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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Coastal flooding, Residents Evacuated; Blizzard Clobbering New England; American Killed in Libya Hotel Attack; Blizzard Baby Doing Well; Slow Restoring Service in LaGuardia Airport; "360" News Bulletin

Aired January 27, 2015 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Much of Massachusetts experiencing one of the top snowfalls of all time.

Anderson is next. He's covering the storm from New York.

And Anderson, what does it take to get you in a hat? You need a hat. You must be freezing.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It's not that bad. I just got out here, Erin. Thanks very much.

Good evening, everyone. Thanks for joining us.

The blizzard of 2015 might not have been as big as expected right here in New York and it's certainly wasn't. Elsewhere, though, it has been just as big and just as bad as anticipated. In some place even worse than anyone here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here it is. This water coming up right over the seawall right now. We're still got half an hour away from high tide. But this is the kind of --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Terrible flooding south of Boston, all long the New England shore. The worst may not even be over yet. In addition what you see here, this weather system is still dumping snow. Still whipping up waves, downing power lines and stranding air travelers. Generally making things rough for a whole lot of people tonight.

We got correspondents out there and all of it. We'll also be checking with people in some of the hardest hit areas including a pair of islands that under better conditions looks straight out of a picture postcard. Not tonight, though, not even close.

We want to begin with our Chad Myers who joins us out here overlooking Columbia Circle and Central Park.

So here in New York, what happened? Because a lot of people woke up today, said, wait a minute, this is nothing what we thought it was going to be.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Right. Two out of three computer models that we usually agree with, that we like them, got it wrong. And so the Weather Service looking at it, said hey, this is a bad storm. The one model that got it right, it was the out wire, it was the minority, and it was right on the money.

So nothing really went wrong with the storm. Something went wrong with the models and so, therefore, the model forecast, because it's garbage in, garbage out. You know a meteorologist has to look at his model and say this is what the computer says, this is what I should believe.

COOPER: So what they got wrong was the track of the actual storm itself?

MYERS: Absolutely. What happened to the storm is that the two models that got it wrong, the European and the North American Mesoscale model, had it 100 miles closer to Nantucket than it came. So it moved far away and Nantucket got slammed like we should have gotten slammed in its computer forecast.

So I don't think it's a bad thing that we didn't get it. I mean, honestly, it saved millions of dollars of cleanup and heartache and all of that.

COOPER: It surprises, though, a lot of people. I mean, in this day and age, it's still a relatively imprecise science.

MYERS: The problem is our computer technology; our computer speed isn't quite what it needs to be to make a perfect forecast. The computers can make a perfect forecast churning as fast as it can. It would make a 48-hour forecast but it would make them -- take them 14 days to make that forecast. So by the time the computer was done, it would have been 12 days old.

COOPER: Let's look at where the storm did hit hard.

MYERS: Yes.

COOPER: Because a lot of people very badly affected. Where is the worst part?

MYERS: Absolutely, anywhere from Lister back over to Boston, all the way down to Providence, Rhode Island, and on the eastern tip of Long Island. Montauk and Islip really getting pounded with a lot of snow. I mean, you got to pick up 36 inches of snow now where we're picking up, what, eight to 10, 12 inches of snow here. That's a big difference.

COOPER: And in those areas how much longer? What's the timeline?

MYERS: Still going to snow for six more hours. We still have six more hours of inch or maybe half-inch snow. So that's three to six more on top of what they're already seeing. The big storm -- you know, once you get 36, what's 39? Honestly. You know it's a meter stick or it's a yardstick. The problem is the wind tonight. The wind is still howling.

Not so much here. We're about 20 miles per hour. But the wind off the Cape and the wind in Boston and the wind in parts of Connecticut are 30 to 40 miles per hour, making wind chill factors of 10 below zero.

Pets aren't good with that, people aren't good with that. You don't want to be stuck outside.

COOPER: Yes. Still a lot to do for authorities.

We're going to be checking back in with Chad throughout the next two hours that we're on the air.

I do want to go next to a spot about a half hour south of Boston where the ocean breached a seawall, left block after block covered in salt water.

Alexandra Field is there in Scituate, Massachusetts. She join us now.

So I know the seawall there was breached causing a lot of flooding. What's the latest right now?

FIELD: Yes. There was so much worry about the water here and really with very good reason, Anderson, because these neighborhoods, the one that I'm standing in just about a block back from the beach, they saw floodwaters four, five feet high. In some places it came over that seawall. It ran into the backyards, wrapped around these houses, filled basements.

And we saw debris scattered right across the road here. The water leading up to the doorways across the street from where I'm standing. We got up on the seawall earlier this afternoon when the high tide came in. We saw that seawater come up, splashing over, sending rocks and sand with it. This is exactly the situation that people in this community were worried about.

This is an area where they have this problem. Storm surge will cause flooding when they get a big storm out here in Scituate and in other coastal communities south of Boston. But people who live here say, even they were not anticipating the level of water that they saw this morning. That's when the big amount of water really came pushing through here. At the second high tide of the day, 4:00, 5:00 in the afternoon, less water but enough to run down into these snowy streets. A lot of these streets simply not able to be traversed all afternoon here.

We saw the National Guard, Anderson, coming in to evacuate people from their homes. Otherwise, police were traveling around in high axle vehicles going through these streets that were covered in water. You know, warning people that they might want to get out before that high tide came back here this evening -- Anderson.

COOPER: And in terms what they're facing tonight, I mean, to Chad's plan, I understand that the wind chill is going to feel like below zero, more snow predicted. What are officials most concerned about right now?

FIELD: For a lot of people, the issue is power. This is a town, because they were concerned about the water, because they were concerned about wind and flooding, they actually cut the power here in a number of neighborhoods last night. They wanted to limit the possibility of a fire and create a situation in which officials wouldn't be able to respond potentially to homes that were burning. That's a problem this community has had in the past.

Back in 2012, four beach houses burned when firefighters couldn't reach them and winds carried those flames during a big storm. So tonight, you know, there are people who had to leave their homes because they were without power on this street and this neighborhood where people are dealing with getting the floodwater out of their basements, they still have power and they in fact they are pretty grateful for that. Because they need the light and certainly they need the heat tonight -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. And Chad is here as well.

MYERS: Yes, I was wondering about what she just talked about. Do people there actually have basements? I was thinking, you know, it's kind of on the sand, it's kind of on a beach, maybe you don't dig a basement, everything is up on a pillar. So give us the lay of the land. Do people -- are people's basements really flooding and they have no power to pump it out because there is no sump pump.

FIELD: Yes. I think tonight you wish that you didn't have a basement. But we did talk to a couple who lived here and they said that they do have a basement, that it's filled with water. But you will see that a lot of the homes in this area, and unfortunately it's a little bit too dark to show you, because we mentioned that this is a community that sees flooding, a lot of these homes are on stilts.

So you see, you know, a couple feet of water that is -- has filled up beneath the homes but has been able to pass through. And that's why these structures aren't compromised, they aren't damaged as can be the case when you got homes close to the beach. But again, you know, these are people, they got the harbor on that side, they got the ocean back here.

So a lot of these houses are build up to withstand the kind of flooding that they saw today when the seawall is, you know. overflowed with water or when part of it is compromised, which is what happened to -- with part of private wall a little bit earlier in the afternoon.

COOPER: Yes. And there were some evacuations there. We'll see if there's more tonight.

Alexandra Field, appreciated it.

Just be mile south the town of Marshfield also took a pounding in high tide just a few hours ago. This is what it looks like as the ocean slammed on shore, some serious damage in places as we speak.

Brian Todd is there for us tonight. Tonight he joins us now. You've seen dangerous conditions there throughout the day. What's it

like right now at this hour?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it's still a driving snow and the wind is still a big factor here causing snowdrifts like this one behind me, accumulated several feet above my head. You can walk up these things. These are all over town. The driving wind is still causing a problem with the storm surge with high tide coming in a couple of hours ago. You mentioned we were there just along the waterfront here in Marshfield, Massachusetts, when high tide came back.

It first hit at about 5:00 this morning. And right after that, the seawall breached. At least 50 feet worth of that seawall just crumbled and several homes got flooded. And it got very dangerous. They had to do rescue missions. People had to be evacuated with the help of the fire department and the National Guard getting people out of their homes along that area of the beach and the seawall here in Marshfield.

We were there a few hours ago when high tide returned. Shot some of that video. We almost got taken out couple of times by those waves. They were very, very violent. It is still a dangerous situation.

What we're told here, Anderson, by officials is they're still concerned because high tide is going to stick around for at least a couple more hours. And they're worried that if the power is on in some of those houses that I think you and Alexandra were talking about this in Scituate, same thing here.

If the power is on in some of those houses and the water rushes in, it can short circuit some things in those houses. It can cause fires, a couple of houses here, burned to the ground a few years ago. When that happened. They are very concerned about that as well.

And this is also an issue here. This is really been going on for the last several hours. These are whiteout conditions. This is a driving snow. But it's just a wind, it's similar to hurricane winds in that they just swirl all around. You can't tell from one minute to the next which direction the wind is going to hit you with. And that is a big problem.

Whiteout conditions in this town are hindering the first responders as they try to get to people, get them evacuated. Get them to places like this. I'm right outside of a shelter where some people have come for the night -- Anderson.

COOPER: Wow.

MYERS: Hey, Brian, it's Chad Myers. Last night we saw you, I don't know, on the surface of the windy moon or in a -- you know, a wind tunnel. I was insane in the New Jersey. And now you're in Massachusetts.

TODD: Right.

MYERS: Tell me -- tell me about your trip. I'm flabbergasted that you actually got there. Describe what your trip was like.

TODD: It was pretty harrowing at times, Chad. You know, it took us I think close to seven hours to get up here from New Jersey. We were traveling all along the I-95 corridor. Taking I-95, and I-95 was like I had never seen it before. It was a frozen tundra. There was no one on it. It was a total -- it was ghost highway. And in some stretches, they had -- they're doing -- they did a really good job of plowing it. But they just couldn't plow it fast enough to keep up with the rate of snowfall.

So it was covered in snow as we made our way up here and it took us a lot longer than we thought it might. But we did get up here. Ironically, of course, just as high tide was coming back to Marshfield and that seawall, we got to that area in the seawall, it took us a little while to get just to the seawall when we entered town.

It was -- the conditions were so treacherous.

COOPER: Yes.

TODD: Just as we got there, it was at its most violent and it was very dangerous.

COOPER: Brian, I'm glad you made it. Brian, we'll talk to you throughout these two hours.

Jennifer Bruno lives in Marshfield. She's a sergeant in Massachusetts National Guard. She's an Iraq veteran who believes in being prepared. So acting on the possibility of high wind and water, she loaded up a U-Haul trailer last night. She went to stay at friend's. It was a good thing she did. She returned today at the scene of destruction. You see here, and you saw Brian Todd's reporting.

Sergeant Bruno joins us now. She's in our news vehicle out of the elements.

Thank you so much for being with us, Sergeant. I mean, the pictures of your house, the damage, when you went back this morning and you saw what happened, tell us exactly -- I mean, what kind of damage there was?

SGT. JENNIFER BRUNO, MARSHFIELD NATIONAL GUARD: It was just structural damage and rocks all throughout the apartment. The part of the roof collapsed, the wall, my door was missing. It's just destroyed.

COOPER: To see something like that, I mean, was it worse than anything you had expected?

BRUNO: Yes. Definitely. You know, I've been through a lot. And that was just more than I thought would have happened. So, I mean, it's really all I can say about that.

COOPER: I understand you went back.

BRUNO: Take it one day at a time. COOPER: Yes. You went back to get your National Guard uniform, is

that right?

BRUNO: My uniforms, civilian clothes. It was -- I thought the roof might collapse in my bedroom. So that's how bad it was. So my friends and I, we actually just grabbed a few things, some uniforms that were right there and a sword I got when I was in Iraq and a cross with scripture on it that was hanging on the wall. That's all I got.

COOPER: What about photo -- family photographs? Anything like that?

BRUNO: No. Nope. They're there.

COOPER: Do you have a place to stay now?

BRUNO: They're still there. Right now I'm just staying with a family friend and one of my best friends, her brother and girlfriend, are going to let me stay. I have two cats so they're letting me stay with them for a while.

COOPER: And the cats are OK?

BRUNO: Until I can find a place. Yes. I got them out last night.

COOPER: Well, you know, I'm so sorry for what you're going through. And I'm glad you have friends who are there for you. And you're able to get your cats in some of the possessions across and other things.

Sergeant Bruno, thank you so much for talking to us. We wish you the best.

BRUNO: Thank you.

COOPER: You know, in a place like New York, where a lot of people woke up today and said oh, look, this thing wasn't so bad for a lot of people, and it's important to point that out, you know, there's real suffering out there tonight.

When we come back, more breaking news.

Late word of a terror attack in Libya taking at least 10 lives, including an American contractor. We'll tell you where it happened and how.

Also more on the storm and reports from everywhere still in harm's way.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We'll get back to the blizzard that's still pounding the northeast.

But another important story is breaking, we want to tell you about. New details about a terror attack today in Libya. An American contractor David Berry was among 12 people killed when gunmen stormed the hotel in Tripoli. That's according to the security firm that Mr. Berry was working for.

Our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr joins me with the latest.

Barbara, what else do we know about this American man who was killed?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, according to the company he worked for, a security contractor called Crucible, he was in Libya working for them. Very little information available about how exactly he died. But it is said by the Libyan Security Services, this attack against the hotel began with that car bomb detonated in the parking lot. The attackers shooting their way into the hotel.

By all accounts, according to some of the sources I've talked to, the Corinthia Hotel, a luxury hotel in Tripoli, well known to be a place where some Westerners operated out of because it was considered to be somewhat safe, but potentially with Westerners there, with a security environment in Tripoli right now, it may well have been a target. So what we'll be looking for is to see if some of these Western companies may be rethinking their security arrangements.

And you know, the group -- a group that is said to be supportive of ISIS, claiming responsibility for the attack. So again, underscoring that in Tripoli right now, there is just a good deal of chaos -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. What's the U.S. government doing about the attack, anything?

STARR: Well, that's a really a good point. The FBI now investigating it as they do with the deaths of any Americans who die in potential terrorist attacks overseas. So they will be looking at it. They will be looking at the claim of responsibility, and this claim is said to also involve a claim that this is retribution for the U.S. capture of an al Qaeda operative in Libya some months ago named al-Libi.

U.S. forces captured him, brought him to the United States to face trial for some charges. But he recently died of illness. Still, while in U.S. detention in the United States. So the claim is it is retribution for al-Libi's capture and death.

Again, one of these issues where people make a lot of claims, a lot of counter-claims but very sad news for the family of this American contractor.

COOPER: And in terms of the investigation, I mean, in terms of resources, the U.S. doesn't have a lot in Libya right now.

STARR: Well, that is absolutely true. The U.S. embassy closed down several months ago. They evacuated all the military and diplomatic personnel out of that embassy. Literally in the middle of the night. It underscores the notion that Tripoli really is a place that is not very safe for Americans. You know, people say it's a pretty safe bet that there are some U.S. intelligence personnel, perhaps some U.S. Special Forces that go in and out. The U.S. officially says it is still trying to track down any

perpetrators of the Benghazi attacks. So there is some intelligence work going on. There's some potential intelligence sharing, but the government in Libya right now, so unstable, so uncertain about the safety of the situation there that the U.S. keeps a very minimal presence. And by all accounts, any U.S. personnel rotate in and out of there. They don't stay put.

COOPER: Yes. Very dangerous.

Barbara Starr, thank you.

STARR: Sure.

COOPER: We want to give you more on the storm which as you've been seeing is not over yet. And has already caused considerable damage.

As Chad mentioned at the top of the hour, the storm is still rotating off the Atlantic coast. Blizzard warnings remain in parts of New England tonight, including in Portland, Maine, where our George Howell joins us now.

What's it like there, George?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, there's a lot of snow out here, Anderson. If you look around here, you can see the snow berms are pretty high. This is not unusual now for Portland, Maine. But at the same time, it is a lot of snow to deal with. Really on the tail end of this storm system. So, you know, what we're seeing now, we're expecting over the next two to three hours, the last few bands to come through here.

And when that happens, we expect the winds will die down a bit. But the winds are pretty intense and, you know, right now we're kind of in between snow bands. The last snow band came through just about five or 10 minutes ago.

COOPER: I understand. I mean, it's been windy like that all day, right, George?

HOWELL: Yes. I mean, it's been pretty intense. You know we got up here just about an hour and a half ago. And you know, when we got here, the winds were really, really high. Like I said we're in sort of a lull right now.

Let's move over, guys, while this snowplow comes on through. I don't want anyone to get hit by the snowplow, of course.

But you know what you're finding also on the streets, no one is on the streets. That's the good news. A lot of people are kind of heeding that warning to stay at home until all of this is said and done.

COOPER: All right. George, I appreciate your reporting. Thanks.

The blizzard is hitting Nantucket off the coast of Massachusetts causing power outages, serious flooding. The vacation island is only 14 miles long. It's got less than four miles in width. About 15,000 people live there. The storm has cut them off completely from the rest of the state.

William Pitman is the chief of police and he joins me now on the phone.

Chief, I know it's got to be a really rough 24 hours for you there in Nantucket. What are conditions like at this hour?

WILLIAM PITMAN, NANTUCKET CHIEF POLICE: Well, actually, we were just talking about that. And we think it's starting to improve out there. The winds are down a little bit and the snow seems to be a little less than what it was.

COOPER: And is the whole island still without power?

PITMAN: No. We've got power restored to about 3,000 residents at this point, which is probably about a third of the -- of the island. There's a lot of the eastern part of the island and up towards the Squam in that area that we don't have any power at this time.

COOPER: Do you have a timeline for when the residents who don't have power might be able to get it back?

PITMAN: Well, there's some areas in the central part of the island that we're working on right now and we hope to get them on in the next couple of hours. And then about that time, the crews are probably going to be done for the day because they've been going since -- you know, for quite a long time. And then we'll resume tomorrow morning working out in the eastern part of the island and the northeastern part.

COOPER: Chief, I want to bring in Chad Myers, because he's been tracking the storm. I know he's got some questions.

MYERS: Chief, yes, I've been looking at the observations from Nantucket. And I tell you what, you had wind gusts of over 60 miles per hour for 17 straight hours. Have you ever seen anything like that on your island before for 17 hours straight?

PITMAN: Well, it was a lot. But I think what impacted us more was the steady winds which were reaching 50 miles an hour that was for a long time. That's what really fatigued us.

COOPER: And I know this morning you were concerned about flooding. Does that still pose a problem for residents?

PITMAN: Yes. We just went through a second tide cycle with flooding. Many of the streets from the downtown area, around the Grant Point Hotel down along the Easy Street and stuff flooded again. This time we had people that had been in affected houses last night were already out. So we didn't have any -- we didn't have to go in there with boats like we did this morning and rescue anybody.

MYERS: Chief, with that water damage to those homes, does that play a role in getting the electricity back on to other homes? PITMAN: Yes, it absolutely does. Those homes have to be isolated

because they probably have damage to their electrical systems. So they're isolated from the grid. And then they have to -- that's what takes so long to get the power back on, is once they got the -- the power restored to the island, they then had to start working on each individual circuit. And the source, they had to go out and correct all the faults, and by which there's a lot of them.

Otherwise when they flip the switch, they just light up the snow. And that wouldn't work out too good for us.

COOPER: And, Chief, did you know -- do you feel like this is the storm you expected, like you knew this was coming or was it worse or better than you expected?

PITMAN: It certainly turned out worse. Two things were unexpected. The flooding was more intense and a lot higher than was predicted. And I think it was almost a foot higher than predicted. And then we were looking at a steady progression of weather forecasts that kind of indicated that last night they would turnover to rain, heavy rain as a matter of fact. And that never happened.

And it wasn't until late last night that we realized that, although it was 35 degrees, it was going to continue to snow. And that's when we really started realizing that we had a bigger problem than what we originally anticipated.

So -- but, you know, we were prepared. But I don't know how anybody can be prepared entirely when you lose all of your communications and all of your electricity. That's certainly add some challenging dimensions.

COOPER: Yes. Well, as you said, I mean, you live on a beautiful island and I hope you get power back to the rest of the residents who still don't have it.

Chief William Pittman, thank you very much.

PITMAN: OK. Thank you.

COOPER: Just as the storm has left hundreds of thousands and airline passengers stranded, and hundreds more flights have already been canceled for tomorrow. Could be days until airline traffic gets back to normal.

We'll get the latest from New York's LaGuardia airport next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: That's the scene out on the far east end of Long Island. About three hours from where I'm standing. A three-hour drive. Surfers out in Montauk at Long Island, hearty souls out there today. The storm is hellish for a lot of people. It was heaven for these guys. Certainly, it seemed like completely hammered eastern Long Island. Parts of Connecticut, Rhode Island, coastal Massachusetts. All across eastern New England. MYERS: Oh man. That looks cold.

COOPER: Can you imagine?

MYERS: I'm sorry, it is cold out here, but that's insane. You know, there are tens of thousands of people, though, that think you look cold.

COOPER: You know, it's not that bad out. Last night it was bad.

MYERS: Last night it was bad.

COOPER: Yes.

MYERS: But everyone is really concerned about that hair of yours. They want you to - they want you to stay in there, so the viewers have voted.

COOPER: OK.

MYERS: And we have to choose. You have four choices.

COOPER: Yeah.

MYERS: You have four choices. You have to pick one.

COOPER: I'm not going to wear this ridiculous CNN hat, I'm sorry. With the big thing on it. It works for like someone else, Brooke Baldwin, I think, should wear it.

MYERS: She looked good in it.

COOPER: She looked good in it. Do we actually manufacture these hats?

MYERS: We do. And they're for sale in the bookstore. Yeah. Yeah. Now, you can also be Elmer Fudd.

COOPER: No.

MYERS: We are related.

COOPER: I can't rock that one.

MYERS: Elmer J. Fudd, million - I only mentioned ...

COOPER: I can't ...

MYERS: Or the one that you actually wore yesterday ...

COOPER: Oh, this one is ...

MYERS: Yes. That's extra - extra ...

COOPER: I mugged a newsie for it ...

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: A cast member from Broadway's newsies.

MYERS: Keep put it on.

COOPER: And I mugged him in the street and took it. I'm told they are on ...

MYERS: That's your choice?

COOPER: They don't need it. Actually - I don't really like wearing hats.

MYERS: It's cold outside.

COOPER: I'll keep it for now. I'll keep it - I'll wear it during commercial breaks when I need it.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: In the Boston area, two feet of snow. Brooke Baldwin is there for us now. Brooke, you've been charging through the snow up to your knees all day long. What's it like right now? I know you are wearing ...

MYERS: She's wearing a hat.

COOPER: Are you wearing that hat?

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This hat is saving me. Let me just say that. I've got more Twitter love on this stinking hat. And you can buy it at the CNN store in Atlanta. Let me just get that out of the way. Yes, I have been trudging through the snow. Let me do this sort of gingerly. Yeah, it's basically up to my knees in parts. And so, the latest no totals we had - we've heard from the mayor of Boston Marty Walsh. He was saying two feet of snow so far definitely could flirt with that record from 2003. That 27.5 inches. That is the number they're really watching for. They're saying it could possibly snow into 1:00 a.m., 2:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m. It is definitely still coming down and I've been here now standing in it for the better part of the last two days.

Here's a little bit of good news. If you are hearing - if we are hearing from the state, they're lifting that mandatory travel ban. That will no longer be in effect at midnight tonight. So like 3 1/2 hours from now, you can get out on the roads. But please, according to all the officials I've talked to, be so, so careful. You can get around on the MBTA and public transportation in Boston. Tomorrow it will be open. But definitely, a heads-up, as there's a lot of snow out here and will be even more tomorrow morning. Expect those delays. But one little takeaway, if I may dip out of the camera shot for a moment and show you this. Watch this.

That is how light and fluffy this snow is. It is freezing cold out here. I was hearing something like negative two with the windchill. But that's a great thing. Because we were anticipating all these potential power delays. Ooh, it's windy.

But that hasn't necessarily happened because it's light snow, you two. It's light snow. So, it hasn't, you know, broken any of those tree limbs that land on the power lines. So, it's cold, but at least it isn't quite as bad as they were anticipating. But it could be record setting. Anderson?

COOPER: Brooke, Brooke in sympathy with you I'm wearing this ridiculous hat as well. And I must have ...

BALDWIN: I wish I could see it.

COOPER: Yeah.

BALDWIN: I'm imagining.

COOPER: It looks - I feel like Pippi Long Stocking with these ridiculous braids. Are you jacked up on coffee, by the way? Because you - for somebody who's been out in this snow all day long, you are seeming remarkably in good spirits.

BALDWIN: I have a very warm car about five feet away from me, thank for that. And a very large red bull that hasn't been popped yet, but is my emergency when I need it once I go through the midnight hour.

COOPER: Brooke, I understand that there's still a chance that Boston is going to see record-setting snowfall.

BALDWIN: Yeah, I mean, so 27.5 inches, that's what they saw in 2003. Now, it was the most they've seen in a certain period of time. If we're at that, you know, let's say right round 24, 21 to 24 inches right now and it's really still continuing to come down and just, you know, quickly do the math. If it's continuing into the wee hours of the morning, they're definitely worrying, Mayor Walsh saying this is not a record he wants to break, but he's thinking it really might actually happen.

COOPER: Yeah, and public transportation, is it still stopped there?

BALDWIN: It's totally stopped, but it will be open tomorrow. So, if you want to hop on the T tomorrow, you can. Again, heads up, it could be slow going.

COOPER: All right, Brooke, thanks very much. We want to go back now to Sacco, Maine, where Paul Merrill of CNN affiliate WMTW joins us. Paul, I mean it looks still pretty bad out there. How is it?

PAUL MERRILL, WMTW REPORTER: It is pretty bad. Getting around is really tough. And the wind is really the story here. On the other side of this giant snowbank is a very angry ocean. High tide came and went. Not a lot of damage. Right now I'm on a snowbank that's partially snowdrift, partially put here by plows. But there are other spots where we've got like barely an inch of snow on the ground. So, the wind is really whipping things around. We get some drifts we've seen four or five feet tall here in Maine.

COOPER: And I know. Folks in Maine, used to snow. How do people there seem to be coping with it?

MERRILL: A lot of people have seemed to heed the warnings and stay indoors. We haven't seen a lot of people out and about. We've been at this spot for most of the day. We just went to try to go a half a mile south of here, shoot some storm damage. We spent about 45 minutes with our news car stuck in about four inches of sand and seawater. It took about six nice people to help us dig and push our vehicle out of there.

So, that's what you're dealing with when you're out and about on the roads. A lot of people, yes, mayors are used to this. But a lot of people are saying, this storm is a bad one. I'm staying home, I'll deal with it on Wednesday.

COOPER: Is there a travel ban there or not?

MERRILL: A lot of municipalities are advising people to stay indoors. I'm not sure if there's an official travel ban at the state level. But people know what they're dealing with. They know if this is just a regular storm where we are getting 6, 8 inches of snow, which is not a lot in Maine. When we're getting 18 inches, 2 feet. They know that even if there's not an official travel ban, it's the best to just stay indoors and not go outside if you don't have to.

COOPER: Yeah. Paul Merrill, listen, I appreciate you being out there for us. Thanks you very much.

By the way, Chad.

MERRILL: Thank you.

COOPER: ... on Twitter, a couple of people are suggesting that I'm a White Walker from Game of Thrones, that's why I don't need a hat.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: And I actually didn't.

(LAUGHTER)

MYERS: Right. You get a free bowl of soup with that hat.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: It will probably be at least a few days before airline services are back to normal after thousands of flights were canceled, virtually shutting down airports in New York, Boston, Philadelphia. Travel analysis company estimates that get this, at least 400,000 travelers were affected by cancellations. Hundreds more have already been canceled for tomorrow. The ripple effect, it could last for days on end and all across the country and even internationally. Rene Marsh is back in New York's LaGuardia airport for us tonight. So, I mean, a whole lot of travelers just stuck there. What's it like in the airport tonight?

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, again, usually busy airport and it is still a ghost town. I mean take a look down there. I think that pretty much says it all. That is the TSA security checkpoint. And not even one passenger in line. The gates are down. The lights are dim. So that just sums up what's going on here at LaGuardia and many of the country's busy airports.

We had nearly 5,000 cancellations today. That's more than we saw yesterday. And you mentioned there are going to be more cancellations tomorrow. But all of that said, we are seeing some signs of progress. This is some sign of progress right here on time. Pittsburgh, Richmond on time.

So what we're starting to see, Anderson, flights are starting to arrive. They are coming in. Limited flight operations like airports here at LaGuardia, JFK, Newark. Essentially what the airlines want to do is get all the planes in place for tomorrow. And tomorrow we expect to see things really start to ramp up. We're going to see increased flight activity. And people are going to start to be able to get to their destinations. Not everyone is going to get to their destination right away. But the airlines say they hope to be up to normal operations tomorrow, Anderson.

COOPER: Yeah, let's hope so. Rene Marsh, thanks very much.

A proud mom and her new little boy, he was born in the middle of the blizzard. I bet he'll hear that about the rest of his life. I'll talk with mom coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Take a look at images from York, Maine which is on the New England coast, are used to wicked weather. That doesn't make it any less painful. Farther south, Eastern Connecticut also got hit hard. But the first - storm at 2015, Randi Kaye is in New London, Connecticut, again for us tonight. It was - looked pretty bad there last night. How is it tonight?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, I'm happy to tell you that it is a little better tonight. I mean we are certainly not seeing the whiteout conditions that I was experiencing last night when we were on the air. The temperatures still about 19 degrees. It feels more like three degrees. The wind is still about 22, 23 miles per hour. So, but we got some word from the state that the travel ban has been lifted, that was out of this afternoon. So, a lot of folks are out and about today. The roads are still pretty slick. And there's a lot of snow on the ground. And I had a hard time getting around today just walking around. We actually had to dig our own car out, it took a couple of hours before we even left the hotel this morning to check out the area. But here's why it's so hard to get around. Because the snow is so deep. So, we brought this measuring stick just to show you and show ourselves just how deep it is.

And this, you can zoom in there, you can see. About - almost about 26, 27 inches there. So, that's how deep it is around town here. And that's why a lot of folks are just still staying put. Because it's not so much fun trying to get around, Anderson. COOPER: Well, I also understand some residents, it wasn't only their

cars got buried, their homes got covered in snow. Were they able to dig themselves out?

KAYE: Yeah, their homes and their cars. I mean we saw snowdrifts that went all the way up a full side of a home as we were driving around today. It was mostly, you know, a lot of folks trying to dig out from - dig their cars out, actually, today.

Anybody who has had their home snowed in, they were staying inside hoping to stay warm with a heat and a good fire. But those folks trying to dig their cars out, I mean some of them have told me that they've been doing this by themselves for 16 years, because they have to park on the street. This one woman told - just said another guy said that he's been living here his whole life and he hasn't seen a storm like this since 1977. It took him a few hours to dig his car out, and Anderson, something - we talked to a former department of transportation guy who said that this is one of the worst storms he's ever seen. And coming from him, that's a pretty big statement and he spent a couple of hours digging this truck out today.

COOPER: Wow.

KAYE: So, it's a big effort here. But the sun is supposed to come out tomorrow.

COOPER: All right. Let's hope so. Randi, thanks very much.

A lot of people running out of salt here. The hardware store down the block from my house ran out of salt. I actually went out there, all I had left was some sea salt.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: But it didn't really work that well.

MYERS: Just use a lot of it.

Hey, you know what, though - I saw those people shoveling the cars out and it reminded me, that as you shovel your car out, don't throw the snow on top of the fire hydrant that's right next to your car. Make sure you dig that fire hydrant out. Because if the police or the fire department need that fire hydrant, you know, you don't want them digging it out for ten minutes. They want to be able to find it and put the fire out wherever it is. That's always a good tip ...

MYERS: Good thing to remember. A lot of snowbound people in Connecticut last night. One thing to be stuck inside. I imagine it's the whole other thing to be stuck inside going into labor. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a blizzard baby. Meet Emilio, a beautiful little boy. Maybe not the most convenient time to come into the world. We're certainly all glad he's here. Emilio's mom Gabby Gonzalez joins me now on the phone from Lawrence, from Memorial Hospital in New London, Connecticut

Gabrielle, first of all, congratulations. How are you and Emilio doing?

GABRIELLE GONZALEZ: Thank you so much. We're doing good. Just a little tired.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: I can imagine. Well, take me through how this happened. I mean you were staying at a relative's house who lives near the hospital. Starting going to labor around 3:00 a.m. last night, is that right?

GONZALEZ: Yes, correct.

COOPER: And so how you did you get to the hospital? Was it a problem?

GONZALEZ: Oh my god, yes. We couldn't even step outside - the cars were completely covered. We couldn't even dig our way out. So, we had to call an ambulance and the ambulance and a fire truck had to dig a pathway for us to get to the hospital.

COOPER: Wow. They actually dug a pathway. How long did it take to get to the hospital?

GONZALEZ: Oh, my god - well, luckily, we were across the road. Maybe ten minutes.

COOPER: OK. Ten minutes, even though you were just across the road. That's incredible.

GONZALEZ: Yeah.

COOPER: And I know you were hoping to get him to come before the storm hit. You were eating lots of spicy food, is that true?

(LAUGHTER)

GONZALEZ: Yes, I was trying everything to make him come early. But he's just - he said, I'm going to be a blizzard baby.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: And I know you have another son, Angelo, who is one - has he gotten a chance to meet Emilio yet?

GONZALEZ: No. Not yet. I guess it's still bad outside. So, we have to wait it out.

COOPER: Wow, you must be excited.

GONZALEZ: I am. I'm very excited.

COOPER: Yeah, well, listen, I'm so glad that Emilio's arrived and healthy and that you're doing good. When do you think you'll be able to get out of the hospital? GONZALEZ: Thank you. Hopefully by the time when the blizzard is over

and they start shoveling the roads. Because when I went into labor, none of the roads were shoveled at all.

COOPER: Wow.

GONZALEZ: Completely covered.

COOPER: Well, you've got a great story to tell Emilio that he's a blizzard baby. Thank you so much, Gabby. Great to talk to you.

GONZALEZ: You too, thank you.

COOPER: All right. We wish you and your family the best. That's great to hear. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Hey, welcome back. The wicked storm that's still blasting parts of New England was basically a no show in other places that were predicted to take big hits, including New Jersey and here in New York. We all heard, of course, some dire forecasts, roads, transit systems were shut down, travel bans were issued. Millions of people braced for the worst. The storm hit east of where early forecasts put it. Today, the director of the National Weather Service admitted he could have done a better job explaining the uncertainties in predicting storms like this. He also gave a big shoutout to our CNN's Chad Myers. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, independently, some broadcast meteorologists did convey that it's uncertainty. And I'd like to commend CNN's Chad Myers for his efforts to move the national conversation away from a clear-cut scenario to explain what a shift in the western boundary of the predicted snowfall could mean for this storm.

COOPER: So, we talked about this. First of all, that's nice of him to say.

MYERS: Thank you.

COOPER: We talked about this a little bit - there were several different scenarios. Several different forecasts.

MYERS: Several different weather computer models, and two of them have had typically done very well in situations like this. We're saying big snow for New York City. 24-plus. And then the one outlier that just got improved, it's millions of the taxpayers' dollars improved this thing and no one really listened to. And I was looking at it, and it was saying eight inches for New York City when the bottles were saying 24. It was so dichotomous, we didn't know what to do. You can add them together and divide by two or divide by three. You know, the whole thing was, I was 10 to 14 inches all day. But I was afraid because I'm thinking what are these guys seeing that I don't at 24 to 30? COOPER: Right.

MYERS: You know, I don't - I can't - I can't ...

COOPER: So, those 24 to 30 models were basically based on where they thought the direction of the storm would go.

MYERS: That's exactly the problem. The two models that got it so wrong and the two models that people listened to the most were a 100 miles closer to Nantucket than the storm actually passed. So, if the storm is 100 miles closer, we would have what Montauk has - we would have that right here. And so, that's why we didn't get it because the storm moved farther away and it took the snow out to the ocean.

COOPER: There's a lot more happening tonight. We're going to be on all the way to 10:00 hour. I do want to check in with Amara Walker. "360" news and business bulletin. Amara.

AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Anderson. CNN affiliate WSVN is reporting two former Vanderbilt University football players have been convicted on all charges in 2013 campus rape. Cory Baby and Brandon Vandenburg will be sentenced in March.

A new video warns that Japanese ISIS hostage Kenji Goto and a Jordanian military pilot will be killed in the next 24 hours unless Jordan releases a convicted would-be suicide bomber. It is the second purported message from Goto in four days and the first to link his fate to the pilot's.

And the Defense Department Intelligence Agency says an off duty staff member flew the drone that crashed on White House grounds. It said the flight was not work-related. Sources tell CNN the intelligence staffer told the Secret Service he had been drinking when he launched the drone.

And a "360" follow. Senator Rand Paul was among a bipartisan group of lawmakers who today reintroduced a bill to stop police from seizing property from people who aren't being charged or convicted with a crime. "360's" Gary Tuchman has been investigating asset seizures like this one caught on a dash cam. Senator Paul says the practice, which is legal, fuels racial tensions. Anderson?

COOPER: Amara, thanks. Our live coverage of the storm continues next. We'll check back in with our reporters in some of the hardest hit areas where the snow is still falling in this hour.

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