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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  September 29, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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millions of florida residents now without power or water. people stranded as roads and bridges are wiped out by the storm. >> the back end was? >> awful, awful. long lasting, as powerful as the front. you could hear the chimney get ripped off. >> the chimney came down? >> yeah. i was afraid it was going to come through the roof and crush me. >> today, ian still ripping through the state, packing powerful winds with flash flood warnings for northeast florida and parts of the georgia coast. the unimaginable devastation left behind, now a painful reality for millions of residents returning home to see what's left. this hour, we will have the latest from our meteorologists and the national hurricane center, along with local florida leaders about rescue operations and the long road ahead. good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in
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washington. president biden is about to arrive at fema headquarters. the president approved a major disaster declaration for florida and spoke with governor ron desantis. >> you have power lines that are down. you have trees that are down. you have a lot of hazards right now. today is about identifying the people that need help, who may still be in harm's way, but also beginning the process of rebuilding some of the things that we need. >> the tropical storm continues to barrel towards the atlantic ocean where it's expected to regain strength and make a second landfall tomorrow along the south carolina coast. right now, tropical storm winds can be felt as far as 830 miles out from the storm. let's go to bring in meteorologist bill karins. this is not over yet. the focus is northeast florida and the second landfall we are expecting in 24 hours. what are you seeing in the latest update?
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>> unfortunately, it looks like it's a hurricane when it make landfall when it hits charleston. we didn't want to deal with another area of potential power outages. a lot of downed trees and areas that will need help. these states work together. i'm sure there are power crews from south carolina and north carolina that went to florida to help. we need help here. that's how these power crews work. crews from texas will help florida and vice versa. we have been seeing pictures of what you would expect, unfortunately, with a category 4 landfall. the fifth strongest storm to make landfall in our country. you get the idea, the pictures from sanibel and the ft. myers area is what you would expect. it's a weaker storm. the problem is the rain. right now, there's a life-threatening situation from daytona beach up. it has been on them 12 hours. there's an unofficial report of
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28 inches of rain. that's a flash flood emergency, life-threatening conditions. further up the coast, we were having a little bit of problems with storm surge. the northeast wind coming in. high tide right now. the water is very high, up on dunes in many areas from jacksonville, st. augustine. daytona beach, back down through seminole county, this water problem. the flash flood watches, because we expect the storm going north, have been extended to raleigh and fayetteville. by the end of today, all of south carolina will also go under a flood watch. that's where the storm is headed. the new update from the 11:00 advisory from the hurricane center. it came offshore off cape
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canaveral. assume one category worse. right now, category 1 at landfall. if it was higher, i think we would be surprised. i wouldn't rule it out. this has been an overachiever ever since we started tracking this thing before it hit cuba. it's moving northeast at nine. here is the forecast path from the hurricane center. parallels the coast tonight. conditions shouldn't get that much worse from jacksonville north to georgia. savannah shouldn't have a ton of problems with rain. we get up here into charleston, georgetown, heading -- hilton head, these are areas that will have to consider if you want to stay in your house. listen to evacuation orders. often they don't evacuate for a category 1. people have to make that personal call. i would look around your property, see -- the trees, how many hang over your house. do that. we have pictures now that we are getting in.
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bonita springs is on the north -- is that something on fire? often we get these problems the day after. there's famous shots from hurricane sandy hit, fire spreading through the area. those pictures are coming in. we have bad signals. bonita springs is one town we weren't sure how bad it was hit. we naples, ft. myers. bonita springs is in the middle. i was assuming it was going to be really bad. this is a structure that's on fire. who knows what the condition is for the fire crews to be able to get there, if roads are passable. if we get pictures in and they get more stable and we can show them to you, we will. that landfall in charleston, the hurricane center is saying friday right around now. right around now, between 2:00 p.m. then it will be raining out heading up towards charlotte. maybe 80% of the storm's damage is done.
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we still got the other 20% in the carolinas. >> bill karins, thank you. we have to worry about the barrier islands around georgia and south carolina as well off the coast. blayne alexander has been dealing with the worst of the tropical storm today in orlando, florida. how has it been there? >> reporter: andandrea, the goo news is that the wind gusts we had seen for the best part of this morning that at some points had knocked me off my footing, that seems to have calmed down. it doesn't seem the wind is the biggest issue. as you heard bill mention, the rain. the rain is the biggest issue across the board. that's no exception here in orlando. as the sun is coming up and as we get into the day, we are seeing that really come to bear. we are getting a briefing from the mayor. he is speaking right now and giving us an update. there electric 1,500 people that have had to evacuate their homes and make it to emergency shelters that have been set up
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in schools and different areas across the county. there are a number of rescues. almost every hour we are getting more and more reports of rescues that have taken place. i spoke with an official from orange county fire and rescue. she said that they focused a lot of energy this morning on evacuating a nearby nursing home. there are more than 100 residents there who had to be carried out almost one by one and taken to safety. we saw these unbelievable pictures of water pouring into this nursing home as officials were trying to wheel some of them out and get them to safety. at last check, that is still ongoing right now. they are wrapping up. just to give you a sense, we have seen rain. we have been out here the better part of the morning, since 5:00. we have seen rain nonstop. it has not stopped. that's really what officials are concerned about. we have seen more than a foot of rain across orlando. that's more than double the amount of rain that this area typically sees in an entire month. we are talking about tremendous
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amounts of rain. all of it falling quickly. sometimes of about two inches per hour. it's broken records here. that's why officials are telling people to stay off of the roads. part of the florida turnpike has been shut down going through orlando, several-mile stretch because it's flooded. we have passed by some roads that were flooded here. unfortunately, officials expect that to continue as this rain continues to fall here. >> blayne alexander, thank you so much. ali velshi is in florida's west coast in naples. you were showing us cars floating away this time yesterday. talk to us about today. >> reporter: we across the road. the gulf of mexico is over there. i showed you cars flowing inland. it's a similar roadway to the one that i was at yesterday. it's a parking lot for an apartment complex. here what happened is cars went
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this way. this is an actual waterway behind it. we have people here who saw cars floating in. one went over and is swimming with the fishes. these two didn't. look at this pickup truck. hard to see, but the left tire of this car -- see that. the left tire is over the edge. that's one example. right behind us, we have this ford expedition which one tire is over the edge at the back. it didn't go over. these two cars did what the cars that i showed you yesterday did. they got picked up and floated away but didn't go over the edge. the one that's in the river will be tough to figure it out. you were here. you actually -- you were up there? >> correct. >> reporter: you have video of this which we will get to. what was going on? you looked over there and you thought, is somebody driving in this water? >> yes.
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at first, one of our resident's cars we noticed it floating backwards. looking out, once the water came from the gulf of mexico down here, it was a river. it was just floating, floating. it stopped on their boat dock on the other side of your suv. kind of got pinned. a little later we saw the black suv that was on gulf shore boulevard, and we actually thought somebody was driving. >> reporter: did you go down? >> we did. a few of us ran down, jumped in the water. it was waist high. to ensure there was nobody. >> reporter: that's a danger. somebody could have been in it and got floated away. >> correct. once we realized there was nobody in the car, there was nothing we could do. it bounced off the other car and come to a stop where yours is. >> reporter: you are not from here? >> no. i'm a recent transplant from
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alaska. >> reporter: what do you think about this? >> it's an initiation. you know? get to fish every day. it's great. >> reporter: thank you for checking on the person -- or the car didn't have somebody in it. that's a major concern. it's why the authorities here said, don't get out on the streets. there's streets that are underwater. we haven't got an update in the last couple hours. most of the water has receded. this is what's going on. i will show you more of that through the afternoon. cleanup, people pulling vehicles, trying to get them out and make sense of what's going on. there are rescues underway. unfortunately, we have had news north of here of some fatalities. this serious storm did end up being more damaging than a lot of people expected. >> ali, what we see there graphically in that scene is that the better building codes they put in after hurricane andrew really worked.
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they have the best building codes in the country. >> reporter: for the buildings, yeah. absolutely. for the building code, that really worked in keeping the buildings there. what it can't do is the water stuff. we haven't sorted out when it's this much storm surge and water how you prevent the daniel from that. the building codes did work where there's new construction to keep the structures safe. >> i love your plant saying it's an initiation, but you get to fish every day. that's a great attitude. ali velshi, thanks for all of that and more to come. more dramatic video from naples just yesterday where firefighters rescued a woman in her car. the woman was given a life vest and pulled to safety. joining me now is naples, florida, mayor. your town got through it. however, they made it. a lot of damage. incredible video of the fire station.
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you had a fire station submerged under water. talk to me about the damage. >> yes. we have a cat 5 fire station. it's new. unfortunately, we prepared for the winds but not for the floods. unfortunately, the ocean and the bay met at once, and the waters flooded in fast and furious. it caused our fire station 1 to flood. they got most of the vehicles out to higher ground. we did lose our -- our new fire truck. the most important thing is our firefighters have worked tirelessly, along with our police officers, and rescuing -- the firefighters have had numerous rescues they had to make. some people got out into the debris or into the flooding waters. most people followed directions
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and stayed inside. we did have a few incidents that our firefighters had to put themselves at risk and save members of our community. >> they are extraordinary, these first responders. i'm sorry for you losing the truck. that's a very expensive piece of equipment. it's amazing that all of your people got through it. i assume the firehouse can be rebuilt. >> of course, you know, plans for next and what we will do. you have to learn sometimes from mistakes. not that we thought it was a mistake. cat 5, but we didn't, i guess, prepare for the flooding water. such a high -- nine inches of water. our city hall, right next to that fire station, it felt like there was a moat around city
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hall. >> what about casualties or fatalities? have you had any -- suffered any terrible losses? >> they're still assessing the area at this time. >> it looks like you had power outages, obviously, as well. what about the power grid? is that coming back? >> the hospital is on a good power grid. most of the people in the city do not have power. the county is better off than the city is. we know that there are crews coming in to help us out. our biggest concern right now is ft. myers doesn't have water. i think our naples community hospital will help them out with the need that they have. can't have a hospital without running water. i hope that comes up for them. >> we hope that comes back soon. thank you so much for everything you are doing and for talking to us today. we really appreciate it. >> thank you.
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we want to bring you one of the more amazing and inspiring stories. this is just incredible. it came after wednesday's destruction along florida's southwest coast. kerry sanders speaking with a punta gorda resident who risked her life to save her husband. take a look. >> your husband christopher, he is paralyzed from the chest down. >> yeah. he has metastatic prostate cancer that has metastasized to his spine. this week, he became paralyzed. he was at the hospital. they released him to come home. >> how did you protect him? what was that like? >> it was terrifying. i took blankets and i put holes in them with the scissors. i zip tied him to the hospital bed. i took a tarp. i zip tied that over. i put pillows and plastic bags and taped them to the top of the sideboard. i put pillows between the sideboard and the window. i didn't want him to get cut up
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to death if the window blew in. i put a life jacket on him if the water came he wouldn't drawn. he would float. >> quite an ordeal to go through that. >> i didn't want him to die. >> of course. he is okay? >> he is alive. he is traumatized but alive. >> you were here for hurricane charlie 18 years ago. >> yeah. >> compare what the moments were like when -- especially the back end of the eye wall came through. >> charlie had no back end. it was less than an hour. the sun came out and the sun came out. there was no torrential rain. >> the back end of this? >> awful. awful. long lasting. as powerful as the front. you could hear the chimney getting ripped off and coming down above my head. >> the chimney came down? >> yeah. my chimney came down. i was afraid it was going to come through the roof and crush me. even though i was under the table. >> were you able to look out? do you have shutters up?
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>> i didn't want to look out. i was too afraid. it was dark. i couldn't see anyway. the rain was a whiteout. this morning, i could see the chimney on the roof. i could see a bald eagle in my tree. the one tree that's there. he was two feet tall, big whitehead. my rainbow, just to see he lived. i hope his family lived. >> rene, you have been through so much. i know -- >> rene and her husband christopher are okay. we are waiting to hear from president biden as he meets with fema officials. peter alexander joins me now. we have heard a lot from state and local officials and that extraordinary woman in florida. what do we expect to hear from the president? >> reporter: i'm struck by the words of rene. the president will certainly send his thoughts to the people
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in the community. he is sending a lot of resources as well. the president earlier today we have learned speaking for the second time this week to florida's governor ron desantis, communicating with him as they continue to coordinate on the response here, the federal efforts so far, declaring a disaster for the state of florida earlier today. that's significant. it allows for grant money for repairs to homes, temporary housing as is necessary for tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people in the florida area. the president will be -- you see the picture at fema right now. the president directing the director to travel to florida tomorrow, on friday, to get a sense for herself of exactly what needs exist on the ground there. he will be joined by the department of homeland security secretary when he arrives at fema. i expect we will hear him speak
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five to ten minutes detailing efforts to this point. the president, as we heard from him yesterday, he has been vocal throughout the process, even before the storm arrived, warned it would be incredibly dangerous. the white house, the administration, was active before the storm arrived in directing federal resources there. pre-staging, water and food and emergency response teams throughout the state to better prepare for whatever would happen here. this emergency, this disaster declaration, andrea, applies to nine counties in florida right now. among them some of the hardest hit, charlotte, lee badly hit. we wait to hear about some of the communities where we haven't received any pictures yet. places like boca grand, a community of several thousand individuals that was near sanibel. badly damaged by this storm. we hear from the president just moments from now as he communicates the federal efforts
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to help, putting politics by the wayside, even though there has been criticism about the relationship between ron desantis, who has been very critical of the president, and the president. the president making very clear that politics are not going to be talked about right now. this is entirely an effort to focus on helping people and protecting lives going forward. >> thank you, peter alexander. i know you will stand by as the watch the president's tour. we will bring the president's comments to you live. thanks, peter. joining us now, dan watson, former fema spokesperson in 2012, now managing director at fgs global and russell honorae. general, it's good to see you. we started to hear from governor desantis about the rescue efforts in areas where roadways are out, especially to the barrier islands. how difficult is it going to be to repair those roadways and bridges and get to people?
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>> that's got to be assessed and getting access will be tough. the number one priority is saving lives. that is number one. it's going to be tough. we have to get responders there and get teams in. it's complicated to get in, in and around waterways. the communications is challenged now because the grid is down. there's no drinking water. a lot of people who stayed behind or are in hospitals, a lot of speedy work got to happen before dark if you are going to save people's lives. then every home, as you remember, we have to do a primary search, go to every house that flooded and knock on the door and see if there's anybody there. then we go back and go in the house if we got no response. that's a tried and true technique that has worked. florida is well trained.
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they have a great team. they spend a lot of time in florida training and certifying first responders at the city, county and state. they need more help. they need more than what they got on hand right now, because this storm, category 4, will over match the response. it doesn't take long. all these people without electricity and water are going to have to be displaced. may have to do an evacuation out of the area. you can't sustain people there without water and electricity for very long. i hope we can activate navy ships that can come in and help the national guard push in fuel. that's what the helicopters and boats need. they got good command and control. great relationships between the governor and the president. we will have to ramp up and get more people in there.
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this will be the biggest search and rescue operation since we formed fema in current times, as far as one side of the state to the other, 25 million people population. it's going to be tough. it's going to take days and weeks. then the recovery come. recovery is a living hell. >> you describe it. throughout the state now that you are seeing all levels of damage. dan watson, you have just heard -- we will hear from the fema administrator. you heard from the general who has had experience here. the coordination is so different now than it was during katrina and subsequent storms. >> it is. i think that's going to be the main focus of that briefing the president receives when gets -- when he is at fema headquarters and hears from the administrator. what they will talk about are
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two parts of the response. the first thing is, what is the federal government doing to support the state and local officials as they respond? fema had hundreds of federal personnel on the ground prior to this storm that were pre-staged to support it. there are other resources that were staged as well, generators, water. those are staged to fill in where there are needs that the state has. you will hear about that. also, what is the federal government doing to help individuals? that's a big part of that major disaster declaration that the president approved. that provides assistance in nine counties. individuals can start signing up for assistance right now at >> is the federal government well funded enough on an emergency basis? government money is going to run out tomorrow waiting on a continuing resolution, which may not be approved until saturday,
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given the timetable on the hill. there's enough money to keep it flowing, right? the emergency responders will not have to stop? >> that's right. emergency response operations like this are funded out of a separate fund called the disaster relief fund. that is available to support the immediate ongoing response. i think as we have seen, this is going to be a major response and recovery effort. there may be the need for additional supplemental legislation. >> dan, i know you will stay with us. general as well, as we wait. a quick break before we wait to hear from the president and from fema headquarters and officials there. florida's barrier islands, the latest from one southwest florida community coming up next. we are tracking the latest on what is now tropical storm ian as it moves across florida. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. (cecily) adam. look-y what i got...
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florida's barrier islands pounded by rain, wind and storm surge from hurricane ian. join meg now, mike mcnee, a city manager for marco island. thank you for being with us. we spoke yesterday. has the water been cleared? how much damage have you sustained? >> we're in very good shape from a water standpoint. our roads are clear. we have some of our side roads that are a little lower elevation that are -- still have a little water. for the most part, our roads are clear. from a wind standpoint, we didn't have very much damage. we dodged the front end of the high winds, the front end of the storm. a few trees down and a little
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damage. nothing substantial. our damage is flooding. we have structures flooded. nothing of the order or magnitude they have seen to the north of us. we are in the midst of the assessment process. i can't give a percentage or how much of our community has been flooded. it's nowhere near the order or magnitude of what other people have seen. >> that's wonderful news. did you have to do any rescues overnight? >> overnight, no. we were concerned about that. we didn't have anyone call in overnight who was in distress. we did a few rescues yesterday afternoon where we could get to people and where people had distress and they needed assistance. we handled that. we helped a few people in a neighboring village get off there who had rising water issues. we didn't have anything overnight. so far, we haven't found anyone who got in trouble overnight as
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we have been out this morning. we have been very lucky in that. >> thankful for your blessings, marco island city manager. thank you so much. >> yes, ma'am. thank you. high tide in jacksonville, st. johns river, officials are watching for a possible double threat. heavy waters surge down. shaq brewster is in jacksonville. what are you seeing? >> reporter: hi, andrea. you get the consistent rain in jacksonville. you are getting the wind. it goes varying paces and speeds. we did just hear from the local officials here in jacksonville. jacksonville's mayor saying they are breathing a sigh of relief. they are warpwarning residents to let down their guard. the river that you see behind me, that is now at high tide. the concern is that as the water
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pushes into this area, that areas that normally flood, that see -- that saw flooding in prior storms, that that flooding will re-emerge. they are telling people to stay off the roads, stay in your home, not let down your guard, because that flooding that you might not see right now, it could still come back. in the update we got a sense of the power outages and the scale of power outages. 6,500 in the jacksonville area, which pales in comparison to what you see across florida. you see video next to me. crews are working overnight to repair some of the downed power lines, the downed trees. that gives you a sense of the wind speed that we are dealing with here in jacksonville. the fact that crews are able to quickly get out and restore the power lines, clear off the roads fairly quickly and almost immediately in the words of the mayor, that means the wind speeds, which they expect tropical storm speed winds, they are not reaching that high on a sustained basis. one thing that i watch is this
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bridge over my right shoulder. that bridge, officials have said, if winds get above 40 miles an hour on a sustained basis, it will close. they have said that. no bridges have had to close so far. we did see traffic delays a little earlier. that just gives you a sense of what jacksonville is feeling. that's why you are hearing from local officials, because the storm tracked a little further east, they are breathing that sigh of relief. they are saying, flooding concerns will remain not just today but truly into the weekend. >> what are you looking at for the next 24 and 48 hours, shaq? >> reporter: officials are saying, you have that rain and wind threat over the next couple of hours. that's why they are emphasize, don't let down your guard. i see people walking along the riverwalk in the downtown area right now, scoping things out. they are cautioning against that, because they said the flood -- with the rain and wind, it pushes the water, which causes the flooding. then they say that flooding is
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not just a threat over the next couple of hours, but while our attention is going to be what happens in georgia, with the impact of the storm making its way up there, the eye of the storm making its impact in georgia, they are saying that's when you have the water coming back down the river. that can lead to continuous flooding in this area. in jacksonville, there have not been mandatory evacuations. they are voluntary for areas that have flooded in the past. they are saying, if you left the area, stay out of the area, because of the concern of that flooding coming back. >> shaq brewster in jacksonville, thank you. back with us now, dan watson and retired general honorae. what do you see as the next big challenge for florida in terms of the power grid and water -- freshwater supplies, especially hospitals? >> absolutely. make some decisions on how they have to relocate many of the
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people in the area where the grid is destroyed. we're not talking days. you are talking weeks there. that is going to be a challenge. all over america, we got challenges for housing. there's so many homes that are going to be not worthy to stay in because of the water and the sludge and the floodwater got in. this is going to be a big challenge on how they are going to do relocation and have a speedier process to resolve recovery. right now, we're in the midst -- louisiana had ten insurance companies go broke trying to handle hurricane ida last year, which was a category 4. i can't imagine what it's going to do to the insurance resolve in florida and the poor people who have insurance but the insurance company won't be able
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to cover or drag them out because they don't have the funds to cover them. this is going to be a nightmare. this recovery is going to be one of the worst in american history as far as resolving. >> a couple of things come to mind that the federal government may have to come in with some kind of credit guarantees for those insurance companies. what about the mobile homes that you used after katrina that were moved in for temporary housing? is that an option? >> we use them. last year, after hurricane ida, we still have 5,000 people in louisiana in mobile homes. or recreational trailers. they are expensive to use a mobile home the way we use them. it costs almost $200,000 to put a mobile home in. many times, the cost of a temporary mobile home to loan somebody until their home gets fixed, exceed the cost of the house they are fixing.
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we have real issues with recovery that this storm will help us get to resolve. the congress are going to have to get involved, amend the rules that ties up recovery, which was created by congress over time. we have to have some adult decisions here. we have homes in puerto rico, after maria, that haven't been recovered. some in harvey, five years ago. let alone last year and two years ago. homes and public housing that's not recovered because of the slow bureaucratic process. everybody mean well. it's too darn slow. we have to figure out another way to do it. now that we have a major disaster like this that goes across 25 million people or maybe half of them involved in the recovery. we have to figure out another way to do this.
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>> right now, general and dan, we are looking at live pictures from our chopper of one of the bridges just wiped out to one of the barrier islands. i think that's lee county. that shows you how isolated those people are. >> absolutely. that will be the focus of this briefing. i think another important factor of that major disaster declaration is, a lot of people think, i need to get back to my home, see what condition it is and i will call ffema. no. register for assistance right now. if you are staying in a hotel and have expenses, you might get financial assistance to help with that. the last thing we want is people going back into areas too soon while it's dangerous. >> we will put the numbers up. >> it's,
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1-800-621-fema. >> orlando area theme parks are shut down. residents are being told to stay off the roads. rescue teams can get in. orange county fire rescue evacuated nursing home residents due to rising floodwaters. the sheriff's office has been out all day pulling people and their pets to safety. the emergency response team usin a loudspeaker to make this announcement. >> this is the orange county sheriff's office. if you need to be evacuated, step out of your front door. >> jerry demmings is the mayor. are people responding to that and coming -- letting the rescue operators know, the first responders know that they need help? >> let me begin by saying good morning or good afternoon at this time to you, andrea. we are seeing an excellent response from our residents here within orange county. we have been fortunate that
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because the hurricane was moving so slowly once it hit landfall here in florida, it really allowed the strength of the hurricane to dissipate. as a result, by the time it got into the metro orlando area here, it was a much weakened hurricane. potentially, we had a tropical storm force winds that occurred here. we have winds at 45 miles an hour. we saw gusts up to 65 or 70 miles an hour. because of that, this really became more of a wind phenomenon and rain phenomenon for our community that saturated our ground and water systems and created some flooding -- some localized flooding in our communities. we had to go in and evacuate some individuals. to date, however, there were
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really no injuries reported from that. at this point, we are no longer under a tornado watch. we anticipate that we should not continue to experience represent -- remnants of the hurricane at 1:00 a.m. tonight. >> mayor, is the rain letting up? >> the rain has let up significantly. it had been estimated we were going to see as much as two feet of rainfall within the metro at lan -- orlando area. we are a 1,000 square mile county. however, we were fortunate. we on average across the county saw 8 to 12 inches of rain. however, we had a few areas that had localized flooding that saw 16 inches of rain.
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that created some challenges. areas were flooded. we're beginning to see the water again dissipate. we did much better than perhaps we could. we were cautiously optimistic about the impact that the storm would have on our community. likely, our recovery efforts will begin shortly. we will look to recover within the next week or so. some of the damage is going to take a month to get repaired. all of this hurricane has a significant impact on our community, but not a devastating impact on our community. >> mayor, thank you so much. the orlando area, we are grateful that people are not as
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badly affected there as some had feared. thank you, sir. these are live pictures of sanibel island. you can see the bridge, the causeway is out. the roadway broken by the water, the floodwaters riding so high. the surge from the gulf and the ocean. what is tropical storm ian bringing flooding and destruction to huge sections of millions. the latest from the national hurricane center coming up next. you are watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. the new subway series menu. the greatest sandwich roster ever assembled. for more on the new boss, here's patrick mahomes. incredible - meatballs, fresh mozzarella and pepperon- oh, the meatball's out! i thought he never fumbles. the new subway series. what's your pick? want your clothes to smell freshly washed all day without heavy perfumes? try downy light in-wash freshness boosters.
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is extensive flash flooding. joining us is michael brennan at the national hurricane center in miami. where is the storm right now? what are you seeing in terms of wind and rain? >> there's a lot of rain affecting portions of east central and northeast florida. the center has moved off the coast. you can see the radar. all the wind and rain are happening north and west of the center. the winds pull this moisture into places like palm coast, into the jacksonville area, down to daytona beach. we have seen 90 mile per hour wind gusts. we have a tropical storm warning in effect for these areas. we see storm surge happening in st. augustine, into jacksonville. we could see inundation of four to six feet above ground level. the combination of that storm surge pushed in and the heavy rainfall that's falling is resulting in a lot of flooding
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now. >> could ian regain hurricane status before slamming back into land in georgia and the carolinas? >> it's not far. we are 70 miles an hour now. we forecast it to go to 75 tonight. remain a hurricane as it reaches the coast friday. we have the hurricane warning issued for the coast of south carolina. hurricane watch for georgia and northeast florida coast and a tropical storm warning. a tropical storm warning into north carolina. a huge wind field. widespread impact from the center. storm surge is an issue along the south carolina coast as well and georgia. we could see four to seven feet in the charleston area as ian moves onshore tomorrow. >> we have this incredible video of the reverse storm surge in tampa bay. the water was sucked out. this morning, the sheriff joked
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that tampa could have its water back. explain to us, how does this happen? >> as the winds circulation around the hurricane blows count counterclockwise, so the winds were blowing out of the north and northeast. that pulled water out of the tampa bay region, like on the other side, they are blowing out of the south and southwest and pushing water on the coast in that direction. we have the opposite problem. we have the northeasterly wins -- winds to the north of the center there. >> when it hits land again, what are you expecting the people now in georgia, i guess north of savannah and also south carolina to go through? >> brunswick, savannah are under storm surge warnings, hurricane watch. we are expecting significant inland impact as the center moves inland over south carolina
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friday into saturday. this is a flash flood risk map for rainfall flooding. we highlight almost the entire state of south carolina. charlotte, columbia, myrtle beach, charleston, with the risk of fresh water flooding and flash flash flooding rainfall across eastern georgia through virginia. so it's going to be a widespread impactings all the way into the weekend. >> thanks for that fair warning. michael brennan, swrooel more come up after the break. still waiting to hear from the president. he's now talking to people at fema. we'll hear if him and the fema director, coming up. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports." this is msnbc. rts. this is msnbc.
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nbc news correspondent steve patterson is in pinellas park, florida. what are you seeing there? it looks like the sun is coming out. sgrr. >> reporter: the sun is coming out, but sun on a lot of damage in this area. 24 hours before the storm made landfall, some models had it directly hitting this area. that didn't happen, but the coinciding storm did. the result is what you see behind me. this tree down taking out a power line. and behind it crashing into that tree. emblematic of the damage we have seen around this county. power lines down, trees down, tree branches, transformers below blown. the main mission today is assessment and clean up, especially in dangerous zones like this. this is a live wire. we have seen this all around this community. meanwhile, still about 170,000 customers in this county alone out of power. before power restoration happens, not only do they have
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to get this cleaned up, but some of the wind gusts kresing cresting over 30 miles per hour have to die down before kbrou get line workers in buckets to fix some of the outages. so a lot of people have to ride out the storm. the hope is that people maintain that they just stay in their homes because of the amount of trucks, the amount of line workers the amount of first responders out and about in a community like this making sure everything is safe. >> be careful. stay away from that live wire. you know that well. and helping florida with the task of clearing streets of debris so first responders can get in are volunteers from team rooub con. a nonprofit group that has teams on the ground. joining me now is team leader is jacob mills. he's in river view, florida. what have you seen so far? >> definitely a lot of damage.
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the storm surge was nothing to sdwroek about from the storm. the winds from this storm are some of the strongest that florida has seen in a very long time. so definitely trees down, definitely flooding going on. definitely a lot of help needed. >> the damage looks so extense i-. how are you going to help people get back to their homes if they exist, and get to shelters because people have to find alternative housing if the damage that we're looking at is any indication. >> our goal is to make sure that the roads are open. so that first responders can get in and help those individuals start to return to their homes. make sure they can have access to the roads to get to those shelters and do our best to keep everybody safe, keep the roadways safe and open. >> your team is responding to disasters around the country. how to you get there so quickly?
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were you prepositioned in florida because of the warnings you had that the storm was coming? >> it comes down to the local relationships that we build with local and city officials. we were prestaged in florida starting sunday. with representatives already in communication with the emergency operations center and emergency managers before this hurricane even turned into a hurricane. >> and jacob, thank you very much. the president is approaching the podium at fema. he's been with the first responders there and all of the staff. let's listen.
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>> the president is not micced very well. he's not near the podium, but he's thanking everybody for the coordination they have done. he's with the secretary from homeland security and the fema administrator. these are the people that coordinate with state and local officials and do so work and have been working around the clock. dan, you know exactly how hard this is and how terrific they are. >> that's right. and fema has a great leader. when i was at fema, she was on one of these teams that day delaware ploy. she knows what he's doing. >> now the president is opening his remarks. >> folk, i'm here at fema headquarters to thank the homeland security secretary, the coast guard, the army corp. of
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engineers and the fema administrator who has become the vip these days. of fema, the entire workforce. and on many other federal agencies working together here. there are always going to be above and beyond the running toward danger and save lives. these guys run toward it. that is really matters. they are helping survivors in desperate need. that's what we're doing as we focus on delivering help to the people directly impacted by hurricane ian. i'm going to use this. it made landfall yesterday and it's still moving across the state today. this could be the deadliest hurricane in florida's history. the numbers are still unclear,
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but we're hearing early reports of what maybe substantial loss of life. i should note i have spoken with the governors and mayors and commissioners. i spoke with the commissioners and mayors and they are worried, but they are telling me what an incredible job is being done to save their stirks their towns, their ports, their bridges, et cetera. and in the face of serious danger, search and rescue operations got underway before dawn this morning for people stranded, who are in desperate shape. water rescue is critical. coast guard deployed 16 rescue helicopters, 6 aircraft and 18 rescue boats and crews. that's just one element of the many federal search and rescue teams that the prestage in


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