tv NBC Nightly News NBC September 2, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
on our broadcast tonight, watching and waiting for powerful hurricane earl and the urgent question folks are asking tonight from north carolina all the way to maine -- is it coming here? it's happened again and it's hard to believe another oil platform explosion and fire in the gulf. we'll show you how close it is to the bp incident. pain relief. what if there was a way to alleviate suffering by going inside a whole new world. a final wish for one of the veterans of the greatest generation. and what if restaurant inspectors came to your kitchen? how do you think you'd stack up? inspectors came to your kitchen? how do you think you'd stack up? "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
good evening. we're covering two major stories on two fronts tonight including the news today that somewhat unbelievably another oil platform in the gulf of mexico off louisiana has caught fire. all 13 men on board survived. it's about 200 miles away from the bp location. we'll have an update on that in a moment. first, instead of great urgency to folks up and down the east coast, hurricane earl. category three, it's headed north. it's a storm as big as the state of california. ocean waves at the center of this have been 29 feet high. the storm hasn't jogged as much or as soon as forecasters had hoped. it's bad news for the coast of north carolina first off where it will arrive in the next 12-hour window. our team is in place. we begin with the storm -- where it is, where it's headed. veteran hurricane specialist brian norcross at the weather channel with more.
brian, what's the last update telling you? >> reporter: we've got the radar, brian. good evening. there's your hurricane and there's the business part of the hurricane. that's the eye, now within view of land-based radar. it looks like it will be in the vicinity of cape hatteras about eight hours from now. the worst part of it, right here on the northwest side. it's a very close call whether they are going to get that on cape hatteras. our concern is actually more for the future. for tomorrow, let's take a look at what we expect to happen as we go into tomorrow. we're looking at cape cod and we're looking at long island. these are the hurricane-force winds that are expected to expand out and cover more of the atlantic. look at that. they may very well affect all of cape cod and the islands off cape cod with extremely gusty winds, high surf and hurricane conditions expected there. and the end of long island is going to get clipped. so it's going to be a very close call for much of the east coast. >> all right, brian. thanks.
we'll have all of it covered. we'll keep talking to you as well. right on schedule, it's starting to get sporty along the outer banks of north carolina where al roker is in kill devil hills. al, i don't need to tell you, just a difference of one degree and you're going to have 110 mile an hour winds coming in right over top of your head. >> reporter: that's right, brian. you can see the sea is getting pretty angry out there right now. the hurricane-force winds extend out about 70 miles from the center of the storm but tropical force winds over 200 miles from the center. whether it makes landfall or not we are still going to be looking at some action here. when it gets close here, a three to five-foot storm surge when we expect it to come across is about the same time as high tide, about 3:00 a.m. that water will be rushing up to these dunes as that storm surge comes on shore. we're looking for up to seven inches of rain as the system moves past. again, the big problem is going to be the storm surge, the winds, hurricane-force winds
probably will rake this part of the outer banks as it makes its way up toward long island and on into cape cod. brian? >> all right, al roker. you get ready to hunker, my friend. we'll see you on the other end of this storm. we want to check in with our correspondents along the eastern seaboard. you heard mentioned eastern long island is going to get clipped. nbc's peter alexander is there. michelle franzen in cape cod, also in the cone of this. and ron mott also in kill devil hills. ron, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening to you. today was moving day here on the outer banks. this small motel behind me was filled with guests yesterday. tonight it sits empty and quiet. and of course in just a few hours it's about to get real noisy out here. getting ready for a rude awakening in north carolina. >> does it have the oil and everything in it? >> the oil is in it, yes, sir. >> okay. >> reporter: coastal residents geared up for what earl could leave behind come morning. >> good luck, guys. >> reporter: generators, gas cans, jumper cables and other
emergency supplies were carted off in bulk just hours before earl storms in. >> before we'll go it will have to be a direct hit. we'll stay for all the other stuff. >> reporter: but it's all that other stuff -- damaging winds, storm surge, flooding -- which prompted one-way traffic. >> be safe. good luck to you. >> reporter: and a lot of heavy lifting today. [ doors slamming ] >> reporter: tourists headed home. marinas emptied out. boats tied up. >> i'm worried about the boat. that's my livelihood. >> reporter: sending many businesses headed for a slow holiday weekend. >> everybody's a little d disappointed including us. our season will be over here in short time anyway. we like to take advantage of that, but safety first. >> they have asked us to leave. so we're going to have to cut our vacation short this year. >> reporter: further north on the midatlantic coast from virginia to delaware, it seems beach vacations continue uninterrupted, for now at least. surf's up in ocean city, maryland.
>> it's been a long time since the city's had a really bad hurricane. i'm afraid that we're kind of overdue. >> reporter: back in north carolina, locals are challenging earl to see just how bad a hurricane he will be. ron mott, kill devil hills, north carolina. >> reporter: i'm peter alexander on long island. already earl's pounding surf and dangerous rip currents extended the shores of new jersey and new york. the approaching storm has forced beach closures in places where extreme weather can actually attract a crowd. >> i don't want to see people endangering themselves. caution's the word. >> reporter: at this marina, henry uline has protectively hauled more than 100 boats to safety in the last two days. >> the tidal surge is going to be tremendous. 10, 11, 12, that will be above all the pilings. >> reporter: a catastrophic hurricane has slammed the tip of long island before. >> leaving a wide pathway of
ruin inward from the sea. >> reporter: in 1938 wind gusts reaching 180 miles per hour hammered this coastline. the storm surge even split montauk in two. more than 600 people died in what's remembered as the long island express. >> we still talk about it to this day. >> reporter: first cousins emily column and frances ecker were just 5th graders then. in the day before satellite imagery, few here knew what a hurricane was. >> everybody's house was in your backyard. there was cottages floating all over. took three days for that water to recede. >> reporter: on long island they are anticipating coastal flooding again. >> i don't mind the ocean as long as i know it's way out there. >> reporter: less than 24 hours until earl's arrival. most agree this looming storm couldn't come and go soon enough. peter alexander, nbc news, montauk, new york. >> reporter: this is michelle franzen on cape cod. boat owners in chatham harbor scramble to move vessels out of harm's way.
all of cape cod along with nantucket and martha's vineyard now bracing for hurricane earl. locals like fred bennett are taking notice. >> you have to pay attention. i didn't get to be 74 without paying attention. >> reporter: it was calm today on the vacation island of nantucket, but earl is expected to pack winds between 75 and 100 miles per hour, a threat to trees and power lines. in hyannit, emergency crews loaded trucks trying to get ahead of the storm before it hits, but the threat of earl did not stop visitors from traveling to the island while they still could. >> i was here for hurricane bob. i think that was the last time they expected this big of a hurricane. i think my timing is appropriate. >> reporter: meanwhile, residents like howard franzblau are not taking any chances. he moved to the cape from florida five years ago. unlike many who plan to ride out the storm, franzblau is leaving. >> when you have been through a
number of them, as i have, you learn to be very skeptical and you probably overprepare. >> reporter: massachusetts governor has already called for a state of emergency. so far, there are no mandatory evacuations. instead, leaders are encouraging those who want to relocate to do it soon, since the only two bridges leading off and on the cape could close once winds reach 70 miles per hour. >> if you are in low-lying or flood-prone areas or in open areas, make plans to relocate by tomorrow afternoon. >> reporter: for those who stay behind, the red cross and salvation army have set up a half a dozen shelters around the cape, prepared and ready to activate if necessary. but tonight, people are still able to enjoy these relatively calm waters in the bay before earl barrels in. >> michelle franzen on what is still, as you mention, a beautiful night on the cape. michelle, thanks. so our folks are in place. coverage all night on the weather channel, msnbc, your late local news and tomorrow morning on "today."
now to the other story we're following tonight. hard to believe there's been another explosion and fire on board another off-shore louisiana oil platform. this took place about 200 miles from the "deepwater horizon" rig and in much less water than that one. this one in just a few hundred feet, in a shallow end. our own anne thompson in the gulf tonight with us from venice, louisiana. anne, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. 102 miles off the coast, a frightening sense of déje vu. smoke once again rose from the gulf, this time from an oil platform owned by mariners energy. there were 13 workers on board at the time of the fire which was spotted about 9:19 central time this morning. those 19 workers got into safety gear and jumped into the water. they were picked up by a supply ship and then taken to another oil platform where they were transferred by helicopter to a louisiana hospital and we understand there were no serious injuries.
now, this oil platform was not in production at the time of the fire and the coast guard says that earlier reports of a sheen emanating from that platform were erroneous. they see no signs of a sheen or a leak coming from that platform and that certainly is good news. the fire is out at this hour. no one is quite sure what caused it. to give you some sense of perspective, this platform produced 1,400 barrels of oil a day which is absolutely dwarfed by what flowed out of bp's macondo well. as much as 62,000 barrels a day. there was work on that well today. the crews removed the capping stack. that was the temporary cap that stopped the oil from flowing into the gulf of mexico seven weeks ago. they are now starting to -- they are now preparing to remove the blowout preventer, the giant emergency brake which failed on april 20th. all of that is a prelude to
finishing the relief well and killing the macondo well from the bottom with cement. brian? >> all right. anne thompson, the good news headline from there today though, all 13 workers accounted for and rescued tonight. anne, thanks. and there is more to report today on yesterday's high drama at discovery channel headquarters just outside washington, d.c. when 43-year-old james lee burst into the building, took hostages, threatened to detonate explosives before being killed by police sharpshooters. tonight, montgomery county, maryland, officials say they found four more devices in the house where he stayed. police say the surveillance video says he may not have been initially wearing the explosive devices in that vest when he entered the building yesterday. it is possible, they say, he had them in a box he carried and put it on once he was inside the building. also in washington with secretary of state hillary clinton as host, this was day one of the those peace talks
between israeli prime minister netanyahu and palestinian president abbas. the parties agreed to continue talking. round two will be later this month in egypt. for now, the u.s. sees progress in the fact that they have both sides sitting down in the same room. when our broadcast continues in just a moment, we will show you what they mean when they say "mind over matter." in this case it's mind over pain. and later the momentous event 65 years ago and the former sailor reliving it all for the last time. the former sailor reliving it all for the last time. the right. i couldn't sleep right. next day it took forever to get going. night after night, i sat up. sprayed up. took a shower... or took a pill. then i tried drug-free breathe right. and instantly, i breathed better! i slept better. i felt...better. thank you, breathe right! [ male announcer ] breathe better, sleep better, feel better. now try breathe right for free... at breatheright.com. [ woman ] it's my right to breathe right.
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look at all this stuff for coffee. oh there's tons. french presses, expresso tampers, filters. it can get really complicated. not nearly as complicated as shipping it, though. i mean shipping is a hassle. not with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that is easy. best news i've heard all day! i'm soooo amped! i mean not amped. excited. well, sort of amped. really kind of in between. have you ever thought about decaf? do you think that would help? yeah. priority mail flat rate box shipping starts at $4.95, only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. back now as promised with a fascinating medical story about a novel way to control pain that involves mental distraction so effective, so real it actually eases a patient's physical suffering. it's a technique that's gaining acceptance, especially for soldiers returning from war, including those with post traumatic stress disorder. our chief science correspondent robert bazell has more on a pain
treatment that relies on mind over matter. >> tell me when you are comfortable. >> reporter: it is a land of cool blues and greens. ice, penguins and polar bears called snow world. there is no warmth or heat. not even warm colors. no red, no orange, that might remind the viewer of harsh pain. as the viewer becomes immersed in the low temperature virtual world he hears the soothing sounds of a familiar song. ♪ i'm going to graceland >> when they say i'm feeling less pain their brains are also showing less pain. >> reporter: hunter hoffman of the university of washington devised the virtual reality as a treatment for excruciating pain, especially pain cause bid burns. >> it's the opposite of fire. so snow world was specifically designed for putting out the fires of pain. this is a thermal pain stimulator. >> reporter: in the lab, i get a demonstration. first he has a device to give me an electric hot foot and keeps turning up the temperature.
>> okay. i can feel it. >> reporter: next, as i put on the goggles and earphones, i not only hear sight and found, as a further distraction, i can hurl snowballs at the animated creatures. in this distracting virtual world, i barely notice the hot foot. this man accidentally doused his arm with burning kerosene in a campfire accident. when the nurses come to change his dressing and scrub it -- >> it is by far the worst pain i have ever had in my life. >> reporter: at first he was skeptical but discovered this parallel world so different from his injuries actually relieved his pain far better than any medication. >> virtual reality is especially powerful because the patient can no longer see the hospital room. they can't see the wound that's being worked on. they can't hear the hospital room. >> reporter: the success is a demonstration of what doctors have long known -- that pain is perceived in the brain and even distraction can bring amazing relief.
robert bazell, nbc news, seattle. >> interesting story. when we come back, some signs of our times tonight from the kitchen to the school playground. ♪ [ male announcer ] at ge capital, we're out there every day with clients like jetblue -- financing their fleet, sharing our expertise, and working with people who are changing the face of business in america. after 25 years in the aviation business, i kind of feel like if you're not having fun at what you do, then you've got the wrong job. my landing was better than yours. no, it wasn't. yes, it was. was not. yes, it was. what dinyothu k? take one of the big ones out? nah. vo:well, you could new enever do this before.? >> hello? vo: or this. or this. and you definitely couldn't do this.
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just when you try to live a clean life. according to a survey by health officials in l.a., one in seven american home kitchens would flunk a restaurant cleanliness inspection. they say the big home offenders are -- are you ready for this? dirty sponges, leftovers left out too long at room temperature, and dirty shelves and cabinets. enjoy your meal, everyone. americans of a certain age grew up hardened by the horrors of dodgeball. the violence of it, the randomness, the exquisite sting of the red rubber ball, more often than not -- let's face it -- right in the middle of your back. my personal nemesis was kervin abner who seemed to throw a 100 mile an hour cutter at age 9. dodgeball has been outlawed at schools across the country and
now swingsets are in the news as the safety types are going after them now. but cabell co lrkl county, west virginia, was the latest place to try to remove them before the embarrassing realization they are required on the play grounds of policy. big day in beverly hills. it's not every day your zip code, already famous for the tv show of the same name, is also the date. but there you have it. here we are, 9/02/10. it won't be that way again for years and that explains why people were celebrating in the streets. baseball fights are usually tame, but last night's throwdown between the nationals and marlins looked almost like a hockey fight. the nat's bad boy morgan was at bat. he had engaged in obnoxious behavior earlier. the pitcher threw behind him -- that old trick. morgan charges the mound and out of nowhere the marlins' gabby
sanchez sent morgan to the dirt with a clothesline. the league is reviewing the fight for possible punishments. about as dangerous as a swingset out there. when we come back, making a difference for the member of the greatest generation. a story you have to see, an eyewitness to history 65 years ago. ♪ [ male announcer ] an everyday moment can turn romantic anytime. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day, so you can be ready anytime the moment's right. ♪ tell your doctor about your medical condition and all medications, and ask if you're healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. [ man ] don't drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache, or muscle ache.
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>> al: a lot of that ae finally tonight, it was 65 years ago today that world war ii officially came to a close. japan signed the instrument of surrender on board the u.s.s. missouri. it was anchored in tokyo bay. it changed the world and it was witnessed in person by very few men. even fewer of them are still alive. just a handful. i happened to meet one of them in new orleans last weekend, but tonight we meet another one. he witnessed the signing and today, he went back for what he knows will be his last visit. his remarkable story of making a difference and those who are now doing that for him from nbc's lee cowan in pearl harbor. >> it is sunday, september 2nd, 1945. >> reporter: the weight of
history on the missouri that day was so heavy it's a wonder she wasn't listing. >> general macarthur signs as supreme allied commander. >> reporter: her decks were crammed with those anxious to watch the japanese surrender. up front was one lucky sailor, frank burrell. >> you were that close. >> yeah. >> reporter: 65 years may have taken their toll, but not frank's memory. >> we were throwing stuff on the deck. we had to clean up the next day. we had a ball. >> reporter: most of his shipmates have lost their battle with age. now it's frank's turn. at 94, he learned he has terminal cancer. >> i know i'm going to die. i don't know when. but when the man upstairs wants me, i'm going to go, and that's it. >> reporter: the only thing he asked was to see the missouri one last time, a seemingly impossible wish. >> there she is. look at that sucker. >> reporter: that suddenly came true. ♪ [ national anthem plays ]
>> reporter: frank made it just in time for this morning's 65 anniversary ceremony. back on deck of his fighting lady. >> it's a godsend for me to see it one more time. i'm happy now. >> reporter: it was the work of the dream foundation, like make-a-wish, but for adults. it afforded him the chance to not only be back on the decks he walked as a young sailor, but to stand once more at the spot where the world breathed a sigh of relief. being here on the decks where the war ended back at pearl harbor where the war started was just part of frank's journey. frank also came to say good-bye to his wife's brother killed aboard the u.s.s. arizona, souls who never got a chance to grow old like frank did which is why he says he's ready. >> if i die tomorrow or this afternoon, it wouldn't bother me a bit. >> reporter: no regrets? >> no regrets, no. i lived a good life. i had two nice kids. what more can i ask for? >> reporter: what more could a nation ask of him?
♪ god bless america ♪ my home sweet home >> reporter: lee cowan, nbc news, pearl harbor. >> that is why a friend of mine famously called them the greatest generation. they were indeed. that's our broadcast for this thursday night. thank you, as always, for being with us. i'm brian williams. we hope to see you back here tomorrow evening when we are new information on what may have set off a killing spree across the bay area. >> now the question, was it an ambush? that set off the man accused of