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tv   The Nineties  CNN  August 25, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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this is cnn breaking news. our breaking news, a monster storm pounding the texas coast. this is "cnn tonight."
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i'm don lemon. hurricane harvey, one of the most powerful hurricanes in years make land fall in texas. the storm pounding the coast with winds, knocking down trees. power poles and signs with trurential rains deluging streets. the national weather service in houston warning parts of south sex s could be uninhabitable for weeks or months. the president signing a disaster pr proclamation for the state. our reporters are out tonight along the texas coast. martin savidge is in corpus christi, texas. martin, let's start with you. give us the latest. >> reporter: yeah, it may seem a bit like the storm has subsided here in corpus christi. it has not. if you were outside of that shield, you would still be
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getting just blasted by the wind now and inundated by the rain. it's just the level of disaster that now seems to be unfolding. about 63,000 people, last report we had in corpus christi at least without electricity. so that is going to be an ongoing problem for some time. there's also word there could be some contamination of the city's water supply. so they put a boiling warning in effect. and a short while ago on our position here, you can imagine this is why you don't go out in a storm like this when this stuff is in the air. it could be potentially lethal. and the other reports we're hearing is there could be damage in other areas like rockport. now a lot of that information
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coming by social media. you really can't get a true estimate until first responders and emergency teams get out there, and they're not going to get out there in the dark, not with the storms still raging. so you may hear reports, but none of expensive damage. that will probably have to wait until daylight. this storm may stay a hurricane for maybe 12 or 24 hours and then stay a heavy deluge of rain nex week. we haven't seen a storm like this and not inches of rain but feet of rain yet to come. don, it's going to be something really, really awful there. >> martin, be safe. we see stuff flying around you out there. please be careful. i want to bring in chad now with
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more. this hurricane made landfall already the last time we spoke to you. where is it heading? >> it is heading north over corpus christi and over that rockport area. again, i know we don't have anything confirmed. there's video out there. there i know those shooters of the video, and i know it's real. you eneed to get away from that video camera. get back inside. and the don't worry about taking pictures. rockport you got the middle of the eye. you've got one side and have now the other. couldn't be a worse possible situation here. the winds are 130 miles per hour. the storm has not died off because there's not much land there. the storm dies off when it hits land. there's just a lot of water still over corpus christi. so we're not truly over land
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yet. it will just meander. it's not going to move much tonight, and won't move anywhere tomorrow. model are completely confused as to where it goes. so we'll pick out one model and show you what happens here. here is the model of precip, and it's scary. the brown areas here across the area yellow and red and purple, those are probably still going to see about 5 to 150 inches of rain. but it's the white and the gray. if you get to white, that's 20. if you get to the gray, that's 30. 30 inches of rainfall out of texas. we could still be seeing heavy rainfall in new orleans. you know what happened last time they had heavy rainfall. it's still a big rainstorm and by far not over. in fact, for the most part, just starting. the damage is really getting
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going right now. take a deep breath, and it's onshore -- >> explain why this storm is so different. >> it's different, don, because the storm is very, very deep in pressure. it is a low pressure 29.70, 933 mill -- that means it's an inkrezably high pressure that has to eventually fill in to zero. and the model numbers i'm seeing from the european model tonight are very devastating. 50 inches of rain in seven days. that's more than you should get in the entire year. and even back towards houston, 22. there's nothing you can do with 22 except watch the water
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runoff. it is a storm that won't move. that's why we're going to get so much rain. you could get significant flooding in the hill country if this runs up the hill a little bit. zbha you've covered many, many hurricanes. you sound surprised by the numbers. >> you've never seen this before. i grew up living through what was hurricane agnes, a big storm up state new york, pennsylvania. all those areas right on through the river valley that just flooded for days because agnes stopped. this isn't even as big. it's going to sit there for five days and rain more than agnes did. let me stop for a second. that is the size of south carolina because texas is a big
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state. there is going to be 20 inches of rain or more in the same size of the state of south carolina. what do you do with that? it's not just going to runoff. i was in -- for the last devastating event they had, and that was 7 to 10 inches, and the water was everywhere in that city. no one escaped that flood. and this is twice or three times that. wow, painting the picture there for us. appreciate that, chad. i want to turn now to our breaking news tonight. we have lots to talk about. president trump pardons sheriff joe arpaio. cnn's alexander marquadjoins us now with the latest on this.
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amidst this category 4 hurricane the president pardons this controversial sheriff tonight. i am pleased to inform you i have just granted a full pardon to 85-year-old american patriot sheriff joe arpaio. he kept arizona safe. what's going on here? >> well, the president using this massive hurricane and storm that just made landfall to make several important and controversial announcements this one among them. the sheriff joe arpaio who was convicted of criminal contempt for refusing to racially stop profiling latinos. this was a guy on the campaign trail for president trump. he was a staunch surrogate. we kind of knew this pardon was coming. this was something he had telegraphed. we thought it would come as
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early as tuesday in phoenix. this is when the president does when he feels he's under attack. he runs to his base, holds these types of rallies and feeds off their energy. and to the crowd, and i was there, he floated this possibility of pardoning joe p arpaio. and he said i don't want to say anything tonight because he had started a new controversy in afghanistan. the department of justice, a spokesman coming out on the record tonight and saying the president exercised his lawful authority, and we respect his decision. in other words, the doj had absolutely no role in this. this was the first presidential pardon where and as we no, i haven't noted a very controversial one as that. >> the other big story sebastian
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gorka, he's out of a job. what do you know about that? >> we know he's out. they say he did not resign, basically meaning he was fired. he appeared a lot on tv defending president trump. he had the title of a senior counter terror advisor, but it's not clear exactly what he was. when you have general john kelly come in and become chief of staff and he started cleaning house, we knew sebastian gorka's head was on the chopping block. and then kelly started looking at the senior aide's portfolio's what they actually did, and that's one of the reasons bannon was dispassed. it wasn't exactly clear what he
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was doing. so once bannon was dismissed, we knew that sebastian gorka's days were numbered as well. so it's still somewhat unclear as to what exactly the terms of his departure were, whether he resigned or was actually fired. but we do know right now he is out of a job at the white house. >> thank you, alexander. when we come back much more on all our breaking news tonight. president trump pardons chafer arp yore. and hurricane harvey.
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out of big break bag news stories tonight as hurricane harvey pounds the texas coast president trump pardons controversial sheriff joe arpaio. joining me now -- i was going to say so glad you could join us late, but it's a fairly decent hour in los angeles. president trump tweeting about his pardoning of arpaio a little bit ago saying i am pleased to inform you i just granted a full pardon to 85-year-old american patriot joe arpaio, he kept america safe. what's your reaction to this highly controversial pardoning of this sheriff? >> it's obviously pure politics, don. he's trying to play to his base.
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he must feel a little bit weakened right now, so he struck out and tried to give something that's handy for him. the other week he said what a smort person he was. and this is really dumb move. what he's doing is weakening the federal judiciary. what arpaio did was violated an injunction. and that's something you don't do. and he first had a civil trial that went on very defensive and lost that. and then there was a criminal proceeding, and he lost that. so he's had his day in court, and this is such a minor matter. worst case, six months in prison which they weren't likely to do to an 85-year-old sheriff. and arpaio who says he's innocent has admitted his guilt
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by accepting this pardon. >> interesting. president trump addressed the pardoning and as you said it's what he talked about earlier this week in phoenix. and i want you to take a listen to it. >> all right. >> was sheriff joe convicted for doing his job? he should have had a jury, but you know what? i'll make a prediction. i think he's going to be just fine, okay? but i don't do it tonight because i don't want to cause any controversy. >> so he didn't want to cause any controversy, but i mean but he -- you knew where he was going. could you thing of anyway he could cause more of a controversy than announcing this pardon during a category 4
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hurricane? >> no, absolutely. the timing was awful. and the other than the tweet, it offered no rationale for it than the fact he's done it. the sheriff had violated 162-page opinion. he had a 50-page opinion written against him in the criminal proceeding. the white house puts out two pra paragraphs to explain what they're doing. this is typically an act of mercy, done with rationale. most cases there's at least a press statement. in this particular white house they violate all the norms, all the traditions. and i think they hurt the process by doing this sort of thing. well, some of the supporters that have come on tonight, i've heard others referring to this as a political witch-hunt of the sheriff by obama administration
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hold overs. >> no, no, no. this has been going on for a long time. there were over 171 violations of the injunction. for an 18-month period. it was just blat want. there was an injunction against this sheriff to stop doing what he was doing, which was profiling people, picking people up on mere suspicion on their origins. it was terrible. and he was just ignoring a federal court ruling against him that had come down and said you can't do this. now, if he had questions about it, he claimed it was confusing during the criminal trial. although he admitted before the civil judgment came down that he violated it. but he said he was confused when it got to the criminal side. and he's going to keep fighting -- well, he just admitted the guilt again. but there was nothing confusing about this order. he could have gone to the judge and say please give me some
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clarification. what he wanted to do was violate the law and do it his way. he was convicted literally, don, and maybe three dozen statements of his own that he was violating all the law. >> i just wonder what would happen if president obama was -- and some people saying chelsea manning could not hold people's lives, also chelsea manning served time. and also chelsea manning was commuted. she wasn't pardoned. >> that's right, she was commuted. >> could you imagine if the obama administration had done this, what would have happened? >> the right would have gone crazy. what i can't imagine is the right tolerating the violation of a federal injunction. and that's what they seem to over look. i listen today a number of
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defenders on your show earlier before i came over. and they weren't really making a lot of sense. they were making political arguments. they weren't really addressing the facts as they are. they were giving rather surface and political arguments to try to justify the president's unjustifiable act. >> john dean, always a pleasure. thank you. when we come back much more on our breaking news tonight. president trump pardons joe arpaio. and gorka is the latest one out at the white house. highest in investor satisfaction with full service brokerage firms... again. and online equity trades are only $4.95... i mean you can't have low cost and be full service. it's impossible. it's like having your cake and eating it too. ask your broker if they offer award-winning full service and low costs. how am i going to explain this? if you don't like their answer, ask again at schwab. schwab, a modern approach to wealth management.
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here's our breaking news tonight. president trump pardons sheriff joe arpaio and trump aide sebastian gorka is the latest to leave the white house. let's discuss now. cnn political commentators alice stewart and bakari sellers, hello to all of you. we have to stop meeting this way. seriously, this is the second night this week we've been here until 2:00 a.m. but there's some big important news. this big presidential pardon goes to the controversial sheriff joe arpaio. what does that tell you about your president especially so soon after charlottesville? >> so, look, don, i know we're going to talk maybe about president trump announcing the transgender ban a little later.
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but here's the thing, the through line from the pardon of sheriff arpaio to the transgender ban in the military and through some of the other things that have gone on in the last two weeks -- it's almost been two weeks since charlottesville. we have crossed some bridges in the country, and president trump in his words and some of his deeds is crossing backwards back across those bridges that we've already crossed, right? and i think when you put someone like sheriff arpaio on a pedestal and calling him a patriot and tweet and pardoning him for essentially defying a court order. not pardoning him to get him out of jail or something like that, what you're saying you applaud his actions. and his actions were essentially when the justice department told him to stop racially profiling, he kept going and a federal
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judge found him in contempt. and that's where we are. >> arpaio tweeted a thank you statement. thank you donald trump for seeing my conviction for seeing what it is. i am humbled and incredibly grateful to president trump. i look forward to putting this chapter behind me and helping to magga. i also thank my supporters -- he's calling it a witch hunt. what do you think of that? >> here you have a quote-unquote sheriff, someone who's supposed to be about law enforcement who fr
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fr flagrantly violated the law. and now we have the president of the united states who it today has created another line of divisiveness with the transjepders in the military and two has pardoned a racist. and that's where the republican is right now. and it's only taking this country backwards. when they talk about make america great again is take it back to where it's okay to judge people by the color of their skin, by the communities they live in. and that is the worst possible thing happening right now. they're literally assaulting what makes our country great and blowing it all up. >> you've met the sheriff, right? remember he was controversial for the pink under wear. and he sold these. tell us about these. >> sure. i met him back in 2012 on the presidential campaign. he had a round table discussion
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on immigration and border security and had law enforcement and local officials there. this is something he did as sheriff. he had pink boxers he had the inmates would wear. for a couple of reasons. one people said it was a way of dehumanizing the prisoners. and -- he made them as kind of a souvenir item and sold them at a fund-raiser. he also had pink handcuffs as a souvenir item. he gave those to me when we were at a round table. but he was at the height of his popularity amongst republicans and the base in arizona. they loved the fact he was the tough sheriff and the law and order sheriff and kept their
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border safe. but this kind of thing is exactly what got the minorities and specifically the hispanics extremely critical of him because of the way he treated hispanics and minorities -- >> they saw it as profiling. and they thought this was just to embarrass -- she was talking about it and you were looking at these. something was going through your head. >> i think it's dehumanizing first and foremost. even more so one of the things joe arpaio did really well beyond racial profiling is attempted to take away the soul from the individuals he incarcerated. many of those individuals were brown, black, hispanic. and joe arpaio i think in no uncertain terms embraced racism in a way that many individuals who encounter the criminal justice system had this belief to be. and i oftentimes say 99% of our law enforcement, more than 99%
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of our law enforcement are amazing. they do great work every single day. but it's individuals like joe arpaio who get to flaunt their racism and give law enforcement a bad name. pank panties -- boxers are a perfect example of that. but even more importantly the law and order president pardoned someone today, don, who was in contempt of a civil rights violation, which was racial profiling. and i think david said it earlier, david said it best, there's a director correlation between what happened two weeks ago in charlottesville. and it doesn't even feel like it's two weeks ago, but two weeks ago in charlottesville and the pardoning of joe arpaio. regardless if he was in the military and whatever else he did, if you escavate the man from the situation, today donald trump pardoned racism. and that's what a lot of us think he's been doing -- >> can you pull-do that down?
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let me ask you this, curt, someone said this is rolling this out, doing what he did today with the category 4 storm, this was sort of a master class on how to sort of change the message especially when it comes to the media. what do you think of that the. >> i think one of two things is happening. either trump thought that rolling this out during the horrific disaster in texas it would go unnoticed or not covered as much or two, oppositely to generate attention. when was working interest the house over sight committee,thrust a ferocious response to what was called president obama's lack of response to the bp oil spill. there were congressional hearings, subpoena threats. i think what's going on right now with donald trump while this storm is unfolding, we don't have a secretary of homeland
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security. and i can't help but think how in the world could he not see his focus right now teeds to be on this disaster. because i tell you right now if anything goes wrong during this prns spoothe hurricane people are going to go back and say, gee, you were worried about pard rng a enning racist and transgender in the military. >> he wrote an op-ed in "the new york times" if the president violates there will be no limit on his power. >> i haven't red that op-ed. i will say this, don, clearly the president has this power. the presidential pardon power is
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very broad. using without even through his first full year yet, the fact he's using it on what is a contempt conviction. this is not someone that's been langsuishing in prison for years. he was not going to serve jail time and yet president trump took the time out to pardon him for something to the federal court was contempt. and you have the president nal signaling, hey, i'm going to use my pardon power. i'm going to take it out and see how people react to it. and if there's not enough push back on it, he may wind up pardoning other people who have cleary flaunted the law. >> clearly he has the authority to do so. >> can we get to break here? we'll be right back. it's the sears semi-annual
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back now with my panel on this huge night of breaking news. alice, i promised you the first after the break. >> i'm making a point here. the president clearly has the power to do so. i think it's important for the sake of the conversation to at least give him where they came at this decision. the president thinks sheriff arpaio did nothing wrong. he said that he doing what he
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did was executing the laws as sheriff. and saying, look, president trump has always said local law enforcement should follow the immigration laws of the federal government. and he viewed what the sheriff did as executing those laws. and he also looked at the totality of the sheriff's life and work and 50 years of law enforcement and service to this country and said he is someone that should be eligible for a presidential pardon. that's what they're taking into consideration. clearly, there's the other side of the story. but what he did was not legally sound. >> but here's the thing, though. this is the guy that said he was absolutely sure that the president wasn't born in the united states, the former president wasn't born. i mean he was a co-birther. >> no, no, no. he was the person -- >> he is the person --
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>> there's a tweet from five years ago. >> here it is. congratulations to sheriff joe on his successful cold case posse investigation which claims that barack obama's birth certificate is fake. that's a conspiracy theory to delegitimize the presidency of barack obama, period. >> i mean he's not new to racism. let's just put that out there. >> when people say what evidence that the current president is dabbling in -- >> and i coddling. when you look at the fact he was able to coddle white supremacy and neo-nazism and racism ten days ago, two weeks gow eand you look at what he's doing now, it's a direct line and correlation. and i said this earlier and i think it bears repeating. i'm not sure the american people are looking for the firing of gorka, who not many people know.
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and they're not looking for a ban on transjepders joining the military. because if you want to serve our country, please serve them. they're not looking to pardon joe arpaio. right now people are legitimately worried and should be worried about a category 4130 mile per hour storm while north korea tested three missiles today and failed. i mean there's a lot going on in the world under donald trump's thumb. and it just amazes me that at 4:00 on a friday this is what he chooses to do. >> and speaking of sebastian gorka, gone now. usually they call friday document dump, news dump, david. that's when when you don't want something to get a lot of news, you put it out on a friday night. not so much anymore. >> yeah, not so much anymore.
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and we live in a world where even where it's a friday night during tamajor events, we're still going to cover it. it's still going to get out there on social media. and as curt said before, people are going to focus on this. i do think as curt said, it's a missed opportunity. if the white house, if president trump really did want to turn things around, have a press conference on fema headquarters, focus on that. they could have announced arpaio on tuesday at the phoenix rally. they could have talked about some of their other policies going forward text week. but instead they chose to do it all tonight. it's sort of this throw everything out of once and hope nothing sticks too closely. can i say something about the transgender ban? >> yeah. >> look, i want to tie arpaio to this again because i think this is an important point. when you you're talking about racial profiling you're talking about not treating people
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equally. when you're talking about banning transgender americans from the military is not treating people equally. senator hatch said transgender people are people and there are transgender americans who are serving in the military. hardly anyone would make the case now that african-americans shouldn't serve alongside white soldiers in the military. so if you wouldn't say those things, why would the president of the united states say that transgender americans shouldn't serve without any evidence and against as far as we can tell the advice of his generals and other consultants? >> well, the interesting thing is people think transgender people just started to serve and president obama did this last year. they have been serving in the military you're just not aware enough to know. curt, i have to ask about
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sebastian gorka. one white house source told cnn gorka submitted his resignation today after it was clear he wouldn't have a role going forward. but another official disputed gor gorka did not resign. also he's walking a fine line now that gorka is gone and bannon is gone. he's got to be really careful about that base. >> and i think you're seeing gorka had that letter written the minute steve left the white house. i think it was clear he was not going to survive. i'm sure all of us are expecting that announcement that gorka will be going back to breitbart just as bannon did. i think the real challenge for this white house for president trump that's really concerning is he keeps hemorrhaging staff and never replacing anybody. and so who's actually in place
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to take care of the business of the federal government particularly at a time when you have a major disaster happening and unfolding before our very eyes? who's actually doing something for this government? >> i've got to ask you something but i've got to get to the break. i noticed that on certain stories on breitbart when they're talking about people they put the globes next to there -- >> the globalists. >> the globalists, but why are those people mostly jewish? >> well, i guess people interpret it as there's an anti-semitic streak that runs through breitbart. >> shocking. thank you, appreciate it. when we come back, hurricane harvey makes landfall pounding the texas coast tonight.
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megan's smile is getting a lot because she uses act® mouthwash. act® strengthens enamel, protects teeth from harmful acids, and helps prevent cavities. go beyond brushing with act®. back live with our breaking news coverage. this is the texas area, you see a telephone pole down. the damage people are starting to assess now, we probably won't get a real sense of it, it's dark. it appears their in the eye of this storm so it seems it's a bit quiet.
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back when hurricane starts to roll around they'll get more damage and that's when some of the surgery will start coming to shore. i want to bring in storm chaser ben mcmiller, he joins us via skype. when we last saw you you were assessing the damage rolling through the streets of texas. what do you see now, ben? >> we continue to see the debris spreading across the roadway that's why it's so dangerous because of the strong wids cause. it's dangerous to be out on the roads and some of the roads are impassable. >> have you been able to move since we last saw you? if so, how far? >> we been slowly working our way away from the hurricane's eye. we're currently in the city of
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portland, you're looking at highway 181 where it appears a gas station had its roof destroyed picked up and tossed around about the road here. >> there was soot shot, ben we saw from someone else, k s art affiliate there. are you seeing rain full outage or are you see spot taj? >> some of the oil refineries did have lights on as we were working our way back towards the corpus christi area which is probably good news for folks in that area. we certainly wouldn't want places like that to not have power. >> are you seeing people out and about? >> we've seen oh capable vehicle drive past us but most of them are emergency vehicles, at this point, law enforcement, fire officials. i haven't seen many vehicles
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that aren't marked official this late at night. >> our storm chaser, we are checking in with ben mcmillan he is in portland texas. ben, be safe. thank you very much. i want to get to cnn's chad meyers and the hurricane headquarters with more. chad, something new about the grading of this hurricane? >> we're down to a category three and we're splitting hairs here because category three, 125, got carry four, 130. if you can tell the difference at 130 miles per hour i'll give you credit there. this is a dangerous stormin' if it gets down to category one tomorrow, and it probably ball, don't take your eye off here. the ball is back to san antonio, round rock and austin. all that water has to come back down. the immediate threat is the wind, 125 miles per hour, not that far from where that
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reporter was. this eventually will move right over into bee vil area later on tonight. where it stops, nobody knows, because this storm has no steering currents with it anymore. it's going to get over land and it's just going to park itself there. you think, oh it's over land it's going to die, no, because there's still half of it in the gulf of mexico. this gulf water is still going to get turned up into texas and that's where this 30 and 6 -- 40-inch rainfall. i have no idea which model is right because not one agree with the other. how much rain is going to fall, from louisiana all the way over to parts of west texas. the white area there that's 20 inches of rain or more and the dark area there, that brown or gray area is going to be 30 inches of rain, every where
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in that area, where does it go, don. that's the real rough. this can't get into the gulf of mexico, that quickly, you grew up in louisiana and i spent a lot of time in sugar land with the flood. this is a flat area where the water runs off very very slowly, so this flood, if it gets this, if we get 22, 52, whatever the numbers might be, if we get numbers like that the area will be flooded for a month or more. >> can you put that spaghetti thing up again? that's all the possible paths? >> yeah. i can't go through showing every graphing. i can't go back to my old slide but yeah the models are absolutely -- >> the one that interests me is one that says it could possibly back up and reenergize and go
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back inland. >> i'll use a different map, i'll find something here, i'll get one of my -- no -- google earth. now i'm going to make it smaller. there is a model don, that takes it. and because it's going to die, gets up to here and say, oh, i can't move any further, there's high pressure right there. can't go any farther. loops around, comes back if the gulf and hits houston on the other way. i hope that is not the case. it's not going to be a cat four when it does this. >> i got to run chad. thank you sir. you've been great tonight and all this afternoon here on cnn. that's it for us tonight. thanks for watching. our live coverage continues next with george how well. good night everybody. our good morning. the garnier micelles act like a magnet, to cleanse, remove makeup and refresh. all-in-one.
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