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New Day Saturday

Recovery Efforts Underway After Ian Slams Florida, Carolinas; Ian Leaves Trail Of Destruction Across Parts Of Florida; Ian Batters South Carolina, Moves North After Making Second Landfall; U.S. Imposing "Swift & Severe Costs" Over Putin's Annexation Move. Aired 6- 7a ET

Aired October 01, 2022 - 06:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Buenos dias. Good morning and welcome to this special edition of New Day. It's Saturday, October 1st. We're grateful to have you this weekend. I'm Boris Sanchez live in hard hit Fort Myers, Florida where cleanup is underway after Hurricane Ian barreled through the state this week and then took aim at the Carolinas.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you, Boris. I'm Amara Walker. And thank you all so much for starting your morning with us. We do have a lot to get to. And right now, we are following the path of Ian as it moves into North Carolina after making landfall as a hurricane. Ian is now moving inland as a post-tropical cyclone. And even though it's been downgraded, officials warn, it still threatens the area with heavy rain, wind and floods.

SANCHEZ: In South Carolina, the storm flooded homes and vehicles along the shoreline and you can see in this video, high winds pushed historic storm surge even higher and two piers. One in Pawleys Island, the other in North Myrtle Beach, both partially collapsed. Officials are now warning residents to avoid leaving their homes to steer clear of floodwaters. It could pose hidden dangers.


LT. GEN. JEFFREY BUCHANAN (RET.), U.S. ARMY, LED HURRICANE RESPONSE IN PUERTO RICO: The obvious one of the water itself can isolate people, can drown people but it can also hide downed power lines, obstacles in the water, even contaminants in the water, so the waters themselves are the most dangerous.


SANCHEZ: Ian slammed into Southwest Florida as a severe Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday. It almost became a Category 5, packing sustained winds of 150 miles an hour. The storm is now being blamed for at least 45 deaths. Though officials believe that number is likely to climb as search and rescue crews are moving into areas that were previously blocked by debris and floodwaters. Across the state, some 1.3 million homes and businesses are still in the dark this morning. And for many of those who were able to evacuate, they are unsure of what they are going to be getting back to once they return.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My grandparents are still at the house. We have animals there. They don't leave the animals. So whenever we left on the boat, it was just a scary feeling like you don't know if you're ever going to see them again, if you're going to see your house again, your animals again. So that's why it's a little shaken up. It's just, you never know what you're going to come back to. I mean, we already lost both of our cars, so it's very scary feeling.


SANCHEZ: And we are hearing stories like that all over this region. CNN has team coverage this morning. CNN Meteorologist Britley Ritz is monitoring Ian's track northward. But we start with Miguel Marquez who's live for us in Myrtle Beach. Miguel, what are you seeing there?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, the worst is done, Boris, certainly. Look, this was a long time that this storm hung off the coast of South Carolina. That's what was difficult for people to deal with here. There was water, was the biggest issue, water from the sky in the form of rain and then that surge coming in.

Also the tides, the tide coincided with that storm coming in, which really made things difficult. They are accustomed to storms in the South Carolina, but this one just hung off the coast for so long. The two piers here near Myrtle Beach, one North Myrtle Beach, the other one in Pawleys Island, those were fishing piers that, yes, they're beloved by the community because people go out there and for years and decades fish and they keep records of all the fish that are caught on those piers.

So those residents we spoke to say that they're already going to rebuild those. We spoke to one person who was right near where that hurricane came ashore with the eye came ashore. Here's what he said about conditions.


ROBERT HALE, VACATIONING FROM FAIRBANKS, ALASKA: During the worst of it, like you could not see outside, rain, sideways, really loud. In fact, the house that were in, there were a couple of leaks every now and then especially around the sliding doors.


MARQUEZ: Now despite the fact that this was only a Category 1, people paid attention to the warnings because Florida was so hard hit it. It was a shock to see it from here. It was, you know, it was on everyone's mind that we spoke to hear. The preparations and the seriousness which -- with which they took the officials telling people to stay home.

There were no evacuation orders in South Carolina. But people really paid attention to the storm. They really paid attention to what officials were saying. And everyone here thankfully stayed safe. Boris?

SANCHEZ: Yes, the damage here in Florida eye opening and the way that the storm intensified cuts so many people off guard. Glad to hear that folks in the Carolinas heeded the warnings. Miguel Marquez, thank you so much.


WALKER: Yes, it's been quite striking over the past couple of days seeing these very strong waves destroying pier after pier.

Let's go now to CNN Meteorologist Britley Ritz. And Britley, Ian maybe a post-tropical cyclone, but it's still a danger as it's moving north, right?

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely, Amara. We are experiencing strong gusty winds of 35 plus miles per hour and heavy rain. We have many flood alerts and effect. Now, here is post-tropical cyclone Ian, it's basically a remnant low at this point. We have winds like I said at 35. But as it moved inland, it weakened significantly.

We hit that friction of the land, and it is completely wiped itself out compared to when it made landfall on the East Coast and then of course down in Florida. So the heavy rain continues to spin on to shore, Roanoke and back into parts of the Tennessee Valley, actually tapping into some of that moisture as well. But the heaviest rain concentrated in West Virginia, back on up into New England.

And these are areas that are dealing with the heaviest rain here within the next 48 hours. Of course, we actually picked up roughly about let's say 4 to 8 inches in some of these locations. You can see it all accumulate here. The reds indicating that heavier rain.

But there's still more rain to come, not for these areas, however, these areas are whether under coastal flood advisories and warnings. And what that is is simply the wind blowing the water back on to shore. So some of these locations like Norfolk will be dealing with 1 to 2 feet of inundation here over the next few hours.

So again, want to reiterate, water is not something you want to drive. Through 6 inches, that's all it takes to lift you up off the ground. 12 inches of moving water to lift your vehicle. So turn around, don't drown. I know it sounds silly but it is the best thing you can do.

We do have flood watches. This is just where the rain keeps falling over and over again for parts of South and West Virginia back into West Virginia itself. And then that force that flooding threat will continue on through this weekend and to tomorrow morning. You'll see the yellows that's indicating of where we have more of vulnerability to flooding. So more of that slight risk. So heavy rain continues to fall as the system spins on the shore. You see the darker greens and the yellows all through West Virginia. Hence the flood watch that's in effect and this will push up through the mid-Atlantic and into New England. Not just the heavy rain and not just the flooding but of course the winds this will continue on through the weekend as well. Although they will start to taper back a bit through the mid-Atlantic as we get into Sunday, Amara?

WALKER: All right, got it. Britley Ritz, thank you very much for that. Boris?

SANCHEZ: We are getting a closer look now at the staggering level of destruction across Florida. This morning, we're coming to you live from near North Fort Myers and there is debris strewn everywhere, clothing, homewares, bicycle parts, toys, just piled across this mobile home park. And yet still the damage here, most of the homes are still standing, it pales in comparison to what we've seen elsewhere.

CNN's Brian Todd gives us a closer look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing left, zero.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The full extent of Hurricane Ian's destruction now coming fully into view. Aerial damage assessments showing coastal Florida neighborhoods with roofs torn off, homes flattened, house after house, either flooded or wiped out. Some buildings with nothing left but the concrete slab. Remote locations like Pine Island and Sanibel Island cut off from the mainland. These before and after images showing just how hard Sanibel was hit.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): So the only place way to access that is either by sea or by air.

TODD (voice-over): So far, more than 700 people rescue, the governor says. This car in Orange County was filled with water up to the seats when the passengers were rescued. The Coast Guard making rescues by air from flooded communities along the coast.

Here, a rescuer is lowered into the water, finds a woman in a house surrounded by water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make sure you have a bag with a drop pair of clothes, with ID, cell phones, wallets.

TODD (voice-over): A basket is lower. She climbs in, clutches her pet crate and she and her pet are hoisted to safety. Volunteers pitching in as well. Using boats to evacuate survivors of stranded by the floodwaters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The surge was higher than 9 feet.

TODD (voice-over): Harrowing stories from the deluge still emerging, including from the survivor who took this video. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Initially the water pushed me up the stairs and then it sucked me back down as well. I got completely submerged under water all above my head.

TODD (voice-over): Among residents returning to survey the damage, distress and determination.

(on-camera): How do you feel about all this?


AJ BLACK, OWNER, OSTERIA CAPRI: I feel it was time for remodel.

TODD (on-camera): That's a good outlook. Can you rebuild?


TODD (voice-over): Even inland in places like Orlando, floodwater was still high on Friday.

DESANTIS: Well, we saw in Central Florida was more standing water than what we saw in southwest Florida where the big storm surge came in.

TODD (voice-over): Authorities warning residents of lingering dangers.

(on-camera): What's the biggest danger that the community is facing right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So a multiple, multiple dangers out there. Downed power lines that might be re-energized. Just try to stay home, try to stay safe, and call us if you need us.

TODD (voice-over): The death toll now over 40, more than 1 million customers still without power. Some could take days or weeks to restore.


(on-camera): And the figures on property losses remain staggering. According to the property analytics firm CoreLogic, Hurricane Ian could have caused as much as $47 billion in insured losses. That could make it the most expensive hurricane in the history of the state of Florida.

Brian Todd, CNN, Naples, Florida.

SANCHEZ: Our thanks to Brian Todd for that report. Nearly three days after Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida, search and rescue efforts are still underway this morning in some of the state's hardest hit areas. Officials are estimating that more than 700 rescues have taken place since Thursday.

Volunteer groups are joining in to aid federal and state authorities too. I had one of those that we've seen very frequently during these kinds of natural disasters is the Cajun Navy, they've been helping to comb through the wreckage to find survivors. Joining us now on the phone is the group's president who's here in Florida, lending a helping hand at a very important time. Gary Hanner joins us now. Good morning, Gary. We appreciate you spending some time with us. What stood out to you about what you've seen so far as a result of Hurricane Ian? What conditions and damage have you come across?

GARY HANNER, PRESIDENT, UNITED CAJUN NAVY: Well, we've definitely come across just some total devastating things. You know, mostly elderly people are who we're dealing with. One couple, the man was 98 years old, and his wife was 96. They had 2 feet of water in their house. So those are the kinds of conditions that we're coming across.

And yesterday, we were on Pine Island, and again, just getting people off the island. And then there's people now wanting to get back on the island. So we, I mean, had a generator and all kinds of supplies on my airboat when we went back out. So again, we did that most of all yesterday, just back and forth, getting people off and getting people back on so that they can go assess their damage.

SANCHEZ: Just to give context for the viewers at home, being from Florida myself, I know there's some people watching may not, southwest Florida is a ton of different islands, all spread apart. And many of them are inaccessible right now because bridges have been demolished as a result of the storm.

Have you been able to get to areas like Sanibel Island that were previously cut off? Because I talked to folks that say that that's where some of the worst damage is? Have you been able to get to those areas? And if you have, what have you seen there?

HANNER: You know, we haven't personally gone out. We've just had so much to do at Pine Island, and we were at Fort Myers Beach. You know, yesterday -- or last night, they were in Arcadia, because we've had all kinds of resurgence of water coming back in. I'm not really sure where it's coming from, but they closed I-75 last night.

We did rescues until midnight last night. And we could have gone all night. But, you know, we just have to get some sleep, just a little bit. So that's kind of what we're going to be dealing with this morning. I guess we're going to be going probably to Punta Gorda where bridges collapsed. And water last night there was people on their roads again, people floating with air mattresses. So yes, it was a total chaotic scene last night.

SANCHEZ: Yes, it's important to remember that with this much damage and this much water coming on the land, it's going to take a few days for people to actually be able to get out because there's just so much damage and it's so widespread. And as you noted, the work is strenuous. And we appreciate what you're doing, Gary.

I imagine that when you talk to some of these folks, including that couple that you talk to in their 90s, it's going to be a difficult time for them because all that they have worked for their entire lives seemingly is now toppled and destroyed. And a lot of folks were reluctant to leave, even though their homes were in shambles. So when you come across people in that situation, what do you say to them? How do you relate to them? How do you help them in that strenuous time?


HANNER: Well, we just, you know, we try to be as compassionate as we can. We just tell them it's going to be OK. That, you know, it might take a little time, but they will get things back. That particular couple lived on a canal., and they didn't even know where their boat was. So when they, you know, last they saw the boat was in the back, but when they got up, you know, and started looking around, they don't even know where their boat was. I mean, there's boats laying everywhere.

But if I could just say one thing, what we really, really need as rescuers, and for everyone, we need cell phone reception. Sometimes we have to drive 40 minutes inland, just to get enough cell phone reception to text and to make call. So, we're volunteer groups, we don't have the fancy radio systems like everyone else. So we rely 100 percent on our cell phones.

So we desperately need cell phone reception. I heard they had lots of portable cell phone towers, but they haven't put any around here. So that's why I'm doing this interview by the phone. I'm at a love's truck stop. We're all sleeping on our vehicles. And it's just been an absolute nightmare with the communication, so.

SANCHEZ: We appreciate you getting that message out there. And we'll make sure to repeat it again and again to hopefully get something done about that, because I noticed myself when we got here late last night, the cellphone reception is spotty at best. And it's so important in a rescue effort to be able to communicate with everybody around you.

Gary, what's your message to folks here in South Florida -- Southwest Florida that might feel overwhelmed by everything that they witness. You have experienced a lot of these storms in the past, you've seen communities rebuild, what would your message be to those folks that are in a very difficult situation right now in rebuilding?

HANNER: Just, you know, try to find a little patience. You know, it will all get back together. You know, it'll take a little time but, you know, you will get it back together as soon as they can get through this initial rescuing stage and all that, then they can start getting, you know, the equipment in to start moving all these boats that are on top of each other.

Start getting like Fort Myers Beach, though it used to be a paved road, now has 2 to 3 feet of sand on it. So again, it will get fixed. I was in Mayfield, Kentucky. I was in Eastern Kentucky for the flood. You know, again, we tell everybody, I know it looks bad right now but, you know, it will get better.

SANCHEZ: Gary Hanner, the President of the United Cajun Navy, we appreciate that message of hope. We appreciate your work. Please keep in touch with us. Let us know if there's more we can do to get a message out there to make your important work easier. Thank you, Gary.

HANNER: Thank you. WALKER: All right, we are following several other stories for you this morning, including the Biden administration unleashing a new round of punishing sanctions against Russia after Vladimir Putin moves to annex parts of Ukraine again. We're going to have the latest on the White House's response.

Plus, we are continuing to hear harrowing stories of survival after Hurricane Ian devastated parts of Florida. Ahead, you'll hear from one man who rode out the storm on his house vote and lived to tell about it.



SANCHEZ: I'm Boris Sanchez coming to you live from Fort Myers, Florida as we continue to follow the devastation left by Hurricane Ian. We're learning this morning that more than 1.8 million people remain without power across four states as Ian bears down on the Carolinas.

Just a few moments ago, we heard from the President of the United Cajun Navy, this group that goes out and assists in search and rescue efforts, it's a civilian organization. He was telling us that just a few hours ago, his group was still finding people stranded on their roofs, submerged in flood water.

So, the recovery effort here continues. It is a difficult one because a lot of areas in this southwestern part of Florida are connected by bridges that have been cut off. And if you don't have a boat, it's very difficult to get to those places, assess the damage and help those who need it most.

Coming up, we're going to bring you the story of one man who rode out the storm in his house boat as Ian moved in. Notably, one of the most impactful images that we've seen getting to Fort Myers has been the amount of boats that are just strewn across land in parking lots across residential areas all over the place. You'll hear from that man who rode up the storm in his house boat coming up in just a few minutes.

But for now, let's send it back to Amara Walker in Atlanta. Amara, some of the images here will stay with me certainly for a very long time.

WALKER: Yes, I know it's your state, that's where you're from. And, I mean, just seeing the images have been breathtaking and to be on the ground I'm sure has really left an indelible impact on you. Boris, thank you. We look forward to hearing that story as well.

In the meantime, swift and severe consequences. That is what the U.S. says Russia is facing following Vladimir Putin's move to annex parts of Ukraine. Putin says Russia is seizing four regions of Ukraine. That's about one-fifth of the country. He made the announcement in a formal setting at the Kremlin yesterday.

Now Putin's actions follow so-called referendums in the region, that many in the west and Ukraine have dismissed as sham referendums. President Biden says Putin's actions have no legitimacy.

White House Reporter Jasmine Wright joining us live with more. Good morning, Jasmine. So more is President Biden saying about this?


JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes. Well the President was clear that he condemns the action by President Putin what they call a false annexation of parts of Ukraine that they will be met by these escalating and really expanded sanctions that the U.S. has worked on in advance of this announcement from Putin in concert with their allies.

And so, when it comes to those sanctions, they are pretty expanded, as I said. So first, they are going to target the family members of Russian government officials, government officials themselves, as you can see on the screen here. Now, one interesting part is that the head of the Russia's central bank is being targeted.

Administration officials have found that over the course of the months that the leader of the central bank has been pretty deft at keeping the economy afloat in Russia, despite these really waves and waves with sanctions meant to cripple the economy. And so therefore, they are now targeting her and her deputy as well.

Another interesting part of the sanctions here, Amara, is the fact that they're trying to really clamp down and eventually extinguish Russia supply chain, specifically the ones that are keeping that war effort, really going. And now, one of the other things that they said is that the U.S. vows to come after and basically punish any entity, corporation, nation that comes to the aid of Russia, either politically, or militarily. So really, we're seeing that really escalation of sanctions here.

Now, for the President's part, again, in response to President Putin's formal address where he made clear that nuclear weapons were on his mind, President Biden issued a stiff warning. Take a listen here.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America and it's allies are not going, let me emphasize this, are not going to be intimidated, are not going to be intimidated by Putin and his reckless words and threats. He's not going to scare us and he doesn't -- or intimidate us. Putin's actions are a sign he's struggling. America is fully prepared with our NATO allies to defend every single inch of NATO territory, every single inch. So Mr. Putin, don't misunderstand what I'm saying. Every inch.


WRIGHT: So there we heard from the President with a very direct message to President Putin. But when it comes to the actual risk level of the potential for Russia to use a nuclear weapon, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, he said there is a risk when you hear that kind of nuclear saddle rattling from President Putin, but he would not really describe whether or not it's escalated. And he said that the U.S. did not believe that imminent use or see any indications about imminent use of nuclear weapons. Amara?

WALKER: Obviously continuing to be concerned though, as President Putin feels cornered, as the Ukrainian military has been making advances. Jasmine Wright, appreciate you this morning. Thank you.

And on that note, Ukrainian forces are making lightning advances through territory falsely claimed by Russia. The landscape of one Ukrainian town bears witness to the speed and intensity of the fighting by Ukrainian troops. The story now from CNN International Security Editor, Nick Paton Walsh.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice-over): Hidden but unstoppable. Ukraine's not bragged much about its march south from Kharkiv towards the prize of Donetsk. But every rooftop or tree line suggests they've just been too busy advancing. Day by day, reducing how much have occupied Ukraine, Moscow has this day falsely declared Russian territory. With the ultimate goal, encircling the vital railway town of Lyman at hand. No quarter given all the way through the forests to the monastery town of Sviatogirsk.

(on-camera): The drive to this point, probably the most depressing two hours we spent on the road for the whole six months of this war, just laying bare, the utter ferocity of the fighting and also to the speed of Ukraine's advance to this town, which itself is shocking.

Eight years ago, at the start of the conflict, I lived on off here for six months and just learn to appreciate its normality, its peace, a middle the pines here, and that's just gone.

(voice-over): It is the most fragile who remained when Russia moved in. Anna is one of nine people left in her block. She almost didn't make it.

ANNA, SVIATOGIRSK RESIDENT (through translation): The scariest was when the Russians one night were in a firefight in my courtyard. I was in the doorway and tried to hold a steel door shut, but a soldier pulled at the door so I jumped down and fell in the basement. He tore open the door, shot his gun into the darkness and missed me.

WALSH (voice-over): Some seek survival in there God here, whose monastery looks down on the mess. Luba (ph) asked me if they'll come back, the Russians, they made such a mess of their new post office, she says. On her shirt, a lock of hair from her local beloved priest killed by shelling in June. "I attached it as a protective amulet", she says.

"Tell me, can I leave here now?" Even the carcass of here still rocked by shelling. But the church bells finally rang again two days ago. They brought Lumilla(ph) to tears. "It rang and I heard it", she says, "and I listened, and it got louder". They are now out of the church basement where they hid from the bombs and still try to live. She's just saying it's cold down here. And you can feel that. Seven

months underground. Anxious to not show their faces. Their plight down here is their private tragedy one says. The minister's disabled son was injured in shelling and taken to a hospital, she tells me. She last saw him alive, but that is all she knows down here.

There is little salvation here, only ruin turning to rust. There is no let-up in Ukraine's advances or of Moscow's imminent annexation. They absurd claim, this land is now actually Russian territory. The land here, a testimony to how the collision between this right and that wrong shred the very thing both covet. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Sviatohirst, Ukraine.


WALKER: All right, while many residents evacuated ahead of Hurricane Ian, others decided to hunker down. Next, you're going to hear from a captain who rode out the storm on his boat. What he says it was like the moment the storm started to hit.



SANCHEZ: Back here live in Fort Myers, Florida, Hurricane Ian's force and destruction came to a shock to many Floridians, even those who have weathered powerful storms before. Many here opting to hunker down at home as Ian unleashed life-threatening rains and wind.

One man, though, decided to hunker down in an unusual way. He made the stunning decision to ride out the storm on his boat, and he lived to tell about it. CNN's Randi Kaye has his story.


RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER (on camera): Have you ever seen a storm like this?

MIKE STACZEK, RODE OUT HURRICANE IAN ON BOAT: No, not this big. Seen the other hurricanes, but nothing like this.

KAYE (voice-over): When Hurricane Ian hit Fort Myers beach, boat Captain Mike Staczek was in for the ride of his life.

STACZEK: It was surreal. It was very surreal.

KAYE: Mike had decided to ride out the storm on his boat, adopted this Fort Myers beach mariner. It's made of steel and has a generator, so he thought it would be safer than home. Mike showed me video of what he saw as the hurricane gained strength.

STACZEK: So, here's the one with the -- you'll see the building that collapsed over there. You'll see it in a minute. You can see right on the engine, it's holding the boat in place. It should -- a minute -- there's the building --

KAYE: Oh, wow, it's just right in the water.


KAYE: He tied the boat he was on to another large boat he owned, both weigh about 50 tons, he says, but even that was no match for Hurricane Ian. At about 3:00 a.m., all of a sudden, Mike was lifted up by the force of the water and the wind.

STACZEK: We didn't actually get dragged around until the very end.

KAYE: What was that feeling like, being carried along as this storm was going?

STACZEK: Just really we knew it was out of our control at that point. So, we just forget -- well, we knew -- we were happy we were blown inland because we knew we'd wind up over the land, not out in the water that we're sinking being a real danger, so you just got to see it, one was hauling, we knew we were in the parking lot, and we didn't know when we were going to stop.

KAYE: In the end, after a wild 15 hours, Mike and his boats which were still tied together landed in the street. And while they aren't a total loss, Ian sure took a chunk out of this boat Mike used for his business, a floating hotel.

STACZEK: That's cabin 6, actually, that's one of the nicest cabins, had a private deck. And you're just looking at the -- the wind did that. But didn't -- that wasn't even from a hit. That was -- we just watched it, and the wind, as it got more and more, just started peeling the side back and peeled it right where --

KAYE (on camera): Just tore it right off --


KAYE (voice-over): Randi Kaye, CNN, Fort Myers Beach, Florida.


SANCHEZ: Thanks so much to Randi for telling that man's story. And Amara, one of the things that we talked about last weekend as we were anticipating the storm, you spend a lot of time in Florida, folks here often shrug at category 3, even category 4 storms --

WALKER: Right --

SANCHEZ: This one went from a category 3 to nearly a category 5, only a few miles an hour difference between a category 4 and category 5 storm, and it did catch a lot of people off guard. I'm still stunned that not only did that guy decide to stay on his house boat, but that he made it and he was able to share his story with us. Stunning to say the least, and probably not a good example for other people in storms moving forward.

WALKER: Yes, we have heard in the last few days, right? From people who did hunker down and many of whom regretted staying behind, even though they did survive. But yes, the story with Randi where he -- where Captain Mike told her that he was happy that the boat was moving inland as opposed to, you know, being pushed out into the ocean where his boat could have sank. It's just harrowing, but also probably not the best idea that he had had. All right, Boris, thank you.

And still ahead, the Supreme Court gets ready to kick off a new term as a new justice takes the bench, but they're already facing challenges when it comes to the court of public opinion. We're going to have more on that, next.



WALKER: Monday kicks off a new term for the United States Supreme Court, and marks the first time an African American woman, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson will take her place on the bench. But the new term comes at a time when public trust in the court has plunged. New Gallup polling showing a record 58 percent of Americans disapprove of the job the high court is doing.


Joining me now to discuss this further is CNN political commentator Errol Louis, he's also the political anchor for "Spectrum News" and the host of the "You Decide" podcast, always good to see you, Errol. So, I mean, Friday, just as Ketanji Brown Jackson officially sworn in at the special Supreme Court ceremony, it was attended as you see there by the president and vice president.

As we said, she's the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. And we also saw those images of her making that traditional walk down those marble steps with Chief Justice John Roberts. Can we just take a moment to talk about the significance of what just happened?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's a big moment. Good morning, Amara. It's a big deal. They're going to make a new seat for her over on the extreme right side of the court as they said, everything is done by seniority at the court, including where you sit and where your robing room is and the order in which you do everything including marching in to go eat dinner every night.

So, it's a wonderful moment to see the diversity of a nation reflected in the court. To have two black justices at the same time, never happened before. The first black woman, never happened before. A younger woman who I think is going to lend her wisdom to the court for a long time. It really is a good moment.

And of course, you know, we are in the middle of a big fight on the court, and her voice, I think, will be welcomed in the middle of that fray.

WALKER: Yes, and speaking of which, you know, we were just mentioning, Errol, that public trust in the Supreme Court is plunging, right? I mean, Gallup polling shows just 47 percent. So that's less than half of U.S. adults saying that they have a great deal or a fair amount of trust in the judicial branch.

And just to compare numbers here, we're talking about a 20 percent drop from two years ago. So it marks the lowest it's been since Gallup starting measuring the trend 50 years ago. What do you make of that? I mean, how does the court maintain its legitimacy as impartial arbiters of the law? I mean, can they operate in this kind of climate?

LOUIS: Well, they're going to have to make a decision about whether or not they want to maintain their legitimacy and how they want to operate as an institution. The reality is, you have a super majority now of conservatives who apparently have been waiting for many years for this moment so that they can push through a lot of different measures that run counter to public opinion, and not just narrow public opinion, but broadly deeply-felt opinions about race and about marriage, and about education and about privacy.

I mean, it's going to be interesting to see if they choose to continue down that path, heedless of what it might do to their legitimacy. This is not what we've seen in past courts. Even the Warren court, the famous period when we got the Miranda ruling and Brown versus board of education and a lot of other liberal measures.

It was done with an eye toward public opinion and making sure the court was seen as legitimate. I mean, that's why the Brown versus Board of Education desegregation ruling in 1954 was unanimous. You know, Justice -- Chief Justice Warren went out of his way to make sure everybody was on board to try and take the country in a particular direction.

This modern court has no such concerns, and to the extent that they want to ram things down people's throats, the public is not going to be very happy about it.

WALKER: Yes, well, Errol Louis, unfortunately, we're out of time. I had a lot more to talk about, but we'll have you back of course, as always. Thank you so much, Errol, and we will be right back.



WALKER: Welcome back, everyone. We are continuing to follow the aftermath left behind by Hurricane Ian, and we will have much more coming up throughout the morning as Boris is on scene in Fort Myers. But first, this programming note. Don't forget to watch a new episode of the CNN original series "THE MURDER: EMPIRE OF INFLUENCE" tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. Here's a preview.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN NEWSROOM: Sometimes, you know, we'd be in meetings and the producers would say, OK, we'll make that more F&B. Fair and balance had a particular meaning inside the walls, which was basically, it has to be Roger's vision. I remember one story that I did, it was about gay marriage rights in Massachusetts before it became law, and I found two women who were a couple who had children and wanted to get married.

My bureau chief gets a phone call from New York that says re-pull the story, we're killing the story. Alisyn refers to them as a family, and Roger went berserk. And I said, what other word is there?


WALKER: "THE MURDOCHS: EMPIRE OF INFLUENCE" airs tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. right here on CNN. All right, now to this week's CNN hero, a Texas rabbi who is providing an essential item to millions of underserved kids and victims of natural disasters. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Underwear is just an overlooked item, and it's super expensive. So, the parents who are struggling financially tend to think, you can't see the underwear, so it will be OK. There is a crisis for this very essential need that really makes a big difference in their social and academic world. Kids who need underwear don't want used underwear, right? That's gross, isn't it?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We only give away new underwear. Kids, they want what all of us want, security and dignity. We want to increase these kids' self-esteem and confidence. That's really what it is all about, helping fill that gap when no one else is doing it and to keep them in school. When they've got underwear, it's just easier to be a kid.


WALKER: And Amy's(ph) efforts have gotten a big boost from a famous friend. Find out who in the full story at We'll be right back.