All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 9/8/17 Hurricane Irma coverage

Guests:
Kristen Corbosiero, Kevin Trenberth, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Bill Nelson, Philip Levine, Phil Stoddard
Transcript:

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: September 8, 2017

Guest: Kristen Corbosiero, Kevin Trenberth, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Bill
Nelson, Philip Levine, Phil Stoddard


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: I can understand stubborn behavior. I`m one
of those. Anyway, thank you, Jacob Soboroff in Miami Beach. That`s
HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. Chris Hayes picks up coverage
right now.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from Miami Beach, I`m Chris Hayes.
We come to you live tonight from South Florida which in about 36 hours is
where Hurricane Irma is expected to make landfall as one of the most
powerful storms ever to hit the United States. We`ve been covering this
region going back more than a year, reporting on in Miami areas you unique
vulnerability to extreme weather in the area of climate change. Today,
we`ve been talking to residents and official about how they`re preparing.
And we will be here through the weekend reporting on the response to the
storm.

Right now, Irma is heading this way after cutting a devastating path
destruction through the Caribbean leaving at least 17 people dead and
millions more homeless or without power. The latest forecast put the storm
on track to slam into Florida early Sunday morning. And though it is
weakened slightly for the time being down to a category four, Irma`s impact
could be nothing short of catastrophic. Today, tens of thousands of people
scrambled to seek shelter or evacuate before the first effects are felt
here starting tomorrow, facing down fuel shortages, bumper to bumper
traffic to get to higher ground. Earlier today, Florida Governor Rick
Scott warned that all 21 million of the state`s residents may be at risk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: Today is the day to do the right thing for
your family and get to safety. This storm is wider than our entire state.
Think about that. It`s wider than our entire state. Remember Hurricane
Andrew was one of the worst storms in the history of our state. Irma is
more de stating on its current path. Every Floridian should take this
seriously and be aggressive to protect your family. Possessions can be
replaced. Your life and family cannot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Let`s go to NBC News Meteorologist Bill Karins for the latest. And
Bill, what`s it looking like?

BILL KARINS, NBC NEWS METEOROLOGIST: Just as serious, but we shifted a
little bit from last night. If you`re with us, we`re thinking the worst
case would be areas from Miami and to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
Now we`ve shifted to the West Coast of Florida. It only took about 20 to
30 miles shift west of the track to have all the world of a difference for
our friends in the Naples, Marco Island area and also into Fort Myers.
That`s the area we`ll be talking about a lot tomorrow for the potential for
the worst destruction from Irma. You can see clearly – look at the eye of
the storm. We were zoomed in on it as it was approaching and getting
closer at sunset here to the Cuba coastline. Just how impressively –
amazing how strong this storm has remained. It`s a strong category four,
but you know, just five miles, probably more, it would be a category five.

And look how huge the cloud shield is. It literally just swallows up most
of Cuba in the last about five or six hours. Torrential rains in Cuba and
the eye is very close to the north shore right now. That`s going to be one
of the keys to this forecast as we go through the overnight hours. How
close does the storm get to Cuba? Does it make landfall in Cuba? And
also, does it weaken over Cuba? That`s the sliver of hope I can give
everyone in South Florida. 155 mile per hour winds as of the new updates.
Still moving to the west at 12 miles per hour, so if it continues west,
that makes landfall in Cuba. If we start getting a northerly component,
then it can maintain a strength a little better and head a little further
north.

Let`s get into the official forecast track from the Hurricane Center. This
was the 5:00 a.m. update. The next big update, 11:00 this evening, we`ll
get a new path from them. They have it – again, here`s Cuba, here`s the
coastline, the red line is where they figure the center of storm will be.
The wiggle room here is that cone of uncertainty. So it easily could be in
Cuba tonight in a weaker storm or off the coast and remaining a very strong
potent category four or category five. And this is the – this is the
painful part. The forecast update at 5:00 takes it from a four,
strengthens it up a little bit over the warm weathers of the Florida
Straits. This is Key West, that`s Key Largo. This would be right over the
top of Marathon. The worst of it would be to the right of the storm. You
wonder if A1A, the Highway here would even be still usable by the time it`s
done with a category five. This would be as we go through Sunday at 6:00
a.m. in the morning. And then we take the storm northwards.

We`re still in the cone, Miami, and areas here, around Homestead, but we`re
barely in cone. We`re really starting to focus more now across Alligator
Alley, Marco Island area, into the areas of Naples, then as we go further
up the coast into Fort Myers. This would be a category four and it`s 2:00
p.m. Sunday. And then the storm slowly weakens for about 24 hours until we
get to about Monday at 2:00 p.m. The two things that are going to cause
the most damage, the most destruction, and the most heartache are going to
be the storm surge and the winds. I`m not as concerned with the rainfall
flooding. Florida has sandy soil, it`s really good at soaking that that
and absorbing it, so it`s going to be a totally different type of storm
than what we just got done in Texas with Harvey.

This storm surge of 12 feet is where we get a ton of destruction, water in
homes, the potential for even structures to be washed away that are on the
coast in Captive and Naples to Cape Sable all the way back down through the
Keys. And here`s the wind field, and Chris, this is what`s going to make
the storm so different. Even if you avoid that eye, you will see the
storm, how huge. This red is the hurricane force winds from Miami to
Naples all the way up the peninsula. No one`s going to avoid the hurricane
force winds, but it`s the eye Chris that I`m most concerned with. Naples
area, Fort Myers, get out now while you can.

HAYES: All right, Bill Karins, thank you for that. Al Roker is, of
course, Co-Anchor at NBC`S “TODAY” Show is here`s here with me here in
South Beach. I was talking to folks today, and as the storm track was
updated to wiggle to the west, there was a little bit of relief around
these parts. The problem is just how enormous this storm is.

AL ROKER, NBC ANCHOR: Right and I wouldn`t – I wouldn`t focus on where
the eye is. I – if you look at the path, that what we call the cone of
uncertainty, anything within that cone is fair – is fair game at this
point. So, we are talking about a wide swath and it`s going to be moving
up the spine of Florida for almost 24 hours.

HAYES: You know, someone was talking to me about the difference between
Andrew and this. And this is moving quite about slower than Andrew, right?

ROKER: It`s moving slower and Andrew went from east to west. It was
cleared of the state in about four or five hours. This is going to be a
24-hour plus event, going up the coast.

HAYES: And it`s able – it`s going to be able to sustain hurricane force
we think through that entire duration.

ROKER: Probably up to the Georgia-Florida border. And again, we`ve seen
this wobble. So for those living here in Miami, they said, oh, this is
great, going to be further west. It may wobble back again and even if it
doesn`t, this part of Florida is on the northeastern quadrant of the storm
which is the strongest. So even though it may not be a direct landfall,
it`s – the potential results can be pretty devastating.

HAYES: I was talking to scientists today who was just talking about how
much very small changes can matter for things like storm surge, for wind
damage in terms of which side of the storm you`re on. If you`re getting
what`s called the dirty side, that`s strongest hit, or on the sort of clean
side. So, even small (INAUDIBLE) even going through are going to have big
effects on the ground.

ROKER: Absolutely. And because this has slowed up and there – as bill
showed, it looks like it will pop back up to a category five because the
water temperature just offshore is about 87, 88 degrees. It`s been very
warm here, and so you are going to see the – basically, these things feed
off the warm water. That`s the energy source.

HAYES: Around what time do we think you`ll start to feel the effects here
in Florida? What`s the duration for when people can –

ROKER: I think we`re going the start feeling this overnight and then we`re
going start getting these feeder bands starring tomorrow morning and it`s
just going to get – it`s going to start deteriorating. And the other
thing I`m concerned about, originally it looked like this was going to come
onshore about 8:00 a.m. High tide is around noon. Well now, it`s slowed
up and landfall here in the main part of Florida may be around 12:00 noon.
And so, whatever –

HAYES: And that makes a big difference.

ROKER: That makes a big difference because whenever you get storm surge
wise, that`s on top of the high tide.

HAYES: Yes. I remember in Sandy, one of the things that made Sandy so
catastrophic particularly in lower Manhattan was just it happened to hit at
high tide.

ROKER: Exactly. And so, this right now is – you know, people that –
well, we rode out Andrew. Well, this is not Andrew. This is worse than
Andrew. It has the potential to be worse than Andrew. And for people to
say, well, I did it before. Prior performance does not you know, predict
future earnings. So, do not – do not go on what has been in the past
because you haven`t been through anything like this.

HAYES: As it moves forward, presumably, the storm will get weaker, right,
as it`s on that land. I mean, the wind – the wind should decline. So the
folks in the northern state aren`t going to be seeing the same force.

ROKER: They won`t get the surge, they won`t get the same wind forces, but
there will be still fairly significant. I mean, we`ll be talking probably
50 to 75 mile per hour winds a little further north and you`re going to get
torrential rain. So, you know, the thing people really need to focus on is
the storm surge because that`s where most of the deaths occur. 90 percent
of deaths in hurricanes are in the storm surge.

HAYES: And that`s – and why is that?

ROKER: Because it`s literally a wall of water –

HAYES: And it comes so fast.

ROKER: And it comes fast with debris, with all sorts of stuff in it and
people aren`t ready for it. People do not realize if you haven`t been
through anything like this, the power of water. Water finds a way and
nothing is going to stop it.

HAYES: What do you think – I mean, it sounds like you think the best
thing for people to do is get out of here.

ROKER: Absolutely, absolutely.

HAYES: If folks are here, right, what should they be doing? Leaving.

ROKER: Yes. I mean, it`s – this is – this is not something to trifle
with. I mean, you know – because look, first responders can`t be coming
in after you. Things are going to – I mean, right now in the keys,
they`re telling, the National Weather Service said three things. Get out.
If you don`t get out, you`re probably going to die. You know, and the keys
will be changed probably forever.

HAYES: All right, Al Roker, thanks for making time tonight.

ROKER: Chris, thank you.

HAYES: All right, we also have now Florida Senator Bill Nelson who joins
me by phone. And Senator, how prepared is Florida for what`s about to hit?

SEN. BILL NELSON (D), FLORIDA (via telephone): Well, Florida is prepared.
This is quite a bit different from 25 years ago when Hurricane Andrew hit.
Now, there is cooperation between all levels of government, there wasn`t
back then. The building codes are much tighter. There was basically no
building codes and that`s why Homestead under Hurricane Andrew was
flattened. But let me up the ante just a little bit of what Al Roker just
told you. Over the last 24 hours, we have seen a westward drift. If it
were to drift out into the Gulf of Mexico and go up the west coast of
Florida, all that water wall would be driven up into things like Charlotte
Bay and especially Tampa Bay if it stayed off of shore if that`s where the
course happens in the next 24 hours. And so, the bottom line is where ever
it is, it`s a monstrous and very dangerous storm.

HAYES: Senator, have you been personally in contact – I imagine you`ve
been talking to the Governor, you have been in contact with the FEMA
Director or President?

NELSON: All of the above. Senator Rubio and I were together in Miami last
Wednesday. I went back to help pass the FEMA Bill and as you know, we got
it up to $15 billion, which we passed in the Senate yesterday and I call it
back, so I`ve been on the East Coast Emergency Operation Centers today. I
will be because of the westward drift, I`ll be over on the west coast of
Florida tomorrow.

HAYES: All right, Senator Bill Nelson, thank you for your time tonight.

NELSON: Thanks.

HAYES: NBC News Correspondent Rehema Ellis joins me live from the Bahamas.
And Rehema, we`ve seen some really awful images of destruction. What are
reports like for those islands that have already seen the effects of Irma?

REHEMA ELLIS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: One of the things that people are
thinking about is the effects that have occurred to some of those other
islands. And that`s why when we feel these winds picking up here in
Nassau, people are saying they know that they better batten down the
hatches. Islands like Barbuda for example, 90 percent of that island is
gone, destroyed, flattened. Buildings just have been decimated. When you
look at the Turks and Caicos, they also had extreme damage, roofs riffed
off, cars underwater crushes as well as in St. Martin, they had tremendous
damage. St. John, people are wondering if they`ll be able to get
themselves back to what they considered to be normal. Tremendous
devastation, we even had people helping people. One of the folks we talked
earlier today, is a tourist guide. He has a boat. He turned that boat
into a rescue operation in order to bring some 200 to 300 people into safer
territory in the area of St. John. So, all of that has got people really
afraid here.

The hurricane hit the Southern Bahamas this morning and there`s a whole lot
of concern. Authorities here say they feel it`s going to be so
devastating, the people who were evacuated from there may not have anything
to go back to. And even on the island of Inagua, that`s where some will
recognize that one of the largest population of Flamingos, 60,000
Flamingos, and people come to this area to visit, they go there to see that
natural wonder of wildlife, we`re wondering what that`s going to look like
after the storm is over.

Up here, it may not hit as hard, but they`re really concerned about the
surge. They say it could be up to 20 feet. A single one story house is
ten feet. So, double that. That`s a wall of water that could wash over
everything and that is life threatening and this storm Chris has already
been deadly. We`re talking about 17 people have been killed. And they
don`t know what they find – what they`re going to find when they continue
with their investigations after this storm has passed. Chris.

HAYES: All right, NBC News Correspondent Rehema Ellis, thank you very much
for that. As we learned when ALL IN traveled to Miami last year, this city
floods a lot even when it`s not raining. That`s due in part to sea level
rise and the fact the city is built largely on porous limestone which
allows water to come up through the ground and on to the streets. Perhaps
nowhere in the city is more vulnerable to hurricanes than Miami Beach which
sits on the slivered land across the Biscayne Bay from the mainland. The
city has seen absolutely explosive growth over a century.

The image on the left shows just how sparsely Miami Beach was populated
back when it was first built compare that to today when luxury hotels and
high-rises are packed tightly together up and down the beach. I`m joined
now by the Mayor of Miami Beach Philip Levine as well as former Miami
Herald Report Marc Caputo who`s now with Politico and covered numerous
hurricanes here in Florida. We still have some folks who are here in South
Beach this evening.

MAYOR PHILIP LEVINE, MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: Absolutely.

HAYES: A lot of people with their phones out sort of getting a last look.
How – I mean, when you look at a map and when you look at – we`ve talked
before about the susceptibility of this place to flooding, it looks like
this could be rather bad for South Beach.

LEVINE: No question about it. It`s a very severe, it`s a very strong
hurricane. That`s why we`ve been telling all our residents to vacate Miami
Beach. We are a barrier island, we are low lying, we are very concerned
about a tidal surge as well as the strong winds. And whether it hits us
directly, this thing is a monster. It will cover all of Florida and
definitely all South Florida.

HAYES: You know, you`ve – so you`ve been through a number of hurricanes.
You`ve covered them as a reporter and you covered Katrina as well in
Louisiana. You know, this sort of psychology of whether to stay or to go
is a complicated one. I think people watch – people who are outside are
watching this are saying why is anyone staying, why is anyone staying?
People with pets, they have homes or in a lot of cases, people don`t have
money or they weren`t age able to get gas or they don`t have cars. There`s
a lot of reasons that people do end up staying.

MARC CAPUTO, POLITICO REPORTER: And what`s really weird about Irma is that
normally, you have a good idea of like oh, it`s going to go in the south, I
can go to the north. It`s going to go east, I can go west. I mean, here,
Irma`s path was always essentially right up the state`s center. So, we`re
essentially – Florida is basically one big disaster cone right now. And
folks knew that and kind of were paralyzed as to which direction to go.

HAYES: Now, you`re from Key West. Is that right?

CAPUTO: I am.

HAYES: So the warnings from Key West from the National Hurricane Center
sound well-nigh apocalyptic. You have family there right now, is that
right?

CAPUTO: My mother and step dad are staying right now and I hope they`re
watching this and I hope they don`t because I`ve asked them to evacuate.

HAYES: And they live there.

CAPUTO: They live there and one of the projected paths has this hurricane
going right through Marathon, which is where the Seven Mile Bridge is. If
this is a category five storm and if it does hit the Seven Mile Bridge, I
just wonder if that bridge can handle it.

HAYES: What is the biggest risk here? Is it – is it – I mean, I imagine
the building code here are rather strong. They`re probably ruthlessly
enforced, I would imagine thankfully. Is it storm surge in is that the
thing that sort of most concerns you in terms of damage or loss of life?

LEVINE: Actually a combination of two things, storm surge is a big concern
and of course the wind damage is tremendous concern, but making sure our
residents have left. You know, we only have another hour or two to go and
then the window is kind of closing for them to get on the buses and go to a
shelter the mainland. You know, I went to visit homeless folks today. I
went and saw some seniors. For example, I met a lady named Anna, 92 years
old in a senior center and I said her you need to go, you need to go. And
she said, Mayor, I`m not going. I want to stay here. I have my water, I
can`t go. I pleaded with her. She wouldn`t go. I said, Anna, here`s my
cell phone number. Call me if you have a problem. And she turned to me
Chris, and said Alcalde, which means Mayor, she said, here`s my cell phone
number. You call me if you have a problem. That`s what we`re dealing
with.

HAYES: So, well, then – and I`ve seen you know, there`s A.P. alert that I
think the city of Miami proper had sort of used kind of emergency power
from mandatory sheltering of homeless folks essentially against their will,
right? Do you have enough room and safe space for anyone that does needs
shelter and wasn`t able to get out to go to?

LEVINE: And all our shelters around, all of Miami-Dade County there is
room and they`re opening up more shelters. But what`s going to happen is
that at a certain point as these winds pick up and the hurricane begins,
our first responders are not going to be out there. There`ll be no public
service available because we can`t endanger their lives during this storm.

HAYES: Do you think about – you know, Florida is entirely constructed
through a series of amazing engineering feats from what they did in the
swamps and everglades to what has been done right here to the islands that
were dredged out of the water just a few miles over there. That this –
there`s a – it has a future in the era that we`re entering.

CAPUTO: Well, that`s a good question. I mean, we`re surrounded by water
and as you referenced before, water comes up out of the earth when the
tides really come in. And with sea level rise, whether you want to admit
global warming is happening or not, Miami Beach show that the seas are
rising and it just seems like, at a certain point, the real estate market
here just might have to give. Especially if our well fields – our water
well fields where we get our fresh water from are poisoned. The Mayor and
I have had a number of debates about whether we`re doomed or not.

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: You have – I mean, you have been an advocate for adaptation to the
fact that – and we should be clear, sea level rise – sea level rise is
caused primarily by climate change, though not exclusively, that you can
adapt here. And this is a place that was almost leveled right after it
sort of first boomed, right? I think it was `26, the hurricane took out
much of it and it came back.

LEVINE: Miami Beach has a history of resilience. For example, what we`ve
doing is raising our roads, putting in pumps. In areas that used to be
underwater during what we call sunny day flooding are dry. We`re going to
do this to our city. We`re spending $500 million to do it. You know,
people say, what happens in 50 years? And I`ll say, I believe in human
innovation. The same way you`re having a satellite direct feed on this
show you couldn`t imagine 50 years ago, you won`t imagine what they`ll do
20, 30 50 years from today to make cities resilient.

HAYES: Marc –

CAPUTO: (INAUDIBLE) pretty fatalist about it. It`s just difficult to see
how if the oceans wind up in our living rooms, how this society that we`ve
constructed currently can handle that sort of pressure and stress.

HAYES: You`ve got 7 million people here. One of the things that is
interesting to me is that it really does seems at an operational level like
lessons have been learned from previous. And I`m crossing my fingers here,
right, because we`re going to find out. I don`t want to jinx it. But that
some lessons have been learned operationally about how to deal a disaster.
Andrew really was a disaster in a lot of ways logistically, right,
organizationally. Are you confident that everything is in place from the
state, local and federal level?

LEVINE: No question about it at all. I can tell you from a Miami Beach
perspective. One of the most important things we have done is immediate to
begin communicating with our residents and visitors. Communication was
key, doing all the preventative things we need to do, making sure that they
need sandbags, we gave them free sandbags, pruning all the trees, making
sure that all the construction sites were shut down, putting in portable
generators, portable pumps. But once again, you can`t hold back a massive
storm like this. We`re doing the best we can and I believe that we`ll be
able to with stand it.

HAYES: All right, Mayor Phil Levine, Marc Caputo. Hey, Marc Caputo`s
parents, if you`re watching, give it a thought, all right. Thanks for
taking. Be safe.

LEVINE: Thank you.

CAPUTO: Thank you.

HAYES: We have much more live from Miami as the state braces for Hurricane
Irma and a look at the devastation Irma has already left in its path
including the interview with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen –

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (R), FLORIDA: We`re slowly trying to get our
party to understand that this is happening. But some people say oh, you
know, climate change is weather. We`ve always had different weather and
we`ve always had hurricanes. It`s not about that. It`s about the sea
level is actually rising and it`s going to wipe away Miami Beach literally,
not figuratively, it really is.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Some of the most vulnerable, the
residents in trailer parks who cannot afford to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going to be, oh, wiped out.

SANDERS: Authorities detaining the homeless to protect them against the
storm. Throughout the day, last minute shopping for crucial supplies,
Police helping to manage out of control lines at this Home Depot. One man
about to buy the last generator at the store giving it up to a woman for
her sick father`s medical needs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An angel from God is what he is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: NBC`s Kerry Sanders reporting at some of the scenes playing out in
Miami today and Kerry joins me now live. And Kerry, what did you see
today?

SANDERS: Well, Chris, I saw a lot of desperation, especially among the
people who decided for whatever reason that they could not leave heading
north. So many people, maybe upwards of a million have made their way
north from Orlando to Atlanta to North Carolina. But so many others either
didn`t have the where with all or procrastinators who stayed back and they
began going to the shelters today. And there was some desperation of those
getting to the shelters especially when they got to some of the shelters
and discovered that there were more people than there would be space and
they would have to go to another shelter, just moving around from one to
the other, including people who are tourists. And it`s very hard to be in
a city, maybe in a language, you don`t speak and having to find your way in
this catastrophe that`s about to come, Chris.

HAYES: All right, Kerry Sanders from NBC, thanks for that. I appreciate
it.

We will be back with much more live here from Miami Beach as Hurricane
Irma, a record breaking hurricane already bears down on South Florida.
Don`t go anywhere.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody is telling me that the (INAUDIBLE) is heading
north are jammed packed so I`m going to not add to the chaos and congestion
there and I`m going to stay here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: I spent the day here in Miami talking to residents and experts
about just what exactly they expect when Irma makes landfall here. One of
the people I talked to this afternoon was a Mayor of South Miami, Phil
Stoddard. He`s a Scientist and Biology Professor, who was actually
appointed by the White House in 2015 to develop national policy for sea
level rise. I asked him first about the risk to Miami of the storm surge
from Irma.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR PHIL STODDARD, SOUTH MIAMI, FLORIDA: Storm surge is kind of new for
Miami. We`ve never really had to think about storm surge for the entire
city. When Andrew came ashore, there was 16, 17 feet of water in South
Dade. People that had evacuated, but the water came over the tops of their
houses, so this is a real concern, not just something arbitrary. But
what`s happened is now they`ve given an evacuation order for a huge swath
of residential Miami-Dade County. And it sort of came out of the blue from
our perspective. So, I looked at the maps the National Hurricane Center
produced and I took an extract of those, overlaid the street grid and sent
to my residents so they could see who was in a threat and who was really on
high ground and less of a concern. And it`s important that we do this
because we want the right people to evacuate. We want u people in lower
areas to take this seriously. And people in high areas who can make due,
they shouldn`t be clogging the emergency shelters.

HAYES: The map shows South Beach and those areas there along the water
really exposed and interestingly exposed from the bay side because of the
push of water that comes in.

STODDARD: They can get it coming and going. So if the winds sweep around
from the east, they`ll push a big boll louse of water up over Miami Beach
from the Atlantic side. If the winds are pushing from the south, they`ll
push – they`ll work like a funnel and shovel water up Biscayne Bay that
will then flood out to the east and to the west. So Miami Beach could get
it from either direction.

HAYES: Now, the reason that we were here talking to you before, this is an
area that is very exposed to climate change and a lot of that has to do
with sea level rise, so that water is already sitting at a higher elevation
than it would be otherwise.

STODDARD: A little bit. You know, we`ve got – we`ve

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: I can understand stubborn behavior. I`m one
of those. Anyway, thank you, Jacob Soboroff in Miami Beach. That`s
HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. Chris Hayes picks up coverage
right now.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from Miami Beach, I`m Chris Hayes.
We come to you live tonight from South Florida which in about 36 hours is
where Hurricane Irma is expected to make landfall as one of the most
powerful storms ever to hit the United States. We`ve been covering this
region going back more than a year, reporting on in Miami areas you unique
vulnerability to extreme weather in the area of climate change. Today,
we`ve been talking to residents and official about how they`re preparing.
And we will be here through the weekend reporting on the response to the
storm.

Right now, Irma is heading this way after cutting a devastating path
destruction through the Caribbean leaving at least 17 people dead and
millions more homeless or without power. The latest forecast put the storm
on track to slam into Florida early Sunday morning. And though it is
weakened slightly for the time being down to a category four, Irma`s impact
could be nothing short of catastrophic. Today, tens of thousands of people
scrambled to seek shelter or evacuate before the first effects are felt
here starting tomorrow, facing down fuel shortages, bumper to bumper
traffic to get to higher ground. Earlier today, Florida Governor Rick
Scott warned that all 21 million of the state`s residents may be at risk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: Today is the day to do the right thing for
your family and get to safety. This storm is wider than our entire state.
Think about that. It`s wider than our entire state. Remember Hurricane
Andrew was one of the worst storms in the history of our state. Irma is
more de stating on its current path. Every Floridian should take this
seriously and be aggressive to protect your family. Possessions can be
replaced. Your life and family cannot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Let`s go to NBC News Meteorologist Bill Karins for the latest. And
Bill, what`s it looking like?

BILL KARINS, NBC NEWS METEOROLOGIST: Just as serious, but we shifted a
little bit from last night. If you`re with us, we`re thinking the worst
case would be areas from Miami and to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
Now we`ve shifted to the West Coast of Florida. It only took about 20 to
30 miles shift west of the track to have all the world of a difference for
our friends in the Naples, Marco Island area and also into Fort Myers.
That`s the area we`ll be talking about a lot tomorrow for the potential for
the worst destruction from Irma. You can see clearly – look at the eye of
the storm. We were zoomed in on it as it was approaching and getting
closer at sunset here to the Cuba coastline. Just how impressively –
amazing how strong this storm has remained. It`s a strong category four,
but you know, just five miles, probably more, it would be a category five.

And look how huge the cloud shield is. It literally just swallows up most
of Cuba in the last about five or six hours. Torrential rains in Cuba and
the eye is very close to the north shore right now. That`s going to be one
of the keys to this forecast as we go through the overnight hours. How
close does the storm get to Cuba? Does it make landfall in Cuba? And
also, does it weaken over Cuba? That`s the sliver of hope I can give
everyone in South Florida. 155 mile per hour winds as of the new updates.
Still moving to the west at 12 miles per hour, so if it continues west,
that makes landfall in Cuba. If we start getting a northerly component,
then it can maintain a strength a little better and head a little further
north.

Let`s get into the official forecast track from the Hurricane Center. This
was the 5:00 a.m. update. The next big update, 11:00 this evening, we`ll
get a new path from them. They have it – again, here`s Cuba, here`s the
coastline, the red line is where they figure the center of storm will be.
The wiggle room here is that cone of uncertainty. So it easily could be in
Cuba tonight in a weaker storm or off the coast and remaining a very strong
potent category four or category five. And this is the – this is the
painful part. The forecast update at 5:00 takes it from a four,
strengthens it up a little bit over the warm weathers of the Florida
Straits. This is Key West, that`s Key Largo. This would be right over the
top of Marathon. The worst of it would be to the right of the storm. You
wonder if A1A, the Highway here would even be still usable by the time it`s
done with a category five. This would be as we go through Sunday at 6:00
a.m. in the morning. And then we take the storm northwards.

We`re still in the cone, Miami, and areas here, around Homestead, but we`re
barely in cone. We`re really starting to focus more now across Alligator
Alley, Marco Island area, into the areas of Naples, then as we go further
up the coast into Fort Myers. This would be a category four and it`s 2:00
p.m. Sunday. And then the storm slowly weakens for about 24 hours until we
get to about Monday at 2:00 p.m. The two things that are going to cause
the most damage, the most destruction, and the most heartache are going to
be the storm surge and the winds. I`m not as concerned with the rainfall
flooding. Florida has sandy soil, it`s really good at soaking that that
and absorbing it, so it`s going to be a totally different type of storm
than what we just got done in Texas with Harvey.

This storm surge of 12 feet is where we get a ton of destruction, water in
homes, the potential for even structures to be washed away that are on the
coast in Captive and Naples to Cape Sable all the way back down through the
Keys. And here`s the wind field, and Chris, this is what`s going to make
the storm so different. Even if you avoid that eye, you will see the
storm, how huge. This red is the hurricane force winds from Miami to
Naples all the way up the peninsula. No one`s going to avoid the hurricane
force winds, but it`s the eye Chris that I`m most concerned with. Naples
area, Fort Myers, get out now while you can.

HAYES: All right, Bill Karins, thank you for that. Al Roker is, of
course, Co-Anchor at NBC`S “TODAY” Show is here`s here with me here in
South Beach. I was talking to folks today, and as the storm track was
updated to wiggle to the west, there was a little bit of relief around
these parts. The problem is just how enormous this storm is.

AL ROKER, NBC ANCHOR: Right and I wouldn`t – I wouldn`t focus on where
the eye is. I – if you look at the path, that what we call the cone of
uncertainty, anything within that cone is fair – is fair game at this
point. So, we are talking about a wide swath and it`s going to be moving
up the spine of Florida for almost 24 hours.

HAYES: You know, someone was talking to me about the difference between
Andrew and this. And this is moving quite about slower than Andrew, right?

ROKER: It`s moving slower and Andrew went from east to west. It was
cleared of the state in about four or five hours. This is going to be a
24-hour plus event, going up the coast.

HAYES: And it`s able – it`s going to be able to sustain hurricane force
we think through that entire duration.

ROKER: Probably up to the Georgia-Florida border. And again, we`ve seen
this wobble. So for those living here in Miami, they said, oh, this is
great, going to be further west. It may wobble back again and even if it
doesn`t, this part of Florida is on the northeastern quadrant of the storm
which is the strongest. So even though it may not be a direct landfall,
it`s – the potential results can be pretty devastating.

HAYES: I was talking to scientists today who was just talking about how
much very small changes can matter for things like storm surge, for wind
damage in terms of which side of the storm you`re on. If you`re getting
what`s called the dirty side, that`s strongest hit, or on the sort of clean
side. So, even small (INAUDIBLE) even going through are going to have big
effects on the ground.

ROKER: Absolutely. And because this has slowed up and there – as bill
showed, it looks like it will pop back up to a category five because the
water temperature just offshore is about 87, 88 degrees. It`s been very
warm here, and so you are going to see the – basically, these things feed
off the warm water. That`s the energy source.

HAYES: Around what time do we think you`ll start to feel the effects here
in Florida? What`s the duration for when people can –

ROKER: I think we`re going the start feeling this overnight and then we`re
going start getting these feeder bands starring tomorrow morning and it`s
just going to get – it`s going to start deteriorating. And the other
thing I`m concerned about, originally it looked like this was going to come
onshore about 8:00 a.m. High tide is around noon. Well now, it`s slowed
up and landfall here in the main part of Florida may be around 12:00 noon.
And so, whatever –

HAYES: And that makes a big difference.

ROKER: That makes a big difference because whenever you get storm surge
wise, that`s on top of the high tide.

HAYES: Yes. I remember in Sandy, one of the things that made Sandy so
catastrophic particularly in lower Manhattan was just it happened to hit at
high tide.

ROKER: Exactly. And so, this right now is – you know, people that –
well, we rode out Andrew. Well, this is not Andrew. This is worse than
Andrew. It has the potential to be worse than Andrew. And for people to
say, well, I did it before. Prior performance does not you know, predict
future earnings. So, do not – do not go on what has been in the past
because you haven`t been through anything like this.

HAYES: As it moves forward, presumably, the storm will get weaker, right,
as it`s on that land. I mean, the wind – the wind should decline. So the
folks in the northern state aren`t going to be seeing the same force.

ROKER: They won`t get the surge, they won`t get the same wind forces, but
there will be still fairly significant. I mean, we`ll be talking probably
50 to 75 mile per hour winds a little further north and you`re going to get
torrential rain. So, you know, the thing people really need to focus on is
the storm surge because that`s where most of the deaths occur. 90 percent
of deaths in hurricanes are in the storm surge.

HAYES: And that`s – and why is that?

ROKER: Because it`s literally a wall of water –

HAYES: And it comes so fast.

ROKER: And it comes fast with debris, with all sorts of stuff in it and
people aren`t ready for it. People do not realize if you haven`t been
through anything like this, the power of water. Water finds a way and
nothing is going to stop it.

HAYES: What do you think – I mean, it sounds like you think the best
thing for people to do is get out of here.

ROKER: Absolutely, absolutely.

HAYES: If folks are here, right, what should they be doing? Leaving.

ROKER: Yes. I mean, it`s – this is – this is not something to trifle
with. I mean, you know – because look, first responders can`t be coming
in after you. Things are going to – I mean, right now in the keys,
they`re telling, the National Weather Service said three things. Get out.
If you don`t get out, you`re probably going to die. You know, and the keys
will be changed probably forever.

HAYES: All right, Al Roker, thanks for making time tonight.

ROKER: Chris, thank you.

HAYES: All right, we also have now Florida Senator Bill Nelson who joins
me by phone. And Senator, how prepared is Florida for what`s about to hit?

SEN. BILL NELSON (D), FLORIDA (via telephone): Well, Florida is prepared.
This is quite a bit different from 25 years ago when Hurricane Andrew hit.
Now, there is cooperation between all levels of government, there wasn`t
back then. The building codes are much tighter. There was basically no
building codes and that`s why Homestead under Hurricane Andrew was
flattened. But let me up the ante just a little bit of what Al Roker just
told you. Over the last 24 hours, we have seen a westward drift. If it
were to drift out into the Gulf of Mexico and go up the west coast of
Florida, all that water wall would be driven up into things like Charlotte
Bay and especially Tampa Bay if it stayed off of shore if that`s where the
course happens in the next 24 hours. And so, the bottom line is where ever
it is, it`s a monstrous and very dangerous storm.

HAYES: Senator, have you been personally in contact – I imagine you`ve
been talking to the Governor, you have been in contact with the FEMA
Director or President?

NELSON: All of the above. Senator Rubio and I were together in Miami last
Wednesday. I went back to help pass the FEMA Bill and as you know, we got
it up to $15 billion, which we passed in the Senate yesterday and I call it
back, so I`ve been on the East Coast Emergency Operation Centers today. I
will be because of the westward drift, I`ll be over on the west coast of
Florida tomorrow.

HAYES: All right, Senator Bill Nelson, thank you for your time tonight.

NELSON: Thanks.

HAYES: NBC News Correspondent Rehema Ellis joins me live from the Bahamas.
And Rehema, we`ve seen some really awful images of destruction. What are
reports like for those islands that have already seen the effects of Irma?

REHEMA ELLIS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: One of the things that people are
thinking about is the effects that have occurred to some of those other
islands. And that`s why when we feel these winds picking up here in
Nassau, people are saying they know that they better batten down the
hatches. Islands like Barbuda for example, 90 percent of that island is
gone, destroyed, flattened. Buildings just have been decimated. When you
look at the Turks and Caicos, they also had extreme damage, roofs riffed
off, cars underwater crushes as well as in St. Martin, they had tremendous
damage. St. John, people are wondering if they`ll be able to get
themselves back to what they considered to be normal. Tremendous
devastation, we even had people helping people. One of the folks we talked
earlier today, is a tourist guide. He has a boat. He turned that boat
into a rescue operation in order to bring some 200 to 300 people into safer
territory in the area of St. John. So, all of that has got people really
afraid here.

The hurricane hit the Southern Bahamas this morning and there`s a whole lot
of concern. Authorities here say they feel it`s going to be so
devastating, the people who were evacuated from there may not have anything
to go back to. And even on the island of Inagua, that`s where some will
recognize that one of the largest population of Flamingos, 60,000
Flamingos, and people come to this area to visit, they go there to see that
natural wonder of wildlife, we`re wondering what that`s going to look like
after the storm is over.

Up here, it may not hit as hard, but they`re really concerned about the
surge. They say it could be up to 20 feet. A single one story house is
ten feet. So, double that. That`s a wall of water that could wash over
everything and that is life threatening and this storm Chris has already
been deadly. We`re talking about 17 people have been killed. And they
don`t know what they find – what they`re going to find when they continue
with their investigations after this storm has passed. Chris.

HAYES: All right, NBC News Correspondent Rehema Ellis, thank you very much
for that. As we learned when ALL IN traveled to Miami last year, this city
floods a lot even when it`s not raining. That`s due in part to sea level
rise and the fact the city is built largely on porous limestone which
allows water to come up through the ground and on to the streets. Perhaps
nowhere in the city is more vulnerable to hurricanes than Miami Beach which
sits on the slivered land across the Biscayne Bay from the mainland. The
city has seen absolutely explosive growth over a century.

The image on the left shows just how sparsely Miami Beach was populated
back when it was first built compare that to today when luxury hotels and
high-rises are packed tightly together up and down the beach. I`m joined
now by the Mayor of Miami Beach Philip Levine as well as former Miami
Herald Report Marc Caputo who`s now with Politico and covered numerous
hurricanes here in Florida. We still have some folks who are here in South
Beach this evening.

MAYOR PHILIP LEVINE, MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: Absolutely.

HAYES: A lot of people with their phones out sort of getting a last look.
How – I mean, when you look at a map and when you look at – we`ve talked
before about the susceptibility of this place to flooding, it looks like
this could be rather bad for South Beach.

LEVINE: No question about it. It`s a very severe, it`s a very strong
hurricane. That`s why we`ve been telling all our residents to vacate Miami
Beach. We are a barrier island, we are low lying, we are very concerned
about a tidal surge as well as the strong winds. And whether it hits us
directly, this thing is a monster. It will cover all of Florida and
definitely all South Florida.

HAYES: You know, you`ve – so you`ve been through a number of hurricanes.
You`ve covered them as a reporter and you covered Katrina as well in
Louisiana. You know, this sort of psychology of whether to stay or to go
is a complicated one. I think people watch – people who are outside are
watching this are saying why is anyone staying, why is anyone staying?
People with pets, they have homes or in a lot of cases, people don`t have
money or they weren`t age able to get gas or they don`t have cars. There`s
a lot of reasons that people do end up staying.

MARC CAPUTO, POLITICO REPORTER: And what`s really weird about Irma is that
normally, you have a good idea of like oh, it`s going to go in the south, I
can go to the north. It`s going to go east, I can go west. I mean, here,
Irma`s path was always essentially right up the state`s center. So, we`re
essentially – Florida is basically one big disaster cone right now. And
folks knew that and kind of were paralyzed as to which direction to go.

HAYES: Now, you`re from Key West. Is that right?

CAPUTO: I am.

HAYES: So the warnings from Key West from the National Hurricane Center
sound well-nigh apocalyptic. You have family there right now, is that
right?

CAPUTO: My mother and step dad are staying right now and I hope they`re
watching this and I hope they don`t because I`ve asked them to evacuate.

HAYES: And they live there.

CAPUTO: They live there and one of the projected paths has this hurricane
going right through Marathon, which is where the Seven Mile Bridge is. If
this is a category five storm and if it does hit the Seven Mile Bridge, I
just wonder if that bridge can handle it.

HAYES: What is the biggest risk here? Is it – is it – I mean, I imagine
the building code here are rather strong. They`re probably ruthlessly
enforced, I would imagine thankfully. Is it storm surge in is that the
thing that sort of most concerns you in terms of damage or loss of life?

LEVINE: Actually a combination of two things, storm surge is a big concern
and of course the wind damage is tremendous concern, but making sure our
residents have left. You know, we only have another hour or two to go and
then the window is kind of closing for them to get on the buses and go to a
shelter the mainland. You know, I went to visit homeless folks today. I
went and saw some seniors. For example, I met a lady named Anna, 92 years
old in a senior center and I said her you need to go, you need to go. And
she said, Mayor, I`m not going. I want to stay here. I have my water, I
can`t go. I pleaded with her. She wouldn`t go. I said, Anna, here`s my
cell phone number. Call me if you have a problem. And she turned to me
Chris, and said Alcalde, which means Mayor, she said, here`s my cell phone
number. You call me if you have a problem. That`s what we`re dealing
with.

HAYES: So, well, then – and I`ve seen you know, there`s A.P. alert that I
think the city of Miami proper had sort of used kind of emergency power
from mandatory sheltering of homeless folks essentially against their will,
right? Do you have enough room and safe space for anyone that does needs
shelter and wasn`t able to get out to go to?

LEVINE: And all our shelters around, all of Miami-Dade County there is
room and they`re opening up more shelters. But what`s going to happen is
that at a certain point as these winds pick up and the hurricane begins,
our first responders are not going to be out there. There`ll be no public
service available because we can`t endanger their lives during this storm.

HAYES: Do you think about – you know, Florida is entirely constructed
through a series of amazing engineering feats from what they did in the
swamps and everglades to what has been done right here to the islands that
were dredged out of the water just a few miles over there. That this –
there`s a – it has a future in the era that we`re entering.

CAPUTO: Well, that`s a good question. I mean, we`re surrounded by water
and as you referenced before, water comes up out of the earth when the
tides really come in. And with sea level rise, whether you want to admit
global warming is happening or not, Miami Beach show that the seas are
rising and it just seems like, at a certain point, the real estate market
here just might have to give. Especially if our well fields – our water
well fields where we get our fresh water from are poisoned. The Mayor and
I have had a number of debates about whether we`re doomed or not.

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: You have – I mean, you have been an advocate for adaptation to the
fact that – and we should be clear, sea level rise – sea level rise is
caused primarily by climate change, though not exclusively, that you can
adapt here. And this is a place that was almost leveled right after it
sort of first boomed, right? I think it was `26, the hurricane took out
much of it and it came back.

LEVINE: Miami Beach has a history of resilience. For example, what we`ve
doing is raising our roads, putting in pumps. In areas that used to be
underwater during what we call sunny day flooding are dry. We`re going to
do this to our city. We`re spending $500 million to do it. You know,
people say, what happens in 50 years? And I`ll say, I believe in human
innovation. The same way you`re having a satellite direct feed on this
show you couldn`t imagine 50 years ago, you won`t imagine what they`ll do
20, 30 50 years from today to make cities resilient.

HAYES: Marc –

CAPUTO: (INAUDIBLE) pretty fatalist about it. It`s just difficult to see
how if the oceans wind up in our living rooms, how this society that we`ve
constructed currently can handle that sort of pressure and stress.

HAYES: You`ve got 7 million people here. One of the things that is
interesting to me is that it really does seems at an operational level like
lessons have been learned from previous. And I`m crossing my fingers here,
right, because we`re going to find out. I don`t want to jinx it. But that
some lessons have been learned operationally about how to deal a disaster.
Andrew really was a disaster in a lot of ways logistically, right,
organizationally. Are you confident that everything is in place from the
state, local and federal level?

LEVINE: No question about it at all. I can tell you from a Miami Beach
perspective. One of the most important things we have done is immediate to
begin communicating with our residents and visitors. Communication was
key, doing all the preventative things we need to do, making sure that they
need sandbags, we gave them free sandbags, pruning all the trees, making
sure that all the construction sites were shut down, putting in portable
generators, portable pumps. But once again, you can`t hold back a massive
storm like this. We`re doing the best we can and I believe that we`ll be
able to with stand it.

HAYES: All right, Mayor Phil Levine, Marc Caputo. Hey, Marc Caputo`s
parents, if you`re watching, give it a thought, all right. Thanks for
taking. Be safe.

LEVINE: Thank you.

CAPUTO: Thank you.

HAYES: We have much more live from Miami as the state braces for Hurricane
Irma and a look at the devastation Irma has already left in its path
including the interview with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen –

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (R), FLORIDA: We`re slowly trying to get our
party to understand that this is happening. But some people say oh, you
know, climate change is weather. We`ve always had different weather and
we`ve always had hurricanes. It`s not about that. It`s about the sea
level is actually rising and it`s going to wipe away Miami Beach literally,
not figuratively, it really is.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Some of the most vulnerable, the
residents in trailer parks who cannot afford to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going to be, oh, wiped out.

SANDERS: Authorities detaining the homeless to protect them against the
storm. Throughout the day, last minute shopping for crucial supplies,
Police helping to manage out of control lines at this Home Depot. One man
about to buy the last generator at the store giving it up to a woman for
her sick father`s medical needs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An angel from God is what he is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: NBC`s Kerry Sanders reporting at some of the scenes playing out in
Miami today and Kerry joins me now live. And Kerry, what did you see
today?

SANDERS: Well, Chris, I saw a lot of desperation, especially among the
people who decided for whatever reason that they could not leave heading
north. So many people, maybe upwards of a million have made their way
north from Orlando to Atlanta to North Carolina. But so many others either
didn`t have the where with all or procrastinators who stayed back and they
began going to the shelters today. And there was some desperation of those
getting to the shelters especially when they got to some of the shelters
and discovered that there were more people than there would be space and
they would have to go to another shelter, just moving around from one to
the other, including people who are tourists. And it`s very hard to be in
a city, maybe in a language, you don`t speak and having to find your way in
this catastrophe that`s about to come, Chris.

HAYES: All right, Kerry Sanders from NBC, thanks for that. I appreciate
it.

We will be back with much more live here from Miami Beach as Hurricane
Irma, a record breaking hurricane already bears down on South Florida.
Don`t go anywhere.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody is telling me that the (INAUDIBLE) is heading
north are jammed packed so I`m going to not add to the chaos and congestion
there and I`m going to stay here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: I spent the day here in Miami talking to residents and experts
about just what exactly they expect when Irma makes landfall here. One of
the people I talked to this afternoon was a Mayor of South Miami, Phil
Stoddard. He`s a Scientist and Biology Professor, who was actually
appointed by the White House in 2015 to develop national policy for sea
level rise. I asked him first about the risk to Miami of the storm surge
from Irma.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR PHIL STODDARD, SOUTH MIAMI, FLORIDA: Storm surge is kind of new for
Miami. We`ve never really had to think about storm surge for the entire
city. When Andrew came ashore, there was 16, 17 feet of water in South
Dade. People that had evacuated, but the water came over the tops of their
houses, so this is a real concern, not just something arbitrary. But
what`s happened is now they`ve given an evacuation order for a huge swath
of residential Miami-Dade County. And it sort of came out of the blue from
our perspective. So, I looked at the maps the National Hurricane Center
produced and I took an extract of those, overlaid the street grid and sent
to my residents so they could see who was in a threat and who was really on
high ground and less of a concern. And it`s important that we do this
because we want the right people to evacuate. We want u people in lower
areas to take this seriously. And people in high areas who can make due,
they shouldn`t be clogging the emergency shelters.

HAYES: The map shows South Beach and those areas there along the water
really exposed and interestingly exposed from the bay side because of the
push of water that comes in.

STODDARD: They can get it coming and going. So if the winds sweep around
from the east, they`ll push a big boll louse of water up over Miami Beach
from the Atlantic side. If the winds are pushing from the south, they`ll
push – they`ll work like a funnel and shovel water up Biscayne Bay that
will then flood out to the east and to the west. So Miami Beach could get
it from either direction.

HAYES: Now, the reason that we were here talking to you before, this is an
area that is very exposed to climate change and a lot of that has to do
with sea level rise, so that water is already sitting at a higher elevation
than it would be otherwise.

STODDARD: A little bit. You know, we`ve got – we`ve seen roughly a foot
of sea level rise. And in the past few year, we`ve had a lot of sea level
rise locally. Sea level rise is not uniform over the planet. Every place
except the far north actually gets more sea level rise than the rest of the
planet does in the U.S. And Miami has seen more than most places have.

HAYES: What is your sort of best case scenario, what`s your worst case
scenario here?

STODDARD: Best case scenario is that – well what`s best for us is the
farther west it goes. Of course the farther west it goes then it goes out
over Naples. We`d really like to see it turn up into the Gulf of Mexico
and spin and die there, that would be the best thing. And of course we`ve
seen storms do that before.

The other thing it could do that wouldn`t be bad from our perspective, is
it could take a really hard turn and spin off into the Atlantic and leave
us alone entirely.

HAYES: It`s funny. I`ve been talking to folks down here and there really
is a kind of we`ve seen storms before sort of perspective. Like if you
watch the news or you`re watching this from outside the region, it looks
apocalyptic. But everyone I talked to here is like, oh, you know, I have a
two story home. I`ll stay on the top floor.

It`s sort of hard, I guess – people who have been through a lot of storms
to figure out how you communicate urgency.

STODDARD: Well, the thing is you`re talking to the people who stayed.

HAYES: Right. That`s good point. Selection bias.

STODDARD: I mean, my lab manager, for instance, their house was leveled by
Andrew. There was nothing left. The walls were gone. The whole thing was
gone. And they got the heck out of dodge. You know, she helped me back up
the lab and then she left and it took them 13 hours to make a five-hour
drive because of the bad traffic of everybody else who had a similar
experiences that`s getting out.

HAYES: One of the things as we were looking through the map, the storm
surge, the area and the kind of brightest red, right, the place most
exposed to storm surge has a nuclear facility on it.

STODDARD: Yeah, that`s Turkey Point nuclear facility. It`s got two cold
reactors on it. Turkey Point did not get the full storm surge from Andrew.
They got five feet. And I`ve been on site and I am concerned about what
happens if you were to get nine or ten feet of water across that place or
15 feet of water. It could be a serious problem.

You need the back up power to stay up in order to keep the fuel rods cool.
That`s what happened to Fukushima, they lost the cooling, and the thing
melted down. And so the thing that we most fear is losing back up power at
Turkey Point.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES: Coming up next, the director of the National Hurricane Center on
the latest projections on Hurricane Irma`s path and whether it could regain
category 5 strength before hitting Florida. Don`t go anywhere.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Hurricane Irma is moving over the north coast of Cuba with wind and
rain later moving into the Florida Keys. Mainland Florida is bracing
itself with the eye of the hurricane approaching on Sunday, although its
exact path remains unknown.

Ed Rappaport, the acting director of the National Hurricane Center has the
latest on where Irma is headed next and we were talking earlier, Ed, about
it sort of moving a little westward. What is the latest now?

ED RAPPAPORT, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: Hasn`t been much change to that
or to our thinking about the forecast. The center of the hurricane is
forecast to turn to the north as it gets near the Florida peninsula. Don`t
know whether the center will be more towards the east coast or the west
coast. That will make a big difference because one of the coasts is going
to get category 3 or 4
conditions while the other coast is probably going to get category one or
two. We just don`t know which way it`s going to turn out yet. Depends on
the details of this track.

HAYES: How – can you explain to folks how it is that you are able to
collect the data you need and model it to get ever more accurate
predictions of the storm track?

RAPPAPORT: That`s the wonders of science. In the past 25 to 30 years, the
advances in meteorology technology and computerization have allowed us to
cut down our forecast areas by a great deal. There are only a third of
what they were 30 years ago in terms of the error in the track, so much
smaller. And we`re beginning to make progress now on intensity forecasting
as well.

HAYES: One of the things that forecasters have been saying is that it will
likely regenerate
up to a category 5 as it moves off north off Cuba, that depends, though, on
how much land of Cuba it
hits. Is that right?

RAPPAPORT: It does. But we`re only five miles per hour short of category
5 anyway, so the upper end of category 4 versus the lower end of category 5
there`s not much difference. Overall, the big picture is the same that
Florida – first the Florida Keys is going to be hit by potentially
devastating hurricane. And we`re very concerned first for the Keys for
storm surge and then for the peninsula for storm surge along the coast and
then those very strong winds and flooding rains coming ashore later on
Saturday and into Sunday.

HAYES: All right, Ed Rappaport of the the National Hurricane Center,
thanks for making time tonight.

RAPPAPORT: Thank you.

HAYES: Next, why 90 House Republicans voted against the $15 billion
disaster relief aid
as Florida prepares for Hurricane Irma. A Republican fracture after this
break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: President Trump signed a $15 billion disaster relief package today.
The bill sought 90 no votes, somewhat remarkably in the House, all from
Republicans, who objected to that surprise deal that President Trump struck
earlier in the week with Democrats tying the hurricane funding to
government funding more broadly and the debt ceiling being raised as well.

I went to Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen`s home to talk about
fractures in the GOP and preparing for Hurricane Irma.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES: So, how are you and your constituents feeling about the storm?

ROS-LEHTINEN: Everybody`s so anxious, Chris. I mean, you know, like Mel
Brooks, high anxiety.

HAYES: Are people stressing it? Because it`s weird, I`ve talked to a fair
amount of people who are like, oh, we were here for Andrew. It will be
fine.

ROS-LEHTINEN: I think that when they talk to me, maybe I stress them out.
I don`t know. But they`re just very anxious. They watch TV. And they –
they`re just thinking it`s doomsday. And
if they`ve prepared, which is what our message has been, everybody`s been
on the same page.

We were here for Andrew and let me tell you, this was chaos. Chaos during
the storm, and a horrible disaster post Andrew. There was no coordination
between agencies, between levels of government. This is not happening this
time.

HAYES: You think lessons have been learned.

ROS-LEHTINEN: Absolutely. Lessoned learned. First of all, building and
construction codes and shelters and how to get to shelters, everybody`s
been preparing and after we saw what happened in
Houston, people got the message.

HAYES: You know, people are talking about the scope of damage here,
because that path is going up right the entirety of the state.

ROS-LEHTINEN: It`s a big one.

HAYES: Today, they passed the Harvey – you were here at home. But you
know, it was
striking to me they got 90 no votes on that bill.

ROS-LEHTINEN: But however, Chris…

HAYES: 90 no votes.

ROS-LEHTINEN: Although that is true, the first allotment, which is – I
was still there for that one, it was a standalone bill and everybody voted
for it. I think maybe three people voted against it. But when they put
the debt limit hike, which was just a three month extension and CR for
three months, then the fiscal conservatives, those were the 90 votes.

But it was not because of hurricane funding.

HAYES: That I agree with. But I guess I wonder, like what do you think
about when you think about the reliability of a governing coalition in this
congress to be there for – if Florida needs.

ROS-LEHTINEN: We need to prove it. It`s up to us. Nobody is going to
teach us how to do it. My gosh, if we haven`t figured it out by now, we
need to build a governing coalition. We and that means…

HAYES: But the Republicans don`t have one.

ROS-LEHTINEN: We need to rely on Democrats. There`s nothing wrong with
that. I don`t know when they became a dirty deal, to talk to people from
the other side of the aisle.

HAYES: You`re retiring.

ROS-LEHTINEN: Retiring, but, hey, after 29 years.

HAYES: I`m not saying you`re retiring early. `m just stating a fact that
you are retiring. And you saw yesterday Charlie Dent…

ROS-LEHTINEN: Charlie Dent and Dave Reichert from Washington State, all
members of the Tuesday group, the moderates, what we call the governing
coalition.

HAYES: I know you like that adjective. Why do you think that is?

ROS-LEHTINEN: Because we see good ideas coming from anyone, whether you`re
a Democrat or a Republican.

HAYES: Right, but not why you are in that caucus. Why are those folks
retiring? Is that just frustration?

ROS-LEHTINEN: You know, I think Charlie expressed a lot of frustration.
It`s not why I`m retiring. He said that this frustration takes the fun out
of dysfunction. So, I think they`re a little bit tired with the Trump
administration and having to do common sense governing. I`m not retiring
for that reason. It`s time for young bloods to come in to my seat. And
we`ve got great candidates running.

HAYES: You know, this is an area that study after study has shown sort of
uniquely vulnerable to climate change, right, particularly sea level rise.
You`ve got 90 percent of Miami-Dade is only within ten feet. Do you feel
confident the federal government is doing what it can when you have someone
like Scott Pruitt at EPA who questions the science on it, the president,
that we`re planning properly so this area can be sustainable and thriving
into the future?

ROS-LEHTINEN: Well, I think we have good examples of what can be done.
For example, Miami Beach, the mayor of Phil Levin, is showing – look,
maybe it`s not perfect, maybe – some…

HAYES: Floods a lot.

ROS-LEHTINEN: Some of the tricks have worked and some have not, but he`s
trying. He`s trying to make it work. And it`s going to save his city,
it`s going to save constituents. In the long run,
it`s going to save their pocketbook. So our party needs to forget about
who caused climate change
and all that nonsense and just say look, this is real. Sea level rise is
science, this is not somebody`s opinion, it`s guided by science.

HAYES: Do you ever say that to your colleagues and say, look, this is a
real thing. Like I`m telling you, it`s not…

ROS-LEHTINEN: You know, there are many of us who believe that. And we`re
slowly trying to get our party to understand that this is happening.

But some people say, oh, you know, climate change is weather. We`ve always
had different weather and we`ve always had hurricanes. It`s not about
that. It`s about the sea level is actually rising and it`s going to wipe
away Miami Beach literally, not figuratively, it really is.

And you know we spend a lot of money on beach renourishment, millions of
dollars that we all fight with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to get that
sand. And we need to do a better development, better planning, betting
zoning and then once we built it and it was a mistake, we need to deal with
that reality.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES: That was my conversation earlier in Miami with the Congresswoman
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, proud graduate of The U as you can see.

Ahead, the destructive forces of a category 4 storm and the sheer power of
the winds that can
cause widespread devastation. Stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: We`re coming to you live from South Beach in Miami where the
streets are very quiet ahead of Hurricane Irma`s landfall.

Just up the coast in Fort Lauderdale we have NBC`s Jo Ling Kent who is on
the beach where the winds are picking up.

Jill Ling, what`s the scene there?

JO LING KENT, NBC NEWS: Well, the winds are picking up. It smells and
feels like a
storm. The sand is coming across the AIA here in Fort Lauderdale. You
know, it`s a weekend night here. And usually, this place is packed. But
what you`ve got instead is just a boarded up entire walkway, all of the
bars and restaurants have closed. The hotels are completely boarded up.

We are expecting a major economic impact here in the millions of dollars we
know here in Florida, about 1.2 million people are actually employed
directly or partially by tourism and this storm surge that`s coming in is
likely to destroy a lot of this area.

We`re in the mandatory evacuation zone here in Broward County and all of
these business owners have heeded that. They have sent the tourists home.
They have sent their customers home. And they are hoping and bracing for
the best, boarding up, putting down the sandbags, getting ready for
what they expect to be a very bad day tomorrow – Chris.

HAYES: Jo Ling Kent, thank you.

Our coverage continues right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: The worst effects of Hurricane Irma will not take their toll in
similar fashion. While coastal areas are clearly the most vulnerable to
storm surges as the hurricane moves in. The wind threatens the entire
geography of south and central Florida, particularly since Irma is so wide
in circumference.

Hurricane Irma in the context of the worst hurricanes we`ve ever seen
ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Kristen Corbosiero is an associate professor of atmospheric and
environmental science at the University of Albany, and Kevin Trenberth, the
distinguished senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric
Research, they join me now.

Dr. Corbosiero, let me start with you, the size of this is sort of
mindboggling. It`s about twice the size of Andrew. What are the factors
that allow this storm to stay this big this long?

DR. KRISTEN CORBOSIERO, UNIVERSITY OF ALBANY: Well, storms that are this
intense go through a number of cycles in their intensity and every time it
goes through one of these cycles the storm gets larger and larger. And
since Irma has been at such a high intensity for a long period of time,
it`s gone through about six of these cycles and it`s allowed it to grow
bigger and bigger each time.

HAYES: Professor Trenberth, there`s a sort of sense I`ve been encountering
where people look at that map and it shows three active hurricanes in the
Atlantic. You have got Katia right off the coast of Mexico, of course Irma
and then Jose behind it which is posing significant risk for those Leeward
Islands that already got hit. And people feel like is this the end of
days? Is this climate change? Is this just a freak occurrence. Why is
this happening?

KEVIN TRENBERTH, NATIONAL CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH: Certainly
climate change is playing a role. And it`s because the oceans are a lot
warmer. And when there`s warmer ocean, there`s more energy, there`s more
activity. This means that we expect that the storms will be more intense.
They are bigger in size. And they last longer as a result.

There may be fewer of them overall because one big storm can actually
replace four smaller storms, but when we have these active periods when the
natural variability is going in the same direction as climate change, this
is the sort of things we expect to see. And it has consequences.

HAYES: Doctor Corbosiero, where – how do hurricanes form? And where do
they form? And how do they form?

CORBOSIERO: So, generally in the Atlantic they form off the coast of
Africa from disturbances, thunderstorm complexes that move off the coast of
Africa. So, Irma is one of these cases. It developed just off the coast of
Africa and was able to develop and stay very strong because of the
environmental conditions around it. The atmosphere was very moist. The
winds above it were pretty weak. So, it had a good environment in which
to intensify and traverse the Atlantic.

HAYES: And professor Trenberth, do you think that we are – one of the
things that happened with Harvey was it almost sort of exceeded or neared
the theoretical limit, right, what meteorologist and climateologists have
predicted for the amount of water that it could hold. It was sort of
bumping up against what our records are. This hurricane has already set
records in terms of maximum sustained wind for a period of time. Are we
going to see more records set?

TRENBERTH: Oh, we`re already seeing records set. But, yes, this is going
to set some more records. I mean, one of the consequences of Harvey was
the heavy precipitation over very large areas, more than 30 inches of rain
up to 50 in some spots. With this storm there`s likely to be over ten
inches of rain. That hasn`t been talked about a great deal. But once it`s
gone through Florida, some of the heavy rain and flooding will extend well
away from the coast.

So, although the biggest threat is certainly to the coast and the storm
surge and the high sea
levels, the heavy rainfall is a threat with this storm as well.

HAYES: All right, Kristen Corbosiero and Kevin Trenberth, thank you both
for your time tonight.

CORBOSIERO: Thank you.

HAYES: That is All In for this evening. As I mentioned, the crew and us,
we`re going to
stay here in Miami, although not in South Beach because that would not be a
very good idea. But we will be here all weekend. And I`ll be back hosting
on Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. At that point, Irma will hopefully
sort of have moved up past south Florida. It will be part of our special
weekend coverage. I will see you then.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.

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seen roughly a foot of sea level rise. And in the past few year, we`ve had
a lot of sea level rise locally. Sea level rise is not uniform over the
planet. Every place except the far north actually gets more sea level rise
than the rest of the planet does in the U.S. And Miami has seen more than
most places have.

HAYES: What is your sort of best case scenario, what`s your worst case
scenario here?

2000

STODDARD: …every place except the far north actually gets more sea level
rise than the rest of the planet does in the U.S. And Miami has seen more
than most places have.

HAYES: What is your sort of best case scenario, what`s your worst case
scenario here?

STODDARD: Best case scenario is that – well what`s best for us is the
farther west it goes. Of course the farther west it goes then it goes out
over Naples. We`d really like to see it turn up into the Gulf of Mexico
and spin and die there, that would be the best thing. And of course we`ve
seen storms do that before.

The other thing it could do that wouldn`t be bad from our perspective, is
it could take a really hard turn and spin off into the Atlantic and leave
us alone entirely.

HAYES: It`s funny. I`ve been talking to folks down here and there really
is a kind of we`ve seen storms before sort of perspective. Like if you
watch the news or you`re watching this from outside the region, it looks
apocalyptic. But everyone I talked to here is like, oh, you know, I have a
two story home. I`ll stay on the top floor.

It`s sort of hard, I guess – people who have been through a lot of storms
to figure out how you communicate urgency.

STODDARD: Well, the thing is you`re talking to the people who stayed.

HAYES: Right. That`s good point. Selection bias.

STODDARD: I mean, my lab manager, for instance, their house was leveled by
Andrew. There was nothing left. The walls were gone. The whole thing was
gone. And they got the heck out of dodge. You know, she helped me back up
the lab and then she left and it took them 13 hours to make a five-hour
drive because of the bad traffic of everybody else who had a similar
experiences that`s getting out.

HAYES: One of the things as we were looking through the map, the storm
surge, the area and the kind of brightest red, right, the place most
exposed to storm surge has a nuclear facility on it.

STODDARD: Yeah, that`s Turkey Point nuclear facility. It`s got two cold
reactors on it. Turkey Point did not get the full storm surge from Andrew.
They got five feet. And I`ve been on site and I am concerned about what
happens if you were to get nine or ten feet of water across that place or
15 feet of water. It could be a serious problem.

You need the back up power to stay up in order to keep the fuel rods cool.
That`s what happened to Fukushima, they lost the cooling, and the thing
melted down. And so the thing that we most fear is losing back up power at
Turkey Point.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES: Coming up next, the director of the National Hurricane Center on
the latest projections on Hurricane Irma`s path and whether it could regain
category 5 strength before hitting Florida. Don`t go anywhere.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Hurricane Irma is moving over the north coast of Cuba with wind and
rain later moving into the Florida Keys. Mainland Florida is bracing
itself with the eye of the hurricane approaching on Sunday, although its
exact path remains unknown.

Ed Rappaport, the acting director of the National Hurricane Center has the
latest on where Irma is headed next and we were talking earlier, Ed, about
it sort of moving a little westward. What is the latest now?

ED RAPPAPORT, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: Hasn`t been much change to that
or to our thinking about the forecast. The center of the hurricane is
forecast to turn to the north as it gets near the Florida peninsula. Don`t
know whether the center will be more towards the east coast or the west
coast. That will make a big difference because one of the coasts is going
to get category 3 or 4
conditions while the other coast is probably going to get category one or
two. We just don`t know which way it`s going to turn out yet. Depends on
the details of this track.

HAYES: How – can you explain to folks how it is that you are able to
collect the data you need and model it to get ever more accurate
predictions of the storm track?

RAPPAPORT: That`s the wonders of science. In the past 25 to 30 years, the
advances in meteorology technology and computerization have allowed us to
cut down our forecast areas by a great deal. There are only a third of
what they were 30 years ago in terms of the error in the track, so much
smaller. And we`re beginning to make progress now on intensity forecasting
as well.

HAYES: One of the things that forecasters have been saying is that it will
likely regenerate
up to a category 5 as it moves off north off Cuba, that depends, though, on
how much land of Cuba it
hits. Is that right?

RAPPAPORT: It does. But we`re only five miles per hour short of category
5 anyway, so the upper end of category 4 versus the lower end of category 5
there`s not much difference. Overall, the big picture is the same that
Florida – first the Florida Keys is going to be hit by potentially
devastating hurricane. And we`re very concerned first for the Keys for
storm surge and then for the peninsula for storm surge along the coast and
then those very strong winds and flooding rains coming ashore later on
Saturday and into Sunday.

HAYES: All right, Ed Rappaport of the the National Hurricane Center,
thanks for making time tonight.

RAPPAPORT: Thank you.

HAYES: Next, why 90 House Republicans voted against the $15 billion
disaster relief aid
as Florida prepares for Hurricane Irma. A Republican fracture after this
break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: President Trump signed a $15 billion disaster relief package today.
The bill sought 90 no votes, somewhat remarkably in the House, all from
Republicans, who objected to that surprise deal that President Trump struck
earlier in the week with Democrats tying the hurricane funding to
government funding more broadly and the debt ceiling being raised as well.

I went to Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen`s home to talk about
fractures in the GOP and preparing for Hurricane Irma.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES: So, how are you and your constituents feeling about the storm?

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, (R) FLORIDA: Everybody`s so anxious, Chris. I
mean, you know, like Mel Brooks, high anxiety.

HAYES: Are people stressing it? Because it`s weird, I`ve talked to a fair
amount of people who are like, oh, we were here for Andrew. It will be
fine.

ROS-LEHTINEN: I think that when they talk to me, maybe I stress them out.
I don`t know. But they`re just very anxious. They watch TV. And they –
they`re just thinking it`s doomsday. And
if they`ve prepared, which is what our message has been, everybody`s been
on the same page.

We were here for Andrew and let me tell you, this was chaos. Chaos during
the storm, and a horrible disaster post Andrew. There was no coordination
between agencies, between levels of government. This is not happening this
time.

HAYES: You think lessons have been learned.

ROS-LEHTINEN: Absolutely. Lessoned learned. First of all, building and
construction codes and shelters and how to get to shelters, everybody`s
been preparing and after we saw what happened in
Houston, people got the message.

HAYES: You know, people are talking about the scope of damage here,
because that path is going up right the entirety of the state.

ROS-LEHTINEN: It`s a big one.

HAYES: Today, they passed the Harvey – you were here at home. But you
know, it was
striking to me they got 90 no votes on that bill.

ROS-LEHTINEN: But however, Chris…

HAYES: 90 no votes.

ROS-LEHTINEN: Although that is true, the first allotment, which is – I
was still there for that one, it was a standalone bill and everybody voted
for it. I think maybe three people voted against it. But when they put
the debt limit hike, which was just a three month extension and CR for
three months, then the fiscal conservatives, those were the 90 votes.

But it was not because of hurricane funding.

HAYES: That I agree with. But I guess I wonder, like what do you think
about when you think about the reliability of a governing coalition in this
congress to be there for – if Florida needs.

ROS-LEHTINEN: We need to prove it. It`s up to us. Nobody is going to
teach us how to do it. My gosh, if we haven`t figured it out by now, we
need to build a governing coalition. We and that means…

HAYES: But the Republicans don`t have one.

ROS-LEHTINEN: We need to rely on Democrats. There`s nothing wrong with
that. I don`t know when they became a dirty deal, to talk to people from
the other side of the aisle.

HAYES: You`re retiring.

ROS-LEHTINEN: Retiring, but, hey, after 29 years.

HAYES: I`m not saying you`re retiring early. `m just stating a fact that
you are retiring. And you saw yesterday Charlie Dent…

ROS-LEHTINEN: Charlie Dent and Dave Reichert from Washington State, all
members of the Tuesday group, the moderates, what we call the governing
coalition.

HAYES: I know you like that adjective. Why do you think that is?

ROS-LEHTINEN: Because we see good ideas coming from anyone, whether you`re
a Democrat or a Republican.

HAYES: Right, but not why you are in that caucus. Why are those folks
retiring? Is that just frustration?

ROS-LEHTINEN: You know, I think Charlie expressed a lot of frustration.
It`s not why I`m retiring. He said that this frustration takes the fun out
of dysfunction. So, I think they`re a little bit tired with the Trump
administration and having to do common sense governing. I`m not retiring
for that reason. It`s time for young bloods to come in to my seat. And
we`ve got great candidates running.

HAYES: You know, this is an area that study after study has shown sort of
uniquely vulnerable to climate change, right, particularly sea level rise.
You`ve got 90 percent of Miami-Dade is only within ten feet. Do you feel
confident the federal government is doing what it can when you have someone
like Scott Pruitt at EPA who questions the science on it, the president,
that we`re planning properly so this area can be sustainable and thriving
into the future?

ROS-LEHTINEN: Well, I think we have good examples of what can be done.
For example, Miami Beach, the mayor of Phil Levin, is showing – look,
maybe it`s not perfect, maybe – some…

HAYES: Floods a lot.

ROS-LEHTINEN: Some of the tricks have worked and some have not, but he`s
trying. He`s trying to make it work. And it`s going to save his city,
it`s going to save constituents. In the long run,
it`s going to save their pocketbook. So our party needs to forget about
who caused climate change
and all that nonsense and just say look, this is real. Sea level rise is
science, this is not somebody`s opinion, it`s guided by science.

HAYES: Do you ever say that to your colleagues and say, look, this is a
real thing. Like I`m telling you, it`s not…

ROS-LEHTINEN: You know, there are many of us who believe that. And we`re
slowly trying to get our party to understand that this is happening.

But some people say, oh, you know, climate change is weather. We`ve always
had different weather and we`ve always had hurricanes. It`s not about
that. It`s about the sea level is actually rising and it`s going to wipe
away Miami Beach literally, not figuratively, it really is.

And you know we spend a lot of money on beach renourishment, millions of
dollars that we all fight with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to get that
sand. And we need to do a better development, better planning, betting
zoning and then once we built it and it was a mistake, we need to deal with
that reality.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES: That was my conversation earlier in Miami with the Congresswoman
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, proud graduate of The U as you can see.

Ahead, the destructive forces of a category 4 storm and the sheer power of
the winds that can
cause widespread devastation. Stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: We`re coming to you live from South Beach in Miami where the
streets are very quiet ahead of Hurricane Irma`s landfall.

Just up the coast in Fort Lauderdale we have NBC`s Jo Ling Kent who is on
the beach where the winds are picking up.

Jill Ling, what`s the scene there?

JO LING KENT, NBC NEWS: Well, the winds are picking up. It smells and
feels like a
storm. The sand is coming across the AIA here in Fort Lauderdale. You
know, it`s a weekend night here. And usually, this place is packed. But
what you`ve got instead is just a boarded up entire walkway, all of the
bars and restaurants have closed. The hotels are completely boarded up.

We are expecting a major economic impact here in the millions of dollars we
know here in Florida, about 1.2 million people are actually employed
directly or partially by tourism and this storm surge that`s coming in is
likely to destroy a lot of this area.

We`re in the mandatory evacuation zone here in Broward County and all of
these business owners have heeded that. They have sent the tourists home.
They have sent their customers home. And they are hoping and bracing for
the best, boarding up, putting down the sandbags, getting ready for
what they expect to be a very bad day tomorrow – Chris.

HAYES: Jo Ling Kent, thank you.

Our coverage continues right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: The worst effects of Hurricane Irma will not take their toll in
similar fashion. While coastal areas are clearly the most vulnerable to
storm surges as the hurricane moves in. The wind threatens the entire
geography of south and central Florida, particularly since Irma is so wide
in circumference.

Hurricane Irma in the context of the worst hurricanes we`ve ever seen
ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Kristen Corbosiero is an associate professor of atmospheric and
environmental science at the University of Albany, and Kevin Trenberth, the
distinguished senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric
Research, they join me now.

Dr. Corbosiero, let me start with you, the size of this is sort of
mindboggling. It`s about twice the size of Andrew. What are the factors
that allow this storm to stay this big this long?

DR. KRISTEN CORBOSIERO, UNIVERSITY OF ALBANY: Well, storms that are this
intense go through a number of cycles in their intensity and every time it
goes through one of these cycles the storm gets larger and larger. And
since Irma has been at such a high intensity for a long period of time,
it`s gone through about six of these cycles and it`s allowed it to grow
bigger and bigger each time.

HAYES: Professor Trenberth, there`s a sort of sense I`ve been encountering
where people look at that map and it shows three active hurricanes in the
Atlantic. You have got Katia right off the coast of Mexico, of course Irma
and then Jose behind it which is posing significant risk for those Leeward
Islands that already got hit. And people feel like is this the end of
days? Is this climate change? Is this just a freak occurrence. Why is
this happening?

KEVIN TRENBERTH, NATIONAL CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH: Certainly
climate change is playing a role. And it`s because the oceans are a lot
warmer. And when there`s warmer ocean, there`s more energy, there`s more
activity. This means that we expect that the storms will be more intense.
They are bigger in size. And they last longer as a result.

There may be fewer of them overall because one big storm can actually
replace four smaller storms, but when we have these active periods when the
natural variability is going in the same direction as climate change, this
is the sort of things we expect to see. And it has consequences.

HAYES: Doctor Corbosiero, where – how do hurricanes form? And where do
they form? And how do they form?

CORBOSIERO: So, generally in the Atlantic they form off the coast of
Africa from disturbances, thunderstorm complexes that move off the coast of
Africa. So, Irma is one of these cases. It developed just off the coast of
Africa and was able to develop and stay very strong because of the
environmental conditions around it. The atmosphere was very moist. The
winds above it were pretty weak. So, it had a good environment in which
to intensify and traverse the Atlantic.

HAYES: And professor Trenberth, do you think that we are – one of the
things that happened with Harvey was it almost sort of exceeded or neared
the theoretical limit, right, what meteorologist and climateologists have
predicted for the amount of water that it could hold. It was sort of
bumping up against what our records are. This hurricane has already set
records in terms of maximum sustained wind for a period of time. Are we
going to see more records set?

TRENBERTH: Oh, we`re already seeing records set. But, yes, this is going
to set some more records. I mean, one of the consequences of Harvey was
the heavy precipitation over very large areas, more than 30 inches of rain
up to 50 in some spots. With this storm there`s likely to be over ten
inches of rain. That hasn`t been talked about a great deal. But once it`s
gone through Florida, some of the heavy rain and flooding will extend well
away from the coast.

So, although the biggest threat is certainly to the coast and the storm
surge and the high sea
levels, the heavy rainfall is a threat with this storm as well.

HAYES: All right, Kristen Corbosiero and Kevin Trenberth, thank you both
for your time tonight.

CORBOSIERO: Thank you.

HAYES: That is All In for this evening. As I mentioned, the crew and us,
we`re going to
stay here in Miami, although not in South Beach because that would not be a
very good idea. But we will be here all weekend. And I`ll be back hosting
on Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. At that point, Irma will hopefully
sort of have moved up past south Florida. It will be part of our special
weekend coverage. I will see you then.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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