tv CNN Newsroom CNN May 22, 2013 6:00am-8:01am PDT
coverage on the tornado aftermath in moore, oklahoma. a special edition of "cnn newsroom" with chris cuomo picks up right now. good morning. thank you for joining us. i'm carol costello here in atlanta. >> and i'm chris cuomo here in moore, oklahoma. >> take it away, chris. set the scene for us. >> thank you very much, carol. having a little bit of communication issues there. we know what happened here on monday, carol. the question, how quickly can the community come back? we're told from government officials that what they believe about those who lost their lives here, 24 people, 9 children, those numbers are not expected to change.
now, the silver lining is that you remember the numbers had been higher, and the estimates have been higher than that. so the adjustment to the numbers we have is welcomed by everybody in the community. this has changed into recovery, from a search perspective in terms of what they are looking for, but also just in terms of the large sense of how this community learns how to get back on its feet. reaching out to each other, help coming from neighboring community, states, and all across the country, we keep directing people to go to cnn.com/impact. so they can figure out how to help the people on the ground. need is great right now, and will continue for many months to come. the news today, carol, that they believe that this area will be substantially searched by this evening and that's when we'll start to hear official information from the government about if there are any other casualties, if there are any other emeasurie casualties, if there are any other emeasurimergent situation have to deal with. right now on the ground, a
beautiful sunny day and people coming out, trying to figure out how to move forward. we'll take you through the tornado's path from beginning to end. if you look down here, you will see a brown line, starts with this debris field, starts going in this direction. that is actually the tornado's trail. and as you see, it's going to get much more dramatic as we get near a populated area. literally can trace with your finger a line where the tornado went. the path, completely obvious. it's about a block and a half wide and you notice it, just by seeing everything that's destroyed. everything that looks just like paper on the ground, those are homes, those are timbers, roofs, those are cars. there are two major time connecticut -- components here. 16 minutes, the warning time. and ten minutes, where the tornado touched the ground and
destroyed everything in its path. this is where the tornado was. look at the difference between life and death, between losing everything and losing nothing. over water, it seems like it disappears, and it touches down on land again, destruction resumed. flying 2,500 feet above the ground. debris from the tornado can get ten times as high as we are right now into the air. look at the trees. looks like people pulled them up, laid them down, just luke they were weeding their garden. but those are huge, old-growth pine trees. cars littered along the trail. they weren't parked there, tossed like toys. you look at the debris, you understand why search and rescue is so time consuming. to find the way through homes is literally like digging through a haystack. one of the worst parts of the tornado's path, one that this community has seen before, in 1999 and 2003, there were
terrible tornadoes here that carved almost the same path through this community. this part of the community really shows you the randomness and intensity of the tornado. some homes completely gone and a block away, they have been spared and this part of the debris trail ends at a school where children lost their lives. >> all right. so that's the look from above to give you some perspective about this. i want to bring in nick valencia with new information about what's happening on the ground. what have you learned? >> hey, chris. we just ran into the mayor of moore, and he told our cnn crew exclusively, and i want to get the language right on this he is going to try to pass an ordinance to require storm shelters or safe rooms in all new housing projects, including multifamily, he says that is a very big thing, and the multifamily, that's not anywhere in the united states, he says he will try to get through the debris cleanup first. he has to get four votes of a six-member council, but he told
that to our crew a short time ago. tried to get him on camera, chris, but the mayor of moore, he's exhausted and expected to give this information to the media. standing by out here in front of city hall. expected to give that information to the media at the 1:00 p.m. press conference. but gave us a tip-off to that first. the mayor of moore, telling us he will try to pass the ordinance to try to require storm shelters or safe rooms in all new housing projects, including multifamily. chris. >> makes a lot of sense. nick, that's obviously what we're hearing on the ground. thank you for the reporting, appreciate it. back to you soon. let us know if you learn anything else. another big perspective of what's happening on the ground here is what people did to get through it. and a special situations that people found themselves in. bring in pamela brown. you have been meeting people who are here. one mother in particular has quite a story. >> oh, absolutely. she just had a c-section about five days before the tornado, and she was in her home when the tornado was coming directly
toward her home. got in her car and basically in the fight for her life to save herself and her newborn baby. candace philips cradles her 6-day-old baby connor in her arms. overcome with emotion and gratitude for this moment. >> i was just wondering if i would be able to, you know, see him grow up. if the tornado was going to turn and come for us next. if we were going to make it to the hospital at all. >> reporter: candace, only had moments to grab her newborn baby boy and jump in her car when monday's mammoth tornado carved a path of catastrophic destruction in moore, oklahoma. >> fight or flight instinct. you either stand in there and stare at it in fear or get in the car and go. and that's what we did. we were literally throwing things in the truck and jumping in. which was not easy five days after having a c-section.
>> reporter: packed in the truck with her brother, mother, sxlgt connor sleeping in her arms, all she could see out the back window is this image capturd on her brother's cell phone. a monster twister headed right toward them. >> this massive, dark gray just swirling tornado just barrelling down behind us. >> reporter: and it looked at one point like it was right on the path to you. >> yeah, it did. it did. >> reporter: candy knight and her boyfriend missed the tornado by mere seconds and watched as a 7-eleven was leveled. >> if i was ten seconds slower, i would have been gone. i had my 5-year-old between my legs on the floor. we just barely, barely missed it. >> reporter: with so many left without homes, their resilience strengthened by survival. >> i'll be okay. we'll get back. we're definitely okies, what we're known for. come back, arms a swinging. >> reporter: and the governor
echoed that spirit with her own resolve. >> we have seen time and time again the strength of our people, the courage, the perseverance and come back much stronger after the tragedies we've been through. >> i know. >> reporter: as for candace, her life uprooted, home destroyed. she'll be staying at temporary housing at the university of oklahoma. and incredibly, though, she has no complaints. >> i'm thankful i'm here and that there are volunteers helping with everything. and that, you know, we have a place to go. >> reporter: you can just imagine, chris, how challenging that must be to have a newborn baby and not have a home to go to. incredible to see strength, resilience. we're seeing that all over this town. some people coming together and who have so much resolve. >> keep proving what they are able to make it through. and they say that's what defines the community of moore, oklahoma. and a window into the need. the need is great. today and every day going
forward for months and we keep directing to you cnn.com/impact. go there, and figure out how you to help the community. if you live in the surrounding area, thinking of coming here to lay hands on the situation, don't worry about that. the man power adequate. what is needed are other resources. cnn.com/impact. figure out how you can help. a quick break. when we come back here in a special edition of "newsroom," a hospital ripped to shreds by the tornado. no one seriously hurt. but we'll hear from an e.r. doctor whose quick thinking may have helped save lives. stay with us. ♪
teramov said that they were questioning him and ibragim todashev and watching them every day. >> one day they started questioning us. the next day after the bombing. not the bombing, after they found out that the bombers were chechnyans, and they started following us, watching us, the older brother, knew him back like two years ago. and back when he was used to live in boston and he huknew hi wasn't real close friends, just happened to know him. >> an fbi spokesman says cn that the agent shot todashev in self-defense. lawyers from jackson's relatives when a bag of mints was given to give to the jury them claim the kahne couca cand
jurors knew where they came from. the jacksons are suing aeg live which hired the doctor convicted in jackson 'death. in a few minute, an irs official will appeal before a house panel. lois warner, expected to plead the fifth and not testify. she oversees requests for tax exempt statuses. the irs is urged criminal investigation. lerner is accused of lying to congress about her knowledge of the matter. and as soon as next month, the full senate expected to consider a sweeping overhaul of the nation's immigration policies, after the key committee approved a bill. the measure creates a 13-year path to citizenship, raises the cap on visas for highly style skilled workers and strengthens border security. and anthony weiner is indeed running for mayor of new york city. the former congressman who
resigned in 2011 after lying about lewd online photos, launched his campaign with this online ad. >> i made some big mistakes and let a lot of people now, but i have also learned some tough lessons. i have been fighting for the middle class struggling to make it my entire life. i hope a get a second chance to represent you. >> weiner, running second among democrats. the city council president, christine quinn, leads the pack. a fund set up to help the three women rescued in cleveland has reached $650,000. 6,800 individual donations to the cleveland coverage funds. a letter from the attorneys representing the women reads in part, heartfelt thanks to well wishers and supporter for everything you are doing, and that everything now includes perhaps the greatest gift of all. the space and time to reconnect
with their families, recover and rebuild their lives and so they say again, thank you. thank you so much. jurors in the jodi arias trial will deliberate whether she should get the death penalty. special coverage starting at 1:00 p.m. eastern. among the reasons why arias says the jury should spare her life, she says she'll recycle. sell t-shirts, donate her hair to cancer survivors and start a prison book club. here is more from cnn's casey wian. >> reporter: jodi arias began her plea for her life with an acknowledgment of pain that she has caused travis alexander, the former boyfriend she brutally murdered in 2008. >> nothing drills that home more for me than when i heard them last week. i never meant to cause them so much pain. i hardly believe i was capable of such violence, but i know that i was, and for that i'm really sorry for the rest of my life. >> reporter: the rest of arias' statement to the jury was in
sharp contrast to the interview she gave to a local reporter minutes after her conviction, then she spoke of suicide, said she would prefer the death penalty. >> i didn't know that i could become employed, self-reliant. i didn't know that if i got life, there are many things i can do to affect positive change and contribute in a meaningful way. in prison there are programs i can start. >> they said she will teach spani spanish, sign language. and she displayed t-shirts she is selling to raise money for domestic violence victims. even though the jury rejected her claim that she killed travis in self-defense. >> this cause is very important to me. >> reporter: convicted killer
jodi arias wait for a jury to decide if she will be executed or sentenced to life in prison. she sat for a new round of media interviews. >> you had ample opportunities to apologize to travis alexander's family. you didn't do it to them? >> i did apologize in my allocution. >> you never said i'm sorry. >> i don't think you used those two words, but i feel i conhave aed my remorse, and if i didn't adequately convey it, then i regret that. >> do you want to do it now? >> well, there is nothing i can do to take back what i did. i wish that i could. i really, really wish that i could. >> earlier tuesday, she began pleading for the jury to spare her life by acknowledging the pain she has caused the family of travis alexander, the former boyfriend she murdered in 2008. without any mitigation, witnesses testifying on her behalf. left to arias to appeal for
mercy by showing artwork and family photos. >> every time i have the thought or desire to commit suicide there, is one element always -- almost always causes me to waiver. they are sitting right over there, and they are my family. either way, will spend the rest of my life in prison. either shortened or not. if it's shortened, the people who will hurt the most for my family. i'm asking you to please don't do that to them. >> reporter: alexander's family watched in silence, faces saying everything. casey wian, cnn, phoenix. more information on the breaking news i told you about moments ago. i u.s. law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the boston marathon case, a man killed this morning in a shoot-out in orlando with an fbi agent was being investigated for links to the boston bombing suspects. let's bring in cnn national
correspondent susan candiotti. who is this man? >> reporter: it's unclear the link that has been made. according to the law enforcement official, that's what the fbi was looking at. they learned through investigative leads that led them to this man in orlando. because they had information he knew the tsavraev brothers, both of them, tamerlan and dzhokhar. they were taking a look at them for a good month now after the bombing. what led to the shooting, we're not sure. a source tells us that the fbi shot this man in self-defense. that's what's being looked at now. part of protocol, a special team going to orlando to begin investigating what led to the shooting. >> susan, was the man killed chechen? >> reporter: yes, that is another link. apparently not only did this man know the tsavraev brothers, but
also from chechnya, the same general region where the tsavraev brothers came from. his friend of the man shot, acknowledged that his friend had been followed for about a month, but had no involvement in the bombing. >> there are reports that this man and another man were going to leave the country is that true from what you know from your sources? >> reporter: something that i am looking into. but the friend is putting out that information. i'm told the person that was shot was a legal resident of the united states and had been living here since 2008 or so and used to live in boston and used to live in boston that is key, because, of course, that's where the tsavraev family had lived. >> interesting. susan, i know you will continue to dig. susan candiotti reporting live this morning. still ahead on "the newsroom," brave action of
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one of the strongest buildings in the community. no one seriously hurt inside. partly because of the quick actions of an e.r. doctor. >> on call in a hospital in one of the biggest tornadoes in u.s. history and everybody did well inside your hospital. how are you feeling about that today? >> i don't think it's hit me really. i don't feel like i can take credit for that. like said, i was just doing my job, knew what i had to do. you can't even imagine. it is very emotional. i'm like wow that everybody did
get out. yeah, words can't even describe, how you feel, and a lot of thank yous. >> joined now by cnn's chief medical correspondent, first, how did you find this doctor as a person? >> you know, i know a lot of doctors in these various community, when a story like this is happening, a lot of times i start calling people that i know who work at these trauma center and quickly get an idea of who was where at the time, and just like you, reporti reporting, making the calls. in this case, she was the emergency room doctor sort of in charge at that time. they didn't get a lot of notice she told me. watching television, just like everyone else and then there was sort of an all call. code black that came over, and at that point she went into action. 34 years old.
lived in chrome her whole life, seen a lot of tornadoes, and in some ways, preparation met the circumstance here. >> definition of luck, when preparation meets opportunity. does it ever cease to amaze you how people rise to the challenge in the situation? >> no, it doesn't. as a doc obviously, a lot of theoretical learning you do in the classroom, you hear from meant for experiences and things like that, but when a situation happens like this, you never experienced this before, so are you putting together all of these various facet of your training and hoping they all come together. she knew the basics to get people away from glass, put them in the center of the building. the secondary wave of injuries, from shrapnel, flying from the ground. we are dealt with this from war z zones, she put mattresses over people's heads, to prevent brain injuries. and have to get people out. no second floor anymore. you are in a risky situation for
yourself and at the same time still being the health care provider. also, patients coming in. can't take care of them at the hospital. set up triage in the parking lot. all of these happening, and all of it within minutes, putting all together. >> like boston, the marathon bombing, the heroic acts of medical professionals prevented people from being injured or killed. >> i think because of the fast acting, smart thinking, that was avoided in that situation. >> very important point you told me before, and certainly worth repeating, under the heading offiof i it's not over yet. injuries sustainable that you may not see right away, true? >> certainly for people's own physical bodies, from the
injuries, the primary wave of injuries, sometimes you can have injuries inside your body without any external obvious signs. people who have symptoms, abdal pain, don't blow that off. half of tornado related injuries, true in '99 here, true after joplin, half of the injuries occur after the storm. people walking around in the debris. the fire chief coming to talk to us stepped on a nail. that continues to happen. minor perhaps, but can be quite significant as well. >> also important, your kids. you are told me, kids usually show the way they are going with head injuries, stuff like this. situations like this, you need to pay closer attention to your children because -- >> in the first few days afterward, it may seem like everything is okay. not talking about it, they seem to be playing with their
friends, doing normal things. with kids, and other natural disasters and also in war zones, it can be delayed. don't process it as quickly. a few days from now, children seem to be acting out unusually, poor sleeping, poor eating, little red flags. after newtown, you and i have talked about this. poor sleep in the first few days is one of the greatest predictors of how a child's emotional health will be in response to an incident like this. make sure your kids get good sleep. so basic, but so important in the first few days, and i've been telling parent i have seen around here who have asked me about that exact thing. hug them, as have you been tweeting about, but also making sure they get good sleep tonight. >> emotional injuries, we tend to push off and write it off as well. tough it out not true, something you have to think of as seriously as a broken arm. >> it can last a lot longer and if there is food news in there,
it can be dealt with as long as recogniz recognized. a tough community. it's amazing what they have already accomplished with the cleanup. they call this is the heroic period. a lot of media attention, support from around the country. that disappears after a few days, and the people are still going to be here. they need to be strong. >> save the children. they came and tried to help. their assessment jumped right to you one month, three months out. we will do things right now. but it's later that especially the kids need attention. why? >> they think about that because this acute period, so much in terms of resources and attention. an organization like save the children or red cross, where they divert resources, they have to think about it longer term, in terms of physical and mental
health, but also in rebuilding, creating a sense of community again. they take months and years. they are still going on in haiti, in south asia after the tsunami of 2004. that's eight years, nine years ago, those are long-term initiatives that big relief organizations have to be responsible for. they spend a lot of money that people spend acutely now, but also have to think further down the road. >> thank you for the perspective, brings to mind cnn.com/impact. please go to the website, find ways you can help today, and don't forget the people here. we'll do our best to remind you, cnn will continue its commitment. remember to try to help yourself. cnn.com/impact. we'll take a break. when we come back, more on the latest of what's going on to recover from the tornado in oklahoma. [ male announcer ] a guide to good dipping.
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really doubt that. for anyone to learn more about the ufirs' actioning, they will have to way, because learner is expected to plead the fifth this morning. gloria borge boerger is here an bash. welcome to both of you. chairman isisa giving opening statement. we assume the questioning will start. vern buchanan says lerner's decision to take the fifth is a slap in the face to all americans. he adds, what is she hiding? dana, you are not a lawyer, but you certainly know your way around a congressional hearing, so why isn't -- why won't learner spill the beans about what she knows? >> she doesn't want to incriminate herself. sometimes you think about people pleading the fifth, maybe in the movies and they do it because they don't want to talk.
in this case, she has been so at the center of the questions here, and she has been named by members of koch as somebody who has not been forth coming and maybe lied to congress. that is a crime. that's why her lawyer doesn't want her to potentially commit any other crimes in her answers and not answering things the way she answered before. that could be perjury, on and on. and it's important for viewers to know you are exactly right. she is a key player here for several reasons. number one, she was the head of the -- or is the head of the tax exem exempt division. closest in charge to the irs activity. she can tell us why this all went on, we don't know the answer to after hours and hours of testimony. we don't know why. we hope she can answer that. the nuts and bolts of what happened and why wasn't congress told, she is the person they are
most angry with, because she told congress when they were investigating back in 2011, 2011, 2012, directly communicating with letters, meetings, she found out about this back judge june 2011, did not tell congress for almost two years. kept it to herself, that is something they are absolutely furious about. and another thing, carol, we found out last week, the way she disclosed this to the public a couple of weeks ago, not by having a statement, but by planting a question at an american bar association meeting. those are some of the things that make her so key to this investigation. >> go ahead, gloria. >> well, you know, let me add to what dana just said about planting the question. set the scene here. have you a situation which is incendiary, right? the irs allegedly targeting conserve tuf groups, they know that this was wrong the public
doesn't know about it the white house involved to some degree in dang control about this we now learn. and how does lerner decide to let the american public know about it? she decides to plant a question at a conference she's at to answer and she assumes that's the way to let the american public and the congress know about it. congress has been asking her questions about it for a year. it was a lame brained scheme and by the way angers members of congress who had been asking serious questions about this. some are saying she directly lied to them. >> it was on mr. shulman, right? the irs commissioner appointed by president bush. questioned by members of the committee yesterday and didn't have any answers either. yeah, the buck stops here, but i
don't know the whole story. >> right. he said he was saddened by all of this. and what you see, like many times in government, you will see this going down the food chain as opposed to up the food chain. we'll probably find out it was some anonymous or now anonymous civil servants who did this. some are saying they were rogue. i kind of tend to doubt that. as dana says, we don't know the answers to these questions and probably won't find out a lot more today. >> let me ask you this. lawmakers before the hearing started said someone ought to go to jail for this. so once the hearing started. if i'm sitting in the hot seat, i'm probably not going to tell all i know either, because i'm afraid i'm going to be the one that goes to jail for lying to congress. >> exactly. and that's exactly why, lois lerner's attorney, very high-powered attorney,
represented a lot of very high-powered people in washington and around the world really, he has said, don't do this. don't say anything that could potentially incriminate you down the road. you said you really hit on, carol, talking about the fact that doug shulman, head of the irs during all of this, he said he didn't know about it, one of the questions that won't be answered is why, and that, of course, goes to lois lerner. why didn't you tell anybody or at least the commissioner, when you found out about this two years ago, and what that does speak to is potentially taking the politics aside here, the real heart of the mess here, which is a real bureaucratic mess. people think of bureaucracy and can't even imagine how kind of ugly it is. this is exposing the underbelly of bureaucracy and kind of the ultimate mess in that people apparently in this group, in this division, tax exempt
division in cincinnati, ohio, malicious or not, they didn't have any kind of guidance from superiors and that is lois lerner and that is taxpayer dollars not being spent well. >> the question not only is it a bureaucratic mess, but also is it a political mess? don't forget, in the heat of a re-election campaign, with president obama, and some republicans are asking the question more conspiratorially. is this a bureaucratic mess, or did someone kind of decide to shove this aside for a while and let the presidential campaign play out? that takes it to the ultimate con pairracy, of course, but there are a lot of questions about -- about why no one in congress informed about more of the details of this. now, we do know -- >> this oversight committee going on. won't find out much.
frankly, we haven't found out much so far. an fbi investigation into this. dana, this thing could drag out for months and months and maybe years. >> absolutely. this is the beginning of the congressional investigation. eric holder, the attorney general has said in no uncertain terms, the facts will lead him where they go, and this is going to be a national investigation. not just an investigation into that office that we've learned so much about that primarily does these tax exempt -- the tax exempt division, not going to happen. this could go on a very long time. and, again, talking about what's happening as we speak, lois lerner the key person. politics, no question in my mind, one of the things that republicans wanted to ask, did you not tell your superior, the guy sitting next to you, doug shulman, you knew it was the
heart of a presidential campaign, you knew it could potentially hurt the president and you didn't want to do that? we won't know the answer to that today. >> no, i think mr. shulman's testimony yesterday, he said he sort of knew it, but didn't know the whole thing. >> it was under investigation. >> right. he knows it's under investigation. the question, whether you knew where the investigation was leading, how far along, and, carol, i could also add there is sort of another side show going on, not in this congressional hearing room, but over at the white house, which is sort of -- well, what did the president know and when did he know it? what did the president's aides know and when did they know it? we know council at the white house knew april 24th, informed the white house chief of staff, who then told some other top officials, because they were clearly trying to figure out a way to do some damage control. they knew when this story came
out, they had to figure out a way to handle it, and questions asked why wasn't the president told and for that, they have an answer which i think is quite legitimate, which is if you tell the president, the next question people are going to ask, did he try in any way, shape, or form to affect an ongoing inspector general investigation into the irs? and so we had to wall him off from that. >> but -- >> that kind of a question. >> you are the president, you read about it in the newspapers and you deny it when you are posed direct questions about it. wouldn't you want to know if you were president something potentially politically explosive as this? >> i can answer this. and gloria will probably agree with me. if you are president, you kind of know when you need to rely on your staff to protect you, if they think they are protecting you.
my guess, in this particular case, he felt that he was able to do. he was able to go out to the press, i just learned about it when you did. and according to what we were told, that's an accurate statement. >> once something moves into the oval office, once a political discussion or a damage control operation moves into the oval office, u.s. a whole different level, right? and the decision was made by the white house council that -- and by dennis mcdonagh, chief of staff, you needed to protect the president as dana point out. could there be a wink, nod, should they have done that? i'm not a white house counsel. very difficult to say. you can't put the president in a position where he might look like he's trying to cover something orr affeeffect an investigation particularly as it regards an agency as sensitive
of the irs and in terms of the justice department. >> the only problem with that many people think it looks like the president was covering things up, even though his staff thought he was protecting him. we'll take a short break, come back and hopefully elijah cummings will be done his statement and lois lerner will be -- the congress will pose questions to her, we'll see what she says. we'll be right back.
♪ back in moore, oklahoma, people are trying to figure out how to go on. the need is great. the need for supplies. shelter. clothing. food, water. and healing of the heart. also very important. that's where our two guests come in, richard martin, jean moore. you're the co-director of the canine comfort dog through the lutheran church, correct >> yes. illinois. >> jean, you helped train, of course, the most important two people in this interview, two comfort dogs. >> rebecca and -- >> ruthie. >> so the most important thing, you come into a disaster like this, when we think of need, we think of all the obvious things, but there are other needs, isn't that right, richard? what have you learned in your
experience. >> whether interests or adults, they bring a calmness, they bring a healing. you can see it in the way they pet the dogs. the transference of energy and emotion. they're for them in their time of need. they're being still and being them. >> the benefit in situations like this, what you have seen in your experience? >> well, it really helps in the healing process, as far as people, being able to talk about the disaster. the tornado in this circumstance. and it helps in the healing process, in that it moves it along a little bit quicker. >> jean, how do you make just a sweet dog into a comfort dog? >> a lot of touch. these dogs, they -- anybody knows you want -- the golden retrievers love to be toughed. they love to be petted. and that's from the time they're 8 weeks old, they start their training. and it's just a lot of practice. >> and practicing what, what
kind of skills does a comfort dog need to have? >> basic obedience. very strong basic obedience. these dogs are stress level trained. to handle stress like this. >> stress for dogs, you wind up having people in a hard way, often in hard situations? >> well, we're very careful of the surroundings. and everything that goes into their outings, whether it's the weather, the number the people, the time they spend on the job. we try to break them every two to three hours. give them a rest. take their vest off, feed, water, exercise. >> your lanyard says newtown high school. we all know that situation very well, what happened in connecticut. you were there with the dogs i take it? >> we were. ruthie and i were there for five weeks between newtown high school and sandy hook elementary. we still have two dogs serving there today, addie and her
sister maggie. we go back on occasions to make sure everything is okay. we just returned a week ago from we were there a few weeks.gs. and jean returned after her week in west, texas, after the fertilizer plant explosion. >> really. almost 1,000 people have to move out of town because of that. how long do you stay in one place? >> well, in newtown, we expected to be there five days, we were there five weeks. in joplin, missouri, we didn't know how long, but we ended up spending eight weeks. seven days a week. we had teams rotating in and out every other week. jackson and louie are going to be here with us. >> the tornado vets. so do the situations size up to what you dealt with in joplin? >> every disaster, every tragedy is different. there's no explanation and words for the emotions that people go through. and they're all devastating. >> how are you making yourself available here in moore?
where will you be? how are you going to help move yourself into the community? >> well, right now we're working through the messiah lutheran church. we'll be working in the oklahoma medical center. in the pediatric ward and visiting with some adults over there. the rest of the week, we're available, and people can actually go to our website, and if they have individuals or families that are looking for a little comfort, they can go to our site visit request. >> how do you get the dogs? people don't them? do you have specific breeders that you like? how do you cultivate your beautiful workers here? >> we mainly work with breeders. we have breeders in chicago, michigan, that we primarily work with. they work with dogs that either have a service training in their bloodlines or show dog training. so we know in the beginning,
there's predictability, as far as the calmness of the dog coming out of those litters. >> very nice. have you been able to see people here yet? >> we're just beginning our day. >> and what will be your first stop for the day? >> the first stop is the messiah lutheran church and sloan-kettering medical center. >> very happy to have you. how many dogs can you deploy? >> we're able to make multiple deployments. we have over 60 dogs in eight states. we just placed a dog in louisville, kentucky, last weekend. in events like this, we send out invitations to affiliate members who have the canines. that make up the staff and workforce. did you fly or drive here? >> we drove here from chicago. >> how long? >> about 15 hours.
we do make multiple stops for exercise. >> how long you have been doing it? >> i've been volunteering with lutheran church charities for over ten years. we've had the comfort dog ministry since 2008. >> driving 15 hours, staying in a place that's hard hit for weeks, how do you sustain? >> through the grace of god. >> very good. all right, dogs, you can give me a little comfort. give me a stretch. richard, nice to meet you, jean, thank you for being here. we're going to take a break. when we come back, we'll give you the latest on the efforts to heal and recover here in moore, oklahoma. >> all right, chris before we take that break, i want to take you back to capitol hill because lois lerner, the irs official who oversaw the group that singled out conservative groups is about to testify in the oversight committee conducting a
hearing into the controversy. dana bark and gloria borger rejoin me now. and the questions are being posed to the inspector general from the treasury department who initially did the investigation into the allegations at the irs. and again, ms. lerner will soon be posed questions, and we do expect her to plead the fifth, am i right, dana bash? >> you are right. through everything we're told. they're haggling over documents that they received from the inspector general. so that's what's delaying the swearing in of the witnesses. and that is then going to follow questioning, and that's the time when we expect her to not answer the question and give an opening statement according to a source that i talked to on the committee. but one thing that's going to be interesting in addition to lerner, is that we're also going to hear from a senior treasury official. his name is neil wohlland. number two at the treasury department. one of the outstanding
questions, especially from republicans is who knew what, when in the obama administration. he actually was told, and will admit it, by the inspector general that he knew this was going on but he didn't tell anybody at the white house about it. he just said to the inspector general, thank you for informing us, i want to stay out of the your way. that's going to be the critical testimony from neil wohlland. one of the big questions that the obama administration officials trying to intervene with something that potentially could hurt them, and that is, the irs tried to stop tea party groups. >> go on, gloria. >> this treasury official will make the point that, "a," they're trying to dig into this problem and figure out whether this say larger cultural issue,
a management issue, with the irs. but "b," the point that he will emphasize is that it's important to keep the inspector general separate and if the inspector general informs you we are proceeding with an internal audit on x, y and z that it's imperative -- imperative -- >> gloria, i'm sorry, we must take a break because we got to make the money, too. we'll take a break and come right back to more testimony from the hill. but not your nasal congestion, you may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec-d®. powerful relief of nasal congestion and other allergy symptoms -- all in one pill. zyrtec-d®. at the pharmacy counter.
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♪ on jupiter and mars ♪ in other words [ male announcer ] the classic is back. ♪ i love [ male announcer ] the all-new chevrolet impala. chevrolet. find new roads. ♪ you good morning, thank you so much for being with me, i'm carol costello in atlanta. we're still awaiting lois lerner's testimony over a house oversight committee. she's the irs that oversaw tax
exempt status. she is expected to plead the fifth. once she begins her testimony, we'll bring you back to the hill. first, to moore, oklahoma, because we found out new information -- actually, our nick valencia found out new information from the mayor of moore. nick, what did he tell you? >> reporter: carol, the mayor of moore, glenn lewis, spoke exclusively to cnn in an off-camera interview, he told us as soon as the cleanup process is complete, his plan is to try to pass a city ordinance that would require all new city housing developments in the city of moore to have a safe room or shelter. glenn lewis was also the mayor of moore in 1999 when that ef-5 tornado devastated the community. he put new codes into place in 1999. those homes, they weathered the storm this time around. but the community that was ravaged on monday. it was too old. it had already been built.
there were no new housing codes. so that's why it explains why those homes were flattened and leveled, carol. >> nick valencia, reporting live, thanks so much. we want to talk a little bit more about briarwood elementary school, we know that school's leveled. you heard nick mention that it didn't have one of those safe rooms. amazingly, no one was killed in that school. and one of the big reasons why, those brave teachers and how they protected their students. ed lavandera has one teacher's incredible story. >> reporter: some of the pictures we've seen just after the tornado struck briarwood elementary school are some of the most poignant and powerful images we've seen coming out of the storm. now, one of the teachers who survived that hit tells us what was like. >> hey! >> oh, my god! >> reporter: these are the frantic moments after the tornado struck briarwood elementary school in moore, oklahoma. chaos instantly wrapped in the comforting arms of parents and
teachers. snapshots that captured the emotion, words can't fully do justice. this is where we find tammy glassgow and her second grade class. >> i can't even describe what was going through my head. i was numb. >> reporter: as the tornado sirens blaired and teachers moved students to safe positions, tammy stepped outside. this is what you saw? >> yeah, right before we went in. >> reporter: she snapped this picture of the twister barrel right at her classroom. tammy glasgow raced inside and crammed about 20 students into a closet and bathroom. >> reporter: what do you tell a bunch of second grader little kids at that moment. >> before i shut the doors. bathrooms have doors. i said i'm going to shut the doors i said i love you. the boys looked at me strange, walked into the girls, i said, i love you, they said, i love you back. i told them to pray. that's what we did in the closet, is pray.
>> reporter: do you think they grasped what was going to happen? >> i'm not sure, they were all singing the national anthem. we were about to have a program in two days. we were going to perform the national anthem, so they were practicing. i mean, they were just trying to forget what was actually happening. >> reporter: for tammy, the horror seemed to never end. i just assumed that they would be quick, but it just stayed and stayed. and stuff was falling on us. we had books over our heads. and i looked -- glanced up once and you could just see it, it was just like brown, huge, never ending. just all the way up to the heavens. and then i got back down, a cinder block fell on the back of my neck. >> reporter: the only section of the school left somewhat impact is that girls and boys bathroom. it was there at the very last second where a couple of these
teachers, tammy, included, decided to move the students in there at that very last second. then everything erupted. the walls started caving in. this car blown into the side of the wall. if there had been students on the other side, it could have been devastating. but at the very last second, those teachers decided to move the students into that area and that's what saved their lives. despite what you see her, everybody at the school survived the tornado strike. there were lots of tears, but as tammy says, the students were brave. >> i mean, they were calm. surprisingly very calm. >> reporter: why do you think that is? >> i think they felt safe. i mean, we did our best to take care of them to make them feel loved and secure. >> reporter: as we talked, she found a muddy paper that brought tears to her eyes. was that an end of the year award. >> yep, begin -- >> and that certificate will be given to that little boy. we want to take you to capitol hill because lois lerner has been sworn in and congress is
about to pose questions about what she knew about the controversy with the irs. let's listen. >> if you'd like to use the time to either add to or to summarize, that could be very helpful for the members. mr. george. you're up first. welcome. >> thank you, mr. chairman. chairman isler, ranking members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to discuss the recent report concerning the internal revenue service treatment of groups that apply for tax exempt status. as you noted and as you are aware, mr. chairman, our audit was initiated based on concerns that you expressed due to taxpayer allegations that they were subjected to unfair treatment by the irs. the three allegations considered during our review were proven true. the irs targeted specific groups applying for tax exempt status. it delays the processing of these group's applications and
requested unnecessary information, as well as subjected these groups to special scrutiny. it is important to note that the irs conducted an audit that -- rather, that we conducted an audit of the irs, and not an investigation. pursuant to the inspector general act, tinter is authorized to conduct audits and oversight of irs programs and operations audits are generally -- >> all right. we're going jump out of this because we thought that lois lerner is going to testify. apparently mr. george is going to read a bit of his report first. we'll take a quick break. say farewell to the smell with tide washing machine cleaner. it goes straight to the source of the stink to lift odor-causing residues off your washer's drum.
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correspondent susan candiotti who is following the story. >> it's unclear any links have been made, but according to the law enforcement official, that's what the fbi was looking at. they learned early on, through investigative leads that led them to this man, in orlando. because they said, they had information that he knew the tsarnaev brothers. both of them, tamerlan and dzhokhar. that's why they've been taking a look at them for a good month now after the bombing. what led to the shooting, we're not sure, other than to say that a source tells that you say the fbi shot this man in self-defense. so that's what's being looked at now, and as part of what the fbi protocol, a special team is going to orlando today to begin investigating what led to the shooting. >> susan, was the man killed chechen? >> yes, that is another link that apparently, not only did this man know the tsarnaev
brothers, but he was also from chechnya, the same general region where the tsarnaev brothers had come from. now, you heard from a friend earlier today who said that his friend -- who was shot, knew nothing about any bombing details, anything at all, and acknowledged that his friend had been followed for about a month. >> there were some reports of a local affiliate that this man and another man were going to leave the country, is that true from what you know from your sources? >> it's something that i am looking into. that is the friend who is putting out that information. i'm told that the person who was shot was a legal resident of the united states. and had been living here since about 2008 or so. and used to live in boston. and used to live in boston that is key, because, of course, that's where the tsarnaev family had lived. >> all right. on to other news right now. as soon as next month, a full senate is expected -- all right. we're going to go back to that
oversight committee hearing on the hill, as you know, lois lerner, an irs official, is now testifying. >> good morning, mr. chairman and members of the committee, my name is lois lerner and i'm the director of exempt status in the internal revenue service. i've been an employee for over 30 years i initially practiced law at the department of justice and later at the federal regulatory commission. in 2001, i moved to the irs to work in the exempt organizations office. in 2006, i was promoted to be the director of that office. exempt organizations oversees about 1.6 million tax exempt organizations and processes over 60,000 applications for tax exemption every year. as director, i'm responsible for about 900 employees nationwide. and administer a budget of almost $100 million. my professional career has been devoted to fulfilling responsibilities of the agencies
for which i have worked and i'm very proud of the work i have done in government. on may 14th, the treasury inspector general released a report, finding that the exempt organizations field office in cincinnati, ohio, used inappropriate criteria to identify for further review, applications from organizations that plan to engage in political activity which may mean that they did not qualify for tax exemption. on that same day, the department of justice launched an investigation into the matters described in the inspector general's report. in addition, members of this in the have accused me of providing false information when i responded to questions about the irs processing of applications for tax exemption. i have not done anything wrong. i have not broken any laws. i have not violated any irs rules or regulations, and i have not provided false information
to this or any other congressional committee. and while i would very much like to answer the committee's questions today, i've been advised by my counsel to assert my constitutional right not to testify related to the subject matter of this hearing. after very careful consideration, i've decided to follow my counsel's advice and not testify or answer any of the questions today. because i'm asserting my right not to testify, i know that some people will assume that i've done something wrong. i have not. one of the basic functions of the fifth amendment is to protect innocent individuals, and that is the protection i'm invoking today. thank you. >> thank you. for your testimony. miss lerner, earlier, the ranking member made me aware of a response that we have that is purported to come from you in
>> this appears to be my response. >> so it's testimony that, as far as your recollection, that is your response? >> that's correct. >> miss lerner, the topic of today's hearing is the irs improper targeting of certain groups for additional scrutiny regarding their application for tax exempt status. as director of exempt organizations of the tax exempt and government entities division of the irs, you were uniquely positioned to provide testimony to help this committee better understand how and why the irs targeted these groups. to that end, i must ask you to reconsider, particularly in light of the fact that you have given not once but twice testimony before this committee under oath this morning.
you have made an opening statement, in which you made assertions of your innocence, assertions you did nothing wrong, assertions you broke no laws or rules. additionally, you have authenticated earlier answers to the ig. at this point, i believe you have not asserted your rights, but in fact have effectively waived your rights. would you please seek counsel for further guidance of this matter while we wait. >> i will not answer any questions or testify about the subject matter of this committee's meeting. >> we will take your refusal as a refusal to testify. the witness and counsel are dismissed.
the gentleman will please wait. >> mr. issa, mr. cummings just said we should run this like a courtroom, and i agree with him. she just testified she just waived her fifth amendment right to privilege. you don't get to tell your side of the story and then not be subject to cross-examination. that's not the way it works. she waived her right of fifth amendment privilege by issuing an opening stating, she ought to stand here and answer our questions. [ applause ] >> mr. chairman. mr. chairman. >> mr. cummings. >> first of all, with all respect for my good friend mr. godty i said i'd like to see it run like a federal court. unfortunately, this is not a federal court, and she does have a right, and we have to adhere to that.
>> thank you. we'll pause for a moment. >> all right. you can see a rather contentious hearing taking place on capitol hill. lois lerner, she was the irs official who oversaw the unit that singled conservatives. she sat down and she empathically said i have done nothing wrong. i have not provided any false information to this congress. and then the chair, congressman issa dismissed her. and another congressman called her back. let's listen to more. >> -- today. >> miss lerner, would you be willing to answer questions specifically related to the earlier statements made under oath before this committee? >> i decline to answer that question for the reasons i've already given. >> for this reason, i have no choice but to excuse the witness, subject to re-call,
after we seek specific counsel on questions of whether or not the constitutional right of the fifth amendment has been properly waived. notwithstanding that and the department of justice as to whether or not limited or use of immunity could be negotiated, the witness and counsel are dismissed. the clerk will please rearrange the seating. >> for all the members on both
sides of the dias, i think it's important that we take a moment, though i speak for mr. comings and myself. this is a committee that is investigating, more than anything, the ultimate right of free speech and the first amendment. so, as we go on with the rest of this hearing, i would admonish all of us to remember that it's not the first amendment or the second amendment or the fifth amend or the tenth amendment in a vacuum. we have to respect them all. the gentle lady who has departed was entitled to assert her fifth amendment. although there's some questions about how it was done, there can be no question that we have to respect it. additionally, that her assertion is not to be viewed or used during this hearing to make any determination, plus or minus, as to actions that were taken. we have the inspector general with us today.
we have other fact witnesses. and this committee has more than ten additional witnesses that will be called either to hearings or to interviews already on the schedule. i believe that this committee has a long history of very few, during my tenure of 12 years. of these occasions. >> all right, we're going to step away from this dramatic doings on capitol hill and bring back dana bash our chief congressional correspondent and our political analyst gloria borger. you can believe it. lois lerner sits down. she gives a brief statement that she did nothing wrong, then she says after consulting with my attorney and thinking about it, i have to invoke my fifth amendment rights. darrell issa, the chair, moved to dismiss miss lerner and her attorney. and then a congressman said wait a minute, we heard her
responses. >> did you expect it to go like this, dana in? >> we didn't know what to expect, sources said they were going to take the cues from lerner on how she chose to respond. trey gowdy who raised objections was a prosecutor for years and years and years. his first job in politics is this, being a member of congress after being a prosecutor. that's where he's coming from there. the other thing we should tell our viewers, other people who are testifying from the irs came voluntarily. she was subpoenaed, in this particular committee, the chair has a pretty big power to issue subpoenas when he feels it's necessary. he ultimately did so with lerner bought he did not think she was going to come voluntarily. you know, it was clear that lois lerner is a name that nobody knew about ten days ago. but she is a name that you and i and gloria and others have uttered. her name has been in the front pages of many newspaper, on the
internet. so she is somebody who is a name and a face. from her perspective, maybe the villain in this scandal, and she wanted to, in her own words, even before she invoked that right, that constitutional right, she had. get at her story and change the narrative just slightly to have that headline with that one sound bite that was very carefully crafted "i did not do anything wrong." >> and it's important to note, if she's found guilty of lying to congress, she could go to jail, is that right? >> sure. and there's a criminal investigation pending as she pointed out that the department of justice is now investigating all of this. and so, you know, given the fact that she is facing some criminal liability here, it's really not a surprise that she decided to invoke the fifth. she did, as dana pointed out, make the point that she did nothing wrong. and, of course, she didn't lie to members of congress. you know, there's a question
that darrell issa raised, a question of immunity. in exchange for testimony. i mean, we just don't know -- we don't know where this path will lead. but for now, today, you're not going to hear from her. you're going to hear from the inspector general from the top official at the treasury department. but not from miss lerner. >> it's just interesting to see the political ramifications of this because i'm sure the blogs will go crazy with just the dramatic scene in the committee room, dana, between republican, the chairman darrell issa and representative gowdy. >> but it's noteworthy what you heard darrell issa say at the end there, he wanted to take a moment and say that people should not read into this, that she is guilty or innocent. and that the whole heart of this investigation, from this point of view, is to defend people's first amendment. well, people have the right to
invoke a fifth amendment right. that she should be given that right. so he sort of took a step back and did that in a way that was intentionally nonpartisan. and that was no accident. other thing i should point out, with regard to her defensiveness, the fact that she doesn't want to testify, we talked there was bipartisan outrage about any political group being potentially targeted. in this case we know was targeted. lois lerner is somebody who has actually been the subject of scorn from democrats as well. we've hurt many democrats say before hearing from her, she should be fired. never mind going to jail, she should be fired. when you have democrats calling for a resignation, never mind republicans in an obama administration you know you're going before a tough committee on this >> dana bash, thank you very much. we're going to take a quick break. ♪
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okay, welcome back to more oklahoma. i'm chris cuomo for more of our continuing coverage here at cnn, as this community tries to recover from a massive tornado that struck here on monday. the latest is that officials are now calling this an ef-5 category tornado. what that means is, that this tornado is the maximum in damage effect. ef-5, it doesn't get any higher. ef stands for "enhanced fujita" scale. a name to reference this. they assess the damage on the ground and assess what this tornado was, which is 200-mile-an-hour sustained winds. that's why the damage was what it was here, in certain areas, they had the worst kind of damage that there was. we also have numbers from the state now of 24 deceased,
including 9 children. one life lost is precious, and too many, certainly, for the family who loses a loved one. but it is important to remember, that the government had had higher numbers yesterday. they were expecting more than that. this adjustment to this number which they say they believe will not change is welcome news to everyone, obviously. that said, first responders have told us and the fire chief told us this morning who is heading up search and recovery, they're almost done, by tonight, they're done with search and rescue through the entire area. they've looked at everything most places twice. with that confidence, they believe they won't find more people, of course. we'll getting reporting as it comes. the main story, people wanting to recover, wanting to get through, search and rescue, helping people recover, making sure no one is left behind. we want to bring in pamela brown now. you've been on the ground talking to search and rescue folks from the beginning. what are you hearing today? >> so many stories, chris.
everyone has a story to share. i spoke to one resident here in moore, oklahoma, he said as soon as the tornado struck, that he ran to plaza towers elementary school. that's where his nephew went to school. he ran there hoping to rescue children, when he got there, that is when he found a few of the children that had been killed. and he talked with me about how traumatic that experience was for him. >> so this man was a not a first responder, per se. >> no. >> he was just on the scene first? >> he was on the scene first. his instinct was to run there, he went there eye with his dad, grabbed his dad's medical supplies, went to the scene. that is what he found the children in a shallow underground space. he said he wouldn't classify it as a basement. a lot of the structure in that school piled on top of them. here's what he had to say about that. >> the ones that were deceased had bumps, scrapes, and they probably would have made it if
they weren't pinned. i mean, looked like most of t m them -- >> how were they pinned? >> pinned by different debris. desks, 2x4s, pieces of metal. >> and he also talked about that he pulled them out, lined them up one by one, and he just tried to be as respectful as he could. and tried to do the right thing. you can imagine how traumatizing that experience is. >> he sounds it. he sounds it in his voice. he went there hoping to find a relative, and he found something much, much worse than he expected. was there any sign or indication, you know, what's a little unclear, how this search went down. was he looking for his relative. was he asked to look for other people? something just happen upon it, how did he find the kids? >> it's something he just happened upon. like i said, he went there in hopes of finding his nephew. hoping to rescue children.
this say horrible discovery, worse than he had imagined. at one point, he saw a deceased pregnant woman there from not far from where the kids were. he just couldn't handle it anymore. and he left and went into the neighborhoods to rescue other people. he was heroic in his actions. chris, we also spoke to someone else this morning. someone whose home was destroyed. he went back to his home for the first time since the tornado. he talked to me how he was in the bathtub holding on to his mother for dear life as the tornado went right above him. he thought he was going to fly away. he said with no home, he has nowhere to go. let's take a listen to what he says. >> i don't have a house anymore. i don't -- i spent the night at my aunt's house. then, you know, last night at work. so, basically, it's like living day by day. i mean, i could be standing on my bed right now. i don't know where i'm going to sleep. >> and he talks about how his mom calls him a hero now because
he said he held on to her. that was his priority, making sure she's okay. that's what matters. even though he's lost everything else. he's okay. his mom's okay. so many stories here, chris. >> we told the individual stories, many which are reflective of so many more people. so many people fall into the category of this man. it sounds unique because he's in a bathtub. his mom's there. it seems, you know, that would be just one of those. but there are very many. and it just, we hope, helps to connect to the need on the ground here. cnn.com/impact. i'm going to keep saying it. go to the website, that's the page on the website where you can find out how to help people here. as we're seeing every day on the ground, they need so much now and it's not going to change anytime soon. >> it's the basics. bat eye ares, flash lights, tetanus shots for people who may have stepped on a nail. but it's amazing to see the
outpouring of donations. we were at the university of oklahoma yesterday where they had some of the survivors staying there. they were overwhelmed with donations, inundated. that's what you're sewing throughout oklahoma. not just people who live here. people from all around the world, really. >> needs are specific. please go to the website cnn.com/impact. before you bag up your clothes and send it down here, take time to see what's needed the most. we're going to take a break to continuing coverage and more in oklahoma. stay with us, please. we went out and asked people a simple question:
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jennifer, thank you for being here. i spent so much time on the ground with people from your organization, always doing the good and heart work in disaster situations like this. what are you seeing on the ground here in terms of need? >> well, it's still immediate needs. it's still food, clothing and shelter. so that is our primary concern. and we will be shifting into providing resources such as cleanup kits and other bulk distribution items as people sort of sort through what they can and we've got shelters open. people can come in and out and get a meal. talk to a health services person if they've got a prescription they need refilled or something like that. and just to get information. >> very important point you made. they were all important points, but the idea that so many people have prescription medication. >> right. >> especially as you get older. but not necessarily, diabetics and other people. the red cross can provide that service because where are you going to get them now? >> exactly. we've got doctors and nurses
over at the shelters and they can consult with you. or if you have a small injury from the disaster from the storm, they can look at that and kind of keep an eye on the residents as well. >> you've seen it all. we talked before the break at sandy, what hurricane sandy was like for people. we keep being told by disaster experts and people on the ground. there's something unique about what a tornado can do. what do you think it is, in your experience? what happens when a tornado goes through a community that is such an unique signature of tragedy? >> you know, i've got to say, i saw a lot of damage yesterday, and what shocked me the most was the amount of debris and how far it stretched. and then the randomness of it. one house is still impact, and the next house is completely destroyed. so the great thing about our organization and other organizations that are coming together to help proper this community back up, is we're prepared for anything. whether it's a hurricane or a tornado that suddenly pops up.
and destroys the community. we've got resources. we've got volunteers that are ready to leave their lives and come from other places in the country and help this community. >> and their staying power with the red cross, right? when do you leave the community, are you here days or weeks? >> well, we never really leave a community. we always have a presence with our local chapter. they have daily home fires that they're responding to while we're ramping up for this response. as far as this particular response when we will leave, we will leave when the community no longer needs us. >> now how do we help you help these good people. cnn.com/impact. please go to that page. you can see how to help the red cross and other organizations that are big and part of the foundation of recovery. and an important part of your answer, if i may direct it just a second, is what you also don't need. so many people want to come down here and throw on a hat and help you all do what you do.
give us perspective about what you need and is not as helpful. >> financial donations are always the best way to help any organization. it is incredibly expensive to collect, sort in a meaningful way individual clothing items or canned foods. we buy in mass bulk and we distribute in a very meaningful manner. and also very particular to what the community's needs are. >> and to take a few days off work to come down and help in this current situation do you need that? >> well, spontaneous volunteers are always great if they're working with organizations that are already on ground. that's the best advice we could give. if somebody is looking, say, this weekend to get involved. get involved in an organization like us, the south baptist, the army, doing great work on the ground, get involved with them rather than doing your own thing. >> we're told in terms of manpower, man and womanpower,
they're good here on the ground. resources and continue to help is the focus of what we're told, people should try to think about it? >> with our network in particular, we have thousands and thousands of volunteers all over the country that leave and come here. a number of people already on the ground with several hundred more coming in and expanding that operation. so absolutely, resources, monetary donations so we can get the resources that we need to keep feeding people and helping them rebuild. that's what we need. >> need here will certainly last for weeks if not months. jennifer ramieh, thank you for good the work. cnn.com/impact, figure out what you can do to help people like jennifer help the people here in moore, oklahoma. what if you could shrink your pores just by washing your face?
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oklahoma. i'm chris cuomo, one of the things we've talked about and having dealt with about with this tornado is the unknown. know knowing where family were. not knowing where loved ones are. rex pace, the man standing next to me, registered nurse, obviously, today, he's getting ready to do this job. when the tornado hit, your mind wasn't on yourself or your home. it was on your sister. what happened? >> yes. she works at the pediatrics here at the east side of the hospital. i tried to get ahold of her, no calls, texts going through. after i got my kids safe home with my wife, i drove down here as far as i could and just hiked the rest of the way in. on the hike in, i got word from my brother-in-law that he had her and she was out and okay. >> had you heard anything about the condition of the medical center? >> no, not until -- i knew it had been hit. i didn't know how badly until i got here and saw it.
>> what did you think when you saw this? what happened to the structure, the cars around it? >> unreal. december stating. i never saw anything like it in my life. >> you started snapping photos, right? >> yes. >> you're in norman, you know what tornadoes can do. what shocked you about this? >> the sheer force, to get some of these cars piled up that high. and they said there's a car on top of the hospital that we can't see. and then when i got down to ground zero, it's just total destruction. you can't make sense of anything down there. >> you knew your sister was okay. you had spoken to your brother-in-law. but knowing that you have skills specific to the needs in a situation like that, you decided it was time to go to work? >> yeah, i figured since i'd hiked all the way down here, i'm this close, and they're still trying to get rescue relief efforts in. i figured i'd do what i could to -- >> thank you. you're still helping. >> to help find victims. >> and what was it like on the
ground that soon after the tornado? >> it was chaos. the rescuers were trying to listen for screams and cries for help. and digging through rubble. and the response from just your average citizen and the rescuers was amazing. >> were youable to see people being helped? were you watching as people were getting pulled out of their houses and stuff like that? >> i saw some people who had already escaped. they're walking around disoriented. unfortunately, i saw they recovered a couple bodies and were already covered up and waiting for further disposition. >> were there people who lost their lives in their homes trapped, or were they people just exposed to the tornado? >> it was too hard to recognize. nothing was recognizable. everything was scattered everywhere. >> that's horrible. you're in the medical
profession, obviously, you see a lot of things but it's hard to prepare for seeing it outside the confines of work, right? >> i've seen a lot of blood and guts and gore, obviously, it's my job. but i've never seen any destruction to this degree. it was unreal. >> how quick was the response on the ground? >> very quick. and i think that's one advantage that we have here in oklahoma, unfortunately, we've been hit with so much tragedy like this, we're prepared when something like this happens, and our emergency response systems are quick and efficient. >> does this one stand out in your memory, though, we hear about '99, 2003, were you able to experience those, were you in the area at that time? >> i wasn't able to get as close on the '99 tornado, i can't compare with other than the photos i've seen. from what i hear, this is with or if not worse. >> your sister, thank god she's okay. your family made it through? >> yes, all my family and
friends that i know that live out this way are fine. some of them have definitely lost house us and property. but everyone i know made it through. and i'm surprised that the death toll isn't higher. >> it's hard to say there's a sensitivity issue. one is stootoo many. and when you look at the devastation like this, and the government getting the numbers wrong, it's understandable. but the tornado could have done even worse than it did. >> yes, definitely could have taken more lives. we knew days in advance it was going to be bad. or potentially be bad. >> rex pace, thank you very much. i'm glad that your sister is okay. thank you for helping the community. >> thank you. we're going to break now. that's all for me. thank you for joining me for this part of "newsroom." our special coverage. our continuing coverage of cnn of the continuing aftereffects in moore, okay.
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hello, everyone. i'm ashleigh banfield reporting live in phoenix, arizona, where the jurors who listened to jodi arias live and sorted sex tales, copouts and confessions are now deciding if she's going to face prosecution. >> and i'm john berman live in moore, oklahoma, where there are so many stories of survival. so many stories of hope as this town begins the process and it will be long rebuilding after this disastrous tornado that thmply devastated and flattened