tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC September 1, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT
msnbc. hey, craig. >> hey there, good to see you, chris jansing. good afternoon to you, as well. craig melvin here in new york, picking up the pieces. literally. thousands of texans are returning to their homes for the first time since hurricane harvey crossed their shores one week ago tonight. we are live in houston as they try to figure out where to start rebuilding. also, dream deferred? president trump is expected to soon announce whether he will be ending the obama era policy that allows nearly 1 million young, undocumented immigrants to live in this country without fear of deportation. why republican leaders are now urging him not to touch daka. and wild, wild west wing. reports of growing tensions between president trump and his new chief of staff, john kelly. is kelly's clampdown on the oval office setting him up for a showdown with the president? we'll get to that story in just
a moment. but it is hard to believe seven days ago we were talking about the impending hurricane named harvey preparing to make landfall. this afternoon, the floodwaters continue to recede in most places, revealing the sheer enormity and destruction. harvey downgraded to a tropical depression as it moves northeast. but the beast that was harvey battered texas, leaving a deadly trail in its wake. 38. that's now the official number of people killed by the storm, a figure expected to rise as emergency workers go door to door in neighborhoods that have been under water for days. the other priority, assessing the damage and the environmental threats faced by residents of houston and the gulf coast. people are not just returning home to find flooded houses and washed-away memories.
there are now significant health concerns from standing water to possible pollution from the huge texas petro chemical industry. and this afternoon, there it is. a troubling sight in the atlantic. a new storm named hurricane irma, intensifying, category 2. not clear if it is going to be posing a significant threat to the east coast. we'll talk about that in just a moment. but first, residents of the hard-hit coastal city of port arthur are returning home right now, and they are starting the cleanup effort. an effort that is going to take months, if not years. nbc's blake mccoy is there. what are you seeing this afternoon there, blake? >> reporter: craig, this is a community that's finally moving from emergency mode into recovery mode. here you can see one of the final neighborhoods that remains under water. that's because this is a low-lying area that's prone to flooding anyway. so it's one of the last flooded communities. we have seen emergency workers
going door to door, prying open those doors to make sure there is no one inside. thankfully no deaths in port arthur reported. i see a lot of cars actually on the roads today. people are getting out and about to go back home, check on the damage. also the big box stores like walmart, home depot, they have started to open up so people can start repairing the damage to their homes. you can see some horses here being brought out, presumably from a low-lying area that was flooded. and if you look right here, i want to step back. you can see the waterline was right up here at the start of the day. and it's all the way down there right now. so that's how quickly the water is receding here in texas. really good news for folks here. also in low-lying areas, are those refineries you see back there. when we talk about the potential for higher gas prices, it's because there are so many refineries here on the gulf coast, some of the biggest in north america. they remain shut down now because there is a lot of standing water in the refineries. but we're told they are
operational once they decide to turn them back on and get them online. it's a matter of just letting all this water go down, craig. so, again, we're moving from emergency mode into recovery mode here in port arthur. >> all right, from port arthur we go to beaumont, texas. more than 100,000 people are still without clean drinking water there. the city's main pumping station went down as those floodwaters came up. and it could be days before people in beaumont have running water again. msnbc's marianna atense ois there. what's the outlook at this point for restoration of running water in beaumont, marianna? >> reporter: craig, the people you see behind me, they have been working tirelessly overnight to make sure that the citizens of beaumont do get water restored. they have made some advances, but it's been incredibly challenging. beaumont basically is an island right now. it took us about three hours to get into the city. it's completely flooded every which way. and basically, as you mentioned, one of the big problems is that
these electrical pumps that pump water into the city's water treatment plant, which is over here to my left, they are completely flooded in. they are under water, and that is what caused this massive water shortage here in beaumont. now, as i mentioned, there are folks behind me working to make sure that the citizens of beaumont have water restored. actually, exxonmobil is here. you guys are big into oil, obviously. tell us what you were doing. what role are you playing in restoring the water here in texas? >> well, it's really all about teamwork. i mean, together we're working behind the scenes with government and industry and electricity companies. >> reporter: what parts are you supplying in the operation we're seeing behind us here? >> well, we helped. we helped collaborate with a team. and together with exxonmobil and the city of beaumont and echo tiger industries, we worked together to create a plan, largely led by our folks in the background. >> reporter: can you explain
that plan a little to us? >> sure. the pumps were flooded. it will take a while for the river to go down for us to be able to make a permanent repair. and so together with the team everyone came up with a temporary solution that's able to get water running sooner. >> reporter: it is my understanding, craig, they have placed temporary water pumps, is that correct, and the pipes are actually supplied by these guys, the oil guys. some of the pipes that you see behind me over here to my right, craig, that is a solution that they have devised at this point. and, again, as ashley mentioned, it's really everybody coming together. we have seen local business owners here. clearly you folks, city workers, as well, to try to restore the water. but i just want to say, driving into beaumont, you saw lines of at least 30 cars, people trying to get water. families trying to go to these distribution shelters. and we are going to take a drive around town for you to just witness what kind of a toll this has taken on the city, a city that's an island right now.
and you saw a ton of cars trying to get out. but also desperate families trying to get in, trying to reconnect with their loved ones, and trying to assess the damage in their homes, craig. >> all right. marianna atencio in beaumont, texas, for us. 1600 pennsylvania avenue right now, president trump making some comments, we're told. we're going to have that tape play back for you in just a moment. among the things he said, national day of prayer on sunday for the folks there in texas. governor greg abbott did that two days ago. president trump following suit, calling for a national day of prayer for the victims. hans nichols is on duty for us. what else do we know? >> we had a hint from the president there could be a decision on daka maybe today or maybe over the weekend. the president hinting, craig, to the press pool that just came past me here, we're going to get the tape as soon as we can for you so we can hear the full playout. but remember, president trump is getting pressure from
congressional republicans not to short-circuit congressional action. you heard an interview from paul ryan. you've now had jeff flake say there is a need for senate, for congressional action, as well as you have this idea that you have senator sessions really pushing to not urge the president -- urging the president not to do anything on this and go around congress. and a lot of ways, we're going to try to play some sound for you now of what -- excuse me, speaker ryan said. let's have a listen. >> you know what, we don't have it cued up just yet, hans, but we can summarize what house speaker paul ryan said moments ago. basically, as you said, asking the president to wait for congress to act, to make this part of some sort of larger comprehensive effort. >> reporter: yeah. and, you know, i think we should note, craig, that both critics and as well as supporters of daca, president obama's decision
on daca, are a lot of them are saying there is a need to do this through legislation. that because what president obama did was basically took an administrative approach to a very complicated problem. there should be some sort of congressional buy-in on this challenge. so remember, the number is somewhere a little bit less than 5 million children brought here by their parents illegally. they have grown up in this country. how do you make sure they're able to rejoin society in a legal way, not just in an administrative way. do you need congressional action. so now the president is getting pressure not just from the attorneys generals, these half a dozen or so attorneys generals out there trying to force the president to make a decision. they say they're going to sue if they don't hear by september the 5th some sort of action from the president. but then you're having more voices on congress. and an already busy, busy congressional agenda. you're going to have this september the debt ceiling, spending. you've got potential relief for harvey. you have all kinds of things crowded into a very tight schedule. and now potentially also
something to do with daca. craig? >> all right, hans nichols, do stand by. once we get those comments from president trump, we'll come back to you. again, we can tell you the president has signed the proclamation declaring sunday a national day of prayer for the folks impacted by hurricane harvey. cleanup, the order of the day, in many houston neighborhoods as folks begin the long process of rebuilding their homes, rebuilding their lives, as well. nbc's maya rodriguez in the houston suburb of kingwood. behind you, again, unfortunately a scene we have started to see far too often over the last day or two. lots of memories stacked up. >> reporter: yeah, you know, craig, this is a scene that's being repeated thousands upon thousands of times over in the houston metro area. take a look at this. we're at the end of a cul-de-sac. and this is sort of a mini park there. full of debris. every house along here got flooded with about four feet of
water. and what you see right now, piles upon piles of what was once inside of these homes. i mean, we have a coffee maker over here. you can see that's floodwater inside of it. there is a fridge over here. people have been coming with wheelbarrows, large buckets, basically just using this as a makeshift dumping ground at this point, because there is so much debris. you have shelving units, so many different appliances. all of it got full of water. the river is not that far from here. we're in the barrington neighborhood in kingwood, texas. this is in the northeast side of the houston metro area. all kinds of insulation out here. we have seen some people wearing some masks like dust masks when it comes to cleaning out. but for the most part, people are just kind of going in there and just starting to pull things out, all kinds of carpeting, tons of stuff. i mean, this is going to be a major, major cleanup area for houston. all of these homes, all of these homeowners, all day long, we have had cars coming by.
streams of cars started coming in around 8:00 this morning. and it hasn't stopped. you've had contractors coming in. people with u-hauls, rvs that are going to be parked in front of some of these homes. because, frankly, it's going to be weeks if not months before some of these people are able to move in. and that's a story we're seeing all over houston. >> maya, president trump at the white house here on daca and harvey. let's listen. >> a decision on daca? >> sometime today or over the weekend we'll have a decision. >> should dreamers be worried? >> we love the dreamers. we love everybody. thank you very much. thank you. we'll issue it sometime over the weekend. maybe this afternoon. [ inaudible question ] >> we're working on emergency funding. we're doing everything we can, and we're working very well with the governor. >> thank you. >> who has done a terrific job. >> dreamers are terrific. thank you very much, everybody.
>> have a good afternoon. >> thank you. >> all right. just 45 seconds or so there, president trump, you heard, at the beginning promising a decision on daca sometime this weekend, perhaps. maybe even as early as this afternoon. it would seem as if the president has made up his mind, so perhaps, again, we'll learn what that decision is. and, again, president trump facing a great deal of pressure from inside his own party within the last few hours we have heard not just from jeff flake, the senator from arizona, house speaker paul ryan, senator orrin hatch, as well, from utah. all of them urging president trump not to act. again, daca under president obama, the rule that allows roughly 1 million undocumented immigrants to remain in this country without fear of deportation. again, president trump also using language we have heard him use a fair amount in the past when talking about the so-called dreamers. we love the dreamers. he also indicated he's working on an aid package for hurricane
harvey victims. we're told that package could be somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.5 billion. could get to congress as early as next week. a lot of folks anxious to see whether this is going to be a stand-alone bill. miguel almaguer is standing by for us at a super market in beaumont, texas. miguel, i understand the lines are growing by the hour there, is that right? >> reporter: yeah, craig. quite an impressive scene out herement of you know, beaumont was surrounded by water. now it's out of clean drinking water. so we got to this grocery store a few hours ago, and the line here has been hundreds deep for hours. we're told the store opened at around 9:00 a.m., but by 5:30 a.m., the line had already begun. everyone here is in desperate need of water. and also other critical supplies. the city has shut down most basic infrastructure. they don't have power. they don't have other drinking supplies. so many are pouring into grocery stores here. we have seen hundreds at this store alone. but across this city, thousands are waiting in line at other grocery stores, and some are
even going to locations, limited locations, where they're handing out free water. the folks we have been talking to here say they're in desperate need of every basic supply they can find. parents are looking for diapers. the elderly, the diabetics, are looking for water. it's a scene we're seeing play out across this city while the floodwaters are subsiding in some areas, it is still rising in others. and craig, everyone here says they are in desperate need. >> miguel, is the supermarket -- first of all, looks like a walmart. i can't tell exactly where you are. but does that supermarket have adequate supplies? is there fear they are going to run out of stuff? >> reporter: they brought in extra truckloads this morning, anticipating these very, very long lines that will continue to grow throughout the day. for now they say they're able to service the people in line here. but, craig, as the day goes on, as more come to this area, the city of 120,000 people. as more people come into these grocery stores for the first time, able to get out of their homes or able to wade through
some of the waist-deep water in some parts of the town, it is possible supplies could then become limited. there are some ways into this town. that's how they're bringing the truckloads in here. but, again, we're not sure how much longer this water will last, craig. >> miguel, do keep us posted on what's happening there. that grocery store in beaumont. meanwhile, we're also keeping a very close eye on folks who are living in the immediate area of the arkema chemical plant, northeast of houston. folks still not able to return to their homes, folks who live near the chemical plant. that area evacuated after a fire and a small explosion yesterday. nbc's jacob rascon remains on duty for us. what have we heard on the status of this plant, jacob? >> reporter: so, so far, overnight we haven't had any new fires. but the people who run the plant say, look, it's inevitable that the area eight large containers will catch fire, there will be big flames, and the worst-case
scenario, is some big explosion there. they expect that even in the worst-case scenario, the homes that surround the plant won't be damaged. what they do expect, though, is that there will be a lot of fumes. and that those fumes are not good for people. that's why they evacuated the area. they had at least 300 or so people who left and others who stayed. those who have stayed, and we just talked to the assistant fire chief here for harris county, who is in charge of the operation, he said they had to turn off their air conditioning, roll up their windows. i mean, they're taking this very seriously. they say these fumes are not good for you. and that's why, of course, they're evacuating everybody. those who have evacuated, we talked to many of them. they're worried about how long they would have to stay out. you know, is arkema going to pay for their hotel stay. they have a lot of questions. so all of that is not very clear. because we don't know when this is going to happen. whether, you know, it's going to all go up in flames today, overnight or tomorrow. but until it does, nobody can return to their homes.
said it's not safe. they can't go in there and try to remove the chemicals. it's not safe at this point. and until everything has burned out, as they said. so could be a day, could be a couple days. could be longer. they just don't know. and that's where things stand. the operation here, this is the command center. it's huge. they have national guard, they have sheriff, they have fire department, they have epa, who is monitoring the air. but a lot of them are just waiting to see just in case, to see when it all goes up in flames, and if there is anything worse that happens. craig? >> the whole situation is quite unnerving for folks. not folks just who live there but folks watching this play out. we'll come back to you later. as texas starts to dry out, there is a new potential weather threat. hurricane irma. the category 2 storm is in the atlantic, she's moving west, posing a threat to the caribbean now. at this point, it's too soon to know if irma is a threat to the
united states. forecasters say they will know that by next week. ending the dream? nearly 1 million undocumented immigrants, 1 million of them, at risk perhaps of being deported. we'll take a closer look at the president's decision to end daca. a new report says president trump also unhappy perhaps with his new chief of staff. general john kelly. we'll get to that in just a moment. it naturally begins to change, causing a lack of sharpness, or even trouble with recall. thankfully, the breakthrough in prevagen helps your brain and actually improves memory. the secret is an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. the name to remember. hey richard, check out this fresh roasted flavor. looks delicious, huh? -yeah. -and how about that aroma?
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a busy labor day weekend for were you ever. he received an update from disaster relief organizations. tomorrow, his first trip to houston. his second to texas since the storm hit. and all this weekend, preparation for several weeks of political battles over harvey relief. the debt ceiling, and, again, daca. president trump just a few moments ago announcing a decision would be coming perhaps as early as this afternoon, if not this afternoon at some point this weekend. for the latest in all of these political stories, we have assembled our fantastic team on this friday afternoon. we've got amy sender, national reporter for the "new york times." ashley parker, msnbc political analyst. white house reporter for the "washington post." and michael schmidt, msnbc national security contributor and "new york times" reporter. michael, let me start with you. you've got some new reporting, as i understand it. mueller has an early draft of trump letter, giving reasons for firing comey. what more do we know? >> we know that in the days
leading up to when comey was fired, trump wrote a several-page letter with the help of steven miller, his aide, in which he laid out his rationale for why he was firing comey. when this was circulated at the white house in the day before comey was fired, there were deep concerns about it, especially from don mcginn, the white house counsel. and because of that, mcginn ultimately stopped the letter from going, and a memo from rod rosen stein, deputy attorney general, was inserted as the rationale for the president. >> any idea why they put the kibosh on the original letter? >> mcgann was deeply concerned about it. we don't have a copy of the letter. but he knew that the firing of comey was going to be looked at, legally skrcrutinized deeply an did not like the arguments the president was making, and thought they could be problematic. and he stopped it from going out. now, department of justice has given this letter to mueller, who is looking at whether the firing of comey was obstruction. >> one of the many things that
we're told the special counselor is looking at now. okay, michael, some brand-new reporting there from the "washington post." just a short time ago, a few moments ago, in fact, we heard president trump say -- sometime today over the weekend, we will have a decision. and then he said, we love the dreamers, we love everybody. thank you very much. this is what president trump said back in february. take a listen. >> on the daca program for immigration, what is your plan? do you plan to continue that program, or to end it? >> we're going to show great heart. we are going to deal with daca with heart. i have to deal with a lot of politicians, don't forget. and i have to convince them that what i'm saying is right. >> we have yet to hear from a prominent republican over the past few hours encouraging the president to end daca. quite the contrary. we've heard from a number of republican leaders urging the president not to touch the program. which is the bigger political risk for him at this point,
ending it or not? >> the bigger political risk is probably ending it. mainly because there are republicans that are supportive of daca. it's a program that really is aimed at young children, aimed at people who are supposed to be in some ways the best parts of the immigration system. the future of the immigration system. but i will say that i think that it's going to be even harder, because now you have houston and this tragedy kind of happening, and people so scared to go to shelters because they're scared of the immigration status. so to end daca, i think would be a real big problem. but i've been talking to democrats on the hill who say they're really scared the president is going to use daca as a way to somehow get funding for the border wall, and democrats have a very hard line no on that. they are not going to give him funding for the border wall, even if it entails having to deal with daca and the ending of that program. so i've been in some ways surprised in my conversations with democrats who tell me that is just not something they're going to do. it's a deal-breaker for them and the wall is not something they want to get behind at all.
>> ashley, you've co written a piece in "the post" today, a piece that appears to have gotten a response from president trump. it details the tension between the president and some of his top aides, in particular his new chief of staff, general john kelly. quote, trump loyalists, dubbed kelly "the church lady," because they consider him strict and morally superior. you go on to write, the president continues to call business friends and outside advisers, including steve bannon from his personal phone when kelly is not around. the president tweeting a short time ago, what appears to be a response. this is from a few hours ago. quote, general john kelly is doing a great job as chief of staff. i could not be happier or more impressed. and this administration continues to get things done at a record clip. many big decisions to be made over the coming days and weeks. america first. what else did your reporting uncover, ashley? >> well, a couple things. first i have to say, i think the
president's tweet this morning, which we also felt seemed to be in response to our story, is in line with what we understand. the president likes general kelly personally. he even does think he's doing a good job as chief of staff, and that is echoed largely throughout the west wing. it's just that the president, and again, this is not something against general kelly personally, is chafing against a more disciplined management style. the general came in, said he wasn't going to try to control the president. he was going to try to control the processes around the president. and that's what he's done. but the president does sort of miss the oval office, for instance, used to be this sort of social hub of gossip, where he could pull in aides to kind of chat, see what was going on. friends could stop by. that has stopped. people agree that is good for the president. his time shouldn't be wasted that way. but it's something we're hearing the president is kind of chafing against, the way he can't always see his old friends or get all the information he wants instantly. >> we'll have to leave it there. ashley parker, michael schmidt had to depart. a big thanks to all of you. enjoy the holiday weekend.
>> thank you. a new estimate says about 70% of flood loss in texas and louisiana hit homes that were not insured. all told, research form core logic puts the amount of uninsured home loss at somewhere between 18 and $27 billion. this is a live look there. houston, texas. another one of these rescues under way in houston. again, here we are, seven days after the storm hit. and, again, another boat coming ashore, if you will, with some folks inside. i'm joined now by republican congressman, john culverson. congressman culberson's district actually includes parts of texas. thank you for your time. i know you have spent some time recently in some of the flooded neighborhoods in your district. what have you seen firsthand? >> we have tens of thousands of
homes still under water in west houston. there's still a few people in their homes. this is an unprecedented disaster that is bringing together people from all over texas and louisiana to help each other. it's a catastrophic storm. the -- however, the longest lines we have seen in the houston area are volunteers who want to help. we had a convoy of louisianans coming in a couple days ago on their own who loaded up their boats and their trucks. we had 110 trucks and 100 boats loaded with food, water, red beans and rice, jam balleta. they call themselves the cajun navy and stormed into houston in the middle of a storm to help evacuate friends and neighbors. we had a guy with a boat from michigan in the neighborhood where i was yesterday. i was out in the fleetwood subdivision helping to pull people and property of their homes. and there was a guy from michigan there who had brought his boat all the way from michigan.
we're immensely grateful to all americans for all of the help they have sent us. >> you were the only republican in texas to vote for the $50 billion bill after hurricane sandy. why did you do that when so many of your republican colleagues did not? >> well, for myself, i know the -- i know how horrible these storms are. i just know how catastrophic it is. you sink your entire life savings in your home, and all of a sudden it's flooded in and it's lost. it's all gone. i had a guy's great grandmother's clock float out his door when we dropped him at his house yesterday. so there will be no republicans, no democrats in this upcoming debate. all of us will be working together arm in arm, to heal the wounds caused by the damage of this storm, and the first emergency appropriations bill. i serve on the appropriations committee. i'll be right there alongside chairman rodney freelinghighsen,
whose district was devastated by sandy and making sure that the people of texas and louisiana get financial help from the federal government as fast as humanly poll. there will be no republicans or democrats in this debate. >> this is not going to turn into one of those partisan fights there in washington, d.c., that we have all come to expect and loathe. >> no, we're all americans. we help each other. texans are very self-reliant. but we need the help of the federal government to help repair the damage to these homes, and then to help repair our flood control infrastructure out here in houston. you know, we're the -- it's the largest petro chemical refining capacity in the united states. port arthur is where most of the aviation fuel moves through. we've got to protect this area for the people who live here and for the safety and security of the nation. >> congressman, in the past few minutes, there's been some news made on daca. perhaps you've heard. president trump says he's going to have a decision if not this afternoon, then certainly this
weekend. you'll recall back in february this president promised that his plan would show, quote, great heart. according to pew research, there are roughly 120,000 folks in texas covered by daca. second only to california. what would you advise president trump to do? >> well, first thing i want to be sure is i'm confident msnbc has reported that president trump made a $1 million personal donation. >> we have -- >> to the hurricane victims of harvey. have you guys reported that? >> we have been reporting it all morning. >> that's great. that's great. because we're all americans in this fight. we all of us respect the rule of law. it's vital that all of us in this nation work together to support our friends. and the best way to do that day-to-day is support the rule of law and make sure our laws are respected, our men and women in uniform, whether on the streets as police officers or in the military overseas, that we respect the flag and men and
women in uniform. and the president is simply following through on his promise to ensure that the laws of america are enforced and respected, and we honor all of our first responders and law enforcement officers. when the law is enforced and the streets are nice and quiet and safe, that's the best way to secure a good economy. >> congressman -- congressman -- >> do the right thing when it comes to these young people that have been here -- brought as children. i'm confident we're going to see some, you know, flexibility in that program. for kids that have contributed in a great way to the country, to society, to the military. there's always exceptions to the broad general rule when you pitch in and help your nation. >> so it sounds like, to be clear, just going back to my original question about what you would advise president trump to do with regards to daca, it sounds like you would advise him not to touch it? would that be your advice? is that safe to say? >> i think the president needs to -- his job is to enforce the
laws of the united states with equal protection and due process for all. that there is going to be exceptions and individuals who have, for example, served in our military who have put their lives on the line for this country. i think there's -- you'll see the president work out a way to provide exceptions, perhaps, for people who have contributed to society in other ways. you want to look to each individual family situation differently. that's what the courts are there for, to make sure that you're taking into account all of the various factors that are involved. is this, you know, a student exception. are these people making an exceptional contribution. you've got to turn left here -- oh, yeah, u-turn. i'm sorry. i'm a bit distracted. we got some extra harris county sheriff's officers here. i'm trying to get these guard troops deployed. i'm a bit distracted. we are all americans. there are no republicans, there are no democrats.
>> congressman, i agree with you wholeheartedly. although i think there are some who would argue that 1 million americans at the risk of being deported could also potentially be a bit of a catastrophe, as well. so forgive me for spending some time asking you about daca there at the end. but i appreciate your candor. >> i hope -- i would also encourage you to have anyone listening who is affected by the storm, go to disasterassistance.gov and make sure you register that the people -- fema knows that you lost property or lost your home or lost your car. so that they can -- we can get an accurate count for that emergency supplemental bill. and i really appreciate the attention that you paid to the people of houston in this disaster. >> absolutely. congressman thank you for your time and effort down there, as well. >> thank you very much. the aftermath of hurricane harvey causing some major ripple effects across this country, as well. will flooding of refineries in houston mean higher prices at
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gasoline prices are spiking all over the country, and it has everything to do with hurricane harvey battering the country's largest hubs for refining oil. nbc's tom costello is keeping a very close eye on prices and the effort to restore refineries in sections of pipeline that were knocked offline, especially as we head into this labor day weekend. tom, what have you found? >> reporter: i've got good news. let's begin with what the experts are saying about the total number of refineries down. it had been and still is about 25% of the nation's refineries down. by the end of the day, we are expecting that will improve to about 14% of the nation's refineries down. corpus christi refineries are, in fact, coming back up. that is good news. however, port arthur refineries could be down for weeks in the view of analysts. the damage there was so significant. we talked about that colonial pipeline you may recall, craig, that runs from houston all the
way, meandering through the southern part of the united states, and up to the new york area. what they're now saying is that, in fact, it is only closed in texas. they have now opened it from the louisiana state line all the way up to new jersey. so that is very good news, indeed. but, of course, if you don't have oil to put in that pipeline, that's a problem. and that is why it's critical that those refineries get back up and running. so they need to get all those refineries opened up. in addition, they've got to clean up the port of houston, because of all of the debris in there. so all of that has to happen in short order for there to be a lot more oil flowing through that pipeline. gas prices, we're now seeing the national average at $2.53 a gallon. note, i say that's the asnation average, because in various cities, it's going to be higher. by the way, that's up 18 cents in a week. we jumped 18 cents in a week on the national average. some areas more than that. anecdotally i've heard in atlanta up 60 cents in a day. those are just an he can he can
dotial stories. we are expecting from the analysts another 15 to 35-cent jump at the pump nationwide over the next week or so. but the quicker those refineries get back up online, the faster we'll see those pump prices stabilize. craig? >> tom costello with some good news there. thank you. the rebuild in texas after hurricane harvey is likely to take a page from the rebuild in louisiana after hurricane katrina. analyzing what did and what did not work. i'm joined now via skype by republican congressman, garrett graves, of louisiana. again, the congressman obviously has some sort of ataffement tac lsu. we'll get to that. two house committees concerned with flood control and hurricane prevention. congressman, one of the first questions that comes up after harvey or katrina is how do we protect against the next one? what has worked, and what has not, in your experience dealing with the aftermath of katrina?
>> you know, look, there is this backwards approach the federal government has taken for decades now where we have this policy of spending billions of dollars after a disaster, rather than spending millions on the front end. i'm not going to sit here and tell you that the flooding from hurricane harvey was preventible or the flooding from hurricane katrina was preventible. but i will say i think much of the flooding disaster i think our nation has experience in the last several years was preventible by making the right principled investments in the right projects. we have done that since hurricane katrina in a majority of areas of south louisiana, and part of texas and recovery needs to include a resiliency component. >> projects like what? in what areas specifically should the federal government be investing in billions of dollars perhaps to prevent some of the damage we're seeing right now on our screens? >> yeah, so everything from building traditional protection features like levees and flood walls and pump stations to even using some other tools that
traditionally aren't viewed as being important components. and that's like using your natural environment. restoring dunes, restoring barrier islands, restoring beach areas. protecting national -- excuse me, coastal forests that play a role in tempering storm surge and breaking wind strength as it comes ashore. all those things are really important. and even elevating homes and using building standards. there are so many other tools in the tool box that i don't think most people fully appreciate that can and should be used, not just in protecting, but also whenever you are rebuilding like we are now in texas and louisiana. >> you have been somewhat critical of the role that the army corps of engineers played in the aftermath of katrina. why? >> the corps of engineers is one of the most inefficient organizations i've ever worked with. they have projects that have taken decades and decades to progress with very little to show for it. they spend way too much money on planned development, and not enough money actually turning dirt. when you have the urgency of
situations like protecting major metropolitan areas, this is something we should be doing in years and not measuring in decades to get projects in resilience in some of these communities achieved. >> congressman garrett graves of louisiana, thank you for your time. >> thank you. i think we're going to go back to the white house here. president trump talking about the relief effort there in texas. the same relief effort we were just talking about there with congressman graves. again, president trump set to head to texas again tomorrow. this will be the second time he's been there. let's take a listen. >> thank you very much. thank you, gail. thank you very much. great job. great job. thank you all very much. >> thank you. >> do you think daca is illegal? >> thank you very much. >> thank you. thank you, everyone! >> we'll be releasing on daca sometime over the weekend. probably sunday, saturday. latest will be monday.
>> thanks, everyone! >> great feeling for daca. >> do you think it's illegal? >> excuse me? >> do you think daca is illegal? >> thank you. >> we'll be making a request. absolutely. >> thank you, everyone! >> for the state of texas, yes. and louisiana. and tomorrow i'm going to louisiana with the first lady and texas. it will be texas, louisiana. okay? thank you. >> thank you. thank you, everybody. there you saw it again. president trump there flanked by first lady muelania trump. the president indicated there might be a decision released this afternoon and then it became this weekend. and now president trump saying perhaps even as late as monday. but, again, it would seem as if the president has made up his
mind. we will likely find out what's in that mind over the next few days as it relates to daca but spend some time talking about the relief effort there. said he's going to texas. also said he's going to louisiana, as well. and went on to thank the vice president for his effort there in texas earlier this week. more on that coming up here on msnbc throughout the course of the afternoon. meanwhile, houston residents returning to their homes -- returning very much to an uncertain future. poor and minority residents of that area will likely face extreme difficulties in returning their lives back to normal. houston's population, 50% white, 44% latino. nearly 24% black. and the atlantic reports this. within cities, poor communities of color often live in segregated neighborhoods that are most vulnerable to flooding, or near petro chemical plants of superfund sites that can overflow during the storm. this is especially true for
houston. i want to bring in fellow at m.i.t., member of the super storm research lab, and ladies, a big thanks to both of you for being with me on this friday afternoon. liz, i know you studied the impact of superstorm sandy on various communities. what did you find about who bore the brunt of the impact? >> yes, so exactly what you said. with disasters like these, you can think of them as sudden events. but they reveal everyday conditions. so they reveal existing inequalities. they exacerbate existing inequalities, and they show ongoing crises. so after sandy, you saw unequal impacts from the initial evacuation stage through the immediate impacts of the storm and the longer-term recovery, which is still ongoing today. >> tracy, you wrote about the disproportionate impact on lower-income people. you outlined several factors, poor quality house,
environmental factors, economic instability, immigration status and neglect during rebuilding. let's start with environmental factors. how do they play into the impact on minority and poor communities? >> play? >> as you already mentioned in previous segments that houston is a huge source of the energy and pet row chemicals that we have in this country. because of historical sightings of neighborhoods. you have a majority of latino and african-american families living right near these chemical sights. >> these people have been absolutely incredible in what they have done. i would like to thank them and their staff for the incredible work they're doing helping people affected by hurricane
harvey. it sounds innocent, but it is not innocent. it is epic proportion. the unbreakable spirit of the learn people, mike pents was there and represented the country so well in the love and care and i had so many just great comments about the visits, i appreciate it. when a disaster strikes, we like to help others in their time of need, they provided tens of thousands of displaced gulf coast families with food and clean clothing and shelter. we all suffer.
by the unbreakable bonds of love and loyalty that we have for one another. it there is a great love and loyalty in this country, maybe more than we have seen in the last four days. nowhere is our unity more evident than our chartable organizations that rally to our neighbors hearing aid when disaster strikes. the people of texas and louisiana were hit very hard by historic floods and they taught us all a very powerful lesson. there was no outbreak of crime, it was a outbreak of compassion only. >> and they really inspired us as a nation . to be honest, they inspired a world because the world is watching. we got a update on the work of the red cross salvation army and
the southern baptist disaster relief. the federal government is on the ground bringing in significant resources to bear, and i want to assure these organizations and the others involved that we will continue to coordinate with them and bring the relief, the comfort, and everything else that we absolutely can to the gulf coast. i alsoment to thank the governor, the lieutenant government of texas, they have been outstanding. the coordination and level of the relationship that has been, i think unprecedented. i just want to thank them and all of the folks on the hotel for the administration. thank you very much, we appreciate it. every machinery heart is with the people of texas and louisiana. they have really overcome and we're in the process of just about being able to say overcome
this horrible devastation. but the coast guard, in particular, we have to also thank. they saved thousands of lives, going on to do where many people would not want to be doing. together we will help them all recover from this tragedy where we will renew our hope and communities and rebuild in businesses, schools, and places or worship with a strength that comes bigger from the love in our souls. and i just signed a proclamation for prayer, pel have a prayer on sunday. that was very special. i think that will be something to see and witness. our country deserves it, frankly. i want to thank my wife, melania
who has been so involved in this and so great. >> it is great to be here with the amazing people. i want to thank all of the volunteers all across the country that came to help to texas. fantastic job. we're going tomorrow to visit them and i just want to tell them to be strong, and everything will be okay in the end. >> i didn't tell her i was going to do that, stevie, and she did a great job. but she really has, she has been so dedicated to this, it very much affected her. what has happened in text and neighboring states, frankly. so i want to thank you, first lady, thank you. the salvation army? >> yes, fist of all we're very
apre appreciative of this opportunity. we're working hand in hand with groups like the red cross that provide shelter for people and able to provide meals and even though we're limited in being able to get in to a lot of impact impacted area, we served hundreds of thousands of meals and many more will be served. as i told my coworkers, this is a time when we're all texans. we're all about serving americans in need. i would like to thank you, mr. president, the red cross, the baptist, and all of the other allegatio agencies that partner with us. >> southern baptist? >> we're three organizations but we work best as one. we really do lock arms and have a capacity to feed over 400,000
people a day. thank you for fema, they have been incredible through this. they have done a fantastic job letting us prepare in the way we need to. >> i think we should thank brock long and all of the people at fema, and general kelly who has been so involved. he just left, but his spirit and everything getting involved. it's been about two weeks since we felt it would hit that area, but they have done a fantastic job. so i thank all of our folks. tell me, red cross, how are we doing? >> first of all, our hearts go out to the people of texas, so
many people have lost everything. i visited a shelter outside of austin that housed about 200 people. i spoke to all of the families, a 6 month old baby to a 6'8" man. you heard stories of heartbreak and heartache, but what i have seen is the incredible resiliency of the american people. they are bound to come back. there is about 40,000 people in shelters, volunteers are pouring in to give them comfort and hope. we served about 900,000 meals and snacks. our partners are there, getting
hot hot meals into our hands so we can serve them. we were giving dump trucks to get vehicles in, we got water vehicles to bring needed supplies. i'm appreciative of the team work and your support. again our hearts go out to the people of texas. it is tremendous. would you like to say something i? >> just having just returned from southeast tekds yesterday, we heard the resill yen, the character, the faith of the
people and these communities. for the administration's support, for your admiration for first responders for fema down to local leadership and for the volunteer organizations that have been there from the out set of this storm. thank you for taking the opportunity to call tension to the salvation army. but anyone looking on should know that while the federal government is going to be there, we'll be seeking resources from the congress to make sure the disaster relief is available for businesses. the work of meeting people and needs will take all of us. and these volunteer organizations these resources, people, and i would just add