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Hurricane Arthur Hits North Carolina

Aired July 4, 2014 - 05:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: As you just saw North Carolina getting the worst of the hurricane at this hour. Thousands are being reported without power. Damage could get worse as Indra mentioned after the storm surge.

We're joined right now on the phone by Lt. Col. Tim Murphy. He is the director of military support for the North Carolina National Guard.

Sir, very glad you could join us this morning. I know it's very early but I also know that it's been a lot of work for you overnight.

LT. COL. TIM MURPHY, DIRECTOR OF MILITARY SUPPORT, NORTH CAROLINA NATIONAL GUARD: Yes, good morning. It has been -- it's been some long days before hand and short nights.

PEREIRA: Your personnel have been encountering overnight.

MURPHY: Actually, what we've had is 100 of our North Carolina National Guardsmen activated. Really what we've been -- they have hunkered down along the route of the storm so we could come after the storm passage. And they serve with the storm surge and stuff, we bring the high water vehicles so we can help first responders get to individuals that are cut off from -- you know, because of the storm surge.

PEREIRA: And what numbers are we talking about? Are you seeing a lot of people that have been cut off and have stayed to ride out the storm?

MURPHY: Currently, as the storm came ashore at night, most of our missions will end up once the sun comes up and people get out and see what happened. So there has been minimal missions in the dark and with the passage of the storm as of right now.

You know, for our own safety and stuff, too, we are trying to wait until the eye has passed offshore so it is safer for the first responders to even get to these individuals.

PEREIRA: Absolutely --

MURPHY: So as of right now, we can't tell you exact numbers.

PEREIRA: Right. Absolutely. Safety first. And of course as you mentioned your people hunkering down when the light of day hits, you'll be -- able to get a better sense of what has happened over there. Again, it allowed the storm to have passed. Give us an idea what your biggest concern is, though, as the sun comes

up, you get out there to assess the damage, et cetera. You are concerned obviously about flooding. We know this is a real, real problem.

MURPHY: Yes. There's a lot of low areas in the eastern part of North Carolina. So flooding, making sure that we actually can get to the individuals that need help. The other main concern is the Highway 12 that goes down the outer banks. That will be probably have either sand on it or may even be cut in certain places.

So it's a lot of times it's getting the -- initially getting to the people and make sure that they are safe, that we take care of life and liberty or life -- life and limb, and then after the fact, getting them food, water and any life support issues that they might need.

PEREIRA: Life and limb always paramount, especially on the Fourth of July. Not the way that you imagined you would be spending Fourth of July, I'm sure.

We understand that this is going to be a multi-pronged effort. You're getting a lot of support from the folks in the state. Emergency Management of ready bulldozers. You'll be working in concert with them. You're bringing some heavy equipment in as well?

MURPHY: Yes. Mainly we are using the high water vehicles. The normal military trucks that, you know, the army and the DOD has for other missions. The other thing is we've got the State Highway Patrol. I'm currently in the state emergency response team, which is headed by the North Carolina Emergency Management underneath the Department of Public Safety. So it is a full state response and the National Guard is just one of those prongs of the multi-prong that you mentioned.

PEREIRA: A very important prong, indeed. We understand that some folks resisted the evacuation order on Hatteras Island. A lot of the folks there just saying look, we've been through this before. We're going to weather the storm. What kind of potentially challenging situation does that leave and pose to your personnel?

MURPHY: It usually -- I mean, it happens every storm that individuals choose to stay. The main thing is that it gives us the task that we need to go check on them, we need to go find them. So it just increases our mission load. If people follow the evacuation orders from their local governments, it just kind of cuts down and we can focus some more. But we are ready and we're going to help out as many citizens in North Carolina and our tourists as we can.

PEREIRA: And we appreciate that. And I know the people and the tourists that are visiting North Carolina appreciate it as well.

All right. First steps this morning, sun is up, first things you do?

MURPHY: We are going to get out, the local, county governments are going to get out and see -- damage assessment. When they have exceeded their local first responders' efforts, they are going to be contacting the state to get extra support. We've Like I said, we had 100 soldiers out there prepped, ready out in the east ready to go. If they need more, Emergency Management will request them from us.

We also have currently 30 that will be coming on duty to help distribute food and water. So we'll make sure that there's no cut off of life support. Other than that, I think it's going to be a lot of getting out, seeing what's happened and seeing what the definite needs are.

PEREIRA: The men and women of the National Guard doing great work today and have been doing it for quite some time. And I sense from the cleanup that maybe waiting them will be doing a lot more.

Lieutenant Colonel Tim Murphy from the North Carolina National Guard, we really appreciate it. We salute you today on this Fourth of July.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Let's get over to Christine Romans who's at the magic wall.

Christine, you're kind of taking a look at what's closed, what's canceled, what people are dealing with today.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. And it's early, it's a Friday, it's a holiday weekend and we have a category 2 storm making land fall in the United States for the first time since 2008 so clearly, there are going to be some challenges. When we look here at the road closures, you can see basically over here where you would expect you've got road closures because of evacuations and because of a lot of water. But the major thoroughfares in the northeast are still open.

We'll be watching for flood warnings as the day progresses. But right now, it looks like everything there is open. I want to show you flights to the sky because we have begun to have the Morning Rush in the northeast. And there are planes that are in the air. The oranges flights are at least five minutes delayed. The red ones are on tiny, you could see there are a lot of flight delays here.

But the morning rush, always very busy time has begun in the northeast. Please, please check ahead. Because when you look at our misery map, you can see exactly where you're seeing some delays. Not too many, I would say. I would say single digit delays right now. But right here in New York City, you've already got nine delayed and one canceled.

When you look down here in D.C., you've already got some cancellations there and already up here in Boston, you are seeing some cancellations. And that ripples across the country. That ripples to where those flights were destined to. So that starts to have a problem for connections.

One other thing I want to talk about here, fireworks. You've got a lot of city managers and emergency managers along the northeast seaboard who are trying to figure out what they should do tonight for their Fourth of July celebrations. Boston has already rescheduled it ahead. Boston Pops yesterday. Atlantic City, Norfolk and Virginia Beach in Virginia have canceled or delayed theirs. Providence, Rhode Island, and Ocean City, Maryland.

Check with your town to see what they are doing. There are some locations that are going to have their fireworks tonight, but they're moving the viewing stands or moving where people are going to be to try to make sure they're out of the way of standing water. They are going to changing traffic patterns.

So just check ahead. Remember, check with your flight, check where your festivities are today in your town. You will see the effects of this hurricane, no question. At least on the roads, you guys, I'm pretty impressed. So far no major road closures, things look pretty open if you're driving along the northeast.

PEREIRA: At least there's a little bit of good news there.


PEREIRA: And the other thing is, too, if you know that the weather is going to be bad today, and it looks like from what Indra and Ivan are telling us, it's going to improve on Saturday. Move the barbecue to Saturday.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

PEREIRA: No harm, no foul.

BOLDUAN: Check where you're going. It's early in the day.

PEREIRA: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: Still almost 5:40 in the morning. Check where you're going.

PEREIRA: Is it really 5:40 in the morning?

BOLDUAN: Yes, it is. Good morning.

PEREIRA: Good morning.

BOLDUAN: Check where you are going. Because a lot of things are going to be changing and changing quick. And Christine is going to be at the wall for us taking a look at that this morning.

PEREIRA: We got you today.

Next up, Hurricane Arthur still pummeling the shoreline in North Carolina and category 2 storm. 100-mile-an-hour winds, more than 20,000 folks are without power. Arthur is heading to Nags Head where residents there are in the midst of the storm.

BOLDUAN: Plus a small Southern California town in the eye of a different kind of storm, you can say. People there bracing for the arrival of more busloads of undocumented immigrants. They were met with fiery protests before. How are they going to respond this time?



TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're here in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, feeling some of the worst effects of Hurricane Arthur. (INAUDIBLE) and outer banks overnight. Right now (INAUDIBLE) wind gusts again very strong.


BOLDUAN: Oh, you can just -- you can feel it with her. That was our Tory Dunnan reporting overnight from Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, as Hurricane Arthur was passing over. The powerful wind nearly knocking her over. You could see right there. You can barely hear her amongst the wind gusts. The hurricane will take a day or so to move up the East Coast, really leaving quite a mess in its path, of course.

Let's get back over to meteorologist Ivan Cabrera at the CNN Center with much more.

Let's talk about the path and where this is going, Ivan, and what people could be feeling.

IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it's going to head up to Cape Cod in Massachusetts essentially and because of the way our coastline here in the United States is oriented, it's going to pass through a lot of open water before we get into the next land mass, which would be up in the Cape Cod. And will detail exactly where those tropical storm warnings are.

But if you were with us last night at 9:00 p.m., this was classified as a category 2 hurricane, a cat 2 with 100-mile-an-hour winds. We are now at 5:00 a.m., with a 5:00 a.m. advisory, it is still a category 2 hurricane with 100-mile-an-hour winds.

Very impressive eye wall that moved right through Cape Lookout and now heading off to the northeast. By the way, Cape Lookout, finally now on the southern plank of this here so conditions will begin to improve markedly there over the next couple of hours.

So this thing does head up to the north and east. Let's check it on the radar. Look how impressive. Still very symmetric system here. It is really not weakened at all, which is why the National Hurricane Center has maintained this at 100 miles an hour. And the instruments on the ground that measure the winds had verified that over the last several hours, 80, 90-mile-an-hour wind gusts.

All right. So here's the track. Friday, 2:00 p.m., it's offshore here. We don't have to worry about it too much, up here in New York or Washington, you may get some gusty winds and a few showers on the western side of this here but the bulk of the weather is going to stay offshore for you. Not the case in Massachusetts. From the lower cape up into Providence, down from Woods Hole specifically up into Providence.

That's where the tropical storm warnings are in effect as the storm is going to get close enough to you and that wind field is large enough that extends with those tropical storm force winds. So in the next 24 hours, you are going to be feeling that. And this thing. Look at that, trucking up to the north and east, but by then becoming extra tropical as it does so. So in the next few hours, still dangerous, it's still dark out, we're dealing with coastal flooding. Across the Carolinas, and then we're going to get into that break and then round two is going to come for Boston and points to the east specifically along Cape Cod and Nantucket.

We'll keep you posted on that. Karen Maginnis is on deck. She'll have your next update coming up in next hour -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Ivan, thanks so much. If we could just push it east, if we could just push Arthur out east we'd all be much better off with (INAUDIBLE).

PEREIRA: He was saying extra tropical and it's headed to Halifax. Those two things I have never seen in the same phrase before.


BOLDUAN: Exactly right.

Coming up next on NEW DAY much more on the breaking news coverage of Hurricane Arthur. We're going to -- we're going to take you back live into the eye of the storm.

PEREIRA: Also another big story we're watching, disturbing testimony from a hearing for the father accused of letting his son die in a hot car. From sexting with women to researching online how to survive in prison. We are going to let you hear the damming accusations for yourself.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to our special coverage of Hurricane Arthur. Right now, Nags Head, North Carolina, is one of the places that's really gotten pummeled by the storm. Let's get right to Aaron Kelly, a reporter with our affiliate WAVY. She's there right now.

So, Erin, you've been there, you've been seeing how it's looking. We know that Nags Head is one of the most populated towns in the outer banks. That's why of course there's a lot of concern on how people are weathering the storm there. What's it been like?

ERIN KELLY, WAVY REPORTER: Well, we got up this morning, early this morning we saw wind gusts 90 miles per hour and more. Right now I want you to see behind me here, the surf is really pounding an area called Jeanette's Pier. This is an area that's seen some hurricanes in the past. You can really see the surf coming in here very strong. Earlier this morning, it was hard to walk around out here, though. The sand was also driving into some of the buildings here. People were still coming out and checking it out.

We heard of a power line down in the area. We have seen some flooding in the area. But we haven't seen much in the way of damage. The light is starting to come up here in Nags Head. And we understand that Dare County officials are going to be going around this morning. They're going to check out the damage. We heard of some reports of people who have hotel rooms seeing some leaks in their hotel rooms. But so far, we haven't been able to see real damage out here. It's just been very windy.

Then we went through the eye of the storm. The eye of the storm came through here and then it left us. And then the winds picked up again. So it is -- we're still seeing some of those gusts, but it's not nearly as bad as it was this morning.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. I'm sure. We also know that in the county, we know in Dare County, there were some mandatory evacuations, some voluntary evacuations. Have you seen anyone out?

KELLY: We have seen some people out. You know, Hatteras Island had mandatory evacuation that went into effect at 5:00 a.m. yesterday. There were some voluntary evacuations elsewhere, High County. But we have seen people driving around, people wanting to check out Nags Head. Now of course Nags Head did not have any mandatory evacuations. So we talked to people yesterday that were boarding up their homes. They were going to the store to get bottled water, they were getting the supplies.

They were planning on staying here. So it will be interesting to see how those buildings. They are the ones that the people who are boarded up. But Hatteras Island with the mandatory evacuation. They even closed down the bridge which connects the mainland to Hatteras Island. They really wanted to get as many people as they could out of there. But what we have found over the past few days is that a lot of the locals said they would rather stay on the island where they can be with their homes and keep an eye on things rather than be off the island and then struggle to get back on.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And, you know, Erin, that kind of always comes with these risks. But there are a lot of -- if you want to call them storm veterans that can live out there on the outer banks. They have weathered these storms many times, they do want to stick it out there. I mean, I'm seeing on social media some folks out there saying the whole house is shaking. They can feel the windows breaking, the wind and rain pounding right up against the house. At the height of it, when that inner -- when the wall, that eye wall was coming through, what did it feel like?

KELLY: I mean, you know, I am less than 115 pounds, and so trying to walk away from a building was nearly impossible for me. And we were staying right behind the building where we are standing right now and it was difficult to stand up. I mean, we saw light poles shaking. We saw cars shaking. There were still people coming out here. And the ones that did get out of the car who wanted to check out the surf here, they had some difficulty.

BOLDUAN: They're going to be dealing with some difficult surfs, some big waves today, which can always be kind of a draw for some. But also a big threat of rip currents. That's going to continue throughout the day.

Erin Kelly of our affiliate WAVY in Nags Head on the ground for us. Erin, thanks so much.

PEREIRA: When you have that strong wind, you start to wonder how much stronger can it get? And we've seen it can get more intense.

BOLDUAN: It always gets stronger. It is always amazing because you have -- you have maximum sustained winds, and then you get that gusts and can knock you right on your butt.

PEREIRA: Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with.

Coming up, we'll have more of our breaking coverage of Hurricane Arthur. We're going to show you where that powerful storm is now, where it's headed. Stay with us, NEW DAY will be back in a second.



BOLDUAN: Breaking news. Direct hit. Arthur makes landfall at full force overnight.

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are seeing very strong winds as it makes its way to land.

BOLDUAN: A vicious category 2 with wind gusts hitting 100 miles per hour. Towns under tornado watches. Trees toppled and power out for tens of thousands.

GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Please be safe inside your home and stay inside your home.

BOLDUAN: Hurricane winds still lashing the coast as Arthur makes its Fourth of July march north. We are live, in the middle of it all.

PEREIRA: Plus, bombshell hearing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he discuss the issue of being afraid of children and his child dying in a car?


PEREIRA: Shocking allegations made in the case of a father accused of leaving his son in a hot car on purpose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were some photos of women's breasts being sent back to him.

PEREIRA: Sexting underage girls, life insurance on the child and searching online about hot cars, the benefits of being child free and even how to survive in jail. And how his wife's reactions may provide more clues.

We break down the damming testimony.

BOLDUAN: This is a special edition of NEW DAY. "Hurricane Arthur Hits." (END VIDEO CLIP)