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Blizzard Blankets U.S. Northeast
Aired February 09, 2013 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello once again, top of the hour. Hello from the world headquarters of CNN, I'm Brooke Baldwin.
Once again welcoming our viewers in the United States and all around the world, covering a huge story for you right now.
The blizzard, blanketing much of the Northeast in New England, bearing down on 50 million people, problems are piling up. Look at these pictures with me.
We're going to begin in Massachusetts, live pictures of our driving camera. More than 380,000 homes and businesses are without power at this point in time, and you know those numbers will change.
But that is more than half of the total across the region, just about 614,000 customers scattered across nine different states, no power right now.
Look at that, Fenway Park, zero, just about zero visibility, more than a foot and a half of snow already falling in parts of Massachusetts.
In New York, the worst of this storm is hitting in these predawn hours. You can see some cabs, some vehicles out and about around on Columbus Circle here in this eerie calm time of night.
A short time ago, we should point out, we learned that a man, a 74-year-old man has died after he was hit by a car that lost control on a snowy road in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Rail service, it has been suspended all the way from Manhattan to Upstate and a state of emergency is in place all across New York.
On Staten Island, we keep coming back to this here, live pictures, the snow falling there, the blizzard, just adding to the misery from the last big storm; superstorm Sandy that hit end of October.
So many people still reeling from that, still trying to get their heat and their power back on, and, again, welcome.
We are sitting in the CNN Weather Center where we are watching the snow storm move all across the Northeast.
We're live here in the middle of the night for you, continuous updates on conditions, we have a team of reporters all across the region.
Take a look, Susan Candiotti in Boston for us, Gary Tuchman in Staten Island and Alison Kosik in New York. Let's begin in Boston. Look at these cars, think about getting that snow off that car.
Nineteen inches of snow has already fallen and 70-mile-an-hour wind gusts could whip up snow drifts, six or seven feet deep. Susan Candiotti, let me come back to you for me in Boston. How are conditions there?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the snow is swirling, it is miserable, it is cold. But I have to say it doesn't feel quite as cold as it was, you know, a few hours ago.
Although when I checked the temperature gauge which you're never quite sure if that's quite right, but it's reading about 19 degrees, 20 degrees here.
And it makes you remember that because of those freezing temperatures, that if you're driving or if you're walking, remember the road underneath all that slush would be freezing, so that the snow coming on top of that, it can make driving obviously very treacherous.
So when you see my colleague Julian Cummings driving about, he's going very slowly and so far so good. As long as you've got that snow on top, he seems to be taking his time and making it out all right.
On occasion, I have seen including this hour, people walking around, college students, others, but obviously very -- you don't see that very often here.
But sometimes people telling us they're simply out for a walk. Every one that you run into, I have over the past several hours talk about they're prepared for the storm, they have enough food, they've got their batteries and flashlights in case they lose power.
But looking around me here, at least in this section of Boston, they haven't lost power yet unlike as you mentioned, Brooke, more than 380,000 customers, other parts of the state.
So, it is preferred, but, as we were strolling earlier, walking around here, you know just in the last hour, these were the footsteps, I don't know how to tell you this --
BALDWIN: Oh, look at that --
CANDIOTTI: And they're already filling up again with the snow. It's accumulating here --
BALDWIN: That's how quickly the snow is falling.
CANDIOTTI: That's right, it's always deep within a feet as you go on, you know if --
BALDWIN: Susan, we can't, we can't hear you, but we can see, we can see where that mark is made. You can see just how deep your feet are in that snow. Susan Candiotti in Boston.
And Staten Island, Staten Island is one of the places that was hardest hit of course by superstorm Sandy just a couple of months ago and a lot of people there talking to them.
They don't -- they didn't feel as prepared as this massive blizzard was about to hit. Let's go to Gary Tuchman, he's been in Staten Island for us all night long. And Gary, so far, how much snow are you seeing?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, all night, all afternoon, all morning we've been here. When we started the day, there was absolutely no snow whatsoever on the streets, on the sidewalks, on the grass.
There's a plow coming right now. I want you to give -- one thing I want to tell you about, I want you to look at this plow over here for a second.
We're going to move out of the way because these plow drivers are working very hard and they often don't see us when they're coming down here.
The reason why I wanted to point out this plow is because they have come down this street in the last three hours, probably about 30 times. Now, you may say why do they come down here 30 times? There's a couple of reasons for that.
Number one, we're here, number two, no one wants to ignore Staten Island anymore because what happened on this street and in this part of Staten Island was nothing less than devastating three months ago when Hurricane Sandy came.
We need to point in that direction again, just so we make sure we don't get hit by him by just clearing the snow. In Staten Island, 23 people died.
That is more than 50 percent of the entire total population who died in New York City during Hurricane Sandy in October. This borough only has 5 percent of New York City's population.
So, this place was devastated. Staten Island is used to being ignored because it's the smallest borough, it's not being ignored anymore.
And that's why you see the snow poggle up and down the street despite the fact that we've seen no civilian traffic whatsoever, they're doing a great job of clearing the street.
So looks like they've had about 8 to 10 inches, the winds have not been that heavy especially compared to Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
And a lot of people here who are very anxious before this are breathing a sigh of relief. Right here you can see, there were many houses just on this block that were destroyed. This was a house when Hurricane Sandy came through, it no longer is, it is rubble. The house right next door was heavily damaged, the people have been busy rebuilding it, they haven't got all their insurance money yet, they were hoping to move in this week.
It looks like they won't be able to do it now because they were afraid the blizzard, they were telling us earlier in the evening, they hope to move in Monday.
So, that's the situation here on Staten Island, they've had a lot of tough times lately, they're very grateful that at this point it doesn't appear that the storm is a serious in this particular area as they thought it would be. Brooke?
BALDWIN: Yes, knocking on wood right now, that remains the case. Gary Tuchman, thank you so much in Staten Island.
And in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie, he's telling folks this is a complex storm and in typical Chris Christie fashion, he's not pulling any punches. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: The overall safety message here, this is always an obvious one. Stay home, avoid unnecessary travel.
If you're out there in the storm, stay behind salt trucks and plows and drive slowly. Accelerate, brake and turn slowly to avoid losing control of your vehicle.
Just generally be smart and be careful, and if you're going to be off the roads that would be even more helpful.
It allows our vehicles to be able to clear, salt and sand the roads much more efficiently and effectively and it keeps you out of harm's way.
We're ready, we're prepared to be able to make the roads and the bridges and the railways passable for our citizens.
But we would hope that tonight into tomorrow morning, during the brunt of the storm, that you would all just take the opportunity to stay home with family and friends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Days ago we should point out Chris Christie actually met with some of the victims from superstorm Sandy as Gary was pointing out.
So many of them are still trying to get back on their feet, and this blizzard is making travel pretty tough for one NBA team, downright impossible for two others.
The New York Knicks stuck in Minneapolis right now. San Antonio Spurs, they had to delay a trip to New York until this afternoon.
And the Brooklyn Nets, they are hopping a train instead of a plane, trying to get back to New York after playing in Washington D.C.
But as you look at these live pictures over beautiful Manhattan, conditions are perfect for making snow angels and here we are in the middle of the night enjoying ourselves just a tad. Look at what Alison Kosik did.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: OK, Brooke, this one is for you.
OK, time to dry off.
Snow angel. That's a nice one.
BALDWIN: It is a nice one, Alison Kosik, you are such a trouper. People on Twitter have like -- they've been like, get Alison Kosik to make a snow angel.
We hear you, you heard the people, you made it, it's the cutest thing I've ever seen.
KOSIK: Thank you.
BALDWIN: How is it going out there?
KOSIK: The crazy things we do at 4:00 in the morning. But you know what? Think about it. I mean, we're talking about snow, it's out there, it looks beautiful, why not play in it, right?
It's part of the fun, it's part of the experience but you know what? What we're seeing right now is the snow is kind of tapering off and everybody is coming alive again.
Everybody is shoveling the snow off the sidewalks, the plow there for the sidewalk is really going crazy.
I think it's going right about 60 miles an hour at this point, getting the snow off of the sidewalks because now really is the time to bring out the plows, because the snow is beginning to stop. Brooke.
BALDWIN: OK, Alison, thank you very much. We're just talking to Karen Maginnis here, as we're in the weather center because you were saying, really right now, Boston getting hit with that second band.
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: They have just issued another warning. I was talking about a band, a heavy band, essentially kind of dissecting New England.
BALDWIN: OK. MAGINNIS: Well, that heavy band with the snowfall rates up to three inches an hour is currently moving right across the eastern Massachusetts area.
But not just there, also extending down into Connecticut and upwards towards New Hampshire. So that back side of that band that we were talking about two hours ago is presently moving across this region.
So the snowfall is going to be heavy again. Susan Candiotti, she was saying it doesn't really necessarily feel that cold, but the wind was really picking up.
And that is the kind of the critical aspect of this. The whole system, our blizzard that did produce this snowfall amounts of two to four inches per hour.
Also, I want to mention the other thing is this coastal flooding. In Weymouth, Falmouth and Marshfield, they're saying that water is coming into the homes in Weymouth and they're seeing coastal flooding right around Marshfield.
So, they saw high tide about 10 p.m., they'll see another high tide around 9:30 in the morning. But by then, I think that area of low pressure, this storm system, is then going to start to pull away.
So we'll really see it decreasing by about midmorning. So midday, we start to add it all up and make our comparisons to that 1978 historic blizzard.
But this one already, life, (INAUDIBLE) and property in grave danger, and we've got reporters out covering this. You've talked to Julian who has been on the road --
BALDWIN: Driving in Boston --
MAGINNIS: Twelve hours --
BALDWIN: Yes --
MAGINNIS: And people, you know kind of lightheartedly on their snow skis and that sort of thing. But power outages is the big thing, downed trees and downed power lines because it becomes so heavy for some areas, and Gary Tuchman was talking about Staten Island.
MAGINNIS: They saw just about 11 inches of snowfall. JFK, LaGuardia separated by about 12 miles. One saw three times as much snowfall as the other.
BALDWIN: It's incredible --
MAGINNIS: It's a poor positioning, you know, how the --
BALDWIN: OK -- MAGINNIS: Snow comes in.
BALDWIN: OK, Karen Maginnis, thank you very much. You know, we've been talking a lot to people here in the middle of the night on CNN, because we're here for you, trying to cover this blizzard.
And guess who just picked up the phone and called me not too long ago. The mayor of Newark, New Jersey; Cory Booker. He has been out and about on the streets, you will hear what Cory Booker had to say to me at 3 a.m.
BALDWIN: Want to get you a quick update here just on something that Karen Maginnis was talking about a moment ago. Marshfield, here it is, southeast of Boston.
This is an area where there've been reports of water rushing in some of the homes there in this semi coastal community.
We just talked to the emergency manager in Marshfield, and they told us the flooding has subsided for now, that's obviously great news.
But they also told us that they're anticipating another high tide right around 10:00 in the morning, so we will see if hopefully the water stays away or whether or not it will continue to flood, Marshfield, Massachusetts.
And we're checking on cities throughout the blizzard zone here tonight, covering all these different states for you.
Talking to Red Cross, different city managers, some are from the "Boston Globe" and someone who called me at 3:00 in the morning here at CNN.
Who was definitely awake, was out and about on the city streets. Newark mayor -- let me try that again, 4:00 in the morning. Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, roll it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Tell me what you've seen so far on the streets of Newark?
MAYOR CORY BOOKER, NEWARK, NJ: The conditions are worsening, I actually walked through all five walls of the city, checking in on our crews that we have out there as well with conditions on the street.
A lot of stranded cars now, a lot of people out that really shouldn't be. So, it's -- you know, just very perilous out there, and people need to understand that.
Stay indoors, just hunker down for the night. Conditions are going to continue to be bad throughout the morning tomorrow. So, this is not time to take this lightly. Very dangerous conditions, especially around motor vehicle accidents. And we also are on alert for possible power outages here in Newark if the winds start to pick up.
So I'm grateful for the hundreds of workers we have out there, from law enforcement to folks plowing and salting streets. A lot of work ahead.
BALDWIN: As the sun will begin to rise in a couple of hours, that's when as you mentioned, you know we'll really get the better chance to see the damage that's been done.
Hopefully the streets are cleared, first responders can get out and about. What's the biggest challenge you think, come tomorrow morning?
BOOKER: Well, I think it's just the mess and getting rid of this from our streets, and hopefully people will stay in and stay secure.
If we are able to be spared, and I know there're a lot of people struggling in Northeast right now without power.
If Newark and surrounding environments get spared power outages, the real urgency then is to get this roads cleared and safe.
So, as people begin to move about, we don't see the kind of accidents that often come with icy conditions.
And, again, the most urgent thing I could ask people to do is to really stay indoors as much as you can tomorrow, but also be compassionate and check in on your neighbors, check in on the elderly or people that are shut in.
And if you do go out, shovel your driveway, see if there're other people that might need a little bit of assistance. The storm is tough but when we pull together, we're a lot tougher.
BALDWIN: We're thinking about, of course all of you guys especially those of you who were hit so hard at the end of October because of superstorm Sandy, and here you have this massive snowstorm.
Before I let you go, before I let you go to bed, I mean, we all know you, Cory Booker, hands-on kind of mayor. You know, do you anticipate having to help out yourself if necessary tomorrow?
BOOKER: Yes, I think we all need to take that attitude. Obviously my primary concern is working with my command staff to do what's necessary to get the streets clear.
But I always go out with a group of folks with shovels and other supplies. So, should we see somebody in need, we always try to jump out and help.
So it's a good spirit that I found in Newark in past storms and past weather emergencies as well as snowstorms that folks are out there helping each other. And I try to make sure that I do my part as well to demonstrate that this is the time where we all need to be hands-on and being out there and of assistance.
And I've got a great command staff, most of my senior staff turned in an hour or two ago and they are ready for tomorrow.
The city is really working in partnership with county authorities, state authorities and New Jersey has proven a lot of resilience, especially coming out of Sandy.
The storm was brutal and difficult, but in many ways in terms of storm preparedness, it made us all that much stronger. So, I'm grateful for a good team, we've got a big day tomorrow.
I'll be out there on the streets as well, doing my best to be of service during what will be a very long and difficult day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Cory Booker, Newark, New Jersey mayor, hopefully he's sleeping soundly right now as he and so many other leaders have huge days coming up as the sun begins to rise in just a couple of hours here.
We're live again, 4:20 in the morning, watching and waiting with this blizzard, Julian Cummings driving this car through the streets of Boston and Newark.
We're going to talk to Julian here in just a moment about the lighter moments between the snow ball fight he came across and also some cross-country skiers.
But also keep in mind Boston is very much so getting hit now by that second band of snow. We'll talk about that, special coverage, Northeast blizzard next.
BALDWIN: Nearly 400,000 people in the state of Massachusetts out without power right now. These are live pictures from what we've now dubbed our Boston driving cam, aka, producer Julian Cummings driving around Boston, giving us a better glimpse as to who is out and about.
Hopefully not too many people, we've seen a couple of plows here, you see some of the Christmas tree lights on the trees, so the power is on at least for this road.
But I talked to Julian off and on through the night and actually the afternoon. He caught a couple of, couple of things, snowball fight, some people cross-country skiing. Here he is, Julian Cummings, taking us through it.
JULIAN CUMMINGS, CNN FIELD PRODUCER: You're looking at an impromptu snowball fight. Started out as a fight as ten people, I get the bars are getting out here and everyone is rushing down the street running through the plows, just broke it up and the fire department broke it up.
And they were serenaded with tons of snowballs as well. But looks like people are having a lot of fun here as much as they can in the snow.
BALDWIN: Serenaded by snowballs. Hey, I see a car in this picture and I know you've been driving around.
Remind everyone, because when you and I were talking earlier this afternoon, we know the governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, enforced this travel ban.
You couldn't be on the roads after 4:00 in the afternoon. Governor Dan Malloy did the same thing in Connecticut. So, what's the deal? Why am I seeing cars?
CUMMINGS: There are basically a few cars here and there, but they're usually following emergency vehicles, plows, or some people with plows of their own on pickup trucks that are helping out.
But for the most part, other than vehicles like ours, we were exempt because we're media, but I think people are not hitting the roads and we've been out here since 2 p.m., and it's getting really bad.
It's pure whiteout conditions, and, you know, and we're taking it very slow, being careful out here.
BALDWIN: We are still looking at this snowball fight. I mean, it looks to be almost like what? One, two dozen people out as the bars are letting out.
And this will be interesting as we will be doing this overnight as more and more bars continue to dump out folks who are probably just having their own blizzard parties.
So that was a little bit of the fight, we'll do the cross-country skiers later. Take a look at this, these are live pictures as we see a plow not exactly doing too much right now but again this is Boston.
It looks like that's the Long Wharf Marriott if you knew the area, this is the part of town where we're looking at.
Again, that second band of snow really coming down for you in Boston if you are up with me and I thank you for being up with me.
Because we wanted to make sure we will cover this storm for you. This massive Northeast blizzard all through the night. Thank you again for your iReports.
Keep sending them, iReport.com. Back after this.
BALDWIN: Right now, up to 50 million Americans are in the path of this blizzard as it's really bearing down now and it has been for hours for you in the Northeast and in New England.
More than a foot and a half of snow has already fallen in parts of Massachusetts here, the state also dealing with widespread power outages.
Across the region, more than 600,000 homes and businesses have no electricity. Let me tell you about New York now, New York, the worst of the storm is hitting right now.
Earlier this morning, a man was actually hit and killed by an out-of-control car in Poughkeepsie. A state of emergency is in place all across New York State.
Rail service has been suspended from Manhattan to upstate and in Boston. We've been talking a lot about the wind here, Logan Airport measured one wind gust at 76 miles per hour, that is about hurricane force here.
Let's go straight to Susan Candiotti. Susan, where I can just tell, I've looking at your picture with the corner of my eye, that snow is really coming down.
CANDIOTTI: It is. It's picked up again, you know, it ebbs and it flows --
BALDWIN: Yes --
CANDIOTTI: Now it's running sideways. Sometimes it comes straight down, and you're getting some of that wind gust right now. Looking over here, we're in Columbus Park, and there's a gust coming through now.
Well, you can see that really, probably because of the lights. But, out there in the distance, Brooke, is a little section of Boston harbor.
Now, the water is actually quite calm, of course, we're protected in here. And so you don't see any of the boats, they're rocking away but as you look at some of the snowdrifts over here, this is what's going to be happening as the day goes on.
Let's see, that's up to again 18, 19 inches, much as it is around here. So, it looks like we could very well set that record setting mark.
Now, someone who has been out working all night here, (inaudible) you have employees of this hotel, who are trying to make sure they can keep their driveways clear and sidewalks as clear as possible so that, you know, they're staying ahead of the storm, so to speak.
Now, this is Kent (ph) over here. Kent (ph), you've been up and at 'em. And, lookit, he's not even wearing a jacket inside this truck. I guess you are toasty warm.
KENT (PH): I am toasty warm.
CANDIOTTI: How are you holding up?
KENT: OK. It's blinding conditions out there at times, which is what's going on right now.
CANDIOTTI: I mean, look at what he's -- he actually jumped out of the car, Brooke, without his coat on for a couple of minutes. I don't know how you can bear it, but I think what's especially fascinating is you were telling me that you well remember the blizzard of '78 and you were only 12 years old at the time.
What is one of the searing memories you have of that storm when you were walking out of your house?
KENT (PH): I just remember huge drifts all over the place. It was up to my waist and I can remember my mother sending me to the store in the back of a pickup truck with probably six other people to get milk and bread.
CANDIOTTI: (Inaudible). And it was so much different then because, as we've heard time and again, Brooke, people didn't have as much warning. It was much different then and people got stranded on the roads.
Tell us why it was much different then. You were still in school. People were still working.
KENT (PH): Yes, I was in school. I was 12 years old. I think the technology today probably gives us an advance warning so a lot of people don't go to work. A lot of people are off the highways now, where in '78, people got stuck all over the place because we didn't have any warning. And I can remember people driving around on snowmobiles, trying to get people to safety.
CANDIOTTI: You know, it's not over yet. But do you think this will set another record? How does this compare from your memories of back then to now about the snow piling up?
KENT (PH): I definitely think this is going to be up there. It's got to be at least one of the top five, I would believe, and I think it's -- I think it's right up there with '78.
CANDIOTTI: Well, now that we made you nice and wet by rolling down that window, thank you very much.
KENT (PH): You're welcome.
CANDIOTTI: Go back at it.
KENT (PH): I will. Thank you. Have a good night. Thank you.
CANDIOTTI: Thank you, Kent (ph), all right. All the best to you and to your family. I mean, people now, yes, they have much more warning than they had before and, in fact, you know, the city, the state did a good thing about clearing out those roads, closing offices, businesses shutting down and making sure that people understood that they're not fooling around here. Anything other than an emergency vehicle is staying off the road as of 4 o'clock on Friday afternoon and people, for the most part, are heeding that advice. Brooke?
BALDWIN: Yes, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, all with those travel bans and for very good reasons. Susan Candiotti, thank you so much.
In Boston, let's hop over to Staten Island. This is where Gary Tuchman has been for us through the morning and the afternoon, and now in the overnight hours here. And Gary, obviously Staten Island, one of the areas, devastated by superstorm Sandy.
How prepared were people for this?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So concerned, Brooke. There's just no way to tell you just how scared and anxious people were, because this is not the first time I've been on this street. This street in Staten Island, I visited it on Halloween Day, just a couple of days after Hurricane Sandy and the reason we came here is because many of the homes on this street were either destroyed or heavily damaged.
And to this very day, it's still a very quiet street. I mean, it would be quiet anyway because of the blizzard. But it's quiet because a lot of people haven't moved back yes. Some of the houses are destroyed. Others are being rebuilt. Not everyone's gotten their insurance money yet. A lot of people are shelling out their own money to rebuild their homes.
We talked to one family today earlier that was hoping to move back in today. Their work has been curtailed a little bit because of the snowstorm. They're hoping to move in Monday. But this is a very usual block right now.
First of all, because of this tent; this tent was put here weeks ago by a private citizen who's gotten donations from the city government and she provides hot meals for homeless people in Staten Island. They come to this tent every single day.
There's still an estimated 1,400 people in Staten Island, New York City's smallest borough, who do not have homes. It's not like they're living outside or living in tents. What they're doing, they're staying with relatives. They're staying in hotels. They're staying in motels and other parts of New York City, but a lot of them are coming here for meals every day that are donated.
It's very generous, and it's great to see the neighborly spirit in a big city like New York City. But there's a lot of concern today that this storm could have increased the tremendous aggravation and tragedy that Staten Island went through three months ago, 23 people were killed in Staten Island during Hurricane Sandy.
Staten Island is a very small borough. There are five boroughs in New York City, it's 5 percent of the population of the city, but more than 50 percent of the deaths in New York happened here in Staten Island, so there's been a lot of suffering. There was a lot of concern that this would increase the suffering.
They've had about 12 inches of snow here right now in Staten Island. It would have been quite a bit more, but it actually rained for about four of the hours this morning. It started snowing, turned into rain and then came back into snow.
Right now, it's still snowing, the heaviest snow was over the last three hours, but it seems to be letting up and it seems at this point that things were not as bad in Staten Island as they could have been and that's a great relief for the people who live there.
BALDWIN: Thank goodness. Thank goodness. Gary Tuchman, thank you so much for all your reporting here all night long with us.
And on the other side of the break, we're going to check with in Ali Velshi, who we put in Cape Cod. So you can see sort of the surf behind him, really the wind was whipping, the snow pelting his face as he was reporting from the Cape. We'll show you those pictures as we continue our special overnight coverage of the blizzard.
BALDWIN: Wanted to just bring you up to speed on one story we've been following for you for the last couple of hours here, these people who have been stranded in Long Island, Long Island Expressway. You see them out. This is where we're talking about.
So this is the news we just got from Suffolk -- excuse me, Suffolk County Police, that there have been hundreds of cars -- this is the first time we've heard sort of a number on this, hundreds of cars stuck across Long Island and including on the LIE since this whole things started. The number of stranded people, they say, exceeded the number of tow trucks and crews because of the weather.
So a lot of the people, they say, have been recovered. Many are still out there right now. Suffolk County P.D. say authorities are doing everything they can to get everyone, making sure everyone is warm and getting to higher risk people first. Still no numbers, no clear numbers of how many people or vehicles are stuck at this moment.
We'll be on that story, of course, through the rest of the morning and the rest of the day. Meantime, Ali Velshi, he has been out in the thick of things here. I know a lot of you folks at home enjoy watching what he does.
And let's take a look. Here he is, as there is a Twitter handle, you know, look, in the middle of the night. Somebody has a sense of humor, SaveAliVelshi. Let me just assure you, Ali loves these kinds of things. We put him on Cape Cod, the easternmost point of Massachusetts. This was one of the hardest hit areas, an area with thousands, were plunged into darkness. Here he was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: They are back on in Dennis Port, but they're off for many, many hundreds of thousands of customers in Massachusetts. That's going to be the problem as people wake up in a few hours. They might be waking up into cold houses. It is cold.
I will say the wind has died down. We -- you know, it does feel like we are on the backside of the storm. It is pelting me right now. We have got a gust coming through, but there are moments where I don't even feel it.
And frankly, as you can see, we have been talking for a couple of hours, I can stand up straight and talk to you, which I wasn't able to do earlier. I was kind of hunched down or I'd be doing this. There are still gusts coming through, but we are definitely on the back end.
There's still a lot of precipitation. You can see it between us. It is still those sort of icy pellets, but the truth is, it's lighter than it was before. There's less accumulation.
The problem now is going to be, even if we're at the back end of this thing, even if it there's just a few more inches of snow to come, that could be the few more inches that takes down the branch, that takes down the power line, that puts more people out of power. And until there's no wind you are not getting guys in buckets who are repairing that.
So more people are going to end up without power overnight. And it is cold. It's not all that cold, the actual temperature, but there's enough wind that it is making it particularly cold and there's still a travel ban in effect here in Massachusetts, in Connecticut and in Rhode Island. So you can't get around.
So there's -- you know, we're at the back end. I don't think it is going to get substantially worse, but that doesn't mean it's not going to get worse if you have power now, you still may lose it. So it's best to take those precautions.
The coast of Cape Cod, I'm at the southern side. I'm about two- thirds of the way east. You go farther east, you get to Chatham. That northeast coast of Cape Cod was also getting hit hard. We don't have a real sense of how badly Cape Cod has been hit overall. About a quarter of a million people are probably wintering on Cape Cod right now.
These are full-year residents. So it has been hit hard. It probably accounts for a fair number of the people in Massachusetts, even though Boston has been hit fairly hard. The power outages are probably fairly well concentrated here on the Cape Cod side of things.
So hopefully, I can stand and talk to you so it does look like, over the course of the next few hours, we will have a little less this of this coming along, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Ali, let me ask you, because I can hear and I can sort of see, it's dark behind you, the waves crashing behind you, that there were sort of initial fears over maybe some flooding issues, although Chad seemed to put some of that to bed. What kind of surge, if anything, are you seeing?
VELSHI: Right. Well, nothing actually, which is interesting. Whoa! A little bit of ice there.
VELSHI: I'll tell you, right around here was where high tide hit at about 9:45, 10 o'clock. And this is a little -- it's a few feet higher than yesterday's high tide, which was over here.
So really, we got nothing extra. And as soon as the tide receded, there was some fear that, as the storm hit, which was probably about an hour and a half ago or two hours ago when Chad said it got to -- the low pressure system got to -- as close to me as it was going to get. The water was far enough out that there did not seem to be an impact.
Now, again, Cape Cod is a big place and the flood warnings were in place for much of Massachusetts, not just Cape Cod. So I don't know what the story is in other places. And the northeast coast, from Chatham, northwest to that -- you know, that one part of the triangle of Cape Cod, that was perhaps in more danger of flooding.
But we do not have reports of that right now. So at the moment, it does feel like we may have missed the worst of that. But I -- we'll have to wait until we get some more reports in to figure that out, once daylight starts in a few hours.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Ali Velshi in Dennis Port, Massachusetts.
Coming up, a closeup look at the storm here through the eyes of you, our viewers, our best photos and videos from the iReports next.
BALDWIN: You know, we've had crews all around this Northeast area, live pictures, Boston on the right side, Fenway park, left side, Manhattan and we have crews certainly on the ground but we also rely on you. You're our eyes in far-flung places that we cannot yet get to. You are our iReporters. And we're so grateful for the pictures and the videos you're sending us.
Amy La Porte is here with me, 4:45 in the morning here, with even more of what people have been sending us in.
AMY LA PORTE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we are on the home stretch (inaudible), Brooke.
BALDWIN: Home stretch.
LA PORTE: Yes, we've got some great video still coming in, people are still staying up with us. These pictures, this is the scene a lot of people are going to be waking up to soon and even if they find themselves stranded, snowed in like this iReporter here, this is just south of Boston, that's her car covered in snow, nearly a foot falling here, waiting for the plows to come in. And I'm sure Lydia (ph) here and plenty of other people have been stocking up on supplies to get them through the weekend. Take a look at this Walmart. This was yesterday. Check that out, nothing.
BALDWIN: Gone. Raided.
LA PORTE: These people know how to do it. These New Englanders, they know what's going on. They know --
BALDWIN: They have been through it before.
LA PORTE: Yes.
BALDWIN: Get the bread, get the milk.
LA PORTE: Get the bread, get the milk and also --
BALDWIN: Get the beer.
LA PORTE: Get the beer. This is New York. Check this out. That's the line, those people there, braving the temperatures. For --
LA PORTE: -- a good night in. Yes, a good night in. They know how to hunker down up there. This -- yes, this was outside a wine shop in New York City, making the best of a bad situation, right?
BALDWIN: Good for them.
LA PORTE: Check this out, this tweet.
"If you live around the Boston area, like I do, be safe, stay warm and drink beer I guess."
BALDWIN: That sums it up. Stay inside, blizzard parties, why not?
LA PORTE: Why not?
BALDWIN: Why not?
LA PORTE: Exactly. And need I remind you there was that 4:00 pm stay off the road --
BALDWIN: Travel ban.
LA PORTE: Travel ban. Check this out.
Yes. That sign right there, that says, "Blizzard warning: avoid all travel." That's right, all travel. This was after that 4:00 pm ban -- those cars whizzing by, so we want to say, again, stay off the roads. Unnecessary travel, don't do it.
BALDWIN: And you know people have been staying off the roads. People, though, are getting a little creative. I don't know if you caught this, Amy La Porte, people on their cross country skis, right?
Listen, middle of the night. Why not? Right? At least these people are saying why not. We're going to show you this video. It was one of the highlights of our night here from the Boston DriveCam. We're going to share that with you, right after this.
BALDWIN: Through the night, really, actually, through my day shift, talking to Julian Cummings, he's our producer, he's the one who has been providing us this Boston DriveCam and I'm happy to tell you at this hour, what, are we in the 5:00 am hour? 4:00 am? I don't even know. And he is no longer driving. So hopefully he's going to get some good quality sleep.
But he's done an amazing job overnight, giving us and giving you a good picture as to what conditions are like out on the roads, if there are plows, if people heeded the warnings to get their cars out of the roads or else they would be towed.
So amid sort of some of the snow that's really been coming down, we had some lighter moments, Julian and I did, especially when it came to these two cross country skiers who were -- I don't know what they were doing. Just watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN CUMMINGS, CNN PRODUCER: We do have a -- I'm seeing a skier in front of us coming up. (Inaudible) --
CUMMINGS: Stay with us, you can get a little closer here. A little bit of a delay on our shot, it's mobile here, but we see --
BALDWIN: Cross country skier.
CUMMINGS: -- a cross country skier.
BALDWIN: Look at that. First Greenwich, Connecticut, tonight, now we see a guy cross country skiing at 3:00 in the morning in Boston. Hey, why not, I suppose.
Look at this. Let's just stay on this for a minute.
Here they go. Off the side of the street.
Hey, I suppose, if you have nothing better to do and want to take advantage of the snow and have some skis collecting dust, right?
Here's another one.
Can you -- can you talk to them, can you roll down your window, Julian? Let's just do this on the fly. Why not, 3:00 in the morning. CUMMINGS: Let's try to talk to them. Let's see if they can -- I don't think our mike is going to pick it up. But hold on. We're going to try and get this up. Bear with us here.
How are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're killing me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't get it.
CUMMINGS: You know, Brooke, I don't think this is going to work, this one on the fly. It's a little tough for us (inaudible). But sorry about that. We tried.
BALDWIN: OK, Julian. Thank you. Thank you. We'll come back to you. Maybe --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
BALDWIN: -- maybe -- we'll give you a minute. You can talk to some of these guys who are out there.
CUMMINGS: All right. They're coming off -- we're coming off the tripod. We can -- we can give it a shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, come talk to us.
CUMMINGS: Hey, we're with CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is it going?
CUMMINGS: Good, how are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good. Wicked good weather.
CUMMINGS: Wicked good weather, they just told us.
BALDWIN: Wicked good.
CUMMINGS: They said finally finding some good skiing in this area. I hope you can hear the right now.
BALDWIN: I can't hear them.
CUMMINGS: What made you guys go out and ski tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Adventure.
CUMMINGS: They're looking for an adventure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
BALDWIN: I can't hear them, Julian. Tell me what they're telling you.
CUMMINGS: They're saying it's not often you have the chance to ski down Beacon Street in Arlington over here on the Back Bay of Boston so they're taking advantage of it. And they've -- they're having a good time. We'll say that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
BALDWIN: What's he saying?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
CUMMINGS: They're wondering who we are, basically, at this point.
BALDWIN: OK. All right. We're going to let them --
CUMMINGS: It's a little windy here.
BALDWIN: We're going to let them ski on, my friend. Let them ski on.
CUMMINGS: Let them go, we'll let them go, yes.
BALDWIN: Wicked good weather for skiing, I suppose, there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: And that was Julian Cummings. We want to thank you so much for being with us here as CNN's covered this storm. We've been up and doing this for you for the last five hours.
And just quickly before we hit to the top of the hour, want to let you know this is now officially a fatal storm.
That 74-year old was hit walking around in Poughkeepsie, was hit by a car who apparently skidded on some of this snow and also this is something that we'll have to be reporting on the next couple of hours, these stranded people on the Long Island Expressway. We don't know how many. We're getting the information for you.
I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for watching. Martin Savidge picking up this from me on the other side of the break.