ABC News Live: Hurricane Ian brings flooding, Category 4 winds to western Florida

Team coverage of Hurricane Ian, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday afternoon.
41:56 | 09/29/22

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Transcript for ABC News Live: Hurricane Ian brings flooding, Category 4 winds to western Florida
 BEAUTY OF THE VIEW. >> THAT'S WHY THE MOST WATCHED NUMBER ONE DAYTIME TALK SHOW IS THE VIEW. NOW STREAMING ON ABC NEWS LIVE. WELCOME BACK TO OUR CONTINUING COVERAGE OF HURRICANE. NOW ASHORE AND LASHING FLORIDA. WE'RE WAITING ON A BRIEFING BY FLORIDA GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS WHO IS GOING TO TALK TO HIS PEOPLE, THE PEOPLE OF THAT STATE AND THE PEOPLE OF THE NATION ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THIS HOUR. THAT WILL HAPPEN ANY MINUTE. IN THE MEANTIME, LET'S TAKE YOU TO OUR SISTER STATION, ABC NEWS STATION IN TAMPA, FLORIDA, THAT IS WFTS ON SOME OF THEIR COVERAGE ON WHAT IT IS LIKE ON THE GROUND IN TAMPA AT THIS MOMENT. THERE HE IS. >> GOOD TIMING. >> GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS. >> DIRECTOR, HURRICANE IAN, MAINLAND FALL THIS AFTERNOON IN SOUTH WEST FLORIDA. IT IS BATTERING AREAS IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA. LEE CHARLOTTE IN COUNTIES BEYOND THAT. WE HAVE SEEN LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE, AS WAS PREDICTED. WE'VE ALSO SEEN MAJOR FLOODING IN PLACES LIKE COLLIER COUNTY, SANIBEL, FORT MYERS BEACH. WE ARE ALSO SEEING INLAND FLOODING BECAUSE OF THE INUNDATION THAT YOU'RE SEEING, SO, SOME OF THE COUNTIES IN THE INTERIOR OF THE STATE ARE SEEING MAJOR WATER EVENTS AS WELL, WE DO KNOW THAT LEE -- 9-1-1 CALL CENTERS ARE BEING REROUTED, THOSE COLUMNS ARE DOWN, SO, CALLS ARE BEING ANSWERED AND TEAMS ARE, THE PEOPLE THAT ARE CALLING OUR BEING NOTED. THOSE LOCAL FIRST RESPONDERS WILL DEPLOY AS SOON AS IT IS SAFE TO DO SO. NOW, OBVIOUSLY, LOCAL RESPONDERS CAN MAKE DECISIONS. BY AND LARGE, UNTIL THE STORM PASSES, YOU KNOW, THEY ARE NOT GONNA GO INTO A SITUATION FOR RESCUE AND PUT THEIR OWN FOLKS AT RISK. SO, WE KNOW THERE ARE FOLKS WHO ARE IN THE REALLY HIGH RISK ZONE A, EVACUATIONS OWNS, WHO DID NOT EVACUATE. SOME HAVE CALLED IN AND THOSE PEOPLE ARE BEING LOGGED, THERE WILL BE A RESPONSE, IT IS LIKELY GOING TO TAKE A LITTLE TIME FOR THE STORM TO MOVE FORWARD SO THAT IT'S SAFE FOR THE FIRST RESPONDERS TO BE ABLE TO DO. WE ARE GETTING REPORTS, IT IS GONNA TAKE A LITTLE BIT MORE TIME TO KNOW EXACTLY IN TERMS OF STRUCTURAL DAMAGE, WE ARE GETTING SOME REPORTS OF STRUCTURAL DAMAGE IN BOTH ALI AND CHARLOTTE COUNTIES. I WOULD SAY OVERWHELMINGLY IT HAS BEEN THAT SURGE THAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST ISSUE AND THE FLOODING THAT IS RESULTED AS A RESULT OF THAT. AND IN SOME AREAS WE THINK IT HAS HIT 12 FEET. IT IS OUR METEOROLOGISTS VIEW THAT THE STORM SURGE HAS LIKELY PEAKED AND WILL LIKELY, YOU KNOW, BE LESS IN THE COMING HOURS AND THAT HAS BEEN UP UNTIL THIS POINT. BUT WE KNOW THAT THIS HAS BEEN A BIG STORM AND IT'S DONE A LOT OF DAMAGE AS IT IS. IT'S GONNA CONTINUE TO MOVE THROUGH THE STATE OF FLORIDA. YOU'RE GONNA SEE HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS IN PLACES AND CENTRAL FLORIDA, PERHAPS. IT IS CLEARLY A VERY STRONG TROPICAL STORM ALL THE WAY UNTIL EXITS THE FLORIDA PENINSULA IN THE ATLANTICO SHUN. THERE ARE, AS MUCH AS WE'RE FOCUSED ON -- VERY IMPORTANT, OBVIOUSLY WE HAVE A STORM OF THIS NATURE, I THINK LANDFALL IT IS GOING TO BE BEHIND ONLY THE LABOR DAY HURRICANE, HURRICANE ANDREW, AND HURRICANE MICHAEL IN TERMS OF INTENSITY. I THINK WE'RE GONNA END UP SEEING THAT IT MAY END UP BEING A CATEGORY FIVE. AT A MINIMUM, IT IS GONNA BE A VERY STRONG CATEGORY FOUR THAT IS GONNA RANK IS ONE OF THE TOP FIVE HURRICANES TO EVER HIT THE FLORIDA PENINSULA. SO, THAT DAMAGE IS ONGOING. IT IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT, BUT THE FACT IS, THERE IS GOING TO BE DAMAGED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE STATE. PEOPLE IN OTHER PARTS OF THE STATE, BE PREPARED FOR SOME IMPACTS. YOU ARE SEEING COUNTIES IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE STATE ISSUE EVACUATION ORDERS, CLAY COUNTY IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA, WHICH WE DO ANTICIPATE SOME MAJOR MAJOR FLOODING EVENTS IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA, I THINK FOLKS THAT ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE ST. JOHNS RIVER KNOW THAT WHEN YOU HAVE WEATHER LIKE THIS YOU WILL SEE THIS. SO, CLAY COUNTY HAS ISSUED MANDATORY EVACUATIONS OF LOW LYING AREAS ALONG THE ST. JOHNS RIVER. FLAGLER COUNTY HAS ISSUED MANDATORY EVACUATIONS OF ITS ISLANDS, LOW LYING AREAS, AND MOBILE HOMES. NASA HAS ISSUED EVACUATION ORDERS FOR LOW LYING AREAS. ST. JOHN'S COUNTY IS EVACUATING COASTAL LOW LYING AREAS, INCLUDING THE CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE, AS WELL AS THE CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH. PUTNAM COUNTY HAS RECOMMENDED EVACUATION FOR LOW LYING AREAS AND THE AREAS THAT HAVE A HISTORY OF FLOODING. AND SUMTER COUNTY IS ADVISING EVACUATIONS OF MOBILE HOMES. THOSE ARE PLACES THAT ARE HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF MILES AWAY FROM THE INITIAL IMPACT IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA. AND YET, THEY ARE HAVING TO EVACUATE FOLKS THAT ARE LIVING IN VULNERABLE AREAS. WE HAVE OVER 1.1 MILLION REPORTED POWER OUTAGES, NOW, THERE ARE CREWS THAT ARE STILL WORKING OUTSIDE OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA, BUT JUST UNDERSTAND, THAT NUMBER IS GOING TO GROW. HERE TO SEE MORE POWER OUTAGES AS THE STORM MOVES THROUGH THE CENTER PART OF OUR STATE AND BEFORE TEXAS INTO THE ATLANTIC COAST. THERE ARE 100 PORTABLE CELL PHONE TOWERS READY TO BE DEPLOYED INTO SOUTHWEST FLORIDA ONCE IT IS SAFE TO ENTER. IT SHOULD NOT BE NEEDED. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE ARE STAYING OUT OF THE WAY OF EMERGENCY CLOTHES AND FLOODWATERS, AWAY FROM ALL DOWNED POWER LINES. AS SOON AS EMERGENCY CREWS CAN GET IN, THEY ARE GOING TO GET IN. AS SOON AS IT IS SAFE TO GO AND CLEAR THE ROADWAYS, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS GOING TO GLOW GO AND CLEAR THOSE ROADWAYS. THEY'RE ALL ON STANDBY, THEY'RE READY TO GO, THEY UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF A REALLY REALLY QUICK RESPONSE. AS I MENTIONED EARLIER TODAY, WE NOW HAVE OFFICIALLY SENT A LETTER WITH THE REQUEST TO THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION FOR MAJOR DISASTER DECLARATION FOR ALL 67 COUNTIES. REQUESTING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DO 100% REIMBURSEMENT FOR 60 DAYS TO ENSURE THAT WE CAN QUICKLY MOVE FORWARD INTO THIS RESPONSE AND RECOVERY PHASE. I KNOW SOMETIMES THEY WAIT TILL DIFFERENT DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS ARE MADE, BUT IN THE SITUATION YOU HAVE A MASSIVE CATEGORY FOUR STORM THAT YOU CAN COMPARE CHARLIE TO THIS, THIS IS WAY WAY BIGGER THAN CHARLIE. IT WAS A STRONGEST CHARLIE COMING IN, BUT CHARLIE WAS MUCH SMALLER. SO, THIS IS A BIG ONE, I THINK WE ALL KNOW THERE IS GOING TO BE MAJOR MAJOR IMPACTS. WE ARE NOT ONLY 42,000 LINEMAN THAT ARE POSITIONED ACROSS THE STATE OF FLORIDA, AS SOON AS IT'S SAFE TO GO THOSE PERSONNEL ARE GONNA GO INTO RESUME POWER. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT. IN TERMS OF RESCUE EFFORTS, OBVIOUSLY THERE'S ROBUST EFFORTS IN EACH OF THESE COUNTIES, I MEAN, SOME OF THESE ARE MAJOR COUNTIES IN THE STATE LIKELY COUNTY, COLLIER COUNTY, YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE GREAT RESPONSE TEAMS, THE, STATE OF FLORIDA, WE ARE PROVIDING A LOT OF SUPPORT THAT IS STAGED AND READY TO GO. WE HAVE ALMOST 250 AIRCRAFT, MORE THAN 1600 HIGH WATER VEHICLES. MORE THAN 300 BOATS OF ALL DRAFTS AND SIZES, INCLUDING 250 ALREADY STATIONED IN THE MAJOR IMPACTED AREAS. NEARLY 50 THAT ARE STAGED AND IMMEDIATELY READY TO COME IN. SO, WITH WATER THIS HIGH, YOU KNOW, THESE OPERATIONS MAY NEED TO BE WATERBORNE OPERATIONS. THERE ARE SOME WHERE YOU'RE GONNA NEED TO USE THE WATER TO GET TO SOME OF THE ISLANDS ANYWAYS. YOU LOOK AT COLLIER COUNTY, DOWNTOWN NAPLES IS FLOODED. THAT IS PROBABLY GOING TO SUBSIDE AS THE TIME GOES ON. BUT, THEY ARE PREPARED FOR A LOT OF DIFFERENT EVENTUALITIES, WE ARE THANKFUL FOR THE STATES THAT HAVE SENT US RESOURCES, WE ARE VERY VERY APPRECIATIVE OF THEM STEPPING UP IN HELPING FLORIDA. AS THE STORM PASSES YOUR COMMUNITY, UNDERSTAND THAT IT'S STILL A VERY HAZARDOUS SITUATION. YOU ARE GONNA HAVE DOWNED POWER LINES, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A POSSIBILITY OF HARM'S WAY BECAUSE OF STANDING WATER. MISUSE OF GENERATORS, I ASKED THE DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, KEVIN, TO PRODUCE FOR ME THE RUNDOWN OF THE FATALITIES THROUGH DIRECT IMPACTS OF STORMS VERSUS THE AFTERMATH. IN HURRICANE IRMA THERE WERE SEVEN FATALITIES DIRECTLY BECAUSE OF THE STORM, THERE WERE 77 THAT WILL A RESULT OF POST STORM. A LOT OF THAT IS STANDING WATE, DOWNED POWER LINES, MISUSE OF GENERATORS. SO, PLEASE, JUST TAKE PRECAUTION, OBVIOUSLY, A FEROCIOUS STORM COMING IN, VERY HAZARDOUS, VERY OMINOUS, WE KNOW THE LIFE-THREATENING NATURE OF THAT. BUT ONCE THE STORM GOES, ONCE THERE IS APPARENT CALM, THERE IS STILL PLENTY OF HAZARDS OUT THERE. SO, PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE TAKING THE PROPER PRECAUTIONS. I AM HAPPY THAT VOLUNTEER FLORIDA IS NOW ACTIVATING THE FLORIDA DISASTER FUND. SOMETIMES PEOPLE SAY, HEY, WE WANT TO HELP, WHAT CAN WE DO? THERE IS REALLY TWO THINGS YOU CAN DO. ONE, SENT SOME DONATIONS, MONEY. THE OTHER CAN BE DONATE YOUR TIME. WHAT IS NOT HELPFUL IS SENDING ITEMS AND SENDING THINGS TO US. WE HAVE A LOT OF STUFF PREPOSITIONED, IF THERE IS A NEED FOR OTHER STUFF, KEVIN AND HIS TEAM WILL WORK, FEMA, ALL THESE OTHER GROUPS CAN WORK TO PROVIDE THAT. SO, IF YOU PROVIDE MONEY TO SOME VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS AND CHARITY GROUPS, THEY CAN MAKE A BIG IMPACT ON PEOPLES LIVES. IF YOU'RE WILLING TO VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME, THERE IS GOING TO BE WAYS YOU CAN BE PUT TO WORK. THERE'S GONNA BE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT ARE GONNA NEED HELP ON THE BACK END OF THIS THING. SO, IF YOU WANT TO CONTRIBUTE, YOU GO TO FLORIDA DISASTER FUND DOT ORG OR TEXT DISASTER TO 20, 2 TO 2. FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO COME AND VOLUNTEER WE HAVE AN OFFICIAL VOLUNTEER PORTAL A VOLUNTEER FLORIDA, WWW. FLORIDA AND HEAR FLORIDA DOT ORG TO FIND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES. THE STORM IS DOING A NUMBER ON THE STATE OF FLORIDA. IT IS GOING TO CONTINUE TO MOVE THROUGH THE STATE TODAY AND THROUGH MUCH OF TOMORROW. THERE IS GONNA CONTINUE TO BE A NUMBER OF ADVERSE EFFECTS. I CAN TELL YOU THAT AS SOON AS IT MOVES BEYOND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA YOU'RE GONNA SEE A MASSIVE SURGE OF PERSONNEL AND SUPPLIES TO BE ABLE TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE IN NEED, GET PEOPLE BACK ON THEIR FEET AND HELP TO REBUILD THOSE COMMUNITIES. KEVIN? >> THANK YOU, GOVERNOR. I THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW THAT THE GOVERNOR IS EXTREMELY COMMITTED TO BEING INVOLVED IN THIS RESPONSE. HE WAS HERE WITH ME UNTIL LATE LAST NIGHT, HE WAS HERE WITH ME EARLY THIS MORNING. HE HAS NOT BEEN ANYWHERE VERY NEAR ME THE ENTIRE TIME. SO, GOVERNOR, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP IN THAT AREA. IT MEANS A LOT TO ME, IT MEANS A LOT TO LEADERSHIP. AS THE GOVERNOR SAID, HURRICANE IAN HAS MADE LANDFALL THIS AFTERNOON AS A CATEGORY FOUR. WINDS OF 155 MILES AN HOUR, I'M NOT GONNA READ ALL THE STATISTICS THAT THE GOVERNOR HAS MENTIONED, I WILL BRING A COUPLE OF NEW LINES HERE. 1100 RESOURCE REQUESTS HAVE BEEN -- WE HAVE RECEIVED 1100 RESOURCE REQUESTS, WE HAVE FULFILLED 900 OF THOSE. AGAIN, THE DIFFERENCE OF THE 200 STUFF THAT WE JUST CANNOT GET OUT ON THE ROAD RIGHT NOW. WE'RE WORKING AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE TO ADDRESS THOSE NEEDS. WE HAVE WELL OVER 200 SHELTERS OPEN. WE HAVE 42,000 RESTORATION PERSONNEL, WE LITERALLY HAVE FIRST RESPONDERS ACROSS THE STATE AND ADDITIONAL ONES COMING IN. THERE'S WELL OVER 10,000 RESPONDERS STATEWIDE READY TO DO STUFF. AS THE STORM MAKES ITS WAY ACROSS FLORIDA. I WILL REMIND FLORIDIANS TO STAY INDOORS IF YOU'RE IN THE PATH OF THE STORM. IF YOU'RE SHELTERING IN PLACE AND IN THE PATH OF THE STORMY SOFT POWER AND WI-FI, PLEASE VISIT FLORIDA DISASTER DOT ORG SLASH INFO TO FILL OUT OUR SHELTER IN PLACE SURVEY. WE HAVE HAD REALLY, WE'VE HAD A LOT OF PEOPLE ANSWER THAT AND GIVE US INFORMATION. THAT HELPS US PROVIDE CRITICAL INFORMATION TO FIRST RESPONDERS ABOUT THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD SO THAT THEY CAN AGER FAMILY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT FIRST RESPONDERS MAY NOT BE ABLE TO IMMEDIATELY ENTER IMPACTED AREAS TO ASSIST TO DUE TO SAFETY HAZARDS. I WILL SAY WE'RE PLANNING A THREE PRONGED RESPONSE TO HANDLE THAT SPECIFIC ISSUE. WE HAVE PERSONAL STAGE TO COME IN VIA GROUND, WE VEHICLES, WE HAVE PERSONAL STAGE TO COME IN VIA AIR WITH AERIAL DEPLOYED SEARCH AND RESCUE ASSETS, AND THEN WE ALSO HAVE THE COAST GUARD AND THE FLORIDA OFFICIAL WILDLIFE COMMISSION READY TO COME IN BY SEA FOR THOSE ISLANDS AND BEACH FRONT PROPERTIES. SO, WE WILL HAVE A RESPONSE MECHANISM THAT INVOLVES ALL THREE OF THOSE ARMS. SHELTER IN PLACE SURVEY, AGAIN, I JUST REITERATE, FLORIDA DISASTER DOT ORG SLASH INFO. IF YOU NEED A ASSISTANCE PLEASE DIAL 9-1-1. THAT FIGHT IS NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR 9-1-1. IF IT IS COME OUTSIDE, YOU MAY BE IN THE EYE OF THE STORM, THE EYE OF THE STORM CONTINUES TO MOVE INLAND, IT'S GETTING READY TO ENTER AREAS SUCH AS HENRY COUNTY, GLADES COUNTY, DO NOT GO OUTSIDE IF ALL OF A SUDDEN THE WIND STOPS. IN THIS SITUATION, THAT MEANS YOU'RE IN THE EYE OF THE HURRICANE. SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY, GET INTO AN INTERIOR ROOM AND PROTECT YOURSELF. DO NOT WALK OR DRIVE THROUGH FLOODED AREAS. FLOODWATERS CAN STILL, I'M SORRY, FLOODWATERS CAN INSTALL YOUR CAR AND SWEEP YOU IN YOUR CAR AWAY IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE. WE RECEIVED REPORTS OF ISOLATED TORNADOES ACROSS EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA. IF YOU ARE IN A TORNADO WARNIN, AGAIN, SEEK AN INTERIOR ROOM, FREE OF WINDOWS, GET LOW, AND PUT SOMETHING OVER THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD TO PROTECT YOURSELF. IF A TORNADO WARNING, I'M SORR, SELF DEPLOYMENTS. WE DO NOT WANT INDIVIDUALS SOLVED TO PLAYING OUT ON THEIR OWN. THAT IS VERY VERY DANGEROUS. LEAVE THAT TO THE PROFESSIONALS THAT ARE TRAINED IN HOW TO DO THAT. DO NOT TAKE YOUR PERSONAL BOWED OUT IN THESE SITUATIONS. WE DO NOT WANT TO HAVE TO RESPOND TO YET ANOTHER PROBLEM. THE GOVERNOR MENTIONED THAT THERE ARE MORE DEATHS AS A RESULT OF INDIRECT SITUATIONS THAN THE ACTUAL DIRECT SITUATION OF A STORM SURGE WHEN AT THE BEGINNING OF A STORM. PLEASE, WHAT WE WANT YOU TO DO MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IS STAY SAFE, PLEASE BE CAREFUL OUT THERE, AGAIN, GOVERNOR, THANK YOU. >> THEY'RE ON THE WAY, RIGHT? >> THERE'S REPORTS OUT THERE ON THE WAY. >> YEAH, SO, I THINK THE CAJUN NAVY IS ON THE WAY AND, YOU KNOW, OKAY, THERE WE GO. LOOK, WE REALLY WELCOME, I MEA, THOSE ARE SOME REALLY BATTLE HARDENED FOLKS. FLORIDA WELCOMES THEIR SUPPORT. HONESTLY, PARTICULARLY LOUISIANA, THEY HAVE DEALT WITH SO MUCH. SO, THE GOVERNOR HAS BEEN GREAT. WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO BEFORE THE STORM EXITS THE STATE. THERE'S GONNA BE A LOT OF NEED TO GET INTO THESE COMMUNITIES, PARTICULARLY IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA AND OFFER THE IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE. I DO THINK THAT THE THREE PRONG STRATEGY, WE ARE GOING IN BY GROUND, AIR, AND BY SEA, IT MEANS THAT ALL HANDS ON DECK. AND THERE IS GONNA BE PEOPLE THAT ARE GOING TO BE IN HARM'S WAY. WHAT I SAID IS THAT THE FOLKS, WE'RE TOLD IN THESE AREAS OF THE HAZARDS. THEY WERE GIVEN TIME TO BE ABLE TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS AND TO LEAVE SOME CHOSE NOT TO DO THAT. THEY WOULD'VE PROBABLY BEEN BETTER OFF DOING THAT. NEVERTHELESS, IF PEOPLE ARE IN HARM'S WAY, YOU KNOW, WE ARE GOING TO GO AND DO WHATEVER WE CAN TO HELP THOSE FOLKS. SO, THAT, THOSE OPERATIONS ARE GOING TO COMMENCE AS SOON AS IT IS SAFE TO DO SO, CERTAINLY, I WOULD SAY, NO LATER THAN FIRST THING IN THE MORNING? YEAH, NO LATER, AS SOON AS IT IS LIGHT OUTSIDE AND PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO DO IT. AND THEN IT BEGINS WITH CLEARING ROADS, MAKING SURE THAT ELECTRICAL FOLKS CAN GET IN THERE. I WAS ABLE TO THINK A NUMBER OF THESE LINEMAN WHO WENT OVER TO LAKE CITY OR NUMBER OF THEM ARE STAGED. THESE ARE GREAT FOLKS, THEY'RE COMING FROM ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY. I MET PEOPLE FROM ALABAMA, FROM TEXAS, FROM LOUISIANA. THEY'RE ALL COMING TO FLORIDA, WHEN WE WERE DRIVING BACK TO TALLAHASSEE FROM LAKE CITY, I SAW THIS BEAUTIFUL SIGHT OF ALL THESE ELECTRICAL VEHICLES COMING, WHERE THEY HAD ALL THE ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT ON. THESE ARE FOLKS THAT ARE GONNA HELP PUT PEOPLES POWER BACK ON. IT WAS JUST A PROCESSION OF THEM. SO, WE TALKED ABOUT 42,000. I'LL BET YOU AFTER TODAY THERE'S PROBABLY GONNA BE SIGNIFICANTLY EVEN MORE. SO, YOU REALLY ARE SEEING JUST A GREAT LOGISTICAL EFFORT TO PUT ALL HANDS ON DECK IN THIS RESPONSE. OKAY, ANY QUESTIONS? >> GETTING CALLS FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT EVACUATED [INAUDIBLE] HOW MANY CALLS FROM PEOPLE ARE WE TALKING ABOUT? >> DO YOU WANT TO TAKE THAT? >> RIGHT NOW, I DON'T GIVE YOU A SOLID NUMBER, YES, I KNOW EARLIER TODAY WE HAD AN INITIAL REPORT AS 21, AND THEN BECAUSE OF 9-1-1 ISSUES IN THE SOUTHWEST FLORIDA AREA WE HAD ONE SMALL REAL COUNTY THOSE ANSWERING CALLS FOR THE LARGER COUNTY, SAYING THAT THEY HAD HUNDREDS OF CALLS. SO, I CANNOT REALLY QUANTIFY THAT RIGHT NOW, JUST GOING THROUGH WORDS AT THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT RECORDS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL TOLD ME. >> HAVE YOU SPOKEN TO THE PRESIDENT AT ALL ABOUT GETTING THAT IS GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS THERE, AS YOU HEAR HIM BRIEFING THE PEOPLE OF FLORIDA AND THE COUNTRY ON THE RESPONSE OF HIS -- HURRICANE IN SLAMMING ASHORE AND NOW ROLLING, BARRELING ACROSS FLORIDA. YOU HEARD THE SCALE OF THIS RESPONSE, THE GOVERNOR WAS TALKING ABOUT. HE ALSO ASKED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY AND REVERSE 100% THE COST TO FLORIDA BECAUSE THEY ARE LOOKING AT A TRUE DISASTER THERE. >> HE WAS LAYING OUT A FULL FLEDGED PLAN. HE STARTED OFF TALKING ABOUT JUST ABOUT SOME AREAS SEEING 12 FEET OF WATER. THE GOOD NEWS IS, LIKELY PEAKE, HE SAID. THEY CAN START TALKING ABOUT RECOVERY AND RESPONSE. THE HURRICANE WINDS WILL CONTINUE ALL THE WAY UNTIL IT EXITS CENTRAL FLORIDA. I'M JUST LOOKING AT ALL THE NOTES THAT I MADE HERE. HE TALKED ABOUT POWER OUTAGES. BUT AS HE LISTED ALL THE PROBLEM AND WHAT PEOPLE ARE UP AGAINST RIGHT NOW, HE HAD A RESOLUTION OR A PLAN FOR EVERYTHING THAT HE LAID OUT. AS YOU SAID, HE ALREADY MADE THE REQUEST TO PRESIDENT BIDEN THAT EVERYBODY BE FULLY RESPONDED WITHIN ALL 67 COUNTIES. DECLARED STATE OF EMERGENCY THERE FOR ALL THOSE COUNTIES, SO THAT THERE WILL BE ONE HUNTED PERCENT REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE NEXT 60 DAYS FOR THOSE WHO WILL NEED THOSE FUNDS. HE TALKED ABOUT ALL THE ASSETS ON STANDBY. AS SOON AS IT SAFE TO GO OUT ONTO THE ROADS AND THEN TO THE WATER, HE HAS BOATS, AIRCRAFT, RESCUE TEAMS, EVERYTHING STAGED AND READY TO GO TO NOT ONLY TEN TO FOLKS THAT NEED HELP, POSSIBLY MEDICALLY, FINANCIALL, BUT ALSO FOOD ALL TYPES OF RESOURCES, JUST TO GET PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST EVERYTHING BACK ON THEIR FEET QUICKLY, AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. >> AND HE TALKED ABOUT THE RESPONSE OF PEOPLE FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY, DONATING -- REMEMBER, HE'S RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. DONATING, BUT ALSO EXPRESSING THE AMERICAN SPIRIT OF, WE WILL HELP OUR NEIGHBORS -- HE TALKED ABOUT A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE COME TO FLORIDA TO HELP WITH THE RECOVERY AND RESCUE EFFORTS AND THE PEOPLE THAT ARE DONATING FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY, SAYING THAT THIS IS GOING TO BE A NATIONAL EFFORT. >> AND THERE IS EVEN AWAY IF YOU CAN TEXT IF YOU WANT TO VOLUNTEER NOW -- LET'S GET STRAIGHT TO GIO BENITEZ, WHO CONTINUES TO FOLLOW EVERYTHING HURRICANE IAN HAS FOR US IN TAMPA, FLORIDA. RON DESANTIS E IN GREAT DETAIL, TELLING US WHAT IS HAPPENING AND WHAT HE PLANS TO DO NEXT. >> YEAH, KYRA, TERRY, GOOD AFTERNOON. ALL AFTERNOON, THIS STORM IS MOVING SLOWLY. WE WERE WAITING FOR A LOT OF THE STRONGER STORM CONDITIONS HERE IN THE TAMPA BAY AREA. NOW, WE ARE REALLY GETTING IT. THE RAIN HAS JUST NOT STOPPED. IT IS RELENTLESS. NOW WE ARE STARTING TO REALLY FEEL THOSE WINDS. WE WILL FEEL THIS FOR HOURS AND HOURS HERE AND THIS IS GOING TO BE THE STORY FOR SO MUCH OF FLORIDA. LET'S GET OVER TO ABC NEWS METEOROLOGIST, GREG -- I WAS LOOKING AT THE RADAR. AND I WAS NOTICING THAT THIS IS OBVIOUSLY WEAKENING. WE ARE SEEING THE STORM WEAKEN. WE NOTICE WEAKENING. BUT IT STILL LOOKS VERY WELL STRUCTURED. >> IT DOES AND IT HAS ALL ITS MOMENTUM BEHIND IT. QUITE LITERALLY, IT IS MOMENTUM. IT IS INERTIA THAT IT HAS GOING FOR IT. WHEN YOU ACTUALLY LOOK AT THE PHYSICS -- IT WAS A BORDERLINE AND MY VERY WELL BE CATEGORIZED AS A CATEGORY FIVE STORM. THAT DOESN'T JUST MAGICALLY GO AWAY WHEN YOU GET OFF OF THOSE 90 PLUS DEGREE BATH WATERS OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO. IT TAKES TIME FOR THE STORM TO BE QUITE LITERALLY SHREDDED APART BY NOT ONLY THE FRICTION ON THE GROUND, BUT ALSO THE WIND SHEAR IN HIGHER LEVELS OF THE ATMOSPHERE. IT IS THAT TIME THAT IS JUST PAINSTAKINGLY GOING BY, SO SLOWLY. THIS THING IS MOVING AT NINE MILES AN HOUR. PROBABLY EVEN SLOWER THAN THAT. THEN, WE SET THE CRUISE CONTROL -- THAT'S NOT TO LIKE 25. YOU CAN PROBABLY RUN FASTER THAN THIS HURRICANE IS MOVING RIGHT NOW AND THAT IS OF COURSE VERY CONCERNING FOR FOLKS WHO ARE IN THIS EXTREME WIND WARNING WHICH GOES, THANKFULLY, SOUTH OF SARASOTA NOW, BUT INCLUDES ENGLEWOOD, AND ALMOST ALL THE WAY DOWN TO BONITA SPRINGS. IT LOOKS LIKE IT STOPS AT SANIBEL. THAT IS GREAT BECAUSE THEY HAVE ACTUALLY CLOSED IT IN A LITTLE BIT AND THAT SHOWS AT THE CORE, THE EXPANSIVENESS OF THOSE WINDS IS STARTING TO GO AWAY A LITTLE BIT. >> THIS SATELLITE IMAGERY, I WANT TO SHOW YOU THE TWO LANDFALLS. ONE WAS AT -- IT MEANS KEY BY THE COAST. THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT IT IS. IT'S A LITTLE KEY THAT EXTENDS OUT THROUGH THE COASTLINE. THEN, YOU ACTUALLY GET TO THE MAINLAND. -- 4:35 AT 145 MILES AN HOUR -- THESE NUMBERS CAN AND PROBABLY WILL BE REVISED WHEN WE ACTUALLY GO THROUGH THE STORM DAMAGE. BUT IT IS ALL SEMANTICS AT THIS POINT. THIS IS A MAJOR TOP FIVE HURRICANE MAKING ITS WAY INTO THE U.S.. RIGHT NOW, THOSE WINDS HAVE GONE DOWN YET AGAIN. GIO AND I HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT HOW QUICKLY THOSE WINDS ARE GOING DOWN. BUT STILL, WHEN HE STARTED 155 MILES PER HOUR, YOU GO THREE, FOUR HOURS IN ENGLAND, YOU ARE STILL AT 130 MILES AN HOUR. YOU'RE STILL GUSTING UP TO HUNDRED 80 MILES AN HOUR. THE I-STRUCTURE IS KIND OF FALLING APART. BUT YOU CAN STILL SEE THOSE RAIN BANDS IN THE EYEWALL THAT IS WELL STRUCTURED ENOUGH, AS IT MAKES ITS WAY ENGLAND. THIS MAY MAKE IT JUST SOUTH OF ORLANDO. MOVES OVER DENSITY WORLD. MOVES OUT OVER THE COAST AND INTO THE ATLANTIC. AND THEN, BACK OVER LAND AGAIN. THIS TAKING A VERY SIMILAR TRACK TO HOW HURRICANE CHARLIE DID, BUT GEO, WE KNOW IT IS NOT HURRICANE CHARLIE OR IRMA. IT IS WORSE. YEAH, THIS IS NOT THAT. AND YOU KNOW, SO MANY PEOPLE, I THINK IT'S NOW OVER 1 MILLION, HAVE LOST POWER IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA. 1 MILLION STRUCTURES AND HOMES, THAT IS MANY MORE PEOPLE THAN THAT. BUT A LOT OF PEOPLE MAY BE WATCHING US ON THEIR PHONES RIGHT NOW. CAN YOU SHOW US RIGHT NOW WHERE THE STRONGEST STORMS ARE FROM THIS PARTICULAR HURRICANE? >> YEAH. WE'LL JUMP BACK TO THAT RADAR IMAGERY AND I CAN SHOW YOU THAT. IF YOU ARE USING YOUR MOBILE DEVICES TO SEE EXACTLY WHERE THAT IS, JUST DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO CONSERVE BATTERY POWER. TURNED DOWN THE BRIGHTNESS ON THE SCREEN. JUST DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO SAVE THAT BATTERY BECAUSE YOU COULD BE HOURS AT THE VERY BEST WITHOUT POWER. YOU COULD BE WEEKS WITHOUT POWER IN SOME SPOTS. -- HERE ARE THE STRONGEST WIND GUSTS. 123 MILES PER HOUR. I THINK US UP TO 130 MILES AN HOUR. FOCUSING ON THE RADAR IMAGERY, YOU'RE GETTING DECENT RAIN RIGHT NOW IN TAMPA. BUT THE HARDEST RAIN IS STILL FALLING IN THAT PORT CHARLOTTE TYPE AREA, UP TO SANIBEL, UP TO ABOUT SIESTA KEY. VERY FAMILIAR WITH THIS AREA SO I DON'T REALLY NEED THE NAMES ON THERE. JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE -- PERFECT. RIGHT THERE. THIS IS LONGBOAT KEY, SIESTA KEY. YOU GUYS ARE SEEING THE HEAVIEST RAINFALL THERE. THEN, YOU START GETTING DOWN A LITTLE BIT CLOSER TO NOT ONLY WHERE IT MADE LANDFALL, BUT ALSO FARTHER SOUTH, DOWN TO SANIBEL. THAT IS WHERE THE HEAVIEST RAIN IS. AND AGAIN, EXTENDING INLAND, WHEN YOU GET TWO SPOTS LIKE TENNIS AND POOR CHARLIE, IT IS STILL HOURS UNTIL THEY GET OUT OF THIS HEAVY RAINFALL. IT IS GROUNDING, FOUR PLUS HOURS. >> BUT ALSO MEANS THAT THE STORM SURGE IS STILL VERY, VERY MUCH A THREAT. THANK YOU SO MUCH. APPRECIATE YOUR INSIGHT ALL DAY LONG HERE ON ABC NEWS LIVE. EARLIER, WE SPOKE WITH JOE, AND THIS WAS AN UNBELIEVABLE INTERVIEW BECAUSE HE'S A RESIDENT OF FORT MYERS, WHO DECIDED TO RIDE OUT THIS CATEGORY FOUR STORM AND HE LITERALLY WITNESSED HOMES FLOATING BY. LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THIS. >> JOE, YOU DECIDED TO RIDE OUT THIS CATEGORY FOUR STORM. TELL ME, WHAT IS IT THAT YOU ARE SEEING WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW BECAUSE WE ARE HEARING REPORTS OF HOUSES FLOATING BY. IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE SEEING? >> IT IS. IT IS HORRIBLE. WE JUST LOOKED AND NOTICE THAT WE ARE ON THE EDGE OF THE EYEWALL. THE WIND PICKS UP HORRENDOUSLY. THESE MIGHT BE 150 MILE WINDS. THERE IS NOTHING LEFT. IT IS UNBELIEVABLE. THE HOUSE SETTING UP FRONT -- WE HAVE A HOUSE IN BACK -- >> WE ARE SEEING SOME OF THOSE IMAGES, JOE. YEAH, WE ARE SEEING SOME OF THOSE IMAGES AND IT LOOKS VERY DRAMATIC WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW. CAN YOU TELL ME WHY YOU DECIDED TO RIDE OUT THE STORM THERE? >> WE ANTICIPATED IT GOING NORTH. WE THOUGHT WE WOULD HAVE MORE OF A -- [INAUDIBLE] [INAUDIBLE] A FOOT AT A TIME. IT JUST KEEPS COMING. THERE ARE BOATS FLOATING BY. OUR CAR FLOATED AWAY. OH NO. ANOTHER HOUSE. >> YOU ARE SAYING YOU ARE SEEING A ROOF FLOATING FIRE RIGHT NOW? >> IT FLEW AWAY. IT HIT TWO DOORS DOWN. IT FINALLY CAME DOWN. HERE GOES THE REST OF IT. THAT HOUSE IS BLOWING AWAY. JUST BLOWING AWAY. THAT HOUSE IS GONE. WE ARE WATCHING IT RIGHT NOW. THERE IS NOTHING LEFT. [INAUDIBLE] IT JUST CAME APART. [INAUDIBLE] >> THIS IS THE DANGER WHEN YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT A STORM SURGE. ARE YOU SAFE RIGHT NOW, JOE, AS YOU ARE SPEAKING WITH US? ARE YOU IN A SAFE LOCATION? >> WE ARE IN A GOOD SPOT. WE ARE NICE STRONG HOUSE. I'M WORRIED ABOUT THE WINDOWS AT THIS POINT BECAUSE WE ARE REACHING WHAT THIS -- THEY ARE DEFINITELY FLEXING. THEY'RE MOVING IN AND OUT. THEY ARE MOVING TWO, THREE INCHES IN AND OUT. -- WHOA! SOMETHING HUGE JUST HIT THE WATER OUT HERE. IT IS GETTING EXTREMELY SCARY. THE WIND HAS PICKED UP TWICE TO WHAT IT WAS BEFORE. IT IS DEFINITELY GETTING SCARY. THE WATER IS COMING UP. I THINK WE JUST HAD GLASS BREAK. >> ALL RIGHT, JOE, WE WILL LEAVE YOU. IT SOUNDS LIKE IT IS GETTING A LITTLE BIT SCARY THERE, WHERE YOU ARE. WE WILL MAKE SURE THAT YOU GET TO SAFETY. THANK YOU SO MUCH. PLEASE STAY IN TOUCH WITH OUR TEAM AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED. STAY SAFE. KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. >> THIS OF COURSE IS THE DANGER OF THAT STORM SURGE AND IT IS NOT OVER YET. JUST MOMENTS AGO, THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SENDING THIS. -- HAS MEASURED SUSTAINED WINDS AT 77 MILES PER HOUR WITH GUSTS AT 104 MILES PER HOUR. SO, WE ARE STILL TALKING ABOUT A VERY STRONG STORM SYSTEM. LET'S GO TO WHAT IS CALLED THE FIRST COAST NOW. THIS INCLUDES JACKSONVILLE AND ST. AUGUSTINE. THAT IS THUNDER HURRICANE WATCH. LET'S GO TO TREVOR AULT, OUR ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT. HE IS IN JACKSONVILLE. TREVOR, WHAT ARE YOU SEEING RIGHT NOW BECAUSE NO DOUBT THOSE OUTER BANKS ARE GETTING VERY CLOSE TO YOU, IF NOT ALREADY THERE? >> YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. WHAT WE ARE SEEING IS THE FINAL PREPARATIONS UNDERWAY. IT HAS BEEN TOUGH NOT TO FEEL GUILTY, WATCHING THE WESTERN SIDE OF FLORIDA GET BATTERED. THIS IS A GIANT STORM. THAT MEANS IT IS MOVING AT A GIANT PACE, SLOWLY ACROSS THE STATE. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. THIS THING IS SO BIG AND THE PATH IS SO POWERFUL THAT IT IS EXPECTED TO MARCH ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE STATE OF FLORIDA, DIP BACK INTO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN, AND THEN SLAMMED BACK INTO THE COAST. THE FIRST COAST -- JACKSONVILLE IS BRACING FOR FLOODING THAT THEY HAVE NOT SEEN IN SEVERAL YEARS. LAST TIME, A HURRICANE -- WAS FIVE YEARS AGO BACK WITH HURRICANE IRMA. USUALLY WITH STORMS, WITH HURRICANES, THEY WILL EITHER GET FLOODING FROM THE STORM SURGE ON THE COASTLINE OR THEY WILL GET SOME FLOODING INLAND. THIS IS POWERFUL ENOUGH THAT THEY'RE EXPECTING SOME LEVEL OF FLOODING INLAND AND ON THE COAST. JUST LIKE WE SAW ON THE WESTERN PART OF THE STATE, WE HAVE SOME COUNTIES THAT ARE INSTITUTING MANDATORY EVACUATIONS. WE HAVE PLACES DOWNTOWN THAT ARE BRACING HERE TO GET SOME FLOODING TO. WE ARE WAITING FOR IAN TWO METHODICALLY MAKE ITS WAY ACROSS THE STATE. BUT WE KNOW IT IS COMING. WE SEE ALL THE VIDEO AND EXTENSIVE DAMAGE. WE ARE CERTAINLY EXPECTING TO SEE SOME PLACES TO GET 20 INCHES OF RAIN. ON THE FAR SIDE OF FLORIDA HERE -- >> YEAH, AND WE ARE ALREADY GETTING THOSE GUST HERE. VERY STRONG GUSTS, AS YOU ARE SPEAKING THERE. TELL ME, IT IS THE FIRST COAST PREPARED? YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT THE FLOODING. AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT WE ARE ALREADY SEEING ON THE WEST COAST. BUT THE EAST COAST. IS THAT -- ARE THEY PREPARED OVER THERE? ARE YOU SEEING THAT THEY ARE PREPARED? >> IT SEEMS NOT A LOT OF PLACES ARE TAKING THOSE STEPS, AS YOU KNOW, WITH THESE HURRICANES. PEOPLE TAKE IT VERY SERIOUSLY. AND YOU HAVE SOME PEOPLE THAT SAY, I'M FROM FLORIDA. WE GET A LOT OF HURRICANES. I WILL WRITE IT OUT. ALTHOUGH LOCAL OFFICIALS HERE ARE ADAMANT THAT THEY'VE TAKEN ALL THE STEPS THAT THEY CAN. THEY HAVE SHELTERS, THEY'RE URGING PEOPLE TO GET TO SAFETY. GET TO PLACES A HIGHER ELEVATION TO. THEY CLOSED DOWN SCHOOLS. THE CLOSE FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK IN ANTICIPATION OF WHAT IS TO COME. BUT ULTIMATELY, IT IS UP TO INDIVIDUALS AND WHETHER OR NOT THEY CAN GET OUT. SO, WE HAVE SEEN LOTS OF THOSE STEPS IN TERMS OF PREPARATION, BUT IT IS ONE THING TO GET OUT AND IT'S ANOTHER TO SET UP SANDBAGS OR TRY TO DIVERT THE WATER IF YOU CAN. BUT FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT ARE DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT, THAT HAVE LEFT WHERE THEY ARE LIVING, LEFT THEIR HOMES, THEY ARE LIKELY COMING HOME TO SOME SEVERE DAMAGE, WHETHER OR NOT THEIR HOME IS STILL THERE, WHETHER OR NOT IT'S COMPLETELY FLOODED, WHETHER THEIR ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD IS SWAMPED HERE, YOU HEARD IT FROM GREG. THIS WILL TAKE DAYS, WEEKS, MONTHS BEFORE A BACK TO REGULAR LIFE HERE. THAT IS THE CASE HERE TO ON THE FIRST COAST, AS IT IS ON THE WESTERN SIDE OF FLORIDA. >> ALL RIGHT, TREVOR AULT, THANK YOU SO MUCH, STAY SAFE. IT WILL BE A LONG NIGHT AND PERHAPS THERE IS ANOTHER DAY AHEAD OF THE STORM. THANK YOU SO MUCH. HERE AND TERRY, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. WE ARE SEEING IT ALL PLAY OUT RIGHT HERE LIVE IN THE MOMENT. THIS IS A MASSIVE STORM. UNLIKE WHAT WE HAVE SEEN IN A LONG TIME. ONE THAT QUITE LITERALLY TAKES UP MOST OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA. >> YES, INDEED. IT IS A HISTORIC EVENT. GIO, THANK YOU SO MUCH. YOU HAVE THINGS COVERED FOR US AS WELL AS ALL HANDS ON DECK WHEN IT COMES TO THIS HURRICANE. GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS TALKING JUST MOMENTS AGO ABOUT RESCUE TEAMS AT THE READY. EVEN ON THE GROUND RIGHT NOW AS THE STORM IS JUST HAMMERING FLORIDA. >> TAKE A LOOK AT THIS INCREDIBLE VIDEO HERE. FIREFIGHTERS AND NAPLES EXECUTING A WATER RESCUE. THIS IS THE SITE THERE IN NAPLES AND THERE ARE PEOPLE ACROSS FLORIDA IN SIMILAR STRAITS. THEIR HOUSES FLOATING DOWN THE STREETS. MASSIVE STORM SURGE, UP TO 18 FEET IN SOME PLACES. THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING, AT SO OUR COVERAGE OF THIS CATASTROPHIC STORM WILL CONTINUE JUST AFTER THE BREAK. STAY WITH US. ♪ ♪ ♪ WE ARE MONITORING LIVE PICTURES FROM ALL KINDS OF CAMERAS PUT UP ACROSS THE STATE OF FLORIDA AS WE FOLLOW OUR BREAKING NEWS COVERAGE HERE OF HURRICANE. THAT MONSTER STORM, FIRST MAKING LANDFALL JUST AFTER 3:00 EASTERN TIME IS A CATEGORY FOUR STORM. >> AND IAN IS LASHING SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WITH CATASTROPHIC STORM SURGE AND WINDS UP TO 130 MILES PER HOUR AS IT MOVES INLAND AND ACROSS THE FLORIDA PENINSULA, ALL THE WAY TO JACKSONVILLE AND UP THE ATLANTIC COAST. JOINING US NOW IS THE LAW A FAMILY. VANESSA AND TIM ARE RIDING OUT THE HURRICANE IN SEMINOLE, FLORIDA. THAT'S IN THE GREATER TAMPA BAY AREA. ST. PETE, TAMPA BAY. GUYS, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING WITH US. TELL US WHAT IT IS LIKE THERE AND HOW YOU ARE DOING. >> THANK YOU FOR HAVING US. RIGHT, NOW IT IS PRETTY CALM BUT WE HAVE SEEN THE WINDS KIND OF RAMP UP AS THE EVENING HAS GONE ON, SO WE KNOW THAT WE ARE IN STORE FOR A LONGER NIGHTS. >> WE ARE VERY GRATEFUL TO STILL HAVE POWER AT THIS POINT DURING THE DAY. >> YOU HAVE A NINE YEAR OLD, RIGHT? A NINE YEAR OLD DAUGHTER? >> YES, WE DO. >> WHERE IS SHE? HAS SHE BEEN ASKING QUESTIONS AND WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN TELLING HER? >> SHE IS JUST HANGING OUT AROUND THE CORNER. SHE IS BEING KIND OF SILLY RIGHT NOW. SHE IS JUST VERY BORED. SHE WILL POP OVER. >> COLOR TO COME OVER WITH YOU GUYS AND WE WILL MAKE SURE SHE IS NOT BORED. WE WILL INTERVIEW HER RIGHT HERE ON ABC NEWS LIVE. SHE CAN TELL US WHAT IT IS. LIKE WHAT IS HER NAME? >> HER NAME IS LILA. >> ALL RIGHT, TELL US WHAT IT HAS BEEN LIKE? I KNOW IT IS KIND OF HARD BEING BOARDED UP THERE WITH YOUR PARENTS FOR HOURS ON AND. I'M VERY SORRY ABOUT THAT. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO TRY TO PASS THE TIME WITH MOM AND DAD? >> I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO CONVINCE THEM TO PLAY ON THE SWITCH WITH ME. >> [LAUGHS] >> BASSETT! >> THERE YOU GO! >> YOU HAVE BEEN EATING A LOT OF HALLOWEEN CANDY. >> HOPEFULLY, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO SOME TRICK-OR-TREATING, MY DEAR, BEFORE NOT TOO LONG. >> WHAT HAVE YOUR PARENTS TOLD YOU ABOUT THIS STORM? IT IS A SERIOUS CONVERSATION, RIGHT? HAVE A TALK TO YOU ABOUT SAFETY AND HOW YOU NEED TO BE REALLY CAREFUL RIGHT NOW? >> YEAH. THEY TOLD ME NOT TO WORRY BECAUSE WE HAVE HURRICANE-PROOF WINDOWS. BUT JUST TO BE CAREFUL, THEY SAID TO KEEP A FLASHLIGHT NEAR YOU AND KEEP ALL OUR DEVICES CHARGED. >> THERE YOU GO! ALL RIGHT, MOM AND DAD, YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB! >> GOOD JOB. ARE YOU SCARED AT ALL? >> NOW. I THINK I CAN GET THROUGH THIS. WE WILL MAKE IT OUT ALIVE. >> I TELL YOU WHAT. I NEED HER AT MY HOUSE TO CALM ME DOWN! [LAUGHS] SHE IS CALM, COOL, AND COLLECTED. >> THIS IS THE CALMEST SHE HAS BEEN ALL DAY. SHE HAS BEEN PRETTY ANTSY. >> WELL, WE HAVE GIVEN HER SOMETHING TO DO, TALK TO US ON LIVE TELEVISION. >> SHE'S A NATURAL! >> YOU GUYS ACTUALLY RODE OUT HURRICANE IRMA, RIGHT? >> YES. YES, WE DID. AND SHE WAS A LITTLE YOUNGER THAN, BUT WE HAD SOME FRIENDS AND FAMILY THAT NEEDED SHELTER AS WELL AND WE KIND OF HUDDLED. IRMA ACTUALLY GAVE US A POWER LOSS OF ABOUT SEVEN DAYS OR SO. SO, THEY FORTIFIED THE INFRASTRUCTURE A LITTLE BETTER THIS TIME AROUND, WE ARE HOPING. WE DID WELL THROUGH THAT AS WELL. WE ARE VERY FORTUNATE. >> GREAT. AND WE HOPE AND PRAY THAT YOU WILL BE JUST AS FORTUNATE THIS TIME, THE AND TIM AND LILA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING WITH US. GOOD LUCK. KEEP IN TOUCH. THE WORST IS PROBABLY STILL AHEAD FOR YOU RIGHT THERE. BUT YOU LOOK LIKE YOU ARE WELL SET AND YOUR DAUGHTER IS READY TO GO. >> GET AHEAD ON YOUR HOMEWORK! >> [LAUGHS] >> LILA, THIS IS THE PERFECT CHANCE TO GET AHEAD ON YOUR HOMEWORK. YOU WILL GET BACK TO CLASS AND ACE EVERYTHING. >> OKAY. >> SIR, SHE IS GOING TO DO THAT. >> HE WILL LISTEN TO ME. YEAH! SHE JUST SET IT ON TELEVISION, SHE HAS TO DO IT NOW. >> ALL RIGHT, TAKE CARE. >> TAKE CARE. >> ALL HANDS ON DECK ARE ON DECK AS HURRICANE IAN HAMMERS FLORIDA AS A MONSTER STORM -- >> OUR COVERAGE CONTINUES. ALONG WITH THIS FAMILY -- THERE IS A SERIOUS CONVERSATION TO BE HAD ABOUT HOW IT IS JUST TACKLING AND PUMMELING PARTS OF FLORIDA AT THIS HOUR. RESCUE TEAMS ON THE STAND BY. EVEN TRYING TO GET OUT THERE. >> ON A CAUSEWAY IN A HURRICAN! PROBABLY NOT A GREAT IDEA. >> NOT A GREAT IDEA. AND YOU CAN PROBABLY ABOUT THAT'S THE ONLY PERSON OUT ON THE ROAD RIGHT NOW AS EVACUATIONS ARE TAKING PLACE AND THE GOVERNOR HAS SAID, HUNKER DOWN. MORE NEWS RIGHT AFTER THIS. WATER IS RISING AND MOVING AND YOU ARE WITH US HERE ON ABC NEWS LIVE, FOLLOWING THE PEKINGESE COVERAGE OF HURRICANE IAN. IT'S MADE LANDFALL AND AS HAMMERING SOUTHWESTERN FLORIDA AND MOVES-IN-ONE AND SPREADS ACROSS THE STATE. >> IT'S COVERING ALMOST THE ENTIRE STATE, 25 MILLION PEOPLE NOW UNDER THAT STORM. THIS STORM PACKING POWERFUL WIND AND RAIN. IT CATASTROPHIC STORM STRETCHING TO 18 FEET IN SOME PLACES. LET'S BRING IN MORGAN NORWOOD, WHO IS IN TAMPA. MORGAN, WHAT ARE YOU SEEING WHERE YOU ARE? >> AS YOU MENTIONED, HURRICANE IAN TEARING THROUGH THE STATE OF FLORIDA. HERE IN TAMPA, WE SEE THE HIGH WINDS, THE HEAVY RAIN YOU HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT. IF YOU LOOK BEHIND ME, IT HAS BEEN WHIPPING THE PALM TREES. HONESTLY, BEFORE YOU CAME TO M, THERE WAS A HUGE BRANCH HERE. THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE BEEN SEEING ALL DAY LONG. IT'S SHUTTING THESE PALM TREES THE PIECES HERE. -- ESPECIALLY IN SOUTHWEST FLORID, WHO WE KNOW ARE DEALING WITH A DIRECT HIT LANDFALL JUST A SHORT TIME AGO. YOUR HEARTS GO OUT TO THEM, BECAUSE WE HEARD THE GOVERNOR SAY OVER AND OVER THROUGHOUT THE DAY, NOW IS THE TIME TO HUNKER DOWN. MORE DAYS ON AND, THEY HAVE BEEN PREPARING PEOPLE TO PREPARE -- HIT THE ROAD TO EVACUATE, AND NOW THIS IS WHERE ALL THIS COMES INTO PLAY. GUYS? >> HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO MINGLE WITH ANYONE WHERE YOU ARE PRIOR TO THINGS PICKING UP, AND NOW, HOW DO YOU THINK TAMPA HAS DON, THE RESIDENTS, THE RESCUE CREW, THE POLICE, GIVE US AN UPDATE ON THOSE THERE IN THE AREA? >> REMEMBER, TAMPA WAS ONCE A BULL'S-EYE FOR THE STORM. WE WERE SET TO TAKE THAT DIRECT HIT. I THINK IN TERMS OF PREPARATIONS, WE HAVE CERTAINLY SEEN THEM TAKE THAT SERIOUSLY HERE. WE HAVE BEEN TO THE GROCERY STORES, SEEN A FLOOD OF PEOPLE GET IN LINE AND GET WHAT THEY NEED FOR THE GESTATION, FILLING UP TO SANDBAGS. THEY WERE HONESTLY PREPARED FOR THE WORSE. THAT'S NOT TO SAY THAT FOLKS HERE IN TAMPA ARE OUT OF THE WOODS JUST YET. JUST LOOK AT THE WINDS WHIPPIN, WE ALSO KNOW THE STORM SURGE WILL BE A PROBLEM HERE. ROB TALKING ABOUT THAT -- GINGER ZEE AS WELL. WE ARE NOT OUT OF THE WOODS AT ALL. WE'VE ALSO SEEN MASSIVE EVACUATIONS THE PAST TWO DAYS, AS THE GOVERNOR SAID TIME HAS RUN OUT. THE STORM IS HERE, AND WE'RE EXPECTED TO FEEL THE IMPACTS FOR DAYS ON AND. >> ABSOLUTELY, SO MORGAN, YOU STAY SAFE, AND I KNOW WE WILL BE BACK TO YOU AS YOUR DEAL OF TAMPA AND THE REST OF THE COAST CONTINUES. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. >> WE'LL CONTINUE OUR COVERAGE HERE ON ABC NEWS LIVE THROUGHOUT THE EVENING ALL THE WAY INTO

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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