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CNN Today

Rain Might Dampen Turn-Out for Inaugural Parade

Aired January 19, 2001 - 2:33 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: Let's check in with CNN's Bill Hemmer, who might be able to tell us more about whether it will rain on the parade -- Bill.

BILL HEMMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and Natalie, Orelon hit the nail on the head. It's coming down again. It's been raining non-stop throughout the day here in Washington, and again, if the forecast is correct for tomorrow, we're going to get some more rain tomorrow. Listen, we're on Pennsylvania Avenue. Last hour, we talked -- we're a little further down the road, here. We're right around the half-way mark.

But at this point right now, what we're looking at Pennsylvania Avenue. Really, the Capitol's at the end here. Off to the right of here is the National Archives: U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence. On the other side is the Naval Memorial. Many times presidents, Natalie, have stopped at that memorial right there and paid respects as they continue up this 1.65-mile route here from the Capitol building to the White House. FBI building on the right; the Department of Justice on the left right here; a lot of traffic coming by right now, as well.

Quite relevant, given the Ashcroft hearings that we have watched throughout the week here in Washington, D.C. On both sides of the street, though, you have bleachers that wrap pretty much all the way up this entire route right here. The people, the spectators who will be coming by tomorrow, will be sitting in these seats. They'll cost you money, though: $15 up to $100 to sit in these seats here.

But certainly the issue here is weather and how many people will turn out because of the weather conditions right now. We've heard estimates anywhere from 500,000 up to 700,000, but indeed, mother nature could be a big, big factor in determining how many people come out tomorrow. We will see, again, how much a factor plays, but we're getting set. We're watching the folks set up here, Natalie, we'll keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best tomorrow.

Back to you, now, in Atlanta.

ALLEN: Question, Bill. Yesterday we heard that some of these protesters expected there tomorrow who were angry that they were being pushed so far back, were in federal court to try to get a closer position. Did they win that one? HEMMER: No, they did not, Natalie. Well, they -- they said after the court decision came out that they now have a firmer idea about where they can and cannot go. Suffice to say this, the people who paid the tickets that will be sitting here watching the parade will sitting in these bleachers. Behind those bleachers is where those protesters, again, will have to stand.

The other point that you made -- mentioned there about security, though. This is the first time ever that they've had checkpoints -- about 16 different checkpoints set up all around Pennsylvania Avenue -- that everyone who wants to come and watch the parade will have to go through first in order to gain access into the parade area here.

But security certainly is an issue, but they've been working on this, Natalie, for a long, long time, up to a year, here, to make sure the planning and everything goes smooth. We'll keep our fingers crossed once again. Back to you.

ALLEN: Well, we hope the weather cooperates and we know your mom. She's a smart lady, and we know she taught to you to stay out of the middle of the road. So, get out of the middle of the road. We know that she's watching. Take care.

(CROSSTALK)

HEMMER: They're asking us to move right now. So, back to you.

ALLEN: OK, get on out of there.

HEMMER: OK.

ALLEN: Thanks.

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