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CNN Saturday Morning News

Reporting on the Latest Storms; Election Continues in Earnest

Aired September 06, 2008 - 07:00   ET


T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: You're in the CNN Center right now, and certainly the hurricane headquarters for you on this Saturday morning. We have got a couple of monster storms we're keeping an eye on. Hanna is hitting us now. Ike is on the way. And we're on top of all of it.
Good morning to you. I'm T.J. Holmes.

JENNIFER WESTHOVEN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Jennifer Westhoven. I'm in for Betty Nguyen.

Storms hitting, storms gaining strength, and the aftermath that just won't go away. About four hours ago, Tropical Storm Hanna made landfall at the North/South Carolina border.

HOLMES: Ike is the other one right behind. It's not far behind at all. It's a category three right now. We're still trying to figure out exactly where it's going to go. Tourists evacuating the Florida Keys this morning.

WESTHOVEN: And hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana are in the dark. They're still feeling the effects of Hurricane Gustav. No power yet.

HOLMES: And we're going to go back and start with Hurricane Hanna. Excuse me, it is not a hurricane, this is a tropical storm. So it's not as bad. It could still cause some problems.

WESTHOVEN: Yes. The tropical storm hit the Carolinas just a few hour ago but it is moving and quickly. So, we've been covering from all angles. We've got our Reynolds Wolf out in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Dan Lothian on North Carolina's outer banks; and Kathleen Koch is in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

HOLMES: We're also keeping an eye on all of our affiliates helping us tell the story; they're sending us new pictures of the winds and the flooding, and top of all (ph), for tracking the storm in our severe weather center to see where exactly it's headed.

Our Karen Maginnis, meteorologist for us, is keeping an eye on things over there.

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: All right. Let's take a look at the map. Hanna made landfall in Little River Inlet, it's just north of Myrtle Beach. It's actually right along the border of South Carolina and North Carolina. And this is an area where there's a lot of little coastal islands out there. So, they're very vulnerable during things like, we have lots of wind and you get a strong storm surge.

HOLMES: Let's turn now to our Reynolds Wolf usually here with us, here in Atlanta, in the studio on the weekend, but he is right in the thick of things, right outside of where Hanna made landfall.

Looks like you might have changed positions there or maybe just got a little light there. So, tell us what's going on.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, the latest we have for you, T.J., is that the winds continue to really pick up in a lot of places. I want to show you something. We got Rod Grille (ph) right behind the camera. What he's going to do is get a great shot here.

Take a look -- right there, you can see the Atlantic Ocean. Every now and again, we will have a massive wave that will come in and the wind just skipping right across the water, just blows everything. Again, all the water is going all over the place. Just an incredible shot, great sights we have here on the coastline.

I'll tell you, T.J., yesterday, we had quite a few surfers out there enjoying the wave action. They're not out there right now. I think these waves are a little bit too big for a lot of folks who were here yesterday. Maybe Waimea Bay in Hawaii, a little different story, but here, let me tell you, some rough stuff along this coast, too.

But, I'll tell you again what happened here. We've had overnight here in Wrightsville; the winds really began to pick up. Probably at its peak right around landfall, landfall with some, I'd say, a 50 miles as the crow flies from this very spot. We had wind gusts recorded in this area of 67 mile per hour.

You see some of this video that we took right near the hotel. Wind just swaying the trees all over the place; power lines bowing a little bit. I'm sure there are some outages, no confirmation of those here in the Tar Heel State. But I'll tell you, as far as I can tell, lights are on here in Wrightsville. It looks like the storm held (ph) it pretty well, but there has been some damage to the out buildings.

I will tell you something else, T.J., although North Carolina is very lucky with this storm, and the storm is now moving onshore and will continue to weaken as go minute-by-minute, still a big concern is what looming out in the Atlantic. We've got Karen Maginnis, she's been reporting all morning long from the weather center, talking about Ike. Ike is going to be a monster and certainly one that scares us to death. Let's send it back to you, T.J.

HOLMES: Yes, that's a scary one right now. Reynolds, we appreciate you. We'll see you again shortly.

WESTHOVEN: Dan Lothian is along the outer banks of North Carolina. He is in Kill Devil Hills which is just out of Nags Head and he is joining us live. What are you seeing out there in terms of the storm and the aftermath of the storm?

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now, what we're seeing are these eye winds. We haven't experienced any rainfall at this point although I did feel a few drops coming down here.

The two big concerns that emergency management officials have here on the outer banks, one of them would be beach erosion. In fact, the wind as it whips down the beach -- take a look at it as you see a tourist out here taking a picture of the waves -- you can see the sand just skimming along the top of the beach here. We're told that every time they have any significant storms hit the outer banks, there's always a lot of the beach erosion, the waves coming in and tearing away up the beach. A lot of it has to be replenished.

The second problem, potential problem that they could have here is localized flooding. There are some lower lying areas here on the outer banks that when they have any significant amount of rain, they usually end up having flooding. In fact, yesterday, we found one woman who said that every time they have rain here, she always gets it inside water, inside her apartment. So, she was filling up sandbags and placing those sandbags at the front of her door.

As we've been walking around the last couple of days, we have not seen any sort of significant number of people getting prepared here, but we did see a few folks putting up those shutters on their windows. We saw one man taking his boat out of the water. Not a whole lot of concern because they did not think that this would be a powerful storm. But they were still taking those precautions.

Now, the last time the outer banks was hit by a hurricane was about five years ago. That was Hurricane Isabel. It was a category two storm and it did cause significant damage. Emergency management officials are telling me that it took them about six months to recover from that storm.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We learned a lot from it and I'm sure that we're better prepared now that we went through it.


LOTHIAN: Again, officials are telling us that they have had several meetings, that they have gotten all of the folks prepared, ready in case anything happened here, that they had all their resources in line to respond in case Hanna does cause any problems there. But right now, no major problems to report. Again, no rainfall, just a lot of this heavy wind blowing here that could cause some problems, but potentially, at least at this point, only minor -- Jennifer.

WESTHOVEN: Dan, how long do you expect the winds to last? Are you worried about -- how long, I guess, is the threat still there because I know sometimes the flooding can come after and it can depend on the tide?

LOTHIAN: I'm sorry. I did not hear your question.

WESTHOVEN: Well, how much longer are you expecting danger, like when do you expect the winds to die down and when are they worried about the flooding? LOTHIAN: I believe you're asking when we expect the winds to die down here. It should not really last very long here because this is such a fast-moving storm. So whatever conditions that we have here, it could increase perhaps over the next hour or so, but it's not expected to linger because it is moving so quickly here.

In terms of when we might get the rain -- it's interesting because as we were looking to the south of us here, we saw the rain bands apparently coming to our direction here but it kind of shifted, it seemed like it shifted to the east and moved right around us. So, we have not experienced any of that rainfall. It's unclear whether we will get it right here on this spot or whether the rain will move to our east.

So, that's something we'll continue to keep an eye on. But right now, no rain here just this heavy wind expected for at least the next hour or so perhaps, but not expected to last very long here on the outer banks -- again, because this storm is moving so quickly.

WESTHOVEN: All right. Dan Lothian, thank you so much, in Kill Devil Hills. We really appreciate your report.

Apparently, Dan Lothian has a hard time to hear the question out there.

HOLMES: Yes, he said winds are going to die down. Apparently, not in time for his live shot.


HOLMES: So, it's still going. He can't hear that well.

All right. Karen, I guess, winds are a big deal still and we'll still see a lot of rain. But right now, still, not a destructive storm, if you will.

MAGINNIS: This is -- if you compare it historically to some of the really big hurricanes that have roared on in towards South Carolina and North Carolina, Isabel in '03, we had Floyd in '99, and then there was Hugo near Charleston in 1989, this is not a comparison to that. But, nonetheless, if you are the one experiencing wind damage to your beach home or your condominium or you've got some localized flooding or perhaps a tornado forms as a result of this, this is going to be as bad as any of those storms.

I will say most of the moisture seems to be running to the north and to the west of this system. I want to point out, here's Wilmington. Wrightsville Beach is right there at the water's edge. Just to the northwest, that's Fayetteville, North Carolina, then beyond that is a place called Southern Pines. They have road closures there. They've got a highway that's been cut off. All of this due to flash flooding. So that's a big issue with this particular system, is the rain, between four and eight inches possible.

Here's kind of the coastal view. And there you can see most of that moisture off towards the north. But here comes one of these feeder bands into those outer banks area. Now, that's a national seashore, very vulnerable. This is probably the most vulnerable portion of the North Carolina coast if indeed the entire eastern seaboard. It's just a little strip of land with a road running through it and it's protected territory. So these winds washing, pushing the water onshore, that's going to be a problem.

Let's go to Oak Island. Oak Island is just to the south of Wilmington. There you can see kind of the heavy surf. You don't really see the rain coming down, but this system, as I mentioned, is moving very quickly. Sixty mile an hour winds moving off towards the north and northeast very rapidly.

I really need to mention, quickly, Ike. Ike is a category three. Ike is expected to move across the southern Bahamas, in the vicinity of Cuba and in the Gulf of Mexico next week. It's worry time once again. T.J. and Jennifer, back to you.

HOLMES: Worry time. We've been worried a lot here lately with these storms.

MAGINNIS: Definitely (ph).

HOLMES: Karen Maginnis, we appreciate you. And as always, to our viewers, we are keeping an eye on all of our affiliates helping us tell the story. We'll be checking in with them, get some of the best of their coverage throughout the morning. Again, our affiliates along the coast, just one more way we're bringing you so many angles of this still developing story.

WESTHOVEN: Yes. And Hanna made landfall just a few hours ago and already there's an even more powerful storm to worry about, what Karen was talking about.

HOLMES: Yes, Hurricane Ike, this big sucker, we have been keeping an eye on. Not exactly sure where it's going to hit, but people in Florida are not taking any chances.


WESTHOVEN: Welcome back.

While Hanna is making life miserable along the east coast today, Hurricane Ike is making a lot of people nervous in south Florida, right? It's not here yet but it's coming soon, and already, folks are stocking up, making preparations for what might turn out to be a very dangerous storm.


CARLOS ALVAREZ, MIAMI MAYOR: As most of you know, we are in the cone of error for Hurricane Ike. Ike could be a real threat to south Florida. We need to pay close attention to this hurricane.


WESTHOVEN: Now, Ike is expected to pass through the Florida Straits in the next couple of days. There's been a mandatory evacuation for vacationers in the Florida Keys. That takes effect this morning at 9:00 a.m. east coast. We've been talking about that, and also, hearing new that they're also asking residents to evacuate tomorrow.

HOLMES: People know not to mess around with these things by now. Don't know exactly where hurricane Ike is going to be headed. But people along south Florida's Atlantic coast are not taking chances, certainly with a storm this size. It's a category three right now. It could be category four at some point. Sandbags starting to be filled, and people are getting ready for this storm and trying to protect their homes and businesses from the possible flooding.

As we've been saying, we've been getting help from affiliates to help us tell these stories. Here's a live look, one of our affiliates, WSVN, live coverage going on right now. Let's listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE ANCHOR: All right. Blake, and the storm station tracking Ike's every move over the weekend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANCHOR: Yes, plan for this. Look for our special report, "Surviving a Storm" at 2:30 this afternoon. Plus, a special hour of storm coverage after baseball and an expanded edition on the night team, that is tonight at...

HOLMES: Again, just one of our affiliates. We'd be dipping and checking in with them. Certainly, depending on them for some of that coverage they can give directly right there since they are on the ground and they are right there where the storm is headed.

Well, the Florida governor, Charlie Crist, he's scheduled a news conference for a little later this morning. He's going to brief people in his state about the coming hurricane, Hurricane Ike. We'll keep an eye on that press conference and certainly bring you any updates that come from the governor's office as soon as we get those updates.

Well, stay here. We'll continue to keep an eye on Ike. Certainly, that's the one that's on the back of our minds, maybe because it's on the way, but still on the front of minds for the people there in Florida where it's headed and also Tropical Storm Hanna which still calling some wind and rain issues along the South Carolina and North Carolina area right now.


WESTHOVEN: Good morning. Welcome back to our coverage of Tropical Storm Hanna. And, of course, all morning, we've been trying to have you listen to affiliates and our reporters who are on the coast to get you close to the action. Let's listen in to WRAL.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And it is right over our beloved state right now. That's the direction of North Carolina and you can see a wall of gray toward the north. So, we can salute it goodbye from here in Myrtle Beach.

And people are coming out and enjoying this nice morning. It is pleasant. It's an ideal temperature. Great to be out walking along the beach. Through the night, though, we had some rough winds, for sure, wind gusts of 45 miles an hour or more right here where we're standing but now...

WESTHOVEN: All right. That was a report from Myrtle Beach. We've also been hearing -- that was from our affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina.

We've also been hearing reports, too, that the storm is starting to move into the coast. So, there's reports that trees are down in Fayetteville and in Raleigh, North Carolina. They're starting to see the damage move in a bit.

HOLMES: A little damage a bit.

And our Kathleen Koch is in Myrtle Beach, North Carolina, actually keeping an eye on things there.

Certainly things are calming down. The storm never really, I don't know, it didn't pack the kind of punch oftentimes we're used to hearing and talking about when talking about hurricanes and tropical storms. That's certainly a good thing. Give us the update. I guess some good news, at least.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, exactly. You know, as you heard that local reporter saying, people are starting to get out already. Things are getting back to normal.

Right here at the hotel where we're staying, they're already putting out the furniture on the patio. Soon they're going to be putting the lounge chairs out by the pool and the beach umbrellas. They're really ready to resume this holiday weekend, kind of the continuation of the Labor Day week.

This is a big week for the hotels here on the Myrtle Beach area. They expect some 100,000, 150,000 guests on this holiday weekend. Now, a lot of guests have left, but you know, here in our hotel, went from 80 percent occupancy to 30 percent because of the storm. But we still saw a good number of guests who stayed here last night watching the storm roll in.

Again, our peak winds we experienced here were probably in the range of wind gusts of 50 miles an hour and got about five inches of rain. There was localized flooding according to the officials in the area, but really, only in areas that normally do flood. And there have been some flood warnings out in areas just north of here as that storm moves in that direction.

But things are really calming down here. The streets are clear. I've spoken to hotel employees who drove 10 to 15 minutes into work, had no problem whatsoever and didn't even see any debris on the streets.

So there are people in shelters. And authorities are recommend that those who have sought shelter and anyone else who may have evacuated and they're thinking about coming back home, give it a little time, wait until the winds clear and the rain. Wait until you're sure you'll be safe and then come on back. Again, they don't want anyone, as the storm is blowing out, to get injured or get into any kind of serious situation.

But, again, the good news, no serious damage here in the Myrtle Beach area and no injuries. Back to you.

HOLMES: That is certainly good news. But still, a few things people need to be mindful of right now.

Kathleen Koch, we appreciate you this morning.

KOCH: You bet.

HOLMES: We need to talk about Hurricane Ike as well. It's on the way. It could be a powerful and destructive storm. It's a category three right now. It could become a four and could hit the Keys. We're going to head to Blake Burman of WSVN. He filed a report for us just a few moments ago.


BLAKE BURMAN, WSVN REPORTER (on camera): Well, you know beside from the mosquitoes out here, everything is pretty quiet in Key Largo. You just ran down the times of when everyone is supposed to evacuate. As for today, it is visitors and tourist at 9:00 a.m.

And people that we talked to here in the Keys say, "You know what -- they are taking this storm very seriously after Tropical Storm Fay and Tropical Storm Gustav came and went."

Now that Ike is a hurricane and it's close, and there are mandatory evacuations, they are indeed taking this seriously.

(voice-over): At the supermarket, gas station, and back home, the Keys are watching, wondering and waiting for Ike.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks like a real killer. It looks like a real dangerous hurricane.

BURMAN: The orders are out -- evacuations begin this morning for visitors and then on Sunday, phased evacuations begin with Key West at 8:00 a.m. Some are going...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll leave down to Miami, to my in-law's house.

BURMAN: Others will stay put.

Are you sticking around for the storm?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because my family is.

BURMAN: This gas station has shutters up while customers are filling up. At the supermarket, people getting what they need.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we got Gatorade. We got a lot of chips, a lot of bread, a lot of ham, cheese, turkey.

BURMAN: For now, the vacation is over. Tourist hot spots emptied out while Ike shortens weekend plans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're doing work down here, working on a house and we would stay longer but, you know, we're being forced out of here.

BURMAN (on camera): So, you are looking live right now in Key Largo -- one last look. We might expect to see a few boaters out on the water this morning. You know, we were at a local "bait and tackle" shop just down the road, talking to the owner and he said he might close up his shop today, though he definitely thinks he will evacuate.

Like I said, last time when we were out here for Fay and Gustav, the mood was much more calm. But with Ike as a hurricane bearing down possibly on the Keys with mandatory evacuations starting today for tourists, tomorrow for residents -- it is definitely a much more serious mood even though we've got gorgeous weather here this morning.

That is the very latest in Key Largo. Blake Burman, 7 News.


HOLMES: Again, one of our affiliate there helping us tell this story, again talking about people getting a bit nervous, a bit scared, even though they have beautiful weather down there right now. People are taking this seriously, and people in Florida certainly know better.

We are also waiting to hear from Governor Charlie Crist. Expect to have a few media availabilities this morning. As we get more information from him, we'll pass that along to you.

WESTHOVEN: And we've been focus so much on the east coast but there's an earthquake to tell you about this morning. It happened last night in California. The preliminary magnitude is estimated at about 4.0. The quake was centered about 30 miles east of San Francisco in the Oakland area. So far, fortunately, no reports of injuries or damages. But again, an earthquake late last night in California.

We've got a sigh of relief along the Carolina coast -- from California to Carolina.

HOLMES: Yes. Tropical Storm Hanna pretty much moved in and has already getting ready to move on.

Our Reynolds Wolf is out there in the middle to welcome pretty much Tropical Storm Hanna and also to see it all.

Hey there, Reynolds.

WOLF: Hey, guys. You're right. Coming to you from Wrightsville Beach where Tropical Storm Hanna continues to make its march into the interior of the state, leaving some massive waves right behind us here nearby the pier -- a pier that was damaged in 1999 by Hurricane Floyd.

Coming up we're going to give you the full shindig on what's happening with this storm, also give you the latest on Ike. That's coming up.



WESTHOVEN: Good morning and welcome back to CNN SATURDAY.

Tropical Storm Hanna makes landfall. It is a rainmaker that could affect millions by the time it moves from North Carolina all of the way up the east coast to Massachusetts.

Welcome back. I'm Jennifer Westhoven sitting in for Betty Nguyen.

HOLMES: And hello to you all. I'm T.J. Holmes standing over in the hurricane center right now where we are tracking Hanna as well as a big boy by the name of Ike. We're going to talk about Hanna here first. A tropical storm in the Carolinas even though the Carolinas were pretty much the target, kind of dodged this bullet, if you will, from Hanna.

The tropical storm came ashore a few hours ago but came and went in pretty much a hurry. We've seen some isolated flooding in mostly low- lying areas and scattered power outages, but for the most part, not nearly as bad as it certainly could have been.

Now, Hanna is on the move and it is moving north. We want to check in where Hanna made landfall. That's where Reynolds Wolf is. Again, you welcomed the storm is in. And pretty much already saying goodbye to it where you are.

WOLF: Hi, T.J. Yes, coming to you from Wrightsville Beach. Let me tell you what just been happening here, I'd say, over the last -- I'd say maybe the last three hours or so. We've had really a transformation of weather conditions.

The storm actually made landfall some 50 miles as the bird flies to our immediate southwest, came onshore right near the North Carolina- South Carolina border. When it did, we had a peak wind gust right here in Wilmington that maxed out around 67 miles per hour. Since then, we've had some rain, we've had some wind.

Right now, waves are the big story right here along the coast. You see some parents and kids up there in the distance walking around. You see the white caps that are roaring in. Off in the distance, also, you can take a look and see a jetty (INAUDIBLE) on the coast to help 10 percent of the erosion, at least the beach erosion here, but still some massive waves coming right over that embankment.

I'll tell you, the people here in Wilmington were ready for this storm. Let me show you some video that we took just yesterday. Starting off (INAUDIBLE) you see right there on the city sign, you see right in front of the city hall building, tropical storm warning. They heeded the warnings. They did everything they possibly could. You can actually see the wave action there on the coast. People are boarding up not only their homes but also the buildings.

You have to keep in mind, the people here on the outer banks of North Carolina are used to this kind of stuff. (INAUDIBLE) in the Atlantic, in terms of the storm. As we wrap things off, I'll tell you, what they're doing is they know this is -- it's going to be long and although Hanna is now moving off, they're preparing for the next one, knowing another could come between now and the end of hurricane season.

Let's send it back to you, T.J.

HOLMES: All right. Reynolds, we appreciate you there. We hear some of that wind and some of that rain causing us some audio issues there. But we stuck with our guy there. Reynolds Wolf, appreciate you as always. We'll see you again shortly.

Our meteorologist, Karen Maginnis, is here with us in the severe weather center, the hurricane center, it has been transformed at least for today.


HOLMES: Hanna moving on as he's talking about there. Again, we got the wind and rain certainly not as bad. And we don't want to say, all right, it's a relief. That was not so stuff. It's over. But still, Ike is the one that people are now turning their attention to, to be a serious one there (ph).

MAGINNIS: It absolutely is. It looks ferocious. It's just kind of winding down there, approaching the Bahamas.

Let's go ahead and show you what's happening with what is now Tropical Storm Hanna. It was never at -- well, briefly was at hurricane intensity. But once it made landfall, the winds were dying down fairly quickly.

Most of the important to wet weather was to the north and to the west. You can see on this southern and the eastern edge, not quite as intense. Well, the winds are winding down as we speak. That's because of its interaction with land.

I want to point out one thing -- Highway 17 -- if you've ever driven along coastal sections of North or South Carolina, that's the area that goes through Myrtle Beach and to some of those beautiful places between Charleston and also Myrtle Beach.

This thing that right around Georgetown which is right in the middle, they were saying that had to be closed. They saw about three inches of rain and about a two-foot storm surge. And now the system is moving on. So things are actually improving.

There's kind of a big view just to get your perspective as to what's happening here. We had a report at Southern Pines. That's just to the northwest of Fayetteville. They were saying that they had some flash flooding. So, even though we down play, well, this wasn't a hurricane, it's not like Isabel in 2003 and it wasn't like Floyd in '99, but nonetheless, these can really -- they can be deadly.

When you get the flooding, you get people who go out and surf and they think I'm a really strong swimmer and I can deal with this. And there's quite a rip current right now. But this is racing off towards the north and northeast. And, yes, those of you in New York City and in Boston will feel the effects of this.

I want to show you one other thing. We mentioned Ike. Ike is a category three hurricane. This is Ike. Here's Isabel. Ike is expected to move across the Bahamas and across Cuba. And, T.J. and Jennifer, it looks like into the Gulf of Mexico, has to go someplace. Our computer models don't go out that far just yet.

T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: But it's got to go somewhere.


HOLMES: And nowhere along the gulf coast is a good place to hit really.

MAGINNIS: Absolutely none.

HOLMES: Karen, we appreciate you. We'll see you again here shortly.

JENNIFER WESTHOVEN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much for waking up early with us, extra early this morning to bring us the latest.

MAGINNIS: Yes, it was.

WESTHOVEN: Karen, we'll get ahead (ph) on the latest. Tropical Storm Hanna hit Haiti very hard this week. More than 130 people were killed. Tens of thousands of others have no place to go. No food, no clean water. The flood waters from Hanna still haven't receded in some areas.

And what makes this so much worse in terms of, you know, potential for humanitarian nightmare here is that Hurricane Ike, a category three storm, may be headed that way right behind Hanna.

So, while Hanna tears up the east coast, probably get in the way of some weddings this weekend, cause damages to homes and even bigger Atlantic storm is barreling toward the U.S. right behind it.

Ike, right now, is a powerful category three hurricane, could reach south Florida by Tuesday. The locals are boarding up. Vacationers in the Keys are going to have to leave this morning at 9:00 a.m. east coast time. That's when a mandatory evacuation order takes effect. And, of course, we've heard that residents are being asked to evacuate as well starting tomorrow.

Now, Florida Governor Charlie Crist has scheduled a news conference this morning to brief residents on Hurricane Ike. What they're expecting, what's what the state wants residents to do. CNN is going to keep an eye on that. We'll bring you all the updates from the governor's office as soon as we get the latest.

HOLMES: And again, we've been talking about Ike and how big the sucker is and how clearly define it is. And we have a pretty good picture of it that Josh Levs has been keeping an eye on some of those for us. He showed us some a little earlier. This one you don't want to miss, this destructive storm, really a beautiful view of it. Stay here.

WESTHOVEN: Amazing shot.


HOLMES: All right. You can check out these storms live. There are actually webcams that are set up up and down the eastern seaboard. And here's a live look at one of them.

This is from (INAUDIBLE) North Carolina. People can check this out for themselves. The name of this Web site where you can see these live webcams: What an appropriate name. Beachgoers often check these Web sites and these webcams to see what those surf conditions are like. And you can see it right there.

And once again, we get an update on conditions around the area from our affiliates. You see some live pictures of our affiliates. You can see one of our affiliate reporter there getting ready for a live shot more than likely. We'll be checking in with some of them, getting the best of their coverage to bring to you, our national audience. That's just, again, another way we're bringing you all the angles of this still developing weather story.

All right. Certainly, people know by now, you don't need to underestimate any Atlantic storm. They are some scary things and sometimes they can look scary or even beautiful from space.

WESTHOVEN: Yes. This is an amazing picture. And I think it's also helpful because, you know, Hanna is blowing away. Maybe people think, oh, not so bad.


WESTHOVEN: But Ike is coming behind and that one's got a mean punch.

Yes, Josh Levs has the dramatic NASA image that shows this especially powerful hurricane that's headed this way.

Josh, what you got?

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's getting incredible traffic, this thing. I mean, I don't know if you guys saw. One of our most popular videos throughout the day yesterday and through last night and still into this morning, people are clicking on this thing like wild. Now, it's on the screen behind me but we can also bring up the video for you.

And what we'll do is we'll show you this image just so you understand. This is what's going on. NASA has made this available. This was taken from the International Space Station. And this is the kind of view we don't often see. We are told this is one of the clearest views of what a hurricane looks like from that perspective that's ever been taken. They're kind of looking upward toward earth.

And what they say, you know, it's hard to tell a little bit. But, what they say is that the brightness obviously is Ike itself. You can see the pattern in which it's swirling, kind of clockwise that way. Also, they say that they could tell from this location, this was as it was moving into the Caribbean up toward the Atlantic. And this is just a still picture we're seeing. That's where they get the clearest image, by freeze framing it there. I mean, the image that they sent us is kind of turns a little bit.

But they say that from the International Space Station, you can physically see this thing form and then move into the region. Now, what I have to you, guys, I want to show you a couple more things really quickly and I'll toss it back to you.

Let's go in on the screen behind. This is on the I'm going to do to. This is one of our photos right here. Over here, I want to show you that we also have some images that you can see as this is North Carolina, also, some images available from agencies that show us the kind of things people are dealing with now in Haiti as a result of what happened earlier this week. I know a lot of people thinking of the people in that region trying to reach out and help. You can do that at

Final thing, I want to mention, We're getting more and more pictures today from iReports. This is about south Florida getting ready for Ike. If you have photos, stories, videos, we'd love to hear from you.

And guys, coming up later this morning, we're going to share some of the best iReports that we're getting today, showing you how people are dealing with Hanna right now and also preparing for what could come from Ike -- Guys.

WESTHOVEN: All right, Josh. Thank you so much for that. Amazing. You know, we've had storms for so long right, but now in this day that we live in, you can see a picture like that. How beautiful.

LEVS: So cool.


All right, severe weather tackling some football time. Not the New York Giants.


WESTHOVEN: Some football teams.


WESTHOVEN: Not getting in the way of those Giants. Last week it was Gustav. HOLMES: And this week, Hanna is causing a few problems. Our business sports analyst, Rick Horrow, our buddy, he's here with some of the game day delays. He's next.


WESTHOVEN: All right. Welcome back. Good morning.

Presidential politics now. John McCain and running mate, Sarah Palin, will be on the trail in Colorado and New Mexico today. At a rally in Michigan yesterday, McCain vowed again to shake things up in Washington if he's elected president.

And here is McCain in his own words.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R-AZ) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I've been called a maverick, that's somebody who marches to the beat of his own drum. Sometimes it's meant as a compliment and sometimes not. I was not elected Miss Congeniality in the U.S. Congress again this year. But...


MCCAIN: What it really means is -- what it really means is that I understand who I work for. I don't work for a party. I don't work for a special interest. I don't work for myself. I work for you. I will continue to work for you.


MCCAIN: I've fought corruption and it didn't matter if the culprits were Democrats or Republicans. I've fought the big spenders in both parties who waste your money on things you neither need nor want. And I want to tell you right now -- the first big spending earmark pork barrel bill that comes across my desk, I'll veto it. You'll know their names. I'll make them famous and we'll stop this. We'll stop this.


MCCAIN: Never again will we spend $3 million to study the DNA of bears in Montana. I don't know if that was a paternity issue or a criminal issue, but we're not going to do it anymore, my friends. We're going to stop it.

And you know what? And you know what? When we were going to spend some $200 million of your money on a bridge to an island in Alaska with 50 people on it, this person, this great governor said, we don't need it and if we do, we'll build it ourselves.


MCCAIN: While you are struggling to buy groceries, fill your gas tank, and make your mortgage payments, I stood up, and instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties and Senator Obama passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies that's going to stop. And my friends, we're going to have energy independence and we're going to have it in 10 year years.


MCCAIN: We're going stop -- we're going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much. That's going to stop.


HOLMES: Meanwhile, Barack Obama campaigning in Indiana today. At a town hall meeting in Pennsylvania yesterday, Obama was on the offensive against John McCain and the GOP over the economy.

Here's what Obama had to say.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D-IL) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Cost for everything from gas to food to healthcare have all skyrocketed. And for a while, people were borrowing against their home because home equity looked like it was doing pretty good, except nobody was minding the store on Wall Street, and now, you've got more home foreclosures than any time since the Great Depression. And if you're staying in your home, you've seen you home values plummet.

Now, you would think that George Bush and his potential Republican successor, John McCain, would be spending a lot of time worrying about the economy and all these jobs that are being lost on their watch. But, if you watch the Republican National Convention over the last three days, you wouldn't know that we have the highest unemployment rate in five years because they didn't say a thing about what is going on with the middle-class.

They spent a lot of time talking about John McCain's biography, which we all honor. And he has gone through extraordinary things in service of his country, and we respect that. They talked about me a lot in less than respectful terms. So they spent a lot of time trying to run me down, and not necessarily telling the truth.

But what they didn't talk about is you, and what you are seeing in your lives, and what you're going through or your friends or your neighbors are going through. If you work here, you know you've got a good job. But everybody here knows at least somebody in your family or your neighbor, in your neighborhood, that's been laid off, plants shut down, they've lost their healthcare, they've lost their pension.

And not only that, but a lot of them, they've lost a sense of dignity and respect because, you know, people's identities are tied up with their work and being able to look after their family. That's part of what the "American Dream" is all about. And being able to pass on that dream, that promise, to the next generation.

These guys spent three days and you wouldn't know what people are going through in the neighborhoods because they didn't talk about it. And look, this is not unique to this convention. George Bush said, "I see the economy improving." He just said that last week.

John McCain says that under George Bush the economy made great progresses. That's what he said. He said the economy made great progress. And then, John McCain the other day said that he thought that the economy was fundamentally sound. The fundamentals of the economy were sound. Now, what's more fundamental than having a job?


HOLMES: And speaking of having a job, Jennifer, you were just talking about those unemployment numbers that we got, was it just yesterday that were coming out, not good.

WESTHOVEN: Yes. It's much worse than expected. In the past, it's worse than expected. So a lot of concern out there.

HOLMES: Again. Just giving you there what the presidential candidates are saying, giving you an opportunity to hear from them in their own words. And you can hear a lot more from the candidates all weekend with the return of "CNN'S BALLOT BOWL," the extended excerpts from the campaign trail -- the candidates, unfiltered, again, in their own words. "BALLOT BOWL" at 2:00 p.m. Eastern today, only right here on CNN.

WESTHOVEN: All right. Hanna is here, Ike is on the way, and we are tracking them both. The latest in storm update.


WESTHOVEN: Good morning. Welcome back to CNN.

Hanna is making landfall in the United States, while Florida prepares for the threat from Hurricane Ike. Hanna landed along the Carolina coast overnight and emergency officials say about 22,000 people are without electricity in North and South Carolina.

You're looking at some pictures now that we've got from Myrtle Beach, North Carolina, where you can see quite a storm surge coming in there. Right -- most of this has passed a little bit, so you can see in Pembroke Pines, Florida here, things look pretty nice there. So, along the coast, Hanna seems to have past a bit. We still got some worries about flooding.

Florida's governor, by the way, has said that he's going to have a news conference. We will have that coming up. We've also got some live pictures for you from our affiliates in Wrightsville Beach. You can see that pier there and the waves coming in. But the sun's coming out, right? Most of this storm has passed them for a little while.

We're going to take a look, we're going to take a listen to Greg Barns, who's from WTVD in Oak Island, North Carolina. People are watching the surf and what damage it may cause and he filed this report just a few moments ago.


GREG BARNES, WTVD REPORTER: Today here, old glory is flying over the pier, the Ocean Crest Pier here. It survived the storm, as did the pier itself. That pier, of course, was heavily damaged by Hurricane Floyd and it was rebuilt after that. It's had a few scrapes with Mother Nature since then, but it survived some pretty big waves that hit it earlier this morning.

Back here on the sand, I want to show you something. Most of the sand dunes here in front of the Ocean Crest Motel where we've camped out, well, they're flattened out. If you look right here, the sand has been washed up to about the third or fourth step here. You can see the parts of the stairs that keep going down into the sand.

Earlier this morning, we were talking about the seawall here, how it was about four feet deep. Well, it's about three feet deep now because there's an awful lot of sand that has been washed in here.

I'll show you something else real quick too. This is the top of one of the poles that blocked off the walkway here. That's about an 18 or 19-inch pole. So, we've got a lot of sand that has washed in from these sand dunes back here.

But the people I've talked with, the property owners here and some of the folks down further down say, it's not that bad. Let me show you some video of the sand dunes that are right down here.


HOLMES: All right. Again, just checking in with some of our affiliates helping us tell this story. Well, a lot of these storms could affect the sports world, and sports fans are keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Hanna. Of course, it's a big college football Saturday. A lot of games could be affected by some of the weather.

Also, we know that in Baton Rouge, LSU had to postpone a game they were playing today because of a storm or damage from another storm, Hurricane Gustav we saw.

Sports and business analyst, Rick Horrow, joins us today from New York.

Good to see you this morning, Rick. We had talked about this before. I guess the most famous case is the Superdome, if you will -- how some of these sports facilities serve a role. What is this role? Do people kind of get an understanding now of what these sports facilities are supposed to be in times of storms?

RICK HORROW, CNN SPORTS BUSINESS ANALYST: Well, here's the thing. Everybody complained, T.J., about how public money spent for these facilities, a bit frivolous, $20 billion spent over the last 15 years for all types of facilities. The new ones that are being built have a capability for distribution of supplies and food, disaster relief, shelters of last resort, Superdome could have held people, chose to make sure they evacuated. That was positive. But look, with this conga line of storms as you like to call it and frankly, my daughter Caroline filed an iReport last week when Fay flooded our house and it was kind of neat but the bottom line was not neat, everybody is bracing for the next storm, Ike, and Josephine, and what's happening with Hanna and Gustav. It's important to understand the role of these public convention facilities, arenas, stadiums, and the like in our future as far as this is concerned.


HORROW: Stop that.

HOLMES: The family Horrow iReport. One of the sweetest things.


HORROW: It was carried very well. Better reporting than you might do sometimes, OK? Snakes are swimming in the yard. Yes, there you go. Thank you, no doubt.

HOLMES: I have no doubt about it. But I think one of the sweetest things ever.

HORROW: Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

HOLMES: Let's talk now, of course a lot of events affected by this; I'm talking about the U.S. Open happening there in New York where you are. Now, what's their schedule like now?

HORROW: Well, they're going to play the men semis at 11:00 o'clock today, and 700,000 people at the open. They make $100 million in profit; the U.S. Tennis Association uses that to train kids, that's for superstars, including me, by the way. I do think that the rain based on the radar, will start at 1:12 today, which may mean we get the first semifinal in, maybe more. Hopefully, I'm wrong, we get the whole day in.

HOLMES: My goodness, he is an iReporter and a meteorologist. I didn't know all this about Rick.

HORROW: Yes, sir.

HOLMES: Let's turn to the NFL season. This is not something weather related here. This is just all about the big bucks.

HORROW: Yes. And I predict the Giants will win their kickoff NFL game 16 to seven. Oh, it happened already on Thursday night.

HOLMES: Yes, that's great (ph).

HORROW: And, of course, the bottom line of the NFL as they kickoff their season, franchise values 15 years ago, $200 million, $300 million, now over $1.5 billion. It's the fastest growth rate of any industry happens to be pro sports.

So, we're beginning an exciting NFL season as one of the biggest growth businesses ever, even in this economy.

HOLMES: Still growing, the NFL is still growing.

HORROW: Right. Still growing strong, international potentially, and we're waiting for the biggest season ever, people here in New York are waiting for that Favre matchup down in Miami tomorrow.

HOLMES: Oh, yes.

All right. And, one thing here, and you know why we didn't talk about them, sorry for putting you on the spot, we didn't know we're going to discuss this. And, buddy, it was something that certainly got a lot of people talking in the sports world, the LPGA and the new -- they were trying to put this system in place where all the players, a lot of international players, had to learn English over the next couple years or they could be fined or suspended. They have backed off that policy now.

I'm just wondering about your thoughts and shouldn't they have thought it through and that they should have known this is going get a lot of public backlash before they put this out there?

HORROW: Yes, did think it through. A little bit misunderstood. They were trying to help the players as agents and sponsors should communicate in a world predominantly English-speaking. Corporate sponsors, media -- they wanted to make sure the players were able to do that.

Problem is, if you talk about suspensions, a year and a half ago, or a year and a half from now as a deterrent, then everybody blows that out of proportion. They never wanted to use that. That's what a deterrent is all about. So, that's the issue.

And, by the way, you never have and never will put me on the spot. So, don't worry about it.


HOLMES: No worries. All right, but that was the issue there. Yes. The suspensions and fines, that's what got a lot of people.

HORROW: I hear another "Oh," in the background. So, go Razorbacks next week.

HOLMES: All right. Thank you, Rick. Good to see you this morning. We will see you again, but enjoy your weekend.

HORROW: All right.