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NEW DAY

Hurricane Dorian's Forecast; Hurricane Hunters Fly into Dorian; Former FEMA Administration talks about Hurricanes; Johnson Threatens Early Election. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired September 3, 2019 - 06:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[06:30:00]

MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: And correct about this details if he wants to shake these kind of questions.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, we're out of time.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: All right.

CAMEROTA: Thank you both very much for all of that perspective.

All right, now on to the climate crisis. What would you like to see done about it. Ten Democratic presidential candidates will discuss this critical issue tomorrow night starting at 5:00 p.m. only here on CNN.

OK, let's go back to John Berman. He is, of course, in the brain of the storm that is approaching Florida.

So, John, what's the situation down there in Port St. Lucie?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I've got to say, the pictures we started to get in from the Bahamas are simply devastating. We really haven't seen anything like this before. Water up to roofs. Even worse there.

That's there. Here in Florida, they are bracing for hurricane strength winds as soon as tonight. The storms surge, starting to feel the effects of that. We're going to get the very latest on the forecast right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:35:21]

BERMAN: Welcome back. I'm John Berman, in Jensen Beach, Florida. This is CNN's special live special coverage of Hurricane Dorian.

And one of those bands from the storm, the storm still about a hundred miles away, one of the bands is passing over right now. The wind picked up and the rain has whipped through.

How close will the center of the storm come to the Florida coast? That is still the question being asked by millions this morning. Let's get the forecast from Chad Myers in the Weather Center.

Chad, what are you seeing?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: John, that number likely between 60 to 70 miles offshore, depending on where you are on the coast. The closest approach will likely be at Cape Canaveral because it sticks out there into the Atlantic.

What I'm seeing on the satellite right now is a dying hurricane, at least for now. I think it has run out of warm water. It has used it all up. It has been in the exact same spot for so very long, the water is no longer 80 degrees anymore. It's mixed in from the bottom. The eye is filling in. And that will tell us that this storm is getting smaller, the eye is getting tighter, but it's not, because on the radar we can see it's not tightening up. It's just kind of gulping in dry air here and losing some intensity. The last update was 120 miles per hour. We'll see what the new 8:00 and the new 11:00 say.

But the storm is going to turn up the East Coast. And it isn't a point, it isn't a line, it's a bowling ball that's about 60 miles wide with hurricane force winds. And as you get close enough to the coast, you may see some of those hurricane force winds.

What has stopped the storm is a high here to the east, trying to push into the north, and a high to the west trying to push to the south. It is right between two gears in your transmission that are going the same direction and they're supposed to go opposite directions. And all you hear is just a crashing when you try to put it in second gear. And that's what we're having here. We're not getting the storm to move, and you're not getting your transition in gear either.

But, here we go, 1:00 today, somewhere around 59, Melbourne (INAUDIBLE), ah, just after midnight, 64. Daytona Beach, 62. And then on the way up toward the coast.

Watch this thing. It's wide. And I know every time you have this band go by you, that's what your winds are going to do, go up about 20 or so miles per hour, John.

BERMAN: All right, Chad Myers in the Weather Center, thank you so very much.

So what does Hurricane Dorian look like from the inside? When we come back, we'll speak with one of the hurricane hunter who's been flying in and out of this storm. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:42:07]

BERMAN: All right, welcome back. I'm John Berman in Jensen Beach, Florida. This is CNN's special live coverage of Hurricane Dorian.

And this is what Hurricane Dorian looks like on the ground in Florida now, about a hundred miles from the center. You can see it is already causing the water to kick up here in the intercoastal waterway. The wind has been blowing hard. The bands have been passing over it.

That's what it looks like from here. What does it look like from 45,000 feet?

Joining us now, from the air, Richard Henning, flight director of NOAA Hurricane Hunters, who is approaching Dorian from the north side.

Your seventh trip into the storm. Richard, if you can hear me all the way up there, what does the storm look like this morning?

RICHARD HENNING, FLIGHT DIRECTOR, NOAA HURRICANE HUNTERS (via telephone): Well, I can hear you just fine, John.

We do have some good news. As Chad indicated, the internal structure of the storm at its core is not nearly as organized as it was when it was at its cat five peak intensity. When it was at peak intensity, we had a 12 mile diameter eye that was like a buzz saw. It was almost like a, if you can imagine, a 12 mile wide tornado with winds of 185 miles per hour. That no longer exists.

It's got a 35 mile diameter eye that's very ragged on radar. A lot of it has opened up to the south and southwest of the center. So it's lost about 40 millibars of pressure since it was at peak intensity. It was down around 909 millibars, which was a record low pressure for this part of the Atlantic at its peak. Now we're sitting at about 950 millibars, a little bit above 950 millibars. So that's all good news to everybody in the southeastern U.S., but everyone still needs to pay very, very close attention.

As Chad indicated, a lot of this weakening is due to the fact that it parked itself, unfortunately, over those -- those four people on Grand Bahama and Great Abaco, those islands, and that has been a big reason why it's lost a lot of intensity. If it begins moving again, it may re-intensify a little, but right now the Hurricane Center forecast isn't calling for a significant re-intensification.

BERMAN: Yes, the science of it is really incredible, isn't it. It's stuck in one place for so long. It took all the heat from the ocean. It's now getting the water from the bottom where it's so much colder.

Any signs from where you are, can you tell if the storm has started to speed up at all or take the northward turn that so many have been expecting?

HENNING: You know, a couple of hours ago, looking at the radar imagery, looking at some of the data from our aircraft, I kind of thought that it maybe was a slight northerly turn had begun, that it had started to move, but not really.

[06:45:14]

I would consider what happened to be just sort of a wobble as the poorly defined center sort of rotates around and develops. So, right now, still, unfortunately, that -- that doesn't -- that's not good news necessarily for the folks that are in the hurricane warnings on the East Coast of Florida because they really want to see this thing start to move in that northerly direction to give them a little bit of relief from their anxiety. But, unfortunately, right now, that hasn't happened yet. It's still pretty much parked right on the north end of --

BERMAN: Right.

HENNING: The -- the area just north of Freeport in the Bahamas.

BERMAN: Richard Henning, flight director, National Hurricane Center, thank you so much for being with us this morning. A unique perspective to say the least. Thank you, sir, and be safe.

HENNING: All right, thank you, John.

BERMAN: Alisyn, I can only imagine the view he has of this storm. He says he can tell it's weakening. That's good news. But the fact that it's parked where it is over the Bahamas, it has been relentless for those islands.

CAMEROTA: Yes, and, of course, we just don't know what this unpredictable hurricane is going to do next. So I just don't want people waking up and thinking, oh, good, we're out of the woods --

BERMAN: Right.

CAMEROTA: Because we are long way from being out of the woods.

John, thank you very much. We'll be back with you momentarily.

But, meanwhile, there's this frantic search for the victims from that deadly diving boat fire off the California coast. We have new details about what happened, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:50:38]

BERMAN: All right, welcome back. John Berman in Jensen Beach, Florida. This is CNN's special live coverage of Hurricane Dorian, which is about a hundred miles away from the Florida coast where I'm standing right now, inching past the Bahamas, moving at a glacial pace.

Joining me now is former FEMA administrator, Craig Fugate.

And, Craig, thank you so much for being with us.

People in Florida are waking up this morning. They're hearing it's a category three hurricane, not as powerful as it was. They hear it may or may not make a direct impact in Florida. But that doesn't mean it's not a danger here. So what's the message people in Florida need to be hearing this morning?

CRAIG FUGATE, FORMER FEMA ADMINISTRATOR: Stay vigilant. Stay off the coast. Heed the evacuation orders. Too many unknowns to say it's safe to go home or we're not going to get impacted. So the real key message today is vigilance and heed the evacuation orders.

BERMAN: And I have to believe, as an administrator, this is a particularly challenging storm because it's been lingering out there for days and days and days. And while officials have been warning people to take precautions and do what they can, after days of it, people might get complacent.

FUGATE: Yes, I mean people started getting ready as far as last Thursday. So this has been a long, slow storm. But I think as the images come out of the Bahamas, people will understand the gravity of the situation and why these precautions are being taken. And then hopefully the storm does move up the coast without making a landfall.

BERMAN: Right. That's the best case scenario that everyone hopes for. Four thousand National Guard or so on the ready. Where do the resources need to be? What do they need to be doing this morning?

FUGATE: Well, they're doing what they're supposed to be doing, which is sitting in place ready to go anywhere along the coast of Florida. Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina are doing similar things. Everybody's prepared to respond if we see significant impacts. So hopefully this will be a quick response. Hopefully even an overwhelming response for the resources that are there.

But, again, they were planning for a possible landfall of up to a category five hurricane. They're not going to back off of that until this storm is out of the danger area.

BERMAN: You've seen the pictures coming back from the Bahamas. Just as someone with experience in the rescue and rebuilding and relief efforts there, what do you think they will need besides everything?

FUGATE: I think that the -- well, the first part is going to be life safety. There's, again, this is the equivalent of a huge tornado with a lot of water damage. Rescue is going to be the number one party. And then getting supplies in there, water, food, medical supplies. This is going to be a very intensive response operation that's going to take literally weeks.

BERMAN: If not longer.

Craig Fugate, former FEMA administrator, always great to speak with you. Thanks so much for being with us this morning.

FUGATE: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right, we're getting new information from the Weather Center as we speak. We'll have fresh data for you. Our special coverage of Hurricane Dorian continues right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:57:27]

CAMEROTA: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a showdown in parliament today as he tries to stop members of his own party who are trying to thwart him from executing a no deal Brexit. Johnson is threatening to call an early election to prevent another Brexit delay.

So CNN's Max Foster is live outside of parliament in London for us to explain all of these contradictory moves.

What's happening, Max?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, my accompaniment today, the anti-Boris crowd. They're all shouting "stop the coup, save our democracy." They believe that Boris Johnson, prime minister, being undemocratic, trying to bypass parliament, and they're backed up by the parliamentarians as well. So a large group of parliamentarians, including rebel members of Boris Johnson's conservative party, getting together today, introducing a bill, trying to block Boris' plan for Brexit.

Boris says, if they do that, those rebel MPs will be expelled from the party, and extraordinarily we're being briefed that he's going to call a snap election tonight, which will stop that bill becoming law. Extraordinary measures here.

But the latest twist, Alisyn, if you keep up, is that the opposition Labour Party are saying they won't support an election. They'll block an election if Boris Johnson does indeed call that tonight. When have you ever heard of an opposition party, Alisyn, saying no to a general election?

CAMEROTA: I've never heard of a lot of this, Max, but thank you very much for putting it in terms that we all can attempt to understand.

All right, meanwhile back here, Hurricane Dorian is, of course, pummeling the Bahamas at this hour, and it is getting ready to turn closer towards the Florida coast.

So NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As Florida braces for Hurricane Dorian, the Bahamas are taking a direct hit. The life-threatening storm has been pummeling the Bahamas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The images and videos we are seeing are heartbroken. Many homes have been completely or partially destroyed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The threats here going forward, flash flooding, coastal storm surge, as well as erosion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see we have heavy rains coming on shore right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got my storm shutters up. We're ready to go.

[07:00:01]

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just thinking about how dangerous the winds could be, I think it's really important it just stay away as far as you can. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a storm of storms.

END