tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC August 26, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
with the latest on the hurricane. later at 6:00 we'll have more on the protests. tonight, catastrophic storm. widespread destruction as hurricane harvey pounds the gulf coast of texas leaving hundreds of thousands without power and prompting rescues and predictions of unprecedented flooding in the days ahead. tonight we'll meet some who lost just about everything as the threat from harvey is far from over. presidential pardon. the controversial move by president trump pardoning former sheriff joe arpaio of arizona. blackhawk down. yet another crash involving a u.s. military aircraft. the search tonight for a missing service member. palace threat? police launch a terror investigation after a man with a sword injures three others outside of buckingham palace. and hype night. the spectacle in las
vegas as mayweather and mcgregor rake in t rake iorake inurake int rake nn hundreds of millions no matter who wins. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt reporting tonight from rockport, texas. >> reporter: good evening. after staring into the evil eye of harvey and taking the hurricane's most ferocious shot, rockport, texas, is bruised and battered and it's not over yet. right now, a brief break between bands of rain. like much of this region, it's now experiencing unrelenting rains and a catastrophic flood threat growing by the hour. harvey is back down a tropical storm after a surprisingly strong cat 4 hurricane. rather than moving on, it is lingering along the texas coast. its rains flooding highways and cutting off access to stricken areas. homes and buildings have collapsed in some places, boats ripped from their moorings
and power lines and trees are down and cell communications have been cut across broad areas. our correspondents and crews have navigated through some of the worst of it today and our reporting begins with gabe gutierrez. gabe? >> reporter: lester, good evening. you can see the power of the storm. harvey's eye cut right through here. local authorities say that one person was killed in a house fire that first responders just couldn't get to in time. at least a dozen people were injured. tonight, along the texas gulf coast, utter devastation. in the town of rockport, entire blocks are decimated. >> we have nothing left. >> reporter: amanda evans is shaken. she was caught in the eye of the storm. >> by 1:00, it was terrible. it was so -- i was crying. i was on my knees praying that we made it. >> reporter: her home gone. >> reporter: why didn't you evacuate? >> we just didn't have the money.
>> reporter: harvey barrelled ashore overnight packing 130-mile-an-hour winds blinds sheets of rain and a treacherous storm surge. >> we have been praying for quite a while for the eye to pass over so we could get a break. >> this is bad. >> reporter: the category 4 hurricane is the strongest to hit the u.s. in 13 years making landfall twice. now search and rescue efforts are underway. the coast guard called in to rescue at least three tugboats stranded off shore. >> we want to do everything we possibly can to keep people out of rising water. >> reporter: the whipping winds ripped roofs off buildings, power lines snapped, sparking massive explosions. electricity knocked out for at least 300,000. >> our town is destroyed and it hurts. >> reporter: on the boll -- bolivar
peninsula, three homes burned to the ground. >> pretty scary. it felt like 150-mile-an-hour winds. it was whipping pretty good. >> reporter: this meteorologist was in this rockport hotel designed to withstand a category 5 hurricane but overnight the entire wall collapsed. >> half of the building is missing. we're just taking our first look at it. >> reporter: incredibly, no one was hurt. >> you can see the town. >> reporter: today, the hotel's manager showed us a view he never expected. >> this would have actually been the wall that you can see that it's still literally hanging. it just kind of flipped over on itself. and half of it ended down there. >> reporter: but the cleanup can't begin just yet. harvey has already dumped several months worth of rain on the region and the storm is far from over. as the torrential rains move north, authorities here in rockport are only just beginning to assess the damage. texas' governor says more than a thousand workers throughout the state are now involved in search and rescue operations. lester? >> all right, gabe. thank you. there's the potential for much more rain, up to two feet or more as the storm remains largely stalled for
the next several days. dylan dreyer is here with us. dylan, for several hours, unrelenting rain and then you get moments like this and you think it's over. >> and then you get another band of rain. the storm is stalled right now and the rain is pinwheeling around different areas across this part of texas. you can see where the storm is. don't be fooled by the fact that it is now a tropical storm. it's not the winds going on from here on out. 65-mile-per-hour winds. look at the movement. it's stationary. that's what's going to be a huge issue. we have the gulf of mexico feeding into these bands of rain and they will continue to rotate around the center of the storm over the next several days. the storm doesn't start moving until monday afternoon and even then it slowly moves to the north. in fact, the diameter of this circular path it's taking is only about 150 miles. so it's staying put. it's going to continue to feed into the moisture off the gulf of mexico and that's why we are going to see another widespread 10 to 20 inches of rain with some areas
ending up with those totals around 40 inches. again, this is going to be an issue all the way through at least the middle of next week. >> and before you know it, it's flooded. we learned a while ago that the route we took in here is now impassable. >> exactly. the water accumulates on the sidewalks and roads and goes into the rivers and streams and they overflow their banks and then we end up with more flooding. >> dylan dreyer, thank you. the town of victoria, texas, is also hard hit. it's inland a bit, about 65 miles north of where we are. nbc's kerry sanders is there. what is the situation there this evening? >> reporter: lester, harvey has dumped 10 inches of rain here and you can see the spillways and culverts are nearing their capacity as residents here in victoria begin to assess the damage, the growing worry now is a coming flood. streams and creeks overwhelming their banks and going into the guadalupe river. the best way to look at that is from above. take a look at the drone shot here with 20 to 30 inches of
rain forecast to fall here before harvey is gone. water managers expect by wednesday the river to crest 32 feet above flood stage. residents who live along the river are concerned not only about the flood but about the fact, also, that they do not have flood insurance. on top of all of that, because of the power outage, there is now a mandatory boil water alert for drinking water. lester? >> all right. kerry sanders, thank you. and there is growing concern this evening in houston, which has already been hit by a foot and a half of rain with much more on the way and now tornadoes have started touching down. the city preparing for the worst tonight. we get that part of the story from nbc's jacob rascon who is there tonight. >> hurry. we're going to go inside. >> reporter: tonight in houston, the immediate threat is not catastrophic flooding but tornadoes. this one reported in north houston while another south of town devastated this family home. at least 50 homes
damaged. gaping holes in roofs, windows shattered, trees uprooted. >> and all of a sudden, i felt boom, boom, boom, and, boom. >> reporter: 85-year-old rosa was fast asleep. >> and what did you think? what did you see? was it pitch black? >> i said, jesus, help us. that's what i said. i said that, because i was afraid. >> reporter: but tonight the worst in houston is yet to come. nearby in rosenberg, the first mandatory evacuation is now ordered as the brazoria brazos river rises.brazos river rises. already more rain than predicted fell today, nearly a foot in some areas. the fear, another three feet could fall in parts of the city through the end of the storm in an area that's already prone
to flooding. >> the worst case scenario is that there's no place for it to go but outside of its banks and once outside of its banks it would then go into people's homes. >> reporter: houston's bayous, creeks and rivers are rising fast. this creek overflowed overnight. >> been in the house for 37 years. it's not a common thing, but it does happen occasionally. >> reporter: how concerned are you that it will flood? >> always very concerned. >> reporter: the nation's fourth largest city all but shut down. this is the buffalo bayou that goes right through the heart of houston. and with such a dire forecast, there are now fears how much longer it will stay within its banks. lester? >> jacob rascon tonight. president trump has been monitoring the situation closely but there's a new political storm we're following, this one over the president's pardon of former sheriff joe arpaio of arizona. nbc's kelly o'donnell has the latest now from the white house. >> reporter: today's white house hurricane response is headquartered at camp david where president trump led a teleconference with the vice president and cabinet members that directed his federal team to remain fully engaged and positioned
to support his number one priority of saving lives. notably upbeat on twitter, president trump wrote, "we are leaving nothing to chance and we have fantastic people on the ground. so far, so good." the president authorized emergency federal money for texas after governor abbott's request. >> we are so pleased that the federal government and the white house have stepped up in the strong way they have by granting our disaster declaration. >> reporter: from a first natural disaster on president trump's watch to gale force political winds he whipped up granting his first presidential pardon. >> i'm not going to stop. >> reporter: arizona's controversial sheriff joe arpaio defied a judge's ordered and was convicted of contempt for failing to halt immigration patrols. arpaio, who lost re-election, was long accused of harsh tactics and racial profiling that targeted latinos. his reaction? >> i have to thank the president of the united states for his pardon. as i say, he's a big friend, supporter of
law enforcement. i think this is a bigger picture than just me. >> reporter: arpaio's fate is tied to the president's tough stand on illegal immigration that fires up his base. praising the former sheriff as a patriot. his critics, including prominent democrats, claim the pardon condones racism while arizona's republican senators say the president undercut the rule of law. and president trump acted on his own. this pardon did not go through the usual review process at the department of justice. sheriff arpaio is not expressing the usual remorse for his conviction. he calls it vindication. by announcing this on friday night amid all of the attention around the hurricane, critics say the president used the storm for political cover. lester? >> kelly o'donnell at the white house tonight, thank you. tonight, the u.s. military is investigating yet another military air crash, this one involving a blackhawk helicopter last night while on a training
exercise. one service member is missing. this is just the latest accident involving u.s. military aircraft and ships. it happened off the coast of yemen. we get more from our pentagon correspondent hans nichols. >> reporter: tonight, the urgent search and rescue mission still underway for one missing special ops soldier. five have already been rescued after an army blackhawk helicopter went down during a training mission off the coast of yemen. the helicopter was hovering about ten feet above the water practicing its hoisting when it lost power and slowly crashed into the water and then turned on its side. the crash just a latest in a series of deadly military aviation accidents, including in mississippi and australia. earlier this month, another blackhawk helicopter went down two miles offshore from oahu and a deadly season at sea, two navy destroyers involved in collisions in the pacific. >> there are too many coincidences here to demonstrate anything other than the fact that we are not training sufficiently,
we don't have enough people, we don't have enough time and we don't have enough resources. >> next month, congress will hold a public hearing to determine if some of these accidents are related and whether or not they stem from budget cuts. hans nichols, nbc news, washington. in london, police are trying to determine whether an attack outside of buckingham palace was carried out by a terrorist. it happened last night and kristen dahlgren is in london and has details. good evening. >> reporter: good evening. tonight, people here in london are being urged to be alert yet not alarmed as police investigate an act of terror. metropolitan police say on friday night a man drove a car directly at a police van. when officers confronted him, they say he reached for a four-foot sword, repeatedly shouting allah akbar. three officers were slightly injured.
they we -- believe the man was acting alone. no members of the royal family were in believe t was acting alone. no members of the royal family were in the palace at the time and many tourists gathered outside were not injured. the 26-year-old man is being held under the terrorism act. the attack came the same night a soldier was attacked in brussels. isis has claimed responsibility for that attack, lester. >> kristen dahlgren, in our london newsroom tonight, thanks. thanks. still ahead tonight, after hurricane harvey, the highly personal stories, including the experience of one man i met who survived but lost a big part of his life. also, the showdown in las vegas as mayweather and mcgregor battle it out tonight. who comes out on top in the money game.
welcome back to rockport, texas. there have been a number of moments like this where the wind stops long enough and people can get out and see what happened to their property, did they sandbag enough, prepare enough, pray enough. what you see behind me is typical of what a lot of folks discovered as they traveled across this battered region. amid the destruction, there is always the hope that just maybe this piece of your ravaged town was spared and then for many, a crushing realization. the look on your face said it all. >> yep. ten years of my life gone. >> reporter: it was billy's small wood shop, what was left, mixed with bottles from the neighboring wine store that also once sat here. billy didn't flee rockport ahead of the storm. where did you ride out
the storm? >> in my place right down the road. >> reporter: so he could only hunker down and like so many here, imagined what harvey was doing just down that road. what did it sound like last night? >> it was howling pretty good. it was howling pretty good. a lot of noise. boarded up and got our food and water and generator so we're good. i didn't expect this. >> reporter: billy later told us he had another business here that he lost but he and his family are okay and if there was ever a time to count your blessings, it was a time like this, to know that you and your family are okay. we're back in a moment with a baby born as the hurricane came ashore.
for the first time in almost two months, north korea has conducted another missile test. the u.s. military said three short range ballistic missiles were fired last night over a 20-minute period. one failed but two missiles flew about 150 miles before landing in the sea of japan, a distance far enough to threaten u.s. military installations in south korea. the white house said
the president is monitoring the situation. in this country, a big showdown in the ring tonight. floyd mayweather and conor mcgregor will battle it out in las vegas. all the hype and the massive wagers will likely lead to the biggest payout for both men in sports history. our national correspondent miguel almaguer comes face to face with both fighters. >> reporter: if tonight's fight lives up to the hype, this could be the biggest boxing match in history. the fighters, king of the ring floyd mayweather and mixed martial arts champ conor mcgregor turning this into a spectacle more than a sporting event. they've talked their way into record pay-per-view sales, 50 million in the u.s. ♪ at sports bars and at homes, they will pay to see mcgregor try to knockout mayweather. what makes this fight different than any other? >> this is the biggest combat fight in sports history.
so, of course, this is not just a fight when it's something of this magnitude. >> reporter: mayweather's payday is reportedly 200 million. mcgregor expected to pull in 100 million. mayweather is the heavy favorite but many fans are betting on mcgregor. the casinos could lose big if he wins, perhaps the biggest upset in sports history. >> he says he's going to knock him right over. we believe him. 100%. >> reporter: always an underdog, mcgregor's will to win has gotten him this far. during your toughest days growing up, did you ever dream this would be possible? >> of course. i had to. if i did not dream it, i would not be here. >> reporter: tonight, the title and pride is on the line. miguel almaguer, nbc news, las vegas. and one more note from here in the storm zone as the hurricane made landfall last night, irma rodriguez went into labor at corpus christi medical center.
turns out she had not chosen a name for the baby. you know where this is going. a nurse had a suggestion and the mom agreed. it was perfect. harvey rodriguez. weighed in at 7 pounds and just over 18 inches long, one of life's joyous category 5 moments. when we come back, as the recovery begins here in texas, the simple acts of kindness that can make such a big difference.
finally tonight, officials are saying the recovery from this storm will take months, even years. but right now the priority is dealing with the immediate needs of thousands whose lives have been torn apart and that is where volunteers come in in a very big way. here's here's nbc's joe fryer with what they are doing to assist. >> reporter: we remember hurricanes by their names, yet the many volunteers who respond to these storms so often seem nameless. so tonight we want to introduce you to folks like lisa, a long-time red cross helper who brought her friend mariah to a training session, hundreds of new volunteers who signed up to help in san antonio because of the storm. >> when disasters happen, it's a beautiful thing for people to come together and forget everything that's bad and come together as a strong community and help. >> reporter: at the salvation army, we met michael and his son who are now volunteering at the same shelter that once sheltered them when they were in need. >> this shelter helped us get back on our feet into the home that we have now so that we're able to follow god's call, come back and actually
give back. >> reporter: and then there's lori and david who opened up their san antonio home to andre and amanda johnson rks total strangers who needed a place to stay after fleeing houston. >> they opened up their heart. you have to be a special kind of person to offer something like that with nothing in return just because you want to make sure someone else is safe. >> reporter: the two couples connected through airbnb's disaster response program. so far, more than 100 hosts have offered their homes to evacuees for free. >> we have the means to help. there's every reason to help people. that's what texas is about. >> home sweet home. >> reporter: just a sliver of the category 4 kindness around the lone star state that's every bit as relentless as the rain. joe fryer, nbc news, galveston. we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news" for this saturday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. each other, they yelled and
screamed for each other. and they made sure that the themes and they march for each other. they yelled and screamed for each other. and they made sure that the themes of love and compassion dominated over hate speech. >> right now at 6:00, a controversial conservative rally cancelled but didn't stop thousands of centre protestors from taking to the streets of
san francisco. the news at 6:00 starts now good evening and thank you for joining us i'm garvin thomas. >> and janelle wang. terrie mcsweeney is off tonight. taking a stand against hate despite not being a prosecutes. thousands of people marched against white supremacy food in san francisco. centre protests very peaceful. you are look at alamo square right now where one of the protests -- centre protests took place today because organizers of the patriot prayer rally said they were going to be there. they didn't show up and now there are reports that organizers may be showing up there now. >> now we have live team coverage of all the action today. our coverage begins tonight with nbc bay area kristy smith she noins us near alamo square where police are preparing for any abrupt change to the peace. kristy? >> reporter: that's right. i have to tell you centre demonstrators moved on from alamo square quite a while ago. but i wanted to show you what