tv CNN Newsroom CNN August 27, 2011 7:00am-8:00am PDT
center, which is in queens. they're being evacuated. they told me 173 beds in that hospital done, evacuated. 200 beds in the nursing home. they're in the process of evacuating now. and listen to this, these 200 people are being taken to 17 different facilities including some in poughkeepsie and westchester. i'm from albany. when you're talking poughkeepsie, you're already getting pretty far from the city. these are facilities all over that section of new york taking in people this morning. obviously, we want to hear from you. we've got your ireports. if you're in a position to safely send us your images, go ahead and join the open story at cnn.com. and you've got my facebook and twitter and cnn.com/josh. every which way, we're hearing your stories this morning. t.j., back to you. >> all right, josh. thank you. and good morning to you all on this saturday morning, as we cross the top of the hour, 10:00 a.m. on the east coast of the united states. welcome to you all and hello to our viewers on cnn
international, who are watching our special coverage of hurricane irene, a category 1 storm, a massive storm that is on its move, up the eastern seaboard. it came ashore a couple of hours ago, making landfall near camp lookout, north carolina. there's new video we are getting from nearby, atlantic beach shows you what irene has left behind already in some areas. the hurricane storm surge swamping the town with ocean water. also, irene is spinning its way northward to some of the biggest cities on the eastern coast of the united states. cities like new york, washington, baltimore, boston, cities that aren't used to being prepared for a hurricane. they could all get slammed by this storm this weekend. right now, irene, a category 1 storm, it is pushing sustained winds of about 85 miles an hour. irene has also claimed at least one life in north carolina. we do have special hurricane coverage for you this morning
that spans that coastline, from north carolina all the way up the atlantic seaboard. we're live in washington, new york city, both big cities are in the hurricane's potential storm track. but we need to start with where the hurricane made landfall, and that is in north carolina. i spoke with the north carolina governor, bev perdue, about an hour ago about the damage she's already seeing from this storm. >> we expect the whole east, just about 43 counties, to be affected in some way or the other. 3.5 million people are the total number who is live in that area. so they've all battened down their hatches. we are also in the middle of a robust agricultural season, and so later this afternoon, we'll start trying to figure out the crop damage. we are very concerned, still, about surges and flooding through many of the communities of eastern north carolina. >> let's move back to north carolina. there's our reynolds wolf, who has been in these elements for the past several hours. reynolds, hello to you once
again. >> reporter: hi, t.j. great to hear from you. i'll tell you, the situation here on the outer banks, specifically kitty hawk, the rain is intermittent, but one thing that's just been continuous for the last ten minutes, at least since i've been out here, is just blasted, absolutely blasted by the sand. it's like a stinging sensation, almost like these microskrcopic bits of shrapnel, just blowing into us. what i can tell you, if you were look at this from high above, it looks like a giant atmospheric saw blade marching its way to the north. what it's doing at ground level, picking up that moisture behind me, bringing those waves right along the shore, and i can tell you, they're coming right up to the very, very edge of the sand dune. now, you have to remember that this island, the outer banks, it's not made on limestone or some sort of coral reef. this is just pure sand. and with that in mind, it's very, very subject to serious erosion.
it was back in 2003 that hurricane isobel cut a channel through parts of the outer banks that was nearly 2,000 feet wide and at the same time a depth of about 15 feet. army corps of engineers came back in, did the great job they did and fixed that problem. we might see more problems develop up and down the outer banks. got some good news, though. some of the good news that we have to report, t.j., that's new this hour, our photojournalist of cnn went out and about, did a little bit of reconnaissance in the neighborhood here, couldn't find a soul. not a single business is open, but most importantly, you don't have people out and about exploring things. that's the great news. whoever happens to be here in kitty hawk thankfully is doing what the state and the local governments have recommended. they've sought shelter, they're in safe spots, and that's the way we like it. that's the good news. conditions are probably going to get worse over the next couple of hours. i would expect right around noontime, maybe around 12:30, perhaps even 1:00 is when we should get the full furry y of s system. then things will rapidly improve
as they have a bit farther south where john zarrella is. things are certainly getting worse up towards the north over the next several days. >> reynolds, we appreciate you once again, hang tight. we'll check in with you again shortly. let's move now to our jason carroll. he is in atlantic city, new jersey. good morning to you. are people there listening to the warnings and getting out of the way of this storm, jason? >> reporter: so far, i think they have been, t.j. as we drove through atlantic city, it was really like a ghost town. as you know, atlantic city under a mandatory evacuation. right now i'm standing on atlantic city's famed boardwalk. as you can see, ocean right out there is still not looking too bad at this point. we have a light rain that's coming down, but obviously, things expected to get much worse as the hours wear on. lots of concern about how the city will fare and how the boardwalk will fare. right over there is the famous steel pier. during 1934 when there was a
major hurricane that came through here, it was badly damaged. the boardwalk was badly damaged, in fact, and there's of can concern about how it's going to fare during hurricane irene. i want to bring in vince jones with me right now, t.j. he is the emergency management coordinator. i want to talk to you about a number of things. first of all, the mandatory evacuation. looked like a ghost town when we drove through here. obviously, a lot of residents decided to leave. a lot of the guests in the hotels were forced to leave. how many are left and how did it go in terms of evacuation? >> up and down the barrier islands in atlantic county, again, like you said, we had a mandatory evacuation that went into effect yesterday, 6:00 a.m. all the -- for the most part, most of the residents are gone, have evacuated the barrier islands. there were a few resident who is did opt to stay behind. when we met with those residents, and we did meet face-to-face, we explained the storm, explained the severity of the storm, explained why it was very important that they do leave. some did change their mind at that point and agreed with our local officials and did leave.
some still opted to remain behind. we explained the circumstances of them staying behind and they fully understood that. for the most part, as you said, most of the barrier islands, if anybody's watching it on the media, these are ghost towns, which is exactly what we wanted to accomplish. >> reporter: also, all 11 major casinos here in atlantic city closed -- forced to close, in fact. this is the resorts casino right behind you, t.j., this is all boarded up. this is what the casinos are doing. they're boarding up their front -- to the boardwalk. they're also putting sandbags down. this has happened twice before. once in 1985, i'm told, and once again in 2006, when the government shut down. in '85, it was another hurricane. that's got to be a big hit also for the city itself to have shut down these casinos? >> it is. but i've got to tell you, the relationship we have with the casino industry, with the state, the governor's office, city of atlantic city, we use the term "partnership" and it truly is a partnership. every one of the casinos already
had their preparations well before we even met with them, and we met with them again for a final meeting yesterday afternoon. a lot of them had already started closing, already taken care of their employees. and that was their primary concern, was the visitors that were in the room, more so, their employees. and they wanted to make sure that people were safe. >> reporter: and vince, you've been through a lot of storms. and we talked about, t.j., actually, where we're standing right now here on the boardwalk, again, things look not too bad right now, expected to get much, much worse. i had asked you if it would be all right for us to stand here as the storm gets worse, and you said no. because you expect the ocean which we see out there, the water, to actually come beyond where we're standing right now. >> based on the forecast, with the hurricane-force winds we're going to feel, the high tide, the storm surge on top of that high tide, where we're standing right now, we would be underwater. the waves are going to come crashing over this boardwalk. they're going to end up with water and waves pounding the other side of these buildings out to pacific avenue, atlantic avenue, the torrential rains that are going to fall.
we are going to have more water -- it's going to almost look like the ocean is sitting in town. >> reporter: so it sounds to you it's the storm surge that you're more concerned with rather than the wind? >> the reason for the evacuation is we need to get the people away from the water. that wall of water that's going to come over in the next few hours and into tomorrow, we need to get people away from that water. because that water would kill more people, you know, and of course, the wind as well, but more people would have been severely injured and killed from that wall of water and we needed to get the people out of harm's way. >> vince jones, emergency management coordinator, we really appreciate you coming down and doing this for us today. i know you've been through a lot of storms. once again, the concern is that the ocean that you see out there, the water out there will eventually be where we're standing now. t.j.? >> all right. jason carroll, good to have you with us this morning. we appreciate you. also, a little north of where he is right now, hoboken, new jersey, that's a little bit closer to new york city, the mayor there, jacqui jeras, we
reported a short time ago, issuing a mandatory evacuation order for the ground unit for people in hoboken. so they're expecting that water as well. and like you mentioned, you've got somebody who lives on the sixth floor, you might want to knock on the door and say, hey, can i hang a little bit? >> don't bother your friend on the 16th story, by the way, because then you start worrying about wind issues and wind damage, possibly. probably flying debris that would break open were window, not the strength of the winds. this is a category 1 storm now, 85 miles per hour. and in the next hour, we're going to have an update on this intensity from the hurricane center. so make sure you stay tuned, because we likely see some more changes. but as this thing is making its way through the pamlico sound, very little change in intensity should be expected. you'd normally think, landfall, okay, it's going to weaken quite a bit. this is very marshy, very swampy, so we're not expecting a whole lot of weakening. here you can see, here's that
red box, the tornado watch that's in effect. this thing's moving north-northeast very slightly. it's going to be hours and hours and hours that you're in this in the virginia beach area. hours and hours and hours across the delmarva. look at this, washington, d.c., you're already starting to get right on the cusp here of that rain beginning to move in. you're going to be in for a very wet day with the worst conditions coming in later on for tonight. and look at up here, into the northeast. we're starting to see those first rain bands. you heard rob marciano mention it across new york city and long island. there's really no time left for you to get out of the way. let's talk a little bit about impact and how strong these winds are. the tropical storm force winds extend out 260 miles from the center of the storm. so as we take a look at this map, this shows you who's going to be impacted. we're talking about 40 million people in the u.s. are going to be impacted by 50-mile-per-hour winds or greater. we'll zoom in, there you can see the strongest of winds are
expected into the eastern carolinas, and then as we head on into the northeast, you can see a couple of those peak areas where they're going to get a little bit stronger, and then we're going to see it here. and this is all based upon the current forecast track, which, by the way, has been looking very good so far. it's really following what we thought it was going to do, at least over the last 24 to 48 hours. so there you can see, through connecticut, just west of providence, through massachusetts, just east of the boston area, on up into new hampshire and even into maine, where we're going to see potentially those category 1 winds. that's why we're going to see so many people without power and why you need to have those emergency kits. and let's go ahead and show you that official forecast track. and more on that timing. this is going to be moving through the outer banks today. it's going to be heading on up towards virginia tonight and the delmarva. as we head into tomorrow, we'll watch for this to move near long island, potentially up into connecticut. and by sunday morning -- or, i'm sorry, monday morning, it's going to be out of here altogether. so we've got the weekend, this is a weekend storm, it's a long
duration event. you're going to have a hard time sleeping tonight in places like d.c. on up into philadelphia and new york city. the winds are going to be strong, the rain's going to be heavy, and we're going to see a whole lot of flooding with that 6 to 12 inches of rain. >> jacqui jeras, thank you once again. at 12 minutes past the hour now, i want to turn to coast guard rear admiral william lee. he's a commander for the fifth district of the coast guard. that's, essentially, he handles the mid-atlantic. his responsibility runs from north carolina through new jersey, so this is the guy to talk to who's right now handling things over there where, exactly where this storm is and is headed. sir, we appreciate your time with us this morning. tell me, have you jumped into action just yet? you were prepared, but have you had to react to anything in north carolina just yet, and what do you anticipate? >> yes, good morning. we have repositioned all of our forces that were in the path of the storm, and we are postured to respond as the storm passes
and we're going to swing around behind it. what the general public needs to know right now, though, is that where the storm is actively brewing, and just ahead of it, the coast guard is offline. we had to move our assets, our ships, our boats, our airplanes out of the path of it, so that they wouldn't get rendered inoperable. my advice for everybody upwind of this storm is to stay home, use some common sense, don't do any fool-hearted things. the surfers need to stay home. we're working a case right now off of ocean, virginia. we have a 30-foot sailboat with two people on board, that is running -- that is being battered by the storm, and we don't have any boats to get to them. the locals are trying to do their best, but they need to stay home. >> sir, is that the only situation you do have, like that? the one you just mentioned, where two people in this boat are getting battered? do you expect more to come?
is that the only active one you're working on right now? >> to my knowledge, that's the son-in-l only one that's active right now. we anticipate there may be more upwind as this thing works its way up the eastern seaboard. these may be people who decided to ride out the storm on their boat and they broke free from their mooring or started dragging anchor. people upstream need to learn from the lessons that they're seeing that are current right now and get off the boats and seek refuge elsewhere. >> and like you said there, sir, you're offline in the area right where the storm is, and i believe you said, just north. i guess, how long does it take you to reposition yourself and get back in there as needs be? >> well, i'm in charlotte right now with my air fleet from elizabeth city, north carolina, and as soon as the storm passes, the weather lays down enough for us to get airborne, we're coming right in behind it. we're going to start doing surveillance, we're going to look at the damage, we're going
to be looking for search and rescue wherever and whenever it may happen. >> and you say you're looking for that search and rescue, and i had general honore here talking to me about it a short time ago. he said, that may be the one thing we don't do so well just yet, is to make sure that we know where the most vulnerable people are, people who couldn't evacuate, the elderly. i guess how do you go about? are you literally out there searching for people, or are people, those distress signals in some way, form, or fashion coming to you all via calls and saying, hey, you need to go ahead here and get to this person, head to this neighborhood. how does it work? >> it comes to us in a litany of ways. obviously, people, people -- everybody has a cell phone these days, but the problem is cell phone towers may be inoperable. so that mechanism may not work. boats, many of them, have eperbs on them. these are beacons that light off and let us know that somebody's in peril and give us their exact position.
other people may report it, they see something amiss from the beach, but we're not going to know where they are until somebody notifies us, that's why i say, it's absolutely critically important that people understand that there's nobody to go get them right now if they're doing foolhardy things in the midst of this storm. >> you say foolhardy things, you mention that boat and those two people on board being battered right now, y'all can't go get them, don't know what their situation is. but do you have confidence that maybe you won't be that busy because people listened and they're doing what they're supposed to do and they evacuated and they're not on a boat and they didn't hunker down in their house and try to ride it out foolhardily? >> well, we hope for the best, prepare for the worst. i'm hoping we won't have any busy in the next three days. >> and how long will you be hanging tight there? i know you're watching this storm? but how long before you anticipate y'all will be on the move? >> well, given the progression
of this storm up the coast, i predict that we're going to have to stay hunkered down here in charlotte until late this evening or at first light tomorrow morning. but we're going to be airborne just as soon as we can get over there and be postured to respond to search and rescue. >> well, rear admiral william lee. sir, i hope it's all right if we call on you once again. you say you're hunkered down maybe through the night, maybe first thing in the morning you might be back at it again. hopefully we can call on you and get an update if that's all right? >> absolutely, sir. >> thank you for your time this morning, i know it's a busy time for y'all. that's rear admiral william lee in charge of essentially that fifth coast guard district that covers the mid-atlantic, essentially the area that's being hit by the storm and had been hit throughout the weekend. we're at 18 minutes past the hour now. taking a look at one of the cities in irene's sights, they're getting ready in, yes, washington. a city in a state of emergency now. people live there are going to be needing sandbags possibly. storm preps in the nation's capital when we come back. i remember the days before copd.
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all right. 20 minutes past the hour now. what you're seeing here is a live picture from moorhead city, north carolina. it has been a rough few hours for the people on the coast of north carolina and it is not over just yet. you see one boat there hanging on. nobody's on it. we do believe, but still, some of these boats having to be left behind. people tied them down as best they could and they hope they'll be there when people return to the area. but some rough waters can kicking up off the coast of north carolina. north carolina is where this storm made landfall just a couple of hours ago. hurricane irene came ashore as a category 1 storm and we continue
to track it. it is on its way up the east coast of the united states, expected to make its way out to places like washington, boston, new york city as well. washington, d.c., is one place where they are getting prepared. the storm caused kind of some disruptions -- i shouldn't say kind of some disruptions, it really caused some disruptions for this weekend. this was the big weekend for them to unveil the mlk, martin luther king jr. memorial on the national mall. a big dedication ceremony set for tomorrow. but it had to be canceled. but this is one event whe can show you that is taking place. this is an interfaith service happening right now, a prayer service as part of the martin luther king memorial. at least they were able to do this. this is inside. you have a number of dignitaries and vips there, civil rights icons, legends, and people who were friends of martin luther king participating in this live picture that you're seeing. that's happening right now. but, again, this is one of the few events associated with the national memorial that's able to
take place this weekend. the major dedication did have to be canceled. let's turn to d.c. and get more on this from our athena jones who's been standing by for us this morning. and athena, the plan was for me to be there with you and a lot of us to be there to cover the dedication tomorrow, but just not possible. >> reporter: exactly. safety first. they've had to postpone that memorial dedication. it was going to be a huge event. thousands of people coming in. a whole series of events leading up to it, like the one you just reported on, but that's going to have to be postponed. we're here now on the national mall. the d.c. mayor, vincent gray, has declared a state of emergency, and we're just now starting to really feel the rain about to pick up. we don't expect it to pick up and be strong until later this afternoon, but i'm talking to some residents here on the mall. we've got neil and fiona mulholland. are you worried about the storm? >> yeah, we're worried. we've got food at home, a couple good books at home ready to go,
a couple movies lined up to watch. we're going to enjoy the morning, go home, and spend the afternoon and evening and tomorrow inside until the storm passes. >> reporter: have you ever experienced anything like this? >> well, d.c., lately, we've been getting a lot of things. we had the blizzard two years ago and the earthquake this week and now the hurricane. hopefully after this, we're done. >> reporter: lastly, what are you telling friends and family who may be worried? >> we're good. it's all good in d.c. it's quiet with right now. we're going to ride it out at home, so we're safe. >> reporter: so city officials are telling people to be prepared. they're handing out sandbags, telling people to have batteries on hand, flashlights, and have cash in case the electricity goes out and the atms are difficult to get into. that's how people are preparing here, t.j.. >> athena, thank you once again live for us in d.c. a lot of advice have been coming your way this morning, people telling you what to do. a lot of officials telling you what to do when this storm comes. and even general honore who's been talking to us here, he says
it's a culture in our nation we need to build up, but you need to take care of your neighbor. maybe the one down the street that's less fortunate, maybe the elderly one across the street, you need to check on them. that's some of the advice people are getting. take care of your neighbors. also, take care of yourself. you've got to take care of your family during this storm. it's a serious storm, even though it was downgraded to a category 1, but it is on the way and it's still a huge storm. going to be a big windmaker and rainmaker. i talked to homeland security director janet napolitano just a short time ago about what people need to be doing right now. >> if you are in an area where your governor or mayor has said there's a mandatory evacuation order, please abide by that order, and even if you're not in an evacuation zone, please know this is a big storm, it covers a lot of territory. be prepared. have some food, flashlight batteries, extra water, the sorts of things that will help you get through in case, particularly, power is out for some period, some period of time. >> all right. at 25 minutes past the hour now,
we're going to be checking in in just a moment with new york city, a place that has been -- has seen something they haven't seen before. mandatory evacuations of some 370,000 people in anticipation of a hurricane. quick break. we're right back. p yoo-hoo. hello. it's water from the drinking fountain at the mall. [ male announcer ] great tasting tap water can now come from any faucet anywhere. introducing the brita bottle with the filter inside.
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but it is on its way to new york. people there need to hear this. the clock is ticking on you. as many of you know, new york depends on it public transit, trains, buses there. well, the new york public transportation system is going to shut down here in an hour and a half. there are some mandatory evacuations for that city that have been issued by the mayor. and he is telling people, and many people do not drive in new york city, as you know, don't have cars. they depend on public transit. so if you need to get out of there and get going, you've got an hour and a half to get on a bus or a train or a subway to get out of town or get out of the way. otherwise, you're going to have to depend on a friend to come and get you or you are going to be footing it in new york city. a direct hit on that city could be devastation. and there are a number of reasons why. according to the international business times, here are some of the top reasons. because a storm surge could flood low-lying areas of that city, yes, including laguardia and jfk airports.
also, hurricane-force winds could break windows out of hundreds of those skyscrapers in new york. also, the heavier rains or the seawater could flood the entire subway system. also, flooding in lower manhattan could paralyze the financial district. and then there's the evacuations. mayor michael bloomberg urging people in low-lying areas to get out if they haven't already. like i mentioned, they have issued evacuation orders for some 370,000 people. the hurricane not just in new york, has forced people out of their homes in a number of places up and down the east coast, but what happens when all these people return and some find their homes gone or damaged? one group answering the call, operation blessing international. we'll find out how this group is helping provide disaster relief. we're at the bottom of the hour. stay with me.
we're at the bottom of the hour now, and poppy harlow, as we turn back to new york city, she's now moved to battery park city there in new york. hello to you once again. and we keep reiterating, poppy, the clock is ticking if you need to use public transit in new york. >> reporter: yeah. no question about it. one hour and a half, that's all you have if you live in zone "a" in new york city. that is 370,000 people that are under mandatory evacuation. we just moved down here to battery park, here's why. this is, at the lowermost tip of manhattan island. i live a few blocks away from here, i had to evacuate. what you have behind you is ground zero, just what it looks like, the freedom tower right there being built. the city working and the port authority and the construction workers, t.j., they're working
to secure the cranes. i don't know if you can see it, but they've got cranes hoisted up on the building. obviously, you want the cranes very secure in the massive winds that we're expecting here. every single family in all of these buildings is being told to evacuate. you can see, there are huge apartment complexes. i used to live down here. there are a lot of families, a lot of kids, and they're telling us, they're getting out. they're going to hotels, going to stay with friends, they're getting out. lines of taxis here ready to take people. but i want you to take a listen from sound from mayor mike bloomberg, because the concern here is some new yorkers are not taking it seriously enough. i just talked to one young man who said, i'm hunkering down, this is a lot of hype. let me reiterate, this isn't a lot of hype according to the mayor's office and the experts who are watching this storm. here's what mike bloomberg had to say about an hour ago. take a listen. >> staying behind is dangerous, staying behind is foolish, and it's against the law, and we urge everybody in the evacuation zone not to wait until there are
gale-force winds and driving rain to leave. and not to wait until the public transportation system starts slowing down today. it's going to be too late. the time to leave is right now. >> reporter: the time to leave is right now. the mayor went on to say that first responders are going to respond to people that are in serious, serious condition. they're not going to come, necessarily, for people that decided to stay behind. he also said that the storm expected to hit new york city tonight. he went on to say, and this is really important, that con edison, the big power provider here, t.j., will have to cut off power for lower manhattan where we are if the flooding is too bad. in this building, they're taking preemptive steps. what they're going to do is they're going to completely stop the elevator in this massive building at 5:00 p.m. today. that's going to happen in a number of buildings across new york city. so if you live on one of those higher floors, first of all, you're not supposed to be above the tenth floor, you've got to get down. but you've got to keep in mind that your electricity might go out, you may not have elevator
service, so that's why it's important to heed caution and do it now. >> poppy harlow, good information from new york. we'll check in with you once again. we're at 33 minutes past the hour. we know a number of humanitarian organizations are jumping into action. they got a lot of things in place before this storm and they'll certainly be busy after the storm. one of these organizations is operation blessing international. it's based in virginia beach, virginia. joining me now is jody harrington getty. she's head of u.s. disaster relief. ma'am, good morning to you. i know it's a busy time for you. what are you prepared to do at this point and what will you be table to do as this storm passes? >> yeah, t.j., we are prestage at our world headquarters here in virginia beach. it happens to be one of the highest places in the hampton roads area, so we're safe, we're dry, and we're on high ground. we have mobile equipment, that has a capability of 2,500 meals a day. heavy equipment like a 20-ton crane, a front end loader, seasoned disaster relief staff
that respond to disasters all over the nation. we're with here with life-sustaining resources, mres, water, just anything that we would need to help the people recover after a devastating disaster here. >> and i know it's still pretty early in this storm, just a couple hours after landfall, but so far, do you anticipate where you may need to position all of that equipment right after the storm? i guess, the hardest hit areas, as you see it. >> yeah, we are positioning, like i said, right here at home. so we're looking at the norfolk area, just because of the low-lying areas. also, the sand bridge area. i know there's a tornado that just happened there within about an hour ago. we work with local emergency management, local churches, pastors, and come in and say, what's the greatest need and how can we help you meet that need? just this morning, i've been in communication with jim redick, the emergency manager of virginia beach. we'll work directly with them, coordinating relief here in the hampton road area, in the greatest hit areas, just as soon as it's safe to go out. >> and it might not be, it's probably too early to get any kind of even roundabout estimates of how many people you may need to serve.
but, can you give me an idea of how great, at least, the need will be as far as what you're prepared for? how many are you prepared to take care of? >> yeah, we're prepared right now at least for 2,500 meals a day for three days. we also have about a 60,000 square foot warehouse full of food that we use for disaster relief, not only here in the united states, but all over the world. so we have access to a lot of food to keep a lot of people fed. we have, like i said, the heavy equipment to be able to help remove debris from roadways, put blue tarps on houses. so we're prepared to take care of at least 3,000 people a day if not more. >> 3,000 a day. and it looks like, certainly, that many may be needing help. we got word from red cross, they already have thousands in their shelters hunkering down. jody harrington-getties. again, the name of the organization is operation blessing international, going into action already and will be in action, it sounds like, for the next several days. ma'am, thank for your time. hope it's all right if we check in with you again right after
the storm. >> absolutely. thank, t.j.. >> all right. no, problem. well, we're at 36 minutes past the hour now. in north carolina, we've been focusing on so much this morning because they have been taking a pounding for the past several hours. but how long is this pounding going to last and at what cost? find out what's happening right now along the california -- carolina coast, excuse me, we're at 36 minutes past the hour. i sr checking her heart rate, administering her medication, and just making her comfortable. one night britta told me about a tradition in denmark, "when a person dies," she said, "someone must open the window so the soul can depart." i smiled and squeezed her hand. "not tonight, britta. not tonight." ♪ toi switched to a complete0, multivitamin with more. not tonight." only one a day women's 50+ advantage has ginkgo for memory and concentration,
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well, at 40 minutes past the hour now, you're seeing here a picture that's coming to us via a website. this is surfchecks.com. they have these cameras up at certain locations at beaches around, and this is giving you a picture here ofmorehead, north carolina, or is this nagshead -- that's nagshead. storm surge will be an issue throughout the weekend for many parts up and down the east coast. but i believe we do have the picture we can show you this morning as well. this is the one, i believe, from morehead, north carolina. that boat is arocking. nobody's on it, that we can tell. i can't tell that for sure, but we can only hope that nobody is on that boat. but a lot of people, you know, you tie them down, and hopefully they're still there when they come back. but just gives you an idea of uh
ho thing how things are starting to turn on this saturday morning. we've been watching it closely in our special coverage here on this cnn saturday morning. the storm is making its march up the east coast right now. it came ashore about three hours ago, in north carolina. it came ashore as a category 1 hurricane. atlantic beach is one place. this is what was left behind already, you can see. hurricane storm surge swamping the town with ocean water. also, the storm is spinning its way northward, to some of the biggest cities on the east coast. this is a big concern, because these are highly populated areas where this storm is heading. new york, washington, baltimore, boston, all could get hit by this storm. maybe even a direct hit, some of them. it's pushing sustained winds, the storm, of about 85 miles an hour. it's not as strong as it once was. don't let that fool you. this is still a dangerous storm. also, we've gotten word this
storm has claimed at least one life. now, north carolina is where so much of our focus has been this morning. one of our reporters, brian todd, has been stationed for us in wilmington, north carolina, throughout the morning. let's check in with him once again. how are things, brian? >> reporter: well, t.j., they say that the worst of it may be starting to move away from us, but i'm not sure i believe it. we're still getting pelted with wind and rain, as strong as it's been all morning, just now, and flooding is a huge concern right now. in a couple of manifestations. first, you've got the river behind me, the cape fear river. there are concerns and it is expected to flood its banks upstream where the river gets narrower. you can see the swells and white caps behind me. pretty rough around here right now. this river is expected to rise with the storm surge and flood its banks upstream. other variances of flooding, you've got the flash flooding on the streets which is a huge problem because the rain has been so unrelenting around here,
it's really hovered over this area. a lot of flash flooding, there's floods up the street from us here, a two-mile stretch of flooding on a street not too far the from us in carolina beach. there are trees down, power lines down. officials are warning people not to venture out into this, not to try to drive into this, because officials are taking matters into their own hands. we're told that i-117, a fairly major interstate not far from here, closed right now. so that may preclude people from actually trying to leave. that will be one consideration as well, as people try to navigate this and get out of it if they can. t.j.? >> all right, brian todd for us once again in wilmington, north carolina, thank you. and we're about 43 minutes past the hour. jacqui jeras will have the very latest on this storm, where it is, where it's heading, and when it's going to arrive, maybe in your town. stay with us on this cnn saturday morning and our extensive coverage of hurricane irene. on our car insurance. great! at progressive, you can compare rates side by side, so you get the same coverage, often for less.
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what you've got in your hand there? >> it's a tornado warning. and this is an area that's been warned several times already this morning. the city of chesapeake, the city of norfolk, the city of portsmouth and the city of virginia beach all under a tornado warning right now. this is a doppler radar indicated, very dangerous tornado, and is expected to be moving in, oh, say around 10:55 into downtown portsmouth, as well as downtown norfolk. so take cover. oftentimes, we do see tornadoes spin up with these types of storms. and you can see that we do have a tornado watch, which is in effect right up there, across parts of virginia, as well as into the delmarva and then we've got a new one, i believe, that was just issued, that extends further north here, and that's going to be in effect throughout the afternoon. there you go. there you can see the new watch box, in that area as well. so a developing situation, as this thing continues to make its way onshore. we had landfall, if you missed it, cape outlook -- lookout, excuse me, about 7:30 this morning.
the core of this storm, the worst of the winds in the center of circulation is focused in here across the outer banks. it's moving through the pamlico sound. we'll continue to see some very high surge and strong wind gusts. we've had reports of up to 115 miles per hour already. the other thing, we've had an incredible amount of rainfall. take a look at this. this is doppler radar estimated wind, to put it in perspective for you. here's the outer banks. there's the outline. here's beaufort, here's new bern. the city of aurora is right in here and aurora is reporting 4 feet of water up to fifth street now, downed power lines across that area and in new bern, big-time flooding there. reported businesses underwater right now, and in beaufort, t e trees are blocking the roadway and a lot of debris is being reported as well. let's take you city by city real quick and show you what's going to get what and when. just keep in mind, these windows is where you'll see the peak of the storm. 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., virginia beach, 10:00 a.m. to noonish,
long island, and 3:00 p.m.ish into the boston area. monday morning, this storm is out here. we've got a lot more impacts to talk about. cnn is your hurricane headquarters and t.j. will be right back after this break. every time a local business opens its doors or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business -- it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities, so we're helping them with advice from local business experts and extending $18 billion in credit last year. that's how we're helping set opportunity in motion. enough plastic water bottles to stretch around the earth over 190 times. each brita filter can take up to 300 of those bottles out of the equation.
we're about nine minutes from the top of the hour now. look at this. we are talking about the storm this morning and we are already seeing what it's leaving behind. new pictures coming to you out of atlantic beach, north carolina. this is where our john zarrella has been set up and reporting throughout the morning, but we knew this was going to be a problem, flooding, and also the high winds were going to be an issue. and we've seen some things being thrown about and knocked down. is that a swimming pool there i'm seeing? it looks like it is. but just some of the first bits of video of damage that we are seeing in north carolina as this storm just about a couple of hours ago made landfall in north carolina and now it's making its way up the east coast. stay with us here for extended coverage of hurricane irene this morning. and as always, on a big story like this, you help us tell the story. our cnn ireporter, sending us a lot of video. this is one of them.
and we'll tell you the story behind it and more dramatic video from you, our viewers, that is next. stay with us. that? oh, we call it the bundler. let's say you need home and auto insurance. you give us your information once, online... [ whirring and beeping ] [ ding! ] and we give you a discount on both. great! did i mention no hands in the bundler? bundling and saving made easy. now, that's progressive. call or click today. you don't have an ipod in your if you don'phone. an iphone, with your music.. and your playlists. and you don't have itunes on your phone.. the world's number one music store. with genius.. that recommends new music based on the songs you already have.
as we get close to the top of the hour now, we have been giving you extensive coverage of hurricane irene and you have seen a lot of our reporters out in the field, bringing you those pictures and telling you the stories, but you, our ireporters, have been helping us tell the story as well. josh levs here with that. good morning, josh. >> good morning to you, t.j., good morning to everyone. let me tell you, we've got something going online called open story and it is taking off. this is it behind me. and everywhere that you see a red mark, we have received ireports from people who are experiencing hurricane irene. and you can tell, based on the cone of uncertainty and where things go from here, we can expect to be getting a lot more of these when taken safely, and then we post them up on here and you're able to click around and see lots of videos. let's go to one right here that i want you to see now. this is coming from a williams gaskins. let's listen in. >> -- even after the storm has left. just a moment ago, we got a --
we're getting some actual gusts now. >> i'm going to tell you what this is right here. he's in pauly's island, south carolina. pawleys island is along the coast in south carolina, just south of myrtle beach, about 26 miles south. now let's jump a few hundred miles north up virginia beach. let's check this out. look at those waves coming to us from andrea, alexander, in virginia beach, virginia. the winds were very strong, andrea tells us. it was hard for her storong. in fact, as she was taking some of these videos, she started shaking around. let me emphasize to everyone, we don't want you to take any risks in taking these, but if you can safely take photos or videos, send them to us at ireport.com. you'll see it's very easy. and we're getting new details
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