tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 10, 2018 5:30pm-5:59pm PDT
hotter this weekend, and wind 10 to 20, keep that fire danger up. >> thanks so much for joining us. we'll see you at 6:00. bye. breaking news tonight, a monster hurricane going off like a bomb on the florida coast. the most powerful storm ever to hit the panhandle. winds of 155 miles an hour. >> the winds of a category 4 hurricane almost impossible to stand. >> the damage is catastrophic. the storm blowing away neighborhoods like a buzz saw. homes smashed to pieces. cities under water. our team is taking you inside the ferocity of a disaster like we have rarely seen. i will tell you in all my years of covering hurricanes, this is the first time i felt necessary to actually retreat from the room and into the hallway. tonight states of emergency as the danger sweeps across the southeast. also tonight,
homicide charges after that horrific limo crash killed 20. a shocking arrest, the feds moving in to stop an alleged plot to set off a bomb on election day in washington. a massive dive on wall street, plunging over 800 points. what experts say is behind the hit to your 401(k). new cases of the mystery illness striking children leaving them suddenly paralyzed. the outbreak spreading to more states. an iconic american name on the brink of bankruptcy. can sears be saved? "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. hurricane michael reporting live from panama city, florida. good evening, everyone, from the florida panhandle which tonight is reeling from the strongest storm to hit this area in recorded history. with some storms, it's the wind that's the biggest fear, with others, it's the water and with this monster, it is both. hurricane michael ravaging the coast
with 155-mile-an-hour winds ripping homes and businesses to shreds and storm surge leaving cities under water. the governor is saying he is scared to death for people who didn't heed the warnings. i can tell you personally it was at moments a frightening experience here today. the power of this storm like we have rarely seen. and tonight, it's showing few signs of losing steam as it barrels its way inland, and we'll take you through every moment with all our correspondents, starting with nbc's gabe gutierrez down the coast in apalachicola. >> reporter: tonight, hurricane michael is on the move after slamming into the florida panhandle, the most powerful storm on record to make landfall here. in mexico beach, florida, destruction, pieces, streets like n rivers. nearby panama city beach, a house ripped apart by the hurricane forced winds and buildings collapsed and boats overturned. >> communities will
see unimaginable devastation. >> reporter: michael rapidly intensified overnight into a monster category 4 hurricane eventually reaching sustained winds of 155 miles per hour. >> this used to be my back porch. >> reporter: the wind and water so powerful, they trapped a storm chaser. alabama and georgia also under states of emergency. the ominous eye clearly visible from the space station. in apalachicola, florida, the rain began overnight as the wind and rain battered the coast. the wind and water picked up forcing us to move to higher ground. a massive storm surge flooded part of this historic downtown. >> we're seeing the raw power of hurricane michael. just within the past hour or so, we have seen the winds intensify significantly. as you can see behind me, parts of this town are completely under water. how would you describe this? >> catastrophic. we were looking at some heavier, stronger winds, which we didn't
get, but still, it was enough to do the damage like you see right here. this is replicated across the county, and plus, some of the roads that are under water now, we don't know what kind of damage we'll have when the water recedes. >> reporter: hundreds of thousands of people in florida ordered to evacuate. >> we all knew this time was coming. the storm was upon us. there is nothing else to be gained believing where you are. you need to shelter in place. >> reporter: beverly has lived here 35 years. >> i've never been in one like this. i was here during dennis and that was scary enough, but this was pretty awesome. >> reporter: she and so many others along the gulf coast now just beginning to assess michael's fury. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, apalachicola, florida. this is kerry sanders. a powerful hurricane in the gulf of mexico tonight extremely dangerous. crashing onto the coastline and in some cases, inland. >> it is getting insane here.
>> reporter: an unprecedented storm surge zone, more than 500 miles from anna maria island up and around to pensacola beach. it's 11:03 in the morning and the distance from the sand dunes to the gulf of mexico is about a50 feet. already this beach has been cut in half. it's 12:20 p.m. the full force of the hurricane is yet to hit, and already the distance between the gulf of mexico and the sand dunes has been reduced to next to nothing. the storm surge is coming. storm surges driven by wind as i was reporting today during hurricane michael's strongest winds, my safety helmet ripped off my head. off balance, i was steadied by the weather channel's jim cantore. the storm surge threat is not over. in some places it may exceed 20 feet and the power of those crashing waves could erode 75% of the sandy beaches. adding to the
problems, the unique geography here, the corner of florida's gulf coast is shaped like a catcher's mitt. the area is subject to higher storm surges because of the shallow topography that extends more than 50 miles off the coast. that lack of depth means the water has nowhere to go but inland. in some areas that storm surge threat is now over but there could still be problems because an unusually high tide is expected late tonight. lester? >> all right, kerry sanders. knowing we were no match for the storm, my crew and i rode this out in our hotel, but even that proved dicey when the powerful eye wall blew through, turning our view of the storm into a risk simply not worth taking. within minutes, conditions deteriorated right outside my window. the power is now out. we were outside for a little bit. we're forced inside. hurricane michael vertised to . joining my colleagues in anotherm an unobstructed and
frightening view of michael at it's most ferocious. as i have my hand on this window, i can feel it bowing. 150-mile-per-hour winds howling like jet engines. it's like an airplane taking off. have you ever stood near the end of a runway? fellow hotel guests hunkering down inside hallways. as conditions worsened and safety the utmost priority, we barricaded ourselves in a room. we put this mattress in front of the window. you know, we want to be on the air but we got to take care of each other. we're going to do that. know that we're safe but we're going to have to sign off. finally, what seemed radar indicates, we seem to be on the back side of this thing. surveying from the covered overlook, we can see damage everywhere and one
floor above in my producer's room, the hotel window shattered. >> this came up very quickly. this morning i was even questioning are we sure we're in the right place? was incredible. thankfully, my colls ble out but therith the rest of us barricaded behind that mattress. we want to go now to nbc's mariana atencio she's down the coast in port st. joe where the storm has knocked out our team's broadcast communications. mariana, what can you tell us from there? >> lester, i'm standing ten minutes from mexico beach. where the storm made landfall. right now, port st. island. no power. i just drove through the city and it looked like a massive tornado hit.of and motels completely turn out and destroyed and everywhere we go,
lester, people desperately asking us to check on loved ones or houses. this community will take a long time to heal and pick up the pieces. lester? we're joined on another line by linda, a councilwoman for mexico beach, the community hit hard when hurricane michael came ashore. we saw some of the damage there. can you tell us if you've had causalities, injuries? >> this i do not know. much of the town is under water. four, five blocks away from the gulf of mexico houses are under wa going around this afternoon, early evening to check on anybody who had decided not to leave and he was just checking with a rescue hopefully that he would find some people that he could rescue. >> all right. linda, thank you for talking to us. appreciate it. best of luck there. as the storm crashes its way inland, they are
bracing for impact in florida's capital city and a big college town. matt bradley has made his way to tallahassee for us. matt, what's the latest from there? >> reporter: lester, this is one of the most powerful storms this city has ever seen and it's a double threat tonight, not just from hurricane force winds but from the threat of tornados and that will last until tomorrow but the real problem here is the trees. they are the pride and joy of tallahassee. they cov a is emblematic of what's going on in florida's capital. just across the street from this huge downed tree is yet another downed tree. they are causing extensive damage and they're turning lights out throughout the city. we haven't even seen the worst of the winds here, lester. it's going to be a dangerous night ahead. >> matt bradley, thank you. the question now as the storm rages, is the federal response ready to move in? peter alexander is at
the white house monitoring developments from there. what are you hearing? >> reporter: the president was briefed in the oval office this afternoon by the secretary of homeland security and the head of fema. president trump says the white house is in constant contact with state and local officials saying plans are in place to send resources, food and water, but tonight rather than monitor the disaster response from here, the president is in erie, pennsylvania for a private fund-raiser followed by a campaign rally. when asked if appropriate to campaign, he didn't want to disappoint supporters who had been waiting in line. he said he will visit the region, the next week. down here in panama city, it is going to as the winds die be a dangerous night ahead for millions across the northeast as the storm continues north. al roker joins us with the latest track. where is it heading? >> lester, it's heading into georgia right now. tornado watches from northern georgia all the way down to gainesville. right now it's 50 miles southwest of
albany, georgia. 115-mile-per-hour winds. moving northeast at 13 miles per hour. the track brings it as a category three storm. first time in 120 years they had a category three come across georgia and continues on into south carolina and makes its way out into the atlantic around norfolk. it's the first category four landfall in the florida panhandle. it's the strongest october hurricane on record in the united states, and the strongest u.s. landfall since 1992 and andrew. you can see we have tropical forced winds still through tomorrow making a way all the way up into the carolinas. we've also got storm rain moving from the k yof all the way into we're all stunned how quickly this blew through. as michael blasts the coast, we're seeing two disasters collide here in florida for months, the coastline has been plagued with a red tide. it's been making life miserable for residents. the question that many are asking now, how will michael's fury impact this toxic invasion?
>> reporter: tonight, michael is hitting florida with devastating force and right in the middle of another slow motion crisis happening along this coast. one that's turned into a catastrophe for captain karen hugert. >> it's like a science fiction movie. you get out in your boat and you get out and see death everywhere. >> the commercial and charter fisherwoman struggling to make ends meet. >> during the week on sundays, only taking in $48 to $50 on a weekday. >> florida is being battered by red tide. a yearly algae bloom that feeds on a variety of pollutants like fertilizer and waste water. this year one of the most powerful ever killing fish and producing toxic air.hurricane tide away or make it even worse? >> it could go either way, and we have no way of predicting right now. >> red tide already stretches 145 miles along florida's gulf
coastline and is creeping to the atlantic coast. killing more than 3,000 tons of marine life. the normally crystal clear waters, a murky brown. beaches left empty. in august, the governor declaring a state of emergency. >> for 15 days or so, we did essentially zero in sales. >> reporter: and scientists warn algae blooms will get worse in other parts of the u.s. and across the world. >> the warming of our planet means the warming of the oceans, so when you mix that up with pollution and sewage waste, with fertilizer run-off, these events could be incredibly catastrophic to the inthe tides turn into a wake-up call. >> we all need to take pause and realize what is going on here is awful. >> experts tell us it will be two to three weeks before we know the impact of the storm on the red tide. we'll turn now to some of the day's other big headlines.
today was the worst day on wall street since february. the dow plunging more than 80 points and the s&p plummeting 3% as tech stocks dropped. a major development in the limo crash that killed 20 people in upstate new york. police arrested the operator of the limo company, charging him of criminally negligent homicide. nbc's tom costello has late details. >> reporter: four days after the horrific crash, police arrested the man who they say run the limo company. 28-year-old nauman hussain. >> the sole responsibility for that motor vehicle saturday rests with nauman hussain. >> reporter: police say hussain had received written notices that driver scott lisnicchia did not have a license to drive the limo which was ordered off the road following multiple safety violations. hussain's attorney says the state bears responsibility for an unsafe intersection.
>> this road was a problem. it was a known problem to the state of new york. >> reporter: the limo company is owned by hussain's father shahed, who is in pakistan. meanwhile, the families of the 20 people who died are preparing for funerals, among them michael's parents. >> he was my baby. he was my heart. he was everything to me and now he's gone. >> reporter: tom costello, nbc news. we're getting a look at perhaps the biggest clues in a mystery making headlines around the world. new images of what is being described as an assassination squad "washington post" columnist who vanished in the saudi consulate in turkey. andrea mitchell with details. >> reporter: tonight images on turkish television released by authorities showing an alleged 15-man hit team arriving in istanbul on two private planes then leaving their hotels. their suspected target, a saudi distant, "washington
post" writer jamal khashoggi seen entering the saudi consulate in istanbul the same day. some turkish officials tell nbc news they believe he was killed inside. today the white house demanding answers from the saudi rulers after an emotional appeal from his fiancee. >> we're in contact with her now, and we want to bring her to the white house. it's very sad situation. it's a very bad situation, and we want to get to the bottom of it. >> reporter: khashoggi is a crim. of saudi crown prince mohammad bin sed bin salman. the young leader kushner, national security advisor john bolton and secretary of state mike pompeo have all talked to the crown prince about khashoggi as pressure builds. >> if it did happen, there would be hell to pay. >> reporter: the saudi leaders denying any involvement in the journalist's disappearance. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington. still ahead, fears a mysterious illness
next tonight, new fears in a mysterious disease spreading in the u.s. and causing partial paralysis in children in at least 16 states. with no known cure, it has doctors baffled. nbc's miguel almaguer has the latest. >> reporter:in cigcago say 2-year-old julia pain has acute flaccid myelitis or afm. the rare polio-like disease on the rise. her mother thought she had a cold. >> i took her to the e.r. because she couldn't hold her head up and couldn't use her right arm.
>> reporter: doctors believe afm that can cause partial paralysis is linked to viruses but no known cure. hand washing the best protection. the cdc confirming at least 38 infections in 16 states. now investigating even more including a new cluster in illinois. >> we started to see clusters of it back in 2014 and it went away relatively in 2015 and a resurgence of cases again in 2016. >> reporter: tonight doctors scrambling to solve a medical mystery, why are some children falling ill from such a dangerous disease? miguel almaguer, nbc news. coming up, the election day bomb plot. the fbi says it foiled today.
fb foiled an election day bomb plot targeting washington. paul rosenfederal of new york has been charged with building a bomb with 8 pounds of gunpowder inside plywood. the whole thing ma.ighing 200 pound officials think he was acting alone with no link to terror groups. iconic american retailer sears is on the brink of filing for bankruptcy this week according to cnbc.
and a jury awarded 289 million dollars. but, now everything is changing. a dying man claims a weed killer gave him cancer and a jury awarded $289 million. but now everything is changing. terrorizing the peninsula. a notorious killer final >>fina panama city where we'll continue to monitor this storm all throughout the night, the path through florida into georgia and south carolina where time is running out to get ready. we'll be back on the air with any major developments and full coverage from our team tomorrow morning on "today." that is "nbc nightly news" for this wednesday from panama city. i'm lester holt. from all of us at nbc newsright now at 6: justice 40 years in the making. the gypsy hill killer learns his fate, but he didn )t go quietly.
right now at 6:00, justice 40 years in the making. the gypsy hill killer learns had i fate. but not go ietly. hurricane mike tchaemichael. the path in a few minutes. a case involving roundup weed killer. the news at 6:00 starts right now. i'm janelle sitting in for raj and i'm jess ka aguirre. on one side monsanto. on the other side an east bay man dying of cancer. >> a san francisco judge heared two sides. >> rjessica, good evening. the courtroom was so packed with lawyers and stakeholders and professors i had to actually sit
in the jury box while this was all going on. today was a tentative ruling by the judge which is to say it's kind of like some insight into what she's thinking and it appears very likely in this case that judge bolanos believes it was never proven that monsanto acted maliciously and oppressively in hiding information about roundup to mr. johnson. what that means is $250 million potentially in punitive damages is likely thrown out the window, subject to appeal. but this goes much deeperha