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Hurricane Hermine Makes Landfall; Trumps Threads Needle Again On Immigration; Kaepernick Continues National Anthem Protest; SpaceX Rocket Explodes During Test. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired September 2, 2016 - 04:30   ET


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Miguel Marquez. It is 29 minutes past the hour. Happy Friday to you.

Breaking news this morning: Hurricane Hermine making landfall, smashing into the Florida panhandle as a category one, packing sustained winds of 75 to 80 miles, bringing heavy rain, a high storm surge and extensive flooding along Florida's Gulf Coast.

[04:30:15] The first hurricane to hit the state since 2005. Millions of residents along the storm's path up to the Carolinas under watches and warnings, preparing for the worst.

Earlier, Florida Governor Rick Scott making clear Hermine is dangerous.


GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: It's life threatening. We're going to see big storm surge. We're going to see a lot of rain. We're going to see flooding. We're going to see downed power lines. We're going to see -- there's going to be a lot of risk if we don't do our job. Everybody needs to be prepared.

We have the best emergency management teams in the country at the state and at a local level. But you have got to take this seriously.


MARQUEZ: Now, how big is this storm? This NASA image shows it obscuring almost all of Florida. We are covering the storm only the way CNN can, beginning with Polo Sandoval live near St. Marks, Florida.

Polo, I know you have had trouble getting to this live location today. What have you seen what is the damage like, how powerful was the storm?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, not only have we seen significant flooding, Miguel, but also I think these images speak for themselves. We have seen a tremendous amount of debris. This is why it has taken us two and a half hours to make what should be a 20- minute drive, because there's a tremendous amount of debris that you would find in the roadways.

Now, the concern here, one of the reasons why we're keeping our distance, because if you are able to see where I'm pointing a flashlight, you can see the lines that are tangled in some of these debris. Some of them are cable lines, but the concern is they could be high voltage lines. That is why people are encouraged to simply stay indoors.

And that's what we're seeing right now. We are not seeing a whole lot of people on the streets here. We're only -- we're just of the capital of Tallahassee. And again, as you mentioned, directly north of St. Marks, which is a very short drive from where we are. That's the place that we've been trying to get to all morning long, because we do understand that some people did decide to hunker down, actually ride out the storm in their homes despite some of the orders from the authorities to actually evacuate.

I spoke to a woman who owns a grocery store a mile down the road from where I'm standing who said she rode out the storm about 11 years ago and she planned to do it again. That is the concern right now for authorities. As soon as conditions can improve, which there is some sign that could be happening here sometime soon, they will be able to make their way to the roads and clear the roads and get help in and out if that is necessary.

But I should point out at this particular point, we have not heard there has been a need for any high water rescues.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: That is good news, Polo. It is interesting, the position you are in right now is literally the morning after the landfall, trying to figure out the damage and being careful. There could be high water, there could be obstructions below the high water.

But remember for the folks who are in Georgia, who are in the Carolinas. They haven't seen this hit yet. I think that is what is so important for people not to be too complacent. Tell us a little bit about what authorities are saying for those who are waiting for the storm.

SANDOVAL: Right. Forecasters say this will eventually begin to lose strength as it hits ground now it has made landfall. It is important to point out the winds that this thing packed, sure, 70, 75-mile-an- hour winds is enough as you see behind me to cause damage. This is what officials want the rest of the country to know, particularly some of those other states that could still be seeing the effects from the storm, is that there is still the potential for flooding and also the potential for debris.

And that's also -- we also have to include power outages, 70,000 people are waking up in the dark this morning, including ourselves when we hit the road during the early morning. Our hotel is actually using glow sticks in the hallways in and out of lobby. That is indication of what kind of a punch this storm packs as a category one. You've heard officials call this a life threatening storm. But so far, we haven't heard any reports of the injuries, still early,

authorities, still need to make their way through the debris to the areas to check up on.

MARQUEZ: And no reports of injuries. Are you hearing of the similar conditions to where you are with the heavy damage across the wide swath of that part of Florida?

SANDOVAL: Right. We understand much of the damage from where we are standing would be caused by flooding. There is one gentleman that decided to brave the flood water covered roadways and went around the debris and another portion of the area here and said that St. Marks is under 3 to 4 feet of water, at least part of that town itself.

[04:35:02] That's one of the reasons why we want to get a closer look of the damage and so do authorities to gauge and tell with more certainty how much damage was left behind by the storm.

We should remember that it has been about 11 years before folks here had to face a situation like this. For some, this is their first time. For others, they survived 11 years ago and they said the storm would not chase them out of their homes.

ROMANS: So eerie, the sounds, after the storm passes.

MARQUEZ: Well, I can hear -- I think those are frogs that we can hear behind you. It sounds like it is almost --

SANDOVAL: Frogs and crickets and you also hear some of the limbs rustling around. That is the reason why we have to keep an eye on what is on the ground and we have to keep an eye on what is happening above us. It is hard to see. There are tree lines on both sides of the road here. There is also both power lines and cable lines also there.

This is really just a small taste of what you will find in and around the St. Marks area and what you see here and mile away from here potentially as the storm continues to move.

ROMANS: And it gets hot and muggy.


ROMANS: Thanks so much. Thanks so much.

MARQUEZ: Stay safe, Polo.

ROMANS: Now, this storm is headed north now, north/northeast.

Meteorologist Derek Van Dam live for us this morning is in the CNN weather center.

Walk us through who's in the path now.

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes it's about where it is going and what damage it has done. For sure, Christine and Miguel, good morning to you. Good morning to

our viewers.

Look at rainfall totals in and around the Tampa Bay region. This is all from hurricane Hermine, over 22 inches of rain in the Pinellas County region. Unbelievable rain totals.

The storm surge threat is starting to diminish. High tide was about an hour ago, from most locations, remember that roughly 90 percent of fatalities during a tropical system occur because of some sort of water events. Not the strong winds. The flash flooding and coastal storm surge and those are the concerns that we have going forward for a few different locations.

What I want to show you is the eye wall has definitely made landfall. We know it passed over the St. Marks region about 1:30 this morning local time. The good news is it has closed off its moisture sources, which was the Gulf of Mexico.

So, we should expect the storm to continue the weakening phase as it goes forward. But that doesn't diminish the threat. You see the watch box we have highlighted across Florida and Georgia and portions of South Carolina, that is a tornado watch. That will continue through 8:00 a.m. local time. And then, look at this, the shading of green along the coast, well, that is a flash flood watch because of the impressive rainfall totals you saw a moment ago. There is more rain anticipated across this region.

Here is the latest from the National Hurricane Center, 75-mile-an-hour winds. Still officially a category one hurricane. It is trucking to the Northeast at 14 miles an hour. This is starting to pick up speed.

Look at the wind speeds from the Valdosta Region. Notice, Tallahassee doesn't have a reading because likely that anemometer actually was toppled over in the higher wind gusts. So, the concerns going forward, Miguel, Christine, flash flooding and risk of tornadoes. We have a lot of pine trees that could topple over going forward.

ROMANS: I don't want to look too far ahead here, because I know a disaster is happening right now in that part of the country. We know the warnings go up to southern Jersey. At what point do other highly populated areas see lot of rain or churning surf or dangerous conditions?

VAN DAM: Yes, check this out, Christine. This is the path of uncertainty. The National Hurricane Center identifies what we expect this storm to do over the next 24 to 48 hours. Notice how it moves along the Mid-Atlantic States as we head to the early weekend. Then reenters the Atlantic Ocean, another moisture source similar to the Gulf of Mexico.

So, will it happen into the warmer waters and Atlantic? Only time will tell. Locations from the Cape Hatteras region through Washington as well as New York City need to monitor this very closely because obviously this is coinciding with the holiday weekend and everybody trying to squeeze out the last bits of summer, probably not the best weekend, huh.

MARQUEZ: Derek, when it makes the turn back to the Atlantic, it looks like it is fielder's choice. It could go back to land?

VAN DAM: There is a reason for that. It will stall out over that the particular region. The steering winds aren't going to be strong enough to kick the post tropical storm out into the Atlantic Ocean. We don't expect a lot of movement Monday into Tuesday of next week, even Sunday.

[04:40:02] So, if it sits and churns across the Atlantic, it has the potential to gain some more energy and reform into a strong tropical storm or hurricane. But again, time will tell. Something we need to monitor very closely.

ROMANS: The cone of uncertainty. It's like a medical --

MARQUEZ: The cone of uncertainty. That's my life. Thanks, Derek.

ROMANS: Thank you so much.

Florida Governor Rick Scott putting counties under a state of emergency. A few minutes ago, we spoke with the emergency management coordinator for Gulf County, Florida, Ben Guthrie. We asked him if residents took the precautions ahead of Hermine.


BEN GUTHRIE, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR (via telephone): I think people have gotten ready for it. It is something that we learned to live with over the years. It's not a matter of if, but when they happen.

As far as preparations go, we try to get sand bags out and make them available to our residents. We issued a voluntary evacuation of our coastline and provided shelter for people to go to.

MARQUEZ: Mr. Guthrie, what sort of damage reports are you getting and what sort of needs are being met by the people who are affected by the storm?

GUTHRIE: Most of our damage is going to be shoreline. We actually were very fortunate the storm veered slightly to the east and we were spared the brunt of it. We were hit by the side of the storms from the tropical-storm force winds.


GUTHRIE: Go ahead.

ROMANS: I was going to say, have you had to do any water rescues? Have your folks been out there? What have you seen? Terms of people being about?

GUTHRIE: For the most part, our people have stayed in. That's something else we encourage, not get out into it. MARQUEZ: How many people have come seeking shelter at county


GUTHRIE: We only had about four. We are a small rural county in North Florida.

ROMANS: All right.

MARQUEZ: Sounds like you missed the brunt of it.

ROMANS: Yes, that's fantastic.

GUTHRIE: We did. We were very fortunate.

ROMANS: So, at this point, what are you telling next? I mean, what we often see in storms like this, Mr. Guthrie, the storm passes and people have a false sense of security. You have downed power lines, you have rising water. You have debris that can be dangerous.

I mean, what are you telling people for the moments after the storm?

GUTHRIE: We are encouraging people to stay out of the water to avoid rip currents. Also not to cross running water if it is running across the roads. Stay out of that. You never know when a culvert may be washed out. It is better just to stay in until emergency services crews get out tomorrow and make sure that everything is clear and ready.

MARQUEZ: Are you hearing from your neighbors, counties or cities and are you sending resources there?

GUTHRIE: We have not been requested as of yet. But we do stand available to help those who may need it.


MARQUEZ: Hermine not the only trouble for Florida. Three mosquitoes samples testing positive for the Zika virus. The first find in the Zika-carrying mosquitoes in the continental U.S. The samples testing positive were from Miami Beach, previously identified as an area of local transmission. The mayor of Miami Beach said efforts are under way to curb mosquitoes.

ROMANS: Time for an early start on your money. The jobs report set to be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. And here's what we're expecting from the August employment report.

According to the CNN Money survey of economists, 175,000 new jobs. That would be down from July which was strong of 255,000. The jobless rate is forecasted to tick down to 4.8 percent and wage growth is expected to tick to 2.5 percent.

Now, why do I say this is the biggest report of the year? It carries more weight than your typical month. The Federal Reserve will watch the numbers in two weeks. Strong job gains could raise the likelihood of a rate hike. You'll also hear the candidates' take on the numbers. Hillary Clinton

will likely praise a good jobs report. Donald Trump will likely exploit the negatives and say he doesn't believe the unemployment rate is really 4.8 percent. He thinks, he has said, it's 25 percent, it's 42 percent, he has used a lot of depression-era numbers. He thinks it's a depression in America.

MARQUEZ: A lot of under-employment out here in the U.S.

ROMANS: It has been going down. It is called the U-6. It is a geek term.

MARQUEZ: Which you are.

ROMANS: Thank you. That is trending down. Part-time workers. Watching all of those factors to see for the nuances.

MARQUEZ: The recovery after 2008. The banking -- fascinating to watch. Will monitor Hurricane Hermine all morning.

[04:45:01] Also ahead, for a second day in a row, we see two different sides of Donald Trump. An update on the campaign coming up next.

And a programming note on Monday. Two special reports on both nominees. Join us for "Unfinished Business: The Essential Hillary Clinton" Monday night at 8:00 p.m. Followed by "All Business: The Essential Donald Trump" at 10:00.


ROMANS: Welcome back. I'm Christine Romans. New changes at the top of the Trump campaign two weeks after Trump reshuffled his campaign team for a second time. He is now adding a deputy campaign manager for the home stretch to November.

David Bossie comes from the advocacy group Citizens United, where he is the president. Trump describing Bossie to "The Washington Post" as an old friend and, quote, "solid, smart, loves politics, knows how to win."

[04:50:04] Meantime, on the campaign trail Thursday, Trump again showing two sides to his political personality. Subdued and respectful at one event, then at the next, fired up again.

CNN's Phil Mattingly has the latest from Ohio.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Miguel and Christine.

For Donald Trump, it is a tale of which Donald Trump will you actually see. On Wednesday, you saw one version of Donald Trump, diplomatic and understated. During his visit to Mexico, a few hours later in Arizona, the fiery rhetoric, he was on point. It happened again in Ohio on Thursday. In Cincinnati, to the American

Legion, lower key Donald Trump. Coming to Wilmington, Ohio, just a few hours later, real Trump country, deep red Trump country, the rhetoric was back.

It's balancing act that you're seeing from Trump. Trump making clear during that hard-line speech in Arizona, that when it comes to immigration, he is not backing off most of his points. But in a radio interview afterwards, he had some different thoughts. Take a listen.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Oh, there's softening. Look, we do it in a very humane way and we're going to see with the people that are in the country. Obviously, I want to get the gang members out, the drug peddlers out, I want to get the drug dealers out. We have a lot of people in the country that you can't have and those people we'll get and then we're going to make a decision at a later date once everything is stabilized. I think you're going to see there's really quite a bit of softening.

MATTINGLY: Now, guys, I don't know a lot of people, Republican operatives, Democrats, Clinton supporters who saw that speech in Arizona and thought softening is the first word to come to mind. But it really underscores what Donald Trump is trying to do and kind of the dangers that he has as he attempts to navigate this thicket here in places like Ohio. Obviously, here in Wilmington, the supporters were very excited about that speech, those I spoke to.

But in the suburbs, the places like Columbus, like Cincinnati, there are real Republicans who are very wary of the candidacy that Donald Trump has had up to this point, of the rhetoric that he has used repeatedly. Those are the people Trump is trying to soften his image for. Still, you've got to keep the supporters, especially those here at home as well.

Guys, back to you.


ROMANS: All right, threading the needle. Thank you so much for that, Phil Mattingly.

An explosion on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, what happened and why Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is so upset about it. We get an early start on your money.

That and the very latest on Hermine. And just in, this storm downgraded minutes ago to a tropical storm. You have the Georgia governor declaring a state of emergency because this is still powerful and headed to Georgia.


[04:56:49] ROMANS: This morning's breaking news: Hurricane Hermine downgraded to a tropical storm. Sustained winds of 70 miles an hour. Those winds were 80 miles an hour when Hermine made landfall near the town of St. Marks at 1:30 a.m. Eastern Time. On top of the high winds, Hermine brought heavy rain and storm surge

and extensive flooding. Tens of thousands of people, about 70,000 people without power on the Gulf Coast. Now, Georgia's governor is issuing a state of emergency for Georgia. We'll have much more on the storm in a few minutes as it packs a punch heading up the coast.

MARQUEZ: That is the biggest concern.

All eyes on San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick last night to see if he would once al sit while the nation anthem was played before the final preseason game in San Diego.


MARQUEZ: As you can see and hear, Kaepernick did not stand. The crowd did not care for that either. It all happened to be military night at Qualcomm Stadium. After the game, Kaepernick says he believes his message is taken f context. He plans to donate his first $1 million in salary to groups helping advance equal opportunity. We will have more on the story in our bleacher report next hour.

ROMANS: Let's get an early start on your money. Breaking news: one of the most popular smartphones on the market is being recalled. This is a huge consumer story. Samsung halting sales of the Galaxy Note 7 and issuing a global recall of all of the Note 7s it has sold so far.

The issue here, this device can catch fire while charging. It was released just a month ago. It is an embarrassing setback for the world's biggest selling smartphone maker. Samsung has been alerted to 35 cases of the phones catching fire. That is huge consumer story folks this morning.

Big reading on the labor market is due this morning. Investors calm ahead of the data. Futures up slightly. Stock markets in Europe and Asia are higher. Oil is up.

The Labor Department releases the jobs report at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. No one will catch it closer than Miguel Marquez and Fed Reserve Janet Yellen.

MARQUEZ: I love it.

ROMANS: The Fed is considering a rate hike in two weeks. If it waits, there are two more meetings before the end of the year. You need a strong economy and strong jobs market for a rate hike. The target interest rate is just near a half of percent or less.

A fiery explosion in Cape Canaveral. Check out this video. SpaceX rocket on the launch pad. Watch. Then it bursts into flames and explodes. SpaceX is run by Tesla founder Elon Musk.

He says the blast happened while the rocket was being fueled. The cause is still unknown. The good news, one was hurt there. The bad news, the rocket was carrying a satellite that Facebook was planning to use, to bring Internet access to Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in Africa at the moment he wrote in a

post, quote, "I'm deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX's launch failture destroyed our satellite. We will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided", end quote.