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tv   CNN Saturday Morning  CNN  August 27, 2011 3:00am-4:30am PDT

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we are at the top of the hour. 6:00 eastern time here in the u.s. good morning as we broadcast around the world.
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i'm t.j. holmes bringing you the latest on the massive storm. hurricane irene that could affect about 20% of the population of the united states. here you are getting a look at the path of the storm. the projected path of the storm right now. some 65 million people are being threatened by this storm. it's in some of the largest cities of the country that are under threat of the storm. we are talking about new york, washington d.c., baltimore, boston, philadelphia. all areas not accustomed, necessarily, to being ready for hurricanes. hurricane irene is now a category one storm. it is on the north/northeastern path. it has been downgraded to a category one storm, but do not let that fool you. this is still a massive and powerful storm which is on the higher end of the category one strength. it did weaken overnight.
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it weakened somewhat overnight. still has sustained winds that are around 90 miles an hour. that is on the higher end of a category one storm. you have hurricane warnings in effect from the carolina coast all the way up to massachusetts. also mandatory evacuations have been ordered in places that are not used to getting mandatory evacuations for a hurricane. new york city is one of them. some low-lying areas. the five airports in the new york metro area will be closed to incoming flights in the next matter of hours. airlines have canceled thousands of thousands of flights. bus service. greyhound has stopped bus service in the east. can you imagine the subway system in new york city being shutdown? that will happen a little later today. the same goes for new jersey as well as philadelphia. our reporters are covering this storm for us. they have been out for the past several days.
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you see a few of them there getting tossed around in north carolina. we will be checking in with all of them for you this morning. also, our meteorologist jacqui jeras is here in the cnn hurricane headquarters with the late latest. let me start with our reynolds wolf. he has been live with us for the past hour. it seems from the reporting you have been doing that things have been getting worse in the past hour. >> reporter: absolutely. i was looking at the radar when jacqui was doing the update. the top half of the storm looked like a sliver of dry air that may be affecting the storm for us. we happen to be in kitty hawk, north carolina. we might get a slight break before the core is punching the area with the heavy rain and rainfall. the rainfall right now is being blown by the find. cascading over the tip of my cap.
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orlando, our photographer, may have to wipe the lens from time to time. one thing i want to get to, t.j., please excuse my rough speak. it needs to be said. all americans need to consider this up and down the eastern seaboard. you can be just as dead in a tropical depression as you can in a tropical storm as a category one or category two, three, four or five. just because this is a category one, do not take this lightly. this will be a big rainmaker. the outer banks could get up to a foot of rainfall. we talk about flooding. how that is a tremendous killer of people worldwide. it is a huge danger. you have to keep that in mind. we will get the power outages. the wind is one thing. i'm concerned with that. the waves are coming all the way up to the dunes. i don't think you will get them
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overtop of them. they went along the outer banks. it is not surprising if the outer banks gets covered by the water. there is the threat of tornadoes. there have been reports of two of them. i expect we will see more of those in the minutes, hours and days to come. t.j. >> reynolds, thank you so much. thank you for that perspective as well. that needs to be reiterated this morning. people hear it is a category one and it has been downgraded and think it will not be as bad. those words from reynolds wolf saying it you can just as dead in a tropical depression or tropical storm or a category one, two or three hurricane. our john zarrella has been getting tossed around in north carolina for the past couple of hours. how are things there, john? >> reporter: they are pretty rough, t.j. i hope you can hear me better.
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i'm staying under the covering to stay out of the rain. you can see police cars have just pulled up here. they have been out patrolling all night checking the damage here. we talked to the county manager here in carter county. they said they do not have any damage yet. they said until first light, they cannot get out and assess the situation. the power is off in about 75% of the county. it has been on and off periodical periodically. we lost power at 4:30 a.m. let's give folks bearings. off to the north is that way. the south is that way. we may see the core of hurricane, the eye, whatever is left of the eye of the storm, within the next hour or so here as it makes landfall over us or very close to over the top of us. reports of a couple of tornadoes already. no reports of injuries.
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no reports of any serious damage. that goes with the territory. of course, the ground is saturated. one thing i want to emphasize, t.j., the rainfall has been torrential. it started yesterday afternoon. it picked up and picked up and it has been torrential for the last several hours. we know there will be inland flooding without a doubt. before i wrap it, let's give you a sense when i walk out. i may lose my audio. you see the trees up there and how they are blowing. you can see the wind when i stand out in it is pretty significant. it's approaching 74-mile-an-hour gusts. a couple of hours ago just up the road from where i am. you are probably losing me now. the viewer gets a sense of how intense it is.
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let's all be thankful this is a one and no stronger than that. >> we do appreciate you that time around. even if we cannot hear you all that well when you step out, that gives everybody a sense of what you are going through. we appreciate you, john zarrella. let's go to brian todd. we can talk about the wind and rain and it is causing problems with power outages as well in wilmington. >> reporter: it certainly has, t.j. tens of thousands of people without power in this area. we are told up to 27,000, possibly, now in the state of north carolina, without power. that number is certain to grow in the hours ahead. as john mentioned, the rain has picked up here. we are told there is about 5 inches of rainfall that has
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fallen at the airport not far from here. we could get 10 to 12 inches of rain. as reynolds and other meteorologists have mentioned, this thing may or may not be slowing down. that is not great news. it means the rain is hovering over periods for places for longer periods of time. the inland flooding will get worse. we are at the banks here at the cape river here. first light is coming in a few minutes. we will see the storm surge maybe a bit better. that is a concern here as it is in areas farther out to the coast. we have downed power lines here. some roads are blocked off by trees. the damage has been fairly sporadic here. this is just intensifying here as we go. the inland flooding and flash flooding here is going to be intense. that is what the emergency management people are telling us. that is their main concern at this point. you have half the state here that is impacted by the storm. some 20 counties and 3.5 million
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people. they are really concerned about the inland flooding. chad told me yesterday there will be flooding all over portions of the state. >> brian todd for us. we appreciate you as all. i want to turn to jacqui jeras here at the cnn hurricane headquarters. they are talking about the rain. they are already saturated up and down the east coast. the ground cannot take much more. >> they can't. we were just checking out rain totals in wilmington and to the newbern area. 5 to 8 inches. that will continue to come down in that area. we could double the rainfall in that area before this is done. you can expect that up and down the east coast. it will be a big story, not just today, not just tomorrow, but we could see river flooding that could last. we see the threat of tornadoes.
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let's zoom in and talk about timing more specifically. we will put a distance here and kind of estimate the center of circulation somewhere in here. take a look at the coast. 12 or 13 or 14 miles. with this moving at 14 miles per hour, we are looking about an hour from now of landfall. that is where the greatest surge of water makes its way on land. we have seen 7 to 8 feet in coastal areas. who will this affect and what time will it affect you? we will take you city by city. atlantic beach by 7:00. as we head up the coast, virginia beach around 7:00 tonight. remember, you will get tropical storm force conditions well ahead of that time. that is when we are expecting the peak of the storm to be affecting you. ocean city, maryland, overnight tonight. maybe 2:00 a.m. you will see it in washington
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d.c. and baltimore. in philadelphia overnight and early tomorrow. long island tomorrow morning and heading up to boston mid to late afternoon. then finally out of here on monday. >> monday. we need to hold on this weekend. we have a couple of days to deal with this thing. jacqui jeras, thank you so much. we will check in with jacqui plenty this morning. she mentioned an hour away from this thing making landfall. we have several airports closed in the northeast. several more will close to all incoming traffic coming up at noon today. you need to check with your airline if you are trying to fly today. a number of flight cancellations. united/continental. delta and jetblue. airtran. we are talking about 5,000 flights that have been canceled in anticipation of the storm. some are allowing you to change your flight without any penalties. you need to check with your
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individual airlines. coming up here, we are going to check in some more with these preparations that are being made. people are stocking up and watching the storm. we are talking about cities that are not used to be tested when it comes to hurricanes. we are back in 60 seconds. stay with me on this cnn saturday morning. : do peoe use smartphones to do dumb things? man 1: send, that is the weekend. app grapgic: yeah dawg! man 2: allow me to crack...the bubbly! man 1: don't mind if i doozy. man 3: is a gentleman with a brostache invited over to this party? man 1: only if he's ready to rock! ♪ sfx: guitar and trumpet jam vo: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. if something is simply the color of gold,
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we are quarter past the hour here now.
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welcome back to our viewers watching in the u.s. and around the world on cnn international giving you coverage on this massive storm that is churning up the east coast which is affecting about 20% of the u.s. population. the radar you are seeing here shows hurricane irene which is close to making landfall. about an hour away from making landfall in north carolina with sustained winds reported at 90 miles an hour. it is now a category one storm. it has been downgraded, but again, do not let that fool you. this is a very dangerous storm because it is on the higher end of a category one and because it is massive. because it is such a massive storm and where it is going, it has so many people concerned. we are talking about a very populous areas. these areas are not used to be prepared for hurricanes. new york, philadelphia, washington d.c., new jersey. places like that are keeping a close eye on the storm. trying to prepare the best we
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can. we have several meteorologists out for us today. including our rob marciano. we will check in with him in a moment. let me start with athena jones live in washington d.c. washington d.c. not used to dealing with hurricanes, but it was a big weekend for d.c. in a lot of ways and all of that will be put on the back burner. >> reporter: exactly. we are here on the national mall. the d.c. mayor vincent gray declared a state of emergency. we don't expect the rain to pick up until this morning and wind and rain in the afternoon. people have been preparing for it. the national park service crews were scrambling to fill the holes in the monument. they were working to fill the turrets on the smithsonian castle. it has been a big weekend in terms of natural events here in
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the city, t.j. this oncoming storm has forced the postponement of the dedication of the martin luther king memorial. that was set tomorrow, which is the 48th anniversary on washington. thousands of people were expected to come. they decided to put safety first. that has been postponed until september or october. city officials have been advises residents to be prepared for power outages and have canned goods on hand. lots of water. battery-operated flashlights and phones that don't need to be plugged into the wall. they are letting people know they can come and get sand bags. yesterday, the city handed out 7,000 sand bags for residents who want to protect their homes. they ran out at 5:00 p.m. they are expected to start up at
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midday distributing more sand bags. five will be allowed per household. lots of preparations here, t.j. >> thank you, athena, in washington d.c. we have rob marciano. just the spperspective about ne yorkers. how are they taking this news of the hurricane which a lot of them don't have experience with? >> reporter: when we drove out here yesterday afternoon, you expected to see a little bit more in the way of flow going the opposite direction. that wasn't the case. if it was one quote a resident throughout our coverage when asked what he was most worried about, he said the new yorker because you could talk to them, but they don't always listen. that may hold true today. this town of long beach just east of new york city is still
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pretty full. the waves behind me, they have been building for the last couple of hours for sure. this storm is over 400 miles away from us. barely a breath of wind here. a few surfers here to take advantage of the waves. if you are one of those who jones for the waves, this is the day to do it. conditions will deteriorate as we continue through the nighttime. nassau and suffolk counties make up long island. 200,000 to 300,000 people have been asked to evacuate. they will not come and force you out of here. they will not help you during the height of the storm. the reason being at least from where we stand here, the nearest hospital is 40 miles away, roughly. that is the main reason they asked people to evacuate. hurricane amnesia in new york city. you better believe it. it has been since 1985, really,
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since we had a storm like this. gloria and hurricane bob in 1991. it has been a while since they have seen a hurricane. i think folks have been preparing for the most part. are they evacuating in mass numbers? that may not be the case. the timing of the storm coming in later tonight and we will probably get the effects of it around midnight. the second landfall, once this makes it through north carolina, it will not make landfall here until noon tomorrow. this will be a long-duration event. this coastline will get hit pretty hard with the winds and waves. new york city proper will be getting those sustained winds and the higher skyscrapers and high-rises will feel the brunt of that. i want to show you one more thing, these mounds of sand are not natural protective dunes. you go out to the island and the
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hamptons, you have the grassy dunes. they protect the shore line. not so much here. man has done things to the coastline that makes things susceptible. they have started piling up the sand to hold back the water. by this time tomorrow, it will probably be right at my footsteps. t.j. >> rob, we appreciate you as always. also on a big story like this or a breaking story, you viewers are telling us a story. you are sending in video from our ireporters. the winds ripped the roof off of a building you are seeing here. we will get more from the viewers in the ireports. we will have that for you in a moment. stay with us. 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.
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we are about 25 minutes past the hour. also, maybe under an hour from seeing landfall of hurricane irene. now a category one storm with maximum sustained winds of about 90 miles an hour. it is getting closer and closer to north carolina. we are expecting landfall at any moment. we have been checking in with
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our reporters up and down the coast of north carolina. if you have been watching, they have been getting blown around as this is intensifying. as part of a big story like this, a big breaking news story, you viewers help us tell the story with your ireports. we have josh levs with more on that. >> good morning. we have been getting videos and photos from you already today. we will start off with a video that came in last night. take a look at this. >> there went the roof of something. >> look at that. we will stay on this. i'll tell you about it. this is part of a roof blowing off the building in myrtle beach, south carolina. we got this from travis campbell. he and his family were at a resort hotel looking out on the ocean. it turned out that was part of a
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roof near the hotel pool. i want to let our ireporters know that you should not go through any dangers to take any pictures or video. when you are in a position to safely take pictures or video, we love to see them. let's move on to this one now. this is pawleys island, south carolina. >> a fast-moving current. probably 15 minutes passed since i was last on the roadway. it is already covered. the roadways on pawleys are not safe anymore. >> these are flood waters on his family's vacation home. the waters were at three feet. it has receded in the area where he is located. i have one more to show you here. this one came to us today. take a look at this. >> we are here in hurricane
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irene. we are now getting tropical storm force winds over 40 miles an hour. >> this is a boat dock in atlantic beach, north carolina. this is from a student jeremy michael. he said someone had a large boat that was tied down there and it appeared to be riding out the storm in the boat. he said he was amazed with the wind. we talked to everyone before we show these on the air. we made sure no one is going through danger. what you should do is follow authorities. i want to show you something you can take part in if you are in the position to safely join the story. you will go to cnn.com and we are showing you all of the many places that we are getting ireport photos and video from. you hit a button over here and it allows to you see everything. i have this posted on my web
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page. go ahead and share your photos and videos and story. t.j., we will follow them through the day. >> josh, thank you. to our viewers in the u.s. and around the world watching us right now. we are getting closer to the bottom of the hour and closer and closer of landfall of hurricane irene. it has sustained winds of 90 miles an hour. it is just a massive storm which has the potential to threaten 20% of the u.s. population. we are all over this storm for you. our reporters are out in north carolina and up and down the coast. we are right back. [ jim ] i need to push out an upgrade.
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[♪...] >> male announcer: now, for a limited time, your companion flies free, plus save up to 65%. call 1-800-sandals. conditions apply. we are at the bottom of the hour here now. we are just minutes away from maybe landfall of hurricane irene. our reynolds wolf is in north carolina where the storm is expected to come ashore here in the next few minutes. reynolds, does it feel like it is about to come ashore? >> reporter: it sure does. we are getting an intermittent pattern where you have heavy
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rain that blasts through. the wind is much stronger than it was in the last update. that is getting close to 55-mile-an-hour sustained. the wind comes in in sheets. for people tuning in, orlando is our photographer. he may have to wipe the lens occasionally. if you look behind me, you can see the ocean which is virtually white. you have waves out there. it is just a total mess. you get out in the water and you are a dead man. that is plain and simple. this is the way the situation is going to be. water is getting higher to shore. coming close to the dunes. more water, more rainfall expected for the outer banks. possibly up to a foot in the inland locations. something new we are starting to hear, t.j., off to my left toward the center of the stretch of the island, we are hearing this high-pitched sound. that is the wind that is combing through the power lines. i would not be surprised if we
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have power outages here in kitty hawk soon. i hear there are 20,000 homes without power to our south due to the trees down. they hit the power lines and kaboom. they will go out. we expect more of the intermittent pattern. the storm is still a distance from here, but it is getting closer. i expect we will have more of the conditions, more rain and potential flooding as it chugs up the coast. t.j., right back to you. >> reynolds, thank you. let's turn to jacqui jeras in cnn hurricane headquarters. we are possibly minutes away from the storm making landfall. >> it doesn't happen like that. it will be a gradual process. maybe in the next half hour and through that hour we will be watching the center of circulation come onshore. you can see from the live shots,
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they will continue to be dangerous. you cannot pick out an eye on this hurricane. it is tough to pinpoint the center of circulation. one threat is the threat of tornadoes as the outer bands spiral in and come in off the shore. we have one warning right now. look at that. it just quickly expired. it expired early. a lot of times they are weak and they pop up. they are moving so fast. 50 miles an hour. they expire quickly. they can take your roof off your house and down some trees. take the warnings seriously. that was for suffolk, virginia. it looks like that warning expired. good news for you folks there. let's talk about the timing and landfall and where this thing is. you can see it looks like it is tightening up a little bit more in the center of circulation. it is moving around 14 miles per hour. you know, we are talking about the next half hour or hour that
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we will deal with the greatest surge coming in. we have seen in the bay area here. we have been getting storm surge reports of around 7 or 8 feet. that water is rising. high tide is right now. 6:30. that is on top of the normal high tide they are dealing with. rainfall will be a big story, guys. look at this as it goes up the coast, t.j. for the majority of the people in the situation, that is an ongoing situation. 6 to 12 inches of rain. we have seen 5 to 8 already on the coast of the carolinas. >> how long will they deal with this on the coast of the carolinas? how long will they be dealing with the storm? >> it could pick up a little bit of forward speed. the timing is tricky. by this evening, they will see the rain bands really slack off. >> jacqui, thank you. we will check in with her throughout this morning.
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we are at 36 minutes past the hour. folks in new york have just about seen it all. they feel like they can deal with everything. it is hard for them to remember when the city was hit by a hurricane. when they had anyone last telling them to be prepared for a hurricane. do they know how to prepare for a hurricane? right now, they are getting ready and long lines are forming as people try to ride out the storm as people get what they need. >> this is the line for generators at the lowe's store. this line started forming at 4:00 a.m. it goes down this aisle. it forms down this aisle. it goes all the way down and makes another turn to the right. more than 100 people. >> our poppy harlow is in new york for us this morning. poppy, good morning to you. like we have been mentioning, rob mentioned a short time ago, when emergency officials said the biggest concern about irene in new york is new yorkers.
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new yorkers have seen a lot and been through a lot. this is something they will ride out? >> reporter: people are heeding this warning. it is historic, t.j. the city of manhattan and new york city has never in the history of the city been evacuated before. they are listening to strong words from mayor mike bloomberg. i want you to listen to the warning he issued last night to all of new york city. take a listen. >> we hope new yorkers living in the areas find places to stay with relatives or friends who live in safer higher areas. if they can't, we are ready to accommodate anybody that needs shelter. there will be, unfortunately, a serious storm coming in and it's better to take precautions and get out of the way of the storm. mother nature is much stronger than all of us. >> reporter: it is true. the storm is stronger than all of us.
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even tough new yorkers, t.j. 370,000 people have been told they are under mandatory evacuations. a lot of them have been coming to the public school in new york which has been turned into a shelter. 12 people are in there right now. we are expecting more. yesterday was sunny. people did not feel the storm coming. it is just sunrise here in new york. it looks ominous. you find 500 beds. you have blankets from the city of new york. packets. they have water. they are waiting for food. they can hold 3,500 people. they have 500 beds. 370,000 people in new york. 91 shelters they can go to. the city is prepared. mayor bloomberg is saying they have 900 soldiers coming in. they have air national guard and army national guard. in just an hour, the public transportation in the city is going to shutdown.
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that is historic. >> poppy harlow, thank you in new york. we will check in with you again. we are 40 minutes past the hour. the whole east coast bracing for hurricane irene. a category one storm which is a matter of minutes away from officially making landfall. it is a tough day for folks up and down the east coast. we will show you what some are saying is a historic storm. stay with me. what iwe turned trash into surfboards? whatever your what if is, the new sprint biz 360 has custom solutions to make it happen, including mobile payment processing, instant hot spots, and powerful devices like the motorola photon 4g. so let's all keep asking the big what ifs. sprint business specialists can help you find the answers. sprint. america's favorite 4g network. trouble hearing on the phone? visit sprintrelay.com. you've been stuck in the garage, while my sneezing and my itchy eyes took refuge from the dust in here
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♪ we need your questions ♪ each and every kind ♪ every kind ♪ will this react with my other medicine? ♪ ♪ hey, what are all these tests even for? ♪ ♪ questions are the answer ♪ yeah ♪ oh 42 minutes past the hour. hurricane irene, which is just under an hour from making landfall in the u.s. is shaping up to be a monster storm. it was downgraded to a category one, but it is a massive storm. people living in the storm's path have been warned they need to get out of there. take a listen to this. >> i'm going to batten down the
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hatches on long island. it will be a big one coming. >> the essential thing is you be begin making plans to evacuate right now. >> you have to get out. the weather is good today. it's sunny. it is time to move. >> we don't know where to go. they say it will be the same in new york. we don't know where to go. >> to those of you out there who heeded the warnings and evacuated, thank you very much. to those of you who chose to ride out the storm, i would urge you to use common sense and stay inside. >> i'm panicking first of all because i just moved here. i'm not used to this kind of weather. i'm a little nervous, but as long as we have shelter. >> i cannot stress this highly enough. if you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now.
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don't wait. don't delay. we all hope for the best, but we have to be prepared for the worst. >> i don't know. i think it comes and goes. the fear. i'm just concerned because i live in a high-rise. i want to know if i'm supposed to evacuate? i have to look into that. >> i'm not going to freak out over it. it is what it is. i'm not going to freak out. what are we going to do? we have to make it work. >> there you go. it is what it is. don't freak out. be warned. prepare yourself. get out if they tell you to get out. make sure you are ready for the storm. the storm that is expected to make landfall in a matter of minutes. certainly within the hour. it is just off the coast of north carolina. that is where our reporters are. we will check in with them next as we bring you coverage of hurricane irene.
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we are about a quarter of the top of the hour. welcome back to our coverage of hurricane irene. north carolina may be minutes away from getting the brunt of the storm that is expected to make landfall here any moment in north carolina. kill devil hills is one city in the hurricane's path. they have a mandatory evacuation order there. you know and i know, it never fails, you will have some people who decide to stay behind and try to ride it out. >> we will be at the brunt of it to start off, but it will move
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off of us. we are in the good lord's hands. we will leave it at that. >> all right. it's in the lord's hands. hurricane irene is expected to make landfall soon. john zarrella is there for us in north carolina. brian todd is here for us. we will check in with him. let's start with john. you are in atlantic beach, north carolina. you have been -- i don't know if it is fair to say, seeking shelter, which is walking a few feet to your right to do your reporting here. let me know how things have been happening over the last couple of hours. >> reporter: it is interesting, t.j., the wind picks up. it gets really strong for a minute. then it's dying out. then i think we are close to the core of the hurricane. then it lessens up a bit. in fact, the rainfall has lessened quite a bit as the winds have picked up a bit. about 75% of carter county where we are here in atlantic beach
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and moorhead city. 75% of the county has lost power in the overnight hours and into the morning. at first light, you get a better look at what we are talking about here. the tree there has been blowing in this direction the entire night. these trees. that's the north. that's the east. that counterclockwise circulation as the storm comes up at us is still blowing in the same direction all night. i think we are pretty close to the center of circulation here. exactly whether we will be in any sort of calm or an eye once we get into the eyewall, i don't know at this point. i'll take a walk out and give the viewers a sense, again, of what it's like. the last half hour was windier. although here comes a gust picking things up again.
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you can see with the light, the clouds are swirling around with the counterclockwise circulation. fortunately f this was much worse, all of these tree limbs would be blown off. we might have power lines down. we might have street lights down. i can't see any of that right now. again, you get near that core of the storm for a very brief period and it can be very, very violent. a lot of the damage can be done in a very short period of time right around the core of the storm. fortunately, we have not seen that yet. hopefully we won't. t.j. >> john, thanks to you once again. let me head down to wilmington, north carolina. our brian todd is there. brian, are you seeing the same thing he was just reporting? it is kind of hit and miss. it will kick up for a while and die down a bit. are you seeing the same thing?
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>> reporter: absolutely, t.j. that is the nature of what you experience in the situation. you get a microburst of wind that will just knock out your feet. it hit me a couple of minutes ago. the nature of the circulation of the wind and rain, that is what it does. we are on the banks of the cape fear river. you get a sense of the squalls here. officials tell us they are concerned about the storm surge causing flooding and this river spilling its banks. the river is wide enough to preclude that from happening. up north where the river narrows, that is where they are concerned about this river spilling over its banks. latest report i just got minutes ago from the emergency management people in hanover county. up to 14,000 people are without
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power in hanover county. that could rise and fall as we go through the heart of the storm. they are concerned about flash flooding. there has been flash flooding in carolina beach and wrightsville beach. not far from here. the emergency operations center here has lost power. it has been on generator power since midnight. they lost the power for automated 911 calls. the lines have been failing all morning. they not losing the calls. the calls are switching over to the administrative line. they can still take them. the 911 system has gone down temporarily, t.j. that is what the emergency operators are up against here. right now, the only people you see out are the first responders patrolling around. >> brian todd hanging tight in wilmington. thank you, as always. as we get closer to the top of the hour, mandatory evacuations
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for people who are not used to being told to get out. we are talking new york. 400,000 people in low-lying areas told they need to get out of there. we are live from their right after the break. stay with us on this cnn saturday morning. e had a good year at chevy. they gave us a consumers digest best buy award. 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. with less chronic low back pain. imagine living your life with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is a non-narcotic treatment that's fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain.
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all right. we are getting close to the top of the hour. we are getting closer and closer to landfall of hurricane irene. this is lady liberty in new york. new york has about 24 hours or less until hurricane irene makes it up in that direction. you know, new york city is not a place that is used to be tested for its hurricane prepaidness. it will be tested this weekend and other points up along the east coast of the united states. very populated cities. we are talking about boston, d.c., new york, philadelphia, baltimore. places that are not used to getting hurricanes will be tested this weekend. as i bring in jacqui jeras, our meteorologist here who is in the hurricane headquarters with me. jacqui, we know the airports in the new york area and all incoming traffic will be stopped
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at noon. tons of flight cancellations. you can imagine a new york without a subway system? we will see that starting at noon. >> that is the thing. we are worried about the storm surge and it could get flooded. those areas flooding the subway and battery park and parts of manhattan will get flooded as well. up the hudson river and east river. all of those areas we are concerned about. we can hope for new york city that this will weaken a bit before it gets there. that's the optimistic outlook. you need to be prepared for the worst at this time. the peak of the storm, for new york, by the way, coming in tomorrow morning about 10:00 or noon. it depends on the timing. it is expected to pick up forward speed as it heads in this direction. let's talk about where the center is and what we are dealing within the next couple of hours. it is a broad circulation. it is trying to tighten itself up more.
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some of the worst conditions on the cape and the outer banks. this is the last push of the winds coming in with the cluster of thunderstorms. you will see the water stay very high. we will see the rise. we have some reports of incredible wind gusts. 94 miles an hour in the jacksonville and buford, north carolina. 54 miles per hour in goldsberg. there has been a fatality now in virginia beach. a surfer was out there yesterday afternoon, which is what we don't want you to do. here is the forecast track. we will be moving it through the outer banks today. we will scrape on up through the mid-atlantic and head through the northeast tomorrow. we will be done with this thing some time on monday. still a big wind threat and lots of rain threat and lots of power outages. t.j. >> jacqui, thank you. as always, we are giving you the latest on hurricane irene. we will reset and give you the
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latest on where the storm is heading. all of our reporters are up and down the east coast. jacqui says we are expecting landfall in the next half hour. we will reset here for you in a moment. [ cherie ] i always had a job, ever since i was fourteen. i could not make working and going to school work. it was not until the university of phoenix that i was able to work full-time, be a mom, and go to school. the opportunits that i had at the university of phoenix, dealing wh profesonals teaching things that they were doing every day, got me to where i am today. i'm mayor cherie wood, i'm responsible for the largest urban renewal project in utah, and i am a phoenix. [ male announcer ] find your program at phoenix.edu.
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we are at the top of the hour on this cnn saturday morning. we are keeping a close eye on hurricane irene. the storm now expected to make landfall in a matter of minutes. it could happen before the bottom of the hour. let me tell you about the storm. it is a category one storm. it weakened a bit overnight. do that let that fool you. it still has 90-mile-an-hour sustained winds. this is still a very dangerous and very large storm.
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storm surge is also a real concern here as it comes ashore. some projections up to ten or more feet. it puts some of the larger cities at risk. new york and d.c. and boston. those cities not used to be tested for their hurricane preparedness. we have our teams all over the east coast. several of our reporters are in north carolina. can you tell which ones are in north carolina by looking at the screen. we have reporters in new york as well as d.c. you will hear from them all. also, our jacqui jeras is with us this morning. she is telling us what is happening with the storm. let me start, if we can, with our reynolds wolf. he is in north carolina. reynolds, it has been a harrowing past couple of hours as you have been reporting for us. >> reporter: i tell you, t.j., it has gotten worst last couple of minutes.
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the wind is coming in. the rain drops in sheets. it has let up a bit and then we have a quick blast. you have off the outer banks which is a body of water which is nicknamed the graveyard of the atlantic. how appropriate on the day like today and the nickname like that. the water coming up to the bottom of the dunes. places we are able to walk to the water edge yesterday. maybe 150 yards or so, all of that disappearing. it was coming in yesterday gently. towering waves. some of these easily 12 footers. i expect them to get bigger as the time continues. one big concern we have of this is not just the wind, but also the heavy rain that we can anticipate. the outer banks and parts of the tar heel state may have rainfall totals before this is all said and done could be in excess 12
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inches. that means flash flooding. any spots that have poor drainage will be flooded today. it will be bad. there are places where you have flooding that will occur in the next several hours. if you live in the carolinas and in virginia and all the way up the coast up to new york, you need to be ready today for things to really unwind in terms of the weather conditions. these are not getting better. things will get exponentially worse. if it does lose a considerable amount of wind speed, we have the rainmaker. t.j., we said time and again, it will affect millions of americans. you have to be ready. being ready for people on the outer banks, the people who decided to stay behind, they are basically in the hands of irene for the time being. if anyone has an emergency on the outer banks, there is no way they can get off the outer banks
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until the storm passes. sitting here and waiting for it to pass and trying to stay hard footing as irene gets closer. back to you. >> reynolds, thank you so much. we are about four minutes past the hour now. i know you had a tough time hearing reynolds and john zarrella. you understand what is going on with the winds and rain. although you might not be the best audio quality, john, we are trying to give our viewers perspective and give them an understanding of what the people in north carolina and up the coast are going through as well as the strength of this storm. >> reporter: i think you can hear me pretty well. it has been a funny situation. i have been in a lot of hurricanes over the years. this thing is a sloppy kind of a storm right now. maybe jacqui jeras would agree that is a good word to use for
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it. the center of circulation. no real eye. i kind of think at times we are close to the core of the hurricane. the winds die down like now, i think maybe we are in the center of the circulation where it is light and then it picks up again. difficult to assess exactly what's going on around us as far as where, faexactly, the storm . the wind is nowhere near as strong as it was an hour ago here right now. about 26,000 or 27,000 people without power in carter county. atlantic beach, north carolina. moorhead beach just over the bridge. that is north. that is south. the beach is to the south here. the storm coming up. i just went over to the beach. one of our photographers is over there right now. the water and waves are right up to the shore line. they have come up probably about
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100 yards, the water. we are just after high tide here. the water is way up right against the dunes. the end of the pier that extends off this hotel is gone. that came down, from what i'm told, about 3:00 this morning. we know part of the pier is gone. i walked out to the edge. you can see out there the pilings. the rest of it has collapsed. if that is the worst of the damage here, then we feel very fortunate. again, viewers who have been with us a couple of hours, you know i was having a hard time standing up before and having a hard time talking. it was noisy and loud. that is not the case anymore. the bulk sound is that way. atlantic is that way. there was concern where the storm came in and you could get storm surge from the atlantic and as the storm goes by, storm surge coming this way from the
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sound. it doesn't look like that is the case. with the light coming up, folks can see how fortunate we have been here that the storm did not stay at a category two or a category three. it has steadily weakened down to a category one. that is really, really good news. t.j. >> john zarrella, thank you. jacqui jeras agrees with your assessment. this is a sloppy storm. let me bring in jacqui jeras about the sloppy storm. let's talk about when it will make landfall. tell us what that means and what that will look like. it is not like it is one mass event. >> landfall is when the center of the storm has crossed and made its way on land. the significance is for that is that some of the worst of the storm is making its way onshore. that is when you see the greatest storm surge and you see the greatest winds.
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the winds will change direction. they have been coming at you from the east and now they come at you from the west as you get on the back side of the system. landfall is important, but it is not the biggest story, necessarily, with the storm. we are already seeing extensive damage reports in north carolina and virginia and in particular, hundreds of thousands of people without power at this hour. trees are down everywhere. that will be a big concern. hopefully you have done your job in the last couple of weeks and months in terms of getting big trees down and you have taken care of that kind of thing. sloppy? i'll take sloppy. no organization of the storm. it is not great. it is difficult on radar to pinpoint where the center is. this is cape lookout right here. atlantic beach next to it. that is where john zarrella is located and where the storm is beginning to move in and bear down. he will see calmer conditions
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the next couple of hours. we have a good 30 minutes or so to go at least in terms of the stronger winds that are pushing into the area. let's talk about the structure of the storm in terms of sloppiness. look at how this used to be symmetric symmetrical. we cannot see an eye anymore. it is shrouded. the back half of the storm has fallen apart. we are hopeful we will see continued weakening with this thing. the official forecast still keeps it as a category one from the national hurricane center as it takes its ride through the mid-atlantic and the northeastern states. you plan for the worst. you hope this is a tropical storm when it comes your way. either way, we still have a lot of threats. timing wise. do we have a second to give you a city-by-city? let's show you the wind
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forecast. we were expecting a 7:00 or 8:00 time frame. this is when we were expecting the peak of the storm. hours ahead of the storm, you are seeing terrible conditions. virginia beach has already been terrible for the last 6 to 12 hours. we are expecting this to peak in this area later on this evening. ocean city, maryland. the worst conditions will come in overnight. that includes baltimore and washington d.c. when you see the height of the storm. as we head into new york, we will see tropical storm-force winds by this evening. the peak of the storm will not happen for you until tomorrow morning. maybe tomorrow midday. as we head into boston, we are talking about mid afternoon when we are expecting the peak of the storm before it finally accelerates. it should pick up steam. keep in mind the timing may be off a bit. everybody up and down the coast, have the safety kit we were talking about earlier. t.j. >> jacqui, thank you for that.
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we will check in with you throughout the morning on this storm. new yorkers have dealt with a lot over the years and can deal with anything. they are not used to dealing with hurricanes. can you see what is in the picture, folks? that is actually lady liberty. the storm is on the way and some 400,000 people have been told they need to get out. we are checking in with new york after the break. when i got my medicare card, i realized i needed an aarp... medicare supplement insurance card, too. medicare is one of the great things about turning 65, but it doesn't cover everything. in fact, it only pays up to 80% of your part b expenses. if you're already on or eligible for medicare, call now to find out how an aarp... medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company, helps cover some of the medical expenses... not paid by medicare part b. that can save you from paying up to thousands of dollars... out of your own pocket. these are the only medicare supplement insurance plans...
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low-lying areas of the city. among those areas, laguardia, jfk airports. also, hurricane-force winds could break windows on hundreds of skyscrapers. heavy rains could flood the subway system. it could paralyze the financial district and evacuating 370,000 new yorkers is not going to be easy. you see the storm on the radar now. expecting landfall within the next half hour. it should come ashore as a category one storm in north carolina as it comes up the coast. michael bloomberg says his city is ready. >> the best thing for us is the storm heads due east and heads out to sea and nobody has any inconvenience or nobody's life is in jeopardy. that is not likely to happen. there will be, unfortunately, a serious storm coming in. >> poppy harlow is in manhattan with us this morning. good morning to you once again.
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how are new yorkers taking this news, if you will? a lot of people move to new york after they finish school. they move there for jobs. they never had to deal with a hurricane before. other people, if you are not that old, you cannot remember the last hurricane in new york. how are people just taking this right now? >> reporter: i think they are taking it seriously, t.j. as you mentioned the areas getting evacuated and the office of emergency management says 300,000 people are under evacuation. i live right below wall street. right at sea level. a lot of folks just like that. we have two of them with us right now. carmelo hernandez and omar gonzales. omar is 12. they are evacuating here with their dog. these new york city schools have been turned into emergency shelters. how are you guys doing?
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tell me about the process of evacuating your apartment early this morning? >> i feel bad and sad because this never happened to us. we have to evacuate quickly so we don't get hurt or anything. >> reporter: how are you feeling? are you nervous? do you feel like you are prepared. they live on the tenth floor of the high-rise. as a mother of three boys, how are you feeling? >> i'm scared because i have never done that. >> reporter: you have never done this before? >> correct. >> reporter: i was in the shelter earlier. people were sleeping at 5:00 a.m. you have food and water and what you need? >> we have everything. yeah. not everything. half of it. food and snacks and nutrition bars. >> reporter: how long do you think you will be here?
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>> probably until at least sunday. >> reporter: what were you going to say? >> i heard at least sunday. new york city announced to us sunday. >> reporter: thank you guys, so much. they are going to the store. they are getting dog food. thank you. stay safe. we will see you throughout the day. t.j., new york city housing tells them they may go back on sunday. if the storm is on track, it will be hard to get to lower manhattan. all of the public transportation will be cut off. it is important that you get out of your homes. the weather may be okay now, but at noon, there is no public transportation to get to the shelters. >> poppy harlow, in manhattan, thank you so much. we have rob marciano now.
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you said it is disconcerning to see how many people who are not getting out. how much time do they have to get out of here? >> reporter: they have today. they have all day today. the winds and rains will start to encroach tonight. today is the day to head to higher ground. that is the technique on long island. if you asked everybody in the coastal areas to head for the mainland, you would talk about a serious traffic problem on the bridges. some people are doing that if they have friends and relatives inland. for the most part in the evacuation zone, in nassau and suffolk county, that is 300,000 people to evacuate. after 5:00 p.m., you will not get much help by officials. we have seen some of that. we saw some businesses boarding up here on long beach.
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even during a decent winter storm will flood. you get a hurricane and people are curious, if not concerned. they have taken precautions as the storm begins to approach. over my left shoulder, this is the beach. it is a flat beach. it is different from the ones you see down in the hamptons where you have the protective sand dunes. these have been made by man in an effort to protect the town. there are a few access ways to get to and from the beach under here. that would make this area susceptible for the storm surge. that is where i am standing by tomorrow morning. that means the inland areas will flood here. on the back side of this, don't forget long island sound. we will get winds will which push the water on the sound. that is typically quiet on the
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sound. we are in the flight path of jfk. the clouds are low. a lot of fog. later on today, when they shutdown the airports, a historic move here, you will not hear the planes as they make their way toward the airport. it has been over two decades, t.j., since any hurricane, really of decent size has made landfall on long island. it has been a while. folks, if not anything else, are curious as to what's going to happen. >> curious? that's one way to put it. rob marciano on long island. we will check in with you again. 20 minutes past the hour. a number of states of emergencies declared up and down the coast. north carolina is getting the brunt of the storm. expected to make landfall in north carolina at any moment. the state of emergency there. the red cross is ready and already some of their shelters have started to fill up. we are checking in with the red cross after the break. stay with me. 25 grams of protei.
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doug can shift up to 50% of his technology spend to innovation. so his company runs better, and so does doug. dell. the power to do more. 23 minutes past the hour now on this cnn saturday morning as we continue to keep an eye on the hurricane irene which is now a category one storm which is packing 90-mile-an-hour winds now. the president warning people right now to take precautions and take the storm certiserious. listen to the president. this is what he said yesterday
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from martha's vineyard. >> all indications point to this being a historic hurricane. although we can't predict with certainty the impact of irene over the next few days, the federal government has spent the better part of last week working with communities affected by the storm to see to it that we are prepared. >> all right. 23 minutes past the hour. let me check in with brian todd in wilmington in north carolina. again, north carolina starting to feel the brunt of the storm. expected to make landfall at any moment. how are things in wilmington? >> reporter: t.j., we are getting the most severe storm surge that we have gotten so far. we are told that the winds are moving away from the area, but that is not the case here. the cape fear river is behind me. you see the white caps here and
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squalls behind me. we have a precautionary tale for you in new york. i spoke to officials a short time ago. the message is when you think this is moving away from you, it does not mean it is safe at all. although as we said more severe bands are moving away, but there are still a lot of dangers. they just called off the search for a man who was in the cape fear river temporarily. the conditions are not good enough to resume that search. this was a little bit north here in the cape fear river. people are being urged that you have to stay away from places like this. you have to stay inside and hunker down. don't get the false assurance that conditions will be favorable to go outside or drive in your car. flash flooding is a major concern.
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it is happening all over the county in wilmington and east of here. that's a major concern. this river may not spill over its banks where we are, but they are concerned up north where it narrows, it may spill over its banks when the storm surge hits. t.j. >> brian todd in wilmington. thank you. let's check in with larry shaunaughsey. he is trying to ride out the storm aboard the ship. how is the ride out there? >> relatively smooth, t.j. there is some sunshine out there today. the ship was rocking a little more yesterday and it is this morning. that was the intent of the navy. to put these ships away from the effects of the storm. but there is a second mission that they may be called upon to do and that would be to go in
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close to the shore where the worst damage is done and begin to assist the authorities with response and recovery. that will only happen if the federal government and the department of defense orders the navy to send in these ships. the navy is not waiting. they will spend most of today making sure that they get ready if they are called upon to do that. they brought on 500 marines and a dozen helicopters and two large landing aircraft that can carry entire trucks. those trucks are right now parked on the landing aircrafts. the aircrafts are docked in the hold underneath the flight deck of this amphibeaus ship i'm on.
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we understand the trucks have the material needed by the military should they be called upon to give civilians assistance. >> larry, one more thing, how quickly can that ship get to where it needs to be? how quickly will that ship get personnel and equipment to those locations? >> i'm pretty sure that this ship and the other five members of the task force could make it back to a place off the carolina coast where they could start doing flight operations or sending aircraft in almost as fast as the storm could move out of the way. >> that is our pentagon producer larry shaugnessey.
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the ships could be ready to jump into action at any moment. thank you, larry. we have been focusing on north carolina. it is the first state to get slammed by hurricane irene. a category one hurricane. it is expected to make landfall at any moment. the red cross always jumps into action before disasters and after disasters. right now, during the disaster. kate myer is joining me now from kill devil hills from north carolina. ma'am, you already have a number of people in your shelters. just how many are we talking about? >> we have seen thousands of people come to our shelters in north carolina. we have 50 shelters in north carolina. these are populated with people who had evacuated or tourists who have left or people

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