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CNN Live Event/Special
We Love New York City: The Homecoming Concert."; We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert; New York and Connecticut under State of Emergency; Crowds Asked to Leave Central Park Due to Weather. Aired 7- 8p ET
Aired August 21, 2021 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": I'm Stephen Colbert, and it is an honor to be here with you tonight on the Great Lawn.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
COLBERT: You know, over the last 18 months of the pandemic, this crisis, we've all learned a lot. And if there's one thing that I learned during the COVID crisis, it's back at the beginning, back in March of 2020, it's that owning a tiger sanctuary is way more complicated and far more common than I imagined.
But if there are two things that I learned is that it is a privilege to live any part of your life in New York City.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
COLBERT: The greatest city in the world. It's a privilege to go through this with New Yorkers in good times or bad, and that I live a life of privilege. It is a privilege to do my job. It is a privilege to work on Broadway. It is a privilege to broadcast from the historic Ed Sullivan Theater, but perhaps one of the greatest privileges is to share the stage every night with our next performer.
He is an Oscar winner, he is a joy machine, and he is one way gone cat. And it is now my privilege to introduce a proud New Yorker by way of Kenner, Louisiana, Mr. Jon Batiste.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
COLBERT: How are you, Jon? How are you?
JON BATISTE, MUSICIAN: I'm feeling real good.
COLBERT: You feeling free?
BATISTE: I'm feeling so free.
BATISTE: Yes. Hello, New York.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(JON BATISTE PERFORMS "FREEDOM")
BATISTE: Hold on. Hold on, hold on. We only got one life. We only got one life to live. And a lot of love to give. I want to see everybody on the Great Lawn.
Everybody at home, watching on your iPhone, your iPad, in your living room, in your bathroom. Everybody, get free. On the count of three, one, two, three.
(JON BATISTE CONTINUES TO PERFORM "FREEDOM")
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
BATISTE: We're going to make it.
ANNOUNCER: Coming up, Earth, Wind, and Fire. And later, Polo G, Cynthia Erivo, and Bruce Springsteen.
CHAR METEOROLOGIST, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm meteorologist Chad Myers here taking a look at the latest on Henri. There's a hurricane hunter aircraft in it right now finding the pressure a little bit lower which means it's still getting stronger. And it's still forecast to be an 80 mile-per-hour storm after midnight. Possibly getting a little bit less as it gets up toward Long Island, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
One thing it's doing right now is sending an outer band toward New York City. And we don't want this. We don't want the place to get wet. But so far, no lightning. That's the great news. Now back to Central Park, your concert.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New York City, please welcome the mayor, our mayor, the honorable Bill de Blasio and first lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY: Everybody, this is the greatest concert in the history of New York City. You all there, I want you to thank Clive Davis. I want you to thank Clive Davis who made this possible. Clive Davis, the people put together this great lineup. Let's thank Clive Davis and all the people who made this possible.
Let's thank these amazing performers who love New York City. Let's thank the frontline workers of New York City who brought us back. New York City fought our way back through COVID because of our essential workers and everybody. 75 percent of all New Yorkers vaccinated now. Amazing.
Now coming up, we have amazing performers coming up in a little bit. A performer 26 number-one hits, 12 Grammy Awards. The legendary Baby Face is coming up, everybody. Four-time Grammy-nominated rising star Lucky Daye is coming up, everybody.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
DE BLASIO: And in a moment right here on this stage, multiple Grammy Award winners including Lifetime Achievement Grammy, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and NAACP Image Award Hall of Famers. They are amazing. And you're about to see them, and I have to tell you, Chirlane and I played one of their songs at the first dance at our wedding when we were married.
CHIRLANE MCCRAY, FIRST LADY OF NEW YORK CITY: You remembered, Bill. It was Earth, Wind, And Fire,
DE BLASIO: Earth, wind, and fire, everybody.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we love you back.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love New York. Make some noise out there.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's some love from Kenny, Baby Face, Edmond and the fantastic Lucky Daye. Come on, you all. Give that swinging arm. Come on and get that swinging arm.
(EARTH, WIND & FIRE FEATURING LUCKY DAYE PERFORM "YOU WANT MY LOVE")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give me some love, you all. Lucky Daye, let him hear you. Now we knew that we could not come to New York City and not do this one. Let's kick it off.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(EARTH, WIND & FIRE PERFORMS "SEPTEMBER")
DJ CASSIDY, HOST: All right, party people. Although the weather has helped us out most of the night, it looks like there's some rain heading our way. So at this point, if you brought a poncho, you might want to have it handy. From what I'm hearing it may rain for a while. But right now, we're continuing with the show.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
DJ CASSIDY: If anything changes, we'll let you know, but may the party continue.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, executive producers from Live Nation, Geoffrey Gordon and Jason Miller.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
GEOFFREY GORDON, LIVE NATION: Hello, people.
JASON MILLER, LIVE NATION: New York City.
GORDON: You guys are way -- come on, a little rain, a little sunshine right now. From all of us from Live Nation, we thank you so much for the 35,000 shows we do worldwide and the 2,000 shows we do here in New York and surrounding areas. Thank you. This next young man coming to the stage may very well be the future of hip-hop -- no, I say he is.
MILLER: In his short career he's already charted over 35 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 hitting number one with his latest song "Rap Star" which already has over 100 million views on YouTube, most of which by my sons Sam and Oliver, my fiancee Amy.
GORDON: I got to tell you, I got some good dad points for my son Justin because I'm introducing this guy. Here we go. New York City, you ready?
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
GORDON: You want to see the future of hip-hop? You want to see -- ladies and gentlemen Polo G.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New York City, make some noise.
(POLO G PERFORMS "RAPSTAR")
POLO G, RAPPER: Hey, New York, you got a beautiful crowd out there. I appreciate you guys. Support me.
DJ CASSIDY: Make some love for Polo G one time, make some noise.
ANNOUNCER: Coming up, Barry Manilow, and later, Maluma, Elvis Costello, and The Killers.
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm CNN meteorologist, Chad Myers taking a look at Henri. Hurricane hunter aircraft flying through it, finding a slightly stronger storm, but there's something else that worries us about this, storm surge, the wind and the very wet dirt out there, mud out there. Trees are going to be coming down.
Connecticut saying maybe half of their customers may be without power by the end of this. We're watching storms headed toward New York City. A little bit of thunder, a little bit of lightning. We can take the rain, we don't want the lightning at all here.
Now back to Central Park.
ANNOUNCER: New York City, please welcome back, Don Lemon.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, New York City. Someone said, Don, you're so fine. I said, girl, you're fine, too. There she is right there.
Hey, New York City, we got a little bit of rain. But little rain ain't hurt nobody. It's going to cool us down, right? Just adds to the sauce.
So we have some really special people that helped New York City out over the past year or so. And I want to introduce you to one of them. Say hello, everyone, there is Carlos Espinoza.
[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]
LEMON: Carlos Espinoza's sense of fellowship and civic duty saved lives throughout this pandemic. Do you know what he did? He used his Elmhurst Queens Bakery to provide free food and cleaning supplies to his entire community.
[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]
LEMON: So thank you, Carlos Espinoza. The city would not be on -- really this far down on our road to recovery without people like Carlos. So thank you, sir.
CARLOS ESPINOZA: You're welcome.
LEMON: Okay. So you know, Dave Grohl once called our next performer the coolest mother -- almost -- effer in the world. He has had a storied career filled with unbelievable songs that tell amazing stories.
He has played all over the world. It is a journey that started just across the river in Brooklyn -- Brooklyn in the house. He sold -- get this -- this is no small feat -- more than 85 million records.
Did you guys hear me? More than 85 million records.
He's not just had hit records, he's had countless American classics. Classics that you know all the words to and that you're about to hear now. So simply put, he writes the song, I wanted to say, he writes the songs that make the whole world sing, but, you know, I don't know if Clive would think that was too cheesy.
But, I said it anyway, forgive me, Clive.
So he writes the songs like no one else, and from the moment you hear his voice, you know exactly who it is. Are you ready, Carlos? He is Brooklyn's own --
ESPINOZA: Barry Manilow. LEMON: Barry Manilow.
BARRY MANILOW, SINGER/SONGWRITER: Hello, New York. All right, here's a song that we wrote about the most famous nightclub in the world that just happens to be right here in New York City.
Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl. With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there.
She would merengue and do the cha-cha. And while she tried to be a star, Tony always tended bar. Across the crowded floor, they worked from eight 'til four. They were young and they had each other Who could ask for more?
MANILOW: At the Copa. Copacabana. The hottest spot north of Havana. Here at the Copa Copacabana.
Music and passion were always the fashion, at the Copa they fell in love. Copa, Copacabana
I'm going to sing you a couple of songs that I've had very good luck with because of you, and this one was the very first one for me that we recorded back in 1821 -- see if you remember this one.
Oh Mandy, well you came and you gave without taking. But I sent you away, oh Mandy.
You kissed me and stopped me from shaking. And I need you today, oh Mandy.
Okay, everybody, sing with me on this one.
You know I can't smile without you, I can't smile without you.
I can't laugh and I can't sing, I'm finding it hard to do anything. You see I feel sad when you're sad, I feel glad when you're glad.
If you only knew what I'm going through, I just can't smile.
ANNOUNCER: Thank you, New York -- we have a lightning issue. Please pay close attention to the following safety message.
Due to severe weather, all persons should move quickly and calmly to the nearest exits and proceed to your vehicles and protected areas outside of the event center.
Please seek shelter for your safety. Thank you for the cooperation.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: There is a -- as we've been reporting, a thunderstorm and lightning in New York City. So, they are now calling an end to this concert.
Barry Manilow was in the midst of performing. I want to bring in Chad Myers from the CNN Weather Center.
Chad, explain what's going on in terms of the weather.
MYERS: You know, we've been watching this little outer band come on by for hours now, and it was very nothing. It was all the sudden three cells, and then two cells, and then one lightning strike about northern New Jersey, down about Middleton. And it's like, okay, now that's okay, we're still not within 10 miles of the -- of Central Park.
But then all of a sudden, now this bigger band with lightning strikes, one was in Rockaway, another one down south by the Battery, and so that was just too close.
And so the officials said, you've got to get out of there. Rain would have been okay, but now that there's lightning, actually cloud-to- ground strikes, not just in the air, you must get out of there, at least for now.
We'll see how long that happens. This is a very quick cell. I mean, this thing could be out of here in 20 minutes or 30 minutes, and if they let everybody back in, that would be fantastic. We just don't know what the rules are there.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, Chad, they are telling people to seek, you know, shelter, so obviously people are going to be leaving. It would be hard to call them back I guess --
MYERS: I guess.
COOPER: And obviously, it's Central Park, so there's not a ton of, you know, physical structures for shelter. So, you probably have to exit the park. So, it seems like it is over, which is really such a shame. We have been -- Chloe Melas and I have been covering this now for several hours.
I mean, it has been a great show. I've got to say. I wasn't really sure what to expect.
CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: I know, and right before we had Barry Manilow who was going to sing about getting through the rain, one of his famous songs.
You know, look, I have to say, though, so many spine-tingling moments tonight with Jennifer Hudson, Andrea Bocelli, and then the New York Philharmonic. Just you know, to be able to -- for all of these people in Central Park, to be able to see live music. What a moment, right, for everyone, as sad as this is to cut things short for everyone's safety.
COOPER: Yes, as you said, Barry Manilow was about to sing "I Made it through the Rain."
MELAS: I made it through the rain.
COOPER: But then coming up -- MELAS: Which he did not.
COOPER: Right, there was also Maluma, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, and Patty Smyth -- Paul Simon.
MELAS: And then of course, Paul Simon, right.
COOPER: Yes, so --
MELAS: But we got to say Carlos Santana with Rob Thomas. They performed "Smooth" that amazing song over 20 years ago.
COOPER: By the way, Carlos Santana stopped by here after he performed, and he kind of blew our minds. It was sort of a really -- it was a conscious raising --
MELAS: He doesn't believe in time or gravity.
COOPER: Time or gravity.
COOPER: I've been a sucker because I've been paying attention to that.
MELAS: And he is sending a shirt that says just that.
COOPER: Yes, he is. I loved him. It was such a pleasure to have him.
But yes, but It's really been -- I mean, it's really for a lot of the performers I think, it was the first time they have been on -- been able to be on a stage. For Carlos Santana, it is only the second time. The last time was last week.
MELAS: Right. So I mean, you know, over the course of the last several months, we have been covering at CNN when is live music going return, Anderson? And I've spoken to artists who have done the best that they could with zoom performances, performing on Instagram live, but they all have told me, there is nothing like performing in front of a live audience.
And just that energy, we saw it with LL Cool J took the stage tonight with that incredible medley with all of those New York hip-hop stars like French Montana and Remi Ma. It was incredible. You know, I think that -- we just saw Garth Brooks, though, canceling some upcoming show dates.
And I think that, you know, it's going to be a touch-and-go situation as we enter the fall. But I think the artists are hopeful, and then we have the return of Broadway coming back in September.
COOPER: Yes, Of course, the question is how to do it all safely? The city, we had Mayor de Blasio on earlier. Everybody who was in the audience tonight, and it looks like many people in the audience are actually staying for now, I think probably with the hopes that perhaps if this does pass, as Chad Myers says it might pass relatively quickly, and there's not too much thunder or lightning, that it might actually resume.
But the question, of course, for a lot of venues around the country is how to gather together people like this safely, and you have to have at least one vaccination to have been in the crowd tonight.
MELAS: Also, that's the thing. So, I have started my own return to live music as safely as possible. I recently went to go to the opening of Madison Square Garden where I saw the Foo Fighters perform. You had to show proof of vaccination to enter MSG.
It was an incredible experience, but again, indoors. So, I know many people who I talked to are looking forward to still being able to enjoy outdoor events and outdoor concerts like what you see here tonight.
And then, you know, I recently saw the Zac Brown Band at the PNC Center just the other week, and you did not have to show proof of vaccination in order to enter that concert.
So again, I think it's like a wide range, and as you heard Santana telling us earlier, he is going to be performing in Vegas next week. So, you know, I think that we are going to see this return to live music. But in terms of the people who took the stage tonight, I mean, so many incredible performers.
COOPER: Yes, New York City has mandated now that restaurants and bars and gyms, you have to be vaccinated or at least have one shot of a vaccine before you're allowed entry into venues.
We talked to the mayor about that earlier today. He was saying, you know, we were asking why not full course of vaccinations, two vaccines, if people are going to take that. And he said that basically it's an incentive, that for some people the idea of taking two vaccines in order to go to a play or go to a restaurant, it might just seem like too much of a schlep, but if it's just one vaccine, they can do it right away, and they can go and see it.
Let's check back in with Chad Myers if we still have him standing by on exactly where the weather is and what we should anticipate -- Chad.
MYERS: Yes, it's really getting to about the Hudson River now. The worst of it, I would say is over JFK, over Rockaway, and moving off to the West. We always knew from when I walked in the building this morning that it was a ten-mile radius. If we had a lightning strike within 10 miles, we had to stop. And that was just the -- what New York City said, here it is, and I said do I have to make that call? And they said, nope, we're making that call.
We know -- we have the radar, we have the lightning detector, we know when to make that call. And they did.
But here's more weather here, probably still 30 to 45 more minutes. Now, this isn't severe weather. This isn't hail. This isn't wind over 60 miles per hour. No tornadoes. But it's the lightning strike, that's all it takes.
We knew we could play in the rain. I mean, play all night in the rain, they didn't care. But as soon as that lightning struck, it was close enough within that six or ten-mile radius, that's when we knew that it was going to be game over. All because of this, it's an outer band of Henri. I mean, literally, that's where we are right there, and there is Henri, and it happened to be right over New York City, with all of New Jersey and all of Long Island in the clear right now, one cell really that really ruined it for all of us.
MYERS: There it is. Probably making landfall tomorrow somewhere along Long Island, especially the south shore, 70, maybe 75 mile-per-hour still, it could be a hurricane, although forecast to come on shore as a tropical storm, and then slow down.
It's going to slow down, Anderson. It's just going to move like ten miles per hour, and then all of a sudden we're going to see the wind come through, we're going to see the rain continue. These trees have been sitting there in 15 inches of rainfall over the past two months. And for that matter, these trees are going to fall over with a 40 mile-per-hour wind, let alone a 60, 70, or 80 mile-per-hour wind. That is going to be the problem.
Connecticut Power, one of the companies saying we expect half of our customer, half, will be without power before this is over. That's going to take a long time to fix, to put all those lines back up, get all those trees back out of the way.
So, this is a long-term effect. We haven't even talked about surge yet. It will be three to five feet of storm surge in Long Island Sound. Maybe up toward Narragansett, along the shore here with shore erosion, beach erosion for sure.
This isn't, you know, the category three, four, that you and I used to chase back in the day, but it is still in a very, very populated area with millions and millions in this hurricane warning. And another 15 or 20 million just in the tropical storm warning itself.
COOPER: So, it's hard to get a sense, though, of what this is going to be like on the ground in New York City, out in Long Island and Connecticut. You talk about a very slow-moving storm once it makes landfall.
COOPER: Just how long is it going to be, you know, really bad -- how long will the flights be canceled for in, say, out of JFK or Newark Airport?
MYERS: Newark might get out of the way a little bit sooner and start resuming flights. But JFK, you're really, really close to it. And you could probably at least look at 24 hours before they'd want to bring more planes back in. It's all going to depend on the flooding, as well. I mean, you have to
think about this as very low land. I mean, you fly into La Guardia and think you're going to land in the water until the runway shows up. So all of this -- if we fill up all of this bay here, Long Island Sound, all the way here, all the way back even into New York City with three to five feet of surge, that will begin to back up into people's yards, into businesses, onto roads.
And then here on the East Side, we can talk about this, but Nantucket or maybe even toward Narragansett, this area is going to get filled up with water, as well. That's called storm surge.
One more thing we have going against us with this one, not only do we have soggy ground and trees with leaves on them, the trees -- it's different than a nor'easter where the wind blows through the tree, this thing is going to want to fall over. It's a full moon, and a full moon always gets you a higher tide.
So, we have a high tide on top of a storm surge causing a storm tide that could be one of the worst we've seen in a very long time for sure in New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
COOPER: Yes. Chad, we're going to check in with you shortly. I want to go to Erica Hill who is joining us on the phone. Erica is down at the concert site.
Erica, explain where you are now, and what's going on.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR AND NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via phone): Yes, so, Anderson, I'm still basically in the same area where I was. What's really confusing is we've been hearing this announcement which I'm sure you saw on the broadcast, as well, asking people to leave and seek shelter, warning of severe weather. Those warnings are still up on the concert stage, but mayor de Blasio just came out a few minutes ago and said to people, we want you to leave for a brief period of time, but then the concert is coming back, we're bringing it back.
To say there's a lot of confusion, would be I think would be putting it mildly. I just spoke to a member of the security staff. I asked if he had been given instruction, if he knew what was going on, he said it wasn't clear to him.
ANNOUNCER: Once again, attention, attention --
HILL: I am not sure if you can hear that, the background --
ANNOUNCER: Pay close attention to the following safety message.
HILL: With the announcement that they have been giving and they are giving now after Barry Manilow there, warning about approaching weather --
ANNOUNCER: ... and proceed to your vehicles and protected --
HILL: ... near the stage, a lot of that has moved out, but there are still people -- and frankly, there is that discussions after Mayor de Blasio came out. We're just hearing now the announcement they are making right now is that the event has been canceled. We're trying to get some answers.
COOPER: So, the announcement that was just made, Erica, is that the event has been canceled, but you said, Mayor de Blasio came on stage and said, well, we want you to go away but it's going to continue if things get better.
HILL: Yes. Exactly.
COOPER: Because according to Chad Myers, you probably don't know this, Erica, according to Chad Myers, this weather system may be only about 20 minutes -- around for like 20 minutes or so, 30 minutes.
HILL: Right, and so -- right, so again, Mayor de Blasio came out on stage, and I turned, and I thought what is he saying? I heard something, I realized it was Mayor de Blasio, and he said, everybody remain calm, we want you to move calmly. But we only need you to leave for a short period of time. Go seek shelter, but then we want to bring everybody back. We want to bring the concert back.
So go somewhere safe and then we can bring everybody back. And that's when the confusion ensued. Now, we have the announcement again asking people to get safely out of here.
ANNOUNCER: ... proceed to your vehicles and protected areas outside of the event site. Please seek shelter for your safety. Again, this event has been cancelled. Please seek shelter for your safety.
HILL: And now, the announcement again ongoing here. So, they have made this announcement now twice and Mayor de Blasio --
COOPER: Erica, it does seem like a lot of people -- we should point out that the camera operators have also left for safety reasons, so we're limited on the shots we have, which is why we're talking to Erica on the phone, or I assume why.
Erica, just in terms of -- it looks like there's still a fair amount of people who are just kind of staying there.
HILL: Yes, there are. There definitely are. And as I was saying earlier, the people who were in the very front of the stage, that had cleared out, but now, Anderson, there are people -- I mean, there are still people moving out, but there are more people moving back in.
ANNOUNCER: Attention, once again, please stay --
HILL: You know, I am standing now to have a better vantage point as I am looking, you know, t towards the back. We can see people, we have some people in my vantage point if they're filing out and it looks like a number of people are just standing by the gates watching.
You know, I think a lot of people understandably concerned. COOPER: Yes, also, Erica, you know, given where this is in Central
Park, there's not a lot of -- the announcement had said sort of seek shelter or to leave. There's not a lot of places in a park like Central Park where you can really for large crowds of people to seek, you know, a physical structure for shelter.
So for people actually leaving to look for shelter, or it is a question really exiting the park itself, no? And I think we lost Erica Hill as well. But that is one of the dilemmas obviously for people who are thinking about staying, not sure if they should just kind of roam around the park or --
MELAS: Right, people coming from other boroughs, people who traveled from out-of-state. I know people coming in from Washington, D.C., Boston today. Something though that you touched on earlier, I was interviewing on a segment with Clive Davis' son, Doug Davis earlier today who helped executive produce and put this concert together with his father and he said he really felt like this "We Love NYC Concert" was saving lives.
And he meant the requirement to have one dose at least of the vaccination and many people he had tell him got that first dose of the vaccination just so they could attend tonight. And I think that that, you know, right there like Mayor de Blasio was saying, incentivizes people to whether it's dining indoors in New York City, being able to go to concerts, be able to do things again to try to get people on the fence to go get vaccinated.
COOPER: Yes, certainly and just looking back in Israel, there's been studies done on -- there's a lot of data that's come out of Israel that we base a lot of decisions in the U.S. on. And early on, when they got vaccinations, a lot of people got them, but it wasn't until companies mandated that every employee in their company had to get it that the numbers started to grow in Israel. That's really the hope of someone like Mayor de Blasio that if the only way to get into a gym or a restaurant in New York City is to have at least one vaccine, that that's going to be an incentive for people and as you said, like this concert as well.
Erica hill is back with us. Erica, there's not a lot of places for people to go if they are trying to seek shelter in Central Park, right?
HILL (via phone): No, there definitely aren't a lot of places in the park especially if you're worried about severe weather. And in terms of places, to your point, Anderson, around the park, part of this was a celebration of the five boroughs of New York City. It's not just for the people who live around Central Park and who live in Manhattan and we heard that a number of times recognizing Staten Island and Brooklyn and the Bronx and Queens.
If you're coming in from some of the outer boroughs, you may not have a safe place to go to. I heard at one point, you know, go get in your cars. Most people who live in New York City likely taking public transportation, it's the best way to go around. So, as to where people would go, that's unclear. Maybe you go find a restaurant or bar and but we're talking about tens
of thousands of people at this point, whether you're going down the subway. It is just very confusing and I'm watching some of the staff here, too, and as I said earlier I was speaking to some of the security staff if they'd been given further instruction.
The gentleman I spoke to said they hadn't. It doesn't mean that other members of the security have not been given instructions, but these people had not, and they were confused as to what to do, too. They weren't clear in terms of what they should do in terms of instruction.
HILL: What I am seeing now on the field is I'm seeing people actually coming out, one person with an event staff shirt, at least actually, there are three of them now and they're now clearly asking people to move. They're asking them to move away from the stage, move out of the area to get safely to shelter and to get out of the park.
COOPER: And Erica, has it --
HILL: Again, though, where do they go?
COOPER: What is the weather -- what is happening in the park in terms of weather? I mean, it's hard to tell from the shot. Is it raining heavily? We haven't seen much what looks like lightening?
HILL: No, we haven't. We thought we may have seen lightening and this was at least five minutes before they shut it down, maybe even more like seven minutes. Right now, it's raining. It's not raining hard, but raining it is raining, a little heavier than it was at the beginning but it's not a downpour.
COOPER: Yes, let's check in with Chad Myers. Chad, just in terms of timing of all this, how is it looking?
MYERS: Well, you know, honestly, Anderson, I've been going back through minutes and minutes' worth lightening data from all across the country and trying to sort out what actually hit the New York City area, and from what I can tell, there were actually six lightning strikes that actually touched the ground from the cell here that is now moving over the lower Hudson, right, I guess we'll just call it that.
Moving just here, so the Battery Park here, Central Park being right there, that's why the heavier rain that Erica was talking about has just arrived. But the back edge is all the way back to JFK. It is already stopped raining here at JFK, and I know there's no going back to where we are now, what's done is done.
And we've got more than half of it done and five innings is a full baseball game in the rain. But here comes the rain still, it is going to get heaver again, there still could be more lightening.
Now, for the people that are out there trying to find shelter, this is a serious situation, but this isn't completely life threatening like a tornado or a severe thunderstorm with hail and lots of lightning. You just need to not stay under a tree for sure, but get to someplace inside you can wait this out for 15 or 20 minutes and then make your way to Uber, Lyft, or to the train or whenever you're going and get back home.
So, just a little bit of shelter, but there's a lot of people trying to get a little bit of shelter even if it is in a small convenience store or whenever trying to stay out of the rain. And you can really rarely find a cab when it starts to rain in New York City because everybody dives into them and they are just nowhere to be found because they are all driving right by us.
COOPER: By the way, there's hardly any cabs left in New York City. The cabs are few and far between these days. Erica Hill has learned something, I understand. Erica, what's going on?
HILL: Yes, we're hearing from sources there may be some discussions about trying to bring this back. I can't confirm right now in terms of the rain, it is coming down much heavier right now, that has changed since while you and Chad were talking. Even if they were to bring it back, Anderson, I am not sure how that would happen.
But again, apparently there was some confusion at higher levels not just here on the ground.
COOPER: Yes, you can actually see that -- see that rain. Clearly, there's going to be a lot of bars and restaurants in and around Central Park on the upper west side, all over town, frankly that will suddenly get a big boost of business because you now have some -- I don't know, tens of thousands of people who are seeking shelter and also want an evening of entertainment to continue the party that's been going on in Central Park.
HILL: Yes, I think absolutely. We haven't made our way out of the park yet because we're still trying to assess what is happening and get some more information. But I am pretty confident that as soon as we do leave the park, you will see not only a lot of people on the streets, but a lot of people trying to get into any establishment they can especially as the rain really picks up.
COOPER: Yes, Erica, I want you to collect some more information. Chloe, you know, it is really -- I mean, it is such a shame for people who were just joining this concert which was underway, Barry Manilow was in the midst of performing and suddenly an announcement was made about lightning and therefore, the concert had been stopped and that people should seek shelter.
Elvis Costello had yet to perform. Maluma --
MELAS: Bruce Springsteen. Patty Smyth and Paul Simon. You know, when you think about the fact that Clive Davis had been working on this with his son, and Live Nation for eight weeks calling upon friends, Clive saying that the first phone call he made was to Bruce Springsteen who he signed to his first record contract, I have been testing with Clive's son, Doug Davis trying to find out you know, is this cancelled or not? You know, because there are so many mixed messages while other people
I know who are there right now messaging, saying they're waiting off to the side asking me is this going to be happening because they want to go back and see these icons perform.
COOPER: I heard -- Erica, I believe, you have more information?
HILL: We are now hearing from multiple sources that they are trying to bring this concert back with or without people in attendance, that they are hoping they can continue with the plan that actually we still had two hours plus of music planned ready to go.
This was scheduled to go until much later this evening, so if they can make that happen, if they can continue the concert, which of course we've been watching on CNN, they are trying to figure out a way to do that.