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Storm Makes Landfall Along Gulf Coast; Trump on North Korea: "Only One Thing Will Work"; Source: Note in Shooter's Hotel Room Had Target Calculations; Turkey Announces Military Operation in Northern Syria. Aired 4-5a ET
Aired October 8, 2017 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[04:00:24] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Storm keeps pushing through the U.S. Gulf Coast and we continue to follow the very latest on hurricane Nate. Many people along the Gulf Coast feeling a little relief now, though.
I'm Natalie Allen.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: That is the good news.
I'm George Howell.
It is the third hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland in just six weeks. It made second landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi. And it wasn't nearly as strong as it could have been. It came in as a category 1 storm that knocked out power to more than 36,000 people in three different states. In Mississippi, Alabama, and in Florida.
Nate's storm surge has been the big concern here. You can see firefighters wading through rising water at a casino parking lot garage, this in Biloxi. That casino and others were closed before Nate's arrival.
ALLEN: Nate is blamed for 28 deaths in Central America earlier this week. The pictures from Costa Rica here. Hundreds were rescued there from flood waters and mudslides.
HOWELL: We have correspondents covering this storm.
Now, we want to go ahead and bring in CNN's Martin Savidge and we also have Ed Lavandera there with us.
But, Martin, let's start with you. The situation there from what you're seeing, has the storm backed off a bit? Do you feel things are improving there in Biloxi?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's definitely not as bad as it was on the front side of this storm. We're on the back side now. The eye actually passed directly over Biloxi.
So, for about an hour, it was downright pleasant. The rain had stopped. The wind was down to a few miles an hour. It was suddenly peaceful. But then it picked right up again. The thing we noticed about the back side here is that hardly any rain,
which is, of course, good when you're worried about issues like flooding. Storm surge was a problem. Highway 90, which runs right across -- right along the water front here, it did get flooded. In fact, the water was over it pretty good.
That was the concern of officials here. That's why they closed down a lot of the casinos. They didn't want many tourists trapped in high rise buildings and then there be some kind of emergency and first responders couldn't get through.
But that water has now receded. The wind is coming from a different direction. And it's slowly starting to ease up.
The thing about this storm is how fast it is moving. It is said to be one of the fastest hurricanes to move across the gulf and that's good news in the sense that it arrived quickly and then hopefully will depart quickly. It's also probably why the intensity didn't go up as had been feared.
A storm moving at 23, 24 miles an hour simply cannot build strength from the ocean waters because it is moving too fast over them. So they're hoping they have seen the worst of it here in Biloxi.
HOWELL: All right. Martin Savidge live for us in Biloxi, Mississippi -- Martin, thank you for the reporting.
ALLEN: Let's go now to CNN's Ed Lavandera, check in with Ed to see what the conditions are like there in Mobile, Alabama.
You're getting pounded by the rain there, Ed.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Natalie.
Well, we're just looking at -- some of the radar images around us. And what is left of the eye of Hurricane Nate, is just east of -- just west, excuse me, of the Nobile area, which puts us on the east side, which is definitely some of the stronger part of the storm. And having said that, it's not that bad. It sounds like over the course of the next hour or so, we'll be in that window for -- we're now seeing Marty Savidge reporting from Biloxi and perhaps seeing the worst of the storm.
And the problem is, you know, with the overnight hours, teams haven't been able to go out and assess the damage. But once the sun comes back up, it will be, I think, as soon as the sun comes back up, it sounds like emergency teams and first responders will be able to get out on to the roadways and start assessing the damage of exactly what has transpired here in these overnight hours.
We're here on the edge of Mobile Bay. The water continues to push rapidly to the north as the storm system continues to push its way to the north. And that is what was -- would be causing those storm surges in various parts of those low-lying areas where the water gets pushed back up and starts creating those flooding scenarios and those flash flooding situations. So, this is one of the last bands we anticipate of the storm system
coming here through Mobile, Alabama, right now. So far, we haven't heard of any major reports of damage or loss of life or injuries. Obviously, still a little bit early to be able to say that definitively.
[04:05:02] We'll see how all that plays out here in the next coming hours and, of course, daylight will give those teams a better chance to assess that situation. But, you know, right now, from what we can tell, on the -- we're on the eastern edge of the eye of this hurricane, this is usually where you see the most intense parts of the rainfall and the wind intensity and it appears that even here in Mobile as well, weathering this storm quite well -- Natalie.
ALLEN: That is some good news, Ed. We really appreciate you bringing us the latest there.
So, now, we want to check in with our meteorologist Ivan Cabrera.
So, we got Martin Savidge --
ALLEN: -- and Ed Lavandera saying, whew, may have dodged something that could have been just a tad worse.
IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Oh, it could have been much worse. No question about it, Natalie and George. We have been talking about it.
Potential was there for this to really explode across the Gulf of Mexico. We've been talking about the wind speed or the forward motion. The fastest officially hurricane of the Gulf of Mexico to move so very quickly. In fact, yesterday, we were talking about storm east of the Yucatan. So, this really booked over to the gulf. The reason for that, we have strong low pressure to the west and big high to the east and basically slung shot, if you will, the storm, very quickly, up to the north and the east.
So, there was Ed right here and absolutely right, seeing the last of the squally weather. In fact, what happens with these hurricanes as they make landfall, they lose the intensity across the core and then what happens is the wind field spreads a bit. And so, what we're getting is the strongest of the winds right now embedded in this particular band right now, moving through Pensacola and heading through Montgomery. So, you'll be seeing that in the next hour or so as we continue with wind gusts.
Biloxi around 30 miles an hour, again, tropical storm force wind gusts, but that would be all we're about to see. The official intensity forecast from the last advisory of the National Hurricane Center has it at 85. I don't think we're anywhere near that. Next advisory, we'll likely see this dropping down to a tropical storm probably at 65 is where they'll put it. We'll get that in another 40 minutes. We'll bring it to you at the top of the hour. But the storm surge, and we are thankful this was not a more powerful
storm. Look what it did across Jackson County, Pascagoula, five, almost six feet, essentially storm surge. And now, we're getting reports that Ocean Springs, Mississippi, ten foot storm surge. So, you can well imagine this had been just one category higher, this would have been a completely different storm.
I think when we wake up, as we get the daylight along Biloxi, the beaches, we're going to have significant erosion. That's going to be something that will take a while to clean up, along, of course, with the storm surge impacting what many areas in Biloxi.
There is the center of the storm moving north and east, the threat that remains. You see this box here, that's a tornado watch, conditions will remain favorable for these bands to have embedded rotating thunderstorms. We have seen that throughout the night and will likely see that through the morning hours. That has been extended.
Now, as I widen out the shot, we still have moisture coming in out of the Gulf on the eastern side of that circulation. That continues headed up towards Pensacola, into Alabama, Georgia. We'll get in on that.
And we widen even further, and this is now the beginning of what will be the storm merging with this front that is moving in. And that front is going to be energized big time. That means is we're going to have some good rain on the way as it tracks north and east over the next several days, several inches of accumulation likely.
I don't think flooding will be a big concern, because this area hasn't seen rain in quite some time. In fact, some areas welcoming some of the rain coming in with Nate. So, I do think again the worst is over, still that tornado watch, we'll watch that closely for you throughout the night. And our next advisory coming up, I'll see you with that at the top of the hour.
ALLEN: OK, thank you, Ivan.
HOWELL: All right. Ivan, thanks.
Now let's bring in the fire chief of Biloxi, Mississippi, Joe Boney, to tell us what's happening there.
Joe, it's good to have you with us on the line this hour.
So, first of all, we know that flooding has been a big issue. I've been looking at some of the reports coming in from our correspondents, our producers there, just talking about flooding, along the rivers, the creeks. What are you seeing there?
JOE BONEY, FIRE CHIEF, BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI (via telephone): We have had quite extensive flood along U.S. Highway 90, east end of the town. We had some pretty extensive flooding. We haven't had a lot of reports of flooding in the north part of the city, though we did have to do one water rescue up there earlier in the evening. So, it's pretty much the areas that we know are going to flood
normally that flooded, but we had some Highway 90 will be -- will have to be cleaned before we can access it again. We'll have to get some crews in here to clean it. That section of Biloxi is out of service right now.
But other than that, we have done well. We have had some pretty gusty winds earlier. We had, you know, some -- a lot of water up in here, the water is actually receding now. And the winds are down to about 20, 25 miles an hour.
[04:05:04] And it is -- we're doing pretty good. We have a lot of power outages around here. But that's to be expected, I guess.
HOWELL: You know, Natalie picked up on this just now, an hour ago, yes, just a bit of relief. You get a sense, you know, that this could have been much worse. But I do hear a bit of relief in your voice given, you know, how the storm came in.
Can you tell us about the situation at the casinos there, you know, the three casinos? There has been some flooding there as well.
BONEY: Right. On the lower levels of these casinos, the ground levels, they have had some water. Not in the casino floors themselves, mostly in the parking garages and the, you know, in some of the lobby areas, they've had some pretty good water. But that's to be expected too. And we knew that was going to happen.
To my understanding, all of the casinos are -- not all of them, but three or four that do not have power right now. They're working off generator power. And we have had a couple of calls to them. We have accessed them, assessed the situations and like I say, they'll have to do a lot of cleaning there. There was a lot of water on the lower levels of these areas -- these casinos, yes.
HOWELL: Joe, one other question to you, you know, that area -- I was actually there for a hurricane that came through. I remember there was a great deal of damage. What sort of things have changed there? I mean, how is that region prepared just given the strong storms that it has seen before?
BONEY: Well, I would have to say a lot goes -- you know, a lot goes into the building codes, we have a lot stricter building code along the Gulf Coast now, mainly here in Biloxi, our building codes have been strengthened quite a bit because of hurricane Katrina. The height of buildings now, you know, a lot of the homes along the -- on the peninsula itself are built up off the ground, on stilts or whatever. And, you know, on pile-ons. And that's created a great relief for us, a lot of homes don't get flooded.
You know, our preparation, we changed the way we prepare for these storms, you know, previous to this, we didn't have a water rescue team and things like this. And now, we have all this. And even at the state and national level, you know, we have -- we have access to rescue crews or anytime we request them, they're available to us. So, I think it's the culmination of all these agencies working
together, we have a great relationship with our police department, as well is our marine resource division and everything. So, we had great -- great success with working together with these groups. That means a lot too, I think.
HOWELL: So, you know, there is a bit of good news here. Obviously things could have been much worse with this storm, but it passed through your area, obviously, you'll have to assess damage come light of day and we do want to make sure people know, even as we continue to track this, there is still the potential of strong aftermath of this storm as it pushes on into the U.S.
But, Joe, we appreciate you being with us and telling us the situation there in Biloxi.
BONEY: Well, thank you very much. I appreciate it. We are very blessed. We didn't get as bad of a situation as we had anticipated.
HOWELL: These storms we have been covering, that is the case, we're glad to hear this.
ALLEN: Thank you, Joe.
Well, still ahead here, reporters ask President Trump to clarify his mysterious tweets about North Korea.
HOWELL: His response leaving everyone guessing. We'll tell you what he said.
[04:18:09] ALLEN: Welcome back.
We continue to follow Hurricane Nate, currently hitting the U.S. Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida. It is a category one. Might have thought it was a two, but it is a one.
It made a second landfall at Biloxi, Mississippi, pushing through with sustained winds there of about 85 miles per hour or 137 kilometers per hour. The storm made its first U.S. landfall Saturday in southeast Louisiana, the mouth of the Mississippi.
HOWELL: Yes, and category one, so not as strong as, you know, it was feared it could have been, that it could have intensified. But I'll tell you, 85-mile-per-hour winds --
ALLEN: That's still up there.
HOWELL: Yes, nothing to sneeze at there.
So, the storm, as it pushes inland, still a great threat of tornadoes throughout the region. Storm surge also a big worry along the coastline. More than 36,000 homes across Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi are without power. And some areas could get up to ten inches, that's 25 centimeters of rain. You can see just how high that water is already rising here. These
firefighters wading through water at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, that is near Biloxi, Mississippi.
ALLEN: Mainly in the parking garage, we don't think it will breach the actual casinos.
HOWELL: Yes. It's important to point that out, for sure.
Switching now over to U.S. politics. On Saturday, the U.S. President Donald Trump fired off another round of threatening tweets toward North Korea.
ALLEN: Yes, he suggested the U.S. had wasted 25 years and a lot of money talking with Pyongyang. Mr. Trump concluded that only one thing will work. Those are his words. He did not explain what he meant by that.
HOWELL: All right. So, Saturday afternoon, Mr. Trump left the White House for a fund-raiser in North Carolina. But before leaving, on the presidential helicopter, he did take time to answer a few questions from reporters.
[04:20:00] ALLEN: He was asked about reports of strained relations with his chief of staff, John Kelly, and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: John Kelly is one of the best people I've ever worked with. He's doing an incredible job. And he told me for the last two months, he loves it more than anything he's ever done. He's a military man. But he loves doing this, which is chief of staff, more than anything he's ever done.
He's doing a great job. He will be here, in my opinion, for the entire seven remaining years.
No, no, he likes -- he likes Secretary Tillerson, so do I. We have a very good relationship. We disagree on a couple of things. Sometimes I'd like him to be a little bit tougher, but other than that, we have a very good relationship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: One year ago, "Access Hollywood" released an embarrassing audiotape of Mr. Trump bragging about grabbing and kissing women. One reporter asked him to comment on that, but here's how he brushed that off.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: That's locker room. That's locker room. Go ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ALLEN: Scott Lucas joins us from Birmingham, England. He teaches international politics at the University of Birmingham and often joins us to talk about U.S. politics.
Scott, hi. Nice to see you.
First, let's talk about that cryptic comment from Mr. Trump this week saying this is the calm before the storm and that there is only one option. Could that be a military reference?
SCOTT LUCAS, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Well`, of course, it's a military reference. I mean, Trump has said for months, of course, you know, there could be fire and fury. He has talked about striking back at rocket man, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
He's treating this like a version of his former show "The Apprentice," you know, keep everyone guessing, are you fired, are you not fired? Will we send the missiles in, or will not send them in? It gets some headlines, it stirs up drama.
But there is a bigger message here, which I think may be missed. And that, this was not just a jab at North Korea yesterday. This was another jab at Secretary of State Tillerson, because what Trump was implicitly doing was he was rejecting diplomacy. That's the second weekend in a row that he has knocked back Tillerson who is trying to pursue backchannel discussions to step back from crisis.
And you'll also notice, the clip you played, that was very much less than a ringing endorsement of Secretary of State Tillerson by Donald Trump compared to the effusive praise he gave John Kelly.
ALLEN: Right. Do you think Tillerson will last in this role?
LUCAS: I think Tillerson will last in the sense that he, John Kelly, Jim Mattis, all see themselves as needed to contain the president. And so far, Trump has not been able to sort of push Tillerson over the brink.
I think the question is not whether Tillerson will be fired. It is whether he just finally breaks and resigns. He almost did so in July, he said he will stay until the end of the year. But, frankly, you know, this is a president who is almost close to humiliating him, how long can he put up with that?
ALLEN: Right. Let's go back to about the cryptic nature of what Mr. Trump is saying, and this is really dangerous situation. It is almost too, one could say maybe he's toying with Americans about, you know, teasing something on a very serious situation and this is a country that has been through a mass shooting, many storms, so many people are suffering, health care is something up in the air for so many people. This is a time to be crystal clear and wise and it doesn't seem like that is the message we're getting from him.
LUCAS: Well, I'm certain that's a message that his own advisers may be telling him. But Donald Trump is Donald Trump. And the fact is, is that he thrives on being always on the front foot, on being aggressive. Let's call it what it is -- macho behavior.
We thought we had gotten past the worst of this a few weeks ago after his U.N. speech, with the insults about rocket man. But quite frankly, when Trump looks at Puerto Rico and, you know, isn't able to respond effectively, when he jabs at the NFL and that goes wrong with the take the knee protest, it is like, what is my latest move? Well, let's bring North Korea back in the frame. He keeps me in the spotlight. He thinks it makes him look good.
ALLEN: Scott Lucas, as always, we appreciate you coming and talking with us. Maybe at some point, we're going to have something positive that has occurred in Washington in these days. We'll keep looking for it. Thank you, Scott.
LUCAS: Thank you.
HOWELL: Still ahead, we will have the very latest on Hurricane Nate as this storm continues to push into the U.S. Gulf Coast.
[04:25:02] Despite heavy rains and strong winds, many people though there breathing a sigh of relief. We'll explain why.
ALLEN: And welcome back to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world. We're following the latest on Hurricane Nate hitting the Gulf Coast after being a killer storm in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL: And I'm George Howell.
So, in the southern U.S., Hurricane Nate is headed inland right now after taking a double swipe at the U.S. gulf coast, though not nearly as strong as feared. That is the good news this hour. The category 1 storm made its second landfall of the night near Biloxi, Mississippi.
Its first landfall hours earlier and that happened in southeast Louisiana. Strong winds and drenching rains there knocked out power to more than 36,000 people in three different states in Mississippi, Alabama and in Florida.
ALLEN: The storm itself is moving on now, but still a concern regarding possible tornadoes and what remains of the storm surge.
What you're looking at here, firefighters wading through high waters at a casino parking garage in Biloxi. But the waters are receding now in some areas.
We've got with us now, a storm chaser, Reed Timmer, from Biloxi, Mississippi.
Reed, what have you been seeing there in Biloxi? We've been talking with a couple of officials there at the past couple of hours and they're pretty optimistic. REED TIMMER, STORM CHASER (via telephone): Yes, the water levels are
starting to recede. That's the main issue with the storm, the storm surge. The water is several feet deep, just in front of some areas of Biloxi, especially the eastern side of the island. Just before that eyewall came in, we saw a wall of water with waves on top of it come over a wall of bushes and then just inundate the eastern side of the island. The winds were gusting about 75 miles and hour, maybe a little bit stronger than that.
So, thankfully, the winds weren't as strong. The surge wasn't as high as it could have been. But still a category 1 hurricane, it shows how storm surge prone this part of the Central Gulf coast region is. Even with a category 1 hurricane, you still have waters that were several feet deep. You had vehicles that were floating by in some areas. And there was definitely a very high level of storm surge with this storm.
ALLEN: You know, one of the officials did say they would be worried about what kind of debris and mess they would see along the beach at daylight. Of course, always the concern as well of downed trees and we did mention some power outages.
Have you seen any damage to structures or anything like that?
TIMMER: We did see some minor damage. There were some signs that were damaged. There were trees that were down. You see power flashes off in the distance as well.
But the main damage was mainly that storm surge. The water levels are still too high for us to leave this area as well as inside the hotel right now our vehicles up on the second floor of the parking garage, vehicles are parked on the first level, were floating away. We did see some boats too that came apart, floating by as well.
So, there was some damage, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.
ALLEN: Right, we can appreciate the storm surge, the video that we have gotten probably from you and your team there showing that water just right there, on the screen right now. As far as people there in Biloxi, hopefully it has been a ghost town since you started covering the storm?
TIMMER: Yes. There was a curfew enforced relatively early as well. So, there is the police curfew. We didn't see hardly any vehicles that were driving on the road, thankfully, especially when that hurricane came in.
People here are very familiar with storm surge and how it works and how the water comes in very fast. Don't want to be out there in the eyewall coming in, because of that wall of water, that surge comes in, you're trapped up there in your vehicle, it could get life threatening, if not deadly very quickly.
So, you definitely have to respect the storm surge, the people around here do, and it did look like a ghost town when this hurricane came in. ALLEN: You know, Biloxi, of course, really got hit by Katrina, I
remember my good friend, her mother's house was right next to that famous lighthouse, it was flattened as well as former Senator Trent Lott, his house was there flattened. So, Biloxi has learned a lot, had they not, about building back and doing so more resilient. So the city could take major storm.
TIMMER: Certainly. I mean, back in 2005, absolutely devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The storm surge was up over 20 feet in spots at the Mississippi coastline and thankfully this is nothing close to that, a category 1 hurricane. But people here are way too familiar with the devastating hurricanes, like Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
ALLEN: Well, we're glad you're safe and you have weathered this storm. We'll wait for a few more hours, daylight, and talk back with you. We appreciate you talking with us. Thanks.
TIMMER: Thank you.
HOWELL: Bringing up Katrina, you know, no city felt the wrath of Katrina worse, those images we saw in New Orleans. So, a lot of people in New Orleans seeing another hurricane come in, breathing a sigh of relief once it made the first landfall in southeast, Louisiana. The hurricane warning was downgraded to a tropical storm warning.
ALLEN: And then the city's curfew was lifted. So, good news for the people trying to have a good night --
ALLEN: -- there in New Orleans.
Our -- Rosa Flores, sorry, has the latest from New Orleans.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The city of New Orleans prepared for a major category 1 hurricane, the mayor of this city asking people not to panic, but to prepare, saying that this city could see high winds that could cripple the power grid, and also strong storm surge. Even a curfew was issued at about 7:00 p.m. Well, a few hours later, the hurricane warning was downgraded to a tropical storm warning and then that curfew was lifted.
As you take a look around, we had some light rain, there were a few bands that went through the city of New Orleans, but overall, the situation faring very well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Very good news there from Rosa Flores. She got the good spot there I guess for the storm coverage, all of our team up and down the Gulf Coast.
HOWELL: Yes. ALLEN: Well, "Saturday Night Live" is paying tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas massacre. The show opened with singer Jason Aldean.
HOWELL: Aldean was performing on stage when the shooter opened fire on thousands of people who were attending a music festival. Here is part of the message that he sent to the victims and to their families.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON ALDEAN, COUNTRY MUSIC STAR: This week, we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history. Like everyone, I'm struggling to understand what happened that night. And how to pick up the pieces and start to heal.
[04:35:04] But you can be sure that we're going to walk through these tough times together, every step of the way, because when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit, it's unbreakable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Well said.
Aldean went on to pay tribute by playing "I Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty, whom we lost this week.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HOWELL: That's the message from Las Vegas, Nevada.
While, the nation tries to heal from what happened, investigators at the crime scene made a significant discovery.
ALLEN: Yes, they say they now know the meaning of those numbers written on a piece of paper found in the shooter's hotel room.
Our Stephanie Elam is in Las Vegas.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Calculations, that's what investigators now believe that the numbers written on the note pad found in the shooter's suite were. This was first reported by CBS News, but what they believe is there were calculations related to distance and trajectory from the window of the shooter's suite on the 32nd floor down to the venue.
Of course, having this one piece of information doesn't help at all with the motive, which is the one thing that is still very much frustrating investigators, they still say it's unclear why this 64- year-old man would do such a heinous crime, they do not know why he would do that.
But we do have a little bit more information about the man who may have really helped stop this from being a much more tragic event. It's hard to believe that we could even think of that. But here's what they're saying Jesus Campo did. He was responding to an open door alarm on the 32nd floor. Several doors down from where the shooter was staying. It had nothing to do with the shooter.
But when he came upon that floor, remember, the shooter had cameras out in the hall, they believe the shooter saw him on the camera, and then started to engage with him, shot through the door, hitting Campos in the leg. But because of Campos' quick reaction, he radioed down to security, they were able to tell police where this shooter was on the 32nd floor, if it hadn't been for him showing up on the floor and then also making that call, it could have taken first responders much longer to figure out which floor the shooter was using to rain down bullets on the concert venue.
So, wrinkle, huge detail there, this could have been a much worse situation had it not been for Jesus Campos.
Stephanie Elam, CNN, Las Vegas, Nevada.
ALLEN: Yet another hero there in Las Vegas.
Well, the mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, says neo-Nazi cowards aren't welcome in the city. It seems they're back. A racist group hailed a rally there Saturday. Charlottesville police say a group of white nationalists wielding torches and chanting racist slogans gathered in the same park.
That was the site of violent protests in August. You remember, a woman was killed. The city says it is looking into taking legal action against the group.
Coming up here, a show of force, Turkish tanks on their way to a new military operation in northern Syria to wipe out terrorists. We'll go live to Istanbul for what is going on there.
[04:41:39] ALLEN: All right. Well, after several hours of talking about hurricane Nate, we're happy to say, it's just been downgraded. The storm is now a tropical storm.
But it still is currently hitting the U.S. Gulf Coast from states of Louisiana, to Alabama, to Florida. It made a second landfall at Biloxi, Mississippi, pushing through with sustained wind speeds of 85 miles or 137 kilometers per hour, some pretty powerful winds there and made its first U.S. landfall Saturday, right at the mouth of the mighty Mississippi River in southeast Louisiana.
HOWELL: Wow. As the storm pushes inland, though, there is still a threat of tornadoes. The storm surge, that is also a concern a-long the coastline, keeping in line that more than 72,000 households across Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi are now reported without power.
Moving on to the nation of Turkey, officials there have announced a new military operation in Idlib province in northern Syria. Turkish troops, along with units of rebel groups, the Free Syrian Army, are taking part. Turkey's president says they're targeting an al Qaeda- linked splinter group, he stressed that he will not allow a terrorist corridor to be established on Turkey's border.
Let's go live to Istanbul. CNN's Gul Tuysuz is live there following the story.
It's good to have you this hour.
So, this group right across the border, what is the danger here of this escalating?
GUL TUYSUZ, CNN PRODUCER: Well, George, the biggest danger in any military operation and specifically this one, of course, is civilian casualties. Idlib province is one of the most heavily populated areas, remaining in northern Syria. Internally displaced people made Idlib their homes, following the siege of Aleppo last year. And they have been living there, of course, under non-ideal conditions, because that area, while it is one of the last remaining footholds of the rebel groups against Bashar al Assad's government, the FSA, they have been increasingly losing ground to the HTF. That's Hay'at Tahrir al- Sham, the group formerly known as the Nusra Front, which was affiliated with al Qaeda in Syria.
So, this operation is supposed to go into Idlib province and establish one of the de-escalation zones, agreed to by Russia, Iran and Turkish- backed FSA. But the de-escalation zone, of course, aims to end the conflict between anti-Assad groups and government forces belonging to Bashar al Assad.
But the complicating factor here is that group formerly known as the Nusra Front having a very high presence there. So, for this operation to establish the de-escalation zone, Turkish troops and FSA that is backed by Turkey is going to have to go in and clear those areas and of the Nusra groups, so that the de-escalation zone can be established -- George.
HOWELL: And just to talk a bit more here, Gul, about the complexities, the challenges, because sending troops in to Syria, you know, there are a series of challenges and issues there.
TUYSUZ: Absolutely. I mean, this isn't the first time that Turkey is going to be sending in troops into Syria. They have done -- they have carried out an operation which they called Euphrates Shield, that started last summer.
[04:45:03] Now, that was -- that took place just a few hundred kilometers away from where the Idlib operation is supposed to begin. And in that operation, nearly 70 Turkish troops were killed and it was an ongoing effort a really long time. In this case, where they're planning on going into now is even more heavily populated and there is, of course, all of the complexities that result from how chaotic and complex the war in Syria is in general, George.
HOWELL: Gul Tuysuz, live for us in Istanbul, Turkey -- thank you for the reporting today.
ALLEN: Well, exactly five weeks ago, North Korea detonated its largest nuclear device to date. People in one city in eastern China felt the underground blast as a frightening earthquake.
HOWELL: Here is the thing: many of them have been worried ever since their up predictable neighbor conducted the test.
Our Matt Rivers has more.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The nuclear test on September 3rd was North Korea's largest to date. It triggered an earthquake and international reaction was swift. The U.N. Security Council passed new sanctions, Donald Trump threatened to completely destroy North Korea, and Kim Jong-un warned his next test would be over the Pacific Ocean.
At the exact moment of the latest test, the people in the Chinese city of Yangxi (ph) 120 miles from the test site didn't know about the nuclear blast or the international outcry that would follow. All they knew was that the earth was shaking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Is this an earthquake in my apartment?
RIVERS: Hundreds of thousands of people felt the physical repercussions without knowing at fist what it was. Many rushed outside to safety.
(on camera): This is where you were when the earthquake happened.
(voice-over): This man, a butcher, was asleep in his bed.
(on camera): So were you scared?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): All of a sudden, everything began shaking back and forth. So I ran outside and everyone was saying it was an earthquake. I had no idea what was going on.
RIVERS (voice-over): An entire city thinking the same thing, though collectively about to connect the nuclear dots.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Everybody came in and said it was an earthquake. A bit later, we realized it was from the North Koreans.
RIVERS: Wang Zhou Zhon (ph) runs a restaurant in town, where conversations have lately focused on Kim Jong-un's nuclear program and what it could mean for them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'm worried about the radiation. It could really hurt us.
RIVERS: Concerns over radiation escaping from the test site have increased with each explosion. Some experts have suggested that the mountain at the site had even collapsed, spewing deadly radiation into the air and quickly across the Chinese border. China says it has not detected anything of the sort, and that its military keeps a vigilant watch over air quality levels. But in Yangzi, for some parents, it's of little comfort.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I have a 4-year-old daughter. These tests could make buildings collapse. There could be radiation. I'd like to move to Beijing or Shanghai, but I don't have the money.
RIVERS (on camera): So, it's fair to say that people are more nervous about the constant nuclear activity going on not that far away from here. But there is also this kind of pervasive sense that, well, there is not much that we can do about it and we still got to pay the bills and we still got to take the kids to school, so life goes on, right?
(voice-over): So the restaurants are still open. There is still outdoor recess and new buildings are going up, even if they might be shaken by another nuclear test soon.
A concerted effort to look past a problem that is becoming increasingly hard to ignore.
Matt Rivers, CNN, Yangxi (ph), China.
ALLEN: We want to take you now live to Barcelona. Demonstrations are under way there. Look at the crowd.
This is for people for and against Catalonian independence. This rally is against it, with people marching for unity. On Saturday, large crowds turned out amid rising tensions after last weekend's vote for independence. They called for peaceful negotiation.
Many of those holding signs saying let's talk, that's the crowd just middle of the road. It is not known if the Catalan president will actually declare independence. But we'll continue to follow this story. We'll go there live for you in about 20 minutes.
HOWELL: All right. Back to our coverage of hurricanes, it has been two weeks now, two long weeks since Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico.
ALLEN: And despite help arriving from the U.S. mainland, people are still desperate for supplies. We'll have the latest for you coming up here.
[04:53:26] HOWELL: Welcome back.
So in the last two minutes, we learned that Hurricane Nate has been downgraded now to tropical storm Nate, though it is still hitting the U.S. Gulf Coast from states to Louisiana and Florida. As the storm pushes inland, there is still the threat of tornadoes. And the storm surge is also a big concern as well along the coastline.
Keep in mind more than 72,000 households across Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi are all without power reportedly.
ALLEN: A few more hours, it will be daylight, so we'll see how they have weathered this storm. Good news, it is tropical storm now.
Well, the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season has certainly packed a wallop this year, devastating, as you know, so many islands in the Caribbean.
HOWELL: That's right. As we continue to track Tropical Storm Nate, we have not forgotten the plight of people in Puerto Rico, that island pummeled by Hurricane Maria just weeks ago.
Our Nick Valencia has this report for us.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The day starts early if you want to get basic goods in Arecibo. More than two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit, life here compromises of waiting in line for one service or another.
By 8:00 a.m., the line for ice is more than two blocks long.
(on camera): I've been talking to this family, they have been telling me they have been here since 1:00 in the morning. We're coming up on 9:00 a.m. The local plant officials are opposed to open at 7:00 a.m., but that has yet to happen.
Also, what we're told from these residents who have been standing in line for hours upon hours, that there has been a 20 percent increase in the price for the bags of ice.
(voice-over): Kelly Lopez came to get some extra bags for her epileptic sister, who is bedridden.
[04:55:03] She's already been turned away once because her sister wasn't with her. Today, she's back to try again.
(on camera): It's very difficult for everyone here in Puerto Rico.
(voice-over): And then just minutes after our cameras arrived, the doors open. We asked a local plan official why cost for ice have gone up. She says because prices for plastic and diesel have increased.
(on camera): So, the government or nobody is helping you supplement that?
She says no, not at all. They're coming out of pocket for it.
(voice-over): While in Arecibo, locals beg us to check out the regional hospital. There are rumors of people dying in horrible conditions. This is what we arrived to. The hospital, back on normal power, ahead of schedule. Those critical patients being housed outside in a temporary ward are now being moved back inside.
A hospital official tells us there haven't been any storm-related deaths. Mark Thorpe is the commander of a federal disaster relief team assisting the hospital.
MARK THORPE, TEAM COMMANDER, U.S. FEDERAL DISASTER RELIEF: When we have these in the continental United States, we can get help there quicker. The challenge here is getting everything here.
VALENCIA: Thorpe knows there are rumors about a lack of urgency in the relief efforts and it has taken a toll on him.
THORPE: When the hurricane came over, we were here.
VALENCIA (on camera): I know it's hard.
VALENCIA (voice-over): Across the street from the hospital, there is a different problem, another long line. This time at a local bank.
(on camera): Just before we got here, we're told the bank system collapsed and now, those who have been staying in line, there is no guarantee that they're going to get any money.
Arizayin Medina (ph) drove 30 minutes from a neighboring town to stand in line five hours. He says he has no other choice.
(on camera): Everything is money. Everything is money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything is money here.
VALENCIA (voice-over): In Arecibo, locals say they're living each day as if it's the first day after the storm. Desperate for help, but now, they have lost hope.
Nick Valencia, CNN, Arecibo, Puerto Rico.
ALLEN: And we'll have more news next hour.