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Special Coverage Of What Is Now Tropical Depression Florence; Juan David Ortiz Was Arrested In Laredo, Texas; The Woman Who Recently Accused Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Of Sexual Misconduct When They Were In High School Is Now Coming Forward Publicly And Telling Her Side Of The Story To "The Washington Post. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired September 16, 2018 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:19] ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: I'm Erica Hill coming to you live from Fayetteville, North Carolina where what is now a tropical depression Florence is not giving up.

In fact, the governor of North Carolina Roy Cooper saying just a short time ago and I am quoting him here, "the storm has never been more dangerous than it is now."

The governor is talking about a fly over he did with the coast guard on Sunday. And when referencing specifically the area where we are here in Fayetteville, he talked about the Cape Fear River. He said I was stark to see the raging Cape Fear River and you knew it was rising and you could see the vulnerable communities.

And there are vulnerability communities across the state. Let's let you know where we stand now at the top of this hour. We can now report a 14th storm-related death. We do know that there are certain areas specifically in Pender County, North Carolina, one of the major concerns there for first responders is fuel. They need it to get to people who need help who need to be rescued.

Wilmington, North Carolina. We talked so much about it. Wilmington, essentially cutoff. The mayor saying they actually had to turn around folks from FEMA because there was no safe way to get them into the city. There are also major concerns in Wilmington about water. The local water company there saying if they don't get fuel within the next 48 hours, they may not be able to continue supplying water.

When it comes to the state, a number of roads closed as well. Not just the local roads that are flooded or maybe have a tree down, we are talking major interstates. Large sections of 95 of interstate 40 have been closed. The North Carolina department of transportation warping your GPS may be sending you on roads they do not want you on. Essentially, they are asking you to drive around the state of North Carolina if you can.

We will have continued coverage, of course, throughout the afternoon. Our team of reporters are stationed up and down the coast. We want to begin with CNN's Kaylee Hartung -- Kaylee.

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erica, you mentioned it, the problem now here in Wilmington as the waters continue to move and move quickly is the road closures. This city essentially cutoff as the mayor told me. If you get within 20 or 40 miles of the city and if you are trying to come in or if you are trying to get out, you will be stopped. In fact, highway patrol will not let you pass. They had to stop FEMA trucks. They had to stop duke power trucks trying to get in to the city to help it.

That being said, you mentioned also the concern for the water supply here, the problem of getting fuel. If no one can get into the city, that means fuel can't get into the city. But the mayor assures me. The mayor of Wilmington Bill Saffo telling me they found a diesel reserve in the port. There is no threat of the water or sewage companies here being unable to service the people of Wilmington.

Now, this area behind me, I should be transparent. This is a flood zone. This is doing what it is supposed to do to allow market street or 17, just behind us, to continue to be a thoroughfare. That is one of the only ones we found open in the city of Wilmington. While rescues were at their height last night, more than 700 people rescued, whether it be by local agencies, federal agencies or even the volunteer Cajun Navy, I'm told.

At this times, the rescues have stopped. No one is in need of that help. I can hear a coast guard helicopter above me now. We expect surveying this area. I was just with the leaders of the Cajun Navy who had spent all of the night helping to get more than 250 people out of their homes. And they tell me now they are trying to get their resources elsewhere. Count them among the people who are having trouble getting out of Wilmington. They tell me the next need where this water is headed, Brunswick County, just south of us.

Bolivia, North Carolina, Erica, I'm told is the next place we should be looking for floodwaters to rise.

HILL: We will be keeping an eye on that. Kaylee, thank you.

I also want to bring in now, CNN's Polo Sandoval who is in Lumberton, North Carolina which experienced a significant amount of flooding after hurricane Matthew.

Polo, as I understand it that you are there with some folks from the coastguard. And has there been a breach of the levee at this point?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erica, from the looks of things, we are witnessing what will likely turn into the worse scenario for many people here in Lumberton, North Carolina. The folks, the coastguard had been allowing us to ride along with them to give you this rare look at what is the main point where the water, the floodwater breached during hurricane Matthew two years ago. Flooding many neighborhoods and crippling the infrastructure of this city of about 21,000 people.

Basically, what was protecting that infrastructure and those roughly 21,000 people who had been sheltering was this man made levee that you are able to see here. We were out here along with our colleagues about three or four days ago when the entire town, strangers, volunteers, city workers and national guard came together to fill sandbags and move gravel and sand along the river, track that you see here.

However, because of the torrential rains of Florence, you have seen basically many of the creeks and rivers including the Lumber River not far from here go back up to historic levels. And the station here, what we are witnessing now is the scramble by officials to try to keep more of this water from breeching this levee which is as you can imagine, they are certainly up to a tremendous challenge.

The concern now is that the water that was being held back by this levee will now make its way into some of these neighborhoods that we believe for the most part had been evacuated because there were mandatory evacuations put in place for this part of Lumberton.

So the main concern is now for the infrastructure. This water now has the potential to make its way to the water plants that provides the water supply for the entire city. So this is what we can now expect to be a worst case scenario for the people here in Lumberton, North Carolina.

Our friends here at the coast guard are telling that they are mobilizing their personnel, positioning themselves for potential rescues that could happen in the next few moments, Erica.

[14:05:19] HILL: Yes. Those calls could certainly begin coming in.

Polo, appreciate it. We will stay with you for any more developments out of the Lumberton area.

Also, I want to bring in now CNN's Miguel Marquez who is in Pender County.

And Miguel, it was officials who were telling you that they were running into issues with fuel and that they may not get to some of those rescues. Where do things stand?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They don't have enough fuel. They need more fuel desperately. Part of the problem is getting the fuel to where we are.

I am standing on highway 421. Down that way, across that lake, this highway is now a lake. That is the road to Wilmington. Around this road, that is the road (INAUDIBLE), right at the end of the road that if you can see this (INAUDIBLE).

And Elizabeth Stewart who have been with us. This is the situation here. These are the homes. Some of the homes that I can show you just from my vantage point here. I'm load to go any further down there because it gets just too deep. A National Guard vehicle tried to come down here earlier and had to turn back.

This road is now impassible. Many of the roads here in the (INAUDIBLE) corner area of Pender County are now impassible. They had 300 water rescues they need to effect in this area. They have done about 172 or so, but they are having a tough time. They lost two ambulances last night in the water. They are having a very, very tough time getting to those rescues, having the boats, the vehicles, the helicopters.

There is one incident where a mother and two children were clinging to a tree for much of the night. Helicopters were trying to extract them. It's not clear. Speaking to officials here, they don't even know whether these individuals were saved or not. There are shelters throughout the area that are still taking on people. The one closest to us is the (INAUDIBLE) elementary school. But it is dire and critical.

This is the little creek. It comes down into the Cape Fear River. It is still rising. It started raining again. On the other side of this little rise that we are on is the black river. That river is still rising as well. The roads all-around this area are cutoff. This is the makings of a major, major catastrophe - Erica.

HILL: It absolutely is. And it's so important that word gets out.

Miguel, appreciate it. And we know we will continue to get updates from Miguel.

I want to get a better sense now of how much more of this is still headed the way of folks in North and South Carolina.

CNN's Allison Chinchar is in the weather center.

Allison, I know from speaking with you yesterday on our drive to try to get here and also was speaking with officials here in town today, their concern is there is still a significant amount of rain to come.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, the system is still moving incredibly slowly. And even as the main center point of this finally begins to exit the area and it will do so here in about the next 24 hours, you are still going to get these training bands out back behind.

Take a look at this. Watch this play out in motion. So here is where you have a lot of your flash flood warnings and flood threats. Again, the red indicates the flashflood warnings. Meaning, we know that there are roads under water. There had been flood emergencies, water rescues, things like that.

Focus here on those red areas. This is where we had a lot of that, the heaviest rains. Swans Borough picking up over 33 inches of rain. Wilmington, two feet. Emerald Isle, two feet. And Morehead city over two feet of rain.

Now we talk about where the rain is going. Notice as the trend begins to shift the storm off to the north, you still have these new bands of rain that still want to form over areas like Wilmington, like Raleigh, over Lumberton. A lot of those communities that had already had rain even as the main storm exits. It's still going to produce very heavy rain bands over the same places that simply don't need any more rain on top of it.

We talked about it. That's the short term concern. That's the flood threat. But the long-term concern really becomes a lot of the rivers, the creeks, the streams and the tributaries that are around this area. We expect over the next couple of days, nearly 25 rivers could be at major flood stage and several of those reaching record heights. All- time record heights for those rivers. And nearly a dozen of them reaching moderate flood stage.

And while they may not be a record, Erica, the key thing to note is that for some of those just reaching moderate, it has been years since they have done that. So, some of the people who live in these communities have yet to experience some of those rivers, creeks and streams around their homes that flooded. And we have heard that from some of the people that decided to stay put during the storm. They have been saying now we didn't know this could flood like this. It hasn't done that since we have been here. Well, we are telling you, that is likely going to continue for some of these rivers over the next several days.

[14:11:21] HILL: All right, Allison, thank you.

And just to add to that. One of the most important messages that we are hearing from officials, from the governor on down to local officials and different folks who either have not experienced this before or who feel like they are seeing a lull in the rain and therefore the storm and that danger have had, that is not the situation and this is not the time to be complacent. It is a time to listen to officials and to just be smart about what you are doing and stay somewhere safe.

Our continuing coverage continues live after this short break. Stay with us. You are watching CNN.


[14:16:08] HILL: One of the many things that folks are watching at this point is not just the major rivers, it is the Lumber River. The Cape Fear River, the little river which are all a concern, but also some of the smaller creeks and smaller rivers that feed them, including the rock just behind me here. We are watching closely in this park.

Joining me now is the mayor of Fayetteville, Mitch Colvin.

Sir, appreciate you coming down here especially in the rain. You and I were talking on the break. When we first came upon this park about 10:45 this morning, there is a bench behind so we could see the legs. That bench is now almost completely covered in water. This is moving really quickly, faster than you thought?

MITCH COLVIN, MAYOR, FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA: Yes. That's our message to people not to take this lightly because we know the situations can change in an instant. And so, we are impressing upon people in low-lying areas who are impacted in the first hurricane event that had it years ago. Please get out now. Please listen to the mandatory evacuations. Please take precautions because this is serious.

HILL: A lot of times I know some of the concern for this mandatory evacuations for some people, especially the elderly. It is tough for them to get out. They don't know where to go. You had folks going door-to-door last night. Has it been effective?

COLVIN: It has bee. We had a lot of people who took the message and we were very clear about the situation that you are putting yourself in. That if you don't heed to this message now, that help may be hard to find if you get in trouble.

And so, yes, a lot of people are looking for places to go. We have shelters that are set up. We have additional capacity. So we are encouraging them to take advantage of that. And we have transportation. So we will not allow transportation and logistics to be a barrier but we need cooperation.

HILL: The area where we are standing now, we are on step five out of about 22 step to go up to street level. This entire area was under water two years ago with Matthew and that was what, 53 feet of water?

COLVIN: Absolutely. It was 53 feet. And I could say this entire area was submerged. And I remember that very vividly. And they are predicting an additional 10 feet level for the river. And so, that is the scary part. And so, we really have this unprecedented look at what it's like. And we haven't seen nor can we really predict the impact of that.

HILL: I imagine there has been a significant out of staging going on. I know two fire stations had to be evacuated. Fore station one, some of their assets were brought to fire station 14. We were told by folks there. But given the closures on 95, given the issues with the road around you here, how is that complicating matters in terms of staging?

COLVIN: Well, you know, any time that roads close and (INAUDIBLE) is close and washed out, that makes it harder for you to move around. And so, that is why we are encouraging people to do this now why we can still coordinate, you know, your routes that you will take. And so, this area is vulnerable to flooding which includes city hall and a lot of our center point of operation for the city. So they are making provisions now to relocate, if possible, if necessary.

HILL: Where will you be for the next few days? Can you be in city hall or do you need to be somewhere safer?

COLVIN: Yes, I'm in city hall as long as it is safe and make sense to do so. And you know, in our world, take lead to the (INAUDIBLE), trying to encourage others to do.

HILL: We have heard a lot about lessons learned from Matthew, even improvement in technology. What has changed in the last couple of years in terms of the way you are attacking this?

COLVIN: Well, our coordination has gotten better, you know. Last time around, we had to work with our county partners to get shelters open and we didn't do it as early as we could have. And so, they were very good. And I have to give them kudos about getting shelters open, getting options available. And we are getting the word out, you know, the mass communications. We are encouraging people to download our app and to log in our Web site and to stay connected so that we can push messages out in a mass way. And so, that was different from the last time.

HILL: I know you (INAUDIBLE), but I will ask you one more. What is your biggest concern today? I know you talked about the importance of getting the message out, but as it gets dark, as we move into nightfall, and as the rain doesn't not led up, what is your biggest concern?

COLVIN: Biggest concern is what we see behind us. The pace in which this water moves is deadly. And so, we need to impress upon people, if you are in these areas that have been identified, if you have been contacted, please call a family member or friend. Make provisions to get out of the way. That keeps us up at night worrying about that. We can replace buildings, and a place homes, but life preservation is key right now.

[14:20:08] HILL: Let's take care those first responders too. They can't get to you at a firm point.

COLVIN: Absolutely.

HILL: Mayor, I appreciate you taking the time.

COLVIN: Thank you now. Stay safe.

HILL: Mayor Mitch Colvin, joining us here in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

We are going to have much more as we continue our coverage from across the Carolinas of now tropical depression Florence who is not done yet with the area. Stay with us.


[14:24:59] ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: Good afternoon. Thanks for joining me. I'm Alex Marquardt in New York.

We will have more on the flooding aftermath in the Carolinas from hurricane Florence in just a moment.

But first breaking news. The woman who recently accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were in high school is now coming forward publicly and telling her side of the story to "the Washington Post."

Let's get straight to CNN's Ariane De Vogue who covers the Supreme Court.

Arianne, what are you learning?

[14:25:25] ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: You're right. A woman has come forward publicly accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of assaulting her at a party more than 30 years ago. That's when they were both in high school, more than 30 years ago. According to the "Washington Post," the woman's name is Christine

Blasey Ford. She a professor at Palo Alto University. Worth remembering, Alex, Brett Kavanaugh has vehemently denied her allegations.

And in fact on Friday, he issued a statement. And he said I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I didn't do this in high school or at any time.

But in the "Washington Post" article, she does reveal more details. She said at one point that she thought he might inadvertently kill her. And he was trying to attack me and remove my clothing. She tells "the Washington Post" she only shared the details of this years later with a therapist, with her husband. And that was in 2012.

And according to the article, the husband recalled his wife using Kavanaugh's name, but the therapist notes which were reviewed by the Post don't. At first, the woman declined to come publicly forward, you remember last week. Instead she sent that letter to Dianne Feinstein on July 30th. And the letter had a lot of these details, Alex.

She's in the letter according to a source, she said that Kavanaugh physically pushed her in a bedroom and along with another male locked the door from the inside, put on loud music. She alleged in that letter that the two teens were drunk.

It's worth noting the second teen has come forward and has denied the allegations to "the Weekly Standard." But she says that at one point Kavanaugh was on top of her. And in that moment he had his hand over her mouth. And in that moment, Alex, she said she feared she was in danger.

MARQUARDT: Yes, Ariane, some extraordinarily disturbing details in this new piece from "the Washington Post."

In addition what you just mentioned, I want to read part of it. She writes while his friend watched, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.

So we are not going to the only ones reading this. Of course, that Senate Judiciary Committee is also going to be reading these extremely disturbing allegations. How is that going to impact this confirmation?

DE VOGUE: Well, it's hard to say, right. At the end of last week, the Republicans were vowing that these hearings would go forward. And back then, they were very puzzled because they said that Dianne Feinstein who is the top Democrat on the committee had received these allegations all the way back in July. And Feinstein had not brought them forward. And the only -- she only referred the allegations to the FBI after the hearings were over. But Kavanaugh -- Feinstein came back at the time and said look, she has been in a tough spot. Because at that time this woman did not want her name used publicly. But that's changed today. She has come forward to the "Washington Post" using her name and she is now On the Record.

MARQUARDT: On the record and providing a lot more details, as I mentioned. As I said, extremely disturbing.

Ariane de Vogue, we know you will stay on the story. We will check back in with you later on. Thank you very much.

Now, the other major story that we are following at this hour involves Texas authority who that they have made stunning arrest in recent murders of four women. And they are pointing to a U.S. border patrol agent. Investigator say that Juan David Ortiz, that's the agent went hunting for a specific type of victim.


ISIDRO ALANIZ, WEBB COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We do consider this to be a serial killer. It meets the qualifications or definition of being a serial killer. Four people have been murdered.


MARQUARDT: According to a criminal complaint, Ortiz was arrested in Laredo, Texas and confessed to killing four people whose bodies were found over the past two weeks.

Now authorities are also not ruling out the possibility that there may be more victims out there in addition those four.

CNN's Joe Johns is in Laredo.

Joe, this is a shocking series of murders. No other way of putting it. How did investigators track down Ortiz?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, not much of a complicated story, quite frankly. As you said, this guy has confessed to four counts of murder over the last few weeks in the Laredo area. He is actually locked up here in Laredo right now as the authorities figure out whether there is anything else they need to charge him with.

So who is this guy? There is a fifth circuit court of appeals document in which a man by the very same name who worked for the border protection actually was a witness. And there is biographical information listed in that published case. It says, this person was in the United States Navy from 2001 to 2009, came to border protection, was trained among other things in interdiction of drugs and sex trafficking around the border in the interstate 35 corridor which is essentially where we are, went to American military university, and those are the kinds of things that are used to describe him.

So, what exactly happened? What happened was it all started to come unraveled on Friday night here in Laredo when authorities were approached by a woman partially clothed on a parking lot. She told state troopers that she had gotten into an altercation with a man named David. She had gone to his house. When she left his house, she started talking about some of the other women who had been killed including one named Melissa. At that time, he became agitated, pulled out a firearm. She tried to jump out of his truck. He ripped off her top and she got away. When authorities got that information, they went looking for him. They found him. He ran off. They located him finally on the parking lot of a motel here in the Laredo area.

To that is what we have right now. The big question, of course, is whether there are any others? At first, authorities were suggesting they didn't think there were others given the fact that this man confessed and now, pretty clear they are saying they are not sure.

Alex, back to you.

[14:32:02] MARQUARDT: All right. Joe Johns in Laredo, Texas, thanks very much.

And still ahead, we will get you back out to the Carolinas where Florence is being blamed for more than a dozen deaths now. Several cities overrun by floodwaters. Hundreds of people still waiting to be rescued. Local officials stressing that this is still an incredibly dangerous situation. We will take you back to the flood zone, next.


[14:36:58] MARQUARDT: We will have more on the flooding aftermath in the Carolinas from hurricane Florence in just a moment.

But we are following breaking news. The woman who recently accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were in high school is now coming forward publicly and telling her side of the story to "the Washington Post."

So, let's get right to CNN's Boris Sanchez who is at the White House.

Boris, the White House defended Kavanaugh when these allegations first came to light. What are you hearing from them now?


Well, we are actually hearing what we already heard from the White House previously about these accusations coming from Christine Blasey Ford to "the Washington Post." Her detailed allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, now a Supreme Court nominee.

The White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah pointing to a statement that had been put out by Brett Kavanaugh last week, not adding anything new to the denial essentially Kavanaugh writing quote "I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time."

I tried to confirm with the White House, that they had nothing further to add. That essentially this was the same statement they put out several days. I have yet to get a response. The White House not commenting any further despite repeated efforts by Democrats to bring up a number of documents they say have been missing through this confirmation process. It appeared that Kavanaugh's confirmation as a Supreme Court justice was a safe bet. It's unclear exactly how these detailed again On the Record allegations by Christine Blasey Ford may affect that confirmation now -- Alex.

MARQUARDT: Yes. And that are vote, of course, supposed to take place in the Senate next Thursday.

Boris Sanchez at the White House, thanks.

We should also note that the other teenager who is alleged to have been in the room with Brett Kavanaugh when they were in high school, Mark Judge, has also denied that any of this has happened.

I want to bring in our senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, host of "RELIABLE SOURCES."

Brian, she remained silent as this blew up in the media. That was her main goal was to remain anonymous, we understand. Why do you think she came forward?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I think we see through this Post interview, this women's struggle with what to do. With wanting to keep her privacy and not see her name and her family be smeared as may happen unfortunately in the coming hours. On the other hand you hear her struggling with the feeling that somehow she needs to speak out and has a duty to speak out, to tell the public about this allegation.

So you can see that in the interview. I think we should go through the timeline and give people a sense of how this happened. She says that in July she actually first called "the Washington Post" through one of those tip lines.

MARQUARDT: An anonymous tip line.

STELTER: An anonymous tip line wanting to let the Post know about this allegation. And interestingly, that was before Kavanaugh was nominated. It was when Kavanaugh was on the short list.

MARQUARDT: The short list.

STELTER: Expected to be nominated, but not officially nominated. So, she felt at the time, she wanted to alert "the Washington Post." Then she also alerted her local congresswoman. And then at the end of July, she wrote the letter to Feinstein's office which we heard about.

However, throughout the month of August, she wrestled with whether to go On the Record, whether to stay anonymous or whether to speak out and put her name on it. And apparently, according to the Post, she decided to stay anonymous. She decided she did not want to come forward, quoting here, "(INAUDIBLE), in doing so it would up end her life and probably would not affect Kavanaugh's confirmation." She said to the Post, why suffer through the inhalation (ph) if it's not going to matter. And of course, what happened in late August and early September is

that her story was starting to leak out anyway. The existence of this Feinstein letter started to become better known. The web site, the interceptor, wrote about it. Others wrote about it. So all of that sudden, there was this allegation, but not a face, not a name. Just an anonymous allegation. And apparently, she has now changed her calculation. She feels she has to speak publicly.

And frankly, part of that is because reporters were starting to call and email her and show up at her door. In the past few says, reporters from a number of news outlets have known her name, known her identity and tried to reach out to her. And according to the Post interview here which lays it out in great detail, she felt it was necessary to go On the Record.

[14:41:04] MARQUARDT: Yes. And so, she got married in 2002. At the time, she didn't say anything to her parents. She didn't report this to the authorities. She kept this bottled up inside. And she says in this Post piece, I think it derailed me substantially for four or five years. I was ill-equipped to forge those relationships. She got married in 2002. And it was only 10 years later when she was in couples' therapy with her husband that she mentioned Kavanaugh's name.

STELTER: Yes, in 2012. And I think is going to will end up being a very important pivot point in this story. However this unfolds in the next hours and days. We have heard time and time again when the allegations of sexual misconduct not just among judges but among the executives and among artists. Sometimes people will say the woman just wants attention or she is making it up. And it's vital in this case, there is a document from 2012 that shows that she was in therapy and that she told a story about something like this.

Now, as you mentioned earlier, the document doesn't, from the therapist, the document does not say Kavanaugh's name, but her husband is saying that Kavanaugh's name came out, out loud at the 1012 therapy session. So I think that is going to be an important detail going forward that she didn't just start talking about this in July.

MARQUARDT: And we should note that the allegations are that there were four boys in that house.

STELTER: Yes, at that party.

MARQUARDT: Kavanaugh and Judge were the two in that room but there were two others downstairs at that party. "The Washington Post" did reached out to them and did not get response.

STELTER: And have no heard back. So immediately, you immediately wonder about what they will say, these two men, who are have been accused here. Have denied it. The other two men who are at the party, they have not responded in any way, shape, or form.

I think we should also note she is describing here, Ford, in this "Washington Post" interview. She admits she doesn't remember everything. She doesn't know every detail. She doesn't know exactly where it happened. She doesn't know exactly when it happened. So her allegations although they are detailed in some ways and you hear her describe what she said was trauma as a result, that's is going to be one of the hole that is going to be poked here and what happens in these cases.

But to the argument that we sometimes hear in this Me Too age that she just wants attention, I think that is contradicted by the fact that she struggled to decide whether to come forward. And only now in early September did she decide to go On the Record.

MARQUARDT: When reporters started knocking on her door.

STELTER: Started knocking on her door and making it harder for this day on.

MARQUARDT: But also that same struggle that we have heard so often from women in this Me Too age, she went home. She doesn't know how she got home and she says well, you know, nothing really happened to me.

STELTER: You downplay it in your own mind.


STELTER: This was not that big of a deal. I wasn't actually raped. That's what she say in this interview that she told herself that this was not that serious. And only later realized how serious it was. And unfortunately, even though this happened decades ago according to Ford, this is the kind of thing you still hear young women struggling with.

Let's remember, she said she was 15 at the time. I think one other detail worth noting, she did hire Washington lawyer, Debra Katz. She took a polygraph test, not you know, an official government approved one, but a polygraph test administrated by a former FBI agent. So that polygraph result was tested positive saying that she did tell the truth. I think will also become one of these key pivot point.

MARQUARDT: Which corroborate her story. So there are so many different sides to this. Obviously, the horrible things that allegedly happened to her. But then also what have the White House is going to respond. And what is going to happen in these confirmation hearings. And you can't help but think about Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas. And we also know that Anita Hill has responded to this before this piece came out, saying that there should be some sort of government investigation into these allegations.

STELTER: Right, from the FBI or some morals or by judiciary committee. I have to be honest, Alex, when I first read the story few minutes ago, I cringed thinking about what President Trump will say about this. If history is any guide, he will stand with Kavanaugh and he could very well demean the woman involved. That has been his history. He has not been a proponent of the Me Too movement and said he has been a detractor. And of course, his own history. We may never accused him of sexual assault, comes to mind right away.

But putting Trump to the side, that's possible for a second. The more interesting folks to watch will be the senators, the key senators in this case who may have already known some of these details, but don't think knew all of it that is not been published by "the Washington Post."

[14:45:15] MARQUARDT: So much more come out.

All right. Brian Stelter, thank you so much for joining us.

STELTER: Thanks.

MARQUARDT: All right. We will continue to follow this breaking story after a short break.


[14:49:53] HILL: Welcome back to CNN's special coverage of what is now tropical depression Florence. I'm Erica Hill in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

And we are just down a little bit from where we were when we first joined to the top of the hour. And the reason is I just want to give you a sense of how quickly the waters are moving here in town.

So this is cross creek that just to my right. We are in a downtown park. Keep in mind during Matthew, this creek feeds into the river. During that, the Cape Fear River was at 53 feet, the mayor just told me a couple of minutes ago. They are expecting it to hit 62 to 65 feet. This entire park where I am standing was under water.

You see the water is just behind me right here. This lamp post over my shoulder, when we first came to this park at 10:45 this morning, so just about four hours ago, we could see the base of that lamp post. You can walk all the way out to it. I would not advise that now. Despite the fact that we have seen people walking through this park. Some of them doing that when the mayor here with me, who was very clear. This is not smart. Nobody needs to be out of this. Nobody should be in or near any of these waters.

We want to give you a better sense of what is happening around the Carolinas. So let's go now to CNN's Derek Van Dam -- Derek?

[14:51:06] DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: We had good intentions and we were able to join up with a five-ton army truck (INAUDIBLE).

HILL: We are having a little trouble with that communication. We are going to try to get Derek back up as I'm sure you can understand. The communication can be tough in this weather especially given some of the areas where our reporters, where our teams are. Some of them in areas that have been cutoff. Those communities cutoff so we are going to give you a better sense of where those areas are throughout the coming hours.

I also want to bring in now Todd (ph) who is joining us. He is with the Cajun Navy. We know how instrumental the different groups of folks have been around the area and not just in terms of Florence, but other storms as well in terms of helping out. So (INAUDIBLE), where are you right now? And that have you folks been

a part of? What are you concerned about this hour?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just got in to Wilmington. (INAUDIBLE). We are in North Carolina and I haven't slept in like three days. We just left Wilmington and there is a lot of flooding going on there and they followed us to come in to help them.

HILL: And so, you were able to get out of Wilmington. Because one of the things that we have been hearing in folks there on the ground, the mayor even telling one of our correspondents they had to turn away duke energy coming in to fix power lines. They had to turn away folks from FEMA. The water companies worried about their fuel getting in so they can continue to treat water because Wilmington has essentially cutoff. But you were able to get out?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we were able to get out. We were able to get out. We also - we had pretty jacked up trucks that we were able to get out. It was about a foot and a half of the water and some inches, but we were able to get in.

HILL: Can you put this into perspective for us in terms of the flooding that you have seen as a result of Florence and other disasters you have been there to help out with?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the disasters we have been helped out with, the water has been high and stayed there. You know, this disaster here, I mean, we are basically chasing the water every day. I mean, we were in Wilmington last night when the flooding began. And the 5:00 or 6:00 o'clock, everything was fine. And then 8:30 or 9:00, it just got crazy. It was like we are still most of the morning. And now today, the water has drop pretty good in Wilmington and now we are in (INAUDIBLE). So it is like you are chasing the water almost. But basically, we have to try to stay up with the waterway going.

HILL: Which is not an easy thing to do.


HILL: We have seen the water behind us here in the park where we are, in this creek in the Cape Fear River rise. At least a couple of feet in the last few hours. The mayor said here for folks who don't obey these mandatory evacuations, they should contact their next of kin.

You helped first responders and you will go out there on your own, as well, really putting your life at risk. A lot of people wonder why you do it, Todd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we do it because we can. You know, you go all the way back to hurricane Katrina, a lot of us had big losses back then. But you know, we picked up (INAUDIBLE) and we moved on. But we have the boats and we have the knowledge that a lot don't have. Just because we have it. We help because we can. I don't want to see people stuck where they can and you try to limit the loss of life in best we can as well. HILL: So many people grateful to everything that you and everyone

else who makes that remarkable Cajun Navy are doing. We are going to continue to stay in touch with you. We know you are on your way to help other folks as well. Todd, thank you.


HILL: And our special coverage of Florence continues on the other side of this break. Stay with us. You are watching CNN.


[14:59:19] MARQUARDT: Good afternoon. And thanks for joining me. I am Alex Marquardt in New York.

We will have more on the flooding aftermath in the Carolinas from hurricane Florence in just a moment. But first, our other breaking news.

The woman who recently accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were in high school is now coming forward publicly and telling her side of the story to "the Washington Post."

So let's get right to CNN's Ariane De Vogue who cover the court.

Ariane, we knew the broad strokes of these allegations. Now, we have a lot more detail in this Post report. Direct quotes from the woman, Christine Blasey Ford. So what more is she saying?

Sorry, we are going to come back to Ariane in just a second. We are going to go to Boris Sanchez instead at the White House.

Boris, in the wake of this allegations, the White House had defended Kavanaugh when this assault allegation first came to light. Are they sticking by him today?