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Southeast Bracing For Hurricane Matthew; Trump Holds "Practice" Town Hall In NH; Trump Touts Pence's Performance In VP Debate. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 6, 2016 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:30] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: All right, welcome back to EARLY START, I'm Christine Romans.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: I'm John Berman. Thirty minutes past the hour right now. This is the breaking news. Hurricane Matthew, a major storm that has already killed 15 people in the Caribbean, is getting dangerously close to Florida and other Southeastern states.

We just got a new report from the National Hurricane Center that puts Matthew in the Bahamas right now with sustained winds of 125 miles per hour. That's the upper limit of a category three storm. And it is expected to gain strength and reach category four status before it skirts the Florida coast, perhaps making landfall. It could hit, if it does hit, anywhere from Miami up to North Carolina.

Millions of people right now under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders including the entire city of St. Augustine, which was just put under mandatory evacuation effective 6:00 a.m. (Video playing) You can see some of the traffic jams evacuations are causing. Also, long lines at grocery stores there. People buying up every sheet of plywood to cover windows.

Federal and state officials are warning residents to take these evacuation orders very seriously. This storm could bring devastation not seen since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.


BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just remember that you can always rebuild, you can always repair property. You cannot restore life if it is lost and we want to make sure that we minimize any possible loss of life or risk.

GOV. RICK SCOTT, (R), FLORIDA: Protecting life is the number one priority right now. If Matthew directly impacts Florida there will be massive destruction that we haven't seen in years.


ROMANS: All right, the big questions are where and when. Joining us live from the CNN weather center with the latest on Matthew's path, meteorologist Derek Van Dam. Good morning. The next 12 to 24 hours critical for millions of people in the path of this storm.

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: They need to be wrapping up their evacuations or saving the life and property as we speak because that narrow window is closing very quickly, John and Christine.

What we have is the latest projected paths from the National Hurricane Center and there's three things that I want you to take from this as I show you. First and foremost, it is anticipated to strengthen to a category four. The second thing I want you to know from this projected path is that it is expected to run parallel with the coast of Florida. This is potentially maximizing its damage potential.

The third thing I want you to notice is the strange movements as we work out from five to seven days forward. Does it rotate around and impact the state of Florida again? Stay tuned. Obviously, a little bit too early to tell that. But one thing's for sure, the likelihood of a land-falling major hurricane increasing as the minutes tick on.

This is the forecast winds and when we expect conditions to deteriorate quickly. We'll start to feel the tropical storm force winds, 39 miles per hour or greater, near the Miami-Dade region northward by late Thursday, then the overnight period comes. Somewhere between midnight and 4:00 a.m., perhaps a land-falling hurricane near the Cape Canaveral coast -- near the Space Coast. And then look at the winds as they wrap right along the Georgia and South Carolina coast.

Here's a look at the storm surge warnings from Boca Raton to Jacksonville. Watches northward into Savannah. You could see five to eight-foot above normal high tide across that region. That is a major concern. What does that mean for you? Let's say you built your house along the coastline of the Atlantic shores along the Florida peninsula. Well, as we see the wind push up the seas we'll start to see that five to eight-foot potential forecast start to bring up the storm surge and that means your house could easily be inundated or, perhaps, your condominium at the lower floors.

So, the main concerns going forward, again, storm surge, heavy rain leading to flash flooding, easily 10 to 15 inches, perhaps locally higher amounts as you work your way towards the coast of Florida and Georgia. And, right now, sustained winds at 125 miles per hour.

BERMAN: You know, as you watch the path of that storm the key here, Derek, is it really just could hit everywhere --

VAN DAM: Absolutely.

BERMAN: -- between Matthew all the way -- between Miami and all the way up to Georgia. All right, Derek Van Dam, thank you so much.

Airlines have already canceled more than 1,000 flights in South Florida. This is according to Fort Lauderdale International will shut down in just a few hours, 10:30. Miami International says it is monitoring wind speeds and other factors to make its decision. Further north, residents are evacuating, though some planning to ride out this hurricane. CNN's Sara Sidner is in Daytona Beach for us.

[05:35:00] (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, we are starting to feel some of the effects of this storm -- light winds and we can hear the surf crashing on the shore. We know the surf is up and it's going to get higher and higher and higher as these winds and these bands of rain start coming through here in Volusia County.

This is a place where it is normally filled with people who love the beach, love the ocean, and love the nightlife. Well, you're not seeing much of that here. Most people are heeding these warnings. A lot of the residents have already evacuated and, certainly, the tourists have decided either not to come or they've left already.

We can tell you this. When we went into stores to see what they still had, things like pallets of water all sold out, gas canisters sold out, generators sold out in much of this county. We can tell you, though, that there are already voluntary evacuations happening in the Barrier Islands, including Merritt Island. That's about 150,000 people that have to get off those islands. Those voluntary evacuations are going to become mandatory this afternoon.

This storm is no joke and people here are heeding warnings. It is a monster storm and if it comes in as a category four a lot of folks who grew up in Florida, like myself, remember what Hurricane Andrew was like and they don't want to be around for it -- John, Christine.


ROMANS: All right, Sara, thank you for that. Hurricane preparations underway also in South Carolina. The governor has ordered the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people from two coastal counties, Beaufort and Charleston, which is where we the get the latest now from our Stephanie Elam.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, as you can see, here in Charleston we are right downtown on King Street and you can see lots of preparations have been made here. The street, for one, is pretty deserted and you can see some of the stores have already been boarded up as people are preparing to evacuate.

In fact, that was one of the big things that the government has wanted here in South Carolina, so much so that they took Interstate 26 and they reversed the direction on both sides, so all lanes now only flow west, away from the coast. You can't get back in downtown on I-26 and that's because they really want people to get out of the way and stay away from this area that could be affected.

Governor Nikki Haley going so far as to say that people really will be putting other people in danger if they stay here. Take a listen.

GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Anyone that's trying to wait this out, we ask you to take caution and try and heed what everybody else is doing. We have been very, very appreciative of the way South Carolinians have responded to this evacuation because we saw them start early. They've been very patient. Everything seems to be going smoothly but we will continue to watch this until the evacuation is done.

ELAM: And it looks like people here are taking up that guidance. We know that, according to South Carolina, some 250,000 people have already evacuated and another 200,000 are expected to evacuate today. They're just saying that people need to not play meteorologist, themselves, and they need to not to try guess where this hurricane is going. They need to pack up and leave for their safety and for the safety of their loved ones -- John and Christine.


BERMAN: All right, Stephanie Elam for us in South Carolina. You need to stay with CNN throughout the morning. We're going to give you continuing coverage of Hurricane Matthew. At 8:00 a.m. there will be another briefing from the National Hurricane Center -- another update on their forecast. We'll bring that to you. And then Rick Scott, the governor of Florida, will also brief in the 8:00 a.m. hour.

ROMANS: All right, the cost of Hurricane Matthew will likely be in the tens of billions of dollars. It depends on the path of the storm but right now it is headed straight for the tourism-rich Gold Coast. Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, was the most expensive storm in U.S. history, $153 billion. Sandy is second at $67 billion. Andrew, which hit Florida in 1992, and Ike, which made landfall in Texas, that's how they stand.

The last major storm to hit Florida was Hurricane Wilma in 2005 so insurers have not paid out big claims in more than a decade. That should help with the potentially huge costs of Matthew but more people in Florida have bought hurricane insurance since then. Property values are up. And look at this, John. This really surprised me. The state's population has grown 27 percent over the past 15 years. Ninety-eight percent of Florida residents live in coastal counties.

There's also the cost to state and local governments, plus lost wages and revenue in evacuation zones. But officials have made it very clear here. Keeping people safe is their top priority regardless of cost or inconvenience.

BERMAN: Don't worry about the money, worry about the belongings later.

ROMANS: Exactly.

BERMAN: Get out right now --

ROMANS: Exactly.

BERMAN: -- and get yourself safe if you've been told to leave.

All right, just 33 days to go until Election Day. The debate Sunday night -- the rematch -- this could be decisive. We will tell you the new lines of attack from each candidate on the trail -- that's next.


[05:44:10] ROMANS: All right, 11 million people in the Southeast are under hurricane warnings right now bracing for this, the arrival of Matthew. The storm, a strong category three right now, winds 125 miles per hour. We're told that the 5:00 check-up from the National Hurricane Center -- we found that it's about 250 miles away from Florida, suspected to build in strength back to category four by the time it makes landfall somewhere between Miami and North Carolina.Millions of people in three states are being urged or ordered to evacuate. We're going to keep you updated on Hurricane Matthew throughout the day.

BERMAN: All right, 33 days to go now until the election, just three until the rematch. The next face-off between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the debate stage in St. Louis.

We want to talk about this with "CNN POLITICS" reporter Eugene Scott. Eugene, thanks for being with us. You know, this hurricane -- this storm, really, right now, people need to be worried about their life and their property in Florida, in North Carolina, in Georgia. It's not about politics but there is a political impact here. How are these campaigns dealing with that?

[05:45:10] EUGENE SCOTT, "CNN POLITICS" REPORTER: Yes, this is the first time that at this stage in the election we've put candidates in a position where they need to respond to a potential national disaster. And so, it will be really interesting to see how the calm voters' fears and concerns and how they present solutions to address the issues that inevitably come with something this difficult.

ROMANS: Yes, this is an important swing state but right now the focus is on preventing loss of life and protecting property. We are three days away from a debate -- a debate -- another presidential debate and Hillary Clinton is going to be working hard and preparing and studying over the next few days, I think. And Donald Trump is happy with his running mate's performance. Let's listen to what Hillary Clinton said last night at a fundraiser in Washington, D.C.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm looking forward to our next debate, next Sunday. I thought the first one went pretty well. And just as in that first debate, I feel it's my responsibility not to defend myself against his attacks because, really, been there, done that. I think it's my responsibility to defend everybody else against his attacks.


ROMANS: So, are we expecting to see Hillary Clinton sort of repeat her preparation from the last time since she thinks it worked well for her?

SCOTT: Yes, I'm very interested in seeing who will have the new Alicia Machado at this next debate. Will it be Hillary Clinton again or will Donald Trump do something pretty comparable? As we saw, that story, as well as stories related to it, dominated the headlines following the debate -- the first presidential debate. And had a significant impact, we saw, on how voters perceive the candidates, particularly Donald Trump. So, it will be interesting to see if that happens again.

BERMAN: You know, it's interesting. Last time around the Trump campaign claimed that Donald Trump didn't do mock debates leading up into the first face-off. But we know that tonight he is doing a town meeting in New Hampshire with a lot of help from Chris Christie here and he'll maybe prepare a little bit differently at least. Do a run- through of sorts before Sunday night.

SCOTT: Yes, there were reports earlier that Chris Christie was being tapped to help prepare Donald Trump for the debate, given his experience. It doesn't hurt Donald Trump at all to get any more assistance especially considering how his first debate, as reviewed and perceive by not only pundits but voters, as well. I think there's some areas that people who are interested in hearing more from him think he can improve upon. And his hope, of course, is that Christie can help him with that.

ROMANS: You know, last night -- or yesterday, in Nevada, Donald Trump sort of taking credit for the strong performance of his running mate -- listen.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mike Pence did an incredible job and I'm getting a lot of credit because that's really my first so-called choice. That was my first hire, as we would say in Las Vegas.


ROMANS: I kept thinking it was his -- maybe his family's first hire, wasn't it? The reporting around the time that his family was really pushing him to pick Mike Pence for exactly this reason -- that he's got that kind of experience on the stage like that.

SCOTT: Yes. If you'll remember, that week that Mike Pence was announced you saw the family in Indiana and meeting with his family as well. This is one of the reasons Donald Trump picked Mike Pence. He has experiencein this area. He is a more establishment politician. And the voters who are going to back Trump -- many of them back -- are backing him because of all these things that Mike Pence brings to the table so it, ultimately, does benefit Donald Trump.

I think what will be interesting to see is if Donald Trump will adopt some of those characteristics, especially in the area of temperament, that made Mike Pence so successful this week.

BERMAN: Watch New Hampshire tonight. Watch this town meeting tonight and see what Trump does out there on that stage. I think that will be a key sign, Eugene, to see if he's taking your advice. Eugene Scott, great to have you with us. Thanks so much.

SCOTT: You, too.

BERMAN: All right, Tim Kaine -- he will be on "NEW DAY" this morning at 7:30 a.m. Eastern time and it's like a V.P. alooza (ph) on "NEW DAY" today because Mike Pence coming on at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.

ROMANS: V.P. alooza (ph)?

BERMAN: Would that work?


BERMAN: Not really.

ROMANS: No, it doesn't work. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face off in their second presidential debate Sunday night at WashingtonUniversity in St. Louis. Anderson Cooper will be one of the moderators. CNNs special coverage begins at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

BERMAN: All right. Today -- this morning, we are watching Hurricane Matthew. This storm -- we just got a new update on the forecast. It is getting stronger and it will get stronger, even still, as it heads toward Florida. We'll give you the latest forecast, next.


[05:54:25] BERMAN: All right, breaking news right now. Hurricane Matthew is hitting the Bahamas. It is expected to intensify. It just did, in fact, intensify as it moved towards Florida. Let's get the very latest. Meteorologist Derek Van Dam has a new update from the National Hurricane Center. Derek, what are you learning?

VAN DAM: All right, listen up. Florida, southeast Georgia, and the coast of South Carolina -- these are the impacts you can expect within the next 24 to 36 hours. Heavy rains, damaging winds, storm surge, and the potential for flash flooding, and even tornadoes.

[05:55:00] Let's try and break this down hour-by-hour so you can plan ahead if you did not heed the warnings of evacuation, which your window is narrowly starting to deteriorate. This is what we're expecting. Miami, Dade County will start to feel tropical storm-force winds by Thursday evening. Storm surge from Miami northward, one to three feet potential. Rainfall, one to three inches of rain.

As we go forward into the overnight timeframe -- we're talking late Thursday into early Friday morning -- we should start to feel major hurricane-force winds. That's 110 miles per hour, indicated with that shading of red, right along the Palm Beach County coastline.

And then as we head into early Friday morning and into the afternoon hours, it starts to move parallel along the Florida coast, potentially making landfall near the Space Coast, and that is something we need to monitor very closely -- John, Christine.

ROMANS: Gosh. BERMAN: The track is not good. All right, Derek, thanks so much.

ROMANS: It's getting stronger, getting more organized. Just everything pointing to a real problem there. All right, thanks so much for that, Derek.

Let's get an early start on your money this morning. A strong day for stocks yesterday appears to be holding right now. This morning, Dow futures are pointing higher. It was a solid report on service sector was the catalyst. Tomorrow is the big jobs report. Right now, stocks markets in Europe and Asia mostly higher.

Two stocks hitting record highs yesterday. Priceline above $1,500 a share. It's now the most expensive stock in the S&P 500. Amazon also a record high yesterday, well above $800 a share. It's not all good news in Silicon Valley, though. Shares of Twitter jumped yesterday on buy-out reports. Now they're plunging more than 11 percent in free market trading on reports that Google will not bid for Twitter.

White male voters without a college degree are frustrated and a new report shows a big part of the reason why. Income for working class white men -- these are defined as people with only a high school diploma -- income dropped from more than $40,000 in 1996 to less than $37,000 in 2014. That is a pay cut of nine percent. That's according to Sentier Research.

Over that same period, income for college-educated white men soared nearly 23 percent from $77,000 to more than $94,00 on average. I think those two bar charts really, really tell a story of a big part of the movement in this election year.

After years of complaints, finally stricter regulations for one of the fastest-growing financial products. Millions of Americans use prepaid debit cards to shop and pay bills. Consumers loaded $65 billion onto these prepaid cards in the year 2012. By 2018, the government estimates that number will be $112 billion.

But many of these products carry big fees and lack the protections that regular credit cards offer. Now, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will limit overdraft fees and other charges. It will also put restrictions on interest rate hikes. It will require long and short disclosure forms which will list all the fees and services.

Big complaints for years, John, about this really fast-growing prepaid card market and how, especially, people who may be living paycheck to paycheck are paying so much of their own money to use their money.

BERMAN: Right.

ROMANS: You know, it's just not fair.

BERMAN: It's a bad deal when you're paying to use your own money.

ROMANS: A very bad deal. BERMAN: All right, the big news this morning -- the breaking news -- Hurricane Matthew getting stronger, moving ever closer to Florida. "NEW DAY" picks up the story right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Good morning, everyone, welcome to your new day. It is Thursday, October 6th, 6:00 in the East.

And we do begin with that breaking news. The state of Florida bracing for a direct hit from Hurricane Matthew. Millions of people urged to evacuate as this powerful storm intensifies and heads towards the East Coast. More than 26 million people are now under watches and warnings in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Local officials in Florida are saying that they're not getting the kind of response they need for the evacuation efforts -- the preparation efforts. This is not a time to take chances. This could be the worst hurricane to ever hit Florida's Space Coast -- the right side. So -- the east side. So, residents, look what's going on in the stores. I mean, this is what we see when you're getting ready for a major hurricane but it's also an indication of what won't be there for you if you decide to stay behind.

Matthew, right now, slamming into the Bahamas, already proving deadly. Fifteen people have lost their lives.

Let's begin our team coverage with Hurricane Matthew. We have CNNs Boris Sanchez, live in Daytona Beach. Boris, what are you seeing in terms of preparations and people taking this seriously?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, people certainly have to take this seriously. More than two million people are under evacuation orders this morning. It's going to be the largest mandatory evacuation, potentially, since Hurricane Sandy back in 2012. All along the coast there are mandatory evacuation orders. North of us in Flagler County, here in Volusia County, and south of us in Brevard and St. Lucie counties, as well.

All along the beach here we've seen businesses that are boarded up -- or hotels, actually, boarded up right now, and they have sandbags outside because the biggest concern for areas along the coast here is that storm surge. We're talking about 125-plus mile an hour winds that are picking up water from the ocean and just slamming it into the coast. So, obviously, another major concern has to be flooding, as well.