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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  October 30, 2012 11:00am-1:00pm PDT

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and then the high winds. all of that having a tremendous impact on the mountains of west virginia and will do for some time. back to you. our coverage of sandy kin conti right now. i'm anderson cooper at the cnn special coverage of sandy, a superstorm being called unprecedented. i'm live in new york city. just over my should, the collapsed crane you see it there hanging over 57th street. we'll get to that in a moment. first, across the mid-atlantic, state and local emergency teams are rushing to save people and to save their homes. sandy is living up to the warnings it would bring devastation never before seen in this region.
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a white capped rush of water took over the streets of ocean city, new jersey, after hurricane sandy made landfall at 8:00 last night. the governor is calling the damage there unprecedented. so far 29 people have died here in the united states. 29. and dozens of survivors today feared what would happen if rescuers had not shown up in time. >> we tried to stop it. we put towels down, we had the sandbags down. it was rushing in. it was rushing in from the windows, the doorways, everywhere. >> we lost everything. i came all the way from the top of the house. >> where were you at that time? >> downstairs trying to save them and i couldn't do anything about it. just kept on pouring in. it was coming all over the place, under the windows, from the sides. >> so many people in the storm's path have never experienced anything like this. we have more than 8 million people in this city, nearly half a million customers with no power today.
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that is challenge number one. challenge number two, transportation, mayor michael bloomberg reported all the major subway lines have taken on water. saltwater. they flooded. no public transportation for 8 plus million new yorkers. here is mayor bloomberg. >> public transportation remains closed until further notice is a good way to think about it. there is no firm timeline for the reactivation of bus or train service. but i'm sure the mta will do everything it can to have limited bus service perhaps this afternoon. >> the city is now saying it will try to roll buses at 5:00 this evening with business as usual tomorrow. no promises yet, though, on restoring subway service. there are few cabs around in the city. it is very difficult for people to get around. i actually biked up to this office today to get here in time. no promises either on the airports. kennedy airport, laguardia, they remain closed. mayor bloomberg spoke of flooded runways and possible damage to instrumentation. ashleigh banfield is south of my
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location, in the neighborhood called chelsea in downtown new york. how are things there now? >> you know, surprising just listening to you, anderson, as you were talking about your experience in new york city. in pockets of new york city, it is a little strange. it looks like any other day. look at the traffic behind me. and this is an area that experienced severe damage. it looks like a dollhouse, literally the front of this chelsea building ripped right off. there is a report in a local newspaper this was an illegal hotel. but you can see all four of those rooms completely exposed. people have reported at least to the new york post that they heard something unusual and they came out and all of that came crashing down. want to show you what i'm seeing behind me, behind the lens. all the people, they're all out, as new yorkers would be, not deterred in the least by the reports of the difficult weather. it is cold and little rainy, but other than that, it is not a problem to get around on foot. and the traffic is really remarkable too. anderson, as i was driving here, i popped my ipad out and started
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taking pictures out the window of the car so you can see it looks a little like business as usual on the streets. a lot of stores are open, a lot of restaurants are open and a lot aren't. as you were mentioning, there is a problem of mass transit. in the subways like you said, all tunnels ared flooded and that's 5.3 million people a day using that to get to work. so most people using their feet to get where they need to today. a couple of things really unusual, down on southern manhattan where i was reporting for you last night, it was an absolute dark zone. it reminded me of 9/11. i hate to say. it was so dark and so quiet, but for all the police vehicles everywhere. something i hadn't seen in new york city before, never thought i would, downed trees. i live in the suburbs. i'm used to downed trees after a storm, not in new york city. new york city doesn't necessarily have the equipment to get downed large trees off major thorough fares. a lot of the traffic lights in
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this city were either bent or twisted or off altogether. there were very few traffic lights operating in this city as well. and at least as we were driving it was just hazard lights, and slow as she goes to get around last night. there is still a lot of people without power as you also mentioned. the mayor said power, restoring power to the 1.8 million people, new york state's 1.8 million people, restoring power to the people of the city and getting mass transit back up is a priority. i'll quote him directly no firm timeline as you mentioned as well. the government is predicting that in new york city, the economic loss alone of what i'm just reporting to you is going to be upwards of $7 billion. now, that's an early estimate. and since we don't know when things are going to be up and running again, who knows if that number is going to balloon. look at the -- look behind me. this is as it is, and there is no one doing any work to clear those streets. that's going to be a secondary priority to get -- to making sure everything else is operational in this city. one other thing i want to tell
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you, just the way new yorkers can be, we get a bad wrap a lot of times here, but we have a live truck operating that has a lot of power and we have neighborhood people who have come and formed to plug in and get electricity for their phones, to charge up their phones. it is a pretty good mood, despite what came through here as mayor bloomberg said the worst storm the city has ever seen, anderson. >> and a lot of parts of lower manhattan too, very spotty cell service, people aren't getting e-mails on their mobile devices. i had to bike up a mile from my house to -- i found a coffee shop closed, but there were a lot of people kind of grouped outside the coffee shop, i guess, because there was a wi-fi there. i was able to get e-mail and call my office from there. people trying to make due as best they can, go to parts of the city where they can communicate, where their cell phones are working, where they can get e-mails. ashleigh, thank you, we'll check in with you throughout the next several hours. we have new pictures from
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laguardia airport of basically runways underwater. a lot of water, we're seeing there, and as we said, closures at all the major airports, unsure when they're going to reopen. in the midst of all of this chaos on the ground, 90 stories up, that massive crane is teetering over the new york city skyline. you see it from new jersey, far and wide. we now have video showing the moments of the crane buckled in the violent winds. take a look. frightening video showing the partial collapse. it happened on top of a nearly completed luxury apartment building, said to be the city's tallest residential building. neighbors evacuated as officials tried to figure out how to stabilize this thing. i want to bring in alina cho who is joining us now. it is incredible to see this towering over the skyline this whole area is closed off. >> it is. it is a seven-block area that has been evacuated around that crane, anderson.
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it is literally the site that took new yorkers' breath away. if you think about it, it is still dangling precariously a thousand feet up from the ground. we do have a bit of good news from mayor bloomberg this morning. he said it appears at this point the crane is stable, but that the winds are going to have to die down even a bit more before they will be able to secure it. when that happens, and hopefully given the conditions now, hopefully that will be very soon, the crews will go in, and listen to this, they'll try to go in, grab a hold of the boom, and strap it to the building and that's how they will secure that crane. and at that point they'll be able to reopen the streets. as i mentioned, the seven-block area was evacuated, hundreds, possibly thousands of people including one luxury hotel, 700 people. >> not just people in streets, but in neighboring buildings, they didn't know where the crane could go. >> they all want to get back home, back to their original
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hotel rooms, not where they're staying right now. >> you also look into the records of the building, the construction site. >> it was pretty remarkable. cnn learned from the new york city building department that they issued a stop work order on this construction site on two separate occasions. one we should mention was rescinded. having said that, they were cited for hydraulic fluid leaks and permit problems at this very site. now, keep in mind, as you mentioned, this is a trophy residential building, 90 stories high when it is completed, highest building in new york city, apartments going for $90 million. >> that's incredible. $90 million for one apartment. >> that's right. and given all of that, one would think or hope that more precaution would have been taken prior to the storm. we spoke to a crane expert earlier today. let's hear what he said about the moment of the collapse. >> my first thought was human
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error. >> ultimately, ultimately the buck stops with the crane operator, right? >> yes. if he has any doubt about safety, he should contact his supervisors, engineers, or anybody until he feels safe about the crane. >> and in your estimation, obviously that wasn't done. >> no, no. it certainly wasn't done. >> on versusly there a obviousl want to get back into their homes. >> we spoke to a father and mother and 12-year-old daughter, they evacuated a couple of blocks away to a private new york club, they said when they first heard what happened, they thought it was a gunshot or a bomb. they went downstairs, they saw police coming from four different directions within 90 seconds. they escaped with their blackberries, chargers and books
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as any good new yorker would and they're waiting it out. >> we continue to watch it, it is unbelievable to see up there. appreciate the reporting. we're getting word now of more flooding and more people trapped. i want to go to brooke baldwin in atlanta. what are you hearing? >> i have chad myers standing next to me. this whole thing is fluid as we're learning of more and more rescues, a lot are urban rescues. we talked about, specifically in new jersey, bergen county, i want to talk toms river. it is 45 miles or so east/southeast of trenton. 100 people need rescuing. >> the water went completely overs over seaside heights beach. it is a barrier island. the water went completely over it. we have video. it is scary to watch. it is unbelievable how much sand is just blocked in to this community. >> i was wondering what the color was. that's all sand surrounding the home. >> you can't see the back side. this isn't really land.
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this is island, the water went over the island, filled the bay behind this, and filled up toms river. the water just poured right into toms river with a significant surge and people are trapped there and they're trying to rescue them at this point in time. and this is what general honorary whonore, the mayor and the sheriffs and the police, fema is not here yet, they have to still put their stuff out there, this say local people helping local people. >> so, anderson, we'll keep an eye on this, seaside heights, new jersey, and toms river, new jersey, which i know michael holmes is there. he's talking to police there and they say least 100 people or so need rescuing as well. >> brooke, chad, we'll continue to check in with you. we'll talk to the mayor of asbury parks to see what kind of damage was there. we'll talk to him and see what daylight has brought. we'll be right back.
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welcome back to our continuing coverage. we're live from new york. columbus circle where the crane is still dangling over 57th street. we continue to watch that situation. we're also getting new video showing the destruction caused by a six-alarm fire in the new york borough of queens. 80 homes have burned to the ground. you're looking at pictures of smoldering remains where these homes once stood. cnn's deborah feyerick is in queens. the pictures are so disturbing, so upsetting. have you spoken to any of the owners who lost their homes? >> reporter: we spoke to one man who was here looking at his sister's home as a matter of fact. what is so amazing is that he stood at his sister's home and said, you know, over here this is my sister, this is my father-in-law, these are the --
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he went through each rubble and pointed out the owner of those homes. some of these people live here year round. others, just a vacation home, but everybody knows each other. one of the reasons, anderson, why this fire spread so rapidly is because the alley ways between the homes are actually quite thin. the trucks couldn't get to the home where the fire first started and then the wind seriously just swept it from home to home to home to home. one man who we spoke to said you could open up the windows on the ocean and you'll feel the breeze all the way at the back end. take a listen to what he said. >> it is handed down through generations to generations. and what happened here really was when irene came last time, everybody left and a lot of people have houses, they got devastated. i think people felt this time, just wait here and see what happens. whether you're here or not, this
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is tremendous. to rebuild this will be a mammoth -- i don't know how they'll go about starting it. this is really tragic. >> reporter: this area, everybody is assessing the damage, but take a look, look at this car, the rubber of the tires completely burned off. the interior reduced to smithere smithereens, people did not move their cars out and as a result, they simply caught fire. homes that are nearby that didn't actually get the full impact of the fire, the siding melted off from the sheer heat. you can see some firefighters here, again, they have been here around the clock, through the night this is a dmcommunity whe you have firefighters, retired police officers, folks from the coast guard, all know each other, all grow up here and they're assessing the damage. the smell is so pungent, anderson, of the fire in the air. along the coast, along the beach and the bay, what is fascinating
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is you look at the homes and they look completely smashed. like somebody took a gigantic sledgehammer and went through home after home. some of them, the entire front is gone. some knocked off their foundation. furniture completely rearranged inside the home. you can peer in, you can walk through the front, actually. so it really is just quite some devastation and, you know, they're going to have to figure out how they clean this up, anderson. >> certainly everyone thankful there wasn't loss of life in the 80 homes, but a lot of rebuilding at this point to be done and the work is just beginning at this point. deborah feyerick, appreciate the reporting. i want to turn to the mayor of asbury park, new jersey, joining us on the phone, mr. mayor, good to have you on. has anybody been injured from asbury? >> we have no news of injury or death, which is the good news here. we have severe conditions here
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on the ground. devastation down to the boardwalk area through trees and power lines down. >> when i was there last night, the water came up so quickly on that boardwalk, and then just seemed to spread very fast for several blocks. how extensive is that damage along the coast? >> it is very extensive. there are famous -- like howard johnson's restaurant, the first floor is gone. there are pieces of the boardwalk which are being located blocks away from the boardwalk. throughout the towns we're seeing trees, 100, 150 years old, just ripped up by the roots. many of those throughout our town. and, of course, power lines down everywhere. >> and, a, what is the situation with power right now? i assume there isn't power. we didn't have power at asbury this morning when i was there. do you have a sense of the timetable it might take to restore it? >> well, our power is out in
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majority of the city. the good news is that at the light of first day our crews hit the streets hard and had been working to get the trees out of the way, get them away from power lines so that the power company can come in and do what they need to do. that's first thing we're doing. we have gotten the majority of our streets cleared of debris and trees and our next step will be working to try to restore the power. >> i saw your police -- your firefighters, your utility crews out in the darkness, with their lights on, looking over -- looking for people, looking for any damage. so it was great to see that even before first light this morning. i know you have a lot of work ahead of you. mayor johnson, i appreciate you joining us today. thank you. >> i would just like to say to all of the emergency crews throughout the entire area, jersey and the east coast, they have all done an amazing job and we're very thankful for them. >> i think there is a lot of people in a lot of different
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communities throughout this region that are very, very thankful and reminded of the incredible work they do frankly every day, but you see it at a time like this. mayor, we'll talk to you, no doubt in the days ahead. thank you. there is a lot of effect of this storm not just on people, not just on property, but also on the political campaigns that have been happening. mitt romney get getti igetting questions about what he would do with fema based on comments he had earlier about returning power to the states. details on that ahead. >> sandy packed a punch for the metropolitan area yesterday. i don't think words like catastrophic or historic are too strong to explain the impact. the most devastating news is that we lost 15 new yorkers last night. that is our best estimate at this time. i guess as anything that number is going to get larger. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year.
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welcome back to our continuing coverage of the -- what remains of superstorm sandy
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and the aftermath of it, in the island of manhattan there is a real division between neighborhoods that have power and that don't. the upper west side, the upper east side, they have power. this area around columbus circle south of central park has power. central park itself is closed down. authorities all day have been trying to assess the strength of trees there. they don't want tourists, don't want people walking in the park and be killed by fallen trees. we had a number of people that died in the storms as a result of trees elsewhere, not necessarily in central park. below 31st street on the west side there is no power. cell service is spotty. people aren't getting e-mails. it is a very different situation down there. a lot of people are wandering around, don't want to stay in their homes without power, looking around, kind of a stunned feeling in parts of lower manhattan, especially, today. and no doubt as the city returns to normal and tries to rebuild this quickly as possible and clean up, hopefully the lower part of manhattan will get power
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with no word from officials on when that may in fact occur. and no word yet on when subways may reopen. it is very difficult to get around town right now. there are not a lot of cabs. the cabs that are around are selective in who they're saying and how much they're charging people. let's go down to brooke baldwin in atlanta, who is covering some political angles. >> back to the damage and the rescues here, anderson, in a moment. folks, we have an election. it is one week from today. and as you may have heard by now, the obama and romney camps, they canceled rallies planned for today, even before this superstorm hit. but, mitt romney, he got out this morning, he collected some relief supplies in kettering, ohio, and was peppered with questions about his stance on the federal government providing disaster relief. take a listen. >> what should fema's involvement be? governor, would you eliminate fema if you were president? >> what would you do with fema? what is your response?
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>> hearing all the questions, no answers from mitt romney today on where he stands on the federal government providing disaster relief through fema. so, let's go to washington, dana bash, who joins me to talk about this here. do me a favor, remind us why this has become such an issue for mitt romney. >> well, brooke, this stems from a cnn debate during the republican primaries and it was in june of 2011, where romney was asked about federal relief. at the time it was about joplin, missouri, just after that was hit in the devastating way by a tornado. romney said he wanted to give the states and even the private sector more power. but he did not propose eliminating fema. listen to what happened. >> fema is about to run out of money and there is some people who say do it on a case by case basis. some people say maybe we're learning a lesson that the states should take on more of this role. >> anytime you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. and if you can go even further
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and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut, we should ask ourselves the opposite question, what should we keep? we should take all of what we're doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we're doing that we don't have to do and those things we got to stop doing because we're borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we're taking in. >> romney's campaign issued a statement reiterating that he wants the states to take the lead, because they and the local authorities closest to the ground and know what the needs are the most, but the romney campaign is also saying that they should continue to get help from the federal government, that includes fema. and, brooke, this speaks to the larger question about the role of government and that is a definite philosophical difference between the two and i can tell you that the romney campaign is not upset that this has become a question, particularly when they're rolling over pictures of him helping people in disaster stricken areas, especially in the state of ohio.
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>> right, bringing up to the current date, here we are in the aftermath of this tremendous, tremendous storm. that was in 2011 when we heard the question posed to romney. that's when fema was running out of money. you look at the damage estimates from sandy, it is in the multiple billions of dollars. just wondering does fema have the money to handle this current disaster? >> we, especially, ted barrett has been checking in with sources on the republican and democratic side and there is rare agreement at this point that those sources do think that fema likely at this point has ample funding to deal with sandy. the current budget which is an extension of funding levels from last year gave between 6.5 and $7 billion. we're not exactly sure -- won't be until all of the totals are tallied, what exactly they need. but at this point, people in congress don't think they're going to need to pass an emergency spending bill. >> okay. dana bash for me in washington. dana, thank you. anderson, back to you in new york. >> thank you very much. there is a lot more to talk about. in particular the makeup of this storm.
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people talk about it once in a century storm, storm of historic proportions. you look at the wind speeds, it wasn't that big of a storm. why has it had such an impact in the region. we'll talk about that ahead. [ male announcer ] the 2013 smart comes with 8 airbags, a crash management system and the world's only tridion safety cell which can withstand over three and a half tons. small in size. big on safety.
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with the blackish-blue frame and the white dots and the splattered paint pattern, your lights are on. what? [ male announcer ] the endlessly customizable 2013 smart. welcome back to our continuing coverage of the aftermath of hurricane sandy. superstorm sandy. before we get to the science of the unprecedented storm, which is fascinating, i want you to see a timeline straight from the cameras of our cnn ireporters. take a look. >> no.
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>> rushing water across the streets. going into homes. nypd is setting up their boat. search and rescue later. evacuation plan a.
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>> look at the storm from our ireporters. we want to look at what makes sandy so intense. this professor is host of sci-fi science. you say it is a result of several things coming together. >> the hurricane from hell was created by a collision of three large air masses creating e ini animal we have never seen before. we have a hurricane off the coast of florida. then you have the jet stream from the arctic going all the way down to florida, colliding with this hurricane. and then you have another storm coming in from the west. the merger of three large air masses created a new animal, the likes of which we have never seen before. >> it is fascinating because when you look at, oh, it is a cat 1 hurricane, on paper that doesn't look so bad. >> you can't use the ordinary nomenclature of hurricanes. hurricanes are smaller and
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faster. this was humongous, 800 miles across, and velocities are much lower. but the amount of energy stored in it was huge because of the warm water from the caribbean, fed by the energy from the jet stream. and this is a very unusual pattern that caught scientists off guard. >> was there any way to better prepare for it? >> it is hard to predict these things because, first of all, you have the caribbean, the gulf of mexico heating up, possibly due to global warming and that's the basic energy that drives all these hurricanes. but then you have the energy difference between that and the gulf -- the jet stream coming in from the arctic, colliding with it. >> what did you find most interesting about it, most surprising. >> our computer simulations are not good at modeling the collision of two air masses. with he had three a we had three colliding at the same time so we were powerless to give an accurate computer simulation of the collision of the three air masses. >> we were talking about some of the things that have gone wrong
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in new york, the crane which is dangling, the nyu medical center, the backup generator not working, you were pointing out it is little things, little mistakes that are made that can have a big impact. >> mother nature is showing us who is really boss. because they could have secured that, but they didn't. and at nyu hospital, they should have checked the backup. little things catch you when mother nature wants to prove who is really in charge. >> it is fascinating to hear your perspective. i appreciate you being with us. thank you so much. you walked over here, so i very much appreciate it. difficult getting around town right now. >> that's right. >> thank you for being with us. there is a lot more to cover. i'll speak live with the person who shot this video, water rushing in to a neighborhood, we'll be right back.
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well, it has been a miserable day here in new york city. and now it is starting to rain to add insult to injury, starting to rain lightly here again as it has been throughout the day. one of our cnn ireporters captured some video of fierce winds around his apartment on the hudson river in new jersey -- in jersey city. take a look at this.
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>> amazing. with these passing hours, we're going to be get morgue and moti more videos from people. we have video of the moment when monster waves began crashing through a suburban street in ocean city, new jersey. take a look at this. >> the man who shot this incredible video is with us, trevor moran. he's safe. he joins us from ocean city.
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where were you, trevor, when you shot this? >> i shot it from 53rd street in ocean city, on the south end of the island there. the row of houses right there borders the ocean. we're on the first street right behind the ocean. >> this is probably a dumb question, but have you ever seen anything like that? >> no, not at all. surfers, we stick around for hurricanes and tend to chase these things, but by far that was probably one of the scariest waves i had ever seen come through houses, the amount of water coming through i had never seen anything like that. >> is that why you decided to stay, because you were hoping to surf? >> that's part of the reason. the other reason being that our family has a lot of rental houses and things like that. i came down to help batten down the hatches at the last minute. and ended up staying basically to see where it went from there. >> how do things look today? >> today kind of like a disaster. i heard a lot of people calling it a war zone. there is a lot of debris everywhere. the street that it was shot on now has about two feet of sand
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on it. there are all those houses i went back up this morning, some of them the entire facades have been ripped down with all kinds of sand on the inside of the houses covering up the entire living rooms and things like that. it is definitely a mess down here today. >> yeah. well, trevor, i hope it gets cleaned up okay and i appreciate you sharing that video. thank you. >> no problem. thanks for having me. >> we just learned nearly 8 million people are now without power, unlike the aftermath of normal hurricanes, it is getting cold in a lot of areas, chilly here, rain. we'll take you live to virginia next. honey, they have the 55 inch lg... [ mom ] we already have a tv. would you like to know more about it? yeah, but let me put my wife on speaker. hi! hi. it's led and it has great picture quality. i don't know... it's ultra slim...
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and welcome back to our continuing coverage, the aftermath of hurricane sandy. we have been devoting a lot of our coverage today to the situation here in new york, the problems in new jersey. we got close to 8 million customers without power in more than a dozen states up and down the east coast. and even inland. chris lawrence is with us right now in falls church, virginia. chris, what is the situation there? >> well, we still have got a couple of hundred thousand people without power and this is primarily the reason why. take a look. i'm standing in the middle of the street. as you can tell, there is a huge tree blocking this entire street. as we swing around, you can tell it knocked down some of the telephone wires here, on the other side the power lines are down. we do -- are getting some good news, though. when you look at the big picture, some of the power companies like pepco say they expect to have power restored to 90% of their customers by tomorrow morning. other companies are reporting by thursday. now, this tree obviously came
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down on the roadside, not the house side. we talked to a man just a few miles away from here, who wasn't so lucky. 8:00 last night he's sitting with his son, watching tv, trying to ride out the storm, the tree outside his house literally is uprooted, splits his entire roof in half, caves in part of his house, crushes his car. today, he's very lucky to have his family alive. >> we heard it crash into the house itself. so the wind was just whipping like crazy. and so we just all heard it crash and we all just started panicking and then the water started to come in. so fortunately didn't breakthrough the actual ceiling and the kitchen, so all of that damage that you see is still up in the attic area. so we were really, really lucky. >> reporter: so the magic number down here, 35, 35 miles per hour. once the wind drops below that,
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the crews can start getting up on those ladders and getting the power restored. fortunately here, anderson that wind has died down. the crews will get out a lot faster than they initially thought. >> from the new york stock exchange to tell you when markets will reopen and what it means for the economy in the days ahead. we'll be right back. the wheels of progress haven't been very active lately.
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but because of business people like you, things are beginning to get rolling. and regions is here to help. making it easier with the expertise and service to keep those wheels turning. from business loans to cash management, we want to be your partner moving forward. so switch to regions. and let's get going. together.
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as you know, president obama has not been campaigning for last day or two in order to deal with this storm. we got some new video of him at the headquarters at the red cross in washington, d.c. take a look. >> -- charlie who are on the scene doing work every time we have a disaster here in the united states of america, but obviously the red cross is doing outstanding work internationally. so we want to thank them for their outstanding work. a few things i want to emphasize to the public at the top, this storm is not yet over.
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we have gotten briefings from the national hurricane center. it is still moving north. there are still communities that could be affected. and so i want to emphasize, there is still risks of flooding, there is still risks of downed power lines, risks of high winds, and so it is very important for the public to continue to monitor the situation in your local community, listen to your state and local officials, follow instructions. the more you follow instructions, the easier it is for our first responders to make sure that they're dealing with true emergency situations. so the better prepared individual families are for the situation, the easier it will be for us to deal with it. next, obviously, i want to talk about the extraordinary hardship that we have seen over the last 48 hours. our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families who have lost loved ones. unfortunately there have been fatalities as a consequence of hurricane sandy.
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and it is not clear that we have counted up all the fatalities at this point. and obviously this is something that is heart breaking for the entire nation. and we certainly feel profoundly for all the families whose lives have been upended and are going to be going through some very tough times over the next several days and perhaps several weeks and months. the most important message i have for them is that america's with you. we are standing behind you and we are going to do everything we can to help you get back on your feet. earlier today i had a conversation with the governors and many of the mayors in the affected areas, including governor christie, governor cuomo and mayor bloomberg. i want to praise them for the extraordinary work that they have done. you know, sadly we are getting more experience with these kinds of big impact storms along the
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east coast and the preparation shows. were it not for the outstanding work that they and their teams have already done and will continue to do in the affected regions, we could have seen more deaths and more property damage. so they have done extraordinary work, working around the clock. the coordination between the state, local and federal governments has been outstanding. obviously we're now moving into the recovery phase in a lot of the most severely affected areas. new jersey, new york in particular have been pounded by this storm, connecticut has taken a big hit. because of some of the work that has been done ahead of time, we have been able to get over a thousand fema officials in place, prepositioned. we have been able to get supplies, food, medicine, water,
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emergency generators to ensure that hospitals and law enforcement offices are able to stay up and running as they are out there responding. we are going to continue to push as hard as we can to make sure that power is up throughout the region and obviously this is mostly a local responsibility and the private utilities are going to have to lean forward but we are doing everything we can to provide them additional resources so that we can expedite getting power up and running in many of these communities. there are places like newark, new jersey, where you have 80%, 90% of the people without power. we can't have a situation where that lasts for days on end. and so my instructions to the federal agency has been do not figure out why we can't do something. i want you to figure out how we do something. i want you to cut through red tape, cut through bureaucracy,
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there is no excuse for inaction at this point. i want every agency to lean forward and to make sure we are getting the resources where they need -- where they're needed as quickly as possible. i want to repeat, my message to the federal government, no bureaucracy, no red tape, get resources where they're needed as fast as possible, as hard as possible, and for the duration because the recovery process obviously in a place like new jersey is going to take a significant amount of time. the recovery process in lower manhattan is going to take a lot of time. and part of what we're trying to do here is also to see where some resources that can be brought to bear that maybe traditionally are not used in these situations. there may be military assets that help us move equipment to ensure that pumping and getting the flooding out of new york subway systems can proceed more
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quickly. there may be resources that we can bring to bear to help some of the private utilities get their personnel and their equipment in place more swiftly so that we can get power up and running as soon as possible. so my message to the governors and the mayors and through them to the communities that have been hit so hard is that we are going to do everything we can to get resources to you and make sure that any unmet need that is identified we are responding to it as quickly as possible and i told the mayor and the governors, if they're getting no for an answer somewhere in the federal government, they can call me personally at the white house. now, obviously the state and local and federal response is important. but what we do as a community, what we do as neighbors and as fellow citizens is equally important. a couple of things i want the public to know they can do.
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first of all, because our local law enforcement, our first responders are being swamped, to the extent that everybody can be out there looking out for their neighbors, especially older folks, i think that's really important. if you got a neighbor nearby, you're not sure how they're handling a power outage, flooding, et cetera, go over, visit them, knock on their door, make sure that they're doing okay. that can make a big difference. the public can be the eyes and ears in terms of identifying unmet needs. second thing, the reason we're here is because the red cross knows what it is doing when it comes to emergency response. and so for people all across the country who have not been affected, now is the time to show the kind of generosity that makes america the greatest nation on earth and a good place to express that generosity is by contributing to the red cross. obviously you can go on their
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website, red cross knows what they're doing, they're in close contact with federal, state and local officials, they will make sure we get the resources to those families as swiftly as possible and, again, i want to thank everybody here who is doing such a great job when it comes to the debt and disaster response. the final message i just say is during the darkness of the storm, i think we also saw what is brightest in america. i think all of us obviously have been shocked by the force of mother nature as we watch it on television. at the same time, we also have seen nurses at nyu hospital carrying fragile newborns to safety, we have seen incredibly brave firefighters in queens waste deep in water, battling infernos, rescuing people in boats. one of my favorite stories is down in north carolina, the coast guard going out to save a
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sinking ship. they sent a rescue swimmer out and the rescue swimmer said, hi, i'm dan, i understand you guys need a ride. you know, that kind of spirit of resilience and strength, but most importantly looking out for one another, that's why we always bounce back from these kinds of disasters. this is a tough time for a lot of people. millions of folks all across the eastern seaboard, but america's tougher. and we're tougher because we pull together, we leave nobody behind, we make sure that we respond as a nation, and remind ourselves that whenever an american is need, all of us stand together to make sure that we're providing the help that is necessary. i want to thank the incredible response we have already seen, i want to remind people this is going to take -- this is going
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to take some time. it is not going to be easy for a lot of these communities to recover swiftly and so it is going to be important that we sustain that spirit of resilience that we continue to be good neighbors for the duration until everybody is back on their feet. all right? thank you very much, everybody. thank you, red cross. >> president obama speaking today at the headquarters of the red cross in washington, d.c., saying when -- during the darkness of the storm, we saw what is brightest in america. he talked about the first responders. stories he had heard of, the first responders, the firefighters in queens, the coast guard divers and many others. president obama also telling local and state officials to cut through red tape, praising the work of governor chris christie of new jersey, of governor cuomo here in new york, also mayor michael bloomberg in new york city, saying he wanted to give
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the resources, whatever resources the federal government perhaps unconditional ones, the military may have, put them at the disposal of the officials to try to cut through any red tape and to try to speed this relief effort along. president obama also, we have learned now, is going to be going to new jersey tomorrow to tour some areas that are hardest hit with governor chris christie of new jersey. we'll be hearing a lot more from him no doubt tomorrow as well as for governor christie. a short time ago, we learned the stock exchange will reopen tomorrow after two days in the dark. alison kosik joins me right now. what are you hearing? >> we're hearing the opening bell will ring at 9:30 in the morning. the trading floor, the building is operational and ready to go. they spent the past couple of hours or several hours today sort of practicing this and testing this with the member firms to make sure everything will be set to go. just in case it doesn't go off well, they can fall back on its all electronic exchange.
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but it is a priority to get the markets open again, especially because it is the last day of the month. especially if you're a mutual fund or hedge fund or trader, you want to square up your trades for the last day of the month before you put out the monthly statements. >> is there -- it is hard to predict, any idea how the market will react? >> i've been talking with traders and analysts, they're worried there could be a sell-off. one is psychological. it has been a long time since the exchange shut its doors for two days because of weather. last time that happened was 1888 after a blizzard. there is some pent-up nervousness about that. and the trend has been lower lately. we're in the middle of third quarter earnings season and earnings haven't been that stellar. look at the average, the dow is down 2.5%. the s&p 500 is down 2%. the nasdaq is down more than 4%. the trend is lower as well. also, a lot of people have their money locked up in the market, for two straight days. they're going to be itching to have their finger on the sell button. it will be a rough start to the opening bell. >> all right, alison, appreciate
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the update. a lot more ahead. want to show you some pictures that are fairly recent to us. these are flooded runways at laguardia airport out in queens. that airport and kennedy international both are closed today. never seen pictures like this. no immediate promise as to when they might reopen. no flights in and out of america's busiest city. mayor michael bloomberg told us a short time ago there may be damage to runway lights and crucial instrumention. you see a lot of visitors to new york today just wandering around on streets, not sure what to do, not sure where to go. central park is closed. a lot of the places they would like to be visiting are closed. they are not able to fly out, so there is a lot of stranded people in new york city right now. it is no -- not an easy time to be in this city. no public transportation here in the city. the subway subjects are still flooded. >> public transportation remains closed until further notice is a good way to think about it. there is no firm time timeline for the reactivation of bus or
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train service but i'm sure the mta will do everything it can to have limited bus service, perhaps this afternoon. >> the city is now saying it will try to roll buses at 5:00 this evening with business as usual tomorrow. no promises yet on restoring subway service. should point out cabs are hard to come by in new york city right now. not a lot of them on streets and the ones that are on streets seem to have off duty lights and a lot of cab drivers seem to be kind of coming up with their own fares for how much they want to charge people, which is obviously not something they're supposed to be doing. the taxi and limousine commission wants people to keep an eye out for that and report any unusual activity they see to taxi and limousine commission. ashleigh banfield is south of my location, about two miles from where i am. she's in the area called chelsea. ashleigh? >> reporter: just to add to that, the mayor allowed the taxis in this city to pick up multiple fares at a time. they don't usually do that. they know in an emergency a lot of people need to get around. so couple of people going to be
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sharing cabs for the foreseeable future. i want to show you the building behind me. it looks like a dollhouse because you can see across the street and into the facade. that happened yesterday afternoon in the highest of winds. the new york post is reporting this is actually an illegal hotel. but i can tell you right now there is no one staying in that building now. you see the debris is just where it fell on that sidewalk. and there is no one clearing it away at this time because there is so much more to do in this city, so much more work ahead. i can tell you, you said central park is closed, a lot of things is closed, transportation, look around, i'll show you the people that have come out, whether they're tourists or new yorkers, they're very interested in this scene behind mane the damage behind me. in fact, a police officer who is just across the street and periodically having to go over a loudspeaker saying nothing to see here, folks, clear the way. and off the street because there are a lot of people who have come out. i actually wanted to show you a picture i took on my ipad as i was driving down the street. i didn't think there would be a
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lot of commerce and economic activity going on. but i saw a lot of restaurants open, a lot of people out milling about on streets, a lot of stores open as well, which is a bit surprising given the fact that mayor bloomberg suggested that the possible economic impact of this storm on the city alone just economic, not stuff like that, could be upwards of $7 billion. that's going to be a moveable target. i'm sure that number, anderson. >> ashleigh banfield, a lot of people on the streets hoping to get a meal, somewhere. folks who didn't stock up are sick of the tuna they have been eating for the last 24 hours and want to eat somewhere in a restaurant. a restaurant was open on my block, jam packed, people cooking up what they could before it spoils. ashleigh, we'll check in with you throughout the day. sandy carved a path of destruction along the eastern seaboard. storm surges, floods, blizzards, fire. a six-alarm fire in queens, which the borough of new york,
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destroyed 80 homes. you're seeing pictures of the aftermath of it. deborah feyerick is there for us in queens right now. it is an area where many decided to stay, deborah, to ride out the storm. what are some of the stories you've been hearing on the ground now? >> reporter: we're hearing a number of stories. one man i just spoke with, he decided to ride out the storm, he sent his wife and three kids away, but decided to stay. just to keep an eye on things. didn't expect the fire. as the water began to rise, he tells us that in fact he started to move his -- evacuate his home, had a life vest and was going to drift off to find some higher ground. and then he heard three older women crying for help. so he came and going to the three women and brought them to his patio and then one of the women said, you've got to go get my elderly brother who was trapped inside, in one of these homes, saying, please help him. he went in and he got that elderly person along with the aid and heroic stories, somebody
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who didn't think that he was going to ride out the storm, thought he was going to leave and ended up saving 14 people. we have to show you what is going on. look behind me here. okay. this is one of the homes. it is still burning and you can -- there are pockets of flame popping up everywhere. matter of fact, in some of the poles where all the wires, electrical wires are, you see little pockets of fire that are up there. they're trying to douse this fire now to keep it from spreading, because, again you can still see a number of houses that have been affected. this one has a lot of heat damage. but others, they're just trying to at least keep the damage to a minimum. and, anderson, i want to show you something over here, as we make our way, we have to be careful there are a bunch of nails here there is so much information for the mind to process. but, look, this sand, anderson, this sand is from the beach. the beach is about 30 houses that way. that's the impact of this storm. a lot of people expected the
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flooding, they didn't expect the rain. look over here. these cars, you've got chairs here, refrigerators that are melted into nothing. this, we saw this man's car, it just burned. the man over here, he thought, okay, look, he knew there would be flooding, which there was, but what he says is nobody expected there to be the fire. and once the fire started, according to the fireman, it came over in this direction. it just spreads, sweeping across all those homes. and because of the way the homes are built, it was impossible to get the fire trucks in there. not only that, the water was simply too high following the surge, anderson. >> thankfully no loss of life, but amazing, 80 homes destroyed. terrible. deborah feyerick, appreciate the reporting on that. when we come back, we'll tell you about the situation, which is still happening right now, this crane dangling over 57th street. we'll tell you the latest information on what may happen to it ahead. we'll be right back.
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washington, praising the first responders and we have seen some extraordinary rescues and incredible stories of first responders at great risk to themselves, going after people who decided to not evacuate, to stay behind. our michael holmes from cnn international is in toms river, new jersey. he's been witnessing some rescues as well. michael, what are you seeing? >> reporter: yeah, quite dramatic stuff, anderson. a few minutes ago we saw another truck load, flatbed truck load of people being brought off those barrier islands, seaside, in fact. and there has been more than 100 of them brought up. these are the people as you point out that were subject to mandatory evacuation. and stayed put. that place was decimated. i've seen aerial pictures of that. the sand has gone blocks inland. the destruction of houses, damage to property, enormous. i talked to a police officer who was there last night and brought the people off and he said it
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was a terrifying experience. he said they had to move three or four times, just to get above the water and kept on coming up four or five, six feet of it. he talked of the waves, the ocean, literally crashing through the dunes and just coarsing through the city streets. he said he's never seen anything like it and doesn't want to again. the media aren't allowed on that part of the barrier islands yet. but he describes the scene of terror. the most amazing thing i think anderson is given what we have seen here in toms river, which also had extensive flooding, still dozens of people waiting to be rescued from the flooded homes, the most extraordinary thing is there have been no casualties reported at all. and that's really just staggering. >> and that certainly is good news, small bright spot in this otherwise terrible storm. michael holmes, appreciate that. we'll continue to check in with you throughout the evening. our coverage is going to
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continue all evening long. 90 stories from where i am right newark a massive crane is balancing precariously over the new york city skyline. incredible video here showing part of the collapse of that crane, happened on top of a nearly completed luxury apartment building, said to be the city's tallest residential building, one of the most expensive billionaires are buying apartments there. one apartment went for $90 million. its neighbors are now evacuated. officials are trying to figure out how to stabilize that crane. joining me by phone is crane expert thomas barth. mr. barth, i appreciate you being with us. what happened to this crane? i've seen plenty of cranes and they usually move with the wind. why did this one collapse? >> the boom was at a high angle. and when the winds came up, it just blew it over backwards. and i believe that the crane
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operator or somebody got out of the crane and did not release the house brake so it could weather vane. that's what i believe caused the accident. >> you say weather vane, because normally cranes are meant to act like a weather vane in the wind, but this one clearly didn't. how precarious is it right now? >> well, when you see the videos of when the boom went over, the boom hit the tower. it could have damaged the tower, which i'm sure it did. but to what extent, i don't know. and as it is now, this crane is going to sit there because they can't jack it up, they can't jack it down, they can't do anything with it. they either are going to have to put another tower crane up alongside of it and take it down safely.
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>> so you're saying in order to deal with it safely they may actually have to put another crane up there? and bring it down that way? >> yes. there is no mobile crane that they can bring into the city that has a thousand foot boom. >> i heard that what they're going do in the interim is try to go up there and then, guess, secure it somehow, latch it to the side of the building. is that true? >> the tower crane right now, if you look at the pictures, it has got arms on it. it is slach elatched to the bui. what they may want to do is go up there and probably put chains or something to pull the boom in a little bit where there would be some stress on it where it couldn't dangle in the air back and forth like there has been other videos where when the wind was real high, the crane boom was swinging back and forth. that's a very dangerous occurrence. >> yeah. well, it is extraordinary.
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thankfully it hasn't collapsed even farther and gone flying through the air. thomas barth, i appreciate the experti expertise. up next, the blizzard blasting west virginia. we'll take you there live. ally bank. why they're always there to talk. i love you, james. don't you love me? i'm a robot. i know. i know you're a robot! but there's more in you than just circuits and wires! uhhh. (cries) a machine can't give you what a person can. that's why ally has knowledgeable people there for you, night and day. ally bank. your money needs an ally. energy is being produced to power our lives. while energy development comes with some risk, north america's natural gas producers are committed to safely and responsibly providing generations of cleaner-burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources within self-contained well systems. and, using state-of-the-art monitoring technologies,
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the predictions of new jersey would bear the brunt of sandy turned out to be very, very accurate. national guard video shows what sandy did to ocean frond property in seaside heights. that's one of the jersey shore towns badly damaged by sandy. joining me on the phone from long branch, new jersey, congressman frank pallone. you represent the 6th district, asbury park, atlantic, highland. i was in asbury last night, i left there early this morning, a lot of damage along the coast. explain to me what some of your constituents are dealing with today. >> a lot of the constituents are just going back to their homes and realizing they're totally destroyed. i was in union beach, along the route, in sandy hook bay, and the first four blocks on the bay, the waves came in and basically either carried the homes away or battered them to a
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pulp. and so they don't have a place to come back to. and the concern i have is all the power lines and gas lines that are broken. and you have to be so careful that they're not going to come in contact with them. there is still major safety problems as well. that's a big concern. but the devastation is unbelievable. homes that are, you know, carried away, destroyed. in long branch two-thirds of the boardwalk is destroyed and the pier village area, which is the business area, had a lot of major damage. in atlantic highlands, where i am right now, you know, the whole marina area was destroyed. the boats were taken up, that were being stored there, and floated down the street. so, you know, we have damage to public facilities as well, city hall in long branch wasn't usable. the borough hall in highlands
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had so much damage, i don't know if that's usable. and the problems, there is severe flooding that is undermining homes and businesses. so right now my major concern is for safety, you know, the biggest concern is make sure people don't come in contact with the downed power lines or these gas lines that have been breached. but we're starting to do an assessment, starting to get reports in so we can get the federal government in with fema, you know, to help pay for a lot of the damage. but i've never seen anything like it before in my lifetime. >> i think a lot of people feel that way. as you say, really important that people who -- people could be in their homes without power, but not to be wandering around. there are downed power lines, sand and water around, it is a dangerous situation in a lot of places. congressman, i appreciate you being with us and i'm sorry for all you and your constituents are going through and wish you
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the best. in west virginia, sandy collided with multiple storm systems. it dumped know across the state. snow. take a look at snowshoe mountain resort, pretty, also dangerous right now across west virginia. nearly 250,000 people are without power. martin savage is in kingwood, west virginia, a blizzard, flooding and high wind warnings are all in effect now. what a combination. you were just out in this blizzard, trying to drive in, how bad is it? >> reporter: it is pretty dad. we have been in wihiteout conditions for 12 hours straight. it is just continuing. the blizzard warnings go into the night here and into tomorrow in other parts of the state. let me show you the drive. it shows you the unique hazards of this particular storm. take a look. you can see for the most part here, the plows have been doing a really good job of keeping the streets clear. they're using salt. so at 33 degrees, that stuff
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works really well. here is your danger, though. the weight of the snow bringing down tree branches. not only do they block the road, but they will drag down power lines, it is a problem you can see off there to the right. there is another branch that has come down, looks like somebody has cut it already. but at any given time, the trees, as beautiful as they look, as painted as they are with the snow, there is hundreds of pounds of extra weight on there. and they're leaning ever so precariously over the road, and though it may look attractive, you realize that's a lot of kinetic energy waiting to explode and release in some way. we have seen it in a couple of spots where the trees just explode and in a blast of white snow and then the tree limbs come shattering down on top of you. so these areas in particular are pretty dangerous for a lot of different reasons. this area where we are has right
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now got about a foot of snow. it is really that heavy, really treacherous stuff to walk through. there are some parts of the state that could see as much as three feet of snow before this is all said and done. and no one is sure when that may be, when it is all said and done. >> when a mess. martin, appreciate it, stay safe there, west virginia. up next, we have new developments on the dramatic evacuation of a hospital in new york, including the transfer of newborns. especially coverage continues on cnn. >> sandy packed a punch for the metropolitan area yesterday. i don't think words like catastrophic or historic are too strong to explain the impact. the most devastating news is that we lost 15 new yorkers last night. that is our best estimate at this time. my guess is, if anything, that number is going to get larger. i don't spend money
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welcome back. i'm anderson cooper in new york reporting on the aftermath of sandy. it is 108 years old, but the new york city subway -- the subway has never faced anything like sandy. it is being called the most devastating event to ever happen to the subway system in the city. take a look at some of the pictures as hurricane sandy pushed waters through the streets of new york city, saltwater gushed through cracks in doors, down stairways through grates in the road. and at the height of the storm last night, seven subway tunnels under the east river flooded as did the queens midtown tunnel. the holland tunnel remains closed. kevin ortiz, a spokesperson from the metropolitan transportation authority joins me now on the phone. we heard there is no firm timeline on the reopening of the subway. do you have any estimate? >> at this point, anderson, it is too early to say how long it
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is going to take to restore the system to full service. essentially we're still in the process of pumping water out of these east river tubes as well as stations that were flooded. once we do that, that can range anywhere between 14 hours to four days depending how bad it is down there. then we have to go in and really assess the damage and then also inspect rails and make any necessary repairs that need to be made. so in essence, you know, we're looking at a long process here. >> and how would it be done? would it be done line by line or open all at once? could the one line open and another line not or how would you do it? >> well, the process right now that we're looking at restoring service on a partial basis, we're in essence there is some parts of the system that weren't impacted by sandy, so that we would look at inspecting and opening up those portions of the system first. and then as i said before, the other parts that were impacted
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by the storm surge, it is going to take a little time. >> and in terms of tunnels and bridges, what is open? i used the lincoln tunnel to come back from new jersey this morning. that was open or partially open. what else is open now? >> in terms of nta operated bridges and tunnels, five of our seven bridges are now open. the only two bridges that remain close ready the bridges that connect far rockaways in queens and that's due to flooding. but all of our bridges, you know, in the other boroughs in terms of the rfk, whitestone, those are all open. our two tunnels remain closed. brooklyn battery remains closed. >> kevin ortiz, i know you got a lot of work ahead of you. i appreciate you talking to us. thank you. in the midst of sandy's fury last night, a crisis called people to work in a crisis environment by surprise. nurses and medical staff scurry to evacuate more than 300
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patients from the nyu medical center overnight. that's all the way on the east side in the 30th. among the evacuees, tiny babies from the hospital's nicu. the hospital lost power in the storm. then the backup power failed. this was one of the most worst case scenarios for this hospital. i want to bring in elizabeth cohen in atlanta. what is the latest on the evacuations over there? >> i was on the phone all night with nyu executives and doctors. they told me this morning that everyone is out as of around 11:00 in the morning. 300 patients, patients from adults intensive care unit, pediatric, neonatal intensive care unit out, as many as five different hospitals around new york city brought there to safety. and these -- about 1,000 different workers, doctors, nurses, policemen, firefighters worked to get the folks out. >> i was tweeting about this last night, i can't imagine anything, reminds me of the hospital stories we heard in katrina and new orleans there
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must have been patients on ventilators that had to be manually kept alive and getting babies out of the nicu in the dead of night, when the power has gone out. i can't imagine how difficult that was. >> it reminded me very much of my time in new orleans after katrina. the adults, it was interesting, the adults on respirators, they batteries. they were brought down, some of them 15 flights of stairs on respirators with batteries. for some reason the neonatal -- the little newborn babies, their respirators did not have babies. doctors or nurses had to do bagging, where the doctors, the nurse squeezes air right into the baby's lungs so they're walking nine flights down from the nicu, while the whole time squeezing air into the babies' lungs. >> as far as you know, no fatalities. >> as far as we know, all is doing well. some people right now, anderson are asking the question, why didn't they evacuate sooner. i think that's a question that is going to be talked about at nyu for a while now. >> yeah. certainly the backup power situation needs to be looked at.
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thank goodness no fatalities. elizabeth, thank you. quick programming note. cnn chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta is talking with doctors at mt. sinai that took in some of the patients that elizabeth was telling us about. he'll have that story tonight and we'll be live at 8:00 tonight. up next, wolf blitzer joins me on president obama's visit to new jersey, which will occur tomorrow, alongside governor chris christie. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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people living in milford, connecticut, are heading down by the water to check on the damage to their homes. ali reed from wtnh is there. >> reporter: you can see that shed right there in the middle. apparently residents told me that during the height of the storm last night, that shed was going all over this road here. now, even just about 25 minutes ago, when we arrived on this street, it was all mud. as you can see, water is starting to come in now. that's because high tide is just under an hour away. so if we could turn over here on the right, you can see this
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sound, you can see the waves. these two homes right over here, these were destroyed by a reair. these two homes have been rebuilt. you see the waves coming in, the water rushing in because high tide is just under an hour away. >> that was the scene in new milford, connecticut, earlier in washington. we saw president obama speaking at the red cross, praising first responders. also praising the efforts of governor chris christie, governor mario cuomo here in new york and also mayor michael bloomberg in new york city. he also talked about federal bureaucracy making sure that they basically just cut through red tape and get aid to people who need it most. i want to check in with our wolf blitzer. we're learning now president obama will be visiting new jersey tomorrow with governor christie. >> yeah. i think it is very significant, he's decided he wants to see the damage, the white house announcing just a little while ago. it comes on the heels of very
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effusive praise of governor christie has been giving the president of the united states in a wide range of television interviews earlier today. he says that the president, the federal response from fema, other federal agencies, they have been going out of their way to help the people of new jersey, grateful for that. and that relationship between the president and governor christie, even though governor christie strongly supports mitt romney, seems to be okay as far as disaster relief is concerned. both of these men, the governor and the president are trying to stay above politics for now at least, trying to do what is best for the people of new jersey and new york, some of the other states obviously that have been affected by this disaster and it is a real disaster. all of these leaders, they're working around the clock to do the best they can under these difficult circumstances. >> i think we have some of the comments that governor christie made. let's play that. >> i was on the phone at midnight again last night with the president, personally. he expedited designation of new
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jersey as a major disaster area. i was on the phone with fema at 2:00 a.m. this morning to answer the questions they needed answers, to get that designation. and the president has been outstanding. >> wolf, this really had an impact on the campaigns for both president obama and for mitt romney. >> the president not going to campaign tomorrow. i think he will resume his campaigning on thursday. it is sort of froze at least at the top levels, the two presidential candidates, their ability to go out there and campaign. i think they're going to resume it pretty much tomorrow and thursday. romney much more quickly than the president right now. but it is hard to believe, when you think about it, today, one week away from the election, and the election is not dominating the news by any means. it is barely being mentioned, almost an after thought because there is this search and rescue operation, the floods, the continuing disaster as it unfolds. that's obviously the big story,
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who would have thought, talk about an october surprise. i think sandy has turned out to be a major october surprise. and we don't know what the ultimate ramifications politically will be from what has happened, it is anyone's guess at this point. >> and certainly not on the minds of all those who have been affected by the storm, the aspect of it. we'll check in with you, wolf will take over shortly. when we come back, we have breaking news from con ed when power will be restored. 8 million people across a number of states without power right now. more details ahead. [ lisa ] my name's lisa, and chantix helped me quit. i honestly loved smoking, and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. it put me at ease that you could smoke on the first week. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions
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in light of having a child that needs you every moment. i wouldn't trade him for the world. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. if you're caring for a child with special needs, our innovative special care program offers strategies that can help. welcome back to our continuing coverage. we just got word that the u.s. federal agencies will reopen in washington, d.c. tomorrow. they had closed down because of the storm. also want to check in with rob
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marciano in chelsea, where that facade of that building had been ripped off by the storm. he's got some information from con ed on when power may be restored and where. rob wh rob, what did you learn? >> reporter: anderson, as you know, the winds have died down, people are coming out of the wood work, especially the one wous without power and they want to know when the power will be turned back on. we were allowed into the situation room. i spoke with the incident commander, vp of engineering, who has been through a number of these storms including irene. he says this is by far the worst one he's ever seen and estimations for lower manhattan, from 29th street south and parts on the east side up to 39th street are without power now. and all of those areas to be with power that could be up to four days. some areas will be getting power during the four days -- before the four days are up. to get complete power back, lower manhattan, four days.
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hoping to get stock exchange back up and running later today for business tomorrow. that hasn't been confirmed yet. outside of manhattan proper, including the other boroughs and parts of westchester county, parts of those areas could take as long as ten days. so you can imagine how frustrating folks are going to be when that he heey hear that . the problem is substations and the underground infrastructure has been compromised with this massive amount of flooding. we had a record 13.8 feet of storm surge come in through battery park. the 14th street substation, which is built to withstand a surge of 12.6 feet, that would have been an all time record. we blew that record out of the water, so to speak. that's the main problem. that's flooded. even when that drains, you've got saltwater intrusion and have to assess the damage and it is going to take a long time for that to be repaired and get back online. that's the latest from the con edison. >> i live in the village,
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without power right now, and also cell service, e-mail service completely disrupted. can't get any phones to work down there. hopefully that will be restored soon too. rob, appreciate that reporting. ♪ announcing the all-new 2013 malibu from chevrolet. ♪ with a remarkable new interior featuring the available chevrolet mylink infotainment system. this is where sophisticated styling begins. and where it ends? that's up to you. it's here -- the greatest malibu ever. ♪ ♪
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>> i want to head back out to northern new jersey where we have been watching rescues like this. people told to grab one bag of belongings and to get the heck out. listen to the governor just a few hours ago. >> we have dispatched federally supported teams to assisted rescues and providing shelters to those in need. >> we are at the evacuation site where rescuers have been bringing in trapped residents all day in the towns affected by surprise flooding. we believe that a sending
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residents scrambling to top floors. starting in the middle of the night and through the early hours. first county officials then joined by state police, port authority in both -- in boats, in trucks, in national guard. vehicles rolling out. many of them. children, elderly, complete ly. >> there are three towns affected. one is an industrial area, no residents there. that's the combined total of people for whom we are making sure there are no more problems. >> they plan to go house to house to reach all the residents
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that plan to be evacuated. they will take those who don't have relatives nearby to shelters until they can find a longer term plan for them. people are not allowed back in the towns for at least five days. back to you. >> we'll take a short break and be right back.
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>> this is ocean city, maryland. a lot of tourists may be -- then you have the oceanside just a few blocks away and the water level rose so high that the bay side and the oceanside actually became one. and believe it or not, what you're seeing here on the bayside this is actually low tide.
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this did a number on this board walk. it chewed it up. you can see down there some of the board walk actually lifted up. also the lamp posts. normally they are standing straight up high. you can see a number of the trees like this one here that was up rooted by hurricane sandy. now i'm here with one of the residents. >> they did a lot better than i thought i would do. the storm surge as you guys can see, a ton of damage around here. no water got inside the house. in our garage we had about eight inches of water. messed up some stuff there. no real structural damage. a lot of people saw