, we need some meteorological help. steve sosna, help me understand what's going on now. the storm has -- seems to be
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meandering, headed towards orlando? >> luckily not moving as slowly as harvey. harvey we could walk faster down the street than harvey was moving. this is moving at a good clip which will provide the widespread catastrophic flooding we saw during that storm. the problem with this storm is the winds are still strong. we still have storm surge issues along the coast. we'll walk you through that. and then we'll talk about jose. one thing at a time. it's one of those seasons where we're dealing -- >> thanks a lot. >> i know. i'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news. you'll hear about it this week and you may as well hear about it from me before you hear about it somewhere else. wind gusts with this storm that came in today were ferocious. naples, 142 miles per hour. 130-mile-per-hour observed winds at marco island. down into the keys we had wind guses over 100 miles an hour. the storm could have been worse. the reason why, because it was a 5 before it interacted with cuba. that weakening process helped us
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out a little bit, even though we've seen such widespread problems and devastation. we don't want to underplay that. it could have been even worse. 76-mile-per-hour wind gusts at orlando international airport. the wind will just not let up there. we've seen the live shots from the weather channel tonight. those trees are whipping in the wind, branches are snapping. it's a scary night in central florida. you have an hour or so more of the winds before that begins to relax. this is the koeshcore, the eye of tampa. winds are lighter. to the south you're not seeing as gusty winds that are up to the north there, that are up at 60 to 70 miles per hour. even in and around the tampa/st. petersburg area, winds are variable. some areas light, others gusting up to 63 miles an hour. that's the kind of night you have in store here, are the bumps and gusts of wind and then it quiets down. where is the heavy rain right now? it's still along the i-4
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corridor. so, this is a real rough night where the wind is just howling. you can hear it banging up against the glass here. we have that heavy rain extending into the beach communities of daytona beach, flagler beach, up towards jacksonville. as i talked to cynthia, the storm is moving, thankfully. it's moving up to the north. we won't have to worry about this storm stalling. i do think we'll have to worry about another round of storm surge here tonight, tomorrow morning and then the heavy rainfall threat. we'll finally wind things down bit middle of the week. jose, a hurricane out in the open atlantic for now. not posing an immediate threat but we have to watch it down the road. >> important to say, this hurricane was not as bad as predicted, but that does not mean there has not been devastation. >> right. people are exhausted from this storm. from the early predictions, evacuating, some people hunker down, seeing their house destroyed by wind or storm
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surge. even if it's not as bad, it's still bad when you go through that. >> thanks for that. stay with us. when we come back, we'll go out to find in the field the very latest information about the storm, where it's headed and what it is doing where it is. live-stream your favorite sport
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tv on every screen is awesome. the xfinity stream app. all your tv at home. the most on demand your entire dvr. top networks. and live sports on the go. included with xfinity tv. xfinity, the future of awesome. welcome back to our ongoing coverage of hurricane irma. i want to bring in the mayor of cape coral, florida, marney sawicki. thank you for being with us. are you worried? how worried are you about your tone? >> i feel -- actually, i'm feeling much better. right now i'm out in the city with an initial crew doing some initial assessments. overall what we were expecting and what we have, i'm very
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pleased. very pleased and relieved. >> tell me about the damage you've been able to see, the assessment. do you have power? what's going on? >> it's hit or miss on the power. actually, a lot more places have it than i thought would. there's mostly downed trees, obviously your downed branches. minor structural damage to soffits and pool cages. obviously, we have 122 square miles so i haven't been able to see all of it. and it's still night. there is flooding and the roads are -- that's where most of it is. the water is in the roads. >> i'm told cape coral has more canals than anyplace else in the world, is that true? >> it does. 400 miles of canal. 185 of that is saltwater. >> it's kind of a miracle if you are still standing after the
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passage of irma. thank you for calling in and letting us know. we hope that when the sun comes up and you can see what's going on, you will have discovered things are as good as you think they are right now. >> i'm hoping so. thank you. >> thank you, mayor. joining me now is former fema spokesperson daniel watson. good evening. how are you tonight? >> good evening. i'm good. how are you? >> relieved. is your assessment that this -- obviously, this was a better outcome than people had anticipated. what kind of assistance will be available from the disaster declaration? >> right. earlier today the governor of florida, governor scott, issued a disaster declaration for nine counties in florida. that was approved by the president. what that will allow is disaster assistance people can sign up for by going to
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disasterassistance.gov. the first priority here is still the response. people need to make sure they are safe. this is still a very dangerous situation across the state. so the response and the life safety measures are going to be the first priority. once people are safe, you can go on and register for assistance, which will allow for rental assistance if you don't have access to your property and other forms of assistance if people need it. >> thank you for being with us. we understand there's much more to talk about. we'll be calling on you in the days and weeks ahead. thank you for being with us tonight. >> thank you. well, that is it for me. i'm cynthia mcfadden. thank you for being with us through this coverage. we'll continue, of course, all night long. alex is up next after the break.
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a very good morning or late night to ail of you, i'm alex witt. hurricane irma still unleashing its fury on florida with heavy rain, wind and dangerous flooding. >> it's really picked up. those wind gusts. i'm not going to bother with that because -- >> because it's windy. >> was this squall line part of your forecast earlier tonight? >> oh, yes. we're just getting into this. >> this is the rain

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