tv Morning Joe MSNBC September 11, 2017 3:00am-6:00am PDT
and willie geist and chris jansing continue our coverage. >> the first direct hit since 921. it weakened to a category hurricane at 2:00 a.m. but still a huge and wide reaching storm. sustained winds at 75 miles an hour expected to drop to a tropical storm some time this morning. a trail of flooding, rain, high winds and storm surge in its wake. 5.5 million in florida without electricity. that's more than a quarter of residents in the fourth most populated state. more than 815,000 customers in miami-dade county according to florida power and light. >> i was talking to officials yesterday who were saying it could be a long time for some people. they'll have to rebuild entire power areas. on florida's west coast, you can see this drone footage, damage
in naples, 142-mile-an-hour wind gusts were reported and it is a dire situation in the caribbean. "new york times" being told all the food is gone now and people are fighting in the streets for what is left. miami-dade police reported 28 arrests from burglary and looting and curfew remains in effect until 7:00 a.m. >> our affiliate wtlv, south of jacksonville, alex, heavy rain band there is now. what does it feel like to be in the middle of it? >> reporter: good morning. right now, the rain sort of died down. we are dealing with those heavy winds. you can see this flashlight that has -- we can't even get to it because of all the floodwaters completely from the fort in st. augustine all the way up to u.s. 1, the only road that's open. right now we're in a curfew. you can see some of the damage.
this sign has been ripped off the building during all the wind. one thing they put up before they head to evacuate, stay safe. this is what the conditions look like in st. augustine, florida as we continue to experience those bands from hurricane irma. >> alex, thank you very much. we'll be back to you, i'm sure, throughout the course of the morning. as we saw there, it's the northeastern part of florida getting the heaviest parts of the storm. reynolds wolf is in jacksonville this morning. reynolds? >> reporter: willie, the situation we've seen over the last couple of hours has been insane. the wind has been a constant feature. widespread power outages, unreal. consider, willie, we're not even in the cone in jacksonville. still, look off to the st. johns river, which is normally a tranquil span of water, 310 miles flowing north into the atlantic, it's an absolute tempest.
shrimp boats that came in for safe harbor. if conditions are this bad in the st. john's river bay, i can only imagine what it's like out on the coast itself. power outages going up. transformers have been exploding on the horizon. the rain coming down and the wind relentless. >> that's really where the story is right now. reynolds wolf of the weather channel, thank you very much. let's get to meteorologist bill karins. you've been track the storm all week for us. the concerns as people went to bed was in the metro area of tampa. >> orlando, surprisingly, we had stronger winds there than we were anticipating. they got very strong gusts, people in the orlando area, without power t doesn't look like it's as bad as what they experienced in charley 10, 12 years ago. to update everyone with where we're at with the storm and where the concerns are as we go throughout the day. also we want to get people cleaned up and get the storm out of here.
first thing we'll talk about is the track of the storm. people are worried about what was going to happen in georgia with the storm. the winds have died down as we expected. tropical storms can still, especially in areas with trees, knock out power. we'll cross the border 2:00 p.m. today into southern portions of georgia. we could get additional power outages. by the time we get to 1:00 a.m., a little less than 24 hours from now, once winds get down to 40 miles per hour, we should stop knocking trees down. not too many power outages in here. it's more southern georgia. piling water on the coast acr, t of water on the st. john's that exits up here around jacksonville. with that we have a lot of problems. we'll still see some flooding and water in homes because of that. and the heavy rainfall that's
moving up into georgia, these are all flash flood warnings in this region. the cloud shield is still enormous. the circulation goes from the southern portion of the keys all the way up into areas like west virgin virginia. the 75-mile-per-hour winds are mostly confined out here over the open water. center of the storm is located north of tampa by 60 miles. this red shows you where we could still get hurricane gusts. the yellow shows this enormous wind field. this is where it's possible to have tropical storm gusts all the way down here to west palm beach still, ft. myers and approaching the atlanta area. almost up through myrtle beach. just a huge 415 miles from the center. that's irma's legacy, how huge it is. strongest on land right now is right around orlando. daytona beach is 46. the colors here, offshore, winds are higher, off the east coast and off the west coast. in land in the 40 to
50-mile-per-hour range. when we can get the winds down enough, power crews can get out there and start to improve things. storm surge, we still have problems with this, georgia and south carolina coast, four to six feet. that will cause some problems. we'll see how that develops as we go throughout the day. here is that current radar showing you those heavy torrential bands there north of jacksonville and south of the savannah region. again, with the storm surge, miami was about four feet. we saw those pictures that were dramatic down there that got people's attention, did some damage. storm surge. as we mentioned tampa, ft. myers, naples was there. it was about four to six feet. it wasn't the 10 to 15. once daybreak comes, we'll get pictures from the worst areas. the keys is what everyone sees what storm surge 10 to 12 feet did in the keys, it's like, wow!
there's homes destroyed there. we didn't get homes destroyed in the ft. myers and naples area. >> as soon as they have daylight, they'll do that assessment, start to position people. it's the largest, by the way, positioning of electrical crews they've ever had in florida. what are they likely to see? where is the big damage going to be, not geographically but what are they going to find? >> couple of storm chasers around big pine key. that's where the northeast eyewall come on shore yesterday morning in the keys and they've said there are homes devastated and they couldn't believe how intense the storm was. you hear storm chasers saying off to the side -- we get those pictures and last night we were talking, the statement from the emergency manager for the keys said they're going to go at daybreak house to house, searching houses for people that are injured or -- you know they think they're going to find people that died. >> let's hope not. >> we'll send you back to
command post for a minute and talk to you in a short time. thanks, bill. >> live to tampa, florida, we find nbc's sarah dallof. what are you seeing this morning? >> reporter: good morning, chris. overnight, irma, a weakened irma swept across the tampa, st. petersburg area. the extent of the damage here is still unknown. several hundred thousand people here under evacuation orders. we know about 28,000 decided to ride out the storm in shelters and everybody, understandably, very anxious to get out and find out how their homes, their businesses, basically their livelihoods fared during this storm. this was the first hit from a hurricane, a major hurricane that the area has taken in nearly a century. storm surge remains a concern, some two to four feet expected here. tampa bay still under a storm surge warning this morning.
and the area here also under a mandatory curfew. emergency vehicles want to be able to get around very easily. but they also don't want people out on the roads quite yet. they haven't tested the structural integrity of bridges. there's a concern of trees down and live wires on the roads. chris? >> nbc sarah dallof, thank you very much. we'll be talking to tampa's mayor a little later when he paraphrased mike tyson that everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. >> and he said we avoid a storm for 90 years. that storm is here. florida city, gateway to the keys, south of miami there. julia bagg is there. good morning. you're at the state's southern-most tip. what does it look like as the sun begins to come up today? >> reporter: willie, chris, we're in a city that hadn't seen
a storm like this in 25 years. this area got slammed hard by hurricane andrew 25 years ago last month. they knew things would be bad. most of the people who live here haven't even seen yet. it was more of a wind story. winds knocking down big, heavy trees here. this is an entire leafy mess that most people had to stay sheltered in places like this hotel you see here was not opened to the public but they did shelter employees and their families, who live here, giving them a place to escape the storm here. a lot of people just hunkered down. others, of course, left town. look how dark it is. gives you an idea of these widespread power outages. very few places in this neighborhood have any power at all. we've only seen one mobile home park with some power. there's also a curfew in effect this morning across miami-dade county until 7:00 this morning, local time. and that's because of some of
the dangers here on the roadways. there's some flooding but not any major flooding. want to spin around the corner here and show you something that was flying like a kite earlier, just the last 12 hours if we can put a flashlight on that. we'll turn our headlights and see that. it looks like a giant sheet right there. that's actually an awning. i was with a lot of the hotel employees, kind of taking shelter. they were watching this. it was a little terrifying, seeing how big it was in the air. you can see the wreckage from that. a short ways from us, actually, we're coming up to u.s. 1. remember, there's only one way in and one way out of the keys. right now it's totally blocked. they're not letting anybody south on to the overseas highway. the reason is they want to check out the bridges and make sure that's safe. let me show you that blockade right now. you can see the lights as we try to head that way for you. very tense here in florida city. people realize willing this morning that things could have
be a lot worse. willie, chris? >> julia bagg, thank you so much. julia, chris, right at the doorstep to the keys. she's saying she can't get there. bill karins is saying to us when the sun comes up, and we do the assessment, florida keys will have seen the worst. >> and how have the bridges survived there and elsewhere across florida? >> this is still a category 1 hurricane even as it passes over land, we hope and expect to be downgraded to a tropical storm. we're not there yet. we're just getting started here as florida wakes up to assess the damage from hurricane irma. the latest live pictures as daylight breaks and we'll speak to bill nelson of florida, charlie crist and the homeland security committee chair on the federal response to hurricane irma. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of hurricane irma. what did we do before phones?
they save us from getting lost, getting hungry, and getting tired of places like this. phones changed everything - shouldn't the way pay for them change too? introducing xfinity mobile. where you can pay for data by the gig, and share it across all of your lines. no one else lets you do that. see how much you can save when you pay by the gig. xfinity mobile. it's a new kind of network designed to save you money. call, visit, or go to xfinitymobile.com.
welcome back to msnbc's live coverage of hurricane irma. jacksonville, florida, the wind blowing those waves under the bridge. that is, our meteorologists tell us, the focus of the storm right now, heavy winds and rains in north florida. >> forecasters have been warning about the storm surge from irma. something else we've been seeing is negative surge. that's when water is being sucked out of the bays and beaches. check out this video of dogs playing on the sand. of course, on any other day, they would be submerged with the water from tampa bay. then this video of people walking on the bay. this is a risky move because forecasters warn that the water could just, without warning, return with a vengeance. and there's a similar situation
in sarasota bay where waters receded and exposed a manatee. they rolled it on to a tarp and took it to deeper water. negative surge exposed islands on this beach. national weather service in miami warned that the 3 1/2-foot negative surge would become 10 to 15 feet above ground. so, not too long after, we saw this video of storm surge flood a naples apartment complex. right now, the mayor says it seems that the flooding throughout the city appears to be minimal. >> marco island where irma made its second landfall yesterday afternoon. mr. chairman, thank you for being with us this morning. we appreciate your time. i know this will be a busy and perhaps difficult morning for you as you assess the damage and begin to clean up. sun not up yet there. what are you seeing so far? >> thank you, willie and chris. thank you for having me on. the sun is not up.
we know last night we had extensive surge flooding on the southern part of the island. the island is about seven or eight feet above sea level but it does vary. we had to rescue people from homes last night. we were fortunate most of our island residents left voluntarily on mandatory evacuation order earlier in the week but had about 1,000 who stayed behind along with 100 first responder. we asked people who stayed behind to give us their address so we could check on them after the event. we're able to use that with our watercraft and rescue number of people from homes where the flooding had gone up above the first floor level. >> do you have a count at this point of how many of those thousand people you have been able to check in on? >> i do not, ma'am. i do not. >> will that continue throughout the day today? what's sort of the plan as the day progresses?
>> well, it continued through the night. as soon as we were able to get out after the storm yesterday in the afternoon, our crews went out and they worked all night. i just don't have an update this morning for you. >> chairman, do you have homes that people will not be able to return to? >> i would say we have homes where people will have to return to them and repair them, yes. >> but you didn't have any homes that were destroyed in the waves of the storm surge? but definitely homes with water through the first floors? >> that is correct. i just don't know to the extent they were destroyed, i don't know. we won't know until first light. >> chairman, the storm hits you a category 3 with winds of about 115 miles per hour. can you just describe for us what it was like to be there? >> certainly nothing like any of us had ever experienced. a wind event of terrific proportions. it knocked down most of the
street signs on the island. it stripped most of the palm trees of their leaves, palm fronds have littered the island. most of the residents took our advice and took their personal effects inside so we don't normally find the litter that you might be associated with, let's say, a tornado. but it's clear that a tremendous storm came through this area. >> are you, mr. chairman, expecting, you said, 1,000 people stayed behind. we're looking at pictures of incredibly strong winds. are you expecting or fearing at all the worst, that there may be casualty casualti casualties in this storm? >> we do fear that. that's the concern of all of us on marco island. we just don't know. all of our first responders are qualified, all of our fire rescue people are qualified in
advanced life support. i hope we don't have to use that. we just don't know at this point. >> we are hoping right along with you, mr. chairman. thank you so much for staying part of your morning with us. we'll get back with you if we can. but we know you have a very busy day ahead. chairman larry honig. thank you for your time. morgan radford, heavy rains coming down there. what does it look like? >> reporter: lots of heavy rain and lots of heavy wind. the eye of that hurricane is headed to us in gainesville as we speak. it's expected to strike between 6:00 and 8:00 a.m. you can see here there's some small, minor flooding in certain areas along the street. it's already caused some downed power lines, those fallen streets. we have about 2,000 people who are still without electricity. to give you a sense of these hurricane force winds, these are winds that are gusting about 85 miles per hour. you can see that no one -- we have like one car.
that looks like it might be a national guard. we have one car on the street here. already, officials have asked people to stay off the roads because it is so unsafe because of these winds. we were coming here ourselves, our crew last night and could literally hear the car shifting, the winds battering against the windows. national guard here already. the mayor has ordered a state of emergency for the city. the county is under emergency. 21 shelters are open throughout the county. this is the home of the university of florida. there's about 160 residents who are here when those students are in. that university of florida shelter is almost already at capacity as are the two special needs shelters set up. 21 in the county, 12 here in the city. people are asking if you are trying to get to the shelters to stay off the roads if winds are above 45 miles per hour because the sheriff and first responders will not be able to get on the roads in winds higher than that. that's about what we're feeling right now. willie, chris? >> by the way, morgan, i don't
know if you can hear it but you've got a corhorus of frogs d bird. >> a chorus of frogs coming out of this pond. >> isn't that crazy? >> four hours we had to sleep, willie. >> one way to wake up, i guess. morgan radford, thank you so much. we're obviously talking about the damage we've seen in florida but, boy, the devastation in the caribbean has been in plain view. it is almost unimaginable. i think they have a death count now of 23 people. several islands, including barbuda and st. maarten essentially destroyed. >> totally destroyed in the words of the prime minister of barbuda, quote, literally rubble. 95% of that tiny island completely destroyed. we have aerial video of that aisle. prime minister just getting over it a couple of days ago. take a look at it there. 95% of all structures were destroyed. this is an island that had one hospital. the roof ripped off the hospital. all the schools destroyed.
all the public utilities destroyed. you can see it there. it will take six months, they said, to rebuild this island. moving east to west as the path of the storm did to st. maarten. st. maarten half dutch territory, half french territory. equally destroyed. very bad situation there developing on the north side of the island. we've seen dutch troops deployed to try to big security back to that island. i'm always hesitant to use the term looting when we talk about these storms. as we know, people are trying to get food, water. 1200 u.s. citizens have already been evacuated from this island. 1,000 tons of water have been brought in. 85 tons of food. the prime minister of france is on his way, tuesday, to the island. he is going to bring with him another wave of aid. the last place we'll check with here is the u.s. virgin islands. something very, very disturbing is sort of developing in the u.s. virgin islands. st. croix will become the staging area. new information into us just
this morning. st. croix will be the staging area for all relief and evacuati evacuation. you can see that. look at those boats piled up on the shore. st. john and st. thomas took, quote, major damage. no cell power, no water, no power at all. catastrophic damage. they had to evacuate patients in the middle of the night. they took them to puerto rico. two cruise ships, norwegian cruise liner and royal caribbean cruise liner are headed in to try to get u.s. citizens out of the u.s. virgin islands. that looks nuts, right? like a stephen king novel. this is the information we're getting now. in talking to bill karins, we'll talk about this later in this hour or next hour. cuba's detriment may have actually been florida's advantage. this storm was weakened in a huge way. this cat 5 storm when it hit cuba, the first storm of its kind to hit since 1932, causing the damage you're looking at
now. really weakened the storm and put it off that initial track. that's something we'll be looking at more and more from cuba, who took it hard as well, those northern islands. >> cal perry, thank you for that. you see the pictures, it's shocking. you hear officials say six months to rebuild and you look at this, you have to think that's tremendously optimistic. and these islands depend heavily, their entire economy, on tourism. obviously they'll not have any income coming in for quite a while. >> when we evacuated florida, it was still a possibility of a cat 5 hitting florida. >> right. >> that forecast was only 48 hours ago that we thought we had a chance for a cat 5 hitting the naples, marco island area. and instead they got hit by a cat 3. you see the difference when we were talking to the chairman there, the councilman, how extreme those winds were. that's the difference between a cat 3. you're talking significant roof damage, tree damage. cat 5, you're talking about wiping the trees out and literally some structures just
being completely destroyed to rubble. so, you know, that's what cal was saying. when this storm went over cuba for 12 to 24 hours at their expense -- the last report, one bridge out to the cuba keys, they couldn't use it anymore. they're still trying to go by boat to help people there. you know, if you consider how bad it could have been, florida was still fortunate. the other thing we have to mention is we're still in that fog after. when daybreak comes and we get more pictures that come in, we'll know more. we still don't know how bad some of the keys were. >> that's what i was going to ask you. we're looking at those islands completely wiped out. >> i don't think florida is going to -- >> nothing in the key also look that way. >> that was 185-mile-per-hour winds. that's when this was off the charts, strongest storms we've ever seen in the atlantic basin, when it was down toward cuba, it was a low-end category 5. i don't want to say low because it's still a category 5 but not
as bad as barbuda. >> puerto rico will take six months to get the power back on to 1 million people. one thing we're worried about now is hurricane jose is out there, looming on some of these islands. people don't have power, cell phone service, they don't know what's coming. >> in five days from now, jose is still supposed to be safely out over the water, not near anywhere. some models take it close to the bahamas or east coast but that's five to seven days away. we're really unsure of where that's going. i'm not going to focus a lot on that. in the days ahead we'll talk about that. right now we still have flash flood warnings and storm surge coming into areas of jacksonville, florida, southern georgia where property damage is being done and people's lives are being altered by this storm now so we'll still focus on that. >> cal, thank you very much. important information out of the caribbean. much more on hurricane irma's devastation. we'll talk to the mayor of
skroining us now, mayor of tampa, florida, bob buckhorn. we were covering the storm on the "today" show when you said we're about to get punched in the face. we've avoided this kind of storm for 90 years and now it's here. it's game time. did this storm live up to your expectations? was it better than you thought, worse than you thought? >> oh, it's better than i thought. what i thought would be a punch in the face was a glancing. i was really fearful of what it was going to do to our community. as i get reports from our officers that were out there on the streets, giving us damage assessments, we really, really
dodge aid bullet today. >> what are they seeing? what are they telling you? >> lot of downed power lines, trees, limbs down. what we feared the most was the surge and the flooding. high tides have not come to a conclusion yet. the surge has yet to be finished. we're still seeing the bands around the backside of the hurricane. we have vehicles positioned. some of our high water vehicles are positioned to make sure that when that surge comes in that we can keep people out of the streets. but for the most part, the surge will be far less and far more damaging than we ever thought it would be. >> what about the electricity, mr. mayor? how many residents and citizens can expect to be out of electricity for a good while here? >> we don't know yet, willie. streets, officers are out there in the community right now, giving us reports neighborhood by neighborhood. we have a lot of downed power lines.
i would suspect power will be out for some sections of our town for a couple of days. i do know that the power companies from all over the country are surging into florida as we speak now that the storm has blown through. so we will have additional manpower coming to help us. >> we know that many, if not most of the deaths in these kind of bad storm situations come after the fact, people who go out, using power tools, people who get electrocuted. what's your warning? even though people may be breathing a sigh of relief saying okay this isn't as bad as we thought it would be. what are you telling them? >> there's a curfew in place for their benefit. stay in the house. let us do what we know how to do, clear the streets, get the power lines turned off, get the debris out of the road. you don't need to be outside yet. we hope to lift the curfew some time mid morning so you can come home but, please, let us do for you what you can't do for
yourself. everyone will be safer because of it. we don't want any looky loos running around or tourists running around, looking at the sights. we need people to just stay put for a little while and let us finish the job. >> it's too early, mr. mayor, to breathe a full sigh of relief. you still have some looking around to do, obviously, to see what happened in your city overnight. what can you say about your city's preparation, your preparation personally as mayor that may have helped you get through this? >> willie, as mayors, you live for this moment knowing full well that you're going to be tested, that you're going to be measured, that the team behind me and thousands of other foe folks out there on the streets now will have to rise to the occasion. because this is when people need us the most. this is when government matters. and i think these folks behind me, who have trained for this for ten years would have been ready whether it was a cat 4 or cat 1. we didn't want this to happen. we have avoided it for 90 years. but we knew sooner or later our number was going to be up.
so we prepared every day like it was game day. yesterday and today will be game day for us. i feel really good about this team. >> who will be out today? how many people will you have out in the streets and what will they be doing? >> over 1,000 officers that we've deployed, bringing the entire force in. they have slept overnight at raymond james stadium. all of our fire rescue people will be here. we will have pushed -- all our front loaders and heavy equipment to remove debris, working with the power company to make sure we can clear the roads so they can restore the power. code enforcement people will be up. i'll be up in a helicopter this morning when the winds die down. we'll be flying drones to look at the damage and we'll deploy every asset we have. we want to get folks back in their house and get tampa back to business again. this is a city that is tampa strong and we're going to be okay. >> we quoted you all day yesterday, mr. mayor.
we'll do it again today. what you thought might be a punch in the face was a glancing blow. mayor bob buckhorn of the city of tampa. thank you for your time today. >> thank you, willie. >> what a great attitude, too. long after our cameras are gone, everybody knows these folks will have a big job ahead of them. we want to talk about the storm's impact outside that tampa area. jacob rascon is in st. petersburg. how is it looking there this morning? >> reporter: we've seen a lot of the same, chris. we've seen a lot of trees, debris in the roads, couple of power lines. really they dodged a bullet, just like tampa did. behind me, this big tree in the road is the biggest tree we've seen. this is the worst damage, essentially, we've seen after driving around for an hour or so. just a giant tree that toppled in the middle of the street. st. petersburg police haven't gone out yet. they were waiting to survey the damage. they'll find what we found, minimal damage. no structural damage that i can tell. i saw one neighbor walking
around, checking his house. a lot of the folks here had boarded up their windows. you're not going to be able to see that in the dark. but a lot of people prepared here. so much of the tampa bay area was built -- once in a century hurricane made land fall after they had been booming so long. even tampa general hospital built on an island there. they were expecting the worst. the storm surge was going to be the worst part of it. the mayor probably talked about that. they're not expecting any longer that eight-foot storm surge which was going to come ashore and flood a lot of the coastline. really they're going to be waking up in much better shape than many of them thought they would be in when they went to bed. i also point out we've seen the power out everywhere. that's also something they'll be dealing with this morning. >> everywhere across the state that will be one of the top
priorities, getting people back their power. jacob rascon, thanks to you. >> hollywood, florida, outside ft. lauderdale, nbc's philip mina. what's it look like on the east coast today? >> willie, good morning. we can see there are police -- hollywood police blocking this road. that's a1a, ocean boulevard, one of the most popular down this stretch of the coast. there are live wires, they told us, on top of some of the debris you see here. on the other side of that police cruiser you can see a canopy that is also in the road. they have the rapid assessment, impact assessment team on their way over here to prioritize the damage so they can get public works to clear this road and a police officer here blocking the entrance to that 7-eleven there. one of the last places to have gas. we were here a couple of days ago. they're trying to prevent anyone from going down here or prevent looting. that's a problem we've seen, unfortunately, in miami and ft. lauderdale. 28 arrested in miami.
26, just to clarify, 26 of the 28 arrested for looting, one walmart. ohm a couple of locations. about nine arrests in ft. lauderdale. unfortunately when it comes to these natural disasters, willie, that is a negative side of it. sometimes people try to take advantage of the situation. but they're ready to help clean up the damage and prevent anybody from burglarizing any establishments. >> we've seen it in the wake of a lot of these storms. let's hope that's limited. they're beginning to clean up there behind you. philip mina, thank you very much. bill barnett, the mayor of naples, joins us on the phone. a lot of people were focused on naples yesterday, looked like it would be a cat 3 direct hit for you. what does it look like this morning? >> it looked like -- it felt like it when it hit for sure. you know, we recorded 142-mile-an-hour wind at our naples airport and it really
came through here hard. there is no two ways about it. we're evaluating this morning. crews, we sent first responders out last night to do a little bit of assessment. there is a lot of water damage. there are neighborhoods that are flooded. we have no power. and there's going to be a lot of work that needs to be done. we'll do total assessments today. unfortunately, that storm surge did not get us or it would have been catastrophic. >> did you have good reporting, mr. mayor, of how many people were left behind? do you essentially have a list you're going through as those first responders go to check on folks? >> well, we're pretty -- we're very fortunate in naples. we haven't heard of any injuries in the city. there were a few e-mails i
received and it was more from people that were -- you know, that had relatives here and hadn't heard from them, which is understandable. obviously, no phone tower. but they were worried about them because they were elderly. and we passed those e-mails on to the county sheriff's department. and as soon as they can send first responders out, they did that. most of them were just to check. i haven't heard about anything, any major injuries or any injuries at all for that matter. and the idea is that today try to keep people in place until we can assess. and if there's -- both power lines and everything else, we really need to do an assessment and get the roads open and passable. >> i've got to tell you, mr. mayor, it's extraordinary you're reporting to us no injuries at this time, anyway, that you're aware of inside naples as we
look at drone footage and footage from the ground of the winds that blew through your town reaching 142 miles an hour and then the flooding that followed. neighborhoods are under water in the drone footage we were just watching. do you expect there may be injuries you don't know about and, god forbid, casualties? >> no, i don't. i think that our citizens really listened and i think harvey was a real wake-up call. when we first started letting people know very early in the week that you could voluntary evacuate and should if you had a place to go, they did. and i think it was really beneficial. we had 27 shelters opened in naples and they were full but i didn't hear of anyone that didn't have a place to go or a place to stay secure. and by now i'm sure the report would have been out had there
been some serious injuries. but i'm keeping my fingers crossed that that doesn't happen. >> that's just extraordinary. you're to be commended for the preparation if that does, in fact, turn out to be true. given what we're looking at in these pictures if there is no major injuries. bill barnett lived through irma, andrew and now irma. we appreciate your time this morning. >> well, thank you so much. appreciate it. still ahead here, we'll go live to the white house for the latest on the federal response to hurricane irma on the heels of hurricane harvey's destruction in texas, how the trump administration is handling that one-two punch next when live coverage of hurricane irma continues.
every group is coordinated really well. the bad news is this is a big monster, but i think we're very well coordinated. the group that really deserves tremendous credit is the united states coast guard. what they've done, i mean, they've gone right into that and you never know. when you go in there, you don't know if you're going to come out. if you talk about branding. no brand has improved more than the united states coast guard. it's going to cost a lot of money. right now we're worried about lives, not cost. >> obviously that's the president of the united states who has now approved a federal disaster declaration. we heard it from the mayor, this is when people need government. this is where governments are tested. joining us now, peter aleck zander. we saw the pictures over the weekend. the president was at camp david. he was surrounded by all the members of his cabinet. those are folks he said this was going to be a full government
response that literally every agency was going to play a role in this. what's the white house up to today as we look at what's damage was from hurricane irma? >> well, you heard from the president, chris, delivering the clear message that his administration is prepared to deal with the aftermath of hurricane irma after returning to the white house, this morning about 11:00 a look at another full briefing on the hurricane, the damage that it caused. he said as you noted that we may have been a little bit lucky that the storm veered from the original course after moving a little bit further west, calling it a monster as he described it. he's been in contact with the governor's of florida, alabama, south carolina and tennessee as well we're told by white house officials. the president deflecting questions about the billions of dollars the government will be asked to spend in parts of florida and elsewhere.
his main worry is not the cost. he talked about the brand of the folks there at the coast guard. this is also a person heavily focussed on the buildings. that will be one of his focus rebuilding parts of florida and texas. he and the first lady will lead a moment of silence in remembrance of those lost on 9/11. they'll head to the pentagon to participate in a 9/11 ceremony as well. >> the first time he's been part of one of these 9/11 ceremonies. joining us, the mayor of gainesville, florida. we had a live report out of there. looks like heavy wind and rain in your area. what does it look like on the ground to you? >> things are starting to look up. we think that the worst had passed it. it's about to become daylight. we're getting ready to go out and do a rapid damage assessment as well as clear the calls we
were unable to respond to since 1:00 a.m. this morning. our first responders have been cleared to go out and start clearing the calls. we have not heard of any reports of serious injury or death. >> that's the most parent part of the story. -- important part of the story. what about damage? >> we have what you want expect, a lot of trees and power lines down. trees on houses. right now we have about 30,000 of our electric customers out of power. about 50,000 county wide. half our traffic signals are out. all things that we planned for and expected from the storm event like this. it's our job now to try to go out and get those things repaired and get our customers back with power as quickly and safely as we can. >> other than power and getting the crews out there, and i know this is a huge deployment, they had so many people prepositioned from the power companies, not just from florida but other
states nature wh states. what else are your priorities? >> we're going to do a rapid assessment of damage. all our first responders, as they're answering the calls, they're going to start entering that information back into our central database, and then if it's a utility issue, we'll get them on it. if it's a tree or flooding, well get our public works folks on it. the thing we really need to ask our residents to do is stay in their homes, stay in their shelter. let us get out there and make sure everything is safe. and then when we feel like the roads are passable and we have traffic lights up and all the dangerous power lines sort of secured, then we'll let everyone know it's safe to leave. >> all those things can be repaired. glad to hear no reports of injury or death in your city of gainesville. mayor, thank you for your time. >> thank you. just ahead, we'll go back to our reporters on the ground. hurricane irma hitting the north eastern part of florida. bill karins is hearing reports
good morning. it's monday, september 11th. welcome back to our special extended coverage of hurricane irma. i'm willie geist alongside chris jansing. we're minutes from sun rise over florida where daylight will provide the first looks at hurricane irma's destruction after pounding winds and rain. the storm weakened to a category 1 hurricane at 2:00 a.m. is expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm. >> the storm surge has been better than anticipated in tampa bay. it was a dark night for many. nearly 5.5 million in florida remain without electricity. that's more than a quarter of the residents in america's fourth most populated state. >> drone footage shows damage in naples where a wind gust of 142 miles per hour was reported. the mayor there says no injuries to report yet. this all as the french president
will travel to an area affected by the hurricane. and burglary and looting and a curfew in effect until 7:00 a.m. reynolds wolf is in jacksonville, this morning. >> the situation is dire here. we're standing near the landing of the st. john's river where two days ago the water was about three feet down. it's come up. we have not gone to the river. the river has come to us. it's a story of what's happened in the past, the instruction, the trail of destruction, and this massive system left and parts of south and central part part. that's part one. then the present, the rain which continues to come in, the wind here in jacksonville. we're not even in the cone. we're getting unbelievable conditions. then the future, the next part of what the system is going to
do. it's going to draw a bead in parts of florida and then alabama, the karincarolinas, wh there will be a real threat. the water is rising and the wind seems to never stop. back to you. >> reynolds wolf with the weather channel. thank you so much. let's bring in bill karins. i think a lot of people went to sleep worried about tampa. we talked to the mayor to gave the dire warnings yesterday. he said we didn't get punched in the face, it was more of a glancing blow. what happened? >> because the storm went further inland and the surge is turning out to be worse on the northeast side. we went to jacksonville. this is from the cbs affiliate doing live blogging on the storm. this happened 15 minutes ago. wjxt reporter and photographer jumped in to help rescue a woman trapped in a vehicle that was
almost completely submerged. they heard a woman and her boyfriend yelling for help. the boyfriend got out of the car and they jumped in to help. this is happening now. we're trying to get video and pictures cleared on social media. we have homes with water in them. i saw pictures of water up to people's waist giving a tour on video. that's happening now because of the storm surge in the st. john's river. the title gauge in the st. john's river in downtown jacksonville has the highest water level they've ever recorded, higher than matthew and it broke their record from 1964 with hurricane dora. the flooding situation, although we're waking up and hearing from mayors and officials in charge of fort myers and tampa. it may turn out the worst flooding with home damage may be on the opposite side of the state from where the system made land fall in jacksonville.
i'm looking at the river gauges in northeast florida. it's record flooding. they had is surge and almost a foot of rain. the combination of those two things, the flooding and once we get the daybreak pictures -- we're trying to get some of the pictures cleared about the homes in water. >> i'm seeing just outside of orlando they're already doing water rescues. >> the st. john's river is a crazy river in this country that actually goes from south to north. the st. john's river starts down on the border north of orlando, and on the east side there of orlando. that's kind of where the river starts. and the river is not able to flow north right now because the storm in jacksonville is continuing with the easterly wind. all that water is piling up and it's just feeding all the way back down. from orlando where the st. john's river starts on the east side of down sneaking up through the county back into
jacksonville. there are homes with water levels they've never seen before. >> bill, sit tight for a second. we want to go to gainesville. morgan is standing by for us there. >> reporter: hi. good morning. you can already see how strong the winds are here. the eye of that storm is about 50 miles southwest of us. we are currently on the east side of that storm. that means we're getting the worst of it. we're getting the brunt as the storm heads to us right now. now, we're in gainesville florida. as you can see, what it's already caused is three things. we've seen minor flooding on the roads and the side of the streets as the heavy winds have already knocked down trees and power lines. creating more than 2000 people in the city of gainesville are without power, and third and finally, it's the hurricane force winds. these are winds that are blowing at about 85 miles per hour. so when we were driving here, our crew coming into the storm around midnight, we could feel our car shifting. once we got to our motel, you could hear the winds battering
against the windows. the emergency response here is in full form. one, the national guard has already been sent in. two, a state of emergency has been issued here for this city, and third and finally, emergency shelters have been set up. remember, this is home of the university of florida. there are about 160,000 residents in gainesville when those students are, in school. the shelter at the university at capacity as are the two special needs shelter that are almost at capacity. there's 21 throughout the county. officials are warning people to stay off the roads. once the winds reach over 45 miles per hour, it's difficult for those emergency crews and the sheriffs to come out on to the roads. they're asking people if they haven't already gotten on to the roads, to get to shelters and remain in place to stay safe. >> are people heeding the warnings? have you seen any cars out? >> reporter: we've seen a couple of cars drive by.
a lot of those have been national guard members. we saw them coming in as well as the fire departments when we were on the roads a few hours ago. there haven't been any casualties or injuries mentioned. it feels like people are heeding the warnings. this was an area concerned about hurricane matthew. i was covering that this time matthew. it's a hurricaning that it seems like the low lying areas, people pay attention to. >> i wonder how much preparation there was there in gainesville and places like jacksonville, because by all accounts this was a storm that was going to be about the florida keys and move up the west coast. it looks like some of the most serious flooding may be all the way up there in jacksonville. >> reporter: and that's a reality. i'm from the south. and when these kinds of things happen, we don't play with it. because we understand how powerful nature is and how un e
unpredictable it is. you can see and feel the high winds. people are prepared. the officers said people seem to be heeding our warnings. they understand that this is a monster, especially when you compare it to the previous storms and right now we are currently in the thick of it, the eye of the storm is headed our way and expected to strike us before 8:00. >> all right. morgan accompanied by the frogs. we'll check back with you in a few minutes. >> i was just reading about the -- it is funny when you hear the music behind her. but the emergency management director for the state of florida said we don't have reports right now. we don't think there has been catastrophic damage, but i'm not ruling it out. that points to the fact we're probably minutes away from starting to be able to get things in the air to get real assessments. >> i think the moments the people will go wow is when we get -- when our miami station sends up their helicopter over the keys to send back some of
those pictures. the water has receded from the downtown miami from the pictures we saw yesterday. we've seen some of the drone pictures. we had the footage at the top of the show where a storm chaser had a drone. when the eye went overhead, they sent a drone up to see the damage. those pictures showed roof damage, but it didn't show destroyed structures. that's good. the problem now on a much smaller scale is similar to houston. it's with water in homes not with waves crashing and stuff like that. that's along the st. john's river in northeast florida because of the storm surge and the heavy rain. this was it. this was the video i was talking about that was in the center of the storm, this is in the eye. this wasn't after the storm. and this is what the northern eye wall had done in the naples area north of marco island. there's extensive damage. there is going to be a lot of people taking a long time to clean this up. a lot of financial woes because
of that. but we did not see the storm surge going through all of those homes and completely destroying them. >> i want to go to our nbc correspondent back in st. petersburg florida, how are things looking now? >> reporter: it's been raining on and off. this is the lightest rain in 12 hours. it was pounding all yesterday and last night and through the night. and the winds were strong enough to do things like this. this is the biggest tree we've seen down blocking the road. the police came by. they'll chop it down soon. i want to bring in this gentleman here, noah. he was across the street. you road out the storm. tell us what it was like? >> from our perspective, it wasn't terrible. it was a big hurricane and a big storm we were worried about. we had enough time with the warnings and predictions that we felt like we were pretty well prepared to ride out a storm of that size. >> reporter: initially we were thinking it could be a category 3 here in the tampa bay area.
were you bracing for that? >> we were prepared for a category 3. that's our limit we're willing to ride out. we were ready to head out when need be. as it started to hit land, we could see it was starting to weaken. >> reporter: a sigh of relief as you wake up and this is the worst. >> for us now. hopefully there's nothing worse down by the water or down by the bay and everybody is okay. but from what we've seen, we're breathing a little bit of a sigh of relief now. >> reporter: thank you. appreciate your time. >> that's what they think. that's what i thought when i was driving around. downed power lines and trees, debris in the road, and really, that's the worst of it that we've seen so far. >> chris? >> thank you. we appreciate your report. >> this is all good news. >> great news. >> downed power lines and trees, we're not hearing mass casualties. >> often the deaths occur after
when people go out too soon or get electrocuted, people using power tools. there's still a lot of warnings out there. >> but for marco island and naples and up the coast, good reports about injury and death and lack of it. >> hurricane irma a category one. the storm moves north, and we'll talk to the mayor of panama city, florida. we'll also speak to michael mccaul of texas about the cleanup from the storm and fe fema's role in it. we'll be right back.
a flash flood emergency right now. particularly dangerous situation. the water is going to rise one to two feet when the winds switch to the south. right now jacksonville has the highest water level they've ever seen in the downtown area. they're saying it's going to rise another one to two feet. this will be the story we'll be watching here. i want to explain why we're dealing with this problem when the storm has weakened so much. if you look at this line right here, this is the st. john's river. let me go in a little bit closer on this, and again, it's a strange river. it goes from south to north. this is their direction that it flows up to the north. what's happening is we have the easterly winds and we have the storm surge that's happening here off the coast. and that is not allowing the river to flow back out to sea. it's building the water up. that's why there's a record
surge in jacksonville. at the same time we have tremendous rainfall rates in here. what is going to occur as the storm moves north is the winds are going to shift. the winds are going to go this way. all that water that has been getting piled up that's flooding homes along the st. john's river, this water is all going to surge and head toward downtown jacksonville on the way to dumping out -- i can even go in closer to the downtown jacksonville area. if you're driving on 95, you've been over the bridge. all of that water is what is going to be heading in this general direction on its way as it tries to snake its way out back to the sea. very serious. they're saying the downtown jacksonville gauge is at four feet. it will go up another one to two feet. the national weather service will issue flash flood watches and warns.
when they think lives are in danger, they'll issue a flash flood emergency. that's what we're under right now in downtown jacksonville. >> so a life threatening situation? >> currently, yes. >> how long is it likely to last? >> they're saying the flash flood emergency goes until 12:45 p.m. it's also high tides coming up. that's part of the equation. high tide, storm surges still there, and now the river is going to try to send all that water built up back up toward jacksonville. >> yeah. even those in some parts of the state with better news than we would have expected. this is still a dangerous situation. i want to go back south to miami. that's where our correspondent road out the storm. she's been there for quite a while. we can see destruction around you. what are you able to see now that daylight has broken? >> reporter: as the sun rise just comes up, we can start to see the scope of the devastation, especially here in
miami beach. we road the storm out here yesterday. this is a barrier island. you can see what the strong wind gusts have done to the palm trees. take a look at how big. i'm going to go around for you to see how big the palm trees are relative to my body. these are big palm trees. they were reinforced over there. that reinforcement broke. i also want our cameraman to pan to the right. this is a similar scene here. fallen palm trees all around. south point beach. this is an upscale area of miami beach. the southern most point of miami beach with the upscale condos, and this is the scene that residents are starting to see this morning as they walk around and try to get back to their homes. we saw heavy police presence on the bridges connecting to miami beach. i just spoke to the miami beach city commissioner who told me these people you see walking behind me is not what people should be doing. there are downed power lines and flooded areas and people don't know what they would be walking
into. he also said that around 90% of the city, miami beach, lost power. they're trying to get that power back. they're trying to assess the damage. again, the recommendation is don't think that because the sun has risen and the rain has stopped here in miami people are out of danger. a minute ago before we came on the air with you we saw a man with a surfboard in his car headed to the beach. he said to catch waves. not what officials want to be looking at in miami beach. it's a delicate situation because of the downed power lines and the flooded streets. even though miami beach didn't get the brunt of hurricane irma, it impacted the city considerab considerably. we went to downtown where the flooding around the bay area reached up to my ankles and knees by about 1:00 p.m. yesterday. and also the situation with the cranes. two cranes collapsed because of
the heavy wind gusts. the brickl neighborhood downtown miami, miami international airport reporting damage and flooding and that airport remains closed today. chris and willie. >> thank you so much for that natu. we appreciate your reporting. joining us by phone, bill nelson of florida. mr. senator, thank you for taking time this morning. we appreciate it. the sun is up over florida this morning. 7:22 florida time. what are you seeing as the sun rises? >> it's howling outside. willie, first light, the highest winds, mother nature has a mind of her own. she was supposed to go up the west coast north of fort myers, she suddenly decided otherwise, came inland and headed for between orlando and tampa, so at
1:30 in the morning we were getting winds of 100 miles per hour, and it was howling then, low and behold, it is still howling now. >> so what are your biggest concerns right now, senator? obviously we want to talk to you about what has happened further south. you still have an active life threatening situation in northern florida now. >> that's right. and this storm has covered up almost the entire state, except for the western panhandle out here pensacola. so it's going to be massive damage. there's going to be a lot of people displaced. there are going to be millions and millions of people already without power. it's going to take a while to get back to normal. fema is really going to have a job, because not only are they stretched to texas. now they're going to have a huge task in florida. >> senator nelson, it's too early for after action reports.
the sun has only just come up and we'll start to see the damage in the florida keys, for example. and obviously no cause for celebration when you look at the damage, but what can you say? we talked to tampa's mayor about the preparation that got you ready in the state of florida from your office and that of the governor and mayors and city councilmen up the coast of florida. >> i am very proud of f floridians. there was a seamless working together between federal, state, and local officials. from the people's standpoint, they were people helping people in the shelters, a private university near naples suddenly opened its gymnasium for a next door agricultural, very poor community in florida. brought those residents in on that university's own so they could shelter.
that's the kind of experience of people helping people. i'm very proud of floridians. . >> obviously the federal government will be a big part of this. we're talking about billions of dollars and months of rebuilding. where do you see the federal and state kroel in terms of getting the cities back on their feet? >> well, it was white knuckle time before the storm. fema was running out of money last friday. fortunately we got the $15 billion past, but that's only going to last a few weeks and then we're going to have to do another emergency supplemental appropriations. and that's only going to last so long. so this kind of costly cleanup and tending to the storm in the aftermath, that's going to go on for months. >> senator bill nelson, senior
senator of the state of florida, we appreciate your time on a busy morning. thank you. >> thank you. >> coming up next, the chairman of the homeland security committee congressman michael mccam mccaul joins us. and 16 years marked since the attacks of september 11th. we'll be following tributes as well as in new york city and in pennsylvania. we are back in a moment.
joining us the chairman of the house homeland committee, michael mccaul of texas. mr. chairman, good to have you here. i know you're here for a solemn anniversary for september 11th. i want to talk about the news at hand. harvey and now irma hitting florida. what is the strain that puts on fema and the federal government? >> it's an norm financial strain. as you know, we appropriated $15.5 billion for the disaster relief fund. just to keep it solvent. we saw irma coming. the good news is the money is there to help save lives.
texas has moved past that search and rescue phase into rebuilding. florida is in the search and rescue phase as i speak. i talked to a coast guard and femaed a min stray or thes. right now is when they go to the florida keys to save lives. the mar an aircraft carrier is out there. right now they are in the process of trying to save and find people in the keys. >> we have still a life threatening situation with the flooding occurring in the jacksonville area. i read fema was going through about a half a billion dollars a day. we spoke to the senior senator from florida he said they'll need more. what's going to happen now? you know as well as anybody what the people of florida will be facing. >> yeah. and similar to what my home state faced, and i do think i
agree with the senator, we will have another supplemental. that was just a down payment to keep the disaster relief fund afloat. and these community development block grants we will help rebuild. i think we'll see it take place in florida. that was a down payment. we'll have a larger supplement cal in the next few weeks to pay for this. we have to provide assistance to people hurting and to help them rebuild. >> we don't have to get mired in politics on a day like this when this is going on, but i want to ask your impression about your fellow congressmen who didn't vote for the relief legislation in their own state. how do you explain that vote? >> well, i don't want to judge them. i can only judge myself, and my conscien conscience. when i had people dying and hurting in my home state, it was my duty to help them. i felt that vote was a vote of
conscience to help people in my state and also now in florida. i think that's what americans do. i think it's uncon whenable to vote against something -- >> what did they tell you? >> i think having to raise the debt ceiling was probably their big issue and the fact is nick mulvaney, a freedom caucus guy, when he served with us and told us you could not appropriate disaster relief if you didn't raise the debt ceiling. we were stuck with that choice. what do you do in that choice? do you stand on principle and vote no? or do you vote to help people in your home state who are hurting really badly? >> do you have any questions that the people of florida are going to get the help they need or will this be a fight? >> i don't think you'll see a texas versus florida thing. this is an american issue. if anything, it will bring the
texas and florida delegations together, fighting together for that funding. >> how are things going? i'm curious what you're hearing from folks. obviously you already in the stage of people have gone back to their homes. they're seeing what they have to do. people deciding how to rebuild, where to rebuild. there are insurance issues they're facing. how are things going and what are the things that you have learned based on what's happened to your state so very recently that you can say to the folks in florida to help them? >> well, i think a couple things. i was with the fema administrator. we had a president and governor working hand in hand. we had advanced declaration of disaster. that means fema can come in advance with prepositioned assets to respond as swiftly as possible. i think that was a huge difference. also the difference between katrina and today is social media. i saw on social media an amazing response not only to where the
shelters were but where they could bring the food and water to clothing. the bright story of that tragic hurricane and this one too is the compassion that we have as americans for each other. and i was very touched by that. i think social media helped bring that together. >> yeah. there was a call put out. they were overwhelmed with calls. it was wonderful. >> mr. chairman, you walk off this set now and head south of here in man hhattan to the site where americans were murdered 16 years ago on september 11th. what does the day mean to you. at 8:46 we'll take a moment of silence. >> it was the largest terrorist attack on american soil. i'll never forget that day. we were talking earlier how some people, it's a living history for me, and for some of our children, it's a textbook history. i think it's important that they remember this day, and what
happened. and what we can do to stop this from ever happening in the united states again. we have made a lot of progress since 9/11. the department of homeland security was created after 9/11. my committee was created as a result of 9/11. everything we do on the committee and in the department is to make sure we can prevent another 9/11 from happening. so it's a very solemn moment that we reflect on, and remember those who lost their lives and never forget. >> obviously the wars that were launched after that are now entering their 16th year in the case of afghanistan. 14 for iraq. is america safer today than it was on september 10th, 2001? >> i think our intelligence apparatus, our homeland security apparatus has improved. i don't think a large scale operation like 9/11 could happen again. europe is getting more attacks, but the threat is still alive and well.
it's evolved. tvs changed. i think the internet has a lot to do with this. bin laden with couriers. the new generation is savvy on the internet. they radicalize people wherever they are. those are the messages out of iraq and syria, not come there but kill where you are. >> inspiration instead of direction. chairman of the house homeland security committee michael mccaul, we appreciate you stopping by. >> thank you. >> one of the things that we learned from 9/11 and we saw it in harvey and now with irma, how grateful we should all be for our first responders. >> yes. you look at 9/11. all these documentaries that come up again. you watch with the emergency services unit of the new york police department did, the fire department. everybody from the new york tristate area. and then you see it again in all these storms. these are extraordinary men and women. they are the best of what this
country has. >> talented, brave and selfless. >> one of the biggest stories of hurricane irma, particularly in naples was supposed to be a storm surge. forecast to get 10 to 15 feet of storm surge after irma. that number has been revised down to five to six feet. that's a dramatic difference. you can see widespread damage. >> also in naples one of the iconic images was an arena with more than 5,000 inside getting shelter as the storm passed over. the roof began to leak. water coming through. no reports of anyone hurt. this is video gabe gutierrez sent into us. you can see trash cans throughout the arena collecting the water as it comes in through the ceiling. gabe joins us now from naples. gabe, the sun up where you are. tell us what you're finding. >> reporter: hi. good morning. as you mentioned the big story in naples was supposed to be the
massive storage surge of 10 to 15 feet. that did not materialize. we were actually here in downtown naples. this is where the eye of the storm blew through. you see toppled trees and knocked down power lines. this area is without power. you mentioned so many people in shelters at germaine arena. many people went up there and have been there for several days and said yes, the power went out at the arena. several thousand people were inside and the roof began to leak at one point, but again, a local emergency management official said the building was safe and the situation was controlled. we spoke with one evacuee overnight and said the situation was improving there. as i'm walking over here, talking about the storm surge. if you look, this is not far from the beach, this street. there is some water down there. and there was some overnight flooding in the naples area, but for the most part, that storm surge just did not materialize. if it had, this entire street
would have been under water. thankfully despite us getting 130 miles per hour winds around 4:00 or 5:00 yesterday, the eye came through here and got calm. it was the backside of the storm that was supposed to bring that storm surge, but when the eye hit land, that backside basically fizzled. however, if we look at some drone video, you can see that there is some wind damage in the naples area. we've been seeing some roofs that have been blown off homes, and there's more significant damage. it appears marco island, hit by several feet of water. right now this morning as the sun comes up, crews will assess the damage. there was an overnight curfew. residents will go back and today and see the extent of damage. the mayor says there were no injuries and the expectation of the catastrophic storm surge did not materialize. the bottom line here in naples, at least, is that it could have
been much worse. >> yeah. gabe, thank you very much. chris, we talked to the mayor in naples an hour ago. we were awe struck there were no major injuries yet reported in naples when you look at some of the images. >> they still have a big cleanup ahead of them and people will want to get back and see what happened where they live, but certainly the news is better than they could have expected. even though right now in jacksonville, they're dealing with some unexpected problems. >> that's right. we're keeping a close eye on jacksonville this morning. the st. johns river at record levels. we'll head east and talk to the mayor of panama city, florida. we're back in a moment.
let's go southwest of it to marco island, florida. carrie sanders is there. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. we have a dolphin washed ashore here. we're attempting to try to get it back out into the water. clearly it was washed in during the hurricane. it certainly has gone through a lot of trauma here. see if we thecan get it out. it's in deep water. let's see if it will swim. okay. watch out. let's see if it can do what it does best. it's exhausted. all right. well, we're going to see. there we go. that's great. just swam away. let's hope it -- okay. let's see if that dolphin gets back out. it has a little bit of surf to kick through here. it looks like it's coming back in. we're going to advise the dolphin network to see if they
can give us advice on how to get this dolphin to do what it should do naturally. it may be confused. i see it now starting to head out. there we go. let me set the scene where we are for you if i can. we're on south marco island, and this is where the storm surge did come through. bringing the dolphin as well as a tremendous amount of water. not the 15 feet we heard might come, but about 5 or maybe 4 feet. it's a little hard to determine. i want to show you what happened, though. the storm surge -- i hate to see that. the storm surge came in here with the sand, the water, and it pushed in about a half mile. the condos you see mostly battened up, those with their opened windows have opened them up this morning. the water rushed in, but it was at a level where people park their cars and their cars were gone. the fire department here on marco island said they did get
some emergency calls, and so at one point during the eye they made their way here to try to help the people. it turned out that the emergency calls were not necessarily drastic, and so they were able to pull back. and i don't know what to say. this dolphin, this dolphin keeps spinning itself back this direction, and i'm not sure whether we can walk further out and give it guidance. let me see if i can help you. just be gentle with it. we don't have to force it. it got its natural instinct. let's just give it a chance to point it direction. let's see. willie, this is really -- >> yeah. >> reporter: it looks like it's struggling because it's probably exhausted. >> kerr y, we're going to try to get information and some guidance on how you can better help as well. we'll check back with you in a
second. >> reporter: do that. let's see if we can get someone from the dolphin training network to help us. >> we'll do that. let's head to fema's head quarters. secretary duke, thank you for taking time with us this morning. what's your assessment now of the state of florida as we come up on 8:00 eastern time the morning after a day. a lot of people feared the worst on the west coast of florida? >> we have air crews and boats and first responders in place to support governor in his response and rescue efforts, and so with the sun coming out and with the winds subsiding in the southern part of the states, we should be going out this morning for our first search and rescue efforts. >> what's your initial reports from the ground. people feared the worst in a place like tampa st. pete as we wake up this morning. the mayor says we didn't get punched in the face, we got a glancing blow.
that doesn't mean there's not a lot of damage. but what are you feeling this morning? >> we're feeling good. we shelters which is great which means he heed the warnings of local officials. we do have about 5 million customers without power. but we're hoping that some of those customers will have power quickly. we do expect power outages to continue over the next few days if not weeks. so, it's just keeping calm. and knowing that it will take time to get to all of the people throughout the state. >> with all of the downs power lines, with the flooding that we're seeing in downtown jacksonville that they're expecting, what are your active concerns for safety? >> our active concerns are that people are going to think this is over. this is not over. the storm continues. even a hurricane category 1 is a threat. flooding. rains and winds. so, we ask people to please be
careful, stay and shelter in place or stay evacuated. and let the first responders do their jobs so that there's not further loss of life. >> and as we get these early pictures now as the sun's up over jacksonville, florida, it becomes increasingly clear the danger is not over there. they've got record surge and flooding there. acting dhs secretary elaine duke, i know you've got a busy day. thanks for stopping by. we'll talk to florida governor and charlie crist, as well fan out across the state when msnbc's live coverage continues.
welcome back to msnbc's live coverage of hurricane irma, as we come up on the top of the hour, 8:00 here on the east coast. five minutes before, anyway. nbc meteorologist bill karins is here with us. bill, the anticipation, the leadup to the storm, the last couple of days of the storm have all been about south florida, about miami, the keys, up the west coast. we have now moved into the face where this is a north florida story. >> yeah, jacksonville, people that lived there their entire lives they've never seen water this high. to update you, it's a flash flood emergency that you're seeing on this river that you're seeing here. this is st. john's river in florida. runs from south to north.
orlando area. the river dumps out in jacksonville. the way the winds would be blowing, it's not allowed the river to dump out, with the storm surge running up through the river. plus a tremendous amount of rainfall. that combination has made this river up to five feet. it doesn't sound that much, but the previous highest level was four feet. you can see the rivers in the streets of downtown jacksonville. they're saying that this river is going to go up another one for two feet. it's already higher than all-time record. and their records go back 50 years. and they're saying we're going to add another one to two feet to the river projections here. you can see the fence there with the light poles, that should not be under water. that means the river is now over its banks. it's in downtown area. social media, i've been seeing pictures of hogan street which is right where the performing arts center is there is waste waist deep in the downtown streets there of downtown jacksonville. obviously, kind of for
perspective, we're kind of following this fishing boat, as it's heading to east to west. that's heading out down the river. let's go over to the maps, if you want to split the screen and keep the river up on the other side, it's perfect with me. this is the flash flood emergency from the duvall county area. now, we've extended that flash flood warning all the way up through brunswick, georgia. that's the area of concern. the jacksonville area is located right here. that diamond right there is right where we showed you those live pictures. the live pictures on the other side of the screen. the st. john's river is this snaky river that goes from south to north. i have the wind arrows on this map. these are the current winds from hurricane irma. they are coming pretty much now from the east-southeast. what's going to happen it's going to coincide with the high tide 12:36 p.m. the winds are going to shift to the south. all of the water piled up and built up into the river because of the rain and storm surge,
when the winds go south, that water is going to surge with the flow of water to the north. they're thinking what you're looking at now is going to get one to two feet worse because of high tide and coinciding with the shift of the winds to the south. so that's just a bad scenario. it's still raining in the jacksonville area. some of the heavy rain has shifted to the north. we had a foot of rain just over the night in jacksonville area. we go closer here just to see -- there's the radar site. there's downtown jacksonville. 295 area. the heavy rain is finally moving out. we're not going to add too much rain to the equation there. most of the heavy rain is up to the north. updating everybody else, some people are asking what be the rest of the storm? where do we stand? 2:00 p.m., 65-mile-per-hour tro tropical storm. let me know across the wires
this this is a tropical storm. my computer automatically changes and tells me it's now down to a tropical storm and not a hurricane. we'll await the official word. and then we're going to see it and take it as a patrotropical . i think.wind damage will wind before alabama. yes, i'm getting a confirmation. the computer was right. we did see this dial down to a tropical storm. so, that's good. we continue to knock the winds down. 70 miles per hour tropical storm, max gusts possible, 90. we still could get power out with this. as far as life-threatening, the st. john's river, we're showing you the picture there, we can go back to jointown jacksonville. that st. john's river travels for some good 60 or 70 miles. there's flooding on that whole river. >> that's going to be a problem for at least five more hours? >> high tide at 12:36. that water is going to struggle
to escape. because of the storm surge and the wind blowing off the ocean and the rain bit up flowing into the river. we got like a trifecta of heavy storm surge, heavy flooding and high tide at the same time. jacksonville is in the middle of about to experience the worst flood by three feet than anyone else alive has ever seen. >> irma now a tropical storm, no longer a hurricane. the weather channel's reynolds wolf is there in jacksonville for us, reynolds. >> reporter: willie, the rains have come down, the wind continues to roar. one of the takeaways, is that this area is not even in the cone. hard to believe the damage we're seeing in terms of water coming up. the man behind the camera is marshall statin. marshall, let's take a look at one of the great sights you have in jacksonville. that is the main street bridge which unfortunately now is closed. ahead of us, you see a smidge of
debris, the water coming up, we're actually on a raised flat form. the real story is what's happening in the st. john's river. in the 1960s, you remember a hurricane by the name of dora. dora brought record storm surge. guess what, that's past. this is present. this is history in the making. the numbers we have now, last i heard was 4.23. that was the official. look at it now, we're up higher than that. we're going to hurry up and give you a better shot. i promise you, 24 to 48 hours ago we were able to walk to the banks of the st. john's river. that is not happening now. look at the white caps. look to the swells off in the difference. one thing you might see on the right there, willie, a shrimp boat. that was taken into this river for safe harbor. you can only imagine what the
conditions are like on the atlantic. hour by hour, hundreds of thousands of customers without power. big cleanups, big messes, no doubt. send is it back to you. >> we've been watching that ship called perseverance push its way up the river. >> yeah, i'm looking at the headlines in the local paper. it says the sun is rising, it's clear irma walloped jacksonville and more coming. >> more from our affiliate wtlv in downtown, just south of jacksonville. alex are what are you seeing there? >> reporter: hey willie, right now, the wind conditions picking up. we measured over 46 miles an hour. downtown st. augustine. the water is up on the main road here, ebony and menendez. we've seen it start to recede over the last couple hours, while the winds and storms pick up, however. so, this is what we're watching.
the power has been out across the st. augustine area overnight. we estimate about 10% of people waking up with power along st. augustine. the bridges connecting much of these coastal cities remain closed because of those high gusting winds, actually looking out into a marina here in st. augustine. the people who left their boats behind. those are still bouncing up and down. we can't get close enough to see any damage. we do see debris, though, flowing through what our streets looking more like rivers this morning. monitoring the damage, live in st. augustine. back to you guys. >> all right, alex, st. augustine such of jacksonville in north florida. bill karins, an update out of jacksonville? >> yeah, we just showed the reporter there on the beach there. the winds that are current. we'll take our weather one computer and so you the wind field of the storm. the storm is currently located just north of cedar key.
the wind is still parallel to the coastline here on the coast. that's where daytona beach is. there's jacksonville. the winds extend 415 miles out to the center. here's some of our current gusts. the reporter right there, south of jacksonville, down to the daytona beach area, in the middle there. they're still getting gusts off the coast in 50 to 60-mile-per-hour range. punta gorda is fine. west palm beach is fine. winds picking up in tallahassee area at 51 miles per hour. they're north of the storm but the highest winds along the northeast coastline. and that's why that river is not flowing back out the way it's supposed to. and why the storm surge is building up there. that's why we're having such an incredible problem with the storm that's coming from the south to the north on a slow journey, that's where all the issues really are. you know, we'll continue to monitor the pictures there in the jacksonville area. it's a slow moving -- usually, sometimes, when you get these
storm surges they're pretty quick with the high tide. we're still, what, five hours -- almost 4 1/2 hours away from that. >> bill karins, thanks. i want to bring in kyle perry. we've just been assessing the damage after the sun came out in florida. for a while, we've seen in devastation in the caribbean. it's almost unimaginable. 23 people dead from irma. barbuda destroyed. >> completely destroyed. 95% devastation. 23 people dead. there's a big lag on information coming from the caribbean because power is out, the internet is down. phones are down. let's take a look at puerto rico. there's something interesting developing in puerto perico. it kind of dodged the storm. but it's on its knees economically. this is a place that defaulted
on $700,000 worth of get. there's 700,000 to 800,000 people there without power. it could take four to six months to get the power back on because the main power company defaulted on its debt. there was an emergency declaration from president trump to clear up fema funding by congress. we're watching that very closely. and cuba. cuba as well. cuba got hit very hard. we're seeing some incredible pictures. there you go. devastation in north cuba, as well as the flooding in havana. the flooding came in at least six city blocks. u.s. embassy had waist deep water there. the guard shack outside the embassy was actually swept away in that water. we're talking 18 feet of water coming in there. 1 million people were evacuated from that storm in cuba. and, look, if you're looking to help. we've heard a lot about j.j. watt raising money for texas well, tim duncan has started his
own fund. i think we got the tweet, guys. we can put that up. tim duncan is raising money for the -- there you go. so, you can head there to twitter. you can check out his fund. he started a fund, raising, last time i checked up to $50,000. >> thank you so much. we talked about this before, these are islands their economy is based on tourism. cuba is certainly a place after the obama administration took action, a lot more americans were able to come in, spend money, very important to that economy. and now dealing without power, they're dealing with no homes. they're dealing with water and food shortages. but their future in terms of economic income looks very bad. >> as we've seen so many times over the years during the hurricanes just the physical structures are not built to be able to withstand, certainly category 5 winds that we saw sweep through there over the last week or so. >> cal, thank you very much. we're going back in just a moment to jacksonville. that's where the water is rising
on the st. john river there. concerns there about flooding. record flooding and storm surge there. we're also checking in across the region as the sun is up. people can get their helicopters up and start assessing the damage. we're going to talk to governor charlie crist about that. and this north, for the first time as president, donald trump is preside over the anniversary of the september 11th where hijacked planes killed people at the pentagon and after 8:45 a.m. the president and first lady expected to mark a moment of silence at the white house. that coincides with the time the first plane struck the north tower in new york city. the president and first lady also will travel to the pentagon for an observance ceremony alongside defense secretary james mattis. vice president mike pence will represent the administration at the 9/11 in shanksville, pennsylvania. we'll be observing those moments of silence with you and have it all covered on this 16th
we are getting new scenes of flooding and destruction from irma which how has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm. jacksonville understand a flash flood emergency. other parts of florida having a sigh of relief this morning. these pictures from daytona beach, though, severe flooding last night. creating a dangerous situation, reminding people to stay off the road. the storm currentlies were a category hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves up florida. the storm surge has been better than anticipated. and tampa bay, mayor bob buckhorn telling us it was less of a punch, more of a glancing blow for his city. nearly 6 million floridians are without electricity. naples reported wind gusts of 110 niles per hour.
the mayor there telling us there are no reports injuries they're waiting to survey the damage some of which you see in the drone footage here. residents in the caribbean prepare for more clean upfrom utter devastation there. a resident of st. thomas telling "the washington post," quote, people there are roaming like zombies. in st. petersburg, the curfew was lifted. though residents are encouraged to remain home. downed trees with a curfew over night. joining us from miami, is nbc's phillip mena. what does it look like there? >> reporter: a little over an hour ago, miami lifted that curfew so people are now starting to get out and about, look at the damage. you see this interaction, that dangling traffic like theght th that's going to be problematic. they're going to fix problems like that. over my other shoulder here, that was one of the main evab
wag evacuation shelters, people were hunkering down there. again, miami didn't get the worst of it, thankfully. but you still see significant damage done. you see people are trying to get in a car. calling cabs. they're going to get a chance to go home and check out their property. hopefully, everything is how they left it. again, miami was not hit the worst, but it was hit. we were away from the eye of the storm, a couple hundred miles. but there was still some damage. there's some problems down this street. you can see that is completely blocked off. that is a palm tree that is blocking both sides of the road. so public works still has a lot of work ahead of them. they need to move all of these things out of the way and get everything up and running again. that's what's going on here, willie. >> obviously. there's some damage there, people will go back to their homes and find damage. as you said, a couple days ago when this city of miami and metro population of 5.5 or 6 million people direct to be in the path. there's a bit of a sigh of relief.
phillip mena, thank you very much. let's bring in director of fema, david pollitson. you saw katrina, oversaw the cleanup there, also the cleanup from hurricane rita. how does this compare? we know coming in as one of the biggest storms anyone has ever seen coming out of the atlantic. how does it look to you? >> i'm just west of ft. lauderdale. i've got most of the trees down. a lot of debris. the storm is gone. no damage to the houses, at least in my neighborhood. the west coast is not doing so well. they got the direct hit of that eye that made landfall at category 4. we'll get a better assessment of the damage. i expect it's going to be significant. this was a huge storm covered the entire state of florida from one coast to the other.
really there was no place to go except to hunker down. >> well, there were massive evacuations as you know, 6 million people evacuated their homes. almost a third of the state's entire population left home under those evacuation orders. from where you sit, as someone in the chair before as director of fema, how did fema, how did state and local officials do in the leadup to the storm anyway? we'll see what it looks like afterwards, but what did it look to you in terms of preparation? >> i think they did very well. after harvey, i saw a lot of coordination between the federal and state officials and locals. we did not see that with katrina. i'm very pleased with that. a lot of sharing of information. no finger pointing. let's just get this job done type of attitude. >> as i mentioned you were the fire chief of miami-dade for some time. the building codes after 1992,
i'm thinking of a city like homestead, florida, that was especially leveled. i know there was some fighting that had to go on in the municipalities across south florida to get building codes changed but what impact, hopefully, positive impact, did the change of those building codes that we saw last night and over the last couple of days? >> it's a huge impact on those homes that were built after we changed our code. we looked are carefully what the failed. what part of the building that failed and why did it fail. the windows and doors and the roof system is what failed. it was not the wall structure so much. so, we made changes. we made changes in how we fasten our materials in. how we use the structures and the type of material on the roof. it made significant difference and how much wind these buildings will withstand as opposed to what we saw in hurricane andrew where brand new homes failed. that was significant for us. >> no question about it. what now will be the biggest challenge for fema?
you've done this before. the storm passes through florida. it moves up now. it's a tropical storm. what now is the challenge over the coming days, weeks and months? >> a couple things. one is going to be housing. particularly with harvey, with the amount of homes flooded out and destroyed, those people are not going to be able to get in homes very soon. they're going to have to be housed. similar to what we saw in katrina, not as widespread as harvey. in florida, we're probably not going to lose that much housing stock. so housing is not going to be an issue. it's going to be recovery. electrical grid is down. debris on the roads. those types of things is going to be signature fificant for fe. and for the government itself, we have to stop and look at how we respond to disasters. we're spending 14 times more money on the response side than the predisaster side. we only have 16 states with
statewide building codes like florida. by keep rebuilding the homes over and over again. exactly the same way. it's so predictable, they're going to come down again. they're going to flood again. we got to have some innocecentive for states for building so the houses don't come down. >> those are conversations to take place certainly in the weeks and months ahead. former fema director david pa paulisson. we appreciate your insights. >> thank you, sir. we'll talk to former florida governor now congressman charlie crist. we'll also go back to nbc's kerry sanders. earlier, we saw him trying to rescue a dolphin that washed ashore. that dolphin, we're happy to report has been saved. we'll show you how kerry and some friends did it moments ago in marco island, florida.
my name is jamir dixon and i'm a locate and mark fieldman for pg&e. most people in the community recognize the blue trucks as pg&e. my truck is something new... it's an 811 truck. when you call 811, i come out to your house and i mark out our gas lines and our electric lines to make sure that you don't hit them when you're digging. 811 is a free service. i'm passionate about it because every time i go on the street i think about my own kids. they're the reason that i want to protect our community and our environment, and if me driving a that truck means that somebody gets to go home safer, then i'll drive it every day of the week. together, we're building a better california. joining us now from carnestown, florida, about 30 miles southeast of naples. is nbc's jacob soberoff. jacob, we're seeing flooding
behind you, what does it look like? >> reporter: yeah, it's pretty severe, willie. directly in that direction is miami, tamiami trail. that is naples where we spent the nine. this is 29, the only way in and out of everglades city. we've seen higher profile vehicles actually going into it. we've seen people with an air boat. there are islands beyond that. this gentlemen here, this name is leo. leo doesn't have a high profile vehicle, willie, but he lives beyond everglades city. you haven't been out there? >> no, not yet. one of my neighbors said it was in pretty good shape. it's up to 20 1/2 feet. and i'm at 11 1/2 feet. he said the storm surge stopped where my house is. >> reporter: and you rode out hurricane wilma? >> yeah.
>> reporter: some people are saying this is worst than will we wilma down there? >> yeah, in everglades city, up to the soffit of the house. >> reporter: pockets have seen different levels of flooding and devastation. in everglades city, some and those outside there worse. we're going to check with you later on when we do pa. >> jacob and leo, thanks very much. joining us from the lower florida keys, nbc's gadi schwartz. we're still awaiting video to come in from gadi's location. gadi, if you could, describe for us what you're seeing. this is what we anticipated, we wanted to see what the keys look like once we got helicopters up in the air. you're seeing it with your own eyes. >> reporter: that's right, willie, we have heard reports
out in a long time. i don't know if you can hear it, there are fire alarms going off. there are a condo on fire. there are no fire trucks. no fire -- it's basically an eerie storm. there's silence growing inside of these condos. and then alarms are going off. and there's nothing anybody can do. and -- they're trying to track down firefighters. because on the phones they're -- because they see us talking on the phones, and somebody asked hey, is that a phone? they want to call their family members. we've run into a couple people. there's no way of communicating outside of marathon right now. a lot of people wanting to get in touch with their loved ones back at home. from what we've seen, there is destruction. there are a lot of live downed power lines where we are right now. it seems as though concrete
condos and concrete houses on stilts fared the storm pretty well. but homes there are a little bit lower lying and mobile homes, there's mobile homes swept actually on to the main road, u.s. 1, that goes all the way down to the keys. and as we're making we're way down from key west, we had come down from key largo. the more south we get, the worse the damage that we're seeing. that is one of the things we're seeing out here. we're going over to this crowd and let them use our cell phone just a little bit. we're going to make our way to the south. >> i don't want to burn your cell battery too much more. but this is the first account we've gotten, direct account out of the florida keys. just to orient the people, you're in marathon, south of islamorada. near the seven mile bridge is it that's where you are. >> reporter: exactly. >> and you're seeing fires down there? >> reporter: yeah, right now,
what we're seeing, is -- let me tell you groove's ocean beach villa. and it's a condo right in the middle of this complex. and it's attached to other condos. so, there's one, two, three -- four -- there's about a line of nine condos. and the one in the center, there is smoke just billowing out from the garage. billowing out of the windows. we went up and we've been banging on the doors making sure no one's in there. it looks like -- just like the other condos -- if the fire department doesn't get here -- and the other concern around here, there's not very much water. we heard reports down in key west, some of these communities, there are leaks from the water system. and to conserve water and residents that are still down here. but at this point, there's no
running water. no electricity. no phones. it's a pretty dire situation. >> gadi schwartz. let you preserve that battery. get it charged where you can. and we'll get the cameras up and running and get pictures. obviously people are watching on tv. you're seeing footage from the keys. some of it shot yesterday, farther up the keys. we will get the video, described there by gadi schwartz as smoke billowing outside of fires in at least one condominium complex. fire trucks, firefighters not able to access those places. no sign of them yet. this is what we're talking about for the first couple of hours. this forth, what were the florida keys like once we get the helicopters up in the air. and bill karins, it sounds from gadi schwartz, pretty severe damage there? >> that's what we were afraid of. we hurts from storm chasers in the marathon area. they had an idea, big pine key,
that was where the northern eye wall went through and that was the worst of it. i continue to monitor the jacksonville, florida, area. i was watching the images of it. it's well over its banks into the city in some spots. we pan around a little bit, that's the st. john's river. that river is a foot higher than it's ever been in the history of city of the jacksonville. they're expecting up another two feet by the time we get to high tide at noon today. at 3 1/2 feet, water goes into homes and does destruction. it's at 3 1/2. and it could go up to 7. that's almost like houston-type numbers in comparison. houston is flat so it's a different situation but to break a record river level by about three feet is rather unhurteard. you do it just by a little bit. that's a story we'll continue to monitor. >> i want to go back to marco
island, florida. that's where we find kerry sanders, once again. the last time we saw kerry, he was trying to rescue a dolphin. looks like another rescue under way, kerry. kerry, we don't have your mike right now. we're going to let you do your work right there. we can't hear kerry. the report that we got that young dolphin that we saw out in the sea earlier. kerry and another man were trying to get it out. this was earlier footage that we were showing you. the dolphin disoriented perhaps exhausted. kerry reports back to us that the dolphin was safely released back out into the gulf. now as we see the live pictures of kerry sanders and another group trying to rescue what they believe is the mother of that dolphin. we're back to kerry. let's go to nbc news
correspondent chrkristen dahlgr. >> reporter: hey, this is florida task force 6. this is seven florida rescue and task force. these guys are no joke. we'll show you what they have ready to roll out. we're learning now whether we're going to structural collapses they're hearing about or water rescues. they're prepared for both. we've got all of the trucks, the semis lined up. they've got saws, wood, hazmat material, boats for swift water rescue. they say they're ready for anything that they may need to rescue people. keep in mind, these are guys from here, from lee county, these are guys who had damage from their own homes. they've left their families. they've been released from their fire stations here because the damage wasn't as bad and they're headed out. really potentially the heroes of this storm.
one other thing staging here, that people in florida will be happy to see, power trucks back there. those are going to be going out. here in lee county, 234,000 customers without power out of 259,000. not a lot of people here still have power. and fpl is going to be out there trying to get those power lines back up. and power connected to people. so, we're waiting to hear where we're going. we're going to be along with them. and we'll try and bring you throughout the day aniy lrescue operations going on. >> we've been talking first responders in the context of the storm and anniversary of 9/11. these are the heroes. as i mentioned this is the 16th anniversary. we're coming up to 11 minutes away from the first moment of silence, marking the time that first plane airline flight 9/11 hit the tower. we'll bring you that and
we are about seven minutes away from the commemoration at 8:46 a.m. eastern time marking the moment the first plane hit the buildings, the world trade center, the north tower, american airlines flight 11, president trump joined by the first lady will commemorate that moment of silence, we, of course, will bring it live to you momentarily. in the meantime, let's go back to macko island, florida. nbc correspondent kerry sanders is there. kerry, we just saw you and a team of people uplifting a dolphin. you can update us? >> reporter: well, we're all strangers. there's a gentleman who is on vacation whose english isn't bad
but from another country. he saw the dolphin. you saw us together putting our arms underneath. helping us. heavy dolphin. >> very dolphin. >> reporter: getting him out of the water, taking him out what were you thinking and how do you feel now where it appears the dolphin has made it out? >> he was riding a wave but surfing hopefully, he can get out. >> reporter: thank you very much. we'll continue to watch the beach here, willie, thus far, one baby, a large one, a mother and a baby. back in the gulf of mexico. >> kerry, well done by you and all of those people on the beach. when we left you last. you were with the young dolphin. the baby dolphin that you were fighting to get in the surf. how did you end up getting him or her out there? >> reporter: last indications are, i took him out all the way up to about here. and i held him. giving him an opportunity to
attach to it. he was exhausted clearly. first laying on the beach and then laying in the surf being tossed about. needs to get him past -- you see where the first waves, i needed to get past of the second waves where they're breaking. it's just about that deep in the gulf of mexico. not much of an undertow, finally released him. off he went. >> kerry sanders, well done. saving two dolphins while reports on hurricane irma hurricane irma. joining us the former governor of state of florida and now congressman charlie crist. he represents st. petersburg. initial damage reports, the sun well up for an hour and a half over your district. what does it look like? >> i think we got pretty lucky in st. petersburg, willie,
there's winds and obviously a lot of rain last night. still getting gusts, frankly. because of the track of the storm and the way it went, we got kind of the softer side, if you will. needless to say there's a lot of recovery for all of florida as a result of this, up intoing georgia. it has occurred to me especially after what happened in texas, maybe the florida and it it delegation get together and see how we can talk about appropriations going forward, to make sure that all of the great people of our state and of texas, get what they need, going forward. after two just horrendous hurricanes. >> congressman, we're sort of balancing with you on the air the idea with you in st. petersburg, and we talked to the mayor mr. buckhorn as well may have dodged a bullet here. with the idea that there's still concerns, what's your greatest concern? >> well, there is that cleanup. number one, it's safety first.
you want to make sure loss of life it at a minimum. if at all. and injury is obviously something that you take care of first. once that's done, thens, you know, recovery. and make sure that, you know, things are passable. that we have gasoline. we have supplies. people can get back to normalcy. that's really the objective, as soon as you can. that's why i think it's important for texas and florida delegations to together back in d.c. later this week. and have an opportunity to work together in a very productive way to do what's right for our people. for our constituents. >> as a native of florida, congressman and governor of state of florida, you've been through these things and overseeing the preparation and response to them. where does this think rank and how do you feel like you stood up in the preparation? >> i'll tell you what, i don't know, willie, if i've ever seen better preparation for this storm. i think in large measure there was tremendous coordination between federal, state and local officials on the ground here in
pinellas county. it was extraordinary. they did a great job, the sheriff's office. the governor's office. everybody really was working together well. senator nelson was everywhere. you know, i'm just so pleased that we had that kind of coordination. that's what you need. but the people even more so, to tell you the truth. and i think, you know, we've been through a lot of these things in florida. that goes without saying, but in addition, having just witnessed what happened over in texas with harvey, that was a warning signal to us, too, to take this thing seriously. and everybody, thank god did. and we're much better off as a result of it. >> well, we wish you all the best with the cleanup. we hope those casualties and lack thereof hold up throughout the day. congressman charlie crist, we appreciate your time. >> thank you, womenlillie. you're now be looking at ground zero, the commemoration of that day begins in just a
moment when president trump and the first lady lead a moment of silence at the white house, marking the time the first plane struck the north tower. later, just after 9:30 a.m., we will join defense secretary james mattis for a remembrance ceremony at the pentagon memorial to honor those killed there in the terrorist attack. it's a litany of time that's become all too familiar. 8:46 p.m., the first plane. 9:37 a.m. eastern time american airlines flight 77 hit the pentagon. 9:59 a.m. eastern time the south tower collapsed. 10:03 eastern time, united airlines flight 93 crashed in a field in shanksville, pennsylvania. let's listen in now and watch the president and the first lady.
new yorker, marking for the first time as president the moment that began and set in motion the darkest day, one in history of this country, a day we still feel 16 years later, you can see on the right side of the screen, family members reading the names of those killed. you can see the flag unfurled over the pentagon. all impacted. this country changed forever by what happened 16 years ago today. we'll be right back.
welcome back to msnbc's coverage now of tropical storm irma downgraded earlier this morning from a hurricane. we'll go down to miami, one of the areas that was lashed by the storm yesterday. that's where we find mariana ortensio. >> we're getting our first glimpse of the devastation that those strong winds, that storm surge and just those powerful wind gusts created. i was standing right on this spot yesterday and i just, i could feel how fast that wind was going. you see the result here behind me here on south point. you could just see how big those palm trees are behind me in front of me, pretty big trees to topple down.
here you're starting to see out and about, people who did not evacuate, going out to survey some of their city. this is exactly what miami beach city commissioner and police officers have told us people should not be doing this morning. there's still a lot of flooding here on the beach. toppled power lines. that could be very dang russian. the day before yesterday, we also saw some people kite surfing. one person kite surfing before the hurricane hit. again, not a seen that officials want to be looking at this morning. miami beach city commissioner told me about an hour ago that accord to his estimate, 90% of the beach is still out of power. a lot of buildings here with generators here of course but it's still a very volatile situation. we've seen patrol car, police cars almost in every corner of this city, even on the bridges that connect downtown miami which suffered a lot of flooding and connected to the beach. and they're telling people if they did evacuate the beach, don't come back until tomorrow because it's still, again, a
very fragile situation. the sun is just coming up and people are just starting to get a glimpse of the damage. there's still a lot of unknowns here in miami beach. again, miami was not a direct hit but it's clear that it was not left unscathed by this storm. >> may have avoided the worst of it but there's a lot of clean-up to do and one of the biggest metropolitan areas of this country. i want to turn back to bill karins now as we watch clean up in the south of florida. the focus is in jacksonville. >> i was just looking at some pictures. we're trying to get this imagery. we're trying to clear it from social media. we have water that's in the bottom level of the businesses in downtown jacksonville. saw a hotel chain with water in it. if you're familiar with where the jacksonville football team plays, they're kind of down near the st. johns river. the water is all through the area. i can't tell if it's in the football stadium or not but it's all through the parking area, the park down there. the winds continue to pile it
up. we have a five-foot storm surge right now in the jacksonville area. we got that storm surge. we're at low tide. we're heading towards high tide today. at 12:36 p.m. at the time we get to high tide, this is like a trifecta of misery here. we've already had a foot of rain. storm surge is 4 to 5 feet on the coast now. when the winds shift, all the water built up here. i want to show you the video. our news director at our nbc station in jacksonville. that's the football stadium. it's hard to tem where the river is supposed to be and where the downtown area -- this is from first coast news. there are a lot of pictures like this. you can see the vehicles in the background. some of the businesses. there's about two to three feet of water right now that has overcome the banks there. this is the st. john's river through downtown jacksonville. this is a flash flood emergency. and there are evacuations that are taking place.
there are water rescues. and there -- irma's not done. there's a lot of misery still taking place now. people are getting water in their home and in their property, through a lot of vehicles. we'll bring you more of these pictures as we get them in. >> as we looked at this storm, we talked about key west, we talked about miami, we talked about naple, we talked about tampa. are you surprised jacksonville is one of the centers of this storm? >> i'm a little surprised the water's this high. i thought we'd have some surge. they're one foot above. anyone that's alive, that's lived their their whole live, they're one foot above the highest level recorded in 1964 with hurricane dora. they could go up two more feet. they could have water three feet higher than the record. i don't want to leave our friends out. i just saw the forecast for savannah, georgia. savannah georgia's expected to top their all-time record water level by two feet this afternoon. so, i mean, i'm about to tell our crews, we need to get up to savannah to show that story this afternoon. >> all right, this storm a long
way from over, as you point out correctly. want to go down to the new york stock exchange. where we find cnbc's sara eisen. obviously a solemn day down there with the anniversary of 9/11 and also markets looking at the impact of the storm. >> yes. i will say actually stockings are surging here in the premarket. one take on that is the hurricane. hurricane irma. could have been a lot worse. if the forecast and some of the fearmongering ahead of the storm were right in terms of the economic impact, it could have damaged the economy further. having said that, there is still clearly a lot of damage to sort through here. florida is the country's fourth biggest economy. some of the major ports still remain closed this morning. i'm talking about ports miami, tampa, st. petersburg, port everglade, port canaveral and jacksonville, those are key when it come also to the trons po transportation of fuel and diesel into florida. florida depends on those tankers for fuel and those pipelines,
many of which are closed today. it's also a major cruise port, miami and port canaveral, two of the biggest cruise ports in the entire world. besides the impact of agricultural and trade, we're going to be looking to see the damage, which clearly it's very early at this point. >> i want ton a ask you about t 16th anniversary. many of them diemillion that buildi died in that building. what does it feel like to be down there on a day like this? >> there will be a moment of silence ahead of the opening bell. obviously 9/11 just a few blocks from here was the world trade center, many of these traders remember it well. and cnbc actually spend, the day at cantor fitzgerald with lost a number of their employees during the world trade center. they honor and make a tribute every single year to this 9/11 by interviewing some of their executives about some of the impact and how they're helping families still in the wake of
that -- >> cantor fitzgerald lost more than 600 people in those towers. cnbc's sara eisen, thank you so much for your reporting. chris jansing now going to pick up the breaking coverage of what is now tropical storm irma. >> good morning, i am chris jansing. the sun is up in florida. now tropical storm irma is pounding the northeastern part of this state with flooding in jacksonvil jacksonville. now, one hour ago, irma was downgraded from a category a-1 to a tropical storm with maximum sustain winds of 70 miles per hour. it's moving towards tallahassee in the florida panhandle. then appears headed for georgia and alabama. cities like naples took a direct hit from the storm. there was flooding in miami and the florida keys. but in other areas, the damage was noted an baz ed aed an bad. the mayor of