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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  October 5, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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s secure, the possibility of a breach can quickly become the only thing you think about. that's where at&t can help. at at&t we monitor our network traffic so we can see things others can't. mitigating risks across your business. leaving you free to focus on what matters most. good day, i'm kate snow. here's what's happening right now on msnbc live. historic flooding, lives lost, homes washed away in south carolina. and within the past hour, more dams suffering breaches. we'll have live reports. delaled, the ntsb investigating the amtrak train derailment in vermont. and breaking news on the
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bombing of an afghanistan hospital. we start in south carolina, where historic flooding has been taking place. the columbia city manager confirming to nbc news that the overcreek dam has breached. residents are being urged to evacuate as floodwaters are expected to rise in that area. eight dams have been breached in the area due to flooding. sarah dal of is on the ground. sarah, we saw you last hour, standing outside in columbia. you had to move. you had reported that you believed there were two new breaches? >> yeah, kate, we have confirmed with south carolina emergency management that both the forest lake dam and the overcreek dam have breached. they're expecting water levels to rise. shortly after we learned this, a police car drove through the area on a bullhorns, asking residents to evacuate, move to higher ground immediately. people did so, getting in their cars, without grabbing anything
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and heading to higher ground. a lot of these people that we saw evacuating had just returning this afternoon to their homes which were flooded yesterday. they were seeing what was salvageable when the announcement came. the one resident said his heart just kind of stopped for a moment. it was happening all over again, mere moments to grab what you needed and get everybody in the car and get out of the area. we don't know how much water is expected, how many homes are expected. this is all happening very quickly and everybody's being evacuated. but south carolina officials have said time and time again live preservation is their number one focus right now. seven people confirmed dead in south carolina over this series of storms. they don't want to add to that total. there's a lot of concern right now, getting everybody safe to higher ground. >> this is an area that was already flooded before. they had been let back in and
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now it's happening all over again? >> all over again. just like a bad dream. you know, from 24 hours ago, this homeowner said he was getting ready for church when he got a call from his cousin and said, you need to go. the water was already up to his front porch. they started packing and within about ten minutes, he had three feet of water in his home. these are people, they keep getting up and knocked back down again. there hasn't been any time to rest or gather their thoughts. they're doing what they can to stay safe, salvage what they can, and emergency management as well, going through these neighborhoods, alerting people. they're not focused on their phones right now, or on the news. they're focused on the clean-up effort. so the police cars are going in to alert them, it's time to go again. neighbors helping neighbors. one guy ran into the neighborhood, started shouting it's time to go and then took off again to go to another street to alert more people.
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so people relying on word of mouth and emergency personnel at this point. >> this is all happening as we speak, 4:00 eastern time. sarah, thank you. i'm going to ask you to stay with us and come back later if you have more to report. i want to bring in steve benjamin, the mayor of columbia, south carolina. mr. mayor, thank you for being with us. >> kate, thank you for the audience and the opportunity to communicate with our constituents and also with the rest of the world. >> absolutely. will you tell us, mr. mayor, which areas of your city or the surrounding areas need to be concerned right now. who are you telling to move on out? >> well, certainly those two dams that your correspondent just referenced on the southeast side of town. so people who live in forest acres, who really have had significant damage already, looking for some sustained sadness. this has been a difficult time,
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and we are so far from being out of the woods right now. we need folks to understand that, even once the water does subside, it's going to be a while. we'll still have some significant damage assessment and start rebuilding after that. what we need people to do is to evacuate that area. if in fact, you have all your ducks in a row, stay in your homes. stay in your homes. we just authorized a mandatory curfew that comes into effect at 7:00 eastern standard time until 6:00 a.m. unless someone is an emergency response professional, law professional, or utility worker, people are prohibited from being on the streets of the city. we need to make sure all of our efforts are dedicated to our number one responsibility, the preservation of life. everything else is secondary. we're going to work our tales
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off, but job number one right now is keeping people alive. >> we're looking at the dramatic images from yesterday in columbia where people were having to be rescued. so just to be clear again, you're talking about the overcreek dam and the forest lake dam, correct, that have been breached within the last couple of hours? >> yes. >> so that area, that's where people need to get out of the way, in case that water starts to rise again? >> yes, ma'am. and people are familiar with that area, but near fort jackson, on the forest acres side of town. one of those dams is not within city limits, but right next to each other. >> i'm sorry. how high could that water go? what are your city officials projected for this afternoon and evening? >> the lake has a significant amount of water in it. so i haven't heard estimates as
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to how high it can go, but it's a very real and grave situation. the early indications we had, i think people were -- many of us didn't expect or understand how significant this could be. obviously all our worst dreams came true. we are where we are now. it will get worse before it gets better, and we have to accept that and understand that. our number one priority again, has to be working together. we have great coordination with local law enforcement, state law enforcement, federal agencies, our governor leading, senators are leading, the white house reached out today. everyone's working together. again, numb again, job number one, keeping people alive. >> and as you head into the evening hours, we'll be fighting daylight. you want people who are in the
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area that could be affected by high water to get out before it gets dark. and you want nobody else out on the streets tonight because they should -- anybody who's not involved and doesn't have water needs to stay home. >> absolutely. >> we have seven sites that will be distributing potable water, the a.c. flora high school will be open again for people who need shelter. to have a place for people to sleep and to eat with shelter, so that's a good thing. but this is a work in progress. we have worked to prepare ourselves, because we have so much support from our local community. >> i want to make clear to our viewers, we're looking at pictures from yesterday. we don't yet have new video in from forest acres, because all of our crews have been moved out of that area too. so that i understand, the water
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is not too high yet. you're not having to get people out with boats yet? >> based on where we were yesterday, right in the thick of things, it has receded quite a bit. but with these two breaches, we expect it to rise rapidly and significantly. >> mayor steve benjamin, sorry to interrupt, sir. mr. mayor, good luck to you tonight, and thanks for being with us. >> thank you so much. >> let me bring in carl parker. carl, can you explain what we were just hearing from the mayor. why so much concern? it's not that it's still raining, right? it's more the levels of water obviously from a breached dam. >> yeah, that's exactly right. the damage has been done at this point. so it's going to take a long time for that water to run off. you have full lakes and that's putting a lot of strain on the dams. this is how it all went down. this is a look at the radar returns here, combined together, through saturday, sunday,
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monday. and a very large area of a foot-plus of rain indicated in purple there. that's about as much rain as we get in a lot of parts of the west over the course of a year. when we look at this in perspective with other huge flood events, it's right up there with nashville, 2010, atlanta, 2009. 27 inches is what we've seen so far. what all of these events had in common was very slow-moving weather systems. and there has been an increased weather frequency of these in the last several years. a demonstrable increase, related to a warming world. you have a big upper level low, pulling a lot of moisture off a tropical system and now finally beginning to move out of the way. so we have some lingering showers and still concerns. there's the flash-flood warning associated with a dam break on the east side of columbia, for richland county until 6:30. but the rainfall is going to let
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up considerably. here's the forecast showing you, most of the rain is going to be offshore and up into north carolina. that's where we might get an inch or two. obviously we don't want to see any rain at all, but it will be much lighter as compared to what we've seen over the last couple days. >> carl parker, thanks so much. >> coming up, the search for survivors. a u.s. cargo ship believed to have sunk to the bottom of the ocean, today, new questions about why that ship left port. plus, did the u.s. military commit a war crime? a coalition air strike seems to destroy a key hospital in northern afghanistan. we're live at the pentagon.
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breaking news now on the deadly bombing of a hospital. a u.s. bombing of a hospital in afghanistan. the pentagon saying afghan forces asked for strikes to eliminate a taliban threat and that those threats accidentally killed civilians in afghanistan. this afternoon white house press secretary josh earnest was asked to respond to the charge that the attack was a war crime. >> i wouldn't use a label like that, because this is something that continues to be under investigation. the thing i do think warrants mentioning, there's no country in the world and no military in the world that goes to greater lengths and places a higher premium on avoiding civilian casualties than the united states. >> at least 22 people were killed in the air strike early saturday. today the charity group doctors without borders, demanded a full explanation from the u.s.
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government. joining me now from london, keir simmons. keir, a lot of condemnation coming from other parts of the world. what are other governments saying? >> well, that's right. and there is condemnation from many places that you'd expect. for example, like russia. i guess, kate, what's really important is what doctors without borders and what the u.s. military are saying, since these are the two sides in this. and the u.s. military, the american commander from afghanistan, general john campbell, making clear today that the u.s. had launched strikes in that area in order to protect afghan military, he said. that was different from what the u.s. military had said previously. what doctors without borders is saying is that its hospital was hit on a number of occasions with 15-minute intervals. between 2:08 and 3:15 in the morning. that they had told the u.s. and
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afghan military of the location of the hospital and they sent out a kind of s.o.s. message while this was happening and still the bombing doesn't stop, and describing appalling scenes at the hospital. one worker saying, there are no words for how terrible it was in the intensive care unit. six patients were burning in their beds. >> keir, it's horrific when you hear the descriptions. can you tell us a little bit more about kunduz and that area of afghanistan. we've heard about it in the news recently, it fell to the taliban. so give us the context, the big picture. >> yeah, it's an important place. it's a regional capital. it's home to around 300,000 people. it is a place that if you want to keep afghanistan stable, you need to keep under control and yet at the same time, just days ago, the taliban managed to storm it. the taliban of course under new leadership, so they had been
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hoping to signal their strength like this, perhaps people thinking they may have been a little weakened. and they've certainly done that. and now the u.s. and afghan forces are trying to take back kunduz and having a tough time of it. so the wider context is that, for afghanistan, this is a difficult picture, because of course, the pledge by the president is to remove all u.s. combat troops by the end of 2016. >> keir, thank you. switching to the pentagon and nbc news chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski. jim, the pentagon admitting that a mistake was made? >> that's right. in trying to clarify what was incorrect information over the weekend by saying, yes, it was the afghans who requested that air strikes be conducted, aimed at the taliban there in kunduz. general campbell only raised more questions than he answered. just exactly what did the
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afghans say? did they specifically say it was a hospital or medical facility? did they provide specific accord nats? if they did, did the u.s. military at the airport outside kunduz try to verify that information that was provided to them by the afghans? and there was an ac-130 gunship overhead during much of that battle, and they can linger over a battlefield for some time. they have very sophisticated surveillance. did they just take the order at the word? in other words, strike the facility without first determining whether there was actually a threat coming from that building? so those are many of those answers that we don't have right now and will come out during a very thorough investigation. but general campbell will appear
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tomorrow before the senate armed services committee where i'm sure he'll get a rigorous grilling on this subject. >> one would expect. thank you both. a desperate search for survivors after a u.s. cargo ship sinks to the bottom of the ocean. how experts plan to locate that wreckage and bring it back to the surface. >> plus the amtrak derailment that happened in vermont today. we'll have the very latest on that. stay with us.
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tand that's what we're doings to chat xfinity.rself, we are challenging ourselves to improve every aspect of your experience. and this includes our commitment to being on time. every time. that's why if we're ever late for an appointment, we'll credit your account $20. it's our promise to you. we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. developing now on the search for a u.s. cargo ship. officials have recovered a body. they believe the ship sank in the atlantic ocean. the coast guard says they're not giving up, though, on the search for survivors. >> we have a full schedule of aircraft that are flying all day today. but, again, we're going to fly
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them much lower and focused in on smaller objects at sea. so that is our plan moving forward. we are -- remain hopeful that we will try, we will hopefully find survivors. that is our focus as we move forward. >> with hurricane joaquin in the area at the time, many family members are asking why the ship was out there in the first place. a mother of one of the missing talked about what her daughter told her in an e-mail as they approached that hurricane. >> i'm not sure if you've been following the weather at all, but there's a hurricane out here, and we are heading straight into it. winds are super bad and seas are not great. love to everyone. >> here with us now, christine dennison, expedition and logistic expert. thank you for being here. you hear the pain in that mother's voice. why they were there. there was an empty life boat found. does that tell you anything? should we surmise from that that
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they weren't able to get into the life boats? >> it could be twofold, that they were able to deploy the life boat and attempt to get on it. it could also be that they didn't make it onto the life boat. conditions were such that they lost contact with the life boat. it's one of two really. >> it's such a mystery. and you think about that hurricane churning out there as the families have been saying, what were they doing in that area, but educate us about sea travel. is it hard to get around a storm that size? >> well, it was a massive tropical depression at that point. and to come up with why he would have gone out, this is the captain at that point, or if they had a schedule to meet, because it was supposed to be in puerto rico, from what i understand, by a certain time. i don't really know that. but given the situation, it there's a lot more than meets the eye. so i would wait rather than speculate. >> withhold judgment on that. >> but these storms come up very
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quickly and it's very deep water and there's nowhere to run once you're caught in that path. >> and in terms of searching, the last time we had a deep-water search, mh370 with an airplane, listening for pings and black boxes. is there a similar situation with ships? >> at this point they would be. they're still doing a visual. the seas are calming down, which will make it easier, if they pick up additional debris or survivors. they have to do aerials to make contact. it's a very large expanse. they need to see what they can pick up visually, and then they send the boats in. again, it's been four days. they may have had exposure suits. i believe the body they recovered was in an exposure suit. >> what does that mean? >> they're protective suits that
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help prevent hypothermia. and there are different ones. some have beacons on them. some have an ability to inflate the suit. but it's meant to protect whoever is in the suit, from the water, from the elements. >> so does that mean there could be someone who survived in one of those suits? >> absolutely. there's so many reasons or variables as to how a person can survive for four days. the water temperatures at the surface are very warm, 82, 84 degrees. given that there was a storm, it would have gone down possibly ten degrees and then warm up again. so the variables for what they would have encountered in these horrendous seas, again, it's a matter of time. it's a waiting game, and the time is running short. >> it is. christine dennis son, we appreciate your expertise. coming up, the latest on the amtrak derailment that happened in vermont earlier today. the ntsb is on the scene. and carly fiorina rising in the polls in new hampshire. that's where she's hitting the
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geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. to the 2016 campaign trail now and today carly fiorina campaigned in new hampshire where she had some fun, talking about a potential match-up between herself and hillary clinton. >> whether you're democrat, republican, or independent, whether you've made up your mind about which candidate you want to support or not, the truth is, most of you in your heart of hearts want to see me debate hillary clinton. [ laughter ] >> fiorina also took issue with today's washington post report that said she refused to pay several staffers from or failed 2010 california senate bid. >> no, i don't think the washington post has much credibility anymore. they also said -- >> so do you think you shouldn't pay your staffers if you lose? >> can you give an explanation for -- >> all of our debt was paid off
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and everyone was paid in full. so once again, the washington post doesn't have a lot of credibility here. >> this as the latest nbc poll shoz here rising to second place, five points behind donald trump. trump told chuck todd that if his poll numbers continue to decline, he would at some point exit the race. >> what does that mean? >> a lot of people have asked me that question. number one, i'm not a masochist. if i was dropping in the polls and saw i wasn't going to win, why would i continue? and maybe it's not like me because it's the power of positive thinking and i'm a positive thinker. but the truth is, i'm a realist. >> nbc's hallie jackson has been covering the fiorina campaign and joins us now and nbc's katy tur has been following donald trump. katy, a month ago trump led his nearest competitor by 16 points. he's still at the top, which is
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probably what he would say. but is he feeling pressure in that space? >> i think a little bit. when you talk about trump dropping out potentially, it's a bit premature. he's still leading by a lot. so the up and down is something that the campaign does expect. as for whether or not he will drop out down the line, i still think it's quite early. he's still hiring staffers. he still has a full campaign schedule. there's no signs of him slowing down whatsoever. i do think that potentially the fact that he's even going there in interviews is to make galvanize his base of support to say that, hey, maybe i won't stay around, to get them to be louder and to get the poll numbers to go back up. but i don't think they ever expected that he would maintain a double-digit lead throughout this entire preprimary season. >> lot of talk about guns since the sad events in oregon on thursday. trump was criticized today again by hillary clinton. but he had his own piece to say
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on "meet the press." let me play you what he said saturday. >> no matter what you do, guns, no guns. you have people that are mentally ill and they're going to come through the cracks and they're going to do things that people will not even believe are possible. whether it's the school shootings which are very prevalent in this country -- >> what's your explanation? >> they're just sick people. mentally imbalanced. and they probably see it happening here -- >> do you think we have more mentally ill people than other countries? >> i think we have copycats. they watch it and see it more maybe more than other places. and the world can be a pretty sick place in so many different ways. >> we've been talking to people in roseburg, oregon, and a lot of them are republicans and seem to agree with what trump is saying. does he like talking about this issue, or is he only talking about it in response to what what happened last week? >> he's become more comfortable talking about gun rights and the second amendment.
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when i first interviewed him in july, i asked him whether or not he had a gun. he said that was a very personal thing for him and he doesn't want to talk about it. as recently as sunday in tennessee, he addressed the crowd by reading out the second amendment and then bragging that he is a concealed carry license here in new york, telling the crowd that if anybody tried to attack him, they would be shot. so he's getting much more comfortable talking about guns to the republican base. he knows it's an issue that they're going to rally behind him on. and he does say that he believes there's essentially nothing you can do about this. he has said he would try to address mental illness. i asked him this specifically on the trail saturday, saying, what would you tell the parents of victims from this last shooting. and he would say that we would look into medical treatment for the mentally ill and try to figure out a way to get them the help they need, but he does not agree with stronger background checks, he does not agree with gun control.
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he's been vehement about that since the beginning. >> now to hallie jackson. she's out on the trail with carly fiorina. i'm sorry? oh, you're in washington. someone in my ear was telling me you're not on the trail. >> i've been on the trail. >> for days and days, with carly fiorina among other candidates. today with "the washington post" report, we had on the editor of that piece, they stood by their reporting. they spoke to a number of sources who said that carly fiorina had not paid her back debt, for some, not until this year. but she really struck back and blamed it on "the post." >> yeah, and she's had issues and her campaign has had issues with that particular outlet, just because of some fact-checking that "the post" has done. you look at the filings, it is true, kate, she owed about
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$490,000 right up until this year before she announced her presidential bid. so this story is gaining some traction here. interestingly, it seems to be yet another way her failed 2010 senate race is coming back to potentially highlight what you might call lessons learned or casting a shadow over this race. we saw back in 2010, when she ran against barbara boxer for that senate seat, not just, for example, this issue with her campaign debt sort of not being immediately paid off, but also the attacks that boxer ran against her then, highlighting and really framing her record as the ceo of hewlett-packard. the campaign will say, and carly fiorina has said, that was a fight worth having and she's defended her business record. she said she will run on that all day. talking with voters out on the trail, it's not something that comes up unbidden all that often. that said, it may be something that could turn into an issue for her down the road if she continues to pick up steam in the polls, which she's done.
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>> can i ask one question of both of you. do we know after "saturday night live" premiere over the weekend, either of you have a sense for when we'll see carly fiorina or donald trump on the show? >> we've asked him this, and he has said, i can't talk about it. >> that's trump code. >> it is. and i think he would say to everyone that he would get the biggest and most tremendous ratings they've ever seen. >> i just want to see who plays both of them. that will be interesting. >> katy tur, hallie jackson, thank you. more on the dam breaches we've been talking about in south carolina. we spoke to the mayor at the top of this hour. we'll get an update coming up next. beyond natural grain free pet food
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we're back with new details on that breaking news situation in south carolina. nbc's sarah dallof is on the phone. she's moved to higher ground in columbia. we've been talking all hours, sarah. what's the situation now with those two new dam breaches? >> the south carolina emergency management now tells us that forest lake dam has not actually broken yet. they are very concerned about that since that other dam break. so they are ordering a mandatory evacuation of that area. police now going door to door to get people out of there and residents urged to get out of there as quickly as possible. flash-flood warnings in effect. a lot of concern that the waters have receded, giving homeowners
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a sense of security. but they expect those waters to grow again. the situation up here, a number of small dams and reservoirs is causing this domino effect, putting pressure on the next dam, that one bringing more pressure on the next one and so on. right now, forest lake dam has not, in fact, breached, but is a very main area of concern, and they're ordering mandatory evacuations of that area right now. >> okay, sarah, but what about the other dam? overcreek dam? that one has been breached? >> overcreek, confirmed, has been breached. that water is rushing downstream and will end up in the forest lake area. that's the concern, a domino effect, going downstream. so the overcreek dam, being evacuated right now. the forest acres neighborhood, also being evacuated. >> sarah dallof on the scene
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there. thanks so much. let's bring in derek becker, public information officer with the south carolina emergency management division. mr. becker, thank you for joining us. >> good afternoon. what we have right now is a mandatory evacuation under way in forest acres, south carolina. it's a bedroom community of columbia, essentially, an incorporated subdivision, and it's mandatory evacuation for what's known as the overcreek neighborhood. between two major roads of forest drive and percival road. richland county sheriff's department asked that we activate our reverse 911 system for residents in that area as well as the emergency alert system to get land line phones, it's a retirement community, as well as cell phones and broadcast media. >> can you describe the area, i understand it's residential? >> it's the same area you've seen on the news frequently over the last couple of days where
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the first dam breach occurred yesterday -- or excuse me -- the day before. and the domino effect has begun, essentially. what we are looking at is continuation of the conditions that we have experienced throughout all of south carolina. the columbia region in particular, in that these small dams, these neighborhood lake fills are becoming overloaded and creating the potential for a dam to breach. >> have you gotten any new information about what your forecasters in town are most worried about, most concerned about? are we talking about how high a level of water? do you have any idea? at this point, it fluctuates. water levels are expected to remain very high for the next couple days as this excess water moves through the water system into the atlantic ocean, so this is far from over. we are going to expect conditions like this for some time. and we're asking all of our residents from columbia to the
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coast to be vigilant and take safety precautions. if you live near a waterway, even if you don't live near a waterway, you could see areas that aren't normally flooded actually start to flood. >> and where are people going? the mayor mentioned that there are shelters in some areas. >> for this neighborhood, in particular, the richland county sheriff's department is recommending a shelter that has already been established in ermo at sun oak park and it's one of the two shelters in the community that is accepting pets. so if you have a pet, you can actually take your entire family with you. so we want everybody to be able to -- there's time now to be able to get everything out of your home and get to safety. >> derek becker, public information officer with the south carolina emergency management division, just walking us through the new situation on the ground there with dams. one breached, one potentially
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about to be breached, and an area that they're trying to move people out of, to avoid a repeat of the dramatic rescues we saw over the weekend. now the cnbc market wrap. >> markets closing higher, s&p up 36 and the nasdaq rising 33. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. ly be able to access information, wherever we are. information for an athlete's medical care, or information to track their personal best. with microsoft cloud, we save millions of man hours, and that's time that we can invest in our athletes and changing the world. we heard you got a job as a developer!!!!! its official, i work for ge!! what? wow... yeah! okay... guys, i'll be writing a new language for machines so planes, trains, even hospitals can work better.
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♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪
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back now to the breaking news out of vermont where an amtrak train derailed after apparently hitting a rock slide. all hell broke loose. that's how an amtrak passenger described the accident. seven passengers have been hospitalized, one we're told with serious injuries. several cars sliding down an embankment and into the woods.
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the train was traveling southbound towards washington, d.c. vermont's governor peter shum lin talked about the cause of the accident earlier. >> i want to emphasize that at least based upon the immediate knowledge that we have, there's no belief that there's any wrong-doing here. a freight train went through late last night, it passed without any incident. so the ledges had to have fallen in the last several hours. >> joining me now, former ntsb board member john goalia. thank you for being with us. >> thank you for having me. >> the governor said this is basically a freak accident, but according to the associated press, there were federal records that show the company that operates this stretch of track, had four accidents since 2006 that all could have involved debris on the tracks. so is that a concern? >> of course it's a concern.
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and that will be one of the four areas the ntsb will look at initially, along with law enforcement, mainly the fbi and probably the vermont state police, to make sure that if it was a rock slide, that it was a naturally occurring event. and the physical evidence with the locomotive and the tracks will help determine that. as well as the event recorder. i'm sure by now, if they've had access to the locomotive, that the event recorder is on its way to washington. so those will be three of the big areas. and the other area that the ntsb will focus on is going to be the cars. amtrak has spent a considerable amount of money in the recent past, upgrading the passenger cars to help survivability of the passengers. we've long done that in aviation. probably have a 40-plus-year improvement program on aviation, for the inside of the airplanes. and amtrak started doing that at
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least 15 years ago, to improve the interior of the cars with survivability in mind. so the ntsb will look at the injuries of the passengers and try to determine how they were injured and what steps can be taken to make it safer in the future. >> as we look at the overhead shots, it looks a lot worse, actually, than what we know so far. so far, we're hearing seven people in the hospital and maybe only one with serious injuries. that's a pretty good day for pictures like this, isn't it? >> no question. if you look at those cars, they stayed together. that's one of the focal points that amtrak has had. and the interiors have been upgraded with materials that will break themselves from the impact. so it looks like a good day for the passengers, even though it was a bad day to have an accident. >> passengers described a quick moment where they felt the brakes being applied very
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quickly. i know speed often comes into play in crashes. i assume they will be looking at how fast that train was operating. >> of course. the event recorder will give us all that, how fast he was going, when he put on the brakes, and there will be marks on the track if he applied the emergency brake procedures they'll be able to tell by the wear patterns on the tracks and on the wheels just what happened. so there's a lot of physical evidence that will be gathered over the next few days from the accident scene, including one that will look towards making sure it was a naturally occurring rock slide and not something more sinister. >> and lastly, is this a black eye for amtrak again? this is now, i don't have the numbers in front of me, but i've covered a number of accidents on this northeast corridor of the united states in recent time. is there concern that people are going to stop feeling
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comfortable getting on the train? >> of course there's always concern when you have an accident. we need to make sure they have the resources they need to maintain the infrastructure, the track, the trains, their personal. it's not an inexpensive proposition to maintain the infrastructure. congress and the american public need to make sure that amtrak gets the resources it needs if we're going to use it. we've been pushing for public transportation for a number of years. if we're going to push the public to take public transportation, then we as a government need to make sure that we provide a safe and efficient means of transportation. and that means proper funding. >> former ntsb board member, john goalia, thanks so much. >> thank you. now to capitol hill where republicans are set to vote on the next speaker of the house just three days from now. over the weekend, jason chaffetz declared his candidacy for speaker, challenging kevin
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mccarthy. in an interview today, chaffetz said republicans have lost the communications war. >> when you say kevin mccarthy doesn't speak, what do you mean by that? >> well, it's nothing personal. i'm just saying in general, we need a speaker who speaks. generally the speakers have had a very silent role. we haven't won the communications war. >> so you don't think he's a good communicator? >> i think he's fine normally, but i'm saying i think i can do that portion of the job much better. >> joining me now, nbc news capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell, good to see you. >> good to be with you, kate. injecting some suspense here. >> yes, indeed. give us the play by play. for those of you who aren't intimate watchers of all things house, government, what does this mean with chaffetz jumping in? >> well, it is a surprise, because it was expected that kevin mccarthy who is currently
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number two to john boehner would simply move up. we do believe he has a lot of support among republicans in the conference who will choose their nominee for speaker. but jason chaffetz, republican of utah, chairman of the house oversight committee. he's been in a lot of very public dramas for the house, and he might be someone who could bridge a little better, the more establishment part of the republican party as well as the younger and in some cases, more conservative part of this republican conference. but it's unclear that he would have the votes. but it's changing the dynamic. so what we expect will happen is on thursday, the house republicans will get to nominate their choice for speaker, but that's the only job where both parties get to vote. and that will actually happen later in the month. we don't expect democrats to vote for probably anyone other than nancy pelosi. so getting to the needed 218 votes is critical. does kevin mccarthy have enough? it's unclear. it seems jason chaffetz as a
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newcomer, probably doesn't have enough, but he's changing that dynamic and there will be extra time given for the second and third and fourth seats in terms of the top priorities for the house. so if there's a bit of a skirmish for the speaker job, there might be a chance to inject new names and new blood into other top positions. so john boehner, by moving the calendar, that might be one of the more interesting last acts of his time as speaker, trying to set the plate for who will follow him. kate? >> and kelly, i don't want to get all geeky on you here, because we both used to cover capitol hill together, but we're learning that john boehner's also delaying some of the votes for some of the other positions in the leadership. what's that all about? >> well, i think what it could do is, let's say they decide on the speaker nominee and that's set aside. and perhaps chaffetz, if he doesn't get the vote, might he be up for majority leader then? by doing it all in one day, basically you'd only be running for one slot. it will give extra time for
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republicans to settle amongst themselves who they want their leadership team to be. so giving more time is actually not the original strategy boehner had. he was really intending to do this quickly and move on. but there is this distress within the republican conference, saying, do we really just want the leadership to step up, each one moving up to the next chair, so to speak? or should there be new be ms who might better reflect the broader sensibilities of the conference. so it will be drama, for sure. >> kelly o'donnell, thanks so much. and an update to the breaking news we've been following in south carolina where we've been seeing images like this all day. more bad news. officials now say a total of nine dams have been breached since flooding began. and now officials are concerned about a domino effect with each successive breach leading to others. we're tracking this story as it develops. stay with msnbc and ns nbc.com for all the very latest. that does it for this hour.
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i'm kate snow. mtp daily with chuck todd starts now. ♪ if it's monday, what if donald trump did drop out, who benefits the most in the early states? our new poll numbers will surprise you. this is "mtp daily" and it starts right now. ♪ >> i'm steve kornacki sitting in for chuck todd. a ton of nebig news on the campaign trail today. also on capitol hill. we'll get hawaii congresswoman and iraq war veteran's take on the bombing of a doctors without borders hospital in afghanistan. plus,

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