tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC August 25, 2017 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
there is breaking news as we come on the air. there it is. a monster hurricane bearing down on texas where millions are bracing for a natural disaster. what could be the most powerful storm to hit the u.s. in a dozen years. and major population centers are in the danger zone. tonight, emergency evacuations and last-minute preparations with the time running out. our team is in place. we have all of it covered for you. "nightly news" begins right now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. and thank you for being here. a perilous night awaits those who have ignored evacuation orders near corpus christi, texas.
[000:00:58;00] most powerful to hit the u.s. in a decade, has ballooned into a major category 3 hurricane and is just hours now away from hitting the gulf coast. winds already in excess of 120 miles per hour and a storm surge up to 12 feet is predicted. officials right now using words like "life threatening" and "catastrophic" to describe the flooding anticipated in southern texas. rainfall totals expected to rise as high as 3 feet from a storm system that will practically hover in place for days to come. our correspondents and crews are deployed across the region. we start with nbc's gabe gutierrez in corpus christi. hi, gabe. >> reporter: lester, good evening. the wind and the rain is intensifying, and high tide is fast approaching. more than 30,000 homes and businesses are already without power, and it's not clear exactly how many people heeded that dire warning to evacuate.
tonight, a stubborn, meandering and 3, is lashing the texas coast about to make landfall as the strongest storm to hit this state in nearly half a century. >> i think it's going to be really bad. my whole street's probably going to be extremely flooded, under water. >> reporter: winds up to 125 miles an hour, life-threatening storm surge up to 12 feet and torrential rain for days, as much as 3 feet in some areas. population centers further inland, such as houston, are braying for historic flooding. >> a lot of people are going to go a long time without access to basic necessities, without access perhaps to water, power, food. >> reporter: in parts of the gulf, there's a run on supplies, gas and patience. at this evacuation center, more than 700 people scrambled to board buses from corpus christi to san antonio. among them ashley williams frantically
trying to get her 6-weld floods, i mean, they're material things. we can always get that back, but i'm not willing to risk my child's life. >> reporter: in port lavaca yolanda morales rushed to get out with her husband on dialysis. >> i'm scared. >> reporter: some low-lying areas under mandatory evacuation orders. not everyone's leaving. >> we just don't want to leave our houses. we just want to stay here. >> reporter: but harvey is massive. these eye-popping images from the international space station. in the gulf, oil companies shut down production so experts now say gas could spike 10 to 20 cents. the galveston ship channel also shut down, causing an offshore traffic jam. fears of flooding stretching from texas to louisiana where new orleans' 14 drainage pumps aren't working. >> there's a no place for complacency when you have a monster storm in the gulf of mexico. and the people here know that. you have to stay vigilant. >> reporter: for those in harvey's path, time
is running out before landfall. long night. about 700 members of the texas national guard are on alert. lester? >> all right, gabe gutierrez, hang in there. we've got meteorologist dylan dreyer now to give us a little more of the tracking. it looks like there's no dodging this bullet. the question is where does it hit? >> exactly. it is going to hit just to the east of corpus christi, texas, on the northeast side of the storm, that's where you have your strongest winds. that's where we have tornado watches in effect right now. look at the defined eye of the category 3 storm. winds are up to 125 miles per hour. it's 50 miles east-southeast of corpus christi. it's moving west at 10 miles per hour. i'd say another five hours before it makes landfall but still maintains its strength as a category 3 storm. this is where it gets interesting. it doesn't weaken to a tropical storm until saturday afternoon, then it maintains that strength all the way through at least the middle of next week. look at houston by wednesday at 1:00 p.m., still with winds at 40 miles per hour. that's why we're going to see so much rain because the storm is
going nowhere fast. we'll see a widespread rain but we could see isolated amounts up to 40 miles per hour. so this red area here, that's how far out the hurricane force winds extend from the center of the storm. it's about 35 miles. then the tropical storm force winds, that's in the yellow, even extend as far inland as san antonio. >> we're so used to these things marching ashore and disintegrating. it just hangs in there. >> because there's no steering mechanism to push it out. until you get that, it will sit there and meander. >> dylan dreyer, we'll get an update from you later in the broadcast. thank you. the danger from this storm extends far inland from the coast, as dylan pointed out, to major and highly populated centers like houston where this system could stall out for several days producing a potentially devastating amount of rainfall and flooding. nbc's jacob rascon is there for us. jacob, houston is no stranger to floods, but they have rarely seen anything like what we're talking about here. >> reporter: lester, if the forecast holds and houston gets more than 20 inches of rain, the bayous and
creeks will overflow flooding areas like freeways, businesses and more. local officials have preemptively declared a disaster. before harvey slams into the nation's fourth-largest city, homeowners scramble to save their homes by lifting them. >> threw all our crews at this and hope to brings and get it done before it hit. >> reporter: and you're going to make it. >> definitely. >> reporter: the scheffmans' house elevated just in time. >> just an amazing feeling. >> reporter: while others are heartbroken. >> we are about ten days away from being lifted. it will be our third flood in three years. i'm not sure how we'll get through this one. >> we're geared up and ready to go. >> reporter: the threat level is as high as it gets at the harris county office of emergency management. >> but we can monitor everything. if i do call for an evacuation, then i can monitor traffic all the way to dallas, all the way to san antonio, all the way to austin.
are simply preparing for the >> jacob rascon tonight, thank you. to the southeast of houston, sitting right on the coastline is galveston where the last hurricane to make landfall in texas, hurricane ike, slammed ashore in 2008. that's where we find nbc's joe fryer. joe, what are you seeing there this evening? >> reporter: lester, throughout the day today, we've experienced powerful winds and blinding sheets of rain. as if that weren't enough, tornado warnings have been issued with calls for people to immediately take shelter. beyond that, the big fear here is the flooding. it's not just supposed to rain heavily for a few hours. it's supposed to do this for a few days. some here have already decided to voluntarily evacuate. others are sticking around, shuttering their homes, stocking up on water, getting ready to wait it out and see just how bad the flooding gets. one business put up a greeting that reads open until the letters fall off this sign. they've been through this before here.
nine years ago the devastated by hurricane ike. some businesses on the coast were destroyed and had to rebuild. many low-lying neighborhoods saw record flooding. the mayor says by leaps and bounds they're better prepared today than they were nine years ago. they're going to need every bit of that preparation. lester? >> joe fryer tonight for us, thank you. as we mention, urgent evacuations are being carried out ahead of hurricane harvey's landfall. a number of hospital patients have been moved including several newborns just days old who were airlifted out of the storm zone entirely. nbc medical correspondent dr. john torres is in corpus christi to tell us more about that. >> reporter: for guadalupe garcia, dialysis is the difference between life and death. >> i have no kidneys. my kidneys are shot. >> reporter: so his last stop before evacuating was this dialysis center in corpus christi, where machines do the work of his kidneys. so if all this shut down and you weren't able to get dialysis for days, that could be life threatening? >> yes, it could be.
>> reporter: but with a threat from these centers must close, leaving hundreds of patients at risk. >> we've handed out the patient emergency packets that has all their information so that way if they decide to evacuate, they can go to a dialysis center at another town or city. >> we want to make sure that people are locating in a facility in which they can receive care without the impact of the hurricane. >> reporter: dozens of critical patients have been evacuated from hospitals including at least ten newborns from a neonatal intensive care unit, flown to north texas on planes with specialized medical equipment. >> the life-saving ventilators would not be able to be maintained without electricity. >> reporter: despite the threat, some have decided to ride out the storm. midwife beth overton from the corpus christi birth center, says she has one mother who is overdue and hasn't evacuated yet. >> i'm here for a reason, yeah. i think there's a smart, safe way to stay, if you have to stay.
>> reporter: overton is stocked with supplies, prepared get to the birth center safely. if not -- >> i've delivered babies by phone before. >> reporter: protecting the most vulnerable as hurricane harvey approaches. dr. john torres, nbc news, corpus christi. we continue that president trump is spending the weekend at camp david where he'll be receiving updates on the storm. it is the first major test for the president and his team of how they'll respond to a potential natural disaster. our white house correspondent kristin welker is with us. what are you hearing from the administration about a federal response? >> reporter: president trump is tweeting about it tonight. i am closely watching the path and doings of hurricane harvey. be safe. top officials briefed mr. trump today including his homeland security adviser who told reporters the federal government is coordinating with state and local officials. tonight one top republican is urging the president to heed the lessons of former president george w. bush who was criticized for being slow to respond to
hurricane katrina. officials here say president is up to the task and say he's planning to visit texas early next week. >> as he monitors the latest on the hurricane, i know he's also facing a storm of a different kind in washington. criticism from a top member of the west wing team. what can you tell us about that? >> reporter: that's right. his economic adviser gary cohn is opening up for the first time about the president's response to charlottesville, telling the "financial times" he was under pressure to leave his job but ultimately decided to stay. tonight, the president's top economic adviser, gary cohn, a jewish american, breaking with the president over his charlottesville response. cohn telling "the financial times," the administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups and doing everything we can to heal the deep divisions that exist in our communities. this after the president seemed to equate white supremacists and neo-nazis with
counterprotesters. >> very fine people on close to cohn tells nbc news he even drafted a letter of resignation but never submitted it. cohn describing his distress over the matter, but says he ultimately decided, i will not allow neo-nazis ranting, jews will not replace us, to cause this jew to leave his job. the white house trying to lower the temperature. >> gary's not held back how he feels about the situation. he's been very open and honest. so i don't think that anyone was surprised by the comments. >> reporter: the president also expanding his roster of targets today in his own party, taking aim at longtime ally senator bob corker for his post-charlottesville criticism. >> the president has not yet been able to demonstration the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful. >> reporter: the president tweeting, strange statement by bob corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in '18.
tennessee not happy. earlier this week, the president slammed the [000:13:59;00] >> when you're constantly engaged in circular firing squads, it's impossible to ever line up your troops and march forward with any sort of policy agenda. >> reporter: now also tonight the white house announcing the defense secretary will have six months to devise a plan for the military transgender ban. it will include a halt on sex reassignment treatments except where medically necessary. but the white house couldn't say whether those currently serving will be allowed to stay. >> kristen welker at the white house this evening, thanks. let's turn overseas now. police telling nbc news that an attack on soldiers in brussels is being investigated as an act of terror after authorities say a man with a knife carried out an assault on the street. let's get more on this from nbc's keir simmons. >> reporter: on the ground and under arrest an assailant shot after launching a
knife attack on two soldiers, twice shouting allahu akbar according to a fer the area in the center of brussels cordoned off. one soldier suffering wounds to the face, another a hand injury. the 30-year-old attacker of somali descent, officials say, later died. just last year 32 people were slaughtered when isis bombed brussels airport and a subway station. so far tonight, no group has claimed responsibility for the latest brussels assault. belgian police say he did not have known terrorist connections. keir simmons, nbc news. still ahead tonight, worlds collide in the most anticipated fight of the year. our interview with conor mcgregor on his odds of shocking the world against floyd mayweather jr. also caught on camera, a daring jewelry heist. wait till you see how the thieves got inside. wait till you see how day 13. if only this were as easy as saving $600 when you switch to progressive. winds stirring. too treacherous for a selfie. [ camera shutter clicks ]
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in a once-daily pill. ask about xeljanz xr. we're back now with anticipation hitting a fever pitch for the boxing event of the year. tomorrow night in las vegas, mixed martial arts champion conor mcgregor will make his boxing debut against the undefeated floyd mayweather jr. mcgregor is considered a long shot, but he's blazed a path like few other athletes before him. he talks with our miguel almaguer about his incredible rags to big time riches story. ♪ >> reporter: boxing into history, conor mcgregor says he was born to fight in and out of the ring.
>> i come from a tough neighborhood full of great people, full of strong people. and it made me who i am >> reporter: growing up outside dublin, just five years ago mcgregor was living in government housing, a plumber bringing home $235 a month. tomorrow night in his boxing debut, he stands to pocket $100 million. how does somebody get to your level at this stage? >> true, true hard work. years and years of it. and a 24/7 self-defense mind-set. >> reporter: mcgregor literally fought his way out of poverty. >> the victorious -- >> reporter: in 2013, making his debut as an ultimate fighter, a mix of martial arts and boxing. his powerful punches and kicks breaking his opponents, earning him the respect of ireland. >> i reflect on all of my accomplishments i pay homage to, then i
carry on and continue to reach new heights. >> reporter: mcgregor's grit landed him a fight with floyd undefeated champion. the two have been verbally sparring for months. with the weight of his country on his back and his newborn son on his mind. >> they're going to learn never to deal with me again. >> reporter: conor mcgregor enters the ring as an underdog in this fight and in life. >> i just know i'm a hard working new man with a lot of confidence that's looking to shock the world. >> reporter: tomorrow mcgregor takes his shot at the title, and to many he is already the champion. miguel almaguer, nbc news, las vegas. there's a lot more to talk about as we continue. we're back in a moment with the wild surprise found inside a car stopped at the border. d inside stopped at the bor i needed something more to help control my type 2 diabetes. my a1c wasn't were it needed to be. so i liked when my doctor told me that i may reach my blood sugar and a1c goals by activating what's within me
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next several hours. it is still, as we mentioned earlier, a category 3 storm. winds up to 125 miles per hour. it's expected to make landfall between, i'd say, between 9:00 p.m. to midnight tonight as a strong category 3 storm, making it a major hurricane. then we're going to be concerned with the flooding potential and the winds as they push inland. watch as this storm continues to meander around and moves back across eastern texas. that's why we could see some areas reporting about 40 inches of rain. now we're also concerned about coastal flooding with the storm surge. we can see a storm surge as high as 6 to 12 feet, and even though the storm is going to make landfall around the time of low tide, this still could affect high tide by the time we get into saturday morning. lester? >> all right, dylan, thank you. we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news" for this friday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for
[music playing] narrator: this is "clear the shelters." lters." i'm beth stern. and i'm katie lee. and today, we're going to share some sweet and inspiring stories of adoption that are sure to warm your heart. we'll also be sitting down with some of our favorite celebrities and the shelter pets that have changed their lives forever. katie lee: plus a success story two years in the making-- how the first annual clear the shelters helped this dog and pet owner find a second chance at happiness. we, too, have had our lives changed by adopting shelter animals. meet gus. with the help of the north shore animal league america, this adorable little chihuahua-pomeranian mix has brought nothing but puppy love into my life. beth stern: and these are my beloved kitties. as a proud parent to walter, leon bear, charlie boy, bella, yoda, and sophia, i know all about how adopting a pet can totally transform your home for the better. for the third year in a row, nbc and telemundo celebrated