tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN September 13, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
flooding from hurricane matthew in north carolina and the forecast for the rainfall to come from hurricane florence is even more than hurricane matthew. hurricane matthew was a 100-year flood so here just two years later we're projecting to have more rainfall so we are taking additional precautions to be sure we can mobilize our crews as soon as we're able to. we're bringing in special equipment. amphibious vehicles, boats, a number of other technological piece of equipment that we can draw upon and use data analytics in order project where floodwaters are wi s ars are go so we can start the power restoration effort. >> a lot of people have heeded the warnings, a lot of people have not. do you think people anticipate not just the inconvenience of losing power but the danger?
you don't know when it will be restored? >> that's exactly right. this is a very significant storm. we're talking about outages that will last not just days but weeks so we've asked all residents within evacuation zones way evacuation orders issued by governor cooper in north carolina and governor mcmaster in south carolina because we don't know how long it will take us to get out and assess the damage done by this historic storm. >> how many millions of people are you expecting to lose power again? >>. >> we're expecting 75% of our customer base so that's 7 million customers. i've lived in north carolina my whole life and i know the character of the people of this state. we are resilient and we'll get through this together. in the tar heel state we stick to a task until the job is done
and that's what we'll do at duke energy. we won't rest until the last restoration is restored. david fountain, thank you very much, we appreciate your time from duke energy. anderson, you heard him. seven million people. that's a lot of people. he said they're bringing in armies of people not just the carolinas but surrounding states but when you have that flooding, who knows when it will be restored, if you can get your food and electricity and what have you. you don't know when it will come back. >> yeah, just one of the many unknowns that the folks are facing. we're going to continue our coverage here. i'm in wilmington, north carolina, don is in myrtle beach, south carolina. chris cuomo is in north mincyrt beach. you're watching special coverage of hurricane florence. it's arrived today. we're starting to get some rain here in wiggle, the carolina
coast are feeling the first bands, what would be the worst storm in over 30 years. florence's winds have grown weaker, the area is now doubled in size from initial forecasts. it's twice as big. listen to the winds at this weather station off north carolina with gusts as strong as 60 miles per hour. you can see the tear in the flag, that happened in the last hour, winds are one of the storm's triple threats. we are focusing on 24 in wilmington. the area could see catastrophic storm surge as reaching as high as 13 feet and downpours expected to be relentless. one forecast is 10 trillion gallons of rain will fall before florence is finished. they're expecting eight month's worth of rain in the next three
days. i want to go to diane gallagher in north bern, north carolina, about a three hour drive north of myrtle beach. you're already experiencing some flooding, diane? >> a lot talk about the wind when it comes to hurricanes but in new bern, north carolina, that will be the water. we've just started to feel wind but i'll get us to pan out over there. the noose river has come all the way in. to give you an idea of how much has this has risen in two hours, at 1:00 i was standing over there at that fencing area and the water was almost to my knees. at this point i'm not going back out there because it's not safe for me or my producer, my photographer or any emergency officials here but just to give you an idea of how much we have seen this rise, we are seeing
the wind push. you can see behind me the swing sets, the trash cans which are being pushed by the water that is continuing to steady rise. we have ducks floweding on water. park benches and grass where people had picnics out here. we're standing on a roadway area where people enjoy themselves here so to give you this idea. the wind is starting to kick up right now. the emergency managers have people waiting, they have about 700 different individuals waiting for after the storm to help out. the national guard is here, we've spoken with them already as well. the craven county emergency manager stanley kite says we have a plan before. as this is coming through, anderson, i cannot emphasize as much this water pushed all the way through this park some of
these shops have boards above their windows that have listed the names of storms that they've had before. such famous names like bertha and matthew and floyd and fran. they talk about surviving this but the only way they can do this is if they aren't here. we are not at the beach but we're having waves come in on our area. the birds are having difficulty fly i flying because of the wind and it's kind of a perfect storm in the northern part of the state. the pimlico sound, the intercoastal waterways, they'll get this again once inland flooding comes back south so they will be victimized twice by
florence, the next couple days and when the rain recedes again. >> diane, thank you. i want to go to chris cuomo. we'll be seeing a bunch of tides throughout this storm coming in and out. >> and the area is very vulnerable. we're in north myrtle beach, south carolina. jay, show them. this is normal high tide. they dumped five feet of sand here this summer. this is new sand to elevate the beach. didn't make really any difference. this is normal high tide cooling. jay, swing around and show them where the houses are. not even 50 yards, clearing people out of the way so jay can show you. it's not easy to clear people out of the way. you know why, anderson? there are so many people still here. local authorities say 85% left but look, you showed them. 50 miles an hour tore up that flag, sustained winds at 50
miles an hour can do so much damage to buildings. that's half hurricane strength and we're dealing with a category again, it's not a shame campaign. the first responders and all don was talking about with chief spain here, they have to do the job more for the people who stay behind. they will put their lives at risk to make sure these people who made their decision to stay are okay when that decision goes wrong. god forbid that happens. we hope everybody is making the best choice they can and if they choose to stay hopefully they do it the right way. this right now? the calm before the storm. ed lavender a in moorhead city, north carolina, is living our future. ed? >> hey, chris, we are on the topside of this storm where we have been seeing now for several hours the strongest bands of
this here cane we're in a city called morehead city. we're looking due south on to the storm but the top part of the hurricane, the bands of rain and wind are whipping down on us. the winds are pushing the water, you can see how strong from this dock the currents are and the waves are. that one boat has taken on a good amount of water and it doesn't appear to be going anywhere. there's two other boats that have been pushed back into the bank of land. this boat to my left has been whipping around. this is the dock area that for the most part has been cleared out and this city has gone quiet, we were speaking with the emergency director. he told us they believe most people had evacuated but they are concerned because of the low-lying nature of this
particular county that the flooding will be an issue the next couple days. there's an elderly complex here, a retirement community we saw several days ago had buses lined up moving people out. so the flooding that we'll see, there's so many waterways and trip-- tributaries and creeks, that water will get pushed up inland. you can see these initial outer bands of the storm lashing the coastline here in a fierce way, chr chris. >> ed, can you still hear me? >> i can hear you. >> i'm told you're wobbling around where you are. how much wind is it and what's the affect it's having on you? >> a little while ago we spoke
with some first responders out here checking these boats, they had a water rescue team going to these boats, that was an hour ago and they told us wind gusts were getting up to 50, 60 miles an hour. the strongest gusts are above that now. we're a little -- this is one of the quieter moments we've had here over the course of the last hour. 15 minutes ago we couldn't even see that bank of island there because of the intense rain and wind pushing through here so it's very cyclical as these bands come through but it's intensified over the last couple hours. >> it doesn't take much. they put you and me in hurricane irma, we thought we were built to withstand wind and it wound up not taking that much to blow us around, it takes less to take
boats off their moorings, sustained winds can change the way a community looks and functions for a long time. ed, i'll check back with you. now we'll go to carolina city. miguel marquez in north carolina along the coast starting to see more of the effect of florence. what is it like where you are? >> we got a good punch of rain a short time ago and we are expecting more short ly. the we have as are getting bigger and more frequent. they have had some flooding on the north part of carolina beach from where the dunes are lower. about 18 inches right now but not terrible, they are expecting much, much more. the seas are just showing the effects of that massive serge, that bulldozer of a storm pushing this water on the shore. the wind is less than officials
expected. . we're in a lull but it's been blowing 20, 25 miles an hour maybe gusting to 40 but we are not seeing those winds yet but i'm looking out on to the horizon here and i am seeing a wall 60 water heading towards us. that is a lot of rain coming towards us. yet another pulse, another band of the massive storm that will come through here. it's hard to believe we are at the beginning of a 24 or 36 hour rain event that will dump 20, 30, perhaps more inches in this town, the storm surge with the tide on top of it. they are looking at a third of this town being underwater and cut off for many days to come, chris? >> waves and phases. which part of florence do you get? how long do you get it and what are the characteristics of the community you're in and how it
will be able to sustain the impact of this storm? there's so many variables, so many people who made the decision to stay are playing amateur meteorologist and making their decision about how they feel. when we come back, we'll give you the latest information. if you're in this area where florence is coming, stay with cnn, listen to the forecast, make the right decision for you next. your insurance rates skyrocket after a scratch so small
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we are live in wilmington, north carolina where rains and winds are starting to pick up. we had a small band that came through for a couple minutes. you can see there is low-hanging clouds moving with some speed. i want to go to meteorologist jennifer gray in the cnn weathercenter. she's been following florence's every move. talk about where this thing is now and what the next 24 hours are going to look like. >> it's less than 100 miles from show but once it comes to shore it's going to come to a screeching halt so we're not expecting landfall to arrive tomorrow evening, it could be late overnight hours and to the morning. then it will me yander to the south so the next 24 hours the areas of north carolina already getting battered by these outer
bands, the winds, waves, surge it will be happening. most of these storms come in and go. this is going to sit here for 24 to 36 hours once it makes landfall. we're not talking about from now so we'll talk about this storm through the weekend as it's sitting here dumping rain. the storage surge and flooding will be the two main concerns with this storm. we're talking about taking a beat of 120 mile per hour winds for 24 hours, a lot of structures will fail but the inundation of waters will be devastating with this storm. all 6 that energy is coming along with it and it will come
on shore so as we see these high tide cycles, i was watching diane's live shot where the water 1 coming in during high tide, now that the low tide is approaching this afternoon that water won't move out. it will stay there so when the next high tide comes in, that water is going to push in even more. the water will l build and bu d build. not to mention the rivers. the rivers will get backed up close to where anderson is in wilmington. it's expected to crest at record level 24 feet and we will see roads underwater. a lot of people will be cut off if this holds true with that 24 feet because the rivers are going to get backed up.
with this water pushing in, in, in and the rainfall the water has nowhere to drain so you'll get incredible amounts of water well inland away from the coast. >> the cape fear river is expected to reach a new high from what it experienced in 1999 during floyd. reached 23.5 feet or so. i want to go to don in myrtle beach. i was talking to a lady who is bored in her home so she came down to take a look at the cape fear river. she said its like waiting for a turt toll arrive. but to hear it's moving at 10 miles an hour but it will slow down once it makes lands fall to four miles per hour. >> she better hope it's not a snapping tirt.
it moves slowly and then when it gets you you're in major trouble. i've been trying to be the expert and tell you what's going on but this man to my right knows exactly what is going on. let's talk about the problems we face right now. as you heard anderson say, people are bored in their homes and they want to see things. these folks have been coming out. they weren't here when we got here earlier. the beach is not closed technically? >> the beach is not closed. the water is closed. we don't want to spend our resources rescuing somebody from rough waves when that is completely preventable. you can still walk on the beach. >> as we were listeneding to anderson speak to our meteorologist, there is someone walking in the water. >> technically they shouldn't be doing that. hopefully they won't put themselves at risk. the waves are strong and it will get stronger before it's all
over. >> so you should not be out in the water. >> there's an executive order on that. >> does this concern you you're seeing so many people? >> a little bit because most of the folks did evacuate. they probably don't live on the beach but they're taking advantage of this last bit of calm weather. >> you said someone else's irresponsibility can get -- can cause you to use more resources. >> our police and fire and ems have other things they need to be doing. they don't need to be rescuing somebody from a completely preventable incident. >> everyone talks about oh, well, it's a category 4, it category 3. people should not have a false sense of security about this? >> no, we began getting ready on sunday because it was the worst-case scenario, a direct hit from a category 4. it's wandered around. the forecast has changed.
it's probably in the top five worst cases because it will sit on top of us for two days. that won't be fun. >> >> you were explaining what's been happening at the dunes and you said off king tide not so much to do with the hurricane but the mood. >> the tides have been higher than normal but when the hurricane comes over it will bring storm surge. we'll be on the outside of the storm but we're looking at six to nine feet on top of whatever the tide is. >> you have a beach restoration coming very soon. just so happens. >> timing is everything. a couple hurricanes ago we lost beach. mother nature takes sand away, puts it back. we had a $24 million monday, they demobilized so as soon as the tomorrow is over they'll be back here and we'll get a brand new beach. >> what does that mean? >> it means an extra 150 feet worth of sand.
800,000 cubic yards. >> as i'm talking to you, right over your shoulder there's a crane and i've seen a couple of them. >> the cranes are set to free weal so they'll run like a weathervane. they will spin in the wind, they won't go with me anywhere. >> this is your concern now. you have other concerns which are? >> we have to make sure everybody is safe and that we're ready to respond. we have people prepositioned so we can make sure it's safe. that may take a couple days realistically. >> as you heard mark say. if you choose to stay and get in trouble you're not just putting yourself in danger, you're putting emergency rescue workers in danger as well. they want to go home to their families. this is cnn's live coverage of hurricane florenc. we are up and down the coast as you can see. a beautiful beach. some of the outer bands are coming in and that will get worse as the day and evening
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the painful history of another storm, hurricane maria, tweeting today, and i'm quoting, 3,000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit puerto rico. when i left the island after the storm hit they had anywhere from six to 18 deaths. as time went by it did not go up by much, then a long time later they started reporting numbers like, 3,000. this was done by the democrats marjory stoneman douglas to make me look as possible when i was successfully raising billions of dollars to help rebuild puerto rico. if a person died for any reason like old age, just add them on to the list. bad politics, i love puerto rico. the puerto rican government determined the official toll from hurricane maria was 2,975 deaths. this was after months long of study from george washington university. when the president was there the deaths were 16. the governor of puerto rico, ricardo recio joins me now.
the president of the united states, of which puerto rico is a part, saying they did not die as a result of hurricane maria, what went through your mind? >> well, anderson, thing was the victims nor the people of puerto rico deserve to have their pain questioned. this has been a long process. we didn't have the resources to make an accurate count in the on set that's why i worked so we could have an independent and scientifically robust effort with george washington and as a scientist i can tell you that with the limitations that we had it is a very thorough and accurate estimate, recognizing that it can only be an estimate at this point i decided to put it as the official figure
because we believe in it. so in our view there is a lot of pain. the moment is not to have political bickering or to argue about other things that are not important but rather to focus on the pain and remember those who lost their lives and focus on rebuilding the future. >> have you heard from people in puerto rico who have lost loved loved ones? i can't imagine what somebody who has lost a loved one in the wake, whether a month or two months or three months after the storm because they didn't have electricity or couldn't get their regular medication, didn't have access to medical facilities or their regular doctor to be told by the president of the united states that your loved one did not die as a result of the storm. to me it seems incredibly
disrespe disrespectful not only to the dead but to the families of those whose lives have been forever changed. >> it is painful for all families and certainly that is why we wanted to have the most robust investigation possible so that we could get clarity and a moment to remember all of those that passed on. this has been the most devastating event in the modern history of the united states and with that i take a moment to send our thoughts and prayers to the people of the carolinas and the united states. we know what they're about to go through so right now obviously painful and we are confident the estimates and the work that the george washington university did are accurate. >> governor, i know you're in a
difficult position because you need the help of president trump. you need to be in his good graces for the future of puerto rico but the president of the united states is saying this was not the catastrophe that you have just said it was, that we witnessed, that everybody knows it to be. the president of the united states is saying 3,000 people did not die as a result of the storm. when he was there, he talked about hurricane katrina as being a real catastrophe, the implication being that what happened in puerto rico was not and you could say that was ignorance in the early days because the death toll was only 1 or 17 people but more than a year later he is denying the rheeality of what happened. i know you need to keep him in your good graces because you're in a difficult position, i find that stunning. do you have any reason to doubt
this study? it's not just this study that it took months to do. it's not a study by harvard and universities in puerto rico which did surveys months earlier which also came up with a death toll in this range. it's not just report big cnn and others who interviewed funeral directors. there is study after study on this and they are sound studies. >> you're right on, anderson. there's no reason to doubt the validity of these studies. no reason to expect, even though it's an estimate, that it's not far away from what the accurate toll should be. this is a scientifically robust effort and i completely support the conclusions both signaling that we need to make changes at
the local level and federal level to have a better response towards the future. regarding the relationship with the white house and looking forward towards rebuilding a future, i'm hope fful because ts is about helping over three million american citizens that have been significantly affe affected. in my view, my role is to intercontinental out what has been good but also to signal what has been wrong and in this case neglecting the facts about the level of the death toll, how it came about, the reality of the devastation that we lived in in puerto rico is simply inaccurate and i will continue to signal on that. i feel feoff f we have that relationship where we can speak truthfully, if we can have
transparency and have the open lines of communication with the american public we can start a rebuilding process to the benefit of puerto rico but also recognizing if people are irate. are angry at the unequal treatment, at the second-class citizenship treatment that the people of puerto rico received relative to other states then you need to look no further than the reality that puerto rico is a colonial territory. that we don't have the rights to voting members in congress or the rights to vote for the president and we need to ask ourselves as a nation if we are to be the standard bearers of democracy, everywhere else in the world, how can we go to venezuela, how can we go the cuba and preach democracy when we're not really acting upon it in our own backyard. so my petition to everybody seeing this is if we want to
manage and handle the inequality issue that's at play we need to strike at the root of the problem and that is that puerto rico is a colonial territory and until that problem is sovmed we will always be treated as second-class citizens. >> we're seeing that with the president's tweet today. the president says this is a plot by the democrats. there's absolutely no reason for him to say that, just for the record, this study by gw, in your opinion, is that a plot involving democrats or something involving democrats to make the president look bad? >> other than the fact that i am a democrat this was abindependent commission report, it's a highly reputable academic institutions. the instructions were clear to them. you make those results public at
the same time you give us those results so that there can be transparency and that we can have -- we can move forward and see how we can fix or mitigate towards the future. i need to stress again, anderson, my professional formation is as a scientist so once the study was unveiled i went through the process, i saw what they did and it was very important data that that showcased how if you were, for example, somebody that was or or lived in poor areas of puerto rico you were more likely to be in an area with excess deaths or if you were older than 65 you were also more like ly to experience the excess deaths so i thought it was a well done process. i think that the results are
scientifically robust and so much so i decided to make the official tally change to that estimate, to the 2, 75 so we can have at least a fair view of what occurred here in puerto rico and start working towards fixing what was wrong. both at the local level and at the federal level so that in the event of another storm or catastrophe, abearthqua annette example -- an earthquake, for example, that we can make this much, much better. >> it's stunning we have to have this conversation given what we saw in puerto rico and the magnitude of what's happening in north korea. it shows where the president's head is at, the fact that he is tweeting this about 3,000 dead americans is just stunning.
governor rossello, thank you for your time. we'll be back as hurricane florence just begins to hit the coach. stay with us. the fact is, there are over ninety-six hundred roads named "park" in the u.s. it's america's most popular street name. but allstate agents know that's where the similarity stops. if you're on park street in reno, nevada, the high winds of the washoe zephyr could damage your siding. and that's very different than living on park ave in sheboygan, wisconsin, where ice dams could cause water damage. but no matter what park you live on, one of 10,000 local allstate agents knows yours. now that you know the truth, are you in good hands?
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here we are in north myrtle beach, south carolina. eric, show them the map from the control room so you can see where we are. see how the coast of carolina kind of curves in there. you'll see north myrtle beach, you'll see myrtle beach underneath writ don lemon and his team are. we are in between wilmington, north carolina, and charleston, south carolina. north myrtle beach. that curve in tells you that north myrtle beach and myrtle beach will see florence later and with more energy than you'll see in other areas. so we've been showing you early impact from morehead city and other places around north carolina so you can get a sense of what low-power impact can do. 50 and 60 miles an hour winds can be more than enough if sustained with surge and
precipitation. we're worried that when we come here, people sleeping on the strength of this storm, oh, it's a category two or three or four, what about matthew? what about hugo? it's a mistake. that number doesn't tell the whole story. the size of the storm matters. the speed matters. 30 inches of water will change what this community looks like. this is a beautiful day for people but they're not supposed to be here. this is a mandatory evacuation. so what happens if all of these other aspects of florence are made manifest? that is the concern. that's the concern for first responders who
once you get out over 30 miles per hour sustained in some places, 50 in others, first responders can't come out. it's too dangerous for them so you're stuck, and then after that they will start to do their rescues. the heroes that you saw with us in hurricane irma from fhimah and other divisions of the government. they go out and do angels' work. that's something that these people have to take into account. it's really not just about them. it's about the people who may have to help them if their choice goes badly. now, a man who taught me a lot about risk assessment and what the realities are in storm situations is general russell oneray, retired from the u.s. army. we remember him from katrina and his efforts in helping with logistics and helping us get through a very difficult time there. general, once again, the plus side of a hurricane is you have time. they tell you that it's coming. you can make choices. the downside is once this storm gets thereto window is closed.
what does this scene behind me mean to you? >> is that the energy in this storm if it comes in with the power and the wind at above a category 2 and with winds and rain as predicted, it could be like a weapons of mass destruction concentrated at landfall. and i don't want to alarm people but if you visualize all the power lines down and most of the homes within three to five miles of the coast flooded and all the rivers running over their banks five or six times what they normally are, it would have the effect of a weapons of mass destruction. and when you don't have power, as we know, chris, it changes the way we live 100 years because you can't communicate, and you don't have fresh water, so this is a real disaster just losing power. i know we've got a lot of teams out there ready to come in, but it's going to take them a while to get there.
if you lose power and the distribution lines go down, you can go two to three weeks, a month without power. >> that's an important point, general. they are not talking hours or even days. they are planning for weeks. so even if you stay, even if you play it right and now you have access to your property and an ability to recover, you don't have the resources to do it. you will be living in a very rough situation because although you'll be surrounded by water it's like the old fable, water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink. the water goes from runoff to not being potable to toxic soup very quickly, does it not? >> absolutely, sir, and you shouldn't be in it because that water will also overrun the sewer systems and all kind of bad things. in katrina we actually decontaminated our troops after they got done with missions in the day because of the exposure to bacteria in that water because of overflown sewer systems. that water is really dirty.
>> i remember all too well you did genius work on logistics, but imagine if they'd vacated that city the way they should have. imagine if the people who were supposed to leave this area had done so. it just reduces so much of the labor and the risk, but, general, once again, it's good to hair now. i will need you even more after the storm when we're dealing with how to get through whatever florence has brought. general, thank you for being a guide to us as always. >> point on, chris, because the hard work starts doing the search and rescue and the recovery. >> 100%. the men and women who i was with from fema or thanks to general honore are in columbia, south carolina. they are there. we do know fema teams, there's 28 around the country. now a couple are in hawaii. weather systems like all over the place. you've been looking at the gulf and see what is coming off the
coast of africa. this is a hairy few weeks in front of us, but many of the teams have been mobilized, a good word to hear. better safe than sorry. bring all the resources. sure, it's costly but more costly not to do it. we'll have teams but, remember, this is risk for them. this is potential for them to have to go into action when they wouldn't have to otherwise. you want to get power back up, but you have to do it even more quickly, and you can do it less effectively when you have to rescue people, and when people are reliant on that energy to survive, so these are the variables, and that's why the number going down, people make a mistake and they say, oh, the media doesn't want to be wrong and when it goes from a 4 to a 3 to a 2, they hype t.fake news. please, put the ugliness of politics aside and focus on the people here. you never want to be wrong in the news except when it comes to predicting the weather. we would be so happy if this wasn't what we fear it might be. we want it to be better than
that. we don't want people to be in risk or at risk. so, we need to come together. we have to be prepared, and we have to make the smart choices. that's why we're putting out the evac orders from the localities. that's why they are concerned about people here enjoying a beautiful day now, but much of this beach may well be gone in 15 of the 30 hours that florence is going to sit on our heads and dump her worst. so when we come back, we will take you around the zone of florence's impact which is just starting and showing you what just a taste can mean to people along this coast. stay with cnn. 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. you might or joints.hing for your heart... but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally discovered in jellyfish,
brian todd in hampstead, north carolina. brian, i understand that you're getting it there. what's going on? >> reporter: right, don, this is the inter coastal waterway behind me. the waterway obviously between the mainland north carolina and the outer banks, some of the barrier islands. if it looks like i'm standing in the intercoastal waterway, i'm not. i'm standing on old landing road. right now this road and the inter coastal are pretty much one in the same because as you can see the storm surge is coming in and this road is starting to get flooded. i'm in a few inches of water. not severe right now, but we know it will be severe. we don't believe this is even high tide yet. that's not even coming for a few hours, but as you can see how low-lying this area is, panning to my left, your right, you can see a little bit of white caps out there on the inter coastal. it will get much worse in the coming hours. it's already with just a little bit of rain starting to fall here and a little bit of wind coming. it's already causing obviously some storm surge and some flooding in here. this is how easily this place
gets flooded, and, again, we're just seeing the early stages, the first bands of this storm hitting this area of north carolina. don, we were just in a place called surf city, north carolina, just to the south of us trying to get near a bridge that connects it to the -- one of the barrier islands there on surf city. surf city is on both sides of the waterway, but the police kicked out out of the entire town, even the mainland side of the town. they kicked us out of the town. they don't want any private citizens, don't want any media there. that's how seriously some of these municipalities are taking the storm. no media allowed in that town. they asked us to leave. the don? >> brian todd, brian, thank you. be careful out there. you can understand really, brian, why they are kicking people out. they want people to be safe and don't want to put the emergency responders' lives in jeopardy as well. we're here on myrtle beach. when i got here earlier it's empty. starting to see people coming out, starting to get stir crazy
in their homes and also trying to get their last glimpse of the beach and get out before they will have to really hunker down in their homes. listen, if you can get out, do it now. that window of opportunity is closing just because of this downgraded this. doesn't mean there won't be a huge storm surge that could come in here and do some major damage and take many lives in the process. we hope that it doesn't do that. that's it from here. our coverage is going to continue now with my colleague jake tapper and "the lead." for viewers in the united states and around the world, welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we'll start with the national lead. just as warned, hurricane florence is moving into the east coast of the united states with a vengeance. the power of this storm is already pushing ocean waves into coastal towns, and we're not even in the thick of it yet, hardly. the size of the storm is what it so dangerous experts say. in just 48 hours florence doubled in size, and the