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tv   NBC10 News Today Weekend at 9am  NBC  September 10, 2017 9:00am-9:31am EDT

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good morning. irma strikes. sglu south florida hammered right now. the hurricane -- knocking out power to hundreds of thousands. the region bracing for a potentially life threatening storm surge. we have correspondents across florida and the region to cover it all today, sunday, september 10th, 2017. : from nbc news, this is a special edition of "today," hurricane irma, with matt lauer and savannah guthrie,
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live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza, and lester holt, live from florida. good morning, everybody, welcome back to this special edition of "today" on a sunday morning. that's the scene in miami beach. i'm savannah guthrie alongside matt lauer. lester holt and al roker are in tampa, florida, this morning, and are also anchoring our coverage. we'll get to them in just a moment. >> we're sitting here with our maps of florida in front of us, all the counties, trying to figure out who's going to into impact or have impact with this storm next. here's the latest on irma. packing quite a punch as it slammed southern florida, a dangerous category 4 storm. winds about 130 miles per hour. the eye wall hit the florida keys around 7:30 eastern time this morning. >> the number of power outages has been steadily going up all morning. three hours ago the total is about 200,000, but now more than 800,000 people are in the dark. >> by the way, the storm is
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massive. if you look at that satellite image, 350 to 400 miles from side to side. its reach is remarkable. of course southern florida is under hurricane warnings. well, just a short time ago, a tropical storm warning was issued for atlanta, georgia. that's some 600 miles to the north of where irma is right now. >> that will give you an idea of the reach. our team of correspondents covering every angle of the storm. let's start this half hour with nbc's mariana atencio, she is in miami beach this morning. good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, guys. so as this hurricane pounds south florida, you're already starting to see conditions worsen by the minute here in miami beach. i want to point our camera over to my left. that is where you have the beach and that is where that deadly storm surge is going to be coming in this way bringing in, they say, from 6 to 10 feet of
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storm surge over here to my left, the water coming in very quickly, flooding. in just a couple of hours, the streets here in collins avenue. many trees have been toppled. we've seen toppled power lines, street signs. i'm just going to move over here so you can get this view. i'm in the second floor of a parking structure here in miami beach. it turned very eerie just in the past couple of hours and you can already feel tropical storm winds in this area of miami beach. i just spoke to miami beach commissioner again and he said that more than 60% of miami beach power grid is down and now is when it becomes very dangerous for first responders to be out here monitoring people. we've seen debris flying around all morning long. they're urging residents to hunker down in their homes and to take shelter because the next couple of hours as this category 4 hurricane, the size of the florida peninsula, pounds our state over here, you're going to feel it everywhere.
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just because it isn't a direct hit here in miami beach doesn't mean that it is not dangerous, if not deadly. so again, in these barrier islands, it's really where a lot of the vulnerability will start happening in the next couple of hours. the wind and the gusts, rain picking up incredibly hard in the past couple of hours. back to you guys. >> the city of palm beach putting out a tweet saying we can't respond. it's not safe for our first responders to get out in the storm, so hunker down. >> let's go down to florida city, which is south and a little bit inland of miami and that's where we find miguel almaguer. miguel, good morning to you. >> reporter: hey, matt, good morning. the rains are certainly blinding, but the big issue here is the winds. they have been gusting in sheets and in waves coming at us relentlessly for the last 12 hours here. i'm going to spin our camera around so you can see what the conditions look like if you face them head on.
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the rain pelting right into our lens, the wind blowing people in every direction. for the most part the streets are evacuated. there's a power issue here. we've seen transformers explode over the last several hours because the gusts of wind have been so powerful. the mayor told us he expects most of the city to lose power. we believe nearly everyone in this region is without power. there are some generators that are powering streetlights. for the most part the city is in the dark. the trees here are swaying side to side and power poles are beginning to come down here. we expect these winds, actually believe it or not, to intensify over the next several hours. first responders tell us they could face a catastrophic situation. they won't be going out in conditions like this if they receive emergency calls because it will simply be too dangerous for many of the first responders. matt, a precarious situation out here, one that will continue to get worse. back to you. >> thank you very much. we put gadi schwartz in a car. he's made his way to cross key,
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which is the tip of the florida keys, getting battered this morning. hi, gadi, what do you see? >> reporter: we are just across key on the southbound side of the u.s. 1, south dixie highway going south and we realized that the northbound lanes, i don't know if we have that video, but if we can play that, the northbound lane going north was completely impassable. so we were going down south dixie highway. we were unable to turn around because that would have exposed the side of our suv here to those hurricane force winds so we continued in. we're actually right now at the tip of key largo. so we are in key largo right now. if you take a look, basically what we did is this turn-around spot, instead of going through these winds, we're going to take a little bit of a break here. i'm going to the out and show you where we're at because we found a decent spot of protection. but this is where our suv is here. give me two seconds, i'm caught in some cords here.
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but this right here, this building is very sturdy. we've got a brick building here. over here you can see how hard the wind is blowing. i'm just going to take a week right over here. you've got some debris that's starting to come down. if you take a peek this way, this is what the wind is doing. there's a tree that has broken over here. there's another tree over here. let me show you exactly where we're at on the map. that's us. we've got a red band headed straight towards us so we're going to shelter in place right here and wait until the eye of the hurricane makes its way further. we're not going to get any closer to the eye. in fact the eye will be moving farther away from us from here, so as soon as things calm down here, then we're going to go back over to the mainland before the southbound lane becomes impassable, but that's the latest condition that we've got right now. >> before we say good-bye, we're going to put that video up one more time that you shot of the northbound lanes of u.s. 1 where
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there were white caps and waves on that side of the road. nothing getting through there in the near future. >> reporter: that's right. and we're worried about the southbound lanes. so the southbound lane is protected by about a three-foot barrier, which is good, because emergency crews will be able to go in and out of the southbound lanes unless that's breached. you can see the storm surge starting to come up. but for now the northbound lanes have been flooded out. they have debris on the roads and in fact we saw a kayak that had been pushed up onto the northbound lanes. so the northbound lane right now looks like it's impassable. at some point when the storm passes, the hurricane passes, they'll bring backhoes i imagine in there and clear that out. hopefully it doesn't get worse. again, the hurricane is tracking westward so in about two, three hours we should see things start to calm down a little bit. we're just hoping that the storm surge does not continue to rise. we understand in other parts of the keys, the sturnl is starting to come up. here we've only seen it come up
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at the road about two, three feet from where it was yesterday. we were checking on this road yesterday, but that's where the situation stands. matt. >> gadi, thanks very much. get back to cover. jo ling kent is in ft. lauderdale. jo, good morning. >> reporter: hey, matt, good morning again to you. what we're seeing is the skies darkening, the winds picking up here in ft. lauderdale. take a look at these palm frons usually sustaining a lot of wind. they have come down and they are blocking the roads here in ft. lauderdale where there is now a curfew, according to broward county sheriff, until monday morning at 10:00 a.m. you can see the velocity of the wind there. we are not in the eye of the storm here in broward county, but this county has been protecting itself since the beginning. they thought that they might be in the eye of the storm so they shut everything down. there was a curfew that went into place last night around 4:00 p.m. i'll show you what that means for folks here in ft. lauderdale. that means there is not one person on the streets as the
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water continues to gather here. we've seen some emergency responders coming in and out when the winds are down, but right now they have decided not to take emergency calls and respond to those because we're seeing this wind velocity creep up. even though we do have some power in the street lamps or in these stoplights right here, power in our area is mostly out. there have been exploding transformers as ft. lauderdale bears down and folks are hunkering down in shelters. matt, savannah. >> all right, jo, thank you very much. let's go to florida's governor rick scott who's with us on the phone. governor, as we say good morning to you, i assume that your information is even better than ours. i know you're up in tallahassee. what are the conditions reports that you're getting so far? how bad is it out there? >> i just talked to key west and they have significant waves, they have significant flooding. they're going to get 10 to 15 feet of storm surge. so you saw how bad it is in miami and just at the top of the
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keys. just think about the west coast now as this comes up. we'll have 10 feet above ground level of storm surge in my hometown of naples. ft. myers, maybe a little less in tampa. still, i don't know how you're going to survive this rush of water coming in. let's say it's 10 feet. it's going to cover your whole house and then it's going to go out. and so i can tell you people ask me what they can do. the most important thing is pray for us. i know people want to donate. you can make a $10 donation at text disaster at 20222 and i need more volunteers. we've opened up over 400 shelters. we need more volunteers for our shelters. we'll need volunteers to get food and water out. we need more nurses for our special needs patients. i just talked to the president, oh, probably 45 minutes ago. he said he's going to be praying for us. everything i've asked out of the federal government, he's made sure he gave us.
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i spent a lot of time with brock long, the administrator at fema. but i can tell you what, we're going to do everything we can to take care of every person in this state. our first responders as soon as this passes will be out there saving people. i've called up 7,000 members of the national guard. i care about every family in this state. i want every family to be safe. >> can i just clarify something. i think you just said you need more volunteers to help staff the shelters. you're not asking people down in the southern part of florida to go out on the roads to head to those shelters? you're talking about people that have not been impacted? >> yeah, we have over 400 shelters, we've opened a lot of shelters in the last two days especially as the track has turned west. but we need more people in our shelters up north and we'll need help afterwards, a lot of help afterwards. we're going to need a lot of help afterwards. i can tell you this is a tough
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state. we're going to come through this. people are taking care of each other. right now in the southern part of the state, everybody is hunkering down and i pray that everybody survives this. >> florida governor rick scott, we're glad that you're getting the response from the federal government and you do have everyone's prayers and hopefully also their efforts in the days to come when we deal with the aftermath. thank you. we'll check back in with you. >> thanks, governor. let's go over to lester now in tampa. as the governor said, we're expecting the storm to head there. guys, good morning. >> good morning. we're following this thing on the radar and then we're following it here in realtime as the rain bands become a bit morsteady here. winds haven't picked up here. tampa is bracing for what's coming. everyone is watching these images and realizing that the evacuation orders were a very, very smart idea. >> right now the eye of the hurricane is at the lower keys. so it is 20 miles east of key
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west, florida, 130-mile-per-hour winds, category 4 storm, moving north-northwest at 8 miles per hour. if you're watching on our nbc news app or nbc stations, you may see a wobble here or there but it's pretty much on track. key west, 100 to 125-mile-per-hour winds. 5 to 10 foot storm surge right now. in the next several hours it makes its way toward naples but it will be affecting southeastern florida with 100-mile-per-hour wind gusts, 3 to 5 feet storm surge and high tide is at 12:26. as it continues north, nape eldeld -- naples, ft. myers, they'll see 100 to 125-mile-per-hour winds, storm surges of 10 to 15 feet. overnight tonight into the night hours, tampa bay will see a storm surge of 5 to 8 feet with winds of 75 to 100 miles per hour. up in jacksonville on the east side of the state, 50 to
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75-mile-per-hour winds. it will be 65-mile-per-hour winds where the governor is right now in tallahassee. and this system will continue to push up. we've had a big gust of 106 miles per hour. as the day wears on, those strong winds will make their way into the midsection of the state as well and this is going to be a 24-hour event. this system is going to take its sweet time getting through the state and then moving on into georgia and on into parts of the southeast. storm surge, again, the big problem. we cannot stress enough about this storm surge. we're talking about storm surge warnings from the okeechobee river all the way down to key largo and on up into savannah and even into the carolinas where you could see a 4 to 6 foot storm surge. and we cannot also rule out tornados. there are tornado watches for the entire state. that will last right through this evening. we've had several tornado warnings, so we're going to continue to watch this.
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but it's a very, very volatile situation. >> now, as of last week there was a lot of attention on the east coast of florida, so a lot of folks in this area in the west didn't have the same level of concern. then everything changed. we saw huge lines outside one of the shelters yesterday. hopefully everyone is going to find a place to ride it out because certainly the western mainland of florida is next. >> and it's going to continue to affect this entire state because of the size. we started talking about this last week. the diameter of the storm is much bigger, almost twice as wide as the state of florida itself. so everybody is going to be affected by this thing. >> savannah and matt, we'll go back to you now. >> lester, just one second. what you just said, the western coast of florida will feel the impact. al, i want to put up -- do you have a monitor down there? do you see this? >> yeah. >> if i look at that track again that you just put up with that category 4 storm heading up the west coast, do you have a -- it already made landfall in the keys. do you have an idea of where you think the second landfall is
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going to be? >> if i had to guess, i think maybe around sarasota, tampa bay, that area. this area that we're in right now. i think we could see landfall between sarasota and tampa. >> so it stays off the coast up to that point. >> it parallels the coast, unless it takes more of a north to northwest path, then it might make landfall before that. but right now it seems like it's on track. so we may be actually within the eye. >> but if it stays over the water, doesn't it maintain its strength? >> it will keep its strength up. it's not going to lose anything because the water, while not as warm as it is between the straits of florida, between florida and cuba, it's still plenty warm. >> so tampa, st. petersburg, these communities should be watchful as this comes north. >> absolutely. >> all right guys, thank you. >> and it does maintain strength the more it's over the water. kristen dahlgren is in ft. myers for us. hi, kristen. what's the situation there? >> reporter: this is really the worst we've seen it here.
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we've got these real gusty winds coming through here and we're just being pelted by rain. still these outer bands, so the conditions expected to get much, much worse obviously as we go through the day today. so we're worried about the wind and the rain. take a look over here, i want to show you this and it may be a little ugly as we go under our shelter here of this hotel, but this is what we're most worried about. the gulf of mexico right there. so not far from ft. myers beach from where the buildings are. storm surge, worst case scenarios, predicted to be maybe between 10 and 15 feet of storm surge coming ashore. you can imagine just what that will do to this little island community here. hurricane donna came through to the south of here in 1960 on september 10th. 75% of the homes here on ft. myers beach were damaged by that storm. many of them were rebuilt, but think about it, back in the '60s there weren't the building codes
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that they have today and so there are many older homes still on this island and many low-lying homes. so many people have evacuated, but we still do see a lot of people who have decided to ride out the storm. i talked to one guy who said he has five kayaks. his plan is to ride it out and then go out and try to rescue people. and he said, and i don't think he was trying to be dramatic, but he said he really hoped that he doesn't find anyone who lost their life who decided to stay and ride out this storm, and that is the fear that the storm surge could be catastrophic, guys. >> we hope he's good and sure that this event is over before he jumps into a kayak. >> absolutely. don't need any heroes just yet. >> the entire florida national guard was mobilized ahead of this storm. some 7,000 men and women. brigadier general ralph revis is the joint task force commander for the florida national guard. general, good morning to you. i know that all these men and
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women of activated, they're mobilized but there's not a lot they can do during the storm. what's the first thing they'll do when they're sure it's safe to get out? >> well, good morning. the first thing they're going to do is obviously immediate assistance to people that might be around them, but we have throughout the state, the plan is in place so that search and rescue elements will immediately go out to the hardest hit areas, or those areas because as you mentioned, the encompasses the entire state. they will begin looking for and assisting any citizen that may need it and eventually to set up the points of distribution to provide them whatever relief we can. >> of course your resources are in the state of florida and the whole state will be touched by this storm. is there any concern about those resources, your personnel not being able to get to the area, being damaged during this storm?
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>> well, some. the logistical support areas are far enough away from the coast and we're not too concerned about the commodities, where they're at right now. as for the soldiers, they're hunkered down as the governor stated earlier, in shelters that will allow them to be safe prior to mobilization. there is always going to be a challenge getting to the locations because of potential debris on roadways. the way we've distributed our task forces, our engineer assets associated with each one of them that will work with them to clear whatever debris might be prohibiting them from moving. >> we should just make mention of the fact that those men and women of the national guard who have been mobilized and as you say are hunkering down, they in most cases have now been separated from their own families who were forced to evacuate, so they're providing an incredible service. >> yes, sir, they are. and thankfully the governor was
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proactive enough to mobilize us early. as such, those soldiers, we were all able to make sure that our families were taken care of before going to the armories. we've got a plan in place to help assist in locating their families, that they know they're being taken care of while they're helping the citizens of florida. >> sir, when do you know it's time to deploy and safe to get those resources out on the streets? >> well, we have liaison officers with all the county managers and management areas. really it's almost as the weather clears. we don't have a -- we can't say specifically when the storm surge -- i'm sorry, when the wind dies down to x percent or x miles per hour, but as soon as we deem it safe, we'll be moving to those locations. >> all right. brigadier general ralph ribas with the florida national guard, thanks to you and thanks to all of the brave men and women of the florida national guard. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, sir.
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>> nbc's tom costello is in washington, d.c. he's up at fema's headquarters. tom, what are they talking about? >> yeah, matt, we have just now stepped outside of fema headquarters because they're holding some personnel briefings inside. let me give you a couple of headlines as of this moment. fema's administrator is now saying that the westward movement of this storm presents a worst case scenario for florida and for the emergency response. that's coming from the fema administrator. we expect to be back in the command center in a number of minutes here. let me give you a couple of headline concerns or bullet points that they have here in washington, d.c. that millions could be without power up and down the peninsula. that remains a big concern for them. they're also talking about having to preposition so much emergency supplies. they're talking about two and a half million meals ready to go. 1.4 million liters of washington. they are staging additional commodities across the entire region. they have a major fema staging
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point along with local authorities in grovesville, florida, between orlando and tampa. and then in addition, maxwell air force base up in alabama is going to be a major transit point into and out of the state, and then additional resources out of the storm zone. so that's georgia and north carolina as well, even texas, which of course is still recovering from hurricane harvey. all of that is what they're now looking at as the storm comes ashore. guys. >> tom costello at fema headquarters just outside as they get a personnel briefing this morning. >> bill price is back here playing the role of bill nye the science guy. >> it's just interesting, the weight of just about a cubic yard of storm surge, of this water, is about a ton. it gives you an idea of the force. and when it comes at you, it's coming at a rate equivalent to a class 3 or class 4 rapid. so it gives you an idea of the strength. often it's not a wall like we
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think, but it is rapidly rising. so you've got literally minutes to get out of the way. some people think if they move their stuff away from the door, that will make their property safe and lives safe. you'll be pushed right into it. >> but it might have picked up debris along the way as well. >> correct. once this starts picking up, there is no way to get someone to rescue you. >> and it's a double-headed monster because not only does it get you on the way in -- >> it takes you on the way out. >> it gets shifted. dave, thank you very much. >> and the storm surge is often the deadliest part of any storm and that's why we're watching it so closely along with all those florida officials. we continue our coverage. hurricane irma hitting as we speak. we've got our correspondents across the region. lester and al leading up
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we're back now, 9:30 on a sunday morning. it's the 10th of september, 2017. this is a special edition of "today" as we are tracking hurricane irma. this massive storm, and it is huge, just made its first official landfall in the u.s. in the lower florida keys. >> and we've been watching it as it batters the southeast coast of florida and we've been waiting because we know the storm is coming to the west coast of florida. >> we've been showing you this all morning, trying to give some idea of what it's like to be on the ground during this. top winds 130 miles an hour making irma a major category 4 storm. it's showing no signs of letting up. >> in facton

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