tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC August 28, 2011 5:00am-6:00am PDT
can in terms of a look. this is from the top of the rock, at the top of this building from where we're broadcasting in new york city's mid-town. another angle of what it looks like on the ground adjacent to our studio. that's "the today show" studios. they are broadcasting. there are places where there's no lights on. we know con ed has said in the new york city area alone 73,000 people plus are without power. we're hearing there are wind gusts and up to 51 miles per hour at jfk. not too far from where our colleague peter alexander has been stationed in coney island. there's a look out tower in long beach. look at that move. it's being dragged literally through the water near a pier there. al roker has been broadcasting from there. we'll move back to al shortly and talk about that. let's go to the high waves in westerly rhode island. that is an area that's very far up the coast. it's the northeast corridor of the long island sound.
it shows you how far this storm right now, how far it reaches. that's rhode island. we're broadcasting from new york city where we're just getting now the full brunt of this storm. we're expected to be in that status for another couple of hours. new york city is virtually shutdown can hurricane irene making landfall this morning. typically along the, officially along the new jersey shore, near the little egg inlet, shores estimated at 75 miles per hour. the big apple is being battered with heavy rains and lashing winds. at of this hour officially there are at least ten deaths blamed on this category 1 storm. connecticut's governor also said one person died in that state after a fire caused by downed wires. nearly 4 million people remain with power up and down the eastern seaboard. 9,000 flights have been cancelled through monday. the effects of hurricane irene being felt across this nation. plenty of potential dangers to come out of the eye of this
storm. we have meteorologist bill karins here now with the latest watches and warnings. we've been given the update from the hurricane center. what do you have. >> they left it as a hurricane. the storm has a rainfall of a hurricane. the storm has the surge of a hurricane. it doesn't live up as being sustained past 74. they left it in the hurricane. in the history books it will go down as a hurricane making landfall along the jersey coast and then another landfall over the top of new york city. that's the fascination is a hurricane moving over new york and the winds will be shifting pretty dramatically for everyone in the new york city area. you'll watch them go around the lock going backwards. these winds follow counterclockwise. we'll watch that landfall over the top of coney island hour, hour and a half from now and then the winds will shift out of the west and southwest as the storm pulls up along the connecticut and new york border.
the rain is heavier in newark, new jersey. we're seeing some high tide damage. the wind in jersey on the back side not bad. most power outages in jersey have been done. the biggest problem for jersey is flooding in the rivers. as chris christie has been telling us, over the next 24 to 48 hours, i'm still concerned about the high tide cycles. we will see some rise in the water levels. we'll have some damage from that along with our friends in coastal rhode island and back at buzzard bay. the southerly fetch is the reason we'll have higher tide there's. to the storm the storm is so big we'll have gusts. 38 in norfolk. even though people want to begin to clean up down there in the chesapeake, you probably have a good deal of sunshine, wait until the winds sky off before you head out.
i'm sure they will want to have a lot of trees to clean up. don't get in the way of power crews. when the storms is said and done the most power outages and damage probably occurred in virginia late last night. forecast track toes take the storm up through connecticut and new hampshire. i don't want to ignore our friends in vermont, massachusetts and maine. you'll lose power. you're getting tons of heavy rain. very wise to keep you and your family safe indoors as we go through the morning. final thing i want to talk about, 8:06 a.m. right about now is when the high tide at battery park lower manhattan, i've seen some pictures of jim cantore down there along with amy robach. they are not recording anything too devastating. the water hasn't come through to the streets. it looks like lower manhattan may be in the all clear. >> high tide is a promise right now. we'll keep a close eye on that.
bill karins thacnk you for that. i'm joined by governor dan malloy. governor, one of my colleagues from wvit was out there along the connecticut river. i can't believe what we're seeing. this is river waters. flood is a top concern for you. >> it is. long island sound and connecticut river come in to contact with one another. clearly we're having high tidal conditions. we are watching that. we believe that we're going to have some major flooding in the lower long island sound, down in say from the greenwich to new haven area and those high tides don't arrive for hours at this point. so, listen, this is a hurricane tropical storm. it started to have characteristics similar to a nor'easter for us. we've been through this.
we've done a lot of planning. we're working hard. on the other hand we know there's been injuries. there's one death related to storm, at least we believe a fire was started and the person passed away as a result of that fire which is related to an electrical problem caused by the storm. so, you know, we're not out of the woods yet. >> no, not by a long shot. governor it's been reported at the western part of the state may be hit particularly hard with some high winds. i know it's a beautiful part of that state. lots of trees, beautiful foliage. talk about your concern about downed limbs and trees and what it can do in terms of injury. >> our power problem is pretty extreme. we're talking about 380,000 customers or households being without power. so i think up and down the coast for a relatively small state we're about the hardest hit right now with power outages. and you're absolutely right,
that reflects the fact we have a lot more trees in our state than in 1938 when the biggest. hurricanes came through or any of the '50s or look at where we were when flora came through. we're experiencing that kind much outage right now. we're 3.5 million population and starting to push 400,000 customers out. so it's pretty significant. >> governor malloy, i want to tell you we have to the right of our screen for our viewers there, we're specifically forecasting on tornado watches as into add insult to injury. you're dealing with a hurricane and flooding as a result. these red boxes on our screen are tornado watches for your area and that would include bridgeport, hampton bays, groton, hartford. how concerned are you about the high winds? >> well, obviously tornadoes are
an element unto themselves. we've had an interesting week. dealing with an earthquake. hurricane. tropical storm. now the potential of a tornado. we were under a tornado watch for a good portion of last night as well. so, you know, we closed certain highways. we have a tractor-trailer ban in place. we're urging people to stay off the roads and stay in their homes. so, you know, we're doing everything in our power to keep people as safe as we can. we certainly have done a tremendous amount of preparatory work to be ready for this day. the real work begins as soon as the storm is over, as i said we probably have something close to 400,000 outages right now that will take a lot of time and energy to get people back online with energy and we won't have a good idea how bad that is until after the storm. >> to what extent did you order evacuations throughout the state of connecticut and how well were
those orders complied with? >> i think we did a pretty good job of those communities along long island sound, and the atlantic and those communities, rivers and streams that traditionally flood. we had 1600 people stay in shelters last night. we tried to get people to move to friends and neighbor's houses away from the waterfront. we did a pretty good job there by all reports. we'll look back at this and try to do some initial analysis once we get through it. you know, what we told our local governments, and i had a couple of phone calls with 200 people on, was that, you know, they knew the areas in their community that could flood. it was their obligation to use the maps we have supplied them that told them what could happen in a category 1 type storm, and
i think all of the communities eventually responded, some sooner than others. but right now we're pretty happy with the local response. >> i'll tell you, sir, fingers crossed everything stays that way and most people stay safe. we're sorry for that one tragic loss of life in the state of connecticut. governor malloy, thank for joining us on msnbc. >> let's head back to nbc michele franzen in eatton town, new jersey. any let up on that front or no? >> reporter: yeah. there has been some let up in the last half hour. and certainly we are seeing still some rain bands come in and you may not be able to see it there's this constant rainfall here and that's been what we've been dealing with for at least the last 12 to 14 hours. we'll continue to see that as we've heard all morning. it's about the surge. it's about the rain. not so much the wind. but we've had some wind, enough
within damage here throughout the state of new jersey, more than 400,000 people are without power. that was the last estimate that we heard within the last few hours. about 2,000 here in eaton town alone. we moved our location because there's shore flooding going on right now along with the high tide coming in. asbury park, the boardwalk where we had been the last few days, we have reports from people that are still out there, security people that the water is lapping and reaching and cresting over that board wrikt now. we have to monitor that as well. but as governor christy mentioned this morning when he was talking on "the today show" he said this story will be more on what's going on inland. all through new jersey rivers that was already full, ground that was saturated from rain before and between six and ten inches of rain there's nowhere for that water to go. so we'll be hearing about river
flooding. he said they are expecting record flooding here in new jersey. more flooding than what they've seen in 100 years. >> nbc's michele franzen keeping an eye on things. let's go back out to long island and that is where long beach city we have al roker by that boardwalk where al it's pretty incredible what we saw. right center of screen for people who are just joining us. that is a guard post that was literally lifted up and moved in this last hour. just incredible. >> that's right. you know what? i found out that they built this in 1983, alex. this gentleman who is walking up -- paul gillespie? he's the head of the lifeguards. you can see this woman is getting blown by the within. >> was that a life guard stand? >> can you come over a second? it was the life guard headquarters. this is paul gillespie.
>> that's the life guard station? >> hopefully it's maintaining its balance. we can put it back on the foundation there. >> this happened once before with hurricane gloria? >> back in '85, yes. it floated down about, i would say three blocks but it managed to stay up and then they were able to move it, put it back. >> this is a resilient house. >> i don't want to lose it. >> we're hearing -- i just heard from a police officer you had the phenomenon here where the ocean has met the bay. >> right over here on edwin. i don't think -- that just happened. somebody told me it hasn't happened is in 1938. >> the ocean and bay met. >> that's very historical.
second or third time that's happened. >> when were the beaches closed. when were they closed officially? >> we closed the beaches as of yesterday. i had a core of lifeguards come in to keep the people out of the water because the rip currents are unbelievable. >> can you open up for labor day weekend. >> yes. we have a great crew. stiff long beach has a great group of people. >> i know you got a lot going on. whoa, you lost your hat. >> that's all right. >> you lost your building and hat in the same day. what else can go wrong? paul, thanks so much. we appreciate it. there you go, alex. again, these folks, they are used to this, but they said that this has not happened, even those look, this storm could be a lot worse, but still people have to respect the fact that this, even though it's a category 1 storm, it's got a lot going on and the fact as you
look, there's more of the ocean making its way from this seawall that's been breached and going out to the street. this the broadway. there's a row of houses out there with garages. garages look like they are filling up with water. this just continues to come in. we're at high tide now and it's going to continue for a while. but we're not at the storm surge is piling on top of this. again, the problem is going to be once the system pulls away, we're going to get a return flow. and that's going to affect the north facing beaches of long island which there are many and a lot of bays. so, we're not done with that. we got flooding to talk about. in inland sections. flooding will be worse away from the coast. ten to 15 inches of rain. we've already had philadelphia has had record setting rainfall for this month. washington, d.c. new york city. and it's heading up towards
boston and new england. and interior sections are going to see flooding. we have river flood warnings for connecticut, massachusetts, new jersey, rhode island, new york state. the new york state thruway has flooding and mudslides. so, you know, even if you're not along the coast, this is really being felt. in fact in some ways more inland than along the coast, alex. >> i know. our crews will be standing out and bringing us pictures of things like the mud there on i 87, the new york state thruway. al, folks that are there on that boardwalk, are they all officials there or are there people coming out to check out what's happening? >> you know, look. there are bound to be some looky lous. for the most part people are heeding the warnings and are staying inside and that, you know, that's the best advice.
nassau county police they pulled their cars off the road at least as of an hour. good news. paul got his hat. >> that's great. >> he got his hat. you're going home. he's got the hat. >> that's all good. you kept yours as well, right? >> yes. so far. it's blown off once. i'm trying to keep it secure. >> all right. al roker you're the best. thank you for joining us from long beach, new york. join me right now with more on irene's location and strength is the weather channel bryan norcross. brian, you're looking at the video and watching our broadcast and you see the winds with that tremendous storm surge there with al was in long island. that's going to create some havoc with flooding in that area for sure. >> we're going to have some flooding from storm surge. in the end that won't be the legacy of this hurricane. it is as al said it's the
inland, heavy rain and flooding that's going to go from all the way up to the canadian border across northern new england and on down through new jersey and eastern pennsylvania, serious, serious near record flooding. two or three of all time floods in many of those areas. the center of circulation just about to come ashore and it may actually come ashore in new york city, and the rockaways or maybe coney island. this is like threading a needle from a mile away. it looks like it will happen. we're just about at the peak there where al is because the tide is starting to go out but the hurricane is just coming in. so kind of crossing at the same point there. you can see how high that water is. if we had a hurricane that held itself together just a little bit more that water would have been a few feet higher to several feet higher and that's
just modern technology we're having here in 2011 not 100 years from now and we can't tell exactly how the hurricane is going to keep its shape. you know when it comes ashore. that's why we had to go through all this stuff at the coast. in any case we'll see damage at the coast. and, up here on the new england coast, don't want to forget those guys, flooding up in providence and along the northern end of the sound and so we're not done with this. still just this hour 64 mile-per-hour gusts at providence. it may turn out alex for the high rise, concern for the high rises in manhattan may turn out that the high rises in hartford and boston because the strongest winds are out here. kind of separated from the center. strongest wind are out there. they really do need to do all this stuff to be worried about in manhattan of things blowing off one building and hitting another building and things like that. the concern for this is not done
for sure. >> absolutely not. brian, with regard to the radar what we're seeing right there, is that specifically where irene is and then it's moving upwards. what comes from behind does not look like a lot of rain incoming. >> no, it's not. it's not. when we say where is the hurricane we usually talk about where is the center of circulation which on the radar, you really didn't see. i know because i was just kind of looking at this in detail. it's right in there. >> is that's the center right now. >> right center. just offshore of either long beach or maybe the rockaways or coney island. it will come right up in there. that's where we say it is. but, obviously, it's all there. if you're under this torrential rain coming up the hudson valley or way up towards syracuse you're thinking it's there too, right. but when we talk about it that's what we track. we track the center and the forecast on the center has been
as good as any forecast that i've ever seen. the government threw everything, every resource it had attracting the center but modern technology does not allow us to understand the structure of the storm and exactly where that core of winds is going to be, you know, two or three days in advance. doesn't do it. >> you know, brian you've been talking about long beach and coney island as being the apex of things. we were just with al roker for our viewers on the right of the screen, that's coney island. pats peter alexander's shot. it's been extraordinary. when you look at that, brian, does that look like that's the epicenter of a hurricane right there? that's that storm because he's been lashed, peter has been lashed with tremendous winds and rains and he's been talking about almost getting a sand facial. his face has been battered by the sand coming off the beach next to that boardwalk. >> yeah, that's it.
>> that's it. >> that's your hurricane. that's your hurricane right there. the thing that is going to be better than it would have been here is that on the back end, as you noted down here, there's not much going on down here. but there's wind. i mean the wind, most of wind down here is also down here. so as we've seen when it pasted north carolina there's a center all the way up in maryland. they were getting near hurricane force winds down in north carolina. even though the rain will stop for the most part, real good band down by washington still going on. it's going to pretty much stop raining in new york, and the wind will continue to blow and will blow well into the afternoon, and probably close to evening before you really notice that it's letting down. >> okay. the weather channel bryan norcross breaking it down for us. thanks for that. as brian was telling us right now the epicenter of things with regard to irene as a hurricane. it's flight.
long beach, new york, al roker has been positioned. see that white building in the center. that's a life guard tower. that's been compromised. you can very easily see for yourself it's tilting slightly to the left. it wasn't there about an hour and a half ago. it was placed elsewhere. it smashed into that boardwalk. we'll give you a look at peter alexander's camera. that's cone y island. lots of wind and rain. flags are in tatters because it's feeling the full force of hurricane irene barreling up the eastern seaboard. new york city, again in the cross-hairsing right at this moment. we're at the worst of it right now for everybody in new york city. got to have some concerns about these high rise buildings and if the wind as they make up these sort of tunnel routes of new york city, if they could have problems with glass and the windows and all these many high rises we'll keep a close eye on
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26 the hour. irene is that white massive circle dead center. what the blue is, everybody flirkts that wou is flights that would be across this country. clearly flights working themselves around irene not going through it. all right. that was yesterday. we have some things operational but that's a very different story from today where what you're seeing right there is a current flight map with regard to the airports. those red dots right there are airports in which flights are not operational right now. flights are not coming in nor are they going out. the green dots represent flights -- airports across this
country in which flights are operational. but if you think about the numbers of flights that are generated up and down the eastern seaboard, full 9,000 flights were cancelled as a result of hurricane irene. clearly indicating the effect of this hurricane across this country. take a look at penn station. amtrak, up and down the eastern seaboard nothing running between new york, boston down to washington. they were all cancelled. in addition, grand central, a virtual ghost location. very unique situation for grand central not to be having anybody inside of the terminal. buses not in service. those are new york city transit buses you're stleeg. but in terms of transportation on a public level being shut down, you're feeling that effect across many cities. new york city, philadelphia, boston, also up in rhode island,
providence, they've all erred on the side of caution. put bus transportation on halt. irene being felt all across the country. we'll take a short break and be right back. ncer ]e a where'd you get that idea? how'd you learn to do that? what'd you use? every project we finish comes with a story built-in. it's how our rough ideas become "you did that yourself?" so when we can save more on the projects that let us fix, make, and do more... that just makes the stories even better. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. add some style to your sink, with this moen banbury faucet for the new lower price of $79.
it is 31 the hour of 8:00 a.m. here in new york city. good morning, everyone i'm alex witt. welcome back. thanks for staying with us through our extended coverage of hurricane irene which is churning right here through new york city. it is still a category 1 hurricane. the national hurricane center saying the storm surge from irene is extremely dangerous. it could raise water levels up to eight feet all the way from virginia to massachusetts. and here in new york more than 70,000 people are without power right now with irene as arrival in manhattan coinciding with high tide. that could have a destructive impact. we have a bit more on this
tornado that affected that home there. spawned in delaware damaging this home and 15 others. resident said he never saw it coming. >> the hurricane we expected to have, you know, the hurricane, the tornado is a shock. i don't remember any tornadoes in lewis that i can remember. it happened out of nowhere. no warnings. >> wonder if he had a hurricane as bad as irene as well. if you were anywhere in irene's path it affects all your plans. i want to give you some updates from our meteorologist bill karins who has word from the national hurricane center. we can talk where it is safe for people to go out and where it's not. >> that's a good point. when will we get the all clear. we'll get to that in a second. we're watching history being made right now. i'll probably freeze this radar image myself and keep it in my storage bin. we're watching the center of the hurricane now moving over my borough of brooklyn, where i
live, towards coney island. that's where the center of the storm is and lowest pressure is, barometric pressure. very interesting scene. we're not seeing devastation. high storm surge. high water on the east river of new york and lower manhattan. not hearing about water in buildings. water flooding streets or subway systems at least as of now. as the storm goes by in the next hour the water will blow-out the back side of the storm here. it's probably already starting to blow-out on the south side there near sandy hook. water levels will go down in new york harbor and we'll be through and past the high tide, through the worst part of the storm and we no longer have to worry about storm surge in the manhattan area. not the case with the storm going north like that, the storm surge and winds will continue out of the south here all along areas of long island and long island sound. the wave action is very intense with this south wind. going northward. you can see that, that's bling right there.
we'll be watching those winds. you can see the flags in the background to your left. if they are still gusting low and pretty hard that means the center is not quite there yet. we'll see those flags and all the wind go light as the center crosses within the next hour. so we'll bring that shot up, keep watching it to see if we get it where it freezes and the calm of the storm is right over the top of brooklyn. now, here's what we're dealing with the big picture. the threat isn't new york city for life and property. the threat is further north. highest wind have been up into connecticut and rhode island. that's where the worst of the storm surge is right now. heading over there towards providence. that's where the worst is. highest wind gust in connecticut now heading up into areas of rhode island and massachusetts. the orange is the tropical storm force wind field. this is a big huge storm. still possibility of tropical storm force winds. new york city rain will stop in an hour or two. here's what's fun. if you want to just plot this on
this map here. you can see this is where the hurricane is now located. you can see the white arrows. this arrow in belmar is shifting offshore. trenton, north wind. the winds are funneling right around the middle. jfk had a gust of 51. central park even though you're near the center your wind gust is 30. higher gust ace round here, block island at 41 miles per hour. the storm surge on the south coast is one of the series. it tracks up to new england with more power outages. later on today we'll get our crews out there to get pictures of the flooding and the rivers. we had seven inches of rain in belmar, six inches in new york, trenton to philadelphia five to six inches on saturated soil. flooding on the rivers in new jersey those pictures will be dramatic later today. >> as will the pictures of new york state thruway. it suffered with a mudslide. more inone dated ground
saturated with water. thank you very much bill karins. let's go to tom cost who is live in ocean city, maryland where things were rainy a short while ago but pretty much can you say you were safely on the other side of irene. it's come and gone? >> reporter: well i hope so. is bill there? it certainly seems to. about two hours ago when i did a live shot with you about 6:00 a.m. i was maybe a little too optimistic. i came out in shorts and just a quick rain jacket. >> the sun was out. >> reporter: boy was i mistaken. yeah. then we got hit by these really strong winds and then we got hit by more rain. so i decided i better put on the full get up again. this is probably the calmest we've seen the ocean here in 24 hours. as you can see it's got some good chop to it. not like yesterday. we had an nbc news crew is your straight streets of ocean city. if you have property in the
ocean city area, if you own a home, if you are somebody who runs or owns a hotel, i think you can rest assured that there is probably no damage at the max. i would say you may have lost a few shingles. my producer and a photographer have been up and down looking, surveying the damage and they really find virtually nothing. some flooding. very minor. i mean really minor. the kind of stuff you wouldn't put in the newspaper minor. it looks like this place is really kind of escaped this storm's fury with about as we said a maximum sustained winds. now the electricity has been coming back on. came on at our hotel about 45 minutes ago. the police promptly showed up within the last 15 minutes. i'm guessing because now you got alarms going off all up and down this chain hoff tells because the power has come back on so the police have to go
door-to-door and make sure there isn't anybody trying to rob the place. but we have seen absolutely nobody on the streets. we've seen no signs of -- if you own property you always worry about if i leave it alone would looters make their way in. we've seen nobody. zero. so i wouldn't worry about that. i think that ocean city really, and this stretch of the delmarva really came through this pretty unscathed. back to you. >> excellent news to hear. tom costello there in ocean city. thank you for that. one place which is not unscathed right now and that's coney island. that's where we find peter alexander who has been braving the elements. it's the worse it's going to get. i told you that an hour ago. you're sustaining that a little bit. how does it compare to an hour ago? >> reporter: the good news is i would say about 20 minutes ago it was the worst we've seen it. right now it's changed. the wind is still -- you hear this howling sound.
>> we can hear it. >> reporter: do you hear it? there's some old structures at this famed iconic boardwalk with the amusement park. i'll describe to it you this banging metal against metal. bang, bang, bang, bang. i think we're panning the camera over there to give you a sense. what you're looking at is, if you're familiar called the cyclone. home of the brooklyn cyclone. minor loeg baseball team. given the fact that we're experiencing a cyclone or a hurricane right now it's fitting, the name of the roller coast are ride that many americans come here to enjoy dating back to the 1800s. it's different than it was 20 minutes ago. not nearly as much water in the air. the winds are still punishing and stinging right now mostly because it's blowing sand. not the same amount of water we've seen a short time ago given the fact we have the wettest month in new york city ever.
i think that's good news and hopefully beginning to subside. a if you minutes ago as we walk this direction i had a chance to speak to the officers that are in this police car. you can see a short distance behind me. we've been locked out of this position. they told me it's primarily heavy flooding. flooding is the real issue around here. city wide about 300 trees down. we witnessed about four of them down over the course of our day getting out of this area. guys, good to see you. they have been kind to us. know we are here. mandatory evacuation orders. but they understand the public service we're trying to do. >> peter, wait. peter, let us just hear this wind because it's creepy, the howling. >> reporter: you hear that howling. i'll put the mike up. >> perfect. [ howling wind ] >> reporter: that's eerie.
that's the loudest we've heard that howling sound all day right now. frankly i think it's because we're not getting punished with as much rain. you can focus on the wind when you get a one-two punch. you lose your mine frankly. this is free exfoliation courtesy of mother nature. >> the rains are not as pounding because i'm sure that wind has been sounding like that all along. you couldn't hear it. there's something very eerie about this shot, peter, almost like something out of a horror movie as you look at this desolate area of coney island which usually at this time of a day, approaching 9:00 a.m., any manner of people out there running, jogging, walking around, getting ready to go to the park, visiting the concession stands, getting on tried. it's just peter alexander right now. that's about it. >> reporter: you know, this
is -- this is what people worry about in hurricanes like this. they worry about those winds. even as we speak to you you can see the stauettes on the side of the buflding. >> flags are in tatters. it looks like they have been r shr shr shredded. >> reporter: we saw a lot of trees beginning to bounce around or get pulled out by their roots. i'm just anxious to go back out there and see what it looks like right now. >> that's of great concern in covering this hurricane. peter alexander, hunker down again. thank you so much. we'll check in. bertha coombs is in baltimore, maryland. there has been one death reported in that state. good morning to you, bertha. you're able to smile.
you don't have an umbrella over you. i bet that will bring a smile to a lot of folks in that area. still looks windy. >> reporter: it is. the gusts are about 25, 30 miles per hour. or so. but the rain has pretty much passed us by. you know, tom is down on the shore in ocean city, maryland. we're kind of in at the very tip of the bay, if you think of it sort of a finger like that. we're right up in there. that's where baltimore is. little bit more protect. nonetheless, nearly half a million customers from baltimore gas and electric without power. lot was downed trees in the surrounding area. that's the big concern. a lot of folks is comparing this storm to hurricane isabel in 2003 which was devastating here and people were without power for likes of a week. not as bad as that. that case was nearly a million customers who were out. things so far looks as though we dodged a bullet. port of baltimore which we were down here monitoring closed last
night at 8:00. the coast guard closing because they use the buoys to monitor traffic in and out, the communication was in and out. they will reassess and reopen at noon if the winds die down overall. a very busy port here. number one place where they import trucks. closest port to a lot of those midwest farms. tractors and farm equipment. disruption that's likely to be bad in terms of supply chain over the next couple of days. they said here things will start getting back to normal. the problem is all along the coast. it's interesting, i was talking with the spokesperson for the port and it's quite amazing that we had an earthquake, which never happens. a hurricane which rarely happens. and we've dealt with both of them in one week.
fortunately they dodged a bullet on both. very little damage due to the earthquake earlier this week. and right now the appearances are that things are okay here on, as far as hurricane irene. looking up the rest of the coast, other ports like in new york, new jersey, lots of disruption there. that could have an impact with regard to gasoline prices because a lot of ships had to stay out at sea to avoid the storm. and wait it out. so the gasoline that would normally be delivered, we import 40% of our gasoline up in the northeast couldn't be delivered. nonetheless folks are hungered down so they are not driving as much sponsorship it might be a little bit of a wash. a lot of analysts say we might see a spike in prices at the pump but not too long-lived. >> let's hope people were able to fill up their cars in advance of hurricane irene as they were suggested to do. bertha coombs thank you very much. we're getting information from hoboken, new jersey. that's important for any of you
living there. my colleague nbc natalie morales has been reporting from there. there's hot power lines down. a lot of people have dogs in those apartment buildings. don't walk them quite yet. be very careful. flooded areas as well which can compound the problem with elect electrocution. stay off the streets of hoboken. dangerous conditions exist along the waterfront, storm surge may cause the hudson river to rise up over that rockaway. for folks in hoboken, new jersey, take care if you head outside. look, make sure there's a very clear walkway. officials are suggesting stay inside as best can you even if your dogs need to be walked try to figure out something and good luck with all of that. as far as new jersey overall, there are 400,000 without power right now. 15,000 remain in shelters having
been urged to go to those shelters when they were asked to evacuate by governor chris christie. 200 roads closed throughout the state, closed due to flooding, damaged trees that are down. limbs, power lines down. things are clearly a mess throughout the state of new jersey as well as specifically in hoboken with those words of caution coming from the officials there. let's go just across the hudson river from hoboken and we'll go the upper west side. jenna wolf is standing by. you have the hudson river on the back side. your feeling the wind very intensely or have they mellowed out? >> reporter: here's the thing. good morning. we haven't felt the gust of wind that some of our other colleagues around the area have been feeling all morning long. what we've had is a pretty steady sense of rain that's blanketed this area. that's not let up at all. new jersey about a mile across the river. used to be able to see it. the visibility is much less than it was. the one thing we've seen is the river rise.
it's been about seven feet that we've seen the hudson rise up. right behind me a very prime real estate here in manhattan. this is the 79 street boat basin. there's 116-foot moorings behind me. if you can get one of these slips you're considered lucky. people who own these boats they decided to leave the boats here and weather this storm. they made a good choice as the brunt of the storm which is now hitting or has already passed. not much damage. the river is, indeed, rising a little bit. what's happening here is sort of the opposite of what my colleague peter alexander is feeling. he's out in coney island. we just heard from him. he got fury of this storm. he got that pounding impact of the storm. we haven't had a lot of that wind. we had the rain. that's not slowed up at all. it's coming in waves. not as pulsing as it was before.
it's actually coming down. you get mini gusts of within that comes in. electricity is on. this is not a no evacuation zone. some new yorkers are coming out walk around check being out what's happening. besides the heavy rain that hasn't let up it's been relatively quiet as far as flooding and the wind gusts go, alex. >> that's good where you are. just want you and our viewers know for anybody who is familiar with the holland tunnel which connects where you are with new jersey on the other side of the river the north tube has been closed due to some flooding. that's likely from the storm surge and from both sides we had waters coming from the hudson river churning on both sides. it's gotten down there in pools in the base north tube of the holland tunnel. that will create some problems for people getting out and about. good for you to know. thank you very much for that live report from the upper west side.
good for the boat enders too. let's go to nbc luke russert who is covering the scene for us in alexandria, virginia. you know, luke, i got to tell you the last 24 hours there was supposed to have been a storm that came through there. how did people endure the last time you and i spoke it was this much of calm water, good setting about this time yesterday. >> reporter: it was. it got progressively worse. the peak of the storm hit about 6:00. then the wind picked up around 2:00 a.m. overall the washington area really feels like we dodge ad bullet on this one. a few things of note. a lot of residents in the area are still without power. that was expected. officials said that's definitely a possibility that could happen and it has happened other in arlington county, a few thousand people across the river in washington, d.c. as well. the other important thing is the trees. i spoke with the d.c. emergency
personnel person this morning. they have reports of about 200 trees have gone down in the being district of columbia. they are trying to mark them off. if you see trees down don't mess with them, there's a possibility they could have taken down a power line. that's an issue right now. another cause of concern was the possibility of flooding from the potomac river behind me. alexandria is a low-lying area. many low-lying areas across the river in washington, d.c. there was worry about the tidal surge. that actually went northwest last night so we were quite lucky, high tide this morning around 8:00 a.m. i was here. no flooding of alexandria, virginia. which is rare. this part sometimes floods in the springtime when you get those april monsoons. overall folks in the d.c. area you might be without power, have a few downed trees, slowly coming out today on the alexandria boardwalk. folks walking their dogs.
folks getting coffee. taking their kids out in strollers. people breathing a sigh of relief that they dodged a big bullet. >> it's a tragedy to report those three deaths across the state of virginia. due to not only the high winds but the saturated ground that brought down trees and that inluds the death of one 11-year-old boy. that's horrific news. in terms of the cleanup are officials giving any estimations as to how long it will take to get things picked up off the ground? >> let's talk about virginia. the southern part of the state didn't escape this. norfolk, you saw the images from norfolk. folks up to their waist in water. the state of virginia definitely did get hit hard. the northern part of the state, the d.c. metro area was the one able to dodge the bullet. that's really the important thing for folks in the major metropolitan area that had 3
million people. there was fear what was going on in new york could happen here. similar to what happened with isabel in 2003. where i'm now submerged completely under water. state of virginia took one on the chin in the hampton roads area, eastern shore. those folks can be without power for up to a week. >> you and i were talking yesterday and you were standing on the bow of one of those boats behind you. there was a risk for those boats and we were talking about the foolhardy nature of these owners you should have gotten the boats out of the water. they gambled okay. >> they doubled down their skills, secured their vessels. around 6:00 p.m. last night we tried to do another one of those boat shots and it go to be too rough. definitely an angry potomac river for a time there but all the boats were able to stay stationary and because the flooding did not come, there's this worry because it was at a
stationary dock, not a floating dock, when the floating didn't come the boats stayed flight. vessel owners came through and maybe can go out. weather is supposed to turn tomorrow and tuesday. >> the difference from one day to the next. many thanks for your report. there are a lot of flooding fears right now for lower manhattan. let's go back to amy robach who is right in the middle of it in battery park city. the island ferry not running. another good morning to you. any let up at all? you had pretty tough wind and rains earlier? >> reporter: we've had a lot of tough rain. this is the lightest rain we had since 3:00 a.m. that's not helping the water situation here in lower manhattan. obviously the big concern was the high tide that hit around 8:00 a.m. and then the effects of irene pushing all that water then up against the seawall, up against the boardwalk here in
lower manhattan and unfortunately, we just saw the effects of that. in fact take a look. i just went down what was the boardwalk here in lower manhattan. look at this now. massive flooding. under water now. and this water is coming. continued to come. the tide is high. irene is coming ashore. this is what officials feared, right here. ing right there. [ inaudible ] you can't see it. it's right out here. this is the boardwalk right here. this is completely flooded. it goes on to the road. it continues to rise. flooding as far as the eye can see. this was dry just a little while
ago. this is high tide. irene coming up. [ inaudible ] the entire boardwalk is flooded and it continues to come over the edge right now. we have another hour of high tide and irene is coming in and this water will continue to spread up into lower manhattan and the flooding continues. this water is coming in to the street. and that's the concern. we just don't know how far that water is going to be headed into lower manhattan to these streets here. the big concern right now is what lies beneath the city. we have an intricate labrynth that has cables. we have fuel in manhattan. if enough saltwater gets on some of those live wires we're talk about significant damage that can't necessarily be undone that
quickly. so our power company here in manhattan, con edison has to make the decision whether or not to protectively cut off power to avoid some of that serious damage if the saltwater gets into those tunnels here in manhattan, lower manhattan specifically. we've seen a lot of con edison trucks driving around the area, trying to take a look at the situation. they can, we understand, remotely turn off some of the area they need to and closely monitoring this situation as we are with the water coming over the edge and moving forward, parking lots are already completely flooded down there and we're watching this water. we'll continue to check back there. it's a little too treacherous to go live from there. we'll check back and give the latest on the rising waters here in lower manhattan. >> amy that's a picture we won't soon forget. you in those flooded waters on the boardwalk at the tip of manhattan. that's incredible. amy thank you very much.
we'll see her again. let's take a look, everyone, there's potentially the light at the end of the rainbow once that camera gets cleared. that's it, everybody. that's new jersey. there's hope, there's promise that hurricane irene will barrel on through and we'll live to see another day and be a brighter one. let's hope so. stay with us everyone. we have more coverage on msnbc. we'll be right back after a short break.