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Blizzard of 2013; Latest on California Manhunt; Air Travel at a Virtual Standstill in the Northeast

Aired February 09, 2013 - 05:00   ET


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Snow, wind, and icy rain. The aftermath of an all night blizzard. The northeast is still getting pummeled by a historic storm, and now this. The nor'easter has turned deadly.

More than a half million people are without power and it is not likely to come back any time soon. Plus we'll also be following that manhunt that's continuing in Los Angeles for a former cop on a rampage. CNN now has exclusive video showing just how deadly he is.

It is Saturday, February 9th, good morning to you. I'm Martin Savidge in for Randi Kaye and Victor Blackwell. You're watching our special coverage of the northeast blizzard.

Here's what we know so far. The snow is relentless and it is piling up. We're hearing that the storm has claimed at least life. Police say somebody died in storm-related crash, that is in Poughkeepsie, New York.

The Boston area being slammed with hurricane-force winds. It looks like Connecticut, though, is taking the brunt of the snow and up to two feet of snow in some places, more to come elsewhere. It is falling at a clip of three inches an hour.

And hundreds of cars now stuck in that snow on Long Island, on the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway. The roads are closed now to just about everybody except those emergency vehicles. Police say that most people have been rescued but there are still some who are stranded. We'll have an update from Long Island in just a few minutes.

And the blizzard has knocked out power -- get this -- to more than 600,000 households and businesses across eight states. You can see the breakdown right there. Winds are gusting in some places now 70 miles an hour. That's not going to help. And then, of course, it's tearing down the tree limbs and the power lines. All in one go. It's leaving families in the dark and also in the bitter cold. In terms of sheer numbers, Massachusetts is hardest hit, at this particular point.

Then in Rhode Island, more than 180,000 customers don't have electricity. That is almost a fifth of that tiny state's population.

CNN's Poppy Harlow is in the capital of Providence.

And Poppy, what's the situation like this morning. Good morning, by the way. POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Marty. Nothing like spending a Saturday morning in the blizzard. I wouldn't rather -- I wouldn't like to do it with anyone but you.

Good morning, Marty, good morning, America. Many of you waking up, millions of you, to a complete whiteout. That's what we have here in Providence, Rhode Island.

I want to take a second to pan our camera over here and show our viewers the whiteout conditions we've had since really 10:00, 11:00 p.m. Eastern here. The end of the block here in downtown Providence is a tall hotel and a restaurant, but you wouldn't know by looking at it. You can't see that. And that's what we've been dealing with here.

And to give you some perspective, where are we? We're literally in front of town hall in the center of Providence. I've been here for hours on end now and we haven't seen really a single pedestrian. A few stragglers last night around 10:00 p.m. Having little fun and sledding around here but that's about it. It has been completely abandoned. They banned traffic after 5:00 p.m. Eastern yesterday here making it illegal for anyone in Rhode Island to be on the roads.

I-95, that entire corridor, through Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, completely shut down, folks. That has happened since the great blizzard of 1978 but the big struggle here in the early morning hours in Rhode Island is the power outages. As Marty told you about 183,000 homes without power. At this hour that number is only going to go up. We knew this was going to happen because the snow is wet, the snow is heavy and because the temperatures stayed a little bit above freezing you had that wet, thick snow weighing on the power lines here.

That has been bringing them down. That has been bringing trees down, and when the power goes out the big concern is the heat. We saw it in the aftermath of Sandy but it was much warmer then. Now the question is how soon can the power company here, the National Grid, get that power back up and running.

That is the situation here on Providence, Rhode Island, again, 183,000 homes without power.

I want to go to Susan Candiotti, my colleague who's in Boston. Boston surely getting hit incredibly hard.

Susan, what do you see in this hour?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Poppy. Much the same thing that you are. The snow is blowing sideways as this hour as it has been much of the night and then swirling around in all kinds of different directions. Felt like pin needles during most of the day on Friday and into the evening when it would pelt you in the face and now you're still seeing much of that but also getting a sense that perhaps the flakes are just a little bit bigger.

But as we take a look down now here, a city park's truck just came down this Andrew Road. We are in Columbus Park in downtown Boston where we have not lost power throughout the night. So this park -- this truck just cleared a little bit of a path here but look at how the snow has piled up here. And some of the drifts that back there as well.

Now jumping over here, I just want to show you how deep it is. If I could -- isn't that great? If I can make it over the drift, OK, not very artfully done but there you have it, and putting the stick in the yardstick, it looks like 18, 19 inches. So remember, the record being at least 27. This stands to be a pretty good chance since the snow doesn't show any sign of letting up any time soon.

Marty, back to you.

HARLOW: I'll take it from here, Susan.

Same story here. Yes, the snow does not look like it is giving up any time soon. I want to take our viewers over to Staten Island to Gary Tuchman who is braving it in Staten Island and Gary telling such an important story there because this is a place that was hit so hard after Sandy. Twenty-three deaths there and power out for weeks on end.

People very concerned with this storm, Gary. What are you seeing?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, within the last hour the snow here is basically stopped to the great relief of the people of Staten Island.


TUCHMAN: Because like you say the people here suffered so much.

Staten Island is only 5 percent of the total of New York City, the small borough of New York City, but had more than half the deaths from Hurricane Sandy three months ago. Twenty-three people died here. There are still an estimated 1400 people who are homeless. And that's why we're on the street. It's not the first time I'm on this street. I was here three months ago because so many of the homes were destroyed or damaged. This right here was a home. And you can see it is now rubble and it has stayed rubble.

This house next door was heavily damaged during Sandy also. However they've rebuilt it. The family that rebuilt it, though, was hoping to move in this week but because of the blizzard they had to stop the work. They now hope to move back into their home next week. But there was so much concern here in Staten Island because of what happened three months ago.

Just a couple of blocks away from here I covered a story during the hurricane where a woman had her two children with her. She had to get out of her car because her car was blown off the road and she couldn't hold on to her children, and her children were blown out of her hands. They found the children later. They were two of the 23 people who died. So there's so much tragedy here. And there still is to this day. As a matter of fact across the street right here you see that tent, people aren't living in that tent. That tent has been put up there to provide hot meals for homeless people. As a matter of fact today earlier in the day when this blizzards started there are people who were homeless from Hurricane Sandy who are having lunch inside that tent.

So there's a great sense of relief here in Staten Island, New York, but the blizzard wasn't as bad here as it was north of us in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

Poppy, back to you.

HARLOW: Absolutely, Gary, I mean they can take any break they can get there in Staten Island. It's been so tough. Even in that story for month.

It's great reporting. Gary Tuchman. Thank you.

Marty, want to send it back to you in the warm cozy studio in Atlanta. We're not jealous at all.

SAVIDGE: No, we're not. I wish I was out with you.


Thanks very much, Poppy. We'll be checking back.

Meanwhile, let's talk about the flight situations. It's not good. Nearly 5,000 have been cancelled to and from the northeast. Probably no surprise. And that is likely to stay the norm for a while. There will be no flights on the Boston's Logan until at least Sunday, we're being told. Flights out of New York's Newark International are suspended for the next few hours and they have closed until at least 1:00. That's Eastern Time today.

Remember, good advice. Check your airline to verify the status of your flight before you head out to the airport.

So how much of the snow are we expecting to fall and who will get the most of it? Meteorologist Alexandra Steele is following that for us.

Alexandra, good morning.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: And good morning. Good morning, everyone.

Look at some of these numbers. Incredibly impressive. It looks right now like Connecticut, kind of the bull's eye on this. Hamden, Connecticut, 34 inches thus far and it is continuing to snow. Hamden is right off I-91. Madison, Connecticut, right along the shoreline of 95, 32 inches thus far. And Bergen County, New Jersey, 15 inches, in Western Mass 10 inches, Boston 10 inches, and we still have something to go, and I'm going to show you the radar picture. Darien, Connecticut, in Fairfield County, 19, so across the board incredibly dramatic, Islip and Long Island 11, Central Park 8.1 inches, and the snow continues.

So let me show you. It is wrapping up, that is the good news but once the snow does wrap up we're still going to see 30 to 40-mile-per-hour wind gusts so really we have a blizzard in our hands. Twenty-five million people being impacted with blizzard conditions.

So here's the area of low pressure. You can see where the back side is now. It's in upstate New York, western New York. It is all moving eastward about as we show a little show closer, I don't know if you can see kind of the darker, brighter white, this white banding we're seeing, that's where we're seeing the heaviest snowfall. Maybe two to three inches an hour for some. That's how we're getting these incredible snow totals.

So here's a look at what we're going to see in terms of when will it end. Right? We know how much we've seen. This is this morning at 5:00 this morning. Now watch it in from west to east but notice these isobars on the west side behind it, that's where the winds will still be strong. So by 7:00 this morning you could see Long Island getting out of it. Western Connecticut getting out of it. Western Mass, as well.

By this afternoon, 1:00, you can see everyone but the Cape and Islands and then it all pushes north and continuing to move eastward. So it will be done by this afternoon, the snow wise, but, Martin, what we're going to see is the winds continuing to blow around what we've seen already, which is two and three feet.

SAVIDGE: Yes, well, that brings me to the question, which is a lot of travel bans we know in effect, so when could they be lifted?

STEELE: You know, in Boston and through Massachusetts, the first time at 4:00 yesterday since the blizzard of '78, they have done this travel ban and everyone certainly in agreement that this was such a good idea keeping everyone off the road. It's hard to know when they're going to put this back, because the roads, of course, with everybody has been off, they have been treated so certainly sooner than it would have been without the ban.

So we'll have to see but by the afternoon we're going to watch this end. By 10:00 tonight you can see it's all but gone, maybe from Chatham all the way to the end the Cape and Islands. So still this afternoon potentially we'll see the snow end and then maybe tonight or even tomorrow just to keep things safe.

SAVIDGE: Alexandra Steele, thanks very much.


SAVIDGE: Of course checking back with you regularly throughout the morning.

STEELE: Yes. All right. SAVIDGE: We'll have a lot more on the blizzard in the northeast. People stuck on a major highway. We'll have an update live plus we'll be showing you what's happening in your neighborhood.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been going on for about three to four hours of heavy, windy snow. Just absolutely crazy amounts.


SAVIDGE: That is you out in the storm. More sights and sounds from our iReporters coming up next.


SAVIDGE: Good morning, and welcome back to CNN special coverage of the blizzard of 2013. You're looking at live images now coming to us from Boston. One of the areas that are being impacted by this massive storm that is just dumping a record amount of snow in some places.

And that's proving a problem for people traveling especially from, say, Connecticut to Massachusetts. They have been urged to stay off the road.

In New York, though, hundreds of drivers are stuck in their cars. They're trapped by snow on the Long Island Expressway.

And joining me on the phone now to talk more about that is Ed Schneyer. He is the director of Emergency Preparations for Suffolk County.

Ed, thanks for joining us this morning. And let me ask you this, where are these cars and how many people do you think are stuck?

ED SCHNEYER, SUFFOLK COUNTY DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS: Well, Martin, most of the cars are on the Long Island Expressway and some of the roads that traverse north and south on -- in the county also are at the higher elevations where we did get some higher accumulations of snow. We do have cars stuck up there, nearly all of the cars have been searched and all of the people have been removed through a risky operation that took place over the last two or three hours.

We've been very, very successful in removing those folks. A lot of the cars are still abandoned in place. We are working on getting plows and tow trucks out there to help try to clear the roadways out.

SAVIDGE: So you had to have teams that were literally going car to car in the middle of the storm?

SCHNEYER: That's correct there. We actually used the resources with snowmobiles and four-wheel drive vehicles and high axle vehicles.

SAVIDGE: And those who were able to at least find some refuge, where did they go? Did they find places, people's homes, businesses, that sort of thing? SCHNEYER: Well, we found that there's still quite a number of the local mini marts are open, convenience stores are open. The folks that we removed from the vehicles, we took them to firehouses and to warming centers and we were able to position them there and we're in the process of providing meals and water to them right now.

SAVIDGE: How long is it going to be until you can get those roads back to normal and I imagine it's going to be a while?

SCHNEYER: Yes, I think, you know, we'll be able to make a better assessment of that once daylight comes but they are -- as I said there's some high accumulations of snow especially in the central and northern part of the county. Still a lot of blowing snow and it's a wet, heavy snow. So we have to get our resources out there and we do have a -- we do have a state, county and local resources out there plowing the roadways and they are working tirelessly.

SAVIDGE: All right. Ed Schneyer joining us on the telephone. He is the director of Emergency Preparations for Suffolk County in New York. Talking about people stuck on their vehicles on the Long Island Expressway.

Thanks very much, Ed.

Now let's go to George Howell because he has been following iReports. That's your eyes on this particular storm -- George.

Well, all right, so George isn't quite ready yet. We'll check with him in just a bit. Meanwhile, we'll have much more on the blizzard of 2013 in just a minute, though. We're tracking that storm for you, of course, but there is another story that's out there, and that's the hunt for a suspected cop killer. We have now an exclusive new set of images of the fugitive who is believed to be armed and extremely dangerous.


SAVIDGE: Live eyes on the storm now, you're taking a look at a live image coming to us from Boston. And you are waking up to a monochromatic world out there and it's pretty much white now. You're also looking at New York City right now, Columbus Circle, where the snow doesn't look quite as bad but first let's get you caught up on other things besides the blizzard.

Let's talk about the manhunt for a suspected cop killer on the loose in Southern California. Police plan to ramp up their search again for fugitive and ex-cop Christopher Jordan Dorner when daylight breaks.

We've gotten these exclusive images of Dorner firing a gun in 2005 at a firing range for L.A. police officers, that is, in training.

CNN's Miguel Marquez is in Los Angeles near Big Bear Lake where the manhunt has been focused -- Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Martin, the information continues to pour in about Mr. Dorner and across Southern California and especially here in Los Angeles, police stations everywhere on high alert.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): In the mountains east of L.A., a feverish search in Big Bear despite near whiteout conditions.

SHERIFF JOHN MCMAHON, SAINT BERNARDINO COUNTY: We're going to continue to search primarily up in the mountain area to make sure there's a lot of cabins up there that are abandoned. We want to make sure that he didn't find a place to hide out for the night.

MARQUEZ: Today parts of Southern California on lockdown. Some 17 million people terrorized by an ex-cop on a murderous rampage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's kind of scary because you don't know where he is and you have friends -- we have friends who live all over the mountain and, you know, just concerned about them and the officers, too.

MARQUEZ: Police stations across the city under guard. The homes of LAPD officials and their families also under guard after being called out in Dorner's angry 11-paged diatribe.

Thousands of police across the state called on to duty, tensions so high, twitchy LAPD officers shoot up a blue pickup truck resembling Dorner's. It wasn't. Inside a 71-year-old woman and her daughter delivering newspapers. The 71-year-old in intensive care. The daughter OK.

A Torrance Police officer hears those shots, sees a different blue truck leaving the same neighborhood, rams it and fires off rounds into it. Still not Dorner, just a man going to work. Luckily he is OK.

The rampage started Sunday in Irvine. Monica Quan, the daughter of police official, and her fiance, shot and killed. On Wednesday, near San Diego, Dorner tried to steal a boat. On Thursday, 1:25 a.m. in Corona Dorner allegedly fires onto two police officers, one is slightly injured.

Twenty minutes later in Riverside, two officers ambushed at a stop light. Again Dorner suspected. One officer dies, the other hospitalized. Finally Thursday Dorner's manifesto goes public and in the mountains east of L.A. his burned out truck is found, two guns in it and footprints leading into the woods.


MARQUEZ: A search warrant was served on his Dorner's mother's house. Forensics experts -- computer forensics experts -- went in there hoping to search through the computers in that house to figure out where exactly he might be -- Martin.

SAVIDGE: Thanks, Miguel. Yes, that's a story we'll continue to follow for you.

And the other one we're following, of course, the blizzard in the northeast. George Howell joining us now with more of your iReport which is always kind of an interesting way to look at the storm through other people.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, you know, you see the darnest things through other people, you know? Our iReporters --

SAVIDGE: That I believe you.


HOWELL: They're out there, they're getting these pictures.

I want to start with this. You know, New Yorkers, of course, they are resilient. They get through anything. I want you to look at this here at Riverside Park. Look at that. This is a guy snowboarding. He's got his dog with him. I think, Martin, he even created a little jump, a little, you know, lift to jump while he's snowboarding there. Isn't that cool?

SAVIDGE: Yes, yes. He's out there enjoying it just the way you should.

HOWELL: Exactly. Exactly.

Want to switch over to this now. A picture that we have from Norfolk, Connecticut. Look at this. An imprint of the door?


You know, this guy opened the door and there -- you have three feet of snow right there.

SAVIDGE: Look at that.

HOWELL: Unbelievable.


SAVIDGE: With the indentations of the door even right. Right?

HOWELL: He's going to have trouble getting out the door today, I imagine.

Let's switch over to this in White Plains, New York. Look at these shelves. You can see people went to these stores and bought up as much as they could. They bought up the bread, the water to get prepared for this thing, a lot of people as you know from the other picture with the door went maybe stuck in their homes so --

SAVIDGE: I think there's a lot who, you know, went through Hurricane Sandy and may not have --


SAVIDGE: -- been properly prepared that have said you know what, this time -- HOWELL: They are prepared this time. Not this time.

SAVIDGE: Not going to let that happen.

HOWELL: Absolutely. And let's end it with this. A classic scene, I say, in Manhattan. Right off 14th Street there, the Trader Joe's, you know, there's a separate store for wine. So people are not going into the store, they're going into the wine store. They're getting as much wine as possible before all the snow comes down.

SAVIDGE: Fortifying themselves. Yes. It's a good antifreeze.

HOWELL: Not a bad call.

SAVIDGE: Thank you, George, very much.

HOWELL: Thank you.


Ali Velshi has been out on Cape Cod. We want to check in with him to see how the circumstances have been. We'll be doing that when we come back.


SAVIDGE: Good morning, it is 30 minutes past the hour. Welcome back. I'm Martin Savidge. Thank you very much for starting your day with us. Let's get you going with the five stories we are watching this morning.

At number one, the massive manhunt for a fired cop and alleged killer. These are exclusive images of Christopher Jordan Dorner firing a gun back in 2005 when he was an LAPD cadet. Now he's accused of killing three people including a police officer. That's all in revenge supposedly for getting fired from his, quote, "green job." That manhunt focusing on the resort area of Big Bear Lake, California. Police scaled back their search overnight because of heavy snow.

Number two, we know what caused the lights now to go out at the New Orleans Superdome in the middle of the Super Bowl. A power company says it has traced the outage to a newly installed electrical relay device. That device triggered unexpectedly and caused the lights to go out but the company that made that device says it was the electric company's fault for setting it up wrong.

Number three, former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., he signed a plea deal with prosecutors. The son of the well-known civil rights leader was under investigation for misusing campaign funds. Details of that deal are unknown but according to local reports out of Chicago he could still face time in prison.

At number four, Michelle Obama will attend today's funeral for 15- year-old Hadiya Pendleton, the Chicago honor student and ban majorette was gunned down just a week after performing at President Obama's inauguration. Police told our affiliates that Pendleton had no gang affiliation and likely was not the intended target. We'll have a report from that funeral later on this morning.

And then number five takes us back to the northeast and that blizzard. Drivers in at least three states are banned from the roads. The governor of Massachusetts ordered a halt of all normal traffic, same goes for Rhode Island. And in Connecticut the governor's office has announced that the roads will closed until further notice. Only emergency vehicles can enter now on most highways.

The blizzard's biggest effect right now, of course power outages. Throughout the northeast, more than 650,000 homes and businesses without power. More than half of those are in the state of Massachusetts.

You're looking at a neighborhood in Providence where power was going on and off all night.


WALT BUTEAU, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND RESIDENCE: And as we drive up this way, take a look, a very big tree blocking this street right here down and there is plenty of this -- you can see, though, what the heavy snow is doing to cable lines in the course, electrical lines, those lines are normally maybe 20 feet off the street. They're now about 15 feet, so that's brought it down and then the lights just went out again. In this particular neighborhood we've watched the lights go off and back on multiple times as they fix the problem but then the problem happens again.


SAVIDGE: And getting around by air is not much easier, nearly 5,000 flights have been canceled to and from the northeast and that is likely to remain the norm. There will be no flights out of Boston's Logan until at least Sunday. And it's a similar story at New York's airports. No flights in or out.

Remember this advice, check your airline to verify the status of your flight before you even bother making your way to the airport.

One of the areas, one of the spots that has been hardest hit so far, Rhode Island. It is a virtual whiteout, two feet of snow expected, and the winds are gusting at least 60 miles an hour.

CNN's Poppy Harlow is in the capital of Providence, in the middle of it all, and I understand, Poppy, that power outages are a huge problem there right now.

HARLOW: They're a huge problem. Good morning, Marty. We're getting a little bit of reprieve between those heavy wind gusts that you mentioned. Those happened late last night into the early hours this morning, but I want to set the scene for our viewers. We're here in the center of downtown Providence but you wouldn't know it looking around.

I mean, take a look here in front of city hall. All the office buildings, it's abandoned, it's deserted and people haven't been here really since about 4:00, 5:00 last night. That's because the governor of Rhode Island called for a total halt of all vehicles. They closed I-95, that main quarter that runs through.

Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and people have been told to stay home and stay safe. The whiteout conditions you mentioned have been a big problem. I do want to show our viewers they're down at the end of the block. Remember when we joined you at the the top of the hour you could see that hotel? Or the restaurant? Now I can sort of start to see it. So we're seeing a little bit of reprieve here. It's getting a little bit better.

The snow is still falling, it's 19 degrees which is actually good, and the reason that it is good is because the heavy, wet snow from the warmer temperatures we saw late last night it pulled down all those trees and power lines. That's why you've got about 187 thousand people in this state without power.

Relative speaking, when you compare it to the population here, this is the hardest hit state in terms of power outages. Massachusetts, though, well over 3,000 people with their power outlets.

Let's go to Susan Candiotti. She's there in it.

Susan Candiotti, what are you seeing this morning? Things getting a little better?

CANDIOTTI: Hi, Poppy. Well, not in term of power outages. They've just upped the numbers to more than 400,000 customers having lost power.


CANDIOTTI: Fortunately for this section of Boston -- exactly, Poppy -- but for the area of Boston where we are, we never lost the lights throughout the night and what I'm noticing, as well, about the consistency about the snow is now changed. You see, it's still blowing sideways and we're in a bit of a lull right now where we're not getting high gusts as often as we have been. The flakes are a little bigger than they were. And check this out, when you pick up the snow, it was so easy to make a small ball yesterday. But now it's much lighter, it's much fluffier. And what does that mean? That means that we're going to see now the drifting effect now because it's lighter.

So -- so snow is going to fall but now as that wind picks up it's going to blow it and create lings like this except this is not a true drift. This is where Parks Department people, the city has been coming by and shoving the snow up but beyond that this is really some of the accumulation that we have been seeing and throwing in a -- throwing it our yardstick there. We checked it just the last hour. It's measuring about 18, close to 19 inches.

So as the sun comes up, of course, we'll probably see a few more people out and about. Have run into a few who came out in the middle of the night just to take a look around and experienced this, running into people who may even drove up here from Washington, D.C. Just so they could see a part of what could be an historic blizzard.

Poppy, back to you.

HARLOW: Susan, you've been braving it all doing a great job.

And you know, folks, one of the interesting things I've seen here in Providence is that technology here is so sophisticated to deal with these storms. We spent part of last night in this Emergency Management Center, they've got GPS on all of their plows, they're tracking their every move, minute by minute. Seeing where the plows are going, they come by here, every half hour so to clean it out, so at least the technology is up to speed and hopefully they get people back on these roads as soon as possible.

But the snow here not expected to stop until at least 2:00 p.m. So there's go a ways to go. I want to take you know to New York. My colleague Zain Asher is braving it there.

And Zain, you know, a lot of the headlines I've been seeing this morning are the concern over all those folks that got on the highways around New York. The Long Island express -- I think because New York can get hit as hard as people thought, and it was really sort of turning into, you know, rain really as soon as it hit ground there, do people thought it just wasn't going to be bad and then they hit the 2:00, right?

ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, Poppy, you know, it really isn't as bad as I personally expected. I mean, it's nowhere near as bad as the blizzard you've got back in 2010. But what I can tell you is that, you know, New York City, the city that never sleeps, has basically become a ghost town. There is literally no one on the streets.

I haven't been as lucky as Alison, my colleague Allison Kosik, in terms of getting people to talk to me. But, you know, it is Saturday morning and it is roughly around 5:30. So you would expect that even -- you know, even though it is early here in New York it is a city that never sleeps. So you would expect to see some activity. I haven't seen that much at all.

In terms of temperature, it's roughly around 28 degrees, it is absolutely freezing out here. Over there is -- over there is Central Park, 8 to 10 inches of snow roughly about half of what we got three years ago during the blizzard of 2010.

I actually here from my hotel on Seventh Avenue. And what I found was that the main problem was really with the sidewalk. I found it very difficult to walk that ten blocks in those kind of conditions.

The main roads were actually a little bit better. The mayor is actually saying that he hopes to make sure that the snowplows plow the streets once if not twice. Pretty ambitious gal before noon today so he's using roughly about 1700 snowplows, also 250,000 tons of salt to make sure that the streets are up and running before the morning commute. Now on Monday -- as you mentioned, you know, there have been travel problems especially on the Long Island Expressway where hundreds of -- were stuck in the snow. Also unfortunately we did get -- we did get an issue with a fatality. Our very first fatality with a 74-year-old man who was struck and killed in Poughkeepsie when he was hit by a car.

So even though I'm saying it's nowhere near as bad as what we've got back in 2010, it is still pretty dangerous. So, guys, you know, if you don't have to come outside, first of all, it's freezing, If you don't have to come outside, the best place to be is pretty much indoors, in your house, with a warm cup of tea watching CNN.

Poppy, back to you.

HARLOW: Exactly, Zain.

And, you know, folks, for those of you who don't know this is Zain's first week at CNN. Nothing like covering a blizzard on weekend duty to get you right into the groove of things at CNN.

Zain, welcome. You're doing a great job.

ASHER: Thank you.

HARLOW: Marty, I'll send it back to you.

SAVIDGE: All right. Thank you both very much.

And the gusting winds are a huge problem especially in parts of eastern Massachusetts. CNN's Ali Velshi is about as far in eastern Massachusetts as you can go. At the Water's Edge in Cape Cod.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Martin, I'm here Dennis Port, Massachusetts, which is about -- just a little more than halfway along the southern coast of Cape Cod. If you go about 30 miles to the east you'll get to Chatham. This is south, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, Boston, and Providence are that way.

We're at the back end of the storm, but you could see it still got some teeth to it and as people wake up in a few hours, what they'll find is they might be losing power because this wind combined with the accumulated snow on some branches and things like that are going to take down more power lines as of about the middle of the night the vast majority of those who had lost power in the northeast were, in fact, in Massachusetts.

We don't know how that breaks down into Cape Cod or the islands or the rest of Massachusetts. But we do know that there are about 250,000 people who winter here in Cape Cod. That number goes up to 600,000 or 700,000 in the summer. Those who stay here are hearty. They've seen storms before. We had some people come up and tell us that this is not as bad as the storm of 1978.

Bottom line is we're probably at the back end of this thing. There are a few hours left. But as people wake up, they may still stand to lose power in Massachusetts. They may already be getting up and they may have dodged the worst of it. There's still a travel ban in effect. So if they lost power, there's not much they can do about it. They can't get out there.

The crews that are repairing the power lines are not going to be able to do that until the wind has stopped. We have lost power here in Dennis Port several times throughout the course of the night, it's gone off, it's come back, it's gone off. So we're not sure whether those power outage totals refer to people who have had fluctuating power like we have but it is going to be a cold morning and possibly cold weekend for a number of people in the not east including here in Massachusetts.

We'll stay on the story for you from Dennis Port, Massachusetts.

Martin, back to you.

SAVIDGE: What a trip. You got that right, a very hearty Ali Velshi. Thank you very much.

Well, if you're one of the 12,000 students that were scheduled to take the ACT test this morning in the northeast area, you might want to check with to see if your test was canceled.

About 190 testing sites are in the path of the storm. One hundred three centers canceled tests yesterday. That's all the way from New Jersey to Vermont. Not to worry, though, because the test dates, yes, they'll reschedule them.

The blizzard is also making travel that is difficult for NBA Teams. The New York Knicks, they're stuck in Minneapolis. They were there all of last night while the San Antonio Spurs, they delayed their trip east and instead stayed over night in Detroit after playing the Pistons.

They're hoping to make it into New York this afternoon. Then there are the Brooklyn Nets. They are ditching their plane for a train to get back to New York.

We'd like to see how that works out. San Antonio scheduled to play the Brooklyn nets on Sunday night.

How much more snow do you expect we're see and how much more is there to go? Meteorologist Alexandra Steele following all of that for us.

Good morning again, Alexandra.

STEELE: Good morning, everyone. Good morning. Waking up in the northeast looking out two, three feet of snow. You know it is historic but also in the northeast we in essence have been in a snow drought for the last two years. The storms that we've seen haven't really dropped more than 6 inches of snow.

It's been warm. One of the reasons we've seen more clipper, quick hitters and more rain slows and the snow lines have been north and west of the big cities. So this is certainly substantial. How much thus far? Hamden, Connecticut 34 straight inches. Can you believe it? That's right off 91.

Madison right along the shoreline in Connecticut off 95, 32 inches. Bergen County, New Jersey, 15. Worcester, Mass, 10., Boston, 10. That's -- at Logan. Outside of that anywhere 10 and 20 inches. New Haven, 24. Brooklyn, New York, 11, so you get the picture, right? This is certainly have been historic.

Let me show you where it is. Here's the center of the circulation and it is all moving to the north and east. You are not done yet, though. Let me show you what we're seeing and how we've seen it through central mass and central Connecticut. That's where the snow has been following in about two inches an hour so that's where we're ending up with these incredibly hefty snow totals in the 20s and 30s.

But let me time it out for you. So this morning we're still seeing the snow. We're going to watch this area of low pressure move north and east, OK, by 8:00, you can western areas of New York City, Long Island, Western Connecticut, Massachusetts, it all moves out. By noon you can see 1:00 and then tonight we're going to watch this wind down with Cape and Islands.

But Martin, even when this winds down tonight we still have 30 and 40- mile-per-hour wind gusts blowing around some snow. We'll certainly still moving in, still have blizzard conditions potentially.

SAVIDGE: Yes. All right, Alexandra. We're not out of it yet.

STEELE: No. Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Thanks very much.

Moving now to California. They also have problems with the weather conditions out there as they search for an accused killer. CNN talks exclusively with the man who watched CNN Christopher Dorner at the LAPD Training Academy. That's coming up.


SAVIDGE: In the northeast, you are waking up to a world of white. These are live pictures coming to us now from Boston where the snow is continuing to come down. They've been taking not just the brunt of it they've been taking a lot of it but Connecticut also seems to be getting heavily hit with a snowfall.

We continue to watch and bring you developments. The very latest on that blizzard.

In the meantime, the manhunt continues for a rogue ex-cop in the cold snowy mountains of California. Christopher Dornan has allegedly -- that's Dorner, rather. Has allegedly taken three lives on a twisted mission of revenge against the LAPD who says that -- he says, rather, they unjustly let him go.

But despite the intense search the 33-year-old remains free and investigators are now focusing their efforts on the abandoned cabins that are located high up in the mountains east of Los Angeles. Here now our Kyung Lah with this exclusive new video of Dorner that was taken out of police academy shooting range during his time as a cadet.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Christopher Dorner, LAPD cadet in 2005.

(On camera): What do you think watching this considering what's happened?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he's an expert with weapons. Definitely. He's definitely dangerous.

LAH (voice-over): This man spent months with Dorner at the LAPD Training Academy. We are altering his voice and not showing his face because he fears Dorner will go after his police friends but he wants the public to see this so people understand what the LAPD is facing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look at Chris. You could see that he's a little bit of an expert. The way he watches and disarms. The shoe, and almost no movement he shoots the gun and then pop, with nothing.

LAH (on camera): So he stood out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he stood out. He knew what he was doing. The LAPD has they're going to be going after one of their own former, and he knows -- like I said, he knows what he's doing. He knows how to use everything.

LAH: Being a cop, do you think that it was -- could you tell it was important to him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I think it was very important to him. Yes.

LAH: You could see it.


LAH: Even during the training?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. Yes. Yes. I think it is a 300-pound dummy and he does that easily.

LAH: Easily, this is 300 pounds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe that's 300 pounds.

LAH: So is a very strong man.


LAH (voice-over): But not everything was easy for Dorner. The aspiring police officer. This man says he witness drill instructors picking on him for his weight and slow running. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I hear about how angry he is about the LAPD, I think that fits to my experience with him. I could kind of -- that matches up when he says things about LAPD, matches up to the way I think he had his experience through the LAPD, especially the academy.

LAH (voice-over): This man never spoke to Dorner, but he never forgot the cadet. Your thought was this man represents power.


BOEHNER: Yes. Exactly. I wanted to show -- when I was going to use it, I wanted to show, maybe put music and show that the LAPD is powerful. And look at this powerful man. You know, handling this gun.

LAH: Is it frightening to think that the LAPD is facing this man?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes. I mean this guy is no joke.

LAH (voice-over): And one police are taking very seriously.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.


SAVIDGE: Most roads are just covered in snow. Just ahead we take you inside one Emergency Management operation where they can track how many times a snowplow goes down your street.


HARLOW: Welcome back to CNN Saturday morning, everyone. I'm joining you live from Providence, Rhode Island, which just got slammed by this nor'easter we've got. Feet of snow here but a little reprieve this morning from those massive wind gusts. I want to take you inside the Emergency Operation Center here in Providence.

This is the eyes and ears on the ground in the middle of any emergency, any storm like this one. And we had a chance to spend some time in there last night really at the height of this storm to see how they're dealing with it and get a tour with the emergency manager.

Take a look at how they're coping here in Providence.


PETER GAYNOR, DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, PROVIDENCE: We put GPS on all our plow vehicles to include city vendors and -- or city trucks and vendors.

HARLOW: So these are -- every is dotted, you know exactly where your plows are.

GAYNOR: Yes, that's correct. And can we zoom in -- Josh, the middle of it. So you could see the tags will come up ad you'll see them on the move. HARLOW: OK.

GAYNOR: So you can see where they are. And you can actually put a track on one.

Josh, put a track on.

HARLOW: So what is that doing then?

GAYNOR: So it's -- it's showing where that plow has been. So in this case you can see it's been up on College Hill, plowing the roads up there. So we put all those little mosaics together to make sure that we've completely plowed the city. So --

HARLOW: So as people call in and say, hey, my road has not plowed yet, you can say, actually they're on their own way or they were there or --

GAYNOR: Whether we were we can verify that if it were there, and if we weren't then, then we can send a vehicle there so we have actually a hotline that we use on our snow-ready website. So a citizen could call in and get some service.


HARLOW: And we're going to have more from the emergency manager live for you this morning. He'll be joining us.

Also the Governor of Rhode Island, joining us live in the 7:00 a.m. hour. We're on top of the storm, folks. We're going to bring you up to date on that and all the rest of the top stories going on around the world. We'll be right back at the top of 6:00 a.m.