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Huge Snow Storm to Hit NY, New England; Act Test Day Cancelled for Students; Christopher Dorner Reaches Out to CNN.

Aired February 8, 2013 - 11:30   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Not just for them, but probably for him as well. As it continues to get colder and icier and the west snow turns to sleet and painful snow, there are emergency management recommendations for everybody who will bear the brunt. Coming up, we talk to an emergency management official who can tell us what we like and what we can expect. It's all coming up.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: There's now personal information about two former presidents that's now being exposed. A hacker got into the e-mail accounts belonging to the Bush family. A spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush tells CNN that a criminal investigation is now under way.

And actor, Hugh Grant, is among 140 people whose phone was hacked. Now he's part of a settlement. Rupert Murdoch's "News International" reached the deal. As for how much, we don't know. But Grant's lawyer said it was substantial.

And back to our main story, of course. Huge, huge snowstorm about to hit all of New England from New York.

I wasn't to bring in Ashleigh.

Ashleigh, you're in New York. I just left there.

BANFIELD: 3600 flights canceled now.

Suzanne, by the way, how did you get the nice warm studio and the pretty dress, and I got the ball cap wet hair and the big guy jacket.

#: I made a mad dash out of New York last night.

BANFIELD: Seniority.

I want to show you something quickly. My friend, Raymond, works at our office building. He's been going back and forth with a salting unit. It was all ready to go a minute ago. He's been salting these streets. This rain and snow is falling and turning into a wet ice. And that makes it really treacherous. Not just for walking, but clearly for driving, which is why will are so many suggestions there could be shutdowns of I-95 and major thoroughfares. That's a good idea. A lot of the transit also will be shut down along New England as well. By the way, if you're a student and getting ready for college and planning on the act test, not so fast. There are about 12,000 students who will not be able to take the ACT test tomorrow. All these centers are shutting down. I can tell you that 80 test sites are closing down out of 190 test sights across the counted. Eight states decided to stop the test. If you're one of the kids, you have to go to the web site and know if your site is one of the sites that have been shut down. And the next test is not until mid-April. That's going to affect a lot of kids planning to take the national ACT test.

I also want to take you to the state of Maine. And the emergency management officials up there are bracing for the worst of what we're expecting.

Rob McAleer is the director of the emergency management agency.

He joins me on the telephone.

Rob, I'm getting word of a massive pileup in your state. 19 cars have piled up. What can you tell me?

ROB MCALEER, DIRECTOR, MAINE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (voice-over): I think that's been cleared at this point. What happened earlier this morning, we had a car spin out on Interstate 295 in the southern portion of the state. And when it spun out five other vehicles collided with it. And shortly after they were 13 more vehicles that became involved. So you can imagine what it takes to get that many wreckers in there to get that cleared out.

#: Rob, we've been getting word that FEMA has put out the word for everyone to get prepared. It's a bit of a no brainer. But this one will be bad enough that they want people to do as much in advance of the storm as possible. What are the things that people should be doing?

MCALEER: I think people need to take care of themselves. We always preach the first 72 hours. If you can take care of yourself, then the first responders are relieved a great deal of the work and can focus on the most critical areas. And so we look for people to make sure that they have enough food and medications in the House. At this point, it's late to get that. We have a real strong possibility of power outages to be careful about the use of generators and carbon monoxide that can come from them. We don't want to lose people from that method either.

#: Let me throw in the idea of the gas stove, too. We lose a lot of lives that way during storms.

Rob, thank you for the advice. Good lucking getting through the storm. Good luck to the people of main as they, I hate to say, weather the weather.

But I want to go to Boston now. Indra Peterson is standing by. She's been -- I think you got the worst of the assignment, Indra. You're the new guy, so we stuck you in Boston where they're supposed to get up to three feet of snow.

More importantly, I'm hearing the governor, Duval Patrick, has now actually mobilized 6,000 National Guards men to be on storm standby. This looks like it's getting very serious there.

INDRA PETERSONS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it looks like definitely worsening here. Just in the last few minutes we're seeing the snow start to stick. You can see the ground now is covered in white. We're looking at the custom tower. I can still see it. Visibility is not below that just yet. We do the know that the system is worsening. Now we just heard from the mayor, Mayor Menino, that held a news conference here asking residents to stay off the streets as of noon. We're really nearing that point at this point in time. They're shutting down public transportation at 3:30. I've talked to a lot of residents here. It's been a mild season so far. Over 15 inches below normal. They feel confident that the major has everything under control. They have these 4,500 units out there to plow the streets. 1,000 National Guard ready to go. Everyone hopefully is heeding the warnings and staying home, hunkering down to the entire weekend.

#: And that just changed to 6,000 National Guardsmen. They are very prepared in the state where you are.

Indra, I know that you're already in the snow. I'm in the wet yucky, ugly rain and came prepared with my ruler. This is the ruler I'm going to use all day. I'm going to measure the snowfall throughout the day in New York, Connecticut, via the presidents. DefCon 5 when we get to Lincoln.

When we come back, it's all about the forecast at this point. I may laugh and joke and people are -- look at this lady. She is walking with bare legs.

It's cold and it's yucky.


But it's going to get very bad. So we are on a bit on the march towards when it is really dangerous to be outside.

And as we go forward in this program, the forecast will give you your indication of where you are as to just when you should not get out the door.

Back in a moment.


BANFIELD: Sometimes it's all about the wind and a nice big gust crept up before we went on camera. We're getting hurricane force-gusts as this marches towards the worst weather we'll see mid to late day.

Our Jennifer Delgado is standing by in he Weather Center, looking at the predictions in the forecast.

Jennifer, that is what viewers need to know, when is it going to hit. When is it going to be the worst? When do you not want to be outside?

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Don't want to be outside. Shut it down because conditions are going to quickly go downhill. As we show you on the radar, still dealing are rain through Delmarva. Notices into New York and New Jersey. Lot of snow starting to work in. The same for areas like Rhode Island into Connecticut and Boston. We've seen Indra. It's changing to white conditions very quickly. These two storms will merge together and this will produce the big snow tomorrow that we're talking about. Producing three feet of snow and the other part of the story is as the system is moving to the north, the winds will be kicking up. We're talking some gale-forced winds. Other regions could see winds roughly 60 miles per hour.

But we continue to track this for you. This is 4:00. All snow in New York. The same for areas in Massachusetts. As we go into the evening, the overnight hours, that's where we see the worst of the conditions. The blizzard conditions will erupt. With the winds around you don't be able to see. You don't want to be on the roadway.

Then tomorrow, as we head into the evening, we'll see the storm system pulling away. This is at 6:00 at night. It's still going to be windy on Saturday.

Those totals, the heaviest amounts, now for Boston and Maine we're also going to talk about basic visibility. And when you're talking about a blizzard, you're talking about visibility a quarter mile or less with those sustained winds for three hours. You can see the blizzard warning anywhere in red from New Jersey all the way to Maine.

Back over to you, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: Yes, charged up my child's Gameboy so they can be inside. No outside. We lose a lot of tree limbs in Connecticut.


BANFIELD: Yes, and it's dangerous for kids to play outside while they have no school. Lot of schools canceled.

So great advice from Jennifer Delgado. Thank you for that.

As we deal with the storm on the east coast, there's also a major story on the west coast, and storms on the coast as well. Christopher Dorner is the subject of a massive manhunt. He has vowed to kill LAPD officers anywhere he can find them, whether they are working or whether they are off and their families, too.

There's a storm brewing in Big Bear near where he may be. It's making things difficult. One thing he's done, he's reached out to CNN and he has sent some very odd, peculiar and frightening material to us. We'll show you what it is after the break.


As the manhunt is full on for suspected police killer Christopher Dorner in southern California, CNN has been the recipient of some very unusual material from Mr. Dorner himself.

And our Anderson Cooper spoke about the package that he received last night. Have a look.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: The suspect, Christopher Dorner, reached out to me directly, mailing a parcel to my office that arrived on the first of the month. My assistant opened it. Inside he found a hand-labeled DVD accompanied by a post-it note reading, in part, "I never lied." The DVD shows testimony by a man who says he was kicked by an LAPD officer, according to Dorner, confirming his story, the story that he says got him kicked off the force initially. Also in the package, a coin wrapped in duct tape, the tape bearing the inscription, "Thanks, but no thanks." On the top of the duct tape, there's an abbreviation. At first we thought it was the initials IOMA, which is an abbreviation for imagine a more open America. But we have looked at it closely and it appears to be the number one with a space and then the letters MOA, which could stand for one minute of arc. You can see the bullet holes. Another shot nicked off the top. That's the coin that was part of this parcel.

And as I mentioned, I was made aware of this parcel just today as was the editorial staff of my program and also CNN management. And obviously, upon learning of its existence, CNN alerted both Chief Bratton and law enforcement.

Bill Bratton is the former New York commissioner and L.A.'s retired chief of police. He joins me.

Chief Bratton, I want to show you some of the images that were sent to me, I didn't know about this until just a few hours ago and I know you're seeing these images for the first time. The first is a coin, the kind of coin that I would imagine either you give out or it's the kind of thing soldiers often give out or police forces have a ceremonial coin with bullet holes clearly shot through both in the center and off to the side. Do you have any idea how this man might have gotten this coin?

BILL BRATTON, FORMER NY COMMISSIONER & RETIED L.A. CHIEF OF POLICE: Chances are he would have received it from me. The photograph that's been displayed very widely today of me shaking his hand in front of a pair of flags, probably would have been the custom I have of, when somebody was activated in to the military, heading overseas, I would bring them up to the office, present them with one of these coins as a token of respect and good luck. And also have their family come up to meet our military liaison officer who would then basically work with the family during the period of time when the officer was gone. So looking at this coin, that is what is called a Challenge Coin. It's my personal coin that I give out for people. The coin is usually about an inch and a half, two inches in will width. So it looks like he probably shot that through with like a .22.

COOPER: I think it's a military tradition, oftentimes they'll coin me or I think President Obama has some, other high officials have them. Do you remember anything about this person?

BRATTON: I actually do not. It's interesting because he's a very distinctive looking individual, just the shear size of him. But in the course of a year in the LAPD, I would probably handle anywhere from 200 to 400 disciplinary cases, major cases, and in a 10,000- person department over the space of seven years. I don't recall him, as distinctive as he looks. And I don't recall the specific set of circumstances for which I fired him or discharged him.


BANFIELD: It's just fascinating to hear that from the former police chief.

And at the top of the hour, we're awaiting a multiagency update, a briefing from the police in the California, Southern California area on just where they stand for the hunt for Christopher Dorner.

We're back after this.


MALVEAUX: Remember last Sunday, Super Bowl madness, 30 minutes the lights went out. Officials now say the last hour the problem was because of a device that delivers electricity to the stadium actually failed. Well, that device has since now been removed.

And saying farewell to Leon Panetta. Just a few hours in Virginia, the president will speak at a military tribute honoring him. Chuck Hagel has been nominated to replace Panetta and that process is continuing.


BANFIELD: 48 hours of hell are officially under way for 13 northeast states under storm watches or warnings. Let me tell you, you can feel the gusts of wind. They're only getting worse. And not only that, we're talking about upwards of three feet of snow to hit Boston, which is really in the cross hairs of the storms patterning like sandy. Connecticut is officially under a state of emergency. They've not only mobilized their National Guard, they have several Blackhawk helicopters at the ready, 5,000, actually 6,000 National Guardsmen are storm prepared in Massachusetts, as well.

We have news conferences coming in the next hour from the top states affected.

I'm Ashleigh Banfield, reporting live in New York. NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL starts now.

MALVEAUX: Welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. We're following two major stories right now. First, of course, a major blizzard closing in on New York and New England. It could be a record-breaking event.