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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
More Than A Foot of Snow in Seven States; Boston Mayor: "We're Not Out Of This Yet"; Snow Totals Top 28 Inches on Long Island; Nearly 13,000 Without Power in Nantucket
Aired January 27, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. Major flooding in parts of New England tonight at this historic blizzard makes its way east, we're OUTFRONT in Boston live tonight.
Plus, up to 13,000 people without power on Nantucket at this hour. Officials warned wind chill temperatures could dip into the single digits tonight. And New York City completely shut down by predictions of up to three feet of snow. How did some forecasters get it so terribly wrong? Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett live in as you can see still extremely snowy, blizzard is still happening here in Boston. OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, massive flooding along the Massachusetts coast near where we are this hour. The historic blizzard making its way up the northeast coast. More than two feet snow at this hour blanketing Boston. Eighteen-and-a-half inches have fallen just today. One of the biggest one day totals in the city's history and there is more on the way if you can believe it. It's still snowing as you can see with these gusts coming down around me at this hour. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is warning residents that this blizzard is far from over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR MARTIN WALSH (D), BOSTON: I want to make it clear everyone in Boston that we're still in the middle of a winter storm of historic proportions here in the city of Boston.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And Mayor Walsh will be my guest OUTFRONT tonight. Across the state and the region, high winds filled storm surges that flooded many coastal cities. Seawalls completely broken and breached. Sea water mixing with ice and snow to make treacherous roads even more impassable. Many places across the state say, snowfall totals approaching feet three. One person I know backyard they said it was over 30 inches at this hour. Small towns like Framingham, Massachusetts just west of Boston hip dip. As much as 30 inches of snow there. And tonight, the storm slowly heading north to Maine where it's been snowing all day and it should keep going through the night.
All right. Well, as it's gusting where I am with the snow, let show you this blizzard from every angle. As we see it tonight on CNN, Brooke Baldwin is here with me in Boston. Alexandra Field is just south of Boston where sea wall has broken bringing flood waters on top of the snow. Randi Kaye is in hard hit Connecticut. And Chad Myers is in New York with the latest forecasts. I appreciate all of you braving this storm to be with us tonight.
First though, I want to get straight to Alexandra Field. She's OUTFRONT live in Scituate, Massachusetts. That is where the town is dealing with severe flooding which is a result of a breaching, that crucial sea wall. Alexandra, how bad is the flooding as you're seeing it right now?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What we saw is, when we got here, you can see these houses behind me, there's this deep flooding in this yard. The seawall is up the street from where I am back there just about a block away. What happened was that, when the high tide came in this morning, that water came screaming over the wall. It filled in through these yards. It came up, it actually came up this high as the fence outside of this house. And then that water, just sort of whipped this way across the street all the way to the front doors of these other houses. People who lived here say they are used to flooding. But they really haven't seen something like this volume of water. Tonight, they tell us they have flood water in their basement, four, five feet high. The big concern was when the high tide came back through here on 5:00 this evening.
And Erin, I went just down the street right up about seawall right before that high tide came in. And we again saw those waves just pushing up over that wall. You could certainly feel the high wind speeds. We could feel that sea and that saltwater just sprang up against us. We had to get out of there because it became too dangerous. There are some roads block about there. And police really didn't want anyone out there. Fortunately, that water did not fill in the same that it did this morning. But people here still have a lot of flood water that they are dealing with in their yards, in their basement and at the bottom of their houses -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Alex, thank you. And it's frightening for so many of those people. Because maybe we want to emphasize everybody how very cold it is. It's not just that the snow is gusting down and it's still accumulating, it set the temperatures and the wind chill are making this. It feels like certainly at zero. This is a storm that's been pounding this region for nearly 48 hours. It's affected about 60 million Americans. And tonight, a massive effort is under way not only to dig out but actually protect homes from those rising flood waters.
BURNETT (voice-over): The northeast was all but shut down by the blizzard, seven governors declared state of emergency, highways, cities, streets, mass transit, air traffic, all grinding to a halt.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The roads are horrible. Very, very icy. Even with this thing very bad.
BURNETT: The storm approached historic levels in Massachusetts. We saw a travel ban on the state's main highway and here in Boston more than 24" of snow covered city streets.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The weather and the roads got worse and worse all the way to Boston. Luckily, I actually have my own truck to drive. Because by the time we got where we are now close to Boston it's pretty much like a white out condition.
BURNETT: To the west towns like Worcester and Framingham were hit even harder. Snow totals there approaching three feet. Wind gusts up to 78 miles an hour above hurricane force slammed Nantucket. The island was blanketed in snow. Then flooded by storm surges. At its height almost 13,000 people were without power. The wind-chill will make it feel like single digit temperatures tonight. Storm turned deadly on New York's Long Island. A 17-year-old boy died in a snow tubing accident Monday night. This morning, an 83-year-old man found frozen to death in his backyard lying in the snow. Parts of the island were covered by more than two feet of snow. Hardest hit may have been in the town of Montauk on the eastern end. New York City closed its roads and subways, historic in and off itself. And while it was spare the worst of the storm, the mayor told CNN it was better to be safe than sorry.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: Two feet of snow would have paralyzed this city. So we did what's necessary, keep people safe.
BURNETT: Connecticut's governor credited a travel ban with keeping state roads safe.
GOV. DAN MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: Since the ban went into effect, we have only had 15 accidents on our state roads. That is remarkable.
BURNETT: The storm isn't over yet as the system moves North Portland, Maine has almost 18 inches of snow and it's expected to continue snowing in Maine all night long.
BURNETT: And tonight, Boston's bare its warning, the 645,000 residents of this city that it is extremely dangerous out there. And OUTFRONT now is Mayor Marty Walsh. And thank you so much for being with me. Mayor, I know this has been busy and stressful 48 hours for you. You know, driving up here today, I expected it to get a lot worse, and it did. Right? I mean, you know, there was no one on the roads, they were completely covered in snow. But it was amazing to me how easy in a sense it was to get around because people were obeying the rules. No one was out.
WALSH: Yes. People were great in Boston and the state when the government declare a snow emergency for the state. When we put a parking ban last night, people really obeyed it. And I was very grateful for that.
BURNETT: And now here in the city, some of the drifts are incredibly high, you know?
WALSH: Yes. They're still going.
BURNETT: Three times. I mean, they're still plowing. Obviously, it's still snowing and as you said, we can get another few inches tonight. Still you know, looking at the record book.
WALSH: Yes. Just saying, three to six inches still possibly by 1:00 in the morning. So, we're not out of this yet. We're trying to get ahead of what plowing and it just keeps snowing. So, it's hard to get it off the snow off the raft.
BURNETT: So, when are people going to be allowed out again? When are these bans is going to end? People aren't be able to go out to work, kids go back to school, people actually able to drive.
WALSH: Well, we're going to keep the parking ban in Boston going through tomorrow, at some point tomorrow make a decision. Schools off for tomorrow in Boston. And we'll see what happens. As far as they declaring -- snow, we're going to have school on Thursday. But I think people start to go back to work tomorrow. Emergency is only in City Hall though, City Hall is close out tomorrow.
BURNETT: So one of things, I mean, obviously, there was the issue of the forecasts in New York, some of them being wrong. But here in Boston, the city has been completely slammed, this is the center of the --
WALSH: I wish they were wrong.
BURNETT: Yes. But one of the things that amazes me is people, you know, a few years back, they say New York and Boston, they are used to this. Right?
BURNETT: Now you have, it's kind of a different world. There's bans. You're not allowed to drive. The airports get closed. It's sort of, do we need all this?
WALSH: Well, it's a lot different, actually taking, removing snow too. We're using metrics and data more as far as getting people around and getting snow off the grounds. But you still made it. And you still need the one. I'd rather be safe than sorry. When we made the call last night, supporting the -- in Kansas school for two days.
WALSH: Even if it wasn't as bad as we got here, I'd rather Erin, on the side of caution than have a problem.
BURNETT: And in terms of the limited warning, how did that affect you? Because one of the things we've said is, okay, part of the reason a lot of these forecasts were inaccurate in some places was because there was so little warning of the storm. Nobody really knew it was coming.
WALSH: We were planning on it a few days when we heard that might be coming. We usually do whatever snowstorm hit Boston, we plan on it, we'll heading out and then the last couple of days, we buck it down and start talking about how we're going to fix it and work with the storm and that thing though, we did that because we were prepared in the city of Boston. And there's still some issues that are un- plowing but for the most part, the public works an incredible job.
BURNETT: And you know, we talked about the bans and everything being shutdown, Logan Airport, one of, you know, busiest airports in the country obviously shutdown.
BURNETT: Completely. Still my understanding at this hour --
Closed. At least tomorrow afternoon. Well, that's incredible. You're looking at two days, you know, full days of Logan being closed. So, you say not even by tomorrow afternoon.
WALSH: It won't be open until tomorrow afternoon. It's right in the ocean and then we have public transportation shut down in the city as well. It will be shut down until maybe tomorrow morning it will be open up. But really, this storm is a big storm. I mean, anywhere from, you know, in Boston, I think we're at 26, 27 inches right now. It's going to have a big effect on public transportation, it's going to have a big effect on -- it's going to have a big effect on our schools. It's a lot of snow.
BURNETT: And as you say, if you're already 26, 27 and you're looking at another three to six, you're possibly looking at the record books again.
WALSH: Yes. You know, and usually we get a lot of snow but not one shot like this. So, really again, we're trying to stay ahead of it. And I think, you know, the storm as seen parts of Massachusetts, obviously you reported earlier they are taking the brunt of this a little worse with the ocean. But here in Boston it's really about snow on the ground.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you so much. In a letter note, I guess everyone should know from your hat, you pointed out to me that this is the temperature at which a football deflates a couple of pounds. Right? That's what they say. That's what some people say. Thanks very much Mayor Walsh.
WALSH: Thanks very much.
BURNETT: I appreciate it. And my trip to Boston this morning was actually not an easy one. The roads were pretty much completely deserted. We left around 11:00 in the morning. Now, for most of the drive, really I was the only car on the road besides the plows and a few trucks. And luckily I actually have a truck to drive because there was actually none available to rent in New York City at the time that we called. Only one lane of traffic that was pretty much open. Snow continued to fall most of the way up. Hard to see sort of white out conditions at times. And along the highway the snow was piled high. You could really, you know, see it getting higher and higher as you moved north. And as I said, some of those white out conditions as we got sort of 30, 40 mile outside of Boston. We went through a toll booth on our way into downtown Boston. This is sort of one of those moments. One of things about this trip was sort of how apocalyptic itself. It felt like after some sort of a nuclear event what the roads would be like. There was nothing, there was no sign of life. And at the toll booths we were literally the only car. The only car at the toll booth that would ordinarily have been hold traffic. Once we made it into the city the roads were completely covered with snow. Not a lot of people out at all. Just a few cars were on the road as you've just hear the mayor talking about the ban.
Brooke Baldwin is OUTFRONT. And Brooke --
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to Boston.
BURNETT: I know, you've been here for a couple of days.
BURNETT: Not a New Yorker, originally a Southerner.
BURNETT: So, this is trial by fire. But you've been around various areas outside the city. You've seen a lot of different places. How bad has it gotten?
BALDWIN: Yes. Like I would say, this is the worse that I've seen it so far. I mean, I've been here for the weekend. But it only started yesterday and being up in wee hours last night. And it's huge, what a difference a day makes. And we're walking around this time last night, and just started picking up --
BURNETT: I remember you were showing sort of that cutting up to your ankles, yes.
BALDWIN: Right. With the walking through it today, you know, until you heard the mayor saying, it's about two feet. And, you know, it's a record. The city doesn't want to break the 2003 mark of just above 27 inches. But I think it might happen.
BURNETT: I mean, they are saying another three to six and close to 26 now. So, it looks like if that, obviously the would.
BALDWIN: Yes. And something else if I may down, I talked to the fire commissioner earlier today. And I know we're freezing but it's actually a good thing. Because when you look at the snow it's very light and fluffy. Because one of the huge concerns was power outages. And so, when you have that thick dense icy sort of snow that's what weighs down on the lines. And so far because obviously even getting colder as we approached the way there evening hours, it's not sitting on a power lines. So, that hasn't been thank goodness, as huge of an ordeal as they thought it would be.
BURNETT: All right. Well, that is good news. And I haven't thought about that and I might say, it's beautiful snow.
BALDWIN: It is.
BURNETT: Those of you, I hope some people feel sorry for how cold we are obviously. You know, even if you don't, let me just say, this is obviously a beautiful snow.
BALDWIN: It is.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, Long Island has been getting hit. More snow there, more than two feet of snow in some areas. So, as you saw that ban, New York City was okay but on the other side you have another 15 inches of snow threatened by major flooding. We'll going to go there live for you.
Plus -- Nantucket Island in Massachusetts with a power outage affecting nearly 13,000 people. Everyone there on this incredibly cold night.
And the science of forecasting. So many predictions were wrong. Some of them were right. But a lot of them were way off the mark. So, how did that happen? And as we go to break, here is a look at some of the cities in Massachusetts with the highest snow totals so far according to a national weather service estimate. It's still snowing. Auburn with one of the highest 35 inches as we're looking at the record books across this state.
BURNETT: All right. Live pictures of Plum Island there. One of the beautiful beach in the summer. And now, one of the hardest hit places in the hardest hit state by this blizzard. I am live here in Boston tonight. It is obviously right now pretty much one of the hardest hit places. The hardest hit perhaps. The northeast still getting slammed. Live pictures of Plum Island that we just showed you. Thirty inches of snow. And the snow is still falling in places across this state. The mayor of Boston just here telling me that they will going to get another three to six inches as you can see the snow is still coming down. Sometimes it's gusting a little more heavily than others. But the bottom-line is, if they do get those three to six inches it will be a record breaking snowfall according to the mayor. New York's Long Island saw some of the worst of this storm. They got more than 28 inches in some areas.
Ana Cabrera is there tonight in the town of Montauk, she was there before it started snowing, during the storm and now she's there as it's finally starting to see just how much havoc it wrought. Ana, you were there during the brunt of it. What would you say? How much snow have you gotten?
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the snow has accumulated greatly. And here we go again. Still snowing, still blowing. The waves still crashing ashore. In fact, the waves recorded at 16 feet high earlier this afternoon. And the snow is piling up. Now, around 28 inches that are reported over across the bay in orient and just down the road in South Hampton. Also 28 inches recorded this afternoon. Those are the official snow totals here in Montauk. I can tell you, we're about knee deep right now as the snow continues to fall. The big issue for a lot of people in this area has been the wind. We've seen sustained winds still this afternoon and into the evening at around 20 miles per hour with wind gusts up to 30. And at the height of the storm overnight, in fact, we saw wind gusts as high as 60 miles per hour.
We talked with the keeper of the lighthouse who stayed there all alone overnight. And she said it was so scary, felt like the roof was about to blow off. Even scarier than Sandy she said because of the cold and it's temperatures that are proving really dangerous here tonight. Wind chills near zero degrees. We know, one man in fact froze to death in this storm. An 83-year-old man with dementia whose five found him just this morning. We also know of another victim of this storm. A 17-year-old who was sliding and hit something and suffered a fatal injury. So, not to be taken lightly, this storm continues to have a grip here on the Long Island area. We did see a few brave souls who decided to go enjoy the waves this afternoon. I want to show you some quick video of that. We again heard the waves were up to 16 feet high in some places and spoke to the man who shut the video of this group of surfers. Five of them who decided to go out even in this cold temperatures to get some ride of their life and how they described it was epic -- Erin.
BURNETT: I'm sure it was. All right. Thanks so much to you, Ana. Pretty incredible pictures of those guys. Well, the entire island of Nantucket if you go a little bit further up to East Coast from where Ana is, is without power due to incredibly high winds. Nearly 13,000 residents are in the dark right now.
Greg Hanson is a Nantucket resident, among the many who lost power. Greg, thank you for being with us. I know you don't have power. So, you don't have a lot of time to talk to us on your phone with your battery. But how are you doing tonight? Have you had any indication of when you'll be, you know, back with your power or your heat?
GREG HANSON, RESIDENT OF NANTUCKET, MASSACHUSETTS: I'm happy to report that as of just a few minutes ago we have power. And watching on social media seems like my neighbors and friends are gradually flickering back to life. So, that's the good news.
BURNETT: Well, that is good news. Some of the bad news has been, for you, has been the winds. I know that you've been living there I believe for what, 14 years. But some of the winds you've seen here, you've seen hurricane gusts before. But you're looking at sustained winds in the high 70 miles per hour range today. Right?
HANSON: That's right. Our peak last night about midnight was about I believe 78 miles an hour. And even just an hour, we were still getting winds at, you know, gusting like 65. And so, it's just been constant. We've seen winds but not this long, this cold and with this much stuff.
BURNETT: And I know you took some photos today which you shared with us flooding in the streets. And we were just talking about some of the flooding issues. The walls that have been breached. I want to show this to our viewers. That was right around high tide. How high did the water get?
HANSON: Well, what I understand, I mean, some of the photos -- this morning was really almost more low tide. And yet, there was still water through the streets up on some of the waterfront businesses. And you can see where the high tide mark from earlier in the morning showed water that had been really a couple of feet higher. Some of the doors were pushed open. And one of our big concern is going to be the next high tide which hit it about four to five this evening. But I've yet to hear the news.
BURNETT: And when you did venture out today, and obviously it was pretty brave of you to do so, given the situation out there. You did take some video on the road with the visibility. So, people can see just how low it was with the white out conditions. Have you ever seen it quite like that before in your 14 years?
HANSON: No. This was pretty good blow. You know, the road, there are several places where this wide open sort of conservation land and coastal planes to where some of our bigger roads that we're just not a block to the wind. And so, we had drifts. They just couldn't keep up with the plowing. Five or six feet on either side of the road. It was pretty rough. It got worse throughout the day.
BURNETT: And I know obviously as it is here, it could still be a few more inches coming your way. Well, I'm glad for you, the power is back on. I hope it is for everyone else out there given it's going to be possibly zero degrees tonight. Thank you so much.
HANSON: Sure. Thank you.
BURNETT: And our meteorologist Chad Myers joins me now. He's in New York. And Chad, you know, when you hear about this, the winds, these winds, you know, you just heard him saying these were not gusts. Some of them were more sustained than he had ever seen before.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Right.
BURNETT: And we were talking about definitely hurricane strength.
MYERS: Without a doubt. Yes. And think about this, 17 hours in a row. There were reports of wind gusts over 60 miles per hour on Nantucket. So, a gusts to stop. But that happen for 17 straight hours before it finally calm down? And calm down now, I mean, 50 miles per hour. It gets better from here as the storm pulls away but boy, Nantucket, Block Island, the south end of the Cape really, really Erin got pounded by this. By tomorrow morning it will be down to 27 miles per hour. I'm not sure how they got the power back on. Because you can't put power crews up on poles and in bucket trucks when you're talking gusts at 50 miles per hour.
BURNETT: I know, you have to be hoping it can't just a momentary, you know, fake out for them.
BURNETT: But Chad, how much longer will the storm lasts? Because the mayor of Boston was just here with me where I am, I mean, those gusts coming through. But it's still snowing and we could get another three to six inches which would put this well into the record books for Boston.
BURNETT: How much longer will the storm go on?
MYERS: I think you still have four to five more hours because there's an arm, there's an arm that's backlashing around the low pressure right here. So, if you look at this area right through here, hard for you the see I know Erin, but the viewers at home can see this. All this blooming on shore and that's right through Boston, right through the Cape and right through Nantucket, and that's not going to stop for anytime until I would say probably in the midnight hour before that finally dries out enough. And you can zoom in. There's a lot of snow coming down to Boston. We're talking another inch an hour and five hours okay. That's the record. And it's blast through the record. Doesn't just break. And you're breaking it by four and a half inches or so.
BURNETT: I mean, that's amazing. And I don't know how it looks in the light to the viewers here, but it's just like little ice crystals that are just flying down here nonstop. All right, Chad, thank you. And we'll see Chad again later on in the hour. Next, we are live in Boston as this historic blizzard continues. Just heard Chad thing, if the forecast holds over the next four or five hours here, it will blow through the record books. Blow through the record books. Three feet of snow falling in some towns tonight near where I am. And forecasting a massive snowstorm. How did some predictions nail the snow totals while others which you no doubt we all heard loud and clear we're wrong by a foot or more? We'll be right back live from Boston.
BURNETT: Breaking news: a historic blizzard is bearing down right now on New England, including where we are in Boston. I am live here in Boston.
The snow is still falling 23 to 24 inches so far. We're going to get the latest totals from our meteorologists in a moment. But they say it could get another few inches which could completely blast through all the records up here. Over the next few hours, still falling in about an inch an hour. Thousands are without power.
The storm has been churning up powerful and damaging waves across the seaboard, including in a town called Sichut (ph) which is about 30 miles of where I am. The waves flooding homes with up the five feet of water. We're talking, as you know, with temperatures in the single digits right now with the wind chill.
Officials also cutting the power there to prevent any possible fires. On the island of Nantucket more than 12,000 people are right now stranded and braving below temperatures without power. We heard in one case, one person's power was coming on. The question is, of course, whether that will hold. The high tide flooding homes and streets, the ice has been taking down trees across that island.
On my drive up this afternoon, you realize a very quickly that this area is very much in the middle of this blizzard. The snow is coming down at rate of up to 4 inches an hour. As we were driving, what is amazing is you'll see six-lane highways completely empty. You'll be the only car for miles and miles and miles. People stayed home as cities and towns were buried under nearly three feet snow in the suburbs surrounding where I am at this hour here in Boston.
I want to go right now to Portland, Maine. That's where George Howell is as the storm is bearing down there right now.
George, I know you just got there. You're right in the thick of it. How bad is it?
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, take a look around. There's the temperature over there. You see it? We see the time -- 18 degrees.
Let's walk down the street here. I mean, this is a lot of snow. I know that they are expecting possibly another 7 inches of snow tonight. That's on top of what they already have. Not terribly uncommon.
We are talking about the northeast. They get a lot of snow. So, not terribly uncommon for them. (INAUDIBLE).
And what we're seeing now we've seen several plowed coming through. They're doing their best to keep the streets clear --
BURNETT: All right. It looks like, as you could see, as the storm is bearing down there in Portland we're having difficulty with the transmission there with George's image and his shot.
So, when we get that back we'll go back to him. But, obviously, when these winds start picking up, storm starts coming down. That's what's been happening here over the past 24 hours.
I want to go to Marshfield, Massachusetts. That's actually just near where we are. There's been a lot of flooding there and incredible amount of rain, incredible amount of flooding and wind, 30 miles to the south of where I am tonight.
Bryan Todd is there.
And, Brian, how are residents protecting themselves from floods? Because I know not only do you still have the snow coming, but the flooding is the double whammy that's really terrifying frankly when you take into account these temperatures. BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was a terrifying situation
here, Erin, earlier. What residents are doing is essentially vacating the area where that seawall was breached. We got there right as high tide was coming back at about 5:00 tonight Eastern Time.
And it was a very violent situation. The weaves were just immense. The storm surge was strong. It was crashing against the seawall, threatening to breach it again. The residents there, most of them right along the seawall, their houses just a couple of feet from it.
The houses were still being very much threatened and flooded by the second wave of the high tide coming in at 5:00. It was a very dangerous situation when we were out there shooting video between the flooding and the storm surge. We almost got taken out a couple of times when we were out there.
So, that was -- that was a very perilous situation. Most of the residents have gotten out. Most of them have had to be rescued earlier today when they were trapped in there or had other difficulty getting out. The fire department, the National Guard helped them get out right along the seawall.
At least 11 homes had some damage. Some of them had to be condemned. So, that's another issue they were facing. And if you look out here, Erin, where we are it's pretty much a situation where there are whiteout conditions.
The wind is just driving. That's, of course, what made the storm surge so violent. But now, it's creating whiteout conditions that are hampering the efforts by first responders to try to get through some of this mess and try to actually sea where they are going, trying to help people who need to get out of their homes and help people maybe dig out somewhere.
This is just very difficult. Some of the first responders are actually deploying over here behind me. Some of them can get around but it's exceedingly difficult to get around this town right now because of the wind and the driving snowstorm that's still hitting this area, a very dangerous situation here in Marshville. The storm is not passing through here. It's not going to be done here for at least several more hours.
BURNETT: Yes, I know. That's the thing opinion now they're saying another four or five hours here, another inch an hour. I mean, it's still coming down. Parts of Connecticut have gotten more than 30" of snow as well. As you drove north, more and more and more piled up on the side of the roads, as you drove.
Randi Kaye is OUTFRONT in New London, Connecticut.
Randi, I know you just got back from driving around to see how much snow they have gotten and how bad it is.
What did you see? RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, Erin, I
wasn't sure we were going to get out today. It took us about two hours, us, I should say my photographer today, he was kind enough to dig out his own car so we could actually get outside our own hotel and go out and see what was happening.
What do you think we found? We found everybody else trying to dig out as well. We went to this neighborhood nearby. And the snow was piled up. There were snow drifts everywhere.
We talked to one guy, a former Department of Transportation worker who said he thought it was challenge to dig out his own car. We talked to a woman who has been digging out her car because it's on street parking. She's been doing this alone by herself for 16 years digging out her own car. Another guy we talked to said it's the worst storm he's seen since he has lived here and he's been here since 1977 or he actually even before that.
So, the worst, the last bad storm was 1977. And his he said was a doozy.
So, a lot of people trying to dig out. The roads weren't all clear. Some of them were pretty slick. We had trouble getting around some areas.
You can see the wind is still blowing. It's in the low 20s -- 22, 23 miles an hour or so. It's about 19 degrees still here. But it feels -- because of that wind-chill, it feels more like three degrees.
I actually got stuck in the snow just walking through it today. So, it's still difficult conditions. The good news is it's supposed to be clear and sunny tomorrow. The travel ban is lifted. And the governor and the mayor both say here in New London that we're going to have some sense of normalcy back tomorrow, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Randi Kaye, thank you very much.
And our meteorologist Jennifer Gray is here with me in Boston. And you've been looking at the latest total. So, you said, if it goes as they expect, it's going to be an easy record -- but we're not there yet.
JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, well, we have about 23.3 at the airport. That's where the official readings are kept. So far, it is now the number one snowiest January storm. So, that has already broken a record. We haven't made it into the top five all time worse snowstorms. We get about an inch and a half we will.
We need about three more inches to be at number one. And, of course, it's going to continue to come down for the next four or five hours, most likely between 10:00 and midnight, it will start tapering off a little bit.
BURNETT: But we're looking at -- I mean, I know there are these gusts, I mean, kind of crystals that are coming through. But possibly still an inch an hour. Is that possible like the mayor was saying? GRAY: Yes, right now, it is definitely coming down an inch an
hour. It's a little misleading because we have such powerful wind gusts. Some of this is just snow on the ground that's blowing. But you can tell, the snow falling from the sky is coming down hard, and it's about an inch an hour, I would say.
BURNETT: An inch an hour. And how long will this last? I mean, just all in, right? Because I know it's just hitting George Howell as we lost the shot because the storm is just hitting up in Portland.
GRAY: Yes, exactly. We have that swath down into portions of Connecticut that's still getting bit of snow. That's going to continue to continue for the next two to three, four hours between ten and mitt night. That's where we will start to see it taper off. It will pull out. So, by 6:00 tomorrow morning, we won't see anymore snow falling.
BURNETT: It's just incredible though long it lasted. Is that something to say? Usually when a storm comes, you feel like, you know, they last longer than a rainstorm, but you feel like 10, 12 hours is a long time. You're looking here in some places 20, 30 --
GRAY: Yes, this started coming down this heavily about 6:00, 7:00 yesterday. Light snow at lunchtime yesterday. It's not stopped. We're going on over 24 hours of this continuous snow fall like this.
BURNETT: I mean, it is incredible. Jennifer, thank you very much. Jennifer, our meteorologist here, with me live in Boston.
And next, one weather man at the National Weather Service actually came out today and apologized to people who got less snow than predicted. Maybe because all those people were forced to stay home and banned from doing anything. How did some forecasters get it so wrong? Why did Chad Myers get praised?
And Jeanne Moos on -- well, the strange things that some adults do with their snow day.
BURNETT: All right. You're looking at live pictures right now of Plum Island, as I mentioned, a popular beach destination near where we are in Boston, but now getting clobbered by this, looks like it's going be for the record books, blizzard at this hour, according to predictions over the next few hours. It could still break records tonight where we are in Boston. The mayor saying they expect another 3 to 6 inches, which would put it well in the record books if they achieve that.
Record books, though, not the case for New York City and New Jersey. Residents were warned of an epic storm of historic proportions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: This is nothing to take lightly. It could be a matter of life and death, and that's not being overly dramatic.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: This literally could be one of the top two or three largest storms in the history of this city.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. The reality: New York City got about 11" and for New York City, that's pretty measly. In New Jersey, they got as many as 10 inches.
One National Weather Service meteorologist, you got to get him credit, I saw him on Twitter very early this morning apologizing, saying, quote, "My deepest apologies to many key decision makers and so many members of the general public. You made a lot of tough decisions expecting us to get it right, and we didn't. Once again, I'm sorry."
OUTFRONT is Chad Myers, our meteorologist here at CNN and severe weather expert. And Harry Enten, a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight, a Web site that analyzes the statistics behind major news stories.
Chad, let me start with you. A lot of people are looking at forecast and in reality, they are calling it the busted blizzard and people in New York are very, very angry as they want to do. What happened?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: They got the day off for free. No.
What happened, Erin?
BURNETT: There is a positive. There is a silver lining, Chad.
MYERS: What happened was that two models, the NAM, the North American Mesoscale and European model both typically very accurate were agreeing that New York City would have 24. Our new, very good now, brand new GFS model that we didn't know was good because we hadn't really taken it out for a test drive yet just slammed it. Got it exactly right.
Now, they all got Boston, 35, 34, 33, 32. They all got that part right. But what didn't happen is the snow back out here, the snow did not wrap around hard enough an get back to New York City because the storm moved 100 miles farther east than those two inaccurate models predicted. It's garbage in, garbage out. You get what you get.
And we look at this and we look at this, we didn't know which to believe. The National Weather Service says this looks good. We should be two feet. We have to say that. We can't under-forecast and be blown out bay 30 inches snow fall and it was wrong.
BURNETT: Right. They were wrong. As you said it was a new model. I know those old models have gotten Hurricane Sandy right.
I want to talk more about you in a moment, Chad, because you were specifically praised by head of the National Weather Service today.
Harry, first of all, the difficulty here in predicting. There's so many people that are mad because we seem know everything about the weather now, right? You can look at the Doppler affect on your iPhone and you can look at the minute by minute every single day and everybody seems to know everything.
But you're saying the atmosphere has an infinite level or infinite number basically of levels that have to be measured in order to get something right. So, the chances of getting something completely right that's this big are actually pretty hard, right?
HARRY ENTEN, SENIOR WRITER, FIVETHIRYEIGHT.COM: Yes, that's exactly right. The fact of the matter is, I can tell you what the weather is but to forecast the weather going into the future, you need to be able to measure the different levels of the atmosphere and then calculate what that's telling you. And that's not something that's easy to do.
In fact, the fact of the matter is if you get one little thing wrong you can throw everything off. Here in this situation, you saw that with the European and you saw that with the NAM, and you saw that -- it was just real disaster.
BURNETT: And, Chad, the director of the National Weather Service, as I said, singled you out specifically for praise today. I wanted to play what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOUIS UCCELLINI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: I like to commend CNN's Chad Myers for his efforts to move the national conversation away from a clear cut scenario to explain what a shift in the western boundary of the predicted snowfall could mean for this storm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MYERS: That's the first time I heard that.
BURNETT: Chad, you know, last night when you and I were standing outside by Central Park, you were doing this, you know, explainer where you were doing this thing with your arm and saying it's out here now and has to curve back. So, right now, at that time we're speaking we were in this lull period, and it was going to maybe curve back. You're explaining maybe it will and maybe it won't. And that's the big question.
But that seemed to knock it through a lot of forecasters.
MYERS: All I said was here's where they're getting the forecast from, but here's what's possible. Here's what the new model is saying.
You know, I appreciate Dr. Uccellini words there. Those are the first time I've heard them actually. All I was saying is the different scenarios that there was more than just one possible outcome for this storm. So --
BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to both of you, Harry and Cha.
And next, Jeanne Moos and the lighter side of whoo, heavy snowstorm. By the way, they're telling us now it's negative two degrees where we are. We'll be right back.
BURNETT: And welcome back. We're live in Boston tonight. The snow is still falling. The storm is moving up the coast.
One of the hardest hit areas at this hour is in Portland, Maine. I want to go back to George Howe in Portland.
The moment I go, George, we're trying to talk to you, and I know it was getting bad. We lost the transmission. Certainly has to feel that way with the wind and the snow.
HOWELL: Erin, right on. That's the reason. You see the wind coming through. You seep plenty of snow coming through. Walking around on the streets, no one on the streets really.
Keep in mind, never been a travel ban here in this state. But what we're seeing, though, people who are deciding, hey, I'm going to stay inside instead of going out here.
Jordan, pan over to the businesses.
You can see the storefronts there. You know, a lot of snow fell here. Some 16 to 18 inches. Erin, they're expecting another 7 before the snow passes on over the night.
BURNETT: Wow, another seven. As we said here, they're saying 3 to 6. We'll see if it happens. If it does, it would be a big record here as well.
All right. George Howell, thank you very much. Live throughout the evening in Portland.
And for many, this snowstorm was no snowmageddon, despite the way it looks where we are. It was a blizzard of bloopers. Here's Jeanne Moos.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Amazing grace how sweet the sound --
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Actually, it was the lack of sound that was amazing with New York City streets shut down. One guy laid down in Times Square. NBC's Matt Lauer was able to get down in the middle of Fifth Avenue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And do snow angels. MOOS: But reporters, beware, not of snowdrifts but of idiots in
a car drifting --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Only time will tell. Reporting live from Nassau County --
MOOS: Or snowplow --
UNIDENTIIFIED FEMALE: Sixteen miles an hour gusts here in Stony Brook.
MOOS: Crashing your live shot doing donuts. Storms don't deter dumb criminals.
New York City police arrested a suspect who broke rule number one. Don't break into cars during snowstorm leaving your tracks.
There was no trace left behind of this garden gnome. A reporter for the "Salem News" posted this time lapse video.
In New York and New Jersey, the blizzard that fizzled was mocked. A trace of snow on the lawn, we will rebuild. God help us all.
A few meteorologists, one saying this forecast was deflated as much as New England Patriots footballs.
But there was nothing deflated about the tourists.
(on camera): Where are you, guys, from?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We never see snow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ever.
MOOS (voice-over): No wonder they were impressed with our blizzard.
But even a few inches can be treacherous as CNN's Brian Stelter discovered entering the subway.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN: Hurricane most recently --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whoa. Careful, careful, Brian.
MOOS: He managed to right himself. But --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brian, your shot is upside down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We thought you were walking on the roof.
MOOS: Maybe we should let dogs give the forecast.
VOICE: About 11 inches --
MOOS: Check out this Bernice mountain dog forecasting icy conditions even before the storm hit.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: And always moments like that.
All right. We'll be right back. More with our live coverage from here in Boston.
BURNETT: And welcome back to Boston where nearly 2 feet of snow has fallen so far. It's expected to continue for the next several hours, up to an inch an hour, they say possible. That, of course, would blow through the record books if it happens. Much of Massachusetts experiencing one of the top snowfalls of all-time.
Anderson is next. He's covering the storm from New York.
And, Anderson, what does it take to get you a hat? You need a hat, you must be freezing.