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Storm Hits Southern England; Hurricane Sandy`s Victims Still Recovering

Aired October 29, 2013 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: If you`ve ever organized an event, you know it can take a lot of planning. What does it take to get ready for an event the whole world will watch? One country is finding out, and that story is coming up. First though, severe weather in Europe. You see the purple on this map -- that`s a major storm. It`s not a hurricane, but it did have winds as strong as a hurricane.

Moving in a little closer, you can see that this storm hit southern England really hard. It also swept across parts of France, Belgium and the Netherlands. This video gives an idea of how strong the winds work. The storm led to at least two deaths, 220,000 homes lost power in England. Officials worried about the possibility of flooding. The recovery process in England is getting started. In the Northeastern U.S., the recovery process is still going, one year after a devastating storm hit that region. Sandy made landfall in southern New Jersey on this day last year. It`s responsible for 117 deaths across more than six U.S. states and 69 more deaths in Canada and the Caribbean. Officials estimate that Sandy caused tens of billions of dollars in damage along the U.S. East Cost. When a hurricane hits, one of the biggest threats is the storm surge. Those are the waves that come in from the ocean. When a storm makes landfall at an oblique angle like you see here, the storm surge is more spread out. So, it`s a wider area, but less intense. Sandy made landfall at more of a perpendicular angle. In fact, it was closer to perpendicular than any hurricane on the record. That kept the storm surge more contained, but it also made it more intense: one wave in New York harbor was measured at more than 32 feet tall.

During its journey through the Atlantic, Sandy was a hurricane, right before it made landfall, it was reclassified as a post-tropical cyclone. That`s why some people refer to it as Superstorm Sandy. Losing hurricane status also meant the loss of hurricane watches and warnings. Since then, the National Weather Service changed its warning guidelines. Now, warnings and watches can be issued or stayed in effect after a hurricane becomes a post-tropical storm. In these pictures, you can see the damage from Sandy on the left, and on the right, sign to the rebuilding efforts in the year since the storm hit. And the determination that many Sandy victims display.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The power never came back on at Allie Hagen`s place.

ALLIE HAGEN, HOMEOWNER: We had a beautiful front deck.

FIELD: Her house in Breezy Point withstood the storm, but it burnt in the fire that torched her neighborhood after it seemed the worst had passed.

HAGEN: I love you, love you, love you. How are you?


FIELD: Hagen hopes that in another year she`ll be back here. There`s a word for people like her.

DENNIS CHARNEY, AUTHOR: It`s one of those things that if you meet somebody who`s resilient, you kind of know it.

FIELD: For more than 20 years, Dr. Dennis Charney has been studying the science behind resilience. In his book co-authored with Dr. Steven Southwick, they tackled the question, why is it that some people seem to naturally bend without breaking?

Charney says, it`s partially genetic. But we can all learn to adapt traits that would make us more resilient, like optimism and altruism.

CHARNEY: People who are altruistic and get back to others, that helps them in their own recovery.

FIELD: Consider the survivors of 9/11. Or Hurricane Katrina. Those who put others first. Now, consider the faces of Super Storm Sandy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many of these employees have been with us for ten, 20, 30 years.

FIELD: Knowing people were counting on him gave Jorge Farber the steam to get up and get half of his chocolate factory back open.

HAGEN: These were basement windows.

FIELD: For Allie Hagen, it was about her neighbors. She helped organize the support group of source to rebuild it together.

HAGEN: Oh, my goodness. We`ve had, you know, 50, 60 people. We have email chains. We`re talking to each other all the time.

FIELD: Charney says their studies prove role models and support systems increase the odds of weathering any of life`s storms.

CHARNEY: If you are working together as a team to overcome a community tragedy or city tragedy, it makes it a lot easier.

FIELD: A lot happened to Allie Hagen last year, but she`s determined to do a lot more next year.


AZUZ: It`s time for "The Shoutout." Which of these events happened in 1929? If you think you know it, shout it out!

Was it, Mount Everest summited? Stock market crashed? First Winter Olympics held or Herbert Hoover elected? You`ve got three seconds, go! The stock market crashed on Black Tuesday, October 29th, 1929. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."

That was 84 years ago today. The stock market had seen a few days of wild selling and buying beforehand, but on October 28th and 29th the bottom fell out. Billions of dollars were lost. Billions. And this was at a time when a car cost around 400 bucks. Some investors lost everything they had. Americans rushed to banks to get their savings out, and that caused banks to fail. Despite the attempts of President Hoover and other U.S. government officials to reassure Americans saying, this was just a temporary problem with the stock market, the prosperity was just around the corner, the dawn of the Great Depression had arrived. It would meet unemployment rates as high as 25 percent. It would spread poverty around the world. And it would last until World War II.

Time for a shoutout extra credit. Which of these events happened in 1924. You know what to do, was it, Mount Everest summited? Stock market crashed? First Winter Olympics held or Herbert Hoover elected? Put another three seconds on the clock and go!

The French Alps hosted the first Winter Olympics in 1924. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout" extra credit.

France has hosted the Winter Olympics twice since then, the U.S. has been home to four winner games, but Russia has never hosted a Winter Olympics. That will change in February, when athletes from around the world gather in Sochi for the 2014 games. Opening ceremonies are about 100 days away, but is Sochi ready for its close up?


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Sochi`s Olympic bid had one fairly significant witness: no existing sporting facilities. Organizers have tried to turn that into a strength by designing from scratch the ideal model for Olympic venues. This is what they came up with. Two clusters. One by the coast, one in the mountains, a new road and rail line linking the two. Compact. Efficient. No big travel times between venues. The fifth stadium the stage for the opening ceremony doesn`t like it`s going to be ready soon. Sochi`s unpredictable weather and the people directing the opening ceremony have forced big changes on the design during construction. It was supposed to be open, with views of the sea on one side, mountains on the other. But it`s now getting a roof. Russia isn`t a country known for its efficiency. Building all this on time will be a statement to the world. It`s why President Vladimir Putin is taking such a personal interest. Getting the venues ready isn`t Sochi`s only challenge. The whole city was run down, neglected with little investments since the Soviet era. It`s getting a major overhaul, which doesn`t look like it could possibly be ready soon. The skyline is a mess of cranes and partially completed buildings, many of them much-needed hotels. And then there`s the traffic. Ask any local. It`s often appalling.

There are some unusual signs around this Olympic city. Like this mysterious and growing military facility near the coastal venues. Security, always a big Olympic concern, is even more so here. Islamic militants fighting an insurgency not far from Sochi have sworn to disrupt the games. And on the naked, pre-winter slopes, you see these huge silver mounts. In these technically subtropical climate, snowfall can be patching. So, organizers are storing vast amounts of last season`s snow just in case. Russia was promising an Olympics unlike any the world has seen. So different is this city from previous hosts, so great the challenges, it would be difficult not to deliver on that promise. Phil Black, CNN, Sochi.


AZUZ: It`s time to say "Hello, hot" to the "Roll Call." There`s not one lone star in this segment. We like to spread the sunshine. You figured out where are we going? The sunshine state and the Lake Howell High School (inaudible) in Winter Park, Florida. The Lone Star state, how about these falcons from Los Fresnos High School in Texas? And (inaudible) state. So, we can say "Hello, hot" to the Eagles from Hawaii Baptist Academy and Honolulu. Aloha!

You can relate to this next story, if you`ve ever had a favorite shirt. This is David Pell`s (ph). It`s a green bay Packer`s jersey, at least that`s what it started as. Now, the names worn off the back, the numbers on the sleeves are pretty faded. That`s bound to happen when you wear the same shirt for three years in a row. David`s going for a record. And yes, the shirt does get hand-cleaned every other night. A record and recognition versus three years of the same shirt, it might be a wash. David has one year and goal to go, then he can take off the shirt and pack it away. It`s time for us to take a hike. Have a great day!