tv Lockup San Antonio - Extended Stay MSNBC September 10, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT
hello, everyone. i'm alex witt here in new york at msnbc world headquarters, where it is 3:00 a.m. in the east. it is midnight out west. you're watching our special coverage of hurricane irma. at this hour, the hurricane is building strength as it takes aim at the florida keys. it is now back at a category 4 storm with 130-mile-an-hour winds. it could be even stronger bit time it reaches the panhandle. but, first, just hours away from pummeling the lower keys, has a storm surge warning in effect there, also for other parts of florida. storm surge warnings in effect
throughout the entire state. the latest advisory warning, they could climb to 15 feet. let's talk power outages. they are rising by the hour. 253,000 power outages reported so far. officials say that number could soar into the millions after irma hits. florida's governor rick scott is asking those who still have power to charge their phones now while they still can. let's begin with philip mena, live for us in ft. lauderdale. it is raining, it is windy. what is the latest from there? >> reporter: yeah, absolutely, alex. it is coming in waves. we're seeing bands of gusts of winds and rain and as we anticipate the arrival of what we're going to be able to feel on this side of irma. you mentioned the power outages, there is a 74,000 that are out here in broward county alone, in miami-dade, about 150,000. so the vast majority of those outages that you mentioned are here in the metro area. that's the biggest problem with
people are facing. we talked a few minutes ago about how they were pulling some deputies when the weather was getting too treacherous out from broward county, i'm speaking about right now, when that was happening. that doesn't mean they're off for good until the storm passes. because we're just feeling these bands here and there, they're trying to make sure they're safe, you know, when it gets a little too hairy out there, as soon as that passes or if the -- if they're called to duty, they will do it if it is safe. i spoke to them a few minutes ago and because we are under a curfew and so many people have heeded the evacuation orders, they are getting hardly any calls, so thankfully they're not even in harm's way. and that's some really good news. >> that is really good news. ft. lauderdale not too far from heim. h miami. how about to the north of you? what is happening in the beach communities, surge, wind, anything like this? >> reporter: so far the storm
surge warning was just lifted not too long ago. so that -- we don't want to let our guard down, that warning has been lifted in that area -- our area as well as to the north. so right now again the main concern where we are as we speak are those power outages. >> okay. philip mena, thank you so much for that, from ft. lauderdale. let's go from there to the west coast in naples and bring in jake on soberoff. what is it like there? >> reporter: here in naples we're not feeling the full effect yet. it is pretty calm, not so much rain coming down, not very much wind, but in a matter of hours, it is going to be an extraordinary feeling to be a part of here in southwest florida. 10, 15 foot storm surge. that could envelop many of the communities that are built up along the southwestern portion of florida, places i was throughout the day today from here in naples to ft. myers beach. they're going to ing door to do
tell people to evacuate. now is the time to hunker down if you have not evacuated and gone into a shelter for the storm. so much of the region, it is low lying, near sea level in cape coral where i was, it was a community built to have accessibility to the water for many if not all of the homes where there is 179,000 people in that very low lying region. the hope is that that storm surge does not flood those homes and homes throughout this area. but in all likelihood, if it is as predicted, that very well might be the case, we'll have to wait and see, but the storm is approaching fast, approaching furious and at this hour, all we can hope for is people are safe and they are ready for hurricane irma to hit. >> that is what we hope for, jacob. thank you for that. joining me now, steve saucena. we heard steve talking about storm surge. what i'm trying to do is envision what that looks like. you say a 15 foot storm surge, is that like a wave, a wall of
15 feet that comes at you or does it ebb and flow and build to that level? >> so there is a building up to it, but 15 feet above the mean water level, so where the water usually is, 15 feet above that, but another thing you have to take into consideration, that doesn't calculate in the wave height. so there could be waves 10 to 15 feet above that. then you're looking at -- you're looking at destruction. that's why they say you need to get out of your house. that's why you need to get out if you don't have a very high floor to go on because if that water level comes up 15 feet, i'm almost 6 foot tall, that's about 9 feet higher than myself. it is destructive because you have the waves on top of that. that's why they're not kidding. that's why we wanted to get everybody out of here because now you have these breakers come in that are 20, 25 feet high, on top of that storm surge. it is not a good situation that is unfolding, especially here in
the keys now and what will be unfolding here later on this morning. and the southwest coast of florida. the latest stats here as of 3:00 a.m., 65 miles southwest of key west. it is moving to the northwest at 6 miles per hour. we can see the eye here on the key west radar scope. it is only about 40 miles away, this eyewall. this is where your core of winds, 100, 120, 130 miles per hour, and that's going to be coming on shore here the next couple of hours for the lower keys. so hopefully if the people that did ride out the storm down there are there, they are in a very secure structure because that water will be piling up here shortly if it hasn't done so already. and some of these rain bands moving off to the north now. in fact, key west just reporting a wind gust of 59 miles per hour. again, this is nothing compared to what is happening here in the next couple of hours. some outer rain bands producing
wind gusts 40, 50 miles per hour. on the latest advisory, pulaski shoals, just west of key west, is gusting up to 76 miles per hour. we're starting to see those intense wind gusts here with the outer eyewall coming ashore. let's look at the storm surge map here. we have been talking a lot about that. that's the biggest problem with this storm is the surge. and a lot of this area of florida, especially along the gulf coast, very vulnerable. canals, rivers, inlets here and it is very low to the ground. this water can just come up very quickly and a lot of these towns have really built themselves up here in the last 10 or 15 years. so we have high density population here, and once that water comes in, it is trapped. that's why you get trapped for a while. and land yourself in a bad situation if you didn't evacuate. so you still have several hours here in southwest florida. now that this thing is up to a 4 again, maybe reconsider here and
give it another go. because, again, this is really not a good situation as this eyewall will hug areas of the coast. we're expecting a storm surge to the big bend area here in florida. 4 to 6 feet. storm surge warnings issued for this part of florida and look, even on the other side of the storm, there is so much wind coming in here, we'll pile up the water from areas across south carolina, just south of myrtle beach, all the way through the charleston area, through savanna and on to the eastern shore, daytona beach, down towards the space coast. it is the size of this thing and the problem here, and until we get this thing on land and weaken it, these storm surge concerns are a real threat. secondary concern and great concern now that this is back up to a 4 is the wind damage potential. that exists all the way from key west, florida, to the georgia florida stateline. you do not see this often. it is the track of this storm as well. andrew buzz sawed through south florida and only took a small chunk of the state.
this one is going right up the peninsula, so we have never really seen anything like this. and, again, the damage will be extreme. we'll be tracking this eyewall and its destructive winds and surge all the way through the morning and all the way through today. >> i want to ask you about the state of georgia, certainly not the focus for many people right now. we know all the way back on thursday, governor nathan deal said all of you on the coastline in georgia, you need to heed evacuation orders, and some people i'm sure were scoffing and saying what are you talking about, this is going to the west side of florida and activated what is it, 5,000 georgia national guard members, they're on active duty. but you look at georgia, how bad is this situation potential there and when would georgia be in trouble? >> that's a good question. a lot of it depends on how strong this storm system stays. it is huge. we focused on the cone, right? and where that cone goes. the impacts are well outside of that cone. the longer this thing stays over water, and the more it
intensifies now, the more problems you have upstream going on throughout the duration of this event. this is another situation where we're now casting. so we're forecasting out the window, it is now casting hour by hour. at 11:00, the hurricane center said this will stay a 3. it is up to a 4 now. it is an hour by hour situation. we have to handle the next 6 to 12 hours. people in georgia, south carolina, you need to be keeping an eye on it. based on what we're seeing here, you better be preparing for it. prepare for the worst. hope for the best. that's what you do. >> steve, thank you for that. we'll see you again. we have certainly been seeing amazing pictures throughout the night as hurricane irma's winds have blown now the florida keys. let's take a look at some of them right now.
>> we're also noticing loud noises and explosions of green and blue lights. those are transformers blowing throughout the area. so not one, not two, but three different times. >> if i try to walk any further, at this point the wind is pulling me back. so not too far. just feet from the hotel. >> the thing that is the most scary to me that is going to have the potential to take lives is this 10 to 15 feet of storm surge from ft. myers through naples and marco island. >> the storm surge will rush in and it could kill you. >> can't say it anymore more plainly than that. first it was harvey. now it is irma. up next, a conversation on climate change impacting the power and regularity of the super storms. as hurricane i
churns its way towards florida, parts of haiti are having a very tough time drying out. dozens of communities remain heavilied inned after irma and 10,000 people remain in temporary shelters. haitian officials are concerned about risks of a cholera comeback. hurricane force winds are expected in the florida keys in just over an hour. we're keeping a close eye on that. joining me now is the mayor key biscayne, florida, joining me on the phone. i know you're hunkered down with your emergency team there in downtown miami. talk about the residents of your community, key biscayne, how many heeded evacuation orders. >> sure. we had over 90% compliance.
we are at a low lying barrier island and zone a, which was the first zone to be evacuated during mandatory evacuation. and we have experienced several hurricanes, we take it very seriously. our residents were actually very compliant. we also had our police and our fire out there, urging everyone to evacuate as soon as possible. that was good. >> so you wait with everybody else in your community there. what are conditions like right now in key biscayne? >> right now, i'll tell you, we have surveillance cameras and they're out, so there is no power. and throughout the day yesterday we were already experiencing flooding. we had over the causeway had been covered with water, during the high tide, and we had as far as reports, a couple of downed
trees and -- but it is dark, so i can't tell you exactly what is going on. but we are getting bands and we expect bad weather until 11:00 p.m. tonight. >> that is a long time to be inundated with water and winds. what is your greatest concern? what area are you most worried about that you think when you return to key biscayne, it may not be there, or be dramatically altered? >> my biggest concerns are the bridges. we have one bridge particular that is structurally obsolete. that means the profile of the bridge is very, very low, and it is susceptible to storms and storm surge. so our concern is that would -- and it is our only way in and out. our concern is that it is compromised during the storm. >> that is a huge concern. what happens if your fears come
true and indeed that bridge is not something that you can transverse to get to the community? >> well, i'll tell you, that was one of the main reasons for t the -- for us evacuating. we didn't want to be on the other side with no way out. to us, the mandatory evacuations again were critical. and our infrastructure, which this particular bridge is owned by miami-dade county is also very critical to our -- to our lives and our egresses and ingress. >> well, needless to say, it is an exhausting time for you. i appreciate you being here in the middle of the night. but i know you're keeping vigil on everything there in key biscayne. thank you so much. >> thank you, alex. much appreciated. >> all righty. well, let's bring in dan krouth in miami beach, florida. what are you seeing where you are? >> reporter: good morning. we're seeing a lot as you can
see a lot of rains, a lot of heavy winds and a lot of flooding. this street looks look a river right here. this is what used to be a sandbag to protect one of the businesses here. this is not the only street. this is street after street. i spoke with a hotel manager three blocks away, he has floodwaters coming into his hotel now. this is a hotel where a lot of people went to because they had nowhere else to go. flooding say big concern here at miami beach. and as you can see, the rain is picking up. to give you some perspective about where i am, i'm one block away from the iconic collins avenue. at this time, 3:20, sunday morning, normally packed with people leaving the nightclubs. tonight, a ghost town. and as it should be. over at the marina, i found a boat submerged in water. a lot of very large trees uproaded by heavy winds and lying in power lines. firefighters are scrambling to cut down the trees and get them off the power lines. a lot of the trees are hanging on power lines, which is
preventing them from falling on to people's homes. i'm also hearing a lot of loud explosions and flashes of green and blue light in the air. those are the sights and sounds of transformers blowing throughout the area. tens of thousands of people without power in miami-dade. look at the palm trees. swaying in the wind from the heavy gusts. a lot of people here hunkered down for the evening. they're worried to see what they're going to find when they wake up tomorrow. >> i'll bet they are. talk about the concerns there. is it the water, the flooding, you describe a hotel nearby there on the famed collins avenue, that already has some water coming through there, and either with the wind, looks pretty devastating, but you're able to talk pretty well. i think you're very experienced at talking through hurricanes or the wind hasn't picked up quite enough yet. what is the status on that? >> reporter: well, we're getting very large wind gusts that come and go.
i got to tell you, on one portion of miami beach, it looks pretty nice, there aren't a whole lot of outages, there aren't a whole lot of trees down. a lot of people have power. on this portion of miami beach, however, there is a long recurring problem when it comes to flooding. i've never seen it quite like this before. we're just getting started here, so looking pretty bad and we have many hours of this storm left to go. we have the worst part of the storm still left to go. this hotel manager just a few blocks away told me he was not expecting anything like this on his street. they're using pumps now to try to get the water out of the building. they put more sandbags near the doorway and grateful they have a backup generator in case the power goes out. luckily on this portion of miami beach, the lights are still on. >> i can see they are still on, which is bringing some comfort i'm sure to people in the area. how about things that aren't aptly tied down there, dan? are you worried about projectiles? we had your cameraman showing us that stop sign, which seems to have a fair amount of movement there. something like that could come
loose. do you see any evidence of that? were they able to go around and pick up trash cans and other things that could go flying through the air? >> reporter: city and county workers spent the last 72 hours picking up, i believe, more than 700 tons of trash, bulk trash, from the streets. throughout miami beach, the city of miami and miami-dade county. they have been working really hard to get debris off the streets. if you can pan up to the sign, it is swaying in the wind. we saw three of these signs blown away in miami beach off collins avenue so far. this one staying put for now. we saw a few awnings, signage from businesses that are gone. we saw a lot of downed trees, a lot of very large palms and coconuts flying around and also construction cones in the middle of roadways, people's doorsteps. so far not a whole lot of major debris so far. just the transformers and
smaller things that are flying around the area. as you know, they can be very dangerous projectiles if you're outside. >> for sure. >> luckily we have not seen a whole lot of people outside. high rises, we see people walking their dog and going back in. another major concern for people in this area, we have more than two dozen very large construction cranes right now in the air, which we can show you right now, each one of these construction cranes because there is a lot of construction, a lot of building in miami, weigh at least 30 tons and right now they're just swaying around in the wind like a pendulum. that's what they're designed to do. construction crews cut the power to them, and left them up because they take two weeks to deconstruct. so they have to stay up in the air. so right now they're just swinging and swaying around in the wind, and people live in these high rises near these construction towers, so we're watching them swing around, they're designed to sustain winds up to 145 miles per hour. those will be put to the test today. the mayor of miami did cautious
people, urged them to evacuate if they live near one of the construction cranes. however, i saw a lot of lights on in a lot of the towers near these cranes, so it is going to be interesting to monitor the cranes and keep an eye out to see what happens. >> we have seen them, dan, and it is an absolutely frightening picture that you so aptly paint there. we weren't able to see them but you've done a great job. i wish you could see my face when you start talking about it. my eyes got as big as saucers, that's frightening. here in new york city we had that happen before, not from a storm, but just because the crane wasn't operational properly. and they have been deadly. so a lot to be concerned about there. dan, i'll let you go right now. i hope to speak with you again from wtvj, good job, thank you. to paul ulrich of global climate modeling. with a welcome to you, paul, let's get to it, what do you make of the way irma has restrengthened in just the last
hour and a half or so, back to a category 4. did you expect that? >> good morning, alex. pleasure to talk with you. i wish it was under better circumstances. i expected it at some degree because the -- these are surface temperatures in the caribbean now are so conducive to tropical cyclone development. we're seeing basically very warm waters overall that basically allow these tropical cyclones to grow in intensity. hopefully as it gets into shallower waters we'll see a deintensification and the eyewall basically moves over land we'll see some weakening of the storm, hopefully drop it down to a cat 3. >> we talk about the storms and i've used the word superlatives where, but it seems like they all are the biggest and the worst and et cetera. are hurricanes getting larger in scope, are they getting stronger in scope? do you see things on an incline,
increase? >> in terms of overall intensity, the science is pretty clear that there is a slight upward trend in overall intensity. and in the historical record, we have seen some really killer storms like the 1935 labor day hurricane. in terms of what we have seen this year, conditions have been very conducive to the formation of these storms. it is expected at least with climate change over the next century we'll see further intensification of the storm. so we're looking by end of century to see something like 10% increase in the average intensity of the storms and 20% increase in overall rainfall. just in order to benchmark what a 10% increase means, that's half a category of your typical hurricane. what would be pegged as halfway through a category 3 would be bumped up to category 4 because of the boost in conditions brought on by climate effects. >> how about the speed of the
storm, paul? these ginormous storms like irma, this is moving just about 6 miles an hour. is it a slower move, the larger the storm, does that have anything to do with it? >> not necessarily. more so governed by basically the strength of the steering winds. these are the upper level winds, the general circulation that are basically steering where exactly these hurricanes are ending up. it just happens to be that over the past couple of weeks we have seen some weakness a bit, overall steering winds, which kept many of the hurricanes basically in place. so in case of harvey, that was responsible for basically the huge dumps, precipitation, that we saw in texas. harvey just did not move very far east or west. >> all right. paul ulrich at the university of california davis, paul, again, thank you for your time. i wish it was under better circumstances that we met on camera here. thank you. coming up, the biggest
says it will make landfall there within hours. then the latest projections have it aimed at florida's western coast with the eye of the storm crossing st. petersburg. now, all signs say this storm will be disastrous for the keys, also parts of georgia and forecasters are especially alarmed about the storm surge warnings up to 15 feet. the comfoworst could take place naples to ft. myers. it could get worse as it moves closer to the panhandle. the massive storm is between 350 and 400 miles wide. the effects will be felt in every single county of florida at some point today. to nbc's julia bagg, before you cross the bridge and get into the keys. let's talk about the situation there now. last hour you were dealing with
fierce winds. how about now? >> reporter: still really fierce, alex. in fact, just in the last minute as you were talking, the lights went out here at this gas station that has been closed. you know this spot well, the last stop before you head off the main land on the overseas highway. power has been going out steadily since we last spoke. we have seen green flashes all over the place. when power lines short out. so it is getting darker. you see lights behind me here. but i'm wondering, wow, perhaps these are just some emergency lights because of what just happened. want to point out this area here for you. this is where people who live in florida city were collecting sand for sandbags to protect against any potential flooding and storm surge. we have a long way to go. keep in mind, this is how strong the winds are right now, even though the storm is off of key
west. it is more than 100 mile ride from the main land to key west. i want to show you a little bit of what this is doing. we look at the vegetation around here and this tree, winds might pause for a second. kick up really in a mean way and blow things around. we have seen it is darker now, of course. i don't know if you saw it, another green flash that just went off. to give you an idea how many people are in the dark now, more than 150,000 households across south florida. most of them in miami-dade county, some of them where ft. lauderdale is in broward county as well. so this is something that we're just seeing the beginning of, and we're expecting things to get worse. now, what we're doing is we're taking -- we're being careful, taking shelter behind our vehicle at the moment. we're also positioned in such a way where we're able to -- as much as we can in case some debris comes flying. that's a big danger at this hour
when it is so dark. you can see -- >> all right, everybody. you're seeing for yourself the effects of the winds and the rains there with our live shot with julia. she's been out there all night with the storm and the winds are too much now for the satellite signal. off she goes. but i thank her and the cameraman for putting together the live report for as long as it did last. the winds, it is a really incredible, so talk about irma, that was florida city, the southern most tip of the florida panhandle. and she made that point, it is about 122 miles from that point all the way down to key west. look at these winds. >> if you saw her images, it is worse in key west now. i'm not able to find any images now. hopefully those people took the precautions. let's look at some of the latest
wind gusts out there. they're starting to ramp up. i found 88-mile-per-hour wind gusts at marathon key, key west, 83 miles per hour. smith shoal, 74. that's hurricane force wind gusts there. and even up to ft. lauderdale, well away from the center, you get into the rain bands, 70-mile-per-hour wind gusts. any of these wind gusts can knock out power. once you lose power, you're not going to get it back for a long time. that's why we want you to have a generator around or something that you can get your device with, charged up. it is one of those situations, once you get stranded or once you lose power, it is going to be a long time. the situation not getting any better now. that eyewall is really starting to get close now to the lower florida keys, from marathon south on u.s. 1. and absolutely getting battered by heavy rain and gusty winds and let's put the distance tool on here, see how far that eyewall is now. it has been approaching all morning long about 39, 40 miles
to that core. that's where you're getting those winds of 120, 130, 140 miles per hour and the surge that will be coming up here, so, again, absolutely life threatening conditions here. you do not want to be out in this. will only get worse for the next several hours, and then the eye will come up, things will get calm for a little while and you'll get the back side of the storm. remember, the water does funnel in from the back. so just because the eye has passed through doesn't mean conditions will get much better there in the keys. and the conditions across the lower part of the peninsula of florida will only get worse here, but there is still time, if you're along the coastal communities, marco island, toward tampa and live along the water in a surge threat area, you still can get out and i would advise based on the intensity trends, this is not getting any weaker. in fact, it is showing signs of getting stronger. so there is still time for you to act, the high tide cycle here
is around 7:00 this evening. and i think that's the one that will have the most imminent storm surge threat. winds 130 miles per hour, upgraded to category 4 storm. and this is the old intensity forecast, but the reason why i wanted to show you is because of the threat for the storm surge this evening. the hurricane right off of ft. myers here, 8:00, so remember that, high tide at 7:00. that water will be funneling in with the back side of the storm. so naples, down to ft. myers, marco island, very densely populated areas. if you're reluctant to go, based on a weaker storm earlier on saturday, this is a very strong storm and only getting stronger again. i would get out of there. look at that. 72-mile-per-hour wind gusts new at key west and we'll see the wind gusts ramp up across the state of florida. it is a huge storm. it is not a point. even outside of that cone, you're going to get damaging
wind potential. but the greatest most life threatening conditions, is that southwest and now west coast of florida, and this is an hour by hour situation because it depends on where this eye comes ashore, does it parallel the coast and we'll be following that all day. there is big ramifications if it goes all the way up to st. petersburg area today. to wbbh's gary brod in cape coral, florida. i understand you've got a lot of downed tree branches, i see one snapped right behind you. that looks like a fairly thick branch. >> reporter: alex, it is a very big branch. i want to give you an example of how big it is. i have a 6'6" wingspan and it is at least double. 13 to 15 feet. i'm not sure exactly if it was because of the wind or lightning. we haven't had much lightning in the area. i'm assuming it is wind. wind speeds have picked up anywhere between 20 to $30 mi30
per hour. that number is important. the reason why we are here right now, we're very close to one of our main bridges, which connects us from cape coral to ft. myers. once that speed hits 40 miles per hour, it is sustains for a little while, they'll close the bridges. for example, our station is on the ft. myers side. if we're here in cape coral, we'll be stuck here in cape coral, we can't get it back over. won't have shelter. now, i do need to mention, though, there is no blockade, just a reference, just don't want people to be on the roads on the bridge because of that sustained wind. as we look down the road here, you can see i want to look up, here is why it is so troubling where this branch went down. those are power lines, no more than 15, 20 feet away. and as i take you over here, if you look at the trees here behind those trees, that's a power grid. certainly a cause for concern in this area right now.
i can tell you in the last 15 minutes or so, the wind speeds can -- as clearly picked up, so has the rain. we're seeing more of it. we drove around the cape coral area for the last half hour, 45 minutes or so. we have seen anything from fruit, branches, couple of mailboxes as well. the wind speed playing a factor right now. no one is on the road. people are hunkering down, getting ready for the storm or we are in the evacuation area, hopefully a lot of those people who are supposed to be here got out in time. for now, we're going to have to wait it out. irma is hitting probably within the next seven our hours or so. >> gary, do me a quick favor, look down the road. i see there is power despite concerns about things like trees and branches falling down. right like you've just shown us for the power lines. it looks like that area has got a lot of power as opposed to we know florida city we're watching the power outages happen. the keys are all in the dark.
so just give me an assessment of power there. >> reporter: we have been pretty lucky so far on power. we're not expecting that luck to continue. as you look up there, you can see one of the streetlights currently still on, down the road, i don't know if you can see, we're able to see several different houses with power right now. last check, in the three major counties we have, about 1500 people were without power. so not a large number by any stretch of the imagination. we have seen worse on a bad storm day. but like we said, we continue -- we expect that number to continue to rise throughout the next couple of days. >> keep a close eye on the wind speeds, don't want you getting stuck anywhere where it is not safe for you. thank you for joining us live on msnbc. thank you, gary. still ahead, the preparations in place to help those being hit hard by irma's wrath.
40 past the hour. we're back tracking hurricane irma this morning. this was the scene in virginia gardens, florida. it was earlier. a bit near the miami international airport. look at the flashing lights, they may look like lightning. they are not. they're transformers, they're blowing out in quick succession as the neighborhoods in the area all lost power. more than 271,000 people are without territory right now. irma is resting about 65 miles southeast of key west, but it is making its way in that direction. let's get more now on the safety issues in and around miami, to do that, i'm joined by detective artemus cologne who joins me on the phone. detective, first off, for you and those officers, detectives with whom you work, is everybody safe there? have you had to hunker down yet because of the winds? >> good morning, thank you for having us. as of now i'm being told we're
still responding to calls, however they're only emergency, life threatening calls. so officers haven't gotten the final word yet to hunker down but the winds are picking up. i'm sure that will be coming soon. >> what kind of calls are you getting and from where? >> it is going throughout the county. mostly people with injuries or stuff like that, has to do with fire rescue. but our officers still respond with them, you know, we are first responders, so we try to get there quickly. our vehicles are smaller, able to get through the debris quicker than the rescue trucks. we're still responding. haven't gotten word yet not to respond, but the storm is close, the winds are picking up. i'm sure that's going to be short. >> detective to what extent did people comply with evacuation orders? >> the beginning, a lot of people were not moving. we were very fortunate and very lucky yesterday we had barely
anybody that wanted to stay behind. we are in florida, we know a lot of people have gone through this before. once they saw the severity and size of the storm, i think they were really compliant and we had a big success. our shelters are still open. i know it is only -- this is your last resort. go to a shelter. you will not be turned away. they're still open. but at this time, it is a little late. i hope everybody is already made the correct preparations and they're hunkering down wherever they're at. if that's the last resort, they're still open. and they will not be turned away. >> yeah. what about things like logistics. can people get gas anywhere? >> that's another thing we saw towards the end. i have family and they have questions and friends as well. toward the end, everybody was able to get gas. at the beginning, it was hectic. the lines at the gas station got shorter and shorter.
i didn't see any open today maybe because of the closure of all businesses. but i think towards the end, the lines were short, everybody was able to get gas. we weren't getting complaints of shortage of items. so i think we were doing good as a county. >> that is good to hear. how long do you think you're still going to be able to stay out on the roads and response to emergency calls before you have to tell people we cannot safely get to you? >> it depends on the winds. right now we're getting the feeder bands and things like that. but once the winds reach a sustained amount, i don't know what they're going to call it, that's when they'll make the final call. and the storm is getting closer. i know that time is coming shortly. >> what is it you're most concerned about? winds, the flooding? is it emergency calls you can't get to and it just wreaks havoc with everyone in the department? that's what you're trained to do. >> it is a combination of everything. we have all terrain vehicles,
high water vehicles. we're going to be ready. it is going to depend how bad the storm gets. there is no sense in us trying to get out there when we're going to put our officers in danger and they may not make it to the call. i know that as soon as the storm goes away and we get the call back, we're going to be ready, we have the alpha bravo shift in place, we have the whole department in uniform, half the department is working during the day, the other half during the night. we're going to have the 24 hour coverage. but we need to see how much or how long the storm lets us go out there and once we cannot, then we hunker down, but as soon as the storm goes away, we're going to be ready. we have all the resources available and we'll be out there to help the community out. >> it is an extraordinary spirit that you carry there. thank you so much for what you did and for taking care of the citizens there in miami-dade county. best of luck, sir. >> thanks so much. appreciate it. the effects of irma are beginning to be felt on florida's gulf coast. joining us now, mark douglas on
st. pete beach. let's talk about the storm there. we see winds. that's for sure. what is it like? >> reporter: good morning, alex this is what sailors would call a fresh breeze. you see the sea oats behind me waving in the wind. nothing too severe. nothing anywhere close to what we expect a little bit later. let me give you a little bit of a view here. this is the bay side of st. pete beach. and you can see the water just lapping up here on the beach. if we get anywhere close to the storm surge that they're talking about, this water will come over this beach, over the seawall, down the street, and it will join with the gulf of mexico, which is only about a couple hundred yards to my left. and this entire section of st. pete beach, the southern end, they call it pasagril, will be completely under water. that's what they're expecting with the storm surge.
they have evacuated the beaches. we have driven 20 miles down the coastline and saw one person walking around and a lot of police cars. so the evacuation appears to be working fairly effectively. i checked in with the emergency operations center a little bit agr ago. there is room for 23,000 more people in shelters tonight. >> that's good news to know there is more space and better news to know you drove 20 miles and only saw one person other than police there out on the streets. mark douglas on st. pete's beach, thank you for the latest from there. we appreciate that. for all of you there is also now a tornado warning in ft. lauderdale as well as the miami area. you're looking at that area right now. we're going to check in with conditions on the ground there in just a moment.
hour. right to steve sosna to get the latest on the tracking of irma. we look at people who have hunkered down in shelters as they have been told to do by the governor and everybody else. so what is it like out there now? where is it heading? >> they did the right thing. want to be sheltered in place here now. we have severe weather, new at this hour, we have tornado warnings around the ft. lauderdale, broward county area. and that area extends up north towards ft. pierce. we'll be tracking in the only storm surge and devastating winds, also the potential for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms throughout the day and also the heavy rainfall. alex? >> okay, steve sosna, thank you for that. more coming from you in the next hour. that's for sure. we're back at the top of the hour, live reports from both coasts of florida, and the very latest on the path of hurricane irma.