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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS

Power Out to 650,000 Plus Customers; Snowstorms Blasting Much of the Nation; First Lady will Attend Teen Funeral; Three-State Manhunt for Killer Ex-Cop; Connecticut Hit With 30 Inches Of Snow; New York No Longer Under Blizzard Warning; Blizzards In Plains, Upper Midwest Tomorrow; Hunt For Killer Scaled Back By Snow; First Lady Will Attend Teen Funeral; Uphill Fight For Gun Control Bill; CNN Confirms Jackson Jr. Plea Deal; 100 Plus Accidents In Nassau County, New York; New Artists Take Center Stage

Aired February 9, 2013 - 11:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Hi I'm Martin Savidge at CNN headquarters in Atlanta on this, a very busy news day.

Let's get a check of the headlines. First, the blizzard that is bombarding the northeast, more than 650,000 are without power, many of them without heat all due to that massive storm. Hardest hit by the snow, Connecticut -- wind gust of up to 40 miles an hour are slamming cities including Providence, Rhode Island and Boston. We'll take you live across the region just ahead.

She is the newest face in the war on gun violence. Today, in Chicago, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton will be buried. And among her mourners will be First Lady Michelle Obama. Pendleton was shot in the back and killed just days after she marched in the President's inaugural parade.

In Los Angeles police are suddenly the targets of a man who used to wear the uniform. Billboards are up as law enforcement agencies in three states hunt a former L.A. cop that's accused of killing an officer and threatening others. He says that he wants revenge on those who cost him his job.

And police at the Grammys will be on guard for their own safety since Dorner's threats, but the show will go on. And a new name and suddenly a Grammy favorite, singer Frank Ocean has surfaced. He has racked up six nominations including new artist of the year and album of the year.

Well the blizzard is still dumping snow across the northeast. Some areas of Connecticut are seeing as much as three feet of snow. The Governor of Connecticut orders all state roads closed until further notice. Across the northeast, more than 650,000 customers are without power. U.S. mail service suspended in six states in some areas north of New York City.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was billed as a monster nor'easter, and it didn't disappoint. For hours and hours, across the northeast from eastern Pennsylvania to Maine, two feet or more of snow blanketing the region.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is probably the biggest I've seen in my lifetime.

BANFIELD: Connecticut got slammed with the most of the snow. The National Weather Service says some of the biggest accumulations have been reported in that state. Look at this -- Milford, Connecticut, 38 inches; New Haven, 34; Bridgeport, 30.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well they're crashing a lot they're going too fast. You got to be patient and take your time.

BANFIELD: In Hartford, practically a losing battle for snow plows.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All in all, I think things are going relatively well. And I'm most appreciative because citizens are listening to the warnings that we're giving.

BANFIELD: Massachusetts had also banned unnecessary driving more than two feet of snow fell in some areas there. But it was the howling winds up to 75 miles per hour, that took its toll.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have lost power here in Dennis Port several time through the course of the night it's gone off, it's come back, it's gone off.

BANFIELD: Electricity to the nuclear power plant in Plymouth, Massachusetts knocked out briefly while hundreds of thousands of people spent the night without light or heat. These two were lucky.

(on camera): You did not lose power all night. How was it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh it's fine. We watched a couple of movies and went to sleep.

BANFIELD: Travel severely impacted. No one on the roads. Airports in Boston, New York, and elsewhere, out of operation. More than 5,000 flights canceled.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: And Ashleigh Banfield joins me now from Fairfield, Connecticut. Ashleigh I heard you on the phone. It was a white- knuckle drive just to get you there.

BANFEILD: Marty Savidge, do you know how long it took me to get to this town from where I live which is typically about a 15-minute drive? It took one hour and 45 minutes. And I spent about -- I'd say 45 of those minutes right at the exit. When the Governor says don't drive, the Governor means what he says. And it's really stupid for anyone else -- I was single file on 95 with a bunch of yahoos who shouldn't have been there passing wreck after wreck after wreck.

Not only that, very few places could you exit or get on to the freeway because snowplow had created four-foot banks that effectively shut off exits. You were either shut in to a gas station or shut out of a gas station and it went on and on like that. So anyway it was just a single file for a very long time. I almost didn't make my appearance here, my live shot for you right now.

But so let me give you a bit of feel for this it is windy it's sunny and lovely, and the snow has stopped. But because there is so much wind, it looks like (AUDIO GAP) blown off roofs. Just take a look over my shoulder here Marty that is a car dealership. I'm not sure if we can see it -- hold on. I don't know if we can see it right now. But you see all the cars and the dealership are -- are little snowballs, they're mounded. It's going to take a long time for them to be able to dig that out.

Luckily, I am at a gas station and it is open. But very, very little is open in this area we're looking at drifts of you know three, four feet of snow, this area got about two feet of snow but not much farther to me like Milford, Connecticut got hammered the hardest. One of the records of this snowstorm at about three feet of snow.

Boston really got hammered. And I was watching my pal Jason Carroll who, you know, drew one of the short straws and had to sort of endure it all evening long. Jason Carroll standing by. You still have a bit of a blizzard problem, as I understand it. Your snowfall hasn't stopped yet Jason?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we're still getting snow here, Ashleigh. It has not stopped snowing. It snowed all through last night. Boston got ten inches of snow overnight, snow during the morning and we're still getting flurries coming down now as we speak.

And the story here in Boston, of course, is the big dig-out. And the only way to get -- to really get a chance to see that is to come into the neighborhoods like this on in south Boston. You can see people are out doing what Patrick Sweeney is doing down over here, Ashleigh. They're digging out.

These cars, mounds of cars that are buried -- look at all the snow -- that are buried underneath the snow. This is a hood here buried underneath all of this snow here. I know that Boston technically got 21.8 inches of snow, but that's not the real story here because as you can see, when plows come down streets like this, the snow ends up on cars like yours right Patrick?

PATRICK SWEENEY, BOSTON RESIDENT: I hope this is my car.

CARROLL: How long have you been at it?

SWEENEY: About an hour.

CARROLL: About an hour. It looks like you've made some headway here. How much longer do you think you have to go?

SWEENEY: At least two more.

CARROLL: You know as I look up and down your street and Bob -- Bob is my photographer. Why don't we give him a shot of that as we look up the street here we can see what Patrick is dealing with is what dozens upon dozens of people in this neighborhood are going to eventually have to deal with if they don't do it today, it will be tomorrow or the next day, right Patrick?

SWEENEY: Yes exactly. I don't have any plans until Monday.

CARROLL: Well you're definitely getting a good workout and that's for sure.

SWEENEY: Well I probably need it.

CARROLL: So when you look at now that the storm has basically passed us, is it what you expected?

SWEENEY: I don't think the heavy stuff is going to come down for a while.

CARROLL: Yes we're definitely still expecting a little bit more. All right well I'm going to let you get back at it.

SWEENEY: Thank you.

CARROLL: Thanks very much. Keep at it. We'll help you if we can. I know I have to do some digging myself. But it's not just all about people digging out. You can see, you can look over here this is where we spent last night. I know you remember us doing live shots out here last night Ashleigh. We were in there where you see those kids who are now using what was a parking lot buried underneath there, they're using it for their playtime so they can do some sledding.

Basically when you hear about power outages here in the state of Massachusetts, some 400,000 people without power, most of those people aren't here, those are the people who are down in the coastal areas. So they'll be dealing with that.

But in terms of what's happening here, you still have that travel ban that's in effect. So you don't have people out on the roads. And that's definitely helping the emergency vehicles get in and get out of areas. Get into neighborhoods like this one so they can plow. So that is still in effect.

And in terms of the streets themselves, the mayor was saying this morning that they've already used 3,700 tons of salt and sand on the roadways. They've gotten much more than that in their arsenal to spread out as the weekend continues -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: Well, Jason, I'm glad the good people of Massachusetts are listening to Duval Patrick, their governor. Because a lot of people at least in this area where I am, Fairfield, Connecticut on 95 choking that freeway. And the good people who have plowed -- let me just get out of the way. Can you show these -- these are personal plows. People who have affixed plows on the front of their, you know, of their 4 by 4s who can actually get to this snow and help.

There are a lot of independent contractors who the states have -- and I say states because all of the states are employing every plow they've got and independent contractors, too. So I can't tell you whether these people are being paid or not, but they are certainly part of the effort to fix this problem. The only issue is, they can't get across 95 or through 95 when you have a bunch of idiots who are just out thinking they need to be somewhere.

And so everybody is sort of stuck where they are up on 95. At least in this area. So that's -- that's a big problem.

There is one issue, as well. It looks like a blizzard here. Jason I know, Jason Carroll just said he's still dealing with a blizzard.

By the way, people are spinning out. So I'm going to just watch what happens. I think people are very frustrated, unable to move and they're spinning out and sometimes can't control their vehicles a little bit. But Jason Carroll was saying that the snow is still continuing there.

And it looks like it here. It is not. This is blowing snow. These gusts are 35, 40 miles an hour at times. And that's causing a lot of difficulty in visibility, as well. And it is drifting. The snow is drifting. So as fast as these people can plow it, it's just drifting right back up.

Marty Savidge is watching this with Alexandra Steele. Because I may be in the Connecticut story, Jason may be in the Massachusetts story, but this is a 13-state story. And it's about to become a U.S.- wide story this series of weather systems.

SAVIDGE: All right. Ashleigh thanks very much. And you're right -- and Alexandra you heard that Ashleigh was talking about the wind. This is something you were talking about, that it would come in after the snow. It clearly is.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. Now I mean we are seeing gusts where she is in Connecticut 20 and 30 mile-per-hour gusts. But we have seen before this 60 and 70 mile-per-hour wind gusts in places like Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

So it is over in Connecticut. The snow is done for you. It's going to end from west to east. So Boston will end later this afternoon. But look at these snowfall totals. Connecticut probably the bull's eye between 30 inches and 38 inches for places like New Haven and Madison and all the way up toward Avon and West Hartford.

But in Upton, New York and Long Island 30.9 inches; Stoney Brook in Long Island, 28; Islip of course where the airport is 27. Paramus New Jersey, New Jersey in it as well 14 inches and in Central Park, 11.4 inches.

So incredible numbers Portland, Maine, 29.3. All-time record for Portland, Maine, their greatest snow fall total ever on record, believe it or not Worcester, Massachusetts, 28.5. Gloucester, Rhode Island, 25.7. You got it, Boston 21 so from Rhode Island to Connecticut to Massachusetts to Maine all see just incredible numbers and the storm is certainly delivered in it.

But it's also delivered on the wind front. Look at this Logan Airport, 76 mile per hour wind gusts. So that's the problem. In Boston, we still do have a blizzard warning for another two hours until 1:00. That's because here's the snow. It will end in Boston this afternoon, but you see it's still there. Kind of this is the back end of it.

So where we are seeing Litchfield County, Fairfield County, where Ashleigh is in Fairfield County, it is over. But those winds are blowing. And we are going to see ten-foot drifts potentially with all of that blowing of the snow. But there's the back end. We're going to still see, we've got a kind of one more little line. There's a bit of dry air working in.

But then actually this has kind of been the area, this 91 corridor through Connecticut and Massachusetts that we saw the heavy- duty snow. Where there was the most dynamic, there was the most uplift, that's where we ended up with some of those 30-inch pluses right here. And we're still seeing it is kind of funny. That's what happens with the weather. It's so circular, and it kind of just gets into such a rhythm that it's really hard to get out of sometimes.

But we are going to get out of this. This will all end this afternoon. You can see here is the area of low pressure. By this afternoon and into tonight, even tonight, by 10:00, we're still going to have 30, maybe 20, 30, even though some low 40 mile-per-hour gusts blowing all this wind around. But we are going to see this all end within the next couple of hours, Marty and then it will just be a wind event blowing everything around. And then we'll just have to clean it up.

SAVIDGE: All right. That they will do. Alexandra thanks very much.

Blizzard warnings, as you heard, still in place for Long Island and up the Maine coast. Connecticut is reporting very high snowfall with a few locations with over 30 inches, some nearing 40. Portland, Maine got 29.3 inches, it's still breaking the all-time record of 27.1 inches. It goes back to 1979. Boston's Logan International Airport got almost 22 inches of snow.

Now to air travel. All airports are open in New York. But commercial flights will be running on a delayed schedule. Nearly 4,800 flights have been canceled. United Airlines canceled the most followed by Delta, US Airways, JetBlue and American Airlines.

Now to the power. Some 650,000 customers without it in the region. Most of them in Massachusetts. Massive outages also reported -- excuse me -- in parts of Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and Maine.

Coastal areas of Massachusetts are under a mandatory evacuation order. The state's emergency management agency fears widespread flooding from the towns of Sandwich, residents in Scituate are already reporting rising water.

And the Long Island Expressway and the Sunrise Highway are closed to all nonemergency vehicles. Hundreds of cars are stranded on the expressway because of, yes, snow. Many of the people in the cars have been rescued, but some are still out there. And authorities say that they are doing everything they can to get everyone and to make sure that they are warm.

Our Mary Snow is on her way there. We'll have a live report from her. That's expected later on today.

All right. Other news.

A symbol of gun violence and one of the people committed to stopping it will converge really in Chicago today. First Lady Michelle Obama will attend the funeral of a 15-year-old Chicago girl who was apparently caught in the crossfire of a gang shooting. She was shot and killed days after marching in President Obama's inauguration parade.

Athena Jones joins us now from Chicago. The First Lady is traveling with some other administration heavyweights, isn't she -- Athena?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Martin. You know, the First Lady is returning to her hometown. This is where she grew up here in Chicago. She's coming with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and Education Secretary Arne Duncan who are also Chicagoans.

You know, this is -- the violence in this city, the gun violence in this city is something that the President himself has brought up in numerous speeches including right after this shooting in Newtown. Talking about the kind of violence we see on street corners in places like Chicago and in Philadelphia.

And I should mention too, Marty, he even taped a special video message to the city of Chicago last summer talking about the gun violence. And in that video, he said that it's everyone's responsibility to make our streets safe so that children's biggest concern is that algebra test or that physics test and not getting home, walking home from school.

This is unfortunately exactly what happened in the case of Hadiya Pendleton shot not too far from her school after taking, we understand, an exam.

We know that she wasn't the target. She wasn't involved with the wrong crowd. That she was a bystander who was killed and this is something that is unfortunately far too common in Chicago and really across the country -- Martin.

SAVIDGE: Such a heartbreaking story. Athena, thank you very much for that. Meanwhile, sticking with Chicago now, a source close to Jesse Jackson Jr. says the former congressman has signed a plea deal. Federal prosecutors along with the FBI are investigating Jackson for possible financial improprieties, including misusing campaign funds. Officially the U.S. attorney's office from Washington has no comment. Lawyers representing Jackson are not returning calls from CNN. Jackson resigned from Congress last year after taking an extended medical leave.

In 2013, the Grammy awards are coming up. That will be tomorrow night. A new name and suddenly a Grammy favorite, singer Frank Ocean, has racked up six nominations. Ocean's album "Channel Orange" is nominated for Album of the Year. Country singer Taylor Swift is among the favorites in the Record of the Year category with her song "We are Never, Ever Getting Back Together".

That's it.

Police in three states now on the alert and on the lookout for an ex-cop with a grudge. But snow in the California mountains may make it easier for Christopher Dorner to elude that manhunt. He is accused of killing three people, including a police officer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAVIDGE: Welcome back to the newsroom. I'm Martin Savidge.

It's not just the northern hemisphere that got rocked this morning by Mother Nature. A 7.0-magnitude quake, that is, struck southern Colombia. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii says the quake did not generate a destructive tsunami.

WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange, has waded into the drone debate. He's slamming the U.S. government for saying it has the right to stage drone strikes against U.S. citizens who are perceived to be quote, "imminent terror threats".

And now to a threat of another kind. After dealing with some bad weather, police are now ready to resume an aerial search for an accused killer. Ex Los Angeles police officers, Christopher Dorner is accused of killing people out of revenge for losing his job. He could be anywhere in a three-state area.

Nick Valencia joins us now from Los Angeles. Dorner in effect really is declaring war on the police department, isn't he?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He is. And it's a chilling manifesto that he's written. Some people have called it a ramble or rant. I pored through it, Martin, it seems to be very coherent and deeply emotional. At times slightly deranged when he says he's going to wage asymmetrical warfare on the Los Angeles police department and their families.

But as you mentioned, that search, just about a hundred miles away where it is focused, Big Bear has resumed. It's been just over an hour. And a couple of new developments to share with you Martin. This morning we hear that yesterday there was 125 officers from around southern California assisting in that investigation. It's been slightly scaled back this time around. But still quite a presence in Big Bear.

Also, we're hearing from the Sheriff's Department this morning that there will be no media briefings unless there is a significant development in their investigation. If you remember in a press conference yesterday they said they'd be scaling those media briefings back. And as well they said they don't know if there's evidence or there's not evidence to suggest whether or not Chris Dorner is actually in Big Bear. Could have been a diversion.

They found his pick-up truck Thursday -- a burned out pickup truck. Some people are suggesting that it could be a diversion. So far, no more tangible evidence as to the whereabouts of the suspect -- Martin.

SAVIDGE: Nick, what's being done to protect police officers and their families who have been targeted?

VALENCIA: Well, more than 40 police officers and family members of those police officers were listed in this manifesto and they're being given detailed protection. In fact, I spoke to Commander Andy Smith yesterday. He's one of those people that's receiving a detailed protection. So you imagine the strain in the resources on the Los Angeles Police Department. They've gone into a tactical alert mode. And it's essentially all hands on deck at this point. Officers from several divisions throughout Los Angeles are working 12-hour shifts. Right now everybody seems to be looking for Chris Dorner -- Martin.

Nick Valencia there in Los Angeles. Thank you very much for the update on the search.

We'll look at that storm in the northeast from your point of view. Our iReporters -- they're on the scene. We'll bring you some of their reports.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAVIDGE: It is looking like a difficult day in Commack, New York as you take a look at what appears to be some emergency responders dealing with an automobile that isn't where it's supposed to be or buried under all of the snow. Just one of the many scenes that are going to be playing out along much of the northeast.

And thanks to all of you, we literally have eyes everywhere in this storm to show us how it's impacting all of us. And that is due to our iReporters who are intrepidly out there with a -- I think a shovel in one hand, and a camera in the other.

George Howell has been collecting some of their images and he joins me with some of the very best. And of course, we always advise you, please, safety comes first, right, George? GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right Martin. And, you know, to be your friendly neighborhood global news organization, you know, it takes your iReports to bring us into your neighborhoods to see what you're seeing. We're getting a lot of iReports. I mean you get to see what's happening in several different cities.

In fact, you get to see some of the lighter things too, like this. It's really cool here. Big snowman. One of the newest iReports that we got -- I want to show you. This comes from Middletown, Connecticut. This is a really interesting scene because you see cars that are just coated, that are covered in snow.

The gentleman who sent this to us, Darrell Lucas, said it's going to take some time before he gets out of the house today. He owns an Italian restaurant there in Middletown. Won't be getting out today, and keep in mind in those rural areas outside the main city, it will take some time for official to get around to your neighborhood to clear these roads. So just bear that in mind. You know, officials obviously doing their best to get the job done.

And we're hearing a lot of that on Twitter. I want to go to some of the things we're hearing. Mining the word "snow", we got this from Connecticut governor Dan Malloy. He says this to us in a tweet, "This is a record-setting storm. It's going to take time to dig out of the snow. Stalled or abandoned vehicles will only slow that process."

And that's what you're hearing from a lot of officials this morning as they -- as we get daylight, we see how much snow fell overnight. Again, the message, it will take time. So pack your patience.

One thing that I want to talk about here, we have an interactive map at iReport.CNN.com. It's a great map to check out. You can see several -- in fact, I can show it to you here. See? Pull it up. Pretty cool here because you can look at all the iReports that are coming in to us. For instance, let's go to Nantucket Island, and you can see some of the things that people are sending us.

So please do send in your iReports. Send information to me, I'm @georgehowellCNN on Twitter. We love the information you send to us, the pictures, the video -- and we, of course, pass them on.

SAVIDGE: Yes, we do love it very much. And again just be careful while you're out there.

And George thank you very much for bringing them to us.

HOWELL: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: The intense search for a killer with a grudge is being slowed by bad weather. But this is on the West Coast. Police in three states searching for an ex-Los Angeles police officer who is accused of killing one cop and threatening others.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you from Fairfield, Connecticut. Roughly 40 million people, your fellow Americans, right in the path of a monster blizzard, one for the record books. I'm Ashleigh Banfield reporting in Connecticut.

Where some of the biggest snow totals fell, upwards of three feet. If you're in Milford, I am sorry, but you've got some shovelling to do. If you are thinking or even suggesting for a moment that you're going to go out and drive on any of the roads in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, forget about it. It's not allowed.

There are bans in place. Let me tell you, the only people who should be on the roads are people like this guy. He's got a light on the top, filled with snow-removal equipment in the back. Some independent contractors who have snow removers on front of their pickup trucks, they should be out, but not you.

Let's spin around so you can see people are obviously out and about doing their thing. Not as many as I thought, but still too many for comfort. Private citizens who are breaking a ban and if you can just get up that exit there. I don't know if you can make this out from your vantage point on TV, but that is I-95.

And you can see all those semis virtually parked. It's a parking lot. It's one lane. Where you can actually pass it, it is one lane. It is littered with wrecked out cars all the way along. Wrecked out cars who spent the night there, too.

They are drifted over and buried. It's going to be a long time before they get out. They're probably lucky that they got out with their lives. Here's one of the problems -- those plows have been trying to keep up with this, and they're making giant banks that effectively shut off all exits and entrances.

So it's really hard to get on and off the freeway. If you're on the freeway, you could get stuck. If you're on it, you're probably spending the night at the gas station, which some people actually did right here.

Our Zain Asher has been watching the story from New York as well. I know you're in Manhattan, but the Long Island Expressway, Zain, had over 100 vehicles littered. A lot of people spent the night this their cars, too, terrified.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE/BUSINESSS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Ashleigh. You know, out in Long Island, out on east Long Island, a lot of people stuck. But right here in New York, our dear friend, the sun, is now out over Columbus Circle, as you see, melting away a lot of the snow, a lot of New Yorkers out and about going about their daily business.

Just to give you some idea as to what people are actually saying, I ran into one couple who are visiting New York City from Slovakia. I asked, you know, what is it like being on vacation during this type of snowstorm. They told me in Slovakia when it does snow, the snow literally comes up to here.

For them this type of weather, it's practically like spring for them. I also spoke to one person who is born and raised in New York who said he's so grateful given all of the disaster with Hurricane Sandy that New York City was spared the worst of it.

He also wanted me to tell you, Ashleigh, that his heart goes out to anyone affected by this on the east coast. We also have Mayor Michael Bloomberg echoing that exact sentiment. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK: I think it's fair to say that we were very lucky. The storm brought plenty of snow, about a foot in a lot of areas of New York City, but we certainly avoided the worst of it. And our thoughts go out to the people in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHER: And in terms of transportation, and I have good news and some bad news. The good news is that airlines now trying, emphasis on the word "trying," to resume normal operations and also the Metro North trying to resume normal operations on two out of three of its lines.

But as you mentioned, Ashleigh, people on the Long Island Expressway especially east of Long Island, really just stuck in snow. The bottom line is, if you are out and about, especially in this area, it is very wet. Make sure you drive slowly. It is also very, very cold. So if you can avoid coming out and you can stay warm, that might be better -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: Yes, it is cold. I'll tell you, Zain, when that wind blows, it takes it from about 22 degrees when I left my house this morning down to about zero with the wind chill. So it's not only cold and uncomfortable, but that's very dangerous if you're stuck in your vehicle because you decided to flout the ban in these states.

I want to tell you one other thing. There's like 650,000 people who lost power across several states. Slowly but surely they are restoring the power. In fact, Connecticut was really fast on the game.

They staged people in advance to make sure that they could hit those places fast during the storm and get power back up because of the cold. You lose power when it's 27 degrees at night, you feel it real fast. We saw some contractors going by trying to restore power obviously with their big vehicles.

Just look past me. I want to get Alexandra Steele in on this. That is a used car -- rather, a car lot, a Nissan dealer. You see the blowing snow is drifting over the vehicles and burying the fronts of them.

Alexandra, the front may look like a blizzard, but my dear, this is just blowing snow from the wind. The skies are blue and beautiful. It's just horrendous wind causing snowy conditions. Is this going last?

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. You'll see the winds throughout the day. By tomorrow, those winds will abate, no question about that, but today, 20, 30, even 40 mile-per-hour gust. But then tomorrow the winds will certainly subside.

The only place really, Boston still does have a blizzard warning until 1:00. Then the snow ends and wind will abate as well. But there are also two other concerns in the country, farther south, believe it or not, we've got a severe weather threat an then another blizzard in the northern plains and upper Midwest.

So here's what's happening. Oklahoma City down to Dallas, looks negligible, right. It doesn't look like much, but as we head through this afternoon, we could see the severe threat ramp up with some damaging winds and isolated tornadoes under the gun for that, Oklahoma City to Dallas, then farther south.

I think the bigger severe threat, though, will be tomorrow. Watch what happens. This is Sunday morning. Watch this line kind of get its acts together and get some juice with it. By 1:00 tomorrow, Memphis, Louisiana, Mississippi, reminiscent. A few days ago last week with the severe threat. Nowhere near as severe as that.

Of course, the tornadoes, we saw the EF3 north of Atlanta, Georgia, North Georgia, but there is the severe threat. Again, for some isolated tornadoes predominantly Sunday and into early Monday.

Here's the threat on that, Houston, New Orleans to Jackson and north to Memphis and then conversely, look at what else we've got. We've got an area of low pressure developing in the Rockies. The potential we already have blizzard warnings.

You can see for the Dakotas, Wyoming, and then toward Minneapolis and points north of that, toward Minnesota. This is the scenario on that deal. Tomorrow afternoon through Monday morning, we're going to watch this low pressure move.

We do have blizzard warnings once again for the same area so certainly going monitor that, as well. So Marty, lots in the offing, no question about it. When you look at some of these numbers, eight to 12 inches, looks negligible, right, compared to the 30 inches that we've got in Connecticut now.

Here's the bull's eye on that, northwest of Minneapolis and, again, into the Dakotas. So Ashleigh, what we're seeing here, again, certainly nothing compared to what it's -- funny, everything's perspective, right?

BANFIELD: Everything is perspective when you're freezing cold and thinking how did Marty and Alexandra get the warm studio that I'm sure is serving lattes outside the studio door. I wanted to make a quick mention to you both about the volume of snow. They can't really get to all the plowing until it's safe. They're going to wait in a lot of jurisdictions until it's OK to get out and do more plowing and clear. Then of course the big question is going to be where do you put it?

Marty, when you and I were growing up in Canada, they used to put it in massive mounds in the mall parking lots. We used to go sledding in the mall parking lots. I don't know that that's going to be the M.O. this time, but it made for a lot of fun back then, but it does make for a big pain in the butt right now.

SAVIDGE: Yes. That's why you could always find snow in June at the mall, that's how it happened. All right --

BANFIELD: That's right.

SAVIDGE: Thanks very much. We'll get back to you in a minute.

Moving on to something on a very serious note, an ex-cop with a grudge and survival training, he's eluding a police manhunt that is centered on the mountains of Southern California. Snow there is also forcing police to scale back the search for Christopher Dorner.

He could be in the mountains around Big Bear Lake, California, but searchers don't know. Dorner is out for revenge, targeting police officers and their families. He blames them for costing him his job with the L.A. police. Three people are already dead, including an L.A. area officer. Two others were wounded.

And a symbol of gun violence and one of the people committed to trying to stop it. They will converge in Chicago today. First lady Michelle Obama will attend the funeral of 15-year-old Chicagoan Hadiya Pendleton.

She was apparently caught in the crossfire of a gang shooting. She was shot in the back and killed just days after marching in President Obama's inauguration parade. Pendleton and some of her friends were hanging out in a neighborhood park when that gunfire broke out.

And then the fight for a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons and tighter gun control in general appears to be losing momentum. It was top of mind after the Connecticut school shooting, but eight weeks after that nationwide rallying call, the administration is no closer to a new law. The president wants a ban on assault weapons and a law limiting magazine clips to ten rounds along with expanding background checks.

A source close to Jesse Jackson Jr. says that the former congressman has signed a plea deal. Federal prosecutors along with the FBI were investigating Jackson for possible financial improprieties including misusing campaign funds. Officially the U.S. attorney's office in Washington has no comment. Lawyers representing Jackson are not returning calls from CNN. Jackson resigned from Congress last year after taking an extended medical leave. It's a winter wonderland in New York City. Even heavier accumulations are being seen outside of the city, Long Island. That's where we're going to take you next.

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SAVIDGE: A live look now at Logan Airport in Boston as they clear a lot of snow. You know what else is interesting about that picture? Where are the planes? There aren't any there. Most airlines will move them to other places.

In fact, down here in Atlanta. So parking of planes down here has been a problem. That's also a reason why even if operations begin at that airport, you have to wait for the airplanes to come back. So always check with the airlines first before you make your way out to the airport.

OK, a treacherous day of driving in Nassau County, Long Island. Over 120 accidents have occurred. Joining me by phone is Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. Am I saying that right, Ed?

ED MANGANO, COUNTY EXECUTIVE, NASSAU COUNTY (via telephone): Yes. We had now total about 150 accidents. The roadways were treacherous last night, those who took to them, some of which found themselves in fender-benders throughout the county.

SAVIDGE: Are people finally getting off the roads, or is this a problem -- you think in the daylight people will say --

MANGANO: In Nassau, to be honest with you, overnight many of the people did listen and allowed us to plow the roadways. All the county roadways, the main arteries, are opened in both directions. We were able to get through them three time, salt, and most are clear. As the weather is warming a little bit, conditions are good.

SAVIDGE: What about blowing of snow? That's always a problem for the plows to keep up with, almost as much as it coming from the sky.

MANGANO: Excuse me, I didn't hear the last question?

SAVIDGE: Blowing snow, is that a problem?

MANGANO: Blowing snow. Yes, the winds have died down. The blowing snow is a concern, obviously on the back country roadways. Also many commercial businesses are not supposed to plow it and push it back on to the roadways. We still have to exercise extreme caution.

And many of our residents now coming out of their houses to find 8 to 14 inches of snow, 2-feet snow drifts, and we remind them as they go out, if you're going to operate a snow blower, do not put your hand anywhere near the front of it to clear it.

It's the most common emergency call that we get. We've already had at least one person transported, lost a finger to that accident. You got to be very cautious to do that.

SAVIDGE: Very good advice, Ed Mangano, who has been joining us from Nassau County, he is the executive there talking about the problems with traffic and snow. Thank you very much. Be careful.

MANGANO: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Well, the Grammys are tomorrow night. We have all the details on who is who and what they're wearing in just a moment.

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SAVIDGE: A little entertainment news now and this is, of course, Grammy weekend. The elite from music world are gathering to honor the best of the year. As CNN entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner reports, this year is all about new blood.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "We Are Young" that could be the theme of the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been an incredible year in music. It feels like alternative music is back.

TURNER: This year, the spotlight isn't on veterans like Springsteen or Dylan. It's about fun and the Black Keys, and Mumford and Sons, and Frank Ocean and Jack White. They're all nominated for album of the year, and they're all in their 20s or 30s.

In addition, Mumford and Sons, Dan Auerback from the Black Keys, Frank Ocean and Fun go into Sunday's ceremony with six nods apiece matching nominations earned by hiphop heavyweights Jay-Z and Kanye West.

But this past year, attention was focused on the breakout stars, most notably, Fun, the power pop trio from New York, and Frank Ocean, the New Orleans R&B singer who shot to stardom with this emotional performance on late night with Jimmy Fallon where he sang about unrequited love with another man.

Both Ocean and Fun are nominated for best new artist along with country multi-instrumentalist Hayes. Blues rap group "Alabama Shakes."

(on camera): Two years ago weren't you working at the postal service?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I was delivering postal mail.

TURNER: And folk rock trio, "The Lumineers."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Went from sleeping in people's friends' houses then going to, like, six people to a hotel room to now, like, Grammy nomination. TURNER: On Sunday look for Justin Timberlake's first Grammy performance in four years, Rihanna's first solo turn at the Grammys since a physical altercation with Chris Brown caused her to cancel in 2009, and a collaboration featuring Bruno Mars, Sting, and Rihanna. Nischelle Turner, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAVIDGE: A manhunt, a blizzard, a tragedy in Chicago, and an asteroid hurtling toward earth. Those are just some of the topics crossing the CNN news desk and headed to your living room in just a moment.

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BANFIELD: I'm Ashleigh Banfield in Fairfield, Connecticut, where the blowing snow has given way to a mess, but at least the blizzard's over. Not the same for everyone. I'll update you on the whole situation in just a moment.