tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN January 24, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
cheerleading, football. here's the football. a real friend? somebody who keeps you honest. somebody who keeps you in check. i found that and so much more in rashad. i would say there's nothing off limits in my life that rashad doesn't have some kind of opinion on -- love life, professional, whatever. i listen to him. now his oldest daughter has started junior high at the very same school where her dad and i first met. i can only hope for her she finds someone in these hallowed halls who will teach her about life and love and fairness. he, without even probably realizing what he was doing, was teaching me. rashad helped teach me and still does how to be a better human being.
how lucky am i? >> watch this special presentation tonight. "the person who changed my life." there are inspiring stories and it airs tonight at 8:00 eastern time right here on cnn. the next hour of the cnn "newsroom" begins right now. thanks for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. the east coast is dealing with the aftermath of that record-breaking snowfall from tennessee to new york for people trying to fly out, a travel nightmare at major airports throughout the northeast. new york and d.c. area airports are at an absolute standstill. many runways still closed as you see there. earlier images, dulles international airport trying to clear out the tarmac there. some airlines are already canceling flights for tomorrow. and in both washington and new york, dangerous icy roads are
beginning to reopen, though driving is being highly discouraged in many cities hardest hit. in new york, utility workers and snowplows are attempting to clear the roads for monday's commute. the death toll from this storm has risen to 14. and in new jersey, massive snow melt is putting parts of the coast under flood warnings. this overnighttime lapse video from a viewer in maryland showing the rapid snow accumulation right there. baltimore, in fact, broke its snowfall record after getting slammed with 29 inches of snow. some truly historic numbers in the last 48 hours. you see all the airports hit 30.5 inches in parts of new york, 20 inches in philadelphia, 28.3 inches in washington. in fact, let's go to washington now where some folks are trying to make the most of it right there, upholding the blizzard tradition of a giant snowball fight in washington's dupont
circle. and d.c.'s public schools closed on monday and so is the nation's capital. congress will not convene for a week. all right. let's talk about new york where they're trying to clean up and move on. it's a new busy workweek straight ahead. poppy harlow is right there at columbus circle. folks are out. i ges they had a little cabin fever, just couldn't wait to get out in that snow. >> reporter: they couldn't wait to get out. i was just thinking about this. i think growing up in minnesota i have snow in my blood. >> right. >> reporter: i think i will forever be on snow duty, forever and ever. and i don't mind it today. i don't mind it today. it is a beautiful new york day, folks. look behind me. everyone is out and about after this city basically shutting down last night in the midst of a blizzard. almost a record. we missed the record snowfall in new york city by 0.1 inch, a tenth of an inch is what we missed it by. but we got 26.8 inches here.
everyone is having fun in central park with all of it. there are some headaches. 85% of nights at laguardia canceled today, 50% of flights at jfk canceled. that huge international airport. broadway has reopened after going dark last night. you have the schools here reopening tomorrow morning so sorry, kids, if you thought you were getting a day off from school tomorrow, you're not in new york city. first ryan young joining me at penn station. ryan, this is potentially the biggest headache today, the fact they cannot seem to get the long island railroad back up and running yet. >> certainly that could be an issue. you said you grew up in minnesota. i grew up in miami so seeing all this snow is quite interesting, especially with it all here on the ground. of course that's going to affect the railway. we're outside penn station. you can see the snow just outside of penn station but you have to think about the railways. they are going to be dealing with 2 feet of snow still left there actually blocking some of those rail lines from being open. we're told 2,000 workers are out there trying to get the lines back open.
we actually sent our producer on the inside. he took some pictures of the signs they have on the inside to say it's temporarily suspended right now. what we do know is they're working to get the lions back open. some 300,000 people use these lines to get to work every single day. as we drove into new york and new jersey this morning we could see the roadways looked pretty good. but the mayor here is still telling people if you don't have to be on the on the roads, stay off them for now. >> first of all, do not drive if you don't have to, unless it's really urgent. we want people to stay off the street, keep their cars where they're parked. it is very important to recognize there's a lot of work being done to get the city up and running for monday. we need people off the streets for their own safety. we need people off the streets for the state of other, need them off the streets so sanitation can clear the streets. we need you off the streets so our first responders have the freedom to get to emergencies. >> once again, those 2,000
workers out there trying to get the lines back open for the monday morning commute. you know people are itching to get back to work, especially dealing with all the snow. what we've seen throughout the area is workers are trying to fete the streets clear as well. we do know the governor will give an update around 6:00 to tell us what's going on with the rest of the area so we know what to deal with when it comes to the monday morning commute. poppy? >> no question. i got to say, ryan, i was so impressed waking up this morning seeing so many of the roads clear, crossing the brooklyn bridge, absolutely cleared by early this morning. they've done an incredible job overnight here. thank you so much, ryan young. now to times square, our meteorologist chad myers. chad, can you believe it? we came so close to a record here in new york. >> we did break the 24-hour record. just not the all-time record. so a couple things went on at 7:00 this morning. it was like a starter's pistol went off and everybody got in their cars and tried to drive somewhere. and now we are at almost glid
grandk -- gridlock. this fire truck has been sitting there for at least three minutes trying to get through this red light here on 57th -- 47th street in midtown. there's another fire truck behind it. the good news is they're not trying to go anywhere because earlier we had a major fire on ninth avenue. it was a four-alarm fire. had this happened right now, these guys would be in a world of hurt. something else that's happening -- ice falling off the buildings right onto people's heads. so i don't want to say look up and watch out because you don't want to get hit in the face, but it's coming off the buildings now as we see this afternoon's sunshine hit the buildings, ice falling down right onto pedestrians. i'll tell you what. this 47th street, you can look all the way down to langon's down there, there is a backup at least four long blocks. the avenue blocks are much longer than the street blocks here in new york city.
traffic is going nowhere. i know the ban is over but it might as well be still on because cars simply aren't moving down here, poppy. >> you know, chad, you mentioned that ice. my photographer and i just had to move over about three feet because that happened to us. we moved under the awning here. a huge chunk of ice fell. this is no joke. for everyone watching, chad, right, if they can walk under the awning they should absolutely do that where possible and just be aware. >> no question. i was walking down on eighth avenue a little bit ago and a piece of ice hit a man as i was walking the same way that he was. and he was -- he wasn't knocked unconscious but he was knocked a little silly as he went, wow, what was that, e thinking something hit his head and it did, a large chunk of ice. now we do have these guys needing to go somewhere and they can't get anywhere. this is what we were worried about when we had this kind of gridlock when there's only one lane on any one roadway because the rest of the lanes that
should be there are covered in deep, deep snow. this will delay the people that need to get to other people that need help. this is what we're going to see now for the rest of tonight, i'm afraid, poppy. >> all right. chad myers, good day to take the subway. thank you, my friend. i appreciate it. let's head to our nation's capital, washington, d.c. rene marsh live for us at reagan national. rene, not many people there, right? >> no. take a look. you know, we're the only ones here right now with the exception of a couple of workers, poppy. we're talking about since friday all the way through to today, nearly 12,000 flights canceled. more than 3,400 today alone. this tells you the picture there, nothing but canceled, that c-word all these passengers don't like to see. flight operations have not been able to get up and running here at reagan national. same situation at dulles because
they just -- they're still dealing with snow on the runways, taxiways, and they're still trying to clear all of that out. some good news, new york airports, we are seeing some limited service. that's starting to resume. philadelphia, limited service as well as baltimore. but, you know, you said it, you look around, we tear only ones here. our only hope for some food and beverage was starbucks and they just told us they're closing because of lack of by. there's no one here. they're hoping within the next couple days things are up and running. fliers will have to be patient because it will take some time before airlines can catch up to themselves. poppy? >> as our parents told us when we were children, patience is a virtue, especially on a day like this. rere neymar, thank you so much. to the national mall in d.c., jennifer, i could barely see your beautiful face yesterday in
the middle of the whipping wind. voila. what a difference 24 hours makes. >> it is no joke. what a dimpbls. it feels so good. you just want to run out here and play it in, especially compared to the last 48 hours we've dealt with along with everyone in the nation's capital. blue skies today, the sun is out, it is absolutely gorgeous. temperatures are right around freezing. only a couple of degrees warmer than where we were yesterday, but it just feels so good. a lot of people are getting out by foot mostly. there are a couple more cars out on the roads. but just like chad was saying, you know, some of the roads are cleared but those secondary roads aren't. that's why it's so important to stay off the roads and give crews time. it's going to take time and patience is the hardest part, especially when you have a day like today in the nation's cap it will. schools are closed tomorrow. and actually congress has postponed votes that were scheduled for early in the week. so it is going to take some time to get the city back up and running. we will have a little bit of melting going on today.
we had temperatures just above freezing, a lot of sunshine. so we are going to get a little bit of a slush on the roads so we are going to see a refreeze as we go through the overnight hours. it could be an icy commute for a lot of people on monday. i'm sure that's why they decided to cancel school. so it is going to be interesting to see how the city responds by the time we get to tomorrow. but it is going to take some time to get things back to normal here in the d.c. area. >> no question. we'll carry the press conference from the mayor at 5:00 eastern. jennifer gray, thank you so much. now to virginia where we have our nick valencivalencia. some of the 14 deaths from this storm occurred there. roadways stale mess. >> reporter: we just got an update from the virginia state police according to the office of the medical examiner. five deaths in the state of virginia contributing to the severe winter weather, four of those dying as a result of
hypothermia. those temperatures were hovering around 20 degrees, today more than a 15-degree difference. we had 34 hours of straight snow. that essentially led to about 30 inches of accumulation. we're here at the virginia department of transportation where salt trucks, plows, spreaders, they're still getting ready to treat those roads pap lot of them you see here have just come back from their missions. we were talking to one snowplow driver who said he was working for 24 straight hours. a lot of them also working for 12 hours straight. this is the kind of material they're using to treat the roadways. some is sand, a little bit of salt. it feels like hard grass. such impressive work. new york city, some of the same thing, impressive precautions and preparations taken by the emergency workers here in the commonwealth of virginia.
4,000 pieces of heavy equipment. today, though, the sun is out, the sun is shining, and this is a welcome sign of relief for a state that just got pounded by this winter weather. poppy? >> no question. they're even hiring extra people here in new york city, nick, to try to get these roads cleared. so our thanks to all of them for making it easy going for all of us. nick valencia, thank you so much. fredricka, back to you in atlanta. >> thanks so much, poppy. we'll check back with you. some people along the jersey coast are contending with now flooding from that storm. we'll go there live. i drive a golf ball. i drive to the hoop. i drive a racecar. i haveriver. his name is carl. but that's not what we all have in common. we talked to our doctors about treatment with xarelto®. xarelto® is proven to treat and help reduce the risk of dvt and pe blood clots. xarelto® is also proven to reduce the risk of stroke in people with afib, not caused by a heart valve problem.
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welcome back. it's not just the snow, several coastal towns are under several e feet of water. there are still flood warnings up and down the coast. flora sanchez is live for us just south of atlantic city. looks terrible but they're trying to clean up as best they can behind you. >> reporter: it looks terrible, but this is way better than it was even three hours ago. this entire road was impabl. there were giant boulders of ice in the street and trasz strewn about aside from obviously about a foot of water that came into
this neighborhood. part of the reason why is that this neighborhood is alongside a canal that's attached to a bay here in new jersey. the water kept rising and kept rising partly because as the storm was peaking there was a full moon so there was that much more water coming in. we've spoken to several neighbors who tell us the first level of their homes have been damaged. you see this garage had some water damage to it. the folks that live down the street from here also have some damage to the first floor of their home. fortunately it's mostly just water and they've been able to get it out. you can see where the water line was right here on this home to my right. fortunately this storm was not as severe as other storms that they've had. perfect example was superstorm sandy. the water line was at four feet. this was only about a foot but you can imagine the headaches it causes for neighbors. the road is clear, drivable once more, but there are a lot of areas especially south where
problems are ringlilingering. the cleanup expected to take at least a few more days as those flood watches begin to expire. >> boris sanchez, thank you so much. new jersey governor and republican presidential candidate chris christie is back on the campaign trail in new hampshire after spending friday and saturday in his home state dealing with the snowstorm. this morning during a town hall he touted his handling of the blizzard. >> it's not that i was somehow innately born with the ability to deal with snow emergencies or, you know, hurricanes. it's that you've done it, you learn. and it's the point i've been trying to make to everybody, and i think the storm helps me to make it really clearly to folks -- it matters what is you've done before. it matters. you know, some candidates in this race try to tell you it doesn't matter what you've done before. it does. it does matter. it does matter are you going to be ready when you sit in that chair the very first day. >> a new fox news poll shows krissy has work to do in new hampshire. he is tied for fifth place with
jeb bush at 7%. trump still the clear front runner that first primary state. in iowa, the "des moines register" has announced its endorsements just eight days before the caucuses. for the gop, marco rubio. for the dms, hillary clinton. the paper's decision on clinton is in direct contrast to the latest polling. our poll shows clinton trailing senator bernie sanders. he has 51% to clinton's 43%. senior washington correspondent jeff bellamy is at the scene of cnn's town hall monday night at drake university in des moines. good to see you. the democrats will be taking questions from voters. how big a deal of this is it for hillary clinton who seems to be in real trouble when you look at the latest national polling? >> i think the endorsement is very important for hillary clinton. she certainly has been going after it. she went to visit the newspaper a couple different times.
it really feeds into her argument she's making in the final stretch that she is the most experienced candidate. if you watch her television ads, if you watch her, you know, speeches to voters, she is saying that, look, she has done it all. she's been the first lady. she's been a senator. she of course was secretary of state. so in very detailed argument, she is saying what she would do. we saw a couple dueling rallies yesterday with hillary clinton and her democratic rival bernie sanders in the eastern iowa town of clinton right along the mississippi river. look at the crowd differences here. you can see she had an okay crowd but bernie sanders had so much more enthusiasm. but listen to the argument that she is making to voters about the urgency of the selection. >> we can't wait. we have urgent business to do in america. and if you give me the chance i will work my heart out for you and i will continue to learn from you and make sure that we
move forward together. thank you all very much. >> so, of course, secretary clinton trying to make the case she is ready from day one, she is prepared to do this immediately. just across town after she did that, bernie sanders was firing up a far larger crowd, and he was reminding these iowans that anything is possible, that they should believe in his ideas, they shouldn't necessarily fall in line with what the establishment is saying. listen to what his message was. he's harkening back to what happened here in iowa eight years ago. >> it really reminds me very much of what happened here in iowa eight years ago. remember that? eight years ago obama was being attacked by everything. he was unrealistic, his ideas were pie in the sky, he did not have the experience that was needed. but you know what? people of iowa saw through those attacks then, and they're going to see through those attacks
again. >> reporter: trying to present himself as the modern-day barack obama. he won in iowa in 2008 and that set him up for a victory months later. of course bernie sanders is not the same as barack obama. there's no question about that. but the energy is on his side, the energy is on the left side of the party, if you will. these liberals who are frustrated he didn't get everything accomplished. the question in the final stretch, is it her experience or his energy, his inspiration or her organization? >> you have to wonder while hillary clinton is not polling as well as sand sand in the iowa and new hampshire polling, not as well as she is nationally, you have to wonder if the two of them will really be duking it out, you know, if you will see gloves off at that town hall
tomorrow. >> reporter: i think both will be appearing separately and they'll be answering these questions from voters. fredricka, i can tell you travel across the state all week as we've done, there are some undecided voters, many undecided voters, and some others who are willing to change their minds. what i'm looking for tomorrow night is just to see how bernie sanders specifically says how he will accomplish some of the things that he's been promising and addressing. that's one of the things that a lot of voters want to hear from him. they want to believe in him. they want to sort of hear the idea of universal health care for all. but of course washington is a divided place. i think we will be perhaps pressing him for more specifics tomorrow. and hillary clinton, is she able to be a candidate of change? is she able to be an agent of change here? so those are a couple of the topics that are certainly to come up tomorrow.
goff mor martin o'malley will also be here. eight days, the iowa caucuses will be here before we know it. >> it will indeed. jeff bellamy from des moines, iowa, appreciate that. of course you'll want to watch that town hall tomorrow night in iowa. all three democratic candidates taking questions from the iowa voters hosted by our chris cuomo. it airs at 9:00 eastern on cnn. the show must go on. that was "saturday night live's" motto, last night, even if there's a blizzard. tina fey, well, she was back as you know who. we'll see it next. ♪ there it is... this is where i met your grandpa. right under this tree. ♪ (man) some things are worth holding onto. they're hugging the tree. (man) that's why we got a subaru. or was it that tree? (man) the twenty-sixteen subaru outback. love.
i'm whit. welcome back. here's terry mccauliff with an update on the state of virginia. >> every part of virginia saw some snow. even hampton roads, which was not to see any snow, they did see some snow. in addition, very high winds. we did have some coastal flooding in chincoteague and some other areas. that has all subsided now, but this was a massive storm for us in the commonwealth. once again our folks have been working 12-hour shifts since wednesday. i want to thank all those folks. we at the state are to responsible for 58,000 miles of
roads that we are in charge of making sure stay clean and safe. that is what we are doing today. as i say, we just finished a helicopter tour. the main interstates. commerce is moving. we saw many trucks. some cars on the road but many tracks. so commerce is back. now let us hit those secondary streets and get everybody up and moving as fast as we can. but please, the last thing i'll say, please, please, if you don't have to be on the roads tomorrow, stay off and let our plows do their work. >> all right. so the cleanup still a work in progress, but again, virginia state government closed tomorrow. you heard it from the godavid goffin -- governor there. you knew it wouldn't take long before an alaska governor endorsed a certain presidential campaign. tina fey reprised her role on "saturday night live" after pay hin endorsed donald trump for president. brian setter has that for us. >> reporter: there were predictions tina fey would be
back on the "snl" stage reprising her character from many years ago. "saturday night live" did follow through. despi despite the blizzard, the show did go on, and tina fey as palin was the cold open. take a look. >> i'm here because we americans are struggling. so many of us have lost our jobs at the factory or reality shows about alaska, and we've seen our own children targeted by the police for no reason other than they committed some crime. we turn on the news every morning and are shocked to see we're not even on it because we've been replaced by immigrants like geraldo river-a. >> she's fun. she just says whatever she wants. it's like her mouth starting driving before her brain gets in the car. >> now, i doubt sarah palin appreciated that impression. the show, of course, oftentimes goes after republican
politicians, conservative figures, but sometimes they do take shots at the other side as well. larry david was announced as the host of the show for february 6th. so right between the iowa caucuses and the new hampshire primary. the show will have ample opportunity to poke fun at sanders and the democratic race right after the caucuses. fred, back to you. >> all right. thanks so much, brian. a fun political season on "snl" indeed. we'll be right back.
hello again, everybody. i'm fredricka whitfield. they're still cleaning up but stom new yorkers are figuring out a way to have a little fun. here's jason carroll. >> reporter: everyone doing everything they can to enjoy every inch of snow. if you're going to do that, this is probably one of the major spots to do it, the major hill
here, the 72nd street entrance to central park. you can see it's just packed with folks coming out with sleds, with plastic discs, anything at all they can use to get down that hill. actually broke a record here in new york city. central park measuring 26.8 inches. that is the second largest recording of snow here in the city ever. a lot of snow, brings a lot of people, various types of sleds, including this one, the avenger sled. how fast does the avenger sled take you down? >> super fast, like 15 miles an hour tops. >> reporter: oh, yes. i'm sure. 15 miles. how do you stop? i'm watching what's going on down here and everyone's sort of throwing themselves off in order to stop. i don't know. >> human barricade. human barricade. >> what do you think? human barricade? >> what i do is i stop for my feet, like, i dig my feet into the snow. >> reporter: is that where all the snow is coming from here? looks like you've done a little bit of that.
>> yeah. yeah. >> reporter: tell me about the storm. what did you do to ride out the storm? >> well, we, like, ran out in the snow and just enjoyed it. >> we were running in the streets. >> reporter: running in the streets. i hope you were doing it carefully. yes? >> yes. >> reporter: a little bit. a little bit. i hope you guys have a chance to get out and join the snow a little more. have at it. thanks a lot. once again, lots of folks coming out here to enjoy the snow. it is a sunday, so many of them fortunately have the day off. tomorrow is going to be a big question. what happens tomorrow, during the commute to the city in terms of most of the people we've spoken to did a pretty good job at clear the streets, clearing some of the roads. people out there getting the sidewalks clearsed a well. tomorrow during the rush hour commute, that is going to be the big question in terms of how the city does at that point. >> all right. jason carroll, thank you so much. let's look at the top stories. local and federal authorities are looking for three men in california. the inmates escaped from the
orange county jail friday night. the man in the middle of the screen is accused of murder. the man to the left is accused of torture and kidnapping. and the man on the right is facing charges of attempted murder. anyone with information should call 911. a turkish airlines flight from houston to istanbul is back on its journey after being diverted to shannon, ireland. the airline says the plane was rerouted because of a bomb alert. flight tk-34 was carrying 207 passengers and two infants. it landed safely and all passengers and crew disembarked and were moved to a secure area of the airport. police tell us nothing was found on that plane. and the u.s. geological survey says a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit alaska early this morning. the epicenter hit the cook inlet about 160 miles from anchorage. there was no tsunami threat because it was about 50 miles deep. anchorage police tweeted that there were no reports of major
damage or injury following the earthquake. and flint, michigan's water crisis may lead to criminal charges being filed. we'll explain next. nner can make anyone slow down and pull up a seat to the table. that's why she takes the time to season her turkey to perfection, and make stuffing from scratch. so that you can spend time on what really matters. marie callender's. it's time to savor. i am powered by protein.
the possibility of a flare swas almost always on my mind. thinking about what to avoid, where to go... and how to deal with my uc. to me, that was normal. until i talked to my doctor. she told me that humira helps people like me get uc under control and keep it under control when certain medications haven't worked well enough. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores.
don't start humira if you have an infection. raise your expectations. ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, control is possible. welcome book. i'm fredricka whitfield. this weekend's monster storm impacted the carolinas with snow and ice, officially 3 inches in charlotte. but it's starting to warm up today just in time for the nfc championship football game. in just about three hours the carolina panthers and arizona cardinals will kick off in charlotte. the winner goes to the super bowl. the loser going home. warmer weather is hoping to clear the field just a bit. let's check in now with cnn's polo sand val sandoval where ea tailgaters were out in full force. didn't care if there was a little ice, little snow on the roads earlier. but people are excited, aren't they? >> reporter: yeah, fred. you talk to people here and they'll say what snow, what ice? at this point it's very hard to
believe the storm actually swept through the region on friday dumping about half an inch of ice, about two inches of snow. all beginning to melt away. of course officials are asking if you are walking to the game, be careful because it's easy to take a tumble. they say it's hard to find those needles in haystacks. we found at least one. a cardinals fan in the heart of uptown charlotte. [ boos ] despite the boos, though, you're tell me you almost didn't make it because of the weather. >> absolutely. >> reporter: tell me about the weather. was it complicated for you and your friend? >> it was. we left at 5:00 this morning. there were a lot of people still waiting for flights trying to make connections. we were on the tarmac about an hour and a half waiting to get to the beat but we got here. >> reporter: were there concerns you wouldn't be able to make it to this huge event, the nfc championship? we were confident we would make it. >> reporter: explain this. you said you were confused. >> i'm from charlotte. i still have season tickets and i live in arizona. so i'm rooting for both.
>> reporter: who's going to win? >> card unless. absolutely. rise up. >> reporter: fred, you asked this sea of blue -- >> whooo! >> reporter: they say the panthers will win. mother nature is cooperating now. >> no snow, ice, nothing, was going to stop them. thanks so much. polo sandoval, off lot of new friends. (flourish spray noise) (flourish spray noise) the joy of real cream in 15 calories per serving. enough said. reddi-wip. (flourish spray noise) share the joy. its intelligent drive is msystems...ng. paradigm-shifting. its technology-filled cabin...jaw-dropping. its performance...breathtaking. its self-parking...and self-braking...show-stopping.
welcome back. who will pay the price or will anyone for the water catastrophe in flint, michigan, water contaminated with lead after switching to river water ultimately poisoning people? there is new information out there that some state officials knew about this water while the people were drinking it. the epa is now taking charge of water testing there after the agency's administrator for michigan and five other states resigned. some protesters want governor rick snyder to resign as well because he didn't respond
quickly enough to the crisis. the governor saying the state is committed to making sure every flint resident has clean, safe drinking water and that he will not be stepping down. president barack obama has even declared a state of emergency in flint, opening the door to federal help. but will there be criminal liability for the residents too scared to drink their own water? let's ask part of the legal team involved in a class action suit and our own cnn legal analyst phillip holloway. good to see both of you. so carrie, you're representing four families in this class action suit. will there be more? and what are the demands being made in this suit? >> yes. we represent four different flint families in this class action. the class action could potentially open up to 100,000 people in the city of flint has
100,000-plus residents. and so it is framed as a class action. we filed a class action in federal court under the federal constitution based on a state-created danger. separate lawsuit in state court under the state constitution based on a state-created danger. and we've also filed a circuit court action based on gross negligence, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. we have heard from over 1,200 people who have contacted us interested in being interviewed in part of this class action, and the number goes up every day. >> so i so i wonder, is the primary goal to win a settlement that will help pay for the medical costs of the thousands of people who are now looking at irreversible damage? for many years to come, adults, children. is that the primary objective? >> absolutely.
absolutely our objective is to finally get the governor in the state of michigan to listen to the city of flint residents and to get them justice because they've not received any justice. we hoped through this lawsuit we'll get media attention to them, immediate relief in monetary ways to compensate them for their injuries as well as programs started such as child development programs to help these children poisoned with lady, nutritional programs. we're seeking not only monetary compensation but also equitable relief for our clients. >> so i wonder if looking for justice in this form, recovering costs for health problems for a very long time, is that likely the only kind of justice that people might see? or might we all be looking -- also be looking at potential criminal charges being filed against those who knew that people were being poisoned who might have even participated in
the poisoning of thousands of people in flint, michigan? >> well, something certainly stinks in flint, and it's not just the water. this is, at a minimum, very, very bad government, obscenely bad government. whether or not it rises to the level of a crime remains to be seen. we know that there are parallel investigations mounted by the state attorney general as well as the state u.s. justice department. the government officials e if - involved in the decision-making do not completely 100% own up to anything they've done because it's not against the -- >> who will willingly do that when you're talking about this kind of state of affairs? who is going to volunteer that, you know, they may have been complicit or they may have overlooked or ignored certain warnings? >> that's the problem is that they tend to want to minimize -- if you're involved in something and this grossly negligent, you
tend to want to minimize your involvement. if you make a statement to a federal investigator or a grand jury or you destroy one document or hide one e-mail, we saw this conduct going on in the bp oil spill investigation because it's not like somebody wakes up one day and okay, i think it will be a good idea to poison the water supply. but the problem is in the cover-up. i hate to use the pun, but it's what did they know and when did they know it? and by they i mean anybody who had any part in the decision-making process of why the water system got changed and what they did or did not do to make it safe for the citizens of flint. >> do you think anyone would go to jail for this crisis? will anyone individually pay a fine if people are unable to sue the state government or localities, are they able to go after individuals? >> they can go after individuals. in criminal cases it's called
restituti restitution. you can't get the same kind of monetary damages like in a civil lawsuit or in this case a class-action which can be a really large amount of moab. but if somebody is criminally prosecuted the government will try to get everything they can out of them in terms of res tuesday, but if one person gets caught, minimizing this, saying something that's not true or engaging in any kind of cover-up even if it's already occurred, there's already questions that maybe some things have already been done that are in the nature of a cover-up. if that can be proven, people can and probably will go to jail. >> the s it your belief this is going to be an uphill battle or do you believe at least for this class action suit that you have everything you need in order to have a successful end -- successful from your client's point of view? >> i think, first of all, the evidence that has been uncovered thus far is extremely compelling demonstrating governmental misconduct. and i would like to speak to the cover-up issues because one of the things that we're doing
through this lawsuit is tomorrow we're serving a subpoena on the governor of michigan demanding that he produce all his e-mail and text messages regarding this particular situation dating back to 2011 when they first started talking about it. so we're hoping through those e-mails and text messages that we will be able to prevent any type of cover-up. we also are hoping that perhaps the government takes a different tact in dealing with this class action. not one that would require six years of litigation. we're hoping that they come to the table knowing that they created this situation and are prepared to create a settlement fund to try to help these residents immediately. we can't wait. >> all right. so a subpoena for the governor as early as tomorrow. real quickly does that raise the stakes at all? does that change the tone here? >> the governor is probably going to quash that subpoena because they'll do everything they can to defend themselves not only in criminal court but
in civil court. he's stated publicly he's going to release those e-mails, but the subpoena just puts a lot more pressure on him to make sure that he comes clean if he can't get the subpoena quashed. i bet they're going to do that. >> phillip holloway. karen magee hee, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> up next, the storm may be gone but the trouble is still there. mm-hmm. we're looking at what to expect when we head back to work tomorrow. hey pal? you ready?
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welcome back. the massive storm may have moved away but there's still the threat of dangerous conditions for thousands of people all along the east coast. cnn's tom seder is with me now. we're talking about six separate states that were hit with something like 30 inches of snow? >> yes. yes. i mean, is that amazing? >> it is. >> it really is. when you look at this is what has fallen. pretty close to what the computer models were hints at until really you got into late friday and saturday for new york city. but as you look at the fuchsia color, the bright pink, the darker pink, that is, those are
states with over two feet of snow, then it gets heavier where it gets dark. then we go through the freeziin process. for the next five nights assume anything that's wet is frozen. that will keep schools and businesses closed longer. every day we see the massive melting. but as everyone starts to venture out and let their guard down, there's going to be accident, no doubt about it. as beautiful as it looks, and it is fun, always pretty until the lights start to flicker, we have thousands that have lost power. getting into the cold in parts of the carolinas tonight at the end of the power grid, it will take a while. the last hour we've talked about you got to be careful with shoveling snow. history has shown us as you're outside and the heart is beating faster to keep the body warm, it only takes a foot of snow on a one-car driveway like moving equivalent of two tons of weight. we've had our first confirmed
fatality in d.c. area of prince georges county. double the snow, triple it. i know we've got to get rid of it, but only a tenth of an inch off the all-time record in new york city. >> that is something else. thank you so much, tom sader, we'll check back in with you. the next hour of "cnn newsroom" begins right now. hello again and thanks so much for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. the east coast is dealing with record breaking snowfall from tennessee to new york. the people trying to fly out, it's a travel nightmare. and airlines are already canceling flights for tomorrow. in washington some areas reported 28.3 inches of snow in the last 48 hours. and airports are at an absolute standstill there. still many of the runways closed. the mayor of d.c. will be holding a briefing in the next hour and some f