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tv   CBS Evening News  CBS  August 31, 2017 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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44/cable 12 starting at 8:00. pregame coverage picks up at 6:00. >> see you at 6:00. ♪[ music ] captioning sponsored by cbs >> morgan: and o venth day, no rest. >> i woke this morning with the intention to come out and rescue. >> morgan: civilians and soldiers save thousands more from harvey's floodwaters and search door to door for anyone stranded. also tonight, chemical plant explosions pose a new danger. >> reporter: okay, but you make it sound simple. if it was so simple, there wouldn't be so much worry. >> look at these houses and vehicles. people are going to lose. >> morgan: the uninsured-- why many people won't get the help they need to rebuild. britain remembers diana 20 years later. >> reporter: it became a national psycho-drama with very unbritish public displays. ♪ amazing grace >> morgan: and after a flood of biblical proportions, gospel lifts their spirits.
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♪ but now i see this is the "cbs evening news." >> good evening, i'm margaret brennan at cbs news headquarters in new york. >> morgan: and i'm demarco morgan in houston. as the flood disaster here enters a seventh night, rescuers are now going house to house to check on the welfare of anyone who might be inside. the death toll is up to at least 29. more than 19,000 people and than 1,000 pets have been rescued. >> in one sign of improvement, power outages in texas have fallen from 300,000 to 200,000. more than 33,000 people spent last night in shelters, and the red cross has now served a quarter of a million meals and snacks. >> morgan: the latest estimate is that harvey's reign of terror totaled 27 trillion gallons of water, enough to supply new york city for nearly 69 years.
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we begin our coverage tonight with anna werner in port arthur, texas. >> reporter: helicopters from the coast guard to the national guard pulled residents up and out to safety. a baby in beaumont. in west houston, a father and son. boats manned by police and volunteers went door to door in port arthur, seeking anyone left behind. deputy bryan haymon came from louisiana's ascension parish. and when you look around here, does this neighborhood look to you like anybody was ready for this? >> a lot of people just hesitant to leave their homes. you can see all the cars. that tells you they came up so fast that they couldn't even get their cars out of the-- out of the driveway. >> reporter: today, the sun came out, but water made many routes through town impanel. the motiva oil plant shut down. to the north in beaumont, residents have no drinking water. floodwaters overwhelmed estate's
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water system. without it, beaumont's baptist hospital had to evacuate all its patients. shelters are packed, and the red cross' chester jourdan says they need more food. >> the biggest issue is cooked food, food somebody can bring in or that we have here or we can cook. >> reporter: kaevon roach just reunited here with his wife and three children. he was saved by a helicopter. they were rescued in a boat. what was that like? i mean, you've got little kids. >> it was scary. i mean, i had to get more food because we were running out. >> reporter: what you're seeing here is the effect of 26 inches of rain in just 24 hours. and, demarco, rescue operations are continuing tonight. >> morgan: anna werner reporting. anna, thank you. adding to the fear and danger here, explosions at a chemical plant sent a cloud of smoke into the air and more than a dozen sheriff's deputies to the hospital.
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david begnaud is covering that. >> reporter: it happened at 2:00 a.m. local time, the first of two explosions lit up the night sky. by morning, a fire was still burning. a mile and a half radius around the chemical plant was evacuated tuesday after company representatives warped local officials their emergency plans had failed. ed gonzalez is the harris county sheriff. >> we believe the smoke is a nontoxic irritant. >> reporter: the company had backup generators. all of them failed. then refrigeration units in three of nine trailers failed. officials warn the highly combustible compounds, known as organic peroxides, were sure to burn as the temperatures rose, although they downplayed the harm. >> no one is in danger based on the fire we expect. >> reporter: arkema executive richard rennard defended the company's response. >> we believe at this point the safest thing to do is to allow the other eight containers, product in those to degrade and burn. >> reporter: we asked the
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company to provide us with a list of chemicals at the plant. they said they would. ns called 11 times today and never got that list. we tried to get in touch with your company yesterday repeatedly and could not get a-- i just have a simple question. regarding the chemical, can you tell us what it is and exactly what it contains. >> yes, it's a liquid organic peroxide. >> reporter: so what is it that makes it worse? >> the concern is when these things degrade, they generate heat. when they generate heat, they can burn. when they burn, you can have an explosion. >> reporter: the occupational safety and hazard administration inspected arkema's crosby facility last year and found 10 serious violations. but experts say it is premature to speculate if they were related to today's explosions. this afternoon, the federal chemical safety board launched an investigation. we still want to know why, didn't the company have a plan to neutralize these chemicals when everything else seemed to fail? demarco, even if the water recedes, the plant which is about five miles behind me, and it is clear, or appears clear to go in, officials say it's not because the situation is too volatile for them to try to stop anything now.
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>> morgan: david begnaud reporting. david, thank you. as rescue efforts goes on, houston remembering those who were lost. here's mark strassmann. >> reporter: they prayed for each other's safety in downtown houston, a room full of cops, their grief still raw from the loss of sergeant steve perez early sunday morning. the father of two drove through pounding rain into 16 feet of water and drowned. today would have been his 61st birthday. ray hunt is president of the police union. >> he perished trying to do what he's been doing for 34 years, which is keeping the city safe. that-- i think that says everything about what kind of man sergeant perez was. >> reporter: alexander sung spent his final minutes at his clock store, trying to save his most valuable time pieces. the phone rang. the 64-year-old told his daughter, frantically, "sweetie, i have to call you back." three-year-old jordyn grace was found alive, floating in floodwaters shivering from hypothermia.
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she clutched the body of her mother, 41-year-old clolet sulcer. she told rescuers, "mama was saying her prayers." but most flooding fatalities here happened in cars. donald and rochelle rogers died together, their truck washed off the road and overturned into a ditch. reuben jordan, a retired legendary high school track coach, was last seen in his toyota tundra. ed emmett is the chief executive in harris county. he says 500,000 vehicles were lost in the storm. >> the deaths occurred in vehicles where people were out driving, and they got into high water. there could still be some people in some vehicles that we haven't recovered yet. we recognize that. >> reporter: receding floodwaters will reveal many more cars and potentially more victims. and, dermarco, that house-by- house search rescue teams launched today will involve tens of thousands of residents. >> morgan: mark strassmann reporting. mark, thank you. as the floodwaters here in texas rose, so did gasoline prices all
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over the nation. since friday they are up 10 a nts to a nationwide average $2.45 a gallon, the highest they have been all year. more on that now from transportation correspondent kris van cleave. >> reporter: this is the nation's largest oil refinery, waterlogged and shut down after harvey ravaged port arthur, texas. more than a dozen refineries across the gulf are closed, including this conoco-phillips plant outside houston and the exxonmobil facility in bay town, the nation's second largest. it normally pumps out 560,000 barrels of oil a day. about a third of the nation's refining capacity is offline on the gulf coast. >> without it, we'd be in gas lines all the time. we need that gulf coast. >> reporter: john hofmeister is the former president of shell oil. >> best case, the refineries should be up and operating again, for the most part, by the middle of september. worst case, some of those refineries, if they're really seriously damaged, they could be down through thanksgiving or longer.
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>> reporter: the houston area is a major hub for the energy industry. this map shows the number of oil and gas installations that were in harvey's path, and it's not just about the refineries. the colonial pipeline, which runs to new york and provides nearly 40% of the south's gasoline, is shut down until at least sunday. the port of houston remains closed to large vessels. today, the coast guard began replacing damaged shipping lane markers and buoys. but the huge backlog of ships is building off the coast. experts warn fool could be in short fly in the midwest and northeast. all ready lines are showing up in dallas where some stations have run out. >> i heard there was going to be a shortage so i figured i might as well get gas while i can. >> reporter: a million barrels of oil will be released from a government stockpile and the secretary of transportation is working to expedite the delivery of gas here to texas from 25 other states. some refineries are coming back online, but others like this one, clearly have, a long way to go. demarco.
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>> morgan: kris van cleave reporting. kris, thank you. i'm demarco morgan. i'll have much more from houston later in the broadcast. but the news continues now with margaret brennan in new york. margaret. >> brennan: well, the white house says harvey's floodwaters damaged or destroyed nearly 100,000 texas homes. at least 51,000 claims have been filed with fema's national flood insurance program, but many victims have no flood insurance. here's jim axelrod. >> reporter: in crosby, texas, the floodwaters in consuelo ibarra's kitchen, the one she finished remodeling just last week, rose to her knees. >> whitewater got all the way in to the top. >> reporter: but like so many others, since her home is it outside fema's map of high-risk flood areas, she did not buy any flood insurance. >> we were always theeld we were not in a flood zone so we didn't need to get it. >> it's going to be somewhere around 15% of the homeowners in the affected area that have flood insurance. >> reporter: do the math, says
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mark hanna, of the insurance council of texas, and that means five out of every six flood victims have no flood insurance, even though the cost was as little as a few hundred dollars a year for those outside the flood plain. >> we're talking about thousands of people who are just now getting back to their home, seeing that they've got considerable flood damage, and they're going to do what they can. but they're on their own. >> reporter: the small business administration will offer low- interest loans to rebuild, but that's on top of existing mortgage payments. people make grants, but they're capped at $30,000, and the average payout historically is $5,000, says carolyn kousky with the university of pennsylvania's risk center. the bottom line is while there may be some federal help, it generally will be capped and limited, and if you don't have flood insurance, you may face a financial calamity. >> yes, and i think it's important for us to think more going forward about how we can make sure that a much greater
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number of people have flood insurance so that they have the financial resources they need to rebuild after an event like this. >> reporter: almost no private insurance companies offer flood insurance. virtually all flood policies are government backed. but there have already been 100,000 claims for damaged vehicles, and another 100,000 expected for wind damage. those are made on private insurers. margaret. >> brennan: pricey disaster. jim, thank you. president trump today pledged $1 million of his own money to disaster relief. the white house has asked for suggestions as to where that money should go. the president will be visiting houston on saturday. today, vice president mike pence comforted victims in rockport, texas. then he got to work, rolled up his sleeves in the 90-degree heat and helped clear debris in the city, where harvey made landfall last friday. we have much more reporting from our correspondents on harvey's aftermath and ways that you can help the victims if you go to our website.
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as bad as the flooding is in texas, it may be worse in south asia. in mumbai, india, today, 19 people were killed when a five- story building collapsed. torrential rain had weakened its foundation. in recent weeks, floods have killed more than 1,000 people in india, nepal, and bangledesh. millions have been forced from their homes. the western u.s. is being hit by another type of natural disaster, wildfires. 70 large fires are burning from california to montana. hot, dry weather in washington state is helping to fuel the jolly mountain fire. more than 9,000 acres have burned. coming up next on the cbs evening news, a police officer is caught on video telling a driver, "we only kill black people." and later, diana's legacy two decades after her death. death.
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>> brennan: the wells fargo scandal is worse than first reported. today, the bank said 3.5 million phony checking and credit card accounts were open in customers' names without their permission, two-thirds more than we were first told. bank employees did this in order to meet sales goals. wells fargo has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and settlements. an undocumented immigrant whose arrest in february drew national attention was released from custody last night. agents had picked up romulo avelica-gonzalez in los angeles as he was taking his daughters to school. he was reunited with his family after a judge set bond while he appeals his deportation. the mexican immigrant has lived in the united states for 20 years and has had two misdemeanor convictions. the police chief in cobb county, georgia, said today he's firing a lieutenant for making racially charged comments to a driver
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during a traffic stop. it happened in july of last year, but the dash-cam video has just been released. the female driver, who is white, told lieutenant greg abbott she was afraid to reach for her cell phone. >> brennan: abbott's lawyer says he was just trying to de- escalate the situation. when we come back, how the death of a princess 20 years ago changed a nation forever.
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>> bre >> brennan: 20 years ago tonight, princess diana was killed in a car crash in paris as she and her new boyfriend raced to escape paparazzi. mark phillips, who covered that story, reports tonight on diana's legacy. >> reporter: 20 years later, and the diana devotees are back. and her sons, who have managed
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this commemoration, say it will be the last one. they won't again publicly relive the devastation they felt when at just 15 and 12 years old they had to parade their grief before the world. but even back then, diana's death became more than their tragedy. it became a national psycho- drama with very un-british public displays. >> she touched our hearts in life and death. >> reporter: and it seemed to rattle the monarchy itself, which many felt took too long to respond to the public sorrow. and it cast the future king and diana's ex, prince charles, as the villain. charles, who has become "charles the silent" for this anniversary, for good reason says royal correspondent roya nikkah. >> this could never have been a time charles would be liked and loved by the public. they are reminded once again of how badly wrong that marriage went. >> reporter: diana, the modern, accessible, caring, and yet
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exasperating royal had become their new brand, and her death seemed to break the bond between the monarchy and the people. it became the story at the time. in some ways, though, her death is proving more difficult for them to handle than her life was. 20 years later, the flowers are gone, and that great flood of shock and grief that had swept britain has long since receded, leaving a kind of sad nostalgia behind. diana's legacy is that she changed the way a nation behaves. >> there is no doubt that diana marks an epoch. >> reporter: royal historian david starkey. >> from the people with the stiff upper lip, we become a nation where there's nary a dry eye and the lip always trembles. this, i think, is very, very different. >> reporter: a difference she never got to see. mark phillips, cbs news, london. >> brennan: in a moment, we'll go back to demarco morgan in houston where flood victims are
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of our annual income... we could keep doing all the things we love. prudential. bring your challenges. >> morgan: people are doing all they can to fill the stomachs of flood victims, but an angel of mercy has made it her personal mission to fill their spirit. here's jericka duncan. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: it was an impromptu moment captured on camera. victoria white, a 30-year-old university admissions counselor, singing a song of hope at the lone star convention center shelter. ♪ ♪ she was doing it for the people here in conroy, texas, who were forced to flee their flooded homes.
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less than two days later, more than 16 million people have seen it. and today, white was back at it again. ( laughter ) this time at another shelter in her home town of livingston. >> all right! ♪ i once was lost >> reporter: delivering a robust version of "amazing grace" as 67-year-old patsy morgan sang along. >> amen! awesome! thank you, miss patsy. >> reporter: after watching the coverage of hurricane harvey, white says she knew she had to do something. >> we began to just kind of think about what can we do to inspire people and to let them know it looks hopeless, but i promise it's not. with that we said, man, we can use our voices. ♪ and i lift my voice >> reporter: you are such a light. i mean, these people are warming up to you instantly, smiling. where do you get that from? >> i was raised to be a good
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person. you help your neighbors. you help the stranger who needs help, because one day you're going to be at the other end of that stick, and you're going to need somebody's help. >> reporter: gayle fisher, who like so many in houston, is distraught, has found one more reason to be grateful. >> it was a blessing, because it ftnd of gave you an uplift, you know. she's got such a beautiful voice, to boot. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: jericka duncan, cbs news, livingston, texas. ♪ ♪ ( applause ) >> morgan: nothing beats a good- old gospel tune. that's the cbs evening news. i'm demarco morgan in houston. >> brennan: and i'm margaret brennan in new york. thanks for joining us and good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh cess.wgbh.org
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warmup for what's coming.. some of the hottest temperatures in decades. and bay area schools kpix 5 news begins with nasty air and scorching heat. today, just a warmup you might say for what's coming. some of the hottest temperatures in decades. bay area schools aren't taking any chances. good evening, i'm allen martin. >> i'm veronica de la cruz. we have team coverage on the heat wave from fans sweltering at levi's stadium for the 49ers preseason finale to the smoky haze over much of the bay area. we begin tonight with devin fehely live in livermore, where schools are taking action to protect students. devin. >> reporter: here in livermore high school they canceled all afternoon practices and bay area wide school systems are making some very difficult decisions about whether or not it is safe for their students to practice or play games outside or even to remain indoors in classrooms without
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air-conditioning. think of it as the new math. zero air-conditioning plus record-breaking temperatures equals a dangerous situation for students in the novato unified school district. >> the more we talk about it, the more it seemed to me we were going to be to close to a danger zone for kids so we called for a minimum day tomorrow. >> reporter: temperatures will be 115 degrees over the labor day weekend. at livermore high school soaring temperatures and poor air quality forced the cancellation of most outdoor activities. the school has canceled its junior varsity football game for friday afternoon. but still expects the varsity to take the field friday night. >> the number one thing is judging what we think is save. at a certain point you have to kind of call it. i think we're being cautious by calling our jv game. >> reporter: livermore high has rented an array of specialized equipment including misting machines to keep players cool

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