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Winter Storm Impacts 40M Across U.S.; America`s First Solar-Powered Town. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired February 01, 2023 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. It`s your boy Coy, wishing you a wonderful Wednesday. We`re halfway through the week so let`s lock in and

keep aiming to be a little better today than we were yesterday.

Time now for the best 10 minutes in news, and we start today with what is being called a triple threat of winter weather in the United States. More

than 40 million people from New Mexico to West Virginia are under various forms of winter weather alerts. Roads in many of these places were

considered very dangerous. And one person has already lost their life in a 10-car pileup in Austin, Texas.

Since Monday, EMS crews in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have responded to at least 142 traffic accidents while the forecast shows there will be periods

of reprieve over the next two days. Roads will likely be dangerously slick throughout the storm as temperatures remain low.

Millions of people across the southern and central parts of the nation are bracing for an ice storm which could pose a triple threat: ice, sleet and

snow. Officials have already closed schools and roads in anticipation of the conditions. In fact, driving in certain areas is already so dangerous

in large part because many cities and towns, they`re just not equipped to handle this kind of weather. So please tell your family and friends to be


Now, let`s talk about a different type of storm, hurricanes. Today, we`re highlighting a community that`s built to withstand them. Babcock Ranch in

coastal Florida calls itself America`s first solar-powered town and it never lost any power during the devastating hurricane Ian which wreaked

havoc on communities all around it.

The town which is located 12 miles inland from Fort Myers has streets that are specifically designed to funnel flood waters away from houses. And

landscaping -- well, that`s designed to guard against storm surge many of us have either been directly impacted or know somebody who`s seen their

home or business destroyed by hurricanes, but could the way we design cities be the answer?

CNN chief climate correspondent Bill Weir traveled to Babcock Ranch which is designed to weather the weather.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): When Hurricane Ian brought gusts over 150 miles an hour, much of the power grid in its

path did not stand a chance.

Look at that.

And thanks to two feet of rain, even communities miles from the storm surge could not escape life-altering floods.

But even as white caps ripped across the lake in Anthony Grande`s (ph) backyard, he was chilled out in front of the TV.

ANTHONY GRANDE, BABCOCK RANCH RESIDENT: You know, that`s one of the things I said to my wife when we were -- were sitting there watching TV, I`m like,

I don`t have any fear right now.

WEIR: Anthony and the 2,000 families around him never lose power and did not flood because they live in Babcock Ranch, a community about 15 miles

from Ft. Myers, which is 100 percent solar powered.

GRANDE: I even held on to my generator not knowing what was really going to happen. So my wife was like, get rid of it. I`m like, no, I`m not

getting rid of it. I`m not doing it. That`s what we -- we go through the test. And this was the test.

WEIR: This was the test.

GRANDE: This was a big test. So.

WEIR: And now you can let go of the generator?

GRANDE: I did. I gave it to a friend.

WEIR: Jennifer Langwell (ph) was nervous during the storm because with a Ph.D. in civil engineering, she helped design this place.

JENNIFER LANGWELL, BABCOCK RANCH RESIDENT: I literally got my construction drawing out and I looked at the wind load that my house was designed to,

and I looked at my finished floor elevation, and I looked at the road elevation, and I just mentally was crunching numbers because I was like,

this is going to be bad.

WEIR: And it was. But their interconnected lakes and protected wetlands saved them from flooding. And the 700,000 solar panels in their 150 mega-

watt array all held solid.

I always assumed that solar panels and hurricanes don`t mix, that it would turn them into projectiles, but you didn`t lose any or --

LANGWELL: No. That`s the beautiful thing about engineering, right, is that you understand the wind loads and you understand the stress and the strain

and you design to that.

WEIR: This place is the brain child of Syd Kitson, an NFL offensive lineman turned developer, who bought a massive cattle ranch, sold most of

it to Florida as a nature preserve, and set out to build the cleanest, most resilient town in America.

GRANDE: Here`s the elementary school. We have a field house over there which is now housing people as a shelter.

WEIR: Right.

I guess it`s fitting that the mascot of Babcock High are the Trail Blazers.

GRANDE: Trail Blazers.

Everything`s very well thought out here.

WEIR: I`ve got to say, my heart still breaks. I feel a little guilty leaving the damage --

GRANDE: Right.

WEIR: But it`s a relief to come to a place unscathed like this.

GRANDE: Yes, we`re feeling the guilt to being out here.

WEIR: Are you?

GRANDE: Yes, absolutely. Yes. I mean we`ve certainly got it really good out here.

LANGWELL: It`s unfortunate to feel guilty about it. I feel relieved that we`re not adding to what first responders have to deal with and that we`re

able to help the community. So, we have people here making meals. We`re taking in laundry from sheriffs and firefighters that are in from out of

town. Because we were resilient, because we were durable, we`re able to help in that way.


WIRE: Ten-second trivia:

Which of these sports invented in 1965 is the official state sport of Washington?

Tennis, squash, pickleball or badminton?

Pickleball was created on Bainbridge Island, Washington, by Joel Pritchard and some friends as a backyard game for kids.

Today`s story getting a 10 out of 10.

Aunt Nora, a passionate prize-winning pickleball playing prodigy giving us some tips on how to dominate in the fastest growing sport in America via

her niece, CNN senior producer Janelle Davis.


JANELLE DAVIS, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER (voice-over): Pickleball is the fastest growing U.S. sport with about 5 million players. This addicting game is a

mashup of tennis, ping pong and badminton. I even got hooked and I`m lucky to take my game to the next level.

Lucky for me, I have a national competitor in my family. That`s Aunt Nora in the white skirt.

We go way back. Clearly, she`s going easy on me here but at just under five feet, she dominates on the court and has won countless trophies.

NORA DAVIS, NATIONAL PICKLEBALL COMPETITOR: I will play five days a week, anywhere from two to five hours a day. I am truly an addict.

J. DAVIS: She lives in Washington state, the birthplace of pickleball and here are her three tips to take your game to the next level.

Number one: add spin to your dink. Okay let`s back up for the newbies watching.

This part of the court is the non-volley zone, known as the kitchen. Experienced players keep the ball low and get in an offensive position near

the kitchen, giving your opponent less time to react.

Shots for this is called the dink, a short soft hit into your opponent`s kitchen. Here`s how it`s done --

N. DAVIS: You`re going to get low and then you`re going to come up and lift it like you would. But instead of stopping right there, you`re going

to roll your hand forward.

J. DAVIS: That spin makes your shots lethal. To practice, play a game starting near the kitchen hitting dinks back and forth, keep it low and

slow. You`ll learn accuracy and patience.

N. DAVIS: You need to have a lot of patience with your dink shots. Your opponent will make a mistake before you do if you have patience.

J. DAVIS: Number two, master the drop shot, one of the hardest shots. The drop is a soft hit from deep in the court that drops into your opponent`s

kitchen, allowing you to explode towards the net and go on the attack.

N. DAVIS: To do the drop shot, you want to get low and lift just to your chest.

J. DAVIS: You`ll need a loose grip, control swing and to get low, being short like my eye helps too.

Number three, time your split step. That`s the ready position. You don`t want to be moving as you hit the ball. You want to be stabilized. The best

players can predict where the ball is going and quickly position themselves for the return.

Now, you`re ready to play.


WIRE: All right. Today, it`s officially Black History Month and February 1st is National Freedom Day, honoring the signing of the 13th Amendment by

President Abraham Lincoln which abolished slavery in the U.S.

Today is also hashtag your word Wednesday. Follow me @CoyWire on Insta, Snapchat and TikTok, and put your challenge words in the comment section of

my most recent post and we`ll choose one fun one to work into tomorrow`s show. The last word was pulchritudinous meaning beautiful.

Shout out to the pulchritudinous people at James Madison Middle School in Roanoke, Virginia. Thanks for subscribing and commenting on our CNN 10

YouTube channel.

I`m Coy Wire. This is CNN 10, and I`ll see you tomorrow.