tv CNN Saturday Morning CNN August 27, 2011 5:00am-6:30am PDT
hurricane irene, now officially made landfall as a category 1 storm on the east coast of the united states. the most up-to-date satellite image we can show you now of re irene, showing wear and tear, described as sloppy, not very well organized but starting to get more disorganized. you can see it there, it was a more organized storm over the past couple of days but as it's making landfall now and making its way up the east coast maybe not so much so. it has been lashing out at the carolina shoreline for the past several hours. that is where, again, it it has officially made landfall. the storm surge there is expected to take a toll on outer banks and coastal communities. concern shared all the way up and down the east coast right now. more so in cities you can imagine that aren't used to dealideal ing with hurricanes, like new york city. been some time since they've had to deal with a direct hit from
hurricanes. this storm could be head toward parts of lower manhattan, could be inundated with floodwaters. the president, president obama, sounding pretty serious about this storm and warning folks to take this storm seriously. >> all indications point to this being a historic hurricane. although we can't predict with certainty the il pact of irene, the federal government has spent the better part of last week spending time with officials in communities that could be affected by this storm to see to it we are prepared. >> we do have our reporters out this morning. several in north carolina, like i mentioned, that has been getting battered by this storm. that is where it has officially made landfall. we also have reporters in d.c. and new york where the storm will be heading. let me start in north carolina, kill devil hills, north carolina, where reynolds wolf is now. reynolds, it's official, it's made landfall. what are you noticing there? and we see your picture there reynolds. it seems like it continues to
kick up every time we come talk to you. >> reporter: well, t.j., i've got to tell you that i've been lucky enough to cover tropical weather at cnn for about six years now, covered about 17 on the beach. i've been lucky enough to cover them in the pacific ocean, in hawaii, been in the gulf of mexico and now obviously on the atlantic. and each and every one of those storms is a little bit different, but there is one common thread. they each have one key moment in whatever location we happen to be in. that key location, that key moment, right now with irene at kitty hawk, north carolina, is right about now. the strongest wind we've had so far and the rain has just been blinding at times, coming through not only is it just rain coming through but also a lot of sand being picked up right behind us and being thrashed right toward the lens cap of the camera high upon the balcony. irene right now is gearing up. as you mentioned, it's already made landfall but the top half of this storm is going to give a right hook to kitty ahawk, north carolina.
it will be within the next 20 minutes or so when the power outages start coming up. in the next 35, 40, 50 minutes, the heaviest rainfall will strike this part of the island and start moving into other pars of the carolinas, then advance to virg virnl and northward. when with it happens, watch out for that flash flooding. i'm telling you if you're driving out there, out and about, you don't need to be. be safe in your homes if at all possible. if you happen to be tuning in on the outer banks, stay in your shelter. don't get out whatsoever. thankfully we're in a fairly safe location. but other parts of the island there could be some destruction, roofing tiles could get knocked off. when those things are in the air and moving, those are deadly project isles. when you get hit by one of those, there's no way to get out, no way to get first aid, evacuate until this storm passes. again, power outages, there have been thousands on parts of the island.
i would expect those numbers to increase steadily. what we've also had reports of in terms of the water, the water tide is coming in, coming right up to the sand dunes we have behind me. very angry seas. you're going to have the issues of rip currents, riptides all the way from the carolinas clear up to the jersey shore line, perhaps even farther north on long island. guys, that's a quick synopsis of what's happening here. we do expect it to get worse possibly the next several minutes. we're going to sit tight. we'll provide you the latest. >> reynolds, we appreciate that. let's had head down now to john zarrella in atlantic beach. give us your vantage point now. it looks a lot different there, john, from the last couple of times we talked to you. >> reporter: yeah, it sure does. i feel for reynolds. that's what we had a couple of hours ago. totally different now, within
the last 20 minutes or so it it got fairly calm here so i know we were fairly close to the center of circulation. and the wind has completely shifted directions now. when we were talking last, the wind was coming out of the north and east, blowing this way. now the wind has shifted around, it's coming from the north and almost from the west, back this way, which means the storm has kind of gone by us and we're on the left side of the circulation of the storm. now, what you can see here, obviously down ft. macon road, the main drive on atlantic beach. in the distance a little to the left is a big bridge, the one bridge that leads over to the island. as the viewers can see, we appear to have gotten at least that first brush right in this general area, very, very fort flat here that things weren't a lot worse during the height of this, during the course of the overnight hours into the early morning. now, we shot some video, our
photographer mike miller was down at the water, which is just to my left, that's south just on the other side of the hotel we're at here. and you can see the waves still crashing right up against the sand dunes and as far up as they go, covering about 50 yards of beach. and a portion of the pier that leads out off the back of the hotel, the end of that pier, is already gone. now, with the subsiding of the storm here, they'll probably be able to save the rest of the pier, but that part is gone. a section of the facade on the side of the building, just a little bit of the hotel facade, can't see it from here, but that ripped off during the overnight hours as well we heard it and i said to my photographer are, i said, what was that that i heard it was right around the corner that the section of the facade had ripped off.
26,000, 27,000 people in north carolina without power right now, but as you can see and as the viewers can see, very, very fortunate here in atlantic beach, morehead city, because this thing could certainly, the understatement is, have been one heck of a lot worse. t.j.? >> john zarrella, thank you this morning. let me turn it over to jacqui jeras, our meteorologist keeping an eye on this storm. it's amazing, both of those guys we just saw there are in same state not too terribly far from each other, but two totally different scenes as the hurricane makes landfall. >> yes. reynolds has a long way to go, he'll continue to get lashed for, say, the next five hours or so. yeah, we did see landfall. it was right here on cape lookout about 7:30ish. but it's kind of taken more of a northeasterly turn so it almost looks like we're seeing almost a second landfall potentially taking place over in this area here. continues to be a strong storm.
you say to yourself, hurricane weaken a lot after they make landfall, don't they? this is the outer banks, not a lot of elevation here, it's very flat, marshy, a lot of water in the area so very little weakening is expected. just minor. let's show you the official update here as of the top of the hour. hurricane center putting it out, 85 miles per hour, the intensity of landfall. that's the intensity right now. it's moving north-northeast at 13 miles per hour so it will continue to move in that direction throughout the outer banks, throughout the day for today. the threat of tornado ares, this is something we've been dealing with the last number of hours, we've got a tornado watch in effect for parts of north carolina into virginia, up toward the delmarva here. that's until 11:00 local time. there is a lot of friction, a lot of vorticity with these storms so as they move onshore we get those spin-up and they can cause a lot of damage. let's talk about the forecast track here and timing for this thing. it's going to be moving through the mid-atlantic through the day
today with the peak of it coming at a place for you tonight and then the northeast tomorrow with your peak, say, sometime late morning to midday-ish. by monday morning it's out of here. it it's going to be off, the center anyway, the u.s. that's the little bit of good news. eventually we're going to get through you'll of this. but a really big storm. those winds well inland. we're getting reports now of wilmington, north carolina, about 60,000 people without power. those numbers just keep going up up. a lot of damage in north carolina, a lot of damage reported in virginia as well. >> jacqui jeras, we appreciate you. we'll be checking in with you plenty throughout this morning. we need to head to new york now because that is where the storm is it headed. poppy harlow is standing by in manhattan, one of a number of folks that were told you need to leave your homes. >> reporter: that's exactly rye. i packed up at 4:00 a.m. i want to point you to tourists from europe, t.j.
they are comining to this evacuation center. they were supposed to fly out tonight. no way that's going to p happen. i had to pack up as do 370,000 new yorkers right now all under mandatory evacuation. this is a shelter, one of 91 emergency facilities, in manhattan. inside i see about 500 cots, they have blankets from the city of new york, pamphlets telling what to do to prepare. i want to show you video show the food and supplies coming in, water, food to feed at least 500 people, that's how many beds they have. this they tell me they have capacity for about 3500 people, obviously not enough beds for all of those people. mayor mike bloomberg warning the city saying this is an unprecedented event. you have to take caution. there's concern in new york not enough people are taking this seriously and they're not evacuating as needed. take a listen to the mayor. >> we hope new yorkers living in these areas find places to stay with relatives or friends who
live in safer, higher areas. but, if they can't, we are ready to accommodate anybody that needs shelter. there will be, unfortunately, a serious storm coming in and it 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: that is exactly right. this storm stronger than even the toughest new yorkers, t.j. i want to roll some animation to give you a sense of what could happen. we don't know if this will happen, but this is what the city is preparing for. what you'll see is lower manhattan, parts of brooklyn, staten island, that have been evacuated, what you can see is that the water could rise very high and it it could flood a lot of lower manhattan, especially that is right at sea level. my apartment right there as well, the mayor's office telling me last night what they are preparing for is a possible storm surge of anywhere between 6 to 12 feet. the water coming in from new
york harbor over right into battery park, right on to wall street, right into south street sea port and other areas. that is why it's so important that people evacuate. i want to really press the urgency of this, all public transit in new york city, that is, the buses, subways, the long island railroad, all of that is shutting down for the next few days starting at 12:00 eastern today. if people need public transit to get to shelters like this, there are shelters, the city is prepared, but people need to take action and get out of their homes. >> can't imagine new york without the subway and public transit. people depend on it. >> reporter: right. >> things will be different in a few hours. poppy, thank you so much. we'll check back in with all of our folks in north carolina, d.c., new york as well throughout the morning as we p keep an eye on hurricane irene. also, you folks trying to it fly today, you probably know by now you'll have a problem. look at a few of the airlines with the cancellations, 2300 with united and continental, delta, 1300, jetblue 900,
airtran several hundred. southwest, american, us airways also canceling flights, amtrak canceling east coast trains with service reduction beginning today, also new york's jfk and laguardia airports, also new jersey's newark international airport all going to be closed to allow arriving passenger international and domestic flights beginning at noon today. folks will not be able to fly into that area. also in new york, something unprecedented. evacuations from the city hospitals? hospitals in the city just have not had to do this before, at least five hospitals and more than 15 nursing homes were given 12 hours to get every patient out. looks like they got their job done. also, picture to show you this morning, lady liberty, can you make it out? you just have to take me word for it it, the statue of liberty closed today, of course a precaution in the wake of hurricane irene. the city wants to assess the storm's impact before trying to
open it up to visitors again. they expect it to reopen on monday. we're about 14 minutes past the hour now, and it's a name and a face you noelle. we know the name and face because of hurricane katrina. it's general russell honore. he was really down there controlling the military response. got a lot of credit, a lot of praise for how he handled that situation. now he's here talking to us this morning about how he would handle this one, hurricane irene. stay with us this morning for our continuing coverage of the storm. [ mrs. davis ] i need to reach peter, who's falling behind. and challenge janet who's 6 chapters ahead. [ male announcer ] with interactive learning solutions from dell, mrs. davis can make every student feel like her only student. dell. the power to do more.
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17 minutes past the hour. we of course are monitoring hurricane irene, making landfall about 30 minutes ago. want to update you on another story that's been making news certainly for the past several days, weeks. rebel forces have gained control around more of the capital's airport overnight. moammar gadhafi's forces fled a village nearby, allowing rebels to get in. a widespread shortage could further destabilize the region. also, an american journalist who escaped from an infamous prison, went back for an emotional visit. he was freed during a jail break led by rebel fighters this week. in the meantime, rebels who have been trying to find gadhafi 0 exploring an extensive network
of tunnels and bunkers built underneath gadhafi's compound. our sara sidner got a peek into what she called gadhafi's inner sanctum. >> just to get an idea of how big it is. this is a golf court and obviously it can fit all the way down these corridors so i'm sure it was used, because this place is so big, to get back and fo h forth. unbelievable. 18 minutes past the hour. we get back to our coverage of hurricane irene. again, we were just saying minutes ago it just made official landfall. here is a live picture of the coast of north carolina right now, several of our reporters are there. we'll continue to check in with them. but as we watch this picture, we can leave it this up, i want to bring into the conversation general russell honore, he led the u.s. military response to katrina. general, when you see us get ready for storms, hurricanes, do you look at it and say, that's a
post-katrina preparation? >> oh, very much so. >> we learned a lot. >> we learned a lot, been applied to governors, national guard working together, working with national guard teams from other states, collaboration between first responders. there's a lot of capacity right on the edge of this storm from red cross all of government is prepared to respond. as i see this picture right here in and the disturbance along the coast, what's p happening 60, 80 miles inland right now, trees are falling, lights are going out on people, and it's at this point in time over the next few hours national guard in north carolina is all set to go. right now they're hunkered down waiting until the weather passes so they can go in and start helping people, opening roads, getting first responders in. my biggest concern is the elderly and disabled people who would be isolated at home and
really have not paid a lot of attention to the warnings that have been given because, in many cases, they are comfortable in their home. if somebody tell them to leave, it's like giving them an order they don't want to hear. >> some of this, do you ever see that we have a bit of this cry wolf mentality in that people say, okay, it's after katrina. they want to make sure they get the warning out and maybe it it's not as bad as they say it is? is there some of that in us as well? >> some of that go on, but it's the execution. people with jobs, people with cars, people with credit cards, with money in the bank, they can respond to this. it's the people that -- it's the end of the month. you've got about four days left in this month before your government assistance check, whether you're disabled or elderly, come in. they don't have the options to respond the way people who have cars, have credit cards, have option to move have. we're talking about in the
norfolk, virginia, area, and south, people who live in mobile home that's did not evacuate, you know, the government has done the right thing. the mayors have done the right thing with the warning. we still haven't got the execution. the execution is the most popular vulnerable population in the most vulnerable homes. >> let's go to new york. a lot of people concerned about what could happen because you have so many people first of all but they're not ready for hurricane hads. in your opinion, new york prepared for something like this and how bad could it be if this storm surge, this water, rain, whatever it may be comes into that city with that many people? >> you know, watching the media over the last couple of days, i've never seen this explained any better. i've never seen government more pro active as the mayor of new york. that's a big call. that's a tough call he made. there will be a lot of people after him if nothing happen. but the mayor understands there would be a lot of people after
him if he did not take action and he had people flooded in subway cars and he didn't take action. he did the right thing. it's a tough call. but, again, it's the actions of the people who are in vulnerable positions. i'm telling you there are people that are vulnerable that are in those homes and they did not evacuate. >> now, some of this is personal responsibility. if you have the ability to get out, you know, we see that video all the time,ed sound bites you hear folks, i've been here 30 years, you've got that group of folks. but you're talking about those without the means to go. what are we supposed to do? how do you know somebody needs he help? >> you know, we've made a quantum leap since katrina. i think our next step is resiliencecy in the community. we worked on a task force this year for secretary nepapolitanon how we build preparedness in the community, resilience in a
community. that's the result of a presidential decision on preparedness. this is the first one we've had one, presidential decision number eight. as a result of that, this entire community led by homeland security and fema, is pulling together, how do we get a culture of preparedness in our communities so when people leave, they take that vulnerable neighbor with them? because government isn't good enough to do that. this is going to take a community response built around our churches, built around nongovernmental organizations to get that vulnerable population out. because right now they're still in there. >> and maybe that takes some time to build up that culture. maybe we're in the right direction. you mentioned secretary napolitano. she'll be our guest here live next hour, homeland security secretary. you'll be with us throughout the morning. always good to have you. good to have your expertise. thank you so much, general honore. we're 24 minutes past the hour. this storm continues to batter the north carolina coast right now, but it's making its way north. we'll continue with our coverage of that. also, josh levs here with us.
good morning. take a look at this. >> there went the roof of something. >> we have a team here monitoring all of the latest videos, stories, photos coming in from throughout irene's path. i'll tell you what that roof was, where it was, what happened when it blew off, plus new images of a hospital evacuation. all of that coming up in about 30 minutes. and maybe up to four in a day. or choose aleve and two pills for a day free of pain. way to go, coach. ♪ [ male announcer ] they'll see you...before you see them. cops are cracking down on drinking and riding. drive sober, or get pulled over. for red lobster we can find. [ male announcer ] hurry into crabfest
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bottom of the hour here on t this "cnn saturday morning." we're giving you extensive coverage of hurricane irene, a category 1 storm that did make landfall just about a half hour or so ago, in north carolina. that is where our brian todd is, in wilmington. brian, we have two other reporters there who gave us two very different pictures. one reporter was being whipped around, the other fairly calm. how it is it there with you? >> reporter: well, t.j., the sustained winds around where we are are between 60 and 65 miles an hour. i mean, you can stand in that. you can walk around in that.
it's not comfortable, but you can kind of deal with it. what is really the telling factor, i think, is the rain. it is unrelenting. it's been unrelenting since late yesterday afternoon, overnight. it has intensified this morning. we see the cape fear river behind me with this very large swells of white p caps. there are fears this river may spill over its banks a little farther north of here, not necessarily here because it's wide enough to maybe prevent that. farther north where the river is narrower, they are fearful that this river may spill its banks when the storm surge sticks around. the fact that this storm may not be the fastest moving hurricane in the world is also a problem. pretty much the reason why the rain just hovers over you for prolonged periods of time. i think this is what the northeast is about to get in the next 24 hours or so. major danger here is flash flooding in the streets, emergency management staff is here, warning people just
because we may not be getting the very most intense bands of the storm here, don't assume that this is not dangerous are. very dangerous to drive in. these ponds of water in the roads, puddles are much deeper than they appear, t.j. they're warning people, do not try to navigate this stuff, not now and not in the hours right after this. >> brian todd for us in wilmington, north carolina, thank you once again. as we come up on the bottom of the hour. i want you to stick around. coming up next, our jacqui jeras, our meteorologist, will be here with the information you need and certainly the information you want to know. yes, you know where the storm is right now, but a lot of people are concerned about where it's had headed. we're talking about 20% of the u.s. population under the gun from this storm. jacqui jeras, with the forecast, next. [ female announcer ] what if your natural beauty could be flawless too? discover aveeno positively radiant tinted moisturizers with scientifically proven soy complex and natural minerals. give you sheer coverage instantly, then go on to even skin tone in four weeks.
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>> "we're done, man." you hear that. look at this, a couple of pictures, you see a reporter on the right side appears to be getting ready to do a live shot. but you see the winds and whatnot whipping around just a couple of live shots we can show and share with you from folks around the country. we can also share this with you right now. this is the latest radar we can give you from this hurricane. it is a category 1. it did it come ashore a little over a half hour ago. it is pounding north carolina right now. storm surge expected to be an issue on the outer banks and other coastal communities. again, this is a concern up and down the east coast. we are kind of just getting started with this thing it. it just made landfall as i mentioned just a half hour ago. it should be a rough weekend for a number of folks. some of the video you're seeing here, we know there's going to be a lot of winds whipping around, a lot of rain. we could see a lot of flooding. we also have reports of a number of power outages. talking about tens of thousands of people already without power. the president tried his best to warn folks to take this storm
seriously. >> all indications point to this being a historic hurricane. although we can't predict with perfect certainty the impact of irene over the next few days, the federal government has spent the better part of last week working closely with officials in communities that could be affected by the storm to see to it that we are prepared. >> all right. we do have reporters all over the place. we've been checking in in north carolina, reynolds wolf among them. we also have a couple of reporters in new york and d.c. as well. we have our meteorologist as well here in studio with me, jacqui jeras. right now i want to listen in to another reporter. showed you this picture of a reporter getting ready for a live shot. let's listen in here. >> reporter: all of that sand kicking up, making it it rough for folks. most people are really heeding these mandatory evacuation
orders. we don't see a lot people out here. i did see one guy come up and park his truck just so he could get a shot of the surf. but he pretty much found out what i did, and that is when you walk up on that pier you don't want to stay up there for very long because you're going to be caked in sand. not too long after. and actually i've had sand in my ears now, everywhere. it it's just head to toe. mike? andr andrea? >> again, that's one local reporter reporting there from duck, north carolina. jacqui and i had a smile on our face as she's reporting. she's getting whipped and all kind of stuff is hitting in her face and getting a little something in the ears. it happens. >> it does happen. it's actually very painful if you've ever been in that situation, getting sandblasted is literally doesn't feel good, not the facial you're looking for i guarantee you that. a very wet, very windy, very powerful storm. we had landfall about an hour ago. i want to show you how this storm structure has been
changing quite a bit for the better. so we have been dealing with a category 1 in the outer banks as opposed to a category 3, one of our worst fears. that's the good news out of all of this. the bad news, even a category 1 we're looking at a lot of damage. we're getting reports of a couple hundred thousand people without power in north carolina into virginia, lots of tree damage reports. we're getting also reports of some damage of some mobile homes and at least one person we know has been killed from this storm in the united states as well. they were trying to do some surfing off of virginia beach yesterday and they were not able to rescue them. 85 miles per hour, that's the maximum sustained winds, but we've got higher gusts. take a look at these numbers, just in the last two hours. these are the reports that we're getting for gusts in north carolina, cedar island 115 miles per hour, jacksonville, 94, 79 in beaufort, morehead city, 78 miles per hour. but that was before this thing got knocked out at the police station there. so it could have been higher.
greenville, north carolina, 73-mile-per-hour winds. here's the radar picture now. this is showing you the swirl of the storm, the threat of tornadoes from virginia beach. in fact, we did get one tornado warning, which is in effect right now. that includes the chesapeake area. we'll zoom in, give you a better idea of what it looks like into the center of that storm. and we still have a lot of structure around the center of it so this is where we're going to be seeing those very strong winds. this is where that surge was. you saw that video a few minutes ago of the guy saying, yeah, it's way up here, we're going to be under water. we have confirmation of that, 6 to 8 foot storm surge has been reporting common right in this area throughout the outer banks and some of these bays is where some of the worst of it has been. we've got reynolds wolf who's been up here in kill devil hills. they've been seeing winds continue to come in from the east like this. so that water is pipe pyling up. that rain continues to be heavy. we're going to be seeing a lot of flooding with this storm. this will continue to move through the carolinas today, up
through the mid-atlantic states for tonight, with the brunt of this storm hitting the northeast for tomorrow. monday morning you can take a bit more of a deep breath, but we've got a long ways to go with the power of this storm. >> jacqui jeras, thank you so much of. good to have you here with us. we're at 38 minutes past the hour now. our show was not supposed to be here in atlanta this weekend. we anticipated being on the national mall in washington, d.c., because it was a memorial to mlk going to be dedicated it this weekend. well, that is not going to happen because of irene. let's go to d.c. now where athena jones, like i said, planned to be up there with you, athe athena, but the weather had other plans. >> reporter: well, that's right. it was going to be a big event, thousands of people going to come. now that's been postponed, will t.j. the d.c. mayor has declared a state of emergency. he did that yesterday after joining a conference call with other mayors and governors with president obama. but city officials here say they're p prepared. we don't expect to see rain
really begin here until later this morning, pick up in terms of wind and rain and intensity in the afternoon. and city officials say they're ready for it. just a little while ago we spoke to d.c. fire and ems chief kenneth ellerby about preparations. less's listen in. >> we feel extremely confident we're prepared. i don't know if you know about it, but i'm sure you do, we had an earthquake earlier this week and that helped us be prepared. we've already been doing exercises. we've transferred from exercise to real world now. >> reporter: they say they're ready now. the fire chief told residents they should have batteries, flashlights, plenty of food and water. and also cash, which was an interesting reminder. people may not be thinking of that, if the power goes out for a long time, people may not be able to get cash out of atm machines. he suggested people go ahead and get the cash they need on hand. he also mentioned that earthquake earlier in the week. workers have been working on the
washington monument behind me and the smithsonian to try to repair any damages, plug holes, secure the turrets on the smithsonian castle to prevent any damage from the earthquake damage. one more thing the city is doing is providing sandbags. they gave out 7,000 sandbags yesterday, ran out, had to p stop handing them out at 5:00 p.m. that's supposed to start up again around noon at a stadium nearby. so residents can come by, five sand baggs per household. one last nugget the fire and es chief told us, he said, don't expect to see him in a rain coat. that doesn't really inspire confidence. he's going to be wearing that fancy uniform all the rest of the day. t.j.? >> all right. i guess the optics always make a difference in washington, d.c., right? athena jones, good to see you as always. we're at 41 minutes past the hour. a lot of our focus this morning on hurricane irene, has been on north carolina. north carolina, the first to get hit hard by this storm.
and right now it is under the gun. that is where the storm made landfall just about half hour or so ago as a category 1 storm. in just a moment when we come back, we're going to be talking to the governor of north carolina. she'll join me live, let me know how her state is doing. stay with me. ♪ [ male announcer ] they'll see you...before you see them. cops are cracking down on drinking and riding. drive sober, or get pulled over.
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well, about a quarter of the top of the hour on this "cnn saturday morning." welcome back. we're giving you continuing coverage of hurricane irene which made landfall just under an hour ago, made landfall in north carolina where it was expected to, came on as a category 1 storm with sustained winds of about 85 miles an hour. now it is making its way north-northeast up the east
coast of the united states and should be making its way all the way up to places like boston, philadelphia, new york, new jersey sometime tomorrow. so north carolina the state right now taking the brunt of this storm. governor bev purdue is the governor of north carolina. she joins us from raleigh. you all have been preparing for this thing for some time now. what is your biggest concern now that it has officially made landfall? what are you most worried about? >> we're most worried about getting through the landfall and getting through the next three or four hour as the rain continues. we've got floods and surges all over the coast, we've got a couple hundred thousand people without current right now. we don't know the damage from the utility poles or the trees on the road. north carolina is known as hurricane alley so for years we've had a really system in place that's very robust, starting at the local county level, moving to the state response team and then working closely with fema.
so our system has worked really well. we feel very good about execution and now we're just in the holding period after we have deployed our forces all over the state to decide what the recovery plans have to be based on the reports we get when hurricane irene leaves our shores very soon, we hope. >> governor, you called it hurricane alley there. people who live in that state are used to hurricanes and hurricane warns and watches and whatnot. do you have sometimes an issue with people think you're crying wolf and sometimes people take it upon themselves and think they're the weather experts and they say, ah, just a category 1? or do the folks in your state listen and did they listen this time to get out of there? >> well, the tourists really listened. we were almost 100% effective in evacuating tourists up and down the coast of the beach. in what is the huge last week of the summer vacation season. so there were thousands and thousands of tourists on our beaches. the residents, many, many, many of them have evacuated because
they've learned over the years that a 1 is still a 1. it's a hurricane and you have to really respect the ferocity of a storm. so many of them left. obviously we have some hangers-on who want to see the storm, but i have not had a report of any one person all night long venturing oe inine ia video or getting to the beaches to surf. we've locked down the hatches and our citizens have stayed in and we hope they'll continue until we say it's safe to come out. >> how far inland are you expecting issues as well? we talk to much about the coast and people evacuating the outer banks, but you're probably going to get a lot of rain, you could get some flooding, already saturated areas up and down the east coast. but also you could get some high wind. how far inland are you expecting problems? >> we expect the whole east, it it's about 43 counties, to be affected in some way or the other. 3.5 million people are the total numbers who live in that area, and so they've all battened down their hatches. we are also in the middle of a
robust agricultural season so later this afternoon we'll start trying to figure out the crop damage. we are very concerned still about surges and flooding through many of the communities of eastern north carolina, but, again, we feel like that we have a system in place and that folks have executed really well. so now we'll just wait until the recovery reports start coming in. say a prayer for us in north carolina and we will for the rest of the east coast. >> we'll hope everybody is listening to that. the last thing, i know the human life is the biggest issue but here quickly, do you have estimates of just how of damage this could do, cost estimates of what it could actually do damagewise and also the economic impact it could have on your state? >> well, we don't have any preliminary aassessments. i know there's been terrific damage to the power lines and some of the water systems. we have this partnership with fema, we've got the declaration
in place, and they are our financial partner as well as our support partner during an incident. we'll know the figures by late tomorrow. we'll begin to tabulate. the loss of human life, at this point i only know of one death. people have heeded the warnings and done what we've asked. now we'll pick up the pieces and hope that because the hurricane has been reduced, from a 3 to a 1 when she hit our shores, that the economic impact will not be horrific. but who knows until it's over? >> governor purdue, we appreciate that time, during this time you were supposed to onnen vacation, you couldn't make it to the outer banks like a lot of people, we know you're busy. we appreciate you being here and giving us an update. yes, prayers for your state and people of your state. thanks so much. >> thanks, t.j. come on down and visit us. >> we sure will. during the commercial break she was really telling me i need to get to the outer banks. i haven't been there for vacation. when the storm passes i'll get
down. we were talking about evacuations. you heard the governor talking about people evacuating the oufrt banks. there are mandatory evacuations in some places around the country, including up in new york, a few hundred thousand people. what you're seeing right there is not just some guy straggling along checking out the storm for the fun of it. that is our rob marciano. he is reporting for us up on long island. we will check in with him once again and see how new york is doing and are they ready for what's coming.
about 6 minutes to the top of the hour. that's ocean isle beach, north carolina. it looks fairly calm there, looks gorgeous to be quite honest with you. not the case up and down the new jersey coast. we've been checking in with our reporters, some of them getting blown around to the point they could barely report, others it it's gotten calmer, other places got a little rain, little wind. different depending on where you are on the coast. i do want to go to new york now, long island. hundreds of thousands of people in some low-lying areas have been ordered to get out of new york. rob marciano is on long island for us. rob, we had a picture of you a moment ago before we came to you during our tease into the break, and you were just kind of walking up and down the beach. is this a nice day to just go out for a stroll on the beach? >> reporter: it's starting to spin a little bit, winds picking up.
it's cloudy so i wouldn't be out here just catching some rays for sure, but there are quite a few onlookers just coming to check out the surf. it's pretty impressive. check it out behind me. you know, as a kid i'd go to the beach quite a bit down the road at jones beach. i thought maybe one day i'd cover a hurricane out here. but i figured it would be closer to montauk. i never thought a potential had hurricane would get this close to new york city. nonetheless, this is it the spot where surfers hang out any day of the summer. but when you get big waves like this, they're coming out in masses. i'm told there's some force behind those waves and some don't all like riding in it. there's a dozen or so out there right now. we do expect the surge to be great around this time tomorrow, talked to a few folks who live around the area and many of them have different opinions as to whether or not they're going to stay or go when the storm comes later tonight. >> the best that we can think about is a very strong
nor'easter that we had in the early '90s, and we really couldn't get off long beach. we couldn't drive through the west end. it was totally flooded. there was no way to get over the long beach bridge. that was scary, but i have -- i think i live on one of the luckiest blocks in all of town because right where we are, we have never flooded. so i hate to say that now. >> reporter: keeping your fingers crossed. >> keeping my fingers crossed, yes. >> i am definitely evacuating and i'm a risk taker. i'm not taking a risk this time because i feel like there's a good chance that we'll be stranded here without electricity, and i'm hoping to find safer ground somewhere else, maybe north on long island. >> reporter: there you go. evacuations have become mandatory 5:00 this afternoon. not necessarily getting off the island via tunnel or bridge all the way, but just go a little further into the island, little bit higher ground. this is fairly low ground. what are they doing to beat back
the waves? this is not a natural sand dune. this has been built up by man and machine to protect long beach, the town itself. because it kind of sits in a bit of a hollow and there are access points to this beach that will be suspect to flooding. so bulldozers and frontloaders busy building up manmade sand dunes in the hope of holding back this water. we're not going to just get one but probably two high tide cycles during the height of the storm, both around 8:00 in the morning and then tomorrow night. but this storm is so large, even if it gets downgraded to a tropical storm strength, the windfield of this thing is so large, it will have huge impacts. we are in the glide path of jfk, one of the five metro airports that will be shut down later on this afternoon. of course, mass transit shut down as well. so the folks who want to get to safer ground have to do so during the daylight hours today because conditions will begin to deteriorate as soon as tonight. and i think by this time
tomorrow, t.j., the waves and surn surf will be eating away at it this manmade protective berm. there's certainly curiosity and, yes, some concerns from the residents here along the long island coast. >> rob marciano, we'll check in with you again. thanks so much. we're getting close to the top of the hour. coming up next hour, expecting in just about 25 minutes to hear from the new york mayor, michael bloomberg, give an update on how his city is preparing for hurricane irene, which is making its way to new york, at least according to the projections, sometime tomorrow. already we do know new york airports will shut down to incoming flights here at noon today. in about three hours. and also subway system, public transit, going to shut down in new york as well. we'll hear from the mayor live in about 20 minutes or so. also, our ireporters always, always help us in big stories like this. we do appreciate it. you're seeing here myrtle beach,
we're at the top of the hour on this "cnn saturday morning "ow. we have special coverage of hurricane irene for you. it did make landfall just about an hour ago as a category 1 storm. it made landfall in north carolina as expected. this is the most up-to-date satellite we can show you here. it is showing some wear and tear, however. it's not as organized as it once
was, even described as sloppy by one of our reporters this morning. it's been lashing out on the north carolina coastline for hours this morning. we're expecting storm surge on the outer banks and other coastal communities, expected to be significant. that's a concern we are going to see up and down the east coast today, people are getting ready. in so many cities where people are getting ready, these are places folks aren't used to dealing with hurricanes. they're going to be tested in their hurricane preparedness in places like new york city. yes, they are getting ready there for the storm to come tomorrow, hundreds of thousands in low-lying areas of new york told to evacuate. also, the president chiming in. if you won't listen to me about how serious this storm is, maybe you'll listen to him. >> all indications point to this being a historic hurricane. although we can't predict with perfect certainty the impact of irene over the next few days, the federal government has spent the better part of last week working closely with officials
in communities that could be affected by this storm to see to it that we are prepared. >> and we do have our rotors re out covering the storm. several have been battered in north carolina like the people there. also in d.c. where they're expecting some of the storm to come that way, also d.c. is where a lot of plans had to change for the weekend, including that mlk memorial that was going to be dedicated tomorrow. that's not happening. also, we have a couple of reporters in new york. but let's start once again with our reynolds wolf in kill devil hills on the outer banks. reynolds, had hello once again. give us an update. the picture seems to change every time we see you. >> reporter: we're getting the combination of rain and sand just blasting right through us. at the same time, up on the balcony, on the third floor, we've got cnn foet foe journalist orlando ruiz.
orly, if you need to wipe the lens, do it as much as you have to. i think the world knows we're in a hurricane. our truck engineer has done an amazing job with audio. t.j., if you have questions, ask away. the rain has been relentless, the rain is coming up onshore. jacqui jeras mentioned hours ago there was a fatality, somebody ser surfing the other day. they couldn't rescue them because the conditions were too rough. if we can, i know it it will be difficult to see, you can see everything is just white foam out there. a few waves here and there in some places, other places the waves you can't even see, just one solid mass of water that continues to come on in. all the way up to the dunes. it it it's gotten considerably higher since our last update. i consider more of the same. the main boulevard that covers parts of kitty hawk, getting water up there, more water, heavier rainfall will fall
across the tarhill state. it's not, could it it p happhap. it it's all but certainty. please be advised you'll be dealing with this up the seaboard. the outer banks really no stranger to this weather. it it's typical, you get this stuff. basically it's what you come to expect in the outer banks. something else you expect on the outer banks, southern hospitality. let me tell you, southern hospitality was not a big thing the other day when they told the 250,000 people that are normally out here on a day in august, they told them to get out. people were able to heed the warnings. they took out from the mandatory evacuation. just yesterday, just over 24 hours ago, they had the mandatory evacuation for the 57,000 residents that call the outer banks of north carolina home. in the heat of that evacuation -- many of them left days before -- there are a handful that will remain on the outer banks. if it there's any kind of medical emergency, though, if there's any kind of emergency where they need to be rescued,
that will not happen until after the storm subsides. t.j., i'll pitch it back to you. if you have any questions, i'll do my best to answer it them. >> that's all right, buddy. we'll let you continue to keep it together out there. that's our reynolds wolf that has been on kill devil hills for the past several hours. if you weren't here with us first thing this morning, when we started, remynolds had a calmer position there. it certainly changed from four hours ago. then on the other side of that, john zarrella has been in atlantic beach, north carolina, toe today. john, you have switched roles. earlier this morning it was whipping up where you are. now they've calmed down there as they've kicked up where he is. >> reporter: exactly. that's exactly right. i know what reynolds is going through right now. we went through the same thing about three, four hours ago. real interesting. you know, as the had hurricane came toward us, we were getting winds out of the north and the
east as the storm was approaching with the counterclockwise circulation. now, as the storm has gone by us, and we're on the back side of the storm here, the wind is coming out of the west, coming across us this way. now, we know there's about 26,000, 27,000 people at last count in north carolina who lost power. we had an opportunity just a little while ago to get in the car and ride down ft. macon road, which is the main drag. i don't know if that video is in-house there in atlanta yet, but what we were able to see is a lot of standing water. you can probably see some of the damage maybe, what you're seeing now, that storm surge impact, that's about two miles away from here along the beach, and pilings from piers, from docks, wood all has been pushed ashore there and right up against the seawall, over the wall there.
the sand is on the road, and i noticed -- i went over and i marked about a foot p up on the buildings, just about a foot, no more than that, where the water level was. so not real, real high, but they definitely had storm surge there, and the sand was washed across. and a lot of debris washed even further, probably about 100 yards in from the beach, they had 150 yards of the beach the water came up all the way over there, came up over the wall and then washed about 100 yards inland. so we're going to try to get over to that location in a little bit to bring you some live reporting from there so folks can get a real good idea of how -- and this this is a category 1 hurricane. when you see that damage and when you see the standing water, that's just from a category 1 storm. thank goodness that's all we endend ed p up with here or it certainly would have been exceedingly worse than what
we've seen. no structural damage that we were able to see, which is very good news. couple of trees down and, as i mentioned, a lot of standing water on the roadway. and then that storm surge dam e damage -- impact. let's not call it damage. impact we saw about two miles from here. >> john zarrella for us in atlantic beach, north carolina, thank you once again. about 10 minutes past the hour. we're expecting in the next ten minutes to hear from the new york city mayor michael bloomberg about the preps in a city not used ed td to preparea hurricane. they're preparing now because the projection look like it could go right through new york. that will happen about 9:20 eastern time. first let's talk about the federal response. federal officials have been urging people to listen and get out of the way of this storm. joined by homeland security secretary janet napolitano. i know you're a busy woman this morning. we appreciate your time. do you have any updates about
what's happening in north carolina as far as power outages or any damage reports coming in to you? >> those will come in to us, and i expect to speak with the north carolina governor, governor purdue, very shortly. but the storm has made landfall. it it is a category 1, which is above 79-mile-per-hour. it is now beginning to move up the atlantic seaboard as has been predicted. so it's all about preparation, then response, then recovery. that window of preepparation is quickly closing, but we are urging people, if you are in an area where your governor or mayor has said there's a mandatory evacuation order, please abide by that order. and even if you're not in an evacuation zone, please know this is a big storm that covers a lot of territory. be prepared. have some food, flashlight, batteries, extra water, the source of things that will help you get through in case particularly power is out for
some period of time. >> in addition a.madam secretar me general russell he honore. of course you know him, something he said today, this is certainly a post-katrina response. so of that was learned and we prepare so much differently now. he said the federal government, mill taefr has prepared and done what they were supposed to do here. but some of it now is the people and the responsibility of the people and preparing themselves for it. do you think north carolina and up the east coast, as you see it right now, have the people done their job and either, one, evook waited like they were supposed to, or, two, get that water, get that food, do what they're supposed to do? have the people done their job? >> i think by and large the people realize they're part of the team here. it's every person. it's the communities, the states, and then the federal government. so i think by and large people have been very careful, very
responsibility. and then i also think that once they see the coverage of what p happens when landfall actually occurs it emphasizes that this is a big storm, it has a lot of impacts, not just during the period when the storm is there but also in the aftermath. we're also urging people to make sure that you have enough for a few days because, as much as we are coordinated at the local, the state, the federal level, it it does take time over this huge swath of territory to make sure that you have repaired everything that has been affected by irene. >> madam secretary, i know you have a lot of rounds to make, a lot of people wanting to talk to you this morning. we appreciate you taking time with us and talking to our viewers. thank you so much. >> thank you. we're at 13 minutes past the hour. let me turn to jacqui jeras here at cnn's hurricane headquarters. and is this storm behaving how the hurricane center and other meteorologists predicted it would behave? >> you know, i would say it is other than the intensity.
it's a little bit weaker than we thought it was going to be when it made landfall. but the thing you have to keep in mind with a storm like irene is its size. because size really makes a difference, a bigger storm impacts more people and a bigger storm has greater storm surge, that water that comes up along the coastline and raises up. and we've seen that across the outer banks, anywhere between 5 and 8 feet. had hello, i'm 5'6", that is a lot of water that's coming onshore, flooding this area. a lot of beach erosion. the power outages already in the hundreds of thousands in virginia and north carolina combined. we're getting reports of hundreds of trees which have been downed. so people are going to be without power for days. the flooding is occurring. we've seen 5 to 7 inches in this area of north carolina as well. it's a category 1, 85-mile-per-hour winds. we're hoping for the best as we've been saying all along. it''s better than when thought it would be with intensity. but it doesn't mean it's not a big deal. it's still a big storm, high
impact for a whole lot of people. let' show you the radar. we had landfall about 7:30 on cape outlook here. you can see the core, the center of the storm making its way north-northeast now. this is where the strongest of the winds are going to be and the heaviest of downpours, newburn, jacksonville had wind gust reports of 115 miles per hour. so you know that's causing a lot of damage. we've had a number of tornado warnings, no ground truth yet except late last night causing damage. chesapeake under a tornado warning once again. we've had a lot of these little spin-up. that can be expected throughout the entire storm. >> the other impact, the rainfall is going to be so heavy with this thing, 6 to 10 inches locally heavier amounts within the path of this it storm. so look at this, from north carolina all the way up through new england, that is going to be a big flood threat. we've already seen a lot of flash flooding, more can be expected. winds are going to be a problem. we're going to talk a little more later this hour when i see you again, t.j., about how many
million people are going to be impacted by the winds, how far out they're going from the center of the storm and how much damage we think it will cause. >> thank you, jacqui. quarter past the hour now. coming up next, i want you to stiblg around and hear what general russell honore has to say. you know his name, his face. he was in charge of the military response to hurricane katrina. he says, yes, we do a good job preparing for hurricanes now. but there's one area we still need to improve on. he's with he next. if you don't have an iphone, you don't have airplay. which makes it easy to play music from your phone, on your stereo or see the photos you've taken on your tv. and if you want to share your favorite movie, that's easy too.
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trying the exelon patch. visit exelonpatch.com to learn more. 20 minutes past the hour now on this "cnn saturday morning." you're seeing a picture here from duck, north carolina. we'll get to new york in a second. this is still in north carolina where the storm made landfall just are a short time ago, about an hour ago. you see a local reporter there reporting for his local station. just to give you an idea, this this thing is really whipping up, been battering north carolina for the past several hours. landfall has made a difference in some places, with winds kicking up, and it's made a difference in some other places, starting to get a little quieter now. it it really has been under the gun for the past several hours in north carolina. like i mentioned, new york is getting ready because the storm, at least from the project tdz
path, is on its way. poppy harlow is there in manhattan where a lot of people are not used to preparing for a hurricane. you were told, you got a little reminder yourself, not too long ago about hurricane preparedness. you were told you had to evacuate. >> reporter: that's exactly right. yesterday afternoon the mayored said if you live in zone "a," a lot of lower manhattan, you have to move. my apartment is about a block from the ocean. i had to get out after we got off the air late last night, packed a bag, left about 4:00 this morning myself. and 370,000 other new yorkers are now under mandatory evacuation here in the city. it is the first time in the history of this city that the mayor has issued a mandatory evacuation. that gives you an idea of the sbe severity of it. the folks i have with me, the aella, family, from rockaway, from queens, right by the water, elizabeth the mother of these two girls, her grandchildren here, 4-year-old christopher,
obviously his first evacuation. tell me about the process this morning, getting here on the subway very early, getting here before public transit shuts down at noon. >> we packed this morning a couple of bags, mostly for the baby, took the train before noon. i thought it was 5:00 p.m., but my daughters told me it was noon. we left 7:20 on the a train over here to the evacuation center. >> reporter: they can hold about 500 people in this see rack waigs center, t.j. your daughters were telling me a lot of your neighbors, friends, family, they're not leaving even though they're in evacuation zone "a." they're even talking about it on facebook. >> yes. they're making jokes, commenting how it's going to be a little bit of rain. they're going to sit in the house and eat popcorn and laugh at everyone being scared. yes, me and my sister was discussing, wow, they're really not taking this seriously. >> reporter: you have a 10-month-old daughter here. did you have any question whether you would get out and get to a shelter? >> i was going to leave.
as soon as i heard it, i was like we got to pack our stuff and go to a safe area. and the kids' sake. it's not just thinking about yourself. you got to think about kids, too. >> reporter: i think that's a very important point, t.j. families need to think about their kids, get their kid moved out, t.j. as you know well, we've been saying all morgning, public transit, that shuts down completely at noon. if people don't have a car like lots of new yorkers, they'll have a very hard time getting to the shelters. meantime, you have 91 evacuation shelters all over the city. food has been coming in since 6:00 a.m., water. the city is prepared. but people need to get here, tflt j. >> it's important for us to reiterate, poppy. very important. people have about 2 1/2 hours if they need to get somewhere via public transit in new york. you're running out of time if that's your only mode of transportation. poppy, thank you. we'll check in again. we're about 23 past the hour. we're expecting to hear from mayor michael bloomberg, keeping an eye here on the live picture.
he's not just yet. when the mayor starts, mayor bloomberg updating the people of new york, we'll go to him live. right now i want to continue my conversation with retired u.s. army general russell honore. you know the name and face, from the response to hurricane katrina. led the response. just looking at the picture, it looks like the mayor has shown up. when he starts talking we'll go to that. general, if if i have to interrupt you, i apologize. give me your reaction to what you just heard from those viewers. excuse me, from those new york residents saying people were laughing, to hear people are not taking it seriously. you looked at me and pointed. >> it's the reality of the situation, preparing that the first casualty of any disaster is the plan, that people expect since we published the plan that the citizens will react. if we get a 50% evacuation in this area of new york i'll be very surprised. it will probably be more like 15% to 20% evacuation.
that's just the way the numbers work out, on average. now, people who need this message the most right now are down in the virginia beach area. but the ones that need it the most probably can't hear it now because they don't have power. so if you've already been hit, get ready. >> let me jum are p p in here. it looks like the mayor is getting ready. i'm told we don't have the sound of him talking. i hear something. not sure what he's saying and what he's trying to describe in the picture here. i'm hearing a little something. we don't have the actual microphone on him. he's just getting himself ready. i'll continue my conversation with you, general honore. that's what we need to reiterate here. you talked about the most vulnerable among us and this culture we need to build. it it might take some time, but this culture of, before you hop in your car and take off, that elderly neighbor or the person down the street that's less fortunate that doesn't have a means of transportation, check on them, give them a seat, get
them out of town. >> absolutely. we take care of our families. look for our neighbors, friends and relatives. that's the only way this is going to work. government will never be good enough to execute this. this is something people will have to come to grips with, that when the mayor says evacuate, those people we just talked to on the street there that it came to the center, think about all their friends that didn't come. lo look, we didn't put anybody on the helicopter after katrina who looked down it and said, look, i'm leaving mied cy ecadillac. we picked p up poor, disabled and elderly people. >> the government, as you mentioned -- you've been saying there's only so much the government can do. you know what? this storm has come up as a category 1, and afterwards hopefully we all pray that the damage will be minimal and there will be no loss of life. certainly minimal. and it might look like the government and everybody did a great job. but if this was a category 2 or 3 or a stronger storm, we'd be talking about a different
scenario now and things wouldn't look so rosy. >> absolutely. particularly with the water and wind damage, as this thing comes through north carolina and virginia. virginia is more vulnerable right now because when you think hampton roads and all of the inlets and the water churning, pushing in there, it it could have a lot bigger impact as we speak in terms of tidal surge damage than it had on north carolina, which is mostly an outer banks tourist area along the beach areas. >> whoo do you say to those folks? some may be watching. it looks like mayor bloomberg is stepping up to the podium. maybe i'll wait to ask you that question in just a moment. new york mayor michael bloomberg stepping up to the podium to update us all and certainly his residents about the preparedness of his city, a city he has ordered a few hundred thousand evacuati evacuation. >> that's not going to be here after noon, and i think that's the message that people have to start understanding.
starting at noon today, which is in only 2 1/2 hours, mass transit is not going to be available if you have to leave. you have to start right now. now, we've heard that lots of people are leaving, and that's great. and we're joined by some people who can help us get the message out. we have council member don rec ya, mike nelson, state assembly member alec burykowski, congressman jerry adler and markmar marty mark owe wits is here. i wanted to thank the commander officer of the precinct for hosting us today. the hurricane has hit ground in north carolina. new york city is under a hurricane warning. we expect a strong category 1 storm to hit us tonight with winds between 55 and 75 miles an
hour. now, people get confused and say, oh, that's down from 115. the great danger to us here is from the storm surge, and there's no evidence that that is -- that the forecast for that is changing. it is going to be a very serious thing as far as we can tell now. if the storm were to head directly east and get away from us, nothing could make us happier. but you can't prepare for the best case. you have to prepare for the worst case. that's why yesterday we issued a mandatory evacuation order for the more than 370,000 new yorkers residing in the low-lying areas called zone "a" and if the rest of the rockaways, which is classified as zone"b." the difference in zone b and a, zone b is higher but the rockaways are a special case because if the bridges get closed there's no