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CNN BREAKING NEWS
Snow Storm Blankets New England
Aired February 9, 2013 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello from the CNN World Headquarters, I'm Brooke Baldwin inside the weather center welcoming our viewers here in the United States and all around the world.
This hour across so much of the Northeast, New England, a blizzard is bearing down. The problems are piling up. Let me first take it at Massachusetts. Look at these pictures with me here. More than 300,000 homes and businesses have no power. That is more than half the total across the region. Half a million customers scattered across nine states. More than half a foot and a half of snow already fallen in parts of Massachusetts. And it keeps coming down. We'll take you live to Boston in a moment. Look at this, New York, tough to see even the buildings here. This is the worst of the storm, hitting in these predawn hours. Just a short time ago.
We have been telling you here about this fatality. We learned that a 74-year-old man died after he was hit by a car that apparently lost control on a snowy road in Poughkeepsie. And across the state of New York, a state of emergency is in place. Rail service, look at this, no cabs. Rail service suspended from Manhattan to upstate. That's just New York. In Rhode Island, snow has been stacking up. As fast as three inches an hour there. Up to two feet of snow is predicted along with winds possibly topping 60 miles an hour. As I mentioned, I'm back in the CNN weather center where we're watching the snow storm. We and Karen Maginnis here, producers watching here the storm, move across the Northeast, making sure they have the most up to date information for you.
We're live right here with you throughout the night with continuous coverage on conditions. We have a team of reporters and crews spanned out across to region to bring you these pictures and the stories, including there she is on the far left, Indra Petersons in Boston, Ali Velshi, well, Ali is not there, but that is his shot. Hopefully, he's getting warm. Ali Velshi in Cape Cod for us tonight. In New York, there's Alison Kosik in Manhattan, and Gary Tuchman on Staten Island for us. So, we'll come to all of them momentarily. Let's begin in Boston. Logan Airport measured one wind gust 76 miles an hour. That is two above hurricane strength. Let's go to meteorologist and self- proclaimed weather geek, Indra Petersons, who has been in the snow for the better part of many hours already. Are you frozen to your core yet?
INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: No, because you have no idea how many layers I have on. It would probably take me five minutes just to list the amount of layers I have on right now. So, I'm all good. It's probably why I'm the only one smiling, right? You've got to be safe than sorry. All right, I want to show you how much snow we have right here right now. We got the yardstick in the ground, and you know what, we're still seeing that nine inches run up that much accumulating. We're under that foot mark still. And every time I walk out of the truck and I stand out here, I go, you know what, it's just not that bad. Then a couple of seconds later, this huge gust comes by. Remember, we're talking 50, 60, 70-mile-per-hour gusts. You mentioned Logan Airport, that's only 2 miles away, that 76 mile per hour gust is only hour and a half ago.
And we're pretty much standing right here, so just picture those ice crystals just kind of smacking you in the face. But I keep trying to hang on to my anemometer. This is that guy, measures the wind, and I'm like, OK, not a big deal, but as soon as the gusts are coming by, I'm trying to throw it up and I'm getting like pelted in my eyeballs with ice. So, yeah, I'm trying to get you a strong gust, but, you know, it's a little tough out here.
Meanwhile, we're kind of in the thick of this, we're talking one or two inches of snow per hour, at some points, two to even four inches per hour. I don't know if you can see how snowy it is out here. I want to pan over to the right a little bit. And you actually see right in front of the light, you can see, this is heavy snow. And visibility at times has gone down below a quarter of a mile. So, we're going to continue to moderate -- see moderate to heavy snowfall here for the next few hours, even all through tomorrow. The big thing here though, is that it's cold. I mean temperatures right now in the teens. You add in the strong winds we're talking about, the windchill is dropping to negative 1 degree.
So, think about that, and now imagine being here without power. That is what so many people are dealing with at this hour. In Boston, excuse me, in Massachusetts, 350,000 people without power right now. 500,000 people without power in the northeast. We mentioned the Plymouth nuclear plant here. You know, they lost power as well. They're on generators, there's not emergency there, but 90 percent of the area around them is without power as a result. It'd definitely cold and windy. And we got a long ways to go. And like I keep mentioning, even once these bands kick out of here, we could potentially see some of this record snowfall, but we're still going to be dealing with the wind blowing all that snowfall around. So it's got a long way to go.
BALDWIN: Yeah. And as you pointed out this week, you're talking about the power outages, Indra, right? So we're saying half a million in the region overall. These are customers. This isn't necessarily people. These are homes. So, that number, it's a huge, huge number when you try to really wrap your arms around it. And I'm glad it's just you and another TV crew and no one really else out there getting pelted in your eyeballs. Thank you for taking one for the team. Indra Petersons, we'll come back to you there for us in Boston.
I want to keep this moving, though, because I want to take you to New York and talk a little bit about travel because the blizzard obviously making travel very difficult for a lot of people. Downright impossible, actually, for others. The New York Knicks, for example, basketball team, stuck tonight in Minneapolis because they obviously couldn't get back in the town. But the San Antonio Spurs as well. They're delaying a trip to New York. They're hanging out tonight in Detroit, hopefully heading to New York tomorrow. This is what we're hearing from their team. So, you know, pro sports, pro athletes being affected. The Brooklyn Nets are taking a train instead of a plane back to New York after playing in Washington, D.C. So just an example of how many people, the different groups of people affected by all of this.
Alison Kosik, let me go back to you in Manhattan, a place on a Friday night at this time, still, I mean it's New York. Look, people are always out on the streets, you see cabs. Not so much right now, huh?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. New York City, right? The city that never sleeps. This is a city that is in the middle of a deep slumber. When was the last time you saw the streets practically empty. Look at this circle, Columbus Circle, practically empty. A couple of cabs, maybe a snow plow if you're lucky, maybe a city bus. Empty. It's like a white Christmas today. Isn't it? A winter wonderland. It is cold, I'll tell you that, but it's snowing and it's a quiet snow. Not much wind going on. So really kind of it's a calm overhang on this evening in the middle of the night. The snow, though, is continuing to pile up. What I find interesting, though, is that I really haven't seen many snow plows go by and the city has promised that those snow plows were on patrol as of 7:00 tonight. Perhaps they're in the boroughs in the neighborhoods making their way through. One interesting difference to this year, though, different from the blizzard that hit here in 2010, the city's kind of learned about it, learned from its mistakes, is they have got kind of, Brooke, a GPS tracker of where the snow plows are. So you can actually go online and see when a snow plow has been down your street here in Manhattan and the four boroughs, which I think is kind of interesting, especially since the city got a lot of heat in 2010 when it was hit with 20 inches of snow, and the city was not out ahead of it. Very different story this time around.
BALDWIN: Now you can hop online and see precisely where those plows are. And if they're coming to a neighborhood near you. I remember that in 2010, a lot of very furious New Yorkers. Alison Kosik, thank you. And I want now to take you to a place that was hit very, very hard by Superstorm Sandy not too long ago. Folks, this was end of October. Staten Island. Tonight, this blizzard has a lot of these people who are still reeling from that storm very much so on edge, and left feeling unprepared. Scott McGrath lost the first floor to his home because of Sandy. He is rebuilding and he's bracing for what is ahead.
SCOTT MCGRATH, STATEN ISLAND RESIDENT: Well, everybody has fear, you know. You have seen the gas lines this afternoon. People want to run to the gas station, we're running out of gas because people were getting their generators full, their were getting their cars full because you know what? It was a hard hit. If this tide is high like they're expecting and the high winds, we're in for a long night.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: Gary Tuchman is in Staten Island right now. And Gary, at least it appears that the snow isn't falling, hopefully these people can catch a little bit of a break.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Brooke. It was pretty much 100 days ago that Hurricane Sandy hit the northeastern United States. And no one was hit worst than the people of Staten Island. And that's why here in Staten Island, there may have been more anxiety about this blizzard than anywhere else. So far here, compared to Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, not as bad. When I did come here today to this particular street, it was completely green. The streets were blue, the grass was green, and there's been a lot of snow, but it's not a ton of snow and there haven't been a ton of winds. This is the very same street that we did live reports on when the hurricane came here. And this street was devastated. For example right over here, you could still see rubble from one of the hundreds of houses that were destroyed here in Staten Island.
Next door is another house that was heavily damaged. The family that lives there is in the process of rebuilding it. They were hoping to move in this weekend. Not so sure if they'd be able to move in this weekend because of the heavy snow. But that gives you an idea of what's going on here. This entire street either damaged or destroyed houses. Five percent of the population of New York City lives here in Staten Island. 475,000 people in a city of more than 8 million, yet more than half of the people who died in New York, died in Staten Island. 23 people killed in Staten Island from Hurricane Sandy. Behind us here, this tent. This ten has been in here now for months. Private citizen decided to build the tent there. People have donated food every day. Homeless people, there are still about 1400 homeless people here in Staten Island, come to this tent for meals. Even today when the snow started coming, people were in there having meals. And one thing I want to tell you, Brooke, is that we actually had a storm- related injury among the CNN people here today.
TUCHMAN: Our CNN engineer was going inside his SUV. He raised up the SUV and there was so much snow on it, it fell right on top of his head. And we had to take him to the hospital at a short time ago. He got six stitches in his head ...
TUCHMAN: And I will tell you, Albert is back at work, even with six stitches in your head. So ...
BALDWIN: I was wondering why I'm looking at you live. I heard about this. So he's working with his six stitches ...
TUCHMAN: Right. Right.
BALDWIN: ... to make sure we get you on TV?
TUCHMAN: I'm going to give you a shot of the van where this happened. OK. Well, basically, it was a van that looks like this. What happened to Albert was he raised this up and there was so much snow on it, it came down and the corner of it hit him in the head, and he was gushing blood. We took him to hospital. And I give a shout-out to the Staten Island University Hospital. Within 15 minutes, you never hear of this, he's in the hospital, and then 15 minutes, he's out with six stitches in his head. He's doing OK. We're happy to say.
BALDWIN: I'm so glad to hear it, Albert, we're thinking about you, and thank you for hanging in there and helping us be on TV at 2:00 in the morning. We appreciate it. Hay, Gary, before I let you go, though, there was a picture on your Twitter page of a Christmas tree. Tell me about that.
TUCHMAN: Right, let me show it to you, Brooke. I could actually show it to you. Can we see - is good enough light to see this? I'm going to run over there. This Christmas tree was lying down earlier today. It was blown over by the wind, and some neighborhood residents came back and put it right back up here. So, this is a Christmas tree that has basically been here for, you know, since the beginning of December, and it still stands here today, and people thought it epitomized the spirit of this neighborhood. They wanted to leave the Christmas tree up on this very difficult day for the people of Staten Island and the people of the northeastern United States.
BALDWIN: How about that? Gary Tuchman, thank you for sharing that. And just thinking about all those people, obviously, hopefully it's not as bad for them, as it is, although we have already seen for so many other people in New England. Thank you, Gary.
And now let's talk to Karen Maginnis.. Chad Myers, good thing, has gone to bed. I don't know, do I say good morning, good evening to you?
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It blurs. Doesn't it?
BALDWIN: It's a little blurry. But we're so glad we're on the air because it's such an important story. We already know of the one fatality in Poughkeepsie, New York. A couple of people have been trapped along -- on the Long Island Expressway. Tell me ...
MAGINNIS: What's going on?
MAGINNIS: All right, the storm system came together, as we all know, and it has already produced not record amounts of snowfall in places that were kind of in that bull's eye, right around Boston. That's where we were looking at perhaps what would be the heaviest amounts that would rival 1978.
MAGINNIS: That's kind of the benchmark for everything now going forward.
BALDWIN: Was that 27 and a half? MAGINNIS: It was 27.1, I believe.
MAGINNIS: I believe. So, and you know, you can -- there's a little wiggle room in there, but a lot of the snow areas across Boston that we have seen right now, between 20 and around 25 inches. Now, Brooke, it is beginning to taper off just a little bit. Now, just as soon as I say that, that doesn't mean you can go outside ...
MAGINNIS: ... have a great time. That's just not going to happen, but there's a band that moved through that was a heavy wave that we saw in the past couple of hours. That same wave associated with this storm is going to move off the coast, so they'll be on the back side of this, so you might get another kind of heavy burst that comes up within the next hour or so.
BALDWIN: Define heavy burst?
MAGINNIS: We could see those snowfall rates of maybe two, possibly three inches an hour. Those are significant. One or two inches, that's important. Two to three inches in a storm like this one is exasperating. It will stymie the roads, as we well know. The highways, the airways, I looked at some fascinating information regarding the Boston airport. They have super snow removers. And once they remove that snow ...
BALDWIN: What is that?
MAGINNIS: Well, it's kind of a high volume snow removal system. They really need to get this transportation going. They don't want to do it willy-nilly. They want to make it sure everything is safe. But they get these snow removal machines out there and they just blast it, just time after time after time again. And once they do that, they have to make sure that even at that point, the airplanes have enough friction that they can land safely. So they have a friction tester. So they'll keep trying to remove all of the snowfall in case you have plans to go out to those airports that have been shut down.
BALDWIN: Or get out of -- Right.
MAGINNIS: Exactly. So they're continuing to do this as the snow progresses. They're still removing the snowfall. The wind is blowing around. You can imagine how difficult this is. The visibility is only about a half a mile, but they're going to see as this begins to taper off, so maybe we'll start to see some movement with the airlines and the international airports.
BALDWIN: She's hoping, and a lot of people are hoping, and as we continue to cover this in the overnight hours, we want to just dip in just a little bit since we can. This is Providence, Rhode Island. This is their local affiliate coverage, WJAR. We'll get back to them, as we're now looking at their anchors, but obviously, we want to be able to see some of their reporters in the field, as they have many eyes and ears on the ground as well. Karen Maginnis, thank you. We'll come back to you here in the weather center in just a moment and we will head back out to the beach, to Cape Cod. CNN's Ali Velshi, who has been pelted by sort of this hailish snow that has been falling. We'll talk about that and a whole lot more. Special coverage of the northeast blizzard on CNN overnight. Stay with me.
BALDWIN: 2:17 in the morning here. East coast time. Looking at this blizzard. Tracking this punishing winter storm. Ali Velshi, he's been out in this for hours and hours for us in Cape Cod, the town of Dennis Port. This is the eastern most point of Massachusetts. Ali, we have been talking a lot about the wind. That the snow pelting you. What about those flickering lights? Tell me about the power situation on the cape.
ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're back on in Dennis Port, but they're off for many, many hundreds of thousands of customers in Massachusetts. That's going to be the problem as people wake up in a few hours. They might be waking up into cold houses. It is cold. I will say the wind has died down. You know, it does feel like we're on the back side of the storm. It's pelting me right now. We've got a gust coming through, but there are moments where I don't even feel it.
And frankly, as you can see, we have been talking for a couple of hours. I can stand up straight and talk to you, which I wasn't able to do earlier. I was kind of hunched down or I'd be doing this. There's still gusts coming through, but we're definitely on the back end. There's still a lot of precipitation. You can see it between us, it's still those sort of icy pellets, but the truth is it's lighter than it was before. There's less accumulation. The problem now is going to be even if we're at the back end of this thing, even if there's just a few more inches of snow to come, that could be the few more inches that takes down the branch that takes down the power line that puts more people out of power. And until there's no wind, you're not getting guys in buckets who are repairing that. So, more people are going to end up without power overnight, and it is cold. It's not all that cold, the actual temperature, but there's enough wind that it's making it particularly cold, and there's still a travel ban in effect here in Massachusetts, in Connecticut, and in Rhode Island. So you can't get around.
So there's, you know, we're at the back end. I don't think it's going to get substantially worse. But that doesn't mean it's not going to get worse. If you have power now, you still may lose it. So, it's best to take those precautions. The coast of Cape Cod, I'm at the southern side. I'm about two thirds of the way east. Go further east, you get to Chatham. That northeast coast of Cape Cod was also getting hit hard. We don't have a real sense of how badly Cape Cod has been hit overall. About a quarter of million people are probably wintering on Cape Cod right now. These are full-year residents. So, it has been hit hard. It probably accounts for a fair number of the people in Massachusetts. Even though Boston has been hit really hard. The power outages are probably fairly well concentrated here on the Cape Cod side of things. So, hopefully, I can't stand and talk to you, so it does look like over the course of the next few hours, we will have a little less of this coming along. Brooke.
BALDWIN: Ali, let me ask you, because I can hear and I can sort of see it's dark behind you, the waves crashing behind you. There were sort of ...
BALDWIN: ... initial fears over maybe some flooding issues, although Chad seemed to put some of that to bed. What kind of surge, if anything ...
BALDWIN: Are you seeing?
VELSHI: Well, nothing, actually, which is interesting. Whoa, a little bit of ice there. I tell you, right around here was where high tide hit at about 9:45, 10:00. And this is a little - it's a few feet higher than yesterday's high tide, which was over here. So really, we got nothing extra, and as soon as the tide receded, there was some fear that as the storm hit, which was probably about an hour and a half ago or two hours ago when Chad said it got to the low pressure system, got to as close to me as it was going to get, the water was far enough out that there did not seem to be an impact. Now, again, Cape Cod is a big place, and the flood warnings were in place for much of Massachusetts, not just Cape Cod. So, I don't know what the story is in other places. In the northeast coast, from Chatham northwest, to that, you know that one part of the triangle of Cape Cod. That was perhaps in more danger of flooding, but we do not have reports of that right now. So, at the moment it does feel like we may have missed the worst of that, but we'll have to wait until we get some more reports in to figure that out once daylight starts in a few hours. Brooke.
BALDWIN: OK. Ali Velshi, we thank you for staying up with us here in the middle of the night, getting hit by the wind and the snow. Thank you, Ali Velshi. On the cape, and really, across Massachusetts, as Ali was pointing out, talking about the power outages. More than 300,000 homes so far, and businesses, I should point out, in the dark. So on the phone with me right now is Tommy Colon, he is calling in from Fall River, Fall River about 50 miles south of Boston, and Tommy, full disclosure, your son Kevin works here at CNN. He was supposed to be coming to visit you this weekend. And according to the travel issues, they had other plans, so he's stuck this weekend working at CNN with the rest of us. Tommy, how are you doing?
TOMMY COLON, FALL RIVER, MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENT: I'm doing, all right, Brooke. How are you?
BALDWIN: I'm doing -- I'm doing OK. Perhaps better than you. I hear you guys don't have power. When did the power go off?
COLON: We dropped power about -- we dropped power about 9:00. It dropped off. It dropped off sporadically. You know, it kept bouncing back on and off for about 45 minutes to an hour. And then it's been holding steady since that. And that was probably around 10:00, maybe 9:30. BALDWIN: What does it look like out your window?
COLON: It's actually -- it's getting quite calm. It's -- the winds have died down quite a bit, and it's -- it's just flurries at this point, to be honest.
BALDWIN: Were you around during the '78 storm? I know you were born and raised Massachusetts? A lot of people keep talking about--
COLON: Yes, I was.
BALDWIN: Tell me, how did that -- how did that compare to what you're seeing today?
COLON: Unless I was a lot shorter back then, that was a lot of it. To me, that was a horrible storm. Much worse than what I'm looking at, as I look out into my driveway, the '78 was -- seemed to be a heck of a lot worse.
BALDWIN: What have people been talking about? This -- in and around Fall River? I don't know, if you've been out about before, really, you had to stay inside. And were people -- were people worried? You hear -- you hear people talking about, you know, hearty New Englanders and then how this is -- this is just a huge storm that people can -- are used to weathering. What kinds of things were you hearing from folks?
COLON: Well, they kept -- they kept making that comparison to '78. And like I suppose the majority of people don't even remember what '78 was like. So, but, you know, you know, Brooke, that typical thing where everybody is rushing to the market and they close the schools and they close the roads. And, you know, and just like I think I saw Mayor Menino, he said, like, you know, I think they made everybody stay home today in Boston and all that kind of stuff. So, that kind of the -- the kind of the usual hype that has kind of been the standard for the last five years, I guess.
BALDWIN: So, what do you do the next couple of days here as the snow is going to be all out and about on the streets and then hopefully plowed?
COLON: Well, I had a son that was coming home from Atlanta. But he was going to shovel for me. But ...
BALDWIN: I guess not.
COLON: OK, apparently ...
BALDWIN: Kevin got out of it.
COLON: (inaudible) people have to do that, I guess.
BALDWIN: Kevin got out of it. Tommy Colon, thank you for hopping on the phone, and good luck to both of you this weekend here as you weather this with so many other people in Massachusetts and the rest of New England.
You know, as we talk about this storm, we talk about travel issues. Some people having a little fun, though. Hey, bars were getting out not too long ago. So, we have some pretty -- pretty awesome video of a snow ball fight. It happens. That's coming up next.
BALDWIN: Hopefully, part of at least good news catching a bit of a break with the storm, it's hitting over the weekend. And that means a lot of people were out on a Friday night, maybe imbibing. Maybe tossing some snowballs. Julian Cummings, he is one of our producers who has been out and about taking video on the roads of Boston. This is what he found.
JULIAN CUMMINGS, CNN PRODUCER: You're looking at an impromptu snowball fight. Started off with probably about ten people. I guess the bars are getting out here and everyone is rushing down the street, running through. The plows just broke it up and the fire department broke it up, and their were serenaded with tons of snowballs as well. But I look at people having a lot of fun here (inaudible) snow.
BALWIN: Serenaded by snowballs. Hey, I see a car in this picture. And I know you have been driving around. Remind everyone, because when you and I were talking earlier this afternoon, we know the governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, enforced this travel ban. You couldn't be on the roads after 4:00 in the afternoon. Governor Dan Malloy did the same thing in Connecticut. So, what's the deal? Why am I seeing cars?
CUMMINGS: There are basically a few cars here and there, but they're usually following emergency vehicles, plows, or some people with plows of their own, pickup trucks sort of helping out. But for the most part, other than vehicles like ours, we are exempt because we're media, but I think people are not hitting the roads. And we have been out here since 2:00 p.m., and it's getting really bad. It's pure white-out condition. And, you know, we're taking it very, very slow, being careful out here.
BALDWIN: We are still looking at this snowball fight. I mean it looks to be almost like what, one, two dozen people out as the bars are letting out. And this will be interesting as we will be doing this overnight as more and more bars continue to dump out folks who are probably just having their own blizzard parties.
Julian Cummings and a lot of college kids on the streets in Boston. When we come back, we're going to take you back live to Boston as really it's -- really coming down. Live pictures. Indra Petersons waiting for the live shot. She's cold, she's a weather geek, she loves the stuff. But we're going to talk to Indra a little bit about the wind and how much of this really has already come down. Back after this.
BALDWIN: Right now, up to 50 million Americans are feeling the brunt of this blizzard as it's plowing across much of the northeast and New England right now at 2:30 in the morning here. Look at these pictures. Massachusetts, 18 inches of snow in some places. More than 300,000 homes and businesses without power. That accounts for more than half the power outage here. Big picture, that's 530,000 customers in the dark across the region.
In New York, the worst of the storm hitting in these predawn hours. Just a short time ago. We learned about the 74-year-old man, he was out walking in the snow, he was killed by a young woman driving this car. And it was on a snowy road in Poughkeepsie. A state of emergency is in place across the state. Rail service has been suspended from Manhattan to upstate, and I want to go back to Boston. Back to Indra Petersons. And Indra, I'm hearing from my producers as they have been watching your shot that it's really, really started to come down now.
PETERSONS: You know, it is starting to come down a little bit heavier. I will say the gusts -- I was going to say, have kind of calmed down. We're not seeing too many of those strong gusts that I was seeing when I first came out here just a couple of hours ago. But because I'm not close enough to a tree, and I can't knock on wood, I bet I'm just going to get one right over my head and I'm going to fall on my face, but I'm going to try to run and knock on wood just for that, right?
BALDWIN: I did -- I did it for you.
PETERSONS: We're going to be talking about snowfall rates. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches an hour, even three to four inches an hour. We have been seeing that. You know, visibility keeps switching from about less than quarter of a mile to zero, a point in time depending on how hard the snow has been blowing.
And I kind of want to (inaudible) how this all happened. Remember, there were two storms that now have merged. There was a time, you know, we were watching the models. Where these guys are going to merge? The European model said that even by last Sunday that these were going to merge. Now, currently we're seeing that low right off the coastline. What happened, we had all this warm moist air from those storms that were produced in Atlanta just a few days ago. That merged with all that cold arctic air that was just producing lake effect snow after lake effect snow towards the Great Lakes, even though towards the northeast. You put those two together and we get this big coastal bomb we're dealing with today, or this huge nor'easter that just has nonstop winds kind of just kicking on shore. We're pulling up, of course, all that moisture out of the ocean, you're mixing it with that cold air. Is this -- is what you get.
This is the result here. You have heavy snow, right now, right here next to my yardstick, and think you have about 9 inches of snow. I'm not seeing too much accumulate, which is kind of strange to me, because the snow really hasn't stopped. I can tell you, I have been standing right here. And I'm not sure. I keep waiting for this yardstick, for it to get a little bit higher. But, you know, we're in the middle of this. Some of the bands have gone a little bit farther inland. And that's one explanation why we're not getting as much just at the spot that I'm standing in. But, you know, we still need to get on the back side of this. And with that, we have round two of this coming our way. So, by now means should this be the measure of what is expected to come. And again, once the storm still pushes out of here, by tomorrow afternoon, we'll still going to be dealing with all these strong winds. And like you said, Logan Airport, 76-mile-per- hour wind. That is above hurricane force. That's only two miles away from here.
PETERSONS: So, you don't want to get comfortable, right?
BALDWIN: Right. Right. Right. No actually ...
PETERSONS: Definitely ...
BALDWIN: Yeah, I know. It's tough, for sure. Indra Petersons, thank you. Let me take you straight to Gary Tuchman as we take you from Boston to Staten Island. Gary, what do you have there?
TUCHMAN: Well, Brooke, we've been here all day and so have the New York City police. And the reason they have been here all day is this is a neighborhood that still hasn't gotten on its feet since Hurricane Sandy. Hurricane Sandy a little over three months ago. And this area was the epicenter. 23 people were killed here in Staten Island from Hurricane Sandy. Hundreds of homes were destroyed or damaged. There are still about 1500 people who are homeless, and people there were very anxious about this blizzard coming. We can tell you there's been precipitation here for 19 hours now, in Staten Island, but not all the precipitation has been snow. It started off as snow this morning, and then we had hours of rain, and now the snow is coming down fairly heavily. But the reason we don't have more snow is because of the rain. When this day started, there was no snow on the ground whatsoever. So you can see, there's a lot of snow now, but it's not a ton.
So, it appears that the people of Staten Island are luckier than they thought they would be today. But we can tell you that a lot of the activities that people have been partaking in to move back into their homes on this particular block have been postponed because of this weather. We were talking to you a half an hour ago, Brooke, about a family that was hoping to move back into their home today, rebuilding it, they have delayed it a little bit. And a short time ago, we talked with two of the daughters who live in the home, and we asked them about the luck they've had over the past three months with the weather.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADIA SHEHADEH, STATEN ISLAND RESIDENT: We're hoping for the best. I don't think it's going to be as bad as Sandy. So, we're just hoping for the best. I don't like -- I still believe we're still going to move in like during the week. And I feel good about it. TUCHMAN: How hard has it been for your family these last three and a half month?
SHEHADEH: It's been pretty hard. A lot of stress, a lot of money because we haven't had any help from anybody. So it's been very stressful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUCHMAN: A very nice family. They hope to move into their home on Monday. It really has been such a tough time, though, for the people of Staten Island. Now, Brooke, I'm just a few blocks away from a story I did after Hurricane Sandy came through. It was a mother who had been driving through this area, and the hurricane got very bad. She got out of her car and she tried to get into a house that she didn't know who lived in the house, but she wanted to get in the house with her two children for safety, and she couldn't get into the house, and her two children were swept away from her. That happened just a few blocks away from here. So, there is a lot of horrors, a lot of nightmares for the people who live in Staten Island, it's been a rough day today in the northeastern United States. But fortunately, for the people of Staten Island, it hasn't been as rough as they thought it might have been, this particular weather event. Brooke.
BALDWIN: Thank goodness, just for those of you who are sitting at home and have the heat, just, you know, think about the people in Staten Island, for sure. Gary Tuchman, thank you so much. We'll come back to you and as we talk about the storm, obviously, we are talking power outages. And just in terms of customers, something like half a million people are without power right now. I talked to a city manager in Worcester, Massachusetts, and he's going to run through with me some of the issues they are facing, the challenges they face in these overnight hours and, of course, once the sun begins to come up, that's when we'll have the better picture as to the damage this thing has done. 2:37 in the morning here on CNN. We appreciate you being with me. We'll be right back.
BALDWIN: Live pictures here, Fenway Park in Boston. There was a truck day in Boston on Tuesday, which means the Red Sox are down in beautiful sunny Ft. Myers, Florida, hopefully for your Sox fans, the fortuitous timing of the baseball team maybe will be a good omen for 2014. I don't know, but these are pictures of Fenway. More than half a million people there are in the dark as the blizzard is slamming the northeast. Massachusetts is hardest hit by all these power outages. More than 300,000 people have lost electricity thus far across the state. Michael O'Brien is the city manager of Worcester, Massachusetts.
MICHAEL O'BRIEN, CITY MANAGER, WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS: We're lucky so far ...
O'BRIEN: ... with our partners in National Grid, we have very few people without power here in our community, but we do know that in Massachusetts, in some of the harder hit areas, particularly the coastline, they are without power.
BALDWIN: What is concern number one for you right now?
O'BRIEN: Well, concern number one is clearly the heavy snows. Coming down somewhere between one and three inches an hour. With that type of rate, it is all hands on deck to just try to keep our roads open and safe and passable. That and the high winds that we're experiencing and the blowing and drifting snow and the threat of trees coming down, which could result in power outages.
BALDWIN: For people who don't have power, obviously, they're not sitting and watching television right now, maybe they hear us on the radio, what is the best piece of advice for folks who are sitting there in the cold?
O'BRIEN: Well, if they have access to a phone that works, that's not bundled with their cable service, to call in and let the National Grid, the utility provider know that they're without power. That's very important. Also reaching out to our customer service center. Letting them know that they're without power. And any other issues that may be affecting them at this time, and then with that kind of information, we're working hand in glove with the utilities, with our entire city team in our emergency operations center, working on plans to make sure that we keep our community on its feet, and address these issues as they arise.
BALDWIN: Michael since I have you, where -- are you in Worcester right now? And tell me, tell me how conditions are where you are?
O'BRIEN: Well, I am in Worcester at the emergency operations center. We're dealing right now with about a foot of snow. Heavy snow falling. Somewhere between one and three inches an hour. And considerable winds. I would say ranging from, you know, 50 miles an hour to peaks of 35 miles per hour, depending on where you are in the city.
BALDWIN: Michael O'Brien, Worcester city manager. Michael, thank you.
Coming up, we're going to check back in with Karen Maginnis. She's in the weather center. She's been watching all of these new numbers kind of coming in as we're looking at these live pictures of our team driving through the very quiet, very eerie streets of Boston. Round two of the snow coming your way in Boston. Karen's up next.
BALDWIN: So, we are coming up on the 3:00 a.m. hour East coast time. And look at these pictures because I tell you just in the last couple of hours that I have been sitting here talking to you, this is, you can't tell, this is Manhattan. And sort of little by little, these buildings have been disappearing. Talk about very low, zero visibility. That is the scene in Manhattan at this hour. And a quick reminder, the storm is officially a fatal storm. There was a 74-year- old man who was hit after a young woman was driving in Poughkeepsie, New York. According to police there, hit him on the side of the road because she lost control of her vehicle, apparently, because of the snowing conditions. So one fatality reporting there. Let's talk a little bit more about who's getting hit the worst right now. And Karen Maginnis, so Boston getting ready for round two.
MAGINNIS: Yes, and we have been watching this. The storm system came together this afternoon. That's when the heavy snow started in Boston. It is now just kind of paralleling the coast, but then will gradually make its way further out into the Atlantic. But I want to point out one thing to you. And that is, you may be able to see it. It's difficult for even me to see, but this -- kind of this brighter white shaded area extending right along that I-95 corridor. That's the next burst that we're talking about. Meaning that's where some heavier snowfall amounts can be felt, but it's on the back side. So, as this pulls away, if it holds together, it's going to produce another burst of snow in Boston. And then, you really do start to taper off, rather dramatically.
So about mid-morning, maybe late morning hours, we're going to see a very, very different set of circumstances in the northeast and New England, but I want to show you, we have a producer, Julian. He's been driving around since about 2:00 this afternoon. These are live pictures that you're looking at. He's driving around Boston, just driving, driving. Trying to see how things are looking. And well, on his windshield, not so bad, but those streets, those sidewalks are very treacherous. But not just there. The railways, the interstates, the airport. They're all being impacted. On top of that, hundreds of thousands of people in that northeastern corridor are without power. Now, just to let you know, some people have infants, some people need medical equipment, so if the power goes out, this becomes a different dynamic as well. You can't really travel. There's a state of emergency that's taking place, so a very difficult scenario taking place. How much snow has Boston gotten? Brooke, we're comparing this to 1978.
MAGINNIS: Right now, they have seen about two feet. Back in '78, it was 27.1. Will they beat that? Right now, they are on par to meeting or beating that record. Not that that means anything in particular ...
MAGINNIS: ... other than this is a pretty devastating storm.
BALDWIN: Do we know, let me just quickly ask you, and then we'll go to break, do we know how much longer the snow will be falling?
MAGINNIS: Yes. As I mentioned, over the next couple of hours, that burst moves through and then we'll really start to see it begin to taper off. So we're looking at another, let's see, eight hours or so ...
BALDWIN: OK. MAGINNINS: .. but not those two and three inch snowfall amounts per hour.
MAGINNINS: It's going to be on the order of maybe half an inch or maybe even less than that. Once it diminished, but the wind, the wind is also problematic there as well. So yeah, we're not finished. So about midday tomorrow, we can really start to get out and check and see what's going on.
BALDWIN: OK, Karen. And you mentioned Julian Cummings, who is our producer who has been navigating the streets of Boston for us. We're going to talk to Julian on the other side of the break because he's going to show us what hopefully no cars, remember Mayor Menino in Boston saying get your cars off the streets or else we're going to tow you. We will check out the scene as that is an eerie, quiet Boston, Massachusetts. Be right back.
BALDWIN: Back here live as we're coming up on the 3:0 a.m. hour here, as Boston is about to get walloped by round two of snow. We talked so much about Massachusetts, though. Rhode Island, the snow already more than a foot deep. It will continue falling here as Karen was saying, for the next, she was estimating maybe six, seven, eight hours. Poppy Harlow has been in the heart of Providence, Rhode Island, which is she's reporting is in a virtual lockdown.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There's a restaurant, a tall hotel. Can't even see it anymore. That's the change we've had in the last hour. The pellets that Ali and Jason are feeling are coming right at us. And there goes my hat. I'm sure CNN will get me another one. Guys, it is white-out conditions here. This is wet snow because it's 34 degrees, and that's the huge problem. That 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 of downed power lines. They have 120 vehicles on the road alone here in Providence. 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. And this is why we're standing in the center of Providence, downtown, complete white-out and it's going to be like this at least through 6:00 a.m.
BALDWIN: Look at all that snow. Poppy Harlow, thank you.
Julian Cummings, I'm coming to you right now. You're on the phone with me, as you have been driving the streets of Boston since, what, last 12 hours off and on, since we talked at 2:00 this afternoon. Look at all the snow. Here's what I don't see in this picture, my friend, cars. No cars.
CUMMINGS: Yeah, there are no cars on the road, but emergency vehicles and some plows, and pretty much us. We are trying to navigate our way around. It's been pretty icy out here. There's a lot of people walking. You're going to see our shot shortly. People walking in the streets. I guess taking advantage of the fact there's no cars in the roads. Pretty dicey out here, actually, driving around.
BALDWIN: Oh, here are the people. Who are these people? Just walking around?
CUMMINGS: Yeah, I think there's a lot of -- a lot of stragglers who come out to look at the snow and realize there's no way to get back home.
BALDWIN: So, I know you have been in the car for many, many hours. Have you had a chance to stop and talk to anyone in Boston? I mean how are they feeling about this? Are they enjoying the snow? Do they feel prepared? What are they telling you?
CUMMINGS: You know, yeah, we have gotten out, we have spoken to people. I was actually -- went into a store briefly, and the store owner asked me, you know, are they allowing cars on the road? I can't get home. And I said, you know, you've got to be really careful, I don't think they are. He's going to be spending the night in his store, the corner convenience store, so the people are here -- I think a lot of people who are stranded.
BALDWIN: What about plows, Julian? Have you seen plows out and about tonight?
CUMMINGS: There are plows out and about. Less and less in that department. They are kind of falling behind, I would say, but it's not because of lack of trying. It's just because of there's so much snow falling. You know, we were wondering at one point, if it was snowing, then we realized we just sort of in the system of snow so bad, that it's, you know, it's just constant wherever we are.
BALDWIN: And I'm looking, it looks like some of the streets are kind of -- how icy is it right now? Can you tell?
CUMMINGS: It's -- yeah, it's very icy. And we're trying to go as slow as possible, but we don't realize that we're actually -- accelerating more than we need to to get moving, and then we are kind of jumping forward at every -- every go. We're trying our best to keep it in order, but definitely, definitely icy roads, and I wouldn't recommend anybody follow suit. But we do have -- I'm seeing a skier in front of us coming up. And so ...
BALDWIN: Oh, let's take a look.
CUMMINGS: Stay with us, you can get a little closer here. A little bit of a delay on our shot, it's mobile here, but we see ...
BALDWIN: Cross country skier.
CUMMINGS: Cross country skier.
BALDWIN: Look at that. First Greenwich, Connecticut tonight. Now we see a guy cross country skiing at 3:00 in the morning in Boston. Hey, why not, I suppose. Look at this, let's just stay on this for a minute. Here they go. Off the side of the street. Hey, I suppose, if you have nothing better to do and you want to take advantage of the snow and you have some skis collecting dust, right? Here's another one. Can you talk to them -- can you roll down your window, Julian? Let's just do this on the fly. Why not? 3:00 in the morning.
CUMMINGS: Let's try to talk to them. Let's see if they can -- I don't think our mike is going to pick it out. But -- all done. We're going to try.
How are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're killing me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't get it.
CUMMINGS: You know, Brooke, I don't think this is going to work just on the fly. It's a little tough for us. Sorry to (inaudible). We're sorry about that. We tried.
BALDWIN: OK, Julian. Thank you. Thank you. We'll come back to you.
Maybe we'll give you a minute. You can talk to some of these guys who are out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They come out -- we come out the drive (inaudible) we can get them and give it a shot.
CUMMINGS: Hey, we're with CNN!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is it going?
CUMMINGS: It's good, how are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good. Wicked good weather.
CUMMINGS: Wicked good weather, they just told us.
BALDWIN: Wicked good.
CUMMINGS: They said they finally found some good skiing in this area. I hope you can hear that right now, but ...
BALDWIN: I can't ...
CUMMINGS. What made you guys go out and ski tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Adventure.
CUMMINGS: They're looking for an adventure. BALDWIN: I can't hear them, Julian. Tell me what they're telling you.
CUMMINGS: They're saying it's not often you have the chance to ski down Beacon Street in Arlington over here on the back bay of Boston so they're taking advantage of it. And they're having a good time. We'll say that.
BALDWIN: What's he saying?
CUMMINGS: They're wondering who we are, basically, at this point.
BALDWIN: OK, All right. We're going to let them -- we're going to let them ski on, my friend. Let them ski on.
CUMMINGS: Let them go, yeah.
BALDWIN: Wicked -- wicked good weather for skiing, I suppose, there in Boston in the Back Bay. Hey, Julian, thank you so much, and we'll come back to you and we'll see what else -- what other shenanigans we can find in the middle of the night as we're covering this massive northeast blizzard as we're coming upon the 3:00 a.m. hour. We're live all night with you on the blizzard. Back after this.