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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  September 14, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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my best to you and all seven of your dogs there in tennessee, and thank you so much for calling back in. people have been wondering. thank you. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for being with me here on this friday afternoon. special coverage continues now with jake tapper. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with breaking news. at least four people have now been killed by hurricane florence as it hits the eastern united states. a mother and her baby died when a tree fell on their house in wilmington, north carolina. just 20 miles away from hempstead, another woman died from cardiac arrest. trees blocked rescuers from being able to reach her in time. and another man was killed while plugging in a generator. this storm has been pounding the
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east coast for more than a day now. in new burden, north carolina, water was waist high. rescuers spending the day bringing more than 300 people to safety. in other areas of the same state, some who chose to ride out the storm from home, they saw this from their windows. that's leland, north carolina right near wilmington, where winds likely will not drop below 50 miles per hour until tomorrow afternoon. more than 600,000 customers in north and south carolina currently did not have any power. 26,000 people in both states have been forced to move to shelters, and more than 7,000 soldiers and airmen with the national guard are responding to calls. just moments ago, the white house announced that president trump will be visiting areas affected by the storm sometime next week. we have teams positioned across the carolinas to show you the positions and the impact. miguel is in a north carolina
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beach. tell me how it's going where you are now. >> reporter: misery is how it's going at carolina beach. i want to show you exactly what we're dealing with. this is the beach of carolina beach. those waves are just unbelievably big. they've doubled in size since this morning. we were out here this morning, and this boardwalk, up to here, was sand. this is beach. now there's about two feet of sand that has gone all the way down. beach erosion all the way up and down carolina beach. their beach is just gone. this is what they are dealing with now. for the last 24 hours, we have been in this storm, and it just will not stop. we were at an area today that has flooded pretty badly. the tide came in, and as the rain was coming down, the surge, that water was being pushed on shore. we had waist-high water here in
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carolina beach. they expect when that tide comes back in tonight around midnight that they will have that same surge, that same issue, and then there will be a test of just how this town survives this. i spoke to the city manager a short time ago. he says it may be saturday or sunday before they're able to open up the bridge so that people can get in and out of this town across the county. there is now several hundred thousand, 800,000 people without electricity. duke energy only serves about 120,000 people in the county, so almost 90,000 people in this county have no electricity. at this point it's not clear when it's going to get better. it will be well into tomorrow. we've been in this weather for about 24 hours now. just an unrelenting storm. jake? >> you said water has been coming in. are there concerns it will come
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further in, even to town? >> reporter: that is the concern. it flooded into the town, an area that often floods here, about 200 yards. what was concerning to officials here is it did that in about a half hour. so tonight when that tide comes in and the surge at the same time, they'll be watching and waiting to see whether areas of town that often flood, if they flood even more, and that homes in this area begin to take on water as well. >> miguel, please stay safe. we talked about all the high water areas in new burn, north carolina. tell us about the rescues you've been seeing today. >> hi, jake. here in new bern, north carolina, in torrential downpours, we're seeing things reminiscent of what we saw with
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hurricane harvey a year ago. rescuers have poured into this city with their own boats to help people who have taken on water. one of those people is michael everett who drove from an hour and a half away to put his boat in the water. how many people have you pulled out today? >> only about five or six. we've only been here an hour or two. you have some folks that are like, hey, we don't want to leave. what do you do? >> michael just came out of this neighborhood you see behind me, and you were telling me there are still a number of people who refuse to come out. >> yes, sir, yes, sir. you know how some people are. the old-timers want to stick around and ride it out but i don't know if that's the smartest thing to do, not knowing how many more days this is going on. >> reporter: how deep is the water you've seen in the neighborhoods? >> we've run into some spots that are probably 4, 5, even 10 foot deep. >> did you see it coming up, coming down?
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>> we stayed there probably 15 minutes. the rain got sobad thatwegot under a carport there. >> you live an hour and a half away. you drove down here to do this. what made you do it? >> well, i lived in a hurricane and got four feet of water in the house. i really feel for these people because it's a terrible situation. >> keep up the great work. michael everett came down an hour and a half away to be part of this. the mayor says a little over 300 people have been rescued from their homes today, and the mayor says they have perhaps another 40 or so that want to be rescued. but as you heard michael say, jake, there are some people who still refuse to leave their homes even as the floodwaters continue to rise. jake? >> remarkable story. cnn's don lemon is covering the storm for cnn in myrtle beach,
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north carolina. don, you're next to get hit according to the experts. what are the conditions like right now where you are? >> reporter: jake, this is as bad as it's been. we're getting really strong bands of wind that's coming through. i don't want to turn my back to you, but if you do, you'll know that's the only way to stand up here. it's start to go ging to get ba. you've covered hurricanes and they don't usually last too terribly long. it's not like a tornado and it runs. they don't last terribly long, but this one has been unrelenting. it's sitting here and sitting here and it's dumping rain all across the carolinas. as you know, the big problem has been flooding. we've been talking about the flooding on the coast, but i think the real big problem, jake, is going to be with the folks that are inland. i've been showing the storm drains here on the beach where it runs right into the atlantic. without those, when you're inland, you don't have that and the water cannot run off as easily.
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i'm just going to walk you out here and show you. we've been talking about the beaches. they've been closing the beaches and trying to get people off. the beaches are pretty much desolate. but you still get the sand, you still get the wind that whips it up. but again, the big problem is going to be flooding. there are a number of them along the beach here. that thing is roaring, water coming in. it was just a little trickle, if anything, and it certainly wasn't this big when we first got here. but there are these storm drains all over the beach. the water is coming in from town. what was once a crevice has now become a cr eva ce, something that's bigger, and it's going to get worse. the worse for me here in myrtle beach, probably 10:00, 11:00, midnight, could be more if this storm continues to sit on top of the water, jake.
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>> it was supposed to end tonight. is there a sense of the storm being worse than had been expected? >> reporter: well, it is -- yes, worse than expected because it's not moving. you know, it's going anywhere from 3 to 10 miles an hour. it's just not moving. it just won't get out of here. so they're telling people to stay in their homes. you saw the pictures, you heard what happened in new bern as it relates to the tree falling. you've seen the rescues when it comes to flooding. myrtle beach, they don't want that. and certainly when the storm starts to hit here even harder, they're going to be more of a concern. they don't know how much flooding you get, if any. it's kind of unusual to have a storm just sit here and do what it's doing. >> did most people, as far as you can tell, heed the warnings and evacuate? >> reporter: most, jake, but not all. this is the strand here.
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you're talking about a tourist town. there is some 60-some miles of beach and hotel and shoreline here in myrtle beach. then when you have north myrtle beach, they've got a long stretch of beach as well. but now this is -- in the northeast, you have -- usually the season is from memorial to labor, and then people go back to work and they leave the beach towels. not here. i was talking to the former mayor last night and he said their season can go all wait th up to november. so the people are losing money. everything is closed. when we were just out front on ocean boulevard here, not a store open, not a soul to be seen. they're dealing with it physically and fiscally as well, jake. >> don lemon, stay safe, my friend. florence is now battling the coastal city of beaufort, north
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carolina where 100-mile-an-hour winds and powerful rain. how is your city holding up? >> we just had some uprooted trees. for those who did not evacuate and stayed in place, stay in place. i also want to mention -- >> mr. mayor, i'm sorry for interrupting. you're breaking up a little bit. i don't know if there's a better part of wherever you are. obviously we want to you stay safe, but if there is a better place to stand and get a better signal, if possible, and continue what you were saying. >> okay. thank you. i just wanted to let you know, jake, ne nef-- nevada's task fo
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i has come and we greatly appreciate the help. >> that came through loud and clear. do you have the resources you need to handle the storm and its aftermath? >> right now i think it's important we just do an initial damage assessment here. we do have power lines that are down, we do have extensive flooding. we are evacuating people from the middle school as well. we'll get the right people to come in and help us out. i really appreciate that help. >> you instituted a 24-hour curfew for those who didn't evacuate, the locals who stayed behind? are they heeding that curfew? >> for the most part, yes, they are heeding it, and it's more treacherous on those roads right now. >> can you tell me how the storm tides might be in the coming days? >> the roads that are adjacent
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to the road, all of our community right now, there is no place for the water to go. we've got the high tide and the flooding from the rain as well. >> mr. mayor, we're thinking about you. we're thinking about your north carolinans. if you need us to do anything, let me know. we're following the story of paul manafort agreeing to a plea deal, shockingly. this includes cooperating with robert mueller. what does paul manafort know? a deadly storm. at least four americans have been killed. we'll have more breaking news on the storm ahead. today, 97% of employers agree
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welcome back. we're going to continue to follow hurricane florence, now a deadly storm as it strikes the coasts of the carolinas. but i want to take a moment here and turn to a major development in politics today in the special
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counsel's russia investigation. i plead guilty. these are words paul manafort's legal team once suggested the former campaign chairman would never utter. well, the 69-year-old not only admitted his guilt, he is now cooperating with robert mueller, agreeing to testify if needed. the white house, of course, is downplaying this, saying, quote it had nothing to do with the president or the 2016 campaign. it is totally unrelated, end quote. it is important to note paul manafort was hired by the president's legal team. i want to bring in our justice
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correspondent. does manafort know anything about any possible conspiracy between the trump campaign and the russians? what can you tell us about the cooperation manafort is going to provide? >> that is really the huge question that hangs over today's events. but the fact is, according to the court documents that were filed today, paul manafort has agreed to give the government anything and everything it wants. according to the document, it says that paul manafort has agreed to cooperate with the government on any and all matters as to which the government deems relevant. and this includes doing interviews and briefings with the special counsel's prosecutors. that includes paul manafort sitting with the prosecutors without any lawyer present. that includes turning over documents to the special prosecutor and to the justice department for any cases they may have, as well as testifying in d.c. or anywhere else that prosecutors ask paul manafort to
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testify. at the end of the day, paul manafort had resisted this very event that took place today in federal court, but it is everything that the prosecutors have been pushing for, this negotiation -- the prosecution and the manafort team had been having these negotiations in the last few days, and this is exactly where the prosecution wanted them to end up. >> evan, manafort's lawyer tried to explain why manafort took the guilty plea. >> that's right, kevin downing spoke to reporters briefly right after the court hearing, and again, he talked about the importance of helping paul manafort's family. here's what he had to say. >> he wanted to make sure that his family was able to remain safe and live a good life. he's accepted responsibility, and this is for conduct that dates back for many years, and everybody should remember that. >> i hear you telegraphing there from kevin downing that this had
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nothing to do with the president's campaign. so i think what you're hearing there, jake, is an effort to try to preserve the possibility of a pardon from president trump should that come to pass. >> all right, evan perez, thank you so much. let's talk about this with our efforts, adolpho. it includes briefings with the special counsel's office, handing over documents, testifying in other proceedings. you look at trump's other inner circle who are cooperating with the investigation. two men at the top of his campaign, his former personal supervisor, the ceo of the trump organization. should president trump be worried? >> i don't think so. i'll say why. most of these -- not most, all of these we've seen today are really about the cohen issues, the trial in west virginia. none of these, that i know of, have anything to do with the president and the campaign. so i think there is a whole lot of interest on the part of
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prosecutors about what paul manafort knows about soviet -- former soviet union oligarchs who have been around russia for a very long period of time. if you read the actual agreement in paragraphs 6 and 7, and i've seen a lot of these, are fairly borderplate. yes, widespread cooperation on a wide range of matters. you mentioned in this piece in the beginning he pleaded guilty. he pleaded guilty today to not register as a lobbyist, i'm not minimizing that, and he also pleaded guilty to witness tampering. there is nothing today to suggest that either virginia or the matters we know about had anything to do with the president or the president's campaign. so i think those are important things. the last thing i will say is, he was facing a very tough financial situation had he moved forward with this trial in the district of columbia. i think that was a major factor. i think his lawyer has said it
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in this consideration. and i think frankly, and others might disagree, it's a wealth of knowledge for the investigation that might be useful to mr. mueller but not in any way implicate the president. >> do you disagree? >> i do. i can't be dismiss sieive when actually pleaded guilty to defying the united states of america. he pled guilty to witness tampering. he also pled guilty on the bank charges that happened in virginia and that he will not appeal the eight convictions happening in the e dedba or the others that resulted in a hung jury. the president of the united states should be concerned with the people you listed on the screen there just now, jake, that there are connections to members of his campaign in
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various behavior. that is a violation of democracy, and i think as the president he would be concerned about that. >> in august president trump tweeted, quote, unlike michael cohen, he -- meaning paul manafort -- would not break in order to make a deal. so the with the was, in august, saying it's so great that paul manafort hasn't flipped, hasn't done what michael cohen did. now he has. >> now he has, and i think that's why you saw kevin downing choose the words that he did, because it's no secret that paul manafort and his team are still hoping he can get called in. the president was praising him and now he has this cooperation agreement. the one thing i would say is possibly the best case scenario for president trump is that he now comes out of this after being the candidate who pledged to drain the swamp, after being the guy hiring the best people, basically being surrounded by a bunch of crooks. if you look at his campaign
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chairman, if you look at the deputy, paul manafort, if you look at his national security adviser, if yoook at his lawyer, all of these people have pled guilty. all of these people have dealt with investigators because they basically tried to enrich themselves. this is a guy who said he was not going to be beholden to anyone who drained the swamp. and that's the best possible scenario. it's hard to walk away without judging the aftermath here. >> i do want to remind people paul manafort has maintained throughout this whole time that he has nothing to flip on. he has no information that's negative about donald trump. we should remind people he was at that infamous trump tower meeting with the woman that said she had dirt on hillary clinton, but we know of no crime with the trump campaign per se. >> what did the president know and when did he know it? mr. manafort would not have
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gotten this deal if he did not have information that mueller did not have. and mueller has everything, so he's got to have something. i have no idea if it would implicate the president, but he's got to know, for example, at the trump tower meeting that you mentioned, with don jr. who set up the meeting, after the russian woman was going to give them dirt on hillary clinton. according to trump jr., before and after the meeting, there were calls placed by trump jr. to a blocked number. we know mr. trump has a blocked number. manafort said, i don't remember. right after that meeting, donald trump calls a press conference and said, i want to make a major speech about hillary clinton and how dirty she is, right after his son and son-in-law were promised dirt on hillary clinton. it is really possible trump
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colluded to help the russians steal information. >> i'll get the comment on what they said quickly on this. first of all, paula, i think that is all supposition on that -- >> they're all facts. >> there are not facts in this regard. we just had a trial in virginia that had absolutely nothing to do with president trump and it had to do with paul manafort's business dealings, and i think american intelligence might also be very interested in pursuing some of these matters with mr. manafort. we don't know that. secondly, with all due respect in this country, yes, those are nice values and i shared them all, but guilt by association is not a crime. i'm not saying that about you, paul, but when you have people involved in a campaign, and every administration has had problems with certain officials, i don't think that's an indictment on the president in the legal sense. lastly, mr. manafort has never been an appointee of the
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administration. these are people -- you're one of them -- that people have to hire for campaigns. so i think people are really trying to find something here when we don't have nearly enough information, and everything we've had to date that's been revealed in virginia and with cohen, and manafort did flip a little after cohen said lots of mean things about president trump. we haven't seen that from paul manafort. >> the idea wasny have to ask t question, which is part of what he did today saying, why would another country who is ukraine friendly believe they have to be accepted here in this campaign, when i'm broke and they're saying, i'll work for free. those are the things you have to look at, not necessarily the
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attack on donald trump, it was the probe. >> we will talk more about this. everyone, thank you so much for right now. back to our other major breaking story, hurricane florence. lots of people are helping in the rescue of people stuck in florence. we'll go live on the scene next. stay with us. (vo) this is not a video game. this is not a screensaver. this is the destruction of a cancer cell by the body's own immune system, thanks to medicine that didn't exist until now. and today can save your life. ♪
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we're back with our breaking news. the cajun navy is in the carolinas. the group of volunteers formed in the aftermath of hurricane katrina out today rescuing residents, including some of the hardest -- some if the hardest hit places such as new bern, north carolina where the storm surge has in some parts been over 10 feet. let's go to cnn's diane gallagher. diane, you're learning they're pausing rescues there. >> reporter: there has been a pause in rescues. for the most part it was due to the fact that they had been able to get everybody who had been requesting those rescues, jake, but we're in high tide. we're going to be in high tide for another four hours, and we have been watching the water rise. some of it had receded a bit, especially in the downtown area where it got up so high yesterday when we were out here, they had to do rescues overnight in this area. it had receded some. they were able to get most of
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those rescues concluded in river bend and downtown new bern, but those rescues will kick up again in another hour or two as people realize the water is creeping up. when i was out in the rescue boat yesterday, a volunteer group that had driven from maryland all night helped in those rescues, woke up from two hours of sleep and went back to do the same. people waved at us from their top window and said, no, i don't want to be rescued. i'm just fine. but that water is going to be getting higher. if you're stuck on your second floor, you need to find a way to get out, and the only way you can do that is with professional help. when we were out there, jake, on that boat sometimes it was two feet, three feet deep. other times it was eight feet deep, maybe even higher as we were trying to get through a neighborhood going over streets, front yards and bushes. you can see right now, too, this
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is probably the heaviest rain we have had all day here in new bern. this has been mostly rising water because of the storm surge event with a pretty steady rain. it's the really hard, driving rain we're experiencing right now and has been in the last half hour. it's the most we have had since this storm really start ed in this part of the state. the rescuers i talked to said they're expecting to go out and complete more rescues. they received nearly 200 calls here in craven county for 488 people. we're told that most of those rescues were completed by either people who work for craven county, fema, swift water teams or the volunteers. the cajun navy, the swift water rescuers who came down from maryland, the people who came here to help with their boats. we're watching the rescuers in this county while waters
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continue to rise here. >> the tide has been up to 10 feet. what are they doing about people in the danger zone? >> reporter: initially they tried to get everybody off to start with by making it a mandatory evacuation, they used buses. people stayed. whether it was for financial reasons, they're worried about their pets. they didn't think the storm would be serious enough. and they told people they wouldn't be rescuing, but they have been doing res could you say. they've been out all night long. people are backing up into houses trying to get people on the upper part of it, bringing them in. they're working as hard as they can to get people out of their homes. the problem now is they're trying to put them in shelters. there are no rooms in hotels. they're all full. we have some evacuees in river bend where we are, and there's
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nowhere for them to stay. right now they're looking for places to go if they don't have any room. they don't have vehicles, they don't have personal belongings and people are feeling did he say operate here in craven county. there are a lot of tears, a lot of people saying i don't know what to do, i didn't think it would be this bad, because it was reduced down to a category 2 at that time, and i don't know what i'm going to do right now. we're seeing lots of parents with small children who kind of are at a loss at this point. >> diane gallagher, stay safe. i appreciate it. part of the challenge in new bern is the city is surrounded by two rivers and it's being pounded by rainfall and storm surge and being pushed into the ocean. that's why you keep hearing about new bern. joining me on the phone is gene hodges. he's the assistant manager for craven county. you're at the emergency
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operation center in new bern. i hear right now you've had nearly 200 rescue calls, nearly 500 people, and this may be just the beginning. >> yeah, the storm is still ongoing. we're still taking calls and we're dispatching as quickly as we can in order to affect rescues. we're working with state and federal partners and volunteer groups that are really providing a great service and complementing what we can do. >> how many rescue teams do you have out right now? >> the last count i've got that are working suo much with us, i know we have five, and the volunteer group the cajun navy is really engaged and helping us rescue people as quick as we can. >> we saw some tweets earlier today from residents tweeting to try to get help.
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we're told they've since been rescued. what's the best way for someone to get help if they need it? >> the best way would be to contact our emergency operations center. 366-6608. that is the best way -- if you're in a safe -- fairly safe situation where you can get away from the floodwaters, if you're at a place where you can get to the first or second floor, call that number. if it's more of a medical situation, then we probably would want you to call 911. but first try to call 366-6608. >> 366-6608. gene, lastly, what's your message to any other residents what may be in their homes right now? >> if you can get out safely, please, please try to do so. we're going to be in a long period of recovery when we get
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through, and it will be easier to get to you, if people are not in the area or if people would stay inside their homes, because there is a lot of downed power lines, there is a lot of water. electricity and water do not mix well. that's one of the things i think of every time as i look around. >> gene hodges, thank you to you and the people of craven county. we hope you're getting everything you need from the state and federal government. if you need help, let cnn know and we'll do what we can for you. >> appreciate it. we know at least four people have been killed so far as a result of hurricane florence in wilmington, north carolina. a huge tree fell on a house which killed a mother and her baby. cnn's brian todd is on the scene there. brian, we could unfortunately see a lot of situations like
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this one. the ground is so saturated. these older, larger trees are vulnerable to a storm such as this. >> reporter: that's right, jake. they are very vulnerable, even this 30,000-pound tree that fell down on this house right behind us. we're going to zoom in. i'll go in a little bit closer here. the 911 call came in about 7:00 a.m. eastern time. rescue crews got here with reinforce reinforcements. we got here a short time after that. what we saw was they extracted one of the three people in the house, a man who was pinned under something. they brought a surgical team in and thought they might have to amputate possibly his leg that he was pinned under, but they had to move some objects out and get him some medical care. he was a survivor here, but unfortunately, a woman who was in here and her very young child died. rescuers were here for roughly eight hours, and we were here witnessing it and talking to first responders as they were
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coming in and out, furiously working to cut through the wood of the tree, the bricks of the house. they got in there and they even talked out dresser drawers that they had to demolish and get out of the way. they were just working furiously for hours. you mentioned the conditions here. the saturation. it was saturation even before the storm hit, and you can see that old and very large tree was just so vulnerable to the storm ask came crashing down on this house. this is a brick house. it's got a solid foundation but obviously couldn't withstand anything like that, jake. these conditions here that you're seeing, this is a pelting rain that has been just pounding on us all day long and of course on all our other teams. it comes and goes, as you know, but these conditions have made it even tougher for first responders to get to these areas. and almost in every one of these scenes, there are downed power lines, downed trees. first responders have to navigate through all of that to get to places like this.
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they're doing heroic work trying to get to these places. the efforts they made to try to get the man out of here and save his life was just unbelievable. despite their efforts, they couldn't save the woman and child who were here. i talked to a battalion chief who was very emotional about it. he said, these guys were just physically and emotionally exhausted, but when it involves a child, it gets to you even more. he was almost in tears when he talked about that, jake. very emotional scene here and it had a very bad outcome, obviously. >> brian todd, horrible story out of wilmington, north carolina. thank you very much. we're seconds away from the newest forecast about hurricane florence. will the monster storm speed up or will it keep stalling with these massive amounts of rain? stay with us.
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back to breaking news coverage and hurricane florence. we go to myrtle beach, south carolina. >> the wind direction changed and we're getting hammered down. it's coming down this direction so it's hard to look that way without feeling like you have a face of nails. what we're hearing from wrightsville beach, which is behind us, and we can't go there because it's too dangerous, the
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bridge is closed and the winds too high. but for those who stayed behind, they are saying they have been seeing some structural damage. they can't assess how much because they're hunkered down. they do know they have fairly serious beach erosion there and they're not surprised. and on top of it they have lots of water in the streets. there's a heavy storm surge and the rain that falls. they have a lot to deal with. >> martin savage, stay safe. he's in wrightsville beach, north carolina. jennifer gray has the weather forecast from the weather center. is it slowing down or what do they say? >> unfortunately, jake, it is slowing down even more. it's pretty much just sitting, still. it has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but as we've
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been saying, the winds aren't what matters. the catastrophic floods will still continue, the storm surge will still continue regardless of the category. we still have that onshore flow and we've been getting it for the last 24 to 36 hours, and we're still getting it of the wilmingt wilmington, myrtle beach, everybody still getting this rain. 3 miles per hour. you can walk faster than this storm is moving. new bern still getting a down pour there. all across the outer banks still getting hit very hard. we still have gusty wind and that river flooding will be a problem all the way into the middle part of next week where a lot of these rivers across portions of north carolina are going to be at record levels. so we'll be talking about this through the middle part of the week, at least. >> jennifer gray in the cnn severe weather center, thank you
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very much. thousands of people are in the dark right now because of florence, and that number is only expected to grow. just how bad the power outages are, that's next. stay with us. 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? ♪ ♪ they're the moderne stone age family. ♪ ♪ from the town of bedrock.
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and accessoriesphones for your mobile phone. like this device to increase volume on your cell phone. - ( phone ringing ) - get details on this state program call or visit florence now a deadly tropical storm responsible for at least four deaths. let's go to nick watt in north myrtle beach, south carolina. this storm start to go take a toll on that town. >> we're on the grand strand
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which is normally a stretch of beautiful south carolina sand, but not now. some downed trees, some downed power lines and they say we are lucky right now. the question is if that luck holds through the night as this storm moves down toward south carolina. there will be a point tonight where in north myrtle beach we will be basically between the eye of the storm and the ocean. the question is how much rain will fall from the sky and how much that ocean is going to surge. so far, no injuries, no major damage here, although we did just see a fire truck go past. we haven't heard from the fire chief exactly what is going on there yet, but it's going to be a wet, long, windy night. jake? >> nick watt, thank you so much. stay safe. in wilmington, north carolina, this video captured the moment a tra transformer blew. you can see a huge flash and
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some sparking, then darkness. they are reporting widespread power outages. let's go to tom for more on that problem. tom, where are the largest numbers and where are we seeing the most outages? >> as of this hour, florence has left more than half a million homes without power alone. thousands more in neighboring states, too, and that number could certainly grow, perhaps in a big way, as the rain and floods go on through the weekend. this map from the biggest power provider in north carolina, duke energy, shows almost every county was affected and some were hit particularly hard, left with almost no electricity. and new hanover county down here where wilmington is, more than 14 14,000 people affected. and in coren county, in the
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dark. about halfway across the state it trails off in the hundreds, but still very widespread outages and a big challenge for electronic providers, jake. >> it keeps grinding away, slowing down. how soon do power officials think they can get the lights back on for these folks? in some cases it might be a matter of life and death. >> not soon enough. they have to be super careful as long as the storm hangs around to keep their crews being hurt or stranded in the flood. even when it's safe to go back to work, this is an arduous process. they have to folk on uk focus o and getting electricity to critical places like hospitals. then they have to get to the homes and that can actually take weeksme
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weeks. jake? >> be sure to tune in on sunday morning. it starts at 9:00 a.m. and we'll cover the storm and the aftermath. our coverage right now continues. thanks for watching. i'll see you on sunday morning. pushing life-threatening water and pouring rain. more than a hundred people were rescued from rapidly rising water and more than a hundred are trapped right now. they're desperately waiting for help. will it arrive in time? pleading guilty. former trump campaign chairman paul