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New Day Sunday
Florida Towns Reeling From Ian's Devastation; Ian Weakens Over Mid-Atlantic States; Police: 131 People Dead in Violence at Indonesia Soccer Match; Search and Rescue Teams Look for Survivors in Ian's Wreckage; Russian Forces Retreat from Key City Putin Claimed to Annex; U.S. Mortgage Rates Surge to 6.7 Percent, Highest Level Since July 2007. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired October 02, 2022 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Boris Sanchez coming to you live from Fort Myers in southwest Florida, where nearly five days after Hurricane Ian made landfall, the death toll continue it is climb. Hundreds of thousands of people remain in the dark without electricity as some communities are now essentially unrecognizable. This morning, we have the very latest on rescue and recovery efforts taking place as President Biden prepares to tour the damage here firsthand.
AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good to be with you, Boris. And I'm Amara Walker in Atlanta.
We're also following a developing story overseas. More than 100 people are dead after violence erupts at a soccer stadium in Indonesia. We're learning about what started the deadly chaos.
Plus, Ukrainian forces make critical gains, recapturing a critical city just a day after Russia tried to claim the territory for itself.
And mortgage rates climbing to their highest level in 15 years. What that means for home buyers should be doing amid soaring inflation.
NEW DAY starts right now.
WALKER: Good morning, everyone. It is Sunday, October 2nd. Thank you so much for spending a part of your morning with us.
And, Boris, I know you have had quite an event full morning already.
SANCHEZ: Yeah, Amara. It has been quite eventful in just being able to come live to you. There have been issues with our signal, there have been issues with access as certain areas are still being evacuated and officials are moving in and out. Obviously, a difficult process as the clean up effort is under way here in Florida following Hurricane Ian.
WALKER: Well, we'll glad we had your signal and we're glad you are there on the ground.
And we will begin with the clean up efforts under way in Florida where Hurricane Ian left a path of disruption across the streets. At least 66 people have died and that number is expected to rise as rescue crews gain access to more coastal communities.
Many of the deaths have been reported in Lee County, which includes Fort Myers and Cape Coral. Meanwhile, nearly 900,000 people are still without power. Authorities say it could be weeks before his were stored.
SANCHEZ: As you can tell from some of his footage, Ian is expected to be the most expensive storm in Florida's history. The storm destroyed part of a causeway linking Sanibel and Captiva Islands to the mainland. Those islands are just a few miles from where we are right now. And people living there have been stranded there in desperate need of help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICKEY ANDERSON, SANIBEL ISLAND, FLORIDA RESIDENT: Can we get some help down here? Would that be too much to ask? Look around here, there's nothing. We have no, power no phone service, no nothing. So, we just need a little help to get my home back in shape because we have nowhere to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: As you listen to that emotional words, remember the hurricane hit on Wednesday. These folks now gone several days, many of them without basic necessities. Emergency crews have been going to the worst hit areas, trying to find survivors and bring them to safety.
So far, more than 1,000 people have been rescued and evacuated. In the meantime, President Biden is expected to tour some of the heavily damaged areas in southwest Florida on Wednesday, after pledging federal support for the state.
I do want to bring you up to speed with where we are now. This is a marina just a few miles away from Fort Myers Beach. One of the hardest hit areas. We've been showing you aerial footage from Fort Myers, Beach. It essentially looks like the ocean wash chunks of that city away.
That is just one portion of this area of Florida. That has been decimated by Hurricane Ian. What we are looking at now is just a few hundred feet dirt further down the road from where I am. You can see behind, me commercial fishing charter vessel, and there are boats just strewn across the highways here.
I counted no less than a half dozen stretch of a mile from where we are standing right now. And across the street from where I am is actually the Carlos RV resort and marina. I want to take that picture, now because it is essentially a plane. It is empty. No one appears to be still there after the hurricane swept.
I'm not sure for able to get that signal or not. But it is quite an image to just see nothing but metal and trees and breather cross the field. For folks use to make their home and spend their vacations and enjoy the memories that the southwest can offer. Of all the wonderful things about this community, so much right now is rubble just left behind.
CNN has team coverage tracking all the developments in the recovery of Hurricane Ian this morning. Jasmine Wright is standing by for us, live at the White House, to talk about President Biden's visit later this week.
But I want to start with Nadia Romero. She's live for us in Arcadia, Florida, not far from where Hurricane Ian made landfall.
And, Nadia, you are standing by a highway yesterday, which looks more like a river. Vital roads and highways and its communities have been caught in the storms. This is what the situation is largely the same where you are this morning.
NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it really is, Boris. And then as we are so unfortunate. The storm hidden winds nip it in on day for many people not having access because this is Highway 70 right here and as you see it extends and then just stops.
We hit what is the remnants of the Peace River. This river should only be about 6 to 7 feet high. It is four times as high now, covering this highway further down, covering two bridges as well that connects Arcadia throughout this town. And you should be able to take the same road, Highway 70, to get to Palm Beach. And to make your way to Fort Myers. Now, you can't without a boat.
So, on the left side of your screen, you are looking at the Peace River campground, and in the water those are RVs. Those are big campers that people would normally used to recreate, have fun, enjoy the beautiful for the weather here in southwest Florida. Not the case right now as they are just floating, lying in that water due to the storm.
You can see, also, on the right side of your screen in the distance, there's a gas station back there the national guard told us that there is water up to the roof of that convenience store. But on the other side of all of this water, that's where you are going to find a town, the shops, businesses, restaurants, where people enjoy themselves. So, in order to get, there you have to take about.
I want you to hear what it's been like for those from the national guard and for private citizens who have been using boats to try to get resources back and forth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPTAIN RYAN SULLIVAN, FLORIDA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD, 53RD INFANTRY BRIGADE: We're going to run this as long as we can. Make sure that resources are still in bound to help these people, that's exactly why we are here.
BLAINE WALKER, AIR BOAT CAPTAIN: Across a lot of water, stuff like that. After that we mostly just people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMERO: So that white truck you see there in the water, the locals here tell me that was the last person you tried to, past did not quite make it had to jump out of truck and swim to safety. The sign right in front, you can now see the red arrow. That red arrow was underwater just yesterday. So, that is an indication that the water is starting to receded, but ever so slightly.
A lot more needs to happen before this road becomes passable again. At this point, Boris, I'm just trying to get basic supplies, food, pet food, water, MREs, back and forth. They're also transporting people back and forth, and there is a huge effort. The county emergency management teams, the National Guard, the Salvation Army, all of the above, trying to make sure that people have the basics that they need right now -- Boris.
SANCHEZ: It is an enormous operation, Nadia, and we are grateful for the work of first responders and emergency teams responding to all of that need. Nadia Romero from Arcadia, Florida, thank you so much.
Let's take you to White House now and Jasmine Wright, who is reporting on President Biden's visit to Florida this week. It's actually going to be busy week of travel for President Biden because on Monday, he's going to actually going to visit Puerto Rico, which is still recovering after Hurricane Fiona hit that area.
And, then just a couple of days after that, the president expected here in Florida to tour the damage.
Jasmine, what can you tell us? What are we anticipating for his visit?
JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Boris, a lot of consideration goes into these trips when the president goes to natural disaster damage survey, what has been done, of course, because not only does he bring a large footprint with him with the Secret Service, but also, local officials are redirected to go protect the president, tour him -- tour with him around when they could have been doing other things possibly with rescue and recovery efforts.
So, that is something that has always on President Biden's mind he said, when he goes into the timing of these visits. But, of course, last night, they announced that he would go on Monday to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona. And, then on Wednesday, to Florida from Hurricane Ian, both trips with the first lady to survey the damage of what has happened.
Now, last night, before the announcement came out, the president gave him his well-wishes to both places, Puerto Rico and Florida, at the Congressional Black Caucus dinner, saying that his administration will do whatever it takes to help with recovery and rescue efforts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our hearts, to state the obviously, you can't go without saying our heavy. The devastating hurricane, storms in Puerto Rico, Florida, and South Carolina. And we owe Puerto Rico a hell of a lot more than they've already gotten. My administration is working closely with CBC members to do whatever it takes, whatever it takes, to help search and rescue, recovery and rebuilding. It's going to take a long time so we cannot tire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WRIGHT: So earlier on Saturday, we know that the president received a briefing on hurricane Ian, really focused in Florida about the power and water restoration and more about damage reports in South Carolina where Hurricane Ian continues to travel up the east coast.
So no doubt we are likely to see the president meet with local officials. We know just over the course of the week that he had three separate conversations with Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, though no official word yet from the White House as whether or not they will be meeting -- Boris.
SANCHEZ: Yeah, no question that will be an encounter if it does happen that will be watched very closely. Jasmine Wright, live for us from the White House. Thank you so much.
Experts are estimating that Hurricane Ian caused as much as $47 billion worth of damage and this morning we're seeing some really astounding before-and-after images from the storm that we want to share with you.
This is from Fort Myers beach. This is just a couple miles, maybe less than a couple miles down the road from where we're standing right now. On the left-hand side a thriving beach community and on the right empty lots where buildings once food, where an economy thrived, where families like mine came to vacation and made memories.
Here's a look at Sanibel Island where my folks, my mom and my sister spent a good part of the summer. They are cut off from the mainland in Sanibel right now, where a bridge that connected the mainland to this island was cut off and you see a thriving community on your left and just decimation on your right.
It is only accessible right now by boat or helicopter. So many homes and businesses have been swept away all across the region and, again, an early estimate for how much was lost financially, $47 billion.
It would make it the most expensive storm in state history. That is, of course, noting the loss of life, at least 66 people killed because of this storm and potentially more as search and rescue efforts now continue.
We want to bring in lee county commissioner and former mayor of Sanibel Island, Kevin Ruane joining us this morning. Sir, we're grateful to have you. We know it has been a stressful time.
We appreciate you sharing your message of support to the community and for you updating the folks that are here on the work that's being done. Can you give us an update on what you're seeing and how things are looking?
COMMISSIONER KEVIN RUANE, LEE COUNTY, FLORIDA: Sure. So, obviously, the storm passed us by and we have got on Thursday. We have search and rescue, continuing to try to get to the community. We opened up eight pod stations yesterday where food, MRE and aids can be distributed.
We continue to (AUDIO GAP) not only the federal government, the state, the regional and local governments are all trying to help. We're going to get the infrastructure needs of the community has and the company does not have.
So we are looking at roads. We're looking at sewer. We're looking at water. We're looking at power. We are trying to do intervention with Wi-Fi so people can communicate with their loved ones.
SANCHEZ: And, Commissioner, what are the biggest challenges that you're facing? Because I imagine that as things start to evolve and desperation grows, there might be some new challenges that you're confronted with days after the storm hit that perhaps, you weren't dealing with just 24, 48 hours ago.
RUANE: Obviously, now, we are now in the recovery stage and the rebuilding stage. So, that's a different stage. We protected and rescued so many people. I think it's important to recognize the efforts and the -- I cannot stress this enough, just all the partners, all the effort at the federal level helping us to the.
The rebuilding phase is going to take a long time. We recognize that. And, obviously, you're at ground zero of the storm, the decimation of Fort Myers Beach. The mayor of Sanibel, the bridge to Sanibel, we work very closely with these beach communities, trying to help and do exactly we can for our communities.
SANCHEZ: And, Commissioner, I wanted to give you an opportunity to respond to some reporting that's in "The New York Times" that indicates that officials in Lee County delayed issuing evacuation orders, that apparently there were indications there would be a storm surge of six feet or higher, 40 percent for that storm surge to hit on Sunday night but officials waited until Tuesday to issue evacuation orders. I'm hoping you can respond to that reporting.
RUANE: Sure. They actually called me. "The New York Times" had one of the six models that went through the storm of 40 percent probability, that is what they are hanging their story on. It was inaccurate. We've done everything we can from using state resources, federal resources, to make the necessary arrangements that we have.
The other thing that people have to understand is a government has many levels and many stops with it. So, the school board actually is responsible for the assets where the actual shelters are.
I think the most important thing that most people need to understand is we opened up 15 shelters. During Irma, there were 60,000 people in the shelters. There's 4,000 people in the shelters right now.
So, I'm not necessarily of the believe that if you've opened up shelters the day before, that number would've grown much because each shelter can hold in excess of 3,000 people. We had 250 people each shelter.
SANCHEZ: And we should obviously note that this storm took an eastward shift a little bit later than folks expected. And it intensified very quickly going to a near category five strength at the last minute. So, I heard from a couple of folks in Fort Myers yesterday who said they would've left sooner but they felt it was too late for them to go once the storm came in.
Do you think the county did enough to make sure that people could get out in time?
RUANE: Absolutely. We started to strongly suggest that they leave obviously and anytime where there's a possibility to do this. We are no strangers to storms. We've seen them all. We continue to remind people.
I think people got complacent because we have never had a storm surge in all the storms going back to Hurricane Donna, that they actually have been accurate in any forecasts and models. So, unfortunately people did get complacent.
As far as I'm concerned, the shelters were open. They had the ability. They had all day Tuesday. They had a good part of the day Wednesday as the storm was coming down. They have the ability to do so. And as you indicated the model change dramatically both Monday night, you know, at 11:00, and then Tuesday morning at 5:00.
And soon as we felt the model shift northeast, we did exactly what we could and encourage people to do so. I'm disappointed that so many people didn't go to shelters because they're opened and we had more than our share of capacity.
SANCHEZ: Commissioner Kevin Ruane, we have to leave the conversation there. We appreciate the work you are doing now to help these folks who are in desperate need. Thank you, sir.
RUANE: Can I ask one thing?
RUANE: If people who want to help, go to United Way, go to Salvation Army and donate, really go a long way. Both are on websites, whatever you could possibly do to that. These communities need to come together, but we need everyone in the United States to help.
SANCHEZ: Absolutely, we will make sure that that message gets out. Commissioner Kevin Ruane, thank you again for the time. And as the
commissioner noted, there are a lot of folks here in southwest Florida that need assistance right now. If you are in a position to lend a helping hand, we want to empower you to do that. So, for more information on how you can help the victims of hurricane Ian, you can go to CNN.com/impact. There are links there to verified organizations that do important work
And, Amara, as we send it back to you in Atlanta, just hearing some of the emotional stories from Sanibel Island and communities not far from where we're standing, the need isn't going to go away anytime soon. So, any donation, any contribution to this area will be dearly appreciated.
WALKER: Appreciate that, of course, Boris. Thank you.
And while Ian has moved north, some states are still facing flood advisories.
Let's talk more about that with meteorologist Britley Ritz -- Britley.
BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Amara.
Yes, we are still dealing with heavy rain across the Virginia this morning. Heavy rain off the coastline right now, but a lot of this will build back and push on to the shorelines. And the rain is not over yet. It's just catching a break this morning before built back up over the afternoon and evening.
Many along the coastline are under some sort of coastal flood advisory or warning advisories from Long Island, all the way down into parts of Delaware and Maryland. So, we're over a foot of inundation is expected because this water is getting pushed back up on the shore. Coastal flood warnings, they begin tomorrow and run through Wednesday, 2 to 4 feet of inundation possibility from the Jersey Shore down into Norfolk Virginia.
And again, we mentioned that heavier rain building back later tonight. Anywhere from the jersey coastline back in the Delaware, we could pick up another 2 to 4 inches of rain, Amara.
WALKER: All right. Britley Ritz, thank you.
And still ahead, violence breaks out at a soccer game leaving more than 100 people dead. We're going to tell you where it happened and how it all unfolded next.
WALKER: Seven Americans detained in Venezuela for years are now returning home after a prisoner swap on Saturday. The group of Americans were freed in exchange for two family members of Venezuela's first lady.
The man, known as the narco nephews were serving 18 year services in federal prison for conspiring to smuggle more than 800 kilograms of cocaine into the United States. Officials say the swap was a tough and painful decision for President Biden.
One of the world's deadliest stadium disasters unfolding right now in Indonesia. Police say at least 131 people are dead in the violence and chaos that erupted following a soccer match, 180 people were injured.
Authorities say it started when it started when fans from the losing team stormed the field and anger. And then police responded by firing tear gas, which in turn triggered a stampede.
CNN international correspondent Will Ripley joining us now with more on this tragedy.
All right. Talk to us about how this unfolded and you're talking about that there was only one exit?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, what happened, there were multiple exits. This is a huge stadium with a capacity of around 40,000, they sold 42,000 tickets.
One of the officials in Indonesia, the chief of security, said that in fact they should have only sold 38,000 tickets. It might have been over packed. But there was one particular area where fans in the lower stands after their home team lost they rushed out onto the soccer field. They started hurling objects that the opposing team.
And so, police, who should be changed for this kind of thing, I mean, they have riot gear. They started firing tear gas at the lower stands to stop people from running onto the field. But in stadiums, tear gas is actually banned by soccer's global governing association, FIFA, because it can rise up if there is an updraft. And that's exactly what happened.
So, the tear gas, you can see in the video, it went from the lower stands to the upper stands. People with children, families, people panicked, Amara.
And in this one section, a lot of people ran for one exit. And that's how the stampede happened. Dozens of people were killed instantly. Others died on the way to the hospital. The number of dead is expected to get continue in the coming hours because of how horrific a lot of these injuries.
WALKER: Horrific story indeed, Will Ripley, thank you.
And a search and rescue efforts continue in Florida. We're going to speak to a doctor that's part of the medical rescue team, focused on some of the hardest hit areas. What he's seeing, next.
[07:32:06] SANCHEZ: Back here live in Florida, search and rescue crews are sifting through Hurricane Ian's wreckage to look for any remaining signs of life. The U.S. Coast Guard say they plan to evacuate residents off of Pine Island here in hard hit Lee County today. Already, according to Governor Ron DeSantis, more than 1,000 rescues have taken place across the state of Florida.
We want to bring in Dr. Ben Abo now. He's a medical doctor -- medical director for one of the groups assisting in this effort.
Doctor, we appreciate you sharing part of your morning with us. We know it's going to be a busy day for you because you're supposed to head out to Sanibel Island to assist in the ever. What are your priorities when you're out there? What are you hoping to do?
DR. BEN ABO, EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES PHYSICIAN: Thank you for having me.
Yeah, my team, the Florida Task Force 1, we are covering the islands of Sanibel, Captiva and Pine Island. I personally would be over back in Pine Island.
And our primary efforts are search, rescue and evacuation. So, whether they have two legs or four legs, so people and their animals, their pets, quick belongings, we are taking care of getting them out. We are directly working with the Coast Guard there helping by some boats, but we're directly also coordinating things with the National Guard as you can see behind me as we're helicoptering in and doing our grid searches and everything.
We're doing what's called a hasty search so we can quick door to door and cover as much ground as possible and help people get out. We're also working with my fire department, Fire Island Fire Department, Sanibel Fire and Rescue, Captive Fire and Rescue, and I also happened to be medical director, so this is home for me working with them.
So if people need help, they can't walk and need wheelchairs, we're also able to get to them and get them out safely.
SANCHEZ: Doctor, you mentioned this is home for you. What does it feel like to see your home decimated?
ABO: I lost you there but, yeah, this is home for me. I'm the medical director. A lot of these fire departments here in the county and I live right on the border of Lee County. So, these departments, just like these municipalities, are absolutely hard hit and they're doing amazing work that actually literally brings tears to my eye to see how hard they're working.
SANCHEZ: And under excruciating circumstances because resources in many areas are scarce and it's hot out and folks are trying to make magic with what they have available. I think we had a connection difficulty there. I'm wondering how it makes you feel to see your home reduced the way it was by hurricane Ian.
[07:35:06] That has to hurt.
ABO: This is -- yeah, it's honestly pulls the string of my heart and it's tearful. I'll be honest, I had some crying moments just to help relieve some stress that I feel with my fire chiefs and firefighters.
You know, some of the guys on Pine Island, they lost everything but they're doing what they can. And to be on the ground, paradise island where people live and where people vacation, to see what it's reduced to is absolutely heart breaking.
SANCHEZ: Yeah, it takes a special kind of person to watch their home get destroyed and still go out there and help others. That resolve, that heroism, that bravery is very much appreciated at such a difficult time for Florida.
Dr. Ben Abo, we appreciate you sharing part of your day with us. Good luck out there today. Let you know what we can do to assist in your work.
ABO: Thank you, I appreciate it. Send whatever support you can to the people as we get them off the island safely. If anyone has any contacts with people that are still on the islands, I really suggest that they go.
SANCHEZ: That is a great idea. Thank you so much, Doctor. We appreciate it.
Stay with CNN. We'll be right back.
WALKER: Russian troops retreat from a key Ukrainian city that Vladimir Putin had claimed to annex. Ukrainian forces raised their country's flag over the city of Lyman after Russian forces withdrew. This is Ukraine's most significant gain since its successful counteroffensive in Kharkiv region last month. Now, Russian forces retreated after they were encircled by Ukrainian troops.
For more on this major development and what it means, let's bring in CNN political and national security analyst David Sanger. He is also White House and national security correspondent for "The New York Times."
Good morning, David.
So, Lyman is a city in Donetsk, one of the four regions that Putin claimed is now part of Russia. Well, Putin clearly doesn't have control over some of the areas that he claimed to annex. What's going on here?
DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, that was true even when he annexed it. And I think what we're beginning to discover is that the annexation was more a political move than any reflection of actual Russian control.
The issues that he's had with his conventional military, the inaccuracy of some of their precision weapons or non-precision weapons, their difficulty in getting just enough troops to hold the territory were true before the sham vote was taken and they're true now.
But the reason that's a bigger concern to many American officials is that it's likely to push Putin into greater dependency on his conventional weapons and to accelerating his nuclear threats than if he was actually succeeding on the ground, because he doesn't have a whole left on the ground.
WALKER: What about public support? I mean, if this is a political move, is this a way to shore up support from the Russian people? Because as we saw in 2014 with Crimea, that led to sky high approval ratings for Putin.
SANGER: Those did leave to sky high approval ratings for Putin. But the thing about Crimea is it was an extremely brief conflict, right? He was successful almost right away. He then moved to the same kind of annexation vote that you just saw a few days ago, had the same predictable outcome, but he didn't have any military problems that were exposed there.
Think about what's happened now. The leader of the Chechen republic, a very pro-Putin hardliner who was placed in by his government called yesterday publicly for Putin to think about the use of low-yield nuclear weapons to make up for their failures on the ground. That's the first we ever heard a major leader within Putin's sphere actually publicly called for that kind of use.
WALKER: So, I guess what's the West thinking right now? What's the calculus? Because it seems it's continually on a reactive footing, especially as the world watches Putin and wonders if he's being put in a corner and may make good on his threats of using nuclear weapons.
SANGER: So, they still think that the change that he will reach for a nuclear weapon are fairly low, but they are higher than they were at the beginning of the war, at the end of February and March because at that time, it seems like he could rely on his troops and every predicted, myself included, that Putin's troop will perform much better in taking Ukraine, that it would look more like Crimea did in 2014.
Now, now that Ukrainians have been surprisingly successful in the retaking of man and they're going to run into difficulties of their own for sure, I think there is a concern about leaving Putin some way to de-escalate.
And right now, it's a little bit of a mystery about what that would be because his speech the other day seemed to be if anything a doubling down on his resolve to continue the war, no matter how disastrous it may be for his troops, his people are risky perhaps to his own political future.
WALKER: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, David Sanger, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much for that.
SANGER: Great to be with you.
WALKER: All right. Coming up, mortgage rates hit their highest level in 15 years and more and more Americans are finding out -- finding it's out of reach to even buy a home. So, could rates rise again? We'll talk about that, next.
WALKER: This week, U.S. mortgage rates reached their highest levels in 15 years as the Federal Reserve continues to fight rising inflation. Average rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage hit 6.7 percent, according to Freddie Mac, making homeownership increasingly out of reach for so many Americans.
Here to discuss this with me is Catherine Rampell, a CNN economics and political commentator, and opinion columnist for "The Washington Post."
Good morning, Catherine.
You know, I have a lot of friends who have been in the market. They are sitting tight and wondering what they're supposed to do. I mean, what does this mean for home buyers and those trying to sell?
CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, if you are a home buyer, the amount of house that you can afford today has unfortunately gotten much smaller than was the case a year or so ago or even earlier this year. I mean, think about it kind of in these terms. So, if you are budgeting for a $2,000, let's say, monthly mortgage payment, at 3 percent interest rate you could afford a $600,000 house. Today, you can afford more like a $390,000 house.
So, it just means that the cost to finance a home has gotten more expensive that the amount of house you can actually purchase has unfortunately gone down.
WALKER: Okay. This is all part of the fed's efforts to bring down inflation, right? You have to hurt the economy, at least in the short term, to help the economy in the long run. So, we are expecting mortgage rates, I guess, to rise even higher.
How long until we will see inflation start to go down in terms of food prices and gas?
RAMPELL: Well, gas prices, fortunately, have already come down some. So, that's a good thing. Food prices, unfortunately, not looking so great.
The challenge for the Fed is that they have this one blunt instrument, which is raising interest rates, raising the cost of borrowing, not just for home, for credit card debt, for car payments, car loans, et cetera.
And so, that can only do so much. That can cool demand. That's what they're trying to do. Try to get consumers essentially to pull back. Maybe fewer people will want to buy houses or go out and buy a car and that sort of thing. But it can't actually fix all the supply chain problems we have in the economy.
So, unfortunately, the fed's policy, you know, while it is tightening financial conditions and while it does seem like some of the indicators are moving in the right direction, it can't fix all of the problems that we have right now.
WALKER: And we keep hearing the question, you know, are we headed for a recession? A lot of analysts saying, yes, it looks like we are headed for a global recession.
What would that look like? Because, you know, a lot of Americans you talk to, we feel like we all have less money in our pockets today. A lot of people are feeling uneasy.
So, what would a recession mean in effect?
RAMPELL: Well, a recession generally means that the economy is shrinking. It's turning south, rather than continuing to expand. It's declining. What that means in practice often is that people lose their jobs or they lose some hours of work, for example. Businesses cut back on investments and on spending. Consumers cut back on how much they spend.
So, there are a lot of ways in which that can mean pain for Americans. The question is, how deeper recession we might have. You know, I think a lot of people are not predicting one nearly as bad as the great recession, which was the end of 2007.
So, hopefully, it's something shallower, if we have it. I don't think it's inevitable, I should say. But it does look like the economic outlook has darkened in the United States and around the world.
WALKER: So, how close are we to a recession? I know that's a hard thing to answer, and you don't have a crystal ball. But look into it and tell me what you see.
RAMPELL: You know, if I knew the answer to that question, I would be a very rich woman.
I will say that -- I will say that if you look at forecasts from a lot of major international institutions like IMF, the OECD, the World Bank and elsewhere, these are big in institutions, they have said that they think that the chances of a global recession have risen. And that is partly -- again, not definite but more likely.
That's partly because you do see financial conditions tightening around the world. It's not just the Fed that's raising interest rates. Central banks around the world are raising interest rates for the same reason. You still have a lot of disruptions in commodity markets. All of those things together increased the chances of a downtown unfortunately.
WALKER: Well, unfortunately, we have to leave it there on that note. Catherine Rampell, thank you for your time.
RAMPELL: Thank you.
WALKER: And thank you all for starting your morning with us.
And, Boris, we know it's going to be another tough day for the people of Florida.
SANCHEZ: A tough day, Amara, and a difficult future. It's hard to look at some of these images of devastation in southwest Florida and central Florida and imagine that this recovery is going to be expedited. Entire communities were wiped off the map. It's difficult to communicate how widespread the devastation is.
It's hard to imagine this area getting back on its feet quickly. I think the difficult thing, especially in this day and age, is thinking about the future for this part of Florida.
Things were vibrant in this community before the storm. It's hard to imagine it going back to that knowing, Amara, that these storms, these hurricanes, according to climate scientists, are going to continue getting worse for an area that's essentially at sea level. It's heartbreaking and concerning to say the least, Amara.
WALKER: Yeah. Future unclear at this time.
Boris, thank you for that.
And we will, of course, have continuing coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.