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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  September 8, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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operational capabilities that we have, all the teams that are marshalled by the federal government but provide bd by th states. they're all rested and ready to come back into the fight, united states military, national guard and title x forces. we're preparing for environmental losses as we should. i can't speak to each and every company's preparation efforts. we can continue to monitor that and follow up with you. there will be steps that are taken from setting down the nuclear facility, the nuclear power facility to a position of safety. i think they take some kind of warm shutdown posture at some point depending on the track. so we monitor those things. i was comfortable with the position of most of them. we also look at lake okeechobee because that's going to be a big flooding risk. >> is there anything you're not comfortable with that is an overriding concern. >> we're worried about the fuel shortages. we're worried about whatever worries the governor at this point. but no, to be honest with you, i am setting expectations appropriately here because as we go through a storm, nobody's
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ever happy or completely safe but i am extremely comfortable with the government efforts. i want to make sure that people understand they have a part to play here as well. >> two questions for you. number one, taking a step back and looking a little more big picture, you've got wild fires out west, crisis in texas, people still recovering from, irma, jose on its heels, the resources of the federal government are not unlimited. at what point do you worry that the resources are being stretched too thin. >> i don't. as the chief of staff, general kelly says, the federal government should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. he's absolutely right. we've had cabinet meetings here today, yesterday, and throughout these storm events focusing on national security efforts and events so i'm comfortable in our capacity as leaders and institutions to handle the various different things that come our way. i'm extremely comfortable with president trump's capacity to do so. he's demonstrated an ability to juggle these issues of complexity on a regular basis, including today.
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what i do worry about are the financial resources, congress came and stepped up in a bipartisan way. i think president trump deserve as lot of credit for putting that together over the last 48 hours. and they've done what the american people really want them to do and that is act and do what's right instead of quibbling over things that tend to get in the way of efficient execution of services, and so in this particular case, we're going to have to go back, i'm sure, for additional resources as these storms continue to hurt our states and our citizens but for now, we're taking a responsible course of action, asking for the money in the appropriate small trenches. we're not doing it in a way that's going to stop or slow down operations. >> my second question, actually, do you know a number would be on that yet? or is it too early. >> a subsequent request? no. little too early. so, as you know, the approximately $7.5 billion that came for fema on this supplemental was a calculated estimate. there's a 6.8 figure that would be a regular scheduled replenishment at the end of the month for fema's disaster relief
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fund. those two together were contemplated so we assume passage of both. a third or future request will be based on estimates of information as we find them. >> i've got to ask about daca because there's still a question of what happens to daca recipients current serving in the military. can you explain why there's a delay in explaining what's going to happen and when they might expect an answer. >> no, i can't. i can tell you that the president put it back on congress and then asked for his priorities to be met. >> interim window. >> in the interim window, i'm not sure what the answer is on the military. part of daca. but i thought we were clear. i'll find and make sure we get back to you on that. >> tom. given harvey and the flooding and the recovery efforts you talked about and what may happen with irma, there have been reports that you all are considering or reconsidering the flood -- reversing the flood plane regulations that the obama administration put in. can you talk about whether you are, in fact, reconsidering that, either putting back those
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regulations or drafting new regulations that would once again toughen back up the flood regulatio regulations given that we're going to be facing a lot of those issues as these places recover. >> no, i won't necessarily accept the premise of the question but i will answer the spirit of it. it's not about tough or not tough. it's smart or not smart. i did this in one of your publications. the answer here is that we shouldn't use federal money to rebuild in ways that don't anticipate future flood risk so we need to build back smarter and stronger against floodplain concerns when we use federal dollars. what happened in the president's infrastructure executive order was the rescission of an obama-era order that has a broad-ranging and overreaching scope into construction permitting and at the time that we rescinded it, we did so in the hope of expediting infrastructure development in this country, which i think was a smart move. the president certainly did as well. but now what we have to do is replace, with thoughtful -- whether it's an executive order or regulations or both, building
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standards and practices for the expenditure of federal money that makes floodplain and risk mitigation sense. so -- >> so there will be some kind of affirmative effort. >> in the interim, i should point out two things. first that, obama-era executive order had not turned into a regulation yet so nothing in this storm would have changed whether we acted or didn't act. this was not an immediate or poorly thought through step and then secondly, whether we put forward on executive order or not, we do have the latitude under the current stafford act authorities and other laws to put into these rebuilding practices in texas and florida appropriate floodplain management practices. but we want to make sure we think through how to codify that for the future in the next month. >> tom, on monday, we're seeing an anniversary of 9/11. and the nation might now see a lot of vulnerability. what is the threat level and what is this administration doing as it relates to moving into this tragic anniversary,
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remembering this tragic anniversary. >> well, i was kind of personally motivated into service on that day. and that's why i've come back to service here again. the counterterrorism mission is the one i take the most seriously. and president trump will, as presidents before him and since 9/11, receive comprehensive picture of the terrorist threat environment and what we're doing to counter it from his senior officials on 9/11. on monday, we'll get the timing of that to you and give you a readout. he'll do that. that's a practice that we've started since 9/11, presidents bush and obama maintained that practice. president trump intends to do the same. and then i'll threat team announce his planned event or scheduled events for attending my ceremonies and paying some respects. but for the most part, i'd encourage the administration who will, i'm sure, fan out and give appropriate speeches to show some solemnity that day and not talk too much about policy. it's a day of remembrance and
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respect. >> what's the threat level right now as we go into 9/11 and with the vulnerabilities that we are seeing throughout this nation? >> no terrorist should view us as vulnerable right now. farthest thing from the truth. second, there is no actionable, credible threat to the united states right now. we've run those regular risk posture meetings here at the white house and we bring together the entirety of the intelligence community when we do so. there is no current credible actionable threat, terrorist threat against the homeland but we will continue to track that and if we learn of such a thing, we communicate it to our law enforcement authorities and to the public as soon as we learn of it. >> in addition to the issue of supplies of oil and gas, there's the issue of price. and gasoline has jacked up about 70 cents a gallon. i remember earlier brief, you said you'd be monitoring to make sure there isn't gouging. are you monitoring beyond the issue of supply and demand because that seems to be a pretty bad excuse just to raise prices and to make sure that it's data-based. >> the idea -- it's a fact-based
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determination, the difference between gouging and supply and demand price indicators so i'd ask you to remember one thing. the refineries, at least five or six in houston, are still down so we have a refinery issue on one side and increased demand on the other side. so that's necessarily generally going to raise prices but it's a short-term price spike in our experience. we'll try to differentiate that from gouging as we examine any potential allegations of that practice. but for right now, floridians are pretty well used to this. and i think they're pretty well used to their attorney general prosecuting them in florida. so i'm not of the opinion that i have to issue too many warnings from this podium again. but in case anybody missed me last time, gouging won't be tolerated, period. period. okay? let me see if i can come back real quickly because i know sarah's here and has a lot more to do. governor mapp, governor mcmaster of south carolina, scott of florida, deal of georgia and abbott of texas, you're all on
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our minds. you're all our clients. you're our customer base right now. you're going to set the requirements, and as americans, we're going to get through this so remember i started with inform, influence, and inspire, i'm pretty certain that the country saw the people of texas show us what compassion's all about. and i'm pretty sure the floridians and south carolinaens are going to step up and match that challenge in the next couple days. let's say a little prayer for them and i'll come back out and speak to you as the situation dictates. thank you. >> thank you, tom. as you can see, the safety and security of the american people is the president's top priority and will continue to work with our local partners to keep the public fully informed as the events unfold. looking ahead to this weekend, the president and the first lady will be hosting cabinet members and their shoupouses at camp da. this will be a working weekend which will include the fourth cabinet meeting since the president took office. that will take place on
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saturday. the president will lead a discussion on the administration's priorities in addition to receiving briefings on hurricane harvey recovery efforts and preparations for hurricane irma. secretary mattis will obviously be among the cabinet members attending this weekend and on a lighter note, today happens to be his birthday so i'd like to wish secretary mattis a happy birthday on behalf of all of us here. everybody knows i love a good birthday story. in a letter to his troops in the field in 2003, general mattis encouraged them to fight with a happy heart and a strong spirit and to demonstrate to the world that no better friend and no worse enemy than a u.s. marine. i think it's safe to say that he's lived his own life by that advice and general, we hope your 67th birthday is a good one. with that, i'll take your questions. >> is the agreement with the -- is this agreement with the democrats the president reached a one-off? is this something we can expect to see more of, bipartisanship from this white house? >> i certainly think that the goal is to have bipartisan efforts and certainly legislation where you've got republicans and democrats both
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working towards it. that was something that the president talked about during the campaign, and certainly something that i think the american people expect and one of the reasons they voted for him, and i certainly would expect to continue to see that. >> does the president care at all that republican leadership is annoyed with this deal that he reached? >> i think that the president's focus was what was doing -- doing what was best for the american people. and that's why he's the president. the peoplement wanted somebody e a leader, they wanted somebody that was going to step up and take action and get things done and that's exactly what the president did. i think the last thing we want to do is play partisan politics when we have people in places like texas and louisiana that need financial support through the federal government. the president wanted to make sure that happened and that got taken care of and that's what he did. >> sarah, what's the thinking behind the president working with nancy pelosi and chuck schumer to eliminate the need to constantly go through this debt ceiling process. >> i think if you can take some
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of that partisan bickering out of the process, that's probably a good thing. this is a government that is always going to pay its debts and wants to make sure that our bills get paid and that we can support the needs that we have of our country, like we're having to do right now in a time of disaster relief efforts and so that's certainly a priority moving forward. >> but there are some conservatives in congress who say taking away the battles over the debt ceiling just means that you're going to continue to add on debt with no checks and balances. >> well, i think that's -- if you have your priorities wrong, the president is focused on, one, balancing the budget, bringing that debt down overall, but also making sure, again, that the citizens of our country, particularly those in a really desperate time of need, like we are seeing right now in texas and louisiana, are taken care of. >> sarah, about tomorrow. you said it's important for the public to be fully informed. i would just suggest you take and in due seriousness having who will be able to cover some portion of that cabinet meeting
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at camp david tomorrow so the country can be fully informed. >> we will be releasing some of the president's remarks from tomorrow and we'll keep you guys posted on that process and how that will work. >> in this regard, you talk about eliminating partisan bickering from the debt ceiling process. is that a republican problem? >> is that -- >> is that a republican problem? we had 90 republicans in the house vote against this emergency relief package in large measure because it was decoupled or -- >> the majority of republicans voted for it. again, i think that the most important thing is that the deal got done. the president acted on it. and he worked with democrats to get it done and i think he's going to continue to work with whoever is interested in moving the ball forward to help the american people. >> and for republicans who are displeased with this, what is the white house message then? just get over it, sore losers? >> i think the biggest message is that we're a lot less focused on what makes congress happy and what makes americans better and stronger, and that was the
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decision that the president made that this was something that was important to get done and he was willing to work with democrats to make sure it happened. >> sarah, i think you -- just to change subjects for a second. there's been estimates that 250,000 rohingya muslims have left the violence of burma perpetrate b perpetrated by the military portion of the burmese government and i think last time you said you would ask if the president had been briefed. has he been briefed, does he have concerns about this? because it could be regionally destabilizing. and also, let us know whether the president, since taking office, has any direct conversation with aung san suu kyi. >> i know that he's aware of this situation. we're monitoring. i'm not aware that they've had specific conversations. >> do you have a statement or concern about this? >> again, we're monitoring the situation. and i would refer you to the
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state department for specific details at this point. >> sarah, what specifically are some ideas that the president would like to work with democrats next on? he's talked a lot about tax reform, obviously, but is infrastructure also on the list here, or when will we know if this sort of new approach to bipartisanship is something that his new plan versus just a one-off. >> look, the president's committed to moving legislation through. he wants congress to act. and he's happy to have democrats be part of that. tax reform is a huge part of the agenda moving into the fall. infrastructure is something, certainly, we'd love to see. he had meetings on that just yesterday and we're going to continue to work with, you know, anyone willing to sit down at the table and focus on those pieces of legislation. >> has he given up on health care repeal? >> no. and you know, we're going to continue pushing and looking for new ways to improve the health care system and certainly the
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ultimate goal would be to repeal obamacare and replace it with something that actually works. >> will he work with democrats on that. >> if democrats are willing to work on an actual solution, sure. >> the president this morning talked about tax reform in a tweet and he's focusing the country on tax reform after we get past the hurricanes and the immediate threats. everyone in the administration says tax reform this year. one person, however, that would be leader mcconnell, keeps saying, tax reform this congress, which could be next year. is the president willing to allow the focus on tax reform to move into 2018? and if not, what would he say to the leader to get him on board with everyone else in the administration to deliver tax reform to the american people by december 31 of this year. >> you know, i think the ultimate goal is certainly to get it done. ideally, we get it done as soon as possible. the most important thing, though, is that we're providing tax relief for middle class americans, and so ideally, we get that tone. if we could get it done tomorrow, i think everybody would be happy with that but obviously it's going to be a
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process. as soon as we can, that would be our ultimate goal. but we want to make sure we get it done right and that's important. >> leader mcconnell keeps saying this congress as if to give him a back door excuse or option to go into next year. what does president say to him about that. >> i can only -- i certainly can't speak for leader mcconnell but again, this administration, our priority is to get this done and get it done as quickly as we can. >> is -- mar-a-lago following evacuation orders. >> i can't speak for the trump organization. >> do you know -- would the president consider evacuees or victims of the storm to be house there had. >> that's something that you would have to talk to the trump organization. not something i can comment. >> one, the deal with democrats this week, the president talked a lot on the campaign about how he cuts the best deals. what would the white house's message be to republicans who on the issue of debt ceiling or crs of the past achieve better
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deficit cutting deals under president barack obama. >> i don't know that you could say that it's a better deal when you're helping people that are in a recovery effort and that certainly was the priority of the president is making sure that we move things forward and quickly so that those people were taken care of and that was the priority in that process. >> special counsel robert mueller was looking to meet with or interview white house staff regarding the statement put out early in july about donald trump jr.'s meeting with several individuals at trump tower. has a formal request been made and will the white house staff be complying and who is affecting by that request. >> i'm not aware of a specific request at this time but certainly we've been very clear that the white house will be fully cooperative. >> i have two questions. on daca, the president tweet yesterday that daca recipients have nothing to worry about. over the next six months and there would be no action.
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can you definitively say that no daca recipients will be deported in the next six months. >> i would imagine unless there was some sort of criminal activity, i think that would change the situation. >> why can't you definitive say that -- >> i was about to if you let me finish my sentence. outside circumstances where there may be criminal activity or something along those lines, the president's been clear that that's not something that would take place or change over that six-month period. >> i think what most daca recipients are worried about is that their schedule is scheduled to last by 2020. can you speak that and when the president says they have nothing to worry about, they're all going to be -- >> during this six-month time, there are no changes that are being made to the program. at this point. after that, again, the goal is that congress makes a permanent fix and that congress actually does their job and that we have responsible immigration reform that takes place over these six months and those individuals
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won't be affected because they stepped up and did what they were asked to do by the american people. >> on the debt ceiling deal, when it comes to votes, is the president finding schumer and pelosi to be more reliable partners in getting votes than the republican leaders? >> look, the president's committed to working with both republicans and democrats, and we're going continue doing that and trying to get the best legislation we can for the american people. i hate to do this but it's friday, and the president's departing and i know several people have to step out for that. we'll be around the rest of the afternoon if you guys have follow-up questions, we'll be happy to answer them. thanks, guys. >> i want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. you just been watching the white house press briefing as hurricane irma is approaching florida and we just got an update on the storm. irma is now a category 4 hurricane, winds are over 150 miles per hour so still very strong. and it has slightly shifted to the west, which means the entire florida peninsula is now
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directly in its path and that also means miami could be in even greater danger and as evacuation orders grow by the hour, millions are trying to get out with the entire state under threat. this is becoming the biggest mass hurricane evacuation in u.s. history. and you see that traffic moving very slowly. this is in miami-dade county where an unprecedented 660,000 people have been ordered out. these pictures showing people pouring into the shelters there. airports are jammed. we saw a line that seemingly had no end last night. the roads out of florida are simply clogged. gas stations are closing as this max exodus leads to a fuel shortage. we heard that mentioned by tom bossert, the white house homeland security adviser. now, officials in south florida, especially the keys, are warning that if you decide to stay, soon they won't be able to help you. >> you might as well leave now while you have a chance.
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because when you dial 911, you will not get an answer. >> we have teams tracking all of irma's developments from miami to d to day tdaytona beach. talk us through the latest storm track. >> the latest update just come in here from the national hurricane center and talking about this storm incredibly as remarkable as the storm is, incredibly, strengthening up to 155 miles per hour. 2 miles per hour short of being up to a category 5. the reason i say incredible is because the southern periphery of this hurricane is up to mountain ranges. really sheds light on what a storm we're dealing with here across the caribbean. so, where are we headed with the storm system. the latest model is in. what you want to look for is consistency in the model runs. we did not have that the last couple of days, even 24 hours ago. it is absolutely the case that is in place right now across
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portions of central, of tareas the keys year, hthe alignment i very much in place here. saturday night into sunday, tremendous agreement that the central keys, whether it's key largo, central region of marathon, that's where we think landfall would be possible. we know hurricanes are different. they all have their own dnas and bu when it comes to a track of a storm like this, one that has so many superlatives lined up behind it as far as the records it has already attained it is going to pack a tremendous punch moving forward. 300-mile-an-hour tropical force winds. hurricane force winds and notice it move over land as we go from sunday into monday. this is not a hurricane for miami. this is not a hurricane for key west. this is not a hurricane for tampa. it's a hurricane even for
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orlando, even for jacksonville, for just about anyone in its path here across the central portion of the state. we will have hurricane force winds going into early monday, potentially even making it into southern georgia so once again, as impressive as the storm as we've seen in a very long time. >> pedram, are there any chances it could still make another turn? >> there always is a chance for a turn. at this point, the agreement has become such a narrow line, it would be very, very unlikely so you're looking at one of the most reliable models we've seen with the storms literally going back seven days where it has similar alignment being in blue there. the american was hundreds of miles apart. it has lined up in agreement. we think it's going to be entirely out of the question that the window has just about closed here as far as getting it away from the state and whether you are in the western part of the state, on the eastern part of the state, a hurricane that can sit on top of texas and cover it with its cloud field is going to cause damage and impacts across all of the state of florida. >> pedram, we know you will be watching as will the entire cnn weather team and this is becoming a very, very dangerous
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situation. i want to get right to florida and our chris cuomo, our colleague on the ground there. we see it's already a little bit windy there right now, chris. but that's nothing compared to what they're going to be experiencing, what you will be experiencing here in the next couple of days. >> reporter: spot on. and truth, this is pleasant. it is so hot here, especially on the beach, any breeze is welcome. this is the beauty that belies the beast that is going to come. i'll tell you what, we shouldn't like is there are people on this beach. and look, they can play the game right now, but this is a mandatory evacuation center and we just heard governor scott give a very simple message, even i could understand it. get out now. that is the message to not just mandatory evacuation areas but he said all floridians should be ready to evacuate. why? because they don't know what the reach of irma is going to be. and i know it can sound like hype. i know storms have missed in the past and frankly, as we both know, having been in the field
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on so many of these, we hope for that. we hope that the path somehow changes, though as we know the variables get much fewer as it comes closer through the caribbean, over cuba, and now heading to the keys and into the mainland of florida. it becomes less likely that the track changes. so this, they have about a 24-hour window to do the right thing for themselves and their safety and not to put themselves and the first responders at risk who have to come out and get them. we have the mayor of miami beach is going to be joining us in a few moments. he's coming from some of his preparations. so right now, i want to go to brian todd, he's in west palm beach. police there are going door to door to see whether or not the residents are heeding the evacuation calls and if those who remain have a plan and have supplies for 72 hours. brian, what are you seeing? >> reporter: well, chris, those police just came by here with a loud speaker, going door to door, saying this area is under a mandatory evacuation, please evacuate.
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across the intercoastal waterway at palm beach, they've already done that. but we're with people here who are going to ride this out. this is emanuela and mark. they're here on the south flagler drive. you're going to stay. you've heard all the warnings, you've heard everybody on tv and the governor, everybody saying you've got to get out. why are you staying? >> we have, we feel, a very secure home. concrete block, hurricane shutters, sandbags. it's been around for 45 years. there's never been any damage. we have a lot of friends in this so-so neighborhood that are staying. we all feel confident and they're all floridians. i'm canadian. i'm so not used to this. i'm totally freaked out. but we have a certain confidence in the structure of our home. but we're definitely taking precautions and we do have a reservation at a hotel booked, worse comes to worse, if we do get too nervous or what have you. in downtown, newest building in west palm.
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so we're obviously going to be very secure there as well. >> and mark, you've been boarding up, sandbagging, this and boarding up with corrugated metal here. you're confident in the structure but this is a category 4. this could take off parts of your roof and all of that and possibly with you guys in it. still you're okay to stay at least for you. >> we're certainly going to stay today. we have to be at the hotel by 8:00 tomorrow morning if we are going to keep the reservation. in all likelihood, we probably will go to the hotel. but we are going to stay here this evening. >> what is the, i guess, the mentality of wanting to stay? you told me a short time ago you'd be surprised how many people want to ride this out. why do people feel that way when the storm is so incredibly strong. >> it's a good question. we have a lot of friends that are here and that have elected to stay. we also have friends that left and went to naples and now they're not very happy about that decision. we have friends that went to atlanta, to orlando, so i think there's risking in any area they end up going. but it's a tough decision. >> good luck to both of you and thanks for talking to us.
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>> reporter: chris, another complication is the very high concentration of elderly people in palm beach county, some of them have special needs. there's one special needs shelter. that look like it's going to be filled to capacity, so again, that's a major complication in a county like palm beach where there's such a high concentration of elderly people, chris. >> reporter: and you're touching on two very distinct stay choices. one is the elderly, those who cannot leave, the infirmed and we're going to talk to one of the local leaders right now about that. the other are people who are saying, it's a tough choice. that does not deserve the same respect. if they have been told they are in a mandatory evacuation zone, the discretion has been taken out of the equation for them in terms of common sense. the government, the officials, the experts who know, who have to do the planning to save your behind if you stay and become vulnerable, which is likely, they've already decided that for you. so, a different level of respect for that decision to stay. now, joining us, the mayor of
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miami beach. we have phillip levine. mr. mayor, thank you very much. it is good to have you. i know you're busy. we were just talking that this is so beautiful. this is why people come, and yet, they really should not be here. tough job for you. >> i agree. listen, we don't want them out here. you'll see a lot of them. they're not swimming because it's prohibited right now. i just spent a little time with our ocean rescue folks. they're trying to tell feel to evacuate and at a certain point this afternoon, our lifeguards will be leaving and bunkering down in shelters of themselves. you know, i've been all over the city today, chris. i went to some senior centers and talked to a 92-year-old woman in her little apartment and i spoke to her in spanish and i said, you need to leave, a and she said, mayor, i'm not leaving. i want to stay here. i said, what can i do? i want you to leave. she says, i have water and food. but i said ana, here's my cell phone number. if you have a problem, call me. she said, mr. mayor, here's my cell phone number. you call me if you have a
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problem. >> they're tough. they're storm savvy and they are the greatest generation for a reason and you have to respect that. but what do you have in place? brian todd was reporting and saying there were concerns that the shelters for seniors and who need access to power especially to motivate different systems that are assisting their own bodies, is that true? what's in place for them? >> well, certain condominium buildings are going to shut down power and air-conditioning and water. some of the senior centers, i don't believe they're going to do that but we are trying everything to convince them. we have bussed out there, trolleys, trying to get them to come on. i just met with a group of homeless people on the beach, they're in a big group and they said, mayor, thanks, we're going to go on the bus and we're going to the homeless shelter. so we have challenges but we also have some success stories. >> reporter: and look, we get it. you lived it. you were through andrew. you know how bad it can be and we also get that sometimes, luckily, we're wrong. and it doesn't turn out to be what it was. and these people are storm savvy
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and house proud. and we get that. i get it. i get why they don't want to leave home, but what is the message to them about the burden they might become by making the choice they think is the right one for them. >> we tell them, you should be safe, not sorry. but what they have to realize sf and we're telling them is that at a certain point, starting like tomorrow night when this hurricane really comes in and on sunday morning, our first responders will not be here. there will be no public services for them. there will be no one for them to call. they need to listen and get to a shelter because at a certain point, chris, we can't say go to a shelter, the window closes, now it's time to bunker down. >> when's the best guess about when 911 will not be an active emergency line. >> we think by sunday morning, late saturday night, sunday, that may come to an end. we're hoping that they listen, get to an evacuation center, we have plenty of them. you can bring your pets with you. we have shelters where you can take your dogs and cats. we have transportation. but that's coming to a close. please leave.
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>> reporter: best guess from the government experts and those who have been giving you information on a steady flow about how long they expect the storm, irma, to be present in this area, present in a way that would keep first responders from getting out and do what they do best. >> we're hearing anything from five to ten hours. that's a long time. that's an eternity. our first responders, our police chief today, he said let me tell you something. he says, we're going to be out there as fast as we can as soon as this storm ceases to protect the residents and their well being and the resources of our city. >> reporter: as we said, we're here to be a resource, not a burden. as information comes out during this storm, let us know, we'll get it out. you know we're covering it like an army of ants and i also know that you're going to be very active with search and rescue. i know that matters to you. a bunch of us have volunteered our time as well. when we're not working, we'll be there doing whatever we can, including going to the homes of the first responders, making sure their families are okay so they can have presence of mind while they're out there saving the rest of us. >> thank you for your service to our city, chris.
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>> thank you, mr. mayor. >> reporter: all right, we're going to take a quick break. you got mayor levine and so many local leaders. he has to be here for everyone else but in the mandatory evacuation centers, in those areas, it's a different reality. when we come back, we're going to check in with the preparations of first responders and what those -- what is happening to help people leave and what is happening to those who decide to stay. stay with cnn.
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all right, cnn is in continuous coverage of what is to come here. this is a beauty, rights? i mean, this is miami beach. it's gorgeous. he here's the problem. these people, many of them are tourists, but they should not be here. this is a mandatory evacuation zone. there's a window of about 24 hours. in about 24 hours from now, this beauty belies the beast of hurricane irma, which is coming this way. it is no longer an if. that is the word from noah, it's obviously the national organization that is going to monitor what happens with this. it comes from the governor and the fema federal government side. everyone's saying it. it's no longer if. it is when irma gets here and how. so, if you're in a mandatory evacuation zone, it starts to become incumbent upon you to take that decision seriously and get o out. if you decide to stay -- and the government can't really force people to leave, at least not in an effective way -- you have to
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make sure that you have enough supplies for about 72 hours, water, food, obviously, but also batteries and things where if you have a need, you can fulfill it yourself. the first responders cannot come during the storm, even when you call 911. down here, they have one of the best teams in the business. but during the storm, they have to hunker down. after the storm passes, which we're being told is anywhere from five to ten hours, that's what the mayor of miami beach just told us, five to ten hours, there is no help available. you'll have to fend for yourself in what could be disastrous conditions. so, we have another part of miami beach with a very important part of this story. all these high-rises here in south florida, people say, wow, they must be vulnerable. these are not normal high-rises. the construction standards, the windows, they're different here and different for a reason. what do we know? >> reporter: they are different for a reason. they were brought up to a certain and new and stronger code after hurricane andrew.
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that was in response to what this state saw after hurricane andrew in 1992 but there's still a problem with all of this. and let me explain why, chris. i want you to take what is a larger view of the place that you're standing. this is miami beach. you talked about what draws tourists there, the skyline, it is glitzy and packed with high-rises. it is booming with development and business and this is precisely what makes irma more deadly today than it did maybe 25 years ago and why it could hurt this area so much. take a look at the bill at what happened in 1925. this is a picture. historical picture of what miami beach looked like. a completely different place. it's almost no highs hie ris-ri. this is one year before a category 4 storm hit in 1926. when hurricane andrew came here, this area saw many more high-rises, but what it was, was a wind event. irma is a wind and water event,
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a storm surge event. the population here in miami beach has grown 35% since hurricane andrew. chris, you talked about those building codes. yes, the high-rises are able to withstand much more, but there has been so much development, you can ask anybody in miami beach, sometimes it floods on a s sun sunny day. storm surge a major concern. we've seen people putting up protection across miami beach but the word we keep hearing from miami beach officials is prepare for flooding. >> reporter: boy, i got to tell you, kyung, those points are all so salient, so relevant to what's going on right now, and they will be major factors in what happens here ultimately when irma comes along. so, thank you for that. and we just heard in the briefing from the white house, they said, you know, after harvey, after irma, after jose and the other storms that are coming along the way, we will have to rebuild smarter and that's just not blind optimism.
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it is practical because you need to build to suit the new challenges. they started doing that ahead of the curve here in florida for obvious reasons but they're still not where they need to be. it often floods in areas around here on normal days, normal situations. what's going to happen with hurricane irma. that's why there's such a sense of urgency. we're going to shift here in about 24 hours to slatering on sun block to putting on and hunkering down with hurricane gear. we're going to take a break. when we come back, what preparations are in place and what remains for those who make the decision to stay. stay with cnn.
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we know there are problems with fuel at our gas stations. state law enforcement are providing escorts to gas trucks to get them through traffic so they can get through the stations faster. these law enforcement escorts have continued through the night and they'll keep going as long as they can. for gas stations in evacuation
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zones, we need you to stay open as long as you can. so people can get as much fuel and get out. we will arrange police escorts for your employees so they can get out safely. we need gas stations in evacuation zones to stay open as long as possible so we can get people out. we know fuel is important, and we are doing everything we can to get more fuel here. i've worked with the white house. i've worked with the epa, i've worked with fema, everybody, department of transportation, everybody to get more fuel into the state and then get that fuel out to our stations. three tanker ships delivered fuel to port tampa bay yesterday for resupply efforts, each delivering 1.2 million gallons of fuel. and as of 6:00 p.m. last night, 8.4 million gallons of fuel was shipped into port everglades and more than 5 million gallons of fuel was shipped into fort tampa bay. state law enforcement kontconti to escort fuel supply trucks from port tampa bay, port everglades and jacks port to stations in your community.
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we are aggressively moving to move excess fuel to communities in the north central part of the state. however, if you're in an evacuation zone in south florida, you need to leave now. port everglades will be closing tonight for safety and gas will no longer be resupplied into much of southern florida after the storm hits. until after the storm hits. again, if you are concerned that you can't get out because whatever reason, traffic, fuel, whatever it is, 1-800-342-3557. we will do everything we can to get you out but you cannot wait. shelters. last night, i directed all schools to be closed. k-12, state colleges, universities, all to be closed, all state offices, we're closed effective today through monday. this is to ensure we have all the space we need for sheltering and staging. floridians have to have access to every place they can for shelter. shelters are available, and you should follow the directions from local officials to go to the shelter that fits your
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needs. volunteers. over 17,000 people have volunteered to help in this. i think, first off, thanks, everybody, for volunteering. the -- we need more -- i know we're going to need more. i want to thank everyone who's opened their hearts to help and we can't thank you enough. if you want to volunteer, go to to sign up for volunteer opportunities. analysis guard. all 7,000 members of the national guard that are available have been activated as of today. every member available has been activated in advance of this storm. they are working hard to get people -- they are working hard to make sure we all get to safety. utilities. they are actively prepositioning resources throughout the state and in neighboring states. we know how important power is and we're going to do everything we can to get the power back on after this storm hits. it's a little harder to get preposition when you have the whole state being impacted by this storm. i want to thank the governors of
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other states. >> we've been listening in to a press briefing with the florida governor, rick scott. he talked about the big concern right now is people are doing this mass exodus from florida is a fuel shortage and he urges the gas stations, his direct message to them was, stay open as late as you can. let's listen back to what else he is saying. >> this is a catastrophic storm that our state has never seen before. remember, we can rebuild your house, you can get your possessions again. you can't rebuild your life and family. protecting life is our absolute top priority. no resource or expense will be spared to protect life. florida's tough. florida's resilient. florida's unbreakable. let's all stay together and help each other. we are an amazing melting pot of loving people and i'm proud to be the governor of this state. [ speaking foreign language ]
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>> obviously, we're having problems with that signal. some technical difficulties there. we apologize for that. but again, the message from the governor there, get out, get out now. do not risk it. this is going to be a catastrophic storm that will encompass all of the florida panhandle. they are expecting some 6 million people or more to be in the path and the threat of this monstrous hurricane, currently a category 4 as irma moves much closer to florida and the mainland united states. joining me now from key largo, reed timmer, he is a storm chaser for accuweather. you are what your organization calls an extreme meteorologist. you've been through a number of other major weather systems, but are you doing anything differently this time around because of the size and the strength of hurricane irma?
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>> i'm not doing anything differently. we always prepare for the worst case scenarios when we're out here chasing these tropical systems but we know this storm is very different from the rest we've chased. i've chased katrina, harvey, rita, ike, several hurricanes in addition to tornados and this one is a different monster. the wind speeds are much stronger. we measured 140-plus-mile-per-hour winds at rockport when we were there covering the eye wall of that hurricane. this is likely going to be stronger. than that in terms of wind gusts wherever that eye wall does set up. we're in key largo, the northern most part of the florida keys. right here behind me, normally you would see the light that would illuminate miami. i am standing in the water right now and it is very warm. there's very warm water off the coast of miami so the scary thing is that this storm would even intensify on its approach here to south florida. >> so how are you preparing? how are you going to stay safe?
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>> well, we have enough food and water to survive for weeks if we do get trapped down here. we've been scouting out structures as well. the whole entire town, we basically have a concrete bunker but it's very important for everybody to get out of the path of this thing. heed those warning. we're likely going to get out of the path here as well shortly if it looks like it's coming ashore as strong as it is. it looks like right now that track just to the west over the central keys as well. one issue with the florida keys is that you get storm surge from both sides, not only the atlantic side but also the gulf of mexico side can be worst storm surge or you get the northerlies in areas like key west which should be on the west side of that track, they're going to have a devastating storm turn. that includes naples. so that is going to be absolutely devastating. >> you talked about the winds, 140-mile-per-hour gusts that you're measuring and the storm surge you mentioned which we're hearing could be somewhere
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between five and ten feet depending on where you are exactly. h hurricane andrew did not see a big storm surge like that. what would you expect to happen should we see those ten feet of surge that would be encompassing a lot of the areas affected. >> that's certainly a concern. right now is going to be under water. likely under ten feet or more of water. the island of key largo, most of it will be under water. so i'd say both are a concern. both are deadly. the wind of this system and the storm surge and its large size so the water levels will start to rise here in the keys well in advance of this system. >> all right, reed timmer, we really appreciate your time. do stay safe and we want to stay in touch with you as you continue to track hurricane irma moving closer to florida at this point. last check, it's supposed to hit sometime early sunday morning but we will get an update on the
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very latest track, the latest models as they are coming into our cnn weather center. stay with cnn for special live coverage of this nuclear hurricane, the words used by one of the mayors there in florida. stay with us. for your heart... your joints... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something for the most important part of you... your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is now the number one selling brain health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember. at holiday inn express, we can't guarantee
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throughout history, the one meal when we come together, break bread, share our day and connect as a family. [ bloop, clicking ] and connect, as a family. just, uh one second voice guy. [ bloop ] huh? hey? i paused it. bam, family time. so how is everyone? find your awesome with xfinity xfi and change the way you wifi. all right, just a few minutes from the top of the hour now so let's reset where we are. this is miami beach. i know it's beautiful, got a ton of sun block on, the smell of dad bod burning is on but this is the beauty that belies the beast that is on its way here. there is no longer an if, according to all the experts and
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all the models about whether or not hurricane irma is going to hit florida. it is not an if. it is a when. and it is a how bad. and even though it is expected to be a category 4 storm, difference between 4 and 5 is only significant to scientists. in terms of how it will affect you on the ground, it is just as severe. the hundred-plus-mile-an-hour winds, the sustained hours, the immediacy goes from the local level all the way to the top. the president of the united states was just boarding his helicopter to go to camp david. this is what he said. >> we've prepared at the highest level. we've prepared at the highest level. we are prepared.
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hopefully things go well. >> okay. so, the message from the president, we are prepared very well, but you can only prepare so much. in all of these catastrophe situations, if that's what it becomes, they're always behind the curve because the need is always greater than the ability to meet it. it takes time, incredible dedication, it strains all resources no matter what is brought to bear. so it is good that we hear about local, state, and federal interaction and interconnection in terms of communication of resourc resources and supplies. they have done just about what they can in terms of what we've seen in our reporting. and yet, if hurricane irma is anything like what they anticipate here in south florida, the need will be great. so, let's talk to someone who is in charge of saving the rest of us. we got fire chief virtugil fernandez. how seriously should this storm
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prep be taken. >> it's extremely serious. they call this the calm before the storm and since tuesday t mayor, the city manager, we've been trying to tell everybody the importance of evacuating. and it is critical. there is going to come a time where first responders, police and fire, will not be able to respond to assist those in need. >> let's talk about what the common responses are. because there are people we have a lot of viewers in florida. thank god for that. we love them. but they need to listen right now. the first pushback we get is well, it's a 4, not a 5, it's already getting less. it will probably be okay. your response? >> my response is that i'm glad that they have that kind of faith, but they're really putting their own life at hand. and it is critically important that they understand that there's a lot of science that goes into this. there's a lot of thought that goes into evacuating an area, and when emergency managers are telling you to evacuate, we