tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC September 8, 2017 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
and a very good morning or evening to you. i'm richard lui in new york city at msnbc world headquarters. 2:00 a.m. in the east, 11:00 p.m. in the west. you're watching special coverage of hurricane irma on this day. the storm roaring past the bahamas and cuba, as it takes aim at florida. once again as a category 5 there. all this while florida braces for what lies ahead to the next 48 hours. tough 48 hours. and survivors in the caribbean are adding up the damage left behind. the number is big. at this hour, hurricane irma is barreling down on cuba as a
category 5 storm, with ferocious 160-mile-an-hour winds. the massive storm's path shifted west as it regained some strength, now charting a course expected to churn through the florida keys, before hitting naples, ft. myers and florida's east coast expected to be batters by this storm, the size of texas almost. the big question is how the storm's path through cuba may impact its course and whether the storm will weaken at all before reaching the keys. florida's governor is urging those on the state's west coast to be prepared to head to a local shelter if they do not evacuate by noon local time, saying not following evacuation orders could cost you your life. 23 people have died so far in connection with the storm that left parts of the caribbean completely devastated. you're looking at images from st. martin where the storm left much of the island flat.
nbc's phillip mena has more on the final preparations there. you're there at one of the gas stations. there's also the preparations. what are some of the stories you're hearing there? >> reporter: yeah. we came to this particular station, richard, because on our gas buddy app, it said this is one of the few in this entire area that actually had gas. and then not long after we showed up here, we saw an employee come out here and say the gas pumps were now closed. this is one of the last places people had a chance to get some gas if they wanted to and head out of town. but that window of opportunity is closing very quickly. this has not been very active. only woblonce every 10, 15 minu. we see a few cars roll by here and they keep it moving. but there have been a few str straglers that have come in with
a few supplies. we spoke to somebody who has decided to stay and here's what he had to say. take a listen. >> my friends said they had a place to go, and we got there and it wasn't a place. so i called my boss and he has a three-story apartment over here, so he let me stay over there. so i'm going to grab what i can grab. >> reporter: it's hard to find anything at this hour. >> i've been all over the place. this is the only place open. >> reporter: what did you need to get? >> sandwiches and things like that in case the water goes out. i've got plenty of water. just enough to keep me going for a couple of days. >> reporter: that's what anybody can really hope for at this time, just whatever you can grab to keep you fed for at least a few more days. this particular 7-eleven, they are going to be opened until noon today and they'll close up shop. this is one of the only places
that are hope. we went to a couple of different walmarts. we went to public supermarket, which those are one of the last places to stay open. they closed in the afternoon. and they are not going to reopen until this storm passes. even when we did go inside, there were only a few single bottles of water left. all the cases on the shelves, including the bread, completely gone. so it's slim pickings at this point, as hurricane irma approaches south florida. richard? >> phillip, as you know in covering these stories, when is the next truck going to arrive? we understand that some of the freeways and the thoroughfares were kept open for the purpose of allowing supply trucks to keep on making it to these distant areas where gas is needed. did the owner or the worker there indicate when they might be getting more gas? >> reporter: they did not. i talked to them earlier and they were one of the last to say open because they had one of the
latest shipments, which was earlier today. at this point, those shipments have stopped and everybody is hunkered down and there's no more gas, at least in this area here. >> what's the tone? you had that great interview with that one gentleman. he seemed a little concerned but not too concerned. when you don't have gas, you turn on the lights. the light turns on. you go to a gas station and you get gas. and now the stations don't have gas. are they a little worried? >> reporter: at this point, the people that wanted to leave are most likely gone. the ones that are coming here that are looking for supplies, they made the decision that they're going to ride out the form here in south florida and they're not going anywhere. even talking to people who have been here, lived here and are used to these sort of storms have not seen anything this size or strength. so that's obviously causing a bit of concern. as the winds pick up, it's not raining right now, but the winds
are picking up. as that starts to intensify, that concern is only going to grow. >> yeah, yeah. we can see the trees behind you moving as the wind picks up there. phillip mena, we'll be touching base with you throughout the morning and evening. phillip really sort of, you know, characterizing the situation there that's happening. according to gas buddy, there's only 186 gas stations out of 7,000 in that state. that's 3% that have gas right now, if gasbuddy.com is correct. bonnie, as this storm gets closer, folks are buying more gas. they need it for their generators. >> if they can find a generators. >> we heard that one gentleman there saying, i just need enough for two days is. that enough? >> i always say you need three to seven days advisable food and
water for every person in your family. i talk a lot about disaster preparedness in my book. but let's take a look at where the storm is right now. 270 miles south-southeast of miami, florida. this just came in moments ago at 2:00 a.m. so the storm is closer to miami, but the winds are still strong, category 5, 160 miles per hour. and the center of the storm, the eye is working its way along the northern tier of cuba right now. let's look at the track. if you're just joining us now, things have changed in the past 24 hours. most of the models were pointing to the east, now everything shifted to the west. why did that happen? the ridge of high pressure that was in the atlantic hwas a litte stronger, so it kept that move to the west longer. so we're waiting for that turn. eventually landfall is expected along the florida keys, potentially along the west coast of florida. keep in mind the cone of uncertainty is pretty wide.
so there is room for error there as we get closer. by monday, the storm is further inland but strong at 60 miles per hour. let's look at those computer models. we've been talking about them throughout the week. when we see these lines, there's a greater consensus. so we all are concern that turn is going to occur on saturday, and take the storm to the north. but notice the models. there's a little more despaispa towards ft. myers. but most of them are leaning to the west. this is a really interesting graphic, because we talked about how large the storm is, the eye itself is 35 nautical miles wide. look at the diameter of hurricane irma when you compare it to florida. even if it does makelandfa landn the west coast, we'll feel hurricane force winds in miami, west palm, naples and tampa as
well as to the north. so i want everyone to be prepared for the worst. bun of the byproducts of these storms, storm surge. and storm surge is increased more to southwest florida because of the new trek. that's when strong winds push the water towards the shoreline and cause destruction. the water builds in and it's like the oceans coming on to land. so it's a very scary situation, and that's where we're likely to see it across the florida kees and southwest florida. so it's something to take very seriously. so that's why we do have warnings posted in the southern peninsula of florida. the keys are supposed to have so much storm surge, that's why they're evacuating. and from the national weather service, they're saying for those of you still there, there is time to get out. so try to get out if you can. southwest florida, the storm surge up to 12 feet. that's shifted from what we saw
earlier today. still, those storm surge possible along the east coast. that's why people are evacuated if they're in a low-lying area. it's frightening and can be deadly. so it's a byproduct of hurricanes. >> bonnie, two questions on this. now that it's shifted, irma farther to the west, that upper right quadrant that you always say is the front edge of the hurricane, it's now exposing more land in florida then, right? because if it was farther east, that upper right quadrant would be off the coast. so is it affecting more of the state? >> that's a good point. we will still get the strong winds in tupper right quadrant. not only will we see that, which is why we're seeing hurricane winds forecasted towards the afternoon of tomorrow, but if the eyewall does interact with the west coast of florida, both coasts will see strong wind. the strongest winds are in the eyewall.
that's where we're seeing the 160-mile-per-hour winds right now. >> no matter where you go, it's not going to be good. it's slowed down to 12 miles per hour? >> yes. which isn't surprising. when you see the eye interacting with the northern portion of cuba, it slowed down. but that turn is coming. and it will turn to the north. >> the reason i asked that, is when we were talking about harvey, which was really slow, the pace of walking, that is what hurt the state of texas and louisiana so much. and in this case, you don't see that happening, even though it's slowing? >> right. it's a very different scenario. if harvey, the storm had nowhere to go. there was no feature moving it out. in this case, we have a strong feature lifting it to the north and on shore and out. it's not going to ride all the way up to new york. it will dissipate eventually. so all the computer models are
confident that turn will occur. and you mentioned the wind speed. that will likely pick up once it turns to the north, which is good news. we want this storm to exit as soon as possible. the bad news is, it's so large. even if it does move faster, it will still potentially bring a lot of flooding. >> does bigger mean slower or faster? as it picks up speed, it's picking up speed because it's warmer watter? >> if anything, the warmer water will keep it at a cat 5. but you mentioned that speed. all of that is the dynamics of what is steering the storm. if there's nothing steering the storm, it will sit there. that's what we saw with harvey. but in this case, it is getting lifted and will move to the north. so it depends on what's happening in the atmosphere at the time. >> i know i'm getting my money's worth, but jose is right behind. how far? >> jose is behind, but interestingly enough, jose is going to take a track which we
would typically -- which wish we had seen with irma turning off to the north. but it is going to come close enough to islands like barbuda, which were so devastated by irma. but we are expecting jose to turn away. but this is hurricane season. it goes through november 30th. it's an active time of year. so we can't say we're done. we could still have more after this. >> folks are saying twice the size of florida, 380 miles wide, what does that mean -- obviously we understand it's a cat 5, which is highly destructive. but the size too, how do you talk about that in meteorological spaces? >> you try to make it relatable so people understand. that's why we were able to superimpose the map of florida on there to show you how the entire wind field will extend outward over the entire state of florida. that is something to keep watch of. even if the storm tracks west, we'll feel those hurricane force
winds, because it's so large and florida itself is so small, with the width being 140 miles at its widest point. >> 5.6 million people now in that evacuation space. okay. we'll talk with you throughout the next couple of hours. thank you so much. irma has struck the caribbean, hitting police plac st. martin, a total of ten people killed. uprooted trees, damaging property remains both sides of the island. france and the netherlands are sending aid. and the u.s. and british virgin islands, eight people have died there. helicopter footage shows just how powerful irma's winds were when they struck, moving boats on land. that's always a shocking picture when you're in those situations. you can see the damage done to
ports and hotels. puerto rico really hurt. three storm related deaths. irma leaving the streets littered. the issue here, power lines, more than 60% of the homes and businesses without power. and in hurricane hojose headed way, too. officials say 90% of homes were damaged. airports and sea ports remaining closed. 17,000 people are on the island still. and in barbuda, a tiny island with a population of more than 1500, one person killed there. officials estimate 90% of the buildings on the island were destroyed. private boat owners helped the government evacwuate residents. can hurricanes the size of
irma be traced back to climate change? and we have reaction to people making last-minute evacuations, trying to get out of florida, including this man. >> in wilma, i had three feet of water. talking six to fine meet, it's time to leave. >> that's kind of the key west attitude. >> when the police leave, i leave. [ laughter ] ♪
latest report coming out of the national hurricane center. irma, category 5 storm as it brushes the coast of cuba, heading towards florida. forecasters expecting this to be near the florida keys sunday morning. they adjusted the potential track more towards the west coast of florida, as you can sort of tell in this right here. but they also warn that hurricane force winds are so wide, they could reach from coast to coast. most floridians are taking the storm seriously. good thing. >> this is my first one. i am a little scared, but not stressed, because we just got to hope for the best. >> what's the most scary is what are we going to go back to? and are we going to be able to even get back to our house? >> things can be replaced. but your life cannot be replaced. >> we didn't want to take chances because i have children.
so we decided before the rush of everybody, trying to make a mass exodus and get ahead. >> from here, we can just cross our fingers and say a prayer. >> this is a traffic camera in ocala, florida, a little east of tampa. you can see a lot of folks heading towards the camera. this sirveis i-75 north bound a folks are heading that way. it is 2:21 local time. heeding the warning, many probably because the governor says get out, or you could lose your life. and that means 5.6 million floridians leading -- some of them heeding that warning coming from governor scott. these back-to-back hurricanes, we had aharvey and now irma, its reigniting the debate about
climate. joining me now is peter glick. if you can, peter, put irma in context to the idea of the discussion around climate and climate trends. >> sure. i'm happy to be with you. i certainly wish the circumstances were better. >> agreed. >> we get hurricanes all the time. they're a natural part of the earth's climate. but part of the debate about climate change has been reignited with the presence of first harvey and now this monster storm irma. because of a growing realization that the fact that we're changing the climate, that humans are changing the climate, means that we're influencing the severity of some of these big storms. irma is a monster, and the warnings that we've all been hearing should be heed. and frankly, i think the media has been doing a great job at getting the news out. but we have to realize that irma is bigger than it probably would have been otherwise because it's
passing over very, very warm ocean water. hurricanes get their power, they get their moisture from the ocean. the ocean is warmer than it otherwise would have been because we're changing the climate, and many climate scientists, feel that it's made irma even stronger than it otherwise would have been. i think that's a sign of things to come. it's something we'll have to pay attention to more and more in the coming years. >> one of the things we're watching is the very trajectory irma is taking. if there were to be the hurricanes in that part of the country, this is the highway for hurricanes, why is this the route? >> so hurricanes form in the eastern atlantic. you get hot air off thor e er i
sahara, and the normal route has been through the western atlantic and into the caribbean and sometimes, as we've seen unfortunately, into the gulf of mexico. that's sort of the natural flow of the atmosphere. but as the earth is warming up, because of human effects on the climate, we're getting more and more energy put into these storms. and so a storm that would have been smaller is now bigger than it would have otherwise been. >> reflect on that if you can, peter. you are saying that climate is affecting the strength of these. we now have two surpearltives, harvey, slow moving. we're looking at damage and flooding we've never seen before. number two, we've got irma, the other sa pearltive of big, big, big and category 5. why are we seeing these in such a short amount of time and does that tell us this year and the coming seasons could only get worse and worse? or this is one of those data spikes?
>> well, there's three factors that are related to climate here. one is warmer ocean temperatures put more energy into these storms. they make them more powerful than they would otherwise be. that's where hurricanes draw their power. a second the warmer the atmosphere, the more moisture we get in the atmosphere. so these storms pack a huge amount of moisture. we saw houston get inundated by a large amount of water, and we're going to see the same thing with irma. the third factor is we know that the sea level is going up. one of the impacts of climate change is rising sea levels. we worry about that over the long-term. but even a smaller sea level rise, on top of the tremendous storm surge we're already seeing with irma, makes the flooding worse. so those three factors, which are related to climate change and human caused climate change,
will make these kinds of storms even more damaging in the future. >> sit any different -- we're looking at the northern hemisphere, north america, but there's the equivalent monsoon season happening on the other sit si side of the world. they're have a busy time. they're in a middle of a very difficult monsoon season. >> well, that's right. so there are all sorts of climate change. climate change is affecting weather all over the world. we're seeing the arctic disappearing. the sea level rise is a global phenomena. we've just had the highest temperatures in california's history. >> 100 degrees in san francisco. >> that's right. it was 105. record high temperatures. fires in the pacific northwest. climate change affects the weather. that's just the reality. we will see these same storms in the pacific. we call them typhoons in the pacific. but we've had some massive
typhoons recently. we don't know if climate change is going to increase the number of these storms, but there is growing evidence that the strength of the storms is increasingly influenced by unfortunately what we're doing to the climate. >> peter, thank you so much. if you could join us in a couple of hours, that would be great. great to have brains like you on to talk about this. i have a lot more questions, but we'll do that later if you can come back. >> thanks for your coverage of this. it's a really important event. >> thank you, peter. hurricane irma already proven to be deadly, as we've been watching. it's absolutely torn through the caribbean. we'll get a forecast as the tomorrow bears down on florida, next.
breaking news coverage continues this hour. thanks for staying with us here at msnbc world headquarters here in this morning city. i'm richard lui following this for you. here's what we are learning and know right now about hurricane irma. it is now bearing down on cuba as a deadly category 5 storm. after claiming 23 lives in the caribbean so far. we just got an upstate from the national weather service about 30 minutes ago. we looked through it. it says the storm, now tracking a path farther west than initially predicting, so still
talking further west. it raises the threat level for naples, ft. myers, tampa and more. but first, the storm will move through the florida keys, where locals are being warned this morning, get out. winds are picking up with the first band of irma bringing in gusts of 50 miles per hour and will triple in terms of gusts and their speed and strength. let's go to phillip mena in hollywood, florida. there one of the first places -- are you getting some rain, phillip, as irma makes it your way? >> reporter: yeah, i am. i just mentioned how we hadn't seen any rain, we had seen some wind gusts. but in the last five minutes i had to throw on my jacket. we got pelted with one round of rain here. so this area is technically under mandatory evacuation.
we're just a block away from the beach here in hollywood, florida. the gas pumps are now closed because they ran out of gas about two hours ago. we spoke with a few stragglers coming and going. let's take a listen to one man who said he's been here for years and they've been through forms here, but this one feels different. >> this one is scary. we've been watching all week. we had to shut the restaurant down. i was really concerned about my employees, a lot of young people worked there. most of them have gotten out, but i decided to stay. the first place i went to, no. >> reporter: why did you decide to say? >> basically, i have a responsibility here. i'm from ohio. i have a scooter, so i didn't really have a car. but i mean, it's a scary storm, but i know i'll be safe. >> reporter: yeah. and that is the situation right
now. this one does feel different. we've all been seeing the size of it. at this point, the people have just made the decision to stay here, hunker down, get supplies and prepare, because these stores, if they're not already closed, they will be closing in the coming hours and who knows when there will be more gas or bread and supplies or water to hold them through these next couple of days here. not too many people out here, with the exception we've seen police, we saw a couple of officers who were doing some patrolling and the streets have been quiet for the most part. most people here are heeding the warnings to get out. there was only one exception, they made an arrest of a couple of people who were trying to loot a store. so those people will have shelter of a different kind tonight, richard. >> phillip, remind us, all of hollywood under mandatory evacuation and if true, i was just watching some cars behind
you drive by, and cheerily as t -- clearly as the wind is much more brisk from an hour ago? >> yes, it is intensifying and yes, it is under mandatory evacuation. they're not going to arrest the people who have not made the decision to leave. they need the resources for those trying to commit a crime and take advantage of this situation. so that is where they're directing their resources here. but for the most part, they are not going to harass somebody who is trying to get some last-minute supplies before it really smarts come down. >> thank you so much, phillip mena there in hollywood, florida. under mandatory evacuation, and conditions are changing, just in the last hour. thank you so much, sir. we'll touch base later. bonnie schneider with us still, msnbc meteorologist. the difference as you saw there, bonnie, because we've been watching phillip's shorts. he's got a jacket now, rain is
coming down, and there's going to be a reason why it's under mandatory evacuation. >> that's part of the reason we're saying how large this storm is. it's still 275 miles south-southeast of miami. where phillip is, that's north of miami. so he's experiencing some of the winds already. i want to update everyone on the hurricane warnings. they extent pretty far north now. key west under a hurricane warning. that eyewall coming on shore on some of the northern tier areas of cuba, so cuba is getting the brumt of it. so category 5, 270 miles south-southeast of miami. the maximum sustained winds are at 160. this storm is holding on to its intensity. you think maybe it would weaken, but the water temperature is too
warm. so we are anticipating the potential for a weakening, but still a major hurricane. landfall is possible in the florida keys. perhaps a second one on the coast of florida. this is the cone of uncertainty, evening it could move further to the east or the west. we've seen that with the computer models going back and forth. so i want to let everyone know that this line isn't the exact path of the storm. it could jog to the left or the right. the massive diameter, several hundred miles of the storm, puts it into perspective. you can see that even if you're on the west coast, the east coast, you're going to feel the effects of irma. that's where we're anticipating power outages statewide because of this windfield. so the orange is the hurricane force winds, winds 74 miles per hour or greater. they extend to miami. boca raton, you're likely to see
the strong winds, ft. pierce and orlando. on the west coast, the potential is for the eyewall for the strong winds are potentially during. this is what we expect by the time we get to monday. we're talking about phillip and how it was breezy where he was located. these are the gusts. these are strong gusts. in miami beach, up to 38, 43. you can see them climbing as we go through this map. key west, some gusts well over 100 miles per hour. so the winds are picking up. another dangerous problem with hurricanes like irma, storm surge. that's when this wall of ocean water comes ashore. depending on how low lying an area is, it can bring the wave heights so high and cause massive flooding and it happens quickly. it's as if the ocean is coming on shore. very scary and it is a byproduct of what we see. the storm surge forecast has
really been raised for southwest florida, because of the new track that it might go higher, as high as 12 feet, still looking at the potential for storm surge down through the keys. but a dangerous situation. we were talking about how active the tropics are. look what we have going on here. katia, irma and jose, it's a busy time of year, because this is when we see thingtie activit the tropics. >> katia, irma and jose. katia and jose, we'll start talking about them next week, is that sort of the tracking right now? >> jose poses an immediate threat on this poor area that got hit so hard, antigua, barbuda particularly, from irma. if we look at jose, right now it's a category 4 and still far away from the u.s. certainly, but not from those islands.
that's where we have hurricane warnings in effect. for barbuda, jose is just another blow. >> let's hope it will stay away from the mainland. and the new cone with the latest information that you got in, is it better for the united states whether it tracks farther to the west or east in that cone that's possible? what will give the least amount of damage to florida? >> i wish it was east of the eastern most shore of florida. unfortunately, that's not the case with the track likely to work its way to the west of florida. we'll have that northeast quadrant that we were talking about where the strong winds are in this part of florida and you have the storm surge coming through. so it's not a good situation. >> bad to worse. there's no best case scenario. >> unless irma went out to sea. >> bonnie, thank you. up next, how you can help those in the path of hurricane
this is why. this is the reason 5.6 million people in florida, more than one quarter of the state's population, has been ordered to evacuate. that big hurricane that's some 350 miles wide. irma, now a category 5, expected to be near the florida keys sunday morning. it's brushing by cuba right now. joining us right now, daniel watson, a former fema spokesman under president obama. thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> as you watch the latest report that we got from noaa, the national hurricane center, over the last 40 minutes or so, they're still tracking a category 5, still tracking as going straight for the most part
up the florida panhandle. what worries you the most about the direction and its power? >> i think it's what you've been covering. just the size of the storm. it's going to be impacting the entire state of florida. so you really want people to be listening to their state and local officials, and heeding these evacuation warnings, taking them seriously. you can see how serious this storm is. >> one of the things, dan, that we have to watch out for, and sometimes as we are focusing on those who need to evacuate, there are also those who cannot -- and things that cannot be removed away from a storm. unlike the gulf where you can move oil rigs away in some cases, you have those resources and infrastructure on ground, like nuclear plants and right now we have about 10 or 11 nuclear facilities, power plants specifically, that are in this cone of uncertainty of irma right now. how do those locations that are
so sensitive, prepare for this? >> you're right. that is a challenge. for the that the fortunately with a notice event like this, you can be prepared. you can never prepare for every eventu eventuality, because this is a notice event, they have the time to prepare. in a state like florida, you know there's a risk of hurricanes and these facilities, the personnel there do take steps to prepare and make sure that they take these contingencies into effect. >> i'm looking at a map here of this cone here we are showing on screen.
at least what is the preparation that the epa needs to go through? there was some criticism with harvey, that the epa was not on site at these super fund sites as harvey was moving through. >> i can't speak to epa's preparations. i vnl wohaven't worked there. >> as a spokesperson for fema, you pool all of these resources together and i imagine you had some touch points. >> yeah, that's right. across the federal government, i think what is happeni ining wit the government right now, they will be sharing the information that they have coming from the national hurricane center, and the national weather service to all of the related agencies to make sure they have the best information possible to prepare.
but this is a catastrophic storm. and so, you know, we will have to be prepared and make sure that people are out of harm's way, not just the storm itself but the secondary effects. >> how elastic is the workforce at fema? we just had harvey. now we have another major, major hurricane coming through, irma. is there enough elasticity in the workforce? enough folks that can be called up to help? >> there are. i know there are over a thousand fema personnel that are focused on the preparation and response efforts for irma. but also staff get pulled in from other parts of the federal government. so fema is part of the department of homeland security, and they have a force that brings people in to help and support where they're needed. also, fema is no stranger to
having to work on multiple disasters at the same time. there are dozens of federally declared federal disasters every year. some of these can be a flood or a fire that you maybe see coverage on for one day, but those represent months and months of recovery efforts that are done by fema personnel throughout the year. so fema is used to doing that. that said, these are two major disasters. while response efforts are going on with irma right now, there are ongoing recovery efforts with harvey where thor than 600,000 people have registered for federal assistance, and more than $200 million has been approved to go to disaster survivors there. so those efforts are definitely ongoing while preparations are going on for irma. >> former fema spokesperson,
thank you so much, dan watson, for helping us understand what's happening there. let's go to major david erickson, the general secretary
of florida's division for the salvation army. how are things going? >> things are going very well. a lot of staging and getting things prepared for after irma goes through. but as well, we're getting ready for assisting evacuees who are in shelters. as noted, shelters are filling up quickly and we're adding our cy services where we've been asked to do so. >> what are you concerned most about? >> well, as the track changes, it's just our concern as well. but of course, the keys and south florida are primary
concerns for us as we prepare. we have areas staged on both sides of the state. as we see where the
damage is and where the biggest need is, we can reashoodjust those resou throughout the state, as well as the rest of the southern united states. >> major david erickson, all that good work you're doing out there, and our hopes of course, prayers with you as you undergo. it will be a tough next three days. general secretary for florida's salvation army. all righty. irma is being described as one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded. we'll talk to a hurricane expert on what that means for florida.
national guard members reporting to duty on friday. so yesterday, the florida national guard has 1,000 high water vehicles there. 13 helicopters. 17 boats. and more than 700 generators on stand by there. the question is, will that be enough? the florida national guard also is coordinating with the national guard bureau to find 30,000 additional troops, 4,000 more trucks. 100 helicopters. they need air evacuation crews. so they're getting ready for what could be the worst. this as airlines have canceled thousands of flights. and pretty much in most cases, the airports have closed down. and you need to get out by road. we've been watching some of the live traffic cams. people are heeding the warning coming from governor scott. get out or it could cost you your life. up next, we're going to
at msnbc world headquarters. we're watching the breaking news story. 3:00 a.m. in the east. you're watching our special coverage of hurricane irma here on msnbc. the storm now roaring past the bahamas and cuba as it takes aim at florida florida. at a category five hurricane. the state is bracing for the worst as the storm looms closer. >> right now as we look at the latest radar pictures you have on screen. you can see how irma remains to be giant. and now a deadly category five storm again. the first band of the storm the size of texas. or twice the size of florida. whichever you want to call it it's big. bringing wind gusts of 50 miles per hour. anyone remaining in the keys told to evacuate immediately. the storm veered west ward earlier tonight. and charting a path that could take it through naples, fort myers and