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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  September 12, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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the story here in florida is many without a power. that extends to georgia, alabama, and the carolinas. i want to go to bill weir in the keys in a boat he's been riding
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since this morning. fema put out this figure, 90% of the structures have some form of damage: i talked to an official from key west who said that was too high an estimate. what do you think? >> reporter: well, you know, i don't know about 90%. it's so interesting because the structures that are along the atlantic ocean which took the brunt of the force are those on the inside that took the dirty edge, are fortified. some of the steepest damage is inside these keys where the houses aren't as structurally strong. i'll show you some video of marathon key. we went ashore. i saw this building that had -- looked like laundry hanging from the railings and thought boy, there's a sign of life and went there. it is so stunning to see what the waves did with all the sand.
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some keys don't have beaches, but this one did, and it blew the sand up into the lobby of this condo, condominium, in through parking garage, against the door where the sand was at least three feet high. it was so surreal, which then lowered the ceilings. i found one guy there who was the lone holdover, the caretaker of this condominium complex, a guy named william dub richardson. i did, why didn't you leave? he said i'm the caretaker, this is my job. he hung out there and rode it out. he thought this fortified structure would come down a couple times, but it didn't, and he survived. everyone who stayed survived. the first thing he did afterwards was hang this tattered american flag from those railings as a symbol they made it through and
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they would rebuild, anderson. >> just amazing. bill weir, we appreciate that. i want to go to brian todd. brian, what have you been seeing today? >> reporter: anderson, this is part of the southern part the island. this is the sandy cove condominium complex. look at what happened to this. we'll have our photojournalist david brooks go in on this. what you're looking at here is the third floor of this condominium complex. the first two floors including the garage were completely buried. this is the third floor. this is a 12-unit condominium complex that was crushed in the storm surge. not exactly sure how this happened, but we're on the southern tip of the island here. we talked to one of the owners
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heek, tom ross, he's 73 years old. he's had this place for 18 years. his unit is that middle one on the third floor. and he said he believes everybody got out of here and evacuated, and it's a good thing. if they hadn't, they wouldn't have survived this. we saw him earlier today. he just looked kind of shell shocked, he was standing there looking at this. we walked around to the back and we talked to him there. he was rational and fine, but i asked him, i said do you have any desire to come back here, and he said, oh, yeah, we're going to rebuild this place. i said, are you kidding? he said this place was built in the '70s. he knows it wasn't built to code back then. but after hurricane andrew in 1992, he believes when they rebuild it they're going to build it to code. it's going to be much stronger. still, tom, this is susceptible to hurricanes on both sides, and the atlantic coast is here and
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the bay is basically at the back door. and he said that's the reason i want to come back here. where else can you look out your front door and see the atlantic ocean and you see your boat in the bay? nowhere else. i've got to come back here. his wife hasn't been able to come back and look at this place. that is the status from here. a steady stream of cars and people trying to get into the southern most part of the keys south of here. a lot of frustration among people trying to get in there, anderson, but they've got to make sure the 42 bridges in the keys are secure and not all of them seem to be checked up on yet. >> incredible that's the third floor. looks like obviously the first floor. brian todd, appreciate that. apologize for the signal. we're using satellite trucks. so our image is pretty stood with brian. he's on a mobile unit and it can break up easily. now to sugar loaf key.
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that's where john berman is. john, what's the situation there? >> reporter: i'm at mile 20 in the keys. i'm even further south than brian todd is. the eye of irma passed over here. we flew in by helicopter, anderson. so we got a chance to look at the structures. most structures we saw were still standing. nearly all, though, damaged. we were able to land our helicopter not far from here. we walked down to this house, clearly destroyed. the man who lives here said he was riding out the storm inside, it was all going okay until this tree fell on the house. he then hid and waited until the eye was passing over his house, got in his truck, and drove to a safer location where he rode out the rest of the storm. we had a chance to drive around just before dark to get a little bit of a lay of the land. here at highway 1, i saw a line of 20 utility trucks lined up
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just waiting to get to work. i saw some national guard to serve here as police, law enforcement, to make sure that everyone is safe and secure. i talked to the local sheriff. he said the first contact from the military or federal government came on monday the day after the storm. that was when officials went door to door to see if there were any victims, to find people who needed rescuing. after that they moved on. aid per se, that being food or water, has not arrived here yet. however, just a few islands up from here in summer lynn, there are stores that are opening up during the day, a hardware store, publix is selling water so they have been able to get there to resupply. and those who rode out the storm are waiting to hear from the federal officials to arrive to get them back on their feet.
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anderson? >> just amazing all the -- i'm glad we have reporters all throughout the keys. i appreciate that. it's not just the keys. food, gas shortages, lack of power, caribbean islands were hit very, very hard. people who survived are describing some nightmare scenarios. clarissa ward as more on that. >> reporter: the island of st. martin. last week, one of the jewels of the caribbean now a paradise lost. not a day went by, she says, without us thinking we were very lucky to live on this ideal island. today is just complete chaos. six days after irma pummelled st. martin, officials say more than 90% of the buildings on the island are damaged or destroyed. food and water are still scarce, power remains out for most. thousands of tourists were stranded for days. >> it was horrifying. never been that scared in my life.
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>> reporter: the desperation has led to looting and violence, with reports, not yet confirmed by cnn, of armed men roaming the streets. dr. locklin was vacationing when irma struck. mcclay spent several days caring for the injured, but also found himself forced to stand guard against looters, sharing this with a colleague back home. military is trying to control chaos, but nothing is safe after dark. lots of looting. i was on patrol last night with machete until the sun came up. the story is the same across the hard-hit caribbean. on the british virgin islands, one resident told cnn that the situation is only getting worse. >> the supermarkets here doubled the prices. the gas stations doubled the prices. so we're running out of cash. it's scary.
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[ indiscernible ] >> reporter: help has been slow to ae live to many of the islands where people are struggling to get by day-to-day, and long-term, officials say full recovery may be years away. >> clarissa ward joins us from guadalupe, so the french president emmanuel macron visited st. martin today. there's a french and dutch side of the island. what did he say about rebuilding? >> reporter: anderson, he made a lot of promises today. he said that they are going to complete rebuild st. martin and completely rebuild st. bart's which is also a french territory. he said they're going to get the power back shortly. they're going to get water and back shortly. he talked about reopening schools as soon as next week, but a lot of people here, and i should explain, we're at a sort of processing center here for thousands of evacuees who have
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left the island who say they're not reassured by hearing the president's promises because they're concerned he's not going to deliver on them, and they're telling me they're angry too. they say we saw hurricane irma coming for days. we knew how big the storm was. how is it that it took so long to get aid into the hardest hit areas? how is it, they say, that thousands of people are still waiting to being evacuated? >> yeah, a lot of frustration. up next, i'm going to speak with a rez accident who rode out the storm near ft. lauderdale. doesn't know what the condition of his house s. we'll talk to him coming up. also, more of my interview with country superstar kenny chesney, how he's helping victims on st. john. we'll be right back. where are we? about to see progressive's new home quote explorer. where you can compare multiple quote options online
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a lot of people obviously have evacuated from the keys. this is andrew who rode out the storm in fort lauderdale. >> outside stewart. >> what made you decide you weren't going to stay in the keys? >> the size of the storm. kind of saw it coming. had no idea it was going to impact by area when i left. i knew it was going >> i've seen pictures of my neighborhood and friends' houses and where they used to be. i haven't seen anything of mine yet, but i really don't know. >> what have you been told about the possibility of getting back there? >> i've been told that the roads have been closed because of all
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the damage and the structural questions and checks. we've talked about going back by boat, all the debris in the water. i've been told as the roads open up, we'll have more. but without signal or water and power, it's really tough to know what you're going back to. i don't want to be stuck down there with no fuel. >> it's got to be such an awful feeling to not know. >> i know a lot of my friends are safe. i've heard a lot about a lot of them, satellite phones, luckily. we haven't gotten a lot of pictures, but we've gotten good news. >> we're looking at some of the pictures. you've seen news reports. that's your house? >> no. i saw that on facebook. someone said that was just down the block from my house. i'm expecting there was anywhere from five to 15 feet of storm surge. i don't know. i haven't gotten anything exact from people in my neighborhood. that's sea center, boats up on big pine key. >> those boats are just lifted up. >> those were stacked and in a line on tuesday when i was driving out of town. i saw those boats already organized. the boat ramp was slammed full. >> have you lived in the key for a while? >> i've been down there for eight years. >> had you evacuated before for storms? >> i have not needed -- no, not
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in the last eight years. sandy came a little close but i didn't leave the island. just the size and magnitude was intimidating from the beginning. >> if you go back and it's damaged, you'll rebuild. >> oh, yeah. i've got to do my best. that's my home, absolutely. if i've got to rebuild, i'm happy to do it. >> such a unique part of america. >> it's beautiful. closer to cuba than walmart. i'll take it. >> andrew, thank you. joining me on the phone is the governor of the u.s. virgin islands. i appreciate you being with us. what is the security situation in st. thomas? one described it as survival mode. i'm wondering what do you make of that? is that an accurate assessment of what's happening? >> anderson, i would say that the security mode is in good order. we had some concerns on the
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eastern end of the island of st. john. we deployed more police officers and national guard troops. we had our territorial police chief there to relieve the officers that were there working for four straight days. we couldn't get on the island practically in the early days following the cat 5 storm. we had vessels stuck in the harbor and boats. we got military air lift over and got troops in order. we didn't have -- i read that article that was sent to me and i would say portions of the article is accurate and portions that are not. >> just in terms of the relief efforts, how are you for supplies? how is the island of st. john, the island of st. thomas -- i mean, where are you in this relief effort? >> the supplies and the support from our federal partners have been awesome. i've been on st. john three times. i was there today.
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our fema partners have been air lifting a lot of water, food. we've done medical evacuations from the hospitals that was severely damaged. we provided hemodialysis for that segment of the community. we have teams in boats. so i would say it's going very very well. the marines landed today. they are going to be targeting debris removal on both of the islands. we've begun the reconstruction of the electrical distribution. had a good call with governor cuomo of new york. he pledged an additional 100 troops to beef up security so our folks can -- >> do you know when they will be arriving? >> no. we're setting that up with fema
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and they're putting that together to let us know. the good thing is that about 70%, 80% of the officers in st. thomas, st. john, lost their homes as well. and we have officers on duty. we were happy with that. they've been working around the clock. >> governor mapp, thank you for joining us. cyril, i know you just got on the ground in st. martin. we've been hearing tragic reports about the damage. what have you seen? >> reporter: anderson, first of all, allow me to break one of the first rules of georgism. when you're in journalism class, you're told not to put yourself in the story. when you're covering a story like this, it's impossible. when the infrastructure is down, everybody -- it's a level playing field. everybody struggles, we do, the people do. we just landed about three hours ago at st. martin airport on the
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dutch side. honestly to me, the scenes were reminisce sent of the haiti earthquake a few years ago. you may remember the scene, which is a number of the building just down. the only thing that's clear is the tarmac. so you have military planes operating, dutch marines, french military as well. they're going in and out. that's the air bridge that is so key to this island. an hour later, the sunset and all of a sudden i was speaking to erin burnett on the phone. i couldn't see a meter or two in front of me because there was no light. we were in total darkness because there's no power as is to be expected in a situation like this one. we managed to get here. i know this shot is choppy and rough, but bear with us. that thing is what concerns me, it's what concerns most people, the red can there. it's sitting on top of a generator.
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that's ours. people who are more fortunate here have their own generators powering their homes and everything they need to do. but that runs on gas, and the gas right now is rationed. the gas is only being allowed -- they're only providing gas for emergency services. if you're a regular citizen, unless you can pull strings, you're not getting gas. we've been told by the people sheltering us here, that power may go down anytime now. that's why we didn't come to you earlier because we lost our connection and couldn't speak to you. we are live from the daily herald. that's one of the biggest newspapers on the dutch side of st. martin. they're sheltering us. behind us ask is the printing press. they can't print anything but they are putting information up on the website. anybody who wants to get the information, they are also doing their best. they're journalists. level playing field, their journalists are running out of gas in the middle of assignments and can't do anything more. right now you can't get
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gasoline. most houses do not have power. some of them still do when those cables run underground but that appears to be a minority from what i can judge driving into the island. no power. water is a key one here. water is being given out by the dutch marines. food which is the other key one, for the moment we're doing okay on that in the that she knows people are still eating what they stocked up on before the hurricane. there's an important message. if anybody is watching us from st. martin on the dutch side, there's been a 24-hour curfew. you can't go anywhere, day or night. that is being partially lifted tomorrow. i was speaking to representatives of the government. let me get the time right. 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., people can go out tomorrow. a couple supermarkets i've just
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been told still have some food. so hopefully, fingers crossed here, people might be able to start getting food tomorrow. anderson, what surprises me most is that everything i have described sounds to me from having covered previous natural disasters like day two, day three after the disaster, but we are day six. they were hit on wednesday. today is tuesday night. we are a week in. they have the help, the services, and the finances of some top tier companies. the netherlands for the dutch side and france for the french side, and yet, this is where we find ourselves a week in. i'll say one last thing. we understood why that was. this is an island. i know i'm saying something obvious, but that means everything they need to rebuild and they need a lot, has to be flown in or brought in by boat, and that makes things a lot slower, anderson.
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>> i'm glad you found a place. we wish you the best. we'll check in with you tomorrow. there's a lot more to focus on. we've been trying to get as much word out about what is happening in the caribbean because that seems to be an escalating story and escalating reality, frankly. it's not a story, it's life and death for people. up next, nearly 5 million customers in florida and the southeast are without power, a problem that gets worse as it gets hotter this week. it's going to be very hot tomorrow. we'll get the latest forecast. being the incredibly busy man that i am,
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see that? yes! i'm gonna just go back to doing what i was doing. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. rebuilding after irma is going to be hard enough, but right now one of the biggest issues is the lack of power. nearly five million people are without power, mostly in florida, while temperatures are expected to soar this week. most of the cities will see daytime highs in the 90s. no air conditioning for millions of people. not to mention all the food that's rotting and lack of communication. ryan young is in tampa. so many people without power. can you explain for us where most of this is happening? >> reporter: yeah. it's interesting, anderson, because the number is changing.
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before irma made landfall, florida power and light put out an estimate that 3.4 million would lose power, fema said 5 million. even at 3.4, the greatest loss of power that the u.s. has ever seen and it is greatest restoration challenge. here are the numbers. these are from an hour ago. 4. 7 million in florida, 500,000 in georgia, 37,000 in north carolina. south carolina, 87,000. alabama 7100. my producer was just telling me the numbers, they have restored 400,000 in the last three hours. in miami-dade county they were able to restore 30,000 in just the last hour. again, here's what we're looking at. as far as the poumg power outages. there are other providers. there's duke energy and tampa electric. but this is the largest provider. you can understand where they are because of our landfall to the south. up the east coast because it was
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such a broad hurricane, tropical storm force winds slamming into the coast with those feeder bands as the system moved northward. interesting to note, though, the chief of communications for florida power and light put out a statement today saying they believe that the eastern half of florida should have their power restored by the end of this weekend. and then for the west and the southwest, it will be about ten days. september 22nd. that's a bold statement thinking we were going to go weeks and weeks, but collier county, 84% still without power. brevard and miami-dade, still 50%. ten days is a long time with the temperatures rising, anderson. >> some of the people on this block were saying they got the day of the september 22nd as well. temperatures are rising, no air condition. it's pretty miserable. gas supply obviously is an issue in florida as well. >> reporter: yeah. people have been talking about that consistently. when a gas station opens up, people run for it. we were with the coast guard
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today as they opened the shipping channels back up because so many people were wondering when that would resume in terms of bringing gas back into the port. so many people rely on the ports here. if you look behind me, you can see one of the tankers that came in today. several more coming. the port supplies so much of the gas for central florida and also the airports here in the area. but something to remember, they believe they never got to a critically low level, tankers have been going in and out of here. but you have to be electricity to supply some of these gas stations. when people are trying to fill up, it created a combination that has left a lot of people looking for gas. as we were driving down the street, if a gas station opened up, you would see a line, and people were willing to wait, especially as they tried to gas up their generators or carses, when people are using those to power their cell phones, anderson.
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>> appreciate it, ryan. joining me now, retired general russel honore. i want to talk about what's going on in the caribbean. as you see it, obviously getting supplies, if an airport is down, then the airport's got to be brought back online before you can fly stuff in, unless you can get it in by helicopter. ship is the other way. talk to me what you see about the response on some of these islands. >> yeah. the situation now, anderson, we've got good coverage in the virgin islands as you heard earlier. in st. martin, we have an agreement through the state department to help them in times of hurricane. our principle responsibility is to help save life and evacuation.
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right now off the virgin islands, you have three warships there led by the "kearsarge" that is able to provide some of the service. you have a prime power unit, big facility generator. and you have one on st. thomas. the challenge, again, is the weather. there's more supplies that could have been there had we -- this storm hadn't lingered out and closed the entire east coast port system. the stuff they need to go from out of the shelters into temporary homes and to put tarps on, is tied up in barges that's been tied up at dock because they can't get out there, anderson. as far as the dutch and french distribution, but that will be the responsibility of those host
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nations. we have an agreement to help save lives there, anderson. >> general, just in terms of that september 22nd date for light and power saying they may be able to restore power to folks in this area, does that sound ambitious you to or is that doable? >> i tell you what, there's nobody working harder than these linemen. they're working 16 hours a day. which speaks to the part of recovery that a lot of politicians need to look at. when you restrict the number of hours, people need to work. you can't recover a city from dusk to dawn. that won't work. you got to have trucks moving, you got to have people working, you've got to get stores restocked. gas stations got to stay open so they can take fuel in the middle of the night. curfews can really hurt the recovery operation.
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the other thing we'll have tomorrow, you'll see a difference in the keys. that battle group will arrive in the keys and start providing some of the needed medical support and helicopter support to reinforce that string of islands in the keys. you should see that happening tomorrow. as well as being able to get the phone cell services up. >> that's critical. thank you very much. coming up, more on my interview with kenny chesney, a friends of his who rode out the storm in his house with 16 of his friends on the island of st. john. he's trying to do all he can to help the virgin islands rebuild and recover. we'll talk to kenny ahead. t-mobile mnemonic sfx: sfx: t-mobile mnemonic t-mobile's unlimited now includes netflix on us. that's right, netflix on us.
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more on my interview with kenny chesney. i talked to him before we went on air. he's got a big heart. i've known him for ten years. he has a home on st. john on the u.s. virgin islands. a home where he had 17 friends riding out the storm. he wasn't on the island, but he's determined to help people get out and get people supplies and help the island rebuild in the future. i spoke to kenny and his friend kate hannah about rebuilding and the resiliency of the island. >> you know, anderson, the rebuilding is not going to be measured within a few days or a few weeks or a few months. it's going to be measured in years, sadly enough. but i think, like like i said, the heart and the spirit of that island is very resilient.
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if i know my friends, kate knows also, it's going to happen sooner than we think. >> i think it was like ten years ago i was doing a profile of you for "60 minutes" and it was down on st. john. you showed me around the island and i saw a little bit about that. we hung out in your favorite bar. it's a completely unique place in the united states. even in the virgin islands, it's a really unique spirit and the folks there are really unlike anywhere else. kate, are you ultimately wanting to go back? that's your home. you want to rebuild? >> i want to help in any way i can. one reason i came up here is, you know, i didn't know kenny gave me the option to bring my dog. so also just to get people off the island right now, just because of the lack of resources and stuff like that. i felt that's why some people should get off. but i would like to go back. it's my home. i have 11 years worth of stuff
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there. my brother's there. he just got back with a couple other guys that grew up down there. they brought some supplies in, and they're ready to rebuild. i thought i could do more up here to help than being down there. i'd like to go back. i don't know if i would go back for good because what i do right now working on boats is out of the picture for a little bit. i'll go back down and see what i can do and help out, but i'll try to help as much as i can up here right now. just get the word out because everyone is doing everything they can do right now. >> anderson, i'd like to say there's a group of people at my house that have done so much for the island. my boat captain, so many people,
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justin, connor, tyson, josh. there's a lot of guys up there at the house that literally went to an area called bordeaux mountain two days ago and with chainsaws and crow bars cut through homes and saved 20 people's lives that nobody would have ever found. >> antonio too. >> there's a lot of people -- that goes to the heart and the spirit of that island and the people on it that have always helped everybody. and the nickname of that island is called love city. and that's part of the heart of that title and the nickname tot island is those guys that have done such great work. i'm so proud of them and everybody on the island that's coming together to try to make it a great place again. i just wanted to mention those guys because they've inspired me so much. it's a rough place to go. when i say rough, i mean terrain. you got to hike up to bordeaux mountain.
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they went and saved 20 people a couple of days ago. i'm so proud of them. i just wanted to mention them to say thanks. >> kenny, i know you're going to be doing as much as you can in the days and months ahead. we certainly want to help out in any way we can. appreciate talking you to tonight. and kate hannah as well. thank you so much. i'm glad you and your friends are here and you were able to get out with kenny's help. i hope the island comes back quick. kenny, thanks. >> thank you. >> thanks, anderson. love you, buddy. >> to help in kenny chesney's relief effort, go to kennychesney.com. when we come back, more from florida, a look at the flooding in and around the jacksonville area where we're told the danger is not yet over. details on that ahead. excuse me, are you aware of what's happening right now? we're facing 20 billion security events every day. ddos campaigns, ransomware, malware attacks...
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switch to drug-free midnite®. its specially formulated to work with the body's sleep mechanism to promote natural sleep. try midnite® tonight. welcome back. one of the things tom satyr told us the day irma hit florida that the storm was sneaky. as it moved up the coast, it went east, whichment places like orlando and daytona beach were hit much harder than expected. a lot of media focus was on the west and there has not been a lot of coverage in the east, but it's hard over there. we are south in jacksonville with the latest on that. here's the latest on that. >> it's all gone. >> reporter: one year ago, joe and his wife moved to florida from south carolina. they'd found their dream home. ocean front property on the beach. >> my wife and i are just going
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to enjoy ourselves because we worked so hard to buy this place. she had all the ideas, and i'm the contractor. it was going to be special. >> reporter: that dream has been more like a nightmare. two weeks after closing, hurricane matthew hit knocking out the seawall and flooding the place. it took 11 months to get plans drawn up by engineers to rebuild. then irma. >> when we heard it was coming, we thought oh, no, please not again. >> reporter: you two have had a couple of hours to process what you've seen here. what has that been like? >> it's been tough. because we didn't know what we were walking into. >> i got angry and he got upset. >> this used to be our kitchen. you can see the tide's kind of high now and it's washing up underneath our kitchen. >> how far did this extend? >> about 25 feet. it was a kitchen and then we had a big dining room as well out there.
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when we bought this, this was considered a bedroom as well, so this was a bedroom. right there we had a bathroom and another what was going to be our new master bedroom looking out over our backyard into the ocean. >> surge just does it. and the high tide, it really -- the water takes out everything. you can't beat it. >> how do you describe the emotions you feel? >> it's terrible because i was just so gung ho about moving here. before matthew came. and now it's not reality. sorry. so it's tough. >> have you two discussed a new dream? >> not yet. but i'm told it's not going to be here unfortunately. >> just so awful for that family. do officials know what they want to do so secure the shoreline for future storms?
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>> reporter: anderson, i spoke with local, state, and federal officials today. there's widespread agreement that something needs to be done, but that consensus has not yet been reached. shortly before irma hit here, those discussions had been ongoing, and there was a beach renourishment project that had been reauthorized but had not yet funded. if this can't convince them to get that done, i don't know what will. i spoke with a homeowner half a mile down. he said in the last two years he's lost 172 feet of the beach between his home and the ocean. >> wow. kayla, appreciate you being there. thank you very much. up next, two americans who were vacationing on the british virgin islands. their struggle to get off the island. not just to make it through the storm. that was one thing. but then to get off the island, hiking for 11 to 12 miles to try to find some way off the island. we'll talk to them about what
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find out how at sanfranciscodignity.com. two from atlanta expected a vacation in tore toe la and got more than they bargained for.
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they said they were stranded on tortola for five days after the hurricane struck, and finally were able to get a helicopter out to puerto rico. i spoke to them earlier. what was it like when irma hit tortola? >> you know, when it first started, it just started to build sort of a crescendo. it was something that wasn't a lot going on at first and we were watching, taping, taking pictures, posting on facebook. and then, you know, hours went by and it started to get more serious as every hour passed up until, you know, the eyewall came in. and at that point things just -- things became very serious at that point. >> andrew, i heard you say the
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hurricane was more like kind of a 33-hour tornado. in what way? >> yeah, so i never really experienced a hurricane before. i didn't know what to expect, but it lasted for a long time. the storm itself was pretty massive. so 33 hours of pure wind and rain and debris and things flying around, so it was pretty crazy and lasted quite a long time. >> and when it was over you needed to try to figure out how to get out. and you hiked 11 miles to get to the capital. on the way there how bad was the damage? >> it was catastrophic. all of the roads were completely obliterated. whether the waves came in and washed them completely out. there was debris, power lines down, telephone poles over the road.
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there were huge, i mean, massive boulders that had slid down from the mountains into the road. it was just a nail-biter the entire time. i have to say, though, the people there -- you could not have seen a more grateful group of people just to have survived the storm. i mean, andrew and i made comments to each other several times, you know, can you believe the resilience of these people down here who just have lost everything but yet they still seem to have a great attitude right after the storm. and that started changing as they weren't getting aid and they weren't getting help. >> what was it finally like when you got to the capital? i know the airports were closed down. i know flights started to come with aid from the military. i know you posted on facebook
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basically asking anybody for help. you said i'm reaching out for a final employee before something terrible happens. how were you finally able to get out? >> i mean i have to give all the credit to just a massive group of people, friends and family. i'd be remiss in not mentioning -- who really buckled down. making phone calls along with shannon williams and karen, my sister. courtney with ritz-carlton because they ultimately were the ones that found the helicopter owned by the ritz carlton. they found an exmilitary chopper pilot who came in and what looked like to me something from a movie, military maneuver. he kind of flew past and then to see if we were there and turned
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around and made a beeline for us and came right in. and he was on the ground, and we were in the helicopter within 15, 20 seconds and we were out of there. >> i know visitors, others trying to get out. obviously, for those living there, what do you want people to know about the conditions for people who weren't able to leave tortola? i've talked to a number of people whether it's in the british virgin islands, those who feel forgotten about. what do you want the rest of the world to know about all those people who are still there? >> you know, anderson, i think most people don't understand is the devastation. there wasn't a house that wasn't untouched.
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most of them lost windows, a majority lost their roofs. they had no clothes, no water. their fresh-water system comes from desalinization plants. they have no power. there's no infrastructure, and they can't get in to go to work to perform some of these just basic civil services that are run by the government. they need crew ships down there bringing in aide and relief workers. and these people need a place to live. they need power, fresh-water, food just so they can perform the basic services to start getting this island back up and running. and up until monday at 9:00 a.m. when we left, we had still seen zero aid, yet we'd heard reports of aid whether it was water or medical or food, but we hadn't seen any of that. so they just need help. they just need help.
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>> i'm glad you guys are okay, and i'm glad your speaking out for all those people who were left behind. thanks very much. >> thank you. thanks for watching our coverage. our coverage continues with "cnn newsroom." this is "cnn newsroom." live from los angeles. >> counting the cost of irma. the hurricane leaves almost every home damaged or destroyed in the florida keys. >> food and water running low, with arm eed gangs looting shop and homes. and how can some of the islands rebuild? and the white house goes after james comey's prosecute. should the justice department investigate the former fbi

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