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Category Five Hurricane Dorian Pounds The Bahamas; Another Mass Shooting In Texas; New Tariffs On Chinese Goods; Kevin Hart Hurt In Car Crash; Israel And Hezbollah Exchange Fire; Jonas Brothers Visits Teen In Chemotherapy. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired September 2, 2019 - 04:00   ET



DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Catastrophic hurricane Dorian steam rolls the Bahamas. The southeast is next. Who gets hit and when?

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Still few answers after another mass shooting in Texas. Don't expect much movement on efforts to slow the gun epidemic.

BRIGGS: Items people will need to recover from the hurricane will now be pricier as a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods now in effect.

WALKER: And serious back injuries for actor Kevin Hart. His car rolling down an embankment.

Welcome everyone to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is a special holiday edition of Early Start. I'm Amara Walker in For Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Good morning everyone, I'm Dave Briggs. Monday, September 2nd, 4 a.m. in New York, in the Bahamas and in South Florida. That's where we begin this morning with breaking news. Hurricane Dorian unleashing a category five fury on the Bahamas. Look at that view, gusts over 200 miles an hour. Sustained winds now at 175. The hurricane made landfall on Grand Bahama Island overnight. The strongest storm anywhere on the planet this year, the most powerful hurricane ever to hit the Bahamas.

WALKER: Hurricane watches in the state of Florida now extending all the way north to the Georgia border, and a storm surge watch has also been expanded to the same regions. Evacuation orders now in effect for much of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, coastal areas. Officials calling that inconvenience a small price to pay for the damage Dorian might deliver.


SHERIFF DAVID SHOAR, ST. JOHNS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Think of the worst case scenario. This is a storm of storms. Don't know where it's going to hit. Don't know what the impact is going to be, but it's not going to be good if it gets close to land. GOV. ROY COOPER (D-NC): North Carolina has to take this seriously.

Be ready. The storm might look far away, but it's already kicking up dangerous surf and rip tides at our coast.

GOV. HENRY MCMASTER (R-SC): And with these announcements we know that we cannot make everybody happy, but we believe that we can keep everyone alive.


BRIGGS: The Atlantic basin has now experienced a category five hurricane four years in a row. That is unprecedented since reliable data began in the 1960s. Dorian will be crawling along at 3 miles per hour over the next two days, a walking pace for most of us. So the worst of the storm is clearly far from over. Ivan Cabrera tracking the system live from the CNN Center. Ivan, good morning.

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hey, good morning, guys. Yes, it basically has stalled at this point here. We're getting an update every hour at the National Hurricane Center and the latest advisory, one, it is basically moving, well, slower than we can walk, right? So, this is basically stalled out, 165 mile-an-hour winds. I'm going to break down a few things here, that I think we need to highlight.

First of all, about six hours ago the storm was stronger at 185. It's beginning to replace its eye. They do this, and when that happens they wobble. And when they also interact with land masses they wobble a bit. So, this 165 that down, that is not going to continue. It may ramp back up. Also, a six-hour loop. And I'll show you the radar here. This is fascinating stuff coming in from Miami. This Miami radar, I'll come a little bit close to your 120 miles, a cat five hurricane just 120 miles from south Florida. We'll talk about those impacts in a second.

But look at this eye. Six hour loop. Notice what happens at the beginning. Moving, moving, moving and then it just stops. This is just devastating for Grand Bahama because basically now they're going to be into this 165, 175-mile-an-hour winds for basically 12 to 24 hours. That is going to continue.

Hurricane force winds extend out 45 miles. Now the 165 don't extend that far. That is going to be right around the ring. That is what we have the most catastrophic winds across the region here and that is right on top of Grand Bahama Island. I mean, you could not have pictured a worst case scenario for them right now.

You mentioned the hurricane warnings that are in effect from Boca Raton heading up to the Cape Canaveral and then from there we have the watches. Warnings means, hurricane conditions possible in 24 hours to watch and 48 hours. And then we'll get to the Carolinas. When we get to the Carolinas, first we have to get to the impacts in Florida here and look at how slow this is going to move.

Monday, 8 p.m. it hasn't moved all that much. And then by Tuesday 8 p.m. it is just east of Melbourne, not moving all that much either, but then beginning to continuing to basically threaten Florida, but also now begin to move to the north.

[04:05:11] What is critical here is that it has not begun its northern movement and until that happens, Florida is going to continue to be in the bigger threat as far as the impacts. The models still have the center of the storm east of Florida. But remember, the hurricane force winds extend out 45 and the tropical force winds extend out 165. This is still something we have to watch for today. That turn is going to be crucial. Because it's going to impact as far as how much storm surge we get. Wind damage and also then the rainfall that can be 15 to 20 miles off shore and 4 to 8 on shore.

A little shift to the West, we're talking about some significant impacts here across Florida. More so than we're already expecting and then again, a potential landfall Thursday across the Carolinas. So, Dorian continues to throw pretty much everything that we can talk about here with a tropical cyclone. The second strongest in the Atlantic ever since 1980, that was 190, that was Allen.

WALKER: A very concerning that it's such a slow-moving storm. Ivan Cabrera, thanks so much. We will be keep checking with you. Well, catastrophic damage is already being reported in the Bahamas.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone pray for us please. Please pray for us.


WALKER: The first areas hit by the storm are devastated. Dorian ripped the roof off this home.

And storm surges are still expected to lift water levels as high as 18 to 23 feet above normal producing large and destructive waves. Patrick Oppmann live from Freeport, Bahamas with the very latest. And let's talk more about what's going on where you are and these storm surges.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The storm surges are a main concern, but let's talk about the wind first. We are being lashed here in Freeport in the island of Bahamas by Dorian's wind all night long in the dark, because power is out here. It sounds like a jet engine, just screaming winds that pick up, but never really go away.

They die down a bit, but they never really go away. And it just keep getting stronger and stronger. And you just have to imagine were people who are in their homes, no power, no information, no TV. Now maybe they're listening to radio. It has to be terrifying. Nobody here in the Bahamas has ever experienced a storm like this because they've never had a storm like this.

And a real concern though is later on with the storm surge, talking about a storm surge exceeding 20 feet. The highest point on this island is 30 feet. Much of this island by the end of today, by tomorrow will be under water.

WALKER: All right. Patrick Oppmann, I appreciate it. Thanks so much.

BRIGGS: All right. An eerie calm in Island coastal Florida as Dorian inches closer, tolls now suspended on the state's major highways to assist evacuation efforts. Evacuation orders in effect for Palm Beach, Martin, Saint Lucy, Brevard, Indian River, Volusia and St. John County. Weather models now in agreement. Dorian following an eerily similar math, path rather to hurricane Matthew in 2016 which cost billions in damage. Martin County Sheriffs warning a near miss or devastation, both possibilities.


SHERIFF WILLIAM SNYDER, MARTIN COUNTY SGERIFF'S OFFICE: We are within 20 miles of an apocalyptic hurricane coming to shore on the treasure coast. If it does what the models are predicting, we will be OK. If on the other hand the storm wobbles 20 miles to 30 miles off its current path, and that is not a lot, we will have landfall.


WALKER: A steady stream of power trucks is arriving in Florida. They are being stationed all over the state. At noon today Orlando, Melbourne international airport and Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood International Airport will suspend commercial flights and close their terminals. Miami-Dade schools will close Tuesday ahead of the storm. Deval County and St. John's County public school will close Tuesday and Wednesday.

A new details overnight as Texas comes to grips with its second mass shooting in just a month. "The New York Times" reporting the Odessa shooter had been fired from his trucking job hours before killing seven strangers, miles apart, 22 others were injured. After losing track of the gun man Saturday, police were able to stop him by engineering a collision with the vehicle he hijacked. He was then killed in a shootout. They still don't have a motive.

BRIGGS: But his face isn't the only one you should remember. Its faces like this one, 17-month-old Anderson Davis, she is one of the injured. Her mom said she will have surgery today to remove shrapnel from her chest and fix her mouth, tongue and lip.

[04:10:13] Her mom texting Texas Governor Greg Avedon in part, toddlers are funny, because they can get shot, but still want to run around and play. We are thanking god for that. CNN's Ryan Young in Odessa, Texas.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Amber, still so many questions about this shooting. In fact it started Saturday around 3:17. And since then investigators are going to be working and figure out exactly what was going on. What was the motive behind this case? But we do know is a 36-year-old white male was getting pulled over for not making a proper lane change. And when that happen, as officers started walking up to that car he started using an AR-15 to fire to that back window towards officers. From there it was an all-out spree in terms of gunshots and police trying to track this man down.

And according to authorities, he then met up with a postal worker, he carjacked her, shot and killed her before being shot and (inaudible) by police. But since then, this fallout has been amazing in this community. We saw at a candlelight vigil, so many people, hundreds of people come together to try to pay their respects to the fallen. You are talking about seven people dead and 22 injured. So many questions not only about the shooter's motive, but how this community moves forward. In fact, we talked to two young ladies who lost a friend during the shooting.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even though she is gone, she is still here in my heart. And this is all for her, so people could know who she was because she was everything. And everyone misses Lailah Hernandez. I just think that she needs to (inaudible). In my mind I want her to come back, but she can't. And I don't know, I just pray to god that she is OK wherever she is doing well and we'll see her again.


YOUNG: We do know FBI investigators executed a warrant at the suspect's house. And what we figured out there, they believe he was a truck driver. He's been arrested before for minor offenses. But nothing so far points to the sort of destruction that was created in the streets between these two communities. What we've also heard a lot about is how this community plans to step forward. But one question came over and over again, how do we stop this cycle of violence? Dave and Amara?


BRIGGS: All right. Ryan Young there. Our Congress back a week from today. Action is doubtful at this point. We shall see.

Ahead, another escalation in the trade wars. New tariffs take effect between the U.S. and China. It may end up costing consumers dearly.


BRIGGS: 4:16 Eastern Time in the U.S., the China trade war has escalated again, 15 percent tariffs on estimated $110 billion worth of Chinese goods kicked in on Sunday. These tariffs are a big hit to consumer goods. Popular items like bed sheets, sneakers, sweaters, and power tools, items people will be looking for after a hurricane are on the list. Meats, cheeses, fruits, and vegetables also targeted.

Beijing's retaliatory tariffs on amount 75 billion worth of U.S. goods also took effect on Sunday. The world has already lived through two rounds of tariff increases and the Chinese retaliation. But these tariffs along with another round that has been delayed until December 15th are different because they directly target popular shopping items. Bottom-line, Americans are going to pay the price for this trade war. High-level talks with China are still planned for later this month.

WALKER: A dangerous escalation in violence along the Israel Lebanese border. The Iran-backed military group Hezbollah attacked an Israeli military base. The Israelis responding with artillery strikes marking the first exchange of fire at the border with Lebanon in nearly five years. Oren Liebermann tracking the latest developments live from northern Israel. Oren, I mean, it was a pretty intense encounter there, it was over pretty quickly. How high are tensions right now?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORESPONDENT: Well, the Israeli military, the IDF, remains on high alert at this point. We certainly have heard a drone above our heads including now. We've heard that drone all this morning. But other than that, it is a different story here than it was about 18 hours ago.

It was right around 4:15 local time when Hezbollah and Lebanon fired a series of anti-tank missiles in northern Israel. One of those anti- tank missiles hit building and this military headquarters here behind me, another hit a military vehicle. About a quarter of a mile away from where we are standing. The military says there were no injuries in those strikes.

Israel responded by firing about 100 artillery shells from here into Lebanon targeting where they say that anti-tank fire came from, as well as military targets in southern Lebanon. The IDF also used what they termed very limited helicopter strikes. But as quickly as it started, this was over. Two hours after the anti-tank missiles were fired the Israeli military lifted all restrictions on civilians in northern Israel. That is a strong indication that Israel expect this round of fighting to be over.

Though again, the military remains on high alert. And we've seen people here mostly return to their normal routine. Cars in the street, children are out and even some of the soldiers we've seen in the village here appear to be more relaxed. Amara, you pointed out, this is the sharpest exchange of fire since the beginning of 2015. That involved deaths on both sides, but was quickly limited in scope and it seems this will at least for now has been limited as well.

WALKER: All right. Oren Liebermann, thanks so much.

BRIGGS: All right. We are keeping a close eye on hurricane Dorian pounding the Bahamas as we speak. The southeast is next.

And she is stuck in the hospital battling cancer, but this 16-year-old got a very special visit. We'll show you who.


WALKER: We are monitoring hurricane Dorian. The storm is currently pummeling the Bahamas and heading towards the U.S. Dorian's wind speeds have slowed slightly to 170 miles per hour with gusts over 200. The storm already causing major damage after making landfall on Grand Bahama Island overnight as a category five hurricane.

Right now several hurricane watches and warnings are in effect extending from Florida all the way to the Georgia border. Much of Florida, Georgia, and the South Carolina coast lines are under evacuation orders and we will bring you a live update in moments.

[04:25:00] BRIGGS: Actor and comedian Kevin Hart seriously hurt in a car accident in Calabasas California. According to an incident report obtained by CNN, Hart and the driver Gerry Black sustained, quote, major back injuries. Both were taken in a nearby hospitals, Black was driving Hart's 1970 Plymouth barracuda seen here in this Instagram post when he lost control of the car and rolled down an embankment. This video shot by TMZ shows where the car went off the road. Officers determined Black was not under the influence of alcohol.

WALKER: The Jonas brothers added a special stop to their concert tour this weekend, 16-year-old Lilly Jordan's hospital room. Lilly was supposed to see the band Saturday in Hershey, Pennsylvania, but instead she was in the hospital across the street getting chemotherapy treatment. And like any teenager would, Lilly took to social media and she jokingly invited the band to come visit her. Sure enough the post went viral and, yes, caught the Jonas's attention.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for inviting us to come and see you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for coming.


WALKER: That was amazing. They posted their pictures and offered to dedicate her favorite song, SOS to her that night. Missing the concert, Lilly said, she had the time of her life.

It's a good thing she missed the concert, because she got a private one right there.

BRIGGS: Bravo to those young men. That is fantastic.

WALKER: All right now, Hurricane Dorian unrelenting as it batters the Bahamas. The Southeast is up next. A new update from the National Hurricane Center is on the way.