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tv   Good Morning America  ABC  January 15, 2022 7:00am-8:00am PST

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good morning, america. winter blast. the massive storm sweeping across the country, impacting 75 million americans. near whiteout conditions. hundreds of accidents, five states declaring states of emergency. plus, the deep freeze in the northeast. and home heating tips that can save you money. escalating crisis along the russia/ukraine border. unverified social media videos showing russian trained military heavy equipment. the warnings russia could be plotting a false flag operation as an excuse to invade. >> when there isn't an actual crisis to suit their needs, they'll make one up. >> russia's response and what the white house is saying this morning. record covid cases. hospitalizations climbing to a
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pandemic high. the state telling certain people not to get tested. [ crowd chanting ] and the student protests over in-person learning. plus, are you wearing the right mask? the new word from the cdc and cruise safety concerns. the ceo of virgin voyages joins us this morning. back in detention. the latest twist in tennis star novak djokovic's fight to stay and play in australia. what happens next as his potential rivals weigh in with the open just days away. missing girl. 7-year-old harmony montgomery last seen two years ago. did her case fall through the cracks? the new investigation launched and the search to find her. and super wild card weekend. the nfl playoffs kicking off. tom brady, patrick mahomes and ben roethlisberger all seeing action. can the cardinals turn things around in their high-stakes
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do-over? espn's adam schefter joins us live. and good morning, america. so great to have you with us on a saturday. we have several developing stories as we start the weekend including that new pandemic record. the u.s. reporting 5.5 million new covid cases in just the last week. long lines seen at testing sites as infections rise across the country. >> we'll have much more on that in just a minute. but first, a major winter storm sweeping across much of the nation with 33 states in its crosshairs. >> the storm dumping snow on the midwest overnight. now millions more are bracing for snow, icing and freezing temperatures like we woke up with. abc's elwyn lopez is in atlanta with the latest. elwyn, good morning to you. >> reporter: hey, janai, good morning. that heavy snow and ice threatening tens of millions. here crews are hitting major roadways, hitting interstates like the one behind me with brine trying to get ahead of
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what the storm might bring. this morning, a massive winter storm making its way across most of the u.s. putting 75 million people under winter weather alerts. in eastern iowa, drivers facing near whiteout conditions. and in northern iowa, this state patrol car struck by a semi. the trooper inside suffering minor injuries. the far-reaching system now on the move already blasting west hope, north dakota, to st. louis, missouri, with nearly a foot of snow across the midwest in four states. in tennessee, people getting ready for the winter storm. >> we have extra jackets and gloves, so we do travel with that in case we get stranded. >> i do not drive in the snow. >> reporter: at least five governors declaring states of emergency including here in georgia. >> we're mobilizing and prepared as needed to protect our state
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and to deploy resources and be ready to assist neighboring states if needed. >> reporter: it's been four years since atlanta had any measurable snowfall and while it's unclear whether that will change this weekend, the mayor tells me the city is preparing for what this storm might bring. >> we have 40 pieces of equipment that's ready to go. we so we're trying to stay ahead of it. >> reporter: tens of millions in the path of that wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain with the potential to cripple roadways, topple trees and trigger power outages. >> worried about maybe losing electricity? >> we might. you never know. >> reporter: and, whit, this mlk holiday weekend has some people ready to hit the roads with travel plans. the governor advising georgians to be winter weather aware as this system rolls in tonight. whit? >> people have to be prepared. elwyn, thank you. right here in the northeast a dangerous deep freeze impacting millions. phil lipof joins us with more right now here in new york city. phil, good morning. >> reporter: whit, good morning. it's really cold out here.
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it's the kind of cold that blows right through your bones. i feel like on a morning like this rob's beard would be the perfect accessory because the windchills are plummeting below zero in parts of our region and severe storm warnings up and down the east coast. right now, it's in the teens here, feels a lot colder with the windchill. but nowhere is it as cold as in parts of new england where overnight lows were expected to drop as low as 40 degrees below zero. another problem in new england as well, strong winds also likely to cause some damage. possibly downing branches and power lines and, remember, this kind of cold can really be dangerous, exposure can lead to frostbite and hypothermia within minutes. that storm that elwyn was showing us is headed this way and could get messy sunday night into monday morning with rain and snow. temperatures are expected to rise and drop again possibly creating dangerous slippery conditions out there on the
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road. most of us have been driving in these kind of conditions our whole lives so no real kips however the road crews are asking that if you are out there, don't be out there in the height of the storm so they can clean the roads and keep everybody safe. that's really the best tip as this storm is headed our way. eva. >> phil, it looks very cold out there. we will let you get back inside so you can warm back up. for the latest on the track and timing of the storm, let's go to danielle breezy from our nashville affiliate, wkrn-tv. good morning, danielle. >> reporter: good morning, eva. it's wreaking havoc across the country. this is from st. paul international airport in minneapolis. this is where a sun country plane needed to be de-iced. it brought a lot of snow to that area and now it's headed to the south. it looks like it's going to start as rain as we get into saturday night, turning into snow from nashville over to asheville, north carolina, becomes a major ice event for
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atlanta all the way up to raleigh on sunday morning and in that same storm system, it will slide up the east coast. it looks like it will bring rain and snow to the i-95 corridor. snow totals upwards of 6 to 12 inches from basically the mountains of north carolina all the way up to the catskills. here in nashville we are talking about four to eight inches. that's not out of the question. we're going to send it back to you, janai. >> wow. my eyes popped open when you said all those inches of snow. danielle, thank you so much. now to the pandemic, the u.s. reporting more than 782,000 new cases a day. staggering numbers. 99% of counties in the country are currently reporting high transmission. but there are -- may be a sign of light at the end of the tunnel. nationwide data on wastewater analysis shows promising indications the omicron surge could be peaking. abc's zohreen shah is in inglewood, california, with a strain being put on the health care system.
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zohreen, good morning to you. >> reporter: hey, good morning, janai. no relief in sight here yet. california's governor says the number of people in hospitals is expected to be more than during the peak of last year's surge. over 1,600 people are being admitted into hospitals every single day here in california and those high numbers are a trend that we're seeing throughout the country. this morning, hospitalizations in the u.s. climbing to alarming levels. nationwide more than 150,000 covid-19 positive patients are in the hospital, a pandemic high. >> it's really bad. it came about real fast. i thought it would be over but after the holidays it hit very hard. >> reporter: infections rising in health care workers. >> we are seeing health care systems out there not bending anymore but breaking. >> reporter: the health care worker shortage becoming dangerous at one california hospital where affiliate station kabc captured half a dozen ambulances waiting to offload
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their personnel. >> ambulances are required to sign their patient out to licenses personnel, to a nurse and so if there is no nurse to take the sign out, they have to stay with their patient. >> reporter: pharmacies also feeling the pinch of an omicron fueled surge. walgreens saying because of the labor shortage and surge of covid-19 cases, it had to adjust operating hours or temporarily close a limited number of stores. and cvs saying this is only happening in a tiny fraction of their stores. as cases skyrocket states like utah having trouble meeting testing demands. >> not only do we have a personnel shortage, but there's a testing shortage. >> reporter: with the exception of some groups, utah officials urging symptomatic people to stay home instead of getting tested. all over the u.s. the spike in positive cases prompting many schools to switch to virtual learning. students in chicago walking out of school. [ crowd chanting ] protesting in-person learning amid the surge.
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cruise ships have seen a 30-fold increase in cases over the last two weeks due to omicron. despite that, the cdc saying their guidance will become optional for foreign flag cruise lines operating in u.s. waters once it expires today, but the cdc did update their mask guidance saying any mask is better than none, but masks that fit well like n95s and ones you can wear constantly are the best ones. and a new study with nba players shows that some people might be able to transmit the virus more than five days after they test positive. meanwhile, here in california, the cases are still climbing. but officials say the super bowl will still take place here at sofi stadium next month. whit? >> at least some hopeful news for the football fans. zohreen, thank you. now to the escalating tension involving the u.s., russia and ukraine. the pentagon warning the kremlin could be plotting what's called a false flag operation as a pretext for invading ukraine. abc's lama hasan is in london
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with the latest. lama, good morning. >> reporter: and good morning, to you, whit. yes, that's right, a worrying development. the u.s. now believes that russia is actively working in ukraine and could be preparing to invade, and according to a u.s. official, an invasion could be just weeks away. this morning, increasing alarm over the russia/ukraine border. independent researchers believe these unverified social media videos show russia moving troops and heavy equipment from bases in the east of the country towards the west. ultimate destination, unclear. moscow already mobilizing more than 100,000 troops on its border with ukraine, all signs the u.s. believes is leading to an invasion. the biden administration saying russia has planted operatives trained in urban warfare and explosives in eastern ukraine. both the pentagon and white house announcing that russia is creating a pretext for invading the neighboring country. >> what we call a false flag operation, an operation designed
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to look like an attack on them or russian speaking people in ukraine, again, as an excuse to go in. >> reporter: russia dismissing these claims. the latest escalation comes a week after diplomatic talks aimed at easing tensions between the u.s. and russia broke down. russia asking for security guarantees that ukraine never joins nato. the u.s. and nato insisting it is a matter for ukraine to decide. russia denying it will invade but president vladimir putin threatening to use, quote, military technical response if their demands are not met. russia's foreign minister, sergey lavrov, telling abc's ian pannell they will not wait for promises from the west. >> translator: we know how to ensure our own security in any case. let me also assure you that we're not going to wait endlessly for any change, for any new promises.
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>> reporter: now on friday many of ukraine's government websites were hacked and taken offline with a threatening message appearing warning them to be afraid and expect the worst. ukraine is blaming russia. the u.s. says it's too early to say who was responsible but that this latest cyberattack is concerning. eva? >> lama, the whole world is watching. thank you for that. now to the founder of the far right militia group, the oath keepers, who is waking up behind bars after appearing in court to face rare and serious sedition charges in connection with the january 6th attack on the capitol. abc's white house correspondent maryalice parks is on capitol hill with this story. good morning, maryalice. >> reporter: eva, good morning. over 700 people have been charged with crimes related to the violence on january 6th. but these seditious conspiracy charges are different. the most serious charges that the department of justice has brought related to the attack. prosecutors allege that stewart rhodes, the founder of the oath keepers, and at least ten others plotted and conspired to
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essentially overthrow the government, specifically to stop congress from certifying the 2020 election and keep then president-elect joe biden from assuming office. rhodes appearing in court like you said yesterday pleading not guilty after law enforcement agents searched his texas home earlier this week and details revealed in the court documents were just chilling. two days after the election rhodes allegedly writing to his followers, we aren't getting through this without a civil war. now, prosecutors say that images like these show the oath keepers unloading weapons in a virginia hotel just ahead of january 6th. during the attack rhodes was at the capitol but he apparently did not go inside the building here. investigators claim instead that he was communicating with rioters from his group. now, rhodes' attorney say that he was there that day to provide security. rhodes himself has denied that he encouraged others to storm the capitol. now, if he is convicted, rhodes
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could face decades in prison, and experts say it was just a matter of time before the department of justice brought charges for someone organizing the violence that day. but, of course, the question now is who else? who else who maybe was not actually engaged in violence could still be accused of planning what unfolded that day. janai? >> and we will continue watching that. maryalice, thank you. turning now to tennis star novak djokovic. he had a hearing overnight and faces yet another to decide whether he will stay and play the australian open. britt clennett has the latest. >> reporter: this morning, less than two days away from the start of the australian open, and novak djokovic is seen being escorted back into immigration detention as his lawyers urgently prepare to fight his visa cancellation for a second time. the australian immigration minister used his special ministerial powers to cancel his visa on health and good
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order grounds and that it was in the public interest to do so. but at the heart of this case now is whether that reasoning for canceling his visa is valid. djokovic's lawyers arguing that it's patently irrational to say his presence in australia may foster anti-vaccine sentiment. other top ranked players have also weighed in including his rival, rafael nadal who equals djokovic on 20 grand slam titles. >> if there is any solution and the solution is the vaccine for the well-being of everyone and for the health of our sport. >> reporter: but back in djokovic's home country, a different view. the serbian president hitting out at the handling of this saying, novak, we're with you. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: djokovic a few days ago sending out a statement on instagram admitting that taking part in a media interview after testing positive was an error of judgment and that a falsified declaration on his entry form was human error by a member of his team adding that he just wants to have the opportunity to
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compete against the best players in the world and perform before one of the best crowds in the world. djokovic will soon find out whether he'll get that opportunity. a full court hearing starts sunday morning melbourne time. and, whit, he's still scheduled to play on monday. >> britt, thank you so much. just one development after another. we'll stay tuned for the final decision there. it is time to go back to the weather. danielle breezy from our nashville affiliate wkrn-tv is back with us. danielle, really severe weather impacting millions from the south to the northeast. >> reporter: whit, that is correct. we are getting ready for this winter storm in nashville first starting off as rain turning over to snow and we can get big accumulations. i also want to show you areas that have seen snow. in fact, take a look at this video. this is from iowa and you can see snowy roads, cars are swerving on a highway. folks driving really slowly on the roads and we're also looking at stranded cars out there on the highway. now, of course, watching this
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winter storm we're also watching dangerous windchills, this is in the northeast today. it is going to be really, really cold. we are talking about below zero readings in most areas from upstate new york to maine. in some spots we could be talking about 40 below zero. that is some bone-chilling cold. that's what's happening around the country. here's what's happening where you are. >> by the way in nashville we're expecting four to eight inches of snow so snow lovers are going
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to rejoice. back to you guys. >> i'm not one of those snow lovers. >> the commuters are in fear. >> thank you for that. well, it's super wild card weekend, and we are looking ahead at three big days of football action. espn's senior nfl insider adam schefter joins us via zoom. thanks so much for being with us this morning. >> good morning, eva. >> so i guess let's start with who has the most to prove this weekend, dak prescott, matt stafford or kyler murray? >> well, i think whenever you get to the playoffs every quarterback always has a lot to prove. the dallas cowboys haven't won a playoff game in over 25 years. kyler murray is trying to make an even bigger name for himself. matthew stafford has never won a playoff game. you can look at all three and go down the list of every team and every quarterback and say they have a lot to lose but kyler murray had the cardinals out to such a great start and they floundered down the stretch and have not performed well. he would like to elevate his level of play in the post-season.
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if he doesn't then obviously arizona will not have a chance of winning monday night against matthew stafford and the los angeles ramgs. >> monday night, matt and kyler face off in monday night's game. it's the first time the nfl is extending the playoffs to a monday in prime time. how significant is that? >> well, the nfl is always pushing boundaries. the super bowl is being pushed back this year to mid-february, the night before president's day. this year for the first time espn, abc will have a monday night wild card game. now, it'll be an inconvenience for the winner of that game which will have a short week to get ready for the biggest game of the season and the divisional playoff round, but frankly i think the nfl isn't concerned about that. it will be a ratings monster on monday night. everybody will be tuned in to see the last playoff game of super wild card weekend. it will be the los angeles rams, the arizona cardinals like we talked about kyler murray, matthew stafford and, again, a primetime wild card game on a monday night is going to be a huge draw. you know what that means?
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more money for the nfl, which is already swimming in it. >> and i have to ask you because in the midst of all these big games we're also dealing with covid. what are you hearing about how the league plans to have a successful playoffs while this omicron surge is going on? >> well, eva, the league will continue to operate the way it has all season long, and the fact of the matter is there have been so many players and coaches and teams that battled omicron like everybody else in our society down the stretch that once you test positive, you're out of the testing program for 90 days. so a lot of players are free and clear like aaron rodgers who don't have to worry about it by and large. there's been discussions with other cities about shifting the super bowl from l.a. to potentially dallas or arizona but the nfl has been adamant that it's not going to move, it's going to stay right here in los angeles. and the bottom line here, the show is going to go on and the games are going to be played. the league will take the steps it has in the past, but nothing is going to stop the nfl's post-season train from leaving the station later this
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afternoon. >> i'm sure fans are happy to hear that those games will happen. you can catch adam and the rest of the crew on "postseason nfl countdown" starting at 11:00 eastern. thanks for being with us. we should mention, you can watch that big match-up monday night between the cardinals and the rams monday night at 8:00 eastern right here on abc. stay with us. we'll be right back. "good morning america" is sponsored by the love your car guarantee from carmax.
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annoucer: building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions, this is abc 7 news. julian: caltrain is canceling the celebration train that usually runs on martin luther king jr. day because of a surge in covid cases. most interested in celebrating
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should are despite in virtual events. caltrain hopes to hold the event next year. we will check in with lisa. lisa: a big volcano exploded in tonga. we have advisors for the west coast. we expect one to two feet waves at 7:30 to 8:00 in san francisco. some rip currents are possible. looking mild with high clouds and 60's today. julian: thanks for joining us. the news continues with good morning
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welcome back to "gma" on this saturday morning. britney spears reacting to sister jamie lynn's exclusive abc interview this week accusing her of stooping to, quote, a whole new level of low. we'll have much more on what each sister is saying in our "gma" cover story coming up in our second hour. >> so many people are watching to see that. let's look at the other big stories we're following this morning. happening right now, a massive 11 alarm chemical fire in new jersey is finally contained after sending huge plumes of smoke through the air overnight. making matters worse for crews, the extreme weather conditions and freezing temperatures. the cause of the fire is still unknown and is being investigated. also right now, a federal judge ordering so-called pharma bro martin shkreli to pay $64 million for hiking the price of
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a life saving drug from $13.50 to $750 per pill. the judge also banning him for life from the pharmaceutical industry. shkreli is serving an unrelated seven-year sentence for securities fraud. and watching some of your favorite shows is going to get more expensive. netflix announcing that it's raising prices in the u.s. and canada. the monthly price of the basic plan here at home going up a dollar to $9.99. the standard plan going up by $1.50 and the premium plan increasing by $2 to $19.99 per month. >> everything is costing more. >> pay a little more to stream. >> we'll pay it, won't we? >> of course. >> oh, goodness. we start this half hour with the growing reward in the search for 7-year-old harmony montgomery last seen two years ago. the handling of this case is now being investigated as many question how she could have fallen through the cracks. abc's alex presha is here with more. good morning, alex. >> reporter: hey, eva.
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of course, priority number one is finding this little girl, but there are so many questions here including how did this child go missing for two years before an official search was started? this morning, new hampshire police are intensifying their search for 7-year-old harmony montgomery. >> we're going to bring her home. we're never going to stop. >> reporter: she hasn't been seen in two years but was only reported recently. it's still a mystery how she disappeared. new hampshire's division of children, youth and families reported harmony missing after the child's mother made multiple attempts to alert authorities. harmony's father adam montgomery had legal custody of her. he's now facing charges including second degree felony assault for alleged conduct against harmony in 2019 and endangering the welfare of a child. during questioning he initially told investigators he had seen harmony recently, and she was fine, then according to the affidavit he contradicted himself in saying he hasn't seen her since her mother picked her up in thanksgiving of 2019.
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a claim harmony's mother refutes. harmony's stepmother's charges include felony theft by unauthorized taking. prosecutors saying she lied to the state to steal harmony's benefits. her last known location this home in manchester, october of 2019. police returned there at the start of this year to look for signs of the missing girl. police say she's blind in her right eye and should be wearing glasses. experts warning the time that has passed adds even more urgency to the search. >> the fact she hasn't been seen in over two years makes it incredibly difficult. we're treating her as a missing child and that's what's important. >> reporter: a reward ballooned to $112,000. officers now vetting hundreds of tips. ♪ happy birthday to you ♪ >> reporter: then there's harmony's little brother jamison, now adopted. jamison's parents are joining the search to bring her home hoping to one day reunite the siblings. >> we want her to be safe. she has a little brother that loves her, and he just wants to
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hug his sister again. >> reporter: missing persons experts point to cases like jaycee dugard, the cleveland girls and elizabeth smart as cases that have ended positively and this case new hampshire's governor has requested an internal review of the system. janai? >> so many questions, thank you so much. we'll change gears now and get a check of the weather with danielle breezy from our nashville affiliate, wkrn-tv. danielle, cold out there, isn't it? >> reporter: janai, we continue to track this major winter storm that's already impacted a lot of the area and it is headed towards the south and then up towards the north and east. take a look at this map here. wind alerts.l the winter and - there's 11 of them stretching from texas to maine covering over 33 states. now, i want to show you video. this is from morrison, colorado. these are cars flipped over. there was also a ten-car pileup.
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this is right near the denver metro area. this is all due to snow and even a wintry mix. as you look at the storm impacts graphic this is what is going to happen from the winter storm. you are see yellows, oranges, reds. that indicates where the travel will become treacherous due to snow and also due to ice. i want to talk about this. we'll see snow from nashville over to asheville, north carolina, up through the interior east coast but will see ice from atlanta over to raleigh and we are concerned with that. ice conditions not to mention the i-95 corridor looking for snow turning to rain so a lot going and the country. that's what's happening around the country. this is what's happening where you live.
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>> reporter: this weather report is sponsored by geico. back to you. >> just looking at those temperatures on the map gives you a chill. all right, danielle. we'll hang in there. opening the door this morning, it was like a punch in the face. >> i went out with wet hair. not a good idea. but we will be tracking it through the weekend. still ahead here, speaking of the big chill this winter, home heating prices expected to soar. the advice on how to cut the costs. then the cdc's covid-19 cruise guidance turned optional today. we'll talk to the ceo of virgin voyages on what that means. what is... an overpass? come on! question, is that an “s” or a “5”? think it's a 5... i thought so. argh! frustration...loading. [sfx: laser sounds] nobody wants more robot tests. but we could all use more ways to save. chai latte, for “rob ott.” for “rob ott.”
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for those you love. vanguard. become an owner. welcome back to "gma" and the forecast for this winter, more costly than last year, heating prices are expected to soar, and phil lipof is here with some tips that can help save you money. phil, good morning to you. i am sorry you're so cold out there. >> reporter: oh, it's okay. it's part of the job. it's fine. we good some hand warmers, and it's all good, a hat. i don't love wearing hats but it's a hat. it's getting really cold as you point out in parts of the country. and for most of us, that means, what, turning up the heat in our homes because we want to stay warm.
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as you mention with inflation rising as it is, home heating costs are going to go up as well and sometimes i guess you feel there's really nothing you can do about it, but there is. the vaughn family of barrington, rhode island, love their home but parents brian and amanda say the frigid new england winters are putting a freeze on their savings. >> the heating last year was quite a surprise. >> reporter: a surprise, indeed. their yearly gas and electric bills totaling more than $3,700. >> it's a lot of money. wow. >> reporter: to dial down some of those costs, we brought in energy expert ben bixby. >> are you guys ready to save some money? >> absolutely. >> reporter: first up, he says hunt for the hidden cracks and holes in your house. that's where 25% to 40% of the average home's warmth leaks out. >> some leaks are harder to find. others are easier to find when you have a big hole in the floor there. >> reporter: ben says pay special attention to the windows in your laundry room where we find a hole. >> every time you turn your
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dryer on, you're creating negative pressure which is causing more air into the house. >> reporter: the fix? seal it up with $10 foam sealant. ac vents, don't forget to close them. >> in the winter the hot air can escape up there. >> reporter: just plugging them saved the family $160 a year. next up, don't overlook hidden weak spots, thin areas you might not be able to see but still costing you money like behind radiators. using a thermal camera you can see the dark area where heat is getting out that's valuable. we installed reflective backing to direct some of that heat back into the room. >> for the whole house this will save you probably $48 each year. >> reporter: finally buy a smart thermostat from companies like honeywell or nest. in addition to controlling it with your smartphone, it monitors your family's heating habits and automatically turns off when not needed even if you forget. >> just this winter alone we expect you'll see over $80 in savings just this year. >> now we're in winter mode. >> reporter: so one more thing to keep in mind when it gets dangerously cold like it is
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outside right now, it can certainly be dangerous inside your home. here are a couple of things to keep in mind. keep anything that can burn away from home heating equipment like a furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater. have your heating equipment and your chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional and, of course, test those smoke alarms at least once a month in case, worse case scenario, something goes wrong, you can have an early alert. eva? >> all right, some good tips for people as so many of us will be dealing with that cold this weekend. coming up on "good morning america," cruising in the new year. changes involving guidance from the cdc today. the president and ceo of virgin voyages joins us live. yages joi. why hide your skin if dupixent has your moderate to severe eczema or atopic dermatitis under control? hide my skin? not me. by hitting eczema where it counts, dupixent helps heal your skin from within
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back on "gma," starting today the cdc's covid regulations for cruise ships are now optional. that means cruise companies will voluntarily decide whether to meet recommendations on vaccinations, testing and things like mask wearing. joining us now to discuss is president and ceo of virgin voyages, tom mcalpin. tom, good morning to you. it's good to have you. >> good morning, great to be here. you guys should be broadcasting from here in miami. the weather is fantastic. >> you know what, i'll bring it up to the bosses as soon as we're finished. trust me. what do you think of the cdc's new voluntary program and are you planning to opt in? >> yeah, so the new program is an opt in. it's voluntary. of course, we're going to opt in because these policies and the procedures -- we helped develop these over two years ago, so it makes sense for us to opt in. the procedures that we do are working.
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you know, we test, we vaccinate all of our passengers. all of our crew are required to be vaccinated. we test before they get on board the ship, and we developed procedures on board like air filtration systems, systems that are similar to what is used in hospitals today. so the good news is, it's working and it's working for us. >> the cruise industry just starting to get back up and running. there were delays, cancellations early on in the pandemic. i understand your brand-new ship "the scarlet lady" launched its first voyages late last year but the cdc is still advising against cruising regardless of vaccination status. do you see that as mixed messaging? >> yeah, we do. we're really perplexed at the fact that they're recommending you don't cruise because the procedures that we've put in place are working. we have seen only a handful of cases here at virgin voyages. we've been able to control it. frankly, we see this as the safest way to travel. if you think about it, where else can you go where everyone is vaccinated? all of our sailors are vaccinated. all of our crew are vaccinated. they're even getting boosters as
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we speak. we're testing everybody before they get on board. we've got these purification systems on board and it's working so we don't understand why we're being singled out from other industries but you know, we're happy with the fact that we are operating and operating safely. >> as you know, this omicron surge sweeping really around the globe here and ships have been reporting cases on board despite all the protocols. how do you handle that when people do get sick and isolating people, keeping them in their rooms? >> look, in the unlikely event that someone does contract the virus, we're going to take care of you and put you in a balcony cabin. we'll give you, you know, a plethora of movies to watch, games and other activities. we're going to give you six menus to choose from and basically we'll treat you with that rock star service that you would expect from virgin. so, you know, it's unlikely that will happen, but we'll take great care of you. > tom, thank you so much for your time this morning. we do appreciate it and know a
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lot are trying to get back out there and get vacations going once again, thanks again. >> thank you. we'll be right back here in the "play of the day." "play of " ♪ things you start when you're 45. coaching. new workouts. and screening for colon cancer. yep. the american cancer society recommends screening starting at age 45, instead of 50, since colon cancer is increasing in younger adults. i'm cologuard®. i'm convenient and find 92% of colon cancers... ...even in early stages. i'm for people 45 plus at average risk for colon cancer, not high risk. false positive and negative results may occur. ask your provider if cologuard is right for you. to see my ancestors' photos was just breathtaking. wow, look at all those! what'd you find? lorraine banks, look, county of macomb, michigan? oh my goodness... this whole journey has been such a huge gift for our family. not only do centrum multigummies taste great. they help support your immune defenses, too. this whole journey has been such a huge gift because a healthy life.
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♪ i said, ooh ♪ ♪ i'm blinded by the light ♪ back now on "gma" and how the weather turned a man's driveway into a skating rink. check out the situation. wow, in champaign, illinois, the other day, this guy donning his skates for an icy lap down the driveway straight into the street. a whole sheet of ice. >> impressive. >> really? >> that's actually dangerous. >> that too. at least he didn't fall but you got to be careful taking out the trash. >> he has his hands in his pockets. >> he must do this all the time. >> needs a super warm coat. that looks like a medium warm coat. >> we've been talking warm. we need it. >> impressive stuff. all right. "gma" now two hours on saturdays so coming up here, the massive winter storm we've been talking about impacting much of the
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country, where it's hitting right now. our "gma" cover story. the feud between britney and her sister escalating. the accusations on social media this morning. and then ginger zee opening up in her new memoir with the hope to inspire and to help heal others. that's coming up.
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>> this is abc news. >> good morning, i'm julian glover with abc7 mornings. today, san francisco's rec and park is hosting the first of four job fairs at mclaren park. positions include food service workers, summer camp assistant,
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lifeguard, and a park planning internship find more information on all of the available jobs at sfrecpark.org. the next job fair is set for next saturday the space and science center reopens after being temporarily closeed to the surge in covid cases. the return of interactive exhibits and free telescope viewings. astronomers will be on stand. the deck offers views 1,500 feet above the bay. tickets are available on the center's website. and now we want to check back in with lisa who is following this tsunami advisory that we have been watching throughout the morning. we're beginning to hear some folks in the berkeley marina arena are being told to evacuate at this point? >> yeah, good idea to stay off the beach, out of the water. there was an undersea volcano near tonga that created a huge explosion 20 miles into the
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atmosphere upwards the ozone layer the arrival of higher waivers with one to three-foot waves. strong and dangerous rip currents and the wave action for the next several hours. so we're not expecting inundation, any flooding but some higher than normal waves, all along the washington, oregon, california border, down to mexico. with mild temperatures to start and high clouds out there, temperatures will be in the 60's today. it'll be dry throughout the weekend. julian? >> ok, thank you so much, lisa. >> ok, thank you so much, lisa. the news cont at hampton by hilton, contactless arrival means she can skip the front desk, go straight to her room, unlock her door, and head right to bed. book our family of brands at hilton.com. to new memories. hilton. book our family of brands at hilton.com. living with metastatic breast cancer means being relentless. because every day matters. and having more of them is possible with verzenio. the only one of its kind proven to help you live significantly longer when taken with fulvestrant, regardless of menopause status.
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feel the hydrow high. good morning, america. good morning, america. it's our second hour. all eyes on the massive storm sweeping across the country with 75 million people in the crosshairs. governors declaring states of emergency as snow slams the midwest overnight and a freezing wintry mix heads south and east next. our weather team tracking it all. also this morning, murdaugh family murders. a look at the "20/20" special taking you inside the true crime mystery about a powerful southern family. the new evidence and exclusive interviews. plus what's next in the investigation. the spears sisters getting personal after jamie lynn's exclusive abc news interview. britney and jamie lynn

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