Return to Transcripts main page


Five Killed In Latest Oklahoma Tornado; Flooding Danger In Oklahoma; Severe Storms, Flash Floods Threaten; Chasing The Storm; Purported Video Shows Mayor Smoking Crack; Police: Dude Kidnapped 16- Year-Old Girl

Aired June 1, 2013 - 05:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Alison Kosik. This is CNN's EARLY START WEEKEND.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Welcome to our coverage of the breaking news in the Midwest where tornadoes ripped through the area again.

Here's what we know as we wait for the sun to come up expected to rise in about 2 hours or so. This area has been devastated by new tornados. There are reports of as many as 23 tornados touching down in five states, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Illinois.

KOSIK: In Oklahoma, it's dejavu for the Oklahoma City area. Five deaths are being blamed on the storms including a mother and her child. At least 71 other people were injured, but as morning breaks as the sun comes out, we may get new reports of injuries and damage.

The secondary problem now is flooding. The same storm that brought the tornados alsom brought up to 11 inches of rain to places like Moore, Oklahoma. In El Reno, Oklahoma, residents are being told to stay inside because of the flood threats. Oklahoma is still under a state of emergency from the storm that hit almost two weeks ago.

BLACKWELL: Missouri's governor has also declared a state of emergency. The main airport there in St. Louis is open again. It closed last night so they could clear debris from the runways. A tornado touched down nearby. The storms also brought 70 miles per hour winds and damaging hail.

KOSIK: We begin our coverage out of Oklahoma with George Howell. He is in Union City, one of the communities hit hard by the storm.

BLACKWELL: George, you have been out there all night. What are you seeing in terms of damage?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, just south of El Reno where we are right now, I can tell you that from time to time, we get that on again and off again rain, the heavy rain. Most of it as you guys mention, in the Oklahoma City area, but look, what we're seeing out here, just to the west of that storm system that is still parked over parts of Oklahoma City, this is it. You see an area where this tornado came through. What are we looking at there? We're looking at a bed. We're looking at furniture. Presumably all the things that a tornado took out of the house and you know, you kind of have to watch your step when you are walking out here, but look at this. This is heavy, too. But that's an example of what the tornado took out of this house. I want to bring in Kris Meritt. Kris, this is your parents' house, right?


HOWELL: So you were telling me the story a minute ago. Tell our viewers what happened.

MERITT: I was in the city. I was working. I called them, you know, my mom, to see where she was. And she said they were watching the trackers and everything else, and I told her that there was circulation out by the El Reno airport and she said she was going to look again.

And shortly after that they sent me a text message telling me they had left and went to Union City and they came back for a few minutes, and they saw some of the destruction, and I am not sure if it was like this or not, but that there was another one coming and they had to leave again.

HOWELL: Thank goodness they got a call from you, yes?

MERITT: I don't know if it was me or the trackers. They made it. Everybody is OK. That's the main thing.

HOWELL: Absolutely. When you see this, what do you think about this? I mean, this is -- this is unbelievable to see.

MERITT: It's a sobering thing to think about life, and all your memories tossed about, everything from your childhood on up.

HOWELL: We were talking a minute ago, that you were saying, you know, the bottom line, nobody was in there.

MERITT: Yes, nobody was in there. Everybody is OK and that's the main thing.

HOWELL: Thank you for allowing us on your property to see this. Thank you.

MERITT: Thank you.

HOWELL: You know, this is really an example of what you see out in this area and believe it or not, this house, they were the lucky ones because down the street or rather just the next house over is gone, and the house after that is gone, and the house after that is gone. These are big properties here in this particular area just off of Highway 81.

As we get light of day, we will see, I'm sure more damage. Keep this in mind, on Interstate 40 just north of us, that's where we saw these big semis, just knocked over like boxes. You get a sense of how powerful this tornado was when it came through here. And our own Chad Myers spotted this storm. He saw it as it crossed over Interstate 40.

As we were driving this way, we crossed through that debris field. It's really a mess out here in different spots. So you have a number of different things. You have flooding in Oklahoma City. You have debris and you have storm damage from these tornadoes. There's a lot for us to figure out and assess as we get light, guys. So you know, it's definitely a fluid situation out here.

KOSIK: George, obviously, besides the obvious storm damage to contend with, as you said now comes the worries about flooding, you know, what if anything are you hearing about maybe water rescues of people --

HOWELL: Alison, I'm sorry, I am having trouble hearing you. Please say it again.

KOSIK: OK. We are also hearing reports of flooding right now. Flooding is now the secondary focus now that the storm has left -- the storm that destroyed the home behind you, any word of any water rescues or people who maybe stranded?

HOWELL: We have heard reports of water rescues. We've also seen emergency officials going from call after call tonight. Keep this in mind, in that area in Oklahoma City where you have that heavy rain, officials are dealing with the problem of the standing water, trying to get to these different calls. We have heard reports of standing water in downtown Oklahoma City.

We heard several reports that we need -- we are trying to confirm ourselves, but you know, it certainly is a mess out here in many parts. These officials are doing their best to respond to the calls as quickly as possible, but again, we still have this weather system parked over us and it has been parked over us for quite a long time not helping things out.

BLACKWELL: All right, George Howell reporting just south of El Reno for us. George, thank you very much.

The National Weather Service says that Oklahoma was hit by five tornadoes. Our Nick Valencia joins us now on the phone from Oklahoma City. Nick, what are you seeing this morning because you have an interesting vantage point? You are passing or have passed through Moore where you reported from the last 10 or 12 days now to EF-5 hit that area?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Yes, Victor, good morning. I just drove in from Dallas, just three hours north into Oklahoma. We passed by Moore at the suburb just outside of Oklahoma City that suffered a round of devastation last week as you mentioned when the tornado ripped through there.

We saw when I arrived initially was the majority of the businesses were without power, including the hotel where our photo journalists was staying. Our crew just assembled and got together here, and I was talking to people at the hotel saying that -- he told me the University of Washington women's softball team was staying there and they were very upset about going through something he says that they had never been through before.

Of course, the town of Moore is still recovering from what happened on May 20th. I didn't see any major flooding. I know we are talking about that part of the phase moving forward now the issue will be flooding on the roads. The good sign, at least in Moore, I did not see any major flooding, Victor, so far, but we did have to go through Oklahoma City, and that's when we saw more severe weather.

In fact, as I look out the window right now we are driving west of Oklahoma City towards El Reno, and I see the light flashing, the lightning strikes flashing in the sky. We drove through a severe weather -- seemed like we were underneath it and visibility was very, very -- about 20 feet in front of our car, so we had white knuckle driving going through that.

But the skies at least for now from our vantage point where we are west of the city now, in Oklahoma City, it seems the rain had stopped for now. It picks up every now and then. No telling what happens next. But the sun, as you mention, Victor, we're waiting for the sun to come up.

That will give us another sense of just the magnitude of the damage that we are dealing with. Initial reports though suggest that it's not anywhere strong as what we saw just a few days ago come through the city -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: Sunrise expected at 6:15 Central Time, about 2 hours from now. Nick Valencia on the road for us. Nick, we will check back in a little later.

KOSIK: This was a huge storm. I mean, from Oklahoma to Indiana, you know and more potential dangerous thunderstorms with flash floods and battering winds. There's still a major threat. So let's go to CNN Severe Weather Center and meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. What are the conditions right now like?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Alison, you said it pretty well here. It's pretty widespread as far as the area of coverage that we've covered here over the past several hours, 14,000 lightning strikes since yesterday at this time across this region and you can see pretty active line of thunderstorms all the way into the Ohio Valley, about 500 to 600 lightning strikes every single hour so a very dangerous situation.

We know now the storms at this hour are severe meaning the gusts are not exceeding 60 miles per hour. We are not getting large hail with them, but still flooding rains coming down in an area that has seen five to seven inches of rainfall in the last couple days, and notice Oklahoma City, the heaviest rainfall now south of you into Moore.

Where we are getting some of the heaviest rainfall so far in the last 8 hours or so and eventually working your way east on I-40 into Arkansas, that's where we have some more heavy rainfall coming down where flood warnings in place, but the National Weather Service giving us some preliminary tracks of the five reported tornados out of Oklahoma City area.

We have three tracks showing you the tornados and what is fascinating about this is you can see the El Reno tornado cross right over I-40, of course, major gridlock here in the evening hours as the storms are cruising through. While just about an hour later, another tornado touched down directly on I-40 and cruises across the highway as it approaches Moore and then a few hours later, we have a third tornado touching down again just north and east of Moore near I-40 once again.

So it shows you the amount of real estate and densely populated real estate dealing with this active weather pattern that we have been stuck in for a couple of days now. This time here, this is 5:00 in the evening on Friday evening. You notice very little moisture scattered in Oklahoma.

I kind of put it in motion to show you what happened over the past few hours. We picked up a month's worth of rainfall around the city in just a matter of several hours. That's why the officials and police in Oklahoma City saying they have not seen this much water in some areas that even don't flood during typical storms.

They have not see this much water come down before and this is going to be the primary concern now because water typically ends up being the costliest of disasters to cleanup when you have widespread damage like this and water filters into everything and everyone's property. This map shows you the amount of tornados we typically do expect and notice the month of June is right up there, so the active season nowhere near yet.

KOSIK: All right, Pedram Javaheri, thank you.

You know, so much of the amazing video that we see of these storms comes from storm chasers. Those are the people who actually drive towards the storm and not away. They are not seeking shelter. They want to be right in on it, on the storm. Brandon Sullivan is one of those people, and this is what he and his team ran into in Union City, Oklahoma.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My goodness, my goodness, no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turn the car around! Let's get ready! A large tornado, a large tornado right there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of debris in the air.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, this thing just keeps forming new vortices. It's coming right at us. We have 30 seconds! Brett, go! Quick! As fast as you can! It's turning right. Go. Brett, go now! Hurry, 40 is not enough!



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down! Get down!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go! Go! No, don't turn now. Go south! We're going to die! Go, Brett, go! Just go. Get around him, man!




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, just drive south. You are fine. That's fine, dude. Just go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't stay on the road.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're fine. Duck down. Duck down! You are good.


BLACKWELL: That is the first time I have seen the first 4 minutes.

KOSIK: Me too. You know what, I am sitting here and the hair is standing up on my arms and I have chills. What I find amazing is you know he is really scared when he finally pulls his seat belt on and none of us realizing he doesn't have it on.

BLACKWELL: Unbelievable, the size of objects hitting this car.

KOSIK: Yes, it breaks the windshield. I mean, this is the closest to a tornado I think that I have ever gotten and maybe you at home have gone to without even being in it. I mean, reality TV at its worst.

BLACKWELL: These guys know what they are doing when they go into these storms and have been doing it for years, but you can see actual fear on the driver's face, at least, and the passenger, Sullivan just screaming, just go, just go, head south or we going to die.

KOSIK: It's amazing that they know where to go.

BLACKWELL: Yes, wow, I'm glad they shared that with us. So we are going to continue our coverage throughout the morning of the storms in Oklahoma as many as 23 storms across a huge swath of the United States. We have George Howell, Nick Valencia and a team of reporters that are looking at the damage as we move throughout the morning.

KOSIK: Amazing stuff.

BLACKWELL: Stay with us.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: South of I-40, it's going to be right here in front of me, Mike. It's coming down right now, an entire vortex coming down to the ground.


BLACKWELL: We have breaking news this morning in the Midwest. Reports are coming in that as many as 23 tornadoes touched down across five states. In the Oklahoma City area, five people including a mother and her child are dead. At least 71 are hurt.

But the town of Moore, where a tornado killed 24 people almost two weeks ago, that was largely spared. Meantime, Oklahoma and Missouri are under states of emergency. Clear East through Indiana, more than 200,000 people have no power and now another threat is moving in, heavy rain from the same storm system could trigger flash floods.

Authorities right now are monitoring the rising water and waiting for daylight to get a good look, a clear scope of the damage. And those tornadoes first touched down in El Reno, Oklahoma. The town is about 30 miles west of Oklahoma City.

KOSIK: We got some incredible video of the storm just as it was rubbing up. I want you to watch the funnel cloud on the left side of the screen there. You can really see what looks like two vortexes coming together to make one huge funnel cloud.

BLACKWELL: That's something that a number of people reported seeing during the storm and a tornado with multiple vortices. Now some become -- we are going to have much more after the break. We also going to talk with someone from the National Weather Service about the work they do to predict the tornados that have been hitting this area far too often this month.


BLACKWELL: We're following the breaking news this morning with reports of almost two dozen tornados ripping through the Midwest. We have photos to show you of the damage in Gillespie, Illinois, about five-hour drive outside of St. Louis.

KOSIK: And you are about to look at some damage at one of the high schools, Gillespie High School, and you can see the bricks and rubble thrown about. That school was really hit hard. A county official says it appears to be from a tornado and he says the roof was blown off the school's gymnasium and about 25 to 30 homes were damaged, but so far no reports thankfully of deaths or injuries there.

BLACKWELL: Our coverage of the tornados in the Midwest will continue throughout the morning.

KOSIK: With reports of more than 20 twisters hitting the area, but that's not the only thing they are dealing with.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's coming down right now.



KOSIK: OK, let's get you up to speed with this morning's top story. As many as 23 tornados in a span of 10 hours have touched down across five Midwestern states.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to be right here in front of me, Mike. It's coming down right now, very, very big, the entire vortex coming down to the ground.


BLACKWELL: In the Oklahoma City area, five people including a mother and her child are dead and at least 71 others are hurt. Those numbers we're told by the public information officer from Oklahoma City Police will unfortunately increase. But the town of Moore, a suburb of OKC where a tornado last month killed 24 people, largely spared.

In the wake of all that, Oklahoma and Missouri are under states of emergency this morning and then all the way east to Indiana, more than 200,000 people are in the dark. They have no power. And while the main airports in Oklahoma City and St. Louis, Missouri, have re- opened, all morning departures out of Oklahoma City are cancelled.

And now there is another threat that is looming, heavy rain from the same storm system could trigger flash floods. And today's forecast also includes large hail and the potential for more tornadoes. Now officials are warning people, stay inside.

For now authorities are monitoring the rising water and waiting for daylight to assess the damage. Now from Oklahoma to Indiana, more potentially dangerous thunderstorms, flash floods and battering winds, still a major threat.

KOSIK: So let's go to the CNN Severe Weather Center and meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Pedram, you know, it seems like -- I could be wrong, is this tornado season? Is it stronger or worse than maybe previous ones?

JAVAHERI: You know, it's not even up to par to with what we typically see actually. We're talking about a tornado drought about a month right now where, you know, even in the month of March, only 18 tornados touched down across the United States. That was the quietest March in 35 years. And then we fast forward to the month of April, 82 tornados touched down and the quietest April for 21 years, and even in May up until last week, we were well below average for tornado numbers, but in the past five days by my estimation just looking at the data from the Storm Prediction Center, they have seen 111 tornado reports just in the past five days across the United States.

And of course, the ingredients have been locked in place for a couple of days that these storms have come in on the order of 20 to 25 tornado reports every single day all week. And you see right around Tulsa, around Oklahoma City working your way towards Joplin, that's where the ingredients were in place in the past 24 hours.

We had more moist air coming over from the Mexican Gulf, cool dry air coming out from the Rockies and interaction right over this region where we have over 1,000 tornados every single year and very few places on our planet have this sort of a meteorological setup. In fact, if you're curious only one place can produce this many severe tornados and that would be in Bangladesh.

So a very few places see this sort of weather pattern. Oklahoma City unfortunately happens to right in the heart of it where we see heavy rainfall still at this hour over portions of I-40 and even southward on I-35. In Moore where we are seeing heavy rainfall, but nothing severe, no winds over 60 miles per hour. No large hail at this hour, but these thunderstorms blossomed out of nowhere from 5:00 to 6:00 in the afternoon.

Because we hardly had any cloud cover in the area and then you see the expansion here, some 500 miles into the Ohio Valley. The storm is going in from just scattered fair weather clouds up to 60,000 feet in height in some of these thunderstorms. At this hour, again, we are not seeing any rotation as the heat builds.

We know where the coolest part of the morning right now, but as the heat builds, guys, we're going to see more thunderstorms grew and the likelihood for tornadoes is lessened tomorrow. It's displaced a little farther to the east, say around portions of Indiana and also around Arkansas. But generally speaking, the worst of the storm system is all, but over and now we're just looking at floods being a major concern here.

KOSIK: All right, Pedram Javaheri, thank you. As you said, Pedram, the storms that spawn these tornados, they are bringing these heavy rains and that's what is causing widespread flooding in and around Oklahoma City. Earlier we heard from our Chad Myers who has more on the dangers.


CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We were chased by this weather, farther and farther south. Understandable that the first tornado kind of tracked from El Reno into Oklahoma City, and then there was another one about 5 miles farther south. The farther we drove away from the cell, another one would develop just to itself, and then just to itself. At some point in time, we were 35 miles away from Oklahoma City and still waiting for these cells to die off and move towards the north and move away.

Now as we are driving back to the north, I am seeing so much lightning. I mean, I have not seen sparking like this in severe weather for a long time. This is not tornadic sparking, but this is the very heavy rain that we are seeing now even some gusty winds around 40. But the winds are not the issue, right now, as you mentioned, it's the rainfall, already 6 to 8 inches of rain in some areas from El Reno back into Oklahoma City.

And this rain could keep going for two or three more hours. So the total at least 10 inches of rainfall and Oklahoma is very flat. The water builds up fast, but when you get a low spot, that 10 inches of rainfall turns into a 10-foot flood.


BLACKWELL: A lot of the video we see of these storms comes from storm chasers. Those are the people that get in right harm's way instead of running in the other direction. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My goodness! My goodness, no, just continuous vortices here.


BLACKWELL: That's what it was like for Brandon Sullivan, one of those storm chasers. Now earlier, we talked to Brandon about what it was like when he got even closer to the storm.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were just northwest of Union City Oklahoma, west of Oklahoma City. You know, we could tell the tornado was pretty imminent at anytime. The tornado formed and it became very large very fast. We initially knew it was time to go south, so we began moving south. The tornado actually crosses maybe half a mile behind our car, and the inflow to the tornado was so strong it rip add barn apart and it began to carrying debris across the road, which you see on the video and it smashes into our car.

So we basically had no choice, but to slow down and move very slowly and this debris came flying towards us. My concern was -- I knew we were not in the tornadic circulation and we were in the inflow, and I was not concerned about being picked up and being carried off by the tornado, but my main concerns were obviously flying debris and you know, possibly getting tipped over by the wind.

But you know, those were my main concerns. I told everybody in the vehicle to duck down, and try to cover their eyes and avoid the flying glass and we had to wait it out for about 30 seconds. The tornado, like I said, it grew very large. It turned right and came right at us.

I would say that moment of the tornado coming right at us was probably even more scary than the debris actually hitting my car. At that point in time, when the debris was hitting my car, we were down to the tornadic circulation. I knew I was getting damage to my car, but that was better than being picked up or carried away by the tornado. We had the cameras on the hood and we were able to capture anything that happened.


KOSIK: And storm chasers Aaron Esmond and Cody Howard they captured the monster tornado yesterday near Union City, Oklahoma. Look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A large tornado, a very large tornado.


KOSIK: That block of dark clouds, you know, is known as a wedge tornado because it is looks wider that it is tall, and when this video was shot authorities were calling this situation on parts of Interstate 35 and 40, a nightmare. I mean, can you imagine big rigs and cars being tossed around like they did not weigh anything. And thousands of commuters stuck on the road. Two of the 5 people killed were in Union City, that's located southwest in Southwest Oklahoma.

BLACKWELL: I want to talk about the formation and the destruction of those tornadoes. With us now is Kurt Van Speybroeck who is with the National Weather Service. Kurt, before we get to the tornadoes as they formed yesterday. What is the situation with the storms now?

KURT VAN SPEYBROECK, METEOROLOGIST, NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE (via telephone): Well, the storms have moved a little bit further east and they are not rotating as strongly as they were earlier in the evening. So the upper level winds have kind of detached from where the storms were forming out in Northern Arkansas and into the Mississippi Valley.

BLACKWELL: So now let's talk about these tornadoes, can you give us an idea of preliminarily how many tornados the National Weather Service believes that touched down yesterday? And is it atypical to have that number of tornados?

SPEYBROECK: Well, the first part of the question, the preliminary count right now is over the entire area 17 tornados have been recorded. That number will probably change. Again, it's very preliminary and the National Weather Service, the local National Weather Service officers from Oklahoma City and Tulsa and Little Rock and the surrounding areas will be out doing storm surveys to determine the exact number of tornados that did touchdown.

The second part of your question is, you know, is 17 an unusual number? We try not to focus necessarily on the number per day. I think what really unusual is that the situation in the central and southern plains has been this way for about 10 days, and to have the threat for tornados almost continuously and to have several, you know, violent tornados and tornado episodes in that extended period of time is pretty unusual. It's not something that's seen every year.

BLACKWELL: Kurt, what has been so valuable over the last 10 to 12 days, not -- well, let's put it at about three weeks or so not just in Oklahoma, but also the storms that hit Granbury, Texas. Was the forecasting by the National Weather Service, that this afternoon between this hour and this hour, this is the frame in which there could be some really strong weather and the potential for tornados? How do you determine that?

SPEYBROECK: Well, it starts with the Storm Prediction Center and the Storm Prediction Center uses the numerical weather models that everybody uses. They are looking for certain patterns and the probability of that and they saw this about four days prior to the event unfolding, and they were already keying in on central Oklahoma and northeast Oklahoma.

As we got closer in time, they gained more and more confidence and issues a moderate risk outlook two days prior to the event and then as we got into the day before, and probably the morning on Friday, the local weather service office in conjunction with the Storm Prediction Center really did key on time, the actual tornado threat, the location and the timing being somewhere between 4:00 p.m. and roughly 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. Central time in Oklahoma.

BLACKWELL: Well, the forecasting is certainly allowed people to protect themselves, their families and their property. Kurt Van Speybroeck with the National Weather Service, I appreciate your time.

SPEYBROECK: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Now the winds from the tornados you saw did an incredible amount of damage. We are going to see more of the damage as the sun comes up. But right now in Oklahoma, flooding is the most immediate threat. The storm waters are overwhelming the sewer systems in that area. This is how the mayor of El Reno described the situation.


MAYOR MATT WHITE, EL RENO, OKLAHOMA (via telephone): We are really flooded around here. We got a lot of rain in a short period of time. El Reno, that's where the tornado and the frontline started going east and, yes, it just hung over us for a while. People were trying to get out and seeing the damage and trying to get the response vehicles in and out the fire department, police department and Mercy Hospital.


KOSIK: And in El Reno, residents are being told to stay inside because of flood threats like these. Look at this, high water. It's stopping SUVs and jeeps in their tracks. Even at Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, that was flooded during a playoff hockey game last night. Oklahoma is still under a state of emergency from the storm that hit almost two weeks ago.

BLACKWELL: And in some other news this morning, Toronto's mayor vows he will not step down and will run for re-election. KOSIK: But that could change if a purported video that shows him smoking crack cocaine surfaces. That's coming up.


BLACKWELL: The breaking news is in the Midwest this morning. Nearly two dozen reported tornados touched down overnight. After hitting Oklahoma, the storm roared through Missouri causing damage and flooding in St. Louis. This home, you see this one, it appears to have been hit by a tornado. This is in St. Charles, Missouri. The roof was ripped off and the living room was filled with debris.

KOSIK: And the storm damaged telephone poles, like the one you see here, caught fire. More than 89,000 people are without power in Missouri. Emergency crews rushed to a Holiday Inn Hotel in Earth City after several people were injured. No reports of death in Missouri.

BLACKWELL: Some more amazing video here from tornado chasers, an amazing perspective on the storm.

KOSIK: This is what it was like for chasers at TBN Weather as they watched the tornado actually touchdown in El Reno, Oklahoma.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to be right in front of me, Mike. It's coming down right now -- an entire vortex coming down to the ground. Mike, I have to back out of it.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just an ugly and furious and angry storm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they are going after it.


KOSIK: Just an ugly and furious and angry storm.

BLACKWELL: And they are going after it.

KOSIK: Is that crazy?

BLACKWELL: Going in the direction of the storm.

KOSIK: I hope that they are trained professionals.

BLACKWELL: Yes, they are. You have to be a special kind of person to chase the storm, but we thank them for the great video.

KOSIK: Yes, it a amazing to look at. All right, let's go to news out of Toronto where the mayor is embroiled in a scandal, accused of smoking a crack cocaine pipe with drug dealers.

BLACKWELL: Yes, he is not stepping down because he says he has not done anything wrong. CNN's Paula Newton is in Toronto with more -- Paula.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alison, Victor, you know, the mayor has given his word he does not smoke crack cocaine, but if only his words were enough.


NEWTON (voice-over): He just can't shake it. That video, the one that allegedly shows Toronto mayor, Rob Ford, smoking crack cocaine, the one he says doesn't exist and is no threat to his job.

MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: I am not stepping aside. Anything else?

NEWTON: You bet there is. For days now the "Toronto Star" newspaper has been claiming that drug dealers showed two of its reporters the video of the mayor smoking cocaine. Rob Ford says no way.

FORD: I do not use crack cocaine nor am I an addict of crack cocaine.

NEWTON: But his words have only fired up his critics and the "Toronto Star," which now claims the mayor not only knows there's a video. But knows who has it and where to find it. Counselor Doug Ford is the mayor's brother and defender in chief.

DOUG FORD, BROTHER OF ROB FORD: I spoke to the mayor. I spoke to his staff. They said these allegations are completely false.

NEWTON: But Thursday, two more of the mayor's staffers quit over the controversy. He's lost five in one week although the jokes do write themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't judge him! Maybe he is cleaning up the city by smoking all the crack in it. You are next, prostitution rings!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What could be fair?

NEWTON: Toronto, boring no longer thanks to Rob Ford, but this scandal could take a sinister turn. Toronto police tells CNN they are monitoring the situation closely and Ford admits he has known drug dealers including one who has recently been murdered and is allegedly linked to the scandal. Even so he says he won't quit he is running again.

Former Washington Mayor Marion Barry did it and he admitted to drug use even served time. Critics are circling though waiting for the video to surface, but until it does this mayor is putting new meaning to the words, you can't fight city hall.


NEWTON: Now, originally the people trying to sell this video said they wanted $200,000. The $200,000 was raised by Gawker now says online that they can no longer find the people who were originally offering up that video so it could be an interesting week to come in Toronto -- Alison, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Marion Barry comparison was waiting to come.

KOSIK: It was. We were talking about that.


KOSIK: All right, police in Maine say a 20-year-old man was so obsessed with a teenage girl. He set up a fake Facebook page to contact her.

BLACKWELL: Well, now she is dead. He is facing charges. We are tracking this story next.


BLACKWELL: This story, pretty chilling out of Maine. A 20-year-old Maine man apparently set up a fake Facebook page to get the attention of a 15-year-old girl.

KOSIK: And she is now dead and he is facing charges. CNN national correspondent Jason Carroll is working the story and joins us with details. Jason, walk us through what allegedly happened here.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Alison, the affidavit provides some chilling details on how investigators say Kyle Dubee lured the 15-year-old girl and describes his motive for doing it. Nicole Cable's mother reported her daughter missing on May 13th. Detectives soon learned Cable had been unknowingly communicating with Dubee who had faked his identity on Facebook.

He is 20 years old and police say had been obsessed with Cable. According to the affidavit, and I am going to read part of it here. It says Dubee communicated with Nicole Cable to meet him down the road. That he waited in the woods wearing a ski mask. That he had duct tape and that put Nicole in his father's pickup truck, and when he removed Nicole from the trunk she was dead.

And as for a motive, detectives say Dubee intended to kidnap Nicole and hide her and he would later find her and be the hero. Dubee now faces murder and kidnapping charges. He has not entered a plea. His attorney says the client has received threats and is asking for calm in the community located just north of Bangor, Maine. Cable's friends, who had joined her family in searching for her for a week, before her body was found, stunned by who is accused of killing her.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What possesses somebody to do something like that to a 15-year-old girl?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't want to talk to him. It sickens me to know him.


CARROLL: Cable's friends have set up a Facebook page in support of the 15-year-old and once again, this is just another reminder of how young teenagers have to be so very careful of who they are sending messages to on Facebook and who they are receiving messages from on Facebook as well -- Victor and Alison.

BLACKWELL: Exactly. Jason Carroll, thank you.

KOSIK: A huge asteroid whizzed by earth yesterday. It never came any closer than 3.6 million miles from the planet, but with 1.7 miles wide, that's big, and it was equipped with its own moon. A rock that size hitting us would be a potential city killer. It's believed the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs was about six miles in diameter. This one will be back in 200 years.

BLACKWELL: Thank you for starting your morning with us. We're coming up on the top of the hour, and we, of course, are following the severe weather in the Midwest.