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tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  September 9, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt here in new york. hurricane irma is now charting a
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westward course. it is scheduled to take it straight through the florida keys next. you're looking at the latest projections for the hurricane's path, naples, fort myers, potentially tampa on sunday and most areas are under warning for potentially life threatening storm surges, they could reach 12 feet in some locations. meanwhile, the trail is leaving behind a trail of destruction in the caribbean. look at this. we do know 23 have been confirmed dead in connection with this storm so far. we are moments away from a briefing from governor rick scott. it's scheduled for about 15 minutes from now. we're going to bring it to you
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live once it gets under way. we have our reporters across florida, as well as the caribbean. let's begin right now with nbc's scottie schwartz, he is just north of the florida keys, which means they're going to be ground zero for the peninsula part once it gets hit. the storm has shifted slightly to the left, it's got the storm right in its crossharrs. do you think it's ready? >> that's what a lot of people are asking right now. they have prepared and they know the power these hurricanes can bring because of andrew. andrew wasn't supposed to hit homestead as hard as it did, it made a last-minute turn. everyone here is holding their collective breath. it's kind of eerie to drive
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around. yesterday we're at home depot. one thing that was very hard to get was plywood. right now we're in an area in homestead where there are a lot of apartment complexes. up see over there to the left. this is a vak want apartment building and up see there's a lot of plywood that's up. no one lives here and right now plywood is so hard to get in this town that what we heard and what we've seen from neighbors around here is that they have basically gone to this am come plex that is empty and they are now removing the plywood from the complexes like this that are empty and using that plywood to protect their apartment come pleb -- complex. a lot of people may not have the means, they didn't have time and they couldn't afford to miss out
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on work so they wanted to find shelters in the area, when they went to check out the shelters, they were told there want enough room so they started to turn their apartments into fortified hurricane shelters. this is an occupied apartment complex. you're going to see here, i'm going to adjust a camera to the left. you're going to see it is boarded up. people are boarded up, they are hunkering down. over to the left, you're starting to see that plywood going up to protect these apartments. this area may be without power for quite some time. this is a concrete apartment complex but when you put these boards up here, it basically becomes a concrete cave inside. it is very hot, very humid. there will be families inside with flashlights and no power and this is where they may be living for the foreseeable
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future. that's one thing the people here have been talking about. they are prepared for that. they are stocking up on water and food. but it's going to be a have difficult time, especially if the power is out for an, tended period of time, possibly weeks. >> how concerned are you about storm snuurge? >> right now we're about 30 miles away from -- this area is not under a mandatory evacuation just yet. it's right on the cuff.
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the belief is that the storm surge won't reach this high but it may. a little further down in homestead and especially florida city, they may see three to sectisix, possibly nine feet of storm surge. irma is tracking into the west, people are hoping it stays to the west. they saw hurricane andrew hook straight into the homestead and florida city right before it hit. so they're not sure what's going to happen. >> lessons learned from the past. >> all right. do be careful traveling around homestead. >> rehema, another welcome to you. the southern part of the bahamas have been dealing with the bahamas the past couple of days.
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looks kind of nice where you are right now. do you think the bahamian islands in the clear? >> reporter: we talked with officials a short while ago and they say the hurricane warning has been lifted for the southern parts of the bahamass but remains for northwest and central bahamas where i am. they're also talking about the possibility of tropical storm force winds that could still hit the island. the all-clear was given for southern bahamas but the damage has already been done. there are sections where they were really afraid of what was going to happen. we should also talk about the fact of how deadly this storm has been. 23 souls have lost their lives from this storm. they think those numbers could go up once they clean up gets under way. it's hard to know what they will find.
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the warnings remain for northwest and central and then people are turning their concern with great intensity to what's happening to the fox in cuba. that island has been ravaged from the storm. hurricane irma barrelled into cuba overnight and it's lingering there. it seems to be holding in a pattern with winds from 130 to 150 miles an hour. that's devastating, life-threatening force winds. we have already seen what it done in other places. and then the other thing that folks have got to keep in their mind and that is nanother hurricane is coming, its name is jose. we're told it's 7 5 miles from barbuda. they've lost everything.
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and they're now in a scramble trying to figure out what in the world are they trying to do? >> i believe there are 1,200 permanent residents there year round. god know what is they'll do considering 90, 95% of that island has been knocked out. anybody surfing? anybody thinking it looks good enough to tack advantage of that? >> reporter: well, i don't see it right now. as you know, this is an area where a lot of that kind of activity goes on. a couple of days ago we were seeing people out in the water along the beach, but folks decided to pay attention to the warnings. it got very serious here. tourists were encouraged to leave the area. they do not expect to open this airport until tuesday, that's at the latest. some are hoping it will be open sooner than that but nobody that we can see in our range right now. there's nobody out on the water right now.
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>> rehema ellis, joining us from nassau bahamas, thank you for that. >> the storm has really been pummelling cuba. take a look at the eye. it's working its way across the northern tier of cuba. >> it's like it's hugging, going right along the coast. >> that eye wall is so strong. the torrential downpours continue from the strong winds so cuba not getting a break from the storm. and it's starting to turn toward florida. it's getting closer to miami. it's 225 miles south of miami beach. the maximum sustained winds with this storm 130. you might say, well, it sounds like it's weakened. yes, because it's interacted with cuba. it still has to go offver the 9
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degree water of the florida straits. now the big ridge of high pressure is said to have lingered on and pushed it further south and west. now it's moving to the northwest a bit to a double landfall in keys and southwest florida. heavy rain coming into the florida keys now. look at the winds climbing a marathon already to 47 miles per hour and those are current wind gusts. storm surge warnings all the way from tampa pretty much around much of florida and a watch as well. that's because that big wall of water will be at its highest right here. southwest florida because of the new track. nine feet plus up to 1 feet is possible from marco island down to the southwest region and
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further northward towards benita island as well. 12 feet, that's the second story of a home. that's the threat we're facing with irma. it's a huge concern for every coastal area that's going to be encountered by irma. i'd say the worst potentially is southwest florida. >> we'll see you given shortly. we are awaiting a news conference with the florida governor. we're going to tack a short break. he should be there on the other side of it.
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at 16 past the hour, we're waiting for a news conference
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with the florida governor. we're going to bring that to you as soon as it begins. right now we give you a live look at homestead florida. that is an area that survived hurricane andrew but not by much. it was pretty much flattened out as a community. there were lots of lessons learned from that hurricane. there are structures here, made of concrete but not very tall. with us, craig fugate. it's great to talk to you but i always hate the circumstances. what happens? who springs into action as soon as the storm passes? >> well, it won't even be past. as soon as winds get low enough, search and rescue teams will start moving out, national guard, law enforcement will move in. transportation and local highway folks, their mission is simple,
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make a hole and cut it wide so the teams can get through to get to those who need help. it's going to be mainly people that are already prepositioned in the areas working to get out but the most important and fastest response is going to be neighbors checking on neighbors. as soon as conditions pr mitt, check on your neighbors, make sure everybody is okay. every disaster i've been to, neighbors helping nabs haeighboe always been our fast eest response. >> when you talk about a storm like irma that is broader, that means nobody will escape its scope. where do you position thanksgiving that are safe? i'm talking about big equipment. do you ever have that get destroyed ins --
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>> one of the challenges will be a lot of the resources coming in the state will be traveling down the turn puke yet the hurricane will be moving up those into early monday. it going to be preposition -- they've asked for a lot of craft on standby. they may have to fly teams and re. >> and with regard to the keys, craig, this is an area at that spans 120-ish miles from florida city all the way down to key west. it has, i believe, about 50 bridges so how are you able to respond to help if just one of
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those bridges gets knocked out? >> when i was at the state of florida and that continues today both at florida and fema is to make very detailed plans. and most of this will be done by helicopters, florida national guard has the lead on this but we actually had planned out where everybody lived and how we would resupply and gets team into populated areas. we can't do that until the wend get low enough that helicopters can safely fly. or plans are getting up armored humvees to drive and find out where the bridges are broken. many ways -- it's a pretty detailed plan, we've just never had to implement it. it could it this will be our furst test.
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>> let's look to when the storm is offer and recovery is just beginning. >> he is request to the president will be additional assistance to families, particularly those that have lost everything, those who have flood insurance, working on getting them their assistance. really it's going to be supporting the logistical needs of the state. with a will the of power outages, it's going to be a lot of mass care, distribution of supplies and fema will support governor scott and his team getting finances is fans to those who didn't have insurance. >> i was reading some stats earlier, craig. people have dropped their insurance, many, many people have dropped their intheir last big storm because it's gotten too expensive. so fema can still aid those folks? >> yes, it's minimal.
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the maximum amount fema can pro vida about $34,000 and average families get about $6,000 to $7,000. we have small business administration disas tr lo. so there are a lot of congress will have to come back with addition an funding for other programs to provide even more needed funds to help communities recover particularly on the housing side with the uninsurance laws. >> i've never heard those stats. $34,000 max provided by fema and 6,000 to 7,000 to folks on average. craig, thanks for the information. >> what are you seeing?
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>> alex, we are at a red cross shelter. we're going to take you inside here. there are 1,400 people unside this red cross shelter. we're going to step inside and talk to some of the volunteers here. we are here with ben and randy. you just came from harvey, ben. >> that's correct. >> what are you seeing here that is different in. >> i wouldn't say it's different. i would say as a community in florida, woor really prepared. i think unfortunately because i've seen harvey and the devastation of harvey, floridians are being a lot more pro active. they're not saying i'm going to just sit there. the pro activeness starting from labor day you can see the preparedness of florida. >> randy, you're a volunteer shelter man injury here. you went through hurricane wilma. how are people doing now inside
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the shelter? >> we're concerned with shelter and feeding, babies and children. they're concerned with the sheltering as -- aspect and feeding. and just general consultation. >> well, it's all about safety here. we know this particular shelter, ben, is at capacity. where do people go if they come here and they can't find a spot? >> really tune in to local news, msnbc and local channels are giving out good information. i urge people to check broward evacuation shelters will be updated, national news is updating them as well.
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stay tuned because the information is getting out as soon as they open up. >> ben, randy, thank you so much. we were justin side together, alex. it seems look folks are really settling in. they have brought all their supplies, they've got water, they have food. we're hoping the power stays on in this particular shelter. we're hearing good news in that the eye of the storm is moving in a different direction. >> that's good to hear. we appreciate that and their efforts as well. >> we're next going to hear from a mayor from florida's gulf coast, this as we await the briefing with the florida governor here on nbc.
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welcome back, everyone. i'm alex witt.
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you're watching special coverage of hurricane irma. this hurricane is barrelling towards florida, right now a category 4 storm. its wind speed has slowed slightly, however, it is expected to restrengthen before taking a westward path through the entire state tomorrow. nearly 19 million people are currently under hurricane watches and warnings in florida, as well as in neighboring states with evacuation orders, tendi eg to nearly 6 million people, one of the largest evacuations in u.s. history. with little time and resources to evacuate, the shelters are quickly filling up, especially those allowing pets. there is a pet-friendly shelter in miami. moments ago in orange county, florida, nine additional shelters were opened up, some of
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which also allow pets. we can't forget our furry friends in times like this, that's for sure. marianna rain bands have moved in. doesn't look look it's raining now but it certainly was a short while ago. >> reporter: it was a short while ago here. this is brickell in downtown miami. this is an area that could potentially be hit by that storm surge we've been talking about. before we get to that, i want to introduce you to pierre, who we just caught up with on his morning jog. do you live in brickell and are you planning to evacuate? >> no, i live in brickell and i'm going to ride the storm. >> you know the -- >> we have a great building c
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concrete building, worst case i go to the fourth floor and chill in the staircase. >> you have experienced a cat 4? >> i think what i experienced before was a 3. but, no, i think -- know the wind, i know the dangers, but like i say, i think it's safe where we are. >> some of the buildings here, alex, new construction. they have those hurricane-proof kind windows. you mo we could lose power for several days here. filled up the bath tub for bathrooms and we're good for a week. >> did you not evacuate for your family? >> no, where do you go? we don't know where to go so we think this is a safe place.
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>> reporter: that is somewhat some people here in brickell, they don't know where to go but that storm surge especially in the bay area here behind me could be looking at six to ten feet of storm surge. some of the buildings to the left would get flooded if that were the case. we're already see one to two feet and this thing hasn't even started here in miami, alex. i'm going to kick it back to you. >> it is extraordinary the pictures your cameraman is providing for us. >> reporter: alex, one additional things is those cranes. there's a lot of construction, a sprawling kind of real estate hub here. we saw it in sandy with some of the cranes. the city has already said if those winds reach 100 miles per hour, this could really become a
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safety issue, those cranes here in downtown miami. >> it's remarkable they're on top of the building. we've seen that, it's great from an economic perspective, thriving in the community. look at that crane. if that hit that, crane will topple over and this can be devastating. it's scary. >> reporter: that's precisely right, the city has already said this is a corn. that is the norm hoar in [. there's people out here doing their morning jog, their morning workout, if you will. this thing is going to hit in the next couple of hours. people are more calm than i would have imagined, especially in this area of miami and those
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cranes especially worrying. >> thank you so much. for all of you, we are seeing activity there. that is sarasota, the emergency operation center. as we await the governor's arrival, i'm joined on the phone by mayor pita of sarasota springs. as a matter of fact, the governor is at the podium right now. we listen to governor rick scott of florida. >> good morning. i just had a briefing with emergency imagimanagement syste. the hurricane is already here. 25,000 people have already lost power. hurricane irma is beginning to batter the florida keys with dangerous winds and remains a
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life threatening catastrophic storm with winds of 134 miles an hour. this is a deadly storm and our state has never seen anything like it. millions of floridians will see major hurricane impacts with deadly storm surge and life threatening winds. and 6 to 12 feet, think about that, 6 to 12 feet of impacts above ground level is now probable. six to 12 feet, this will cover your house. storm surge flows in fast, very fast, and then it flows out. you will not survive all this storm surge. this is a life threatening situation. if you have been ordered to evacuate, you need to leave now. do not wait. evacuate. not tonight, not in an hour.
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need to go more than 5.6 millions have been ordered to evacuate. you need to listen to local evacuation order. you live in an it's going to be fast are than you are. these winds are coming. if you're in this area and plan to leave and have not done so by noon, do not get on the road. if you're trying to go north, you're going to have a hard time getting out. just remember this, once the storm starts, law enforcement cannot save you. i'm a dad and i'm a grandfather. i love my family more than anything. i cannot imagine life without them. do not put your life or your familiar lip's life at risk. right now is time to do the
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right thing for you, yourself and your family. cool buses are aiding in evacuations. please take advantage of this service. if you need to leave and for whatever reason you're unable to leave and you need help, whether it's fuel, whatever the issue is call 1-800-342-3557 and we will do everything possible to get you out. 1-800-342-3557. protecting life is our top priority. there will be no resource or expense spared. our goal is to protect everyone's life. if you know someone who is not evacuating and should, contact them and make sure they have a plan to get out. we are being very aggressive in our preparation for this storm
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and my hope is every floridian should take this seriously and be. your possessions can be replaced. your life cannot be replaced, your families cannot be replaced. >> currently there are more than 260 shelters open across the state in every county in the state. at least 70 more shelters are opening today. more than 50,000 floridians have be a. it's going to save people's lives. this is so important to families seeking safety, everyone in florida needs to find a safe place to go. traffic. we still see some track but overall evacuation routes are moving. evacuations are not mant to be convenient, they'rement to be
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safe. i'm glad so many are taking this seriously and driving to a safe place, but if you don't need to be on the road, don't be on the road. we increased the number of troopers to continue moving traffic along. you can check realtime traffic information evacuation routes at you don't have to go hundreds of miles. we have shelters in every county other than monroe and those have evacuated to miami dayton. again, if there's any reason you can get out, fuel, whatever it is, 1-800-342-3557.
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>> fuel. after the storm, we'll get as soon as we can get fuel trucks moving, we'll do it given. i waived florida's import tax for five days to help get fuel for recovery. we're going to take every effort to get fuel here. every single florida guardsman has already been deployed that we can deploy and they're prepared to respond to this storm. we have so many members of law enforcement and our guardsmen that are putting our lives at risk to help floridians get to a safe place. they will not stop until it's no
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longer safe for them. i can't thank them enough. utilities. our providers are actively prepositioning resources throughout the states and neighboring states. we know how important power is and we're going to be very aggressive in getting power back on. i want to be clear. we are and you a statement state of emergency. we need 1,000 volunteer nurses to help at our special need shelters. if you can volunteer, bprchdpreparedness at flhealt we've already received thousands of replies.
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i talked to president trump and he's promised all resources. we have the country's best first responds are right here in florida. but if you're in an evacuation zone, i hope you will go right this minute. get to a safe place. this is a catastrophic storm, we've never seen this before, it's bigger than our state. florida is tough, resilient and unbreakable. let's all stay together and help each other. we are an amazing melting pot of great people. this is a great state and we're going to come out of this very
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strong. [ speaking foreign language ] we've been listening to florida governor rick scott giving the orders that he has been giving with the updates for quite some time now, the last few days. as he started that news conference, he said "it's here," announcing that 25,000 have already lost power. we expect that number certainly to go up. let's listen as he's taking questions from reporters in the room. >> is there anything be done to mack sure we have funds if we need it? >> i talked to the white house. between the president and
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congress, they have all committed all the resources we need. i've talked to brock long this morning and a variety of cabinet members. they're calling to make sure we have all the resources that we need. this is a great country. we're going to stand up for each other. >> reporter: as the storm tens to shift west a little bit over the past 4 hou24 hours, do you resources to that part of the state? >> we shift resources as fast as we can. you can position assets on the other side of the state. this is a little bit harder because it's encompassing our whole state. we are doing everything we can. we already have a lot of resources positioned around the state, we've got national guard positioned around the state, we have food and water positioned in the orlando area and we'll be moving as fast as we can.
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fema has resources here but the reason i say three days of water, three days of food, have your medicine, you got to take care of yourself in the beginning because we don't know what the devastation is going to be, we don't know what the roads are going to be, we're going to try to get rid of the debris off the roads as fast as we can. everybody is going to show up to help us. we have thousands of volunteers that want to come down here to help us but we all have to take care of ourselves in the beginning and the most important thing you can think about right now, if you're in an evacuation zone, you got to evacuate. we'll get the shelters open, the volunteers there, the national guard will show up, you've got to get out if you're an evacuation zone. you have got to get to a safe place. >> i think people here evacuate and i think they hear get out of the state as far far as
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possible. >> you don't have to. we'll open up as many shelters as we need. you can shelter in your county. the only ones you can't is the keys. they have already evacuated. the shelter for them is at miami dade at fiu. we're going to continue to open shelters. we do need more nurses and i'm sure we're going to need more volunteers, in the short term to staff our shelters and distribute food and water and help with the clean-up. >> could you speak to the strength of those shelters? some have expressed concerns that they're one floor on ground level. >> the shelters have been picked because of their location and because of the safety. now, if it ends up being an evacuation zone, we'll move shelters. we've had to do that. as the storm has moved further west, we've had to move shelters
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and we'll continue to do that as we need to. we've offered buses to help move everybody. we'll do everything we can to keep everybody safe. the shelters have been chosen counsel county pi -- by county based on the citizens. >> well, right now if you're in an evacuation zone, you need to evacuate. we'll provide whatever shelters we need to for that. we have projections of what the winds are going to be so, you know, you know your house and you know that risk so you should make decisions based on that. anybody else? okay. i hope everybody takes the warning that you need to get out of these evacuation zones, you need to get to shelter. thanks, everybody. and i wish everybody the best.
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>> all right, everybody. one of the innumerable news conferences by governor wreck sco -- rick scott. he's been working around the clock. he started by saying "it's here." right now he said parts of the keys are being affected by this 170 mile-an-hour winds off the coast of cuba but those winds are very expansive and they're already reaching key west. he's saying six to 12-foot storm surge is possible. a storage surge flows in very powerfully, very quickly and then leaves just as quickly and it takes everything with it in its wake. that is why he's saying everybody get away from any
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bodies of water and evacuate. he talked about shelters with the,cepti the exception in monroe county. as the governor said, everyone in the keys ought to have evacuated at this point. florida international university, people have been able to go there and seek shelter. he also said very important, those of you who lived in southwest florida be you have just over two hours to hit the road and that's it. noon eastern time is your cutoff time. after that point the governor suggested des spout, if you have not evacuated by then, stay in
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place and shelter there. mr. mayor, a welcome to you, sir. pretty fright i don't knowing times. what's on your agenda, what do you expect heading your way? >> good morning. we've of emergency on bonita springs as has the governor statewide. we obviously have evacuation centers in place and for local residents within lee county and collier county, i know those and they're opening more shelters as we speak. we've been communicating with our residents asking them to evacuate, for over a week now, and to secure their homes and to get proper supplies and governor scott we have been in constant contact with governor scott, i was in a briefing with him yesterday and have been on conference calls with him for over a week. he has been hands-on, he has done a phenomenal job, in fact governor scott was in our city last week, because we had local flooding with the heavy rains
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last week, and one of our rivers, the imperial river, flooded, and a lot of the residents in the low-lying areas were flooded and governor scott was hands-on last week in preparation of this big hurricane. >> mayor simmons, is that what you're most concerned about, storm surge and flooding? >> storm surge is the kind of the unknown factor, if you will. we're hearing various levels. it's important for people to remember, this is not above sea level. this is ground level numbers which are just catastrophic. >> all right, mayor peter simmons, it's a busy day for you this there in bonita springs. take care, we'll see what happens in your area. also we'll check in with emergency officials in the keys, we'll see how prepared they are for this storm.
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we are back everyone with
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msnbc's special live coverage of hurricane irma, pummeling the coast of cuba. it is expected to take a sharp turn tonight hitting the florida keys directly tomorrow morning. irma's outer bands are already being if elt in the keys. let's get to emergency response teams on standby in florida. cammie clark is the public information officer with monaco county emergency management at the southernmost county, you're talking key largo, what do you know about things right now where you are? >> i've just been driving from the middle keys up to the northern section and there already is a bunch of downed tree limbs. i woke up in my house in islamorada, a big tree limb fell on my husband's police car. we're getting light wind and rain and the wind is picking up. >> how about storm surge?
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i share a family home in islamorada, we're keeping a close eye for obvious reasons. water is concerned because of the flatness of the topography. the wattler wash over and has nowhere to go or push up against. >> yes. storm surge is probably our number one concern in the upper keys. we're going to be on the bad side of the storm where all that water is just going to push and we always joke that our mountains and our keys are our bridges. we are low lying. there is no high ground anywhere and most of our buildings are two stories or less. >> yes. >> so that's probably one of our most biggest concerns. they're already talking about roads being washed out. that's going to be a given. >> right. quick cammie, with regard to the bridges if one goes out that leaves everything south of it to be stranded. how are the condition of the bridges at this point? >> at this point everything is fine and we have a plan in place
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that fdot as soon as the storm passes and it's safe they've got four teams all ready to inspect the bridges immediately. they'll be up and down the keys depending on where they're needed, where the storm passes over, but they're ready to go to inspect the bridges and get them operational as fast as possible. >> cammie clark, public information officer with monroe emergency management, thank you for joining us. i'm alex witt. thank you for watching. at the top of the hour ali velshi picks up live coverage of hurricane irma, about 200 miles or so away from miami. if you're not near your television watch live reports at i'll see you in two hours, after ali velshi, who is next.
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you will not survive all this storm surge. this is a


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