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CNN10 2020-04-14

CNN 10

Dozen of Tornadoes Hitting From Texas to the East Coast; Incredible Efforts Being Made to Keep Education Going; A Zonkey Makes Headlines

Aired April 14, 2020 - 04:00 聽 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Forty tornadoes, that's at least how many were reported from the weekend through Monday, and that's where we begin today's edition of CNN 10. I'm Carl Azuz. This all started on Saturday when a storm system hit Texas and then began driving east.

According to the weather channel, every state from Texas to the Mid- Atlantic was affected. The storms spawned dozens of tornadoes, knocked down trees, cut off electricity for hundreds of thousands and killed at least 18 people. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We heard the rumble and we started looking and we saw the tornado. We could tell it was going to be about a mile or so south of us but you could hear it and you -- we knew that it was going to be bad.

AZUZ: And the system was still threatening Americans when we produced this show. It was moving northeast toward Virginia and even threatening New York with strong winds and heavy rain. 39 million people in 11 states faced the possibility of severe weather on Monday.

It was an emergency on top of an emergency. It brought new challenges to state governments, which we're trying to find a balance between keeping people safe from the storms and keeping people safe from coronavirus.

As severe weather approached Mississippi, government officials said finding shelter was more important than social distancing that they said if people went to a public shelter they should keep their noses and mouths covered.

Louisiana's governor asked some hotels to provide rooms for people who lost their homes so they wouldn't have to risk catching coronavirus at a public shelter. Hot lines were setup to help them find a place to stay and states of emergency have been declared to speed up help to those who need it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Severe weather is on the way. So what do you do when the warning gets issued. If you're at home get to your basement, cellar, or safe room if you have it. If you don't, get to the lowest level of your home. From there, find an interior room with no windows, such as a bathroom, a closet, or a long interior hallway.

Corners tend to attract debris. So try to huddle in the center of the room. Now that you're in the safest part of your house, focus on your body. Grab a blanket, a helmet, or even a pillow to place over your head and neck just incase debris comes crashing down on you.

If that's not an option, get under sturdy piece of furniture like a heavy desk or a table. Remember, the key is to stay low to the ground and get as far away from windows as possible.

You also don't want to be caught off guard. If you see that severe weather is forecast for your area, prepare ahead of time. Start by getting together a go bag. This could be a duffle bag, backpack, any large bag will work.

Put things inside like flashlights, medications, bottles of water, and a sturdy pair of shoes just in case you end up having to walk over glass or debris. Also, put important paperwork inside of a Ziplock bag so it stays dry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a significant risk of tornadoes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The day severe weather is forecast, try to keep all your devices charged just in case you end up losing power.

If you live in a mobile home, get out. You are safer in your vehicle than you are in a mobile home. Make plans ahead of time to stay with a family member or friend that lives in a non mobile home. If that's not an option you can head to a library or police or fire station.


AZUZ: 10 second Trivia. Which is of these NASA astronauts did not walk on the moon? "Buzz" Aldrin, Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, or James Lovell.

Though James Lovell never set foot on the moon, he did help the Apollo 13 crew get back to Earth safely.

That happened after a catastrophic explosion in an oxygen tank. And some would say getting Apollo 13's crew back home alive was a greater success than their original moon mission would have been.

The reason we bring that up is because some are comparing today's coronavirus pandemic to a global Apollo 13 moment. Houston, we've had a problem with an outbreak and now people around the world are doing what they can to overcome it.

For healthcare workers, this has meant additional round the clock shifts and round the clock risks. For teachers and parents who in some cases are now one in the same, this has meant finding ways to keep the learning going in a very different environment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To put it into some context, it's the moon child. I mean it's the kid in the landing a man on the man.

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Actually, school during a pandemic might even be harder than that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is our Apollo 13 moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Houston, we have a problem.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're mission control. We're Houston. And now our moon shot might not be landing them on the moon. It's getting them home safe.

MCMORRIS-SANTORA: Anyone who has a student in their house knows how important teachers have been in this crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have never been more relevant. We have never been more foundationally essential to the community, to the economy, to a family.

MCMORRIS-SANTORA: Their job has evolved.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm still doing the explosions but I'm doing the explosions at home.

MCMORRIS-SANTORA: People like Washington D.C. public high school chemistry teacher, Haley Icken (ph), are doing their best. But school systems are discovering that virtual learning can't replicate classroom instruction. So across the country policy makers are dropping the focus on academic performance.

BETSY DEVOS, EDUCATION SECRETARY: Students may not be able to take federally mandated standardized test this spring.

MCMORRIS-SANTORA: Education Secretary Betsy Devos dropped testing requirements this year. She says it's wrong to expect students to perform at their best right now. School systems in New York and New Jersey have cancelled statewide testing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our chancellor has said that their grades can't be hurt in anyway.

MCMORRIS-SANTORA: Coronavirus policies vary across the country. At least 15 states have cancelled classroom education for the rest of the year. In Chicago, student's grades cannot be lowered by distance learning. They can only stay the same or be improved.

In Michigan, students who were on track to advance on March 11th will remain on track and be promoted to the next grade. In Florida, the governor's taken it all one step further.

RON DESANTIS, GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: Parents may, at their discretion, choose to keep their child in the same grade for the 2021 school year.

MCMORRIS-SANTORA: One of the largest school systems in the country is a Los Angeles unified school district. Administrators are still deciding what to do about grades.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The part that we're trying to have educators emphasize is engaging with the student. If they're engaging, they're learning. We'll get to the grades later.

MCMORRIS-SANTORA: Many colleges have switched to pass fail grading. So have a lot of private high schools.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this wireless world, we're not all connected. So the first thing we've got to do is connect to everybody.

MCMORRIS-SANTORA: The biggest challenge of pandemic school is universal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've been begging school boards, state legislators that fund our schools, the federal government -- look, a tablet, a laptop,

WiFi; it's not a luxury.

MCMORRIS-SANTORA: There are nearly 51 million public school students in the United States. According to the U.S. Senate 12 million of them don't have broadband internet at home. And even those that do are stressed out and sometimes aren't logging on. Many teachers say attendance has been a problem during virtual school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do everything we can. We sent emails and make phone calls.

MCMORRIS-SANTORA: In the age of coronavirus, school is about a lot more than a report card.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're part of a structure of student and family's lives. Schools are at the center of every community. What happens everyday in a school is read and write arithmetic in support for that child.

MCMORRIS-SANTORA: Even while academics may not be the focus of this school year anymore, schools across the country have stepped into other roles.

Here in New York City over 400 sites operated by public school system, giving out meals to any New Yorker who wants them.

Parents at home are learning that teachers can help them through their difficult days at home with their families. So schools performing more than just grades at this moment, but grades seeming to be a thing that's being lost during this pandemic crisis. Evan McMorris-Santoro, CNN, New York.


AZUZ: If you're a fan of ligers and tygons, you're going to love this zonkey. And I'm not just being wonky. On the right side of your screen here, you see an animal that wildlife workers say is part donkey and part zebra. They say the zonkey and his mom are doing really well and this is not fake news or a really late April Fools joke.

Zonkeys are rare but they do exist and the ones we have seen look mostly like donkeys but with some really amazing socks. Of course not all the animals find him amulezing. The horses think he's horsing around, the monkeys think he's monkeying around, and the hyenas just can't stop laughing at him.

But when you think about it, the zonkey has the best of both worlds. He's earned his stripes, he still gets his kicks, and if you ask if he's fast he-hauling. North Carolina Leadership Academy is in Kernersville, North Carolina. It's where the falcons are flying high. I'm Carl Azuz for CNN.