tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC January 29, 2022 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
breaking news tonight, the blizzard of 2022 now pounding the northeast, dumping as much as two feet of snow and counting hurricane force winds and whiteout conditions crippling major cities from new york to boston more than 100,000 without power. major airports almost completely shut down. and now the storm surge is flooding entire downtown >> this is a very serious storm. this could be life threatening plus, florida freeze the coldest temperatures in a decade the warnings tonight, beware of falling frozen iguanas supreme decision, the white house confirming a possible contender for the open supreme
court seat what we know about the judge president biden vows to send more troops to eastern europe. our reporter presses ukrai'sne president as russia takes more steps toward an invasion >> how are you preparing for what everyone is describing as an imminent attack the bombshell report from espn that tom brady is retiring, but now denials from those close to him we have the very latest. and u.s. athletes arriving in beijing for the olympics welcomed by officials in hazmat suits. we'll take you inside the strict olympic bubble and why team usa is so excited about the beds >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with jose diaz balart good evening a powerful blizzard is hitting the most populous cities in the northeast with a force that hasn't been seen in years. the storm is incredibly dangerous, and not just because of the snow totals, which are extraordinary, more than two
feet already in parts of massachusetts, but also because of the vicious winds nearing 100 miles per hour at times. that's hurricane strength. the whiteout conditions sending cars skidding and grounding planes more than 3,500 flights have been cancelled and more than 100,000 homes have lost power the other danger, the storm surge. take a look at this. parts of nantucket off cape cod are completely under water our teams are out covering it all tonight. and we begin with kathy park in boston >> reporter: tonight boston buried under a historic blizzard, whiteout conditions, fierce winds, and crushing waves along the coast, neighborhoods quickly going under water. >> the streets officially flooded. >> reporter: in nantucket, residents pulled out a canoe, as streets turned into rivers >> it's a very long storm. we're not quite out of the woods on it yet. >> reporter: plunging temperatures and climbing snow
totals made the clean up more difficult. crews struggled to stay ahead of the pileup >> we can't see anyone, can't see pedestrians, can't see people everyone wants dunkin' donuts. >> reporter: by midday, the weather went from bad to worse >> the snow is falling so heavily, it's a little hard to see. >> reporter: drivers urged to stay home, as travel took a treacherous turn the storm so intense hundreds of flights cancelled today and tomorrow at boston logan international. >> i just came in from the azores flight was cancelled for cleveland. can't get any until sunday evening or monday morning. >> reporter: the airport reporting nearly a foot of snow by noon. >> the visibility is so low. it's really dangerous to be out. we're heading right back >> yeah. >> reporter: some spots even reporting 3 to 4 inches of snowfall per hour. this storm has been relentless we get hit with these heavy bands of snow.
wind gusts are registering 40 to 50 miles per hour. that number closer to a stunning 90 miles per hour for portions of cape cod, fuelling monster waves. the powerful winds knocking out power to more than 100,000 customers. tonight, massachusetts taking a direct hit and now looking at days of digging out. >> and kathy joins us live from boston where, kathy, they're still in the middle of blizzard conditions >> reporter: jose, that's right. we are still in the thick of the storm. wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour will persist over the next couple of hours. already 17 inches of snow here in boston. and when the storm finally pulls out, we're looking at an additional 3 to 6 inches of snow jose >> kathy park in boston, thank you. this record breaking blizzard is making it almost impossible to get anywhere in the northeast today. the miserable conditions paralyzing transit from skies to the roads and on the rails emilie ikeda is in new york's long island with more.
>> reporter: tonight, a bomb cyclone burying the northeast. >> this is a very serious storm. >> reporter: snowfall totals reaching double digits in the region's first blizzard in years. >> whiteout, roads are awful, very, very slippery. >> reporter: atlantic city recording its snowiest january in history, as the winter blast dumps 19 inches in bayville, nearly 2 feet in iceland, and more than 14 inches in sterling, where snowfall blanketed areas up to 3 inches an hour >> snowplows can't come around fast enough to get that cleared. >> reporter: officials are urging residents to stay home to, one, avoid slippery roadways, and two -- take a look at this -- near whiteout conditions the winds picking up the snow and making travel that much more dangerous. gusts topping 60 miles per hour, slamming coastal communities, and ushering in official blizzard conditions in new york and connecticut. >> what's the worst part about this storm >> the visibility. you can't see anything in front of you it's really bad.
>> reporter: tractor-trailers banned from highways in many states. as police in new york are seen trying to free drivers caught in the chaos. from railroads to runways, cancellations plaguing major transportation hubs. nearly all flights grounded at new york area airports, and more than half cancelled in philadelphia officials warn the travel headache will continue through the weekend. >> wind chills of 0 to minus 10 are dangerous for people, but they're also very challenging for people to salt and get the roads safe again >> emilie ikeda joins us live from long island emilie, residents are digging out from nearly two feet of snow there. >> reporter: that's right, jose, parts of the northeast completely unrecognizable. this fire hydrant nearly covered. and you can see it's difficult for me just to trudge through the sheer amount of snow here. we are seeing relief from the snowfall, but the winds will persist. gusts paired with freezing temperatures will make roadways
like this especially icy overnight. jose >> thank you let's bring in meteorologist dylan dreyer in new york city. dylan, this is not over yet. >> it certainly isn't, especially for new england, where two feet of snow has already fallen it will continue to move up into maine, and it will wind down overnight. so, then the snow is gone. but on the back side of this storm, we still have very gusty winds, at times gusting over 40 miles per hour and then combine that with the brutally cold temperatures working in, and it is going to be dangerously cold, especially for anyone who lost power across the northeast. by tomorrow morning we're looking for wind chills well below zero, and high temperatures will stay 10 to 20 degrees below average through the afternoon. jose >> dylan, not only the northeast. i mean, there's some freezing temperatures down south. >> reporter: i know. down in florida temperatures are going to be the coldest they've been in a decade high temperatures will only be
in the lower 50s but tomorrow morning in areas like orlando, the temperature will only be in the 20s, with a wind chill down around 25 degrees. and jose, i don't know if you're familiar with this, but that's falling iguana cold. they actually get paralyzed in temperatures that cold and they just fall right from the trees but they do recover when they warm up. >> just don't pick up the frozen iguanas because they won't be happy with you when they wake up dylan dreyer, thanks tonight the white house is confirming one name on the list of possible contenders for the supreme court seat soon to be vacated by justice stephen breyer, who announced his retirement earlier this week nbc's josh letterman is at the white house. josh, what do we know about this judge? >> her name is j. michelle childs, and she's a federal judge in south carolina. normally the white house wouldn't discuss who is being being considered or not, but childs is unusual. she's already been nominated for the d.c. appeals court. the white house says that more than three candidates are being considered, but a few republicans are pushing back on
president biden's promise to nominate a black woman, comparing it to affirmative action childs would also bring academic diversity to the bench she'd be one of just two justices who didn't attend an ivy league school. jose >> josh letterman at the white house. thank you. president biden is planning to build up forces in eastern europe, as ukraine prepares for a possible russian invasion. our matt bradley is in that country's capital, kyiv, and spoke to its president who tells him they are ready >> reporter: new propaganda video from russia shows the arrival of missile systems in belarus, the country on the northern border of ukraine while ukraine is making a show of antitank weapons from the uk, all as president biden is preparing to deploy u.s. troops to the region. >> i'm moving u.s. troops to eastern europe and the nato countries in the near term. >> reporter: but ukraine's president told me he's not worried. >> how are you preparing for what everyone is describing,
except for the ukrainian government, as an imminent attack >> how we should act we should have no panic. we have a powerful army. >> reporter: the top american diplomat on ukraine told me that despite appearances, ukrainians are taking the situation seriously. >> the ukrainian military and the ukrainian people are ready for this >> and yet their official line still seems to be, russia likely won't invade why is that? >> it's like, listen, this is another wednesday. russia is always, you know, trying to destabilize us for the ukrainians, this isn't something new. and i think that's why you see maybe a bit of -- you don't see panic. you don't see people getting too concerned because they've lived with it for so long. >> reporter: and there's a feeling among some here that ukraine has become merely an observer to its own fate >> do you feel like these countries are fighting over ukraine rather than for ukraine?
>> thank you for this question even if these leaders agree about something, i'm sure these agreements will be illegitimate and temporary in nature. >> reporter: if an invasion is imminent, here in kyiv the drums of war sound like a distant rumble matt bradley, nbc news, kyiv, ukraine. now to the other breaking news today espn is reporting that tom brady, arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, is retiring. his former teammates and competitors immediately rushed to pay tribute but late today pushback from those close to brady, saying he has yet to make a decision blayne alexander on what we now know >> brady into the end zone touchdown. >> reporter: he is widely considered the greatest quarterback to ever play the game but tonight tom brady's future in football is unclear espn citing anonymous sources reports brady is retiring from the game of football >> breaking news, tom brady is retiring after 22 spectacular
seasons in the nfl >> reporter: but sources tell nbc news, brady contacted the tampa bay buccaneers general manager today to say he has not made a final decision. and brady's father is also pushing back, telling reporters, the football legend is not retiring on the field, brady's achievements are simply staggering, seven super bowl wins, five-time super bowl mvp, three-time league mvp. he spent two decades with the new england patriots but in 2020, brady took his talents to the tampa bay buccaneers, where he won his seventh lombardi trophy at the age of 43. >> he's going to go down in history as the greatest player in the 102-year history of the nfl. >> reporter: the oldest active player in the league, brady has indicated that he did not want a farewell tour, helping fuel speculation of a possible retirement this year, only heightened after last week's disappointing loss to the los angeles rams
>> he will stand as a beacon to all players who think, well, when i'm 37 or 38, that's it i got to think about hanging it up you don't have to think about hanging it up. and that's why i think that's going to be the way he will go down in history for changing the game >> reporter: tonight, a league and legions of fans wondering about brady's future on the field. blayne alexander, nbc news coming up, what's behind the rise in crime? some say it's a controversial new policy that is setting some offenders free also the first look at the tough covid restrictions for athletes at the olympics. team usa met by officials in hazmat suits
we are less than a week away from the winter olympics in beijing, and tonight we're getting a first look at the extreme covid restrictions for athletes from the moment they touch down in china. janis mackey frayer reports from beijing. >> reporter: tonight team usa touching down in beijing to this, biohazard suits, testing, and tight restrictions into what officials call a closed loop >> everything is harder, but the system is very robust. the system is very effective >> reporter: for thousands of athletes and officials, china's zero covid policy means being confined >> this is where we will be staying. >> reporter: curler chris plys offering a glimpse of what it's
like >> we have an excellent view out the window >> reporter: a surreal world of daily health checks, barricaded hotels, and venues accessible only to people inside the bubble here on the outside, this is what most people will see of the olympics, the fence, the gates, the barriers of the closed loop that will prevent any crossover. at times, the two sides separated by about 20 feet what do you do with nbc? >> we're in audio. >> reporter: beyond the bubble, beijing is in full emergency mode with neighborhoods locked down, travel bans, and even restrictions on buying cough medicine for china's leaders, the olympics were supposed to showcase success in managing the virus. now covid cases are on the rise inside the closed loop, too, where testing positive means isolation or hospitalization >> we can't afford to get covid at all it's a small team. we haven't got replacements. >> reporter: athletes for the
most part seem to be taking it in stride. >> not only do we not have cardboard beds here, i'm in 0g mode now it's phenomenal. >> i'm so excited to finally be here >> reporter: preparing for a winter olympics like no other. janis mackey frayer, nbc news, beijing. and still ahead the new policy many police chiefs believe is driving up crime rates. are too many suspected criminals being released without bail?
and now to a policy that's generating controversy across the country. it's called bail reform, low-level offenders being set free until they stand trial. its intention is to fix problems in the justice system, but critics say it's led to a surge in crime megan fitzgerald now on both sides of the story >> reporter: across the country, violent crime is on the rise, and police chiefs believe one major policy change is at least partly behind the surge. from l.a. -- >> zero bail poses challenges. >> reporter: -- to chicago -- >> keeping violent offenders in jail longer will reduce violent crime. >> reporter: -- to upstate new york >> how do you describe the state of where we are right now? >> i think there certainly is fear >> reporter: the state of new york did away with cash bail for low-level offenders in 2019. that means some charged with crimes aren't held in jail, but instead are released until they stand trial. >> i've seen them myself where certain individuals, in my opinion, should not be released
into our community they make our community less safe >> reporter: other states like california, illinois, kentucky, and new mexico have made similar changes. and shortly after reform was enacted in 2017, june rogers lost her 26-year-old son christian. the father of two was gunned down by a man arrested on a gun charge and released. >> i'm hurt, angry, all of that. i lost my child, and i don't believe this would have happened had it not been for bail reform. >> reporter: the argument made for bail reform is that often times low-level offenders can't afford bond and can sit in jail for months like levette may she never had a criminal record until an altercation with her mother-in-law landed her behind bars >> my bond was $250,000.
that was 25,000 to walk and i couldn't afford that >> reporter: may sat in jail for 14 months. she lost her business and said her life crumbled as a result. >> i had contracts i lost all those contracts i even lost where i was living it affected my family. my kids was really impacted by it >> reporter: she now advocates for bail reform. >> what do you say to people who are against bail reform, who say it's increasing crime? >> that claim can't be substantiated. >> reporter: this man studying bail reform at columbia university he says there aren't enough studies yet to get a clear answer, but also that crime is rising everywhere, including where there has been no bail reform >> it would be very strange to conclude that modest reform efforts in one or two jurisdictions is somehow responsible for a rise in crime. >> reporter: but for june rogers, who lost her son, it's hard to accept that bail reform didn't play a role in his death. >> no one is taking responsibility for this. i have to go down to the graveyard to visit my son, which
>> reporter: these are the moments of joy, adventure, and love that helped write the final chapter of a life well-lived >> tell me a little bit about your dad >> oh, my dad lived his life in color. he just had this amazing ability to see someone's greatness before they could see it in themselves >> vanessa's dad, 73-year-old patrick mitchell, was a family man who climbed mountains, loved the beatles, and was a lifelong educator from san diego. after the granddad of three was diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer, vanessa turned to a community group asking for bucket list ideas the pair could enjoy together. >> i thought we could use some amazing ideas. it took me by surprise how many people offered suggestions >> it was more than 100, right >> hundreds, yes >> reporter: but they didn't just get ideas
people were so moved by the story. they offered them unforgettable experiences to carry the family through patrick's passing earlier this month, including tickets to las vegas for a ufc matchup, a private backyard violin concert performed by a local musician the pair even got a private tour of an aircraft carrier julie wright and her husband, justin, arranged a behind the scenes adventure with a u.s. navy helicopter squadron >> just having been through cancer with my mother last year, i kind of had a sense of what vanessa may be feeling >> reporter: the families, one of many who have since become close friends, helping celebrate patrick's life with a lasting legacy and support >> to speak to the hundreds of people that unilaterally reached out to you, what would you say to them? >> first, i would say thank you. helping other people feel not
alone in this world is very important. even a smile can save someone's life you just never know how you're going to impact someone's life >> vanessa says she's in touch daily with several of the people who helped create those amazing adventures that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. kate snow will be here tomorrow night. i'm jose diaz balart thank you for the privilege of your time and good night right now at 6:00, all lanes back open. new details on the chaotic afternoon, what the chp just told us about the situation.
plus a sign of hope in san francisco. lunar new year festivities returned to chinatown. we'll take you there as the community gets ready to welcome the year of the tiger. ♪♪ look at that. from sfo to southern california, it's red and gold invasion. people are getting pumped up ahead of tomorrow's big game. we are live at sofi stadium, as the niners quest for the super bowl continues. the news at 6:00 starts now. thanks for joining us. >> i'm terry mcsweeney. the nfc championship less than 24 hours away, but the party has started for niner fans, invading los angeles. joins us live from sofi stadium. first of all, your tweets are over the top. you're bringing all the excitement in. i mean, and you've got a beautiful backdrop for you right now for this live shot. how much red and gold are you seeing down there?
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