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WEEKEND EARLY START

Powerful Nor'easter Leaves Over Half a Million Without Power; Manhunt for Cop Killer

Aired February 9, 2013 - 06:00   ET

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


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Snow, wind, and icy rain. This after an all night blizzard. The northeast is still getting pummeled by the historic storm. And now this nor'easter has turned deadly. More than a half of million people are without power. And it's looking like it's not going to be back on any time soon. Plus, we are also following the manhunt that continues in Los Angeles for a cop on a vengeful rampage. CNN now has exclusive video showing his elite training. It is Saturday, February 9th, good morning to everyone out there. Hello, I'm Martin Savidge in for Randi Kaye and Victor Blackwell. And welcome to the viewers that are joining us from overseas as well. We hope your day is off to a good start. Here's what we know right now. The snow is relentless as it piles up. We're hearing that this storm has claimed at least one life. Police say someone has died in a storm-related crash in Poughkeepsie, that's in New York. Meanwhile, the Boston area being slammed with hurricane- force winds and it looks like Connecticut is taking the brunt of the snow. More than two feet in some places and there is still more to come. Elsewhere, it is falling in a clip of three inches an hour.

Hundreds of cars are stuck in the snow in the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway. The roads are closed on just about everybody, except emergency vehicles. Police say most people have been rescued, but that some are still stranded. We'll have an update from Long Island in just a few minutes.

And the blizzard has knocked out power to more than 650,000 homes and businesses across eight states. You can see that in a breakdown we've got for you right here. Winds are gusting in some places up to 70 miles an hour and that, of course, means that it's tearing down tree limbs and when the limbs go down, they tend to drag the powerlines with them. And that's leaving families in the dark, but even worse, in the bitter cold. Massachusetts is hardest hit at this point. In Rhode Island, though, more than 180,000 customers don't have electricity. And that is almost a fifth of that tiny state's population. And it's CNN's Poppy Harlow that is, that's in Providence right now. And Poppy, at least the lights are on where you are, right?

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The lights are on where I am. Yeah. You know, Marty, I want to set the scene for our viewers here. Good morning, everyone, welcome. We are standing in the middle of Providence, Rhode Island. This is right in front of city hall. This is where all the office buildings are. And I haven't seen more than two people here in, I guess since about 5:00 eastern last night. And it's been completely deserted, desolate, but I want to show you what's happening at the end of the block because an hour ago we couldn't see the end of the block and now we can. So, we're seeing that it's getting clearer here, it's still certainly snowing, but we're not seeing those massive wind gusts, things seem to have turned the corner here, but now the big concern is what do you do about all of the homes without power? 187,000 and counting. That's the number as of 6:00 a.m. Eastern of homes in Rhode Island without power and a power company national grid is facing a very big uphill battle here. That is a very big portion of the population of Rhode Island. If you look relatively speaking, it's the hardest hit of any other state in this term in terms of how many people are without power relatively speaking here.

Why did that happen? That happened because all last night it was relatively warm. 33, 34 degrees, so the snow was wet and it was heavy and it fell on those power lines, it fell on trees, it then fell on the power line, knocked them out. I spent last night talking to the governor, the state, the mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, the emergency manager here and all of them had that same one concern. How many power outages will there be? Because when the power goes out, your heat goes out. And who is to say how long that's going to last? We're going to talk to the governor live in the next hour. That's one question. It's how long is it going to take to get that power up and running in the wake of Hurricane Sandy we saw, especially in New York, just how long it took to get power back up. That is going to be your biggest concern here, also the roads completely closed right now. Illegal to drive here according to the Governor of Rhode Island. Not supposed to be on the roads, the whole I-95 corridor. That entire interstate through Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, completely shut down until further notice. That's the situation here. Boston got hit even harder. More snow there. I want to take you live to Susan Candiotti who is in Boston. Susan, I know you got over 400,000 homes there without power. What's the latest?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fortunately, we have not lost power in the area of downtown Boston, Poppy, where we are now. Good morning to you. So these people are lucky for now. The question is, what will it be like as the day goes on? And there is a concern now with the temperature. Remember, yesterday throughout the day on Friday, it was about 30 or so degrees, but the temperatures have plunged at least ten degrees now. And now you have the wind picking up. Now, the snow will begin to drift. It's much lighter now. If you look over my shoulder here. All of this, we had made traction not more than two hours ago. And our footsteps are completely covered. Now, if you take a walk over here, I'm on sort of high ground now and then you dip past a -- there into a, I think, the street from the curve. And it's much deeper here, it's measuring -- that says, let's see, 16, 17 feet -- inches, excuse me right now. So very good chance that they will reach that at least two feet. We'll see how that goes as the day goes on. It's, you know, no traffic as you can see over my shoulder, that's Quincy Market, for those of you familiar with downtown Boston. Who doesn't know that site? A lot of shops there, but of course, businesses have been closed since yesterday. People are, indeed, staying off the streets, they are following instructions. Poppy, that's it from snowy Boston. Back to you up in down in Providence. HARLOW: Up to your knees in snow, Susan. I don't know who got the shorter end of the stick here. I mean it's freezing here, but we don't have as much snow as you guys do and it's still certainly coming down, doing a great job there, Susan. Thank you.

I want to take our viewers now live to Staten Island. Mary Snow is in Staten Island, and, you know, we heard from Gary Tuchman in the 5:00 hour from Staten Island saying, look, the snow was stopping, it's getting better there. Mary, do you think, you know, we've turned the corner in terms of this storm hitting New York?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, the conditions, Poppy, here are so much different from where you are, from where Susan is. The, you know, the snow has stopped. And take a look behind me. You know, these roads are plowed. There's been about a 12 inches of snow here in Staten Island. But certainly, a sense of relief that this wasn't worse. And there was so much concern heading into this storm, particularly about storm surges and flooding and as you can imagine, anxieties are high. Let me give you a little bit of sense of where we are in Newdor (ph). You see behind me, this is a house that has just been reduced to rubble. And not many people here are living here full-time. And this is certainly a setback. Because people come here every day to work on their homes, they are just so frustrated that things are not moving along quicker. And, you know, three months after the storm, people are still relying on volunteers here for meals. So, you know, this is definitely a setback, but certainly not as worse as people feared.

HARLOW: Yeah, absolutely, Mary. I mean, people there struggled for so long just to get their power back. And I was thinking about some of the families we've been talking to in the wake of Sandy just trying to rebuild their homes, whether it's in the shore areas of Queens or out there on Staten Island. This is definitely, at least, a setback for them, but it could have been much worse. Mary Snow, thank you very much. And folks, I want to take you into the heart of Manhattan. Our Zain Asher is there, Zain, what are you seeing in New York City this morning?

ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESONDENT: All right, Poppy, you know, as I mentioned to you earlier, it is absolutely freezing here. 28 degrees, in between my shots, I have to go to that car there just to warm up. It is that cold. But since I last spoke to you, I did see a couple of people. I saw two guys who weren't really, by the way, wearing anything warm, and I stopped them and said, guys, you know, what are you doing out and about middle of Manhattan at this time of the morning, 5:30 a.m.? And they were just like, well, you know, we're college kids. We're at Fordham University, you know. It's - you know, we decided to stroll outside and go to Dunkin Donuts.

I also spotted another gentleman who basically said to me that he was on his way to work. He said the most challenging thing about this whole thing is really digging himself out of that snow. That's what he found most difficult. But he said other than that, it is pretty much a normal Saturday. And I was like, yeah, you know, I guess it is a normal Saturday except, you know, for a lot of people, it is really not. 1700 people -- 17,000, people, excuse me, without power in New York alone, the governor issuing a state of emergency. Mayor Michael Bloomberg saying he sees no reason to issue a state of emergency. He is making sure that these streets stay plowed. He's hoping that every single street in Manhattan, by the way, this is a pretty ambitious goal, he is hoping that every street in Manhattan can be plowed once if not twice by the middle of the afternoon. He is using 1700 snowplows, also 250,000 tons of salt to keep these streets as clear as possible. But I just want to talk to you about travel. As you mentioned, Poppy, hundreds of people stuck on the Long Island Expressway also in addition to that, we did get a fatality.

A 74-year-old man who was struck and killed unfortunately when a car couldn't stop. So, that just tells you just how dangerous it can be in these conditions. I did say earlier on that, you know, I just say it earlier on that it is - you know, it's not as bad as the blizzard earlier three years ago. But Poppy, if you can - I mean if people can stay - if people can stay indoors, it would be better, it's much safer. Poppy, back to you.

HARLOW: Absolutely. For everyone out there watching that thinks, hey, New York didn't get hard, I'm going to head out, I'm going to get in the car. I'm going to drive, you know, drive out of the city for the weekend, don't do it, the roads are extremely bad, very dangerous, treacherous. People stuck on the Long Island Expressway that made a bad decision to head out in this storm. Do not do it. Stay in, stay safe, we still get a long way to go. Certainly here in Providence, Rhode Island, we certainly do. Marty, back to you.

SAVIDGE: Poppy, one of the at least brighter sides that this is the fact that it struck on a weekend. So we don't have as many people trying to get to work.

HARLOW: Yeah.

SAVIDGE: But thanks very much. We'll continue to follow you and everyone else of the team out during the snow.

Meanwhile, live flight that we're tracking reports that nearly 1700 flights have been canceled - that's today. The majority of those are to and from, yes, the northeast, and that's in addition to the almost 3,300 canceled yesterday. There will be no flights out of Boston's Logan until at least on Sunday. And the story is pretty much the same for New York's airports. No flights, in or out, remember to check your airline to verify the status of your flight before you head out yourself.

Already more than 30 inches of snow in some places, and it is going to keep falling through at least midday. Meteorologist Alexandra Steele following that for us. Alexandra.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Martin. All right, well, what's happening so far, 34 inches in Hamden, Connecticut. So we've seen big snow, big winds, hurricane-force winds, but we'll also see big time improvements. New York City, the snow ends this morning, Boston, the snow will end this afternoon and Maine will see it end tonight. So, here's what we've seen thus far, 32 inches in Madison, Connecticut, that's right along the shoreline of 95. Worcester, Mass, ten inches, in Bergen County, New Jersey, 15. Boston and the surrounding areas, that's the Logan, ten inches, but certainly we're seeing between ten and 20 in the suburbs. Peak wind gusts, look at Massachusetts, 83 mile-per-hour wind gusts. In Connecticut, 81. So you could see Logan Airport even, 76. Buzzard's Bay, of course, on the Cape and the Islands, that where we've seen the strongest wind gusts, 70-mile-per-hour -- even sustained winds in the 40s and 50s. So substantial winds and, you know, even when the snow ends those winds will continue. So we'll still see blizzard-like conditions in terms of the visibility and the snow moving around. Here's the radar you can see. Here is where all the snow is.

Again, New York will see that snow come to an end this morning. But where we've seen this bright banding, this brighter white color, that's where the snow's been falling at about two to three inches an hour, thus getting that 30 inches of snow in areas of Connecticut. But it will all come to an end. You could see by 8:00 this morning, New York, Long Island, western Mass, western Connecticut getting out of it by this afternoon, around 1:00 or so, you can see the Cape and the Islands, still in, Boston winding down and then by tonight, we're going to see it wind down in Maine. But even, Martin, when the snow winds down, look at these strong winds, winds will still be a player gusting to 40 miles per hour.

SAVIDGE: That's likely not to help any of those travel bans.

STEELE: Yes.

SAVIDGE: Alexandra, thank you very much for that.

Besides the blizzard, we are also following another big story, and this one's coming from the west coast. It's that massive manhunt underway for a former cop accused of killing three people. Police want to stop him before he strikes again. We'll have a live report from Los Angeles. That'll be next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAVIDGE: And the other big story that we are continuing to follow for you today. That's the massive manhunt for an alleged cop killer who has declared war on police and their families. The suspect or the search, rather, for suspect Christopher Dorner will ramp up again at daylight out there in the popular California resort area of Big Bear Lake. Dorner is accused of killing three people, including a police officer and the daughter of a retired police officer. CNN's Nick Valencia now joins me from the LAPD, the headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. And Nick, why don't you bring us up to speed. You know, has he just vanished? Has there been any sighting of him overnight?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Martin. I think there are hundreds of police officers right now asking themselves the same question. Has Chris Dorner vanished? I'm here outside the LAPD headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. But the search and manhunt for Chris Dorner are really as concentrated about 100 miles away from here in the San Bernardino mountains, in the Big Bear area. As you mentioned, the search for Chris Dorner was scaled back overnight because of those heavy snow conditions. Last night by Friday night, those teams there were expected to complete their search of some abandoned cabins in the area. And at first daylight today, those teams were set to renew their search for Chris Dorner. But this investigation, Martin, has spread far beyond southern California.

SAVIDGE: Dorner wrote a chilling manifesto. He's accused, of course, as we say of killing three people including a cop. And I'm wondering, are the police there worried for their own safety and the safety of their families?

VALENCIA: Yeah, that's a great question. As you mentioned in this manifesto, Dorner, threatened families of LAPD officers and LAPD officers themselves for what he calls retaliation for what he says was being unjustly fired from what he says was his dream job yesterday. I spoke to commander Andy Smith with the Los Angeles Police Department, and we spoke about the safety concerns for police officers as well as the resources being used to protect them. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COMMANDER ANDY SMITH, LOS ANGELES POLICE: I live outside of town, just live outside of town, so my local agency's been good enough to provide extra patrol to my house. My wife and children aren't home now, which is kind of a comfort to me knowing that they're not home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: All right, Nick, thank you very much. We'll stay in touch with you.

Former FBI special agent and private investigator Harold Copus joins me now for more on this manhunt. And we've talked about the snow conditions out there. How they could - or may not impact the search. But I really want to ask you, do you think that Dorner is up there in the mountains?

HAROLD COPUS, FMR FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, there's obviously 50/50 and that's easy to say. Dorner knows tactics, and he knows what the police will be doing to look for him. If I were Dorner, I probably would've left that car up there and then left, let them spend the time up in the cold. I'd be down at the beach.

SAVIDGE: So it could be - I mean the axle on the vehicle supposedly was broken, so it does sound like a legitimate breakdown, but he also knows that, of course, everybody would focus on that area. So, he would try to get out of there?

COPUS: I think he would try getting out of there, unless he has a place that he's already purchased or he has a friend giving him a key. So they have to do that search. But that's a massive area. And if you look back at when we have the situation here in Georgia and we were looking for the bomber, you know, (ph). This guy was a survivalist. He lived up in those mountains up there. And, you know, took forever to find that guy. So if this guy's up there, you miss him, he could double back on you, move into a house and you'd never know it. SAVIDGE: Where do you think he is more at home and maybe better at hiding? Would it be in a metropolitan area? Or is it up in a kind of rural area like that where there aren't too many people to see?

COPUS: I think he'd be better in a rural area. And let me tell you why, he was a police officer. He's not like a street guy that can go to some of his buddies, that have been in jail and say, you know, hide me. So he's going to be better off. And he claims he's a survivalist and he has training for the military. I think he has an even chance. If he could be some place isolated, setting up traps, waiting for the police to come.

SAVIDGE: You think he is still continuing on the hunt?

COPUS: Oh, definitely he's on the hunt. This guy, if you read his manifesto and you look at what he thinks. He will say his name was taken away when he was terminated from the PD and the only way he's going to get it back is he's going to eliminate officers whether they were involved or not.

SAVIDGE: You think this is going to end in a bad way.

COPUS: There's no way this could be a good way.

SAVIDGE: Yeah. Yeah. You're right. So far it has been a terrible way.

COPUS: Oh, certainly.

SAVIDGE: Harold Copus, thank you very much for joining us and giving us your insights.

Well, it's week six of the Jodi Arias murder trial, and it is taking a turn for the bizarre. Hear what HLN's Nancy Grace had to say when the accused killer was called to the witness stand. That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That you see how tough the wind is this morning. The gusts are incredible. Harder to stand this morning than it was last night if you can believe it. And this morning is what they're most concerned about in terms of the water. The tide is still a good 100 feet from where we are right now. But as it comes in, it's going to be higher than it was last night. And with the wind being as strong as it is, it's expected to breach some of the dunes where there are breaks in those dunes. Likely to hit some of the channels as well and get into the marshland and that's when it begins to threatens the town. Randi and Bianca?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: Doubled over and blasted in the blizzard, thanks to our affiliate WCVB for showing us what they are seeing there. And now, we want to talk more about what you are seeing out there in the storm. And for that, we bring in George Howell, he's got pictures, he's got videos, he's got our I-reporters and what are you finding?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, I want to show you the newest thing that we got - this is basically right there in New York, right at the park, the Riverside Park. This is cool video because you see what New Yorkers do when you deal with a blizzard like this. They just keep it moving, Martin. This is a guy who is snowboarding, even created a jump, he's got his dog out there, enjoying all the snow. So that's what you can expect from New Yorkers. They're resilient.

SAVIDGE: Yeah, well, obviously, you know, he would have to go - usually travel to go find that kind of condition. Now he gets to do it right in the city.

HOWELL: Right there. All right.

SAVIDGE: And with his dog.

HOWELL: Good place. I want to switch over now to Northford, Connecticut. Look at this, so you open the door, three feet of snow, you can't get out the door, and there's more snow coming down. So what you see right there will be worse, I'm sure, by the time we see daylight today.

SAVIDGE: Yeah, hopefully he didn't keep the shovel in the garage. You sort of hope you brought it in the house.

HOWELL: Yeah.

SAVIDGE: It's a challenge.

HOWELL: All right. I want to switch you over also now to White Plains, New York, and this is sort of an image of what you saw as the stores the other day. A lot of people looking, you know, to get food, get supplies, water, bread, in advance of this storm. They cleared out the shelves in a lot of different stores. It's not surprising. When you think about Superstorm Sandy, a lot of people got caught off guard ...

SAVIDGE: Right.

HOWELL: So you find people doing everything to be ready this time.

SAVIDGE: Usually, you know, they were saying it was a three day supply of food and water you should have. Now, they say five.

HOWELL: Right. So, that's what we're looking at. And if you have any information or video, just pass it on to me at GeorgeHowellcnn. We'll pass it along to you.

SAVIDGE: All right, George. Thanks very much ...

HOWELL: Thanks.

SAVIDGE: We'll check back with you.

HOWELL: Yeah. SAVIDGE: Maine braces for intense snow. We will be speaking to that state's emergency management director for an update. That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAVIDGE: 32 minutes now past the hour, thanks very much. Welcome back. I'm Martin Savidge in for Randi Kaye and Victor Blackwell. Thanks for starting your morning with us. And it's a difficult morning for many people, especially out there in the northeast, and that is because you already know. The snow. One of the big stories of this major blizzard right now are the power outages. That seems to be the issue that continues to spread. More than 650,000 homes now and businesses across nine states have no electricity. In terms of sheer numbers, Massachusetts hardest hit, but almost 20 percent of the customers in tiny Rhode Island are also in the dark this morning. And that is where CNN's Poppy Harlow is. She is in Providence. And Poppy, what's the situation like this morning?

HARLOW: Good morning, Marty, good morning, everyone. Well, as you said, a really big problem with power outages. We've got 187,000 homes here in Rhode Island without power. That's a good chunk of the population of the entire state. And no power for most people means no heat. So every hour -- excuse me. Every hour matters. On the bright side, I want to show you that it really feels like civilization is coming back here, frankly, to Providence, Rhode Island. We're seeing the sun come up, we're seeing a little lighter in terms of the snow, the wind gusts aren't as heavy. They aren't whipping at us as they have been all night long. I can see the end of the block, I can see city hall, which I couldn't just about two hours ago. So things are looking better here. But they have a really tough road ahead. The issue that happened here, Marty, is we had a lot of snow, feet of snow, but it was wet, thick snow and it fell on the power lines, it fell on trees. Those knocked power lines over and that's the issue.

You've got National Grid, the power company has to get these back up and running. And when I talked to the governor of the state yesterday who we'll have on live for you in the next half hour or so. He told me, look, our biggest concern right now is this power outages and just how extensive they're going to be because of the cold temperatures. It's just about 20 degrees here right now. That's what this city is facing. All of the roads have been closed, every vehicle, except for emergency vehicles, since about 5:00 last night, just heard a train go off. So I suppose some of the trains are running, but none of the mass transit is running here. I-95, that huge corridor through New England. That interstate is completely shut down. It's going to be that way for much of today. So now, the cleanup process begins, but we're still going to have snow here until about 2:00 Eastern time. So the power outage is the big concern here. Also a big concern in Boston where they got dumped on with even more snow. And that's where we find our Susan Candiotti. Susan, how are you holding up? How are things looking?

CANDIOTTI: Hi, Poppy. Well, it's good to see it get a little brighter now as the sun is starting to come up. It is certainly far colder than it was on Friday when it was probably about 30 degrees, but felt balmy compared to what it is now, which is measuring in the high teens with a wind chill factor of about one. So, we are still starting to see some snowblowers about. For example, one is about to pass us by now. But the snow definitely, we'll see it begin to drift now. And it is much lighter and fluffier than it was with that wet, heavy snow that we had yesterday. There's a guy at work there now. We're in downtown Boston where we did not lose power throughout the night. You can still see the lights turned on, Quincy Market way behind me over my shoulder. And people have indeed been staying off the streets. However, power outages are a major issue, as Marty indicated, and so do you. In the state of Massachusetts, more than 400,000 homes and businesses are waking up in the dark and in the cold and that is going to be a big problem throughout the day, Poppy. By the way, the meteorological definition of a blizzard, I learned is this. At least 35 miles per hour for at least three consecutive hours and a quarter of mile visibility. I'm told that they don't have all the numbers in in Massachusetts yet. But so far at Logan Airport here in Boston, it has not yet reached that standard. But the day is young. Back to you, Poppy, in Providence.

HARLOW: That's - that's hard for me to believe. Because I stood through wind gusts stronger than that last night here, Susan. It certainly felt like a blizzard to me. But, you know, we are turning the corner. Things are looking a little bit better. But now the big challenge becomes clearing all these roads. Officials here told me not only do they have to plow, they're going to have to actually remove some of the snow from the city, because there's so much. That's a challenge and getting the power back on. Another very big challenge. Marty, we'll toss it back to you.

SAVIDGE: All right. Thank you very much, Poppy Harlow, and it's looking brighter. Thank you.

In Maine, a relatively small number of people without power, around 2,500. But they haven't seen the worst of the blizzard yet. They could get as many as two feet of snow today. Motorists could also face zero visibility at times, and they are being asked to use extreme caution if they have to go out and drive. Robert McAleer is the director of Maine's Emergency Management Agency. He is joining me now on the telephone from Augusta, Maine. And Mr. McAleer, first of all, thanks very much for joining us early this morning. How are the conditions right now in your state?

ROBERT MCALEER, DIR., MEMA: Well, the conditions are pretty tough right now. If you were looking at radar, you'd see that basically the entire state has been - is totally covered with the heaviest of this snow. So it's coming down pretty hard. We've had reports of in excess of 30 inches down in the southern portion of the state. And we're expecting in excess of two feet. Along most of the coastal area of the state along with high winds and high tides. So, we are facing a few challenges right now.

SAVIDGE: What do you think is going to be the worst time of day for you for this?

MCALEER: The biggest challenge for us, I think, is going to be around the time of high tide. We're looking at three foots storm surge, 25 to 30 foot waves offshore, 50-mile-an-hour winds. A lot of our coast is rocky, but down in the southern portion we have a lot of sand area that is very low-lying. And very prone to damage under these kinds of conditions. So we're watching that situation very, very carefully at this point.

SAVIDGE: And, of course, you've been seeing this storm approach. You've seen what it's doing to other places. How have you been preparing in your state?

MCALEER: Well, obviously, the big impact and a lot of the places has been the power outages. We have not seen those, as you mentioned. That somewhere around 2,000. But we brought in a whole bunch of extra line crews out of Canada and other places around the state. 130 extra tree crews on top of our 90 regular crews and that's just one of our major companies. So, they're prepared to go to work as soon as we've got the conditions we can work under. And of course, the other thing we've been doing is trying to prepare our population, so that they would be able to deal with this on their own for a little while.

SAVIDGE: And what about shelters? Have you opened them? Do you think you'll have ...

MCALEER: We have not opened any shelters. No Red Cross shelters are open at this point. With no power outages. There is really no reason to do that at this point.

SAVIDGE: All right. Robert McAleer is joining us from up there in Augusta, Maine where it's a vastly different view than Augusta Georgia, certainly. Thank you very much. We'll stay in touch with you to see how your state fairs through this storm.

Take a look now at live flight tracker. That's it. Flight radar, 24.com. And you can see the activity of the northeast is pretty quiet for right now. Live flight aware tracking reports nearly 1700 flights have been canceled, that's today, and that number is expected to increase. There will be no flights out of Boston's Logan until probably Sunday. And it's a similar story out of New York's airports. No flights in or out. And as always, we remind you to check your flight status before you head out to the airport. If you're wondering where you flight is, good chance it could be down here in Atlanta. A lot of airlines moved their planes south to keep them out of the weather.

Snow and wind, they are all hampering efforts now for a wanted man in California. And that is just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAVIDGE: You're looking at live pictures of Hartford, Connecticut, this morning. There's something you do not see normally. At least from this vantage point, you cannot see, what, well, any vehicles on the road there. There's a good reason for that. It's against the law to be on the road in that particular state unless you have some kind of an emergency or are driving an emergency vehicle. Again, live picture, it's Hartford, Connecticut, we continue to follow that blizzard that's wrecking the northeast. Meanwhile, here are five other stories that we are watching this morning. First, at daylight, search teams will return to California's Big Bear Lake and that's for the hunt for an accused cop killer. But it's not clear if suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner is even still in the area. Police say that they will keep a lookout until they find him or they are sure that he is not there. The former cop is accused of killing three people, including a police officer and the daughter of a retired police officer.

Number two, we now know what caused the lights to go out in New Orleans in the Superdome in the middle of the Super Bowl. A power company says it's traced the outage to a newly installed electrical relay device. It says the device triggered unexpectedly, and it caused the lights to go out. But the company that made that device says it was the electric company's fault for setting it up wrong. And number three, a judge in Cleveland sentenced the Amish man behind a string of beard-cutting attacks to 15 years in prison. Samuel Mullet was convicted of hate crimes, kidnapping and conspiracy. Several of his followers received shorter sentences.

Number four, former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson, he signed a plea deal with prosecutors. The son of the well known civil rights leader was under investigation for misusing campaign funds. Details of that deal are unknown. But according to the local reports out of Chicago, he could still face prison time.

And then finally, Michelle Obama will attend today's funeral for 15- year-old Hadiya Pendleton. A Chicago honor student and band majorette was gunned down just a week after performing at President Obama's inauguration. Police told our affiliates that Pendleton had no gang affiliation and likely was not the intended target. We'll have a report from Chicago coming up later on this morning.

And then in Phoenix, the murder trial of Jodi Arias took a dramatic turn this week. Arias took the stand and admitted to killing her ex- boyfriend Travis Alexander. She described how she stabbed him 27 times, shot him in the face and slit his throat from ear to ear in self-defense.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill Travis Alexander on June 4th 2008?

JODI ARIAS, MURDER DEFENDANT: Yes, I did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why?

ARIAS: The simple answer is that he attacked me and I defended myself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: Arias will be back on the stand when that trial resumes on Monday. If convicted, Arias faces a possible death sentence.

Snow continues to blanket the northeast, and if those dropping temperatures were not bad enough, hundreds of thousands now without power across New England. We are taking you live to Massachusetts. That's just ahead.

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SAVIDGE: Good morning, Hartford, you're waking up just like everybody else in the northeast, blanketed in snow. We want to remind you if you didn't know this already. And the fact you don't see any cars on the road there - back this up, the governor has said, no driving, don't go out there, as if anybody would in that kind of weather. And we know that Hartford, Connecticut, is getting hit hard by the storm. Meteorologist Alexandra Steele has been following all of that for us. Good morning again, Alexandra.

STEELE: Oh, good morning. Hartford is just getting nailed. Right now, it's 25 degrees, feels like 14 in Hartford and the winds are gusting to 23 miles per hour. So Hartford County, New Haven County getting slammed with this. As we look out to live pictures. We can see the snow-covered roadways, and, you know, pretty quiet. We're looking at 91, 95 getting slammed, as well. Of course, 95 running along the shoreline. Madison, Connecticut, 32 inches of snow. Farther north, Manchester, 28 1/2, West Hartford and Avon, 24.5 inches. Hamden and New Haven County 34 inches. Madison, 32, again. That's right along the shoreline.

So, central Connecticut, that's where we've seen the heaviest snow because we've seen what's called bright banding. You can see - here's where the bright white, where it's the most bright white, that's where the snow's been coming down two to three inches an hour. But the good news is, the backside, look at Kingston, Albany to Kingston, the New York State north way, the through way, things clearing up. All the way here through the Hudson Valley. We're seeing drier sky. So, New York City will see it end this morning, as we head through Boston, the snow will end this afternoon, and then toward Maine it will end tonight. But still, Hartford is still getting it. 91, 95, so more snow to come for you. So, not quite done with it, just a couple of more hours. Here's a look at the time frame. This afternoon from this morning you can see 9:00. Right now the east end of Long Island by 9:00, still in the snow. But western Connecticut, western New York, Vermont, all getting out of it. Pushing eastward by this afternoon, Martin, you can see 2:00, just Boston and by tonight, 10:00, it all moves out. But the winds still stay. You can see these isobars, so the snow may stop falling, but it will still be blowing around with 30 and 40-mile-per-hour wind gusts.

SAVIDGE: All right. Well, we will stay in touch with you, Alexandra.

STEELE: Right.

SAVIDGE: We'll check back throughout the morning hours. Thank you.

Your blizzard stories, the ones you tell us, they're up next. We put together some of the best I-reports as you help us tell this story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SAVIDGE: George Howell has been keeping track of all the pictures and videos being sent in by our I-reporters. And George, what are we seeing, and what are people showing us through the lens of their own?

HOWELL: Martin, you know, we're starting to get a sense of what people will wake up to as they, you know, see all the snow that fell overnight. I want to go to Brown University. Look at this, so bikes covered in snow. And that's just one example of what people will deal with. We've seen other images where, you know, you open the door and there are three inches of snow right there. So, a lot of digging out, a lot of shoveling dealing with the storm. I want to go to the next image that we have here. We should - this is at Cambridge Street right there in Boston. Main street in downtown Boston and it looks like a ghost town. You know, nobody on the street, I think you can see a snowplow here. And this is just a good example of what happens to a major city when a big blizzard like this moves into town. Nobody is on the streets, everybody heeding the warning of officials to stay off the streets, to stay inside. The other thing that I want to show you, this is a video in Manhattan. Let's see if we have that. Right there at 58th Street. They're going to pan over here. This is pretty cool. You get a sense of what it looks like in Central Park looking south. Now, keep in mind, this is a few hours ago, or several hours ago, so what you see right there will be worse as daylight comes about. So Central Park in Manhattan, not too far from CNN, New York, so, a lot of people will be walking through the snow, digging through it, trying to get around, Martin.

SAVIDGE: Yeah, it's always fascinating to see how people capture their own kind of documentation ...

HOWELL: Yeah.

SAVIDGE: ... of a blizzard and where they are. And their own eye on the storm. And George, thank you very much.

HOWELL: Thanks.

SAVIDGE: We'll continue checking with you.

Thanks for starting your morning with us. We have got much more ahead on "CNN Saturday Morning" which starts right now.

Good morning, everybody, we hope you're warm and safe where you are. I'm Martin Savidge in for Randi Kaye and Victor Blackwell.

And you're watching our special coverage of the northeast blizzard. And welcome to viewers that are joining us from overseas.

We're following two big stories today on opposite sides of the country. First, that monster blizzard that's smacking the northeast with hurricane force winds and bearing some cities in more than two feet of snow.

And then on the West coast, the manhunt underway for a suspected cop killer in southern California. Police say Chris Dorner is armed and dangerous. First, though, let's keep you updated on that massive blizzard. You have to look at just how big this storm really is. Check out the image from space, NASA is the one that provides this to us. The storm looks like a hurricane. And it's packing winds like a hurricane, 65 miles per hour or more in some places. That wind when you combine it with heavy snow is knocking out power.

This morning, more than 650,000 homes and businesses across nine states now have no electricity and more than half of those are in Massachusetts alone. We now know the storm has claimed at least one person's life. Police say that someone died in a storm-related crash that was in Poughkeepsie, New York. So, please be careful if you're out traveling.

Also the storm has caused nearly 1,700 flights to be canceled, that's today. And that number is certainly expected to increase. There will be no flights out of Boston's Logan until at least Sunday. We're told, it's a similar story at New York's airports, no flights in or out. And remember as always to check with your airline to verify the status of your flight before you head out.