tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS October 31, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
>> pelley: tonight, the storm is gone, but not the devastation it left behind. an entire new york city neighborhood burned to the ground. downed trees leave millions without power. floodwaters drive thousands from their homes. >> this is a community. this is our people, our friends. >> i got nothing left. >> pelley: also tonight, we're in the air with the army corps of engineers as they try to figure out how to get the water and the debris out of the disaster area. the president sees the destruction for himself. >> we are here for you. >> pelley: our team of cbs news correspondents will bring you comprehensive coverage of the aftermath of sandy. captioning sponsored by cbs
this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. reporting tonight from breezy point, new york. >> pelley: good evening. we've come here because no community has seen more destruction from hurricane sandy than this. this entire neighborhood, the new york city city observe borof queens, 111 homes destroyed by fire the night the storm hit. we'll have more on this in just a moment, but first, let us give you the big picture in the aftermath of sandy. nearly six million homes and businesses in 13 states are still without electricity tonight. at least 68 deaths are blamed on the storm. insurance companies tell us that well over 34,000 homeowners have put in claims for damage or destruction. in new york city, the sun finally came out today, along with the first sounds of recovery. ( bell ringing ) the stock market opened for the first time this week. buses are back. and there could be some subway
service tomorrow. the biggest challenge remains pumping floodwaters out of tunnels. the u.s. military is helping, and we flew along today with lieutenant general thomas bostic, commander of the army corps of engineers. >> about 28,000 gallons a minute. to put that in understandable terms, it'll empty a pool, an olympic-size pool, in about 20 minutes. we're trying to figure out how many pools we have in new york city. >> reporter: the police released this video today of staten island residents being rescued from their flooded homes. president obama joined governor chris christie on a tour of the new jersey shore, where sandy made landfall monday evening. >> we are not going to tolerate red tape. we are not going to tolerate bureaucracy. and i've instituted a 15-minute rule, essentially, on my team. you return everybody's phone calls in 15 minutes, whether it's the mayors, the governors, county officials. if they need something, we
figure out a way to say yes. >> pelley: three days ago, this was a neighborhood of families. this evening, folks are returning to find all of their possessions in ashes. and a little while ago, we saw a man put everything he had in one baby stroller and push it away. breezy point is a community on the rockaway peninsula east of manhattan, and it is the bluest of blue-collar neighborhoods. many of the residents here are new york city firefighters or cops. let us show you what breezy point looked like before. rows of houses just a block or two from the beach. this is what the neighborhood looks like now. governor andrew cuomo walked the ground today and heard remarkable stories of heroism. the fire started about 11:00 when the hurricane was at its height. by the time firefighters made their way here, water pipes were bursting, and there was little pressure in the hydrants. they laid hoses in the rising
and used the flood to fight the fire. fdny assistant chief joseph fiver is the assistant. >> fire flames shooting up in the air 100 feet, and moving quickly to the west, driven by the hurricane. >hurricane. >> pelley: you had winds of something like 80 miles an hour blowing this fire. >> exactly exphrkt winds coming off the ocean, very intense flames blowing from the southeast, so we had two fronts of fire that we had to deal with. >> pelley: you know, when it comes to residential fires in new, where does this one range? >> as far as i know, unless you want to go back into the 1800s, this is probably the biggest private residential fire that we've had at least in modern times. >> pelley: the biggest one in new york city in modern times. how many houses destroyed? >> 111 houses totally destroyed by fire, and 20 that received
substantial damage from the fire. >> reporter: chief feifer says they are still searching the debris, but there are no reports of missing persons. no one is believed to have died here. a love of the ocean draws people to beachfront communities just like this one, but in a storm, the sea is unforgiving. chip reid is in long beach island, new jersey, tonight. chip. >> reporter: well, good evening, scott. here on long beach island, as in many beach communities, people keep building closer and closer to the water. it's a gam welthat many people on the jersey coast have now lost. one after the other, homes along the shoreline on long beach island, new jersey, are in shambles. this one appeared to have floated in from somewhere farther up the beach. massive dunes had been built to protect these homes, but hurricane sandy deposited those countless tons of sand in the street where it takes a bull doze tore carve a path. sandy tossed boats around here like toys, leaving some in
piles, others scattered far and wide. bob davis, who rode out the storm in his home nearby, says in 40 years on this island, he's never seen a storm with anything like this kind of power. >> we made it through. and it's just the cleanup now. but it's going to take-- my estimation, with two years to get the island back in shape. >> reporter: kyle scheibner and jen smith's house took on four feet of water. they found safety in a neighbor's home. did you wonder if you had made the right decision by staying on the island? >> there is a good-- >> at one point. >> that we were debating whether or not we had. >> reporter: farther up the coast in ocean beach, new jersey, more devastation. many of these homes will have to be torn down. >> this was how high the water was. >> reporter: nearby john patricia says he was lucky. his house in the family for 52 years will only have to be gutted. >> unfortunately, that's just the way life is, you know. you have to accept it, and that's the end of it. >> reporter: elsewhere on the jersey shore, fires ignighted by natural gas leaks destroyed more than a dozen homes.
in bayhead, first responders drove through the flooded streets in a frontend loader look for stranded residents. others put on hip waders to walk through town. some used canoes and kayaks. where it is safe to drive, there are long wait for gasoline. this line stretched more than a mile on the garden state parkw parkway. back here in long beach island, scott, people who lived along the beach beach here did evacuate. what they return, they will have to decide whether to build so close to the waves. >> pelley: well, can chip, how long will it be before those folks can get back into those homes to see what they've lost? >> reporter: well, scott, we're told by the mayor of long beach island that it's going to be at least a week. it's going to take that long to make this place safe for large numbers of people to return. >> pelley: thanks, chip. manhattan was mostly empty yesterday, but today, it seemed like a lot of folks decided the emergency was over, and they came pouring into town.
but without the usual trains and subways, there was brutal gridlock on the roads. some of the rail service is now returning, and jim axelrod takes us down under. >> reporter: where are we? >> we're down here at the main exit and entrance of south ferry terminal. >> joe leader took us down for a look at the hardest hit of all 468 new york city subway stations. south ferry, at the southern tip of manhattan. >> we had bar kayed up top with wood plywood and sandbags to keep the water out, but when the surge came, it brought down all this material that doesn't belong here. large pieces of lumber, and that broke through the barrier and allowed more water to come in. >> reporter: that's water just a few steps down from the top of the steps. but the tracks are another two levels underneath that. so as much as the water's gone down, we're still two levels worth of water till we get to the tracks? >> absolutely. >> reporter: it will take a
week alone just to pump out the water. but the subway system will begin limited service tomorrow. limited mass transit has left city streets choked with cars, a telling sign of just how badly the city needs to ease the stress on the roads. in midtown manhattan, grand central terminal reopened after its longest closure ever in its 100-year history. tell me why you're up here? this 70-year-old man, his name is michael, lives in lower manhattan without power. he walked 30 blocks to join these folks and charge his cell phone. when is the last time you had to come to a train station to charge your phone? >> never, never. >> reporter: at 2:30, trains started running again to the northern suburbs. bob lieblong, who runs grand central terminal, visited by 750,000 people a a day, said that's an important step in the city's recovery. >> it's very, very important. sure, people have hope now that it's opened up. it's another step in the right
direction. >> reporter: new york's mayor, mike bloomberg, is implementing another rule to try to ease congestion in manhattan. beginning tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m., scott, only cars with at least three people will be allowed to enter the city. >> pelley: it's going to take a while to make it normal again, jim. thank you very much. all bets are off in atlantic city where the casinos are main shut down and the board walk torn up. jeff glor spoke with some people who disobeyed orders to evacuate. >> reporter: zelphia connor chose to ride out the storm, a decision she now regrets. >> this was scary. i mean, scary. like, to not know if the water was going to come over the-- i literally thought the ocean was going to come into my home. >> reporter: it didn't, but a 50-foot section of the atlantic city board walk landed in her garage. >> saw the board walk floating down the street but i never knew its destination was here. >> reporter: in your garage. >> in my garage. i never knew that. >> reporter: a short drive away, parts the pleasantville,
new jersey, were left in shambles after being battered with wind gusts over 70 miles per hour and a tidal search that tore homes apart. jackie ernst has lived here for 22 years. >> when i left everything was intact, and when i came back yesterday morning to this. >> reporter: most of the water has recede. now the cleanup begins. >> get my mother's picture. >> reporter: her family helped pick through the mess left behind. >> i'm going out of this property in a box. i assure you of that. i am not leaving. >> reporter: ernst wants to rebuild. her daughter mary says that will be very difficult. >> everything she has is right here and it's practically gone. it's all gone. she doesn't have anything. >> reporter: scott, officials caution they are still a long way from deciding who can move back. the more immediate concern is getting the power back. 60,000 remain without it in atlantic county. >> pelley: jeff, thank you.
ampt flood came the flames. a house fire erupted in a town underwater. sandy brought an early start to ski season. and they climbed 72 floordz to work on a dangling crane in the middle of the hurricane when the cbs evening news continues. living with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis means living with pain. it could also mean living with joint damage. help relieve the pain and stop the damage with humira, adalimumab. for many adults with moderate to severe ra, humira is clinically proven to help relieve pain and stop joint damage. so you can treat more than just the pain. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer, have happened. blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions,
and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. ask your rheumatologist about humira, to help relieve pain and stop further joint damage before they stop you. something this delicious could only come from nature. new nectresse. the 100% natural no-calorie sweetener made from the goodness of fruit. new nectresse. sweetness naturally. prego?! but i've bought ragu for years. [ thinking ] wonder what other questionable choices i've made? i choose date number 2! whooo! [ sigh of relief ] [ male announcer ] choose taste. choose prego.
[ sigh of relief ] those surprising little still make you take notice. there are a million reasons why. but your erectile dysfunction that could be a question of blood flow. cialis for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, or if you have any allergic reactions such as rash, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a 30-tablet free trial.
underwater we hurricane sandy was the keep of another emergency today. just as elaine quijano was reporting on the devastating flood in moonachie, new jersey, a house fire broke out behind flood in moonachie, new jersey, a house fire broke out behind her. here's elaine's report. >> reporter: our cameras were rolling as smoke started to billow out o house on a deserted street in moonachie. after we called 911, firefighters showed up in three minutes, carrying equipment they saved from their flooded fire station. frank smith is the assistant fire chief. >> right now we have no police desk, no fire department, no ambulance squad. we're operating on whatever we grabbed during the flood, and we're operating out of a shelter right now. >> reporter: one firefighter was in sweat pants when he entered the building, but they saved it. >> we feel for everybody here because we are everybody here. >> reporter: this was just one of of a half dozen fires since floodwaters overran this town. smith and these volunteers know every call could end at their
own doorstep. >> i got to secure my power. i got to secure my gas. >> i got to secure my power. i got to secure my gas. i'm afraid this is going to happen to my house and i can't get down the block. >> reporter: today, for the first time, smith had a chance to also help himself. eight feet of water was in his house, and his belongings are now piled outside. >> baby pictures, everything. it's rough. trying to stay strong for my kids because every time i go home i start wanting to break down. >> reporter: he was on duty during the storm and rushed home to rescue his family. >> my wife had him. she was holding him up. and this one i had in my arm. it was crazy, running in and out, running in and out with the water up to here. it's water logged. >> reporter: he can't focus on himself for long. the calls from his neighbors keep coming. >> we have a possible neck injury. >> you can't prepare for this. this isn't something-- water, wind. there's no fighting it it, you know. fires are going to break out, but we're going to be here to put them down. that's what we do. >> reporter: in a cool irony, the fire here started because the power came back on.
scott, the current mixed with the floodwater and led to this. >> pelley: elaine, thank you. the central appalachians got a fresh coat of snow today on top of almost three feet that fell after hurricane sandy merged with cold air from the west. west virginia got a few more inches of wet snow as folks dug out and power companies tried to restore electricity. sugar mountain in north carolina had its earliest ski season opening ever. it takes nerves of steel to inspect a damaged crane in the middle of a storm. and we'll have that next. online outfit piccolo headphones buy now broadway show megapixels place to sleep little roadster war and peace deep sea diving ninja app hipster glasses 5% cash back sign up to get 5% everywhere online through december. only from discover.
throughout our lives. one a day men's 50+ is a complete multi-vitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age. it has more of 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day men's 50+. he's going to apply testosterone to his underarm. axiron, the only underarm treatment for low t, can restore testosterone levels back to normal in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18. axiron can transfer to others through direct contact. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant, and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these signs and symptoms to your doctor if they occur. tell your doctor about all medical conditions and medications. do not use if you have prostate or breast cancer. serious side effects could include increased risk of prostate cancer; worsening prostate symptoms; decreased sperm count; ankle, feet, or body swelling; enlarged or painful breasts;
problems breathing while sleeping; and blood clots in the legs. common side effects include skin redness or irritation where applied, increased red blood cell count, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and increase in psa. see your doctor, and for a 30-day free trial, go to axiron.com. campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque. see what's new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. get coricidin hbp. the number one pharmacist recommended cold brand designed for people with high blood pressure. and the only one i use to relieve my cold symptoms without raising my blood pressure. coricidin hbp.
officials tell us that construction crane that's dangling high above manhattan is stable, at least for now. how do they know that? well, john miller met the two men who risked their lives to figure it out. >> reporter: during the storm that snapped the boom off the crane with winds gusting through the 72-story construction site and swing the hanging boom back and forth, two new york city building department engineers had to get to the top of the building and answer the question, "would the boom hold or come crashing down?" for most of the long climb, the only way up was the stairs. >> i've never heard any anything
as loud as wind nowlg my life. as we got to the 48th floor, and it was-- you have to apply so much pressure to open the door. i was with him. and you get into the hallway, and you could almost get sucked right out. >> reporter: michael alacha and timothy lynch had to check each of the structural braces that held the tower with the crane on top to the side of the building. >> you notice that it has ties every nine floors. so we were concerned about the upper most tie. if that tie had failed, that means the mast could fall, that 1,000-foot mast. >> reporter: if the climb was was perilous, it was nothing compairld to when they got out on the roof. you are tied to a rope but you're trying to get as close to the edge of the roof, a place where any normal person would not want to be. >> i'm looking for-- i'm looking for information. i know i'm sound. i'm tied off. once i know that you're tethered, i'm okay with that. you can-- you start looking
around. you start doing real work, burt it does make your heart beat. >> reporter: so are they here snows they say no, just part of a larger team that responded to this accident. so it was all just in a day's work? no. even michael alacha and timothy lynch of admill it was a little more than that, scott. >> pelley: john, i'm curious, did you ask michael and timothy what happened to their own homes? >> reporter: that's funny, while they were in the heart of midtown manhattan working on this, on the other side of the city, of course tim lynch's home was caught in the blackout. he's got no power at all. and michael alacha, his house is where you are in rockaway, and his house was flooded. so while they were focused on the city's problems, they didn't have time to think about their own. >> pelley: john, thanks very much. the hurricane, of course, has overshadowed the presidential election. but it is coming just the same in just six days. polls show president obama and mitt romney in a virtual tie nationally. in swing states that will tip the balance, a new quinnipiac
university cbs news/"new york times" poll finds the president ahead by two points in virginia, 49% to 47%. he leads by five points in ohio, 50% to 45%. and the president is ahead by a single point in florida. 48% to 47%. mitt romney took his campaign to florida today, and he was joined by senator marco rubio. he refraind from attacking the president directly, leaving that to former governor jeb bush. something found here in breezy point in the ashes of a burned out home, brings the owner to tears. we'll have her story next. , e c, you know it can be hard to bremy copd symptomsontrol by keeping my airways open for 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups.
spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and seek immediate medical help if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, vision changes or eye pain, or problems passing urine. other side effects include dry mouth and constipation. nothing can reverse copd. spiriva helps me breathe better. (blowing sound) ask your doctor about spiriva. perfect golden color. rich in fiber. my dad taught me, and i taught my son out there. morning, pa. wait... who's driving the...? ♪ 99 bushels of wheat on the farm, 99 bushels of wheat ♪ [ male announcer ] yep, there's 8 layers
of whole grain fiber in those mini-wheats® biscuits... to help keep you full... ♪ 45 bushels of wheat ...all morning long. there's a big breakfast... [ mini ] yee haw! ...in those fun little biscuits. starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. [ male announcer ] the way it moves. the way it cleans. everything about the oral-b power brush is simply revolutionary. oral-b power brushes oscillate, rotate and even pulsate to gently loosen and break up that sticky plaque with more brush movements than manual brushes and even up to 50% more than leading sonic technology brushes for a superior clean. oral-b power brushes. go to oralb.com for the latest offers.
i was skeptical at first. but after awhile even my girlfriend noticed a difference. [ male announcer ] rogaine is proven to help stop hair loss. and for 85% of guys, it regrew hair. save up to 42% now at rogaine.com. breezy point, new york. we've been watching a somber pr procession here all day and into the evening, people returning to what is levment of their homes, looking for cherished possessions. michelle miller helped one woman find a little comfort. >> reporter: in the middle of dust and ashes, we found a pair of flip-flops worn by a 71-year-old widow named marie loprestie. loprestie was digging through what's left of seven gothem
lane, her home of 34 years. what are you hoping to find? >> something i can take with me. >> reporter: when the flames started late monday night, loprestie was in her house with two neighbors, fellow widows kathy brennan and elaine atasio. >> we thought we could fight it. the water comes and at least we would have had ferg we owned. but then the fire started coming. and we couldn't fight that. >> reporter: they sought refuge in a neighbor's house. when that caught fire, they fled to another. this is what's left of the first home. this was the success. all lost. they finally found refuge at a church. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: every few minutes, a neighbor greeted her with a hug. the community spirit is strong. >> mao's the baby? >> reporter: like most of her neighbors here, loprestie says she's not going anywhere.
>> i want to be here. >> reporter: why do you want to stay here? >> because i belong here. this is our comient. >> reporter: loprestie continued to dig through the rubble of her home, determined to find something, anything to ease the pain. >> i had tiles. >> reporter: her determination was contagious. i think i found something. over here. one small memory from a life blown apart by a terrible storm. michelle miller, cbs news, breezy point, new york. >> pelley: and rebuild they will. we'd like to thank the new york national guard, the fire department of new york, and the new york police department for their assistance today. that's the cbs evening news for tonight.
for all of us at cbs news all around the >> we are here for you. and we will not forget. we will follow-up to make sure that you get all of the help that you need until you rebuild. >> president obama speaking in new jersey just a few minutes ago, promising to help the victims of super-storm sandy. we begin with the latest on sandy. power is back on to all but 72,000 in our area, but throughout the area 30 million are still in the dark. severe flooding risks seems to have subsided and the metro is running again and at full service. well some of the wors