tv Meet the Press NBC September 11, 2017 2:30am-3:30am EDT
populated areas that is expected to experience deaf stating hurricane-force winds. irma has been downgraded officially to category 1 status with sustained winds of 85 miles an hour but gusts up to 120 miles an hour. a curfew has been issued for the city of tampa. so, projections for storm surges have been reduced in some of the cities like st. petersburg, which is located in tampa bay, now expected to see surging of 2 to 4 feet. this all coming as tropical force winds are approaching the border between georgia and florida. florida power and light, which offers energy services to millions of floridans is reporting more than 3.6 million homes have been left without power in the state. jamie of wtvj is joining me from tampa. you have been rocking and rolling all night there. sure sounds windy, jamie. what's it like? >> reporter: yeah, you know, the rain has
rain jacket but my shirt is soaking wet that the wind is making it cold, so i couldn't do that up. unpacked a lot of good news in that intro. basically, i think, irma -- hurricane irma underdelivered in tampa because we missed the eye and it went more inland. and south florida it overdelivered. i think they got more than they expected. as for the situation here in tampa right now, it's much calmer than it was before. the eye passed us. there is no rain right now. wind is a factor. if you point up to the traffic lights and traffic signs, they're rattling a little bit. the palm trees are swaying. the palm fronds are snapped. you don't see much debris on the road, to be quite honest, other than over here, i noticed this nightly, neat organized pile of brush. i don't know ifom
works is already out clearing the streets because it comes down to what officials find once the sun rises, this should be over. at that point officials will go out and assess the situation. i don't want to sound like we still don't have some things to worry about, we still have that storm surge. as you said, the predictions for that have been downgraded. that's good news but still concern for residents and people in low-lying areas here in tampa. back to you in the studio. >> real quick, projectiles, you talk about the palm fronds but did you get the kind of winds you were worried about, that could cause damage to structures or anybody out on the streets? >> it's hard to -- we're in downtown tampa. when we were doing live shots earlier, we had buildings protecting us. even though the wind was super heavy and it wami
it was taking our breath away, it was -- i didn't see anything flying around. it was more just the rain slamming down on us. it was -- it was kind of -- i was wondering because i kept looking for our own safety for me and my photographer, manny, to see, you know, objects flying at us and i wasn't seeing it. it was the rain in our face. >> wtvj's jamie guirola out in the thick of things. we want to bring in skipper captain from islamorada. skip, welcome to you. we were talking to our correspondent in florida who said they have dodged something of a bullet but much of the damage was to south florida, where you are. i know you drove between mile marker 80 and 90 earlier today. what did you see? what was that drive like? >> well, i'd
i would say we dodged the bullet also somewhat like the folks in tampa. we have so much debris on the road. we have one highway in and out of the florida keys, highway 1. we had a rumor yesterday at 2:00 that bridge on 1, drawbridge in the florida keys, called snake creek drawbridge at mile marker 86 was out. they said the bridge was being destroyed, on and on. we were hunkered down in a government building here, my friend, dennis ward who invited me to stay here, the state prosecutor. he said, come o skip, you can stay here so we did. what a wonderful place. however, at 2:00, when rumors started flowing on the iphone, we get in the car and go down because the wind had quit -- not quit but down to a mere like 60 miles an hour. and we said, well, let's go ahead because we have to stop this rumor. we went over the snake creek bridge and went down to it. we had lots of debris on the
nothing but debris on the side of the road. >> you know, skip, we're -- >> we went to the bridge and went over the bridge and went over the bridge again. found nothing to be wrong, thank goodness because that's our life blood coming in and out of the florida keys. the bridge is fine. i don't know if there's a problem with it technically that we can't see. they had put the stay arms from going over, they were gone but work to be done on the bridge. >> for sure. engineers will -- >> we're going to be all right. we're keeping our fingers crossed. they're clearing the roads. maybe by tuesday they'll allow people to come back down to monroe county. i'm not sure it's passable from key largo to key west. i don't know how the status is at this point. >> the good thing is, they'll have engineers checking out the snake creek bridge. i know that bridge, it would have been horribly destructive had that gone down. i'm glad that rumor you can
dispel. you talk about the debris. i also want to talk about the gulf water. i saw pictures of the bay in the gulf, which was just bizarre. there's no water there. is it coming back? we know it's expected. has that started? >> that's a good question. i've been here all these years and i don't remember -- hurricane wilma, the water went away, and the bay was dry, however it's got to come back. that's a mystery. that's called a surge. if it comes back today as a surge -- the water left, it has to come back. who knows what will go over the highways surgewise. we're still in a high building. maybe it's not over yet as far as the dangers of the surge. that's a mystery. can't answer that one for you. where did it go and when is it coming back, that we don't know. but for sure it's coming back. it's very interesting.
now, i'm not sure what's going on. >> i'm sure you'll be glad, since you're the captain of the blue chip 2 charter boat, you'll want that water back. we're glad to see things aren't as bad as had been expected but it's still a mess in the keys. thank you for talking with us, waking up early in the morning and we'll check back in with you in the future. appreciate it. for all of you, we'll be back with our special coverage of hurricane irma right here on msnbc. >> i'm just absolutely in awe of the wrath and the fury mother nature has brought upon naples, florida.
now, airport spokesman said overnight that they're not expected to open up operations on a limited schedule until tuesday. five different terminals were damaged over the last 24 hours, five from water leaks, significant water leaks that came in through the jet bridges and roofs. we should get a better look tomorrow and tuesday what that exactly looks like. we're ten miles from where miami beach is, which is impressive. we attempted to leave our hotel -- there are two hotels to our right with about 200 people staying there. like them inside there, we're stuck here. we've been stuck here through the storm because of this. we attempted to drive out yesterday morning and the poirful winds, 99-mile-per-hour winds at miami international, multiple trees knocked down preventing the one way out for us and all those staying at the hotel. as we're looking around, the palm trees stayed up but the other damage is significant. 85% of people in miami-dade county areho
next door. the main utility here in miami says to take up to a week, may take upwards of a week to restore that power. for us, we are actually just watching over here, someone driving to get on this main passageway, one of the main roadways past the airport and had to turn around not only because of more downed trees but also the flooded waters. >> look, i'm sure you're frustrated not being able to get out and get a story but frankly, you're right there where a story is. can you ask your cameraman to go over behind your left shoulder there to that palm tree because that didn't get knocked over -- it looks like it was fortified, it's been held down by cables. i think that's why a lot of the trees in that area didn't fall down because they've been, you know, held up.
palm tree that's being held up here. an interesting point is i made the point we're ten miles away. when we woke up yesterday morning and said, boy, we're far away from where this storm is going to strike, especially when they were looking at the fact the eye was no longer going to hit miami, our thought was we wouldn't see much of the storm. where we were based at, there's a main water inlet, when you fly into miami you see them, lakes, other water inlets that go up next to these house. that's what we're interested to survey when the sun comes up. on the other side of the street is where that inlet was. it didn't look like a lake yesterday. they were significant waves which contributed to a large degree, 100-mile-per-hour winds which forced this over. it's dark so we can't see waterway right now. as seemed to be the feel across the state, the winds have died down. those waves have resided back into being more of a standstill lake y
alex, that it did over the course of 24 hours. >> what an eerie concept, looking at a lake, a small inlet and have it look like something out of the ocean with those kind of waves. well, thank you so much. that tree behind you is pretty significant. i'm sure you may be stuck there for a while, my friend. we'll come back to you. >> we tried to move it. we tried to move it. >> hercules, there you go. let's go to debbie steinguard riding out that storm in aventura, north of miami. debbie joins us on the phone. you decided not to evacuate. talk about the structure -- when you say condo, is this a high rise? >> i live in a -- yeah, it's got 40 floors. >> 40 floors. what floor are you on? >> 34. >> you are way up there, debbie. i've heard that meteorologists and forecasters were saying the concern for someone like you was the wind gust. obviously not the storm surge
what kind of winds have you felt? >> i was afraid of -- i've never been so scared in my life. it sounded like a freight train, the whole 24 hours. i never experienced anything like it in my life. it was a freight train that didn't stop. so, even though the impact glass windows doesn't mean, you know, it can't break. so i was really scared and i have my whole family staying here with me, the dogs, the grandchildren, everybody came here. >> it sounds like have you rode it out okay. did you draw curtains, blinds, just in case the glass were to shatter? >> actually, no. it's so pretty, it's all glass, we didn't shut anything. it's shatterproof glass, so we didn't put anything in front of
think i would have even done that, but we live right on -- we live on the intercoastal, which is right over the ocean, so we see the ocean. our view is ocean and bay. we saw all the waves. it was -- i can't tell you how hard the rain was coming down. i never -- i -- i've been living in florida 30 years and i have never been that scared. >> i can imagine. debbie, what's it like when you look out your window right now? >> i can see trump tower, i can see porsche tower, it's all back, it's pretty much back. all the lighting is -- the power isn't all back but there's enough power that you can see all the buildings. >> how about you guys, did you lose power? >> no. >> you're pretty lucky. bott
stayed or frightening enough that you'll think twice about riding out a storm again? >> well, considering if you look at it, everybody's perfectly fine. you know, i live in new york also, but i don't know. to go to the airport with all the traffic and get caught there and come back here and dig your way in, i'm not sure if i would have wanted to leave. >> how did your dog ride out the storm? >> i have four. >> wow. how did they all do? >> oh, they were eating and -- they didn't even know there was a storm. they're very pampered pups. my granddaughter brought three cats. >> oh, well, that must make for a lot of fun between all of those animals. listen, debbie -- >> they were separated. >> that sounds very smart. sounds
. this is the rain that -- >> wow. >> -- hitting me. >> wow. okay, why don't you get under the overhang. >> reporter: this came off one of the palm trees to the east of me. and i'm not going to let go of it because it could fly around. probably weighs 25, 30 pounds. >> reporter: the angle of approach can make all the difference. and a storm that's more parallel -- oh!
that hurt. >> just a few of the dramatic moments from our correspondents covering hurricane irma for us over these last 24 hours. as it continues to pummel florida, pregnant women across state are choosing to ride out the storm in hospitals instead of shelters just in case they go into labor. nbc's medical correspondent dr. john torres spent some time with expectant mothers and brings us this story. >> reporter: inside one of the largest hospitals in miami, more than 100 pregnant women hung e hunkering down, many just days away from giving birth. >> no baby yet. i want him to stay in there as long as possible. >> reporter: baptist hospital allowed women at least 36 weeks pregnant to ride out the storm here. if they went into labor during the hurricane, emergency crews would not be able to get to them. >> who knows. the roof might fly off and my water might break. >> reporter: the city o
tweeting that one woman had to deliver a baby by herself at home. transported to another miami hospital, baby and mom are okay. and it's not just moms-to-be at baptist hospital. thousands of others lined the hospital. hospital chefs feeding 8,000 people today alone. >> we have been cooking nonstop from 4:00 in the morning. >> a lot of busy folks. dr. john torres reporting. let's bring in meteorologist steve sosna. went to cat 1 about an hour ago. any chance this could resurge and go up to a cat 2 at this point? >> i have really good news for you. that's not going to happen. >> yea! >> everybody's nerves are frazzled, everybody's exhausted. we will get better. it's not there yet but we do have some improvement in the fact this will not intensify. so, certainly the takeaway here after we've had just a really tough 72 hours across the state of florida right now.
it's an 85-mile-per-hour storm, a cat 1, the loews on the scale here. its not a storm that is void of problems here. we have some heavy rain, some gusty winds out there. and, certainly, that will cause some problems. let's take a look at the projected path. when do we get rid of the storm in northern florida? it doesn't happen until probably late in the day today and into tomorrow night until this storm is finally out of here. so, that means that the rain and the wind across north florida will still continue here as you wake up on this monday morning and as you head off to work. as you move through the day on tuesday, that's when the storm reallile gets out of the picture and we can really mark significant improvements in the weather forecast and people can start to clean up and really improve on their lives here. so, here's a look at the wind gust we saw here earlier on. as this eye wall came ashore. let's pan in here. th
certainly hardest hit. wind gusts of 142 miles an hour. inland seeing wind gusts up to 77 miles an hour in the everglades. 93-mile-an-hour wind gusts in miami and homestead. you saw sam champion get bumped around in those wind guses here today. mike seidel as well. 90-mile-an-hour wind gusts in west palm beach. the ironic part was that eastern florida wasn't even in the cone. that's how expansive the storm was. the cone just tracks the center of the storm. even outside the cone we had a lot of hurricane-force wind conditions. unfortunately, the wind and the rain will continue in northern florida communities. you're not out of the woods just yet. i think by tuesday life gets back to normal. >>teve sosna. there's an evacuation of the raymond james stadium in
>> because its windy. was this squall line part of your forecast earlier tonight? >> reporter: oh, yes, yes. we're just getting into this. >> reporter: this is the rain that's -- >> wow. >> reporter: -- hitting me. >> wow. okay, why don't you get under the overhang. >> yeah, wow, i have to say, this is the strongest. in fact, i'm going to take a knee for a second because it's exhausting to stand there for a little bit. breaking news we reported just a few minutes ago. there's an alarm that started going off a short time ago at raymond james stadium in tampa. let's turn to thomas roberts in tampa for us. have you heard anything about this or can you hear this alarm? >> reporter: alex, we've been trying to research some information and source some things to figure out exactly what happened. just to give you an update on the conditions here right
very clear, very calm. the update about this area called raymond james stadium being used as a shelter, the call went out about this report roughly about 2:35, about 25 minutes ago. we're hearing most of the people that are staying there are national guard members, sheriff's officials, some family members of a local sports team. but the alarm apparently has stopped and a few occupants who had left this stadium are filtering back inside. that's roughly not very far from where we are along here, tampa riverwalk, but above south tampa. that's a place we discussed earlier. south tampa is prone to flooding because the whole area is like a small peninsula in and of itself, all surrounded by water and can seep together to create the fact that it would all touch and go under in terms of
let me double click on this to show you the distance. this is us, the blue dot. right here is the stadium, so not too far away. but this is what i was talking about here with south tampa, alex, the fact that this is the area that is prone to flooding. you can see it's a peninsula within the peninsula itself, all sitting inside tampa bay. that's all the water and the water that left earlier, when everyone was talking about how they were walking around. this is the area they were walking around in the bay shore area. excuse me, right over here. in this area. can you tell this isn't my iphone so i'm having trouble with elise's iphone. i need my own iphone back. we'll work on the actual details of that. it could have been a false alarm. the important thing is for the people staying there, these are first
not going to be able to go out. they were in hillsborough county. they weren't going to send people out until the storm subsided. as we can see right now, this is pretty clear, pretty quiet. i know you've been with me throughout the early morning hours here and you've seen what it looks like inside the river. and the water amounts inside the river. jimmy is taking a good shot of what the winds are doing now. look, the fact that the hillsborough river has filled back up. you'll recall, just several hours ago, as we were talking about, the rocks were exposed. there was some sand and shoreline exposed. we could also see -- this is the water main filling back in, releasing water into the hillsborough river itself. this has filled back up considerably quickly. we were here scouting locations today at noontime. forgive me, noontime yesterday to figure out if this is where we wanted
safely so we could cover this storm and the river was flat then. it was being pulled out in terms of the storm system using its energy, using its waters. so, it's been amazing to see over, certainly a short period of time from this morning, this water coming back in. for most of the afternoon and early evening into the late evening it was low. we can see right now. this is what people typically see when they're coming along the tampa riverwalk. >> can i ask you -- >> it's amazing, alex, how quickly this has gotten quiet. >> that's so interesting to me because we were with you, what, maybe 30 minutes ago. you were having trouble breathe agent one point because you had a wind squall. now it seems very calm and yet it picks up. is this is typical as this storm winds away from tampa, you get wind bursts and then fades and maybe another one less sev
>> reporter: yeah, i mean, there's still a good breeze, a good clip coming through, but the severity we were feeling earlier has subsided. the sheets of rain that were driving through, that has subsided. now, the noises we were hearing earlier of the canopy over there, that has subsided considerably. it's not even flapping. this was very intense for a very long period of time. you have to think about the sustained forces of irma and the forces it produced across the entire peninsula. we're talking about from the keys and straight on up into miami over -- making the landfall on the southwest side twice and then producing itself up the peninsula straight to this area in tampa and st. pete, even affecting areas over to orlando. all of these places are ones where evacuees, some
scotch around, trying to figure out where they could be safe. with sun coming up shortly, we should know exactly the type of damage tampa will deal with coming up. >> and the debris in the hillsborough river as it fills up. no doubt we'll see you soon again. thank you very much, thomas roberts. let's go south and bring in kristen dahlgren from ft. myers. that's been a ground zero of its own sorts. you've seen so much there from your reporting with that water that was rushing out into the gulf. i mean, it was just the most bizarre looking thing with the storm surge. how about storm surge in that area? that was the main concern. >> reporter: yeah, it was the main concern. and i think there was a lot of relief last night and in the overnight hours when that water didn't come back with quite the vengeance that they were expecting it to. now, there obviously was a surge and we are getting reports there are
people had expected. take a look now. we are actually dry for a little bit. not sure if there could be some more rain moving through with this, but the winds are still howling. obviously not as bad as what we saw yesterday. you know, bad enough. if you have these saturated grounds and these trees and power poles that have sort of been loosened up with all of those winds, it's still a dicey situation out there. officials saying everybody has to be very cautious as they get out at first light, if they are going to check out their homes or check out the situation. you know, you're still getting gusts through and these trees have taken a battering. you can probably see behind me some of the limbs that have come down, some trees that have come down. that's still a possibility as we go through the morning.
there. >> i want to ask you about those folks -- you were at that mobile home park. you were reporting on a show i did a few hours ago and you were very concerned about their safety. have you learned anything about the fate of those people, how much they were affected by the storm? >> reporter: i was. one, i'm going to visit everyone i talked to this week that was staying. i'm going to make sure they're safe because i was so so concerned about them. we've been texting and we did just hear back from one. i don't think he was -- when we were talking to you, alex, but in guy who was left homeless after the flooding they saw about two. he had his truck, his landscape trailer and his sort of backup plan was to go inside the landscape trailer during this and ride it out there. we got some reports from him and pictures which we'll try to turn to you. he was able to hunker down in a friend's house. he said he made it through. it was scary but he made it through safely. i want
the homemade boat. that was his plan to float out of there. we'll be getting updates as we go through the morning. as soon as question can get out safely and check on everybody, we will do that as well. we also talked to this guy, p.j., a fisherman here last night, when all of that water rushed out, we were amazed, we saw these boats sitting in the mud. we stopped and i couldn't believe that i saw somebody out there tying his boat down. he said that he was going to be staying on the boat through the storm because he's a fisherman, it's his livelihood. he was so worried about it. >> listen, i -- >> reporter: so far -- >> i saw that story, kristen. it was so compelling that i know we're going to run it later for the viewers in this hour. the pictures were -- i stopped what i was doing and stared at the television.
you're a good soul to check up on those people. thank you for doing that as well as reporting for us. we'll see you again. i'm joined by carl roberts. he ignored the pleas and orders to evacuate. he's in a high rise in redington shores outside of st. petersburg. with welcome to you. do you think this was a good choice? what's it been like? >> it's been very windy. it is very loud. i have all the security shutters down and they're getting absolutely hammered. but up until 11:30 i had power. so i had plenty of food, lots of water, plenty to drink. the cable went out at about 6:00. unfortunately, i missed oth orrville, which is a tragedy. >> i'm heard about that. you're a big fan of that show. i understand you're on the 17th floor of a 21-story high rise. so, you've pulled down these shutters. any sense that the winds were
fierce that they would have cracked those windows or were they shatterproof or what do you think? >> yes, i think if i did not have the shutters, the winds definitely would have come through the windows because the winds and the rain have just been completely crazy brutal. >> how about power there? if you're in a 21-story building, on the 17th floor, if power is cut, you have a lot of walking. >> that's true. but no need to go anywhere, because even if i were to walk down, there's nowhere to go. have i very little doubt that the beach road itself is completely flooded over, completely covered with sand and as i understand it, all of the bridges have been blocked off with dump trucks so you can't drive over them any ways. there's no way to go even if i were to go down. >> so, carl, in essence, you stayed because you were in a high rise, but had you been
lower story building, one or two-story building, would you have chosen to stay or would you have gotten out of there? >> no, i absolutely would have evacuated. >> okay. >> they say what kills you is not the wind but the rising water. >> we have heard that many times. i've got my meteorologist, steve sosna here, nodding in agreement. he's listening to you. that's very true. we're glad to know you're safe. i hope you stay that way. carl roberts, even if it's a long walk down with the power cut there. take good care there in redington shores. >> thank you, ma'am. nbc's maya rodriguez is reporting from the brickell section of downtown miami. that's where the storm surge caused significant flooding there today. but just this last hour, it looked relatively normal, except for all the muck left behind, right? >> reporter: yeah, that's right. i want you to take a look at this. from the last hour we spoke to you. the water has really dropped dramatically here. this lite
streaming past my feet right now. by the time it's daylight and sun rises, it's going to be pretty dry in this particular section of downtown miami. that's good news. frankly, on a normal monday morning there would be a lot of traffic. a lot of the financial institutions would be opening up. residents live here. this is a densely populated section of downtown miami, the brickell area. but, you know, this morning it's not going to be a normal monday morning. obviously, a lot of businesses remain closed. a lot of schools remain closed. there will be a massive clean-up under way in miami-dade county for everyone that went through hurricane irma and saw its effects, including downtown. check it out. there's all kinds of vegetation debris, tree limbs down. there's a lot of sand that came in with this storm surge, all kinds of muck and mud. all of this needs to be cleaned up at some point, obviously. again, things are beginning to normalize here. in fact, the winds have even calmed down over the last
understandable because hurricane irma is beginning to move north here in florida. we're seeing fewer and fewer of the storm's effects. the recovery process we'll begin to see exactly the extend of damage when daylight comes to see exactly what happened here as far as storm surge. we've been in this area of miami but it's possible other areas like the barrier islands, for example, miami beach, key biscayne, we have not been out there personally to see what kind of damage they might have had from storm surge, if any. hopefully we'll get a better idea of that once the sun rises in miami. >> we see the police behind you there patrolling. any updates on burglaries, looting, anything like that, those kind of folks that try to take advantage of others in situations like this? >> reporter: i mean, listen, we heard there were some reports, miami-dade county saying there have been several dozen people arrested for looting. i can tell
not just in the city of miami but in miami-dade county as well. in the hours we've been out here, we have seen police going up and down this road. they are definitely here. they are keeping an eye out. we have seen very few people on the streets. it seems that people are either staying put, not wanting to venture outside or taking the curfews seriously. again, there's always going to be a few bad apples, as we heard from the reports from miami-dade county. for the most part, there's nothing really widespread so far that we've heard here about looting in particular. >> maya rodriguez in the brickell section of miami. thank you for that. let's go to wnbc meteorologist steve sosna to get the latest on things. so far, so good with our correspondents out there. things are definitely calming down, at least where our guys are. >> one thing i would like to see are the images from the keys. we haven't seen a whole lot of images there. >> hard to get access. >> right. we had
through that section. we'll get a better idea today as things settle down down there on what kind of damage was done. a lot of damage done across parts of florida. a very messy but not catastrophic. that's certainly the takeaway. let's look at what the storm i doing right now and where it' going. right now it is across northern florida where the wind is still roaring, believe it or not, in the orlando area for the better part of the last four or five hours they've been gusting 60, 70, close to 80 miles an hour. that line where it stops is very close to you now. thins will settle down a little bit but then the wind will come back out of the west and northwest. you can see some areas gusting to 70 miles an hour still in northern areas of florida. as with go through the day today, the heavy rain will push up to the north and west. the flood threat today grows across southern georgia, across the panhandle of florida. notice the peninsula of florida that has been just pounded here
get a nice break. as we continue through the day, that rain makes its way up towards atlanta where tropical storm warnings are in effect. if you have a flight in or out of hartsfield, good luck with that because it looks like the rain will be coming down in buckets. the category 1 storm, that's what the hurricane center says, it's still a 1 by later on today but it should weaken into a tropical storm as we head into the nighttime and into the day tomorrow, it will just become the remains of irma. we'll say, good riddance to that. rainfall totals will be the next big story with this storm system. that combined with the winds coming onshore. coastal south carolina down to georgia. again, the high tide cycle here this morning, we're concerned about that surge along with the heavy rain and severe weather threat. again, even though this storm hasn't been as bad, we still have problems and we could still have lof
treat the storm seriously. last but not least, we still have another hurricane out,there jose. wait until you see this path. it's not one that you normally see. it's doing one of these lo loopdy-loops. we buy time with these loops so we keep it away from major land masses. after we get through the week, we have to watch, where does jose go? does it make a run towards the east coast or move out to sea hoping for the out to sea option here, alex, but we have time to watch it. >> i'm going to pretend you didn't say any of that. >> i want it on everybody's radar. >> thank you. our special coverage of hurricane irma continues right after this break. we're live in miami where flooding is a major problem. we're also getting our very first page of the miami herald that reads "swamped by irma" and check out "the tampa bay times," in one word, "slammed."
take a look at vn nenice, florida, halfway between tampa and ft. myers. it was under evacuation orders. joining us by phone, the mayor of venice, john holic. good morning to you. i hope you diplomat have to wake up with us. tell me how your city is doing right now. >> well, i just took a little tour of the city, probably unauthorized tour but i authorized myself, i guess.
and we actually fared pretty well. we made it through the first half. looks like we're on the back side now. there are some downed trees. the city is virtually without power. we did have a water main break, but i stopped at our main shelter and people were still asleep. they made it through the night without any water intrusion, so overall i'd say we're very blessed. we had a great evening that could have been a disaster and it turned out well for us. >> that's good to hear. as if you needed a water main break to add to everything else descending upon you. how about the utilities there, power outages. we know there are 3.6 million homes across the state without power. what was it like there with venice? >> well, we're part of that 3.6 million. there are a couple places in the city that do have power, ironically, but for the most pa
and it's still way too windy for any of the service crews to assess the damage and to start working. but i'm sure at daylight when the wind dies down, they'll be out there and hopefully get it fixed quickly. >> with regard to evacuation orders, was there an area or residents you were concerned not heeding that? have you been able to check on them? >> yes. we have a portion of venice we call the island. it's -- in the 1960 they put intercoastal waterway through and it actually made this portion of the city a man-made island. and it's relatively low, in what we call zone "a," the zone that had the mandatory evacuation and that's the area i did take a tour through. everything looks good. at
no surge that we have to worry about. i don't know what the backside is going to bring us, but we made it through the front side of the hurricane and i'm sure we'll make it through the back. >> that's all good. honestly, good news from you, very, very welcome. i'm sure it's not without some problems in venice, florida. you talked about the debris and downed trees and those kind of things that need to be cleaned up. for the moss part, it sounds like you came through okay. thank you for speaking with us in the middle of the night. glad things are okay in venice. >> well, thank you. yes, we did. like i said, it's truly a blessing we made it through. >> we like hearing that. as we continue our special coverage of hurricane irma, the very latest on where that storm is now and where it is heading as it does continue to weaken just a bit.
al, was this squall line part of your forecast earlier tonight? >> oh, yes, yeah. we're just getting into this. >> this is the rain. >> wow. >> it's hitting me. wo >> why don't you get under the overhang. >> this has turned very violent. the storm is about an hour and a half from florida as you mentioned. it is 200 miles wide, you're going to feel it everywhere. >> yeah, wow. i have to say, guys, this is the strongest. but i'm just going to take a knee for a second because it's kind of like exhausting to stand there for a little bit. >> nbc correspondents out there working very hard. good morning to all of