tv Lockup Raw MSNBC September 10, 2017 2:00am-3:00am PDT
40 miles away from key west. so that's when the devastating and inundation of storm surge comes on in here. so let's take a look at the satellite. you can see that. the eye wall regained and reformed itself here overnight and now waking up to a cat 4 hurricane with the potential of this storm paralleling the west coast of florida for miles. so this is not a good situation here in termsf srm surge.
let's head ove to the weather graphics and i'll show you the latest coordinates. this number updated in the last half hour. it's 40 miles to the south and east of key west. the national weather service in key west says between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m., that's when landfall will occur. already we've seen conditions in the keys go downhill. most of the keys, if not all of them, are without power right now. that roar, that really scary almost deafening roar of wind will take place in these outer rain bands. we saw a 94 mile per hour rain gust at smith scholl light. sustained winds around hurricane force now. the conditions are getting only worse. this is time to shelter in place now in the keys. this is the worst of the storm coming up here for the next four to five hours as this eye wall continues to cross to the north and then you get to the back side of the eye wall and the water comes in from the south and west. remember, the water will be
coming in from two directions, in the southeast and from the south and west after the eye passes. then the storm is on to southwestern florida. and we'll have to watch for some wobbles. remember how this storm wobbled into cuba, we'll have to watch for potential wobbles into the southwestern coast of florida. the problem with that, big population areas from marco islands all the way up to the st. petersburg area and tampa. latest wind gusts 66 miles per hour at the national weather service office in key west where they are batoning down the hatches and riding out the storm and doing life saving duties there getting information out to the public. 59-mile-an-hour wind gusts and 70-mile-an-hour as far north as ft. lauderdale. even in some of the northern rain bands occasionally gusting 40 to 50 miles per hour and this is near the georgia state line. this storm very expansive and very dangerous. this is something you don't see
often, a hurricane warning that extends from key west all the way up to the georgia/florida border out west of tallahassee. almost the entire state of florida on this sunday morning is under a hurricane warning. and we have tropical storm watches as far north as atlanta. that means that conditions can be experiencing tropical storm force winds greater than 39 miles per hour. gusty winds. heavy rain bands as far north as georgia. there is the eye wall moving to the north and to the west. now we will be experiencing storm surge up and down the coast line of florida. that is the next major concern. high tide cycles later this afternoon and this evening. chris in. >> we're going to keep checking back in with you. when do we get the next update from the national hurricane -- >> we'll get a full path at 11:00 a.m. but they are updating each and every hour. >> thank you, steve. appreciate that. let's turn to ft. lauderdale.
that's where msnbc is on the ground. there's a tornado warning in effect in fort lauderdale? >> as a matter of fact, it happened to just expire not too long ago, but what we are experiencing right now, 200 miles away from the keys where steve was just talking about, we are now experiencing the strongest gusts of rain and wind that we have seen so far this evening. this is -- this morning, rather. this is so strong. as a matter of fact, the florida police -- the fire department, rather, they tweeted about the live wires that were being reported out in the streets saying it's a very dangerous situation. we don't know how many people are out in the streets. nobody should be out because of the mandatory evacuation and the curfew. nobody should be out, but an added danger out there are the live wires that have been reported out there. power outages have been the biggest issue facing this area this morning. we had 64,000 -- 74,000, check
that, in brow wards and in miami-dade 164,000 outages. we're talking a quarter million outages in the miami area. power outages were the biggest problem and now we're getting the really strong gusts of rain and wind. >> well, obviously the situation there looks terrible. give us a sense of what the progression has been. because i know you've been there for a while. >> well, we have been getting these bands. we have been getting gusts tt were pretty strong. itould be very intermittent. we could go 10, 15 minutes without it really dousing us. just in the last 10 or 15 minutes, everything, we've became more wet than we've ever been before out here. you can lose your balance from it. the visibility is almost nothing. you've seen sheets of rain going all sorts of directions. again, we're 200 miles north of where steve was saying it is
intensifying out there in key west. that should give you a good idea of the strength and the scope of this thing. >> you be careful out there, phillip. thank you so much for that. where the storm originally they thought might hit the hardest is miami. that's where mariana atensio, what's going on in miami? >> reporter: chris, i'm actually in miami beach, this barrier island where conditions have really worsened as this category 4 hurricane barrels towards florida. check out ocean drive, the iconic collins avenue behind me. you can see just how the trees are moving. it looks something like out of a horror movie almost. you can see the signage around me. making our way around here. today we saw trees that were down. we even saw one person walking in the streets, and miami is bee people since know it's not going to be a direct hit, that's when
people start to let their guard down. in this barrier island, it is a mandatory evacuation order because, again, the deadly storm surge that governor scott was talking about, you can get up to 15 feet of storm surge in coastal areas like miami beach when this hurricane comes to florida. because we're talking about a storm that's so wide, you're going to feel it everywhere. you're seeing that here in miami beach this morning. chris? >> marianna, thank you so much. you can see how windy it's gotten. let me turn to david frehlich, communications director of naples, florida. good to hear from you. this was not supposed to hit from you as hard but that westward shift meant you are directly in irma's path. are you ready? >> good morning. yes, we are. we are as prepared as we can -- well, as anyone can prepare for something like this, i guess. but i can tell you that oddly
enough a couple of weeks ago we had actually had sort of a mini mock simulation of this whole type of thing. certainly we didn't plan for something like this, but all of our teams from the county really worked on a smaller scale of something like this and all of our people here are prepared to help if the storm comes through. >> do you have a good sense at this point, david, of how many people actually left the city, how many people are in shelters and how many may be hunkering down in danger's way? >> the first part, unfortunately the storms that went through houston really was a wake-up call for florida, certainly the folks in naples. when all of this started and you could see that it was starting to move a little bit closer, even though we didn't think it was going to get over here, many, many, many people left and
that was a great thing for us. and we have 27 shelters, which is an amazing thing, that are open today and a lot of them are filled up. we still have some room. but i can tell you they are not going to turn anybody away. they are going to -- if they have to squeeze people in, that's what they are doing. this is such a catastrophic storm. they need people to be inside. that is the biggest and most important message any of us can send to anybody who is out right now, better get inside. >> yeah. we were watching those shelters fill up yesterday in the nearby city of astera. they had 7500 beds in the arena there. other shelters were said to be filling up fast. are you hearing directly from the shelters? how are they doing? how are they holding up? >> they're doing pretty well. as a matter of fact, i met last night with the superintendent of schools here, which many of the
schools are being used as shelters, and she had personally gone around and seen many of them and it was -- she said it was an amazing thing how people were actually being very cooperative. i know that sounds a little odd but people were nice and understanding of the whole situation because they know that everybody has to get into this -- inside and they're going to make it happen. >> has 911 been getting zmauls do you kn calls? do you know if there are people that couldn't get out, elderly, disabled that you have a concern with? >> i can tell you obviously 911 has been called. there are certain phone lines that have been set up for this type of thing and we've taken many, many calls, as you said, from the elderly. not sure what they could do and what they should do, and as far as i can tell you, the majority
of them that i know, i can't speak personally for everything, but they have gotten where they needed to be, which is an amazing thing. i also would share with you it's not just the older people. i spoke with someone just the other night, she was 21 years old and she has two kids and she was living in a very, very bad situation where the home that she was in is not good conditions. she was just scared. she just needed to talk to somebody, and she got to a shelter. i'm very happy about that. >> so what is your major concern right now? first of all, tell me, david, where are you? where is the operations center for naples? what are you freepd do the minute you get the all clear? >> well, there's two actually operations centers in the sense that there's collier county and naples is in collier county. collier county has a huge, huge eoc with some of the top people that you could ever want in this situation and then the city of
naples actually has just moved, we moved it over yesterday from the police department which has the eoc in it, we moved it over to the hyatt hotel because it was a brand-new hotel, got everything, all the equipment that we needed to get up on to a second level floor and that way we can run everything and see everything that we need to do from -- from that location. >> at what point -- well, i assume, maybe that's it, that you're there already, but if people do need help, are you still able to send folks out to help them or are we at the point where whoever is there and decided not to leave their homes, is on their own? >> what happens is when it starts getting to be tropical storm winds, this type of thing that, you know, they have to be careful in sending first responders out because obviously if it's too dangerous for them and something happens to them,
then we start losing their personnel to help other people so it's sort of a tough situation. like i said, once it gets into tropical storm winds, they can't send anybody else. it's just not safe. >> david fralick, i know this is a tough time for everyone in and around naples. our thoughts and prayers are with you all. we're keeping a close eye. good luck to you. >> thank you so much. hurricane irma, of course, is picking up steam. it's a category 4 storm barrelling its way towards the florida keys. in downtown miami, we saw this a short time ago. winds are picking up. this is from brickell bay drive. you can see the water flowing into the street. it's only going to get worse there. thousands of people have filed into more than 400 shelters across florida. we're going to check in with the red cross to see how they're dealing with the influx of people.
it's my first one. i am a little scared but not stressed because we've got to just hope for the best. >> what's the most scary is what are we going to go back to? and are we going to be even -- are we going to be able to even get back to our house? >> things can be replaced but your life cannot be replaced. >> we didn't really want to take any chances because i have children and so we decided then that, you know, before the rush of everybody trying to make a mass exodus, then we would try and get ahead. >> from here all we can do is cross our fingers and say a
prayer. the situation is getting more dangerous all over the state of florida. joining me now on the phone from orlando is the red cross. obviously we're just a couple of hours away from when irma is expected to hit the keys. much of florida, certainly the west coast, is going to feel its wrath throughout the day today. what are your priorities right now? >> really our priorities were to make sure that these evacuation centers were up and ready to receive people. the red cross has mobilized thousands of trained red cross disaster workers. i've seen that firsthand from here in the orlando staging area where yesterday we had hundreds of volunteers that came in, were assigned to their location and taken over in vans before it got too dangerous for us to move our folks around. we're looking at an estimated 48,000 people that spent the night in our shelters and the ones that are supported with our
government evacuation centers across florida. more evacuation centers are opening as they're needed. that was one of the pieces that we worked on really diligently yesterday. we're even looking into georgia. so more than 13 evacuation centers were open on friday night in georgia and more evacuation centers there. and then monitoring in mississippi, louisiana, alabama. we're watching where this storm is going and making sure we're in advance of that with our supplies and our volunteers. we couldn't do what we do without them. >> you have obviously a big chunk of the shelters there, but overall there are about 400 across the state of florida, at least 100,000 people are in them. a couple of things we have heard over the last 48 hours or so and we actually saw it as we saw people in line, there were people that brought supplies with them. it was suggested if you have one of these hurricane emergency kits, bring it. we saw people with pallets of water who had them on some sort
of conveyians or people bringing in suitcases loaded up with supplies. there are also, i know, a lot of elderly people that have been moved to the shelters. there was a call for nurses particularly to help some of the older, the infirm, folks that have medical conditions. do you have everything that you need though for the folks who, a, didn't bring anything with them but the clothes on their back and do you have enough beds? >> right. there is a difference. evacuation centers are intended to provide the immediate attention. that's going to save their life. no one is being turned away. they may be full but people are being brought into safety out of the storm. the evacuation centers won't have the cots and the blankets, but we're providing those light snacks, water, making sure that people stay hhydrated. so we are proud of the citizens that have heeded the conversations that we've had. throughout the years we talk about preparedness and what to do if you were having to
evacuate your home. when we see people responding in such a way that they really are prepared to take care of themselves in that manner, then that allows us to focus on the folks who were not able to do that. >> nigel holterby, you folks are always doing remarkable work when people are at the most desperate. it's a long road ahead. we appreciate it. >> thank you. we're going to continue our nonstop coverage of hurricane irma. right now, still a category 4 storm churning 40 miles south southeast of key west. hurricane storm winds are being felt. those refused to leave are being encouraged to shelter in place. we'll have a full report after the break for up to the minute updates all morning long. it's not just a donation.
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hit the area. water levels rising two feet above normal. tampa bay could see five to eight feet of flooding. florida coast line could see surges reaching up to 15 feet. more than 400 shelters open across the state. more than 280,000 people don't have power right now. that number is expected to rise. in just a few minutes we will get an update from power officials in florida. let's bring back wnbc meteorologist steve sosa. we were talking about the potential with storm surges have increased. >> three items here. it's the size, the intensity and the path and all three of them are really coming together for the worst case scenario. the news not better now with the hurricane being a category 4 overnight. so any weakening trends were temporary. it's now a category 4 storm, not expected to weaken too much over the next couple of hours. i'm going to show you what the
biggest threat is. unlike harvey where flooding rains were the biggest threat, this will have flooding rains. it's the innone dajs of seawater. it's called storm surge. while the numbers might not seem too impressive, five to eight feet, these are very impressive. in central and southwestern florida we haven't seen a surge like this especially in 100 years especially in the tampa area. 8 to 10 feet from fort myers down to marko island. this is a very heavily populated area. very vulnerable to storm surge. i'm going to take you in and show you how high the water will be above ground level. so above the ground look for this red. nine feet the water will be above ground. look how far inland that penetrates. that's why we were asking people to evacuate, because that water pours into these inlets and these canals, and then with the wind coming in off the water it
can't drain back. this water just pours inland. with this l terrain, even inland areas, 6 to 9 feet. you have to go well away from the water to get away from the storm surge threat. same situation especially on the south side of naples. another very vulnerable area where the water just comes on in here and it comes in like a wall. and unfortunately can infiltrate into buildings. this water picks up sewage and debris. it's very harmful. you can develop rashes if you're in it. this is why we tell people to get out. or if you are riding out a storm, you better be in a structure that has several stories where you know the water is not going to rise above. there's still time in southwestern florida to get out because we don't want to see the inundation of water. what happens? it's a fetch in off the gulf of mexico. it heads towards the shoreline. we can see the water levels rising here because the land is so low to the ground here.
many areas at or below sea level. so that's why that water just piles on in here throughout the duration of this storm. let's see if we can advance this graphic here and i'll show you the wind speeds that are going to be happening here as well, if my computer will. there it goes. this is the eye wall. this is at 5:00 in the morning. the eye wall passes the lower keys as we head through 9:00, 10:00 in the morning. there's that force of wind and water in the keys. still persisting around 9:00 to 10:00 in the morning. look at this, key largo gusts up to 80, 90iles an hour, even in downtown miami gusts of 60, 70 miles per hour. from 3:00 to 8:00 tonight. i'm really concerned about the eye moving off to the north and west and the piling of water up towards marko island, fort myers around 7:00 because 7:00 is high tide for them. so this water is coming on shore and it all depends on the track how much this coastal flooding
and storm surge will ride up the coast. if we can get this thing on shore and on land, it will start to weaken and we're dealing with a weaker storm. if the storm parallels the coast or stays just off shore, this wind fetch is going to continue and the coastal flooding will be severe all the way up to the tampa, st. petersburg area. >> steve, we'll continue to talk to you. as steve said earlier in case you weren't with us, at the top of every hour we're getting updates. he'll have that for us at the top of the hour. the next big update at 11:00 a.m. eastern time. i want to bring you rob gold from florida power and light coming to us from palm beach. what's the story now on power? >> it's really pretty much where we expect it to be. we've got about half a million customers who are now out of power. i would say though we've already restored about a quarter of a million. so we've been at it all night. we do have an army of about
16,000 restoration workers. it's arguably not just the most preset, prestaged before the storm but actually in the u.s. in history. so we're ready to get at it. we're going to have some challenges today because the weather is going to prevent us from getting out, particularly with the high wind. once the wind subsides in certain areas such as miami-dade, tri-county area, moving up the east coast, we'll get about restoration. what we're saying to our customers, the real challenge on the east coast, we're talking about days. it's going to be a restoration, repairing equipment. on the west coast if our worst fears are realized, we could be facing an entire rebuild of a system which could last weeks. >> what will separate those who you can actually go in and you've already restored power, as you've said, in some places very quickly from those who will be without power days, weeks
even? >> well, the challenge will be we need to wait until the storm comes through and then we go out and assess. so it's going to take us a good 24 hours to truly understand what we're facing. if it's a rebuild situation, we're going to be in that situation because we've had terrible flooding, devastation to the area we're talking about potentially having to actually replace poles and wire, substations, the entirety of the infrastructure. but the wind field and the surge is going to define that. >> what are your biggest areas of concern right now? i'm assuming that you are staging people based on the track or have you been staging them more broadly not knowing exactly that things could change hour by hour? >> no, this has almost been a military movement as you think about it. as the storm has been moving, we position our troops, if you will. we started in north florida around lake city which is i-10,
i-75. as we saw the shift yesterday we moved a portion of our folks down to the eastern coast towards daytona beach and the treasure coast area and miami-dade. we also have them pre-positioned ready to move to the west coast. as the storm moves, we will move with it, but we will be restoring at the same time. >> let me just ask you finally, i know you guys must have done projections, worst case scenario how many people could be without power? >> well, we're looking at millions. there's no question about it. this is a really, really nasty storm and we're really pleased that so many of our customers heeded the warnings of governor scott and local, state and federal officials. our biggest concern right now is safety. we'll get through this, but our customers and your viewers need to make sure they do not touch wires, go out in water that could have a wire down. it's a -- it's a fact that most
fatalities occur after the storm has passed. so we don't want to see anybody get hurt. it's safety first for our crews and safety first for our customers. >> well, without a doubt that is an incredibly important piece of information. rob gould, good luck to you. good luck to the 16,000 restoration workers who are going to have a big job ahead of them. we appreciate it. let's go back to msnbc's phillip menia who is in ft. lauderdale. how are things looking since we talked an hour ago? >> reporter: well, the weather conditions here have deteriorated. it's doing so rapidly. there were gusts of wind that were just blinding for a long time, but i want to show you something that we noticed just in the last few minutes here. that parking lot behind me that was full of cars and -- when we started just a couple of hours ago, we can see the pavement and now there are vehicles where their tires are halfway covered in water. and to the right there's a
concrete barrier where they have -- not barrier, but containment for trash bins usually. that is all filling up. and that is a development we just noticed after this latest blast of wind and rain that we got. and that is a big concern out here is the wind and the rain that has picked up. we had been seeing it in bands but those bands are becoming -- are coming through a lot more quickly, a lot more frequently and it's hitting us that much more stronger every single time it comes through. and at its peak it's hard to even keep your balance. i mean, 45-mile-an-hour winds is enough to keep broward county sheriffs pulled off the street. they mentioned earlier, we talked to them earlier they said they're going to start pulling some deputies off of the roads as the conditions deteriorated. any time the wind gusts got up to 45 miles an hour, they're going to take them off of patrol. that's some of what we're seeing because of the intensity. >> phillip, thank you very much.
just now, wow, it just kind of picks right up and you feel the force of this. keep in mind we're not expecting a direct hit from irma, but we are expecting damage all throughout the night. we've had a tornado warnings, we've had even a funnel cloud spotted off the coast of miami and further north. i'm not sure if you can tell, but it's certainly pushing against us right now. in the next few minutes we're going to need to take shelter again because this is a dangerous situation. of course, very dark out here. difficult to see when pieces of
debris may even be flying. that's what we're keeping our i eyes out for now. >> that's one of the concerns for people who are out as this is all approaching is that flying gree. that was wtbj's julia bagg. we appreciate that from her. hurricane irma now gaining strength as it's approaching the florida keys over the warm water. it's now a category 4 storm. irma is bringing with it a life threatening storm surge. it could get up to 15 feet in some areas. already we're seeing water levels two feet above normal. i'm going to michael brennan, the chief hurricane specialist. thanks for joining us this early morning. give us your latest projections. what are we looking at? >> we can see on the radar from key west the eye is within 35 to 40 miles to the southeast of key west. these oranges and yell lows you can see, that's the northern eye wall. that's where the 130 mile per hour winds are.
those are going to be moving into the lower florida keys in the next hour or two. that can bring catastrophic wind damage. that will bring the storm surge to the center where it crosses the keys. you'll see 5 to 10 feet of storm surge inundation. they're not out of the woods to the west because as it goes by, it will push it into the gulf into perhaps key west and parts of the lower keys. it will be a dangerous few hours in the lower keys. >> last night when i was on the air i was talking to somebody who decided to hunker down who felt at least that she was in a pretty strong building, something that was made out of concrete nevertheless, when i asked her if she was scared, she said she was terrified. understandably so. what is that going to sound like? what is that going to feel like if you're in one of the florida keys and decided to stay? >> it's going to be a very, very, very scary few hours. anyone who is there wants to be
in a safe room, interior room or closet in your home with no windows at this point, especially here in the lower keys where you're going to see the eye wall wind. that's almost winds of a tornado coming through but over a very, very large area and for a long period of time. you're going to want tbe in the safest room you can find, lowest floor of a building. the proem is, the storm surge is going to come, too. you have to -- that's why people were told to evacuate to begin with, because the combination of the surge and the winds, so deadly there. >> then we're going to see it going up the coast. everglades city, naples, cape coral, port charlotte. >> yeah. >> give us an idea of what you're looking at and what's the chance of it moving? >> at this point the forecast uncertainty is pretty small. with this track parallel to the coast. it's a small jog to the right could have it make landfall in the fourth myers area. to the left, big bend. everybody along the west coast
of florida has to prepare for major hurricane landfall potential going through today and tonight into monday. not just from the wind hazard, the storm surge. we were mentioning the 10 to 15 feet of inundation that we were concerned about from cap tetiva naples, life threatening surge here. we could see surge as high as eight feet up into the tampa bay region, big bend, very dangerous day. also, widespread this wind impacts across the entire state of florida. it will see sustained winds. along the west coast and into the central part of the state. hurricane forced wind gusts will be widespread. i'd expect widespread tree damages, winds. >> governor scott said something very important the other day as he's been getting the warnings. he said a lot of times when you
have the high winds, once they die down people feel like they're comfortable to go outside, they want to check, see what the damage is. that's when the storm surge comes, right? don't leave your home because you hear the strong winds die down? >> right. especially for anybody who's going to be experiencing the eye. you definitely don't want to go out in the eye. the storm surge is going to be coming up and the storm is moving about 8 miles per hour. so within a few minutes the strong winds on the back side of the eye will return. you certainly don't want to be outside for that. you brought up another good point, that even after the storm passes we have so many people in this country who die from these indirect deaths after the storm through an electrocution, from driving into areas where water covers the road, from falls and accidents. people want to be very, very careful after the storm passes and heed the advice of their local officials about returning to areas that have been evacuated and any other advice they might get. >> after you survive the storm,
stay put for a while. i know it's hard for people and the natural inclination is to want to get out and see what's going on. don't do it. michael brennan, chief hurricane specialist where they have been extraordinarily busy already obviously from harvey and now. we thank all of the folks who work there for what they do. let's go to miami beach now. that's where marianna atensio has been. give us a sense of what it's like right now. >> reporter: chris, the storm is a couple of hours away from the florida coast line, and just look at some of the damage that these wind gusts have already created here in miami beach. this is a pretty big tree that i'm standing next to completely toppled. again, this storm isn't even here. we saw similar trees like this on our drive over here. the storm surge is really the biggest threat for barrier islands, for coastal cities like miami beach. the beach is over here to my right, not very far away.
if we are to get those estimated 15 feet of storm surge when this storm comes here to florida, this whole area where i'm walking now is very likely to get flooded. if you see this is collins avenue to where i'm standing, to the back of me this is a street with a lot of power lines, a lot of trees, very dangerous for people to be walking around here. again, what we've been seeing in miami is because it's not going to get a direct hit from the storm, you're seeing people, we saw a car drive tough here right now. a person walking around. that ishen it could potentially get very dangerous here where an evacuation order has been issued. even if miami isn't going to get a direct hit, it's got a deadly storm surge. it's been labeled deadly by florida governor scott. chris? >> marianna, thank you so much. be careful out there.
seeing that tree makes you realize that there is danger there even though miami is not exactly where they thought it would be 48 hours ago. thank you for that. so much of florida is going to feel the force of irma. this is a category 4 storm. inching closer and residents starting to witness exactly what a cat 4 can do. lightning, heavy rains already felt along the state's gulf coast, and that main concern, we can't say this enough, that potentially deadly storm surge. we've got you covered. the entire msnbc/nbc resources, we've seen so many of our correspondents that have been out there for days now. they're tracking the changes that they're seeing or feeling. we've got you covered all throughout the day. stick with msnbc to keep you informed.
minutes we're seeming to get a real heavy downpour, definitely seeing the gusty winds. >> look at the trunk of the tree. it's not just the trunk that was uprooted, a chunk of the land. it's someone's backyard. it crashed through a fence here and now covering a sidewalk. >> this is a restaurant in florida city right on u.s. 1. guys, i just lost my -- you see the fencing. that has been ripped off. >> when you look at that, you realize we're still a couple hours from it even hitting the keys, so starting already to really feel how powerful this storm is going to be. we heard, for example, from a rep from the power company they're expecting millions of people, millions of people to lose power. half a million have lost it already. joining us on the phone, cammy clark, the public information officer for florida's division in monroe county, give us a sense right now. we're looking at exactly where monroe county is, right in the path.
what your biggest concerns at this hour? >> caller: i'm terrified for all the people in the lower keys right now. our emergency center is based on ocean reef. we're about 100 miles from key west and we're getting an amazing storm outside my window. so i can't imagine what it will be like down in key west. i have a lot of friends and people that are staying behind either as responders or as just people that didn't want to leave. this is going to be terrifying. >> give us a sense of what is in place. i know there are places that even the first responders essentially left where they were staging elsewhere to go back in. obviously you have a different situation in the keys where passage may be blocked, so you have people who stayed behind. who is there? how are they staging? what might be available for people once this storm does go
through? >> caller: well, we've been spending basically five to six days first trying to get people to leave the keys and also figuring out exactly how we're going to do the recovery the minute the storm passes. so we have staged debris removal and various other things up and down the keys. we have what we call seven critical points where bridges where we think that we have to have materials and stuff in each kind of those sections of the keys because anybody that doesn't know what we're like, we have 42 bridges. so just losing one bridge disconnectpart of the keys from the rest of the keys and the mainland. so we're ready for the storm to go through. then the first thing we have to do is get bridge inspectors and road people in there to inspect the bridge and stuff before we can even let people come in to start helping with recovery. we also have plans to fly help
in on c-130s and various other helicopters because that might be the only way and probably will be the only way to get resources down to the lower keys. >> do you anticipate that you will have communication with people who have stayed behind? if power lines go down and people can't charge their phones, phone lines goes down, what's the concern about being cut off from communications? >> we have satellite phones set up. so far our cell phones are working, at least mine is up here. i don't know how it could be down there. but, yeah. we're very concerned. we've got a couple special situations with these phones set up so that we will be in constant communication with key west we're hoping any way. then once the storm gets past, the biggest thing is to clear the runways at the airport if key west and also at the naval air station eight miles from there, so that we can get