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Hurricane Nate Crashes Into Gulf Coast; Trump on North Korea: Only One Thing Will Work; Police Analyzing Note Shooter Left in Hotel Room; White Nationalists March in Charlottesville Again; Conservationist Hoped to Protect Patagonia Forest. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 7, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:26] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.
It is a state of emergency right now on the American Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida. Hurricane Nate, a strong Category 1 storm right now is closing in on the coast with about 90 mile-per-hour sustained winds right now.
The city of New Orleans is under curfew. Casino resorts in Mississippi closed and evacuated. Florida's Governor activating the National Guard and advising people in the panhandle to stock up on food and water to last several days perhaps.
Meteorologist Tom Sater at the CNN severe weather center is joining us.
Tom, just how powerful is Hurricane Nate right now?
TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center just moments ago dropped sustained winds from 90 miles per hour to under 85. It's still a Category 1, but what's more interesting to note is it's been very difficult to see an eye on the satellite imagery.
So we've been looking at radar. And what they are saying right now, they believe we had a landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Hard to see where the eye is right now, even on radar, because we just do not have any moisture on the western end or southwestern end of this eye. In fact, New Orleans, right now, looks like they're just getting some scattered light rain. Most of the precipitation is to the north.
So if this is true -- and we believe the National Hurricane Center because they know what's going on here -- we've got a landfall, then half the eye has to make its way over land to qualify for that.
But, again, if you talk about New Orleans, I don't want to say you're in the clear, but he's a live picture of Bourbon Street. Light rainfall. Most of the wind is to the east, not to the west. And we're hard pressed to even find gale winds on the western end of this. So, again, dry air has been trying to move into this. It's slowed in
its speed. At one time today, 26 miles per hour. Now, movement, it's north at 20.
And so when you lose the bright colors here, Ana, what you're talking about is a system, we believe, is trying to lose its punch. Although, we're seeing a little convection in those bright colors near the core. That means it's going to be the core that causes the problems.
It's going to be the core that we have the stronger winds. And to the east is where we're going to have the storm surge. And this where we'll probably see some power outages.
But it's not a broad storm right now. We're losing all the severe elements to the west, which is great news for New Orleans.
Their big concern, we've been mentioning all night, is Lake Pontchartrain because as the core moves up toward the coastline, the winds will be out of the north in Lake Pontchartrain. That's why we can see, maybe, a three to six-foot storm surge, and that will be in the northern areas of New Orleans. So that's the concern there.
Other problems we're starting to see now, heavy amounts of rain in the Mobile Bay and some severe weather. We've had a number of tornado warnings that were in the Mobile Bay area. They have just been allowed to elapse so that's some good news.
But these bands that are coming in from the south will create the surge, will create the threat for more tornadoes. There will be more sirens that have been going off. There will be more warnings that will be issued later on.
But because it's a fast-moving storm, unlike Harvey, rainfall totals will be kept to a minimum. So this is fabulous news as well.
Sure, there'll be some ponding and there will be some flash flooding concerns, but it's not going to be widespread. I mean, Pensacola, near four inches more. Mobile, 4-1/2. These could be much, much worse. So it's a fast-moving storm that will lift quickly.
Some of the wind gusts can expect to be over 60, even 70. We'll watch Mobile getting up to around 57 and gulf shores, 68. But this is not an Irma. This is not a Maria.
Power outage map for you, quickly, just to give you an indication. Anything in orange is going to be a higher risk. That is the east of the center so that's the panhandle of Florida, that's some areas even up in the northeastern parts of Georgia, but nothing widespread.
So all good news. The biggest threat, as mentioned, is going to be that storm surge, and we'll talk more about that in detail in the next 30 minutes.
CABRERA: Your forecast has a little bit of good news.
SATER: Yes. CABRERA: But we don't want to speak to soon there because this is
CABRERA: -- just the beginning of the storm and the impact on the U.S. Tom Sater, thank you.
Let's go out now to the places where Hurricane Nate is making itself seen and felt. Meteorologist Derek van Dam is in Gulfport, Mississippi; Ed Lavandera in Mobile, Alabama; and CNN's Rosa Flores in New Orleans.
Derek, what is the current situation there in Gulfport?
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good evening, Ana. We actually had to move from Gulfport to Biloxi, but I want you to listen, what we hear right now.
That's the emergency sirens that are going off here in Biloxi. Those were installed post-Katrina in 2005, meant to send the emergency signal to people who don't have access to Internet, don't have access T.V. broadcast news, and perhaps are hard of hearing. They want to get the message across, civil message, that there is an emergency that's about to take place and pending danger for this area.
[20:05:07] And that is what we expect. We have a landfalling hurricane within in the next six hours. And, of course, we're going to sound the sirens. We're getting the word out.
If you're in susceptible low-lying areas, coastal storm surge is a threat. You need to get away and up to higher ground, if at all possible.
We are in Biloxi, as I mentioned before, but 12 of the casinos and hotels right along the Harrison County coastline have been shut down. There's mandatory evacuations. You can see and hear the emergency sirens still ongoing.
There hasn't been a real surge of water just yet, although we do still expect that because the official track from the National Hurricane Center has the eye, the very compact eye from Hurricane Nate, just to our west.
And if you heard Tom Sater, a moment ago, talking about how compact the storm is, the bulk of the heavy winds, the bulk of the worst conditions, really on the east side of the storm. And that puts Biloxi in a very precarious position for strongest winds, heaviest rain, potential of tornadoes, and storm surge.
Ana, back to you.
CABRERA: OK. Derek there in Biloxi for us. Thank you.
Ed, you are in Mobile, Alabama. Are you seeing the conditions there change yet? ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, we've actually
been watching a steady amount of rainfall, but the winds have really not been that intense here in these early evening hours.
Obviously, that is expected to change a little bit as we are -- we'll be on what appears to be the eastern edge of the storm. And as you've heard us report here over the last few minutes, that appears to be the side of the storm that will be of greatest concern for this area.
We've also heard those storm sirens going off here in the city of Mobile just a little while ago, and those tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings starting to pop up throughout the region. And not just here on the coastal areas, but also as you push inland further north toward Montgomery, Alabama as well.
So as this storm continues to push north, people need -- really need to be aware of what other kind of storm systems can pop up out of this hurricane as it moves to the north and comes on shore.
It doesn't really mean that, even though the storm is clearly not as strong as a Maria or an Irma or a Harvey, that it cannot spawn some sort of dangerous weather situations as the hours progress here into the overnight hours. So that will be a great concern.
Another question here is high tide will be close to around 1:00 this morning. That really can complicate things, depending on how serious and how severe the storm surge ends up being along these coastal areas.
But with that high tide kind of coinciding at the same time as this storm and the brunt of this storm is coming onshore, that that can also intensify and amplify the storm surge problems that will result from Hurricane Nate. So that will be something to watch out for here in the coming hours as well. Ana.
CABRERA: Ed, we know that the Director of the Emergency Management Department there in Mississippi had put out a message earlier, and I quote, saying, this is going to be the worst hurricane since Katrina. Those are some powerful words, clearly meant to make sure people don't take this storm lightly.
LAVANDERA: You know, I think that is probably a concern for emergency officials because the fact of the matter is, we've driven from New Orleans all the way to Mobile throughout the day today. And to say the least, that this has been a very relaxed approach by most people that we've seen.
We drove through the town of Pascagoula, Mississippi. Waterfront homes there. Just a small number of people who had boarded up windows or seemed to be evacuating those areas.
So, I mean, I think it's safe to say that from -- throughout much of this region, there's a very relaxed approach. Whether that's hurricane fatigue from so many of these hurricane storms making news over the last month and a half, or they just doesn't think that there is -- it is going to be as serious as a threat as we've seen from other storms.
There's just a relaxed approach to this, and many people are kind of feeling that they will be able to weather whatever it is this hurricane brings along. So I know that that tends to make emergency management officials and the first responders a little bit nervous.
That means people are a little bit more bold, maybe take chances that they shouldn't take, here especially in the overnight hours. So, obviously, that's why those emergency management officials are putting out those warnings and those suggestions tonight.
CABRERA: All right, Ed, thank you. I want to turn to Rosa now.
You are there in New Orleans. We know there was a curfew that was enacted, starting at 7:00 your time so that was about 10 minutes ago. Nobody allowed on the streets. And it looked a lot quieter behind you than it was last time we checked in about an hour ago. So are people complying with the curfew in effect?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, for the most part, we are seeing that people are complying. There are very few people out in the streets. But more than anything, I can tell you that most of the businesses are closed, and that was one of the big things, of course, that draws people to the French quarter.
[20:09:57] There's been very light rain, Ana, as our meteorologist was mentioning moments ago. It almost feels like New Orleans is completely missing this hurricane, which would be great news.
But of course, this city prepared heavily for it, recommending that people secure their patio furniture, clear their catch basins, move their cars to higher ground, to the median, because, here in New Orleans, that is higher ground. And it's also asking people to secure food and water and supplies for at least three days because this city is expecting not only a wind event but also a surge event.
And I know we've talked about storm surge all the time when we talk about hurricanes, but there are so many low-lying areas in South Louisiana along the Gulf Coast. Some of those areas are under mandatory evacuation.
We're talking about the areas of Grand Isle, lower Plaquemines Parish, and parts of the eastern portion of Orleans Parish, areas like Venetian Isles, Irish Bayou, because those areas are outside the levee protection system, that protection system that was set up after Hurricane Katrina.
There's a lot of concern that that storm surge can still happen. Between seven to 11 feet, we're told by city officials here. And of course, there -- New Orleans is in an interesting position because not only do we have the Mississippi River, which is in front of me, but there is Lake Pontchartrain. And that is directly connected to the Gulf of Mexico.
So the north shore here definitely could see storm surge, three to five feet maybe. For certain areas, if people are not heading the warning, that could be very dangerous because, Ana, as --
FLORES: -- as my colleague, Ed Lavandera, was mentioning just moments ago, we're seeing people very relaxed. It's -- we've been driving around many of these neighborhoods in New Orleans, and a lot of people have their patio furniture still outside.
We're not seeing the boarded buildings, the boarded homes. We're not seeing a lot of that. And as we were mentioning earlier, first responders get a little nervous sometimes if people get too relaxed, maybe perhaps too fatigued.
FLORES: We've seen a lot of very dangerous hurricanes. This doesn't feel like a very dangerous one. And so that's when things can get dicey and dangerous for certain people in certain situations, if that surge hits a certain way or a certain area --
FLORES: -- or a part of a neighborhood that could put people in trouble.
CABRERA: Right. Even a storm surge of five feet, I mean, that's head high for those of us who are on the shorter side. It's nothing to mess around with.
Rosa, Flores, Ed, thank you all.
Coming up, President Trump sends cryptic tweets about North Korea, saying only one thing will work. We'll discuss, next, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[20:16:28] CABRERA: Back to our top story this hour. Hurricane Nate, making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane. And joining us now from New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
Mayor, thanks for spending time with us. You are seeing the latest forecast as we are watching as well. At this point, what are you expecting there in New Orleans, specifically?
MAYOR MITCH LANDRIEU, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA (via telephone): Well, this is more like a wind event and a storm surge event than it does a rain event. And so, as you know, we spent a lot of money on our risk reduction strategy.
And right now, there is not a threat to interior New Orleans from storm surge, but there is a significant threat for those parts of New Orleans and the other parts of coastal Louisiana that are outside of the levee barrier. And so that storm surge could be nine to 11 feet.
But one of the good things about this storm, to the extent that there could be anything good about them at all, is this storm is really busting at about 22 miles per hour. And that is -- that is an exceedingly fast storm. So that's one that hits you hard and then it moves past you.
We think we're really well prepared for it, but any time you have Category 1 and Category 1 winds, you know, projectiles can hurt people. And you know, we've asked people to stay off the highways and coastal roads for the most part.
CABRERA: Now, we have been showing people on CNN, people on the French quarter on Bourbon Street partying, like it's any other Saturday night with no plans.
LANDRIEU (via telephone): Isn't that often -- isn't that always the case? You know, you're always going to have some people that don't listen to you. But outside of the French quarter, I've been on the streets most of the day and I'm out in the east as we speak, most people are paying attention to the curfew.
And, of course, I would reiterate to them that this thing -- this storm is moving so quickly, the great danger is that people will take it lightly. And because of the storm winds and the surge, people can get caught and then put our first responders, you know, in a difficult situation of having to rescue them. And so that's the great danger, and people should not let their guard down.
CABRERA: What did you and your emergency experts do? You hinted at this, but you've been preparing for this pretty significantly in the past couple of days. What types of preps have you put in place?
LANDRIEU (via telephone): Well, as anybody who has done this knows that every storm is different, and every one brings you a different threat. And often times, storms will bring you things that you don't expect.
So we prepare for electrical outages. We prepare for storm surge. We prepare for wind. We prepare for flood. We prepare for all of it.
And that's what we've been working through. We keep drilling through a bunch of different scenarios, you know. You got to have clear command and control, clear coordination, clear communication, and you got to have good execution.
And our teams are really leaning forward and I'm proud of them, but we can only do so much. If the citizens don't cooperate and they get themselves in harm's way, it can put a lot of other people in harm's way as well.
So we're hoping that they heed the warnings of their county official or their city official, all across the Gulf Coast. And tomorrow morning, hopefully this thing will be past us, and we won't have any loss of life.
CABRERA: I hope so, too. Here's your chance on CNN to give any other message you want to get out there. What do you want to tell the citizens? LANDRIEU (via telephone): I would just say it is really important to
listen. If you're not in New Orleans and you have other county executives or parish executives, listen to what they tell you. And if we ask you to get off the street, get off the street.
You know, if somebody in the French quarter is staying out because they think it's cute to get hit by a flying projectile, a stop sign that gets, you know, pulled up or a piece of debris, and that could be a serious injury. Or if you go out to the lake just because you think it's a fun thing and you get swept into the water.
Lots of things can happen, especially on this storm because it's at night. And that's a real threat, you know, to folks. And so this is really an easy one for people to ride out. Just go home, relax, wake up tomorrow morning. And let's hope we get through this and have the best and not the worst.
CABRERA: Definitely. It sounds like you're prepared for the worst, but we do hope for the best.
LANDRIEU (via telephone): We are --
CABRERA: Mayor Mitch Landrieu, thank you.
LANDRIEU (via telephone): We are prepared for the worst as always. We hope for the best. We've got a great team. We've got a great plan. And now, we just got to execute.
[20:20:04] CABRERA: All right. Good luck.
LANDRIEU (via telephone): Ana, thank you so much.
CABRERA: Thank you again, Mayor Landrieu.
Well, let's turn to the latest tweets from the President. More cryptic comments from President Trump today. It has been a tumultuous week for the White House, and the President tweeted this earlier this afternoon on North Korea.
Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years. Agreements made and massive amounts of money paid hasn't worked. Agreements violated before the ink was dry, making fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work.
And then here's what the President told a group of reporters on the White House lawn about those North Korea tweets. Listen carefully.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you mean by the tweet?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nothing. There's nothing to clarify.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about on North Korea? What's the one thing that will work with North Korea? TRUMP: You will figure that out pretty soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: You will figure it out pretty soon, when asked, what is the one thing that will work?
White House Reporter Kaitlan Collins is joining us now live from Greensboro, North Carolina where the President is now attending a campaign fundraiser tonight.
Kaitlan, the President is talking about this one option in his tweet regarding North Korea, but you heard something different from the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, after the President tweeted that, we reached out to the Press Secretary to ask what the President meant by the one thing that's left for North Korea.
She didn't add anything further to the President's remarks but did confirm that all options are still on the table for North Korea. That's something she said during the press briefing at the White House yesterday, but the President continues to make remarks like this.
After Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently told reporters that he has a line of communication to North Korea, the President swiftly got on Twitter and told Tillerson not to waste his time trying to negotiate with North Korea and, quote, we'll do what has to be done.
So we're definitely seeing these vague remarks from the President. We saw another one this week at the White House as he had a meeting with senior military leaders. And he went -- reporters went into the room, and he, unprompted, made this remark about it potentially being the calm before the storm.
When he was asked, what storm? The President didn't clarify but offered one of his favorite phrases, which is, "You'll find out."
And during that talk on the north lawn with reporters just now, the President was asked about that and asked to clarify what he meant, what storm he was talking about. And he said he felt like he had nothing to clarify.
So what is really clear here is we don't know what the President means by that, but we do know that he is enjoying having people left guessing.
CABRERA: And by not clarifying what he meant by that one thing regarding North Korea, the President is leaving a suggestion of war just hanging out there. Could that really be his intent?
COLLINS: Well, he's definitely fueling some questions by what he means with these vague remarks, and it certainly raises eyebrows when he says things like "the calm before the storm," and "there's only one option left in North Korea." But after North Korea's country -- the country's Foreign Minister made
this remark, saying the United States had declared on them, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about that at the briefing last month. And she said that was an absurd thing to say, and that they have not declared war on North Korea.
But that's the last we've heard from them on that. And it seems like the President is going to continue to make these vague remarks, Ana.
CABRERA: Kaitlan Collins, thank you very much. Let's dig a little deeper into President Trump's tweets and comments on North Korea today with World Policy Institute Fellow Jonathan Cristol.
Jonathan, do -- the President's tweets essentially suggesting war might be that one thing in terms of dealing with North Korea, do you have a problem with that?
JONATHAN CRISTOL, FELLOW, WORLD POLICY INSTITUTE: Well, yes, I have a pretty big problem with it.
I mean, first of all, he's right in one sense. If the goal of the United States is to get rid of North Korea's nuclear weapons and nuclear program, war is probably the only way to do that. But that's not actually the goal that we should be trying to achieve.
And these tweets, imagine in Pyongyang, what they have to make of them. Because if they think that we are about to attack them, that is about the only reason they have to actually launch an attack of their own against the South and against U.S. forces.
As long as they don't think we're going to do that, they have no reason to actually mount their own first strike. And so it's a very dangerous situation.
CABRERA: So do you think the President's vagueness actually creates a greater vulnerability for, especially, our allies in the region?
CRISTOL: Oh, absolutely. I mean, you have the people in Pyongyang who really have to analyze this. And then in Seoul, you have to wonder not only what is the intent of the U.S. President, but what will the reaction be in the North? Because if you're in Seoul and you think that North Korea might think that there is an imminent U.S. strike, then what do you do in reaction to that?
[20:25:06] And I am not saying that we really are about to launch a first strike. I don't think Trump is saying that either. But by using this sort of careless language, from the person who is the only person who can make that decision, I think it puts a lot of people at great risk.
Now, it's not that the probability of something catastrophic happening is high. I think the probability is low. But it's a low probability, very high impact event.
CABRERA: But how do you think Kim Jong-un is going to respond to this because he usually does respond? CRISTOL: Well, I mean, this is what is sort of unknown. I mean, he
will -- there will undoubtedly be another Korean -- North Korean missile test. Maybe from a submarine, maybe another ICBM test.
Now, is it going to be directly in response to this? They might frame it that way, but they will, most likely, be planning such a thing anyway.
I think they still really are going to be planning a response to the U.N. General Assembly speech beyond what we've seen. And so I would be very surprised if there isn't a North Korean test sometime in the next couple of weeks.
CABRERA: Is there any sign that the new sanctions that have been put on North Korea are having an impact?
CRISTOL: Well, I think that we've seen that they are having an impact in certain ways. Like they might be impacting the functioning of some aspects of the Korean -- North Korea government abroad, and possibly having impact on people in North Korea. But are they having an impact on the missile program and the nuclear program? No, I don't think so.
And I think that North Korea will devote whatever resources necessary to those programs. And I think that tweets like these only further show them that they need nuclear weapons that can hit the United States to protect themselves from something that we might do without really thinking it through too much.
CABRERA: So you believe the President's tweets are actually counterproductive?
CRISTOL: Well, they're certainly counterproductive. Now, again, I am not blaming the tweets on the -- I'm not blaming North Korean aggression directly on the President because they are an aggressive country anyway. But I do think, ultimately, it is counterproductive.
CABRERA: Jonathan Cristol, thank you, as always, for your insight and analysis. Nice it see you.
CRISTOL: Thank you.
CABRERA: Up next, new details on the investigation into the massacre in Las Vegas, what we are learning about the hunt for a motive. We go live to Nevada next. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[20:31:16] CABRERA: We have brand new details tonight about that cryptic note found inside the Las Vegas shooter's hotel room. You can see it here on a table. It appears to be under a tape roll.
Well, police had said the only thing written on that paper were numbers. And tonight, investigators think they know what those numbers mean. I want to bring in CNN's Stephanie Elam in Las Vegas with us with this new information.
Stephanie, what can you tell us?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well, it looks like those numbers, Ana, are actually calculations. Now, the CBS was the first to report this, what they believe these numbers are.
Officials believe that these were calculations for the trajectory from the shooter's window down to the concert venue site, related to the distance of that, what would be necessary, what he would do related to that.
We also know that he was trying to purchase tracer bullets, something that would show -- sort of be able to show the trajectory of those bullets after he fired them from his window, but he was not able to purchase them when he went there. We're told that was because they were not in stock.
So just learning a little bit more here about what was found inside of that hotel room, and this was just one other clue. But still, at this point, Ana -- and this is what's been very frustrating -- there's still no clear motive as to why the 64-year-old would do such a heinous, heinous crime as he did.
CABRERA: You know, one of the law enforcement experts I've been talking with said we should be focusing a bit more on these explosives. More than 50 pounds of tannerite inside the shooter's car there at the hotel. Do investigators know what that was all about, what he, maybe, planned to do with it?
ELAM: Right, 50 pounds of tannerite, which is -- can be used as an explosive, along with 1,600 rounds of ammunition. This is also very perplexing to authorities as well. Take a listen to what they said about what this discovery inside of the shooter's car.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNDERSHERIFF KEVIN MCMAHILL, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: I don't know what he was doing it, but I -- to be clear, we found no evidence that his vehicle was -- or that material and his vehicle had intended to be used as an IED within that vehicle.
The answer to your question as well is I don't know what he was going to do with it. It's one of the mysteries of this actual attack. It's one thing that my investigators as well as the FBI continue to try to figure out. And that's one of the main focuses of our investigation today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ELAM: And the Undersheriff also saying that they continue to look at, like, thousands of leads that they have followed up, and it's still not making it very clear as to why he would have done this. But still, it makes people believe that there may have been more that he may have been planning.
They also said that they have reason to believe that he was trying to make it out of the suite, but they did not want to let on what that may at this time, Ana.
CABRERA: Stephanie Elam, we hope for more answers in the coming days and hours ahead. Thank you.
[20:34:14] We are tracking Hurricane Nate as it makes landfall. We will have the very latest forecast next. Stay with us. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: We are staying on top of Hurricane Nate, which has now made landfall here in the U.S. as a Category 1 hurricane. Let's get the bigger picture of the storm from the CNN severe weather center. Tom Sater has the latest data, watching the hurricane speed, the direction of Nate.
Tom, is this hurricane what you expected?
SATER: For the most part, yes. The path is much like what we expected, which was like Lili back in 2002. Came up from the south, moved in as a Category 1. Again, a first week of October storm. But we didn't see the rapid intensification because the speed was quite strong, and that's always good news.
Now, as you mentioned, we did have our first landfall at the mouth of the Mississippi just before the 8:00 hour. But we could see a second one now on coastal Mississippi because there is some water in between Plaquemines Parish and to the north. That could be around Gulfport.
Let me show you the models of what we were thinking at one time. The change here is that we've had a shift to the east, which is good news for New Orleans. That's why on the western edges, we're not seeing the strong winds with this. We're not seeing much in the way of even rainfall.
But as the system moves north, where the computer model is still pretty much in agreement with that, that little shift to the east may have spared New Orleans. Just like we had seen with Irma shifting a little bit for parts of Tampa Bay.
Tornado watch now is being extended now. This is our next concern. As we're going to see the system closer to our shoreline, we're going to start to see these bands move in, not just for the threat for tornadoes but our storm surge.
Let's break that down for you because we do have a few warnings, too, right around Gulf shores and toward Mobile. But I want to show you the coastline and why the surge is such a big deal.
If we get in closer to New Orleans, even though they're not going to be in the wind threat, there's a little bit of a problem at Lake Pontchartrain because now the winds are going to start coming out of the north.
With the system to the east, that's going to shove water, maybe three, six feet, up against, of course, the levees. Now, these are the ones that were breached during Katrina. But for the most part, this shouldn't be a problem. It's still three to six feet.
[20:39:56] Then you get in from Bay St. Louis. The water is going to be shoved up into the bay, Pass Christian, Gulfport, all this area, toward Biloxi as well. As we continue to slide to the east, Pascagoula is going to see some problems. And then we'll see that even into areas of Mobile Bay.
So let me show what you the storm surge should look like. In fact, they are talking, in some cases, it could be quite heavy. When you have a storm surge, again, as the center gets closer, the feeder bands shoving the water up in the shoreline, expecting, in some cases, what could be seven to 11. That's above dry ground.
So we break it down even more for you, and let you know how is it going to look community by community? And this is a good breakdown. Anything you see in yellow is three to six feet. Orange is six to nine. Anything red is over nine.
So here's Pascagoula. This is where we had our landfall. And we also, of course, had our first hurricane gust at 74 miles per hour. Then into Bay St. Louis. Notice the northern coast like is red. That's above nine feet.
Along this entire coast all the way to Gulfport, there is red -- it's hard to see -- in toward Biloxi, up in the channels, up in -- and, of course, all the little river inlets. That's where the water is going -- not just going to shove up into the coastline. It's going to find every little way it can make its way inland.
Pascagoula in yellow again. That's three to six. You get into the orange, so that's six to nine. So we're still looking for a red. It's even worse than that, but it's not so bad.
Mobile, you're going to be one to three, in blue. Three to six, in yellow. So it's still a concern, obviously, Ana as we continue to watch these storms.
The system is going to make a secondary landfall. We'll continue to keep an eye on it. But the big threat besides the surge right now are these tornadoes that we're starting to see.
And for the most part, we've had a few warnings, and we're going to continue to see them pile up as the stork system continues to make a second landfall in a matter of hours, probably around the midnight hour, local time, Ana.
CABRERA: It sounds like nobody should be breathing a sigh of relief just yet, Tom.
SATER: That's true. That is true.
CABRERA: Thank you for staying on top of it for us. Meantime, more breaking news tonight, this time out of Charlottesville, Virginia. That's the site of that deadly White nationalists rallied back in August. And it appears a group of White nationalists returned to that city tonight, marching with Tiki torches yet again. This is video sent in to CNN by Matt Talhelm. He is a reporter at our
affiliate, WVIR. And I want to bring in Matt right now.
Matt, you're joining us on the phone. Can you hear me?
MATT TALHELM, NBC29 WVIR ANCHOR (via telephone): Yes. Good evening, Ana.
CABRERA: Good evening. What happened?
TALHELM (via telephone): Well, shortly before 8:00, we started hearing a lot of commotion in downtown Charlottesville. This is something we've become used to, especially around big events that are focused on the University of Virginia.
This weekend is the university's bicentennial, so there are tens of thousands of university alumni in town for this big event. And this is the time that these groups really like to focus their attention on these White nationalist messages.
So we headed down to Emancipation Park, which has been the scene of these events before. It's also where there is the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, now under shroud after the death that happened here on August 12th.
In that part, about three dozen of these White nationalists, these alt-right supporters, they were gathered around the statue with their Tiki torches, very similar sights to what we saw here back in May.
This group, again, was led by Richard Spencer. He also was the same person who came here and -- back in May with the Tiki torch group.
He, of course, is a, you know, sort of a self-proclaimed founder of the alt-right. So they were there for less than 30 minutes. They chanted their typical chants, the "you will not replace us." The same message we heard when they marched through the University of Virginia back in august.
They focused their message again on White America, the interest that they believe needs to be -- got to be supported out there. They also left very quickly, ran out of the park, and with their final message, "we will be back."
CABRERA: Wow. So was it expected? Do they -- did you know about this rally, that this was going to happen?
TALHELM (via telephone): We had heard that they were in D.C. earlier today. So with the close proximity to that, kind of expected that possibly something may happen. We had heard some reports that Charlottesville police were aware that there may be some commotion here tonight.
The police response was huge in Emancipation Park there. As soon as these groups showed up with their Tiki torches, there were at least half a dozen police cars surrounding the park. Officers out there, just standing, making sure everything was safe. There was no violence here today, which is a good think, especially
seeing -- considering what happened back in August when the same group, in larger numbers, showed up. But we didn't hear any inkling from these people that they would, in fact, be here.
Richard Spencer is a graduate of the University of Virginia, so any time, again, that something big happens at the university, it does seem to be that he likes to draw the attention to himself and to his cause. So we kind of expected that they were going to be here tonight.
CABRERA: Yes, disturbing to hear. Glad there was no violence. Matt Talhelm, thank you for sharing with us. Good night.
TALHELM: Thank you.
CABRERA: And tonight, we continue to track Hurricane Nate. It has hit the U.S. mainland, the Gulf Coast raising for flooding, for a storm surge that's expected. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Do not go away.
[20:45:03] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Let's head to a place that's on my bucket list to visit, Patagonia in South American. An American conservationist purchased millions of acres of land here to protect and preserve this beautiful region. But some locals, they weren't onboard.
The guy man who bought this land was billionaire Doug Tompkins, one of the founders of The North Face. Now, he died in a kayaking accident in Chile in 2015. His legacy is still alive.
And, Bill Weir, the host of CNN's "THE WONDER LIST," explores Tompkins' story to give us all a window into this part of the world. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This amazing place is home to the smallest deer on the animal, the little pudu. The most agile and intelligent big cat, puma. There are over a thousand different kinds of moss, countless ferns, big trees that were alive a thousand years before Christ walked the earth.
All of which appealed to a certain tree hugger from back east, an adventure lover, adrenaline junkie, a big river rafter, big mountain skier, and big money maker by the name of Douglas Tompkins.
[20:50:12] He dropped out of high school, went west to climb the '70s rocks, and fell in with a group called the Fun Hogs. Summer of '68, they climb into a van in San Francisco, surfed, climbed, skied, and kayaked their way all the way to Patagonia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Bill Weir is joining us now. OK. So, Bill, just the fact that Tompkins was a foreigner, to come in to
buy up all this land --
CABRERA: -- that, obviously, is going to be controversial. But that's not really the whole story. Tell us how this all unfolded.
WEIR: It's so interesting. So Doug, on those trips, when they were sort of the founding fathers of the X-gamers -- anybody who does a Red Bull video, these guys were doing it first -- and he and his buddy, Yvon Chouinard, were frustrated.
They couldn't get enough gear that -- to fit their adventures, so he started North Face, Chouinard started Patagonia. They were millionaires by the time they were in their 30s.
And then Doug went on to found Esprit and made many millions more, but was sort of burnt out on the idea of consumerism. And he used to put tags on his clothes that said: please buy only what you need.
He was a deep ecologist, which is the idea that wilderness is valuable for its own sake. Not the minerals or the timber we can take out, but we need it to survive as a species. And so he just started selling his art collection and buying land, you know. He'd get rid of Modigliani and buy a volcano or a giant fjord down there. And the locals were very suspicious of all of this.
But their idea was to create a national park system on par with the United States, which was such a foreign idea to these folks in Chile and Argentina. Especially when you take in some of the best ranching land in the world and try to take the cows out and put jaguars and pumas back in to try to get it back to its pristine state.
But after all of these fights, all these political fights, they started to give these things, people started to come around. Then Doug died on this tragic kayaking accident with Yvon Chouinard and his Fun Hog buddies, doing what he loved. Went into freezing water and died of hypothermia, after 10 hours of trying to revive him.
WEIR: So the first interview with his widow, Kris Tompkins, was so raw and emotional, as she now carries the mantle of their vision for saving as much of the planet in its wild state as they can.
CABRERA: And again, that was just a couple years ago, his death. What is happening on that land today? Is there still controversy over who should own that land?
WEIR: Absolutely. There's a whole movement of locals called "Patagonia Sin Tompkins," without Tompkins. They see it as just a different kind of colonial imperialism. You know, who are you, gringos, to come down here and tell us how to live, what to do with our land? They -- the Tompkins fought this big dam project that would have
created electrical power and put -- also dammed five of the wildest rivers down there. And so people are resentful that they got political in that movement as well.
But Kris is very determined. She says, look, we are on the edge of a precipice, and we have to go back the other way. We have to move back from the abyss as a human race and realize, we can't -- as millions of people reach new wealth in China and India, not everybody can have five televisions and three cars in the garage.
And I call her on that. You know, they've lived very good lives, private jets and those sorts of things, even though they really tried to shrink their footprint.
CABRERA: Yes, they're not living the simplicity that you think of.
WEIR: Well, she is now. They moved to this little cabin off the grid where everything was locally sourced, even the windows. And the glass in their windows was blown locally.
WEIR: He was a big believer in locally sourced living. You know, buy everything, you know, use the artisans in your area to fill your life.
Can that idea be duplicated 7 billion times over for all the people that are on the planet now? And what about the more impoverished places? So it's a really interesting debate over how much pristine planet is left, who gets to say what we do with it.
CABRERA: And do we need it? Isn't that like the heart of it, right?
WEIR: And do -- and how much we need it, absolutely. Absolutely, yes.
CABRERA: So interesting. I can't wait to see the episode.
WEIR: Thank you, yes.
CABRERA: As you know, I'm a huge outdoor enthusiast.
WEIR: Oh, you're going to love this, yes.
CABRERA: And that is a place I really want to visit someday, hopefully down the road.
And don't forget to watch the first episode of the season, "THE WONDER LIST: PATAGONIA, PARADISE SPOT," a few minutes away at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
But first, let's get another check of Hurricane Nate. It made landfall in the U.S. a short time ago. It is expected to make a second landfall sometime in the next couple of hours along the Mississippi coast. And our meteorologist, Derek van Dam is in Biloxi, Mississippi. Derek, what should people be most concerned about there?
VAN DAM: Well, there's a number of threats, Ana, to this storm, not only from storm surge, here in Biloxi, eastward, to tornado threat to heavy rain and flash flooding. There's all kinds of threats ongoing with the weather deteriorating overnight as the center of Hurricane Nate edges closer and closer to the Mississippi/Alabama coastline.
[20:55:00] Now, speaking to the people here and just kind of getting a general sense of how people are feeling in Biloxi, Mississippi, it's incredible. There was a strange calm around this area today and yesterday when we arrived.
There was no rush to go fill up their tanks with fuel. There was no rush to the grocery stores or to the hardware stores to board up their homes. And is that storm complacency? Is that storm fatigue from the three hurricanes that we've had prior to this? It's hard to tell.
But we don't want to let our guard down because just because this is a slightly weaker storm than Maria, Irma, and Harvey doesn't mean that it doesn't have its own threats associated with it, just like I talked about a moment ago.
Storm surge in this area is particularly dangerous because of the shallow nature of the Gulf of Mexico. It doesn't take much to push up water right into all the bays, the inlets, and all the coastal communities within this area.
That is why there are 12 casinos and hotels that have completely evacuated their entire buildings. That was inclusive of the CNN crew and I having to leave where we were staying tonight because of the potential for floodwater.
We've got a long way to go here, and conditions are only getting worse. Wind is picking up, Ana.
CABRERA: All right. Derek van Dam, thank you for that, in Biloxi, Mississippi. That does it for me, but Brooke Baldwin will be back in one hour with our special coverage of Hurricane Nate. "THE WONDER LIST" with Bill Weir is next. Have a great night.