tv CNN Newsroom CNN February 29, 2012 11:00am-1:00pm EST
words. rick santorum didn't lose last night. he won a lot of delegates in michigan. the race goes on. >> always good to see you, especially in person. thanks a lot. the k"cnn newsroom" continus with suzanne malveaux. hi. >> we had a crucial vote in the race for the republican presidential nomination. i'm suzanne malveaux, i will get you up to speed for this wednesday, february 29th. people in parts of the midwest are sifting through what remains of their homes and businesses today. deadly storms slamming the area overnight killing five people in illinois, missouri, injuring 13 others in missouri and kansas. a storm chaser captured this funnel cloud on video. several tornadoes were reported in kansas, we'll have more on the severe weather from the cnn severe weather center in just a couple minutes. rescuers are scouring the
waters of mobile bay in alabama today. they are searching for three members of the u.s. coast guard missing after their helicopter crashed. crews recovered the body of a fourth crew member. this morning rescuers located the helicopter partially submerged in several feet of water. the chopper was on a training mission when it went down last night. terrified school kids calling 911 when a fellow student started shooting this week in ohio. now we hear their voices. police released the phone recordings. just take a listen. >> 911 what is your emergency. >> we just had a shooting at our school. we need to get out of here. >> okay, ma'am -- we got a school shooting what school? >> chardon high school. >> chardon high school? >> yes, ma'am. >> all right. can you get administration? >> everyone is running away, so -- >> where is the shooter with the gun? >> i don't know. he was in the cafeteria and everyone just started running.
>> it is hard to hear. that was monday morning. three teens were killed two other people wounded. the local prosecutor says tenth grader t.j. lane has confessed to bringing the gun to school and shooting ten times. we will go live to chardon, ohio in just a couple of minutes. mitt romney finding his mojo. the super tuesday race is just six days away. romney coming off wins in arizona and michigan, clobbering rick santorum by 20 points in arizona, but just squeaked by santorum in his homestate of michigan. today, romney reflected. >> i was kidding. it was a big night last night for me. i was very pleased. very good news. arizona and michigan. interestingly the people who said that the economy and jobs were their number one issue, they voted for me overwhelmingly. that's one of the reasons i'm running. i'm concerned as anne said about
jobs, getting our economy going again. and i'm concerned about kids, making sure kids are not burdened with extraordinary debts and a weak economy. this president has made some promises that he hasn't been able to keep. >> santorum made the most of his close second place finish in michigan. he said it was better than expected and shows it is still a two-person race with romney. romney has 165 delegates, santorum 44. newt gingrich at 38, ron paul at 27. >> the "costa allegra" is slowly making its way back to land. the cruise ship which lost power two days ago is being towed to the seychelles islands. more than 1,000 people are on that ship. they are using mineral water to bathe, they're eating cheese, fruit, cold cuts. the allegra is the sister ship of the "costa concordia" which ran aground last month.
developing story in the british tabloid phone hacking scandal. james murdoch has resigned as executive chairman of news corp. news international. news corp. says murdoch will focus on expanding the firm's international tv business. film director james cameron wants to dominate the deepest part of the planet. he has invited cnn along for the ride. we are going to talk about the spot t is the marianas trench in the south pacific. it's very deep. cameron planning to go almost that far in an attempt to be just the third living person to go seven miles deep and live to tell about it we'll have a reporter team with him in the south pacific. we'll check in with them later in the program. want to go to jacqui jeras on the deadly storms slamming into is the country's midsection. i know we've been reporting five people are dead in illinois and missouri. at least 13 others are hurt as well. what do we know about what's happening in. >> we still have a very
dangerous situation going on as we speak. in fact, there's a confirmed tornado in kentucky now, which is just west of hopkinsville. this is a dangerous storm heading into a populated area. you need to get to the lowest level of your home away from doors and windows. seek shelter immediately. this is a tornado on the ground that is causing damage, moving into hopkinsville. we also have some public reports of possible damage this is just south of elizabethtown, kentucky. let's go to the video and show you what's been happening over the past 12, 15 hours. extensive damage. this is from harveyville, kansas. the governor there declared a state of emergency. there you can see homes have been demolished. a church has been destroyed. there are multiple injuries with the storm that moved through there last night. let's go to indiana now. this is newburg, along the ohio river east of evansville. a tornado likely moved through here damaging homes and moving through the downtown area.
we'll take to you a place you probably heard of, branson, missouri. big tourist area. especially in the summer time. a likely tornado moved through here damaging a restaurant, a hotel and gas station. multiple injuries with this as well. this is a very large system this is a high-tornado day we are expecting. lots more damage and more fatalities will be possible if people don't seek shelter. here is the storm and where it's headed off to the east. we have tornado watches which remain in effect from ohio stretching down into tennessee. it's going to be a long afternoon. make sure your noaa weather radio is on and we'll break in and keep you up to date with that tornado near hopkinsville. suzanne? >> thank you, jacqujacqui. coming up, we'll play you the students desperate calls to police from the ohio school shooting. now that google says it is following your every move, every mouse click, we'll tell you what to do to protect your online privacy. then i will talk to an
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next round the fight for the republican presidential nomination. super tuesday less than a week away. mitt romney heads to the races with more momentum, a close win over rick santorum in michigan. he won by a much wider margin here in arizona's primary. next tuesday ten states will be holding primaries or caucuses, 427 delegates up for grabs. so fed up with the poisonous partisanship? republican senator olympia snow is calling it quits. unexpectingly announcing she will retire rather than seek re-election in maine this year. snow is known as a moderate sometimes in siding with democrats in explaining her
decision to retire she said she finds it frustrating that an atmosphere of polarization and my way or the highway ideologies have become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions. more and more folks feel that frustration. here in arizona we met a lot of these folks, including a family who has completely abandoned the political process and now has unplugge unplugged. >> you guys want to go swimming today? >> reporter: the blyther family, former political junkies, on the road and with no destination. >> we lost three friends. they died in their 30s in the last few years, college friends. we're like, we're not guaranteed tomorrow. >> reporter: so they dropped everything, unplugged completely, pulled up their roots, and hit the road. >> we're traveling around and seeing sites and home schooling the kids. we moved from an 8200 square foot house with three acres to this. you'll be surprised how little
you can live on. >> reporter: living off the rent they make modest real estate investments, this is their home now. >> lost a lot. stock market, real estate values. we've met so many people that have lost their homes and are living full time on the road in a little trailer. >> reporter: jim voted for bush and then mccain. but this time he sees it differently. >> reporter: what are the choices when you look at the politics, political landscape? >> i'm a little unconventional in that regard. you know, to me, it's a diarrhea milkshake or a turd sandwich. those are the two choices. >> reporter: he's not an obama fan either? >> i think the second term can be worse. i don't believe you can spend your way out of a recession. i think both parties are trying to take the power over many and put it in the hands of a few. it's bigger government and just not interested, not at all. >> reporter: don't want to engage? >> no.
if we thought we could make a difference, then yes. i think the tea party movement's are good. i don't know what's going to happen and i'm a believer that if we focus on our family and focus on our friends and family and people that we can help, our lifestyles, our life, quality of life will be greatly improved. >> reporter: i'm sitting here. it's hard to understand in some ways because i think, maybe i could convince you to vote or look or follow this person, but not really, right? because you feel empowered to take care of your family and your -- the people immediately around you? >> yeah. we don't care about the big picture anymore. >> reporter: so each day they head out for another adventure, running from the traditional notion of the american dream. and they're not looking back. so the blyther family, they drop everything, completely abandon the political prosets along with the luxuries of their life and they're not the only
ones. but not everyone goes to that extreme but it brings up the bigger question of whether or not you think the political process is a waste of time. we want to hear from you? are you fed up with the way things are going or is it just politics as usual? send us your thoughts, facebook.com/suzan facebook.com/suzannecnn. when a gunman started killing high school students in ohio this week, quick-thinking kids grabbed their phones and called 911. those recordings are out. you'll hear them next and the prosecutor has plans for the teenager who admits he shot up the school. full details live out of chardon, ohio up next. there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%,
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want you to listen to these voices. it's a 911 dispatcher hearing from a high school student that another teenager was shooting up the school. >> did you see the shooter? are you a student? >> yes. yes. i'm a student. i was right by the shooter when he pulled the gun. >> okay. who was the shooter? >> his name is thomas lane. >> you seen him shoot how many? >> i saw him take out two. then i was gone. i was out of there.
>> okay. were the students still alive? >> i don't know, ma'am. i didn't even check. i got out there as fast as i could. >> but they went down, right? >> yeah. they were laying on the ground in blood. it's amazing when you hear the calm in that young man's voice as he is describing his classmates shot and lying in blood. ted rolawlands is live in ohio with more on the story what do we know about the victims? >> well, the victims there are three now, obviously. they have passed. we do have some funeral news to pass along. one of the victims, the first to die, 16-year-old daniel parmertor, will be laid to rest this weekend. his family has announced funeral plans for saturday. we are still waiting on the funeral plans for the other two, demetrius hewlin and russell
king. both have donated their organs and their family say they are proud of that fact and they are using that fact as a way to heal through the process. another way this community is healing through the process is a vigil last night. thousands of people came out to be together in the downtown area and they had a candlelight vigil. they spent time together. people there said really just being together made them feel better and helping each other, this community is extraordinary, the way they've reacted to what has happened. one of the things that happened right off the bat, we heard all about this teacher who was at the school when it happened. he witnessed the shooting. he chased away the shooter, t.j. lane. his name is frank hall. he's a part-time football coach and full-time teacher here at the school. and we haven't heard much from him. but our affiliate caught up with him. he didn't say much but listen to what he had to say.
>> i just want to say i'm sorry to the families, to the victims. i wish i could have done more. >> that's it. that's frank hall, the part-time football coach and teacher who is being credited, suzanne, with saving lives because he was able to react and chase t.j. lane out of the school cafeteria while he was being shot at by the youngster. today at school, teachers are back in the school with counselors. tomorrow students will be back with their parents. they want to bring parents into the process, too. friday will be the first day of regularly scheduled school. >> ted, it's amazing when you listen to that coach and he says i wish i could have done more. talk about being modest. the fact that he was so brave and courageous and saved lives there. what do we know more about the shooter here? what prosecutors have planned for him. >> well, he had his first court appearance yesterday.
this was an initial appearance. the first thing they had to deal with is whether he would be held in custody. clearly that was an easy decision for the judge, not only for the safety of the community but the safety of this 17-year-old. what will happen next, we are expecting the prosecution will ask that he be bumped up to adult court. the judge reserved a court date for that. the 6th of next month or the 6th of march. we expect that to be a formality. given his age and the seriousness of this crime, he will be considered an adult, even though he's 17. that will happen at the next hearing. >> all right. ted, thank you very much for the latest. the latest information there. obviously our condolences to the families who lost their children in that shooting. some of the affiliates covering across the country, here in new orleans, police arrested a 17-year-old in connection with the shooting of a good samaritan last month. they arrested him at his high
school after getting several tips. the victim, you might recall, mike ainsworth shot for trying to stop a woman from being carjacked. he died in front of his two young sons. unbelievable video from out of oklahoma look at the left side of your screen. a teen working at a car wash, hit by a car, flew into the air. he is recovering from his injuries. he is now back at school. turns out that this is his second brush with death. he found out just a few months ago he had a rare heart condition and had a defibrillator put in. and workers imploded three old smokestacks at a power plant in florida they were replaced with a natural gas-burning system. big primary wins for mitt romney. but are they enough for super tuesday? we'll lay out what the candidates have to do to get the magic number to win the
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michigan and arizona, but is the republican party still searching for the one who can beat president obama? the odds on a brokered convention. plus google's new privacy protection going into effect tomorrow. and have one world leader, a nervous waiter and a tray full of beers and what do you get? we'll show new a bit. we didn't win by a lot but we won by enough. that's how mitt romney describes his victory over rick santorum in the michigan primary. that revitalizes the romney campaign. not a minute too soon. super tuesday race is just six days away. joining us to talk about the political road ahead, cnn politics.com editor brian monroe. great to see you there. give us a sense of the mojo. mitt romney, how important is it that he has those two wins,
arizona and michigan? >> his win last night in michigan was a big deal. he had some tough sledding coming into it. santorum made it very difficult for him. even though he won the popular vote in michigan, it is still unclear whether or not he earned enough delegates in michigan to take that victory as well. our latest cnn estimate has them tied at 11 delegates each with eight not allocated based on our estimates what it means is that he is going in on super tuesday, wyoming tonight and washington caucuses on saturday with more momentum to try to -- i don't think he'll lock it up tuesday, but he'll certainly make it more difficult for his competitors to tighten it up. >> and let's talk about super tuesday. do we think that after super tuesday that it's going to thin the flock of candidates a bit? will we see perhaps gingrich at that point step down or ron paul? how far can they go? >> that's the question. ron paul has made it clear that he wants to stay in for the long haul.
his campaign is as much about his mission and what he sees for the country as it is about getting the nomination itself. i don't know if he'll be dropping out after tuesday. newt gingrich, that's a different question. he did not do well last night. he has not done well in a while. certainly money will become an issue. you know, we'll see. if he doesn't do well in the ten states on tuesday, it will be hard for him to see this through the long haul. >> do you think that possibly paul and gingrich are staying in because they see a vp spot? >> it's going to be difficult for both of them. up with thing that's happening this time around is with the influences of the super pacs, you have adelson stepping up with more money to support newt gingrich's super pac, that gives them more runway to give them support.
the money will make the difference. >> could we see a brokered convention as this goes longer and longer? >> that's a very good question. we did a piece on cnn.com yesterday looking at the possibility of brokered convention. i talked to one of our contributors, ari fleischer, who says it doesn't look like it will happen what has to happen, a candidate has to fail to secure the 1,144 delegates needed to go into the tampa convention on august 27th with this thing locked up. and this is going to be a long haul. but even if that happens, there's going to be a lot of conversation, a lot of back room dealings to make sure going into tampa the republican party is united and has a clear nominee, because they don't want this bleed nothing the general election against president obama. it doesn't make them look good. >> all right. great to see you. i know you're following all things politics at cnn.com. the latino vote likely to
carry a lot of weight in the election. mitt romney won 18% of the latino voting yesterday. what about the general election? jaime molera, we will ask you a number of questions here. what do you make of what happened here in arizona? romney did well. it was expected. but strangely enough it was the economy, not immigration, that really made much difference to voters. >> arizona has been focusing on the economy just like everywhere else. we had our construction industry which was decimated. so people are worried about jobs and job creation. so i think the focus of that, not just in this primary but in the general election is the key thing. >> and we talked to a lot of voters here. immigration is such a hot-button issue. why do you suppose it didn't factor in greater when people actually went to the polls and voted? >> again, peoples find right now is whether or not they're going to make their mortgage payments,
whether or not they'll have a job. i think that's the overriding theme of the economy. arizona has gone through several tough years around immigration and immigration reform. i think people are focused on the key things that mean a lot to us. right now it's job creation. >> and i'll sure you've seen this. >> i have. >> our audience has seen this the cover of "time" magazine, that latinos in the general election are the ones who will decide who becomes the next president. you're a republican, you're also a member of the latino community. how is it that republicans -- what can they do that president obama has not done in terms of making the community better off? >> i think it's going to be romney. he needs to do a good job early on reaching out to latinos. that's not just showing up at a may 5th cinco de mayo parade or something. he needs to go to the latino leaders, to businesses, talk about small business development. those are the kinds of things that latinos want to talk about.
if they do that similar to what george bush did in 2004 where he had a very strong latino outreach. he captured about 45% of the latino vote. those are the kinds of things that romney can do. >> why do you suppose republicans are not doing better in capturing the latino vote? you are pretty unique in the community. >> i'm a republican, so i'm kind of a minority in that respect. >> right. why do you think the republican party has not captured more people like yourself? >> in a lot of ways, i think traditionally democrats have always appealed to latinos. a lot of my family, when they came to the united states, it was almost a given. you became a democrat. my grandfather was very conservative in a lot of ways, but he was a democrat. now i think republicans have an opportunity, if we're smart about it, knowing the population is just ballooning, to be very aggressive in going after it. i think it's possible. i think that republicans can do a good job if they take the time and also spend the resources. >> all right. thank you very much for joining
us. really appreciate your perspective. want to go straight to breaking news to jacqui jeras at the cnn weather center. i understand there's word now of tornadoes on the ground in kentucky. >> yeah. it's producing damage as we speak. this is in washington and marianne counties. this storm here. confirmation that damage was caused by this storm as it moved through the hodgenville area. an apartment complex was destroyed. damage near the fair grounds and the high school. this is a quick-moving storm, about 55 miles per hour. this is the area of rotation now. right in between new haven and moving towards loretto. we'll put this into motion and show you the signature of this thing as it moves through hodgenville. that is an indication that that is debris in the area, that we're not just dealing with rain or damaging winds. so very strong signature on radar. this is moving towards loretto. people in the area need to be seeking shelter immediately as
the storm has a history of producing some damage. now to put this in perspective this is the storm. here is louisville, kentucky, here is lexington, kentucky. in addition to this we have tornado watches in effect. conditions are favorable for more tornadoes to develop. this is the line that i'm most concerned about at this hour that's moving into northwestern parts of tennessee, all throughout western and central kentucky and clipping in right here along the oh othio river. the threat will stay high. this is a moderate-risk day, suzanne. we'll see a larger number of tornadoes and widespread wind damage. take note of all 9 lightning associated with these storms which can be equally as deadly. a tornado confirmed on the ground right now. washington and nelson counties. the town of loretto is next under the gun, unfortunately for this latest storm. suzanne? >> okay. thank you, jacqui. also on the phone with us now the mayor of harrisburg,
illinois. eric greg. i understand there are powerful storms that have claimed more victims there. can you tell us what has taken place? >> well, we certainly had a horrific event this morning at approximately 5:00 a.m. we do have loss of life and several injuries. it went through the southern part of our community, we are now, of course, trying to do everything we can to make sure every man, woman and child is accounted for. we have several crews on site. we are trying to get a handle on this. it was a devastating event in our community here in southern illinois. >> mayor, i understand we're looking at new pictures, these aerials of where you are. and just the devastation that has occurred. can you describe to us what actually happened here? it just looks unbelievable. >> well, it appears that this tornado touched down just outside of town near a community called carrier mills, illinois,
started coming towards the southeast. then came over the southern end of harrisburg, illinois. just cut a path of destruction that's absolutely devastating and heartbreaking. i was out 15 minutes after the event happened, and was on site with several other of the council members of our city. we were doing everything we can, working with emergency personnel and trying to assess the damage and the injuries and, of course, unfortunately the loss of life. in small communities it's heartbreaking. we all know each other. we all care very much about each other. and this is just something that happens in an area that, you know, we just hope and pray to god it never does happen. we see what happens in other parts of the country, now it's come to our doorstep. we will do what we have to do. we'll continue working every day until we do what has to be done to put this back on track. but it's just a very difficult day. and a very good community in
southern illinois. >> mayor, can you describe for us just how big this area is? we're looking at these new aerial pictures here. it's hard to get a sense of just the extent of it and size of the community that has been hit hard. we can see the damage. but how big of an area is this? >> it looks like the tornado actually stayed on the ground for a few miles, and then the path that it cut was -- it looks -- the length of at least three, four football fields in some areas. you know we have homes and semis toppled, cars thrown in lake the and everything else. the -- you can't imagine how devastating it is until you're there. it's like nothing i've ever seen and frankly don't ever care to see again. and, again, my heart goes out to those that we've lost today in our community. the families, all the people that are hurting today. we had several injuries as well. millions of dollars of
structural damage. i know the governor of illinois is on his way here. we have our local representatives here. the thing that i can say that i'm so proud of is the communities that are surrounding us that are rallying to help harrisburg, illinois today. we have people coming from all over. i'm sure, you know, from even probably, if we needed, from other states. people are coming to this community to help us today and we're thankful and gracious for their assistance today. >> mayor, i know that it must be an incredible job to actually try to sift through all of that damage. you say that you already understand that you have lost some residents there. do you know how many people have died? >> well, we're hearing that the number is now five, and it could go up. we're still, again, in recovery, trying to make sure we have everyone accounted for. it actually came over and hit a duplex complex, which really took out several of the apartments, and then went on across and took out several homes, and just absolutely tore
everything up that was in its path. i don't know how big it was. i haven't heard. we are awaiting on confirmation from the national weather service. but it certainly appears about as bad a you can get. i just -- it's just -- we seen what happened in fulton, missouri, now here it is in our backyard -- not to that magnitude, but still the loss of life here. it's hard breaking. you know, our community is just hurting today. we ask that everyone keeps us in their thoughts and prayers as we move forward in the day s ahead. we have a lot of clean up to do and a lot of recovery to do. >> is there an ongoing mission right now, a rets cue mission to look for people who might be missing inside those buildings? >> yes, there is. after the event happened, after the tornado came through this morning, we had crews on site almost immediately sifting through the damage and pulling -- we're basically out there pulling -- going, you know, piece by piece, pulling
material off of the top of each other to try to make sure we're not missing anyone. we're wanting to make sure that we do not lose one person more than -- in this whole event. but we're just going to make sure everyone -- again, every man, woman and child is accounted for. the hospital, we're in the process of -- i understand that we have some structural -- it came over the hospital. and there's concern about the structural damage to the hospital. so we're looking at what we might be able to do there. we're in the process of making sure we have a place to house them, feed them. we have serve displaced families at this point in time. i'm satisfied the community here will rally around and help those in need today as well as the surrounding communities will do the same. that's the kind of people in this community and this area. they want to help each other and they care about each other. that's the one redeeming thought in this whole horrible nightmare that we're faced with today. but we will, you know, we'll
continue to work day and night. >> you say there was a hospital that was damaged, that was hit. tell us what you know about that hospital. what is the name of the hospital? where is it? what kind of damage are you talking about at that hospital? >> it is the harrisburg medical center. in a briefing right now, it's my understanding that they're looking at the structural damage to the hospital, to make sure it is safe and if it is not safe there will be measures taken to move the patients and move people out of there as well. we've just take an severe blow. of course when it lands on your hospital and hits your hospital, that's even more devastating because now we are fortunate, we have another hospital seven miles away, of course that's in eldorado, illinois. they opened up anything they can do to help us as well as other communities. everybody is reaching out. we have several law enforcement, emergency medical personnel here
in our city today from all over the state of illinois. you know, it's -- we are just trying to make sure we get people safe, keep people out of the area and make sure that we are doing everything that we need to do to protect everyone else in this community today. >> mayor, what kind of jiinjuri are you seeing from people going to the hospital and people who survived the storm and tornado that touched down? we seeing several broken bones, lacerations, just -- of course, some fatal injuries, which is just very, very heartbreaking. i was actually out on site when they discovered some of the unfortunate citizens of our community that did not survive 9 stor
storm. i can tell you it breaks my heart as mayor of this community. to be taken in such a horrific way and when it hits in the morning like that, when people are asleep, we're not typically listening to the radio or watching television at that time of the morning. when the weather radio went off, i'm sure when the sirens went off, i did talk to eyewitnesss that did say there was some time after the sirens went off that they could take cover. i can tell you from my own personal experience, i heard the sirens go off, jumped up, turned the radio on, and it was eerily quiet. i knew something devastating was happen to my community and our community. unfortunately it was the truth. we're just heartbroken today, but we'll continue to work hard to protect the rest of this community and hopefully learn from this event and make sure we're always doing everything we
can to be vigilant and stay on top of anything that faces the community of harrisburg, illinois. >> mayor, do you know how much time people had between the time that the sirens went off, you say it was still early in the morning, daylight had not arrived and the sirens went on. is there a sense of how much time people had when the sirens went off and when they could take cover. >> my discussions with one eyewitness, he said he had time to get his mother up, get her into the shower and make sure she was in the bathroom. in the shower area, the bathtub. there was several minutes before it actually did hit after the sirens went off. we were fortunate that we have a good system in place, we do have an early warning detection system. so we did have some time. still, even that, the way this thing came through, where it hit at, it just was utter -- it was just complete -- tore everything
up in its path. devastating. >> what time did this take place? was it actually in the dark? you said people were sleeping. >> yes. i think it was around approximately 4:30. between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. is when the tornado came through. of course it was still dark here. going out, looking at the debris field and everything in the darkness, it was horrifying. but even more so, when the sun came up, you got a picture of it and you got your hands around what the track of this terrible storm did to the city of harrisburg, and, you know, we just hope that we never have to experience anything like this again. harrisburg has been one of those communities that was fortunate that in the past, when the tornado hit in marion illinois, the f5 in 1980, we did not get that. i actually stood outside in harrisburg and watched debris fall from the sky during that event. we thought it was going to hit harrisburg then, it didn't.
this time it did hit us. again, we -- we are doing everything we can to make sure that we're protecting the rest of the citizens of this community and the surrounding areas areas. we have a tremendous amount of personnel from the state of illinois assisting news this effort. >> where should folks go in your community if they need help? >> we are opening up churches. we will open up probably our school. we have the southeastern illinois foundation building opened up. we're trying to just kind of coordinate that now. in fact, we're holding a press conference at 2:00 p.m. to discuss that and make sure everyone is on the same page and everyone knows where to go. we're trying to make sure the hotels -- we actually bought every room we can around to house folks and to make sure that they have a place. we are going to take care of our people that are displaced. now that's number one priority is to take care of those that have been hurt and that have been put out of their homes
today. >> and that is 2:00 p.m. eastern? is that correct? >> 2:00 p.m. central. >> central. 2:00 p.m. central. thank you. and finally, just looking at these pictures, it's just unbelievable to see the damage that has taken place there. it is early in the search and rescue here. are you optimistic that you will find survivors inside of those buildings? >> we're very hopeful that we can find more survivors. i mean, you know, we're -- it happened -- when it happened, the way it happened, people kind of scattered. so we're trying to track down families and make sure everyone that lived in the region is accounted for. that's still ongoing and we're hopeful that the folks that are still -- the names that we're hearing that have not been accounted for that they will be found with family members or at the hospital of somewhere. but we just hope we have not suffered any more loss of life in this small midwestern state. you know, in this community, midwestern community.
these kinds of things are just -- it hits very, very hard it just takes a tremendous toll on us. we -- we pull together and we hope and fray that we can be prepared in the future and that's where we will go from now. it's going to be a very hard day for the residents and many people here in southern illinois and especially harrisburg, illinois. >> mayor eric gregg, thank you very much for your time. we wish the very best to your community, that there are survivors. it looks devastating what has taken place there. we'll bring more details as it becomes available. thanks again. we'll have more after the break.
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here. these are new pictures out of harrisburg, illinois. we just spoke with the mayor, eric gregg, that these deadly storms that hit his area where, nine people he says confirmed dead and that there are many, many injured. we're taking a look at the new pictures, the devastation that has taken place. we are talking about at least five confirmed dead and storms that have hit other states as well. i want to bring in jacqui jeras to give us a sense what we're talking about, the scope of devastation. this is just one state. it's just one community. but i understand that there have been many states impacted by these deadly storms and tornado, jacqui. >> yes, we're talking about 16 tornado reports at this time last evening. some of those reports could possibly be more than one report
of the same tornado. for example, we think that the tornado that hit henderson, kentucky, is the same one that moved into newberg, indiana. these are the states under the risk area right now and that's where we have tornado watches in effect. conditions are favorable for tornadoes to occur and i'm going to step you through this process here and this will show you just how widespread this outbreak has been. all these blue boxes that you see here, those are all wind damage reports. that's damaging winds in excess of 60 miles per hour. that's in kansas, oklahoma, nebraska, across missouri, into illinois, kentucky, into indiana as well. you can see it just keeps going. and then those round icons with the red on it, those are tornado warnings. those are all of the reports of possible tornadoes that have touched down. so we've got five confirmed dead and we know that that number could go up before all is said and done and the threat is going to be ongoing as we head throughout the rest of the night. we have two storms that we're
tracking as we speak. both that could be producing tornadoes as we go. the counties that are included, this is louisville, hardin, nelson county all under tornado warnings right now. take a look at this. we have confirmed damage reported just in the last half an hour. there was an apartment complex damage here and homes damaged between hojgenville and towards loretta. this is a new storm which has redeveloped and these areas need to be seeking shelter immediately. we know you've already been hit hard once. there you can see that first storm as it moved through and then we have the second storm which began to develop. another dangerous situation, unfortunately, moving over the same area. it's called training, when one thunderstorm develops after the other one. those conditions are ripe for
rotation. unfortunately, communities from time to time can get hit hard more than once throughout an evening. that was in kentucky. this is a video from illinois. that was last evening. five people dead. that death toll could go up. look at the extensive damage. you see a car in there. you see homes that have been flattened. this was not a small, weak tornado. you see concrete like that where a home has been leveled, that could be indicative of winds up to maybe 200 miles per hour with these storms. so they were certainly deadly. they were on the ground for a long period of time. you can see that's a large building where the roof has come down and collapsing in that area as well. this is late february turning the winter into the spring months and it's an unusually warm winter that we've had. tornadoes can get more violent when they've got more energy, they have more clashing of the warm and cold coming together. so all of those elements have
been displayed with this really fast-moving storm. unfortunately, this has been very widespread. we're going to continue to get reports of damage throughout the afternoon today. and unfortunately we can see that death toll go up as a result of that as well, suzanne. >> thank you. we're getting an update, it's now seven dead from those storms. i want to bring in tyler from our affiliate live in harrisburg. we spoke with the mayor. he told us that folks didn't have a lot of time. the sirens went off but they just had a few minutes to run and seek shelter. you're on the ground and talking to folks. what is your understanding of what happened this morning? >> reporter: suzanne, as you mentioned, it just hit so fast people didn't have a lot of time to get to shelter and even if they were able to get to shelter the storm was so powerful it ripped right through a lot of this town. as you take a look behind me, a
bank has been torn and this starts the path of destruction. you be see here this is a strip mall close to a walmart here that has been destroyed. there was a wireless center, a payday loan place all in this strip mall here. i spoke to the manager of this store. he grew up in oklahoma. he grew up in tornado alley, he says. he's very used to experiencing tornadoes and being able to survive them. he said he's never heard anything like this tornado, he's never seen anything like the damage that this tornado left behind. we're also not too far away from where we had the most loss of life. there's an area of town called gaston city. it's about a quarter of a mile off behind me. that's where authorities say they have recovered ten dead and two children. more than 100 people have been injured so far. a lot of stories, talking to some of the survivors. most of them say when they started to hear the sound of that freight train, it lasted
two to three minutes long and even into a closet. they just huddled together with their loved ones and hope that the storm passed over. most of that storm was spared but as you can see, not everybody was so lucky. >> tyler, if you want to have your photographer again to go into that building behind you and tell us whether or not you know, was there anybody inside that building? it looks like a business there. it was early in the morning. was that an empty building or were folks, employees going in, starting their day? >> yeah, suzanne. this was a strip mall here that had several businesses inside. a supporting good store, payday loan operation in here as well. there was no one inside these buildings whenever the storm passed through. granted it passed through shortly before 5:00 this morning. luckily people were not there. that's what the managers of one of these stores told me. just imagine if someone had been here working. imagine if a lot of people had been at work and not been able
to get to a basement or underground or been with their families. this could have been a lot worse. granted we talk about how these tornadoes or severe storms hit, if they come during the night, that's usually the worse time. they are lucky that it came in otherwise they would have been inside. >> tyler, you said you spoke to the manager of the store, one of the stores behind you. what did he tell you about his experience, how he found out and what he discovered when he arrived. >> he said he grew up in oklahoma in tornado alley. he was used to getting calls of severe weather and living in illinois he didn't expect it to be quite this bad. whenever he arrived this is the first thing that he saw and he couldn't believe it. he was really just speechless. he started calling his co-workers. obviously they are not going to have work today. he's already come up with a plan. that's something that's been pretty remarkable, even with the
ten dead, the hundred injured, people are starting to dig into this debris and start to dig out and start to make plans about how they are going to move on. obviously that's going to be a very long process. >> who have you seen in the community? who have you talked to in the community? can you tell us their stories, their experiences? >> yeah, i talked to a lot of survivors. as a matter of fact, this walmart store had a lot of damage on the backside of the building. i talked to some of the people who actually worked there inside. they are actually in the middle of a shift change where people coming in to work in the early morning, when the doors open, when the wind came through, it started sucking people inside of the building because of that difference in the air pressure. people started running for cover. it's really unbelievable. lots of people after the storm passed, hugging, crying, looking for their loved ones. obviously a lot of the cell phone service has been jammed in this area for some time. a lot of people at work had to spend maybe a couple of hours trying to get ahold of their
loved ones, they weren't able to contact them because we have ten dead here. i want to say it's the most memorable visual that i have so far is actually a 2 by 4, a piece of wood stuck into the side of walmart. if you can imagine, the force that it would take for a 2 by 4 wood to stick into a concrete building, that's how strong this storm was. >> give us the lay of the land where you are in relation to the hospital. i understand that you said that the town behind you, if we can go to that, the picture of the town behind you, that's where there are actually people who died, fatalities there. is that community close to the hospital? is that close to the industrial complex there? >> reporter: yeah, it's only about five blocks away from the hospital. the hospital sits not too far behind me here, a about a mile or so. you can see gaston city, where we have had the fatalities and injuries here and that devastation. not too far away is the hospital. now, we understand that they have called in extra doctors.
other hospitals in this area have been put on standby so they can accept more patients. there are a lot of roads blocked off because there was debris blocking the roads to get to the hospital. one man said he was ill and needed to go see a doctor. they turned him around and said he needed to see someone else. unless someone is having a baby, you need to find another hospital. that's how serious the situation is here in harrisburg. we do know that the hospital did sustain some damage as well. they have been able to operate as smoothly as they can in devastation like this. >> tyler, who are those people behind you? i know we see camera crews and reporters. we see random folks walking around. are those people who came into work? are those people who are simply in shock? who are those people who are actually close to the damage? >> reporter: a little bit of both, suzanne. we've had lots of people here who are lookie-lous and people
trying to protect their belongings. obviously in a sporting good stores and wireless store, we have had people come out to try to prevent people from looting. in a small town where everyone knows everyone, you want to make sure that the people you know are safe and even if you don't know someone, you know somebody who knows that people who are directly affected by this storm. so a lot of people are just coming to check out either the people that are working with the rescue crews, trying to dig into that debris and hopefully find more people that may not be accounted for and obviously for their own interests to see how bad this was. >> and tyler you did mention a hospital that's not far away from where you are. you said about five miles or so from that town that was damaged very heavily. do you know anything about the damage to that hospital? we spoke to the mayor and he said that there was actually some structural damage to the hospital now. it may be difficult to get those
patients, to get those injured to that local hospital. >> reporter: yes, suzanne. we're only a mile away. only five blocks away from where this damage was. there are windows busted out and part of this hospital. that hasn't prevented them to help patients that are hurt in this storm. they have other hospitals in the area. no more about 20, 25 miles away on standby, on alert. we're told that doctors at those outlying hospitals have canceled their appointments to take in patients that have come from harrisburg. there has been damage to harrisburg hospital but there are other larger hospitals. >> tyler, thank you very much. excellent reporting. we're going to get back to jacqui jeras to talk about new information, new pictures, aerials that we're seeing out of kentucky. jacqui, what do we know about kentucky?
>> this is elizabethtown. the first storm that pushed through had public reports and law enforcement reports that a tornado went through. so there you can see pieces of twisted metal. i know that farm homes were damaged in the area. this was a very strong storm that continued to cause damage. there's a line of storages that have been kind of going one after the other moving through the same area. some people have been getting hit more than once here today. so this is likely a tornado in elizabethtown that produced this damage as well. there are two storms still active. we don't have ground troops at the immediate time but this is one that concerns me the most. this is in kentucky. i want to be very clear about this because the name of this town is very similar to the one that we've been talking about in illinois. this is what we call a tornado
vortex signature on it and so it is extremely likely that this is a tornado that's on the ground moving very quickly to the north and east. so harrisburg, kentucky, you need to be seeking shelter immediately, the lowest level of your home, away from doors and windows. we talk about safety rules and where your safe place is. if you have time, you want to put a helmet on yourself and put your baby in a car seat. if you live to the east of here, if you've lived up towards nicolas, those are are the preparations that i would be doing. i want to talk about this other storm where we see rotation near new haven. this is the same storm that moved through hodgonville. we know that the tornado got near if not producing tornado near the fairgrounds and near the high school. as far as we know that it did
not damage the high school itself. it moved through this region. we have damaging wind as well and lightning with these storms. so all three of those things are in extreme danger and the conditions are going to stay favorable over the next several hours. we're talking well through the afternoon and likely into the evening. the watches that are in place as of this time expire at the top of the hour but it's likely that we'll start to see some of them extended and then we'll watch for them to be issued to the east of those locations. so these are new pictures just coming in. this tornado literally moved through less than an hour ago. it's amazing to think that we're able to show you aerials and some of the damage that has occurred in that area. we don't have any information right now out of elizabethtown in terms of injuries or fatalities. we just know that there's been some extensive damage throughout
this area. so you can see pieces of homes, you can see what looks like outbuildings and farm buildings that have collapsed within itself. now, it's likely that this tornado in elizabethtown was not with the intensity of the other ones that we were looking at in places like missouri and illinois. so we're talking about multiple states, at least six states dealing with this outbreak and we know for sure that there have been at least seven fatalities now and we expect that that number is going to continue to rise as we get more information. you know, it's really hard to assess all of this in a short period of time. this is an active emergency taking place that we don't want gawkers out there to try to take a look at the situation. law enforcement is trying to do their job. there may be people trapped and injured. we just don't know that information at this time. the other thing to think about,
look at that semitruck. there is natural gas leaking so explosions could happen. it's still a very active situation and that tornado that likely caused this damage in elizabethtown has now moved off to the east of there. also kind of notice in that picture right there, you can see that swirl that we saw on the ground. that also tells me that there was some rotation in this storm so it was likely a tornado as opposed to damaging winds. sometimes when we see winds in excess of 60, 70 miles per hour that can cause as much damage as a tornado. but when i've seen things moved and pushed in multiple directions, that's one of those signs that the national weather service will look for when they assess the damage to say, yes, indeed, this was a tornado. but we know that there have been multiple reports from the public and law enforcement.
so we do feel confident that this is a tornado situation that has been going on throughout this area. it's also amazing to see, look at that home. they are only looking at a little bit of damage as opposed to the home that we saw a second ago before this that sustained much more extreme damage. some of that could do with tornados and sometimes they hop and skip and jump a little bit, suzanne. >> all right. jacqui, we'll have much more on this breaking news, extensive damage and fatalities because of severe storms that have hit the state. we're going to take a quick break and be right back to this story in a few minutes. what is that? new crystal light energy -- for women. oh, right -- cause we can't handle a guy's energy drink? how do you plan to keep up drinking that girly --
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♪ the allstate value plan. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like allstate. tornadoes sarks, severe storages hitting six states. there have been ten fatalities. i want to go to tyler on the ground in harrisburg, illinois. we spoke earlier. give us a sense of what you were seeing on the ground there, the devastation. it's unbelievable when you look at those buildings that are behind you, these businesses that have just been ripped to
shreds. give us a sense of what you're seeing there. >> reporter: suzanne, it's absolute carnage here. earlier you were talking about damage that straight-line winds can do as opposed to a tornado. you can see off in the distance gaston city. this is where ten fatalities have happened. it's not too far from the harrisburg center medical hospital. on the right-hand side of your screen there is a house that is untouched and then you can see right next door, literally right across the street there are houses that have been destroyed. so you can see very specifically a very straight line of damage that this tornado left behind it in its path. there is destruction for a lot of parts here on the southeastern side of the city. obviously we have a strip mall here that we showed you before the commercial break, as well as a bank. very lucky, though.
there is a senior home, a house of 75 seniors. we're told that did not sustain any damage. that's the good news. with ten dead, including two children and more than 100 injured so far in saline county, it's a very devastating storm. >> tyler, do we know the circumstances surrounding the two children that died? >> reporter: we don't know the circumstances surrounding the death. we also don't know the names of those yet. they may be releasing that information at 2:00 at a press conference here in harrisburg. there are also a lot of power outages on this part of town. there are power lines down. still debris over the roadway. this region is full of small to mi mid-size towns. so to be able to handle an event like this, they've called in law
enforcement agencies, including illinois department of natural resources, conservation police that is here and obviously you can see here this is why the damage behind me and it's widespread and as we talk about tornadoes, sometimes they can touch down, lift back up, and touch back down again which seems to be happening in saline county. >> tyler, show us and describe for us what it was like at 4:30 in the morning local time when this thing first hit. >> reporter: okay. obviously it was very dark
outside. this is a strip mall that houses several stores. i'll ask the photographer to zoom in on this eye beam. it's very warm at this time of the year and we did expect even the day before that we were going to have strong storms with a possibility of a tornado. so people may have been on alert. we were asking people here to turn on radios overnight. whenever you have a power outage in the middle of the night, these things can creep up on you very, very quickly. and then again there are still a lot of people at that time sleeping and prevents them from seeking shelter and we also know in the area that's sustained a lot of this damage on the southeastern part of town, there are duplexes there set aside for senior citizen living which may have made them maybe perhaps more unable to move to a safer place, away from the storm or maybe not strong enough to be
able to survive it. but, again, we don't know the exact ages of those ten dead so far other than the fact that two of them are children, suzanne. >> all right, tyler. we had a chance to talk to mayor gregg earlier from the community where you are. if you get a chance to talk to law enforcement or any of the folks who are trying to assist through all of this, that would be great. in the meantime, i want to take us to a bit of sound here. this is the mayor. earlier today when i was talking to him and he was describing the situation where residents had just a few minutes, the alarms went off, sounds went off and just a few minutes to gather themselves, collect themselves, and run for cover, here's how the mayor describes one person how they experienced this this morning. >> just to cut a path of destruction that's just absolutely devastating and heartbreaking. i mean, i was out 15 minutes after the event happened and was on site with several of the
other council members and our city crews and we were doing everything that we can working with emergency personnel and trying to get -- again, trying to assess the damage and the injuries and of course unfortunately the loss of life. in small communities it's heartbreaking. we all know each other. we are all -- we all care very much about each other and this is just something that happens in an area that, you know, we hope and pray to god it never happens. we see what happens in other parts of the country. and now it's come to our doorstep. we're going to have to do what we have to do and continue working every day until we do what has to be done to put this back on track. but it's just a very difficult day and a very good community in southern illinois. >> mayor, can you describe for us how big this area is? we're looking at aerial pictures here and it's hard to get a sense of the extent of it and the size of the community there that's been hit so hard.
we can see the damage. but how big of an area is this? >> reporter: it looks like the tornado actually stayed on the ground for a few miles and then the path that it cut was -- it looks like a length of at least three or four football fields in some areas. we have homes and semis toppled, cars thrown in lakes and everything else. it's just -- you can't imagine how devastating it is until you're there. i mean, it's like nothing i've ever seen and frankly don't ever care to see again and, again, my heart goes out to those we've lost today in our community and the families and all the people that are hurting today. we've had several injuries as well and millions of dollars of structural damage. >> we are following a breaking news story. severe storms as well as tornadoes touching down in at least six states. hundreds injured and ten confirmed dead so far.
many missing still. a rescue search and rescue efforts going on throughout the six states. we're going to have a lot more on this breaking news story after a quick break. obviously devastation that is occurring in six states. we're talking ten have been killed and hundreds injured, many still missing. [ female announcer ] water was meant to be perfect. crisp, clear, untouched. that's why there's brita, to make the water we drink, taste a little more, perfect. reduce lead and other impurities with the advanced filtration system of brita.
severe storms and tornadoes hitting at least six states hit. harrisburg, illinois, in particular. we have now confirmed that ten people have died because of these severe storms across midwest. we are talking about more than 100 people injured, still many, many missing. if you take a look at the kind of devastation and damage that is on the ground here, there are reports from the mayor as well as other officials that anywhere from 250 to 300 homes have been destroyed or damaged. 25 businesses as well. again, there are still a lot of people that they are looking for, people have been trying to
assess the kind of damage and what they are looking at here. these are storms, severe storms and tornadoes that hit as early as 4:30 in the morning local time there, giving people very little time to prepare, to actually pick up their belongings and simply move to get to shelter as quickly as possible. they do expect that there could be more fatalities reported as the day goes on. they are just trying to assess what is taking place right now but obviously late night, early morning severe weather that impacted hundreds and hundreds of people across the midwest. we're following this developing story as we get more information we're going to give that to you. again, ten confirmed dead so far. they expect that that number will rise as the day goes on. another story we're following, 2012 off to a rocky start for one italian cruise ship operator.
today the "costa allegra" is being taken to shore. this comes after another cruise line wrecked off the coast of italy. >> do you go on cruises? >> no, not after the horrible things that have happened. >> if i wanted to go, i would go. i mean, i don't really go by what happened. airplanes crash all the time, too, but i still fly. >> i never would have gone in the first place but that just confirms my thoughts, i suppose. >> in a congressional hearing, i understand survivors of the original crash, "costa
concordia". >> yes, there was a couple celebrating their fifth anniversary with this cruise. it was their first night on this ship. she was only wearing a cocktail dress that she ended up wearing as they tried to get rescued from the ship and they went without direction from the crew for what was going on, essentially found their own way to life jackets and life boats. listen to samir describe what those hours were like. >> they had enough time to 9:30 to 11:00 when we were on a lifeboat because we waited. we remained seated in the dining room for half an hour for them to tell us. if they had told us immediately, i mean, they had more than three hours to get everybody out and that was more than enough time rather than everything happening in the last half hour when two decks were already under water
when we got out and we were on the fourth one. >> indeed the sharmas didn't even know that the boat had struck a rock until they got to the u.s. embassy, suzanne. they were told that little about what was going on. >> and congress is looking at the disaster today. what is likely to change? >> well, right now there is no law that says you have to have a safety drill to tell everybody where to go in the event of a disaster at port. it only has to happen in the first day. so there were many passengers that didn't know what to do. congress is thinking about making that mandatory. several of the lifeboats were accessible because the ship tipped over on its side, as you can see, suzanne. >> all right. lizzie, thank you very much. mitt romney getting his mojo back. how did he do it? we're going to ask a political insider what is behind mitt romney's big win in arizona. they've been committed to putting clients first.
we have breaking news. we have more severe weather. jacqui jeras is joining us. >> one of which has a history of producing damage and this is the one we're most concerned about south of lexington, kentucky. this includes mercer counties and houston, month gom ree and stewart counties. this is in tennessee in clarksville.
this is for houston, montgomery, stewart counties. you need to be seeking shelter immediately as that storm appears to be intensifying right now. we also have new video coming in. this is out of elizabethtown and that is what you see in the upper corner of your screen and that was a likely tornado that happened about an hour, hour and a half ago that moved through the area. now, it appears that it missed the downtown area and stayed mostly on the out skirts but there were numerous buildings, homes, as well as outbuildings as it sustained considerable amount of damage and it's a live, working situation as we speak. we don't know about injuries or fatalities or how widespread the situation is there in elizabethtown at this time. it appears that those storms have moved out of elizabethtown and some drier weather is going to push into this area. now, we also have other breaking information. we have a new tornado watch which has just been issued, just literally a minute ago.
that's this big red box here. it includes the city of nashville, the city of bowling green, the city of lexington, kentucky. these are large, metropolitan areas that can be experiencing tornadoes in the upcoming hours. now, just to the west of there, these little boxes that stretch up towards cincinnati, those expire at the top of the hour and that's because these storms are moving extremely rapidly off to the east. so these are the kind of tornadoes moving at 50 or 60 miles per hour. that's as fast as you're moving on the interstate. imagine that. these are not tornadoes that you can run from. these are tornadoes that you have to hide from. so keep those tornado safety rules in mind today. you need to be extremely alert. you need to be communicating with your family and loved ones where you're going to go and what you're going to do. that's the lowest level of your home, away from doors and
windows. get to a stairwell, which is often a very good place for you to be under these situations. keep that in mind in the upcoming hours. look at that mangled metal. >> go ahead, suzanne. >> i was just looking at these pictures and the devastation. can you tell whether or not those are the kind of tornadoes touching down quickly and bounce being back up or is this the kind of tornado that is ripping through communities and sticking around for a while creating maximum damage? >> you know, from what i've seen so far, we've seen things touching down for a while, lifting back up and potentially going back down again. you really can't get a good look at it until you get up into the air and see those widespread paths that move on through the area. but these do appear a little more spotty and you think you might be in the clear and all of a sudden it may ramp back up again and touch back on the ground once again as well. it's hard to tell the intensity
of these storms at least that we're looking at here in elizabethtown because it has been so spotty and a lot of these have been outbuildings here. when i see twisted metal, when i see things leveled from the ground, we can talk about an ef-2 tornado on a scale of zero to five. >> jacqu ichlt i. if you're in one of those areas where there's a watch or warning, take cover. it's a very serious situation. a lot of damage and already lost lives now cnn con confirming at least ten people have died because of the severe weather. hundreds and hundreds of people have been injured and millions of dollars worth of destruction. more after the break. just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule.
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today. if i'm the president, i will bring in the keystone pipeline, get oil from canada, and get the energy secured. >> the president's done a lot of long-term bad things for gas prices here in america. you know, he has shut down pretty much all oil and gas drilling on federal lands. he's denied permits for offshore. as you know, he put a long-term moratorium on deep water drilling. he's refused to open up the alaska wildlife refuge and refuses to open up the keystone pipeline where oil is being produced in canada and even north dakota. >> so before anybody decides to take on president obama, it comes down to delegate counts. the latest estimates show that mitt romney has 167. rick santorum, 48. newt gingrich remains at 38. ron paul takes 1144 delegates to
take the nomination. romney clobbered rick santorum in the arizona primary. political scientist bruce merrill is a senior researcher at arizona state university. you've become a regular here. i like this. >> i have. >> tell me what happened here, why did we see such a surge when it came to romney? >> well, i think for a couple of reasons. number one, santorum made the right decision. he pulled out with about a week, ten days to go. romney was very well organized and had a massive get out to vote campaign, a lot of media, a lot of money. he should be given credit for the size of the win here. but what we found in the exit polling both here and in michigan is exactly your point. the conservatives are going to have to decide, do they want to
defeat barack obama or are they going to continue to move away from romney on social issues? and romney is still having a very hard time connecting with working class people and with social conservatives and yet by far he has the best chance to beat obama in the fall if they really want to win. >> let's talk about arizona because some of the democrats are actually quite enthusiastic about the possibility of arizona going to this go around. last time it went to mccain. there are a couple things that they pointed to that was mccain's home state. there was low turnout and also the role of hispanics this go around that they believe they've got all of those advantages that could turn this state. do you think that's true? >> i think it's possible. it's not likely. his panics are such an important part of the growing electorate in arizona but they have not participated at all in the past. and there's not a lot of evidence that there's something that is going to be on the
ballot that is really going to motivate them. however, the things you say are true. they are increasingly active a little bit. the democratic senate in the fall and that's the economy is improving in arizona and it's going to be increasingly a status quo, i think. >> and finally, looking forward to super tuesday, the longer this thing goes on, does that help or hurt president obama? >> i think it helps him actually. because i think there's always the argument that this is good competition. we're learning how to be strong. but the criticisms have been so personal and so scathing that it's going to be hard to bring some of those people back aboard in the fall. and so i really think it divides and deepens the division in the republican party. >> all right.
bruce merrill, very mice to see you again. we're going to miss you. >> well, we're going to miss you. >> thank you once again. >> okay, suzanne. okay. we've got breaking news. obviously we're following severe weather taking place across the midwest. six different states affected by this. we have on the phone jane harper from harrisburg, illinois. she works at a hospital in harrisburg. if you can give us a sense, first of all, what hospital is it? the one that the mayor told us has been hit and damaged? or is it another one? >> yes, we were hit. the name of the hospital is harrisburg med can center. >> and tell me about the damage, the extent of the damage. >> part of the south wall of the hospital was blown out. a couple of patient rooms lost a wall. one of the head nurse's office lost part of a wall. there were a couple of windows in patient rooms that were blown out. the south door was damaged.
there's ceiling tiles everywhere and water leaking and it was a mess. >> i understand that what we were just watching there and seeing were some of the photos that you took of the hospital, the extent of the damage. have you had to move any patients out of the hospital? is your care, is your hospital operating as it normally would? >> it's my understanding that -- i don't speak for the hospital. it's my understanding that what the hospital has decided is to try and move everyone out, transfer the ones who can be transferred, discharge the ones who can be discharged and then the structural engineer before any decision is made about when to reopen and what needs to be done before that. but, yes, we were moving patients when the storm hit because we had some warning and
so the patients on the wing that had been damaged had moved to the radiology suite and more reinforced than anything else. >> so you were actually at the hospital at this moment and you say that patients are being moved out of the hospital to other facilities? >> that's my understanding. i left several hours ago and you really will have to talk to the public relations people at the hospital to double-check. but that was my understanding when i left. >> were you there? >> yes. >> were you there when the tornado struck? tell me what happened? >> yes. >> tell me what happened, what you experienced. >> well, i had seen the storm warning on television and i called the emergency department to make sure that the word got out that a tornado was coming. and just as i got off the phone with them i heard the wall implode and the storm did not actually sound that close but
then the wall blew out and the ceiling tile started to come down. i went running out into the corridor to see if there was anything that i could help with and that was while the nurse rs down on that particular wing were in the process of getting the patients moved out. i think by that time almost all of them had been put into the radiology suite. but when the storm hit -- >> i'm sorry? >> yes, please go ahead. when the storm hit -- >> when the storm hit, of course, all of the fire alarms went off and all of the automatic doors closed and we lost power and that was -- that was -- i think the only time that anybody even came close to getting hurt, i believe. one of the nurses was knocked on to her backside by one of the doors closing in her face. but that was the only --
anything even close to injury that i saw when i was there and i left between -- i think it was about 8:30 this morning before i left. >> what was the reaction of the patients when this storm hit your hospital? >> some of them were nervous. i don't think any of them were really scared because i'm not sure they really understood what was happening. there was one relative who was still in the hospital at that time and who was really fright fened because she was right behind the nurse that had the door slammed in her face and that startled all the noise and doors closing and such. but the group of patients that i was with in radiology, they were actually amazingly calm.
and the staff was fabulous. they were just phenomenal. >> tell me how that evacuation took place. can you describe how the patients were being moved out of the hospital at that time. >> well, we weren't taking them out of the building. we were taking them into the center of the building where it's most structurely sound and solid. around the radiology suite where all of the heavy x-ray equipment is. that's part of the building and what ptd hospital policy calls for when there's a tornado warning, is to get people away from the windows and into the interior of the building. most of them came in wheelchairs. there were a couple that were brought in on their beds because they would not have been able to stand the transfer into a chair and rather than try and mess around with gurneys and carts and what not, they would unplug the bed and take it. and it's a very small hospital so there were probably only maybe a dozen patients in that area at the time.
>> jane, thank you very much. we want to tell our viewers that if there's a way that you believe you can help, go to cnn.com/impact. there are people that have questions and concerns about their loved ones on the ground, those are who are missing, those that are hurt, go to cnn.com/impactyourworld. again, we are talking about at least seven dead, six states involved, hundreds of people injured, millions of dollars in damage, and, again, a hospital right there in harrisburg, illinois, where we were just speaking with one of the workers there, this is a growing and developing story there will be a lot of people that will need
help. i'm going to take a quick break and we'll be right back. aveeno. it nurtures hair back to strong, healthy life. our exclusive active naturals wheat protein formula works with your hair, targeting damage, restoring strength and resilience for up to 90% less breakage in just three washes. find peace with your hair. [ female announcer ] and discover strong, healthy hair with life. new nourish+ strengthen, from the nourish+ hair care collection. only from aveeno.
tolg following a breaking news story. a lot of people are impacted. we're talking about severe weather, tornadoes touching down and six different states affected. most severely in kentucky and illinois. we're talking about homes hit, schools destroyed, businesses, whole communities hit by these powerful tornadoes and storms. cnn has now confirmed at least ten people have died from these severe storms of those ten, at least two children. hundreds of people have been injured. there is an active search and rescue as people comb through the rubble searching for anyone who might have survived in those communities. we know that close to 300 homes
that have been damaged or destroyed in illinois alone and so far people are trying to make sense of what has taken place. you can see there people who are looking at the damage trying to assess if there are any survivors. people have been sent to local hospitals where there have been various injuries. one local hospital actually hit by the tornado. we're going to have a lot more on this breaking news story but i want to hand it over to randi kaye as the cnn news story continues. >> hello, everyone. i'm randi kaye. we begin with deadly storms roaring across the midwest. we have the incredible destction as tornado watches and warnings continue. right now we've confirmed that at least seven people are dead. scores injured.