tv Velshi Ruhle MSNBC September 9, 2017 9:30am-10:00am PDT
we're pushing planes to the limit, we're pushing crews to the limit, but we're trained and training takes over when you get to those situations where you're not quite understanding what's going on exactly at that moment. >> your training is extraordinary, major. let me just ask you, given what you've experienced with harvey and previously as you have been one of these hurricane hunter pilots, when you think about irma and its strength and its potential for devastation, where do you place it? >> ma'am, cat 5 hurricanes are very rare. a guy has been in this unit 20 years and he's only been in one. it's the toughest i've been through. it is not a joke. i tell people listen to your local civic leaders, listen and get out. we're out there risking ourselves to get that data and people need to understand and use that data and don't mess around with it, because we don't. >> all right, major kendall dunn, needless to say, sir, our thoughts and prayers are with
you for safe travels and we are so grateful for the information you bring us. fly safe. >> thank you, ma'am. have a great one. forecasters upping storm surge predictions as hurricane irma is closing in. southwest florida, places like ft. myers can expect 10 to 15 feet storm surge. tampa looking somewhere 5 to 8 feet. this latest advisory shows the storm weakening slightly, however, it is expected to gain some of that strength back because it is going to move off the coast of cuba and back to the warm open waters of that strait. the winds right now sustained 125 miles per hour. the center of this storm is about 175 miles south of key west. ke speaking of key west, let's take a look there. we have definitely seen an increase in the palm frons swaying there and the keys, that is target number one for hurricane irma. landfall is expected there sometime overnight. you can see for yourself the wind is already howling.
again, everyone, this is just the bare beginning here. at the bottom of the hour now, we want to check in with wnbc meteorologist rauf nefaephael mo give us a look at where this storm is heading. it's been changing by the minute. >> it interacted more with cuba, we saw a little more weakening than we expected. the storm has a personality of its own and we don't know how fast it's going to reintensify. it could really explode over those warm waters too so we have to watch it very closely. you can see that northern motion. it's had it with cuba, it's moving away now and will be in a favorable environment to reintensify and that has us concerned for the winds. the storm surge is the main threat and those numbers are getting more serious, more dire. we expect that to continue for the gulf coast of florida if this track holds. let's take a look at the track again because it has changed significantly over the past couple of days. more a westerly focus on the gulf of mexico, but the eye is trying to reform already. these were the winds at 11:00, 125 miles per hour. they will change throughout the
day. the forecast from the national hurricane center is for the storm to regain that category 4 status before it moves over the keys, so the keys are expecting landfall from a category 4 monster hurricane. storm surge of 5 to 10 feet. could be absolutely destructive for the keys. that's late tonight into tomorrow morning. you notice the timeline has slowed down a bit. i'll set this into motion. tomorrow during the morning the storm surge pushing onshore along with devastating winds along the southwest coast of florida. by monday morning, potentially still seeing a major hurricane north of tampa pushing into finally inland areas where it will weaken to a tropical storm early next week. again, the storm surge, this is the big headline for the gulf coast of florida. storm surge warnings in effect for almost the entire coastline. now storm surge watch in effect up into south carolina and also into the panhandle. 5 to 10-foot storm surge for the keys as you head north and west out of there.
from captiva to cape sable, that is your 10 to 15-foot storm surge. then 6 to 10 feet toward ana maria island. right now miami we're looking at 4 to 6 feet unless north of miami beach. the winds are in the low 40s in the keys. miami just around tropical storm conditions, already pushing in with outer bands and it gets much, much worse over the next few hours. i'm setting this into motion. this is 6:00 today and we're already starting to see those winds approaching 70 miles per hour in the keys. look what happens as we head into the overnight hours, absolutely devastating with those winds. 127-mile-per-hour wind gusts. miami beach, 86 miles per hour. this is by tomorrow morning. we'll really be getting in the thick of things then. >> i can't even comprehend when you think about the keys how flat they are. you talk about the storm surge and the flooding. if there's anything left for the wind to even attack because they're so flat there, that area. let me just ask you, winds.
it's my understanding from listening to you and meteorologists throughout the years, are the winds more fierce to the right of an eye wall or can that change? >> typically it's the northeast quadrant of the hurricane where you see the most powerful win, the most destructive. that's going to be right along the coast. it depends on the track also, alex. a deviation of a few miles, which we've seen with this storm, may happen again, but it's the northeast quadrant where you see the most destructive winds because of the direction the hurricane is moving with the winds there. but this is such a large storm. we've been talking about the scale. there's no escaping the destructive power of this storm. the tropical storm-force winds are 200 miles from the storm. it's just incredibly large. so, so many factors going into this one. >> no escaping anywhere in florida. thank you so much. we'll see you shortly. the winds from irma picking up in ft. lauderdale certainly. we've got a live report from there straight ahead for you.
mariana. 38 past the hour, giving you a live look at the beaches in ft. lauderdale, florida. look at that surf. it has gotten tremendous. we just a short while ago saw somebody out kite surfing, which is not necessarily the wisest thing to do considering the governor has urged people to seek safety. the florida emergency management officials have asked another 700,000 to evacuate now before the hurricane arrives. that's bringing the total number asked to evacuate multiple states now in fact to nearly 7 million people. let's go out to jo ling kent who is right there in the area where the winds and waves are picking up. jo, talk about these conditions where you are. look at how many people are there behind you too! >> reporter: i know, i know. we're talking about a very tough group of folks who are out here watching the storm surge as the winds pick up. it's been raining on us. what we see along the beach here and we're going to take a walk
and show you are a lot of floridians who have come out to take these last selfies ahead of the storm. what we see here is some people who are having fun with the storm, but i want to mention, you saw that kite surfer earlier in mariana atencio's live shot and that guy started right here in ft. lauderdale. he got on his kite board and started moving. the people out here were actually cheering him on, thinking that he would go south to miami beach. of course that is not what authorities want to see. right now florida governor rick scott asking 6.3 million people to evacuate. we are in a mandatory evacuation zone right here in broward county in ft. lauderdale. the usually very busy a1a full of shops and bars and restaurants has completely shut down and evacuated. all those hotels are empty. but you can see the storm surge coming up this way. this is not deterred both residents and tourists from coming out, taking a look and many of them are headed either into a shelter or they're going home or they're going to
continue moving northward. but folks here have been concerned about gas, wind, access to supplies, and there's this concern how long this is going to last now that the eye of the storm, alex, has moved more westward. the concern now is, well, how bad of these outer bands going to be on the ft. lauderdale area. regardless, the economic impact here from all of this will cause businesses to board up, to put in sandbags. owners who have been here for decades say that they are preparing for the absolute worst. they don't believe they have seen a forecast like this before, even if they are not directly in the eye of the storm. >> yeah, it is extraordinary. all those folks, jo ling, who have not heeded the evacuation warnings or staying on the beach, i believe by 4:00 p.m. there is now a curfew for broward county. we're getting this from our nbc local station there in miami. so we'll see if those folks dare stay out after that point.
again, a 4:00 p.m. curfew is being issued for broward county. jo ling kent, do stay safe. let's go to miami. maya rodriguez is on the ground there for us. what's happening where you are? >> reporter: alex, right now we're on ricken backer island. this links mainland miami to key biscayne over here. as you can see, key biscayne starting to get those white caps that you associate when a storm comes in here. take a look, just like jo showed you, a whole bunch of people here taking selfies, taking pictures, trying to the that last look as irma makes its way in. we've had a couple of squalls come in, some of those outer bands beginning to reach in here. at one point we could not see miami beach, fisher island, port of miami which is right over here over my left shoulder because those squalls were so strong. as you can see, it's cleared up just within the last hour. people out here are mostly
locals. they say they know they're just getting their last-minute look at irma before they too go and seek shelter. take a listen to what one person had to tell us about that. >> i'm not scared. i respect what's going on pretty much, but the authorities know what's going on and if so far they didn't tell us to evacuate, so we are hoping -- we know that if it starts to get worse, we have to be indoors. >> reporter: and we also had miami police out here earlier. they told us they're going to start shutting down this area and 2:00 this morning. it's going to be too dangerous to get over here because the causeway is elevated. these bridges do shut down when tropical storm-force winds start moving in. they tell us around 2:00 p.m. all this will be cleared out. we don't want to be caught in any of the storm surge that will be coming over this sea wall. as you can see, it's already starting to fill up with water over here. >> yeah, we can see it. it's looking pretty tumultuous
we are back now with msnbc live coverage of hurricane irma. it is making its way to florida. overnight irma made landfall in cuba, this as a category 5 hurricane. cuban officials say they evacuated a million people and nbc news has learned of widespread damage to homes and infrastructure in the north. heavy rains, wind and coastal flooding is expected in havana. joining me now from miami, nbc medical contributor dr. john torres. dr. torres, good to have you on board with us. let's talk about your position there as a doctor. what is your biggest concern right now? >> alex, one of the biggest
things with any hurricane is the trauma itself from the hurricane. we're talking about the water, the wind, those types of things that are going on. we are actually at miami jewish health, which is the largest nursing home facility in south florida. it's also the largest elderly care facility in south florida. this is a particularly vulnerable population because of the alzheimer's, dementia and other medical issues they might have. it turns out for these patients it's more important that they stay in place than get evacuated because evacuation can be very risky, so here at miami jewish health, they have done what they need to do to ride out the hurricane, keeping the patients here and taking care of them. they stocked up with water, with food. their staff has come in to spend time here, what they need to spend to ride out the hurricane to make sure these patients are well taken care of. they have done a fantastic job. you can see behind me this is the cafeteria where they're keeping their routine, eating as usual, having bingo and all sorts of different activities to keep their mind off the hurricane and keep them engaged in what they typically do on a
regular day. >> what kind of a building structure is it? is it very tall or just your one story concrete based? and also, dr. torres, what about if they lose power? you think about those people that need to have electricity to run certain monitors or machines to help keep their physiological issues in check. >> this is actually a six-story facility, so there's six floors here. the floors go up with patients on every level. it's a very sturdy facility, though. they boarded up the walls, they board up the windows, they put metal where they need to put it. shut the doors down and closed the gates to lock everybody in and keep everybody from coming in from the outside to take care of the people that are here. as far as the rest of the things, the electricity is always the big issue with any hospital system you have. if electricity goes out, the hospital essentially shuts down. here they have generators. they have backup generators and backup to the backup generators to make sure that doesn't happen so they are well prepared.
as the ceo told me, they learned their lessons from the last hurricanes they have been through. each hurricane they improve their care and their ability to stay. having my military background and background with evacuations and other procedures, they have done a fantastic job getting ready for the hurricane here. they not only have the residents but one other thing they have done is brought some of the residents' families here. they brought the families, they brought their pets in here to make sure that the family doesn't have to -- the resident doesn't have to worry about their family, the families are taken care of as well. >> that is very impressive with miami jewish there. tell me one thing, though. when we look at studies from sandy and katrina, it was found that there were an uptick in heart attacks and strokes following these disasters. so what is your advice to people living with these conditions, those who do have to evacuate? thankfully those behind you don't have to, but folks who have to hunker down in the next 24 hours or so that may be
afflicted with heart attacks or strokes, what is your advice? >> the stress goes up, once the stress goes up, heart attacks and strokes follow. we've seen that with every hurricane we've had. the best advice is to, one, put things in perspective. you might have lost material, you might have lost your house or parts of it. you want to make sure that your health is the most important thing or health of the loved ones around you. get help if you need that help. if you start feeling any chest pain or noticing any symptoms of a stroke, get to medical care immediately. i can't stress that enough. the main thing again is put these things in perspective. these hurricanes are going to come through time and time again. we are going to lose things during a hurricane. it's stressful for everybody. just make sure again that you get the perspective you can to try to ride it out as best you can and you stay healthy in the outcome. >> dr. john torres, thank you so much. appreciate all your advice and the insights on what's going on with those folks there. coming up next, we'll find out how the miami zoo is
we are bringing you special coverage of hurricane irma, now a category 3 storm. you can see the eye, it is still over northern cuba. it is right now, though, spinning its way over to the florida keys. the national weather service there says it's too late to travel out of the keys. almost 7 million people have evacuated from flood zones across the state. and we've seen it time and time again, it's not just people who need to take shelter during these storms but the animals too. joining me now, ron mcgill from zoo miami. ron, with a welcome to you, so i understand from reading background on this, you do not evacuate the animals, you guys shelter in place. maybe the birds, though, flamingos, we did see them being moved about. talk about that specifically. >> sure. you know, we do not evacuate animals off zoo grounds. evacuations would take place if storm surge or drowning,
flooding was a concern. it's not a concern at our zoo at all. we're relatively inland and up high. the concern with our location is wind damage. animals, to move them off ground is so stressful to these animals that that potentially in and of itself could kill them. it's not like moving a dog or cat or domestic animal. when you transport these animals, that is very, very dangerous. it's much better to do it on grounlds, give them safe shelter on grounds. most of the animals stay in their normal enclosures. but smaller birds, flamingos and small mammals, we transport them within the zoo to buildings within the zoo that are hurricane-safe buildings. >> you talk about the apes and carnivores, they're the ones who when you talk about the concrete cement and they have the metal barriers and the like, that's so that they don't get out and would also be that they can withstand the force of the
stands. isn't it set up so that the force of the animal could not lunge and push its way out of that space? >> you got it exactly right, alex. that's exactly right. these enclosures are built to be strong enough to withstand the strength of the animal themselves. the example of gorillas, lions and tigers, that is an incredibly powerful animal. zoo miami has been through hurricane katrina, hurricane andrew, hurricane wilma, and those enclosures have proven to be very safe and sturdy during those storms. >> what about things like power, ron? i know you've got to have food refrigerated, different things for the animals. what a nightmare is that trying to feed all of them within this small, enclosed space, the kind of food they're expected to get. >> you're right again. we have an incredibly dedicated staff. we have ordered ahead of time extra food. we have generators throughout the zoo that have been checked over and over again. not just for the food but for the life system support. we have a large aquarium that if we're not filtering the water,
everything will die in those aquariums, so the backup systems are incredibly important to the health of the zoo. we have ordered all the things. we have refridge rargerated tru freezer trucks on order. so these are lessons that we learned after andrew. >> ron mcgill, from this animal lover and the many who are watching and listening right now, we thank you so much for taking kay of those animals because they are helpless under these circumstances so bless you for doing that. take care. >> thank you, alex. the florida governor says if you're not on the roads to evacuate by now, the time to leave has come and gone. hurricane irma is about 200 miles or so from miami and our live coverage continues after this short break.