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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Mayor Bloomberg News Conference at 8:00 A.M.

Aired August 15, 2003 - 07:12   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: It was 4:11 p.m., of course, when the lights went out here in Manhattan and in many places across the Northeast and into Canada. Very soon into that, Mayor Bloomberg was on the air giving interviews, trying to assure people in New York City that this was not a case of terrorism. He continued to do that throughout the night. And, as we've been telling you, we expect another briefing from Mayor Bloomberg within the hour; in fact, at the top of the hour.
That's coming from City Hall, and that's where we find our Michael Okwu -- Michael.

MICHAEL OKWU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Daryn, we're hoping to hear from New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg at some point this morning to give us an update of what is going on around the city.

All along, officials have been saying that New York City might be the very last section involved here to actually get their power back. We are told by officials that, in fact, parts of New York City are, in fact, getting their power -- parts of the South Bronx, South Brooklyn and, in fact, parts of Manhattan. Although I can tell you personally I have not really seen that happen. The only first signs of light were the sunlight provided at sunrise this morning.

For the past 14 hours, it has been a completely surreal experience -- New Yorkers going back to their homes last night in total darkness, fire trucks along the streets. We are told by officials that 911 was working very well, and, in fact, that is the sign that we had with all of the fire trucks on the street. And because of all of the candlelight, one can imagine that was providing small fires here and there.

But it was a completely surreal experience -- police officers at major intersections along the streets, and also New Yorkers essentially helping each other out. I personally saw at least two women fall, either just because of weariness or because they didn't quite find their footing, and at least half a dozen New Yorkers rushed to help them as quickly as possible.

But really what I saw most of last night was New Yorkers and others, tourists, lining the streets, teaming along the streets of this city, basically looking to tough it out. Many of those people did not want to go back into their homes, and many of them just didn't have the opportunity to. You could not use your elevators, and, of course, New York City is the city of skyrisers. So, very difficult to get back into those buildings and into their homes. Lots of candlelight. And, of course, we're waiting to hear from Mayor Michael Bloomberg to give us an update.

One of the issues I should tell you is that remarkably there are only four criminal activities reported by the New York City Police Department last night, perhaps testimony to the fact that when times are tough, when there is tragedy or when there is a major inconvenience, like this one, New Yorkers tend to calm down, put the chaos behind them and band together.

Back to you.

KAGAN: All right, Michael Okwu at City Hall. And, of course, when Mayor Bloomberg, when that news conference begins, you're going to see it live right here on CNN.

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