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CNN 10

Severe Weather Strikes U.S. Northeast; Bridge Collapses in Pittsburgh Hours Before Presidential Visit; Airlines Aim to Address Pilot Shortage

Aired January 31, 2022 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Blizzard conditions in the true sense of the word. What does that even mean? That is our first subject on this last

day of January. I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to the "snow", the show. January 1987, Atlantic City, New Jersey sees a record amount of snowfall, 20.3

inches. January 2022, the cities monthly record is shattered with 33.2 inches of snow. A lot of that was the effect of a winter storm that broke

snowfall records all across the Northeast, with 14 inches on Saturday alone, Atlantic City doubled its one day record. Boston, Massachusetts,

New York, New York, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, they all saw their snowiest day ever on Saturday. Roads were treacherous. Almost 3,600 flights were

cancelled on Saturday alone. The Nor`easter, a storm with winds out the Northeast brought gusts as high as 40 miles per hour. That`s the strength

of a tropical storm.

The flood waters that spilled into part of Massachusetts were four feet high and the wind chills it left behind in the region on Sunday dropped

below zero degrees Fahrenheit. This was not a good time to lose electricity, but more than 88,000 homes and businesses in the Northeast did

see their power go out Saturday according to Those numbers had improved a lot by Sunday afternoon though. Snow followed by below

freezing temperatures dipped as far south as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and though the weather`s expected to warm up as the week gets underway.

There`s another winter storm coming. It`s expected to start hitting the Mid-West on Tuesday night and bring colder temperatures across the east by

next weekend. As many people in states like Massachusetts and Rhode Island dig out from this weekend`s weather, they might be wondering if they were

hit by a bonafide blizzard. The answer is yes.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You hear it all the time. It`s one of the most overused terms in weather. A blizzard warning and blizzard

conditions have be signified when you have snow coming down. You have your winds. They`re at least at 35 miles per hour or greater, and your

visibility`s reduced to under a 1/4 of one mile. And not only do you have to have all these in place, you have to have this happening for at least

three hours or a longer period of time for a blizzard warning to be issued. One thing to note with blizzard conditions is once the storm moves, even

when the snow has stopped falling you could be experiencing blizzard like conditions because the winds will be howling across the area.

So any sort of drift snow that has been on the ground there will be blown right in front of you and that will cause disruptions as far as visibility

once again coming down, even though the storm is long gone you will still be experiencing blizzard conditions. Now a fascinating study was done back

in 2002 looking at the most prone area across the United States where blizzards occurred and most frequented areas for blizzards were areas

around the Dakotas, western Minnesota, onto Wyoming and eventually eastern Colorado.

That region saw the highest likelihood of blizzards every single year, but they also show it about 2.5 million people per year experience these

blizzard like conditions. Like you displace that into the upper Mid-West, take into Chicago or take it into the Northeast into Boston, Philadelphia

or New York. Now you`re talking about tens of millions of people being impacted by blizzard conditions and that is when this story becomes very

dangerous for a lot of people.


AZUZ: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has 446 bridges, more than any other city in the United States and one of them collapsed last Friday morning just

hours before President Joe Biden was scheduled to visit Pittsburgh. It happened sometime between 6 o`clock. Officials say four vehicles were

crossing it at the time and 10 people were hurt in the collapse. First responders repelled down to the victims to help them and also formed a

"daisy chain" by holding hands to get people out of the valley. The collapse broke a natural gas line in the area and there were reports of

some people feeling sick from inhaling the gas, but no one was killed.

And a Pittsburgh City Council member said it was fortunate that the collapse didn`t happen a little later in the morning because hundreds of

cars might have been involved if this had occurred during rush hour. President Biden did complete his trip there Friday. Ironically he was in

Pittsburgh to discuss infrastructure, the nation`s buildings, roads and bridges. He talked about the collapse in his speech.


PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: It had been rated in poor condition for the past 10 years. What you all know, if you don`t you should know there are another

3,300 bridges here in Pennsylvania with -- some which are just as old, and we`re going to rebuild that bridge along with thousands of other bridges in

Pennsylvania and across the country.


AZUZ: The president has signed a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill last November, but critics say that not nearly enough of that money

has been set aside to repair the nation`s bridges. And the one that collapsed Friday was not originally on the government`s list for

improvements according to NBC News. It was last inspected in September. A fire chief said despite its poor rating, officials hadn`t been concerned

about it before the collapse. The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team to the sight to try to figure out exactly what went wrong.

10 Second Trivia. What is the world`s largest airline? American Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Delta Airlines or Lufthansa. By several different

measurements including fleets and seats, American is the largest airline in the world.

We`re talked about the ongoing labor shortage in America. Help is also wanted in the skies above it. Airlines in the U.S. expect to need at least

12,000 pilots by next year and even more after that. Not enough pay, long and expensive training, furloughs, being put on leave without pay, these

are some of the major complaints pilots have had over the years. Airlines are raising salaries and making changes to address these issues, and one

major carrier has launched its own program to help train new pilots. Over the last few months, United Airlines has faced lawsuits over plans to fire

roughly 600 people who refuse to get a COVID vaccine it now requires. And the 2,000 other who got a religious or medical exemption to United`s

mandate were put on leave without pay. We don`t know how many of those employees are pilots, but pilots are the focus of its new training program.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the Arizona desert, United Airlines is growing pilots. Student pilot Adella Diagos (ph) had no flying experience only

last month. Now she has her sights set on her first solo flight on the way to the pilot seat of a United jet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like the control. I like the freedom. I like being in the air.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is United`s new Aviate Academy. The only flight school owned by a major U.S. airline. It is the newest fix for an industry

wide problem. Airlines that got smaller during the pandemic, are now looking to hire again. American Airlines wants to add 2,000 pilots this

year. Delta Airlines plans to hire as many as 200 a month. United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby says the goal here is to train 500 pilots


SCOTT KIRBY, CEO OF UNITED AIRLINES: The pilot shortage is real. We could hire pilots at United Airlines but the regional airlines and smaller

airlines are having a real pilot shortage and are having real challenges.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over the holidays, airlines cancelled more than 18,000 flights in the U.S. Corona virus sick calls compounded crew shortages.

Faye Malarkey Black heads the Regional Airline Association.

FAYE MALARKEY BLACK, REGIONAL AIRLINE ASSOCIATION: I think a mistake we would make is to treat this like it`s temporary. This is a problem that`s

real. It`s present. It`s already affected air service and it`s going to get worse if we don`t intervene now and give people a real path into this


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The latest estimate that airlines worldwide will need at least 34,000 new pilots by 2025, but entry level flying jobs require

1,500 hours of experience.

KIRBY: The problem is the barriers to entry. This is the model, really about creating that economic opportunity to let people come in who don`t

have $100,000 to spend on their certification but have great potential, great ability.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tuition here is $71,000. When they graduate, students could get hired by a United partner company. First as a flight instructor,

then at a regional airline and ultimately with United.


AZUZ: Murder. Not usually a topic for our fun and games 10 out of 10 segment, but we`re talking about a murder of crows. Yes, a group of them

is called a murder. They`ve been occupying the town square in Sunnyvale, California. Why? That`s a mystery. They`ve been doing this for years and

even more since COVID. They`re noisy. They`re dirty if you walk under them, and the city has tried everything from laser pointers to scarecrows

to scare off the real crows.

So people have been "swarming" with a string of ideas on how to "herd" the "scourging" plague" out of their "nest". They`ve mustard a "cloud" of

"clutch" conclusions. A bruiting "seed" of "solusions" landing only a "parcel" of collective "confusion" over how to end the "occlusion" and

"palusion". It`s letting the crows get away with "murder" ya`ll. Today`s shout out takes us to Queen Creek, Arizona where we`re running with the

Colts of Casteel High School and I`m Carl Azuz for CNN.