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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Blizzard Hits Northeast; California Manhunt Continues
Aired February 8, 2013 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.
And we have two big breaking stories tonight, the manhunt for a rogue ex-cop and suspected triple killer. We just got these surveillance shots of him, Christopher Dorner, taken January 28 outside a hotel in Orange County, California.
There's also exclusive new video on the firing range as an LAPD cadet. We have got new information on the manhunt, where it stands right now at this hour, and we will look at exactly what Dorner's grievance is with the LAPD. Why was he removed from the police force, and why he says it was due to the corruption.
Also, here also on East Coast, the punishing winter storm is our big breaking story. You see the images from all over the East Coast just now reaching its peak, possibly more snow than anyone has seen in a generation. Gale-force winds in places, power lines down. More than 130,000 customers without power tonight across New England. Thousands of flights canceled. Even snowplows getting stuck, as we saw earlier this evening.
And because it's unfolding as we speak, we have got a team of correspondents across the storm track. And we're going to be tracking this frankly all night long.
Let's begin where the storm is really hard right now, Massachusetts.
Jason Carroll is in Boston.
Jason, how is it right now? It's not looking good.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, I heard you describe it as punishing. I think that was a perfect way to describe the conditions here.
First of all, I want to give you an idea of what the snow is like because this is an example of what we're dealing with. It's powdery. It was a little sticky before. But the powdery snow, once it starts to blow all around, visibility becomes basically zero. That's what we have been seeing. You talked about the snowplow getting stuck.
It was right over there at 8:00 when I was talking to you. They had plowed that area. You can see what it looks like now. It's a blanket of snow. Again, this was just at 8:00. You can see how much snow has fallen since then. Once again, this is where the plow was not too long ago.
And the mayor was on not too long ago, basically said some 600 plows are now out on the roads, manning the streets, trying to get salt, trying to get sand, and 43,000 tons of sand are on standby in the arsenal, waiting to go out on the streets here in Boston. They will definitely be needed.
The conditions here, we have been seeing a bit of a lull from the wind gusts we saw earlier. At Logan International Airport, they were clocking wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour. When I was standing out here just about an hour ago, it was nearly impossible to talk. So it's just nice to get a break from those wind gusts, but what we're seeing now is just a steady light fall of snow that just has been continuing for the past few hours here.
And at one point, I have to give a special shout-out to Helen Murphy, who lives across the street over there where the light is. We were sitting out here struggling for quite some time, and she opened up her door, let us in, let us use the bathroom, gave us some hot chocolate and cookies. Helen, a big thanks and a kiss to you for helping us out a little earlier -- Anderson.
COOPER: That's really nice of her to do that. And I hope she is warm inside.
But it's amazing to me, Jason, because when you and I began talking about two hours ago at the top of the 8:00 hour, the amount of snow that has fallen just in the last two hours because as you said there was a vehicle on the road, a snowplow going back and forth, creating a lot of tracks and stuff. There's no sign there have been any vehicles on the street where you are right now. It looks like a completely fresh blanket of snow.
CARROLL: Yes, it's incredible.
Once again, I want you to look at it very quickly. That was the area where you saw the plow was stuck. You can see how much snow has fallen. As you know, the governor has basically issued a ban -- let me hold up my photographer there for a second -- basically issued a ban for all vehicles, non-emergency vehicles being out in the street. That has kept the vehicles off the street.
We have not seen that. We have seen people like this very quickly that I have seen. They have been bunkered inside, they have having basically blizzard parties to keep themselves busy. I know you guys have been inside this whole time watching us here outside.
Basically, what do you think the city's response has been so far to the blizzard?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's been great. They have given us a lot of notice on the signs on the highways and the emergencies on the Internet and other signs across the city. It's been -- they have prepared us well.
(CROSSTALK) CARROLL: I know you guys also stocked up on supplies.
Earlier, Anderson, some of the supermarkets here in the city were running out of milk, running out of bread. But I think you guys have plenty of other types of supplies to keep you busy tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We might have other supplies to keep us busy, but we are also, you know, do have supplies and water and things like that. But, you know, we are trying to realize that we will be here for the weekend and trying to make sure we have everything that will keep us sustainable through that time period.
CARROLL: All right, you bet.
I know they were telling me earlier, Anderson, they hadn't seen snow like this in, what, you guys said about a few years?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Long time.
CARROLL: A long time, a few years since they have seen snow like this, but, obviously, we still have a lot more to go before the night is over -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, there's no doubt about that.
Jason, we will be checking with you. As I said, we will be on the air for the next two hours and more CNN coverage after that, so all night long.
A short drive down the coast from where Jason is, Ali Velshi is out on Cape Cod in the town of Dennis Port, Massachusetts. He's had some brutal conditions. Winds are gusting near hurricane strength, Ali, right?
ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I was actually thinking that, Anderson. It feels more like a hurricane.
Last two hours that we have talked, this storm has changed its personality a few times. What we have got, Jason, I have to poke that kid in the eye next time I see him for talking about how he had a hot chocolate.
VELSHI: Jason said Logan is getting gusting winds to 50.
We're probably approaching sustained winds of 50 here. It was 40 last time I checked and it's picked up. Punishing, these sideways snow pellets, ice pellets, I don't even know how to describe it. It's like a dermabrasion on your face. Look at the surf behind me.
We're at high tide now, and it's pretty rough surf. And I'm not getting the worst of it. I'm in the middle in the south end of Cape Cod, in Dennis Port. If you go east of here to Chatham and that stretch of Cape Cod that goes from the southeast to the Northwest, that's where they're going to get the most of the storm. Interesting, Anderson, since we last talked, something else happened. All of the crew and I felt -- we felt a pop in our ears, the sort of which you get when you're descending. See that wind, see that gust coming through, by the way, Anderson?
VELSHI: Chad says just north of us we have gusts of 74 miles per hour. That's approaching hurricane strength. This is a gust coming through. This is not 50 miles an hour. This is a lot more than that.
Anyway, we felt a pop, the kind that you get when you're descending down a hill or in a plane. Chad says that's the two systems coming together above us. It's kicked the winds up substantially and it's turned that snow into pellets. It's just a weird kind of snow. This isn't the nice blizzard you watch from inside. This is the kind that is punishing.
While I was on air with you a couple hours ago, you heard that transformer blow. From what we can tell, our crew has taken a look around. We still have power here. Lights have flickered just a little bit. It's gotten colder. I don't know what the effect of the rest of the storm as it comes in and gets closer in the next two or three hours is going to do to the surf and the flood zone, but we're in a flood zone here. That's part of what we're looking at.
We're mostly worried about the wind, the effect that it's having on power and then what happens with the surf. But, right now, you can see it's pretty punishing.
COOPER: Yes. Ali, I want to bring in -- stay with us, Ali, because I want to bring in Chad Myers.
Chad, that pop he was talking about. What is happening big picture there?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is an intense deepening of the low, which means the pressure of the low pressure is going down very rapidly. It's like you could watch that barometer on your mantel just that needle move all by itself because the low that came across with the cold has now met up with the low that came up from the south that brought the wind and the rain to the Southeast.
That low now is intensifying. It's become one. One plus one is like two-and-a-half, and that's where it is at this point in time, and that wind will continue for Ali. As the low goes up this way, that low will finally by tomorrow, I would say maybe by noon, take all of the rainfall with it and snowfall with it.
Here's the deal, Anderson. Here's where it's snowing right now right there. A little bit of rain off the coast, but here's where it's going to snow in three hours. Here's where it's going to snow in six hours and here's where it's going to snow in 12 hours.
What places are going to get snow for the next six to nine hours? Right through here. This area right through here in all of the circles, so if you're in that still eastern half of New England, you have many, many more hours to go.
COOPER: You know, Chad, some folks in New York are looking at the conditions right now in New York, and it's not so bad here, thankfully. And they're going to be saying, look, this was overblown. Why is this storm different? Why is this storm a big deal?
MYERS: It's a big deal because we knew that New England, the eastern part, as the wind blows onshore from Maine down to Massachusetts and New Hampshire, all of these areas here will get ocean effect snow.
The ocean is going to give up some of its moisture, some of its humidity. It's still relatively warm, 40-something degrees. It's like a lake effect snow event that will come across Ontario and hit Watertown or come across Erie and hit Buffalo, but instead of being a lake effect, it's a snow effect, with the ocean giving up the moisture.
And that snow will be just pounded right through this area, and I'm not kidding, there will be some spots tomorrow 36 to 40 inches. Right now, we're up to about 15 in some spots, and it's still snowing heavily.
COOPER: And we just lost Ali's picture. Ali is back, though.
Ali is there cowering from this wind.
Chad, can you tell Ali how long it's going to be at kind of this level of storm for him?
MYERS: What we're seeing with Ali's picture now is this giant eight-foot satellite dish pointed at the satellites in the sky and the wind is blowing that dish around, not pointing it in one direction. But that's why his signal is going in and out. He has wind like this for the next 10 hours.
COOPER: Wow, 10 hours.
COOPER: Yikes. All right, Chad, we're going to continue to check in with you, Ali as well. Stick around.
Let's head back to Rhode Island. In that state alone, 87,000 customers, they are without power tonight so far. It could get worse.
Poppy Harlow joins me from Providence, in one of the circles that Chad just drew.
Poppy, it's looking like a whiteout behind you.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a complete whiteout. Great point, Anderson.
Let's point our camera if we can down the end of the block, there's a restaurant, a tall hotel. You can't even see it anymore. That's the change we had in the last half-hour. The pellets that Ali and Jason are feeling are coming right at us. There goes my hat. I'm sure CNN will give me another one.
Guys, it's whiteout conditions here. This is wet snow because it's 34 degrees, and that's the huge problem. That's why you have 87,000 customers in Rhode Island alone without power, because the snow is building up on the power lines. It's bringing them down. We just talked to the mayor's representative. He told us in Providence alone, they have had 60 calls of downed trees or downed power lines.
They have 120 vehicles alone on the road here in Providence. It's getting worse by the hour. When you talk about what the long- term projection is here, I just looked online. We haven't even seen the worst of it. It says at 11:00, they're going to get the heavier winds coming in here. That's a big concern.
What makes this very different than the great blizzard of 1978 we're told by the governor is that the technology is so much better. I saw it in play tonight at the emergency command center. The GPS they have on the plows that are out there, the advance warning they have is significant, but I will tell you, they closed the entire I-95 corridor down about five, six hours ago. They haven't done that since the great blizzard of '78.
They made it at 5:00 illegal for any cars to be on the road. This is why we're standing in the center of Providence, downtown, complete whiteout, and it's going to be like this at least through 6:00 a.m. -- Anderson.
COOPER: Wow. If you're home, just grab some cocoa, get a blanket and just watch this stuff on TV. Poppy, I appreciate it. We will check back with you shortly and throughout this hour, especially, as Poppy said, around the 11:00 hour when it's supposed to get really bad there in Providence.
Follow me at on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I will be tweeting tonight. Let us know where you're watching the storm from.
Coming up next, the latest on the hunt for a rogue ex-cop. Allegedly, he's killed three already, his mission deadly revenge. New video of his shooting skills and information on the search. We will be right back.
COOPER: The scene tonight in Greenwich, Connecticut, the blizzard of 2013 still growing in strength. We're continuing to follow the storm live throughout the night and into the morning obviously here on CNN.
There's another major story unfolding, though. Of course, lives are on the line. Much of Southern California on edge, and lives have been lost and that's because this man, ex-police officer and suspected killer Christopher Dorner still at large, possibly, possibly, we say, in the snowy mountains east of Los Angeles. We don't know. Tonight, police in Irvine, California, they released these two surveillance videos. This was taken on the 28th of January outside a local hotel. We also have exclusive new video of Dorner taken at a police academy shooting range during his time as a cadet.
These days, he's on a self proclaimed mission of revenge against the police force that he says unjustly let him go. His alleged rampage has already taken three lives that we know about. Police have mistakenly shot two people in the search for him and shot at, at least one more. We will be taking a closer look shortly at Dorner's list of grievances and whether there's in fact anything to them.
We really want to try to figure out why he was kicked off the police department in the first place because that is the spark that has led him down this completely nonsensical road.
First, though, here's the ongoing manhunt.
Randi Kaye has the latest.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Despite the snow and drop in temperatures, search teams climb to higher elevations, hoping to find Christopher Dorner, the man who has eluded them for days.
(on camera): Here at Big Bear Mountain, more than 100 officers are searching for Dorner. They're using dogs, too. They went door to door last night without any luck, so now they're focusing on a number of abandoned cabins high up the mountain, wondering if Dorner set up camp there.
(voice-over): SWAT teams used snowcats to get up the mountain. Others jumped inside armored personnel carriers.
JOHN MCMAHON, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, SHERIFF: Certainly, there has been time to get out of here, but we're not sure if he has in fact left. There's a number of places up on the mountain that we haven't got to yet that we're continuing to search.
KAYE: The search is massive. Bear Mountain, which is in the San Bernardino National Forest, stretches hundreds of miles. But police and SWAT teams are up against more than some treacherous terrain. Dorner is a trained marksman with survival skills. He could have them in his sights before they spot him.
MCMAHON: It's extremely dangerous. I explained to them to be very careful, but our folks are highly trained.
KAYE (on camera): Snowy weather isn't making the job any easier. The sheriff was hoping to put his choppers in the air. They're equipped with thermal images and would make spotting Dorner on the ground easier, if he's still here, but given the snow and the poor visibility, the helicopters were grounded, at least for now.
(voice-over): Dorner's burned-out truck, which authorities recovered Thursday on a mountain trail, has been removed and is being processed for clues. And those footprints leading away from the truck, officials now say they stopped suddenly when they reached frozen ground, another dead end.
(on camera): With the search in its second day, authorities have so many questions. They want to know if Dorner has any ties to Big Bear, had he ever visited here or maybe even had a cabin here. They're also trying to figure out if he had come here earlier, before the shooting spree, to stash supplies.
(voice-over): And if he did, how long will those supplies last? No matter the answer, police aren't leaving here until they're sure he's left the mountain or they find him.
COOPER: Randi is joining us now live.
Randi, I remember last night in the 8:00 hour when we were reporting on this, there was a police press conference. The police were saying they had these air assets, they had helicopters with the thermal imaging that you talked about, the infrared.
The fact they haven't been able to get those air assets into the air is clearly an issue today. Do you know how long the bad conditions are supposed to remain? How long is the visibility supposed to be bad? How long are those choppers going to be grounded?
KAYE: Well, these are really whiteout conditions. The sheriff really wasn't able to say how long the choppers would have to stay on the ground. The snow is still continuing at this hour. It's supposed to continue into tomorrow.
So, today, they had no choice, Anderson, but to get out there on these snowcats, so they did that. But the snow, they say, may be working to their advantage, even though it's very difficult to get around, the roads are very treacherous, many of them are closed, but they can spot footprints.
And if Christopher Dorner is here, they may be able to spot his footprints. They had a false alarm earlier today. They found some footprints from a cross-country skier. They did check those out, but they obviously proved not belonging to Christopher Dorner.
So, in some sense, it's very difficult, but in the to sense, it could be an advantage.
COOPER: Yes, although, if the snow is falling a lot, they can cover footprints very rapidly. You can have a lot of snowfall in a very short amount of time.
COOPER: Dorner's mom's home was searched today. Do we know anything about that?
KAYE: Yes, this is the second time they have met with his mother.
They had spoken to her, but today they went back with a search warrant and a forensics team and they looked at the computers there. We don't know exactly what they took or what they found, but you can bet they were probably searching the computers to see if maybe he had looked add a possible place to escape to or if maybe even bought some airline tickets or maybe he made some contact with somebody who might be helping him. Those are things that they would be looking for.
But Christopher Dorner didn't live at the house. He was pretty much estranged from his mom. But he was there from time to time. He was there in high school and college more full-time. It's unclear what they found, but they were there with that search warrant.
COOPER: All right, Randi, thanks.
Joining me now is John Miller, who worked in counterterrorism and criminal intelligence for the LAPD, currently a senior correspondent at "CBS This Morning."
As I said, we obtained this video of him on the shooting range. It's pretty short. But does it give you any sense of his skill level? Do you know much about his skill level, how proficient he is?
JOHN MILLER, CBS NEWS: I mean, you have to you have to obtain a certain proficiency to pass that test.
And that's, you know, I think above 85 percent. But, you know, you look at that. That is the LAPD's training academy, which is up in the San Fernando Valley. I have shot in that particular range and qualified on that range for many, many hours in the LAPD training.
And they spend a good deal of time explaining how to handle that weapon. Really, they do it so repetitively, it becomes muscle memory.
COOPER: What are you hearing about the search as it is today, anything new that you have been hearing?
MILLER: A couple of things. Number one, as Randi kind of pointed out, the fact that his truck ends up there on fire on Big Bear Mountain is significant. You don't go there by accident. It's not a wrong turn that you make. It's far from L.A. and far from San Diego. So it's indicative that he went there with a purpose.
Now, his family owned property there years ago. They don't have it now, but what that tells us is he's got a familiarity with the area, that he went there with some purpose. He probably didn't get to where he wanted to go. He didn't dump that truck there because he needed to get rid of it there. He broke the axle on those rough roads and couldn't go any further. He set the truck on fire. They recovered some ammunition inside, but no weapons, which means the long guns, the assault weapon, the pistols, and whatever ammunition he could carry, depending on how far he had to move and hike, probably went with him.
So that opens a number of possibilities about where he would be going and what he would intend to do there.
COOPER: Also, the police in this manhunt, they have actually shot two civilians who were -- my understanding is they were in a truck delivering newspapers and I guess police in Torrance also shot at another vehicle that they thought -- what do you know about that, and how does that get investigated?
MILLER: Well, let's talk about the incidents and we will have to do that somewhat superficially because all of the facts aren't in.
But in the first case, with the newspaper delivery people, you have a truck that's on the highway that roughly fits the description that everybody is looking for of the suspect's vehicle.
COOPER: We're showing the truck there.
MILLER: It gets off the exit, and then it starts proceeding down a street within blocks of one of the targets on his hit list.
COOPER: On his manifesto.
MILLER: In fact, one of the people involved with the case of his dismissal. As it pulls into that street, the truck turns off the headlights, slows down, and is cruising down the street. Here's where you go to mind-set. The mind-set of the officers are the truck went from being suspicious to very, very suspicious.
Now, let's frame this. The people inside the truck aren't doing anything wrong. They're delivering newspapers and this is part of their routine, so it's not to suggest anything on their part. But if you put yourself in the mind-set of the officers, the truck enters the block, dims the headlights, is moving very slowly towards the target's house.
The last police officers who confronted the truck that the officers have in their mind, which is Dorner's truck, didn't get to do a car stop. He came -- he stopped them, basically. He came out of the truck, came over the hood, opened fire with a semiautomatic assault weapon, peppered their car with bullets, so the officers' mind-set is this is a highly dangerous stop we're going to make.
From there, what happened, what commands they gave or didn't give, you heard what the lawyer said.
COOPER: Right. The lawyer says they didn't give commands, didn't identify themselves, just started shooting.
MILLER: Whether that truck was asked to stop, they certainly didn't have to identify themselves. They're in a black and white police car in police uniforms. So, I mean, if you look at the footage there, and those were the officers who made the stop and they said they were the ones when the doors opened, there's no mystery as to who they were. The question is what commands did they give, what was heard and what wasn't heard and what did the people in that truck do, not to suggest that the people in the truck did anything wrong.
MILLER: But what this is, or the shooting that happens down the road where that truck is making a turn, one officer tells it to turn, the other rams into it because he's hearing the radio traffic about a vehicle which is probably the other one -- what this tells us is the tension level among the police who have been fired on by this guy, who have gone from the hunters to the hunted in some sense, and the level of tension and the reaction...
COOPER: It's very high.
MILLER: And so it's a difficult situation.
COOPER: What do you make of the fact that we have really gone a day without any new sightings, any more information or hearing anything from him, no more shootings that we know of?
MILLER: A couple possible things. So that takes us back to he dumps the truck. And he starts moving towards his intended location.
Does he have an intended location? In the arc of his planning, and he's done some on the front end of this, including pre-staging it with packages to the media, victim pre-incident surveillance and so on.
On the back hand, has he understood that when his truck gets too hot to use even with different plates, that he has a stashed vehicle pre-positioned up in an area that's remote enough but that he's familiar enough with? That's possibility one.
Possibility two, he's familiar with the area, and he just wants to get in a house, lay low for a couple days, one of the empty vacation houses and plan his next move, or does he get into a house? And this is very common where they buy a new car, they take their old car and they stick it in the driveway of the vacation house as a second vehicle.
Does he get into a house, obtain the keys to that vehicle and he is already gone? But you see the San Bernardino County sheriff was very aggressive about moving people there, moving them there very quickly in large numbers, trying to do a perimeter that they could cordon off and searching that area of 400 homes to say this is a real opportunity to try and find him. And that's, as Randi told us, still ongoing.
COOPER: And certainly the weather isn't cooperating. That doesn't -- that just makes it all the more difficult for all the officers involved in this.
John Miller, appreciate you being with us. Thank you very much.
Well, quick reminder. Obviously, you can find more on this story on CNN.com.
Up next, we're going to continue to follow this story. We have got a lot more interviews ahead on the manhunt. But also take a look at Boston right there. Got a lot of power failures. Our team is tracking the blizzard. We will check in with them ahead.
COOPER: Hey, welcome back. What a night. So many stories on different fronts on both coasts.
Looking right now at Dennis Port, Massachusetts, out on Cape Cod. Wind there gusting to hurricane force at times.
Here in New York, the worst of the storm still is going to be hours away. Our Chris Cuomo is in Columbus Circle. He's new to the CNN team. We welcome him on this night.
Chris, I mean, it doesn't look so bad out there, compared to what we're seeing in Boston, in Cape Cod, but authorities are warning residents that some areas are going to be, you know, particularly hard hit in the coming hours, right?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right, Anderson.
First, before I answer your question, I want to thank you for the coat and hat. Very nice of you. Appreciate it. Appreciate it. Glad to be on the team.
The problem with a blizzard is that a blizzard doesn't get its name from snow accumulation. It gets it from wind. And wind also contributes very greatly to storm surge. So in these areas, especially where Sandy did a lot of damage, they're already a flood risk.
So this wind with the turbocharged snow can raise that flood zone again, and there are going to be problems and, certainly, the states have been preparing exactly for that.
COOPER: Yes. A lot of low-lying areas out on Long Island probably could be hard-hit. A lot of those places got hit by Sandy.
But you know, I mean, we were talking about this before in the 8 p.m. hour. The city was really kind of unprepared for the blizzard that hit back just really two or three years ago back in 2010. They certainly seem better prepared this time, don't they?
CUOMO: You know what? They absolutely are. And it's not a mistake. This city and the state had to completely overhaul emergency management, because it turns out there's a 100-year storm like every year now.
So the main things they did was they hooked up municipalities so they can talk to each other much more readily. Common sense, but they weren't doing it. There are more assets, but they also pre-deploy, Anderson. So they're sending everything to the vulnerable areas before the storm starts. COOPER: I remember, I mean, you and I both grew up in this area, grew up in New York City. I remember the blizzard of '78. I think I'm much more older and decrepit than you are, but I don't even know how old you were at that point. But I was 10 years old. And I remember -- I mean, that still registers in my mind as the big storm.
There had been reports this could be bigger than that, but I guess it's probably too -- too early to tell what the overall snowfall is going to be.
CUOMO: Well, look, as we know from Mr. Myers, you know, all of this is predicting and watching the different patterns of it. We got hit incredibly hard in 1978, and the problem was we weren't ready for it.
CUOMO: So communities were shut down for days and days. This is a different day in terms of preparedness.
And it's also important to remind the viewers that it's not over yet. As Chad has been telling us, overnight, things could happen that could make this record snowfall for Boston. I think the record is 27 inches. This could get to 30 or beyond.
I think New York City is going to be OK. But this storm has a really big landscape to it, because it's two converging fronts.
COOPER: Yes. Hey, Chris, how happy are you that you are not Ali Velshi tonight? Stuck out on Cape Cod, just getting hammered?
CUOMO: Listen, Ali Velshi is the man. I have known it a long time. I have never heard anybody speak so quickly and so carefully while getting blown by tornadic winds at the same time. He is the man.
COOPER: Yes, he's speaking quickly, because he wants to get back in the truck or get inside. No doubt about that.
CUOMO: That's right.
COOPER: Hey, Chris, thanks very much. Get warm. Thanks for the reporting tonight. I really do appreciate it.
I want to check in before we get to Ali, who's frankly just sitting there shivering, I want to quickly check in with Poppy Harlow, who's in Providence, Rhode Island. Poppy, how are things back at -- do you have your hat back?
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I got my hat back.
COOPER: All right.
HARLOW: I got my hat back, because there was no one here to steal my hat, Anderson, because there's not one soul that's as crazy as we are to be out. You mentioned the white-out conditions here in Providence. We're in the center of downtown, and it's completely barren.
Look at the end of the block. There's a very high hotel, very tall hotel and restaurant there, and I can't even see it and it's just at the end of the block.
So the snow here is getting persistently wetter, and more pellets are flying at our face. That's exactly what came down from Cape Cod where Ali is. That's the problem here. The snow is just so wet, so heavy, on the power lines: 87,000 power outages as of about an hour ago. As you can imagine, it's gotten worse.
The mayor's office telling us 60 calls have come in already for downed power lines, downed trees, and when your power goes out, your heat goes out. That is the big problem that we had in the wake of Sandy, is that heat and power were out for weeks. The concern here is how quickly can they get the power back up? They've got 120 emergency vehicles, plows. Every contractor they could find with a plow they hired in this city to get them out.
Another update I want to give you, for folks thinking about Newport, Rhode Island, or any of those coastal areas, they have closed the major bridge to Newport at this point. The emergency officials saying, because they've had sustained winds of 58 miles per hour. So they've closed that bridge down. The I-95 corridor through all of Massachusetts, all of Connecticut, all of Rhode Island is closed down. That's historic. That hasn't happened since the great blizzard of 1978.
And it is officially illegal in any of those states for cars to be on the road right now. That's why you're seeing none of them. And Anderson, as I said, the worst of the storm expected to start hitting here in about half an hour. Stay persistently bad through 6 a.m., and it's going to continue snowing, frankly, through all of tomorrow morning.
And the snow here, unlike where you are in New York City it's sticking.
HARLOW: And that's the big problem. How do you get it all out of here.
COOPER: It's so crazy, Poppy. Other than the one person during your live shot I saw walking behind you, I mean, everything is basically frozen and is totally static behind you. It's like -- I mean, it looks like a still photo or something.
HARLOW: It's surreal. It's surreal. It's totally surreal. I know you mentioned these guys. They're right over there. I think they're college students, maybe bar hopping, because they used the boat over in the park here as a sled earlier, Anderson. But they're the only ones we've seen out here the entire time. And you know, I was talking to one of the emergency officials who drove by us. And they actually came to check and make sure we were OK. And I said, have you seen anything like this since '78? And he said absolutely not.
But they've got a lot better technology now. They've got those GPS on the plows. So you know, they -- they've got a handle on this as best they can, but I think it's not going to be until the later morning hours that they really understand...
HARLOW: ... how bad this is.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, Chad Myers is talking about another ten hours, probably, another nine hours from this point.
I want to bring in Ali Velshi out on Cape Cod, because I mean, I've got to tell you, it is just miserable out there for him and for all the folks out there. And I hope they're mostly inside. You're in Dennis Port, Massachusetts.
ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
COOPER: I hate to keep asking you this, Ali, but I mean, it does seem to just be getting worse and worse for you.
VELSHI: Yes. It's changing. There's a couple things that are changing. And that's the weird part about this. My vocabulary of ways to describe snow and wind is exhausted at this point from all the ways that are -- it's almost squall-like now.
For instance, there's a lighthouse east of me. I can't tell how far it is. But all night, I haven't been able to see it. Now I see a flashing light.
So there's some clarity. There's a little bit less precipitation, but it's still like needles poking into your eyes.
The winds are sustained at a lower rate. We're at 38 miles per hour at Hyannis, which is right next door to us. That's a little (AUDIO GAP), but our gusting winds are up above 60. It's 61 miles per hour, and it's at a point north of us, it got up to 74.
So it's changing its personality. It's not that sustained, almost hurricane-like blowing wind and snow. I think Chad used a term earlier. He said it's like a fire hose of snow. That's sort of come back a little bit. I can see more clearly in front of me. The visibility is greater. You can -- you know, it's almost clear here.
But then these stinging winds come in. And the gusts increase. So not sure what to make of it. I'm glad Poppy got her hat back. Because if mine came off, it would show up in Sierra Leone, which is why I'm wearing these chin straps, to keep it on.
So it's really very heavy winds. I think everybody is hunkered down in Cape Cod. I should tell you, Anderson, it's not a representative of you, because I'm in the middle of the south part of Cape Cod. If you go east to Chatham, they're getting it worse. And if you go up to that northeast side of Cape Cod, that's where they're going to get more storm surge. That's where they're going to get greater winds. So this isn't the worst of it on Cape Cod.
We know there are power outages. But at the moment, it's changing its complexion once again.
COOPER: How -- Ali, how cold is it? Because I mean, are you just freezing now?
VELSHI: It's colder than it is for Poppy. Poppy is above freezing. We're -- we were above freezing for much of the day, which is why we didn't get as much accumulation.
I can't say it's as cold as it is just pelting. It's just -- it's fierce. It's like little pebbles just hitting you all the time. That's the problem.
If I turn my back, actually, Anderson, it's not bad. I'm not -- I'm not terribly cold. It's the wind that is, from time to time, forcing me down toward the ocean. Don't tell my dad I said that. He's not happy with the distance between me and the ocean. And it's -- when I turn this direction, it's just coming into my face. But not all that cold. That's the good news.
COOPER: I'm not sure what's sadder: watching you facing the camera or huddled away from the camera. Either one, it's really just...
COOPER: I just feel for you, Ali. I've been out there a lot, and I didn't realize just how bad one feels being in the studio talking to someone who's shivering out in the field.
VELSHI: Yes. We're here for you all night, though.
COOPER: By the way, we're getting a lot of tweet saying you should get an Emmy. I'm betting right now you would rather have, like, a cup of cocoa.
VELSHI: Yes, in fact, and by the way, Jason Carroll apparently had one. So I'm still kind of a little sore about that. But we'll talk back in the office.
COOPER: A very nice lady gave Jason Carroll and his crew some cocoa and stuff earlier. Let's go to Jason Carroll now in Boston.
You know, Jason, it looks like winds have picked up, because it's looking like a lot of the powdery snow that was on the ground is kind of being picked up and swirled around.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is. And it's creating problems in terms of visibility. Look up the street here where we are in south Boston, Anderson. You can see what I mean here.
All that powdery snow that we talked about earlier is now creating near zero visibility when you're on some of these side streets here.
And if you take a look at what's happening over here, you know, a plow was on this particular road just about an hour ago. But you can see what happened. It's bringing all the snow over here on the side.
Tomorrow, the story is going to be the big dig-out. Not just for the cars that are parked on this street in south Boston, but all throughout the city. In order to help, some 600 plows are out on the roads as we speak right now, doing what they can to try to combat the storm.
And throughout the state, they've got some 4,000 pieces of equipment that are out spreading salt, spreading sand, doing anything that they can.
But as you can see from the conditions here, they really have an uphill battle, because for the next several hours, the conditions in Boston are just going to continue to get even worse.
I know you were making fun of me about that hot chocolate, but you've got to do what you've got to do to try to stay warm. And most people are staying inside. They're heeding the warnings from officials not to head outside.
As you know, the governor already has banned traffic out on the roadways. The exemption only being for emergency vehicles. That has certainly helped, because we haven't seen passenger vehicles out in the road. The only vehicles that we've seen are plows.
As you saw earlier, at 8 p.m., a plow came through here, tried to plow through here, got stuck in this location, then got stuck again over there, Anderson. At this point, it doesn't even look like he plowed. This is just what people are going to have to deal with here in Boston for the next several hours as we stand here and deal with these blizzard -conditions. Anderson.
COOPER: And we're just -- Jason, so you know what we're showing the viewers on the left-hand side of the screen, you're on the right- hand side of the screen. On the left-hand side of the screen, we've got a camera in a vehicle that's just kind of driving around Boston. And so that's the view from a moving vehicle in Boston.
You get a sense of how little traffic there is on the roads, and what there is, is usually emergency vehicles, police vehicles, as you see there. Folks are not supposed to be on the road unless they have a reason to be, right, Jason?
CARROLL: That's absolutely right. That's what the governor says. And if you end up getting caught out in the road, Anderson, you're looking at a fine up to $500, or -- or you could end up spending up to a year in prison. So nothing to mess around with in terms of trying to be out here in the roads. You know what happens. You've covered enough of these storms. What happens if you get people who want to come out, want to see what the conditions are like. Well, that's how, you know, you end up getting stuck in your car, and then emergency vehicles have to get to you. You end up clogging up the system.
So it was really a good decision on the part of the state, on the part of the city to make sure that people who did not have to be out here are not out here. And that's the situation that we're seeing now.
COOPER: Yes. And again, just like with Poppy's shot, actually, we're showing you shot now of Greenwich, Connecticut. There's a guy out there on cross-country skis, cross-country skiing at this time of night.
CARROLL: Brave soul.
COOPER: What's interesting -- yes, I know. What's interesting about your shot, Jason, again is, other than those young people who you talked to a little bit earlier who are just kind of out stretching their legs and kind of just wanting to get out of the house after, I think, having a couple of drinks, again, just like with Poppy's shot, it's basically completely still in the back. You don't see vehicles out on the road any more. You don't see other people.
CARROLL: Well, look, there's one lone person there in the middle of the street that you can see. I don't know if you can make that out...
COOPER: Yes, sure.
CARROLL: ... with our light here and some of these blizzard-like conditions. But basically, very few people out here. And a little trick that I've been doing, that Ali has been doing, I know you see me, I keep turning around in my live shots. It's because every time the wind blows one direction, I sort of side step and move in another direction so I can actually talk to you.
And listen, just a little trick here with the weather. I know Ali was trying to find ways to describe what's happening out here. It's just one word, freezing.
CARROLL: It's just really, really cold and painful.
CARROLL: Those are the two words I would use to describe.
COOPER: Well, as if that was not painful enough, as if the weather's not painful enough, Ali also talked at one point about poking you in the eye, because you got the better assignment. He's stuck out there on the beach. I think he's probably calling his agent right now. Jason, we're going to check in with you throughout the evening. As I said, we're going to be on live until midnight and then more CNN coverage continues all night long. Frankly, as Chad Myers reported earlier, I mean, this thing, we're looking at another eight hours, at least, of the most intense part of the storm. And it's important that we're trying to track it.
We also -- you know, the reason we're giving you that shot from the vehicle driving down the road is just to try to encourage other people not to get into their vehicles. Just to give you a sense of how treacherous the roads are right now, and again, that's only going to get worse in the Boston area.
More snow here in New York expected, as well. This is what it looks like in Staten Island, which was an area obviously hit hard by Superstorm Sandy. We'll go there next.
COOPER: The blizzard pummeling the northeast tonight is the last thing Staten Island needs. Three months ago, Hurricane Sandy obviously hit the New York City borough hard. Twenty-three people were killed; hundreds lost their homes. And now a snow storm.
Gary Tuchman joins us from Staten Island.
Gary, how is it out there? Obviously, that community was very -- hit hard. It was hit very hard by Sandy just three months ago.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Anderson. Staten Island is not getting as much snow as Massachusetts or Rhode Island or Connecticut, but nowhere in this blizzard zone was there more anxiety because of what happened here three months ago.
Staten Island is 5 percent of the population of New York City, but in more than half the deaths. Twenty-three people died here in Staten Island from Hurricane Sandy three months ago. And hundreds of homes were destroyed or damaged.
For example, this one right here, the rubble is still here from this house that was destroyed on October 29. And if this street looks familiar to you, Anderson, to our viewers, this is where we did one of our live programs during Hurricane Sandy.
Right now you can see there's a plow coming down the street. Don't get hit by it. I'm telling our photographer, John, not to get hit. I don't think he saw us, right now. That could have been the first fatalities of this particular blizzard. So I'm going to move our cord here so the plow doesn't run us over.
And I'll explain to you, this house right over here, this house was heavily damaged, too. The people inside -- the people inside that house right there have just finished rebuilding it. They were supposed to move in this week. Now they're concerned that, because of the snow coming down, they're going to have to delay their moving into the house. I want to show you one other thing on this street that's so unique: this tent right here. A private citizen here in Staten Island built that tent to serve meals to the homeless here in Staten Island during the hurricane. And still to this day -- thank you very much, sir.
If he would have run us over, that would have been really embarrassing. We were referring to the tent, though. A private citizen built the tent, feeding homeless people, and even today when this blizzard started, homeless people from the hurricane were inside that tent having some good hot meals.
Anderson, back to you.
COOPER: It's got to be so high, anticipating what could happen there. And it's -- it's so nice to see that tent, at least, there to give folks some place to shelter and give them some food.
Gary, appreciate that. We'll check in with you also later.
More than 130,000 people already without power. Further north in New England, Ashleigh Banfield is in Greenwich, Connecticut, tonight. Ashleigh, a short time ago, we saw somebody actually just cross- country skiing there. That was -- have you seen a lot of that tonight?
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You want to meet her? Come on over here, Anderson. It's Malyn (ph). I stopped her because I thought, when you took her shot, like I've got to ask you. It's 11 p.m. at night. What are you doing cross-country skiing, Malyn (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a physician who always tells people they ought to be exercising on their way to work, so I skied to my office just now.
BANFIELD: You have got to be kidding.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I kid you not. Just up the street.
BANFIELD: You're from Wisconsin, aren't you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm from Wisconsin.
BANFIELD: I can call it. I don't want to stop you having your fun on your way. That was really lovely to watch. So have a good time, enjoy yourself, and just be careful as we get a little bit later on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have a good night.
BANFIELD: You know -- you, too.
You never know, Anderson, who you're going to meet when you're out on the street during a blizzard. Come and meet little tiny Savannah. Why are you out walking with your baby? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, Savannah is about 9 1/2 months old, and she's always looking for adventure, so we figured, why not? This is her first big snow storm, so we're excited. She loves Nemo (ph).
BANFIELD: And cooped up all day, I'm sure, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's right. Exactly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She actually was at her boyfriend's place. About 15 minutes ago. He's a couple months younger than she is.
BANFIELD: Hi, Savannah. Say hi to Anderson Cooper.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Anderson.
BANFIELD: You guys get home. It's starting to really come down. OK? Take care.
So Anderson, we have been sort of checking out the levels. And I e-mailed Chad Myers earlier. I said there was a real calm before the storm. I couldn't figure out why we didn't have much snow. And it's like magic Chad, because it's really started to come down over here.
Take a look at the snowfall now. And I just wanted to let you know that, while it's lovely, it's also a real pain in the butt, because we're now getting reports of about 26,600 people without power in Connecticut. And that's sure to get worse.
I do want to report something to you. Just before you came to us, a number of emergency vehicles went flying by with their sirens on. So I called the Connecticut State Police, and I said what's going on. They said apparently a trooper has had an accident on 95. They said apparently, a trooper's actually had an accident on 95. But apparently he's OK. Minor injuries, but it was enough. An ambulance going by and all the rest just tells you if the trooper is getting into an accident, there's a reason there is a state-wide ban on travel.
One other thing that I've been doing, Anderson, all day I've been doing the president's measurements. And I think this -- as the governor of the state said, this is when it's going to start getting a lot more serious. The snowfall is going to start getting a lot more thick. We're going to get those 3 to 5 inches an hour.
And our official president's measurement, we have reached Millard Fillmore. I've been waiting. I've been waiting to reach Millard Fillmore, which is about seven inches or so.
But now I can tell you every ten minutes or so, we are going up a president.
And they are really cooped up. I'm telling you, with the travel ban, they can't get on the streets, so they're going bananas.
COOPER: Hey, Ashleigh, I know you're cold, but what are you talking about? I don't understand. The measurements of the presidents?
BANFIELD: Anderson Cooper, get your Kathy Griffin on. I have a second grader, so this is how the rulers are when you're in second grade.
BANFIELD: They're the presidents.
COOPER: I see. OK.
BANFIELD: Get with the program. I've been measuring it in president. We started at George Washington. We're at Millard Fillmore. I'm waiting to get to Cleveland, not second term, first term, because that's halfway.
COOPER: It's been a long night, hasn't it, Ashleigh?
BANFIELD: You know what? I've been up since 4. That's all I can say.
COOPER: OK. Listen, try to stay warm, Ashleigh. Thank you. We'll continue to check in with you and be right back.
BANFIELD: All righty.
COOPER: And you're looking at live pictures of Boston, Massachusetts, there on the right of your screen.
On the left, Dennis Port, on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Brutal conditions out there in Dennis Port. And they're looking at that and in Boston, really for the next nine -- eight to nine hours as the storm continues to track in those areas. We anticipate it getting -- really being still very intense for the next eight or nine hours, as I said.
Not as bad here in New York or even in Greenwich, Connecticut, though power is out in a number of areas.
We're covering a lot more of the storm all through this next hour as we continue our live edition to the 11 p.m. hour of AC 360. We'll also have the latest on the storm not only pounding here in the northeast but also the storm that's affecting the search for Christopher Dorner out on the West Coast. We'll have the latest on the manhunt ahead.