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CNN Today

Winter Storm Aftermath: North Carolina at Mercy of Mother Nature as Crews Continue Cleanup; Federal Government Closed For Second Day in D.C.

Aired January 26, 2000 - 1:01 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: The worst is over, now the East Coast must dig out of a massive snow storm. The biggest clean-up by far is in Raleigh, North Carolina. The airport remains closed for a second day, although ground crews are working overtime. It takes time to get rid of two feet of snow. Flights probably won't get off the ground here until tomorrow.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: There are more problems in North Carolina than a few icy runways.

As CNN's Eric Horng now reports, many people have no heat to protect them from the bitter cold.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIC HORNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Residents in North Carolina still at the mercy of Mother Nature today after yesterday's paralyzing, record snowfall. We have seen some people venturing out of their homes either on foot or in four-wheel-drive vehicles, either to get groceries or other supplies. This against the wishes of officials who have urged them to stay inside their homes and not venture out.

In the meantime, Governor Jim Hunt has issued a state of emergency.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JIM HUNT (D), NORTH CAROLINA: We're bringing in everything we can within our state. We may bring some within other states. Typically, our big storms up in our mountains, and that's where the National Guard has many of their Humvees. Those are all coming here now. So, altogether, we'll bring in enough stuff to get going, but it's just going to take us a while.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HORNG: This is just the latest in a string of weather woes for this state. Over the summer, residents and farmers baked under drought conditions, followed by devastating floods caused by autumn hurricanes. And now this, the worst recorded snowfall in one day in the state's history.

Eric Horng, CNN, Raleigh, North Carolina.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: And the heavy snow is slowing the wheels of government for the second day running.

Kathleen Koch joins us again today from Washington -- Kathleen.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, it is D-Day, dig-out day, as Washington tries to recover from its biggest snowfall in four years. There are now 175 snowplows out trying to attack the city's side streets. Though we got nine inches of snow here, the 40-mile- per-hour winds whipped it into drifts several feet deep in places.

Now, on the main roads, though, motorists who were making it into work say that their trips were uneventful.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hardly any cars. Not that many people driving. I don't even know if I'm supposed to come to work today. I'll find out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I went a little bit after rush hour and it was completely clear. I think a lot of people are deciding to stay in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Local streets are still pretty bad, but once you get out on the highway, it was pretty clear sailing with the federal government shut down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOCH: Federal worker did get another paid day off today, though at a hefty price. It cost taxpayers $60 million every day that the federal government is closed. Operating today, the airports in this area as well as train service, though both with some delay. Also hard at work, the commander in chief. Mr. Clinton is working on his final draft of tomorrow night's State of the Union Address.

Incidently, the White House has set up a Web site at www.whitehouse.gov, where, if you have any, you can contribute suggestions for that speech, something to keep you busy when it's just too cold to go outside.

Reporting live from Washington, I'm Kathleen Koch.

ALLEN: Thank you, Kathleen. I'm sure that queue in the White House computer will be filled quite soon.

KOCH: Absolutely.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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