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tv   New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar  CNN  September 30, 2022 4:00am-5:00am PDT

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i think what is concerning about, again, the previous game, when it comes to tua was that the protocols are pretty good, but then again, there are some no-go criteria. some things you look at and you say, that is obviously a problem. and in the previous game, he pretty clearly had a problem. i think anybody who was watching that, that was gross motor instability. and then, now, you add this what happened last night on top of that, it could have magnified that previous problem. even if it didn't, again, as i show you, a significant problem to the brain and those areas going to the brain stem. >> you're a practicing neurosurgeon, so we take you at your word that this is a dangerous situation. dr. sanjay gupta, thank you so much. nice to see you this morning. >> you got it. >> cnn's special coverage continues right now. hurricane ian strengthening again and taking direct aim at the carolina coast.
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i'm john berman in ft. myers, florida, and the storm has intensified again. 85-mile-per-hour winds, heading towards the carolinas. this after tearing the destructive path across florida. it is expected to make landfall in south carolina around midday, somewhere between charleston and myrtle beach. it could produce life-threatening floods there in the carolinas. this is already liskely the largest natural disaster in florida's history. i'm standing in the middle of some of the damage, in a marina where the boats have been washed up on to the shore here. parts of florida have been seriously damaged. as of this morning, 19 storm-related deaths. that number will almost certainly rise. in ft. myers beach, some of the destruction is breathtaking.
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i had a chance to have an aerial view of it, take a helicopter ride over, and there were sections that were just washed away. the pier, the large pier there, you can see it almost better from air. that's just been completely washed away. all you see left is the pilylon. the concrete pylons. what was on top is gone. i flew over ft. myers beach, and there was a home that was washed into one of the canals there. there have been hundreds of rescues in lee county where i am and also surrounding counties. floodwaters in some areas, waist high or worse. we have live coverage this morning across florida and up into the carolinas. cnn's brian todd is in naples. randi kaye in ft. myers. first, though, let's go to cnn's miguel marquez, live in charleston, south carolina. miguel, it's coming for you. >> it is coming. we don't know how much punch ian has left, but it is already start to pour here. they have issued a flash flood
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warning here in charleston. i want to show you what the bay looks like here. this is the area that will flood here in the city. this floods on a good day, but what they are expecting is a 9-foot tide around noon, around noon, is also when that storm is going to sort of come into this area. they're not quite sure where it's going to hit. so if you have a 9-foot tide, where it floods around 7 feet here, on top of that, a storm surge and water coming down from the sky. you're going to have a real problem here. there goes a police officer through roads that are starting to collect water here. several roads have already been shut down in charleston. they are at their highest level of alert here in the city and the county, ready for anything that ian can throw at them. there are lots of low-lying areas along the coast here, telling people at this point to stay in place. but hopefully, they have sought higher ground. low-county areas or low-country areas across the carolinas are
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going to be hit by water that is coming. the question is, where will it hit and on what side of that storm will we be? if we're on the right side -- on the left side of that storm, as it comes up, that might help keep that water down on that right side, it might be pretty brutal. john? >> yeah, the concern is the combination of the tides, the surge, and the rain. miguel marquez standing in the middle of it. thank you so much. we'll check back in with you in a bit. let's go right to meteorologist chad myers, actually, and get a sense of the forecast. miguel was talking about it, it very much matters where the storm hits for him, for charleston. what's the latest, chad? >> the latest is that the national weather service is issuing a 9-foot-likely surge there, a 9-foot level of the water. that's the fifth highest level charleston harbor has ever seen. the highest was hugo, that was at 12 feet. we're at 9. all of a sudden, this is a major flood situation if we get it at
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the wrong time and if we get the onshore flow. right now, there's an offshore flow. that's helping. that's helping myrtle beach. that's helping charleston kind of keep the water levels down for now. but i don't believe that that's going to continue all day. i certainly know it's not. and especially to the north of that center, it's not really an eye. let's just call it the center of circulation. myrtle beach going to see 39 miles per hour this hour. but as it gets closer and turns direction, that will be the problem for ore county, for waccamaw river, that's the possible flooding there. we have the hurricane warnings in effect right now. here's what the winds are going to look like. likely hurricane strength, making landfall, somewhere between maybe 2:00 to 4:00. but the winds will get there before the center of circulation does. so we have to consider that, too. winds will begin to pick up and there'll be nothing you can do after about 10:00 this morning. a lot of rainfall coming down, too, john. could be 4 to 6 inches of rain in places that don't need it.
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>> yeah, they don't need it one bit. chad myers, it's hard to believe that ian is not done yet after everything. it's done here in florida. thank you, chad. >> so back here in florida, i want to bring in brian todd, who's south of me, in maples. >> right, john! we've come across scenes like this, throughout the city of naples and throughout this whole region of florida. take a look at this, a ground floor apartment here in this complex. the facade of it completely torn out. this was done by rushing water. officials in this region telling us that it will take weeks, if not months to recover from this. >> being so hard working honestly doesn't matter. it just is destroyed and it's ruined. and you have to start all over again. and honestly, where do you start? >> florida residents assessing the devastating damage hurricane ian left in its path. >> if i knew it was going to be this bad, i would have got me and my family out ahead of time. >> reporter: a vicious combination of wind, rain, and
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storm surge causing deaths, flooding homes, cutting off roadways, and leaving millions of floridians without power. >> there was cars floating in the middle of the water. some of the homes were total losses. >> reporter: on sanibel island, a causeway connecting the island to florida's mainland was washed out. >> it got hit with really biblical storm surge. and it washed away roads, it washed away structures. >> reporter: first responders are only able to get to the island by boat. >> there were a significant number of people that remained on the island during the catastrophic weather event that we faced. we've got boats over there and search and rescue started to go, based on the information that we had of the people that were on the island. >> reporter: ft. myers, among the hardest hit, from the waterfront to downtown, to inland neighborhoods. >> lost everything we've had. been in the house since 1987. pictures, memories. >> reporter: the naples fire department carrying out water rescues, even though at least
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one of their own stations were flooded. first responders even spotted on jet skis. >> some of the flooding that you're going to see in areas hundreds of miles from where this made landfall. >> reporter: and it's not just the west coast. damage extending well into central florida, and while ian was downgraded to a tropical storm, jacksonville and st. augustine still saw coastal flooding and strong winds. >> this could be the deadliest hurricane in florida's history. >> reporter: president biden saying that the federal government will be sending funds for florida's emergency response efforts and offering a message of unity. >> my message to the people of florida, to the country in times like this, america comes together. we're going to pull together as one team, as one america. >> reporter: ian has intensified once again into a category 1 hurricane and is predicted to make landfall in south carolina. >> we know that we can handle this if we use our heads and follow the rules. >> reporter: south carolinians taking precautions, filling sandbags in anticipation of the
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possibility of sturges and rising floodwaters. >> we'll see. might be a little wet. we're going to pray for dry, and that will be what we have. >> reporter: now, the damage assessments here are really just staggering. the city manager told us yesterday that as far as the damage to city-owned property, that could get to about $20 million. and as far as the damage to private property like this, that could go to around $200 million. and john, he said that was a conservative estimate. >> yeah, it really is, brian. and i know you've seen it all, because you've been up and down the entire coast at this point, to see the scope, the breadth of the destruction. and it is something to behold. brian todd, thank you to you and your team for all the work you've been doing. >> i want to bring in randi kaye now who's been in a different location in ft. myers. i was standing where you were until late last night. tell me what you're seeing this morning. >> we are in a community in north ft. myers. good morning, john.
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we made our way here, still pretty dark around here. it's good that the light is finally -- the sun is rising and the light is finally coming up, because the stoplights still aren't working, the neighborhoods don't have power. and this is the reason, right here. we're seeing this all over, power lines down, twisted pieces of metal. and this is the culprit, what caused it, it seems, possibly. this is just a piece of a house here in this mobile home community. the tree is down. we were here for some time yesterday. i'm going to take you over here and give you an idea of the damage and how it has spread. but we were here yesterday and all of these streets were flooded by the caloosahatchee river. so that is not the case anymore. so that's good at least. people are drying out. this is a community where, you know, people have lost everything. this is their living room, basically, now, just in their front yard. things are strewn all over the place. people's personal belongings, their family photos, pieces of their lives. that's the hardest part, really, to see with so many of these families.
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you can see when you speak to them the anxiety on their faces, where are they going to go? what are they going to do? how do they recover from something like this? we talked to a lot of people in this community, including a young couple who had just moved here a year ago. their entire home is now completely ruined. it was completely soaked. thick mud all over the floor, the refrigerator on its side. they lost everything and they were just starting out. we also spoke to an older man who rode out the storm here with his three dogs and had to be ef rescued in a boat. we also spoke to a man who saved an 85-year-old woman. she was alone in her home here. and then we spoke with her as well. here's part of that conversation. >> got clobbered with all the furniture and stuff that was floating, so that's how i got this. i got shoved into a wall. anyway,wy got the front door open and there was a surge, and it -- it took me to the middle of the yard, you know, and i fought to get back on the porch. >> reporter: and a good neighbor
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saved her and even came out in the morning to make sure that she was taken to the hospital safely. they walked through 4 feet of water safely to his home after he found her on the porch, looking hypothermic. john, back to you. >> what a great friend. what a great neighbor to have. and there are so many stories like that around the state. randi kaye, our thanks to you. with me now is the mayor of ft. myers, kevin anderson. first of all, mayor, thanks for having us here. and thank you for everything you're doing for the people here in your city. what's the greatest need this morning? >> well, right now, probably utilities, electricity, water. just general utilities. >> sounds like just about everything, when you put it like that. >> yes. >> any feeling that people are still trapped in their homes? are there any people here in ft. myers you haven't been able to reach? >> we have rescued upwards of 200 people so far. talked to the fire chief yesterday. he feels pretty comfortable that we've gotten everybody.
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>> well, that is good news. fatalities. is there any reliable number on how many people may have died here. >> the only reliable number i have is, we have no reported fatalities in the city of ft. myers. outside the city, i can't speak to. >> we've been driving around in the dark. you just saw our randi kaye in a location not terribly far from here. and it's tough to move around. what's your message to the people in this city about what you would like to see from them in these days. >> what we would like to see, until we can get the roads cleared, the power lines secured, i would really love for people to stay home. it's not safe out there. there are trees still ready to fall. a lot of times, there's more deaths after the hurricane, from people -- trees falling on them, people hitting power lines, things like that. >> you live not too far from where we're standing. but as you sit here in this marina, with these boats strewn about, what do you think of some of the sights you've seen?
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>> it's -- it's horrific. you know, i think it's good for people to see this, to understand the power of a storm, so when future storms are approaching, they take it serious, they take our advisory serious. i mean, look at some of these dock docks. they could way as much as a ton and they were thrown away like it was nothing. >> when he's talking about a dock here, there's a big cement slab, just over my shoulder there. we're going to push into it. yeah, that big block of cement, that's a dock, okay? and it's not in the water. it's up here on the grass, where we are, because the storm surge ripped it from the water and brought it just up here, on to the land. so you really can tell how powerful. >> yes, just look at the boats. there are some large boats. and they've been thrown around like they were toys. >> when do you think you're going to get power back? >> we have power back in some areas. we're probably 80% of the city
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is without power right now. fpnl is out there working tirelessly. i talked to a crew from missouri yesterday, all the way down from missouri, and they were getting a lot of the power restored downtown. so, hopefully, we're going to see a little bit each day. >> listen, mayor kevin, thanks so much for being with us. we were jokinge ing before, the sox play their spring training here, so it's somewhere i love to come, but thank you very much for being us. appreciate it. >> thank you. we've seen some dramatic rescues taking place all across the state in the aftermath of ian. one group, the cajun navy relief, a nonprofit volunteer organization that specializes in supporting rescue and relief efforts arrived overnight in port charlotte. with me now is the spokesperson and communications lead from cajun navy relief, jesse fenwick. jesse, thank you for being with us. i can't imagine how little sleep that you've had in the last few days. talk to me about the situation
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where you are. what are you seeing? >> well, right now we're actually in pretty good weather. there's not a lot of signs of the storm. we're bringing supplies in at this moment. we have a large quantity of fuel and an ambulance full of supplies, so here where we stand, it's actually a pretty nice morning in central florida, where the weather is great. we're on our way back to the port charlotte area, though, to start getting some relief and assistance to those that are in need down there. >> so what are some of the biggest challenges you've faced with this storm in the aftermath? and how does it compare to other storms? >> the unpredictability of this one has really been a challenge. and combine that with this thing holding water in florida, which is not something florida is used to. it's really been tricky for us to get a handle on where we can be most effective. and compared to other storms, it's -- it's -- each storm is so different, but this one really is incomparable. the damage is just far-flung and severe, and the local reactions, though, have been great, which
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is the communities in south florida have been so prepared and so on the ball, just like that last mayor that you had on, while i was listening to you. we were talking about him and how impressive he was. and i think that's been a really great indication of how great the people of florida are for this storm. >> yeah, he's terrific. and he's done a nice job here in ft. myers. the cajun navy, you guys can get to places that sometimes, you know, the official teams can't get to. and you receive calls and see things that others don't. how much need is there? do you feel there are still people trapped in some areas? >> i'm unclear on that. i don't have eyes into whether or not we're getting those, i need immediate rescue from being trapped type of calls. i do know that we are still getting calls for relief and assistance. but i'm unclear under the exact nature of those, as i'm out on a supply run. >> and that is one of the things right now, i think people are realizing, some of the calls you might be getting is, we're out
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of water, we're out of food. we can't actually live in this structure anymore. it's not necessarily being pulled from a rooftop, but it is being taken from a home that is no longer livable. that's what i think you're going to face now. jesse fenwick, as i said, thanks so much for being with us. we'll let you get back on the road and get that aide and supplies to the people who need it. >> thank you so much and thank you guys for helping us get the word out there. if anyone needs us, contact us through there and we'll do everything we can to get you everything you need. >> you always do. thanks, jesse. ahead, the efforts being made to help people on sanibel island after the bridge collapse, the causeway gone. cut off from the m mainland. and new travel headachches this morning, even as some flororida airports reopen. this is cnn's special live coverage of hurricane ian, now heading towards the carolinas.
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the flight home was supposed to be tomorrow afternoon, but it did get cancel, they rebooked us for saturday and we're hoping,
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crossing fingerses that that will happen. >> yeah, there are a lot of fingers crossed up and down florida. now up and down the east coast. travel headaches as many nationwide are dealing with the airport closures and rerouting that took place here in florida. thursday was the worst day for u.s. flight cancellations in the last six months. almost 2,100 cancellations. almost 3,600 delays. that's according to flight aware. cnn's pete muntean at reagan national airport this morning. okay, pete, what are we looking at? >> john, you know, we're not out of the woods just yet. those airline and passengers, as well. the focus right now is getting those airports that close when hurricane ian made landfall back open understand again. those evacuated by air can come back in, also, so relief and help can get into some of these local communities. we just heard overnight that orlando international airport, the busiest airport in the state will reopen at 12:00 noon today. that means that eight of the 11
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airports that closed because of the storm will be reopened by the end of today. i want you to listen now to the head of the sarasota bradenton international airport. he was on the roof, able to see the roof from his office when some of the roof just came clear off. he said it peeled off like a piece of paper. that is when a rush of water came into the terminal there and he said that workers scrambled in to help. even some off-duty firefighters to try to clean things up so the airport could get reopened once again. >> it was a little scary, because of what happened. that, you know, i knew right away that we were going to get a lot of water damage and the fact is that i knew that the storm still had a good 12 hours to go, with a lot of rain. >> just check flight aware. we've seen about 1,700 flight cancellations so far today. yesterday, take that back, wednesday was the worst day for flight cancellations we have
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seen in the last six months. this all means that since wednesday, we've seen more than 5,000 flight cancellations in total. there's the number, 5920. we're just shy of 6,000 flight cancellations in the u.s. because of the storm since wednesday. not out of the woods just yet, as this storm turns back inland, and towards some of these major hubs, we've seen orlando at the top of the pack for the last few days, now charlotte is going up in the rankings of flight cancellations. and those cancellations keep piling up. that's a big impact for so many passengers across the country. it's american airlines' second biggest hub in the u.s., john. we're not done. >> no, not done. it's going to take some time to unravel all of this. pete muntean, thank you very much. so the nonprofit world central kitchen is helping in the aftermath of ian, serving thousands of meals to hard-hit communities. our next guest, sam block, their director of emergency response, he took this video while flying
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to sanibel island to reach people cut off from the mainland after storm surge just washed away a section of the sanibel causeway. there's almost no other way to get there. sam, thanks so much for being with us. >> of course. >> so you've got -- you were trying to explain to me how much you've got going on in this area, and it's almost hard because you have so much going on. >> absolutely. and all across the islands, we've got fan boats taking food out to people who are flooded in their homes. pine island, sanibel island, and then today, we're setting up quite a few different distribution points where community can walk or go pick up something hot to eat. >> yeah, because today is the time where people start running out of the power bars and the canned goods or the bottled waters they may have kept to get through the storm. and there's very few ways to get food other methods. >> and with the power being out, everybody has lost all the food in their fridges. we've got quite a few different locations that people will be
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able to go pick up something to eat. the best way to find them is to go to our social media, world central kitchen, share that so everybody knows, they can get food, water, fruit, something hot to ease. >> sanibel island, they're cut off. the causeway collapsed. that's a specific challenge. what are some of the other challenges in the ian aftermath? >> every disaster is completely different this had the flooding, the storm surge, the loss of power and loss of communication. they're all unique and our teams are adapting to each community's needs and each disaster's unique damage. >> and it's bad. it's bad here. do you have a count of how many meals you've distributed? >> yesterday, i believe we did about 14,000. today, we're looking at doing around 30,000 or really whatever is needed as we're getting farther out into the communities that have been impacted. people that are still sheltering at home. multiple kitchens, restaurant powers. they all scale to whatever that need might be. >> and in sanibel, there's no
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other way to get food, unless someone will bring it out by boat or by helicopter. >> the waves were still a bit choppy yesterday to get up there by boat. the helicopter was the only way. not just the residents, but a lot of search and rescue still going on out there. all of those brave workers got to eat as well. >> now, i hope you forgive me for asking you this, but you told me during the break, i had a hard time believing it. in the last two weeks, you personally, where have you been? >> we were up in alaska. i was up in alaska with the storm surge that came there and out in turks and caicos. hurricane fiona, we had teams in puerto rico, dominican republic, turks and caicos, bermuda, and nova scotia. >> and now you're here. i still can't believe that. i have a hard time actually putting that altogether, you've been in alaska, turks and caicos, and now here in the aftermath of ian and there will be a lot more need in the days ahead and maybe we'll see you in the carolinas with the way things are going. >> this is what we do. first to the front lines and
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bringing that food and water that people need. >> sam, thank you very much. so we are going to go to myrtle beach, get a report from there, as hurricane ian does head towards the carolinas this morning. plus, we have amazing video of residents being hoisted out of the floodwaters. and a look at ian's damage from above. plus, shoden ashwawagandha for quality sleep. >> all o of that debris, just t littered everywhere. these were buildings? this was a building right t the? >> there were buildings, restaurants, and what used to be the ft. myers pier. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ clunky beige, plastic... or... presto... you choose. better hearing made virtually invisible. that's that eargo difference.
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it's going to be a little bit hairy. 6 foot surge, 6 foot tide, we'll be at 12 feet. that's about the maximum a lot of houses can take on the first floor. might be a little wet. we'll pray for dry and that will be what we have. >> that's a resident of foley beach, south carolina, charleston, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst, just hours from now, hurricane ian and it is a hurricane again is expected to slam into the south carolina coast. it is a category 1 storm. that's what's headed towards
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south carolina. here in florida, at least 19 people are dead from ian, and that number could very well rise. as of this moment, more than 2 million people in this state remain -- 2 million customers remain without power. you can see some of the flooding that really inundated so much of this state. there have been rescue missions since it was safe to get out. but first we'll go to south carolina where the storm is now headed. cnn's nick valencia is in myrtle beach. nick, what are you seeing so far this morning? >> reporter: it's already cold and wet this morning, john, and we're feeling those tropical storm force winds come in, gusts of, you know, 30 miles per hour at some parts of the day, the morning, i should say. we're right here on the beachfront, and you would think it would be a ghost town, but in the last few minutes, we'll see a little bit of traffic. these beachfront areas, some of these businesses didn't even take precautions. the windows aren't even boarded
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up. there is a business next to it. we talk to the managers in this bar and grill, though, and they were even talking about potentially staying open later today. we're right on the beach here and you can see those waves are starting to really get more aggressive, as the morning develops. but the worst of it isn't going to come until much later this afternoon into the early vng. the ems don't have any reports yet of anything bad. there are some power outages in the northwest part of the county, but that's much further inland. they're not sure if that's storm related or not. at this point, it's wait and see. they've activated their emergency operations center, expecting this myrtle beach area to take a hit from hurricane ian, but really all eyes are on charleston, where the hurricane is expected to make impact initially. right now, though, the wind is picking up, the rain is starting to come in and it is getting pretty breezy here, but the worst is expected for much later today. john? >> you have several hours of this in store for you. nick valencia in myrtle beach,
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please keep us posted. that's where ian is going, soon. now, where it has been is here in the ft. myers area and ft. myers beach. we've been hearing stories from ft. myers beach, which is very hard to get to by car. they're only letting residents back in across the bridge to ft. myers beach, but i was able to see it from the air. the lee county sheriff took me on a helicopter ride to see how extensive the damage was. >> all of that debris, just littered everywhere. these were buildings? this was the building right there? >> there were buildings, restaurants, and what used to be the ft. myers pier. >> how far back does the sand go? >> straight through to the bay s
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side. the empty spots you see were homes? >> i'm sorry, on this beach here, there used to be homes? >> you'll see the empty lots here, as you see, those lots right there, those were homes. those were hotels, those were real property two, three, four, five stories high, washed away. >> the buildings just ripped off of their foundations and just swept backwards. >> that's right, when you look to the right side here, there's actually boats thrown into the mangroves, vehicles inside the water submerged. >> looks like there's a car in the canal right there, too. like a jeep. >> this is like mexico beach. >> i can see the foundation of where those houses were right
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there. how many rescues have you done today? >> we've done dozens. as you can see, look to the front of our -- these are major, major boats thrown into the mangroves. >> boats up in the man groves, right there. >> dozens thrown everywhere. >> how long will it take to get this back? >> when i look at this, this is not a quick fix. this is not six months. this is long-term. long-term, you're talking about, you know, not refurbishing structures. you're talking about no structure left. you're talking about foundations, concrete. you're talking about homes that were thrown into the bay. this is a long-term fix. and it's life-changing.
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>> and you can see on the beach, the lines where the water just went through. it went right, straight through that barrier island, carrying houses with it. it will take so long to rebuild there and there is still so much need. the coast guard has been trying to reach people on sanibel island who have been cut off from the main lapd after the storm surge hit so much of that island. and washed away parts of the sanibel causeway. so you can't drive to sanibel anymore. with me now is rear admiral brendan mcpherson. he's the commander of the seventh coast guard district. admiral, thank you for being with us. let me first ask you about the now. what are you doing now? how much need is there to reach people this morning? >> yeah, good morning, john. it was a busy day of search and rescue for the coast guard yesterday. we had 16 aircraft up in the air throughout the day and overnight. we were able to rescue 95
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people. and we're starting get at first light this morning. we've got our aircraft in the air this morning. we're going to get out there. we're going to find anybody else that needs assistance. >> so 95 rescues yesterday. and some of the places, we should note, we talked about sanibel, the only way to get there was by helicopter. you're the only people who could reach the folks on that island. describe the types of rescues that were going on. >> yeah, that's right, john. you know, this is an all-hands effort. we're working with the florida national guard and fema, urban search and rescue teams, along with the local responders you see there. but in some cases, like in sanibel, captiva and other areas that are completely shut off, the only way to get there is by helicopter. our coast guard helicopters with their air crews are getting in there. we're lowering our rescue swimmers, checking on people, and if they need pulling out, we're pulling out. not only are we saving people, we were able to rescue ten dogs, eight cats, and one bird yesterday, as well. >> ten dogs, eight cats, and one
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bird. admiral, that is something. again, you say you're out there ready to go, ready to help people. are there calls coming in? what is the process? do people call, contact you, or do you just spot folks from the sky? >> yeah, john, that's a great question. it's a little bit of both. first and foremost, if somebody is in distress, they need assistance, call 911. that is the best way to reach first responders. we'll get that call dispatched to us if they need a helicopter. but we've also got ground teams there. we've got boats in the water, shallow water boats. the coast guard has shallow water rescue boats working with our urban search and rescue teams. that's the best way to do it. we also recognize, not everybody has communications. we're actually flying around, spotting people. and then responding to their distress. it's really, think of it more like a military operation. we've got the whole area gridded out and we're searching grid-to-grid, box-by-box, to see if anybody needs assistance. >> and what do you hear from the
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people that you do save? >> well, john, they're very grateful. our heart goes out to all the people that are impacted by this. it's a devastating storm. you're there, you've seen it yourself. and so we want to bring them comfort and safety. and then we'll get to the long-term recovery. so that's what we're focused on. let me tell you something else we're focused on. we're ready for the second front of this two-front war. as you indicated, this hurricane ian is not done with us yet. she's scheduled to make landfall later today in the charleston, south carolina, area. so we've got coastguard forces there, too, ready to respond, should they be needed. >> we know you're going to be there. we know you'll be wherever there is need. rear admiral brendan mcpherson, thanks so much for joining us this morning. >> thanks, john. >> you heard the admiral say it's a group effort, all hands on deck to save people. it's the same thing to restore power to more than 2 million customers, still in the dark from hurricane ian. this is cnn's special live
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the biggest fear is that you'll see all your personal affects just gone or all over the place. and that's what happened. >> all right, more than 2 million customers, about 22% of florida households or businesses waking up without power this morning. florida power and light, which represents the bulk of the outages says it has crews, and they've been working around the clock to restore power.
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convoys now rolling in to southwestern florida where i am. nearly 21,000 workers from 30 states have arrived in florida to help. they'll be here for some time. with me now is the spokesman and chief communications officer for florida power and light, dave rioter. we've been talking to you for days. we appreciate you telling us what you've been going through. we're hearing more than 2 million customers statewide still without power. i do understand only a portion of them are your customers, but is that what you're hearing? >> good morning, john. that is correct. y yes, we're still hearing about 2 million commustomers are acrosse state are without power. for florida power and light, in total, we had 2 million customers affected by hurricane ian and lost power. however, to date, as of this morning, we've restored more than a million of those customers. however, that does still mean that we have about 980,000 customers without power. and that's the real focus that our teams are going to concentrate on today and in the
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days ahead. >> what's the hardest part? i do understand, there are some areas where it's going to be a complete rebuild. i think people get that. that's starting from scratch. but aside from those areas, what are the challenges? >> well, the biggest challenge right now is just even getting into to assess the damage in some of those west counties. i was out there personally yesterday. i've been watching your broadcasts. the imagery is just terrible. so our number one focus right now is to get our drone teams out, put some eyes in the sky. be able to get into the areas that we haven't been able to see visuals of yet. and be able to assess exactly where the damage is, and be able to assess how long it's going to take us to get every single customer's power so you use drones. that's interesting. i hadn't heard that before. talk to me about that operation and how that helps you.
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>> well, in areas that you physically can't get to and can't get to quickly that could be flooded, we put drone teams up where we use artificial intelligence and camera technology on the drone and it tells us where stations might be flooded and it tells us what supplies we're going to need to be ready when we can get into the area and restore power. one of the silver linings in the first 48 hour was the fact that our transmission grid held up in the west counties. we did not have a single transmission structure damaged, which is a huge benefit to us to be able to determine once we get into the other areas and get down to the grid level, we will be able to restore that power. if the transmission structures had been destroyed, it would have delayed us even longer. >> i'll never forget after
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superstorm sandy, i live in new york, there was a linesman from ohio working outside my house who helped us get power restored. it is really something to see, the thousands and thousands of people pouring in to help you do what you need to do to get power restored to the millions of customers here. thank you so much for communicating to us what you're all doing. >> thank you, john. and thank you for everything you're doing. >> so we are waiting for new information. the latest forecast from the national hurricane center that is due to be released in just a few minutes, we're going to bring that to you as it happens. we also have breaking news on two fronts overseas. dozens of people, mostly young girls dead after an attack on an education cecenter in afghanist. plus in just moments, vladimir putin escalating his war in a m major way. he's about to illegally annex
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. the large hospital system here is evacuating patients because it doesn't have water and it's not clear when that water supply will be restored. mary, thanks so much for being with us. how many patients evacuated and where will they go? >> right now the hospital has been working closely with local officials and governor desantis, so there are efforts under way to quickly restore water to the hospital. there are still plans to evacuate some of the hospital and gratefully all of the hospitals around the state are coming together, to support and help, to help the patients and coordinate evacuations and those
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transferred. that is happening around the clock. the state is helping to coordinate the transport, the air transport, the ground transport and obviously leveraging other private resources to support that. >> how do you accommodate care without water in a hospital? >> again, you know, we often take a lot of things for granted that we are very accustomed to having and certainly we all know and understand how essential our access to 24/7 hospital services are. hospitals clearly depend on water to run their hospitals. right now water is being trucked in, but certainly in the next few days, this becomes an increasing problem for those hospitals. so that's why evacuations have been occurring. but, again, local officials are
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working alongside all of the resources that are being brought to bear to restore the water. those hospitals need to be operational, not just for the patients that are there today but certainly as a result of the search and rescue operations that are under way. there clearly will be individuals who will need hospital care. mary mayhew, thank you for being with us. we wish you the best of luck and hope you get that water quickly. >> thank you. >> that's just one of the problems people are dealing with now as hurricane ian moves towards the carolinas, our special live coverage continues right now. so ian now a revived category one hurricane with 85
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mile-an-hour winds heading straight for south carolina. i'm john berman. the storm is expected to make landfall again around midday somewhere between charleston and myrtle beach. it could produce life-threatening floods there in the carolinas after what it did here, here in florida. as of this morning, there are 19 storm-related deaths reported. that number we do expect will rise. this storm could be the largest natural disaster in florida's history. i had a chance to fly over fort myers beach in a helicopter and get a look at it from the sky. that's really the only way to see the scope. you can see just buildings flattened there, debris everywhere. those were homes and businesses. now it just looks like beach. a town councilman described it as total catastrophic devastation and he asked if anyone in washington that could
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hear him to send help. there have been hundreds of rescues in some of the areas hardest hit by the storm. the coast guard has been out in force pulling people from flooded homes in neighborhoods as well. chad myers is standing by at the weather center. first, though, let's go to where the storm is headed next in charleston, south carolina, bracing for ian's arrival, miguel. >> reporter: i want to show you what's going on here right now. we're right in between two bends. it was deteriorating all morning long and now the weather has actually improved a little bit, but in the next hour or two, we expect things to worsen quite a bit. it's been here all morning long. just a couple hours ago, it was


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