tv CNN Newsroom CNN November 18, 2013 11:00am-1:01pm PST
eastern, 1:00 p.m. pacific on "the lead." newsroom continues right noum frau washington, illinois, with brooke. >> it is great to be with you here on this monday. i'm brooke baldwin live here in what remains of washington, illinois. i want you to take a look behind me. we can pan in so you can see what reality is like for the 15,000, population 15,000 or so people here in washington, but specifically for this neighborhood, let me tell you, i just walked two miles just to get here. the security, the police, the sheriff's deputies, it's that tight because they want to keep people, those who should be here, here, and those who should not, out. just a short time ago, the national weather service confirmed this tornado here that ripped through the city of washington, as in fact, an ef-4 storm with wind of about 190 miles per hour at those peak wind speeds. but really, it was the string of
tornadoes that wrecked havoc in communities across this midwest section of the country sunday, but illinois here, really took the brunt of the storms. six people died. >> on the ground. it's on the ground! [ bleep ] >> and you can see from video after video, we have thanks to you, our ireporters, the chaos captured on cell phones. the timing of these tornadoes actually may have been a blessing because the sto he hit the city of washington, illinois, sunday morning. so many of the town's 15,000 inhabitants were at church. one woman says the winds swept her home and everything in it right away. >> i don't really think it's hit home. >> the house was on the other side of the garage, and it's completely gone >> i had two pet. one is still missing. we're hoping that somebody's got
her. and but we were all okay. >> i know there's been other tornadoes and tragedies in recent years that were horrible, too, and you always watch tv and say, oh, that would never happen to us. >> that is what i have heard from several people who live here and lost everything. once again, we're on the ground live in washington, illinois. i know that the governor here in illinois, pat quinn, was just here in washington. just spoke about the heroic actions of so many in his state today. >> he was only 6 years old. his name was brevin hunter. and he heard the sirens. and he td his mother, we better get to the basement. at first, she was saying we'll do it later. he insisted. he said when we're in school, we're told when you hear the sirens, get to safety. >> in neighboring indiana, a state of emergency for the town of cokokomo has been ed,ft
although schools do remain closed today. joining me on the phone, not too far from where i'm standing, from peoria, illinois, is jeanette kendall, the executive editor of times newspaper and the editor of the times courier. i know you're on the phone with me. i was up and on a plane at 5:00 this morning and it was your editorial that was the first thing that i read about your experience here. you were sitting with your parents at a diner here in washington. you were just asking your mother, you know, what you would do, where you would seek cover, if a tornado were to hit, and then tell me what happened. >> yeah, we heard the siren go off. and we started discussing where we would go or what we would do because the restaurant doesn't have a basement. so my mom said she would hide underneath the table or in the bathroom, and then not ten minutes later, someone screamed out, there it is. and we all looked and there was the tornado coming toward us.
>> there was a tornado coming toward you. forgive me for jumping in. we're looking at some of the pictures. i want to explain to our viewers. these are photos you took of the damage and destruction after the fact, buplease continue where you were, including where did you go? the bathroom of this diner? >> yes. we went to the bathroom. i just took off. i went to the woman's bathroom with about 15 other people. i sat on the floor and put my arms over my head. i did fought know where my parents were. they ended up in the men's bathroom. so it was very frightening. >> i can't imagine how terrifying, not knowing where your parents are in that moment. the power is out, people are holding one another. people are very emotional. finally, you find your parents, you hop in the car. you want to make sure their horses are okay, and tell me about what you see on the ground. >> well, when we first left the restaurant, i saw a piece of splintered wood at my feet right when i walked out the door. i picked it up and looked at it
and i thought, i wonder if this is from the storm. i had no idea the devastation that was just down the road. we got in the car, to a right. immediately, we were blocked. we couldn't go any further because there was a telephone pole crossing two lanes of traffic, and next to that, in the other two lanes of the road was a big canopy from a gas station. so we had to turn around at mcdonald's parking lot and there were power lines down, which was very scary. i had to drive back east, going down the road the wrong way. and then we continued to try to find our way out of town to get to my mom's house on the outskirts of washington. and it took us about 45 minutes, when it normally would take a few minutes to get home. >> i have to say -- go ahead. >> along the way, we saw all kinds of devastation. you know, we turned one corner and saw a whole neighborhood leveled. and we just put our hands over our faces and said, oh, my god,
and my mom started crying. and you know, this was the stuff i have only seen in movies. it was very surreal. >> people i have talked to in my drive into washington, have all said to me, brok, we never thought this would happen. we have grown up hearing the sirens but never had a tornado. i wanted to yoquoit the last li of your piece, this is a time where we need to help our neighbors in any way we can. how are you doing that today? >> well, today, we're covering the news. we're getting the information out there. we have five weekly papers. we come out on wednesday. we'll have extensive coverage in our washington times reporter, you know, ways people can he, a. obviously, right now, the authorities want people to stay away. they have all the volunteers that they need. we're also checking facebook, making posts there. you kn,here's lot of lost p they're finding and posting
those on facebook. so we're going to, you know, be a communication tool to let people know what's going on. >> a conduit to help those people find those loved ones, find those photos, mail, pets. thank you so much. best of luck to you and your crew at the times newspaper. the national weather service is still assessing what exactly hit co kokomo in neighboring indiana. whatever it was hathe power to strip roofs from buildings and cause brick walls to crumble. but when you look at this, in all this wreckage, the people there say they are incredibly thankful. george howell is a couple hundred miles away from me in kokomo, indiana, to explain why. george, set the scene for me and tell me why they're feeling thankful today. >> brooke, thankful because when you consider what happened here, when you consider the strong winds or maybe it was a tornado. still yet to be determined.
you consider what came through here, it is amazing to realize that no one was seriously injured. no one was killed in this storm. you know, just about an hour ago, i drove down the road here where you saw some storm damage, and look, there are businesses that are gone. they're leveled. there are homes that are destroyed. and today, just as you're seeing there in illinois, people are picking up the pieces and starting over. i'm not sure how it is there for you right now as far as the winds, brooke, but here on this side in indiana, the winds are picking up. you have to keep your eye on debris like that, that used to be a fire station, by the way. when the winds kicks in, the debris does pick up. there's concern about debris flying around here. the governor came out here, t r toured the area. i asked him what his impressions were, what did he take away from what he saw, the stories here heard? i want you to take a listen to this. >> here in kokomo, it's possible this community took the hardest hit.
we were in a neighborhood not far from here, and a father who had actually constructed a tornado shelter in his backyard told me of seeing a large wedge just past the trees. marble-sized hail. he moved his whole family into the underground chamber in the backyard and within seconds, the tornado struck his home. >> so brooke, again, you know, it really is just incredible to realize what happened here and how this community in many ways was spared when it came to the loss of life. the mayors has lifted the state of emergency that was in place, so people are back on the street, and today, it really is about picking up the pieces and starting over. >> yeah, you know, i keep hearing from so many people that they are thankful it happened on a sunday. i think about moore, oklahoma, and that school, in the middle of the school day. george, thank you so much in neighboring indiana for us. coming up here, we're going to take a bird's eye view of the
devastation in the philippines. reported with a drone. it's a pretty unreal perspective of the damage you just have to see. it's not like anything you have seen yet in terms of the coverage there. plus, toronto's embattled mayor, rob ford. the hits keep on coming, and his new tv show. you heard me right, tv show, airs tonight. we'll go live to toronto next for more on the mayor. back here in the united states, we're bringing you a look at the destruction from the disaster zone here in washington, illinois. and beyond. coming up, standing not too far from me is the mayor of this city, washington, illinois. you'll hear the stories he will share of survival. stay with me. >> so i go outside and i heard this, it's like a train. like a loud train. i said this isn't right. it's not thunder. it kept coming. getting louder. idaho potato farmer. and our giant idaho potato truck is still missing.
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with odor free aspercreme. powerful medicine relieves pain fast, with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. back here live in washington, illinois. i'm brooke baldwin. pieces, someone's siding, more than 400 homes destroyed here because of this ef-4 tornado that ripped through just yesterday, late morning. we're going to bring you much more here from really what remains in washington, and also we're going to talk to the mayor of the city in just about 15 minutes from now. first, i want to send things to don lemon in new york with some of today's other top stories. >> unbelievable, and the sad stories going out of there, thank you. we do have other news. this is just breaking, just in to cnn. he can't seem to stay out of a police station or out of the news. i'm talkinguct george zimmerman. he's been arrested in florida. for the latest, we go to
atlanta. what do you know? >> we just heard about this. this happened at around 1:00 this afternoon. the seminole county sheriff's office said they arrested george zimmerman after responding to a disturbance call. we know that zimmerman was transported and booked at a correctional facility in florida. but beyond that, details of the disturbance we don't know. authorities are expected to release the arrest report and the 911 call very soon in this case. hopefully we'll learn more. as you mentioned, this isn't the first time that george zimmerman has made headlines since a jury found him not guilty in the trayvon martin case. of course, we will continue to follow this breaking story throughout the day and bring you more details as we know them. >> all we're getting now is that he was arrested. it was a disturbance call. the haven't released any other information yet? >> no other information at this time, don. all they said, again, as you mentioned is he has been arrested, he is in custody, and
hopefully we'll learn more details when they release the 911 call and also when they release that arrest report. we don't even know at this point who was involved in this disturbance. so hopefully we'll get those details very soon. >> yeah, i hate to keep questioning you, and you may or may not know, do we know if it was his home, someone else's home, if it wife was involved sdm. >> we don't. it was a place in seminole county, but beyond that, details are very, very few right now. >> all right, working the breaking news story for us. george zum immerman has been arrested in florida on a disturbance call. more details to come on cn nrb. coming up, i wantia to check this out. this is damage from the typhoon in the philippines. look at that. it's recorded by a drone. an unbloovable perspective that you have to see. and a routine traffic stop turns into a police chase with bullets flying. a mom on the run with a car full of kids.
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we are back here live in washington, illinois. i just wanted to show you, you know, when we talk about the winds here and talk about how we know from the national weather service this tornado yesterday was an ef-4. you see the siding, the metal siding wrapped around the tree? that shows you because at the highest, it was about 190 miles per hour. behind me, just an entire field of debris. i was texting with my field producer because i have never experienced -- i have covered a number of tornadoes and just
incredibly strict. they should be in terms of getting people in and out of the areas. i walked two miles. my producer is walking two miles just to get here to bring the story to you because they want to keep folks, potentially looter, out. i want to bring in two people on the fly. forgive me, but this is live television. this is what we're going to do. i'm going to grab my microphone. i'm brooke with cnn. urfirst name is? >> jamie. >> marcie. >> and so we have been looking and hoping to talk to people. do you all have homes back here? >> mm-hmm. >> our home was right over there. >> that one right there? >> we just bought it at the end of march. >> where were you yesterday when the storm hit? >> in the basement. >> it's been incredible. i talk to a lot of people who thank goodness, have basements. >> lucky to be alive. >> you're lucky to be alive. what are you doing today walking around? >> trying to recover what little we have. so it's really frustrating that this whole parking lot is media and we can't get our friends in
to help us save what's left. but -- >> i well tell you they have stopped us coming in in trucks so we're walking in to talk to the two of you. i apologize for taking up part of the parking lot. when you look back at this, just look with me. when you look at -- it looks like somebody's christmas tree down, siding. there are no words. how do you feel looking at it? >> we had a beautiful, wonderful neighborhood with neighbors and it's just gone. we were drinking coffee and enjoying our sunday morning, and it's heart breaking. >> i don't even own a home here. my sister does, but it's just completely heartbreaking. >> what do you want people to know? people who don't live in places that have -- i know a lot of people here have heard the sirens for years. never thought a tornado would hit. >> take it seriously. i was taking a bath. when i heard the siren, i went downstairs. i learned a lesson in humility with a towel when the tornado
hit. >> are there items other than yourselves and your lives, why are you here? are you trying to comb through and find the photos? or yearbooks? >> well, yeah, but we came back for my husband's clothes because we just wanted to see if there were some clothes and some things of family members that we have lost recently. jewelry items. >> jewelry. >> her wedding photos that she just -- they just got married. >> you just got married. >> in may. >> congratulations. >> we actually, my cousin just contacted me on facebook. because someone found and put it on facebook on a website, soul mates, jamie and daniel. i said, that's ours. he gave it to me for valentine's day, and itjoliet, illinois. >> we really want it back. we're hoping to get it. >> the stunning thing about the wind speeds. many towns away, people are finding these items. trying to recover pets and put
them back to rightful owners. for people who want to help, how can they? >> i think everybody is so kind, that's all, really. everybody's lost everything. and that can be replaced with insurance and everything. so i think just be kind and understanding. >> probably also contact the red cross. >> absolutely. >> we're just at cross roads church not too long ago. they have a station set up there with warm food and clothes for people that are in need. you know, my sister, of course, has family members where she can go, but not everybody is that lucky to have shelter. >> absolutely. >> since so many houses were affected, so many people are in need right now. >> absolutely. it's incredible, i think the churches in the communities that come together to help folks like you and also go to our website, cnn.com/impact. we try to put a list together of the organizations helping. thank you. i'm so sorry what happened.
but i'm glad you're okay. >> thank you. >> thank you, ladies, very, very much. don lemon, that puts things in perspecti perspective, doesn't it? >> it really does. she said she was humbled in a towel. sometimes you walk away. the gentleman on cnn earlier said it best. i walked away with my life. and that's really the best thing that i could expect out of this, right, brooke? >> the most important thing. >> we're going to get to other story. we'll get back to you in a moment. let's talk ability toronto's crack smoking mayor. his reality show ford nation deb debuts. the sun network has released a clip in which ford challenges the 44 members of the city council to take drug tests. >> i'll do a drug test, an alcohol test right now. and i put a motion forward that every counselor do it, too. i know people party on the side. i know lawyers, doctors, everybody has a good time. >> who else has done it?
>> i'm not going to name names. >> why not? your name is out there, why not? >> let hem vote on it and see who comes forward and who doesn't. >> the show airs in canada, but u.s. viewers can see rob ford in a one-on-one interview with bill weir. he tell s bill here never lied about smoking crack. >> no, i didn't say that. you're wrong. your consider absolutely wrong. they said, do you smoke crack and are you a crack addict? >> no, i don't smoke and i'm not a crack addict, have i? yes, i have. i didn't lie. i don't smoke crack. i haven't smoked crack in over a year. >> see the full interview, 8:00 p.m. eastern, right here on cnn. ford's big night follows another demoralizing day. today, city council, the city council is voting whether to strip even more of his powers. as a leader of north america's fourth largest city. cnn's international correspondent nic robertson live in toronto for us. those are live pictures of the
council, and now there's nic live. the city council, what are they trying to do today? members already took away most of his powers on friday. >> yeah, they're trying to take away his right to be the chair of the executive committee. his right to be on the committees, his budget, some of his staff. they're still doing it. the mayor is actually speaking right now. this has been an incredibly contentious session. his supporters are planning a rear guard action. one counselor who supports him said, let's get a doctor into the council chamber to say that mayor ford is good enough to carry on with his job. we're certainly seeing on the floor today his brother stand up for him. listen to this exchange. his brother had with the speaker in the council. >> have you read the toronto act? have you read the toronto act? >> yes, counsellor, we have. >> and could i ask -- >> it's our daily bread and
butter. >> you know, they're getting into uncharted territory. the city councillor has league representatives in there. one was asked a question, and she said, well, i really don't know. i have only been appointed the case in the last hour and a half. it really is an uncharted territory, and what doug ford, counselor doug ford, the mayor's brother is saying, he's saying this is unconstitutional. >> what is happening today is an overthrow of a democratically elected mayor. illegally. this is what you see in third-world nations. you don't see this in canada. you don't see this in the united states. you don't see this in the uk. we're talking about a third-world nation overthrow here. >> why doesn't he avertthe situation, take your advice, their advice, just step back and get some help for a short time and come back? doesn't that avert the
situation? >> you know something, no. it wouldn't avert it because the ship has already left the dock. >> you think your brother did allow the ship to leave the dock by not taking the opportunity. >> personally, he's made a mistake. we will rehash this for the next 100 years, folks. >> i don't know about 100 years, but it's certainly going on. it's going on with intensity right here right now. we still don't know if some of the powers will be stripped away, but we know which way the council is likely to go if they get a chance to vote. >> whatever you experienced at a correspondent, and you think the story is going to go, it's probably going to take the opposite direction there so buckle down, my friend. thank yousary much. coming up, caught on camera, police officers in nee mexico shooting at an suv with children inside. why did they respond the way they did and why did that mom speed away? that's later on cnm. >> next, more of the devastation from sunday's tornado. brooke baldwin live in
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♪ and our giant idaho potato truck is still missing. so my dog and i we're going to go find it. it's out there somewhere spreading the good word about idaho potatoes and raising money for meals on wheels. but we'd really like our truck back, so if you see it, let us know, would you? thanks. what? welcome back here live in washington, illinois.
i'm brooke baldwin. we have been sharing our different i reports, the video, the pictures. i want to share one video with you that has been viewed more than 230,000 times. we're going to play it for you and you'll understand why. i know my heart would be pounding just think, watching this. what it would be like to see this out your window. take a look. >> our father who art in heaven, hallow be thai name. give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, amen. >> how about that? this is certainly a faith-based community. many people were in church yesterday. this is the mayor of washington, illinois. thank you so much for coming on and talking to me. i can't imagine what your last 24 hours has been like. sleeping an hour and a half, so thank you. how are you doing?
>> well, brooke, i'm doing fine. this community just doesn't ever surprise me. i dont care if it's fund-raising for maybe someone that has cancer, a community center that we built for community, our community comes together for everything. unfortunately, this is going to test us. i think we're ready for it. i think we'll rebuild and be stronger than ever. >> we were talking during the commercial. i asked you what is the one word you hear over and over to describe the town, and you say resilience. you just finished the tour with the mayor, pat quinn, of illinois. walking around and seeing this, what was his impression. >> he's seen a lot. he's seen three of them since he's been governor. harrisburg, he compared this, maybe a little worse. he couldn't believe when he drove through, actually, the devastation that he saw, much to our residential areas here. >> three miles wide, right? >> three miles long. about a quarter mile. >> more than 400 homes
destroyed. is that number still standing? >> yeah. >> you serve the city 13 years. >> correct. >> how would you describe what this is? >> well, i can tell you, you know, when it first happened, you're at a loss. you don't know where to go, where to run, who to contact. but outpouring from all over the community came together. as i was in washington estates, a subdecision behind us, people were coming down the street, folks who lost their entire home, their whole life memories, looking for other people and friends and neighbors. so they're ready to help someone else. they had put all their devastation behind and were looking to help someone else. >> where were you? >> i was in church. >> like so many people were. >> we went to the basement, listened to the warning signs, and i got to believe that the people who were not in church listened to the warning signs. we take those for granted. we have those drills all through
school. >> you hear them growing up, but no one thinks a tornado is going to hit this town. i have heard it time and time again. >> some of the older folks in town, including my parents, let's go outside and look for it. not the thing to do. you don't want to be out in something like this. the governor's story about a 6-year-old convincing mother to go to the basement, you know, what a story. you know, just what he learned in school. you know. >> what is your biggest takeaway? what is the one thing you want to relay to people throughout the rest of the country when it comes to this town of 15,000? >> sure, we're a faith-based community, and we're going to need help. it's a little devastating right now to know exactly what kind of help we're going to need, so the first two or three days, we call this day one, is what we have labeled it. but in the days to come and months and weeks ahead -- >> did you get the promise from the governor that you would get the help you need? >> yes, i did, and i spoke to the president of the united
states on the trip back. >> what did he say? >> his thoughts and prayers are with us and they would be anything they can to get dwumpt funding and government help. i also said, this isn't something i signed up for, mr. president, and he said that's what leaders are made of. it was nice to hear from the president. >> leader yourself, mayor, thank you so much for stopping by. i appreciate it. apologize for the freezing cold hands. >> welcome to illinois. >> thank you very much. don lemon, up to you. >> yeah, and he needs to know that the whole world is praying for him as well, brooke. thank you. we're going to get back to brooke in just moments here on cnn. in the meantime, coming up, a terrifying scene caught on camera. police officers banging on the windows of this suv. and even firing shots at the vehicle as it drives away. that car, full of children. did the officers do the right thing? that story is next. retirement plan. i started part-time, now i'm a manager. my employer matches my charitable giving. really.
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welcome back, everyone. we're going to get back to the scene of the devastating tornadoes that went through much of the midwe, but this is just in to cn nrb. we're learning george zimmerman has been arrested in florida. arrested after deputies responded to a disturbance call. again, this information is just coming in to us. he will be booked, we're told, at the seminole county sheriff's correctional facility. we'll continue to monitor the story. but george zimmerman, who was acquitted in the killing of trayvon martin this summer, has been arrested again in florida. details to come as we get them on cnn. >> in the meantime, a simple traffic stop turns into a frightening shooting and a
high-speed chase of a minivan filled with kids. >> open the door! >> the mom behind the wheel was pulled over by new mexico state police for alleged speeding. but the situation quickly turned violent and the dashcam video shows that the officers opening fire on the van as it sped away with five children inside. cnn's miguel marquez shows us how this wild pursuit ended. >> how in the world does a routine traffic stop turn into this? in that minivan, a woman and her five kids, one as young as 6 years old from memphis, tennessee, on vacation in northern new mexico, pulled over for doing 71 in a 55 zone. they argue over a ticket, pleading with the officer. >> i'll be back. turn the vehicle off for me. >> what happens next, shocking. ferrell takes off. police chasing her down. she gets out of the van. they argue again.
when the officer tries to arrest her, she heads for the door. >> turn around and face your vehicle. ma'am, listen to me. >> that's when ferrell's 14-year-old son jumps out of the van. he struggles with and distract the police as his mother jumps back in the van, then he does, too. backup arrives. tension escalating quickly and violent violent violently. police take a baton to the window trying to extract the family members. ferrell takes off again, then this. three shots fired into the minivan packed with kids. ferrell in full-on flee mode, breaking seemingly every rule in the traffic book. finally, she stops at a hotel in taos, new mexico. both she and her son arrested, booked for fleeing, abuse, and battery. they're out on bond, her remaining four kids in state custody. miguel marquez, cnn, los
angeles. >> okay, so she faces several charges including child abuse, but her attorney says it's the officers who endangered ferrell's five children. joining us is a former police detective, steve kardian. they have quoted the judge as saying, he's concerned about the nature of these charges after reviewing the dashcam video. so who put whom in danger here? >> well, it's inherent. we know as law enforcement personnel, we don't shoot at a moving veekd. the probability we're going to shoot out the tires is like nonexistent, and we have to account for every bullet. but what kind of mom places her children in this kind of danger? >> and aren't you told not to get out of the car? do we know -- i guess the dashcam video shows. there's sound on the video. they were trying to arrest her, correct? >> yes. >> so then, did the officers follow the proper protocol if someone gets out and they're not exactly doing what you want them
to do. >> they have to react moment to moment. they did up to the point where the shots were fired. yeah, as a matter of fact, i have done that exact thing, breaking out a window for a belligerent, resistant person. >> here's what a local paper cites. documents that quote ferrell's attorney as saying his cliernt was flat out scared that something was going to happen to her children and that is the reason she filed a plausible defense. is that a plausible defense? >> absolutely not. it's complete ignorance of the law. it's simple. you don't -- you don't escalate the situation, take off. you obey the officer's orders, take your punishment in terms of a ticket and get on with your life. >> you don't think it escalated and all of a sudden, the officer started to bash out the window and she gets scared like oh, my gosh what is going on? >> it was necessary to do that. he wanted to extract the 14-year-old. he wanted to make sure that car couldn't continue. he had already seen she was traveling at a high rate of speed, disregarding his orders. so she just further endangered
those children. >> so then what do you do? if you're an officer there, you can't get -- they're both back in the car. you're trying to bash the windows out. you can't. what do you do in that particular situation? >> there is no easy solution. they did correctly, they followed protocol up until the point are the shots were fired. he can't pull the door off its hinging. >> do you let them go and then chase them or call for the next municipality? what do you do? >> you don't lose sight of the vehicle. you can't take it upon that individual is going to stop their car somewhere down the road. you maintain a visual. a lot of times the supervisor that's watching that pursuit or monitoring it will say, okay, back off. it becomes too dangerous for the entire public, they will call them off. in this case, they didn't. >> what happens in this particular situation? you say the officers overreacted. the woman obviously acted improperly. the 14-year-old should not have gotten out of the car. should she be charged with endangering her child?
>> because of all the bad pub lisly to the mom, to the police department, i think there will be a plea arrangement. they're going to believe her that she panicked. they'll believe the officer when he fired, he was acting in the spur of the moment and his intention was to stop the vehicle from continuing on their way, endangering the five kids, the users of the highway, and the officers. >> crazy. we appreciate you here on cnn. coming up next, brooke baldwin reporting live from tornado-ravaged washington, illinois. we'll go back to her and for more on the devastating storms and tornadoes that hit the midwest this weekend. we'll be back after this. >> this is the clothing i own now. a lot of people have a pile of rubble still, and i don't have anything. my whole -- it's gone. i don't know where it went. no matter how busy your morning you can always do something better for yourself. and better is so easy with benefiber. fiber that's taste-free, grit-free and dissolves completely.
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washington, illinois. just about 150 miles southwest of chicago. i wanted to show you this live picture here as we're looking at what remains of many, many homes. just gone. you can see a gentleman inside of potentially his own home. and i just wanted toshow you this picture because it's obviously his kitchen, what remains of his kitchen. the back of the refrigerator, the sink, the area he used to potentially cook his family meals, and now exposed to the rest of this after this ef-4 tornado devastating this town of 15,000, right around late morning yesterday. this is really in talking to so many people here, quite a faith-based community, and a lot of people were in church. and were huddled in church, huddled in basements of homes. really hoping and waiting for the worst to be over. in total, one person has perished here in the town. six total fatalities in the midwest region after the tornadoes ripped through this area. despite the devastation and
tragedy, one remarkable story is emerging from the aftermath of just this absolute mess. it's about this man by the name of robert smith. so rescue crews, they managed to pull him from the remains of his home. imagine crews saying in rubble like this, finding someone, hearing someone after the storm caused this home to collapse right around him. watch this. >> just sitting there watching tv. and pretty soon, the wind picked up. and it sounded like a train coming down the street. next thing i knew, there was stuff hitting the house. my wife says, what's that hitting the house? i says, it's that tree out front. she got out of her chair and started for the stairway. and made it to the top of the step and that's where she was at. >> and -- >> my boy was in the basement, and he was coming up the steps to help her down the steps.
>> and basically, the whole house just collapsed around you? >> yeah. i watched the door and i watched the bricks and i watched the picture window. everything wrap around me. and i didn't realize it, but it was the garage wall that fell over. and punctured the spot on my lung on my right side. >> actually punctured your lung? >> no. i had chest x-ray, and nothing was broke. just that puncture. looked like the doctor said it looked like a .22 shot. and then my head was bleeding so bad i just bled all over my clothes. and it was pouring down rain. and kept just getting wet. and a good friend of mine, he come in. we grabbed a piece of panelling or wall board.
threw it over that wall and over me. and we laid underneath that and the rain come down. >> it's just incredible. story like this. despite winds up to 190 miles per hour in some areas, yesterday, the lives that were saved because these sirens went off and people paid attention. and we have crews here with cnn. we're covering the story for you here in illinois, in indiana. but i got into town early this morning, and i wanted to share a story from a town called diamond, illinois. i had this incredible opportunity to meet this woman and her family. her home is gone, but she's resilient, but it's tough for her as a mother with little ones because she's sitting there telling her babies everything is going to be okay. through tears, she's wondering if it will be or not. her compelling story is next.
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destruction is too hard to imagine. carl has a terrifying new perspective. >> look around you. and imagine how it must have felt standing here on this street in tacloban city as a towering wall of water raced in from the ocean. but take a look. the pictures speak clearly for themselves. wherever you look, international organizations and government rescue teams are hard at work, pulling away debris, still looking for bodies of the dead, trying to bring relief to the survivors. >> an amazing perspective. thank you, carl. up next, brooke reports live from tornado damaged washington, illinois. a special report, the next hour of the "cnn newsroom" beginning right now. >> don, thank you so much. i'm brooke baldwin live here in this massive debris field, the
destruction surrounding me here in a city in ruins. this is washington, illinois. i mean, hundreds without homes. i was talking to the mayor not too long ago. he told me more than 400 homes totally gone, including the scene behind me. take a look and you can see there are cars in the midst of this debris field. this one car, the windshield absolutely shattered. the issue here, there are many, many boards, and boards have nails. with the winds today, everyone is being incredibly strict, as they should be, to keep people out. to be very, very careful. because it is incredibly dangerous, as we have been watching family members trying to pick up whatever pieces remain of their homes that are absolutely gone. and when we talk about the strength of this tornado, let me tell you this. the national weather service have now officially confirmed the tornado that ripped through this area and much of washington here, it has been confirmed as an ef-4 tornado. so those top wind speeds were up
to 190 miles per hour. here in illinois, took the brunt of the string of tornadoes, the absolutely wreaked havoc in communities across the midwest. in total, the latest number we have as you look at the map, the number we have as far as deaths still stands at six. the timing, though, may have been a blessing. when you think of this tornado and other tornadoes hitting in the middle of the week, people out on their work days, kids in schools. this happened when many people were sitting in church on sunday morning. the governors of indiana and illinois, they're on the ground in these states today. governor pat quinn here in illinois was just touring washington. touring these hardest-hit areas. but in neighboring indiana, the governor there, mike pence, he talked earlier outside of this fire station. he talked about the homes that were destroyed and the storms, and he talked about a word, i tell you, we're hearing more and
more now. that word being resilience. >> it's in the bone marrow of every hoosier to want to help in times of need. it's one of the great things about our state. and as we traveled around already in neighborhoods we visited, there are people who are volunteering and rendering assistance. and i would just encourage hoosiers to take the opportunity to support organizations that are providing relief and assistance like the red cross. but also follow media reports about how they might help individual organizations that have been affected. >> so that was governor mike pence in indiana earlier today. just to give you the lay of the land, where i'm standing, this is washington, illinois. just about 150 miles southwest of chicago. so this morning when i hopped off the plane en route to where you see me now, i wanted to tell other stories, not just of the folks in washington. we stopped by in this town by the name of diamond. it's just about halfway between here and chicago.
and i was going sort of from home to home, and i met this family. i met this mother with really this incredible story of survival. here she is. >> standing in what was this? >> this was my formal living room, entryway. >> formal living room, now covered with -- what is this? >> insulation. which i have been told we were lucky that we had this type of insulation than fiberglass because it's easier to clean up. it's newspaper. it's blown in insulation. >> wow. take me upstairs. >> all right. >> as we look up and go upstairs, there's the beautiful blue sky. >> mm-hmm. >> what did the sky look like right around this time yesterday? clear? >> i don't know. i was -- my kids were in five different directions. >> you were a busy mom. >> i wasn't really paying attention. i called him to tell him to come home because the storms were coming. my best friend called and said stay home, they're headed your way. >> you stayed home. >> we were headed to gardner to
go do a vendor show for my daughter. >> it was a busy sunday for the family. >> yeah, so i didn't look outside all that much. >> this is your -- >> this is my bedroom. >> can we walk in? >> yeah. >> and this is what is left. your husband was joking that you now have a full skylight. you all can crack a joke, not even 24 hours later. how is that possible? does it feel real? >> i'm numb. numb. i have break downs every time i walk in here. >> because -- >> this is my closet. >> watch out for nails. so this was full of clothes. >> we had tremendous amount of people. i thank everybody who came to help us because we couldn't have done it without them. they moved us out. >> it's so emotional because --
is it a total loss? i would say so. i had water in my basement when we were down there waiting for people to come get us, because we weren't sure. my fire alarms were going off up here, so i didn't know. we didn't know what was going on. we had no idea. >> how do you explain to people who have never been through a tornado, let alone heard a tornado siren, what it is to live through it? >> there's no words. i mean, it's complete devastation. just trying to keep yourself okay for your kids because your kids are -- you have no idea what they're thinking. i know what was coming. you know, you're trying to say it's going to be okay. we're going to be okay. i don't know. right about 12:15 is when i went down into the basement. it was about then. then i heard the sirens. going off. so and then i heard stuff hit
my -- my daughter has a room in the basement, and i heard it hit the window. and i'm like, we got all in a corner. >> that's it. you knew. >> we all huddled together, put blankets over our heads. my little one was praying. >> what were you doing? >> just telling them we'll get through it. we're going to get through this. >> how do you get through this? >> i don't know. have no idea. i haven't really done anything because i just walk around. i don't know what to do. i don't know where to start. i don't know. >> what was the most -- i mean, take me back to yesterday. the most frightening part for you as a mom? >> the frightening part is telling your kids you're going to be okay and you're not sure. >> you weren't sure? >> no. >> the next time a storm comes, what do you tell them? >> what do you tell them when a storm come said tomorrow or a week later. they're never going to feel safe. >> why does it break you up to
most to talk about your kids? >> yeah. it's awful. they have no place. i mean, i woke up this morning, my husband says, news is calling your home. we're homeless. i keep waking and i'm going to wake up and this is just a bad dream. this stuff doesn't happen to us. it happens to other people. not me. i just -- not that i wish it on anybody else, but i never thought it would ever, ever happen to me. >> the first thing we did after it happened was got the christmas presents out that we had already bought. you know? >> my kids can have a christmas. >> you got the presents out. >> they're in our closet. >> so let me ask you, what do you mean, you came over? what do you mean you got the christmas presents out? you're down here, the tornado is hitting. >> after we got out and got the kids out, we went upstairs and got the christmas presents out. they have to have christmas. right? >> you saved them or gave them to them after the tornado.
>> no, no, we saved them. >> you saved them. you saved them? why does that make you teary eyed. >> i don't know. they're kids. i this is our home and the holidays were our favorite. >> holidays are a big deal? >> we had 25 people coming for thanksgiving. danny's sister is going to be home. >> from california. >> for the first year in 11 years. they were coming here for christmas. >> so what do you do for thanksgiving instead? i have a feeling other people will open their homes to you. >> oh, yeah. >> but it's tough, i can tell. you're a mom, you're a host. >> yeah. it's what i like to do. i like to entertain. >> what do you want people to know about folks here? who have lost, who won't be able to host for thanksgiving, but whose lives are in tact? >> we'll be all right. we'll make it. >> they'll be all right. they realize what's most important, their lives. the lives of their children.
you could see in her eyes walking through that mother's home, just the hurt and the worry in explaining how this will be for her 9-year-old daughter in the days to come with her home. and everything she's known gone. if you would like to help the victims of these midwest tornadoes, go to cnn.com/impact. don, it is incredible, the outpouring of support here in cities like washington, illinois, but these folks, judging by what i'm seeing around me, they're going to be needing help for months to come. >> yeah. months, and they are resilient. they are resilient, and the whole world is praying for them. >> we have getting news just in to cnn. we're learning george zimmerman, the man acquitted of murder in the fatal shooting of trayvon martin has been arrested today in florida. just getting in his mug shot. there it is right there. deputies responding to a disturbance call, and pop caw florida, zimmerman has been booked at the seminole county
correctional facility. cnn has just obtained, as i said, there is his mugshot. no further details about the arrest have been released at this moment, but another brush with the law for george zimmerman. jane velez-mitchell here with me now. this guy can't stay out of a police station. >> it's absolutely incredible, don. take a look at the mugshot. he looks so different. he's got all that facial hair. now, what's very interesting about this man is that long before he shot and killed trayvon martin, he had run-ins with authorities. he got into a dust-up with a cop years earlier where he said, well, you were trying to arrest my friend. he was accused of underaged drinking. he always has an excuse. an ex-fiance, back in 2005, filed for a restraining order against him. what did he do? he filed for a restraining order against her. he always has an excuse. after killing trayvon martin, he had many incidents, the most recent with shelley, his estranged, presumably soon to be
ex-wife. at that time when cops arrived on the scene and of course the whole world watched as the aerial shots showed him and her there. there was the smashed ipod, and there was also this other woman who appeared sort of in the periphery of the aerials. and remember, shelley said, oh, my god. it's another woman. we have to wonder, does this incident he's being arrested for now involve another woman, possibly even that other woman? we don't know. >> what is the video we were looking at? is this video of the scene we had up? there was some video on the wall. the mugshot is up now, but there was video. where was wondering if that was had home where he was taken into custody. this is earlier from our affiliate wkmg. apparently, this must be the home where george zimmerman was arrested after this disturbance call. yes, you're right. and here's the interesting thing to me. i remember one of the witnesses specifically saying it appears
george zimmerman kept his cool throughout the confrontation and trayvon martin lost his cool. but if you look back at the pattern -- >> he's got a pattern. and he's got -- it would appear that he's got issues. possibly temper issues. now, what's interesting is that shelley, his estranged wife, said he feels invincible following the acquittal. but another relative of his said, no, he's filled with self-hatred and he's looking to be punished. that's what i can't figure out. does he feel invincible. i can do anything i want because i got away with something, or does he feel guilt and shame and is acting out in the hopes of being punished? it may be a combination of both of them. >> yeah, well, and it could be a combination of both of them or none of them. it could be what we call karma karma is a female dog, as they say, right? so no matter what you do, if you feel invincible or it's self-hatred, no matter what, the universe will take care of things. >> remember, don, during the trial, we talked about his
pattern even within the complex where he lived where he appeared to be a busy body. often coming in on the pretext of helping someone, but getting very involved in other people's lives. so this may be really a psychological issue with him where he just can't sort of leave it alone where he's got maybe a combination of psychological problems and a temper problem. >> yeah, and we don't know exactly what transpired. again, still the details are still coming in. we're waiting to hear from the seminole county authorities, but george zimmerman has been arrested this afternoon again in florida. jane velez-mitchell, you'll be covering the story tonight. hln 7:00, every night on hln. thank you. we really appreciate you joining us. up next here, an alarming case in north carolina. foster parents accused of the unthinkable. police found an 11-year-old tied up, a dead chicken around his neck. how the child's aunt is speaking out. she says there were other shocking punishments. that's next. when our little girl was born,
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nthat's why they deserve... aer anbrake dance. get 50% off new brake pads and shoes. we're live today in washington, illinois. i just wanted to start by showing you at this hour family members, folks who have lost homes, facing utter devastation, are now combing through, sifting through the piles of wreckage, being very, very careful where they walk, as there are many electrical wires. there are nails through all of this, trying to find those mementos, trying to find the photographs, the jewelry, pieces that remain. but everything behind me here is a total loss. i'm standing next to my colleague, ted rowlands, who has been here working, talking to people, including what? a 78-year-old woman?
>> a 78-year-old woman, yeah, mary kale, you talk to people after these things and they always move you, but this woman. we just left st. francis hospital in peoria. and this woman is quite a fighter. she made it through the tornado and talked about not only the tornado itself but then enduring the aftermath, getting herself to a hospital with the help of family. and then her heart actually stopped when she got to the hospital because she lost so much blood. take a listen to what she had to say. >> i could see the tornado was starting to come down. and then debris started flying, so we quick ran in the house, grabbed the flashlights, got downstairs in the basement. i was the first to go onto the steps. then all of the hard rain and winds and heard the train whistle go.
and then about that fast, it was over. all of a sudden, my legs felt like they were paralyzed. and i hurt something terrible. and then i guess my heart stopped. i kept praying. they put the paddles on me, and i snapped out of it. >> oh, my goodness. >> yeah. snapped out of it. snapped back to life, a broken nose. lost a lot of blood. bruises all over her body, but she lived to tell it. and she prayed throughout the whole thing, says that's what got her through. we'll have her whole story tonight on erin burnett. a fascinating story of survival. >> incredibly daunting and amazing she made it and she's talking to you from her hospital bed. we'll look for you at 7:00 eastern with erin. thank you very much. and don lemon, you have covered tornadoes, these epic disasters
just as i have. it really is incredible to talk to these people who survive, especially 78. her heart stopped. you know, and just finding these people in the hours afterwards, it's pretty stunning. >> it doesn't seem real. and quite honestly, i'm not speaking for you. sometimes i'm almost embarrassed to stand here because here i have everything, my home, and these people are coming back, many times as we're doing live shots, and they're looking for anything that they might own in the wreckage, in the aftermath. it's just unbelievable. >> i know. >> yeah, all right, brooke, thank you. we'll get back. you're not on this weekend, and this story broke this weekend. horrific. north carolina sheriff's deputies say they found a house of filth, an 11-year-old boy handcuffed to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck. the person who did this, hiss foster parents. they arrested dorian lee harper and his partner, wanda sue larson on friday. investigators say what is doubly
troubling is larson is a county social services worker. officials removing the boy and four other adopted children from the home. larson and harper face charges of child abuse, false imprisonment and animal cruelty. nick vulinse yeah reports from monroe, north carolina, where he spoke with the 11-year-old's biological aunt. >> i was in the courtroom earlier this morning whether the two suspects made their initial court appearance. they showed very little emotion and didn't speak other to say they wanted the court to appoint them an attorney. they're being held on multiple charges and about $500,000 bond respectively. we should give you an update on the five children removed from the home. they have been taken out of union county and put in the custody of social services. they were removed from this area because of a conflict of interest. as we have been reporting, the adoptive mothers in this case, wanda sue larszen, is a social worker. a detail that has disgusted so many people and shocked the aunt
of the children. she talked to me about an exchange she had with one of the children who explained to her the culture of punishment inside the household. >> if you come to the table late, you're not allowed but half of your plate of food. then you do not get the next meal. if you do not do your chores or listen to her, then you do not get your meals that day. if we do not finish your homework on time, then you're the therefor not allowed to leave their room. they were put inside their room and chained in there. >> as part of their investigation, sheriff deputies talked to some of the children inside the home, and they said the 11-year-old was customarily cand cuffs to a piece of rail railroad inside the household. in light of the position wanda sue larson had at the department of family services, there's been a handful of people demonstrating, asking for thaei cases handled by larson to be reviewed. people are alleged corruption within the department of social
services and beyond. we have reached out to ask if they're investigating. they say they are and they'll get back to us. don. >> all right, nick valencia thank youerary much for that. another feisty hearing in toronto as the city kournl discussing what to do about the embattled mayor. plus, his new tv show debuts tonight. a sneak peek of that, and remarkable pictures of the devastation left behind by the deadly tornadoes in the midwest. you'll hear from the man who took those photos coming up. [ male announcer ] progresso's so passionate about its new
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welcome back. i'm brooke baldwin live here in washington, illinois. you can see just the utter destruction behind me. here in the city of washington, population roughly 15,000, just talking to the mayor about 400 homes absolutely gone. including this entire neighborhood behind me. gone. this is illinois. the story in indiana is similar. the damage, much of it, just as frightening and severe. i want to bring in cnn ireporter chris, who is on the phone with me right now. chris, you were in lebanon, indiana. you're a truck driver, and you ha happened to be parked at this truck stop overnight when you start hearing the alerts on sunday morning. tell me what you saw and heard. >> i got an alert on my cell phone that told me to take cover. and i didn't think much of it until i saw some other drivers jumping out of their trucks take cover. and i look out of my driver's
side window, and i see a huge debris cloud. and for whatever reason, i grabbed my camera and started taking pictures. when it got to the point where i said, okay, it's getting way too close, i took cover between the driver and passenger seats. and i was praying for my life, and it was my daughter's by birthday yesterday, so really hard i wasn't home, number one. and you know, everything going on around me. so it was just a very difficult time. but i got through unhurt. thank god. >> at least -- like you're sayi saying, at least you're okay and you get to go home to your daughter eventually. we're looking at thesis pictures that you shared with us through ireport. tell me of everything that you saw and experienced yesterday in indiana, what was the one image that really stays with you?
>> really the people helping. the truck that got pulled out of the parking lot that i was in flipped over and ended up facing the wrong direction. the people were just immediately there to help. gathering belongings. they had dogs that were missing. i'm not sure if they were covered, all of them, but it was how quickly people were there to help, right after such a devastating event. >> so many -- yeah, so many people helping in the minutes after. and here, 24 hours after. chris, thank you so much for sharing your pictures with us, with cnn and ireport. we appreciate you very much, and safe travels home to see your daughter and finally wish her a happy birthday. coming up next, the secretary of education makes some comments that have some people absolutely outraged. he's calling out, quote, white suburban moms.
wait until you hear what he said about their children and how some are responding to that. stay with me. ♪ here we are, me and you ♪ on the road ♪ and we know that it goes on and on ♪ [ female announcer ] you're the boss of your life. in charge of making memories and keeping promises. ask your financial professional how lincoln financial can help you take charge of your future. ♪ ♪ oh, oh, all the way ♪ oh, oh "it's time to get the heck out of dodge?" [ chuckles ] i say you get the heck into one. ♪ ♪ ♪
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liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? we're going to get back to brooke in a moment. have you heard what arne duncan is saying. fascinating, says arne duncan. these white suburban moms, these white suburban moms, says duncan, all of a sudden, well, their child isn't as britiant as they thought they were. ouch. pretty strong language, as it comes from members of the president's cabinet, as arne duncan is. also friends with the president. they're basketball buddies. that's the quote right there, but duncan is -- plays the president's guard sometimes in basketball games. there he is, guarding the president right there. the president guarding him. and now we have arne duncan calling out white suburban moms. why? because some are expressing shock at seeing their children's
standardized test scores plummet under the tougher guidelines dujen has been pushing on states. kelly wallace is here. she's our digital condent and edir at large o t, you know, what the words specifically white suburban moms, what he meant. explain to us, what was he talking about on test scores? >> you have new standards in 45 states and the district of columbia. they call for better thinkers, better problem solvers. for months, school boards have been warning that guess what? with the new standards mean tougher tests. that means scores will come down. >> and they're coming down, right? >> yes, and in arkansas, the department of education warned parents they require a higher level of mastery of concepts and information, and that as they get them, the scores will come up. in new york state, the largest state to go ahead with the new tests, scores went way down. 30% of a drop across the board.
that's a big drop and that has clearly kind of freaked out really parents, students, and administrators themselves. >> they may be tough words, but when you step back, obviously, i'm not a white suburban mom. i kind of get what he was saying. many poom, it's a good thing, you decide where you're going to live because of the schools and the extracurricular activities and the parks, and then you find out, well, my kid's not -- this isn't what i thought it was. you might be ticked off, too. >> it appears that's possibly what he was trying to do. that some of these white suburban moms have been some of the biggest critics of these so called common core state standards and he was trying again perhaps to sort of indicate he understands where that's coming from. he has evenly reported he didn't speem perfectly. and the bigger issue is the larger group of parents. they say this is a common source of conversation because most parents aren't sure what the
standards mean, how they're implementing, how the teacher is teaching the students. what the scores will mean in the end in terms of testing. the larger message is, look, we're a global world. we have to compete globeomy, not just worry about how we're doing in our neck of the woods. it's not working, though. >> does he think that's his audience, white suburban moms and they're the only ones paying attention. >> i wonder if he is knowing the big criticism, the biggest voice is the white suburban moms. the larger group is parents who don't know as much about it. they might want to try and mount a bigger campaign to really educate those parents about what they are and why they're important and i don't think that message has gotten through to too many parents yet. >> started a firestorm, huh? >> oh, yeah. i don't think he expected that. >> you'll be reporting on that for days to comrb where thank you, kelly. next, a miraculous story of s survival as a tornado bears down on a family's hone. brian todd spoke to the family and is live for us in brookport,
illinois. brian? >> don, this town, much of this was completely wiped out in the tornado. as you mentioned, i'll have the emotional story from one of the survivors just ahead. ♪ man: [ laughs ] those look like baby steps now. but they were some pretty good moves. and the best move of all? having the right partner at my side. it's so much better that way. [ male announcer ] have the right partner at your side. consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company.
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these tornadoes and storms that hit the area this past weekend. i can tell you that half of the six people killed in the severe weather died there. the mayor of the city of about 900 spoke this morning. >> it's been a tough 24 hours. report we suffered a devastating blow. i would like to first of all offer my sympathies to the victims and their families. i also want to reassure the citizens of brookport we're doing everything we can as fast as we can to get things in a more stable position. that's just taking us some time. it's not going as fast as i would like, but these things usually don't. >> let me take you to brookport, to my colleague, brian todd. it looks like you're standing in front of a scene quite similar to mine here. it's absolutely devastating to look at. i feel like sometimes there aren't any words.
i know you have been talking to people who live in that small community. what are they telling you? >> they're telling us that they're totally shocked by this, brooke. still trying to absorb just everything that has happened to them since this tornado hit. this is what's left of a storage company here in town. you can see the window frame. it's made of concrete and metal, was twisted and tossed all over the place. this speaks to the unpredictable devastation of the tornadoes. you see devastation on this block, and then look over here. these houses, a little damage, but not much. some of the homes back there left pretty much in tact. that's the fickle nature of the tornadoes. we did speak to some survivors earlier. one woman, chastity, was trying to sift through the wreckage of her mobile home, and we caught up to her. >> there's nothing here. >> how did it feel when it came
through? unreal. just terrifying. you just don't think that things like this will happen. you don't think, you know, all day i said it's just doing to rain, you know, it's going to be fine. and it's not. it hit. >> i asked if she wanted to come back here and maybe start over again. she said no, she's too terrified. she can't sleep at night. as you mentioned, this tiny town of only about 1,000 people did suffer the grateatest loss of le of the tornadoes. three people died. all living in mobile homes not too far from here. all died from blunt force trauma. brooke. >> it's awful to hear stories like that. brian todd, our hearts
absolutely go out to everyone here. obviously, those who have perished, loved ones, family members and those who have survived. coming up in a couple minutes, i'm going to talk live to a family who grabbed some pillows, hopped in a closet, just to survive the storm. they're standing by and they will share their stories with me. also today, another feisty hearing in toronto, as the city council is discussing what to do about the embattled mayor. plus, did you know? his new tv show debuts tonight. we have a sneak peek. be right back. as a working mom of two young boys life could be hectic. angie's list saves me a lot of time. after reading all the reviews i know i'm making the right choice. online or on the phone, we help you hire right the first time. with honest reviews on over 720 local services. keeping up with these two is more than a full time job, and i don't have time for unreliable companies. angie's list definitely saves me time and money. for over 18 years we've helped people take care of the things that matter most.
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try snapshot today -- no pressure. back to brooke and our live storm coverage in just a moment but first, toronto's crack-smoking, vulgarity dropping mayor has a big night tonight. his reality show "ford nation" debuts. the news network has released a clip in which ford challenges the members of the city council to take drug tests. >> i'll do a drug test, an alcohol test right now. and i put a motion forward that every counselor do it, too. i know people party on the side. i know lawyers, doctors, everybody has a good time. >> who else do you know has done
it? >> i'm not going to name names. >> but your name is out there. why not? >> let them vote on it and see who comes forward and who doesn't. >> the show airs in candid but u.s. viewers can see rob ford tonight in a one-on-one interview with cnn's bill weir. he tells bill he never lied about smoking crack. >> i didn't say that. no, i didn't say that. you're wrong. you're absolutely wrong. they said do you smoke crack and are you a crack addict. no, i don't smoke crack and i'm not a crack addict. have i? yes, i have. i don't smoke crack. i haven't smoked crack in over a year. >> all right. so as we look at live pictures now of that council meeting and there is his brother speaking in front of the council, ford's big night follows another demoralizing day. today, toronto city council as you are looking at now live is to vote on whether to strip even more of his powers as a leader of north america's fourth largest city. things got out of hand. i want you to listen to what it sounded like during the recess
when council wasn't even in session. [ shouting ] >> that's only just the beginning, folks. a speaker had to clear the public from the council room. council members intend to assign some of the mayor's duties to the deputy mayor, leaving very little left of the mayor's responsibilities, and they are plentiful as the mayor pointed out in his defense. >> in one year i received 3,000 letters through the mail, 46,000 cms messages, 138,000 e-mails, 123,000 phone calls between my home number and my onstar number in my car, i received 20,000 numbers. are you aware of that? >> you can see the full interview with mayor rob ford on
it was not the right motion. we should not be deferring this -- >> i don't know what i'm hearing in my ear but i will pull that out. forgive me for that. i'm brooke baldwin in washington, illinois, standing next to phil and alma. they live in washington and lost their home here in washington. i'm so sorry that we're talking under the circumstances but let's begin with yesterday morning. the two of you, married for 20 years, coming home from breakfast yesterday and what happened? >> we had been to church, went to breakfast with our friends, and the sirens began to go off and we could see in the west that it was very black. so we all decided we had probably better go home. so we did. we headed home and my husband and i pulled in the driveway, opened the garage door, pulled the car in. i turned around and i saw this black cloud, and i said tell me
that's a freight train i hear. at the same time, my brain's processing the size of the cloud and i knew it wasn't a freight train. >> reporter: an actual freight train. everyone says tornadoes sound like freight trains. they really do. >> yes, they do. >> they actually do. >> reporter: you see it coming at you and what do you do next? >> tried to close the garage door. the power was out. we ran immediately to the closet in the master bedroom. you continue. >> we have no basement in our home. so the disaster preparedness plan in my brain has always been the interior closet in our bedroom. >> reporter: go to the closet in case. >> and grab the pillows because i have heard that. so we did. and i said honey, grab pillows off the bed and he did, and we went in there, shut the door, and from the time we hit our driveway to the time we got into the closet was probably less
than five minutes. >> reporter: what did it feel like? did it feel like an eternity? >> no, actually we were in the closet, for me, it was -- the tornado probably lasted less than a minute and our house was coming down around us. we were hanging on to each other and had the pillows over our heads, and all i could think about was the house is going and i do have to say that there was a presence in the closet with us, and we were being protected and we were being watched over. god has been very gracious and merciful and i am thanking him every moment i'm here. >> reporter: you are thankful even though your home, i haven't been to your home but i imagine it looks a heck of a lot like what's behind us. >> it's completely gone. our cars are gone. my husband's chow which he loves dearly is gone. our harley davidson motorcycle
which we both love dearly is gone. >> reporter: the things are gone but the two of you have each other, 20 years of marriage. it is so lovely to meet both of you. thank you very much. it's stunning to hear the stories, just the perspective and again, just looking at this, i feel like talking to people here on cnn, it's one thing to see it on television, the pictures, right, but it's quite another to stand in front of it and then to experience it personally. i wish the best of luck to both of you. thank you so much. >> we'll be fine. god will take care of us. >> reporter: thank you so much. that is it for me here. i am live in washington, illinois. i'm brooke baldwin. i want to thank you so much for tuning in and also for my colleague, don lemon, in new york. thank you so much for watching. we will be here for the next couple of hours and potentially days here covering the stories as these dozens of storms and tornadoes absolutely wreaked havoc on the midsection of this country, but the one word we hear time and time again, it is resilience. it is resilience here in
washington, illinois. thank you so much. "the lead" the jake tapper starts right now. the stock market is reaching heights it's never seen before and my investment banker gordon gekko assures me nothing can go wrong. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the money lead. unemployment still well over 7%. many americans still upside down on their mortgages and yet, the dow keeps breaking records day after day after day. are we sitting on another bubble? is it about to pop? the national lead. she hid with her family in a basement closet. her husband clinging to the door to keep it shut as a tornado roared overhead. when they emerged, nothing was left. one illinois wife and mother brings us her harrowing tale of survival. and the politics lead. it must be that time of year for the traditional airing of grievances. two sisters have a very public falling-out over same sex marriage. one is a lesbian, the other a tea party courting conservative and they both call vice president ey