tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN January 26, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
snowy new york as we await the brunt of a potentially historic storm. we will continue to cover this. "the lead" with jake tapper is next. welcome to "the lead." we are live in new york new york just across from central park if you can make it out. the breaking news this hour of course is all around me. landing on top of me. only expected to get worse. it's being called the big one. a potentially deadly crippling and historic blizzard. one that could dump more snow on the big apple than any other storm in recorded history. and at any moment we will be getting an updated forecast from the national weather service on just how bad it's going to get. from new york through connecticut, up to boston there are blizzard warnings states of emergency as 58 million people are bracing for up to three feet of snow and snowdrifts that could be taller than i am. here in new york city state
highways are closing in the empire state. mass transit in and out of new york city may be suspended as the mayor says quote, this will most likely be one of the largest blizzards in the history of new york city. the city says no cars are going to be allowed on the roads after 11:00 p.m. now, in connecticut, north of here thousands of children sent home from school early today. a state-wide travel ban is going to go into effect at 9:00 p.m. the mayor of boston meanwhile, says quote, do not leave your house. that city has banned the use of cars after midnight and canceled school tomorrow and wednesday. the commonwealth of massachusetts has 500 members of the national guard at the ready. the governor there says this is a top five historic storm and we should treat it as such. at the airports in the northeast, thousands of flights have been canceled already. we just found out seconds ago that there's a ground stop on
incoming flights to laguardia airport here in new york and newark airport in northern new jersey. bottom line stay home seriously. cnn is not staying home. we are everywhere this storm is from philly to jersey to boston the very tip of long island. we are tracking every single development on the roads and in the air. as we said at the top of the show we are expecting an updated forecast from the national weather service so let's go live right now to our severe weather expert chad myers. chad what's the latest? >> well jake this is as hard as it's snowed all day. we are getting one to now two inches of snow per hour. i would say just walking through the park a half hour ago we are up to at least 3 1/2 inches of snow and it's still coming down. weather service, that update you talked about, they are going 20 to 30 inches of snow across parts of long island and connecticut with wind gusts of 50 miles per hour. crippling historic life-threatening. those are the names, you said them that's exactly as the
weather service put them out about 20 minutes ago. this is a big one because of the amount of snow and how quickly it's going to come down. three to four inches an hour for two to three hours, all of a sudden you get a foot of snow really really quickly and plows can't keep up with that. that's what we are going to see here for the next few hours and there could even be thunder snow from boston through connecticut, rhode island massachusetts, all of vermont, new hampshire and yes, even here in the city thunder snow. it rolls for minutes, not just a crack of it it rolls and rolls and rolls. jake? >> chad thank you so much. thunder snow. i want to hear more about that later in the program. i want to go now, however, to cnn's miguel marquez. an army of plows getting ready to clear new york city after this epic storm. we already have some plows behind me. what have you got where you are? >> reporter: they are already working hard. we are on the west side of manhattan here. we should be able to see downtown manhattan and for hours
now we have not been able to because the snow is so heavy. we are on a bike path and despite it being a bike path they are even plowing this. it's 27 degrees out here. the roads are now turning to slush. the city on high alert. states of emergency issued throughout the northeast. >> i'm declaring a state of emergency effective immediately. >> reporter: the national weather service describing the storm as life-threatening and historic. officials warning residents stay home stay off the roads. >> i want our first responders and our transportation officials to be able to do their work safely so we want everybody to get home and get off the roads. >> reporter: the massive storm could drop up to three feet of snow on boston and new york before it's all over freezing rain and hurricane strength winds have caused officials to issue blizzard and winter storm warnings reaching from maryland all the way up to canada. with up to 58 million people in
its path. in new york city it's an all hands emergency. 2400 sanitation workers removing snow in 12-hour shifts. thousands of snow plows rolling 24 hours a day. tens of thousands of tons of salt ready to be distributed, schools closed traffic banned after 11:00 p.m. services across the city halted as people brace. the state of new york has put the national guard on standby. >> i'm ordering that at 11:00 tonight, our streets will only be available to emergency vehicles so all non-emergency vehicles need to be off the streets of new york city by 11:00 p.m. tonight. we will continue that emergency declaration until the situation is safe. >> reporter: in connecticut, the governor has ordered a state-wide ban on travel starting at 9:00 p.m. and warned that up to 100,000 people could lose power across the state. >> we will get through this storm together. >> reporter: in massachusetts, the governor there has deployed 500 national guard troops and
warns residents be ready. >> this is a top five historic storm. we should treat it as such. >> reporter: what you are looking at there is one of the many places where they are keeping salt in the tens of thousands of tons of salt around the city of new york. we have a number of snow plows and garbage trucks with -- modified with plows on their front on them already. the wind is picking up down here as well. already stinging the eyes. i want to show you the quality of the snow here, if i can. it's become very very light. it was very frozen earlier. it's become very light and the wind is picking up and it is becoming very painful. i can tell you, some very hardcore new yorkers still out here riding their bikes and even running on the trails here but that probably won't be for long. if predictions are right, the snow will be up to about my waist by tomorrow. jake? >> thank you so much. emergency crews here in new york will have 6,000 miles of streets
to cover once the storm hits. that's the equivalent of traveling from here to los angeles and back. so you can see why keeping people off the roads, especially this evening and early tomorrow morning, will be absolutely critical. i'm joined now by two members of the new york city city council. daniel blum who represents parts of queens and ben kalos who represents the upper east side. what are you most worried about right now? >> i just want to be sure that people are safe and they are getting home safely that they are not out unless they absolutely have to be outside. we have 2,000 snow plows out, 500 salt spreaders out there and people need to get home as quickly as humanly possible. >> even if people go home and they hunker down there is the risk as has happened in the not so distant past that a storm like this could actually cause power outages. what is being done in case of that situation? >> so we've got 2400 sanitation folks out to keep the roads
clear. the roads are going to be closed at 11:00 except for emergency vehicles which means that if power's going down we will be able to get out there with our con-ed workers, get the lines back up. the best thing that can happen is the 8.4 million people here in this city our eyes and ears need to call 311, contact elected officials and we can make sure we direct resources wherever there's a need. >> what has the city learned from the recent storms of the last decade or so that will put you in a better position for this big storm today? >> we actually passed legislation after that tremendous snowstorm in 2010 to deal with situations exactly like this. so we are asking people to be out there after it's done clearing curbs, clearing corners. we know we need the salt spreaders and plows out now in anticipation of the bigger snowstorm that's coming later on. so we have learned a lot from that. >> i have heard complaints i don't know if they are accurate or not, but in the past people
in some neighborhoods complaining that they are down on the list when it comes to their streets being cleared, that the more affluent new yorkers seem to have their streets cleared first. do they have any case to make? has that happened in the past? what's being done to make sure it's not done this time? >> we as an administration are committed to equity. the mayor is making sure that everybody gets their street plowed. you can actually check whether or not you got plowed and how recently on plownyc. we have a rough first season and now we know and are taking this storm very seriously so we've got plows out right now all over the city. as you mentioned, 6,000 miles of roads, that's going to be cleared. if you feel like you haven't gotten plowed yet, call 311. call your elected official. we will make sure to send out a plow and take care of it. >> 6,000 miles. that's to los angeles and back. it's a lot to plow. one of the things that happens in these instances of storms of people losing their lives, it's often guys our age and older who go out there and start shoveling
and have heart attacks. that's something i know we want to warn people don't overexert yourself shoveling snow. what are some other situations that people can get into jams in a situation like this? >> one of the things that happens in the 2010 snowstorm was people had to actually pull people to the hospital on sleds and stuff like that. they should call 911 in emergency situations and try to get an ambulance out there. we are in constant contact with the mayor's office. our offices are communicating with them. they can call our offices as well. if they need help with anything like that whatsoever they should be calling their council members or 311 -- 911. >> councilmen thank you so much. really appreciate it. best of luck to you. best of luck to your constituents. even for a state or commonwealth like massachusetts that is used to snow this storm has everyone on edge. the governor declaring a state of emergency, schools canceled residents told stay inside stay in your home. what plans do boston officials have in place for tonight? we will talk to the mayor next.
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i just got my free credit score! credit karma. really free credit scores. really free. i have got to update my ink. welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper live in new york city right near columbus circle. the snow is certainly picking up. it may not stop until it's up to my knees or my waist or higher who knows. but boston beantown that is the city that could be sitting in these bands of snow for the longest, the deepest snow. kids there are already getting at least two days off from school. school canceled for tuesday and wednesday. alexandra field is literally our roving reporter. she's in boston right now. what are conditions like on the roads? has it really hit up there yet? >> reporter: hey, jake. we are waiting. the next couple of hours is when we should start to see the brunt of this storm coming in. you can see flurries in the air.
if you look across the charles river, we have come to the cambridge side to show you the boston skyline. not a lot of visibility certainly snow in the air. still people are out, a lot of people hustling to get home from work from school to get to the grocery store, get the provisions before they get inside and stay inside for really what could be the next couple of days. look i had the great pleasure of living in this city for a couple of years. nobody handles snow better but people are really hearing these warnings that this is a very serious storm, that we could see coming. we are seeing a lot of road signs and billboards warning people about the blizzard conditions letting them know this is something that's going to start today and stretch into wednesday. a lot of really serious precautions are already being taken. we heard the governor call for a driving ban which will go into effect at midnight meaning no nonessential vehicles can get on the roads. they just want the emergency responders out there and they just want the snow removal operations out there once that is possible of course because we know when the snow really starts to come down those operations of course have to be peeled back.
the city of boston really preparing as well. we know the mayor has called for a snow emergency to begin at 6:00. they are citing concerns about cars on the road. they will ask people to get cars off major roadways by 8:00. people have a little more time right now to get ready for this one. >> alexandra field in boston. it will get worse there. stay safe. thank you so much. if boston is something of a bull's eye for this storm, what is that city doing to get ready? could people there be feeling the effects long after this blizzard winter storm juno has passed? let's go live to boston mayor marty walsh. mayor, thanks so much for joining us. obviously your city has been through blizzards before but the warnings from you and from the new governor are very stark. why does this storm have so many leaders there so concerned? >> well really what we're seeing in the news channels and the weather forecasts, they're all saying anywhere from 24 to
30 inches of snow. the way it's coming in it will be a long storm over the whole course of tonight into tomorrow so we are really preparing just to be safe. we have 800 pieces of equipment which is about 250 more than we normally would have ready to go. we pre-salted our streets and sanded them to get the first foundation down. we canceled school for tuesday and wednesday really to -- for the snowstorm tomorrow then to allow for removal on wednesday. >> you have issued the warning, you told the people of boston and surrounding area go home stay home don't drive. in your view what is the biggest threat this blizzard could pose to the people of boston? what are you most worried about? >> i mean if people start driving and get stuck on the roadways causing safety problems putting our public safety officials at risk trying to save people. i really want them to be available when people are trapped in their home to help them out. keep our roads clear so we can really make sure that we remove all the snow. we are asking people to check on
their neighbors, particularly the elderly and disabled neighbors and anyone who might be stuck in their home to make sure they have everything they need to get through the next couple of days. and just keep an eye on what's going on. our crews are ready for downed power lines. we are pretty much preparing for anything that might happen throughout this storm. >> and mr. mayor, your city has essentially been shut down for tomorrow. if this storm packs as much of a punch as expected how long do you think you will be dealing with the aftereffects of dangerous roads, of power outages? are you talking days or maybe even a week? >> as far as the roads go we really have a plan in place to have the roads up and running by some point on wednesday. power outages, a little different depending on the magnitude of it. what happens, we had one of the utilities in our office today, they have been part of this effort of preparing so we are getting ready, we have extra crews on to take down tree limbs and trees as we have to as we move forward.
we are trying to do as much preventive work as we can so we don't run into those problems. >> explain for our viewers why you are putting so much emphasis on people staying off the roads. is it entirely so emergency responders are there to take care of people trapped in their homes without power? >> it's a little bit of everything. part of it's emergency responders part of it is being able to clear the snow. on the other side i would rather people be on the side of caution and take this as -- see the reports and prepare for the worst and anything short of that we'll be okay. we just have to be very careful here. when you're looking at the storm, particularly for boston this looks like the perfect storm that's heading our way. it's passing through new york now, it's coming right up the coast and all reports show that we are going to have a direct hit in the city. we want to make sure we are prepared for it. again, by keeping people in their home don't be curious, stay in the home watch the television if you have power and hopefully you will have power, and just take all the
precautions. i would rather you be safe than sorry. >> mayor marty walsh of boston best of luck to you. best of luck to the great people in the wonderful city of boston. >> thank you. >> we wish you the best. chad i have to say, you teased this earlier and it's always something i'm interested in. thunder snow. what is thunder snow? >> it's coming. >> what is that? >> when we have vertical velocities in a storm which means the air is going up like an updraft in a thunderstorm you can get the shear of the snowflakes to create static just like you shuffling your feet on the carpet and you touch the doorknob or your brother, you probably did that when you were a kid, especially on the nose that kind of stings that's the lightning created from thunder snow. it's muffled because the snow makes it quiet but it's kept very close to the surface of the earth because of the inversion aloft so it rumbles for minutes. >> it's coming where? >> we could see it from boston through connecticut, rhode island. it only goes for about six miles around where there's a lightning strike or even cloud to cloud
but you will hear it tonight absolutely. >> that lightning can do damage. >> it can, but the biggest threat when you get thunder snow is you get four inches of snow per hour. we have been looking at these guys shoveling behind us. trucks going by. i'm sure you can hear them. the snow is coming down a quarter inch every ten minutes. they are trying to keep up. that's an inch and a half an hour. we may go to three to four inches an hour. that piles up quickly. >> stick around. when we come back as we said it's not just the snow that has officials so worried. it's also the wind and the potential flooding on the coastline as high tide is expected to hit just when the storm is at its worst. of course, we will go to the coast. the wind's already picking up. plus what you will need to know if you're traveling at all, not just today but for the rest of the week.
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of fifth avenue in new york city. we have heavier bands of snow moving in here by the minute. the wind is now starting to really pick up. we will see driving conditions turn even more dangerous as the night goes on and that of course has emergency officials putting travel bans in effect from new york all the way up to boston massachusetts. let's bring in polly trottenberg on the phone, the commissioner of new york city's department of transportation. commissioner thanks for joining us. what's your main message for people right now? >> thanks for having me. my main message is a simple one. this is obviously a serious storm. we are asking new yorkers starting this afternoon to get home as soon as they can and to stay off the roads tonight and tomorrow. as you mentioned, the mayor is actually going to be instituting a vehicle ban starting at 11:00 p.m. for regular vehicles. obviously emergency vehicles and others will still be able to be on the streets but for regular new yorkers, please take your vehicles off the roads, use common sense, stay home and be safe.
>> commissioner trottenberg, you are calling for nonemergency cars to be off new york city streets by 11:00 tonight. how is that going to be enforced if you are out there driving around will cops stop you, will they ticket you, will they impound your car? >> what the police have said they have asked, too, for common sense, they have the ability, officers have the discretion to stop you and look they don't want to have to do a lot of that. obviously they are hoping that people will abide by the ban and unless there's an emergency and you really need to be on the roads, please just stay off. >> you're looking at live pictures right now of new york's central park as the snow really starts to come down here. commissioner one last question. how long do you think this travel ban is going to be into effect or is that just to be determined? >> the mayor was careful to say that mother nature doesn't necessarily send us a memo as to exactly when she's going to be done with us. we want to make sure we have the ban in effect as long as is needed. obviously we will lift it as soon as we can. it's not clear exactly when the storm is going to end but we
certainly know tonight and well into tomorrow we will have very severe weather on our hands. >> mother nature is a capricious one. best of luck to you. we appreciate it. the waves are now starting to pick up on the coast. winds are also a big concern. i'm certainly feeling them here. i can't even imagine what they are like on the coast. they really have an effect when it comes to power outages, of course. perhaps even just as much as the snow with power lines coming down cnn's brian todd has had the job of being on the road all day and he now joins me live from point pleasant, new jersey. brian, how have the conditions changed as the day's gone on for you? >> reporter: they've gotten much more violent. it is really a violent storm in point pleasant right now. we are a little confused. are we covering a snowstorm or hurricane? look at this tidal surge behind me. our photojournalist will take you right into it. this wind is really kicking up it's really getting much
stronger. this is what's going to cause the whiteout conditions that officials here in the region are so concerned about. this is why they are telling people do not come on to the roads. this right now is making the storm not fall vertically but horizontally whipping it from the northeast even though the system is moving in that direction, this wind hitting us square in the face horizontally. i will take you down here to the street in point pleasant as the road conditions here are getting much much worse. the storm is -- the snow is starting to stick and as it gets to nighttime, more frozen conditions. it's starting to get a little more icy. here's our vehicle we have been kind of coming up and down the coast of new jersey in all day. oliver will come with me over here while our other photojournalist switches to the dash cam and i will talk into that for just a second. as we prepare to move a little further north in new jersey we just got off the phone with the new jersey state police. they are telling people again, do not go out in this stuff.
it is getting much more violent here. the snowstorm really coming toward us just with incredible force right now and it is starting to stick. the state police are telling us again, they are telling people do not leave your vehicles on the roadway because that's when it gets much more dangerous. we will strap in here and start to move in our vehicle here a little bit along this road in point pleasant start heading north. again, the roads are getting much more treacherous here. people in point pleasant at least where we can show you now out the dash cam as we start to move people here in point pleasant have taken heed of some of these warnings that officials have issued and stayed mostly inside. but again, you can see the visibility is getting much worse and the roads are getting much more icy. this is really when we will hit the brunt of the storm. the transit system in new jersey going to shut down in about five and a half hours. >> brian todd in the usually aptly named point pleasant not
so much today, thanks so much. let's go now to cnn's ana cabrera live at the tip of long island in montauk. flooding, a huge concern there right now, right? >> reporter: flooding winds, snow it's a three-fold problem out here. yes, we are just at the very tip, what a lot of people call the end of long island. rather rural, very popular tourist community here in the new york area. couple hours outside the big apple. you can see the wind's already picking up. we are now hearing up to 70 mile per hour wind gusts are expected in the next few hours. keep walking with me. i want to show we already have some snow accumulation here. as i bend down it's really the thick stuff right now. right now, we are around 31 32 degrees so this snow is rather heavy. as it piles up believed to reach two to three feet before this is all done power outages are a huge concern in this rather isolated community. then you've got the waves already crashing on the shore
here where you can see down below as the tide moves in expected to peak around 2:00 in the morning is when they also expect that storm surge to really bubble up pushing the tide levels two to four feet above normal. that's where the coastal flooding is a big concern. not just the flooding but also erosion, because they are expecting seven foot waves to be thrashing upon the shore and you can see there are hotels restaurants, homes, just off of this shore and so these folks have mostly really just packed up and left to make sure that they don't end up out here stranded as this storm really hits hard. jake? >> ana cabrera on the shores of long island thank you so much. chad oftentimes we hear about lake effect snow but you say there is actually something called an ocean effect? >> there is ocean enhanced snow. because the wind is going to blow so much and the wind is 20 degrees, the water out there is 47 so the same idea that when
you blow wind from cleveland to buffalo, you get a snowstorm in buffalo. if you take that wind and you blow it around the ocean at 47 you are going to get a snowstorm in montauk, you will get a snowstorm in boston you will get a snowstorm in maine because of the wrap-around as the low comes in i will do it the other way for the viewers, as the low goes this way, you will blow all of that air on to the shore and it all contains rain snow moisture and it's all going to come down as this time because it's cold enough this time it's all snow. no mixing today. >> hope ana heard that. >> you have one-third of a snowman. >> i have a snowball here. it's very thick snow. excellent. i don't want anybody to go outside but it is excellent snowball snow. we are waiting for a live update from the new york governor and will have that live as soon as governor cuomo starts talking. even if you are not living in the immediate area of this storm, this blizzard is still going to have a major impact across the country. more than 6,000 flights have already been canceled for today and tomorrow. your travel plans could be
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper in a very snowy new york city. in our money lead a blistering bite for airlines right now. you can blame this blizzard for more than 6,000 flights canceled today and tomorrow 6,000. that number sure to grow. let's go to our aviation correspondent rene marsh live at laguardia. what is the financial fallout from airlines with this massive storm? >> reporter: it's pretty big. when you talk about domestic flight you're talking according to mass flight which is one company that tabulates these sort of statistics they say for domestic flights, $6,000 per
passenger and for an international flight way more maybe $40,000 or so. that's just one estimate from one company but i want to show you the situation here at laguardia. take a look down there. there's no line at the tsa checkout point, the checkpoint because there really aren't many flights going in and out. actually none at all at this point based on this board. there's one there but you can see the red all the way down the line. those are all cancellations and you can see the orange those are delays. we can tell you at this hour that many of the major airlines they are suspending operations or are beginning to suspend operations at the new york area airports as well as in boston. at laguardia airport, kathy hick was already rebooked twice only to hear that dreaded word, canceled, again. three of your flights canceled all within 15 minutes this morning? >> as i was at the ticket counter. as we were talking about the
flight, she said oh, that's canceled that's canceled, that's canceled. >> reporter: some of the busiest airports in the country hit the hardest. newark jfk, philadelphia and laguardia top the list. the new york port authority says half of the flights at laguardia were canceled monday. tuesday, all flights here are expected to be suspended. what you don't see at these airports are masses of stranded passengers. >> it used to be airlines really tried to fly as long as it was safe to fly. then the storm hit, you had people and planes stranded everywhere. they don't do that anymore. >> reporter: airlines started canceling flights before the storm arrived and that can actually help. >> they don't want us stranded in their terminals any more than we want to be there. so once they realize look after a certain time things are going to get pretty bad, they start to proactively cancel those flights. >> reporter: with flights suspended at many of the northeast major hubs there will be an impact around the country
and around the world, even international travelers could be stuck. for passengers like kathy, who hoped to avoid cancellations, it may be days before she gets out. >> at this point it looks like wednesday at 2:00 in the afternoon. >> reporter: well that same company, mass flight says that they estimate more than 200,000 passengers have already been impacted. the financial cost to all of this for the passengers more than $100 million. jake? >> my stars. rene marsh live at laguardia thank you so much. you can get a sense of this storm's impact right from your facebook or twitter feed. cnn's tom forman has been inside cozy warm snuggly, all toasty and nice. he has been monitoring social media all day. tom, what are you finding? >> reporter: a lot of people who aren't cozy and nice. this is the west side highway where you are. a lot of people have been posting images of things like
boston from the air with the snow there before the new layer comes in. warnings on the road expect high winds, low visibility avoid travel out there. that was from the queens -- brooklyn-queens expressway. lot of pictures like this. this is a whole foods. people packing the place trying to buy things up and this is the result of all that. lot of places already with empty shelves out there and this is one of my favorite pictures. look at that. that's in yonkers north of town 5500 tons of salt ready to go out on to the roads. then can, there are other images out there. 90 minutes apart, the view from up there above in our offices of central park. that's penn state packed with people and i have to tell you, my favorite tweet of the entire day came from comedian jim gaffigan who has a gig in new york tomorrow night. he tweeted this afternoon, i'm already out of food. >> sad to see they are out of
kale at the whole foods. people will suffer through that. thank you so much. when we come back the snow is getting heavier as this storm moves in but the worst is yet to come. how will this blizzard compare with some of the biggest storms in the history of new york city? that's ahead. first, a secret service scare in the dark of night after a drone crashes on the white house grounds. we are now learning new details about who was flying it and what exactly he was up to. that's next. they challenge us. they take us to worlds full of heroes and titans. for respawn, building the best interactive entertainment begins with the cloud. this is "titanfall," the first multi-player game built and run on microsoft azure. empowering gamers around the world to interact in ways they never thought possible. this cloud turns data into excitement. this is the microsoft cloud.
welcome back to "the lead." you're looking at live pictures right now from central park. snow dropping down whiteout conditions taking hold here in new york city. we continue to wait for new york governor andrew cuomo to give his press conference talking about how the state plans to handle what could be the biggest storm in the city's history. brianna keilar is out in the middle of this mess with me. this is the first ambulance we have heard, but obviously, people in new york city all the emergency responders on edge want to make sure there are as few accidents as possible. this is treacherous out here. you have seen a number of people
fall. >> we heard even some of the governors and mayors talking about how walking was going to be perilous. which you sort of think hey, that's probably the best kind of transportation but we have actually seen a couple of people eat it if i can say that and really almost hurt themselves here. but i think you see that ambulance there and these road conditions are pretty crazy. pretty grim. this is one of the reasons why here tonight in new york come 11:00 p.m. if you're not an emergency vehicle, you need to be off the road. that's why the governor is saying that. >> get a hotel room. stick around. i want to shift to one other quick story. to the actual fortress on pennsylvania avenue the big white one where the president lives. it's looking more and more insecure in light of the fact that this morning, a drone breached the white house perimeter and then crashed on the south lawn. it might sound at first blush kind of a silly story, but believe me the u.s. secret service is not laughing at this nor is anyone else.
thinking seriously about what drones might possibly mean in this post-9/11 world. cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr is live at the pentagon with the details. barbara, the secret service has been investigating and are interviewing a person of interest. what do we know? >> reporter: well it is looking now like possibly just possibly this drone may have traveled for blocks before getting to the white house. at first light secret service personnel walked the white house lawn. this is the two foot wide drone they found. the secret service said an individual called them early monday to report flying the drone that crashed on the white house grounds. all indications are the incident occurred as a result of recreational use of the device authorities said. the president's spokesman was all about calm. >> a device that has been recovered by the secret service at the white house. the early indications are it does not pose any sort of ongoing threat right now to anybody at the white house.
>> reporter: but there are security issues. >> this is a really big deal. regardless of what anyone in the arena is saying. >> reporter: it was 3:08 a.m. when a uniformed secret service officer on the south grounds of the white house complex heard and saw a so-called quad copter device flying at a very low altitude ultimately crashing on the southeast side of the white house complex. the white house was immediately placed on lockdown until the device was examined and an all-clear sounded. this was just the latest security breach. in september, an army veteran jumped the fence and got into the east room of the white house before being tackled. in november 2011 a man fired a semiautomatic rifle at the mansion. drones like these are widely available commercially but all airborne traffic over washington, d.c. is banned unless a flight plan is filed and it's under faa control.
authorities have been struggling for months on how to integrate drones into u.s. air space so they don't interfere with commercial air traffic or cause a security threat. what if it carried explosives? shooting a drone down not practical. >> you are in a residential and commercial area in downtown d.c. so that eliminates that possibility. >> reporter: what about jamming the drone's radio signal? >> the only way to mitigate the threat from a drone carrying a camera or explosive is to attack it on the radio frequency side which actually guides the drone. >> reporter: you know these kinds of devices are now so widely available, you can go out and buy them. most experts will tell you it's high time the government needs to develop some rules about how they are used. jake? >> these drones. i'm telling you. barbara starr, thank you so much. coming up we are still of course waiting for new york governor cuomo to start talking about the blizzard here perhaps
an historic blizzard and all the preparations taking place in the empire state. sir, we're going to need you on the runway later don't let a severe cold hold you back. get theraflu. it has the power of three medicines to take on your worst pain and fever, cough and nasal congestion. theraflu breaks you free from your toughest cold and flu symptoms. so you never miss a day. welcome back. the governor of new york is speaking. let's listen in. >> nothing really changed. to the extent it changed, it got worse. the winds on long island have actually increased the estimate for the speed of the winds. gusts up to 70 miles per hour which is a significant issue for
the eastern end of long island. again, the track of the storm is passing new york city westchester, mid-hudson and then along long island and up towards connecticut. and the worst of it on long island. so the estimates that we reached earlier, we are going to now firm up. the mta and port authority will be closing the facilities at 11:00. if you have to use those facilities you should plan to use the facilities and get wherever you're going by 11:00, because that's going to be a hard stop time. we are also restricting travel on all roads in the 13 counties from ulster sullivan south, including orange and putnam. new york city and long island.
that's 11:00, a travel restriction for all roads, state roads, local roads, city roads, town roads, except for emergency personnel. this is a serious situation. if you violate this state order, it's a possible misdemeanor, it's fines up to $300. and that will go into effect at 11:00 also. the two lessons we have learned dealing with the situation more times than we would care to getting the subways and the railroad cars in a safe position is key so that when the weather does leave, we are in a position for the system to start back up. we saw that under hurricane sandy, so that's what we're trying to do here with the 11:00
closing down. and number two, in terms of keeping people off the roads, the roads are very dangerous. we have just been out to long island and driven around the metropolitan area. the roads are already very very dangerous. they are going to be very hard to clear at the rate of snowfall we expect with the wind gusts we expect so it's dangerous to be out there now. it's only going to become more dangerous. at one point it's irresponsible. so 11:00 for all roads to close. i'm going to ask pat to give us an update on the airports and what he hears from the airlines and then we will take it from there. >> governor very extensive delays and cancellations, even more extensive cancellations than we reported in the earlier press conference. virtually all flights at laguardia tomorrow will be canceled.
significant cancellations at jfk as well. the typical advice we give is call your carriers if you are planning on leaving tomorrow when the rodsads have been reopened whenever that time is. very extensive cancellations, expect significant delays. >> okay. anyone have anything else? superintendent? commissioner? questions? >> can you explain, every bus, make it crystal clear -- >> it is the entire system. we started talking earlier this afternoon about people should leave earlier to get home. we talked about a soft close time for the system of about 10:00, so get where you were going by 10:00. the hard close time is 11:00.
it will start to slow -- the service will slow up until 11:00 and it will stop at 11:00 because we will be moving the trains subway trains, as well as the railroad cars to safer locations. on the roads, in that 13 county area it is a total travel restriction ban. if you are in your car and you are on any road town village, city doesn't matter after 11:00, you will technically be committing a crime, a misdemeanor, and a summons up to $300 and we will issue those summons. that will be in effect until we see what happens tomorrow. those counties are mid-hudson westchester rockland, new york city and long island. [ inaudible question ] >> we will monitor tomorrow
morning early. remember the storm is supposed to pick up tonight, go through tomorrow so we will watch it as it goes. also we have emergency personnel who need to get places. i can tell you already, cars are getting stuck on the highways and it only takes two cars to get stuck and the traffic backs up and that's it. and it is phenomenally difficult and time-consuming to then get the right equipment in there to move cars et cetera. and it is no joke to have people stranded on a highway. we have gone through that before. it is frightening how quickly a simple trip -- >> that's new york governor andrew cuomo warning the people of new york to stay off the roads. that is it for "the lead" for today. i'm jake tapper.
i now turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." stay safe, everyone. stay inside. happening now, breaking news. life-threatening storm. tens of millions of people bracing for a blizzard of epic scale, an historic storm striking now. major cities facing up to three feet of snow. shutting down streets and highways they are about to close to private vehicles. our correspondents are out in the middle of all of this as the storm hits. near hurricane winds. the storm brings whiteout conditions frigid temperatures and the certainty of widespread power outages. what you need to do to stay safe. and white house drone crash. a shocking penetration of security by an unmanned quad