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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  August 26, 2011 6:00am-8:00am PDT

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landfall? >> i think moorehead city is a good bet. the low country of north carolina is going to get hit hard. what surprising when you look back at hurricane history, it's been over ten years since north carolina got hit by a major storm. and it's been almost six years since we have seen a major storm hit the u.s. and this is not a major storm technical right now. it's got winds of 110. we need winds of 111. talking about splitting hairs right there. don't worry about that and don't so much worry about the track because it's close enough to the coatline once it gets past north carolina everybody across the chesapeake and new jersey and new england coastline will be affected and a large storm with a big circulation and surge on top of high tides as well. exactly how much surge you get in your neighborhood will determine by the track and where you exactly live. not necessarily the elevation. it's going to be interesting and it will be historic. just try to prepare as best you
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can and we will hope for the best as mom likes to say. >> we will be covering this very, very closely. as we always do at cnn. in fact, jim acosta takes over our coverage right now in the "cnn newsroom." jim, take it away. >> thanks, guys, very much. good morning, everybody. it is almost here. hurricane irene is curving closer and closer to tens of millions of people. waves and wind already kicking up and the first rains will soak the southeast today. this is a big storm. hundreds of miles across and even from space, it is a monster. an astronaut on the international space station called the view "terrifying." we have crews deployed up and down the east coast. reynolds wolf is in kill dils hill, north carolina and john zarrella is north of there. then candy crowley in long island and mary snow and jacqui
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jeras. reynolds, they are bracing for a direct hit, aren't they? >> they certainly are. one of the most troubling things about this err area is the how it's susceptible to the tropical systems. when you think about the outer banks of north carolina think about the water offshore. to our south we have a current we refer to as the gulf stream and works its way to the north. then a few fingers, the labrador current comes in from the north and converging right off cape hatteras. what happens you also have a bunch of navigational hazards off the shore and refer to this as the graveyard of the atlantic. the outer banks are a ribbon of 200 miles worth of sand and widest point is three miles and not that high above sea level and only 7 to 11 feet at its highest points along these barrier islands. when you think about a big tropical system, a category 2 hurricane or 3 from a storm
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surge from 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 feet you can see how dangerous things get. because the possibility of the storm coming closer. irene looks like it has a beat on the outer banks. many people began evacuating earlier in the week and official evacuation for visitors on the island. they average about 150,000 on a summer day in august. then have you people that live along this barrier island year-round. 35,000. those evacuations are going to take place today as of 8:00. here is what isinteresting, though. . they call it mandatory but people will be staying here. one person has lived on these islands the last 30 years and bobby alden who works for the dare county management office he laid out what he calls is his nightmare scenario.
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>> worst case scenario for us, a storm coming up the sounds with the eastern side coming up the outer banks which is what the track right now does. then it becomes size and speed and we have a storm that is moving at, i don't know, 10 to 12 the last time i saw projected out of 3 or maybe a high 2 which is a big storm for us. so that is our worst case scenario and we're in it. >> reporter: so think about that for a moment. the system moving to the north and strip of sand that jets out of the atlantic. counterclockwise rotation the first thing happens the rain and wind and also a great deal of storm surge that is going to roll off the top half from the atlantic. then you have the back beige. you have the intercoastal water way, the sounds and bring an initial mass of water in from the back half of this rotating storm. it's a 1-2 punch they are dealing with easily the next 24 to 36 hours. pitch it back to you, jim! >> good information, reynolds. thanks. new yorkers are in unfamiliar territory right now trying to get their heads around a hurricane that could swamp the city. mayor michael bloomberg is considering mandatory
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evacuations and his decision could come today. mary snow has the details. mary, this is kind of scary to think about, because so much of manhattan is susceptible to this kind of storm surge. which areas are likely to be evacuated? >> reporter: we are in lower manhattan which is a big area of concern because it's a low-lying area. a couple of pockets throughout the city and if there were mandatory evacuations, it would be focus on the zones most at risk. lower manhattan and battery park and ground zero and staten island which is behind me also and parts of brooklyn, coney island seen also as vulnerable and the rock aways. the mayor saying he will make that decision by tomorrow morning around 8:00 on whether to order those evacuations but he is telling new yorkers to be
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prepared and if you are in areas that look like they are in those zones that are most vulnerable, to consider going and staying with relatives. >> mary, we are showing some animation right now of what looks like water coming ashore on both sides of the hudson river. is that basically sort of the situation we're looking in the worst case scenario if that storm surge is severe? >> reporter: in the worst case scenario. and, again, it's still too early to tell what kind of impact new york would feel. it's expected that new york would feel this impact by sunday and we should be getting an update within a couple of hours from the city in terms of what their plans are. but yeah. we have talked to a number of hurricane experts also who say it wouldn't take a major hurricane to hit in order to cause significant flooding because the real worry is these storm surges and the flooding in some of these areas.
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>> mary snow in lower manhattan for us, thank you. meteorologist jacqui jeras is tracking the storm as it closes in on the east coast. i guess a lot of folks are concerned about the timetable, exactly when this is going to strike. i know things are moving minute-by-minute but what can you tell us? >> not only focus on landfall the impact of the storm is moving in and you're feeling this across parts of the carolinas and part of that has to do with how huge this storm is. now the eye itself is somewhere between 300, 200 miles away from the coastline and moving due north and if it continues due north, we would be looking at landfall just east of i-40 and west of cape lookout. that is the big impact zone in terms of the hurricane force winds and the worst of the storm surge. but we are already feeling the impacts with the winds. look at this. 32-mile-per-hour winds. 33 sustained winds. we are getting close to tropical storm force sustained winds and that is moving in this afternoon. you need to rush to complete those preparation plans. you should be done!
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but if you're not done, hurry up and get out of there! if you're in the evacuation zone, we will watch the bands increase throughout the day today. the rain is going to come down heavy and as we get those most intense thunderstorms move in, we will watch those winds continue to pick up even more. by the way, florida still getting hit with this storm as well with the showers and the thunder showers and some of those heavy winds. the winds, how strong are they? the maximum 110 miles per hour. if this is the first time you've tened in down from the major category storm 3 we had yesterday but by 1 miles an hour. that is it. 111 it needs to be a hurricane. when the eye wall collapses a little bit, but a new one develops on outside of it and, ultimately, that can close in and make it a stronger storm. this could go back up to a 3 and that is what you need to be prepared for. we do have a little bit of dry air trying to make its way into there. that could, you know, impact the intensity just a little bit. let's talk about the rainfall coming in with this too.
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take a look at that. all of that dark purple is between 6 and 12 inches of rain and talking about inland flooding as well as the coastal flooding, not to mention the power outages we are expecting with with that. talk about the timing. northerly direction will continue and we will wash the worst of the conditions move in overnight tonight and landfall will likely be sometime tomorrow and move up towards norfolk and virginia beach and delmarva and into the northeast and this is going to be in through here. it is pretty much an all day sunday event and likely continue into early monday in the morning for parts of new england. a long way to go with the storm impacting millions of people and modeling coming together much more so in terms their consensus and looking likely we have one, probably two landfalls. >> as you said, i mean, the worsening conditions will be happening tonight. if folks are waiting until the last second to evacuate those
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areas they want to rethink that and plan on getting out now. >> enough surge and high water will close them off so you don't have a lot of time. >> jacqui jeras, thanks so much. maryland is one of the states in irene's path. the golf there martin o'malley declared a state of emergency. next hour he is holding a news conference and more on that coming up. a deadly bomb attack at the u.n. building in nigeria's capital. let's get straight to zain verjee in london with the latest. this sounds seriously. >> reporter: it is. at least seven have been killed and more than that number have been injured, some seriously. the bomb squad is on the scene and security forces also on the scene. they are reporting that there was apparently a car bomb that went to the side of the united nations building and what happens was, jim, was that one of the wauls just collapsed. an area one witness says when the wall caved in it, it just
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fell on people and when the casualties occurred. by the way, this is a diplomatic area. the u.s. embassy is close to where the united nations headquarters are. because it was a diplomatic area and lie berrian area with is there it wasn't that busy at the time of the day. it happened, according to one witness, about 10:15 in the morning local time. what is happening now is that more casualties are being taken out of the debris by the red cross and going into the hospitals that weren't properly stopped so calling in extra nurses and doctors to try to help. >> thank you, zain. coming up, much more on hurricane irene. the monster-sized storm threatens much of the east coast but not everyone is heeding the call of mandatory evacuations. >> it's mandatory for nonresidents because they have somewhere else to go. >> they may want to rethink that. the latest for those in the hurricane's cone of uncertainty is coming up. plus, how do you prepare for
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welcome back. we are keeping a close eye on hurricane irene, the category 2 storm is taking a parallel line, roughly 200 miles off the coast of florida. here is the live video that we have of the churning surf off the jacksonville beach. that is atlantic beach, north carolina, correction. you can see it's starting to kick up and looking looking meaner by the minute. checking stories across the country. the view of hurricane irene from space. 200 miles above the eye of the category 2 storm is what it
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looks like this morning from the international space station. pretty dramatic stuff. this is the ground level view of how people in the path of irene are reacting. check out those gas lines. many folks in southern new jersey are making a beeline for the gas stations and heading to higher ground. look at that traffic there. in the wake of evacuation orders for people living near the shore or in low-lying areas. a good reason to plan ahead. >> what part of mandatory evacuation does not mean mandatory for you? >> it's in cape may. >> are you ignoring it? >> it's mandatory for nonresidents because they have somewhere else to go. >> that is exactly what emergency officials don't want to hear at this point. here is a question. how do you get 7.5 million people ready for a hurricane? the answer? one town at a time. long island, new york, is right in the path of hurricane irene and that means towns such as east hampton, a summer resort community that needs to get
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ready right now. bill wilkinson is on the phone with me right now. he is the town supervisor. what are you doing right now, bill, to get ready? >> in about two hours we are going to issue a voluntary evacuation notice to the residents in the motel and hotel owners to probably mostly because we expect long, long delays as these roads start to get jammed. we are sitting at 125 miles in the atlantic and there is from southampton so the end of long island, only two lanes. so we would like to get people adequate notice to say if you have to get somewhere and you want to get home, you better get on the road soon. so that will happen -- that will happen starting at about noon today. >> bill, i've been on those roads before. it's a beautiful place but not easy to get out in a hurry if traffic is jammed up. what do you say to those folks out there like the folks we just showed in that clip a few
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moments ago who are taking their chances? >> you know, again, this is the time to be most cautious. we urge, sort of like when we had these beaches that don't have lifeguards to swim at your own risk, to pay attention what is going on. a lot of our community, are tourist communities, and people coming out for the first time that aren't familiar with the risks of ocean surges and wind conditions and falling branches and that is why we are trying to get out at least 24 hours before normal to ensure that proper notice is given and they can make some responsible decisions on egress, if necessary. >> bill, we know there are places like ocean city, m.d., that have issued mandatory evacuation orders. are you looking at that as a possibility? at what point do you get to that? >> you know, i think tomorrow, we will take a better look. we are certainly going to pay very, very close attention to
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low-lying areas in our communities. we have certain communities between montauk that are a great risk and certain scheck uns of that area are at great risk they are low-lying to begin with. as a result, we will be focused on those communities with patrols and literally hourly determinations to see if we have to make mandatory evacuations and guide some of these individual residents and occupants into shelters if we so open shelters. >> bill, thanks for joining us. bill wilkinson, the town supervisor in east hampton, new york. best of luck to you. to libya, the rebels have taken the gadhafi compound. and now we are getting a look at some of the weird stuff they have found. yes, a scrapbook with pictures of a former u.s. politician. you won't believe who it is. a mouthwatering combination of ingredients... i know you're gonna love. [ barks ]
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also this morning, the fight for libya is not over. cnn's team at the tripoli airport is reporting gadhafi loyalists have shelling buildings there. at least one airplane set on fire from today's attacks and attacks on the airport have been coming from a nearby village for several days now. as they try to hold back advances by rebels. elsewhere, the hunt is intensifying for gadhafi. rebels going door-to-door looking for the dictator and while he remains a fugitive he did surface in an parent audiotape urging his loyalists to keep fighting. the rebels have taken gadhafi compound and going through the secret underground tunnels built
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there. some think escape route for a desperate dictator the last couple of days. sara sidner, you have been down some of those tunnels. what did you find? >> reporter: unbelievable. if i did not see it myself i wouldn't have believed. i know it's a rumor for a really long time. but we got there and the opposition was there. they said look. if you want to see, we can take you into part of it but we haven't been able to get all the way through it. it is so massive. they believe that the tunnels go all the way to the airport which is 20 kilometers from his compound and to the rixos hotel where a lot of the press conferences were held. we have not been able to get all the way through them but we did see a bit of it and want to show you what it looked like a few moments ago. >> sara, i'm watching video of you going through what looks like videotapes on a shelf. any idea what is in those videotapes? >> reporter: we don't know exactly what is in those tapes.
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we can tell you that area was where he used to send out his messages so you remember those messages he would send out, they would be these videotaped messages instead of audiotape and he would send them out every now and then or do his live broadcasts. i think that where is happened. there was a studio set up there and it was all burned. you remember we dean hear from him a while after massive bombings. i think like 60 bombs that fell in and around the area when nato flew over and began its strikes. that area was bombed. we actually saw where the roof had a massive hole in it and a bunch of slap nell and it was completely black. there was ire afire and why we didn't hear from nim. >> a scrapbook was found of, is this correct, condoleezza rice? this is strange stuff. >> reporter: i'm not sure. but i do know there were pictures and that sort of thing. we were in a part of the tunnel where no one else had gone before, so imagine this massive
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city -- oh, we also saw a golf cart so that gives you an idea. you couldn't walk the tunnels all the way if you wanted to. there was a golf cart inside that had been blown to bits but it, obviously, went through. there was just enough room for it to go through these tuns and they are very high. probably about seven feet high and room for three of me standing side-by-side walking down the tunnel. i have to tell it you, it's one of those scenarios you hear about these things and you 'say people exaggerate. it is not an exaggeration. this is an entire complex of a city underground. >> as the hunt goes down for gadhafi the tale gets stranger and stranger and i know you'll bring us the latest. sara, thanks for all of your bravery. alison kosik is at the new york stock exchange where stocks are open for a lower open. traders keep an eye on ben bernanke and hurricane irene today.
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a lot to look at. >> reporter: they are looking at the latest figures on gdp also. it shows our economy grew at 1% annual pace and worse than the initial reading last month. this number will be revised one more time. yes, what everybody has been waiting for happening in half an hour. fed chairman ben bernanke speaking at jackson hole, wyoming. not expecting to hear about any additional stimulus measures but investors are anxious to hear his take on things. yes, what you mentioned the other big concern, the weather. hurricane irene. wall street sits basically at the southernmost tip of manhattan so wall street is really keeping an eye on this hurricane because it's in a zone where flooding is a big risk. so far, no evacuation order has been given for this area and we are told they intend to be open for trade on monday but contingency plans in place with a goal to have the markets up and running' keeping everybody safe as well. >> hopefully, canoes on stand di
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by. some of that animation we showed earlier showed that storm surge rolling very close to wall street. i mean, i'm guessing the traders have been talking about this. >> reporter: they have. you know, keep in mind, though, it does take a lot to shut down the new york stock exchange. last time operations were affected at all because of the weather was january of 1996 when a big blizzard. it delayed the opening bell that happened at 11:00, the close moved up to 2:00. the nysc hasn't been closed completely because of weather since 1985 when hurricane gloria hit and gloria looked similar, took a similar path to what irene is make pregnaing. we will see what happens. >> we will be tuning in. thanks. in a few moments, take you to atlantic beach where john zarrella is there as we see the effects of irene coming ashore.
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checking top stories now. at least seven people killed and many more injured in a bombing
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of a nun building in nigeria that. no one claimed responsibility for the attack. jps prime minister kan announced his retirement this morning. hurricane irene is threatening more than 50 million people living along the eastern seaboard. the storm could make landfalls over the weekend. first in north and then in the northeast. these are live pictures you're looking at right now from wrightsville beach, north carolina. the waves are kicking up a and looking mok liar a hurricane that is on the way than earlier this morning. we have reporters up and down the east coast following aren and throughout the weekend bring your the latest track from our severe weather center. let's check in with reynolds wolf in kill devil hills, north carolina. i spent a lot of my childhood going down to those beaches in the outer banks.
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local residents have experienced dealing with storms down there. what about evacuation orders? do they have them this time? >> reporter: i'll tell you, they have already had some evacuation orders. i got to tell you moments ago i felt the first raindrops. the rain is moving in and people moving out. they had some evacuations yesterday but i have to tell you earlier, we actually drove into the beach yesterday. you had just masses of people that were vaticaning. one side of the highway, just completely full. the other side, just a few sparse cars here and there. we happened to be one of them coming on in. there was the mandatory evacuation for tourists and the one for locals has already started. it doesn't mean it happens in one fell swoop. we had people left the outer banks days ago and some people canceled their vacation altogether. when have a system that is this wide and make a beeline up in this direction possibly making landfall in the outer banks, it definitely stands to reason to take heed to those evacuation orders. we actually spoke with one
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gentleman yesterday named richard pods who was visiting family here. he decided not to take any chances and he left yesterday. i got to tell you, these storms actually make their impression felt here in a myriad of ways. most recently? 2003. a storm made landfall farther to the south. talking about another eye storm. not irene. talking about isabel. isabel left a huge impression and in fact, cut a part of the island out. some 2,000 feet away from the island up to 15 feet in depth all due to the heavy storm surge, the incredible erosion and that erosion is something that happens all the time on these kind of barrier islands. there is nothing beneath our feet except more sand. these aren't built on limestone. these islands aren't made with coral or anything like that. it's just pure sand. of course, erosion is heightened quickly when you have the tropical storm develop offshore
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and make a direct hit. >> they have been worry abouting the erosion issues for years. john zarrella is on moorehead city. how are things looking there, john? >> reporter: you can see, jim, they are starting to board up. we did see some of yesterday on atlantic beach. leach folks waited today to make sure the forecast is what it looks like it will be and we could be close to, if not in the eye of the storm. take you from here down to the beach here. jim, probably know this area and what is interesting this is actually a south-facing beach. so if irene comes straight up at us, we will get the eye wall and we could get the left side of the storm which would mean storm surge here. but it's going to be running up this, the coast this way. so it's actually going to be paralleling us. so right here you can see this building is already boarded up and they have got some sandbags down here as well.
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they didn't put any boards on the doors. double pane glass there. but they say they are ready here. folks i've talked to in the last few minutes have said you know what? this could be the worst hurricane this area of north carolina has experienced in decades. that is the fear right now. see right down there? the lifeguard stand? it was about 40, 30, 40 yards closer to the water. the mun workers have been here already this morning. they moved it further up the beach. they have moved a lot of structures off the beach slr. things that might blow around. so really big concern here, obviously, because of the track of the storm now, it's not just wind, it's water, it's rain. storm surge. it's all of the combinations that they are very, very concerned about here on atlantic beach just a couple ways in off the island, mandatory evacuations already ordered. you can see still a lot of people here. a lot of people we talked to said we are going this time. yet, others are saying we are going to stay and just see how
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this thing all shakes out. jim? >> john, we have been keeping such a close eye on the gulf coast for so many years now because that is where the bulk of the activity has been. it's interesting that you say people in the area where you're at right now are taking this more seriously than they have with other storms in previous years. this part of the country has not seen something like this in some time so it's notable to point out that a lot of the old-timers in your neck of the woods are saying we're getting out of here. >> yeah, a lot of years, 'u89, they had floyd came up the coast by them and did a lot of damage mostly inland from a lot of heavy rain and flooding. '84, diana came inland in wilmington a couple of hours down the road from us here as a category 2 and did considerable damage. but they have not -- people here, the old-timers say they don't ever remember a direct hit from a major hurricane. maybe hazel in the 1950s. >> wow. >> that is a long time ago.
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jim? >> john thanks for the warning. appreciate it. 7.5 million people live on long island leaving that area could be a traffic nightmare. our susan dancandiotti is there the island. in east hampton they were talking about voluntary evacuation orders at that point. as john mentioned the storm is getting more serious. how is the weather today for people who may be on the move? today might be a good day to get going, right? >> reporter: it's the perfect day to prepare, because there isn't rain forecast. a shower or two but it's a beautiful, balmy day. the perfect time to get to stores and get to drugstores and get to the atm to get some cash and scoop up all of the supplies that people will need to ride out the storm. and its aftermath because, at the very least, the national hurricane center, fema, are predicting there is going to be a fairly sizeable storm surge
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here. certainly flooding for sure in low-lying areas and you have a lot of those here. all that rain, you're going to have downed trees and certainly power outages. people really need to have enough water and some canned foods and supplies. food to get them through at least three days and water after a storm in case there are power outages that could go on for days. but right now, of course, we're still a couple of days out. we are not expecting an impact here probably until sunday afternoon. that is what they are saying now. over my shoulder we wanted to show you the surf is this direction from me facing south. this is north behind me. this is an inlet south point park. you can see we're on a barrier island so it takes a bridge to get across to the mainland and you'll get a sense maybe you can make out some homes in these low-lying areas they are talking about making sure people will get out of here. for certain, a mandatory
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evacuation here at this park, probably late in the day today. and authorities are telling people to get ready today because evacuation orders for these low-lying beach side communities that go up and down the south shore of long island are likely to kick in as early as later today. so, jim, a lot of preparations need to be done and we get a sense are being done and also a lot of people telling us it's been years since they have had a big hit here, certainly a direct impact from a hurricane so a lot of people are already making plans to move inland, to go with families to stay on higher ground. jim? >> it's been a long time for a lot of people up and down the east coast. susan candiotti on long island, thanks so. meteorologist jacqui jeras is tracking the storm as it closes in on the east coast. we are hearing this time and again whether from john in north carolina or susan in new york, a lot of time for the people who
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live in hurricane vulnerable areas on the east coast who have seen something like this. it might be a good idea to get ready. >> it definitely. not might. you should be rushing to complete whatever you need to do in the carolinas and rearrange your flights. you know? make your family plan if you don't have it and make sure you have that disaster kit and to go kit to bring with you as well. the impacts of the storm often arise hours ahead of the main brunt of that storm. now, one of the worst things we are concerned about with the storm is what we call storm surge. this isn't one big wave of water that washes up on the shore. this is a slow steady progression of the water that gets pushed up from the strong winds. now, this is a simulation that i want to show you. a storm surge interactive risk map that will show you who is going to get what kind of water typically depending on the category of the storm. this is a model that shows you a category 2 storm and i want to zoom in and just to keep in mind that you don't have to live
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exactly on the coast to have some of these issues as we head into the carolinas, the forecast here is that we could see anywhere between 6 to 11-foot storm surge and that includes palmaco sound. the chesapeake bay, 4 to 8 feet of storm surge and jersey shore talking as much as 3 to 6 feet. take a look. this goes all the way up rivers and through the banks and predicting storm surge or rises in the water up beyond poe k-- >> rhine may be uninvited guest on long island sound. will they go with their beach wedding in a hurricane? i hope not. but we will ask him coming up next. that one day on the red hills of georgia,
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the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. i have a dream today! [ male announcer ] chevrolet is honored to celebrate the unveiling of the washington, d.c., martin luther king jr. memorial. take your seat at the table on august 28th. [ male announcer ] they'll see you...before you see them. cops are cracking down on drinking and riding. drive sober, or get pulled over.
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on a wedding day but what about a hurricane? irene is threatening a wedding for a couple having a name familiar here, irene rayos and david kanoaff plan to have their wedding in west haven, connecticut this weekend. they join us from new york. you tried. you almost pulled this thing off. what are you going to do some what is happening? >> well, first thing we want to say is this is such a light and airy story in the midst of many people's heartache and danger. >> right. >> putting that in perspective, it's been so amusing to us to have a hurricane named after me and we have decided just this morning, after watching all of the newscasts that it wasn't prudent and it wasn't wise so move forward with our reception and we scrapped our honeymoon.
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>> oh, boy. >> but we will have our ceremony. we wanted to be married and we will be married in our living room with our three grown children and our pastor. he lives in west haven and as soon as we are done, he can go home and we will be under our battened down hatches safe hopefully. >> you won't forget this wedding day for sure. >> never. >> the date will be etched in your memories forever, right? what do you do with all of your guests some what happens to all of the money that you spent on preparation. >> oh! >> maybe i shouldn't ask. >> well, it's, again, other people are facing worst hardships but in our situation, we will make another plan for another party at another time. we have about 120 friends and family who did want to be part of our celebration and we will have a celebration another day
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when it's safer for all of us. >> what do you make of all of this? you seem to have a pretty good attitude about it. they always say something is going to go wrong on your wedding day, right? if it's not the flowers or the caterer, it's going to be something. of course, nobody ever puts hurricane into that mix, but it seems like you're taking this in stride. >> what else can you do, you know? >> good point. >> it really is nothing that you could possibly anticipate. i only have ever known one irene and now i guess we are all going to get to meet another one. >> only one irene in your life is that it? >> absolutely. the way we wanted it to be but we can't control mother nature. >> that is true. irene and david, we hope you stay safe, obviously, and best of luck to you and best wishes on your nuptials. glad you're still taking the plunge so to speak. >> oh! >> i'm sorry. we are trying to lighten things
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up, at least for a few moments this morning. >> exactly. exactly. well, we just hope hurricane irene isn't as mean as she might be able to be so hopefully everyone will be safe. >> we wish everybody good luck. >> irene and david, thanks so much. we second that. appreciate your time. >> thank you. mandatory evacuation orders are in effect for parts of m.d. we talk next with the state's governor who has some pretty strong words about the storm. that's coming up. that hurts. it's not like i really had a choice. snack on this. progressive's "name your price" tool showed me a range of coverages and i picked the one that worked for me. i saved hundreds. wow, that's dinner and a movie. [ dramatic soundtrack plays ] this picture stars you and savings. but mostly savings. out there with a better way. now, that's progressive. ♪ ooh baby, (what) can i do for you today? ♪
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next hour, maryland governor martin o'malley will speak about hurricane irene but joining us now on the phone from maryland's
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emergency governor's headquarters. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, jim. good to be with you. >> you have ordered mandatory evacuations in ocean city and you called this a monster hurricane. are you okay with the response so far? has it been good enough in your estimate? >> well, it's proceeding. you know? we have not -- we have not in modern times ordered a mandatory evacuation of ocean city. so but we are -- it's in full force right now. i am watching the traffic coming across the bay bridge. force ri now. i am watching the traffic come across the bay bridge as we speak. it is a constant flow here at 9:30. we are working with the mayor of ocean city and ocean city police to effectuate that. there are so lower lying islands in the bay like smith island which is being evacuated. we are working with our county
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leaders to determine those areas. kent island is another place. the island on the other side of the bay bridge. a lot of low-lying parts of kent island. that is going through a voluntary evacuation. this is a very large and very potentially deadly storm. we are taking it very seriously. >> governor, what do you do with those folks who refuse to evacuate? there may be some who say, look, we can't afford to evacuate. we cannot leave our properties or businesses. what then? >> the police officers have the discretion and the authority to physically move them, if necessary. if the police officers believe that is in the best interest of managing this event, we leave it to the police officers on the ground there to determine that. they have the ability to move them under this order. that is what they will do. >> they will literally go to homes or businesses and if there are people there, they will get
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them out? >> depending on the circumstances and depending on the emergency and depending on where their home is located. right now, as that door-to-door happens, people who are refusing to leave will be visited by police officers and they make a persuasive case. anybody who thinks this is a normal hurricane and they can just stick it out is being both selfish, stupid and also diverting essential public safety assets from the task at hand. that is safeguarding lives and getting people out of the way. it is the height of selfishness to not evacuate. one weekend inconvenience of staying with friends or family on higher ground is a small price to pay to protect life. >> strong words from governor martin o'malley. thank you. if you have air travel plans
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this weekend, it may be a good idea to check for your flights. up and down the east coast flights may be delayed or canceled because of hurricane irene. d you n't have itunes your phone.. the world's number one music store. with genius.. that recommends new music based on the songs you already have. ipod and itunes. just one more thing that makes an iphone an iphone. [ martin luther king jr. ] i still have a dream that one day on the red hills of georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. i have a dream today! [ male announcer ] chevrolet is honored to celebrate the unveiling of the washington, d.c.,
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one more thing to worry about this morning. travel across the east coast is going to be affected by hurricane irene. new york, washington, boston, philadelphia. washington home to some of the busy ist airports. we will talk to alexandria coming up.
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the boston red sox have one of the best records in baseball, but they are no match for hurricane irene. they are returning home from the road trip, but the sunday game has been moved to saturday as a day/night double header because of the storm. sunday's marlins game will be moved in philadelphia will be moved up. the jets and giants game will be
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played tomorrow afternoon instead of at night. the final of the new haven open will be held tomorrow afternoon. it is a good thing the new york yankees didn't have to postpone their game with the a's. the yankees set a major league record. hitting three grand slam home runs in one game. the barrage began in the first inning. they won 23-9. better safe than sorry up and down the east coast as hurricane irene closes in. thousands of coastal residents are heading inland and thousands more battenning down the hatches. with the storm hundreds of miles away, some rough surf in south florida swept eight people off of a jetty.
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fortunately everybody is okay. we have crews up and down the coast from reynolds wolf in kill devil hills, north carolina to mary snow in new york city. here in the hurricane headquarters is jacqui jeras. we have all angles covered. let's start with reynolds wolf in the outer banks of north carolina. we know that is the calm before the storm. >> reporter: absolutely. you know you are right. it is really odd in that aspect. if you happen to be in one of the hotels along the beach and you have had your nose in a book the last couple of days, you would never know there is a monster storm headed this way. white caps coming in. we have seen a few lone surfers out there.
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undertows along the coastline. people are out there anyway offering up the waves that are coming in. the waves are getting bigger. take a look at this side. an empty beach. a few handful of people that we saw early this morning. the number of people here that are on the outer banks are around 250,000 people. to correct a number i said earlier, the people that live on the outer banks year round in excess of 750,000. you have to evacuate with this storm in the crosshairs. we have bobby out with us. how are the evacuations? >> they have been evacuating all day. the traffic isn't backed up. they are leaving now as well. >> reporter: you were telling us off the air that this is something that the people on the outer banks handle every
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weekend? >> we handle this on the weekends when the tourists come in. >> reporter: yesterday, let's clear up a little confusion. there was a mandatory evacuation for tourists yesterday. >> right. >> reporter: now for the residents. when you say mandatory, are you not forcing people out of their homes? >> we don't physically pull them out of their homes, but we do everything to encourage them to leave. >> reporter: mr. outten, you lived here all your life. what advice do you give to people to stay behind? >> if they take that risk, they need to be prepared for being cutoff for a number of days in their homes depending on what occurs in the storm. we will not be able to do anything. beginning with the hurricane-force winds start tomorrow and some time on sunday, we cannot help them.
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we cannot provide service or health care to them. we cannot do anything for them. we cannot rescue them. that is a risky choice. >> reporter: absolutely. it is a choice they will have to live with for quite a while as the storm makes its way up the seaboard. mr. outten, thank you for your time. get some sleep. crazy times on the outer banks. everyone is bracing for what is coming. back to you in the studio. >> thanks, reynolds. a state of emergency in new jersey where a hurricane watch is up for the jersey shore. we have jason carroll joining us from point pleasant. it looks nice right now. we know that will change. >> reporter: jim, you and i both know this will not last. i will update you on the information. the mayor has just completed a briefing with emergency officials. let's give you an update on what is happening here in our area. a mandatory evacuation is
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already in place for the tourists who are here. at 3:00, they will decide if a mandatory evacuation will also go into effect for the residents who live here. we will wait for that. in terms of the state, a mandatory evacuation in place for atlantic city. casinos no longer accepting reservations and asking people who are there to leave and seek safer areas. jim, a mandatory evacuation in place for cape may county barrier islands. in order to make the flow of traffic to move easier for those who are trying to get out. they have decided to suspend the tolls on the garden state parkway. that will help those people who are trying to get to a safer area move along freely. governor christie here in new jersey urging people to take the evacuation orders seriously. we spoke to tourists here and deciding to get out while they
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can. take a listen. >> i'm anticipating a long ride home. it should take me an hour and 15. >> we want to take you now to a fema press conference that is happening right now. this is happening as you can see. this is secretary of homeland security janet napolitano leading the press conference. let's listen in. >> if you divide this into three phases, preparation and response and recovery. the window for preparation is quickly closing. if you are in the projected path of this storm, please listen to your state or local officials. please listen to emergency radio or television. if you are told to evacuate, please do so. those in the path of the storm should make sure you are also taking necessary and common sense precautions.
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such as having an emergency plan and such as having emergency supplies and food and some water. a flashlight with batteries in case we lose power. we do anticipate a significant amount of power outage with this particular storm. there are all kinds of common sense things you should do. you should do them now because as i said before, the window of preparation is quickly closing. with respect to our own preparations, the federal government is moving forward ahead of the storm. we have utilized significant assets. the president has directed united status to ensure we have all needed resources available and coordinate with state and local partners who are actually the first responders in the storm situation. we are doing just that. we have been, i have been in touch with the mayors and governors in the storm path. we are also in touch with all of
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the first responders in the storm path along the east coast. fema has its national incident management assistance teams already located in a number of states. we won't have to wait for them to get there. they have been embedded in the last few days. they will ensure we are seamless in response and recovery. and the administrator fugate will detail the efforts. every storm's prediction is a bit of science and art. this has moved in and moved out and moved east and west. it has been a category three. it has been a category two. given the amount of rain associated with the storm and likelihood of flooding, i would encourage you not to focus too much on a category two or three if you are in the storm path. you will not be able to tell much difference. let me introduce bill reid of
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the national hurricane center. he will give you the update on the storm and its path. we will turn it over to administrative fugate. bill. >> thank you, secretary napolitano. very good words about not getting turned away with the details of the category. right now, irene is a classically-shaped hurricane except one feature. we don't have the clear, well defined eye in the center. the reason we may not be seeing higher wind speeds than we are given the low pressure with the great organization. this image points out clearly why we started evacuations well in advance of a hurricane. the early onset of tropical storm conditions along the coast of the carolinas will begin this afternoon. that's why your local officials were beginning to evacuate people yesterday and not to fixate on the center which is still down here east of
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jacksonville, florida, but moving steadily toward the coast. the next satellite, please. this is what we call a water vapor imagery. we use to highlight the features in the atmosphere that are steering the storm. you probably heard us and others in the profession about what might change the track and motion of the storm. the first was a area of low pressure that moved through new england yesterday and is now exits the united states. we have another system back here passing through the plains that may or may not have an impact on the track of it right now. not much has changed in our forecasting reasons. somewhere in the carolinas we will have an impact today. middle atlantic and new england on sunday. here is the current official forecast. an update will come out in about
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an hour. i don't anticipate significant changes in this scenario. that kind of represents the center passing in it two-thirds of the time. based on the models we have been looking at, the center of the hurricane is passing within that area on sunday morning. in response to that, we have hurricane warnings extending from the north carolina/south carolina border to sandy hook new jersey and the hurricane watch is from there to the mouth of the merrimack river in new england. the biggest concern is the tide water going into tomorrow and then further up the coast and along the coast will be parallel to the coast. a coastal issue as well as an inland issue. let's talk about the winds.
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next slide, please. the big change today. we have gotten closer and the storm has grown. those factors have led to a higher probability of tropical storm force winds from north carolina to southern new england this far out. one of the things that i have seen over the years is people well inland are surprised by the amount of wind they get and the trees that come down. this is a product we use to impress upon them. this is not just a coastal event. next slide, please. a new product we started last year to try to highlight the threat of storm surge, especially for decisionmakers to give them a way to ascertain when this becomes life
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threatening is a storm surge. this graphic produces the chance of exceeding four feet in tide elevation on the onset of a storm. that looks pretty good for the carolinas right now and up into the tide water. that cuts off some of the evacuation routes. at that point, it becomes life threatening because people cannot get out of harm's way. the yellow to the orange represents a high of 70% probability. those numbers stay fairly low as you get away in time. it is sensitive to the forecast parameters of the storm. we cannot forecast precisely where the hurricane will be until right before landfall. next slide, please. the rainfall hasn't changed much in the forecast. it lines up with the track not toward the numbers, but the point i want to get across is the huge swath of 5 to 10 inches
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of rain in the northeast corridor where we had 600% more rain in the last 30 days. the ground is saturated. that increases river and flash flooding. the high winds and the trees will bring trees down more readily than if the ground was dry. that is what i have right now. i'll introduce craig fugate now. >> good morning, everybody. as the secretary talked about, we already have our teams linked in with the governors' teams and the operations centers and focussing on the evacuation center and the aftermath. one of the things we have to emphasize is well as the forecast has been all of the steps of preparation, it does not mean there will not be damages. it does not mean power will not go out over large areas and it will take some time to get things back to normal.
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that is why it is important for people to prepare. one thing we can change on is loss of life. that is why the evacuation orders in the coastal areas are key. people need to leave early. travel a safe distance. all of the planning and preparation will be in vain if you don't heed the orders. as the secretary points out, we have a whole of government approach. all of the agencies have been working together to get ready support. the governors and their support teams. it is about the ngo and the private sector. the key partner of that as well as the american red cross. i would like to introduce the president and ceo of the american red cross. >> thank you very much, craig. let me knowledge the partnership that we have with fema and with
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secretary napolitano and administrator fugate. if you were going to go toe-to-toe with mother nature, you would not ask for a better set of partners. i think that the way we were able to respond during the spring storms really highlights how well we can work together as three organizations. i'm not going to repeat what you already heard about the storm. it's obviously a very big one and it will cover a large amount of area. you cannot exactly predict what curve ball mother nature will throw at you, i feel the american red cross is better prepared and more prepared than ever. we have forged, as craig said, a number of partnerships with the faith-based organizations like national baptist convention and southern baptist convention. a lot of the ngos.
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the naacp and hope worldwide. americorps with other non-profit organizations. we are anticipating it to be a huge geographical area with lots of people impacted. from the time perspective, this could take weeks, maybe months to be able to respond to. let me give you a few quick numbers. we have well over 200 emergency response vehicles that we are sending to the east coast. these are vehicles that can drive around through neighborhoods, give out meals, relief items. buckets and mops and pales, et cetera. we are spending 60,000 ready-to-eat meals to areas. we are working with the southern
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kitchen es to prepare a lot of meals. we hope to serve up to 1 million meals a day, if necessary. our local chapters have thousands of volunteers already on the ground. we are deploying -- we have already deployed 1,000 volunteer specialists, a number of whom were part of the spring storms. we can get up to 60,000 volunteers in the area additionally. we have opened up shelters in north carolina and opened up a few shelters in long island. we have 15,000 potential shelter sites through the affected area. if any of your viewers need to know where those shelters are, they can go to our web site at
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redcross.org. finally as the vehicle and the administrator said, we urge everyone to get ready. have a kit. have the papers that you need. supplies for food, the right clothing that you need. there is a robust list of what you can put in one of these kits on redcross.org. listen to the news. stay informed about the storm's track. have a plan as to what you will do when and if you are asked to evacuate. if you are asked to evacuate, please do so. that is as craig said going to be responsible for reducing loss of life. you can also go to redcross.org to register and tell your family members that you are safe and well on our safe and well part of our site. as administrator fugate said, getting ready and responding to
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a disaster like this takes a whole team. we are hoping the american public is part of that team. your red cross is ready and prepared to help in any way necessary. thank you. >> i'll take a few questions. >> please state your name and publication. >> give us the worst case assessment for new york city? i think there are flooding models that could be significant for lower manhattan. especially in high tide. also, just, if you struggle -- one of his greatest nightmares having a major hurricane go up the east coast. >> i'll turn it over to craig to talk about new york city. i talked to mayor bloomberg yesterday about preparations being made in new york city. they are already evacuating some
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low lying areas. nursing homes and a hospital is being evacuated. we will work with them today. there were ambulances being positioned to help move people out of the way. this is another reason why we urge people who are able-bodied to prepare to evacuate if you are asked to so we can at the governmental level and red cross level focus on those who need special assistance. we are, of course, watching the storm as it hits all of the metro areas up the coast. you have d.c. and wilmington and new york city. possibly boston. we have been in touch with all of those states. one of the concerns, of course, in new york city, is the subway system and maintaining the subway system. those decisions will be made by the mayor and his staff. we will be prepared to support them. craig, do you want to address that? >> bill, you probably are the
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expert on the storm surge. you can talk about the tools you have and where that may occur. >> yes. all of these little inlets and bays along the sounds of north carolina are the initial concerns. we have concerns anywhere in the eastern part of north carolina. what we haven't talked about is the high tide water area during the storm surge. it will depend if the storm goes just to the west or the east of there. the areas that will be impacted by storm surge on this storm will be focusing on that closely. we will focus on that tonight and into tomorrow to get the exact location. we have run a set of simulations, if you will, which are run all the time. we update the basin so we have tools for the emergency managers to predict where the storm surge might go depending on certain
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class of storm. they use those for the planning of evacuations and they use those as the initial decision points for the evacuations. by the time you get to the function, it is where you get emphasis on getting people out of the way. you have single-track runs that give people an idea of a high water rescue and where you go for that. >> just before i came to this conference, i was talking to someone who works in my office building. she was talking about how she was getting prepared. one thing she said with regard to the uncertainty of the storm, you know, the comment she made is everybody is prepared for this like this is hurricane katrina. i just don't think it will be that bad. could this be the east coast hurricane katrina or are we overhyping this? >> i think when people think of
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katrina, they think of the homes that were destroyed with the flooding. that may be something we see in the storm surge areas along the coast. you here in the district and all of you guys that live here, this is what you need to prepare for. power outages that are days or longer. that could be up to a week or more. you will not be able to get everything back on quickly. a lot of rain and flooding. strong gusty winds. again, those impacts, well away from the coast, will extend and could be, again, things you need to be prepared for. particularly the flooding and flash flooding that could occur here. i think when you talk about this, people always want to put it in context. think of this, very strong sustained winds, tropical storm and gusting close to hurricane-force winds. a lot of trees down. a lot of power lines down. heavy rain and localized flooding. along the potomac, you will have
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storm surge potential. we may see low lying areas flood. we are telling people to be prepared well inland. >> can you address the disaster relief plans in disasters from january through today? what happens now? >> first of all, the disaster relief fund. we will have the resources we need to respond to this hurricane. now there will be some financial stuff done with the d.r.f. disaster relief fund. craig? >> again, as the secretary said, it is not a limiting factor. we have been putting money back in as of early this week where we were over $900 million in the relief fund. we are looking at making sure we
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have the resources to respond. you have to remember, we have open disasters, including puerto rico which was hit by irene and the storms all the way back through early spring. we are continuing the immediate needs and response to those areas and prepare for this response as well. i forgot to tell you this, as gail told you about going to the red cross, you can go to ready.org. for people on the go, m.fema.gov. it will link to mobile information to us so you don't have big bandwidth issues. >> thank you all very much. >> you have it there. the press conference with the secretary of homeland security, janet napolitano and the director is craig fugate. the secretary of homeland security saying watching this hurricane is a little bit
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science and little bit art. don't focus on a category two or category three. we will have more on irene coming up in a few moments. stick around. naturals from purina cat chow. delicious, real ingredients with no artificial flavors or preservatives. naturals from purina cat chow. share a better life. what if we designed an electric motorcycle? what if we turned trash into surfboards? whatever your what if is, the new sprint biz 360 has custom solutions to make it happen, including mobile payment processing, instant hot spots, and powerful devices like the motorola photon 4g. so let's all keep asking the big what ifs. sprint business specialists can help you find the answers. sprint. america's favorite 4g network. trouble hearing on the phone? visit sprintrelay.com.
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we want to follow-up on the news conference you just saw with homeland secretary janet napolitano and the director of fema, craig fugate and their warnings about hurricane irene. let's turn to jacqui jeras. jacqui, you listened to the information from the news c conferen conference. what did you think? these were the same warnings we heard before hurricane katrina.
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this is for the east coast. >> yes. the population is so centralized right there. we will have more issues with power outages being widespread and the flooding. that flooding could being going on for weeks. a lot of important points. the intensity of the storm. you are splitting hairs when you talk between a two and three. a one or a two. if it say strong one or a weak two. will it make that much of a difference? prepare for the worst and hope for the best. just rush to finish all of the final preparations. a lot of great information about evacuation. get online if you have not already if you are in the evacuation zones. storm surge will be one of the greatest problems we will deal with the system with irene. it could go several miles inland. keep that in mind. if you get out of the way from the water, you will be okay. the other issues inland are
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things like power outages and the trees. the ground is saturated. they will be more likely to be uprooted and toppled over. you don't have a lot of control if the tree tumbles on your house. the storm is a category two. maximum winds of 110 miles per hour. it is moving straight north. there is nothing out there to deviate it from the track. other than natural bobbles or wobbles that happen naturally in cycles of hurricanes. we put a distance track on here to show you how close it is. that is some 260 miles. the tropical storm force conditions have arrived here. we will be seeing those gusts with the showers and thundershowers as they continue to move in. conditions are going downhill. you will feel the hurricane-force winds and impact as we head into the late hours for tonight and tomorrow morning. probably the worst of it for you into the carolinas. let's show you the projected
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path. talk about that. you can see the cone of uncertainty. it has gotten a lot smaller. our computer models showing a tighter run. we will probably see two landfalls out of it. if we get that lucky with the right turn in the northeast, we will still see a lot of power outages. this is a sunday event for you in the northeast. you have more time to prepare than the rest of the folks. let's show you the rainfall forecast. it also helps to give you a better idea of how far inland this thing is. look at where all of that rain is going to go. west of raleigh and over into charlotte and virginia and west virginia and western pennsylvania and almost covering all of upstate new york. new england will feel this as well. this dark purple area, that's where the heavy accumulation of rain is expected to be.
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it is usually to the right of the center of the storm as the moisture gets thrown in here from the atlantic ocean. 6 to 10 inches easily. that is going to continue to be a big problem as well. a very strong and formidable storm. some intensity as it heads up north carolina and weaker as it gets into the northeast. we have wind shear and water temperature is cooler. that is what we can look forward to with the potential for it getting weaker. no matter how you slice, jim, it will be a devastating storm for a lot of people. >> thank you, jacqui jeras. we appreciate it. atlantic city is one of the northeast's biggest tourist destinations. it is already under mandatory evacuation orders. we will find out what they are doing to keep everybody safe. we will check on atlantic city after the break.
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atlantic city has seen its share of storms, but long time residents stick out. in september of 1944, the coastline was devastated by the great atlantic hurricane. look at those archive pictures there. some of the best known landmarks were damaged or destroyed. a lot of people see similarities between that hurricane and hurricane irene. let's go to tom. let's hope those comparisons are way off. how is the city preparing for the storm? >> the city is currently under mandatory evacuation. we have several thousand people that we are moving at the
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present time and getting into shelters throughout the mainland communities and into different counties. we are working on that all along and we have been working on it all morning long. >> the casinos are shutting down. that does not happen very often. that right there should be an indication to people that this is being taken very seriously, is that right? >> that is exactly right. you cannot make anymore certain that this is the most serious storm we faced in decades. the storm you are referring to was a brush by. approximately 80 miles off the coast of new jersey. you can imagine when this thing is coming dead at us. that wasn't even a hurricane. it was barely a hurricane. this one could be a category two hurricane. it could cause some very devastating damage. we have a lot of old buildings in town. thankfully we have a lot of new structures that should hold up very well. we are keeping an eye on things.
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we are getting people out of harm's way. people have been terrific and cooperating with us. we see a lot of people that are leaving and getting in their cars and doing their emergency plans. that is what we have been teaching them for a number of years. >> tom, i remember covering hurricane katrina in biloxi, mississippi and seeing those casinos. many were barges that were flooded after that storm. are you concerned about what the storm surge, if there is a storm surge, that is serious there and what that might do to the cas o casinos and hotels that are vital to your economy? >> we believe we have the hotels protected. we planned them accoccordinglac. they are faced back off the beach and boardwalk and off the bay area, too. we are confident they will remain okay. they are built to our specifications. they are built to heavy duty
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specifications. we are confident they will hold down any damage. >> tom, it sounds like your city is not betting against irene. tom foley on the phone with us from atlantic city, new jersey. best of luck. >> thank you, jim. i appreciate it. residents are the jersey shore are bracing for an direct hit from hurricane irene. we will talk with more folks there in that area about preparations for this monster storm. we are keeping an eye up and down the east coast as irene makes its approach toward landfall. stay with us.
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welcome back. we have reporters up and down the east coast following irene today and throughout the weekend. we will bring you latest on irene's track from the weather center. we will check in with reynolds wolf in kill devil hills, north carolina on the outer banks. the waves are starting to kick up behind you.
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you can start to feel the effects of this. >> reporter: absolutely. it is not only the waves, but the telltale rain drop. we are not experiencing much at the moment. a look down the beach which is odd. any other day in august in north carolina, you could have between 200,000 or 250,000 people coming here to visit the outer banks. the outer banks has a year-round population of 57,000 people. yesterday, they had the mandatory evacuation for all visitors. a lot of people left days before. many people canceled vacations all together. today, as of 8:00 a.m., that is when they started the mandatory evacuations for residents. not everyone has to leave. that is an interesting prospect. we were out and about speaking with several people, including judy potts. she left quickly.
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>> i'm upset. hopefully there will be other vacations. i'm concerned because all of the storms have been much worse than anybody has expected. that is why i'm scared about this one. >> reporter: the outer banks have been a punching bag for tropical systems for centuries. this is a giant sand berm. a strand of islands that stretches 200 miles from the outer banks of north carolina. the widest point of cape hatteras is three miles wide. above sea level, it is only about 11 feet above sea level. should this system intensify or bring any significant storm surge from the atlantic or back on the sound or the other side of the outer banks, you will have some serious issues in terms of flooding. if it brings in anyway from 8 to 12 foot storm surge, it will
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cause amazing damage. we expect by tomorrow morning, it will look very different from this point. back to you. >> reynolds, it is amazing to see that beach empty. thanks so much. we will check back with you. let's check in with jason carroll who is in point pleasant, new jersey. >> reporter: jim, it looks calm here at point pleasant beach. that is because a lot of tourists are still taking advantage of the last minute bits of sun that we have here. they are taking a few reservations at the kiosk. folks are trying to enjoy a bit of the sun although point pleasant beach is under a mandatory evacuation for tourists. at 3:00, they will decide if that extends to residents. i'll bring in the mayor of point
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pleasant beach. vinnie barella. >> o.e.m. will make the decision to make it mandatory or voluntary. that will be based on the storm projections. likely it will be mandatory east of the railroad tracks and voluntary west of the tracks. >> reporter: does it concern you at all seeing the people? >> it doesn't concern me today as long as they know that they have to be out of here and they are not going to be here tomorrow. my concern is people coming up to look at the storm and watch the waves and stuff. our first responders will not be able to go out and bail somebody out if they get in trouble. >> reporter: a warning a lot should heed. i know the garden state parkway tolls have been suspended.
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that should help ease traffic for people getting out today and tomorrow. >> people visiting should be out already. from the volunteer view, they should get out tomorrow morning. >> reporter: thank you, mr. mayor. once again, about 3:00 today, jim, they will have a briefing to decide whether or not mandatory evacuations will be issued to the residents. >> we hope the tourists behind you are on the way out of town. thanks so much, jason. let's not forget maryland. governor martin o'malley is telling residents to be prepared to be on their own within the next 72 hours. we have athena jones joining us live from the capital in annapolis. we know the downtown area where
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you are can be prone to flooding if there is a right storm coming in. >> reporter: absolutely, jim. we spoke not long ago with the mayor of annapolis. officials are expecting a storm surge of two-to-three feet. annapolis may not get a direct hit from the storm as other points along the coast, the impact in terms of flooding will be significant because we are in a low-lying flood prone area. we are talking 6 to 8 inches of rain. some businesses saw buildings under several feet of flood water in 2008. officials here want to make sure people take this seriously. the surge at hurricane isabelle was a big one. people are encouraging people in low-lying areas to clear out
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voluntarily. we are talking about 500 to 1,000 homes. they set up annapolis high school to shelter in place. there will be buses to get people out. there will be a reverse 911 call warning system to help inform residents. overall the message is to take this seriously and not to gamble. let's listen to what mayor josh cohen had to say earlier. >> i'm concerned that people are going to assume that it will just stay too far off the coast and not take it seriously enough. we are doing everything we can to make sure people are taking it seriously and doing everything we can. we would rather everyone stock up on bread and batteries and have the hurricane go out to sea than have the reverse happen and we get whomped. >> reporter: we are spending the day making preparations and picking up sand bags. companies are going to be
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setting up sand bags outside of their doors. we saw people beginning to take their boats out of the inner harbor out to a safer harbor. you see a lot of empty slips around me. we will keep watching, jim. >> this time of year at the dock there, you can see a lot of boats this time of year. it is amazing to see how quiet it is behind you. all of those boats heading to safer waters. we hope that folks in that part of the country are taking precautions there. athena jones, i appreciate it. thanks so much. there are travel concerns also to worry about besides moving your boat out of the bay. new york, washington, boston, philadelphia are hope to some of the busiest airports in the country. they could all be impacted by hurricane irene. all on alert for cancellations and delays. we have alexandra steele with an update. >> the enormity of the travel situation is large. we are talking about trains,
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planes and automobiles. 65 million people living between new england and norfolk, virginia. it has been incredible. airports have been impacted. miami and savannah and richmond. just getting word that jetblue in anticipation of this in and out of new york city for saturday night and sunday cancelling over 400 flights. that is really become the new standard operating procedure. in anticipation of the storm, they begin cancelling as opposed to waiting for it on the door step. jim talked about d.c. and baltimore and jfk and laguardia. one thing about jfk and laguardia, tonight and tomorrow, you will hear about zone a. that is the lowest area in and around new york city. the most vulnerable to storm surge and flooding. jfk and laguardia both in the zone a evacuation.
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a mental picture of the runways at the two airports covered in water. that is the expectations. the trains. amtrak cancelling south of washington d.c. have been canceled. anticipation of more cancellation. long island railroad is reducing service in anticipation of the service and moving heavy artillery out of low-lying areas to safer harbor. total shutdown for long island. pennsylvania, the septa. the river will be impacted. a lot of the trains running near or above the water. new york city. this is unprecedented. trains and buses and subways are all under the auspices of the metro transit association. we heard a lot about mayor bloomberg and continue to talk tomorrow morning. will they or won't they suspend
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service in the trains and buses and with the subways? why would they do that? this cannot run with the winds at 39 miles an hour or above. never before has that been done. the cause never being the weather. the number one thing to do is get gas. for your car and use it as a power source for you to charge your laptops or phones. what we are talk about is money. get money. you will need it. power will be key, jim. in the northeast, the ground is so saturated. this august, we have seen the wettest august in the northeast. that very saturated ground with the high winds, forget it. that is the recipe for power outages. none of this will be accessible. >> alexandra, thank you so much. we hope people pack patience as they head to the airport this weekend. we will have more on irene and what to expect in the coming hours and days with jacqui jeras
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we want to bring you breaking news. our affiliate kate is reporting that a train has derailed in northwest nebraska. we will keep tabs on this along with everything else this morning. this is not related to the hurricane. we will be keeping tabs on that as well as bring you the latest information as we get it. our meteorologist jacqui jeras is tracking irene as it closes in on the east coast. ja jacqui, what is the latest? >> we get an update at 11:00. we are waiting for that update. we have 105-mile-an-hour. it just updated. 105. that is a little bit more
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weakening. we have a eyewall replacement cycle going on. ultimately, it can get stronger when that happens. don't be too concerned about this weakening. you need to be prepared for a major hurricane. you can see it continuing to make the northerly turn heading to the carolinas late tonight or tomorrow morning and heading on up to the northeast coast. you can see it all keeps it on shore now. we are looking at two landfalls. this continues to be a developing situation. the forecast track is more certain and dangerous for the carolinas as well as much of the northeast. jim. >> jacqui, thanks. coming up next, the cnn newsroom continues with
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