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Hurricane Dorian Pummeled Bahamas For 48 Hours; Volusia County Bracing For 17-24 Hours Of Sustained Winds; Dorian Forces Millions To Evacuate In Southeast U.S.; M.P.s Shout "Sit Up" To House Of Commons Leader. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired September 4, 2019 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States and all around the world, I'm Rosemary Church at CNN Center.
We are following two major stories this hour, the destructive hurricane making its way up the southeastern coast of the United States.
And on the Brexit front, the British prime minister has lost a key vote.
CHURCH: The year's most powerful storm has already devastated one country and it's not over yet. For days, Hurricane Dorian slowly tore through the Bahamas and we are getting a look at that destruction now.
Whole islands look like they've been smashed with a wrecking ball. At least seven people were killed, homes torn to shreds, communities gutted and the prime minister says his country is facing a national crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUBERT MINNIS, BAHAMIAN PRIME MINISTER: The national airport at Abaco is underwater. The runway is completely flooded and in fact the area around the airport now looks like a lake.
Marsh Harbour has suffered, I would estimate, in excess of 60 percent damage to the homes. The mud, as we know, has been completely destroyed or decimated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: As the people of the Bahamas struggle, Dorian is rolling on. It has gotten weaker over the past 24 hours but is still packing a punch, it is now a category 2, picking up speed as it threatens the United States.
CNN's Patrick Oppmann and his crew have been riding out the storm in one of the hardest hit areas, Freeport, Bahamas. Entire neighborhoods are inundated with water, homes, buildings and cars have been destroyed and many areas aren't even accessible yet.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One jetski ride, one boat trip at a time, these Bahamians are saving the lives of their family, neighbors and complete strangers. They launch from a bridge that is now underwater.
Theirs is a dangerous mission. Hurricane force winds are ranging.
Howard Armstrong was rescued after his house flooded to the ceiling. His house was one of hundreds lost as storm surge from Dorian swallowed whole neighborhoods.
OPPMANN (voice-over): Armstrong's wife Lynn didn't make it.
HOWARD ARMSTRONG, HURRICANE DORIAN SURVIVOR: It came over the roof. I would imagine 21 feet at least. We were doing all right until the water kept coming up and all the appliances were going around the house like a washing machine. I probably got hit with something in bed and my poor little wife got hypothermia and she was standing on top of the kitchen cabinets until they disintegrated and I kept with her and she just drowned on me.
OPPMANN (on camera): I'm so sorry.
ARMSTRONG: I know. I know. And so --
OPPMANN: How did you get out?
ARMSTRONG: I got out. I had a big boat anchored in there. I'm a crab fisherman and I have a 40-footer on a mooring which stayed there, so I didn't even think it was there. So I had got out of the house after my wife drowned and because you couldn't be in there anymore and I had no tools to chomp a hole in the roof, in the ceiling.
So I saw my boat was still there and I swam. I took a chance and swam out to it.
OPPMANN (voice-over): There is no power on Grand Bahama Island, no running water, sporadic cell service at best. Submerged cars blocked many roads. Maybe the last thing working is this all-volunteer crew of boaters risking their lives to save lives. Dorian fights them every trip they make.
People coming with what they have, the jets skis they have. They are dealing with horrible weather conditions. It's not safe to be on a boat or out here at all. They know there are people out there.
While we were there, winds flip a jetski and the rescuers have to hold their efforts.
Rescuer Rochenel Daniel says there isn't much time left.
ROCHENEL DANIEL, HURRICANE DORIAN SURVIVOR: Exhausted. Some we had to carry. Some couldn't make it. Some he put on the jetski, turned the whole jetski over because they couldn't hold they weight up.
First one we found was my brother clinging to a tree and he made out safe but we were unable to locate his wife at the moment. We hope she's OK, but the rescue goes on and on. We have a lot of people supporting us. Everybody working as a team here, you know. It's very hard but we shall overcome.
OPPMANN (on camera): How are you doing? You made it.
(voice-over): Dozens have been rescued but many more remain in desperation as they spend the third night waiting for salvation -- Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Bahamas.
CHURCH: My next guest has spent most of Tuesday trying to rescue people in the aftermath of the devastation brought by Hurricane Dorian. Kevin Tomlinson joins me now via Skype from Freeport.
Thank you so much for being with us and for doing all you can along with the team of other people, of course, to help rescue those in need. How many people were you able to find and bring to safety and what were some of the circumstances you found those people in?
KEVIN TOMLINSON, BAHAMAS RESIDENT: Well, numerous people, we were able to find. It was -- we had persons who were stuck in their ceiling. We had persons who were struggling walking through water up to their shoulder level. We have -- you know, there are so many different situations, I mean that we experienced throughout that movement of the storm and it was something that we've never experience before.
You know, this is something new to Freeport. A category 5 hurricane and the amount of destructive damage that it did with the homes. The shelter that I was at, we went from 25 persons to about 400 persons in less than two hours. You know, that should show you how people are running scared for their lives. And, I mean, the fact that they ran out, left everything, they brought nothing with them.
TOMLINSON: So it's something we really unsurely -- we have never experienced before. In 2004 when we had hurricane Francis, yes, we were locked in for two days, but at the end of the day, the destructive path that this -- Dorian has created, we didn't have that for Francis. And we had more with the aftermath. Yes, there were some things to deal with for a few months.
TOMLINSON: But this here is a totally different situation altogether.
CHURCH: And, of course, everyone's facing major challenges right now, including access to food, water and shelter. What is available to people right now? And what's the government doing to help?
TOMLINSON: Well, the government was waiting for the all clear. Now, if you understand the Bahama Islands, we are -- ma'am, we have different islands that make up the Bahamas. So Freeport is a part of Grand Bahama. Our central government sits on the island of New Providence. So it was difficult for planes to come in while they were having all of that wind gusts and everything.
TOMLINSON: So after the all clear, the central government, the units and so forth and also persons who assist from Florida with the U.S. Coast Guard will be coming in to bring assistance and everything. So we look forward to that because there is a food shortage. There is a water shortage. Because, like I said, persons left their homes and came to the shelters and they didn't have time to go pick up their food and all that stuff and everything. They just ran for their life, you know?
CHURCH: Yes, totally.
TOMLINSON: So coming into the shelters and the shelters you're talking about 400 persons in the shelter I was in last night. This shelter I'm in too now is one of the shelters that is being -- it's the old hotel -- the hotel that -- one of the hotels of the island, sorry. And they have the generator up so it has power.
TOMLINSON: You're talking about shortage in water and shortage in food. People are hungry.
CHURCH: Yes and that is going to get worse over the next few days. So, Kevin, I did want to ask you, when you look around at all the devastation and the changed landscape of the Bahamas, what are your thoughts?
TOMLINSON: Well, these are my thoughts. We will rebuild. You know, we've experienced devastation before. In many different -- with hurricanes before from 1929 until now. In fact, in 1929, people thought that was the end of the Bahamas on how destructive that storm was, but we rebuild.
You know, there is something about the Bahamas and the Bahamian people that the world will get a chance to see. We're not just a place of sun, sand, sea and fun, but we're also a place that is filled with a lot of creative minds and genius people and persons who are builders. So we're going to rebuild this island. Abaco is going to be rebuilt. And you're going to see it begin to change over a period of time.
However, we cannot, you know, give back the lives that we've lost. In Abaco we lost some lives as well as we lost some lives here in Grand Bahama. That will be -- it's unconfirmed now, but it will be talked about a bit later. But, you know, at the end of the day, the spirit of the Bahamian people is still alive. The Bahamian people still feel -- I was talking with the 400 proud last night. I got up and gave a talk last night to everybody and I said, you know what, yes, you felt it when your homes were destroyed. Yes, you felt it when you just -- you lost everything, but guess what?
These are material things that can be replaced. And once this is all over, we're going to -- we're going to get right to work. We're going to roll up our sleeves. We're going to get busy and start to build the Bahamas that the world knows about.
CHURCH: Thank you so much for being with us. Good luck.
TOMLINSON: Thank you. Have a good evening.
CHURCH: What a great inspiration he is.
The other big story we are following, it's only day two of work for British MPs after the summer break. But they're headed for another showdown. An opposition alliance will try to push through a bill, the next step in preventing a no deal Brexit on October 31st.
Now it comes a day after lawmakers rose up against the U.K. prime minister and voted that they would set the legislative agenda. Boris Johnson sacked 21 members of his own party who had backed the measure and made good on his threat to seek a general election. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: Let there be no doubt about the consequences of this vote tonight. It means that Parliament is on the brink of wrecking any deal we might be able to strike in Brussels. Because tomorrow's bill would hand control of the negotiations to the E.U.
And that would mean more dither, more delay, more confusion. And it would mean that the E.U. themselves would be able decide how long to keep this country In the E.U. And since I refuse to go along with that plan, we are going to have to make a choice, Mr. Speaker.
I don't want an election. The public don't want an election. But if the house votes for this bill tomorrow, the public will have to choose who goes to Brussels on October 17th to sort this out and take this country forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: CNN European affairs commentator Dominic Thomas is with us now from Berlin.
Good to see you, just extraordinary. I want to get an idea of how big a blow this is to Boris Johnson.
What is the likely outcome of Wednesday's vote on a bill that would prevent a no deal Brexit on October 31st?
DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: It's a significant blow. He's been in office for just a few weeks, he lost his majority yesterday in Parliament and he now only lost a vote but it looks as if the bill will make it through Parliament and prevent him, essentially, from enacting a no deal.
In other words, he will be forced to ask for an extension in Brussels if he doesn't have a deal in place by mid-October. This is very significant, it ultimately means that if the general action is triggered, he now finds himself the awkward position of having to add to the manifesto a promise that he will repeal this bill, should he be elected.
THOMAS: And this may be the only way in which he is able to get the Brexit Party of Nigel Farage to support him. But the irony of that, of course, is that the one thing that has galvanized the opposition, that is otherwise divided, the Labour Party, for example, is unwilling to commit unambiguously to remain in the European Union.
The one thing they are committed to is blocking a no deal. So this becomes a very high-stakes issue as we move down the road and potentially face another general election in the U.K.
CHURCH: OK, if the bill succeeds, Boris Johnson could call this snap election. If this happens what would be the likely outcome of that?
You've talked at the numbers, how do you think that sort of work For the government?
THOMPSON: Just to look at the procedure -- and Boris Johnson is really in a difficult position here, because of the changes that took place in 2011 around the ways in which elections are called, a sitting prime minister can no longer call for a snap election.
He can go to Parliament and ask for their support but he needs a two- thirds majority, so right now, Parliament controls the issues, unless they themselves are willing to table a vote of no confidence, which would just be a straight up and down vote.
One would assume given the vote last night that the opposition is in a position to go about doing this. I think that as we head into a general election the big thing is Boris Johnson needs to convince - and all of his actions over the past few weeks, the way he's been talking about the European Union, how a no deal is potentially necessary, it's specifically aimed at the Brexit Party, at Nigel Farage. He needs those people to come on board and support the Conservative
Party in the election. The problem with the opposition is that they are united against the no deal, that the Labour Party is not committed to opposing Brexit in general. It is not a Remain party.
And that I think weakens them as they potentially go into a general election. So this is a very careful game of calculation and strategizing. The outcome is highly unpredictable. But if Boris Johnson is able to bring aboard the Brexit Party folks, he stands a good chance at walking away as the leading party, perhaps not with a majority, but the leading party in a general election, potentially even with new members elected to Parliament from the Conservative Party that could allow him to deliver the kind of Brexit that he wants.
So it all depends on the kind of coordination one can get from the opposition around this question as well.
CHURCH: Quite the game of strategy. It's anyone's guess as to where this all lands. No doubt, we will talk in 24 hours to figure it all out. Dominic Thomas, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your analysis.
Parts of the Bahamas are obliterated and Hurricane Dorian now has its sights set on the U.S. coast. The latest from Florida, that is just ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR LENNY CURRY, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA: We will feel the impact of the storm starting tonight and into tomorrow evening. If you need to evacuate, you should be gone. All storm preparations should be complete at this point. Stay off of the beach, don't drive around if you don't have to. This is not the time for sightseeing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: That was the mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, warning about Hurricane Dorian. The city is bracing for the storm as it inches closer. Dorian is moving along eastern Florida, landfall is not expected in that state. But coastal areas are preparing for heavy rains and dangerous winds.
The storm has weakened since decimating parts of the Bahamas but it has grown in size as well. So let's head to Jensen Beach now in Florida and CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam is standing by live there.
Good to see you. What is the situation on the ground where you are right now?
And what is the biggest concern for people in that area?
DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good day, Robyn (sic). We've had our fair share of tropical weather today, from driving rains, tropical storm force winds, treacherous seas on the Intercoastal, where I am located, and on the ocean but it is a far cry from the nightmare that has unfolded.
A hundred miles to our east in the Grand Bahama and into the Abaco, we understand what has happened. And we think of those people at this moment in time. But for this particular region, the Martin County that I'm located in, there's a collective sigh of relief.
Four to five days ago, the category 4 was taking aim on the East Coast of Florida, we saw the forecast and listened to the meteorologists.
And not so fortunate for the Grand Bahama islands. I want to talk about the threats here that people have been dealing with and that has been the coastal erosion that has taken place.
We did talk to the local sheriff, he said little if any damage has been reported, the evacuation orders have been lifted. But among the immediate coastline, we know that's where the strongest winds hit because of its proximity to the storm.
And it allowed for the water to be pushed up. And we had to do it reconnaissance for our live shot earlier in the day. We saw very large waves earlier this afternoon. It's subsided some but you could still see the push from the water here.
CHURCH: We will check back in with you in just a short while to get an update on the situation there on the ground. Derek Van Dam joining us there.
Hurricane Dorian is lashing Florida's coastal communities, we will find out what one local government is doing to keep people safe there. Do stay with us, we are back in a moment.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.
Parts of the Bahamas are facing absolute devastation from Hurricane Dorian. For 48 hours, the monster storm moved slowly over the islands, hitting some areas over and over again.
[02:30:00] And you can see some of the destruction here in these aerial pictures.
Entire communities torn apart. Homes are gone along with roads and hospitals. At least seven people were killed and the storm isn't over yet. Even buildings that were left standing faced a barrage of wind and flooding. And desperate people are braving chest-deep water to reach higher ground. They are doing it to save loved ones, neighbors, and pets.
After seeing what Dorian has done in the Bahamas, the United States is getting ready. The Category 2 hurricane is picking up speed and size as it moves north. Georgia and Florida is seeing the outer edges of Dorian right now. And the storm isn't expected to make landfall there. But it could threaten the Carolinas later this week. So, let's turn again to our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. He's keeping a very close eye on all of this. So, Pedram, what are you seeing in terms of Dorian's track and, of course, likely impact?
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: You know, it's looking very likely the storm system is going to get very close to the Carolinas within the next 36 hours. Potential landfall there some time Thursday afternoon. But, you notice these satellite imagery here with a 110-mile-per-hour winds. It is just one mile per hour shy of what would be a major hurricane Category 3. So, really, the impacts of not distinguishable when it comes to the difference between a Cat 2 and what would be a low grade Category 3. But you take a look, Category 5 is, of course, this was one of them within the last couple of days, and one of five Category 5 since 2016, every single one of these storms: from Michael to Irma to Matthew and Maria, including Dorian, as well. All of them rapidly intensified into Category 5 status.
And of course, we know where devastation has been the most significant, right across portions of the Abaco and also the Grand Bahama Island. And satellite imagery now just coming in showing you the before-and-after perspective of what the islands look like prior to the storm moving overland on September 2nd. And the incredible amount of inundation across the northern fringes of the island where we've had some 22-foot storm surge reported across this region. Absolutely submerging and damaging significant portions of our Grand Bahama Island.
Here's what is left of the storm system, still has some symmetry, some organization, and we expect the storm to maintain its intensity, we're very close to it, at least over the next say 24 or so hours as it approaches land. And the turn towards the northeast, we expect that to happen sometime around this time tomorrow night into the early morning hours of Thursday. That's the area when we think the best bet here really for the storm system to begin pushing some of those hurricane force winds towards land.
You notice even at this hour, the area indicated the yellow was a tropical storm force winds. So, even though it sits 80 or so miles offshore, still going to feel tropical storm force winds right up and down most of the central and northern tier of the state of Florida. And then, as we transition into this time tomorrow, you'll begin to see hurricane force gust on the immediate coast of Georgia. Area indicated in red, that's when hurricane force winds are going to be expected. I notice Charleston gets a brief glimpse of that potentially going into Thursday morning.
And then, we think landfall somewhere around this region of the Carolinas, if not, around the outer banks before the storm systems finally, after 12 to 13 days at that point, begins to skirt away from the eastern seaboard of the United States. So landfall possibility looks to be around Thursday, around portions of the Carolinas here, Rosemary, by Thursday afternoon.
CHURCH: All right. Pedram, thank you so much for keeping a close eye on all of that. Appreciate it.
JAVAHERI: Thank you.
CHURCH: Yes. For more now on the possible impact of Hurricane Dorian, I want to turn to Joanne Magley. She's Director of Community information at Volusia County, and she joins me on the phone. Good to talk with you.
JOANNE MAGLEY, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY INFORMATION, VOLUSIA COUNTY: Hello, Rosemary. Thanks for having me.
CHURCH: Now, you're based in Daytona Beach. What's the situation on the ground there right now? And how are you preparing for storm surges and flooding from Hurricane Dorian?
MAGLEY: Well, the one advantage of this slower moving hurricane is that we have had a few extra days to prepare. Right now, currently, we are experiencing the tropical storm force winds, and the biggest impact we're going to get is going to come around 3:00 a.m. and it's going to last maybe until 9:00 a.m. for the biggest impact. But, we're expected to see about 17 to 24 hours of sustained winds. So, we've been preparing for quite some time.
This morning, we did issue a mandatory evacuation order for residents on our barrier island, and those who live in mobile homes and on the eastern portion of the county. And at the same time, we issued the emergency curfew for the cities and the unincorporated parts of the county that are on the east side of the Halifax River, and that curfew went into effect at 6:00 p.m. today. It runs through until 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. It kicks in again Wednesday 6:00 p.m. and it'll go through again to Thursday at 6:00 a.m.
And so, it's an order to protect the areas that were under the evacuation notice. So, their property and such is protected and to keep everybody safe from driving in and out of those areas.
CHURCH: And how bad do you think this will be? And do you feel ready and prepared for whatever the outcome might be?
MAGLEY: Well, we're definitely prepared for -- you were preparing for the -- what could be the worst part of the storm if it were to come in a little more on the west, but we feel that people have been heeding the evacuation orders, we have more than 1,000 people in our shelters. And we were out a little earlier today and the streets are pretty bare, so we do feel that people are sheltering in place, those that did not need to evacuate the area.
You know, our staff also connected with all the assisted living facilities and the nursing homes, making sure that they are prepared to provide for all the residents in case there's power loss, and they're all squared away there. We've been really active and pushing out public information. We have a very robust Emergency Management Facebook page, we've done news conferences, several days in a row, sometimes twice a day, just constant -- and we -- and we're streaming those live, just keeping the public informed of changes in the track, when the curfews are going into effect, the evacuation orders, what they need to do to be prepared before or during and after the hurricane. So, we feel that we've -- that we're ready and we feel our residents and citizens are taking the necessary actions as well.
CHURCH: Yes, certainly sounds like your preparations are all very well considered. And you've really thought about everything, but is there any concern at all that people will let their guard down and not take this as seriously as they should perhaps? Because some may have decided the hurricane just won't be as bad as initially thought.
MAGLEY: I think you always have that with hurricanes, especially from people who have grown up in the area or have weathered through the storm for several different hurricanes and maybe didn't have damage or things like that. But we've been through Matthew and we've been through Irma, and both of those storms, we receive tropical storm winds that did create substantial damage to the area with downed trees and some flooding in areas. So, those hurricanes were not direct impact. Matthew is a similar path and track as Dorian is here. So, I think it's somewhat fresh in people's mind that even though you might not be getting a direct hit, you definitely are going to feel the effects of tropical storm winds, which -- you know, which are -- which are strong, and they're powerful.
CHURCH: All right, Joanne Magley, thank you so much for running down all of the things that you have prepared for there at Daytona Beach. And we wish you all the best, you and all citizens there. Many thanks.
MAGLEY: Thank you very much.
CHURCH: And much more coming up on Hurricane Dorian. A live report from the Florida coast as the storm moves north. Do stay with us. We're back in just a moment.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, Hurricane Dorian has left a path of destruction in its wake. An island once known as paradise and now in ruins. The storm battered the Bahamas for two straight days, submerging entire neighborhoods and smashing houses apart. So far, at least, seven people have been confirmed dead. But sadly, that number is expected to rise. As Hurricane Dorian moved away from the Bahamas, it weakened somewhat, but it's still a powerful storm as it moves up the eastern coast of Florida.
Forecasters predict Dorian could make landfall in South Carolina later this week, probably Thursday. So, let's head back to Jensen Beach, Florida and CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam. Good to see you again, Derek. So, let's talk about what you're seeing there on the ground, and of course, what the big concern is in the hours ahead.
VAN DAM: Yes, I think you touched on it there really well, Rosemary, you know, this is a weakening storm, still a very dangerous, powerful Category 2. But as these storms weaken, they expand their reach, they expand their wind reach, I should say. And that's what we've been experiencing here on the inner coast, just about a half a mile behind me is the Atlantic Ocean. 80 miles to my east, Hurricane Dorian is showing all her fury. But we are on the backside of the storm. So, people have taken a collective sigh of relief because we're now starting to focus the most treacherous conditions closer to the northern Florida peninsula and into the coastline of Georgia as well as the Carolinas.
So, you know, the concerns going forward here is that we have seen our fair share of rain from this storm. And that means that the ground is very saturated and every time we get hit with one of these stronger wind gusts it could easily take over trees, maybe take down some power lines. There's been minimum power outages here in Martin County where I'm located, but it has occurred. But again, collectively, according to the sheriff that we just spoke to here from Martin County, there has been little if any damage reported aside from a few tree branches and a couple of power lines that have fallen so far, Rosemary?
CHURCH: Well that is good news. But how well have people responded to this storm and is there any concern that some are perhaps not taking it seriously enough?
VAN DAM: I mean, I think they responded as well as anyone could. You got to consider what they've gone through over the past four or five days. They had a Category 5, or Category 4 hurricane, expected to make landfall on the east coast of their shores.
That didn't happen, it's scraping along the coast. They had mandatory evacuations. Those were rescinded, and then, brought back again. So, this flip-flopping is not only a headache for the residents that live here, but also for the county officials that make those important decisions.
Of course, people took them seriously when the evacuations were firmed up once again as the models edged closer to the shore. People seemed to get off the Barrier Islands and the susceptible areas.
But they are now allowed to return. Evacuations orders have been lifted. Coming back to normal here, I think we've got another 12 hours of strong winds, maybe a couple of outer rain bands. But again, we're going to ride the storm up the coastline. We're going to focus our greatest dangers on North Florida, the coast of Georgia, and into the Carolinas. That's where we're looking at. Rosemary.
CHURCH: Yes, totally understand. And I understand what you're saying about the fatigue that people feel. You know, we're talking about Durian making landfall on Thursday. Now, I mean, at least, people in South Carolina have time to prepare for this.
But it is -- it is tough expecting people to be standing alert throughout all of this. Our Derek Van Dam, many thanks to you, joining us there from Jensen Beach.
VAN DAM: Yes, OK.
CHURCH: We'll talk with you again very soon. Let's take a very short break. We're back in just a moment.
CHURCH: We are following breaking news this hour with our first look at the sheer devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. The Island Paradise has been decimated by the storm, at least seven people are dead but that toll is expected to rise.
Right now, the storm is moving along the Florida coast with heavy rain and fierce wind gusts. It's expected to stay offshore for now, at least. And we'll continue to keep a very close eye on that story.
But another big story we're watching, it's only day two of work for British M.P.s after the summer holidays. But Parliament has already seen a showdown as Britain's deadline to leave the E.U. draws nearer.
A rebel alliance of lawmakers rose up against U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. And the moved to put a stop to a no-deal Brexit by taking over the legislative agenda.
The prime minister then sacked 21 members of his own party who had backed the measure and he made good on his threat to seek a general election.
Meanwhile, the House of Commons leader also managed to cause some commotion. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAROLINE LUCAS, GREEN PARTY, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, UNITED KINGDOM: Now, there's been a lot of talk about democracy tonight and the leader of the House who I have to say with his body language throughout this evening has been so contemptuous of this House and of the people.
And for the benefit of Hansard, the Leader of the House has been spread across around three seats, lying out as if that was something very boring for him to listen to tonight.
Well, can I just say to him, when he has been lecturing us about democracy, we will have none of it. Because this government has no mandate for the vicious form of Brexit it is pursuing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: OK. So, this is how things unfolded. To keep track, we have a flowchart for you. Since Tuesday night's motion succeeded, the House of Commons is to vote Wednesday on a bill that would prevent a no-deal Brexit on October 31st.
Now, there are two choices. If the vote fails, a no-deal Brexit is still possible. If the vote succeeds, well, the prime minister could call for an early election. But two-thirds of Parliament must agree for that to go forward, and that leaves the possibility of a vote to delay Brexit.
We'll try and keep on top of all of this. For reaction to all of this, CNN's Anna Stewart went to Clacton-on-Sea in the south of England. 70 percent of residents there voted to leave the E.U. in the 2016 referendum. And Anna is there to find out what they're now saying about Brexit and the debate.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Areas like this one didn't just vote to leave the E.U. in 2016. And overwhelmingly so, more recently, this year in the E.U. parliamentary elections, there was a very strong vote from this area for the Brexit Party. That's the newly formed party led by Nigel Farage, sentiment has not shifted.
And speaking to people in town today, there is a huge sense of frustration. They feel that the government and Parliament more broadly have failed to deliver the Brexit they voted for well over two years ago. Take a listen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Too horrible back, I just think we need to get on with it. Get out.
STEWART: How's Boris Johnson doing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since we're doing a good job if only he can get us out on the 31st.
STEWART: Would you rather have no-deal or a delay?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A no deal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'd rather leave without a deal. I think the U.K. can stand on its own, we might have a few hiccups. But, yes, and I think we can.
STEWART: There seems to be no appetite here, at least, for any further delays to Brexit. I've also been asking people what they would do in a future general election, how would they vote? The general consensus I've had is they simply don't know.
Plenty of people in this area are traditional conservative voters. Many of them actually think Boris Johnson is doing a good job as the new prime minister. They think he's a strong negotiator with Brussels on Brexit.
However, they feel let down by the Conservative government over the last few years because it's failed to deliver the Brexit that they voted for. Equally, not for these people because they were traditional conservative voters, would not vote for Labour and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
That means potentially smaller parties will get lots of the vote -- that could be the Brexit Party for those that support Brexit or on the remain side of things, the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats.
We could essentially see a much more fragmented Parliament. That's it from Clacton-on-Sea.
The next stop on CNN's Brexit road trip will be heading to Norwich, a remain area. So, don't forget to tune in. But for me, Anna Stewart, reporting in Clacton-on-Sea, in the southeast of England.
CHURCH: And we'll keep following the saga. Thanks for joining us this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with more of our breaking coverage of Hurricane Dorian, and of course, other top stories in just a moment. You're watching CNN. Stick around.