tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC September 10, 2017 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
tonight, a special edition of "world news tonight." hurricane irma slams florida. the monster hurricane first making landfall in the florida keys. and then barrelling up the coast of florida. >> it's horrifying. it is absolutely horrifying. >> winds more than 100 miles per hour, spawning tornadoes. the hurricane slamming into markle island. then right here in naples. and the storm surge on both coasts. naples and ft. myers, on high alert for a 10-to-15-foot storm surge. trees and power lines down. homes battered across the state. the last minute rescues. but tonight, already some lives lost. finding shelter. irma's track, and the dramatic shift westward. leaving millions scrambling to evacuate. tampa will be tested next. into the evening, authorities say a storm this powerful for them hasn't been seen in a century. >> we're about to be punched in
the face. and in miami tonight, some neighborhoods under water. streets disappearing amid the storm surge. construction cranes crashing down. and tonight, new images of the storm's first strike. the devastation in key west. millions across the state without power. a dark and difficult night ahead. "world news tonight" begins now. good evening from naples florida tonight. we're glad you're back with us here. this is what they speak of, the backside of the hurricane. we saw it here just a short time ago. hurricane irma was right over the city, we're now seeing bands of rain and heavy winds that come afterward. the highest wind gusts, not far from here, 140 miles per hour.
the monster storm still churning. millions of americans still in its path after the sun goes down. not long ago, we were on the air with matt gutman when it hit right here. hurricane irma barreling through naples with tremendous force. the highest wind gusts to hit so far, 142 miles per hour, right here at the naples airport. the deafening winds, the trees snapping from the force of the hurricane. irma had just made the second landfall on markle island, just south of naples. thn the hurricane was here. look at this. this is just incredible. over our shoulder here, we're blocked by two concrete barriers. which is the only reason we're able to talk. if we were another five feet this way, we'd be caught in this. matt gutman was just a short distance away. we couldn't see him through the blinding rain. i want to go to matt gutman,
also here in naples. he's been tracking this right along with us. what are you seeing? >> david, pretty much the same as you. and i'm sure feeling pretty much the same as you right now. i want to describe for a second what it actually feels like to be in this. feels like you're being blasted with a fire hose. the intensity of the rain coming down is something like i haven't experienced before. >> there were sustained winds of more than 100 miles per hour. evacuees inside listening to the howling storm. imagine the sounds of what they're hearing right now. matt seeking shelter on the right during our special report. i do want to get back to matt gutman, if you can hear me, just reassure the rest of us you are okay. you were giving us an extraordinary display. we lost his audio, but the producers have told me he's okay. even before the storm hit naples, the outer bands were already causing significant
damage here. it's 3:00 p.m. eastern, and one of the first things to go is the power. this hotel has gone completely dark. irma is 20 miles to the south, the winds have already picked up. it's extremely intense. sustained winds right now, 120 miles per hour. i'm just going to show you what we've done down here. as we were on the air, you can actually hear some of the debris coming in. but these windows, come around the corner here, tom. this is what happens when these buildings, just be careful, tom. the awnings on the outside of the building are actually crashing down, breaking these windows inside the hotel. which then leads to pressurization issues as irma gets closer. tonight, after seeing the winds and rain, there is real concern over what you don't see during the storm. the surge itself. authorities warning of what
could be a 10 to 15-foot storm surge. sending water rushing into parts of naples. it was harrowing here for the people of naples, and it was devastating from the moment it hit. first making landfall in the keys, then the wind gusts topping 100 miles per hour. let's turn back to matt gutman on this difficult day for florida. >> reporter: hurricane irma, devouring florida tonight. the storm making its first u.s. landfall at cudjoe key in the lower florida keys at 9:10 a.m. these storm chasers, clocking speeds at 117 miles per hour. the actual speed may have been higher. just before 10:00 a.m. a 94-mile-per-hour wind gust in miami. those gusts even stronger at the top of skyscrapers, snapping that crane.
and ripping off the roof of this apartment building. on the streets below, more than five feet of storm surge swamping downtown miami. >> as the minutes pass the flooding keeps getting worse because the rain does not stop. >> reporter: the hurricane spawning at least three reported tornadoes. multiple homes damaged in this neighborhood near melbourne, florida. >> mine's still standing. mine's still standing, but there's a lot of water coming in now. >> reporter: that metal wrapped around that mailbox. the wind firing splinters spearing into the sides of homes. and officials say, the biggest danger, that storm surge. it's just after 2:20. we've just received an urgent alert on our phone, like everybody else in naples, that the storm surge is coming. the water has gone out towards the gulf of mexico. and officials say it is going to come back in with ferocity. the storm making its second landfall at 3:35 p.m. at marco island. now heading towards tampa. >> everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. and, well, we're about to get punched in the face.
>> reporter: it seems like an industrial-sized blender took the top of the trees off. grinding everything down. we have switched position because the storm has come around to the other side. and this is the most dangerous time for folks here in naples. they've come out during the eye of the storm to check on their cars, walk their dogs. but now is the most dangerous time, the storm surge is coming, and officials warn us it's dangerous out here. david? >> you're absolutely right, matt. authorities say, don't be fooled when the storm comes through, there's a calm afterward, but the skies have suddenly darkened. the winds are picking up, and the trees already blowing in the heavy winds making their return. ginger zee is back in new york tracking the storm for us. ginger, where is irma now? where is it headed?
>> you're right there on the back of the eye wall. i want to take you through the rest of the radar. there's an extreme wind warning that looks like it may have dropped, for 115-plus mile per hour winds. but a tornado watch that extends, tornado warnings. and this has been the all-important cone of uncertainty throughout the last couple of days. now it's much more narrow, and includes tampa overnight tonight, category 1. moves up to the florida/georgia line, and gets sucked up into a low pressure system and becomes more of just a rainmaker in the middle tennessee valley. just to give you an idea of what to anticipate, still heavy wind gusts. through the afternoon in evening. 50 for tampa, 58 in tallahassee. 51 for orlando. this will continue to weaken as it sits over land. the storm surge on the backside, as the wind and water whips around, could still reach to 10 to 15 feet in some of the
beaches. and rainfall, 15-plus inches, 8 in north georgia possible with the flood watches. >> watching the rain, ginger and the storm surge at this hour. in the meantime, we turn to florida's east coast. parts of miami and miami beach are already under water. the storm surge on both coasts. the hurricane was wider than the state of florida. and the images tonight. construction cranes have toppled in this hurricane. gio benitez is live there. >> reporter: good evening. this is just incredible what's happened in downtown miami. you and ginger just talked about the storm surge. it's turned roads into rivers, here in downtown miami. this goes for blocks. evidence that a powerful system moved through here. tonight, massive flooding in downtown miami. rising water swallowing street signs. this hotel swamped. madeleine wright from our miami affiliate, wplg, in the middle of the storm surge.
>> this is a street. it is not a river, but it looks like it. >> reporter: this car finding itself in the path of the flood waters, suddenly forced to back up. the rain relentless for hours, creating blinding conditions. i don't think i ever would've described a hurricane and sort of compared it to a blizzard. that's what this looks like here. gusts approaching 100 miles per hour. that first crane crashing into a high rise under construction around 11:00. tonight, part of the crane dangling over the side of the building. and late today, a second crane buckling. the powerful winds forcing us inside. we're going to go inside. i think it's a little too dangerous right now. seconds later these shatter-resistant windows built to sustain a category 3 hurricane, cracking. as you know, i grew up in south florida. i grew up with hurricanes. when we woke up to the haunting, howling sound of the wind, there's only one other storm i thought of.
hurricane andrew. >> thank you. next, all along irma's path, a trail of destruction. millions without power. tom llamas is in ft. myers tonight. tom? >> reporter: we're feeling the brunt of hurricane irma right now. it's relentless. the wind is whipping so hard, and the rain doesn't stop. our wind gauge broke at 80 miles per hour. but what's really breaking, the infrastructure of the power sector here in florida. tonight, irma's fierce winds toppling trees like matchsticks. >> oh, my god! >> reporter: dangerous gusts littering roads, crashing into cars, and snapping power lines. overnight, flashes in the sky. >> whoa! >> reporter: the first signs of the widespread power outages to come. more than 2 million florida customers now without electricity. and federal officials tell abc news that number could shoot up to 5 million.
utility vehicles are at the ready to turn the lights back on as soon as it's safe. but no telling when that will be. analysts predict irma could do $200 billion worth of damage, and we're seeing it already. >> reporter: you can see the winds, how powerful they are right now. it's going east to west. you can see the top of the palm trees, and how they're blowing. irma is coming through with her full force. it's getting worse by the minute. david? >> tom, you and the team stay safe. they're seeing what we just saw here in naples as irma steams northward in this state. we're going to turn to tampa, which could be next. half of it sitting close to sea level. and especially vulnerable to storm surge. tonight, it's also a city bracing for disaster. t.j. holmes is there. t.j.? >> reporter: vulnerable, yes. hasn't seen a storm like this
since 1921, and they got late notice that it was coming for them. after it made an unexpected shift over the weekend. all that adds up to high anxiety in the tampa bay area. tonight, tampa tested like never before. its harbor almost like a giant funnel. irma's winds already sucking water from the coastline leaving beaches of mud behind. this city hasn't seen a direct hit by a hurricane in almost a century. >> we know that we are ground zero for hurricane irma. for 90 years we have avoided this day but i think our day has come. >> reporter: the tampa/st. petersburg area has been called the most vulnerable in the country to flooding damage. scientists warning for years that a storm like this could mean disaster. half the people here don't even live 10 feet above sea level. the city will flood at just three feet of storm surge. the storm surge from irma could more than double. inundating thousands of homes and businesses. they've seen population growth
here in the area for years, people want to come here for the coastline and beaches. 3 million people now preparing for the storm of a lifetime. david? >> t.j., thank you. next here, to the life threatening threat from the storm surge. the water rising in minutes, too quick to outrun. case in point, in naples a short time ago, the water was already rising four feet in 30 minutes. now it's the backside of the hurricane. that surge could grow. rob marciano on the danger, he's in sarasota tonight. >> reporter: before those waters come rushing in, the ominous images of the negative surge. in naples, a negative surge of 3 1/2 feet likely to become 10
or 15. tonight, so much of the florida coastline vulnerable. the biggest threat to florida's gulf coast, up to 15 feet of surge anticipated. this animation showing how quickly the water can overtake homes. in some cases, even moving them off of their foundations. but only a few feet of surge can lead to dramatic flooding. those scenes today in miami, five feet of surge, turning roads into rivers. >> do not think the storm is over when the wind slows down. the storm surge will rush in and could kill you. >> reporter: david, that is not a scare tactic. between inland flooding and storm surge water, it's the number one hurricane-related killer. in the end, you can protect yourself from the wind like we're doing, but you have to move away from the water. both of the things won't be at their peak here in sarasota for another five or six hours. david? >> so important to take the surge seriously. rob, thank you. and don't fall for that lull after the storm hits, because we're actually seeing this pick up as we're on the air tonight. our thanks to you, rob, and the entire team in the hurricane zone. there's still much more ahead on this special edition of "world news tonight." irma's first landfall on the
florida keys. the new images coming in right now. the stories just starting to emerge from those who stayed behind and survived. and the storm is still on the move at this hour. we'll check back in on the new track. who gets it next, and it's not just florida. we're back in a moment. that's a marathon. because he chooses to walk whenever he can. and he does it with support from dr. scholl's. only dr. scholl's has massaging gel insoles that provide all-day comfort to keep him feeling more energized. so he even has the energy to take the long way home. keep it up, steve! dr. scholl's. born to move. a farmer's market.ieve what's in this kiester. a fire truck. even a marching band. and if i can get comfortable talking about this kiester, then you can get comfortable using preparation h. for any sort of discomfort in yours.
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>> reporter: that wind, like a freight train. >> you can hear it. this is through a concrete building. through shutters and the door. that wind is blowing. >> reporter: he is huddling with friends and family on the third floor of a condo. >> our fear is the storm surge. we have life jackets, a generator, we've boarded up. we have a radio, a total of 20 cases of water. >> reporter: up in key largo, david kay, hunkered down. documenting irma's wrath. >> we're doing all right. we're surviving. >> reporter: water, starting to flood outside his home. a few hours later, that property under water. residents are being told to boil water in case the water system has been compromised. crews will be getting out there to assess the damage as soon as the roads become passable. but in the meantime, they're telling residents they won't be able to come home anytime soon. parts of the keys are still under water tonight. david? >> amy, thank you. when we come back tonight, it's really picking up here. the thousands hunkering down.
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as you can imagine, the shelters in florida are overflowing. so many residents who thought they were heading for safety in the western part of the state, suddenly finding themselves squarely in the storm's path. here's victor oquendo tonight. >> reporter: across florida tonight, from high school gyms to hockey arenas, families hunkering down to wait out this storm. more than 500 shelters open. more than 116,000 people now calling them home. here in naples, julie bifano, her daughter and 6-week-old granddaughter got to this community center in the nick of time. >> pandemonium. we were very nervous. very scared. >> reporter: this morning, when the power went out, people watching through the window. about an hour later, the shelter door cracking, national guard troops taping up the glass. they actually just cleared out this area.
the room was packed with people, just in awe, watching the winds pick up. now, with the winds kicking up, nearly 400 people in this shelter alone, and that's not all. ray kretz takes us into a storage room. 120 pets in crates. >> good girl. >> reporter: including his own golden retriever farley. now, the police tape is up. people have been kept away from these windows. irma continues to pound florida, but tonight, shelters are still opening up. david? >> victor, thanks. we're thinking about all the families who have to return home after irma to see if their homes are still intact, and their possessions untouched. let's hope so. when we come back, the new details emerging about the track of hurricane irma. the latest path. loved every step of fatherhood... and made old cars good as new. but i couldn't bear my diabetic nerve pain any longer. so i talked to my doctor and he prescribed lyrica.
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we're back now with a darkened sky in naples. this city taking a battering from this incredible hurricane. let's go back to ginger zee, with the latest track. hey, ginger. >> hey, david. from ft. myers to the treasure coast across the state of florida, hurricane gusts. 450 miles across. rain almost everywhere in the state, tornado watch through georgia. and it hugs the coast, becomes a 1 overnight in tampa. still very strong. still could take down power lines and trees. and a tropical storm as it reaches georgia. flood watches for 8 up to 15 inches of rain. david? >> ginger, thank you. thanks for joining us. abc news continuing with live coverage on hurricane irma. we sip, we peel,
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fast play. play fast. win instantly. tonight, hurricane irma, monst monster storm. a special edition of "20/20." we're live inside the danger zone. >> whoa! >> incredible video just coming in. as irma slams into naples. my "20/20" co-anchor david muir taking a direct hit. >> the sheets of rain. >> our abc news team, tethered down, reporting from every point along the way. storm chasers risking everything. but racing in through a solid wall of water and wind. the destruction irma has already left behind in the keys.