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tv   Weekend Early Start  CNN  June 1, 2013 3:00am-4:01am PDT

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about six miles in diameter. this one will be back in 200 years. thank you for starting your morning with us. we're coming up on the top of the hour, and we, of course, are following the severe weather in the midwest. >> wow! >> that's what it sounded like for people around el reno, oklahoma. there are reports as many as 23 tornadoes touching down in five states. oklahoma, missouri, kansas, iowa and illinois. >> five people have been killed by the storms including a mother and her child. we did get new reports of
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injuries and damages. and now the concern is flooding. the same storm that brought the tornados brought rain to places like moore, oklahoma, which has been through a lot. in el reno, oklahoma, people are being told to stay inside. >> missouri's governor has declared a state of emergency. the main airport in st. louis is open again. it closed last night so they could clear debris in the runways. a tornado touched down nearby. there was 75-mile-per-hour winds and hail that caused serious damage. >> we begin our coverage in oklahoma with george howl, and he is one of the communities that has been hit hard by the storm. you are in front of a home there that has been destroyed by the storm. tell me what it looks like out there, and give us some details. >> reporter: absolutely.
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when you get in front of a home like this you get a sense of the power of one of these storms of one of these tornados. thankfully the family here got out of the way. let's take a look at this. we have been taking a look this morning to see what is left over. you see the red top that used to be the tractor there, and the storm took the top of the tractor off. come over here and you can see the side of the home, the winds and the tornadoses so strong that it knocked the bricks off the side of the home, and even ripped a hole in the roof up there. but, you know, the real damage, if you come over here, can you see exactly how this tore down the second floor of this home. look at this. this is all -- you know, in all the stuff that used to be upstairs. chris merit tells me, he had to go up there because the water was running. he had to go up there and turn it off. what are we looking at?
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you see a bed over there and furniture. it's just amazing to see the power of what one of these tornadoes can do. alison and victor, the funny thing is, this was the lucky -- they were the lucky ones here, because the house over there, you can't see it yet but we drove down there. that house is gone. the house next to it is gone as well. you know, we were trying to determine whether this was a, you know, a spa rratic event. when we get the light of day we will be able to see. when you look at what happened here, this was a tough and bad tornado. >> george, are you seeing any of the survey teams there? we know that power is out to hundreds of thousands of people, and who are seeing there working to recover from the storm? >> reporter: you know, as far as crews coming out to deal with, you know, downed power lines and
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things like that, quite honestly have not seen a lot of that at this point. that may happen in the next couple of hours. i can tell you this, victor, there are a lot of people without power at this hour, and there are a lot of people, you know, who are trying to get back to their homes but may not be able to get back to their homes because of downed trees and power lines. the winds last night were very strong. a lot of rain and a lot of standing water in the way of people, so it will probably take a few hours before people can get back in the neighborhoods and assess the damage. >> george howell in union city. thank you. i want to stay in oklahoma and show you this. this is what the main highways look like as people try to get away from the storm. but that left them in danger's path. highways are open now, and most people back home and assessing damage if they have any, and a storm caser who got a good look at what was going on in oklahoma
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here. >> people were trying to evacuate all over the place. the whole metro, it was basically a huge evacuation zone it seemed. as we got south, all the areas and roads and arteries going south out of the metro area, it was just bumper to bumper with traffic all the way south of the metro. and it was kind of a scary situation there, because if something had actually, you know, a tornado had formed south, and there would have been hundreds and hundreds of cars and people stuck in these huge traffic jams during a very violent tornado. something i have not seen before. we were a little ways and people were actually driving southbound in the northbound lanes to try and get out of the way. even though there was actually
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no imminent tornado threat, people were really, really panicked. you can tell by the erratic driving. we almost got in a head on collision trying to go north and cars coming at us the opposite way. it was like i thought about people evacuating from a hurricane where they open up the other side of the lanes to let people go. such a dynamic and changing evolving situation with tornados forming and these storms coming in and it was really asking for a catastrophe. i am surprised there was not more problems or we're not hearing of more reports of injuries from car crashes. >> that was in missouri. there was violent storms there as well. they stripped the signage off buildings and sent roofs flying. no deaths reported, fortunately. the governor, jay nixon, declared a state of emergency.
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and the airport is now open again after debris was spread across the runway and passengers and crew literally running for cover. and many still have no power. officials warn there are more strong winds, and flash floods could be on the way today. >> just no end. they don't get a break. >> it has been a tough couple of weeks for that part of the country, from oklahoma to indiana, more dangerous thunderstorms we said with the flash floods and winds are still a threat. >> and carin mcguinness joining us now. it has gone from a wind event to a rain event, right? >> yes. from may 20th, we had the ef-5 tornado that struck moore, oklahoma, and we are still dealing with that. and now we get another round of severe weather and get power
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outages and flooding, and those are many different levels of an emergency situation that you can think of. all right. here we go. oklahoma city right here. we are seeing the bulk of precipitation that now moved along i-40 to the east. we still have got some of these embedded cells. if you look at this region just to the south -- i apologize. we are looking at the bulk of the precipitation, the heaviest right along the i-40 to the south. those are not the areas where it's exclusive. the rain keeps coming down and the wash areas continue to fill up. this is our 3-d look at the storms that happened last night. some of the thunderstorms were up to 60,000 feet. i will tell you this. we did see the temperatures up over 100 degrees, and in allmore
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we saw temperatures triple digits, and you get the ideal ingredients for the storms to start to build. that's why they were so intense and powerful. they will send out national weather service people and survey the damage and assess just how intense these tornadoses were. the ef-5 that was in moore, oklahoma, i think we might see a little less than that only because we did not see the population density that we saw in moore, so as soon as we get that information we will pass it along to you. >> okay. thank you. the national weather service says that five tornados of the 23 in total, five of those hit oklahoma. nick valencia joins me from el reno where one struck. tell me what you are seeing this morning, nick. >> reporter: hey, we drove here about 25 miles west of oklahoma city to a town called el reno, oklahoma.
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we saw a lot of damage on the way in. a couple of overturned semis, and first responders were helping them out and there was lots of debris on the side of the road. we are outside of the canadian valley technical center, which appears to be the center of the strike zone, or at the very least part of the area that got hit hard. you see debris all up along side of this structure in the back and you see another structure with half of its roof torn off. and on the way here, we saw first responders going up and down the road here alison, doing their second sweep of the area, and we understand they already have done one sweep. they are not reporting injuries or fatalities here yet, and we expect something at 9:00 or 10:00 eastern, and when we have information we will bring it to you. we understand the mayor is concerned about major flooding. we have not seen any of that on
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our drive in. we do see, though, that there is very little light out here. for our crew and a couple other crews out here, news crews out here, there is no light out here, alison. it's completely pitch dark and pitch black. as we mentioned all morning it's going to be a testament to how strong the tornado was that came through here when first light comes up, and until then this is what we have to go off here, this debris next to the technical center and what we have seen coming in, the overturned semi and debris along the road, but so far we have not seen the catastrophic damage like the ef-5 in moore, oklahoma. >> nick, thanks. we will make sure and check back with you a little later, especially when the sun comes up. going in the direction of the storm. >> go! quick! as fast was can.
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>> as fast as you can. that's what it is like to be a storm chaser. we will bring you more from the danger zone. >> go now! hurry! spokesman i have to look my so bbest on camera.sing whether i'm telling people about how they could save money on car insurance with geico... yeah, a little bit more of the lime green love yeah... or letting them know they can reach geico 24/7 using the latest technology. go on, slather it all over. don't hold back, go on... it's these high-definition televisions, i'll tell ya, they show every wrinkle. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. happy birthday! it's a painting easel! the tide's coming in!
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the video coming out from the storms is just stunning, and you can't watch enough of it because it's just incredible. and these are storm chasers capturing the video and they drive toward the storm instead of seeking shelter. >> you will want to sit down and just for the next four minutes or so watch this. this is what brandon sullivan and his team ran into in union city, oklahoma. watch. >> oh, my goodness! oh, my goodness! >> oh, no. >> just continuous vortex here. >> brett, turn the car around! go, quick! fast as you can!
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brett, go now! hurry! 40 is not enough!
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>> you're fine. >> head down. duck down! duck down! move forward if you can.
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you're good. go! go south. if you don't go south, we're going to die! go, go! just go, get around him, man! >> i can't. >> are we okay? >> yes. it's rfd. just go! >> is everything okay? >> yes, just go! it's rfd, you are fine. that's fine, dude, just go! >> i can't stay on the road!
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>> are we okay? >> yeah. [ bleep ] >> get down. duck down! duck down! >> you know, i have a different feeling every time i watch it. it's the second time i have seen it now. >> now what do you think? >> i think they are surprisingly calm even though they are shouting. >> i can't believe he is not wearing a seat belt until the end. >> what is interesting when you see the debris smacking into the car, he did an interview earlier this morning and he said that's a good sign, because it means that they are going further and further away from the storm and it's the wake of the path of the tornado. >> they clearly know what they are doing and the signs to look for. that driver is white knuckled nervous, are we okay? but they are okay. that's the good thing about the story.
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they know what they are doing, and unfortunately, pumps on the vehicle, but they are fine. this is a fire in houston. >> firefighters went inside to find anybody that could be trapped and then the walls collapsed on them. this is a really sad story and we will take you live to houston next. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? oh, yeah. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. [ wife ] sorry. [ male announcer ] but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a passat. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit today.
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we're following news of a deadly hotel fire in houston this morning. four firefighters were killed in this fire. they died when a hotel wall collapsed on them. we want to go to cnn's sarah ganim. >> reporter: the fire started
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around noon at the hotel behind me, and it has a restaurant attached adjacent to it and that's when the fire began. unfortunately, they may have underestimated the power of the flames when they entered in believing that there were people trapped that needed to be rescued. what happened was, as far as we know, there are no civilian injuries, but there are four firefighters dead and 13 injured, some from heat exhaustion but some of them when a wall collapsed on them. firefighters are telling me that people who were outside of the building rushed in and began picking their firefighter colleagues out of the rubble. i just talked to a firefighter who is on the scene here. he showed me a picture on his cell phone of four axes that were turned upside down and dug into the ground with four helmets sitting on top of them as a makeshift memorial on the
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scene as they continue to put out minor flames, as they wait for investigators state and fed, to determine what happened. >> houston's mayor called friday the worst day in the history of the houston fire department. this is just a really, really somber day. >> reporter: yeah, and unfor kphau n unfortunately, it's been a hard year for texas. in west texas several firefighters injured at a explosion at a fertilizer plan the. like you said, it's the most deadly in the houston fire department history, and unfortunately, it seems like the number is not exact yet. 13 people injured, 13 critical,
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and those are all first responders. >> so sad. thank you, sarah. coming up -- >> large tornado. very large tornado. >> not so much a funnel cloud as much as a wall of wind. with an agility control sport-tuned suspension. but hurry before this opportunity... disappears. the mercedes-benz summer event ends soon. ♪ ♪
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let's get you up to speed on this morning's top story. as many as 23 tornadoes have touched down across five midwestern states. >> horizontal! >> i am south of i-40. it's going to be right here in front of me, mike. it's coming down right now. very, very big. an entire vortex coming down to the ground, mike. >> in the oklahoma city area, five people, including a mother and her child, they are dead. at least 71 others are hurt. but the town of moore, that's where a tornado last month killed 24 people. largely it was spared here. in the wake of all that, oklahoma and missouri, they are under states of emergency. all the way east of indiana, about 212,000 actually have no
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power there. and while the main airports in oklahoma city and in st. louis, missouri, they have re-opened all morning, and departchures out of oklahoma city have been cancelled and now another threat is looming. >> rain from the storm system can trigger flash floods, and today's forecast includes large hail and potential for more tornadoes. authorities are warning people to stay inside. for now they are monitoring water and waiting for daylight to assess the damage. let's begin our coverage out of oklahoma with george howell. he is in union city. it's one of the communities that was really hit hard by the storm. >> george, you are in this area right in front of a home that has been damaged, probably 45 minutes from sunlight here. you have covered moore, oklahoma, with the storm that hit 12 days ago. how does this compare? >> reporter: it's hard to say.
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let's talk about it. with the moore, oklahoma, story, and let's not forget shawnee, oklahoma, an ef-2 came in and killed two people, and then the next day an ef-5 came through and just really tkau phademoliss of moore. it developed and dropped tornados right and left. we understand at least five tornadoes on the ground confirmed. it was the sort of storm that parked itself over oklahoma city and just stayed there. you know, as far as our, you know, our ability to get out of the way,e had a plan in place and we got ahead of the traffic, but still we found ourselves being chased by this big black cloud that just kept coming our way, and even chad meyers, our meteorologist, found himself in the same position, because this was really just a storm that
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kind of had its own way about it. it just grew and developed and went in its own path. a crazy storm to deal with but people did get out of the way. and alison mentioned the importance of waiting until daylight and i want to tell you why. see the power lines. let's just follow the lines. they are right there on the ground. that's the problem. this is the home back there. you can barely see it. i will put a little light on it. the power line is right in front of hit, and that's the problem. if you are driving at night and you don't see the lines, and we know that these power lines have been cut off, but, you know, there is a danger in that. but it's really important for these people that left the affected areas to wait until daylight to get to their homes. and there's a problem with flooding in oklahoma city. there are still many storm showers around. they have caused flooding in different places.
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that's another part of the story that we are still trying to assess. we will have a better understanding of what happened when we have light. a lot of rain fallen driving throughout different neighborhoods. a few hours ago we spwraopb a lot of standing water, and that can create a real problem on the roads, guys. >> george there in union city, oklahoma. and storm chasers captured this monster tornado yesterday near union city. >> large tornado. very large tornado. >> now, i am looking at this and i don't see what we would typically call a tornado. >> no. it's in there somewhere. >> it's in there somewhere. it's a block of dark clouds here and it's known as a wedge tornado because it looks wider than it is tall. that's why you don't see it clearly as you would typically
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identifying a tornado. authorities were calling the situation on parts of interstate 35 and 40 a nightmare. big rigs, cars tossed around on the road, and thousands of commuters stuck there. the officials there said they were sitting ducks. two of the five people killed were in union city inside oklahoma. >> and chad meyers, he was checking out all the damage. i want to show you some of what he saw. >> you are looking on your screen here, and it's a semi trailer that has been tipped over and a couple men here and a couple big tow trucks and a air bag being inflated under the truck to try to send it back on its wheels. the irony is this happened about six hours ago. the eeriness is that the lights are still on. the headlights are still on and the flashers are on as these trucks are laying on their side. so the guys here are trying to
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get this back up. it was a truck parking area, a little rest area and it used to be a weigh station. now it's an area where usually when we get a tornado, there are chainsaws. the only chain we are listening to now are the trucks. >> will rogers airport in oklahoma city, safety meant the basement for some people. >> joining me on the phone is karen carney, the spokesperson for will rogers airport. thank you for joining us. is the airport open at this point? any flights going in and out? >> the airport is open. from the airport's perspective, our first priority is to trying to get the airfield open so planes can take off and land so we have them re-opened. we have a few cancelations because obviously no planes could get in pretty much after
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6:00 last night because of the storms. it has been raining and raining and raining. and so those flights that generally come in at the end of the day are the first ones to go out in the morning. so there are no planes. the airlines are really working hard. they are trying to -- they have a lot of people that they have to reaccommodate. a couple airlines are trying to bring in an extra flight or something like that. so we are just going to have to watch it as it develops throughout the day. you know, i think we will see more cancelations, but i think we will start seeing some things starting to get back, you know, in operation, airlines flying out today. >> karen, last time we spoke you said you had 100 to 150 people. i want to talk about the damage. has there been any clearer picture frt damage to the planes and to the airport itself? >> well, certainly, you know, as
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you all were just talking about, when daylight comes we will be able to see a lot more, what the damage really is. but we know that we have the airport, we have a corner of our building where the roofs kind of was blown away. we have a little water fall inside the terminal building, and we have had a lot of signs that were blown off and around. we had one airline, southwest airlines actually, the plane kind of moved and was blown into a jet bridge, so it has sustained a little bit of damage. we had a ups aircraft that basically was just kind of flipped around. i mean, it was flipped around about 90 degrees. i think they have to replace tires, but amazingly the aircraft was not hurt. so we are starting to get these reports. we have several maintenance
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facilities on the property and they are starting to report aircraft on which they had damage or hangars, a hangar door that flew off. i think in the morning we will see a lot more. >> karen carney, a spokesperson for the will rogers world airport in oklahoma city. thank you. >> thank you. flooded streets and broken power lines. the list of damages go on and on. parts of the midwest is being called a nightmare. >> stay with us for recovery frts and take a look at some of the amazing footage from yesterday's deadly tornadoes. it was not just a wind event, but it now is an on going rain event. more to come. little things anyone can do. it steals your memories. your independence. ensures support, a breakthrough. and sooner than you'd like. sooner than you'd think. you die from alzheimer's disease. we cure alzheimer's disease. every little click, call or donation adds up to something big.
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go! fast as you can! it's on the right, go! brett, go now! >> that's some storm chasing video you are watching, and that's brendan sullivan, the guy in the passenger seat, the one making all the noise. we have him on the phone right now from oklahoma city. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> what in the world was going through your mind? >> well, to state the obvious, i guess i was just thinking that we were a little too close. the tornado strengthened really rapidly and took a turn at us
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and i was hoping we could get south in time. >> at some point did you really feel like your life was in danger? you do this often, don't you? >> yes, i have been doing this for quite a while. yeah, i mean, definitely the most scared i have ever been in a tornado situation for sure. >> we see that at some point the windshield breaks. what are you guys driving? >> we are just in my car, which is -- it's a jeep. we don't have any armored vehicle or anything like that. so yeah, a piece of debris from a barn actually blows into the car and hit the windshield. >> how do you decide what to do when you are feeling that fear the most and you are screaming at the driver about what to do, how do you decide what to do? how do you decide what the best move is when you are in the middle of it? >> well, there was a couple things going through my head at
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the time. you know, is it safer to you know abandon the car and seek shelter in a ditch, and at that time i decided that we were south of the tornado with the flying debris that was going on, i knew that we had to stay in the car. getting out was not an option. so we just continued south to try and get away from the path of the tornado. luckily there was other storm chasers injured and their cars were flipped and luckily we were able to get south even though sustained damage. >> what were your thoughts after that video? >> in between the video, i had to jump back in the car as we filmed the tornado. i guess it slipped my mind to put my seat belt on, and as we got strong winds i got worried
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the car could turnover, and i noticed i was not buckled up. >> how long you have been doing this? >> i have been doing this since i was about 14. i am 21, almost 22, so seven or eight years. i have seen my fair share of tornados. today it just snuck up on me. >> who are these other two guys in the vehicle? >> i am sorry. i didn't hear that question. >> who are the other guys, the guy driving and the guy in the backseat. >> the guy driving, he is my best friend and roommate. his name is brett. we both go to school together for meterology. and the guy in the back is a friend and coming out to see his first tornado. >> this is his first one?
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>> we got into a big tornado in kansas earlier this week, but he tells me that he has got his money's worth. >> yeah, because he is silent, jaw dropped in the backseat the whole time. >> yeah, he was -- he handled it much better than i anticipated, i will admit. >> how does this compare to other storms you have chased? >> i mean, we definitely got closer than we have ever been before. something i don't want to do again. but, i think what was so impressive about this storm is how rapidly it strengthened. we were originally with a we felt in a safe position, and it intensified so quickly, the atmosphere was very volatile. things just changed so rapidly. >> you are screaming in a lot of the video. is that out of necessity because the wind is that loud, or is that all adrenaline? >> i would say it's a combination of both. the window is open for some of it. i am really trying to stress to
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my driver, to brett, that we need to go south now. what is not shown in most of the video is that there is actually a car in front of us, multiple cars. i don't know if they were locals or other storm chasers, but they were preventing us really from being able to go south any faster than we were. >> wow. it looked as if those cars were bouncing. were they bouncing or was that the reflection or how the reflection was maneuvered through the crack of the window. >> i think it was just how it was portrayed there. some that were behind us, like i said, the tornado passed half a mile behind us, but the winds were so strong around it that that's where all the debris came from. some chasers were not lucky to go south when we did and got their vehicle flipped. >> one last question and we got to go. will you get out there again?
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>> yes, i will be out there again. i will get the jeep fixed up. we will go out. but definitely a little humbled and it's a good reminder that mother nature is the stronger force and she will always win. >> brandon sullivan, quite the storm chaser, be safe out there, okay? >> all right. thank you. >> wow. he is there with his roommate, brett. a guy from mississippi, who wanted to come and see -- >> i get the feeling he is not going to wanted to come back. he has seen enough. >> no. >> we have details coming in from missouri. >> up to 200 road closures. details after the break. so wek to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive! [ male announcer ] but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a jetta. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit today. on any new volkswagen.
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coming up on seven minutes before the top of the hour, we are following breaking news in the midwest where almost two dozen reported tornados touched down yesterday. now, after hitting oklahoma the storm roared through missouri and caused damage and flooding in st. louis, and look at this home, the tornado hit this house in st. charles, missouri. the roof ripped off. you are looking up at just dark sky and there is debris in this family's living room. >> such fury. >> the storm damaged telephone poles. the one you see here caught fire. more than 89,000 people are without power in missouri. emergency crews rushed to a holiday inn in missouri after the storm hit. we are not sure if they were looking for structural damage or if they were checking into injuries, but there were no reports of death in missouri.
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and after the tornados blew through, they are wreaking havoc on the roadways. more than 200 roads have been closed because of flooding. these are some of the roads that saw emergency crews rescuing stranded passengers last night. if you want to check your commute, head to missouri's dot website. >> it is never a good idea to drive through standing water. first an update on how many in the midwest are without power. hundreds of thousands. we will give you the precise number. and also, more on the deadly tornados. plus, images of space. a dangerous astroid that flew past our little blue planet. c(ñqgñ/twg
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we're bringing you breaking news from the midwest. nearly two dozen reported tornadoes have ripped through that area. now the sun may be coming up in just a few moments, probably 20 minutes from now, but they downed power lines have become a familiar sight. more than 212,000 from oklahoma city to missouri spent the night in the dark. flooding, water tire high is stopping suvs and jeeps from moving there. and then an astroid passed our planet, but at 1.7 miles wide and equipped with its very own moon of all things, a rock that size hitting us would cause a global catastrophe.
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>> to put it in perspective, it's believed the astroid that wiped out the dinosaurs was six miles in diameter. tom foreman has more for us. good morning. >> hey, alison and victor. nasa has been talking about tracking things in space that might be headed toward our earth to steer them away if there is some problem. this is the reason why. if you were to go out to meter crater, arizona, it's in flagstaff. it's huge. from this edge to that edge is about a mile. this was caused by a meteorite that was large. this is about the size of the one that blue up over russia and scared everybody half to death. was it this size? the sizemore of a football
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field? no, this is the size that flew by earth with no impact. the astroid that just passed earth was this side. if we had something like this hit earth, the impact truly would be catastrophic, a huge impact and that's why nasa is watching the skies so carefully to see if there is a way to avoid such a problem in the future. >> thank you, tom. here is what we know as the sun comes up in areas devastated by the tornados, a report of as many as 17 tornadoes, and that's from the national weather service, and cnn weather says about 23 possibly, touching down in several states. in oklahoma, it's dejavu unfortunately for that area in oklahoma city. five deaths being blamed on the storms,


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