tv CNN Saturday Morning CNN June 1, 2013 4:30am-5:01am PDT
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let's get you up to speed now on this morning's top story. 17 tornadoes have been reported across five midwestern states. the fatalities is likely to grow as the authorities survey the damage. >> a horizontal! >> it's going to be right here in front of me, mike. it's coming down right now. an entire vortex coming down to the tkpwrouground, mike. >> in oklahoma five people, including a mother and child, are dead. and in the town of moore, they were spared from the storm. >> and missouri under emergency declaration. flights still not taking off from the airport in oklahoma city. and far east to indiana, more than 200,000 people still don't have power. and after all that, another
threat. >> the heavy rain from the same storm system could trigger flash floods. in missouri, more than 200 roads are closed this morning because of the flooding. today's forecast also includes large hail and the potential for more tornadoes. officials are warning people just stay inside. on the phone with us now from oklahoma city is kelly cane. she is the spokesperson for the oklahoma department of emergency management. >> kelly, i know you have been following the storm all night. what are the biggest problems you are seeing right now? >> right now the biggest problems are flash flooding and power outages that you already have mentioned. we still have nearly 100,000 people in the oklahoma city metro area alone that are without power and additional people outside that area that are without power this morning, and we have areas flooding and making it difficult for people to get through and also rescuer kurz. >> the latest numbers, five
killed and 71 injured. do you have updated numbers? >> i don't have updated numbers this morning yet, no. >> tell us about the rescues happening. we have heard reports of water rescues. are there still some happening this morning? >> we have seen reports of that happening as well. i don't have more information about that yet, but from what i can tell, there are people who are being rescued this morning. biggest thing that we can say to everybody is to please don't drive into high water. really don't drive into any type of water at all, because once you get into the water you don't realize how quickly it can get keep or wash your car away or anything else. >> how difficult is it to get crews out there on the streets to restore power? i can imagine that we have lots of road blocks ahead of you. >> absolutely. you know, the flooding definitely makes that whole process a lot more difficult and more time consuming. >> give us an idea of the damage
and how widespread it is. >> well, right now, we have not really had a chance to get in and assess that. we know there is a lot of damage in canadian county, in the el reno area, and also south oklahoma city that kind of gets into the canadian county. we are hearing that the canadian area, the technical school and the stock yard city area, which is southern oklahoma city. >> kelly cain, thank you for your time. oklahoma has been under a statement of emergency every since a deadly tornado hit the city of moore almost two weeks ago. now, as the sun comes up this morning there is more damage to assess. >> juliette is a former assistant secretary with the department of homeland security.
is fema still there and is it ready to handle the new damage? >> yes, they are absolutely there. the way fema works it's divided into different regions, and those people have been out there obviously since last week and they will continue. for purposes of disaster management and figuring out what happened, these are considered different storms, different tornadoes, one happened last week and one happens this week. as you just heard from the spokeswoman from the state emergency management agency, they need to figure out how much damage the events last night took and then they will start the process of, you know, sort of getting people safe, and starting to get a sense of how much damage and how much it's going to cost, and then recover, you know, for the people that live there. >> we are seeing on the right, st. charles, missouri. these are live pictures from the
damage of the storm. it's incredible to see. we see how this storm just didn't affect one state, it affected many. what is the role now for federal versus state agencies in a disaster like this? >> well, even a disaster this big, it almost always works that it's a local event and then the locals will ask for state resources, and then the state, if they are exhausted or if they need more materials and more help, then they will ask the feds. that's eventually how it works and how is it working today and how it worked last week. fema is not an army. it's about 3,000 people work at fema and their role is to coordinate all the resources that can go into oklahoma. let's say for example a bunch of helicopters are needed, the state agency will ask fema, can you talk to the military and whomever else and get us more helicopters to do the kind of assessments you need. fema is a coordinating agency and that's important because the
locals will certainly be exhausted and they will exhaust their resources. that's one thing about what is going on in oklahoma. you know, this is just -- disasters are exhausting. people working them have been going from one last week to this one. part of the management of this is to make sure that people do not -- the first responders are not overwhelmed by this disaster, and last week's disaster, and of course we are coming upon hurricane season. we are in it actually as of today. >> you make a good point, juliette. not exhausting the human resources. i want to talk about the financial resources. this comes after moore, which came after shawnee, and oklahoma officials say they are trained but if you add in the tornados in texas and whatever will come in the hurricane season, does the federal agency feel that strain? >> there's $11 billion left in
the bang so to speak for disaster relief. the only reason that number is as high as it is is because hurricane sandy and the resources needed for that was given its own line item because that's a 40 or $50 billion price tag. you hear fema leadership, and there's a big debate in government and you are hearing it with the governors as well about how we are using disaster management money. in the past it was used to made people whole again. your house goes down we will give insurance money or disaster relief money to help you rebuild it. there's a strong debate and it's a difficult one about using that money to make people more resilient, to make home, cities and states more resilient to the kind of climate threats that we are seeing over the last year. president obama has over seen
over 30 disasters that are a billion dollars or more. he is a lot of things but he is also the master of disaster at this stage and we have to re-think how we are expending disaster funds at this stage. >> former assistant secretary with the department of homeland security. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> it's incredible. i am watching him go through what presumably is his property, and he is picking through everything and i am watching him step here, and i hope he doesn't misstep. it's incredible to see this. >> looks like the second floor of his home. looked like a framed picture in his hands. he is going through what it looks like a chest of drawers there. the second floor, the roof, the walls, all gone. and this is st. charles, missouri. courtesy pictures of kmov. this is what we expected to see
at first light once the sun comes up. and the first responders and the homeowners come out now to determine if there is anything worth salvaging. trying to separate the good from the bad. this may not be -- i would go as far to say this is not the safest thing to do. you have no idea how secure the structure is. but imagine the emotion and the shock just trying to save whatever you can before demolition comes in and tears down where you raised your kids, where you brought your babies home. where you slept every night. i think that's a picture in his left hand. he is just picking whatever he can. >> we will keep an eye on this. >> oh, god, he makes me nervous. >> at the edge of a second story building. we have a lot more ahead on the storms. >> a big day ahead. stay with us. and the need for capable leaders is greater than ever.
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right now we have an update on those threatening letters sent this week to president obama and new york mayor, michael bloomberg. conclusive test results are in and they confirm the letters did contain ricin. cnn has als obtained photos of one of the letters. cnn national correspondent, susan candiotti, joins me now in new york. you have a copy of one of the letters involved in the investigation. does it differ than the one sent to obama and bloomberg? >> yes, it appears to have the
same wording. it matches word for word the letter that was sent to michael bloomberg. this letter that we are talking about, it was sent to mark glaze. that is the director of mayor bloomberg's group called mayors against illegal guns. it was dated may 20th, like the other letters were. a third letter was sent to president obama. a letter to blaze and mayor bloomberg reads like this, quote, you will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. neighbor wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. the right to bear arms is my aupbs tuitional god-given right and i will exercise that right until the day i die. what is in this letter is nothing compared to what i have planned for you. wording exactly the same, and you are seeing a copy of the letter right now. >> susan, what are the stains on the letter? >> these are described as from
law enforcement sources as markings consistent with how the letters were tested for ricen. the blotches you see that's what that is all about. and as you indicated those additional tests show the letters tested positive for ricin in low concentrated levels. >> where is the investigation now? there's a couple in texas that authorities have been interviewing, right? >> well, there is a man that is being interviewed in texas as well as his wife. they are talking to him and asking him questions after frankly the wife made a complaint against him according to our sources. now, one of our sources is telling us that they have -- there are some questions being raised about the credibility of what the life is telling them so we don't know how that interview and part of the investigation will turn out. certainly this is a very active investigation, and they are still looking for the source of these three letters. >> susan candiotti joining us
from new york. thank you, susan. we are following other headlines including a tragic fire in houston that claimed four firefighters' lives. >> they went inside to find anybody trapped and then the walls collapsed on them. we will take you live to houston, but first -- >> a man with chronic acne creates one of fashion's favorite skin care lines. here is dr. sanjay gupta with a preview. >> beauty innovator. >> clark's botanicals didn't start as a business idea. >> how he overcame a devastating accident. >> i was told you will never get better. you will never lose your arms. don't even think about your legs. >> to create one of the
this is some of the latest video in to cnn, storm chaser chris lee with our affiliate koco was on the scene of a tornado last night just west of el reno, oklahoma. some of the worst damage reports have come in so far from that area. across the midwest today, flash floods battering winds, large hail, are still a major threat. authorities in several states are advising people do not go outside, just stay in. houston is in mourning today, the city's fire department has suffered its worst loss in history. four of its firefighters died as they battled a blaze that engulfed a hotel. cnn's sarah ganum is following this story in houston. what is it about this blaze that took the lives of the four
firefighters? >> reporter: authorities believe the firefighters may have simply underestimated the sheer force of the flames when they went into this inn and restaurant. i want to show you video that shows how intense this fire was. authorities believe the firefighters mistakenly thought there were people inside that needed to be rescued. we now know that's probably not true. all of the 13 injured and the four who were killed when a wall collapsed, all of them were firefighters. some of the injured were injured when they went to try to dig through the rubble and help free their colleagues. others are simply hospitalized for heat exhaustion, they were working through the night to put this blaze out. this morning when we arrived they were still on the scene trying to put it out. it was really a massive, massive fire. >> do investigators have any idea what fueled this blaze to make it so fierce?
>> reporter: they do know that it probably started in the restaurant side of this building, i guess that it's an inn, restaurant adjacent to each other. there will be a fire marshal along with dozens of state and federal authorities on the scene today and they will determine an exact cause but at this point all they really know is that it was probably, it started somewhere in the restaurant area. alison? >> sara ganim in houston thank you. our breaking coverage of the deadly storms in the midwest continues after a quick break. if you're looking to go to school, you deserve more than just flexibility and convenience. so here are a few reasons to choose university of phoenix. our average class size is only 14 students. our financial tools help you make smart choices about how to pay for school. our faculty have, on average, over 16 years of field experience. we'll help you build a personal career plan. we build programs based on what employers are looking for. our football team is always undefeated.
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throughout the morning we've been showing you a lot of pictures of the rain and the flooding that followed frid's tornadoes but here's another look. these are storm tunnels underneath the town of ucon. as the floodwaters come in and cover that floor pretty quickly there, you can see the people who were in the tunnel, they got out fast. storm chasers aaron ashman and cody howard captured this monster tornado yesterday near union city, oklahoma. >> very large tornado. >> he says "very large tornado." do you see it? well, that block of dark clouds, it's known as a wedge tornado, because it looks wider than it is tall. the whole thing is the tornado. when this video was shot authorities were calling the
situation on parts of interstates 35 and 40 a nightmare. they said people just sitting in traffic were sitting ducks. think big rigs and cars tossed around and thousands of commuters stuck on the road. two of the five people killed were in union city in southwest oklahoma. thanks for starting your morning with us. >> we've got much more ahead on "cnn saturday morning," which starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com > good mornin good mo > i'malson r >> i>> i'm v. p in oklahoma another roun killkillep killer tornadoe star state ap state a s starting this morning. tthe sup the sun is up showip showing showing us e tthe sup the sun is up showip showing showing ushe damap damage of these torna.
wow, that's what it looked like as these tornadoes rushed through as many as five twisters hit oklahoma. you see cars speeding down the road, the debris flying everywhere out of a total of 17 that were reported, that number from the national weather service. watch that bale of hay slam into the car. 17 is the number from the national weather service across the midwest. >> two of the towns in the path of the storm el reno and union city, five deaths blamed on the storm including a mother and small child. at least 70 others were injured but that may not be all. >> a number of casualties will probably go up, we expect that to go up in the next 24 hours, hopefully not very much, hopefully not at all but it certainly appears that it may. >> and right now, flooding is a major concern. the storms