tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN January 23, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST
-- awww.vitac.comac -- this is cnn breaking news. good morning, everyone. hello, i'm fredricka whitfield. we continue our coverage of this blizzard that is sweeping throughout the mid-atlantic and northeast. at any moment now we are expecting an update from the mayors of both new york city and baltimore along with the new jersey governor, chris christie, as a powerful blizzard clobbers the northeast right now. already the impact is quite substantial. at least eight deaths blamed on this storm. eleven states overall now under a state of emergency. 160,000 homes are currently without power. and dire conditions on many roads. these are new pictures from a five mile stretch right there of the pennsylvania turnpike where
drivers have been stranded now for hours. and further south in kentucky parts of interstate 75 are iced over creating a backup of 35 miles. some drivers were forced to spend the night in their own cars and their trucks without food, without water. it is gridlock. let's get more on some of the worst hard-hit areas. cnn meteorologist allyson chinchar joining me in the cnn weather center. let's begin in kentucky where you have a 35 mile backup. you're talking about people who have been spending the night in their cars, no food, no water. give us the latest on what's expected there. >> that's right. they've already had parts in kentucky over a foot of snow, especially in the eastern portion of the state where they've had some of the highest totals. you go farther east of that. virginia, over two feet of snow just near the dulles international airport. they've had a report of 23 inches. again, that's obvious right there. why they've had so many flight
delays and flight cancellations not just at dulles, but at a lot of airports up and down the mid at lab particular. here's a look at the current radar. still snowing in parts of eastern kentucky. we're seeing heavier snow for that state. it should be wrapping up there. that's good news. for the areas farther east, it's quite a different story. some of the heaviest snow so far is coming down in parts of pennsylvania between philadelphia and harrisburg. we actually had some thunder snow. basically that just indicates to you that it's the very, very heavy downpours of snow that are coming down. still snowing very heavily in parts of virginia. they've already had some areas pick up already over two feet of snow. very heavy snow pushing into parts of manhattan, around long island. also across northern parts of new jersey. for a lot of these folks we're not done yet. look at these overall totals. again, the peak bull's eye stretches from washington, d.c., up towards new york. a lot of these areas will end up picking up 18 to 24 inches, but
some spots could pick up as much as 36 inches of snow before it's all said and done. those will likely be in the dark pink area, interstate 81, 83, 76, 78, they all intersect in that bull's eye area. those are not roadways i would want to be on at all today. we're also dealing with coastal flooding for new jersey, places like new york, maryland, delaware. high tide around 7:23 p.m. we have the full moon. all of that combined with the pressure system will cause pretty significant coastal flooding. the areas highlighted in orange are expecting moderate to major coastal flooding. the yellow areas expects minor to moderate flooding. these are the things that we are going to keep an eye on for at least the next 24 hours. >> this is really great information to get because this is life or death, a life or death situation. we heard that from the d.c. mayor and it applies to the entire mid-atlantic as well as the middle east.
thank you so much. right now in new york the coastal flood warning will be lifting at the top of the hour, but not for long. the worst part of the storm is yet to come. this afternoon snow will be dropping. about two inches per hour with winds up to 50 miles per hour in some areas. flood warnings will be back in effect around the fall of night and will continue throughout tomorrow evening. the storm is not expected to let up until at least midnight. martin savidge is in the thick of it in new york city where it is blustery there, but i can see behind you. some of the vehicles are still moving. public transportation on the way there. give you an idea of just how bad it is. >> reporter: new york city has been kind of a city that's been in transition when it comes to this particular storm because initially the forecast had predicted that it wasn't going to be that bad, but then successively those forecasts have gotten worse and worse and worse and city officials have had to adjust their emergency
planning as a result. traffic is still moving, but city buses are expected to shut down as of noon and there are impacts that are also being felt on some of the rail services. so this just goes to show you that it's getting worse, it's not getting better when it comes to new york city. we did get a little bit of a rest but you can see the snow is starting to close in and the flakes are getting bigger which only means there's more snow. we've got some sound that comes from governor andrew cuomo who earlier was talking about this dynamic and how things have shifted. here's what he said. >> i declared a state of emergency in new york this morning. the state of emergency gives the governor more control to contract, close roads, et cetera. we have everything open right now. the roads are open. the subway's open. the buses are operating, but we really caution people that unless it's an emergency, they shouldn't be on the roads
because we're afraid as the conditions continue to deteriorate, the roads could become unpassable and then the situation compounds itself very quickly. >> reporter: the governor's absolutely right about that. i mean, we've seen that not just in new york city but in other cities as well. people go out, they get stuck and it causes a cascading kind of effect and that ties up the first responders, and then it just really becomes a real problem on public safety. chad myers is one of those out and gauging how people are moving and traffic is moving in new york city. and so, chad, what are you seeing? >> reporter: just coming over from brooklyn now. we're heading back towards manhattan on the brooklyn bridge beings and in front of me is the walkway. the walkway is full of people, and the motor way has one or two cars on it, although scraped very well, marty. what's picking up now is the wind. i would say on the east-west streets through manhattan, the
streets, 48th, 50th, all the way up there, that's the east-west roadway, they're not plowed very well. they probably have a good 8 inches of snow. the avenues, broadway, they are scraped very, very well. it will take some time. there are many more streets than avenues but this is what the brooklyn bridge looks like right now. wind blowing the snow across it. at least the roadway is scraped. pretty good shape here. we've noticed a lot of people still driving, whether they didn't get their supplies yesterday or they just want to go out and take a look, but i have not seen one, not one car yet that has been stuck in the snow. we're just not that deep, but we will get that deep. as you said, the model has ramped up from about 6 to 10 when we went on the air monday morning on "new day," the first time we talked about this storm, then it jumped to 8 to 12. yesterday we were somewhere in the 14 to 20 and by the time i went to bed last night and signed off with don lemon at 11:00 last night we were
somewhere between 15 and 24 inches of snow here in new york because we're in what's called a deformation zone. the deformation zone is the northern part of the storm that does not get the dry slot to shut the snow off. d.c., richmond, you did get a dry slot, at least for a time. you did get some snow reprieve. we never had the reprieve. it snowed all night and it's going to snow all day, marty. >> reporter: chad, just to that point, are you telling me that the models or the predictions initially were not calculating it right? or where was the disconnect? where well, i'll tell you what the disconnect was, we were trying to forecast a major winter storm five days in advance and that storm really nailed d.c., philadelphia, baltimore. it just didn't nail new york city. we were on the northern fringe and always were. we said if this turns to the right, new york city gets nothing, zero, just like really connecticut and massachusetts will get zero. if this storm turns slightly to the left, i mean, even 50 miles, and that's what it did, we are
in it to win it. what should have been seaside or margate or atlantic city is now coming down here in new york city, and it is -- it's getting deeper. people are still managing, but at some point in time when the bus service shuts off, people will realize that it's real. you can see people walking on the walkway or bike way across the brooklyn bridge. they are still getting about. the best way still to travel today and especially as the evening goes on will be walking. but let me tell you, marty, i don't have to tell you really because i know you're outside, it is blustery cold. that wind is blowing right through you. it's 26 degrees but it feels like -- maybe it's the buildings or something or the humidity, but it feels like 5. it is the coldest i've been outside in a long time. >> reporter: it is a very, very bitter cold, you're right about that. if you think it was a good idea to come outside, it's funny how that attitude changes in five minutes. chad myers, thanks very much. we should point out, you know, that the weather conditions here are continuing to deteriorate.
there are about 1600 snow plows that are out trying to keep new york city streets clear. if you don't know, most of those plows are on what they call the sanitation trucks. they have kind of a dual purpose here. jean casarez is also in new york. she's in what some would say the heart of new york, times square, and measuring things there. jean? >> reporter: you know, it's coming down even harder right now as i've been standing here. the conditions have continued to deteriorate since we got here this morning. it's the visibility. i mean, you can't even really see to the top of the buildings. you can't see the ball drop for new year's eve like you could, and the shoveling continues. we want to show you right over here. look at this shoveling. all morning they've been shoveling, but the snow keeps coming down and it comes down so hard and so fast that it looks like they don't do anything. they just keep repeating what they're doing. so if it appears as though that the trucks and the plows and the snow blowers aren't working, they are, but the snow is coming down and it just sort of repeats
what they're trying to do. now people are staying inside, but tourists are out and about here because they just have to be. we found some folks from nottingham, england, walking here. why are you outside? why aren't you in the hotel with some hot tea? >> we've just been for breakfast at the evergreen cafe restaurant down the road. we're going back to the room to warm up. it's lovely. it's beautiful out here. we don't get snow like this in england. we're going to make the most of it. >> reporter: your story gets worse. you were supposed to be on a plane this morning. where are you supposed to be? >> we were supposed to be in the cayman islands. we were hoping to be in the islands relaxing on the beach with a drink. there could be worse places to be, in the snow. >> reporter: you don't get snow like this? >> absolutely not. not like this. not so quickly. >> reporter: that's right. so what are you going to do today? >> we're going to go to central park. we're going to play like children in the snow, as paul said. we don't get snow like this in england, so this is an opportunity to just re-live the childhood, i think.
>> reporter: well, enjoy it. take lots of pictures and be careful. thanks so much. we do want to tell everybody that there has been a state of emergency issued here by the governor. the national guard has been called out. 600 of them are on call. they have the trucks and all of the assets that local and state authorities don't have to continue with this state of emergency. marty? >> reporter: jean casarez, thanks very much. interesting the people you see in times square. we should point out the mayor of new york city, mayor bill de blasio, is going to hold a news conference. we'll get the latest on how the city is coping. meanwhile, there are other cities having a difficult time. philadelphia, another major city trying to deal with the grips of this particular storm right now. pennsylvania and philadelphia in particular has really found itself under the hammer of this storm and continues to be so. and so it's a problem there, both for the emergency response teams, also for the snow
clearance teams. and the people there are being given the same advice that they're giving everywhere else, which is like don't go out. don't go out at all. don't even think about going out because right now it is just too dangerous if you do. in the meantime though, there's another area, new jersey, that is suffering. we want to check in right now to see what the circumstances are up there. and, mr. sanchez -- yeah, boris. sorry. losing my train of thought out here in the cold. fill me in on how we're doing out there on the coast. >> reporter: it happens to anybody in these conditions, martin. i've lost my train of thought quite a few times in this cold, freezing flood that we're dealing with here in margate city. this is just south of atlantic city, and we're looking at essentially a bay that overflowove overflooded and came into a neighborhood hitting residences and homes as well. you can see the water pretty substantial. i'd say it's at 3 or 4 inches,
maybe 5, and it moves fast. we saw this water recede a few moments ago. >> reporter: i'm going to interrupt you right now because the mayor of new york is speaking. let's go right there. >> morning hours addressing this storm. let me give you a couple updates immediately. so the storm projection has increased just in the last hour or so from the national weather service.rvice. e with an assumption of 20 to 25 inches, and obviously we prepare for even worse. so you could see a situation of 25 to 30 inches in a worst-case scenario. right now the official estimate from the national weather service for new york city is in the 20 to 25 inches range. as of 10:00 a.m. there was already 11.5 inches at central park, which is the historic composite measure point for the city going backlit rally toll-- back literally to the 1800s.
the snowfall, the accumulation is very intense at this moment. originally we were saying at this point of the day, 1 to 2 inches per hour should be assumed, which is a very fast accumulation. we're even hearing estimates now of 1 to 3 inches per hour. so expect very rapid accumulation, more than in many other storms. given those obvious facts and given that we expect that kind of clip to go on even as late as 9:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. tonight, it's quite clear the math speaks for itself. this storm will surpass 20 inches accumulation in new york city. when that happens, that will put this in the top five snowstorms in the history of new york city. if it goes past 20 inches, it will be in the top five in terms of accumulation literally in our recorded history, it goes back i think to 1869. so this is a very big deal, and at this point national weather
service, and we certainly agree, think it is almost a foregone conclusion that we will pass that 20 inch mark. that says that people have to take very seriously what's going on here and recognize there's a lot of danger and a lot of disruption that's going to occur because of this storm. we are still in the winter emergency status that started at 8:00 a.m. this morning and will continue to at least midnight. we are seriously considering a full travel ban. we've not made that decision yet. that is something we're working very closely with the state of new york on. just spoke to governor cuomo. we're coordinating closely. we'll make that decision in the near term on a travel ban, so expect to hear an update even as early as within the next hour. but given what we're seeing, it is imperative that people get off the roads. anyone who has taken their car to work really should close down their work and get home now. anyone who's come into the city
from the suburbs should turn around and go back. this is very, very fast accumulation, and i guarantee if people linger, they will get stuck. it won't be in anyone's interests. certainly as we've said, we're going to tow any vehicle that is blocking our snow plows or our emergency vehicles. that will cause a lot of hassle for the owner of that vehicle and a lot of expense. so the smart thing to do is if you have taken your car out for any reason, turn around and go home right now. it's as simple as that because this is bad and it is getting worse rapidly. let me go over some of the other facts. also want to emphasize very windy. wind gusts up to 50 plus miles an hour. very windy situation. again, given that fast, fast accumulation of snow, expect whiteout conditions on the road. incredibly dangerous. whiteout conditions literally mean the driver cannot see, has no idea what they're about to go into. that's a reason why people want to get their cars home immediately and, again, wherever
you park, get out of the way of emergency vehicles and snow plows. park in a place that will not obstruct them. the winter emergency, as i said, continues to at least midnight. at this point we think the snow will go almost up to that point in terms of very forceful snow. want to emphasize that these decisions are going to be made step by step as we get more information, but a couple of new updates we can tell you. as you heard from the governor, mta buses suspended at noon, so that's coming right up. another indication that this storm is worsening in terms of its impact on us. mta buses will be suspended. i talked to some of the media earlier today and emphasized really as we've gotten more information, it's clearer and clearer why people should be off the streets entirely. makes no sense to be in a car. even mass transit, although it is still going to be running in terms of the subways, doesn't make sense to take mass transit unless you have an absolutely
urgent reason because there will be lots of delays inevitably. best thing to do is stay home. just want to offer a point to my fellow parents. when i was on some of the shows earlier today, the question came, what should parents do about kids who want to go outside? i understand that fully and, you know, a little time out in the snow is not necessarily a bad thing, but parents, please, be very, very careful. it's really difficult out there. the wind, the iciness, the fast-accumulating snow. don't just let your kids go out and spend time unattended. if you want to go out with your kids for a little bit, stay with them. don't go out for long. take very seriously how fast this storm is moving and, again, i understand fully kids clamoring for fun in the snow, but my best advice is don't go out or go out very briefly and keep a very close on your eye with the kids. there will be fun in the snow tomorrow but right now this is a fast-moving and intensifying
storm and it should be treated with that respect. another update, we can now say for sure that alternate side parking will be canceled. obviously alternate side parking is canceled. saturday it will definitely be canceled. monday, that will obviously be a helpful decision in terms of our drivers knowing that you can park and not have to worry about moving your car on monday. couple other updates. on the coastal flooding concerns, we continue to monitor closely. so far, thank god, the estimates we've gotten from the national weather service, which are fairly modest, are holding. so we do not see a major uptick in terms of the flooding and certainly not anything that threatens life. but as we said yesterday, the major precautions that were put in place to reinforce dunes and other preventive measures, those are working. we have all the fdny and nypd capacity out to be ready to address anything that happens.
sanitation, again, doing an extraordinary job. you'll hear from the commissioner in a moment. want to emphasize, you'll hear from several of the commissioners, with ybut one of things i want to emphasize, given this fast accumulation of snow, we talked yesterday about the problem of fire hydrants. i am a homeowner. i say to my fellow homeowners, if you have a fire hydrant in front of your house, get out there and keep it clear. it is important for the whole city but for your own self-interest. god for bid the fire department needs to use it, they have to have it clear. we continue with very strong outreach efforts looking for anyone who might be in distress. obviously nypd, fdny out in full force. all of our homeless outreach out in full force and we're continuing those efforts. couple words in spanish and then i want you to hear from some of our commissioners who are doing a great job coordinating this response. [speaking spanish]>> reporter:
you've been listening to mayor de blasio. he's highlighting how the storm is intensifying. when he's talking about possible snowfall of up to 3 inches per hour, that is an incredible amount of snow falling. hence, the reason why the emergency plans are shifting dramatically for the city of new york. don't go out. we're going to go right back to the mayor because he has more to say. >> hard to get repairs made today to say the least, but we
do need to know if people are not getting heat and hot water so we can respond as quickly as possible. like for you to hear from some of the people who are leading the efforts. calvin dreighton. >> thank you, mr. mayor. very quickly. new york city emergency management continues to work very closely with the national weather service. in fact, we've had one of their members, one of their staff here since midnight and we'll continue to have them here throughout the duration of the storm. as i said yesterday, we activated our emergency operations center last night and we'll continue to be here 24/7 coordinating with the commissioner of sanitation. we've deployed several members of our staff to the boroughs to monitor conditions and respond to issues before, during, after the storm. we continue to work with our city and state partners, coordinating with them. numerous phone calls with the state in an effort to coordinate if there are shutdowns that impact the city. and that's it. >> thank you, commissioner.
much appreciated. now the woman at the heart of the storm, the eye of the storm, she's doing a fantastic job. our sanitation director, kathryn garcia. >> thank you, mr. mayor. we saw first flakes starting around 9:30 on staten island and started our response then. p.m. not 9:30 this morning. 9:30 p.m. last night. we were at full spreader operations by 11:00 p.m. and then at full plowing operations by about 5:00 a.m. this is much sooner than we had anticipated being out there, but being in front of the storm has helped us keep up with the amount of accumulation we are seeing. we were seeing 1 to 2 inches very, very early, very, very fast. we have over 2500 pieces of equipment out there at this time, including from our fellow agencies. we also have started to deploy our plowing front end loaders as well as our v-plows. we are seeing very intense snowfall out there, and i really do ask that people get off the
roads because it's dangerous if you're a professional driver, it's doubly dangerous if you have not had that training. >> thank you very much, commissioner. we're going to continue to emphasize, i want to ask all of our colleagues in the media to emphasize that message, that people need to get off the roads immediately. another expert on that topics -- >> reporter: you're hearing how city officials are warning, do not go out. don't go out on the roads. doesn't matter how good you think you are, you're not going to be a match for nature. nature right now is ruling the roost in new york city, along much of the east coast. the weather is continuing to turn for the worst here and elsewhere. we'll be back with more coverage right after this break. listen up! i'm here to get the lady of the house back on her feet. and give her the strength and energy to stay healthy. who's with me?! yay!
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hello, everyone. i'm fredricka whitfield in the newsroom. live pictures of baltimore even though you're seeing at the upper part of your screen, new york. baltimore where accumulation is already at least 10 inches. we know in new york the situation is intensifying there. we just heard from the new york mayor, bill de blasio, who said it's a fast, intensifying storm. already accumulation of 11 inches there. we continue to await comments from the new jersey governor, chris christie. virginia governor, terry mcauliffe. and stephanie rollins lake. we look at the blustery conditions in baltimore. our miguel marquez is there. earlier you were in knee, nearly hip deep kind of snow with the snowdrifts there. now it looks like you're on top of the mountain. this is a very serious storm and potentially dangerous, miguel. give us an idea where you are and what you're feeling.
>> reporter: yeah. the storm is intensifying here in baltimore. on federal hill. this overlooks downtown baltimore and the inner harbor here so you should be able to see that. we have 1/4 mile at the most of visibility. the wind is really the thing that hurts the most. some of this snow feels like it's now turning to ice. sleet mixed with snow. as i try to make my way down you see just how thick the snow is. we might go down here and fall on national television with fredricka. you'll forgive me if i do. i'll make it through that snow drift. that's one of the big problems they're having with the wind, snowdrifts. i want to show you what a typical neighborhood in baltimore looks like. near light street. small row homes. people getting some of the snow off the sidewalks there. a lot of people on the streets walking the dogs, trying to get out a little bit. a lot of people here in this
area have their snowboards and skis. you should be able to see downtown baltimore. you can just make it out. it's lightened up that way. it is painful to stand in that direction and feel that snow. we've had about a dozen inches here. it is the worst of the worst right now. they're expecting up to 24 here in baltimore city. more throughout the state. so far the problems throughout the state, pretty minor. 5,000 people without electricity. most on the eastern shore. they're getting them back up as quickly as possible. people have heeded the warnings to stay off the streets. they have the emergency corridors, emergency routes through baltimore and they're able to get the snow plows down them and keep them free. i want to show you, in is the scene in baltimore, the cross-country skiers. no cars, cross-country skiers. people trying to make the most
of it. so far, no fatalities we've heard of in maryland. the roads are being kept as clean as possible. the snow and the wind really hammering this city. >> that's what's remarkable, miguel. lots of things about this storm. it is fast moving but it is very cold. we heard our chad myers earlier talking about it was about 25 degrees or so in new york city but it felt like 5 and looking at you and those windy conditions, it seems like it feels very cold, much colder than what the mercury is telling us. >> reporter: it is extraordinarily cold. this wind has changed direction. last night it was coming from the south now it's moving from the north to south. clearly this is churning over this area. the wind chill, the gusts are expected up to 60 miles per hour. we probably have 30, 35 mile per hour winds now. that wind chill is bringing it
down. it is freezing out here. i am staying warm. you don't want to be out here. >> you have your ski gear on. we saw the cross-country skiers. some people making the best of it as you said. we heard from officials in new york who said while a lot of kids may want to get out and play in the snow, it's probably best to wait because you can't stay out in those conditions very long. so kind of delay the excitement. thanks so much, miguel. we'll check back to you. down the road, 45 minutes you're getting yourself into washington, d.c. right now it, too, is practically shut down. doesn't that look gorgeous looking at the white house? it's always the most picturesque when there's snowfall there. looks great. very few people getting around. the roads are impassable in large part because the city has urged people to stay off the roads because of the fast accumulation there. the mayor just making a plea to people to stay indoors because the storm is far from over and, of course, very dangerous.
you know what, we have some hearty folks who are out and about because they have the gear, they have the vehicles. they're working with the authorities. that would be brian todd. he has his vest on to be sure that he can be seen, he's being very safe. brian todd, tell us what you're seeing out there. maryland, d.c., virginia has all their salters out, snow plows out. i see a car going by there. are those official vehicles or are people venturing out on the road, those who are not working? >> reporter: fredricka, most private citizens are not venturing out. you have a lot of snow plows, not many private vehicles out today. you can see why. this is a very treacherous stretch i-70 heading south.
here's one private vehicle coming by me going fairly slowly. we were told by a maryland state official not long ago, any decision to get into a vehicle right now and venture out is a dangerous one. especially the smaller, private vehicles that you saw coming by me. it is treacherous even for the larger vehicles. we came across two large, heavy plow trucks which had collided with one another and suffered significant damage. thankfully those two operators were not injured. you have a driving wind here. it does feel like ice is coming down and not snow. there's about 2 feet of snow at least in this area right now. a massive snow drift to my left. right behind me here is an 18-wheeler that's stuck and a very large tow truck that is trying to get him out of that j jam. that tow truck has a winch. i'll go from this camera to the dash cam and you'll see the efforts to get the 18-wheeler out of the jam. and we have to go very slowly because he's working and we
don't want to get too close. we don't want to slip into him. a little bit on the car crashes that we have seen and heard about, we have come across several. a lot of stranded vehicles, of course. virginia had more than 1,000 car crashes throughout the state between midnight and 6:00 a.m. this morning they had a couple hundred more. you can see the winch there if you can see on the dash camera. you can see that operator trying to get the 18-wheeler out of this snow drift that he has found himself in. a real problem here, fredricka, are the exits. some of the main arteries, the main avenues of those arteries are okay and some of them are passable with snow pack on them and there are plows going back and forth, but it's the exits that are really problematic. we're on an off ramp going from 270 south to 495 south and you
can see the whiteout conditions in front of us. the visibility is horrible. maybe a couple hundred yards at the most and the exits are often where people get stuck. when they get stuck they block other vehicles from taking those exits and getting on the main arteries. we saw one tractor-trailer into a guardrail and he blocked four snow plows from doing their work. we had another emergency responder blocked by two vehicles who were stuck at an exit. it's the snowdrifts often from the plow trucks that are blocking the exits. you have to punch a whole through them. not easy to do. if you have a smaller vehicle, impossible. conditions right now this morning, fredricka, very, very treacherous. this snowstorm is not letting up. >> brian, this is an amazing view. i'm very glad to see there is no one out there doing what you are doing. you are on the road at 270, 495,
very familiar with that area having grown up in the area. 270 usually gets hit pretty hard and on a good day is impassable because of the traffic. on a day like this, impassable because of the snow. brian, i think people are very curious as to why it is your vehicle is equipped to be able to do this. talk to me about your vehicle, how you're able to get through, and why you do have special approval from the department of transportation to do this, to bring us these images. >> reporter: well, we have a heavy ford suv. it's made heavier by our equipment. we have three cameras and a switcher on the back. we got permission to drive around. we've been able to punch through what we've come across. we have fish tailed. by and large this vehicle has delivered us from some pretty dangerous situations. so it's -- we're fortunate to
have it but, again, you know, this storm has not relented for more than 24 hours now in this metropolitan region. we are concerned as it goes on. we've seen a few vehicles. in the last hour and a half i have seen fewer plow trucks. it's dangerous for them. we are going by an exit where there is a massive snow drift blocking the exit. that's what motorists are up against. we've been saying over and over and over again, state officials warning us and others, don't get on the roads. if you -- we don't have to say another word. all you have to do is look at our dash camera to realize that's a good piece of advice. >> it's incredible, 2 to 3 inches an hour of snowfall. those are serious conditions there. brian todd, we're going to check back with you. i know under that underpass has to be very icy as well with the temperature continuing to drop
as it is. thank you so much. meantime, we are continuing to await press conferences out of virginia as well as new jersey. new jersey governor kris christie, that's the scene they're setting up right now. of course, when that happens, we'll bring it to you. they, of course, have had their experience with superstorm sandy and they're very well aware of the kind of flooding that this type of storm could be bringing as well. we'll be dipping in to their press conference as soon as they get underway. meantime i'm joined right now here in atlanta by retired lieutenant general russell honorey to tell us what first responders are up against, emergency preparedness, what they're doing. we heard from the new york mayor, bill de blasio, talking earlier about how mass transit will be shutting down by noontime. even though it looks beautiful, in the borough of manhattan people are out, he said these are the conditions that can get
away from you. don't stay out very long and when you get in trouble, you're possibly putting your first responders into trouble as well. what are some of the elements that you heard, you know, from the new york mayor and from our own brian todd on the conditions? what would you be urging people? >> think the first responders, the governor of new york, the mayor are trying to anticipate the worst-case scenario. fred, the storm is not over with. >> just getting going. >> it's going to get worse before we get better. for four or five days they've been talking about it, so people are mentally prepared. what they have to do now is how do you prevent it from getting worse and taking actions, like stopping the buses. remember a few years ago new york had a problem with that. they kept running the buses. some of them got jammed up on the highway. so they've learned and they've got an experienced staff up there and the worst-case scenario that can happen now, five hours before it gets dark,
is that if we start losing electricity. the intensity of the storm, repetitive wind, snow will start weighing down the power lines and distribution lines. when we start losing them we will go from a major inconvenience into a crisis because when you lose power, you immediately go into crisis mode because people are in homes or high rice apartments. i think they're posturing to keep the roads open, keep people at home and to continue to warn people to limit your exposure at this point in time so emergency services can get in there because with the continuing snow that's falling, the wind, the coastal water event, it will get worse before it gets better. >> while the storm is underway for hours now, 10 to 12 inches from baltimore to new york, et cetera, we're hearing officials say, we're not out of the woods
yet. we're still in the midst of the beginning stages which will continue throughout the day with the accumulation of 2 to 3 inches per hour. it's extraordinary. to hear governor cuomo really emphasize earlier that all it takes is one person getting in trouble and there is a cascading problem that then results. so they're really trying to get the message out to people not to venture out. you know, there's got to be an incredible emergency that would put you in situations out there, but you don't want to get yourself in trouble. >> i see our governors are taking more direct control. one of the lessons we've learned in the last 24 hours, they need to take control of those interstates. >> right. >> there's no reason for those trucks to be out there. i've lived in other countries and when the blizzards come, the trucks are off the road and they're waiting until the local officials say they can get back on. the other piece is hooking at ramping up the national guard. get the mobilization ramped up
for the worst case scenario. mobilize them for three or four hours. get there. get the equipment. they have to get ready. now is the time to increase their mobilization. >> i want to talk more about that with you coming up. right now let's take a look at the roads in pennsylvania. getting worse there as well. people are stuck on the turnpike in the western part of the state, and one of the drivers is actually on the phone with me right now. we're going to tune in with him next right after this. lling... ♪ ♪ but i can't come home right now... ♪ ♪ me and the boys are playing.♪. ♪ ... all nig♪t text beth, what can i do... [siri:] message. pick up milk. oh, right. milk. introducing the newly redesigned passat. from volkswagen.
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i drive a racecar. i have a driver. his name is carl. but that's not what we all have in common. we talked to our doctors about treatment with xarelto®. xarelto® is proven to treat and help reduce the risk of dvt and pe blood clots. xarelto® is also proven to reduce the risk of stroke in people with afib, not caused by a heart valve problem. for people with afib currently well managed on warfarin, there is limited information on how xarelto® and warfarin compare in reducing the risk of stroke. you know, taking warfarin, i had to deal with that blood testing routine. i couldn't have a healthy salad whenever i wanted. i found another way. yeah, treatment with xarelto®. hey, safety first. like all blood thinners, don't stop taking xarelto® without talking to your doctor, as this may increase your risk of a blood clot or stroke. while taking, you may bruise more easily and it may take longer for bleeding to stop. xarelto® may increase your risk of bleeding if you take certain medicines. xarelto® can cause serious and in rare cases, fatal bleeding. get help right away for unexpected bleeding, unusual bruising, or tingling. if you have had spinal anesthesia while on xarelto®, watch for back pain or any nerve or muscle related signs or symptoms.
do not take xarelto® if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. tell your doctor before all planned medical or dental procedures. before starting xarelto®, tell your doctor about any kidney, liver, or bleeding problems. xarelto® is the number one prescribed blood thinner in its class. well that calls for a round of kevin nealons. make mine an arnold palmer. same here. with xarelto® there is no regular blood monitoring and no known dietary restrictions. treatment with xarelto® was the right move for us. ask your doctor about xarelto®. welcome back. i'm fredricka whitfield. our continuing coverage right now. you are seeing new jersey governor chris christie meeting with first responders there. any moment now he'll be updating all of us about the conditions there in new jersey with this storm 2016 already an accumulation of at least 10 to 12 inches in some parts from the mid-atlantic and through new york and new jersey. and, of course, when he starts
talking we'll go to him live. meantime, in the brunt of this storm, the folks in pennsylvania, and that includes a number of people who are on the pennsylvania turnpike and stuck. we're talking about 33 million people in all who are in the path of this blizzard warning. right there in pennsylvania it is the focal point right now of this moving storm that is seeing two to three inches of accumulation of snow per hour now, and on the pennsylvania turnpike, among those who are stuck, we've got a bus load of about 37 people, including a teacher, lisa bivens, who is stranded on interstate 76, the pennsylvania turnpike, 50 miles from somerset. with her are 37 students and ten chaperones. lisa bivens is on the phone with us right now. lisa, how are you guys keeping warm? >> yes. >> i understand you all have been stuck on the turnpike since 7:00 last night? >> yes, we have, but our bus
driver has -- glass coaches out of nashville, tennessee. he had just gassed up so we have enough fuel to make it several more days with the bus idoling. we have heat. we have tv. we have -- the phones are being charged so we have all the conveniences. >> oh, my gosh. oh, my gosh. we're looking at pictures and people look way too happy, the students and chaperone there in in this photograph, they look very happy. unless this photo was taken before you got stuck? >> we just took that during the evening last night. they had a good time singing karaoke, playing music, playing games. they have totally been so good and prepared for this trip. we were coming home from the march for life in washington, d.c., and this is our fourth year in a row to do this. and when we got stranded, there was probably just a half inch of
snow on the ground, but we got behind a wreck. these two semis had a wreck, and that's where we got stuck. and now we've, here all night now. now the snow got piled up, and we're stuck now. >> lisa, looking at these pictures, i'm presuming that you sent these as well. y'all are not the only ones stuck on the turnpike there. we're looking at pictures, where it looks like a number of vehicles, maybe semis and other personal vehicles that are stuck on the road with you. >> i think we have about 30 miles stuck between bedford and summerset, pennsylvania. this came upon -- the wreck is what caused everybody to get trapped. and have the tractor-trailers overturn. we can't get them out of the road. this is what caused everybody to get trapped. the roads were not bad at all. we were -- just trying to -- we were 12 miles from the hotel we were trying to get to last night when we got trapped. >> my goodness. >> we thought we were going to be home free.
>> so -- >> but we stay there had and ride out the storm. >> oh, my goodness with, so, lisa, while the pictures show people with smiles on and you say you've got a full tank of gas because a bus driver had just tanked up there and you've got wi-fi and televisions, et cetera, but how are you all, you know, staying warm. you said you were prepared because you were going to be involved in the march for life in d.c. that tells me you all have lots of layers in terms of your clothing and et cetera, but is the bus driver sometimes turning the vehicle on, warming it up, turning it off? how are you conserving, because it's really difficult to know how long you're going to be in this situation. >> the bus has never been turned off. it's idled the whole time we've been here. he only used three gallons of gas last night, so it's not using hardly any gasoline. but our concern is -- we still have some water. our snacks are going running low. we're going to run out of food
and water. and we're concerned about the people around us, there are a lot of cars that are really snowed in. we've reached out and ryed to help these people the best we can. we have four nurses with us, and they went from car to car to see if anybody needs help. we've taken people in to use our restroom, which is almost full. it's not going to be working before long. so we're getting to the point now, we've been here for 16 hours, we need some help. we haven't had any emergency personnel come yet. >> because they can't get through! >> well, they're here. the national guardsmen have been called in. they're at the beginning and the end, but the other side of the room is open, where people could drop off food and help. so we're making a plea for help for all these people. >> so lisa, hold on -- yeah, hold on a moment, because we have us retired lieutenant general russel honore, with the national guard. you recall him. he was the face of hurricane katrina. as you listen to lisa bivens
here. their survival instincts have certainly kicked in. it sounds like they're doing all the right things, but you also hear her talking about other people who are on the road, whether it's -- oh, hold your thought. i'm going to hold the question, because right now we're going to go to new jersey and governor chris christie, who is now beginning that press conference. >> in the northern part of the state, we're in one of the heaviest snow bands right now, from where we are right now, up through the northern part of the state. so the snow is at its heaviest point so far today, for the northern part of the state. so, for the folks from here in middlesex county north, all the way up to bergen county, stay home. i've been saying that all day, but you're in a particularly bad time now. and i've just been out on the roads for a couple of hours, saw a lot of people off the road, not being able to move off exit ramps, et cetera. so don't put yourself in a position, i don't care where you have a four-wheel drive vehicle or not, it's very slippery out there right now. and the snow is difficult and the visibility is no more than a quarter of a mile.
so for anybody out that's at home right now, thinking this might be a good time to go out in the northern part of the state, it is not, so please don't. in the southern part of the state, we're seeing continued accumulations of snow. you know, i think we can wind up in that part of the state getting, you know, at least 2 feet of snow. feel good, i was just at the department of transportation control center in woodbridge. the roads are being cleared. they're passable for emergency vehicles. let's please not put more vehicles out there. i saw a couple of snowplows on interstate 287 that were stopped because they were being blocked by vehicles that had gotten stuck. this just damages our ability to be able to get the roads cleared. so we declared a state of emergency last night. we're asking you to stay off the roads. please stay off the roads. but we're getting those roads cleared, not only here, but the southern part of the state. at the jersey shore, we've made it through the first high tide, which is at 6:45 this morning, with most of the shore being in
very good shape. some minor street flooding in the northern part of the shore. the only place where we're having any sort offlooding is v south in cape may county. we've got some significant street flooding there. that water is receding and the information we're getting from the national weather service now, as of now, is that the high tide tonight will be less significant than the one this morning, and the one tomorrow morning will be even less significant than that. so, for the folks down in cape may county, i'd say to all of you, we are probably in as good as shape -- as bad of shape now as you're going to be. it will get better as the day goes on. we'll continue to monitor that. the dep commissioner, bob marton, is working closely with the mayors to make sure we're communicating. this morning, i had a phone conference with all of the mayors in the state who wanted to sign on to the call. i think we had close to 300 mayors on the call. we gave them a full briefing on what the status was. that was at about 8:30 this
morning. and if we need to have another one of those calls this evening, if circumstances change markedly, we'll do that. on the power situation, so far, so good. we've got about 90,000 outages across the state. most of those are focused in the southern and central part of the state. so, the atlantic city electric area, down south, has about 50,000 outages. and the jcp&l service area in the central part of the state has about 40,000 outages right now. we anticipate those will go up as the day goes on for three reasons. first, for the heavy, wet nature of the snow that will, you know, lean on trees, trees come down, take down wires, that's a problem. second, some fairly high winds. not quite as high winds as they were anticipating or forecasting earlier, but still, significant winds that will, with heavy snow, take down some of those wires. the third reason is that we're having sop substation failures,
especially down in the atlantic city electric area. that's good news, though, for those folks, because if we can get this -- we can get those substation failures fixed much more quickly than the individual pole-to-pole work on wire work, that we can't do until the winds subside, because it's unsafe to put folks up into those bucket trucks. but on the substations, we can do that. so for about 10,000 to 12,000 of the people without power in cape may county, that's a substation problem, and we hope to be able to have atlantic city electric getting that fixed relatively soon, hopefully before the end of the day today. for folks who lose power, please, given how cold the weather is, try to go and shelter in the home of a friend or family member, if you can. don't stay in the cold. if you don't have a friend or family member near, we have shelters open in every county in the state. they are ready to take people and keep them warm and get them fed and all the rest. so you'll be able to do that.
if you have trouble getting to one of those shelters, call your local police department. they'll work with you and coordinate in able to get to one of those shelters if you need to be sheltered because of the cold. this is my 17th snow emergency in six years. so we know how to do this. i've been in constant contact with governor cuomo. we're making decisions regarding the roadways in the northern part of the state that lead into new york city, in conjunction with the governor. i just got off the phone with him. we'll continue to evaluate this. there may come a time where we'll decide to close the hudson river crossings because of the wind situation and because of the snow accumulation, on both sides of those crossings. both in the northern new jersey side and in new york city. but that's a decision that governor cuomo and i will make over the course of the day. but be assured, and i've spoken to andrew three times today, we're continuing to talk with each orr a regular basis, compare notes, and there's any action that needs to be taken, we'll be able to do that in a
coordinated, cooperative way, as we always have. so we've also made briefings available to if leadership and the legislature, the speaker and the senate president in the last 24 hours. so they're aware of what's going on as well. and we're obviously available to deal with those folks on an as-needed basis. lastly, i would just say to everybody, try not to buy into some of the, you know, hype or talk that goes on at times around this stuff. if you stay inside and stay warm, you're going to be fine. if you lose your power, we've got a place for you to go if you done have a place to go. but the biggest way to get yourself in trouble today is if you try to go out and try to brave it yourself. then we've got to go get tow trucks out there to get you out of snowbanks and it's very, very dangerous and slippery out there. please refrain from doing that, if you can. if you do, this whole thing will be over by late this evening in the north, by early this evening in the south, and then we're
looking for good weather tomorrow, clear weather, sunny weather. which will help to begin to melt some of the snow and, in fact, give us an opportunity to get everything cleaned up, so that we can be ready by monday. also forgot to mention, new jersey transit, obviously, new jersey transit is closed now. we closed it at 2:00 a.m. last night. that was predominantly for getting plows on the train so they can clear the snow off of the train tracks, so we can get a head start on trying to get ready for the monday commute. we can't make any guarantees yet, because we don't see what the full extent of the storm is, but i would hope that new jersey transit would be up and ready to go in time for people to make their commute on monday morning. we'll keep you up to date on that as well. i'll stop there and take any questions from the folks in the media who are there. i want to thank the mayor for hosting us and i'll be continuing to travel around the state all day today. [ inaudible question ]