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Supreme Court Opens Path to End Roe v. Wade; Ida Paralyzes the Northeast; Transit Shut Down from Ida; Ida Forces NYC Emergency; Fuel Shortages Hampers Recovery in Louisiana. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired September 02, 2021 - 08:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Dana, there are a couple things I think people need to know here. Number one, this upends Roe v. Wade, at least in Texas. Completely upends it. Abortions banned more or less after six weeks. Again, most women don't even know they're pregnant at six weeks. Abortions ban, no exceptions, even for rape or incest.

The second thing people need to know is that this was 5-4. John Roberts, the, honestly, pro-life chief justice, actually voted with the liberals here, and it still did not prevail. So, what this tells you is where this court is on Roe v. Wade, it seems, going forward. And this -- it's a c-change already in Texas with abortion and Roe v. Wade. But what's to come is, I think, and you tell me what you think, about to be a radical shift on abortion in this country.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It very well could be. And the fact is that this is the first -- on this issue, the first very glaring reminder that elections have consequence. And the fact is that for various reasons President Trump was able to make good on his promise to put conservatives on the court. And I was thinking about this, John and Kaitlan.

I was thinking about the fact that the only reason why Donald Trump was really able to get the conservatives, especially Christian conservatives, behind him during the primary process back in 2016 is because he made this particular promise, that he was going to -- he gave them specific names of people that he would put on the court if he were president. And he made good on that. And he had the opportunity to make good on that because of some political games at the front end and because of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

But I think that you're -- that you're absolutely right, he -- this is a unique case. And Ariane certainly spoke to that. They are -- they are trying to test the law in a very specific way here in Texas. And it's not just that people basically can't get abortions because women mostly don't know that they're pregnant before six weeks, but it's also the way that they are punishing people for even having to -- being a part of the -- that process. It encourages vigilantism and it allows basically a bounty for

civilians, not law enforcement and government, but civilians to seek out and call out people who might assist in any way a woman who goes ahead and gets that abortion.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, we were saying yesterday, even an Uber driver who drops you off at a clinic could be held responsible for this.

BASH: Right.

COLLINS: And, Ariane, this, of course, is not just Trump's legacy. This is also the legacy of those senators who voted to confirm three of these justices, of course, during the time that former President Trump was in office.

I want to remind everyone of what Senator Susan Collins said several times when she was pressed on what her vote on these justices were going -- was going to be and, of course, what she said she believed was a settled matter when it came to Roe v. Wade.


REP. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): I do not believe that Brett Kavanaugh will overturn Roe v. Wade.

BASH: This precedent to overturn.

COLLINS: He noted that Roe had been reaffirmed 19 years later by Planned Parenthood versus Casey. And that it was precedent on precedent. He said it should be extremely rare that it be overturned, and it should be an example gave --

BASH: So you have obviously full confidence?



COLLINS: Ariane, what do you make of that now?

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Well, what is so interesting about this is that the court, in its upcoming term, is actually going to hear a case concerning Mississippi, and a Mississippi law. This time the court is going to have briefs, it's going to have full oral arguments. It's going to issue this robust decision. And right there maybe they won't completely get rid of Roe v. Wade, but they certainly, and now we know this from last night, they are going to cut it back.

But the atmosphere, the terrain, is also going to be different because after Texas, this law has now been allowed to go into effect. Other states are going to copycat this particular law so that by next June there are going to be probably more states besides Texas that don't where abortion is all but unavailable. And so that the Supreme Court themselves, they -- they -- even if they get rid of Roe, it doesn't matter in these states. I mean even if they don't get rid of Roe, it won't matter in these states.


That's why this law in how it was crafted has been so interesting to watch and to see it play out.

BERMAN: I couldn't help but notice that the person asking the probing questions of Senator Susan Collins there was none other than Dana Bash.

And, Dana, I'm curious what you think the political consequence of this will be going forward, maybe in the 2022 elections.

BASH: You know, for so long the motivator on this issue was on the right, you know, how many elections do we cover where the arguments that Republican candidates made seemed to be much more potent with conservative voters on social issues, particularly on the issue of abortion, because the fact is that on the more liberal side, or the more abortion right side, the -- people who are voting just assume that Roe v. Wade was the law of the land and wouldn't change.

And now it is right in every voter's faces that that is very much not a given. And it is -- it is not the law of the land here in Texas, full stop. It just isn't. And so there's no question that that issue is going to be front and center, particularly in the suburbs where the House, in 2022, will be won or lost by Democrats and Republicans because the margin is so narrow.

COLLINS: Dana, Ariane, thank you for joining us on this. We'll be waiting to see what the White House says about this new weigh in from the Supreme Court.

But up next, we are going to get to some stunning new footage of the flooding that happened in New Jersey. We've been talking about it all morning as officials are dealing with the aftermath. And it will be up right after this break.



BERMAN: All right, welcome back. This is CNN's special live coverage of this incredible storm that hit the northeast. I'm John Berman live this morning with Kaitlan Collins.

And we have this new video in from New Jersey. This is southern New Jersey, just over the border from Philadelphia. And you can see incredible flooding there. Just the sheer amount of water everywhere there.

This was, I believe, not far, or the same general area from where there were tornadoes that touched down. So it's really a double whammy here where you had wind damage. And now you have these rising waters, these flood waters you can see there, over -- over the streets there. It is going to be sometime before life gets back to normal in that part of the state. It really isn't just that part of the state. I just saw pictures from Massachusetts, not far from where I grew up, where the roads there are closed because there's flooding.

COLLINS: Yes, flooding everywhere.

And it's affecting travel severely this morning, of course, as we've seen people, not just here in New York City, but also in New Jersey as well. You saw flooding in the downstairs part of the New Jersey Airport overnight where the baggage goes. That part is still closed, we are told this morning, by the Port Authority in New Jersey and New York, of course, runs all this. A lot of -- hundreds of flights have been delayed. A few dozen have been canceled out of that New Jersey airport.

So we do want to go to Brian Stelter, who is in New Jersey.

And, Brian, I know you looked through this overnight. What did you see and what is it looking like this morning from where you are?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and, you know, Kaitlan, I'm a weather geek, so whenever I get the chance to check this out, I do.

But this was, you know, not like your average storm. This was not like your average hurricane remnants either. This was an extraordinary amount of water into Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey.

So let me give you a sense of the regional aftermath that we know right now. We know in Frederick County, Maryland, schools closed due to roads flooded. We know rivers rising in Maryland and Pennsylvania. We know Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, roads closed right now.

And then if you go into New Jersey, you just showed the tornado damage earlier near Philadelphia. Now we're seeing incredible amounts of flooding in and around Philly. As you all just showed, these pictures of Schuylkill and others now overflowing their banks.

The National Weather Service says the Schuylkill, which, of course, cuts that beautiful path through Philadelphia, that that river will crest later this morning. So what we are seeing in Philadelphia is not the worst of it yet. Even more water is going to be pouring into Center City and into University City and these other parts of Philadelphia due to these floods, these flood waters in these rivers.

Go a little further north, the Delaware River as well. We've seen video out of Manville, New Jersey, people canoeing in the streets there this morning.

So, some of these areas are low lying and vulnerable to floods but they are seeing far worse conditions than they normally do when there is a severe storm. And as you mentioned, John, up in Boston as well, still flash flood warnings in Massachusetts. We need to keep an eye there.

So, basically everywhere from Massachusetts down 95 to Connecticut, where there are cars on the side of 95 that were submerged overnight, all the way down to Maryland, we're talking about 100, 200, 300-mile path of damage this morning. BERMAN: Brian Stelter with the perfect pronunciation of the Schuylkill


Also, you call yourself a weather geek. You have to add that to media and goosebumps. I think there's no limit to your geekdom for finding out, Brian. Thank you so much for your reporting. You and your family, please, stay safe. It's going to be some time before the area around you gets back to normal.

COLLINS: Talk about apocalyptic.


COLLINS: Seeing those scenes that you're seeing there with all of this flooding. I mean it's cars being left on the side of the road. I mean that's how bad it was. People were getting out of their cars and just fleeing because they had nothing else to -- nowhere else to go and they were worried about being trapped in their cars.

BERMAN: Right. And, obviously, being in a car wasn't a good place to be.

Another really bad place to be overnight was the New York City subways.


BERMAN: And there's some real problems there.


So, let's go to Shimon Prokupecz, who is, I think, at a subway station trying to get a sense of how things are going.


BERMAN: Shimon, what are you seeing?

PROKUPECZ: So things are going better, John, than they were, obviously, overnight. Some of the train service is back. It's not full service, but it's back. People are just, at this point, trying to get to work.

It was a much, much different story overnight as people spent the night here at the subway station.

Kaitlan, you spoke to one of those women and here's what she said.


BEVERLY PRICE, STUCK OVERNIGHT IN SUBWAY: I jumped in the bus that gets off at Midstreet (ph) to got to Jamaica Avenue. And then they say my but that went to Jamaica, that's seven feet of water in the road.

COLLINS: Then you got on the 7 train.


COLLINS: You came over here to where we are on 42nd Street?

PRICE: Yes. And that's where I was in the subway for the longest time.

COLLINS: And were there a lot of people on the -- on the train?

PRICE: A lot of people down there. A lot of people stranded down there, yes.

COLLINS: And how long have you been down there?

PRICE: Oh, my God, I've been down there from 11:30 something.

COLLINS: Eleven -- since 11:30 last night?



PROKUPECZ: And she's not the only one, Kaitlan and John. I spoke to other people who had spent hours down here in the subway, hoping, hoping to get home, now finally subways returning and folks now heading home and to work.

Kaitlan. John.

COLLINS: And, Shimon, have we seen any kind of pickup in the level of service down there? We know earlier the head of the MTA said they were hoping to restore it by the end of the day but it was only about five lines running this morning.

PROKUPECZ: So, this is the 7th Avenue line. So it certainly has picked up but it's still limiting -- limited because it's not going into Brooklyn, which a lot of people need to get to Brooklyn to get home.

But there is definitely an uptick in service, but it's still not 100 percent. Limited service is what the MTA is saying.

BERMAN: All right, Shimon Prokupecz, limited service. Let's hope it gets less limit and more active as the morning goes along.

Thank you so much for being there.

I did see one subway loading up behind him, which was a good sign.

COLLINS: Yes, let's hope. A little delayed, I guess, but hopefully at least it's moving somewhat so people can get home.

BERMAN: All right, one thing that's been clear if you've been out in this is this is an historic weather event. Just how historic are we talking?

Let's go to CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar.

Allison. ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that's right. I mean it

really has affected so many different areas. This wasn't just for one city or even two cities.

Looking at the map, you can really see how widespread a lot of this rain was. Basically from Washington, D.C., all the way up through Boston, this bright red color here showing widespread 6 to 10 inches of rain that's already fallen and several records being broken.

Take a look at this. Newark having its wettest single day on record. Over 8 inches there. The previous record was just over 6 inches. So they smashed that previous record entirely.

It's not the only place. New York City having one of their top five wettest days at 7 inches. Again, just keeping in mind the majority of that fell with just about a three-hour time span. Again, you're getting a 24-hour record but the vast majority of that rain fell in a very short period of time.

And, again, even just our wettest hour, picking up three inches of rain just from 8:51 to 9:51 last night. Again, just going to show you how severe, how much rain really came down in such short periods of time, which is why you have the flooded roads, which is why you had the subways looking like they did.

Now, one thing to note is the water on the roadways will start to come down rather quickly. But rivers are going to be a different story. All of those rivers, creeks and streams throughout much of the northeast are now swollen. But they're actually going to continue to rise over the next several days because river flooding is more delayed than street flooding is. So that's going to be a concern, not just today, but even tomorrow and the next several days.

The one bit of good news, however, both of you guys, is that the storm is finally exiting. We're seeing an end to the rain in New York, an end to the rain in Philadelphia and eventually later this morning we will finally start to see an end to the rain in Massachusetts as well.

COLLINS: Yes, Allison, we were looking for all the good news that this area can get.

BERMAN: Yes, blue skies.

COLLINS: First ever flash flood emergency in New York City.

BERMAN: Yes, again, I've never seen anything like it. You can see on the map there with Allison. I can see it on the roads and the highways as I was trying to get in this morning. I do see blue sky now --


BERMAN: Which should make it easier to try to recover from this over the next couple days.

COLLINS: We will keep you updated on what is happening with this subway system here in New York, ranging from that to New Jersey, where people are still unaccounted for.

We also have not forgotten about the damage happening in Louisiana where hundreds of thousands of people are still without power. Where it is getting incredibly hot today. So we will check in there right after this as CNN's special coverage continues.



COLLINS: Hurricane Ida has dealt a blow to the northeast overnight, causing a severe amount of flooding that has stranded a lot of passengers. But, of course, it first hit in Louisiana where people still there don't have power as they are trying to decide whether or not they can even go back to their homes if they evacuated.

We have CNN's Adrienne Broaddus on the ground.

Adrienne, what are you seeing and what are officials hearing about whether or not power is going to be turned back on today for more residents who did stay in the area?

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kaitlan, let's start with this uptown neighborhood where we are in New Orleans. It could be days or weeks before power is restored here.

And walk with me. I'll show you why.

You'll notice power lines are down. Not only are power lines down behind me. This once big, beautiful oak tree blanketing the home that's here.


Even along the street and on other streets in this neighborhood, you'll notice oak trees are down everywhere.

Now, there is a sign of hope in the metro area, not in this neighborhood where we are, about 10 percent of the power has been restored. For example, in the French Quarter. But more than 900,000 power outages are still spread out across New Orleans.

And no power, no electricity, that's the big problem for folks who decided to remain in this neighborhood. We spoke with a gentleman who's lived here ten years. We met him outside on his front porch. He came outside to enjoy the cool morning breeze because inside it's hot. He has no power, no electricity, that means no AC and no fans because the fans that he has, of course, you have to plug them in and use electricity.

Right now, the clouds are covering the sun, but he knows once those clouds move out of the way, the heat becomes oppressive. And that's another concern. Think about it. I'm sweating right now. I have no underlying medical conditions and it's hot. It's miserable. Think about the folks who have those underlying medical conditions, maybe diabetes, MS, someone may be receiving cancer treatments. They are living this. They are dealing with this. And first responders are responding. In one parish alone, there were more than 30 calls for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Kaitlan and John.

BERMAN: All right, Adrienne Broaddus for us in New Orleans. Obviously, such a problem there and no clear end in sight, which makes it all the worse for the people that you've been speaking to.

Ida, the damage from this storm, the breadth of the damage is astounding. We are now seeing this, live water rescues in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. This is happening right now. Much more of our special coverage when we continue.