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tv   State of the Union with Jake Tapper and Dana Bash  CNN  August 22, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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hello everyone. welcome. i'm fredicka whitfield in atlanta along with chris cuomo
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on long island. this is coverage of tropical storm henri. parts of the east coast are already feeling the impacts of this extremely dangerous storm. imminent landfall is expected in rhode island. you're looking at a live picture from newport. 40 million people are in the storm's path. tropical storm warnings in effect from long island to cape cod. chris. >> fred, thank you very much. i'll tell you more about what's happening. the story in new york is a light story. we have one part of the storm cell is stalling over new york city right now. that increases the chance of flooding. we mow the story from last night, a lot of rainfall in areas that weren't expecting it, three, four, five, six inches. the main area for us will be in about an hour. that's when henri will make landfall. about 100,000 people without power, only 2,000 in new york. the bulk in rhode island as fred
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was referring to. about 65, 66,000. that's going to increase. connecticut, about 12, 15,000, that's going to likely increase. we'll be watching that. to start with where the storm is right now, let's go to derek van dam in newport where the landfall is imminent. derek, can you hear me? what's the situation? >> chris, you and i have ridden out enough of these hurricanes to know this storm means business. it's the fact that there are so many trees and the saturated ground that will bring up that power outage map very, very quickly. in rhode island we've already had over 66,000 customers without power. take it from me, someone who rode out a storm last week for four days without power, that's hugely impactful. every once in a while we'll get these storm force gusts that come through. people are venturing outside here in newport. it is generally safe to do so, but there have been reports of
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trees down near the coastal roads, and people just taking advantage of what is an out of the ordinary day. they're used to nor'easters in the winter time when there are no leaves in the trees. in the summertime, when you have full foliage, those act almost as a sail. that's why we're seeing such a large increase and a spike in power outages because trees are toppling because of just what you're about to see here. here are the gusts. i've been measuring them with my anemometer for the last several minutes, consistent gusts 30 to 40 miles per hour. worse on the coastline, directly near the coast of rhode island. that's where we anticipate landfall. western rhode island in the next hour, up to two hours as the storm continues to slow. you mentioned the heavy rain threat in new york city. that's all thanks to this slowed forward motion of tropical storm
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henri. that, of course, leads to the potential of flash flooding. chris, back to you. >> derek, let's stay in the loop with each other. let me know what you're hearing about the local color there and how it's impacting that community. obviously you have the power outage problem. that makes this a high degree of trouble because of the humidity and the heat that's going to come behind it. we'll check back in with you. back here south and to the west from where he is, we're going to see long island. at the very edge of the south fork of long island, you have montauk point. that's are shimon peres is. that was one of the major floating concerns. the whistles you hear are lifeguards telling people -- people love to come down and observe the storm. the lifeguards here are here to keep you safe. we're coming towards low tide. that was a big aspect of this, the moon tide, high tide. the lifeguard is going to tell somebody to get off the beach. they're doing their job. those are the whistles.
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montauk was an early concern for a major point of impact for this concern, vulnerable community, narrow land mass. shimon prokupecz is there right now. shimon, it's interesting. they've been very worried there. h henri is a storm that can't make up its mind. block island is getting hit in a more dramatic way that we'll hear about when more cameras can get out there. what's going on with you right now? >> reporter: i think in the last hour we've seen the worst wind, some of the more severe rain in the last hour. it's subsided now. it came through on the beach side. it's interesting. you look at these waves and they've been tremendous all day. just pounding the beach all day. as you said, the big concern was the surge and whether or not that was going to create problems inland. so far we have not seen any of that. high tide was just after 9:00 a.m. this morning.
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we seem to be past that point. mostly it's been quiet out here. we have lifeguards out here as well telling people to stay off the beach. what's really interesting, chris, when you get on the other side of this -- if we can show, there's people standing over here now. the wind on the other side of where these homes are and some of these hotels, the wind there is much worse. you can really feel it. there's some pooling of water because of the rain -- the rain has just been sitting over this area for several hours now. you're getting some pooling of water, but that's generally it. people have been staying off the beach. as you know, usually you see surfers out here. we're not even seeing them. that's how serious they're taking these waves and not coming out here. for now things seem to be okay out here, chris. it seems for now at least the worst is over. we'll see what happens, how the rain goes. the surge was the big concern. that seems to kind of be over now.
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we'll see how the rain goes for the rest of the day, chris. >> right. shimon, you're straight on it. of course, as we both know, we never get ahead of the weather. where we are right now, we're good. you better not see surfers because the beaches are closed. significant rip tide situation, especially out there. montauk, again, is the end of the south fork of long island. there's a lot more wave activity out there, a lot more current activity out there. so the tide is going to get a little later and later as you move west. for him it was about 9:00, 10:00. for us it was about an hour or so later. we're now moving towards low tide here in the afternoon. they're telling us the most recent reading is that within the next hour or so we will see landfall of this storm. what does that mean? looking at the bands, if you can put them up right now, pam, you'll see it's going to be about these types of sustained winds. i don't have an anemometer on
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me, but the idea of somewhere between 20, 30 gusts. that's what they're supposed to see. sustained for how long. that's an interesting coefficient here. as derek van dam was pointing out from newport, having leaves on trees creates a different density and effect of what the wind can do taking down power lines. to be cautiously optimistic, this has been much better than what we were anticipating on the earlier storm tracks. if we can make it through the mid afternoon here, 3:00, 4:00 eastern time, long island will have been spared a much worse fate. that doesn't mean you're not going to hear about hardship. as we move west from where we are in east hampton, new york, you find yourself in parts like long beach. that's are alison kosik is. vulnerable areas, dense, low into the water table, flooding is not uncommon there. storm surge in that area more of a concern right now. alison, if you can hear me, check in and let us know what
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the situation is. >> reporter: hi, chris. we are experiencing some of the heaviest rains and the strongest winds i've felt since last night. the ocean is being churned up. you mentioned the surfers. they're not deterred today. they're out in full force trying to catch some waves. there's a tropical storm warning under effect here on long beach, also a storm surge watch as well. the big concern here, as you can imagine, is flooding. this is an area, as you can see if we turn around, daniel, this is an an yair that is very close to the water. you can see the apartment building. just beyond that apartment building are homes. the big concern is, as i said, flooding, not just from the ocean but from the rain that is coming from henri. who can forget super storm sandy. long beach was devastated by that storm. tens of millions of dollars in damage. that storm, chris, it hit new jersey, and it was only after it
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left that the storm surge happened and the devastation happened. i think what you're seeing is residents here still on edge about what the effects of henri will be. yes, this does just seem like a rainstorm. we've got surfers out there enjoying when they really shouldn't be enjoying the conditions. i think residents are concerned about the storm surge which forecasters say they are concerned about it, at least until tomorrow morning. a one to three-foot storm surge. chris. >> alison, the same conversation i was having with people here. this is where i live. i know you can handle it and go out there and you want to test the surf. but then you put the lifeguards and rescue people at risk. if something goes wrong, somebody has to come out and get you. so think about them. now, this is going to be a story a little bit in new york of wait and see. right now henri has been better-than-expected. but duration could play a role in this story, fred. is it going to make landfall in
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the next hour or so? yes. are there storm cells, rain bands stalling in areas of the island right now and over manhattan? yes. can that create more intense problems? yes. hopefully, when we make landfall, we're on the western side of the storm. as people know from watching storms, the northeast quadrant you don't want to be in. be on the west side of a storm, a better place to be. just for the people having sandy fears and nightmares and flashbacks. that storm was many times bigger than this storm. it hit new jersey as a hurricane. it bounced into new york. that isn't happening this time. that's why the storm surge was so much more impressive and devastating with that storm than what's expected here. again, we're coming towards low tide. it was a little spooky, because as it was with super storm sandy, it was a moon tide, full moon, bigger tides. we're dealing with that again. it was full moon last night.
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this will be low tide, in about an hour. we'll be monitoring more of new england for the worst impact, not new york. we'll be here for you, fred, for the durations. >> i love the comparisons of the hallmarks. as we know, all of these storms so unpredictable. we have tom sater tracking this storm right now. what does it look like it has the potential to do? >> if you look at the infrared satellite imagery, it doesn't look very impressive. even though we look at the darker colors, the higher, colder cloud tops, there's still a lot of convective activity. you don't see the energy it's carrying with it. at 7:00 a.m. this morning, the national hurricane center weakened the storm down to a tropical storm. at 8:00 a.m., the hurricane warnings went away. chris also mentioned we have an interesting comparison of radars. more on that in a minute. here are the tropical storm warnings. they're going to remain in place. again, the direction means
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everything. the slower pace that is expected later tonight through the day tomorrow, it's going to mean a lot for a lot of rainfall. look at the winds. now, we still have tropical storm gusts. sustained they're still near 50. these aren't the type of winds that will snap trees. because the ground is a saturated sponge, you'll have uprooted trees. that takes a lot longer for crews to get in and clear the roadways to help with the power outages, which are now over 100,000. montauk is our highest storm surge at 2.11. what we're watching here, as it circulates counterclockwise, the residents that live on the north shore of eastern long island are having the winds come in from the new york across the sound. they're seeing the heaviest surge than they'll see to the west. parts of cape cod are areas to watch. wind gusts, 41 miles per hour, providence 39. the high tide in bridgeport,
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connecticut, was just a little bit ago at 11:51. so that's going to start to improve. the winds will die down. the problem is, they do not have to be strong to move into this area and knock out power to tens of thousands more. those that live here know they're vulnerable. some of the weakest of storms can knock out power to hundreds of powers for one week, two weeks, even three weeks. power companies are still kind of leery of that, and for good reason. now, we're waiting for the national hurricane center to officially give us a landfall. we believe it has possibly happened in the southwestern corner on the coastal areas of rhode island. connecticut in its history has never had a landfall of a tropical system, whether it's a tropical storm or hurricane. the angle of approach has to be just right. this is probably the closest in history they've ever been to it. again, interesting to note, all the rain is on the western flank. yes, the winds are going to be stronger in the east and northeastern corridor, but what chris mentioned earlier, down
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towards new york city there's convergence going on, so it's prolonging the rain. yes 4.45 inches in new york city was a daily rainfall record that has stood since 1888. they also got just under two inches in one hour, that's the greatest rainfall for one hour in new york city. more flooding is going to be a problem for all of new england as this dog leg to the right slows the system down. we could see record-breaking rainfall in the next few days for some states in new england. the system has a lot of energy and it's going to unfold and probably going to shock a few people in the hours and days ahead. >> we'll consider this still in the early stages. thank you so much, tom sater in the cnn weather center. rhode island is feeling the full brunt or at least parts of the full brunt of henri as the storm nears landfall. joining us by phone, rhode island governor daniel mckee. thank you for taking the time to
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talk with us. what is the situation right now. what kind of deterioration are you seeing? what are you witnesses? >> first, fredicka, thanks for having us on again. yes, the ocean state has a storm that's on our borders right now. right now what we're asking rhode islanders to stay safe. i've asked yesterday and again this morning for people to stay at home. be safe rather than sorry. earlier this morning we had a press event. we were about 8,000 people out of electricity. right now ap etch proing almost ten times that, and expecting to be over 100,000 in a state of a million people. we're very concerned about the impact the storm is having on us. i'm calling from the west lee station. i heard storm talk about the impact of sandy in 2010. we got crushed here in west
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early rhode island. i'm down at the police department, with our police department, public safety, state police. so we're in the middle of the eye of the storm, but we do have our emergency management people that have done this before. i have as a mayor and now governor, new governor as of march. so we're ready. yesterday we did talk to the president, president biden, with governors from connecticut, new york, massachusetts, new jersey, and we did have a state of emergency signed by the president yesterday. he committed support during the storm and also on a quick recovery that we're hopefully going to work as hard as we can to get everybody back. we're facing 90-degree weather on tuesday and wednesday and thursday. if we're without electricity,
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you know what that means in terms of the health and the economy relative to our seniors and others in our business community. >> i'm sure that preemptive state of emergency is very helpful. it does seem to be imminent that you will have power failure in a very large way. we know you'll have those uprooted trees that are likely to come down as is being forecast. that, too, is going to be a sizable problem. what about block island? this is a popular tourist destination. already feeling the effects, the early effects of this storm. what kind of precautions have been made? how have you been able to execute evacuations? >> that started late on friday and all day yesterday in terms of block island. people who are not living there getting off the island. i believe i was told this morning, 60, 70-mile-an-hour
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winds have already started there. you're right. that's a big concern of ours. we're the ocean state, as we talked about before. we have many, many visitors from all over the world and all over the country. block island is one of them. we're taking that precaution. last time we spoke, fredicka, we were talking about the impact that the covid virus has on us. so, yes, we're all hands on deck right now. our ferries are were taking people off block island, bringing them to our main land all day yesterday. >> back to those trees, because that seems to be a gigantic concern, uprooting of trees. you'll have soggy soil because of this deluge. there's nothing to do to prevent them from coming down. what kind of precautions were you able to put into place so as to lessen the danger to people. >> we have the national grid, which is our you tielt company here in rhode island and also ppl which is from pennsylvania.
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they're in the middle of a transaction. so they've got about -- last i heard over 200 trucks on the ground for line work and forestry work, i think we have over 100 vehicles on the ground as well. we have trucks coming in and help coming from out of state. that's one of the things that the president did offer up, to make sure that states that weren't getting impacted in fredicka, they were sending their workers and their staff to us with their vehicles to mitigate any issues that have to do with trees coming down onlines and everything that brings with it. the safety -- that's why we're telling people, stay in your house. you don't have to go see the waves at our beautiful beaches and that type of thing. also, when trees are coming down, stay away from those.
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lines can come down. they can be live. we don't need anybody getting hurt or potentially dying because they decide to kind of move a live wire off the street or off their yard. this is when you call for help, and that's what we've done. communicating, we lad a press event this morning, another one at 4:00. we're in constant communication with the people of rhode island. >> good point. the dangers don't just come in the height of the storm, but afterwards as well. rhode island governor daniel mckee, thank you so much. all the best to you and the rhode islanders. >> thank you for the good wishes. also breaking today, the desperate push to get people out of afghanistan. cnn learning the conditions are worsening at kabul airport. stay with us as we continue to track tropical storm henri. sofi is a place where you can start to tackle
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welcome back. conditions are worsening at the airport at kabul, afghanistan. entry gates are closed for the most part according to sources. families are being separated and sent to different countries. 25,000 evacuated mostly through military flielgts. there are still thousands more trying to leave the country. earlier national security adviser jake sullivan said the taliban have been warned not to interfere with the operation. >> we're engaging through military channels with the taliban. the taliban, obviously, to a considerable extent are integrated with the haqqani
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network. they need to understand that americans and those who have worked with us need safe passage to the airport. if that passage is disrupted or operations are interfered with, the united states will deliver a swift and forceful response. >> cnn's sam kylee is at the airport in kabul and had this reporting. >> reporter: we've landed just a few moments ago at kabul international airport. clearly the pace of evacuation has been picking up. there are planes leaving pretty regularly now, and large numbers of refugees, of evacuees getting ready to get on those flights. this is a group that are heading into qatar where they're hoping then to either stay there or move on. guillaume, you're about to leave. what is going through your mind and heart at the moment? >> actually, i've told this many times, that right now i have a
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mixed feeling. being a journalist myself, probably i'm lucky enough to leave because of a lot of what exists here. i'm also leaving a whole family behind and a lot of friends behind. most importantly, my city, kabul, that i've been raised here, it seems i'm just picking one piece of my soul, but leaving a lot of pieces back at home. it's really strange. i don't know how to describe this. am i happy, am i sad. with this government and these new rulers, i'm sure that they will not leave us any space to be here. >> reporter: that must break your heart. >> of course, certainly. that has already broken, but that's the reality. >> reporter: your heart is already broken. >> yes, yes, yes. >> reporter: good luck. it's not just the personal
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tragedies that are so heartbreaking here. it's the tragedy of afghanistan itself. for 20 years, so many millions of people believed they would receive western support. they believed in the evolution of female education, of the arts, of cinema. they thought they had a future. now that future is getting on aircraft and leaving. as one of the evacuees just said to me, afghanistan is seeing a total brain drain. sam kiley, cnn, kabul international airport. >> thank you so much, sam, and his entire team for excellent reporting. we're following tropical storm henri as it nears landfall in the northeast of the u.s. rain and waves are starting to pound the area. much more straight ahead. um, she's eating the rocket. -copy that, she's eating the rocket. i assume we needed that? [chomping sound] ♪
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all right. we're here in east hampton on long island in new york. this story of henri as a tropical storm is going to be much more of a new england story than a new york story. this is not a repeat of super storm sandy, thank god. that was a hurricane that hit new jersey, bounced into new york. it was a tremendous storm. it brought many feet of storm surge and it lasted a long time. we may see flooding. right now it's about 100,000 people without power in the entire region, just a couple thousand in new york. we'll see if that sustains that way. most of those who have lost power are in rhode island and in connecticut. part of the unknown story -- we lad the governor of rhode island
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on not long ago. block island is a part of rhode island. it's right off the tip of the southern fork of long island, but it's rhode island, part of that state. it's 10, 12 nautical miles off montauk, the eastern most point of the south fork of long island. they got hit pretty solidly by this storm. very small population, 1,000, 2,000 people in season. we'll see what stories come out of there. now the storm is making landfall in connecticut, new london you'll hear about gusts, 40, 50 miles an hour. in terms of here -- dave, do me a favor. pull out and show this. you'll see the counterclockwise movement of the clouds. that is an outer band of this storm. is it making landfall? depends on how you want to define it. we'll bring in ken graham from the national hurricane center. this is starting to make landfalls, ken.
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this is the southwest edge of the hurricane, best place to be. it's the northwest eastern part going newport, rhode island, connecticut, massachusetts. take us through it. >> absolutely, krit. you're right. you're asking at a perfect time. breaking news. we lad the air force out there and the air force is indicating we've had landfall in the last ten minutes near westerly rhode island. we're seeing down to 12-mile-an-hour movement. the latest forecast tracks the center across connecticut with time, and then we're going to make that turn, very slowly make that turn back to the east, and that won't occur until overnight tonight into monday. in the meantime, tropical rain, heavy amounts of rain and wherever those rain bands set up like you were mentioning, that's
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where you'll have that flood problem, but still get incredible rainfall. it won't take much wind to knock down trees and create power outages, so still some impact yet to come. >> all right. we're going to be watching it, ken. let me ask you something before i lose you. explain do people why this storm, henri, did not become what it was feared to be, let's say, 16 hours ago? what happened with the path? what is attributable for that change in path? >> little wiggles matter, chris. you'll have some bouncing back and forth. sometimes they wobble back and forth 20, 30 miles. you have the colder water. but the big thing here is, the difference between a hurricane and tropical storm is only one-mile-an-hour. in the meantime, the impacts don't change too much. a little movement back and forth does happen with these systems. the big story is still going to be the tropical rain and the flooding that we're going to get and also some of the power outages. still a big impact despite
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whether we call it a tropical storm or hurricane, still a big impact for a lot of folks. >> ken, thank you very much. again, you used a key word there, stalling. a big deal. there's a part of that happening over new york city. we saw the rain last night. one of the outer boroughs of new york, brooklyn, got over six inches of water. that can change a community quickly. we're going to see that in different pockets of rhode island depending on how long different aspects of this storm stay in the same place dumping rain. even if you don't have the winds, you can have six, eight hours of rain. the reason i follow that in a storm -- thanks to ken. i'll check back with you later. i want to go to boston. we have a correspondent there. the reason duration matters is, if power were to go out because you have 20 to 30-mile-an-hour gusts, i understand that's not that impressive to you by hurricane standards, but if that's enough with foliage to knock out power, the back side of a storm like this could bring
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days of big-time humidity and heat. that can be insufferable, especially for the vulnerable and the elderly. no air conditioning, inside, not being able to get help, not being able to contact. bad things can happen. so we have to watch that, even though it's not the drama of a hurricane, it is part of managing the health consequences of this. so, if we're going to get lucky here, and we'll see. if by the middle of the afternoon the sustained rain, the sustained low winds even, by hurricane standards, haven't taken out power in big pockets of long island, the story has to move on from there. it takes us into new england. you heard about rhode island. you're hearing about connecticut. also boston, we have a correspondent there. what's going on in boston? >> chris, as you mentioned, the preparation is the big story here in boston. about 40 minutes ago we had high tide at the long wharf. this is one of the parts of boston, if henri is going to do anything to this city, it's
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going to do it here. we had storm surge here, high tide coming in, waves coming in. the big story is how the city is trying to prepare for what the storm might bring. we've seen walls go up around t stations, new preparation to bat ten some of those boats down. the mayor talking about how she's trying to prepare this city for power outages, bringing more teams in, trying to clean out storm drains. this city so far has not seen a huge hit. rain all morning, but not a huge hit. they are trying to prepare themselves for the worst as more of henri comes in, chris. >> evan mcmorris-santoro. probably the best name of the storm coverage. i'd love to see it on a jersey. thank you for keeping us in the loop with what's happening in boston. that storm is going to move all the way through that region. we'll have to see -- again, time
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matters. this is a storm that couldn't make up its mind. as we see people who got caught off guard, people who didn't. people thinking this was going to bounce off new york and go east, there could be surprise stories as well. we're going to go to break and keep monitoring the storm. it has made landfall in about the last half hour. what will that mean? about 100,000 people without power. how long will it take to get it back? time matters. after the storm is gone, the suffering does not end. heat, humidity, it can make a big difference. before that, we're going to have the drama of the instantaneous, where the winds are, as it impacts all along the coast of new england. stay with cnn. it's all included with 2 lines for only $70 bucks! only at t-mobile. ♪ ♪ it's a wishlist on wheels. a choice that requires no explanation.
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hey, i'm chris cuomo. cnn is here in east hampton. that's on the south shore of long island off of new york. this is where we were very concerned about what henri would mean for a very vulnerable coastline, especially because it was eerily reminiscent of super storm sandy. you'll remember that was a hurricane that hit new jersey as a category one and bounced into new york. one, it didn't happen. good. two, that was a tremendous storm that brought a lot of storm surge with it. henri is not that kind of storm. the storm surge was never as tis pated to be that. this storm is proving to be a challenge because it is confusing. it is making choices about where
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to be almost as if it had some sense of volition. it didn't hit the east coast of new york, the southern coast of long island the way we expected it to, but it has been stalling rain pockets all over long island and new york city. block island, which is part of rhode island, ha is where this storm made landfall taking a direct hit. it is a small island. it has parts of high elevation, and it has a population of between 1,000 and 1,500. for new england we're seeing the storm has made landfall. you have just over 100,000 people without power. that number will likely increase. why? areas will get hit by this storm that didn't expect it.
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most of the power outage is rhode island and connecticut. you'll see it in massachusetts. new york, about 2,000. will that change? maybe. dave, if you want to pull out and let them see. we see the counterclockwise of the outer bands here moving from this storm. how long they stay in an area when they drop rain can make a significant difference in flooding in that area. so flooding is going to be the story in new york. the speed of winds here not the story. 20, 35-mile-an-hour gusts tops. in fact, henri has not been impressive in this region of the country in terms of wind speeds. i was just monitoring it in the break. the notes i'm getting are about 53-mile-an-hour gusts. look, that can make a big difference, especially with foliage and power lines. you're going to hear about problems. in terms of what was anticipated, so far, to good. now, what does that mean in the new york metropolitan area? we have brian stelter who is driving around looking for pockets of concern. brian, what are you seeing? >> you know, i'm a weather geek,
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chris. i hopped in a car after reliable sources. we're in battery park, the lower tip of manhattan we'll flip the dash cam on as we make our way across lower manhattan towards the south end seaport. these areas were under water during super storm sandy. it's remarkable to see the amount of rain that some of these communities are dealing with. right now the flash flood warnings have expired in new york. in connecticut, new london, groton, we're seeing those flash flood warnings right now. these different rain bands sitting on different areas. people who were watching the concern here on cnn last night, when you saw that tremendous rain band come into central park, we now know it was the w wettest hour in new york city history. almost two inches, a record going back more than 100 years.
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it might tell us something about the new normal of climate extremes. you see the dash cam here, nothing major to report in the city. the governor and the mayor are pretty pleased with the response. no drama or major flooding to report. we will see as the rain bands come in this afternoon if that changes. chris, i do want to thank you. you gave me great advice for covering a storm last night. you said bring towels. i already had to use a couple towels when we were out here getting ready to broadcast. thank you for the tropical storm advice. >> always be prepared, brian. doing a great job. thank you very much. double duty for you today. this has been thankfully very easy for us in east hampton. this is where i live, so it's a great chance to see a lot of people i see all the time coming down and checking out a dramatic surf scene. luckily nobody is taking the foolish chance of going in the water to test it. it's not really organized well
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for surfing anyway. this is going to be a little bit of a wait-and-see for different pockets of the area to see if these winds make a difference and people lose power. remember, on the back side of the storm you have to think about what happens next, the heat, the humidity for vulnerable populations, the elderly, no air conditioning. it can get threatening and get that way quickly. fred, we'll keep monitoring from here. if you need us, we're right here. >> that's right. and backup footwear, a variety, because the conditions change. another bit of advice. we'll check back with you, thank you. this afternoon president biden is set to speak to the nation on both tropical storm henri and the worsening situation in afghanistan. cnn's arlette saenz is at the white house for us. arlette, what do we know about what the president is likely to say? >> reporter: president biden is spending the afternoon monitoring both that storm and the situation in afghanistan. he is expected to speak in the roosevelt on both of those
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issues around 4:00 this afternoon. to start with, the tropical storm. the president today has approved additional emergency declarations for the states of connecticut and new york. he had approved one previously last night for rhode island. officials say he is constantly being briefed on the trajectory of this storm. yesterday he also spoke with governors from northeastern states to talk about the federal response as this storm was approaching. but also president biden's day is keeping tabs on the situation in afghanistan. he met this morning with his national security team to receive the latest security updates and updates on plans to evacuate americans and afghan allies. white house officials today have provided an updated number for the number of people evacuated from afghanistan yesterday. about 7,800 individuals were evacuated from afghanistan. half of those came out on u.s. military planes. the other half came out on
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coalition flights. the pentagon today, also, is mobilizing 18 commercial airliners to help transport these evacuees. this will be flights -- planes from five different commercial airlines. and one thing to note is they will not be traveling and flying into the kabul airport. these flights will be used to transport evacuees who are already out of the country. now, as the president speaks and provides an update on these evacuation efforts a little bit later today, we could also hear him discuss the counterterrorism operation that he was briefed on yesterday. there is a concern that a terror group known as isis kshk is posing a possible threat outside the kabul airport. that is something that national security adviser jake sullivan spoke to today. >> the threat is real, it is acute, it is persistent and something we're focused on with every tool in our arsenal.
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our commanders on the ground have a wide range of things to deal with it. we're working hard to try to isolate and determine where an attack might come from it's something we're placing paramount priority on stopping or disrupting. >> now, that possibility of a terror threat has prompted the u.s. military to establish alternative routes for transporting people to the kabul airport as the security situation on the ground is constantly evolving. the white house today also announced that president biden will be meeting virtually with g7 leaders on tuesday to discuss this situation in afghanistan as there is some concern among allies about the united states' handling of the drawdown in afghanistan as we've seen that play out. in just a few hours, we'll be hearing directly from the president on both the latest on the tropical storm and the situation in afghanistan. fred. >> we'll look forward to that later this afternoon, 4:00
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eastern time. arlee saenz, thank you so much. commercial airlines in the u.s. are stepping up and helping in the humanitarian effort to get people out of afghanistan, this after the defense department activated the civil reserve air fleet, a program created back in 1952 to help the u.s. military during emergencies. united, delta and american airlines are among the companies set to assist. they will not fly planes into the airport in kabul, but instead will help transport passengers from military bases after those evacuees have left afghanistan. the pentagon says this is just the third time the civilian air fleet has been activated in its history. we're following tropical storm henri. it just made landfall in rhode island. much more straight ahead.
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. hello again everyone. thank you so much for joining me. i'm fredicka whitfield in atlanta along with my colleague, chris cuomo on long island. this is cnn's special live coverage of tropical storm henri. we begin with breaking news. henri has made landfall in rhode island. take a live look at live pictures of newport where henri is thrashing the coast. the storm turning slowly, prolonging its potentially dangerous impact. you can see wind is kicking up in some parts. sometimes it doesn't look like much, but the waves are churning up and beginning to grow.


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