tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN August 26, 2017 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
storm churning inland leaving widespread key instructidestruc wake. hundreds of thousands are without power. the storms snapping utility poles like tooth picks. the damage in houston alone could be in the tens of billions. and more flooding may be on the way for that low lying area. president trump tweeting this, thank you to all of the great volunteers helping out with hurricane harvey relief in texas. our cnn reporters are covering every angle of this disaster. let's start with our special coverage and first head to mar have i being blamed now to at least one death in rockport, texas. the storm came to shore as a category 4 hurricane leaves massive amounts of destruction there. the town's mayor calls the storm a, quote, severe blow to his community, but local and state officials are still as setting the damage caused by the initial
landfall as they brace for rainfall. our martin savage is joining us from rockport. i understand city officials are preparing to respond to storm victims. what are you learning? >> reporter: well, first of all, what you're finding is this is a town that took a direct hit from a category 4 hurricane and everything around this community reflects just that. the devastation, destruction you see behind us is just emblematic of what you will find all over the community. it definitely got a direct hit from those winds and it looks very much like a tornado came through. not like a broader based winds that you would find from a hurricane. so that attests to the power of a cat 4. and getting heem was strere was difficult. it is difficult for rescue teams. and then on top of that, many of the roadways that you would use either to get in or maybe get out if you have had enough are becoming more and more overtopped by water.
so these are the problems that will compound on top of the tragedy that has already hit this community. and they are struggling. and first responders are the ones struggling right now. take a look. you can tell this is very much a town that is still caught up in the shock of the storm. they are still trying to organize their first response. they have emergency teams that are starting to arrive, a lot of them have come from outside the area. but they have a lot of problems here. number one, no sign of any electrici electricity. no sell service. and it's pretty clear that they also have water problems.csell . and it's pretty clear that they also have water problems.ell se. and it's pretty clear that they also have water problems. s so sanitary issues, drinking water. and then just plain law enforcement. this is the rockport police department vehicles. and you can see what the wind and pressure did, blew out just about every one of the windows in their vehicles there.
and there is one pulling out. so despite the damage, they are still on the job. let's walk you over, there is a lot of street flooding. in fact as we try to come to this town, there is a lot of flooding, period. a lot of downed power lines. these are the resources that continue to come in here. and they are just now trying to organize. this is the public safety center. it took a devastating blow. there is water everywhere you look, downed power lines everywhere, so that makes the streets very difficult to pass. the only flag that is still up is apparently the city flag. and look what the wind did to the flag poles here. snapped them. broke them. didn't bend them. snapped them. and brought them down to the ground. so far as we've said, one fay
tail h fatality has been reported, and however the first responders are only now beginning to get out and search. so we'll keep our fingers crossed that the death toll remains at one. >> and what you can tell us about the person who died? >> reporter: from what we understand, there were at least 30 emergency calls that came in last night to the volunteer fire department and the police department. they were all hunkered down. it would have been deadly for them to try to go out. but heartbreaks that they appear people crying for help, walls falling on people and fire.one fatality we know of apparently was as a result of a fire which is mart hard to imagine in the e of the rain. but shows you the viciousness. >> just incredible damage. martin savidge in rockport, thank you. harvey may be a tropical storm right now, but it hit as a
massive category 4 hurricane, strongest one to slam into the u.s. in more than a decade. the result, widespread damage, torrential rain and flooding. lots of it. especially in the city houston. and it's not over yet. rosa flores is there and joins us live. what kind of damage are you seeing there, rosa? >> reporter: well, the big concern here in houston is flooding. take a look at the bayou behind me. normally this is a bayou that you would see its banks, but now all you see is the raging river flowing toward the gulf of mexico. flash flooding the big concern here. city leaders asking people to be very vigilant, to be very aware of their surroundings because this bayou like you see here, we're in the area of near downtown houston, but the bayous meander throughout the city. so some are very close to homes. and you can see in this part of this walkway and runway path,
it's still flooded. i can't walk through. there has been some very brave souls who have taken their bikes through this pathway, but it's not recommended by authorities here. they recommend that if you see anythi anything, any concrete, any street where it is covered by water, you are asked to stay away from it. again, the big concern here, flooding. flash flooding. waters that can rise very quickly and put lives at risk. >> all right. rosa flores, keep us posted on what you are seeing, what you're hearinging there as more rain is on the way as harvey hung ers og down. communities are bracing for the heavy rain and there remains the threat of towards. joining me now chad myers the movement of the storm seems to be unusual compared to others in the past. >> yes, because the new movement
from the 5:00 advisory from the hurkd cent hurricane center now is stationery. just as we worried about. stationery. not moving at all. and you think, well, the storm is over land, it should start to die. this will be okay. no. because a third of this storm is still over the gulf of mexico. and this is a very warm body of water. that is why the storm got so big so quickly in the first place. if you have one third of the storm still over water, it is not dying as rapidly as we would like. it's still going to grab the gulf of mexico moisture and put it on shore right into houston, galveston, all the way over to lake charles. and they have it will also push it back into austin and san antonio which it's already doing thousa now. and there is a potential for the storm to spin. west of houston, they did have a spin. may have been a small tornado on
the ground. now it's dying off, but we're still watching that tornado watch for the next few hours. which means any storm that comes onshore could spin, could put down a tornado. and you can look at some of the pictures on line from keady, texas, that's where the tornado hit last night. there is about 5 to 6 inches overall. if i had to paint the whole thi thing, i'd say 5 to 6. some spots have 3, so somespots have 14. and you can't soak in 14 inches of rain in 24 hours. so shear what there is what the look like overnight. by 8:00 tomorrow morning, look at this moisture surge for houston, texas proper and almost up to almost dallas. certainly college station. but how much rainfall will fall in the overnight hours? houston may be under water when we wake up tomorrow. so if you are in houston and you wake up, watch yourself if you are out before sunrise.
>> all right. i want to continue now to a news conference with the coast guard. let's listen. >> vessels that need to come in to port and we will prioritize these vessels and allow them to get in to port. we recognize that the ports in this region are critical and vital to the nation's economy. so we want to get the port open for business as soon as possible. with that i'll take questions. >> you can tell us about today there have been a number of different rescue, how many total have been rescued as a result of the coast guard's efforts and can you can speak to sort of work that the coast guard officers are doing in these tur brew lents wi turbulent winds and storms? >> i can't speak to those efforts. that was in corpus christi's area of responsibility. but we can get those details for
you. within coast guard, we have 850 active duty within that area that i described earlier. we also have almost 100 civilians. we brought in the two coast guard specialized flood response teams from paducah and memphis, tennessee as well. we also brought in i believe currently we have four additional aircraft at ellington at our air station in houston. as well as additional flight crews to support flight operations. >> people know about this part of the country have a lot of refineries along the coast. can you speak to what prepare operations and communications your office is having with those refineries and are you concerned that this weather and this really strong system will take a
couple days at least in this area and my cause any dangers of leaks or spills or any other hazards? >> that's a good question. so prior to a storm arriving or as it was forming in the gulf, we work closely with our port partners and industry and we monitor the track of this storm. so upwards of 72 hours out, we will start working with them to identify if houston/galveston area is at risk of being impacted by a storm. at that time we start working with them to identify which ships are going to be departing port and we start placing conditions on them as well or making notifications so they can plan. and the facilities here, they take preparations to ensure that their cargo lines and tanks are prepared for the storm and then as the storm approaches, we set different port conditions, which allows them to plan on for
example on wednesday -- excuse me, on thursday we set port condition yankee which restricted deep vessel traffic to one way outbound and that allowed the pilots to work with the industry in order to have vessels depart port. and then on friday, i set port condition zhu zulu which closed port. >> are you confident that the refineries have taken precautions necessary to prevent some sort of disaster? >> i know that they are prepared and they have hurricane contingency plans and they take steps to minimize those risks to the port and the environment. >> any update on progress of what is being done for the cruise ship passengers and ships out in the gulf? >> sure. so we are meeting daily, twice a day with the cruise ship operators as well as the city of
galveston and galveston port authority in order to try to identify opportunities to be able to get the cruise ships in. i know that the cruise ships have made alternative arrangements. i believe carnival has had two of the vessels go to new orleans to reprovision and i believe that rcl has also made alter in a sif arranalternative arrangem. so we are working with them closely in order to identify when we can get them in ports. >> and do you know when that will happen? is it a matter of days? >> it's difficult to predict. it depends on the storm track and when they can come in safely. and keep in mind also that there are pilots that help to navigate the vessels in to port and they have safety conditions also that they operate under as well in order to bring the cruise ships into port. >> i know you said that you can't speak specifically about these rescues, but can you talk about the training your men and
women go through to prepare for these types of weather conditions? >> sure. they train daily. and that is what they do. they train daily and they practice and they're professionals. and they are provided with the best equipment to execute these missions. >> all right. beach list we've been listening to the coast guard officials about how they are preparing for what is left to come and how it may be affecting some of the ships that are still out there off the coast and including several cruise ships that are yet to be able to come in. he's talking about coordinating those efforts and some of the alternative arrangements that are being made. coming up here in the newsroom, we'll continue to follow this massive storm that is still just lingering over the whole texas
state really. but focusing in around the area of houston. some people are even trapped in a hotel and due to have a c-section. we'll speak to a woman who fled her home with her family and due to to have her baby on tuesday. s'cuse me. mind if i sit here? not if you want your phone to work. let me guess, you can't livestream your lobster roll. and my mobile pay isn't connecting and i just got an unlimited plan. right plan, wrong network. you see verizon has america's largest most reliable 4g lte network and now unlimited plans start at $40 per line, you know what i am saying? (laughs.) oh this is your seat. definitely. yep. just tucking it in. nah, i wasn't going to pull it out. when it really, really matters you need the best network and the best unlimited. now plans start at $40 per line for four lines. time's up, insufficient we're on prenatal care.es. and administrative paperwork... your days of drowning people are numbered. same goes for you, budget overruns.
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>> right now it's raining and pretty windy. but where we're at isn't too damaged severely. the hotel we're at is pretty secure. so we're safe as of right now. we've received some pictures of around where we lived in port aransas and it's pretty devastated there. >> oh, my. we're seeing pictures of you and your family in your hotel. beautiful kids. i know that you're scheduled to give birth on tuesday. i can only imagine the stress of this whole situation. what have the past 24 hours or so been like for you? >> pretty stressful. just nerve-racking wondering if the hospital will be able to do the c-section on tuesday, where we'll go after we get out of the hospital, stuff like that. >> do you have a backup plan right now? >> well, after the c-section, we can always go back to where our
families live in king wake until we can figure out the damages and how we will get everything fixed. sort everything out. but as of right now, we'll be in this hotel until we can have the baby. >> is it safe for you to travel? >> no, it's not currently safe for me to travel too far away from the hospital because i have basically a stitch holding my cervix closed. and so if i go -- if my cervix starts to open, it could rip and i could bleed or lose the baby. >> oh, my goodness. >> so i have to stay kind of close. >> no kidding. have you been in touch with your why? >> yes. i spoke to them i believe it was friday morning.
and they said to travel as far as i needed to to be safe, but to stay relatively close to a hospital. just in case i do go in to labor. and they said to call on monday to see if they will be able to do the c-section. because right now they are in emergency mode only. >> and you mentioned that you have seen some images from the area where your home is in port arans aransas. is your home survived without damage? >> no, we do not know. we have seen pictures of like around the area and a lot of the rvs and stuff which is what we live in are on their sides or tore apart. so we're just waiting until they give the okay to go back to port aransas to assess the damages.
>> danielle, my heart goes out to you. you are a brave woman. stay strong and thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> and i wish you the very best with the labor be and delivery process and the c-section scheduled for tuesday. still ahead,be and delivery process and the c-section scheduled for tuesday. still ahead,e and delivery process and the c-section scheduled for tuesday. still ahead, and delivery process and the c-section scheduled for tuesday. still ahead, how president trump is promising to help recovery efforts in texas. you're live in the cnn newsroom. ♪ hey, is this our turn? honey...our turn? yeah, we go left right here. (woman vo) great adventures are still out there. we'll find them in our subaru outback. (avo) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. get 0% apr financing for 63 months on all new 2017 outbacks. ends august 31. can make anyone slow downt and pull up a seat to the table. that's why she takes the time to season her turkey to perfection,
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may have passed, now blowing up to 70 miles per hour, still strong, but the gulf coast is bracing for the threat of deadly flooding that could last for days. president trump is continuing to monitor the situation from camp david. let's go straight to washington and get more on the federal response to harvey. athena jones is with us from the white house. athena, what is the president doing today in terms of coordinating response efforts? >> reporter: the president held a conference call in the late morning with vice president mike pence who was on the call by video teleconference from here at the white house from the situation room. the president at camp david, they spoke with other cabinet officials and senior members of the administration to talk about the federal response. we know the president according to a senior administration official who gave a readout to cnn, the president had a lot of questions on a range of issues, specifically the flooding, mass
power outages. and we know the president has kept up-to-date on all the developments of the storm since last night. we know that the president on this call enif a siz if emphasi departments and agencies stay fully engaged and positioned to support his number one priority, saving lives. >> and as far as him visiting this area where the devastation is, any update on that? >> reporter: no specific update in terms of actual date on the calendar. we know that the president very much wants to be able to visit texas. sarah huckabee sandersess secretary said he would try to make plans to go to tooekexas e next week. some of forecasts show the storm
lingering for several days, possibly into early next week and we know that the president in the words of one official wants to get to texas asap, but doesn't want to in anyway get in the way of any recovery efforts, have any resources diverted to his visit that could otherwise be going to recovery and response efforts. >> all right. athena jones, thank you. an analyst wrote an op-ed saying that this natural disaster will be a critical test for the administration, saying that this administration is about to face a challenge from without, an act of god type challenge, and it will be judged on wl it has sufficiently nurtured and emhe powered the bureaucracy to support local and state planning to prepare for the storm and respond once it hits. and she's joining us now. you are the former assistant secretary to the department of homeland security. has this administration passed
the test in this initial 24 hour period? >> well, i really want to commend the fema leadership in particular their communications have been very strong. no one in homeland security in the middle of a hurricane which we are still in and certainly we'll see a lot of flooding the next couple days would say so far so good especially that now that we have our first fatality. but in terms of the surge of resources that occurred before the leaning in, fema's me motto is go big, go fast, bring stuff in quickly, unlike what they did in hurricane katrina, you are starting to see some of the consequences of that. we still don't note damage assessments and what the declaration process will look like to start to steer recovery dollars to texas in particular. >> and you wrote that president trump's insistence that a border wall will be bimt by tuilt has
that bunch kets aimed at homeland security money there would go away from tee mafema a toward the wall construction. and so these are budget priorities that will have real world consequences you write for on the ground. what consequences do you think this could have? >> well, i think these are real consequences. i'll be very blunt about it. the wall dollars have to come on from somewhere. and some of the budget requests they are coming from parts of the department of homeland security that simply cannot, just couldn't survive without them. fema and preparedness and responses, those aren't as politically galvanizing as a wa wall or immigration enforcement, but it's on days like that when i realize that it's called the rainy day fund for a reason. you do it because you know that there by for the grace of god go i.
it's texas or new york or boston where i am. and so i think we need to focus on what parts of the department and our responsibility apparatus are being impacted by the focus of the wall gofor getting outsi the politics bs and realize that we do need to invest in response and resiliency capabilities as well as helping a state like texas. you will see texas is a red state, it has two republican senators who have in the past been opposed to disaster funding and emergency disaster funding. they are now for it. and that is because it sometimes takes a tragedy coming to your hometown to see the benefits of a rainy day fund. >> okay. thank you so much. coming up, harvey becomes deadly after the first fatality is reported in rockport oig, texas. we'll go live to victoria where fears of devastation are rising.
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we're continuing to follow breaking news, harvey thousand downgraded to a tropical storm with sustained winds of about 70 miles per hour. and we know at least one person has died.about 70 miles per hou. and we know at least one person has died. nearly 300 240ur oo300,000 are power. and the mayor of rockport telling cnn that there is widespread definivastation. and we are told president trump had a lot of questions about flooding and mass power outages. and let's take you to the town of victoria, texas where we are seeing signs of flooding. most residents refused to evacuate before the hurricane hit earlier this morning ignoring the dire warnings from local officials. and now floodwaters are saturating the town about 20 miles from the texas coast. let's get right to derek van dam in victoria. tell us about what you are s seeing and experiencing right
now. >> reporter: yeah, we are in victoria, first thing that happened to me as soon as i got to this location about ten minutes ago, the door flew open on my vehicle, my halt ft flew and we knew we were in a strong feeder band. we have seen minor structural damage and power lines and tree limbs that have come down. but now we're seeing rain maybe 2 inches an hour, we will start to see the flooding ramp up and it will be quite significant. we've been talking about how the storm will set up shop, it will hover in the same location for days on end. here is one of the feeder bands right now. i would say anywhere between 45 to 50-mile-per-hour wind gusts at the moment. so getting up to tropical storm-force winds. and you can just tell that we are still in the brunt of the storm. it is not over.
and we will continue to monitor the damage potential across this location. we're about 10 miles away from the city, from the coast right now as we speak. >> all right. derek van dam reporting, be careful, stay safe. thank you for that update. and president trump pardoned joe arpaio, the controversial sheriff. ahead we'll speak with arpaio's attorney. you're live in the cnn newsroom. ♪ sailin' away on the crest of a wave, it's like magic ♪ ♪ rollin' and ridin' and slippin' and slidin' ♪ ♪ it's magic introducing the all new volkswagen tiguan. ♪ higher and higher, baby the new king of the concrete jungle. that airline credit card yout? have... it could be better. it's time to shake things up.
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the coastline, the white house dropped news that president trump had pardoned sheriff arpaio, that they hoped a category 4 storm might overshadow. as the world's toughest sheriff, arpaio became the face of the immigration crackdown. in 2011 as part of a racial profiling lawsuit, a u.s. district judge ordered arpaio to stop detaining latinos simply because he believed they were in the country illegally. arpaio refused to comply with that order and he told reporters that he would never give in to control by the federal government. and so last month, the 85-year-old was convicted of criminal contempt for refusing to obey the court's order. and i'm joined now by mr. arpaio's attorney. jack, thanks to joining us. a number of republicans are slamming the president's decision to pardon your client. senator john mccain says it undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as mr.
arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions. republican congressman writing arpaio was convicted of defying court order to stop defying the fourth amendment. what is your reaction? >> well, you know, it's people like that and anybody who questions this pardon, i'd like them to actually study the case and understand what it was about. one of the big problems is that we never got a jury which is something we asked for multiple times. people say i would have loved to have you on a jury because you would have seen. it was nothing to do with race or latinos. it was a very technical order that says it is not a federal immigration agency and therefore they cannot enforce federal immigration law. so what happened here is the sheriff's office did not understand the order because they looked at it and said surely we can keep cooperating with the feds.
it is a common practice across the country. that is what sheriff joe is quiskted for, it was not for violating civil rights. it was for a very technical violation of a very ambiguous and hard to understand order. >> and i'm being told that speaker ryan, paul ryan, is publicly criticizing this pardon. here's what his spokesman says. the speaker does not agree with the decision. law enforcement officials have a special 1307b9 to respect tresp respect the rights of everyone in the united states and we should not believe that that responsibility is diminished by this pardon. so just to be clear, the speaker is wrong here? >> the speaker is wrong here. and this is why when politics tries to mix with the courts, it's very tough. but at the end of the day here, the president did the right thing because they thereshould have been a jury in this case from day one. and at this point the appeal -- in fact the shared arrive is an old man, he's 85.
and this would be a lot more money and wasted time all around. so i would have rather seen it go to jury in the first place, but now we're dealing with a wrongful verdict. so i invite all these -- go ahead. >> let me ask you, though, because you talked about the rule of law and the way the system is supposed to work. does sheriff joe arpaio believe in this country's judicial system? >> he does. and frankly he's been mistreated by it. i don't believe he got a fair trial. >> if he believes in the system, though, he got the trial. he was convicted by the system of criminal contempt. >> the president pardoned that so eady pardons are a part of that system. >> i'm not arguing that. but you're saying the schl wysts not fair. >> the system was not fair, so the pardon was a fair thing do.
>> and share rivarpaio said thar seeing it as a political witch hunt. does he know the judge who order him stop is by president bush? >> the judge was in the criminal contempt trial which is a separate thing. he was a clint appointee. and i won't say that is what colored her opinion, but i think it was more an issue of the court trying to vindicate the court at the expense of the truth. >> easy aing it was about politics though you're telling me that politics were part of the pardon as well? so can you have it both ways? >> you can. you know what, i think it's a fitting thing, really is. this case started with politics. as i said earlier, it's about an order, and order caused when the obama administration revoked the
authority, and that's what started all of this, the officers that led to the order that he was in, so for the next president, the current president, stepped in, and undo that episode, so to speak, with the conviction, and there's a fitting appropriateness to it because it started -- this whole case started with a political act. >> do you think that this pardon had something to do with arpaio's loyalty? pardoned for being loyal to the president? >> complicated question. at the end of the day here, joe wouldn't have been prosecuted if not for his politics, so it follows this whole case, to answer the question, we all know that, you know, they like each other and like each other's politics, like the obama administration did not like the sheriff's politics. so it's very hard to separate politics from the space. it's been a problem since day one. that's why you ask for a jury to get to the bottom of the truth
here and try to get an independent version. >> speaking with the key witness, first, background to the viewers. he and his late wife were pulled over by the deputy back in 2009 without probable cause. they were searched. they were asked for proof of citizenship, although his wife was born in arizona and he was a naturalized citizen for 50 years, and he said, quote, this, i am experiencing anger, disbelief, disappointment, to me, one criminal, one racist pardoning another one. they are all the same. trump and arpaio are the same. this is a low point of my emotional roller coaster. i know that you are -- it's your job to defend your client, but can you understand, perhaps, why victims of arpaio's racial profiling feel this way? >> the answer i have for them is, of course, the criminal case doesn't have to do with race,
but the answer i have for them is don't -- >> it did. it had to do with race based on what he was doing in ignoring the judge's order, had to do with race. >> not in the criminal case, but there was a separate order in 2013 that said the sheriff's office was using race as a factor. they had been trained to do by the federal government, by the way, part of the manual to use race as a factor, so, you know, people like that who feel like they are wrongfully detained, law enforcement is in a tough position. understand that. at the end of the day, you can blame law enforcement, you know, blame the large number of illegal imgrants in the country, or the law. i just felt it was fair for the law enforcement. >> jack, thank you for your time. >> thank you, appreciate it. that's the cnn news room, and we'll go bag to texas for tropical storm harvey, but it's back to school time, and in classes around the country, students learn about the people
who make this world betterment one teacher in new york developed a unique way to help students get inspired by some amazing individuals. cnn heros is absolutely helping me to mold my little buddies in 5th grade into the type of teenagers and adults that we all want them to be. >> as you are watching, think about what makes your heart feel good. here we go. in the class, it starts with the cnn heros segment. we watch it, and them we have a great discussion. when this guy, paul, goes through -- [ cheers and applause ] it never gets old. cnn heros makes me a better teacher because i know that they are giving us the most valuable lesson that you want any kid to have. >> to see more of cnn heros, go to cnn heros.com, and nominate someone you think should be a 2017 cnn hero. we're back after this. once there was a little pig
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you're in the cnn news room in new york. right now, millions of people in texas brace for potentially catastrophic flooding. the state is reeling from the nation's most powerful hurricane in 12 years. harvey is now a tropical storm turning inland and lurking dangerously close to the flood-prone city of houston. this is dramatic new video. a pair of texans shot this video from their home where they are currently hunkered down. authorities closed all the roads leading into the town, and this is near the williamson's family home. they have a generator running, other families lost everything,
entire homes filled with possessions. hundreds of thousands without power. the storm snapping utility poles like toothpicks. we have new reaction from the president tweeting, thank you to the great volunteers helping out with hurricane harvey relief in texas. our cnn reporters cover every angle of the disaster. rosa in houston, and meteorologist chad meyers in the cnn weather center. we start with our special coverage. first to rock port, the harpdest hit, 130 miles per hour winds from hurricane harvey. the only fatality from the storm so far is reported. harvey came ashore as a category 4 hurricane causing widespread destruction. the town's mayor called the storm a severe blow to the community. look at what people are encountering there, local and state officials are still assessing the damage caused by that initial hit. our martin savage joins us from rockport, and what ace