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Forecast for Hurricane Dorian; British Parliament Defies Johnson; Search of Home Possibly Linked to Texas Shooter; Estranged Husband of Missing Connecticut Mom Arrested; NFL Kicks off 100th Season. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired September 5, 2019 - 06:30   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. I'm John Berman. This is CNN's special live coverage of Hurricane Dorian, a storm that gained strength overnight. It is now back to major hurricane status, a category three storm, with winds of 115 miles an hour off the coast about 80 miles from Charleston, South Carolina, where I am standing this morning.

You know, it is very interesting. We've been following this storm all the way from West Palm Beach to here. And, yes, the Bahamas simply the pain is profound there. Generational devastation. But, don't forget, there was a time when they were expecting this storm to make landfall on the mainland United States. First it was down in Florida. We just lost one of our lights, so I'll come back closer to the camera so you can see me.

First, it was going to be down in coastal Florida. Then it moved up to Daytona, Jacksonville. This is the closest it has come to direct landfall and this is where we are seeing the greatest impact to be sure. A hundred thousand people without power already in South Carolina and Georgia. And that number will grow.

The wind speeds here, I'm something of a human anemometer, I would say the consistent winds have been 40 to 50 miles an hour this morning with gusts north of 60 miles an hour. That will get stronger throughout the morning. And it's the water here that is the major cause of concern. Fifteen to 20 inches of rain could fall over the next 12 to 24 hours, on top of a title and storm surge that could reach ten feet after noon today. That is the time to watch here.


The mayor, we just spoke to him, said he wants everyone to stay inside. He wants this to be a ghost town. Ride this out. Don't go outside. Some 300,000 people have already left the coast.

So let's get the latest on the forecast. Let's go to the CNN Weather Center. Allison Chinchar is there.


ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that's right. So let's take a look at some of the new numbers that we have.

Again, the main concern this last hour is that forward movement beginning to slow back down, moving due north, which means we could potentially have a landfall in South Carolina today or a landfall tomorrow in North Carolina. Winds are still sustained at 115 miles per hour, so it is still a category five storm. The biggest concern, as you mentioned, is going to be flooding, both from the rain coming from above and the storm surge coming from below.

This is going to be a concern, not only for the Carolinas, but also Georgia. Here's a look at that storm as it slides up the East Coast, taking with it the heavy rain, the storm surge, and also even the potential for some tornadoes as we go through the day.

There's a look at the track. Again, at this point, it still looks like the best chance is for landfall tomorrow somewhere across the North Carolina coast. We talked about tornadoes, even water spouts potentially here for portions of North and South Carolina, as some of those bands from that northeast quadrant of the storm start to shift inland.

This is a look at the forecast storm surge. Again, five to eight feet from Charleston to Myrtle Beach. Places like Savannah, Wilmington, John, looking at four to seven feet. So, again, we cannot emphasize enough, the flooding is going to be the biggest concern with this storm.

BERMAN: And, don't forget, it was just one year ago that so many of the same places were dealing with flooding from Hurricane Florence. This is the last thing they want.

Allison Chinchar, thank you very much.

You know, one note, as we were driving up, and this has been something of an odyssey for us driving all the way from West Palm over the last few days up to here to Charleston, the utility crews that pre-staged for this storm have been moving north as well because they want to be where the storm makes the greatest impact. And it's a good thing they've made it all the way up here because this is where people, Alisyn, are losing power. Some 100,000 people without power this morning, but it is good news that we saw the crews getting here so they can be on site when there is the need.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: But, John, I mean, as you point out, I don't remember covering a hurricane where we tracked it and covered it at this level for so many days before it ever made landfall on the mainland. So, I mean, we've been -- I think you and I have been talking about this for a week now just waiting. And it sounds as though it is getting very close to making landfall now, as you can attest. And so, you know, obviously some of the worst storm surge has yet -- is still to come. BERMAN: You know, it is very interesting. The storm is moving at about

eight miles per hour now. And we talk like that's fast. That's still really slow for a hurricane. But it's fast compared to what it was doing, which wasn't moving at all. It was moving at zero or one miles an hour. It sped up to eight, which is still very slow for a hurricane.

CAMEROTA: All right, John, stay put, be careful. We will be back to you momentarily. We're going to get to some other news right now because authorities are looking into the gun sale loophole that allowed the west Texas mass shooter to get a weapon of war. More on that investigation coming up.



CAMEROTA: Vice President Mike Pence will meet with Boris Johnson in just over an hour from now to shore up the Trump administration's support for the embattled British prime minister. Johnson faces an uncertain political future following a fiery session of parliament that went late into the night.

CNN's Max Foster is live from London again for us with all of the latest developments.

What happened, Max?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was extraordinary. Two massive defeats in parliament yesterday, Alisyn. First of all, parliament taking the agenda and effectively forcing Boris Johnson to take a no deal Brexit off the table when it comes to negotiations with Europe. Then there was a vote afterwards, the government, Boris Johnson, wanted to call a snap election and that was blocked as well. Blocked because the opposition Labour Party effectively says they want no deal taken off the table before they agree to an election.

Interesting, early this morning, about 1:30, the government relented, stepped down and said they would allow this no deal to be taken off the table. So it will be very interesting that later on today to hear Boris Johnson speak because we think it might have been a tactical move. We think he's effectively said, OK, I've taken no deal off the table, therefore the opposition party has to agree to a snap election. So, effectively, Downing Street, on a general election campaign starting today. That's what it looks like.

But I will point out as well, Alisyn, something that happened in the last half hour, which has really taken lots of people by surprise here. This is a tweet from Jo Johnson, who's in the government, who's in the conservative party, and is also Boris Johnson's brother. This is what he said. In recent weeks I've been torn between family loyalty and the national interest. It's an unresolvable tension and time for others to take on my roles as MP and minister. He's resigning from the government, he's resigning as an MP because he doesn't believe in what his brother is doing right now, which is extraordinary.

Another extraordinary day, Alisyn, in British politics.

CAMEROTA: Yes, Max, it gets curiouser and curiouser there every day. That is quite a bombshell.

So -- but, as you were saying, now that Boris Johnson has suffered these two big defeats last night, what do you expect him to say to the British people today?

FOSTER: Well, I think he's going to throw the ball back into the opposition's court and say, look, you wanted an election if we took no deal off the table. Let's have an election. Let's agree to that.

He's going to call Jeremy Corbyn (ph) a coward today. He's going to say we have to have this election. But we don't really know what's going on behind the scenes because many people are suggesting he can't be trusted, even if he's told he has to have an extension to Brexit, he just won't go through with it. He just wants an election and a bigger mandate in parliament.


CAMEROTA: Max Foster, thank you so much for helping us all understand, as best we can, what is happening over there. We will check back with you as this unfolds.

Now to this story back here.

The estranged husband of a missing Connecticut mom has been arrested, again. So we will bring you the shocking new details that authorities have just released about this case, next.


CAMEROTA: There are new developments this morning in the west Texas mass shooting. CNN has learned that federal investigators searched a homeowner linked to the person they believe sold the firearm to the shooter that he used in the rampage. The private sale did not require a background check.

CNN's Ed Lavandera is live in Odessa, Texas, with the latest.

What have you learned, Ed?



Well, that search warrant carried out yesterday in the town of Lubbock, Texas, which is about 140 miles north of the Odessa area where this shooting spree was carried out last Saturday and ended in the deaths of seven people and the shooter wounding 25 others. This is significant because this means that investigators have been able to trace back the assault-style rifle that was sold in this private sale to the gunman, Seth Ator, 36 years old, here in the Odessa area.

And essentially what investigators are probably trying to do is to determine whether or not this seller was operating as an unlicensed firearm. That's one of the things that investigators typically do in these cases, trying to determine whether or not this seller was profiting from the buying and selling repeatedly of firearms and working as an unlicensed firearm dealer.

Of course, in a private sale, as you mentioned, Alisyn, a background check is not required. But it's also clear that the gunman, in this case, was essentially kind of working around the system because back in 2014, we have learned, according to three law enforcement sources, that Seth Ator failed a background check. And in that background check, he was deemed a, quote, mental defective, which is a federal term that is often used to determine whether or not someone is eligible to purchase a firearm. And because of that labeling in that background check, Seth Ator was denied the purchase of a firearm back in 2014. So all of these very significant developments and how investigators are now proceeding in this investigation.


CAMEROTA: There are a lot of things that went wrong in this case, Ed, that the law apparently could not protect from. So thank you very much for that report.

Now to this.

Explosive new details in the case of a missing Connecticut mother. Jennifer Dulos disappeared in May. And now her estranged husband has been arrested for a second time.

CNN's Jean Casarez is here with the latest.

So, Jean, what's happening?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of things. It was a 43 page document that was released last night, a warrant, an application for affidavit of arrest. The Connecticut state police are saying that surveillance video that they pieced together from May 24th, when she went missing, shows Fotis Dulos driving one of his employee's vehicles to New Canaan, Connecticut, where police say he was lying in wait when she returned just after 8:00 a.m. from taking their five children to school. The document says that Jennifer's SUV leaves her home at approximately 10:25 that morning. They believe that he was driving and she, her body, was in that vehicle. Human blood was later found in her SUV and a blood-like substance in the employee's truck contained Jennifer's DNA.

The warrant states, according to this affidavit, police questioned girlfriend Michelle Troconis on inconsistent statements involving professional cleaning of the employee's truck five days after Jennifer went missing. Troconis is asked by police why she thinks Dulos was having the truck washed. She responded, quote, well, obviously all the evidence says because you showed me the picture of the blood in the door, it's because the body of Jennifer, at some point, was in there.

CNN has reached out to an attorney for Michelle Troconis for comment. She does not have any new charges and has not directly been implicated in the disappearance of Jennifer. She and Dulos previously pleaded not guilty to hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence charges. Dulos' attorney, Norm Pattis, responding to the new charge, it sounds like the state is trying to convince itself that Fotis is responsible for Jennifer's disappearance. When and if the state decides it can prove its case, we will welcome the chance to meet the case in open court. The new warrant speaks of a lying lover and a handyman with something to hide.

Dulos posted $500,000 bail according to the state police and is scheduled to be back in court on this new charge on September 12th.

Now, Alisyn, there's nothing in the 43 pages that say they have found Jennifer, her body. And he has not been charged with murder.

CAMEROTA: That's incredible given what you've just said, but it does sound like the investigation is heating up at the moment.

CASAREZ: Yes, it does.

CAMEROTA: Jean, thank you very much.

All right, so, of course, we're following Hurricane Dorian for you. This is Charleston, South Carolina, right there. The winds are picking up. The storm has gone up in its category. John Berman is there and he'll bring us much more coming up



CAMEROTA: NFL season kicks off its 100th year tonight as the Packers and Bears go head-to-head for, by my count, the 199th time.

Our sports correspondent and former NFL player Coy Wire joins us live from Soldier Field in Chicago.

Hi, Coy.


Soldier Field opened in 1924. It's one of America's most iconic sporting venues. I have played there. And it's one of those places you can just feel the history. The Packers and the Bears, they've been going at it since the 1920s. They're one of the biggest rivalries in the NFL. And one of those rare rivalries that almost feels like a college football rivalry. It gets heated. It's a border war with Green Bay being just a three hour drive from here. These players know exactly how big this game is.


AARON RODGERS, GREEN BAY PACKERS QUARTERBACK: It's always been a great rivalry. It's one of the special ones in the history of professional sports. It was always big Chicago against little Green Bay. And we've held our own over the years. KHALIL MACK, CHICAGO BEARS LINEBACKER: It's always fun. It's always

fun playing against that guy, going against one of the best in the game. And understanding that it's one of the biggest rivalries, it just ups that level of competition.


WIRE: Bears are favored in this one by just three.

Back to you, Alisyn.


CAMEROTA: OK, Coy, very exciting. Thank you very much.

So, of course we're tracking Hurricane Dorian as she bears down on the Carolinas. So NEW DAY continues right now for you.