tv Newsroom International CNN July 27, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
what is going on, but, yeah, here at the center of london as it were at hyde park we got tens of thousands of people already pulling in. it reiained a little bit this morning, but the weather is cheering up and you know it is a bit inclement of late, but the weather has been a lot better, fredricka. we have had the olympic torch relay through london over the last couple of days, and i think that i spoke to you early this week about it and the sun shown and it is marvelous. >> it has spoiled everybody and for those who are about to descend on london they are believing sunny skies and i packed all of the rain gear, and now here the rain is coming back, but it is quintessential london and it is not going to dampen the spirits of the athlete athletes and they know what to expect. they have been training for all climates that could descend on london as well. so there in hyde park, and hyde park has become multipurpose, ha hasn't it?
you have a fan zone there, an concerts taking place, and i understand throughout the park, there are big screens so that if you don't have tickets to any of the events, you will get a chance to watch it, right? >> that is right. that is right. let me describe how dur ran dur r -- duran duran and this enormous british band of the 1980s were slightly disappointed they weren't playing at the opening ceremony and they have described it like this, this is the headman hill of the olympics as it were. if you haven't gotten a ticket to the opening ceremony, and let me tell you that the tickets were around $3,000 per person. >> no! >> and there are actually some left as a result of that. if you haven't gotten a ticket, this is one of the places in london and around the country that you can come and watch the ceremony so that the idea is that the four big bands tonight here will connect in with the ceremony and the ceremony and i will give you a little bit of information the ceremony has four parts and quintessential english and fields and animals
and nurses and various things, but as that breaks across the four parts the bands will play in the big areas around the country. don't forget this is london 2012, but a national event. the torch relay very much personified that. lots of people complaining when we first got this event back in 2005 that it was all about london, a mond most of the even are here in london, but some other stadia elsewhere, but it is 8,000 miles around the country with the torch and 13 million people hit the streets to see it and today i was down at henry viiith spectacular seat down at the hampton court palace where the torch was taken on to the gloriana that barge that was rained on in the diamond jubilee, and it was very much about getting the whole nation
involved, taand the torch relay was all thabt. now, tonight, the focus is back here, back here in central park and to the east of london in stratford and the old area so rundown until we got the olympics and completely rejuvenated and all of the grumbling and the mumbling aut it. >> a lot of that, wasn't there? >> and the austere times and you know the cabbies are still doing it here. and they are moaning a little bit, but even they have smiles on their faces, because the traffic is moving and listen, the people are moving around, and there is a real sense now of anticipation. >> oh, that is cool. okay. all of the frowns are now upside down and smiley faces everywhere. thank you, becky, from the fan zone there. let's move on the piers morgan and zain verjee and you are right at the olympic park, right? oh, there it is, the stadium behind you. are the people as excited and the electricity moving through
the area there like the fan zone, piers? >> can't you tell by any expressions this is the most exciting thing of all time? >> yes, i am happy to see it. >> i don't know what mitt romney has to say about this, but we are having a blast here, and more reserved here in great britain. well, actually it is a great time and building suspense with four hour h ss away from the opg ceremo ceremony, and it will be extraordinary, paul mccartney, the queen, david beckham, and michelle obama, and farm animals and recreating an english countryside scene with cows and sheep and chickens and if that is not british, nevermind beijing, that is what it is about, farm animals and david beckham. >> well, sheep, and cows and geese -- >> fantastic, and the best headline so far is the zun "su "
"is becks and, beatles and the queen and baked beans. this is the affectionate term for her majesty. and so we will have james bond coming in on some contraption and david beckham marching up the celebrities and paul mccarthy singing "hey jude" and it is going to be great, right, zain? >> and yes, with sheep. one of the things that they want to do with the sar mceremonies built it around william shakespeare and the "tempest." >> you have been reciting shakespeare all day, and come only you want to show off. give me a little bit. >> this is xrshgs calaban on th before the island and "ye, be
not afraid of the sight and noises of the ships". >> and this is fantastic. you should be out there. >> i do, too. i cried but to dream. the idea is that this is magical and fan tas tastical and lord vr and it is going to be extravagant. >> and this is going to be quintessential british, and i am told that there will be an edwardian cricket scene in there. i am so excited about that. >> i have always wanted to see an edward cricket scene. finally some cricket. >> because you have to. so they will recreate the industrial era and the steel
workers and the great nahs will be there and hospital beds will be wheeled out. >> free health care for all in great britain is another great attributes. >> and people of social media, twitter and facebook. >> and the most talked about story is mitt romney and the papers here just about summing up his bad day. this one, i think it is the best, "who invited party pooper romney?" that is the question of all britains asking. >> i like this one, "mitt the twit." >> he is having it but i feel sorry for him, because all he was saying what everyone in britain has been saying this the last month and moaning away, but the moment an american politician moaned we decided to turn on him. classic british reaction. we will take a break and when we come back, eight gold medals last olympics and i talk to michael phillips about his possible last olympics and i talk to his mother about one of the chief rivals for the gold. it should be interesting.
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games here in london and we have two records. i didn't know that south korea was so good at archery, but athletes set the best at the team and individual events and star olympian imdong-hyun broke a record, and that is not going to go down well for records, but the most decorated is still to come, michael phelps, and i sat down with the 27-year-old swimming legend which airs sunday night, and this is what he said about the athlete he admires most. >> reporter: who are your sporting idols? >> michael jordan. >> why him? >> he changed the sport of basketball in my eyes and how it, you know, on and off of the court, the guy, i mean in my eyes made basketball what it is.
and, you know what he did -- >> have you met him? >> no, i haven't met him. >> what would you ask him if you were able to meet michael jor n jordan? >> well, i have had that thought. a lot. >> what's the thing that you are most curious about with him? >> i mean, i think that part of me would ask him about what made him come back to the sport, what made him go to basketball and then decide to come back, excuse me, baseball and then come back to basketball. you know, i think that one of the coolest things that a i love about him is that it didn't matter what he had going on off of the court or if he was sick or this or that and he never used it as an excuse and came out every single night on the court to do what he had to do to get the job done, and that is what champions do. it does not matter what else is going on when you walk into the
arena or whatever you excel at, and you are there to take care of the job that you have to do. michael phelps, and clip there from the interview i conducted with him airing monday night and i inspire you to watch it, because it is a conversation with america's greatest olympian, and the only person who could stop michael phelps firm firmly in his gold medal winning tracks is ryan lochte, a brilliant swimming rival and i have been joined by his mother. how nervous are you feeling about that? >> a lot. i am sure about the swimming, i know that he has done everything that he possibly could, and he has done the extra training to get to where he feels confident about himself, but as far as the mom, i'm so nervous for him. >> and if i were in a olympic competition, my mother would be literally hyperventilating. >> i probably am, but thank goodness for the p&g house.
>> and that is the procter & gamble house. >> yes, they have been wonderful to us, and brought in all of the families so we can help each other. i got to see ryan as a surprise two days ago. >> great. how is he feeling? >> wonderful. he is like fooling around and -- >> is the pressure slightly off of ryan and you think that all of the pressure is on michael phelps, because he won eight gold medals in beijing and entering seven competitions this time, and if he does not win them all, he is not as good as he used to be and ryan is the hot new guy on the block, and probably less pressure than michael phelps. >> i don't think that ryan feels as though there is pressure on him, so i think that he's done everything that he needs to do, and the outcome will come at the end of the race. >> and i know they are good friends. >> yes. >> and they have great respect for each other. but be honest, you are rooting for your boy to take the phelps down, aren't you? >> not to take phelps down, but to win. it is a difference.
i don't -- i don't want him to lose, but i want my son to win. >> it is a special occasion in the opening ceremony and how do you feel about being in london and excited and a lot of enthusiasm when you go around? it is wonderful. it is the first time i have been here and i have taken in walks and traveled and i saw the parliament. >> do you think that mitt romney got out and walked around a little bit from the cavalcade he would have seen more enthusiasm on the streets. >> well, it is so fast moving so i'm used to florida where everybody is nice and slow, so. >> have you had fish and chips when you have been here with mushy peas? >> no, but a lot of potatoes. >> any good? good as florida potatoes? >> no, they are better. okay. so i will give you that. >> and tonight, what are you most excited about from the opening ceremony that you have heard? >> i want to see the americans walk through. i want to see the other
countri countries, but mostly the americans. i never got to see them in 2004 when i was almost able to watch it on tv. i ended up getting hit with three hurricanes and i missed it. >> wow, really? >> just as they were coming out. >> well, that is awful. >> i thought that my son was going to be swimming and missing it. >> and will you be watching? >> i will, but he won't. >> he won't be there? >> no, he swims tomorrow, and neither will michael phelps, because all of the swimmers swim tomorrow. >> and it is going to be exciting. >> yes, i am looking forward to it. >> all of the hoopla. and i can't imagine the dedication, because when i spoke to michael phelps he told me that he trained five consecutive years for up to eight hours a day without a day off before the beijing games and that is the dedication that people don't look at. >> i looked at the tapes of him with the strongman and i cringed when he pulled out the tie and i would say, stop doing that.
and he had four years before beijing and obvious ly he got tapered for beijing and right back to it and he has picked up the weight lifting program. >> well, i wish you all of the best and i am torn, because i like michael phelps and he was gracious the give me interview, but i like your boy, too, and it is going to be a hell of a swim off. >> a yes, and you want the best to win. >> yes. and actually a brit shall win. no, well, there is not a contender. and london has been absolutely fuming about what mitt romney had to say, and i sat down to talk to him about what head to say. >> i love london! yay. >> we are having such a great time getting up super early and seeing the torch.
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back at the olympic stadium in london with tension and excitement mounting, and there's less than four hours to go now until the big opening ceremony but all of the talk in britain is about one man and it is not an athlete, it is mitt romney. his remarks about the olympic security and whether london is ready have not been going down well. listen to london's mayor boris johnson rallying the brits to the rout ray jous -- outrageous comment comments. >> for all of the people coming from around the world who don't know about the preparations for the games, there is a guy named mitt romney who wants to know whether we are ready, and he wants to know whether we are ready. are we ready? are we ready? yes, we are. >> yes, we are ready, mitt romney. i concur with london's mayor, and we are ready indeed. you le site will see it tonight.
i met with mitt romney, and i did not show him this morning's headlines and you can see that not going down well, and you can see the problem with a name like mitt, it lends to rhyming geniuses like mitt the twit, and who invited mitt, the party pooper. when i spoke to him yesterday, he was in a nullifying mood. >> reporter: you have been slightly criticized for knocking the british enthusiasm as if you have not picked up on much enthusiasm are you feeling it now? >> i am delighted to see the support around the torch for instance. i watched on bbc last night about the torch being run across great britain and the kinds of crowds that millions of people had turned out to see the torch. that is what you hope to see. >> there was a poignant moment when you were asked to allow someone who was your hero to hold the torch, and you chose your wife. tell me about that.
>> well, ann had been diagnosed with ms in about 1998. and she was going downhill fast. her right side was numb. she was having a hard time getting upstairs. we were looking at potentially seeing a wheelchair in her future, and so as we got closer to the olympics, and she got stronger and stronger, we were hopeful that ann might be someone who could carry the torch into salt lake city. >> mitt romney and we are reairing the interview tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern and we have to give him credit for being accurate. what he has been saying is what the brits have been saying about the security problems in the last month, but the problem is like going to somebody's house for dinner and saying you don't like the ur can t curtains. you may not like the curtains, but you should not say so.
michelle obama had a better response about how london was doing and she said, they know what they are doing. and we do know what we are doing. and now the leader of the u.s. olympic delegation met with her. and hours before the opening ceremony olympic officials say that concerns have been addressed and now we take a look closer at the security issue. >> this is the image that the british government wants the portray on olympic security. unprecedented strength, warships on the thames and aircraft nearby, and also this, chaos as g4s failing to train enough guards. >> this is a humiliating shambles, isn't it? >> i cannot disagree with you.
>> reporter: we caught up with g4s candidates in london and they were candid about the organization of the company. >> a lot of people have given up and they have the accreditation and they have the travel passes around london and the uniform and they have quit, because g4s is a complete mess. >> reporter: many of the young recruits don't know where they will be working and some are still waiting to complete the training and get their accreditation and uniforms. most are students or long -term unemployed. under the current security structure, these staff are not under the command of the police. but former senior policeman says that is a mistake. he drew up the initial olympic security plan beforeleying the force and says that multiple private security firms should have been used overseen by the policek, not olympic organizers. >> i strongly now believe that there should be one single person who in fact, a uniformed person who in fact should be in charge and that should be the reference point at which everything from routine security
incidents all of the way through emergencies should actually go to. >> reporter: the man now coordinating olympic security says that criticism is unfair. >> i totally reject what he says in effect to the control, because what we are using is what we use day in, day out throughout the country and delivers major sporting events everyday. >> reporter: the army has stepped in to plug the gap, and thousands of extra troops are mobilize and required to work closely with the police embedded in every part of the police operation, including the london security control center for the olympics. this is the olympic security nerve center for london with 20,000 cameras, 8,000 more than normal, and up to 300 staff who are able to monitor just about every inch of all of the olympic venues. and if they do spot something, the men and women here have a
formidable arsenal to call on. typhoon jets to the northwest of london are on standby to intercept any aircraft trying the breach the strict air exclusion zone around the olympic village. >> we have got the sharp shooter, our numb beone step behind it to take the shot if needs be. >> reporter: that is of course is the worst case scenario in the air, but when it comes to secure i securing the perimeter at the olympic venues on the ground, the contingencies have been tested by the failure of the g4s and the games have not begun yet. >> i am joined live by dan rivers, and there is no doubt that what mitt romney was alluding to is a burning issue of concern to all of britain for the last month, and security has been the number one problem, because of the outsourcing to a company who just lost control of it. so he was right in what he said, wasn't he? >> he was.
i think that the problem, piers is that he was not specific about his criticism. he hadn't said this is a, you know, but gave the impression that the whole of london was not prepared, which of course is not true, but what has happened since the debacle and the army and the police have stepped in and now 18,200 troops deployed across london, much more than originally envisioned. but there was a trend heard from the home office that it is not a problem any more. it is not ideal, but the army have stepped up to the plate and plugged the gap. >> well, i can confirm that i spent three or four hours on hms ocean which is the biggest vessel in the british navy and they have the air force and the army and the navy there and well over 1,500 service people, but also a whole contingent of marines armed to the teeth and ready to go, and they had
helicopterers all on immediate standby alert which will have sniper snipers in the back. who will literally be here in a matter of a couple of minutes, and will be dealing with anything that happens. so i would say that britain is on as you say the greatest alert since the world war ii and we are ready for any eventuality, and you never know what will happen. for now, dan rivers, thank you very much. set the dvr, because there are interesting competitions to watch, and we are about to tell you which ones and why. ♪ ♪
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stadium in london. there are less than four hours to go know until the opening ceremony and star-studded extravaganza and we are told it is quintessentially british which leads me to alex thomas. it is all about the sport which we know it is a circus with farmyard animals and royals and celebrities, but on the sporting front, what are the five most important things you are going to see? >> well, a classic games on the sporting event which boils down to the basic essentials of the olympic. we have boiled it down to five things. starting with the men's 500 meters and that is the blue ribbon event of any olympic event, but traditionally the americans are the sprinting power and you have to look out for justin gatlin back from a drug ban, but it is about the jamaican rivalry, usain bolt and when he was disqualify ed inied
final. >> and you say does bolt fit or not? >> well, it is hard to answers, because he did not turn up to a training session in birmingham casting question marks, but johan blake also pulled out. either he was scared of my questions, but i don't believe that is the reason. >> that is the race you are most looking for. but i had ryan lochte's mother here and i think that is going to be amazing lochte and phelps battle. >> yes, the first events sets the tone for all of the events coming after it. mikechael phelps won eight gold medals in the beijing, and we remember mark spitz with seven, but lochte is looking forward to it. >> and he told me in an interview, he has only entered events that he believes he can win, so he has entered seven events. >> yes, originally eight and pulled out of one. and the men's basketball team.
>> and nobody is going to beat america at basketball. and if they lose, lebron james and kobe bryant, i mean. >> and the women's team have won the last four olympics running and only lost three times when it came back into the olympics in 1970. and oscar pistorius, and you know the paralympics compete, and this is great. anyone who meets oscar pistorius gets inspired. >> this is the most inspiring thing i have ever seen. this guy is an extraordinary example of resilience and determination against all adversity. >> no doubt that the scientific evidence has been proven that he does not get an unfair advantage and hey, he has no legs. >> you think it is unfair, try it. it is ridiculous, isn't it? and finally, the final one you chose and i like this. >> mariel zugunis and nobody heard of her, but she is going to carry the american flag, and she got into the game in athens
after someone was pulled out late. but it is like picking serena williams over somebody else. >> well, it is a cool sport, and you have picked some great choices and i can't wait for it to start. thank you, alex. in the midst of the sweat training, there is a one olympian who is the house mother who leads the olympians through tragedy and occasionally to trium triumph.
welcome back to the olympic stadium in london. excitement mounting with less than four hours to go with the opening sar mceremony and i am d by arguably the most important person of the entire american team. sherry von riesen, you are the housekeeper of the american athletes. >> i'm the mum as they call it
in england. at any given time i have 130 athletes that i live with. up to 15 years. >> and you know them better than anybody else. you have known michael phelps since he was 15 years old, and i love the best book you read to him. >> "how to train like a t-rex." >> that is his favorite book and i have known him since he was 15 and i said, michael, my kids have grown and i used to read them a book and my grandkids have moved and he looked a lt me and said, sherry, you are going to read me a book? i said, yes, i am. i sat him down with a picture and he has a big smile, because that is his favorite book. >> and most surprising because he is the t-rex of swimming. >> yes. >> how do you keep somebody like him in tiptop shape. what are the housekeeping rulings that you live by? >> i try guilt. at that age, it does not work. most of the athletes don't pay any attention to me, and i have tried guilt, but what i love
about the athletes is that they are wonderful and everything that you read about and more. if i'm having a bad day, they sense it, and they will always come and say, what can i do for you? what can i do for you? >> do you control things like food, drink, and that kind of thing and keep them hydrated? what are the basic rules? >> no, when somebody comes in and i have 130 athletes but at any time 400 will come in to visit like overnight guests and the first thing i say is you are in colorado and drink lots of water. other than that, i don't know them as athletes. i know more of their personal life. i know what they are like outside of the gym, outside of the pool. and that's the part i talk about, because the whole world knows them as athletes. >> i have met quite a bit of them and interviewed them for the last two months. they all strike me as con i the dent and outgoing and interviewing, and i love to interview an athlete, because they will tell you anything you want to know, but i was amaze ed by the sheer volume of them, and
are they eating like rabbits? >> what goes on in colleges? they are athletes and human beings? >> it is good for the performance and the track and the field and the pole vaulting? >> you are so trying to get me. >> it struck me. you are not going to tell me. >> we keep everyone in life safe. we believe in athletes happy and safe. >> does michael phelps sleep like a baby still? he is so laid back and he nearly fell asleep in my interview. >> i can believe that. i know that the last day when he left, i said, do you want to have a going away party and he said, no, i want to quietly leave like i came in. and i brought him some cream puffs, because he loves the cream puffs and i started to knock on the door and i said, he is playing video games and you don't interrupt him. so i had rudy garcia who is one of the paralympic athletes, and
said, knock on the door. and he knocked on the door and just a minute, i'm coming, i'm coming, and he said, we have just interrupted him. >> and don't interrupt the t-rex when he is doing video games. >> yes. >> lovely to meet you, sherry. >> one thing, they have been over in london and thank you for the wonderful, wonderful games that you are putting on and now i have many, many athlete children that i have now adopted everyone in london, and you are my -- >> maybe you should be adopting mitt romney and get him into the spirits of the games. >> i am adopting london. >> thank you, sherry, for all you do. i want to come and be mothered by you. >> you got it. >> we will be back with more after the break. mine was earned off vietnam in 1968. over the south pacific in 1943. i got mine in iraq, 2003. usaa auto insurance
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welcome back to the olympic stadium in london, and excitement, really building up. i wish that mitt romney could feel this. i wish he had stuck around and been with me for today, because he would have gotten into this, i think. throughout the hour we will bring you the sights and sounds as britain brings the whole world london and the great olympic stadium. [ chimes ] >> big ben rang in the day, and
the famous clock chimed more than 40 times. [ cheers and applause ] >> and people across the country joined in by ringing bells for three minutes a new olympic record. the torch was carried down the thames by gloriana, and it is now out of view until the opening sar mceremony and every wants to know who is going to light it? is it going to be the queen, sir roger banister, the man who broke the four-minute mile, or my probable favorite i won't say. leave it a surprise. the first time ever, and women will be in the boxing ring for the olympics and we have the story of one american who fought virtually every day of her life to be here right now. there's big news.
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welcome back to the olympic stadium here in london where we are three and a little bit of hours away from the opening ceremonies. my ap pologies as mike kearnan s said is that the olympic stadium behind you, because i can hardly see past your giant head. it is, and my head is not that giant. meanwhile, female boxers will be stepping into the rink for the first time. at 12-year-olds, marlen esparza, the young girl from texas is poised to become a star. we take up her story. ♪ >> when you beat somebody in the ring, you are not just beating them up or something. you are like beating the entire symbolism of them. you are beating who they are.
>> reporter: marlen esparza's early mornings start with math, how much to eat. how far to run. how many pounds, sprints, crunches, and how many endless hours of training will it take to win? why are you here everyday? >> i want to win. this is my life and this is what i do. like, i can honestly say that this is who i am. right here, you are with me, and this is what i do. >> reporter: esparza trains in a gym along a lonely stretch of houston's i-10. coach rudy silva took charge of her life when she was just 12. she is now 22. is she allowed to have a boyfriend? >> no. >> reporter: is she allowed to party on the weekends? >> no. >> reporter: is she allowed to take a few days off and not train because she is worn out? >> no. >> reporter: that is a lot of noes. >> yes.
>> marlen esparza! >> reporter: esparza won the first of seven national championships by age 16. she dreamed of fighting at the olympics even though boxing was the only sport that didn't allow women. >> it was a big goal. >> yes, it is huge. i feel like if i go to the olympics and medal that i could probably be totally happy for the rest of my life. yeah, like completely happy. >> reporter: and now the olympic glass ceiling has been shattered. women will be boxing at the london games for the first time in history. sponsors have lined up behind marlen, nike, cover girl, coca-cola. and her community is excited to have a latina star. >> the mexicans are totally going to love it. they will freak when it happens. >> reporter: esparza was the first american female boxer to qualify for the games. her dream of going to the
olympics is now just around the corner. >> i think that the atmosphere and the energy is going to be just like something that i have never felt and that is one of the main things that i'm kind of looking forward to. that is going to put me over the top and ready to compete. >> reporter: marlen arrived in london this week just as she is appearing all over the united states in advertising for mcdonald's and coca-cola and other ads and a long dream for a girl from texas whose dream comes to fruition on august 5th in london. soledad o'brien, cnn, new york. >> thank you, soledad o'brien. we will bring you marlen esparza's story as she attempts to make her dreams come true. and there has been talk about the clothes that the athletes are wearing in the olympics and then the clothes that the people aren't wearing. and we will explain this picture and what it has to do with the olympic games after this break.
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welcome back to the olympic stadium in london where we are three hours away from the opening ceremony which is going to be quite spectacular. several stories caught our attention and several pictures. look at first lady mitt romney who got right into it playing tug of war as part of the "let's move london" event. looking at tom daily and jack lappa posing at olympic park. and finally a cultural prez presentation, and this is what is called a hacker to welcome in the games. you don't want to mess with them. i'm done for now and i want to go get a half pint of harvey's bitters and sit back to watch what is the greatest opening ceremonies in the history of olympics and i speak as a proud brit, mitt romney. now i toss over to fredricka whitfield, and good day to you whitfield, and good day to you all. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
hello, everyone. i'm fredricka whitfield in for suzanne malveaux. in this hour, mitt romney manages to make headlines with foot in mouth comments that offended the british prime minister and the mayor of london and other stories that we are following and right to it. people are mopping up and assess ing the damage in parts of the northeast today and a series of severe storms swept through communities in new jersey and pennsylvania and new york and the storms left hundreds of thousands of customers without power. a brooklyn man was killed after lightning hit a church causing a scaffold to fall on him. a falling tree crushed a pennsylvania woman's car. >> i was coming home from the grocery store and the sky was pitch black and next thing you know the back door swinging open and my son is yelling from the front of the house, get out here and get out here, and came out and watching the trees fall and it is chaos. >> we will check in with the cnn severe weather