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Princes William And Harry Lead Somber Vigil By Queen's Coffin; DeSantis Says "Just The Beginning" Of Efforts To Relocate Migrants. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired September 17, 2022 - 15:00   ET



ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: widespread six to 10 inches, but you're going to have some areas on the southern half of Puerto Rico, Fred, they could pick up 15 even as much as 20 inches of rain.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Wow, that is extraordinary. All right, Allison Chinchar, keep us posted on all of that. Thank you so much. And thank you so much for joining me today. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. The CNN Newsroom continues with Jim Acosta right now.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN Newsroom. I'm Jim Acosta. Remembering a queen and a grandmother, today all eight Queen Elizabeth's grandchildren stood vigil around her coffin as she's wise and stayed for a third day. Princes William and Harry are leading the way.

Through the years as a grandmother, the Queen reveled in Prince William's successes she enjoyed a good joke with Prince Harry and as the Queen's grandchildren stand in tribute, so does the public. Countless mourners continue standing in the line to see the Queen ahead of her funeral on Monday. There is no casual act of reverence on display here. The line stretches for miles across London wait times have skyrocketed above 24 hours. And the weather overnight has been cold. King Charles III and Prince William recognize in the moment surprised the public there earlier today.

The new king summed up this incredible show of love telling one mortar his mother would have been so touched. CNN's Richard Quest joins me now from London. Richard, in all your years covering all of this, have you ever seen anything like this?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: No. And yet, it was one in the same time, the event that we had prepared for and dreaded at the same time. I was saying to colleagues earlier, even now, Jim, I can't sort of quite believe it's happened. And I'm 60. And I just sort of -- you've always known in the last 10 or 15 years. And people always talk about well what happens when the Queen passes on when it's happened.

And the way in which everything is just moving exactly as planned. There's been no significant hiccups yet and please God, there won't be. And as a result, what was I'm just looking at these pictures. You see the significance of this, Jim, in my view is that you're looking at family mourning, at the same time grieving for granny whilst perpetuating and continuing royal tradition of monarchy.

ACOSTA: And Richard, how is it that all of this is coming together so perfectly? I suppose they've been rehearsing this planning for this for years.

QUEST: That's a, forgive me, Jim. That's a somewhat of an understatement.


QUEST: This was started to be put together 30 years ago, and every organization involved and that includes ourselves, CNN, the BBC, all broadcasters, everybody rehearsed it. Everybody had a plan for it. There were different plans. So for example, although London Bridge was the main plan for the Queen's passing, there was unicorn, the Operation Unicorn. If it was in Scotland, there was another one if it was in Wales.

But whatever plan was in place, all eventually would devolve to what we're seeing now. I think the difference is, for instance, the grandchildren deciding that they were going to have a vigil. Now could that have been thought of 30 years ago? No. So this plan has been adapted and amended as we've gone.

Just to tell you who we had here. You had the eight grandchildren. Of course William and Harry from Charles Beatrice and Eugenie from Andrew, Lady Louise and James, Viscount, Severn, only 14 years old. You'll see him in a second or two. And then, of course, the other two from Princess Anne, Zara, and Peter Phillips.

ACOSTA: And Richard, we also have live pictures of these unbelievable lines that we've all been marveling over coming out of London. Tell us your thoughts on that. Have you been surprised at all to see this just this unbelievable outpouring of support? I mean, these look like lines that we would see at Walt Disney World here in the states if you don't mind that crude comparison, but it's just incredible to see this, Richard.


QUEST: I'm not surprised. This is exactly what the Police and the authorities had expected, are there more possibly. But this was always going to be the case, because you take these pictures that we're looking at now, and almost split screen them with the vision of people coming through and paying their respects. And you see the totality of this experience. You see that they are prepared to stand for 24 hours on a slow move, that is moving quite quickly in parts. They're prepared to stand for 24 hours for the 25 seconds that they will actually get to walk past.

But there's an important caveat here. They're doing it not just there's the juxtaposition. They're doing it not just for that moment of bowing their head at the coffin. They're doing it because it's a shared experience. It's what being British is about at this point. And I know many, many friends and family who would love to be here doing it. ACOSTA: I suspect many of you see it as their duty as they pay tribute to the Queen for going for.

QUEST: Jim, you know, when I went through the other night, I did. Of course, I was there to report. And so I went through to see and to experience. But as I left, you know, the reports and became the British subject, and I just walked over to join the crowd and just bowed one's head. Because I remember so well, there's so many memories. But the point is that this is about being a nation, being British, being four nations if you include the national regions, and people want to come here and have their thing.

ACOSTA: Absolutely. Well, we can feel the pride all the way over here. Richard, thank you so much, Richard Quest. Appreciate it as always. And joining our royal editor for Hello magazine, Emily Nash and Bonnie Greer, an American British playwright and former Deputy Chair at the British Museum.

Emily, talk to me if you can about this moment. We saw this earlier today seeing these two brothers, who have been oceans apart coming together and standing vigil at as we were talking about with Richard Quest a few moments ago, this perfectly choreographed ceremony and tribute to the lake queen.

EMILY NASH, ROYAL EDITOR, HELLO! MAGAZINE: I mean, this was a really moving moment. And something that has been very special to see throughout this process is people who have been separated is that by oceans for the last couple of years, showing real unity in time or family loss.

And I think it was such a powerful image to have all eight of the grandchildren there, as Richard said earlier, not something that had been planned, I think very far in advance, but paying their own very personal tribute to the woman who was their grandmother as well as the head of the nation. And I think seeing both brothers there in their uniform having, you know, both passed out at Sandhurst, under their grandmother's watch. She was their commander-in-chief, was a real tribute to her.

ACOSTA: And Bonnie earlier this week, Prince William admitted to mourners in the crowd that his grandmother's funeral brought back memories of the death of his mother and I can't blame him, who could forget these images of those two young boys walking behind Diana's coffin. Now 25 years later, we're watching them grieve together in public once again.

BONNIE GREER, PLAYWRIGHT AND FORMER DEPUTY CHAIR, THE BRITISH MUSEUM: Yes, and I mean you, you know, you remember those who can remember what they look like, and just the thought of these two little boys basically having to walk through a street. And I felt at the time I was here at the time, you know, walk down the street with people calling out the name of their mother. They didn't know who she was. And they have to actually stand and walk there with their heads down and endure that in front of her coffin, which says mommy on the front, mommy, there are flowers wouldn't traumatize me looking at it. So I can't imagine what it was for these guys. ACOSTA: Absolutely. And Emily on Friday, the British government said that the line to file past the Queen's coffin was 24 hours long. Did you expect this?

NASH: I think I did. But talking to other people who on, you know, haven't been across all the planning of this. It has taken some people by surprise. And I think, you know, there's almost been again, this unity from across the nation and the world. In fact, people wanting to be part of a moment in history as well as honoring the late Queen, and they're also there to support the new king as we saw earlier today, when he went on a walk about among people in the queue. It was very, almost celebratory. There was a lot of support for him and for the new Prince of Wales, William.. think that would have been very encouraging for the family.

GREER: Can I say something?

ACOSTA: Please.

GREER: You know, I don't know if you can tell. You won't be able to tell. It's really cold out here right now.


I mean, I'm from Chicago. So if I'm telling you it's cold, it's cold, OK? The wind is blowing is really rough. There are people who have been in this queue all the way from, if you know, DC, across the Potomac, and to Arlington, back beyond that, that's how long people have been standing here.

And see to me, I came here like a couple of days ago at night, like it is now, I've never been around a crowd of people was absolute silence. There was no talking. And you know you can feel that these people were not only there for the queen. They were there for themselves. There was something going on with them that they were working through standing in this queue. It's awesome.

And I don't know if anyone's actually talked about this queue. Because that to me is much more interesting even in the royal family, these people no sound and miles standing there. Miles is just amazing. It's absolutely amazing.

ACOSTA: And I've been to London many times. I know that chill you're talking about. It can happen even in September. And Bonnie, back to you. We saw these lovely images this morning of King Charles and Prince William breeding the crowd in London, you actually have a very sweet story about how you got your name and it's connected to the infant Prince Charles, is that correct?

GREER: Right. Yes. Well, OK. It's already gone viral. Let's just do it. My mother and the late Queen were pregnant at the same time. OK. So at the hospital, my mother and father were working class, you know, young African Americans who's trying to, you know, do what they need to do. And there was a nappy, we call it nappies here, diaper counters layette, if you have a baby at the same time, then you get to have this free layette. Well, my parents really, you know, my mother tried. I didn't make it. So I was 48 hours later, and my mother said, right, I'm going to name you after Bonnie Prince Charlie and Barney (ph). So that's it. And he's always kind of been in and out of my life. So it's very strange.

ACOSTA: Well, it's a great story. And Emily and Bonnie, thanks so much for remembering the Queen with us and just guiding us through all these amazing images that we've seen throughout the day. Really appreciate your time and thanks for staying warm for us for just a brief period in front of our camera. We appreciate exactly.

GREER: Right, exactly. Thank you.

ACOSTA: All right. Thanks, ladies. Appreciate it.

NASH: Thanks Jim.

ACOSTA: Thanks so much. And be sure to join CNN from London as UK and the world remember Queen Elizabeth II our live coverage of the Queen's state funeral begins Monday at 5:00 am. Coming up. He's not done yet. Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida vowing to send more migrants to democratic run cities as the White House compares his tactics to human smuggling.



ACOSTA: Today a promise to send more migrants North this from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who this week injected himself into the escalating battle over immigration. DeSantis footed the bill to fly dozens of migrants to Martha's Vineyard. People on the island were unaware that they were coming. Most of the migrants with little more than the clothes on their backs. These people are now getting shelter and food at a military base in Cape Cod. But DeSantis says this is just the beginning. And he's not alone.

The White House now working on a response accusing the Republican governors of playing politics with human beings. CNN's Athena Jones joins me now. Athena, DeSantis flew these migrants who weren't even in his state to begin with. Is that right?

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Jim. That's exactly right. And this is part of a long term plan. This is something that Governor DeSantis has been teasing for months and doing for months. I mean, this is a new one sending people to Martha's Vineyard.

But back in December news conference, he talked about potentially sending migrants whether it was to Delaware, the President Biden's home state or Martha's Vineyard, saying if he did so, you know, you've solved this border issue overnight.

But the real concern among the cities of the leaders, the states that are receiving these migrants is the lack of coordination. But that is clearly part of the plan from governors like Ron DeSantis, to sort of spring this on these communities from Washington, DC, to Chicago, to New York to now Martha's Vineyard. Listen to one of the lawyers who was on the ground in Martha's Vineyard, helping some of these migrants and then here from Florida Governor DeSantis.


RACHEL SELF, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: They were lied to again and again, and fraudulently induced to board the planes. They were told there was a surprise present for them, and that there would be jobs and housing waiting for them when they arrived. This was obviously a sadistic lie. Not only did those responsible for this stunt know that there was no housing and no employment awaiting the migrants. They also very intentionally chose not to call ahead.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R) FLORIDA: So they've been in Texas, identifying people that are trying to come to Florida, and then offering them free transportation to sanctuary jurisdictions. And so they went from Texas to Florida, to Martha's Vineyard in the flight. There's also going to be buses, and there will likely be more flight.


JONES: And there will likely be more flights because DeSantis said that he secured $12 million in the state budget for migrant relocation and apparently that money can go to relocating migrants who weren't even in Florida. They got them in San Antonio. They ended up in Martha's Vineyard. So this is clearly part of a larger strategy, Jim.

ACOSTA: Absolutely. All right, Athena Jones. Thank you very much. Let's bring in our CNN political commentators. Republican strategist Alice Stewart, Democratic strategist Maria Cardona. Alice, the White House, calling this cruel. It appears I mean, it sounds like from just listening, everybody, that many of these migrants were misled about where they were being taken. They were tricked into these buses and on these planes. Is this really the best way for Republicans to shine the light on this issue?


ALICE STEWART, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Look, what's cool is the fact that the Biden administration has had their head in the sand on this for months. And the days of them playing back that Bob (ph) with the crisis at the border are over. Look, when you have policies in place, with this administration, with regard to remain in Mexico and Title 42 which sends a Welcome Wagon to immigrants to come into this country, you have the obligation to make sure that they are processed and taken care of properly. And when they come into this country, the border towns of Texas and Arizona and also parts of Florida, they should not be subjected to the undue burden of caring for these people simply on the basis of proximity.

So I think the proper thing to do is this is an administration problem. They do not want to deal with this. So I think the governors were correct and making sure that this is an American problem, and let other states also bear the burden, especially when they are sanctuary cities and states in many cases.

ACOSTA: The border Alice was not secure during the Trump administration. They separated children from their mothers during the Trump administration as a deterrent, because the border was not secure at that point. Why weren't DeSantis and Abbott, putting little kids on buses, then?

STEWART: The point is, the burden should not be on any specific place, or any certain state or city. And the crisis has gotten tremendously worse. The Customs and Border Patrol are on track to deal with 2.3 million illegal immigrants coming into this country. The numbers are simply staggering. And it is just too much for these border states to handle.

ACOSTA: And Maria, do you think the White House is doing enough on this? Should they get more engaged? Do they need to go after the states put a stop to this?

MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think they absolutely should go after these governors, Jim. Look, this is disgusting. This makes my blood boil this. This is personal to me and so many Americans in this country, as you know, Jim, I am an immigrant. And there but for the grace of God go I and my family. This administration is on this. They are processing these folks at the border. And this is what is so vile, twisted and corrupt about what these governors are doing.

The Border Patrol and DHS agents that process these folks have now let them go and they were going to go to where their family members were that processing occurred. They are now being lied to. They are -- these governors are being deceitful. They are acting akin to human traffickers and abductors. They are telling these migrants that they're going to be reunited with their family members. They are telling these migrants that they have jobs ready for them, that they have housing ready for them. They are telling these migrants, Jim, that if they don't get on these buses that their asylum claims might not be heard, I have talked to them.

These are the most vulnerable people that exist in our society. They are not here illegally by the way. We have a law in this country that says if you are afraid for your life, you can come into this country and they are coming through legal ports of entry. They are not sneaking in. They are presenting themselves to Border Patrol, as is the process under the law. And they are seeking asylum.

So these governors are putrid, corrupt, vile, I think they're criminal as well. And they are treating these migrants like trash like second class citizens. And they're saying to them, we hate you. We don't want you. And I believe that this is a huge message to all Latino voters in this country, to all immigrant voters in this country. Watch out. Today, it's these migrants tomorrow, it's going to be you.

ACOSTA: What do you think, Alice? Watch out? Should Republicans watch out over this?

STEWART: I think Democrats need to finally watch out and acknowledge there is a crisis at the border and do what we can to secure the border and enforce the existing immigration laws. Look, Customs and Border Patrol numbers show that nearly 70 percent of these people are economic migrants. So they don't qualify and don't -- are not classified as seeking asylum for reasons that many in the Northern Triangle --

CARDONA: But they have the right to ask for it. And that's what they're doing. And then they're going to be processed. And if that's the case, Alice, if they are then when they have their court dates, and they make that assumption or they make that claim that no you're you are not going to be let in here because you're not an asylee per the law, then they will be removed.

But that process is something that they deserve as human beings coming to this country to seek asylum and these governors are cheating them out of that process.

STEWART: They will still have the opportunity to do so. But the bottom line here is that these border states and border towns should not be subjected to the undue burden of this and we need to remind you, President Biden and the Biden administration has flown people under cover of darkness to New York State and elsewhere across this country under similar circumstances, but --

ACOSTA: But there's a plan in place. You know, when they put them on the plane and they land in a different jurisdiction, different state, different towns, different city, the people on the other end know that they're coming.


This is just dumping people in, you know, on Martha's Vineyard or in Washington DC in front of the Vice President's place to own the libs. This is not owning the libs. This is hurting the kids. And here's the thing that I, you know, Alice, Republicans like to talk about Democrats are socialists and so on. You know, these are in many cases, Venezuelan asylum seekers, people who are fleeing a socialist dictatorship. Why are these Republican governors thumbing their nose at people who are coming and fleeing from a socialist dictatorship when you go after Democrats as socialists?

STEWART: I think a lot could be done differently. I think the most important thing, to your point, Jim, there should be more cooperation between where the planes and buses are coming from and going to, to help make sure there is assistance on the receiving end.

But at this point, right now, this is the way these governors want to deal with it. And if nothing else, it has certainly called attention to this. And Democrats are talking about the crisis at the border like they never have before.

CARDONA: Well, we've always talked about the crisis of the border. And we're actually the ones who have always pushed comprehensive immigration reform. And Alice, you know, this, we've talked about this. It's always been Republicans that have shut the door on this.

And there's a couple of points that I that I want to make. First of all, you're absolutely right. These are people that are fleeing these deep dictatorships. And what's so ironic is that a lot of Venezuelans and a lot of Cubans, a lot of Colombians, too, they are supportive of DeSantis. Or at least were and they were in the last election as well. But now I caution my immigrant Latino brothers and sisters in the States, Venezuelans, Colombians, Cubans look at what your governor is doing, perhaps to your familia, they're kicking them out of the country -- out of the state would like to kick them out of the country because they don't believe that they have the human dignity that we all believe that they should do, and that they should have. And I think that's going to be a huge mistake on behalf of Republicans and seeking the Latino vote.

And the second thing I would say is the Biden administration, Republicans love to talk about the Biden administration doing this in the cover of night. You know what they were doing, Alice, in the cover of night, they were reuniting the families that were separated, brutally separated under the Trump administration. This by the way, Jim, is no better. This is akin to that kind of family separation. It is egregious. It is inhumane. And it is cruel.

STEWART: But I think more than anything, what we're doing is calling the Democrats bluff. Vice President Harris says the border is secure. Mayorkas says the border secure, it's not secure. And the sanctuary cities and states say they will welcome these people. And they are not.

CARDONA: They are loving these people with open arms, by the way.

ACOSTA: Maybe we can all agree on one thing, which is don't use kids to make a political point, right. Don't use kids to own the libs (ph). That's the thing. That's the thing that I think a lot of people disagree with. All right, we're not going to solve this debate now. But we'll do it again. Thanks, ladies very much.

CARDONA: Thanks so much, Jim.

ACOSTA: Really appreciate it. Coming up, Russian forces on the run. But what they've left behind is nothing short of atrocious. CNN makes it to a mass burial site where 400 bodies were discovered many of them with signs of torture. That's coming up.



ACOSTA: New horrors unearthed in the Ukrainian city of Izyum after its liberation from Russian forces. Officials say a mass burial site with 400 bodies were found, many of them with signs of torture.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh takes us there.

And we want to warn you some of the images are disturbing.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here is where the horror gets names and numbers. Russia's unprovoked invasion killed many anew but only now in liberated cities like Izyum are we finding out who and how.



PATON WALSH: And even this rain cannot erase the smell, how death haunts these pines.

(on camera): It's important to point out that this was a military position. These are tank positions around the city, presumably for the Russians when they occupied it, burying these bodies where their troops would lay to rest and defend the city.


PATON WALSH: Ukrainian officials have said over 400 bodies were buried here, even children, all showing signs of a violent death.

Through the day, they have been exhuming dozens of bodies, most individual graves, numbered and orderly, one bearing a number as high as 398.

But this, we are told -- and can smell and see -- is a mass grave where 17 dead were found, a policeman here told us.

Ukrainian officials said bodies found included the family killed in an airstrike, Ukrainian soldiers shot with their hands bound and bodies showing signs of torture.

(on camera): Some of the graves are marked just by a number and others have someone's full history. Zolotaryov Alexei Afanasyevich (ph), who looks like he dies, aged 82, buried here.

(voice-over): This investigator tells us what he found in this spot.

PATON WALSH: "Here are civilian bodies and military ones further along," he said. "Over 20 have been examined here and will be sent for further investigation."

It seems to be the horrid extension of the long-term cemetery nearby. Wreaths, coffins, candles -- some people knew who they were burying, others next to this invader's campsite, likely not.


Nadezhda said the Russians first hit the graveyard with an airstrike and then moved in.

NADEZHDA KALINICHENKO, IZYUM RESIDENT (through translation): We tried not to go out because it was scary where they brought their special machines. They dug some trenches for their vehicles. We only heard how they were destroying the forest.

When they left, I don't know if there was fighting or not. We just heard a lot of heavy trucks one night a week ago.

PATON WALSH: We saw multiple refrigerated lorries leaving town but we were asked not to film the contents of this one. Part of where the history of Russia's brutal occupation will be written and nothing can wash this site clean.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Izyum, Ukraine.


ACOSTA: Joining me now is someone who has been on the ground in Izyum. Maria Avdeeva is a security expert and resident of Kharkiv.

Maria, thank you very much for being with us.

The images coming out of Izyum are just astonishing. Our thanks to Nick Paton Walsh for that incredible story. Some of the video you filmed of some of these bodies. Can you describe what you saw?

MARIA AVDEEVA, SECURITY EXPERT & KHARKIV RESIDENT: This is horrible, horrible to see and horrible to hear what the people, the witnesses say.

Because this mass grave where more than 400 graves were found and now we were told that about 50 were already exhumated. It will take about seven days to find -- to dig out all the bodies.

And the police is doing this to identify who is there and what caused the deaths. But for now, what we know is that 90 percent of these people, they died because of the violent deaths. And it was either because of the shelling or some of them were shot.

So the witnesses that I have talked to, they tell that they saw themselves, people being shot by Russian soldiers just on the streets. The bodies were lying on the streets. And then later, they were picked up and buried in the forest just near Izyum.

ACOSTA: And you wrote on Twitter that witnesses confirmed to you they saw people being shot on the street by the Russians. What are you hearing from the people you spoke with there?

AVDEEVA: Absolutely. I have heard that myself. People in Izyum are very traumatized. They have been under occupation for six months.

The Russians mainly did not allow them to go out. So people were living in the basements without the access to basic things like water, food. Electricity is still out in the city.

They said when Russians were drinking, like, using alcohol in the evening and then they will go out and just pick up someone and shot. And people were seeing this happen. And that's why they were hiding.

Because of that, because of the shelling and because of the constant terror they were living in. So basically all the situation is the constant torture of the people.

It's hard to see them now in these conditions because they are traumatized, shocked. And for a lot of them, this is the first time they can freely move around the city.

ACOSTA: Maria, I just want to make sure I understand what you are saying. You are hearing accounts of Russian soldiers getting drunk and then they go around killing people for fun? Or what?

AVDEEVA: Yes. Just because they were -- they didn't like someone, or someone looked suspicious to them. And that's what they did.

So at least the local authorities, in fact, the proxy the Russians appointed later, were forbidden to sell alcohol to Russian soldiers so they would stop doing this what they had been doing because the situation was getting out of control even for the Russians there.

But these cases were confirmed by people who said they saw this happening, and they saw the bodies lying afterwards on the streets in Izyum.

ACOSTA: My goodness.

All right. Maria, Avdeeva, thank you very much. Thanks for the work did you in bringing us all of that footage and those remarkable accounts. It's just unspeakable what's happening there.

Thank you very much. We appreciate it.

AVDEEVA: Thank you.


ACOSTA: Coming up, Tropical Storm Fiona closes in on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Hurricane warnings and watches are now in effect. We'll get the latest on the storm track next.


ACOSTA: People in Alaska right now are feeling right now what is expected to be the strongest storm in a decade. Significant coastal flooding and severe wind damage in on the forecast for northwestern Alaska, the area around Nome.

These are images from Cooper Boy where storm surges are already flooding some homes and water levels are expected to keep climbing. A resident of Nome sent us this video showing a home being swept away and floating down a river.

Alaska's governor has issued a disaster declaration for communities impacted by the extreme weather. The storm is made up of remnants of what used to be a typhoon and could produce winds of 65 miles per hour.

In the meantime, Puerto Rico, may get up to 20 inches of rain as Tropical Storm Fiona approaches the island. The storm is gaining strength over warm Caribbean waters and could become a hurricane before it hits Puerto Rico.

The U.S. and British Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic will see plenty of rain over the weekend.


CNN's Allison Chinchar is tracking Fiona for us.

Allison, Puerto Rico, they've been battered and beaten up the last several years from all of this tropical weather down there in that region.

What is going to happen the next 24 hours? We're hearing power is starting to go out across the island. What should folks be looking for out there?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: The biggest concerns going forward will be the potential for flooding and also the widespread power outages. We're starting to see the numbers tick up as the waves of outer bands start to impact Puerto Rico.

We are starting to see heavy winds in the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands. Sustained winds of 60 miles per hour, gusting to 70 miles per hour. West at 8 miles per hour. The concern there's it has a lot of time to dump tremendous amount of rain.

The bands are crossing over into Puerto Rico. Not too heavy at this moment, but that is yet to come. Look at the overall numbers. Widespread six to 10 inches of rain. Where you see the pink color, 10 to 15 inches.

And that white area towards the extreme southern portion, yes, potentially as much as 20 inches of rain stretched out over just about two, maximum three days. So it's a lot of rain in a short period of time.

Even areas of the eastern Dominican Republic looking at widespread six inches of rain. It is expected to strengthen into a category one hurricane.

It could do that just on the south side of Puerto Rico before it may actually make landfall and continue off to the north and west.

That's why even though it is not a hurricane now, you have things like hurricane watches and hurricane warnings in effect for, yes, not only Puerto Rico but also the U.S. Virgin Islands and areas of the Dominican Republic in advance of that expected strengthening the next 24 hours.

Storm surge will also be concerned. One to three feet on the southern coastline of Puerto Rico, as well as much of the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic. U.S. Virgin Islands, likely two feet there.

Once the storm passes these areas, it is expected to make a right-hand turn off toward the north. It will intensify, or it is expected to, up to a category two strength storm when it moves out over open water.

It is forecast, Jim, to stay away from the east coast of the mainland U.S., however, it will be close enough to provide rip currents and high surf along the east coast of Florida.

ACOSTA: Allison, we know you will stay on top of it. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much. Coming up, spot the celebrity among the thousands of people bid Queen

Elizabeth good-bye. Do you see him? David Beckham standing in line for hours. No clear line for him. We'll tell you about that in just a second.



ACOSTA: Among the thousands of people lining up for pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II, it was a very famous soccer player. David Beckham waited in the queue for 13 hours. And he said it meant just how much the queen meant to the United Kingdom.


DAVID BECKHAM, FORMER PRO SOCCER PLAYER: I grew up in a household of royalists and I was brought up that way. So if my grandparents would have been here today, I know that they would have wanted to be here. So I'm here on their behalf and on behalf my family and obviously to celebrate with everybody else here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to hold you up, so we'll walk and talk.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think that we've really understood what we've lost here?

BECKHAM: I think that it will take a long time to understand that because I think that her majesty meant so much in so many different ways. Every time we wore those free line shirts and I wore the arm band and we sang "God Save Our Queen," that is something that meant so much to us. And every time it was something special.

So, you know, this day was always going to be difficult and it is difficult for the nation, difficult for everyone around the world. Because I think that everyone is feeling it.

And our thoughts are with the family and obviously with everybody here today because it is special to be here to celebrate and to hear the different stories what people have to say from -- an 84-year-old woman walking around in a blazer with her honors and a pair of high heels on. So very special to hear the different stories.

We can all see with the love that is being shown how special she is and how special she was. And the legacy that she leaves behind.

But, you know, it is a sad day, but it is a day for us to remember, you know, the incredible legacy that she has left.


ACOSTA: David Beckham in line like everybody else. In the meantime, this week's "CNN Hero" is a high school English

teacher in New Jersey who sprung into action when he realized kids didn't have easy access to books.

Meet Larry Abrams.


LARRY ABRAMS, CNN HERO: So many of us have heard about food deserts, but there are also these things called book deserts. Areas where people don't have access to books.

There are pockets of poverty where they don't have them in their home, there are no libraries.

In this forest, a little elephant is born. His name is Barbar (ph).


The most important tool that they get are words and some kids grow up hearing lots and lots of words because they are read to every single night. Kids in book deserts don't have that, so reading books help level that playing field.

Very good stuff. This was a great haul.

Giving kids books almost ensures academic success.

What we do is irrigate book deserts by pouring hundreds of thousands of books in.

First grade, they'll probably want the picture books.

Teachers are the best distributors of books that we have. We are improving lives one book at a time.


ACOSTA: And for the full story, go to

And we'll be right back.