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Powerful Storm Bringing Snow, Ice & Better Cold Across U.S.; Penguins In South Africa. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired February 24, 2023 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: What`s up, lovely people? The weekend is upon us. It is Friday and Friday`s rock. We are fueled up and ready to rock it out

with you. This the best minutes in news, so let`s go,

We start with continuing coverage on the intense weather systems sweeping across the United States there`s a strong chance that many of you watching

right now have already seen your neighborhood impacted. More than 65 million people across 29 states from as far west as California to as far

east as Maine were under winter weather alerts, warning of heavy snow, severe icing, extreme cold. Eight hundred and fifty thousand people went

without power, more than 1,700 flights were canceled.

But we are seeing two extremes across the country right now while a powerful storm is setting record low temperatures across the northern

plains, at the same time, there is a heat wave in the southeast setting record high temperatures for the month of February. Can you believe that

there is a difference of more than degrees between some places right here in the United States.

More now from Brian Todd, a CNN correspondent based in the network`s Washington bureau who tells us of the dangers that this storm is bringing

to people all across the country.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Wyoming, a state trooper has to scramble out of the way as a runaway truck almost hits him.

Dangerous conditions on a snowy road in Truckee, California, caused this car to flip.

In Flagstaff, Arizona, the snow was so violent that this man told CNN it literally knocked him backward as he and his dog struggled to see and keep

their footing.

A sweeping massive storm system is pummeling much of the country from California to Maine. More than 65 million people under winter weather

alerts across the West, Midwest, and Northeast.

The Minneapolis/St. Paul area could get around 20 inches by the time it`s over. It could be the most snow that area has seen in three decades.

Minnesota`s governor discussed the dangers they prepared for.

GOV. TIM WALZ (D), MINNESOTA: The goal is to not to have to pull somebody off the interstate, but we`re prepared to do so if that happens. The goal

is to make sure that we`re ready if there`s power losses, being able to keep the highways and move emergency vehicles as quickly as we can.

TODD: Conditions so severe in Minnesota that ambulances have to be specially equipped.

RYAN MAYFIELD, HENNEPIN HEALTHCARE EMS ASSISTANT CHIEF: We have shovels in our ambulances. We have salt and sand mixtures as well to help us out. We

have a few sleds if we need to use them.

TODD: California getting hit with snow in places that don`t often experience it.

DANIEL SWAIN, CLIMATE SCIENTIST, UCLA: We are going to see low snow all the way from the Oregon border to the Mexican border.

TODD: North of Los Angeles, a long stretch of vehicles is stopped on state route 58 as the highway patrol warns motorists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are asking everybody to avoid the area, make alternate plans, drive a different day.

TODD: But in different areas, different impacts. Near San Jose, high winds snap trees, brought down power lines, and caused widespread power outages.

DIANE CHERMAK, SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, RESIDENT: These old Victorians, the wood is so old, if there`s a spark that that`s what really worries me.

TODD: High winds caused so-called brownout conditions and several vehicle accidents in the Texas panhandle.

And with this massive system thousands of flights have been canceled according to the flight tracking site Flight Aware. It says the airports in

Minneapolis-St. Paul Detroit and Denver are getting hit hardest.


WIRE: Ten-second trivia:

A group of penguins in the water is referred to as which of the following?

Huddle, colony, water or raft?

Wouldn`t you know it, all of these are named for a collective of penguins, but a raft refers to a group of penguins in the water.

Up next, we`re taking a trip to see some penguins in need of some help.

Now, first of all I thought all penguins lived in cold snowy regions but that`s not true. In fact, there are penguins that can be found waddling

around the warm dry shores in South Africa with not a major snowbank in sight. We learn something new every day on the show.

This particular penguin population though is dwindling in large part because they`re having trouble making their nests. So, humans are stepping

in to build them some sweet new digs. CNN went to check in on the tuxedo birds and we`ll go there now to learn some more.


REPORTER: Antarctica is known to have the largest population of penguins in the world, but not all penguins live in snow and ice. Some can be found

waddling along the balmy shores of southern Africa, on barren and windswept islands like this one.

But in the last century, populations of the endangered African penguin have plummeted, due in part to human disturbance, egg poaching and climate


TRUDI MALAN, CONSERVATION MANAGER, DYER ISLAND CONSERVATION TRUST: Dyer Island in the 1970s, there was about breeding pairs. At the moment, we`re

counting breeding pairs. It`s quite a severe collapse.

REPORTER: Historically, African penguins made nests in boroughs of guano, layers of accumulated seabird and bad feces. But in the 19th century,

humans began to exploit guano supplies and sell it as fertilizer, leaving penguins and their eggs exposed to predators and a scorching sun.

KEVIN GRAHAM, ASSOCIATE CURATOR, DALLAS ZOO/AZA SAFE: At one point in the colonies, it ranged from three to 10 meters in depth and even deeper in

some areas. Right now, the deepest guano remaining in any of the colony`s measures in the centimeters, the only thing left is bare gravel, bare oil,

nothing that they can burrow into and that took away their entire nesting ability.

REPORTER: In 2016, the African Penguin Nest Project dived to the rescue, a coordinated effort between Dyer Island Conservation Trust, Dallas Zoo and

other organizations. Its mission is to design and deploy artificial nests that give penguin parents a safe and cool place to raise their chicks.

After two years of development and studying old guano nests, project experts settled on a final design which they started deploying in late

2018. The aim was to emulate mother nature as closely as possible.

GRAHAM: We made the entrance hall small so that the penguins can squeeze in and as soon as they turn around, they can protect that entrance hole

from any predator it looks a little bit strange when you look at it but it`s an exact copy of what the penguins build themselves if they were given

the opportunity.

REPORTER: Each nest is fitted with a sensor that measures temperature and humidity which enables researchers to track the nest`s microclimate.

GRAHAM: Eggs are an extremely delicate structure. They`re only set to be incubated at about 38 to 39 degrees. Any higher than that, and there`s a

very real risk of the eggs dying.

We`re going to constantly be looking at the performance of the nests when it comes to the usage rates, are the penguins using them? Are the eggs

hatching? Are the chicks fledging?

But so far, what we`re seeing is that the artificial nests are fledging chicks at a much higher rate than any other option that they have.

REPORTER: Funded by donations or by people sponsoring individual nests, Graham says the project is so far installed more than 1,500 nests around

South Africa`s penguin colonies.

Next year, the project hopes to expand to penguin colonies in Namibia. The end goal is that every penguin that needs a nest will get one.

MALAN: I think we have got a responsibility as humans because you know we`ve kind of intruded onto a place and messed things up a little bit, but

we also can fix it. I never think of an African penguin as cute and cuddly. I think of an African penguin as absolutely tenacious. I think there are

such survivors and they should be an example to all of us that you can overcome.


WIRE: Today`s story getting a 10 out of 10, a pup with a celebrity smile. Check out this crooked grin canine. Its name, Paul Ruff, named after actor

Paul Rudd. It`s his doggy doppelganger.

Ruff was a shelter dog in Tennessee, but the good news is he found a forever home after he went viral when people pointed out that he had a

celebrity twin.

All right. I want to give a special shout out to Forest Creek Middle School in Fort Mill South Carolina. What`s up, Hudson?

I also want to send big virtual hugs to Ms. Mindy and all the Hibbard (ph) Wildcats who watch us every morning. Yeah, represent.

I`m @CoyWire on Insta, Snapchat, and TikTok. We`re CNN 10 on YouTube.

Have an awesome weekend and remember, you are more powerful than you know. I`m Coy Wire. It`s been a blessing to spend this week with you.