tv CNN Newsroom CNN August 27, 2011 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
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hello, everyone, i'm fredericka whitfield, with our continuing coverage of hurricane irene, north carolina and virginia are being pounded right now by the category 1 storm, and millions of people up and down the eastern seaboard are already taking precautions as the storm heads their way, irene made landfall this morning in the outer banks of north carolina, take a look at how big it is. some calculate that this is about equivalent to the side of europe. so far we know of four storm related deaths as a result of irene. nearly a million people in north carolina and virginia are without power. irene is expected to arrive in new york city sometime tomorrow morning. the big concern there, flooding from this storm surge. president barack obama visited
fema headquarters just a short time ago, earlier today and he said the government is ready to deal with whatever happens. the president has already declared state of emergencies in nine states, they are north carolina, virginia, maryland, new jersey, new york, connecticut, massachusetts, rhode island and new hampshire, these states now can get federal aid to help them recover from any hurricane damage. all right, let's head down to the mid-atlantic area, ocean city, where they are starting to see the storm right now. it's windy, it's rainy. >> reporter: it's not much of a beach day here in ocean city, this is one angry, hungry city, sometimes these waves are coming right up to where we're standing and threatening the dunes which were built to try to protect all
this valuable real estate here. fortunately these buildings are pretty much empty right now. there were about 200,000 people in this town, hold on, we got to move up the shore a little bit, we got some waves coming right up to our feet. excuse us as we dance around this. there were about 200,000 people in the city, they were almost all evacuated, the mayor estimates that as of last night, there were about 300 residents here, today it may be down to about about 200, we spoke to him this morning and he had a message for the people who had decided to stay here. >> all right, the governor making a very clear message that people in those low-lying areas along the coast of maryland need to heed those mandatory evacuation orders.
for the large part, most people did do that, but always a few stragglers there, of course our signal being affected by hurricane irene, chad meyers is in the hurricane headquarters here, tracking the path, and this hurricane is remarkable, because while it's still touching parts of north carolina, it's in maryland and now in new jersey is feeling it, this is just how big and massive and wide irene is. >> the pressure of this hurricane is low enough to get category 3 winds. the eye never got organized enough after it left the bahamas to become that category 3 hurricane. so instead of a very compact powerful wind field in the middle, it became a large lumbering wind field from now connecticut all the way down even into south carolina. i have just checked, and you can go on to my twitter feed if you
like, chad myers, cnn and you can find the tidal gauges and i have found now that the tide surge into virginia beach is already four feet. there really wasn't a low tide because the wind has just pushed water into the chesapeake bay. now i do not expect that to get all the way up to the potomac or all the way up to baltimore, because by the time that would happen, the storm will be far enough away, the winds will push it offshore. and i have also found that the waves, and this is how far we are away, almost 800 miles, the wind has pushed almost eight inches into is battery park. we are already up to three-quarters of a foot in battery park. and we are nowhere near battery park. and so in hours and hours of this storm coming in, that water will begin to surge into battery park, up to battery park city. and that's why that area has to be out of there. the same thing has to happen in
long island and this bubble of water all being sucked in here gets pushed up into the northeast. and that's the biggest threat right now. let's take you to a couple of organized radars here. you'll be able to see here the eye, south of elizabeth city, our crew right there on nags head, they are really getting the outer eyewall right now, they're getting just pounded by this storm, winds at still 80 miles an hour, and the enormity of the rainfall pattern into virginia and also into parts of maryland will cause flooding, there's already significant flooding into parts of north carolina. the big story of the stay will be that it continues up the coast and probably three hours from now, maybe a little bit less is going to get back into the gulf stream. right now it's over the ocean. the sound still has water in it. although for the most part, i was looking at a couple of tweets from brian stoddard, he's been over there taking a look at the sound, there's no water in
it, there's no water in the sound sound, the water has been pushed back up into elizabeth city, but if you're told to evacuate, that means you're in a zone a or a zone b, you need to get out because that's how far the water will come up. the same story in connecticut and long island. the water will come up. you talked to the woman in connecticut and new port. i'm not so worried about new port, you take that water and you funnel it into a smaller and smaller place, that water will get higher and higher as you get up toward providence, rhode island.
>> and this is going to be the storm that's remembered for it's flooding. >> it's going to be pushing water into places that don't want more water, and one of them new york city. >> chad myers, we'll check back with you, of course we're watching, hurricane irene making her destructive run, residents across the northeast region, have evacuated in a whole lot of areas. michelle is a resident of bristol, rhode island and she joins us on the phone right now. so michelle, i don't know if you heard chad there talking about rhode island and the flood potential, but what are your concerns? >> yeah, it sounds like everything we're hearing around here, we're just going to get lots of rain for quite some time, i think i have heard 18 hours. and our thing is we're going to be getting the new moon and the high tide around the same time. and so a lot of people, my door, i come outside and i'm looking right at our harbor and so we're very worried about just a storm surge coming in with lots of
water, the businesses and homes are right here on the water front. so a lot of flooding. i have never seen the stores and businesses board up the windows like they are with this hurricane coming in. so everyone's taking the precautions, moving things to higher ground, the cars, the belongings on the first floor of your home. >> so what have you done, those very things? >> getting the car -- mandatory evacuations are at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. i have plan force my car to be up at higher ground, the pets, the dogs, making sure things are out of basement level for storage as much as i k and, yeah, just making sure you have all those belongings that you need to have with you, your computer, your cell phone chargers, lots of ice in the fridge and the freezer, and just doing what you can and preparing for the worst.
>> have you sandbagged as well? >> i have not sandbagged. like i said, mostly what people around here i have seen they're boarding up the shop windows and the hotel windows, i have been here for ten years but some have been here close to 20 and i have not seen that before. watching it come up the east coast is almost like watching a sporting event, seeing what direction it's going, how strong it's staying and what's going to happen. >> all the best, you continue to stay in your home, but like you said, you put all kinds of preparations in the home in order to best secure the property that you have. good luck to you. on the eastern seaboard, all kinds of precautions being taken, but right now hurricane irene is still barreling down on north carolina and virginia but people to the north are already starting to feel those outer
bands. we're going to check in with all of our correspondents along the east coast right after this. summer plans take them. it pays to switch, it pays to discover. sure, but let me get a little information first. for broccoli, say one. for toys, say two. toys ! the system can't process your response at this time. what ? please call back between 8 and 5 central standard time. he's in control.
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we have five fire trucks here. i'm told by neighbors from across the street, they said when that tree snapped, the new port beach fire department arrived on scene very quickly. that's what we saw, we saw everyone working really dill neglige diligently trying to search for that little boy, unfortunately, that little boy is no longer with us. >> live coverage from our affiliate wavy in newport news,
sad news that a child, a 9-year-old boy was crushed when a huge tree came down on his apartment, tragedy strike as a result of hurricane irene. hurricane irene still barreling down not just on virginia, but north carolina as well and already reports besides the trees being down, but there's a lot of flooding taking place, one of the bigge egest impacts have seen so far, power outages, the latest numbers we have, roughly 1 million customers are without power in north carolina and virginia as a result of irene. so the outer banks of north carolina all still getting battered right now by hurricane force winds and waves and storm surges, we're finding our david maltingly there right now, he's at kill devil hills, you've found some cover right now, because it's pretty dangerous
out there in those elements. >> reporter: in the last hour, we started to feel some of the most violent winds we have felt from this storm so far. and keep in mind, we have been feeling the effects of this hurricane now for a solid 24 hours, we're just now feeling the worst of these winds heading into ports north. but as those rough winds were coming through, it actually tore away a portion of the exterior wall of the hotel. looking over the balcony now, the debris, the siding, the insulation now lingering in the dunes and the grounds here at this hotel. that's just giving you an idea of how abruptly things can change in a hurricane, you can stand in a spot, you can get used to the hard winds that are coming through, but then all of a sudden it ramps up so quickly and then something starts to break and fall apart, flying through the air than's when things really get dangerous out here, so needless to say, we moved upstairs to this balcony
where we do have shelter from the wind that's going on. but at this point, we have the toughest wind, we're seeing the most pounding surf that we have seen from this hurricane so far and it's all heading that way to the northeast, where we now find gary tuchman up on long island because it is coming your way. >> that's right, david, we have seen it, we know it's coming, this is the beautiful city of new port, rhode island, the smallest state in the country. a small state that's going have some problems, as you see where david is, in this state, in this city, people know the ocean, it's called the ocean city, and the ocean is both its blessing and its curse. this store right here appropriately known tropical gangsters. people are putting boards on their windows because they have dealt with the nor'easters, but
the last time they zedealt with hurricane, but the last time they had a hurricane here in rhode island, was 20 years ago last week, that was hurricane bob, but they still talked about the hurricane of 1938 that killed more than 600 people on long island and southern new england, injured 1,700 people, destroyed tens of thousands of houses, i mean you talk to the old-timers here, they still talk about it like it was yesterday. this city is a remarkable place, and i'll tell you why. it was founded in the 17th century, there are beautiful mansions, some of the largest homes in america are in new port. many of the homes are 100, 200 years old. so there's many concerns what the storm could do to the architecture here. this is the place where our cnn founder and patriarch ted turner won the america's cup back in 1977 so water is their life and they're going to soon get a lot of water because the rain is supposed to start and around midday tomorrow is supposed to
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all right, travel along the eastern seaboard is a nightmare right now, with so many modes of mass transit particularly being cancelled, alexandra steele managing the travel desk or travel wall, as we should say, it's difficult getting from point a to point b right now. >> absolutely, some 7,000 flights are cancelled, that includes you, you're standing there, you're phone's still working, you call your carrier, and you hear this. >> all of our representatives are assisting other callers. rather than wait on hold, we can calm you back when it's your turn in more than three hours. >> right now we don't know when things will get up and running. delta, twitter, right now 20,000
followers. three-hour wait time to say the least, so the planes we know, 7,000 cancellations as of yet. trains in the northeast, amtrak not running in the northeast tomorrow at all. cr cruz 20 cruise ships had to tweak their itinerary and change their plans. we know what's happened in new york, no trains, no planes, no busses and also throughout much of new jersey. and in terms of the roads, the taxis in lower manhattan, that deploy more taxis, they're going to deploy more in lower manhattan, they're deploying more cabs there, there's kind of an evacuation fee, kind or a low price and they have worked into some of the responsibilities here, yes, now you can bring your an malls on the cab and they're asking people to group up, those are things you can't usually do in cabs in new york
city. john kennedy, thank you so much for sending this in. this is in annapolis, maryland, look at all these cars heading out of town. roads certainly clogged, heard also from the governor of connecticut who's thinking about making a mandatory ban on highway travel tomorrow morning, so they'll wait to see what happens. those are just a few of the things in travel, a lot more ahead and we'll get to all that. >> alexandra steele, thanks so much. and we'll have much more of our coverage of hurricane irene after this. go-gurt? yep...doh. [ boy ] slurpably fun and a good source of calcium. dads who get it, get go-gurt. [ boy ] slurpably fun and a good source of calcium. wso to save money, i trained my dog and this cockatoo to play all the hits of the '80's woman: hit it, mr. butters. ♪ ♪ take on me...
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all right, more of our continuing coverage of hurricane irene right now, it continues to pound the east coast, north carolina and virginia are bearing the brurnnt of it right now, drenching winds and rain, winds of up to 85 miles an hour, and at least four people have died since the storm came ashore early this morning. take a look at the satellite photo right here, and imagine this, officials say this is about the size of europe. irene, is now a category 1 hurricane. and make no mistake, it still is very powerful and dangerous, irene is expected to arrive in new york city sometime tomorrow morning, the big concern,
flooding from the storm surge, aside from the kind of damage that you're seeing right there in virginia beach, so a couple of hours ago, president barack obama stopped by the headquarters, the federal emergency management agency and he is already declaring states of emergency in nine states and says the government is ready to handle whatever comes, but, he adds, it's going to be touch and go for many throughout the weekend, and into next week. >> it's going to be a long 72 hours, and obviously a lot of families are going to be affected. what we heard, the biggest concern i'm having right now has to do with flooding and power. it sounds like it's really going to be enormous strength and that makes the days even long never some cases. so we're really going to have to stay on top of the recovery phase of this thing.
>> a state of emergency from maryland was just recently declared, president obama signed the order just a couple of hours ago, and the first signs of air reach's approach are already being felt there in maryland, our chris there, he's joining us from chesapeake beach, it seems like the conditions are deteriorating quite a bit? >> reporter: it's really changed just in the last few hours. when we got here at 11:00 this morning, all of this that i'm standing on right now was sand, very quickly over the last several hours, the water has been rising and rising and rising, and you can see some of the waves getting a lot stronger in this part of maryland, there are a lot of homes in this county that are built up on the cliff and there is a very, very real concern right now about what will happen when that storm surge comes in. not so much that the power of the wind would flatten the home,
but that it could erode enough of the soil on this cliff, that it would literally slide into chesapeake bay. i told t the mayor said his real fear is going to be at 4:00 in the morning. >> and most people in that general vicinity have evacuated, you're not far from like the bay bridge, has that even been closed down as a result of these kind of high winds? >> as far as i know, right now, from what we are able to see, most of the roads here are still open. now that could change come tonight because obviously the wind and the rain here is getting a lot stronger. the real fear is that high tide is expected to be at 3:00 in the mo among. so you've got the most powerful
part of this storm coming in at 2:00 to 3:00 in the morning and at the same time you're going to have high tide right after that. so the concern is how high is storm surge is going to be. this area has so many homes up on a cliff. so if that soil erodes, that really does pose a threat of those homes sliding off into the bay. >> and further north, they're already starting to brace for what could be a direct hilt from irene. i'm talking about new york city, right after this. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough.
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all right, irene has people in new york city hunkering down. the new york transit system has already been shut down. subways, commuter trains and busses all have been suspended. mandatory evacuations have been issued for 370,000 new yorkers. mayor michael bloomberg held a press conference in the last hour and the message is that
some people may be running out of time. >> all of the forecasts are basically the same. the storm is headed in this direction, slightly east, slightly west, slightly stronger, slightly weaker. but this is a storm where if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, it can be fatal. there will be very high winds, no matter whether they're categorized as a tropical storm, a category 1, 2, 3, whatever it is, there's a lot of blowing debris, tree limbs come down and water gets into places that can cause electrical shorts. it is dangerous out there. >> our mary snow is in manhattan. so mary, the mayor said that it just might be too lative ye ivf are relying on mass transit. so what are people to do? >> reporter: this is plenty of cabs, they have been waiting afternoon and they have been waiting at evacuation zones to take people away.
but it is so quiet and manhattan is such a different way. take a look at the harbor here, we're in lower manhattan, ordinarily the new york harbor here would be filled with boats on a saturday afternoon and you can see how quiet it is and that is just the scene wherever you go in this city with the city's subways as you just mentioned and busses shutting down at noontime, penn state which sees crowds of people every day, just very quiet. and, you know, there are some people who are not obeying that mandatory evacuation order, saying they are going to stay put here in lower manhattan, they say they have been through storms, they're going to sit tight. others are taking the mayor's advice, including this couple we spoke with earlier. >> when the mayor announced that we had to evacuate, we kind of knew that we were already going to evacuate, so we were prepared.
and then we went to whole foods, got a bunch of food and we just got a hotel, so it's just a stay and a half. i don't think it's going to be that bad. >> some others also thinking that it's not going to be that bad and then they're staying here throughout the storm. one other worry for new york is the potential of power outages. and at some point, there's going to be a decision on whether or not there's going to be some power shut down, but even in tall buildings down here, when the elevators are shutting off at 5:00, that is when that mandatory evacuation order is taking place. now to see what the scene is like in long beach, let's go to my colleague susan kacandiotti, what is it like out there? >> reporter: we're getting a lot of the squalls that you are in the city. long beach is home to a lot of people that are under a
mandatory evacuation order that kicks in in about 20 mens from now, people are being ordered to get out if they live on the south shore of long island and the south side, and the main land north of all of that, and once that storm starts circulating all that water, there is expected to be flooding, no doubt about it, on both sides of this bare year island. -- barrier island. take a look at the surf now, you see all the sand that is here, they have been building it up, bringing it in with bulldozers to help create a berm to help reinforce and protect as best we can from the surf coming in. a lot of reporters are setting up here because this is such a low-lying area, we're talking just two to three feet above sea level, so not very much space to
play with here. but people have been going up and down the boardwalk throughout today, families looking around as well as reporters because they want to take a look at what's going on, they want to take a look at the storm, but the question is are they leaving? who better to ask than the mayor of the city of long beach. have people been responding to the mandatory evacuation order? do you have a sense of it? >> we see that the majority of people have left, and that is gratifying, that will obviously make our job easier, that many less people that might have medical emergencies or what have you, that will be very hard to deal with in the hours that come. >> reporter: now you're not closing off the bridges that join this barrier island to the mainland, but will people be able to get off the island, come on to the island? what are the restriction. >> you will always be able to leave the island, but after
5:00, the nassau county police are only going to let people come back here if they have a electr legitimate reason, if he're fir first responders or they're going to have to have a pretty valid reason for coming back. the real problem is that we're hoping that the water doesn't get trapped in the bay, which might mean prolonged flooding in our canals area and the bay front area, that's our greatest concern and the other thing is that, you know, with the prediction of winds that could exceed 70 miles an hour, that means many trees falling and that means loss of power and if that loss of power is widespread throughout the island, that might mean a long time before power is restored. that's a big problem. >> that could be, so that is why
they hope people have made their preparations, have batteries, have generators and know how to use them. >> thanks so much, susan candiotti. and before it gets to new york, hurricane irene has got to pass by philadelphia where there people are bracing for flooding, we'll have a live report from philly right after this. but there's one opportunity that's too good to miss. the lexus golden opportunity sales event. see your lexus dealer. the lexus golden opportunity sales event. met an old man at the top asked him if he had a secret and the old man stopped and thought and said: free 'cause that's how it ought to be my brother credit 'cause you'll need a loan for one thing or another score 'cause they break it down to one simple number that you can use dot to take a break because the name is kinda long com in honor of the internet that it's on put it all together at the end of the song
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>> reporter: in our experience covering hurricanes, so far it's been fair low mild, may not look at that way at this point, but there are expected to be just widespread power outages, some minor debris in the roadways, terrible conditions, we hydroplaned self-times on the way down here on route 4, i'm going to send it back to you now. >> live coverage from our affiliate wusa, they're reporting on the maryland coast right there, so quite a list to try to be prepared when a hurricane approaches. have flashlights, batteries and try to fill up your gas tanks, that is if you can find gas. our i-reporter found a gas station with no gas well ahead of hurricane irene. mike has never experienced a
hurricane before, and after taking this picture, he now knows that you've got to prepare. plenty of anxiety for those who live on the northern reaches of the east coast. they're watching irene's slow approach after the preparations are made, there's nothing to do but wait and worry. our sarah hoye is live in philadelphia, where a lot of people. >> it is raining and it's been raining about since noon, i would say. coming down nice and sently here, aher -- coming toward the city of brotherly love, septa, which oversees the trains, busses, trollies, they have service shut down tonight at 12:30 for the first time ever, in the history of the city. so they really want people to
get where they need to go, hunker down and ride this out. fred? >> and so, sarah, you know it would seem like a lot of folks would seem like philadelphia would be okay, it wouldn't have to worry about storm surges or significant hurricane force winds or rain, why is it people there are anticipating they might just get -- >> reporter: the worst is expected to hit philly between about 3:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. tomorrow and the thing about philadelphia is you're sitting between two major rivers which are expected to reach crest level and flood. so on one side of the city, you have the schuylkill, and on the other side you have the delaware river. so if water comes in and pushes in, it is going to crest and come on out and flood these low-lying areas, philadelphia also, parts of the city sits on
a 100-year flood plane. so yesterday the mayor could not urge people enough, if you live in low-lying areas, this will flood. so they want people out, flay want them protected, the city has also opened up three shelters in flood-prone areas, they 'tonight at about 6:00 p.m., so the red cross workers are on their way to the shelters now and they expect this thing to come. >> sarah hoye, so mass transit impacting the city of philadelphia as well. this is very much unprecedented for a lot of these northeastern cities that rely on that mass transit. all right, we're going to be going to new jersey as well, where mandatory evacuations are under way and governor chris christie makes a final appeal to people to heed those warnings and get out. bl
zimmer is calling for mandatory evacuations in her city. and storm preps are in full swing. those in coastal new jersey are boarding up windows in homes and businesses and they're moving outdoor furniture to a safe place. and in massachusetts, people were stocking up on plywood to board up fragile windows and doors. there's been some pretty significant flooding potential from hurricane irene. >> i don't think we have addressed this yet and i'm about to get to parts of pennsylvania and new york. this is a very important point, when the winds are going to get to their highest point and you'll know when the trees start to drop. you really need to be very careful about trees that are going to fall down. i didn't notice until 45 seconds
before i came on today. philadelphia has already picked up 13 inches of rainfall in august, so every bit of ground afternoon philly, all up the redding, up the delaware water gap and including new york city, all of that ground is completely saturated. so if another ten inches of rain comes down there,'s going to be absolutely no chance to go anywhere except run off. but then the winds are going to be 50 or 60-mile-per-hour and trees are going to fall down. we already had, we saw that one fatality already in virginia beach, due to the wind bringing down the tree on saturated ground. look at the spread, it's already raining in connecticut and it's still raining in north carolina, fred. >> this is a monster of a storm, i mean the reach is tremendous, that in north carolina people are experiencing rain and in new jersey, people are experiencing rain, all from this one system. >> and also, we're washing a lot of beach away, all the way from sandy hook down to atlantic
city, cape may, ocean city and of course all of north carolina. >> chad, thanks very much, speaking of atlantic city, let's go to jason caroll, that's where he is, and he's already experiencing some effects on the beach there, jason. >> i know you guys have been talking about beach erosion, we have been using this storage shed as a landmark to test how far the water has come. when we were here early this morning, the water was far away, and we have seen the waves actually now starting to couple where you have seen those storage shed there. so that gives you an indication of how strong the surf's up just in the past few hours. boonds of rain continuing to come through, those who know this area well say by tonight, they're expecting the water from the ocean to be right up there where you see the resorts and casino, you know all the casinos here in atlantic city are closed, the city under a mandatory evacuation, a lot of people heeding that warning, thanks to new jersey's governor
who sent out a strong message yesterday saying this is going to be a strong storm and to seek higher ground, fredericka? >> and let's listen right here to the governor. >> get out. >> yeah, he was quite stern. he was cutting it short, that people need to get out, pay attention to these warnings, take it very seriously, irene is a monster. >> new jersey, you still have some of chose sfrtragglers who don't want to heed those warnings. we saw some of them, we spoke to an elderly man who wanted to stay put. that's something we have to deal with as the storm heads our way. >> we heard from the new jersey governor earlier when he said there were about 600 elderly people in atlantic city in
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. >> right behind me is the open story, which shows we keep getting i-reports all day long from people in the path. here's new video we have got, take a look. >> while you take a look at this, i'll tell you what it is. this is from one of our own. ashley corps rum. sh h she talked about what it was like. >> this picture on my screen, just last week at this time, i was talking about the mlk memorial, the martin luther king memorial. it