tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN November 1, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
>> that's it for us. thanks for watching "erin burnett "outfront" starts now. next, wake of the storm. new problems are becoming more fearsome. gas lines spilled, desperate people, and the road to recovery is just beginning. officials say the election should not be affected by sandy, but there are signs that may no longer be true and news just in a new timeline of the events in libya and what it says about the amin station's response. let's go "outfront." good evening. tonight, the wreckage. millions growing more desperate as they struggle to cope with the loss of homes, power and
family in the wake of hurricane sandy. the u.s. death toll has risen to 88. 44 in new york state alone and the number continues to grow as many people are still missing. i spent the day on staten island where more have died in new york than anywhere else. some of the worst devastation is here and people told us they're not getting enough help as we visited some of the hardest hit areas with congressman michael brim, searchers discovered the body of two young boys. ages 2 and 4 in the marsh. they were swept from their mother's arms in the most violent moments of the storms. some were hoping for a miracle. there was no one today. >> we've confirmed four bodies. the two children they were looking for, they found the bodies. also in a different location, found an elderly couple. >> at least 19 have been killed on staten island. what we saw was very upsetting today and we are quoing to bring
it to you this hour, but first, brian todd. he is on staten island. what are you seeing right now? >> well, we're in the new beach neighborhood of staten island. kind of on the southern and eastern end of the island. this road behind me is flooded. you can't see a lot of that now. the houses here, hundreds of home ons staten island as you saw and as we saw in this section today, hundreds of homes either severely damaged or destroyed, half of the house to my left and your right, pretty much gone. we wanted to show you some sound that we got of two ladies who live in this area. they showed us it is damage in their homes. >> the water level was up to here. past my first floor. this is you know, this is old stuff coming out of the refrigerators. there's no power. >> just a glimpse there of some
of the damage here, but every house you go to has a story like that, either part of the entire house is swept away. some of these people don't have insurance. at least flood insurance. you mentioned the death toll and the two young boys found today. we're told now that 19 people died on staten island alone. just on this borough. completely devastated. >> the complaints they're having today, they're -- the death toll to go even higher. we were also told about looting in neighborhoods like mid land park. are the people you're with worried about looting? just seems like their belongings are literally everywhere. >> they are worried about it, erin and i just literally seconds ago talked to a gentleman down the street who says he was looted. he said people came in and took some of his tools. as you mentioned and we've seen, there are people dragging their goods, their belongings out and
putting them on their front lawns in an effort to salvage them. they need to get them out of their houses, but that's the problem. the houses are pretty much wide open and very, very vulnerable to looting and this gentleman told us he's been looted. >> thank you very much. reporting from staten island tonight and as we said, we're going to have an in-depth report on what we saw there and it was very upsetting. it will be weeks before some areas get power again. it's unknown before people in the hardest hit areas can go home. it's three days after the storm and while the immediate flood waters have receded, other problems are getting bigger and bigger. the looting, the gas supply, the cold, the hunger. >> right now, people in power. as power gets turned on, it's going to help the areas with a lot of damage.
we've turned on a lot of the fema assistance to get people moved or get them rentals. we're working to get more people in these areas, thing rs starting to get in there. but the two priorities are the power restoration to get power back on. we're going to refer back to the utilities. we got some of the equipment today. we're moving equipment from the west coast to the east coast. you can't drive it fast enough, so the departments are now flying utility trucks and crews from the west coast. some began landing this evening. that's going to continue as we
bring in more resources to support utilities. >> when you see the pictures, we've seen this in several areas. when you look at the devastation and homes completely gone, homes just ripped off their foundations. is this what you expected or worse? >> no, this is why the evacuation orders were issued. with storm surge, which is what we get with these type of systems, people tend to think of this as what you see from hurricanes like we saw in mississippi and other storms. when this happens, that's the power of that water. it's not going to be like it's flooding the street. it can literally destroy homes as the waves start smashing everything. >> as i mentioned on staten island today and there was a lot of frustration. people were called it the forgotten borough. let me just play this.
>> why did it take three days? >> we went from a storm making the landfall, search and rescue was priority. getting teams in there. there is already assistance being made. but we haven't reached everybody, until we do, we're not stopping. we're at day three, and it's going to continue as we get to the rest of the community and getting to the hardest hit areas. >> in places like staten island what are gug to do now? they had complaints about looting. we've heard in some neighborhoods looting of stores and great frustration there there haven't been door to door checks for bodies. is that something you will be doing soon? >> the first search and rescue
is to go back and do search and recovery. we want to identify and hopefully find the people who are missing, haven't been accounted for. that will continue until they have accounted for all of the missing this is, again, in day three, search and rescue, get to the injured and trapped, now looking for those that are still missing, getting power and critical facilities in there and getting assistance to the survivors. >> let me ask you how high you think the death toll will go? >> i really can't say, based upon what the teams have been working on, they are going against now is people are reporting that family members may be missing or haven't accounted for folks and those are the things that the city officer of emergency management gets numbers, teams are going back to look in those areas, look for more people. get to the list and see how many people are still not accounted
for. >> and a final question. one of the fear people have is the gas lines. we sat today at one point. a four-lane superhighway, and we sat until we realized that people were trying to get around a line many hours long to get gas. and people are panicked about the gas supply. we are told there is no problem with the supply, and i want to emphasize that to viewer who's may be worried. it's partially a powerish eau, but people say it's fair to ask you about that. why is fema not doing more? what more can you do to help with that problem? >> part of it was getting where you could get the fuel barges back into some of the areas in the ports. the coast guard and corps of engineers working the last couple of days to get where they could get barges back in to facilities. that starts getting supply back in there. but it's taking time to get everything back in place that was either damaged or evacuated during the storm.
to start getting supplies flowing. we've been trying to get emergency fuel in for the generators and for the responders to make sure they still have fuel to go and getting those things in place as the last couple of days, they were using reserve stocks. >> thank you very much. and good luck. we hope you can help all of the people out there who need it so much. still to many co, three days after the storm, some new jersey residents see what's left of their homes for the first time today. plus, the call for help. >> there are bodies out in the water in homes. what the hell? >> and, really, there is another storm headed toward the same area affected by sandy. yes. how did i get here? dumb luck? or good decisions? ones i've made.
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our second story outfront, tonight, some residents of new jersey's barrier islands are seeing what's left of their homes and what they find could be heartbreaking. this is a picture of the jersey shore before hurricane sandy, then after the storm ravaged the community. michael holmes is live in toms river, new jersey. michael. >> reporter: yeah, erin, that whole area has been battered so badly. we've been out there twice in two days. we've seen house in the middle of the street. gas lines that are just now being brought under control and one of the worst hit areas we got to today, an area familiar to many viewers. that whole new jersey boardwalk area. those entertainment piers. of all the damage brought by sandy, these images are among
the those that stand out the most. take a look at before and then the heartbreaking after. this is the casino pier and amusement park in seaside heights. three quarters century old. to television viewers who watched "the sopranos" or the jersey shore or listen to bruce springsteen sing about this place, there might be a sense of familiarity of it. but for millions of americans, this is a deep personal loss. >> that pier was beautiful. it had great rides. every one of you people or half you people has been on that pier. >> reporter: summer memories, a place where their parents brought them and they brought their own kids. until now, until this. harry smith is a councilman and business owner. his family ran the beach umbrella concession. it's gone now. >> this is heartbreaking.
i've lived here my whole life. devastated. >> reporter: the best known and most dramatic image, the star jet roller coaster. it sat on the pier that used to run 300 yards out to sea along with three dozen other famed rides and attractions. this, for example, was the scrambler. less than a mile away. fun town pier, where we find bob stewart standing where his office used to be. >> i have never seen anything like it. this building where we're standing, i have pictures of it from the 1890 or something and it was the only building here. every storm up till now, you know, completely gone now. >> reporter: he says he's already getting calls from regular vacationers. >> they're going to miss this place. they spent their summers here. since there was this thing, you know.
>> reporter: the crushing damage down here, all too clear. the ferris wheel, incredibly upright although the pier it sat on is gone. other rides, unrecognizable. the sheer force of the water clear to see from the debris, but it's pylons like this that have stood here for decades that really tell the story. snapped off and shredded. the famed new jersey boardwalk, 16 blocks of it, has either been turned into kindling or has buckled or undermined. it all needs replacing. places like this are more than just pylons and metal though. more than just a beach. this ha been a don't. part of life and family history for those who come year after year. they say it will be rebuilt. but it will never be the same. michael holmes, seaside heights on new jersey's barrier island. >> but not everyone is eager to rebuild. "outfront" tonight, joe and ruth. their home was hit by irene last year and they rebuilt and now,
their home is destroyed again. tell me, do you think this could happen? >> not like this. i mean, we never expected the destruction that we've seen. it's indescribable. >> and ruth, i know you're considering whether to come back. why are you hesitating on rebuilding? >> i don't know, i've just never felt such terror in my life. i'm usually a pretty strong person. i'm still shaking. i can't think straight. just for fearful of something happening like that again. >> and ruth, i don't know your story -- i'm sorry to interrupt. i think we have a delay, but your story of how you survived is pretty miraculous. >> it is. we're lucky to be alive.
>> you were having dinner with friends and it was just happened to be that you were in the right place at the right time. >> we went across, i went across the street after having dinner with my friends at 7:30. walked my dog. everything was normal. probably an hour or later, my house was under water and it just kept pouring in. just growing worse and worse and worse. everything changed in an hour or so. >> joe, what do you think about rebuilding? >> you know, i'm a jersey boy. i've lived here all my life. lived in toms river over 40 years. our dream was always to live on the water. we had a beautiful view of right across from the ocean and if the house is structurally sound and the engineers tell us that we can rebuild, we will. i know ruth is a little frightened. i mean, it was pretty difficult. almost lost our lives in that house, but tracked on the second floor and having gas lines rupturing all over, we were
lucky to get out. someone banged on our door at 7:00 in the morning the next morning and got us out by boat. had it not been for them, we could have perished in that house. >> thank you. the weather service that predicted the accurate track of sandy is predicting another storm. that storm, coming to the same area. chad myers is next. later, suzanne kelly met with a senior intelligence official on the benghazi attack. new information on the timeline tonight and what the administration knew when. meet the five-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max says ha. c-max says wheeee. which is what you get, don't you see? cause c-max has lots more horsepower than prius v, a hybrid that c-max also bests in mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid.
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our third story, as the northeast struggles to recover from sandy, a new winter storm could hit the mid-atlantic and new england next week. chad, this is pretty hard to imagine. >> i know. now, it's six days away. it's hard to predict a nor'easter 24 hours out, but the same model that predicted the hurricane and within 15 miles, five days out, is predicting this. let me show you how it's going to set up. warm in the west, cold in the east. that is always the set-up for the potential of a nor'easter to come over the top, develop down here in the gulf, then run up the east coast. the east coast gets cold, then snows. could rain, but probably snows. here is that model. forward it to monday. it rains on tuesday in florida. that could affect the election a little bit, but then on wednesday, it runs up to the east coast, now, this is not a 100 mile per hour storm.
half the houses don't have roofs. but you're going to see any way the next couple of nights, all close to freezing at night and five million people without power which means no heat. you have to be careful not to try to heat the place and make carbon monoxide. >> that was a terrible story. thank you. next, what we saw. the desperation of superstorm sandy. >> we stayed 11 hours on the roof. we kept yelling help to everyone we seen. nobody was coming. help us. >> and later, senator rand paul. does the romney campaign have a plan to win the election if they can't win ohio? sources. the soc. for human resource management and its members know... how to harness that power, because we help develop it.
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. we start the second half of our show on stories we care about. where we focus on our own reporting. the crane that overturned high above manhattan is a little closer to being tied down tonight. it was being used to construct the tallest residential building in manhattan. today, michael bloomberg announced that inspections of the crane are complete. the construction manager tells us the department of buildings is reviewing the plans to secure it. the area is still closed. public transportation in new york city is starting to come back. some subway lines and amtrak are going to run on a schedule. thousands were o waiting in long
lines to get to work. at least there was some public transportation to help them. the congestion eased a bit thanks to a car pool rule. that made a difference. all three major airports were open today for the first time since the storm hit at limited capacity. well, the military used cargo jets to fly power trucks and crews from california to try to help new york clean up sandy. 69 vehicles from southern california were flown in from the west coast. they also sent generators and water pumps to help with clean-ups. the navy will be on stand by in case the state government asks for them help. and now, picking up the pieces from sandy. staten island is a 60 square mile portion of new york city and it suffered some of the worst devastation from the storm. 19 of the city's deaths happened on staten island and today, i toured some of the hardest hit areas and spoke with residents just beginning to pick up the piecing of their shattered lives.
this is quincy avenue and you still can't get close to house number 845. that's where barbara and her son, christopher, barely survived the storm. >> we stayed 11 hour onss on the roof. we kept yelling help to everyone we see. nobody was coming. nobody. >> their neighborhood, destroyed. the water rose feet in just minutes. they escaped with their lives, but suffered unimaginable loss. >> we were told the next day, looking for my sister, she was found dead in her apartment -- we have to get her from brooklyn and try to bury her. >> at the shelter, we saw about 250 people with no place to go and there are others still unaccounted for. congressman michael grim represents all of staten island. we went with him to see some of the worst devastation. our trip started with heartbreaking news. >> four bodies all together.
>> two of those belonged to a 2-year-old and 4-year-old. separated from their mother as she tried to flee the rising water. two innocent children gone forever. and despite some help arriving today, grim is angry at what he says is a lack of support in what residents told us is an overlooked and forgotten part of the city. so, you think there's still people trapped? >> yeah, unfortunately i do. i think that most likely, there's not going to be many survivors. i think we're going to have as we go door to door and knock on basement, we're going to find bodies. today, they found an elderly couple. i think there's going to be more of that. you know, the one thing i would say is that i think we should be knocking on doors now because maybe there is still someone alive. >> but you need more help. >> we absolutely need more help. this is a cry for help. >> how are you? >> every step grim took, people came asking for help.
they told us they need food, shelter. so far so far, they said only neighbors have come to their aid. >> where is the red cross? >> on their way now. >> and with temperatures, and increasing desperation, the area needs more help. >> just to put in perspective, a marathon, which you're going to need cops, right, to work the marathon. we don't have cops to stop the looting going on in midland beach, where we are now and getting water out of the battery tunnels, we don't have bodies out of the water at home. what the hell? have we all lost our minds? i just think it's a lack of priorities. and we're not getting city hall what we should be getting. and i don't know where the disconnect is, but it's very frustrating. >> it's not just mayor bloomberg he's angry with. he says the federal government hasn't done enough either. >> we've got to get people on the ground. fema is just hitting today.
we're frustrated because they should have been here r already. >> as new york tried to show the world they could pick up by going on with the world's biggest marathon this weekend, people like scott and kelly will be homeless. we went to see the house they would have moved into today. the landlord said they already paid their deposit. outside pieces of lives on hold. books, computer disks, even money. >> we need more on the ground. we need to city of new york to realize that this is our katrina. >> the obama administration responded to complaints that fema was late on the scene and amounted the deputy administrator will be there tomorrow and fema wants everyone who needs assistance to call. 1- 800-621-fema or disasterassistance.gov. president obama was back on the campaign trail in wisconsin,
but still focused on storm recovery back east. the trail. >> in new jersey yesterday and saw the devastation and you really get a sense of how difficult this is going to be for a lot of people. but you know, we've been inspired these past few days. because when disaster strikes, we see america at its best. the consumer in these times all seem to melt away. there are no democrats or republicans during the storm. just fellow americans. >> his response to the storm has earned him big praise. 78% approve of how he's dealt with the hurricane. images and headlines like this have helped, too, featuring chris christie of new jersey on a bipartisan storm damage tour together from wednesday.
but not everyone's a fan of the federal agencies that handle disasters like these, including rand paul. he's "outfront" tonight. senator, good to see you and i want to talk about fema. they were on earlier. you know, i think by all accounts, what we've heard, some are frustrated, but they're trying hard to do a good job. at the beginning of the hurricane season this year, you tried to hold up a five-year extension of fema's program. it was tied to an amendment about personhood. why did you do it? >> well, what i have always maintained on our side is that fema should exist on money that comes in as revenue, but not on borrowed money, so really the fight wasn't about we should borrow money for fema or come from existing funds. we send billions of dollars overseas to aid other countries. i'm for keeping that money home and paying for fema with that rather than borrowing money. >> so, you don't have a problem with fema.
we see people, they're in such desperate -- a lot of them are -- >> i think fema tries hard. i think they're like many government agencies. sometimes, they're successful and sometimes, they're not. i'm hoping maybe the ice they have in the warehouse that's been there since katrina that they could never use, maybe they could use that this time around or maybe some of the housing they had in arkansas that spent years in arkansas and never got katrina. i'm not saying government doesn't have a role. i personally have seen up close the salvation army, red cross and others and immediate responders, local firefighters, local policemen being much more effective. ultimately, the federal government comes in, but really, your best chance of your life being saved is by your local police or fire force. >> so, you think if that was who
was in charge, you'd have more temporary housing and in the right places? i know you were just with the remark you made ant about the temporary housing. >> there's an immediate response and those are the first responders who are there. the physicians, nurses, firefighters and policemen. later on, there is talk and really within a day or two, talk of temporary housing and things, but a lot of that is also done locally. when we had tornados that devastated two cities in our community here in kentucky, the churches stepped up and fed the first responders. 2,000 responders a day were being fed by churches and the people were being put up in houses, so i don't entirely think this is a government response. it's important to really laud the private folks and churches who step up. >> let me ask you a question about what happened today. there have been some surprising
e endorsements on both sides, but today, i think one that surprised some people, a man who's been a democrat, a republican and now, an independent. mayor bloomberg. came out and endorsed president obama and he did so, he said, because of climate change. that was the main reason and here's what he said about mitt romney. all right. sorry, we don't have that. what he said if the 1994 or 2003 version of mitt romney were running for president, i may have voted for him. what's your response to that? it's got to be a big blow -- as being a business man to say that. >> yeah, i don't think many of us thought that he was going to be endorsing a republican anytime soon. we can't even get a decent sized coke to drink in new york city anymore. i don't think his sort of sense of philosophy really is republican much at all. >> one final question i want to squeeze this in as i told our viewers i would. can mitt romney win this without winning ohio?
>> i think he's going to win ohio and i don't know if i can tell you the absolute answer about the electoral math. i have been saying we need to be more competitive in the west coast and new england because we're not competitive there. it makes the map much more difficult for us. i think we're going to win ohio. been there three times and going back on sunday. what i sense is a lot of momentum left over from 2010. >> we appreciate your time. up next, out of gas. long gas lines are creating fears of a gas shortage. and the ever-changing timeline on the obama administration's story of the benghazi attack. one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future
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suzanne kelly was the only television reporter in vited to the briefing, and she's "outfront" tonight. suzanne, what did they tell you? >> a senior u.s. intelligence official offered a minute blow by blow of what happened the night of the attack in benghazi. they felt passionately about the fact after fox news reported last friday that officials within the cia chain of command denied repeated command from officers on the ground to assist during the attack on the u.s. mission and were actually ordered to stand down. that senior official said it just never happened. the official insisting that the cia operators on the ground were in charge of what they did and when they did it that night and the safety of those repaired to respond was an important consideration. there were no orders to anyone to stand down in providing support. >> a briefing is very rare, so when you think about why di thai
did that, is it because of the pressure they've been under? what's your understanding? >> i think that's a fabulous question, erin. there are two different benghazi stories. the story of what happened that night and those people on the ground who were responding, trying to make good decisions and then there's the political story and you know how politicized this story has become. how much did the administration know? when did they know it? what should they have done differently? i think five days before an election for them to come out, for any intelligence official to come out and really feel passionately about setting the record straight tells you they feel like the people out there doing the work are really getting a disservice by the back and forth of all of this. you look at the political and intelligence community, as sort of account on the ground and the tick stotock, and they sometime don't match up. >> peter brooks a deputy secretary of state under george w. bush, and nick burns, former undersecretary for political affairs on the democratic side.
and republican. let me ask for reaction first, peter. to what the cia says happened? >> i'm not surprised of the bravery of these officers. these people have been at war for many years and the bravery is no surprise whatsoever. i'm sure they did what they felt they needed to do to protect their fellow colleagues as well as other americans, and i think we're deeply indebted to them. eli lake from "the daily beast." he has done some fantastic reporting. saying that the state department never requested military backup the night of the benghazi attack. normally, that would be the responsibility of the ambassador. that would have fallen to the state department to make that decision and they could hear it in real time, does this surprise you? >> you know, erin, i have to say, as i said before, and as you know, i served not just in democratic administrations, but republican administrations,
including for george w. bush, i really find it disturbing that people are trying to make ultimate judgments on what happened in benghazi based on piece meal reports. the only responsible way for us to proceed is to listen to ambassador pickering who has been asked by secretary clinton to undertake an investigation review of what happened. he has not come out with his report yet and we're right before an election this has been politicized as your reporter said, and not by the administration, and i just think it's disturbing that somehow all of these reports come out piece meal and people try to draw broader conclusions, we really owe it to everybody concerned to take a deliberate look at this, and i think it's best if this comes out after the election so it's not political. >> peter, what's your response to that? should we just wait another couple of weeks? there will be hearings to find out the timeline? >> agree with nick up to a point, and he's right. we've been getting piece meal
reports, but almost eight weeks after this tragic event, there are more -- there are more questions than answers and they persist, and it's unfair to the american people and it's wrong that we don't have these answers, why are we having this intelligence briefing by a senior unnamed intelligence official as opposed to having a timeline from the government two months after these tragic events? i don't understand it, and that's why i think people are very suspicious and very skeptical. i agree with nick to a certain point, but we should have more transparency on this issue at this point. >> nick, why is it that it's behind closed doors and you can't name the person? why not put it out there in the public realm with your name on it? >> i don't know anything about the briefing that took place today. i heard about it for the first time listening to your broadcast. but i can say this. i do think the president and secretary clinton made the right decision here and that's to order and pent, objective,
investigation and review and that's under way and sometimes these things take time and they don't lend themselves to people's political calendars. i also think the two most important issues here getting lost is what can we do to upgrade embassy security? and that means republicans and democrats should fully fund in the congress and see security and can we go after the groups that killed ambassador chris stevens and his colleagues. i trust president obama is trying to do that. that's where we should be putting our attention, especially this week. >> peter, a final question to you. is it possible we may never know why certain crucial pieces of information known to some people, very early on, were not shared with the american public? that we'll never know when there was a concerted decision and who made it? >> that would be a shame it would be a problem, be a travesty and, i think this is why congress really needs to dig into this. we deserve answers, certainly the families of those who lost
lives bravely defending american sov erbity and interest certainly deserve those answers and that should be -- we should come to some sort of conclusion on that. >> thank you. we appreciate both of you being on together again. gas lines growing all around the area of sandy's wrath. but no shortage and we'll tell you why, next. ressive customers. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later, i was saving big on car insurance. with snapshot, i knew what i could save before i switched to progressive. the better i drive, the more i save. i wish our company had something this cool. you're not filming this, are you? aw! camera shy. snapshot from progressive. test-drive snapshot before you switch. visit progressive.com today.
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sandy has led to even more problems for people in the broader new york metropolitan area. i wanted to show you these pictures. power outages at hundreds of gas stations. like this one we saw in north bergen county. a distribution bottleneck, due to flooding has led to long lines at gas stations, and apparently this could go on for a week. i want to give you a little bit
more of a sense here. michael green of aaa told "outfront" we estimate only 35% to 40% of gas stations in new jersey and 30% to 35% of gas stations on long island that we monitor are operating today. some will come online as power is restored. that's what we want to emphasize. as power is restored. very important. we reached out to analysts today. so many people afraid. you wait four or five hours, or you show up, and only emergency vehicles are allowed to get gas, and people are afraid. analysts say there is no gas shortage. really important. gasoline is actually very plentiful. right now, just a logistics problem, getting gas from point "a" to point "b." gas will be readily available again. that will hopefully calm people who have been afraid