tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC January 22, 2016 7:00pm-7:31pm EST
developing news tonight. a major snow emergency. big cities and airports shutting down, bracing for a historic blizzard. now hours from bearing a huge part of the country. plus the ripple effect nationwide. al roker has the latest forecast. exploding airbags. breaking news as the biggest recall in history gets bigger. dangerous airbags linked to another death. millions more recalled. is your car on the list? trump revolt. top conservatives get together to blast the front-runner in good fashion, but could anything change his path to victory. and changing the oscars. sweeping new rules just announced. but will the academy drastic moves be enough to tamp down a
fury threatening to overshadow hollywood's biggest night. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening. a special welcome to viewers in washington, d.c. who are right now in the early hours of what may be a historic snowstorm. winter weather warnings stretch from the south up through new york. snow has been falling for several hours in the washington, d.c. area which could see two feet of snow. we show you a live look at the white house as the snow continues to fall. philadelphia, baltimore and new york also in the path with blizzard conditions expected. officials in storm zone warning of -- of coastal flooding and power outages. airlines have canceled some 6,000 flights impacting travelers across the country. our team is in place with the very latest. let's begin with miguel almaguer in washington, d.c. good evening.
>> reporter: lester, good evening. the steady snow is here in washington, d.c. in just a few hours some of the city's most recognizable landmarks may be difficult to make out in a few hours. it is getting sloppy. coming down sideways. it could reach gusts up to 50 miles per hour. tonight many are off the streets and at home, bracing for what comes next. >> reporter: tonight this deadly winter wallop is showing little mercy. blinding snow and paralyzing ice and widespread power outages crippling 20 states. nashville, tennessee, going nowhere fast. more than 200 collisions in six hours. only getting worse. with one in every four americans facing this brutal blast. it is a whiteout in kentucky. and for many a blackout at home. tens of thousands in a deep freeze without electricity or heat. with trees crashing into homes, cars are sliding into each other. freeways are at a stand-still, others a ghost town. it is a state of emergency in washington, d.c.
inside of the war room, calls for help have doubled. the blizzard could be catastrophic. >> we haven't seen a storm like this in the district in 90 years. >> reporter: pro-basketball and hockey games postponed. the national guard loading humvees and first responders ready to roll. >> road conditions are a big concern for us. making sure we could get to the scene. >> reporter: with gas pumps empty, store shelves are bare. >> we have gone shopping three times. >> reporter: tonight this monster storm, a thousand miles wide, is bringing travel to a stand-still. in chicago a plane skidded off an icy runway. thousands of canceled flights. tonight new york is bracing, philly expecting more than a foot of snow. d.c., two. >> strong winds will lead to near zero visibility and cause trees to fall and overhead power lines. >> reporter: governor chris christie off the campaign trail and now returning home. mandatory evacuations tonight along the jersey shore.
still reeling from superstorm sandy and now facing severe flooding and beach erosion. >> nobody wants to be in waist deep freezing cold water in the middle of 50 mile-per-hour wind gusts and blizzard whiteout conditions. >> another relentless punch. >> reporter: overnight d.c. will stay in the bull's eye. we are told that the conditions here will get worse. they could be, quote, life-threatening. they could begin to dig out on sunday. the big question, will be what happens between now and then. >> miguel, thanks. al roker is following the forecast. >> it doesn't look that way. no hail mary yet. and you could see washington, d.c., still in the thick of it. and it will continue tonight into tomorrow. plus tomorrow, we're going to start to see winds really firing up. so you could see these snowfall amounts, what we're looking for. washington, baltimore, we expect to see upwards of 18 to
26 inches of snow before it is all over. then, philadelphia, expect anywhere from 12 to 18 inches as well. periods of heavy snow. wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour. and new york city will get away with maybe 6 to 12 inches. but the big problem, we're looking at a lot of ice developing later on, as you get into new england, not much happening. the ice centered in north carolina with a half an inch to an inch of ice, lester, that is catastrophic and bring down power lines and add the winds tomorrow, it is going to be a mess. >> al roker, thanks. and d.c. is right in the bull's eye. about to be buried under feet of snow and the entire city and surrounding suburbs are making last-minute preparations as the snow is coming down pretty hard already. mark see graves from our nbc station wrc is in the thick of it. mark, what is the latest from where you are? >> reporter: well, lester, this is the calm before the storm. residents here are being told to stay off the roads and shelter
in place as the snow emergency is in effect. we're bracing for at least two feet of snow. coupled by 50 mile-per-hour winds public transportation is being suspended here in the nation's capital, probably until monday. thousands of airplanes, flights have been canceled in and out of the washington, d.c. airport. and people here are being told to brace for days, possibly days without power. earlier this morning, the national guard was activated. they have been detailed, at least 100 members of the national guard, to expedite first responders and essential personnel like doctors and nurses to hospitals. earlier today, the district leaders chastised the nhl and the nba for going forward with games. those games were quickly postponed. the mayor said this is going to be a deadly storm. lester. >> mark, good to have you on. thanks, much. this is the start of the valve nightmare. the storm is creating. it is beginning to paralyze airline
travel here in the east with a ripple affect across the country. airports in several major cities inside and outside of the storm zone have canceled flights for tomorrow, including philadelphia where our jacob rascon has more. >> reporter: misery in the air. on the roads. and on the rails. you just can't get there from here. some of the nation's busiest airports brought to a stand-still with a ripple effect. richard and linda struggling to get to san francisco. >> trying to get out of town before the snowstorm. this is our third flight change since we started. >> reporter: flight aware reports more than 3000 flights canceled in more than 6,000 delayed so far. over dulles outside of washington, flights circled today, waiting for clear runways for landing. by day's end, no flights in or out of dulles, washington national, philadelphia and charlotte through saturday. this florida college
basketball team stuck in atlanta. >> our flight got canceled while we were on it. and we had to get back off it and now we've been waiting here since about 10:00, 11:00. >> reporter: but nobody wants to get caught driving in a blizzard. virginia state police alone have taken more than a thousand calls reporting accidents in disabled cars. greyhound and other bus liners canceling routes. and amtrak is up and running but already modifying schedules. >> trains are able to operate through severe conditions. other pieces of infrastructure, dated infrastructure like we have here on the northeast corridor could be vulnerable. >> reporter: best travel advice -- don't. >> if you are planning to fly tomorrow, your flight has been canceled and please do not come to the airport. >> reporter: and the terminals are emptying behind me. some of those taking the last flights out as the travel nightmare affecting airports as far away as california. travel not expected to be back to normal
until the middle of next week. lester. >> jacob. the mid-atlantic and northeast are batting snow. parts of the south are struggling with dangerous icy conditions. nbc's gabe gutierrez has more on that from charlotte, north carolina, in the region that took the first punch from this massive storm. >> reporter: in the south tonight, a slippery slope. from tennessee to the carolinas. a triple-threat, devastating snow, sleet and freezing rain. >> the brakes locked up and i slid into the back of their car. >> this car even catching fire. the driver revving the engine after caught in a snowdrift. here in charlotte, the storm started after midnight. the morning commute treacherous. at this emergency command center, all hands on deck after at least six weather-related deaths in north carolina alone. statewide, more than a thousand crashes. >> anything over a quarter of an inch could be devastating not only to our interstates or roadways, but also to our power grid as
well. >> reporter: ron farr is among those rushing to respond to the mounting accidents. >> how has today been? >> nonstop. >> reporter: throughout the day the wintry mix piled up. take a look through the air. this is sleet right now. but the ice is most dangerous. not just on the roads but toppling trees, cutting off power to thousands. the state of emergency coming at a crucial time. the carolina panthers shoveling snow off the field before practice today. the nfc championship game still set for sunday here. but a major pep rally for the team canceled. >> i think everybody seemed kind of panicked and kind of nervous about it. >> stay off the roads, if you don't need to be on the roads and spend some time with your family. >> reporter: tonight charlotte is on ice. but the city is thankful many heeded the warnings and stayed home. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, charlotte. news tonight about
the largest recall of all time getting even bigger. millions of vehicles being driven on roads with airbags that could potentially explode. there is word of another death linked to these japanese made takata airbags found in vehicles of more than a dozen automakers. nbc's anne thompson with new details every driver should know. >> reporter: tonight's recall effects domestic and foreign automakers. 5 million more vehicles with the potentially defective takata airbags. the manufacturers impacted, audi, bmw, daimler, ford, honda, mazda, mercedes benz, saab and volkswagen. what we don't know is what models are recalled. the action by nhtsa, the national highway traffic safety administration, comes after joel knight's death last month. the 52-year-old father died when the driver's side airbag in his 2006 ford ranger exploded in a crash. a death one safety advocate said was preventible. >> this inflater had been recalled in 61 other countries by
other manufacturers. ford, nhtsa and takata all knew this had problems. >> reporter: the government said thousands of tests were run on that inflater and it never failed. takata said it is cooperating fully with regulators and ford states if we find an issue with our vehicles, we take prompt action to address customer safety. one million of the vehicles recalled tonight have airbag inflaters similar to the one in knight's crash. the others have inflators that did rupture during testing. the government calls this a massive safety crisis and said it is using all tools to clean up the mess. a mess that is so far taken nine american lives, ten worldwide. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. the cdc says at least one person has died and around a dozen more have been sickened by an outbreak of listeria linked to package salads made at a dole processing facility in ohio. that facility has been temporarily shut down. the salads were sold
under dole, fresh selection and simple truth. we put more information about this on our website. to politics now. just ten days until the first votes are cast in iowa and both parties struggling with fierce internal divisions. hillary clinton trying to blunt bernie sanders momentum and a group of prominent conservatives is banning together in dramatic fashion to try to do something, anything, to stop trump. we've got it all covered starting with nbc's katy tur. >> reporter: in the span of an hour and a half, the republican party showed just how tense 2016 has become. 10:00 p.m. on thursday night, influential conservative magazine the national review goes live online with its against trump issue. a scathing editorial, accompanied by 22 articles from thes leading conservative thinkers. bashing the billionaire. like clockwork trump fired back with his usual put-downs. and by 11:37, the national review was out of the houston republican debate.
disinvited by the rnc. >> you can't have a debate partner come out for or against any particular candidate. >> reporter: david bowes wrote one of the editorials. >> he is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist with tendencies toward strong man ideas. >> reporter: facing the real prospect of a ted cruz nomination the establishment has instead warmed to trump. the move earning its own nickname. the abc, anything but cruz strategy. and while trump is leading in nearly every poll, there are those who see his major asset, that tell it like it is, don't get in my way rhetoric as a major weakness. >> i think it is pig-headed. he is kind of -- he has his own style. >> reporter: take twitter, where today trump re-tweeted someone who claims to live in jew america. links to the denial of the holocaust and has the user name white genocide. katy tur, nbc news, new york.
i'm casey hunt covering the sanders' campaign. bernie sanders has gone from way behind to on fire. taking on hillary clinton today in new hampshire. >> i want to say a word on an issue that secretary clinton and i disagree on. and that is the incredible power of wall street. >> reporter: the attack has clinton pushing back again, telling the des moines register she doesn't regret taking hundreds of thousands of dollars for paid speeches to wall street banks. >> no, i don't. i don't. anybody who thinks they could buy me, doesn't know me. >> reporter: sanders script has put him within striking distance of clinton in iowa and into the lead in new hampshire. >> your friends in the media would have told you nine months ago i was a fringe candidate, not a serious candidate. >> reporter: and it again has brought out her chief defender. last night in las vegas. >> this other guy is madder than she is and that feels authentic. >> reporter: that feeling of authenticity drawing young voters
to sanders. >> i think hillary does what we want her to say where bernie is more honest. >> his campaign today releasing a new video to help get them to the poll. >> this is my first time voting. i'm not a registered voter. i'm just feeling the burn. >> reporter: sanders still facing an uphill bat until iowa and beyond. against a fierce competitor who has been through this once before. casey hunt, nbc news, washington. still ahead, breaking news about change coming to the oscars. the major overhaul the academy said it will make in response to growing outrage over a lack of divers what if one piece of kale could protect you from diabetes? what if one sit-up could prevent heart disease? one. wishful thinking, right? but there is one step you can take to help prevent another serious disease. pneumococcal pneumonia. if you are 50 or older, one dose of the prevnar 13® vaccine can help protect you from pneumococcal pneumonia, an illness that can cause coughing, chest pain, difficulty breathing,
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we're back now with the big changes announced for the oscars. after days of growing controversy over a lack of diversity in the nominations, the academy announced sweeping reforms to double the number of female and minority members, replacing inactive members for life with a younger generation. but will it be enough to tamp down this fear threatening to overshadow the hollywood's biggest night? nbc's morgan radford has details from los angeles. >> reporter: overnight, a surprise vote by the academy. in a statement the president cheryl boone isaacs said the academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up. the goal, doubling the number of women and diverse members by 2020. here is how. voting status will now only last ten years and could be renewed only if a member has been active over that decade. that means lifetime voting rights will be earned after three of
the ten-year terms, or if a member has won or been nominated for a oscar. those not active under the guidelines will become emeritus members, they are part of the academy but can't actually vote. >> hollywood critics say the changes are a step in the right direction. but the problem is bigger than the academy. it is the industry as a whole. now stars are speaking out. two-time oscar nominee viola davis said the problem is not with the oscars, it is with the hollywood movie-making system. hollywood reporter steven galloway said the academy could only move as fast as the industry. >> until the industry allows african-americans and asians and hispanics to create a extraordinary body of work, the academy's hands are going to be tied. >> meaning change could be still away. >> morgan radford, nbc news, los angeles. we're back in a moment with one of the americans freed from iran getting a private americans freed from iran getting a private ride home from one o rheumatoid arthritis like me...
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north korea says it has detained an american student for allegedly committing a quote, hostile act against the government. a 21-year-old university of virginia student from cincinnati was on a tour of the country. he was arrested at the pyongyang airport on january 2nd but it is not clear what exactly he is accused of. another american prisoners freed from iran has returned home. jason rezaian and his wife flew out of germany, accompanied by jeff bezos, the ceo of amazon who also owns the post. he flew the couple back on his private plane. rezaian was freed last weekend after being held by iran for 18 months. when we come back, more on the snowstorm pounding up the east coast. al roker will have the coast. al roker will have the and i'm still struggling with my diabetes. i do my best to manage. but it's hard to keep up with it.
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make sure your doctor hears you too! i hear you because i was there when my dad suffered with diabetic nerve pain. if you have diabetes and burning, shooting pain in your feet or hands, don't suffer in silence! step on up and ask your doctor about diabetic nerve pain. tell 'em cedric sent you. before we go, we want to check in with al roker one more time. the latest forecast in this blizzard of 2016. what will you be watching overnight as this develops? >> not just the snow. lest lester, but we are talking about the winds. they are going to cause big problems. 900 miles of snow from memphis to south of new york city. and as far as at cumulations are concerned, washington, baltimore, looks to be
the big winner if you look at it that way. 18 to 26 inches, some areas could pick up to three feet of snow. philadelphia, new jersey, surrounding areas picking up about 12 to 18. new york city looking generally at about six to 12 inches. now we're also watching the winds. they are going to start to develop as we get into late tonight, early tomorrow. wind speeds of over 50, 60 miles per hour, blowing and drifting snow causing bad visibility. and so we have coastal flood threats for beach erosion, beach flooding. a real mess, lester. this thing will end quickly, by sunday, it will start to have effects on into next week. >> al, thanks. and more on the late local news and al will have more tomorrow morning on "today." that will do it for us on this friday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night.