tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC September 8, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
whether or not that is a good decision, you're going to have to wait and see. the fire department says if you're not out now, get out. no other option. >> i think the phrase in real estate is ageing in place. i can understand stubborn behavior. i'm one of those. thank you, jacob. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. chris hayes picks up coverage right now. good evening from miami beach. i'm chris hayes. we come to you live from south florida which in about 36 hours is when irma is expecteded to make landfall as one of the most powerful storms the to hit the united states. we've been covering this region going back more than a year. reporting on in miami areas you neek of vulnerability to extreme weather in the area of climate change. today, we've been talking to residents, official, ablgt how they're preparing. we'll be here through the weekend rorying on the response
to the storm. right now, irma is heading this way after a devastating path destruction in the caribbean. it's weakened slightly for the time being down to a category 4, irma's impact could be nothing short of catastrophic. today, tens of thousands scrambled to seek shelter or evacuate before the first effects were felt here starting tomorrow. facing down fuel shortages, bumper to bumper traffic to get to higher ground. earlier today, rick scott warned all 21 million of the state's residents may be at risk. >> today is the day to to do th right thing for your family and get to safety. this storm is wider than our entire state. think about that. it's wider than our spire state. remember hurricane andrew was one of the worst storms in the history of our state.
irma is more de stating on its current path. you should be aggressive to protect your family. possessioning can be replaced. your life and family cannot. >> let's go to bill karins for the latest. what's it looking like? >> just as serious, but we shifted from last night. we were thinking worse case areas from miami to ft. lauderdale, now, to the west coast. took b about 20 to 30 mile shift to have all the world of a difference for our friends in the naples, marco island area and into ft. myers. that's the area we'll be talking about tomorrow for the potential for the worst destruction. look at the eye of the storm. we wered in on it as it was approaching. getting closer at sunset here to the cuba coastline. amazing how strong this storm has remained. it's a strong category 4, but just five miles an hour more, it would be a category 5.
it just swallows up most of cuba in the last five or six hours. torrential rains in cuba and the eye is very close to the north shore now. that's going to be one of the keys to this forecast. how close does the storm get to cuba? does it make landfall in cuba and also, does it weaken over cuba? that's the sliver of hope i can give everyone in south florida. 155 mile p per hour winds. still moves to the west at 12 miles per hour, so if it continues west, makes landfall in cuba frk we get a norther compone component, it can maintain strength better. this was the 5:00 a.m. update. next big update, 11:00 this evening, we'll get a new path. here's cuba. here's the coastline. the red line is where they figure the center of storm will be. the wiggle room here is that cone of uncertain thety. so it easily could be in cuba tonight in a weaker storm or off the coast and remaining a very strong potent category 4 or 5.
the forecast update at 5:00 takes it from a 4, strengthens it over the warm waet r es. this is key west, key largo. this would be over the top of marath marathon. the worst to be to the right. you wonder if the highway here would be still usable by the time it's done with a cat 5. this would be through sunday at 6:00 a.m. in the morning. and then we take the storm northwards, still in the cone, miami and areas here, around homestead, but we're barely in cone. really starting to focus more now across alligator alley, marco island, naples, then further up the coast into ft. myers. this would be a cat 4 and it's 2:00 p.m. sunday. then the storm slowly weakens for about 24 hours until we get to about monday at 2:00 p.m. the two things that are going to cause the most damage, destruction and heart attack ache are the storm surge and winds. not as concerns with the rainfall and flooding. florida has sandy soil and will soak that up, so it's going to be a totally different type
storm than in texas with harvey. this storm surge of 12 feet is where we get a a ton of destruction, water in homes, the potential for structures to be washed away on the coast in capty vaa and naples to sable back down through the keys. and here's the wind field. this is going to make the storm so different. even if you avoid the eye, you will see the storm, how huge, this red is the hurricane force winds from miami to naples up the peninsula. no one's going to avoid the hurricane force winds, but it's the eye chris that i'm most krped with. naples area, ft. myers, get out now while you can. >> all right, big karins, thank you for that. al roker is of course coanchor of the "today" show. here's here with me. i was talking to folks today, as the storm track was uptated to wiggle to the west, there was a little relief around these parts. the problem is just how enormous this storm is. >> right and i wouldn't focus on where the eye is.
i, if you look at the, what we call the cone of uncertainty, anything within that cone is fair game at this point. so, we are talking about a a wide swath and it's going to be moving up the spine of florida for almost 24 hours. >> someone was talking to me about the difference between andrew and this. this is moving slower than andrew. >> moving slower and andrew went from east to west. cleared of the state in about four or five hours. this is going to be a 24-hour plus event. going up the coast. >> it's going to be able to sustain hurricane force we think through that entire duration. >> probably up to the georgia florida border. and again, we've seen this wobble. for those living here in miami, oh, this is great, going to be further west i. may wobble back again and even if it doesn't, this part of florida is on the northeastern quadrant of the storm.
which is the strongest, so even though it may not be a direct landfall, the potential results can be pretty devastating. >> i was talking to scientists today who was talking about how much very small changes can matter for things like storm surge, for wind damage in terms of which side of the storm you're on, if you're getting the dirty side, the strongest hit or on the sort of clean side. so, even small -- going through are going to have big effects on the ground. >> absolutely and because this has slowed up and as bill showed, it looks like it will pop back up to a category 5 because the water temperature just offshore is about 87, 88 degrees. it's been very warm here, so you are going to see the, basically, these things feed off the warm water. that's the energy source. >> around what time do we think you'll start to feel the effects here in florida? what's the duration for when people can -- >> i think we're going the start feeling this overnight and then we're going start getting these feeder bands starring tomorrow
morning and it's just going to start deteriorating and the other thing i'm concerned about originally looked like this was going to come onshore about 8:00 a.m. high tide is around noon. now, it's slowed up and landfall here in the main part of florida may be around 12:00 noon. >> that makes a big difference. >> because when ever you get storm surge wise, that's on top of the high tide. >> in sandy, one of the things that made sandy so catastrophic, it just happened to hit at high tide. >> this right now is people oh, we rode out andrew. this is not andrew. this is worse. it has the potential to be worse than andrew. and for people to say, well, i did it before. prior performance does not predict future earnings. so, do not go on what has been in the past because you haven't been through anything like this. >> as it moves forward, presumably, the storm will get
weaker, right? as the it's on that land. the wind should decline. so the folks in the northern state aren't going to be seeing the same force. >> they won't get the surge or same wind forces, but there will be fairly significant. we'll be talking probably 50 to 75 mile per hour winds further north. and you're going to get torrential rain. so, you know, the thing people really need to focus on is the storm surge because that's where most of the deaths occur. 90% of deaths in hurricanes are in the storm surge. >> why is that? >> because it's literally a wall of water and comes fast with debris, with all sorts of stuff in it and people aren't ready for it. people do not realize, if you haven't been through anything like this, the power of water. water finds a way and nothing is going to stop it. >> what do you think the, sounds like you think the best thing for people to do is get out of here. >> absolutely, absolutely. >> if folks are here, right, what should they be doing?
leaving. >> yeah. this is, this is not something to trifle with. you know, because look, first responders can't be coming in after you. things are going to -- right now in the keys, they're telling, the national weather service said three things. get out. if you don't get out, you're probably going to die. and the keys will be changed probably forever. >> al roker, thanks. >> thank you. >> all right, we also have now florida senator bill nelson who joins me by phone and senator, how prepared is is florida for what's about to hit? >> well, florida is prepared. this is quite a bit different from 25 years ago. when hurricane andrew hit. now, there is cooperation between all levels of government, there wasn't back then. the building codes are much tighter. there was basically no building
codes and that's why homestead under hurricane andrew was flattened. but let me up the anteju just a little bit of what al just told you. over the last 24 hours, we have seen a westward drift. if it were to drift out into the gulf of mexico, and go up the west coast of florida, all that water wall would be driven up into things like charlotte bay. and especially tampa bay. if it stayed off of shore. if that's where the course happens in the next 24 hours. and so, the bottom line is where ever it is, it's a monstrous and very dangerous storm. >> senator, have you been personally in contact, i imagine you've been talking to the governor, with the fema director or president? >> all of the above.
senator rubio and i were together in miami last wednesday. i went back to help pass the fema bill and as you know, we got it up to $15 billion, which we passed in the senate yesterday and i call it back, so i've been on the east coast emergency operation centers today. i will be because of the westward drift, i'll be over on the west coast of florida tomorrow. >> senator, thank you for your time tonight. >> thanks. >> nbc news correspondent rehema ellis joins me live from the bahamas. we've seen some awful images of destruction. what are reports like for those islands that have already seen the effects of irma? >> one of the things that people are thinking about is the effects that have occurred to some of those other islands. that's why when we feel these
winds picking up here in nassau, people say they better batten down the hatches. barbuda, 90% of the island is gone. destroyed, flattened. buildings have been decimated. when you look at the turks and caicos, they had extreme damage. cars understood wa water, crush. st. martin, tremendous damage. st. john, people are wondering if they'll be able to get themselves back to what they considered to be normal. we had people helping people. one of the folks we talk ed to today, aist guide. he turned that boat into a rescue operation in order to bring some 200 to 300 people into safer territory. in the area of st. john, so, all of that has got people really afraid here. the hurricane hit the southern bahamas this morning and there's
a whole lot of concern. authorities here say they feel it's going to be so devastating, the people who were evacuated from there may not have anything to go back to and even on the island of anagua, that's where some will recognize one of the largest population of flamingos, people go there to see that natural wonder of wildlife, we're wondering what that's going to look like after the storm is over. up here, it may not hit as hard, but they're really concerned about the surge. they say it could be up to 20 feet. single one story house is ten feet. so, double that. that's a wall of water that could wash over everything and that is life threatening and this storm chris has already been deadly. we're talking about 17 people have been killed. and they don't know what they find, what they're going to find when they continue with their investigations after this storm has passed. chris. >> all right, rehema ellis, thank you very much for that.
as we learned when all in traveled to miami last year, this city floods a lot even when it's not raining, due in part to sea level rise and because the sfi is built on porous limestone, which allows water to come up through the ground and through the streets. perhaps nowhere is more vulnerable to hushlgs thes than beach. the city has seen absolutely explosive growth over a century. the image on the left shows how sparsely miami beach was populated back when it was first built. compare that to today when luxury hotels and high-rises are packed tightly together up and down the beach. i'm joined by the mayor of miami beach as well as former miami herald report er. has kored numerous hurricanes here in florida. we have folks here in south beach this evening. >> absolutely. >> a lot of people with their phones out getting a last look. how, when you look at a map and we've talked before about the
susceptibility the flooding, it looks like this could be rather bad for south beach. >> no question about it. it's a very severe hurricane. we are a barrier island, we are low lying. very concerned about a tidal surge as well as the strong winds. whether it hits directly, this thing is a monster. it will cover all of florida and definitely south florida. >> you've been through a number of hurricanes and covered them as a reporter and katrina as well in louisiana. you know, this sort of psychology about to stay or to go is a complicated one. people outside watching this are saying why is anyone staying? people with pets, homes or people don't have money or weren't age able to get bas d there's a lot of reasons people stay. >> what's weird about irma is that normally, you have a good idea of like oh, it's going to go in the south. i can go to the north. it's going to go east, i can go west. here, irma's path was always right up the state's center. so, we're essentially, florida
is one big disaster cone right now. and folks knew that and kind of were paralyzed as to which direction to go. >> you're from key west. >> i am. >> so the warnings from key west sound well nigh apock liptic. you have family there? >> my mother and step dad are stay l. i hope they're watching and they don't because i've asked them to evacuate. >> and they live there. >> they live there and one of the projected paths has this hurricane going right through marathon, which is where the seven mile bridge is is. if this is a category 5 storm and if it hits the seven mile bridge, i wonder if that bridge can handle it. >> what is the biggest risk here? is it, i imagine the building code here are rather strong. probably ruthlessly enforced i would imagine thankfully. is it storm surge in is that the thing that most concerns you? >> it's really a combination. storm surge with a big concern and the wind damage, but making sure our residents have left.
we have another hour or two to go then the window is kind of closing for them to get on the buses and go to a shelt ner the mainland. i went to visit homeless folks today and seniors. i met anna. 92 years old in a senior center i said you need to go. she said, mayor, i'm not going. i want to stay here. i have my water, i can't go. i pleaded with her. she wouldn't go. i said, anna, here's my cell phone number. call me if you have a problem. she turned to me and said mayor, here's my cell phone number. you call me if you have a problem. that's what we're dealing with. >> there's ap alert that i think the city of miami proper had sort of used kind of emergency power from mandatory sheltering of homeless folks essentially against their will. do you have enough room and safe space for anyone that needs shelter and wasn't able to get out? >> all our shelters around, there is room and they're opening up more. but what's going to happen is that at a certain point as these
winds pick up yuan the hurricane begins, our first responders aren't going to be out there. there will be no public service available because we can't endanger their lives during this storm. >> florida is entirely constructed through a series of amazing engineering feats. from what they did in the swamps and everglades to what's been done here to the islands dredged out of the water just a few miles over there. that this, there's a, it has a future in the era that we're entering. >> well, that's a good question. we're surrounded by water and as you referenced before, water comes up out of the earth when the tides come in. and with sea level rise, whether you want to admit global warming is happening or not, miami beach show that is the seas are rising and it seems like ast a certain point, the real estate market here might have to give. especially the if our water well fields are poisoned. the mayor and i have had a
number of of debates about whether we're doomed or not. >> you have been an advocate for a dapation to the fact that we should clear, sea level rise is caused primarily by climate change, though not exclusively, that you can adapt here. this is a place that was almost levelled right after it sort of first boomeded. i think it was '26, the hurricane took out much of it and it came back. >> miami beach has a history of resilience. we've been raising in roads, putting in pumps. in areas that used to be understood water are dry. we're going to do this to our city. we're spending $500 million to do it. people say what happens in 50 years? i believe in innovation. the same way you're having a satellite direct feed on this show you couldn't imagine 50 years ago, you can't imagine what they'll do to make cities resilient. >> pretty fatalist about it. it's just difficult to see how if the oceans wind up in our living rooms, how this society that we've constructed currently can handle that sort of pressure
and stress. >> you've got 7 million people here. one of the things that's interesting to me is that it seems at an operational looeeve like lessons have been learned from previous. i'm crossing my fingers here. andrew really was a disaster in a lot of ways. lodgistically. organizationally. are you confident that everything is in place from the state and local federal level? zpl no question. i can tell you from a miami beach perspective, one of the most important thing we have done is communicate with our residents and visitors. doing the preventative things. giving them sandbags. pruning the trees. shutting down construction sites. putting in portable generators and pumps. once again, you can't hold back a massive storm like this. we're doing the best we can and i believe we'll be able to with stand it. >> mark's parents, if you're watching, give it a thought, all
right. be safe. >> thank you. >> we have much more live from miami as the state braces for irma and a look at the devastation irma has left including an interview with congresswoman layton. >> we're slowly trying to get our party to understand that this is happening. but some people say oh, you know, climate change is weather. we've always had different weather an we've always had hurricanes. it's not about that. it's about the sea level is is actually rising. and it's going to wipe away miami beach literally. it really is. copd makes it hard to breathe. so to breathe better, i go with anoro. ♪go your own way copd tries to say, "go this way." i say, "i'll go my own way" with anoro. ♪go your own way once-daily anoro contains two medicines called bronchodilators, that work together to significantly improve
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control lines at this home depot. one man about to buy the last generator at the store giving it up to a woman for her sick father's medical needs. >> an angel from god is what he is. >> kerry sanders reporting. what did you see today? >> well, chris, i saw a lot of desperation, especially among the people who decided for whatever reason that they could not leave heading north. so many people, maybe a million, have made their way north from orlando to atlanta to north carolina. but so many others didn't have the where with all or procrastinators who stayed back and they began going to the shelters today. there was some desperation of those getting to the shelters. especially when they got to some and discovered there were more people than space and they would have to go to another shelter, just moving around from one to the other, inclueing people who are tourists and very hard to be in a city maybe in a language you don't speak and having to find your way in this
i spent the day here in miami talking to residents and experts about what they expect when irma makes landfall here. one of the people i talked to was a mayor of self, miami. a scientist and biology professor, who was appointed by the white house in 2015 to develop national policy for sea level rise. i asked first about the risk to miami of the storm surge from irma. >> storm surge is kind of new for miami. we've never really had to think about storm surge for the entire city. when andrew came, there was 16, 17 feet of water. people that had evacuated, but the water came over the tops of their houses, so this is a real concern. not just something arbitrary. what's happened is now, they've given an evacuation order for a huge swath of residential miami-dade county. so it came out of the blue from our perspective. i looked at the maps the national hurricane center produceded and i took an extract of those, overlaid the street
grid and sent to my residents so they could see who was in a threat and who was on high ground and les of a concern. we want the right people to evacuate. you want u people in low areas to take it seriously and people in high areas who can make due, they shouldn't be clogging the emergency shelters. the. >> the map shows south beach and those areas along the water. really exposed. interestingly, exposed from the bay side because of the push of water that comes in. zpl they can get it coming and going. so if the winds sweep around from the east, they'll push a big boll louse of water up from the atlantic side. if the winds are pushing from the side, they'll work like a funnel and shovel water up biscayne bay that will flood out east and to the west. so miami beach could get it from either direction. >> reason we were here talking before, this is an area very exposed to climate change and lot of that has to do with sea level rise, so that water is sitting at a higher elevation than otherwise. >> a little bit.
we've got, we've seen roughly a foot of sea level rise. in the past few year, we've had a lot of sea level rise. it's not uniform over the planet. every place except the far north gets more sea level rise than the rest of the planet does in the u.s. and miami has seen more than most places have. >> what is your sort of best case and worst case scenario here? >> best case. is that well for us, the farther west it goes. then it goes over naples. we'd like to see it turn up into the gulf of mexico and spin and die there. that would be the best thing. we've seen storms do that before. the other thing that wouldn't be bad from our perspective, is it could take a hard turn and spin off into the atlantic and leave us alone entirely. >> i've been talking to folks and there's a kind of we've ben storms before.
if you watch the news or watching this from outside, it looks apocalypse. i'll stay on the top floor. it's sort of hard, people who have been through a lot of storms, to communicate urgency. >> you're talking to the people who stayed. good point. their house was levelled by andrew, nothing left. the walls were gone. they got the heck out of dodge. she left and took them 13 hours to make a five-hour drive because of the traffic and everybody else has had similar experiences getting out. >> as we were looking out of the map, the storm surge, the area in brightest red, the place most exposed to storm surge has a nuclear facility on it. >> that's turkey point. it did not get the full storm surge from andrew.
it got five feet. i've been on site and i am concerned about what happens if you were to get nine or ten feet of water across that place or 15 feet of water. could be a serious problem. you need the back up power to stay up. in order to keep the fuel rods cool. that's what happened in fukushima. the thing melted down and so the thing we most fear is losing back up power at turkey point. >> coming up next, the director of the national hurricane center of the latest projections of irma's path and whether it could regain category 5 strength. don't go anywhere. ♪ endless shrimp is back at red lobster and we went all out to bring you even more incredible shrimp and new flavors like new nashville hot shrimp drizzled with sweet amber honey, and new grilled mediterranean shrimp finished with a savory blend of green onions, tomatoes, and herbs. feeling hungry yet? good, cuz there's plenty more where these came from.
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hurricane irma is moving over the north coast of cuba. mainland florida is bracing itself with the eye approaching on sunday although its exact path remains unknown. ed rapoport has the latest on where irma is headed next and we were talking earlier, ed, about it sort of moving a little westward. what's the latest now? >> to that the forecast, the center of the hurricane is forecast to turn to the north as it gets near the florida peninsula. don't know whether the center will be more towards the east or west coast. that will make a big difference because one of the coasts is going to get category 3 or 4 while the other, 1 or 2.
just don't know which way it's going to turn out yet. depends on the details of this track. >> how can you explain to folks how it is that you are able to collect the data you need and model it to get ever more accurate predictions of f the storm track? >> welsh that's the wonders of science. in the past 25 to 30 years, the advances in meteorology. only a third of what they were 30 years ago in terms of the error and track. so much smaller and we're making progress on intensity forecasting as well. >> one of the things that forecasters have been saying is that it will likely regenerate up to a category 5 as it moves off north off cuba, that depends on how much land of cuba it hits. is that right? >> it does, but we're only five
miles per hour short of category 5. there's not much difference. the big picture, it's the same that florida first florida keys is going to be hit by potentially devastating hurricane and we're very concerned first for the keys for storm surge and then for the peninsula for storm surge along the coast then very strong winds and flooding rains coming ashore later on saturday and into sunday. >> all right, ed at the national hurricane center. thanks for making time tonight. >> thank you. >> next, why 90 house republicans voted against the $15 billion disaster relief aid as florida prepares for hurricane irma. republican fracture after this break.
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billion relief back percentage today. it sought 90 no votes from republicans who b objected to that surprise deal the president struck with democrats. tieing the hurricane funding to government funding more broadly and the debt ceiling being raised as well. i went to republican congresswoman ross late nen's home to talk about preparing for hurricane irma. how are you and your constituents feeling about the storm? >> everybody's so anxious. like mel brooks. high anxiety. >> are people stressing? i've talked to a fair amount, oh, we were here for andrew, it will be fine. >> i think when they talk to me, maybe i stress them out. i don't know. but they're just for anxious. they watch tv and they, they're just thinking it's doomsday and if they've prepared, which is what our message has been, everybody's been on the same page. we were here for andrew and let me tell you, this was chaos. chaos during the storm.
and horrible disaster post andrew. no coordination between agencies or levels of government. this is not happening this time. >> you think lessons have been learned. >> absolutely. first of all, building and construction codes and shelters and how to get to shelters, everybody's been preparing and after we saw what happened in houston, people got the message. >> people are talking about the scope of damage here. because that path is going up right the entirety of the state. >> it's a big one. >> today, they passed the harvey, you were here. at home, but you know, it was striking to me they got 90 no votes on that bill. >> but however -- the first allotment, i think maybe three people voted against it, but when they put the debt limit hike, just a three month extension and cr for three
months, then the fiscal conservatives, those were the 90. but it was not because of hurricane funding. >> that i agree with, i guess i wonder, like what do you think about when you think about the ree reliability of a governing coalition in this congress. >> we need to prove it. it's up to us. my gosh, if we haven't figured it out by now, we need to build a governing coalition. we need to rely on democrats. there's nothing wrong with that. i don't know when they became a dirty deal, to talk to people from the other side of the aisle. >> you're retiring. >> retiring, but after 29 years. >> not saying you're retiring early. just state iing a fact that youe retiring and that you saw yesterday charlie -- >> charlie from washington state, all members of the tuesday group, the moderates, the governing coalition.
>> why do you think that is? >> we see good ideas coming from anyone. whether you're a democrat or are republican. >> why are those folks retiring? is it just frustration? >> it's not why i'm retiring. he said that this fraus tradition takes fun out of dysfunction. so, i think they're a little bit tired with the trump administration and having to do common sense governing. it's time for young bloods to come in and we've got great candidates running. >> this is an area that has shown to be unique lly yul ners to climate change. miami-dade is only within ten feet. do you feel confident the federal government is doing what it can when you have someone like scott pruitt who questions
the science of its, the president. we're planning properly so this area can be sustaining and thriving into the future. >> we have good examples of what can be done. the mayor of o michl beach, maybe it's not perfect -- >> floods a lot. >> some of the tricks are worked and some have not. but he's trying and the it's going save his city, constitu t constituents in the long run, their pocketbook. so our party needs to por get about who caused climate change and all that nonsense and just say look, this is real. sea level rise is science. this is not somebody's opinion. it's guided by science. >> do you ever say that to your colleagues, this is a real thing. >> there are many of us who believe that and we're slowly trying to get our party to understand that this is happening. but some people say oh, you know, climate change is weather. we've always had different weather and had hurricanes. it's not about that. it's about the sea level is
actually rising and it's going to wipe away miami beach literally. not figuratively. it really is. we spend a lot of money on beach renourishment, millions of dollars that we all fight with the u.s. army corps of engineers to get that sand. we need to do a better development, better plan and zoning and once we built it and it was a mistake, we need to deal with that reality. >> that was my conversation earlier in miami with the congresswoman. proud graduate of the u as you can see. ahead, the destructive forces of a category 4 storm and the sheer power of the winds that can cause widespread devastation. stick around. you owned your car for four years. you named it brad. you loved brad. and then you totaled him. you two had been through everything together. two boyfriends, three jobs... you're like nothing can replace brad.
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miami ahead of irma's landfall. up the coast, we have jill on the beach where the winds are picking up. what's the scene there? >> well, the winds are picking up. it smells and feels like a storm. the sand is coming across the aia here in ft. laud erdale. it's a weekend night here and usually, this place is packeded. what you've got instead is a boarded up entire walkway. all of the bars and restaurants have closed. we are expecting a major economic impact here in the millions of collars we know here in florida, about 1.2 million people are employed directly or partially by tourism and the storm surge that's coming in is likely to destroy a lot of this area. we're in the mandatory evacuation zone and a lot of these owners have heeded that. sent the tourists and customers home. they are boarding up, putting down sandbags get iting ready f a very bad day tomorrow. chris.
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we have an associate professor ae university of albany and kevin trenbirth at the national center for atmospheric research, they join me now. what are the factors that allow this storm to stay this big this long? >> well, storms that are this intense go through a number of cycles in their intensity and every time it goes through one of these cycles the storm gets larger and larger. since irma has been at such a high intensity for such a long period of time it's gone through about six of these cycles and allowed it to grow bigger and bigger each time. >> professor, there's a sort of sense i've been encountering
where people look at that map and it shows three active hurricanes. you have katya, of course irma and jose posing a significant risk for those leeward islands that already got hit. people feel like is this the end of days, climate change, a freak occurrence, why is this happening? >> certainly climate change is playing a role because the oceans are a lot warmer. when there's warmer ocean, there's more energy, more activity, this means that we expect that the storms will be more intense. they are bigger in size, and they last longer as a result. there may be fewer of them overall because one big storm can actually replace four smaller storms, but when we have these active periods when tand s the sort of thing we expect to see. and it has consequences. >> doctor, how do hurricanes
form and where do they form and how do they form? >> so generally in the atlantic they form off the coast of africa from disturbances, thunderstorm complexes that move off the coast of africa. irma is one of these cases, it developed off the coast of africa and was able to develop and stay very strong because of the environmental conditions around it. the atmosphere was very moist. the winds above it were pretty weak. it had a good environment in which to intensify and traverse the atlantic. >> professor, do you think that we are -- one of the things that happened with harvey was it almost sort of exceeded or neared the theoretical limit, what meteorologist and climateologists have predicted for the amount of water that it could hold, it bumping up our records. this hurricane has already set records in terms of maximum sustained wind for a period of time. are we going to see more records set?
>> oh, we're already seeing records set, but, yes, this is going to set some more records. one of the consequences of harvey was the heavy precipitation over very large areas, more than 30 inches of rain up to 50 in some spots. with this storm there's likely to be over ten inches of rain. that hasn't been talked about a great deal. once it's gone through florida, some of the heavy rain and flooding will extend well away from the coast. although the biggest threat is certainly to the coast and the storm surge and the high sea levels, the heavy rainfall is a threat with this storm as well. >> kristen, kevin, thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you. that is all in for this evening. the crew and us, we're going to stay here in miami, although not in south beach because that could not be a good idea. i'll be back hosting on sunday
night at 9:00 p.m. eastern. at that point irma will hopefully moved up past south florida. it will be part of our special weekend coverage. i will see you then. rachel maddow continues tonight. good evening. >> good evening, chris. i'm happy that you're down there and i'm happy that you're getting to a smarter place soon. >> we're going inland. >> well done. thanks for joining us this hour. one of the largest hurricanes ever recorded in the atlantic ocean is about to make landfall in the mainland of the united states. that story obviously clearly takes center stage for us tonight. we're going to have intensive coverage in terms of what's expected overnight for irma tonight and into tomorrow morning. we've also got a remarkable story about what it left behind in the caribbean with some footage that you have not seen anywhere else from some of the islands that took it hardest. i'm tell you we've got a few other stories on our radar. interesting developments today