tv CNN Newsroom CNN August 29, 2011 10:00am-12:00pm PDT
hello, everybody. i am randi kaye. we're glad you are with us. we start off with the victims of irene. for those of you who think irene was a dud, well, tell that to the families of the 21 people who died in that storm and the people that lost their homes and the estimated $10 billion price tag is nothing to sneeze at either. irene may not have been as bad as expected in some areas, but worst in others. vermont, much of the state is under water. a short time ago president obama declared a state of emergency making vermont elvauable for disaster relieve. >> it will take time to recover from the storm of this magnitude. the affects are being felt across much of the country. in new england and states like vermont where there has been an enormous amount of flooding. the responses continues and i
want to make sure fema and other agencies are doing everything they can to help people on the ground. >> check out the video of vermont. it shows the power of irene destroying one of the state's treasures. that's the bartonville bridge. and that is just one area's dilemma. take a look at this amazing video shot by one of the ireporters in new jersey. look at that struggle. they could make it across rivers, but this time the water was too much, and yes, they sure got stuck. on north carolina's banks, some people are still stranded. many people along the coast are just getting back to their homes to see the damage. remember this. today millions of people are
still without power. millions of people. people all across the new york and new england area are being urged to stay home for at least one more day. now, let's get you to vermont, whereas i said, the president has declared a state of emergency. much of the southern part of the state is flooded. vermont's governor said it was not practical to evacuate that area. what did the governor mean? >> reporter: he is absolutely right about that, randy. most of the population of the very small state lives nears creeks and brooks, and those were the creeks and brooks like this one that turned into rapids. so it was very impractical to say everybody needs to leave the creek and brook area, and that would have included the whole area, because the area was so wide. look what the rapids have done
to the building. this is an artists studio. 15 artists worked in here. painters and sculptors and a yoga teacher. it used to be a swimming hole right there. a few days ago kids were swimming there, and there was an explosion of water and the build something about to collapse into the water and it has been condemned and nobody is being allowed in there. the death toll is at 21, and we know it will climb higher. that's what the governor here in vermont just told us. there are active searches going on in the state for people missing and presumed dead. we have confirmed one woman, a woman slipped into a gentle river and her body was recovered today, and the official death toll here is one, and the governor tells us he expects it to climb higher. >> and the national guard has been called in to help. how has the emergency response
been? how is it going there? >> reporter: very well. we camped out here, randi, because it was hard to get in and out of here, and when we woke up the officials were already on the block. the water is no longer on the street. it was yesterday. it has receded. that's what happens in a hurricane or tropical storm, and the mud is now in the homes. there's hundreds and millions of dollars of damage. we were talking about the erosi erosion. you see the tree in the brook? that tree was standing straight up. we know it because we saw it. we heard a boom in the middle of the night and now the tree that has been here for generations is now lying in the brook and is what now a raging rapids. >> gary tuchman, thank you very much. and let's talk about travel. i want to show you very very cool picture.
this is grand central station during the storm in new york city, completely shut down and diverted. having been there many times, i have never seen it like this. and this is what it looked like on saturday. pretty amazing. back to today and good news for travelers. trains and planes are back in service, but that doesn't mean the travel headaches are over. jacqui jeras joins us now. >> well, many are closed. this is our flight explorer machine. this shows you all the airplanes in the air as we speak. they are arriving or departing and moving across the u.s. right now it's showing some 5600 planes in the air, and that's a common number this time of the day, compared to this weekend
when there were 3500 planes in the air. a big difference there. so things are moving and grooving. most of the new york metro airports were open to arrivals, and as of noon, we were departu. progress is being made. that's the good news. a lot of flights are back on schedule today. all of the airlines are reporting that they will be full schedule by tomorrow, randi, and then also considering adding additional flights throughout the day. they say it will take a couple days before everybody who was delayed is going to be able to get back. you guys might be stuck with me again tomorrow, because rob marciano can't make his way from new york city back to atlanta, so it's affecting all of us. >> i wouldn't say stuck.
and maybe some people are taking the train. how is that looking? >> everything is moving for most of the trains, and the subway system is back open and operational, and making a lot of progress. there are a lot of trees that came down. you can see power lines that came down, so it will take a couple of days for some of the lines to open back up, and it's my understanding most of the majors are back up and moving. >> good to see them making progress there. jacqui jeras, thank you very much. and folks just like you sending in pictures. log on to cnn.com for more information and images on irene's impact. you can find it all at cnn.com. here are some of the other stories we're keeping an eye on today. remember the cash for clunkers program? the guy behind that idea is alan krueger, he would replace austin
goolsbee who decided to leave in june. and then good news for the economy. a new report says personal spending was up almost 1% in july, and that translates to an increase of $88 billion. new car sales could be the biggest reason for that jump. and the man convicted of blowing up the plane over lockerbie, scotland. he was found under the care of his family in tripoli. the son says he could die anytime. the bombing of the jet liner killed 177 people. he was released and returned to libya on compassionate grounds. much more on nic robertson's exclusive story when he joins us from tripoli at 2:30 eastern
time. and then all the astronauts could leave the space station soon. they could run out of supplies. the spacecraft carrying tons of supplies crashed after launch last week. there are two crafts already at the station that would be used for the evacuation. we're just getting word that polygamist leader warren jeffs is in critical condition. he was hospitalized after refusing to eat. as you know jeffs was convicted of abusing underaged followers of his sect. we heard from gary tuchman several moments ago. now we have the governor on the line. how are things going? >> we're making progress. truly irene -- hurricane irene really whacked us hard. we're in for a long haul.
we have had one loss much live and expect to have more. communities are totally isolated because we cannot get in by road or bridge. we have over 250 roads or bridges that have given way. we're fully challenged. >> when i spoke with you last night, actually, here on cnn, we talked about these high water vehicles coming in and being used by the national guard to make the rescue efforts. have those been successful at all? >> they have. the national guard is doing an extraordinary job. we got them into a little town of wilmington, and we will be landing there by chopper in a minute, and we had to bring them in through the state of massachusetts in order to get them through the area of vermont we needed to get to. we're getting where we need to get, but we have communities that are isolated. we landed in a town that had 200 people that could not get out or
in on either side of the road. we have more devastation seen as a result of flooding. we're a state that is used to skiing and we're not excused to tropical storms so this whacked us hard. >> how many people do you think still need to be reached? >> hundreds. sir we have hundreds of people still isolated. it's hard for us to know because we cannot get to all the communities that we need to get to. >> how will you find out where they are? is cell phone service working there or are these folks out of power as well? >> cell service is working, but we're a small rural state that doesn't have universal cell coverage yet. we're challenged when it comes to communicating as well. fema and the red cross those folks are up there, and president obama has been
helpful. we have local enforcement and firefighters doing their job, and we will get there and get rebuilt. >> what is the situation with the floodwaters now. some of the i-reporters have sen sent us pictures. how much of a challenge does that remain to be or is it receding? >> it's still a real challenge. vermont is nothing but rolling hills and valleys. so the smaller brooks that are now major rivers are starting to subside, but they are feeding into the larger area, the connecticut river and others, and they have not crested yet. we know we have trouble ahead. >> is there anything that you need that you can think of from viewers, from the federal government? what might you need there? >> we're telling vermonters to stay away from downed power
lines, because they are lying all over the place. the second is to stay away from standing water, because that's when you have loss of life, and third, take people from the shelters and brings them into your homes. we're small communities and take care of each other and this is the time to reach out to the most vulnerable. in the terms of the outside word, we need to get through the crisis and we need all the federal help we can get, and we need any volunteers that are able to lend a hand in the cleanup, it's welcome and we would love to have the help that we can get. >> are your shelters overwhelmed? >> we are at capacity but we're opening additional shelters. >> what about your hospitals there in the area? >> well, we're concerned about some areas of the state, but we do have choppers available in new hampshire and other states have offered us their helicopters, so we'll be okay. >> where did you ride out the
storm, governor? just curious. >> i was in the center of the state, and that was an area, waterbury was devastated. we have not seen sleep for a while, but we take care of each other and we have good common sense, and we'll get out of it. >> please do stay in touch with us over the next couple hours and days as well. thank you. >> we certainly will, and thank you for your coverage. >> thank you. well, some people are still trapped in upstate new york, and some evacuated from new york city. we'll take you live to the catskills next. my name is robin.
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breaking news just coming in to cnn. we just learned that the wife and three children of a moammar gadhafi are in algeria. for the latest on this we want to get to nic robertson standing by there. nic, can you tell us what you know about this? >> reporter: what the algerian government is telling us, is that gadhafi's wife and his daughter, and two sons all crossed into algeria at 8:45 in the morning. algeria has a long border with libya in the west of libya. and the border crossing that they used is quite well in the south of libya. this south of libya at the moment is believed to be somewhat sympathetic to moammar gadhafi. many people believe that's where he is hiding out, and now we know from the algerian authorities, many rumors over previous days, but they now
confirm that moammar gadhafi's wife and daughter and two sons have crossed out of libya and into nigeria. >> and how likely -- i know we have not heard from moammar gadhafi himself in several days, so is it possible he crossed over? >> reporter: they probably would have announced that with this announcement. it's not impossible that has happened. it's also quite possible as well that these family members will prove the route for other of the gadhafi family. there are still a number of sons yet -- still believed to be in libya. there's a possibility they could follow and cross. it would seem the algerian authorities, as far as they know have given a full account of the family members crossing so far,
but not impossible gadhafi has gone. most people here believe he is hiding out in the country, randi. >> any sign of his son, siaf, who vowed to taken over the regime, because they have vowed not to leave libya? >> reporter: yeah, i have been in e-mail conversations with sadi gadhafi. >> we seem to have lost our nic robertson, at least the connection. when we come back, we will take you live to upstate new york, where people, some who evacuated from new york city, are still stranded by flooding from hurricane irene.
new york city mostly spared, but the catskills in upstate new york, not so lucky. you're looking at one of the many amazing ireports sent in to cnn documenting irene's wrath. this is flooding in the catskills. and we are joined with the latest by phone. lisa, tell me what type of damage have you seen around the area there? >> caller: we are seeing much of the damage being reported out of vermont. we have wide-spread road damage. we have entire towns whose downtowns have been devastated. buildings, damaged or destroyed. we have had bridges washed out, both public and private bridges and there are people that are
currently trapped in their homes without access to communications, and there's no way of knowing how many of them there are. >> some of these people, because it's a popular spot for vacation, and i guess it was a popular spot for those in new york city to try and escape to before irene hit there. can you give me an idea of how the rescue efforts are going to get those folks? >> caller: every county up here has its own rescue effort. every county has an emergency management team, and those guys and gals are working overtime, trying to rescue people. i understand they have help from the state as well. communications with the emergency first responders has been difficult in places. we understand that in some places, harry county, the emergency responders had to move their headquarters during the flood because they themselves
were threatened. it's challenging to get the information out of the little rural towns up here where the flooding has hit the hardest. there's widespread damage, and pretty much the entire catskills, people are asking -- officials are asking people not to drive and not to try to go around and see how much damage there is. they are still very much rescuing people. >> in terms of supplies? do these folks have supplies, or are grocery stores are open? what is the situation there? >> caller: it looks like there are situations where markets are full of water. i think it's too early to say what exactly the rescue effort from outside -- excuse me, from the cleanup and an aid effort from outside looks like, although we will -- i think we
just have to let things unfold. >> lissa harris, from the "watershed post," thank you. >> we have readers posting updates from their town who have no way to communicate from the outside world, posting on watershedpost.com. one reaction to irene is the damage was not as bad as expected. alison kosik joining me. that's helping insurance stocks to rise. >> yeah, we're watching the big insurers, all state, metlife, and they are all up between 4% and 12%. irene had much less bite than
bark, and that's good for the insurance industry, because if you remember the insurance industry was hit hard from the spring. all of those storms and tornadoes, and the south and the midwest, you know, shares of metlife and allstate, for instance, they are down 20 to 30% this year. can you see that right there. a big sigh of relief from the insurance companies. this is good for the broader economy that the storm was not the big monster people thought. analysts say consumers can keep going with the regular spending instead side tracked with a huge clean up. >> the damage estimates for irene seem like they are all over the map. why is that? >> they are. because we have yet to get all of the information in. we go through estimates to start. so the damage estimate from the government is 1.2%, but this only covers wind damage. when you think about what kind of storm irene was, you know, it was mostly that rain, and what
it did to swelling the rivers and lakes. much of the cost from the storm is from flood damage. we have yet to know what the damage costs are going to be for that, because the bodies of water have yet to recede. and then you factor all of that in, and you get the big estimates ranging from $7 billion to $20 billion, and just to give you a comparison, hurricane katrina, back in 2005, it has $45 billion in damages. so this doesn't come close. keep in mind, these are still early numbers. we have a lot of damage to still be assessed. we will keep updating the numbers throughout the coming days. randi? >> alison kosik, thank you as always. are you trying to get anywhere? you want to see what our travel expert has to say. i remember the days before copd.
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hurricane irene crippled travel along the east coast. i am sure a lot of you were feeling. look at these photos. grand central terminal in new york. yes, that is grand central terminal empty. this was posted by the mta police after the last trains departed on saturday. it's a sight we never see. but it gives you a glimpse of the impact irene has had on travel. it shows you how irene halted
commuter planes. airports, trains, buses and subways are beginning to open. they are getting back online today in many cities. a lot of airlines are resuming flights affected by irene, and all of the delays and closures and cancelations, they have create add huge backlog of anxious travelers. how do you navigate around the whole mess? to answer that we'll bring in the ceo of farecompare.com. we're hearing that some people are being told they won't be able to get to destinations until later this week. what can they do about that, if anything? >> they are being told typically through an e-mail they are getting through an automated system that may re-booking for tuesday, wednesday or thursday.
if you are heading back home or halfway on your trip and heading back home, just get out of the city. you have literally tens of thousands of people trying to get on a small number of flights. go to chicago, you know, and go to dallas, go south, whatever you can do to just get out of the city. from those places they can get you on the other flight. the problem is getting the folks in the east on the flights. you will get a refund, so you have to make a decision on whether or not you want to take your trip or not. i would get in a car or train and head south a bit and try to find a ticket out of there if you have to go on your trip. >> is it better to hold on to the ticket you have or try to re-book yourself. how does it work in terms of priority? >> well, there's a couple things. if you are not an elite member of the airline, there's a pecking order. if you bought your ticket a while back and not an elite member, you will have a harder time getting on the flights out
of the northeast in the next day or two than an elite traveler. you want to change your ticket, though. the airlines are providing one-time waivers for the change fee, which is typically $150 a most airlines, and use the one time waiver to change your ticket, and if your flight is being cancelled a day in advance you can get a refund right now. >> most airlines including delta, american, southwest, they are allowing flyers to reschedule their flights without any penalty fees, but folks are still incurring some costs, and is there a way to avoid paying extra? >> there could be snafus. if you paid for a bag fee and your flight was cancelled or delayed, and you should be able to get that fee. that's one thing that could be an issue.
and in some cases on the day of travel, if your flight is cancelled or delays on today, for example, you will have to be accommodated in the daily thing. if it was yesterday, there's no problem. you can always fall back on the credit card issuer. if you bought your ticket within a two-month period, can you have a dispute and then fight it out. don't fight it out for the 25 or $50, let the credit card company do that for you. >> could this affect labor day? they are saying no, but might it? >> yeah, it probably won't. the good news is that we are almost close to september and kids are back in school and it's a typically slower time period, and tuesday and wednesday is slow so there are more empty seats. the airlines cancelled a bunch of flights this weekend so they were ready for this to happen. they have been planning it out. i expect everybody to be reaccommodated by thursday, which should not affect the
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now a look at top stories and some stories you may have missed. we just learned the wife and three children of moammar gadhafi are in algeria. the nation's foreign ministry confirmed that to cnn. they crossed into algeria via the libyan border. in about ten minutes, we will have an exclusive report from dan rivers. he spent time inside a gadhafi villa over the weekend. this is a pretty amazing report that you will want to see. at least 24 deaths now blamed on hurricane irene. the category 1 stormed turned back into a tropical storm as it moved across the northeast and into canada yesterday. officials believe winds alone inflicted more than $1 billion damage and more than 8,500 people spent night in shelters, and they are working to restore
electricity to millions of customers. airports re-opened but airlines warn it will take time to resume normal schedules. texas officials say the polygamist leader has been fasting following his conviction on sexual assault charges. and dick cheney's new book does not come out until tomorrow but already drawing criticism, and he criticizes bush staff. >> i opened the book, not the cheap shots that he is taking at me and other members of the administration that served to the best of our ability for president bush. >> in the back cheney claims credit for forcing powell to resign at the end of bush's
first term. powell disputes that saying he never planned to serve the second term. looks like beyonce has a baby on the way. she showed off a little something extra during the video music awards. she opened her jacket to reveal the baby bump. needily to say that crowd went wild. a lot of congratulations for her husband, jay-z. and what hospitals are doing now after the storm.
hurricane irene's wrath brought more than flooding and power outages, it also caused a flury of chaos as five new york hospitals were forced to shut down. you can see the medical center became eerily empty. and elizabeth cohen is there with the look at the recovery. how are things going, elizabeth? >> reporter: randy i have been watching patients come back into the hospital, and i was here on friday night when they came out. in both cases it seems to have gone very seamlessly, and they call it transport in medical lynn go. there are no reports that anybody was injured or had a difficult time during the weekend while they were away. hospital executives tell me it's much harder to re-open a hospital than to close it. it took about a day to get everybody out. it's going to take about three days to bring everybody back in. one of the reasons is that
little parts of the hospital did have water damage. they need to clean that up. little pockets of the hospital lost their power from con ed, and they need to make sure that is all taken care of. they will be bringing everybody back over the next three days. slowly they will start to do everything, including elective surgeries. >> and what i understand from your reporting, there were patients that stayed in the hospital, and were these the critical ill and how did that go? >> reporter: that went well according to the folks here. there were some patients too sick to move, in fact, moving them could have killed them. they stayed at the hospital and 200 staff members stayed to take care of them, doctors and nurses and blood bank staff and all sorts of people. it was a heroic thing.
irene was not gigantic, but on thursday people to say they are going to stay to take care of a patient was a selfless act. >> do they think it was worth it? did they do the right thing? >> reporter: we spoke to two executives at different hospitals and they said mayor bloomburg said the right thing, and another executive said i think the mayor did the wrong thing, and we should have been allowed to stay open. he transferred some of the patients to hospitals that were not supposed to have problems but did get flooding. he thought it was the wrong thing to do. i guess it depends on your own experience at your own hospital. >> yeah, sounds that way. elizabeth cohen reporting for us. thank you. be sure and stay with us on the recovery efforts. a life of incredible riches and unspeakable horror. the alleged torture of a gadhafi
algeria. in tripoli, more evidence is being uncovered of the brutality of the gadhafi regime. dan rivers has a very disturbing story of a nanny allegedly tortured by the wife of one of gadhafi's sons. we have to warn you, the images in this report are extremely graphic, but we wanted you to see it because we think it's important that you know what's really happening. >> reporter: this is the inner san tum. this compound of beach side villas is dripping with every luxury manable. it has been ransacked, but still looks like a villain's hide out
in a "bond" movie. we find fine bottles of champagne, each bottle worth hundreds of dollars. but there were acts of unspeakable cruelty. this house belongs to hannibal gadhafi, and what went on here was truly horrendous. meet the 30-year-old nanny who describes how she was tortured by hannibal's wife. >> she tied my hands and feet and taped my mouth. she started pouring the boiling water on my head, like this. >> reporter: her crime? she says she refused to beat hannibal's toddler who refused
to stop crying. she was actually scolded twice and the most recent episode was three months ago, the wounds still raw and weeping. she appears to be in desperate need of medical attention. >> translator: there were maggots coming out of my head because she had hidden me and nobody had seen me, and they found me and put in the hospital. >> reporter: but she was covered and brought back, and the guard that helped her was threatened with prison if he took her to the hospital again. >> translator: i a whole year. they didn't give me one penny. now i want to go to the hospital and i have no money. i have nothing. she said no money for you. you just work. >> is this the true face of colonel gadhafi's regem amid
wealth the brutality out to look after the dictator's grandchildren. dan rivers, cnn, tripoli. we'll be right back. [ artis brown ] america is facing some tough challenges right now. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils
every day on this show we do a segment called the by eye. it's about big ideas, innovation and solutions to problems. in this segment, we're looking at how the defense advanced research project agency is trying to save soldiers in iraq and after fwan stand from traumatic brain injuries. also known as tbi, they're typically caused by explosions like the one you're seeing here. invisible pressure waves from a blast knocking into their
skulls. or even killing them. according to the department of defense, the risk of blast induced blan injuries increased totaling 200,000 troops which is why they're outfitting soldiers with these. electronic gauges roughly the size of a small stack of quarters to determine both where soldiers are most exposed to a blast and the severity of the blast. according to usa today, soldiers will wear three, one on the breast of their armor, one on their shoulders and one on a helmet strap against the back of their next. what might be the coolest part of this technology, data that the sensors collect can be downloaded via a usb port could give immediate reeds on a soldier's injuries. they were put into use this summer and we'll update you on the results as soon as we can obtain them. for much more about the darf a's blast gauge, check out
facebook.com/randi kaye cnn. new cnn polling gives us further proof that rick perry's entrance into the race for the white house has dramatically altered the battle for the republican presidential nomination. wolf blitzer will join us with new details, next. [ male announcer ] life is full of missed opportunities. like the exotic vacation you never took. but there's one opportunity that's too good to miss. the lexus golden opportunity sales event. see your lexus dealer. [ 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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if you paid close attention to the poll numbers like we do here, you're going to be excited to learn about cnn's new polling numbers. here to tell us about them is wolf blitzer. wolf, we've been on pins and needles on this all day. what do you have? >> our brand new poll. it shows rick perry is now the front-runner nationwide. at least among republicans for the presidential nomination. let's put it up on the screen. this is with all of them, including some who haven't even announced or may not announce
they're running. perry with 27%. mitt romney, 14%. sarah palin, she hasn't announced she's running. 10%. bachmann at 9%. giuliani, 9%. ron paul 6%. newt gingrich 6%. everybody else with 2 or 1 percent or asterisks for that matter. if you sake sarah palin and rudy giuliani out of the equation, perry does better. michele bachmann, 12%. gingrich 7%. you see everybody else below in single digit. rick perry, the governor of texas, clearly has moved atop nationwide. it doesn't necessarily mean for sure he'll get the nomination. doesn't necessarily mean he'll win the iowa caucuses or the new hampshire primary, the south carolina primary. it does show at least at this point, nationwide, he's the top choice among those who identify themselves as republicans for getting the nomination. he does better, by the way, with
republican men than republican women. but pretty well with tea party supporters. those who say they're not tea party supporters. rick perry is doing rather well right now, doing the fact it's been a couple weeks since he formally entered the race for the republican presidential nomination. good news, i think, for rick perry. he's going to help generate a lot of fundraising for him. he's going to be under enormous pressure. the other candidates will step up their attacks against him. we'll see some of that in the debate. there's going to be a bunch of presidential debate. we're moderating one in two weeks from today in fact in tampa, florida. we'll have the major republican candidates on the stage, including rick perry. we got good questions for him. >> i'm curious, what do you think that rick perry has done right. he's a straight shooter when it comes to his talk on the campaign trail. do you think that's helped him out? >> i think that a lot of conservatives, a lot of tea party supporters and others, including some mainstream
sfaeshment type republicans, they like the fact that he has a pretty good record for ten years as the governor of texas. he's created a lot jobs or texas has created a lot of jobs. this notion that he's been the governor at this time that the economy there is not necessarily doing as badly as it is elsewhere around the country. he can point to some of those successes, although the democrats and others, his kr critics say he doesn't deserve the credit. a lot of the jobs were not necessarily that good. no benefits, stuff like that. a lot of government-related jobs. there's going to be a back and forth. no doubt approximate that. when you're the governor of a major state like tex x and you constantly get re-elected, he did well. he had stiff challenges, you'll be noticed. he's got a personality, people like him. some who don't hike him. he's doing well right now. we'll see how he does in the weeks and months to come. >> a little bit of time left
between now and the election. >> i want to say, plenty of time. time to recover from a storm of this magnitude, the effects are still being felt across much of the country, including in new england and states like vermont, where there's been an enormous amount of flooding. so our response continues, but i'm going to make sure that fema and other agencies are doing everything in their power to help people on the ground. >> that's president obama speaking a short time ago. it was just after he declared an emergency for vermont in the aftermath of irene. today, people all along the eastern seaboard, into new england and even canada still dealing with what the storm left behind. water, lots of it. vermont really seemed to have gotten the worst of the flooding. check out this video from an i reporter in lincoln vermont. you can see the rushing water that knocked more than a few buildings off foundations.
towns across the state are underwater. look at one of the state's treasures. a covered bridge that stood for more than 140 years. watch it crumble there. pushed around like it's made out o of popsicle sticks. gone. here's the biggest impact of irene. the storm is being blamed for 24 deaths in nine states. then, of course, there's the price tag. expected to be around $10 billion for the disaster. look at this amazing video shot by an aye reporter in manville, new verse i. these military vehicles were headed out to help people stranded. they can normally make it across rivers. but this time, as you can see, not much like. the water was too much and they got stuck. the water isn't necessarily going anywhere. these are pictures from just a little while ago in lumberton, new jersey. it's not far from philadelphia. you can see what people there are dealing with. lot of water. millions of people still without power for a second straight day. fleets of repair vehicles have
descended on the affected areas to help try and get that power back on. last hour, i talked with the governor of vermont. peter shul man. he told me the national guard is on the way with high-water vehicles to rescue people trapped by the flooding. he also said there are hundreds of others they cannot reach. creeks, brooks and rivers have swelled to levels unseen in 70 years. our gary tuchman is in one of those hard hit communities where a seemingly harmless brook has caused pretty major damage. >> this place of business in brat willboro vermont was condemned on monday afternoon. the reason it was condemned is because what happened here and what was a very gentle brook before tropical storm irene moved through vermont. it is now a rapids. powerful water came through here, expanded this from ten feet wide to like 40 feet wide. eroded the ground, the energy explod exploded. land here.
you can see this building, which was an art studio, 15 artists, is up tors, painters, a yoga instructor, the building is happening precariously over the west stone brook. children were swimming in it a couple days ago. children were swimming in. old timers have told us they've never seen anything like this. it was from the power of the storm. they knew that hurricane irene or tropical storm irene would come through vermont but no one anticipated the devastation here. more than 260 roads were underwater. most of the floodwaters have receded. but the brooks, which were overflowing with water, many of them still look like rapids. it's caused mud to go into people's homes. there's lots of damage and at least one person died from it about 15 miles west of here. a woman ended up in a creek and her body was recovered earlier today. a very sad situation here at vermont. it's an interior state, borders canada, known for skiing and mountains. it's not known for tropical
storms. it experienced the fury of tropical storm irene. this is gary tuchman, cnn in vermont. and one of the other major effects of the storm has actually been on travel. today much of the travel tangle is being smoothed out with trains and planes back in service. that doesn't mean, though, that the travel headaches are exactly over. chad myers joining us now. what is the word in terms of travel from the airports and the airlines? >> tens of thousands of people that were supposed to be on planes over the weekend that didn't leave. now those tens of thousands of people are trying to get into hundreds of vacant seats. this isn't going to be smoothed out in one day. this won't be smoothed out until basically the end of the week, if then. probably not advisable to just go to the airport and sit there and wait for a flight. you need to call and get a reservation. get yourself a seat. i know there are some places that fly stand by. there are other places that don't allow that. you can't get by security if you don't have a ticket, right?
here we go. 5,500 planes in the air. let's go to jfk. here's the destination to jfk. there are 130 planes in the air. that is fantastic. that's great. the only problem is, there's only 20 planes that have left jfk. why is that? because it opened for traffic at 6:00 a.m. for inbound. 7 a.m. for inbound traffic. they didn't open for outbound yet. there's 20 planes literally in the air. we'll go to laguardia. couple hundred planes going to laguardia right now. we switch directions and which ones have left laguardia. fewer planes. about 35 planes in the air there. i guess that's decent. then in newark, you have planes coming in, lots of them, 115 or so. leaving that origin, now just open for a couple of hours, just about 25 planes in the air. now, the airports are not closed. they are completely open. the only airport having trouble is teeter borrow, we're still closed. a lot of people will get rental
cars and drive because you can't wait long enough for the airplane. go to traffic.com. jam factor on the throughway, south is a ten. it's closed at one exit because it's stillwater over the roadway. how would you know that unless you checked it? if you're trying to drive through ts or philadelphia or new jersey, how would you know unless you checked first. otherwise, you'll idle in traffic for hours and hours. give it a couple of days before you start to move around the northeast a lot. >> excellent advice, chad. thank you very much. we've only shown you a frack shop of the video and pictures. be sure to log on to cnn.com for more images and information on irene's effects. plus you can check out how you can impact your world and help those devastated by the storm. you can find it all at cnn.com. here are some of the other stories we're keeping an eye on. libyan leader moammar gadhafi is still on the run. but we now know that his wife, daughter and two of his sons are in algeria.
the foreign min city is how long ago they cross the border into algeria. this is gadhafi's daughter. she's apparently pregnant and due to give birth in early september. the libyan man convicted of blowing up pan am flight 103 over lockerbie scotland is comatose and near death. nick roberson found him yesterday under the care of his family in tripoli. his son says he could die at any time. the bombing of the jetliner in 1988 killed 270 people. he was released from a scottish prison two years ago and returned to libya on compassionate grounds. that move triggered outrage in the u.s. and britain. much more on this story and on the news that some of moammar gadhafi's family is in algeria at the pom of the hour. remember the cash for clunkers program. the guy behind the idea is president obama's choice to be
economic advisors. alan krueger, would replace austin gools by who decided to leave in june. warren jeffs in a hospital in critical condition. the convicted polygamist leader got sick during a fast. they say he wasn't eating or drinking. jeffs apparently told officials it hunger strike. he was sentenced to life plus 20 years earlier this month after being convicted of sexually assaulted two young girls. hurricane irene leaving thousands stranded in the ouer banks. a live report on the rescue efforts to get to those people, next. i'm really glad we took this last minute trip!
hurricane irene left a path of destruction from north carolina to maine. many people still recovering from the damage. in north carolina, as many as 2500 people are still stranded in the outer banks. the road along a narrow strip of land connecting them to the mainland has been wiped out. cnn's brian todd rode along with a national guard chopper to look at the situation there. brian joins us now from stumpy point, north carolina. brian, what is the situation for these folks? >> well, randi, many of them are still stranded. there is a lifeline. it's behind me. i'll take a walk back a little bit. our foe to you journalist oliver is going to follow me. this is the only way that people in hatteras island are getting supplies, highway repair equipment, food, water, things like that. even some doctors have been shuttled back and forth if people have a need. they just pulled this in a short time ago. they'll be loading vehicles on this ferry shortly. we're told that they leave here
about every two to three hours. it takes two and a half hours each way for this ferry to go to hatteras island and back with supplies. it's the only way they're getting them right now. the only other way to get there is by helicopter. we went there with the north carolina national guard yesterday to check out some of the damage. the most serious piece of damage is that breach on highway 12 which connects hat rat island to the other islands at the town of rodanthe. that's been decimated by the storm surge. it was chopped up, waters from the atlantic ocean is flowing over it. there are downed power lines. part of the road seemed to have caved in as if it had been hit by an earthquake. given that and the risks and the fact that the 2500 people there ignored the governor's mandatory evacuation order and never left here, we asked one of the residents kind of what the philosophy was about staying versus going? >> what's the philosophy?
why do people stay? >> i'm going to guess -- i don't know. we grew up here. that's the main thang is getting back. when you're gone, you're wondering what your belongings and property. you're wondering how it is. it's your whole life here. it's hard to leave. >> now, other residents told us at the same time, they thought they could ride it out because of the degree of the storm. these are people used to going through hurricanes. another gentleman on hatteras island says this is a category 1, we've lived through 2, 3, and 4 level hurricanes. he said he did admit that the flooding from this particular hurricane was worse than they ever imagined. randi? >> brian, just quickly. we do have to get going here, how long can they stay there? case they can't rescue them quickly? >> reporter: they were told to have enough food and water for three days. that period is almost ending. some of them have food and water for longer. the governor is now saying, you might need it for as long as two months. this is a slow boat getting food
and supplies there. some of these people may have a tough road to hoe for a while. >> wow. two months. brian todd, appreciate your reporting. thank you. this is what families are dealing with in towns throughout upstate new york. it's destroying the only way out for a number of families. we'll tell you where this is all happening. we'll bring you the very latest, next. there's listerine® antiseptic. its triple-action formula penetrates biofilm, kills germs and protects your mouth for hours. fight biofilm with listerine®. kills germs and protects your mouth for hours. or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business -- it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities, so we're helping them with advice from local business experts and extending $18 billion in credit last year. that's how we're helping set opportunity in motion.
the powerful watt watt waters from irene washed out bridges and roads in a number of states. in upstate new york, the flood washed away their only way out, destroying roads and bridges into and out of several towns there. this is video that we're getting from the area. you can see just how bad the flooding is right now.
look at that water rushing. seven families who thought they were escaping irene are now stranded in new york's cat skill mountains. among them are two pregnant women, seven toddlers and three babies. they're still stuck in a vacation home with no electricity, no water and their food supply will run out today. but that's not all. new york governor andrew cuomo took a tour of the area. administrators estimate the volume of water coming off of the cat skill mountaintops is exceeding the flow from niagara falls. exceeding that. megan cruz from our affiliate ynn is in new york, near the base of the cat skill mountains. she's on the line with us. megan, first of all, we understand that the two main routes, both bridges in and out of the town are badly damaged. are residents and emergency crews able to get in and out another way? >> caller: it's not that they
can't get into town. right now there are two bridges in and out of the main town. one of them, no one is being allowed near it at this point. even myself and my photographer, we have crossed it at one point to get into the town. we were turned away when we tried to pass there again. they're really worried that it might collapse at any point. for that entrance into the town, no one is allowed near there. there is one other way. you have to go around quite a bit of a drive. it's probably about ten miles, but then you come to another bridge and it seems like that they're concerned about because we were being brought had via an atv, they don't want too big of vehicles on it. they asked us on the atv to stay a little bit more to the left side of the bridge because i think they're concerned about the stability of the right side. >> with access so limited, what does that mean for rescue efforts and emergency crews? >> it does delay it, like i said. i think most of the rescue crews
are on the other side where the bridge no one can cross. it does delay them. they have to go all the way around. they are getting in among the main street of cracksville right now. like i was saying to someone before, not like you wanted or expected it to be. you see atv's with fire officials, national guard arrived this afternoon. that's what you see on the rain street. like i said, only delayed, but there are efforts being made to help this town recover. >> you and your photographer, i understand, you got stranded, right and had to spend the night in a shelter there? >> yes, we did. we had to stay in a red cross shelter in a town just -- one town over, five miles out of pratsville. we were there in prattsville earlier when a flood first started happening yesterday. i'm telling you, the water, it's like an established community wasn't even there. that's how bad it was. it was all underwater. when we were trying to figure out how to get out, everybody
laughed at us. they said there is no way out. all the surrounding roads are flooded. the power is out. it's too dangerous to drive. we decided to stay at the shelter and come here again tomorrow. >> play it safe like many suggested. megan cruz with affiliate ynn. appreciate your time. >> caller: thank you. the u.s. could lose an important tool for predicting storms like hurricane irene. we'll tell you why right after this.
breaking news. let's bring to you the white house press conference taking place. the white house briefing. charlie chris held that position until president obama asked him to lead people a he is here to take your questions and give you an update on hurricane irene and its consequences. so why don't we have mr. fugate make a few points. then i will take your questions on other issues. thanks very much. >> well, good afternoon. i think first our condolences to the families who lost loved ones. unfortunately, irene was a
deadly storm. reports are still coming in. i think open source, about 21. we also know there are several people still missing. one of the things about these types of storms, unfortunately, the death toll may continue to go up in the recovery phase through accidents and other things that happen. this is my experience from florida where, again, as we urge people to be cautious and common sense, don't drive through flooded areas, power lines are down and as crews are reenergizing, be very careful. we don't want anyone else to lose their lives. our prayers are with the families who lost family members. >> tropical storm irene dissipated and moved into canada. in its path as a hurricane we started out in the virgin islands of puerto rico. most of the damages were in puerto rico. president declared it a major disaster area. we're providing assistance there. then the carolinas. prior to the arrival of hurricane irene, we had a
management team, federal employees of fema that are trained to go in, link up with the state prior to the storm getting there. so that we're prepared to support them both in the preparation phase but also in the immediate response phase. 18 of those teams deployed across the east coast as far south as florida up to maine. again, as we saw the track of the storm adjust, we repositioned teams and we became increasingly concerned about possible impact in the new england states. we pre positioned water, food, generators, tarps and other supplies at staging bases based along the path of the storm. we were sitting ready to activate the urban search and rescue teams. we put the teams on alert. three of the teams have been activated on stand by and support in new york and in vermont based upon the flooding there. a lot of the rescue operations are conducted by state and local officials, national guard, men
and women called out. coast guard and other rescue officials in those areas. as it stands now, we're still supporting in north carolina requests for assistance as they go to the recovery phase and begin damage assessments. a lot of power outages. roads that were heavily damaged by storm surge, particularly in the outer banks as well as a lot of debris in the eastern part of the state. as you move up the coastline, i'm sure aware of the large number of power outages. the numbers have come down since yesterday. department of energy is working with the private sector as they track those numbers. but we went from over six million down to five million. those numbers look to continue to come down. but some areas are going to have some time to get all of the power back up. but probably the real story was as eye rein was exiting and many people focused along the coast, we got impacts of coastal storm surge, not to the degree we were concerned about. but heavy rain did a occur along the interior parts of path. that was a big concern we had as the storm moved north.
so we have seen record flooding in vermont, record flooding in new york. we still have rivers that have yet to crest. the river forecast center for northeast was reporting that some of these rivers may not crest for would to three days. so the extent of impacts we still won't know. again, many of the areas have been dealing with very dangerous flooding, some of it resulting in loss of life. to give you an idea of how fast this occurred, the rivers and the flooding were so intense that the vermont emergency operation's center, the state emergency operation's center had to evacuate last night and relocate. we had already been working disasters in vermont. so we had a joint field office they were able to relocate to. so they were able to continue the operations after moving but they did experience the damages and they are working to get their center back up. again, from storm that i think from a lot of folks on the coastal areas, also showed that inland the heavy rains produced quite a bit of damages and continue to produce damages. we're working with the governors now as they begin the
assessment. question i've been getting a lot is how much damage, we don't know. we're still assessing a lot of the states are just finishing the response operations are beginning that, particularly the further south as you move north. they're actively involved in response as well as massachusetts and maine -- with that i'm open for questions. >> do you have any figure toss attach to the damage, any idea how much the storm will cost? >> no. i don't really estimate -- i don't like to give estimates because one of the things you're looking at is a lot of power outages. you see a lot of damages that are not going to be covered by federal dollars. we don't cover insurance losses. so some of the numbers you'll get from insurance industry projections are actually what their exposure will be. those won't translate into what the federal costs will be. this will be, we do formal damage assessments with the states. we look at those things that would be the responsibility of state and local government.
we look at those damages. we look primarily at the uninsured losses. so until we actually get out and do damage assessments, we won't have numbers. also understand that's not the total dollar figure. you'll get lots of impacts. you'll have significant agricultural impacts in north carolina and other states. usda will work with the ag commissioners as they compile those costs. the total $ figures comes from several sources. what we determine is the if there's a disaster declaration for reimbursement assistance. >> what's the total number without power? >> the total number, again, this number is fluctuating and coming down. but the department of energy at our 12:30 conference call was reporting a little over five million. that number had come down from a number that was a little over six million. department of energy is tracking that very closely, working with the states and utilities and putting that number together as it changes through the days. >>.
[ inaudible ] >> we knew they were in the area of heavy rainfall. this is one thing that director bill reid was trying to get people not to focus on the center circulation or on the coast. the heavy rainfall, particularly that this storm had a lot of rain ahead of it, as it's moving ashore. the concern was where we could expect rainfall. in fact, if you went back to the prediction center, they were printing out forecasts of these types of measures as far as rainfall. most of this occurred very quickly. in fact, in main of the rivers in vermont, they've gone back down. it was a very quick response rate from the rain, the flooding. now we're looking at the damages. >> what happened when you went to new york? >> i don't have any specifics right now. >> this is the anniversary of hurricane katrina. you've talked about the lessons of hurricane katrina, can you speak specifically about what was learned then that helped you and the federal government to be
better prepared for hurricane irene. >> we got to give credit to congress who, one, asked the post katrina -- management that clarified and gave clarity to fema's mission. but also cleared up some issues that were considered issues. should we wait until a governor has exceeded all resources to ask for federal assistance. at that point do we respond or are we able to get things going earlier, not wait for the declaration without waiting for the state to be overwhelmed to get ready. and this is i think one of the keys we've learned is when we know there's a disaster that could occur, again, we're working off that forecast. it's not to wait until the state says we're going to need help. by getting our teams into the states, with the counterparts of the governor's teamworking early, not only are we there in case they need our help. we have a better idea what to anticipate and we have built that team. if we do have the impacts, we can go right to work. that as well as the ability to
pre-position resources. move them into areas before the states make formal requests. a lot of this was the mechanics we learned from katrina. i think some of the other things that was directed in the legislation was we need today look beyond just what fema's role is. that we're not a team or part of the team. we had to look at things such as how do you better integrate the volunteers and their capabilities, as well as to private sector. i was in florida doing a lot of hurricanes. quite honestly, when you find yourself setting up distribution points in the parking lot of a grocery store, got their store open but you weren't talking, i could have probably gone where there was a greater need. right now the things we've done in this administration, we've brought the private sector into fema's headquarters. we have a representative representing them. so we work as a team. so right now, we're getting reports of stores opening first in puerto rico when the initial storm hit. looking at big box stores able
to get open. had a better sense that a lot of the things we were concerned about, the private sector was able to get up and running so we could focus on the areas flooded, mainly smaller towns and mountainous areas of puerto rico. >> six years ago today when katrina came ashore, fema's reputation was not enhanced by the operation. is there one single lesson from katrina that has kind of reshaped fema and their response to this? >> we can't wait to know how bad it is before we get ready. we have to go fast. we have to base it upon the potential impacts. that's why we look at these forecasts we get from the hurricane center and we make the decisions based upon what the potential impasse could be. if you wait until you know how bad it is, it's harder to change the outcome. >> and how good was the forecast? did you expect hurricane irene to be what she turned out to be? was the forecasting good enough? >> the track of the forecast, i think they've looked back an the national hurricane center will give you that update of what
they saw. i think the track was only about ten miles off of where they actually thought would come ashore. but the intensity of the wind speed. but that's something -- i'll be honest with you folks. of all the things we know about hurricanes, the track forecast, we've seen the response has improved that in my career to where if this had been 10, 15 years ago, florida would have had to evacuate based on the track. you remember seeing the satellite, how big that storm was and how close it was to the state of florida. we would not have been able not to evacuate. but the size is that good on track. but where we know we have a lot of work to do is intensely forecasts. what goes up and down. remember hurricane charley in florida. it went from a category 1 and it became a category 4 in less than 24 hours. the smaller storms, rapid intensification. we also see storms that weaken. that skill we still need to work on. based upon the forecasts, that's
what we prepare for. >> the scenario, does vermont need more federal resources? >> again, the response phase and we were talking to -- we have a conference call each day with all of the state directors impacted. the state director reported they have what they need. they're beginning to look at their damage assessments and it is likely we'll be doing assessments with them to determine if they need more assistance to recover. in the response phase, they advised us they had what they needed and appreciate the fact that we had resources standing by. >> april? >> mr. fugate. since you worked on hurricane katrina and this hurricane, what did you personally see the differences? has the red tape actually been cut enough where you felt easy to be able to maneuver to get assistance to people this hurricane versus katrina? >> you know, you talk about the processes and the mechanics behind it. in this administration from my earliest events when i came on board, america -- supporting in
haiti. the floods in tennessee. obviously this year. the one thing impressed upon me by the president is we go as a federal team and bring all our resources together. i think there's a lot of things that when we do it as a team and we understand that you cannot have separate -- you can't look at local government, state government, federal government, the volunteers and the private sector as distinct entities and be success fum. you got to look as a team. what one of the things impressed upon me and we try to practice, we're not a team. we're part of a team. we have to bring all of our resources together. we have to work as a team. we have to be focused on the survivors and the emphasis on speed. to get there, get stabilized to figure out the next steps without waiting to skt questions. how bad is it? what do you need? we know generally in these types of events what most likely is required. let's get moving. if we don't need it, we can turn it off. but you don't get time back in a disaster. look at what was happening in katrina and the first 72 hours.
that once you got past that point, there was not much more you could do to change that outcome. and then things were just cascading one on top of the other. >> would you say that six years ago people were working as a team? >> i think there was a lot of things that the federal -- at the federal level that congress addressed in the post katrina emergency management format that made my job easier to work in that team environment. >> do you have a figure on the -- >> no. not today. i think earlier in the week. we had gone below a billion dollars. we're around 900. i'm not sure what today's figure is. but that's one the reasons we implemented immediate needs funding to preserve funding for the existing disasters. this is one thing i want to make clear. we went to immediate needs funding and some people thought that the people impacted were going to take that money away from them. the survivors that are eligible for assistance are still getting funds. individual assistance programs were not affected by this, nor was any protective measures or
debris clearance or any product approved. the only thing we've postponed is new projects that are permanent work that had not been started when we go into immediate needs funding. that is to ensure that we still have funds to do this response, continue to meet the needs of the survivors of the previous disasters, as well as supporting the initial response to hurricane irene. >> so the criticism from out of missouri is inaccurate? >> again, for the individuals that were helping, for the cleanup and for the emergency costs, we're continuing that. for any projects that have not come in for approval, we're not going to be able to fund those at this point. we'll postpone those. they're still eligible. but we can't start new permanent work, such as repairing damages from the tornadoes. >> there you have it. fema's craig fugate speaking answering reporters' questions. saying the vermont emergency management team had to relocate. we've been showing you all
afternoon the major flooding in vermont. record flooding in vermont he says and new york. he asks -- he was asked about the lessons learned from katrina. i'll leave you with this. can't wait to know how bad before you get ready. that was the key lesson learned. meanwhile, coming up, libyan rebels are still hunting for moammar gadhafi, but we now know the location of some of his family members. the algerian news agencies says gadhafi's wife, sophia, his daughter and sons along with their children crossed into algeria from libya today. another key development, the discovery of the libyan man convicted of pan ham bombing flight 103 over lockerbie scotland. we'll have more on that after this. ordinary rubs don't always work on my arthritis.
gadhafi's wife and daughter and sons, hannibal and mohammed along with their children crossed into algeria from libya today. the discovery of the libyan man convicted of bombing pan am flight 103 over lockerbie, scotland. it killed 270 people. he was found by nick robertson. here's nick's exclusive report. >> we found al meg rah hi's villa in town. at least six security cameras and flood lights outside. this is his house. this is where he's been living for the last couple of years. we're going to knock on the door, see if we can get any answer. hello? for 15 minutes or so, nothing. i'm not sure if they've heard me. let's try the last-ditch means which is shouting over the wall. hello? hello? hello? then all of a sudden someone comes. nothing prepares me for what i
see. m e.g., rahi apparently in a coma. his aging mother at his side. >> oxygen and -- >> he had been expected to die almost two years ago. but convicted pan am 103 bomber lives. this wasn't the way he looked when he was released from a scottish jail two years ago much he came home to a hero's welcome. freed on compassionate grounds because doctors said he would be dead in three months. almost immediately, he began renovating this palatial house. money, no object. it doesn't take long walking around this building before you begin to realize and looking at the marble here on these expensive fittings to realize that it appears he was being
paid offhand somely for all the years he spent in jail. in the two decades since the bomb exploded on board pan am 130 over lockerbie, killing 270 passengers, crew and townspeople, it seemed the secrets of the attack would die with the bombers. megrahi always maintained innocence. just a month ago in a rare public sighting, moammar gadhafi had him literally wheeled out for a pro-government rally. i'm seeing here now for the first time in two years he appears to be just a shelf the man he was far sicker than he appeared before. >> has he been able to see a doctor? >> no. there is no doctor. there is nobody to ask and we don't have any phone line to call anybody. >> what's his situation right now? >> he stop eating and he sometimes is come in coma.
>> coma. he goes unconscious? >> yes. we just sit next to him. >> all that's keeping him alive, they say, oxygen and a fluid drip. i asked about demands he return to jail in scotland. >> my dad, if you send him to scotland, he will die by the way here or there. >> do you know how long he has left? >> nobody can know how long he will stay alive. nobody know. >> it seems i have arrived too late. he's apparently in no state to talk. whatever secrets he has may soon be gone. >> nick robertson joins us now from tripoli. incredible reporting. my first question to you, is there any chance that he could be sent back to scotland? >> reporter: well, it seems unlikely now because the scottish first minister has seen this videotape and has said that
he is not breaking -- megrahi is not breaking the conditions of his release. that he's confined to his house. he's a sick man and will be dead soon. it seems like the scottish at least are dropping their demand. >> why is the rebel leadership so adamant about not handing him over to the west? >> reporter: they're not saying specifically other than they don't have an extradition treaty. however, there may be another reason. that is that megrahi is from an important tribe. that's why moammar gadhafi put in so much effort to bring him back to libya, to get him freed from jail. gadhafi needed and continued needing the support of that tribe. the national transitional council won the support of megrahi's tribe. but not extraditing him, they hope to win this tribe over, perhaps to help build their government. there's a lot of politics going on in the country at the moment. the national transitional
council has to convince a lot of tribes. megrahi's tribe is one of the important tribes. >> quickly on the news that gadhafi's family crossed over into algeria, what's the latest on that. >> reporter: well national transition council says they want the family back to stand a fair trial in libya. they say that they haven't heard this officially yet about the crossing from the algerians. indeed interest in the algerians to not see the council as the legitimate representatives in libya. they still see gadhafi as ruling libya. however, what the national transitional council is say if the algerians don't hand them back, they will see this as an aggression, they say, against the will of the libyan people. randi? >> nick x robertson, once again, congratulations on that great get there in libya. thank you very much. blindfolded and beaten by gadhafi forces and then the promise of freedom.
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fight biofilm with listerine®. but thousands have been on the outskirts of gadhafi's hometown of sirte they've warned loyalist toss surrender or they'll take them by force. as they gain control of all libya, we have new reports of how brutal this war has been. arwa damon tells us what happens. we have to warn you some of the images are very graphic.
>> reporter: heard screams, gunshots. but it would be days before people discovered the magnitude of the horror within these walls. he was picked up by gadhafi's forces along with his younger brother in early august. my brother and i were in the street. they grabbed us and blindfolded and cuffed us, he remembers. the detainees ranged in age from 17 to 70 he says. we were beaten, penned up like animals and in their last days, deprived of food and water. he says he survived by dreaming of freedom. that one day i would leave this place. early last week, he thought that day had come. the last day informed us that they are going to release us. we all started planning, he says. preparing to reunite with loved
ones. >> this warehouse is around 15 by 10 meters. 45 by 30 feet. he says there was 175 people crammed inside here. at sunset, he says, the guards came and opened the door. he and the other prisoners thought they were going to make good on their word and set them free. instead, he says, the soldiers threw a grenade through the door and opened fire. he made a run for it. i ran away. i jumped over that wall. but i don't remember anything else. though he survived, his younger brother and most of the others trapped in this held did not. the warehouse is located in a lot on the back end of the 32nd brigade headquarters. the most feared and loathed unit of his father's military. when rebels secured the area and people felt safe enough to approach the warehouse, this was
all they found. volunteer workers say they've pulled out the remains of at least 150 bodies. >> some of the bag are more than one body. some of them four. three in one bag. >> because the bodies, you can't recognize the bodies? >> difficult. they are burned. so we have some -- >> the i.d.'s of people all over libya. >> do you know why these men who were here were detained? >> they're detained for -- some of them for nothing. just to say -- just to raise the flag with the different color. not green flag. this one. >> in another corner of the lot, the people who have gathered report yet another atrocity. we're being told that a number of bodies were also dug up right here and the dirt, it's just filled -- it's crawling with maggots. the cost of freedom in libya.
many of the victims will remain unknown. their families left without answers to their fate. arwa damon, cnn, libya. >> we'll have more news after this break. gas and bloating. with three strains of good bacteria to help balance your colon. you had me at "probiotic." [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health.
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from vermont. want to show you specifically what's going to happen to that bridge. there it is. it goes right down. it's now underwater. the state is experiencing some of the worst flooding in 84 years. powerful floodwaters are washing out and destroying bridges like that one. buildings and roads. to bring us the latest from vermont, peter coffee, the deputy director of vermont's office of emergency management joining us from burlington, vermont. peter, can you tell us what the situation is like there right now? are the water levels actually receding? >> yes, they are. we have two rivers that actually have not crested yet. they should be any time now. we don't expect any more flooding from those. all the others are receding. >> how are the rescue efforts going? we understand there was a one young woman who lost her life by wading into that area and was swept away. can you update us on o the rescue efforts there? >> we actually have two confirmed fatalities and we do
have one individual that is missing. they haven't been able to find that person yet. we have many people that are isolated, communities are isolated just because roads are washed out all around them. we do -- we've had vermont national guard helicopters doing flyovers just to get assessments where we may need them. we have a state and a federal search and rescue team that have been deployed to actually the section of the state where the person is missing to perform search operations. what were the circumstances of that second fatality? did that also have to do with the floodwaters? >> i'm not quite sure of that. i just got the word from the state police a little bit ago that there was -- that they had found a second person. >> i'm not sure if you had a chance to catch the fema administrator speaking at the white house briefing a short time ago. he said that they are taking more damage assessments in vermont and whatever federal resources might be needed, they
will supply. what is it that you need or do you feel as though you have everything that you do need? >> we're feeling right now that we have everything that we do need. we have put out a request for more helicopters from new hampshire. they should be arriving in the morning. so we can utilize them. that's just to get that overhead surveillance. we also have medivac helicopters on stand by in case there's a medical emergency for some of the people isolated. >> what do you want residents there to know right now? if they have damage. they need to call 21 to start the assessment on that damage. if they are in danger, they need to call 911 so that we can get rescue personnel there. >> the biggest challenge you're facing today. the biggest challenge today for us is we had to evacuate emergency operations center overnight.