tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN August 26, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
time to hunker down and stay there. there's the eye right there. there's the center. it is moving on very close to where our john zarrella is or toward the coastal sections right there. and we have another reporter right there, brian todd. from virginia beach the wind now pushing waves, water into the chesapeake bay. that could cause a little coastal flooding up into the chesapeake. then tomorrow the waves and the wind just blow onshore all day. and watch by tomorrow night some of that water may be piling up in new york. piers? >> well, it's a very worrying situation. chad, thank you very much. my only aid vice would be to listen to authorities, to take the advice that they give you. that's all for us tonight. "ac 360" starts right now. piers, thanks very much. good evening, everyone. it is 10:00 p.m. on the east coast. we're at new york's battery park at the southern most tip of manhattan island. come sunday parts of this island could be underwater.
here's what hurricane irene looked like when it hit the bahamas. new yorkers might see it here and soon. here is the view as irene began moving up the eastern seaboard, and as it did emergency plans started to kick in. airlines began cancelling flights. hospitals moving patients. and here in new york mayor mike bloomberg issued the first evacuation orders in city history for low-lying areas, including the one, the area that we are standing in tonight. and for the first time in modern memory, a hurricane warning is in effect for new york city. meantime as we speak, north carolina's outer banks are getting hit. we've got reporters all around the region. in a moment we'll check with correspondent on the ground there. i want to begin with chad myers who just got his hands on a fresh update from the national hurricane center. chad, what have you learned? >> i've learned now that storm has turned to the north-northeast.
that is the continuation of the right-hand turn, anderson, that we talked about for so very long. there's the eye on radar. there's our john zarrella right there, our brian todd here. i'll take you to it. this is a very wet storm right now. wind gusts are 45, 47 miles per hour. and that's going to be the story. the winds will stay between 40, 50, and even up to 60 all night long beforehand fall brings it in as a category one hurricane. maybe a slight small category two hurricane as we make our way into atlantic beach for 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. that's where john zarrella is right now. but you have to notice the size of the green. that's the size of the tropical storm rainfall. almost 300 miles east to west, 400 miles north to south. that means when it gets close to you, when this storm is within 300 miles of you, you are going to feel the wind of a tropical storm. and you are going to feel that
wind for the next 24 hours. so if you are in a bay, like the chesapeake bay, that water and that wave action is just going to push water in, and the surge is going to be tremendous. some sports on the western side of chesapeake bay could see 8 to 10-foot surge. ocean city 2:00 a.m. sunday, that's the closest approach to your hurricane eye. it will be slightly offshore, but that's pretty irrelevant. for long island, 10:00 a.m. sunday morning. that's the eye landfall. but for the 12 hours preceding that, the wind will be from the east. it's going to be pushing the water right into the harbor where you are right now, anderson, and also onto the north side of the sound. long island sound and also into the harbor are connected by a river called the east river. that's the river likely to swell because water's being pushed in from two different directions. the flooding that occurs there from about the south street sea port to right where you are could be the worst that we see
in the storm. >> so chad, just in terms of the size, the power of this storm, it has been weakening. so i mean, that is correct, right? >> that is correct. it weakened all day today. but there's a hurricane hunter aircraft in it. that's it right there. it came out of mcdill air force base in florida. that plane right there just found a 123-mile-per-hour wind. so although the storm did come down today, i believe it's getting its act back together right now. what we have is a huge storm doing 50 miles per hour. it's like an ice skater in the olympics, one foot on the ground, all arms out and the leg out doing a slow spin. but when that skater pulls the arms in, that momentum gets very fast in one small spot. if this storm brings its arms in, that wind speed will increase dramatically because of that angular momentum. but it's the reason why the
storm is big and slow or lumbering now but could be significantly faster at any time. >> so by the time, though, i mean it's going to hit land. by the time it reaches new york city, though, it will have been over land and will likely slow down, right? i mean, i'm sorry, will likely weaken even more. so what kind of a storm is new york city itself looking at. do we know? >> well, we know that when it goes over north carolina right through here there's not going to be a lot of land there. you have an island, the barrier island, and you have the sound, pemlico sound. that's just basically water. it may travel right over new jersey. if that happens it will lose some steam. but if it's just offshore like the computer models and the national hurricane center are saying, that wind is going to pound into new york city at 70, 80 miles per hour for many hours and that's where the storm surge comes from. >> okay. chad, we'll check in with you throughout the hour.
brian todd is in wrightsville beach, north carolina. what's it like there? >> a very powerful storm surge right here on the beach at wrightsville. we're going to take a walk. you're looking at johnny mercer's fishing pier. no fishing going on tonight. take a look at these images. this is a very violent storm surge coming right up on the beach here. the emergency management director in this county where we are right now told me a short time ago he is worried about these storm surges just overwashing the beaches and the dunes here. we are not far from the town. it's right just over our shoulder over here. very close to the buildings, hotels, houses you've got about 20 counties in this region that are going to be impacted by this storm, 3, 4, 5 million people. officials are worried about it. just getting the initial violent surges. a few brave souls down here with me watching it for the show. but they need people to get out of here and get out of here quick, anderson.
>> in terms of wind in terms of rain, what have you been experiencing? >> reporter: the wind is not quite as bad. the wind is very, very sharp and kind of mix, in with some of the sand kicking up here. not as bad as it will be in a few hours. but you can see it's really having an effect on the storm surge here. these waves really violent. i just talked to a couple of people here who said they've never soon a storm surge like this on the beach here at wrightsville. getting pelted with rain and a lot of sand whipping in with it. the beach down here is pretty abandoned. people are kind of hunkering down at this point, anderson. >> brian, what time is the storm expected to actually make landfall there? >> reporter: the latest i heard is probably between i'd say 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. in this general area, maybe a little bit later. then it's supposed to kind of move in terms of more powerful elements moving up the coast into the outerbanks.
down here in wrightsville. and it's going to kind of hug the outer banks and move north. so i think we're probably less than 12 hours away from the brunt of this thing coming right through here, anderson. >> and has that community largely evacuated or are there still a lot of people there? >> reporter: we're told that most of them have evacuated. they take these orders very seriously. they know what they're doing down here. but there are a few people here. and you can walk on the beach, obviously. and there are a few souls down here who have come down here just to see the real show that nature is putting on for them. but there are a lot less out here than when we got here about a half hour ago. i think they're starting to take it seriously and try to get themselves out of danger. >> yeah. brian todd, appreciate it. we'll continue to check in with you. let's turn now to our john zarrella who has seen an awful lot of hurricanes. he and i have done a lot of them together. he's in atlantic beach just up the coach from brian todd. what's the situation there,
john? >> reporter: all throughout the late afternoon the conditions have conditioned to just go downhill. steady rain, squalls moving in. i had my wind meter out, and i got some gusts around tropical storm force. most of the winds have been around 25 miles per hour. pretty steady at about 25 miles per hour. but just about now 10 minutes ago the curfew went into effect here. you can see this is the main road right through here at atlantic beach, anderson. and it is closed down. the police told people today, went up and down with bull horns and said we're not tolerating anything. everybody's off the street at 8:00 p.m. we're going to let people get over the bridge and get out if they want past 8:00 p.m. but nobody's getting back on this island until the all clear is given. and as chad was saying, and you know, where we are here could very well see the center of the storm, the eye wall coming right over us very close to us. it's an interesting scenario here, because to my right is the ocean. that's south. the way the coastline comes out. the storm is coming up to us
from the south. that's the beach. that over there to the north is the bold sound. so it's quite possible, anderson, depending on which way the actual storm hits us from we could get storm surge coming from the ocean on the front side of the storm, and then see it coming from the back side of the storm once it goes by us. sort of like you and i saw during will ma back in '05 when the water came up after the storm, the center of the storm had passed us and we saw the storm surge coming up. that's kind of what we might expect here. now, the salvation army has opened -- shelters have opened just over the wrij in more-head city. and salvation army started serving meals at the three shelters there at about 8:00 p.m. i can tell you a lot of people told us throughout the day they were going to stay, they were going to ride this out. but an equal number, if not more said, you know what, we're not taking any chances with this. this could be the worst storm
here since the 1950s when hurricane hazel came through. so a lot of the older folks who know what can happen from a major hurricane decided they were going to get out. anderson? >> yeah. yeah. there's nothing like that experience of having gone through it to really bring the reality of it home which is something a lot of folks here in new york have not experienced first hand. john, we'll continue to check in with you. joining us now is ed rappaport director of the national hurricane center from miami. how does this hurricane compare to others that we've seen? >> what's different about this hurricane is that the forecast track which is pretty much locked in now at least through north carolina through the eastern part of the state is going to be a little bit farther to the west than what we've seen for other hurricanes in the northeast. and for some folks that means this will be the most significant event perhaps in 20 years from a tropical system. so normally when we have a hurricane out here approaching north carolina we see the track move on out to sea missing new england, missing the coast to
the south. p in this case the forecast track comes up through north carolina, the eastern part of the state, but doesn't turn right away. instead it moves very close to the shoreline, perhaps then across long island and southern new england. that means all the weather that is usually in this case worse to the east will be much closer to the metropolitan areas this time around. and in fact will definitely hit the southern new england area. and since there are strong winds, high surge right near the center of the storm, we'll see some of that along the east coast as well. >> so for a city like new york, i mean, what strength do you think the storm will be when it comes into this region? is there any way to say definitively? >> at this point what we have is a category 2 hurricane that's very slowly weakening. we think it will still be category 2, perhaps category 1 as it crosses north carolina. then that continued slow weakening will persist through
the landfall in new england. by the time it gets up to the new york area, southern new england we're probably looking at a lower end category 1 hurricane, upper end of the tropical storm conditions. what's important about this storm is not the peak intensity but the duration. it's a very large hurricane. in north carolina they're experiencing hurricane-force winds for as much as 10 hours. the whole east coast near the center of the storm will experience tropical storm conditions for as much as 24 hours. that's a long period to have a battering of wind as well as -- as well as higher levels of storm surge. and because it's so long we're going to go through a full tidal cycle in the northeast as well. there are going to be relatively high tides coming this weekend. so the high tides this weekend plus the storm surge has us concerned for the shoreline. >> yeah. there's no doubt about it. a lot of damage no doubt probably if long island. i mean, i didn't realize that it was going to be lingering around for those tropical storm winds
for 24 hours. that's with the tidal surge, that could be really very unpleasant for an awful lot of people. ed rappaport, appreciate it. follow us on facebook on twitter @ anderson cooper you'll hear from a hurricane hunter who just got back from a flute through the storm. also we'll talk to the storm chaser who captured this moment as hurricane irene hit the bahamas and hit it hard. we've also got new video of the damage for you there. let's check in with isha sesay right now as the hunt for muammar gadhafi goes on, searchers have been uncovering his network of escape tunnels and secret bunkers. cnn's sara sidner got a look. you'll see what she saw tonight when 360 continues. ing and my itchy eyes took refuge from the dust in here and the pollen outside. but with 24-hour zyrtec®, i get prescription strength relief from my worst allergy symptoms. it's the brand allergists recommend most.
breaking news tonight. of course hurricane irene the outer rain bands hitting north carolina on a path heading straight up i-95 straight to new york city where we are tonight. a hurricane warning in effect for the city. mandatory evacuation where i'm standing right now and in other low-lying areas around the city. i'm in battery park which is in the southern tip of manhattan. moments ago mayor mike bloomberg
spoke to residents. >> mta, our local mass transit system, was shutting down bus and subway service tomorrow at noon and when scale force wind arrive later in the evening. it is just going to be too late to go anywhere. so the mandatory order requires you to be out by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. but from a practical sense, if you're not out tomorrow morning you're going to find it very difficult to get out. >> well, earlier new york -- new jersey governor chris christie had one last warning for anyone who's still at the jersey shore. >> get the hell off the beach in asbury park and get out. you're done. it's 4:30. you've maximized your tan. >> this warning takes many factors into account including doe tailed information from aircraft flying through the storm. a few minutes ago i talked to the noaa, hurricane hunter ian sears who has just been right in
the middle of irene. i asked him what it was like. >> hi, yes. p 3 aircraft. we just passed through the center of tropical storm or excuse me hurricane irene. the south side of the storm is kind of benign but the north side of the storm here just south of morehead city is quite bumpy. we had the seat belt light for an extended period of time, we got knocked around pretty good. and i've been in a few other storms prior but this is about par for the course especially with the storm at this stage in a category 1, category 2 hurricane. parts of it can be rough and parts of it are smooth. but right now like i said we're on the north side just out of morehead city probably about 20 miles north of -- south of morehead city an getting knocked around pretty good.
>> some people chase hurricanes from 30,000 feet. others do it of course on the ground up close. sometimes they get video like this. take a look at this. we showed a portion of it to you at the top of the broadcast. this is what hurricane irene looked like as a category 3 storm when it hit the bahamas. storm chaser jim eds shot this video. then take a look. this is some of the damage that storm did in new jersey. new jersey's governor chris christie and just about everyone else in a leadership position has said you do not want to be there when stuff like this happens. jim edge was. it's his job. he joins us now. jim, you were on the island when the storm smashed into it. what was it like? >> reporter: woe thought maybe it wouldn't be so close but it wobbled to the west and came right over us and we got the worst part of the eastern eye wall. >> how badly was the island damaged? >> reporter: we had some roof
structures that were damaged the south part of the island. some sails were on the mast. but over all it wasn't too bad. it's a lot stronger here versus the united states. >> yeah. they've certainly learned the lesson of past storms. jim, i appreciate your time. thank you very much. i'm glad you did okay in the storm. the first hints of hurricane irene are being felt right now in the carolinas as we've been telling you tonight. coming up we're going to take you again live to north carolina where the storm is expected to make its first landfall. we'll have the latest on that next still ahead, bracing in new york city. the hurricane is already a historic event, the first ever mandatory evacuation order in effect for parts of all five burrouhs of new york city. coming up.
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to make its first landfall along the east coast of the north carolina. the spokesman says the hurricane could affect 20 counties with 3 1/2 million people in north carolina alone. that's where john zarrella is with us from atlantic beach. john, what time is it expected to come there? what kind of preparations have they been making? >> reporter: 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, anderson.
if the eye crosses us here, that's the time the center of the storm is expected to get here. so just after first light. preparations they've taken, not a lot of people put up shutters or boarded up. we did see some. most of the people here, at least a good percentage of them, did decide to leave. others said they were going to go ahead and stay. mandatory evacuation, of course that means they still can't force you to leave but they did issue a mandatory evacuation. police are patrolling all up and down here. shelters are open just over in morehead city over the bridge, three shelters that we know of. salvation army serving meals there. anderson, one thing to point out as we see the wind picking up and we've gone through some heavier wind and rain now as it continues to get heavier and heavier all the time, inland flooding is what kills more people in hurricanes than storm surge these days. so we're seeing already ground saturated here. a lot of runoff already
beginning. and as ways saying earlier, we've got the atlantic ocean to the south here and the bogue sound to the north there. but we could have storm surge in both directions as the storm comes by and passes us. but inland there could be a lot of inland flooding. and that's a real, real risk for anyone who tries to get out and drive in it. and then the roads are underwater, impassible. and that's how loss of life occurs in these things. but again, anderson, the wind kicking up a little bit. still only right around tropical storm force. but the rain steadier, steadier and heavier as the moments go by here. anderson? >> john, stay there. i want to bring in chad myers just to kind of talk about where you are, where it plays into where this thing is going to make first landfall. chad, in terms of where john is, what can you tell us? >> john is right there. there's morehead city and there's atlantic beach. kind of a dual communities,
one's kind of the ocean and one's the city right behind it. and john, you have a major cell just to your south and southeast coming your way. this is probably the biggest cell that you've seen so far. winds will at least be 50. right now you're only seeing about 35, maybe 39. so almost tropical storm force. but in the next 20 minutes you will easily get to 50 and 55 miles per hour with that nasty bunch of cells coming your way. it's one of the inner outer bands now. and as the night goes on, every single band will get more windy and more windy, and the gusts will go higher and higher. >> and in terms of landfall, you're still thinking, what a category 2 for that area? chad? >> absolutely. and with that landfall, the way the shape of the land is, anderson, the eye being right down here right now, as the eye comes up and the shape of the land is almost like a bowl.
and it's going to hoard all of the water and it's going to make a big storm surge right here as the storm rolls right over, right on top, literally, of john zarrella in about 10 hours. >> chad, stand by and john stand by. we've just managed to get north carolina governor bev perdue on the phone for us. governor, your state is used to take some major storm hits. this is a slower storm, bigger than a lot of people have seen for awhile. are you ready? >> yeah, we're ready, anderson. we've got -- evacuations are complete. everything's tied down. and tonight's the hard night. we're just waiting for it to hit. >> how have the evacuations gone? i mean, people say mandatory evacuations but a lot of times some folks don't want to leave. >> obviously people don't leave. you have to let people do what they want to do. that's why it's america. we feel really good that most of our tourists have left. this is the height of tourism weekend, the last of the summer along all of coastal carolina and the southern part of the
country. and so we've got lots of tourists have left. a lot of real people, a lot of people are citizens there, have decided to stay. they're smart. we're urging them to use common sense an not go out tonight in the middle of the storm to try to see what's happening. but again we feel like that we're prepared. the big problems will come tomorrow as we see what damage is done and as we go into full recovery. but tonight our shelters are open. we've got marine helicopters. we've got highway patrol and the national guardsmen, all of our resources are fully deployed. and we feel like we've got this part of the storm handled. it's the waiting that's so hard. >> and the president's already signed a disaster order for your state. you brought in extra national guard just to help out, right? >> yeah. we've done that. we're fully mobilized in north carolina. we've even got the water rescue team in place across the state. so we really have done it soems times in north carolina. we feel like our system is good. we've prepared as much as we
can. but there's always things that are challenges. and so again during night we urge people to stay in, to use caution. we urge people to just be really aware that this doesn't sound like a huge storm right now. 50 or 55-mile-per-hour winds. but we think it's going to stay over our state 10 or 12 hours. and that's where the problems come. that bowl that you were talking about earlier full of water is going to dump somewhere. when it dumps there's going to be a surge of water and who knows what will happen. >> that's obviously a big concern here in manhattan as well. the storm surge and also the slow-moving winds just kind of staying in this area for 1 -- for 12 or more hours. appreciate your time tonight. i know you're busy. thanks for checking in with us. we want to go to david mat i will in kill devil hills in north carolina tonight. david, what's the situation there? >> reporter: the governor hit it right on the head. the waiting is the hard part. they know what this storm can do, they've prepared as much as
they possibly can. now everyone has to wait and see what the storm does as it passes through here. every passing hour we're getting a little more rain, a little more wind, and the surf pound just a little bit harder. we've had rain for a couple of hours steady now. and just a reminder of what's going to be coming later tonight. we've got gale-force winds right now. some gusts up to tropical storm-force winds probably. and that's going to continue to increase. we're going to have tropical storm-storm-force winds overnight and then hurricane-strength winds during the day followed by more tropical storm-force winds. this is going to ramp up slowly, be here for awhile, and then ramp down slowly again. we don't know how many people have actually been staying behind. you heard the governor talking about this as well. they're not going door-to-door making people leave. the people who do stay here have been told, though, that if you get in trouble you're on your own. everyone's been warned that it's going to be a minimum of 72 hours that they're going to be
on their own during the storm and in the aftermath. so everyone's advised that if they were staying they need to have the proper supplies and they need to take every precaution to make sure that they do not need some kind of emergency services. because they're not going to be able to come help them if there is a problem. anderson? >> yeah. good advice to try to know that you're going to may be on your own for days at a time and be prepared for that. david mat ily, we'll check in with you. why new york city is trying to take no chances. we'll show you what the biggest city in the country is preparing for. what would happen in a worse-case scenario. plus muammar gadhafi's secret underground city revealed. this is fascinating. cnn's sara sidner takes us inside the maze of tunls and bunkers. it's a fascinating look at part of libya, part of tripoli and gadhafi's rule we've never seen before. be right back. aptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business -- it's good for the entire community.
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well, we've already seen our reporters in north carolina. south carolina's coast is already feeling the power of hurricane irene. debbie charred is on pauline's island covering the some for our affiliate. she joins me now. how bass is it where your right now? >> reporter: it's actually not bad at all. a couple of hours ago the gusts were really the worst. i brought a little wind meter with me and i clocked them at 42 miles per hour a couple of hours ago. but now we're only getting minor gusts here. so things aren't bad. to give you an idea of where we are, we're a little south of
myrtle beach and north of charleston, south carolina. so we feel very fortunate. we definitely need the rain because we were seeing a drought here in south carolina. the rain is welcome. there are a few power outages. i know the causeway to pauline as island was closed because of the waters. the waves have been monster watches. there were a few surfers out this afternoon, but later this evening absolutely no one in the water. in fact, the beach, there was no beach. the high tide normally leaves about ten yards of beach along here. but there was essentially no beach. it washed right up to the dunes, and in fact into the stairways that are the beach access to the ends along this beach. and the folks here have not ever seen the water that high. it has gone back down, but it stayed high well beyond the high tide at 6:00 this evening. so we're just now seeing the atlantic ocean recede. and that's the way it looks here
right now. >> and debbie, the fact that storm has weakened somewhat over the course of today, do you think that's encourage add lot of folks around the area just to stay in the area and not evacuate? >> reporter: no, they stayed put. as a matter of fact, i talked to a man who said he had built a concrete house so he never had to leave in the event of a hurricane. can you believe that? but in fact we're actually seeing some folks who are leaving north carolina and virginia and are coming this direction because they know essentially that we are seeing just tropical storm-force winds and eventually that will move on out. in fact, you can see the waves behind me are barely moving right now. i'm hoping this is the worst of it for us here along the south carolina coast. >> let's hope so. debbie, appreciate it. debbie charred tonight new york of course is planning for the worst. that's what you have to do in a big city like this. public transportation in the city is going to begin shutting
down at noon tomorrow. first time i'ven seen that as a lifelong new yorker. this was taken in a new york subway station after a severe storm in 2007. not a hurricane, just a much smaller storm. that's a key point. you can see the flooding that just a regular storm caused. potential for what a hurricane or even tropical storm winds could do, obviously much greater than that. new york is more than 200 underground subway stations, more than 200 underground subway stations, more than 400 miles of underground tracks. we don't have to tell you that above ground new york has blocks and blocks of skyscrapers and high-rises as well. there's concern about obviously construction sites with high winds, tropical storm-force winds picking up debris. a lot of the millions of people, more than 8 million people who are living here in new york city, all of them wondering tonight how much damage will hurricane irene do? how bad will it really be? joining me now is steven flynn, president for national policy, author of a book "rebuilding a nation". also chris cereno, former
president of the structural engineers association. steven, in terms of i mean i guess we've got to talk worst case scenarios because that's what the city has to plan for. what could we be looking at? >> well, from a life safety issues there really are people in low-lying areas can see some substantial flooding. and that's why i think the mayor stepped out to try to get people out of that zone a area. the issue is up to 3 with all those hurricane-force winds there's a lot of stuff in the streets and construction sites, equipment on terraces. people may have gone to the ham tons and left stuff behind. so that stuff can get tossed around. but the really big issue is going to affect the entire regis disruption of peoples lives. we're going to lose a lot of electrical power and the transportation systems are going to be a mess for awhile. that means people are going to have to essentially camp out in their homes, in their apartments for a substantial period of time. and when we talk about outlying like connecticut and long
island, densely populated, trees are going to be taken down. a lot of utilities. some folks are going to be facing not just days but potentially week or more power outages. >> the graph showing us potential flooding that could occur in a category 2 storm. we believe, chris, this thing in north carolina as a category 2, the hope is and the belief is that it will slow down of course as it travels north, as it lingers over new jersey and other states and by the time it actually hits new york city if in fact it continues on that track thatted it would be a low cat or a strong tropical storm, which is still of great concern given what steven was talking about. and you see that video from the subway system back in 2007 from just a big storm. how structurally sound, chris, are landmarks and skyscrapers in new york, in philadelphia, in boston? >> well, if i can at least give everybody one piece of good news, with the modern codes, the
skyscrapers in the city are designed with safety factors that allow them to withstand wind speeds much greater than whoo we'll see in the next two days. so that's one piece of good news. >> that's great news. >> there will be motion to the skyscrapers. so potentially if you're high up you could experience some motion sickness. but there's no structural integrity issue us with the building itself. >> the concern obviously in a city like new york where you have tons of glass and lots of windows with airborne debris, with winds that are staying at high levels for 12 or more hours, you could have as steven said a lot of stuff being picked up from construction sites, chris. >> yeah. airborne debris is my major concern as a structural engineer from debris on construction sites, awnings around the city, patio furniture. there's all sorts of things in the city, trees even in the city and the suburbs that can cause potential problems. and become missiles for windows. so definitely don't be anywhere near glass when the onset of the
storm is. and don't take your chances outside. >> steven, you and i have talked about the infrastructures in big cities in a lot of different ways. but in terms of this storm, how does new york city, for instance, i mean how is the infrastructure here capable of dealing with something like this? >> it's going to be a bit of a challenge, particularly in the transportation side. a lot of our infrastructure, especially in the northeast, is aging and not very gracefully. and it fails sometimes just by the day-to-day wear and tear. when you put it under extreme pressure for some period of time we're going to see some failure and it's going to take awhile to recover. this is everything from pumps that have to be operating in the subway systems here, dealing with massive rainfall on top of storm surge is really going to be a challenge for that infrastructure. one good news of sorts here is that the city's going to go quiet for a little bit of time. but getting it back up i think is probably going to take a little longer than most new yorkers are used.
to we really haven't had a major hurricane hit new york city for almost 100 years in terms of direct hurricane-force winds sustained for a long period of time. usually long island, east long island. so this is going to be a new experience for virtually everybody who's alive in the metro new york city area. >> chris, you talked about the structural integrity of high-rise buildings and skyscrapers. so for people who do live in high-rises, above the tenth floor, is it okay for them to stay in their apartments? do you suggest they go to the will be bi, go to a stairwell? what would you recommend? >> it's definitely okay to stay in your apartment. don't be near the glass. i think everybody needs to help out their neighbors. because basically what you have if you have balcony furniture or anything that you have on a patio, that can be the projectile into your neighbor's building. so everybody really needs to help out each other. i know people could be away on vacation, which is a little bit of a hazard in that they wouldn't be back to secure their
furniture. but stay inside. stay away from glass. and don't let the projectile be an issue for you. >> yeah. steven flynn, appreciate you being on. chris cereno, good to have you on the program as well coming up next, we'll look at a few of the rare times that a hurricane has hit the northeast. what happened back then might give an indication of what could happen this weekend. again it's really the high winds and the potential for flooding storm surge that we're worried about in new york city. we're going to also take you underground inside libya, in tripoli, inside a vast network of tunnels undergadhafi's compound. it's a fascinating look at some of the things the dictator has done over the years. the question tonight, did he use some of these tunnels to escape? >> so i'm sure it was used to -- because this place is so big -- to get back and forth. unbelievable. vrrooom...vrrroooomm vroom vrrooom
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i could not make working and going to school work. it was not until the university of phoenix that i was able to work full-time, be a mom, and go to school. the opportunits that i had at the university of phoenix, dealing wh profesonals teaching things that they were doing every day, got me to where i am today. i'm mayor cherie wood, i'm responsible for the largest urban renewal project in utah, and i am a phoenix. [ male announcer ] find your program at phoenix.edu.
i'm in battery park in lower manhattan tonight in the evacuation zone in new york city because it's a low-lying area right on the water. the ways is about 20 or 30 feet from where i'm standing. today mayor michael bloomberg ordered mandatory evacuations from low-lying areas in each of the five bur rowes of new york. all broadway shows have been canceled for the weekend. with irene on the way we want to look at how devastating it can be when new york takes a direct hit from a hurricane.
most people don't remember it. it doesn't happen often but when it does it's unforgettable the 1938, the infamous long island express hurricane crashes ashore as a category 3 storm and wrecks much of new england. >> with wind gusts as strong as 186 miles per hour and waves as high as 50 feet, the storm claims nearly 700 lives in the region and destroys almost 9,000 structures, including the connecticut home of actress katherine hepburn. six years later, the great atlantic hurricane of 1944 roars onto long island. this storm costing more than $100 million in damage. that's about $1.2 billion today. it sunk five ships, including two coast guard cutters and a navy destroyer and claimed more than 300 lives. in recent times, less powerful but no less dangerous hurricanes have hit the northeast as well. 20 years before hurricane irene, there was hurricane bob. the eye of the storm made
landfall on rhode island in august 1991 as a strong category 2 with winds of 115 miles per hour. bob is blamed for more than $1 billion in damage in 18 storm-related deaths. just two months later, hurricane grace also threatened as a category 2 storm before being absorbed by an unusual weather system that led to the hallowe'en nor'easter of 1991, later called the perfect storm. this storm lashed the east coast of the u.s. with pounding waves and coastal flooding, causing significant damage in massachusetts, maine, new hampshire and new jersey. nine people were killed in the storm which produced 100-foot waves equivalent to a 10-story building. it later enspired the novel by author sebastian younger which became a movie. then there's the so-called storm of the century. hurricane gloria september 1985, recorded winds of up to 150 miles per hour. gloria made landfall as a powerful category 3 storm on the outer banks of north carolina before rapidly moving up the
east coast making a second landfall on long island then another in connecticut, causing significant damage up and down the east coast and eight storm-related deaths. and now another tempest is threatening to strike the northeast. in a matter of days, hurricane irene may join this dubious list of killer storms. well, let's hope not. cnn's tracking hurricane irene all night. obviously all through the weekend. we'll have more on the storm i head. right now isha sesay joins us in tripoli the hunt for muammar gadhafi continues with libyan opposition forces combing a network of secret tunnels beneath his compound. today cnn's sara sidner got a look inside the winding tunnels and bunkers and found a virtual city beneath the city. >> in this room, this is part of the tv studio. he even has professional videotapes there. these are actually tapes that
cnn still uses. this is amazing that all of this does exist. it was rumored for so long, and seeing it in person is absolutely almost unbelievable. this whole place is filled with some of gadhafi's recordings. it would be interesting to see what's on them. in mexico, authorities now say at least 52 people died when armed gunmen torched a casino in monterey. the suspects reportedly arrived in three vehicles and burst into the the building with what looked like gallons of gasoline. mexico's president blamed the attack on terrorists motivated by greed. u.s. stocks snapped a four-week losing streak. the dow with 135 points higher at the close. and up 4% for the week. the s & p 500 and nasdaq posted gains. investor apparently liked what chief ben bernanke said which made no planses for more economic stimulus measures
national parks service engineers are racing to protect the washington monument from further damage. there were cracks caused by that magnitude 5.8 earthquake just days ago. another quick check on hurricane irene with our own chad myers. chad, where is irene right now? >> irene is about 160 miles south of atlantic beach. that's exactly where one of our crews are actually right now. there's -- we had about a 36-mile-per-hour wind gust there, 36. and then over toward wilmington about a 42-mile-per-hour wind gust. but something else, isha, that's happening tonight, too, with the spin on the storm down to the south, some of these storm, the individual storms that are coming onshore, are spinning. and so some of them could actually have tornados. one tornado warning for arnslow county on the way to the camp lejeune main gate there. indicated by doppler radar potential for tornados tonight let alone the hurricane. like they have anything else to worry about. that's what you get when you have a spinning storm down to the south and that spin pushing
these cells, those little convective cells right on shore, each one of them can actually spin on their own. there's the wind speeds for parts of jacksonville, blooming ton, those will definitely come up over the rest of the night. in fact this is a very large wind field, almost 300 miles from top to bottom. and those winds are still going to be moving up toward atlantic beach, right about 7:00 in the morning, and then onshore right at about the i would say the ocrakok lighthouse and the cape hatteras lighthouse where the main wind will be with the storm slightly offshore. virginia beach 7:00 tomorrow night where the maximum wind will be ocean city by about 2:00 a.m. sunday morning and all the way up into long island. and then all the way back into the northeastern sections of new york city. isha? >> chad, thank you. now back to anderson. more storm coverage ahead on 360. stay tuned.
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