Fire chief: Explosion scene was Armageddon

The fire chief of Andover, Massachusetts, described the scene as "Armageddon" after a series of explosions and fires rocked the area.

Posted: Sep 15, 2018 1:29 AM
Updated: Sep 15, 2018 1:57 AM

If you're fleeing Hurricane Florence and still don't know where you'll stay, there are people in surrounding states opening up their homes to evacuees. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Hurricane Florence

Florence inched ever closer to North Carolina's coast this morning in a slow march that'll continue to bring wind, rain and all sorts of destruction to the area. As of 4 a.m. ET, the Category 1 storm was about 30 miles from Wilmington, crawling at a snail-like 6 mph. Its winds were whipping at 90 mph. A storm surge 10 feet higher than normal was reported in Morehead City. There are reports of 150 people awaiting rescue in New Bern. Staff from a TV station there had to flee the studio due to rising floodwater. More than 180,000 homes and businesses have lost power in North Carolina so far. Landfall is expected later this morning.

• You can track the storm here, click here for live updates and download our hurricane checklist for what to do before, during and after landfall.

• If you're in the storm's path and have a weak phone connection, use CNN Lite, which has text-only top stories (also in Spanish). And if you've lost your internet connection, you can still get offline chats and push alerts, if you download these apps now.

• Here are all the ways you can follow the hurricane on CNN. Plus, sign up for our email alerts.

• Remember, it's the water, not the winds, that's deadliest.

• More than 1,300 flights have been canceled as Florence nears.

• And meet the "ride-out team" staying with the animals at the South Carolina Aquarium during the storm.

2. Super Typhoon Mangkhut

If Florence is a monster, then Super Typhoon Mangkhut is its bigger, stronger beast of an older sibling. Mangkhut will make landfall Saturday morning in the northern Philippines. Right now, it's the equivalent of Category 5 hurricane, but that's not a complete indicator of its power. At its peak Wednesday it was the strongest storm of 2018, with winds of 180 mph. More than 4 million people live in the storm's projected path; thousands are being evacuated.

3. Massachusetts gas explosions

One person was killed and at least 25 people hurt after a series of gas explosions in three towns north of Boston sparked fires that burned dozens of homes. Fires popped up seemingly at random in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence. "It looked like Armageddon," one fire chief said. The blazes left 8,000 people unable to go home. There's no official word on a cause yet, but a utility company had announced plans to upgrade natural gas lines in the area.

4. Paul Manafort

Looks like there may not be a second federal trial for Paul Manafort. The ex-Trump campaign chairman reportedly is close to a deal for a guilty plea with special counsel Robert Mueller's office. Jury selection in his trial, on charges related to his Ukrainian lobbying operation, was set to start next week. It's not clear if the deal means Manafort will cooperate with the Russia probe. Manafort was found guilty last month on eight bank and tax fraud charges in Virginia.

5. New York primaries

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo appears to have easily beaten back a challenge from progressive activist and actress Cynthia Nixon. CNN projects Cuomo, seeking a third term, will defeat Nixon, of "Sex & the City" fame, in the Democratic primary and will face Republican Marc Molinaro in November. Meantime, New York City Public Advocate Tish James is projected to be the Democratic party's nominee for state attorney general. James, who was endorsed by Cuomo, would become the first black woman elected to statewide office in New York, if she wins in November.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico."

President Trump, publicly doubting the revised death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Fly me to the moon

SpaceX wants to send a tourist on a trip around the moon, and it'll announce who that is next week.

Southern hospitality

The 100 senior citizens, fleeing Hurricane Florence, found themselves in a strange town. But they were welcomed by a wonderful letter from the police.

Revved up reboots

"Magnum, P.I." "Murphy Brown." "Charmed." They're all back on the air this fall. Now, a new "Designing Women" may be in the works. What year is this again?

Still casting a spell

The books and movies are done, but "Harry Potter" lives on -- on the internet, at least. Daniel Radcliffe doesn't (seem to) mind your meme obsession.

TOTAL RECALL

Quiz time (hurricane edition)

Tropical Storm Olivia made landfall this week on which Pacific island chain?

A. Fiji

B. Hawaii

C. Vanuatu

D. Solomon Islands

Play "Total Recall: The CNN news quiz" to see if you're right. And don't forget, you can also find a version of the quiz on your Amazon devices! Just say, "Alexa, ask CNN for a quiz."

it's the weekend, baby

The new remake (or is it reboot?) of "The Predator" is the big new offering in theaters, but CNN's Brian Lowry says it's a misfire. You can always stay home and prep for the Emmys by binging on "Game of Thrones" and "This Is Us."

AND FINALLY

Wet and wild

It was a close encounter of the wet kind when a humpback whale said hello to a boatload of tourists in Alaska. (Click to view.)

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 562420

Reported Deaths: 7132
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1170781693
Ramsey48500859
Dakota43135425
Anoka39159420
Washington25272274
Stearns21264219
St. Louis16969298
Scott16258118
Wright15030130
Olmsted1284497
Sherburne1079480
Carver996945
Clay790090
Rice7716102
Blue Earth706440
Kandiyohi633681
Crow Wing626586
Chisago557350
Otter Tail549173
Benton539897
Mower453232
Goodhue449972
Douglas446971
Winona440549
Nobles401948
Morrison398359
McLeod398155
Isanti385559
Itasca381553
Beltrami376057
Polk369067
Steele367514
Becker360548
Lyon350048
Carlton332052
Freeborn330329
Pine315121
Nicollet311243
Brown296439
Mille Lacs286850
Le Sueur274922
Todd270930
Cass253826
Meeker240537
Waseca232121
Martin215930
Wabasha20003
Roseau198619
Hubbard175041
Dodge17333
Renville173243
Redwood167035
Houston163015
Cottonwood158721
Fillmore15239
Pennington151919
Chippewa147737
Wadena146321
Faribault145819
Sibley137210
Kanabec135522
Aitkin129536
Watonwan12639
Rock123919
Jackson118910
Yellow Medicine111319
Pipestone110826
Pope10426
Murray10349
Swift100518
Marshall86417
Stevens83810
Lake79219
Clearwater79014
Koochiching78013
Wilkin77712
Lac qui Parle74222
Big Stone5774
Lincoln5613
Grant5558
Norman5239
Mahnomen5178
Unassigned48478
Kittson46822
Red Lake3887
Traverse3625
Lake of the Woods3083
Cook1490

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 359925

Reported Deaths: 5844
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk56360608
Linn20418330
Scott19292236
Black Hawk15620306
Woodbury14975221
Johnson1418681
Dubuque13210204
Dallas1096096
Pottawattamie10836164
Story1036847
Warren561286
Clinton541991
Cerro Gordo525687
Webster508792
Sioux508373
Marshall477675
Muscatine464297
Des Moines444165
Wapello4255121
Buena Vista422640
Jasper408670
Plymouth398979
Lee369555
Marion355975
Jones293955
Henry287437
Carroll280652
Bremer280060
Crawford262940
Boone260033
Benton251555
Washington249650
Dickinson244343
Mahaska226050
Jackson219342
Kossuth213864
Clay212825
Tama207171
Delaware204639
Winneshiek195033
Page190721
Buchanan189131
Cedar185223
Fayette183741
Hardin182142
Wright180735
Hamilton178549
Harrison177273
Clayton167455
Butler162734
Mills159320
Cherokee157638
Floyd156542
Lyon155541
Madison155319
Poweshiek153333
Allamakee149451
Iowa146424
Hancock144234
Winnebago137131
Grundy135532
Cass135454
Calhoun133512
Jefferson131435
Emmet130340
Shelby129437
Sac128619
Louisa127449
Appanoose126647
Mitchell125441
Union123332
Chickasaw122815
Guthrie118629
Humboldt118426
Franklin113421
Palo Alto111523
Howard103022
Montgomery101537
Unassigned9990
Clarke98524
Keokuk95131
Monroe94528
Ida90033
Adair84932
Pocahontas84321
Monona81930
Davis80024
Osceola77316
Greene76910
Lucas75923
Worth7138
Taylor65412
Fremont6169
Decatur5929
Van Buren55618
Ringgold53624
Wayne52123
Audubon4969
Adams3314
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 43°
Mason City
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 40°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 42°
Austin
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 44°
Charles City
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 40°
Rain showers return for Friday
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