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tv   Meet the Press  NBC  September 10, 2017 10:30am-11:31am EDT

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10:30 now on this sunday morning september 10th 2017. this is a special edition of "today." we've been tracking, trying to track hurricane irma, wobbling a little bit, moving east to west. it's a massive storm. it did make its official landfall in the u.s. the lower keys. that happened a little more than an hour ago. >> 7:30. we've been all morning long. >> we've been showing you monster winds at 100 miles an hour. category 4 storm and not showing signs of slowing down. >> conditions getting worse. we're seeing winds and rain pick
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up. all of it with major concerns over storm sturge, that could get as high as 15 feet some some areas. >> power obviously, people losing power. a major concern. a number of people without power is increasing by the power. when we first came on the air at 6:00 east coast time. this morning, 200,000 people without power. that number is now over 1 million. >> we'll probably continue to see it climb. we've got a team of correspondents across florida, as hurricane irma hammers the area. let's start with correspondent miguel almaguer in florida city. miguel good morning again. >> reporter: the wind is still blinding out here, the and ten miles inland from the coastline, they say the storm sturge is is not going to be a major issue. but these winds here that continue to knock down power lines and knock out power to this entire city. still, much of this region remains in the dark here. the winds are strong enough that
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first responders now say they will not leave the station. they are hunkered down. we're actually here at the police department. they're hunkering down here overnight, with city officials and the police department. they say at this hour, in these condition, they will not respond to emergency calls simply because it is too dangerous for first responders to go out here. we rode out this storm overnight. it did sound as though parts of the building were beginning to come off. the building was completely destroyed during hurricane andrew. but 15 years ago, it was rebuilt to tougher and better building codes. it's made it through the night here. many of these homes and businesses up and down the downtown area are completely boarded up. the mayor says this is a hurricane-hardened community. they've been through storms like harvey before. they've been through hurricanes in the past. they're used to these conditions. he says the majority of the cities did not evacuate. we're actually at the door step to the keys which is experiencing a lot of flooding at this hour. we've seen a few cars driving
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down this area. as a matter of fact, we saw one 45 minutes ago. it was a neighbor canning inas we're okay, which we are. the wind is powerful enough to potentially push a car down the road. the water is slowly beginning to rise. it's not an issue here. flooding is not a concern. whipping winds still many without power and will be so for several days. savannah, back to you. >> let's check in with gadi schwartz down the road in the florida keys. gadi, good morning to you. you've come indoors, we're happy to see that. >> reporter: yeah, savannah and matt, immediately after we talked we spotted a policlace. we found a church. you see it there, you see the winds whipping through. we're in a wonderful shelter. this is the baptist church here. it is made out of solid concrete. we've found a couple families
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here. we've actually got an audience. you guys are sitting here watching the hurricane, right? first of all, some of you guys were saying you were a little bit nervous earlier. i'm going to just show you what we're looking at. i know cell phone service is kind of hard out here. we've got this image and that's the hurricane right there. and it's going this way. and this is where you guys are. eventually, this is going to go up this way in the next couple of hours. and we're going to see this go by. so, maybe two or three more hours of you guys sitting tight and watching out the windows and everything is going to be okay. let me ask you, what do you guys think? you're here, you're watching the winds, what's going through your minds? >> we're scared. and wind. very mad. >> reporter: mad at the hurricane? >> no, because it won't let me go outside. >> reporter: mad at the
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hurricane because it won't let you go outside. that's what we're hearing here at the baptist church in key largo. for now, we're safe, we're dry. >> more like the mom and dad, gadi never wants to have. le. >> glad you guys are safe. >> let's go to willie in the orange room. interesting news you've got. >> earlier this week, the city of miami issue a warning to residents about the danger of construction cranes in the storm. take a look at this photo posted by a twitter user named savannah. it shows a collapsed crane on top of a building. this was a great fear that many people had in the city of miami. officials saying those things can become missiles in some of these winds that we're seeing, as dave price told us 80 to 100-mile-per-hour gusts. one has gone down. at least two dozen cranes still standing. it takes too much time to get
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them down. it could be a week or more to dismantle one of those. the counterbalance on those can weigh up to 2,000 pounds that, too, very dangerous if the crane collapses in high winds. guys, these are 900 feet tall in some cases. there are more than 20 in the miami area. many people watching this anticipating this over the last week, were very worried about this exact scenario. and now, we do have one of the cranes collapsed on top of the high-rise in miami. >> not a good sign, willie. appreciate that. jo ling in ft. lauderdale. jo, we're been tracking you. how's the weather now? lost her microphone. we'll get word that she's not technically being heard right now. we'll get back to her. let's go to lester and al. >> live weather coverage, boy,
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our crews are doing yeoman's work trying to get those shots on the air. lester and al in tampa, hi guys. >> you're right, hi. and hats off to these crews working to get us on tv. we saw that image shared a moment ago about a crane collapse apparently in miami. when you take a picture, we're right across the river from a couple of these cranes. they're meant, of course, to swing, kind of weathervane. but there's a lot of attention put on this at a time like this. we'll be keeping an eye on those as well as other major cities. we had the mayor on a while ago who reinforced what is widely known, is this an at-risk city. they haven't had a major hit of a hurricane, al, since 1921. somebody pointed out the population was around 100,000 then. there are about 3 million people in this tampa area? >> that's right. this is a vulnerable section. hillsborough river.
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and davis island. they've spent millions upgrading the children's hospital there. there's a lot of residential homes on this island. i mean, this is really a -- this is the most vulnerable city in america. >> we do not expect to be able to broadcast during the height of the hurricane here. we were doing the math, it becomes to high tide. i was looking at the clearance, you can see the marks where the high tide normally is you add 8 to 10 feet, we would be standing in water. >> that's right, we're starting to get into one of those feeder bands. you take at look at where we are, as far as irma is concerned. it's still a category 4 storm with 130-mile-per-hour winds. it is currently 25 miles north east of key west, moving north-north west at 8 miles per hour. so, it's been fairly steady in its forward progress. and as you can see, we're going to start to get a little forward movement. it is near fort myers, by this
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afternoon. later today, into tonight, and the overnight hours, it's right here in tampa. we worry about that wobble, could we see a direct hit in tampa? we can't rule that out. by monday afternoon, it's in tlc, motlc tallahassee, and by as the system moves on, there's a tropical storm warning for atlanta. storm sturge is the other big problem. anywhere from 5 to 15 feet, especially along the west coast of florida. that heavy area from marco island all the way down to the keys. we've got storm sturge and sanibel. all around this region. we are talking about anywhere from 9 to 15 feet of storm sturge. and that's going to be a big, big problem. tornado watches also. we've had numerous tornado warnings, they spin up very quickly. they've been in effect. and then they drop out. but everybody's got to be
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concerned about that. and on the lookout for a possibility of waterspouts and tornadoes. rainfall. the heaviest rainfall will be in the keys. upwards of twi in25 inches. 8 to 15 inches of rain locally up to 20 inches. the least amount will be probably in the panhandle, 4 to 8 inches, maybe 10 or 12 in some isolated spots. right now, all eyes watching this. and when you seal the radar, you see how massive the system is, affecting both coasts at the same time. >> as advertised. as advertised. virtually everyone in the state is at some risk from hurricane irma. back to the studio. >> lester and al, let's take a look at the monitor. we want to show you what's going on on the east coast. this is a location where our good friend mike sidell is. this is brickle key, in miami.
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take a look at what the water is doing there. >> wow. you know what, matt, in the next couple of hours, this is going to get worse. as the storm system, if we put the radar back up, as irma starts to parallel miami, and southeastern florida, that return flow into the system that counterclockwise low is going to get stronger. they're by no means out of the woods yet. they probably are getting into what's going to be their storm surge, as the system slowly makes its way north-northwest. they're going to get that strong onshore flow and that's going to push that water right in there. >> that's the east coast. you guys are on the west coast, and you're going to get to yo each other very well over the course of the next several hours over there. >> and right now, the storm in tampa, and they're going to have move because the fear is that
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spot will be under water. let's go to the mayor of fort myers on the phone, mr. mayor, glad to have you with us. i wonder what's on the top of your worry list right now? >> well good morning, our concern, is the preservation of life. as we speak, we're moving citizens into safer shelters. but that time is growing to a close. we are now just beginning to embark on getting the message out that if you have not mobilized at this point, it's not safe, and you need to stay in place. >> do you feel like you had enough time? because of course, we all knew that the whole state was at risk. but yet, there was a thought that it was going to be miami and southeastern florida that got the direct hit. do you find that you had to scramble, or some people really had to scramble? >> well, there were certainly some who felt that they wanted to ride it out. and for those who made that
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decision, there was certainly a scramble. and, of course, in large part, they've been able to get out. this thing is pointed to us and we're bracing for a direct hit, yes. >> we wish you luck. obviously, we're going to keep a close eye on what's happening in your city and all up and down the west coast. mayor henderson, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> we've got jo ling kent back with us in ft. lauderdale. jo, what's the latest? >> reporter: hey, matt, the clouds are really moving in. the skies are darkening as the outer bands of irma come and make landfall here. of course, we're far away from the eye of the storm. you still feel the winds and rain picking up. it's doing significant damage here. you can see, we're out if ft. lauderdale and some big tree branches have fallen in the last couple of hours. in fact, we're following along with the broward county sheriff. they have issued a curfew until
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10:00 a.m. monday morning. what they're saying with irma making landfall, you need to find the safest room in your house in broward county and get to it. you need to put your cell phone in safe mode to keep your battery recharged if you do need to reach emergency services and if your phone lines go down. take a look where we'll be. these streets continue to be empty. these winds are below 40 miles per hour. they've been patrolling to make sure that the debris is out of the roads. so far, we remain with power in this particular section of ft. lauderdale. but the issue really is 200,000 people in the area. completely lost power there. they're bearing down. we've seen major signs come down along this street. but ft. lauderdale, well prepared. they thought the eye of the storm was coming here. so, they've hunkered down. they got their supplies early. and there's really no one on the street. we've seen a couple of people drive by, taking a look at the storm. but it really is coming down
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now. and you can feel the clouds are moving super fast. and it's getting quite dark. matt. >> jo, thank you very much. >> we have been showing you video this morning. it's pretty incredible. this is a storm chaser in the florida keys who got out of his car. he said he was testing the wind speeds there. his name is justin drake. he's been at this for years. we spoke to him earlier and started asking how he was doing after that? >> i'm good. yes, that's correct. me and the meteorologists, we know exactly where we can get to when it comes to hurricane and stay safe. because i was out there as well. >> we're exactly -- we're looking at this video of you kind of bracing yourself into the teeth of the wind. where exactly were you at that moment? >> we were up on the key, on the causeway, it's a higher area in the region where we know we can
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avoid the storm sturge. we just picked a spot where we knew there was nothing downwind of us if any debris started blowing around, you were not able to hit us. >> you broke up. you're on a causeway in what area? >> saddlebunch keys. >> justin, we see the picture. the picture tells the story quite well. what did it feel like to be facing down that wind? >> it was, by far, the strongest winds that i've ever experienced. we actually got a wind gust measurement of 117 miles per hour. but i have no doubt there are wind gusts stronger than that the anemometer were unable to measure. you can see the video where i fell down. >> justin did you see much damage to the local structures?
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>> we actually sue kaw key west earlier today, there was a lot of damage on the outer feeder bands. because we wanted to get in the eye of the hurricane, we decided to head east to get in the eye of the hurricane after it made landfall on one of the keys. >> everybody's worried about the storm surge here. have you seen any flooding, seen any of that or heard about it? >> we have experienced a 15-foot storm sturge when we were exiting out of key west. when we were on the causeway trying to get out of one of the other keys, we ended up on the road and actually got up to vee how deep the water was to drive over it, knee deep, 2 1/2 to 3 feet high. >> justin, you said a second ago, you said those were the
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strongest winds you've personally felt. again, you do this as your hobby or living. compare it to what you've experienced? what was the next severe winds you've felt? >> i'd compare these winds to hurricane harvey. we were actually facing that hurricane at the rockport airport when it made landfall. up to that point, that was the strongest hurricane that i've experienced. this one, even stronger, to put everything in perspective, just how powerful this hurricane is. >> the conversation earlier with a storm chaser with those dramatic images. philip levine is the mayor of miami beach. mr. mayor, good to talk to you again this morning. as we say hello, we're staying that the storm sturge in biscayne bay where you are, is 4 feet at the moment. the bad news you've got high tide coming there about 12:50 early this afternoon. >> that's very, very true. as a matter of fact, we're
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getting reports that the tides are 3 feet above predicted. that's virginia key on key biscayne. this threat remains. and flooding for us is likely to occur. as i said before, we have portable generates, some in the city, but they're no match, no match whatsoever, for the tidal surgeriy surges you're about to experience. for everyone listening, number one, we want to you know, you should stay inside. this is very dangerous. assumer powerful and potential flooding there's no place for anyone to be outside. we don't want anyone to return to miami beach. and our curfews tonight and tomorrow are fully in effect. >> mayor when we talked to you first thing this morning, we were remarking that it was somewhat of a relief that miami and miami beach weren't a direct hit of the storm. and yet, since then, the worst images we've seen have been from your area, from that area. has it been worse than expected? >> no, this -- listen, we could have been a direct hit, a
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category 5 hurricane, we're somewhat relieved for that. but of course, as we've been saying we're a low-lying barrier island. we're so susceptible for flooding. when you have a tidal surge like we're having right now, it's a very, very big deal. it's very serious. >> you had a evacuation in your city. you deserve the credit for that. you gave the alarm early. do you have an idea when you'll send crews to check communities to make sure people didn't ride it out? >> right now, about two minutes going into an emergency operations meeting we'll be talking to all of our department heads. our plan is as soon as this storm ceases, we'll be able to put first responders on the streets. then our crews from the mainland will begin being deployed coming back into miami beach. and the first order of business is going to be able to clear the
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roads. once we clear the roads we'll have an opportunity to assess any issues going on. >> that is the mayor of miami beach, philip levine. mr. mayor, good luck to you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> that combined with the devastation of hurricane harvey in texas of course say major test and stressor on washington and the trump administration. we're going to talk about that more with chuck todd who joins us more. chuck, these back-to-back disasters really stress the system. >> it does stress the system. and it's really going to be a test for fema. i want to echo something because i remember this in my personal experience during andrew, and i echo something that marco rubio, senator rubio said, south florida, and southeast, it's going to be delayed when some of the reinforcements which come in. because there's only one way to get back in. and that is going to be yet another stress on vocations of
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folks living down there and fema to find the ways to get down. neb mind the evacuees who are wanting to come back home. so, the system is getting stressed. and because of what the biggest damage is going to be and geographically where it's locateded. this is going to stress fema. it's beyond the financial issue. it's simply getting down there. >> and months now, every time we see you, we're talking about some kind of political division in this country. >> right. >> this is one of those episodes, or situations where politics simply does not apply. >> it doesn't. and it hasn't. and by the way, i should update you what the president's been doing this morning. he hunkered down at camp david. he's already spoken to four different governors in some states, as we saw al's forecast, the remnants ever this is now going to hit places like alabama and tennessee and georgia. and the president of the united
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states has been on the phone with those governors already this morning, as they need to prepare for, while it's not going to be hurricanes forrican winds, obviously, they're going to have torrential rain and concerns with tornados and things like that. you're right. i think we've seen politics almost take a backseat. although we saw last week, even harvey aid got political there at the end when they start defining things like the debt ceiling and things like that. yes, politics for the most part does take a backseat. but it is still in the backseat, matt. >> chuck, thank you. thank you very much. they're telling us they have new video of that crane that toppled in the city of miami. there you can see it's now come down over the side of the building. that is what so many people worried about. all of those construction cranes in south florida. and if the wind got ahold of one of those in just the wrong way. that could be the result.
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>> we've seen that in the past. >> we just got the 11:00 readings in. the storm is maintaining its strength. 130-mile-per-hour winds. it's moving now to the north. that is of note. so, not to the west. but due north at this 30i7b9poi. now, it's picking up speed just a touch at 9 miles an hour. pressure up to 933 millibars. you know, al and lester are with us. >> do we still have them? >> right now, guys? >> yeah, we're here. >> we were talking about where you guys are and the fact that the water would probably be right over that area at this point. and where safe space is. in looking at the tampa area, the salvador dali museum, this is a good example of post-andrew construction. salvador dali museum, built to standards, and now they have 18-inch reinforced concrete walls. and glass, which is both 1 1/2
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inch thick and pressure-sensitive. so, that is one -- >> that's interesting because it's actually -- it's actually better reinforced than the hospital is on the same island. so, you know, they really made a decision to change that and make that better. >> yeah. >> one of the points that the mayor said, we can take the wind, but it was the flooding. >> yeah, the storm sturge is the big problem. >> that's keeping him up at night. >> yeah, without a doubt. and again, we're expecting the possibility of winds gusting up to 125 miles per hour. in that area. and, you know, we talked about it before. but this water will overtake you in minutes. >> so, lefter and al, dave not only helping us outside here but doing location scouting for you later on. >> we will take it. >> to say nothing of -- >> yes. >> yes. >> we've got folks out scouting and doing that research as we speak. >> all right.
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we're back, sunday morning, 1:00 a.m. eastern, 8:00 a.m. on the west coast. hurricane irma's fury is being felt all across the state of florida. >> the whether channel's mike seidel is in miami being battered by this storm. >> just about the entire boardwalk on the other side of the sea wall. can you imagine being in the upper floors of these condos right now and these hotels? the sound of the wind down here at this level, and the roar higher up. as you go up to 25 stories, the wind increases about 17%. that's another category up. so you figure the winds up there
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are sustained probably just below hurricane force when you get to the top of the building, because they don't have anything to stop it. the other angle is the wind and the rain, just horizontal sheets of rain battering here in the brickell section of miami. we'll have to take a look when we go over the bridge to see what kind of impact the water is having downtown. the water is coming right off the river into downtown miami. look at this wave action here, this is like a nor'easter off the coast of new england. i've seen waves like that, but not an inland water way. this is not the open waters of the atlantic. gosh knows what the waves look like out there on miami beach. this is quite the visual that we've had all morning here. and for safety reasons, we're going to be packing up here and heading to higher ground so we
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can get out of harms way. the surge is starting to come up, we're expecting about a five foot surge. we've seen the water ramp up, we want to be safe. later this afternoon the winds will shift direction. they'll still be strong and they'll still cause damage and knock out power. there's still that severe threat. all of this is really going to head up the east-west coast of florida from this point on. jim cantore is in ft. myers on i-75. >> again, that is mike seidel from the weather channel, broadcasting from the brickell key area in miami, along the miami river. as he said, that's not the ocean, that's inland a little bit, a block or two from the ocean. >> and that's not the eye of the storm. this is southeastern florida getting buffeted by winds and rain. miguel almaguer is in southeastern florida, florida city. miguel, good morning. >> reporter: savannah, good morning. believe it or not, we're
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actually 8 to 10 miles away from the coastline. the big concern is not the storm surge, it's not even the hammering rain that's blinding at times. it's that powerful wind that you can see is pushing me around a little bit here. it's knocked out power to so many people in this entire city. but not just this city. across the entire region here. first responders say it's too dangerous to actually go out and conduct any rescues. the mayor says most of the city is at home, did not evacuate, is hunkering down at home. but we don't know the state of the city right now, because it's too dangerous to venture much further down the road here. we're protected, our crew is und under an overhang. we're in a safe place. these roads here back here can be incredibly dangerous. they're wind tunnels, because the wind is coming right in this direction, blowing everything from trash cans to trees.
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even a newsstand we saw blow down from wind here. the conditions are expected to deteriorate over the next several hours here. first responders say the weather could become catastrophic. that's why they're not ignore respond to any calls for hope. phone lines are down across much of the area. many people may not be able to reach them. we're transmitting to you via a live network of satellites. it will be a dicey situation over the next couple of hours. >> miguel, you and your crew have done an outstanding job of reporting this morning, stay safe, that's the number one thing. nbc's mariana atencio is in miami beach. mariana, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning. i'm on ocean drive. the wind tunnels that miguel was talking about, if i stand back,
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the beach is to my right over here, you can see how incredibly -- [ inaudible ] -- it becomes very hard to move. debris is flying around. the trees behind me like this one, this is not going to last for very much longer. we're trying to stay safe, i'll ask the producer to start driving forward so you can see some of the destruction here. we're hearing the same thing from miami beach police, telling people their officers can no longer take emergency calls. we've been going up to some of the apartments here to talk to residents. i already saw at least a foot of flooding in the gym of one of these buildings here. the situation is deteriorating incredibly, incredibly fast. if you look at ocean drive where i'm standing now, this is a street that is usually filled with people on bikes, with tourists, so you're heading to the beach. yesterday we saw people walking around, families taking
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pictures. we even saw a kite surfer yesterday. that's not what authorities want to be looking at. we actually saw two people on bikes about half an hour ago. this is the time when people should be hunkered down. the very dangerous debris, the speed at which the winds are coming at you, they can potentially are deadly. police are telling people to hunker down. don't think for a minute that because miami beach isn't getting a direct hit, they're not in very much danger because of the storm. just because of the size of the storm, matt, everybody is going to be affected. a big issue here, because of the storm surge, when you're talking about 6 to 10 feet of storm surge, you're also talking about flooding. heavy rainfall in miami beach. i used to live here for a couple of years. rainfall floods all these
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streets already. when you're talking about a hurricane as powerful as this one, that's going to create a lot of issues here on the beach. they've set up pumps, but these pumps have never faced a hurricane like irma. back to a guys. >> mariana atencio getting her steps in, and doing great coverage. >> lester and al have been in tampa, the storm path seems to be projected right towards where you're standing, guys. >> good morning, savannah. i feel like a car on the track where a freight train is coming. you've got new guidance on exactly where this will hit. >> that's right, the latest advisory from the national hurricane center is in. and instead of going west-northwest, now irma is going north at nine miles per hour. it's picked up forward speed,
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130-mile-per-hour winds. currently it is just about 80 miles southeast of naples, florida. 115 miles south of ft. myers. and so with that track, we figure sometime around 5:00, it's going to hit between naples and ft. myers, make landfall there, and then continue forward. and sometime overnight tonight, probably around midnight to 1:00 a.m., depending on the forward speed, whether it gets a little faster, it's going to make a direct hit here on tampa bay. we were speaking with mayor bob buckhorn, it hasn't been since 1921 that there's been a direct hurricane in tampa. >> they did a simulation with fema back in 2010. they came up with a name. >> phoenix, i think it was. >> a cat 5 storm called hurricane phoenix.
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the results were 2,000 people had died, a half million homes had been destroyed. again, this is all in a simulation. but the conclusion was, and a lot of other scientists think a direct hit could be worse than what we saw in katrina. 700 miles of shoreline, they've been victims of rising sea levels here. nature is getting away from them. and now nature is coming out. >> when we talked to mayor buckhorn, we asked him what was his major fear, his one fear, he said it's the storm surge. as this system rides up, they're going to get buffeted by these hurricane-force winds. there's going to be the heavy rain. then as it extorts to pull north, that's when we'll start to see the storm surge. >> and high tide. >> exactly, it's going to hit high tide around 1:00 a.m. this morning. that could be just about the worst case scenario. >> we don't want to paint the darkest picture. obviously they're looking at the worst possibilities here. but it creates more urgency for people to find shelter, if they're in those evacuation
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zones. not the entire city, certainly. but there's this area "a" that they can be most vulnerable. people need to get to a higher place, a safer place, because a direct hit here would not be pretty. >> this is what we call the slosh graphic. this was just started this year from the national hurricane center. and it looks at the most likely storage surge, nine feet plus. and it is right along that whole region that's going to be really affected most by this. >> we'll send it back to you, savannah and matt, in the studio. >> thank you guys, so much. florida governor rick scott sounded the alarm all week long. he told people to get out of the path of the storm. he's with us. governor, we got word from your office telling us that you have declared a major disaster declaration for all counties in the state of florida. why, and technically what does that allow you to do? >> so i just requested from the
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president a major disaster declaration which basically will open up even more resources from fema that will help not only with the recovery efforts but with the restoration efforts. you're following this storm. this is clearly going to be a disaster for many parts of our state. and so i talked to the president earlier today, and he said that he would provide all the resources the federal government can provide. i talked to administrator brock long and homeland security secretary duke. i sent it in to the president. and i'm hopeful we'll get all the resources, which i believe we will, from the president to make sure we help everybody, make sure we save every life but then we restore it as fast as we can. >> these are critical hours. we're starting to get a clear focus of where the storm could be headed. senator rubio, your colleague said the tampa situation was potentially the worst case scenario because of tampa's
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unique layout. 700 miles of shoreline. how worried are you about that? >> i think the entire west coast. my hometown is naples, florida. we're going to get 10 to 15 feet of storm surge above ground level. so that's going to go up the coast. we've never seen anything like this. we're having a call in just about five minutes with all the county administrators. and so we'll see if they had any unmet needs. from the standpoint of the -- my concern is, it's the entire west coast with this storm surge. the entire state is going to get impacted by the rain and winds. we'll find out now, hopefully find out quickly how the keys have done. i hope to be able to see that as soon as i can so we can make sure we get all the resources in there. i want every person in the state to be safe. i want to make sure we -- everybody survives. as soon as the first responders can go out, we'll go out and make sure everybody is safe. >> a little earlier you were on
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with us, governor. you made a plea asking for volunteers to help staff the shelters in the northern part of the state. have you been getting good response to that? >> absolutely. you know, i've asked for everybody's prayer, most important. i've asked for volunteers. we still need some volunteers for shelters up north. but then after the fact, we'll need some volunteers to help us get the food and the water out, clean up the debris. i know people want to donate. you can go to texandisaster@20222. i know people want to come from all over the world to help us recover. >> and the national guard is ready to go, as soon as they're able safely to do so, they'll bring their resources and efforts to this recovery as well. >> yes, i called up 7,000 national guard members. we have 67 armories around the state. they're hunkering down in their
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armories, they have a lot of high water vehicles and a lot of equipment. they'll help with restoration. i've got teams from a variety of agencies, fish and wildlife, that do recovery efforts along with the national guard. we're ready. i hope and pray that everybody that should have evacuated, evacuated. >> we're right there with you. governor rick scott, as always we appreciate your time on this critical morning. thank you. >> thank you. >> from tallahassee, let's go to naples, florida, where gabe gutierrez is. gabe, what are you seeing? >> reporter: hi there, matt, good morning. we've seen the wind and rain really start to pick up in the last hour or so. local authorities say that they really -- that the eyewall of this storm is expected later this afternoon near naples. and they're expecting actually the most dangerous storm surge now on the back side of the storm. they're advising people to get off the road. first responders in this area have already pulled back as the winds have gotten higher. and they're saying no one should
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be out on the roads right now. the shelters in this area are at capacity at this point. tens of thousands of people are already without power. we actually just lost power at our hotel. the conditions are expected to deteriorate quite a bit in the next few hours here in naples. and again, that dangerous storm surge, you just heard the governor refer to it, 10 to 15 feet of storm surge in this area, could be unprecedented. they expect quite a lot of damage here, matt and savannah. >> gabe, thanks so much. the mayor, bill barnett, is request uwith us. how are you doing? >> i'm the eternal optimist. i think we're going to get through this. the storm surge is a major, major, major concern for us. the last time naples experienced anything like this was 1960 with donna. >> i was just going to say,
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doing some math here, we were just told by the folks in our control room that at the moment, irma is 80 miles to the southeast of your city, moving at 10 miles an hour. you can do the math, you know just about when this thing is going to hit. >> yes, we -- you know, we've been preparing for this for well over a week, on everything that we did. the employees, our staff, our first responders. we've gotten a really, really good planning job. that's all we can say, because we planned for the beginning, we planned for the interim during the hurricane. and we have a plan for after it's passed, when we can assess damage. we're without power, i'm sure most of the city is. and, you know, i've never seen anything like this, and i've lived here for 44 years.
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so we are prepared, and i know that it was a great wake-up -- well, i shouldn't use that word. i should say that harvey unfortunately was a wake-up call for naples, because a lot of our residents evacuated early in the week. and i haven't had any calls or any e-mails at all from anybody that still needs help. it seems like they're all in the shelters and hopefully hunkered down, deciding to stay in rooms with little or no windows. >> and you're at a point where rescue personnel and first responders are hunkered down themselves and not able to respond to calls. >> correct, that was 45 minutes ago when the calls came in. we're hoping when they get out there, at the first sign of the storm dissipating, that
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everything will be okay. >> naples mayor, our hearts are with you, thank you so much, bill barnett, we appreciate your work. we'll keep in touch with you throughout this day. >> thank you, savannah. >> mayor barnett just say most of the people in his city are without power already. as we came on the air, there were 200,000 people throughout the state of florida without power. we're just getting word that number is 1.4 million people now and expected to get much higher than that. >> the storm is just getting started. jo lynn kent, we've been talking to you all morning from ft. lauderdale, how is it looking? >> reporter: it looks good, we've seen major tree branches come down here along a major thoroughfare in ft. lauderdale. there's more than a million people without power, several hundred thousand of them are right here in background county and ft. lauderdale. we've seen these outer bands increase in their wind speed.
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the wind is picking up. then you've got rain coming in. so you've got no power. but folks are hunkered down. the people we've been with all morning are in pretty good spirits, they're just glad not to be in the eye of the storm. ft. lauderdale still expected to maintain its occcurfew just a f miles down that way. there are a few bridges that go out to the waterfront area. those are completely shut down. the winds in that part of the ocean are whipping and the palm trees are moving, like we're seeing now. the broward county sheriff's office, we're glad to report, is able to get out now. they're patrolling, going back and forth, checking on some of those 911 calls they may be getting. for now, ft. lauderdale is having a moment of calm in the midst of a lot of wind and rain this morning, guys. >> all right, jo, be careful. thank you very much. willie is now over in our orange room. >> a lot of people are wondering how they can help. as of this morning, 6.3 million people in florida, almost a
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third of the state's population, have been ordered to evacuate where they live. many of those folks hunkering down in shelters, wondering when they'll return and what they'll return to when it's over. millions of you watching at home are wondering what you can do. we want to give you some ideas. they say it's monetary donation than are the best, a trusted relief or charitable organization. why cash and not stuff? the needs of those impacted by the storm do vary. unlike anything material you might want to donate, there are no transportation costs or fees when you're talking about money. cash also allows organizations to spend time providing aid instead of managing goods. while people do donate with the best of intentions, things like clothing, food, and other household items not only clog up the supply line, but they often go to waste. case in point, this was the scene at a donation center after the massive 2004 indian ocean tsunami.
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donations sat and rotted and eventually had to be destroyed. cash is king in these cases. you can check guidestar and charitynavigator.org have compiled lists of trusted groups for hurricane irma relief. don't forget local organizations, they usually understand their communities' needs the best. give cash where you can. we want to start thinking about how to help when the dust clears, guys. let's go over to tom costello in washington, at fema headquarters for us this morning. what are you hearing there? >> reporter: this is the command center that's really running 24/7 and has been for two weeks. keep in mind it had harvey on its hands, and now it has irma. and it's not just florida. it's puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands. it has needed to surge assets into puerto rico, into the virgin islands, and now standing by for the recovery effort in florida. as you would expect, for the most part all of their assets on
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the ground are frozen. they can't move personnel. they can't move rescue teams right now because we're in the middle of an emergency and in the middle of a storm. they have them on the border with florida, up in gaga and alabama, in north carolina and south carolina as well, preparing to move in. at the same time, they're on the ground in the virgin islands involved in rescue operations, and in puerto rico. this is very much a full-time and ongoing effort. we often thing harvey was a week ago, it's over. they're still on the ground in texas dealing with harvey. let me give you a sense of some of the assets they prepositioned now. 2.4 million meals are already prepositioned for florida. they are expecting with more than a million people out of power now and more people likely to be out of power, they need to be able to respond quickly and feed people. 1.4 million liters of water on standby right now prepared to move in as well. earlier yesterday, i'll tell you that i saw a line of power trucks, guys, here in the
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mid-atlantic, in maryland, on its way down towards florida. and we see this time and time again, when you have an emergency like this, the power companies preposition their troops as well. so a line of utility trucks from the northeast, from new york, we've even seen it from canada in the past, coming down, streaming down into the potential zones so that they can respond quickly to restore power. this is all right now about prepositioning and staging, because they know that at the moment they can't do anything in the zone. it's just simply too dangerous. by the way, elaine chao, the acting -- pardon me, elaine duke, acting secretary of homeland security is getting an update with all the people on the ground to determine if they have all the assets necessary to continue to move into position. this is very much a state-led operation with fema in kind of a backup and support mode. guys, back to you. >> tom, thank you very much. let's go back to lester and al
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in tampa. how much longer can you guys stay in that location? or lester, i don't see al. >> al just stepped away for a moment. i think we'll be fine here for several hours, based on the latest guidance we saw. it is looking more and more like the tampa bay area will take a direct hit. that's not good in terms of the storm surge. we've looked at it, the high tide will certainly affect the situation. we would expect there would be water where we are. this is kind of a river walk area here, the tampa river walk along the hillsboro river here. we've had people biking and jogging by. if you didn't know there was a hurricane coming, you would think this was showers on a regular florida day. but we do know there's a hurricane coming, so we'll be moving to high ground sometime probably early this evening. it's expected the storm itself would get here around the 1:00 a.m. period of time. and so we'll be obviously in a much higher, more secure location, a bunker location, if
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you will, when that happens. but this has always been the worst fear, a city that's highly vulnerable, maybe the most vulnerable in the country according to some experts, because so much low-lying area, so much coastline. as i noted in one of my earlier reports, they've done simulations in the past that haven't had good outcomes. that's why they've trying to get so many people in shelters here. there wasn't a rush to shelters on the west coast of florida, because as you recall, last week everything seemed like it would be affecting the east. now it's shifted to the west, that's changed things. at the appropriate time, we'll make sure we're out of here. back to you guys. >> it's an incredible to see the vastness of this storm. as we go to dave price, it's not one part of florida that's affected, it's the whole thing. >> these maps are much less important. we know there's a huge storm working its way up florida. we see the effects on the east.
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we know the worst is yet to come for the west. it's going to be more severe. and now it's being pulled to the north. we see it happening. and so ove hey! are you taking the tissue test? yep, and my teeth are yellow. time for whitestrips. crest whitestrips whiten... ...25x better than a leading whitening toothpaste. nice smile! thanks! i crushed the tissue test. crest. healthy, beautiful smiles for life.
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i'll have the langoustine lfor you, sir?i. the original call was for langoustine ravioli. a langoustine is a tiny kind of lobster. a slight shellfish allergy rules that out, plus my wife ordered the langoustine. i will have chicken tenders and tater tots. if you're a ref, you way over-explain things. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance you switch to geico. sir, we don't have tater tots. it's what you do. i will have nachos!
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good morning. breaking news. irma strikes. south florida being hammered right now. that hurricane a devastating category 4, making landfall in the keys this morning. washing out roads across the region, damaging homes, knocking out power to more than a million people. the worst of the fierce storm still to come today, sunday, september 10th, 2017. >> announcer: from nbc news, this is a special edition of "today." hurricane irma. with matt lauer and

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