tv MSNBC Live MSNBC September 9, 2017 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
of good. >> well, jeremy, thank you so much for being with us. and you know, hats off to all the folks who do this work because they do it often unheralded. it is tough stuff. we appreciate it. and we are coming up on 5:00 p.m. on the east coast. i'm chris jansing in new york. about 12 hours before we expect hurricane irma to make landfall over the florida keys. from there, forecasters expect the storm to barrel right into florida's west coast. the storm surge in some areas could reach 15 feet. and while irma may not arrive until tomorrow, florida governor rick scott has ordered more than 6 million floridians to evacuate. more than 50,000 are already in shelters. and the governor issued a warning to residents who were tell unsure if they would leave their homes. >> if you have been ordered to evacuate anywhere in the state, you need to leave right now.
not tonight. not in an hour. now. >> that was his warning this morning. and for a lot of those folks, it is too late to get out at this point. we want to go to miami -- oh, actually, we have bill karins. he has been working tire lessless in harvey and irma. do we have a new update? >> yeah, and they didn't change much. we were worrying about the intensity. what will they do now that the eye is off the coast of cuba. how intense can it get in 24 hours. here is the brand new path. and they have it almost going over the to which of key west, this is at 2:00 a.m. at 135 miles an hour. so that is not much strong are than it is now. so the keys will get the equivalent of a strong category 3. and then we have this painful wait of about 12 hours as the eye will be offshore not doing much damage. and then it gets -- my finger is right where marco eye land is.
naples is right here and then we head up toward ft. myers. that is the right side, the dirty side of the storm at 140 miles per hour cat 4, that is where we'll get the worst of the wind damage, storm surge, the homes completely destroyed. and that damage will be taking place. so 2:00 p.m. is when the eyewall will be over them. so you have to think the eyewall is about 20, 30 miles wide, so the first destructive winds is about 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. so if you wake up and you join us in the morning and you see it didn't look all that bad, keys probably won't look good, but then it will rapidly decline about 10:00 a.m. and then by about 2:00 p.m., the eye is over the top of the region. and one of the questions here, with the tampa area. right now the center line, usually we don't focus on the center line, but we're within 24 hours so we can take about it. it does weaken to about 115, so a category 3 still right over the top of tampa. but it would be on the right side and that would make a
little less storm surge in tampa than say the 15 feet that will devastate ft. myers and the naples area. those are the big things that we're watching here with the track. also for our friends in georgia, the hurricane center thinks this will hold together enough for a cat one even into southern georgia now. so obviously focusing on who will get the worst, but there will be people in georgia without power, also. >> so are we at the point where the chance of it moving in any significant way is likely? >> look how narrow -- we focus on the cone of uncertainty and look how narrow it is now. it's not even over lake okeechobee anymore. there is still a chance that it could go to the left and if it does that, then it would be a worst forecast for tampa. so no matter what, we will get the definite he investigation station on the coast can and also as we go throughout the he station on the coast can and also as we go throughout the winds. we've been pulling up some
pictures. the last really big storm surge event in this country was hurricane sandy on the jersey shore. we've been calling up those pictures and what happened with hurricane ike because that was also a storm that went toward the houston area. and crystal springs area got devastated by the same storm surge that we'll get here. so i'll show you know pictures coming up and this will get your attention. >> it always gets my attention when you show -- how high is your monitor? >> this is only 7 feet. so we're doubling this. if we come up here, this little cat walk area we have here, the silver is about 10 feet. and the desk up in the corner, 15 feet. so just imagine if everyone has been to the beautiful beaches down there in the naples area or ft. myers, that is the water above the normal height 15 feet. i mean, that is scary stuff. that is high enough that people in their first level houses that are at an elevation of 6 feet would have to evacuate to their second floor if they have one. that is why they are telling people to get out. >> all right. we'll come back to you for some
of those -- >> yeah, i want to show you some of those pictures. >> thank you for that, bill karins. we want to go to miami where hurricane irma is expected to still have strong winds and waves ahead of irma's landfall. i want go back to sam champion. so as you look at that update and as was just pointed out it hasn't changed a whole lot, what does that mean for the east coast? >> reporter: well, i'll tell you, just keep going on the west coast for a little bit because bill did a great job. and one of the things that you have to know when you're on the west coast of florida, that low level area that we're talking about, 15 feet of water is going to go really far inland. more than 5 miles, more than 10 miles even land. that is very low land. and that is anywhere from naples to ft. myers all the way up into that tampa bay area. on the east coast, when you have flooding, you can drive your way out of it. on the west coast, it will take you a long time to get out of
that flood zone. you will see that water at 15 feet high, you won't believe how far that goes inland on the west coast. so that is an amazing thing to keep an eye on the west coast and to make sure that people are aware of. they really need to know their elevation level. we're here in myself at the mouth of biscayne bay and that is the miami river. this is the area where you see all those incredible yachts and boats and everything, the whole water world of miami and biscayne bay. a lot of those boats were evacuated on into the miami river. so we're right here at the mouth. you can see the gentle rolling swell, this happens when we get that wind pick up here. the difference between a short choppy wave and that real rolling swell, that is a powerful push of water. and the winds are picking up. we have just a little gust here. so this is a little gust band that is about 25 to 30 miles per hour. we've already had them about 40, 45 move three here.
and that is the one thing we have to talk to people about over the next few hours. on the east coast of florida. where people feel like there is a lull going on here. and they walk outside, they just want to get a picture. we talked to them and they are saying this is a moment in hegser to and i wanted to get patient with my family of irma. and what we're trying to get you to understand is i know it looks calm, but these gusts can pick up at any moment and they will be stronger than this and they will bring a lot of rain with them. thunderstorms as well. and as the storms come on shore, tornadoes are really possible. frequent tornados are possible as we get in to the nighttime hours with these bands. >> it is a little bit of -- if anybody has been through a storm before and it was fine, they assume that it will all be fine this time. >> yeah. and this is way different. i mean, this is not your garden variety cold front comes through, brings a thunderstorm or even the afternoon storms that we see. they can get pretty intense in south florida. i live here and i just want to understand this is a powerful
hurricane. and as it drives by the west coast, effects all over the state will be something. we'll lose power in a lot of places. and it will take a lot of time to get things back up. so i don't want anyone feeling relaxed about this storm now. i'll beginning to feel that we have a little bit of that rain kind of swinging in in one of those bands. if we can pan off, just look at the difference in the water there. >> that was fast. >> and you get that well, now you start to get -- yeah, it will happen in seconds, in less than a minute. as soon as the band picks up though, waves will go from thatthat thatle rolling swell to a 4, 5 foot wave with whites caps band the went will knock you off your feet. >> well, you be careful. your cameraman please be careful. and i'm sure we'll be coming back to you. thank you very much. meantime in cape coral, officials are pleading with residents to evacuate. but a lot of the shelters are filling up fast. some of them have already reached capacity. msnbc's jacob soboroff has been
driving between cape rocoral an ft. myers. what are you seeing now? >> reporter: yeah, we've left the cape coral fire department and thousand back in our vehicle with dana and arnie. we're going back down to ft. myers to retreat a vehicle of ours to get out of that low level area. the bottom line is ft. myers beach is virtually at sea level. it is not a place where you want to be whatsoever. right now we're driving along a road. it is empty out here. and that is a good thing because ft. myers is directly exposed to the gulf coast and that is where we will see irma hit with ferocity. if i'm hearing you all correctly, the storm surge could get up above 10 feet and that would be catastrophic for this area. no way in and no way out. you have many large hotels that
have been evacuated. this is a place where people come for leisure, to hang out and also just to live because of the absolutely beautiful scenery. and it is not going to be habitable after that storm mitts abo hits. so it looks like most people are out of there. but cape coralmitts hits. so it looks like most people are out of there. but cape coralitts hits. so it looks like most people are out of there. but cape coraltts hits. so it looks like most people are out of there. but cape corals hits. so it looks like most people are out of there. but cape corals hits. so it looks like most people are out of there. but cape coral hits. so it looks like most people are out of there. but cape coralhits. so it looks like most people are out of there. but cape coral have lad to open additional vakization centevacu. and i know you have been seeing that, as well. so we'll grab our vehicle and get out of this area because of how low lying it actually is and make our way like everybody else to higher ground. >> and i'm glad you're doing that. and you're with two very experienced talented people. so i'm glad for that. jacob soboroff, thank you and thanks to everybody who is out there reporting on this storm for us. kerry sanders joining me now from naples on florida's west coast. and not much change in that 5:00
update. it does not look good for the west coast. >> reporter: it does not. and there is a little bit of a cry six that isis that is still. the governor is pleading people to please evacuate because of the storm surge that will come. a storm surge that initially was 6 feet, then went to 10 feet, then 12 feet, now they are talking about 15 feet. the gulf of mexico is different than the atlantic. you can walk, walk, walk, walk out here. it's a very slow decline here. and so when that wall of water comes up, it pushes up and after it comes in, it takes a very long time to go back out as opposed to on the atlantic where the shelf drops like that. so the crisis is everybody listen, here in collier county as we go up one county in lee county, as we go further north up into charlotte county where 13 years ago hurricane charlie
came in, they have so many people who have gone to the shelters now at the urging of the government officials that now there is no room at the shelters. so what they are doing in the various counties is looking as irma is coming in, looking for more shelters to open up. furthest north in charlotte county, sarasota county has said we'll take some overflow from charlotte county to help you out. here in this county in collier county, i'm in napeles, they are telling people if you have a home that has believe a strong stukt, you ha structure, you have shutters up, you believe that it will be fine and you're going to stay in your house, could you please open your home to friends, family or strarng strangers because we can't house them all in the shelters here. and this is a very difficult situation for people who quite frankly earlier in the week dchbts think that they were going to be facing this because the initial forecast was that the eye might move up on the
east coast. so the anxiety is just about as high as it can get especially for those who are wondering where aim going to ride tam i going to ride the storm out sglch what do the houses look like, are they one story, two story, high rises? >> reporter: these are the mansions. i'm not sure whether i can turn the camera to reveal much to you, but we have a nice young girl watching uses abo us. but you can see the sea grapes all along the water and then behind here are just really some mansions. to give you an idea of the homes in this area, the homes that are in jeopardy, among the residents who have homes here, the governor of florida. his house is right here in naples. so these homes that are close to the shore are evacuated. nobody will stay here.
but you will have that water. and i'm talking about the shelf of the ghufl ulf of mexico. if you go to everglades city, that is a fishing village. most of the houses are on stilts up about 10 to 12 feet. but if there is a 15 foot storm surge and that is likely to be where we'll see the greatest a of storm surge, even those houses will be sloshed by the water. >> we continue to track irma as she barrels toward florida with time running out for residents to get out of dodge. what local leaders tell us about those who now have to she willner place. >> we've had direct hits before. i came here just as andrew hit, so probably my first time here and, you know, we've had many misses before, so pretty lucky. i guess it's just a matter of time before we get a hit.
we got the 5:00 update on irma. and there isn't a significant difference which means that the news is bad. it's bad for the florida keys. major storm surge could be happening from tampa bay all the way up through the extif a luci county line. and areas are seeing the first signs of the approaching hurricane. some severe flooding already. gatti schwartz is there. what are you seeing right now?
>> reporter: this is into the good sign of what is to come. right now we're in a marina, a neighborhood called manatee marina. and you can see this neighborhood is basically flooded out. this is from the storm surge coming unright now we're about a foot just over a foot of water in this area. and the problem is you have houses like this fortunately some of these houses over here, they are on stilts. it looks like they are about 12, 15 feet off the ground. but then you have homes over here, this is on the side of the ocean. and you see they are basically cut off right now. it looks like they have some four-wheel drive vehicles. so right about now, they can probably make it out with those vehicles. but if the water continues to come up, they will have a little bit of a difficult time. this is the marina proper. you see some of the boats in there. but the campers are getting flooded out. and then you have people that have parked their vehicles up on dry land, but again, if this water continues to rise, which we know it will, it will be very
difficult to get these vehicles out and again, hurricane irma right now more than 100 miles from where we are. and this is the type of storm surge that we're already seeing from hurricane irma. back to you. >> thank you so much. we'll get back to you. but joining me now is the mayor of key biscayne who ordered the evacuation of the entire area including all city government officials on friday. thank you so much for joining us. what is your big concern right now? >> my biggest concern is the storm surge. we are about 24 hours away from having the impact of the storm that we will receive in key biscayne. and i was told by officials that at high tide at around noon, our caus causeway was already under water. now, it did go down as the tide went down, but this is before really at the beginning of the storm. so it concerns me, the storm
surge concerns me. and it concerns me, we have one road in and one road out. a series of bridges. and one in particular is extremely susceptible to storm surge. it is structurally deficient. it is very low profile. and i just hope it doesn't wash away. >> what is your population there and do you have good numbers of how many people got out? >> my understanding and, yes, we have good numbers, we were extremely diligent, our emergency response team started working on evacuations on tuesday. we evacuated people with medical issues and elderly to hospitals on tuesday and wednesday. my estimate is about t97% of ou residents and about 13,000 people have evacuated. and they all heeded our warnings
and acted very diligently except for a few hardcore that just refused to leave. >> so you ordered this mandatory evacuation that meant lipolice, that meant emergency workers. is basically all you can do now is sit back and wait and then see what there is after the storm passes through? >> and that is correct. we are actually all hunkered down. we have a hotel in miami, but at a high altitude, highest elevation in miami. and i am here with the police chief, fire chief, our emergency personnel and now we are really strategizing for reentry and dealing with the effects of the storm as quickly and as responsibly as possible making sure that we can assess damage and take action. >> do you feel confident with state and federal resources you can do what you need to do whatever happens?
>> eye tell i'll tell you veryy delight and much to my surprise, we have gotten tremendous support from the feds, the state, the county. everyone is on it and they are really working hard to make sure that they are as responsive as possible. i have to tell you, it's been exceptional response. >> well, in a situation like this, reaction should know no party. and if that is the situation there, its so good to hear. mayor, good look uck to you and everybody who is part of your community. we appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. >> thank you so much. much appreciated. msnbc is tracking this historic storm continuing coverage through its landfall and after math. we want you to know even if you don't live in florida, so many people have friends, family there. we will stay with this throughout all night long, all through tomorrow. and after the break, we'll hear from the director of the national hurricane center from the center's headquarters in
watch on him we've been hearing for days that this is an incredibly powerful maybe unpress derntsed storm. is that still what you're seeing? >> the effects will be such that we haven't seen in the lower keys and southwestern part of florida in many years. the strongest winds aren't quite what they were a couple days ago, but we're still having major hurricane category 3 hurricane and we're expecting some reintensification now that the center is beginning to pull away from the coast of cuba. so as the center moves toward the northwest and north, passing over the lower to middle keys, we could indeed still have a category will landfall along the keys and potentially southwestern coast. >> incredibly warm waters. what does history tell us that the likelihood is that it will intensify to a 4? >> that is the expectation and
we've seen it happen before when there has been interaction with land that the storms do recover. and the greatest concern is the storm surge which has taken most of the lives over the years. we have storm surge warning that covers much of the west coast and east coast of florida and the florida keys. 5 to 10 feet of surge is likely on the lower keys, very concerned about that. and then even higher amounts 6 to 10 and 10 to 15 feet over portions of the southwestern peninsula. life threatening storm surge and that's what the colorized area indicates. >> what do you say to folks on the east coast who feel that they maybe dodged a bullet because it looked like it would be worse, but when i look at that pink line and i see the potential for storm surge, what is your message to everyone where we see that path? >> actually the area that we have shown is partly due to just how the land is shaped. the southwest is more vulnerable than the southeast. and it looks like the worst will
be in the lower and middle keys and up toward tampa. southeastern florida still will have some tropical storm-force winds. we already have gusts almost to hurricane d hurricane-force. sgled r >> ed rappaport, thanks to everything you do. appreciate it. irma's strength has ravaged the caribbean and we've been following her destruction every step of the way. after the break, we'll talk to the mayor of puerto rico where cleanup has just begun as hundreds of thousands of residents remain in the dark. but first, dramatic images, check this out, dolphins had to be air lifted to safety as irma bears down on cuba. we'll continue to for him irma's track all through the night. you can keep it here on msnbc as this historic hurricane threatens millions.
i'm chris jansing. we are expecting to hear from florida governor rick scott about half an hour from now and of course we'll have that briefing for you live. but we just got this picture in from the white house, a short series of pictures. this is at camp david, the laurel lodge. you see the president with members of his cabinet who are talking about exactly what the preparations are to deal with hurricane irma. vice president pence is there. this was all before that meeting began. we did hear just a short time ago from the mayor of key ey biscayne that she is thacis tha for the cooperation. and so much of that will be needed. again, this picture we got just moments ago from the white house from the meeting that is
probably going on even as we speak as camp david. but right now, thousands of floridians are seeking shelter just hours before hurricane irma slams in to the state. many of them almost out of time. and out of options. many shelters full. many hotels completely booked. governor rick scott urging people to look online for anyplace that can accommodate them. irma is expected to make landfall overnight in the florida keys. and already south florida is experiencing tropical storm-strength winds. horn more than 30 million people are under a hurricane warning and more than half the state's coastline is under a storm surge warning. we want to go back to miami and msnbc weather sam champion and we saw the wind and rain coming and going even within the live shot the last time. what are you experiencing over the last 15 minutes or so?
>> reporter: it will be exactly like that. notice how when we start the shot and it's calm for a minute and just a again tell owigentlee and then you'll get a burst of wind. and you can see it coming. it will look like a gray wall kind of a misty gray wall. you are looking at brickell key just right off downtown miami where the highrises that everyone withdraws ays so afrai all around here. and there are still about 20 cranes. they can withstand about 1 who mile-per-hour winds so they say. and thankfully in storm will not be tested for myself.34 who mile-per-hour winds so they say. and thankfully in storm will not be tested for myself.0 who mile-per-hour winds so they say. and thankfully in storm will not be tested for myself.mile-per-h. and thankfully in storm will not be tested for myself. but it will on the west coast. the water is pushing that way. that mouth of the miami reach. and cuts through downtown miami. and you're asking why are you
showing me that? well, here is the deal. we're talking about the storm surge tomorrow being right through here about 4 to 7 feet higher 2457b it is right now. and when you think about storm surge flooding, you think, oh, that is really only a coastal issue. not when you have something like this. this water has been going all day. being blown by that wind. straight down and into the miami river. out of that wide open bay that connects right to the atlantic. it's an inlet source of water. and the waves are getting stronger and every time a wind gust picks up, more water gets driven in there. it could be all day tomorrow that that water is pushed back up into that river as well. that means a lot of inland communities here in miami-dade metro area and all the way up the coast. as long as the wind is still pushing that water onshore, we'll get inland flooding from this as well during the day tomorrow as the storm gets closer. let's make that worse flooding with heavy rain and the storm is
certainly going to bring it as well. let's show you the heavy rain we're talking about. don't be surprised when you see 10 inches of rain a possibility in a lot of the area of the southwest tip of florida. anywhere from the tip of florida all the way to ft. myers and on into orlando area, we're looking at at least 10 inches of rain here. when you look at the keys and because the islands, you can't really see the color that is on there, i'll tell you, that it is not only 15 inches of rain expected in the keys, but there will be places that go 15 to 20 inches of rain and it could be up to 25. and that is anywhere from key west all the way up into key largo and marathon key where some of the heavy rains will be. in this area where we are standing today, as we get through the night and into tomorrow, we are expecting to see about 5 to 6 inches of rain. but there could be as much as 8 because it all depends how much in a heavy band, that big band of rain is dragging off the atlantic. let's show you the wind field from this storm because i don't want you to think that just because the worst parts of the storm will drive up the west coast that other folks will not
get hurricane-force winds. they will. see the red zone? first let's look at the yellow. those rts tropical storm-force winds. and that is 390 miales wide of tropical storm-force winds. so when this center of this storm is almost 400 miles away, we are in those tropical storm force winds and we're in it through the duration until we get to the other side of that storm. and in the middle of all that, that red zone, that is more than 70 miles in radius there, that is hurricane-force winds. so that will travel all the way up the coastline. as soon as that storm makes its move across key west tomorrow morning until tomorrow afternoon, it is passing by naples as a cat 4, still we believe, look at that hurricane wind field. and even though a lot of attention has been paid to the cone and the fact that miami may sit and ft. lauderdale and palm beach may sit just outside the cone, didn't sit outside the hurricane wind field.
that is why we want people to pay very careful attention tonight and into know it's temp oath coas east coast, they think i can go out. but i don't want you to get caught in a gust and we will have hurricane-force winds with this storm. it's a big storm. >> sam champion, we appreciate it very much. we'll get back to you. mean time in puerto rico, 1 million people are now without power after hurricane irma side swiped that island on wednesday and three deaths have been reported there. joining me on the phone is the governor of puerto rico. governor, thank you so much for being with us. what is the situation where you are right now? >> well, thank you for the opportunity. right now we are in evaluation mode. we're working closely with the federal agencies. we had pre-landfall declaration
of emergency for puerto rico. so with good preparation, establishing protocols, we have been working for five months, implementing them about a week before landfall. we have 460 shelters. our focus was to make sure that people's lives were saved and that families were secure. and luckily we were able to -- there were a few lives lost prior to the storm, but through prior execution, preparation and a little bit of luck, people's lives are safe and now we are focused on fixing the infrastructure, making sure people get their electricity back and get back to normalcy. you about of course helping our fellow citizens, other islands were hit, the virgin islands have become a hub so we can help those as well. >> i understand that today you said that you will be there if people can make their way to where you are. what will they find when they get there, how many people are
still without power? >> right now the number has diminished quite significantly. it's a little bit above half a million people. so our electric authority is working diligently to make sure people get their power back. they are doing it based on priority. so of course hospitals, the water supplies, electricity and some areas that are flood prone are the focus of our attention. but obviously there needed to be an evaluation and now since the storm 48 hours parks s past, 7t have power, and now we're about 37% so is significant reduction in that number. >> so many people here in the united states have family and friends in puerto rico. it's a beautiful place to go.
what will be your biggest challenges going forward? >> well, fixing the infrastructure and making sure that we get on the right path. puerto rico is a beautiful place. we've been focusing on making it an even bigger destination. the tourism company informed the critical infrastructure for tourism was ready to get going. so the ports have opened. we still have the airports. so we are looking to move forward. but recognizing that there were some families that were hit, some areas that were, you know, probably going to be disaster areas. but we're looking straightforward making sure that we can help those in need and i have to state that the federal government and the president, several governors, several representatives have been very helpful and very thoughtful bringing aid and attention to puerto rico. so our commit. is that we are here.
we're safe. we're rebuilding. but we are cognizant of what is going on in florida and virgin eye sachbt mt. maarten. and we will help. >> and that is much appreciated. governor from puerto rico, thank you so much and good luck. >> thank you very much. we want to go to gatti schwartz in key largo. how is the flooding looking there? >> reporter: the water is still going on up. we're heading down a little bit further on the 1. i want to show you what we're looking at. the outer bands are coming in and we're starting to see the winds really whip up. again, look at this, this trash can is going right across the road. in fact just come back here real fast, i want to show you what it
looks like where we're at. look at this. that little dot, that is where we are, that blue dot. and then this is the storm, the hurricane. that is about 100 miles away that wall is about 100 miles away. and we've seen in fact just up ahead of us, if we could punch the forward camera, that is a tree that you see blocking one of these side roads here. we haven't seen any of that on the 1 which is the main strip that connects all the different keys. we'll back up and get out of this little side road. we'll try to stay on this main road so we stay away from the trees. but that is what we're starting to see here in key largo. we'll go down just a little bit further. we have on to be careful. we don't want to get stuck out here. so we're basically checking to see how the bridges are, checking to see where the water level is and where the storm surge is. and how high the water is coming up to the roads and bridges to see if those are washing out. once we start to see the water
krets crest crest on one side, we'll get to the other side and get back to the main land. but we have seen flood gz and we ha have seen the trance formers blow, some trees come on down. and again, hurricane hurricane irma is about 100, 150 miles away from us. >> you and your crew stay safe. thank you so much. appreciate it. time to make a decision. evacuations are in place across the state. more than 6.3 million floridians have been ordered to evacuate. >> queef bewe've been hearing f governor of florida for days warning those in the past of this historic storm. stay with msnbc for continuing coverage. we will be on all through the night. we will be on into the morning when we are expecting irma to make landfall. we will have the very latest. and if you need information or
we're back with our coverage of hurricane irma. a couple things i want to tell you are coming up. ten minutes from now we're expecting to hear from florida governor scott. elhave the latest on what's going on there. also, just got an techlt mail from my old friends on the white house press team. they are waiting a receipt out of that meeting we showed you a picture of the president and his entire cabinet at camp david. they are gaming out what they are going to do in terms of the federal response to this forecast for hurricane irma may have shifted slightly west, but miami is not in the clear from dangerous conditions. the most severe storm surges could stretch more than 200 miles from miami to north of
fort meyers. some of the worst, again, on the west coast, but should not rule out the possibility of real damage over on the east coast as well. nbc's mia rodriguez joins me for you from miami. we saw folks earlier on the beaches, taking pictures, kite surfing. from where you are has everybody gone indoors? >> it's pretty much a ghost town out here, chris. i mean, the area of town down miami pretty empty. you see a car go by once in ayou while. even it says closed due to hurricane irma. if you look off into biscayne bay you can't even see anything past like about, i don't know, maybe 3 had you been feet out there. i mean, there's barrier islands out there. miami beach is out there. can't see any of that at this point. here is the real danger, though. take a look at this. this is a palm frond came down
during one of those gusts. this is enormous, 10 to 15 long. it is have i very, very heavy. it's a major issue. there's a major tree canopy here in the miami metro area. after hurricane andrew we saw so many trees come down. you couldn't get down a number of roads because those trees had come down. and of course, miami is known for its palm trees. it's going to be interesting to see how hurricane irma affects all of that. the other issue here in downtown, of course, you heard sam talking about all of this. all of those cranes, 25 cranes in downtown miami. so many more high rises built justine within the last decade or so since miami has had an impact from a hurricane. that's a major issue. those cranes supposedly can take it up to 145-mile-per-hour. that's going to be a big test out here. but as you can see, downtown miami right now, with good reason, a ghost town. it's empty. people have heeded the
evacuation or we have spoken to some people who have hunk erred down in their buildings. they do have shutters up on some of these buildings, some of these high rises. we'll see how they all fair through this. some of these buildings do have tempered glass. that will be another big test whether the hurricane blows out those windows or all of these glass buildings hold. chris. >> mia rodriguez, be careful out there. we thank you for your coverage. and it's all hands on deck for the salvation army in south florida, working with local police and emergency management officials to set up shelters for displaced residents. in addition they're also prepping food and water to hand out to those in need. joining me now area commander. thank you so much for being with us. and i'm sorry i'm sure i miss pronounced your last name. but give us a sense of what you guys are facing right now. >> okay. thank you, chris. we have called all staff and volunteers working in four location, plus the miami area
command in miami-dated county and we are set -- all of this will take place once the hurricane has passed. now all priority is provide sheltering to more than 300 clients, and we are providing food, bed and care to all of them. we have volunteer staff serving people from our community in thools emergency times. >> do you have confidence that you have all of the supplies you need? we were talking to somebody in one of the shelters, and she was very grateful for everything she was getting, but she said they had two days of hot meals. now they were eating mreest, but they were fine. she was in a shelter where they accept pets. so do you feel confident that you're going to be able to see this storm through? >> oh, yes. right now talking about
salvation army is -- this include mobilizing units and care teams for first responder. all 47 salvation army units in florida from pensacola to south florida are on stand by and eager to assist residents in need. along with -- this is another information, along with 22 can teens that are mobile kitchen. the salvation army also have a fleet of equipment which include two bunk houses, two shower trailer, one generator and four utility track which will be deployed as needed to be -- in needed areas. >> and once this storm is over and once people leave the shelters, the job of the salvation army doesn't end, does it? >> no. no. we will continue supporting and working here in order to support
our community. >> we seem to have lost -- did we lose communication with the captain? >> yes. >> continue. go ahead. >> no. we want to mention and remind that salvation army is currently working on establishing five staging area which include miami, fort myer, palm beach and fort lauderdale. >> thanks to you and thanks to all the folks at salvation army for all the work they do. we do appreciate it. flooding in the florida keys. just hours left until the state feels the full force of that storm. again, we're going to get the very latest track of irma from the national hurricane center. we are going to get an update from rick scott, the governor. we have you covered all throughout today, all throughout tomorrow. we are not going to leave you. our coverage will continue right here on msnbc.
welcome back. at the top of the hour 6:00 p.m. on the east coast. let's take a live look at tallahassee, florida, where we're waiting for the start of governor rick scott's briefing on hurricane irma. it should start any moment now, and of course, we'll have that live for you as it happens. we're also watching ir