Return to Transcripts main page


Dorian Battering Charleston; Long Road Ahead for Bahamas; Trump's Phony Map; NFL's 100 Season Kicks Off Tonight in Chicago. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired September 5, 2019 - 05:00   ET


JENNIFER BAILEY, VP OF INTERNET SERVICES, APPLE: When we worked with Goldman on the Apple card, you know, philosophy, one of the things that we agreed is that we wanted to provide this product to as many iPhone customers as possible.


So, we have a lot of Apple customers. We have a lot of other kinds of customers as well. And so, our strategy and our goal is really to provide as many customers this product as possible.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Apple announced that card back in March, promising the most significant change in the credit card experience in 50 years. Signups started last month. The card only available to iPhone users and it's built into the Apple Wallet app. You can see more of that interview, a lot more of that interview on

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks to our international viewers for joining us. Have a great rest of your day.

For our U.S. viewers, EARLY START continues right now.


BRIGGS: A brand-new update from the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane Dorian regaining strength, battering the South Carolina coast, while rescue and cleanup efforts underway in the battered Bahamas.

ROMANS: A doctored phony map in the Oval Office. The president pushing a fake narrative that Dorian was once a threat to Alabama.

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: And with that, #sharpiegate.

I'm Dave Briggs. It's Thursday, September 5th, 5:00 a.m. in the East.

We begin with breaking news overnight. A sudden resurgence of Hurricane Dorian, regaining strength and now once again a major category 3 storm. Officials say landfall is possible anywhere in the Carolinas. Right now, Dorian is approaching the coast of South Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center warning of life-threatening storm surge and dangerous winds.

ROMANS: Dorian is forecast to run parallel to the coasts of North and South Carolina into Friday, but any swerve to the west could bring the eye of the hurricane on shore. This morning, more than 1 million people in the Carolinas are under mandatory evacuation orders. Coastal South Carolina getting hit hard.

Right now, parts of downtown Charleston are underwater, power outages quickly skyrocketing to 96,000. Fifteen to 20 inches of rain is expected.

Meteorologist Derek Van Dam is there for us this morning.

And you were saying earlier, already, parts of historic downtown Charleston have flooded.

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that's according to law officials who are already cordoning off some of the roadways there as well.

Good morning to you, Christine. Good morning to our viewers.

We're in Charleston, South Carolina, a very vulnerable coastal city. They call it the Low Country for a reason. Just flying in here, you can see exactly why.

And people are waking up to a triple threat this morning. Flash flooding from heavy rainfall overnight ongoing, storm surge as high tide expected into this afternoon about 2:00 p.m. and hurricane-force winds with a strengthening Hurricane Dorian. She is making her closest approach to Charleston. She's just south of where we're located right now, and I cannot overstate the threat of flooding within this city.

There's a lot of competition between the fresh water that falls inland, it moves to the rivers and tributaries, towards the coast line and then you've got the surge of the Atlantic Ocean moving up towards the Charleston. So, both of those working together to help lift the water up and cause the flooding in the downtown region, which we have already seen. The city is so vulnerable to it.

And just within the past 15 minutes, an alert on my phone issuing -- from the National Weather Service, issuing a flash flood warning here in Charleston, South Carolina. We are anticipating anywhere from 15 to upwards of 20 inches of rain especially east of the region. There are also spin-up tornadoes that have also been forming near the Myrtle Beach region. So, monitoring a very fluid situation here very figuratively and literally as well.

What we've seen on the ground since we have been working overnight is flashes behind us. Transformers continue to blow.

Christine, Dave, we expect those power outages to skyrocket throughout the course of the day. Back to you.

ROMANS: Yes. And the latest number we have just in the past couple of minutes, 106,000 people in South Carolina without power.

VAN DAM: It went up already.

ROMANS: But yes, brand new numbers.

All right. Thank you so much for that.

BRIGGS: And just in from the National Hurricane Center, a new update. Meteorologist Allison Chinchar with that from the CNN Center.

Allison, good morning. What are we seeing now?


The biggest change at this latest update is the forward movement now up to eight miles per hour and moving due north. Keep in mind, it had been moving to the north northwest. Now, we're starting to see that transition and it's starting to push itself back out over open water.

The thing is it's very close to land. It's still going to brush all along the southeast region of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. We do still expect a landfall at some point today, likely over somewhere in the outer banks down towards Wilmington in North Carolina.

Sustained winds are still around 115 miles per hour, a very large eye wall. Still there showing that the storm is still very strong at this point in time.


Here's a look at forward tracking. Again, this is what we talked about. We do still anticipate a landfall likely somewhere over portions of North Carolina, but until then you've got very strong storm surge pushing into North and South Carolina and very heavy rain band.

One of the other concerns we're starting to see now is the addition of tornado warnings. We've got one in North Carolina and one in South Carolina right now. Most of those tend to favor the Northeast quadrant, and that's the stuff that's going to be making its way inland as we go through the day today. So, those are still likely for both North and South Carolina. Here you can see tornadoes, water spouts, as well as damaging winds that are going to be associated with the storms.

But perhaps one of the biggest threats to this storm for the Carolinas and Georgia is going to be the flooding. Here's a look at the storm surge numbers. Again, places like Savannah and Charleston, about four to seven feet. From Charleston up to Myrtle Beach, you're talking about five to eight feet of storm surge.

And then again, also, the heavy rain. Look at this, widespread amounts of around four to six inches of rain, but when you see the red, even this pink color down here around Charleston, now, guys, we're talking in excess of 10 inches of rain.

BRIGGS: Wow. And a very vulnerable city in Charleston. Hopefully that turn continues.

Allison Chinchar with hurricane update for us in the CNN Center, thanks.

ROMANS: All right. Rescue and relief efforts just getting underway in the Bahamas this morning. A CNN team on the ground says the level of devastation is breathtaking. The official death toll at this hour, 20. That is expected to climb.

CNN spoke to a storm chaser who went quiet for a number of days in the middle storm. He shot this video and then turned up alive.


JOSH MORGERMAN, STORM CHASER: Where I was at was in a school on a hill and I did that on purpose. I didn't want to worry about the storm surge. There's a neighborhood called The Mud, OK? It's in a low lying poorer neighborhood. It got swept by a tremendous storm surge. The whole neighborhood, very large area of the city, is just wiped out. It's just -- it's like football fields of rubble.


ROMANS: People everywhere stepping forward to help. In Freeport, a volunteer looks for a owner of a dog he rescued from rising waters, and others rescued a stranded family.

BRIGGS: In Jacksonville, Florida, a Good Samaritan walked into a Costco and left, with 100 generators, all of them, down for the Bahamas, at a cost of $45,000.

And there's this emotional moment captured by CNN. Ten-year-old boy reunited with his relatives after being separated during the hurricane.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann on the ground for us in Grand Bahama Island.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, for the first time, U.S. Coast Guard helicopters and airplanes have begun conducting flights over the island of Grand Bahama.

This is incredibly encouraging. Up until now, there's been no sign of assistance from the outside world to this isolated island. There's so much need here now. People are running short on water, on food. We need more generators brought in because there's still no power on the entire island. So, we drove out to the airport today. We were able to get there. We

tried the day before and it was impossible. But many of the roads have begun getting cleared up.

What we found at the airport was a scene of total devastation. One of the terminals was completely ripped open. There was part of an airplane wing inside that terminal with the wheels still attached. We saw other planes swirled around like toys outside the airport.

It was hard to imagine what could have caused this incredible destruction. The storm surge from Dorian did cover the airport, did submerge the airport in water for two days, and the other terminals while still standing were also badly damaged by this flooding. One of the terminals we're told was too dangerous to enter because no one had come yet to do a damage assessment.

The runway was littered with metal, concrete. There are so many debris that it's impossible to imagine a plane landing or taking off. And that is really a challenge for the island, because on an isolated island like this one, the airport is a vital link to the rest of the world.

That is how aid can come in. That is how people and there are many people we've seen who have injuries who need to be medivaced now, that is how they could leave. That is how they would normally leave.

And right now, although we are told cleanup crews will begin work at the airport very soon and that it is a priority to open up the airport, it doesn't seem like that can happen very soon. It certainly won't be soon enough for the many residents in desperate situations here on the island of Grand Bahama.

Patrick Oppmann, Freeport, in the Bahamas.



BRIGGS: Great reporting. Patrick, thanks.

Pay no attention to the man in the White House if you're looking for an accurate hurricane forecast. President Trump in the Oval Office showing an early prediction of Dorian's trajectory. A closer look, though, reveals someone extended the target area to include Alabama.

It's a false narrative the president has been peddling for days. That map was handed to him by the acting homeland security secretary. By the way, a White House official tells CNN there was a discussion about how the storm could have been worse than earlier projections so someone extended the cone with black marker. The source would not deny President Trump personally drew the extension.

ROMANS: An archived version of a NOAA map from last Thursday showed Dorian veering left toward Florida. It did not show Alabama would be affected. CNN meteorologist one forecast on Friday, one forecast showed 1/10th

of one county in extreme southeast Alabama was included in one model. But that map bears little resemblance to one President Trump used on Wednesday. For what it's worth, it's a federal crime to publish a phony weather report.

It's almost as if the president is trying to make a misstatement, he said, when he mentioned that Alabama was in the path of the storm. He's trying to make it be true. It's just not true. You can't freelance a fact.

BRIGGS: This is real fake news.

Ahead, his girlfriend went missing 28 years ago. Now an old sock has one man facing murder charges.



BRIGGS: The estranged husband of a Connecticut mother missing since May has been arrested for a second time in her disappearance. Fotis Dulos faces evidence tampering charges. According to a new warrant, a blood-like substance that contained Jennifer Dulos' DNA was found in a truck her estranged husband used the day she disappeared.

Documents say Fotis Dulos' girlfriend Michelle Troconis told police she had the truck cleaned days later. No word yet from her attorney. Dulos has denied any connection to his wife's disappearance.

ROMANS: Michigan becoming the first state in the nation to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and vaping products. Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she ordered the ban after the state health department determined youth vaping constitutes a public health emergency. The governor also barred what she called misleading descriptions of vape products as clear, safe and healthy.

BRIGGS: An old sock helped Pennsylvania police make an arrest in a 28-year-old murder case. Denise Kulb's body was found back in a wooded cul-de-sac in suburban Philadelphia back in 1991. Now, her former boyfriend, 52-year-old Theodore Donahue, faces charges, including murder and obstruction of justice. He's pleading not guilty. Police say photo enhancing technology linked a yellow sock found at the crime scene linked to a similar sock found at Donahue's apartment nearly three decades ago. Remarkable.

Ahead, the NFL season kicks off tonight, its 100th season. Coy Wire has a preview from Chicago ahead on the "Bleacher Report".



BRIGGS: The NFL kicks off its 100th season tonight. Packers and Bears head to head for the 199th time.

Coy Wire joining us live from Soldier Field in Chicago.

Good to see you, my friend. It has finally arrived.


Soldier Field opened in 1924. It's one of America's most iconic sporting venues. I've played there and it's one of those places you can just feel the history.

To help set the stage for the kickoff of this historic season, we put together a brief history of the league in a quick 100 seconds.


WIRE: One hundred seasons of the NFL in 100 seconds.

Except it wasn't always the NFL. In 1920, it was known as the American Professional Football Association. Ten teams, four states. What's up Canton Bulldogs?

Two years later, it became the National Football League. Teams came and went except the Green Bay Packers. They've stuck around.

The first draft was in 1936. The first televised game, 1939. The years passed, more teams came and went.

1960, hello, Dallas Cowboys!

Seven years later, the first Super Bowl. Shout out to Lamar Hunt for the name. The NFL's Packers beat the American Football League's Chiefs. Tough one, Kansas City.

1970, the AFL merges with NFL and well underway to the league we know today. That same year, the debut of Monday Night Football.

This league has given us so many incredible moments through the years: the Ice Bowl, the Immaculate Reception, one yard short!

And remember that catch by David Tyree to deny the Patriots undefeated greatness? Pop that champagne, 1972 Dolphins.

One hundred seasons from the disappointment to the dynasties, a league full of legends inspiring young kids and entire cities. Tom Brady, Jerry Rice, Ray Nitschke, sweetness. The journeys of dreamers.

I made it nine seasons in the NFL. That was my dream come true, but as teams take the field for this 100th season, more dreams will be made even for some fans like me and you.


Cheers to that!


WIRE: Green Bay leads this series 97-95-6. Not long from now, these parking lots around me will be filled with Christine Romans Bears, others will be shouting: Go Pack go!

Only four teams, Dave, make sure Christine knows, are favored higher to win the Super Bowl than her Bears, according to Vegas. It's going to be a tough one for Aaron Rodgers and Packers.

BRIGGS: They've won 18 of 23 in the series.

Next time, bring champagne for us. Coy Wire, thank you. Looking forward to the game tonight.

ROMANS: Today is the first day of school at my house and it's going to be a late night for my Bears fans at home.

BRIGGS: Long night.

ROMANS: Thanks, Coy, for that.

All right. Breaking overnight, Hurricane Dorian battering the South Carolina coasts, flooding streets in Charleston. The Bahamas finally in the clear but years of cleanup and recovery remain.