Hurricane Irma Sunday 11 a.m. Notes: ‘We Could Be Swimming Where I’m Standing Within the Next 18 Hours’

By Chris Ariens 

Irma made its first U.S. landfall at Cudjoe Key, in the Florida Keys, at 9:10 a.m. as a category 4 storm. As of the 11 a.m. update Irma is a “very dangerous” category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 mph. It is 80 miles south of Naples. It will be on top of Tampa at 2 a.m. Monday morning.

“A direct hit to Marco Island would be devastating,” said Shepard Smith on Fox News.

As we saw during Superstorm Sandy, and as has been discussed for the last several days as a possibility, a construction crane collapsed on a building under construction in downtown Miami.


NBC News and MSNBC have access to live cameras from the Weather Channel, and at one point dipped into Mike Seidel, in downtown Miami’s Brickell neighborhood as he was preparing to record an as-live to use later. “This boardwalk is going to be toast. It’s going to be gone in the next few hours,” said Seidel as chunks of a wood bobbed in Biscayne Bay.

“As managing editor of the Weather Channel for three years, these people know where to put themselves in position,” said Sam Champion on MSNBC.

“We could be swimming where I’m standing within the next 18 hours,” said David Begnaud in Tampa during CBS’s coverage.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper has made his way to Tampa after being in Miami Friday and Ft. Myers yesterday.

The two media affairs shows, CNN’s Reliable Sources and FNC’s MediaBuzz, were pre-empted for Irma coverage.

Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie will continue to anchor a 5-hour edition of Today until Noon when Kate Snow picks until 1 p.m. NBC News will go back on the air from 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. ET, with Snow and Lester Holt in Tampa. Meet the Press was pre-empted.

During their coverage Lauer and Guthrie talked to storm chaser Juston Drake who shot this video:

Brian Williams picked up MSNBC’s rolling coverage at 11 a.m. and will stay on until 5 p.m. He’s back from 8 to 11 p.m. ET. In a Q&A with Jacob Soboroff, Williams asked the crew to show viewers the protection they have from the storm. “We will be hunkered down in a very safe place, in a concrete structure,” Soboroff said. Earlier, Soboroff said “other than some knuckleheads down at the beach,” he hasn’t seen anyone out and about.