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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  August 27, 2011 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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♪ i'm back in the saddle again ♪ ♪ out where a friend is a friend ♪ [ gulps ] ♪ where the longhorn cattle feed ♪ ♪ on the lowly gypsum weed ♪ back in the saddle again see how affordable an rv vacation can be. visit and watch a free video. go affordably. go rving. we're at the top of the hour on this cnn saturday morning.
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good morning to you all. i'm t.j. holmes. welcome to our viewers watching us in the u.s. and around the world, as we continue to follow a category 1 storm, hurricane irene, that is threatening about 20% of the u.s. population. some 65 million people in its path. it has been hammering north carolina with heavy rains and fierce winds for past several hours. it was just a couple of hours ago that it officially made landfall in north carolina. more than 200,000 people are without power as we speak, and the path of destruction is spreading as this storm continues to move north. major northeastern cities are in its sights, cities that aren't used to being tested for their hurricane preparedness. talking about washington, d.c., boston, new york city, as well. in fact, in some low-lying areas of new york, there has been an unprecedented mandatory evacuation in several places. that evacuation order is still in place, and some of those evacuations still underway.
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hospital patients, residents, tourists are getting out while they can. many are remaining behind and they're bracing for the possibility of massive flooding and tanlgs stodangerous storm surges. as well as in about an hour, they're going to shut down the public transit system in new york city. so if you've got somewhere to be and you don't have a car, you need to get on a train or a bus soon. also, fema expecting to hear from them, get an update at a press conference this hour. a live picture on the left side. we're expecting the homeland security secretary as well as the fema director to step to that podium in just a moment, scheduled for the top of the hour, which would be right now. but when they step out, we will bring that to you live. but first, there has been an urgent message sent out once again from the new york mayor michael bloomberg. he delivered it to his residents this morning. >> let's stop thinking this is something that we can play with. this -- staying behind is
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dangerous, staying behind is foolish, and it's against the law, and we urge everybody in the evacuation zone not to wait until there are gale-force winds and driving rain to leave, and not to wait until the public transportation system starts slowing down today. it's going to be too late. the time to leave is right now. >> the time to leave is right now. he issued that warning. the storm expected to make it to new york some time tomorrow, early tomorrow. we have our reporters and live crews all over the place this morning. we have them in north carolina, where they have been getting battered along with the people of north carolina this morning. also, keeping an eye on washington, d.c., and yes, in fact, new york city. but let's start with our john zarrella, who is in north carolina, where he has been at atlantic beach throughout the morning. you have run the gamut there, actually. it has been crazy, it has been calm, and now it looks like it's kicked up on you once again. >> reporter: i tell you what, t.j., this is as bad as it was on the front side of the storm,
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and this is the backside. now, you can see, you were talking about that flooding in the reports, here it is. now, this is not the atlantic ocean, t.j. the atlantic ocean is on the other side. what you're looking at here is houses that are about underwater in places, and this is the bogue sound, you can see that. you're looking out right now at the bogue sound that has come inland here, and there goes the camera, you can feel the wind and the rain. we have waves literally racing inland. now, this is what we call reverse storm surge. the wind direction changed, t.j., so now the sound is being pushed from the west side to the east here, and driving all of this water inland here along atlantic beach. the road is impassable now in a lot of places, you can't traverse the island in many,
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many places, the water's getting higher. two houses down over here, t.j., the garage is about a third underwater. not this house, but that next house over. you can see as how i'm standing out here, the water is up above my knees here. so i'm literally, now, standing in bogue sound. and i can tell you that there may be places, t.j., down on the western side, where it is dry land in the sound. that happens with hurricanes. where they will literally push all of the water out of the sound or the inlet and i have seen crab traps up -- >> well, it looks like we may have finally lost that signal there from our john zarrella. he has been in atlantic beach. there he is. we got him back up. i don't know if you can hear me still, john, we lost your signal there. but we can see you and hear you once again. so pick up on that last couple
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of sentences and wrap things up for me. >> reporter: i was saying, t.j., that we're literally in the bogue sound and the water's being driven from the west to the east. and i have seen in hurricanes up here in the carolinas where this storm will literally dry out one side of a sound or an inlet and i've seen crab traps sitting on dry ground because of this kind of a surge pushing the water out of the bays and out of the inlets when storms go by. and that's what we're experiencing right now here. i don't know if you caught it earlier, i was saying a third of the way up on the second condominium house next door, the water was about a third of the way up the garage. the back of these first story -- >> all right. we will leave it there, though. but, understandable, that they're having some technical issues. things have been holding up fairly well from a technical standpoint. our reporters have been out there in it throughout this
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morning. but amazing to see these pictures, really, many of you not with us starting the morning, we started at 5:00 a.m. on east coast this morning, and john zarrella, that reporter you just saw, was really getting whipped around this morning like you were just seeing, but a few hours later in between around the 8:00 and 9:00 hour, things were calm where he was. and now here we are, a couple hours later and it has kicked up once again. it's just a matter of that storm and how it behaves and how it moves and you get winds from one direction or the other, just depending on where that storm is and how it's heading. we told you also short time ago that we were waiting for a fema press conference. it looks like they're about to get under way. and yes, the homeland security secretary, janet napolitano, stepping to the podium. let's go ahead and let you in. >> we'll hear from craig fugate and the efforts from fema and gale mcgovern from the red cross and major hood from the salvation army. so thank you all for joining us on a saturday morning. as expected, hurricane irene
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made landfall early this morning along the north carolina coast. i have spoken with governor perdue this morning. she said they were now, quote, hunkered down, closed quote, but they are ready to do damage assessments as soon as possible, especially for assets like the bridges and the roads. irene remains a large and dangerous storm. people need to take it seriously. people need to be prepared. as we have suggested during the week, think of this in three phases. preparation, response, and recovery. some of our states are now moving into the response mode, but other states, as they are further north along the atlantic seacoast, are still in preparation mode. so if you receive a warning to evacuate, please do so. even if you haven't received a warning during the storm, please stay inside, quote, hunker down,
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until the storm passes. stay off the roads so the roads can be clear for emergency vehicles, for our first responders. we anticipate heavy rain, potential flooding, and significant power outages throughout the area of the storm, which means all up and down the eastern seaboard. so with that, let me turn it over to bill reid. he'll give you an update on the storm itself, and then you'll hear from craig fugate. bill? >> thank, madame secretary. i've got it on the image here, the satellite loop, the visible loop of irene. the center of which is now about 50 miles to the west of cape hatteras, moving to the north-northeast at about 15 miles an hour. the outer banks, nags head outer banks areas are going to be impacted over the next several hours. next in line is the tide water hampton roads, norfolk area. they're already having adverse conditions there. i've talked to several relatives
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in the area, where the rainfall has been incredibly heavy and the water levels are coming up now. i'd like to also report that a good story coming out of that, the information they've gotten in advance of this storm from the local officials on what to do or not to do in the event of this storm has just been outstanding. it fits right in with what they should be doing. next picture, please? radar imagery of this -- where you see these bands coming around the top here, every now and then, one of those will take on a characteristic on radar, that allows our local forecast office to issue tornado warning on those. they're fast and furious. they're not going to give you the long lead time like super cell tornadoes, which end up working in the great plains, like we had back in april across this area. we've had storm surge tides in the upper ends of pamlico sound here in the 7 1/2 foot range, 5 to 9 feet is the forecast
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depending on where you are on the upper ends of the sounds here. storm tides will be high also on the coast, and quad to that the effects of the high waves and the beach erosion and what not that's going on out there, it's a very dangerous time, if any e anyone's left out on the islands. heavy rain -- areas have been getting rain since late yesterday afternoon, we'll see 5 to 10 and maybe some isolated 15 inches across north carolina before the storm exits there later today. next slide, please? here's the latest forecast track with some wind field information on it. by late this evening, it should be moving past the center -- the center should be moving past the norfolk area. the winds will be east and then northeast and north and then around the northwest as the storm comes past norfolk. sure we'll see hurricane force wind gusts through a lot of locations there. the sustained winds may be mostly over the water, with the
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now-saturated grounds. those kind of winds. remember isobel, we had a lot of tree damage in that area. i expect we'll see reports in that regard, in that area also. then this evening, overnight hours, it's going to go right along the coast on the delmarva, past places like ocean city and rehoboth, impacting the delaware bay, with storm surge and high winds then by early morning, be near cape may, new jersey, moving up the coastline of new jersey, affecting all the resort areas in new jersey during the morning hour and then making its next big landfall across long island into new england bay near new york city. i don't want you to get too carried away with that exact point on there. as you saw in the radar satellite imagery, the center is not a tight little eye. it's a broad area, right now, of hurricane force winds and we're going to keep hurricane force winds in the forecast at least for now, right up through final landfall into new england. next slide, please.
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the tropical storm wind probabilities, as we talked about for several days now, this gives you an idea of how large an area that's going to be likely to be impacted by at least tropical storm force winds while irene makes its trek up the eastern seaboard. and wherever those tropical storm force winds last for hours and we have the saturated ground, that's the area we're going to be focusing on for the wind damage associated with trees coming down and the like. next slide, please. this is our probability of storm surge gauged off our 4-foot exceedance. right now the highest probability storm surge is you might expect is where it's actually happening. i also want to point out the likelihood of exceedi ining 4 f and the upper ends that come into james river and the chesapeake and the ocean in the norfolk hampton roads area, and then some parts of the lower
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chesapeake have a chance. the upper chesapeake, on this track in our current forecast is not looking like it will have the kind of a flood issue you saw with isobel. maybe some small water rise as the storm approaches, but the winds will actually swing the other way and you'll see a lowering of water levels there. not so fortunate for delaware bay. the areas from north of delaware al the way down to bethany and then, of course, into ocean city, we have a high probability of exceeding 4 feet in storm surge. that coupled with the waves, a lot of damage and any preoperative at low level is going to be damaged also. and further up the coast, we're still looking at about the same issue on storm surge, when you get up into the long island sound, and the new york metropolitan area. our forecast is going to carry from the hurricane center a broad forecast in that range of 4 to 8 feet. your local offices, your local forecast offices will have
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detailed information to pinpoint the problem areas along your coast and in the bays and rivers and what not, because this has a lot of variability in there within that 4 to 8 foot range. next slide, please. and of course, the rainfall, it's starting to show that now. as the storm moves northward, the rainfall shifts from being mostly in the northeast quadrant of the storm to the northwest. because it's coming under the influence of the weather features that are pulling it off to the north. so we're expecting now a swath of 5 to 10 inches of rain right across the mid-atlantic, centered of the philadelphia metropolitan area and then into the new york metropolitan area and the western part of new england. all of these areas have had excessive rain in the past, so the ground's saturated and we'll have issues with flash flooding and we're probably going to have some issues with river flooding before it's all over. craig, i'm going to turn it to you. thanks, bill. as bill talked about the various hazards, i want to kind of key on a couple points. when we talk about category of hurricane, that does not explain
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all of the risk. you deal with basically four principle risks with a hurricane. the high winds, storm surge, and these two are very much tied to the category which describes how strong the winds are at the center of circulation. but also as bill talked about, rainfall and tornadoes. and they are not tied to the category of storm. so even though this may be a category 1 hurricane, rainfall amounts are not tied to category storm. it is due to the size and the forward speed of the storm. some of our most devastating floods have occurred in tropical storms. the other thing is the tornados are going to be very quick, as bill said. these will not be on the ground very long. they won't be the type of tornadoes we saw this spring, but they can still be very devastating. that's why we're asking people that are outside the evacuation zones during the storm to stay inside, stay away from extier major walls and windows, interior areas, just like you would prepare for tornadoes, but you'll be there for a much longer period of time during the storm. so make sure you bring your supplies with you. the other key issue here is an
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immediate aftermath of the storm, as the secretary says, we're going to start the response phase in north carolina as irene moves north. the best thing people can do is stay home, stay inside. a lot of people like to get out and travel about. it's very hazardous with downed power lines, trees down, plus the responders and the utility crews don't need to get behind you when they're trying to go help. >> all right, we're at 15 minutes past the hour, listening to the update from the officials, federal officials, fema, as well as the homeland security secretary, reminding people just how dangerous this storm is, and it is just getting started in some places. north carolina in particular is getting battered by this storm. reminding people here of the risk, even though you hear it's a category 1, this is very important, even though you hear category 1, it sounds like a storm that's weakening, some of the biggest threats, though, are going to come from the rain, which will result inned flood g i ing and also the storm will result tornadoes. that's another major risk of this storm. don't let category 1, the fact
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that it was weakened, the fact that it was downgraded, don't let that fool you. and as it makes its way north, it will eventually, at least as the model shows, get to new york. that's a place not used to having to be prepared for a hurricane. and the new yorkers, maybe they are listening. they have been stocking up on the essentials there and many people who are in low-lying areas have been told to get out. they need to evacuate. we will be live from new york stay with me. [ jon ] up in alaska, we find the best sweetest crab for red lobster we can find. [ male announcer ] hurry into crabfest for 3 crab entrees under $20 like our crab and seafood bake... or our snow crab and crab butter shrimp. offer ends soon. my name's jon forsythe and i sea food differently. my son and i never missed opening day. but with copd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function, starting within 5 minutes.
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all right. 19 minutes past the hour now. you're watching special cnn coverage of hurricane irene, which did come ashore, made landfall just a few hours ago in north carolina. it has been pounding the east coast and it is making its way to that place. can you make it out back there, folks? that is central park in new york city. you see they're starting to get some rain. they said they were worried, some people maybe weren't taking the storm seriously enough, because for the past couple of days, they had pretty nice weather. even this morning, it wasn't so bad. but now it looks like something is coming. residents there are hustling, trying to stock up on supplies ahead of this storm. others are facing a mandatory evacuation order in some of the low-lying areas. meanwhile, in the carolinas, irene has already hit some of those areas hard. one of our ireporters, william gaskin, sent us this video from south of the spot where irene made landfall. >> we're on the creek side of pawleys island.
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as you can see, there's an incredibly high tide and a very fast-moving current. probably 15 minutes have passed since i was last on this roadway, and it is already covered. the roadways on pawleys are not safe anymore. >> all right. that's just a taste of what could be in store for a lot of people up and down the east coast. but, again, north carolina has been battered for the past several hours. poppy harlow, though, is in new york city for us. so mandatory evacuations there, and also, we have been watching this clock. we've been making this point, but the clock is ticking and people only have 40 minutes left if they need to use public transit. >> absolutely. all public transportation here in manhattan, the buses, all the subways, all the railroads out of this city are closing in 40 minutes. new yorkers rely on public transit perhaps more than anyone in america and they need to heed the warning from the mayor's office, if you live in lower manhattan, in zone "a" and you
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need to evacuate, you need to do it now. i am in lower manhattan, battery park. this is the southernmost tip of the city. it is surrounded on three sides by water. everyone in this build, you see the huge apartment complexes, they are told, they're under mandatory evacuation, 370,000 new yorkers in total need to evacuate. i'm one of them, left my apartment, put stuff as high as i could and wait for the waters to come. this is why people need to get out now, t.j. see that line of folks? they're all waiting for these new york cabs. that's really their only way after public transit closes. those cabs were lined up this morning, there were tons of them, now, look, there's the cabs driving away. they're going to have to wait here. so to try to get 370,000 people evacuated, it's tough. some people are taking it seriously, some are not. i want you to take a listen to mayor michael bloomberg. he talked a little while ago about how serious the situation is. >> staying behind is dangerous. staying behind is foolish, and it's against the law. and we urge everybody in the evacuation zone not to wait
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until there are gale-force winds and driving rain to leave. and not to wait until the public transportation system starts slowing down today. it's going to be too late. the time to leave is right now. >> reporter: and i think i just lost connection. hopefully you can still hear me, t.j.. >> yeah, we can. yeah. >> reporter: i'm going to bring marcello in. marcello lives in this building. he is helping people move out. you say you're staying here until the last moment, you're trying to help people evacuate. you were here on 9/11, you did the same thing. how's it going? >> hi, everything's fine. i just want to make it very clear that i'm supporting mayor bloomberg and commissioner kelly. please evacuate if you need to. and as i was talking to you before, i was here september 11th. we evacuated, the last ones to evacuate. i left at 2:30, i guess, on september 11th, and i'll be here today. and we have a lot of older people here, a lot of animals, and a lot of people who have never lived through anything big like that. we hope for the best, but that's
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not going to come -- >> reporter: so he's staying here, and the reason he brings up 9/11, t.j., is because we're two blocks away from ground zero. you see the freedom tower behind me. they're working to secure the cranes on the freedom tower because they're hoisted up to about the 50th floor there. they don't want any wind knocking any cranes down, et cetera. but people here are getting out. there's a lot of families. i've lived here for a long time, families, little kids, babies, they are getting them out of here right now, t.j.. >> all right. interesting picture, that's what people are up against. you've got less than 40 minutes, public transit is shutting down, and the people who need to get out, don't have a car or a friend that could come get them, this is really your last shot. poppy, thank you so much for that. this storm is having a huge impact on travel. the five airports serving the new york metro area will come to a close as far as the incoming flights go. that's starting at noon today. we're talking about jfk, newark international, laguardia,
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teterboro and stewart international. you're seeing pictures of people getting themselves prepared. and thousands of flights have been canceled. united and continental,, about 2,300, delta, jetblue, as well. airtran cutting back train service in the heavily traveled northeast corridor today. suspending the service tomorrow. train service south of washington also canceled through the weekend and transit systems in several major cities as far as new york and philadelphia will be shutting down. well, you know that the elderly, people who are very sick, also newborns need some special attention right now and help to get out of harm's way. at least five hospitals and 15 nursing homes have been evacuated in new york city. the mayor there says about 7,000 people were affected in all. hospitals in the city have never had to do something like this before. and new york city landmarks closing because of the storm. among them, the statue of
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liberty. park officials say the site will be closed through monday. lady liberty has weathered several storms, as you know, since she was dedicated back in 1886. also, irene pushing gas prices higher? listen to this. nearly 10% of the nation's oil refining capacity is in philadelphia, new jersey, and delaware. produces about a 1.35 billion barrels per day. those refineries could be offline for several days due to this hurricane. barge routes are also disrupted, combining hurricane irene and the upcoming holiday weekend, analysts predict gas prices will rise 15 to 20 cents over the next couple of weeks. well, irene is now moving up the east coast after making landfall in north carolina, and boy, it battered north carolina for a number of hours. we'll be live in the storm zone straight ahead. stay with me. if you don't have an iphone,
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we're at about the bottom of the hour on this cnn saturday morning. and what a morning it has been. north carolina getting battered for the past several hours by this hurricane. it came ashore a few hours ago. made landfall as a category 1 storm with sustained winds of 85 miles an hour. our brian todd has been with us this entire morning, from wilmington, north carolina, and it started out about the same as we're seeing it now. it's been kicking up on you throughout the day, but it's been pretty consistent where you are. >> reporter: very consistent, t.j. you know, it's very deceiving, though, there are a couple of moments throughout the morning
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where you think maybe the worst of it's passed and it's moving away, but then as john zarrella showed you, that reverse storm surge can be just deadly when it comes back at you. we're kind of getting some of that now. a little while ago, it looked like maybe it was moving away. but these hurricanes, very, very deceiving. we're told in the last 24 hours here, 7 inches of rainfall have come down and they're expecting a lot more before it's all said and done. maybe as much as 10 inches here and in areas near here, before the day is done. here in the cape fear river, still pretty large swells, white caps all over the place. there's one death reported in north carolina, so far, but there may be a report of another. there was a man sighted in the water not too far from here in the cape fear river. authorities have had to temporarily call off the search for that man, because of the conditions in the water here and the conditions outside. they hope to resume that, again, very soon, but conditions here have really not allowed them to try to find that gentleman who was seen in the water, not far from here. flash flooding, we've talked
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about it all morning, but it is a huge problem. with the rain pretty unrelenting all day and the storm slowly moving through here, and it does move -- it has moved pretty slowly through here, and because of that, the rain just kind of hovers, there have been flash floods all over the place here. one interstate near here has been closed down, at least temporarily, not sure how long that's going to last. a stretch of road not too far from here, a two-mile stretch of it, has been flooded, t.j. downed power lines also a problem. more than half this county is without power right now. so they haven't even really been able to start the cleanup or the recovery yet, because the storm surges just kind of keep coming back, t.j. >> all right. brian todd in wilmington, north carolina, thank you once again. as we coming up on the bottom of the hour now, it's not just our reporters out there who have been helping us with this story, you have as well. our ireporters have been sending in video to us. it keeps coming e inine ining i you for it. you'll get the view from our ireporters next.
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all right. welcome back. we're just past the bottom of the hour. hurricane irene has made landfall and it is now on its way, heading up the east coast after making landfall just a few hours ago in north carolina. now, this is some of the stuff we're expecting here. heavy rain, high wind. irene made landfall near cape lookout, about 60 miles from cape hatteras on north carolina's outer banks. just gives you an idea there, you can hear, you can certainly see, but you can hear the force of this storm and those waves as it came pounding in. this is in atlantic beach. this is south of where irene made landfall. and more high winds and heavy
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rain in wilmington on the southern end of the north carolina coast. our reporters have been up and down that coast for us today, bringing us the very latest. they have been getting tossed around pretty good this morning, especially our reporters in north carolina, but we're getting ready for the preps in d.c., also in new york this morning. let's check in with a couple of our reporters now, if we can. reynolds wolf, it seems like, has been getting this pretty steadily throughout the morning. and there you are once again, reynolds. good morning. tell me how it's going. >> reporter: and what a morning it's been, t.j. we're getting the incredible impression from this system as it chugs its way to the north, that impression being with occasionally heavy rainfall, winds that have just been buffeting the island. winds picking up the waves, smashing them against the shore. the water piling up and at the same time, sound being blasted right across this barrier that i'm on, and right towards the lens cap. closer to your viewers at home, right up there. by the way, orlando ruiz, if you could wipe the lens cap again,
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as always, do what you've got to do, man, i know it's blasting. latest information for you. t.j., what we have in duck, north carolina, one of the communities along the outer banks, they now have a mandatory curfew that will be in effect until monday. also, some other information. power outages still continue to mount up all across the outer banks and of course, right back towards the mainland. would not be surprised to see the power go out here at some point as these winds continue to intensify. something more, we have got, obviously, some flooding that is going to occur in a few places. and as a matter of fact, farther south along the outer banks, along highway 12, near rodantheya, the road is considered impassable. that is not a surprise. kbro you've got to remember, when it comes to the outer banks, there are only some places that are 7 to 11 feet above sea level. here comes the rain. you've got to understand, when you have one of these systems that comes onshore, the winds will pick up that water, push it right against that storm
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system -- the storm is really going to kick up quite a bit of a storm surge, which is going to be a big difference maker for a lot of people. as the center of this circulation gets closer to us, t.j., i would imagine that things are going to get quite a bit bad -- quite a bit worse. and then as it pulls northward, we'll get water coming in not from the atlantic, but from the sound, coming in the opposite direction. the winds will also push in this direction. keep in mind that where we have light poles that have been pushed quite a bit by the wave coming in from the atlantic, we'll have that second batch come in from the opposite direction, further weakening them, and i would not be surprised if we see a great deal of more power outages occur when the winds kick in from the southwest. that's the latest i've got for you, t.j. let's kick it back to you in the studio. >> all right, reynolds, thank you once again. that's kill devil hills where he's been throughout the morning. that's pretty much, jacqui, as inbring you in, what his picture has looked like. it's amazing to see our three reporters up and down the coast of north carolina, how the scene has been different for each of them. in some cases, it got a little calmer and then got worse, and
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it's been steady in some places, and there with reynolds, it kicked up and hasn't stopped. >> i know. he's been in one of the worst places. we're talking about 12 plus hours that they're going to be dealing with these hurricane force and tropical storm force winds. and while it was tough to see conditions where reynolds is, and he was talking about those power lines, this is a live picture i want to show you. this is from, and they've got those little cases they sit on the ground to watch areas of concern and he's also driving through some of these areas. of course, a very experienced trained storm spotter. so he knows what he's doing, we don't want you to go out there. but look at those power lines, how things are swaying here. and the wind gust reports we've been seeing out of new bern, anywhere between 50 and 66 miles per hour. to put this in perspective, take a look at how bad that is. we've had reports of up to 115 miles per hour. so really just, even a weak tropical storm causes a lot of damage. and that's what you need to keep in mind as this thing heads up
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the coast today and into the northeast, even if we do see some of that weakening. it's a category 1. 85-mile-per-hour maximum sustained winds. it stayed that way even after landfall, and we're expecting it to do that, you know, this is a very marshy area, the pamlico sound here, so there's really nothing to make this weaken a whole heck of a lot other than some of this interaction with some of this land off to the west. the core of this storm remains very strong. we're continuing to get a lot of reports of flooding and damage. we just got a report from swan quarter, north carolina, which is up into this area, and apparently the water now coming up over the levee and major flooding is occurring. we're also getting reports of damage and flooding in new bern and beaufort, as well as into aurora, all clustered within this area and morehead city, also. we'll continue to see those come in. here are some of the estimated wind speeds. now, these are sustained winds, not to mention the gusts. we're seeing that in the 60-mile-per-hour range across
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much of the outer banks. so dangerous conditions here. forecast for timing and what you can expect as this moves up the coast, the worst of it, these times are when the peak of extort comes in. remember, this is a 12 to 24-hour event for some of you. 4 to 7, virginia beach. overnight tonight in ocean city, maryland. long island tomorrow, we're talking about mid-morning to say mid-dayish. boston, midafternoon. this thing will be out of here by monday morning. a long way to go with this event, expect a lot of power outages, a lot of inland flooding. we've had as much as 20 inches of rain now being estimated by doppler radar near the core of the center where irene has been hitting. t.j.? >> jacqui, thank you once again. we want to check in with our rob marciano. he has been up in new york on long beach in particular this morning. give our viewers an idea, maybe haven't been watching throughout the morning, but how things have progressed and changed there. the conditions have changed for you over the past several hours.
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>> well, we're in the in-between stage, t.j. about an hour ago, we had a pretty good squall come through. probably the first of many feeder bands that will spiral in. we've got a little front that will act to steer the storm a little bit and that will help intensify those bands as they come in. but right now, we're in a bit of a dry spot. but, there you go, the surfers are out there, the guys that want to get on tv are out there, and the waves roll in. big sets of them too. and the surfers out here have been takie ing advantage of it. this on any other day is a surfing community. as a matter of fact, they were going to have a huge surfing competition this coming weekend. that has since been canceled. this place, believe it or not, no stranger to hurricanes over the long haul. although it's been decades since we've seen one, the worst of which came back in 1938, also 1934, but '38, the long island express, a cat 3 that hit this area, tore it up pretty good, 50,000 homes or so damage and
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600 to 800 people were killed. we don't expect that here. but evacuation orders have been posted. as of 5:00 this afternoon, they'll become mandatory. doesn't mean they'll throw you in jail, but it means you won't be helped overnight tonight if you decide to stay. and we asked a lot of folks who live here whether or not they're going to stay or they're going to go. >> i am definitely evacuating. and i'm a risk taker and 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: and that's the key. you don't have to evacuate long island total. that would take you into some traffic issues and getting over some bridges. but you've got to go a little bit further into the inland, get slightly above where i stand right now, which more than likely will be underwater tomorrow. now, what they're doing to protect long beach is they've taken man and machine and built these dunes 15, 20 feet high in some spots to protect the town
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from the surge that's anticipated come tomorrow. we will probably see not one, but two high tide cycles, which are extenuated by the fact that we're in a new moon. so astronomically high tide, a surge that's going to be at least 3 to 6 feet, and 15 to 20-foot waves on top of that that are going to eat away this man-made berm and likely get into this small town and other small towns across long island. not only will you see surge here, but you'll see surge on the backside of long island, on the sound side, on the bay side, where it's normally calm, you'll see northeast waves there that will pile up the water there. and on the western edge of the sound, over towards laguardia and jfk. by the way, those airports are about to shut down. we're in the glide path of jfk, and come this time tomorrow, planes won't be running. buses, trains, they're shutting down this afternoon as well. so for the most part, this city and this long island, both nassau and suffolk, will be coming to a halt. and as this storm comes into
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town tonight and tomorrow, we expect conditions to go downhill tonight, t.j., and the height of this storm, as jacqui probably has mentioned, will be here probably between 8:00 in the morning and 2:00 in the afternoon. back out to you. >> all right, rob marciano on long beach, thank you once again. we're at 42 minutes past the hour and our irireporters have been capturing some video that we haven't been able to get to and get ourselves. we do appreciate it, to our ireporters. we'll take you to the front lines of their coverage. stay here. [ female announcer ] what if your natural beauty could be flawless too?
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all right. we're about a quarter of the top of the hour here, as we've been
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reporting, our reporters have been reporting throughout north carolina today. several of them. david matting lly among them. he gives us the strew from nags head, north carolina, now. >> reporter: a couple of hours ago, you can see how high the water got, which was up to here. take a look over this way. the surf is breaking about 50 yards back in this direction, but the wind is so strong and pushing so much water over the dunes, we've actually got what looks like a lake forming right at the edge of all these houses. you can see down here, there's one house, the deck that extends out is actually the water is actually coming up underneath it. if this continues for much longer, that's going to be an erosion problem and possibly later problems for that property
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owner. right now, the problem above anything is the wind. it's difficult to stand up out here. it's blowing sand and water so hard that it stings when it hits the skin. without these protective glasses, i wouldn't be able to see out here at all. but right now, this storm clearly making its mark on the outer banks as it passes through. the stinging rain, blowing sound, and of course, the pounding surf that's tearing away at the beaches and the dunes. >> all right. as we get close to the top of the hour, we're actually just a few minutes away from the new york public transit system shutting down. the mayor, michael bloomberg, has been warning people, you only have a short time if you need the to get somewhere. a lot of new yorkers, they walk everywhere, take public transit, they don't have cars. well in just a few minutes, if they haven't gotten to where they need to be, they won't have public transit to get them there. morac frazier is one new yorker
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who is there on the upper west side right now. morac, tell me how you are holding up and what is your plan for this storm that's on the way? >> reporter: well, t.j., my plan is to stay at home and do a lot of reading and, you know, just having a go ahead time, looking out my window. i was out this morning and the streets were sbha busier than normal, but our favorite neighborhood grocery stores were closed down, you know, at 10:00 and our favorite cafe at 11:00. so people were rushing to get all their supplies before things closed down. >> now, it sounds like you said, you got a nice little plan for the weekend, and it sounds like you're almost going to be in, i guess, enjoying the view of some things, but do you have -- are you concerned about something, including the high winds? i don't know if you're in an area, i think you live not on the ground floor or anything, so flooding may not be an issue for you, but are you concerned about the high winds? >> i'm not so much concerned about the high winds coming, you know, to my window, but i'm
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looking out at the back of some town house, and most of them have cleared the furniture off their decks, but one of them, you know, right across from me, has not. i think the people have gone out of town and they have all sorts of furniture and grills and beautiful flower pots there. and nothing has been moved. that's the one thing that, you know, i might be concerned about. >> did you ever consider getting out of there, going to stay somewhere else, for just a couple of days? >> my daughter has a house on fire island, and there was a mandatory evacuation from fire island. she was so reluctant to go, but they had to leave, and they've gone up to connecticut, and she invited me to go with them, but i just said i would stay here and wait through it. i've never been in a hurricane before and i don't think that where i am in the city it's going to be particularly dangerous at all. >> well, morag frager, you hold on, you know, like a lot of new yorkers are, have been through a
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lot, and certainly believe they can make it through a hurricane as well. thank you for taking time with us. and again, good luck to her and many other new yorkers who many of them only have a few minutes left if you take to take public transit. isn't that something? can you imagine the subway system not working in new york? well, it is going to stop here in about ten minutes. and don't know when it will be up and going again, but through the weekend, you can expect people won't be able to get around through public transit in new york city. now, we've been seeing a lot of video, getting some -- where is this picture, guys? is this a live picture i'm seeing here? this is a live picture i am some strong winds. not sure where this reporter is reporting from. but the camera is moving around. this is norfolk, i'm told you. you see the reporter in the distance. we have reporters all over the place, local reporters, our cnn reporters, all up and down the coast, give you an idea of other places starting to get battered, not just north carolina.
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just about eight minutes till the top of the hour now. the northeast, the coast right now, doesn't usually come to mind when you think about hurricanes. but the region has had its fair
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share. anderson cooper takes a look back at the major storms that have hit the region. >> reporter: you're watching pictures of the last major hurricane to hit the northeast coast exactly 20 years ago. this is hurricane bob back in august of 1991. the eye of the storm passed over rhode island before making landfall as a strong category 2, with winds of 115 miles per hour. bob was blamed for over $1 billion in damage and 18 storm-related deaths. just two months later, hurricane grace also threatened as a category 2 storm before being absorbed by an unusual weather system that led to the halloween nor'easter of 1991. later called a perfect storm. the storm lashed the east coast of the united states with pounding waves and coastal flooding, causing significant damage in massachusetts, maine, new hampshire and new jersey. nine people were killed in the storm, which produced 100-foot waves, equivalent to a ten-story building.
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it inspired the novel by author sebastian younger which later became a movie. and then there's the so-called storm of the century, hurricane gloria in september of 1985 recorded winds of up to 150 miles per hour. gloria made landfall as a powerful category 3 storm on the outer banks of north carolina before rapidly moving up the east coast, making a second landfall on long island, then another in connecticut. causing significant damage up and down the east coast and eight storm-related deaths. hurricanes in the northeast are rare. but as hurricane irene approaches, meteorologists warn it could huron northward, threatening much of the east coast with another potentially dangerous storm. anderson cooper, cnn, new york.
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not too concerned right now, i don't know.
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maybe i'm a little ignorant. but there's nothing i feel right now from the storm. >> we're doing something we've never done before, getting ready for the big storm. it's not like anything we've ever had. >> two competing opinions there. let's say hello to josh levs. good video out there. >> just for the record, saying you don't feel the storm yet is not a perfectly valid opinion. you're not safe. please go by the forecast and what your local authorities are saying. meanwhile, we keep getting new video. this is fantastic. look at this map behind me here. everywhere you see a red mark here, we have a new ireport. our ireport videos are following the path of the storm. let's go to this first new one for you coming to us from che check -- ches peapeakchesapeake. take a look.
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you're seeing the water underneath the pier there. our ireporter here says usually it's pretty calm there. the waves never more than six to eight feet. she says they're just beginning to get the winds. the winds are really starting to pick up. she said it was very hard to walk along the beach since the wind was so violent. next video, take a look here. this one is going to be from cort sturdevant. he says this is about eight miles inland from the shore. he says it was really quiet this morning. then the hurricane started trickling its way in. the rain got to this point. and residents were aware they need to hunker down.
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this is what he's calling "so it begins." one more dramatic video came to us in the early hours this morning. take a look. >> we're now getting winds over 40 miles per hour. >> what's happening there, this came to us from jeremy michael early this morning. there's a docked in atlantic beach in north carolina. he's a student at unc asheville. he said someone had a rather large boat that was tied down and appeared to be riding out the storm. he said he was amazed to see how strong the wind felt. i want to emphasize to our viewers, we are sharing your ireports. do not go to any danger ever to take videos to get them to cnn. we vet these things first to make sure the people who took them were not denying evacuation orders and certainly were not putting themselves or anyone else in danger by getting these. if you are in a position to safely get videos,


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