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Hurricane Nate Makes Second Landfall on Gulf Coast; Las Vegas Massacre; Trump White House. Aired 12mn-1a ET

Aired October 8, 2017 - 00:00   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, there, I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me on this Saturday night. This is CNN special coverage on this hurricane season, a season that doesn't seem to want to end.

We're talking tonight about Hurricane Nate. Expected to make it second landfall within the next hour. There are pictures out of Biloxi, Mississippi; we're talking about concern number one being storm surge.

This storm has triggered watches and warnings all the way from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle and has already started knocking out power in Alabama. Thousands of people tonight without power.

Rain, wind, storm surge, waterspouts, possible tornadoes all part of this fast moving storm. This is the third hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland in the last six weeks. So CNN's Martin Savidge is live for us tonight in Biloxi, near where Nate is expected to make its landfall very soon. Ed Lavandera is there in Mobile, Alabama.

But, Martin, let's start with you. my goodness, what a difference an hour makes since the last time we talked. Look at that.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you took the words out of my mouth, Brooke. This is definitely an indication that Nate, if not here, is very close. Let me show you the dramatic problem that is now readily evident right here.

This is the storm surge. You can see it. This is Highway 90 right here. And the problem is that water is just roaring up. In fact, we've had to move three times just in the 12 minutes waiting to do this live shot. It's clearly going to go over U.S. Highway 90 and that's the problem for any first responders. I'm going to keep an eye out because there's one coming this way right now.

The water is rising fast. It's now about ankle deep here, it's going to continue rising. And that's always been the big concern right here in Biloxi. The high-water level that was said to be anywhere from 7- 11 feet of storm surge. A lot of it being driven, of course, by the winds pushing it onshore.

The problem is for these first responders they're not going to be able to get through. They know that, which is why they've evacuated a lot of these areas along the beachfront, including the casino hotels, at least as dozen of them. It's also why there's a curfew in place, to keep people from this major highway because otherwise people would be coming out here just to look.

So this is the real reason. This is what the warning was all about. This water is coming up dramatically fast, it's continuing to come up. And it's the real worry they have tonight in Biloxi tonight -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Martin, let me stay with you a little longer. For people just tuning in, wanting to know what this storm looks like, when we were talking before, the water was behind you.

Can you give me a quick lay of the land because I'm not sure what's water and what's road.

SAVIDGE: Right. And it is hard even for us. I don't know if you can see, there's a white pier sign way in the distance. That's actually where the water should be. It's now come a good 75 yards and it continues to come in our direction.

And it's coming in surges, coming in waves, as would be expected, driven both by the wind but also the rising tide. That's the other thing is you're starting to have this coincide with high tide.

So naturally those are two bad things all combining into one. And once you get the water over the main highway here, it cuts off a route that is used by both the emergency first responders and anybody who's out.

So that's why they told people to stay off. But now also, as you can tell, we've got very strong winds. So that combination of high winds, torrential rain coming down but just to watch this water rush up here is really something. And we are going to have to move very shortly again because it is just going to get too dangerous in this spot -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Be careful out there, to Martin and your crew, thank you so much. We'll stay in close contact with you, as that has really, really picked up. Martin -- it's OK. We're off him. We'll let him move if they need to.

Ed Lavandera, let me just pivot back over to you in Mobile, I know several thousands people, I think it's about 7,000 people are without power in Alabama. Calm maybe a little bit for you at this hour in Mobile.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's kind of a striking picture here when you consider that we're just 65 miles away from -- in downtown Mobile on the northern edge of Mobile Bay from, Biloxi, where you see some more of the intensifying aspects of it.

You can see how quickly over the course of 65-70 miles how dramatically a hurricane can change in magnitude and in force. This isn't just one solid blob of weather that makes its way through an area, and it is consistent all the way through. You can see how really these hurricanes kind of change from mild to

mild throughout and obviously intensity the further away you get from the eye of the storm. But all of this will continue to make its way north here and obviously back into Alabama as well.

When we spoke to you just about an hour ago, we saw some of the most intense rain and wind we had seen so far throughout the night. And now, a bit of a lull, as we wait for that next band of this hurricane to start making its way and pushing its way through here.

Storm surge still a problem. Power outages seem to be a minor problem. We see that number hovering around 7,000 people without power; that would be great news if it could kind of hover around that number here throughout the rest of the night.

That seems like a very quick and manageable issue for FEMA and emergency crews to kind of resolve here in the next coming days. Obviously no solace if you're one of those people without electricity.

But widespread electric outages, you know, ends up causing a lot of problems and a lot of stress on the system. Obviously, in these dark hours here, in the overnight hours with, the storm surge and we reach high tide around 1 o'clock in the morning, Central time, that flooding situation continues to be of main concern.

So definitely warnings and precautions to people, especially in low- lying areas around tributaries, bayous, where that water can come up quickly. Emergency officials urging those people to pay very close attention to their surroundings.

Of course, this is like a blanket caution for a lot of people. But it really depends on where you are in this part of the country as to how dangerous the flooding situation turns out to be in the coming hours -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: It is incredible, the difference in pictures and what is still yet to come where you are, Ed Lavandera in Mobile. Still yet to come, thank you so much. We'll stay in close contact with you.

Let's talk about what exactly Nate is doing. Hurricane Nate. I've got Ivan Cabrera in the CNN Weather Center with more on that.


BALDWIN: With me on the phone Vincent Creel (ph), the public affairs manager for the city of Biloxi.

Vincent, thank you so much for jumping on the phone. I know storm surge is one of the biggest challenges or issues you're facing there right now.

As we look at live pictures of Biloxi, what is concern number one for you at this moment?

VINCENT CREEL (PH), PUBLIC AFFAIRS MANAGER, BILOXI: Well, the concern in Biloxi at this moment is we're hoping that this is the worst of it. We've seen wind gusts here of well over 50 miles an hour. One of the things we're relieved about is this thing had huge billing, that it could have an 11-foot storm surge and that it could come on land as a category 2.

We're not seeing that. What we're seeing is a storm that has been fast moving and that has been essentially disorganized.

I was joking with the mayor earlier saying, oh, so it's like government, fast moving and disorganized. So what we're seeing is the tides are starting to hit against the seawall, next to Highway 90, our beachfront roadway.

We're seeing some (INAUDIBLE) in the low points of Highway 90, where the water is covering the highway. We have some storm surge on the northern side of the Biloxi Peninsula.

But other than we've been able to keep our police officers out on the roads. They're making sure that our curfew is being respected by the citizenry. We've had a lot of cooperation on that. We got all our boats moved our of harbors.

Like I said, we're hoping that this is the worst of it and it's just going to be a rain event with some isolated flooding, some isolated power outages and that seems to be the story for me here in Biloxi.

BALDWIN: I'm right there with you and hoping this is the worst of it. Vincent Creel, let's all just hope and wait and hold our breath a little bit.

For people who are tuning in, though, in your neck of the woods, what do you want them to know?

CREEL: What we want them to know is you must continue to be vigilant in your respect for this storm. That means taking any precautions such as not going outside of your house. By all means, continue to monitor the weather reports. Continue to know that this could turn at any moment; a tornado could pop up.

There are a lot of things that we like to think that we're in the middle of it and it's not going it get any worse but we don't know that. We just have to go by the best information that we have.

BALDWIN: What about precautions since it's about 11:15 just about your time there in Biloxi, pitch-dark, people will be waking up the next morning, not quite knowing how bad or how much water there was or any sort of wind damage, what then?

CREEL: We're hoping everyone will continue to respect the curfew which, right now, remains in effect until 9 o'clock Sunday morning. And then our police officers and our community development building inspectors will get out and they will do windshield appraisals of any damage that we may have had.

We're talking about things like street signals, the traffic signals and so forth. Those are usually some of the things that hold back us being able to open major roadways. But what we want to do is -- come by noon tomorrow we want to hope

that we're going to be back up in business and we're going to be open for business. We had a record-setting crowd here in Biloxi and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast this past week, with crews on the coast.

We had 8,200 vehicles from across the country, 47 states here and they all had to leave town early. We're hoping that we can get this behind us and get back on with living our lives and welcoming our visitors back.

BALDWIN: Keep rolling along, opening those hotels and casinos back up, I know that's what you want to do. Vincent Creel, I've been there. I know Biloxi. Thank you very much. Vincent Creel on the phone with me tonight from Biloxi, Mississippi.

We're obviously coverage the storm, the hurricane for you tonight. We also have a close eye on what's happening in the investigation in Las Vegas. Tonight, new details: left in that hotel room, spotlighted on your screen here, by the gunman. Still ahead, more information on this piece of paper found inside his hotel suite.




BALDWIN: "Saturday Night Live" paid tribute this evening to the victims of the Las Vegas massacre, the show opened with singer Jason Aldean. He was the one who was on the stage when the gunman opened fire on those 22,000 concert goers a week ago on Sunday, who'd come to see Aldean and other country music performers go on stage.

The singer opened with a message to the victims, the survivors and their families. And here is just a piece of what he said.


JASON ALDEAN, COUNTRY MUSIC PERFORMER: This week, we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history. Like everyone, I'm struggling to understand what happened that night and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal.

You can be sure that we're going to walk through these tough times together, every step of the way because, when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit, it's unbreakable.


BALDWIN: Also this week we lost a legend in Tom Petty. And so Jason Aldean there on "SNL" stopped to pay tribute to him by playing of all songs, "I Won't Back Down."


BALDWIN: Meantime in Las Vegas at the site of this mass murder, there has been a major development. Investigators have figured out exactly what the numbers left on a piece of paper in the gunman's hotel room really mean.

So according to police they were calculations to ensure he shot as many human beings as possible. Stephanie Elam is live in Las Vegas with these new details.

And so this note, calculations to what exactly?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Brooke. They were calculations, based on distance and trajectory, based on where he was on that 32nd floor to the concert venue site. This is news we first learned from CBS.

So just a little bit more of an insight into what he was planning, that he was planning this. It still doesn't help us figure out what the motive is. And that is very frustrating for investigators, because, usually, within a couple of days they're able to pinpoint what would drive someone to do something so heinous.

But they are still unclear why he would do that. We've also learned that the shorter had 50 pounds of Tannerite in his car as well as 1,600 rounds of ammunition. Not clear what that was there for.

But we do know Tannerite is used as something that you can shoot at and it will have an explosion. Not clear if he was hoping for another mass casualty event. Authorities also saying, Brooke, that they have do believe they have reason to believe that the shooter thought he might survive in that suite and get out at some point.

But they would not say why they believe that. They're still trying to figure out all the reasons why this man would do this. They're going back through his timeline and looking through his footprints, both digitally and where he went, what he was doing. And they're asking anyone who had any clue, any sort of interaction with this man, the 64-year-old man who did this, to come forward to talk to them and let them know of any interaction you had. Because they want to know if anyone assisted him in doing or planning this awful crime.

BALDWIN: Love that Jason Aldean, though, was able to come on "Saturday Night Live" tonight and speak to all those victims' families and survivors. That was something. Stephanie, thank you, in Las Vegas.

Coming up here, Hurricane Nate makes landfall along the Gulf Coast. We have the latest for you with pictures out of Biloxi. Stay with us.




BALDWIN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin here, covering this special coverage of this hurricane making landfall on the American Gulf Coast here. Hurricane Nate a category 1 storm, whipping up parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama right now.

It's a pretty frightening night, depending on where you live for people riding out this hurricane. So let's go back to Biloxi, to Martin Savidge in Mississippi.

We are very near of what is supposed to be a second landfall and it is still really coming down on you. Talk to me about that storm surge and what you're seeing.

SAVIDGE: Yes, it's really, really rolling now. An indication clearly Nate is now right onshore, right up against shore here in Biloxi. Couple of indicators here we've had. The winds are really starting to pick up and they're consistent now.

We've had 50-55 mph, even some close to 73 mile an hour gusts, almost hurricane strength. So that's all around us here. We noticed that at least one transformer blew just a few feet away and scared the daylights out of us.

There are indications power has started to go down some in at least a few areas here. But you're right, it's the storm surge. We can't get any closer, otherwise we risk the vehicle and ourselves getting inundated. But that's U.S. 90 right there.

It's a major thoroughfare. Anybody who's been down this way knows that it runs all along the coastline here. And you're not going to be using that tonight, that is for sure because the water has risen up so quickly in the last hour and a half or so. It starts just coming over the break wall, then it surges into the parking lot next to the pier.

And then it just came rolling right across the roadway. It is alarming how fast. You sit there and think, OK, we've got a few minutes, we'll wait. No, it's -- next thing, it's brushing up your ankles and then really close to mid-calf.

So this is a good position here. We're in a high enough space that the water, in theory, with the storm surge of 7-11 feet, should not get us. But the winds really now becoming a very strong, consistent force. And that's just going to drive more and more water.

And, of course, we're at just about high tide. So that's the combination they're dealing with. That's what they feared and now what they thought might happen has happened. 90's been inundated. It's one of the reasons that they had about a dozen casinos shut down and had everybody leave. That was around 5 o'clock this afternoon because they were worried about just this kind of scenario because your first responders wouldn't be able to get through.

This is the worst of it, Brooke. They hope, because this storm is moving so very fast, that it's not going to linger long like this, maybe a couple of hours but a couple of hours -- as we hear more bangs -- they're bad enough. And there is the sky just lighting up. It's either lightning or it's another one of those power transformers.

BALDWIN: Wow, I heard it, the transformer potentially going off there. You are in the brunt of it. Martin Savidge, to you and the crew, thank you so much for being there and weathering this hurricane, as it is so close to making landfall in Biloxi.

Let's go to Ivan Cabrera, who's been tracking the hurricane. He's in the CNN Severe Weather Center and so - that is where Martin was feeling it. He was saying if Nate is not right on them, it's mighty close.


BALDWIN: Ivan, let me just ask you what everyone has been wondering, which is when you look back the last couple of weeks, Harvey, Irma, Maria, Nate, what is happening this year?

IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Nine years, you have to go back to have that much activity within six weeks. We had all three storms, very active pattern. We talked about that months ago.

Of course folks forget about that when we forecast an above-average season. But we always say, we could have a season where we have one, two, three hurricanes could develop and become the monsters that they are.

Now with sea surface temperatures and the climate warming, the storms that do develop are going to continue to be more and more intense. So this is the kind of world we live in. We have to get used to it. More to come. Hopefully next year will be quieter than 2017.

BALDWIN: Yes, yes, yes. Ivan, thank you. Ivan Cabrera, the Gulf Coast getting this full force of the storm right now. After the break we'll talk to the mayor of Gulfport, Mississippi, not too far from Biloxi, where we saw Martin here, as this fast-moving hurricane gets set to make landfall for a second time.




BALDWIN: All right, we are on live late on this Saturday night to talk about this hurricane, Hurricane Nate. You want to see some storm pictures, you're looking at them. Live pictures from Biloxi, Mississippi.

We have been on TV for the last couple of hours and this is some of the worst we have seen. In talking to meteorologists, in talking to mayors and city managers and lieutenant governor. They all agree the concern number one is storm surge and you're looking at it.

In Biloxi, the worst it can be as this, what you are looking at, what appears to be landfall here over Biloxi. What we're worried it would be, perhaps 9, 10 feet had been 5 to 6. But this is it in Biloxi, Mississippi.

And not too far away just a couple of miles down the road in beautiful Gulfport, I have the mayor on the phone with me, Billy Hughes. Mr. Mayor, I'm not sure you have a TV in front of me. I'm sure you have a window you can just look out to see how bad this storm surge is. I know I've heard it from everyone, saying, thank goodness, it's not as bad as people were thinking.

But has it picked up where you are, sir?

BILLY HUGHES, GULFPORT MAYOR: Yes, we can actually hear the wind picking up outside the window. But up to this point, it's been pretty manageable. So we've been anticipating this wind to increase and, here it is. It'll probably be with us for a few hours and of course, as y'all are showing in your images, it's driving a bit of a storm surge. We've had a gradual increase in water levels down here. We've actually seen more inland surge than we have on the beachfront. So now they're both kind of happening simultaneously.

BALDWIN: How do you prepare for this?

HUGHES: Well, fortunately, we've got a lot of on the job training. Dealing with storms is part of the fabric of what we do and who we are and you just make sure we get the word out to folks, make sure they shelter in place, those folks in low-lying areas, ask the to go to shelters, get out if they're in mobile homes.

Obviously, they need to go to shelters as well. So as a community, we're pretty prepared. Our transit authority, up until about 6 o'clock, was giving people free rides to shelters. And then when the curfew was in place, it keeps people out of harm's way. And most people comply with it.

The key is that we don't get complacent, that we take some of these lulls in the storms for granted and think we can go out in them. Because particularly at night, it's just very dangerous, if the water comes up, you can get disoriented pretty quickly.

And if the power goes, you don't know where the heck you are sometimes. But people -- we've been on the airwaves for a pretty regular basis, reminding folks to check on their loved ones, make sure they're properly provisioned and then just ride this thing out.

BALDWIN: Hopefully people are sound asleep, some of them hopefully they've been tuning in and watching to see what it would look like out their window.

What do you want people to know when they wake up in the morning, not really sure about what happened overnight?

HUGHES: We've been watching this storm. It's one of the quickest moving storms on record, maybe the fastest. And so folks are known that, by the time the sun breaks, it ought to be a pretty day.

We've been out on the streets monitoring things. And we're anticipating it's going to be hopefully much better than it could have been. It could have been a lot worse. It's not over yet but the fact that we're only seeing the major winds and the blows in the water this late in the day is going to work out pretty good for us, I think. So I think we're going be -- hopefully we dodged a major bullet today.

But give us a few more hours and we'll be able to tell you for sure.

BALDWIN: I know it. You sound like a couple of people I've talked to tonight, we watch, we wait, we cross our fingers. Last note for people of Gulfport?

HUGHES: Just keep doing what you're doing. Our first responders are on call. And just stay where you are. Stay safe. If you need help, dial 9-1-1 and we'll get to you. But let's take care of each other.

BALDWIN: All right, Mayor Billy Hughes in Gulfport. Thank you so much, appreciate you and of course we're here up late on this Saturday night, watching landfall round two for a lot of you along the Gulf Coast, all the way from Gulfport, Biloxi, all the way through Mobile, Alabama.

We know something like 7,000 people are without power in Alabama. So we've got special coverage continuing here for just a little while longer. We're also going to talk politics tonight, tell you what the president has just said, you remember pictures of him tossing the paper towel rolls earlier this week when he visited Puerto Rico, some criticism for that. How he responded and so much more, coming up here on the special edition CNN.




BALDWIN: Let me show you some new pictures now just into CNN. And you will see the door of the Gold Nugget casino, this is Biloxi, right at the water's edge here. So Mike Theiss is the one who shot this. He's our storm chaser, who's been off and on with us all night long here on CNN.

This was moments ago, Mike.

Can you tell me, how many feet are we talking?

Mike Theiss, this is Brooke, you're live on-air.

Can you hear me?

OK, we're going to work on getting Mike back. Obviously, not the best weather situation to talk to Mike in. He is OK but he is in Biloxi, chasing down the storm here.

Just look at this. We were talking about power outages, 7,000 in Alabama; 4,400 is the latest number we have, 4,400 people without power in Mississippi.

So on to politics, President Trump, he is back in Washington tonight after a quick trip to a Republican fund-raiser in Greensborough, North Carolina. Before he left, the president followed a cryptic tweet about North Korea with cryptic talk. He also did talk a bit more about his relationship with the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. Here is CNN's Kaitlan Collins.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the president continues to fuel a series of questions and raise a lot of eyebrows after he's made a string of cryptic remarks lately. After he lamented on Twitter that he thought negotiations with North Korea had failed for the last 25 years, he said that he believed there was only one option left there.

The catch, he didn't tell us what that one option is. The president was asked about this on the South Lawn of the White House as he departed for a fundraiser in North Carolina. But his answer just left reporters guessing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clarify your "calm before the storm" comment.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nothing, nothing to clarify.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the one thing that'll work with North Korea?

TRUMP: Well, you'll figure that out pretty soon.


COLLINS: When reached for comment, press secretary Sarah Sanders did not add to the president's remarks but did maintain that for right now all options remain on the table regarding North Korea.

The president was also asked about another ominous remark he made at the White House this week, as he met with senior military leaders, which he said could be "the calm before the storm." The president did not clarify which storm he was talking about.

And when he was asked to do so at the White House, he said he had nothing to clarify. He did comment on the relationship between him and the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, after tensions were at an all-time high between the two men this week, after it was reported that Tillerson had referred to the president as "a moron" over the summer.

The president said he has a good relationship with the secretary of state but acknowledged that they disagree on a few things and that he wishes he would be tougher in some areas.

We've seen one of those disagreements play out in the public eye lately, after Tillerson told reporters that he had an open line of communication to North Korea. The president swiftly got on Twitter and said that Tillerson should stop wasting his time trying to negotiate with them. But for right now, at least publicly, the president maintaining that

things between him and the secretary of state are all good -- back to you.


BALDWIN: Kaitlan, thank you. Let's analyze. We've got CNN political analyst and Princeton history professor, Julian Zelizer with me here in the wee hours on CNN.

Thank you so much for coming in. I appreciate it.


BALDWIN: First, just to the point on that, the comment from the president, the calm before the storm and the reporter follow-up , what does that mean, sir, and he says, "You'll find out."

Sounds a lot like stay tuned for the next episode.

ZELIZER: Right, it's almost a teaser for military action. And he's made a series of comments and they keep pointing to the possibility of military action. And, look, it's fun and games until a military conflict starts. And that's what puts people at such unease.

BALDWIN: What about the president's tweet, about it's been taking forever to try to negotiate and work with North Korea, it hasn't worked -- I'm paraphrasing -- he says but only one thing will work.

We don't know what that one thing is.

What does that signal to Pyongyang?

ZELIZER: Well, it signals the negotiations that have been the principal mechanisms for trying to deal with North Korea are probably not what President Trump prefers.

BALDWIN: Despite what his secretary of state and others --

ZELIZER: Despite what his secretary of state, who he is openly fighting with, despite saying he's not, his comments have pointed toward a more bellicose solution to this. These are threats. An the problem is so far the threats have not solved the actual problem at hand and the missiles keep going off and at some point the threats become -- they don't have any credibility.

BALDWIN: So what is the bellicose solution?

What is the inference?

Is this military action?

ZELIZER: That's what the inference is for many people. And the danger in presidential politics is that inference can become real. And you can have a response even if the president is just being ambiguous. BALDWIN: What's the message it sends to the world?

His message is one thing on North Korea; Secretary Tillerson's is another. We know he wants to decertify the Iran nuclear deal. Secretary Mattis vociferously said this past week otherwise.

What's the message to the world?

ZELIZER: Sometimes the message would be, the president is trying to put out many different ideas and he's figuring out what will work.

BALDWIN: Is that a smart strategy?

ZELIZER: I don't think that the case here. I think here it's no strategy. And I think what many countries are looking at is an administration that's in a bit of chaos when it comes to foreign policy. There's no there there.

You have different voices; you have conflicting views. But most important, it's not clear the president is exactly working with a game plan in terms of where this wants to go.

And that causes unease.

BALDWIN: You talk about the open fighting with Secretary Tillerson and the president and we saw Secretary Tillerson was backed into a corner this past week and gave that news conference and heaped the praise on the president.

The president full-throated endorsement, hey, we have a great relationship.

Do you think Rex Tillerson survives?

ZELIZER: I don't know if he survives and I don't know if he wants to stay. I think right now the odds are that he won't. And it's not because of the past week. For weeks, for months right now, there has been tension building. The State Department has been isolated, the State Department hasn't even been staffed.

We've seen repeatedly Secretary Tillerson is moving in one direction and the president is moving in another. So this is just the tip of the iceberg. So I don't think this relationship can last.

The question is, who moves first?

Does the president move to remove him?

Or does Secretary Tillerson take a stand and say, I'm leaving the administration?

BALDWIN: Julian Zelizer, always appreciate seeing you. Thank you so much for your insight on all of this.

Let's try Mike Theiss again, shall we, our storm chaser in Biloxi, Mississippi. Mike Theiss, do we have you?

MIKE THEISS, STORM CHASER: Yes, can you hear me?

BALDWIN: All right, loud and clear.

So it was your video -- here it is -- of the Golden Nugget casino in Biloxi, that's a lot of water.

THEISS: Yes, that's a lot of water. And if you currently have a live view right now, we're in the center of the hurricane now. The surge is still actually pretty high, even though the winds have dropped. And I'm actually filming some front doors of the Golden Nugget, where the storm surge is more than halfway up the door currently as we speak -- do you see that?

BALDWIN: I can. I see all the water all seeping on the inside.

Is this a ground floor parking garage?

Is that where we are?

THEISS: It's the main entrance; you go up an escalator up into the casino. But this is actually part of the entrance. The main entrance is up on a hill, this is one of the entrances into the hotel. And if I pan around, you can see the surge is still very high. The Golden Nugget sign that ripped up but about 15 minutes ago, when we were in the eyewall, the wind was funneling through this parking garage right over here.

And those are some of the shots I believe you were showing. What a world of difference this 15 minutes makes because now it's completely calm. The winds have stopped but you see the water is still angry, it's going through this parking garage here. So I'm suspecting now that the center has passed, the surge will slowly start to recede here.

But the eyewall is pretty wild for about 1-2 hours, it was blowing pretty hard through here in Biloxi.

BALDWIN: Yes, these are just incredible pictures. We're sitting on them. We have your live pictures up right now. This exemplifies why the city shut down the casinos.

THEISS: Exactly. That's exactly right. Look at this view here. We are looking inside part of the windows here. You can see the surge is halfway up inside this entrance and there's some escalators straight ahead. There's the surge halfway up the (INAUDIBLE).


BALDWIN: I see that. I see that.

THEISS: -- elevator shafts. So it's -- storm surge is no joke. This is what they always warn about. Even though the hurricane started to weaken as it was making landfall, it still had the storm surge potential. This is nothing like we saw with Katrina (INAUDIBLE) but this is going to cause some destruction on the coastline.

BALDWIN: Mike Theiss, stay safe. I know you do this for a living. We appreciate these pictures out of Biloxi, Mississippi. Thank you.

And thank you all for being up with us on this special Saturday. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Continuing CNN coverage of Hurricane Nate continues next with Michael Holmes. Stay with CNN for the latest.