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tv   Americas Newsroom With Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith  FOX News  September 14, 2018 6:00am-9:00am PDT

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the damage, we don't know what it will be like this sunday coming up but so many first responders have been unable to go out because the wind has to be below 40 miles an hour and that is not the case down there right now. ainsley: this is the top story today.
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>> bill: we have done our best to be safe so we bring you this story. here we go. sandra, good morning to you back in new york city. >> sandra: thank you, bill, for your reporting on the ground there and still blowing hard. i'll take it back in new york city. hurricane florence now officially sweeping through the carolinas, the category 1 storm
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slowing down and packing a big punch. over 400,000 people without power in north carolina. that number is expected to go up and at that hour we're awaiting three big events. an update from fema in about 15 minutes. also at 11:00 a.m. we'll hear from the governor of north carolina as well as the national hurricane center. we'll look forward to the big update at the top of the 11:00 hour there. meanwhile senior meteorologist janice dean is tracking the hurricane. what are we looking at? >> now getting reports of 500,000 in north carolina without power and we're also getting reports of over 30 inches of rain in atlantic beach where griff jenkins is. this is a storm that has just gotten started across portions of the carolinas. it made landfall at 7:15 eastern time at wrightville beach at 90 mile-an-hour
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sustained winds. the eye is on shore. the back of the storm is about to also make its way onshore. you can see in the yellows and reds is where we have the really strong core of winds that still maintaining its strength. still staying together. bill hemmer got a wind gust earlier of 105 miles per hour. we're about 76 in wilmington. some reporting 69, 70 miles an hour and new bern and jacksonville we're not reporting because the stations are down. here are some of the peak wind gusts we've gotten from the storm. i'm stressing it is wind event absolutely, but this is more of a rainfall and a storm surge story that is going to last for days. on top of that, the flash flooding is going to be concerned. the worst part of the storm is
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the northeast side. morehead city, wilmington will get the back side. flash flood watches and warnings posted in north carolina and south carolina where we think the storm will track next and the potential for tornado because of the counter clockwise motion with these landfalling hurricanes and interaction with the upper level winds and wind-shear. we have the threat of tornadoes that could cause damage. we're getting information from jacksonville, north carolina. because the storm is moving so slowly, it will be the legacy of this event because we'll be talking about it for days. here are some of the rainfall totals. you can see in excess of 30 inches. 20 to 30 inches already and this storm just got onshore. it is going to be a long duration event. on top of that, we still could see the potential for 7 to 11 foot storm surge, the wall of
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atlantic ocean moving in with the counter clockwise winds to the tributaries, streams and rivers and it is overwhelming them. new bern got a report of over 10 feet of storm surge with people that still need to be rescued. on top of the 20, 30 inches, additional 10 to 20 inches to come. not just a north carolina story, a south carolina story and in toward virginia, tennessee river valley and ohio valley. we aren't done with the storm. we'll continue to cover it not only today but through the weekend because of its slow-moving motion, forward motion. 5 miles per hour and meander bringing historic rainfall totals. >> sandra: janice, thank you. back to bill now. >> bill: sandra, we'll talk to the mayor in wilmington. they've done a good job of
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warning people and taking precautions. we'll get a sense how they fared overnight and the message today. a lot of trees down in a two-block area where we are. we had a window smash in the hotel from a branch. it's the danger with the winds coming through. griff jenkins is a little bit away from us now in atlantic beach, north carolina. i think you're starting to feel the back end of the storm where you are. how are conditions there? we're doing our -- go for it, griff, if you've got us. >> okay. thanks. yeah, we're in atlantic beach and janice is right. we're just getting pounded. we're in the parking lot of the pier yesterday watching it bob and weave. you can see the debris flying.
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it is unbelievable. if we turn -- [inaudible] >> bill: we're going to dry our best throughout the day here to make sure the equipment works but also that we stay in a safe area. and we don't take many chances here. wealth owe -- we'll get a connection back with griff in a moment. if you were taking the cape fear river you would hit carolina beach. michael cramer is the sound manager. i believe we have a connection with you on the phone. how are things where you are? >> right now pretty calm. we're in the eyewall and we've gotten a little bit of a break in the wind and the weather here for just a little bit and we're sending crews out to look at damage assessment and survey the area. >> bill: do you have an assessment for how you did overnight yet, michael?
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>> right now it looks like we have just a couple of small issues for damage, roofs here and there, small wall that has collapsed. but other than that, most of it is minor debris, trees and things like that. not very much flooding. we don't have too much in the way of power lines or phone lines in the road but we are completely out of power on the island. so that's about 6,000 residents. >> bill: you are about on the underbelly of the storm, is that right, michael, the southern end of it? >> yes, that's correct. >> bill: do you think there might have been a note of optimism being at that angle when the storm hit land? >> most definitely. we really haven't to date faced a whole lot of major rain or
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storm surge inundation. we had winds of approximately 90 miles an hour when the eye was coming on land in wrightsville but so far our damage and our impact has been very light. i think that we'll see that on the back side of the storm pick up significantly where it just sits on us and drops an awful lot of water. >> bill: you waited it out overnight as the town manager. how many people make a home in carolina beach. of those people, how many people do you think stayed overnight? >> we have a little bit more than 6,000 population in our town. our town to the south is curry beach and they have about 2500. both of us think we had maybe 10% of our residents stay behind. so say 800 people on the island that stayed behind.
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>> bill: you mention a wall going down. was it a concrete or brick? >> a cinder block wall. nothing structural appeared not significant and didn't block any roads. no injuries or nothing like that. we haven't had any reports of needing any rescues or anything, either. >> bill: that's excellent news. i heard you say there are no injuries also. you mentioned shingles coming off homes. i don't want to get ahead of this, michael, how would you assess the level of luck that may have been applied to where you are? >> so far i think we've been very lucky. the concern is not what we've been through but the tail end of the storm coming through and how long we're going to get rain sitting over the top of us. if we get the projected 20 to 40 inches of rain and the 9 to
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13 foot storm surge, we'll easily have half of our community under water. >> bill: a final question and i need a quick answer. i don't know how to answer it myself and why i ask it. if you're in a river town, i understand the flooding 10 feet it comes up. you're on the ocean. how does 10 feet of flooding affect you? >> 10 feet affects us in two ways. one, we have the ocean, the sound, and the river. so we get 10 feet all the way around. and so for us that constitutes a whole section of our community that will be completely under water just because of the surges. that's basically any of our elevated houses will be -- the water will be lapping at their first floor. >> bill: good luck to you and everybody there in carolina beach. michael cramer, town manager there is eight miles south and east. thank you for being here. let's get a quick break.
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in a moment the mayor of wilmington will join us and we'll see how the town is doing now. stay with us. our coverage of hurricane florence continue as the eyewall makes its way on shore here in north carolina. on our rooms, guaranteed ? let's say it in a really low voice. carl? lowest price, guaranteed. just stick with badda book. badda boom. book now at - [voiceover] this is an urgent message from the international fellowship of christians and jews. there is an emergency food crisis for elderly holocaust survivors in the former soviet union. - this is a fight against time.
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>> sandra: hurricane florence continues to move inland. the eye of the storm making its way to the coast of north carolina. we're awaiting an update from fema. we'll go to washington when that begins. griff jenkins, we have him back and live on the ground in atlantic beach, north carolina. what are you seeing there now? >> we're in the parking lot of the pier. the end of the pier is gone but this storm is far from over. look behind me. trailer houses have survived but not much has on atlantic
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beach in terms of general structure. these bands of wind just whipping. we can't turn the camera or we'll lose the shot is about 100 yards away, the ocean that tore that pier down as it heads toward high tide in the next hour or so. the folks here will continue to get pounded. we went by the firehouse. they had damage. the business next to it, the roof totally knocked down. the gas station next door to that completely crushed, knocked down. the significant wind and water surge damage here on atlantic beach is quite significant. because of the size of this storm, obviously it is going to continue to beat us up. if you watch really the water and the wind whipping it, it has to be easily sustained 50, 60, upwards of 70, 80 miles an hour. enough that at some point
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during the night to tear that pier down. remember, you had where i was earlier today on the sound side a giant bay of water. of course, the flooding from the back side of atlantic beach as we drove over the bridge we saw yards normally a foot or two above water where boats are, they're underwater. >> sandra: kris jenkins on the ground in atlantic beach, north carolina where the storm continues to move inland right now. a category 1 storm made landfall this morning. we'll go back to wilmington, north carolina where bill is standing by with the latest as we wait for an update from fema. bill. >> bill: thank you. that press conference interrupts us we'll stop talking. the mayor of wilmington is with me. there is a little water down here and appreciate you coming out. what is your assessment so far? >> we have a lot of downed power lines and trees. we'll be without power for quite some time. we have some isolated flooding.
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i haven't heard anything from the beach communities yet. new bern they're getting kicked good with the river rising. we expect cape fear rising. we'll have significant flooding. cape fear is 22 feet. >> bill: it will come up over the coming days. have you had a chance to drive around in your city today? >> a little bit. it's dangerous. power lines out there, traffic lines down. it's virtually impassable. >> bill: it looks like the eye is passing us but slightly south of here. what have you seen and what are your people telling you? >> the wind is not as bad as we thought it would be when it was going to be a cat 3 but the rain and duration of the storm is what is really going to hurt us. to be here for almost 48 hours and have this on top of us dropping 24 to 40 inches of
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rain is pretty surmountable for any municipality or city in the country to handle that kind of water. >> bill: we're working off generator power. your cell phone is still working. that's not bad, right? you look at this storm three days ago 140 miles an hour sustained winds and we dropped to below 100 last night. if you look for silver linings perhaps that's one of them. it doesn't take away from the storm surge and flooding. that is one thing we can point to. >> absolutely. it all helps. when we were looking at a 4, knowing the amount of rain this was going to carry and the wind velocity, we were going to have a tremendous amount of damage. we have a lot of damage with the cat 1. with the amount of rain the system will bring in 400 miles wide is the storm and take a while for it to get out of here. it's a significant rain and wind event. >> bill: how long have you called wilmington home?
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>> all my life. i have never seen a storm that sat almost us for almost 48 hours. >> bill: you've been lucky. >> i have. >> bill: it's a beautiful town. there have been a lot of threats over the past 20 years. they dodge, bob and weave and miss you. this one has not and did not. when you were trying to tell people pay attention, what sort of reaction did you get from them? >> i think most people heeded the warning seeing what happened in houston and the caribbean and in florida and puerto rico last year. people have heeded the warnings. we were frank with them once the storm was upon us we weren't able to get emergency personnel to them until after the storm passes. people have moved out of the area. the other concern we have once the storm passes a lot of people want to come back into the area quickly to come back home and what we're concerned about is that. >> bill: thank you so much. these are amazing things to
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witness in person as i know you well know. just the sounds and the fury and now a bit of a calm right now as we get a little bit of the northern part of the eye here. >> we appreciate all you folks getting out the information and to the federal and state and local governments all working together. >> bill: you'll need a ton of help. we'll stay in touch throughout the day. we'll go back to new york now. >> sandra: hurricane florence slamming the carolina coast. we're going the live to carolina beach. our own jeff flak is out there braving the elements as our live coverage of hurricane florence continues. billions of mouths.
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>> sandra: fema giving an update on hurricane florence in washington >> our work is not done.
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i want to say thank you to our hard working team from the response and recovery personnel across noaa to our reconnaissance crews in the office of marine and aviation operations. additionally to the nation weather service who have been working 24/7 shifts and sheltered in place for many days. thank you. >> good morning again. my name is jeff, the associate administrator for response and recovery. i want to thank the media and our partners. you've helped us amplify the message of how serious and the potential deadly this storm is and will continue to be as our partners at noaa, and the weather center briefed. this is not tend of it. 24 to 36 hours remain of a significant threat from heavy rain, heavy surge not just in north carolina but down as we move into south carolina.
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message was amplified last night again through our media partners. things like i witnessed firsthand about category 3 to category 2 and to 1. it was clear that's a wind indicator, not a surge and rain indicator, which has not dropped as you can see. again, want to thank you for being part of our team as far as getting that message out and to evacuate. we stand ready to support our state and local first responders. there are many areas that are currently in the heart of the storm and there are many areas that we'll be as the day moves through today, tomorrow, and through the weekend. as you know there are certain areas where our first responders it is not safe for them to respond and we fully support that. by all means. those citizens that did not heed the evacuation warnings, you know, it's time to stay
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where you are, do the best you can to protect yourself and property and your family. we are in constant contact with both north carolina, south carolina and also virginia. at the state level and have teams that are embedded at the state emergency operations center and are in contact with our local emergency managers. both states have activated their national guard as well as their emergency operations plan. as you know our national guard does tremendous work across our nation and they do a wonderful job both at the national level and also their state duty protecting the citizens of their representative states. we've partnered with our good friends and partners as you see on the stage. heavily engaged with the department of defense as we get ready to respond to this. we have what we need. we have what we need. >> sandra: you're watching an update from fema headquarters in washington and from noaa
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saying it's only the beginning. hurricane florence is a very slow mover. they'll be continuing to track. the hurricane will track the coastline for the next 24 to 36 hours. fema giving an update on hurricane florence as it has now made landfall in north carolina. the coastlines there taking a beating from the winds, rainfall, storm surge continues to pose a huge threat to anyone who decided to wait this one out. bill is on the ground in north carolina where the elements continue to batter the hotels on the ground there, huge tourist areas getting hit. trees falling down. hurricane florence a slow mover making landfall as a category 1 storm but as you just heard in the update there from fema and noaa, bill, don't let the category fool you. it is about a storm surge and rainfall when it comes to florence. >> bill: no doubt.
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so much of fema's job is figure out a strategy of how to move when the storm subsides. it's an amazing thing to be on the northern edge of the eyewall. the winds have died down slightly. the rain has stopped. you get the bands but it wasn't the relentless rain we experienced for hours and hours before the sun came up earlier today. the sky starts to lighten a little bit. that's no way to define what we're about to get over the coming hours. we'll get the back side of the storm and we'll see that live here as our show continues from wilmington, north carolina. more briefings on the way. we'll hear from the governor of north carolina and so many more as our coverage continues live in wilmington. hurricane florence, she's here and so are we. ... for strength and energy! whoo-hoo! great-tasting ensure. with nine grams of protein and twenty-six vitamins and minerals. ensure.
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>> sandra: fox news is learning that paul manafort, former trump campaign chairman, will
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now plead guilty today in a federal courthouse as part of a plea deal with special counsel robert mueller. prosecutors filed new charges signaling a plea agreement has been reached. the details of that agreement are not yet known. there is a status conference hearing set for 11:00 a.m. eastern time in federal court in washington today. we'll have much more on the breaking story throughout the morning. >> bill: another alert on florence sitting in wilmington, north carolina watching the storm come through our area. just over a block or two here in wilmington, north carolina you can see so many trees down and you extrapolate that over several hundred miles up and down the coast and the mind reels as to how much damage could be inflicted by the storm happening right now. the power is out. we lost that several hours ago. power lines are down as well in wilmington as the eye again moves onshore just to the southern edge of our location.
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if you go about 80 miles further south of us on the south carolina side of the border, jonathan hunt has been at his post in north myrtle beach and joins us for the latest on the conditions you're getting there and more. how did you make out overnight and how is it going now? >> bill, good morning. yesterday afternoon as the storm slowed to a crawl off the coast off of north carolina where you are, one resident wandered onto the beach near us and said is this thing really is happening? now less than 24 hours later it certainly is really happening, bill. the rainfall has started to come down. overnight it is pretty intense now. where you're looking at the back side of the storm right now, we're on the front side as it moves counter clockwise down the coast. as you look now. our cameraman showing beach
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front homes. some siding done. some damage to window areas. homes to my right where i can see the doors very close to being ripped off. this is becoming very serious now. i heard from one lady that we talked to yesterday who was decided to ride it out. she lived in miami all her life and now she has lived here 20 years. she will ride it out. she texted me this morning and she's okay but already she says -- we haven't confirmed this with the north myrtle police department. there are looters around. the cops got there within 15 minutes. dave was showing you the ocean here. i want to walk down here as safely as we can. that is the ocean. we're due high tide in about three hours, bill. that is the worst case scenario because we'll get high tide at right around the same time that we should be getting the strongest winds and the strongest rainfall here in
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north myrtle beach. when i look straight ahead of me over there, we're only about 200 yards from what is called the hog inlet. that stretches down a long stretch of this beach. you have a 200-yard spit of land. when we get that high tide surge that they tell us will be several feet, when that comes in, bill, coupled with this huge rainfall we're getting right now which will go on for hour after hour after hour, you know that that ocean is very likely to meet that inlet. that spells disaster for all of these homes that sit between the ocean and the inlet. it is a very serious situation here. most of the residents of north myrtle beach and myrtle beach itself a little to the south did get out. some are riding it out here. we're staying in touch with them and trying to give them all the information they need to keep as safe as possible. as you just heard from fema, the message from all officials
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was if you decided to ride this out and stay put, then do not try to go anywhere because the flooding is coming, the storm surge is coming. it is only going to get worse. we're likely to be in this situation, bill, as you've been saying for something like 24 to 36 hours. it is a very dangerous day or two ahead for everybody. here in north myrtle beach and up the coast towards you, bill. >> bill: thank you, jonathan. those conditions there are what we were getting four hours ago as the storm swirls around. it's about 80 miles south of that and 20 miles south it's myrtle beach and then 80 miles to morehead city. the storm came onshore last night. 200 miles of shoreline between
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north carolina and south carolina. that will feel the size of the storm. the numbers are staggering when you think about it. you could take this storm and place it over the states of north carolina and south carolina and the storm would cover the entirety of both. here in north carolina we're getting numbers in power outages. half a million in 14 different counties have lost electricity. we know the shelters are open. more than 150 in the eastern part of the state. about 20,000 people now seeking refuge inside of those shelters. the numbers are extraordinary and they will only climb as we move throughout the day and feel the full brunt of the storm. in the small area in wilmington there is extensive damage here already. a lot of trees down, the roofs ripped off a local hotel and elsewhere. the mayor was describing some of the damage throughout the city a short time ago. you know think about the 180 to
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200 mile stretch for what could emerge when florence moves through entirely. >> sandra: bill, thank you. the rescue efforts will be key, of course, with the eye of the storm onshore. volunteer rescue groups are organizing. one group looking to send 200 boats to south carolina. todd joins us now. thank you for your time. i know you guys are busy. that's what you do. you mobilize volunteers and boats and you go in in the wake of the devastation of these storms and try to rescue people and pets. what are your plans right now? >> right now we're in columbia, south carolina and actually moving to great falls and going into new bern. we've been rescuing in new bern since 3:30 this morning and mobilize. we'll start mobilizing in another town and beef up our rescue in the new bern area.
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>> sandra: tell us some rescue efforts. who you found and been able to help? >> the water came up so fast because of the surge a lot of people were trapped. a lot of people stayed that should have got out. the water was coming up so fast we had a lot of rescues out of vehicles. a lot of rescues in the vehicles were 4:00 or 5:00 this morning people were getting on the vehicles and getting on the roofs because they had nowhere to go. >> sandra: a live picture now of new bern. it is quite a scene there with trees down, water filling the streets. the rain still coming down, todd. you have a huge job to do. as far as the setup is concerned, how many people and boats have you been able to mobilize so far? >> as of this morning we had 310 volunteers and that's from nine states. it's growing as far as mobilization outside of our own area in louisiana and texas. we had 310 volunteers so far
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and i'm sure the number is good to double by this evening. >> sandra: i speak for everyone listening now. thank you for what you're doing. it is purely a volunteer basis people coming in with boats trying to help people. as far as communication, how are you able to communicate with those that are volunteering to help especially with so much electricity already lost and down? >> we have an app called zello that we use and a response system we use. it's a system ics and follow the same code as a lot of government authorities and officials on the ground. we speak with them in addition to our volunteers. >> sandra: what a lot of people don't realize while the louisiana cajun navy was founded in the wake of hurricane katrina khat when you went in as volunteers with boats to help with rescue efforts. now the cajun navy is helping prep for the storms.
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you helped residents prepare. >> we've learned a lot of lessons. for us this is the third year in a row with a big storm like this and now trying to get ahead of the flooding coming up. we made decisions to move inland on areas that may flood that have flooded in the past so we can go in and help people evacuate or be ready to get them out before it gets too bad. >> sandra: give us perspective. you've seen a lot of devastation and storms. what are you seeing so far when you look back at the storms that you've seen in the past? >> hurricane harvey was more of a flood event. hurricane katrina was a devastation event wind and water. this one right here from what we've seen so far is pretty destructive on the new bern area. the rest we haven't had a chance to see pretty much yet. from what i'm hearing it will be pretty bad. >> sandra: todd, thank you and your 300 volunteers so far getting in there and helping rescue people, pets and get people out of the danger zone.
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volunteers from nine states. thank you for calling in this morning and for what you're doing. >> thank you all, appreciate it. >> sandra: to you and your team stay safe. florence is slowing down and moving inland. our team coverage continues as this disaster response prepares just out of harm's way. former navy seal scott taylor will join us next. when did you see the sign? when i needed to jumpstart sales. build attendance for an event. help people find their way. fastsigns designed new directional signage. and got them back on track. get started at
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>> bill: fox news alert as we continue to get more information up and down the north carolina shore here. new bern, north carolina, new video day break earlier today. 150 people were in need of evacuation and we're trying to get an update how that evacuation went. new bern is on the river. you may have heard that river and the pamilco sound. the rivers inland that will
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take the force of the atlantic ocean and come back out again. another high tide will exchange that water and push it back in before it flushes back out. so this could be a repeated scene up and down the carolina coast. updates from new bern which is about 79, 80 miles due north of us here in wilmington, north carolina. about 90 minutes ago the eye of this storm came onshore in wrightsville beach, eight miles due east of here on the atlantic ocean. came onshore at 90 miles an hour. a category 1 hurricane. further north in virginia, the state getting ready for the potential impact as well. at the moment the storm stayed south. it continues to stay south and representative scott taylor, navy seal, republican in virginia beach joins me now. your state was getting ready as well. what do you see right now, sir, as you assess what we're trying to follow at the moment?
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>> bill, thank you and your crew for being out there reporting for us. stay safe. of course. we dodged a bullet in virginia. but we're prepared and ready to go in case there is any flooding in the estuaries and rivers. they're already wet from a wet summer. we may have flooding. we'll find out. we're ready and prepared to help our neighbors. 1500 virginia national guardsmen are pre-positioned all over virginia to help out and up to 6,000 might be deployed. norfolk naval base we sent ships out to sea. a couple are -- three i believe ready to go with supplies to help assist and launch helicopters in the rescue effort and help folks. army vehicles in north carolina right now that will help out folks and you have airmen -- air force airmen from alaska. so there is a great effort. the pentagon is engaged and volunteers are helping. this is bringing out some of the best in us.
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>> bill: you may be needed here in north carolina. we'll see how it goes. as you well know, you don't know what a storm does after they interact with land and maybe she parks over the carolina coast or drifts further north. that's still a possibility here. a lot of people are by no means out of the woods of this storm, scott. >> there is no question about it. i'm proud of our first responders, government and citizens for preparing and being ready to go. we aren't far from north carolina. we share a border and share some waterways with them and are prepared to help out and assist our neighbors in any way. >> bill: scott taylor, thank you so much for your time. appreciate it. virginia beach, virginia. we'll see whether or not you guys get lucky on this one. in the meantime the bands continue to come around. we were experiencing winds from the north for hours, 12, 14 hours at a time. it drifted a little to the northeast and somehow in some ways it feels like it's coming
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from the east in a moment here. they swirl and change direction. the sky gets a little lighter but the bands are starting to whip around. as you look on the radar on the back side of the storm that's what we'll experience in the coming hour and the hour after that and possibly hours after that as well, sandra. >> sandra: amazing to watch the conditions change right there. you are in it. bill hemmer, thank you for your reporting on the ground. hurricane florence continues to pound the carolinas with massive storm surges expected to bring life-threatening flooding to coastal area. our live coverage continues straight ahead. nothing says fall like a homecoming football game, so let's promote our fall travel deal on like this.
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wilmington. town of 105,000 people boarded up. not to suggest everybody has left. they have not. many people have stayed behind. they heeded the warnings and were ready here. where is that? let's give that a look. you know, it could be me. there is a lot of folks staying here. how far can i go, rob? okay. let's take a glance at that guy. as soon as you step out in front of that brick wall do you see what happens there? then you start to feel the force of these winds and the palm trees that blow and the rain that just smacks you in the face so hard. i don't know if the reporters or local folks or not. yeah, yeah. i will tell you this, guys, there are a lot of people in this hotel from all over the world. the international media has
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ascended on wilmington. i think they're from a spanish network. my point earlier is we got together last night among our team and preparing for 12-hour shifts on and off until she blows through. so we await here now in wilmington with the eye soon upon us. >> sandra: that was bill earlier this morning. conditions certainly continue to change, bill. what a shot that was. it was shortly after florence made landfall and certainly as the storm made its way through wilmington. >> bill: that was the leading edge of the storm. now we're starting to experience a little bit of the eye, sandra. that is what we woke up to a bit earlier today. it is just an extraordinary thing to see nature perform the way she does. there is the sound and the feeling, the water and the rain and the flooding that follows. just looking at so many trees down in the area just in our line of sight where we're sitting in a parking lot along the cape fear river.
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you can see the roofs being blown off of a local building here that's under construction. you see aluminum top start to bend in the win and it relaxes when the wind dies down and that kicks up again. that's happening up and down the carolina shore. the evacuation order in some areas, new bern, north carolina again 80 miles north of here. we'll check into all these places and get you a sense how people are faring now on the morning after as florence continues on this friday morning. republican tim scott, senator, will be our guest in a moment here and we'll talk to fema, national security center the latest on the coordinates and what we can expect throughout the day here. we're coming back in wilmington right after this top of the hour on "america's newsroom."
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>> sandra: this is a fox news alert 10:00 a.m. on the east coast. we're counting down to a news conference from north carolina's governor at hurricane florence collides with our eastern seaboard. welcome in a new hour of "america's newsroom," i'm sandra smith in new york city. >> good morning, i'm bill hemmer live in wilmington, north carolina. florence coming on shore tracking it by the hour, by the minute at the moment. if you look at the radar just south of our location in wilmington you can see the barrier islands south of here, sunset beach, little river, south carolina. that's where the force of the storm starts to whip around now
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on the lower left-hand corner. a hurricane like this the upper right-hand corner seems to pack the most punch throughout history. the southern side of the storm making its way across that part of north carolina. it's part of the state, sandra, that sometimes is tucked away in a way because it is at a certain angle that does not take often a direct hit from a storm. it wasn't a direct hit this time but they're feeling the effects as we move throughout the hour now here. so tim scott coming up shortly, sandra, here in wilmington. >> sandra: to quote noaa earlier bill, this is only the beginning and florence is a very slow mover. griff jenkins is live in morehead city, north carolina. what is the latest where you are? >> well, sandra, the winds are still whipping here. when i talked to you from atlantic beach we had to come back to morehead to our safe position. if you look, the water surge is starting to really pick up.
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this is atlantic beach taking the beating. we could not stay there. the streets of morehead a few hours ago we drove down them to give our viewers a shot but it is just business after business, tree after tree blown away. you can see this sign, street signs flying like a piece of weapon. that's the street we're on. we went around the corner. one thing that is of concern here in morehead city. we're getting close to high tide, this is going to spill is into the streets which are already getting flooding from the excessive rainfall. the flooding on highway 70 is the main thoroughfare to go inland to many of those other cities like new bern where we're seeing the rescues.
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because of the flooding caused by the rivers. those four rivers, the newport river, pamilco river, trent river all coming down with water it cannot hold because it's pressing in some places in unprecedented levels coming down here. while this water, then, continues to just pound us and bill was saying the northeast quad rant -- the wind has not changed direction since 2:00 this morning when i started going live. it is coming straight through here because we are parallel to atlantic beach, a barrier island. it is just whipping us. what's amazing is that even though it went from category 4 to category 2 to category 1 these winds are quite significant. as we saw across atlantic beach, the pier was literally split in half. the end of it floating away.
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no idea where that is. when you talk about wind and you have to get in here with first responders, entire gas stations, too, on the main highway of morehead three or four mile drive to atlantic beach were already flattened. when you got across the bridge to atlantic beach the first gas station was trashed as conditions continue to really pound us here, sandra. >> sandra: it may only be the beginning, griff. morehead city, north carolina, incredibly powerful winds you continue to experience there. we just heard from that fema update, noaa talking as well, it could continue to track the coast for the next 24 to 36 hours. the dire forecasts are about the storm surge. griff, it is hard to watch you out there. get to safety. it is blowing. tough to imagine what that feels like. if you could just share that with us.
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>> well, it's very intense, sandra. here is the real concern. that is as we saw when i was in atlantic beach the power lines. the small coastal communities all power lines are above ground. whether it's streets or what not, to pull the power lines down. you have power lines down everywhere. if we have 24 of this kind of sustained wind activity it is going to be a significant and debilitating situation that makes it very, very difficult for people, particularly first responders and law enforcement to get around in it. the chief of police over in atlantic beach, they've pulled back into protective mode. you can't be out in this. it puts people's lives in danger. >> sandra: please be safe. i want to get back to bill hemmer now standing by with the latest and what's happening in your area, bill? >> bill: griff is pounded, too.
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that will continue for some time. i found my first civilian, chris carlton from florida, he runs a tree service company. unfortunately the business for him will be very good. you've been out throughout the day and what have you seen? >> the historical downtown was devastated. trees every block. i had to zigzag just to get through to get down here to get away from trees so i don't get hurt. staying in my truck until we get working here. >> bill: your third storm. you'll get work later tonight probably. no doubt in the coming weekend. who do you work for, anybody who needs you? how does that work? >> i work for a -- i'm a private tree service and i work for private owners or any businesses. there are a lot of businesses destroyed like i went by a sign, big -- it destroyed the building. a new sonics. >> bill: look across the parking lot.
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how many trees are down here. you see the gate that goes into the parking lot, the way that's come down as well. that's a small glimpse of this city so far. >> i was glad to get near the water where there wasn't no trees. i'm out here like you are. >> bill: the storm will linger and hang for a while. we don't usually see that. normally a storm hits and moves on. for the people in north carolina they won't get that lucky. >> this is the first storm i've ever seen that came through in wilmington that came through and didn't move out. this will stay 2, 2 1/2 days and trees sitting on the roof the water will just come in. it usually comes in and leaves and we get the tree off and everything is fine but they will get a lot of water in their houses if they don't get the tree off by tonight or in the morning. it will rain for three days. >> bill: how long will you stay? >> it could be two weeks to two
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months. probably two months. >> bill: that's a long time from a big storm. >> yeah. >> bill: chris carlton, i'm glad i got to say hello to you. good luck to you. thank you for that. we have a lot of folks down here on camera and off camera working really hard. thank you for your support and coming by and good luck, okay? because a lot of folks will need your service. >> yes, sir. >> bill: want to get back to sandra now in new york. >> sandra: amazing to hear some of those stories. to wrightsville beach, north carolina with jonathan serrie. >> you can see the scene over here. this bridge, the main thoroughfare to the harbor island and then on to the mainland here we're seeing virtually no traffic on that bridge right now. conditions too dangerous to drive around. only a few official vehicles driving around this island, including police and also the
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mayor taking a preliminary tour of the damage. from what the mayor has seen so far, it looks like we're looking at mostly some roof damage, some siding as we pan over to these houses here, the fifth house on the right there is some roofing material that we've seen flapping in the wind. but we are not seeing any major structural damage. we were here when the eye made landfall. when we went through the eyewall we were getting battered with heavy rain and heavy winds. then things calmed down for a while. then after the eye passed over, we went through the other the side of the eye. hitting the eyewall once again but this time the wind -- who was doing the assessment? i'm sorry, it wasn't the mayor doing the driving around for the initial assessment. it was the city manager that is doing this initial assessment and seeing this so far minor
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damage. one of his concerns, one of the concerns of city officials is that once the eye passed over, the wind changed direction and now it's blowing in from offshore. there is a possibility we'll see more erosion on the beach. back to you. >> sandra: wrightsville beach, north carolina jonathan serrie. back out to bill in wilmington. >> bill: we have the coast guard on the line. scott buschman. can you hear me and where are you, sir? >> good morning, bill. i can hear you loud and clear and i am in virginia at the coast guard atlantic area headquarters. >> bill: we spoke to you a few days ago. this is your juris dick shun. what are you hearing off the carolina coast and what do you have for us now? >> we're closely monitoring the progress of florence. we're looking at all the reports and weather updates. seeing some of the reports of
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storm surge coming along with significant rainfall. we've repositioned our assets over the past week and looking forward to getting our assets out there. >> bill: looks to us on the radar right now that the north of wilmington, north carolina is getting hammered yet again and the southeastern corner of the state is feeling pretty big, strong push by florence as well. when can you make a move and when do you deem it safe to get on the water? >> we're constantly looking at the weather. we watched the storm for the past week and worked very hard over the past week to pre-position assets. we've got over 20 search and rescue helicopters pre-positioned north and south. 20 shallow water boats in north carolina and georgia and a number of aircraft. we're constantly looking at the weather and will launch them as quickly as safely as possible. >> bill: do you know if there is any aircraft in the air now?
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any hurricane hunters going into the eye of the storm to get an assessment of it, or not? >> i don't know if there are any hurricanes out there. we don't have any coast guard aircraft in the air right now. we're watching the storm on an hourly basis and launch them as quickly as possible. >> bill: okay. scott, good luck to you, okay? scott buschman, admiral at the u.s. coast guard. we're hoping for the best and we know you are as well. thank you for your time right now. here in wilmington it will be a long day and parts north of here and the rivers, sandra, the noose or the pamilco sound pushing the water inland as the rivers continue to rise inland. it will be a big story not just today but in the coming days. >> sandra: bill, we just had a live shot up in new bern and literally saw people walking through what happened to be not
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just multiple inches but over a foot of water. the water continues to build and the rain continues to come down there. there is the scene there. somebody walking through the water with a dog on a leash. amazing images coming out of there. we spoke to the cajun navy. they're on the ground there in boats trying to rescue people. they made many rescues so far, 310 volunteers trying to help out with that area that is so hard hit right now. we're waiting on the latest update from the national hurricane center. that will come 45 minutes from now the top of the 11:00 a.m. eastern time hour. that will be a critical update. let's go now to janice dean as we await that. what can you tell us? >> the center of the storm is over land so it is going to weaken. that's the good news. the problem is it's only moving about 6 miles per hour and that's the bad news. the flooding legacy and storm surge will be ongoing with the
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onshore winds. we still could potentially see a storm surge of 7 to 11 feet depending on where the storm and the core of the strongest winds come onshore from that northeast quadrant that bill was talking about. we had landfall at wrightsville beach and wind gusts over 100 miles per hour. still significant wind but now it's going to be the rain. the fact that it will slow down in some cases it could actually just stall out completely and not move. and bring these heavy rain bands that could total up to feet of rainfall. i know we've gotten reports out of some areas atlantic beach where griff jenkins was reporting where he had to leave. over 30 inches of rain already in atlantic beach and we could get upwards of four feet in some isolated areas.
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it will be reminiscent of what southeast texas had with hurricane harvey and the flooding will be potentially catastrophic and life threatening. we had pictures out of new bern earlier today, over a 10 foot storm surge and people were rescued and still waiting to be rescued because they didn't evacuate. also as i mentioned, over 20, 30 inches of unofficial rainfall totals and this storm really hasn't even made its impact in terms of rainfall. we could get 10 to 20 more inches in parts of north carolina, south carolina. it will also be a virginia story, a tennessee river valley story and an ohio river valley story as the storm lingers well into the weekend and then eventually as we get into monday and tuesday it will actually come up towards the ohio valley and visit us here in the northeast. a much weaker storm but could potentially bring flooding concerns. sandra, the storm has made landfall but the story, the second part of the story will
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be the incredible devastating rainfall. >> sandra: perhaps a more critical part of that story. bill is on the ground in wilmington and has a question for you. >> bill: yeah. just two things i would observe, janice. the way the wind changes. it was due north for so long and now it seems to be coming from various directions. over the past three hours the way the temperature drops. it is significant. it's no longer that humid air anymore. what explains that when you see the temperature fall the way it has already? >> you have the winds shifting because you have the counter clockwise winds moving into the bays and streams and rivers and why the storm surge in new bern because of the river that new bern is right on top of. we had the 10 foot storm surge. the winds were coming in onshore and now we're getting that offshore flow. coming into the base and now the water will be coming out of the bays into the atlantic
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again. >> bill: 90 degrees here yet. a muggy day here in north carolina. much different picture right now. janice. thank you for that. sandra as well. let's get a break in wilmington, north carolina. our coverage will continue of florence, category 1, 90 mile-an-hour winds, still packing a punch. i'd like to take a moment to address my fellow veterans, because i know so many of you have served our country honorably. one of the benefits that we as a country give you as a veteran
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>> sandra: let's go now to images coming out of new bern, north carolina where there is an emergency flooding situation happening there. the mayor tweeting out that at least 150 people are waiting to be saved. rescue operations are underway. there are reports that already over 100 have been rescued from that area. but as you can see it's at a situation where people, if they decided to wait this out, they're having to evacuate. hundreds more we're told are stranded in that area. this is eastern north carolina coastal town, 115 miles southeast of raleigh. we'll keep our eye on that. many need rescued and many have been rescued and now we want to go to fox business network live in myrtle beach, a very popular
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tourist destination, christina. what are you seeing there? >> within the past 25 minutes the winds have picked up exponentially. i don't know what that noise is that's going on right now. you're hearing loud sirens. police are controlling the area. you can see the damage already behind me. the massive awning that is destroyed. it is not the only business. we are seeing debris everywhere. one business we saw the awning fall down and on top of that, you are also seeing police everywhere. i saw this massive bearcat. i've never seen one in real life. he didn't know i was with a camera crew and they used a big loudspeaker to tell me to get back in the car. it's extremely dangerous. debris is falling which is why we're trying to stay as close as possible to this building. the situation right now in
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myrtle beach is that roughly 5,000 people are without power and that number will climb higher. we're also expecting torrential rain. i'm a little wet now but it is only going to get worse because you'll get inland flooding from behind me coming this way. you've got the ocean behind the camera. you can't see it right now coming this way. we expect to possibly be locked into this area. we're staying safe. we'll have continuous visual throughout the rest of the day. nobody is on the street except one guy that got a flat tire next to us. aside from that completely empty. businesses are boarded up. a bunch of people i spoke to yesterday quickly said they'll try to ride this out because they've done this successfully in the past. they were here for hurricane hugo and other hurricanes. they believe they got enough supplies and generators, they boarded up their homes. they're capable of riding this
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out. unfortunately, though, the rain and the size of this hurricane even though the wind may not be as strong as what we expected, it will hover a lot longer and that's going to create a lot of damaging forward. >> sandra: i'm looking at the updates that we're getting from the myrtle beach police and fire departments obviously most of these municipalities have twitter accounts. they're sending out warnings about flash flooding in the area. christina, they're warning residents who are there who did decide to wait this out, stay inside. they're telling everyone we're working under the assumption this is only going to get worse. christina, from your perspective how many people in that area did decide to wait this out? did you see a majority of the residents leave and tourists that had been in the area clear out? >> yes. in terms of tourists, definitely. all of them are gone.
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i would say 95% of the hotels on this myrtle beach strip have been shut for business. there is one hotel with a lot of media. it's facing the ocean so we can get the shots for the viers. in terms of people who have stayed. according to officials what i was told about two hours ago. 75% of the population within this entire region has evacuated. that still means 15% are still here waiting the ride it out. i spoke to a lot of them yesterday. i spoke to one man, sean, he told me he just bought his home. he moved to south carolina eight weeks ago and he didn't want to leave his brand-new home. he sent his family off, his children and wife are gone but he will ride it out. we went to his house and i tweeted it out. the entire end of the street, there are neighbors are all in communication and they are choosing to stay in their homes because they believe that they
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can outstand this weather, this damage. they believe they can outstand the forces of nature. i don't know what to say hopefully they stay safe and everybody stays indoors. this isn't the type of weather you want to hang out in. we're here because we want to bring you the images live and show you how dangerous it could be and the reason why i'm not crossing that street any closer to get closer to the debris. >> sandra: be careful out there, christina. another update from north myrtle beach, south carolina, the fire department and police have started implementing a curfew. 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. started last night and goes through tonight. obviously they will continue monitoring the developments of the storm. obviously things are starting to pick up in other areas that had been more calm since the hurricane made landfall. we'll continue getting updates from our reporters throughout the areas there both in north carolina as well as south carolina. we're awaiting another big update coming at the top of the
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hour, 11:00 a.m. eastern time we'll get a much-needed update on the path of this storm. coming up south carolina senator ken scott is here as local officials look to washington for support.
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so you don't die waiting. upmc does more living-donor liver transplants than any other center in the nation. find out more and get out of line today. >> bill: coming up on 10:30 on the east coast. still a hurricane, florence now amazing thing to feel the winds shift now from the east as janice was describing a moment ago. our coverage continues on "america's newsroom." i want to show our viewers, rob, i don't know if you can see across the cape fear river that's the u.s.s. north carolina, a battle ship commissioned and served in the pacific theater in the second world war and parked here in wilmington north carolina for decades. a big tourist stop. we couldn't see it two hours ago. our visibility was only 20 or 30 feet. as the bands come through it pushes the cloud out of here
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and the u.s.s. north carolina can be clearly seen here. in parts here in wilmington, north carolina and just to our west tornado watches throughout this part of north carolina. they're watching the skies. there were some warnings about tornadoes when we were tucking in late last night. the watches will be up for some time. residual weather impacts in storms like this. you can see the tornadoes pop up. not the big ones you see in oklahoma or the plains of the midwest but they pop up at times when those weather conditions get right and sort of swirls and spins. they don't last long but it is something a lot of folks need to look out for. we'll keep you posted on that when we get the word from the north carolina state officials here are watching that, sandra. back to wilmington in a moment. >> sandra: thank you, bill. water levels and rivers are quickly rising. meanwhile we're minutes away now from a news conference with north carolina's governor, we'll also get an update from the national hurricane center
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as florence continues to slam the carolina coast knocking out power for more than 500,000 people at this point. that number is expected to continue to go up. south carolina senator tim scott joins us now. senator, you've been preparing the residents of your state. what so far are you seeing as far as response now that we've seen this hurricane make landfall? >> good morning. the response has been positive so far. the question we still have is there is a lot of residents still on the coast that did not leave or could not leave. so it's really important for us to tell those residents to stay put. at this point it's really too late to leave. most areas of the coast of south carolina and so it's really important to stay put. i think there is good news and bad news and the ugly. the good news is it's gone from a cat 4 to cat 1. the bad news is that hurricanes are not wind events only. they're really water events. which means that the impact of
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the water is going to be significant and the size of it is the ugly part. you put south carolina and north carolina together, florence is larger than both and it is slow. it will sit there and pour water, more water and more water on the residents. it is a dangerous and devastating event. unfortunately high tide is still coming in myrtle beach. that's the part that gets us really, really worried. >> sandra: for sure. some suggesting officials earlier at the -- no noaa we're suggesting we're only at the beginning. president tweeted incredible being done. thank you. is your state getting the support it needs from washington >> we are. we're very thankful. i've been in the senate for five years. this is the first time the president of the united states has called me before an event. this is a significant occurrence as well as not only the president but the
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department of transportation, secretary called. hud secretary called. administrator of the -- we're having coordination and collaboration that allows us to breathe a little easier as we enter into the storm as opposed to scrambling after the storm. so the federal coordination is significant. but hurricanes are really local events. we have to have the type of strong leadership on the local level. thankfully we've seen that so far. they've been reaching out asking questions, getting answers. we're very thankful to live in a state like south carolina where our governor and then of course the president have both been integrated and collaborating on behalf of the citizens that find themselves in vulnerable areas. >> sandra: we're awaiting an update from the north carolina governor and the national hurricane center for the latest update on the storm. meanwhile the a.p.'s latest count 9700 national guard
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troops and civilians have been deployed. high water vehicles, helicopters, boats, army corp of engineers restoring power to those who have lost it. can you give us an update on that? >> in south carolina we're seeing the deployment of national guard, state guard as well. we have thousands of employees from the south carolina department of transportation to emergency responders all waiting for the storm to hit. north carolina has gotten it first. the direction of the storm is heading for south carolina. we're not out of the woods. not even in the woods yet. we have a lot of emergency responders. we have lots of coordination between the national guard and state guard, the governor's office, my office and many other offices on the state and local level preparing for what's coming. they estimate duke power has about four million customers between the two states. they estimate they could see as
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many as three million of the four million customers without power. not just for a day or two but some could go for as long as a week. the importance of this time to prepare cannot be overemphasized. >> sandra: senator, i know that you were just on social media retweeting to your residents who follow you. areas far from the coast are also a risk of severe flooding and a very important point as we talk about the coastal areas as this storm moves inland, so many more are in danger. >> one of the things that we oftentimes miss during these events is that we think about the coast as just being those coastal counties. but the inland communities, when the storm sits for as long as it is going to sit, what you'll find is that water flows through the rivers and frankly rivers are a hard place for the water to find a way out. what they'll do is start to
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build up and that event becomes a cascading event for the inland communities. remember, south carolina just had a 1,000 year flood 2 1/2 years ago, which means the agriculture community in florence and throughout the p.d., there is not a lot of elasticity left. there are a lot of folks whose livelihoods could be lost during that devastating event and why it's important for us to be on the front end in preparation and not simply hustling on the back end. >> sandra: we're waiting on a couple of big updates. senator tim scott. thank you for your time this morning. while we were talking myrtle beach we've had shots of wilmington up. live pictures. bill hemmer, you are in the middle of it. how are things changing there? >> bill: sandra, i ran into my second civilian, this is amber and who? >> sandra: this is arlo. >> bill: you live in wilmington. what are you doing on the
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boardwalk? >> walking the dog. they have to go potty too, right? we've had a mellow, easy night. stayed in the hotel room and watched the river. it was nice. >> bill: you knew the storm was coming. wilmington has been in the cross hairs for five days i think on the radar map. >> they have been. exactly what we were expecting it to be. maybe not as severe. we feel fine. >> bill: we're not through it yet. the back end of the storm will be here and there will be significant flooding, too, as we come in the coming days. what is your plan? >> i plan to stay here. my boyfriend works at the hotel. they have been nice enough to give us accommodations and he is volunteering to stay and work. we'll go home after that. >> bill: what does your boyfriend do? >> the head bartender here. >> bill: could have used him last night. >> he has been here. >> bill: this hotel is well
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fortified and they've had a very good plan in place. >> they have. >> bill: i believe they offered their employees to leave if they wanted to do that. a few of them stuck around. >> a few of them did stick around and the hotel was nice enough to put up accommodation and a safe space to stay. we were able to bring both our dogs. it has been nice. >> bill: you had a decision to make whether to leave or stay. why did you stay? >> well, i group up in florida, hurricanes are pretty common in my past and in my life. i wasn't very scared of it to tell you the truth. then my boyfriend wanted to help and i said let's do it. we're able-bodied, young people. why not help? >> bill: we'll find ryan later tonight. good luck to you, your dog and everybody else. quick break here, national hurricane center will give us the latest coordinates in a matter of moments. our coverage continues in wilmington right after this.
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>> bill: we're at 10:45 in north carolina. 15 minutes from hearing from the national hurricane center. we'll bring it to you live when we get that. 20 minutes away from the north carolina governor, roy cooper. he has been about every three hours for the past three days in front of a camera. we'll see him in the 11:00 hour as well. in the meantime we're hearing just south of our location the eye for florence is now over cape fear, not far from where we are here in wilmington. south port, north carolina right here cape fear area. as bruce oakley on the phone, the town manager. sir, bruce, if you can hear me, if we have a connection between us as we're here live on tv now. tell us how you made out and what you're seeing right now, bruce. >> so far we're making out pretty well. we have a lot of downed trees and power outages and some
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flooding, which is to be expected. we were prepared for a category 4 and overprepared for this and ready to respond as soon as the winds die down. it is still windy out there and strong. the eye is closing in a little bit. we hope for a little reprieve. i don't know if we'll get it. >> bill: okay. on the map now if we're in downtown wilmington, where are you from us? >> just down the cape fear river right before you get to the atlantic ocean. the confluence of the cape fear winter, intercoastal waterway and the atlantic ocean. >> bill: right near carolina beach. what is your concern now, bruce? >> our biggest concern right now is with the storm still here and high tide coming at 12:15 what the storm surge will do. that's our big concern and the flooding that goes along with that. the winds are fortunately not as strong as we expected but they're still causing some
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problems. the flooding and the storm surge are our biggest concerns. >> bill: have you had a chance to get out and look around? >> yes. i just came back from driving with one of our sheriff's office and we got to see some trees down all over. some homes are starting to get unindated with a little water and we've seen some -- didn't see a lot of structural damage to any homes or businesses. we are starting to see the water coming up. >> bill: how high would you say the surge was at the highest point? >> i don't think -- right now i don't think it's come in because of the way it is right now. i would say a couple feet right now. but at high tide depending on which way the wind is blowing and the circulation is going, it could -- i'm assuming it could reach four or five feet. >> bill: feels like the wind is from the southeast now.
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was east 15 minutes ago. the temperature really drops when that wind shifts. bruce, what are you thinking about throughout the day today and the coming hours into the afternoon? what is your concern then, sir? >> we're hoping that the winds will die down and we can get our emergency response teams out and our utility teams out to start getting people back in power and getting people -- the problem solved. hard to respond when the conditions are as bad as they are right now. that's where our biggest home and concern is we can get the winds down so they can get out and respond and we'll start seeing who needs the help the most. >> bill: how many people do you think stuck this out there? >> i would say we didn't do a count but driving around the past few days i would say probably 30 to 40% stayed. >> bill: bruce, good luck to you. appreciate your time. >> thank you.
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>> bill: bruce oakley, southport, north carolina not for from our location in wilmington. sandra, it continues to blow here. the back side of the storm should be here i'd say 45 minutes to an hour from now and we'll see what we get then. >> sandra: we're awaiting official update from the national hurricane center at the top of the hour. the nhs tweeted out hurricane florence is just inland near cape fear, north carolina. important to point that out. the last update we saw from nhc was that it had made landfall near wrightsville beach, north carolina at 7:15 a.m. eastern time. as fema reported at a conference earlier florence is a slow mover. but don't let that fool you. this may just be the beginning. a live shot up at myrtle beach, south carolina as the wind continues to blow there. we're awaiting the update from the north carolina governor and the national hurricane center. all that coming up at the top of the hour. our eyes are all on hurricane
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with a massive response of troops and supplies. lucas tomlinson is live from the pentagon for us this morning. we're hearing half a million people are currently without power. this is the latest update from the north carolina emergency management. what can the defense department do about that? >> sandra, the army corp of engineers has pre-positioned over 100 generators to help those who lost power. one of the steps the pentagon took. yesterday the head of u.s. forces in north america outlined other steps. >> we have surrounded the area with d.o.d. capability that will be critical in hours and days following the storm's impact. >> part of that response includes roughly 10,000 troops with thousands more ready to be called up. 160 helicopters with search and rescue capability and 240 high water vehicles can drive through flood had streets and cargo planes to deliver
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supplies. >> sandra: how involved is defense secretary mattis in all this? >> he says he is receiving regular updates. general o'shaughnessy said he pre-positioned rescue teams, the nation's premier search and rescue force from southern georgia and six helicopters. >> the same capabilities that make the u.s. armed forces so powerful in combat lend themselves very well to disaster relief. we're ready and able to support fema and state and local officials in situations where unique capabilities are required to assist our communities. >> at sea are two warships, one spent two months off puerto rico with 800 march east and six helicopters and six ospreys. one area of north carolina that did not evacuate, camp lejeune. those marines say they're staying. >> sandra: lucas tomlinson at the pentagon. thank you. as we go back out to bill, as
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hurricane florence continues to move inland, bill, the latest update here now more than 500,000 people without power in north carolina. >> bill: yeah. that number will go a lot higher as it moves inland and takes the trees down. the trees take the power lines down. half a million now as you say there are without power. getting a report from our colleague. her parents own a coffee shop 40 miles south of here. they're riding out the storm in the kalabash, north carolina. they still have power. in the bottom left-hand corner of the storm they have power. national hurricane center coming up in a matter of minutes. why bother mastering something?
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>> sandra: fox news alert. moments away from the latest update from the national hurricane center as hurricane florence roars ashore on the california coast. welcome back to "america's newsroom," i'm sandra smith in new york. we'll get back to bill hemmer live in wilmington, north carolina in just a moment. now to the national hurricane center for the latest update. let's listen together. >> welcome back to the national hurricane center. 11:00, here is an update. hurricane specialists behind me continuously watching the hurricane for updates. we have a brand-new update. the latest wind speed 80 miles
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an hour. the center located close to cape fear and not moving very fast. the latest reading looking at it at 3 miles an hour. very slow. a strong point to make away from the center. not only those strong winds right around the center, it means the rain bands aren't moving much. when you look at the radar they appear to be moving fast around the circulation. if you notice the area they're moving around is not changing. what happens is you get repetitive rainfall and the potential for tornadoes with some of these cells moving onshore. that's a problem with the rainfall rates and trying to keep an eye on gauges. one reporting the potential of 14 inches of rain. we already have a foot of rain in some areas. the problem is as we forecast the slow movement going forward. a very large storm. so important not to focus just around the center. so many people seeing these winds and dangerous rain as well. look at the forecast. still the same. continue to be a hurricane with time and by tomorrow morning not moving very fast.
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this is saturday evening and that is sunday morning. not a lot of travel. you will still see the continuous rainfall and continuous wind and continuous problem associated with this. eventually we have a little system over the great lakes that will come in and finally sweep all of it out. in the meantime we'll be left with a whole lot of water. let's look at the impacts. it's real important. life threatening storm surge underway in these areas. if you haven't had a storm surge west like charleston and south carolina. once the system moves inland you can see some of the onshore flow winds and start seeing some of the water come up. a lot of places can see 7 to 11 feet. we have the storm surge, the tide cycle coming up is going to be a high tide over the next couple hours. that becomes a problem. we've seen problems well inland. we were forecasting 7 to 11 feet and we're seeing those problems as we look closer at what is happening with this, the water gets forced into the
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channels and rivers. normally we want them to flow out whenever it rains hard. the water goes out of the area. in this case the storm surge comes in and where you see those channels shrink and become smaller the water gets funneled and comes out. we've seen the high values of water around new bern and it's just a lot of rainfall on top of that. if you think about all the rain that's coming down trying to drain it gets backed up. increasingly we'll see more and more of a danger associated with the rainfall as well. so we do see that storm surge but really looking at the rain. it will continue to be a problem throughout the weekend. right around the center 20 to 30 inches, maybe some 40 inches. we're just getting started and we have over a foot. inland charlotte 10 to 15. around raleigh getting close to asheville some rainfall amounts. we have to be careful with this. depending on the movement, there is always uncertainty in the extended forecast. some of these values can move in different directions putting you in danger. with all the rainfall and think about the terrain. we can see the mudslides and
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flash flooding. this is something we need to be careful about looking into the future into the weekend. and i've been saying it over and over, not just an issue along the coast. we can see the dangerous flash flooding inland with time. we're continuing to watch this. the dangers of water and the dangers of wind. the longer we keep the wind on the saturated soil the more trees we can knock down and more power outages. ken graham at the national hurricane center with the latest on hurricane florence. >> sandra: there you have the latest update. wind speeds reaching 80 miles per hour as the eye of hurricane florence is hovering over cape fear according to the national hurricane center. they're still reporting this storm is moving very slowly and rainfall is the big factor. they were using words like repetitive rainfall. continuous rainfall. the rainfall rates in some areas could reach as much as 40 inches as this moves extremely slowly inland, bill. the big takeaway there is that
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it's not just the coastal areas that are affected and in danger. it is those inland areas as well. >> bill: so much of this forecast is going as they predicted it. it's a strange thing, sandra, to see a storm of this size to take a certain direction and then move opposite of what you would expect. now traveling west to the southwest. the storm last night was coming into the west to the northwest. and now it's almost making a shift in a way you do not anticipate and don't expect. i think the worst news that he was giving right there from the national hurricane center is just how slowly this storm is moving. 5 miles an hour, 6 miles an hour. it's just plodding its way through and more rainfall again to the people here on the coast. the wind speeds down. that's good. but that's small consolation now for a storm of this size to be moving that way in that direction with that forward motion.
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it's almost stationary right now as you look on the radar. the governor roy cooper from north carolina, he is now briefing as well. if we have him, let's drop in and get the latest from the governor here in the tar heel state. >> if you do, rescue helicopters will have a difficult time operating. be alert and listen to the radio for warnings about wind, tornadoes, rising water, or orders to shut off gas, water and power. here at the state emergency operations center and at locations around the state, experts are staging supplies and equipment. they're standing up shelters for people in need. they're continuing to share critical flood mapping information so local officials can pinpoint where the next evacuations may be needed. shelter information is
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available at the ready nc app or on our website, or by dialing 211. individuals using video relay service for the deaf and hard of hearing should dial 888-892-1162 and we're grateful to have monica mcgee here using american sign language. if you have an emergency, call 911. we're tracking the storm around the clock and we are in touch with local officials in areas bearing the brunt of the storm. i just talked to the mayor of new bern, in fact. teams will be ready to get them what they need to help their communities through this challenging time. we are expecting several more days of rain and our focus now
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is getting people away from immediate danger. and then we will shift into putting our communities back together. >> bill: roy cooper there, the governor here in north carolina. the word goes out, the warning to so many getting reports now throughout this part of north carolina that roads are under water. trees are down, power is out. so many more affected. griff jenkins atlantic beach. griff has been up long before the sun came up earlier today. what are you getting now? a pretty good punch there. we are as well on the coastline. >> yeah, you know, bill, this is some of the fiercest winds i've felt since 2:00 a.m. gusts at 80 to 90 miles an hour. you have a problem now. the sound in morehead beach. we had to get off atlantic beach. here at morehead city, you see the water, the surge spilling
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into the streets. things on the docks becoming on board starting to become part of the unbelievable -- all the trees down. guys, five minutes ago on my phone i got a tornado warning. this is a buoy from one of these docks and now it's going down the middle of this street in morehead city. you see the structural damage, the infrastructure really starting to suffer greatly in this area because of the high power lines. so many of them down, trees down. roofs being torn apart. of course with the last few minutes a tornado warning in this area. the wind event here is certainly far from over and as we sit here and try and brace for these winds, the elements that took the first brunt of it before we had the lull are now getting a second punch from this but it's complicated by this surge. we're pretty much hitting close to high tide now on atlantic
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beach side and why this water is starting to come in and plug these streets. it is now getting mixed with the extensive rainfall. listening to the meteorologist talk about the fact it will keep in slowly is not good news for the folks here as it continues to hammer us. >> bill: griff, be well. atlantic beach. we can feel the back side of the storm that griff is describing. we can feel that as well here in wilmington and gives you a sense of the size of this storm still again 85 mile-an-hour winds here, 85 miles an hour from the national hurricane center. i want to emphasize i've never seen a major storm like this change directions. that was the shift, the jog in the pattern that we heard from the national hurricane center a moment ago traveling west/northwest. now west/southwest. joe said a few days ago said think about a cork in a
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floating river as it bobs and weaves and as the river flows downward and that cork just kind of bobs on the top of the surface of the water. that is almost what this storm is doing right now. how it can shift directions is an extraordinary thing. and there were many who thought it could drift towards south carolina and cause a lot of problems down there. a few days ago there was fear for georgia. don't know if it will go that far. just to get a sense, sandra, the form has moved in a different direction is ominous for the people in southeastern north carolina and across the border in south carolina right now. >> sandra: life threatening flooding is underway. the national hurricane center giving us the latest update. winds reaching 80 miles an hour. we'll continue to watch it for you. much more coming up here on "america's newsroom." also coming up the u.s. government responds to hurricane florence. cancer ... it's very personal.
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>> sandra: president trump says the federal government is ready to deal with florence. today tweeting incredible job being done by fema, first responders, law enforcement and all. thank you. chris wallace, anchor of "fox news sunday" joins us with more on all this. so far the federal response, the president seems to be heaping praise on that. >> yeah. and one of the things that we've learned over the years is that you don't respond to a
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hurricane or any kind of huge natural disaster after the fact. you respond before the fact. and the fact is that fema had pre-positioned hundreds of people and tons of supplies, equipment, boats, cars, all kinds of stuff so that as soon as they can get to areas that are clear from the storm. astonishing to hear the national hurricane center. they're not talking about inches of rain but feet of rain. as soon as some of those areas are clear, they'll be able to get in there and provide whatever it is that people on the ground need, whether it's water, food, or equipment to help them dig out. so the response at least so far, we're in the early stages, seems to be good because of all the pre-positioning. >> sandra: the president continues to receive criticism on both sides of the aisle to his recent comments on puerto rico, chris.
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>> well, it's curious because the fact is we're all focused on, as we should be, is the fact that a million of our fellow americans are in the eye of this storm or the storm may be headed over them. their lives are in danger, all their property is in danger and the government has done such a good job in preparing. and early this week on tuesday the president, as he was getting a briefing, decided to defend the federal response of hurricane maria a year ago in puerto rico. and to say this was one of the unsung successes of fema. of course, there has been a lot of controversy about that and according to some studies that are widely accepted the death toll not from the immediate storm but from the aftermath rose from dozens to almost 3,000. and then you have the president yesterday sending out that tweet saying he didn't believe the numbers. he thought they had been spun by democrats trying to make him look bad.
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that got a very negative response not just from democrats and from people in puerto rico, but from top republicans. the speaker of the house, paul ryan, who said look, we have no reason to doubt the new higher death toll from maria. it seems like a curious thing to be focusing on when one, there is a storm that is such a danger, and at least so far the fema, the federal government seems to be so well positioned to handle it. >> sandra: and one of the latest things coming in is one of the small south carolina airports, spartanburg airport is a fema staging area. a small city housing emergency crews and rescue pilots, support staff. this is a huge operation. chris, you've watched at many of these hurricanes and the response before. this one is a slow mover and the threat inland is as great as the threat we've been watching on the coastal areas
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there. a lot of time has to play out before we really know the overall impact of this storm and the resources both federally and at the state level locally what's really going to be needed. >> absolutely because you are talking first of all at the coastline of the storm surge and as we say not inches but feet of rain. but you heard the fellow from the national hurricane center talk about a foot of rain or so well inland in raleigh and asheville, north carolina. that's nowhere near the coast. you get flooding there, freshwater flooding heading down from the mountains towards the ocean and these rivers and then meanwhile you maybe have the rivers backed up from storm surge and water from the coastline, you could have massive flash flooding. that will be a huge concern and it could happen not today or tomorrow but over the weekend or early into next week. let me just say on "fox news sunday" we'll be all over this
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story talking to top federal officials, top state officials. we'll have live reports from the scene. this will be happening on our shift on "fox news sunday" on sunday morning. we'll know a lot more then about how much damage has been done and how much damage is still possible in that region. >> sandra: i know you've got louisiana senator john kennedy as your guest as well, a programming note coming up on "fox news sunday" with chris wallace as the senate prepares to vote on the nominee of brett kavanaugh. chris wallace, what a next couple of days this will be as we watch this play out. over 500,000 have already lost power in the state of north carolina alone. it could be days, if not weeks we've been told from officials before those residents may have their lights back on again. chris wallace, good to see you this morning. thank you. >> thank you, sandra. >> sandra: bill hemmer. >> bill: how are you doing,
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smitty? we're hearing from the mayor's office and the governor in north carolina. they expect this to be a flooding story that will go for several days and what sort of form or fashion that takes we don't know. a lot of people will feel the brunt of this storm for a long time and the after effects, too. getting the back wind of the storm right now as it continues to come through. in a moment we'll talk to some business owners south of here who decided to stay to ride out the storm. they still have power, believe it or not, which is a remarkable thing when you think about half a million people have lost electricity. also in a few moments here we're back in touch with the mayor's office in wilmington. he will give us an assessment about what he is seeing throughout the city, throughout the town. 911 calls apparently here in wilmington are coming in at a very high rate and they do not have the personnel to go out and respond to these phone calls. so all that is coming up
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momentarily. we'll keep you covered the best way we can on florence as our coverage continues here live in wilmington. back in a moment in north carolina.
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>> bill: back here live in wilmington. going to speak to the mayor in a moment to let us know what he is seeing with all the downed trees and power out and what he is hearing from the coastline. here is the mother of one of our colleagues at the fox news channel. ann, i believe you're in the town of calabash. you and your husband run a coffee shop called back streets nearby. you elected to ride this storm out. how are things where you are and what are you seeing, ann?
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>> we're very lucky. we still have power here in calabash. we have a lot of wind. we have pine trees behind our house so they're swaying, losing a lot of branches. rain spurts at times. heavy rain at times. heavy winds, then it slows down and then comes back. we decided to stay because we didn't want to leave our home and then come back to something, you know, trees through the house, the roof or whatever. so we decided to ride it out. being we have the store and the cafe, we didn't know what kind of damage would happen there, either. we wanted to be able to be right here. we heard it would be very hard to get back with the flooding. >> bill: we're a long way from this being over. do you think you made the right decision? >> yes. i was very nervous beforehand.
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last night we didn't have -- i didn't even hear anything all night down here and i think so. we're just hunkered in. everybody cleaned up their yards and we put everything away. so we're happy we stayed at the moment. >> bill: ann, good luck to you. did many of your neighbors stick around or did they leave? >> i would say a lot of them left. there is probably 10 of us in my section and then we're in a golf course community so a lot of people left. but in my area i know about 10 of us are in this part of the neighborhood. so we stuck it out. some were leaving and then decided to stay the other night. i said okay, you guys are staying, i'll stay. we were always planning to stay only because we own the cafe and the house. we're worried about that. >> bill: good luck to you. we have a ways to go here.
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>> thank you. we appreciate it. be careful out there. >> bill: you bet. good luck. amazing you still have power. she is about 45 miles south of here right on the border between north carolina and south carolina. ann, good luck. want to bring in the mayor now from wilmington. you've been out to assess some things and what do you have for us now. >> made landfall. we still have considerable amount of time before the storm is out of here. it will be significant amount of damage. it has already happened. thank god we have not had any loss of life as of yet that we know of. we're getting calls for medical emergency services and we're assessing those and trying to get those folks to the hospital as quickly as we can. i talked to the mayor of wrightsville beach. they're assessing damage there. they're losing roofs there. on the beaches and looking at storm surges in the next three hours and they're very
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concerned. $11 million worth of beach renourishment is gone. washed away. >> bill: part of the strategy for the barrier islands was to build up the dunes. >> this thing has been upon us for hours and just pounding us. all i'll ask for our citizens to have patience to stay inside until we get crews out there to assess what the damage is. we have a significant amount of it what i've been told by our emergency operations folks there. just going to ask for their patience and take time for us to clean it up. >> bill: we're hanging on. we get the squalls and i'm trying to hear you when we talk. what have you heard about homes along the ocean and what sort of assessment could you provide on that if you have information. >> he have lost some roofs and damage to some homes and all over the city. at the beach we've lost some of the roofs on some homes down
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there. in the next couple of hours they're concerned about the storm surge on the barrier islands coming through there. we haven't had a loss of life so far and that's good news. >> bill: winds are coming due east. wrightsville beach is eight miles that way and hitting us in the face. >> the river is now being pushed all the way back up. as i told you earlier we are looking at the cresting of the river of 25 feet on tuesday. we'll deal with flooding for the next several days. >> bill: thank you so much. we'll stay in contact. thank you for coming back. thank you, mayor. >> sandra: bill hemmer, thank you for that. much more coming up including a closer look at how emergency crews are responding to florence. former fema chief david paulson will join us next. hey there people eligible for medicare.
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>> sandra: fox news alert on former trump campaign chairman paul manafort. manafort pleading guilty today in federal court as part of a deal with special counsel robert mueller. catherine herridge is live in washington with this story. >> thanks, sandra. i've just come from the courtroom. paul manafort entered just after 11:00 eastern wearing a navy suit, crisp white shirt and red tie. he flashed a smile to his defense team. in the first two rows on the upper right-hand side of the courtroom those are reserved for the special counsel and it was packed. we counted 26 members of the special counsel present for the guilty plea. based on the hearing so far, paul manafort is pleading guilty to two conspiracy counts. the first one has to do with a basket of financial crimes. tax fraud, bank fraud, failure to register as the agent of a foreign government. that's for his lobbying work as well as making false statements and the second count has to do
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with obstruction. in the d.c. prosecution the allegation is manafort tried to tamper with witnesses to get their stories straight about his lobbying work in europe. the big question mark is whether there will be cooperation by paul manafort with the special counsel. the hearing is ongoing. i left after critical remarks from special counsel mueller's deputy andrew weissmann. he said that in exchange for the guilty plea, the remaining counts here in washington, d.c. as well as 10 counts in virginia, remember, there was a hung jury on 10 counts in virginia. it will be dismissed at sentencing or when his cooperation is complete. there is some element of cooperation as part of the deal as we learn more of the details we'll come back to you. >> sandra: breaking details now. catherine herridge, thank you for your reporting on that. we'll see you in a bit.
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>> bill: extraordinary thing here. behind me here is the cape fear river and just like the mayor was describing a moment ago we've watched this river flow downstream toward the atlantic ocean and now it has reversed course and coming the other way. we've seen debris in the river float from left to right which means those are the waters of the atlantic that have now pushed this water further inland here behind there we mentioned last hour the u.s.s. north carolina, a major tourist stop here in wilmington. to see what nature can do and how it happens before your eyes is an extraordinary thing. a man who knows that all too well james paulison with me now. former director of fema. sir, the 911 calls are coming in and fielded here in wilmington. we talked a lot about the storm surge and the water that will go up these rivers. knowing what you know based on how the federal government
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responds to storms like these, what are top of mind for your major concern right now for the people in north carolina? >> i think the main concern is the ones who have decided to shelter in place to stay. they need to stay there and not get out of their homes. wait until the winds die down and waters start to recede before you get out of your home. that's where we have most of our casualties is after the storm. people think they can get out early. just sit tight until things start to calm down a little bit. the second thing is people are already going to be moving in. i know the states are ready. they've got the national guard already been activated. fema is moving stuff in. you see our power companies coming in from all around the country, from the south and through the north out of illinois are already moving in to be ready to start working on power. i think what we have to stop and think about, though, in the long term is relooking at our building codes and are we going to build these homes back the
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same way or build them back in the same place again? maybe it's a little too early for that but i think in the back of our minds we have to start thinking about how do we better prepare for these storms so we don't have the type of damage we'll see once these winds die down? >> bill: very interesting point. the infrastructure changes when big storms like this come through and local towns, local cities, local counties, states, they make different laws and they have different building codes as you go along. and perhaps that's an effect of florence. too early to have that conversation i think. we're still waiting for assessments from the barrier islands. when you think about the rivers unindated in water. are we looking at harvey from last year or floyd from 1999? what is your best guess of that?
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>> what i've seen, i think it will be worse than harvey. it is not flat like houston was where the water can run off quickly. we have valleys and hills and you've got rivers backing up right next to you. so i think the flooding will be very significant with the rain. this storm is not going away quickly. it will make a loop around and be there for a while. we'll end up with a lot of water and a lot of water damage. >> bill: she is a slow mover unfortunately. thank you, sir, another squall coming into wilmington. good to get your perspective. thank you. get back to sandra in new york city. >> sandra: amazing to watch this hurricane continue to roll ashore moving west. let's go to shepherd smith. a preview of special coverage coming up shortly. >> good forsee you. we'll talk with the mayor of new bern in north carolina where they're having a whale of
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a time today. they've rescued 200 people and more than 100 others are waiting for assistance now. you'll hear from somebody who is riding out the storm who says the only way to get anywhere is to swim. i want to show you the problem with this town of new bern. here it is on the map. so here is the hurricane right here. the hurricane is sitting here with those counter clockwise winds, right? so all of the water and all of the wind is going in that direction because of the counter clockwise flow. here is the town of new bern right here. it is just up the river and of course it just flipped away. it is just up the noose river here. if you look here is new bern and here is this river. so all of this water is coming in from the atlantic ocean up this river and flooding this entire area. if you back out just a little bit here from this, this is emerald isle, atlantic beach. look at the totals from those areas and pine knoll shores.
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their rainfall is 38 inches in two days. flooding across this entire area is an enormous concern keeping in mind the storm right now is right here. so where is it going? it's moving at only 4 miles an hour and moving in this direction. it is about to be over water again. is there a chance of some strengthening? it's not likely but this is where the energy comes from over that warm water. so lots more rain is to come throughout the day, tonight, tomorrow, tomorrow night, and into sunday. sandra, a mess ahead for all the faoem along the coast. >> sandra: you mentioned new bern. we spoke to the cajun navy down there already. they were down ahead of the storm and they have 310 volunteers and brought their boats down there. they're trying to rescue people who are already calling out for help. it will be amazing to watch this. looking forward to your coverage, shepherd smith starting at noon eastern time. thank you. hurricane florence is far from over. fema says the storm could
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linger in the carolinas for at least another day. more on where this storm is headed and who is at risk. >> the streets of morehead, a few hours ago we drove down, to give our viewers this shot. but it is just business after business, tree after tree blown away. you can see -- [inaudible] street signs flying like a piece of weaponry.
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david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. that's it? everybody two seconds! "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job. >> sandra: hurricane florence moving inland. the storm could continue be a threat for up to 36 hours. the danger high winds and heavy flooding. joining us now is south carolina congressman ralph norman. he is in charlotte, north carolina. congressman, thank you for joining us. what can you tell us you're seeing in your area? >> well, i've been up since 4:00. it was pretty steady -- pretty
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calm up until two hours ago. you've seen a noticeable difference in the wind. it's blowing debris on i-77. we're 20 miles south of charlotte from my hometown. the clouds are coming and you can see the changes and as has been said on your show, the water. they're predicting 24 inches. two feet of water that will have an impact over all the inland and particularly now with the issues we had outside of columbia three years ago, it will be a major problem. >> sandra: what reports have you gotten so far of either damages or injuries? >> bill: main thing that we have heard and fema has been great. the governor's updates have been good. the local officials have corresponded and i know we've had patients, 18 moved from the myrtle beach area to hospitals in other areas.
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the shelters, we have 2500 to 3,000 beds. 5% of those are filled now. sumter has 70 people who have gone to shelters. so i imagine as the weather over the next three days gets worse you'll see this filling up. >> sandra: do residents have the resources they need? are you asking for more? >> well now it's a wait and see. when it starts actually hitting and the rains i think are supposed to hit about 8:00 late this afternoon and we'll have to wait and see. they've been very responsive to keeping in touch. the daily meetings, the almost hourly meetings we've had where local officials are corresponding with state and national groups, so hopefully we'll have the help there. when it actually gets to be a major issue with flooding, at left in the fifth district, i think they will be responding. >> sandra: as a south carolina congressman i'm sure it is not your first storm. what can you tell us about
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perspective and looking back historically as storms that came before this and how it's looking now? >> in 1989, hugo went right through the mid state upstate and went through charlotte and it's kind of unexpected the damage it did. now we've had a little bit of time to prepare because of the slow moving nature of hurricane florence. i think the preparations this time has been a lot better and the fact that we're getting agencies to all pitch in and really i have 11 counties in my district and they're talking to each other. law enforcement is engaged with all the different authorities, both city and county. that's the encouraging part about it. water is just a hard thing to deal with particularly with the aftermath on how do you fix it? the dollars that are involved in getting it back in shape to -- for the houses to move in. if we start losing power, which
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is expected, that's just going to add to the problems. >> sandra: south carolina congressman ralph norman. thank you for your time this morning. we hope and pray for the best for your residents and businesses and communities there that they have a best-case scenario. we'll continue watching. thank you, congressman. back out to bill. >> bill: i tell you, since we came out here about 6:30 this morning it's amazing to see how much the temperature drops. the wind starts to change direction from the north to the east and the southeast and you can feel the humidity gets dried up, gets sucked out of here and it's really chilly cold air that we're feeling here in wilmington. to our viewers at home, the cape fear river. it's an extraordinary thing to watch. we watched it flow south and now it's coming from the south to the north. this is a big body of water that's growing larger. you can see the debris floating with it. as we move toward high tide and
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rivers like these, this is just one right here. you can imagine what's happening south of here -- north of here as well when they talk about the noose river in new bern or pamilco sound. a similar scene they're getting here. this is the cape fear river moving south to north as hurricane florence khurns. if you were looking for a quick hit of a hurricane this is not the one. florence is here for a while. our coverage is as well. we'll be back in a moment live in wilmington, north carolina. we'll see what we get next coming up right here on fox. ♪ you shouldn't be rushed into booking a hotel. with expedia's add-on advantage, booking a flight unlocks discounts on select hotels until the day you leave for your trip. add-on advantage. only when you book with expedia.
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we lost power at day break earlier today. i don't know what you see in the monitor. what has been impressive of what we've seen so far from florence. >> sandra: we're looking at new bern, we've seen streets flooded. water up to people's knees. pets in the streets. it is a dire situation there. we already know there has been over 100 rescued and outstanding over 100 phone calls out for rescues where people decided to hunker down there, bill. so definitely a situation there. atlantic beach where griff has been as well has been a lot of devastation as the storm continues to move inland, bill. >> bill: i think we're very -- so much in the early stages of this, too. this is only the anecdotal information we get from certain areas because we can get people there. a police officer comes out or the governor gives us
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information. so many parts in north carolina and south carolina as well that we don't have a firm grasp for what people are experiencing. something is blowing around over there. we've seen that from time to time over the past five or six hours, smitty. there is a parking lot in front of us as the wind comes from the east. numerous trees are down and i say that just because we haven't been able to get out and see the town of wilmington. if in this small area where we are where we can see a dozen, two dozen trees with limb damage and some of the roots were kind of sheered off by the wind. you can probably hear and feel the monitor, it is hitting us in the face here due east as florence wraps around here. you see the winds change and they'll continue to shift for many hours to come. we'll be here to watch it, won't we? >> sandra: i have to figure out the trick you have for keeping that hat on your head. that's impressive in and of itself.
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we know it will be a long haul. florence is a slow mover as we heard the update from fema earlier. the rainfall totals are going to be the really big story here as this storm continues to move inland. bill, just the difference you're seeing right now and the wind picking up. 80 miles an hour was the last update from the national hurricane center. final thoughts from you before we go to shep for coverage? >> bill: i just want to emphasize again. i made the point an hour ago. how you can have a storm of this size and moving in a west/northwest fashion and shift to a west/southwest fashion. that's the prediction they made three days ago. it appears to be taking that shape and form. again, if you wanted florence to hit and move, this is not the storm that will do that. it will linger for some time. >> sandra: to you are and your team on the ground thank you and stay safe. that does it for us here on "america's newsroom." our coverage of hurricane florence rolls on after the break with shepherd smith as
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the slow-moving storm threatens catastrophic storm surge and devastating flooding. stay with us here on the fox news channel. medicare cards are changing. with new, more secure numbers. but con artists, they never change. they'll always try to steal your medical identity. so, what can you do? guard your card, just like a credit card. don't give your medicare number over the phone or email. and remember, medicare never calls unless you've asked them to. to find more ways to guard your card, go to don't let your guard down. ♪
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>> shepard: i'm shepard smith fly from fox news headquarters in new york, welcome to our viewers on the fox news channel and satellite and cable and on fox television stations across america. this is fox news coverage of hurricane florence. the storm made landfall this morning near wrightsville beach north carolina but fema officials warn, and i'm quoting, this is only the beginning. hundreds of rescues are underway right now. the storm has knocked out power to more than that, and this is the new number, have a million people across north carolina. forecasters say the threat of catastrophic flooding is underway now and they expect the threat of catastrophic flooding for days to come as river


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