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tv   New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman  CNN  September 13, 2018 4:00am-5:01am PDT

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enormous storm. it is going to be devastating. >> the rainfall rates are going to be staggering. >> they expect much of this town to be underwater. >> if you stay here and try to ride out the storm, you're absolutely not going to be able to get rescued. >> worried about our home. i don't want to see it destroyed. >> this storm is massive. it is much larger than hugo was. >> if you're on the coast, there's still time to get out safely. >> we hope that the government has learned from their mistakes in the past. >> god bless everybody and be careful. >> all right, welcome to your "new day." it is thursday, september 13th. it is 7:00 in the east, 7:00 in oak island, north carolina, where i'm standing right now, on the most deserted beach i've ever been on in my entire life. there is no one here, alisyn. and that is by design. >> that is very dpoogood news, , because nobody should be there other than, obviously, reporters warning people, because as we've heard, you are expecting 30 to 40 inches of rain where you are
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standing. that's what the latest satellite models are showing. and that will not be survivable for people along that coastline. so let's hope that everybody has heeded the warning. >> that's exactly right. the outer bands of hurricane florence have already started to hit the outer banks, about 200 miles north of where i am right now. and that's just the beginning. it's the beginning of 48, maybe even more, hours of constant pounding winds. yes, hurricane florence has been downgraded to a category 2, but don't be fooled by that. because the wind speed will be north of tropical storm force, even hurricane force, for well over 24 hours, and that's a serious problem. and the size of this storm, it's huge. it spans so many people that people up and down north carolina, the south carolina coast, even into georgia, will be feeling these storm force winds for well over a day. that is incredibly unusual. meteorologists i've spoken to say they haven't seen anything
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like that ever before. that means the storm surge, a hu huge storm surge, and also the rain, 24 to 36 inches in some places. oak island is under a mandatory evacuate order. why? let me show you why. that is interesting. i'm one of the barrier islands 20 miles south of wilmington, north carolina. along the beach here, this deserted beach, the high tide comes up to right about here. this is where the high tide was last night. let me show you this dune. this dune protects all the houses behind it. this will overflow with a 3-foot storm surge. at 3 feet, they consider the storm surge here on oak island life-threatening. 3 feet. they're expecting a 9-foot storm surge here. the water will go over this dune. it will flood the streets. it will bring sand. it will destroy some of these houses behind me, which is why so many people have left this island. hurricane florence, it is nearly here. we've got reporters up and down
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the carolina coast. let's first go to chad myers in the weather center for the very latest forecast. chad? >> still for you, probably 10 to 12 hours before you really get to see the worst stuff. but that's all relative. we are getting now the eye on the radar. some of the outer bands, as you said, almost to moorhead city. john is right there. our derek van dam, right there. this is almost a catcher's mitt right here, from tophead sa sai moorhead city. maybe landfall's here, maybe it's here if it turns slightly to the left. but that's irrelevant, because the storm surge is going to be the same. you look at the number, 110 miles per hour. you say, wait, over here, cat 2. this is a cat 4 storm surge. so this is not a category 2 storm for wind, rain, and surge. this is a category 2 for the wind around the eye, because the eye kind of lost a little definition. it could come back.
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but we're not worried about that. i don't even care if this goes down to a category 1, we're still going to have a category 4 storm surge. so here we go, 110 miles per hour, goes to the west. very close to wilmington, 105 miles per hour in the overnight hours, probably right onshore. this is still moving at 15. so if you do the math, that's only about 12 hours away. so that needs to slow down to actually get there that slowly. right now, i don't see any slowdown. 80 miles per hour by friday afternoon and then finally on up into the carolinas and toward tennessee. so, let me take you to what these models are saying. this is the european model. there's the center of the storm, right now. and be later on tonight, this is 12:30 this afternoon, tomorrow afternoon, this is where the storm will be. eye onshore at wilmington, and then moving farther toward myrtle, kind of turning to the left a little bit. so here's your storm surge. now, 9 to 13 feet. what does that mean? if you put 9 to 13 feet on a beach and then you put a 15-foot wave on top of this, all of a sudden, this animation is going to be really clear, because waves are going to be coming up on the beach at about 2 feet.
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and then by 4 feet, all of a sudden, we're into these houses. now, many of them right on the shore have stilts and the water will go under those homes. but if you're not on stilts, and then 4 feet, all of a sudden the power of that water and the power of that 12-foot storm surge, is going to take that house completely away. and here's the problem. many people that evacuated, evacuated along the beach, because they thought, oh, well, i'm on the beach, i better get out of here. the people in the back bay, the people that are on one-level ranch homes, many of them didn't get away. the water with the 14, 12-foot storm surge, 15-foot waves on top, will be all the way back there, as well. john? >> all right, chad myers, thanks so much. and as we've mentioned, this storm will sit for so long over this area. they'll have to withstand several high tide cycles. and when you're talking about a storm surge of 9 feet. again, i wish i were 6'5". i'm not. if i were, i would be this tall.
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there's going to be a storm surge. the water will be, you know, 5 feet above my head, where i'm standing right now. that is a serious problem. again, i'm in oak island, north carolina, a little bit south of me is myrtle beach, south carolina. a destination, a vacation destination, a pleasure destination for so many. that, too, under serious threat this morning and over the next several days. our nick valencia is there. nick? >> reporter: hey, there, john, it is very serious this morning for those that have decided to stick this storm out. yesterday, we were in the middle of highway 501 watching as cars were leaving. today, though, this is when things are really going to start to get serious. i want to point some things out here. when we were reporting on the beach yesterday morning, the tide was significantly further inland. i just got off the phone with our weather department. this tide, it appears that the hurricane may be sucking this water back in. the tide is low right now, high tide expected in a couple of hours from now. it is also significantly more windy today than it was at this hour or yesterday, the skies are also a little gray. i'm not sure if that translates on camera.
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a lot of nervous people here, especially the local mayor. brenda bethune, it was yesterday that she enacted a curfew between ten o'clo10:00 p.m. and. it was earlier that i just spoke to the house state representative here in south carolina, he was walking on the beach here this morning. he tells me that that hurricane was mainly to keep hurricane tourists away. he's not sure if that hurricane will golowed to evacuate during those hours. what they are worried about is the wind. but what the biggest concern is flooding. we were on the edge of the evacuation zone yesterday in conway, south carolina. it floods a lot there. they're worried also here in myrtle beach about the flooding. the time to evacuate is now. in fact, yesterday, we got an alert, all of us here that are staying locally got an alert on our phones that it was time to leave. it is not too late to leave, but that window is closing fast. john? >> all right. nick valencia in myrtle beach, south carolina. let's head down the coast even further. let's go to charleston, south
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carolina. joining us now is congressman mark sanford, who represents so much of the beautiful low country and coastal south carolina. congressman, thanks so much for being with us. you have vast experience with this, also. you serve ed as governor for eit years as south carolina. as you look at this storm and every storm is different, with all of this rain, with all this storm surge, with the duration that this storm will sit here, what's your area of biggest concern? >> i think you hit it when you said the word "duration." i think what stands out for me and what's unusual about this storm is the way that it's going to, as all the models suggest, flip to the south, begin to make that leftward turn, and then just sort of park itself slowly over the north carolina/south carolina border and work its way across south carolina over the weekend. that's highly unusual for these storms, because typically, they sort of blow through and they're gone. and so i think it's telling that duke energy, for instance, has activated 20,000 folks to be
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prepared to repair electrical lines. but what that means is, while that storm's in place, they can't get there. so you talk about a weekend of misery. south carolina, without air-conditioning, this time of year, can be absolutely miserable for folks, you know, all the way across the state of south carolina, as this storm makes its way across. >> you talked about the electric crews not being able to do anything until the storm passes through, it's the rescue teams that won't be able to get out either. almost all of them tell us that once the wind speeds go north of 45 miles per hour, they won't go out. and what's so frightening about this storm, congressman, is that the wind speeds could be higher than 45 miles per hour for two days. so people are going to be stuck for two days without any hope of getting help. >> i mean, yeah, to your point, not only from an emergency response standpoint, but the idea of sitting there, sweltering while you wait with no electricity, no lights, no air-conditioning, an awfully gloomy picture.
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so we'll see what comes, so i think that's what stands out for me as unusual about this storm. >> the mandatory evacuation orders that have been put in place in north carolina and south carolina have different rules. but people should know that most of the coastal areas, the most vulnerable areas, there have been mandatory evacuation orders. but as you know, there's no legal repercussions for not leaving. how difficult does that make it for you, as a former chief executive, to get people to do what they need to do? >> well, all you can do is suggest, to your point. and so, the media has certainly done that. and i think officials of all sorts have done that, whether that's folks in emergency management or the governor himself, here in the state of south carolina. but, you know, what i've seen is, you know, charleston's pretty quiet right annoy. and all the big employers have shut down, boeing's shut down, the hotels have shut down. but a lot of people have say, i don't know if it's going to make that leftward turn. a lot of people have stayed here
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in the region. and certainly as you go inland. and i think, again, what's unusual about this storm is the way it's going to slowly work its way across the inland portions of south carolina, where there hasn't been a mandatory evacuation. >> yeah, 24 inches of rain. i don't know how you feel about that where you are, but that seems like an awful lot of rain, particularly in these areas which are saturated already. are you concerned, what's your biggest concern in terms of life and livelihood. >> i think it would be inland flooding. you know, at this point, it looks like charleston and the lowcountry is going to be on the backside of the storm. and traditionally, the storm surge that you've been talking about is on the upper right-hand quadrant, not the southern side. so i don't know that we have as much to fear as you you look particularly south of charleston with regard to storm surge, but what you do have to anticipate is, again, that rain that you're talking about, no ability to
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bring in rescue crews, no ability to bring in electricity, and then flooding, which could be quite pronounced as you go the inland south carolina. >> again, you've been around for a long time. and really no one has seen this exact combination of threats before, and that's what makes this so concerning. if i could ask a little bit of a different type of question, congressman. obviously, you've been critical of president trump in the past for certain things. i've seen some of the fema preparations already for this storm. i saw rental cars at the ready for fema contractors up in raleigh, staging for when they need to come in after the storm. however, as the government is preparing for this, president trump felt the need to talk about the puerto rico response. and he called it an unsung success story and underappreciated, no mention of the now 3,000 people we know died as a result of that storm. what's your reaction to that? >> you know, i -- it doesn't make a lot of sense. i mean, i think that by all accounts, there were some -- you
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know, areas of strong deficiency with regard to the puerto rican response. some of it's tied to jones act, some of it tied to the island, some of it tied to the administration. so he's going to do what he's going to do. all i know from the standpoint of what i see here on the ground is i think it does matter that he has declared the state of emergency. that helps to bring in federal assets. those federal assets have been brought in here in south carolina. i think that they've taken some lessons learned from what went wrong in puerto rico and applied them in this storm. what i've seen is good input and good preparation from a fema standpoint here in this state. >> congressman mark sanford from south carolina, a little bit down the coast from where we are right now. we wish you a very safe and as dry as can be next 72 hours. it's going to be tough for everyone around here, so thanks so much, congressman. >> yes, sir. all right, the storm, the wind picking up just a little bit here.
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the outer bands of hurricane florence beginning to hit the outer banks of north carolina where we are right now. it will be a very difficult few days. wilmington, north carolina, one of the population centers that could see some of the worst of it, we'll speak to the mayor there, next. as a pro athlete, the sleep number 360 smart bed is my competitive edge. it senses our movements and automatically adjusts to keep us both effortlessly comfortable. so i'm at my best for this team... and the home team. sleep number proven quality sleep, from $999. alice loves the smell of gain so much,
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all right. john berman here in oak island, north carolina. one thing i want to show you. you can see this pier behind me right now that goes out into the ocean. this pier two years ago in hurricane matthew, it withstood the pounding from matthew. there's another pier behind it though that you can't see that
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was destroyed. now, hurricane matthew, a category 2 storm, but it passed through here in a couple of hours. hurricane florence is a category 2, maybe a little bit stronger storm, that's going to sit over this area for two days. so just think of the destruction it might be causing there. again, i'm in oak island, but a little bit north of where i am is wilmington, north carolina. a lovely city, a population center along the coast. i'm joined now by the mayor of wilmington, north carolina, bill saffo. and if i can start with a selfish question. after we're done here this morning, we plan to head to wilmington. that's where we're going to ride out the brunt of this storm. what can we expect as we are there for the next 48 hours? >> you're going to see a lot of wind, you're going to see a lot of downed power lines. you're going to see downed trees. you're going to see a considerable amount of flooding. we're talking about 20 to 30 inches. i'm here at the weather center here in wilmington, and they're telling me 20 to 30 inches of rain in some areas, possibly up to 40 inches of rain.
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this is going to be pretty significant flooding event for our community and for our area, in addition to the sturgorm su that you had mentioned, john, on the barrier island. so we're going to have some significant damage come in with this storm. >> and it's going to be there for a long time. i was seeing some forecasts the cape fear river, which sort of, you know, buttresses one end of wilmington, the cape fear river could reach record levels? talk to me about that. >> all of this rain, which, of course, that is a very large storm over 200 miles wide, you're going to feel it all the way up into charlotte. the cape fear river is the only river in the state of north carolina that's contained within the state of north carolina. so all of that rain, all of that water that's going to be dumped on the state of north carolina, it will be coming down the cape fear river. we most definitely are going to see significant rises in the river. we may see some record-level
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rise in the river. and for those that went through matthew two years ago, as you mentioned, we lost several people because they tried to traverse roads, bridges after the storm passed. and their cars got swept away. and what i'm asking our citizens is to make certain, before you approach any kind of standing water, significant standing water, do not try to cross it, because you may be swept away. and we lost several people two years ago, when matthew came through. >> that's such an important warning. standing water is so dangerous. and even that warning is some two days away. we've got to get to the point where that's a major concern, after the wind, after the storm surge, and then we see the rain. what do people need to know for the next 48 hours in terms of what will be available to them from possible rescue teams? i know you've warned people that they should be getting out of wilmington, but if they chose to stay, once this storm hits, they're on their own, correct? >> they are on their own. once this storm is upon us, we're not going to be able to
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send emergency personnel out to save you, to help you, until the storm passes. that's why it's so important that why you still have some time, make the preparations, get out of the way, go to higher ground. because once this storm is upon us, we're not going to be able to send out our emergency personnel to help you, until the storm passes. i know the governor has got some swift boat teams here, ready to, for rescue for those that are in the rural areas, that are going to be impacted as much as we are down here on the coast, with the inland flooding, that they'll be ready to go in those particular areas, but we'll see a lot of those folks, unfortunately, try to transverse some of these little rural areas or little rural roads, which are going to be heavily flooded, because of the amount of rain that's going to be dumped eon this area by this storm. so we just ask people to use extreme caution, you know, get to higher ground now. you still have a little bit of time left. but those that are thinking of leaving the area, the time is now. now.
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>> right. you've got about two or three hours. and really, that's it. and you were talking about the swiftboat operators. i was speaking to one earlier this morning, and he said the way that he can save the most lives is tell people to evacuate now. because no matter how good he is after the fact, he can't save as many lives for the people who stay. hang on one second, mayor. because i believe some video and some sound of something to play, which is from a coast guard station live now, about 30 miles off the coast. i think we can get a sense of the wind. [ wind blowing ] >> mayor, this is 34 miles off the coast. it's a coast guard light station. and i'm afraid you and i are going to have to get used to the sound, that sound. that is the outer bands that have already begun to approach the carolina coast. tropical storm-force winds. and those winds, once they've
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really hit land, they are staying. they're going to stay for some 60 hours. and that's a cause of major concern, isn't it? all right, i lost the mayor. mayor bill saffo from wilmington, north carolina. i know he's very, very busy. he's been warning people to get out of his city for the last few days. and he's got a real problem ahead of him with the river, the cape fear river, as we were talking about that flows down there. it will flood. and haas in addition to the storm surge, alisyn. i can't get over the sound, the sound from that coast guard station some 35 miles off. the power of this wind, the power of this storm, it's going to be something to behold, alisyn. >> yeah, i can't get over the sound, either. and you couldn't see the video, like we could. the waves are also churned up and the ocean also looks very angry there. here, let's just listen again. this is what's happening as you say, 30 miles offshore. it gives us a sense of what is coming in your direction. listen to this. [ wind blowing ]
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john, there was one shot that i want us to be able to get back to, which shows a flag and how much it is rippling in the wind. it's ominous, listen, i mean, it's ominous -- there's the flag, you can see how the wind is whipping up. it's nerve-racking, quite frankly, to think that that is headed in your direction, hours from now. >> and look, that is why you hear apprehension in the voices of so many of the public officials here. and make no mistake, they're trying to scare you. they want to scare you, because this is frightening and they need people along this coast to pay attention. if you were told to evacuate, they're saying, please, please, get out in the next couple of hours. that's the last chance you'll have, alisyn. >> well, that is your job, john. that is why we have sent you there, so that you can sound the alarm for everyone who is watching. so john, we will check back with you in oak island, north carolina, very shortly. there is other news to tell you about. has the federal government
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learned anything from the mistakes after hurricane maria? what the president is saying about the preparation for florence, next. why bother mastering something? because when you want to create an entirely new feeling, the difference between excellence and mastery, is all the difference in the world. introducing the all-new lexus es. a product of mastery. experience amazing at your lexus dealer. a product of mastery. ♪ can i get some help. watch his head. ♪ i'm so happy. ♪ whatever they went through, they went through together.
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[ wind blowing ] >> just want to give you a little look at what is happening 30 miles off the north carolina coast. so you can see, hurricane florence, the outer bands there in the distance. all of that sort of gray air churned up that meets the sea. and you can see the ocean getting very choppy. and you can hear the ominous
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wind as hurricane florence moves towards the north carolina coastline. so hurricane florence will be the trump administration's biggest challenge from mother nature since the disaster of hurricane maria. president trump is assuring the country that this time, they'll be ready. >> i thought there was an opportunity here that we could have taken advantage of. now, he opted to go a different direction. that's certainly his right as the president, but i wish we had taken advantage of that opportunity. i thought that could have sent a very powerful message. >> tremendous people working on the hurricane. first responders, law enforcement and fema and they're all ready. and we're getting tremendous accolades from politicians and the people, we are ready. but this is going to be one of the biggest ones to ever hit our country. >> we apologize. admiral make rogers was not talking about hurricane florence there, but we'll get into all of that when maggie haberman, white house correspondent for the "new york times" and cnn political analyst joins us. maggie, happy to see you safe
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and sound in a studio, as we look at the split screen here. >> yeah. >> okay, so, let's talk about what's really getting a lot of attention. and that is, president trump revisiting fema's response and his administration response to hurricane maria, what was a disaster, an abject failure. 3,000 pile died. eerily, almost the exact same number as on 9/11. yet, the president tweets this. we got a-pluses for our recent hurricane work in texas and florida and did an unappreciated great job in puerto rico. even though an inaccessible island, with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent mayor of san juan. we are ready for the big one that is coming. so maggie, look, we now know from the bob woodward book, from the anonymous op-ed, from your reporting from the past two years that the people around the president don't feel comfortable when he doesn't represent reality. it makes them uncomfortable. so what's happening now with his take on the maria aftermath? >> when you talk to people who
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work in the administration, you will usually hear some combination of recognition that what he is saying does not comport with the reality of what people experienced. 3,000 people dead, remember, initially, the death toll was 64, which the president was touting as a good, low number, which most people at the time said, there is a 0% chance it stays this way as a number. there is some recognition of that, plus, well, but there are other factors where it wasn't entirely the administration's fault or they did get "x," "y," "z" aspect of this right. it is true that conditions on the ground in puerto rico in some cases were problematic. it is true that there were impassable roads. this is a president who not only tries to create his own reality, but he doesn't deal in nuance at all. so everything is either up, down, black, white, a-plus or an "f." and again, he has a way of turning this into a referendum on himself. this was a storm during which
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3,000, roughly at this point, the estimate is, americans died. these are americans. and that ends up not being where the focus is. puerto rico, which is, you know, a tiny island, has continued to get battered by storms. since then, we are approaching the one year. and as is often the case with donald trump, the notes that he is sounding are not empathetic. and i understand that they feel as if they take too much incoming, they feel as if they get too many attacks. you have to know if you are talking about a storm where that many people died, it is not going to -- people are not going to grade on a curve. and it's not -- the a-pluses are not coming from anyone other than himself. >> maggie, you and i have talked in the past about his powers of persuasion, which i think are strong, except -- >> clearly. >> -- in the occasions where people can see things with their own eyes. so the inauguration crowd, where people could actually see with their own eyes the overhead imagery. the helsinki moment, where he
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blamed america, as he stood next to vladimir putin. and the deaths from hurricane maria. when he goes so far from reality, which when people see the truth with their own eyes, what happens behind the scenes? >> look, people try to get him to either not tweet or they try to get him to say a different version of "x," "y," "z." but again, as i said, there are a lot of people within the white house, yes, there are people who get uncomfortable with things he does, but they often find themselves trying to comport to his desires and how he wants things to be. at least to some extent. you had sean spicer try to accommodate his wishes on finding better pictures of his inaugural. you had reince priebus in a scene that was described in the woodward book and that has been confirmed to me by other people, trying to accommodate the president's desire to get a statement saying that he was not under fbi investigation and sort of a sense of anxiety when that
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was not forthcoming, because it was going to mean the president was upset. there is, i think one of the disconnects with the woodward book, and where it does not paint a correct picture of what happens is, there is not a chorus of people who are constantly standing there and saying, absolutely not, sir, you cannot do this, that's just not true. there are people who are trying to work with the situation at hand, and it usually involves something a little more nuanced than drawing a red line. >> maggie, i don't know if you have any reporting on this. it's just crossed from politico that the head of fema, who obviously is very relevant today, brock long, is being investigated by the inspector general, to determine if he somehow misused a car service that he would take between his home in north carolina and his office in washington, d.c. the inspector general is looking into it. it's too soon to have any sort of determination. so who knows if that is, in fact, true. but i think we can say that there has been a pattern of trump officials and people
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around the president who seem very confused about the boundaries between taxpayer money and their own personal expenses, as though there's no rule book that is being given out on day one in the trump administration. >> or that -- and to be clear, i don't have reporting on this, so i'm going off the politico story, but i know the two reporters and i'm confident it's accurate, there are a lot of people who did not end up moving to washington from where they lived. i believe that brock long was one of them. and they ended up looking for ways to justify certain commuting costs. again, as you note, this is yet another alleged example of somebody misusing a government car. this has come up before. this was one of the things that john kelly mentioned in getting rid of omarosa, was a misuse of the government taxi service, which is actually a thing. this would be yet another example. it is not -- i don't think it's that nobody is putting out a rule book, per se. but i think there certainly is a sense, extensively within the
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administration, that you are not necessarily going to get called out the same way, if you do certain things as you might have in previous administrations. >> we just got a statement from fema that they are fully cooperating with the inspector general's investigation. so we'll wait to see what the inspector general comes up with. maggie haberman, thank you very much, always great to see you. let's go to john berman who is there in north carolina on the beach. i hope that's not john berman right there. i hope that that is not john berman swimming in the ocean right there. that is a surfer who should not be there. and i hope that john is going to go drag that person out of the water. john, are you watching this? >> that is not me. there's a whole lot of flesh there, so that is not me, i can assure you. what you're seeing right there, you know, he's doing a good job of riding that wave, but it's dumb. it's dumb. people should not be out surfing right now. the mayor of oak island, north carolina, where i am, doesn't want even people to be on the island. there has been a mandatory
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evacuation order. people have been told to leave here in oak island, as they have up and down the carolina coast. when we come back, we're going to speak to someone who chose to stay. the world is full of different hair. that's why pantene has the perfect conditioners for everyone. from air-light foam, to nourishing 3 minute miracle, to the moisture-infusing gold series. we give more women great hair days - every day. pantene.
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all right. i'm john berman in oak island, north carolina. what you're listening to and looking at right now is a light station about 35 miles off the coast. listen to this. [ wind blowing ] that just sounds ferocious. ferocious winds. that is hurricane florence. that is what is coming this way. the outer bands of the hurricane already starting to hit the outer banks of north carolina, a couple hundred miles north of where i am. it's just the beginning. two and a half days of this ahead for portions of the carolina coast. oak island, where i am right now, there's been a mandatory evacuation order, a population of about 8,000. they were all told to leave.
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most did. some did not. joining me now is someone who chose to stay, george sturm, a 38-year resident of this area, roughly, right now. >> yes, indeed. >> let me ask you the question that i think so many people have on their minds. what were you thinking? what are you thinking? >> it's my home. i have an interior home, as well as a home on the water. and i'll be safe. sometimes it's harder to get off the island. you take a chance and hope that it goes from a 4 maybe down to a 2, which it did, you know? so i wanted to stay here to be here with my family and ride her out. i've ridden out several. i've ridden out many. all of them major ones. >> so it has been reduced to a category 2 storm. all that means is that the wind speeds are down to 110 miles an hour, but the problem, as you know, and you're experienced at this, is the issue with this storm is the surge. and the speed doesn't really have an impact on that. it's a huge storm. we're expecting a surge of some
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9 feet, which will overflow, the berm, the dunes behind us right now. >> correct. yes. >> what will that do to your house? >> well, i've ridden out fran, gloria, hugo. depending on the moon, the lunar tide and all, maybe a couple inches. however, matthew, which was a low cat 1, due to all of the things lining up, i had 2 feet of water in my basement. my home's framed out in 2 x 6s, which code is 2 x 4s, so i'm pretty safe over there on the water. >> talk to me about your plan. again, the duration of this storm, it's going on for a long, long time. the tropical storm force winds will hit several hours from now and won't go away for maybe two days. what will you down during that time? >> hunker down at the house. my nephew owns a restaurant at the end of the island, so we have plenty of food, plenty of drink. hopefully the power is cut off for a minimal amount of time and just ride it out in the house,
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you know? stay dry and locals this time, you know, we all stick together, you know? >> so once the wind speed hits 45 miles an hour, they're going to close the bridge to the island here. you won't be able to get on and off. how will that affect your life? it could be days. >> how it will affect my life will be the fact that we -- you get into a survival mode and if we can get on and off the island, i do have a pass due to medical conditions, i'll be able to do that. the thing will be flooding. now, i'm not going to be funny and say, get in a row boat, because that's not really realistic. you hope for the best, is what you do, you know? and you get in survival mode. you know? >> is hoping for the best enough here? i mean, you've heard so many people practically begging you to leave. and part of it's for you. part of it they're concerned about your own safety, they want you out. but part of it is that you may be putting other people's lives at risk, if they have to come
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save you. >> and that's really not in the equation. i don't think that that would occur. that's never occurred in the 38 years i've lived on this island, so. we're not going to go with that as a thought. >> who's staying in your house with you? >> my sister and my brother-in-law, my nephew is right down the street, we have generators, we have refrigerators full of food. water. you name it, we have it. >> anyone in your family, any loved ones telling you, george, you're crazy? we know you've survived the ones in the past, but this one, don't do it. >> i've been told that before the storm, but not necessarily during this one. and the reason that i'm not staying in my home besides my medical condition, this one felt a little bit different and actually in the last couple of years, all the locals have said, you know, we're due for the big one and when we saw it possibly being a 4, we're like, you know, this might be the one. that's why i -- a lot of people left that wouldn't have.
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there's a lot of houses that aren't boarded up that normally during most of these cat 2s, 1s, all of these houses would have been boarded up. and i think they just left and said, that's it. it's over. you know, they bagged it and went on. >> but you do know, as they said, as you're saying, this one might be different. >> yeah, it could have been a few days ago, but took a turn for the better. so. >> all right, george sturm, listen, we wish you the best of luck. stay safe, stay inside. you know, may not be the best decision to stick around, but make good decisions going forward. >> absolutely! we'll do that. it's part about living here. this is the price you pay to live in paradise sometimes, you know? but your life involved, you don't do that. that's a foolish decision. i just, i've been through so many, i feel like we're going to be all right. >> george sturm, this is paradise, but i'll tell you, there's a bridge off of paradise and you can leave for a few days if you need to. >> i have a pass to get off, if
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need be, yes. >> george sturm, thanks very much. stay safe, my friend. >> you're more than welcome. >> all right, alisyn, let me go back to you. george is zen about it and he's staying here with several loved ones, but make no mistake about it. i talked to the mayor, talked to some swift boat operators who are really, really clear. they want people to go. they do not think it's safe to stay here. the storm surge will be life threatening and it will exist over a very long period of time, alisyn. >> i understand george, right? i understand, that's huge nature, nobody wants to leave their home and all of their stuff. i understand, that's optimism prevailing over raw data that's coming from all of the meteorologists and all of the forecasters who are trying to warn everyone. and i think that that is human nature. but i -- it does make me uncomfortable when he says, you know, i've weathered other ones before, because this one, john, i don't have to tell you, you know, meteorologists are telling us that it is different. and it's different because of how long it's just going to stay parked and hover.
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he keeps saying, i'm relieved that it became a category 2, as though the wind is going to be the big issue. it's not. it's the rain and he heard the wrong message. yes, that means the wind speed will be less than it had been forecast, but the storm will sit here for so long. and the storm has become bigger. it is going to be higher than expected and it is a serious, serious threat. >> maybe you can impress that on him off camera. >> i tried. >> we will check back with you. now it is time for a reality check. calling president trump complicit in this storm. not for failing to prepare but for failing to address climate change. >> look, president trump has been reaching for storm
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superlatives, the biggest, the worst, the more dangerous and who can forget, tremendously wet. his policies have been tearing down our defenses to climate change, which is often a blame for extreme weather. on the same day trump was discussing florence, his epa proposed rolling back restrictions on emissions of methane. that's just the latest environmental policy targeted by the trump administration. according to july's study, nearly 80 regulations could be on their way out. everything from no longer requiring chemical companies to report leaks, pulling the u.s. out of the parties climate accords, dismantling the claen power plant. it is so bad according to two harvard scientists, it could lead to 80,000 unnecessary
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deaths every decade. warmer water means more intense storms. when president trump called hurricane florence tremendously wet, he was on to something. the amount of precipitation increased nearly 20% between 1958 and 2007. and the relative number of these extreme storms is also up about 40% in that same period. you don't need to be a tree hug tore recognize climate change. here is a stat. the total cost of u.s. hurricanes this decades is more than 3$343 billion. and southern states are the ones that have sustained the most damage and will likely face the greatest cost in the future. a report found that evidence that higher summer temperatures could reduce overall u.s. economic growth by as much as one-third over the next century with southern states accounting
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for a disproportionate share of that. the lawmakers passed a bill explicitly ignoring climate science, forcing officials to work with predictions of sea level rise. to boost development along the coast, which is exactly where florence is headed. short term thinking isn't sufficient to deal with long term problems. we found out late last night that the oldest ice in the arctic is breaking up for the first time ever, a development that one scientist simply called scarey. this isn't rocket science. it is climate science. as long as we continue to aggressively ignore it, the cost in lives and dollars will escalate. that's your reality check. >> that was really helpful. more precipitation in the carolinas. thank you very much. so many people in puerto rico were desperate after hurricane maria to find clean water.
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they had to wait for months for electricity and sometimes water. why is this runway filled with bottles of water in puerto rico? what cnn has learned next.
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>> just for a moment imagine you spent months getting water from a pipe into a creek or collecting rainwater to keep your family alive. and now imagine you discover all that time there has literally been millions of bottles of fresh matter sitting on an airport runway unused. that is a story that is outraging so many puerto ricans
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this week after a local official posted pictures of what looked like thousands of palates parked of an abandoned runway about 45 minutes south of san juan here. we went looking and it wasn't hard to find and you can see why. it is literally a runway full of bottled water. it seems to be an exercise in blame. fema said, look, it is our job to get the resources to the island. this is not a supply issue. this is a distribution issue, rushing responsibility off on the local puerto rican government. the government put out a statement that said fema delivered 20,000 palates of water that they didn't need. in other words, it came too late. by our reporting, it wasn't until they started distributing that water in may that people complained of a foul odor in taste that set off tests and
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that precious resource is sitting there in the puerto rican sun. >> thanks to bill for that. very frustrating report. so we are just moments away from getting a new advisory on florence and where it is headed. let's get right to it. >> we are ready, but this is going to be one of the biggest ones to hit our country. >> you may be in danger. >> this is a big storm. >> yeah, i'm worried about this. i'm worried about the flood. >> take the evacuations very seriously. >> it is unpredictable really. we need to get out of here. >> you expect three million to be out of power. >> there is nothing left to stay for. >> disaster is at the doorstep and it is coming in. >> welcome to your new day. it is thursday, september 13th. it is 8:00 in the east. this is cnn's special live
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coverage of hurricane florence. it is here, the outer bands of this huge storm beginning to hit the outer banks of north carolina, 200 miles north of where i am. i am on oak island where there is a mandatory evacuation order. but yet there are surfers out in this sea, which really has begun to kick up over the last two hours since we've been here. they're out there. they're surfing. they should not be here. it will be very dangerous starting in about three hours here and then staying that way for about 72 hours. >> all right. well, i'm sure they're just going to surf for a little bit and get out and high tail it out of there. at least that's what i hope because it is so upsetting and nerve racking to see that they are ignoring all of the warnings that so many people have been giving for days. i mean, this is about to become what -- i don't have to tell you, john. they are calling this the storm
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of a lifetime because of all the water it is going to bring. they are expected 30 to 40 inches of rain in the next 24 hours. >> it's the combination of threats here that's the real problem. it's not just the wind. and you will have wind speeds of 110 miles an hour. but also the rain, some three feet of rain in some places and then the storm surge, 6 to 9 feet. on top of it all, it is the duration. it will be hitting for more than 48 hours. the tropical force storm winds. the outer bands of this storm already hitting the outer banks of north carolina, and it will take a very slow turn, which mean this is entire region will be in the cross hairs for a very, very long time. one of the biggest concerns here where i am in oak island is storm surge. let me explain. this is why it is so flightening for the people here.


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