tv NBC Nightly News NBC October 31, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
on the broadcast tonight, from the hard-hit new jersey shore, a truly striking new look at sandy's devastation, both from the air and from the beach. while on the ground at this hour, there are still drama s unfolding, some of them life-threatening as president obama gets a look at sandy's devastation. nightly news begins now. well, good evening, from the jersey shore, and again, if you include this entire region of several hundred miles, all of it
hard-hit by this storm named sandy, the hardest hit area continues to be the shoreline of new jersey, about 130 miles from north to south. we are just back from one of our first tours, and for those of you able to see us, the folks with power, especially in the eastern region of the united states, we have been using the phrase "redrawing the map of the jersey shore" to talk about the power of this storm. we were able to see that today, there are new inlets, new beaches where they didn't exist. there will have to be new tide tables because the water is coming inland where it didn't before, the destruction is everywhere you look, we're going to start tonight with lester holt who started his journey in the storm down in virginia, looking at where it is the worst. >> reporter: well, brian, when the storm happens, people are excited, shocked, maybe scared. now there is a sense of people looking at what they lost, what
they can do, where they can't go. the president looked at the situation, what can be easily fixed. >> reporter: first water, and now fire, blazing homes lighting up the pre-dawn sky over brick township, new jersey, gas leaks, a direct result of hurricane sandy, putting others at risk. two days later, the area is still reeling, especially along the shoreline. today, the president witnessed it firsthand, in a fly-over with jersey's governor, he saw miles of coastline, sea side communities now in ruins, some still under water. >> we are here for you, and we will not forget, we will follow up to make sure that you get all the help that you need until you rebuild. >> reporter: the president was not the only one assessing the damage today. all along the hard-hit coast,
locals ventured out in a bright morning sunrise to try to understand it all. >> i have lived here pretty much my whole life and i have never seen anything like this. >> reporter: everywhere, damaged homes and businesses, some barely standing, others, not at all. the barrier community of sea side heights is uninhabitable. >> all the area on the north end, the bottoms are washed away, the foundations gone. >> reporter: it seems nothing along the coast is where it should be, like boats on land. >> somebody said dad, your boat is sitting on the middle of the median. we saw it on facebook. >> reporter: that is beach sand here in this town's being plowed from streets like the aftermath of a december blizzard. it looks like an earthquake ripped up the paved walkway that sat above the beach. but it is not just the famous shoreline suffering, inland, and sayerville, emotions are raw. >> everything is ruined.
>> reporter: at least two million electric customers in new jersey are still in the dark, and where there is power, gas lines run long without power and too much damage to their house. lisa and rich rarico carry what they could as they leave their point pleasant beach neighborhood, maybe for a long time. how long do you expect to be out of your house? >> much of that. >> reporter: the new jersey coast has been beaten up by storms before, but never quite like from the punch that sandy delivered. you know it has almost been a parade of bad news or things you need to know about, brian, the governor has cancelled halloween, trick-or-treating for the kids, giving time to help in other ways. it is cold, very cold, no electricity, no heat, it is tough. >> and i'm watching your picture ne s in the report for the town of
mannesquan, lester holt with our over view of this tonight, thank you. these emergencies are still coming into us tonight, as well, across this vast region, including one happening in a densely packed, tightly inhabited urban area, just across the hudson river from new york city, in hoboken, new jersey, correspondent katy tur has been covering there for us all day, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian, for the first time since monday night people are able to leave their homes to get a good sense of what the damage is. but the water is still very high in a number of these areas, and they're not expecting it to be fully gone until at least tomorrow night. 20,000 people trapped, hoboken became a virtual island as 20,000 gallons of water overwhelmed the town. the national guard came in to help, delivering much needed
food and supplies to those still stranded. >> one thing we truly need is more feel. >> reporter: the hoboken mayor. >> we need more fuel, resources, so anybody who is listening to this in the city of hoboken or neighboring towns who can get to us, we ask you to come and deliver your supplies. >> reporter: as the length of this mixture of water, sewer, and oil turned into ponds, some got their first chance to assess the damage. how does it smell in there? >> i don't want to know. >> reporter: like pretty much every one else, this man got four feet of water, he has a home in monmouth beach. >> trying to stay strong for our family. we have two houses devastated. >> reporter: upstairs and inside for almost 72 hours, his wife, lisa, is trying to remain calm. >> monday night was probably the
most terrifying night of my life, hearing the transformers exploding, the car alarms dying. >> reporter: officials say it will take at least two days to pump out all of this water, a grim reality that this town of 50,000 is only now starting to understand. eight miles away in newark, they're without power. in an interview on thursday, booker urged residents to remain calm. >> we need neighbors helping neighbors tonight. >> reporter: as for john and lisa, they have only received reports from neighbors and the news is not good. now, we sent a crew down to the monmouth beach house, unfortunately, there is still pretty extensive damage. back in hoboken, there are four fires here, three areas closed because of all the flooding. >> well, katy, where you are in hoboken, where we are on the jersey shore, and for folks watching this it really is what
it feels like this this region tonight. another urban crisis is happening over in new york city. if you watch any cop shows at all, you have heard of bellevue, the hospital with the trauma center. when you're a reporter in new york, covering, god forbid, a cop shooting, they are taken there for the trauma center. more on the story from robert bazell. >> reporter: the evacuations from new york's premier hospital are continuing this evening at an orderly pace. even though the generators were working, the hospital administrators decided this morning they couldn't function because of the deteriorating conditions, including a lack of running water and elevators that didn't work. >> there is complete calm in the house and it didn't feel like an emergency situation, it felt like an urgent situation. >> reporter: some critical care patients were moved, today, the staff helped the rest, sending out the most critical patients
first. they were assisted by the new york national guard. prisoners were taken to the city's riker's island facility. many hospitals throughout the city are receiving patients. officials expect many more of these type of evacuations, as the power outage continues here in new york city, and in many other parts of the northeast. brian? >> robert bazell, bellevue hospital, speaking of new york city, new york city has now been cleaved into two cities, one half of it without power, the other half going on as if there is no crisis. nbc's ann thompson has the tale of two new yorks tonight, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian, i'm up at the rare bar and grill where there is power. and behind me you can see the bright lights of the island of manhattan and the famous skyline, but if you look over here you will see that more than a quarter million people are in
total darkness for the third straight night. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> reporter: in new york, have's and have not's are divided with power, those that have strips to share, and those that don't. there is the buzz of living in the dark, and with little mass transit. >> with five buses to get to downtown brooklyn, walked across the brooklyn bridge, i work there, i just wanted to see what was going on. >> this station had water filled half at the moment, but with more. >> reporter: with subways still under water, some took to two wheels. >> it is cut in half at 40th. >> reporter: most got in their cars and didn't get anywhere fast. we are at 62rd and 2rd avenue, the goal to go a couple of blocks, the first block took
several minutes. it is going to be a long ride. to ease the gridlock, mayor michael bloomberg announced new rules for driving into the four east side bridges. >> if you're coming into manhattan with one of the bridges you have to have three people in the car. >> reporter: in other areas, the situation is dire, after rescues in staten island, the rescue crews went house to house in still submerged neighborhood. >> all of these houses we're talking about a good, six, seven, eight, nine blocks inland before the water finally recedes over here. >> reporter: here, normal seems very far away, but it is slowly returning to parts of manhattan. the symbol of economic power, the new york stock exchange, reopened, running on a generator. and despite some criticism, the new york city marathon will go on sunday. it brought $340 million to the
city last year. >> the bottom line is new york city has lost a lot of revenue this past few days. we've lost a lot of economic activity and need to re-start really quickly for the good of our people. >> reporter: the mayor thinks that by sunday, by the time the runners take off that most of the power will be restored to the city. meanwhile, at new york university they had to relocate 6,000 students because the dorms are out of power and water. while there is progress here, brian, there are plenty of problems that remain. >> ann thompson on the perch above new york city that may show the tale of two cities better than any other, ann, thank you very much. and we have another striking view to show you from the air. this is a neighborhood also in new york city, in the borough of queens, and they have been asked to bear a lot. keep in mind this is home to a lot of police officers and firefighters. they lost a lot of residents on 9/11. after that they had a plane crash, and now the community of breezy point has lost over 100
homes to fire. somebody said this tiny couple of blocks area looked like dresden while the fires were burning, jumping from house to house, because they couldn't take fire trucks to the area because there was standing water. the extent of the damage is catastrophic, where block upon block neighbors are pledging to rebuild, what is usually a lovely, close neighborhood there in queens new york. when our broadcast continues, let's not forget this presidential election, mitt romney, back on the campaign trail in a key battleground state. but the big question tonight to a whole lot of people across a big area, will they be able to vote? questions?
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manasq . we're back, and as we mentioned we have got just six days to go until election day. and this is dicey for people in the meanwhile of a campaign also dealing with a crisis. while the president was here in new jersey today, governor romney had to get back out on the trail. he was campaigning in the critical battleground state, especially critical for him, of florida. peter alexander is with the romney campaign in jacksonville tonight. and peter, what is it like on the trail with this pre occupation going on? >> reporter: well brian, here tonight in the state of flood, it is all too familiar with the
devastation. mitt romney tempered his crimin criticism of president obama, and in fact encouraged his supporters to give what they could. this of course, came a day after selecting supplies at a storm relief event, his campaign hosted in ohio. still, as the cleanup gets closer to where you are in the northeast, governor romney is questioning the federal government's role in disaster relief, last year during a republican primary debate, he argued the state, even the private sector should take the lead in terms of delivering aid. today, romney put out a written statement reaffirming the belief, also vowing that fema would have the resources it needs. one more note, there are polls out and both campaigns say they are in the lead right now. the new polls, the president is clinging to a tight lead in the crucial battlegrounds of ohio,
florida, and virginia. >> all right, peter alexander in florida tonight. of course, it was all we were talking about until this storm that stretched over darn near half the country. our political director, chief white house correspondent chuck todd traveled with the president today in the skies over new jersey. back in atlanta tonight. and chuck it is a fair question on how everybody is going to get to vote. you take the polling close to our place here, there is sand in the streets. i can't imagine they will be ready with power back on. there is natural gas in the air, it still feels dangerous? >> reporter: right, look, they're not going to be ready, but that doesn't mean they won't put the election on. the burden is going to be on the voter in the precincts that are missing. they will go to the polling place. here is what officials tell us, some places in new jersey they will put up signs and say guess what? we have moved your polling place it is down the block, or a half mile this way. the burden will be on the voter. new york city announced they will put up tents next to certain old polling places
because they won't be able to get in, maybe because of power and water issues. if connecticut feels like they will have all their power and they will be able to put on. they only think they will be able to lose a few polling places. but brian, the bottom line, the burden is on the voter. the other aspect, counting these votes will take a very long time. >> yeah, talk about to get out the vote, the big question is where for a lot of folks, chuck todd, our coverage will continue right after this. p those in nee. when a twinge of back pain surprises him. morning starts in high spirits, but there's a growing pain in his lower back. as lines grow longer, his pain continues to linger. but after a long day of helping others, he gets some helpful advice. just two aleve have the strength to keep back pain away all day. today, jason chose aleve. just two pills for all day pain relief. try aleve d for strong, all day long sinus and headache relief.
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asmall business owner: questions seven means thousands of jobs... in baltimore and across maryland... anncr: and labor groups... construction worker: question seven lets us bring good jobs... back home. anncr: the teachers back it... teacher: millions of dollars will go to our schools... and not other states. anncr: and so do elected leaders of both parties... councilman john olszewski: new jobs and a stronger economy. endorsed by the naacp, police and firefighters small business owner: good jobs... teacher: and better schools construction worker: vote for question seven. shore, this whole region is so battered, it is hard to believe it was good news today that only 3,000 flights were cancelled. it was big news that la guardia will open tomorrow. it has been a lake for days. across this whole region, nothing seems quite right. as soon as you approach the jersey shore, it is clear something is not right. this line of cars on the highway
stretching for over a mile, it is just for gasoline. the most precious commodity on the shore these days, and people are willing to wait hours to fill up. point pleasant is on the northern end of the jersey shore, closer to new york. its prime beachfront real estate, some of which is now condemn condemned. in point pleasant beach, the white sand hotel has been in business for years. another mark is jenks, where the locals call it, where cindy klaus rode out the storm. >> we heard this huge noise, and within seconds the water level went from the first step up to the door knob. >> reporter: the power is still
out, but they're keeping things ali alive with one generator. this is really scary, the most famous penguins on the jersey shore. the beaches nearby have been transformed, and it is clear not everything here is from here. at his news conference yesterday in new jersey, governor chris christie mentioned all of his favorite shore sights having grown up on the jersey shore as a kid. one of the ones he mentioned was the fun town pier, sea side height, six miles up the beach. this sign is a part of the fun town pier, a necessary stop for any jersey shore summer vacation for generations of us. the damage is dramatic, far from the beach. inland, there is street flooding, trees ripped from the ground. jack and sharon kathcart who have lived here for a long time, spent the day drying their clothes. >> i said i want to go, she said she wanted to stay, i said i
have to stay if she does because she is my wife. >> reporter: but there were bright spots to see, like the one we saw as we passed by, bill mulens, who had a flag ceremony, and he feels lucky to be here. >> i always try to express it, what is it about the jersey shore? >> i don't think you can describe it, unless you live on the jersey shore, we're blessed to be on the ocean, a double edged sword, of course, but for all the good, absolutely worth the bad. >> reporter: those with roots here may have to put the roots deeper in the sand in the future. as we go to the break we'll show you some of the web information for those asking how to help, we'll come back with a final look around, right after this. this town to be destroyed. r to a little girl who lived through it, this is more than a teddy bear. it's a step towards normal.
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property, never more so than it is now. like a lot of folks around here they will have to reassess because of what the storm did. but this is very much a fred haberman brick of the place, this entire shoreline, as you have seen and heard, redirected. that is our forecast tonight, i'm brian williams, in point pleasant