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New Day Saturday

Recovery Efforts Underway After Ian Slams Florida, Carolinas; Ian Leaves Trail Of Destruction Across Parts Of Florida; President Biden Promises Federal Help For Areas Hit By Hurricane Ian. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired October 01, 2022 - 07:00   ET



AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: And a very good morning to you, and welcome to this special edition of NEW DAY. It is Saturday, the first day of October. I'm Amara Walker in Atlanta.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Amara. I'm Boris Sanchez coming to you live from Fort Myers, Florida, where recovery efforts are underway after Hurricane Ian hit this state as a very strong Category Four storm this week. And we continue to follow Ian as it moves into North Carolina, after making landfall as a hurricane there. It is now moving inland as a post tropical cyclone, posing all sorts of problems for that part of the country. Even though it's been downgraded, officials warn it still threatens the area with heavy rain and flooding.

WALKER: In South Carolina, the storm flooded homes and vehicles along the shoreline and as high winds pushed historic storm surge, the storm surge even hired two peers one in Pawleys Island and another in North Myrtle Beach, you see here, partially collapsing. Officials are now warning residents to avoid leaving their homes and to steer clear of floodwaters that could pose hidden dangers.


LT. GEN. JEFFREY BUCHARAN, RETIRED U.S. ARMY HURRICANE RESPONSE IN PUERTO RICO: The obvious one, 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, waters themselves are the most dangerous --


WALKER: Ian slam -- now, Ian slammed into Southwest Florida as a severe Category Four hurricane, Wednesday, packing sustained winds of 150 miles per hour. The storm is blamed for at least 45 deaths, but officials believe that number is likely to climb as search and rescue crews move into areas blocked by debris and floodwaters. And across the state, more than 1.3 million homes and businesses were still in the dark this morning. And for many who did evacuate, they are unsure of what they may come back to.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My grandparents are still at the house. We have animals there. They don't want to 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 I'm 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, very scary feeling.


SANCHEZ: And we're hearing heart wrenching accounts just like that one all over Southwest Florida. We have team coverage for you this morning. CNN Meteorologist Britley Ritz is monitoring Ian's track northward. But let's start with Miguel Marquez who's live for us in Myrtle Beach. Miguel, the storm just moving through there. What does it look like this morning?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Gorgeous. It is always tough to go through these storms, and there are so many unknowns. There's so much fear. You, you guys can go through if you like, but it is a spectacular morning after the storm. People are out on the beach, beach combing and sort of doing their normal thing. But look, South Carolina, took their cue from Florida and they took it very seriously. There was a ton of rain, water coming down not only in the form of rain, but also from that the tide that came in at the same time the storm surge was coming in.

And that storm, even though it was a Category One, it hung off the coast for so long. It just lashed the coast for a long time. Those two piers you talked about, those are substantial structures, these fishing piers that they have in these communities here that have been there for decades that people fish off of and, and hang out in, and, and, and keep records of the fish that they catch there. So, they -- those were, in one case, in Pawleys Island, half of it was destroyed. And that's a very, very substantial structure. So, it gives you an idea of just how powerful even a category one storm can be when it's combined with the tide coming in as well. We spoke to a man who was right near where Ian came ashore.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During the worst of it, like you could not see outside, rain sideways really loud. In fact, in the house that we're in, there were a couple of leaks every now and then especially around the sliding doors. The hard part was mixing in hurricane weather with high tide, that's what caused all this devastation is. We were at the high tide mark when all this occurred.


MARQUEZ: So, you do have a lot of people lose power in South Carolina. You, there, there was a lot of localized flooding, trees downed, wires were affected as well. The, the electrical wires, but people listen, there were no mass evacuations in the state but because Florida was so bad and people were really thinking about what was happening there, they were paying attention. And amazingly, and fortunately, no one was seriously injured or killed in South Carolina. Back to you guys.


SANCHEZ: That is good news. And we're glad that folks there heeded the warnings from what we saw here in southwest Florida, really a stunning sunrise behind you. Juxtaposed with so much damage, it's hard to wrap your head around the power of Mother Nature. Miguel Marquez from Myrtle Beach, thank you so much.

WALKER: Yes, Boris, it's quite a split screen between you and Miguel, a beautiful backdrop of the beach and then you've got the destruction behind, Boris.

All right, let's turn it over now to meteorologist, Britley Ritz. And Britley, I still see somewhat of a system there behind you. When is Ian going to just move away from us, just go away exactly.

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Exactly. I wish I could say in the near future, but we still have a few more days of heavy rain and strong gusty winds, Amara. Thankfully, as the system came on to shore as forecast completely fell apart, the friction of the land just deteriorated. The low itself, but like Miguel was saying, as it came on to short was moving so slow. We had forward motion as it made landfall roughly around seven to nine miles per hour. It has now picked up, forward motion, and the north northwest at 12 miles per hour.

So, it's still a heavy rainmaker and that's one of the bigger threats as the flooding concern. We have some of the heavy steady rain, falling in Southwest Virginia and West Virginia itself, and then scattered showers still leftover around Norfolk back into the mid- Atlantic, and up into New England; heavy rain continues to fall and even a few rumbles of thunder. Over the past two days, we've picked up several inches of rain.

Charleston, one of the heaviest rainfall makers here where we picked up two to six inches of rain. And Wilmington, roughly about the same. We do have flood alerts over three million people under some sort of flood alert. We have flood watches for parts of West Virginia and Virginia itself over toward the coastline. These are coastal flooding concerns. This is when the wind pushes that water on to shore, and some of us could be dealing with one to two feet of inundation.

So, just don't drive through water. I can't stress it enough. Turn around, don't drown. 12 inches, folks, that's all it takes to lift your vehicle up and carry it on down the road. These areas highlighted in yellow and green where we're a little more vulnerable for that flooding concern especially those highlighted in yellow, and that includes parts of Virginia. These are areas that will pick up heavy rain throughout the rest of today, and even into tomorrow morning.

Some of the heavier rain then moves on up into, of course, the mid- Atlantic at that point, parts of P.A. and on up into New York and Boston. That rain chance will finally start to subside a bit rolling into the following week. And wind, again, one of the bigger concerns here too, many under wind advisories parts of Virginia and West Virginia as well back into parts of the Tennessee Valley. These are where winds can gust over 35 miles per hour.

Over two million people dealing with that. And this continues on through the rest of today, but rolling into Sunday are wind finally starts to subside a bit. Still a few gusts of 10 to 15 miles per hour, but at least it's not 30 to 35. And again, the low itself moving on up to the north, weakening substantially by the end of the weekend. Amara.

WALKER: All right. Good to see that timeline. Thank you so much, Britley.

SANCHEZ: And as the sun starts to rise here in Florida, and residents start to regain access to areas that were cut off by the storm, the full scale of Hurricane Ian's devastation is coming into a clearer view -- and it is a grim picture. The damage going far beyond only property. At least 45 people are dead, others still unaccounted for as rescue crews start to gain access to those areas that were cut off to many of those islands that were cut off. Still, some 1.3 million customers in Florida are without power, most in the city of Fort Myers are without drinking water.

And as we start to assess the damage this weekend, residents are picking up the pieces. One of those residents is Rob Guarino. And Rob joins us this morning here live. You're a resident of Fort Myers, you decided to ride out Ian in your condo building even as it became inundated, you went through quite an ordeal, and we have footage to share with our viewers of what you went through. But I imagine this morning that seeing some of the footage and from other parts of this area, you probably consider yourself lucky.

ROB GUARINO, FORT MYERS RESIDENT: Yes, we do. I think the biggest issue now is water around here that seems to be -- and some of the places are on generator power, but most without water and electricity. And I think at this point, the water becomes so critical. Where we were at a high rise on the riverfront here Fort Myers, we were on the 27th floor. Our first floor got completely flooded out. Cars were floating down there. We got around there. We get a couple of shots down there. And the wind really held up in the building, but around us is destruction.


SANCHEZ: What is going through your mind when this hurricane, it was a category three, and then seemingly within a matter of hours, it shoots to almost a Category Five, just a shade under a Category Five. And you are deciding whether you're going to stay, whether you're going to leave, and then you're seeing conditions deteriorate around you, what does that feel like?

GUARINO: I think, Boris, the toughest part was the 3:00 to 5:00 happened in the early hours of the morning. I don't know if anybody was up yet. I got up at 5:00 a.m. and Ian had gone to 140, which was a four; and it had gone up at three an hour earlier, and then it was getting close to five. So, I think that little hours in the morning, it was almost too late to go, because Sunrise was coming up as it is about now. And everybody really had to just hunker down and you didn't really have a choice at that point. When it went to three, five, you really didn't have a choice, you just had to basically stay where you're at.

SANCHEZ: And you recorded some video we want to show our viewers of water splashing in your bathtub as the hurricane made landfall, what is going through your mind at that point?

GUARINO: It's kind of like a circus meets seasickness, and your equilibrium was off particularly in the center of the condo, I could not even think, I couldn't sit down because we were moving so much and it was like vertigo. Have you ever had that? Some people had vertigo; it was very much like that. And this is in our garage right here. You can see on the first floor where there were cars floating. They've been towing them out since last night.

But that feeling I mean, I've been to many hurricanes, we chase hurricanes, and get footage and things like that. I've never had that feeling. And I guess, it was the first time I was on a high rise in a hurricane, but we had three or four people with this. You see the water here, you were just nauseous, that is just going back and forth. The building is, is meant to sway just like in many big cities like New York. But that, I didn't expect. We knew we'd have some swing, but I didn't expect to lose your equilibrium. And it was really an unreal feeling.

SANCHEZ: And that is going on for hours and hours. So, you're essentially sitting there in this swing building, as you noted, you probably got nauseous and vertigo. I want to let folks watching know, Rob is actually a meteorologist. And so, you're well aware of what these hurricanes can do. You told me that you'd been living here in Fort Myers for a couple of years. Had you been through something like this before? Was this your first time experiencing the power of this kind of hurricane?

GUARINO: Yes, this was the highest without a doubt. I think I've been to like a high two, low three, but this one kind of being in your hometown really, it really sunk in. That's when the emotions hit, but nothing like this. And the wind up there, you have to remember was about 10 to 15 miles higher because there was no friction, there was nothing blocking the wind coming up the river when it went through. We actually went down to six. We had some friends as a backup because we were getting almost sick. We only stayed up there a few minutes when it started.

SANCHEZ: To the sixth floor.

GUARINO: Yes, we went down to six. And we said you know what, this is too much. We were not feeling right. Almost like you were going to throw up. I just didn't expect that.

SANCHEZ: And when you're driving around town, I'm sure you have friends in the area. And have you heard from them? How are they doing? And what reaction do you have when you drive around and you see areas where neighborhoods are just flattened.

GUARINO: We have friends in Pine Island, and in Fort Myers and a lot of them lost everything. And that's when it really kind of sunk in that these your friends you've been to their houses. Pine Island seems to be a real tough spot right now, which is in between the barrier islands. And then you realize, this is home this is your friends -- a few are staying with me now. They just have nowhere to go.

SANCHEZ: Yes. We heard from the president of the United Cajun Navy this morning. He was talking to us about a rescue effort in Pine Island. And he said that as a matter of just a few hours ago, there were still folks camped out on rooftops because their homes had become inundated and those areas are hard to access. Rob, I did want to ask you as a meteorologist, we were speaking a moment before you came on with us about the potential for Hurricane Ian to retro actively be classified as a Category Five instead of a Category Four. It's happened before with other storms that they look back and say there was sustained winds that proved that this was more powerful than initially reported. Just looking at the damage, I mean it looks like it may have been a Category Five. How does that process work?

GUARINO: Well, the storm surge is five, there's no doubt. And sometimes the storm surge can be a five for a while where the, where the winds come down. That water takes a long time to come back down. So, in my opinion, the storm surge is a five category, but with the winds. Here's what they're going to do, they're going to go to the left quad of the eye they're going to look at that. They were looking at that on the local station, one of the stations got knocked out. They got storm surge, and they're going to look at that lower left corner and they're going to go see if there's a wind for one minute. You need one minute at 157 or higher would be a five.

I saw a few on TV when the local meteorologist was kind of poking around that eyewall whether they'll get that out we don't know yet and the plane also the hurricane hunters' plane will shoot in there. Michael, was a couple years ago on that Panhandle, we all remember. That one got upgraded, I think, I'm going to say about two-and-a-half months after the initial landfall. And they said yes, it came in as a four-and-a-half on paper so to speak. And then we upgraded it to a five after looking at the radar data. So, I think that's going to happen in the next few months somewhere before Christmas, we're going to find out what is this a high four? Low five? Really doesn't matter damage wise, but category wise, it would be only to plead the fifth whenever to hit the United States.


SANCHEZ: Well, it is, maybe, something that for the historical record is of importance for folks who are on the ground, they have much more urgent needs and concerns and we appreciate you sharing your story with us, Rob. Let us know what there's much that we can do to, to help you or the folks that you were assisting at a --

GUARINO: Yes, thanks Boris. Good see you this morning.

SANCHEZ: A pleasure. Thank you so much. So, Amara, as you are hearing here in South Florida, the sun is starting to come out, we're getting a clearer picture of just how extensive the damage is. And hopefully, soon rescue crews will be able to get to areas like Pine Island, like Sanibel Island, to really survey what it looks like and to help folks who may still be in desperate need of assistance.

WALKER: Yes, we can't forget about these communities right like Captiva and Sanibel, where they've basically been cut off because of those bridges leading there have been destroyed. Boris, thank you for that and for that interview.

Meantime, President Biden says, relief efforts in Florida could take months, even years. How his administration is working to get aid to communities hardest hit by Ian, and why more residents could become eligible for federal health.

Plus, it was a challenging insurance market for Florida residents even before Hurricane Ian, and now things could get potentially a lot worse. How Ian's aftermath could trigger a crisis?

Plus, a frightening scene after a quarterback for the Dolphins suffers a head injury. Now, there are major questions about why he was cleared to get back onto the field.



SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Boris Sanchez coming to you live from Fort Myers, Florida as we track the devastation left behind by Hurricane Ian. And just a short time ago, we learned that officials here have actually adjusted the overnight curfew. The original curfew set on Wednesday was set to expire after 48 hours. It is now 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. daily, "until further notice." So, if you don't have official business or you don't have an emergency, you should not be out on the road between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. That curfew helps officials get to where they need to be at a desperate time. So, please just stay home during those hours.

Images of Hurricane Ian's destruction are continuing to emerge this morning and one of Florida's hardest hit areas is Lee County. It was overwhelmed by severe storm surge and powerful winds. You saw some of those boats stacked on top of each other, it's something that we're getting a glimpse of as aerial views are giving us a real picture of what the reality looks like here in Southwest Florida and in Lee County specifically. CNN's John Berman actually gotten a helicopter with a county sheriff to try to survey the destruction as you see that a pier, that bridge completely destroyed. Here is some of what Berman and the crew saw.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): All that debris just littered everywhere. These were buildings? This was the building right there? There were buildings, restaurants, and what used to be the Fort Myers pier.

How far back as the sand go?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It goes straight through to the bayside. At least -- BERMAN: Empty spots that you see there were homes. I'm sorry, so

these, these on this beach here, there used to be homes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to see the empty lots right here, as you see those lots right there. Those were homes. Those were hotels. Those were real property, two, three, four, five storeys high, washed away. Look to the front of our, these are major, major boats thrown into the mangroves.

BERMAN: Where?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boats up in the mangroves right there.

BERMAN: Not just one, dozens thrown everywhere. How long will it take to get this back?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I look at this, this is not a quick fix. This is not six months. This is long term.


SANCHEZ: Our thanks to John Berman for going on that trip and bringing back that footage. So, President Biden says his administration is going to do everything it can to help communities devastated by Hurricane Ian. And he acknowledged that we are just beginning to see the extent of the destruction left behind from this powerful storm. Let's take you to the White House now. And CNN White House Reporter Jasmine Wright, who joins us live. Jasmine, walk us through the federal response. What are officials in the Biden administration doing to help people on the ground here in Florida and elsewhere that have been impacted by the storm?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Boris, while the President wants Americans to know that these storms are on the top of both his and his administration's minds and he is pledging the full support of the federal government when it comes to the recovery. So, just overnight, we know that he approved an emergency declaration for North Carolina as Hurricane Ian starts to move up the East Coast.

Now, for Florida, what we just saw that devastation right there. We know that the President has spoken to Republican Governor Ron DeSantis three times over the last week talking about the different faces of the storm. Now, of course, we're in recovery of the storm that the President said that is likely to rank among the worst in the nation's history. Now, I want to play for you for a second, Boris, this message that he issued directly to the people of Florida on Friday, take a listen.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've directed that every possible action be taken to save lives and get help to survivors. Because every single minute counts. It's not just a crisis for Florida, it's an American crisis. We're all in this together. I just want the people to Florida to know, we see what you're going through and we're with you. And we're going to do everything we can for you.


WRIGHT: So, when it comes to the on the ground support this administration has provided. We know that FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell remains on the ground to provide that on the ground support. Of course, he expanded which counties in Florida could be eligible to receive that an individual centers and debris removal are part of those emergency declarations.

And we know that he's putting more of those supplemental cell phone towers around the state really trying to increase people's ability to call their families, call their friends. And of course, we know that he has deployed many more things that he says, of course, that many more things are expected to come here as this nation and this administration buckles down for a long road ahead when it comes to this recovery. Boris.

SANCHEZ: It is going to be a huge effort to get this part of Florida back to normal. Jasmine Wright from the White House, thank you so much. And what stands out to me, Amara, is that the Biden administration and FEMA are going to be very busy over the next few months because it's not just Hurricane Ian here in Florida that caused widespread damage. Remember, the administration is still responding to what Hurricane Fiona did to Puerto Rico, and that island where millions or hundreds of thousands of people are still without power even two weeks after the storm passed. Amara.

WALKER: Absolutely cannot forget Puerto Rico. Thank you so much, Boris. So, when you look at the extent of the damage, it is easy to see how Ian could become the largest natural disaster in Florida history. A research firm estimates that Ian may have caused $47 billion in insured losses. And as CNN Correspondent Marc Stewart tells us Florida homeowners, we're already facing an insurance crisis.


MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Amara, this is happening at a time when homeowners in Florida long before the storm have had to deal with an expensive marketplace for coverage. As one analyst told us, the national insurance companies may be reluctant to compete in Florida because of the risk that comes from hurricanes and tropical storms. So, how, are people getting insurance in Florida, homeowners are looking towards small in state companies at a time when six of those companies were declared insolvent even before Hurricane Ian. But it's not that simple. The cost is enormous. Just look at the numbers.

If you look at data from the Insurance Information Institute, Florida homeowners already pay nearly triple the national average for insurance. In Florida, the average price for a policy is more than $4,200 a year compared to the U.S. average of more than $1,500. There's a lot of finger-pointing taking place. We've heard from people within the insurance industry who blame Florida's tort laws for a flurry of lawsuits that are driving up costs. Yet, the group representing the state's trial lawyers have a different take pointing to a lack of regulation. Lawyers feel the state is allowing the insurers to take the lead on rates and coverage. While there are some safeguards in place in the event an insurer is declared insolvent broadly speaking, Amara, Florida homeowners could end up paying even more.


WALKER: Yes, that's terrible news for people in Florida. Marc Stewart, thank you for that. Still ahead, it was another rocky week on Wall Street and it all comes as Americans continue to get hit with high inflation's -- inflation, I should say -- is there any relief in sight?



AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Leading our top stories this morning, fresh provocation on the Korean Peninsula.

WALKER (voice-over): South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is vowing a determined and overwhelming response if North Korean leader Kim Jong- un uses nuclear weapons.

The comments coming after Pyongyang fired two ballistic missiles early Saturday, as Japan, South Korea, and the United States conduct joint military exercises in the region. But the Pentagon has said there was no immediate threat to U.S. territory.

And Congress narrowly averted a shutdown Friday after passing a stopgap bill to fund the government through mid-December. President Biden signed the legislation yesterday afternoon after 10 House Republicans joined Democrats to vote in favor of the resolution.

And the short term measure also provides around $12 billion for Ukraine as it continues to counter Russia's invasion of the country.

WALKER: September turned out to be a horrible month for stocks. The Dow fell nearly nine percent, in its worst monthly drop since March 2020 when the pandemic lock downs began here in the U.S.

WALKER (voice-over): Across the board, Friday, all three major indices ended September in the red. The NASDAQ also dropping 1.5 percent, and it has plunged almost 10 percent this month. Does investors remain nervous about the economy amid growing fears of a recession?

CNN Business correspondent Alison Kosik has more.


September is historically, one of the worst months for stocks, and September 2022 didn't fail to disappoint in that respect.


KOSIK (voice-over): The Dow officially entered a bear market earlier in the week, dropping more than 20 percent below the all-time high it set in January. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ, they've been in a bear market, plus the broader index hit a new low for the year.

The market volatility comes as investors are laser focused on the highest inflation since the 1980s. And whether the Federal Reserve containment by raising interest rates without sending the U.S. economy into a recession.

But the latest reading on inflation, the Feds preferred gauge showed it was stronger than expected in August, despite the Central Bank's aggressive moves to bring down prices.

KOSIK: The PCE, Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index rose 6.2 percent from a year ago.

KOSIK (voice-over): The latest inflation data, putting more pressure on Fed Chair Jerome Powell to get control of stubborn inflation. And the Fed's job continues to be challenging. The job market remains relatively healthy, but that's as the broader economy contracted.

We learned that the U.S. economy shrank during the second quarter of the year as it did in the first, which shows the economy contracted for the entire first half of the year.

KOSIK: The latest scorecard on the economy may reignite the debate as to whether the U.S. is already in a recession. It's commonly defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

But the group that makes the official call on this, a panel of National Bureau of Economic Research economists, they have yet to chime in. They take an array of economic indicators into consideration it can revise the data many years later. Amara?

WALKER: Alison, thank you.

And a quick programming note for you, don't forget to join CNN Fareed Zakaria as he goes inside the highest court in the land. After a recent controversial decisions here, why America is losing faith in the Supreme Court.

Fareed's new investigation, "SUPREME POWER" begins tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Back after this.



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: As much of Southwest Florida struggles to recover this morning, perhaps no area has it more difficult in the recovery than Fort Myers Beach.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Video from that region is just astounding. And Governor Ron DeSantis labelled it ground zero, after fierce winds and powerful storm surge flattened most of the island.

There was one resident whose home was destroyed by the storm that witnessed some of Ian's worst conditions. Here is what he shared with CNN's John Berman. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEVIN BEHEN, HOME WAS DESTROYED IN PORT MYERS BEACH (via telephone): They were warning everybody, this could be, you know, I mean, the worst storm ever. And then, you know, it was supposed to go toward Tampa, then, they talked about the storm surge being 18 feet.

You know, and I think a lot of people got caught off guard because the storm surge. Well, first of all, we didn't even get the eye, we got the worst end of it, and it just came on, and the storm surge kept coming.

And it got up to -- it got up to 25 feet high.

I saw it all happen. Houses are floating in the Back Bay, people are on the roofs. There is -- its -- there's a lot of lives lost here.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Yes.

BEHEN: This island -- is I couldn't even find my street where I live. I mean, that's how bad it is.

BERMAN: You know, I saw it from the air and I can't imagine what it was like to be in it as it was happening. We have a photo you took from the second floor of where you were sheltering.


BERMAN: What did you think when you saw this storm surge?

BEHEN: I was thinking, man, I tell you what I made the biggest mistake of my life, to be honest with you. But I was -- I was able to get into a solid building. I got out of my place because I knew that something was going to go wrong.

And my, a guy that I leased from, his name is Jesse (PH), he stayed in the house. And this guy, the house collapsed, and he ended up riding on the roof of his house with his dog. It was going toward the Back Bay and it crashed in the house and he jumped on a tree.

I had a friend there in a house, and he was with his wife, and it was another couple, and the storm surge came all the way up. And they had the windows were sucked out, these guys push their wives out the windows to where a tree was. And they were looking at, and the guys were holding on. And they just looked at their wives and they said we can't hold on anymore. We love you. Bye. And that was it. I mean, it's --

People were sucking air, you know, at this feelings. II mean --

BERMAN: Did -- do they all make it? Do they all make it?

BEHEN: No, no. The two guys didn't make it. The wife and the girlfriend did because they pushed them out the windows first.

BERMAN: Oh, my goodness. BEHEN: So, they just found somebody I just heard too, like three hours ago, floating out the sea.


BERMAN: Yes, are -- have you passed that on? Have you passed that onto authorities? Do they know?

BERMAN: Oh, they know. They're -- they are here right now. I just -- I just want to explain. I'm not trying to make this sound worse than anything than anybody else. Everybody is going through a real bad time now. But it's unimaginable to see 25 feet of water coming rushing through. It was like a dam broke. It was -- it was taking everything.


There is cars floating down the road. There is people, they are pulling people out of the mangroves right now. You know what I mean? They got cadaver dogs, they're down here. They are going through all the hotels, looking for everybody.

The horror stories are just incredible. A friend of mine was in a house. And these are people that we all know each other on the island. This is a small community, and everybody's just freaked out. And I'm just here just to talk to everybody, and just make sure everybody, you know, they need to talk.


BEHEN: And he said he was holding on to his best friend's hair. And the surge was like 25 feet. And his best friend said, you got to let go of on. He goes, no, he's my best friend. Let go, and he goes, no.

And it almost took him out. But he finally let go of him, and that was it. I mean, this is what happened here. I mean, it was like, you couldn't see any buildings. It was -- I don't think we're ever going to see a storm like this again, ever.

And I was -- I would say, I had a run up to the third floor, I was on the second floor, and it kept rising up. And we ran out the door went up on the third floor. And I'm thinking, if this comes up any higher, we're going to be on the roof.


BEHEN: You know what I mean? The track of a hurricane. And what they need to do now they need to take a Cat 5, which is supposed to be 158 miles an hour, and they need to turn that into a 100 -- and drop the miles on 155.

And they need to tell people, if you don't leave, you will die. That's it. I mean, people need to get out, you know what I mean? They need to get out. And I was fortunate enough to get into a solid building. And what I saw is just heartbreaking.

BERMAN: Yes. BEHEN: And in all the friends that I lost and everybody else, the stories are horrific. It's a nightmare. This island is destroyed. Its -- they're going to tear down everything that was dealt with wood. Everything, they're tearing everything down. There is -- there is nothing left.


SANCHEZ: Unimaginable, the word used by Kevin as he was sharing that heart wrenching story with CNN.

One of many stories we're hearing across southwest Florida as this region is starting to pick up the pieces from the devastation left behind by Hurricane Ian.

We're going to take a quick break. And when we come back on NEW DAY, we'll share more of those stories and give you updates on where things stand as far as search and recovery goes.

Stay with CNN. We'll be right back.



WALKER: To Afghanistan now, and a deadly suicide bomb attack on an education center in Kabul. At least 25 people were killed and dozens more wounded. Many of the victims were believed to be young women.

The Taliban condemned the attack, but since its forces take control of the country, there have been multiple attacks on this same community. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz has more.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): A place of learning turned into a scene of carnage.

This is the aftermath of a suicide bombing on an education center in Kabul. Students were taking a practice university entrance exam, when at around 7:30 a.m., local time, a blast ripped through the classroom, killing and wounding dozens.

I saw so many pieces of flesh in the air, this eyewitness said. People were so panicked, some were injured and some were crying. I wanted to help them. I helped to carry some of the dead bodies.

The private center serves young women and men dreaming of going to college. But eyewitnesses say most of the victims were female.

The blast happened right between where the girls receded, he says. The girls were sitting at the front row and the boys we were sitting behind them.

UNICEF called the attack, unacceptable and urged all parties to respect education. "Children and adolescents are not, and must never be, the target of violence," it said. The bombing took place in a predominantly Hazara neighborhood, a minority group that has been targeted by extremists, including ISIS. The Taliban government has done little to protect the persecuted community, according to Human Rights Watch.

A Taliban spokesperson condemned the attack, saying authorities will find and punish the perpetrators. But since the group's takeover of Afghanistan over a year ago, the security situation appears to be deteriorating. And under its rule, life for women and girls grows bleaker.

The Taliban have banned girls from attending public secondary school, that sixth grade and above. All, but denying them a future. And for the few that still have access to education, just studying for an exam can cost a girl her life.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.



WALKER: A promising update from the Miami Dolphins' quarterback after he was taken off the field on a stretcher Thursday night with a head injury. Andy Scholes joining us now with the latest. Andy?


So, there are a lot of questions about how Tua Tagoovailoa's injuries have been handled over the last week. And the NFL and the Players Association, they want answers.

Now, Tua have did not speak with the media yesterday.

SCHOLES (voice-over): But he did tweet this out, saying in part, "I am feeling much better and focused on recovering so I can get back out on the field with my teammates."

Now, Tua continues to undergo tests after he was diagnosed with a concussion after hitting his head on the turf, Thursday night. It was certainly a frightening scene as his hands just seized up after that hit.

Many are questioning, whether to or should have even been playing since five days earlier against the Bills, he stumbled after getting up from a similar blow to the head.

Now, the team cleared him to go back into that game and said he did not have a head injury.

And Coach Mike McDaniel saying again yesterday that the team handled everything with Tua correctly, heading into Thursday night's game.

The NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills telling our Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the league will be looking at how this was handled.


DR. ALLEN SILLS, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE: Make no mistake about it, we will get this right. We will get this right in the sense of going back and reviewing very carefully all of the steps that led to the sequence of events that you described.

We will also take a very critical look at our own protocols and these definitions and the points that you mentioned. And we'll be very transparent about the outcome of that.


SCHOLES: All right. In baseball, Seattle, ending the longest playoff drought in professional sports last night. Bottom nine, two outs, three, two count, Cal Raleigh cranks this one. And ones it goes fare, the crowd is going absolutely nuts.

Raleigh, whose nickname is "Big Dumper" is the first player in Major League Baseball history to hit a pinch hit, walk off, home run, to clinch a playoff spot for his team. The Mariners have not been to the playoffs since 2001.

So, Amara, think about that.

SCHOLES: All the kids, even if you -- even if you're in college and you're from Seattle, you've never seen your team in the playoffs. So, congrats to everyone there. Fun times in Seattle last night.