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tv   Starting Point  CNN  October 30, 2012 4:00am-6:00am PDT

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norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities. good morning. welcome, everybody. you're watching a special edition of "starting point." i'm soledad o'brien coming to you live this morning from the lower east side of manhattan. this morning, superstorm sandy, as she is called, has been continuing to rain havoc on the east coast. certainly happened here in new york city. today there are rescues under way. thousands of people in danger, potentially, in three towns in
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bergen county, new jersey, after a levee break there. right now an enormous fire is burning in the queens section of new york. 50 homes have destroyed. a transformer explosion to tell you about. ripped through the night as people described a powerful explosion, very loud. look at those pictures. update you on what happened at that con ed plant. 260 patients including babies from the nicu evacuated from a major hospital in new york city. historic record-breaking flooding consuming manhattan and parts of the northeast, as well. homes are under water and more than 6 million people are in the dark this morning. transportation is at a standstill. could be days before things get back to normal. cnn is covering the aftermath of the storm, and superstorm sandy's next path, like no other network can. it is tuesday, october 30th, and special coverage begins right here on "starting point."
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lots to get to this morning. let's start with breaking news. rescue efforts are now under way in three new jersey towns. a levee break is what they believe has happened. it sent four to five feet of water gushing into the streets. zoraida sambolin has the latest on this breaking news for us. good morning. >> good morning to you, soledad. that break happened just after midnight in bergen county. authorities say they're using boats and high trucks in an attempt to rescue people in the towns of carlstadt, little ferry and moonachie. we talked to the chief of little ferry police department, ralph verdi a little earlier about some of the dramatic rescues that are taking place right now. >> we've got a couple houses where low-lying areas, people were up on the second floor. they had to take them out the windows. we had several medical emergencies. we had to take from the house. put them on a vote, bring them to land that was dry enough to tie them over to medical personnel and transform them to hospital. >> been plucking people off of the rooftops, as well. in another developing story
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we're following this morning, about 24 homes on fire in breezy point, queens. 50 homes already burned to the ground. floodwaters and dangerous winds are keeping firefighters from getting close enough to put out those massive flames that you're taking a look at. soledad? >> obviously we're following that, zoraida. it looks like 24 homes are still burning this morning, as well. lots to follow this morning. okay let's tell you what happened at nyu medical center. they were removing babies from the nicu, sometimes taking those pictures, 260 in all, had to be brought down the stairs for those infants who are on respirators they would hand res pirate them before they were able to relocate them into other hospitals. also we have pictures of sandy. superstorm sandy, as she's called, as she makes her way north, have iing really blown through new york city. lots to follow as we see where
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she's heading next. she's officially what they call a post tropical cyclone and the national weather service says that still means high winds. 70 to 90 mile an hour still possible in the tristate area. so, sandy left quite a trail of destruction here in 9 united states. 16 people dead, 6.5 million people are without power and insurers are estimating something like $10 billion to $20 billion in damage. all right let's tell you where we are this morning. i want to walk you through this. sun's coming up a little bit. might give you a better sense of what's around us. you can see there are some downed branches. but the big issue here in lower manhattan, we're on east houston street at avenue "d" about a block from fdr drive which you'll remember from pictures yesterday flooded yesterday afternoon. so look around me, no lights on. that is because, con ed power plant had a transformer explosion. people in the area describe it as being scary. it was loud, it crackled, and all of a sudden it just blew up and it was terrifying.
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immediately after that it went dark. lower manhattan is without power. ran into a guy this morning who went to visit his mom. he's in this building right back there and said she wasn't going to leave. she's in her 70s and she was going to stay with the neighbors. a few minutes ago we also saw some families, some schools were evacuation centers. those folks were gathering up their belongings leaving the evacuation center and trying to check out the damage to their homes. asbury park was a big focus of our attention yesterday. that's where rob marciano was set up for us yesterday, and he is there again today. rob, the devastation, even before this landfall, was massive in asbury park. how is it today? >> well, you know, it's visual today. once the sun comes up here we'll be able to shine the light on some of what's happened here. the water just started to recede briefly but still lots of puddles across this area.
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where the storm surge came in was basically on this side of the building, and then the boardwalk was overtaken. look at this damage right here. this is a combination of storm surge, water, and then the winds whipping around, and just tearing apart this brick building and these pilons here. you're talking about well structured brick and mortar type of building torn up by this storm. here's some of the leftover water. the way things work alone the jersey shore, when you get something that -- you get a storm surge that overtakes the boardwalk or a sand dune, or a levee of sorts, or a barrier island it piles up, because we're back down at sea level here so it takes some time for all of this to drain. so we've got that to deal with. you can't really get around town very much. and then underneath that water you might have stuff like this. i mean there's debris all over the place. this is left over from actual fence that was blown around. and then a couple of these right here, these are actually street lamps that have been torn off of street poles.
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just two of these in a 15-foot span. you can imagine just what it looks like not only in this town but up and down the jersey shore. good news to report from asbury park, no reports of serious injuries or fatalities. but power is out and obviously debris and damage just about everywhere. i have to believe, soledad, that this scene is really mimicked up and down the jersey shore. still about 100 or so miles from where the center of sandy made landfall. obviously the winds here, well over hurricane strength and likely in some cases last night, stretching into 100 miles an hour. it was a hairy, hairy scene as that storm surge came over the boardwalk, and when sun comes up we'll take a look over there and see how much damage was done to that. there's some old, very historic buildings here in asbury park, and judging from what this building took on, it doesn't look too terribly well right now. soledad? >> it's going to be a mess when
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you get to see the whole picture. appreciate the update. let's get to john berman in the lower part of manhattan. where they were expecting a storm surge of something like ten feet plus. they got much more than that. john, what's the latest there? >> they got 14, soledad. 14 feet. a 14-foot storm surge, which is simply unprecedented here. it's four feet higher than the record which was set back in 1960. where i'm standing right now, was really just part of new york harbor last night when that surge came in. let me show you where the water is right now. it's about two hours from high tide again right now and you can see, you know, we have four feet to go before the water gets backed up here, hopefully it will not come back over this wall again tonight. but you can see how low it is compared to what it must have been last night in this area where i'm standing right now. simply swamped this entire area, and this side of manhattan where i am didn't have it nearly as bad as where you are. out in new york harbor, which is
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out that way they measured a 36-foot wave. 32 feet. 32 feet. which is six feet higher than the record, which was set back during hurricane irene. i was driving down here this morning, the entire lower part of manhattan blacked out. con edison says 250,000 homes inside new york city itself without power. the subways as you've been saying, shut down completely. six of the tubes, six of the tunnels from manhattan to queens and brooklyn flooded. they do not know when they'll get them pumped out over the next four days, they hope. again that flooding really did wreak some havoc here, soledad. >> yes, it has. we're going to have a chance later this morning. as the sun's coming up we can see the damage, john. this side there are lots of submerged cars. i'm looking at someone's tire standing in the middle of the street. that can't be good. we'll update folks on the damage on this side of manhattan. let's go to ali velshi. ali was in atlantic city yesterday and they're watching
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what's happening with him, where he was just being battered by the high winds, and the surf, as well. ali, i'm glad to see you in one piece, frankly. how's it going where you are? >> still a lot of wind as you can see. still being buffeted by a lot of wind but the water is gone. eight hours ago i was standing here in water that was as high as my waist. it was the ocean. there was vegetation from the ocean in it. and it overtopped the banks and overtopped the boardwalk which is about three quarters of a mile behind me. you can see those red lights over there. the water is gone. now moments ago, a convoy of trucks with national guardsmen pulled out from here. they are beginning their survey of atlantic city. just spoke to a utilities operator who said that it does not look like there was serious damage in the atlantic city area. there are trees down, there are some power lines down, things have blown around a bit. but it does not look like serious damage. remember, atlantic city is
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substantially more built up than many of the areas on the shore. while there are great homes, great, strong homes, there are a lot of smaller homes all the way down to ocean city, maryland. cape may, places like that. we're going to get a better sense of it once the sun comes up. we're going to head to the shore and get a sense of what sort of damage there's been around here. about 500 people said to be in shelters in atlantic county. the roads back to philadelphia should be fine. philadelphia's got some flooding, 60 miles west of here. the other thing is there's an ongoing tiff between the governor of new jersey chris christie and the mayor of atlantic city. governor said the mayor didn't follow the instructions properly, didn't work hard enough to get people out of the city. we had both of them on air last night, pretty much calling each other names. so i imagine there will be some phone calls this morning about what should have happened. but bottom line, our initial assessment of atlantic city right now, soledad, is it may -- it splay dodged the worst of it despite how bad it looked last night. >> it surely looked bad.
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thank you, ali, certainly appreciate it. we're going to head now to -- who's up next? peter king, congressman peter king, looks like he's ready for us. peter king is out in long island, and obviously long island took a big brunt of this storm. congressman king, thank you for your time. first tell me exactly the damage that you've seen. i haven't had a lot of live reports on what has happened in long island outside of my hometown, smithtown, which i know has lost power. can you tell me what some of the worst damage is? >> yeah, that's right. absolutely devastating. for instance, long beach has lost all its sewage, all its water supplies, and it's basically very difficult to get to. hospitals have been shut down. people stayed behind, and a number of firemen were stranded trying to get them out. in places like massapequa, there are a number of fires. at one time 12 firemen stranded,
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had to send military vehicles down. pretty much like wyndhamhurst are under water, babylon, really hit very, very hard. on long island more than 80% of the customers are without power. 1.1 million customers, over 900,000 have lost their power. it's probably devastating a hit as long island has ever taken. have to say that people in suffolk county are bearing the brunt of this. they and the first responders are doing a phenomenal job. but it was really very harrowing. through the night, and this morning, basically, they're still asking everyone to stay off the roads. just, again, it was just exceeded the worst expectations for long island. >> you know, we're looking at pictures from yesterday, as you're talking, and you can just see the floodwater and the damage there.
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we talked about the rescue workers helping people in to vehicles to get them out of there. so what are the expectations? i know the water is receding here where i am in manhattan. but, i know it's very hard this early on to give a number like how many days people will be without power. but is there an expectation, four days or a week or two weeks? >> right now expect seven to ten days before power is restored. of course they couldn't do anything at all yesterday or even this morning yet because of the winds. it's only going to be this morning they can start with restoring of the power. it's going to be a long process. they are in place to do whatever they can as quickly as possible, but it's important for people to realize that this is going to be a long, hard process. and also, to get -- unless it's absolutely necessary for people to stay off the roads, because there still are wires down, it's important to get the trees and everything removed from the roads, and as people are out there, much harder to get that
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done. but it's, again, it's going to require an all-out cooperation from the public, and again last night, i know that probably too early to be showing you, but all those people who refused to evacuate, not only did they put themselves at risk they put many, many first responders at risk. areas where firemen almost lost their lives. >> yes, yes, no, they decide not to evacuate until they suddenly decide they need to be evacuated and then everybody has to wade in and go and get them. congressman peter king for us this morning. thank you, sir. we appreciate your time, long road ahead for you to recover where your constituents are. so thanks for talking with us. want to get to zoraida sambolin. she's got an update on some of the other weather-related news. you're looking at a live picture. and this is a partially collapsed crane in midtown manhattan. this was knocked down by strong winds from superstorm sandy. the crane is dangling from the 70th floor of that luxury high
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rise that's under construction. the building is 157. it is slated to be 90 stories tall when it is finished. here's what the crane looked like before, on the left, and then after. the concern right now, of course, is that crane plunging to the ground. new york's mayor bloomberg says the crane was just inspected last friday, and everything seems to be find. but, of course, the heavy winds created a problem there. take a look at this. a sudden rumble, then a cloud of debris when the facade of a manhattan apartment building is ripped off. this is all happening as sandy's intense winds tore through the area. left apartments completelyics posed. one firefighter had minor injuries. soledad? >> all right, zoraida. thank you very much. those are really dramatic pictures to take a look at this morning. let's get to jennifer delgado at the extreme weather center in
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atlanta. jennifer, where is sandy going next? >> well, sandy's going to be moving very slowly over toward the west. as it does it is still going to be squeezing out more rain out there as well as some snow. as i show you on the radar. here is where this center is left, the area of low pressure that is left of sandy. about 90, 100 miles to the west of philadelphia. now we are dealing with rain out there. for areas, including new jersey, washington, d.c., as well as into maryland, and we're also talking about snow for areas like west virginia. of course we're talking about a blizzard there. as we zoom in a bit more for you, soledad, you see that spin right there? there it is for you. again want to point out near baltimore, snow. there's not snow, and there is not any sleet, we're just talking about rain. but it is going to be windy day out there, soledad, with those wind gusts up to about 50 miles per hour. it's going to be dangerous, but also make conditions feel a lot cooler than the actual temperature. right now we have 50s out there. i know it feels a lot chillier than that.
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>> yep, it does. it's cold. it's starting to rain where we are. obviously past the storm. about to get the brunt of this storm. jennifer delgado, thank you very much. all right still ahead this morning we're going to have a chance to talk to mayor cory booker, the mayor of newark, new jersey. we spoke to him yesterday as he was preparing for the storm. he's wildly active on twitter. we'll talk to him about how his night went and how things look for his city today. smart comes with 8 airbags, a crash management system and the world's only tridion safety cell which can withstand over three and a half tons. small in size. big on safety. check out the latest collection of snacks from lean cuisine. creamy spinach artichoke dip, crispy garlic chicken spring rolls. they're this season's must-have accessory. lean cuisine. be culinary chic.
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[ male announcer ] the exceedingly nimble, ridiculously agile, tight turning, fun to drive 2013 smart. ♪ welcome back, everybody. you're watching our coverage of superstorm sandy. we're updating you on some of the aftermath has the storm has rolled through. let's get right to cory booker the mayor of newark, new jersey. we had a chance to talk to him yesterday as he was preparing for the storm hit. now we'll see how they're doing today in that city. mr. mayor, thank you for talking to us.
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how is newark, looking? >> it's tough, soledad. the majority of the city is blacked out right now without power. we have just tremendous storm damage, wires down, trees down, damage to people's property, severe flooding in areas of the city, still. still have a lot of work today to begin to try to get this city cleaned up, hopefully get power restored, which i don't want to give any false hope. it could be days for that. >> i was going to ask you, because you know that's what people really want to know. they want to know when will they have their power back. are you able to give anything more specific than just days? >> unfortunately not. but last night after midnight i talked to president obama, i talked to governor christie, been talking to numerous people here on the ground, who are in charge of that. everybody knows the urgency. everybody knows, especially when you have dense populations, and a lot of people are really
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reliant for medical reasons on power, that you get a sense of urgency to get this done. i don't have any more specific updates. i just do know that everybody from the federal, state, local level, that's one of the major missions today. secondary obviously to keeping everybody immediately safe. because there are many, many hazards in the streets. many downed power lines. so many flooded areas, and people still principally important and we're asking people to stay home. to stay out of the way so power crews, emergency responders, and others can get their work done. >> let me ask you a quick question before i let you go. we're looking at pictures from yesterday in atlantic city where the 234r50ding was very bad. what happens to election day? you know it's a week from today. you may not have power. i mean you don't have the flooding that atlantic city has but that flooding in atlantic city is not particularly unusual. what's going to happen to the election? >> you know, i think that obviously, you know, the
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function is critically important. all of us are just trying to make sure everybody is safe and secure. still have a few days to worry about that and i'm pretty confident all throughout the state of new jersey, as we focus on what's most important, which is people's safety, security, restoration of power, i'm sure that as election day gets closer we're going to find ways to make sure that it's as functional as possible, people are able to vote. >> mayor cory booker, the mayor of newark, new jersey. thank you for your time. we certainly appreciate it. we're back in just a moment. [ ross ] the streets of monaco,
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ahead this morning, two breaking stories to bring to you. we're taking a look at a levee that has been breached. we know that people are being plucked off the roofs of their homes. we'll update you on what's happening in those three towns in bergen county, new jersey. also take you to queens, breezy point in queens where a fire is raging out of control. 50 homes have already burned to the ground. another two dozen are on fire. and the firefighters' efforts are being compromised by the storms. we're back in just a moment. president obama: there's just no quit in america... and you're seeing that right now.
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welcome back, everybody. lots of breaking news to get to in the wake of superstorm sandy as she made landfall late last night. let's walk you through what is happening here. we know in bergen county, new jersey, there are three towns that are at risk. people being evacuated off the homes in moonachie, a trailer park there, apparently, folks are tweeting pictures to us.
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and i want to share some of those pictures with you. it got between four and five feet of water in moonachie. also carlstadt and little ferry the other two towns affected. and people have been plucked out of their second floor windows or off the top of their trailer home -- trailer park homes. they're being rescued at this hour by rescuers who are putting boats and high water vehicle out there to try to save people. this has been going on, apparently the levee breach happened around midnight and the rescue efforts happened starting around 2:00 in the morning. this is happening in the southern part of bergen county, in new jersey. continue to monitor that. then let's take a look -- i should mention these are from a firefighter and ambulance driver, bob munoz sending us those pictures. let's go to jeanne bar at to from the bergen county police department. here's what she told me. >> when all is said and done we're talking about hundreds, possibly 1,000 people that we may have to go and rescue.
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and yes, there's a trailer park in moonachie and the people are on the roof of those buildings. >> okay. our other breaking story, breezy point, queens, that's the rockaway section of queens, there is a massive fire that is burning. 50 homes have been burned to the ground. another 24 homes are, like that. they are on fire. firefighters have been attempting to put this fire out, but obviously very difficult because of the flooding, and the weather conditions there, and in addition, there's some issues with water pressure that is making it very difficult for these firefighters. some 200 who are on the scene now to get in there and fight this fire. they are -- they are obviously keeping an eye on watching what is happening with this fire, as well as our other breaking news story. want to take you to the satellite loop. sandy is officially a post-tropical cyclone. it's no longer technically a hurricane. the national weather service is
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telling us winds of 70 to 90 miles an hour are still possible in the tristate area. we're watching that for you, as well. 16 people killed in the wake of sandy in the united states. 6.5 million people without power. and insurers are estimating for us the damage will be somewhere between $10 billion and $20 billion when it is all tallied up. craig fugate is director of fema. we spoke with him yesterday about what they were expecting. mr. fugate, we appreciate your time this morning. walk me through the areas that have now been affected and where fema's resources are. >> well, we're working the pretty much everything from the carolinas all the way up. the way the storm's going we still have impact. last night after conversations with both governors of new jersey and new york, president obama took the extraordinary action to issue a major disaster declaration based upon the impact that had occurred. what that means is now not only are we providing direct response, but also financial support to state and local governments for response.
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individuals in these immediate declared areas can start registering for assistance by calling 1-800-621-fema or going to and start the registration process. we know there are people in counties that have not yet been declared. we will be adding on additional counties throughout the day, and probably over the next several days. really are still in response mode. and what people can do to really help right now if you're in the area, if you're not somewhere that's safe, stay inside. going outside is probably the one thing the responders would ask you, stay inside, stay safe. this is a response situation. as you're pointing out, this is not over. we still have more weather to deal with. hopefully people will be able to stay safe until we can get to the other side of this storm. >> so are you saying that in new york and connecticut have been declared disasters, this means that funds will be freed up? how much money are the people who you know in the areas around us have lost a lot. how much money will they be able
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to get to -- >> let's be clear. this is new york and new jersey for the counties that have already been declared. we have provided assistance for connecticut but not for individuals yet. new jersey and new york, and federal assistance will be primarily directed to those that have the uninsured losses, as well. small business administration disaster loans and that assistance, probably the first part is going to be people who have lost their homes or can't stay in their homes is rental assistance. getting some place to stay after the storm. >> craig fugate runs fema. nice to talk to you, sir. want to get right to rob marciano in asbury park in new jersey. not so far from where landfall was made last night. rob, describe for me what you're seeing this morning now that the sun is up or at least it's daylight. >> yeah, well, i can tell you that the clouds are at least trying to break. the wind is obviously continuing to blow. we've got a lot of debris littered here across town. i stopped jason burke, a local,
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lived here all your life. and you're here now out trying to or basically clean up and assess the damage. what have you seen so far? >> we just got calls from the oem having a meeting in asbury park. they called in loaders with grapples to move trees, debris, i'm just going to assess some of my accounts here that i think are in real bad shape. i've been getting calls through the night that everybody's in real bad shape. like i was telling you before, we don't have any power anywhere. so nobody's got the ability to look and see what's going on or find out, you know, whether it's safe. it's not safe. you know, and the people are texting us, watching it in different states that do have power are the ones that are actually giving us the best information that we can gather. so i just came out because i got called but otherwise i'd be staying home myself. >> you lived here all your life. you were here during the 1992 nor'easter. how does this compare? >> this is bad. this is as bad or as worst as
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i've seen. i haven't gotten around to everybody. but the amount of trees down, wires -- last night i came out to check on a couple things, and i went home because transformers were floating all around me a little bit west. here it's more debris. but anywhere where they have trees, power lines are down. trees are down. roads are blocked. took me ten roads to do a one-road pass right now because it's that bad. >> we appreciate you stopping by. know i got a lot of work to do. >> good luck, man. >> that's jason burke, lived here all his life. he wanted me to stress, if you have family that live in the storm zone and you're watching us, text them the information that we're putting out there. one thing you want to stress is, especially here in asbury park and other shore communities, don't go outside just yet. the power lines are down. there's still a lot of water covering the roadways. you don't know what's under that water. debris obviously. it's still very dangerous. whatever information you may have outside of the storm zone, text your loved ones inside of the storm zone. even though you can't make a
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call, even though they don't have power you might be able to get that text through. soledad? >> all right, rob, great advice, thanks. let's get right back to zoraida sambolin at time warner center with an update on some of the other storm related news. >> it looks and sounds like fireworks. but those sparks are flying from a pole carrying power lines. this is the story of queens. of course eu the result of superstorm sandy. con ed reports the storm has left more than 600,000 customers without power, and that is the most in their history. boy those are amazing pictures. right now firefighters are trying to save two dozen homes from going up in flames. this is breezy point, queens. some 200 firefighters are on the scene of the 6-alarm blaze. it has already destroyed 50 homes and that fire broke out at the height of the superstorm last night. 260 patients at the nyu langone medical center including patients and elderly in intensive care evacuated. massive flooding and a failed
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backup generator forcing ambulances to transport everyone to nearby facilities. this started about 1:30. some of the patients had to be carried down 15 flights of stairs with 12 feet of standing water in the elevator shaft. very scary moments for them there. and the body of a missing crew member from the doomed replica call ship "hms bounty" has been recovered off the north carolina coast. one crew member remains missing at this hour. the coast guard says 14 others were rescued from their life raft by two jayhawk helicopters after the ship took on water and as you can see there, sank. soledad, back to you. >> all right, zoraida, thank you very much. let's get right to martin savage near kingwood, west virginia, where they are killing with a different issue than what we've been talking about for a lot of the morning. dealing with snow. martin, good morning. >> good morning to you, soledad. yeah, exactly right. what we're dealing with here is blizzard conditions. this is preston county. one of 12 counties in the state
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of west virginia, higher elevations in particular, that are under a blizzard warning. maybe you can see the flag in the background there, indication of the wind. we've got a triple threat going on right now. we've got a high wind warning, we've got a blizzard warning and then on top of that, if you can believe it, we have a flood warning, as well. we're getting the conditions here that are pretty treacherous. let me just show you the snow. this is the really heavy, heavy, thick stuff. and so this is the stuff they're trying to push around. this is the stuff the people are trying to get through. we've got maybe about 8 to 10 inches here. projections are some elevations could see two to three feet before it's all said and done. blizzard warnings in effect until 6:00 last night. powerwise in this state they're doing not as bad as others. about 140,000, only one fatality. but this is going to get worse. soledad? >> all right, martin savage, this morning, in west virginia where snow is the big issue. still ahead this morning we'll
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be talking with the governor of new jersey. he said his state took it right in the neck in the wake of hurricane sandy. we'll talk with him about some of the massive damage they're dealing with. richard quest will update for us the travel nightmare that superstorm sandy has caused. and continues to cause. we'll update you on that, too. a hybrid? most are just no fun to drive.
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welcome back, everybody. you're watching continuing
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coverage of the aftermath of superstorm sandy. massive damage here in new york, we're going to talk more about that. first we want to talk about the damage and disaster to travel. not only here in the united states, but internationally, as well. richard quest has that for us. richard, good morning. >> soledad, this is the way it looks in the united states at the moment. the midwest traffic building up, as you can see. chicago, detroit, down towards the south. but in the northeast itself, very little air traffic. virtually none. and for one good reason. new york, kennedy, laguardia and newark, they are closed. the runways, as you know, flooded overnight. you can fly, you just don't want to be landing hundreds of planes on runways that were flooded and are perhaps dangerous. so as long as these big three are closed you can expect all travel in the region to be very badly affected. in washington, dulles, and national they are showing serious delays. there will be some flights into
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boston later in the day. same for philadelphia, and pittsburgh. the information that you need to know, if you are traveling, airlines, delta, united, us airways, american now say they are extending their times when you can rebook for no change fee or a full refund. wednesday through thursday. but you need to book and travel by november the 7th. soledad, the core story on the travel front this morning, things are getting back to normal slowly, boston and washington, south and north. in new york, it is going to be a disaster area around those airports for some time to come. >> so when do they expect, because obviously in some of the regions like laguardia is a good example, the airport has been shut down because of weather in addition to the challenges of flying in because of the weather system, if you know what i mean. when do they think they're going to have laguardia up and running again? when will they actually get back
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to a normal flight pattern? is it wednesday or thursday? >> well not even saying. they're not even saying. they've got to inspect the runways. they've got to inspect the navigation ee equipment. all the various bits of technology that make it safe. and that's even before you get to the point of when the weather allows you to actually land the planes safely. >> hmm. that's a long way of saying not any time soon. richard quest for us, thank you. still ahead this morning, we're going to be talking to the new jersey governor chris christie. he says it was his state that took it in the neck. we're going to update you on what's happening there, in new jersey, talking with the governor straight ahead. ♪
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welcome back, everybody. as we take a look at the aftermath for the state of new jersey in the wake of super storm sandy, we want to get right to new jersey governor, chris christie. he said his state took it on the neck. there's a rescue effort still going on in bergen county, new jersey. three towns have been severely impacted by a berm breach. from what i understand it's something like a levee. let's get right to the governor. thank you for talking with us. walk me through what exactly you know happened. >> sure. >> reporter: it looks like we're having -- it looks like we're have i having -- go ahead. yes i can hear you now. >> what happened this morning there was a natural berm that was holding back water. that berm was overwhelmed by the
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tidal surge. it wouldn't be correct to call it a levee or dam. it's not that sophisticated. it's a natural berm that eventually made its way up to new york city, kauing some of the devastation you're seeing in new york as well, flooded the town of moonachie. we've already rescued hundreds of folks out of there. we'll have to rescue hundreds more out of the day today. so far in moonachie, we have no loss of life that i've been informed of. hopefully, we'll keep it that way. >> i certainly hope so. some of the description of what people are doing to try to stay alive in the trailer park in moonachie, trying on the roof and trying to get residency could youed and pluck ed off their roofs in the middle of the night. that's terrifying. >> it's terrifying. a lot of brave first responders went in there, in the middle of the night, saving people off the
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tops of their trailers. those were the folks that were most in danger. a lot of other folks in other homes were able to get to higher floors and be rescued that way. >> all right. let's talk about some of the other damage woef seen. as you well know, reporters are all over your state. let's talk about atlantic city. you were kind of angry over the mayor of atlantic city because he didn't evacuate the lower lying areas. what exactly happened there? >> listen, soledad, what happened was i had said -- i ordered the evacuation of atlantic city. the mayor was sending a mixed message, telling folks that they could shelter as a last resort in the city of the atlantic city. a number of people chose to do so. that was the wrong thing to do. i had ordered the evacuation. now we're in the midst of doing urban search and rescue on a number of folks in atlantic city who were left behind there. we started that at sunrise this morning. we're going to be continuing that all day to evacuate the final people out of atlantic
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city. >> what's the price tag of all of this going to be? i'm looking at pictures from atlantic city, asbury park. it's bad across your state, very, very bad. what does this come to, financially? >> it's incalculable at this moment. i've not been able to tour my state or even get a handle on t i'm expecting to see a devastated jersey shore. that will be extraordinarily expensive to fix. and we have 2.4 million households without power. to give you some perspective, soledad, that's a million more households than lost power during irene last year. the infrastructure damage here is expense itensive. extensive. >> what happens -- i know this is a week out but what happens on election day? obviously you need power and you need to be able to get people in transportation to and from the voting places. >> well, listen, my lieutenant governor is overseeing the
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election process. my secretary of state, they have already been working on contingency plans for election day a week from today. and, listen, i'm hoping we'll have power restored a week from today to all the appropriate polling places and people can make their way and vote on november 6th as planned. right now, soledad, i'm much more concerned about preventing any other loss of life, getting people to safe places. then we'll worry about the election. the election will take care of itself. i spoke to the president three times yesterday. he has been incredibly supportive and helpful to our state and not once did he bring up the election. if he's not bringing it up, you can be sure that people in new jersey are not worried about that primarily if one of the guys running isn't. >> governor chris christie, thank you very much as your state has a little bit of a ways to recover as that rescue operation is still going on in bergen county in new jersey.
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god luck to those who are involved and those being plucked off their roofs. very dramatic pictures. a tanker, apparently, has washed on shore. let's put up this picture. take a look at that. this is in clifton. we'll tell you what happened and the story behind this ship washing up on shore straight ahead. stay with us. ♪...
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county. enormous fire is burning in the queens section of new york, 50 homes destroyed. another 24 are on fire right this moment. also a transformer explosion through the night. also 360 patients, some of them babies from the nicu, had to evacuate from a major new york hospital. historic flooding to tell you about that's consumed not only manhattan but parts of the northeast. homes are under water and more than 7 million people are in the dark. they've lost power and transportation is at a standstill, could be days until things get back to normal. covering the storm and this story like no other network. it is tuesday, october 30th. and special coverage begins right here on a special edition of "starting point" in the wake of super storm sandy. lots to talk about this morning. first let's start with pictures of that tampger, 700-ton tanker
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has washed aground. clifton, staten island. these are live pictures. don't know the information about this tanker at this moment. as soon as we know more about it, we'll be able to update you. imagine the power of the surge to be able to get a tank er of that size to wash aground in staten island. other stories to talk about this morning, rescue efforts are still under way in bergen county. moonachie, looks like the focus of those rescue efforts berm, sort of a natural levee, if you will, has been breached, putting four to five feet of water right into the town. paerm there's a trailer park right there. people scrambled out of their homes, on to their roofs and have been plucked from their roofs by rescuers who have been working through the night since 2:00 this afternoon. that breach happening, we're told, around midnight. then in queens the breezy point section, rockaway, we are told a
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fire is still burning out of control. take a lock at some of these pictures. 50 homes have burned to the ground. there's another two dozen that are on fire right now. big problem for the firefighters there. very hard to fight this fire when you consider that there's water pressure problems. there's actually flooding and damage from the storm that's making it very difficult for the 200 firefighters that have responded to get access to this fire. these are just some of the breaking news stories we're following for you this morning as we continue to monitor what has happened in the wake of hurricane sandy. hurricane sandy is no longer a hurricane. we're going to call it super storm sandy. take a look at the loop here. this is where it's headed. it's headed north now. dangerous winds, 70 to 90-mile-an-hour winds still will happen in gusts in the tri-state area. sandy is, by no means, over. we know that there are -- we continue to monitor sandy as she moves into pennsylvania, then into the west part of new york
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and eventually some time thursday evening-ish, models show it will be heading into canada. some of the updates on what we know right now. there are 16 people who have died across the united states in the wake of this storm. more than 7 million people are now without power and insurers are estimating the damage from this storm between $10 and $20 billion. admiral robert parker is with the u.s. coast guard and will update us on what we can expect now that the storm has passed through. admiral parker, thanks for talking with us. let's start with new york harbor, for example. we were told there were 32-foot waves. lots of those waves caused the storm surge we saw in lower manhattan and that was record-breaking storm surge. it ended up being 14 feet. talk to me about the aftermath
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of that. >> morning and thank you. certainly our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones. this has been a major storm, as you've been advertising, very chaot chaotic, trying to get a seps of what's happening. air crews are out now, 860 and 865 helicopters are on staten island and rockaway. there are a lot of issues out there. we're taking this in priority of safety of life, either search and rescue or statutory authorities. search and rescue coordinator for the larger federal fema effort. while we're out there we're looking for the marine transportation system, reconstitution so we can get goods and services moving. when the waves are that big, navigation gets pushed off station, shoaling in the chapels and under water obstructions. we'll be working closely with the corps of engineers to get that working again. right now our focus is on the safety of life and get those who
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might be cut off, who are unable to tell us about their peril. >> all right. let's talk a little bit about that, those rescue efforts. can you give me more details about the rescues that you've had to put into action through the night and into the morning? >> as you've been reporting through yesterday and last night we've continued to search for the master of the bounty. on scene all night, hoping we would find some manner of indication out there, stroeb light or some other light that might have indicated we had one more person to recover. we did not find anything last night. they will be relieved by a c-130 aircraft. we have a 220-foot buoy that's been out there all night. so that search continues. we have about 168 people stranded in about 59 locations we know of. i'm sure there's more. in manhattan, staten island, queens and brooklyn.
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we've been working very closely with the local authorities up there. and in nassau county as well, trying to figure out, triage and make the best assessment of which of those people are most urgently needing evacuation. obviously looking for people that have medical conditions, small children or other concerns in order to get those people to the proper services and safe groun ground. >> admiral robert parker joining us from the coast guard. thank you for talking with us. we certainly appreciate it. we want to head now to ali velshi from atlantic city. some of that water has receded. how does it look where you are now? hey, ali, i'm going to stop you there. we're having a hard time hearing you. the audio is not working. i don't know if you can hear me. let's see if we can re-establish that connection with ali velshi
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and get back to him in a moment. rob marciano is in asbury park. that's where he was as well yesterday. massive damage to talk about there. talking to governor christie, he was saying his state took it in the neck is what he said. it looks really bad there. okay. so it looks like we're having -- this happens a lot, obviously, in storms. we loz some of our technical equipment, clearly, because people have been standing out in the rain and water for hours and start getting very water logged. we'll see if we can fix those problems. let's go into time warner center. zoraida sambolin has an update on the stories we're bringing to you. hey, z. >> hi, soledad. super storm sandy, the crane is
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dangling from a 70th floor of a luxury high rise under construction, the building is called 157, slated to be 90 stories tall when it is finally completed. here is what the crane looked like before on the left-hand side and after on the right-hand side. the concern, of course, is that that crane will plunge to the ground. it was just inspected last friday, mayor bloomberg said, and at that point everything was fine. terrifying video of homes completely suppoexposed to the violent winds of super storm sandy. you can hear it and you can so it. after strong gusts tore off the front of an apartment building in new york city. one firefighter did suffer minor injuries there, soledad. >> sorry to hear that. you look at those pictures, it could have been much worse.
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zoraida sambolin, thank you. we'll try to get back to ali velshi. as i mentioned, he is in atlantic city. those pictures yesterday were absolutely devastating. ali, can you hear me now? >> reporter: yeah, i got you. >> terrific. >> reporter: before i talked to you last, a convoy of national guard troops pulled out to start checking around and see what's going on in the area, if people need rescuing. after that, we had a staging of ambulances from different areas. ambulances have come in here and they all dispatched with lights and sirens to see what's going on in the area. we've got helicopters flying up and down the coast to get a sense of damage and whether or not anybody is trapped or looking for rescue. you'll see in a moment there are going to be some ambulances passing by right in front of my camera shot, at least one more ambulance. maybe that's a fire truck. i can't tell. emergency vehicles all through atlantic city right now. that's all we are seeing at
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first light. they are coming out to get a sense of how much damage has actually been done. i'm just going to scooch over here so you can still see me. the water is gone, soledad. there's a whole lot of vegetation from the ocean that is on the street. we're going to go over to the boardwalk, three-quarters of a mile from here and take a look. you can hear sirens in the air. chris christie and the mayor both said if you're in your houses you're going to have to wait till morning to get rescued. they weren't going out last night. we are hearing sirens, we are seeing ambulances. we'll get a better handle of what's happening in atlantic city now that the sun is up from emergency management services and get back to you with that. soledad? >> ali, we've definitely seen that across the board now that the sun is up, first light of day. we're starting to see some action where i am, too, on the lower east side of new york. appreciate the update. we'll talk to the former new york governor, george pataki
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will be our guest. we'll talk about the damage across the state. the storm is not done with new york yet, though, expected to hit the western part of the state as it continues on wednesday and thursday as well.
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welcome back, everybody. george pataki, form er governor of new york, joins us now. good to see you. thanks for joining us. >> good morning, soledad. >> good morning to you, sir. what's your take away. obviously it's very dramatic. but you were running this state for a long time not too long ago. what do you think? >> well, it's dramatic and more than that, the safety concerns are not over yet. you still have downed power lines. you still have flooded subway tunnels and the best advice is to continue to listen to the experts, listen to the emergency responders, like the police and fire. and don't make any unnecessary
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trips outside. it might not be raining or windy, but the danger is still there. >> we have heard that the new york stock exchange is closed for a second day in a row. that's historic. it's not happened for some 120 years. from con ed, they've been saying this is the worst they've ever seen. transportation people, dealing with the subways, say they've never seen anything like this. what's the potential price tag of this? >> soledad, this is going to be in the billions. no question about it. with the stock markets closed down, all transportation essentially shut down yesterday and today and we'll see how quickly they can respond to get it up again tomorrow. one of the things you do is not worry about the price tag until you're confident that everyone is out of danger. i would just repeat i'm not confident that everyone still is out of danger. there are still risks of limbs or trees coming down. there's still downed power
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lines. so we can figure out the price tag as we go forward. and i'm confident that this will be a national disaster, which means significant relief will come from the federal government. >> this is a national disaster. does that mean -- what do you think it takes to overcome? i know new york state and new york city also are hard to keep down, literally. but people here have been asking us, when does the power come back on? when will normalcy return to our lives? >> that's the understandable question. when do my lights come back on? no one can really tell you at this point. we just don't know the magnitude of the loss of the system. but i'm extremely confident. new york has been through worse. and we always come back. it's a resilient people, resilient state, resilient country. we will have, as the rest of the country did, when they suffered natural disasters, the entire country's power behind them.
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it's going to take some time, obviously, with power. people just have to be patient. i know it's easier to say than to do. i've been without power now since probably around 7:00 last night. it's not a great feeling, but you just understand that there are greater concerns at this point. that is to make sure everyone is as safe as they possibly can be. >> all right. governor pataki, thank you so much. of course, as you know, he ran this state and has seen a lot of preparation. we'll get back to soledad in a minute. we were talking about the stock exchange. for the first time since 1888, the new york stock exchange will be closed for two days in a row because of the weather. hasn't happened since the blizzard of 19 -- or 18, rather, 1888. a flooded subway tums in new
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york city could take as little as 14 hours to drain or as long as four days. metro transit officials say seven subway tunnels located under the city's east river have been flooded out. mta chairman says new york's subway system has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last month. so 14 hours or four days to clear that all out. speaking of floodwaters, this is what it was like inside a vent building at the holland tunnel yesterday. officials closed the holland tunnel yesterday afternoon as the threat from sandy loomed. that's what it looked like inside one of those holland tunnel vent tunnels. when we come back, we'll talk about air travel and when you can start to see flights back up and running. across the country, there have been flight delays and cancellations. we'll tell you what the status is now and when you can get back on a plane.
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in the wake of the super storm we've talked about the devastation from flooding and damage from high winds. also, we need to talk about snow. let's get to martin savidge in west virginia. good morning. having a hard time hearing martin. we'll see if we can fix that audio issue with martin savidge,
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who will report on the blizzard conditions in west virginia in addition to the rain we've had here, obviously it's snow they're dealing with there. we'll particular a short break and come back in a moment, continuing to update you on the damage by super storm sandy and where she's heading next. people have doubts about taking aspirin for pain. but they haven't experienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 95% of people who tried it agreed that it relieved their headache fast. visit today for a special trial offer.
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hunter's life is one of nearly a million changed by donations from people like you. send your love to the rescue. donate to shriners hospitals for children today. welcome back, everybody. the super storm called sandy carved a path of destruction through new jersey and here in new york. it has been messing up travel for people, not just here locally but nationally and internationally as well. richard quest has a look at that for us this morning. god morning. >> good morning to you. the travel day is truly under way in the midwest, chicago and in the south. but in the northeast, just look at it. you don't see this very often. there are problems at the richmond control tower, causing some delays. flying is starting to get under
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way in boston, there are a few planes that are now at the gate and have arrived. but this is the reason why it's going to be miserable and impossible to fly in and out of new york. kennedy, laguardia, newark, they are closed. the runways were flooded last night and until they can sort out the safety implications of that, those airports won't open any time soon. atlantic city is also closed because of the flooding. the airport tends to stay open, technically. the faa doesn't close them unless there's a safety reason, which is what's happened in the new york airports. that does not mean airlines are flying. so washington-dulles, washington national, look for mass cancellations and serious delays, even though flights going into boston logan will have some serious problems.
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there are just a handful moving. philadelphia and pittsburgh, they start to move. if you are meant to be flying to the northeast today, take advantage of what the airlines are doing. they're allowing rebookings wednesday through thursday travel with a no fee change and a full refund. but it's got to be by november 7th. soledad, this is the picture. this is what you have to bear in mind. as long as these major airports in the northeast remain either closed or seriously delayed, then the snowfall effect, if you like, will go both transatlantic and right the way across the united states. >> all right, richard quest, thank you very much for the update. certainly appreciate it here in lower manhattan, the rain is picking up once again. other breaking news to get to for you this morning. let's take a look. first, this is from our affiliate wabc in new york, a 700-ton tanker has run aground on staten island, the 168-foot
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john b. goodel we're told. it's brought it right up on to the beach in staten island. more to get to. a natural berm has been overtopped in southern new jersey, about midnight. 2:30 in the morning they were trying to rescue people out of three towns. they think there might be a thousand people trapped. mo moonachie apparently is the place that is having the most difficulty with water four to five feet high and there are reports that people have been climbing up on to their roofs in the hope that is they can wave down rescuers to get plucked off their roofs and to safety. there is a trailer park there. that has been a big focus of some really tough times. all right. got to get to this fire that's happening in queens, rockaway
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section of queens. take a lock at these devastating pictures. just the sound of it. you can hear it. 50 homes have burned to the ground already. another two dozen are fully engulfed in this fire. 200 firefighters at last count are on this scene. they're having a hard time getting access to the fire. they can't get in there. there's a problem with water pressure and also a problem with some of the access as well. so, they are having a really hard time getting in to deal with this fire. we're continuing to monitor that, that taking place in breezy point in queens. then there's this landmark here in new york called jean's carousel, 90-year-old merry-go-round that sits in the middle of brooklyn bridge park. it was left standing in a sea of water. take a lock at these pictures, flooded by super storm sandy. satellite loop to show you the damage that sandy has done, moving on now. it was no joke. winds 70 to 90 miles an hour continuously. they're expecting in the
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tri-state area still even though it is no longer being considered a hurricane. we'll continue to monitor this storpg storm, obviously, as it moves into pennsylvania and the western part of new york and then right into canada as well. let's talk about the trail of destruction left by this storm. sandy killed 16 people in the united states. at last count more than 7 million people now are reported to be without power. and insurers are telling us they're thinking that this damage will be somewhere in the $10 to $20 billion range. let's get right to rob marciano, reporting from asbury park, new jersey, since yesterday, looking very bad this morning. the sun has come up here. oh, my goodness. there's actually a rainbow right in front of me. it looks quite nice, considering the devastation around us. rob, how is it looking where you are? >> reporter: the wind is still holding on. spotty showers from time to time. asbury park survived this storm. there's a tremendous amount of damage here.
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on top of that, the surge that came in last night still vast puddles of water here that's covered up a lot of debris. this still has to drain out. they've got to clear some of these roadways. coast guard choppers have gone up and down this beach line, no doubt, from the atlantic city base down there. you reported on this, over 160 people across the five burroughs that are in need of residency could you at 50 different locations. coast guard definitely is busy. this is actually the hotel we stayed in last night. some damage there, just one of the many windows that was blown out. and the surge that came through here dumped a bunch of debris here. from the asbury fire department, what have you seen so much today? what are you still kerped about? >> we have significant damage to our boardwalk and beach front area, and we're urging people to stay away from the beach front. it is dangerous. several of our lakes have overflowed. before the storm approached we
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significantly lowered our lakes to aloeviate some of the flooding problems that we may ip occur. that did help. if we hadn't, it would have been much more devastating as far as the flooding. we have a lot of downed trees, wires, telephone poles that have been snapped in half, several structures that have roof damage throughout the city and the overall message as the governor has said and emergency management officials have said, everyone should stay home, stay off the road unless you absolutely need to be out. >> did you get any calls for rescue last night? >> no, we didn't. >> good news there. two areas where senior citizens actually stayed in place. one had 30, one had over 100. what's the status of that group? >> that's correct. asbury tower, 26-story high rise building on our beach front, residents refused to evacuate. they are without power at this time. they are trying to restore power to that building. another senior citizen, 12-story building that about 100
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residency departments refused to go. they are without power. backup jgenerators are operational. >> good news in no serious injuries or fatalities. one of the many coastal communities hit very hard with this storm, soledad. no doubt it's going to take quite some time to put the pieces back together here across the jersey shore. back to you. >> no question about that. rob marciano for us this morning. appreciate it. we want to get to theburgen county police chief of staff. we told you about rescue efforts, people literally being plucked off their rooftops as the berm has been breached. it's sort of like a natural levee for those of you that don't know. there are three towns that are affected. can you tell me the towns and what kind of damage you're dealing with now? >> yes, moonachie, carlstadt
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and -- devastating event we just were not ready for. >> what can you tell me about these rescue efforts, miss baratta? >> obviously we're having some technical issues with her shot. what we do know is that they thought as many as 1,000 people may need to be rescued in those three towns, especially in moonachie where it seems like things were quite dire. rescue efforts have been ongoing since 2:30 this morning. that berm was breached around midnight. we know from governor christie updating us that those rescue efforts are still upped way at this hour. we want to get right back to zoraida sambolin at time warner center with more weather-related news to us. >> some election news, actually, soledad this morning. election day is now a week away.
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both president obama and governor mitt romney are canceling events in response to super storm sandy. instead of heading to n event he had in florida, the president provided major disaster declarations for the states of new jersey, new york. and officials say he will also cancel today's scheduled campaign events. meantime, romney says he will not be campaigning today either. however, he will be holding a storm relief event in ohio where he will be joined eed by race driver richard petty and country sing singer. massachusetts candidates brown and warren announced they would not attend a scheduled debate. they both say that efforts should be focused on disaster
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relief. >> appreciate it, zoraida. dan lothian, i want to talk to you about what zoraida was just talking about. many people, including those campaigning, say we're going to put the campaign on hold as we focus on disaster relief. what can you tell us about that? >> the campaign itself is not on hold but the president's travel plans have been put on pause, not only yesterday but today as well. i did reach out to a campaign official who told me that it's still up in the air. they have not nailed down whether the president, in fact, will head become out on the campaign trail. as you know, the president all this week, into the big push into election day this stops planned in all of these key battleground states and put it on hold so he could come back and deal with this disaster. declarations for the states of new jersey and new york. in addition to that, he did sign an emergency declaration for
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west virginia and virginia, in addition to nine other states, including the district of column bey, which the president signed yesterday. he has been briefed overnight on the situation with sandy. the main briefer, we are told, is john brennan, his adviser for homeland security. we are told that he will have another briefing this morning. the big question is, again, when will the president head back out on the campaign trail? waiting to find out if, in fact, we'll hear from the president today in the briefing room. >> governor chris christie told me he had heard from president obama and he was grateful for the assistance that the president has been giving. we also heard from newark mayor cor corey book er, tweeting about hs meeting by phone with president obama. he has been reaching out to these states. >> he has, in fact. not just those governors and mayors but new jersey city mayor. they gave us a list of those that the president reached out
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to overnight. when asked whether or not he was concerned about taking this pause from the campaign trail to focus on this issue, how this would impact the election, the president saying that was not the main issue for him at this time, that the election would sort of take care of itself. he wanted to focus on the people in the affected area and the first responders. you're seeing that the president using this moment to so many presidential, i guess you could call it, reaching out to mayors and governors, all the officials involved as well as emergency management officials to make sure that they have the necessary assets and also promising federal help with whatever they need. >> dan lothian for us this morning. thank you, dan. appreciate the update. dan is at the white house. coming up this morning, we'll be talking to the former head of fema, talk about the disaster relief of people who have been affected in all those states dan was just talking about. what they can expect. that's ahead. stay with us. you're watching a special edition of "start iing point" a we take a closer look at super storm sandy.
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i'm zoraida sambolin. you are look at a crane that collapsed in new york city. the building is slated to be 90 stories tall when it is finished. here is the way the crane looked before on the left and now after. the concern is that the crane will plunge to the ground. it was inspected last friday and everything looked fine then. 260 patients at the nyu
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langone medical center evacuated, failed backup generator forcing ambulances to transport everyone to nearby facilities. some patients had to be carried down 15 flights of stairs with 12 feet of standing water in the elevator shaft. and super storm sandy rips the face off a building in new york city. the violent winds smashed the entire facade, leaving apartments completely exposed to the elements. one firefighter had to be treated for minor injuries. the body of a missing crew member from the doomed ship bount has been recovered off the north carolina coast. one crew member still remains missing at this hour. the coast guard says 14 others were rescued from their life rafts by two jay hawk helicopters after the ship took on water and sank. you're looking at that picture there. these are the pictures of the hms bounty as it was sinking. tragic ending there for that person. soledad, back to you.
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>> it certainly is. zoraida, thank you very much. we want to bring in james lee witt. you might remember that he ran fema under president clinton. you had something like 350 disaster that is fema responded to in your tenure. how would you rate or rank what we're seeing in this storm with what you've been through? >> well, i think that fema has done an excellent job. craig fugate is a very extremely experienced emergency manager from florida and has done a very good job. i'm very proud of him in prepositioning those resource, pumps, generators, search and rescue teams, disaster teams. they've had them all in preposition before this storm came ashore. >> you heard from many people, the con ed, for example, said this is the worst that they've had to go through. we know for the folks who run the subways say the very same thing. is this true? would you say this particular storm as it has made its way up
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and continues, i should add, has been one of the most devastating storms that all these emergency responders have had to deal with? >> it's very devastating. we'll just have to wait and see and see what the cost is going to be on this. i heard an estimate of $20 billion. you know, you just don't realize how much damage until the water goes down. and look at the infrastructure and seeing what problems you may have. and the power companies are going to have a challenge on their hands. and people need to be patient because of all the damages and getting power back on in a safe way is very important. >> i have to tell you, people are not all that patient. the number one question i'm being asked while people walk by or ride by on bikes is when will my power be back on. beyond the search and rescue, what should fema be -- i should say beyond the search and rescue, because we've had many
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of those this morning. >> people in the emergency operation centers and prestage equipment and following whatever resources the states are going to need to start the process of recovery. and they had done that. fema doesn't go in and take over the disaster. they go in and supplement the states and local governments. that's their role and responsibility. >> james lee witt, thank you, sir. we appreciate your time this morning. >> thank you. still ahead we'll bring you the very latest update on what's happening in queens. we've been telling you about that fire burning out of control in the rockaways. they've made some progress on that fire. we'll bring you the latest. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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welcome back, everybody. 50 homes burned to the ground. another two dozen homes engaged in major fire taking place in the rockaway section at breezy point in queens, new york. the new york fire department updating us, saying there are pockets of fire. the fire is still smoldering. we continue to monitor this fire. these pictures are from overnight. it looks like this fire is getting more under control. that coming to us from the new york fire department. want to update you now on what is happening with the red cross in asbury park and other parts of new jersey. kristiana almeida joips us now from continueton falls, new
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jersey. i talked to the governor of the state of new jersey, and he said that his state had taken it right in the neck, which means a lot of work for you. where are you placing your biggest resources? where are you seeing the most problems? >> especially as we're able to get people into the field to truly get an idea of what the damage is like in a lot of the neighborhoods. this morning we have woken up with residents that have been affected, many are calling their friends and neighbors, trying to get any information they possibly can, worrying that their homes have been destroyed or are currently sitting under water. garage doors are missing. stuff has floated out to sea. unfortunately people are waking up in our shelters not receiving the best of news regarding their own homes. >> so when kinds of things do people need? obviously when we hear the red cross is helping people, anybody who has watching that hasn't been affected, first thing they want to do is assist in some
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way. what do you need? >> we are going to continue to provide shelter for a very long time. we expect it to be a very large and costly operation because of the extent of the damage and the number of people affected. in addition to providing shelters, we're going to continue to provide comfort. worry going to continue to provide hugs and any service provided by the american red cross is actually a gift from the american public. so a donation to the red cross is actually a gift to someone who has been affected by a disaster. that will be the best way for us to have the most flexibility to make sure that the needs of everyone will be met knowing that everyone's needs will be slightly different based on their unique situation. >> what are people that are coming into the red cross and asking for assistance, what are they telling you? what are you hearing from them? >> a lot of it has just been kind of -- gosh. it's just been utter disbelief. people have been here for 20, 30-plus years. i met a couple that only
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evacuated their home three times ever and the last time was during irene. the fact that some of these homes are gone is just utter disbelief. we've actually been doing a lot. giving a lot of hugs and a lot of comfort. right now it's a real shock phase forry lot of people. they don't know what their first step s we're helping them to kind of sit down, assess the situation and we're going to be working with them long term to make sure that they have a place to stay, that they're going to have clothes on their back, next steps in place to take caharge f their recovery process. >> my goodness. we certainly are glad that you're doing that work. many people who need this help, obviously looking at these pictures this morning. kristiana almeida is a spokesperson for the red cross this morning. we appreciate your time and your work as well. we'll take a short break. when we come back, we'll update you on super storm sandy, where she's been, where she's headed, coming up. have you seen this road we're going down? ♪
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even though she's no longer a hurricane, damage in new jersey, new york, maryland, delaware, even as far as west virginia, has been devastating. we know that sandy continues her way up north. she'll be heading into pennsylvania and the western part of new york and eventually make her way into canada. we continue to monitor superstorm sandy's progress even though we're no longer dealing with the brunt of the storm. we've been told there could be gusts between 70 and 90 miles an hour here. it could be problematic for folks as they get up. many people have spent the night in a shelter. they want to he see what's happening with their homes. where i am, power is out. that's a big focus back here in new york city. when will we be getting power back on to the nearly


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