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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  August 28, 2011 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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average rainfall totals. so you get an additional 6 to 12 inches, the ground just can't take it anymore, and the trees become very vulnerable, knocking out power to a number of areas, and i dare say by the morning's light, we'll have many, many more reports of that. natalie and drew, back to you. >> karen, thanks for that. appreciate it. >> new york city, probably folks there not getting a whole lot of sleep right now as they wait and see what happens as this storm moves in. our special live coverage of hurricane irene continues with our affiliate wjla out of washington, d.c.wjla out of washington, d.c. >> join us again right here on cnn for continuing coverage of hurricane irene. the wind is better, though. when we first came that's what brought down that tree, a huge gust of wind. now it seems to be more of a rain event at least for this moment in time. things change quickly. the bands of the storm move through in very different ways. i say that and mother nature
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proves me wrong. it's unpredictable. you don't want to come out in there. there's the big gust. you don't want to come out in this. we saw people walking around and driving around. it's not a good idea. stay home. stay inside. don't come outside. when you do, when the sun does come up, be careful driving around. there are so many trees down in this area. you never know when there will be a live power line involved with a tree being toppled. >> indeed. driving around may be severely compromised. there have got to be places where there are trees down. suzanne kennedy, thank you so much for that. >> you're welcome. >> indeed, one other place we know about where there's a tree down, this one had much more violent intent, did the two that suns was telling us about, the 3700 block of ingamore street in washington, d.c.
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a tree went into a house and knocked out power. it's 4:00 now, 4:01. we want to do resetting for you. maybe the most potentially serious situation, frankly it's not all that serious, but it is worthy of our consideration right now, situation going on in luzby. one of the two nuclear reactors at the calvert cliffs plant, one of the facilities went offline. early sunday morning, unit 1 reactor went offline automatically when a huge piece of aluminum siding dislodged from a building and came into contact with the main transformer. all the employees are safe and that the calvert cliffs pass silt both safe and stable.
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they said this unusual event or an unusual event has been declared. that turns out to be the lowest of the four emergency classifications by the nuclear regulatory commission. they have declared an emergency, not a big one but nevertheless, they have declared an emergency at the calvert cliffs plant, unit number 2, the reactor there, safe and operating at 100%. and speaking of power, it is worthy of our consideration to take a closer look now at these numbers. that are just out now. these are the 4:00 numbers. the very latest. what we are seeing is that clearly all of them are on the increase. power outages across the area are climbing. dominion, virginia, 116,000 without power. pepco has 31,000 powerless. in montgomery county, the number is closer to 55,000 and in
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prince george's, $106,000 customer without electricity. this is bge, anne arundel county, 101,000 in anne arundel, 22,000 in prince george's and 683 bge customers there. pepco reporting in total 189,000 of its customers without power. bg & e has 379,000. dominion, virginia has 116,184. lots of electricity outages. it's likely as the winds start to shift in their direction, in my spernls aexperience, adam, w more of those. a lot of trees will be toppled. they lean in one direction, they
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start to lean in another and that's when the trees go down. >> you're working on something at home, you nudge it and yank out. >> then you call the expert, right? >> the persistent winds have been out there for four hours, constantly pushing against the trees. then it shifts in a slightly different direction and it can cause the tree to topple. plus more rainfall. our ground is so saturated. whenever you have saturated ground it's easier for the trees to fall. there's a look at our storm scan. some areas of rain letting up in southeastern virginia. locally we have one heavy band moving on through. we go to graphics system live doppler 7. that's a heavy band moving through alexandria, prince george's county and approaching
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the potomac river at this time as well. that will move into northern virginia and fair fox county and prince william and loudon county will see that momentarily. overall, the rain will continually wrap up here over the next couple of hours. i want to give you an idea of some of the rainfall totals so far. this we got from the national weather service, eastport, maryland in anne arundel county. mitchellville, 2.57 and here you go, going to give you the drum roll on this one, california, maryland, from a trained spotter, 9.76 inches of rain. kids you're probably thinking what i'm thinking. why can't it be cold enough outside? that would be 90 inches of snow. that's extreme, i agree, even from a fellow snow lover here. that's a little too much snow. just giving you an analogue. let's take a look at some of the other graphics i have for you,
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our in-house computer model. notice how that pushes the back edge of the rain out of here by 7:00 a.m., just a few hours from now. the heavy band starts to dissipate as well. sunshine even by lunch time, dave. we're looking at those improvements coming on down the line. even in the thick of some of the wind, it's slowly going to let up as it shifts. 9.76 inches of rain. >> that's a lot of rain. >> haley harrison has been watching the situation on king street in old town, alexandria. what's going on? >> reporter: we'll still experiencing the really strong wind gusts we've been seeing for the last 45 minutes down here, the really, really strong winds. we're starting to get the occasional support of trees that have fallen down. we're going to investigate those
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after we're done talking to you here. lots of people in the west end of town are without power. i heard you talking about it with suzanne earlier about the number of people who are out driving around. we've seen quite a bit of that here in alexandria. lots of people, i don't know why, at 4:00 in the morning, driving around, checking out the situation. not something you want to do. the winds are coming down, blowing very strong, and the rain is still coming down. wait for this storm to pass through before you leave, unless it is absolutely necessary. and give emergency crews the space that they need to get out and respond to what they need to do tonight. we'll go investigate those reports of trees down here in alexandria and we'll be back with you hopefully very shortly. >> all right, go see what you can find, interesting stuff. on a similar note, the virginia national guard reports that it freed ten, ten motorists trapped
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between downed trees for more than seven hours. the guards says the vehicle were trapped on route 5 near the richmond national battlefield park. soldiers from the bowling green based 189th engineer company and the westpoint based 237th company were on duty helping the virginia state police clear fallen trees along i-85 near petersburg, about 325 members of the national guard. citizen soldiers, activated by governor mcdonald when he declared the state of emergency. ten motorists trapped between downed trees and freed by members of the virginia national guard. 4:09 on this wind swept sunday morning. we want to check in down in the newsroom right now.
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we've been assembling more pictures. folks are showing these to us, passing the time. jummy olabanji. >> we just got this one in from georgetown. we know suzanne is out in northwest washington where sefr several trees have fallen. this one has fallen within the past few minutes or so. this is dent place in northwest washington and georgetown. the viewer said that's one of sefrlg trees that have come down in that area. folks want to stay safe. going on to our next picture, this is a tree branch down on kirby street in northwest washington. as we've been telling our viewers all along and talking about trees down, are going to be the big story here in this early morning hour. we have a story from the viewer who sent this in.
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they said i was signature at my computer desk and heard a loud crack and boom at 1:44, went outside, a branch hit my car and set off the alarm. looked up the street, saw a tree looking like it was ready to fall and called his neighbor. the neighbor was able to move his car before that tree came down. neighbors helping neighbors. going on to the next picture, you can see transformers lighting up the sky. this is in georgia. luckily he still has power but he wanted to point out just how bright these flashes are. you can see -- it looks like it could be lightning, dave, but these are transformers going off in springfield, virginia. lit up the sky. this was happening a short time ago this evening. we have this last picture here
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that just came in to us from a viewer who happens to be in new york city here in the bronx. i don't know if you can make it out because there are a lot of rain drops on the camera lens there but a tree fell on top of several cars in the bronx. that's probably going to be the big story out there as well as the storm moves closer to new york city and the folks out there are dealing with that. want to thank all of our viewers for pictures and videos. if you're up with us, please continue to send them in. send them to eyewitness@wjla.com. the "i" is the letter "i," iwitness@wjla.com. >> i'm surprised that at 4:12 there are that many people first of all who are still up but secondly who are up and busy and apparently out documenting what's going on.
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>> yes, absolutely. just even as you were getting ready to toss down to our live shot here in the newsroom, our producer cara was behind me saying we're getting more pictures. people are still up at this hour, sending in pictures. we really do appreciate it. as you know, with these storms, pictures and video help us tell the story. >> absolutely. >> we appreciate everyone second them in. >> if the wind is making so much of a racket that folks can't sleep. >> absolutely. >> get up, get iphone or digital camera and take pictures and send it on to jummy an she'll put it on the air. there's the address, send them to iwitness, that's i-w-i-t-n-e-s-s, iwitness@wjla.com. that is times square. the first thing that jumps out at you, even though it is a
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ridiculously early time of the morning, there would be a great deal more traffic. that's because irene has effectively closed down as much as it is possible to do that, to close down that area. and part of the reason for that has to do with the fact there is now a tornado warning just issued for parts of brooklyn and queens, two boroughs of new york city. that's a tornado warning. usually means that doppler radar sees what it reads as rotation and what could very well be a tornado. national weather service out now with a tornado warning for the new york city's brooklyn and queens boroughs. and we'll keep an eye on that for you. in the meantime, landfall there expected in some place likely on long island, about midday. national hurricane center says
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water levels are rising in advance of the storm. new york is waiting for the storm without its usual hustle and bustle. the city all but shut down. and it's not just in new york where things are a good deal quieter than they usually are. and all five of the airports in and around metropolitan new york are closed. but it's estimated that 9,000 flights have been canceled as a result of irene as the airlines reposition their planes out of harm's way. that has trapped an awful lot of people. adam cassky is watching this all going on. i'm surprised. tornado warnings for brooklyn and queens. >> we're getting information on that right now. i'll have more on that for you in just one second. first i want to take you to our live super d7 doppler radar
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system. we're on the back edge of the storm. we're starting to get the backward twist on the backside, northwesterly flow and pivot in our rain, if you will. the area of yellow around washington, that's a moderate shower, moving due south. the whole system is off to the north and east. it's beginning to move on out of here. i want to go to live doppler and closer look at home. the yellow on the screen, that's the heavier rain or moderate shower that's falling. i want to give you details on what we're seeing right now. it's not as bad as what we had earlier. the rainfall rate, how hard is it falling out there at this time? that green area indicates areas of heavier rain, really. only 0.4 inches an hour. we saw rainfall rates higher than that earlier in the storm. the blue area over fairfax county, the springfield area, 0.06 inch an hour.
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you can see 5 inches total so far. this is radar estimated, not directly measured. it's give or take a little bit here and there. you can see the two points we have on the screen. 5 inch estimates in prince george's county. our weather bug sites are squint that as well. look at the purple. montross, newland, virginia. let me plot that, estimated 6 inches. my buddy and weather watcher, bill in newland, virginia said he measured 9 inches of rain. he's not far from montross in the northern neck of virginia. give you back the radar screen. you'll be able to see where the actual showers are in the areas of moderate to heavy rain. they continue to move on out of our area. we continue to see the rain weaken and back up as well. let me move on for you and show you the computer simulation.
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this is our in-house microcast we call it, helping you to visualize, what you'll see over the next couple of hours. i have the time stamp at 4:00 a.m. that's the start of it. it did a good job initializing that yellow rain band we talked about. it's not going to be as detailed as our live radar. computer can't do that for us these days. they're good but not that good. i'll put this into motion quickly. it's out of here by 7:00 a.m. that's the going forecast, most if not all of the rain oust the abc 7 viewing area, moving out of baltimore by 5:00 a.m. and becoming sunny by this afternoon. here's the back edge of the storm. show you how wide reaching this whole system is, you can see how big it is. it's stretching from virginia northward up into maine and
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parts of southeastern canada, i should say. there's the center of the storm, now northeast of ocean city. it's moving to the northeast at about 17 miles per hour. it looks like the center of the circulation is just going to clip the jersey shore here within about 45 minutes to an hour. central jersey shore more like an hour, maybe more than that and still new york city it's coming right up the coastline. now, it is weakening. it's a gradually weakening system. the pressure is rising within the storm. that indicates that the system is filling in. also it's interacting with land and cooler water temperatures as well. also getting dry air mixed into it. all these factors coming into play. don't take it for granted or think it's over yet, especially farther to the north of washington. you're starting to see the conditions ramp up. as for us, it's starting to fizzle off. there's the infrared satellite view. not one of the better infrared satellite views we have. it's one indicating cloud tops. this is a rainfall estimate.
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we have an alley right here from tide water area, norfolk, hampton roads all the way up into the eastern shore with the purples indicating the highest rainfall accumulations. this is another estimate by the way. by doppler radar. that estimates about 6 inches or more of rain but we did get a reading, california, maryland, from a trained spotter of almost 10 inches of rain from this system. they're still seeing a few little showers out there but really not much more than that. there's the center of circulation, again, just east and northeast of ocean city. i had the lightning strike counter on the screen. this is lightning within this entire view, all the way up the mid-atlantic and into the northeast. total amount of strikes on the final frame, only 11. it's not the dynamic type of system where you'll have lightning and thunder the whole time. it's going to be a lot of rain and wind northeast of us. as for us for now, most of that rain is coming to an end. we already experienced the lack of lightning and thunder which is one of the big questions i
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got on facebook. is there going to be lightning and thunder keeping us up? no, wind hitting your window, really. dave, did you have a question? >> i did, adam. on the one hand it's a question but the other thing is, you told us very early on exactly what was beginning to happen and events have borne you out almost to the letter. a couple of things. one is how much of this is you've got much better tools, much better experience and ability to make these forecasts with what are storms that are almost impossible to predict in a lot of ways? how much of it is that? how much of it is this from very early on looked like it would be a real problem for the biggest possible population centers on this coast? did we bring everything there was to bear on this storm? >> all right, dave, that's a long question. >> yes.
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i'm bad about that. >> we love chatting and talking. we are have conversations, not just questions. well, let's put it this way. early on when this system first formed and it was way out in the caribbean, remember everybody was saying this could make landfall in the gulf of mexico somewhere. after a few days, maybe in florida, then somewhere up the east coast. then they' predicted cone of uncertainty was unchanging. then we honed it in and the national hurricane center did a great job. we did see discrepancies in the computer models, they flip-flopped back and forth. the forecast stayed for the most part on track. really within the cone of uncertainty and for the most part to the center. luckily for us we did not see a storm come up the bay. that's one of the worst case scenarios for us. it wasn't like isabel for the
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d.c. area. we got the strong southerly flow from it pushing up the bay, up the potomac. whereas this, irene is not going to be known for its storm surge. it's going to be known for downing trees and the rarn. >> those of us of a certain age remember when it was almost impossible to tell with any real certainty at all with where the storms will go. >> even at my age. >> believe us when i say we are grateful for it. adam, thank you so much for that. we good to the news line. ben has been reporting for us for quite a while down in annapolis. glad to see you got in out of the rain a little bit. >> reporter: we hope to bring you back live pictures in a little bit but condensation got inside the lens of our camera, which is a problem you can't
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avoid when you've been in the rain as long as we have. annapolis has declared a state of emergency. the mayor recommended that folks in some of the low-lying areas evacuate. the rainfall is about 7 inches which we've experienced here, some of the highest we've experienced in our entire region. the real concern, though, is what will happen in less than an hour now, around 5:04 when high tide is experienced here at the water front in annapolis. the concern, of course, that water will begin to over flow and flood the streets not just from rain water but the bay water as well. sandbags currently line store fronts throughout this downtown area. we've heard reports of homes shaking in the wind as well and trees and power lines coming down. we've seen a number of transformers blow, lighting up the sky almost like fireworks. folks, we understand are also hunkered down at annapolis high
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school, which is being used as a local shelter here. as for us, we are wet. we are, of course, wind blown. don't think for a second that we're out of the fight, dave. back to you. >> spoken like a great reporter out in the field. ben, thanks so much. dry off a little bit, get that camera straightened out. we'll see you back here in just a bit. at 4:24, ed mcdonough of the maryland emergency management agency is with us on the news line as well. ed, good to talk to you again. have you got an update for us? what's the situation out there. >> our power outage numbers are up to 750,000 throughout the state. and that number has obviously been increasing for the last five or six hours, in some cases increasing greatly in a short period of time. we're still below the highest level we reached during hurricane isabel in 2003. certainly we're headed in that
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direction right now. >> if you are somewhat below where you were with isabel, where does that sort of fit in with your projections? is this better than you anticipated? or is it bad? tell me what you think. >> it's still bad and certainly if you're one of those 750,000 customers, it's bad for you. >> it's very bad. >> i think that the good news is, that if the numbers don't go up dramatically higher, people will come online quicker because there will be less people to bring back. the other thing is that while isabel was really centered along the western shore of the bay, southern maryland and the baltimore and washington metro areas, the real wrath of this storm was on the eastern shore, not to downplay what we're getting on this side of the bay but it's more sparsely populated over there. there's less raw numbers of customers to knock out over there. while we're certainly getting our share of damage over here, i think the fact that the highest winds and the highest
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floodwaters were over on the eastern shore means that perhaps we'll escape with a few less customer outages this time than we had back in 2003. >> we've been sort of talking about the power, the outward visible signs of things. what else do we know, ed? are you hearing from places particularly on delmarva about physical damage? buildings being knocked down, that sort of thing? >> we're hearing some reports -- most of the damage we're hearing is trees down into houses. there was a woman who was killed unfortunately in queen ann's county late last night when a tree crashed down into her home and apparently toppled the chimney on to her home. i shouldn't say her home. in a building. i don't note specific circumstances. that's the one confirmed fatality we have in maryland right now. really, those things will urge people to be as safe as they can
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an be aware of the condition of the trees in their yards, things like that. that's a hidden thing to worry about. you may have heard and there were erroneous reports of imminent dam failure if the water level gets too high coming down the spillway, that could create minor flooding issues downstream. i'm told there are about 70 to 75 buildings, mostly residences but a handful of businesses in the flood plain there. the people in that area are aware of that ongoing issue, just because of the nature of the dam there. and they know to be ready to evacuate on short notice and heavy rain. they have not been asked to evacuate yet. the folks in st. mary's county are closely monitoring that situation and if need be they will ask. right now, the water is not at that height. we want to make clear it's not a dam failure issue, it's the
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volume of water behind the dam, you it might come over the spillways and start causing flooding downstream. >> that's valuable information, too, ed. indeed we talked about that earlier last night as a matter of fact, i believe it was. thank you. i appreciate. >> not a problem. >> your updating us on that. ed mcdonough, the state of maryland, the emergency management agency. let's talk once again in suzanne kennedy in northwest d.c., watching the trees go down. what's the latest, suzanne. >> we've been able to light up the situation where we are in the 3900 block of edmond street northwest. you can see this better than we've been showing you all morning. this is the second tree that fell on this block within a half hour's time. this fell literally right in front of ourize. we felt the ground shake. we saw the tree branches russell
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and then it came down. we'll show you what effect it had on this two-story house here. they had to take people out the back door of this building as they evacuated them an hour and a half ago. the fortunate thing about this situation, it fell for the most part in an area where one of these apartments or homes had been taken down and they were renovating or putting up another building here. there are two trees on this block. they fell within the 2:00 hour. people said they heard rumbling, felt the ground shake and then the trees came down. fortunately they were able to get out safely. there was a baby that came out, a small child, elementary school aged child, a dog, they got out safely. firefighters were here quickly, secured the area. they got people out. they had all evacuated. they hung around for a little
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bit, seemingly in shock of what happened in front of them. many of them came into the center portions of their apartments here. they feared this would happen. they were grateful they had the forethought to do that when they heard it come down, to be safe and think ahead. i'm quite surprised on the number of cars parked on this street. i live in an area where there are tons of trees. many of my neighbors moved those vehicles away from the trees. this is a huge branch that's blocking the street. while your street may not be blocked by a very large tree, you're going to be encountering some of these and they are literally littering the area where we are right now. what we can tell you is that the firefighters came through this area and one thing they did, they got their chain saws out quickly to remove the trees from some of the dangerous areas. what we'll see as we get daylight hours here, people want to come outside to assess what's going on.
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it may not be the smartest thing to do this morning. certainly we have seen live power lines down this morning. pepco has got its hands full in dealing with this. the best advice is to stay inside. certainly we are seeing more rain come through the area, more wind. so clearly we are not finished with this storm. people i think are going to feel like they want to come outside but it's just best to stay inside. two very large trees, a maple and oak, down in one block here in a short amount of time. there's no predicting what could come down next. dave? >> suzanne kennedy, documenting for us what is going on, it seems, just about every place we look. this is going to be the signature of this storm, all the trees that have come down and they've taken some lives, three in fact, in the state of virginia. back into the district where suzanne just was now, a couple of video scenes that we want to show to you and give you an idea what's going on.
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this it is tenley town, wisconsin avenue. three blocks where the traffic lights were knocked out. you can see the mpd having to direct traffic in the blustery winds and heavy rain. as actually suzanne was telling us before, there are a number of people outside. this is on ordway street and connecticut avenue in northwest. and, again, it is no exaggeration to say this is a scene that's being repeated just about every place you look, indeed in the 3700 block of ingmar street in northwest. a tree hit a house, knocked out power. we all should take this seriously. mark brady, the prince george's county fire and ems department is with us on the newsline. good to hear from you tonight. your county has been
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particularly hard hit. we knew it and anne arundel county were in the bull's eye around here. give us the big picture look. how are you doing right now? >> we're doing fine in prince george's county. we fared pretty well, while we handled a couple thousand ince dentses since the storms began we're fortunate that no injuries have occurred. that's our number one priority, make sure everybody is safe. so far at this point that's been accomplished. >> you said you had a number of incidents. what -- characterize them for me if you can. are these emergency calls, trees being knocked down? what exactly were the problems? >> it's been a combination of calls involving, obviously, the heavy rains bringing flooding conditions and the high winds bringing trees down which also bring down power lines at the same time. we have a combination of things occurring and those have been the majority of our responses.
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we've had several trees down across roadways but our department of public works and transportation have taken care of those pretty quickly. we have about eight roads closed due to flooded conditions. but those conditions are improving, even though we are undergoing what looks like another band of high winds and heavy rains. we have just eight roads closed. >> that really is, i think, fairly remarkable for a big county. that prince george's is. things appear to be getting better out there. mark, talk about sort of the assessment process that goes on right now. it's important to find out exactly where the problems are, you know -- you think you know where most of them are. really, until the sun comes up and you can actually eye ball the things, it's difficult to get the big picture, isn't it? i think we may have lost him there. >> i'm having a hard time
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hearing you. i had activity in the room that drowned you out. the question was? >> until the sun comes up and you get eye balls on the situation, you can have a good idea of what's going on but you don't see the true total picture until you can get out and visualize it, is that right? >> that's exactly right. we're in the lull period as far as activity, incoming 911 calls. we do fully anticipate when everybody wakes up and the sun rises and people see the damage, they're going to call 911 or call the hurricane hot line and report those damages. we'll be as busy, if not busier, during the recovery period than we were today in dealing with the actual storm. we are geared up. we have personnel on duty and ready to go. we are looking forward to the recovery period and helping out as many citizens as we can. >> mark brady, thank you so much.
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always good to talk to you. >> thank you. >> i know you are going to be busier very shortly there when the sun comes up. ben eisler and his intrepid crew have managed to get the condensation dried out on the inside of the lens on that camera. so he can join us now with annapolis with some pictures. there is he. i had, ben. >> reporter: dave, i hope you can see us all right. please excuse us also if there's a delay because we're actually streaming this live through the internet. now, throughout the evening, we've shown you some flooding. we've shown you some winds. we've talked about power outages. but the one thing that has really been the biggest concern here in annapolis has been the level of water actually from the bay. let's give you an idea here of exactly how high the water has risen. as you can see, there's still got to be at least five feet before this water will start
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overflowing into the water front area here. and it's just about getting to high tide. we've also experienced about 7 inches of rain here in annapolis, which is some of the highest that we've seen anywhere else in the region. so given the fact that we've had 7 inches of rain, some of the highest, and we are reaching high tide here and there's still about 5 or 6 feet until the water starts overflowing we're in pretty good shape. also from what i understand, i spoke to adam cassky not long ago. he told me the worst part of the storm is behind us. we're starting to have fun out here. the air smells nice and fresh. it's not terribly cold. it's pretty warm. we saw a bunch of cop cars around here earlier but they've mostly gone. the wind isn't too bad anymore. the streets also are not particularly flooded beyond the street that we showed you over on the side, king george street.
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things aren't in terrible shape over here. and the store fronts which all have sandbags piled up in front of them don't have water in front of them. so hopefully things here in annapolis will not be disrupted too badly, even in these very vulnerable low-lying areas. this is one of the areas that was called for evacuations. the mayor strongly recommended. the wind is beginning to pick up here a little bit now. i jinxed myself. i deserve a little bit of this. thank you. this is one of the areas that was called for an evacuation, and it's really in pretty good shape. the storm drains are working very well. the water is trickling out of the gutters, down into the street and down those drains. and not much seems to have been disrupted. it doesn't look like there's going to be a whole lot of damage. i don't want to, again, jinx that part of it but things are
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fairly clear. we are still seeing some of those transformers pop, some of the transformers blow, lighting up the sky as my photographer here described it, almost like fireworks. and then we see a bunch of the lights from homes and other buildings around here drop out. but beyond that, things are fairly calm and i mean, this doesn't feel terribly different from some of the other rainfall that we've experienced elsewhere. it's fairly peaceful, quiet, actually going to enjoy ourselves, dave. is that appropriate? >> ben, give is us his best chamber of commerce view of the situation in annapolis there. >> thank you, guys. >> go out, have a little fun. i believe you've earned it. certainly not minimizing the situation there. but he's absolutely right. there are places that when the planning for these things is
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done, you have to think where is the greatest risk? and you identify those places and you try to get them evacuated and cleared out and sometimes it works out, sometimes you get lucky as they clearly did in annapolis. a couple of other places though, maybe not quite so lucky, we want to show you some of those scenes. this is dent street where a tree fell right on an old house. we don't know if that was an inhabited place or not. we do know that's a big old tree lying on top of that wooden structure right there. that's one of many, we can say the word many, trees that have been toppled in just in the district of columbia, one of the most circumscribed areas. we've been able to give you the closest look there. you have to think what's going on there is going on a lot of other places. this then, a driving shot of the rain and the streets in georgetown where it is a more
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benign scene but the same sort of scene we have noticed in a lot of other places. the breeze blowing the rain around and a lot of it. the streets are still very wet. it is still difficult to get around in a lot of places. frankly, if you don't have to be out right now, just wait a little while. there will be plenty of time to get out and survey the scene tomorrow. if they wait a long enough period of time, it won't be that long, maybe 10:00, 11:00, the sun will be out, it will be a pleasant day. you can walk around and ooh and aah at all the trees that have fallen into the street. >> just be careful as you ooh and aah. the conditions are getting better from the southwest to the northeast. okay, from the southwest to the northeast. up closer to baltimore, that's when the conditions will take the longest to get better in terms of the wind. in terms of rain it's not all
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that bad out there right now compared to what we had. i just got off the phones with the great folks at the national weather service. i was talking to jared and asked him a question, you're wondering about coastal flooding over the next couple of days. it's common when we get a lot of rain around here along the potomac bay and it's tributaries to cause coastal flooding. we're in a negative anomaly right now. yes, we've had a lot of rain up to 9 inches, almost 10 inches down there, but the northerly wind is cancelling that out, pushing the water out of the potomac and out of the bay. another reason why we're grateful that we have this storm track centered off to our east so we get that northerly flow during this entire system. it's when you get the storm track out of the south such as with isabel, it causes such a
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bad storm surge. for this storm, a 3 to 4-foot storm surge. the north-facing shorelines is where we had some of the problems. there's our radar. last time we checked in we had yellows on the screen, the southeast corner of the beltway. look at it now. hardly any yellow left. that means the rain is continuing to die off. this band right here is light rain, probably on the order of about 0.2 inch an hour in terms of the rainfall rate. that's just an estimate. you're seeing a brake near quantico county. i did mention we're seeing that rain die out a little bit. here's one reason why, i want to show you here. this is our storm scan. we're looking at the water vapor satellite imagery. it's satellite that basically
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measures how much water is in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere. it tells us how saturated it is or unsaturated it is. in parts of the district where we're seeing the rain let up, we're getting dry air working into the center circulation of the storm. the green you see, the green was the saturated ground or the saturated air, i should say. the saturated air we have. and that orange that you have on the screen, the orange, that's the drier air. the drier air is starting to get pulled into the center of circulation. you can see the center of circulation northeast of ocean city, continuing to push off to the north at 20 miles an hour. we got an update. maximum sustained winds are 75 miles an hour. it's barely hanging on as a category 1 hurricane. it's gained forward speed, moving to the northeast at 20 miles an hour.
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it's risen 8 millie bar millib. there's the drier air, you can see it getting wrapped into the circulation, even on the backside of it in the washington area where our rain is letting up a bit and moving on out. that's partially because of the dry air moving in. good news for us here in the washington area. the grounded is saturated and we're still getting gusty winds, enough so where we could have more down the trees across the area. center of circulation, right there. i'm going to put this into motion. riding up to the north, moving into the cape may area as it pushes on to the jersey shoreline. that will continue to move off to the north. the lightning strikes at two. from virginia to canada. dave, really quickly, hometown sites here, 72 miles an hour, 68
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in waldorf, alexandria, 43 mile per hour gusts and 55 measured in the district. another location in the district, 44. here's the highest rainfall total updated for you, annapolis, 7.29. >>s of rain at the naval academy. impressive. >> it really is. that's a great deal of rain. >> imagine if it was cold enough. 70 inches of snow. >> do i have to? >> no, no. cut me off. >> okay. a true snow lover giving us that comparison right now. jummy olabanji has been aggregating the great video and pictures you've been second to us and sharing them. they're wonderful. along with great views we're seeing from other places, a lot of folks around here continue to
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send us their pictures, jummy. >> absolutely, dave. i feel like people are starting to wake up, speaking with our producer, cara. we are getting more pictures as the morning goes on. people are starting to wake up and assessing what's going on around them. we're getting pictures from all over. this is coming from norfolk, virginia. somebody just sent this in after the after effects of the flooding that irene left. you can see how high that water is. it looks like a shopping center in the background there. the water is obviously very high. as they wake up this morning down in southeastern virginia which really took a hit from the storm, they're going to be dealing with a lot of flooding as an aftermath of this storm. we go next upstate to new york where somebody sent in this picture of a cracked power line pole. we've been speaking about everything going on in the storms, moving closer to new york, they'll be feeling the brunt of the storm in just a couple of hours.
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they'll be dealing with a lot more of this in the coming hours. next we go to west hempstead, new york, where somebody sent in a picture of downed trees, downed branches. obviously that's been the story in our area and region for the past couple of hours. irene is making its way north, we're seeing the same story in new york. these next pictures coming in to us from somebody viewing in al mujahir. caesar salazar sent these in from old bridge, new jersey. he's guessing there's some sort of backup or overflow. in less than 30 minutes the parking lot became a small lake. caesar sent in a second picture we'll put up for you here in just a second. you can see another angle of that parking lot where looking like the water is starting to rise to the tire level of those cars. hopefully it doesn't get any worse than it is. but we all know what can happen
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when the water starts to rise. that's not a good situation to wake up to out there. then one more picture, dave, we'll switch over to twitter. these coming to us from dan stessel. this was taken about half an hour ago in the metro situation room. you can see even at this hour, officials here in our area are analyzing what's going on. we have metro officials out there, last time we spoke with them they said at this moment they still plan on start service again at 7:00 in the morning, as usual. good job to metro out there, keeping us all safe and making sure we can get to our destinations tomorrow. dave? >> jummy, we were getting pictures from new jersey, i suspect, because we've been on cnn for a while and also up on satellite all across the country. there are a lot of folks being able to watch what's going on right now. we appreciate their spending some time with us. we certainly appreciate the job
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you're doing for us, jummy. we really like to see your pictures. send them to iwitness@wjla.com. that's i-w-i-t-n-e-s-s, iwitness videos. on the newsline with us, first sergeant j.e. mitchell, virginia state police. sergeant, good morning. >> good morning. >> give me sort of the big picture right now. what's the situation around the state? we do know the storm is heading north and that's lessening the problems that we've been dealing with for over 24 hours now. give us your assessment if you would, please. >> right now, we still have a little rain and a little wind. you know, power outages across the state.
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james river bridge, we didn't close it but it's high water and impassable and also the chesapeake bay bridge tunnel is closed. so still going to get more rainfall and don't know exactly how much but mainly we recommend citizens stay in until we get a lost the trees cleared up. a lot of trees down and power outages. >> 1st sergeant, let me ask you questions about what we heard earlier. not sure if you have information about it but i'd love to hear about this. down in riff mond, virginia national guards soldiers who were working with the virginia state police along i-85 managed to free ten motorists who 4 been trapped between downed trees there for more than seven hours.
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that's remarkable. do you know the details of that incident? >> no, i don't have any information on that. >> okay. i was fishing on that. i thought if you did. it's an amazing thing. we do know that a lot of the troopers are carrying change saws, just in that eventuality, if they can get roads cleared and that sort of thing. how much of a problem has that been so far? >> it's been a problem as far as getting around on the road from the tree fallings. i've been out working at a local fire department. they've been doing a pretty good job doing what they can do. there's a lot to remain, clean up, remains to be cleaned up and the main thing is power outages and trees down. we recommend people stay in and get the agencies and what not time to clean everything up.
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>> that's another thing, too, 1st sergeant. we're not going to know until they get a chance to get eye balls on this thing. frankly to do that you need the sun to come up and we need to be able to make that big picture assessment of what's going on out there. folks are naturally curious and want to see what happened. if they do that, they're probably only going to get in the way of the first responders of those wonderful folks who are visiting from other states who are here to try and get the power turned back on. the sort of infrastructure things that need to get done so we can try and get back to regular life around here. >> that is exactly right. that's why we recommend people stay in, give your emergency agencies a chance to get things cleaned up, to where people can get out and move about.
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>> 1st sergeant j.e. mitchell, thank you so much. you and the troopers, stay safe the rest of this event. at about six minutes now before 5:00. we want to reset things if we can and let you know where we are. a lot of the middle atlantic was spared, those sort of doomsday forecast of record-breaking storm surges. nevertheless, a day-long pounding bit storm has left eight people dead in total, millions without power and thousands wondering what to expect when they return home. frankly we're not going to know the full xechextent of the dama for several days as some roads will likely remain impassable with swollen rivers and a great many trees that have been knocked down. we've seen these scenes over and over, all around the area. while irene is just barely a hurricane now, top sustained
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winds of 75 miles an hour, she has already done her worst to this part of the country. and mercifully is pulling away. it's bad news for new york and new jersey right now as they are sort of next in the sights. power outages around the area, in the hundreds of thousands. here are the latest numbers. dominion, virginia, 116,000, pepco, 31,000. in montgomery county, 55,000. in prince george's, 106,000. bge in anne arundel has 101,000. in prince george's, 22,000 and 683 in montgomery county. you look at the totals and they are breath taking. pepco has 189 thousand of its customers without power.
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bge has 379 and dominion, virginia has 116,000. looking at new york, as well, that's sort of the next place right now. we've been looking at this picture of times square now since midnight. and it has stayed effectively the same. that's pretty remarkable if you've ever been in times square at midnight on a regular saturday night in the summertime, you would expect to see a great deal more traffic than we have seen and that's sort of the situation. there is some storm surge such as it is, about 3 1/2 feet reported in new york harbor right now. that could be the lasting or i shouldn't say the lasting -- it's sort of the first scene from this storm that could cause real problems in and around what they sometimes jokingly refer to
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as the tri-state area there in new york. taya garmon joins us on the newsline right now. good morning. virginia has had a particularly difficult time of it. it seems this storm we've been dealing with it, it's been, what, maybe 26, 27 hours, something like that. it almost seems like three days, taya. >> this storm has been very challenging for us, especially because it came in earlier than expected. our crews have been working before the storm and we would continue to work for days and weeks afterwards to make sure as best as possible we can restore our life back to normal. >> taya, one of the things we know right now and we'll know better when we get a better assessment of things is that the tidewater area has been particularly hard hit. tell me what you know about down there and just what is the
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situation right now? >> right. the tidewater area, as you said, has taken a pretty tough blow from this particular storm. we know there are a number of roads closed, chesapeake bay bridge tunnel is closed. there were mandatory evacuations. until the daylight comes up and we can get out and assess the damage and what happened, we have no idea exactly how bad it is and when people can expect to return. so i'm sure that's nothing that people want to hear right now but it's just the truth. emergency management we have and we'll continue to try to work to restore that but we need people to bear with us. >> one the of the things we've been asking people in our position around the regionen is sort of how that assessment process works. again, we're probably going have-to-have to wait until sunrise to start this thing. does it start at the local level? you report then maybe the counties

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