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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  August 26, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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>> jeff, got to go. >> all right, catch you later. >> thank you. we'll be watching all weekend. thank you and, everybody out there, be careful. be safe. call and check on your parents, the elderly, look out for your neighbor. and remember, in a storm, those that can see best are those that look out for those that are around them. i'm al sharpton, have a safe weekend. "hardball" starts right now. come on, irene, let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris jansing with this special edition of "hardball." leading off tonight, here comes hurricane irene. people living in the southeastern u.s. along the gulf coast, there is nothing unusual about bracing for hurricane in late august. but what is happening today is
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historic, it's extraordinary and frankly for a lot of folks, it's unfamiliar and scary. hurricane irene is bearing down on the entire east coast. all the way from north caroline why it maine with an incredible 65 million people in its path. rain and high winds have already begun to hit the carolinas, with that storm is expected to make land fall sometime early tomorrow morning. commuter transit systems in new york, new jersey and philadelphia are being shut down. with the enormous new york city subway system coming to halt beginning at noon tomorrow. a hurricane warning is issued for new york city, which is expected to get hit sunday morning. today, may mayor bloomberg ordered 270,000 people to evacuate from low-lying areas. that's the equivalent of evacuating the entire city of buffalo new york. and president obama cut short his vacation, urging people in the path of the storm to be prepared. >> i cannot stress this highly
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enough. if you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now. don't wait. don't delay. we all hope for the best but we have to be prepared for the worst. >> all right, let's get right to it. nbc meteorologist, jeff reineri, how is it looking now. >> the storm has overall shrank but it is still a storm stretching several hundred miles in its over all path here. let's take a look. computer models have not waivered. if this is your first time checking in in a while, you can see the entire atlantic seaboard, the consensus is, that everyone will be affected from the carolinas to the new england area. winds at 1100 miles an hour. still a very strong storm at the center where the hurricane force winds do stretch out 90 miles. that's why we have all these
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evacuations because this is a large storm when you look at the center wind field with those hurricane force winds. tropical storm band stretching out over 250 miles. you can see on the bottom edge down here, he were seeing it look a little bit ragged at this point. a bit of storm sheer breaking this apart. but right now the areas feeling it the most from myrtle beach up to wilmington. with winds sustained, gusting at 50 mile per our wind range. so it is just starting to begin here for the carolinas. but we know it'll be a long next 72 hours here with this storm. if you are also just tuning in and you watched this morning, let's say, now long island, also all of new jersey and right up into the capen colluding the massachusetts area, and the cape, now underler cane warning. so you need to be very closely monitoring this, if you do live along the coastline. you may ask, be asked to leave, with possibly mandatory
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evacuation. we notice weakening and it looks like it may go on shore tomorrow for the carolinas as category 1 storm at this point. a strong category 1 for tomorrow morning and then moving up into new york city, staying as category 1. we do think at this point as we head into sunday morning. so this storm system looks, by all accounts, like it is going to hold up for the new england area with those evacuations currently in place. >> i heard one forecaster say that this storm is something like the size of europe. is that an exaggeration? >> well, you know, i would need to take them and compare them on the maps. but we do know that it is probably spans 700 miles in its overall width. so if i do some projections back there, maybe i will let you know if i can put it on top and it would end up working out. >> 700 miles wide, is that what you said? >> in some cases it could be, if you take maybe from one of the outer bands to the other outer
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band, you know, that is a wide reaching storm. i mean, it's entirely possible. look at this, some of the outer fringes of this heading up into parts of the mid clantic. that's my guestimate right now. i think that's pretty close. >> wow, that's unbelievable. jeff, thank you so much. evacuation orders are on the shore regions of new jersey, coastsal areas of virginia beach, outer banks of norof nor carolina. the national ocean annic and atmospheric administration is tracking hurricane irene north. deputy administrator is with us by phone from the plane, welcome back. with you are with us in our 5:00 hour. tell us a little bit about what your experience has been like over the last couple of hours and what you're seeing.
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>> we have gone through the storm all the way from south to north one time. and are just about to make another cut through it, northwest to southeast. our first pass through the eye, we did observe the eye wall. it is less organized than it has been under earlier flights. viewers who know some meetology can see some evidence of that if they look carefully at satellite images. as you all have been reporting, reserved wind speeds in the forecast from the forecast center suggest the storm is a bit less intense than she was 24 hours ago but still, there is a tremendously large storm. we are in a 200 mile-an-hour airplane and it takes us an hour and a half to go across it. there are intense winds, damaging winds through that whole range. very large storm. it has to move a lot of water, bring a lot of wind and last a long time for areas in its path.
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there is still an awful lot of energy. there is great hazard and disrupgs to our coastal communities. >> i find it amazing we are even getting such a clear signal from you and able to talk to you so understandably while you are riding through the middle after hurricane, frankly. tell us about the equipment on board. tell us the reason for flying into this storm. >> i'm glad to do that. this is one of noaa's finest missions i think. the satellites give us a lot of information about hurricanes and about the general atmosphere -- but -- it gives us forecast accuracy that we need. we really have to have measurements from -- that's what we're go doing on this flight. we are making transitions through the storm.
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we have several radar systems that are helping us scan the vertical structure through the course of our mission today. we will drop about 40 instruments called droplins. these are probes that drop from our 11,000 foot altitude dorn through the storm. making a profile for us all the way down. the moisture in the air. the wind speed. factors that real oly are the evidence that they tell us what the energy is, of the storm is. we have other instruments we will draw up smaller numbers, perhaps half a dozen, that plunge right down through the storm and hit the water thp they deploy temperature near urmt on a string through several hundred meters of water depth. the really critical question is how much thermal energy is underneath this storm right now. there is no way to get that except to measure in the ocean itself and how much energy is still contained in this storm, what is the structure, how is it
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behaving. all of that evidence is critical both to the forecast, national hurricane sent that noaa's hurricane center is developing every three hours and importantly to our continuing efforts to get better and better as it gives us accurate forecasts. we are doing pretty dog gone good for forecasting the path of where the storm will be. but forecasting the intensity and when the intensity will change is one of the big hard problems that we haven't really knocked to the ground yet. so that's another important reason for this flight is to accumulate and advance the sign of ittic knowledge that will let us get that intensity information even better in years to come. >> and allows people to get prepared. katherine sullivan, thank you. take care up there. there are ten states of declared states of emergency. north carolina be virginia, mir
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land, delaware, new jersey, new york, connecticut, pennsylvania, massachusetts, and rhode island. all of those states in the path of this storm. again, you saw how big it is. joining me, lieutenant governor of north carolina, who is in charlotte forest tonight. tell us how things are looking tonight. how prepared are you and are the people who should have gotten out, gone? >> not everyone is gone, chris. our evacuation process is winding down. the storm is arriving. we are feeling the winds. the rain has hit. we are closing down the bridges. there are some that remain. those that remained, i hope they have listened to us about having a survival kit. three days of water, food and other supply peps flash light with new batteries. charger cell phones. we applaud those who helped with the evacuation process and those who helped coordinate that and cooperate with it. we got hundreds of thousands of people out.
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we think it was very successful. the good news is the storm is weakening but even with that, we already have over 5,000 people out of power in north carolina. and we are only experiencing the tropical storm winds and that is in areas that are not near where the eye of storm will hit. so even though it may be weakening, it is still a very, very serious storm and we do expect power outages. we expect a lot of flooding. so we ask the people that did remain, please hunker down and you know, be ready for a rough night. snrs. >> when you talk about the power outages and flooding and you look again at the size of the storm, it is just -- it's extraordinary even to look at. there. how wide and area are you concerned about tonight, that might be impacted in those ways, flooding power outages? >> i think the most -- well, the power outages and flooding most of what you are looking at would be east of i 95. but that involves 39 counties.
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so i think you would probably see, some power outages, some flooding there. i think that as far west as even raleigh, you may see some power outages because you will see some high winds. and you generally find that that happens. but the brunt of the storm will hit around cape city look out. that area is at risk for the flooding. highway 12 has a history of washing out during any big storm. i this i we might expect that this time. we hope the storm will continue to weaken but we do certainly expect some adverse consequences from it. >> and obviously a beautiful state but a lot of more rural areas. are there people who may be waiting three days, five days, a week or more to get help if they need it. >> that is possible. it happened with other storms. i will say that utilities companies coordinate with one another. the co-op rat ifs, duke power,
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progress energy, dominion, have all come together. they are sending crews so where there is an outage they will address it as promptly as they can and that is a very dangerous job. so certainly we think about them and we thank them for all of their efforts. >> thank you, walter dalton. good luck to everybody there in north carolina. >> thank you, chris. coming up next, we go the national hurricane center for the latest tracking on irene and a little later on, millions ever people about to experience their first hurricane, what you need to know wh it comes to irene's visit. you are watching a special edition of "hardball" only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] this...is the network --
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welcome back to "hardball." the national hurricane center covers many storms throughout the year but irene has the potential to effect 65 million americans. ed rap port is with the national hurricane center. ed, we have sat through our
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share of hurricanes. with the sheer size, number ever states, number of people affecteded, is there a historical presence for this. >> this is one of the bigger storms, especially for the northeast, given we haven't had a hurricane of any significance there in the last 20 years. so yes, a relatively large storm, maybe not as strong as other places but category 1, category 2 for north carolina, all the way up up the east coast to southern new england by sunday np. >> first people heard category 3, now here category 1 and think, not such a big deal. why are they wrong? >> it was never a 3 for the northeast, it is weakening faster than we thought as it approaches north carolina but it is still a big concern there. that's our first issue is getting it through north carolina where we are expecting a storm surge of four to eight feet. out in the outer banks.
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as well as those winds which could be close to 100 miles per hour. one of the big issues as we have set is how big the storm is and we could see hurricane force winds for as long as ten hours over eastern north carolina and the tropical storm force winds for 24 hours. that's a very long period of battering, expect there to be at least some minor damage, minor structural damage. a lot of trees in the northeast. a big mess. we just want people to be safe and ready to clean up that mess afterwards. >> let's talk a little bit about the potential damage it trees. you have a couple things going on. one in some areas, record or near record rainfall and obviously unlike you know, say the gulf coast or florida, where the palm trees are essentially designed by nature to let those hef ae hurricane winds go through them. that's not the case in the u.s., in the northeast, is it? so those trees, first of all have the weakened root system or saturated root system, then
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heavy winds coming through when they are full of leaves. >> that's right. of course one of the major concerns for the trees coming down is people's safety. with the large trees, large branchs coming down, there is concern and for people to be out of harm's way. well probably use power for an extended period for trees coming down. historically there are large falls of tree in the northeast with similar hurricanes. >> ed, let me read you a quote. maybe have you heard it already today. our old friend, former director, max mayfield, who said one of my worst nightmares is a hurricane going up the east coast. what is your fear as we watch over the next 24, 36 hours? >> i have similar concern. what we are lucky is that it is not major hurricane but it will go up the whole east coast. we will have people experience a hurricane that they probably haven't had in the last generation in some areas there.
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so there will be some damage as we said, structural damage. mostly north carolina. possibly structural damage north from there. we have spots all the way up the coast and from the west to center, there's a large potential for flooding from rainfall. we are talking about six to ten inches of rain. in the northeast where grounds are saturated, that's a particular problem. again, the winds were all around the center, within two to 300 miles of the center, the rainfall to the east and storm surge to the east. >> ed, unfortunately we always talk to you when something is bad is happening, but thanks so much. >> new york city, we think we are so tough here. but look the at front page of the newspaper. tar et new york. there is a run on flash lights and batteries and water.
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you go to the local store and for sure you can't find anything. because we've been hearing this. a storm as the big ease the city has seen. sounds like a disaster movie. what is the worst case scenario? you're watching a special edition of "hardball," only on msnbc. >> it's hard to believe when you look outside and see the sun, but it is in some senses the calm before the storm. you only have to look at weather maps to understand just how big this storm is. and how unique it is. and it is heading basically directly for us.
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well you come back to "hardball." take a look at manhattan, what it would look like if it flooded. the mayor ordering the
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evacuation of over 200,000 people. hospitals and nursing homes moving people it higher ground. lets let's talk to jim in lower manhattan near battery park. jim, that is problematic, right? >> yes, if you go back to 1960, a storm, hurricane donna, that went to our east actually, came in at the time of high tide. so water and waves it produced got to 11 feet. that's the big concern with this one and that's why the evacuation order, first time in new york's history, was ordered. what makes this so interesting is it has it start today and start in earnest. by tomorrow at noon with when everybody shuts down mass transit, another historic maneuver, it doesn't happen that off then, you have to go back it 9/11 when that happens. either way, some people that would use mass transit to get out of here would not be able to do that. have you literally thousands of people potentially trapped that
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didn't get out when they had a chance to. so everything that's been asked to do here has to go in a sequence or we will put people in harm's way. and should that storm surge come in at the time of high tide, 8 a.m. or 8 p.m. tomorrow here, that's going to bring that water up ten to possibly 11 feet and obviously flood this entire area behind me. look at this. just a gorgeous day. tons of people out here taking the ferry over to see the statue of liberty. ferries are still running. once winds get to 40 or 50 miles an hour, that will cease. trips to staten island and to the statue of liberty will wait. whether we get the surge or not, there is potential for tree damage and lots of flooding. >> jim, thank you so much. joining me now is christine quinn, thanks for being with us. >> of course. >> i listened to the the speech
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from the mayor. are you worried that tough new yorkers aren't taking this seriously? >> no, i think new yorkers are taking it very seriously. hurricanes of this magnitude are not shag something that happen every summer in new york. having people really understand particularly with the need to stop subways an busses, that they need to follow the mayor's direction and do t.o. do it quickly so that everyone who needs to mover to higher ground can mover it higher ground. >> i have to tell you, the logistics of this boggle the mind. they are heavily dependent on a public transportation system. what is your biggest concern right now. >> the biggest concern is that quarter million or so folks in the evacuation zone will wait until the last minute. what you want it avoid is having really long lines to get on busses or subways as we need to shut home to down. it takes about eight hours to shut the subway down.
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we don't want that to become backed up and really laborious process. we want people to move quickly today, tonight, tomorrow morning so there isn't a big rush come noon tomorrow. >> ways also thinking of 2003 when there was black out and a lot of people didn't have power for not a day or two, but three, five days, even longer than that. what is the projection or power outages? >> the power outage, you know, i think is really location by location. parts of the city like staten island where more of power comes from overhead, that's a bigger problem because of wind and possible tree damage. other parts of the city where they are not as reliant on overhead transmission are in a better position. but you certainly folks who have experience, power outages, from weather, because they have overhead power, they know this is going to be tough. we need them to be prepared. to have batteries. to have flash lights.
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to have enough food. to fill their bath tubs up, sinks up with water so they can be ready and we are in constant contact with utility and they will be out there as quick as they can as soon as the storm settle down. >> i've seen a run on flash lights in manhattan anyway. there is something that could happen coast to coast and internationally, which will ripple across the airline sector whab is happening there. >> airports will have to shut down because of this. part of the reason we wanted it get the information out as early as we could today, we are going in the last of august, labor day weekend. we want people to get in quickly or early to plan or replan their travel if they needed to do so. >> look, it is still a big tourist time. hard it walk through time square in new york city. what are you saying to people for the end of summer, have a trip planned to new york. >> if you're here now, you will have a good story to tell.
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you can tell all your friends back home that you went to new york and made it through irene. if you are a tourist and there are things wau tnt see, try to see them to neat an tomorrow morning. we don't want people walking around saturday night and sunday in the thick after storm. you just don't need folks, don't need folks out on the street. there may be debris flying about, things of that nature. so tourists, get it in tonight, get it in tomorrow morning and stay in your room. >> how much you want to bet somebody is printing up the shirts already, i survived hurricane irene. >> i have no doubt about that. it is an iningenious city. >> yeah be in china town. three for ten bucks. >> this flantic beach north carolina, in the storm, carry sanders is there. this is a special edition of "hardball" only on msnbc. while my sneezing and my itchy eyes took refuge from the dust in here and the pollen outside. but with 24-hour zyrtec®, i get prescription strength relief
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while the east coast braces for hurricane irene, fire crews in five western states are battling raging wildfires that have scorched almost 175,000 acres. on wall street, stocks rally to snap a four-week losing streak ann after ben bernanke deliver an upbeat assessment of american prospect. in detroit, prosecutors reveal the so-called underwear bomber admitted to having been trained equipped and sent on a mission no blow up an american airliners by al qaeda sfwhs a suspected drug related attack in northern mexico left at least 52 people dead. libya, rebel forces say scattered groups of fighters vow to the interim government once gadhafi is found.
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one of the last loyal strong hoemds holds of gadhafi's hometown. now back to our special edition of "hardball." welcome book to "hardball." mentioning the casino in mexico reminds me that the a california seenos in atlantic city don't close off then, so you know this is serious. it has gotten markedly worse since we spoke this afternoon, how you doing? >> chris, it is getting ugly here. we know the real full force of the hurricane is expected to be here around 10 a.m. tomorrow morning. whatter with looking at right now though is surf, really kicking up along with the rain and a breeze more than i would call it wind. as that surf kicked up over my shoulder be you can see the pier there and i wonder whether it'll be standing some time late
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afternoon tomorrow because of the sheer force of the wind ourt there, chris. >> do have you a sense of how heavy winds are right now? >> yeah, it's a breeze. not much. we've had some gusts at times here, you no he, where it may be kicked up to about 20 miles an hour or so but those were gusts. you know, this area mostly has followed the evacuation orders and people are gone. when the winds hit 5 '045 miles an hour, the bridge to the main planned is going to be shut off or it'll be shut off at 8:00 tonight anyway. either way, the bridge to the mainland will be shut off. that's why they were telling residents to get out. they don't want to deal with problems tomorrow for people who decided, oh, my god, i should have left. let me get out of here because the emergency management, the police, firemen, they don't want a 911 call and not be able to respond in the middle after hurricane. >> have you few people have covered as many storms as you have. you and i talked while i was in the comfort of the studio and
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you were out in the elements many, many times over the years. give us a sense of this storm as compared to other storms you've covered and what you're expecting? >> i think really what is happening here is that this storm is going to impact people who have no clue. they've never been through this and they are not sure what to do. so they tune into the radio and tune into television and they are watching on cable and they hear, governor after governor after governor say there a state of emergency and it kind of freaks people out. it kind of cares them. you know, healthy dose of like, having your eyes wide open, is useful. but practical information i think is what is needed most right now. so for instance, don't go out and get tape and start taping up your windows. that's completely useless. >> they told you here, didn't they, that i was going to do that. >> the number one cause of death in a hurricane is not from the wind or flying debris, it is drowning. you don't want to be in your base many because there is going to be some flooding associated with this. the storm surge and for folks
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who didn't pay much attention, as the storm moves in, as hurricane katrina moves in, it builds up the water. it is like a wall and it pushes it up. as it comes here, it'll hit up into the dunes here and depending on how big that wall is, it could be ten, 12 feet wp maybe more. it can slosh over the natural protection which is here by mother nature and that water rushes in. so folks who are a little bit further north and have basements should not think about riding out the hurricane in their basements. also in the new jersey area and a tre tremendous amount of rain, perhaps the wettest part of the united states, when the rain comes in, it is going to rush because it is not going to be absorbed by the soil. so there could be that sense after flash flood. you don't want to find that water coming down the street into your basement. perhaps the best thing to do, if you ride this out in your house, is to find an interior room in
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your house like, well maybe the bathroom. but find a load bearing wall. that is the one carrying a lot of weight of your house. there should be no windows. you are in there, it is uncomfortable, you have to rideout the hurricane but if you are in a place that is safe, chris sfwlz yeah. good advice. carry sanders who survived so many hurricanes. thank you, and take good care out there. >> let's listen to the president of the american red cross this morning. talking about how long it might take for teams to respond if there is some incredible disaster. >> we are anticipating that as i said, it was going to be a huge gee grayukun jigeyukun jigee gea and it could takes weeks or maybe months to respond to. >> here to talk about relief efforts is laura, vice president of public relations for the red cross.
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he when i heard that, weeks or months this morning, that made me sit up and take notice. give us a sense of exactly why she said that. >> i think the reason she said that is because we are dealing with an enormous geographical area and an's normous population base. and we are going to be in the response mode here for weeks and months just like you heard gale mcgovern say. it is going to be a long haul. i think people need to be ready for that. ready for short term impacts and they are already starting it feel like you just heard keri talking about but you also need to be ready for the fact that there's going to be a long kind of recovery for this storm as well. lets snz let's talk about the short term and what the red cross is doing. shelters, food, tell us what you are doing right mou. >> right now our priority is shelter and food. we have them in carolinas, virginia, all the way tlup
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maryland, delaware. we have them in new jersey, new york. well support the ones opening in city of new york as well. so we have a huge concentration of shelters. we know there is a lot of people evacuating. that's the main priority for people to go and have a safe haven tore them as they evacuate and leave. >> do have you reports? are people showing up especially in north carolina? >> yes we did. we had a significant population lift overnight. i think by tomorrow morning you will see a pretty significant population in the shelters overnight. the other thing we are doing while we are doing sheltering at the same time,er with recruiting thousands of volunteers to move to the east coast so we have a big movement of people happening to the east coast as well as response vehicles. we are moving about two thirds of our fleet of feeding vehicles to the east coast so we can be toward get out there in the neighborhoods after the storm passes with hot meals, and clean
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up supplies and things of that nature, once it is safe to did as that. >> this is a start of a long process for you folks at red cross. thank you. >> thank you. shelves have been literally emptied. this is a special edition of "hardball" only on msnbc.
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as irene is getting ready to make land fall, a lot of the east coast stores have their selves emptied by people hungering down for the storm. will people have all they need? joining me to talk about plerj ency preparedness is discovery
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channel host and preparedness expert, eton edwards. so yesterday, i good into home depot and people are shoving each other no get the four flash lights that are left. >> i saw that myself. it was amazing you told me to the get the frank one. and the guy said, do have you any more of the crank ones. and he laughed at me. >> they were gone, right? everything is gone. this is what people do. they generally wait until the last minute then they panic. we've got to grow out of that as a nation. we've got to take preparedness seriously. these things pop up that prove these disasters happen when you least expect it and have you to be ready to face it when they do. we have to stop it. but this is something that had 20 be done so i suppose people will react spontaneously to this enormous catastrophe we see pending. we have to do something, so let me go buy up everything in the store. >> at least they are doing something. at least they are paying attention. >> that's right.
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>> flash lights, water, what else? >> first aid. also what you want to do is have a seven-day supply of medication if you have problems with you know, certain things you may need if you have diabetes or asthma, things like that. you want to have your flash lights, you want to have your radio. hand cranked preferably again. if you don't have hand cranked radio then you have to have batteries. and i have issues with batteries because i remember in the 2003 black out, they are gouging people on the streets for batteries. so hand crank stuff is hot right now. >> you have to say, what can i live without? if i don't have power for three or five days, i don't have a landline and if what if my charger only plugs in. if you live under cite, a lot of people don't have cars, so you can't put it in your car charger. >> that's right. hand crank units for cell phones as well. i think people should investigate the different tapes they have. they have hand crank units that
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are lanterns you can plug your cell phone into an charge it. that is something else to consider. also, hand crank radios of multihand ban radios. sometimes, quite honestly, your cell phones don't work. if you rely on cell phone your principal source of information you, you might be disappointed when you can't get through on a lane. >> this is what to do as we don't have much time left to prepare. tell us after the fact, what not to do. >> what not to do. don't make hasty decisions. especially right after the disaster. what you want to do is make sure you have a way to reunify with your family, if you are separated. if you are broken up be have plans that are premade. what people need to do right now is take time and figure out what they plan to do after the disaster happens. to make sure if they have to leave their homes and have some place to go or something to communicate with to help them, or a list of resources that they may need, might have contact
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salvation army, their home may be destroyed, or can't get a hold of clothes. important documents, all this is packed up up in their go bag. all these decisions have to be made before the storm. not right after the storm. so people have more than what about, 30 hours to go. i think they should choose what they do wisely and make every minute count. >> all right, aton edwards. always great to talk to you my friend wp thank you. joining me now is one of the men who saw one of the worstler canes ever. the author of "karina's secrets, the storm after the storm." do g to see you. we should tell people, you published this book yourself. we are talking ten states under state of emergency, nine states which never get a hurricane, or very rarely get a hurricane, what do people need to know? >> well, they need to follow the directions, states.
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what do people need to know? >> they need to follow directions, number one. listen to your mayors, and governors, and emergency preparedness people and listen for directions. because what is going to happen next is you are going to get to the phase where the storm is going to pass, and there will be a damage assessment. once that is done, it will not be immediately safe to go outside. you may run out of food so you have to make sure hopefully you have had enough food and water to last you, and then once things cleared out people have to make a decision as to if they stay home or move to a different location. there are other challenges that will come up as the crisis unfolds. >> as you are watching this, this and other recent crisis, but this in particular, and as we mentioned, the president speaking, and every governor speaking, and big city mayors holding news conferences, and obviously we'll do the post after it happens, and are you
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seeing lessons that were learned from katrina that seem to be moving this in the right direction? >> absolutely. i see much more cooperation. we had partisan fighting going on, a republican president, and a democratic governor, and we had some of those things. i don't sense that right now. everybody seems to be cooperating. fema seems to be positioning lots of assets. the army and navy is involved. things seem to be better coordinated. this is the easier part of the challenge. once the storm passes, tensions go up, and more demands on the leaders come, and then you are going to see whether we can really work together, and whether they can work together to work through crisis that will come up almost minute by minute. one of the things we were lucky to avoid was the sewer backing up, and i don't know if the other cities or states have done this is to relieve the sewer
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lines. once the electricity goes out you cannot pump sewage like you did before. and there will be multiple problems that will show up and you have to be able to deal with them. >> you are the first person that i have heard say that, and it's not what i was hoping to hear. for katrina, this was indeed a test of leadership. it was a defining moment of president bush's presidency. could this also be a test of leadership for this president that could be a defining moment for him? >> i think it will be a test of leadership for not only the president, but the governors and mayors and this type of footprint where you impact all the people, and what will happen is you have combination for resources, where do the debris cleaning people go, or the
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electrical people go that will restore power lines. where do they go first? new york? north carolina? that will take incredible coordination. somebody is going to have to say no to maybe a very powerful person to make sure that resources are deployed equitably. >> spoken from a man that lived it. thank you, ray nagin. >> thank you so much. when we come back, we will go to maryland. [ grandma ] why do relationships matter? [ grandpa ] relationships are the basis of everything. [ grandma ] relationships are life... if you don't have that thing that fills your heart and your soul, you're missing that part of your life that just fulfills you. ♪ [ male announcer ] for us at humana, relationships matter too. the better we know you, the better we can help you choose the right medicare plan. that's why humana agents sit down with you to figure out your medicare options. and we have nurses you can call anytime, even at 3 a.m.
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we're back and just getting a new report from the associated press. i will just read it to you. it says irene is turning north-northeast with winds sustained at 100 miles per hour. conditions deteriorating. we're getting near irene making landfall. joining me to talk about the situation in maryland, tom costello, who is in ocean city. how things have changed since we talked about a few hours ago, tom? >> reporter: you can barely make out the surf because the sun is going down, and the surf has gone down. this is the day before the storm arrives, the calm before the storm, if you will. it has been a day of evacuation. this is normally one of the most popular places to be, the last week or so of august.
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200,000 people here in ocean city alone, not to mention further up into delaware and what have you. this is a very popular place if you live in virginia, delaware and maryland if you try to hit the shore. it's a ghost town. the police last night said that's it, everybody out. for the most part, they did. funny story, though, there had been surfers hiding behind the dunes and when the police go by the surfers run out and do as many quick trips as they can, and catch a couple waves and the cops come back and chase them off, and then the surfers go hide and come back out again. the game of cat and mouse has been kind of funny, and they can do that today but tomorrow is a different game, it will be rough and dangerous. i asked the city manager when the last time they had a evacuation on this scale, and it was 1985 for hurricane gloria. but hurricane gloria was a
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glancing blow. let's assume it's a hurricane 1. you are still looking at 85 to 100-mile-per-hour winds in an area -- this is a barrier island. you have literally nothing between the surf and the downtown. they are expecting considerable flooding. it could affect the waste water situation. and maybe bring down the electric grid to protect that. and so they are looking at in their view something they have not witnessed and maybe 30 years and maybe longer than that here in ocean city, maryland, on the delmarva pennsylvania, and beautiful to be in the summer but just not today. >> thank you, tom costello. we have ten states under emergency, most of them ull of people who never experienced a hurricane before. that's it for this special edition of "hardball." more updates on hurricane irene throughout the night and

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