tv The Situation Room CNN October 31, 2012 4:00pm-7:00pm EDT
i'll be back tonight at 8:00 and 10:00 eastern for live editions of "ac 360" with all the latest on the storm. for now let's go to wolf blitzer and "the situation room." wolf. anderson, thank you so much. dramatic new developing stories and another major new york city hospital, our own dr. sanjay gupta standing by with the very latest. the drama continues throughout new york and new jersey. rescuers right now going house to house. they are still freeing people who've been trapped for nearly two days. and very soon now we'll be bringing you in new video of president obama's dramatic helicopter tour of the devastation along the jersey shore. with the new jersey republican governor chris christie right at his side. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
there have been many, many major new developments all throughout the day. we want to bring you the latest developments right now. and we're going to begin with the big picture. the storm that started as hurricane sandy now being blamed for a total of 118 deaths. 68 of them in the caribbean and now 50 of them in the united states. the state with the highest death toll, new york state. 26 people in new york state have died. new york city struggling to try to get back to normal. as you see here, subway stations in lower manhattan, they are still totally flooded. they need to be drained. this is a dangerous situation developing. further upbound there is limited, limited subway service that should resume a little bit
more as the hours continue. an ireporter sent us this amazing picture. brooklyn had power last night, lower manhattan did not. nationwide about 6 million people in 15 states and the district of columbia still do not have electricity. also, a quarter of cell phone towers in the storm's path aren't working right now. we have cnn crews up and down the disaster area to bring you all the latest on how people are -- with what's going on. there are major problems involving power that are forcing hundreds of patients right now out of another hospital. this time it's bellevue hospital where some 700 patients -- 700 patients need to get out. they need to get out quickly. this is a process essentially though that could take days. our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta is there on the scene for us in new york with the latest. first of all, sanjay, explain
how this could happen. >> reporter: well, you know, i think the best way to sort of describe it is that over the last couple of days they've been without a primary power source here at bellevue hospital counting on generators to work. i think it's been -- be able to get some of that power back. that has not happened. they did take the precaution over the last days of moving the critically ill patients out. but as you point out, wolf, this hospital has about 900 beds or so in this hospital. and you can hear there's a lot of activity obviously behind me. i don't know how much you can see, wolf, over here. [ technical difficulties ] >> all right. sanjay, hold on for a moment. your audio is coming in and out. i want to work on that for a moment. we're going to fix sanjay's audio. chad myers is with us from the cnn extreme weather center. our meteorologist. how is it that what happened bellevue got flooded? is that what you're hearing,
chad? >> yes, it did. and we knew that was going to happen. this east river -- the confluence of the sound, long island sound up here, the water was already high here. it was about 13 feet high and going down the east river at the time. at the time the tides are completely different in long island sound and in new york harbor they are almost exactly opposite. one was low tide and one was high tide. when the low tide came in and so did the surge came into new york harbor, wolf, the water went up the east river. in a normal day it would keep going and up the sound. it couldn't keep going because it clashed with the water trying to come down from the sound and there was an extreme surge right here all along the east river due to the two bodies of water that typically run back and forth. they were clashing in one spot. that was very, very close to bellevue hospital. that's why we have so much water at la guardia as well. the surge was not doubled but certainly moved up, the numbers were moved up simply because two
bodies of water clashed their surge at the same time. >> this is the second major hospital in new york that had this problem. nyu langone medical center had to evacuate patients yesterday. and this hospital. what do we expect other hospitals in manhattan, new york, new jersey area could face similar problems? >> it all depends on how long the power is out. how long the generators can hold on and keep going, how long they still have diesel fuel, do they have to reload, refuel? the fuel doesn't really last that long. they have to burn it out every once in a while, refuel it. they put stable in it to keep it fresh, but if you have to try to refuel -- refill these reservoirs and get the generators going again, we have generators here at cnn and they're supposed to work for about four days. that means if we're longer than that, somehow we have to get fuel to them. that's the same problem with all
of these hospitals on all of these backup generators, it's the fuel. >> chad, standby for a moment. actually, i want to ask one additional question before i let you go. if this situation, it now looks like the weather's clearing up in major parts of the devastated area, that's going to help in the rebuilding. certainly going to help in the search and rescue. but the bad weather is by no means completely over. >> well, no. the word bad is relative compare today what these people have been through. but now the problem is morning low temperatures will get down to about 35 even in new york city. into the 20s in the poconos. people without power and still that number is greater than 5 million, all of a sudden you don't have heat if you don't have power. there are some people that can run generators and things to get the fan blowing on your furnace. but understand the furnace will not turn on or if it does, it will not stay on long.
it will turn off when it realizes the fan isn't blowing. people are going to start trying to warm themselves up with unapproved devices, camp stoves and things like that. all of that can cause carbon monoxide. you can't smell it, but it will certainly kill you. >> chad, hold on for a moment. i want to go back to this next report. we'll go back to sanjay in a while. head over to new jersey from new york city specifically to hoboken, new jersey, where the situation is dire right now. most of the city's residents still are without power. many are still trapped by flood waters from the hudson river. cnn's brian todd is joining us from hoboken right now. brian, what's it like? >> reporter: wolf, this is a city in recovery from a storm that's flooded major parts of hoboken. these workers clearing this street. this was completely filled with water just a couple of hours ago. but because they've been able to
clear some storm drains now, the water is gone. i'm here with the owner of the cork city pub here in hoboken just a few blocks away. dan, how bad did it get at its height? >> pretty bad actually. we probably crested around eight feet right in that area. and traveled all the way up to my building right there. >> reporter: show us here. we can walk -- our photo journalist is going to pan up here and show us. >> at its height we were looking at that -- right there past the black car. and you think of that tremendous effort these guys have done today. the water at 8:00 a.m. was past this white car. now you have 100% citizens have cleared this. >> reporter: walk down this way. >> sure. >> reporter: did it affect your business at all? >> only from the electricity. very little water damage, but the electricity is pretty much -- >> reporter: how have the people of the city handled this? >> fantastic. we have charging stations all over the city. we're using your truck. >> reporter: right. >> thank you, cnn.
and that's where we're huddling. we probably have about 40, 45 charging cell phones out of your truck. there's a few houses around sixth street that have electricity. and there are probably about 200 people that, you know, were feeding electricity cords and charging everybody up. several people are trading off to get hot water. some areas have hot water and some do not. >> reporter: how do you compare this to other events you've seen? >> let's see. katrina -- or irene last year this area also flooded. but not nearly as bad as this. the clean up, it's pretty much drained within a day or so. and lost no electricity last year. this one we were -- you know, we don't know the epa. >> reporter: dan, thanks very much. good luck to you. wolf, there's one resident, one business owner here determine today recover. others here have an amazing sense of community spirit. these are all community volunteers doing all this work largely responsible for the clearing of the streets. as i mentioned, just a couple hours ago this water was up to
my knees, up to the knees of these volunteers who waded out here in some very, very unhealthy and almost dangerous water because it has so much sewage and chemicals and garbage in it. >> brian, we'll get back to you in hoboken, new jersey. let's head back to manhattan. we've re-established our contact with dr. sanjay gupta. he's at bellevue hospital, sanjay, 700 patients now need to be evacuated because they've lost power, emergency generators at bellevue hospital? >> yeah. i think that's the best way of putting it, wolf. it's a big hospital, as you point out. about 900-patient capacity and usually is at capacity. what they did as part of the protocol was evacuate many of the critically ill patients over the last day. but what they realize is that their emergency generators are not continuing to work well. some of them are under water because of the flooding. you can't see this, wolf, but
just beyond the hospital which is over there is the east river. the same thing that happened to nyu langone hospital just up the road has happened here as well as bellevue which is significant flooding affecting the generators. i should point something else out. we've talked about generators, we've talked to people that work inside the hospital, some of the generators are at higher levels, which is what you'd expect. 12 and 13 floors even. they require a fuel to function. and those fuel pumps oftentimes are at ground level or even below ground level. it is those fuel pumps that seem to have failed. so for the last day or so they've been carrying oil up 12 flights of stairs to try and make the generator work. just imagine that scene, wolf, in addition to taking care of hundreds of patients, carrying that fuel up. and they made the decision earlier today to go ahead and evacuate the patients. most of the critically ill already gone. but you have about 25, 50 ambulances lined up to do just
that, wolf. >> sanjay, you're a physician, you've worked in hospitals, you've dealt with critically injured -- critical care patients in intensive care and others, how dangerous potentially precarious is it to transport these people at these respective stages in their care? >> well, it can be very challenging, wolf. i mean, the transport of a patient spaesht over the last 24 hours some of these critically ill patients can be very challenging. even to transfer them within the hospital from one floor to the next that can be a real challenge. it's a very coordinated process. you always plan for the worst case scenario. everything from a patient's heart rate to their body temperature can change especially with the premys we were talking about, wolf. take a look. you have 700 patients. you have this one sort of road going in and out to do all this. this is going to take at least a couple if not more days to get
this done. again, i want to point out that what i'm hearing is that most of the patients while there may be some who have particular needs but the critically ill patients from what i've been told have already been evacuated. so the process is likely to be more methodic, a little bit slower perhaps even look a little more organized than over the last 24 hours, wolf. >> we're going to stay in close touch with you, sanjay. if you get new information, an update from bellevue hospital there in new york, let us know. sanjay gupta on the scene following the breaking news 700 patients being evacuated from bellevue hospital as they've lost power in that major medical facility. more on this part of the story coming up. also some of the most unreal pictures of the storm's aftermath, they are just coming into "the situation room." and they show the flooded subway stations throughout new york city. when will the system be fully operational? the man in charge, he's standing by to join us live when our special coverage continues. what if there was a new way to deal with money that focused less on fees
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these pictures you're seeing right now, they come from the american red cross which had 171 shelters open last night for people who couldn't go home because of the devastation from this storm. getting around new york citys n. starting tonight from 6:00 until midnight cars crossing new york's east river bridges must have a minimum of three people inside. packed. there's limited subway service, limited service should resume tomorrow we are being told. joining us now is the chairman of new york's metropolitan transit authority, joe lota joining us from new york. thanks very much for coming in. >> thaing. when you say limited subway service will resume tomorrow, what does that mean? >> what it means is we're going to have 14 of our 23 lines up and running. people coming from the bronx, queens as well as from upper manhattan will be able to come down as far as 42nd street.
power south of 34th street is out, as you know. you've just been reporting on the hospital situation here in new york. people who are in brooklyn, we're going to have three sites, two in downtown brooklyn and one in williamsburg where trains will terminate and then will able to be taken over by a bus. calling it a bus bridge. take them over to midtown or wall street. so i think the system while limited will be robust enough that millions of our passengers will be able to use it. just to put in perspective how big the mta is, we have 8.5 million people every day on our subways and our two commuter rail lines. both of those commuter rail lines have started limited service this afternoon at 2:00. >> joe, if you work let's say below 35th street, you're not going to be able to get a subway into those parts of manhattan. is that what i'm hear sng.
>> that is correct. until they turn on the power. we need the power from con ed, we call it traction power, to power up the third rail. without that, trains can't move. lights can't be on. >> what does con ed say? when will that power come back to the lao e lower part of manhattan? >> it varies from different people which you talk to. it would be better if you get one of those guys onto give you an accurate statement. >> yesterday they told us it could take four days. might even take a week in parts of new york city. what i'm hearing also brooklyn is slowly but surely coming back. what about the bronx, queens, staten island? >> the power outages -- the sustained power outage in new york city is really located in manhattan from midtown south of wall street as well as in certain pockets and different areas in queens as well as in parts of staten island. but it's very, very limited in those areas. the large concentrated area in the bronx is the one with the
millions of millions of people right now. >> have you ever experienced anything like this before, joe? >> no. new york city has never experienced anything like this. i said yesterday it was by far the single most devastating event to ever happen to our subway and rail system. i was involved as deputy mayor in new york city on 9/11. it's given me -- i'm having enormous amount of deja vu. what's different though is this is not isolated to the world trade center area and just lower manhattan. it's city wide. the devastation that's happened on long island, that's happened in new jersey, this was massive. >> we're watching by the way, joe, the president of the united states. he's in new jersey right now. he's been touring some of the devastated areas walking around with governor chris christie. we understand the president will be making some comments shortly. so if i break away from you, you'll totally understand. i think governor christie might say a few words, the president will say a few words. they've been seeing what's going on in new jersey. it's awful there. it's awful in parts of new york city, elsewhere in new york
state including out on long island right now. the president did say yesterday he might be able to help with some military assets to pump out water from some of those subway stations. do you need the u.s. military to help you in this area? >> they're here already. they've been tremendous. part of the army corps of engineers i think it's the sea watering unit. they were actually very helpful to the folks in katrina in new orleans. and they've been here. we need their help on the subway system. also part of the mta we also have two tunnels that transport cars. right now those tunnels are completely flooded. the brooklyn battery tunnel which is recently been renamed, that tunnel each tunnel -- that's two of them, have 47 million gallons of water in them that was flowing in from the hudson river. and we need to get that water out of there. then we need to do an examination of the structural integrity of those tunnels.
once we do that and hopefully they're structurally sound, we'll be able to get cars moving through between queens and manhattan and between brooklyn and manhattan. >> there's been some concern that if the water stays in those subway stations for too long it could cause even greater problems, mold and other dangerous situations. how concerned are you about that? >> i believe we're going to do everything we can to get the water out before this weekend. so i'm not concerned about the water sitting there that long. i was there last night with governor cuomo. and the water actually almost miraculously is crystal clear. we were both commenting about how clear the water was. so from that point of view i'm not worried about the environmental issue. >> you're also in charge of the buses in new york city. and you say they're going to be packed. i assume they're going to be pretty packed especially since there's only going to be limited subway service. give us an update on how the buses are operating. >> they are absolutely packed. they are coming from all over
five burrows that we're working in. they are completely packed. we started limited service yesterday afternoon. we have local buses as well as express buses that come in from the farther reaches of the city. the city is crowded. i'm sure you've seen the traffic problems we're having here. the mayor is dealing with that with his announcement. but i will tell you people are gratified that the service is up. i will tell you and i would like to tell my customers here in new york that we are going to come back in increments. we're going to do the limited service tomorrow for travel tomorrow. there will be more the following day and more the next day and more after that. we want to bring as much back as we possibly can. >> good luck to you joe lhota.
we are deeply concerned about what's going on in new york city. we will stay in close touch with you. hopefully you can give usz some good news tomorrow and the day after. appreciate you joining us. >> thank you, wolf. the president of the united states has been touring new jersey some of the devastated areas. you're seeing these pictures coming in right now. he's going to be speaking shortly together with the governor of new jersey chris chrkristichris christie. and also dramatic aerial video from marine one. we're going to show you the video, we're going to hear from the president, we'll hear from chris kristie. stay with us. our special coverage continues here in "the situation room." m and the world's only tridion safety cell which can withstand over three and a half tons. small in size. big on safety. with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help.
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as well. jessica yellin and gloria borger with us. jessica, update our viewers first of all. this has been a busy day for the president. he's off the campaign trail. but he's been busy in new jersey that's right, wolf. he's been on the ground there for some three hours now first touring with governor chris christie by helicopter looking at some of the hardest hit areas along the coast of new jersey. and then he took some time out to visit a community center again with governor chris christie that's serving as a shelter for some residents who have lost their homes. in that shelter he repeated that his top priority is to get power back on for the residents, which is clearly a priority for the health and safety of people there. also an important priority for the president politically. you don't want people if i may say so, going without power for too long. they might get frustrated and take it out on the ballot box
tuesday. but for these people obviously it's a matter of absolute health and safety. he has also during this tour, wolf, i should point out, he's praised on governor christie, who is a romney supporter and telling people in the shelter that your governor has been working through the night for you, working for you tirelessly. and the governor in turn has praised on the president saying it's very important that the president of the united states is here. and they have both taken an enormous amount of time talking to each person who's come up to them and wanted their attention. i'll finally point out they are in this town which is a coastal town not far from atlantic city, wolf. >> gloria, somebody would have suggested only days ago on these final days before the election the president would be in new jersey with chris christie, the republican governor who was so critical of him at the republican convention at the end of august in tampa.
who would have believed it. it's amazing how this situation has unfolded. >> reporter: right. you would have expected chris christie under other circumstances to be in ohio campaigning for mitt romney. look, wolf, given the tenor of our politics, even given the campaign we've had, the negative campaign we've had, we shouldn't find it remarkable that the president of the united states is doing his job and the governor of the state of new jersey who is of a different party is also doing his job. and the fact that they're coming together for people who have been devastated by a storm, even the most cynical among us would have to say this is of course what they ought to be doing, campaign or no campaign. >> and you see the president walking there. senator men dez of new jersey as well as governor chris christie. they're walking slowly but surely closer and closer toward the microphones. we expect the president to be
making a statement although it looks like he wants to stop and speak with some people on the ground over there and comfort them. these people have gone through hell over these past 48 hours. so i see senator frank lottenberg as well touring this area. jessica, the president will be heading back to the white house after he finishes up in new jersey. and then he resumes campaigning tomorrow. is that right? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. the schedule calls for the president to be back in the battleground states beginning tomorrow. he was scheduled to visit wisconsin, nevada and colorado, states that are important for him to win if he's going to retain his seat here at the white house. the campaign believing that they've dedicated enough time to the president having a singular focus on what they call doing his job focusing on the superstorm sandy with his officials here in a face-to-face way. and now he can go on the
campaign trail. and they say he will continue these ongoing updates on the road. you know, presidents always say they take the job with them, they can do it anywhere. but symbolically very important for a president to be at the white house during a crisis. and that's why they rushed him back here during sandy. one of the messages, wolf, that he's been conveying to these people he meets at the shelter is that the u.s. government, his administration, will be with them for the long haul. they're not just here to visit but that they will do what it takes for the long haul. that's the message he keeps conveying. and i should say also praising his fema director who has also gotten some praise from governor christie as well, wolf. >> governor christie has been very fusive in his phrase. as they head toward the microphones let's take a quick, quick break. on the other side we'll hear from the president. [ woman ] it's 32 minutes to go time,
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all right. you're looking at live pictures from new jersey. the president of the united states -- you can't really see him right there. he's standing next to chris christie, the republican governor. the head of fema over there. they've been speaking with some local residents after touring the jersey shore. they've been speaking with some of the first responders as well who are there. they're in brigantine, new jersey, right now. we expect momentarily the president to be making a speech or saying a few words about what he saw when he toured that
shoreline with governor christie and others aboard marine one. a video from that tour will be feeding in shortly. we'll show it to our viewers as well. we understand pretty dramatic scenes the president was watching what's going on. let's see if we can eavesdrop a little bit, see what the president's saying. >> hard to hear what the head of fema is saying. you see governor christie right behind him. apparently we're told he's speaking to a woman who was rather emotional telling her story of what happened. and there have been so many stories. millions and millions of people have been affected by hurricane sandy. this was the superstorm that hit 48 hours or so ago and caused so
much damage as a result of the winds, the floods and it's especially been hard hitting on new jersey, the entire jersey shore as well as new york city itself. the president didn't go to new york city, but he did go to new jersey we were told the major of new york thought it would be very logistically difficult for the president to visit manhattan at a time like this when resources are so scarce moving around was so difficult. here's the president. he's going to speak. he's walking over to the microphones we're told and will make a statement, i believe that's what he's trying to do. he's going to the microphone right now together with governor christie. >> good afternoon everybody. thank you all for coming today. i want to thank the members here as well. obviously i want to thank the president. we spent a significant afternoon together surveying the damage up and down the new jersey
coastline. we were in marine one together to be able to show the president that personally as you see it and we had an opportunity to discuss it at length. and then going over to the shelter here be able to meet with folks, have them see the president and his concern, the concern all of us have for making sure all things get back to normal as quickly as possible. we have lots of challenges. challenge now is to get back to normalcy. the things we need to do to get power restored as quickly as possible. make sure people have clean drinking water. water treatment plants working, hospitals taken care of the way we need to and kids back to school. so i discussed all those issues today with the president. and i'm pleased to report that he has sprung into action immediately to help get us those things while we were in the car riding together. i want to thank him for that. he has worked incredibly closely with me since before the storm hit. this is our sixth conversation since the weekend. and it's been a great working
relationship to make sure that we're doing the jobs people elected us to do. and i cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state. on phone conversations with him i heard it and i was able to witness it with him today personally. we'll do what we need to do. we're coordinating with fema and i want to thank him for being here and the input he's already had to make our operation even better. we will move on from here. what i said yesterday i really mean. there's got to be sorrow when you see that. and the president seen that today in the eyes of the folks he met. that's appropriate. we suffered some loss. luckily we haven't suffered that much loss of life. and we thank god for that. but we have suffered losses. and this is the worst storm that i've seen in my lifetime in this state. but we cannot permit that sorrow to replace the resilience i know
all new jersians have. we'll get up and put this back together and that's what this state has been about. for all you here and i met a bunch of you today at brigantine with disregard of my admonition, get the hell out of here. you are forgiven this time. all of you look around and see this destruction, that's fine. but all that stuff can be replaced. you look to your right and to your left, to your husband or wife, your son or daughter, those are the things that can't be replaced. i'm glad we don't have that loss of life to deal with. i want to thank you for being here today. for bringing personal attention to it. and it's my honor to introduce all of you to the president of the united states. [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you everybody. let me just make sure that i acknowledge the folks who are here because they've played an imrtant role in this. first of all, congressional
delegation, senator bob menendez, senator lautenberg, atlantic county executive levinson and brigantine mayor gunther. obviously this is a federal, state and local effort. and the first thing i want to do is just to thank everybody who's been involved in the entire rescue and recovery process. at the top of my list i have to say that governor christie throughout this process that be responsive he has been aggressive in making sure that the state got out in front of this incredible storm. and i think the people of new jersey recognize that he has put his heart and soul into making sure that the people of new jersey bounce back even stronger than before. i want to thank him for his
extraordinary leadership and partnership. i want to thank the congressional delegation because part of the reason we're going to be able to respond quickly to all of this is because they helped make sure that fema financing was in place. and we're very appreciative of those efforts. and i want to thank craig fugate. sometimes people thank not just fema but they need to think the people behind him. he lives and breathes this stuff making sure we're providing help people so desperately need in these situations. i want to thank all the first responders who have been involved in this process. the linesmen, firefighters, the folk who is are in here shoveling out people who were supposed to get the hell out and didn't. you've helped to save a lot of lives and a lot of property. and one thing that you learn in these tragedies is the first responders keep in mind their
homes are usually under water too. or their families have been affected in some way and yet they make the personal sacrifices to help other people. we really appreciate them. i'm just going to make a couple comments. number one, and most important, our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones. it's true that because of some good preparation the loss of life was kept lower than it might have been. but for those individual families obviously their world has been torn apart. we need to make sure that everybody who's lost a loved one knows they're in our thoughts and prayers. i speak for the whole country there. for those like the people i just had the chance to meet on this block and throughout new jersey and throughout the region who's lives have been upended, my second message is, we are here for you. and we will not forget. we will follow-up to make sure
you get all the help that you need until you rebuild. at this point our main focus is on the states of new jersey, which got hit harder than anybody, the state of new york particularly lower manhattan and long island. we are very concerned about some situations in connecticut as well. and we're still monitoring west virginia where there are heavy snows in some inaccessible areas. for the most part, those four states are really bearing the brunt of this incredible storm. what we've been able to do is to preposition and stage commodities, water, power generators, ambulances in some cases, food, medical supplies, emergency supplies. and we have over 2,000 fema personnel that are on the ground
right now. their job now that we're moving out of the search and rescue phase is to make sure that they are going out and talking to individual communities so that people know exactly how they can get the help that they need. we expedited our emergency declarations for the state of new jersey and local counties that have been affected. what that means is that people can immediately start registering for emergency assistance. and one of the things i want to emphasize to the people in new jersey and throughout the region now that, you know, you're safe, your family's safe, but you're trying to figure out where you're going to stay for the next couple of days, et cetera, it's very important that you know that there's help available to you right now. for example, to find rental housing or to be able to pay for some groceries over at community center we saw a young woman who had a newborn or i guess
probably an 8-month-old still needs diapers and formula and has run out. those are the kinds of basic supplies and help that we can provide. if you call 800-621-fema, 800-621-fema, for disaster assistan assistance.gov thar assistance.gov, that will allow you to register right now so you can immediately start receiving help. we want to make sure you get everything you need. just a couple final points. obviously our biggest priority right now is getting power turned back on. we are very pleased that newark got power yesterday. jersey city is getting power we believe today. but there's still big chunks of the community including this community right here that don't have power. and so it's hard enough cleaning up debris and dealing with boats that have been upended and roads
that are blocked. when people don't have power, they're obviously disabled in all sorts of ways. and it's hard to get back to normal. so yesterday i had a chance to speak to the ceos of the utilities from all across the country. and a lot of the states that were spared that were not hard hit or some states as far away as california, they have pledged to start getting equipment, crews, et cetera here into new jersey and new york and connecticut as quickly as possible. and one of the things we've been able to do just to give you sense of this all hands on deck approach were able to get c-17s and c-130s military transport planes essentially to move assets, personnel tor, to speed
the process of getting power up and running as soon as possible. our first priority is water filtration plants and some other critical infrastructure in the state. for that we've got emergency generators. we've got a navy ship that has some helicopters that can help to move assets around the state as well. so we're going to be working with governor christie's office and local officials to identify what is the critical infrastructure, how can we get what's needed as quickly as possible? just a couple other things we're concerned about, one is as power starts coming back on, we want to make sure that people can also get to work. obviously there are a lot of folks in jersey who work in new york in the city and in other places where transportation may be hobbled. one of the things i mentioned to the governor is the possibility of us using federal assets, military assets as well as taking inventory of assets from around the country that can be brought in so that we can help
people get to their work. and governor christie also mentioned the importance of schools. the sooner we can get our kids back into school, back into a routine, that obviously helps the families and helps the kids as well. so we're going to have a lot of work to do. i don't want anybody to feel that somehow this is all going to get cleaned up overnight. we want to make sure that people have realistic expectations. but what i can promise you is that the federal government will be working as closely as possible with the state and local officials. and we will not quit until this is done. and the directive i have given, i said this yesterday but i will repeat and i think craig and others working with me right now know i mean it, we are not going to tolerate red tape. we are not going to tolerate bureaucracy. and i've instituted a 15-minute rule essentially on my team. you return everybody's phone calls in 15 minutes whether it's the mayor's, the governor's,
county officials. if they need something, we figure out a way to say yes. i was just gathering around and i had a chance to talk to some of the young people here who have been volunteering going up and down the block cleaning up debris. and when we were over at the community center, there was a restaurant owner who for the last 18 hours have been cooking meals just as his contribution to the recovery process. and some of the folks were saying the food was better than they got at home. you know, you had a 15-year-old young man whose mother was disabled and he was making sure that she was okay and taking on extraordinary responsibilities for himself. but also for his mom. you know, when you see folks like that respond with strength
and resilience, when you see neighbors helping neighbors, then you're reminded about what america's all about. we go through tough times, but we bounce back. the reason we bounce back is because we look out for one another. and we don't leave anybody behind. and so my commitment to the people on this block, the people in this community and the people of this state is that that seems fit will carry all the way over until our work is done. all right? thank you very much, everybody. [ applause ] >> so there's the president of the united states promising the people of new jersey and the region that he will make sure that their lives get back to normal. it's not going to be easy. it's going to be expensive. it's going to be difficult. but he said the response will be aggressive. he praised governor christie for putting his heart and soul into what's going on. governor christie in turn praised the president as being incredibly close with me he said. he's working, they've got a
great working relationship. and that's clearly obvious by the words they have spoken. we have much to digest. we're also going to go to one of the most hard hitting areas of new jersey. our own michael holmes is on the scene right now. there are a lot of developments breaking right now. we'll take a quick break. we'll resume our special coverage right after this. [ male announcer ] enter the quicken loans
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you saw. >> reporter: wolf, it was absolutely amazing. those aerial shots we saw yesterday, well, this just confirmed everything we saw in those pictures. we went right up and down there. we went from seaside all the way to brick ocean. and all other towns in between. i can tell you that some of it looked literally like a war zone. there were houses in the middle of streets where they'd been shifted off their foundation. we saw that about three times. and just dumped in the middle of the road. we saw a full sized pickup truck up over its windows. and a sinkholes, dunes once stood about 12 feet tall were down to the ground. unbelievable situation. we spoke to people who were still there who lived through this storm. and they said they wished they hadn't stayed and defied the mandatory evacuation order.
we also saw in brick an area a gas leak, the smell of gas is right there right across the barrier islands. in brick we saw an area the size of two or three football fields where dozens of houses literally burned to the ground by gas fires. and those fires are still burning away there too. a disaster of epic proportions there. that place is never going to look the same. we actually saw the president's helicopters fly along that coast while we were standing there looking at the destroyed joey harrison surf club. those holiday homes devastated. and some areas are pretty good. in the areas hard hit particularly along that eastern shore just a terrible sight, wolf. >> do they have any idea when they're going to start trying to remove some of that sand? >> reporter: yeah. they started actually, wolf. we've seen probably 20 or 30 front-end loaders go in there along with a bunch of other
equipment, heavy equipment, and first responders. they're going door to door checking every house. they still have found no casualties, believe it or not, on those barrier islands. which just seems extraordinary. but, yes, the front end loaders are starting to clear that sand from the roadways, push it back up towards the beach. but one can imagine this is going to be tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage there. the cleanup's going to take a very long time indeed. those people still there, there's not that many now, they've pulled about 300 people off those islands in the last day and there's still a handful. they've been told stay indoors. if you come out, you will be forcibly moved. authorities want to get everyone off that island to stop looting and as well allow the workers to do their jobs and make everything safe and begin the clean up. but i cannot -- it's one of those situations, wolf, where you wouldn't know where to start. i mean, it really is a terrible
sight there particularly along that front shoreline that took the brunt, wolf. >> michael holmes with dramatic video and a heartbreaking story. michael, thanks very much. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, thousands and thousands of people in a new jersey city trapped by flood waters. the national guard is moving in. they are trying to move some of them out. we're going there live for you. evacuated residents of another town start returning home. but in the wake of the flood, they're finding heartbreak and great danger. and a mass evacuation of hundreds of hospital patients as new york city struggles with flooding and power outages. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
stark new evidence today of the incredible devastation left behind by superstorm sandy. along the new jersey store, historic communities lie in ruins, the massive cleanup job is getting underway. on the hudson river 20,000 people in the city of hoboken are trapped by flood waters as the national guard brings in supplies and brings some of the people out. present obama got a firsthand look at the destruction today joining the new jersey governor chris christie. in new york city people returned to work, but the subways and many streets remain flooded. and parts of the city still without power forcing the evacuation of hundreds of patients. now to another hospital, bellevue, hospital in manhattan, almost 6 million customers in 15 states and the district of columbia are still blacked out. and the death toll has now reached at least 54 in the united states, 122 overall.
residents of a new jersey town rescued from flood waters are now beginning to return home. but what they are finding is shocking, is heartbreaking and still very, very dangerous. our brian todd made it to that area. he's got a firsthand look for us. brian, you're back from that flooded city. you're in hoboken now. but it was a very difficult situation, a very difficult moment for so many. tell us what you saw there. >> reporter: wolf, very difficult in a lot of cities. that area where we were earlier, very difficult for the people here in hoboken. the good news is the waters have receded from this intersection. have receded from this part of hoboken, new jersey. also receded from where we were before. residents of these two cities are not out of danger yet. we're wrapping up an interview with the mayor. people who have been evacuated are returning.
but he has a dire warning. >> there's still potential problems. there's downed lines. we still have downed lines. i don't know if they're live, but be careful not to touch them. and we have gas. no lek tris. if you have your gas on, that can start a fire. >> reporter: just seconds later we hear a crackle down the street. fire trucks are already there. the mayor sees the house of a friend in trouble. we drive him around the block. sprint down the street. and find this. an intense house fire. crews scrambling to contain it. we're told that this is a small business in this building. but there are people living in some sections of that home. the mayor says there are people living in there. he believes everyone got out. he's not sure right now. you can tell the firemen still trying to just burrow their way in there and put out the flames. they punched holes into the house for ventilation. even using a platform ladder.
we're later told everyone who lives here got out during the flooding. we catch up to a renter. >> glad we left last night so we didn't choke to death. >> reporter: fire officials believe something shorted out because the power was turned on while the water was still receding. >> the problem is if they're powering up all these grids, people left so quick because of the water they left everything on and everything's power. we have electric going to these buildings flt everything damaged in water, they kick on the power, we're getting sparking outlets, gas leaks. this is the result. >> reporter: in a town where danger still lingers, there's also heartbreak. we're with nic as he surveys the house his parents built in 1968. recent basement renovations destroyed. and a dry cleaners he owns devastated by flooding. what is your thought as you come around and assess the house? >> it makes you want to cry because it's just something that you never expected to see. and you worked so hard for. and to have it like this, just really want to cry.
>> reporter: nic rezza says he and other residents of that area need help. he says they'll get what they can from insurance, but they also need financial help and help from the neighbors. with such a wide area decimated by the storm, the flooding and fires, that help may be a little slow in coming. >> hoboken just across the river from new york city. brian, we'll check back with you. new jersey coastal communities have been devastated by the storm. joining us now on the phone from toms river in new jersey is john said di. you've seen what's happened in a place called seaside heights. explain to our viewers what you've seen. >> well, today our biggest problem is the gas. there's gas lines on everywhere. the whole island smells like gas. and no one can figure out why the main lines are not shut off. i've been there eight hours and
laviolette are not -- seaside park, seaside heights, not one new jersey natural gas truck i see. >> can they get there? how difficult is it to get to seaside heights? >> you can now. i came over with some emergency personnel at 6:00 a.m. and the road is now clear. we have to use one of the bridges, the south side bridge is not operating because its power line's down. we drove in the opposite direction. and we got over the bridge okay. debris there, but you drive around it and you can get on to the island. >> you smell gas everywhere you go. you shot this video that we're showing our viewers right now. it looks awful what's going on. besides the gas, what is the worst that you saw there? >> well, my problem -- my heart is out for the elderly. i had to check on some friends of mine. i couldn't reach them by phone or anything. so i was walking two towns over. and i just heard elderly people. they were just yelling in the street -- yelling through the
windows. and there was nobody there. i saw one bulldozer removing a house off of the main line of route 35. but i did not see not one emergency personnel in the whole town. >> have you alerted them? what are they saying to you? >> reporter: i had to call seaside heights. went to seaside park, i've called our fire department which is overwhelmed. when i give them the addresses on the way the whole way. i kept going back to my nightclub, getting water and bringing it over to these individuals. i mean, there's one elderly lady, she didn't take the water. she was giving it to her pets. she wouldn't go to a shelter because they wouldn't take her pets. just the mentality they're dealing with over there. it was terrible. every time i walked in i just kept checking on the houses. >> john, these older people, they wouldn't leave?
is that what you're saying? you offered them help in getting out of there and they wouldn't leave? >> no. now, they want to leave. they didn't want to leave in the beginning because of the pets. i took all their addresses. i assured them. i had to keep going back to seaside heights. seaside heights is doing just a fantastic job. seaside park they were not there during the hurricane. seaside heights police chief just had his knee replaced. he was there 60 straight hours. our fire department has their families here. they were there the whole time. seaside heights police department and fire department were nowhere to be found during the hurricane. they came the next day. >> have you seen anything like this before? >> no. of course not. today some of the video i sent you you see a boardwalk three blocks in, sand up to people's midway through their front door three blocks in.
legendary surf club you talked about, it's just gone. they need to get people -- they need to get the gas off before fire starts. wolf, there's no electricity to pump water for the fire trucks to put anything out if a fire starts. they need to get the gas off and they need to go door to door over there. i just heard the -- saying that the search and rescue is over. >> if you could speak to the governor or the president of the united states right now, what would you say? >> they need to get people door to door in the bungalow. i'm not talking about the ocean front wealthy people like me. we have plenty of insurance. those houses are gone. the bungalows where elderly people were living, they need to get the gas off and get to these people. they have no phones to call anybody. >> john, i think people were watching, were listening to what you were saying. our heart goes out to you and everybody who's seeing what's going on. and hopefully they'll get into action. i'm really worried about the gas
leaks. you're correct, that could be a huge, huge problem. joining us from toms river. we'll stay in close touch with you. thank you. i want to go to sandra endo right now. she's at that same location in new jersey where the president of the united states and the new jersey governor chris christie just spoke to all of us. you have a woman that was comforted, sandy, by the president. what happened? >> reporter: exactly, wolf. president obama just finished up touring this devastated area. and he mentioned all the boats that were washed into people's homes like you see here. and this is the marina owner, donna. you spoke with the president. and he was hugging you. and you were crying in his arms. what did you tell him? >> i was actually shocked that he even came to brigantine and to my marina. it was very heartwarming actually. and to have the director of fema with him and to shake his hand and them both to say we will get help almost immediately was very
calming to me. because when i got here today and saw all this, i did not know what i was going to do to help myself get back in order here. >> reporter: you've been in business here running this maria for how long? how much devastation does this mean for you? how much will this cost? >> the cost i don't know because i've never been through anything like this before. i've owned it since 1996. we've never had water levels like this. everything to run the business is gone. our docks are all gone. our gas pump's gone. our containment tank like is laying over on its side. i don't know what it's going to take to bring it all back. a lot of work. a lot of help. and a lot of money. but it's difficult to come by right now. >> reporter: and as it was hard in this economy, you were mentioning to keep things afloat
really here. >> actually, yes. because this is luxury. >> reporter: did you feel comfort in the president coming? did you feel like help is on the way? >> i do. i did. i felt very good after he talked to us because it just seems like it's going to be very quick. it's not like going to be one of those red tape long drawn out things. so i hope i can believe what he said to me. i think i can. >> reporter: these docks you were mentioning wasn't insured. you told the president that. you don't have insurance on the docks completely wiped out. >> there's no insurance on docks. i mean, you could get insurance, i believe, but it's so astro no, ma'amically expensive that nobody has it and the bulkhead is now caving into. so there's no insurance for that. bulkheading i think is $700 a foot. i can't run the business without the dock. we can get the boats all up, we can get things fixed on land, but without the water, there's
nothing. that's where we need the help. >> reporter: thank you, donna. i hope you get the help as soon as you can. >> thank you. >> reporter: wolf, back to you. >> sandy endo, thanks for that report. meanwhile, hundreds and hundreds of patients are being evacuated from new york's flood-stricken bellevue hospital right now. our own dr. sanjay gupta's in new york city. he has the latest. and i'll speak to the united states congressman whose own house -- whose own house was among more than 100 that burned to the ground when the storm hit. we're also getting new video coming in right now. there you see it right there. this is from the tour that the president made over the jersey shore. much more of our special coverage right here in "the situation room" right after this.
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millions of gallons of water mixed with sewage. the national guard is bringing in supplies and bringing some people out. joining us now on the phone is greg lincoln, he's a hoboken resident stranded along with his family. what's going on where you are, greg? tell our viewers. >> well, there's a lot of water. we actually just evacuated about an hour ago. and headed out of the city. we were able to do that. a lot of people from the building where i live in were getting on the national guard trucks and getting out. we've been without power for two days. and we're looking for relief. the water had started to fail as well. we were concerned about just the generator that was keeping the lights on and some electricity in the lobby of the building as well. we didn't know if they were going to get fuel for that. but the mayor and the national guard stopped by, gave us an update on the situation. and gave us the chance to evacuate if we wanted to. >> you're there with your wife
and three kids. and one of your children only 7 months old, is that right? >> yes. yes. she's 7 months old. she's taking it in stride. >> is everyone taking it in stride? >> not too bad. the other kids a little bit restless. didn't like the fact that it was hard to do anything after dusk. >> yeah. there's no power. there's no tv. there's no electricity. so where are they taking you? where are you going? >> well, we actually evacuated in our vehicle. we were able to get on a little sidewalk and get out into jersey city heights. we're in new brunswick at the moment. just trying to get a hotel here somewhere. but we're okay. we're not sure when we're going to be able to get back. >> yeah. what about your neighbors and your friends in your community there? >> yeah. actually, the neighbors were great. our kids and the other neighbor kids were playing monopoly and some other games last night.
but it was a very communal feel in the lobby. you know, everybody would go and exchange news and stories about what they'd heard and everything. but it was very difficult to get information just with the lack of cell phone service and internet service. so it was really, really hard to judge what was going on and how long things would be and when it would come. but at least finally the mayor came and made an appearance and let us know kind of what the situation was. >> do you have any idea when you might be able to go home? when power will be restored? >> the information we have is that power will hopefully be restored in seven to ten days. they need to wait for the water to completely recede before they can even work on the power. they have been notified of that. but because the substations, they had to turn them off, were under water essentially. so all that water needs to be just taken out. i know hoboken just was
critically affected by this storm. >> well, good luck, greg lincoln. good luck to your wife, your three kids, your entire community. appreciate your sharing your story with us. >> no problem. thank you very much. >> let's bring in chad myers, our severe weather expert, our meteorologist. chad, we're getting new pictures, new video coming in from the shoreline. video that was taken during the president's tour of the jersey shore together with the new jersey governor chris christie. and it shows still obviously a lot of devastation. >> yeah, it does. especially where they are. they were very, very close to the eye. not only wind damage but surge damage. talking about surge, here's new york harbor. here's the bottom part of manhattan. big island here, staten island, we haven't focused on that very much. but there's some significant damage there. some disturbing pictures here i'm going to show you the flyover pictures we just got from that part of the island, right here, that shoreline right through here. we're going right through there. the pictures you see there on
the side of your screen, those are all over. that was a 12-foot surge that took these boats, pushed them into the homes, homes off their foundation. if you're anywhere between six and most people about eight feet above sea level, you have between six and four feet of water in your home there on the shores of staten island. it was the same surge that we've saw in new york city up into the east side all along where the hospitals are now being evacuated and also of course into hoboken. it was the same water, the same surge, the same high tide. this was the first pictures though we've seen from staten island. and they are equally as disturbing as we see in other parts of new york and new jersey. >> looks like the boats are little toys stacked upon each other. >> how high the water went. >> i don't know, what could they have done to prevent this? >> well, they could have double tied a lot of them. but you see the little sticks sticking out of the water right there, that's where the dock was. so you can't do much when the dock actually gets thrown away as well. the dock torn up and thrown with
the boats. here you see these boats. this is right near the park just thrown right on to the shore here. nice protected cove. actually, there wasn't probably much wave action in here. a great little hook comes down there by that cove to protect this little inlet. but the water goes up, the boats lose their tie and all of a sudden you pull the cleats out of the dock or pull the cleats out of the boat, they're going to float and go. >> chad, don't go away. new yorkers are suffering a nightmare commute in sandy's wake. mass transit is beginning to come back, but it could be a while before some cars are allowed into the city. up next, we have details on new restrictions the new york mayor's enforcing. built around a state of mind? ♪ announcing the all-new 2013 malibu from chevrolet. ♪ with a remarkable new interior featuring the available chevrolet mylink infotainment system. this is where sophisticated styling begins.
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all right. take a look at this new video we're just getting in. this is the tour that the president of the united states took together with new jersey governor chris christie. you can see marine one chopper right there in the screen over there. this is from a second chopper following marine one. what the president saw you're seeing right now. there will be closer shots of what happened up and down new jersey shore when floods came in, the sand started piling up and there was severe, severe destruction. the president as you heard earlier was clearly moved by what he saw. so was the new jersey governor chris christie. they have been working in both of their words incredibly close over these past 48 to 72 hours to deal with this crisis as a result of this superstorm sandy. there you see some of the other pictures that have come in
showing the continued devastation from sandy. these are the images that the president once again saw as he flew aboard marine one over this area with chris christie. the president praised the new jersey governor as someone who has put his heart and soul into this effort and he's doing whatever he can to make sure the people of new jersey recover from this. and this is new video as well. you can see the destruction. and take a look, this is new video that we're also getting. a live picture we're getting from our affiliate wabc. look at that destruction. look at that home that was literally destroyed as a result of what we saw. we're just beginning to grasp the enormity of this crisis. this is a huge, huge crisis. and with each hour we see the power of this storm, the devastation as it has increased and caused death and devastation and destruction. powerful, powerful image right there. meanwhile, elsewhere in new york
city ambulances are lined up outside new york's bellevue hospital right now. a source tells cnn 700 patients either already have or are in the process right now of being evacuated due to trouble with generators being pumped by oil -- powered by oil pumps submerged in eight feet of water at that medical facility. our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta is on the scene for us. he's joining us now with the very latest. update our viewers, sanjay. what happened there? what's going on now? >> reporter: you're seeing a full scale evacuation of one of the biggest hospitals in the country, wolf. it's a pretty remarkable thing. i saw something similar to this during hurricane katrina. but not since then. bellevue hospital is actually the oldest continuously running hospital in the country. typically can hold about 900 patients. the critically ill patients over the last 24 hours have been evacuated. it's a steady stream of
ambulances going back and forth down this alleyway picking up patients and taking them to hospitals all over the city. just a little while ago, wolf, we saw maybe 25 to 50 national guard members as well walked, literally marched that way as well, probably to help in the process of carrying some of these patients down several flights of stairs. we know there's no power, no elevators. we're also hearing in a short time probably a few minutes from now there will be a press conference as well to describe exactly in more detail what is happening inside. but as you mentioned, wolf, there's generators all over that hospital. the problem is the pumps that pump the oil to the generators were submerged. they've been carrying oil up 12 flights of stairs to try and power the one last generator that was working at 1:00 today there was an official announcement they were going to stop and evacuate the patients. that's what's still happening
behind me here, wolf. i think it's going to be a couple days, basically, at the pace they're going to remove the patients from the hospital. >> it's a dangerous operation to move people in intensive care, whether elderly or newborns, move them under these kinds of circumstances to another hospital in new york. could be potentially very dangerous. >> reporter: you know, even moving patients within a hospital can be dangerous. if someone has several iv lines for example or a breathing tube, those things become disconnected. when you're in the hospital you obviously have a lot of resources. here you're taking patients outside the hospital, putting them in an ambulance, taking them to another hospital. clearly there's lots of steps to that. has to be well coordinate and had time is of the essence. when a transport occurs, wolf, typically it's one or two patients perhaps. in this situation you have the entire hospital essentially moving to several different hospitals. so it is an enormous process.
i don't know how much you can tell, wolf, behind me there's a lot of police, fire department on standby, national guard. three blocks of national guard vehicles lined up not too far from here. just beyond that area is the east river. relevant because that was probably the source of much of that flooding that you just described, wolf. >> sanjay, thanks very much. we'll stay in close touch with you as well. bellevue hospital right now 700 patients being evacuated. they've lost power there for a variety of reasons. i want to show you these pictures courtesy our affiliate wabc. pictures showing the destruction and devastation from the superstorm that's been called sandy. we'll continue our special coverage right after this. the wheels of progress. seems they haven't been moving much lately. but things are starting to turn around because of business people like you. and regions is here to help. with the experience and service to keep things rolling.
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mass transit will be a commuting nightmare for some time to come. let's go live to jason carroll. where are you and what are you learning? >> reporter: i'm on the manhattan side of the queens borough bridge. thousands upon thousands of people this is what we've been witnessing throughout the day walking across bridges. we've seen it also happen on the brooklyn bridge. this intersection is starting to get crowded they finally brought out traffic officers. see the way people have been trying to get around without subway, they're taking the few buses running throughout the city. that line there just sort of wraps around on itself. the people that we've been talking to say they've been waiting at least four hours just to get a bus. the keyword for all the commuters throughout the day has been patience. >> it's insane. it's like we knew it was going to be bad coming in this morning, but we didn't know it
was going to be this much of a standstill in the traffic. we moved in 45 minutes about seven blocks. so we said we can walk faster than that. >> that's crazy. but everyone's doing what we have to do. that's what we do in new york city. >> reporter: a bit of encouraging news coming from new york city's mayor michael bloomberg. what's happening there some people hopping over the fence trying to take a shortcut to get on the queens borough bridge. news coming from michael bloomberg within the next 24 hours, we will see some limited restoration of service on some of the trains. also limited subway service will resume. that will be starting tomorrow morning. also another point that the mayor wanted to make and that has to do with cars trying to come into the city tomorrow, this is only for noncommercial traffic, wolf, coming into the city on all crossings you have to have at least three people in your car on all crossings with
the exception of the george washington bridge. again, this is what he's trying to do to alleviate the traffic congestion here in the city of manhattan as they try to recover from hurricane sandy. >> standby for a moment. i want chad myers to participate in this conversation with you as well, jason. chad, go ahead. >> the mta map of what's open tomorrow morning and what's not is now post edposted. you can go to my twitter feed or mta insider as well. go to mta.info. this is northern parts of manhattan and the bronx. most of the lines are working tomorrow. we're going to slide you farther to the south and show you where those lines stop. shawn, go ahead and shrine that for me, would you? shawn? shawn? never mind. i'll get back to you on that one, wolf. >> what we were told earlier we spoke to the head of the mta that really below 30th street in lower manhattan there's not
going to be any subway service because of images like this. water still there, military units are going in, they're trying to get that water out. it's going to take days though in some of those subway stations to clean out those areas. jason carroll, you're on the scene for us. we were told that the buses were working. but to wait three or four hours for a bus, that's going to be a problem to get on a bus. >> reporter: at least. i mean, at least three or four hours to get on some of these buses. you hear the good and the bad. you hear good stories of people saying there's an elderly person in line, let them go ahead of me so they can take the bus or seat. and then you hear the flip side. in lower manhattan earlier today below 34th street i ran into a couple and they were trying to get a taxi, wolf. couldn't get a taxi. trying to share a taxi. couldn't do that. finally a car pulls up and says get in i'll take you over but i'm going to charge you $50 to get across the brooklyn bridge. so you have seen some of that
gouging as well. so you hear the good, you hear the bad, you see the good and you see the bad. >> certainly do. all right. jason, thanks for that report. chad, we're going to get back to you. more than 100 homes burned to the ground. one united states congressman says looked like something out of "gone with the wind." i'll ask him how he's recovering after losing everything in the storm including his home. start, unions, and peppers baked in a ketchup glaze with savory gravy and mashed russet potatoes. what makes stouffer's meatloaf best of all? that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. let's fix dinner.
of these states so hard that there are very real concerns about the impact on next tuesday's voting. all that destruction and disruption has certain election officials scrambling right now. let's bring in our chief political correspondent candy crowley, the anchor of cnn's "state of the union." candy, what do you think? will there be major disruptions next tuesday? >> certainly in virginia, new jersey, new york, maryland, you have to think that there probably will be. in particular new jersey and new york. i would be more worried at this point if i were down ballot in one of those races. i think the presidential race in new jersey is going to go democratic, new york is going to go democratic, maryland is going to go democratic. virginia, they seem to have -- in fact i was talking to the governor last weekend, we have lots of plans in place, we can extend voting hours, we can do a lot of different things. so in total i don't know how much effect it has on the presidential race, but if you
start to look at the down ballots in specific states where it's just the state vote and i think you're looking at some problems. >> yeah. what we saw today in new jersey was pretty amazing when you think about it. only days -- first of all, the destruction, but the president of the united states touring that area with the republican governor of new jersey chris christie in a watched -- they saw some of the sights we were showing our viewers right now. there were a few respective praise in there for each other amazing a few days before the election. given the history -- i'm going to play a couple clips. this is the new jersey governor chris christie back at the end of august at the republican convention in tampa. then what he said on tuesday in the aftermath of this destruction. listen to this. >> we ended an era of absentee without purpose or principle in new jersey. i'm here to tell you tonight it's time to end this era of absentee leadership in the oval office and send real leaders back to the white house. america needs mitt romney and paul ryan.
and we need them right now. right now 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've spoke to the president three times yesterday. he's been incredibly supportive and helpful to our state. not once did he bring up the election. >> is there any possibility that governor romney may go to new jersey to tour some of the damage with you? >> i have no idea. nor am i the least bit concerned or interested. i've got a job to do here in new jersey that's much bigger than presidential politics. and i could care less about any of that stuff. i have a job to do. i have 2.4 million people out of power. i've got devastation on the shore. i've got floods in the northern part of my state. if you think right now i give a darn about presidential politics, then you don't know me. >> yeah. he's a strong, strong guy. only an hour ago after his tour with the president he's got a great working relationship with the president. they've been working incredibly closely over these past couple
days. the president has sprung into action. >> here's the really good news. when something awful happens, we do tend to transcend politics to a certain degree. take both of these men at their words. people have died, people may still be dying, they've lost everything they have and this brings out the humanness even in politicians. that's the good news. if you were going to parse this politically you would know that chris christie has re-election next year. if he doesn't handle this carefully, he's done. because we've seen, you know, governors that are swept out when they didn't clear the roads in a big snowstorm. it just happens the closer you are to ground zero in a disaster like this, if you're a politician and are seen as not acting, you're out. so he's got lots of reasons we hope that for both the president and the governor these are humanitarian reasons. and i believe them. for the president, he had no choice. this is -- i mean, everyone told
biggest storm we've ever seen, biggest storm of our lifetime. the president had to act. the two of them are acting together in concert because they care about people who are dying and suffering i think is like, hey, thumbs up. >> yeah. they're both doing exactly what they should be doing as the governor of new jersey and the president of the united states. there's plenty of time for campaigning. the president will resume his campaigning tomorrow. >> right. >> thanks very much, candy, for that. we're getting new video from the tour that the president took. we'll show it to you along the jersey shore. also, my conversation with the united states congressman whose house burned down as a result of this superstorm. when i first started working, i put away money. i was 21, so i said, "hmm, i want to retire at 55." and before you know it, i'm 58 years old. time went by very fast. it goes by too, too fast. ♪ but i would do it again in a heartbeat. [ laughs ] ♪
this is all that's left of more than 100 homes in queens in new york city. among those who lost everything, a united states congressman. bob turner of new york is joining us now. >> tell us what happened and of claims from a single house, but with 60 and 100 miles per hour gusts of winds. it didn't take long for it to start, and because of the title surge, no emergency vehicles can get there for a couple of hours. it's it took on a life of it's
own. >> they did a wonderful heroic job. >> i evacuated later than i should have, maybe, but i was glad i was there. >> you saw the flaming engulf your own home? >> no, i knew which way they were headed, so i was out of harms way at that point. >> that whole area had been evacuated, you say it took two hours or longer for firefighters to reach the scene, but by then dozens of hopes were burned? >> that is correct, and there is no way the engines could get through what was about five feet of water on the road. >> were you able to take anything out of the home before you and your family left? >> no. so, a lot of good memories went
up in spoke, but we're safe. >> so your family photos -- >> yeah, that kind of great stuff. and you know, my heart goes out to many of my neighbors that don't have the number of options that do i, and this is a very tough time for them. some of the emergency resources and fema and the city of new york on the scene have been very helpful, and we're trying to get an marge center set up. it's a big area, and it covers a lot of brooklyn. terrible devastation and water damage -- a lot of problems, but -- >> it's awful indeed, and it's heartbreaking, have you been back to your neighborhood? >> oh yes. >> so when you walked around and
saw dozens of homes destroyed, give us the emotional feeling that went through your mind. it is just heartbreaking. and the mayor came by and and speaker quinn, and we had a mutual friend whose house was destroyed. and we watching some people just come in. >> how long have you lived there? >> both as a summer and full time resident about 32 years. >> i know it's a special community and special people live there, tell us about your neighbor. >> it's a beach community that is about 100 years old. it's close knit, and because
it's in the middle of a state park, and on a peninsula, it's isolated. the community is such that everyone knows everybody else. and over 2,000 homes. >> i'm told a lot of firefighters and police officers live in that neighborhood, is that right? >> the first major development was 1929, and the only people that had any money were firemen and some of these are now third generation or descendants of city workers, so there is that unique flavor to it. >> how are your neighbors olding up? >> they're tough, it's a tough
group, they pray for each other and help one another, and now we're thinking about rebuilding. >> really, you think it can be rebuilt after this devastation? >> i guarantee it. >> and you want to rebuild your home right in that lot where it was? >> yes, because of the extent of this, i don't know if we can have 100 individual projects, we might have to figure out as a community how we can do this, but we'll get through it, and it is a co-op, so people have the site rights, and they own their homes, but we'll work something out here. >> we wish congressman turner and his family and friends, all of his colleagues over there only the best in rebuilding that beautiful community. we're also learning right now at least 14 people were killed in statton island alone. three people including two children remain missing. wait if.
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-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com my watch! >> dramatic rescues in staten island. a major evacuation at a hospital right now. 700 patients forced to leave, and we're continually learning new information about the extent of the damage, the homes, and the lives devastated by sandy. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." we begin this hour with a cost to human life from super
storm sandy. the death hol is at at least 54, and we're getting a clear picture of the massive devastation. it now appear that stanton island has the highest number of losses. kate, let me walk over to you, tell us what you're learning. >> it's devastating. at least 14 people dead in staten island. >> look at this, this is video showing and aerial rescue of people trapped in their flooded out homes there. five adults and one child rescued. i was able to catch up with the burro president, as he was surveying more of the damage this afternoon.
>> can you describe the scene for us? >> it's like a tsunami hit us and this is the after math, it's hard to describe, houses collapsed, water came in, a surf came in at 13.5 feet that crashed into the coastal line. dozens and dozens of homes just destroyed beyond repair, and the public beach, where $60 million or $70 million was put into in the last few years is gone. >> what about power and electricity? >> power is 114,000 customers out of electric out of 164,000 total. so two thirds of the people have none. >> what are you telling
residents at this point? clearly it's near impossible to get off of staten island, right? >> you could not get off because the bridges were closed, the ferries were closed, so you were landlocked, and it treated a tremendous shortage of gasoline. there's lines that are two or three blocks long but no gasoline. many traffic lights are out because there is no electricity, and i'm looking at a line now that is proximately three, four, or five blocks long waiting for gasoline. >> i understand you have lived there a very long time, have you ever seen anything like this before? >> never. not only i, but there are people who are victims of this storm that have been living here 75 years believe it or not, their families before them. they say this could be a 100 year storm.
i think it's a 300 year tomorrow. it's something beyond anybody's belief. >> i know you have not seen anything like this before, but how long do you think it will take to clean this up? >> i think putting time into this, where you get back to normal will take a month or month and a half. to bring it back to where it was will cost you billions of dollars, not millions. this is the worst tragedy to ever happen to staten island, and the worst thing for new york since 9/11. >> do you expect to see the death toll go higher. >> definitely, no question. hopefully not, but i think by the amount of homes that collapsed, i think it's only inevitable we'll get additional deaths. >> that's the staten island borough president. he said right now, what are your
basic most needs. they need power, blood donations, they have six shelters, all of them are packed through, one called him last night and said they were out of food. so it's a tough situation. >> and he said the death toll will rise too. >> we have another staten island resident joining us right now. you're in staten island, on staten island, we just got new fresh video of when the president toured that area, what are you seeing there? give us an eyewitness account. >> well, i have been out since the night of the storm, and i was just checking on one of my friends because i'm on the higher ground in staten island, so i was not affected by the storm. i do have electricity. but i was watching tv all day, all night, and i didn't see until today anything showing on
tv for staten island. it's been pretty damaged. it's been a lot of flooding. i'm on part of the island just past the bridge, and there is a main street, highland boulevard, right from the hospital, and all the way past to midland beach, everything was flooded. i have been hearing the rumors that's been over 20 something victims found already, nothing is confirmed. these are the photos around my neighborhood. these are the photos of the area around. >> the water, up close, is it really filthy? >> it's deep, and it stupgs because it's mixed with storage.
these are the troops, don't know if they are marines or what are they, but the army troops that were trying to help people around. >> what are your neighbors saying to you? >> well, everybody is trying to help each other. everybody is just talking about their own family members, some of the people -- in this picture that you just showed were two people trying to get ahold of their relatives. in a few houses, they were still in the water from yesterday. . my neighbors are -- everybody is just trying to help each other. all of the basements are filled up with water. some people's first floor as well filled up with water. today i have been to my cousin's house, it is full of water and stinks with gas, and we're trying to put some generator and
water pumps so we can drain the water out. >> hurricane sandy was heading your way and authorities said get ready for an awful storm, did you have any notion of the devastation that would develop? >> can you repeat that? >> when you were told in advance this hurricane was on the way to new york, did you ever comprehend or have any sense of how bad it would be? >> well, i guess because of what happened with the irene, that it was like a big things that would happen -- it would be a big devastation for irene, and nothing really happened, i guess that's where all of us got tricked with that. so we did not really believe it would be a big storm. >> let me bring chad meyers into this conversation, kate baldwin also here. >> i'll circle staten island for you and show you the issue.
the it was pouring into the harbor. everywhere that you see red, that is at 15 deet or lower above sea level, all the way along the shore here. going up north, and then all of this area through here, all lower than 15 feet above sea level, and the area to the north, there it is right there, all of this is all neighborhood and it's all less than 15 feet above sea level, so when that 12 foot surge and waves came on shore, it came right into these neighborhoods. >> it's a sad, sad story. so what's next, what are you going to do? >> well, in particular, nothing right now. just trying to help my friends and my relatives around here. i did get some people coming
over in here because they don't have power, they have kids, so trying to help each other. >> good luck to you and your family, all of your friends over there on staten island. this is one part of the story that has not yet received a whole lot of attention, but we will show our viewers more of that sad story indeed. a massive evacuation under way right now, ambulances are lined up to move hundreds of patients, our own doctor sanjay gupta is on the scene.
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you can see where i am here. ncaa these waters have receded in the last few hours. it was worse earlier. it gets shallower, but i'm washingtoning past two cars stranded here for the last 24 hours. when you get near the storm drains, it getting deeper and it's extremely deep every that way, past this street corner. one big worry, sewage, garbage, and the fillth, garbage, and other things you don't want to think about. they have done 350 rescues from this down, and they're in a lot of places like this. several cars have come down here, given up and turned
around. >> any sign of people, first responders or clean-up crews, anything along those lines? any evidence of that in the streets where you are? >> a lot of national guardsman that are coming in high clearance vehicles to rescue people. here comes a vehicle here, that is a national guard vehicle. they're coming around in these vehicles, looking for people that need to be evacuated, want to get out of their homes, they will be loading up people on that vehicle pretty soon, so they have been at it all day and all night. other city workers we have not seen so much in this section, we have seen a lot of community volunteers in hip raiders and boots like mine, clearing storm
drains, and at one intersection this way, they cleared the whole intersection. it's now dry because of their efforts. >> are people staying put or abandoning that community? >> well, what we're told is they're not abandoning the city entirely, they're just going to higher ground. there are shelters around here, they're going to those places and staying with friends. some are staying in place. some that live in the higher floors are staying in their apartments. they say i live on the third or fourth floor, i'm going to ride it out, and they have been able to do that. they stocked up or made p provisions. >> brian todd, across the river from new york city. they were making a major come back over the last several years. a lot commuters moving to
hoboken. >> yeah, i have friends that live there. >> still ahead, new details of the inferno that wiped out an entire new york neighborhood at the height of the storm. >> people are going home now and seeing their homes for the first time, or that's what's left. e ds 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 fastreliefchallenge.com today for a special trial offer. see life in the best light. [music] transitions® lenses automatically filter just the right amount of light. so you see everything the way it's meant to be seen. experience life well lit, ask for transitions adaptive lenses. on gasoline. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago.
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white house picture that's been just released. the president of the united states, the governor of new jersey on marine one, the helicopter, touring some of the devastating area in new jersey. he warmly praised governor christie for making sure everyone was safe. governor chris tee said that the president has been incredibly, incredibly diligent in what he's been doing helping everybody in new jersey. they have a great working relationship, and he can't thank the president enough for what he has done. earlier, we spoke with a congressman whose home is among the 110 homes that burned to the ground in the new york citys burough of queens. >> we caught up with him as well
as some of the residents hoping to find anything left of their belongings. >> reporter: they searched through the ashes and found a few things. >> i found the cross from my rosery. >> katie raised five kids and grand kids, and she found nothing. >> i found nothing. my husband died a few years ago, his disk, and everything -- just all gone. >> as families searched for belongings, fire search and rescue teams made sure no one disappeared in the fire. >> we have no reports of anyone missing, but we're going through the buildings and searching for
victims that could be trapped. >> the community that involves firefighters and first responders lost many people in 9/11. >> it's only a house. and we're all so close here. >> reporter: so one loss is a loss for everyone. >> absolutely. >> the governor came to see the devastation up close. >> to see the families coming in and coming out. how you can have your life overturned in 24 hours, and they were in their home, they had their belongings, and now they're lives are gone and shattered. they're looking for places to day, and coming back to literally pick up the pieces of their lives. >> pieces that neighbors and friends will use to rebuild. beach resort towns now look like a war zone.
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america's largest city plunged into darkness. check out this picture sent in, he took this stark picture of a pitch black lower manhattan. his description was eery and surreal. i'd say so. power outages also having very serious consequences. massive evacuation happening right now at bellview hospital. the holdest public hospital in the united states. some 700 patients are being moved. dr. sanjay gupta is there with the latest, what's going on? >> well, we just had a press
briefing from the leadership of the hospital here at bellview. and they said in the last couple days, it's been a chaotic situation, a very large hospital here behind me. what they found out is earlier today they were able to pump a lot of water out of the basement areas that contain very important fuel pumps. and they come to a higher level, they realize there was just damage to these fuel pumps. and they realized an evacuation needed to take place. a pretty significant amount of damage, and they say they have no hopes of being able to repair that any time soon, and that's why that evacuation is taking place. it usually has close to 900
parab patients. there were about 700 here this morning, and we expect them to continue through the night and into tomorrow. it could take another 12 to 24 hours to complete those evacuations. the national guard has been part of these operations, and while they were waiting to determine in the fuel pumps would work, they needed to get oil to the 12th and 13th story where the generators are located. they moved buckets of oil over and over to keep the generators going. a bucket brigade getting that oil upstairs to keep the lights on, wolf. >> the other hospitals in new york, i assume with the exception of that nyu medical sen to where they had to evacuate as well.
the other hospitals as far as you have seen seem to be okay for now? >> they seem to be, and the real common denominator is just up the road, and bellview is they're both along the east revel, and that's relevant because you know the east river, they cause flooding and that's what is so dramatically effected. and specifically those oil pumps. many of the patients are further inland and more protected from the surge. >> sanjay on the scene for us at bellview, thank you very much. let's get back to new jersey, mayor booker is joining us on the phone, thank you for joining us. your constituents on twitter,
they have been asking you some serious questions. most serious, when is the power going to be back on, what do you tell them? >> i'm getting those details myself, so i'm asking them to be strong, it will be a really, really difficult situation, in some ways, not having hour for medication can be life threatening, so those in critical need need to let us know that. and others we will try to let them know that we're doing everything we can do get the city going. we're finding out right now that one of our stations are seriously damaged and it could be a couple days for tomorrow. >> not necessarily from knew ark. but you can see the damage elsewhere. i know you're very active on
twitter, someone tweeted to you saying really, you got lights and not me, we live on the same block. and you said go over while i'm working and enjoy my lights. >> did they take you up on that offer? >> no, i would have let the person come into my home which is now pry warmer than theirs. we have to help each other out. and to the extent that i can, i'm willing to help people. we have diapers, baby food, candy for folks that may have had to skip their trick or treat, but we have major problems. we left the senior senator with a lot of medically dependent people, they're generator went down. now they're working on an evacuation or another generator. so we're still in a state of emergency, there's a lot of challenges facing the community.
anything and everything we can do to help each other, we're going to do it. we will show that we're absolutely stronger. >> one of the things that people are wondering about is the newark airport. when will it be fully functional? >> we have a lot of work to do out there. the port authority is addressing it and very rapidly very frankly, we're supporting them, because as we're coming in today, we were seeing some inbound passengers stranded. a lot of the transit has been shut down, we were able to get local city cabs up there. it's a very difficult time. most of our calls are being made day today. we're going to continue to do that. our port authority folks are
doing the best they can, but they have monumental infrastructure challenges. paths into the old world trade center sight are deeply flooded. we have folks doing heroic things around the clock trying to deal with the crisis as it goes on and it's affecting from the youngest child to our greatest institutions, so we have a lot of strength and we're tapping into community spirited energy. >> will people be able to vote on tuesday? >> that's not my immediate concern, it it is getting people with medically needed power, i think this democracy that has dealt with challenges for two centuries, we'll get people to
the polls. so i'm very confident that we'll pull together and find a way to make sure that voters can vote. right now the urgency, the focus, the determination is dealing with the now. >> good point and good luck, major, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, and you at cnn have done a really good job keeping the attention on the problem and getting information out to people that critically need it, thank you as well. >> thank you, we're doing our best. with widespread power outages, it could affect the presidential election. we're looking at that and new pictures come into the situation room right now. [ female announcer ] the power to become a better investor has gone mobile.
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let's take a quick look at some of the powerful photos coming in from across the east coast today. in new jersey, a young girl and her sister evacuated and went to a shelter. and a torn flag surviving the harsh winds of hurricane sandy. and in new jersey, workers try to push stand off of the street that washed in, just some of the memorable images from super storm andy. >> those photos are very powerful. >> the presidential candidates have been forced to take time out from their campaigns, are the gloves starting to come off? our national political correspondent jim acosta is joining us now from jacksonville florida, what are you seeing,
jim? >> the campaign said the gop nominee wants to strike a positive tone today, but the brief pause appears to be passing. one flash for the remaining six days of this campaign is a radio ad in the state of ohio, one the vice president calls a outrageous lie. >> at his first rally in the after math of sandy, he steered clear of any direct attacks on the president. now people coming together is what's also going to happen i believe on november 7th. >> then he made a segues. >> i don't just talk about change, i have a plan to execute change and to make it happen. >> reporter: for romney, it's a delicate balancing act.
he tours after praising the administrations response. in a three stop swing through florida, romney had other big supporters at his side. including jeb bush who talked about the president's handling. >> my response is that it's the local and the state level that really matter. . that if they do their job right, the federal government part works out good. >> with less than one week to go, the romney campaign is trying to expand a map to opportunities where republicans now see in michigan, minnesota, and pennsylvania. >> you're depending territory and we're on offense. >> the president's top advisors coined a new term for this. >> this momentum of the romney
campaign is really fauxmentum. >> barack obama says he saved the auto industry, but for who? ohio or china. now crystler plans to start making jeeps in china. >> i saw a story today, one of the great manufacturers in this state, jeep, now owned by the italians is thinking of moving all production to china. >> after the owner of crystler said the story is false and the company is adding jobs in ohio, the obama campaign seized on the moment. >> that's what the ad says, it's a outrageous lie. >>. >> now, a senior romney advisor is defending their advertising on that autobailout, but they're not saying whether or not they
agree with the praise of the handling of hurricane sandy, but the romney campaign did hold a conference call earlier today to matt conference call that the obama campaign put on. they said they will prevail on tuesday, but they said hopefully the outcome will be known, addressing some of the uncertainty. >> the gloves are beginning to come off, thanks again. >> there is concern about the power outages caused by super storm sandy and voting. the election is just six days away now. john, what are you finding? >> important that we mention that six days because it gives officials and authorities time, mayor booker is confident they will have most of it worked out, but any time you see these different colors, those are things impacted in in the storm. here is theover all national
number, about 15 states and about 6 million people without power. that could take ten days or more. that means past the election. let's come back to this map and i will explain in detail what it means. the guide up here, and we'll go through some of the impact in state that's are critical in the election season. let's start with the state of ohio. you see a darker orange. 5,000 plus households, well look up here, you see cleveland and la lake county, this is the most heavily hit area here. here is why this could matter. this is how these areas voted in the 2008 presidential election. especially here in akron, i'll show you the impact of the storm so far. these are people without power right now. one thing this has done, it adds
about 124,000 people without power, rlly voting today is down, a top priority in the african-american community. so there could be an impact there. we assume by tuesday things will be better on election day, but you see some impact here. let's go to pennsylvania. again,ly draw a line through the areas most impacted. the darker areas are those with without power, and let's look at pennsylvania in 2008. most of those areas, are again, are democratic. especially in the philadelphia area and suburbs. more people here, they have more people here without power than anywhere else. somewhere in the ballpark of 100,000. it's only absentee voting there. no aggressive early voting like in some other states. the question is can they be up and running by the time election day comes around. i want to just show you we're
closer here in virginia, and here is how this area voted in 2008. we talked about this last week. this is a state mitt romney needs to win. and if you want to take a look at the impact in terms of power outages of the storm, you see it right here. so urban, suburban, critical, and generally more critical in urban areas and that is at the moment, where you see more people without power. i would make this comment that as you get further away from this and closer to election day, it is often the urban and suburban areas that come back first. >> i know you have been speaking with both campaigns, do they see one side bents politically more than the other. >> both campaigns insist they don't talk about it that way. they say they're overall imsuppression this froze the race. i was just in massachusetts,
battleground, new hampshire, they did not take the adds down. they may have stopped campaigning one by they did not take the ads down. that is largely how it is in the final days. the romney campaign thinks it froze, they think that's to their advantage, but they have also seen the picture os s of t president being the president, and with a outspoken governor, so some will wince at that photo-op, and some say it could be a slight advantage for the president. >> thank you, it's total gridlock in new york city as the people in the nation's largest city trying to get around without the subway. looking at pictures of new york right now. ♪
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new york city subways are still shut down and right now the city is in the middle of a traffic and commuter nightmare as people are trying to make their way around the city in probably pitch black in many places. cnn's national correspondent jason carroll is in new york with details. jason how does it look? >> reporter: it's been a trying day for commuters. look behind me, i'm on the manhattan side of the queensboro bridge. i don't know if you can see through the darkness that's foot traffic, thousands of people we've been seeing throughout the day who have been trying to get into the city, get out of the city. their only mode of transportation their two front feet, simply because no subway service, no train, once again a trying day for new york city commuters. it's gridlock on the streets and
foot traffic on bridges as commuters struggle to get into and out of manhattan. thousands crossing bridges like the queensboro throughout the day. >> it's insane, like we knew it was going to be bad coming in this morning but didn't know it would be this. of a standstill. >> didn't try, the line was around the block, i said forget it and started walking. >> it's crazy but everyone is doing what they have to do. that's what we do in new york city. >> reporter: subways not running, some still flooded, limited train service, power in lower manhattan out. >> there's nothing available. >> reporter: these two searched for nearly an hour hoping to share a taxi with someone else. >> kind of like soggy world. >> reporter: the competition too tough or too expensive. >> $50? no. we just wanted to cross the brooklyn bridge literally right there. >> reporter: like so many they decided to walk across the brooklyn bridge. >> you don't see any cabs, no one will take to you brooklyn. everybody doesn't have a choice and they have to walk. >> reporter: new york's mayor taking steps to ease congestion
announcing starting toment row commuters driving into manhattan must have at least three occupants over some crossing. >> i know it is inconvenience for a lot of people but the bottom line is the streets can only handle so much. >> reporter: limited subway service will resume tomorrow and later today on some train service. the army corps of engineers has already pumped three of the seven east rinne tunnels free of water but the reality is it will be a while before new york is fully up and running again. for now, walking will have to do. >> turn your light on. >> reporter: and i want to you take a another look, this is a picture of a line for people who have been waiting for buses, some of them have been telling us they've been waiting four or five hours just to get a bus to try to get them where they need to go and then they'll begin their walk so once again it's been a long day for new york city's commuters. one woman said it best yes i had to walk four hours in order to get to work and in order to get home but at least i have a home
to go home to. kate? >> that's very good perspective, when you see that line it is amazing they're going to definitely be several trying days ahead for many new yorkers. we're taking a live picture of columbus circle where you can absolutely see the gridlock this evening. jason carroll in new york, thank you. >> right outside the time warner center in new york, columbus circle, traffic barely moving. docks ripped to shreds, boats thrown into homes up and down the jersey coast, residents are struggling to clean up in trails of destruction. here's cnn's sandra endo. >> reporter: i'm here in a bayside community. you can see the waterfront right here. look at how destructive superstorm sandy was. this was a dock that completely demolished, that showed you how strong the wind and the waves were in this area. there was a mandatory evacuation order for this area, but clearly some residents say they wanted to ride out the storm and this homeowner stayed inside during
the entire time and they say they watched the waves come up and bang into their home. they saw parts of the dock bang into their porch right here as well as a house boat basically collide, causing this trail of destruction. you can see pieces of their home on their lawn, and obviously just a trail of debris here. this is a scene a lot of residents are coming back to as they try to pick up the pieces. now if you look across the street, where the dock ended up or at least a portion of it, in somebody's driveway, you could also see an uprooted tree, downed power lines and if you look at the end of the street, that is where a houseboat ended up, and washed ashore, so clearly a very devastating scene here for a lot of residents, very difficult to come back and try to pick up the pieces. obviously a lot of cleanup work left to do. we've seen fema officials here trying to survey the damage as well.
>> sandra endothank y, thank yo the report. much more when we come back. ♪ with a low national plan premium... ♪ ...and copays as low as one dollar... ♪ ...saving on your medicare prescriptions is easy. ♪ so you're free to focus on the things that really matter. call humana at 1-800-808-4003. or go to walmart.com for details. home of the legendary grand prix circuit. the perfect place to bring the all-new cadillac ats to test the 2.0-liter turbo engine. [ engine revs ] ♪ [ derek ] 272 horsepower. the lightest in its class. the cadillac ats outmatches the bmw 3 series. i cannot believe i have ended the day not scraping some red paint off on these barriers. ♪ [ male announcer ] the all-new cadillac ats.
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are you one of them? drink dream water, the natural, fast acting sleep aid that helps you wake refreshed. visit drinkdreamwater.com. here's what's left in the wake of the storm. >> i look at that tree and i mean the main thing is that we weren't there. >> this is traffic coming over the 59th street bridge. >> this is almost a ghost town now. there is something silent and even dreadful about this place. >> somebody just sitting there. >> that's so sad. there are so many long time jersey shore folks who just, this is what they live, they breathe. >> right. >> and it's just