tv CNN Newsroom CNN May 23, 2011 12:00pm-2:00pm PDT
the indiana governor deciding not to run. a lot of people think that will help tim pawlenty. >> he may benefit from that. mark preston, mice to see you. your next update from the best political team on television is just one hour away. cnn newsroom continues right now with drew griffin. good to be here. the next two hours. we're going to show you how this happened, 6:00 p.m. central time, joplin, missouri. take a look. that's the sights and the sounds of the town being decimated. what you see right there the early stage of a deadly tornado. it would grow to more than a half mile wide. went right through the center of joplin, missouri. the population there 50,000. this is joplin, missouri, this morning. as of this hour the death toll reaching 89. as many as one in three
buildings sustaining significant damage. that includes one of the city's main hospitals. the national guard on patrol with a state of emergency in effect. andres cue teams they keep searching today, this afternoon, all through the day for survivors. joplin, missouri, the latest victim of a volatile wave of turbulent springtime weather. brian todd in the thick of it. >> reporter: drew, rescue teams are combing through grid by grid, house by house in this city. the houses that are left are severely damaged, but frankly in this part of the city not many houses are left. you mentioned about 1/3 of the houses in this downtown area were severely damaged. by that you can take to mean flattened. behind me you can see the wreckage of some of them that is left. now the weather is complicating things as these teams go through the grids of this city on foot mostly and pick through this. the lightning has been rolling in. thunder, rain, all day long.
it has made their job, much, much difficult. they're trying to find people who might still be trapped in some areas, these pockets. again, the window for that is closing. the weather is very bad. the death toll may in fact go up. we heard that from officials all day that you can expect it to go up as they begin the pain staking work of combing through the wreckage here. they're warning people now, don't be so quick to go back to your homes. not only because of the weather, because the lightning strikes are still going on might spark fires. they've had reports of fires through the the city since the tornado, gas leaks and downed power lines are all over the place. drew, you can see behind me, this is still very treacherous work around here. >> brian, like you we've been waiting to get updates from officials on what we hope is a death toll that will not rise and what we hope is a survivors' story of people coming out of the rubble. i'm not seeing either one budge. i'm not seeing reports of survivors being rescued or
movement on the death toll. what is happening there in the search for people? >> reporter: i think you may not have been seeing it budge many the last few hours because it has been such a difficult process because of the weather. it slows everybody down from the search andres cue teams to the canine teams to the fire departments who are going around. they're trying to get people goo shelters. there's been a show process, people have been walking around shell shocked. we talked to a red cross official who says we have the room. you have to come to the shelter. not a lot have so far. it's a city trying to get its arms around what has happened here. we may get some information in the next hour. they're supposed to hold a news conference at 4:00 p.m. eastern time. we may get some updated numbers. >> we'll look for that as this story develops. meantime, the people that were living through this are being the best reporters on the ground in terps of what was happening. one of them is a sports reporter who found himself in the thick
of the biggest news story of joplin's history. sports reporter ryan atkinson of the squop lin grove. moments after the twister struck he and a colleague had to climb through a car and shot these pictures that you see right now. ryan is on the phone with us. i understand you were in the newsroom when this struck. just tell us about that moment. >> caller: yeah, we were in the newsroom. luckily the newsroom is in the downtown area a part that wasn't affected. we headed down to the basement ark skeleton crew on a sunday evening. there wasn't many of us there. once we felt that all was clear, me and a friend, a colleague, a news reporter jumped in his car and headed to st. jouns. we heard there was some damage there and really weren't sure what to expect. living in this part of the country we're used to confirmed reports of funnel clouds and stuff like that. never turns into another drastic. the closer we got to the hospital district, just the
worse it got. the more our hearts sank. >> and as i was reading the preinterview notes, four or five people in the newsroom had their houses destroyed in this. it's very personal to the people there in the newsroom. >> caller: mine was one of them. i just got back five minutes ago to my parents house from finally going and seeing it and salvaging what we could out of it. i feel pretty lucky. the house -- it's irreparable. i was able to get some stuff out of it. some clothes and stuff. some other people in the newsroom have had it much worse than i did. they came in, they didn't have anywhere to go. but they came in and worked and put out a pretty dang good to be part of joplin's history now. >> your story is going to be magnified by hundreds of people in the same situation. i'm wondering, what ryan, is
your first step on the road to recovery? when are you going to be living the next few weeks? >> caller: i'm lucky. i have family 25 minutes away in kansas. i can shack up with my parents for a while. i'm fortunate. i don't know how to put myself in the shoes of the people that don't have a place to go. i don't know what they're supposed to do now. you know, i'm lucky. i don't have to have to start looking for a place to live here shortly. there's going to be hundreds of people trying to find a place to live here shortly. i just don't know how you go about trying to get everything back in order. >> we will certainly follow the story. thank you for joining us. a sports reporter smack-dab in the middle of a big, big news story. ryan, thanks, and we wish you luck. keen it right here. we're going to find out what's going on in joplin with the news conference that brian mentioned. we'll have that for you live.
we keep hearing from witnesses how fast the storm came. the twister cam flajed by rained a hail. now there's more bad weather expected over the next few days. chad myers in the cnn weather center is next. and president obama crosses the pond to get in touch with his iesh roots and beverage. he had to take off early. we'll tell you why the president is getting rock star treatment in dublin. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible. yoo-hoo. hello. it's water from the drinking fountain at the mall. [ male announcer ] great tasting tap water can now come from any faucet anywhere.
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chad myers getting some analysis on this storm. the velocity is incredible. >> jack hayes is on a phone call for all the media outlets to call in. i was literally on that call until 30 seconds ago. the storm now considered an ef-4 tornado. 190 to 198 miles per hour. but the survey keeps going. that's the lowest amount it could be. with a couple more miles per hour it could be the rare ef-5 tornado. right now they're at 198. above that you're at ef-5. the biggest tornado possible. 500 people injured. still 89 fatalities they do expect that number to rise. this year so far it has been the ninth deadliest rear for tornados ever on record. 453 people dead. the biggest in 1925 believe it or not 794 people died. now you have to understand the population density in 1924, 1925, 1926 was not what it is
now. we did not have people in centers, in big cities like this. people were out on their farm. a farm stead was two mile ace way from each other. to lose almost 800 people 85 years ago that was an amazing year. this year so far 1,000 tornados. officially 1,000 tornados already, but the start that almost started with zero for the first three months. the busiest season 2004. with 1800 tornados that day. do you remember the hurricane season of 2004? because i chose to forget that season as i was in the feel for 12 separate named storms. big, big hurricane season that year. let's hope that one doesn't lead to another, lead to another. it certainly could as the end of la nina out of the pacific ocean, it can cause events like we're seeing today and yesterday and obviously in alabama as well. >> i've seen some comparative analysis being doeb to match that very thing. the hurricane forecast has come
out possible ten hurricanes hitting. >> 12 to 18. 12 to 18 named storms. trkd on be 11. more hurricanes than normal. there's warm water. don't know that they're going to hit anything. last year was a big year for hurricanes. they all curved. they all made big runs at bermuda. they never came to america. >> this storm does it compare with the alabama storms? >> yes. >> are these just more intense than we've seen? >> two storms tuscaloosa and this storm for some people that were not in a basement, depends when the house was built, people that were in a shelter that may not have been tied down very well, if you're inside that and not in the basement, this storm and the tuscaloosa storm they were not survivalable. you could not survive even if you did everything right. you were going to be killed by the sheer trauma of being hit by the wauls of your house as the house literally leaves its foundation. we have seen scar after scar of
where there was a slab. there used to be a house. now there's nothing left by plumbing pipes ancon crete left. where were the people? those were the people that were killed? >> do you get out of your house and dig for a ditch? >> no. you stay in your home and hope for the best. the best thing to do is to get a safe rooms that you can buy for a few thousand dollars, they're made of kevlar. you belt them down to the frame or you dig a hole in your yard and you make that old fashioned storm cellar that we've seen so many times in so many movies people save themselves in storm cellars. for people to survive in 198 miles per hour wind you need to be below ground. >> incredible strength. thanks, chad. getting new information all the time here. check out this video. not the smoothest trip for president obama. that's the limo. it's called the beast because it's loaded with features to keep the president of the united states safe. stuck.
stuck, ladies and gentlemen. not moving stuck. what? also we're waiting on a briefing about rescue and recovery operations after those deadly twist irs in missouri. our team's on the ground there and we're going to bring you to that live. in missouri. our team's on the ground there and we're going to bring you to that live. in missouri. our team's on the ground there and we're going to bring you to that live. in missouri. our team's on the ground there and we're going to bring you to that live. in missouri. our team's on the ground there and we're going to bring you to that live. e in missouri. our team's on the ground there and we're going to bring you to that live. r in missouri. our team's on the ground there and we're going to bring you to that live. s in missouri. our team's on the ground there and we're going to bring you to that live. sink in and it is firm. proprietary tempur material suppresses motion transfer. this means that when you get in or out of bed, you won't disturb your partner.
300 people. that's where the president went. we traced his mother's side ancestry. believed to be the birthplace of his great, great, grandfather. he and the first lady popped into the pub and wet their whistles. that looks good. it's ju one day in ireland for the president. he goes to britain next to attend a g-8 meeting in france and spend one day in poland before returning. his schedule changed a little bit today. ash from the erupting volcano in iceland forcing air force one to depart earlier for london than they had anticipated. and before we move on, a warm moment from the president's irish trip will likely longer longer than his small town visit. watch this.
i mean, i got to tell you, i can see the reaction on their faces right now in our satellite image, that is the white house limousine flying the official flag of the president. he's in the car. the car too long to clear the curb outside the u.s. embassy in dublin. it is stuck. secret service and irish security service shield the scene from view. the stuck limo sat there for 15 minutes. a secret service spokesmen said the first lady and president were not in that car and they found another exit. they blame it on a slight miscalculation. i'm going to check that out. sure looked like he was in the car to me. >> talk about speed bump. -- you know how tightly controlled that is, too. somebody's going to have some explaining to do.
>> that is a big car. >> that was a big bump. listen, you've got some major, unbelievable political news. nobody saw it coming. >> nobody. except everybody. tim pawlenty. former two-term governor, 51 years old. he's sort of what -- i was talking to one republican today who called him the tore tis in the race. the slow and steady candidate who offends nobody in the republican party. he's a fiscal conservative. he's evangelical. he's got a good story to tell. first person in his family to graduate college. worked his way through law school. and an all around guy that people like in the republican party. i think the question about him is whether he's inspirational enough. as you know, this is a very long race. you never know how he's going to be able to build his candidacy. >> let's listen to how he
started. he did take a little swipe at the president. take a listen. >> fluffy promises of hope and change they don't buy our groceries, make our mortgage payments, put gas in our car, or pay for our children's school clothes or other needs. so in my campaign, i'm going to take a different approach. i'm going to tell you the truth. and the truth is washington, d.c.'s broken. our country's -- >> i mean, i've kind of heard that before. i know he say it's a new approach. is this approach that could work or does it -- >> he's calling himself the truth teller in the campaign. and when you talk to republicans they say look, the more stark you can make the contrast with barack obama as a republican, the better off you will be. you can't make this kind of a mushy race. you have to make it a race between clear choices because
you have to give people a reason to fire the current president to have united states wlachl tim pawlenty is doing is he's saying, you know what i'm going to tell you the things that we need to do. it's not easy. we need to make tough choices and barack obama isn't going to tell you the tough things that i am. for example, he came out today and said that some time in the future he wants to raise the social security retirement age. that's something people have talked about a lot. but give him credit for coming out and actually saying it. he also wants to means test cost of living adjustment ms the future and social security. which means that wealthier social security recipients may not get as much of a butch up. it was in yooi yoo and said he wants to phase out the ethanol subsidies. speaking truth in the state of iowa may not get him some extra votes, it may get him respect within the republican party to a certain degree.
>> he goes to iowa. he tells the corn growers no more ethanol subsidies. he's supposed to go to wall street. no more bailouts. >> yes. >> he also said this -- >> i'm going to tell young people the truth that over time and for them only we're going to have to gradually raise the social security retirement age. i'm also going to tell the truth to wealthy seniors. that we're going to have to means test social security's annual cost of living adjustment. >> i can already hear the democrats saying he's going to cut grandma's pay. he's going to kick the farmers off the farm they've owned for 100 years. he's going to ruin the future of your child. >> well, we've seen it on the medicare issue. which by the way the republicans used against the democrat ms the midterm election. if you look at the polling on an issue like social security, not medicare, lots of people believe that there's a little more give in the social security issue
because there's a generational issue here. the younger voters will say some time down the road okay maybe i'll retire at 72 instead of 67. and they can deal with that. and older voters would say, that's not affecting me. if it's okay with my children, then it's fine with me. and same goes for means testing social security benefits. there may be a little more give in social security than in medicare. because medicare's a little tougher because people worry about their parents' medical benefits and they worry about their own medical benefits many the future. they may have retirement plans, some people, but they may not have medical plans for when they age. >> one quick question about mitch daniels. not a whole lot of people know him. a lot of people wanted to get him in the race. he say he's out. do we know why?
>> i think we have to take him at his word that it was personal reasons. it was very well known that his wife was conflicted about him running. in the end he made it very clear that she and their daughters decided that he shouldn't run. he was clearly the establishment candidate. they felt that he could bring the issue of how we need to control the debt outside the party as well as inside the party. but, you know, i've been covering politics long enough, drew, don't underestimate the establishment's ability to pick a new favorite candidate. so they will do that pretty soon. they've got some choices there. mitt romney. tim pawlenty. john hntsman. who knows. >> 'tis early but that field is firming up. >> it's not that early. >> thanks for all that. when is a foot a deadly weapon? that's no joke. it's one to have new angles we're looking at in a case of the baseball fan beaten into a
coma. it happened outside dodgers stadium after opening day and now an arrest. that's all next. plus, a killer tornado tears apart a town leaving behind a six-mile path of destruction. ♪ hello sunshine, sweet as you can be ♪ [ female announcer ] wake up to sweetness with honey nut cheerios cereal. kissed with real honey. and the 100% natural whole grain oats can help lower your cholesterol. you are so sweet to me. bee happy. bee healthy. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] with amazing innovation, driven by relentless competition, wireless puts the world at your command.
>> police have arrested a man suspected in the beating of san francisco giants' fan bryan stow. found out what the suspect was covering up that eventually led to his capture. first, though ark few of today's top stories -- take a look at a plume of ash and dust and whatever else is erupting from a value colcan. this is in iceland. all of iceland's air space closed. nobody can fly near this stuff. it lies in the u.s., european commercial flight path. the ash cloud could reach britain and the rest of europe as soon as tomorrow. president obama left ireland early because of that. they're counting the votes in spain today. election weekend and people backed public spaces in madrid and barcelona. using the occasion to protest high unemployment in spain and the political establishment in general. spain has the highest unemployment rate in western europe. 21%. early results show the ruling
socialist party with a very poor showing. that's expected to be the case in next year's national election. at least ten members of pakistan's military are dead after last night's militant attack on a military base in karachi. the pakistani taliban taking responsibility. police say some of the attackers were killed in the firefight and some of them escaped. we're not going far from the deadly storms in southwest missouri. right now joplin is hunkering down for more storms in. a close knit community like this a town of about 50,000. many of the first journalists on the scene are ie reporters who share videos and pictures with us. one reporter has a chilling story to share. his aunt and uncle among the dead. his aunt's last words posted on facebook. oh my god. they just returned from a family trip to disney world. one last summer vacation before
: a quarter million dollar reward brings all sorts of fraudulent tipsters out of the wood work, but it was a tip that brought the criminal out. the unprovoked beating seven weeks ago of a san francisco giants fan named bryan stow outside dodgers stadium in los angeles. police had to sort through false tips before they bot the real deal. from the pa parole officer assigned to the guy. ramirez was arrested yesterday. he's been held now on a million dollars bond. stow's mother talked to reporters last hour in san francisco. let's listen to her. >> he said, anne, i wanted to give you some information before you hear it on the news. and at that time my heart just dropped.
we have taken into custody one of the suspects. he wanted us to hear it. needless to say, i called my daughters. they got on their cell phones and sent out text to family and friends to let them know. it was a very emotional day yesterday. we were very excited that that piece of the puzzle -- one of the pieces had been put in place. >> joe ruben has been covering this case. how did this big break come about? >> we're still trying to put together all the details of the story. what we do know is that a parole agent, two parole agents that may have been involved in this suspect's case started suspecting that he bore a resemblance to the descriptions being released by the lapd, the sketches and the descriptions of tattoos and facial features. and that some point along the way in the course of that seven-week investigation came forward and communicated those
suspicions to the lapd detectives working on the case. >> that highlights a more disturbing part of your reportsing the fact that this guy had parole agents, means he was quote unquote in the system, attempted robbery in 1988. firing a weapon in a public place in 2005 and free to go to a dodgers game and allegedly kick this guy in the head seven weeks ago. >> we're still trying to put together the string of prior conventions and what this guy's criminal past was. he does have a checkered past. he's a documented gang member. we're still many the early stages of trying to figure out why he was on parole now so that he was visiting with his parole agent. we know that he was not living at the place where he told parole agents he was registered to live. which in and of itself is a violation of parole situations
often. so you know, he's still a lot of blanks to fill in on this guy's past. fair to say he was not the nicest guy in the world. >> he's charged with assault with a deadly weapon. what are police saying or the d.a. saying the weapon was? >> my understanding is and we're still trying to clarify this, since bryan stow allegedly fell to the ground and then was kicked repeatedly by one or both of the assailants they are considering the assailants' feet as the deadly weapons. >> joel rieben reporting on that arrest. joel, thank you so much. >> thanks. you don't believe that there's an insurance scam going on? >> where's the body? >> the sheriff says he thinks he knows how tiffany heartily husband's died. this crime on falcon lake in texas hasn't been solved. now a congressman demanding answers, too. that's coming up. a first person account of
the deadly tornado in missouri. we're going to show you the entire unedited video shot inside a gas station freezer. that's next.. maybe you didn't hear. but dimes, nickels, even pennies have power now. because the volt charges for about a buck fifty a day. making most commutes gas-free for just a handful of change. so we're taking it back. all of it. we have some driving to do. the 2011 chevrolet volt. it's more car than electric.
close as you'd ever want to get to experience something like this. you're not going to see much. what you'll see is taken from cell phone video shot from a back of a joplin convenient store. 20 customers inside. first huddling, then running into a freezer. it starts about two minutes before the tornado actually hits. >> where do you want me to put everybody? on the inside hallway or back towards the beer cooler? >> quit saying that. >> at least probably ten or 12. >> there's probably 18 or 19. [ bleep ]. >> they said there was one on the ground.
>> i'm okay. >> somebody's on my back. >> we're okay. we're okay. we're okay. >> are you guys okay? >> is anyone under me? is anyone under me? >> we don't know. 6:00. we need to call somebody. >> it's passing over. keep still. >> heavenly father. >> what should i call? >> stay calm. stay calm. >> we're good.
>> are you okay? >> we're good. >> are you okay? >> i'm right here. >> i'm okay. i'm okay. >> i'm trying to put less weight on him. >> ma'am, are you okay? >> i'm okay. >> there's glass in here. be careful. >> is that you right below me? that's not someone else? >> no. >> we're not moving anywhere. >> the structure of the building may not be safe to move yet. >> somebody's on my back. is anyone under me. we're okay. it turns out they all were okay. though they had to climb out of holes punched in that cooler in a convenient store. amazing to hear a survival as they climbed out into a town
that was decimated by that tornado. coming up, isaac duncan shared that video from us from inside the convenient store and he tells us that he did come out safe and okay. we'll probably be hearing from him as the days come forward. a young people out for a day on the lake before the day was over, the husband was dead. that was in september. this killing on the u.s.-mexico border still unsolved. why? one member of congress wants to know and i'm talking to him. keep it here.
developing news up on capitol hill regards the question of whether the president can continue sending trips to libya without congressional approval. dana bash reporting on this. what's the latest? >> reporter: the latest drew, is cnn as obtained this congressional resolution bipartisan resolution from senators john kerry and john mccain which if goes forward would be the first time congress would speak out on the libyan mission which has been going on for two months. you remember last week the president basically missed -- he did miss a deadline under the
war powers act which said he had to get congressional authorization for the mission in libya or else troops have to come home. this resolution does not, does not specifically give authorization from congress, but does say that the u.s. congress supports the mission. u.s. commission supports the resolution and the congress supports the limited use of military force by the united states and libya as part of the nato mission. so we're trying to find out exactly when and if the senate democrats in particular will go forward with this resolution. i talked to harry reid and he said that they had not yet decided. but the fact that they are releasing this this afternoon, will expect to do so in five minutes, is an indication that they will move forward. this is the specific resolution that president obama said that he supports late on friday through after it was clear that he was going to miss this legal deadline for him to get congressional authorization. at least he wants congress to
say that they support the mission. so this is the first time that we're seeing this language and the first time that congress will act. >> quickly for our viewers, this shows by partisan support for what the president has been doing. there has been bipartisan opposition for this as well. is this what you are holding in your hand enough to close the issue? >> well, there certainly has been a lot of bipartisan support. there is opposition but probably support will out weigh the opposition. what we're hearing last week is more anger, not so much whether the mission was correct but anger that congress had not acted. as you know, drew, members of the congress on the right and left don't come together very much anymore. but we heard from both parties if they were pretty upset that congress had let the congress go on with this mission for more than two months without acting. they said that congress was shrinking its constitutional
duties. >> dana bash from capitol hill, thank you for the developing news. now to the violence on the mexican-u.s. border. one congressman's resolve to solve the murder of an american jet skier. the mexican navy killed 12 members of the dangerous zeta gang on the falcon lake where david hartley disappeared in december. his wife says that he was shot and killed by mexican pirates who fired on the couple while they were riding jet skis. joining me from washington in a moment is a congressman. first, the story of david and tiffany hartley when a texas sheriff is saying that the couple wandered directly into a drug deal and became targets. here is what the sheriff said in this investigative documentary.
>> reporter: they believe the hartley's not only wandered into a war but at the exact time that a mexican cartel was about to move a large amount of marijuana. up on the bluff, the spotters, his sources told him, saw the first glimpse of a glitch in a drug deal. >> that area is notorious for crossing or storing thousands of pounds of marijuana. we've known that for a long time. that information is what i have relayed to federal officials, local official. we are all aware that that area is used as an area that they hide tons of minute. >> based on your sources and your intelligence, when they began to encroach on what would be a drug deal, they were looked upon as potentially -- >> threats. threats.
and that is why they were given instructions to go ahead and shoot at them. >> reporter: the sheriff tells cnn that eyewitnesss have come forward to him, witnesses he says who claim to know what happened here that day. they describe a military style attack. three boats, several shooters, and hundreds of rounds being fired at two jet skiers. >> the shot that killed david hartley was an unluckily shot. >> you don't believe that the hartleys are drug dealers? >> no. >> you don't believe that tiffany may have executed her husband? >> i don't think so. >> a surveillance photo taken that very afternoon, one hour after the attack. >> you notice in front of the boat, you see bundles of marijuana there. >> it shows a small boat and a group of men, one with a green
shirt, one shirt black. fitting the description given by tiffany hartley and what gonzalez says is a bail of mare ir in the bow. >> sheriff, i mean, i've got to ask you, is that possible, that mexico is going to find, catch, adjudicate the killers in what is a lawless part of mexico? >> i really cannot answer that. but i can tell you, that based on their past record, i think they have somewhat of a zero solvency rate and zero conviction rate. >> congressman ted is joining us from washington. zero conviction rate. what can the u.s. do to try to get some justice for tiffany heartily? >> the federal government,
justice department has told me that they have turned over the lead investigation to sheriff gonzales. so they are not even actively involved in the case. they need to be active in pressuring the mexican government to solve this matter. 111 americans were murdered in mexico last year. to my knowledge, none of these cases have been solved. the mexican government quit investigating the hartley murder when the lone mexican investigator was beheaded. they are basically doing nothing. our federal government is being quiet. tiffany hartley and i are concerned that she gets no information from the federal government on what they are doing to solve this murder. meanwhile, sheriff gonzales has the lone responsibility to figure this out. >> he can try to figure it all he wants but this killing, and if it was a killing -- and the reason i say if it was -- weapon don't have a body yet, it happened outside of the sheriff's jurisdiction. it seems that the u.s. department of justice, given the authority of the zapata county
sheriff is meaningless. >> you are exactly correct. the sheriff can't go into mexico. all he can do is work from the mexican side where tiffany hartley escaped from the cartel. so we need -- the federal government, that's their job to work with the mexican government to solve the hartley murder. right now it seems to be very quiet on what is taking place between the two governments to solve david hartley's murder. >> congressman, can i ask you why? >> i'm not sure of the real reason. there's political reasons i'm aware of. the mexican government has in the past historically been reluctant to allow the american law enforcement side to help them in these cases. they feel like it's an ink fringement on their responsibility but they are not able to solve most of these cases. 35,000 mexican nationals killed
last year. we don't know how many of those cases have been solved. they need our help. they don't want our help. it's important that the justice department along with the state department work with the mexican government to solve this murder. >> texas congressman, ted poe, thank you. >> thank you, drew. i have three on the ground over here. debris on the ground. it's coming up north. >> unreal. the people who chase storms for a living. i'm going to talk to the woman in the car who tracked the storm with her husband who did the talking. that's next. building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people
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i got my first prescription free. call or click to learn more. [ male announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. around dinnertime, the sky turned black and is suddenly a town is left in ruins and there is more severe weather for missouri today. i'm drew griffin in for brooke baldwin. the news starts now. the winds began to howl and hail started to fall. one of the deadliest twister did not let up for six miles. >> it got louder and louder. >> churches, schools, even a hospital demolished. >> we're getting a new video, new pictures that show how this storm unfolded and how fast the
warnings came. plus, the search is on for the missing. >> basically do a door by door grid search of the city. >> looking for people trapped. now dozens confirmed dead. we'll take you inside this search live. zf we are waiting for a news conference to begin in joplin. it could happen at any minute. we're going to join it when it does happen. in the meantime, we're going to talk with a oh woman who shot this video. >> i have debris on the ground over here. right here. debris on the ground. it's coming up north. there it. the tornado is going into the city. hey, guys, the winds are on the north and it's coming back around. toeshd is coming on the ground
right here. get the sirens going. get the sirens going. i'm telling you. go right. go right. we're going right towards it. >> oh, crap. why are you doing that? >> because man, i have a large destructive tornado and it's on the southwest side of joplin. large tree on the ground. oh, my god. going east. going east. right here.
>> back up. >> i am. >> it's tearing up the entire side of the city of joplin. it's a massive destruction. it's a mile-wide tornado. it's leveling the south side of joplin right now. >> that video showed the exact size of this thing. it was incredible, close-up video. we have the video taker on the phone with us. katherine, i've got to ask you, first off, what everybody is asking, why did you guys do this? i know you're storm chasers. and at one point you're telling your husband to back up.
what -- >> we were already on the storm system. we knew it was going to develop and we saw it back building on the stop. we could tell on radar that it was going to take a direct hit. when we approached the storm, we knew exactly the location of it, we could see that it was turning into a wedge, that alerted the officials -- we didn't realize the storm sirens were already sounding in the city at the time. we alerted the city that they needed to sound the sirens. in the video, and i'm telling jeff that, because the storm was at that time, i believe, about half a mile wide, but it was growing in size and went to three quarters of a mile and went even larger than that. i was afraid that he couldn't
see it at that point visually. i had to tell him at that point to back up. >> miss piotrowski, it's chad myers, a long-time friend of your husband's. our first chase was in 1988 when i worked in oklahoma city. jeff always had great back-up then, which meant he knew exactly where every tornado was going to be, he could see it on radar, he knew where the warnings were going to be, he knew the direct the storm was going. this is not something that people without that kind of knowledge and backup should be doing. do you agree? >> oh, absolutely. if you do not have the knowledge, if you do not have the training, if you do not have the experience, it takes many, many, many, many years of experience, studying. i had to do it myself. i've been chasing for 14 years and i -- to tell you quite honestly, i would say that i'm just now up to speed. >> tell me what this tornado looked like to you.
you've seen a number of them. what did it look like? >> oh, it was extremely violent. very violent. i could see debris being pulled into the tornado. i knew just by what i've seen in the past, i could tell that this was definitely a strong f-4 tornado and it was just horrific what i was seeing. the intensity of the storm, the damage that i knew it was doing to the community. we finally aborted the chase when we saw the car hurl into the -- we didn't see it before the fact but after the fact, and two persons emerged and that totally surprised us and we aborted the chase at that point and went into search. >> it was half a mile at one point and then grew to three-quarters and then a mile. you're watching this happen over seconds and maybe minutes. tell me what that was like that you could determine that it was
growing that quickly. >> well, everything evolved. you have to be very hyper aware. you have to know -- and it's -- like we talked before, it's through training, it's through experience, it's through knowledge. you know that it may turn right. you know all of these things and you're always hyper aware of every instance and you're visually looking for clues of what might be happening as that twister, that storm is developing. >> i want to ask chad, tornadoes we have seen pass around, dot here, kill a person here, hit a house here, spare another house, would this have jumped around as much because it was so big? >> not when it's that big. plus, it has a momentum that will stay in the same direction. it's not a slinky. when we have that type of form and it was a multivortex-type tornado, more than one suction spot turning around. a tornado is not really brown,
green, red, or gray. that's the stuff that is in the condensation funnel. that's why a tornado turns colors. it can be rid, white, brown. i want you -- can you describe jeff's voice in that video? because it's the same voice that i hear -- when i heard that, i heard that in my ear ten minutes ago in the t's and i knew instantly that was jeff. jeff still gets excited about this, doesn't sne. >> gets very emotional. he's been doing this for years. he knows what is going to happen. he can see that it is going to happen and he hates what is going to happen and all he can do is try to get the word out to get persons, call 911, get the word out. he gets very emotional when he tries to convey the message.
he was emotional afterwards, especially when he was pulling persons from the debris. that's just him. he's passionate about it. he has to get the word out. >> who was he telling to sound the sirens, when the car stopped and did a u-turn? who was he yelling at when he said the wind is from the north? the tornado is right there? who was he talking to? >> he was talking to some police officers that were parked in the center section of the roadway and they were really -- i don't believe that they knew that tornado was right there. this tornado had a gust front in nature and the tornado was developing at the notch area and i don't think that they knew that the wedge was on the ground. that's what concerned us. they were actually quite surprised. >> kathryn, thank you so much. chad, that leads us into the
question that i had. which is, how did the storm form and what was it about this storm, they were calling it rain wrapped that hit it from sirens, et cetera. >> when you're in the western part of oklahoma, west i-35, from texas up to nebraska, if you're on the west side of that, most of your tornadoes are lp, low precipitation tornadoes, which means they are out there, you can see them, it's raining over here a little bit but there's not a lot of hail or rain and there's the tornado. when you get east of there, there is more humidity there. the dewpoints are high and thick, all the way up to the thousands of feet thick and it rains more and it comes around the backside of the tornado, southwest side into what is called the mesocyclone. so it looks like it's just raining over there. inside that rain, there is a violent tornado inside there but you can't see it.
you don't see things spinning around because it's raining all the way around. there's a ring of rain around the tornado kind of blinding it or hiding it from chasers, hiding it from officials, the policemen. they didn't even know it was there. >> also it created a noise, just perhaps the rain and the hail, that kind of dampened the sirens, people perhaps couldn't hear the sirens. >> you know, you can't trust the sirens. i know they are there and they are great and we've paid so much money putting them in. but you have to take responsibility for yourself. you must have a noaa weather radio. they will go off all the time if you have it programmed right. there is also a new iphone or ipad app. it knows where you are and if there's a tornado it will alert you on the iphone or ipad. you must take responsibility for yourself and not count on the sirens because sometimes they
don't go off, maybe a transmission line is down and the sirens may not have power. once you lose things, it's a domino effect. eventually it's a domino effect where you can't count on everybody else to warn you. a noaa weather radio will save your life. >> all right, chad. thanks. listen to this. >> i am -- it's indescribable. i don't know what to say other than that. i've never seen anything like it. >> reality sinking in. we're going to dip in now to the governor of indiana who is speaking live. this is jay nixon. >> we also had a task force one out of columbia, missouri, we appreciate them coming down here and working. it's been a difficult situation here today. this morning i spoke to the president of the united states and he indicated that they would provide whatever was necessary. i've spoken twice to the
homeland security. we have pledged support and this has been a dramatic and difficult time which is going to continue for quite some time. the weather has not been helpful. i just ask that everyone throughout the region, throughout the country continue to pray for folks as we work out there, like i say, it's been a very, very difficult time and seven rescues today mean there are other people out there that could be surviving and we need to make sure that we're in a very organized way going about the search that these great leaders are doing right now. we pledge our significant support. very quickly, i want to make sure we get the general to say what he can. >> thank you, governor. the governor immediately upon hearing the disaster here called out the guard. we had our l and o's here at
9:00 last night and first search and rescues working with local officials about midnight last night and working through the night. so we have search and rescue, we have military police and we have engineers available, 200 approximately now. even as we came in, we had another contingent arrive from the east so we're going to work very closely with the officials to continue a search and rescue operation, military police activities and support of law enforcement and the highway patrol and then also additional engineering capabilities to clear the streets and help this community get back on its feet. joplin is a vibrant community. we look forward to assisting the local officials in any way that we can. we have an additional 450 troops
on standby right now to come in. as you know, in any of these kinds of situations, you have to be circumspect as to how you bring in your support. we're going to bring in the right amount of help in the right manner. we have colonel who is the task force k3457bder who has been here on scene since last evening. >> our faith-based network has been incredible already. we appreciate the red cross and their assistance on the shelter as time goes on and days go on, we will show that strength of character that missouri is known for. as they come back off of shifts, we will make sure that they are well taken care of and fed. there are going to be things
hard to see and stomach. i ask that everyone keep these workers in their prayers. they've got a difficult job to do but we're going to cover every foot of this town and make sure that the search and rescue for every person that was here and was here has been accounted for. we remain positive and optimistic that there are lives out there to be saved. until this work is completed, we will back up these great leaders who have withstood a tremendous amount of pain already and we will stand with them and complete this stas being. when it's done, we will rebuild this city. i'll turn it back to the city manager. >> thank you, governor. we appreciate the widespread support that we've received from the state and we thank the city of missouri for the help that they have provided to the city of joplin. we have other people that would like to speak to you. next up is congressman billy long. billy? >> joplin is a close-knit
community and i think it goes without saying that there's not going to be a person in this area that is not affected by this tragedy and i want to thank the governor very, very much. we headed out before daylight to get here at the crack of down to survey the situation, pitch in on the help, do anything that we possibly could do. the governor had already declared this a disaster area and had called in the national guard and that's the type of help that we really need. i appreciate that, governor. i started over at the fire department over there this morning, first responders, there are probably 4 to 500 first responders waiting to go out on search and rescue. unfortunately, with the weather, we had a storm coming in with two-inch hail in it, they said, and 60-mile-an-hour winds. but after that people really pitched in and got out and i went out on a search and rescue crew with them for a while and then over to the red cross disaster services at the university. the red cross is doing a
fabulous job and it's just heart wrenching to listen to talk radio and have people calling in looking for loved ones and i want you to know that we are doing everything possible, the governor is, fema is, one of my first call was from the white housely ace son for fema and they said, congressman, we will provide anything and everything that you need. we will have boots on the ground shortly. and i said, i just talked to fema and they got here ten minutes ago. the local and county and state officials have said whatever we need they will provide and whatever we need on a federal level they will do that. i surveyed the damage this afternoon and someone asked them, have you seen anything like this? and he said possibly tuscaloosa but in his career he's never seen anything like this devastation. if you're seeing the pictures on tv, to me they don't do it anywhere near justice. the best way i can describe it is a movie of a nuclear disaster
and it looks like a nuclear bomb has hit. i want to thank the governor and everybody else for their participation and i'll turn it back over to the city manager. >> can you, congressman long. next we have rich. >> thank you. >> first off, my con dell lenses to the victim' families as well as the survivors. the full support of the family to the state of missouri as well as to the city of joplin, we are going to be here for the long haul. the president has declared out of this disaster declaration, which means that the people of the affected counties are eligible for assistance as well as obviously the city.
but one thing we want to make sure is that people contact fema for assistance. they call k call 1-800-621-fema. they can also go on the web to disasterassistance.gov and go on their mobile phone. any one of those three ways people can register for assistance. it's very important to realize that we're here to support as many ways as possible. it's going to take a community that does tremendous work, the red cross but it's really the citizens helps citizens and a neighbor helping neighbor, talking to a lot of the first responders, the heroic work of the firefighters has been very impressive. they have lost their homes and
they have been out there for 40 hours saving lives. the work that they've done is to be commended, that's an understatement. again, thank you. thank you for the work that they've been able to do. we're going to be here for the long haul and it's going to be neighbors helping neighbors. thank you. >> thank you shall rich. that's all we have here in terms of speaking today. i want to introduce a few other people. i'm not going to be able to touch on everyone. mike here in the yellow shirt has been with us all along in our recovery efforts. and fire chief mitch has done a tremendous job in this recovery effort. much like we did this morning, we're going to turn it over to questions and the appropriate question can address that particular question. at this point in time, we'll
open it up to questions. >> right now we don't know about the storm sirens. with the weather, we're not able to test them. as soon as we can get clear weather, we will -- >> okay. that was live coverage of the news conference happening in joplin, missouri. you saw the local congressman talking about what has happened. the breaking news has been the rise in the death toll. 116 people now dead from this terrible record-setting storm that took place in joplin, missouri. the second deadliest storm in u.s. history since the weather service began keeping these records in 1950. we are trying to get our brian todd back live with us, trying because the storm continues to
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that weather created havoc with your live shot situation? >> reporter: it certainly did. that's why i'm joining you on the phone. we had five people trying to hold the tent up while i was under it to get set to go after the news conference and it was getting whipped around to an extent that it was difficult to hold on to it and we simply lost our satellite signal. that was really the main problem. but as you mentioned, the heartbreaking news that we all thought might come has come. 116 dead. we did hear earlier from the governor that i think the number was five families have been rescued. so there is not a lack of positive news here but when you see the scope of the devastation, block after city block of just flattened homes and buildings, you understand that the death toll was not certainly unexpected. >> and in any disaster, whether it be a tornado or hurricane or anything else, they go block by block, as you have alluded to.
brian, do we know how far they have gone through, not in numbers but perhaps in a percentage that it would climb even farther? >> reporter: i think you can probably surmise that they are going to find more people. but frankly we don't know how many blocks they have gone through because the weather has been so horrendous all day today. we were actually just talking amongst ourselves, the thing that rescuers cannot work through this. this was a driving rain storm and you couldn't see but a couple feet in front of you. there is really no way that they can make the progress that they need to make to get an accurate count, to get even to people who may be trapped under the rubble and that window is closing. so this is just a real set back for these guys right now. and an accurate count and percentage of how many neighborhoods have gone through at this point, almost impossible to tell because of this weather.
>> during the news conference, local congressman caught my ear when he said on the drive into town he was shocked to hear people on local talk radio asking other people to see if they have seen their relatives, if anybody has seen my uncle, my brother, my sister. are those personal searches going on, brian? are those people out looking for their relatives to see themselves if their family members survived? >> reporter: they are. it's heartbreaking to see. we've come across other people, just local citizens taking on their own kind of defacto search and rescue missions. you'll hear from the veterans of this business but that's not advisable. if you're not trained on how to do it, you should not be doing it. a couple hours ago we came across a group of local citizens looking through rubble and we asked them, is this your house?
they would say, no, we're just looking to see if anybody is alive in here. it's a community that is completely devastated but still committed to trying to salvage something here and it's really something to watch. >> live in missouri where the weather is still causing trouble. the estimated dead so far is 116. tomorrow the weather may be worse. that's next. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible.
second worst storm in u.s. history since 1950 and you're telling me, chad myers, that the forecast is possibly as bad tomorrow? >> well, yeah. i just heard, drew, on the end of that last segment talk about the t's, saying it could be worst tomorrow. a lot of times i sit home and say, whatever, how could it be worst than 116 dead? there was only one tornado and it killed 116. those tornadoes may not get into the way of towns that are already on the ground. that's what happened yesterday. it's not so much that that was a big-time event. had that rolled 40 miles south of he will dorado or 15 miles south of wichita, knocked down a couple of irrigation center pivots and a farmhouse, we wouldn't be talking about this. hitting one farmhouse because there's nothing else to hit does
not make the news. but because of that one storm, the major storm rolled through a population center of 149,000 people, and now killed 116 and 500 are injured and more are still missing, that's what made yesterday a bad day. tomorrow there will be more tornadoes than today. let me read this. this is from the national weather service. a classic planes tornadic outbreak appears to be evolving for tomorrow, especially for kansas and oklahoma. right where you expect it. right in tornado alley. there's a lot of open space out there where there are wheat fields. let's hope that every tornado misses everything else. here's how it is going to happen. let's walk over here rather quickly. there is right now a medium risk. there are three terms and i hate them. i can't change them. there's slight risk, a moderate risk, and high risk. slight risk means it could still happen. there may be storms from louisville down to west texas.
right now there is a moderate risk, which means there is a higher risk than that and they are talking severe storms forecast. somewhere until here there may be a high risk. last high risk day we had was tuscaloosa. that's what they are talking about. when the warm and cold come together and hit each other, you could always get big weather. there is some big weather across parts of missouri and arkansas right now. but severe weather talks about wind. the only tornado threat right now is western oklahoma. it's all about this warm and cold. when the cool air is aloft and it's nice and cool up here and warm air wants to push the cool air up and you get bubbling and bubbling, there it goes. it's humid, muggy, it's a tornado day. you smell it in oklahoma sometimes. you just know the humidity is in the air. you walk outside and the wind is just howling. you think, this is not going to
be good. the storms go up and up and up and form hail across the upper and middle levels and the hail is spinning around and it gets translated to the ground and eventually all of that upward motion turns into a center where it's called a m oechlt socyclone and then it can be a tornado. here's downtown joplin. it did not go through downtown joplin. it was a couple miles south. path about half a mile wide from 20th to 26th street and then eastward all the way almost towards duquesne. if you have relatives in joplin and you cannot get ahold of them, they are probably fine. the northern part of joplin is literally just fine. it's the southern part is where the damage s. almost cutting the city in half. you almost can't get from one city to the next because the roads are so clogged with debris. drew? >> chad, thanks.
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>> reporter: this is what the massive tornado looked like as it was bearing down on joplin, list missouri. but listen to this. this is what it sounded like from inside a convenience storm where customers were jammed inside of a refrigerator room. >> there were people in the back huddled down and people were deciding what to do and all of a sudden the glass in the front of the building got sucked out and completely blew out and so my dud d buddy had the idea that we should run as fast as we could and get inside of the cooler. >> reporter: the people inside thankful to be alive. >> the only thing left standing was the cooler that we were in. >> reporter: within a matter of moments the toerntd was gone and
in a flash lives changed. >> semis laid over on their side. some on the ramp were laid over. several people up on the banks that were hurt, bleeding. they were walking, i guess. >> reporter: one of the hardest hit places, the hospital. >> every window looks to be blown out. there is debris hanging out of the windows. there are just cars stacked all over the parking lot. >> reporter: the power of the storm sent cars flying, some as 70 miles away. the tornado has half a mile wide and hit residential areas in businesses alike, including home depot and walmart. >> i don't think you can single out any one area, the entire path of the town, basically devastated the central portion of joplin. >> reporter: not even rescuers themselves were spared. also hit, the fire chief's home. >> it's been destroyed. >> reporter: joplin, missouri,
literally cut in two. it may not be over yet. more storms are on the way. randi kaye, cnn, atlanta. we are just getting word of flight cancellations across the globe because of a volcanic ash in iceland. >> watch carefully. oh, my. the limo gets stuck on the curb. what if that was a real emergency? we'll see how it all played out next. what's this option? that's new.
and cracking a ton of jokes and the highlights that you've got to hear. >> hello ireland! my name in barack obama of the moneygall obamas. and i've come home to find the apositive trophy that we lost somewhere along the way. i feel even more at home after that pint that i had. feel even warmer. in return, let me offer the hearty greetings of tens of millions of irish americans who proudly trace their heritage to this small island. they say hello.
some wise irish man or woman once said that broken irish is better than -- so here goes. i am happy to be in ireland. saying, yes we can. yes we can. >> before we move on, the president's trip will likely linger than his small town visit. it's this one. one of the white house limousines flying the official flag of the president. the car too long to clear the curb outside of the u.s. embassy
in dublin. it was stuck. they quickly shielded the scene from view while the occupants switched cars. the limo sat there for 15 minutes and a secret service spoke man said that the president and first lady were not in that car and found another exit. they blame a slight miss calculation for that. back to the breaking news out of missouri where one survivor said it was like a nuclear bomb dropped on the town. the heartbreaking story of how his aunt and uncle died and what she wrote on facebook moments before her death. don't miss this. ♪
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the congressman and several eyewitnesss. drew, they had 24 minutes notice. they had an alert some 24 minutes before this tornado moved into joplin. a city of about 70, 80,000. the metro poll lan area, close to 200,000. what happens when you're given notice that a tornado is moving in, some 24 minutes people got the warning. others gotten minutes, five minutes. what do you do with warnings like that. we're going to go live to joplin and the aftermath of joplin and what happened leading up to it. we're not going to neglect all of the important news, including the political news, what is happening around the world. so there is a lot of news. it's a very busy news day, as you well know. >> wolf, just a couple of minutes from now. coming up next here, i'll speak live with an eyewitness who said that everyone who
as you look at the devastation, the number of people confirmed dead has risen to 116 people killed. making it the second deadliest storm disaster in american history. zack took the pictures that you are seeing right now. he rode out the storm and sadly some people close to him did not make it. zack, talk us through what happened before the storm and when you found out about your aunt and uncle. >> yes. thanks, drew. you know, we're just thinking of everybody, praying for joplin. i was at my parents' house on the north side of town and i
knew there was a storm coming in so i went back to my apartment where there was covering for my car. i was only worried about hail at that point. i went up to my roof, foolishly. i've never been afraid of tornadoes. i wanted to get a picture of the storm. i saw the funnel cloud. it was rain-wrapped, like they said. at that time i knew something really bad was going on. i went to the first floor of my building it was really windy and scary for a good 10, 15 minutes. after the storm passed i immediately -- there was rumors about how half of the town was gone and hospital gone and things you would never possibly imagine in your craziest, wildest nightmares. i drove as far as i could and i only got to my grandparents' house. i went to a good friends' parents house. i spent the next couple of hours trying to save pictures and
clothes and everything that we could. as far as i could see, you know, it used to be you couldn't see more than a block and know you could see a mile. it was like a war zone, something out of a movie. the look, the smell, the smoke, it was just awful. as night fell, it got worse. i made it to my parents' house on the north side of town and we sadly found out that my aunt and uncle lost their lives. they lived near st. johns hospital. they had actually just gotten back into joplin a few hours from the storm after a vacation to orlando. everything is so surreal. >> zack, like you, your aunt and uncle knew that the storm was coming. you knew that your aunt knew that it was coming because of
what she posted on her own facebook. >> she did. everyone on facebook was posting in joplin. my meteorologists were posting. my aunt was posting. they were hiding in a hallway in their home with their dogs when it came. and it's just insane. and i think it says a lot about the communication systems that we have, realtime, it's something very difficult. you read about it and after experiencing it, it's very different. i've been doing my best to post stuff online and e-mail and text people to try to get the word out. everybody feels so hopeless. i figure this is what i can do, to help what is going on in town. >> what did your aunt post online? >>