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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Hurricane Frances: Weakened Storm Lingers On
Aired September 5, 2004 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: From the CNN global headquarters in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY NIGHT.
Wet and windy, but now a tropical storm. A weakened Frances lingers on with driving rains and blustery winds. And the heart of the matter.
In another story, former President Bill Clinton is to undergo bypass surgery tomorrow morning.
These stories and a lot more next on CNN SUNDAY NIGHT.
Beaten, battered and bracing for more. Tropical storm Frances roars across Florida, drenching the state with rain and leaving millions without power.
It's not over yet. Frances will likely become a hurricane again when it storms across the Gulf of Mexico into Florida's panhandle.
Good evening. I'm Carol Lin live at the CNN headquarters in Atlanta.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening. I'm Anderson Cooper just south of - in a mobile home park called - you know what? I can't even remember where I am - Barefoot Bay, which is just south of Melbourne.
It's been a long 24 hours. I'm sorry, Carol.
We're going to take you to a family who has been riding out the storm, and has just returned to find out how their house is doing, a little bit later on, Carol.
First, though, let's go to John Zarrella, who is standing by in West Palm Beach and see how he is doing, how he weathered the storm - John.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson. You know, millions of people in the state of Florida are exactly how I am tonight - pretty much in the dark.
We've got a flashlight on me. There are candles here. And we are with Dave Schultz and Dave's wife Chickie (ph). She went to bed a little while ago.
DAVE SCHULTZ, RETURNING RESIDENT, WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA: She did. ZARRELLA: Yes, and your daughter went over to a friend's house.
But, like I was saying, like millions of other people, this is how many people in Florida are spending the night.
How did you do for dinner tonight? What did you manage to do?
SCHULTZ: I had a leftover soft shell crab. And I made it into a sandwich. That's it. By the way, that's the first thing I've put in my mouth all day.
ZARRELLA: I was going to say, and you probably lost a lot of food in your refrigerator and freezer, didn't you?
SCHULTZ: I think we have. We have. But we're very fortunate. It could have been a lot worse.
And I'm very sorry for the people that have suffered a lot worse than we have north of us. So, I'm fortunate.
ZARRELLA: But you get by, right? I mean, you've got candles here and, I mean, fortunately, there's a nice breeze blowing outside. It's not miserable out like it could be.
SCHULTZ: Well, that's exactly right. There's still a breeze blowing.
When this breeze quits - and it's going to quit tomorrow or the next day - when it quits, if we don't have electricity, then it's going to be very painful. So, we're not looking forward to that.
ZARRELLA: Dave, thanks for spending some time with us here tonight.
And, again, Anderson, millions of people around the state of Florida experiencing exactly this. The hot days to come, for those who aren't going to have electricity for many days.
So, the - adding insult to injury, the misery is certainly going to compound itself in many places along the Florida east coast and inland - Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, John. It's going to be a rough couple of days.
Here in Barefoot Bay, actually, the rains have stopped, which has been the first time that's happened really all day. For the last half hour we haven't had any rain. That is something to be thankful for here.
But just as in the community you are in, in West Palm Beach, there is no electricity in this area. And some of the homes is damaged.
You can see some of the damage behind me right here. There's the roof of a home which has basically just come off. But a lot of the homes here, a lot of the mobile homes here, it could have been a lot worse. Residents here are breathing a sigh of relief.
Let's check in with Gary Tuchman in an area hard hit, down in Fort Pierce, a little bit to the south of me - Gary.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, exactly 24 hours ago, we stood here at the Fort Pierce city marina. The winds were blowing 90 miles per hour, gusts of up to 105 miles per hour.
Now the hurricane is mostly past, but the darkness remains. Almost everyone in Saint Lucie County is without power, and there is lots of damage and devastation.
Yesterday, when we were at this marina, about 125 boats here. And most of them were doing just fine, even though the winds had gotten to 80, to 90, to 100 miles per hour. They were bobbing up and down. We thought they would do well.
But then at about 1:00 in the morning, high tide came in. And with the winds blowing 100 miles per hour, that was just too much. And now, take a look at what has happened here at this city marina.
One a.m., early this morning, the boats started crashing into each other, coming close to the dock - right where we're standing right now.
And it ends up that 75 of these vessels that were at this $10 million marina, said to be by mariners one of the finest in the state of Florida, 75 of them are now damaged, are now destroyed or are missing, missing under ground - missing under the water, that is.
In other words, they've sunk.
Another 15, we're told, ended up floating away. People were shocked and devastated. They assumed that with a Category 2 hurricane or even a Category 3 hurricane, their boats would be just fine.
It turns out that this part of the marina is virtually destroyed and will have to be rebuilt.
Much flooding and damage elsewhere here in the Fort Pierce area. Some of the roads look like Venice, look like canals. You see cars driving down. It looks like it's part of the Intercoastal Waterway - this one particular street we went down that's next to the Intercoastal Waterway, where people were driving today.
And lots of damage. We often see canopies fall down at gas stations.
Today, though, on U.S. 1 in Saint Lucie County we saw a lot of gas stations where the pumps just collapsed and ended up falling down. Those pumps are anchored very well. You have to have gusts that last for a long time to do things like that. We also saw a K-Mart that lost part of its roof, and the store ended up flooding, because of water pouring through the top of the building.
So, people here at this point under a curfew in Saint Lucie County, 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. It was a 24-hour curfew yesterday and up until a certain point today.
Now authorities are saying you can go out there in the afternoon, but we want everyone to be at home between 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. And that will continue indefinitely.
Anderson, back to you.
COOPER: Gary Tuchman, thanks very much for that. Let's go back to Carol Lin now at the CNN center in Atlanta. I'll be back with more from Barefoot Bay a little bit later on - Carol.
LIN: All right. Thanks, Anderson.
In the meantime, the eye of the storm made landfall near Stuart. So, you can imagine the damage that's been left behind there.
Jeff Krauskopf, the mayor of Stuart, began assessing that damage today. Mayor Krauskopf joins me now on the telephone.
Mayor, what did you get a chance to see today? What's the situation in Stuart?
JEFF KRAUSKOPF, MAYOR, STUART, FLORIDA: Most - thank God we no loss of life - most of the damage we've had is vegetative, debris that has come down. Most of our power line transmission throughout the city is upright.
I'm standing outside now. We have gusts of 20, 25 miles an hour still going on. And Florida Power & Light truck crews are out looking at the various transformers around the city.
LIN: I'm looking at some pictures out of Fort Pierce, these boats piled on top of each other.
As we get reports from around the area, in Martin County, which I think Stuart is in Martin County, right?
LIN: There was a report of a shelter roof that blew off a portion of the school where some 630 people had to move, had to evacuate from that shelter location.
Any other problems like that to report?
KRAUSKOPF: There were very few of those, although the elevator shaft roof at the hospital blew off. And all the rain went down and soaked the elevator shaft and the ground floor of the hospital. That's been one major concern. Most of it has been aluminum type facilities - awnings, a Volkswagen dealership, a service section of their dealership blew away.
But most of the damage - one roof on a condominium - has been the high degree of vegetative trees and that type of damage.
LIN: Mayor, any idea of how many people have lost their homes? Damaged, destroyed?
KRAUSKOPF: I don't know yet in Stuart, because most of the - so many of the people boarded up and left. They took the advice of the public safety people and did what they were asked to do, which I think helped limit some of the damage. They boarded up and went to the west coast.
LIN: Jeff Krauskopf, the west coast of Florida is getting its own share of rain now, as tropical storm Frances now makes its way into the gulf.
KRAUSKOPF: Well, I'm still surprised by the amount of winds we're getting here now.
LIN: Yes. And that certainly gives us an idea of the size of this thing. Jeff Krauskopf, thank you very much - the mayor of Stuart, ...
KRAUSKOPF: You're very welcome.
LIN: ... near where the storm made landfall.
Well, let's get the latest on Frances' whereabouts as it barrels westward from meteorologist Jacqui Jeras.
Where is Frances right now, Jacqui?
JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, Frances is getting, actually, very close to making its way back over the Gulf of Mexico. And so, we may be seeing that happening as early as midnight.
We're honing in on about almost 24 hours since the eye made landfall. The location as of eight o'clock, an advisory here from the National Hurricane Center, had it 15 miles east-northeast of Tampa with winds down to 65 miles per hour.
And as we look at our satellite imagery and our radar imagery, and it does show additional signs of weakening. So, hopefully, as the 11 o'clock advisory comes down, we're going to see the winds down a little bit.
Once again, if you look real closely, right up in this neck of the woods is where you're seeing the center of circulation right now. So it is getting very close to the coastline.
Here's Tampa. Here's Clearwater Beach. There you can see I-75, to give you an idea of where it's going. It is continuing to push up to the west-northwest around nine, 10 miles per hour. Now, as this moves over land, we're likely going to see some additional strengthening. So that's a little bit of concern and it could possibly become a Category 1 hurricane once again.
Now, in addition to that strengthening, other concerns that we're going to have to worry about tonight, we were just hearing talk about his winds gusting. We have a varying range of winds up and down still here on the east coast, anywhere between about 25 miles per hour up to 55 miles per hour, just reported at the top of the hour up around Daytona Beach.
You could see that our tornado watch has shifted northward now. And so a new one has been reissued from right around the Orlando area extending on northward into southern parts of Georgia, extending all the way over to Alabama and even into the Florida panhandle at this hour.
So those of you down towards Melbourne into Fort Pierce, sitting down towards West Palm Beach, you're out of the watch as of this time.
Want to show you the latest in the watches and the warnings, because they've changed a little bit this evening. Hurricane warnings have now been posted across most of the Florida panhandle from Destin extending down towards Suwannee River. And then we still have tropical storm warnings in place where you can see in the orange. Those used to be hurricane warnings.
Flooding will continue to be a threat as the heavy rain moves on board. I think rainfall amounts are going to be a little closer to five to 10 inches, potentially still seeing some of those higher amounts, particularly right up in the northern parts of Florida.
The forecast track here, going back over the open water here overnight for tonight, and then taking its time moving up to the west- northwest, likely making landfall somewhere around Apalachicola.
Of course, keep in mind we've still got that cone there, so there is still a little room for error, depending how much this intensifies and what kind of wobbles we take here.
But it could be Category 1 as it makes landfall on Monday, probably early afternoon, and then weakening rapidly. And it will also start to pick up a little bit of forward speed, but widespread flooding can be expected across the south and east.
We've got another hurricane to worry about, Carol. I'll tell you about that before the end of the hour.
LIN: I know. Already people in Florida are talking about Ivan. But I know you'll have more when we get back to you. Thanks, Jacqui.
Well, Hurricane Frances is particularly devastating for people who are reliving the nightmare. Now, it was just three weeks ago that Hurricane Charley barreled across central Florida.
CNN's David Mattingly takes a look at how that storm could compound damage from Frances.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hurricane Frances lumbered ashore, bashing Florida's east coast barely more than three weeks after Hurricane Charley cut a path of devastation from the west.
There was not enough time to complete the cleanup. Major repairs and reconstruction were far from over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MEET THE PRESS")
SEN. BOB GRAHAM, (D) FLORIDA: Didn't need to have another hurricane. Hurricane Charley was a very high-intensity storm. It did a tremendous amount of damage right over the center part of the state.
Now we have this second hurricane, which is going to be a very wet hurricane. So, we could have some serious problems there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: Hurricane Charley destroyed at least 12,000 homes. Nineteen thousand more were rendered uninhabitable. Property loss estimates exceed $6 billion.
But where Charley was a Category 4 bullet, dashing across the state in a matter of hours, Frances is a slow moving behemoth, arriving as a Category 2, but big enough to potentially cause problems in nearly every county in the state.
Twelve hours after landfall, millions of Floridians were without electricity. And the battering in some parts of the state hadn't even begun.
CRAIG FUGATE, DIRECTOR, FLORIDA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: This is bigger than what I think we saw during Charley. And, again, as we speak, power still going out.
I want people to understand. This storm makes landfall, it just doesn't end. It's still a very powerful storm crossing the state.
MATTINGLY: If there is one benefit emerging from these one-two disasters, it's that the lessons of Charley were not quickly forgotten. Frances prompted the largest evacuations in Florida history. Millions listened and got out of harm's way.
GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: The minute it is safe to do so, the first responders will be on the ground providing relief, first to make the assessments of what the damage is, and then to address that damage.
MATTINGLY: And the appeal tonight is for Floridians to resist the temptation to venture out, because unlike Charley, this is one storm that is taking its time before exiting the Sunshine State - Carol.
LIN: You're certainly feeling it now, David, as these strong tropical storm winds buffet you guys up in Saint Augustine.
MATTINGLY: That's right. We keep expecting to see some sort of break in this wind. But it has been constant and it has been hard all afternoon long and well now into the night.
And as this wind continues and the ground continues to become even more saturated with water, then we're seeing trees going down all over the place. In fact, there was a report of one tornado about two miles from here that touched down, taking out a lot of trees and some signs.
Not a great deal of major structural damage being reported, but, again, everyone saying that they are seeing a lot of power lines and a lot of trees. And if you noticed, at this hour, Carol, we are in the dark here, as is much of the city of Saint Augustine.
Back to you.
LIN: A power blackout there. All right. Thanks for the latest, David Mattingly, live in Saint Augustine.
Well, cnn.com/hurricanes has Frances' path and links to emergency information and resources, as well as tips on what you should do in a hurricane.
Well, it started in - a completely different story - it started with a mild chest pain. And now it has come to major surgery for Bill Clinton.
Up next, we're going to go live to New York's Presbyterian Hospital, where our very own Dr. Sanjay Gupta gives us a preview of tomorrow's surgery.
Plus, making a bad situation even worse. How Frances has spawned looters in Florida and what authorities there are doing about it.
And what's your hurricane story? That's our last call question for tonight. We want to hear from you. Give us a call at 1-800-807- 2620.
LIN: CNN has learned that Bill Clinton will likely undergo heart bypass surgery tomorrow morning. Clinton has been awaiting surgery since he was admitted to New York Presbyterian Hospital on Friday.
And senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us from New York to talk about the former president's condition and more about his procedure.
Sanjay, I know we're keeping you busy. You were just down in hurricane territory, in Melbourne, Florida. And now we find you covering the president's surgery. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK CITY: That's right, Carol. From the heart of a hurricane to the heart of a president.
We are now in New York Presbyterian Hospital, right in front. The ninth floor of this building, Carol, and it's called the McKeen Suite, the McKeen Pavillion or wing, that's where the president is. That's where his family is, as well.
They've been here since Friday when he came in with mild chest pain at that point. An angiogram showed some blockages in some of his coronary arteries. Those are the arteries leading to the heart.
Now, a little bit of an animation here to show you exactly what it is that he has and what exactly is going to get done.
You see blood flowing through the blood vessels there. And the blood vessels close up. That can be the result of fatty plaque which develops over years.
The operation that he's probably going to have tomorrow, they actually open the chest. They actually take some blood vessels from the leg and some arteries from the inside of the chest wall and actually perform bypass operations.
We've heard that he might have up to four of those arteries bypassed tomorrow. That's the operation that's planned.
It is planned for tomorrow morning at about 7:00 a.m., is what we're hearing, pending another blood test. If that blood test comes back normal, that's probably when he's going to have his operation, Carol.
LIN: All right. And how complicated an operation is it?
GUPTA: You know, it's become a fairly routine operation. You may remember, Carol, that Henry Kissinger had this operation 23 years ago and is still doing very well from this operation.
I'll tell you, on a personal note, my dad had this operation 11 years ago and is doing well. There's about 400,000 of these performed every year.
As far as heart surgery goes, no operation is simple, because it is involving the heart. But it is a fairly routine operation and a common one.
There is a second sort of operation which surgeons are starting to do called the more minimally invasive. They call it the keyhole operation, where they actually do the bypasses just putting some endoscopes in the chest.
Unclear if he's going to have that operation or the standard one. But either way, the odds are very much in his favor, Carol.
LIN: All right. What do you think his recovery period is going to be like? What's going to happen then?
GUPTA: You know, most likely, he's going to be in the intensive care unit overnight. And then he'll probably be on the general care floor for a few days.
And he'll probably be discharged from the hospital. People are probably going to be surprised at how quickly he's able to get out of the hospital.
The overall recovery and rehabilitation period, though, much longer. Sometimes up to two months there's various aches and pains in the shoulder and the back. Just lots of fatigue. Some patients have had problems with depression after this operation.
But there are good cardiac rehab programs. New York Presbyterian has one of the best. He's probably going to be in one of those programs for probably several weeks, if not a couple of months, Carol.
LIN: All right. The length of the operation tomorrow, because I know you're covering this story.
GUPTA: Probably going to be a few hours, four hours. It sort of depends on which of the two operations he's going to have that I was just talking about.
The first operation, they actually put him on cardiopulmonary bypass sort of machine. It's called the pump. And that takes a little bit of time.
That involves actually stopping the heart. And then after the bypass procedure is done, they actually restart the heart. So that could take a little bit longer.
But I would say, if it starts at 7:00, 7:30 in the morning, I'd say by early afternoon we're going to hear that it's completed.
LIN: All right. One more test, though. The doctors are waiting to see if these - the blood-thinning drugs that they've been giving him are out of his system. When do you think they'll know that?
GUPTA: They're probably going to know that tonight. It just - it involves actually just taking some blood from the president, analyzing it, making sure that his blood is no longer too thin.
The medication that he was taking is a blood thinner. And for obvious reasons, to try and prevent bleeding during the operation, they want to make sure all that blood thinner is out of his system. If it is, he may very well have this operation tomorrow, Carol.
LIN: All right. Thank you very much, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
GUPTA: Thank you.
LIN: On the story from hurricanes - the heart of the hurricane to the heart of the president. Very good.
GUPTA: Thank you. See you.
LIN: All right. Stories now from around the world.
Russia says it has captured one of the men responsible for the Beslan school siege as funerals were held for some of the victims.
Russian television showed footage of a heavily guarded man. He proclaimed his innocence and pleaded for his life. At least 338 people were killed in the massacre.
And in Iraq, confusion. First, a defense ministry report that one of Saddam Hussein's deputies, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, had been captured. The Pentagon expressed doubts. Now, the Iraqi defense minister himself says the report was - and I'm quoting here - baseless.
Earthquakes in Japan. Two earthquakes rattled western Japan injuring 14 people, shaking buildings 250 miles away in Tokyo. The epicenters of both quakes were far off Japan's coast. One measured 7.3, the other 6.9.
The man who brought us "Schindler's List" has been made a knight. Director Steven Spielberg was made a knight in the French Legion of Honor by President Jacques Chirac. Mr. Chirac hailed Spielberg as a great filmmaker committed to fighting hatred and intolerance.
Well, many have lost cars, pets, even homes. And now some in Florida are losing even more because of looters. I'm going to have details.
Plus the Peterson murder mystery. Why did Scott Peterson go back to the bay in the days after Laci's disappearance? That's in tonight's rap sheet.
And we want to hear from you. Tell your story about Frances hitting your neighborhood. Give us a call at 1-800-807-2620.
LIN: Tropical storm Frances has now passed over much of central Florida. The damage in its wake was recorded by news crews around the region.
And here's a look at some of what we've seen over the last two days.
BILL MCGINTY, SATELLITE BEACH, FLORIDA: We're roughly 30 miles south of the Kennedy Space Center. When we first came over the causeway, we couldn't help but notice some of the boats - sailboats sunk up against the causeway.
When we finally got out onto the island, we saw lots of damage - broken windows in condominiums, carports that were torn up, twisted and torn away, traffic lights that were dangling, some at windshield level.
Police are out here patrolling on the island, trying to present people from coming out here. Most of what they're trying to prevent is injuries to people, but also looting.
This morning, very early this morning, a lot of traffic lights down. Once again, gas stations taking the brunt of this storm, the overhangs being completely torn away.
And as these winds continue to gust and blow like this, some at tropical storm or even hurricane strength, it may be Monday, possibly even Tuesday, before people get out here to really survey the damage of Hurricane Frances.
DEREK HAYWOOD, PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA: Here, just a little way, we're in Palm Beach Gardens, you've got lots of debris like that blocking some of the roads.
There's a huge sign down across the street there. The top of that office building looks like it took a little bit of wallop. And then there's an awful lot of this. Traffic lights in total disarray, the traffic lights all out.
And then, in addition to that, you've got these cables dangling, some downed traffic lights in the street.
This is the worst, the most dangerous part of it. Trees down, as well, as I mentioned. I think you can see that one over there.
Before daybreak, this was incredibly dangerous for anybody trying to move around here. But with the light of day, it looks like they'll be able to get on with this and get some of this cleared up. And people here may find out they were pretty lucky after all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take a look at what we have here. A huge tree down in the middle of the street, totally blocking the northbound lane. But this gentleman in the pickup truck here is really going to work. He has actually hooked up a chain to the back of his truck.
Burning rubber there.
He has pulled it already a little bit out of the street here, but still has that chain hooked up to a pickup truck. Trying to pull it out of the way.
An Orlando police officer actually came by here a minute ago, saw him doing this, gave him the thumbs up to do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're ducking in and out of neighborhoods in the Conway area of Orange County. And this particular cul-de-sac doesn't look too bad. A lot of debris all over the place, but I'm not seeing any trees down.
You remember that when Charley raced through this area three weeks ago, power poles were knocked down, transformers were smashed. So Conway was in the dark for over a week in some spots. And with Frances, here we go again.
We don't know if this line is hot, so we're going to stay away from it. But this power line knocked down and homes on this block are all out right now.
It appears, though, there's far less serious damage of the transformers and power poles, at least in these neighborhoods over here.
And Progress Energy is telling me that they're going to have people in the field tomorrow to do a complete assessment. They can't say how long the power might be out, but, of course, they say they're going to do their best to get it on as quickly as possible.
But at least for last night and tonight again, folks in this neighborhood are in the dark.
ADAM LANDAU, DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA: We're still getting these gusts of wind - I would estimate maybe about 60 miles an hour - back and forth, back and forth.
We're getting these pounding rains, and we haven't seen any traffic on the road at all. And that's a good thing. We've seen a few police officers in the last hour.
But you can see the standing water here on the ground right next to me, and why it's not a good idea to actually go and put your foot or anything else in this water right here, is because we don't know if any power lines may be down along the way.
And, of course, that could mean that if someone should touch that water, they could get electrocuted. That's just one of the many dangers we have here.
We can show you one more thing. That motel, that roof is still in the middle of the road. They don't dare come clean it out now. And the reason is, because with these heavy winds, pieces actually swirl around and can hit you.
We had one blow around our way, but it missed us. And we can tell you, this is what we've been dealing with all day for more than nine hours.
And just imagine getting pelted by this rain and this wind for nine hours. It's a wonder that a lot of these things are still standing.
LIN: Our thanks to our affiliates.
Well, disasters often bring out the best in people, but unfortunately, also the worst in some.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He heard there's a hurricane, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I got kicked out of my house. That's why I was there. You know that, right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIN: Next, suspected of stealing in the storm. Looters in hurricane-ravaged Florida. We're going to tell you what authorities are doing to try to stop them.
Plus a big victory this week for Kobe Bryant. But his legal battles are not over. I'm going to look at what happens up, coming up in our rap sheet.
LIN: All right. Checking the stories making news tonight and tomorrow.
CNN has learned that former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to undergo heart bypass surgery tomorrow, but it could be delayed if blood-thinning medication is not out of his system. Clinton was admitted to a New York hospital on Friday after complaining of chest pains and fatigue.
Three men, including a professional basketball player, have been accused of shooting guns while driving in Washington. The men include Rodney White who played for the Denver Nuggets. They face weapons charges after police say they were seen randomly shooting into the air early on Sunday.
And taking the heat. High temperatures are adding to problems for firefighters in California's Sonoma County. A blaze has destroyed 9,200 acres in the prized wine country. Wildfires are also burning in Calaveras County.
And Frances is here. Can Ivan be far behind? Hurricane No. 5 this season, Ivan, is more than 800 miles east-southeast of Barbados with winds near 125 miles per hour. Under current projections, Puerto Rico and Barbados are in the storm's path. It is still, though, too early to say whether Ivan will actually hit the U.S.
Well, Frances is continuing on its collision course across Florida. Let's get the latest on the storm's whereabouts from CNN's Jacqui Jeras - Jacqui.
JERAS: Well, Carol, the center of circulation just about over open water once again.
We've been looking at this radar picture. Right here is to the north and west of Tampa. We're going to zoom in for you.
It's right around the Port Richey area, and you can kind of see some of that circulation there. And so it's going to be moving back over open water and could intensify just a little bit more. We're still seeing some very strong wind gusts in this area, and also quite a bit of rainfall. We've got a nice band here which has just been hovering along the western areas of Tampa Bay, right along the loop area here.
And you can expect to see some good wind gusts, around maybe 70 miles per hour on occasion as that squall moves on through.
Also, Orlando's been getting hit, but mostly onto the west side of you. And those areas that were hit so hard yesterday as the eye wall had made landfall, doing OK at this hour.
Sewalls Point, by the way, is where it made landfall, the eye. You can see we've got some very strong bands out there. So, a couple hours away and we're going to start to watch that begin to move in.
Believe it or not, the 11 o'clock advisory has come in early on Frances now. If we can switch our computer sources and I will show you what we have for the latest statistics.
It's about 25 miles west-northwest of Tampa, still holding with 65 mile per hour winds, moving west-northwest at eight miles per hour.
Carol, expect it to be making landfall, once again, maybe a little bit later now in this forecast track, sometime late tomorrow afternoon into the Florida panhandle.
LIN: All right. Thanks for the warning. Thanks very much, Jacqui, for bringing that to us early.
Well, Anderson Cooper has been in the weather ever since Frances came ashore, in the wet and the wild. He's joining us live now just south from Melbourne, Florida - Anderson.
COOPER: Carol, as you know, tens of thousands of Floridians - really hundreds of thousands - are still without power. And there are hundreds of thousands still in shelters.
But, Carol, Cathy Pena (ph) is one of the lucky Floridians. You could say that. She has actually made it home.
How scared were you when you came home tonight, that your house might be really badly hit?
CATHY PENA (ph), FLORIDA RESIDENT: Oh, we were pretty positive that the houses were going to be gone, because we had just seen what happened in Punta Gorda a couple of weeks ago.
But when we started driving into the bay, and we started seeing some of the houses, and most of the damage was just like the carports and the Florida rooms, I said, oh, my house made it. I know it had to have made it.
And it did. I did pretty well.
COOPER: Yes. The house really has very little damage. You've been playing - you have no electricity. You're sort of living by candlelight. You've been playing a lot of cards with Delaney (ph) and Brianna (ph) here. What game have you been playing, Delaney (ph)?
DELANEY PENA (ph), FLORIDA RESIDENT: War.
COOPER: Yes? Are you winning?
DELANEY PENA (ph): A little bit.
COOPER: Were you scared a lot during the storm?
DELANEY PENA (ph): No, not really.
COOPER: Not really? But Brianna (ph) was saying that she slept a lot during the storm. But you didn't sleep at all, did you?
DELANEY PENA (ph): A little bit.
COOPER: Yes, but you kept getting up?
DELANEY PENA (ph): Yes.
COOPER: What was it like for you, Brianna (ph), during the storm?
BRIANNA PENA (ph), FLORIDA RESIDENT: Exciting, kind of. I like watching the wind. But I slept most of the time. It was pretty relaxing.
COOPER: Cathy, what do you do now? I mean, you have no electricity. You really don't know when electricity is going to be coming back. How are you eating?
CATHY PENA (ph): Well, we cooked the food on the grill today when we got home. Some food that we still had in the freezer. It's been off for a couple of days, so that'll be gone by tomorrow.
We're hoping that some ice will be available somewhere, or some grocery stores or something. And we just do what we need to do until it comes back on.
COOPER: Because right now, I mean, there are no stores open. There's no - even getting gas is impossible.
CATHY PENA (ph): There's nothing. We can't get batteries. We can't get anything. There's no power. Everything's closed. It has been for days.
COOPER: Are you - does it - are you a little bit scared still, Delaney (ph)? Is it strange, like being here with no lights on?
DELANEY PENA (ph): Yes. It's different.
COOPER: Yes. How is it different?
DELANEY PENA (ph): Because I'm so used to being in the light, and now there's like no light.
COOPER: But I know you're not too upset about missing school. You're not going to have school tomorrow.
DELANEY PENA (ph): Well, sometimes it's good to not have school, because like you can go play and stuff.
DELANEY PENA (ph): But when you're in school, you have to sit there and do paperwork and stuff.
COOPER: Don't I know it.
Well, I wish you a lot of luck. I'm glad your house is doing well, and I'm glad you're all together as a family. Thanks very much for letting us in.
CATHY PENA (ph): You're welcome.
COOPER: Just one of the many families here in Florida, who is trying to figure out how to get through all of this. And it's going to be lasting for a couple more days, Carol, until the electricity is restored.
LIN: Yes. Can you believe it? I talked to the Red Cross, and they're trying to get workers situated. And ice is really going to be a critical factor, because it's still hot there.
LIN: All right. Thanks very much, Anderson.
Well, it's a sad fact that there are people out there who are looking for any opportunity to take advantage of their fellow citizens.
For them, Hurricane Frances presented an opportunity to loot. But the police are being very vigilant.
Joining me now on the telephone from Florida's Orange County is Sheriff Kevin Beary. Sheriff Beary, I've heard some pretty outrageous stories of a couple of guys taking a chainsaw, trying to hack into an ATM.
What have you - what kinds of cases are you dealing with?
KEVIN BEARY, SHERIFF, ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA: Well, the first night that we had to deal with Frances, they were getting into the men's clothing stores. And we've apprehended them.
And then they tried - early this morning - they tried to get into an ATM inside a closed up grocery store. And we've got three in custody.
And then later on this afternoon they tried a liquor store, and we've got three more in custody. And our chief judge here means what he says. They're all under a no bond status.
LIN: So, what kind of penalty are they facing?
BEARY: Well, they're going to be facing not only burglary and theft charges, but they'll be in violation of an emergency order.
And like I said, the judge is holding them with no bond. He's going to, I guess you could say, put the hammer down on them.
LIN: You bet, and send a message.
Did any of these guys concoct a story to tell your officers when they arrived at the scene?
BEARY: No. Actually, the ones this morning though - and we were really getting pounded by Frances early this morning.
But our deputies stayed very vigilant, and they stayed on the perimeter for over two hours, because they wanted to catch these three individuals.
We had already had one in custody. And K-9 and the deputies on the perimeter came up with the other two, so I'm very, very proud of them.
LIN: So you're thinking the message has been sent? No more problems since then?
BEARY: Well, we've got a few tricks up our sleeve. We've got some people out tonight that are going to be in our business districts. And if somebody wants to continue to think that they can loot, we've got a little surprise for them.
LIN: I don't suppose you want to share what kind of surprise?
BEARY: Well, let's just say we've got plenty of uniforms, plenty of tactical people out. And, of course, we utilize dogs quite a bit here, and they're ready.
LIN: Sheriff Beary. All right. The town is safe and secure with law enforcement. Thank you very much.
A good warning to the folks out there, if you're even trying -- thinking about trying -- to take advantage of this situation.
Kevin Beary, Orange County.
All right. On our "Rap Sheet" tonight, a stunning development. We're talking about the Kobe Bryant case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK HURLBERT, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, EAGLE COUNTRY, COLORADO: Today, I have reluctantly made the difficult decision to dismiss the case of People v. Kobe Bryant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIN: Charges are dropped -- criminal charges are dropped. But was there ever a case against the Lakers super star to begin with?
Joining me from Boston, former federal prosecutor Wendy Murphy. And from Miami, Florida, criminal defense attorney Jayne Weintraub.
So, Jayne, at what point did you call Wendy and say, I told you so? Because you've been maintaining all along there was never a case.
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Pretty early on I said, I'll take cold cash over my $10 bet.
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: She's only - look, she's only entitled to about five bucks. Because what I predicted is that the case would go away, because Kobe Bryant would rather stick pins in his eyes than have the public hear the real truth in this case, which was a very, very strong case.
This is one of the strongest reported non-stranger rape cases I have ever seen in 17 years.
MURPHY: But I predicted the apology. Remember, Jayne, I said he'd issue this bogus, quote unquote, apology letter ...
WEINTRAUB: He'd get a reduced charge, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...
MURPHY: ... where he would say, I made a mistake about ...
WEINTRAUB: Well, and he actually ...
MURPHY: ... whether she was consenting (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...
WEINTRAUB: Yes, and he actually said, I could understand why she might think it was not consensual.
MURPHY: What is that? What does that mean?
WEINTRAUB: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) drafted by her lawyers, Carol.
And you know what the bottom line is? The bottom line is that prosecutors don't dismiss cases they can prove. He dismissed the case because he couldn't prove it for a number of reasons.
But only Wendy - you could try and spin this victory for Kobe Bryant as a vindication for this accuser. Only you could do that.
MURPHY: No, no, no, no. This is a victory for Kobe Bryant.
WEINTRAUB: No, it isn't.
MURPHY: It is a big, colossal loss for the public. Look. This was not a bad case. That's not why the D.A. dumped it. He dumped it because there was a deal behind the scenes, and you know money has ...
MURPHY: ... either already exchanged hands, or ...
WEINTRAUB: No, no ...
MURPHY: ... will in two months when we're not looking.
WEINTRAUB: Well, she's still going ahead with her civil suit.
MURPHY: This is a bad job ...
WEINTRAUB: No money has exchanged hands, Wendy, number one.
MURPHY: Oh, please.
WEINTRAUB: Number two, ...
LIN: One at a time - Jayne.
WEINTRAUB: Wendy, it is a bad case. The prosecutor himself, once he saw the evidence in this case, that the accuser had had sexual relations after this supposed forced rape, ...
WEINTRAUB: ... he walked off the case.
WEINTRAUB: He walked off the case ...
MURPHY: That's a blatant lie.
WEINTRAUB: ... himself.
MURPHY: And that's not true.
WEINTRAUB: He couldn't prove the case. And, Wendy, ...
MURPHY: Wrong. I'll tell you what.
WEINTRAUB: ... Wendy, hold on.
MURPHY: Let me tell you why.
WEINTRAUB: Wendy, let me say something.
MURPHY: Let me tell you why you know this was a deal for money.
WEINTRAUB: Wendy, I've been through a hurricane this weekend! Let me talk!
WEINTRAUB: Wendy, come on.
MURPHY: You've been hold up. OK.
WEINTRAUB: Wendy. Wendy, Michael Baden was on the prosecutor's witness list, and he was taken off the prosecutor's witness list when they had to turn over the defendant expert, DNA expert, who came in and said that it was conclusively shown to her - the expert ...
WEINTRAUB: ... that the accuser did have sex right after the attack.
MURPHY: Wrong. Now, you look. Now you're just taking up air time with a big fat red herring, Jayne. Come on.
WEINTRAUB: Wendy. Wendy, that's ...
MURPHY: I think that hurricane knocked ...
WEINTRAUB: ... what all of the wires said.
MURPHY: ... some tree branch into your head.
Listen. The D.A. dropped the case with prejudice. That is a very clear ...
WEINTRAUB: He should never have brought the case.
MURPHY: Let me just finish now. That is a very clear signal to the public that there's no question about it. He did not drop the case because he thought the victim was traumatized ...
LIN: Quickly finish your thought.
MURPHY: ... and couldn't be brought forward, because, if it was without prejudice, he would have at least had the chance to bring it back that the victim's ...
WEINTRAUB: The judge (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...
LIN: All right. Let's talk about ...
MURPHY: Without prejudice means there was a deal behind the scenes. (CROSSTALK)
LIN: A done deal. The civil suit may still go forward.
Let's talk about Scott Peterson. All right.
Apparently, he's driving down the highway. There are a half a dozen undercover officers tailing Scott Peterson. Their cover is blown. He actually makes eye contact with one of the undercover agents and takes off.
Jayne, if the guy is innocent, why is he running down the highway from undercover officers? Why doesn't he stop and engage them and say, hey, listen guys. Do you have any questions? What's going on?
WEINTRAUB: Maybe he's sick and tired of being followed and stalked by the media. Maybe he's sick and tired of what they were doing to his family and to him.
Maybe, because of all those false leaks that the police were doing by calling the family and saying, you know, if he was really innocent.
Carol, this is not about him proving his innocence. This is about the prosecutor proving ...
MURPHY: Don't you find it ...
WEINTRAUB: ... guilt if they can. And driving down the highway and being sick of the cops on his tail doesn't mean he committed a murder.
Maybe he was going to see what the wires were reporting about his wife. Period. Nothing more.
MURPHY: Oh, you know, that's Jayne's code for, no matter what a bad guy does, if it suggests the consciousness of guilt, we're not allowed to think that about him, because that would be ...
WEINTRAUB: We haven't gotten to the murder yet.
MURPHY: ... so terribly unfair.
Look. The guy was at the bay looking out over the water to see whether the police could find his wife's body. Because, guess why? If they did, and he saw it, it would give him time to leave town, just like he did ...
WEINTRAUB: Oh, please, Wendy! We (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...
MURPHY: ... when the body did wash up on shore four months later. He left town.
LIN: Ladies, always, too brief a time for rap sheet, because we're really crunched with hurricane coverage.
Jayne, you survived the storm.
WEINTRAUB: We did. And thank God we did.
LIN: Only to fight another day. Jayne Weintraub, Wendy Murphy, thank you.
MURPHY: Thank you.
WEINTRAUB: Thank you.
LIN: Still to come on CNN SUNDAY NIGHT, with Frances still in Florida, a look at this weekend's devastation and the daunting task of rebuilding.
LIN: The big story this weekend was Frances. But inside that big story are thousands of smaller, individual tales.
Each person who went through the storm has one to tell. So in our spotlight tonight, here are several we collected together for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was scary. It was scary, because one of the shutters was banging and the noise was incredible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going over the bridge, the Hummer almost blew off into the water. It was just crazy. And I was scared. I've never been that scared in my life.
Huge trees, trees that you would never think would - been probably sitting there for 50 years, were just flying away like nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I lost everything on the farm. Everything's wiped out clean. Nothing left. Everything's gone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So now you have to rebuild?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything has to be rebuilt, replanted and everything. There's nothing. All the sheep, the goats, the hogs - everything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An outer wind came up. And it was unbelievable. I was having eight foot waves coming over the decks of the boats. And the wind got in and actually exploded the boat into 20,000 pieces. I mean, that's what you see floating all over.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had insurance, but I let it expire. And I just never picked it up. I kept forgetting, I kept forgetting. And - I can't even talk.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fire company was here and they said it's - I can't live here now. It's, you know - so I have to leave. There's so much. There's, you know, this is my home. This is my life. You know, it's hard.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was the longest one I've ever gone through, and I've gone through quite a few. It was very, very long.
It sounded like - the wind sounded like 100 18-wheelers racing around the house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a strange storm, I'll tell you. And it is - it's the worst one that this area has seen in many years because, you know, it was climbing up the coast, going as slow as a turtle and chewing you up like a buzz saw. I mean, it was a long night in Vero Beach last night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just back after five months in Baghdad, Iraq. And I thought that was a problem, getting shot at on the RBG (ph) (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in the airport everyday with body armor. And today I wished I was back in Baghdad. I'll tell you, the nightmare is only (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for everybody.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
LIN: Thanks for joining us tonight.
Earlier we asked, what is your hurricane story? And here is how some of you responded.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once your power goes out, once the lights go out in an area, you are totally in a vacuum. You just - you have no information coming from the outside. And that is an extremely, extremely horrifying experience.
Of course, tonight we're waiting. We don't know how our home is there. We are not there now. We are in Chicago. And we're waiting till the reports.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in my car driving through a swift current, about three feet, and a power line came down, started throwing arcs all over my car. I managed to escape, forded the current for about three blocks, crawled into the hardware store and took cover.
(END AUDIO CLIPS)
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