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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Historic Snowstorm in Northeast; Looking at Conditions at This Point
Aired January 26, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I know. I'm lifelong New Yorker, I don't think I've ever seen that happened before. And I forgot my hat.
So, Erin, maybe I could borrow your hat once you're done.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Mine is normally inside. That's all I can promise you.
COOPER: OK. Erin, thanks very much.
COOPER: Good evening -- good evening, everyone. Thanks for joining us. We're going to be on for two hours tonight from a very cold, very snowy, and as you can tell a very windy New York. And it's really only just getting started.
What people here have been bracing for is just now starting to arrive, even though it's been snowing since midday. Things will be getting much, much worse, very quickly, very soon.
Right now, we're nine stories above Columbus Circle, here at the south western corner of Central Park, in New York City, and the reason we wanted to come up here is to really get a feel for the winds as they pick up over the next couple of hours that we're going to be on the air for.
It's coming. The city certainly knows it. In just three hours, as Erin mentioned, New York is pretty much shutting down. I mean, I got to tell you, right now the streets are pretty empty. There's still a little bit of cars, some taxis out in the streets. But it's pretty deserted already.
But in three hours, a travel ban takes effect. Bus, subway service ends, commuter rails stops, stop running. Many of the big bridges and the tunnels into the Island of Manhattan are going to close. And that's just the Island of Manhattan.
In Connecticut, a statewide travel ban takes effect in less than an hour. All roads, all private vehicles. All up and down the northeast. The season's worst winter storm could turn out to be one of the worst of all-time. Conditions have been deteriorating all day. States of emergency already in effect here in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, all along the storm front, people getting ready for snow measuring not in inches, but in feet. And also gale-force winds, rising water, each of them dangerous on
their own. But combined together even worse. It is all either forecast or happening already.
We've got correspondents obviously deployed throughout the emergency zones, all across the northeast. We're going to be checking in with them throughout the coming hours. But first want to go to Chad Myers. I want to bring him in here, he's up -- up here with me.
All right, Chad, so explain why this is such a big deal. I'm always skeptical of these kind of thing. New Yorkers making a big deal about the snow. It happens every now and then.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: And we never want to do the cry wolf thing. You know, we never wanted to say the sky is falling, the sky is falling, and then it doesn't. Because then the next time it really is going to, people don't listen. They just won't listen to us. So we have to be very careful on what we say and how much and still so far we're looking at 12 to 14 inches. That's minimum with a potential of up to 30 in some spots between here and Boston.
COOPER: But what's the difference here? You and I were talking before, you're talking about the winds is what really makes this of great concern.
MYERS: Absolutely. I mean, we've had snowfalls that are 19, 25 inches before. But the wind at 55 or 60 are going to take a lot of these tree limbs down. They will lose power lines. And now all of a sudden you're 20 degrees, the wind chills 20 below, and your house doesn't have heat. That's the rub. Especially if we lose 500,000 people without power, you can't get all those power lines up at the same time. You can't even start putting it back up until the wind comes down below 40 miles per hour.
COOPER: In a city like New York, their power lines are underneath the ground.
MYERS: Yes. But you go to Connecticut or New Jersey.
MYERS: And those big trees that have been there for centuries are losing power -- power lines right now. Limbs are falling down. And we are going to see this all night long. Before it finally peaks, and I don't even think that is until noon tomorrow.
COOPER: All right. So give us the timeline, all night long these high winds are going to be happening. It's going to be snowing. Do you think it peaks at noon tomorrow? How long does the snow continue?
MYERS: I think this is an amazing spot that you've picked. Either you or Charlie or your producer picked it. I don't know --
COOPER: I wanted to be inside. I'm -- I've being completely honest.
MYERS: Here's why I love this. Because we can see the other side of the park. By 8:30, 9:00, we're going to start to lose the north side of the park. By 9:00 we're going to lose this other side altogether.
COOPER: You won't -- you're telling me, you won't even be able to see that side?
MYERS: Not. No. Not at all. We will never see that. We're getting one or two-inch rainfall -- snowfall rates coming in about 9:30, 10:00, and we may not even see the building that's right there.
COOPER: So noon tomorrow it'll still be snowing, still be windy.
MYERS: It's still -- it will be tapering off with the snow. But the wind will be blowing it around. So every time a plow comes by, and cleans your street, 30 minutes later, it's going to be drifted shut again.
COOPER: Wow. We're -- Chad is going to be with us throughout these two hours.
The Jersey shore, Chad knows, already took a pounding from Hurricane Sandy. It faces one now. Our Brian Todd is there for us.
Brian, as Chad was just saying, the wind is a real problem where you are. How bad is it getting right now?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it is getting very bad. It has really picked up in the last hour. It's not hurricane force yet. But it certainly feels like if you're trying to walk in it or drive in it because it is really limiting visibility, it's limiting your ability to get around. And it's going to cause whiteout conditions in the coming hours when the snow gets heavier.
This is not a vertical snowfall right now in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It's a horizontal one because the wind is just whipping us in the face from the north to the south even though the storm system is coming this way.
Anderson, here's another concern. The tide is starting to come in here. You can see it maybe a little bit over my right shoulder. You may not be able to see it too much in the dark here, but it is cresting over my right shoulder. It is coming in. It is going to be at high tide at about 1:00 in the morning here at Asbury Park. And that is another concern.
So you've got the wind causing whiteout conditions, you've got the tide coming in causing potential flooding in these streets, and then you've got the snow. And we're told that you could get a foot and a half to two feet of snow overnight here in Asbury Park in this area in the coming hours.
The New Jersey Transit System is shutting down in a couple of hours, 10:00 p.m., buses, light rail, trains, they're going to completely stop working then. So they're really bracing for the worst of this, Anderson, in the overnight hours.
COOPER: Hey, Brian, how ready are residents there for the storm? Obviously, as we talked about, one of the areas that was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy have preparations been well under way throughout the day?
TODD: Throughout the day, yes, today. But as I think I heard Chad and some others saying earlier, that this storm didn't really come on anyone's radar as far as being a real threat until really yesterday. So they haven't had a whole lot of time to prepare for it.
We just talked to two young ladies walking down the boardwalk here. Not sure why anyone would want to just take a stroll down the boardwalk at this time of night right now, but they said they are really worried about some of the areas that have not yet recovered from Superstorm Sandy.
We saw some boarded-up houses not far away from here. Here's a man walking his dog. He came down here earlier and said it was not that bad out here. I would tend to disagree. But there are some houses and businesses that have still not recovered from Superstorm Sandy here. And that is a real concern. They're getting hit again a little over two years later with just a devastating storm that can do a lot of damage in a lot of different ways right now -- Anderson.
COOPER: Brian, stick -- stay there because Chad is here with us. He might have a question for you. But again, I mean, for the folks out there, that's the last thing people who are -- you know just getting over Sandy want to see.
It doesn't feel that bad right now, I've got to say. I mean, it's cold, a little bit of wind. But it's no -- it's going to get worse.
MYERS: It's going to get a lot worse here. It's going to get a lot worse for Brian.
Brian, I want you to put your back to the wind. Straight back to the wind. I'm going -- we're going to watch you do it.
MYERS: OK. Now I want you to put your left arm out. And now point your finger with that left arm. That's where the low is. It's not even to you yet. So if you put your back to the low, put your left arm out, that's where the low is. It has -- the wind has to swing around almost 45 degrees before the low gets close to him. And that won't be for another five hours. Yes, five hours of it going downhill before it even starts to get better.
COOPER: And you were saying -- is it true? I mean, Brian was saying that he had heard earlier that we really didn't know this storm was going to be that bad until just about yesterday? Because I mean I was in California on Thursday and Friday.
COOPER: People saying there's going to be a bad snowstorm. But not as bad as we -- as this.
MYERS: No. We had a clipper come by on Monday. It was, you know, two inches for Philadelphia, probably four inches for Dubois, a little bit of snow for Boston. And then all of a sudden right behind that first storm it got really cold. And then a low pressure came from the south and rolled right up behind it. And it is really, really coming down. Especially now here.
I would say from about Long Branch down to Brian is where it's going to get worse in the six hours, all the way to Montauk, and then to Boston and this cape.
COOPER: All right. We'll -- tracking northeast from here, it's a stream of weather warnings and states of emergency all the way.
Brooke Baldwin is in Boston, she joins us now. Chad was just saying Boston is going to get bad. What is it like right now, Brooke?
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You know, it's definitely picked up, Anderson, as far as the snowfall. I mean, it's really, really hitting me in the face. And you're starting -- you're starting to feel the wind as well. That's I think really one of the big story lines, we're anticipating over the course of the next couple of hours.
I mean, just walk with me, let's not trip, and this is all the snow, it's all been here where Boston Harbor. You have the water over here, Faneuil Hall over here. And so this is the snow that's already been out, and they're expecting, as you all have been discussing, maybe, maybe three feet, right? So this is just about what three feet has made.
This is what they're anticipating but keep in mind, Boston knows how to handle snow. This is a town that has dealt with this many, many times over. We just had a crew who came back from the North End, which is this great little Italian district, just this way. They said a fair amount of foot traffic. Not a lot of people, Anderson, are on the roads. People are out and about in some of the restaurants, in some of the bars. They're ready for the snow.
The big variable is, as it is in really across the northeastern corridors, exactly how much they'll get -- Anderson.
COOPER: Chad, how big a deal is coastal flooding in the Boston area?
MYERS: Coastal erosion for sure. And there are a few neighborhoods that the water is going to come around the Cape and into Boston Harbor. And that water could go up about six feet. It will be a storm surge just like we get with the hurricane because this is almost a hurricane.
COOPER: Brooke, you haven't seen any signs of flooding, though, in Boston yet?
BALDWIN: No, not at all. I'm staring at the water, and it is absolutely calm right now.
BALDWIN: But again, I think we're all waiting for the winds to really pick up. And I think just a piece of historic perspective, and, Chad, you know, I'm sure you know all about the blizzard of '78, because a lot of people keep saying, you know listen, Boston got the most snow in that -- in an X period of time, and in '03. But it was really '78, that's the chatter up here right now because that was when this city got stuck and it was horrendous damage.
People were stranded on the highways. And at least people have the heads-up tonight. We've heard from the governor here in Massachusetts, you cannot drive, statewide driving banned after midnight.
COOPER: All right. Brooke, thanks. We're going to check on with you again. We're on until 10:00. And of course our coverage are going to continue after that.
Boston's Mayor Marty Walsh, as you might imagine, a lot to deal with at the moment which is why we're glad he could take the time to talk with us briefly. He's on the phone now.
Mr. Mayor, how's the city handling things so far?
MAYOR MARTY WALSH (D), BOSTON: So far so good. You know, it's picked up here. As you just said, it's getting really windy here, it's a lot -- there's a lot more snow. The roads are pretty quiet right now, which is good. We had our crews out there earlier doing pretreatment of the roads. And now we're getting ready for the full storm hitting us here.
COOPER: How much equipment do you have out there?
WALSH: We have over 800 pieces ready to go on the roads. Generally in a snowstorm we have about 500 to 550, but for this storm we have 800 pieces ready to go in the streets.
COOPER: And I know, obviously, the winds are a big concern for you because the snowdrifts and downed power lines. You have downed power lines yet?
WALSH: Not yet. But we're getting ready for that as well. We have pocket trucks on standby and we've been working with the National Grid here in Boston to be prepared for any type of downed power lines. And we're also, you know, working in -- with different teams just to make sure we stay on top of all this.
COOPER: Mr. Mayor, Chad Myers I know has a question as well.
MYERS: Mr. Mayor, we talked a little bit ago about the neighborhoods that may be threatened with a storm surge, even if it's five or six feet. What are those areas doing right now? What -- are they preparing for this?
WALSH: Yes. I know that there's parts of a -- parts of Dorchester where I live, not my house but parts of the area in Dorchester that there's some homes that are on the water. And this particular a lot of roadways in and around the Boston area that could be affected if a storm surge came in, that would have to shut down. We're certainly keeping an eye on that, making sure those roads get
shut down if they have to be. You know, that is the concern of the city. The concern of -- we don't have a lot of water from Cape Cod or Situate, but we certainly have roads that could be damaged and it could be long term effect if it would be that bad.
COOPER: And, Mr. Mayor, finally, what's the -- at what point do you expect the storm to peak in Boston?
WALSH: Well, they're saying -- you know they're saying it's going to snow all night tonight, through tomorrow. You know it might -- we'll be plowing out there all night into tomorrow. And hopefully, you know, it's not one of those storms that linger. I think the difference in '78, the storm just kind of stopped and hovered for a while.
We're hoping that it's going to continue to move on so that we can begin the process of cleaning up the streets and getting the city opened again so we can -- so we can continue working and do what we need to do here.
COOPER: And I know the governor of Massachusetts put a driving ban starting at midnight for all nonessential vehicles. Your subway systems, buses, commuter trains also halt in midnight. Anything you else you want to tell the people at your city?
WALSH: Yes. We -- there's a parking ban in effect now. Just like to ask everyone, please, if you got your cars on the main thoroughfares, get them off there. And also just to check on your neighbors, make sure that your neighbors are safe, particularly any elderly neighbors or somebody who might be disabled, make sure they're all right, make sure they have enough food and supplies. They need to get through the next couple of days.
And I just ask everyone please stay off the roads. I'd rather be safe. Don't get curious and take a walk down the beach, don't get curious and walk around. You know, the plows can't see you, cars can't see you. If you see homeless folks, call 911 so we can get all the homeless folks off the street. We've been doing that all day long. And just be -- you know, courtesy to your neighbors and make sure everyone's safe.
COOPER: Yes. Bringing people together.
Mr. Mayor, thank you so much. Good luck to you. We'll continue checking with you.
A quick reminder, make sure you set your DVR, you can watch 360 whenever you want.
Coming up next, what it looks like out on the tip of Long Island expected to take worst of this massive storm. We'll be right back.
COOPER: That's the scene in Providence, Rhode Island. We're going to be going to our George Howell who's there in just a moment.
We are less than an hour away from a travel ban going to effect for the entire state of Connecticut. And something similar here in New York at 11:00 p.m. East Coast time. Including the shutdown of the entire New York subway system.
I've never seen that before, Chad, in all the time I've lived here.
MYERS: I heard this afternoon that this was happening. And I'm thinking, how are the people going to get home that are working the late shift? What are they going to do? They're going to walk? That doesn't seem as safe as taking a train. But there are above-ground portions of the train, it's not all a subway.
COOPER: Right. Also the message from officials here and all across the area is very simple, take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK: This will most likely be one of the largest blizzards in the history of New York City.
WALSH: A storm of this size poses a threat to public safety.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: It's dangerous to be out there now. It's only going to become more dangerous.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: This is going to be a lot of snow, no matter how you add it up.
GOV. DANNEL MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: People should act in such a way to make themselves and their families as safe as possible. That's what's most important.
GOV. CHARLIE BAKER (R), MASSACHUSETTS: The most important message for everybody is to get ready to hunker down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Hunker down is a phrase that's always used during storms. You noticed that? People never use the term during regular times. Anyway, I digress.
Hunker down especially in places like eastern Long Island, where Ana Cabrera joins us now.
You're expecting to get -- Ana, you're expected to get two or three feet out there. How is it so far?
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far only a few inches, however, you can see that wind is picking up, the snow is pelting me in the face right now. And if you look behind me, every now and then you'll see a big wind whipping snowstorm and flurries. In fact we're hearing winds are sustained right now above 20 miles per hour with gust above 30 miles per hour. And we're expecting to see some at the height of the storm around 70 miles per hour. I'm going to walk and talk a little bit to give you a better sense.
When you look down on the street, we're really just seeing a few inches. But we've also seen the plows come through really quickly. And as I kick up the snow, Kennedy Point down, you can see just how that wind is really picking it up. In fact, we're already seeing some snowdrift accumulations on the sides where we're seeing, you know, maybe six inches or so of snow really piling up.
And again, when you're talking about feet of snow accumulation, you add in that wind factor, and the snow drifts could really be devastating for this area. Adding on top of the weight of wires, of tree limbs, so there could be some damaging effects. And power outages, a huge concern for this small community.
You can see all the lights here on main street are still on. But people aren't taking any chances. We're hearing they are gassing up their generators, preparing their lanterns, getting extra batteries, and we certainly know they have stocked up on supplies of food and water and all the like, in case this area gets cut off from much of the rest of the region when the snow comes down tonight -- Anderson.
MYERS: Yes. Ana, hey, it's Chad Myers. Those generators you just talked about, one of the most dangerous things you can do is put that thing in your garage and hope that you're going to make power for your house, because that carbon monoxide is a big, big threat. You can't smell it, you can't even taste it, all of a sudden you don't even know it's there and you're in trouble.
But one thing I want to know, are there concerned there about the erosion that's going to be taking place with these 30-foot waves that are going to be coming onshore tonight?
CABRERA: Right. So we haven't even talked about that piece. This poor community could have a triple punch with the snow, the wind and the waves. We do know that the high tide is supposed to happen around 2:00 in the morning. That's when the storm could be at its worst. And we know that it's going to be a result of two to four inches, or two to four feet, I should say, above that normal high tide level with this storm surge because that wind is just going to push all of that water onshore.
And so fortunately, most of the businesses are built up on a hill. But there are definitely risks of coastal flooding and erosion, which could be damaging as well -- Chad and Anderson.
COOPER: Are you sure it's 30-foot waves?
MYERS: Absolutely. Thirty-foot waves is coming onshore. Now a lot of them will be broken offshore, you know, the breakers will be there. But as they crash onshore, a lot of that sand is going to be gone. But it will be taken away. Now when you lose the sand, it starts to erode the coastline itself and then you're finally back to where the houses are.
So that's why you want to leave all those plants on that nice coast. You don't want to be moving those plants out there, or mowing the lawn. You want all of those sea oats to protect your dunes.
Now one more thing I think people are maybe misunderstanding here, yes, there will be high tide at 2:00 a.m., but there'll be another one at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow. That maybe even worst. Because the waves could even be bigger. This storm is just building now.
COOPER: Yes. Ana, try to go inside and get -- get warm. We're going to check in with you a little bit later on as conditions get worse.
I want to get an update now from Rhode Island. Our George Howell joins us live from Providence.
The governor of Rhode Island, George, asked for every Rhode Islander to get off the roads by 8:00 p.m. tonight. What are the roads look like right now?
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, let's show you. Take a -- take a look over here. Jordan, can we see the road? And take a look. No one's out here. I mean, the roads are empty. We're in the center of Providence, Rhode Island. It is a ghost town.
I want to bring in here the mayor, Jorge Elorza. Tell me, sir, what do you think about this? They put the word out. They told people to stay off the streets. Is it happening?
MAYOR JORGE O. ELORZA, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND: Yes. You know I have to give great credit to all of our residents here in Providence and the state. We asked people to stay off the roads, and as you can see, the roads are very, very clear right now. And that -- it's a health and safety thing. It allows our plows to come through and keep our streets clean.
So you know, thank you to all of our residents, and also I have to commend all our public works employees. They're doing an excellent job keeping our streets safe.
HOWELL: And we're getting to see it right here. I mean, these plows are doing the job.
ELORZA: It's happening.
HOWELL: But I did hear officials say, look, the snow is going to come down faster --
HOWELL: Than they can really plow the roads.
ELORZA: It is. It is. And you know it's all about preparation and then execution. A lot went into planning, planning the operations for today. And so far, everything is going well. But, you know, our plan is to stay ahead of the storm. It's a storm of historic proportions. We're simply asking people, please, stay off of the roads. If you stay off of the roads, it allows public works at the city and the state to do our job and we'll get our streets clean.
But that depends on everybody chipping in. And so far, everybody's been a team player. And I have to commend all of our residents here.
HOWELL: Mr. Mayor, thank you so much for taking a moment with me.
ELORZA: All right. Thank you so much.
HOWELL: The other big concern here, these seaside communities.
Keep in mind, Anderson, that 22 of the 39 communities here in the state are right there along the coastal area. And there's a concern about flooding, especially when the high tide happens around 4:27 a.m. That coincides really with the worst of the storm. So, you know, they will be keeping an eye on that as well. As the storm picks up, we're seeing a little more snow come in. The winds are picking up a bit. We expect to be in for quite a night.
COOPER: All right. George, thanks very much.
You know one of the things you don't anticipate until you're actually outside is not just wind coming from one direction. I mean, it's really swirling all around, and it's bringing the snow up from the street and it kind of hit you in the face.
MYERS: Right. This is very light snow. And we talked about the potential for 30 inches of light snow. You'll never see one spot with 30. There'll be zero and then eight feet. That's how the wind is going to blow this around. Just huge drifts. Every time they clear an east-west road, those waves -- the winds are going to blow that drift right back in and those streets are going to be closed again rather quickly. That's why we don't want anybody on the roads out there.
MYERS: That's why all of this travel ban is going into effect. It's the wind blowing the snow around. This will be a blizzard. People will be lost in the blizzard if they're not at their house. So go home and stay there.
COOPER: It's going to be fascinating to see New York essentially shut down. I mean, there's a travel ban in effect.
COOPER: The tunnels shutting down, the bridges as well. Right now, you can still see some buses. You still see some a few taxis. But it's just a handful of vehicles out on what's normally a very busy Columbus Circle here at this time of night.
We're going to have a lot more on the storm coming up next.
Looking at Asbury Park, New Jersey, as we go to break, where high winds and waves are expected to be real trouble. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back. The snowy sidewalks and streets of Boston you're looking at right now, snowy and largely empty, thank goodness. The advice tonight, stay off the roads, stay off the streets, get warm, stay at home. You heard the mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, say it before the break. It's a message being repeated all across the northeast tonight, and will be mandatory Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut in a few hours. Randi Kaye is in New London, Connecticut. She joins me now. Randi, it's the question of the night, what's it like there right now?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's getting worse, Anderson. I can tell you that we've been here for a couple of hours. And we had some light snow when we first got here. But now the flurries are actually bigger, the snow is thicker. It feels like it's sort of poking you in the face. And it's starting to stick. If you look down on the ground here, the sidewalk where we are, this had just a light dusting and now there's a fair amount of snow that you're able to kick around. And it's also, Anderson, getting colder. We had this little temperature gauge with us in the car when it was 80 degrees in the car. We just brought it out here. It says 40.
There's no way it's 40 degrees out here, but that's because it was in the car with us. So, it is dropping pretty rapidly. And the wind is also kicking up, Anderson, as you can probably see. We're expecting winds here anywhere from 40 to 60 miles per hour, and this snow is supposed to be falling at up to four inches an hour. So I think we are just starting to get some of the worst parts of what we are expecting to get hit with overnight here in New London, Connecticut, Anderson.
COOPER: And in the last hour, Randi, the Connecticut police spokesman expressed concern that people weren't heeding the warnings and staying inside. Are you still seeing cars out on the road?
KAYE: Yeah, I mean I say we're seeing more people on foot than we're seeing actual cars driving around. But we have seen some cars. We've certainly seen plow trucks. We're in a pretty busy part of town here. There's actually somebody just from the fire department going by. We have seen a lot of officials. But there are cars going up and down, it's still, you know, a little bit less than an hour before that ban, the travel ban kicks in. The homes here have been pretty quiet. And if you take a look at this park here, this is usually an area that's pretty busy. A lot of people on foot. But tonight it's pretty quiet. A lot of people staying home, probably got their groceries for the next few days and just going to hang out. We've seen a couple of dog walkers, Anderson, but that's about it. As I said, mainly plow trucks and authorities and some fire department trucks. We've seen a couple of officers and even one car being towed. So, they don't want anybody on the streets here.
COOPER: You know, let's hope they've got a lot of equipment out on the streets tonight. Randi, thanks very much. As you were saying, Chad, actually, you know, I look downtown, I actually cleaned a sidewalk outside. I shoveled three times today, basically every two, three hours. You've got to go back out.
MYERS: It was coming down at about an inch and a half an hour for three hours. So that's four and a half inches on the grass in Central Park. But it was some - it was melting. Because yesterday was beautiful, it was a 43-degree afternoon with sunshine. So, a lot of the early snow may have melted on the concrete, just at least a little bit. And now it's just nothing, there's nothing melting, it's all freezing.
COOPER: You are talking about it peaking in New York around noon or so tomorrow. Do you have a sense of when it's over?
MYERS: No, I don't. Because this is a lingering storm. It's going to move about 30 miles per hour, where Alberta Clippers can move 60 or 70 miles per hour. With the Jetstream. This is kind of doing a little loop. And the loop is the problem if it stalls briefly. Even for three hours. And you get three inches an hour. You've now added three times three, that's nine inches on top of the total that you thought you were going to get. That's the rub with this storm. Does it keep moving or does it do a little loop over Cape Cod?
COOPER: We'll be watching closely. Quick note, late word that Amtrak has suspended northeast regional and express service between New York and Boston for tomorrow. It's going to obviously inconvenience a lot of people. I want to go back to Brian Todd in Asbury Park on the Jersey Shore where he's really at the leading edge of the storm right now. Brian, streets pretty empty there?
TODD: The streets are very empty, Anderson. People are pretty much heeding the warnings to not go out in your car, or even on foot. Very few people we're seeing along the boardwalk here or along the streets near the boardwalk. Right now, Anderson, you've got a triple threat along the Jersey shore. The tide, the snow, and the wind, first to the tide, it is coming closer. You can see it there. It's been coming closer and closer over the last couple of hours. In a little less than four and a half hours, it will be high tide here. That's got officials worried about coastal flooding because it won't take much for the heavy wind that we're experiencing now, that's the second part of the threat, to blow some of these waters into the streets, and start to flood the streets. Then you've got the snow. And we're told the worst part of that is coming in the overnight hours.
New Jersey state officials told me a short time ago they expect maybe one to two inches per hour in some of these areas around Asbury Park and along the coast. And that's got them very worried, of course. They're telling people, do not go out on the roads. Do not leave your vehicle out if you feel you're getting stuck. Try to get it off the main roads, off the interstates. Because that creates what they call a cascading effect. It really hinders the ability of the plows, the spreaders, the other trucks to do their jobs and try to clear some of the snow. And they hope that people heed those warnings. You mention transit systems in Connecticut, New York and other places shutting down. It's shutting down in New Jersey within the next couple of hours. 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time. No more light rail, train, or bus service anywhere. So, that's the time everyone's got to hunker down and stay inside, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Brian Todd, thank you. I mean it's really kind of amazing when you think about the limitations on travel that we're going to be seeing, not just tonight, but tomorrow. Amtrak, the train, subways here in New York overnight are shut down. Getting into or out of the northeast by plane is going to be nearly impossible tonight as well as tomorrow. It's going to be a real nightmare for anyone trying to get around.
TODD: Let me rewind the clock a little over a year for Atlanta's Snowmageddon. Had someone said, everybody off the road, we're going to get snow, we're done, everybody go home, that story that, what, took three to five days to go away, would have never happened. This - they're doing the right thing. The mayors, the governors, they're doing the correct thing to keep people off the roadways, from being stuck behind the guy who's stuck in front of you, and all of a sudden you're running out of gas and you're cold and your kids in the back of the car are cold. This is the best thing that could possibly happen.
COOPER: And certainly, in New York City, a lot of offices were telling their people to go home if they came in at all today. A lot of people trying to work from home as well. Getting into and out of the northeast, as I said, by plane very, very difficult, certainly, tonight, tomorrow, and possible, thousands of flights have already been canceled. We are going to update you on all the travel restrictions, particularly aircraft when we come back.
COOPER: And you look at the scene in New London, Connecticut. Tonight we're less than half an hour away from ...
WALKER: OK, it looks like conditions are getting worse there for Anderson Cooper, who's there with meteorologist Chad Myers. We're going to continue this coverage of this massive blizzard that is bearing down on the northeast right now. But Amtrak trains north to Boston from New York have been canceled for tomorrow. And there is no joy at the airport. On any normal day, New York's three - big three, Kennedy, Newark and LaGuardia handle nearly 4,000 flights in and out. Now, this is not a normal day. And tomorrow it won't be either. Rene Marsh is at LaGuardia Airport, which flooded during the worst of Sandy and Rene, what's the latest right now on these flight cancellations?
RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Amara, I mean, take a look behind me here. This is one of the busier airports in the country. And we're pretty much the only ones here. The machines are empty. Look at the ticket counters. I mean it is only 8:42 on a week night. And no one is here. It's a ghost town. The only action happening here at LaGuardia Airport is the plowing happening on the runways to clear out all of the snow. And this is the reason why. This is the reason why. Take look at the boards, the arrivals and departures, looking all the way down from top to bottom, all red, Amara. You know, all of these flights have been canceled today. Nearly 3,000 cancellations tomorrow. More than 4,000 cancellations. And again, things are just going to get worse tomorrow. We're also already seeing cancellations for Wednesday. Anderson?
WALKER: Yeah, it is. COOPER: We actually got knocked off the air. And you get a sense of already - things are starting to get worse. That may happen again. I appreciate Amara jumping in for us. Rene, if you're on the West Coast trying to get to the northeast, are you basically stuck there until Wednesday or so?
MARSH: You could be so for quite some time, because here's the situation. We know that all of the major airlines, Anderson, they have essentially - they have essentially suspended all flights coming into New York City airports, as well as New Jersey, and Boston airports. So, there's no action. A lot of people I spoke to today, they're so frustrated. They're thinking about ditching air travel altogether and hopping on the train. But bad news there as well, because we just got word that Amtrak is canceling many of their routes going from New York to the northeast corridor. Places like Boston, places in the northeast. So bottom line is, travelers are running out of options, Anderson.
COOPER: Yeah. And it seems like - and Chad, it seems like, I mean, at least, I guess until Wednesday, probably.
MYERS: Well, sure. Because you just lost all the flights today. Essentially anything after 8:00, 9:00 didn't do anything. They're not there. So all those travelers want to go. I want to go home on Thursday or Friday. But now the flight that I wanted to be on is booked for the guy who wanted to go today. So, it's just all domino effect. And when you have planes that are 95 percent sold out, you don't just automatically reroute those people that got knocked off the flight. That it takes some time to get them back on empty seats.
COOPER: And we've seen the long lines at supermarkets, a lot of supermarket shelves empty here in New York. People are preparing as they should be. Alexandra Field is in Boston for us tonight. You've been driving around downtown Boston. What are you seeing? How are the roads?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look at this - a lot of the cars that we're seeing out on the roads are the cars that are sort of supposed to be out here, some are the crews that are getting to work, some of the plows that are out here, some of the - the salters and the sanders. We know there is a driving ban that goes into effect, but not until midnight. So, right now the thing that people are really talking about is the parking ban. The city is under a snow emergency. At 8:00, city officials warn that if you were parked on a main street, your car would be towed. And they meant it when they said it, because, Anderson, we're actually seeing tow trucks come out and they've started to pick up cars that have been left here and earlier in the night, when we were driving around, we did actually hear someone driving with a bullhorn warning people, reminding them to get those cars out of those spots, because these are streets that they are going to need to clean up and these are the streets that they are going to want to clean first. These are the priority roads in Boston.
As we've been driving around over the last couple of hours, we're seeing more of this snow starting to stick. We are also noticing that most of the stores, most of the restaurants have closed. Of course, you know, it's Boston. We're seeing a few bars, restaurants open here and there. We have seen some people out on the street, and Anderson, I just have to point out, because it's almost been amusing to our crews, we drive around, that the majority of the people that we seem to see out here on the streets are joggers. This is Boston. The marathon is 84 days away. And some people just don't want to seem to hang up those sneakers just yet. Although, I think, at this point they're going to be pretty much forced to.
COOPER: Wow. They are jogging at this time of the night in these conditions, that's a hearty athlete right there. Alexandra Field, thanks very much. We'll check in with you.
Joining me now on the phone is the Brooklyn Bureau President Eric Adams. Mr. Adams, how is Brooklyn coming with the storm so far?
ERIC ADAMS, BROOKLYN BUREAU PRESIDENT: Good. Good. I almost feel bad, because I'm getting ready to go out and do a quick jog. You know.
COOPER: Oh, good. Wow!
ADAMS: This is good. The streets are clear. The mayor and his team has done an excellent job of really cleaning the streets, just staying ahead of the snow.
COOPER: The tram, a public transport stops at 11:00, travel ban going to affect all the roads at the same time. What of people who have to work past that time, how are they going to be able to get home?
ADAMS: You now, this is a 24-hour city, so it's always -- it becomes an issue when you talk about closing down transportation. I think what the mayor did, and OEM did, by putting the message out early enough, as you remember the snowfall of 2010, many buses were stuck as they tried to navigate the streets, with the snowfall. And so they just really moved on the side of caution, so that people could know early enough so they won't be stranded.
COOPER: What happens if somebody is found out driving, you know, after the ban goes into effect? I mean is it a warning, or what actually happens?
ADAMS: I know on the highways, it was handed down to my office that if you're on the highways, you can receive a $300 summons for that. So they're taking this seriously. We learned from Hurricane Sandy that you don't mess with Mother Nature. And we've got one of the best teams on the field. So using a football analogy, when a team is on the field, that they shouldn't come on the field, to get in the way of trying to move these ball down the field from cleaning these roads.
COOPER: The Subway system, bus service, how long do you expect it to be stopped for? Do you know?
ADAMS: I'm not sure. I think that when you're dealing with storms like this, Anderson, as you probably know better than I, that you really have to call it as it moves forward. You know, sometimes it seems as though it's not going to be that harsh, then out of nowhere Mother Nature starts dumping on us some serious weather. So I think OEM and the mayor's office is going to call it based on how they see it moves forward.
COOPER: One of the things I was surprised to hear, the mayor specifically said the travel ban also applied to food deliverymen on their bikes. That's also the case obviously in Brooklyn, right?
ADAMS: So true. The winds are really blowing out there. The roads are hazardous. It is extremely slippery. You know, just driving on the road, or riding a bike, if one falls or stumbles, you could create an accident. And then it will overburden the already - 911 system, and the emergency responders, that have to be responding to a large number of calls. So the least we do to get in the way of that, the better we are.
COOPER: Eric Adams, I appreciate you talking to us. Have a good run. And we'll talk to you maybe when you get back. It's another thing to consider, Chad, is, you know, just as somebody said earlier, it's difficult for some of the operators of these big vehicles that are out trying to clear the snow to see somebody riding a bike, to see somebody out walking around. There's a lot of danger for pedestrians.
MYERS: There is. And there's also something that our Mike Brooks brought up to me. When the snow finally comes, those people would love for you to clear around the fire hydrant so that they know where that fire hydrant is in case there's an emergency. If you get 20 inches or 25 inches of snowfall, or a drift over the fire hydrant, and they can't find it, then it costs them emergency time that maybe - the time to help your house.
COOPER: All right. Thanks. We're going to - we are going to have an update from the streets at Times Square. Usually, you know, packed with tourists, even when it's cold out, but certainly not tonight. We'll take a look there when we come back. Quick break.
COOPER: Hey, welcome back. We're here in New York City. Broadway shows went dark tonight. Many have canceled performances tomorrow as well. Ashleigh Banfield joins us now from what truly now is the great white way. So, Ashleigh, I understand you've been driving around Manhattan. Where are you now? What do things look like?
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're just on Seventh Avenue. And Anderson, you know, from our place, where we work down to Times Square, it usually takes anywhere from, I don't know, ten to 20 minutes to drive. There's no one out here. I mean this is as clear as it gets. When you're going into Times Square. I'm driving you in there, so you're about to see the big bright lights of Times Square. But as you just said, bright lights, but no city when it comes to theater. I mean it is effectively dark, even though the lights are on. But here's what the great news is. I talked to the office of emergency management. They've been driving around just like us. And we've got permission to be out here even though in two hours, you're out here, you get caught, a $300 ticket. And they hope not to make arrests. They are very serious about this. People are taking their warnings and their heeds seriously. Very few cars out. Very few of those yellow cabs out as well. But what we have been seeing are some of those giant garbage trucks that are affixed with the snow plows. That's how New York City gets the number of pieces of equipment to clear the 6,000 miles -- I said that right -- 6,000 miles that they expect to have to clear before tomorrow, and the big part of the storm is over.
We're in the lull right now. That's a great thing. But we just talked to the weather folks who said get used to your lull, because it will be over in about an hour, and you're going to have another big, big band of snow. So, we are expecting - but what you're seeing out the front as we head into Times Square will be nothing like this shortly. So, again, a couple of cabs, but very few people. And that's a good thing. Also, I want to show you real quickly, if you just pop back to my camera, this is what just came out on the -- what came out on the alert, we're getting these alerts that say 11:00, you better be off the streets. So, that's something we weren't expecting to see.
And I do want to just hop out on the side of the road if I can, for a minute, so I can show you, when you talk about tourism, Times Square is usually jammed at six minutes to 9:00 Eastern time. Look at this, Anderson, it is Deadsville out here. Hold on one sec. There's no way that I would be able to do this on any other night. But it's very, very quiet. That's a great thing. I've got to be honest with you, if you knew the stats of what these guys have got to do, they are up against really big odds to try to get this city cleared. They're effectively driving the distance with the snow plows between New York and Los Angeles and back again. That's how much roadway needs to be cleared. 126,000 tons of salt, and I'm just watching one of the sanitation trucks go by, big and noisy, but it's got a nice clear path right through Times Square which would usually be teeming with people.
Again, no one in the theaters, no one seeing cabaret tonight, no one seeing (INAUDIBLE) tonight, no one is seeing "The Lion King" tonight, but that's a great thing because it would be jammed with cabs afterwards otherwise if they were. 1,800 pieces of equipment snow plowing these streets between now and tomorrow, to keep it clear. And 2,400 workers, Anderson, are going to be doing shift one. Shift two is another 12 hours and another 2,400 workers. So it's going to be mighty busy. And for all the kids who are out of school in New York City tomorrow, they're being asked not to go to Central Park because it's just too dangerous with trees and limbs that can break with all the heavy snow and winds.
COOPER: Ashleigh, thanks very much for that.
Since you are able to drive around, you have special permission, I might ask you for a ride home. Because I'm not sure how I'm getting home tonight. We're live throughout the next hour here in New York City, covering the storm that is bearing down right now. It is starting to get very, very cold. You might hear I'm starting to freeze up here, a little bit making it hard to talk. The National Weather Service calling this life threatening, the storm. Also, historical. I'll have all the latest on conditions throughout the northeast when we continue. I'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)