tv American Morning CNN August 26, 2011 3:00am-6:00am PDT
york city office of emergency management will hold a news conference, they'll tell you about the preparations for hurricane irene. an hour later, the national hurricane center issues a new storm advisory. this report will update all of us on the hurricane's location, its speed and it projected path. and then at 10:00, in washington, d.c., the head of fema, craig fugate, will update us on how the federal government is coordinating with states and local agencies to deal with this monster storm. "american morning" continues right now. get hurricane irene heading for the east coast and slicing through the bahamas, north carolina, expected in washington, new york, new england, more than 50 million people in the potential danger zone. board up and get out. i'm carol costello. hurricane irene expected to deliver its first powerful blow to north carolina, warnings to move out of the way while there is still time on this "american morning."
good morning. it is friday, august 26th. welcome to "american morning." it's all about the hurricane today. >> i wish i could say happy friday, happy friday for those not living along the northeast coast. >> and whom it hasn't reached yet. >> exactly. let's talk about hurricane irene. now said to be a massive and powerful category 2 storm sitting just off the east coast. 50 million people could feel its force by this weekend. new hurricane warnings are now up, they stretch from north carolina to new jersey. states of emergency have been declared as far north as new england. >> irene totally hammered the bahamas yesterday with torrential rain, 115-mile-per-hour winds, north carolina like i is next. in atlantic beach a surf shop boarding up, mandatory evacuations under way along the outer banks and could be the biggest storm to hit new york in decades. people all the way up the coast are being asked to leave or to
get ready. >> i understand sometimes folks think that people overreact in this situation. let me assure you that we are not overreacting. we need to be ready for this and if we give advice we want you to do things like leave the shore in the next 24 hours, i hope the people will comply with that in a voluntary way and not force my hand in having to make it mandatory. >> new jersey governor chris christie. we're all over this morning this morning getting minute by minute updates. rob marciano tracking the huge storm for us. mary snow is live in manhattan. john zarrella and reynolds wolf along the carolina coast. >> we have people all over the place. let's go to rob marciano. tell us where irene is right now. >> it's south of north carolina and heading to the north. basically it's going to run into north carolina. there's virtually no doubt about that right now, about 400 miles south-southwest of cape hatteras. switch to the watch and warnings, the biggest issue this
morning has been that there have been new watches and warnings issued and warnings have now been extended northward and watches have been posted now, for the long island coastline, connecticut coastline, the rhode island coastline and parts of eastern new england coastline. hurricane conditions possible in the next 48 hours. but the hurricane warnings have been lifted northward to sandy hook, new jersey, meaning hurricane conditions likely in the next 36 hours. any preparations should be rushed to completion and in some cases there have been evacuation orders met. let's talk about the satellite picture where this thing is what kind of shape it's in. it has weakened a little bit, down to a category 2, minuscule compared to what we're talking about here. winds of 110 miles per hour. category 3 is 111. let's not talk about categories right now, but we will discuss the fact we've seen a little weakening, dry air coming into this. it will get into cooler waters but that's not until it gets closer to new york city. warm waters to go over before it gets to north carolina.
a possibility of it strengthening back to category 3 status. it's a big storm with a large circulation. here's the forecast track from a number of our computer models. they're fairly clustered once we get through the krngs and delmarva and across long island. the hurricane track echos this theme in bringing this onshore during the day tomorrow as a category 2 or 3 storm across cape hatteras, pamlico sound and skimming the coastline of the delmarva and jersey shore and southern new england. not weakening terribly as it does so and remaining a large storm at that. rainfall is going to be a huge issue as well because places like philadelphia, up and down jersey, the entire tri-state area has seen a tremendous amount of rainfall in the past couple of weeks and you will see more on top of that. ground saturated, more rainfall and winds that will be sustained 70, 80, 90 miles per hour, guys, will topple some trees and probably going to be the largest
issue for the widest amount of real estate not to mention the storm surge which we'll be talking throughout the morning. >> rob marciano, doesn't sound so good, does it? >> >> no. i think you need to remember when talking ability the toppled trees, power outages and flooding at the same time. you can't get rid of floods when you have power outages. thousands of people are leaving beach communities in north carolina, they're bracing for a direct hit from irene. john zarrella is live in morehead city, north carolina. yesterday when we talked to you things were calm looking. how is the looking now? >> yeah. it still looks pretty calm here, ali. you mentioned about people evacuating the beach front communities. this is one of those. you can see over my right shoulder this building along the water in atlantic beach, north carolina is boarded up. when we arrived here yesterday afternoon, we saw several other businesses beginning or finishing up putting up the plywood shutters over their windows.
when we took a tour of the island and overall, there weren't a whole lot of places that had been boarded up. but there has been a mandatory evacuation order issued here. it is eerily quiet on this island which is a huge vacation spot, atlantic beach. moorehead city is just over the bridge from here and it is one big, high bridge to get here into atlantic beach, so it is very, very likely that as this storm moves in, you know, access over that bridge is going to be cut off. that's why today they have said they want everybody off this island who does not need to be on this island. can't really see the wave action out there right now, ali. it's not too much. looks like a normal day here along the emerald isle, emerald coast here in north carolina. right now. little bit of drizzle starting to pick up now and then, but that's about it. but quite clearly, right here where we are in the moorehead
city, atlantic beach area, we're likely to be the first ones along the north carolina coast to feel the effects from the hurricane and we could very well be in that eye wall or at least on the left side of that eye wall as it moves up towards the outer banks, which are just up the road from here. ali? >> john, i know you and your team are very experienced at staying save, so i won't tell you about that. you'll be watching it closely and we'll check with you. >> we talked about what if. we could find out what will happen if a hurricane made a direct hit on new york city. it could happen sunday afternoon. as you can see on this google map, the worst case scenario has the storm surge pushing into places like wall street and world trade center site and that's what the city is getting ready for right now. it's talking about a total mass transit shutdown. mayor bloomberg announced the evacuation of the most vulnerable new yorkers, hospital patients and those in nursing homes and people confined to their homes who live in low-lying areas of the five boroughs.
>> let me remind you that this kind of forecast is very imprecise and we're talking about something that is a long time away in meteorological terms. so what we have to do is assume the worst, prepare for that and hope for the best. >> mary snow is joining us from lower manhattan. so, mayor bloomberg came out strong, he said listen to what i'm saying, new yorkers, you have to be prepared. do you think new yorkers will listen? >> that is doubtful, carol. you know, hurricanes here are so rare and that's one of the reasons why these what if scenarios have been looked at because new york hasn't experienced a direct hit by an earthquake in more than 100 years. so there have been some modules, especially because hurricane experts say it wouldn't take a major hurricane to cause significant flooding. >> reporter: if anyone is
worried about a hurricane hitting new york, it's coastal geology professor nick colatch koch. to understand why he took us to southampton, new york. >> this is actually where the 1938 hurricane broke through and made this bay a branch of the ocean. >> reporter: koch says most new yorkers forget that it was here that a powerful category 3 hurricane made landfall in 1938. it was called the long island express and it caused widespread damage even in new york city, some 70 miles away. >> even if new york city is spared a direct hit. >> it's going to have massive flooding, yeah. >> reporter: for years kofrp has been sounding the alarm about how vulnerable new york city is. he said storm surges could trigger massive flooding in low-lying areas, particularly lower manhattan. consider the simulation done by noaa showing what a category 2 hurricane could do to a tunnel linking brooklyn and manhattan. donald with the army corps of engineers mapped out worst case
scenarios. a category 1 hurricane could flood the subway station at the southern tip of manhattan with 3 1/2 feet of water. a category 2 storm, he says, could put jfk airport under 5 1/2 feet of water. >> if a storm were to occur, could be catastrophic. given the population density in the northeast. >> reporter: high winds are also a big concern. city officials have evacuation plans at the ready. despite all the preparations, koch says it's not the hurricane he's most worried about. >> what's your biggest concern? >> the new yorker. >> why? >> because they don't listen. you can always tell a new yorker, but you can't tell them very much. >> you have to admit, nicolas koch has a point there. with all these hurricane plans you can add stubbornness to one of the factors that city officials will have to take into account. they're trying to evacuate people. >> you know what that means when it starts to really rain here and people finally get scared
they'll try to go into the subway to get out of the city and the subway system may be shut down. >> yeah. i cannot remember in recent memory when there's been talk of an entire shutdown in mass transit, but the mta chairman says if there are winds higher than 39 miles per hour, they may actually shut the entire system down, that it would take about eight hours. some of the subways also are above ground. that's a pretty extraordinary move that the city would take if it comes to that. >> we'll see. i hope so. mary snow, reporting live from lower manhattan. >> we're all going to snug up in manhattan this weekend if we're here for it. we have a lot more on hurricane irene ahead. 6:30 eastern we'll speak with the director of the national hurricane center, bill read, at 6:40, stephen flynn, author of "the edge of disaster rebuilding a nation" center for national
policy and done work on whether or not new york is ready for this kind of disaster. >> coming up on "american morning," two north carolina's outer banks expected to take the first hit from hurricane irene. meteorologist reynolds wolfe shows us all the supplies everyone will need. you will need them to ride out the storm. we'll tell you about it. >> don't wait until saturday to get them. a lot of people are going to stores already and they're sold out. a lot of the stores are trying to restock on the important stuff. do that now. plus, on the other side of the world, rebels knocking down doors looking for libyan leader moammar gadhafi. the latest on their search for the missing dictator. 12 minutes after the hour. vrrooom...vrrroooomm vroom vrrooom vrrroooomm vrrroooomm vrroom vrrrooomm vrrroooooooommmmmm mmmm mm.
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on average per day visiting the outer banks but i have to tell you, if you happen to be here and you had your nose in a book over the last week or so and look outside, take a look to my right, we have cnn photo journalist mark, can show you clear skies. still very picturesque, very serene, pivot to the south, the situation gets a little more foreboding. to the south where the direction where irene will come calling. a massive storm as it comes closer over the seconds, minutes and hours we anticipate conditions to quickly deteriorate. because of that reason we have, of course, this evacuation. we mentioned the people leaving yesterday, a lot of visitors, but we have the local residents, people who call this place home year-round, 35,000 people, they'll start leaving today at 8:00 a.m. again, mandatory evacuation really doesn't mean every person has to leave. they strongly advise you go.
we spoke to one gentleman who's a visitor, he said why take your chances? >> everyone's being evacuated, there's reason to be concerned. i would rather evacuate than wait around to see. >> reporter: if you do decide to stay on the outer banks or any place along the eastern seaboard where you might be dealing with this system, irene, there's a couple things you need to have. to this full screen and show you what you need to have to stay safe. first and foremost and this is important, you need bottled water. you need bottled water, nonperishable food. bottled water, basically a gallon per person drinking water per day. one is one of the first things that goes out, your tap water. you have to have that supply. another thing, first aid kit, medicine, all your ibuprofen, painkillers. it helps to have a flashlight. power outages all but certain and it's no-brainer you need
extra batteries. radio. for many people the only form of communication you will have is going to be radio and with that you got it, you need the batteries. one thing that a lot of people don't really consider in this day of, you know, just swiping cards all over the place you're going to need cash. those atms, as soon as they cut the power atms will be out. a cash only existence. back to you. >> good advice. reynolds wolf, many thanks. we'll get back to you. new york caught in the hurricane's cross hairs. officials warn the city could take a direct hit sparking fears of flooding and major damage. some voluntary evacuations on long island are under way. susan candiotti is right there, see where it is, smith point, new york. she's there now. what's it looking like out there, susan? how are people preparing? >> well, it's a nice morning so far. we're expected to have pretty decent weather today which is the perfect kind of weather you would want to get ready for this hurricane because no doubt about it, it's going to be hitting this area exactly where is the
only thing they don't know. remember, ali, this area was hit by a big storm in 1938 called the long island express, a killer storm that claimed 200 lives from new york all the way up through new england. of course, wind gusts back then were up to -- a category 3 storm with wind gusts up to 125 miles per hour. clearly now, there is far more development out here on long island and, therefore, there is far likely to be much more damage. as you said we're on the south side of long island, more than halfway to the eastern end of things. on a barrier island right now. this area more likely than not, the beach we're on will be under a mandatory evacuation later today. other areas where people are being told to prepare for an evacuation, but they won't get that news until much later. in the meantime people are scooping up all kinds of supplies. take a look. >> water. we had batteries so i didn't have to buy those. they're all out right now, by
the way. and canned goods in case, you know, we lose power and/or the stove. we can't use the fringe and can't use the stove, we need to eat something. >> reporter: of course, out here, and in metropolitan new york area, they're expecting a ton of rain, high storm surge, downed power lines and power outages that could last for days. good weather today, best time to prepare. >> all right. good advice, as we've been saying. do it now, don't wait until tomorrow when you realize guess what, there's a hurricane coming our way. susan, looks good to see you there. you look dry, happy, it won't last. >> last time i'll look like that, that's right. >> i'll be joining you pretty soon anyway. see you. >> our other developing story libya. cnn's team at the tripoli airport is reporting gadhafi loyalists are shelling the administrative buildings there. in the meantime opposition
forces are going door to door, still looking for the missing leader. and take a look at this. this is an rv that's said to have belonged to moammar gadhafi. rebels tell cnn the fugitive dictator had been hiding inside this rv for the past few days. >> wow. i couldn't know what to think about that. >> weird. coming up on this "american morning" another stimulus, all eyes on fed chief ben bernanke looking for hints. a major speech coming up today. we'll tell you what thing ones are and how it could affect you. we're minding your business. 21 minutes after the hour. matio. for broccoli, say one. for toys, say two. toys ! the system can't process your response at this time. what ? please call back between 8 and 5 central standard time. he's in control. goodbye. even kids know it's wrong to give someone the run around. at ally bank you never have to deal with an endless automated system. you can talk to a real person 24/7. it's just the right thing to do.
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24 minutes after the hour. minding bur yis this morning. today's the big day federal reserve chief ben bernanke has a speech, at an annual meeting at jackson hole, wyoming. wall street has been waiting all week for this hoping the fed chief might announce some new measures to help out the struggling economy, maybe even hint at another round of fed stimulus. u.s. markets closed sharply
lower. nervousness about europe's debt problems and an uninspiring jobs report snapped the three day winning streak on wall street the, dow and s&p 500 dropped 1.5%, the nasdaq lost more, dropping about 2% by the end of the trading day. in about two hours a new report on the health of the economy, the second estimate for this past quarter's gross domestic product will be released and measures how fast the economy is growing. economists are forecasting the gdp in the second quarter was weaker than first thoughti growing at a rate of 1%. u.s. stock futures trading flat. nasdaq and s&p 500 futures are trading lower a bit, dow futures unchanged at the moment. investors hoping for good news from the bernanke speech. france, italy and spain extended a ban on financial security financial shares trying to minimize volatility in the markets there. short selling winds investors bet the price of a stock will go down. credit worries in europe continue to drive investment
sentiment down worldwide. rumors about a potential downgrade of europe's largest economy germany helped push u.s. markets lower yesterday as well. stocks to watch, state farm, nationwide, allstate and travelers, some of the most exposed insurers with hurricane irene approaching the coast. shares in travelers dropped yesterday. many of the largest insurance companies have sustained serious losses because of damaging weather this spring, the tornadoes. "american morning" will be back after the break. where do you go to find a super business? you know, the ones who do a super job? superpages.com®. for local maps, reviews and videos & it's the only local search site with the superguarantee®. so next time, let the good guys save the day.
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good morning. it is -- just crossing the half hour. time for top stories. and the top story is hurricane irene. hurricane warnings posted for the north carolina coast. thousands evacuating the shoreline as irene, which is now a category 2 storm, moves closer to the united states. >> category 2, still pretty darn strong. the east coast bracing after irene did this to the bahamas. torrential rain and trees bending in 115 mile per hour winds damaging homes on the islands and knocking some clear off their foundations. >> utility companies from north carolina to new england are bracing for the storm. in new york city, con edson is warning customers extensive power outages are likely. amtrak and a number of u.s. airlines are also canceling routes and flights. american airlines canceled 126 flights yesterday, more expected
to be canceled today. >> call ahead. >> yeah. >> definitely. my next guest has followed the storm closely has more information on irene's path and strength, bill read, the director of the national hurricane center and joins us now live from miami. thanks for being here. it's a busy day for you. >> yeah, we're two hours into it and it will probably be 14 hours and someone else will be taking over. >> how seriously should we take this storm? >> very seriously with the density of the population and the size of the storm, there's going to be impacts all up and down the eastern seaboard. i mean we have hurricane warnings now from sandy hook all the way through north carolina. you can see why. we have a very large storm, tropical storm force winds will be onshore in the southern coast of north carolina later this afternoon, with the center still way to the south of them. that impact will start spreading northward tonight and tomorrow into the mid-atlantic and
tomorrow night and sunday new york and new england. wet ground, very heavy rain, strong winds are going to have power outages and flooding at a minimum and along the coast storm surge concerns. >> bill, i know what rob marciano told me. he said it's a category 2, but there's still -- you should still worry about that. when i hear category from a category 3 or 4, i want to say -- >> i'm not a big fan of indices for that reason. we're five miles an hour less than we were six hours ago. we're 110 miles an hour. if you have five to six hours of winds of 50 to 60 miles an hour, you're going to bring down a lot of trees. yes, it's not the slab leveling winds of 150-mile-an-hour major hurricane going through the caribbean, but you are going to have tidal effects, you going to have the heavy rain, the wind damage. >> and the other thing that i have heard, you know, about this storm possibly hitting new york
city, is that new york city is due for one, it's been 80 or 90 years i've heard a number of years being thrown around, is that really true? are places due for such storms? >> i don't really use that word. relatively rare events everywhere, even down here in the tropic, barbados, for example, has not had a direct hit from a hurricane center since the 1950s. deep in the tropics. that's not a very good way to look at it. they're infrequent and when they do occur in areas that are densely covered with human activity, you have major impact from them. >> bill read, thank you so much for joining us from the national hurricane center. a busy guy for the next couple of days at least, thank you so much. >> you see over bill's shoulder that track, rob has been tracking it for us here. rob marciano, what do you think? >> he brings up a really good point. you think about places like florida and north carolina, north carolina hasn't seen a
major hurricane hit since 1999, it's been over a decade there as well. north carolina sticks out in the ocean, just kind of thumbing its nose at mother nature. the other thing you brought out, how big the population that's going to be affected here. over 50 million people i think is going to be affected by this storm and that's going to begin to start this afternoon as you mentioned, tropical storm force winds are expected across the north carolina coastline by later on today. movement is northerly at about 13 miles per hour. we've seen a spij of weakening, a little bit of dry air and wind shear, heading over warm water, could strengthen back to category 3 strength. if the winds are over 90 or 100 miles per hour we will have significant surge with the new moon and high tides that will occur over the next 24 to 48 hours. because it is going to be so close to the shoreline. rainfall will be huge as well. we will see anywhere from 5 to 10 inches of rainfall and we've had in some spots a record-setting last couple of weeks. philadelphia through jersey. ground saturated, trees haven't seen these winds, we are going
to see significant tree damage and trees down. power outages in the highly densely populated area, it's going to be huge. as far as what you can expect for a category 1 or 2 storm, you can see outages in the hundreds of thousands, maybe more than that and out for a long time. three to six days potentially. 10 to 15 days in some spots. you have to prepare for that and have supplies and batteries on hand to be without power for that amount of time. let's talk about the track again. it's shifted a little to the east but we're still looking at a double landfall here and looking at a landfall that's going to come as a major storm across the carolina coastline, pamlico sound see surges on both sides of that, scoots up towards the chesapeake through the delaware, surges through that as well. what about the surge in new york city? so low to the ground, talking about it, it's going to be so specific to where you are exactly. especially if this thing passes off to the east. that means places like laguardia and jfk will get an easterly surge.
a lot of water will pile up on the west side of long island down the harlem and east river and down towards new york harbor. that's going to be the tricky forecast. providence, boston, new england, you're going to see it as well as a strong storm and will be accelerating as it gets further north. >> you mean literally the speed of the storm, the movement. >> the movement. the further north it gets it gets into the jet stream and really starts to pick up steam. >> two things when you hear about speed, the speed of the winds which is what we always think about, the categories, how fast it moves which affects whether it weakens or strengthens. >> and makes the right side of the the storm that much more powerful. it gets over a little bit more of a hurry. you can look at it two ways there. >> yeah. i would like to look at things in the brightest way possible. that's the brightest way possible. i'm freaked out i'm going to lose cell phone service. that happened after the earthquake, why not after a hurricane. >> might be the least of your worries, carol. come on now. >> i know. >> either way it's going to be a
historic event. hopefully it won't be -- hopefully more of an inconvenience than anything else. at this point it looks pretty nasty. >> thank you, rob. in washington, d.c., the dedication of a martin luther king jr. memorial is now postponed, you knew is would be postponed, because of hurricane irene. the statute of the late civil rights leader was supposed to be revealed on sunday. even president obama planned to be there. he was going to come back from martha's vineyard. event organizers are not taking chances with the impending storm. they pushed back the ceremony until a day -- until a later date, some time in september or october when we know we'll pass it along. hurricane watches and warnings are in effect from north carolina all the way to new england. millions of people potentially in the storm's path which is expected to bring as we've been telling you widespread damage, power outages, flooding, one of the more serious things that's going to happen. cities and states along a 700-mile stretch of the atlantic
seaboard are making preparations. what's happening in the south. first of all, both north and south carolina have declared states of emergency, mandatory evacuations are in place in low-lying areas, including hyde county, north carolina, the outer banks and parts of norfolk, virginia. in the mid-atlantic section, show you what's going on over there, i'll get rid of that, in the mid-atlantic section which rob was making mention of, states of emergency have been declared in maryland and in delaware. now mandatory evacuations in some low-lying areas, including ocean city, maryland, are taking place. remember mandatory doesn't mean they can force you to leave, but they highly advise you leave. the mayors of washington, d.c., and baltimore announced that sandbags are available for residents in those cities. let's take a look at what's going on in the northeast right now. again, big worries about this, particularly in transportation areas. officials have declared states of emergencies in new york, in new jersey, and in connecticut. this one is going to be good.
drive around the highway for free, tolls suspended on parts of the garden state parkway. the point is to help with mandatory evacuations in atlantic city and those surrounding barrier islands. they want people to move out of the areas. new york city is considering mandatory evacuations of coney island, battery park, and parts of statin island. here's the danger. you use tunnels to get into new york, those could get flooded subways and trains could be should down. emergency agencies in rhode island, massachusetts, new hampshire and maine are urging citizens to be prepared including putting together the emergency kits that will last for up to three days, food, nonperishable food, clean water, and batteries and flashlights, like that. >> lots of batteries. thanks ali. at least 30 people are trapped after a gren nade attack in a casino. it happened over the u.s. border in monterrey, mexico. 53 people were killed in the bombing. the emergency crews have stopped rescue efforts for now because they're afraid the building
might collapse. witnesses say they saw two men drive past the casino and one of them hurled three grenades into the building. a los angeles county judge has denied a request to sequester the jury in the michael jackson trial. attorneys for dr. conrad murray made the request saying media coverage could hurt their client. the judge disagreed. dr. murray faces charges of manslaughter in the pop star's 2009 death. former baseball great lenny dykstra charged with two counts of indecent exposure toward women he met on craigslist. police say he placed ads for housekeeping or personal assistant services and when those women arrived at his home, they allege dykstra exposed himself. dykstra will appear in court in september. second time this morning all i can say is, weird. coming up next on "american morning," how is this city, new york city, preparing for hurricane irene. how devastating could it be if irene makes a direct hit on new
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50 million people are in an area that could get hit by this hurricane. new york city, which has a lot of those people, is prepping for a direct hit by hurricane irene. don't know whether it will happen or not, but they are preparing for it. mayor michael bloomberg deciding whether or not to evacuate low-lying areas of the city. here's what has him concerned. the orange area, take a look, there you go, the orange area that could flood from any hurricane that comes near the city. the yellow area, a category 2 hurricane could affect that, a good chunk of lower manhattan and the boroughs that could be flooded by irene. is the city ready? stephen flynn, an emergency preparedness expert author of "the edge of disaster, rebuilding a resilient nation." thank you for being with us. let me ask you this, when talking about flooding in parts of manhattan are we talking about a few inches of water, are we talking about needing r
row boats to get around? >> a little bit of all of the above. the basic is that manhattan is an aland. as that storm comes in as it pushes water up the river and east river it's going to inundate portions of manhattan. a lot of manhattan was filled, they made more of an island over the years and it's really exposed. the basic issue is first, new york city has a world-class emergency planners, i mean they're the best in the game. the city is out of practice when it comes to hurricanes. as we learned on tuesday with the earthquake, if you're out of practice your skills tend to get a little rusty. everybody ran out of buildings on tuesday after the earthquake. that's exact opposite of what they're supposed to do. time is always your ally before a disaster. always your enemy after a disaster. using the time now to get prepared is key. the mayor is clearly on top of that. this is an all hands evolution. when you have that many people
packed in a little space, as dependent as they are on the transportation, everybody has to get informed and better prepared. >> that's the big issue here. even if it does end up being a couple inches of water at your feet we have a whole bunch of tunnels underneath new york where subways run, the tunnels that get us to new jersey or long island. those could be flooded. >> absolutely. the basic issue. water in the streets going to go down and low gravity there and going to fill up the subway stations and new york works because of the transportation networks it has. another real issue i'm concerned about is long island. long island, if it were a state unto itself would be the 13th biggest state. it has 7.5 million people and really crammed together, about 5400 per square mile. an island. only way to get off and on to it is through the two boroughs and queens and the bronx and what we know is we're going to have a lot of outages. this isn't a mammoth storm likely to be a mammoth storm in terms of lots of death and destruction, but what it is
going to do is be disruptive and people have to be in position to camp out in their house. >> the stuff we're talking about, the getting the water, getting a generator if you need one, a house on long island or in new jersey. let me ask you about the buildings. people worry about the buildings in new york. we're talking about a category 2 or category 3 hurricane, are we worried windows are going to blow out and debris will fall on people as they're walking in new york? >> you have to get up into the high 2, 3 range before the older buildings might be facing that. general basic rule if you live in a high rise, get inside away from a window. and the taping issue less -- don't get involved with that. obviously in a big building. you would want at the height of the storm to be secure is go to a place where you can't see a window. if you take care of that, likely you're going to ride out, particularly for this storm we're not going to see that damage, but the other basics in high rices if you have a patio or terrace get the furniture inside.
that would be dangerous for people below and it could be used as a missile and essentially serve as a missile and hit your windows and so forth. >> as john zarrella says, people think about candles, but if you get your windows blown out and candle blown over, you could be dealing with another problem. stephen flynn. >> one other thing, medicines. very important. anybody with a chronic illness get plenty of medicine, may be hard to get to the hospital. >> thank you for that. stephen flynn author of "edge of disaster, rebuilding a critical nation". >> i wrote it all down. >> still to come on "american morning," one thing to steal a snake. another one to steal it by stuffing it down your pants. we'll tell you how that turned out. and prince harry is coming to california. it's not a vacation. we'll have details on that. it's 48 minutes past the hour.
49 minutes past the hour. here's what you need to know to start your day. hurricane irene taking aim for the north carolina coast and maybe new york city and new england after that. warnings now posted from north carolina all the way to new jersey. forecasters say it is an extreme threat to almost everyone along the east coast. more than 50 million people potentially in its path. irene evacuations spreading to the north. thousands have been told to leave north carolina's outer banks and parts of maryland and new jersey. new york city ordering hospital and nursing homes in low-lying
areas to evacuate. an explosion has rocked the united nations building in nigeria. this happened in the city of abuja. police tell cnn they have a bomb squad deployed to the scene. the cause of that explosion not known. also new shelling reported at the tripoli airport by gadhafi loyalists. this is the united nations is calling on libyan rebels to avoid revenge killings. reports have emerged of executions in the battle for tripoli. the u.n. security council has approved a u.s. request to unfreeze $1.5 billion in libyan assets. that money will be used for humanitarian needs. japan's prime minister announcing his resignation this morning. his departure not a big surprise. he faced a lot of pressure to step down after the march earthquake and tsunami. a wildfire spreading in california near yosemite national park. so far it has burned 1,000 acres of forest. officials say an exploding
propane tank sparked the flames. some evacuations are already under way. an arizona man under arrest for stealing five al bine na bowa constricters from a pet store by stuffing them down his pants, really, five of them? all caught on surveillance tape. the rare snakes cost about $800 apiece. they're tiny ones, i get it now. prince harry coming to the united states this fall. the prince will be training with the u.s. air force helicopter pilots in arizona and california. prince harry is a pilot with the british military. and that's the news you need to start your day. "american morning" back after this. .
the u.s. navy sending three submarines and an aircraft carrier out to sea to ride out hurricane irene along with 27 ships docked at base in norfolk, virginia. the navy says the ships weather storms much better at sea. if it gets rough they don't want them banging against docks. >> go farther out into the ocean to escape it. >> take a look at hurricane irene from 220 miles above earth. the international space station captured the stunning image. you can get a size, the idea of the sheer size and powerp. rob makes a point, worry about the category 2, category 3 thing. this is big, going to hit a lot of people. >> bigger than the state of texas, 1,000 miles across. >> that's a big deal. >> a big storm. it sure looks scary, big scary storm from up there. craig ferguson found something to joke about.
here are your late night funnies. >> no, no, they're baton down the hatchs in new york. the experts are saying this could be the biggest disaster in new york since spiderman the musical. thoughts are with everyone on the east coast preparing for the arrival of hurricane irene and washington, d.c., thousands have been left with no power. they're called democrats. p. >> i should laugh at my own jokes like that because they're funnier that way. >> but you burst out laughing. we're going to have -- >> oh, no. >> caught up on the whole thing. latest on irene, the track, live in the next hour, making a line for north carolina. new warnings posted this morning. >> yeah. new york also bracing for the impact as are many other cities along the east coast of the united states. we'll be right back. ♪
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emergency already declared in seven states, people from the carolinas up to new england being warned not to take any chances and to get out of irene's way on this "american morning." good morning to you. it is friday, august 26th. welcome to "american morning." if current predictions hold we could see damage along the east coast and here in new york city that we haven't seen in decades. >> some places longer than that. here's a look at irene right now. it is a strong category 2 hurricane. it's about 400 miles south of cape hatteras, north carolina, closing in. the storm is expected to intensify once again to a category 3 before making landfall. >> up and down the coast people are preparing for a direct hit. north carolina's governor warnings the time to prepare is now. >> we are asking people all over eastern north carolina, our coastal regions, to take this
storm very seriously and to begin to implement their plans. >> the new york metropolitan area has not seen this kind of storm in decades. so far, only voluntary evacuations are in place. mandatory orders from the jersey shore to long island could come later this morning. new york city could be facing a worst case scenario. major flooding in lower manhattan, kennedy airport under water and mass transit paralyzed. >> what we have to do is assume the worst, prepare for that, and hope for the best. >> if it continues on the current track from a flooding perspective h ththis could be a 100-year event. people should not take this lightly. >> not in maryland or virginia either. major airlines have begun canceling flights. some good news, many airlines are dropping fees for passengers who change flights to help travelers get to where they need to be before the hurricane hits.
as for the rails, beginning today, amtrak is canceling all service south of washington, d.c. through at least sunday. >> we've got a team of correspondents covering every angle of this storm, reynolds wolf and john zarrella in north carolina where we will first see this makelandfall. mary snow in battery snow, an area that will be in danger if it comes close to a direct hit, susan candiotti on long island. let's go to rob marciano, meteorologist with us in new york city this morning. give us the latest model showing where irene is headed. >> the models are trending further to the east, a smidgen, but we're looking at a double landfall. this is a satellite picture, winds of 110 miles per hour, seems to be locked up at the moment. we have seen weakening in the past 12 hours, running into dry air, southwesterly sheer. whether it's a category 2 or 3 storm doesn't matter. the size of this thing is certainly what's most impressive. here's the forecast model guide and some of our computers we've showed this to you from time to
time. each of one of these lines represent a different computer and they're still clustered to scoot up the eastern seaboard across the delmarva and long island during the day on sunday. as far as the national hurricane center forecast track, kind of mimics that, takes a blend of that. with some expertise of forecasted in there and it does show the cone involving new york city, also involving points off towards the east as well. but again, the size of this thing is what's most impressive. tropical storm force winds extend outwards, 500 miles as far as the diameter is concerned. we're going to see a threat that will encompass a wide range of real estate from the south carolina coastline across parts of north carolina. that's where the direct hit is going to be. that's where we're going to see the most significant surge anywhere from 6 to 12 feet. we've got a new moon coming, so that makes the tide astronomically high. you get that plus the wave action and surge from the storm itself, that makes it more impressive. hurricane warnings have been
extended north now to sandy hook, new jersey, meaning hurricane conditions are likely in the next 36 hours, hurricane watches have been posted now all wait up across the new england coastline. and that's likely we'll see hurricane conditions there also in the next 48 hours. rainfall is going to be the other big thing here and that probably will be the worst part of this storm. because we have seen so much rainfall in the past couple weeks, the ground is saturated. trees that are loaded up with foliage, haven't seen a big windstorm in a long time, that combination will cause a lot of trees to come down, regardless of whether this thing makes a secondary direct hit close to new york city. that's going to be a huge issue that will affect tens of millions of people. trees coming down, dangerous trees coming down, that will knock power out as well and a storm surge talking about places like long island sound and coastal long island and across new york harbor will be more dependent on the exact track of this thing and location. obviously elevation will play a big role as well.
we'll toss it back to you. >> you'll keep an eye on it. thousands of people are leaving beach communities in north carolina bracing for that direct hit from irene. john zarrella is live in morehead city, possibly the place where the storm could make its first landfall. are people prepared there, john? >> you're absolutely right. we could see the first landfall here, certainly very likely, the left side of the eye wall as it moves up along the coast towards the outer banks. they've ordered mandatory evacuations here, over atlantic beach, over one bridge to get to new york city. take a look at some of the preparations they've made here. they've put these 2 by 4s up here to keep the water, these are the cut throughs for people to get through the beach. they want to keep the water from actually coming from the ocean, which you can see out there. interestingly enough, where we are, what you're looking at, see the white caps starting to roll
in, this is a south-facing beach. if you can follow me over here, this is actually east. so irene is going to be coming this way up the coast and a lot of times when you have these kind of storms here, a lot of the storm surge is a reverse storm surge that comes from the other side of the island. look what they've done here, take some precautions. they've got the windows boarded up and they've got sand bags down here. they're telling me that this is double pained glass, so they're not too concerned about the glass right there on the doorway entrances. the real concern, of course, here is going to be the water. you can see, we're almost below sea level here at that atlantic beach, and it's not going to take much of a surge, if we should get some water coming up this way, to actually inundate this area and really damage this beach a lot. but again, mandatory evacuations on this island. people have been told to leave. yesterday as we were coming in
we saw streams of cars pulling boats, filled with suit cases and just people leaving this area of north carolina heading inland. it's very likely, carol, we could be the first along the carolina coast to really feel the effects from this hurricane and quite possibly be hit by at least a portion of the central core of the storm, the eye wall. again, that's eastward, so that's the way the storm is going to be tracking. south facing beach here, just the way the coastline runs. so everyone here, taking final precautions. we didn't see a whole lot of places boarded up yesterday here, but perhaps today, more folks will be out trying to get their businesses secured and their homes secured along atlantic beach, before they actually leave. it's pretty quiet here. doesn't look like there are too many people who have stayed behind. carol? >> that is the best news. morehead city, keep an eye on it, many thanks to you. we've talked about what if.
now we can find out what will happen if a hurricane makes a direct hit on new york city. kite happen. sunday afternoon. >> the city already is talking about a total mass transit shutdown. evacuating hospitals and nursing homes in some low-lying areas. mary snow for us live in battery park, which is in lower manhattan, an area that is one of those low-lying areas that could be affected. what have you found when you looked into the plans that city has, mary? >> well, you know, ali, when talking about those what-if scenarios they're done because it is so rare new york would be hit by a hurricane. because areas like this one are so vulnerable, experts say it wouldn't take a major hurricane to cause significant damage. >> reporter: if anyone is worried about a hurricane hitting new york, it's coastal geology professor nicolas koch. to understand why he took us to southampton, new york. >> this is actually where the 1938 hurricane broke through and
made this bay a branch of the ocean. >> reporter: koch says most new yorkers forget that it was here that a powerful category 3 hurricane made landfall in 1938. it was called the long island express and it caused widespread damage even in new york city, some 70 miles away. >> even if new york city is spared a direct hit. >> that's right. it's going to have massive flooding, yeah. >> reporter: for years koch has been sounding the alarm about how vulnerable new york city is. because of its topography. he said storm surges could trigger massive flooding in low-lying areas, particularly lower manhattan. consider the simulation done by noaa showing what a category 2 hurricane could do to a tunnel linking brooklyn and manhattan. donald with the army corps of engineers mapped out worst case scenarios. a category 1 hurricane could flood the subway station at the southern tip of manhattan with 3 1/2 feet of water. a category 2 storm, he says, could put jfk airport under 5 1/2 feet of water.
>> if a storm were to occur, could be catastrophic. given the population density in the northeast. >> reporter: high winds are also a big concern. city officials have evacuation plans at the ready. despite all the preparations, koch says it's not the hurricane he's most worried about. >> what's your biggest concern? >> the new yorker. >> why? >> because they don't listen. you can always tell a new yorker, but you can't tell them very much. >> reporter: so in addition to everything else, add stubbornness to the list of things that city officials have to take into account when making these preparations and, ali, the mayor has said he is expected to make a decision by tomorrow morning on whether to order mandatory evacuations in low-lying areas. but already, there have been ordered evacuations for some hospitals and nursing homes in those areas. >> i saw a bit of a smirk on your face after koch's comments because you're a -- your
generations of new yorker and know that's the case. new yorkers say, i'll go when i'm good and ready to go and i can handle it. people should prepare. thank you for that. mary snow. hurricane watches and warnings in effect from north carolina all the way through new england. millions of people, potentially, in the storm's path. now it's expected to bring widespread damage, power outages and floodings. cities and states along 700 miles of the atlantic seaboard are making some preparations. let me bring it to you by region. show you what's going on in the south first of all. if i can get that to do the right thing. all right. starting in the carolinas, both south and north carolina, and virginia, have declared states of emergency. mandatory evacuations are in place in low-lying areas, including hyde county, north carolina, the outer banks and in parts of norfolk, virginia, where we've told you they are taking a lot of naval vessels out to sea because they think they'll be able to handle the storm better at sea than in port. in the mid-atlantic, states of emergency have been declared in
maryland and delaware, also mandatory evacuations in low-lying areas including ocean city, maryland. the mayors of washington, d.c., and baltimore announced that sand bags are available for residents in those citys. let me give you a sense of what's happening in the northeast, new york and beyond, you've got governors of new york and new jersey and connecticut all declaring states of emergency. tolls are going to suspended on portions of the garden state parkway in new jersey. that's going to help with mandatory evacuations from atlantic city and the surrounding barrier islands. they want traffic to move as smoothly out of there as possible. new york city is also considering mandatory evacuations of coney island, battery park and parts of staten island. mary was talking about that. and there could be mass transit shutdowns. subways and trains could be shut down, emergency management agencies in rhode island and massachusetts and new hampshire and maine, all of them urging citizens to be prepared including putting together
emergency kits that will last for up to three days, kits with fresh water with nonperishable goods, batteries and flashlights and things like that. i hope you have yours ready or are getting it ready. >> hey, i'm going to hit the store right after the show. i'll be ready. thanks, ali. in washington, d.c., the martin luther king jr. memorial dedication this weekend has been postponed. event organizers were in the process of setting up a stage and chairs when forecasts indicated irene was getting stronger. the ceremony will happen some time now in september or october. we'll keep you posted. still to come this morning, a wildfire burning out of control in california. the flames dangerously close to yosemite national park. we'll have details for you. new reports of fighting in tripoli as moammar gadhafi sounds defiant in what's believed to be another new audiotape. we'll get the latest on the situation in libya, next. it's 12 minutes past the hour. really? 25 grams of protein. what do we have? all four of us, together? 24.
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>> the explosion wiped out an entire wing of a three-story united nations building sending it crashing to the ground. christian purefoy is live on the phone from nigeria. what happened? >> we've seen security sources on the ground still trying to figure out what's going on and their priority is to help the injured, the explosion happened maybe just over an hour or so ago. we can confirm now this is a bomb attack, the u.n. has confirmed there was a bomb, saying it is an explosion. we're seeing coming out on twitter and social networks quite a powerful explosion. the hospital in abuja have said there are many casualties, lots seriously injured, ambulances keep bringing patients in. they still don't have a figure for how many people are injured, may have been killed. they are still trying to deal with the crisis. it does seem to be serious, carol.
>> christian, we'll stay on top of it with you, get back to us with any new developments you've got. staying on top of it trying to find out what's going on in christian purefoy in nigeria, a bomb blast destroyed part of a u.n. building there. also this morning, cnn's team at the tripoli airport is reporting gadhafi loyalists are shelling the administrative buildings there. the manhunt intensifying for moammar gadhafi. rebels are now going door to door looking for the dictator and while he remains a fugitive, he did surface in an audiotape, at least we think it was him, and again, he was urging loyalists to keep on fighting. joining me now to talk about the situation in libya, is ambassador nicolas burns, former undersecretary of state and professor at the harvard kennedy school of government. welcome, mr. ambassador. >> thank you. >> we talked to you on monday and you said you thought gadhafi's hours were numbered. it's now friday. are you surprised he hasn't surfaced? >> well, i think, you know, the rebels have won a nearly
complete victory, but not totally complete. they've got to find gadhafi and establish total control over tripoli. gadhafi seems to be wanting to fight to the last man. he wants to rally his supporters. he doesn't have many left. his security forces melted away a couple days ago. the rebels have taken over nearly all of the country except for a few towns. they have to re-establish control, establish control, i should say, over the entire country. they've got to find gadhafi before this can be over. >> yeah. i was going to say, there's been some suggestion that yesterday was the bloodiest day so far. reporters were seeing signs of massacres by both sides. could this play out over the weeks and where do you see this going? >> you know, it wouldn't surprise me if gadhafi survived and was on the run for a few more days or even a few more weeks. it's a large country. the rebels, you know, have worked very hard to consolidate control, but they don't have complete control over the entire country.
gadhafi, obviously, has still some supporters with him. he is either likely in tripoli or a remote military base some place. he's effectively lost this war. the momentum with the rebels. an international meeting in istanbul yesterday where countries got together to pledge support for the rebels. the arab league is going to officially admit this new government, the transitional government, as the legal government of libya in a meeting tomorrow. i don't think gadhafi can hold out any hope that he's going to regain power in libya. >> something else confusing, the pentagon had to come out yesterday and say the united states and nato were not involved in the hunt for gadhafi. they did that because britain's defense chief said nato was helping to find gadhafi. so, which is which? >> five, six months ago when the united nations gave a mandate to nato to take action was to protect civilians, it wasn't to be an active agent in support of
the rebel alliances. nato became an active supporter of the rebel alliance n effect the combat air wing of the rebel alliance and so there's some gray area here that nato is trying to skirt. >> i kind of have to talk about this just because it's so strange about some of the things found in gadhafi's compound. we saw the golden gun and crazy outfits. but there was this photo album, and the photo album was full of pictures of secretary of state condoleezza rice. what do you make of this? >> it's hard to know what to make of it. you know, gadhafi, as everybody knows, was an eccentric and bizarre person. and i don't -- i don't know anything about this story, except to say i'm sure secretary rice is not thrilled by this. >> no. i understand she did meet him once, i think in 2008, and he was said to be obsessed with her, which is rather unusual,
coming from the leader of any country. >> it might be tempting to focus on something like this, "the new york times" had a piece on it, but moammar gadhafi was a brutal dictator, he ruled with iron clad authority for 41 years. it is a very positive development, i think, for the united states and for the rest of the world that he is disappearing from the scene, no longer rules the country. let's hope this rebel alliance can transform itself from an army into an effective government because that's what really has to happen here. that's the serious issue that people have to focus on. i think the united nations does and our government does as well. >> i'm sure most people believe that. ambassador burns, thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. >> thank you. appreciate it. . still to come this morning, insurance companies taking a beating and hurricane irene hadn't made landfall in the united states yet. we'll tell you why coming up. the day wall street has been waiting for all week.
carol's excited. what will the federal reserve chief ben bernanke say in his big speech in jackson hole, wyoming, and how is it going to matter to you? we'll talk about it on the other side. "american morning" back after the break. then they gave us an iihs top safety pick and you... well, you gave us your approval. so we thought, why not give a little back. the chevy model year wrap up. get in on our greatest model year yet. and now, very-well qualified lessees can get a low mileage lease on a chevy cruze ls for around $169 a month. our greatest model year yet is wrapping up. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils
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25 minutes after the hour. minding your business this morning, today is the big day, federal reserve chief ben bernanke is going to speak at the annual meeting in jackson hole, wyoming. wall street's been waiting all week for this event hoping that the fed chief might announce some measures to help out the struggling economy. maybe even hint at another round of fed stimulus. lot of volatility this morning in premarket trading. right now u.s. stock futures on the dow, nasdaq and s&p 500 trading flat ahead of the opening bell. investors hoping for good news
from the bernanke speech. >> about an hour a revision of the second quarter gross domestic product will be released, measures how fast the economy grew in the second quarter. economists forecasting that gdp was weaker than first thought, growing at a rate of just 1%. wall street will be pouring through the data to get a fresh read on the health of the u.s. economy. and u.s. markets closed sharply lower yesterday. nervousness about europe's debt problems and uninspiring jobs report snapped the three day winning streak on wall street. the dow and s&p 500 dropped about 1.5%. the nasdaq lost more, down about 2% by the end of the trading. france, italy and spain extending a ban on short selling of shares, trying to minimize volatility in markets there. short selling when investors bet the price of a stock will fall credit worries continue to drive investment sentiment down worldwide. rumors about a downgrade of germany pushed markets lower as well. stocks to watch, state farm,
nationwide, allstate and travelers, some of the most exposed insurers with hurricane irene approaching the coast. many of the country's largest insurance companies have sustained serious losses this year because of damaging weather this spring. don't forget for the latest news about your money check out the new cnnmoney.com. "american morning" back right after the break. look at all this stuff for coffee. oh there's tons. french presses, espresso tampers, filters. it can get really complicated. not nearly as complicated as shipping it, though. i mean shipping is a hassle. not with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that is easy. best news i've heard all day! i'm soooo amped! i mean not amped. excited. well, sort of amped. really kind of in between. have you ever thought about decaf? do you think that would help? yeah. priority mail flat rate shipping starts at just $4.95, only from the postal service.
crossing the half hour. check this morning's top stories. top story itself is the hurricane warnings posted from north carolina, the coast, all the way to the jersey shore. tens of thousands evacuating the shoreline as irene, which is a high-end category 2 storm, moves closer to the united states. >> irene preparations and evacuations now spreading north. thousands of people have already been told to leave north carolina's outer banks, also parts of maryland and new jersey. new york city ordering hospitals
and nursing homes located in low-lying areas to evacuate. >> irene forcing amtrak and a number of u.s. airlines to cancel routes and flight s american canceled 126 flights and more expected to be grounded today. american, u.s. airways, delta, jetblue, southwest and air tran all dropped ticket change fees for passengers scheduled to fly two or from many cities along the east coast this weekend. let's go to rob marciano to tell us how bad a disruption this will be for 50 million people. >> the systems that try to kick this storm out have already been disrupted. we had that cool front that came through yesterday with thunderstorms. that tried to push irene out. now we have another one that's going to come through over the weekend. this thing is so big, it's like a big log moving down a stream. it takes a pretty stiff current to veer it off in a different direction. start with the good news, florida through georgia, south carolina, virtually on stage with this, you will get beach erosion with rough weather. look at the spiral bands working into the southeast coastline as
this moves toward the north. the satellite image, we have seen a little weakening, dry air, sheer in the upper levels of the atmosphere but still has warm water to go over and still a very, very strong category 2 storm. borderline category 3 and may be that when it makes landfall by tomorrow afternoon. northerly movement at about 13 miles per hour and the wind speeds sustained at about 110, hurricane-force winds extend 80 miles out, tropical storm force winds extend over 200 miles out, especially to the east side. here's the forecast track. we expect it to reach southern parts of north carolina and cape hatteras, the outer banks especially hit hard with this tomorrow afternoon. then across pamlico sound, across the delaware and pa toe mick and chesapeake bay area during the early morning hours on sunday. across jersey and to the east of new york city sunday afternoon. but very, very close to the city itself. and with this wind field and the size of this storm, places like d.c., philadelphia, will feel at
least tropical storm force winds with this. new york city will likely feel hurricane-force winds with this as will some points farther to the east and north. we have a hurricane threat for, obviously, the outer banks here. storm surge anywhere from 6 to 11 feet, pamlico sound, and on the east side of the cape hatteras area, and then also towards jersey as well, we could see a storm surge there from 4 to 8 feet and new york city will be completely dependent on the track and your specific location. southern parts of the city could be under water like jfk and laguardia depending on the track and size of this thing could be under water. it's going to be a critical forecast as we get through tomorrow. we still have almost two days before this gets to new york city and before that happens, it's got to make landfall across north carolina and it will do some damage in its current size and strength. back to you. >> that's what we're looking at right now, north carolina, the first state that is going to take a direct hit from irene. i'm joined now by -- from raleigh, governor beverly
purdue. good to talk to you again. i would like to one day entire you not about a natural disaster. we seem to talk about this a lot unfortunately. you have warnings up and down the north carolina coast. where do you stand right now? how are the evacuations going? who is evacuating, who isn't? >> our evacuations have been ongoing since yesterday. our ferry evacuations are nearly finished. we shut many down this morning. preparing for the worst and praying for the best, that's what we do every time in north carolina. our people in the process of evacuating from all over the coast, shelters are open. we have highway patrol and red cross on the ground. we are ready for the storm. we hope that people are taking seriously the warnings. this is a big, bad storm and we know she's headed for coastal north carolina. >> almost a year after you had the preparations for hurricane earl, so folks in north carolina are somewhat accustomed to this. is everybody following the directions? is it moving relatively smoothly? >> we have a system in place as we've talked about before from the ground up. locals and state and fed working
together, all of our emergency declarations are in place. we have the troops on the ground and the preparations made. obviously there's always a few outliers who will stay and they take that risk. they assume the risk themselves. as the storm comes in, we have to shut down and pull in our safety and highway patrol local folks off the ground. we're going to do what's best for the public safety. and so during the storm there will not be anybody on the ground to help folks. people need to take this seriously. north carolina hasn't seen a storm this broad and with this much capacity to do damage in several years and again, for newcomers this is a big deal. >> you have visitors there. one of the things always tough in these times when you activate the national guard, emergency workers trying to prepare their own families but you've had to bring in more national guard? >> we brought in more national guard and more patrol. our red cross is on the ground in the area. all of our shelters are open. we opened shelters yesterday
afternoon. so people who are evacuating now have a place to go. and so that requires the deployment of tremendous resources because we've already gotten the federal disaster order. we have those federal funds in play in north carolina as we speak. i can say directly that we're ready, we're preparing, and we're praying for the best and readying for the worst. >> you sound confident about it and you folks in north carolina have been through this before and we're all going to be watching very closely and hoping for the best for you. governor beverly purdue from raleigh, north carolina. still to come this morning, north carolina's outer banks you heard the governor, they're expected, the hurricane is expected to hit the outer banks of north carolina some time tomorrow. we have john zarrella there. he's going to bring you a live report when we come back. it's 36 minutes past the hour. >> it could be a big threat to places like new york city. storm surge, water filling lower manhattan, tunnels and subways. jacqui jeras has a look at how real that threat is. we'll be right back.
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39 minutes past the hour. inching closer to the east coast, hurricane warnings now posted for the north carolina shoreline all the way to the jersey shore. thousands evacuating as hurricane irene, a high-end category 2 storm, moves closer to the united states. winds near 110 miles per hour. it has weakened slightly, but it is still expected to become a major hurricane again. >> we have got live team coverage. meteorologist jacqui jeras in cnn's hurricane headquarters in atlanta. susan candiotti in smith point on long island in new york and meteorologist reynolds wolf in kill devil hills, income. to reynolds, preparations under way as the outer banks are bracing for a direct hit from hurricane irene. what's the situation? >> the situation right now is
from our vantage point is tranquillity. look up and down the beach for the time being, it looks like paradi paradise. you have clouds off in the distance, one surfer out here braeving the wave action coming. waves getting bigger in the last 45 minutes or so. for the most part things are quiet. they did have evacuations yesterday for all tourists. they get roughly about 150,000 on average that show up each summer day and they were sent off yesterday. there's still some holding on. they're going to be evacuated today. there also is going to be the mandatory evacuation for the 35,000 or so people that call this area home. that's going to get under way at 8:00 local time. now one of the reasons why things are so dangerous on the outer banks, plain and simple, the geography alone. this is something not made on lime stone or bedrock or a coral reef. it's plain sand. we're talking about a strip of sand that jets out away from the carolina coast that's about 200 miles long at its widest point near hatteras island, about three miles. think about a tropical system that makes its way up the
atlantic, doesn't have to have a direct hit, with the counterclockwise rotation along the outer banks you will have heavy wave action that will roll off the top. when you get to the sound and intercoastal waterway on the other side the backside of this tropical system will bring in another round of water from the opposite direction. so plain and simple, ali, think of a heavy weight boxer working on a speed box with a sharp right hook and left hook, he's battering it. that's the situation on the outer banks. that can happen without even a direct hit, ali. >> wow. all right. good explanation, reynolds. we will be watching closely to see what it does in north carolina. and what happens after that. that's got a lot of people concerned. thanks. >> it does have a lot of people concerned. new york also threatened by hurricane irene. officials say it could be the worst storm the city has seen in decades, sparking fears of flooding and major damage. some voluntary evacuations under way on long island. susan candiotti joins us live from smith point, new york, on
long island. looks so beautiful there now, susan. >> oh, i'll say. let me give you an idea of where we are. you said smith point park, that's on a barrier island that is on the south shore of long island, and it's more than half way out toward the far eastern end. this area is expected to be in the cross hairs of irene when finally that storm makes its way here probably on sunday. now, this area has taken a lot of hits over the years. from big hurricanes and noreasters. one of the worst was called the long island express back in 1938. that was a category 3 storm, 200 people lost their lives. from new york all the way through new england. now, of course, in the ensuing years there's been a lot more development, a lot more beaches that have been built up, but, of course, a storm like this, can wipe out a lot of beach, cause a lot of erosion and certainly do a lot of damage to low-lying areas.
so authorities here are warning people, that they really have to listen and prepare. >> when we believe those strong winds, coupled with the tide, present an issue, we will begin the evacuation. it's being monitored, right now we put out the call for preparation, be prepared to leave your home on short notice. >> reporter: in fact, someone from the army corps of engineers, years ago, said that some of these low-lying areas are really sacrificial areas, some of the beach front communities, when you get a storm with the intensity of an irene. let's hope that the flooding won't be too bad but surely that's expected. we hit a lot of stores last night and saw already people are going out there, they were very busy. some of the shelves empty of bread and running low on water. hopefully they'll get restocked and people will get what they have to get, scoop up the
supplies. finally, carol, and ali, we'll leave you with a beauty shot out here. as soon as we got out here as the sun was coming up, we saw big antler deer. you have to take a look at this and makes you wonder, we have to worry about animals, what happens to them? what happens to the wildlife out here? hopefully they know how to seek shelter and will do that, but, you know, it makes you think about that when you take a look at how beautiful they are. >> absolutely. >> that is. thank you for that shot. so beautiful. susan candiotti on one of the barrier islands of long island. the single biggest effect if this hurricane hits new york city, is the storm surge. that storm, that surge, could put parts of the city completely und water. a what a lot of people don't realize about new york city it's a honeycom underneath. it's tunnels of all sorts and it's an island. jacqui jeras in cnn's hurricane headquarters. tell us about new york city and the risk that's posed to the city. >> the risk is really high, ali,
even with a smaller hurricane or a weaker hurricane and that island you mentioned, has been built up. it's been filled in. this used to be a much swampier area and probably shouldn't have built this much here. this is a computer model basically that shows us what the storm surge is. this isn't just one big push of water. this is a consistent slowly rising push of water that's going to be moving in as those winds fudnnel into the bay area, up the rivers into manhattan. that's going to be one of the areas we're most concerned about as we zoom in here, those winds could make the rivers flow backwards at some time. this is going to get maybe ten blocks in from the coastal areas. that's a good potential. this is going to move into the shipyard areas. you know nothing is going to be able to navigate here. into the ferry. take you down towards manhattan island. battery park we think will get flooded all within this area. and in addition to both of the tunnels, the brooklyn battery tunnel, the lincoln tunnel into
the wall street area over here, into the world trade center site, the water could get into these areas. this is very populated. then across the river, the hudson on the eastside or west side into new jersey, look at how far that water is going to be rising up towards these buildings inland through the streets and through the alleys as it moves in. storm surge generally arrives about five hours before the peak of the storm and the track of this storm is going to be everything. if this goes just to the west of new york city, or right into manhattan, the worst of the storm surge is going to be in this area. if it goes east and this is more of a long island storm, that will be a lot less in terms of the surge. so we're hoping for, you know, a category 1, maybe a category 2 is the best estimation right now, but many of those models really bring it into the heart of new york city. surge not the only concern. something else we're talking about is power. with the winds, the high rise buildings where windows could
get blocked out. if you live on floor ten or above, you need to be prepared to take a safer place at a lower level, potentially unless you're in that storm surge area that we talked about. this is an estimate for new york city in terms of intensity of the storm. how many people will be without power and for how long. and so if we're looking at a category 1, it would be between 250 and 500,000 people that would potentially be without power for three to six days. if this is a category 2, we could be talking about 500 to 750,000 people. looking at that, as much as maybe two weeks those folks will be without power. even a weaker storm, a 1 or 2, is going to cause a whole lot of damage and catastrophe in new york city. >> i just want to go to ohio and visit my mom. >> no kidding. >> come down to atlanta. we're doing okay. >> that would be great too. let me tell you. although i would rather see mom, sorry, jacqui. >> i know you would. >> i know you have tips on what
people need to have in case of an emergency and that goes for everybody. up and down the east coast. >> yeah. you don't need to be on the coast just to be prepared. you've got to do this well inland because of those power outage threats and flood threats. we could have rivers coming out of their banks. you might be without food and water for a number of days. make sure you have bottled water and food, each person needs to have at least a three-day supply. that food needs to be n non perishable because you might not have a generator and refrigerator is probably not working. first aid kit and medicine with you. if you have prescription medication you need a seven-day supply here. you need a flashlight and not one of those crank ones we were showing you yesterday, you need the extra batteries. and make sure they work. battery operated radio, that's good, a noaa weather radio, because they will alert you to evacuations, flood warnings, all kinds of great information. hazards, not just weather information on the noaa weather radio. cash, because your atms might
not be working either and cell phones might not be working. have an out-of-town contact like your mom in ohio, carol, where you can call your husband and say hey, you know, call mom so i know you're okay and you can call your mom. he's doing all right. >> my husband is in baltimore and they're going to get hit too. >> you both need to call mom because you both might not have power. >> thank you. >> thank you, jacqui. great advice. we're going to have to follow it. take a look at the seas off north carolina now. jacqui finished saying the surge comes before the storm. this what is you're seeing, the seas are a lot before the storm. the seas are getting rougher. the atlantic ocean there off the coast of south carolina. was that south carolina or north carolina? that is florida. all right. still the same atlantic ocean. it's florida. we will be right back after the break. [ oswald ] there's a lot of discussion going on about the development of natural gas,
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you can help. guard your medicare card. don't give out your card number over the phone. call to report any suspected fraud. we're cracking down on medicare fraud. let's make medicare stronger for all of us. a lot going on this morning. here is what you need to know to start your day. hurricane irene taking aim for the north carolina coast and maybe new york city and new england after that. warnings posted from north carolina to new jersey. forecasters say an extreme threat to almost the entire east coast. more than 50 million people potentially in its path. cnn's team at the tripoli airport report gadhafi loyalists are attacking inside the airport. nato jets flying overhead. we are learning they hope to conduct an offensive after
losing four passenger aircraft. 53 people killed in a grenade attack over the u.s., monterrey mexico border. they are afraid the building may collapse so rescue efforts have been stopped for now. they saw two men past the building and hurl grenades into the building. yosemite forest fire. some evacuations are under way. a los angeles county judge has denied a request to sequester the jury in the michael jackson trial. murray made the request saying media coverage to hurt their client. he faces manslaughter in michael jackson's death. you're caught up on today's headlines. "american morning" will be back in 60 seconds.
highly anticipated speech today by federal reserve reserve ben bernanke is our topic for today's morning opinion. he is expected to announce steps to spur the faltering economy. a meeting of the kansas city federal reserve in jackson hole, wyoming. bloomberg news op-ed says one group in particular will be listening to what the fed chairman has to say. retirees have watched their savings dwindle away. reward another that overborrowed and overspent. i doubt that bernanke will offer any new solutions today.
an editorial in bloomberg says instead of the fed pumping more money into the u.s. economy what the u.s. needs is a national jobs policy. quote, whatever bernanke says today, he can't rescue the economy alone. that is a fact. the fed can't get directly involved in jobs. they can do things they hope will end up people creating jobs but they have a very limited tool box. >> he is not like mighty mouse coming to the rescue. >> we will let you know what the outcome is for you. new this morning, warren buffett is hosting a fund-raiser for president obama next month in new york and should be a big boost for obama's re-election campaign. yankees making history. the team hit three grand slams in a single game. it is the first time that has happened in major league baseball history. the last time the yankees hit two grand slams in a game was back in '99.
oh, yeah, the yankees beat oakland 22-9. >> i was watching that game last night. i just kept looking at the score thinking is that an error? it was football scores in a baseball game. 22-9. tampa bay rays pitcher jeremy hellickson is making history. he is team's first pitcher to strike out four batters in the same inning. if you want to know how that happens, the catcher dropped the ball on strike three so that batter was able to run to first base. still considered a strikeout even though the player made it safely to first base. so hellickson struck out another batter. a good stat to have because you to see a lot of those. >> tracking hurricane irene making a line for north carolina. new warnings posted this morning farther north. it's 57 minutes past the hour. [ male announcer ] they'll see you...before you see them.
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being asked to leave or get ready to go. i'm ali velshi. a deadly bomb blast at the u.n. building in my. >> reporter: yeah. bodies being pulled from the rubble. a live report from nigeria on this "american morning." ♪ good morning to you. it is friday, all 26th. christine romans has the day off. >> not a lot of good this morning going on. first up, irene is inching closer to the east coast. hurricane warnings now posted for the north carolina shore line all the way to the jersey shore. this is a live picket we are showing you. this is a live map we are showing you but there is the picture. moorehead city, north carolina. irene is a category 2 storm now moves closer to the united states. winds near 110 miles an hour. the news you might have had it's downgrade to do a 2, but it is still expected to be a major hurricane and it could get
stronger. >> packing winds up to 110 miles an hour. rob marciano says it's almost a lock to slam into north carolina first and atlantic beach surf shop is boarding up. mandatory evacuations going on along the outer banks. >> it severely damaged homes on small islands and knocking some off their foundations in bahamas. so far, no reports of major injuries or deaths there. authorities are still gathering reports on the destruction. >> take a look at this. hurricane irene from 220 miles above the earth. the international space station captured this stunning image. you get an idea of the sheer size and the power of this storm and an astronaut said it looked terrifying from way up there. >> our whole weather is covering this closely and rob marciano joins us. i thought you would be running the other direction, but welcome. >> i have plenty of time to do that. it's a weekend storm and it's a
big one and encompassing a large piece of real estate and it's so complicated. a long linear stretch of u.s. coastline we are dealing with here. hundreds of miles and tens of millions people affected by this and any deviation of the track of this even 50 or 60 miles will mean a whole world of difference to a lot of people. florida you're in the clear although you're getting a big surf. some of the spiral bands are beginning to spin into the southeast coastline of georgia. south carolina and eventually north carolina where landfall will be made during the day tomorrow. lichlt here here's a look at the satellite picture. northerly movement at 13 miles an hour and 110 sustained-mile-an-hour winds and expected to continue as it moves over pretty warm waters. talk about the forecast of this thing. a couple of fronts that we were hoping would nudge this thing farther to the east but the first one that came through last night is not very, very strong. the next one that is going to come through will pretty much
meet up with it over the weekend and that is not going to be strong enough to get this thing out of here because this storm is so big and so strong, it's like a huge log that is moving downstream and spiraling. it takes a really big current or even a really strong river to move that log off its path. that is the problem we are enduring with this and the reason we think it's going to scoot the coastline and makes the forecast so tricky for people loofg aloliving along th shoreline. deviation from the delmarva, the chesapeake bay area and maybe towards rhode island. either one does not spell good news for anybody who lives along the coastline. this is the official forecast from the national hurricane center. forecast landfall, tomorrow afternoon sometime and tomorrow night into sunday morning. we are looking at the impacts to be switched to the hampton roads and new port news and virginia
beach area and across the delaware in through jersey and across long island getting in over the weekend. probably still a category 1 storm. one of the issues with this, though, is the amount of rainfall that we have had already the past couple of weeks. saturated ground. additional rainfall, winds that will be sustained, 70, 80 miles an hour, big trees with leaves on them, that's going to be, i think, the big danger for this highly populated area is dangerous trees coming down and, obviously, power outages with that. if you are hunkering down in your home during the storm, i want you to be in the lowest level of your home away from windows because if a tree comes down. >> if you have trees in your backyard you can't escape them. >> right. either way it's a historic storm. we haven't had a double landfall like this in decades, let alone having one come this close to new york city. >> it's unclear and not like you can follow rules and say a double landfall means one thing. it could pick up steam and slow down, you know? >> we don't know how much the interaction with the land will
affect it. the water is a little bit cooler up here. >> i heard you say it will take the power out of it if it hits land. >> that's why 20, 30, 40 miles either direction makes a huge difference. >> take a the look the pictures from jackson beach, florida, right now. it's not a place that will get a lot of it. >> they are not barely getting the fringes of it to give you an idea of how large the storm is. tropical storm force winds 500 miles in diameter and cloud canopy 800 miles. similar to what we saw with ike. doesn't matter what the category is, it is a huge storm. >> you can imagine what it's like in north carolina if the thing is in florida and the thing is going to bypass it. >> 126 flights are canceled and more expected to be grounded later today. american, us airways and united and continental and delta and
southwest and airtran dropped ticket change fees for passengers scheduled to fly to or and from many of the cities on the east coast this weekend. >> amtrak is canceling service. it could change as the hurricane heads north. norfolk state university in virginia canceled today's classes. opening weekend for the university of delaware has now been postponed. rutgers university in new jersey and nyu both changing move-in day. the sports world scrambling over hurricane irene. the philadelphia phillies and boston red sox both canceled games on sunday. they are going to play double-headers tomorrow. the jets/giants preseason nfl game scheduled tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. is a 2:00 p.m. kickoff. i have tickets to the phillies game. i was betting that wouldn't happen. >> the tickets are good for a later date, right? >> if they actually decide to
rain it out. do i sit there and wait? >> yes, you must! >> do you think i'm going to be at a baseball game tomorrow at 7:00? >> it's supposed to be beautiful tomorrow. >> all right. >> we will see. >> north carolina is the first state that could take a direct hit from irene. the state is evacuating thousands of people. many tourists have already left from the outer banks but residents are now being urged, i think at 8:00 a.m. eastern doesn't the governor tell us the evacuation for residents would begin? >> earlier i spoke to the governor, bevly perdue, the state is ready but it is up to the people to do the right thing. >> people need to take this very seriously. north carolina hasn't seen a storm this broad and with this much capacity to do damage in several years and, again, for newcomers, this is a big deal. >> john zarrella is live in moorehead, city, possibly where the storm could make its first landfall and still looking okay but it's roughed up a little bit as you've been out there. >> reporter: yeah.
no question about it, ali. this very likely could be the first place that sees the landfall from irene. possibly the left side of the storm. of course, if it wobbles a little more to the left, we could get the center right over us here. you can see what they have done here along the beach to take precautions. these are the cut-throughs for people to walk out onto the beach and put the 2x4 barriers up here to keep the water from coming in. interesting here. this is a south-facing beach the way the coastline of north carolina runs. so this is south. and if mike miller turns this, this is east. so the hurricane is actually going to be coming this way up to us and, chances are, the backside of the storm a lot of times here they get storm surge in reverse where it comes in over the sound. you see the two flags flying? the double flags, the red flags with the black cares squares in the middle are hurricane warning flags and that means it's coming. this building here you can see
right along the water, they have taken precautions and actually got the wood up here on the windows and they have got double paned glass here so they are not too concerned and sandbags down here and all along the building here, they have sandbags. this is also a wedding chapel. they do about a hundred weddings a year on the beach. two of them were supposed to take place this weekend. one tomorrow. that has been canceled and rescheduled. but they have got about 500 dollars worth of flowers going bad inside that i was told. anyway, we are waiting on the storm. not a lot of wind yet. the surf is starting to pick up. but skies are clouding over and certainly it's going to get much worse here as the day goes on and into tomorrow. ali, carol? >> and you'll be there. john zarrella, many thanks to you. >> he is our centerpiece of our hurricane coverage team, doing is to many years. mayor michael bloomberg
deciding today whether or not to evacuate low-lying areas of the city. >> the areas in orange including wall street and the world trade center site could flood from any hurricane that comes near the city, any hurricane of any strength. i guess a category 1 would also flood these areas. the yellow area would flood category 2 storm. mary snow is live for us in lower manhattan. the mayor came out. he talked tough. he said new yorkers, prepare. do you think they will? >> reporter: you know, carol, it remains to be seen. up for debate you'll hear in a minute whether or not new yorkers will listen. take a look at the scene here in lower manhattan, or the tip manhattan. it's hard to tell there is so much concern about how vulnerable lower manhattan really is because people are lining up as they do every morning to take the ferry to see the statue of liberty. this could be a very different scene on sunday. again, too early to say how new
york will be impacted, but hurricane experts have said for such a long time now, that it won't take a major hurricane to cause considerable flooding. in fin is worried about a hurricane hitting new york it's nicholas koch. he took us to southampton, new york. >> this is where the 1938 hurricane broke through and made shinnecock bay a branch of the ocean. >> reporter: koch says most new yorkers forget it was here that a powerful category 3 hurricane made landfall in 1938. it was called the long island express and it caused widespread damage even in new york city, some 70 miles away. even if new york city is spared a direct hit. >> that's right. it's going to have massive flooding, yeah. >> reporter: for years koch has been sounding the alarm how vulnerable new york city is because of its topography. he says storm surges could trigger massive flooding in low-lying areas, particularly
lower manhattan. consider the simulation done by noaa showing what a category 2 hurricane could do to a tunnel linking brooklyn and manhattan. a category 1 hurricane for example could flood the subway station at the southern tip of manhattan with three and a half feet of water. a category 2 storm, he says, could put john f. kennedy airport under 5 1/2 feet of water. >> if a storm were to occur, it could be catastrophic, given the population in the northeast. >> reporter: high winds are also a big concern. city officials have evacuation plans at the ready. despite all of the preparations, koch says it's not the hurricane he is most worried about. what is your biggest concern? >> the new yorker. >> reporter: why? >> because they don't listen. right? you can always tell a new yorker, but you can't tell them very much. >> reporter: so there you have it. add stubbornness into the
evasion. city officials, though, are taking this very seriously. the mayor will decide by tomorrow morning whether to order a mandatory evacuation in low-lying areas in the city. to put it in perspective a couple of hundred thousand people in those low-lying areas only. and that would be an extreme circumstance. carol and ali? >> boy, you're not kidding. hopefully, they have family who live in, new york like places higher up. >> reporter: that is the hope, right. >> mary snow, thanks. more live coverage up and down the coast on hurricane irene. several people killed and many more injured after a massive bomb explodes at the united nations building in nigeria. we will have a live report for you next. prison break in libya. rebel forces break open metal doors of cells and prisoners waiting inside. what is inside moammar gadhafi's rv? rebels claim they found this rv
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>> the explosion wiped out an entire wing of a three-story u.n. building. it sent the building, at least part of it, crashing to the ground. local reports are blaming the blast on a car bomb. cnn's christian perfeu is here with us. how many people have died because of this? >> reporter: carol, at the moment, we are getting the figure of seven people but that is very likely to rise. the local hospital saying ambulances still coming in and a lot of people very seriously injured and some of the other security people we have spoken to said they are still pulling people out of the rubble. it was a very big blast. yes, the people i've spoken to are saying it was likely a suicide car bomb. one lady who wishes to remain anonymous was walking out of the u.n. at the time and a white suv came swiftly into the compound and then there were two blasts
in quick succession. the second one very much louder. shattered the walls and glass. that's when she ran. carol, that would fit very well with nigeria, at the moment, main terrorist group and islamic militant group is sort of operating in the northeastern of the country and carried out very similar attacks. normally, against government buildings, but, carol, this is very close to the u.s. embassy. >> had there been threats against the u.n. previous so this? had they taken any extra precaution? >> reporter: there have been no threats that we know of, but the group is no stranger to the car bomb attacks. one tried to blow up the police
headquarters and other similar attacks. the u.n. had tight security. they were well aware of nigeria's security situation, particularly threats against government buildings in the capital, but as i said, this is a significant departure, if it is, the group but they have not claimed responsibility but a significant departure not focusing government buildings awe expanding their focus to attack foreign targets. there have been reports, rumors, probably more likely, that this group has attacked former relationships. that at the moment is unlikely but it is very likely they have formed relationships with other cells in africa and they would certainly be trying to promote this sort of kind of attack, carol. >> just awful. seven reported deaths so far.
christian purefoy reporting live from nigeria this morning. developing news out of libya. you're looking at video what appears to show rebel forces in a prison. no word on how many prisoners were freed in the process. you're hearing the gunfire. cnn's crew at the airport in libya and report gadhafi loyalists attacking buildings there and they are hearing nato jets flying overhead. nato hoping to conduct an offensive on the east side of the airport. >> rv trailer the rebels claim to have found. another thing we learn he apparently had a photo album dedicated to former secretary of
state condoleezza rice. hurricane irene is along a costly path raking up the eastern seaboard. investors intense ahead of a kril speech from fed chief ben bernanke. what can we expect? e, inventory can be taught to learn. ♪ machines have a voice. ♪ medical history follows you. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities... committed to delivering the most advanced mobile broadband experience to help move business... forward. ♪
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allstate answer travelers the most exposed insurers with hurricane irene fast approaching the east coast. shares in allstate and travelers dropped 3% yesterday. many of the country's largest insurance companies have already sustained serious losses this year because of damaging weather in the spring. up next, flights canceled and train service shut down and break down state-by-state developments developing because of hurricane irene. "american morning" is back after the break. oh, we call it the bundler. let's say you need home and auto insurance. you give us your information once, online... [ whirring and beeping ] [ ding! ] and we give you a discount on both. great!
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that is foley beach, south carolina. south of charleston. surf is picking up there. light rain and fog and showers and wind and get up to 85 degrees. that is not the worst of it and not going to get anywhere close to the worst of it. >> top stories for you now. hurricane warnings posted for the north carolina coast to the jersey shore. tens of thousands evacuating the shoreline as irene with 110 miles per hour winds moves closer to the united states. >> irene forcing several
airlines to cancel flights. american airlines canceled 126 flights yesterday and moved planes out of the way of the storm. more flights expected to be grounded today. in d.c. a memorial for martin luther king is postponed because of hurricane irene. a statue of the late civil rights leader was supposed to be revealed on sunday and even president obama planned to be there but event organizers are not taking any chances so they pushed back the ceremony until a later date. maybe sometime in september or october. hurricane irene causing serious concerns in new york. if the storm hits the city square on, the flooding could be devastating. the mayor is considering evacuations and mass transit shutdown. earlier we spoke with stephen flynn who gave good advice to help new yorkers get through the storm. >> high-rises if you have a patio or a terrace out there get that furniture inside because that could be dangerous for people below and it can be used as a missile and essentially
serve as a missile and hit your windows and so forth. anybody with a chronic illness make sure you have plenty of medicine because it may be hard to get to the hospital in the meantime, long island issued a voluntary evacuation and thousands of other residents are rushing around to get the last-minute supplies. susan candiotti is joining us live from smith point, a barrier island off of long island. susan, are they prepared? >> reporter: well, people are starting to get prepared, yes. everyone is talking about it as we stop along the way here, stop in stores, people are buying supplies. i can tell you that because when you go to the store shelves you can see things are vanishing quickly including the staples you need. you have to scoop up the batteries, flashlights, bread, canned foods and be sure to remember to get those prescriptions filled. cash from atm machines because there are sure to be power outages and downed trees at the
very least. you can see over my shoulder. it is beautiful out here now. rolling waves. of course, that is sure to change because as you described our location on this barrier island on the south side of long island, this could be right in the cross-hairs of where irene is going to pass over. we will get pounded by high surf, high waves and high winds certainly. a storm surge that could wipe out at least some of these dunes that they have spent a lot of money, millions of dollars, building up over the years. they haven't had a real serious hit from a storm here since, well, many, many years, and certainly one of the worst was in 1938 they called it the long island express. it claimed lives from 200 from here to new england in a category 3 storm. are people preparing? yes. are evacuations likely? oh, yes. i'm sure this area, they are talking about a mandatory evacuation on this beach anyway by late today and they are
expecting some mandatory evacuations certainly from low-lying areas, you know, as the day goes on. but i can't let you go without one more look at the beautiful deer that we saw out here as the sun was coming up. there were three of them. big antlers and they noticed us, we noticed them and we had to share you just a beautiful shot of nature and, of course, it does make you think what happens to the wildlife out here? there are preserves out here as well and parks. so i'm sure they will find shelter in some way, shape, or form as they always do, and as we hope everyone else does. i know a lot of people we talk to here are taking the advice and moving out of the low-lying areas and staying with family on higher ground. >> susan candiotti, many thanks and thanks for the pictures. beautiful. >> they are cute. outer banks of north carolina are expected to take the first blow on saturday. tens of thousands of tourists and residents have already been told to clear out.
cnn meteorologist reynolds wolf is live in kill devil hills, north carolina. reynolds, good morning and how is it looking? >> so far, so good. >> reporter: we had no idea the storm was coming in terms of looking our technology it looks like any other day. sun to the south and directly to the east and north a perfect day. what is troubling about it is that it's undeniable the storm is headed in this direction and when that hurricane comes closer, many things that are quite troubling. first and foremost, the location. this barrier island is essentially a punching bag in the atlantic. florida is the number one place for tropical storm to hurricane frequency. this is a close number two. what is interesting, too, along this barrier island offshore a plume of water comes in from the south and that plume of water is the gulf stream. that is warm water and like pure high octane rocket fuel for these tropical systems. the barrier island 200 miles
long and widest point at hatteras three miles of winel and past on the other side a series of separate sounds and more water there. it could make for a troubling situation as this system gets closer to us. yesterday, we spoke with the opportunity to speak with a fellow by the name of bobby and he is the dare county manager and he lays out what is his nightmare scenario. >> worst says scenario for sus a storm coming up the sounds with the eastern side coming up the outer banks which is what the track right now does. then it becomes size and speed and we have a storm that is moving at, i don't know, 10 to 12 the last time i saw projected out of 3 or maybe a high 2 which is a big storm for us. so that is our worst case scenario and we're in it. >> reporter: so plain and simple the best advice they give to people is get out. they have had some people evacuate earlier in the week. you had people that know this
area very well. know went ahead and packed up and are gone. yesterday, the official departure of people who are the visitors. up to 150,000 people on an average day in august and then the 35,000 residents who live here year-round and they will be leaving here. you can see in the distance the waves were coming in. now coming in in sets of three instead of two. we will see more of those pick up. heavier surf and with that, the wind and rain and moving this direction and compliments of irene. pitch it back to you in the studio. >> thank you very much, we will stay with you and our entire team out there as we track this hurricane. >> reynolds gave us the worst case scenario. i want the best case scenario. for that, we turn to rob marciano. >> don't watch the news! >> positive spin on this, try to. you have seen the beautiful pictures of the deer out there. you saw the one silver lining, i suppose. we should follow the animals because they know what to do. >> that's rob's solution to this
thing, find wildlife and follow it! >> if they are burying their heads in the sand! >> if you see a big -- on that, that is where they are going. we have so much rainfall especially across jersey and eastern pennsylvania the past couple of weeks. ground is saturated and we will get more rain with this thing regardless of the track. unless it goes out to sea and at this point it doesn't look like it's going to happen. we are starting to see spiral bands make their way into parts of georgia and south carolina and the winds are picking up and charleston winds gusting over 30 miles an hour already. this is a large storm. tropical storm force winds extend in the diameter about 500 miles across so amazing there. 80-mile-an-hour radius of the hurricane strength winds. thing still over 300 miles away from shore and it's already starting to spin that nasty weather inland. show you some of the other stats. the movement of this thing is off towards the north at 13 miles an hour. that will begin to accelerate. lost the distinguished eye the
past few rounds but probably see it reorganize and strengthen over the gulf stream waters there. strong category 2 making landfall potentially as a category 3. the national hurricane center track. this hasn't moved much the past 36 hours. expect it to make landfall across the southern tip of north carolina during the day tomorrow. pretty much the entire low country is going to get hit hard with this thing and chesapeake bay, the delaware, crossing over towards sandy point, the jersey shore and then, of course, long island coastal connecticut that is where hurricane watches have just been posted. new york city, long island, coastal connecticut, rhode island, eastern parts of massachusetts is where we think we will probably see some hurricane situation here in the next 48 hours. hurricane warnings have been extended off towards the south. storm surge is another issue as well. that will be dependent as your exact location could be more than in the eastern part of manhattan, depending on the path of this. certainly long island. both on long island sound.
and the surf side is going to see some surge with this. and the wind knocking down trees. which will knock out power lines. this is a graphic we're going by as far as a category 1 storm getting into this highly populated area. we expect to see anywhere from a quarter to 500,000 people without power from 3 to 6 days. keep that in mind. we heard from one of the officials saying you can tell new yorkers, but they don't always listen. >> right. >> i can pound the desk here and tell you to buy at least some batteries. they don't go bad. >> batteries, food, medicine. >> jets and giants are supposed to play tomorrow at 7:00 and they have moved it up in anticipation of the storm. big deal last night at yankees stadium. the yanks -- >> unbelievable. >> did you see that? >> yeah. >> not just one grand slam, not two, but three grand slams! rob robinson cano gets thinged started. looked like yankees were out of this. >> oakland!
>> carol costello with some perspective there. >> clearly we don't have a lot of viewers in oakland now. >> oakland is in last place! >> russell martin and granderson caps it off with a football like score as you mentioned, ali. >> oakland did get nine runs. they had a baseball type score but the yankees had a football type score. you mentioned the distinguished eye. what determines whether that eye stays together or not? that could be the good news carol is looking for that this thing falls apart. >> we don't think that will happen. it will diminish in intensity when it crosses north don't recall but that part of north carolina doesn't have a lot of mountains and it has a lot of water. what will weaken is as it heads through cooler waters. it ma a small eye right now but doesn't mean it's not strong and large storm. we can have a category 3 or 4 storm without an eye you e on the satellite picture and why
it's important we fly the hurricane hunter aircraft in there and the computer models the past few years they are pretty good. espn sparking serious controversy this morning for posting a picture of nfl superstar michael vick as a white man. they did it for an article questioning the impact of race on a quarterback's public perception. we will show you the picture and ask did espn go too far? and also the headline read "what if michael vick were white "?" we are talking to the man who wrote the article and espn's senior editor next.
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if michael vick were white?" the author of that article says he had no idea about the artwork and wants to be judged on the words in his article, his name is toure. he was part of the "american morning" family, maybe you remember him. toure said i wrote an essay about vick and race. espn the magazined it and added the art without me which is normal procedure. judge me on the story, not the art. espn, though, stands by its decision saying it aprishts and encourages the discussion the image that prompted. joining us now is toure who is the author of who is afraid of post blackness and we are joined by the senior editor of espn, the magazine, renee. wow. talk about backlash. talk with you, toure, since you wrote this article. i was looking at your twitter feed and there is some very nasty tweets on there. people are saying some pretty
ugly stuff. i'll just read one of them. one of the more mild ones. this is from twitter. in what world did it seem like a good idea to put vick in white face? doing an article with brady in black face? when you saw this image of michael vick as a white man, your thoughts were? >> i was dismayed and horrified. i didn't imagine that they would do that and it contradicts what i'm doing in the story because i talk about that there is this commonplace idea, this thought experiment that all of us do that if something happens to somebody, white or black, you say, well, just switch their races and then would it be racist or not? this is supposedly a test to know is it racest or not. the same thing happened if the person was black or white and i'm like this whole concept doesn't really make any sense. race informs your entire life sow wouldn't enter the same moment the same way. if michael vick were white, if that even imaginable, he may not even go to the nfl because he might see other options for his
life and would try to do something else with his life. so just the concept of re-images somebody is white or black is extraordinary difficult and i dismiss the concept of that right away in the story. for the headline and the image to suggest let's look at him as white is extremely -- it's a perpendicular ripper relationship to the story that i wrote. >> let's head to rana then. you had a part in the decision-making. why put this image out there? like why make michael vick a white man? >> okay. well, the first reason we did it is because, i mean, i'm sure, as you know, the purpose of the art in a magazine, on television, in the newspaper, is to accompany and make the reader think in a way similar to the story. for the art for this -- "what if michael vick were white?" we turn to the late editor and chief in colors magazine and what he did in his magazine is
that he racialized, he made queen elizabeth ii black and john paul, ii john paul black and in doing so became a very famous art experiment, to look at how visually we think about people differently when they are a different color. this was something we thought about for a long time. terms of the question, the question was out there from the moment he was arrested. this is something we took from the zite guys. we dedicated an entire issue to michael vick, and part of it was a vick confidential, in which we asked nfl football players if they thought things would have been different for michael vick if he would have been punished less severely had he been white. and just under 60% said yes. so this was not a question we plucked out of the air. i mean, that we made up. we plucked it out of the
zitegist. what we wanted to do is discuss michael vick as fully as possible and discuss the dog-fighting issue as fully as possible. >> in fairness, you were trying to be provocative too. you were trying to drive people to read this article and to your site. >> there are two -- i mean, i think that, one, race is always a provocative issue. second, there are three ways to handle it. you can ignore it, you can -- you can use all kinds of code words so that nobody really knows what you're saying, or you can just put the issue out there and let people talk about it. that's what we did and that is what we have done. >> to you ray, you're listening to all of this. so, i mean, have you two talked about this at all? i assume that you have not. >> no. rena edited the story so we talked at depth what would be in the story. we knew it was a delicate story and how to handle it and make sure that people didn't take the wrong impression from the points
i was trying to make. >> obviously, you're saying people did take the wrong impression. you heard her explanation spp what do you think? >> well, look. i deal with it as a writer. i can't even deal with the marketing of the story, putting that image, taking that title. when you see the image in particular, which goes counter to what the story is all about, you come to the story with a pitchfork, right? you are angry at me, you're angry at espn. i completely understand some people's anger. a lot of people read the story and were like this is actually reasonable and smart and deals with the issue in a very complicated way. i mean, there is so many issues. race is so layered. you can't just switch people's races and know the answer. and i would actually disagree with the 60% of nfl players. in america, we love dogs. and for a lot of people, hurting a dog is morally equivalent to hurt ago toddler. i think if tom brady were found
to have a massive dog-fighting ring in his backyard he would be thrown out of the patriot and do two years and out of the nfl and not able to get away with it because he is white. these are very complicated issues. >> they are complicated issues. renae, a last question for you. why do you think so many people found this image offensive? >> because it is -- i think, at first blush, they may have thought, oh, well, we are trying to just gin up interest, you know? get hits to our site. but we are a magazine and we had dedicated close to a hundred pages to michael vick. we knew this picture was going to be provocative, we knew it was going to be thought provoking and what we wanted. we did not want people to shut down. we wanted people to stop, look at the picture, and then read the article which, in fact, is what they did. it's a fantastic article.
and one in which toure, as he mentions, handles race in a very nuanced and layer way, but the first question which is asked and answered in the piece is would this happen to a white quarterback. toure says yes. then we move on to the idea of switching races. and that is something that is very interesting to me and i think to our readers, because when you look at somebody and you look at their race, you make decisions about them immediately. and what we wanted to do was almost a visual experiment with our readers, how do you feel about michael vick when you see him white? do you feel about him differently? >> it does make people kind of shut down and it does change the reaction. it does change the reaction, even to espn, the people are like, what are you guys doing? to me as well.
and it's quite -- >> i wish we could go on with this conversation but we cannot. it has certainly been interesting. i don't think you two are going to come to a meeting of the minds over this. somehow, i have that in my head. thank you, though, both of you for coming in and talking about this, toure and renaae the senior editor for espn magazine. hurricane irene is weakening slightly overnight but still a double landfall in the forecast. we have your updated forecast coming your way next.
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[ speaking in foreign language ] >> i want the kids to be very good citizens. they can believe in themselves. i enjoy so much to teach them to learn from them. i prefer to die on the field than die in the hospital. to see the joy, the face of the kids, you know, that make me happy. what do you got? restrained driver... sir, can you hear me? just hold the bag. we need a portable x-ray, please! [ nurse ] i'm a nurse. i believe in the power of science and medicine.
but i'm also human. and i believe in stacking the deck. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada,
we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy. a live look at what moorehead city, north carolina, where it could take a direct hit from irene tomorrow, rob? >> but not looking like that. all of the waves will be pretty big. >> looks so peaceful now. people are looking at the waves coming in and ready to run if they have to. >> you can see the sunshine beginning to dip and i'm sure the higher clouds are beginning to unveil some of that beautiful scenery there. things are going to go downhill as we often say. >> is this the closest to making