tv Declassified CNN September 9, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
welcome back. continuing coverage live from fort myers, florida. you're looking also at scene on the right side of your screen there in fort lauder dale and the radar track of the storm expected to grow back into a category four storm. taking a little bit longer to do that because it's taking a slightly different track. tom sater in the weather center. we'll explain that in a moment. we have correspondents across florida. all across the region. to cover every angle possible of what's happening over the next 12 to 24 hours. and yes, this storm will be an intense storm for the next 24 hours. probably hitting the florida keys early this morning. and all day into the night tomorrow.
t going to be a long and difficult day for the people of florida, southern florida, and points beyond. we'll be following this storm not just tomorrow but in the days ahead as it moves into ore states. let's check with tom. >> you were talking about what's it going to look like when it gets to ore states. the 21 models na make up the u.s. model. once it makes its way through southern georgia and moving into northern alabama i want to let everybody know, if they don't know the country well enough and watching on the west coast. this area is pine country. hardy pine. really tall, massive trees that have extremely weak root systems. you get heavy rain on those roots and you get a stiff wind, we'll have tens of thousands of trees down. power outages will not just be around the florida peninsula. towards atlanta and surrounding areas. alabama. and south central tennessee. with winds around 50 or stronger
gusts. look what happens after wards. what does this remind you of? kind of like harvey into texas. that was the problem we lost the steering currents. there's a big difference with this one. it won't flood out like texas did in parts of louisiana. because by the time it gets here, it's going to be pretty much dried out. it doesn't have the water source. what we're watching is still a drop -- we were at 120. thousand up to 125. dh means the eye wall replacement cycle is taking place. see the pressure drop a little bit more. it will become a category four. we're looking at this westerly component. which has us concerned. there's no best scenario here, we're going to get smacked with this. as long as it continues ahead west and not north it's going to be harder and harder to pinpoint where land fall will be. again we lean on the models, we look at the differences of hurricanes. you have seen this picture, hurricane andrew 25 years ago. you can fit two andrews inside
irma. smaller, compact the eye is tighter. the wind radius of damage wasn't that kind of damage 20, 30 miles out. when you look a the track, take a look at this. it was a year later when it first made land fall and devastated the southern portion of the florida peninsula. it went into the record books as a four. took almost a year of research and looking at the winds damage to put it in the record books as a five. my point is this. there's not a big difference. a four is massive. a five as well. you won't be able to tell that much. we're going to get hit. $26 billion of damage. and 56 fatalities in the florida peninsula. other category four and five hurricanes since 1970, all right. hugo. 140 miles per hour winds and 89. then you have of course andrew 165 miles per hour winds. we just had last month harvey. but take a look at charily.
everyone remembers that. and continue to talk about it. it came close to tampa throwing a storm surge we have never seen into tampa bay. that's a concern with the west movement. when car charily moved in the winds out from the center only went out 20 miles. irma maximum winds go pout 70 and most likely back to 100 as it strengthens. big difference there in the winds. here's the eye, here's the secondary band. we're watching that secondary band start to close up. so it will start to shrink and tighten. that tight spin that tight spin we see like a top, the force will create the strength. bands continue to move in with the tropical storm force winds. we see if we have tornado warnings right now we do not. we are getting gusts down to the south. marathon 43. 40 key west. forecast winds, now i know everybody is probably still making some plans to land north ward. you have planned your work and work and your plan. if there's anything maybe you haven't thought of for the
thousands of you that own swimming pools, go outside and take your swimming pool furniture. lawn chairs and table and throw them into the pool. that will smash any window or neighbors window. if your kids have a trampoline, unhook that. and it's cage and frame. that can take off for great distance. in the caribbean they cut down the palm trees and take off the coconuts. or path remains the same. as we have said all week until the storm takes its north movement, we're with our hands tied relying on the models. at some point it will. it's just getting off the coast of cuba and not just 90 miles of warm water, if it curves up towards fort myers we're talking about 125, 150 miles of warm water to work with. there's more time and more space. >> yeah, tom sater we'll check in very frequently over the next several hours. i want you to meet bill south.
with the national weather service. he's in there key west office. bill i appreciate you joining us. you could have evacuated, you have chosen to stay there to get the information as it's coming in to hupger down. first of all. what structure are you in? what kind of winds can it with stand and what's your greatest concern for the keys? >> our structure is on in key west. it's elevated to a level of 15 feet above slaefl. with the current storm surge projection it would be dry. it's rated to with stand maximum sustained winds of 165 miles per hour category five hurricane. we have an internal storm bunker that's rated to with stand 220 miles per hour winds. with about a 400 pound steel door that we would lock ourselves into that bunker if
the worst case happened. so i feel very secure here. >> and just for the keys itself, the worst case scenario -- there's a lot of bad ones. that bridge is so vital connecting the keys to the mainland. one way in and one way out. is this bridge under a threat from the storm? >> i would say yes it is. we got hurricane force wind gusts. occurring over spreading the florida keys now. this storm kind of remains me of hurricane dawn in 1960. which made land fall in the upper keys and it did take out the t table relief bridge. which separated most of the lower and middle keys from the mainland. that's a big concern. taking out the bridges. the damaging wind gusts. we could see storm surge values of five to ten feet above mean sea level. which would put probably about
60, 70% of key west under water. the storm surge is a big concern. we're seeing isolated tornados and outer rain bands that passed through here. none were confirmed. we did issue three tornado warnings already for the lower keys. and conditions are really only going to get worse. because it's such a large, large hurricane. that even if it does move a little more west before it takes its north turn, we're so close to it now it's only 105 miles southeast of key west. we'll feel impacts from the hurricane all night tontd and mostly throughout the day sunday. maybe the hazardous weather starts to abate sunday night. >> i know one of the things you and your colleagues are able to do and one of the reasons you are sticking it out there, is that you are able to relay a data and information about the storm bands and about the storm to first responders to search and rescue teams in order to help them avoid certain areas at
key times. as they are trying to respond to anybody in need. we appreciate what you're doing. we'll continue to check in with you. stay safe. and keep a collecting all that information and getting it to those who need it. people are relying on that. let's go back to jaub standing by in miami. john, again, it's been so deceptive throughout the day in fort myers. i'm sure in miami as well. at times for hours there will be sunshine behind the clouds, times i had to put on sunscreen because it was so hot. and there was so much sunshine. there was no indication at least in fort myers throughout the day today of this monster storm that is barrelling this way. >> we're starting to get the indication of it here now. you can see i'm a soggy wet mess. the ka mare in the coal mine. with the rest of florida will really start to feel as this night goes on. let me tell you what's it's been like. we have had bands. the band coming in of torrential
rain. rain that's lasted in some cases for 20, 30 minutes. and goes away. it's away right now. we have wind gusts more than 40 miles per hour around the miami area. some measured higher than 50 miles per hour. i think you can see the boat behind me it's starting to rock pretty good. the water here hasn't really started to rise too much. the concern about a storm surge somewhere around three and six feet. if it reaches six foot level it would certainly be way passed many knees. that would be a problem tr parts of downtown miami. i'm not even talking about miami beach which is out there. which is everyone lower lying than the rest of downtown miami. that is a serious concern. we are starting to see lightning strikes fairly regularly. just saw sorm north of here. that will be an even greater occurrence as the night goes on. i will tell you what we have not seen in sometime, that's people. which is actually a good sign. as we have been standing here for the last seven, eight hours
there were a will the of people walking by. checking on their boats here. that's stopped. that's a good sign. i don't know why anyone would want to be out on a night like tonight when it has been raining as hard as it is. with the wind blowing. not a good night to be out. if you have stayed here stay in your homes. in miami beach there's a curfew. if you're out in the streets in miami beach, you're going to get arrested. >> john, appreciate it. we'll check in with you. he was in a vehicle heading toward mar koe island. i leave he's gotten there. ed, first of all where are you. what's the scene? >> mar coisland. we had a conversation with the police chief on the island who says normally about full-time residents ta live here about 16,000 people or so. he doesn't know exactly how many people have evacuated.
he believes there are a number of people despite the warnings that have gone out throughout the day. in fact police going door to door and pa announcements from the vehicle urging people to evacuate. he knows there are a number of people on the island here. he says they are expecting as much as a ten foot storm surnl here on the island. they say they have about 80 first responders in all who will be hunkering down here. respond. and they have a jet skis, inflatable boats and other water craft that will be ready to be deployed. after the storm passes through. so they also he did say that it is too late now to evacuate. if you're still here -- >> thanks very much. losing your shot there. understandable given the circumstances. we're going to take a short break. our coverage continues from florida and points beyond.
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find your exclusive retailer at tempurpedic.com welcome back. we're coming to you live from fort myers. a band has just passed through. nothing severe at all. just rain and rain continuing. i want you to meet chief with the fort myers the chief of the fire department here. we talked to you earlier. i'm wondering now that the day is over, how do you assess what happened today and your biggest concern for the morning? >> our biggest concern is when the weather will start. but frankly it's keeping our firefighters and police officers and public works officials safe. and trying to figure out what to do about the people that haven't chosen to evacuate. >> there really was today as we discussed earlier. people who woke up and realized storm has come here in a greater way than they had anticipated and decided to try to seek shelter. but with buses ending at 3:00,
there's a will the o people wake up tomorrow morning and want to try to get to shelter. >> that's true. the disappointing part is we have room at some of the shelters. they are pretty full but there's still room. we wish people had heeded the warning before the storm hits. we're at the point where it's almost -- it's risky to try to go there now. we're advising people to stay in their homes, find a safe spot, get in the center of the house of the structure. there's going to be some last minute emergency shelters if we can figure out where the populations are. we'll open up just to be safe in a commercial building. >> assuming -- are you assuming that this will lose power in this area. if you are, how long is something like that likely to last for? >> there really isn't. i'm figuring the heavy storm surge rain, winds and all that that will prevent first responders from going and doing rescue may last 24 hours.
people are going to be on their own in the time of emergency. we can't put our responders in that situation. so, yes, power at some point will be cut or drop on its own. which creates a another set of hazards. >> there's always a concern. they face this if harvey in texas. do you keep the grid on do you keep the power on? if there's a lot of water on the ground that brings with it concerns of electrocution and things like that. >> that's the million dollar question. we have emergency operation centers, so we have a city one that i'm staffing. as the commander. and we're interacting with partners at the county and state. we're figures out what's best for each situation. >> obviously this is an area where people have boats. people are staying home. who have boats that they tied up to their property in the event there's flooding and feel they need to get out. >> yeah. and that's an issue.
certainly a water front area. there's folks that are choosing to ride this storm out on their boats. and i can't express strongly enough how bad of an idea that is. i can't force people to do something they don't want to do. we're giving professional advice and trying to nudge them. there's time but the window is closing quickly. >> appreciate your time. randi kaye, has been following this situation of people trying to get to shelters and waiting to get into a shelter. there's a big shelter that as i was driving to fort myers this morning and randy was driving here as well from miami. both of us saw this shelter, it's a hockey arena. huge arena on the side of the highway. randy pulled off and talked to people. there were thousands of people lined up for hour ands hours to get in. randi kaye is standing by in tampa. the scene outside, can you describe. and we'll go to your piece. were you surprised to see so many people waiting to get into the shelter so early in the
morning today? >> absolutely. you saw the same scene that we did as we were heading up 75 north. we had to pull over and find out what was going on. there were people wrapped around the parking lot. thousands of people from families bringing their children, their infants, their dogs, their grandparents. all tries to get inside because they notice the track of the storm changes while we were on the road. they decided maybe they shouldn't ride out the storm at home. they decided to go to this arow na. which is normally a hockey arena. hoping this massive place will protect them from hurricane irma. >> reporter: the last best hope for many seeking shelter from irma. just outside fort myers, opened saturday morning. getting inside hasn't been easy. >> what's the challenge here in getting inside? >> waiting. four, five, six hours. >> about four hours. it's a long wait. >> lou do you feel about
spending the night in here with strangers? >> it's better than being home. getting flooded. >> reporter: many brought dogs and whatever belongings they could grab. they weren't sure what to expect one inside, but the general belief is it's safer than their own home. there's air-conditioning, water, and food. also the national guard and florida highway patrol are here to keep it secure. >> are you worried about the conditions inside? >> oh, no. i'm a camper from way back. i can do just fine. >> reporter: this couple just moved to florida from seattle two months ago. >> do you feel like you waited too long to decide. >> totally. i wanted to leave monday. it's like if it's the biggest hurricane ever. just leave and you're not stuck. >> reporter: the line goes on and on and on. really as far as the eye can see. some of the people have been waiting in the line for four, five, six hours. it first hoped at 10:00 a.m. this morning. and many of them told me that the reason they came here was
they saw the way that the storm shifted and the track shifted and they said they have to get out of their homes. >> were you planning to evacuate? was this a last minute decision? >> it was a last minute decision. i'm in zone b. when the evacuation -- i was on the edge of the mandatory evacuation. and i decided to come anyway. >> i have been here 30 years. and i have ridden out other hurricanes. so yes. when they increase the boundary for the mandatory evacuation, then we had to leave. >> reporter: this was all especially tough for the elderly and disabled. some sat down while others held their place in line. >> we migrated up ahead. wait. they catch up. we migrate ahead and they catch up. a lot of team work. >> you're making friends with good samaritans. >> yeah. it's been rough though. >> are you okay? >> i'm fine.
>> thank goodness the weather outside there was all right. it rained a little bit. but it was -- had that been torrential rain with strong winds, it would have been exponentially more miserable for people waiting outside. they had to wait for hours and hours. >> absolutely. that would have made it a lot worse. we spoke with a lieutenant and he told us they were trying to hustle people in as quickly as they could. they were worried about the weather. this afternoon midafternoon, they had about a thousand people inside already. they said they did have room for 8,000. that was really good news for all of the people waiting in line. he said there would be security in there the highway patrol would be in there, the national guard would be in there, there's air-conditioning, food, clean water. he was hoping this would be a good experience for everyone. what i really was pleased to see were so many good samaritans in the line. holding spots for the elderly
and disabled. to try and help them get through this experience. it was really nice to see there wasn't any tension. just everyone working together to get through irma. >> obviously a lot of people have cars here. there's people who don't have cars. and don't have access to easy transportation or don't have friend who have vehicles who can drop them off there. and they had to rely on shuttle buses by the local government here. those stopped today at 3:00. so even tomorrow morning, though there maybe time for them and space in that shelter or others, the opportunity for them to actually get there can be very difficult. i talked to law enforcement about that earlier today. they said you can call 211 when is the emergency number to request transportation to some of the shelters. but again that line was very busy today. the mayor said he tried to call five times to check on it. wasn't able to get through any time. and encourage people to keep trying. again as resources are limited and law enforcement and first
responders need to try to do other things as well in advance of this storm, helping people get to the shelter maybe a little bit lower down on the list. it's going to be a difficult decision tomorrow for those who wake up scared and realize i really need to try to get to shelter. we'll take a short break and the coverage continues. we just got to take it one game at a time. next question. odell! can you repeat everything you just said? my livestream won't load. (blows whistle) technical foul! wrong sport. wrong network. see, you need unlimited on verizon. it's america's largest, most reliable 4g lte network. it won't let you down in places like this. even in the strike zone! it's the red zone. pretty sure it's the strike zone. here, use mine. all right. see you on the court, champ. heads up! (vo) when it really, really matters, you need the best network and the best unlimited. now plans start at $40 per line for four lines.
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hurricane katrina. unfortunately i say that because i enjoy talking to him. it's always a tough story when he's arnds and on site. he joins us tonight from orlando. lieutenant general, in terms of what you're seeing, we saw randi kaye with the long line in the shelter. the people were able to get in. it seems well organized inside. it was difficult for them obviously waiting outside for so long. and a lot of -- there seems to be a struggle here in some to open up shelters today. and provide access to people o to get them to the shelters if they don't have vehicles of their own. i'm wondering what you make so far what you have seen of the response as we await the massive storm? >> this is the collateral damage of what this storm has done. is disrupted communications from the perspective that yesterday we had -- well we were working on a plan.
focussed on miami and miami and points south that prepared. the storm has changed directions. and it's causing people to have to scramble who thought they were in good shape as far as the predictions. we have to remember is the cone is called the cone of uncertainty for a reason. because that hurricane can switch back and forth and go either direction chblt the good news is, we have good communications, everybody is still talking, and everybody is connected. my theory is that we could be right back after storm come to the way it's coming into tampa, if it cuts a grid out and parts of miami, fort myers and tampa. the estimates are up to 3 million people without power. that into itself on a plain dry day is a disaster.
subsequently what we have to start thinking about is what do we do, what's the plan and the continue plans to start -- how we're going to evacuate people. because we cannot sustain that large of population. the way the cities are built the way we live, and the way we go back and forth, because it will be major reconstruction that's going to have to be done. so you talk about a dewatering plan. in tampa you have the bay and the tampa bay coming together and going into the gulf. that's a major concern when you talk about the water getting captured on land. and infrastructure surrounded. the leadership is in. people are talking. the military is maneuvering on this storm. everybody will do everything they can. remember in the first quarter of this fight we're going to lose. mother nature is going to win. it's going to break stuff, it's
going to kill people. it's going to be looking real ugly. we'll lose the first quarter. our score on this will be how we do in the second quarter in the search and rescue. >> yeah, well a lot to be on guard for. thank you. we'll talk to you later and no doubt tomorrow. let's check in with tom sater. to get a sense of where the storm is the track of it. really that's the bottom line for everybody who's watching. where it is, hao strong it is. land fall sdp where. >> it's interesting. we have been talking about this eye wall through an eye wall replacement cycle. it loses strength and we saw the winds drop down to 120. it just means it's urnds going reorganization and will get stronger. when it happens and you start to get the strength, now at 125. under that process the hurricane force winds extend out ward further than they typically are.
in marathon, florida now one of the producers picking up a wind gust at 71 miles per hour. that's just three miles per hour away from hurricane strength. so most likely will be a category four. there's no doubt in our minds. it's such a massive storm. coming up at 11:00 p.m. eastern time we'll get a new track. it's interesting to note that we have not lost the westerly component in the movement. surely by now we thought we would see more of a north movement because without that northerly movement we cannot pinpoint exactly where land fall will be. this is a computer model that shows the spin of the storm. i want to point a couple things out. we're going to get in closer with google earth to look at mar coisland, naples and tampa. because of the real estate in the area. everyone who is going to encounter the eye, such as this area right here and fort myers, it's not land fall until half the eye is over land. keep in mind as this makes its way north ward on each side of the eye is where the winds are
the most intense. we always talk about that north front right quadrant. however as the eye progressing north ward, maybe tampa, all the way up. you're going to encounter intense winds, coming in from the east to the west. for hours. for hours. you will hear things smashing against your home. i don't want to frighten anybody. that will happen. you'll hear the hissing of the wind through the home. you may lose power. that will go on for a long time. you'll have this eerie calmness. do not let yourself think the storm has moved out. you're in the eye. the winds become calm. if you were to look outside you may see a bunch of birds. they get caught in the eye because they are trying to keep themselves away from the winds. they'll fly for hundreds of miles trying to rest when they can inside the eye. don't let your guard down. because not only did you get hit by the east to west wind, now you have the southern end of the
eye just as intense but the winds in the other direction coming west to east. so all the telephone poles that are in the trees that are bending in one direction, several hours later will push in the other direction. so again, it can only take so much. and that's what's going to give. that's the eye making its way from south to knot across the entire peninsula. we do expect the eye to start to collapse, it's not going to be over water. we're cutting off the fuel line of the system. it's not like harvey when it was able to feed off its own rainfall. harvey moved so low it didn't need to be over water. it was feeding off the rain it dropped on the ground. it will continue to be strong over the everglades. the brown ocean effect. it doesn't need to be over water. it's sucking up the warm water from the everglades. southern georgia it will start to lose its punch and rain itself out. by the time it gets into tennessee. we're watching this eye and it's critical to see what happens come 11 with the new track.
hard to pinpoint where land fall will be. obviously we know conditions are deteriorating quickly. >> it's interesting a lot of people hear you say don't get fooled by the eye when it seems calm. that's just the eye. just quick story, before i was ever starting to covering hurricanes as a reporter, i was in a hurricane in the caribbean. at that sat around st. bart. for several days. when the eye came, i was so freaked out and just so wanting to get out of the room that i was trapped in the building i was in, i ran out and was trying to get my friends to go to the airport to see if we could get a flight out. smarter people than me informed me this is the eye, dummy. get in the house. it's about to hit again. and they were right. so people may laugh about the idea of you think you get fooled by the eye. i can tell you, i'm not very intelligent. i was fooled by the eye then. not to make that mistake again.
tom, we'll continue to check in with you. and also look for the 11:00 advisory. that will have important information. that we'll get to you obviously latest information on that. another quick break and the coverage continues. a basketball costs $14. what's team spirit worth? (cheers) what's it worth to talk to your mom? what's the value of a walk in the woods? the value of capital is to create, not just wealth, but things that matter. morgan stanley
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♪ no duh, right? [ chuckles ] sir, you forgot -- keep it. you're gonna need it when i make it precipitate. what, what? what? rain starting to fall steadily here in fort myers. not particularly strong, just probablied steadiest we have seen all day. obviously what's to come. time and time again authorities are telling people in the storm like this don't go outside, don't go to the ocean front to try to take pictures to look at the storm surge. reporters spend time out here so you can watch it on television. you don't have to go outside for yourself and do that. i want to show you a video that proves the point of the authorities. a surveillance camera of a person taking pictures of the
storm surge at the southernmost point and you saw what happened to the person. they're taking a picture and get knocked over. that person did get up and walk away. thankfully they were okay. just a sign of just how quickly stuff can happen. it can be a sunny day, here. and all of a sudden a torrential rain start. and we are likely to see more and more moments like that. unfortunately in the next 12 to 24 hours. i want to go back to john in miami. john, what kind of winds are you seeing there? we we started around 8:00 you were already getting very strong gusts of wind there. >> yeah it's consistently been like that most of the evening. i should make clear rkts i have no interest in being that guy in that video you just showed. not even if r you. and not for tv. but the wind gusts now, 40 miles per hour i would say fairly regularly. gusting higher than 50 in some locations in miami.
i think you can tell, it's strong. some of the strongest we have seen. so much that i have to lean in a little bit. you can see behind me that boat which we have been looking at all night is rocking. a lot more than we have seen. and the tide is coming up as well. in the water we can see it being pushed up against the dock. and against the boats. look, this is miami. which for much of the week was the major concern. fear that miami would take a direct hit from the eye of hurricane irma. i say a direct hit from the eye, because miami is still goipg get it hit hard. we're expecting the strongest wind to come in tomorrow starting at 6:00 a.m. much stronger than we're seeing right now. gusts that could be 30, 40 miles per hour. what we're seeing right now. which is why authorities here are saying do not take this lightly. don't think just because the eye may not pass over miami like it was feared for so much of the week that this is going to be easy going. it won't be. they're expecting a storm surge
around six feet. which would bring it up over where i'm standing in and outment they are expecting wind gusts to be strong. more than 100 miles per hour in some points. which is where there's a curfew in miami beach. there have been mandatory evasions. why the authorities are saying if you made plans in miami beach, keep them. and don't go home until they tell you it's safe. which could be from sometime based on the winds we're feeling now. >> yeah. good advice there. obviously devastated back in 2004 with hurricane charily chl talk about the scene there. >> i can tell you that irma has arrived. the first rain that we are seeing from irma has just started falling in the last few minutes. the wind is starting to kick up. it's not much more than a breeze basically with a gust every now
and again. it feels fairly nice. the rain is gently falling at the moment. but clearly it's going to get worse and worse. we have not seen this. we saw a beautiful sunset here tonight and we can see the dark clouds to the south. finally it's starting to come this way. it's interesting to watch the maps and see the storm seems to be coming directly at us. and turn very sharply south. people in pun ta gor da are watching this closely. as you mention, char lee devastat devastated this community 13 years ago. the path irma is on it's just to the west of the community. and that puts them just off the right hand side. that upper right hand side of the eye wall. people are very concerned. they are calling for a very big storm surge here. ten to 15 feet. basically a giant wave of water that comes in from the ocean and washes in, washes everything out with it. in relatively short order. they have had to evacuate about
60% of the county. they only have enough high land here for 3 shelters. all of them jam packed. saying they have five other shelters in the county north of here that residents can use. if you need shelter, go there. >> the difficulty of course is getting there. is there any public transportation tomorrow? that you know of? to get to the shelters for people who don't have access to vehicles? >> there's no public transportation that i know of. there are vehicles available. there's emergency vehicles and others that can help transport people on a one off basis to places if necessary. so they can make it happen. it's not a huge miami situation. it's a much smaller population. so it's easier to deal with the situation. so they do have ability for that. if people are in dire necessity sp show up to a shelter that's full, they will take them in in any event. if the car is out of gas, elderly or disabled. they will get in.
>> that's some good news. thanks very much. that gentle rain that he's experiencing. that's the same band that we are experiencing here. and it is pretty gentle. the height of a hurricane the rain is coming in horizonly. it feels like pinpricks. we'll take a short break and the coverage continues. what would you do if you had even more time to explore? ♪ ♪ book your next stay through the fine hotels and resorts program and enjoy a world of benefits with the platinum card. ♪ ♪ open up the world with platinum. backed by the service and security of american express. ♪ ♪
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welcome back to our continuing koj of hurricane irma. so much to be watching in the next 12 to 24 hours. alex march kwart is in sarah sew at that for us. i haven't talked to you in awhile. what's the scene there? what are you seeing around you? >> anderson, people here in sarah sew at that are keenly aware that they are right in hurricane irma's path. this is the main street in downtown. one of the most popular beach towns in america and it is absolutely a ghost town. we have seen a handful of vehicles driving around tonight, but by and large there are very
far people out and about. now, the businesses up and down main street here are all essentially closed as we've seen all across florida. they have been boarded up. some of them choosing not to board up and then others nailing and screwing siding like this into the shop so that once the debris starts flying, they don't get damaged. they are expecting 6 to 10 foot storm surges out on the coast. anything over six feet could result in severe flooding. they have closed off those barrier islands. there's a mandatory evacuation order. and we are told that people are heeding this order. they are heading to the shelters. there are some ten -- excuse me, anderson. some ten shelters open in sarah sew at that county. three of them are at full capacity. there are 14,000 people in those shelters. we spoke with the city executive, the city manager, tom bar win, earlier in the day. he said that he is at peace with their preparations, that they have done everything they can,
but that he is mentally and physically preparing himself for what will lie in the wake of irma. take a listen. >> well, i think those of us that drive around and are preparing to respond to the emergency are wondering what our town, our community, our state will look like come tuesday morning. how many branches will be down, how many wires will be down, will cars be moved with the water, will we have boats that have come off of their moorings and come into shore. we're thinking about it, preparing for it. we hope we don't see it, but, you know, we've got a lot of dedicated public employees here who are ready to respond with whatever irma throws at us. >> just hope for the best. >> hoping and praying is really all they can do tonight. the message they are telling people out here is wherever you plan to ride out this storm, you should be there right now. anderson. >> yeah. good advice. alex, i appreciate that. thanks very much. dan summers is joining us from the authorities in collier
county. dan, if you could just explain the situation with the shelters in collier county. how many people, if you know, are already in shelters or is there still room at some shelters? >> there is still room, anderson, in a couple of our shelters right now. the flow to the shelters has really come down to a trickle, and that's not something we have expected throughout the day. so we have about 17,000 people in shelters, about 300 in special needs shelter and we do have some space at several locations. a lot of these shelters came open as sort of ad hoc, very quickly. the community our collier county district schools went above and beyond to open additional locations. and then obviously a lot of people got there right at the same time as our staff did, but the community came together. the district schools, the county government employees and our response agencies and everybody
is pretty settled in pretty well tonight. >> yeah. obviously, you know, a lot of people woke up, they didn't expect the storm to be hitting along the west coast in the way that it's going to and changed their mind about riding out the storm. decided to seek shelter. you know, the governor put out an appeal for as many as a thousand volunteer nursesic particularly to help out in special needs shelters. dune if you have enough personnel, particularly in those special needs shelters to help all those people who need assistance? >> well, we're doing pretty well. we have them in and settled. we have spent a lot of time in our shelter making sure that we have all times of equipment and resources available to them. we're using a lot of our collier county ems paramedics, some of our local fire paramedics, nurses, volunteers and the state of florida has been bringing some skilled nursing groups from out of state. so we're doing pretty well. obviously we've got another day
or to ahead of us. we'll be working to try to rotate those personnel through. but our special needs shelter is very robust, although we weren't expecting the census that we have, but we're working to accommodate that. >> and for those who waning up in the morning in your county and decide, you know what? i don't like the way the storm is surge going to be, it's worse than i thought it's going to be and decide to try to go to shelter, a, how do they find out what shelters are still open and able to receive people and do you have any advice for people who don't have access to a vehicle in terms of how they could possibly get to a shelter, because i know a lot of obviously the public transportation has stopped for a variety of reasons late this afternoon? >> well, we do have a telephone hotline, a number that people can call, and we are looking at some alternative resources. and we may have some periods tomorrow where we can do some bus pick ups.
we'll certainly work with the community, find some additional resources. we really think that the bulk of the folks that wanted to be in a shelter are squared away there tonight. so we'll continue to look at resources. we have the entire emergency operation center up with a lot of options and a lot of resources. so we'll do our very best to support those needs. >> i appreciate all your efforts. thanks very much. stay safe. we're going to take a short break as our coverage from fort myers and all across florida tonight continues. xpress, we can't guarantee that you'll be able to contain yourself at our breakfast bar. morning, egg white omelet. sup lady bacon! fruit, there it is! but we can guarantee that you'll get the best price when you book with us. holiday inn express. be the readiest. you push yourself every day... tempur-pedic helps you recover every night. tempur material provides up to twice as much pressure relieving power... so you won't toss and turn. through september 17th, save up to $500 on select adjustable sets.
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