tv America This Morning ABC October 30, 2012 4:00am-4:30am PDT
>> stay with us. >> for more on the latest on sandy. breaking overnight, the perfect storm. the east coast takes a direct hit from sandy. >> the deadly superstorm, knocking out power to millions. crippling new york city with a wall of water and a massive power outage. >> overnight, hospitals evacuated. a damaged crane dangling 90 stories up. what a long night it's been. and daylight will reveal so much more. a special edition of "america this morning," the perfect storm, begins right now. and good morning, everyone. we begin straight away this morning with the very latest on sandy. a historic storm in so many ways.
more than a dozen deaths are being blamed on sandy right now. and that number is likely to rise. >> some 5 million people are without power so far, from all along the eastern seaboard. even into the midwest. today, also, stock markets will be closed again for a second-straight day. a continuation of their first unplanned shutdown since the 9/11 attacks. and at this hour, there is breaking news from queens, new york, where as many as 50 homes have been destroyed by fire. the heavy winds are making it extremely difficult to battle the flames. nearly 200 firefighters were called to the scene, trying to rescue people. no word yet on what set off those fires. >> have to wonder if downed power lines played a role. we'll see. also, the outer boroughs of new york city have been hard-hit, as well. with most areas of coney island and staten island, described as being underwater, following sandy's record storm surge, as
it came ashore just to the south of the state of new jersey. dunes and sand berms were no match for the 15-foot waves. >> new york's rivers surging over seawalls and into the streets of lower manhattan, flooding tunnels and forcing bridges to close. the storm was too much for one apartment building in manhattan. its entire facade collapsed. already, the storm damage is being estimated at up to $20 billion. so, let's get outside right now. the streets here in new york, mostly vacant. here's a look, in fact, at iconic times square. >> but city officials have been responding to a major emergency at a nearby hospital, as well as trying to assess the severe flooding. abc's scott goldberg is watching it all. he's on the phone here in manhattan. good morning, scott. >> good morning to you. first, that emergency situation overnight. the nyu medical center here in manhattan, one of the nation's largest hospitals, evacuated after the backup generator failed. more than 200 patients, including 20 babies at the
intensive care unit, had to be evacuated. some patients being treated for cancer and other serious illnesses, had to be carried carefully down staircases because elevators are out. we want to show you a picture from above, showing the line of ambulances waiting outside the hospital. an incredible scene overnight. much of new york city plunged into darkness after a substation explosion. no word whether flooding or flying debris caused that explosion. it was an eerie scene as the manhattan skyline went dark. and it could be several days or even a week before power's fully restored because the underground power lines here are so difficult to access. meantime this morning, at fist light, we'll be getting the first look at the immense damage from this historic flooding. a record 13-foot storm surge overflowed the city's historic waterfront, flooding the financial district and the subway. the city's mass transit system, schools and stock exchange remain closed today. rob and paula, back to you.
>> scott goldberg here, in a wet and storm-weary new york. thanks a lot. and parts of new jersey remain underwater this morning after that monstrous storm surge along the coast. >> sandy made landfall. the powerful surf crashed into atlantic city's famous boardwalk, washing away a 300-yard section of it. floodwaters also filled up along towns along the jersey shore. they plunged into darkness. steve portnoy is in the thick of things at point pleasant beach. >> reporter: the water started to overtake the dunes. at that point we felt we had to move our truck because the water was coming in on to the streets. not just in the areas right by the beach, but actually flooding some of the city streets. so, we decided to move about a half-mile away and rebase. we were broadcasting. and then, all of a sudden, the water crept up behind us there. >> now, the national guard and other firefighters spent much of the night rescuing people who refused to obey evacuation
orders. and now, sandy is plowing further inland. >> for a look at the conditions we can expect today, accuweather meteorologist mark mancuso joins us now. good morning, mark. >> good morning to you guys. wow. what a whole lot of devastation there in the northeast. and now, the storm churns its way westward across pennsylvania, the impact being felt farther west. here in the midwest, over towards cleveland, detroit, and even chicago, we're seeing strong winds. cleveland, winds gusting 50 miles per hour to 70 miles per hour. the lakes were all churned up over here. could be some power outages in the midwest. and rain changing to snow in the ohio valley. meanwhile, back here in the east, we're still dealing with sandy. and the flow around it is keeping those water levels high right around the coastal areas. and it does look like those waters that have moved inland will be slow to drain out with that flow coming up from the south, around the backside of sandy. the rain will taper off. but the wind gusts will stay with us throughout the day.
winds today, gusting, say, 30 miles per hour to 50 miles per hour. as opposed to yesterday, 70-mile-per-hour, and 90-mile-per-hour wind gusts. but still, quite windy here. that will keep the water close to the coast. the surge will be a lot less today. perhaps one to two feet. and yes. look at that. that's all rain and snow here in the midwest. that cold air spiraled around the system. we've had reports of a foot-plus, in the mountains of west virginia and southwest p.a. about nine inches of snow. rainfall, up to nine inches across northern portions of virginia and maryland. these waters will be slow to recede the next couple of days. we'll be watching the rivers, watching the water coming down the rivers in the next couple of days. so, we're still dealing with the after-effects today. >> yes. it's all about the aftermath. this hit at night. so, people are waking up now and seeing all of the destruction. sounds like you said that the worst is over. but what kind of effect will we see maybe in the middle of the country, like the midwest? >> well, the midwest united states, going to be very windy today. places like indianapolis,
chicago, detroit, cleveland, cincinnati. winds gusting 30, 50 miles per hour. even higher around detroit and cleveland. very windy, chilly day. rain and snow. not amounting to much. but on the grassy surfaces, parts of ohio and kentucky, we could see just a minor accumulation. but near the lake shores, the waters will be piling up. already reports of waves about 20 feet on lake michigan. could see some waves crashing into the shores on the south side. 20 to 30 feet, lake michigan and also lake erie. so, midwest looking at a blustery, nasty day. >> and before sandy made landfall, the big question was how this is going to compare to hurricane irene, which hit last august in the same area. but by any measure, this storm, seemingly crushed irene. there really is no comparison, right? >> there's no comparison. i guess you could say, this is kind of like new york city's katrina. just devastating impacts here. this historic surge, 13 feet. all of that water coming on and those high wind gusts. worst-case scenario did pan out here, unfortunately. >> all right.
mark mancuso, from accuweather. thanks for joining us this morning, mark. straight ahead, more of our continuing coverage of sandy. the airlines trying to get back to normalcy. and what the red cross is doing to help out. plus, more incredible video from across the storm zone, including rescues that didn't have to happen. we'll be right back. new pink lemonade 5-hour energy? 5-hour energy supports the avon foundation for women breast cancer crusade.
system is shut down. seven subway tunnels under the east river are flooded. and the electricity that powers -- runs the system, is turned off to contain the salt water damage. getting the trains up and running again will be a massive undertaking. >> it could be anywhere between 14 hours to 4 days, just to pump the water out. then, we have to inspect every inch of rail and inspect all of the infrastructure down there to make sure that we can provide safe service. so, needless to say, this is going to be a pretty lengthy process. >> now, the head of the mta says this is the worst disaster in the 108-year history of the city system. the subways and buses are out of operation indefinitely. we did that interview. there really is no concrete timeline for getting the system back up and running. as the subways go, so goes the city. that's a major, major issue to deal with. >> largest transit system. >> in the country.
and there is more disruption to air travel today. flightaware.com, says 5,700 flights are canceled, most of them because of the hurricane. 7,800 didn't even leave the gate yesterday. >> and it may take the airlines a while to recover from hurricane sandy because of damage to infrastructure and a lack of available seats later this week. also, the red cross is mounting a massive relief effort to help the millions in the storm's path. >> earlier, we spoke with public affairs officer, tamara braunstein about what's being done right now. >> 3,200 people spent monday night in the shelter. we have more than 112 shelters open across 9 states right now. we're expecting that number to grow. so, we're just trying to provide emotional support and making sure people are being fed and having their safety needs met in the short-term. >> now, the red cross is asking for blood donations and financial contributions.
for more information, you can logon to redcross.org. and when we come back this morning, assessing the damage at eight nuclear facilities that were in sandy's path. plus, no part of the eastern seaboard was untouched, from cape cod to the carolinas. we'll get a live update. stay with us. get ready for a feeling of clean like nothing else. extreme clean from aquafresh. it showers your whole mouth with rich micro-active foam. thousands of germ-killing bubbles seek out hard to reach places and help kill the sources of bad breath then rinse clean away leaving a cool tingling that just won't quit extreme clean from aquafresh. take the feeling of clean to the extreme.
[ male announcer ] and it's not just these owners giving the volt high praise. volt received the j.d. power and associates appeal award two years in a row. ♪ welcome back, everybody. some breaking news, now. our continuing coverage of hurricane sandy. this from the borough of queens, new york, where a fire there has destroyed at least 50 homes. no word yet on exactly what sparked the fire. strong winds, though, from the storm are making it difficult for the nearly 200 firefighters on the scene to fight those flames. we'll keep you updated throughout the morning on that
developing scene. but imagine that. 50 homes. wow. >> it's all going to be about the aftermath this morning. ocean city, maryland, also took a major hit in the storm. abc's tahman bradley is there this morning, watching things up and down the coast for us at this hour. good morning, tahman. >> reporter: good morning to you, paula. things have actually let up a bit here in ocean city. but it's still very cold. sandy is the monster that we all feared. it's going to take days to determine the devastation. but we know millions of americans wake up impacted. along the east coast this morning, signs of sandy's fury. lady liberty's torch is out, as power outages spread. nearly 5 million people are in the dark. more than 1.5 million were forced to evacuate. sandy made landfall along the new jersey coast, bringing 80-mile-per-hour winds and flooding. high tides and rough surf battered the coastline. >> oh, my god. it's washing everything away. >> reporter: this morning, entire sections of atlantic
city, new jersey, are completely underwater. people who decided to ride out the storm were left stranded last night. the new jersey governor announced no rescue services until today. >> i cannot, in good conscience, send them into the dark, given all of the various hazards that would occur. >> reporter: new york city was hit by a 13-foot surge of sea water, flooding the newly-unveiled ground zero memorial, subway stations and tunnels. >> i'm a new yorker. i've never seen anything like this. >> reporter: in rockaway park, queens, emergency crews scrambled to rescue people in the path of a fire raging out of control. hundreds of patients at this hospital, including babies, had to be evacuated after a backup generator failed. the city closed all tunnels and bridges. subway and bus service had already been shut down. the stock exchange is closed again today, the first time weather has caused it to close for a second-consecutive day since the 1800s. sandy spawned snowstorms in west virginia and flooding as far
west as chicago. in ocean city, we're getting freezing rainfall on and off. and part of the downtown area is flooding, rob and paula. >> tahman, you are in ocean city. are people stranded? were they given evacuation orders? >> reporter: people were given evacuation orders. but a lot of people are stuck here. some of the streets are flooded. there's a main bridge that was shut down. so, the weather, it was very intense here. and a lot of people, really, with no place to go and just having to hunker down and stay here. >> all right. tahman bradley, in ocean city this morning. you're much warmer and drier than you were yesterday. >> thank god for small favors. right? >> reporter: a lot better. well, as the storm blows across the northeast, there's eight nuclear power plants in the storm's weather. oyster creek facility declared an alert after water rose to six feet above normal. the plant, the oldest in the country, was already offline for maintenance. and officials there say there is
no real danger. the philadelphia area also took a big hit with more than 400,000 people losing power there. and it could take more than a week to get all of that power fully restored. wow. not what they want to hear. heavy rain battered the city, as well as winds gusting as high as 70-mile-per-hour. philadelphia schools, municipal offices and mass transit will remain shut down at least through today. also, residents in one town in new jersey, who refused to evacuate, had to be carried to higher ground last night. the water in weehawken had gone as high as the second story in some homes. one boy said the water was at his neck and over his head before he was finally rescued. also, a woman was taken to safety in the make-believe coffin she had been using as a halloween decoration. a little bit of irony in that. >> just slightly. southern new england was battered by winds topping 80 miles per hour. this house near the famous kennedy compound in hyannisport, massachusetts, was destroyed monday afternoon. there was widespread flooding
and wind damage. officials in massachusetts say they are relieved that the state dodged a direct hit from sandy. and aside from all the rain and the high wind, sandy also proved to be quite a snowmaker, dumping up to three feet of snow in seven states, from the appalachians to the ohio valley. west virginia is now getting the worst of it with more than a foot falling yesterday alone. and some guys will do just about anything to catch a wave. surf's up. these guys got out their boards and wet suits and hats and, well, they went for it yesterday on lake erie. yes, the midwest. fresh water. the temperature, 56 degrees. the waves only grew later in the day. forecasters say some could rise 15 and 20 feet. make sure you stay with us. much more of the perfect storm, right after this.
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and the west coast is pitching in to help in the wake of sandy. members of the california air national guard's 129th rescue wing are heading east. their mission is to rescue stranded hurricane victims and deliver supplies to isolated communities. they will set up a staging area in south carolina. again, this impacted people from south carolina all the way north up to maine. >> when in tragedy, the nation comes together. we've seen that time and time again. and probably to the surprise of absolutely no one, sandy is dominating social media. plenty of great pictures on facebook and twitter. here's some that got our attention over the next few
hours. you know this place well. >> this is a carousel close to the brooklyn bridge. around the carousel there's a nice green area and a small, little beach. as you can see, it's all a beach now. and the horses are underwater, not as they should be. >> and one of the big problems here in new york and up and down the east coast, flooded streets. you see the streets turned into rivers. that storm surge so dangerous, is taking over the city. we were trying to figure out what this is. >> i think these are steps down to one of the subway stations. it's abstract art. >> leave it up to your individual interpretation. >> exactly. >> another example of flooded streets here. look to the side of that vehicle. that's an nypd van out there. you see how high that water really got. >> and this is not what the new york taxi cab situation should look like, submerged right there. >> a yellow cab, an icon of the city, those underwater. moving on to other news this
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next, the perfect storm. millions impacted overnight as sandy blankets cities with water. >> sandy's surge felt in the west airports try to return to normal after stranding thousands. mike has the latest. couple of weather headlines at home dense fog advisory this morning. i'll update youe coast is cleared. southern new england also took a pounding from the storm with winds reaching 80 miles per hour. a dramatic rescue off north carolina in the middle of the storm. 16 people had to abandon a replica british warship.
>> unfortunately, one of the ship's crew did not make it. and another is still missing. but the coast guard was able to bring the rest to safety. abc's matt gutman shows us. >> reporter: its final journey began last week, as it heads for its winter home in st. petersburg. "the majestic" made its debut in the 1962 film "mutiny on the bounty." and was ready for the swashbuckler "pirates of the caribbean." but before it left its home in connecticut, "the bounty" changed its course, abc news has learned. captain robin walbridge moved east, hoping to avoid the brunt of sandy. the captain facebooked his reasoning. saying, a ship is safer at sea than at port. but 20-plus-foot waves and gale-force winds caused it to lose power. the coast guard got the s.o.s. call around midnight. but it could take hours for a rescue. because of the heavy winds, it took nearly seven hours before
the coast guard chopper got to the scene. they found "the bounty's" crew, 100 miles offshore, bobbing like human corks. they were in this covered raft. you can see their faces peeking out. in 50-mile-per-hour winds, the fuel burning fast. the first coast guard diver is lowered down. with the pilot fighting to hold steady 30 feet above the water, rescue swimmer dan todd pulled each survivor into the water. >> i jumped in. i said, hey, i'm dan. i heard you need a ride. >> reporter: he towed them through the waves to the chopper. survivors were hoisted up one at a time. two sailors were still missing, including the captain. this chopper headed back to continue the search. maritime safety experts told us that cruise ships should be large enough to safely navigate the swells of a storm like sandy. but when a 7,500-ton cruise liner was battered by heavy storms, it sank, capsizing within sight of shore. matt gutman, elizabeth city, south carolina.