tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS November 1, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
>> pelley: >> pelley: tonight, after the storm, anger and frustration. >> we have no water except drinking water. no electric. >> pelley: why did you decide to stay? as lines for gas grow longer, tempers grow short. millions spend another night in the dark but help is on the way. our team of cbs news correspondents will bring you extensive coverage of the long road to recovery from hurricane sandy. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley reporting from long beach island, new jersey. >> pelley: good >> pelley: good evening. this barrier island on the new jersey shore is one of the areas hit hardest by hurricane sandy. in a moment, we'll show you what the storm did to this community and talk to some of the people who live here. they're facing a fourth day
without power as the nights grow colder. but first, the number of people who lost their lives in this storm is now up to at least 87 in nine states. in new york city, firefighters and police went door to door oncking on residents. mayor michael bloomberg said the death toll in the city is up to 37 now. today, police recovered the bodies of two staten island children who were literally torn from their mother's arms and swept away on floodwaters monday. millions of people in 11 states from virginia to new hampshire are spending a fourth night in the dark. nearly 4.5 million homes and businesses are without electricity. but the cavalry is on the way. the air force is shipping utility trucks and power generators from california 7board 17 aircraft. and the new york city subway started running again, but the service was very limited. ongt meant long lines for buses.
>> watch your step. be careful with the person in front of you. >> pelley: and even longer lines of cars cross the bridges into manhattan. in new jersey and on long island, cars lined up as far as the eye could see for gasoline. many stations are closed, either out of gas or without power for owerpumps. in some parts of new york city, the lines were for food and water. 52,000 homeowners in 16 states and washington, d.c. have filed insurance claims, including nclrly 10,000 here in new jersey. in this part of the state, long beach island, homes were not just flooded but destroyed like the one behind me. the new jersey national guard helped rescue folks from the island. a mandatory evacuation order was in effect at the time, but many people chose to stay behind. let us show you what parts of long beach island used to look like. as a point of reference, notice
ehe white house at the bottom of the cul-de-sac, the one with the pool. now look at it today. tat's the white house, wrecked, and the street is now a canal. long beach island has 150,000 residents in the summer, but today we found it mostly empty. the national guard is on patrol. earth movers are clearing roads of tons of beach sand. ofles of debris are rising in parking lots. among the only residents here today were frank and sandra smith. they rode out the storm. wiey're in day three without po and the utility may shut off the gas in town tonight as a safety precaution. it's been several days now since the storm. what has it been like living here on the island? >> cold. dreary. we have no water, except drinking water. no electric. >> pelley: why did you decide to stay? >> because we knew if we left,
we couldn't come back. they won't let-- if we leave now, we can't come back. would you like to see inside? >> pelley: what does it look like in there? >> pretty awful. >> pelley: well, let's have a look real quick. you had water up to your knees at least in this room. >> yeah. >> pelley: you were watching the ocean go by the front door. o> yeah! >> pelley: on the way to the bay. >> yeah! y.ght down the street. >> pelley: what did you think? >> you know what? i thought i'm really sad this happened, but i'm so glad we're here. >> pelley: you wanted to see it. >> i did. >> pelley: why? an an experience. i have experienced something amazing, and if it's going to happen, if you're going to lose all this stuff, you may as well get to have the excitement of
seeing it. >> pelley: mrs. smith told us that some of the stuff she lost includes all of her christmas presents, which she had already purchased. in new york city, just getting around has been a challenge. two tunnels that were flooded remain closed to traffic. and in lower manhattan, no power means the traffic lights are out. you might understand why new yorkers are getting a little fed up. jim axelrod is there tonight. jim. >> reporter: well, scott, this water-filled tunnel behind me is just one of the many challenges sandy has left for new yorkers who are facing a transportation nightmare. on this road into new york city, gasoline may be hard to find, but frustration summer is not. >> get in front of me! get in front of me! if it makes you happy. >> reporter: supply isn't the problem. it's the power blackouts that are keeping pumps from operating. >> move it! move it!
>> reporter: aaa says just a third of stations are open in new jersey and long island. this line was three hours long. >> worth the wait. >> reporter: hours waiting for gas is followed by hours to get over a bridge or through a tunnel. to reduce congestion, police are turning away cars with less than three people until midnight tomorrow. >> move the line to the front! let's go! >> reporter: new york city buses resumed running today, and they were crammed tight. cedric taylor is a security guard headed back to work. >> you have to be patient because they're slowly trying to recover for you. >> reporter: among the people ring the most to ease congestion are tommy coyne and his crew. they work for a marine salvage company that has been drafted onto emptying flooded tunnels. how crazy is what you're looking at in terms of work? >> it's-- we're used to doing salvage works, ships that have sunk, stuff like that. but this is on land. it's a whole different animal. >> reporter: but in new york
ani tonight, it's all hands on deck, and these men are happy to help. >> you think about it this way-- water is water. we take pumps, pump it out, and put it back where it came from and hopefully it's done in a few days. >> reporter: in fact, scott, the water we just showed you tommy pumping is from the tunnel behind me. he says he hopes to have that hnnel cleared out and ready to go within the next couple of days. >> pelley: jim, i wonder, has the power company said anything about when they expect to restore the electricity in new york? >> reporter: yeah, there are 227,000 people at last count without power in manhattan. coned, the power company, says they hope to have power restored to all of manhattan by saturday. >> pelley: jim, thanks. ko give you a better idea of how many new yorkers were left in the dark by sandy, have a look at this. here's the ski's skyline before the storm. and this is how it looked after the lights went out in lower manhattan. the blackout left an untold number of elderly and disabled
folks stranded in high-rise apartment buildings. michelle miller found new yorkers are stepping up to help them. >> reporter: in the dark and narrow staircase of lower manhattan's sued park apartment complex, we heard the echo of nick caswell's footsteps. the 62-year-old counts every step. you have to slow down for us, buddy. steward lost power, and since d si, caswell has been the only eeneline to the outside world evenat least seven families. today he was headed to the 20th day r. >> i got a message to try to help these people, whoever they were. >> reporter: he first stopped to visit 92-year-old lilly lifflander. she lives on floor 16. if people hadn't been helping you, would you-- would you be-- >> i'll feel stranded. >> service, eight, nine, 10. >> reporter: caswell finally got
to apartment 2006. >> how are you doing? >> i was recruited to see what you need. elaine brody and mark hans were the couple behind the door. >> we really felt isolated. >> so when he knocked on the door, what was your first thought? >> gratefulness, even if you came to say hello, how are you? me reporter: the couple hasn't been outside since the elevator stopped running monday night. >> coming up is really a hardship for us. >> that's why we stayed up here. >> we stayed up here and we knew it would be a commitment to walk down because we wouldn't be up.ng back up. >> reporter: three days without a working fridge, and the buppard is almost bare. so caswell heads back to the stairwell, out the front door, and to the food distribution center two buildings over. >> please and thank you. that's what i want in life, that's all. it's a nice thing. >> reporter: so it's back up the stairs. to the people who depend on it.
>> we appreciate that. >> reporter: michelle miller, cbs news, new york. >> pelley: we wondered today if sandy was just a category 1 hurricane, why did it do so much damage? well, our hurricane consultant, david bernard says one factor is yze. 20 years ago, when hurricane andrew hit south florida, it was a category 5, with 160-mile-per- hour winds. its winds extended just 280 miles across. sandy was 820 miles wide, two and a half times the size of andrew. another factor was the storm surge and its direction. sandy's surge pushed a wall of water toward the most densely populated part of the country during a high tide with a full moon, a formula for disaster. but not even a storm like sandy n n postpone election day. today, new jersey officials said
county clerk offices have been ordered to stay open all weekend to help process mail-in ballots, and in some hard-hit areas, s,litary trucks will serve as uelling places on tuesday. with five days till the election, the presidential campaign is back on. americans appear to be back in the mood to spend. and after the storm, it's dinner by candlelight, along with every other meal. when the cbs evening news continues.
>> pelley: just five days now until election day. early voting continued today in all 50 states. atis was the voting in maryland. we have reports from both campaigns tonight. first nancy cordes with the president in the swing state of nevada. nancy. >> reporter: scott, white house aides are making sure we know the president is still conducting the federal response to sandy while he's on the road, making conference calls to governors in the storm area between rallies, but he's also make up for lost time, hitting nree or four states a day between now and the election. the president bounded back on to the campaign trail wearing a bomber jacket emblazoned with his title-- commander in chief. >> it is good to be back in green bay, wisconsin!
hereporter: at each stop, he started by sharing lessons from hurricane sandy. >> when disaster strikes, we see america at its best. all the petty differences that consume us in normal times, all seem to melt away. >> reporter: both sides acknowledge the storm provided mr. obama with a valuable opportunity to show bipartisan leadership in the closing days of this race. republican new jersey governor and romney supporter chris christie repeatedly praised the president's performance and his compassion. >> you're go it to be okay. everybody is safe. >> reporter: today, mr. obama was back in campaign mode, deriding governor romney's eromise to bring change to washington. >> another $5 trillion tax cut that favors the wealthy isn't change. >> no! >> turning medicare into a voucher is change, but we don't want that change. oveeporter: the president's iveedule over the next five days tells you a lot about his
mpaiaign strategy. he'll be spending a great deal of time in ohio and wisconsin, trying to build a midwest firewall to prevent governor romney, scott, from getting 270 electoral votes. >> pelley: well, nancy, governor eymney went hunting for votes today in another swing state, virginia. snd jan crawford is covering his campaign. mp we really can't have four more years like the last four re ys. i know the-- the obama folks are chanting four more years, four fre years. rut our chant is this-- five more days. >> reporter: at a rally in virginia, a campaign cheer was also a reminder of how little time is left. >> five more days! ore more days! r reporter: before the y hadcane, romney had momentum. the race was in a dead heat, and he was tied or within striking distance in battleground states. but the storm knocked him off the front pages at a crucial time in the race. on monday and tuesday, he canceled rallies, and back on the trail yesterday in florida, d toned down his criticism of
the president. roday in virginia, romney was back on his economic message with sharp attacks on president obama. >> his campaign and address is all about attacking. al actually have a plan to get this economy going. we're going to put it in place ameelp the american people. b reporter: now, before the storm, romney was actually leading the president on the questions of which candidate would be a stronger leader, and which one would be better at working with democrats and gn tblicans. if he loses ground, scott, on either one of those questions, that could be a sign the storm hurt him. >> pelley: thanks, jan. the last report on the unemployment rate before the election will come out tomorrow. today, a new survey found that consumer confidence in the economy is the highest it's been in more than four and a half fous. that's a sign that americans are dn the mood to spend more, which could give the economy a boost. a family stranded in the suburbs, tries to get by without the basics. their story is next.
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heartburn symptoms causedelieve by acid reflux disease. osteoporosis-related bone fractures and low magnesium levels have been seen with nexium. possible side effects include headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. other serious stomach conditions may still exist. talk to your doctor about nexium. , pelley: east of new york city, power is still out at more than half the homes and businesses on long island, where 2.6 million people live. seth doane in freeport tells us that the folks there have been forced into a 21st century version of "frontier life." >> everything has been touched by family.
>> reporter: jacqueline mattis drives the local school bus in freeport, but no power means no school, and at home it means a lot of candles. >> i keep it lit, actually, but we watch it. i don't sleep. >> reporter: you don't sleep? >> no. >> reporter: what do you mean? >> because i have to make sure we don't burn down. >> reporter: her daughter ebonee thomas is home to help her clean up her flooded basement. the dental office where thomas works is closed, too, but no power there likely means no paycheck. >> it's november 1 and bills need to be paid and i don't have beney. >> reporter: it's come down to eating cans of tuna. there's no heat, no lights, no hot water. >> you're taking a cold shower and you're coming from the cold water into the cold air. >> reporter: a tree down, and the family car flooded. what happens if the car won't start and insurance won't cover is? >> i really don't want to think about that, but i know that my plan b or c, at this point, i'm hit really sure which alphabet number i'm at on my plans yet.
>> reporter: then there is the little things. >> they said the library is charging phones, so we'll walk over there. >> reporter: at freeport library, just downtown street, we found the most important resources were power and heat. >> oh! a dark and cold. >> reporter: kareem jarrett- lewis, a science teacher made sure her son, amani, didn't miss his school work, even though school was closed. gh we're here not only for nlmework but for warmth, and i pess to be around people. >> reporter: libraries have become a sort of refuge, scott, but they're a refuge that close at 9:00 p.m. >> pelley: seth, thanks very much. a chemical fire at the scene of a train derailment newer leuisville, kentucky, is now down to what's called a controlled burn. it started as an explosion yesterday. orkers used a blow torch ignited the fumes that were leaking from a tanker car. several of them were badly burned.
the storm washed away homes here on long beach island, but not the memories. that story is next. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. [ woman ] learn from my story. boom! get it! spin! oh nice hands! now this is my favorite play! oh! [ male announcer ] share what you love, with who you love. kellogg's frosted flakes. they're grrreat!
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back now from long beach island, this is the place billy joel sang about, where folks whose fathers fought the second world war spent their weekends on the jersey shore. for them, it was a summer paradise. but for others, ben tracy tells us it's a year-round home. >> it's long beach island. people call it lbi, the island. >> reporter: for most of her life, leslie houston has called this island home. >> once you been here and you've got the sand in your shoes, you never want to leave. it's a legacy. it's a life. it's what your hometown means to you if you spent 53 years there. >> reporter: which is why it's so hard to see it shattered. what do you think of what's happened to your island? >> we've gotten a real slap in the face. >> reporter: few things were spared on this strip of resort towns which, since the late 1800s, has been a haven for fishermen and sun seekers. >> they were in their petticoats and all that. that's how this island started.
it was a vacation spot for the people in philadelphia. >> reporter: 10,000 people live here year round. but in the summer, the population swells to 100,000, with families vacationing in towns named ship bottom, surf city and brant beach. >> atlantic city is about 13, 14 miles due south of the us here. >> reporter: glenn reitinger's family built their first summer home here in 1949. >> a lot of folks here that live here are teachers, are i'll say regular middle class folks who were able to get -- a lot of times get on the island and get a piece of property before the prices really skyrocketed. >> reporter: with its sandy beaches, amusement park and quaint candy shops, this is normally a summer paradise. but it's also a place that's known its share of disasters. >> my family owned a house right there. they bought it right after the '62 storm. >> reporter: the 1962 nor'easter ripped this place apart, as did a hurricane in 1944. but each time, lbi bounced back. now, three days after sandy, signs of strength are on display.
>> we are jersey strong. it's going to come back; maybe not this summer, but it's going to come back. >> reporter: because this is a place built on summer memories that can never be swept away. ben tracy, cbs news, long beach island. >> with thanks to the folks here on long beach island and the help of the new jersey national guard, that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, i'm scott pelley on long beach island in new jersey. good night. >> your realtime captioner: linda marie macdonald >> good evening, i'm allen martin. >> i'm dana king. with five days before the election, prop 30 could still go either way. win or lose, it could come down to the wire. cbs 5 political reporter grace lee takes a look at two key
polls with different outcomes. grace. >> reporter: well, allen, prop 30 is flirting ride on the edge and while the governor says he is confident schools and universities will get that $6 billion they need, there are still skeptics late in this political game. >> there are so many polls, if you read them carefully you will have the same sense of optimism that i do. >> reporter: the governor remains positive about proposition 30 passing. it's the initiative that would raise sales tax a quarter cent and increase state income tax on the rich to channel money into schools and colleges. but polls show it's going to be close. very close. a new field poll out today indicates that it is right on the cusp with 48% voting yes. that's lower than our exclusive surveyusa poll out yesterday that shows it passing with 51% of the vote. but some teachers have questions. if prop 30 passes putting $6 billion into a special