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tv   Today  NBC  December 19, 2009 7:00am-9:00am EST

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days before christmas. custody fight. an american father's emotional plea in brazil to get his
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9-year-old son back in brazil. today is saturday, december 19th, 2009. >> announcer: from nbc news, this is "today" with lester holt and amy robach live from studio 1 a in rockefeller plaza. good morning and welcome to "today" on a saturday morning. i'm lester holt. >> i couldn't be happier to have no travel plans. i have a date with my couch and i'm looking forward to the storm. >> a lot of folks trying to hook up for the holidays and flights are delayed. washington, d.c. is getting hammered. that is going to be here in a few hours. >> the storm is historic for this time of year. it's turn for example north carolina and will be felt as north as southern new england. heavy snow for the washington,
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d.c. area which could get from one to two feet. tens of thousands of people lost power and major airports shut down on one of the busiest weekends of the year. the latest coming up in a few minutes. >> the storm couldn't come at a worst time for shoppers and retailers. millions hoping to hit the stores with six days until christmas. at least 20% of folks haven't even started their shopping even though lots of merchandise has been marked down. we will get an update. >> i am among the 20%. get out and do something about that today or otherwise you will go without a present tomorrow. a mystery surrounding the young mother in utah who disappeared almost two weeks ago. they are treating it as a criminal investigation and calling her husband a person of interest. we will talk with the missing woman's best friend about what she thinks may have happened. first the blizzard in the east. we have reporters staked out and
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where the storm is hadded. we will start with carrey sander who is traces the path of the storm as it made its way north. >> reporter: the four-letter word kids love to say. snow. this is predicted to be the biggest blizzard in almost a decade. in d.c. forecasters exec the mid-atlantic will see the heaviest. the part of the country is home to 50 million americans. in six americans will see this snowstorm. >> up the east coast, going to make a big difference, but major areas, new york city and boston could see significant snow approaching a foot, the closer to the coast you are. >> reporter: with south florida, the problem was not snow, but flooding. 14 inches of rain knocked out power and forced evacuations.
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a gust was so powerful at this gas station, a woman selling flowers was thrown across the pavement. she was hit hard in the head and taken to the hospital. mother nature will deliver a snow scene, but for how long? following the big dump, forecasters said there is another system coming, but it will be warmer. that means for hope for a white christmas may end up looking a lot more like this. nbc news, fort lauderdale. >> for a closer look let's head to roanoke, virginia where chris warren is this morning. good morning to you, chris. >> reporter: good morning to you too, jen. the govern nor declared a state of emergency. reports of the national guard helping motorists. you can see why. the snow is coming down and coming down like this varying in intensity from heavy and very heavy since yesterday. this is not scientific, but i
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have a ruler here. this is not a grassy field so there is not as much snow, but definitely a lot. this does tell the story. this is a ruler and goes down and continues to go down. at least a foot here. you think about this on the roads. we were seeing slow traffic yesterday as far south as north carolina, tennessee and continuing to see the snowfall here throughout much of virginia. road crews are doing what they can. they are clearing the roads and treating the roads and much of the state seeing snow and ice making it difficult. one of the problems also, you have the cars getting stranded and the plows can't get through. a lot of this is headed further north. >> chris, thank you. further north the weather channel's mike slidell has the latest from washington. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, jen. it's snowing since 9:00 last night. six inches here in northwest d.c.
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talk about satellite issues. driving in from dulles airport, a 45 empty drive took him three hours. this is wisconsin avenue and the storm is hitting on the weekend so schools are closed and a lot of businesses are closed. the december record snowfall is 12 inches. the seasonal average in washington is only 15. we will take care of that in one storm. this may be one snowstorm in washington the last in 1922. airlines have pulled out the planes and you won't get in and out today. the nfl is impacted. the ravens and bears game scheduled for 1:00 kickoff is scheduled for 4:15 so they can get the plows in and seats ovelled. the first thing people do when they hear storm, they go to the store and buy bread and milk. with 20 inches on the way, this is at least a five-loafer.
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how many sandwiches can you eat in two days? back to you. >> 12, mike. 12 sandwiches. thank you so much. we will turn now to bill for a look at the track the storm will take. good morning to you. >> good morning to you, jen. this is on schedule and block buster and in many cases historic. as mike mentioned, this is a once in a 50 year event in washington wash. let's talk about the watches and the warnings. cape cod and block island and out there on long island and outside of d.c. on the bay or the chesapeake, we are watching blizzard warnings. how much snow are we talking about? travel will be almost impossible. near white out conditions developing from roanoke through washington, d.c. into the philadelphia including baltimore. that's the worst daylight travel. that moved to new york city and overnight into southern new
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england. come sunday morning things will improve in a hurry. this is the totals. this is the storm studied for decades to come. d.c. possibly 15 to 24 inches. it could be a two-foot snow event. philadelphia and baltimore over a foot. boston right now about 10 inches of snow. we will send it down stairs and this will be to remember. >> you are spelling it out and for millions, this storm could not come at a worst time. no one needs a reminder this is the last weekend before christmas and usual one of the busiest travel weekends and a lot of travel facing major delays and cancellations. tom costello has more. >> reporter: with snow coming up and down, the holiday push is off to a rough start. from the carolinas to virginia, d.c., filly and up to new york, the challenge is to keep the traffic moving on the highways and the runways.
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at reagan national airport in washington, the exodus is on. >> i looked at the news late last night and it doesn't look pretty for this afternoon. so i'm glad to be here this morning. the line is kind of heavy, but hopefully we can get out of town. >> reporter: the airlines have canceled most saturday flights from richmond to washington, philadelphia to new york. aaa estimates 87.7 million americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home and that's supposed to be up nearly 4% over last year. >> the dominant mode of travel will be by automobile with 88% and just under 78 million americans will do so by car. >> reporter: paying an average of $2.58 up from $1.67 a year ago. ben and his step conchris are in place for the holidays. they chose to drive 24-hours from california rather than fly in. >> i have a lot of equipment to
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take out and the baggage fees add up. we enjoyed the drive. christopher is starting college next year & enjoy spending the time with him. >> reporter: a lost resorts offering deals to lure in the reluctant travelers. >> we want to take ski vacations and looking for an added value. >> reporter: hoping to avoid the travel nightmare when a massive snowstorm closed down denver international airport, stranding tens of thousands of people. the good news from washington, d.c.'s emergency operations center is we are still six days away from christmas. plenty of time to dig out. for today, tom costello, nbc news, washington. >> we will talk about what you need to know if your flight is canceled. we will have important advice from a travel expert coming up. >> thanks. from the weather to a last minute shopping stormer.
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that's what retailers are hoping for. at least 20% of shoppers have not started yet. today's weather is sure to have a big impact on the number. bertha is here with us this morning. black friday, the day after thanksgiving was the busiest shopping day of the year. $20 billion in retail sales. what are expectations? >> normally this is called super saturday, the last saturday before christmas and the expectation for for $15 billion worth of sales. today alone a lot of people trying to buy. the snowstorm is certainly casting a huge wrinkle. when you look at the department stores, macy's, wal-mart, target and all those stores, about a third are in the path of the storm. >> does the online indtr get help when there is a storm like this. people end up turning to ordering things online. >> this weekend is not a big
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weekend online. generally people don't order this late. everyone is looking for bargains. if you order this late you might have to pay big shipping to get it there quickly. two-day ship suggest costly. i was looking on line and even the department stores were saying if you buy a certain amount, we will throw in the free overnight shipping, but spend at least $100. >> what about procrastinators? are there discounts out there for them? >> it's interesting. that's what they expected. there is a survey out this week and they found that 64% of the surveyed thought they would see big discounts and they are seeing them. 56% of the people who have not gone out there and finished shopping are waiting to see discounts of 50 to 60%. they have gotten used to that. >> let'salk about the other
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perspective. are retailers going to keep stocks filled for people who will come out? >> it has been a big game of chicken. they say get out here early because we don't have a lot of inventory and what you want might be gone. i was going through the jcpenney flagship store and there were the 40% off d the stocks seem to be there. luxury stores have stocked less this season. 20% less. you will not see the blowouts you saw a year ago following the financial collapse at places like sacks and niemann marcus where things were 75% off. you won't see that. that's what the retailers are telling us. >> thursday night is christmas eve and you will see me running around. that is last minute. >> i am done and i have an appointment with wrapping gifts. >> always good information. here's lester. in copenhagen there is an agreent, but the un climate
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conference fell far short of what they were hoping for. as the senate gears up for a marathon weekend to get a health care bill passed before christmas. here's mike viquiera. that will be tough for them getting to the capital. let's talk about the climate conference. the president in a news conference with stirring talks, calling for meaningful change. they come away from the deal as they brokered the deal. how big of a deal is it? >> you are right. the president arrived about midnight on the dot. a snowy washington off his trip to copenhagen called it a meaningful breakthrough. a lot of people say it falls short. it monitors cuts, but sets no target for kurk green house gasses and that left a lot o people very disappointed. it was a contentious meeting all day. the president stayed four or
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five hours late, trying to broker a deal. he thought he was walking into a bilateral meeting only to find he was meeting with the indian program and the brazilian president and leader of south africa. they were told that awful those officials were at the airport and unable to meet. the president walked into the meeting and they tried to broker the meeting and took it to a larger group. more than 150 nations. they only voted to take note. a lukewarm reception by others at copenhagen. >> i wanto talk about this health care bill. the senate as important business. before you explain what they have to accomplish, could the snow disrupt the sessions? we are talking record snow in d.c. >> the streets are clear and d.c. is doing a good job. virginia and maryland doing somewhat of a good job as well. i don't think it will be a major
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problem. they scheduled the vote and i'm sure many of the senators slept in the hide away offices. they were clearing away the underbrush when they voted the break the filibuster that republicans had put up on the defense bill. simply because they wanted to delay consideration of the health care bill. they knocked it out, but the big question, lester, is there a deal with ben nelson and the moderate democrat of nebraska on abortion language? nelson wants to restrict the ability to get their coverage under the n plans to be provided with abortion services. marathon negotiations between the white house and harry reid the democratic leader. he has to come up with a bill today for them to even be able to start debate. >> mike viquiera in washington, thanks. >> now time for a check on the morning's other top stories. norah o'donnell is at the desk
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with that. >> good morning, everyone. we continue with the bank crisis around the country. federal regulators shut down seven more banks. two in california and the others in alabama, florida, michigan and illinois. 140 u.s. banks have closed brought down by the weakening economy. casey anthony faces the death penalty with her murdered daughter. the judge oerede will not block them from seeking the death penalty against casey anthony. the state's decision to seek the death penalty violated her constitutional rights. she is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her dauger, caylee. recalling a half million infant car seats are being recalled becausehe handle can come loose and at least three babies have been injured. the seats were sold under brand-news of eddie bauer,
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disney, safety 1st and cos co. contact the manufacturer at the number on the screen. pope joh paul is on the road to sainthood. the pope will declare him vend rabl. he will be expected to go through the 2nd step in canonization. a christmas display like no other. a rhode island man loves the "today" show and his display proves it. how cool is that. matter meredith and lester as one of the three kings. go, lester. look at al! al steals the show as baby jesus. wow! joseph said since al was so loveable, no question to him who should win the honor. that's what al looks like when
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he comes in in the morning. >> something moderately disturbing about that picture. it's all good. >> that's what lester looks like when he comes in. that's great. i love the beard. you can work on that. >> we are good with the crown thing. >> thank you very much. >> nbc meteorologist is back with another check of the forecast. a busy day for you. >> quite an event. it could be the storm of the winter for areas. here is the snowfall. an i-95 big storm for areas of boston and new york city now looking at new york city around a foot when this is said and done. a lot of blowing and drifting of snow. a big storm on one half of the country and the other half is doing well. that's the case today. a beautiful day around dallas. the big
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good morning. i'm meteorologist, tom kierein. we do have snow continuing across virginia, maryland, the district of columbia. snow totals anywhere from 5 to 8 to 9 inches. these are the total amounts we expect, the heaviest amount in prince george's, an arun dal, calvert and st. mary's. 12 to 20 around washington. that's your saturday more cast. jen? >> thank you. it's already scored a best picture nomination from the golden globes and critics think "avatar " could attract oscar as well. it's a sci-fi extravaganza from james cameron and the most expensive movie ever made. george lucas has more. >> you are not in kansas
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anymore. you are on pan dora. >> and the release of "avatar ". talks about how it will influence movie making in general. >> maybe the highest grossing movie of the decade. >> director james cameron doesn't feel guilt be spending all that money making avatar. >> we went in knowing it was going to be an expensive film. that's what he expects me to do. >> viewers raved about the special effects and the digital creatures. the movements and facial expressions mirror those of the human actors playing them. >> the effects on technology and how filmmakers use them. >> carrey knoles said it yields
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a lot from young males. >> it's one of the most tremendous science fiction films i have seen. >> movie-goers say the special effes e almost too good. >> i didn't leave the theater once. i was pretty disoriented. >> he gave us the blockbuster, titanic. the secret of the success of that film, teen girls attracted the by the love story who kept going to see titanic over and over. teen girls may not identify with the 10 foot tall aliens in avatar, but the blue beings expected to bring in a lot of box office green starting this weekend. for "today," george lewis, nbc news, los angeles. >> has tt titanic feel to it. not so much. still to come, the latest from utahn the disappearance of the young mother, susan powell.
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first this is
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still to come, a subject that makes people uncomfortable this time of year. how much do yo tip from the dog-walker to the mail carrier to the tv anchor. we will get advice to ease anxiety. >> wer you expecting a tip? the woman of the year. how michelle obama has taken washington and the story by storm. the first lady's style and substance after this. extravaga
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7:26 is your time. 28 degrees. you are looking at a live picture in virginia. looks like the road is partially cleared. do not be fooled. treacherous conditions out there. we have been hearing from our live team of reporters all morning long. it isust a mess out there. the snow crews have not been able to get to all the rhodes. now, this is a live picture out of maryland. it looks like the beltway at american legion bridge. there are several cars out there this morning. we were surprised to see as many people out there in this weather, especially after all
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the warnings. now, we want to take a live look at tysons corner. you can see, the roads are covered with snow. the crews are saying, stay home. not only because it is so dangerous to drive. snow crews and the plows and the salt trucks need space and time to get the roads treated. if you are out there in the traffic, it makes it harder for them to do their job. good morning, everyone, i'm eun yang. it is december 19th, saturday, a day wel will not forget. >> so far, there is snowpocopolypse and the shopping stopping of 2009. both aptly named. it is going to be an anything
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stopper today, no doubt about it. winter storm warnings are up all day and all night tonight. there is a blizzard warning due to the enhanced wind factor for portions of the person side of annapolis through prince george's county. california, maryland, got a weather report there. 10 inches of snow in california and maryland. 10 inches of snow in brian's road maryland. everyone is going to end up wh a ton of snow. my colleague, tom kierein is in storm center 4 with a check of the radar. >> this snow continues to come down at a light rate around washington. earlier, it was heavy snow. we are getting a little bit of sleet in washington and freezing rain in far southern maryland. that's good news. that's going o keep the totals down a little bit. we look at the radar. we continue to see a lot of snow across most of virginia. west virginia, maryland, and the district. where you see the pinks, where we are seeing a little bit of sleet and freezing rain, parts of the northern neck of
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virginia, getting rain along the bay and southeastern virginia. some warmer areas mixing in. we still have the cold air in place that's locked in. as a result, this is all snow. charlottesville, this area has had a lot of snow. ght around in here, it has had almost 10 inches of snow. right around washington, we have had not quite so much. the rate of the snowfall, half mile visibility is 1 inch per hour. in annapolis and parts of prince george's county. where it changes over to rain, visibilities have improved, pax river, a six mile visible. farther to our west and north, visibility to a half mile to a mile. an inch to half an inch an hour snowfall rates there. temperatures arod the region are in the 20s. near the bay, a little bit warmer. snow totals perhaps down a little bit there where they get
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sleet and rain mixing in. the winds have been whipping up. they are in the teens. pax river in southern maryland, they just had a gust of 36. last hour, a gust of 40 miles an hour. gust at camp springs and prince george's county. a gust of 30 miles an hour here in washington. that's blowing and drifting snow. it's light and fluffy snow. this is going to easily drift right back over again as we get through the rest of the morning and into the afternoon. here are some of the totals coming in from weather watchers and observers. 5 to 6 inches on the ground nearby washington. waldorf and southern maryland, up to 10 inches. annapolis, 8 inches. sho charlottesville, 12 inches. what will happen next, chuck? it is a forecast filled with snowflakes all day long today. there may be a little bit of
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freezing rain or rain mixing in in extreme southern maryland and down on to the lower parts of the eastern shore. all aroundtown, all snow, all the time today. temperatures holding below freezing. heavy snow blowing and drifting. on average, areawide, at least 12 to in some spots, as much as 24 inches of snow. who is going to get 24 inches? most likely, somebody in an arundel, eastern prince george's, northern charles or northwestern calvert county, the bull's eye across extreme southern st. mary's county with sleet or rain mixing in, that will cut back on the totals. 10 to 18 inches in the far western suburbs to 12 to 20 inches of snow right in and around the city of washington. that will be the shopping stopper of 2009. >> indeed, chuck. thank you. we will take a break and be back with a live report out of tysons corner. stay with us.
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a lovely picture of the white house. don't let the pictures fool you. treacherous conditions out there. live to tysons corner with julie carey. good morning. >> reporter: well, already 6 to
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10 inches in northern virginia. with this wind blowing and the snow constantly falling, check out some of these driftses already. i am out in tysons corner off route 123, already up to my knees in some of these spots. i walked through that originally about 10, 15 minutes ago. it almost drifted over before i went back through it right here. look at 123. one of the rhodes that's seeing a little bit of traffic here this morning. either with traffic, it is still completely snow-covered, hard-pressed to find the tire cracks out there. you see that guy right across the way, a little trouble. he came to a stop and isn't going anywhere. down at the light, another car is held up. looks like he will make the turn. very trecherous conditions. northern virginia, moderate to bad conditions. nonetheless, they are trying to keep up with the snow the best they can. they are up to now some 1700 plows and trucks out on northern
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virginia's rdways in prince william, fairfax and loudoun countys. they pretreated everything in hopes of making sure it didn't get too slick underneath. they are plowing on the major roads and interstates. everything is in bad condition. with this weather, the bus is making it through. nobody on board. all the jurisdictions have canceled all the activity today. the libraries are closed. no place to go. best advice, stay home. >> julie carey in tysons corner. we are going to karen leblanc, who joins us on the phone from the d.c. department of transportation. karen, good morning. >> i'm well, thanks. can you tell us about what's happening on the roadways now, the cleanup effort?
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a snow emergency is in effect in d.c. tell us about what that ans for people on the rhodoads and especially parking. [ inaudible ]. >> is that what's happening now? are the snowplows out on the major thoroughfares trying to plow the snow out of the way? the snow keeps falling. it is hard for the trucks to
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keep up. [ inaudible ] . >>aren, we know it is hard to even think about secondary rhodes when you still have to clear the major thouroughfares. any idea when they may get back to the roadways for people that have to head back to work on monday? [ inaudible ] .
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>> karen, thanks so much. absolutely, remember about the freezing over and the icy conditions. thanks for joining us, karen leblanc from ddot, stay safe and warm. this morning, we have seen a lot of traffic. i shouldn't say a lot but a lot for a snowy day like this. let's check in with ashley linder to see what the roads look like out there. good morning to you.
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>> good morning, eun. you are absolutely right. i was shocked in seeing the amount of volume i saw on the roadways when i was coming into work. we still have a steady clip of people out there. let's take a look at springfield. pace, not too bad here. t the roads are definitely covered. you have several accidents peppered all around. one at stafford. that's along the right side. 123, pretty much, you know, just a steady stream of accidents as you continue up the corridor and down it as well. the road conditions are nasty. as you travel sth of carmel, church on 95, pretty much down to kings dominion, 95 at a stand still. we have 301 shut down between 649 and 95 in virginia. reports of several vehicles, about four dozen vehicles stuck in various locations along that stretch of roadway. some of them sitting there since 8:00 p.m. last night. taking the trip over into maryland, this is the capital beltway view at river road, pace
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not too bad but definitely, do not go out if you don't have to. these people are going extra slow. 35 miles per hour is speeding at this point in time if you are traveling around the capital beltway. we did have an earlier major accident. that involved a jackknifed travel trailer. a very slow and steady pace around the area. out of maryland, 50, headed eastbound as you approach south river. we have reports of about three disabled tractor-trailers that capital make it up the hill. 50 eastbound is shut down at the south river bridge. eun, back to you. >> ashley, we are understanding that some people who decided to try to brave this storm and get out there on the rhodes are abonn doning the abandoning their cars. >> they are spinning out and having no place to go and getting out of their vehicles and leaving them there. now, you have to worry about disabled or abandoned vehicles in the roadway in addition to the snow-covered roads you have
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already to deal with. >> that makes it tough. what about the most traffic? it looks like that most traffic is in virginia? >> yes. the beltway has definitely had a steady rate of people headed out to the malls surprisingly. people definitely got to get that christmas shopping done, i suppose. it is really not worth the risk at this point in time. you want to stay off the roadways. let road crews treat everything. a lot of people are getting stuck behind convoys an thinking the best option is to speed up and get around them. that's not the case. they are in a staggered type of pattern to clear t roadways as effectively as possible. it is starting to get pretty messy out there. don't go out if you don't have to. that's the big thing around the area. >> esththat's the all-important message. ashley linder, thanks so much. chuck, we were saying the shopper stopper of 2009. i guess some people still want to get out there. >> the time to have shopped
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unfortunately was yesterday. it is not going to get better. the snowfall rates have eased a touch. that's still, you know, more snow than we were accustomed to getting for the last several years. the last time we hadnything even come partible to this was the president's day storm of 2003. >> i remember that one. >> that's been nearly six years since we have had anything like this. as a result, a lot of people have fallen out of practice. a large differences between a 3, 4, 5-inch snow. a lot of folks are going to get more than that. winter storm warnings up. because of the enhancement of the wind along the west side of the chesapeake bay, the weather service has upgraded to blizzard for prince and an arundel and calver and after 6:00 p.m., the snow will not be over. the winds will ease up just
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enough where we won't need to continue with the blizzard warning. a lot of snow out there. no doubt about it. a little easing up now south and east of the richmond area. mixing in with freezing rain and sleet. all snow from i-95 to points north and west. my colleague, tom kierein, is back in the storm center 4, tracking the latest. coming up with snow totals. what have you been discovering here over the last 15 or 20 minutes? >> a full network of observers and weather watchers. we do appreciate your reports. keep them coming in. as we take a look at some of the current conditions with the snow that tips continues to fall. let us know the rate of the snow. 1.3 miles visibility at washington. when you get down to .5 mile visibility, so it is 1.5 to 2
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inches in charlottesville. this is another bull's eye for some heavy snows. in southern maryland, visibilities have improved. it has changed over to rain and freezing rain. farther west and north of washington, the visibilities are about a mile. not as bad as it has been earlier this morning. the temperatures around the region are all in the 20s. whatever is falling is sticking, except far southern maryland or right near the bay. the temperatures are right near the freezing mark. they are getting freezing range. windchills are just in the teens. latest wind gusts, 30 to 40 miles an hour near the chesapeake bays. that coastal low pressure is getting closer to us. these are some of the reports. no totals in. weather watchers reporting, 5, 6, 7 inches around washington.
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>> chuck, how is it looking as we go forward? >> we appreciate everybody calling in their snow totals and sending in their pictures, nbcwashington.com. or send to me, chuck.bell chuck.bell@nbc.com. as far as potential, heavy snow continuing through the rest of the day. on average, 12 to 24 inches. a big range. here is the breakdown. out into the shenandoah valley, charlottesville, in the 20-inch rain. metro washington, at least 12 inches of snow. 12 inches of snow will make it the biggest december snow event on record at national airport. the all-time record was set 77 years ago at 11.5 inches. the snowiest december ever for the whole month is 16.2 inches. that was setback in 1962. we may, in some spots, end up
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with more than that just from this one storm. >> real record-breaking. >> it is a snowpocolypse. stay with news 4 for continuing coverage. we will have the latest on accumulation, road conditions, traffic, everything you need to know. we will be back in ten minutes with another update. for now, back to the "today" show.
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>> are not since jackie kennedy has a first lady made such an impression on washington and the world. it's quite a year for michelle obama. norah o'donnell is here with more. >> you know the saying behind every great man is a great woman. michelle obama is not just the president's wife and number one supporter, but is crafting a and agenda for the history books. as 2009 comes to a close, it's clear that first lady michelle obama made her ma. >> i can get an amen on that. >> fillings from mom in chief to messenger in chief. >> this legislation is an important step. >> even model in chief.
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become the country's favorite cover girl and fashion icon. >> first lady michelle obama was photographed wearing clothes from j crew. the store has been suggest out of the cloaks she was seen wearing. if someone could get her to drive a chrysler. >> her fashion sense added to popularity. >> people find her style accessible. if you go from the gap to a coture gown, we would not buy the gown, but we can go to the gap. >> she went sleeveless for a formal address to congress. she exercised the right to bare arms in her white house portrait. her style stole the show overseas. >> to paraphrase one of my predecessors, i am proud tbe the man who brought michelle obama to prague. >> she made headlines with the queen of england. a visit with a group of school
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girls. clearly struck a cord. >> you are precious and you touch my heart. >> her first year has not just been about fashion and fancy photo opes, she paired up with jill biden to focus on mil families. >> now we have a chance. >> hosted a mentoring program for girls at the white house. >> her mentor in chief. >> used the new garden to plan the seed about healthyealthy ea. >> this is a sweet potato. >> on health care she focused on struggles facing women. >> the current situation is unacceptable. >> the only misste, a failed olympic bid for her hometown after a personal appeal. >> i'm asking you to choose chicago. >> an embarrassment for the east wing after a set of party crashers put a damper on an otherwise perfect first date dinner. michelle obama remains very
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popular, much more so than her husband. i'm hearing from advisors she will play a greater role in pushing her husband's top policy goals. we will see michelle obama continue to expand a goal. >> she had a heck of a first year. >> she has. >> the latest on the powerfu winter storm hitting the eastern part of the country hardment
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still to come as an american dad tries to bring his 9-year-old son back from brazil. a most unusual family in which all three children in the family share something that and happens to be a birthday. first these messages.
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wife: what are you doing? what is that? what is this? guy: it's a special paste i invented to replace socks. we're dipping our feet in it. wife: why? guy: because we can't find socks that shape to our feet. we're sick of it! son: sick of it! wife: that's really stupid. guy: that's the future. announcer: hanes makes better-fitting socks the whole family will love. guaranteed, or your money ck. itget our lowest prices of the" season! amazing doorbuster deals! late friday...and...all day saturday! we've got moof this year's hottest toys! plus, save big on 50 of the top board games! toys r us. where kids are a big deal. ™ he said he wanted a pcith easier wireless connections. so windows and hp said, "we'll build it and fly you from berlin to california to approve it." narrator: tom, time to try out the hp dm3 with windows 7.
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narrator: translation: approved. tom: i'm a pc and the easier wireless connection... was my idea.
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you are looking at a live picture. 7:56. maryland. stay inside today. it is too dangerous to drive. road crews are trying to get their work done today. we are bringing you live coverage from news 44. good morning, i'm eun yang. saturday, december 19th, i day we will not forget for some time. we will start with chuck and it looks like the snow keeps
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falling and we are getting more and more accumulation on the ground. keeps on coming down. no doubt about it. it is going to snow all day long today. snowfall amounts, on average, about 6 to 7 inches around town already on the grown. reports towards leesburg and ashburn, 7, 8, 9 inches. annapolis, nearing in on 10 inches. multiple reports of 10 inches or more. parts of charles an st. mary's county as well. be ready for a lot in the way of snow. we are having great names and pictures being sent in. we are working on the pictures. we have had the shopping stopper. the december dump. that was a good one much the grinch blizzard. the storm before christmas. another good one there. the 20-inch pinch and another nearing the top of the list know snowzilla. also, big bertha. if you would like to submit
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pictures, send them to me, chuck.bell at nbc.com or nbcwashington.com. team kierein is in the storm center and will be following the latest with the amounts and totals. tom, are you there? >> he is still plotting the numbers on the maps. e-mails are streaming in. it will help us tell the story better and give everybody a shoutout for the great pictures they are taking and the snowfall amounts they are recording and the names they are sending in. it is not meant to get out on the road and enjoy it. plenty of ways to get out of the house and enjoy the snow. getting on an old cardboard box and sliding down the hill. get the kids out. you were you can taing about this earlier as well. also, a very heavy snow for shoveling. if you need to shovel, remember to push the snow. you don't want to do the old dig and throw it over your shoulder. that's going to cause trouble. warm up your muscles and stretch.
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shoveling snow is a very strenuous exercise. many, many people die every year from heart attacks caused by the stress. you need to stretch and warm up, get yourself ready to go outside. take it slow. lift with your knee, not with your back. all the usual suspects. yocan see out there, you need to leave the roads to the road crews to try and clean things up. a lot of people think, i have to do this today or i have to do that today. there is very little you have to do today. if it's a medical emergency or something like that, call for the emergency officials and let them come to you rather than let everybody get out there on the roads. be extra careful. stay at home and enjoy the snow. >> will do, chuck. speaking of the rhodes, ashley linder is standing by in the "news 4 traffic network." ashley, good morning to you. good morning, eun, certainly a pretty busy morning as far as traffic is concerned. we surprisingly do have a great deal of people still on the roadways at this point in time. on the inner loop of the
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beltway, we have a disabled tractor-trailer. tractor-trailer traffic is definitely going to be a big issue around the area. that's because they have got to be on the roadways. we have a lot of tractor-trailer traffic. a lot of them are spinning out, not making it up the hills. volume, not a huge factor at this point. people are going extra slow and taking it extra cautiously. eastbound route 50 out of maryland is going to be shout down as you approach the south river bridge. we are hearing upwards of 4 as you make your way up the hill. they are stuck. 50 will be shut down there. elsewhere, as you travel the 95 corridor out of springfield, we do have issues. a peppering of accidents. you name it. a couple of accidents there. they are all along the sides of the roadway. that doesn't matter at this point in time. you can't really see where the sides of the roadway are.
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as you can see here, you cannot see the lines on the roadway. that is a huge factor. it is particularly nasty if you are taking the beltway traveling through tie sons. they have reformmatted it so the far left lanes are riding up next to the jersey wall. avoid the roadways at all costs. >> going back to the abandoned tractor-trailer, is that taking up a couple lanes of traffic? do you know how much trouble that will cause today? >> it is unclear to see how bad this particular issue is going to be. they are taking out a couple of right lanes and in the snow mounds. what's particularly bad around the capital beltway is that they haven't plowed the right sides of the roadway. big snow mounds are starting to form. it is not really blocking any lanes that could have been travelable anyways. it is going to become a factor. as you can see, the plow trucks
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have to go around him now. it's definitely going to snarl up some traffic if you are traveling on the inner loop of the beltway. >> the problem is going to be, how do you get the tractor-trailer out of there to let the plows and the other traffic get by? >> exactly. that's going to ben interesting one to watch unfold, that's for sure. >> ashley linder, thanks so much for that update. we will check back in a bit. we have neil petersen with the maryland department of transportation on the phone with us. good morning to you. tell us about the progress. we know that road crews are working very hard. what's the progress road crews are making? are they getting anywhere on the main roadways and the highways? [ inaudible ] .
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>> those problems, neil, in maryland. [ inaudible ] . >> i see. neil, in terms of what your crew rs telling you, are they saying they are able to get around on the roadways? we were saying earlier today, there were so many people on the roads. especially after all these warning, it is making it hard for crews to have access to the road to clear it from shoulder to shoulder? [ inaudible ] .
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we are continuing to warn residents and motorists to stay home. we understand that earlier today out on the beltway near saint barnabus road, there were several cars that got stuck. can you tell us a little bit more about that and what people should do when they do get stuck? what is the right way to handle a situation like that? a lot of people are going to be abandoning their cars if they can't manage driving in these conditions? [ inaudible ] .
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good advice. neil petersen with the maryland state high wall administration. thanks for joining us. let's go live to julie carey in tysons corner. how is it looking now? >> reporter: good morning, eun. i am at a bus stop. nobody waiting for the bus stop. remarkably, we have seen a few buses pass along here since 5:00 a.m. take a look at route 123 behind me. a lot of plows, not too many cars.
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that's the good thing. the conditions are really bad out here. the road is completely snow-covered. you don't even have tire tracks that are warn through. the traffic has been so infrequent. so, it's pretty treacherous out ere. as i said, a lot of plows out, though. vdot tells us that they have gone from 1400 to 1700 plows and trucks across northern virginia and the counties of fairfax, loaden, prince william and arlington. mostly working on the interstates and secondary roads, trying to stay on top of it. they describe conditions as moderate to poor. it if it is not an emergency, the best advice is to stay home. we will show you why that is the case. we want to introduce you to vladimir, stuck in the luke oil parking lot. let me tell you about vladimir and his odyssey. it started around 9:00 p.m. in new jersey. he was on his way to florida.
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he got as far as the beltway in virginia o maryland. not quite clear on that. got stuck. got a tow truck. got towed about 30 miles to this gas station. then, promptly got stuck down at the end of the lot when he was waiting for the gas station to open this morning. we have been trying to help vladimir out. we managed to move him a little way, about 10 feet along and keep at it and give you some progress reports. he is in a tough spot. i will show you right now, another car that has come to a stand still. it is hardly worth going out right now. there are some people who we talked to some who work the contracting crews. they are out plowing and that are the so of thing. very tough going. very slippery. 123, that's where people are getting in trouble. they are coming to a stop or slowdown at the light here. back to you. >> all right, julie.
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i am sure there will be a lot of vladimir cases throughout the morning. thanks so much. we will check back with you in a bit. we want to go to steven who has the latest on what metro is doing this morning. good morning to you. so today is a regular saturday scheduled for metro. tell us what you are doing today. [ inaudible ] .
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>> steven, what about delays? are riders experiencing any delays already this morning? [ inaudible ] . what about preparations? we know metro has been trying to de ice a track. what else have they been doing?
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[ inaudible ] we are looking at live pictures, someone stranded. transportation officials telling everyone to stay off the roads in terms of driving. when you have a snowstorm like this, do you see that ridership goes up at all in terms of people who are trying to get out and about?
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[ inaudible ]. if and when you make that decision, what happens to those people that are looking to ride at those stations? are there other plans? [ inaudible ] xd .
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steven, thanks so much for joining us this morning. we will check back with you later in the day. all right. chuck, i love seeing these live pictures. you see the stranded tractor-trailer. you see the guy trying to push his car out of the road. we are warning people to stay off the roadways.
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some people are trying to make it out. it is not good out there. >> people underestimate how tricky it can be to drive on the snow. even if you have a four-wheel drive, once there is ice between your rubber and the payment, that's all it will take to make it slippery. georgetown, 5 to 8 inches. lee in spots ville, reporting 14 inches. lee, 13 inches on the ground. 13 inches beingxd reported in burke, virginia. 6 to 12 inches are already on the ground. more snow on the way. winter snow warnings have been posted for the rest of today and tonigh tonight. even a blizzard warning posted. the difference between winter storm and blizzard is the amount
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of sustained wind. winds have been averaging 30 to 40 miles an hour, the closer you get to the waters of the chesapeake bay. for the latest on the radar, we will go over to my colleague, tom kierein, who is in storm center 4. what have you got for us this morning? the radar is showing we are getting warmer air into this entire storm system on the eastern side of it. we are seeing change over to sleet an rain and freezing rain where you see the pink zone on the radar in parts of southern calgary county, st. mary's and the northern neck. you can see a few pockets where the snow has tapered off. there isn't much falling. parts of north montgomery and northern an arundel, there is a band of snow into southern fauquier towards culpepper. moderate snow, another band
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farther to the west and north from hagerstown to cumberland shall the panhandle of west virginia. the wider view of the radar, the extent of the snow is all across west virginia, ohio, pennsylvania, new jersey, now getting into the new york city area as well. for us, locally, we are seeing the change, a little bit of rain around the northern neck and southeastern virginia. these are current visibilities. this gives us an indication of how fast the snow is falling. the visibility out of dulles, moderate to heavy snow. whenever it is down under a half a mile, more than 1 inch an hour. now, about an inch an hour in culpepper. about .5 inch per hour in winchester. heavier band from annapolis. southern maryland, mixing with a little bit of some freezing rain there. quantico has half-mile visibility right near springfield.
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they are getting one inch per hour snowfall rates now. falling and sticking. they are near the freezing mark, northern neck. a little bit of rain mixing in there. a little bit of windchill. down into the teens. wind gusts, currently, 35 to 35 miles an hour. the peak gusts was in far southern st. mary's county. the low pressure system is mooching into southeastern virginia. 30 miles in quantico. 30 miles in washington. snowfall totals reported by oep observers and weather watchers, 6 to 9 inches common from washington into prince george's county, montgomery and fairfax. hire amounts in annapolis and calvert counties. into central st. mary's and charles county.
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fauquier, 7 to 9 inches. montgomery county, 4 to 7. fairfax, 6 to 8. fauquier, 6 to 8. rappahannock, nearly a foot. spotsylvania, in a few locations, 9 to 12 inches. west virginia panhandle, up to a foot to six inches. rappahannock county, 8 to 11 inches. this is going to continue throughout the rest of the day, isn't it, chuck? >> thanks, tom, yes, indeed, snow continuing to fall. snowfall totals are going to be very impressive with this storm. i would say, on average, around the washington area, 12 to as much as perhaps 20 inches ofçó snow. a lot of blowing and drifting snow during the course of the day today. some of our eastern suburbs in prince george's county, could get 16 to 24 inches of snow. be on the lookout for that.
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we are also having great fun. send me snow reports, pictures or names to chuck.bell@nbc come. we have the snownami and the snowbreaker. the airport is open according to the washington airport authority. at least it was this morning. he mentioned there were a couple of flights coming into dulles and reagan but not a lot of flights going out. it is hard to see reagan national because, right now, our camera is iced over. that's just how bad the conditions are out there. before you head to the airport today, make sure you call your airline. chances are your flight is canceled. at this point, very difficult, if not impossible, to get rescheduled for this weekend. expect to hunker down and rescheduled your trip for next week. we are going to go live to megan mcgrath in northwest washington. >> are you still seeing people
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trying to get out on the rhodes? >> reporter: we are seeing a tremendous amount of traffic considering the conditions out here. i have been very surprised at the amount and number of cars. wisconsin avenue, you are seeing here. look at the slush. they have been out here. we have seen truck after truck out here all morning long plowing. they are out. you can see the snow is still coming down. we are seeing cars that are frany going too fast for the conditions out here. some of the suvs think they are in four-wheel drive and can take the conditions better. not the case. we don't want to see anyone get into a difficult situation, hit a pile of slush and get into an accident. we are seeing folks driving too fast for the conditions out here. i am joined by pete with the fire department. taub talk about that. >> over at our engine 20, truck 12 station, this is something that's been going on for hours.
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the firefighters are out there shoveling the snow. this affects us just as much as it does these other vehicles. although the roads and crews have done a great job overnight, it is still very dangerous. you are right, some people are driving too fast. light conditions but very dangerous. again, this weather affects emergency responders just as it does the other motoring public. use caution. if you are not a police officer, firefighter, nurse, or doctor, don't come out. it's pretty dangerous. >> you can get a shot of the tree. you can see them shoveling. you talked earlier about some accidents that have been cropping up around. >> early in the morning, we did have some wrecks. they tend to be suvs, driving a little too fast. new york avenue near south dakota, overturned vehicle, fortunately, no one was seriousy rrd. we are getting some wrecks. crews have done a pretty good
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job. the slightest elevation, i thinkthink you will have a hard time getting around. >> reporter: as the average citizen, you have been out and driving around. what have you encountered in terms of the condition? >> a lot of people out shoveling the walks, particularly downtown. that's a good thing. certainly, we still have a lot of snow is predicted. if you are not in good shape, don't try to get out here and shovel the snow. there is going to be a lot of snow. very easy to overexert yourself. be careful there. snow-covered sidewalks. crews are working at those. thick slush. the slightest elevation, you are going to have very slippery and slidy time. stay home. read a book. >> reporter: good advice. thanks, pete, for joining us. i saw a truck that was trying to go up a hill and couldn't make it and literally stopped in the middle of the roadway.
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they had problems earlier on wisconsin avenue witthat kind of thing. we have been saying it all morning long, it is just true. stay at home. it's beautiful. we have snow coming down. everything is covered. it's lovely. there is no reason to go out. back to you, eun. >> i agree with you, megan. thanks so much. we will check back with you in a little bit as well. we usually get the best stories and the best pictures from our viewers, of course. bruce hall from girardstown, west virginia, was so nice to join us. set the scene where you are, what does it look like outside your door? faud naud [ inaudible ] .
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you said accumulation, about 12 inches. are people out on the roads and out and about where you are? [ inaudible ]. >> at least they are heeding the warnings. what are your routines, some of your rituals when you have a snowstorm like in? are you going to hunker down today? [ inaudible ]. >> have you tried to shovel yet? [ inaudible ]. >> are you just going to wait until it all falls down and do it? [ inaudible ]. >> smart man. leave the shoveling to the younger folks. save you some muscleache.
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thanks for joining us on the phone and sharing your pictures. stay warm and dry. you do the same. thanks again. we are going to take a break now and be back with more coverage of the snowstorm of 2009.
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welcome back as you take a look at some live pictures across the region. snow is accumulating on the ground very quickly. up to a foot in places. a lot of people are still out on the roads this morningñi agains
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all the warnings that the transportation officials have given out this morning. if you can, stay inside today. the roads are treacherous. expect delays. the dash, the free bus service has been suspended today because of the difficulty of the big buses getting around on the roadways. expect other problems if you are trying to drive out there today. do not drive. if you can, head out there on foot and enjoy the lovely snow. welcome back. i'm eun yang. thanks for joining us for this special coverage of the storm on news 4. chuck bell is with us. he has been watching the storm all day and yesterday you said that we heard momentum or monumental, crippling. >> the capital crippler. a lot of other great names. there is the snowbama of '09 or
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the snowmama. the snow amounts continue to come in. fort washington, maryland, 14 inches. >> f washington? >> 18 inches by martinez. 9 inches in oakland. you have to keep sending those in. midland in fauquier, virginia, ron and amy carlson, 17 inches of snow at their house in faw ke fauquier county. >> with seeing these amounts, we want to mention, please share your pictures with us. especially if you are in ft. r'gton, and you have 14 inches, sent your photos to icife. at nbcwashington.com.
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>> i have been asking people to send them to me directly. i don't have the process. ic@nbcwashington.com is a better way to get them on. >> you will eventually get them on. >> we will eventually get them on, yes, indeed. let's see the knickerbackeknickerbackers, 2.0. winter storm warnings for the rest of the day. blizzard warnings up for the eastern suburbs, prince george's, annapolis, down into st. mary's county. the reason for the blizzard warning is because of the very strong winds that are starting to develop as this area of low pressure heads for the virginia
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cape and starts to what we call bomb out as it gets over the warmer waters of the gulf stream. for more on the great blizzard of 2009 and a little historical perspective. tom kierein, who has been covering snow. how long have you been here? >> 26 going on 27. the big blizzard of '83, a similar storm to that one. we got 16.6 inches of that storm at reagan national air part. we may get similar amounts. as we take a look at the radar, where is the snow falling now? when you are taking measurements, don't measure the drifts. this is such a light an fluffy snow. you may say, oh, look, there is 20 inches of snow. try to measure it where there is no much wind on the lee side of your house. as we take a look at the radar,
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one band of moderate snow. northern calvert into prince george's, prince william and near fredericksburg. south of there, mixing with sleet and rain. another band of moderate snow in northern monday gomry countgome. quite a bit of snow. 6 to 12 inches has fallen there. another band of moderate to heavy snow that stretches from the south and west from culpepper down towards charlottesville. we are seeing a variety of snowfall. waves of snow will come through from time to time. just because it stops, don't think the storm is over. a good idea on how to tell how much snow is falling and the visibility. 1 inch per hour, down to a third of a mile down in dull let.
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all around the blue ridge and down the potomac. pax river has better visibility because of that sleet and rain that is mixing in there. we have half mile visibility in baltimore and annapolis and prince george's county. there is some moderate to heavy snow there with one-inch per hour rate. we are in the 20s to near 30 degrees. so whatever is falling, is certainly sticking. the ground and pavement are all below freezing. anything that's untreated is treacherous. they are getting freezing rain. these are the current windchills. wind is gusty, 15 to low teens to upper teens. these are the latest wind gusts we have had. 25 to 30 mile per hour gusts are common. earlier, gusts to near 40 miles an hour in southern maryland.
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ocean city just had a gust of 41. the lowest pressure is right around cape hatteras. these are some of the snowfall totals reported by observers and weather watchers this morning. >> west virginia, panhandle, 6 to 12. rappahannock, almost a foot. fauquier, 7 to 9. fairfax, montgomery, prince george's, 6 to 8 inches. charles, calvert and st. mary's, almost 10 inches. montgomery, 4 to 7 inches. frederick county, maryland, 7 inches. panhandle of west virginia, they have had as much as 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, inches. 9 to 10 inches in the shenandoah valley as well. we appreciate all your reports.
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the snow may taper off from time to time. we will sort of get waves of more moderate to heavy snow coming and going as the coastal low continues to move on up. chuck bell has the forecast as we go forward. how much we may end up getting by the time it is all over sunday morning, chuck? tysons corner live on a saturday moing, december the 19th, a date which will live in weather infami weath weather infamy. he has his lights on. you shouldn't be out there at all. outside, the snowñi continuing come down. our forecast for the rest of the day today, a snow-filled one, indeed. temperatures hovering at or below the freezing mark all day
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long. a lot of blowing and drifting snow as well. that's why tom pointed out you are going to do us a great favor and take the snow measurement. take an original. try and get away from your house so you don't have the wind. 10 inches of snow on the ground there. our estimated snow totals areawide for the whole event. i think on average at least 10 to 18 inches. our western suburbs have already had reports out into parts of fauquier county. at least 10 to 18 in the western suburbs. right around town, 12 to 20 inches of snow. probably not at national airport. probably won't get to 20 inches. probably won't have to go too far before you get to that amount. as you head into eastern prince george's county over to the bay, 16 to 24 inches ofsnow. if you have a snow picture that you would like to send, get it to isee@nbc.com.
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the snowbama has encouraged some slightly political things. you have the chap aeney chill a goreeaster. >> am i hearing 10 to 14 at 8:30 in the morning? >> yes, at least another 8 to 10 hours to heavy to moderate snow. >> let's go to megan mcgrath live in northwest washington. >> reporter: take a look at that roadway. somebody is walking out in the middle of the road. a lot of the sidewalks is have not been shoveled yet. this snow came down last night and continued through the night. a lot of people are just getting up, just going out, haven't gotten around to shoveling the sidewalks yet. watch out for people who might
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be walking in the roadway. look at the slush we are seeing on wisconsin avenue. you can see that the plows have been through. these are treated rhodes. there is just a lot of snow out here. it is turned into slush covering all lanes of wisconsin avenue. this is the situation on every major road. they are not horrible. they have been attended to by the plows. they are not that great, i'll tell you that. these guys are out and about here today. talk about some of the conditions you have seen. >> they are pretty rough, pretty rough. i wouldn't go out. stay home. >> which begs the question, why are you out? >> the reason we are out, this is the only thing we can celebrate, because tomorrow is my birthday. this is my twin brother right here. the side roads are really, really, really terrible. if you don't have to come out, don't come out. it is really, really terrible. people are driving extremely
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fast. i have been going probably about 15 miles per hour. >> reporter: they vice president hit your neighborhood streets? >> no, ma'am, they haven't. >> reporter: we'll get you guys get back to it. be careful. happy birthday to you guys. the power of java. they needed their caffeine fix. we have seen quite a few people. a woman walking in with her dog. another lady who was inside, just bought a couple of frozen pizzas. i guess she department do her grocery shopping before the snow began to fall. surprising how much activity we have seen. i was expecting it to be a ghost town. it really has not been. we are seeing a lot of folks who have to work. we are seeing the plows, the contractors, like this gentlemen, the contractors who have to go out and plow the parking lots and salt the
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squaux. i saw what appeared to be a family leaving down. it was loaded down with mom, dad, and the kids. they were perhaps headedxd out town. that is not the best idea. we are seeing treacherous road conditions. neighborhood streets, fget about it. they are not going to try to get to those. they are focusing on these major roads. stay put. have a good time. great day to go out withxd the d and do some sledding and take it easy. eun, back to you. >> megan, thanks so much. we are going to check in with joan morris from the virginia department of transportation? good morning. thanks for joining us this morning. we have been hearing stories about people who are making their way out in their vehicles in this storm, not the best thing to do. what can you tell us about the
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road conditions in virginia? [ inaudible ] . >> that's the problem. snow is falling fast. you said interstates. will they get to any of the smaller roads today? [ inaudible ]ñi. >> what are some of the trouble
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spots you are seeing this morning in virginia? [ inaudible ] . do you have everyone on board, all your crews, all your trucks? [ inaudible ]. >> what are the crews telling you about what they are experiencing out there on the roads today? [ inaudible ] . >> absolutely.
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joan morris from vdot, thanks for joining us this morning. we are going to take a live picture right now of reagan national airport. the airport, at least this morning, was open. these are pictures from inside looking out. it's so beautiful to see the snow on the planes and on the tarmac. we know that crews are trying to clear off the tarmac and get things operating. at this point, most flights are canceled. if you are heading out today, call your air lip in advanline . let's go to ashley linder in "news 4 traffic network." you have an update on that tractor-trailer we saw on the beltway stuck there on the road. >> surprising, they got rid of that pretty quickly. i was frankly shocked. it took almost a half hour. that's pretty quick considering the conditions. emergency response is having
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difficulty responding. avoid the roadways. here is what you are looking at if you choose to venture out. the capital beltway, the plow truck is sitting there along the right sigh of the roadway. earlier, we had about ten plow trks sitting there ready. the pace on the beltway, those people are not going anything more than 20 miles an hour. if you go beyond that, you are asking for trouble, quite frankly. we have a lot of people spinning out all across the region, particularly the certificaserpet of the beltway. 95, passable. as you continue further south, a mess. out of fredericksburg, continuing through stafford and making your way up towards wood brinl, a peppering of accidents. a lot of people are spinning out and going into snow mounds that have formed on the sides with
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the roads. stay away from the roads if at all possible. oo back to you. >>. >> we are going to check in with tara hamilton with the washington airport authority. what's it like right now? [ inaudible ] . >> i'm surprised there were
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landings and takeoffs. how did you manage that in these conditions? [ inaudible ] . >> yesterday, we heard from a lot of travelers that were trying to scramble to rebook their flights. is that going to be a possibility this weekend? [ inaudible ].
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>> tara hamilton, washington airport authority, thanks so much for joining us with that update. you heard tara right there. check your airlines. most likely, your flights are canceled throughout the day. stay with news 4 throughout the day for continuing coverage of this snowstorm. you are looking at a live picture of the white house. one viewer calls it the snowbama of 2009.
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welcome back to news 4's special coverage of the snowstorm of 2009. we are taking all your fun nam for naming this snowstorm. we want to check in with julie carey. she is live in tysons corner where she has been following the accumulations and the road conditions out there. good morning to you. >> reporter: i vote for
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snownami. i like that best so r. keep them coming. we are here alongside route 123. let's look here across the way. we are telling you about a couple of the folks stuck in the snow. help has arrived for this guy who has been stopped over there at the corner of 123 and international drive for about 90 minutes. so i'm surprised he g his own truck here anyway. it shows you how bad these conditions are, particularly for cars like that. people in the suvs that are out here and the small plows going out to do contract work, they are getting along okay. pretty good ex many amaample of drive in this snow. keep it slow. we have seen a steady succession of plows up and down route 123. still completely snow covered. i could almost see a tire tread mark. now, that is coveredup. with the snow constantly falling, with the winds blowing in, it is starting to drift over on the edges of the road. so, you know, we can't say it
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often enough. if you don't have to be out, don't go out. although, like megan in northwest d.c., i've been surprised to see how many people are coming through here. it seems about every fourth or fifth vehicle is a plow. i see one of them coming up behind me. all hands on duty. earlier, we were talking about stranded motorists. earlier today, we met a guy named vladimir who traveled through d.c. trying to get to new jersey to florida and got stuck along the way. here is what he had to say. what are you doing out this morning? >> i am going to florida. >> reporter: that's what you think. >> i hope so. >> reporter:o where did you come from to get here to tysons? >> new jersey. >> reporter: when did you start driving and when did you run into the snow? >> i have good experience to drive during snow.
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i am from moscow. >> reporter: so you are equipped to do it. you say youxd can't go any farther. what's happened with your car? >> nothing happened with this car i just cannot move it. this car, it is not for snow. >> reporter: so what is your plan right now? >> to find tow truck. >> reporter: so you might be putting off the trip to florida? what's your name? you can see vladimir has not made much progress. there is his white legs xus. we only managed to move him about 10 feet through this parking lot. that lexus just keeps getting stuck. on top of that, he has been running his car so long, he ran out of gas. in the last 30 minutes, he has been making trips back and forth to the gas station. tweep t the guy across the street stuck. more signs that you are best off
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staying at home. back to you. >> vladimir was so can have dependent he could make it from new jersey to florida in a snowstorm. juli thank you. let's check in with megan mcgrath in northwest washington. >> reporter: good morning, ooeu. we are starting to see more and more people venture outside. we are adjoining a neighborhood, a residential area. we are starting to see folks like tom who are venturing out of their houses. talk a little bit about how your neighborhood looks. you started the process of shoveling. >> i got up about an hour ago. i waited. i shovelled once. i think it will take two installments today. it is a little bit wet on the bottom. >> reporter: if we can pan down, you can see it is fluffy on the top but not so much on the bottom. >> right, right. >> right&háhp &hc% newsper. we are going to hunker down and do some more snow shoveling today and relax.
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>> reporter: good plan, good plan. talk about the snow. we have got quite a bit. >> we have been in washington for 25 years. this could have been one of the biggest ones we have ever seen. it's fun. a fe/d years ago, we had a big storm over in the eastern shore. we were over there for that. we try to get someplace where there is a lot of snow. >> reporter: so you remember some other big snowstorms? >> i think it was '96, we had a big one. >> reporter: how does this rate? i was here for that one. the city was perilized. you streets weren't passable. this looks better than back then. >> i think it does. we are still early in the game, though. we could get as much as we have already got, i reckon. >> reporter: thanks for joining us. good luck with your sheling. don't overdo it. take care. folks starting to venture out and taking care of those sidewalks. that's a good thing to do for your neighbors and folks that are out and about and having to walk, get those sidewalks taken
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care of. we saw a woman walking in the street because she didn't want to walk in the snow, i wiwhich not a good idea. >> thank you, megan. we want to update you on vladimir. julie shared this stor about vladimir. he was trying to make it from new jersey to florida this morning in the snowstorm. he says he from moscow and well-equipped to handle driving in the snow but his car was not. he got stuck in tysons corner, did not make it to florida. after about an hour and a half stranded in tie sons, his car is finally getting towed away. we wish vladimir all the best. i think he has learned, if you have a foot of snow on the ground, it will be tough to drive right there. >> it will be a tricky day to do any traveling. i love that lexus convertible. that's a great car. >> a lexus convertible in a snowstorm, not so great.
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>> great on the white sands of miami beach, not so much on the snows of the beltway. >> you get a false sense of confidence driving in the suvs. >> if you had to get out aund wanted to get on the rhodes, oa best thing to do is to have chains on your tires. short of chains or a plow, there is no good way to drive. we are getting snow reports by the boatload. welcome news. having some great names, holiday hammering, snowtorious. august freyley says this is what she calls a five loafer, how much bread and milk you will need to be out and about. winter storm warnings. up to a blizzard in prince george's, annapolis, st. mary's county, lots of snow on the way.
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lots of snow already on the ground. 9 inches in rappahannock. 9 in ashburn. 12 inches in la ray. my colleague, tom kierein, sitting in storm center 4, keeping track of it all. talking about the historical snowstorms we have had and where this one will rank? >> similar to the storm in february of '83 where washington ended up with 16 inches of snow. that may be the end-up total in washington by the time it winds down. as we take a look at the radar, we have bands of moderate snow. some places have tapered off. one band of moderate snow through washington from annapolis all the way up to hagerstown. that's a band of moderate snow farther to the south in prince george's county down to charlottesville. if the snow tapers off, you might think, is the storm over?
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no. we will continue to see bands of moderate snow sweeping in from the south. in southern maryland, a mix of sleet and freezing rain. we have visibilities showing you the general snowfall rates. it is snowing at about an inch an hour in washington. whenever you see the visibility down to half a mile who are less, an inch to as much as 2 inch is per hour. the windchills are in the teens, 25, 30, to 40 miles an hour around the bay. snowfall totals reported by observers coming in, augusta county, 22 inches in greenville, virginia. that is the most we have seen with this storm. around washington, around 6 to 9 inches in the nearby suburbs. around the blue ridge, higher amounts. shenandoah valley, 6 inches to
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as much as 22 inches of snow. chuck bell will have the forecast and what we can expect. we will have the complete check of our forecast coming up on news 4 which begins at 9:00, which is pretty close. >> that's right. stay with us.
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