tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN December 13, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PST
hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. you are watching cnn "newsroom." just ahead -- >> i just told her to close her eyes and she started counting. so she was like hide and seek, mom. >> a long with the heartbreaking loss there are also stories of
rvival and selflessness emerging from the destruction. new data on omicron. the united kingdom reports its first hospitalization linked to the variant. we are live in london. where the prime minister is feeling the heat for apparently breaking the covid rules he told the country to live by . we begin with the desperate search for survivors after the deadliest december tornado out break in u.s. history. dozens of people were killed when a series of powerful tornados tore through several states over the weekend. kentucky the hardest hit the governor says in the best case se mare owe, at least 50 people died in his state. he says crews are still finding
bodies and fears the final toll could be much higher. still rescuers are looking for signs of life. as they dig through the rubble. including at a candle factory. that was flattened in the small town of mayfield. initially officials feared dozens may have died inside that factory. a spokesperson said sunday most employees made it out. eight have been confirmed dead. and eight others are still unaccounted for. it wasn't just the factory that was destroyed. the entire town of md was decimated. tornados also caused destruction in several other towns. u.s. president biden also has approved a major disaster declaration in kentucky. freeing up more federal funds. kentucky governor says the out pouring of support has helped ease some of the heartbreak.
>> we're grateful for the out pouring of love. it's the best way i can describe it. from all over the country. and from all walks of life. i want to thank everybody for standing with the people of kentucky. we feel it. one of our biggest challenges right now is organizing the amount of people that want to help and want to donate and volunteer. that's the best challenge that any of us could ask for. >> as communities across western kentucky start assessing the damage. many residents say they are just thankful to be alive. cnn is in bowling green. with one family's story. >> families in this subdivision are just now starting to come back to their homes. what's left of them anyway. and salvage the belong accings are able to. the power of this storm.
what it did to this shipping container. flipping it on its side. you can see the wheels there and the perspective gives you a sense of what this residents in this community went through. just over the weekend. you actually were home at the time of this. you live here? >> yes. >> this is unbelievable. >> yes. we were actually in the home while the tornado hit. >> what was it like? >> we were sleeping. it was about 1:45 when it started. and i heard sounds like gunshots. very loud. and i got up automatically and i checked the living room. and every single window was blown through. everything was thrown in the living room. and the trailer that you were speaking of behind me -- it was thrown towards my window. >> show us where your window is here. you can see all the debris left behind. you are starting to clean up. >> we mufed the trailer so we
can open and get the belongings. this trailer was actually connected to this wall. it was on this wall here. this is my bedroom. so, i think if this trailer wasn't here it would have ate up my whole home. >> there were small children inside as well. >> a two year-old niece and three year-old nephew that were sleeping. i'm glad god moved my brother. if he didn't for half a second. all that glass would have been on my nieces head and nephews body. >> you look next door. the homes are gone. your home suffered significant damage. clearly. we're standing on parts of your home. but what do you make of that? the tornado spared most of your home. while leveling your neighbors. >> yes. i'm glad and thankful. i still have my mother and father and family. with me.
my neighbors that have lost their homes are literally one house, two houses from me. it's a tragedy. i'm glad i'm thankful god blessed me and all the families around here still alive. and still walking. and speaking. i'm blessed. >> you had told us off camera, the reason you have this shipping container here is because you were going to move. you were on the way to georgia. the next morning. the storm hit. >> yes. correct. we just purchased a residence in georgia. we packed everything up. the whole day prior to the tornado. and we locked everything up. next thing you know the tornado is -- the trailer is coming toward my window. >> what do you need right now? that's the question. what can people do to help you? in your situation. >> the most -- i mean everybody getting together and being there for each other. i think the most we can do now. just being there for one
another. god is great. >> thank you so much. god bless you. thank you for taking the time. they count themselves among the lucky ones here. just looking at this devastation. all around. so much has been made of what happened many mayfield. bowling green was particularly hard hit. this is an event that they don't see here. i was talking to other residents here who have gotten the alerts on their phones before. for severe weather. nothing ever materialized. this time it did. it's going to be an event that residents like him will remember for the rest of their lives. >> the tornado nearly flattened the town of dawesen spring, kentucky. 75% of the town is gone. hundreds of people are now displaced after the homes were turned into rubble. at least 13 people were killed. more than 100 others are
missing. the town still doesn't have power. and it could be weeks before it's restored. cnn has the latest now. >> reporter: the death toll continues to rise here in hopkins county, kentucky. we are in the city. a town of nearly 3,000 people. emergency management officials tell us that two-thirds of the city was decimated by the tornados that ripped through here. on friday night. and this is the destruction that many people are still trying to comb through. at this time. everywhere you look it was a stretch of the emergency official tell us that the storm left a swath of a half mile wide of destruction. that it went from the western county line. all the way to the eastern county line. here in hopkins county. it's unlike anything the residents of this county and community has ever seen. that really goes well with what we have heard from a residents
who survived the direct impact. of the storms. many people who jumped into their basements if they had one. to save their own lives. it was that kind of desperation that so many people here have described to us. they do say it was over in a flash. it was a level of intensity. not just homes toppled over by the storm. but simply shredded. this is a scene where it really feels like the epicenter of the massively explosive blast. >> jeff jennings. a resident there whose house was destroyed. by the tornado. he's also the father of a cnn political commentator scott jennings. who shot this video. jeff joins me on the phone. from princeton, kentucky. thank you for talking with us. i'm so sorry for the loss of your home. >> thank you.
i'm glad to be here. >> now, your son, scott, spoke to cnn earlier. and he said he was so shocked when he first pulled up to the remains of the family home. he wasn't sure he was at the right place. because of the total devastation. what were your thoughts when you first saw your home after this tornado hit? >> well, to be honest, you can see video time after time of the super-cell tornados. coming through towns and cities. until you see the homes of your neighbors, friends, family and your own home, that has been hit by one of these, you have no idea how overwhelming it is. to experience that. >> i can imagine. you were not actually in your home at the time.
where were you when the tornado came through? how did you get through this safely? >> actually, i watched weather. i had watched this storm progress from arkansas up through kentucky. and i was on the phone with a friend of mine that lived across town. who had a basement. i had stayed with them for a period of time at one point in my life. anyway, he offered me to come over if i wanted to and i told him i was going to watch one more update. when they told me that princeton, kentucky was next, and then dawesen springs. i told him i would be over in five minutes and i was. >> do you think going there saved your life? >> that's hard to say. i do know of three people that
lost their life. that lived out in oak heights vicinity where i live. so, you never know. my house while it is a total loss, it does still have some of the walls standing. and everything. so it's hard to say that. but i was glad to be where i was. >> yeah. we're glad too. what are your thoughts as you survey your town? and how long do you think it will take to rebuild? >> you know, it's going to take years. we're a small town. a lot of the homes have been there for several years. my home was built in 72. and just the town is kind of two
halves. the half of the town that i lived on is pretty much destroyed. and it's going to take a long time. it's hard to get lumber. and the different things that you need to rebuild right now. >> absolutely. >> it's going to take a long time. i'm not sure we'll ever be the same again. >> you say that your house is totally destroyed. what are your plans going forward? where will you go? >> right now i'm not certain. what i'm going to do. i grew up out on oak heights where i live. and i still live there now. in a different home. of course it's going to have to be torn down.
and rebuilt or whatever. if i decide to stay there. so i really haven't decided yet. i'm going to -- i'm trying to get my bearings after all this. it's definitely a life changing event. >> it just takes so long to process a situation like this. jeff jennings, thank you so much for talking with us. our hearts go out to you and your family. and the loss of your home. do take care. >> thank you so much. and we know that many of you want to do something to help the victims of the tragedy. the cnn impact your world site has verified ways to do just that. we'll be updated as more information on resources becomes available. you can go there right now visit cnn.com/impact to help. >> coming up. more fuel for the fire.
british prime minister is facing new controversy over a 2020 christmas party. we'll have the latest in a live report. and i'll speak with the chief european correspondent to plit coabout fall out from the scandal and possible damage to mr. johnson's government. stay with us for that and more. inspired us to learn more about our culture and wherere we come from. ...h.here? ohhh my god. it told us, almost to the e t, where we come from, where our r mixture is. ♪ i'm very proud to be indigenous to zacatecas. that's our history, our little legacy. discovering things that were a mystery, that's what ancestry® did for our family. ♪ woman: i have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. now, there's skyrizi. ♪ things are getting clearer ♪ ♪ yeah i feel free ♪ ♪ to bare my skin, yeah that's all me. ♪ ♪ nothing and me go hand in hand ♪
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the uk is coping with a rising number of omicron variant cases. prime minister has more problems on his already crowded plate. a 2020 photo at christmas quiz party at ten downing street. was published by a british newspaper. the event occurred while strict coronavirus restrictions were in place. it's part of a wider scandal that's hurting both the prime minister and his party. let's bring in cnn. who joins us live from london. good to see you. this comes on the heels of one of his top advisers resigning over a leaked video showing her joking about an alleged downing street christmas party held
during lock down. what is the latest on this photo? >> last week was a week of scandal and out rage. this will be the week we find out how he plans to fight for his survival. how he plans to hold onto political power. it's hard for me to over estimate really how much the public is frustrated by this series of scandals playing out over the last several days. let me talk you through what happened. a week ago there was reports in the local media that multiple parties took place in downing street. and on tuesday of last week there was the big a ha moment. we know we have the video to play out for you. of officials holding a mock press conference. where they are joking and laughing. and mocking covid-19 rules. while talking about an alleged christmas party. that took place inside the prime ministers office. and residence. the prime minister took to
parliament questions a day later. there he denied that any parties took place. agreed to launch an investigation loed by cabinet secretary. into two events. and a second event on november 27. the allegation there is that he was in attendance of the party. gave a speech at the party. to attendees and over the weekend yet another allegation. coming from the tabloid the mirror. this still photograph here. which appears to show the prime minister taking part in a quiz. this isn't just about what parties did or didn't take place. what time and who was involved. this is now becoming about the prime ministers reaction to it all. his denial, denial, denial. despite a growing body of evidence. all while he's trying to fight yet another variant of covid-19. when he needs public support and
compliance. it's turning out to be a very pressing time for the prime minister. >> certainly is. live from london. many thanks. let's bring in matthew. the chief europe correspondent. he joins me live from berlin. on skype. thank you so much for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> first the resignation of his adviser. after she joked about another alleged christmas party. now this photo. it seems certainly the newspaper and the british public are not buying johnsons explanation of what's going on in this new photo. how bad is this for the prime minister? can he survive this? >> i think we'll find out in the coming days. to be honest. if you look at the photo first glance it's obviously a bit embarrassing for him and what seemed to be politically damaging. especially given that one of the people in the photo is wearing
sort of christmas tinsel and the other has a kind of santa hat on. but on closer examination, it might not be that damaging if you consider that here he was making calls with close aids. these are people he worked with every day. and they were taking part in this quiz. i think it's the kind of that i think that people might be willing to forgive. there weren't drinks on the table. and his camp is really gone on the offensive here. saying look, we're about to face another title wave. of the pandemic. with the omicron variant taking hold in the uk. we need to get people out there to get the booster. we really need to get very aggressive on this front and the media is going after the media again. diverting attention from the very important task. on the pandemic front talking about this party that took place a year ago. so, i think he still has some
wind in his sail. and as we know from the past he's quite good at recovering from scandal. >> he survived many other difficulties. how likely is it that we'll see more leaked photos and videos in connection with to the supposed multiple christmas parties that took place during the lock down. and will we see more heads roll? >> given how aggressive the press is. i wouldn't be surprised if we saw more photos. whether he's in them is another question. we're getting reports there were parties in other ministries of the british government. and this was a normal sort of last year. with people having parties and meeting for drinks. you probably will see more details on that front. but, i think that again given just how serious the pandemic is, he's going to face serious
challenges on that front. also regarding restrictions. he's going to have a difficult time convincing his own party to come along with him here. and pushing further restrictions. in the coming weeks. especially given this scandal about what happened last year. this is sort of the under lying problem. he faces. he's telling the british public they need to bat down and prepare for another title wave of the pandemic, and they need to put up with the restrictions, that becomes more difficult when there's evidence. he's not doing so. >> do as i say not as i do. the leaks are coming from the inside. so someone clearly wants to expose the prime minister. where is all this going? >> that's right. there's clearly some distension in the ranks. we're getting reports about people in the government not going to support his policies that further restrictions and
you could have coming out this week opposing that. expectation he'll have a lot of renegades on that front. he has enemies within his own camp. and i don't think it's clear who they are. he has enough problem with the opposition. as i said before, he has a very good record of overcoming challenges like this. including from within his own ranks. >> yeah. always makes it extra difficult. when it's within your own ranks. thank you so much for joining us. appreciate it. >> thank you. and still to come. we will have details of incredible stories of survival after 50 tornados tore through eight u.s. states this weekend. plus we'll head to the u.s. state of illinois where people had just an 11 minute warning before a powerful storm ripped through an amazon warehouse. is now a good time for a flare-up?
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dozens of people feared dead after a series of devastating tornados ripped through central u.s. over the weekend. the storms touched down in eight states. but it was kentucky that bore the brunt of the devastation. this is what the damage looks like in bowling green. on sunday the national weather service confirmed the town was hit by at least an ef 3 tornado. that rating could still increase. it means wind speeds up to 165 miles per hour.
266 kilometers an hour. the death toll in dawesen springs rose to 13 on sunday. dozens still unaccounted for. mayor estimates 75% of the town was destroyed calling the situation just devastating. it's the town of mayfield that has become grounds zero for the disaster. it was nearly levelled just a few buildings are still standing and the mayor says her town now looks like match sticks. she spoke with one family. who managed to ride out the storm. >> we are seeing electric crews. fire departments, police departments. descendsing on mayfield willing to help everybody here get through this. there's so much work to be done. i just want you to see what's mind me. i believe it's a preschool. this is some of the damage that
is really all across this town of 10,000 people. this particular school is actually blocking part of the street in downtown mayfield. and it was moved off its foundation. you can see inside the school. some of the stuff is in tact. it's quite an eerie scene. talking to so many people in this town, the people that call mayfield home they are stunned. they are in disbelief. trying to figure out what the next day and the next day will bring them. some of them thanking god that they are alive. we talked to one couple who hunkered down in a crawl space with their 6 year-old daughter. i want you to hear from them. >> me and our daughter was sitting on the palette. this door here is what kept us alive. along with him. he was holding it. >> it felt like there was ten
grown men on the other side of the door trying to pull it off. >> he's holding the door shut. you are holding your 6 year-old daughter. can you describe being a mom? >> we were just i just told her to close her eyes. and she started counting. so she was like hide and seek, mom. >> of course as we know there's so much loss of life. still people are being there's work to rescue them. or recover their bodies. particularly at that candle factory. where so many people are missing. we talked to one family who lost a member of their family. a 47 year-old working at the candle factory at night. his family remembering him as a just a happy person and missing him this holiday season. coming up. so much despair.
again so much resilience to move forward from all this devastation. >> thanks for that. the devastation was not limited to kentucky. this is the destruction in edward ville, illinois. at an amazon warehouse. at least six people were killed when a powerful tornado hit the building. a warning siren rang out 11 minutes before the thick concrete walls collapsed in. and the roof caved in. we're at scene. >> here in southwest illinois you are getting a clearer picture of the devastation that was left behind by the series of storms on friday night. a look from above you can see how a tornado cut through an amazon shipping center. causing multiple injuries. and a deaths of six people. authorities confirm the identities. ranging from 26 to 62 years old. all employees at the location. and now, operations basically shifting to clean up.
you can see crews removing portions of the building that were structurally compromised. and confident everybody has been accounted for. police on the ground confirming they no longer have out standing reports of missing individuals. amazon also on scene here. not just working with the authorities here in the clean up process but also answering the important questions we have been asking. really all weekend long. about the policies and procedures that are in place to keep employees safe. in the event of severe weather. here's how a spokesperson described what took place on friday night. >> the tornado warning siren actually went off and we had about 11 minutes from that time to the time the tornado hit the ground. in order to get our employees and partners into the safe place. >> our managers were on the loud speaker telling people to get to the shelter in place area. they were also being guided by other managers and other employees. who were trying to get everybody to the safe location.
we had people in two different sheltering areas. >> a separate spokesperson confirm they are working with the community and also the families that have been affected. especially the families of the six employees who perished on friday. as the storm swept through. >> and still to come. a alarm bells ringing in the uk over the omicron variant. the prime minister says it could fuel a title wave of new covid cases. plus cnn checks in with one of the very first people to get a covid vaccine. one year later. (man 1 vo) i'm living with cll and thanks to imbruvica (man 2 vo) i'm living longer. (vo) imbruvica is a prescription medicine for adults with cll or chronic lymphocytic leukemia. imbruvica is not chemotherapy-
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there is a title wave of omicron coming. that was the british prime minister sounding the alarm sunday. after confirming the first hospitalizations due to the omicron variant. starting today everyone in england who can work from home is asked to do so. face coverings are compulsory in public. and parliament meets tuesday to consider a mandatory covid-19 pass. looking at the pictures here on the covid. talk about the covid picture in europe. the omicron variant spreads to more countries. i'm joined now by cnn in athens, greece. we're looking at the live pictures from kings cross station. in london. where of course we know now across england they put in the work from home practice. and so it's making for a quiet situation on the street. talk about the latest.
how are people responding to the effort to contain the omicron variant? seeing those images of a quiet kings cross. gives you a sense of the severity of the issue and the sheer fear in terms of what it means for the uk. the uk has moved from alert level 3 to 4. they are taking this seriously. they also now reported the first hospitalization of omicron. and keep saying that of course hospitalization and death rates lag. it's a lagging indicator. we'll only know the impact in the next few weeks. as well as the health secretary have said that omicron will probably become the dominant variant by mid-december and reach over 1 million cases end of the month. that's significant. these trends show omicron is transmissible. but again this is important the data is showing that with regard to the vaccinated it seems to be
showing a less severe illness. and that is why the uk is also now bringing closer the third jab that will be available for over 18. by the end of the month. if i look at what's happening in the rest of the eu. a rise in cases in most countries. which of course is raising a lot of red flags. in germany the record number of daily death. icu beds starting to fill up. they are clamping down on the unvaccinated. they are not allowed to go into public spaces and you look at neighboring austria. they are doing the same. there's a big push to try to get the unvaccinated to not move into public areas. in france record numbers of daily positive cases. that are coming through icu beds and hospitalization. increasing. but the question is in terms of how dominant omicron is. that is still trying to be worked out. of course data is coming through. over all europe is taking a
stance on getting vaccines and that will be an interesting move as we see more protests for example in austria. where thousands have hit the streets and happening in many countries across the continent. >> all right. thanks. joining us live from athens. appreciate it. martin won peoples hearts last year during an ber view on being among the first to get a covid vaccine. he became a viral sensation. with his special british humor. we caught up with him to see how he's doing one year later. >> i said what's this thing you're doing the vaccination? yes. >> remember this from a year ago? >> i'm not going to have the bloody bug now. i don't intend to have it. i have granddaughters and i want to live a listening time. >> a dash of humor. a zest of dry wit. and good old fashion british common sense. >> there's no point in dying now. when i have lived this long.
>> newly vaccinated 91 year-old martin. on the day the uk rolled out the worlds first covid-19 vaccine. >> i was sitting here, i'm sure beaming from ear to ear the entire interview. >> for a brief viral moment. 6 million views on twitter. he was everyone's cup of tea. gushing headlines and a star turn on good morning britain. >> who are you? >> when we catch up with him at his london home, martin hasn't changed one bit. >> how have you been? it's great to see you. it's been a while. >> i'm still alive. that's the most important thing. a year of being alive. since i saw you. i have been very well. >> how does he feel about his over night fame? >> i never saw any of it. i still haven't seen it. it requires other people to tell me about it. i have never seen what was in --
what's the american? >> cnn? we're fond of you at cnn. >> cnn. that's it. the fact is when this thing happened, other people did see my name in the paper. every single london newspaper was there. which rather shocked me. >> so how is life after vaccination? >> i can't really pretend it's changed at all. i had the injection. i remember going to get it. i took my initiative and got on with it. >> one thing inoculation does help with. seeing his granddaughters. >> they love their grandfather. that's a great thing. great deal of care about me. i couldn't be luckier. >> like last year, he plans to spend christmas with his family. unruffled by the pandemic. but cautious. he got his booster shot two
months ago. the vaccination card always in his back pocket. >> do you have any parting thoughts for us? >> i think you're lovely. >> i think you are lovely too. thank you very much. >> he is lovely. it is all about staying alive. we'll be right back. blendjet's holiday sale is on now for the #1 gift this holiday season, the blendjet 2 portable blender. it packs the power of a big blender on the go, and it crushes right through ice. just drop in your favorite ingredients, even frozen fruit, and make a smoothie any time, anywhere. blendjet cleans itself. just add a drop of soap, water, and blend. recharge quickly with any usb port.
welcome back. now the first israel prime minister to make an official visit to the uae. this hour he is meeting with the crown prince more than a year after the two countries normalized relationships. he says he will be looking to further deepen ties during his trip. and cnn is covering all the angles of this story. standing by for us. and tracking developments from jerusalem. sam, let's start with you. how much coverage is this story getting there? what's likely to come out of this meeting? >> this is a visit really that means more to the israel than
the em rats. not saying it's not important. it's very important to get the trade relations going. to deepen the relationship particularly with the ambitions to expand idea of a to work closely with the israellys in the tech center. political and diplomatic level they are seriously out of step. so, from the em rat perspective they are currently in a pursuing a policy of the em rats first. in particular manifested in improved relations with turkey. with assad regime in syria. and iranians. announcement of an investment in a solar farm in iran. that is a an investment the israel would like to see in the desert. this is coming at a time when the em rets are forging their
own way in the community. away from the unreliable partner in washington. where they are out of step. washington is and israel of course. putting pressure on iran from the washington perspective. to get the iranians to return to the nuclear treaty. from the israel perspective to prepare the world for potential israel attacks if they continue to develop the nuclear capability. >> right. how significant is this for the israel prime minister. what will he be trying to achieve on the visit? >> it's a very significant event for the israel and prime minister. i want to paint a picture. how significant of a change this is a few years ago they couldn't enter the uae. he won a competition and authorities there refused to fly the israel flag or play the israel national anthem. now we're seeing an israel prime
minister being welcomed in. with an honor guard. last night. and now going to the crowned princes private palace. striking image to see him wearing a traditional jewish head dress. in a room of officials. next to the crowned prince. it's a significant moment for the israels. i should note it was supposed to be a former prime minister the one who was the cig toir of the accord. the agreement. sup supposed to be on the inaugural trip. they had several trips planned but cancelled last minute. it's the new prime minister going. he's talked about how this visit is meant to really strengthen the relationship the ties between the two countries. there are no reporters with him on this trip. no reporters witness seeing this meeting. we're seeing pictures and images. we don't have audio with showing this video of the two meetings.
you can see they are trying to project a warm relationship between the two. they want to really work on trade, on silicon valley. sort of investments between the two countries. i should note a business wise there has been a big increase. $600 million worth of trade between the two countries in the first zen months of 2021. for sure top of mind in the meeting is likely going to be a iran. because of course israel is concerned about a nuclear iran. the rhetoric about being ready to strike militarily. if diplomatic negotiations fail. continues. and so there maybe an attempt by the israel to pull the em rats back from the we're seeing. between them and iran. >> all right. thanks. joining us there. appreciate t. a woman who brings beauty and hope to homeless men and women just got a special award. >> the 2021 cnn hero of the year
is -- shirly rains. >> you just heard it there. this years cnn hero of the year. rains and her non-profit beauty to the streets have been a mainstay on los angeles skid row. for the past six years. she provides food, clothing, and hair and make up services to thousands. her goal is to make broken people feel hope. >> first and foremost i thank the amazing nine honor rees. this journey hasn't been easy. i stand before you today a very broken woman. my life will never be the same since my son died. it's important that you know that broken people are still very much useful.
we are very much useful. >> that is a powerful message. if you would like to support rains work, or any of the non-profit organizations of the top ten heros. you can also make a donation and all donations made by january 3 will be matched by subaru. up to $50,000 per hero. and i want to thank you for your company. have yourselves a wonderful day. cnn "newsroom" continues knew. -- now. one role of a lifetime...one sore throat.
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hello and a very warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the united states and right around the world. i'm isa soares in "cnn newsroom." >> the very first thing we have to do is grieve together and we are going to do that before we rebuild. >> this is going to be our new normal. >> this is the deadliest tornado event we have ever had. >> how the storms nearly wipe out entire towns across the center of th