tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS September 10, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, september 10: with winds topping 130 miles-an- hour, hurricane irma hits florida, amid growing concerns over safety, floods, and power loss. the state braces for the storm to last through tomorrow. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.b.p. foundation. the anderson family fund. rosalind p. walter, in memory of abby m. o'neill. barbara hope zuckerberg.
corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: hurricane irma is affecting millions of floridians after making landfall today in the united states. it struck florida's southern tip this morning before bearing down on the state's west coast. at least 2.1 million homes and businesses in florida have lost power. at least 127,000 florida residents are in shelters, many in school gymnasiums around the state. florida governor rick scott has activated all 7,000 members of the state national guard, with 30,000 guard soldiers from elsewhere poised to help out. this evening, the cities of
miami, fort lauderdale, tampa- st. pete, and orlando are among those under a curfew, meaning all residents must stay indoors until further notice. newshour weekend's megan thompson has more. >> reporter: after pounding caribbean islands for days, hurricane irma made landfall shortly after 9:00 a.m. in the florida keys, as a category four hurricane with sustained winds of 130-miles-and-hour. 30,000 people heeded the call to evacuate the keys, but an unknown number remained, riding out the storm at home. the national hurricane center warned of life-threatening storm surges there that could reach 10 feet. miami was spared a direct hit, but irma drenched the city with rain, flooding parts of downtown. winds nearing 100-miles-and-hour caused high-rise construction cranes to collapse. miami-dade police warned, officers won't respond to emergency calls, because of the risk to their own safety.
forecasters say irma is now tracking farther west than originally predicted, crawling up florida's gulf coast at about 8 miles an hour. brock long heads the federal emergency management agency. >> storm surge has the highest potential to kill the most amount of people and cause the most money damage. my biggest concern is when people fail to heed a warning early from local government officials and then they make a last-minute ditch to try to get to a shelter or into a facility to withstand the winds and in some cases the water starts to rise, and they get trapped >> reporter: vice president mike pence visited fema headquarters in washington. >> wherever hurricane irma goes, we'll be there first. we'll be there with resources and support, both to save lives and to help to recover and rebuild these states and these communities. >> reporter: today, from camp david, president trump spoke to the governors of states in irma's path: florida, alabama, georgia, south carolina, and
tennessee. he also declared a disaster declaration for puerto rico and increased the amount of federal aid for the u.s. virgin islands, where at least four people have died. elsewhere in the caribbean, clean-up and rescue efforts continued. in haiti, dozens of areas were flooded, and 10,000 people remained in shelters. the dutch prime minister announced that in st. maarten, a dutch territory, the death toll had risen to four. in the cuban capital of havana, people had to navigate the flooded streets by boat. forecasters said hurricane irma would continue up florida's western coast and move inland over the florida panhandle and southwest georgia. atlanta was under its first-ever tropical storm warning. >> sreenivasan: before irma hit, florida governor rick scott urged more than six million florida residents to evacuate their homes to get out of harm's way. many left south florida for points north, like orlando.
that's where newshour weekend's ivette feliciano reports on the challenges facing some people seeking shelter. >> reporter: college student michelle song and her church group came this shelter today at a middle school in seminole county, north of orlando. >> the most important thing is they provide us food, so we don't have to worry about not having things to eat later. >> reporter: it can hold up to 160 evacuees, and when we visited, it still had room for people trickling in. walt griffin, the superintendent for the school system in this area, said his nine schools are sheltering 1,100 evacuees. >> i've checked out the food and the space at every single location, and it looks phenomenal. >> reporter: roy davis is homeless and says he'd be weathering the storm on the street if he didn't have this option. >> it's warm, it's air conditioned, there's also a television and restrooms, which aren't locked at night. so it's really good. >> reporter: yet some migrants and recent immigrants in central florida's growing latino
community are avoiding city and county shelters. >> the biggest thing has been language barrier. >> reporter: father jose rodriguez runs an episcopal church in downtown orlando. he's received calls from concerned parishioners who don't speak english and couldn't find information about where to go for shelter during mandatory evacuations. he helped set up this unofficial shelter inside an episcopal retreat and conference center in the town of oviedo. >> for a lot of people coming in from the outside, they don't really know the landscape of orlando. and so many people did what they normally do-- they picked up their phone, they dialed up their local priest, and the priest told them, ¡you have a place to come, we have a refuge for you.' >> reporter: rebecca perez is an undocumented immigrant from mexico and came here with her three children instead of the local government shelter in kissimmee, where they live. >> ( translated ): i never expected that the church would support me in this way. all of my family is in new york. this church is my family. they're more than family. >> reporter: perez was worried if a government shelter asked to fill out forms, her personal information could end up in the
hands of federal immigration agents. >> ( translated ): the first thing they ask is do you have a social security number? and obviously i don't have one. that's happened to me many times before. >> reporter: 50 miles west, in polk county, daniel barajas, who runs a grassroots immigrant rights organization, has turned his family's home into makeshift shelter for the undocumented. polk county ordered everyone living in mobile homes, as many immigrants do, to evacuate. >> my family is staying here in solidarity. we know that these people will not be receiving assistance. and if there's any assistance available, they're going to be afraid to ask for it, because the department of homeland security sent out a press release stating that immigration agents will be present with fema. >> reporter: barajas posted this video on facebook giving advice, after the polk county sheriff tweeted that law enforcement officers would be checking id's at the doors of all county shelters. so what are you hearing from the families that have been calling you? >> is it true?
will they be detained? will they be pressured into asking? s ome families have been so scared that they're trying to send their children to the shelters and staying behind in the mobile homes. it's heartbreaking. >> reporter: for some latino citizens, like 25-year-old chrisalee cuevas who was evacuated from her apartment west of orlando, language barriers and status issues aren't a concern. she and nine relatives rented two rooms at the econo-lodge in kissimmee. yet as an employee in the food and beverage department at disney world's magic kingdom, she lost income this weekend, because the park is closed until further notice. how are you feeling right now? >> kind of devastated. it's going to be rough, because i have to pay my health insurance, i have to pay car insurance, i have to pay rent food. i'm a student as well. full time job, full time student. gas money to travel.
food supplies. it's going to be rough. >> sreenivasan: ivette feliciano joins me now from orlando. sure that the folksyou spoke wig at this hotel are happy to be away from the storm's deadliness. but some of them living in paycheck to paycheck are thinking about the costs associated. >> reporter: that is extractly right hari. the financial concerns, especially crystal who we were talking about, she works at disney world, her boyfriend works at disney world, he lives with them, and several of their family members. she was telling me, her uncle is actually going to corch everyone's hotel costs which are of course inflated at this point and they are going to take some time to pay him back. >> sreenivasan: let's talk about the ripple effect.
lot of people have family in the caribbean or further south affected by the storm. >> reporter: that's right. that is true of the her and her family, many of the people on the island are dealing with power outages or taking on hurricane victims from other island and also people in the mexican immigrant communities in central florida, of course mexico was hit with the devastating earthquake earlier in the week and of course a lot of people here in this area have people in houston when dealt with hurricane harvey recently. they are concerned about family some of which they haven't been able to speak with yet. >> sreenivasan: ivette feliciano. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: we talked to evacuees in florida about what they carried north as they fled the storm. read more at pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: among the many
structures at risk from hurricane irma are florida's bridges. 17% of the 12,000 bridges in florida are rated "structurally deficient" or "functionally obsolete," according to the federal highway administration"" usa today" reporter brett murphy is covering that part of the story, and joins me now by skype from naples, florida. is brett, first of all, these are not golden gate bridge size bridges we're talking about, but define those terms. what makes something functionally obsolete or structurally deficient? >> most of those are functionally obsolete, that could mean a number of things. boils down to they need to be repaired or replaced within six years they like to say. the road is too narrow, the bridge is too wide, may not be tall enough, may not have adequate water drainage. there is a lot of little things that could make it functionally obsolete. a lot of times it affects older
bridges. a much smaller number of them are what are call structurally deficient, more serious, there are far more bridges that are structural reply deficient but those need to be fixed a lot sooner, they may have crumbling infrastructure. they may not be dangerous or unsafe but what could make them unsafe is a huge hurricane. >> sreenivasan: on the one hand we are used to seeing water, water usually flows over but what about the pressure from underneath? >> that is the big concern, especially with a large storm with surge potential, it could raise the water beneath the bridge up to five, ten, 15 feet, which happened to hurricane harvey e-hurricane katrina, in the mississippi delta, the surge creates a pocket of air beneath the bridge and the bridges aren't meant to make the anti
anti-grant force. -- gravity force. >> that ends up impacting a bridge's integrity? >> exactly yes. the structural integrity of the bridge is only how good it is to pass water beneath it. if there are problems draining water from the road or trt sides, then that bridge could be much more susceptible to crumbling or from that water pressure i was just talking about. >> sreenivasan: a lot of these barrier islands, this is the only way you could get on or off the islands, is the bridges that are older? >> except for these really small bridges a lot of times they are very old, a lot of the miami historic bridges have been there for about 100 years. these connect just neighborhoods or beach communities. really only way of passage on to the mainland. and they are susceptible. they may not be huge or long, maybe just one block long bridges but they are really
important for first responders after the storm. >> sreenivasan: i imagine cost is the reasoning these don't get fixed on one femme swoop. >> 12,000 all over the state, the department of transportation here has done a good job keeping up with the major bridges, especially seven mile bridge connecting the keys, a lot of them in tampa bay, and coral, a lot of the arteries that first responders are going to need, a lot have been checked and not up to code. but it's a really huge task for d.o.t. to keep up with repairs and replacements for bridges all over the state. >> sreenivasan: brett murphy joining us from the exercise room of a firehouse where he's joining us in naples florida.
>> sreenivasan: in houston and along the texas coast, where hurricane harvey struck last month, only 20% of residents had current flood insurance policies. and once hurricane irma passes through florida, there will be renewed conversations about who pays to rebuild. as reuters reported this week, there is a small private insurance market there that may offer an example of what is to come. suzanne barlyn of reuters is the reporter on that story and she joins me now. >> let's talk about a licialt, how many of these people when we see the storm surge matches, how many are these are ready from an insurance perspective? >> florida has the largest nip system. >> sreenivasan: that is the flood insurance program. >> it's about 35%% of the total nfip system. there are however, a small number of policies now, that are cropping up as part of a private flood insurance system, that insures and regulators inside the state would like to see
energies. >> sreenivasan: is there a gap between what the national flood insurance program will cover and what individuals can't cover? >> flood insurance is a huge debate in congress right now. huge debate among regulators, especially in the run up to september 30th which is the date the nfip authorization was set to expire. on friday, president trump extended that for another three months. and one of the options on the table is to allow more private insurance companies to write private insurance. so the nfip would not be saddled with huge debts such as those that came in the wake of hurricane katrina and hurricane sandy. >> sreenivasan: is there a worry that the flood insurance program could look like the health insurance program is looking, how private insurers
work with the nfi pmplets? >> it is an issue. one of the issues we are eeg now with the flood insurance market is so many homeowners are required to have nfip coverage as a condition of their mortgage. the concern that critics of 45th flood insurance have is allowing too many into the area and loosening those restrictions and allowing private flood insurers to meet the requirements for obtaining mortgages, would lead the nfip with riskier properties and premiums that the nfip subsidizes while the private insurers pick off the better risks for themselves. >> sreenivasan: one of the things we see after these national disasters is a should we be backing this coastal beautiful house but you're going to rebuild it at kind of our
expense. maybe you shouldn't have built there in the first place. >> it is a debate that have brought together the most poal ar opposites that you could imagine in washington. all advocating to reform the system but each of those organization he wants a little piece of something different. >> sreenivasan: all right, susan barlyn of reuters. thank you for joining us. >> it was opleasure. >> sreenivasan: before hitting florida, hurricane irma swept through the caribbean, including puerto rico, the island that's home to 3.5 million u.s. citizens. the storm destroyed hundreds of homes and caused power outages for three-quarters of the island's residents, though power is gradually being restored. irma is also blamed on at least three deaths in puerto rico. joining me now via skype to talk about the impact is the governor of puerto rico, ricardo rossello. thanks for joifng us.
first -- joining us. first up, you've had a custom days to look at the damage. >> yes, luckily hari we have prepared for this event, we have prepared for quite a few months for a catastrophic event, establishing the protocols, all the thaings have to be implemented. >> sreenivasan: power for instance that people have been concerned about how does the electric grid get back up and running? >> we've been making strides. our energy infrastructure it is no secret is very weak. about eight months ago, we have been working with plans to establish investments so that we can have new infrastructure that produces reliable and competitive energy. i have to give credit to the public workers and the utilities they've been making great strides. and we're talking close to 750,000 people that didn't have electricity when the hurricane
hit. now electricity have been restored and every gay gradually we have been making strides. of course to make a final determination, some of the infrastructure we have to see how the damage was done. so that may continue on but now, with our agencies and with the federal government as well. >> sreenivasan: i know white house has sent out a declaration of disaster for puerto rico. how much money are you going to be needing and asking for especially considering fema is going to be getting requests from texas and florida, as well. >> yes, well, the federal government has been moving along, asking for both harvey and irma and of course we are going to be part of that. again, we want to be -- we want to rebuild puerto rico but we want to be part of the solution. that's why we've been making efforts to help out, some of our u.s. citizens that were stranded
in the u.s. virgin islands and san martin and puerto rico,. >> sreenivasan: how many days do you say that puerto rico will be back open for business, the lights are on and the businesses are open again? >> i can tell you tomorrow most of the university system starts. we expect the school system not to start tomorrow but in the next coming days. and all teachers and public employees will go to the schools so that they can assess the damage. >> sreenivasan: also i've been seeing reports of some of your hospitals have been generating or operating on less than 100%, several of your schools still lack access to clean water. how do those things gets back up and running? >> well, critical for us right now is to get water running for everybody. so at our peak we have 33% of the people without water in puerto rico. right now, it is about 7%.
the main reason is, it's combined with the energy supply, to put water through. so it's been our direction to make sure water can flow through and as well to make sure we can power our hospitals as well, at the onset of this event we had about half the hospitals work being on generators now we have only about 8 to 9% of them working on generators. >> sreenivasan: is there a dollar figure that you've come up with on the impact that irma has had on puerto rico so far? >> right now we are in that process. after i'm done here i'm going to a few of the municipalities to assess the damage with the mayors and the federal government so we can get an expedited answer on how many municipalities qualify as a disaster area. the president has already declared a few of the areas, probably disaster areas,
probably some more will be shortly announced as well. he governor of puerto rico, ricardo rossello, thank you so much. >> thank you so much. >> sreenivasan: the u.s. geological survey has recorded 60 powerful aftershocks in the mexican city at the epicenter of thursday's crushing 8.1 magnitude earthquake, which killed at least 90 people. as rescuers searched the rubble for possible survivors, soldiers carted away the debris of demolished buildings in juchitan, where thousands have been left homeless. donations have been pouring into mexico city, and the mexican government is sending boxes of food and bottled water by cargo planes. in southeast asia, the buddhist- majority government of myanmar today rejected a ceasefire declared by minority muslim rohingya insurgents, saying it does "not deal with terrorists"" the insurgents declared the ceasefire to allow aid to reach rohingya refugees fleeing army attacks and alleged persecution
to camps in neighboring bangladesh. refugees have accused myanmar's army of planting land mines in the path of the escaping refugees and gave reuters this video of what they said were mines. amnesty international reported the mines wounded two refugees today. myanmar officials had no comment. the united nations has appealed for food, medicine, and shelter for as many as 400,000 refugees inside bangladesh near the border. in her first broadcast interview since last year's presidential election, hillary clinton told" cbs sunday morning" today she'll never again be a candidate for office, but she isn't done with politics. discussing her campaign memoir" what happened," which is being published this week, mrs. clinton described how she initially spent her time after losing. >> off i went into a frenzy of closet cleaning, long walks in the woods, playing with my dogs, yoga, alternate nostril breathing, which i highly recommend, trying to calm myself down, and, you know, my share of
chardonnay. it was a very hard transition. >> clinton said her biggest mistake was having used a private e-mail everybodier at secretary of state, an issue to that dogged her campaign. >> santa with the newshour tomorrow on air on online for continuing coverage of hurricane irma and the southeastern united states. irma has been down graded to category 2 storm. that's all for pbs newshour weekend. i'm hari sreenivasan, thanks for watching. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz.
the cheryl and philip milstein family. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundation. the anderson family fund. rosalind p. walter, in memory of abby m. o'neill. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
are we just starting, just like this? i don't know. i-- no foreplay? when you were growing up, you didn't have a lot of money. was money anything you ever thought about? so are you wearing leisure suits, or...? no. everybody else in california was wearing loincloths and togas. people seemed to blame goldman for more of the sins of wall street than they blamed anybody else. did he say, "look, this could be life-threatening?" uh, well, it's life-threatening for sure. do you think, "maybe i should step down from ceo, smell the flowers a little bit more"? woman: would you fix your tie, please? well, people wouldn't recognize me if my tie was fixed, but okay. just leave it this way. all right. [♪] [rubenstein reading onscreen text]