tv Today NBC September 11, 2017 7:00am-10:00am EDT
news, weather, and traffic on the nbc10 app. >> the "today" show starts now. continuing coverage of hurricane irma. good morning. breaking news. irma marching north after hammering southern florida. fierce winds ripping roofs off homes. causing cranes to collapse. major damage and flooding across the state. millions without power. >> we don't know what, you know, the next few days is going to bring. >> president trump trying to reassure anyone in its path. >> this is some big monster, but i think we're very well coordinated. >> a historic storm, its wrath still being felt today monday, september 11th, 2017. >> announcer: from nbc news this
is a special edition of "today" hurricane irma with matt lauer and savannah guthrie live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. >> and good morning, everyone. yes, welcome to this special edition of "today" on a monday morning. we're going to be with you for several hours this morning trying to figure out what's happening with this storm, where she's going, and what she's left behind. >> it's been a long night, long weekend for our friends in florida. let's get to where things stand with hurricane irma. it's a category 1 storm now packing 75 mile-an-hour winds still. we are waiting an updating from the national hurricane center. they'll give a sense of where it's headed. >> we were talking 140 miles an hour yesterday down to 75 today. it can still do damage. nearly 5 million people without power this morning. record power outages for the state of florida. people could be in the dark for awhile. florida power and light is warning customers this is not going to take just a couple of
days to restore. this will take weeks before it's fully restored. >> as we mentioned, we are seeing widespread flooding across the state this morning. a storm surge of more than 10 feet was recorded in the hard-hit florida keys. and a tide gauge reported a seven-foot rise in levels in 90 minutes. that happened in naples last night. >> president trump has approved a disaster declaration for florida. that's a move that frees up federal aid for victims of the storm. we have complete coverage as you might expect across the zone. starting with dill dan dreiylan. she's in gainesville this morning. good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, matt. gainesville is in north central florida. it's amazing we're dealing with the effects of a category 1 hurricane here. weaker than it was when it hit south florida. spoken to a lot of the evacuees from south florida that are staying at the hotel we're at here. they're grateful they're just dealing with a category 1 hurricane here.
you can see the wind and the rain are coming down. overnight we had winds up to -- over 60 miles per hour. we also picked up more than 10 inches of rain here in this area. so we still have a ways to go. the heaviest of the rain is moving through, but now that the storm has weakened and it's picking up speed, it's moving at about 18 miles per hour. you can see how fast it's moving north. but there are still tornado watches in effect. in jacksonville, florida, which keep in mind is 500 miles away from key west, we have a flash flood warning in effect because of the heavy downpours they're seeing off the atlantic ocean. this storm is so expansive. even up into atlanta we have tropical storm warnings for the first time ever. so this storm is going to continue to move up into the southeast, produce several inches of rain. we will most likely see more flash flooding because of that. >> dylan, thank you very much. >> irma zeroed in on the tampa bay region last night.
lester holt is in tampa for us this morning. hi, lester. i see you're still getting it. >> reporter: yeah. wishing i was 5'2," not 6'2" right now standing in this wind. very heavy on the backside here in downtown tampa. look, irma has beaten and battered this state but the state is not down. it pulled some of its punch as it came inland. now they'll be able to assess some of the damage as the police cars get out. we saw some of them go by a little bit ago. one thing is for sure. this storm has touched virtually every corner of this state. overnight hurricane irma unleashed its wrath on florida. the eyeball moving inland dumping torrential rain and heavy winds on orlando and the tampa bay area. this coming after irma's powerful winds drained water from tampa's beaches, sucking the water out to sea. the hurricane spending all of sunday punishing the sunshine
state. making its first landfall in the florida keys. sending water rushing into the streets. after making its second landfall on marco island, irma pounded nearby naples with wind gusts as high as 142 miles per hour. >> the angle of approach -- >> reporter: nearly knocking mike bettes off his feet. >> oh! >> reporter: and pelting him with rain. >> that hurt. >> reporter: just moments before the eye of the hurricane moved overhead. >> after getting beaten and bruised and battered, there's the eye. >> reporter: but just feet behind him, a tornado swoops by pushing him down the street. now marching north, irma is leaving behind a path of destruction. uprooting trees, blocking roads, and ripping apart houses. and though the eye is staying west, florida's east coast is also facing the hurricane force. in miami, parts of downtown are
completely submerged. nearly 100 mile-an-hour winds knocking down construction cranes on top of high-rises. and tearing the roof off this building. as rivers overflow. at camp david, president trump and members of his cabinet received a briefing on the storm from fema's administrator. the president is now pledging to visit florida soon. >> i think the hard part is now beginning to see what happens. >> reporter: the powerful winds have already left millions without power and forced thousands into shelters. >> i left my home. these people have left their homes, their families. so we don't know what the next few days is going to bring. >> reporter: there will be plenty of obstacles for those folks to get through. a lot of trees, downed power lines to be cleared. then the issue of no power. that means no power to gas pumps. so the gasoline situation will continue to be a detriment to
getting back on the feet here in tampa and other parts of florida. back to you. >> lester, i see a familiar patch of yellow to your left. so that tells me that al roker is still in tampa with you. let's talk to him now and find out what can be expected from irma. hey, al. >> reporter: yeah, hey, guys. by the way, lester, it's windy down here too. just wanted to let you know. speaking up for the little people. let's show you what's happening right now. i mean, again, we've got some pretty good winds on the backside of this system. and some wraparound moisture coming right through tampa. it's 35 miles east/southeast of the key. 75 mile-per-hour winds. as dylan mentioned, it is racing north/northwest at 18 miles per hour. now, it will continue to move to the northwest. jacksonville this morning, winds of 50 to 75 miles per hour. a lot of rain as you heard. we've got flash flood warnings going there. then as the day wears on, we are
looking for charleston and cz savanna with a storm surge of 4 to 6 feet. rainfall 4 to 7 inches. it continues to move into atlanta tonight. airport delays are going to be extensive. and tropical storm warnings. first-ever tropical storm warning. as far as any more surges, we still could see another 2 to 4 feet from tampa bay all the way down into southwestern florida. and the other surges, georgia, south carolina 4 to 6 feet. florida's atlantic coast could see another 3 to 5 feet as this system pulls away. it is bringing those really strong winds, guys. so we're not quite done with it yet. >> it's not done with you, right, al? thank you very much. we'll check back in. kerry sanders is on marco island where there's damage from a significant storm surge. it's on florida's gulf coast due
west of miami. kerry, good morning. >> reporter: well, good morning. irma made landfall here at around 3:35 p.m. top wind speed 130 miles per hour. we talked about the surge being 10 to 15 feet. you can still see the strength of the storm surge. this is a solid concrete bench. the storm surge rushed in here. take a look at a picture of a canal here. you can see where the water was pulled out. the water pulled out and then that picture was taken in naples and the water came in here. when it came in here, it rushed in about a half mile. fortunately you can see the condos here, those had most of the people were gone, their cars were not at the basement ground level here. so the flooding that took place here that washed in, washed out does not appear to be that significant. as i take you north of here in naples, let's go up to the drone as you look at the pictures of
the drone this morning, you can see the damage. if it is your house, it's extensive, it's miserable. in terms of the type of destruction that could have come with this hurricane, not as dramatic as people feared. not as many roofs, it looks like, they peeled off. in fact, we don't see any here right now. let me take you back to this hurricane making landfall in naples which is where i was. as the hurricane came in, there we have 142 mile-per-hour winds. incredibly strong winds. and about 11 to 12 inches of rain. the storm carrying mostly up trees and tree limbs, shingles. it was a brutal experience. as you can imagine this morning, no electricity in some cases. even cell phone towers are down. the authorities are promising that they're going to get this cleaned back up. but there's no sort of timetable when that will happen. >> all right, kerry. thank you very much. >> irma led to one of the largest evacuations in u.s. history. about 7 million people.
overnight nearly 200,000 rode out the storm in emergency shelters all across florida. gabe gutierrez is in naples. a city that was hard hit. gabe, good morning to you. >> reporter: matt, good morning. this is where the eye of the storm blew through. you can see there is plenty of damage here. trees toppled, power lines knocked down. but as kerry mentioned, the storm surge that so many people feared did not materialize, so while there was some overnight flooding, the water here in naples has been receding. and this morning at first light, crews are now out assessing the damage. downtown naples is just being hammered right now. after wind gusts topped 115 miles an hour, this morning many in naples feel relieved. there may have been some flooding and wind damage overnight, but not the massive 10 to 15 foot storm surge the city had feared. >> the surge is done. and, you know, we'll deal with
whatever damage was done, but i think it would have been absolutely catastrophic had it been a huge storm surge. >> reporter: instead, irma slammed on shore sunday afternoon with howling winds and relentless rain. first the eye slicing through nearby marco island. then naples. this is the rain that is hitting me. wow. geez. just a few minutes after that close call -- >> it would appear right now we are in the eye of the storm right now. look how quiet this is. how calm it is. for some residents, it was anything but calm. we're in 234e eye. what's going through your head? >> if i'm going to have to home to go back to. >> reporter: i'm sorry, ma'am. across the state, other evacuees crammed into the 500 emergency shelters. but the roof of this massive one near ft. myers sprang a leak and lost power. officials insist the building is safe.
>> helping one another in whatever way we can. >> reporter: kelly instead chose to ride out the storm at home with her family and her employees. >> it's scary, of course. i'm more concerned about the storm surge than anything else because we're so close to the beach. >> reporter: naples now recovering after being caught in the eye of the storm. there was a curfew in effect overnight, so many people have not been able to come out and see the damage until now. but again, the mayor here says that given all things that they were expecting, given the fears over that storm surge, for naples at least, it could have before much worse. >> all right, gabe. thank you very much. >> that brings us to florida senator bill nelson who joins us now. good morning. >> good morning. it's still howling outside. >> i bet it is. and yet there is this sense of relief at least from the correspondence we're hearing from some of the mayors we're talking to saying this could have been much, much worse. what's your perspective on it? >> reporter: if it had stayed in
the gulf, all of that warm water would have killed it and it would have been much stronger. much unexpected and mother nature has a mind of her own. it left around north of naples, it came over land and it came straight between tampa and orlando. i'm in orlando. we didn't expect getting 100 mile-an-hour winds around 1:30 in the morning. but that's exactly what happened. >> by the bay, you got a lot of company in orlando. app lot of folks from southern florida headed there because they thought it would be a safe haven. let me ask you this, senator. if you're a floridian waking up this morning and your house has been either severely damaged or destroyed, what's the first phone call you need to make? where can you call to get money to live over the next couple of weeks? where can you call to start the process of rebuilding?
>> emergency operation centers will have a whole bunch of instructions. they're staffed with every kind of agency and volunteer organization to know exactly what to do. what advice to give. where to tell you not to go. all of thainformation and emergency operation center in your locale. >> and sir, as far as fema's concerned we think about harvey and what's going on there. now facing this widespread damage in florida with the storms covering pretty much the entirety of your state. is fema up to it? >> yes, but fema is stressed. no doubt about it. they held people back from going to texas so they could send them to preposition in florida or in some cases embedded in those
emergency operation centers. but fema's going to be stretched. and of course the $15 billion that we passed last week in congress, it's going to be gone in just a few weeks. we're going to have to do an emergency supplemental appropriations for fema the middle of october. and that's just going to be another down payment. it's going to keep going on and on. >> yeah, you look at the loss of infrastructure. you look at the loss of tourism dollars. you look at agricultural losses. the long-term financial impact on the state is going to be severe, isn't it, senator? >> yes, sir. but let me tell you, i'm proud of floridians. now, we've never seen a storm quite like this. it's an unusual one. not only did it wobble, but it was first east coast and then west coast. now it's the middle of the state. but almost the entire state is
covered up except for the far west out near pensacola. >> senator bill nelson, senator, good luck to you and the folks of florida. we thank you for joining us on this busy morning. >> thanks, matt. >> all right. we spoke to the senator about the need for federal assistance after the storm. president trump was quick to declare a major disaster to make it easier for people to start to receive funding. nbc national correspondent peter alexander is at the white house with more on that. peter, good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you. president trump delivering a clear message here that his administration is prepared to deal with the aftermath of irma. after returning to the white house from camp david where he spent the weekend monitoring the storm, the president said he'll be going to florida in his words very soon. this morning he's going to get another full briefing on the hurricane and the damage it caused. he said we may have been a little bit -- we may have been a little bit lucky that the storm veered from its original course after shifting west.
but he still called it some big monster. he has been in close contact with the governors of florida, alabama, georgia, tennessee as well. the president deflecting questions about the billions of dollars that the government's going to be asked to spend to rebuild large parts of texas and frankly houston after harvey. his main worry, he said lives. not the cost. this morning we should note he and the first lady melania trump will lead a moment of silence here at the white house. this is 9/11. they will remember the lives lost on this 16th anniversary. they'll also head to the pentagon today to participate in a 9/11 ceremony there. >> thank you very much. >> let's go back down to tampa. al's got the rest of the forecast. hi, al. >> reporter: all right, guys. thanks so much. let's show you what we've got around the rest of the country. luckily things relatively quiet. irma dominating the southeast.
we do have a fire danger back through the plains. abundant sunshine through new england. we're going to get to your local forecast coming up in the next 30 secon oh, you brought butch. yeah! (butch growls at man) he's looking at me right now, isn't he? yup. (butch barks at man) butch is like an old soul that just hates my guts. (laughs) (vo) you can never have too many faithful companions. introducing the all-new crosstrek. love is out there. find it in a subaru crosstrek. good morning, i'm first alert meteorologist krystal klei. a nice day ahead. 77 in summerton. mid 70s for us over the pennsylvania suburbs as well as
the lehigh valley. lansdale, 76. easton, also at that 76-degree mark. mostly sunny and turns partly cloudy by the afternoon. just scattered clouds out there with a light breeze. 77 the temperature in voorheis. low to mid 70s along the jersey shore. and upper 70s possible in delaware. >> reporter: and that is your latest weather. we're waiting for the next update which will be at 8:00. >> buddy, you're going to have a stiff neck on the right side. >> reporter: i tell you. i'm going to need a massage. i think i'll go see lester. >> i was going to volunteer matt. al, thank you. coming up, we're going to have much more on the devastation being caused by irma. >> we're going to talk to florida's governor about the long and difficult roads that faces his state. but first this is "today" on nbc. politicians playing gameston while south jersey gets short changed?
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ah! still a little tender. (vo) go national. go like a pro. 7:26. good monday morning. i'm tracy davidson. let's look at the forecast with meteorologist krystal klei. >> good morning. chilly in spots. 47 in allentown, atlantic city, 50. chilly to start, but actually as we get into the afternoon, it will be nice. mid to upper 70s for the high temperatures. on the radar and satellite, nothing to track. no rain, no cloud coverage. later today, increasing clouds. we will stay dry. in fact, we'll stay dry until showers with some of irma's moisture returning on wednesday. >> thanks. let's check the roads if you're heading out the door. first alert traffic reporter jessica boyington with that. >> we've been watching this all morning. route 70 eastbound in southampton township around 206,
there's an overturned tractor-trailer there. starting to see some delays. rush hour is in full swing. the schuylkill expressway especially around city line avenue. we're watching this here, the westbound side, starting to slow from montgomery drive and headed forward if you're heading to conshohocken. people from our area are helping those affected by hurricane irma. employees are pse&g, peco, and delmarva are leading to assist in the cleanup efforts. and animals from florida are at the providence animal center in media. after vets evaluate them, the dogs will be ready for new homes this week. nbc10's tim furlong and our telemundo reporters are following more from florida. you can see the reports on air later today. we'll have another update in 25 minutes. join us weekday mornings for nbc10 today.
morning, everybody. 7:30. it's monday morning, the 11th of september 2017. these are just some of the scenes we've been seeing in the last 24 hours as hurricane irma roared ashore in florida. and it has been a long night for the folks there. >> that's right. let's get right to the latest on this storm. millions without power across florida this morning as hurricane irma flattens homes and floods neighborhoods up and down the state. >> reporter: the angle of approach makes all the difference and a storm that's more parallel -- oh! >> cranes crippled dangling on high-rises were sheared off buildings. >> reporter: it's not just the
rain doing damage but this powerful wind. >> reporter: whoa, i just got part of a wave. >> reporter: tremendous amount of wind. it feels like a sandblaster here. >> hundreds of thousands remain in shelters this morning. >> trying to just survive, helping one another whatever way we can. >> as irma moves north threatening millions more across the southeast. >> reporter: still affecting charleston and savannah today. every now and then we get something that almost knocks us off our feet. >> there's no advantage to being tall. >> those guys are still in it this morning as is gainesville. morgan radford is there. hi, morgan. good morning. >> reporter: matt, savannah, good morning. the eye of that storm is headed our way as we speak. you could feel these winds. the rain has been battering down on us. because we are on the east side of that eye. that means woo ere in the thick of it right now.
we're getting the worst of it because it's about 50 miles southwest of us. we've seen it cause three things. one, there's been minor flooding along the streets on the sides of the street. the winds have knocked down power lines, knocked down trees. that's cause number two. 50,000 people now across the county are without power and half the city of gainesville's traffic lights are currently not working. and third and finally, it's these hurricane-forced winds. they're traveling now at 85 miles per hour. we could feel the gusts of them as our crew was driving in around midnight. it was shifting our car and we could feel and hear those winds battering the windows. and that means that the emergency forces in response are now in full effect. one, the national guard is here. two, there's been a state of emergency. and three, emergency shelters have been set up throughout the county. 21 shelters in the county. remember this is home of the university of florida. so there are about 160,000 residents here in the city of gainesville when school is in
session. the shelter at the university already at capacity. as are the two special needs shelters already at capacity. officials are saying stay off the roads. we've seen a few cars in passing this morning. mostly they're national guard and police officers. they've been warned to keep off the roads because as winds reach above 45 miles per hour, which they are now, the emergency responders, the sheriff cannot get to them on the roads. so if people are not already at their shelters, they are being asked to stay in place and off the roads to make sure people stay safe. >> all right. morgan, thank you. >> let's do a little check in with al roker for the latest on the storm. hey, al. >> reporter: hey, guys. thank you so much. one of the side parts to this as question show you where currently irma is, not just the wind, but also the rain. the northeast quadrant of the state suffering a lot of flooding. and so we've got 23 rivers in major flood stage mostly in the
northeastern part of florida. right now irma category 1 storm, 35 miles east/southeast of cedar key. 75 mile-per-hour winds. it's just barely still a hurricane. the tropical storm winds stretch out more than 415 miles from the center of the storm. and the hurricane force winds at 75 miles or more stretch out 60 miles. so it's still packing a punch even though it is weakened considerably from 24 hours ago. and the current wind gusts really continue to push through. i mean, it's going to cause problems as far north as atlanta as far as airport delays are concerned. but you can see orlando wind gusts over 60 miles per hour. airports shut down there. we're looking at tallahassee today. we clocked the wind gusts about 50 miles an hour here on our corner.
it is going to be a windy day throughout the southeast and not to mention a very rainy one as it pushes up to the north. guys, back to you. >> all right, al. thank you very much. florida governor rick scott is with us now. governor scott, good morning. and i was just watching al's maps and his satellite images. i know the northern part of your state still being lashed by these heavy rains and the high winds. what does that mean in terms of when relief supplies and power trucks and things like that can make their way from staging areas down into your state? >> right. first off, i hope everybody continues to pray for us. we need everybody's prayers. we prepositioned assets all along the state. so we already have teams in the southern part of the state going out with our utilities. when i talked to the head of power and lights this morning, he is sending those crews out. i've talked to the president three times yesterday. we had 28 states sending us
resources. as you know, you just heard from al, the storm is still in state. we're sending rescue teams headed towards the jacksonville area. and just to make sure that if we need any assets, we are working to get food and water all around our state. i'll be going with the coast guard this morning to assess the damage in the keys. so everybody's working. >> we may be losing our signal. >> a bit of a dodgy line there. >> so everybody -- are you still there? everybody's working their tail off. >> you cut out a bit. but try again. do you have a sense, governor, of do you have a handle on how much damage and how bad this was in terms of its impact? >> we're -- you know, we're just hearing spotty reports. i'm going with the coast guard down to see the keys. i've heard there was some
significant damage in the keys right where the eye of the storm hit. so we'll find out. i'm going to do everything i can to get all around the state. >> governor, we're having a bit of communication problem with you. we're going to try to re-establish and get back to you later. we know the message is you guys have a lot of work to do and we're praying for the people of florida. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> all right. >> let's go back to al. we've been seeing him. he's in tampa and still not looking great for you, al. good morning. >> reporter: hey, good morning, guys. we want to again look at what's going on around the country and show you that, again, where you are fabulous weather. it's going to be gorgeous through the great lakes. mid-mississippi and ohio river valleys. of course the southeast dominated by irma. hot fire danger through the western plains. southwest looking pretty good. little on the toasty side. in phoenix today, high of 106 that's what's going on around e country. thhe
good morning. i'm meteorologist bill henley. a nice day -- meteorologist krystal klei. a nice day ahead. 77 in summerton. mid 70s for us over the pennsylvania suburbs as well as the lehigh valley. lap lansda lansdale, 76, as well as easton. mostly sunny, turning partly cloudy by the afternoon. just scattered clouds with a light breeze. 77 the temperature in voorheis. low to mid 70s along the jersey shore. and upper 70s possible in delaware. >> reporter: that's your latest weather. get that weather any time you need it especially these days. check out our friends at the weather channel on cable. coming up 20 minutes, top of the hour, we'll have e the latest from the national hurricane center. and we still have hurricane jose to talk about. >> you just did mention that. yeah. all right, al. more on that in a little while. thank you. coming up next, riding out
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joe fryer is in tampa with more on one of those families. joe, good morning. >> reporter: savannah, matt, good morning. still a lot of wind and rain here. but tampa's breathing a sigh of relief knowing the storm surge could have been devastating. still it was a sleepless night throughout the region. we spent time with a family that evacuated to tampa hoping to escape irma only to face the hurricane here. >> we're in the eye now. >> it's just north of naples. >> reporter: they could track the forecast on tv. >> the eye is actually moving east? >> no, it's moving north. >> reporter: or perhaps by simply looking behind them. >> well, it feels like irma is following us. >> reporter: a few days ago as irma crept closer to their home near miami, these empty nesters fled thinking their friend's house in tampa would be a safer option. then the hurricane's track shifted west. >> there's no escape from this storm.
the entire state's under a hurricane warning which has really been unprecedented. >> reporter: now with sandbags and plastic bags guarding the doors, they're hunkering down with another family who escaped south florida. they've grown concerned realizing experts deemed tampa one of the most vulnerable in the world when it comes to major storms. >> it's completely out of our hands. you know, there's nothing that we can really do at this point. kind of curious about how the night's going to go. because it's out of our control. >> reporter: as the night wears on, the winds are growing stronger. the rains are getting heavier. though it's not the category 3 hurricane that many here had feared, it's still causing no shortage of anxiety. >> every time i hear sounds, it's terrifying. >> reporter: early this morning, we caught up with jill to see how they're holding up. >> it appears to be dissipating a little bit, but there's still the fear of the unknown.
>> reporter: in the end, the stevens were probably better off here in tampa. they know their community near miami key biscayne has seen quite a bit of flooding. but they don't yet know if their house has actually flooded. back to you guys. >> all right, joe. thank you. just one of the stories that many people have. many are evacuating and then the storm is bearing down. >> there's be a time you have to make a decision. you have to go one direction or another. sometimes that works out. and sometimes it doesn't. all right. we'll have much more on irma including the impact it's having on travel all across the country. but first these messages. 3 hey allergy muddlers
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. coming up, much more of our special coverage of irma. we are live across the entire state with a first-hand look at all the damage that has been left behind. also, the storm chaser. this is the guy responsible for one of the most talked about images of this storm. he's going to join us live to discuss why this
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coming up on 8:00. we have meteorologist krystal klei and the most accurate forecast. >> look at the cameras, clear, blue sky. the temperatures in philadelphia, still in the 40s in parts of the pennsylvania suburbs. just down to 50 in the lehigh valley. and mid 50s in delaware. still low 50s for new jersey at 51. by this afternoon, we'll see scattered clouds start to roll in across the area. and those temperatures are going to bump up. talking temperatures that will rise into the 70s. 70s in philly and new jersey. warming up will continue the next few days. let's clo aeplet's check th traffic reporter jessica boyington. >> we're watching a disabled vehicle that just pulled to the right-hand shoulder of the eastbound side. cameras at 29. traffic still moving. definitely slower, though,
moving toward the schuylkill. watching a crash on the northeast extension, southbound side. we have a pretty good backup. reports of three miles before lansdale because of the crash there. back to you. today people across the area will mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. in western pennsylvania, vice president mike pence will be in shanksville to speak at the united 93 memorial. in new jersey, pennsauken is one of the places displaying nearly 3,000 flags remembering lives lost. in bucks county, events begin in a half hour and culminate with a candlelight ceremony at 7:00. 18 people from ducks county died in the -- bucks county died in the 9/11 attacks. another update in 25 minutes. join us weekday morning from 4:00 to 7:00 a.m.
it's 8:00 on "today." coming up, breaking news. >> that hurt. >> irma barrels toward northern florida leaving a path of destruction in its wake. torrential rains and heavy winds whipping the southern part of the state. trees uprooted. homes destroyed. this morning millions of people without power. thousands packed into shelters. uncertain of the damage they'll return to. >> we don't know what, you know, the next few days is going to bring. >> "today" september 11, 2017. all right. we're back now. special edition here on a monday morning. matt lauer with savannah guthrie
and hoda kotb. irma is no longer a hurricane. >> we just got an update from the national hurricane center. it's been downgraded to a tropical storm. take a look at the radar. impacts still being felt. atlanta was under a tropical storm warning earlier. we've got complete coverage for you. >> that's right. we were looking over our shoulder here because we've got something happening here with kerry sanders on marco island. kerry can't hear me, but he is the process along with another gentleman to rescue a baby dolphin that has washed ashore. let's go down to kerry. kerry, can you hear us? we've been watching this unfold for the last minute or so. they released the dolphin, got it into kind of knee deep water a second ago and then a wave came and brought it right back up. >> reporter: good morning, guys. we're on south marco island. amid all the human drama, we
have a baby dolphin here that has washed ashore. mark and i have been trying to return it out into the gulf of mexico. but every time that we take it out, it gets hit by these big waves and pushed back. so we're trying to give this little dolphin which is no doubt exhausted by the hurricane an opportunity to catch its strength. so we've been holding it now for i want to say about 10, 15 minutes. mark, let's give it a shot here to see if in a wave we can bring this guy back out into the water. don't pull him too hard. don't grab him like that. just your hands underneath in the water. give him a hand. hang on. going to get more water. there we go. there we go. come on, guy. we think you can make it. hang on. here we go. okay, there. swim. now let's see if he has the strength to go. every time he gets caught up. well, he's swimming.
i think he's confused, beyond exhausted. when we help him go out, he seems to come back in. come on, buddy. you can do it. okay. it's a struggle. i see him trying. he really wants to make it out there. it's just really disoriented, no doubt. you can hear i'm exhausted just from being in the water. although that's his habitat. just a little guy there. guys, i got to say i can't hear you because i've been in the water and all my electronics have gone. >> there he is. >> reporter: we're going to continue to see if we can help him get out. we've got some calls into the dolphin network for some added advice on -- i've been with training dolphins before and teams. it's a matter of giving this guy some rest. unfortunately being this young,
i'm not sure how well he's going to do. so, guys, we'll continue to follow this and update you as it continues to unfold. south marco island where we the the storm surge bring in 4 to 5 feet of water and that little guy there. >> all right, kerry. i know kerry can't hear us, but his crew can and we will check back in and see what's going on. hard to see that. i hope he finds his way. >> yes, definitely. >> in the meantime, dylan dreyer is in gainesville. dylan, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, guys. conditions have improved a little bit here in gainesville. but we were driving around a little bit and you can see now we are starting to see some of the damage. this particular tree has fallen across the road and it's not just here where we're seeing this. i want to take you around this tree and show you that they are starting to topple all over. i mean, the thing is with these trees, we talked o the police officers here. and they said they're very old trees. they're very full trees. with the wind gusts we've seen up to 60 miles per hour, there
are starting to come down because the ground is very saturated. so we are not dealing with the 60 mile-per-hour wind gusts anymore. in fact, we are getting to the backside of the storm. but as you saw with al in tampa, the backside does tend to pick up the gusty winds. if we get the wind gusts on the backside of the second part of this storm, the back of that eye wall, we could see more damage like this. if these trees fall down on power lines, we could see even more power outages than we're seeing right now. even though we're in the north central part of the state and the storm is weakening, there's still that threat with these trees falling on the power lines. that could lead to more outages we're seeing across the strait. >> thank you. officials are just starting to assess the damage down in south florida as the storm moves to where dylan and other people are up north. lester holt is in tampa where irma hit overnight. lester, good morning again to you. >> reporter: good morning. the rain has now let up and seeing a little sparkle of sunshine in the clouds here, but
the wind still very heavy on the backside of irma powering its way through downtown tampa. they feel like they've beared well that they didn't get the direct hit. the storm surge not as high as anticipated. although i can see the river behind me and it is extraordinarily high. much higher than we saw yesterday. this storm as forecasters said, it's touched every corner of florida from the keys to miami, tampa to orlando, and beyond. hurricane irma hit tampa overnight with heavy rain and dangerous winds. tampa mayor bob buckhorn spoke to matt and savanna this morning. >> i think when dawn comes and the lights come on, we will find we were very lucky last night. >> reporter: massive irma worked its way up the gulf coast sunday striking the u.s. mainland near naples. one of the hardest-hit areas in the state. recorded wind gusts as high as
142 miles per hour. and a storm surge up to six feet. irma's eye wall showcased the storm's full fury. the hurricane brought down trees. >> translator: this is the rain that's hitting me. wow. >> okay, gabe, why don't you get under the overhang there? >> reporter: and the intense winds were a threat to reporters on the ground. >> reporter: oh! >> reporter: like the weather channel's mike bettes. >> reporter: that hurt. i'll admit, that hurt. >> reporter: irma first struck the florida keys as a category 4 hurricane devastating parts of key largo and countless other spots along the island chain. on the atlantic coast of florida, miami was spared the eye of the hurricane, but still battered by powerful winds and a dangerous storm surge. brikell avenue, one of the famous streets flooded. the massive storms and powerful
winds caused two cranes to collapse sunday. as the city recovers, miami-dade county schools are closed until further notice. the president spoke briefly on the hurricane as he landed back in washington. >> i hope there aren't too many people in the path. you don't want to be in that path. that's a path you don't want to be in and we tried to warn everybody. >> reporter: later approving a disaster declaration for the state of florida. elsewhere in d.c., vice president pence visited fema workers. >> our support here in local efforts is simple. wherever hurricane irma goes, we'll be there first. >> reporter: some of the first stories of human drama emerging from all this including a story of two sheriffs deputies who were trapped in their car for almost two hours when a live power line came down. they had to wait for the electric company to cut the power to that line so they could be safely rescued. i think we'll hear more human drama stories.
now they can start responding to some of the 911 calls. back to you. >> all right. lester, i know you've got your pal there. al roker has been alongside lester there. al, what are we looking for now? >> reporter: well, now that it's a tropical storm, it's going to start to weaken and the forward speed will pick up. let's look at the statistics. you can see we've got still some showers -- wraparound showers here. it's 30 miles north/northeast of cedar key. 70 mile-per-hour winds. north/northwest at 18 miles per hour, the forward speed. as we mentioned, there's also a lot of rain throughout parts of the northern parts of the state. and that's causing 23 rivers in florida, they're all at flood stage. some going up to record levels. so we're going to be watching that closely over the next day or two. and jose right now a category 2 storm.
225 miles east of the grand turk islands. 105 mile-per-hour winds. as we put its track into motion, it does a loop and still next saturday hanging out with 90 mile-per-hour winds. still too early to tell if it's going to affect the eastern seaboard of the united states, but we will continue to track that. and that's what's going on. we're going go back to you guys. >> all right, al. thank you very much. and lester, thank you as well. we'll see you in a little while. other stories to get to this morning. president trump is set to take part in a 9/11 commemoration today for the first time as commander in chief. first lady melania trump will join him to observe a moment of silence at the white house. then they'll travel to the pentagon for an or sbservance there. mike pence will take part in a ceremony in pennsylvania. pope francis is headed back to rome overnight after a five-day trip to colombia. he was given a lavish sendoff.
his bruised cheekbone was visible. it was the result of bumping his head on the pope mobile. he's fine. urging colombians to untie the violence and unify under a peace plan after 50 years of civil war. congratulations going out today for rafael nadal. he won his 16th grand slam title on sunday. beating kevin anderson in straight sets in the u.s. open final. this is the third u.s. open title for nadal who has won two majors in all this year. for the first time since 2013. >> you witnessed it. >> i did. and sloane stephens is our women's champion. >> is that the best finish ever? >> by the way, nadal goes back to number one player in the world. >> yes, he does. >> sorry about that. >> roger won the other two. there's much more ahead including the storm chaser behind one of the more unforgettable images of the last 24 hours or so. he'll join us live.
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captured our hearts a few minutes ago. we wonder if he was able to get out to sea. >> reporter: well, i think there's going to be a happy ending here. i'm exhausted. that little guy was much more exhausted. but as you can see here, i've been with the dolphin stranding network before. i mimicked what i've seen them do. cradle the dolphin, take it out to deeper water, and hold it for a little bit. let it catch its breath. then after a few minutes i let it go. we saw it get hit by a wave. we saw it turn back and then eventually we lost sight of it and it looks like it's made its way out into the gulf of mexico. helping me with mark lyon. mark was the one who first spotted it inland. it was on a sidewalk. you brought it down here. just give me your sense of feeling and the moment now that you know that it looks like that little guy has made his way out. >> well, it was breathing on the sidewalk so we picked it up, and carried it across, pulled it to the wourt and went ahead and tried to push it out.
then you showed up and we were successful. >> reporter: mark, great teamwork. yes, the water out here is rough. for anybody who's wondering about my safety going in there, those are big waves. i live in florida. we do have big waves. and right now there's no undertow. so i'm back just a little tired but quite happy that that little guy, looks like he's going to be a survivor of hurricane irma. >> good job, kerry. >> kerry's covered 60 hurricanes. he's seen a thing or too. thank you, kerr are i. all right. jo ling kent is with us from ft. lauderdale. what are you seeing there? >> reporter: the curfew here is still in place. 10:00 a.m. here. i'll show you some of these downed trees. this is the reason that the curfew remains in place. there were such high winds, tornado warnings in this area in the path of hurricane irma yesterday. now, ft. lauderdale just now waking up. you can see there's pretty significant damage here. and the reason that crews are now coming out to look at this
and they're also saying please don't leave your home. because the majority of deaths in the aftermath of a hurricane are the injuries that happen after the storm occurs. we're expecting significant damage. there was an estimated $2 trillion worth of property in irma's path. we're hearing estimates from insurance companies that there may be claims of up to $50 billion. and the power here remains out. all of these folks here safely evacuated. some now trying to come back into the area as the police say be very careful where you go. and the reason is that the power all the way down this street remains down. we see that there is some traffic lights here that still are not operational. but ft. lauderdale coming together this morning as they try to assess the damage. >> all right, jo. thank you very much. in miami, hurricane force winds caused major damage and led to two massive construction cranes to collapse. nbc's mariana has the latest on
all of that. >> reporter: hey, good morning. so as the sun begins to rise here in miami beach where i am now and in nearby downtown miami, we're getting our first glimpse at the damage that the strong winds, that storm surge, and those gusts we experienced yesterday have caused in these two cities. today it is clear that even though miami didn't get the brunt of hurricane irma, it didn't go unscathed. this morning, the worst may be over, but the damage is done. miami waking up to a nightmare. devastating aftermath of hurricane irma. flooded streets, scattered debris, and many left in the dark with nearly 5 million power outages reported across florida. miami unable to escape irma's grasp. the monster storm clocking in at more than 100 miles per hour in some spots. mike seidel braving the
elements. >> reporter: whoa, i just got part of a wave. i have never seen south florida look like this. >> reporter: powerful gusts causing two high-rise construction cranes to collapse in miami's downtown. the blistering winds, even peeling the roof from one building. at one point, dozens of tornado warnings issued in the area with several funnel clouds caught on camera. and with the wind came a deluge of rain between 4 and 9 inches falling in and around miami. the downpour along with irma's dangerous storm surge turning streets into rivers in the brooklyn neighborhood. the city's financial district. the water level rising up to four feet in some parts. our crew was there when the storm surge began hammering the coastline. the water covered the entire pier behind me. which just goes to show what that storm surge can do. the torrent of rainfall also causing some water damage at the miami international airport which will remain closed today.
and as the city dealt with natural disaster, another problem of the manmade variety. dozens arrested for looting. amid the chaos, a story of bravery. police in north miami beach successfully rescuing a mother and her baby as rising floodwaters quickly filled their home. a sign of resilience as recovery efforts begin. we're so happy that that family is doing all right. and this morning we've seen heavy police presence on the bridges that connect downtown miami to miami beach where i'm standing now. and in almost every corner of the city the miami beach commissioner telling me 90% of miami beach according to his estimates is still out of power. and the police urging those resident who is evacuated to not return to the beach until tomorrow as they are just beginning to assess the damage from this monster storm. back to you guys in studio. >> mariana, thanks. you can imagine the urge to get out and size things up.
but you have to make sure you shelter in place and wait until it passes, yeah. >> it goes without saying that flights in and out of florida were completely brought to a stand still by the storm. but there's a huge ripple effect as well. how long will it take to get things back on track? tom costello has always covered aviation for us. he's at fema's headquarters with that story for us. hi, tom. >> reporter: we've got a lot of moving pieces here and some aren't moving at all. in total we've got more than 13,000 flights right now into and out of florida and the caribbean that are not moving. and specifically as it relates to the u.s. virgin islands, the department of transportation is rushing in an faa center that they're going to try to re-establish a tower, if you will. air traffic control there in the u.s. virgin islands. then as we're still looking at the number of airports affected and flights affected, 9500 flights into and out of florida alone. airports closed. we've got a lot of them all up and down florida including miami. and by the way, we've got fuel
tanks submerged, runways submerged. miami, ft. lauderdale, key west, naples, st. pete, orlando, also orlando sanford, tampa, melbour melbourne, and sarasota at this hour. we do have some emergency flights coming in. delta air lines flying into the u.s. virgin islands today bringing in emergency equipment and personnel. military and emergency flights can be allowed on a case-by-case basis into these airports. back to you. >> it's going to take some time. tom, thank you very much. now to a dramatic image from irma on sunday. the storm chaser justin drake struggling to measure the wind speed as irma raged across the florida keys. justin is with us this morning with his fellow chaser simon. so many of us were taken with
that image and simultaneously wondering why on earth would you put yourself at risk like that. and what were you doing and can you assure people you knew what you were getting into? >> well, of course. as a meteorologist and a storm chaser, we always are prepared for any information we can get involved in whenever on a hurricane chase. i assure you when you see the video of me going out there experiencing the very strong winds that were associated with irma and the eye wall that we took every precaution we needed to make sure nothing woas going to put us in physical danger. we made sure there was not going to be any objects that were going to be in the wind that would hit me so i could go out there and safely measure the winds to see just how strong they were in the location. >> safely is a relative term. i look at that one point where you're pushed back, and you could just have easily lost your balance, then you're the flying object after that.
you said to us yesterday, these are the worst winds you've ever experienced. >> that's correct. before this particular hurricane, it was definitely hurricane harvey that had the most intense winds that i've ever been in. but this hurricane definitely went a step above even that particular one. both of them are rated at a cat 4 when they made landfall. this particular hurricane, i can say from my personal experience being in both of them, i think irma had stronger winds at the landfall than harvey did. >> all right. simon, sorry we didn't get a question to you. but we want you guys to be safe and thanks for your time this morning. my son comes to me saying i want to be a meteorologist, fine. storm chaser? we're going to have a long talk. >> exactly. >> let's go back to al in tampa. al? >> reporter: yeah, i feel like a little bit of a wimp compared to justin. this is an afternoon breeze compared to what he went through. all right.
we've got rain back again too. so even though irma is a tropical storm, it is still packing a little bit of a that's what's going on around the country. sfl sfloo. 7 degrees the forecast in center city. mid 70s over the pennsylvania suburbs as well as the lehigh valley. mostly sunny. turns partly cloudy by the afternoon. just some scattered clouds out there with a right breeze. low to mid 70s along the jersey shore and upper 70s in delaware. >> reporter: and that is your latest weather, guys. >> all right, al. thank you very much. we appreciate it. coming up, how did florida's wildlife fair during the storm? we'll take you to zoo miami to get a progress report. but first your local news.
let's get right to the forecast. >> we're looking at temperatures right now at 58 in philadelphia and 51 in mount holly. we were in the upper 40s for the lows this morning. 50 in allentown. atlantic city, you're reading 5 degrees. we're looking at mid to upper 70s for highs, fairly close to average. high clouds start to spread across the area for a partly cloudy afternoon. chances of rain don't return until tuesday night into wednesday. jessica, what are you seeing? >> moving through center city,
you can see a little problem. heading into philadelphia, if you take the ben franklin bridge, there's a crash mid span. we're seeing delays into camden, new jersey. as irma is downgraded to a tropical storm now, utility companies and workers are headed south to restore power to millions there. employees should reach the affected areas later today. crews from delmarva are also on their way. new jersey store bob menendez returns to a courtroom in his bribery trial. last week the judge had to stop proceedings twice to reprimand lawyers on both sides. menendez is accused of taking bribes in exchange for political favors. getting a cancer diagnosis is difficult.
morning, everybody. these are some of the images coming out of florida this morning. it's monday, september 11th, 2017. this is a special edition of "today." we are tracking the march through florida and now at this hour it's moving upwards toward georgia. other parts of the south getting it today. >> that's right. there's breaking news tied to this storm. right now homes are being evacuated in orange county outside orlando. floodwaters there are said to be rising. we're told that rescue crews are going door-to-door. they're using boats to take
families out to safety. >> and the number of power outages from the storm is rising. nearly 6 million people in the dark in florida and georgia. it could be weeks in some of the hardest-hit areas before the lights go back on. 200,000 have been riding out the storm in shelters. >> let's begin this hour with morgan radford in gainesville. good morning. >> reporter: matt, good morning to you. so you can see the rain has just stopped. the eye of that storm is still just southwest of us. so we're on the eastern portion. that means we're on the side that's getting pretty hard hit. the winds are still moving pretty quickly. about 85 miles per hour. but as the sun has just come up, we're seeing three things. we're seeing, one, there's been lots of local flooding. we have a second camera crew just about a few miles up the road. one of those houses is being
flooded. you can see the water rising up to the level of bumpers on some of those cars. but number two, we have 50,000 people now all throughout the county still without power. and third and finally, it's these hurricane force winds. between 75 and 85 miles an hour. they have been lessening throughout the night, but you can still hear and see them. they've been battering our windows. even as we were driving into the storm, we could feel our car moving. these are the things we were monitoring as the floodwaters were beginning to rise. >> thank you very much. the road to everglades city was left impassable after that storm. and jacob soboroff is there with that story. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, savannah. good morning, matt. behind me is the trail as the sign says this way is naples, this way is miami. we rode out the storm in naples last night but the flooding is much worse now. as we walk this way, the road highway 29 is the only way into and out of everglades city. you see a high profile vehicle
making its way in now. but lower profile vehicles are having a harder time. we've seen people go in on an airboat. there's about 500 residents here. what we've been told by the residents is the devastation in that direction is much worse than they all faced in hurricane wilma. and that was a complete loss for the community down that way. guys, back to you. >> all right, jacob. wow. images are incredible there. thank you. let's head 100 miles north of florida's gulf coast to st. petersburg. that's where jacob rascon is. hello, jacob. >> reporter: hello. we've been touring the damage this morning and incredibly it's minimal, but we do see things like this. a giant tree toppled onto the road. crews will be out all morning. the cleanup will still be massive. overnight hurricane irma pounded tampa bay with sheets of rain and powerful wind gusts. threatening 3 million people,
the second largest metropolitan area in florida bracing for a potential disaster. the worst of the rain and the wind hit st. petersburg overnight. but what the entire tampa bay area is really bracing for is the storm surge. few areas are as vulnerable to catastrophic storm surge than tampa bay. connected by low lying bridges. homes and buildings packed on islands and along 700 miles of coast. the predictions were dire. potentially the first major hurricane to make landfall here in nearly a century. >> even though we haven't had a direct hit in 90 years, what worries me is the surge combined with the high tide which will take place at the same time. >> reporter: hillsboro county alone converted 42 schools into shelters. many filled to capacity. >> how could you not get a little anxious? you're going somewhere you've never been before. >> reporter: nick among hundreds of nursing home patients evacuated to wesley chapel high
school. critical supplies loaded onto trucks. >> everyone is resting. they've gotten their meds. they've gotten dinner. we're finally exhaling for a moment. >> reporter: dawn mcmahon, one of the scores of dedicated caregivers leaving their families in homes in irma's path until the threat was over. this morning millions from tampa bay waking up to thankful to have avoided the worst case scenario. and guys, we just met karen who lives here. she came out. of course she was shocked. she said she slept with pillows over her head. and incredibly, we had to break the news to her what had happened around the state. when she went to bed yesterday, she still expected the storm to hit as a category 3. she had no idea what had happened. >> a lot of people waking up this morning and seeing the damage. jacob, thank you isso much. let's get another check of the weather.
al is in tampa this morning. it's still heavy will. al, good morning to you. >> reporter: hey, guys. good morning. it's monday and there's obviously other weather across the country. so as you look at tropical storm irma right now, you'll see that -- the wind -- right now it's in the tropical storm. this is actually worse today than it was yesterday. anyway, as a tropical storm, it's got 75 mile-per-hour win winds -- >> he looks like we've had trouble with al's signal. it is interesting to see. it was a hurricane yesterday and yet it seems worse in a lot of ways there. luckily we have a meteorologist on standby always ready. >> that's right.
that's what stunt doubles are for. absolutely. sit to the side until needed. let's take a look. >> it's intense there. >> it is. we're looking at heavy bands of rain moving into where al is and jacksonville and working their way up to the carolinas as well. there's our concern. irma right now located 30 miles to the north/northeast of cedar key, florida. winds still 70 miles per hour. keep in mind, tropical storm but still rather strong. look at those heavy bands right there beginning to push through jacksonville. winds there sustained 50 to 70 miles per hour. with a storm urge up to 3 to 5 feet. then we continue to take a look at charleston and savannah where winds could be sustained 40 to 60 miles per hour with a storm surge up to 6 feet. and 4 to 7 inches of rainfall. very serious concerns right along some of those coastal locations. downtown jacksonville right now seeing some pretty significant flooding. of course that is a quick look at what's happening with respect to irma. here's a look at what's going on right where you are.
>> at 8:38, that's a quick look at your weather. guys? >> watching al getting blown like that reminds you that a tropical tropical storm is tough too. i think people think, well, look it's been downgraded everything's great. but you watch -- >> don't get stuck on categories and titles. we've learned that over and over. >> dave, thanks for stepping in. >> glad to be here. thousands of animals at zoo miami were in the path of hurricane irma. the zoo had a plan to protect
them. it's a lesson they learned after hurricane andrew. >> we are joined now by zoo director ron miguel. it's good to see you. good to see your face. we have to ask you how the residents of your fine zoo are this morning. >> well, i'll tell you. we've got a lot of physical damage, a lot of trees down, fences down. but every animal includie iningi here are doing well. >> we have an iconic picture of toshi from andrew where a trailer had fallen out of the sky. he's fairing well. >> yeah. he's done very well. that picture was taken right here in this pen. that trailer had fallen out of the sky from a hundred yards away. fences were all down. holes in the fences. wasn't a scratch on toshi. it's incredible nature knows how to protect itself in these disasters. >> talk about some of the real important changes that were made
structurally there at the zoo, ron. >> well, hurricane andrew leveled this place. the north eye wall came through here and it was leveled. when we rebuilt, miami-dade building codes are probably the highest, strictest in the country because of the hurricane. we built several buildings we were able to use as bunkers for a lot of the animals. there was another iconic picture where we used to put the flamingos into the bathroom here. they have their own pavilion now. all of the animals survived. in fact, we had an animal born -- it hit two days ago. we had an animal born a day before. i was out there with your photographer and we saw it standing up nursing. what a signal of hope to show us how nature does so well. >> i wish we could give a squeeze to toshi right there. i saw that yesterday, the march of the pink flamingos as they went out. what does this mean to you? this is a story with a great
economic toll, but people care about your animals and we know you do too. >> well, you know, i cannot say enough about this amazing staff. these people really worked 24 hours around the clock for several days not only securing things that could become project aisles, but making sure they had all the food and water. you can hear the noise z behind me. those are generators. we were here 24/7 during the storm. there was a team here on grounds. so everybody made sure. i'm telling you. there's a lot of damage, but you realize not a single of the 3,000 animals here suffered a scratch. >> you know why people care so much? zoos are part of the fabric of a community. everybody remembers from when you're little and go to a class trip at a zoo to when you're older and take your own kids to the zoo. it's part of every city and town we live in. >> absolutely. listen, i work in a zoo today because i remember as a small boy going to the bronx zoo and getting that connection with
animals. this is sometimes the only way children can get a connection with wildlife. it's important they understand how important it is to all of us. >> real quickly, i don't know -- this may be a silly question dpp you get the feeling that any of the animals recognized what was coming? people always say they can. >> well, i'll tell you. animals certainly got nervous before the storm. but that could be feeding off of us. like with your pet dog or cat, your pet feeds off of you. these animals realized the routine was changes. when that routine changes, what happens is they get a little nervous. i will say, though, right before the storm there were a lot of native birds around here. that was a good sign for me. because before hurricane andrew, 24 hours before the storm, you couldn't find one native bird even though it was a beautiful day. i think animals have an instinct. >> toshi wants more carrots. chop chop. >> i'm happy to give him all he wants. >> good to see you, ron. thanks. >> thanks. we're back in a moment.
this is "today" on nbc. i'm danny. you're danny? i'm steve. joseph, i'm steve. how are you? nice to meet you sir. no different from everyone else. they just want a job. they want respect and they want dignity. steve called fairly frantic. you know, he had a premature baby and i think he had just been given the diagnosis that she had down syndrome. lauren brought out the best in me. she made me a different person. lauren's the spark that started the fire. the goal is keep places like this open so all people, regardless of disability, have an opportunity for employment.
good morning. this is live coverage of the 9/11 ceremony in new york city as the u.s. is dealing with the destruction from irma. the ongoing recovery from harvey. americans are also marking today, the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. >> thousands of victims, relatives and survivors gathered at ground zero right now. a moment of silence will also be had -- held at the white house. of course just about a minute from now is when that first plane struck the north tower of the world trade center. setting in motion a chain of events none of us will ever forget. >> and there are moments of silence being observed in washington at that field in
welcome back, everybody. carson is with us this morning from the orange room. carson, you're keeping an eye on all of the images and stories going viral from the storm. >> i am. good morning, guys. now that irma is making its way through florida, look at this image. this is the financial center. this is before the storm. let me show you what happened right after irma came through. you can see that street flooded. let me go back. pay attention to this big tree here on the right side of your screen. watch right after the storm. look what's left of that tree. it's a remarkable image there. one positive part of the storm is seeing people come together to help other people.
we've got a few great examples of that. a great photo showing 300 doctors, nurses, health care professionals aboard this c-17 flying f ining from d.c. to orl help out. also the atlanta braves gave tickets to those displaced. their president of business saying we know how difficult it's been for you to pack up and leave your homes. we hope we can help take their mind off the storm for a few hours. people are also using airbnb to offer places to stay for free. they've done a good job. they've added this portion of a map to the website to show where people have been offering to host those displaced by the storm. you can always go to today.com. >> like to see neighbors helping each other. always a silver lining to these storms. we'll have a lot more coverage as we go along this morning. we're back in a moment on a monday morning. this is "today" on nbc.
we have much more ahead of this special edition of "today." but first some of the sights and sounds of irma from the past 24 hours. this is how it all unfolded. >> irma arrives. >> wow. >> the most powerful atlantic hurricane ever lashing southern florida right now. >> hurricane irma has come on and gained strength. >> this is how powerful it's become. difficult to stand, difficult to move. >> let me show you exactly where we're at right now on the map. that's us. we've got a red band headed straight towards us. >> this is what we're most worried about. the gulf of mexico right there. >> this thing is so big, it's going to affect the entire state. >> this is the worst case scenario. >> you're seeing the visibility go down. we just had a major wind shift direction. almost like i thought we were getting a tornado.
>> it's showing no signs of letting up. >> it was by far the strongest winds that i've ever experienced. >> you can see the velocity of the wind there. 2 million homes at this hour are already without power. >> naples, marco island has lost its power. >> dylan, please be careful as you drive along. >> we're going to be packing up here and heading to higher ground. >> that hurt. >> they completely gave way because conditions are worsening by the minute. >> it's just an incredible thing to see, the power of this storm. >> i'm just absolutely in awe right now of the wrath and the fury that mother nature has brought upon naples, florida. >> we're getting battered by hurricane irma and we have a long way to go. >> we're just getting into it. >> this is what we were telling people to hunker down for and get in. >> orlando, you've had a very rough night. i know people in the orlando area that are sleeping in their closets.
>> i pray that everybody survives this. >> this system was so big that it was going to effect the entire state. it's lived up to what we said it nbc 10 news starts now. good morning. just about 9:00 a.m. irma has been downgraded to a tropical storm. let's get right to your forecast. locally it's a very different picture, clear, beautiful blue sky over head. we're in the mid 60s for new jersey and the lehigh valley. delaware also now in the low
60s. sunny out there. later today, mostly sunny to partly cloudy conditions as we warm up. 76 in the lehigh valley. let's get a check on the roads now. >> a disabled vehicle right around montgomery drive. right now it's slow. also watching 95 too, the southbound side still seeing a bit of a delay with 31 minutes. here's a live look right now at new york city, where thousands are in manhattan right now to remember the 9/11 attacks. here in pennsylvania, vice president mike pence will be in shra shanksville to speak at the
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good morning. breaking news. irma turning its fury on northern florida after pounding the southern half of the state. this morning millions without power, widespread damage coast to coast. streets turned to rivers. the storm downgraded, but the destruction not over. today, monday, september 11, 2017. good morning. welcome back to this special edition of "today" on this
monday morning. 9:00 on the east coast. it's 6:00 out west. i'm matt lauer with savannah guthrie and hoda kotb. when you look at what's happening with the storm now, it's a little bit like yesterday. it depends on what city you're in in terms of what conditions you're facing. >> yeah. it's been downgraded to a tropical storm, but we're finding already this morning it's still got some surprises in it. let's get you up-to-date on where things stand. >> flooding being reported in jacksonville and orlando. crews are going door-to-door to evacuate homeowners in one neighborhood there. people who thought they were safe from the storm now getting some of the impact. >> of course storm surge was a major concern ahead of irma. the storm surge of more than ten feet recorded in the florida keys on sunday. late last night, a tide gauge reported seven-foot rise in water levels in just 90 minutes. that was in naples, florida. >> we have complete coverage for you. let's start this hour with nbc's dylan dreyer. she's in gainesville.
they've seen some rain this morning. and jacksonville getting some flooding. you've heard about that, i'm sure. >> reporter: which is amazing to think how far away gainesville and jacksonville is from where the storm was just yesterday. 500 miles between jacksonville and key west. you caught me looking up. we've got a different situation here. because we have people coming to cut down these trees, break them up because they have fallen all across the road. there's more where that came from. but we also have a police officer whose job it is to look up at the trees because they are continuing to blow and topple over. so we've seen a couple of branches come down. they're covered with this spanish moss. these are very old trees. there's a lot of bulk to them. we get these wind gusts like you've seen al run into down in tampa. as that comes northward, we are going to see those same wind gusts take down more trees. even though the rain has stopped and moving northward, we still have that danger. we could see even more power
outages than we're seeing in this area. the cleanup continues, but we might still have a ways to go before we can actually tackle all of this. you can see the storm now bringing its heaviest rain across georgia into south carolina. my brother lives in western south carolina, he said the winds are gusty. even though it's weakened to a tropical storm, we are not in the clear. now the southeast is going to get in on the action. >> all right, dylan. thank you. >> as dylan said, irma was downgraded to a tropical storm, but its threats are far from over. al is in tampa with more on all of that. hey, al. >> reporter: hey, guys. if you were with us yesterday, we were here along the hillsboro river. we had the same effect that all the water was sucked out of key largo in the bahamas all due to irma. we saw the river here was way, way down. you could see dry land in this river. well, look at it now. it is completely refilled. it's back to normal. the locals telling me this is the way it looks all the time. so now that irma's pulled away,
we've actually gotten behind some buildings that we're a little more protected from the wind. here's the latest on irma right now. it is a tropical storm as you mentioned. 30 miles north/northeast of cedar key, florida. 70 mile-per-hour winds. it's moving north/northwest at 18 miles per hour. as it continues on the move as you mentioned, we are looking at those high water rescues in jacksonville. 50 to 75 mile-per-hour winds this morning. a storm surge possible of three to five feet. and another three to six inches. charleston and savannah today, winds of 40 to 60 miles per hour. a storm surge 4 to 6 feet. rainfall 4 to 7 feet. and as it continues making its way into the southeast, atlanta. in fact, they're reporting now that there are major, major cancellations at atlanta hartsfield airport because of the winds, because of the heavy rain. if you are going -- if you've
got a flight that's transiting through atlanta, you're going to atlanta, this is going to cause a lot of delays today. and of course the airports here throughout florida have all been shut down at least through today. and some of them right through tomorrow. so, guys, again, this system even though it is a tropical storm continues to pack a punch. and we will feel its effects not just here in florida but throughout a good portion of the country depending on what kind of mode of transportation you're using. >> all right, al. thank you very much for the report. nbc's jo ling kent joins us from ft. lauderdale checking out damage there. we saw a lot of downed trees in that area. where are you now, jo? >> reporter: we have moved to ft. lauderdale beach. you can see that the ocean basically came up yesterday and planted itself right in front of all of these businesses, bars, restaurants, and hotels. totally evacuated but kelp and all of this sea debris came up.
the street just beyond the camera there where caesar is is completely sanded out. what we see is a business here. this is a business that's been here about 40 years. you've got sandbags here. boarded up. the good news here is spirits are high because the damage does seem to be rel tuffly minimal. however, you still have 6 million people without power across three states. the curfew still in place until tonight. debris here people will have to dig out. there's going to be significant cleanup in this area. but power remains. folks starting to come out this morning to assess the damage. the good news is spirits are relatively high. the sun is shining but there's a lot of mess to clean up. insurance companies say they plan to get between $40 billion and $50 billion worth of insurance claims in this area. we'll watch that as the airports remain closed in ft. lauderdale and miami.
>> okay, jole ling kent in ft. lauderdale, thank you. >> got to be a welcomed sight for those folks. kerry sanders is over on marco island where there's damage. storm made landfall there. he's been doing a lot of good work there this morning. hi, kerry. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, savannah. it's been really quite a dramatic morning. because the storm surge did come ashore here. it was not the 15 feet people talked about, but it was 4 to 5 feet. it was a strong enough storm surge to wash up among other things right here on the beach some dolphins. so first came upon a little baby dolphin that we had earlier on the newscast here on the "today" show. you saw as we got that baby dolphin eventually out into the gulf of mexico. then further up, we came upon another dolphin. it may have been the mother. we won't know that. but it was big. and it took a lot of people together to get that dolphin back out into the water. you can see us with that. it was a heavy, not easy.
but what did you think? >> just unbelievable to think of all the animals and fishery that is disturbed right now. >> reporter: but your experience of taking this dolphin out? >> it's an emotional experience. >> reporter: heavy, right? >> surreal. unbelievable. glad we were able to help. >> reporter: and it was panting. among those out here as a reporter who happens to be from tulsa, oklahoma, he jumped in as well. i take it different than taking a cow out of the mud from tulsa. >> a lot different. but it's all the same thing. it's about helping people. we're out here helping our friends in southwest florida. you know, you just said, put your arms, grab your arms, lift. you told us where we needed to be and not to harm the dolphin. and we just pushed in and we kept going into the surf. that was the scarier part, but once that dolphin started to show life, the it was inspiring. >> reporter: tony's right. the feeling you have when you can get a dolphin back into the water and you have to hold it for a little bit, guys.
because they're exhausted. they have been beaten up by irma. then they've been out of the water. remember, they're mammals, they breathe air but they have to be wet and in their environment. so exhausted. took it out past the first wave, the second wave, and eventually got it out there. what we're going to do is continue to walk the beach. there's a good bet there are others on the beach. >> kerry sanders, man of many talents. >> good job. nice to see that. let's turn now to florida senator bill nelson. he's with us by phone. good morning again. how are you doing? >> doing fine. it's starting to clear up here in orlando, but the whole state as you know, this is unusual. the entire state got covered up by this storm. >> senator, are you aware of what's going on now in jacksonville in that area? we understand they've got a lot of flooding in the streets there. and they're getting maybe an unexpected impact from that storm. are you talking to anybody over there?
>> yes. what's happened, all the rain draining into the st. johns river, it starts actually to the east of orlando west of melbourne and it flows north. all the way to jacksonville. all that additional rainfall plus the wind now on the counterclockwise rotation from south to north is pushing all that water through jacksonville. at the same time, the high tide of the atlantic is coming and pushing back against the mouth of the river. so the water is rising rapidly in downtown jacksonville. that's what you all have been showing some film of. that it's lapping over the sides of the river into downtown jacksonville. >> and we're showing images actually just into us from jacksonville which turns out to
be one of the surprises of this storm. but there were a few. senator, do you have a sense as the sun's coming up which areas of your state are contending with the worst damage? >> probably key west, the florida keys. i'm going with the u.s. coast guard flying down to key west this afternoon. that's probably the biggest damage simply because of the 120 mile-an-hour winds as the eye came across the keys. the dreaded part of all the flooding of the storm surge on the southwest koes of florida. that was not nearly as bad because by then, the storm had lessened. and therefore the counterclockwise winds didn't bring as much water back into the bays and estuaries like charlotte harbor, tampa bay.
may i just say since this is 9/11, all of us on that day will remember. i was in the u.s. capitol building watching the twin towers and someone burst in the room and said the pentagon's been hit. we leapt to the windows overlooking the wall -- the mall looking west and there's the black smoke rising. and then the next thing we heard is the capitol police shouting at the top of their lungs get out, get out, run, run, run, get out of the building. the report of the fourth airplane inbound for washington was coming. what a day. we're proud of how america has come together in the last 16 years. and i'm proud of how floridians have come together in the last 24 hours. >> yeah, senator nelson. just one last quick question.
a lot of folks are without power. and sometimes i guess the idea is you want to venture out, check on your house, get out there on the streets. what advice do you have to people who are deciding whether or not they should venture back home? because they see the sun up and they think, you know, it's clear now, i can get out. >> it's dangerous because of live wires. that's where people get killed. a lot of trees in florida. they fall over. that cut this power. you never know which one of those lines are live. so best stay inside until you get the okay from law enforcement. >> that's good advice. senator bill nelson talking about hurricane irma but also taking time to remember the events of september 11th, 2001. 16 years ago today. senator, nice talking to you. thank you very much. >> thanks, matt. we're back with much more on we're back with much more on irma and where the storm's ♪ ah the moon belongs to everyone ♪
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we are back with more a special edition of "today." irma was so massive it led to tropical storm warnings being issued for atlanta for the first time. >> so how are they preparing for the storm in georgia and other parts of the south? let's go to albany, georgia, with garrett this morning. good morning. >> reporter: hey, good morning. yeah. the eye of irma or whatever is left of it isn't supposed to be here until about 5:00 tonight, but as you can see, it's already getting pretty sporty out here. we've had winds about 30 miles an hour. gusts up to about 50. they've essentially shut down downtown albany. last night at 5:00 p.m. telling businesses to go ahead and close up and don't expect to reopen again until tuesday. no school until later in the week. and again so far it's mostly this light rain. you could see the wind starting to whip through the palm trees behind me and started to pull
down some of these lighter branches. if you could see the sign behind me, that's the flint river. it runs through downtown albany. it has flooded in the past but good news is most of the area around is parkland. the real concern is going to be the wind and power outages. in fact, emergency officials here through twitter and facebook and social media have been trying to encourage people to stay off the roads because the gusts are starting to pick up. so far this morning, we're seeing mostly emergency management scrcrews on the road. the folks we've seen around are folks who have driven up here from florida. now they're going to get to deal with the tropical storm when it comes through here over the course of the afternoon. guys, back to you. >> we've seen that dynamic play out a lot over this storm. garrett, thank you. let's check back in with al. did you get some sleep last night? >> reporter: yeah. you know, ironically, we did. we ended up having a pretty nice night. we never lost power.
so, you know, our hearts really go out to a lot of folk who is did and whose and again, as you look at the need aeven though this is a pushes up o have big problems. through jacksonville and on into savannah and albany, georgia, and on into atlanta, we've gott winds. it's causing a lot of problems. and it's going to continue to over the next 6 to 12 there could still be some storm surge along the southeast coast along the georgia on into south carolina. and again, major, major delays at hartsfield. so we're not done yet with this system. it's still going to be causing a lot of misery. backside of the system, just we think here in tampa, okay,mingo
winds are letting down a little bit. then all of a sudden, the clouds come back and winds pick back up and we get some showers. while irma is downgraded, it's certainly not out. >> yeah. it's still got a fight in it, for sure. al, thank you very much. let's go to jeff in tampa as well. jeff rossen. good morning to you. >> reporter: hey, savannah. hey, matt. good morning. the best news we could have gotten last night is when this storm turned a bit to the east and tampa really dodged a bullet. but i want to show you the strength of hurricane irma. by the way, you can see water is still breaching here. that's my point. nine hours ago, the storm came. but look at the bay. look at the choppiness of this water. it continues to break through this seawall. you can see it's breaking against the wall. what they thought was going to happen was that this entire area was going to be under water. gerard has lived here for almost 30 years. you were just down here to look at this. >> yeah, we came down just to
investigate. because normally in harsher conditions, this whole bay would be flooded. bay shore boulevard would be completely under water, waist deep if not higher. >> reporter: got it. you were saying that if this had not hit the right way, we would be under water right now. >> absolutely. without a doubt. a lot of flood damage, businesses on the boulevard. >> reporter: you've been driving around. what does the damage look like here? >> minimal. we got extremely lucky. if the backside of the storm had not dissipated when the storm moved east, we'd see a different tampa right now. >> reporter: i'm glad you're okay and everyone here is okay. really is a great town. we've talked about how tampa is vulnerable for hurricanes like this. they haven't had one since 1921. look how low these bridges are. a lot of the infrastructure here is very low lying. and as the telling us for a couple of days, it's very old infrastructure. and he says they need more federal money yo never know, a
this could be the impetus to get all that fixed in case another one comes next hurricane season. >> especially because it was such a close call. thank you. all right. just ahead, how long's it going to take to get back on track after the storm? after the storm? a and then the people go inside. do you understand charlie? mom? yeah? can i have a peanut butter sandwich? can charlie have one, too? charlie can have one too. ♪ ♪ and one for charlie. (gasp) look mom! charlie took a bite. (with full mouth) unbelievable. feed his imagination, with the fresh roasted peanut taste he loves. where there's jif, there's love. with the fresh roasted peanut taste he loves. wiback like it could used to? neutrogena hydro boost water gel. with hyaluronic acid it plumps skin cells with intense hydration and locks it in. for supple, hydrated skin. hydro boost.
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welcome back on this monday morning. heavy rain, the storm surge. irma is really wreaking ha inii down in florida. dylan is in gainesville with more on that. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, guys. in this neighborhood in gainesville, all you hear are the sound of chain saws. because so many trees -- cue the chain saws. so many trees have fallen across the street here. it's no easy process. trying to take this tree down,
every time they cut into it, it falls more. they have to do it very slowly. then after this tree it's the next tree up the street. then after that there's another tree. and the problem we're running into is the wind gusts have been coming sporadically. every once in awhile it feels like a 40 mile-per-hour wind gust. you can see all the spanish moss on these trees. it's very dense. and that kind of gust has been toppling these trees. we've been seeing large branches fall to the ground. we have a police officer here whose duty it is to just look up at the trees, make sure no additional branches fall while they clean up what's on the ground. even though the storm is pushing north, we still have a ways to go with those gusty winds. and now this is going to be the danger going forward. and keep in mind, if that falls on a power line, that's more of a power outage issue that we could see going forward. guys? >> all right, dylan. thank you very much. florida keys was hard hit. gadi schwartz is there. what are you seeing? >> so right now we are at a
place called i believe it's ohio key. it's just down from marathon. we just came back from marathon. and there's somewhat of a key right in the middle of marathon and kudjoe. and it looks like an rv park and there are 15 or 16 rvs that have been flipped on their sides, upside down. and there are maybe 16, 17 other rvs that have been blown over with trees into them. so some of what we've seen coming down south, it's not just the wind but the storm surge. the storm surge lifting things up. they've put it here on u.s. 1 and they're starting to clear the road. we just got word that maybe four miles down, we're going to have a bit of trouble passing through. so it's hard to tell right now whether or not things are passable. everything is person to person down here. there's no way to get messages out or figure out what's going on down in the keys.
because cell phones are down. there's no power, no water. every time we see people, they immediately ask do you have a cell phone. they want to call loved ones. people trying to get the word out. it was surprising how many people were down here when this storm hit. it looks like much of the concrete homes are okay. at least they can be okay. anything that wasn't concrete especially mobile homes and rvs have had a really hard time. >> all right. gadi schwartz down there in the keys. a lot of damage. it's tough to get there to get pictures of the damage. >> oh, yeah. and the keys have got the first hit on the u.s. mainland. obviously a concern there. as we mentioned the president approved a major disaster declaration making federal funds available for residents throughout the state. nbc national correspondent peter alexander is at the white house for us this morning. peter, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning to you. president trump trying to deliver a career message that his administration is prepared to deal with the aftermath of
irma after returning to the white house from camp david where he spent the weekend monitoring the storm. the president said he will be going to florida, in his words, very soon. this morning he's going to get another briefing on irma, the damage it cause ecaused. he said we may have been a little bit lucky the storm veered from the original course. he still called it a big monster, as he described it. he's been in close contact with the governors. he will be commemorating the 9/11 ceremony in a bit from now. >> okay, peter. thank you. >> that's right. we now have the mayor of jacksonville beach on with us right now. charlie latham. mr. mayor, good morning to you. we understand your city and your area is now dealing with some major issues. >> good morning matt and savannah. that's true. we received about 25 inches of rain in 24 hours. >> wow. >> so we've got a tremendous amount of flooding throughout
the city. most of the flooding is from the rain, not an ocean breach. so we did -- >> how are you handling getting residents out? did you have an evacuation. >> right now we're in the damage assessment mode. the public works department are out making sure roads are safe. our instruction is still to stay inside. unless there's a medical emergency they can contact us. but there's a lot of work to do. >> we're looking at images of your area. we see the water lapping up. is this the worst of it? do you think the water has reached its peak? or is it going to get worse? >> we work in very close association with the city of jacksonville. i haven't got a brief from them recently this morning. because i've been out in the city. but i've been told that from our police chief that we are expecting some additional surging. and that this is a significant storm for us. >> mr. mayor, when you saw this storm come ashore in the keys, 500 miles away from you, did you
ever think you'd see this kind of impact where you were? >> well, we were prepared for it, certainly. and thanks to the city of jacksonville, we also distribute resources to help us prepare. i think we were as prepared as we could be. but matt, i think your question is did i expect it? not really. but we prepared for it. i think we've responded well initially. we were fortunate to keep our water and sewage up, our plants up so we don't -- when the citizens come back, we'll be able to go back on their own water and sewage which is a great deal for us. >> mr. mayor, will you keep us posted, please? >> yes, absolutely. >> all right. we appreciate your time this morning. thank you so much. >> incredible. 500 miles. that puts it in perspective. we're back with much more on a tuesday morning, but first these messages. just walk right in and pay zero dollars with most insurance.r. plus, when you get a flu shot at walgreens,
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to the total family. listerine® total care. one bottle, six benefits. power to your mouth™. >> announcer: this is an nbc news special report. here's matt lauer and savannah guthrie. >> morning, everyone. as we come on the air, a moment of silence is about to be held at the pentagon on this, the 16th anniversary of 9/11. >> it will happen at the same time that american airlines flight 77 struck the pentagon. and we are going to take that moment of silence as it occurs. then we'll get some speeches and some comments coming up from members of our government.
>> just one of many moments of silence being observed in locations around the country this morning. we had one earlier. two earlier -- >> ladies and gentlemen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. >> -- in new york city, the moment that each of the planes struck the tower. >> ladies and gentlemen, the secretary of defense, james mattis.
♪ o say, can you see by the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? ♪ ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? ♪ ♪ and the rockets' red glare the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ o'er the land of the free ♪ ♪ and the home of the brave? ♪
>> ladies and gentlemen, the united states air force chief of chaplains major general dondi costen. >> let us pray together. heavenly father, we bow our heads this morning with our feet fixed on sacred soil. consecrated on september 11, 2001, by 184 innocents who perished in an instant but whose legacy will never die. whereas moses was commanded from a burning bush to rescue his countrymen from their oppressors, ours were commissioned from a burning building on this site to do the same. for the nearly 3,000 that lost their lives that day, we
remember. for family members who deal with their loss to this day, we pray. for first responders who helped others live to see another day, we rejoice. for those who witnessed this shot heard around the world and suited up for combat to seize the day, we thank you on this patriot day. thank you for giving our freedom fighters enough grace to stand firm, enough grit to stand tall, and enough guts to stand up to anyone gullible enough to assume america would ever stand down. standing here in the shadow of their sacrifices, please transform the raw emotion of this ceremony into righteous action worthy of their service. the scriptures tell us that one day our swords will turn into plow once and for all. but until that piece persists, lord, help us demonstrate due diligence not only in the
quantity of our vigils but our individuvigilance in keeping ban the run. give us the skill to succeed. when fear calls, give us the will to win. when differences divide, you ni -- unite us in a common cause. and when doubt appears, fill us with the faith to know that this cause, liberty, is clearly worth the cost. in closing, lord, we pause now for a moment of silent reflection. [ silence ] in your holy name we pray. amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general joseph f. dunford jr. >> mr. president, mrs. trump,
secretary mattis, members of the cabinet, distinguished guests, and most importantly to the family and friends of the fallen and to those gathered here who survived the attack on the pentagon, good morning. it's an honor to join you as we pause to reflect all those who lost their lives on september 11th, 2001. at this ceremony we are particularly mindful of the 184 who died here in the halls of the pentagon and aboard flight 77. 16 years ago when the attacks were attempted, they did so with a sense of purpose. they were attacking symbols that reflect our way of life and our values. terrorists believed these attacks would shake our commitment to those values. and as president bush said hours after the attacks, the terrorists thought they could frighten us into chaos and retreat. but they were wrong. instead of retreat, the tragedy of 9/11 produced in us an
unyielding resolve. instead of hopelessness, our mourning turned into action. we have strengthened our commitment to the idea that the freedom of many should never be endangered by the hatred of a few. so this morning as we recall the events of 9/11, it's appropriate for those of us still serving to remember and honor those who died. those who continue suffering from injuries, and those left behind. but if we truly want to honor those remembered today, heeeach us will walk away from this with a renewed sense of commitment and the cause of freedom. each of us will walk away from this ceremony reminded that the war is not over and further sacrifice will be required. and each of us will walk away with resolve to strengthen our personal commitment to protect our family, friends, and fellow citizens from another 9/11. it's now by privilege to introduce someone who has spent his life demonstrating personal
commitment to protecting our values and our way of life. our secretary of defense, the honorable james mattis. [ applause ] >> thank you, general dunford. mr. president, mrs. trump our first lady, fellow secretaries of the president's cabinet, distinguished guests, first responders, ladies and gentlemen, and a special heart felt welcome to the 306 family members gathered to remember their loved ones lost 16 years ago today. we are here to honor those 2,977 lives claimed by the brutal attacks of september 11, 2001. men and women who woke that day never anticipating an attack on their place of work or against this country. innocents who hailed from 90
nations and all walks of life. attackers perpetrating murder that fateful day. but heroism and passion were boundless on 9/11. patriots from all backgrounds and all walks of life responded with speed, with courage, and with compassion. in the aftermath of the attack, our service members, our nation rallied together as one. for while we had never asked for this fight, we are steadfastly committed to seeing it through as president trump has made abundantly clear. and with no more tell temporizi. maniacs disguised in false religious garb thought by hurting us they could scare us that day. but we americans are not made of cotton candy. we are not seaweed drifting in
the current. we are not intimidated by our enemies. and mr. president, your military does not scare. our nation's troops today are worthy successors of our revolutionary army at valley forge, worthy successors of our alors at midway and of our air force pilots patrolling mid valley. men and women of your armed forces, america, having signed a blank check to the protection of the american people and to the defense of our constitution. a check payable with their very lives, your military stands ready and confident to defend this country, this experiment in democracy. and we will continue to do so using all means necessary and as long as necessary. so today we remember the loss of so many in new york city, in a somber field in pennsylvania,
and here in this very building behind me. and in many battles since and some of those battles are still raging. as former secretary of defense rumsfeld observed, on 9/11 every year we again are mindful and resolute that their deaths like their lives shall have meaning. and that is in how we carry forward our responsibility to protect america. to the families of those who perished, the loss you have endured drives us in our mission today and every day. and it's in that spirit, ladies and gentlemen, that it's my honor to introduce our commander in chief, the president of the united states donald trump. [ applause ]
>> thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. i want to thank you, secretary mattis, general dunford, members of the cabinet, members of the armed forces, first responders, and most importantly to the families and to the survivors. it's an honor to join you on this very, very solemn location. this is an occasion that is extraordinary. and it will always be extraordinary. before we begin, i'd like to send our nation's prayers to everyone in the path of hurricanes irma and to everyone suffering through the devastation of hurricane harvey. these are storms of catastrophic severity. and we're marshaling the full rest sources of the government to help our residents in florida, alabama, georgia, texas, 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're gathered here today to remember a morning that started very much like this one. parents dropped off their children at school. travelers stood in line at airports and getting ready to board flights. here at the pentagon and at offices all across the country, people began their early meetings. then our whole world changed. america was under attack. first at the world trade center, then here at the pentagon, and then in pennsylvania.
the horror and anguish of that dark day was sered into our national memory forever. it was the worst attack on our country since pearl harbor. and even worse because this was an attack on civilians. innocent men, women, and children whose lives were taken so needlessly. for the families with us on this anniversary, we know that not a single day goes by when you don't think about the loved ones stolen from your life. today our entire nation grieves with you. and with every family of those 2,977 innocent souls who were murdered by terrorists 16 years ago, each family here today represents a son or daughter, a sister or brother, a mother or
father who was taken from you on that terrible, terrible day. but no force on earth can ever take away your memories, diminish your love, or break your will to endure and carry on and go forward. though we can never erase your pain or bring back those you lost, we can honor their sacrifice by pledging our resolve to do whatever we must to keep our people safe. [ applause ] on that day, not only did the world change, but we all changed. our eyes were opened to the depths of the evil we face. but in that hour of darkness, we
also came together with renewed purpose. our differences never looked so small. our common bonds never felt so strong. the sacrifice grounds on which we stand today are a monument to our national unity and to our strength. for more than seven decades, the pentagon has stood as a global symbol of american might. not only because of the great power contained within these halls, but because of the incredible character of the people who fill them. they secure our freedom. they defend our flag. and they support our courageous troops all around the world. among the 184 brave americans who perished on these grounds
were young enlisted service members dedicated civil servants who had worked here for decades and veterans who served our nation in korea, in vietnam, and in the middle east. all of them love this country and pledge their very lives to protect it. that september morning, each of those brave americans died as they had lived, as heroes. doing their duty protecting us and our country. we mourn them. we honor them. and we pledge to never, ever forget them. [ applause ] we also remember and cherish the lives of the beloved americans who boarded flight 77 at dulles airport that morning.
every one of them had a family, a story, and beautiful dreams. each of them had people they loved and who loved them back. and they all left behind a deep emptiness that their warmth and grace once filled so fully and so beautifully. the living, breathing soul of america we want with grief for every life taken on that day. we shed our tears in their memory, pledge our devotion in their honor, and turned our sorrow into an unstoppable resolve to achieve justice in their name. the terrorists who attacked us thought they could incite fear and weaken our spirit. but america can be be intimidated. and those who try will soon join the long list of vanquished
enemies who dared to test our metal. [ applause ] in the years after september 11th, more than 5 million young men and women have joined the ranks of our great military to defend our country against barbaric forces of evil and destruction. american forces are relentlessly pursuing and destroying the enemies, all civilized people ensuring that these are horrible, horrible enemies. enemies like we've never seen before. but we're ensuring that they never again have a safe haven to launch attacks against our country. we are making plain to these
savages that there is no corner beyond our reach, no sanctuary beyond our grasp, and nowhere to hide anywhere on this very large earth. since 9/11 nearly 7,000 service members have given their lives fighting terrorists around the globe. some of them rest just beyond this fence in the shrine to our nation's heroes on the grounds of arlington national cemetery. they came from all backgrounds, all races, all faiths. but they were all there to dedicate their lives and they defend our one great american flag. [ applause ] they and every person who puts on the uniform has the love and gratitude of our entire nation.
today as we stand on this hallowed ground, we know the truth that when america is united no force on earth can break us apart. no force. on the morning of 9/11, pentagon police officer isaac hopell and a special person was o of the many heroes whose love for his fellow americans knew no bounds. he was a mile away when he got the call over his radio that a plane had crashed into the pentagon. he sped to the scene and raced into smoke and fire. few people would have done it. he ducked under live electrical wires and trudged through
puddles of jet fuel only steps away from sparks and from vicious flame. in the pitch black, he began calling out -- >> it's 10:00 a.m. eastern time, 7:00 a.m. on the west coast. some of you are just joining us, so we're listening to president trump speaking at the pentagon this morning. >> his remarks are coming at a cemetery on this, the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. let's go back and listen to the president. >> -- carried people out of the burnin rubble. he kept going back into the smoldering darkness, calling out to anyone who could hear, anyone who was alive. he saved as many as 20 people who had followed his is voice. he carried eight himself. for nearly 36 hours, isaac kept on saving lives, serving our nation and protecting