tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN September 13, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
uber, and for those that rely on us every day. ♪ okay, everyone. top of the hour. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon, we're live in myrtle beach, south carolina. anderson cooper is about an hour and a half up the coast in wilmington. we're going to get to all of our reporters up and down the coast here. it is 11:00 p.m. here. a new forecast just in for hurricane florence. of this monster storm picking up speed as it gets closer and closer to the coast. it is now a category 1. let's first get to allison chinchar in the cnn weather center. i understand you have an update for us. what are you seeing? give us a track. >> so here's the latest. right now the forward speed has picked up slightly out of the
northwest at six miles per hour. the big difference we're noticing, it is now down to a category 1 is, sustained winds of 90 miles per hour. i want to emphasize those gusts are still over 100 miles per hour. numerous reports of actual wind gusts over 100 miles per hour on land. keep that in mind. even though the sustained winds are starting to come down, gusts are capable of causing significant damage out there. the forecast track again still we expect to make landfall likely late morning, early afternoon tomorrow as this thing continues to trek on to land. as it does, it's going to take the threat for strong winds and exceptionally very heavy rain. we've already started to see a lot of those really heavy bands begin to push inland. you can see that will clearly here on radar. we still have our tornado watch in effect for several of those areas along the coast and even a little bit inland. let's talk about what to expect. folks in the north carolina coast, hurricane force winds
already starting to arrive now. and they will stay with us through the overnight hours. storm surge is expected to be seven to 12 feet. the rainfall likely anywhere from 18 to 25 inches. we've already had several reports of over a foot of rain at this point in time. and keep in mind again, we mentioned that tornado watch. those potential for tornadoes still exists through the overnight hours. now, south carolina, let's shift gears to the upper south carolina coast. the tropical storm force winds start to increase as we go through the overnight hours tonight. hurricane force winds arriving shortly thereafter. rainfall 9 to 12 inches possible and storm surge about four to eight feet. you also have to keep in mind, don, we've talked about the high tide. that's going to play a very big role in this, as well. high tide expected about 1:00 a.m. overnight tonight in wilmington and will peak again about 2:00 in the afternoon. >> all right.
alison with the update for us. thank you, stand by. we'll get back to you. i want to go to anderson live for us in wilmington, north carolina. hello to you again, anderson. severe whether there. i've been seeing you getting drenched. then there's a lull. what's happening? >> reporter: you know, it's been a pretty steady rainfall. it doesn't feel like a downpour at this point. it's steady rain. it was bands earlier on. we're getting kind of bands of wind. i feel like the rain is pretty steady. we're expecting that to be the story for the next 24 to 36 hours. the story of rain, the story of storm surge which is obviously something we're closely watching with the cape fear river here behind us. but it really is the steady kind of pounding rain that's only going to increase and just build up over time. this is a long event. this is something that is not going to be over in the next 12
hours. it's probably slower than most storms that people here have experienced before. you know, as you were just hearing. when this thing makes landfall, it could be like four miles an hour moving so slowly you could outwalk this thing. there's a long ways to go before it gets better. it's only going to get worse for quite awhile, don. >> yeah. it's been downgraded to a one. you shouldn't put too much stock in that. that is helpful when it comes to the winds. not helpful in other ways because it just allows that storm to sit because the winds aren't at fast. in storm, anderson, we should remind viewers and especially people here, it's massive. it is doubled in size as it slowed down. >> yeah. size of north carolina, south carolina combined. i was listening to you talk to dianne gallagher earlier. she was talking about seeing transformers light up the sky in
that kind of bluish ominous kind of creepy blue light. we haven't seen that here. there's still lights on in a lot of buildings here in wilmington, they're in the hotel here. some buildings have generators, as well. a wind gust right there. but obviously, power outages is something we'll be watching very carefully and obviously, they are expecting it, there are already power outages in the state. they're expecting much more over the next couple days. we've talked about it before. with that much water on the ground, power lines potentially down, it's a real danger for people which is why the mayor, the county commissioner are telling people to stay inside. there's five shelters. you were giving the number statewide. there's five here in wilmington. they expanded capacity last night because they started filling up. so people this is the point we're well past the point of you stay at home or you stay in the shelter. you don't go outside.
>> anderson cooper in wilmington, north carolina. he is watching this thing. he's got it covered so that you don't have to get out in it. we'll tell you what's going on. anderson, thank you. we'll be back to you in moments. now i want to go to ed rapoport. he joins us now. ed, thank you so much. appreciate your time. tell us more about this storm surge and the update on this thing. it's been downgradeded to a 1. i don't know if we should lead too much into that. tell us about the communities along the coast here. what are you expecting? >> that's right. the fact that the winds are down five miles per hour has no bearing on what's going to be occurring for the other hazards. that's mainly the water from the storm surge and from the rainfall. over the past several hours, the winds although they've come down a little bit, we've seen three different reports of gusts over 100 miles per hour in the cape fear area. these three locations here near 105 to 106 miles per hour
associated with these bands that are encircling the eye. the strongest winds are occurring and in fact, these winds are blowing the water ashore. that's been our big concern. and we now have received a report just in the last hour up here up the neuse river storm surge of ten feet. and a second site that's had close to six feet. let's look at how that's occurred. this is one of the sites that's along the north carolina coast just up the river there. you can see how over the past 12 to 24 hours the water level has risen. this is going from the normal to up above normal. this particular site has a six-foot rise so far putting itting it in the major flood zone area. we've been concerned all along about the surge. we're now seeing six to ten feet. that is the life-threatening surge we were worried about. >> ed, talk about the storm doubling in size. i mentioned it to anderson a
moment ago. as it has slowed down, it is still doubled in size. how widespread do you think this disaster could be? >> we've certainly got the widespread disaster along the coast. this is more complicated. here's the warning area. this orange area here is the extent of the tropical storm force winds extending out from the center which is just offshore. you see it's nearly 200 miles out. the hurricane force winds which is the smaller area extends out nearly 70 miles. and it's important because even though the peak winds have come down, the second factor that influences storm surge greatly is the size of the storm. so while it's fortunate we won't get as much damage and destruction from wind, the fact the wind field increased kept the storm surge levels high. that's why we've seen the six to ten-foot observations of storm surge now. another threat coming the inland
flooding from rainfall. that could be catastrophic there, as well. >> all right. ed rapoport, deputy director of national hurricane center. thank you, sir. flooding is heavy in new bern, north carolina tonight north of wilmington. i want to bring in dana outlaw, the mayor of new bern. can you hear us, dana? >> yes, uh-huh. >> mayor, thank you so much. yes, i can hear you. i got you. last time we had a bit of trouble. new bern is already experiencing major flooding. could see up to 9 to 13 feet of storm surge. you've been hearing an the updates all over. so tell us what's going on. we hear there's downtown new bern has lost all power because after water coming up too high? >> we are 100% out of power. we are served with the city of new bern and duke energy. and the city is totally out of power right now.
>> yeah. so the city's out of power. are you seeing -- what else are you seeing there besides power outages? what are the updates you're getting from folks? >> yeah, the water elevation is about three to four feet higher than irene which was one of the records around here. this flooding is -- we haven't seen this since hurricane hazel back in the '54 era. also hurricane ione was kind of like this. we have had so many hurricanes that have been devastating to new bern but none of this category, the flooding. we have been out for two or three days now doing everything to get citizens to move into shelters. very proud of the police department and fire department here in new bern. we had the fire trucks out today going through the neighborhoods, national guard truck behind them. two new bern buses behind that.
policemen going door to door asking citizens to get in that bus and get out. because some of the areas of new bern contoured he will ration is su -- he wi, elevation is once th come, we can't get you out. into and that is -- yeah, you can't put first responders in jeopardy because someone else decided to stay. made a decision that could affect their lives and affect others, as well. listen, mayor, i know you're busy and have a lot to deal with. we appreciate you joining us. we'll be getting back to you on cnn. mayor dana outlaw from new bern, property in carolina. let's go to brian todd in hamp stead, north carolina for us. last we saw you, you were out with folks who were hedging their bets really on a flooded street. they decided not to do it which is good news.
it looks to me now you're riding around and checking things out and getting updates. what are you seeing? >> well, don, we kind of travel on roads a couple miles away from where we were in the last location on old landing road right by the intercoastal waterway. we're surveying some of the damage on rural roads. this is what people are up against if they try to leave. we'll switch to the front camera. we have witnessed in the last hour the road conditions can worsening. the debris, there's been more on the roads. we've been having to dodge a lot of different things flying around. and this is the risk that people are taking if they want to stay and if they get scared at the last minute and try to leave, this is what they're up against. we're cruising toward the intercoastal waterway now slowly. you have to go slow when you traverse this area because there's so much flying around. and you know, just whatever you
might catch on the road could be much more dangerous if you're going at a higher speed. so this is kind of what we're looking at here. we're looking down this road. you know, these roads, there are a lot of people who live in these areas. a lot of these people elected to stay. we talked to a lot of them who said the reason i'm staying is because i'm kind of concerned about trying to get back to my house and tend to my house if the house is damaged. it would take too long and too difficult to get back to my house. you know, from the governor on down, officials are saying you just cannot think like that. you've got to try to get out when we say mandatory evacuation, it's a relative term. we cannot physically pull people out of their houses. but when we say mandatory evacuation, this is what you're going to be facing if you try to stay and try to move around. so we'll pull the vehicle over. i'll get out and just kind of survey what we see down this country road here.
look will, don, even getting out of the car is a challenge. as soon as you open the door, the wind catches the door and whips it forward. this road is starting to flood a little bit down here. i can see. the trees are really starting to be compromised and whip around. these country roads, these rural roads right by the intercoastal waterway are getting much more dangerous. the flood surge, the storm surge from the waterway not far behind me is coming up right through here. >> all right. brian todd, be safe. brian is in hempstead, north carolina. from hempstead to jacksonville, north carolina we find ed lavandera. good evening to you. you were getting whipped around getting pelted in the face with water earlier. what are you seeing now? what's going on? >> hey, don, we're on the north side of the north topside of this storm which really gives us some of the most intense winds and kind of puts us on the edge,
not near quite the eye of the storm since it's still offshore. but it's going to be on that leading edge of that eye which is where the strongest and most intense winds will be. so if the storm continues to move the way it's moving, we'll continue to see here in the hours overnight the winds intensify which we've already seen dramatically. just about an hour ago, we were out a little bit further out. we're now kind of buffered around the hotel where we're staying tonight. but we were standing there reporting a little while ago. one of the transformers from the electrical lines about 50 yards away from where we were just started exploding, a series of three explosions stunned us and everything went dark in jacksonville. we started seeing the transformers glowing in the sky light in areas all around us here. so that will power held on as long as it could here for most
of the area here in jacksonville. don, we've spoken with some of the emergency officials who are keeping tabs on what's going on here in onslo keep the surrounding jacksonville, north carolina. extends out into the coast. we're told that there are nor rescues taking place of anybody out in the county right now. but they do have reports of some homes along rivers starting to take on water. so that will be the dramatic and most worrisome issue here that people have to deal with. perhaps not so much the winds although they are rather intense but it's going to be the flooding of those homes, much of this area is very low lying. and that is of concern for these emergency officials and here in the overnight hours really difficult to get a good gauge of how dramatic that damage will be, don. they do have reports that flooding and perhaps some flooding of homes starting to take place here around the area in jacksonville, north carolina. don? >> ed lavandera in jacksonville,
north carolina. braving the elements for us. we'll keep an update from ed, as well shortly here. hurricane florence inching closer to the carolina coast tonight. conditions are forecasted to get worse and worse here in myrtle beach throughout the day tomorrow. i want to bring in mark, the public information officer for the city of myrtle beach. thank you so much for joining us. come on in a little bit closer. i spoke with you a little bit earlier. you had concerns about people getting out in the water. that was earlier. what about now? >> we're going to get what north carolina has been getting. our hearts go to the people in north carolina. we'll experience some of that tomorrow. the slowness of this storm may be one reason why people are reluctant to evacuate. all you have to do is look at the video and say gee, that's why people get out of the way of that storm. >> what are you seeing? >> so far, not much. the wind has begun to pick up.
it's been fairly peaceful. tomorrow will be a different story. we're looking at 24 hours worth of rough weather here. >> i was out with police earlier and part of their mission is to make sure that people are safe, obviously. but also to make sure their belongings and their property is safe, as well. i heard someone from one of the other counties, one of the other cities saying they were getting reports of some looting. are you hearing anything like ha? >> no, we've will a very quiet day today. people listened to our request to evacuate and got themselves to safety. we're here in myrtle beach making sure their property remains safe. our police and fire folks are out and about. >> mark kruae, i appreciate your time. when we come back, the storm of a lifetime. that is what it's been dubbed, battering the carolina coast getting closer and closer to landfall sometime tomorrow. it has been pushed back. supposed to come in overnight now. sometime tomorrow. we're live here in myrtle beach.
call controlled buys. it's going to help us determine where the drugs are being sold so we can get warrants. >> the public will be shocked to use how ill regulated the landscape is and how often consequences unfold. >> catch the story of the most infamous young informant in fbi history. "white boy rick." september 14 there. all right. hurricane florence getting closer and closer to the coast tonight. just got an update. 150,000 people so far without
power. our correspondents are stationed all along the carolina coast here. all along the carolinas. one of them is miguel marquez joining us from carolina beach. north carolina and you've got rain there, buddy. >> we are starting to see the most intense rain and wind. this storm is finally starting to punch and it is coming very, very hard. the authorities here expecting anything from 20 to 40 inches of rain over the next 24 to 36 hours or so. the weather we are experiencing right now they were expecting this afternoon. this is how slow this excruciatingly slow this storm has been moving. now it's starting to move into this area. it has been raining steadily for a couple of hours now. we're seeing some of the hardest rain we've seen all evening tonight right now. this on top of what they expect is a storm surge of about 11, 12 feet or so with the tides that
come in every 12 hours. they could, could be looking at something like 18, 19 feet. they are expecting wide swathes of this town to flood. about a third of the town they expect will be underwater at some point in the next 24 to 36 hours. and the town itself they believe will be -- will get cut off from the rest of the state. there's one road in, one road out here. at this point, they probably had to close the bridge that brings people into the town and they believe that anybody who is here is, 6200 people live in carolina beach, about 600 or so, the city manager says, have -- he believes have stayed in town. we do see lights on in different homes here. so there are quite a few people around. he says those people should be prepared to stay here for five to seven days without anybody being able to get to them. don? >> miguel marquez, carolina beach. appreciate your reporting. we'll be back to miguel
throughout our broadcast here. our live hours here for hurricane florence. i want to bring in alan holden the mayor of the town of holden beach, north carolina just about an hour up the coast. thank you for joining us by phone. let me give an update. 126 shelters in north carolina according to the governor roy cooper. 1350,000 people so far without power. so take us to your town, mayor holden. holden beach is a seaside town. the bridge that leads there closed once the winds picked up to 45 miles an hour. your town could see a storm surge of 9 to 13 feet. that's some serious stuff. >> it certainly is. we're certainly trying to do everything we can to be prepared for that. we did close the island this morning. everybody had to be off the island at 8:00.
and we do continue to leave the island closed. we're nine miles long and 2100 houses along our oceanfront. and small community. we think we're ready for it. it's been a real nail biter because seems like none. >> us can figure out where or when this thing is going to do something. we are ready. >> yeah. mayor, i would imagine you've gone through this many times and tuck never predict what's happened. what can happen? >> well, that's right. and you know, the water's what we're most scared of. the winds, we had our first little gust this afternoon about 1:25. and also had a rain band the same time. and we've actually experienced sometimes this afternoon the winds were down to five and eight miles an hour here. but in the last few minutes it, we've had some unofficial wind
at 35 and 40 miles an hour. so it's not too bad yet. but we're watching our friends just north of us. we realize that it is coming. and we're not looking forward to it but we'll take that over the 150 we were talking about 24 hours ago. >> yeah. i'm getting reports now the highest gusts, mayor, 108 miles an hour in davis north carolina. highest rainfall so far 12.73 inches. that's in atlantic beach. so some people are getting pounded. this is the beginning of this. you mentioned that your mandatory evacuation for residents and visitors of your town. it has a population of about 600. did everybody leave? >> as far as we know, everyone left. we checked all the houses as best we could to try to find anyone that was left. that doesn't mean someone wasn't
hiding under the bed somewhere we didn't find. we've done a good job and trying our best to find anyone left behind. we feel like we got everybody off. we have turned the sewer system off. we don't have water or sewer on the island right now. power is still on. we've done everything we can to prepare all of our infrastructure and sit back and see what it sends us. >> yeah. well, mayor holden, looks like you've done a good job. let's hope that is indeed the case. nobody's hiding under the bed as you say. that would not be a good place to be without sewer and water. you may have electricity but you need the bake services. mayor alan holden. appreciate your time. thank you so much. >> still there? >> absolutely . >> are you there? >> yeah, go on. >> you mentioned 600 people here. that's not quite right. we have 2100 homes.
we're still in our vacation season. so we had over 500 houses that were occupied that we had to vacate. >> wow. >> for this event. so it's a big deal for us and this is prime season for us. good fishing and good beach activities this time of year. >> all the more important, absolutely, mayor. all the more important to get people out of here when you have so many people there. we want to keep people alive and safe. thank you, mayor alan holden for your time. listen, we're live up and down the coast here. this is just the beginning. the time that this hurricane is supposed to make landfall keeps getting pushed back because it is just sitting there. the good news would be if it just sat there and stahled. if that eye wall starts to break up. the bad news is it doesn't appear to be doing that. it appears to be stpinning off the coast of the carolinas and
gaining water intensity. it has been downgraded now to a category 1 winds 90 miles an hour. so 90-mile-an-hour winds nothing to mess around with. ten-foot storm surges we're hearing in some areas. some areas could get up to 13 feet. if it gets that high, that's up as high as a second floor where i'm standing now. again, that is the latest from the carolinas. we're going to continue coverage. this is cnn special coverage of hurricane florence. we'll continue our coverage up and down the coast. don't go anywhere. you'll see it first right here on cnn.
stay with their families until their 40's. we are back now live in myrtle beach as hurricane florence is moving closer and closer to the coast. we need to update you on another big story tonight which is a major new development in the russia investigation. paul manafort and prosecutors coming close to reaching a deal ahead of his trial. let's bring in cnn's crime and justice reporter shimon and former united states attorney harry lipman. we've got the storm brewing here. this is a big story we need to report. shimon, president trump he's praised his former campaign chairman in the past for not making a deal. that teams to that. >> seems to be changing as we
speak into he's defended him, called him a good man. during his last trial where he was convicted, and now by all accounts it appears that paul manafort is getting ready to plead guilty. we're told that they were close to a deal, that is the prosecutors from the special counsel. and paul manafort's defense attorneys. and really all they're waiting for is for manafort himself to sign off on the deal. he was set to start trial next week on charges relating to his work in the ukraine, those charges involve the fact that he didn't report any of this work to the u.s. government. that was set to begin next week. now, word comes he's close to this deal. he may appear in court tomorrow. we expect that to happen where he will plead guilty. we'll see where goes from there and exactly what happens in terms of this plea deal, we don't think this is any kind of cooperation agreement. one of the things that is going to be interesting is whether or
not paul manafort will have to stand before the judge tomorrow and admit his guilt and some of the things he was doing on behalf of the ukrainian government, don. >> shimon, stand by. i want to bring in harry now. manafort has held out till now. many thought he was angling for the president to pardon him. they wondered if the president was sending some sort of signals to him. why would he make a deal at this point. >> because it won't prejudice his ability to have a pardon. we don't know the details. they're swirling and conflicting. for a few reasons, it stands to reason as shimon says it won't involve cooperation. he's put all his chips on a pardon. and it doesn't make sense for him to abandon them now. you don't expect that he will. he will have to stand up in court and cop to everything he pleads guilty to which will reinforce the mueller charges.
trump is spared a trial in full campaign season where the evidence comes in vividly and day after day there's reports of it on the news. it would be a good development for him assuming it doesn't involve cooperation which i believe it will not. >> i'm not sure if it was you, harry because we've had conversations about this with you and with other legal experts. but did you predict that paul manafort would try to make a deal, that it was almost certain he would try to do this? >> well, no, you know, i think everyone was puzzled because the pressure on him was so great. as time went on, it seemed he was playing for something else. what i did i guess predict in the last few weeks is that if there were a deal, it would not involve cooperation. he was too far down the line. another point is, cooperation would have had to be preceded by many proffer sessions with him personally. it's not clear he's met with
mueller's team at all. perhaps once today he was spotted. so in that sense, you know, my has been and i continue to stand by it, that he's not going to completely change direction. now, why then would the parties make a deal? it's a sort of small gauge deal where the mueller doesn't have to go to trial, doesn't -- and they probably arranged that manafort gives up his appeal in virginia. and maybe manafort gets a small break in how the sentences are computed. but it's not the kind of grand bargain involving the truth to the american people that everyone has been thinking about or holding out for many months. >> all right, harry and shimon, appreciate your time. again, that is a big story. manafort and mueller close to a deal for a guilty plea. interesting news there. i want to bring in congressman
eric swalwell, democrat on the house intelligence committee. congressman, good evening to you. what do you make of this bombshell in the russia investigation? >> good evening. first, just thinking of everyone in florence's way and grateful to first responders helping people and journalists covering it. but if this is true, don, the jig is up. no one in mueller's path so far has been able to escape you know, the investigative team and evidence put against them. and i think now the burden shifts if this is indeed true that we would have a ninth conviction with 26 other individuals and corporations charged. burden shifts to the president. the question that we have to ask is, why shouldn't the american people believe that the president is as corrupt as everyone around him? where i come from, the fish rots from the head down. it sure looks like the president had quite a corrupt team helping him on campaign and working with him in the administration.
>> so congressman, what is in it for mueller to strike a deal at this point? >> well, you know, it's not always just cooperation or go all the way to trial. if you can get a guilty plea and you know a significant sentence, you avoid having to devote the resources to that trial and an investigation like this, there's a number of other indicted defendants and you want to put your focus on there. of course, unindicted individuals being investigated. so it's a matter of phi night resources i imagine. you don't want to go to trial just tore trial's sake to prove a point. a guilty plea whether there's cooperation or not i think is a good thing if are you going to hold someone account credible. >> congressman eric swalwell from washington, d.c. >> be safe down there, don. >> thank you, congressman. i appreciate it. when we come back, much more live coverage from the carolina coast. hurricane florence getting closer and closer to landfall sometime tomorrow. ♪
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we've doubled our efforts. i grew up in the forests out in this area and honestly it's heartbreaking to see all these trees dying. what guides me is ensuring that the public is going to be safer and that these forests can be sustained and enjoyed by the community in the future. live with our coverage here till this thing makes landfall. i'm in myrtle beach tonight as hurricane florence gets closer and closer to landfall. sometime tomorrow. let's bring in now dianne gallagher. we've been checking with her from time to time. she is in new bern, north
carolina. we spoke with the mayor in new bern, north carolina and gave us an update. now one from diane. you've had to be moved twice since you got there? >> yes, don. two times since we got here. initially we were at union point park. the water came up so far that it starred flooding the downtown area. at some point, 4 1/2 hours, it was now or never moment. this is before any of this wind began or anything like that. it was strictly water at that point. and much like mayor dana outlaw told you, that's what they deal with here in new bern. it is a water issue here. the wind while it's sort of been a pain for me over the past couple hours here and obviously at this point we have no more street lights at all. we've watched them go one by one by one with them sort of basically just bursting here. the wind has caused a couple problems here at the hotel. we had to finally come back
inland four miles because downtown had flooded so severely. we were going to be trapped there. we finally came up and the wind ripped the front door of our hotel off as we were coming here. the man who owns the hotel was trying to put it back there because there were a lot of people ho evacuated from the outer banks islands to come here. i talked to people from atlantic beach, to people from sea fair who said they had to be here and forced to evacuate the island. now they were frightened because the door has been ripped off. they're hearing about the torrential flooding that's happening. tuck probably see just how hard the wind is blowing. it's a little mitigated for me right now because we have a large building blocking some of it. as you see it whipping through here, pulling trees and as it skirts the rain across the parking lot there, this is the largest impact we felt as florence is kind of coming in here. if i step out, you can see again, i don't want to do this
for too long. it's been moving me around tonight. and this is the indication that the hurricane is finally starting to get here as the upper bands since we're on the northside of the state are reaching this area. now, look, mayor outlaw was telling you, i spoke with craven county manager stanley kite. he said they had 700 people, don, scattered across the county who were ready to act as soon as this storm ended to work on those water rescues, that they were even doing some right up until the storm came into this area making sure that they could get people even though they were given ample time to evacuate. >> all right. dianne gallagher for us. new bern, north carolina. she's getting blown around. she was standing in floodwater not so long ago. we'll get back to diane. that shot right there you're seeing from hampstead, north carolina from brian todd out there in a vehicle in an suv
going around and getting pictures there. you can see lots of rain where he is. also we're going to get to martin savidge in wilmington, north carolina. we're live in myrtle beach. we're all over the coast in the carolinas. this is where hurricane florence is moving closer tonight to the coast. lad fall expected as early as tomorrow morning. we will be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪ i put a spell on you ♪ yeah, because you're mine ♪ with chase atms serena can now grab cash on the go, all with the tap of her phone. ♪ stop the things you do no card? no problem. life, lived serena's way. chase, make more of what's yours.
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myrtle beach as monster hurricane florence moves closer and closer to the coast. and we're covering a lot of big stories for you tonight. in massachusetts huge explosions and fires rocked nearly 40 homes and businesses in three towns leaving at least one person dead, ten others injured. whole neighborhoods had to be evacuated. 18,000 people, 18,000 without power tonight. and cnn's athena jones is on the scene for us in andover, massachusetts. athena, good evening to you. what more can you tell us about these explosions? >> hi, don. this was a massive event and a frightening event. you just talked about all those homes that were on fire. and we did learn within the last hour or so there was a fatality, an 18-year-old man who was killed when the chimney from a house that exploded collapsed on the car that he was sitting inside of. we also know the state police responded to some 70 reports of
fires, explosions or the smell of gas. we're talking about an area with a population of some 150,000 people. so a rather large area these explosions took place over a large swath of territory covering andover, lawrence, and north andover. we heard from andover fire chief michael mansfield earlier who called this an overwhelming event. listen to more of what he had to say. >> i've been in the fire service for almost 39 years and i've never seen anything like this in my entire career. to some it up, basically coming into town from a community just outside of here responding back in, it looked like armageddon. it really did. there were billows of smoke coming from behind me. i could see plumes of smoke in front of him mai within the town of andover. it just looked like an absolute war zone. >> reporter: he also described
the scene as armageddon. and as of the most recent update the local power company, columbia gas, was still working on shutting off the gas that has led to these explosions. i can tell you that lawrence anddover under evacuation orders. all of it electricity in lawrence as you mentioned has been turned off. and schools inc andover swez state offices will be off. they've all been here on site figuring what's going on. >> this is frightening and mysterious. it's unbelievable. athena, what are officials saying? what went wrong? >> well, it is frightening to thing of this many structures and this many potential explosions and reports of odors of gas. the issue appears to have been
overpressurization in the gas lines. that is what we're hearing. now, the national transportation safety bard, which would have jurisdiction over gas explosions they're going to be sending a go team here tomorrow morning. they'll be coming in tomorrow morning to try to unravel what went on. i can tell that columbia gas put out a statement saying they're responding to these issues and that their thoughts are with everyone affected. but they also said they put out a statement today saying they are upgrading natural gas lines in neighborhood across the state including these three neighborhoods that were affected today. lawrence, andover and north andover. there are already projects in these three neighborhood already under way. >> a frightening story. so many of us use gas, and gas runs through just about every single neighborhood in this country. andover, massachusetts, with a very frightening story everyone can relate to.
speaking of a story everyone can relate to, and that is a storm. and that's hurricane florence, and it's really getting close to the coast of carolinas. you can see it on the radar just spinning and spinning and spinning and picking up water. and that does not fair well for the storm surge in this area. we're up and down the coast here. we're following this. it has been downgraded now from a 2 to 1, but there's only a 5 mile difference in the winds before it was a 2. we spoke to the folks at the national hurricane weather center. they said don't read too much into that. it's still a very powerful storm. 150,000 people so far without water. we'll continue our coverage right after this break. seamlessly connecting the world inside... with the world outside...
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