tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC September 7, 2017 4:00pm-4:31pm PDT
tonight, from miami, it's a race against time to get ready or get out as a category 5 monster decimates islands in the caribbean and races toward florida. hurricane watches are up and mandatory evacuations are under way. tonight airports and roads are packed. gas and supplies rapidly running low. al roker will be here with the latest track. massive security breach. breaking news from the credit monitoring company equifax. cyber thieves making off with private information of 143 million americans, nearly half the u.s. population. we have late details how to know if you've been hit. behind closed doors. what donald trump jr. told investigators about wanting dirt on hillary clinton from the russians. and first day of school for the little
prince. "nightly news" begins right now. this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt, reporting tonight from miami. good evening, and thank you for joining us. downtown miami, a virtual ghost town right now. biscayne bay this evening providing a glorious backdrop, belying the anticipated arrival of a now deadly hurricane irma less than 72 hours from its possible landfall. as we come on the air tonight there are new mandatory evacuations as florida stares down the barrel of this storm. as many as 700,000 people under orders to leave. florida's governor warning the time to evacuate is now because, he says, we can't save you once the storm hits. still a category 5 hurricane, irma has demolished popular caribbean resort islands killing several people. today a hurricane watch was posted for south florida which
tonight has little room to escape irma's wrath. our team continued to deploy across the region. let's begin tonight with gabe gutierrez. gabe, good evening. >> reporter: lester, good evening. this is a scene playing out across the state. growing lines for fuel. often it's selling out faster than supply trucks can get here. people rushing to stock up before irma arrives. tonight, florida's largest mass evacuation in 12 years is under way. miami beach boarded up, nearly 700,000 people urged to head inland. a traffic nightmare as irma creeps closer. >> this is devastating. it's scary. people get crazy. >> reporter: after more than 30,000 people bolted from the florida keys, there's a desperate need for gas. police escorting fuel supply trucks. more than a quarter of the stations in miami, ft. lauderdale and naples are dry. >> everything is shut down. >> reporter: another concern, price gouging. fury exploding online. >> someone was charging over $70 for
a pack of water. >> they feel like they're being taken advantage of. >> reporter: florida's attorney general saying her call center has taken more than 3,000 calls. >> that's sickening, it's disgusting. it's unacceptable. and we're not going to have it. >> reporter: amid fears of flooding and catastrophic storm surge on both coasts, in ft. myers search and rescue teams are already gearing up. >> this is serious, and we cannot take chances. it is life threatening. this is not a storm you can sit and wait through. >> reporter: millions under a state of emergency up the east coast, florida, georgia and the carolinas. 25 years ago another deadly category 5 hurricane, andrew, sliced through florida, but irma's nearly twice as big as that storm and wider than the entire state of florida, making it harder for evacuees to escape the storm's path. given the storm's forecast where can people go to escape? >> they need to go to one of our shelters, and they need to go quick. as a matter of fact, that's the place to go. >> reporter: miami's
metro zoo rebuilt after andrew leveled it is now bracing for another devastating blow. across south florida, families and their pets are streaming to newly opened shelters. >> oh, it's frightening. extremely frightening. >> reporter: this family is spending their first night away from home. >> we didn't really want to take any chances because i have children. so we decided then that before the rush of everybody trying to make a mass exodus, that we would try and get ahead. >> reporter: ahead of the frantic rush to outrun irma before it's too late. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, miami. >> reporter: i'm miguel almaguer at miami international airport where thousands of flights are canceled, lines are long and patience is running short. this is the mass scramble to get away, but not everyone can afford to get out. >> i had a ticket for 700, and then i refreshed it and it was gone. >> reporter: with all
major airlines suspending service in south florida friday night, tonight it's social media that's taking off. complaints of price gouging. $10,000 for three tickets from miami to new york. >> people are not trying to go to on vacation. people are trying to survive. >> reporter: some airlines are capping fares as low as $99, but it's nearly impossible to find a seat. these newlyweds just married this morning. >> we are just trying to get out of here. >> reporter: are tonight desperate to get home to dallas before the storm hits. >> we really haven't been able to enjoy everything the way that we wanted to because we've been so stressed. >> reporter: with the overcrowded airport tweeting, m.i.a. is not a shelter, tonight the crunch is on both by air and by sea. the two busiest cruise ports in the world are affected. 40,000 passengers impacted by the storm. >> the cruise lines that are supposed to be docking here on saturday are not. they're coming in
early, dropping off their passengers. >> reporter: tonight we found passengers frustrated right back at the airport, many with nowhere to turn and no easy way to get home. >> we're just at their mercy at the moment. >> reporter: tonight a different kind of storm has already arrived at airports like this. more than 4,000 flights arriving at airports impacted by irma have already been canceled. here at miami this line stretches for several city blocks. many people have been waiting here for several hours. for those thinking about getting a rental car, that could be even more difficult. lester? >> all right, miguel almaguer tonight, thanks very much. al roker is here with us in miami. i keep looking at this beautiful scenery thinking no way. >> this will be a lot different in about 48 hours, lester. this is a monster storm and it is not weakening very much. still a category 5 storm. let's show you what we've got right now. it is 40 miles south of grand turk island. 175-mile-per-hour winds moving west-northwest at 16.
all right, so next up, turks and caicos tonight. 175-mile-per-hour winds. the bahamas tomorrow, 150-mile-per-hour winds with storm surges up to 20 feet, then we move on into saturday, late saturday night, early sunday morning. south florida gets it up to 130-mile-per-hour winds, a storm surge of five to ten feet, and 8 to 16 inches of rain. the storm surge is one of the things that kills the most people and causes the most problems. with this wind it has nowhere to go, it builds up and rushing inland. because this storm is so huge we could actually see simultaneous storm surges is on both coasts of florida. >> we've gotten used to over the last several years with a few exceptions, with the storms tending to turn away. why are things so active and heading in this direction? >> this is a non-el nino year. when you have el nino, you get a lot of shear and that knocks down those storms. we're also going into the teeth of the hurricane season. peak season september
15th, that's when we have the most storms happening. so this is right on schedule. >> al roker, good to have you here, thank you. as florida braces, to the south parts of the caribbean, as we noted at the beginning, are reeling from hurricane irma's catastrophic force. the powerful storm cut a deadly path of destruction through the region flattening entire communities. at least nine people confirmed dead so far. now a new hurricane threat is brewing there. nbc's morgan radford is in san juan with the latest on all that. >> reporter: hurricane irma ripping through the caribbean, bringing death and destruction and leaving thousands homeless. in barbuda houses under water, cars floating through the streets. among the dead, a 2-year-old killed while a family was trying to escape. most of the island left uninhabitable and almost impossible to reach. in st. martin, homes with no power or running water. businesses completely destroyed. military planes sending emergency food and water.
thousands remain stranded like david elliott and trey harris who traveled to turks and caicos from north carolina for vacation, now left with no choice but to ride out the hurricane. >> we're trying to keep it as upbeat and positive here as we can. we keep reassuring everyone back home that we are safe. we're in the safest spot on this island. >> reporter: puerto rico was spared a direct hit. but raging winds tore down power lines and trees smashing through sammy's small restaurant. now he has no income, just as tourists are beginning to arrive. almost a million people are still without power. that's why they've come to central markets like this to charge their cell phones, find running water and get hot food. >> no water. >> reporter: no water. and there's no electricity? >> no. >> it gets warm down here. it's hot. without electricity is the worst part. >> reporter: but just as the cleanup begins warnings tonight another major hurricane may be on the way.
this is just one of many businesses completely leveled by the storm. we're inside of a restaurant. you can see where the wiring has fallen apart. a tree completely blowing through the roof. now with hurricane jose picking up where hurricane irma left off residents here in puerto rico are getting nervous once again. lester? >> morgan radford in san juan, thank you. we'll have much more on this story ahead, but now we want to turn to a major consumer alert. a massive security breach revealed today by one of the three big credit reporting bureaus, equifax. hackers stole personal information including social security numbers on some 143 million americans. tonight nbc news has learned the fbi is investigating. tom costello now with late details. >> reporter: the hack could go down as among the biggest ever involving nearly half the u.s. population. credit reporting agency equifax says the data breach involved the names, addresses, social security numbers, birth dates and even driver's license information for 143
million people. in addition roughly 209,000 credit card numbers were stolen. the breach occurred between mid-may and mid-july and was discovered on july 29th, although we're just hearing about it now. late today equifax released a video statement. >> i deeply regret this incident. i apologize to every affected consumer and all of our partners. >> reporter: equifax is one of the three big credit reporting agencies. ironically it's where people go when they fear they've been hacked. the agency says its credit reporting database wasn't affected, but it says criminals managed to exploit a vulnerability on a u.s. website application. >> the sheer number of people that could be affected is what's so striking about this particular attack. this is of hurricane irma type proportions. >> reporter: tonight equifax says it's offering free i.d. theft protection and credit monitoring to every consumer in the country with no cost
for one year. for a link to sign up and find out if your information has been hacked, go to our "nightly news" facebook page. lester? >> tom costello in washington. thanks. president trump has been monitoring irma from the nation's capital where today the senate passed a $15 billion relief package for victims of hurricanes harvey and irma under a surprising deal that the president cut with democrats. it now moves on to the house. all this happening as the president's son donald trump jr. appeared before senate investigators answering questions about that secret meeting he took with a russian attorney during the 2016 campaign. we get more from nbc news chief white house correspondent hallie jackson. >> reporter: tinted windows blocked the view of donald trump jr. inside this car after he avoided cameras at the capital. for five hours today behind closed doors the president's son meeting with senate investigators looking into russia's interference with the 2016 election. according to a statement obtained by
nbc news, trump jr. said he took a june 2016 meeting with a russian lawyer and others because he thought he'd get dirt on hillary clinton. quote, to the extent they had information concerning the fitness, character or qualifications of a presidential candidate, i believed i should at least hear them out. opposition research is not unusual, but getting it from foreign entities is. >> his appearance today raised as many questions as it answered. >> reporter: in a statement late today trump jr. said he answered every question until both sides had exhausted their lines of questioning. i trust this interview fully satisfied their inquiry. it's more d.c. drama after a day packed with it. republicans reeling from the president's stunning decision to side with democrats on a plan to pay for hurricane relief, raise the debt ceiling and keep the government open for three months, exactly the terms democrats like nancy pelosi had wanted. >> i think we will have a different relationship than you've been watching
over the last number of years. >> reporter: as if to punctuate that point, after canceling the program protecting undocumented young people brought to this country by their parents, president trump today tweeted reassurance to those dreamers at pelosi's request. >> i was reporting to my colleagues, i said, this is what i asked the president to do, and boom, boom, boom, the tweet appeared. so that was good. >> reporter: looking ahead to the weekend, the white house is bracing for the possibility of another missile test by north korea with the president again leaving open the option of military force against kim jong-un saying if he did, and he hopes he doesn't have to, it would be what he called a very sad day for north korea. lester? >> hallie jackson at the white house tonight, thank you. and we have much more still ahead this evening from florida. the coast not the only area endangered by irma. the major fears about flooding inland at this critical barrier suddenly gives way. also online giant amazon is looking for some prime real estate to build a new home.
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we're back now with florida where there is high anxiety tonight up and down both coasts and that fear extends even to places far inland. residents not just worried about the destructive winds but also about critical infrastructure designed to hold the water back and keep neighborhoods from a flood disaster like we recently saw in houston. nbc's kerry sanders
now has our report from moore haven, florida. >> reporter: a reservoir flooding during hurricane harvey. homes submerged, people scrambling to get out. that's the nightmare scenario in florida for marianne martin. >> it's a man-made hill. >> reporter: she lives near the herbert hoover dike holding back water from lake okeechobee. 40,000 at risk if that dike fails, as happened in new orleans during katrina. this is not a case of you just crossing your fingers then. >> no, it's not. and i hope i don't have to regret saying that. >> reporter: a warning the florida governor is issuing tonight. >> the biggest risk on the dike at okeechobee is too much rain. that's why they're lowering levels. >> reporter: lake okeechobee so large it's visible from outer space, more than 700 square miles. now the race to lower water levels, critical because with just one foot of rain from irma, the lake will rise more than three feet. the dike 90 years in the making is in
desperate need of critical repairs. a $1.5 billion fix is now under way. the army corps of engineers recognizes the potential. their own report says depending on the potential location of a breach, the life loss, economic and adverse environmental consequences of a breach are considered very high. >> the floods would potentially inundate entire communities, and this is, of course, certainly something that the corps of engineers wants to avoid at all costs. >> reporter: that rushing water that you hear and see is a desperate effort to get as much water out of the lake before irma arrives. the army corps of engineers says it believes the dike will hold, but irma will dump more than 20 inches of rain. lester? >> all right, kerry sanders, thanks. when we come back here tonight, he's growing up so fast. a major rite of passage for prince george. kevin, meet your father.
says, with its booming business, it will open a second north american headquarters as the company grows beyond its home base in seattle. it could mean up to 50,000 jobs for the winning city, and several are already lining up to try and lure the company including chicago, philadelphia and toronto. a decision is expected later this year. across the country and around the world, it's that time of year, back-to-school time. but at one school in particular there were a few more cameras than usual to capture the moment because one of the students just happens to be the future king of england, but first he needs to learn his abcs, as nbc's kelly cobiella reports. >> reporter: even a future king has school day nerves. mom kate, pregnant with baby number three, was home with severe morning sickness, so 4-year-old george held on tight to dad, prince william. >> he's been watching all the other school boys coming in their
uniforms. >> you've got your backpack as well. >> reporter: a backpack with the prince's official school name, george cambridge. his grandfather, prince charles, started the tradition, school outside of the palace. 30 years ago it was william's turn, hand in hand with diana. now george and a new tradition, a private coed school. ballet for girls and boys, philosophy for 5-year-olds. >> the fees are around $20,000 a year, and they do, you know, rack of lamb, not your average mac and cheese. >> reporter: prince william said the day went well, just a happy father and son and a princely after-school portrait. kelly cobiella, nbc news, london. when we come back, more from here in miami. bracing for hurricane irma. al roker will be back in a moment with the latest. stay with us. nbc "nightly news" is brought to you by edward jones, where attention and sound advice is a big deal. before i had the shooting, burning, pins-and-needles
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stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. parker. the at&t network is helping first responders connect with medical teams in near real time... stay with me, mr. parker. ...saving time when it matters most. stay with me, mrs. parker. that's the power of and. we're back now from miami. and before we leave you tonight, one more check with al roker on the track of irma. >> that's right. still doing what it needs to do. it's still a category 5, 175-mile-per-hour winds.
it's 40 miles south of grand turk island, and the path brings it on shore here in southern florida sometime late saturday night into sunday morning and continues on up into georgia, and by tuesday it's on into parts of the carolinas, lester. >> al roker, thanks very much. i know you'll have updates tomorrow morning on "today." as the storm heads for florida the folks in texas hit by hurricane harvey can use all the help they can get. that's why all five former living presidents are teaming up to lend their support. the public service announcement will make its debut during the nfl season opener here on nbc. we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news" for this thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night from miami. news, thank y watching and good ght from miami.
nbc sports, home of the olympic games, the fedexcup playoffs, premier league, the nascar playoffs, primetime's number one show, "sunday night football" and super bowl lii on nbc. >> welcome to gillette stadium in foxborough, massachusetts. it will be unveiled tonight to create the greatest comeback in super bowl history. the patriots pursuit of a record-tying sixth super bowl title. 2017 nfl kickoff.