tv New Day Weekend With Christi Paul and Boris Sanchez CNN December 12, 2021 3:00am-4:00am PST
♪ good morning, everyone. welcome to this special edition of "new day weekend." it is sunday, december 12th. i'm amara walker in for christi paul. >>, and i'm boris sanchez, live in edwardsville, illinois, this community reeling after being hit by an ef-3 tornado that left six people dead. unfortunately, scenes like this playing out behind me are also playing out in several states with rescue and recovery and
cleanup efforts under way after this weekend's powerful storms. >> the heads of homeland security and fema are traveling to the region today, bringing much needed resources to the devastated communities. storms unleashed more than 30 tornadoes late friday and into early saturday, destroying buildings and claiming lives across six states. one twister may be responsible for damage along a 250-mile stretch from arkansas to kentucky. officials fear as many as 80 people may have lost their lives. >> and here in edwardsville, authorities say a recovery effort could take three days, as we look at what's left of this amazon warehouse. at least six people killed here after a tornado carved through the building. 11-inch concrete walls, imploding, the roof collapsing. roughly 45 people made it out,
but getting an exact number of how many were in the warehouse at the time has proved difficult for officials. they made the distinction yesterday, search and rescue operations shifting into search and recovery. officials not expecting to find anyone else alive under the rubble. but it is mayfield, kentucky, that may have been the hardest hit area. officials calling it the ground zero of this set of tornadoes. it's estimated that more than 100 people were working in a candle factory when a tornado hit there. kentucky's governor andy beshear saying just 40 have been rescued. officials and loved ones are searching for the missing and they are stunned by what they are seeing. >> this is probably the worst thing i ever seen in my life in person and i've been several places and i've seen, you know, just -- this is just terrible. >> somebody said that's the candle factory right there, and i was like you got to be kidding me.
it was nothing but a pile of metal. it was just shock. >> these storm have completely, as you can see, altered the landscape of mayfield. in fact, there are just a few buildings standing in the town of about 10,000 people. the national guard and other kentucky commonwealth personnel are conducting house-to-house searches and debris removal. kentucky's governor and president biden each reassured kentuckians that everything is being done to help. >> the federal government is not going to walk away. this is one of those times when we aren't democrats or republicans. sounds like hyperbole, but it's real. we're all americans. we stand together as the united states of america. >> just want everybody to know that you are not alone. today kentucky is absolutely united, we're united with our people, we're united to find and rescue as many as possible. >> let's get straight to cnn's
nadya romero who joins us live from mayfield. nadya, you were there starting very early yesterday seeing rescue workers go into the rubble and speaking to residents who had gone there looking for loved ones. have you heard from them since? how are they holding up this morning? >> yeah, good morning, boris. you know, a lot of people have been asking us on social media about ivy williams, the man we interviewed yesterday who was looking for his wife janine williams, a woman he had been with some 30 years, called her the love of his life, they have kids and grandkids together. i spoke with him late last night, still no word on where his wife might be. he says he's optimistic, hopeful she was pulled from the rubble, that's what he was told by one of her coworkers and she may be unconscious at an area hospital. no confirmation on his wife, janine williams. that's over at the candle factory, but the entire town of
mayfield looks like this. you can see the rubble behind me. it really does look like a bomb went off all throughout this town, not just in that one area. as you go through the town, we're on the corner of eighth and broadway, right next to the courthouse here, but you can hardly tell that's where we are because every corner looks the same. you just have these downed poles everywhere and trees and debris, and this is the power line here. there's no power anywhere in this city. that is a big problem because it is so cold. that means people don't have heat. if you are still in your house and buried under all of this, how can someone find you and hear your cries and get you out. that's what makes this storm so dangerous, so deadly, specially this time of year. we spoke with a woman who was in her home in mayfield when the tornadoed happened, and this is her story of survival. >> this was my home until last
night. me and him will be able to get somewhere and be together, find us a place and be together, and then get our family back. we're very oriented family and that's what's carrying us through is our family and the lord. >> reporter: yeah. that's what's carrying everyone through. people were saying they were prayinging the entire time during the storm hoping they would make it out alive. we've seen those resources showing up throughout the commonwealth, different cities and counties bringing their emergency crews here and anyone that can help, the community stepping up, people who were not impacted by the storm coming here, bringing water and food and supplies to those emergency crews who are going door to door, corner to corner, trying to listen and hear from anyone who may be crying out, who may have survived that storm but isn't able to get out because of all this debris that's blocking their way out, their way to get back to safety. we also spoke with some rescue crews that have come all the way
from illinois, people have come from other states to come just to help out because it will be all hands on deck in this town of mayfield for quite some time. boris? >> definitely hour cue leen effort. appreciate that report, nadya r romero, thank you. we want to show you before and after images that reveal the true scale of destruction from friday night's deadly tornadoes. take a look on the left, you can see drone footage of the county courthouse in mayfield, kentucky, where nadya is before the storm. on the right, the same area completely destroyed. in monette, arkansas, you can see what used to be a nursing home, it's no longer recognizable. the entire area, the building has been wiped out. then further north in edwardsville, illinois, where boris sanchez is, an amazon warehouse was partially hit by the tornado, at least two people were killed when the building completely collapsed. we're talking about 11-inch
concrete walls described by emergency responders. and a candle factory in mayfield, kentucky. this is astounding, completely in ruins. emergency crews rescued a number of employees trapped under the debris there, which seems to be a miracle that people survived that collapse as well. we are told dozens were killed when that building came down, and those recovery efforts are ongoing. and amara, that candle factory is the focal point of loss in the town of mayfield, kentucky, in graves county. right now we're joined on the phone by graves county judge executive jesse perry. thank you so much for sharing part of your morning with us. first, i just want to find out how you're doing? are you okay? how did you make it through the storm? how is your family doing? >> so we're -- we live a little
south of mayfield, and we watched this storm for many -- i guess a few hours just on radar as it was coming, heading our way. my family is safe. i mean, we are blessed. you know, everything is fine with us. that being said, after the storm, watching the weather and the radar after it moved on through our city, and then that's when i went ahead and went into actually downtown mayfield, that's where i went to because that's where they had concentrated with a lot of the -- talking about the debris and when i got there, it's what is at hand now, so -- >> and jesse, have you had any communication with the rescue workers, with officials near that candle factory?
have you gotten any update, any estimates on what they think regarding the number of people that may still be trapped inside, if there are survivors? >> so right now, as far as numbers, i do not have any numbers, we do not. they're going through the rescue efforts. there's so many volunteers, by the way, and so many rescue crews that are in here. they are relieving our folks that have been working many hours, no sleep, no food, and so -- and just going through and trying to try and resolve the situation. but it's still in the recovery mode right now, so i do not have any numbers for you. >> sure. jesse, you mentioned you had been tracking the storm on
radar. folks were aware this might be a dangerous night before these storms passed through. is that typical in your area in graves county? are you consistently dealing with storms? do you know if perhaps there were plans in place at that factory or in other parts of town to prepare for the potential for danger and what we saw unfold? >> so the first, to talk about it being normal, you know, this is december and 70 degrees in december in kentucky wouldn't be normal. so for us -- and, you know, in a lot of states and communities. we just had this warm front come through and however you want to say that, but i mean, any way, so that wouldn't be normal for
us. that alone was kind of the alarming situation that we knew in the end there was going to be storms. as far as emergency management, our folks had put out, you know, lots of information and trying to prepare, but, you know, as i've been watching a lot of this, listening to different folks, you can prepare and prepare and prepare, and then when something of this magnitude hits your community and, you know, it takes the whole building away and you prepared to try to stay in a safe place in that building and designated -- and i'm not speaking to one building in particular, but i mean many -- any one in these homes, you know, all the years they've lived there and, you know, how we would get in the basement or get in the bathtub or a closet, you know, and then, you know, this comes through and the house
is gone, so i say that, you know, we've -- it's very devastating in our whole community and it's very wide. i know there's other communities. i try to listen to some news to see how other communities are doing, but right now, it doesn't feel like i can look past what's at hand for us, you know. >> it will be a difficult process of building back and we want to help in whatever way we can, so please keep us posted and keep the lines of communication open. if there's some message that we can get throughout to help the folks in mayfield in grave county, jesse perry, thank you so much for the time this morning. we appreciate it. >> thank you. okay. president biden has spoken with the governors of the states affected by this weekend's
tornados and according to the white house he has directed federal resources to the locations where there is the greatest need. an emergency declaration has been approved for the commonwealth of kentucky. the president says he does plan to travel to the region to survey the damage when the circumstances allow. let's go to kevin liptack live in delaware this morning. good morning to you, kevin. talk us through the white house's plans to help these communities hit by the storms. >> yeah, good morning, amara. this is really a test of competence for any president and president biden as well. right now his focus is really on ensure every federal dollar, every federal resources that these states might need gets there quickly and isn't held up by any kind of bureaucratic red tape. as you said the president spoke to the governors of five of these states that were affected, including governor of kentucky
at least three times yesterday. the president told them the federal government is stand big to provide them any resources they need. the other thing he said, he asked his officials to proactively tell these states what they're entitled to, what resources are available to them as they confront this rescue mission, cleanup mission going forward. today the federal government's delegations are starting to arrive on the ground there. the director of fema is traveling with the secretary of homeland security to kentucky to start surveying the damage. federal teams have already hit the ground. resources also hitting the ground, things like water. one of the things the president said he was particularly focused on was ensure there's enough housing for people who have lost their homes. the president did say yesterday that he wanted to keep politics out of this. listen to a little of what he had to say. >> this is one of those times when we aren't democrats or republicans, sounds like hyperbole, but it's real.
we're all americans. we stand together as the united states of america. i promise you, whatever is needed, whatever is needed, the federal government is going to find a way to supply it. >> reporter: so the president really in the crisis manager moded at the moment, but he did talk about skl at some point mo into an investigative set of standards, looking at whether there was enough warning for these people, looking at whether climate change may have affected this, and then, of course, he will move into the consoler in chief mode. yesterday he said my heart aches for the people who are affected by these storms. >> yeah. a lot of people's hearts aches watching these stories and seeing these images. appreciate that. we know many of you want to do something to help the victims this was tragedy. the cnn impact your world site has verifieded ways to do that and will be updated as more
become available. visit cnn.com/impact to learn more about how you can help the victims of these storms. kentucky wasn't the only state to feel the impact of the deadly tornadoes. we'll take you to some of the other places as search and recovery and rescue efforts continue this morning. next, more stories from kentucky as residents deal with the aftermath and immense loss in their own community. with alka seltzer plus. with 25% more concentrated power. alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh, what a relief it is ♪ so fast! also try for cough, mucus & congestion. ♪ this holiday, let them shine like never before. ♪ this is how we shine. ♪ fi the perfect gift at zales. e diamond store. it's the most joyous timef the year. especially at t-mobile! let's go tdianne. can you tell us what's happening?
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where more than 100 people were working. 40 have been rescued. in illinois six people died in the collapse of an amazon warehouse. emergency officials in tennessee are now reporting four deaths there. aerial footage shows a house with the roof just ripped off and trees uprooted. the massive storm system spauped as many as 30 tornadoes across six states. ground zero, as many officials have described it, remains in tennessee, the town of mayfield and nearby areas. we want to bring in cnn political commentator scott jennings, his father jeff jennings with us on the phone. jeff actually lost his home in the nearby town of dawson springs, a tornado that hit that area, and jeff, it's a pleasure to meet you. it's unfortunate it's under these circumstances. i would like to start with you, if you could just walk us through what you experienced
when you learned a tornado had touched down and you had to seek cover? >> yes. thank you for having me on. i appreciate your words of condolences as far as our losses here. i am a weather watcher. i watch weather every day. i like to know what's going on around me, and i had followed the newscast on this storm for about two hours or so. i was actually on the phone with a friend of mine across town, and when i realized the magnitude of this storm and that it was bearing down on princeton, kentucky, and then us, i actually went across town and got in the basement with them. so i wasn't in my home when the storm hit. >> and when you saw what
remained of your house, ha ran through your mind? what was it like? >> actually, of course, it was the next morning before i could get out there after the tornado came through. i did get in my vehicle and try to go across town and i could tell just, you know, just by what little i could see that night that it was going to be bad, but, you know, you see these things on tv where these big super cell storms come through, but until you see it in person you can't realize the magnitude of the destruction. it's just heartbreaking. >> scott, you, having spoken with you yesterday morning, you were concerned because you were trying to reach out to family and you were able to get in contact with some folks, but others were hard to get ahold
of. looking at that video of dawson springs, your hometown, where you grew up, how does that make you feel? >> well, it -- it's very emotional because i've now seen a lot of pictures and i've seen a lot of drone footage of the town and it's essentially unrecognizable from what i remember. you know, for so many years growing up there and graduating from high school there. as heartbreaking as it is to see it, it's equally as gratifying to hear my dad's voice this morning and to know that he's okay. when i first heard the reports of dawson springs being one of the hardest hit towns, of course my mind was racing about him and other family and friends i have down there. we thank god for dad's safety, although at the same time, he and i have chatted and we certainly know there are some people in dawson springs who didn't make it and i think they're still searching for people and i think we're going to find out about that over the next couple of days.
knowing that there are other people that we've known our entire lives who lost more than their homes is a heartbreaking thing to know. just looking at the footage -- and dad is on the ground, and i'm not -- just looking at the footage it's hard to imagine how long it will take to rebuild because of the widespread devastation in this town. there's so many homes -- i was talking to dad yesterday and talking to some other folks and sounds like, dad, our house we grew up is gone, your mom and dad's house that you grew up in, and they grew up in is gone. it changes the character of a town to lose so much that lasted for so many decades. >> yeah. it's sad to hear that folks that you are familiar with may have perished in the storm, scott. obviously rebuilding is going to be a huge challenge. i'm wondering how you think people watching right now might be able to help places like
dawson springs? >> well, i think that it's important to pay attention to what the leadership says, our governor, who has family ties to dawson springs, andy besheer has said there is two things yuck do ri -- you can do right now, one is a relief fund, team wky relief fund and the other thing he advised was to give blood. i was tweeting with some people last night about this, and the red cross actually chimed in and said no matter where you are, you can give blood, there's a critical shortage. wherever you happen to be watching this broadcast, even if you're not in the area, you can go and give blood today and that will help the rescue efforts here. team wky relief found.ky.gov and give blood. sounds like those are the two immediate and best things to help these folks. the last thing you can do is
pray for relief and people who have lost folks and pray for people who lost their homes and pray for a quick recovery and for relief from this suffering. >> we've heard over and over from local officials about how resilient kentuckians are and this is certainly a moment where that kind of effort is needed, that kind of resilience and kind of community that you've described as being so tight-knit will come together and rebuild stronger than before. jeff jennings a pleasure to meet you, sir. scott, always great to have you on. thank you, both, for the time. >> thanks, boris, thanks, dad. >> of course. stay with cnn. we'll be right back.
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stopped them from helping customers with their claims. roy riley is president of peel and holland insurance, joining us from murray, kentucky, about 30 miles east of mayfield, which has been called ground zero of the storm there in kentucky. good to see you. i'm sorry we had to talk under these circumstances, roy. first off, how did you fare in the storm, along with your office in mayfield if? >> i personally fared well. the tornado did go east of my location in murray, but did it go right across our office in mayfield as well as across benton and through the entire area, so as soon as my immediate family was safe, my immediate concern turned to how is my team of 80 employees doing. >> how are they doing? >> blessedly, our entire team is safe. extended families have significant issues, but our entire family at peel and holland is safe. >> your office is in mayfield?
>> office is in downtown mayfield. >> is it still standing? >> it's barely standing, i would say. it's not going to be usable. unfortunately we did lose our mayfield office, but that's minor in comparison to what many of our clients are now suffering. >> look, it's been, you know, just a day since this deadly storm came through. are you already hearing from people regarding insurance claims and what kind of damage that their homes and businesses have sustained? >> yes, ma'am. we've had a team on the ground in mayfield in marshal county, which is impacted, as well as up in princeton, and we've probably reported over 70 claims for businesses and families in the area and that was just yesterday as people were digging out and understanding just the true impact. we'll be open again this morning and all day today to accept more claims. >> give us a sense of these
claims? are you just getting total loss after total loss? >> unfortunately, yes. you know, it's different depending on where the tornado hit. ground zero in mayfield was the heart of downtown, which is the business district, and we had many business clients, many churches, the government there for the city of mayfield as well as the county, graves county, are all our clients and they are all severely impacted. move out beyond downtown mayfield and then you run into the residential communities and we have, unfortunately, many homes that are going to be total houses. a few homes just tlarnts anymore. >> i'm sure this is not what you imagined to be dealing with right before the holidays. let me ask you about temporary housing. i know that fema has been dispatched and they are being dispatched to help with shelters. do you know where many of your clients are going or staying for the time being?
>> that's very challenge flrigh now. >> we've worked with our client trying to get them into hotels. part of our challenge there's a significant part of our region that has no power and cell service is spotty. i don't know the counts, but many counties without power, so obviously if you're looking for temporary accommodations you have to get outside of our area. we spent a significant amount of time helping connect our clients with temporary places one or two nights until we can get something more permanent. >> we saw a close-up image of the graves county, courthouse, my thoughts, today is sunday, tomorrow is monday, which means for most of us it's a regular workday, but for the people in mayfield and graves county and these states that were hard hit, they're not going to be able to go back to work. >> unfortunately -- >> or school. >> yeah. or school. work. home for many people. lives have been severely impacted for many, many months
to come, but as a business community, one of our responsibilities is once we know our team is safe, is to do what we can to resume operations and starting meeting the needs of our customers again. >> i'm grateful to hear that you and your team and your family are all doing okay, and that you have the ability to go back to work and help the people in your community. we appreciate your time and we wish you all the best, roy riley. thank you. >> thank you. prayers for kentucky. >> absolutely. well, we've seen the images an it's hard to imagine how people lived through it. >> desk put me back, dog fell on top of me. everything was falling apart. >> stories from those who survived the storm. that's next. inside the exposed dentin to help repair sensitive teeth. my patients are able to have that quality of life back. i recommend sensodyne repair and protect with deep repair.
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after friday night's string of deadly tornados across the central u.s., many survivors are struggling to rebuild this morning as you would imagine. some lost loved one, others, everything they owned. >> those affected by the storms shared with us what it's like to be right in the middle of a nightmare, one of the worst tornado outbreaks on record. here's some of what they said. >> i'm looking for my wife.
so if anyone knows, please contact me. i want to find my wife. i want to find her and know if she's somewhere safe. i hope she's somewhere safe. >> i never dreamed this. i just thought maybe a shingle or two, and i lost it when they brought me this morning. >> just pushed me back. dog fell on top of me. everything was falling apart. >> terrifying. i'm just blessed to be alive right now. hate to see it happen to my hometown where i grew up at. >> i remember seeing just all the power, the last thing i remember the power went out, the sky turned blue and then i seen the funnel cloud over that way. i ran inside. i told my other buddy in bed,
out here trying to finish a cigarette, barely made it back inside and that was it. everything started caving in. it was nuts, man. we're all right, man. >> a girl that had a newborn, blew the roof off her house and she just so happened to wake up right before it happened and was able to get the baby out of there before it actually hit. >> it was the most terrifying thing that i have ever experienced in my life. at first i was really calm, but then after being pinned down for so long and my legs were hurting and i couldn't move them and i couldn't feel them and things like that, i started to panic myself. i was calling my mother. when i called 911, they said we know. we're trying to get there. if they're working everywhere else, who is going to come get
us? >> it's a very sad day, and i think people are just amazed when they come out of their basements or cellars and see their home was just missing, it's just not there. >> we got in the closet and a huge crash came through and it was our neighbor's tree that just came through the entire back bedroom. >> one minute there was a window and a wall, and the next minute there wasn't. >> definitely scary. i was panicking. hearing glass bits flying through the house and realized this thing was on top of me. >> the windows start breaking, dogs flying through the air, i didn't know what to do. walls feel like they was caving in. it was very scary. >> very, indeed, terrifying to thing just how quickly your life could change. we will have much more from the communities hit by those storms coming up. still ahead, for us here, the army/navy football game
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the 122nd edition of the army/navy football game brought all the tradition, emotion, and the underdog won because they called the wrong play. coy wire was there. what happened, coy? >> yeah. this was awesome. good morning, amara. for well over a century the army/navy game has embodied the game of true sportsmanship and intense rivalry, where anything can happen. it's said it's the only game where everyone playing would sacrifice their own life for everyone watching. army's record coming in was 8-3, navy's 3-8. in the first quarter with a one-point lead navy goes for it. diego figo breaks a tackle, keeping a 15-play, 9 minute drive alive for navy. it helped them drain the clock
and secure 17-13 upset win. get this, he said afterward, am ma rashgs it was a mistake. he didn't know the ball was coming to him, and neath the head coach. turns out the long snapper thought he heard a audible to run the fake, not the case. a win is a win, and they will take it. >> i've been waiting my whole life for something like this. the last four years it's been a tough season, but it's remarkable. i got to -- my teammates are incredible. offense, defense, did amazing. i'm so happy for us. >> i can't even describe it. i love this team. i love this team. it didn't go how we wanted it to all season, but we persisted every week, every game, we beat army. man, beat them guys. let's go. >> and bryce young makes history in new york last night, becoming the first alabama quarterback to ever win the heisman trophy.
the sophomore from california led the nation with 43 passing touchdowns, cementing his status with a record-setting performance and a blowout of georgia in the sec championship last weekend. young still has plenty to play for. the tide play cincinnati in the cotton bowl new year's eve with a spot in the national championship on the line. finally nyc fc are your new lms championship. new york overcoming a hostile road environment, in the 94th minute to gut out in penalty kicks their first ever title in team history. amara, huge night of sports. congrats to nyc fc. this year as they say, go navy, beat army. >> awesome. good stuff. thank you so much, coy wire. and our coverage continues in our next hour as families are waking up to a new reality after deadly tornados ripped through at least six states.
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>> there was not drinkable water. something inside me started saying, you need to do something about it. >> i could not allow one additional life to be lost. >> i feel this responsibility to help these animals. this is what i was put on this earth to do. >> they started calling me the makeup lady. i love them. >> the resilience of these children. >> we want to give you your second chance at life. it provides you a way to dream. >> we hope people live through something they did not think they would survive. >> i'm just doing the job that i'm supposed to do. i think i'm the luckiest doctor that ever lived. >> i want them to know that their brains are beautiful. you have to love each other across our difference. >> there is no small feat. if you believe you will succeed. >> join anderson cooper and kelly rippa live, as they name the 2021 hero of the year. >> welcome to cnn heros family. >> the 15th annual cnn heros
all-star tribute tonight at 8:30 eastern. what a way to lift your sp spirits. watch cnn heros. ♪ good morning, everyone. welcome to this special edition of "new day weekend." i'm amara walker in for christi paul. >> i'm boris sanchez, live in ed edwardsville, illinois, this community realing after being hit by an ef-3 tornado that left six people dead and scenes like the one playing out behind me are also playing out in several states, with rescue and recovery and cleanup efforts under way after this weekend's powerful storms. >> the heads of homeland security and fema are traveling to the regio