tv NBC Nightly News NBC November 1, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
on our broadcast tonight, desperate days and it is actually getting worse in a lot of places. a new catastrophe just starting to come to light a full three days after hurricane sandy came to shore. and tonight, people are now reaching a boiling point over the basics, finding food and water, and waiting hours for gasoline. five days to go, closing arguments on the campaign trail and what cou be a deciding factor in this race. and making a difference tonight, all the heros, making a difference today in this crisis. nightly news begins now. good evening, tonight an entire region of the country remains in the grip of a crisis, large areas are paralyzed, people are suffering and the death toll is rising.
and patience is already running out because some of the areas of the civilized society are not working. put it this way, in new york city, people can't find gasoline, and some went to find food from dumpsters from the stores, because they have no power or water, and what the stores have is still good, although it needed to be thrown out. and since you're going to hear the memory of katrina invoked more and more in the coming days, like katrina, three days out, we're still learning about places receiving very little help and attention, like staten island. ann curry has more. >> reporter: brian, good evening to you, that is right, the outrage boiled over here in staten island, because more than three days after the hurricane
here, people from the close-knit community accused them of responding much slower here than to the richer parts of the city. >> every single person on this block lost everything. >> reporter: staten island has had enough. >> we just want everyone to know that we are hurting down here and we need help, immediately. >> reporter: residents here are asking why hasn't more help arrived? >> i think we're not getting more attention, because we are a working class neighborhood. and it is kind of like fend for yourself kind of thing. >> reporter: on the streets hit with debris, where the death toll has gone up to at least 19, today, the fury was seen live on television. >> but you need to come here and help us, we need help, please. staten island's borough president called it an absolute disgrace
>> they're nowhere to be found. so all the american red cross, all of these people making these big salaries, these big salaries, should be out there on the front line, i am disappointed. >> reporter: meanwhile, they're questioning the city's priority. >> the city is talking about getting water out of the battery tunnel, and preparing for a marathon. >> we're pulling bodies out of the water. you see the disconnect here? >> reporter: today, the new york police and fire department were still going house to house to account for everyone who did not follow the mandatory evacuation order. and you look me straight in the eye and say the response was not disproportionate, from the wealthier. >> absolutely not, there are fema task forces assigned here and helping with the searches. >> we are in the community talking to the residents that have been affected. and we're urging everybody to register with fema. >> i never planned to leave here, i thought i would stay here.
>> reporter: she didn't lose members of her family but did lose almost everything else. >> i want to go home, but there is no home, i can't go home, and it is killing me, i want to go home to my house. >> reporter: at 62 and a grandmother, she is trying to find traces of her life. >> this is the only wedding photograph of my mom. >> reporter: a moment of joy, as the water on staten island recedes amid the widespread desperation and grief. and adding to that, two children were found today, the bodies missing. they were ripped from their mother's arms during a hurricane we asked the mayor about the outrage here on staten island, waiting for his response, brian >> ann curry, for people not familiar with the city, you can see where ann is on top of 30 rockefeller plaza, and a lot of
people are re-thinking holding the new york city marathon, and we want to show you what it looks like as new york city struggles to get back on its feet, and back to work. traffic was backed up in the morning during rush hour, those without cars had to line up for public transportation for buses for a very long time this morning, just to get to work. during the evening rush hour tonight, our cameras captured a scene of chaos as the crowd of commuters tried to crowd into a subway station, up and running for the first time since the storm. we have seen it before, the line before the order and chaos in an urban area is often a moving target. frustration is really rising among people who just want gasoline. nbc's katy tur is live in new jersey at a gas station where demand has been heavy all evening.
katy, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, this is not a gas shortage but a power shortage, meaning stations either can't pump their gas or get supplies. here at the sonoco, they ran out about 4:00 this afternoon, that you -- is why you're seeing the cones here behind me 10,000 gallons gone here. before sunset they were coming in on fumes, or coming in empty snaked around block after block after block, hundreds of cars idled, inching towards to gas in fact, you needed a helicopter to see just how long the lines were. >> i mean, the line is going all the way around. >> reporter: from north of new jersey, south of philadelphia and east of long island, people were on the hunt for gas. as far west of pennsylvania >> two and a half hours. >> reporter: and in some areas, police were deployed to maintain order. those looking to fill up tanks or gas cans waited and waited.
>> in jersey, they don't have >> in jersey, they don't have t gas, working on a generator. >> reporter: in new york city, 50-70% of stations just were not able to sell fuel, no power, no pumping, in new jersey, that number climbed to 80%. before the hurricane hit, other refineries were forced to shut down, not working at full capacity. three of those refineries were up and running. one of them is shut down, one of them has power going so it should be a matter of time before they're operating at full capacity. >> reporter: today, the port of new york was opened to traffic, allowing barges to dock and unload, and fuel trucks arrived at the air base but it will take some days, still, patience is running out. along with the gas >> this guy just cut me, because i left a little space. i'm running out of gas, i don't know if i will make it >> reporter: they're rationing
it, ten gallons per customer, effective immediately. the next shipment is at midnight, the situation is so dire here in new jersey, that they have asked president obama for emergency fuel. >> katy tur in north jersey tonight, thank you, can you tell things are getting a little dicey in the most densely populated area in the united states? sensing that, the feds are talking about a military response to the storm, when we talk about the military response, heavy lift aircraft at the air force base, loading up with trucks from california to come to new york to get the lights back on. in new jersey, governor christie is going to house visiting crews from other states at an old military base, and three u.s. navy war ships are going to sit off the coast of new york and new jersey, feeding the overall effort. again, across a huge area, this storm's impact is staggering. across such a wide area, a cold,
dark night, food going bad, people can't buy gas, kids can't go to school, they can't go to work and many homes are ripped open. many businesses are still without power across 15 states, millions of people, from maine to michigan, all the way down to north carolina. let's not forget. cities and towns battered in between, in some places it could be weeks before the lights come back on. in northeast ohio, tens of thousands in and around cleveland could be without heat during the weekend. temperatures in the mid-30s at night. in connecticut, power crews are making their way through a tangled maze, in town after town, they are trying to fix ocean city's hard-hit beach front, and digging out in west virginia, as part of the state received under three feet of snow.
despite all of this, the presidential campaign is back on, of course, and the pace for both candidates is pretty frantic, five days to go. three days lost to the peter alexander has more from storm virginia. traveling with the romney campaign. >> reporter: brian, good evening to you, believe it or not we are less than 100 hours away from election day. there will be a rally here in virginia beach, he was joined by the man who is trying to unseat president obama, who tonight is campaigning out west. bounding down the steps of air force one in wisconsin, president obama today tried to make up for lost time with swing voters, returning to the campaign trail, adopting an inclusive tone. >> when disaster strikes, we see america at its best, there are no democrats or republicans during a storm, they are just fellow americans.
>> reporter: launching a frantic five-day battleground tour, mr. obama hammered his opponent as a candidate who can't be trusted. >> governor romney has been using all his talents as a salesman to dress up all these same policies that failed our country so badly. >> reporter: charging into virginia, mitt romney, who ñi softened his attack during the wake of superstorm sandy, had more to say. he re-focused squarely on his rival >> if president obama is reelected, you will see high levels of unemployment continue and stalled wage growth, if any at all. >> reporter: and mr. romney mocked mr. obama for this proposal he outlined earlier. >> i said i want to consolidate the government agencies, we should have one secretary of business, instead of nine different departments. >> we don't need the secretary of business to understand business. we need a president who understands business. and i do. >> reporter: this afternoon in richmond, mr. romney called on
supporters to give to the red cross but was interrupted by protesters. >> that is what caused this monster storm. >> reporter: at the center of the response to the storm, new york city's mayor michael bloomberg said that climate change contributed to the storm, and endorsed mr. obama as the best candidate to tackle the climate change, saying he could still inspire the hope he did four years ago, despite what mr. bloomberg called a disappointing four year term. and brian, there is still one significant event, tomorrow, the last monthly unemployment report, before the election. >> peter alexander, in virginia, thank you. with the romney campaign in virginia, thank you let's get an update on the other side of this, our chief political correspondent, chuck todd, so nice to see everybody getting along, as always. what does it come down to, for "team obama". >> reporter: well, i can tell
you, what it comes down to these days are the candidates' schedule, and this is what is telling you everything blood pressure, you would be forgiven to be thinking that you're looking at an airline's hub and spokes system has to change planes in ohio, the point is, he goes to ohio every single day between now and the election, while sprinkling in the battleground states. now let me show you this, where mitt romney is going, two stops in ohio over the next four days. but he also adds two stops in new hampshire, florida, virginia, ohio, if he swept all three, he would be four short, he needs a small state new hampshire seems to be the best state, here is why, the numbers, iowa, the small state, sticking with obama, he is up by six in the latest poll, wisconsin, paul ryan's home state, as part of the obama firewall, romney would like to get it, still trails by three points
look at new hampshire, while the president leads by two, new hampshire looks like the state that will go romney, romney's economic numbers are better than the president, and the president's job approval rating is less than better there. but i'll show you the crucial state ends up sitting here as ohio, if you look at these numbers here. in the road to 270, the missing ingredient is ohio, brian. >> all right, as we'll be discussing, something tells me, tuesday night, chuck todd at the board, as we continue along the way. why visitors to new york won't be able to visit one of the great icons, for quite a while. as our own richard engel found out earlier today.
back with more on this storm, nbc's richard engel got up above the city of new york in a police chopper today to see the damage and the challenge that now lies ahead. here now, some of that vantage point. >> reporter: from here, you can see the skyline, the iconic image. new york city, surrounded by water, and now partly under water. there are the pumps, you see the pumps. at the tip of manhattan, the south ferry subway station is simply out of commission. >> from where we are at the top of this water, the top of the flooding to the very bottom, how deep is this pool? >> i would say we have about 20 feet to get to the platform. >> reporter: there is a plan to get the water out. so you're sending a train that
also pumps water? into the under water tunnels? >> we'll bring it in, submerge it slightly, and we'll have a hose. and we'll begin sucking the water up this is the longest of its kind in america >> reporter: this now holds 40 million gallons of water that must be removed with care. >> some places we could probably pump out quicker but we don't want to collapse the tunnel, so we have to do it slowly so the pressure is equalized, so the tunnel doesn't collapse. >> reporter: even the dock has been washed away, the area renovated, and nearby ellis island is now closed until further notice. blame it on a freak storm or climate change or both. these are problems new york has never had before. some say they could be stopped from happening again by building seawalls, levees, or huge surge barriers. one professor, malcolm bowman.
>> if we had such things in place, there would have been no damage at all. >> reporter: others don't see that happening. >> i don't think there is a practical way to build barriers in the ocean. when you have an enormous harbor like we do. >> reporter: the questions and the cleanup continue. >> the perspective you get from up here is that this is going to take weeks, maybe months. >> this is not over yet by a long shot. >> reporter: richard engel, nbc news, new york. and we'll have more of richard's reporting and ann curry's reporting on "rock center," an hour devoted to the recovery of this storm. we'll take a break, when we come back, the army volunteers making a difference when lives are on the line.
this was a perfect beach front peninsula, to having a new inlet from the ocean to the bay. the homes that were there along that stretch of beach, now largely gone. tonight's "making a difference report" comes from a place we were at last night. point pleasant beach, people running to the aid of their neighbors. they were not professional rescuers, but you would never know it the way they made a difference. our report from tonight's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: first responders in point pleasant, raced to a 911 call, an elderly man needs to go to the hospital. this team of volunteer emts carefully get him on his way. but back at the station, the squad is in crisis mode. everyone here is a volunteer, among them a teacher, a funeral director, a retired air force pilot. and it is not just first aid. the emts and their families are
cooking, too. >> because our town is hurting, people need help. >> reporter: the food goes to residents, firemen and the police. >> it gives us the energy and the strength to carry on our jobs and move forward. >> reporter: this lady's husband, ron, runs the crew. she has been in this kitchen since sandy hit, even with a bad back. >> we appreciate it, thank you. >> call me. >> reporter: like most here, this family was hit hard by the storm. on the morning we met laura, she still had not seen her damaged house, too busy helping out her neighbors. >> because people who watch this in indiana, or ohio, right, and they will go what motivates her to be able to come in here and do what she is doing? >> i'm a giving person, that is how i am. don't let me get emotional, i can't get emotional. >> reporter: that afternoon, she and her husband finally made it to the house, four feet of water, debris, a thick layer of black mud everywhere. and still looking on the bright
side. >> god was good, that is for sure. because this could have been a lot worse. >> reporter: after a brief break to survey the damage, it is back to work. >> you're here to serve the community, so when you join, you didn't join for anything except to preserve it. >> reporter: a crisis like this is when they are needed the most. everyone here knows the work has only just begun. stephanie gosk, nbc news, point pleasant, new jersey. >> thanks to the good people and their first aid, when we come back we want to talk about how you can help some of the folks who need it after this storm.
hero that is going to be our broadcast on this busy thursday night. thank you for being here with us. a couple of reminders for those wishing to give, we have put together a list of resources and charities, all on our website, -- nbcnightlynews.com we'll let you know, the networks at nbc universal are joining forces to have a benefit concert for victims of superstorm sandy. including billy joel, john stewart, and others will come by, tomorrow, at 8:00, 7 central. for now, i'm brian williams, we hope to see you when we come
back tonight for "rock center," a full hour devoted to it. 10, 9-central, good night. community in mourning after a popular store owner gunned down. the latest on this investigation. >> i'm jodi hernandez in solano county where a vallejo couple finds evidence of possible ballot tampering. i'll have details straight ahead. >> an investigation prompts action, the connection to schools and the federal law. >> good evening. thanks for joining us. i'm raj mathai. >> it could be a case of ballot