tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC September 11, 2017 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
tonight, a massive multi-state emergency as irma's wrath rolls up the eastern seaboard. a new flood disaster ongoing from jacksonville to charleston. and in florida, over 7 million without power. many could be knocked out for weeks. tonight, our first look at the scope of devastation in the keys, as a state dependent on tourism races to get damaged airports back open. bannon unleashed. in his first major interview, the ex-trump aide unloads, raising eyebrows over what he says was maybe the biggest political mistake in modern history. massive breach fallout affecting nearly every family in america. tonight the steps to take now to protect your identity and your credit for years to come. and a somber day
of remembrance 16 years after 9/11. "nightly news" begins right now. this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt reporting tonight from sarasota, florida. good evening. all of florida and now beyond is dealing with the aftermath of what was hurricane irma. tonight, there are unlikely stories of communities spared at the last minute as others faced unexpected peril at irma's march up the state. two people have died since irma's u.s. landfall yesterday. and right now over 7 million customers are without power. tonight u.s. navy warships are joining search and rescue operations in the hard-hit florida keys. while floodwaters have inundated parts of jacksonville in the northern part of the state. and now georgia and south carolina are also feeling what's left of irma's wrath. our team remains fanned out across the hurricane zone. we want to start with
dylan dreyer. >> reporter: tonight, a weakened but still destructive irma continues wreaking havoc in the southeast. strong winds and heavy rain bringing unprecedented flooding to jacksonville today. >> it's a little stunning, you know, it's jaw dropping. >> reporter: as water rushes into the streets, now unrecognizable. >> this is potentially a week-long event with water and the tides coming and going. >> reporter: city officials are warning residents to evacuate if they haven't already. >> put a white flag or something that represents a white flag. we need to get you out. >> reporter: rescue teams ready to deploy. focusing on areas around the st. johns river which runs south to north. that means all the rain that fell south of jacksonville was pushed up by the winds. it's the ultimate trifecta for historic flooding here. more than 10 inches of rain, a record breaking storm surge, and these strong winds
[000:02:59;00] st. johns river. florida felt the brunt of irma's wrath yesterday with torrential rain and punishing winds. more than 7 million in florida lost power, one of the largest weather-related outages in u.s. history. that could last for weeks. >> it is a magnitude that we just haven't seen before. >> reporter: throughout the state people are beginning to pick up the pieces from the storm. at least 200,000 floridians were crammed into more than 500 emergency shelters. many returning home. >> this is the first time in 70 years that i have had something like that happen. >> reporter: in miami today, standstill traffic. emergency crews were also out assessing the damage. in the everglades countless homes are under water. >> it was water coming through like second floor, and we had buckets picking up the
water, you towels and it was pretty intense. >> reporter: today hundreds surveyed the destruction in naples where widespread flooding is still an issue. >> we've been through a couple hurricanes before but nothing like this. >> reporter: now, the focus is turning to georgia and south carolina where in charleston -- >> this is what we came home to. >> reporter: -- rescuers are already going door to door in neighborhoods ravaged by the storm. now, it's a slow process, but this water will continue to recede as irma pulls away. let's take a look at the latest. it is a tropical storm right now, but it will weaken to a depression tomorrow bringing a few inches of rain and much less wind to parts of the south. lester? >> dylan dreyer, thank you. tonight, we're getting our first broad look at the massive devastation at the florida keys, walloped by a direct hit by irma as a category 4 hurricane. the military has been called in to help with relief efforts as many places are still very difficult to reach and
th our national correspondent miguel almaguer is there. >> reporter: this is one of our very first looks at some of the damage, and it really does stretch neighborhood to neighborhood, homes in the water, boats in the water. tonight, this is the way in to the hardest-hit islands in the keys. irma's path of destruction obliterating homes, swamping neighborhoods and likely taking lives. >> it looks like a nuclear bomb went off. >> reporter: brian holly rode out the storm among the 10,000 who refused to leave. >> it will take months, maybe years to get this cleaned up. >> reporter: irma made landfall here sunday. her eye swirling right across the keys. packing 130-mile-per-hour winds, waves up to 15 feet high. with such widespread damage below, some of the keys are only accessible by air. there's so much debris in the ocean even
reaching this location by boat can be dangerous. tonight, the national guard deploying search and rescue missions into the keys. local officials say a humanitarian crisis is looming in the lower islands. big pine and cudjoe keys among those hardest hit. no water, no food, no phones. >> there's a lot of shenanigans going on here. >> they need fresh water. they need gas. mostly they just need manpower to get clear passage through their yards. >> reporter: it's not just homes damaged across the keys. so is vital infrastructure. roads and bridges. repairs could take weeks, even months. irma hitting with fury, and now it's left a sea of destruction. tonight, u.s. 1, the iconic road to enter the keys, is only open to emergency personnel. water could be shut off the island for several days. meantime, three u.s. navy warships are positioned off sea prepared to offer search and rescue
teams when needed. lester? >> all right, miguel almaguer, thank you. throughout the state of florida from beach towns and hotels to theme parks and arts, the race is on to get a state so dependent on tourism back up and running. it's a deep economic impact in the tens of billions. and we get more on that end of the story from miami international airport and our business correspondent jo ling kent. >> reporter: tonight the bill for irma is adding up fast into the billions. air travel is paralyzed. the skies over florida empty. miami international was hit with flooding, roof damage, some gates unusable. >> you have some areas where you literally have a pond or a small lake. it's nothing that can't be fixed. it's just going to take some time and we have to work around it. >> reporter: flight aware says more than 14,000 flights have been canceled in florida and the caribbean in the last 12 days since irma got moving. today she drenched atlanta turning the busiest airport in the world into a ghost town. >> we were supposed to fly out today at 7:30, but it was canceled. >> reporter: nearby in their operations
center, delta get flights back in the air. florida wants tourists to return quickly to deserted beaches and fill up abandoned hotels and shops and restaurants that power the economy. insurance losses from irma, including homes, businesses and vehicles, are estimated to cost between 20 and $40 billion. jim durhan is picking up the pieces of his 65-room hotel in ft. lauderdale. >> it gets very emotional. i broke down a couple times. just i've been doing this 17 years. every day this area is closed it's millions of dollars. >> reporter: as evacuees return to assess the damage, a harsh reality. only 42% of homes in florida's coastal counties have flood insurance. >> when something has a low probability of happening, people think it will never happen. but if it rains where you live, it can flood where you live. >> reporter: florida is also the second largest produce grower in the u.s. the price of fresh fruits and vegetables could rise as the waters recede. here at miami
international airport, officials tell us this airport is slated to reopen some time tomorrow afternoon. ft. lauderdale is scheduled to reopen early tomorrow. lester? >> jo ling kent in miami, thanks. and before making landfall in florida, irma slashed through the caribbean, devastating a number of islands, including the u.s. virgin islands. relief is arriving to the region, but many there remain in desperate need of help. nbc's ron mott has more on that now from san juan. >> reporter: the usually lush, green u.s. virgin islands are a lifeless dull brown tonight. paradise torn apart by irma. many homes damaged or destroyed. looting and burglaries reported. american service members arriving to help clean up. >> it's still a mess. home invasions have been high, armed robbery. that's a big concern. lots of people walking around with arms. >> reporter: brittany
gonzalez who evacuated to mississippi, worried about her >> it's not going to be the same st. john. and we don't know if it can even be our home again. >> reporter: further south on st. martin, the hurricane is said to have destroyed more than 90% of the island. american medical student mike thrasyavoulos shot this video of the damage where he lives, cars tossed around the parking lot. finally able to leave on an american military plane. tonight he's in puerto rico. >> there were plenty of times, you know, that night and also throughout the week where i really wondered, geez, you know, how is this going to end. >> reporter: now cruise ships are arriving to take others out. on barbuda, nearly 100% destroyed, tour operator craig ryan ferrying people off the island. families on nearby antigua taking strangers into their homes. >> these families have lost everything. you couldn't believe there was a town there before. it's surreal. >> reporter: officials say reconstruction in barbuda alone could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. billionaire richard branson today posting these images of destruction at his island home. branson already helping with the relief effort.
san juan is in key role tonight in the recovery efforts in the virgin islands. the airport here is open. supplies are being flown in, then ferried on a daily basis by the u.s. coast guard and others. lester? >> all right, ron mott tonight, thank you, ron. as president trump monitors irma's path of destruction, his former chief strategist steve bannon is busy making headlines of his own. in a rare interview, bannon sounded off on what he calls the president's biggest mistake and declared war on the gop establishment. let's get more from nbc news chief white house correspondent hallie jackson. >> reporter: steve bannon, moving from the shadows to the spotlight with the white house fielding a flurry of questions about the former chief strategist. >> anything beyond steve bannon. >> steve bannon. >> we may be answering more questions on steve bannon. >> reporter: it comes after his first interview since resigning, with "60 minutes." bannon blasting the president's decision to fire former fbi
director james comey. >> if james comey had not been fired, we >> you described the firing of james comey -- you're a student of history -- as the biggest mistake in political history. >> that would be probably -- that would probably be too bombastic even for me but maybe modern political history. >> the firing of james comey was the biggest mistake in modern political history. >> if you're saying that that's associated with me, then i'll leave it at that. >> reporter: today the white house responding. >> the president was right in firing director comey. >> reporter: now bannon, back at breitbart, is threatening to boost primary challengers to some sitting republicans, gearing up for what he calls war against the establishment. >> the republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election. >> reporter: the question now -- >> i'm a street fighter. that's what i am. >> reporter: -- how far that fight will go. hallie jackson, nbc news, the white house. as the emergency operations continue here in florida, from new york to
washington, to a field in western remembrance. hard to believe it's been 16 years since 9/11. families once again gathering to mourn and make sure we never forget. here's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: 16 years later, the names are read. >> ralph gerhardt. >> robert gerlich. >> reporter: family and friends gather in shanksville, pennsylvania. the military brass pay tribute outside the pentagon. >> we're gathered here today. >> reporter: today a new yorker reflected for the first time as president. >> the living, breathing soul of america wept with grief for every life taken on that day. >> reporter: even while coping with the hurricane's destruction, first responders stopped for a moment of silence in puerto rico and miami. across the country, the artifacts of the twin towers shared with cities large and small today have special meaning.
from grapevine, texas, california, freeport, maine, to the tiny town of rockville, minnesota. while once again courageous families reminded us of what they lost. >> my father, paul dario curioli. dad, this is brady. he's your first grandson. >> reporter: this year's anniversary, like those that came before it, making the same simple request. never forget. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. we'll take a break here, and there is much more still ahead tonight on irma's impact here in florida. also growing outrage over the cyber attack that may have exposed every adult in america. the steps to protect yourself, when we come back. the steps my friends think doing this at my age is scary. the steps i say not if you protect yourself. what is scary? pneumococcal pneumonia. it's a serious disease. my doctor said the risk is greater now that i'm over 50!
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tens technology for lower back pain relief. we're back now with the fallout from that massive security breach touching nearly every american family. an important consumer headline that, frankly, has gotten swamped by this storm. but with nearly half the u.s. population affected, tonight anger is growing, and there are steps you can take to protect yourself, not just now but for years to come. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: financial and cyber experts warn the equifax hack has the potential to haunt americans for decades, and every adult should assume their information was stolen. names, social security numbers, dobs, addresses, driver's license numbers and 200,000 credit cards.
>> it's really disconcerning just because equifax is trusted. >> reporter: across the country today frustration and anger at equifax's security lapse. >> i don't think there's any good excuse, and i think their response is poor. >> you don't know who you can trust, where you can use your information, your credit cards. >> reporter: amid a public backlash equifax said those who sign up for one year of credit monitoring and theft protection will not surrender their rights to sue. but the hack means we could all be at risk our whole lives. >> your name, address, social, date of birth, that information will never change. so it has perpetual value to a fraudster. so in five years the threat is not gone. in 10 years and 20 years the threat is not gone. >> reporter: tonight credit experts say every american should take immediate steps to safeguard their credit. sign up for fraud alerts from equifax and the other two credit agencies, experian and transunion. consider paying for an identity theft monitoring service. also set up fraud alerts on your bank and credit cards. consider freezing your credit report so only
companies you already do business with will have acc locked out, but you'll need to unfreeze it when you need a legitimate credit check. check your credit reports for suspicious activity. we're all entitled to one report every year from each of the three agencies. more on freezing your credit on our "nightly news" facebook page. lester? >> tom costello, thanks. up next here tonight we join the mayor here in sarasota as this community begins to survey the damage from irma. ota as this ♪ if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis,... ...isn't it time to let the real you shine through? maybe it's time for otezla (apremilast). otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable after just 4 months,... ...with reduced redness,... ...thickness, and scaliness of plaques. and the otezla prescribing information has... ...no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. otezla may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
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born and raised incian, dr. rrural virginia trained at johns hopkins. an army doctor who treated soldiers seriously wounded in the gulf war. eighteen years as volunteer medical director of a children's hospice. as lt. governor, he's fighting to expand healthcare in virginia. he'll get it done as governor. ralph northam: i'm ralph northam, and we need to provide access to affordable healthcare for all virginians, not take it away. one of hurricane irma's calling cards our backdrop tonight. hurricane irma confounded residents from one end of florida to the other with its feint to the atlantic coast before its swing to the west even its last-minute push inland. feared for its incredible power, in the end memories of irma will be shaped by twists of fate. this is about as bad as the damage gets in sarasota, and that's not bad as far as theo
peterson is concerned because his family was unhurt when the tree >> it could have went all the way through the house. >> reporter: today sarasota crews are clearing streets of mostly tree debris. mayor shelli freeland eddie feared that awake this morning to much worse. i've heard several mayors over the next several hours say pretty much the same thing -- we dodged a bullet. >> i feel that. this is a blessing. this is horrible, but it could have been much worse. >> you were expecting heavy flooding. >> we were expecting heavy flooding. we were expecting communities demolished. >> in a damaged neighborhood on sarasota's north side. >> if you have insurance, go ahead and file a claim. >> the mayor met residents and surveyed the damage from the weaker-than-expected storm. >> a homeowner doesn't care what the category is when there's a tree in their house. >> reporter: hurricane irma presented many faces to florida. devastating the keys, swallowing jacksonville with floods, while in many
gulf coast communities that had braced for a crippling hit, l siesta key, there was surprise as owners who evacuated ahead of the storm returned today to mostly minor damage. >> huge relief for us. >> reporter: around here at least they'll be talking for a long time about irma and what could have been. your house is still standing. >> yep. >> reporter: you're still standing. >> yeah. >> reporter: the family's good. >> we're good. >> up next from here in florida, the surprise for a family of evacuees that has them feeling awfully grateful tonight. them patrick woke up with back pain.
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6 is greater than 1 changes everything. finally tonight from florida, the story of a family who found they could run but they couldn't hide from the monster storm irma. tonight they have a whole lot to feel grateful for. nbc's joe fryer has their story. >> reporter: try as floridians might, there is no easy way to escape irma. just ask the ellinger family. we first met them friday as they scurried to protect their home in st. petersburg armed with the simplest of defenses. >> trying to prepare our house as best we can for a force that's greater than what we can handle. >> reporter: perched right on tampa bay, the odds of their home surviving the impending storm surge seemed slim.
>> i am feeling like i'm going to come back and my house is going to be gone. >> reporter: fearing the worst, the elegers fled to solid ground, or so they thought. their evacuation destination, a relative's house near jacksonville, which today was on the receiving end of irma's stormy wrath. the power where they're staying is out and a tree fell on their nephew's car, prompting neighbors to show up uninvited so they could help clean up the mess. >> it's been a roller coaster ride. >> reporter: but what about their home, the one they abandoned certain that it would be destroyed? well, it survived, spared by the storm. >> shocked and surprised but very happy. >> yeah, i mean, it makes all this little stuff insignificant. >> reporter: while they fail to escape irma's path, the elegers don't feel unlucky. >> we're here with our family. everybody is safe. our house is safe. and all of our neighbors are safe. >> reporter: which just might make them the luckiest folks around. joe fryer, nbc news,