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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  January 26, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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s tomorrow in the low 60s. >> thanks for joining us here at 5:00. brian williams is next with storm coverage in new york city. >> good night, folks. on our broadcast tonight, breaking news as this potentially history making blizzard unleashes its fury. states of emergency include some major population centers. tonight, the order to shut down new york city as boston and parts of new england brace for up to three feet of snow as an entire region awaits near total paralysis. flight risk. a drone has crash landed on the white house lawn in the middle of the night as the secret service scrambles to conduct its own investigation. just think of the security questions this raises. and petty theft. controversy erupts over one of the biggest hit songs in years. "nightly news" begins now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams.
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good evening. the mayors of new york and boston say they are preparing for the worst. new york has ordered streets closed to traffic starting tonight while boston will get all the snow they can handle. and on parts of the atlantic coast this will feel just like a winter hurricane. blizzard warnings, not winter storm warnings but blizzard warnings, are posted in seven states. five different states have declared states of emergency. and parts of the entire region could be paralyzed for days. we have the entire region covered here tonight. we want to begin with nbc's anne thompson in new york where the evening rush really took place this morning as everyone went home. anne, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. it certainly did. the city that never sleeps is shutting down. new york is getting hit by this storm in waves. come take a look at manhattan's iconic fifth avenue. it is relatively empty as the city prepares for what could be a long and dangerous night.
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with alarming speeds the blizzard began blasting new york this afternoon. a storm that could be one for the record books. >> this will most likely be one of the largest blizzards in the history of new york city. >> reporter: the city's mayor declared a state of emergency. new york city streets were closed to all but emergency vehicles at 11:00 p.m. tonight. that's to make way for some 2,300 vehicles with plowing ability to hit those streets and clear the city's 6,000 miles of road. new york's subway and bus systems will also shut down at 11:00. 5 million people depend on them to get around each day. tonight, a mad scramble to get out of the city. this is penn station. in neighboring new jersey the warnings are up and 3,700 snowplows are ready to roll. public transit will grind to a halt in new jersey at 10:00 tonight with service suspended. this monstrous storm could drop up to two feet of snow and is
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expected to paralyze the region. >> this is going to be a lot of snow no matter how you add it up. and so we're going to be challenged, but we feel like we're prepared and we're ready. >> reporter: help is on the way. power crews from as far away as michigan are now moving east. back in new york city central park is closed. the last time that happened was hurricane sandy. officials don't want anyone to underestimate this storm. now, those broadway shows with performances tonight, they're all canceled. and officials throughout the region their advice is very short and sweet -- stay home and stay safe. brian. >> anne thompson on normally busy fifth avenue tonight. anne, thanks. miguel almaguer is up the coast in boston where from connecticut through rhode island, massachusetts, the cape and island, southern maine, they're all expected to get the real brunt of this storm. forecasts of up to three feet. hey, miguel, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening. with steady snow now falling in
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boston, public works facilities like this one are in overdrive. in this city alone 35,000 tons of salt are being used on treacherous roads, but despite what you see here there is no way to keep city streets safe. so tonight from the governor to city leaders they are asking the public, begging them, please stay home. it hit late this afternoon. steady snow blinding the northeast. the first punch of what's expected to be a knockout storm. in connecticut, a state of emergency and a travel ban. the roads shut down to the public starting at 9:00 p.m. >> we believe this will be a long duration cleanup. and i urge everyone to plan accordingly. >> reporter: help is on the way. power crews from as far as michigan are now moving east. still millions could lose electricity and heat from northern maine to atlantic city. in massachusetts, the factor family knows they could be in the dark any minute. >> the last time we lost power
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for a few days. and with kids you know you always worry about using the bathroom and the showers and the fleece the backyard. >> reporter: with this winter wallop building momentum, massachusetts has called in the national guard. schools ordered closed here the next two days as hospitals beef up staff. it's not just snow but wind and water that could cripple this region. cape cod is in the bull's-eye. storm surge as high as four feet. major coastal flooding, serious beach erosion and winds could gust to almost hurricane force. grocery store shelves are going empty. >> number two, please. >> number two? >> yeah. >> reporter: in boston, they're already low on milk and patience. >> just getting a parking space out in the parking lot is very bad. >> reporter: tonight, the northeast is bracing. this is just the beginning of what promises to get much worse. over the next 48 hours facilities like this one will be operating around the clock.
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they call this the backbone to keeping streets open for first responders. and we should note, brian, not far from here the national guard is standing at the ready. brian. >> miguel almaguer in the bay state tonight. miguel, thanks. the ripple effects of this storm being felt far and wide. that's because a third of the air traffic in this country passes through or around the new york area. right now we estimate nearly 7,000 flights have been canceled over the next three days. thousands more delayed, of course. it is a mess. and just tonight travelers were told not to expect new york laguardia for one, to open at all tomorrow. that's where we find nbc's tom costello tonight. hey, tom, good evening. >> reporter: hey, brian. can you imagine this? look at this. this is laguardia airport. it's essentially a ghost town tonight. 80 to 90% of flights in and around new york in boston and philly canceled. that's going to go to 100% later tonight into tomorrow. the airlines don't want their planes sitting on a ramp in a
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blizzard. so they're moving all those planes out now. for airports, airlines and their passengers, this monday has been all about getting ahead of the storm. 6,500 flights into and out of the northeast today and tomorrow canceled. on flight radar 24, air traffic over the northeast thinned out dramatically as the day progressed. in pittsburgh, michelle johnson was trying to get to boston. >> three re-scheduled canceled flights is difficult to wonder when you're going to get home in three feet of snow. >> reporter: the flights that did fly were mostly full. our flight into laguardia just a few minutes delayed, but it's likely to be one of the last into new york as the airlines proactively cancel flights into and out of the northeast. martha kramer is stuck in paris on business. not sure when she'll get back to new york. >> they don't know where the planes will be when the snow ends, so they're not sure about rebooking people. it's a little frustrating because i have to be in new york on business wednesday morning. >> reporter: tonight, the flight aware misery map shows delays
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and cancellations mounting from washington to philly, new york to boston. but spreading to other big hubs as well, atlanta and chicago. it may be wednesday before the nation's airlines even attempt to put all their planes back in the air. yeah, don't expect any flights at all tomorrow. late word on amtrak. it is now closing or suspending all operations in the northeast from new york to boston effective tomorrow. so amtrak also shutting down, brian. >> tom costello with an incredible scene there at laguardia airport here in new york. tom, thanks. in covering weather, we have learned terminology like superstorm, polar vortex. and with this storm there's a new one, bombogensis. al roker's out on the plaza to explain what that means and try to forecast this sprawling weather system. hey, al, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. bombogenesis, when you have rapid deepening of a storm, it explodes, if you will drops 24 millibars in 24 hours or less. that's what we're expecting with
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this storm as it makes its way up the coast. it is going to really intensify. so we have blizzard warnings for 29 million people from maine all the way to new jersey. and it's just going to get worse as this system makes its way up. you can see already on the radar we still have a lot of activity stretching from new jersey all the way into new england. and that's just going to continue. here's what we expect. through the afternoon, the evening hours, into tomorrow morning early this storm intensifies. snowfall amounts 2 to 4 inches per hour, thundersnow possible the winds are going to be a big problem, too. we're looking at wind gusts of 65 miles per hour, coastal flooding and beach erosion with seas 10 to 20 feet. now you look as we get into tomorrow afternoon for the boston area. again, those snowfall rates really intensify. thundersnow. and look at these wind gusts. up to 80 miles per hour. that's where we may see major coastal flooding, power outages possible, and these power outages could last for days. we're backing off perhaps the
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snowfall amounts here in new york city from 9 to 16 inches but with blowing snow still a big problem. but look on the cape and eastern half of massachusetts we're talking two feet or more, up to three feet of snow, brian. this is a really intensifying storm. we're going to start "wake up with al" on the weather channel at 4:00 a.m. "today" show at 7:00. we'll be streaming live this evening right into midnight and beyond. so we're going to keep you posted as this storm intensifies. >> all right, al, we'll take any reduction in accumulation numbers you can give us. al roker out on the plaza tonight. and we'll be watching the story of course, all evening long. we turn now to a headline that read to us today like it came right out of the cold war. the fbi says it has charged three men as russian spies who were operating here in the u.s. one of them worked at a russian bank in new york. he's under arrest. the other two are diplomats who have left this country. they are accused of passing sensitive economic information on to moscow. there's been a terrible
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accident involving american service members at a base used by nato overseas. a greek f-16 jet fighter crashed shortly after takeoff right into an area where other aircraft were parked. this happened at a base in southeast spain. at least ten people died here, most of them french nationals. several others were injured including as many as six americans. the f-16 is said to have suffered a sudden power loss. an incident at the white house is once again raising major concerns about security at a building that of course is supposed to be among the most secure on the planet. this time it was a small drone that breached the air space above and crashed right on to the white house grounds. nbc's kristen welker has our report. >> reporter: in the pre-dawn darkness secret service officers combed the white house grounds after this drone crashed into a tree on the south lawn at 3:00 a.m. this afternoon secret service officials said a man contacted them six hours after the crash and said the drone was his.
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law enforcement sources say the man told them he wanted to test the device in bad weather and lost control. >> president barack obama arrives. >> president obama and the first laider are traveling in india, but daughters malia, sasha and their grandmother are here. security experts say while this drone may not have posed a threat, another drone might. >> my concern is this is a new delivery system for a weapon. >> reporter: drones are increasingly sophisticated and affordable. just last week drug smugglers crashed one of the devices transporting meth from mexico to california. a year and a half ago german chancellor angela merkel got an unwelcomed surprise when a camera equipped drone landed near her feet at a campaign event. so what can the secret service do? >> i think something that would give them adequate warning would be a combination of radar and video analytics that could scan the sky 360 degrees around the secure compound.
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>> reporter: and the incident raises new questions about the secret service already under scrutiny after a series of security lapses including a man jumping over the fence and making it all the way inside the white house last september. house oversight chairman jason chaffetz says the agency is focused on drones. >> ever since the incident with the german chancellor it's been on their radar, but they've got to solve it. >> reporter: now, this drone was small, just two feet across. still, the incident has prompted renewed calls for stiffer federal regulations involving drone use. brian. >> as snow falls on the north lawn tonight, kristen welker, thanks. still ahead, late word of new developments in the case in the death of joan rivers. but first t survivors who lived to tell about the horrors of the holocaust and those who made it out of auschwitz alive only to make the emotional journey back today for the big anniversary.
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this past june we ventured back to normandy to mark the 70th anniversary of the d-day invasion. we went back with some of the veterans now in their 90s returning to those beaches, most of them for the last time. the d-day invasion of course marked the beginning of the end for the second world war. and now a number of anniversaries will follow including this one. 70 years ago this week the nazi death camp at auschwitz was liberated but not soon enough to save over a million jews who were murdered there. some of those who survived that place went back there today.
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and nbc's bill neely was there. >> reporter: suffering is etched on every face. 21 american survivors on the road back to auschwitz. they had outlived the gas chambers. at the count gate, they cry defiantly. >> i'm a victor. >> reporter: you're a victor. >> i'm a victor. i'm here. ♪ >> reporter: they were here as teenagers, back today as old men lost in memory. a-11832 is jack rosenthal, now a successful realtor. >> somebody told me nobody ever gets out alive from here. so to be here now 70 years later, i consider it an accomplishment to say the least. >> reporter: they survived a death camp like no other, site of the largest mass murder the world has ever seen. many of the jews who arrived here were gassed within an hour. 10,000 people every day at its
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height, a third of a million jews killed here in eight weeks. beneath the gates the promised "work makes you free" they stood proud. marcel marcel tuchman, now a new york doctor, still can't believe he's alive. >> i think of those whose voices have been silenced in the gas chambers and crematory. those people whose stories cannot be told, we have to tell their story. >> reporter: harry c orman is back here for the first time. >> i got tears in my eyes. >> reporter: he was selected to survive by a nazi thumbs up. >> if they would do like this, i would be gone. >> reporter: so many tears, and yet today at least a kind of victory. >> the first time around i didn't expect i would bring my son.
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>> reporter: a triumph of survival. bill neely, nbc news, auschwitz. >> we're back with more right after this.
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melissa rivers, daughter of joan rivers, today formally filed suit against the doctors at the clinic here in new york where her mother suffered fatal complications during a throat procedure. it alleges that a doctor took photos while she was sedated, that they waited 12 minutes to call 911 and left the room for a time at a critical juncture. the yorkville clinic has not responded to our request for comment. sam smith scored one of the recent biggest hits in years with his grammy-nominated song "stay with me" which has spent months near the top of the charts. but upon its release, some people especially those of a certain age, notice the chorus bears a similarity to another hit song released a quarter century ago. ♪ ♪ oh won't you stay with me
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because you're all i need ♪ ♪ ♪ well i won't back down no i won't back down ♪ >> we've done the homework there for you. and tonight smith confirms he has settled a copyright dispute with tom petty and jeff lynne, co-writers of "i won't back down." while smith acknowledges similarities between the two songs, he says he wasn't familiar with the earlier song and it was a complete coincidence, he says. petty and jeff lynne, of elo fame will now be listed as co-writers on the song and will receive royalties. a rare sight caught on camera as a single-engine plane came to a rest in the ocean after being lowered from the sky by a parachute. the pilot ran out of fuel off the coast of maui. coast guard recorded this video. the plane's manufacturer is cirrus and among private pilots they're known as a high performance, high-priced aircraft.
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but this sr-22 model does have a built-in parachute which we can thank in this case for the pilot being able to climb out of the cockpit in one piece. he was picked up by a passing holland america cruise ship. when we come back, the place where pandemonium rules, where normal people become unrecognizable with anxiety. the supermarket before a snowstorm.
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here in new york the mayor is warning everyone about the dangers of being out here on the streets. of course, a trip to the supermarket with a storm this big bearing down on the city takes on its own dangers. people, normal people, take on a rather desperate look. everyone's hunter/gatherer ambitions kick in along with some hoarding impulses. it can get rough out there, as harry smith found out today. >> reporter: no matter where we live, there's this thing we do when the really big one is about to hit. we storm the supermarket. >> i went to the store yesterday and it was totally mobbed. and people fighting for things. it was crazy. >> reporter: is it crazy or good planning? after all, we could be stuck in the house for days. >> we want to be ready because we're going to be bored. so we want some cooking projects.
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we bought some egg whites so we can make lemon meringue pie. and the kids picked out some bubble bath in case we get really bored. >> reporter: across the storm zone social media showed us pictures of long lines and empty shelves. it also showed us what people said were storm essentials, like cider and chips, ice cream and stout. what's the most important thing you have to have if you're going to hunker down during a snowstorm like this? >> well the beer is around the corner so -- >> reporter: so you're ready to go? >> i'm ready to go. although it seems like there's a raid on this. >> reporter: others at a fairway store in new york made more age-appropriate decisions. graham crackers, marshmallows. what's that? >> hershey's. >> reporter: hershey's, ready for s'mores. call it grocery therapy. the american way of feeling safe in the storm. harry smith, nbc news, new york. >> it can get wild out there. that is our broadcast for a monday night, with a reminder
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the heart of this storm strikes overnight into tomorrow. we'll be here for all of it. i'm brian williams in midtown manhattan. we'll look for you right back here tomorrow evening. good night. nbc bay area news starts now. >> heartbreaking. you know, it was unnecessary. and it's not the first time. >> right now at 6:00 two cars collide at high speeds on a south bay street ultimately taking the life of a jogger. big questions about whether this is all the result of an illegal street race. good evening and thanks for joining us. i'm janelle wang in for jessica aguirre. >> and i'm raj mathai. it was fast furious and deadly. those two cars crashed this afternoon, one car slamming into a woman. it happened on yerba buena road
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near edenwood road near silver creek road. both drivers are being questioned by police. robert handa is at the scene. what are the details? >> reporter: raj, here at the fatal crash scene, the vehicles as well as the drivers involved have all been taken away. as you can see, even in the darkness, the investigation is still going on here. now the horrific accident took place just after noon today here on yerba buena road near edenwood drive. as you can see from the view from the newschopper, police believe the driver of the silver bmw and the silver nissan altima were drag racing at high speed. neighbors describe the drivers as two young men who look dazed after the crash. >> two witnesses per witnesses were racing down and lost control of their cars and struck the pedestrian and killed her. >> so you're confirming it was a racing incident?

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