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Under water

September 8, 2011 1:11:35 PM PDT
You can hold on steady, and try to be ready, but everybody's gonna get wet. Jackson Browne wasn't thinking about the flooding in the Northeast when he wrote that line nearly 40 years ago. But it's right on target.

Tonight, with 100,000 in the Wilkes-Barre area having been forced from their homes, our eyes are on New Jersey, where the rivers are going to crest over the next 24 hours. We're at the Passaic River, tonight at 11. Meteorologist Lee Goldberg heads our coverage.

Also at 11, we'll have reaction to President Obama's jobs proposal. He's speaking in prime time. The Republican response will come from Congresswoman - and Presidential candidate - Michelle Bachmann.

And our Sept. 11 10th anniversary coverage tonight includes my interview with former FDNY Commissioner Tom Von Essen. He became what I call the face of sorrow after the terror attacks. How could he not? His department claimed 343 victims at Ground Zero - all of them rushing into the twin towers as everyone else was trying to rush out.

Von Essen wears the pain from all that to this day, and it doesn't take much for the grief to bubble up. You'll see tonight at 11, and hear his response to critics who say ineffective communication equipment cost firefighter lives that day.

We're going to have extensive coverage of the 10th anniversary memorial - beginning at 6 a.m. Sunday. I'll be there with Lori Stokes, and we'll have anchors and reporters across the area and at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

I've been looking at our coverage and our video from that day, as we prepare our coverage. And I had something of an epiphany while watching it. Anchoring during that terror attack, in a bizarre way, bonded me to this job - and to our viewers. I had come from network news - and knew from the beginning that the relationship between local reporters and the audience is much more intimate than the relationship between network reporters and a national audience. But for me that relationship was forged even stronger, even more intimate, after the Sept. 11 attacks - and all the aftermath.

I didn't fully appreciate or understand that until this 10th anniversary. Maybe only the spread of a decade can do that.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.


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