tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC September 11, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
p.m. in florida where people in parts of jacksonville received an urgent message today, get out now. officials did not mince words as they urged people who live along the st. johns river to evacuate. the city faced historic flood levels this morning and that was before high tide. the sheriff asked residents to put out something white, anything white, on their homes if they needed help escaping. >> a call to get out in jacksonville, florida. >> the storm surge with the high tide, we had a foot of rain and it's all pinpointing right over the top of the jacksonville area. >> it's the worst flooding the city has ever experienced already, and really the worst is still to come. >> i think what's important for citizens to know is you guys are reporting about jacksonville, this system is not done. >> today, andrea, is day one of recovery for miami, miami beach. >> see boats not only under water but homes and vehicles completely submerged. homes are obliterated. looks like tornado alley in some places here where they've been shredded to pieces.
>> and in other parts of the state as you just saw people are starting to assess the damage. we are expecting an update from governor rick scott any minute. and later this hour we'll get a white house briefing from sarah huckabee sanders. most of the airports in florida will remain closed today. 6.5 million customers in the state are now without power. officials warn it could take days or even weeks for it to be restored. and irma isn't done yet. now a tropical storm, she has her sights set on georgia. atlanta is under a tropical storm warning for the first time ever. we've got an incredible team of reporters who've been covering every angle of this storm all weekend and into the day. let's go first to nbc's morgan radford who's in jacksonville, florida. morgan, the flooding there, it doesn't look good. tell me what you're seeing. >> it's not good, katy. the flooding not only has the water been rising since we got here, but there are entire apartment complexes to our right
where the water is worrying and people are trying to get out of their apartments. but right now you can see we're in downtown jacksonville. i can see fallen signs here under the water. and this water is supposed to rise around this time, so 2:00 is when they said high tide was going to be for this area. we were going to see these waters rise another 4 to 6 feet. there's already been a mandatory evacuation, a lot of those low lying areas around jacksonville, but we were traveling all the way from gainesville to jacksonville today when we started in gainesville about 50,000 people there had already lost power. there were 21 shelters that were set up around that county. and remember that's also home, katy, to the university of florida. so 160,000 residents while students are in session the primary shelter there had already reached capacity. you can hear the sirens behind me in jacksonville and downtown where people have already tried to evacuate. so there's a pretty dire circumstance because when we
were about 30 miles just south of jacksonville, we stopped, i saw a woman whose home had been flooded. i walked out and i said, ma'am, i shouted to her across the water to her front porch and i said do you need anything, do you need any water, i have snacks in my vehicle. she said, no. we walked up to talk to her, put on waders and made it to her front door and she said in all my years like this i've never seen anything to this degree with this level of severity. she said she grew up in this area. she was used to flooding and used to hurricanes, but nothing like this. so she built with mattresses created a safety zone in her hallway with her two young daughters. and she said, look, morgan, when you're talking about the safety of yourself, that's one thing. but when you're talking about the safety of your children, that's a completely different level of responsibility. so these are the types of questions people are facing not only here in jacksonville, also in gainesville. remember, also back in the caribbean, katy, we've been following this storm since it hit a week ago i was there in san juan and we saw the amount of damage that caused.
but then i chase it all the way up here, we went to atlanta, georgia, we were waiting for it to come, came down to gainesville, moved here to jacksonville, florida, and this level of destruction and this level of water i have not seen since i've been covering this storm. and these waters are only going to continue to rise throughout the evening, worsening the problem here, katy. >> morgan, you said 4 to 6 feet. 6 feet would be above your head. are they expecting that amount of water in downtown jacksonville, or the neighborhoods right off the river? >> right. not only here downtown, but also -- we're right by the st. johns river so it's already crested over into the street. that's part of what you're seeing here. we also expect to see that -- exactly, in the low lying areas. i'm 5'10", where you see it now it's above my ankle, where i was standing back there it was at my knees. so we're already halfway there. >> morgan, stay safe out there. angel marquez is a jacksonville resident who chose to ride out the storm. he's joining me now by phone. angel, we spoke to you about an hour ago. you were still in your apartment
with the water rising. where is the water right now? >> the water is pretty much where it's been for the last hour or so. i can't say it's been going up like i was afraid it would. i was expecting it maybe to go up another two to three feet. but right now it's at the steps, right at the front door to the first floor apartment. you know, it's well over the wall. the waves coming over the wall have to be a good three feet, three to four feet. >> if it starts rising significantly, morgan radford was just saying four to six feet, do you have higher ground to get to? are you on the second floor or the third floor? >> yeah, we're on the second floor. four to six feet should still keep us dry. >> wow. and we're showing video, angel,
of you in the storm waters. what were you doing there? >> just showing the experience with my friends on facebook. i live on the water. like our apartment is the last apartment before you get to the river. our living room looks out on to the river. >> wow. >> so we decided to stay in here. we have plenty of water and food. we wanted to experience it. we're floridians from birth, so this isn't our first hurricane. >> given all that you saw, angel, with the storm's power, the anger of the storm over the weekend, i'm sure you were watching it on television, you were seeing it barrel through. why make the decision to stay? i'm looking at video right now that i believe you also shot of your neighbors with their dog trying to evacuate. why not just heed the warnings of city officials and get out of there? >> well, at the time, i mean, you know, when we looked at our options of where to go, we were
pretty much going to be stuck anywhere we went. so we figured here would be our best bet. i mean, we were here with our two dogs, we have plenty of water, plenty of food. wherever we would have gone, we figured we would be stuck there. so better off to just be stuck here, i guess. >> and, angel, how long do you have supplies for if say rescue crews can't get to you for some time? >> several days. we have plenty of water, plenty of nonperishable canned food that we can ration for the next day or so. i mean, as soon as the water -- the winds die down and the waters recede, we should be able to get to our cars and make our ways to get what's needed. >> angel, we wish you all the best. good luck to you. we hope you stay safe in this rising water. hope it doesn't rise too much
farther. appreciate your time, thanks for calling in. >> thank you, katy. hi mom! >> hi mom. poor angel. he's okay at least right now. joining me by phone is jacksonville beach mayor charlie latham. mayor, thank you for joining us. we were just talking to one of your residents, angel, who stayed inside his home. he's right on the banks of the river. he shot some video of the water clearly going over the walls there. he says it's about to start getting into the first floor. when you hear people like that who stayed, what is your thought? >> well, katy, obviously our objective is to get people to evacuate. you can never tell until it's too late whether or not the hurricane's going to be one that takes life. we did have a surprisingly large number of people stay behind this time, but hopefully i haven't heard yet of any injuries or deaths. >> it's now a tropical storm. do you think people don't take it as seriously when it becomes a tropical storm? >> i think the biggest problem we have, katy, is as it began to
turn west a little bit, people didn't realize the scope and the magnitude of the storm. and they thought maybe the intended track was what they needed to be concerned with. so when the winds came, you know, we had horrific winds and rains, we had 27 inches of rain in 24 hours. >> wow. >> we flooded all over jacksonville beach. i've lived here 50 years, i've never seen anything like it. so we lost about our electrical customers about 90% of them lost power. we were able to keep our water and sewage up, that's the good news. so nobody has to boil water. and, you know, we're just still in the middle of the cleanup mode right now trying to make it safe for people who come home. >> a lot of your constituents don't have any power right now. have any idea when you're going to be able to get the grid restored? >> well, we've got one of the greatest energy companies on the planet at work at it. and we're just now getting to the point where the winds are down enough that we can bring crews out. so they're going to be working
diligently to set the priorities to our hospital in town. and we're working on doing that right now. sorry, just police chief joining me in the car here. >> and the police chief's there with you. what's his top concern right now? >> chief, what's your top concern right now? i'm going to put on pat dooley for just a second. >> wonderful. >> our biggest concern is really making sure everyone in the community stays safe until we can get all the public utilities restored. right now we still have emergency crews out, we're still doing search and rescue in certain buildings. and we're waiting to get that completed. and we already have a lot of people that are coming out, sight seers and that kind of stuff. so that's a little problematic for us right now. >> i would imagine. how many rescues have you been able to do, chief? >> actually, they haven't found anything they needed to rescue right now chrks is a very good thing, but that's an ongoing process for us right now.
we still have a lot to do. >> so the water could rise four to six feet according to our estimates. if it does rise at that level, are you concerned that there's going to be a number of people who are on the first floors of buildings who will be in desperate need of evacuation? >> we actually, katy, have a couple of neighborhoods on the low end -- did i lose you? >> no, you're still there. we got you. >> okay. we have two neighborhoods where they're pretty low areas near our waterway. and during hurricane matthew last year they flooded to four feet inside their homes. that's my biggest concern if that surge continues that they're going to be damaged again. >> jacksonville city police chief pat dooley and the mayor of jacksonville, charlie latham join us, thank you so much. appreciate your time, both of you. and, chief, thanks for getting on the phone. we do appreciate it. >> thank you, katy. >> and wnbc's dave price has been tracking irma as it heads
north. dave, jacksonville's really getting pounded right now, especially in terms of that water level rising. we heard morgan talk about potentially four to six feet. >> yeah. so let's do this. first, i'm going to ask our able-bodied cameraman to walk with me back in this direction because i want to tell you what is a little bit deceiving about a storm like this. we watched the radar picture. we watch as the storm pulls off. but, katy, as you mentioned, the issue is the wind. the wind and it's effects on the water. we often think of this as the hurricane. this is the only effect is people are battling against the elements and reporting live in that high wind and heavy downpour. but what we're seeing is after that hurricane begins to lose some strength, even as it pulls away, we still have that wind field. and we were talking about it for days leading up to this event that the wind field and the cloud shield was about 400 miles wide. now, look at these little arrows, each of these represents wind and wind direction. now take a look at jacksonville.
even though the body of the storm is beginning to pull on off, that wind is driving that water in this direction. and if we take a look at the st. johns river under this polygon right now, it pulls all that water to the north right into jacksonville. you combine that with the high tide, which was about 2:00, and, again, the estimates are that we could even get another two to three feet higher as you mentioned. will we do so? that remains a question mark. but even as it is, that is very dangerous right now with respect to the flooding conditions in jacksonville already beginning to rise. and for a little historical p s pers -- perspective, the last time we set a record for water level like that cresting was after hurricane dora in 1964. you heard that police chief say in all his time there, or may have been the mayor in all his time there and he's been there 50 years, he's never seen anything like this. it was probably because he was a
young boy or not even born yet when dora came through. we're a foot and a half higher than those levels. now, let's back up just a little bit and talk about what we're expecting. river flooding. here is our legend right now. yellow, orange and pink. pink is for major flooding. let's take a look here. right here is the city of jacksonville. and if you take a look, it is loaded with sites where we have major flooding. the issue not only just limited to jacksonville by the way, it's up to the north as we head through sections of georgia and the carolinas. but here's a better picture of what the wind is doing. we've combined again the wind direction with where it's taking this water. and it's just gotten no place to go. so it begins to spill on out. and that's what we're seeing. that's where we saw morgan in just a little -- or just a little while ago in those waters. storm surge expected four to five feet, rainfall 8 to 12 inches in some locations higher, and we just saw that high tide.
this could be good news, but we could see some delayed effects of that water rising before it begins to subside. >> dave, can you give us a quick update on georgia? >> yeah, we can. in fact, let's begin to advance just a little bit as we take a look at savannah and all the way up to charleston. the waters continue to roll on through. and as you can see we have both tornado warnings around charleston and flood watches posted through sections of georgia as well. wind speeds impressive, look at this in charleston, 60 miles per hour, so all of that power still bringing the water on to the shorelines of the southeast. we're not out of the woods even though most of the storm is beginning to push off. >> savannah, georgia, charleston, south carolina, wnbc's dave price, thank you very much. >> you bet. >> another area hit hard by irma is the florida keys. that's where we find nbc's miguel am g migu miguel almager.
>> reporter: we've seen not only boats under water but homes and vehicles completely submerged. the water rushed into this neighborhood, house after house, florida keys have suffered some severe damage. we've seen a family, couple people out here wading through what looks like knee deep water here. this is the area the military is trying to reach, folks that may not have been able to evacuate in time. it looks like there's also a truck now trying to pull through the water here. folks that may not have been able to make it out in time to safe ground, these are the kind of communities that the military is trying to reach today. we know later on this afternoon they hope to be flying in here with those c-130 military cargo jets that will bring the basics, food and water to communities that have been hard hit like this. we've been told tens of thousands of people in the keys did not evacuate. as you know this is a string of tropical islands incredibly popular with tourists. but a lot of peoples a live here and their full-time homes have been obliterated by irma as it's
tore through here with winds topping 130 miles an hour. this is one of our very first looks at some of the damage. and it really does stretch neighborhood-to-neighborhood, block after block across here. this is the kind of scene we've been seeing over the last 45 minutes while we've been in the air, guys. >> that was nbc's miguel almager over the florida keys. reminder, it is that day. you know the one, that day in september. next, i'll speak with andy carr, the white house chief of staff on 9/11. 16 years ago today it was his duty to tell the president that america was under attack. (vo) dogs have evolved,
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the terrorists who attacked us thought they could incite fear and weaken our spirit. but america cannot be intimidated. and those who try will soon join the long list of vanquished enemies who dared to test our meddle. >> earlier today president trump presided over his first 9/11 memorial since becoming president. the first family observed a moment of silence on the white house's south lawn before joining defense secretary james mattis and joint chiefs chairman general joseph dunford at the pentagon for a ceremony there. today marks 16 years since the attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people when hijackers flew commercial airplanes into new york's world trade center, the
pentagon and a field in shanksville, pennsylvania. back on that day, the morning of september 11th, president george w. bush was in a classroom of second graders in sarasota, florida, in what is now infamous video, the president's chief of staff walks up to him and whispers 11 words into his ear. a second plane hit the second tower. america is under attack. the man who whispered that was andy carr and he joins me now. andy, thank you very much for talking with us today. just tell me, what was it like to be the person who had to deliver that news in that setting? >> katy, thank you for having me on this day where we promised we would never forget and also a day where we have to pay attention to what has been happening to our citizens because of natural disaster. but september 11, 2001, was a
manmade disaster, it was a terrorist attack. and the president did not know about the attack when he walked into that classroom in sarasota, florida. he'd been told it was a small twin engine prop plane crashed into one of the towers in the world trade center in new york city. i then learned it wasn't a small twin engine prop plane in fact there was another plane that also hit the world trade center. so when i entered the room, i delivered a message he didn't expect to hear, he certainly didn't want to hear it. but i delivered it in such a way that we didn't need to have a discussion. i didn't present any questions for him to answer or even invite a dialogue. i just passed on two facts, a second plane hit the second tower. and one stark reality that at the time was maybe not even a fact. i said america is under attack. that day did change america. it changed the world. but it also saw the sacrifice of almost 3,000 people who died in that attack including over 400
firefighters, policemen and metropolitan police officers in new york city. and there were countless other injuries and maimed people and people whose lives were changed forever because of that attack. and we did promise never to forget. i am grateful that president trump reminded us that we all promised we would never forget. and we also continue to have the resolve to make sure it never happens again. >> not to mention the first responders who've been having health issues since then and who have died of issues related to trying to clean up and search for survivors, if there were any, after those buildings fell down. can you imagine, andy tharks 16 years later we'd still be fighting a war in afghanistan, we'd still be in iraq trying to weed out extremism? >> oh, how i wish we didn't have to be in wars anywhere. i think the reality is that the war on terror is going to continue for a long time. probably for generations. but i would love for us to make sure that the world's
governments are such that they do not allow safe haven for any terrorist to exist or plan or conduct raids and do terrible things. so that's the real challenge is making sure that every nation in the world becomes a partner with the united states and free nations that want to make sure no terror can find a place to plan in their country. they should not be able to find safe haven everywhere and that's the challenge of the war on terror because the terrorists on september 11, 2001, were not wearing uniforms. they didn't agree to any treaties. they didn't follow any rules. all they did was introduce and conduct fear. and that's what their plan is. and we have to stand tall as a nation and we have to invite the whole world to stand with us in fighting terrorism so that it doesn't happen again. >> andy, steve bannon was on "60 minutes" last night, donald trump's former chief strategist who was just ousted and is now back at breitbart. and he went after the bush
administration specifically for the decision to go into iraq and go into afghanistan. take a listen. >> the same geniuses that got us into iraq, that's the geniuses of the bush administration, i hold these people in contempt, total and complete contempt. i don't want to hear it. i don't want to hear it. it gets all over me like nothing else. you know why? they're idiots. and they've got us in this situation. and they question a good man like donald trump -- i won't name names. >> you have to name names, you're painting with a broad brush and that's not fair. >> rice, george w. bush's entire national security apparatus and -- >> colin powell, condi rice, dick cheney. >> all of it. >> all of it? >> all of it. by the way, the obama crowd almost the same, clinton crowd, almost the same. it's three administrations. >> he's talking specifically about iraq there, but andy, what's your reaction? >> those comments are naive, they're irresponsible and not
the truth. i witnessed phenomenal leadership in the response to september 11, 2001, and the challenges in afghanistan and then in iraq. and i have great praise for the patriots who serve this country. and colin powell, condoleezza rice, dick cheney, president bush, they were remarkable in their leadership and resolve in ability to keep the oath of office. those people define noble public service. i'm not sure steve bannon does. >> andy, donald trump said the same thing on the campaign trail, not that stark language, but he definitely brought it up on the campaign trail a number of times including in south carolina speaking to a number of veterans. and what we heard from voters was something of a similar sentiment about wmds, about going into iraq. do you have any -- looking back, do you have any regrets? >> oh, sure. i can tell you that we all thought iraq had weapons of mass
destruction. in fact, the whole world did. i'm not aware of one government including russia, china, france, germany, great britain, that didn't think saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction. but remember, the climate of going into iraq was in the heels of the terrorist attack on 9/11 and what had been happening because of a vacuum in afghanistan with a government that couldn't keep its country free of terrorism. and that spread. and it was spreading into iraq. so there was great concern. you know, there were thousands of young men and women who answered the noble call of public service after what happened on september 11th, 2001, those individuals rose to the responsibility to help the president keep his oath of office and to make sure that we'd be a free nation and a beacon to the world. i still honor those people who answered the noble call of public service. and are willing to follow the command of the commander in chief. and i point out that president trump has come to recognize just
how hard the responsibilities are as president and that some of the things that he talked about as a candidate are not viable when you become president because you learn more when you're in the job and you carry the burden of making sure you keep america safe. and you can't do it without giving support to those people who answer the call of noble service, especially those who serve in our military and those in the clandestine services. thank you president trump for recognizing that. >> former chief of staff, andy carr, always wonderful to have you, sir. it is specially wonderful to have you on this day. thank you for your time. >> thank you, katy. >> reminder we're waiting on a news conference from florida governor scott. tropical storm irma is moving away from florida as the state is dealing with the storm's aftermath and surveys the devastation. mandatory evacuation in effect for parts of jacksonville as
well. further south irma's wrath is becoming clear in the florida keys which took a direct hit. neighborhoods are flooded, buildings were damaged or destroyed. elsewhere, high winds knocked down trees and power lines. more than 6 million people are without power and could be for weeks. president trump says federal help is on the way. >> we're marshaling the full resources of the federal government to help our fellow americans in florida, alabama, georgia, texas, louisiana, tennessee and all of those wonderful places and states in harm's way. when americans are in need, americans pull together. and we are one country. and when we face hardship, we emerge closer, stronger and more determined than ever. >> we have got teams all over the region covering this storm. first though let's get the latest on the situation on the ground in jacksonville, florida
from morgan radford. >> katy, we're in downtown jacksonville, florida. you can see behind me the entire downtown has been flooded. and to give you a sense of the depth of these waters, i'm about 5'10", so if you look at this they're already almost halfway up my calves and this water is expected to rise right around this time another four or five feet. the river to our left has just been cresting over and that's what we expect to see throughout the day as these waters continue to rise. there are people in apartment buildings over here to our right and the water's been rushing past their front doors as these people are trying to get out. earlier today we were in gainesville, florida. there we saw about 50,000 people in the county without power. 21 shelters throughout the county have been set up. and remember this is home to the university of florida over there in gainesville, so there's about 160,000 residents when school is in session. that shelter, the primary shelter of the university was already at capacity. students have been encouraged to bring their parents to safety.
two of the special needs shelters throughout the community were almost at capacity. and people were being advised to stay off the roads. and as we were coming here driving from gainesville to jacksonville, i saw a woman whose house had been flooded and i walked to the edge of the water and shouted to her at her front porch and i said are you okay, do you need any water, we have some snacks in our vehicles. when i put on my waders and made it to her front door, she said in all my time here i've never seen flooding in my area quite like this. she described how she used a mattress to create a safe zone in her hallway with her two young daughters. she said, look, when you're taking care of your own life, that's one level of responsibility. but when you're taking care of your children, that's a completely different level of fear, responsibility and safety that you now have to be responsible for. so those are the kinds of stories we're hearing in this section of florida as people are not only contending with the aftermath of irma, but they're also contending now with these rising waters and trying to figure out just how much more
damage they can take, katy. >> nbc's morgan radford on the ground in jacksonville, florida. morgan, thank you very much. nbc's kerry sanders is in marco island, florida. kerry, marco island took a direct hit. i saw you standing outside in naples, which is close to there just getting blown around. talk to me about what it looks like there the morning after. >> you know, the morning after is kind of surprising. 3:35 p.m. the eye hit here, made it landfall right here on marco island, top winds of 130 miles an hour. as it moved up towards naples, which is just a short distance here, the top winds were 142 miles per hour. and those may be the strongest winds clocked at least on the west coast here. as you can take a look here, the tree tops were shorn off. the reason i'm showing you that is because between the trees you can see some of the electrical equipment. the state is basically in the dark. most of the state has no power. the entire island here on marco island without any power at all.
so the electrical crews that were staged prior to coming to the region -- sorry, we got a phone ringing here -- prior to -- >> kerry, you've been on tv for like 72 hours straight. i'm going to give you credit for losing your train of thought for every once in a while. go ahead. >> thank you. okay. so prior to the storm coming the florida power and light, which is the largest electrical company in the state of florida prestaged more than 17,000 linemen. they have actually just got some arriving here now to the island. there is no promise of any sort of timetable of when they will be able to return electricity to homes, but from jacksonville, which is as far north as you can get down through portions of tampa, down the west coast and then of course we know over on the east coast folks without power and in a state like florida power becomes important. i'm going to take you over here, take a look at this condo here. so some of the people decided to stay in the condos. and you can see the ones that
decided to stay because they've already opened up their shutters. their shutters are open. they're there. one of the problems of course with having no power is that people choose alternative methods to power their homes, whether it's a condo or whether it's a house. some people use generators. and if they have no experience with generators, there could be a problem. another thing you can do with your generator, and this becomes a problem, is you can do what's called a back feed into your house. start the generator, feed the electricity back into your house. that works great until the power comes back on from the power company and the two can meet and cause a fire. we already know there have been some reports of potential fires -- or possible fires started by problems associated with the power outage. people use hurricane lanterns, they use candles, all of these sort of things can become problems. so the power company is saying please don't go home if you don't have to. don't drive over a power cord or power line if you see it on the road. and just remember there are more than 17,000 linemen out there
trying to do their jobs so people can return home. >> kerry, saves dolphins in his spare time, sanders, you've been watching our air, you get it. kerry sanders, thanks so much. stay safe out there. and get some rest, my friend. you've been on tv nonstop. i want you to take a bit of a nap. some lunch. kerry, thank you. msnbc's jacob soboroff joins us now from naples. jacob, i was also watching you all weekend getting blown around out there. talk to me about how naples looks this morning. >> you know what, katy, naples looks a lot better, thank goodness, than people expected, because of the storm surge we heard kerry talking about last night. what you see here is what you see throughout naples. returned from naples from a bit of a day trip to everglades city at the bottom of 29 where it meets with the tamiami trail. everglades city is very low
lying, about 500 people live down there and many evacuated before the storm. once you pass through everglades city basically decimated as well. i got to go down there after driving our vehicle, quite frankly, because pretty high profile, through quite a bit of water. once you get into there it's about knee, sometimes hip high once you get in there. most of the homes are destroyed, the motels, the school, restaurants, liquor store, the national park service has a big facility that looks completely decimated. like i told you, most people left, but there were a couple of folks that stuck out the storm down there. one of the folks is a woman i met earlier today. i want to play a little bit of our conversation for you right now. take a look at this. >> we got together and prayed because the eye was coming right to us. and it moved and it wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be at that point. >> what was it like here last night? >> it was crazy. i mean, we thought the roof was just going to blow off. yeah.
actually, the last -- this got three floors, the last floor, the roof, blew away. >> it ripped off? >> the paper, the black paper, thank god it was plywood but it was water coming through. we had buckets picking up water with towels and it was pretty intense. >> a lot of prayers went out from that family, katy, thank goodness everybody was okay. the sheriff's department told me no casualties so far, again, thank goodness. if anybody out there wants to send some prayers up, you should for the island, the bridge over to the island was blocked, people had a lot of difficulty getting in there, if anybody was there from the reports we were hearing we weren't even able to get across that the low lying homes were all completely destroyed, only a couple up on the hill remain. but it was shocking. it was startling. and frankly nauseating to see a whole community like that just
turned upsidedown and have to rebuild from scratch. they went through wilma and they said this was far more devastating. >> this was just a giant storm. we're waiting for the governor rick scott to give an update on the damage out there. jacob, the water table is already so high to begin with in florida, and it is such a flat state, what is the expectation for when that water is going to recede? >> well, the big question is as our colleague chris hayes has been talking a lot about even with ali velshi yesterday is the implications of building in a low lying area like everglades city, even though it's 500 people, those are 500 lives. the idea that as we're seeing once in 100 year storms happen once every five or ten or even 15 years, is it smart for people to be living in areas like that? so the question for everglades city is when you do rebuild, do you rebuild in that location and do you rebuild with the vulnerabilities of all those people have had, or do you take
into account the fact that climate change is happening, it's real and it's contributing to events like this. and you may not want to live at or below sea level in many cases. >> and it's a worthy conversation to have not just here and not just about flooding, but across the country, places like malibu. should you be building in an area that is so prone to fires and so prone to brush fires or places where you're prone to mudslides up the california coast. it's just a lot of talk about where we're building and why we're building and whether or not it is a good idea. jacob soboroff making some salient points there. jacob, thank you very much. these are live images, new images we're getting in from opolaca, florida, you can see the roof of homes just torn off the foundation. doesn't look like flooding so bad in this area, but certainly a lot of wind damage to some of the homes down there. again, we are still waiting for florida governor rick scott to
take the podium. he's going to give us a damage assessment, an update from the governor's office and also an update on when folks should start expecting to get power back in their homes. the power outage is going to be a major problem for the days, potentially the weeks to come. stay with us. we will be right back. or this john smith. or any of the other hundreds of john smiths that are humana medicare advantage members. no, it's this john smith. who we paired with a humana team member to help address his own specific health needs. at humana, we take a personal approach to your health, to provide care that's just as unique as you are. no matter what your name is. a heart attack doesn't or how healthy you look. no matter who you are, a heart attack can happen without warning. a bayer aspirin regimen can help prevent another heart attack. be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. bayer aspirin.
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reminder we're waiting on both a news conference from florida governor rick scott who just toured hurricane damage in florida, and a white house briefing with press secretary sarah huckabee sanders. we will keep an eye on both and bring them to you when they happen. we'll stagger them, of course. meanwhile though, he might be out of the white house, but former chief strategist steve bannon isn't done shaking up the world of politics. since returning to his breitbart job, bannon has been busy taking on the republican establishment. and according to politico that includes launching primary challenges against a slate of incumbent gop senators. we were going to talk a little bit more about steve bannon, but sarah huckabee sanders has just taken the podium at the white house and she is talking about 9/11. let's listen. >> -- mothers, daughters,
husbands and wives 16 years ago. the lives of those survivors and families were changed forever on that day. and our country has never been the same since the unimaginable evil of terrorism reached our shores. in response to the attacks we are memorializing today the department of homeland security was created and given a vital mission, securing our nation from the many threats we face from counterterrorism and border security to disaster preparedness and relief, which we know all too well in light of fema's work surrounding hurricanes harvey and irma. the men and women in responding to these storms embody the spirit under which dhs was established. the president recognized pentagon police officer this morning who sped to the scene of the crash at the pentagon as soon as he heard of the attack and saved as many as 20 people. like isaac, the first responders to hurricanes irma and harvey are running directly into danger to save lives and serve our nation. i hope that every american can take comfort in the fact that in the face of unbelievable tragedy
this country has always come together to heal, protect and save. from the firefighters and police officers who rush into burning buildings on 9/11, to the first responders on the ground in florida, the united states virgin islands and puerto rico, fema through its national and regional response coordination centers and liaisons to the national hurricane center continues to actively monitor the track of hurricane irma and support local authorities responding to the damage the storm has already caused. i'd like to bring up tom bossert, the president's homeland security and counterterrorism advisor to provide an update on issues related to hurricanes irma and harvey, before i take questions. as always, he'll make an opening statement and take questions and then i'll be back up to answer further questions. thanks, guys. >> thanks, sarah. good afternoon. it's a somber day today.
and i and sarah were honored to join the president at the pentagon in a moment of silence on the south lawn as well. in addition, i would note that president trump continued a long tradition of presidents since 9/11 to receive a counterterrorism briefing this morning in the oval office from his intelligence community from his director of national counterterrorism center from myself and others on the team. the purpose of that is to give the president a sense of the terrorist threat that exists globally and to the homeland and give him a sense of what we're doing about it and make sure he's comfortable with our posture. as i said the other day, we don't have any current active threats against the homeland, to your knowledge, and that's a good news story for today. let me move into quick thought. before i do it though, sarah noted we created the department of homeland security in the wake of 9/11, i would note that the government engaged in a massive reorganization of its structures and efforts to create a national counterterrorism center to
create a department of homeland security, an office of the director of national intelligence the u.s. northern command which you've seen now marshal resources in expert fashion for this storm, combat and command in the united states of america and cyber command which you've seen recently president trump elevate to a full combat and command. so we've marshalled our resources and we've organized them in a way to confront the threat of terrorism but also to organize ourselves in a way that will allow us to respond to any event from manmade hazard to an unfortunate terrorist attack but also to a hurricane. so let me see if i can today talk to you about what we've done. i believe harvey, as i said earlier, was the best integrated, unified joint federal, local, state, response effort our country has seen in its history. i continue to stand by that. we've got roughly 700,000 registrants now for individual assistance in the greater houston and south texas area. governor abbott continues to
demonstrate leadership. and president trump continues to work with him and direct his cabinet to not lose focus on the people of texas. with respect to hurricane irma, as you now know, it's a tropical depression, that does not mean it's not a dangerous storm. as you'll see from reporting, certifyisi suffering from what is some of the worst flooding its seen in years. when you combine storm surge and wind might not replicate that of a category storm even though it's a tropical depression. as that flooding is ongoing we have life-saving, life sustaining operations underway and are prayerful there are not people now trapped by floodwaters. the president spoke this morning to the governor of the u.s. virgin islands. the governor expressed, and i joined that call, his thankfulness providing such a rapid and ongoing response, i would add. on that, i'll speak to it later,
but mobilization of our military in response to the storms in puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands is the largest-ever mobilization of our military in a naval and marine operation, and we now have an air force carrier deployed in this effort. this is the first-ever as well. we have the largest flotilla operation in our nation's history to hep not only the people of puerto rico, people of the u.s. virgin islands and of st. martin and other non-u.s. islands affected and the people of florida. with respect to port reek uertue president spoke with them and are happy with how the u.s. responded to their needs and they still have a large island outage. and florida, if i can speak to florida. i think governor scott has been
demonstrating and outstanding leadership instinct in pressing forward. continuing the message getting people out of harm's way. by the way, it's a an ongoing effort. the storm is still hitting the united states from south carolina and georgia and move inland in tennessee, maybe north carolina as we see the storm progress. governor scott has at this stage begun conducting overflight surveys of the keys, and it looks like to the north and east of key west the storms there took, the islands took the largest brunt of the storm. i'll be able to speak to that when we take questions and if i can come back to 9/11. i think the lesson learned that day among others was not only does evil exist but good people taking action can confront that and i've been reassured, assured and reassured about the last 24 hours is how many good people are taking action. that's kind of my lesson for today and i'd like to take questions now. john? >> in the immediate aftermath of
harvey, the federal response priority was to rescue people trapped by the enormous flooding. in the state of florida, what's been the priority for the federal government? >> a number of priorities for the federal government. now because the storm is ongoing our priority is life sustaining in the keys taking a considerable amount of our attention right now. what you're see in florida and more broadly speaking acomparative area, narrow operations kpired to what we have now. a large-scale area of operation. we're trying to do marshal resour resources where needed. it's a priority effort. worried about flooding, housing, debris and power restoration is access to refined fuel. you'll see in the next weeks and days play out, clears debris from roadways so people can gain re-entry. right now the message is not to rush re-entry. there are still dangerous conditions.
downed electric lines. flood conditions. problem that would be compounded by your re-entry. listen to local officials not only about evacuation then when and how to stagger re-entry for a reason. a life safety reason. a public safety reason. those are priorities set. eventually move into issues about recovery insurance and so forth. >> what are you doing on the fuel front? >> on the fuel front the federal government is doing at this stage and what we did in the three, four days building up to the event, get out of the way. waived regulations and waived rules, the waived the jones act restrictions to free up additional capacity. florida is a uniquely postured state in the way it receives refined fuel. it's not part of the larger pipeline system throughout the country. it receives fuel by shipper tank. by ship tanker. those ship tankers then link into intermodal sites where they fill up trucks and trucks distribute. what we'll do is clear the pathways. assess those three ports where those tankers dock. make sure they're not damp pd
a damaged and get things back up and running. the power, duke energy, others, will continue with their professionalism and bring those facilities back up as soon as possible. sir? >> do we have agreements in place with the private sector to contribute to both response and recovery, talking costco, home depot, walmart. so we don't have to deplete the disaster relief fund? >> yeah. >> as a public service? >> absolutely. two thixs. first a partnership in terms of coordination. the private sector entities are sblilt our coordinators centers to understand what we're doing and how to prioritize reopening of facilities and safety of their work force. secondly, our baseline doctrine nowadays in the emergency management community. we would rather reopen those stores than continue providing food, water and temporary shelter to people. it's just not within their regular course of operating business. it's not routine. and it's not something we can
easily sustain. healthier, better, faster to reopen stores as fast as possible. thanks for that question. >> and this administration, the previous, saw a connection between climate change and homeland security in that the preectsy and intensity of powerful storms like harvey and irma could pose a problem for future administrations. fema budgets that can't keep up with the demand when you have powerful storms hitting the country. is that something that you think this administration should take a look at? the president pulled out of the paris climate accord. are these storms giving this administration some pause when it comes to the issue of climbed chan climate change and homeland security? >> i was here in 2004. prudent for us now make sure the response capabilities of there. it's outside my ability to analyze now. we continue to take seriously the climate change. not the cause of it. the things we observe. there's a rising floodwaters,
one inch every ten years in tampa. things that require prudent mitigation measures. president trump remains committed to making sure federal dollars aren't use to rebuild things in harm's way later or hardened against the future predictable floods we see having to do with engineering and eroding shorelines and inland water and flood control projects. >> just to follow-up on that. you see three category 4 hurricanes on the same map at the same time, does the thought occur, geez, maybe there is something to this climate change thing and its connection to powerful hurricanes? can you separate the two, or say, these are a lot of big hurricanes coming our way? >> i don't know if i'd say either. there's a cyclical nature a lot of these hurricane seasons and scientists for this forecast were dead on a stronger, more powerful hurricane season with slightly more than average large storms making landfall in the
united states. we have to do a larger trend anatural sigs at a later date. sir? >> follow-up on the budget. what kind of pressure, wildfires, the last two major hurricane strikes. what pressure on the federal government's budget has these natural disasters put, and how are we going to react to -- programs cut? reaassess minutes for rebuilding the infrastructure? >> the president and others started a bipartisan discussion on this point. i think now we have plenty of resources to get through this. that was the nature of the appropriation we saw and the second appropriation we will see end of this month subject to the regular course of order in the fiscal year. we'll ask for a third perhaps fourth supplemental appropriation for the purpose of rebuilding. do it smartly, to the previous question. but in terms of pressure on the budget, this is a disaster relief fund issue. funded a little differently. i have every belief this president will end up with proposals as he started his administration with that will lead to a balanced budget, but
not getting too far into that and politics is way outside my lane. >> and a follow-up. at any point in time as you're taking a look at this issue, is there any chance that fema, the epa and some of the places that were cut will see more money go into their budget? >> i think that we'll put money in as money is needed to address needs. i think what you'll see here is the same trernd i alluded to earlier, 2004. a large stik in disaster funding and also elevate the cap on flood insurance and will end up having to do that again here. you'll see, though, over a longer span of time even the flood insurance budget is red and black, red and black again based on claims and premiums. we'll analyze it in that fashion, but i don't have a prediction for you on that. ma'am, in the middle? >> i asked you two weeks ago about this -- i asked about housing. i wanted to know do you have an update on housing since now we have harvey and now irma and
what else is coming along the way. can you give an update as to locating housing for those who have been displaced? >> locating housing in texas? >> housing in texas. i mean, for those who need housing, be it texas, be it outside of the state. >> i'll answer both. in texas, again, back to praising the governor. he's done what we hadn't seen done so well in the past. that is he's owning the housing problem with a task force he's initiated. also assigned a person to be in charge of long-term recovery and four or five solutions to the housing problems in texas. of course, some of them are short lived. what you have to do, find short-term solutions. people can stay in their home. it's been flooded. when the drywall's ripped out, repairs begin, have to find another place to live temp rare. finding hotel solutions. some cases fema manufactured a manufactured housing solution. mobile home, travel trailer on your property to live in a period of time while your home is being repaired.