tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN August 29, 2017 12:00am-1:00am PDT
and by the time i knew, the water was already reaching my house. so the water raised because they were going to open the flooding doors for to empty them out. tonight they're going to open another one. they told us it was a mandatory evacuation because it was going to get flooded or worse. we're going to get from two to three feet of water and that was going to go and get inside the water. get us flooded. >> yeah. >> you're a first time home buyer, right? first-time homeowner? >> yes, yes, sir. >> yeah. i've been here for a year, and this is my experience right now. monday solar eclipse. today we're in the middle of a hurricane with this situation.
>> what are you guys going to do now, claudio? >> we're going to stay here, find shelter. because we've been hearing the news it's going to come back and hit us again. and would have had nobody -- would have had nowhere to go. so we're going to stay here and try to protect ourselves. try to protect my kids. and try to -- try to last through this storm. i don't know if it's going to get worse or not. but we want to be safe. i want my family to be safe. so i guess we're going to stay here until everything is over. >> claudio, we're glad you're okay. hug your kids and wife for us. thank you so much for joining us here on cnn. good luck to you. best of luck. >> all right, thank you, sir. >> thank you. jamie baxter, we've got jamie by phone again. technical issues, storm, he's stranded in his apartment with neighbors tonight.
jamie, i understand you're trapped in your apartment right now. how are you? and what's the situation? >> the situation around us at the current moment, probably about two hours or so ago, we tried to head to the story. everything around us is flooded. they keep telling us i guess now that there's a mandatory evacuation around the area. all roads are closed. there's really no way to get out. they're telling us that the floodwaters are supposed to rise. two feet per hour. so we don't know what to expect here over the next coming two hours and for the rest of night and morning. >> have you -- >> basically just sitting tight. >> you're sitting tight. have you called anyone, authorities? are they responding to you? >> i have had a few people that have reached out due to my facebook posts and have offered to come out this way with boats. and start helping anybody that needs it.
haven't really tried the police because i know that they've been swamped and the red cross is swamped, as well. so we don't really know who to call. it seems like we put out the word for help and we sit here and we kind of wait and see what happens. >> anybody else rescued from your area? >> all i know is that they have sent the national guard out. i know there's been people riding around in boats. we've seen some helicopters earlier today. i just hope there's a lot of people in boats heading out. people telling me they're coming from new york city and colorado, a group is coming in from chicago with their own personal stuff. basically just trying to get the word out to make sure that nobody else has to lose their life or anything in this storm. because it's getting a lot worse
than what anybody really expected it to be. >> absolutely. jamie, i want to tell the viewers what was on their screen. you were watching live pictures from our affiliate ktrk. that's people being rescued. there it is right there. you see the reporter in the shot. behind him people being rescued, live pictures just coming in. ktrk as we talk to jamie baxter who is in his apartment now trapped in his apartment right now. do you have power, jamie? >> as of right now, we do. the lights have been fluttering. we don't know if we will for the rest of the night. but as of right now, yeah, we do. >> you got food or supplies? >> we had some food and supplies. have family that are -- neighbors. so we are holding up. we are fine here. just bracing for what might be coming in the next few hours overnight. >> jamie baxter, thank you. if you need us, let us know. keep in touch. good luck. thank you, sir.
>> all right. thank you, sir. this is cnn breaking news. >> here's our breaking news. the waters rising. thousands trapped. and more rain on the way in texas. president trump heading to the flood zone in a matter of hours. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. things are really bad in texas tonight and expected to get much worse. the state already hit with at least 15 trillion gallons of rain. this storm is far from over. the national weather service warns life-threatening flooding is continuing. the coast guard getting more than a thousand rescue calls every hour. tonight we'll have stories from some of the people who narrowly escaped the raging floodwaters and some who are still trapped. the forecast as the storm gathers strength. it's gaining strength tonight. let's go straight to derek van dam in sugar land, texas for us.
derek, good evening to you. the latest on the search-and-rescue efforts where you are right now? >> reporter: good evening, don. the thing about the search and rescue efforts, it's complicated by the nighttime. the dark, darkness has set in across houston and with conditions can like this, it is extremely treacherous. last night we joined some of the search and rescue efforts and we saw firsthand what they have had to deal with. they navigate these flooded neighborhoods with sometimes the streams flowing extremely fast. almost too fast to cross. in fact, the braes bayou yesterday prevented the majority of rescues from taking place for some of the neighborhoods because the current was too strong for the boats that are in place here across the area. we've talked to a lot of the rescuers who have volunteered their boats, their time. and just to do their best to help this community. and they have told some harrowing stories including just
navigating the waters of these neighborhoods and helping people with medical conditions, coming up to houses that have signs draped over their balconies that say help us. and it's just incredible to hear these stories and people coming together to just help every single person in houston at this moment. >> yeah, the river is rising near you. and we've been showing that shot right over your shoulder, that truck some of the floodwaters. what are officials saying before how much worse this could get, derek? >> reporter: well, what we saw at the brazos river just a few miles away from us in richmond was a staggering sight. that river has risen 35 feet since saturday morning with yet another ten to go. water seeks its own level. it is flooding and inundating local communities in and around the brazos river. we know this storm is here to stay. we talk about it strengthening
because it's out over open waters right now. if you look closely at a radar to see where it's heaviest, it's almost pivoting across the greater houston area right now. that's why it continues to bring this heavy incessant rain. it has not stopped since we got here 48 hours ago. it's unprecedented and it looks as if it's going to continue into the night and going to be a very difficult time for rescuers and, of course, for all the people who are stranded. >> before i let you go, what's the story behind you? what's going on there? that truck and water and all that. >> reporter: this is just one of the many stranded vehicles, don. what you can't see is the dozens of them littered across the car parks within this area, the parking lots. i think this is just the last ditch effort. people realize that they needed to ditch their cars and get to higher ground. get to safety. it's a bit unfortunate to see people trying their hardest to drive and navigate through these flooded roadways because we've
seen it firsthand how incredibly treacherous and difficult it can become in a matter of seconds, don. there was a moment when we were trying to navigate to the brazos river today. we had on either side of our highway flooded plains ready to crest right over highway. those conditions can change. the ebb and flows of this water is amazing how quickly it can go from shallow to deep in just a matter of minutes. >> derek van dam in sugar land, texas. derek, thank you for your reporting. i want to bring in cnn's brian todd live for us at the houston convention center where thousands are taking shelter tonight. brian, hello to you. there's a lot of panic out there right now. how are people dealing with this in the shelters tonight? >> well, don, they're dealing with it very gracefully under enormous strain. they're exhausted. they're devastated, very stressed. some of them have lost everything. we walked around in there earlier tonight. people are talking in a normal
manner, being polite, courteous, they're just trying to get food and water for their families. trying to get a good fight's sleep. it's orderly and organized inside that building. a lot of police and volunteers trying to calm people down and get what they need. so far so good in the convention center. it is incredible. your derek described how quickly the water could rise. we were earlier tonight in a place called lakewood today, earlier today with some private rescuers who were pulling people from flooded homes you wouldn't believe the devastation. these were neighborhoods where the water was almost to the roofs. people were waiting on rooftops and on the hoods and on the tops of their cars while water was right below them, waiting there for a couple of days. they said they had called and tried to get the city and others to come. we know how overwhelmed the first responders are. these people are saying they were thinking nobody would come,
and the water was still rising. so it is still a very dire situation out there tonight, don. what the harris county sheriff's office has put out there to some of the people in these neighborhoods, they're saying to them, display a prominently in your windows towels and sheets so that we know that's a place where we need to come into. don't just call and give us your address because these addresses are almost unrecognizable. you've got to display towels and sheets prominently your windows. so we know that's a place where we can get to people. there are tens of thousands of people still needing rescue. >> brian todd, thank you so much. appreciate your reporting. i want to go to isis bragg. you heard from her in our last hour, the very beginning of our show at 10:00 p.m. eastern. she is trapped with her 1-year-old baby and her cousin. the water is rising. now she's very worried about the electricity and she joins us by phone. isis, where are you now in and who is with you?
>> yes, i'm still in the home and i still have the same people with me. my cousin and 1-year-old baby. >> has the electricity been intermittent? has it been going in and out? >> yes, it has. most of the unit's lights have went back out. >> do you have electricity now or no? >> yes, i have electricity right now. >> as i understand, are you seeing a fire nearby you? >> yes, i am. >> talk to me. where is it? >> it's across the street behind -- behind the school. we just see like a lot of orange in the air. we can see it from here. >> you can see it? >> yes. >> and has the water since we spoke to you last about an hour ago, how, has the water gotten any higher?
>> yes, the water has gotten higher. from the front end of my to the back end of my apartment. >> and you said one of your neighbors, you told us last hour one of your neighbors was trying to go upstairs to another apartment and what happened? >> the lady had told her that if she had $300 to come into her apartment she would let her. >> wow. unbelievable. >> yes, sir, it is. >> and so how high is the water in your apartment now? you said it's coming in? >> it's different levels in the apartment. the highest the water that i'm reaching is to my thighs. >> we've been trying to get folks to come help you. have you been abe to get anyone on the phone? have you heard anything? >> no, sir. we even, my cousin, she even went and stood at the end of the road. she did get three city of houston trucks but they had drove off by the time we came back out the house.
>> so tell us where you live and how much -- i'm wondering i asked you about the water because just in the last report, they're saying that some of the addresses are covered and they can't get to them. if your address is covered, they can't get to it. is that your apartment that bad off? >> it's not bad. >> so you can still see the numbers? you can still see the numbers? >> yes, we can still -- i mean yes, people can still see numbers and still see people standing outside at the end of the road saying can you help us. >> now tell us where you are. i just wanted to get that. if they can't see the address, then the point may be moot for you to give it out. >> we're across the street from the school. there is still people outside standing on their porch just facing towards the road. screaming help, waving help,
flashing light, help. and really nobody can't tell us nothing but call the number, call the number. we've been trying to cause the number. there's no answer. no help. >> and it's the forest creek apartments on what's the road again? >> on uvalde and wallaceville. >> uvalde? >> yes, on uvalde. >> give me a cross street. >> wallaceville. >> watersville? >> wallaceville is the cross street. >> wallaceville okay. uvalde road in houston, 5900 block of uvalde road. and that's where isis bragg is with her 1-year-old and 21-year-old cousin. isis, we're thinking about you. we're going to try to get help for you and hopefully some officials will get you out of there. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> i appreciate it. let's turn now to reverend john stevens, senior pastor at chapelwood united methodist church. he went out today to save as
many people as they could. he joins us now by phone. how you doing, rev? >> i'm doing well. how are you? >> i'm sure doing better than you guys. you guys are doing a great job down there. you're doing god's work. you've been with your church group helping with rescues. we have some video from instagram. what are you seeing? tell us what you're seeing. >> well, a lot of rain. it just won't stop. you know, we got a call, this thing started out kind of small and organic. we have church members we heard were stranded. we had a couple of guys get together. it kind of grew from there. we went down to where they were and found out more and more people. when we got to the little neighborhood that's got about chest high water all around it so you can't get in and out. once you get in, it's a little higher. people just start coming out. then we'd have people that were walking up in the water to check on their parents. we had some elderly -- there was one of the things a guy in a wheelchair.
that guy just walked up. there's a car there, but uthat car pulled out from his carport. >> we're looking at that video now. go on. >> that's just to get him to the boat because we couldn't walk. we couldn't get him to the boat. you've got to go two blocks around where his son was going to pick him up. then we start walking around. i saw a lady looking out of her window. i just asked her how she was doing, was she alone. she was. she had no power. her name was miss louise. i said would you like to go out with us on the boat. she said i would. i said i'll be back to get you. i went around and she said before i walked away, you're not going to forget me, are you? i said no, ma'am. i'm getting old but i'm not going to forget you, i promise. she was on one of their little videos as we pull out. the surprising thing, a lot of people wouldn't come out with us. they're trying to wait it out. they think it's like hurricane ike or thunderstorms in houston
when we get deluge and the water builds up quick and then it drains quick. i don't think people understand that with the reservoirs being released bayous over record levels, the water's not going anywhere. in the next day, two days, three days. i don't know. i trust people to know more than that. i just know we've got a list in the morning of more people that we're getting that are just in our neighborhood. we can't do it all. i heard you talking to this young lady isis. i mean, she is way on the other side of where we are. we're on west side of houston and she's way over on the northeast side. but we're staying in our little west side memorial area. we've got plenty of people to get off of buffalo bayou. and we're just trying to get all we can. we've got more guys coming in the morning and bringing their boats. we're just going to get one at a time. safety guys are doing great. the fire and the police, they're doing a great job. they're just -- i'm looking at this website on people who need rescue, houston harvey rescue or whatever. there's over 1100, 1200 names on this thing. some of them are not correct and
you start looking up where map links are, it's not correct. there's a lot of confusion and a lot of it's word of mouth. social media. but everybody's chipping in. that's the great story is, we go knock on the door, we don't ask them what their religion is or who they voted for in the last election. none of that matters. you need help? >> it should not matter especially in this circumstance. this is something as sad as it is it brings us all together. realize we're just all human beings and we're all americans, and life is very precious. reverend, i have to go. i want to thank you. continue to do god's work. >> thank you. >> we really appreciate it. if we can help you out, please let us know, okay? >> i will. thank you so much. >> thank you. when we come back, we'll speak to more of the heroes out there trying to rescue the thousands trapped in the flood zones. we'll get an update from the national guard and speak to an emt who rescued a pregnant woman who was in labor.
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military department. colonel, thank you. we know that you're busy. we appreciate your time. your guardsmen are around the state of texas aiding in this evacuation and rescue operations. will they be able to continue working throughout the night and working 24 hours? it's a lot of work. >> absolutely. the men and women are working around the clock. and they're going to keep working. we've got a plan to keep it going 24/7. >> uh-huh. do you have any idea how many people are still stuck and waiting to be rescued? we're hearing a thousand calls an hour for rescues. >> i don't have an idea how many are still needing rescue. as soon as we get calls, we're still responding to them. we're still getting plenty of calls from local and state agencies, and from other groups out there that are doing search and rescue, and we're helping them. those have not slowed down. so i know we still have a lot of work to do. >> so what's the biggest problem?
is it equipment or what? do you have enough equipment to get to people? what's the biggest problem you're facing at this hour? >> well, i mean, we've got boats there now. we've got high profile vehicles there. we're bringing in more and more helicopters to help us all the time. i think the biggest issue right now is just time. getting to everyone that needs to -- that we need to get to and covering such a vast amount of area. we're still fighting deep waters in some areas. but i think we have the equipment we need now, and i think you know, we're not going to rest till we can make every effort to get to those in harp's way. >> harvey is supposed to get worse and it's far from over yet. what's your plan in the next few days? >> well, we're bringing more people to the scene. we've got 3,000 people there now. as we mentioned earlier today, we're increasing that to 12,000. we've taken a number of helicopters from 14 to 2. that's going to increase to 46 by tomorrow.
so we're continuing to bring more and more forces in. boats that we didn't have out before we've got out now. we're going to continue to focus on it until we get everybody that needs to be rescued, rescued. >> thank you very much, colonel steven metz, i appreciate your time. i want to go to cnn's tom sater now live for news the weather center. tom, you heard what the colonel said. you've been listening to the folks on air and our meteorologists out in the field, reporters as well. harvey has dumped more than 15 trillion gallons of rain so far. >> 15 trillion. >> what can folks expect on the ground now? >> well, we're looking at least another 10 to 15 in houston, isolated 17-inch totals. i have more of a fear what's going to happen north of houston in the next 24. let's back it up a little bit. that 11 to 15 trillion have fallen already, they've calculated in harris county
alone 1 trillion gallons. about 33 inches blanketing the entire county alone. in the color purple is over ten inches and in white, this is two to three feet of rainfall. not only the size of south carolina, but to give you an idea of how much rain, greater than the size of the country of greece. this is an amazing amount of water. many will complain maybe it's poor planning. but no. there is not a city in the world that can handle this amount of rainfall. the models bring it off. and they have since last thursday, 70 miles where it made landfall. the totals are unbelievable. harris county has 40 locations that picked up over 30 inches. and there is another, as mentioned, 10 to 15 more to come. if you look at the center, it's over land. we're talking about this maybe intensifying a bit. i don't think you'll notice that. the bigger story is it's over a water source. you can start to see the bands at the bottom of the screen picking up this water like a siphon and tossing it back into the area. houston is picking up half inch an hour.
and they've done this for the past 13 hours. we've picked up another 6 inches. the tornado watch extends into parishes of louisiana. when it makes its second landfall, it does look like it moves out by wednesday night. is that is an a improvement from previous forecasts that had it hanging around friday into saturday. it picks up in speed. but the amount of rainfall will be a good 20 inches or plus in northern areas of houston, 10 to 20 into parts of louisiana. they're going to need aid and rescue efforts to extend into this area. >>tom seder, thank you so much. appreciate that. we have much more to come on cnn, stories from the flood zone as president trump promises aid for millions of desperate people but can he deliver the help they need?
we're back knew with our breaking news. again, we're looking at the live picture from the sugar land, texas. people are concerned there's someone in the truck. there's no one in the truck. it's been checked. harvey is strengthening tonight as desperate people across the flood zone beg for rescue. i want to bring in ify echetebu
whose house was flooded. she joins us on the phone. how you doing? >> i am dry. so that is all i'm thankful for right now. i'm alive. my family is alive. i'm gracious for all the help we received the past day. so i'm just taking it in day after day. >> your house flooded in dickinson, texas. >> yes, it was actually aunt and uncle's house. we were actually checking in on them and got stuck there. and it was just -- it just happened so quickly. it's unbelievable how fast the water can rise and how much rain can pour out of the sky in moments. >> so where are you now? >> i'm actually staying with a friend who took us in for shelter and safety on dry land, and i'm safe. so i'm just safe and dry. we're not in any water. we're still in the galveston county area because the roads are inaccessible unless you have
a helicopter or a boat to get through to certain houston areas. >> uh-huh. tell me more about your story? here's what i understand. you were trapped on the second floor of your house because the water was so high. 11 people were stuck all together? >> yes, we were there and literally 4:00 in the morning, we heard water and so we went to look and it's just seeing in through the floorboards. it's forcing itself in because it has no where else to go outside. and we were trying to see how to keep it out but in moments it, just kept coming in and more and more and then it started rising. at that point, we just had to start moving upstairs and it's like we were just watching it raise on the staircase. it got up to about the fourth step and we had our grandfather with us. and he needed -- he's critical care. we were worried about him. >> he's on dialysis and has a prosthetic leg.
>> yes, he's on dialysis and he has a prosthetic leg. we were really nervous how we were going to get him down the stairs and to dry safe areas because he does do daily dialysis. >> how serve doing? how is he and everyone else doing? >> he is doing okay. he's got his dialysis treatment. we're thankful we were able to get him out. >> ify echetebu, 11 people in her family, all of them trapped, and now they're all safe, including her grandfather who is on dialysis and has a prosthetic leg. thank you so much for joining us. we're glad that you are safe. take care. >> thank you. >> president trump heading to texas in hours to get a firsthand look at harvey's devastation. i want to bring in juliette kayyem, a former department of security official. cnn contributor lieutenant russel honore, who was commander of joint task force katrina. he joins us and presidential historian douglas brinkley,
author of "the land of america." i have so much to ask you guys. please, if you could keep it short. there's so much ground to cover here. general, i want to start with you. it's about 72 hours since harvey first slammed texas. how do you think the response is going? >> i think it's going in the right direction. i've been a proponent from day one that we needed to go in big and it took the governor -- he's doing a good job but he only fully mobilized all of his national guard. whiches about 12,000 he has to date, and been operating with 3,000 or less. i think that's important. they've got to get more helicopters in there. they don't have enough. thank good, the savior is the civilian good samaritans. >> so listen, i know that you've been somewhat critical of the mayor of houston. you're thinking that the evacuation should have been mandatory. he gave his reasons saying there are too many millions of people there in order to do it properly in a couple of days. should there have been a mandatory evacuation and do you
see his side of the story? >> i see his side of the story but it's a bankrupt idea. right now we've got millions of people out there in water. as far as we know. and this is the beginning of the hurricane season. i hope no other mayors use that doctrine of let's wait and see what's happening because evacuation is too hard. we've invested a lot in these communities to evacuate. in these states, a lot of money since katrina for them to mobilize. we've got to get the he would the elderly and disabled out. we have to get the people who flooded before out, and we need to have a voluntary evacuation before we go to mandatory evacuation. this is a bankrupt idea and with all due respect, i think he's a great mayor and he's very popular but i hope this isn't the doctrine that miami, tampa, new orleans, and other great cities start thinking and even new york because it's too hardware not going to do it and we leave people in a flood zone where it's clearly predicted it's going to flood. >> i've got to get the other folks in now.
president trump, this is for doug. the president spoke earlier today about the devastation and happening from harvey. take a listen and then we'll discuss. >> i think that you're going to see very rapid action from congress, certainly from the president. and you're going to get your funding. it's a terrible tragedy. we expect to have requests on our desk fairly soon. we think that congress will feel very much the way i feel. very bipartisan way. that will be nice. we think you're going to have what you need and it's going to go fast. you'll be up and running very, very quickly. really very quickly. so yeah. i think you're going to be in fantastic shape. i've already spoken to congress and everybody feels for you and feels for what you're going through. >> so this is where relationships matter, doug. promises of this federal aid to help out houston. i'm wondering if it's really that simple because of his poor relationship with congress or do you think they'll come together and realize these folks are in
dire need and get it done? >> well, i think what's important is when president trump comes here to texas tomorrow, we don't know whether he's going to be in austin at camp marby or he might be able to get to corpus christi to the naval air station that he somehow gets to really understand the devastation. water doesn't just dry up in a week. it creates mold it, creates electrical wire shortages. it creates destruction that can't be done for years. fema has said they'll be in houston for three years. why don't they try a decade. this flood is that great. it's going to be what is that price tag? what is the federal government funding? you're looking at $30 billion that donald trump has to get out of congress at the same time he's threatening to shut down if congress doesn't pump money into building a wall. i'm hoping this doesn't get politicized. obviously the country needs to pour billions of dollars into
louisiana coming soon and the state of texas. and maybe tomorrow, he'll get to talk to the right people, catch a vibe of what's going here and fight for that high amount of money they're going to need. >> the situation, juliette, talk about how this is going to play out. we'll be dealing with this as americans for weeks, months, maybe years. how do you see this playing out for texas and louisiana and the country as a whole? >> so this will play out as it's played out after hurricane sandy and katrina which is there will be tremendous amounts of money that are delivered to the city and state, as there should be. the problem with the united states, this is bipartisan problem, is we tend to view disaster relief money as something we're going give to people so they can get back to normal. it's one of the hardest things to say in my field is sometimes we shouldn't get back to normal. in other words, we should look at houston as general honore is saying. where are people are building their homes?
is it smart to build the homes? this is a city that has faced 400-year storms in the last couple of years. these -- there are going to be places in the united states that are no longer liveable inhabitable because of the rising oceans and extreme weather events, same is true in new york. while i have no doubt the money is going to flow, it always does because of the generosity of americans and the politics of destruction, my hope is we will finally wake up and say we're not building for the next storm. we aren't. we're not building outside of flood zones. we're building in areas that are going to be wet, given the kind of client we have. it's a wish of many of us in disaster management who think about resiliency and those of us in homeland security who know that we're not building for the storms that are going to come. >> all right, thank you everyone. i appreciate it. emergency workers and civilians risking their own safety to rescue neighbors trapped by rising waters. joining me is tara gower.
she is an emt in the process of evacuating patients from a hospital and help herd pregnant neighbor get to the hospital when she went into labor during the storm. fascinating. tara, you worked at a hospital. you've been evacuating patients tonight. what is going on? >> basements, as i understand it, and a lot of those are having issues. they're evacuating. those hospitals transferring to other hospitals. and then there's also hospitals that are not expecting -- you have a family staying in the hospitals. you've got more people to feed than they probably have food for. so we're trying to get patients out because they're thinking of the future where there's not going to be enough food for everybody. we're trying to get them to hospitals that may have less mouths to feed basically. >> where are these patients going? >> just to other hospitals around the area. >> and does it look like they have -- that they're going to be able to hold all these patients they have enough equipment, resources to do it?
>> a lot of hospitals yes, they do. we're transferring not to the biggest hospitals that have a lot of the mouths to feed. we're trying to find smaller hospitals that can take them in that are in a safe environment. i know sugar land, they're evacuating some hospitals down there due to the hurricane. ours right now is more of long-term you know who we can feed and just trying to get people out there that are to places where they can actually take care of them, you know, food wise and just trying to be wise for the next few days. a lot of nurses and doctors aren't going home till at least wednesday if not friday. >> tara, don't go anywhere. i just want to show our viewers what is going on. can we take this and show? these are live rescue that you're looking at right now. this is in the houston, texas area. these live rescues coming in now, thousands of people, hundreds we know for sure
thousands of calls. at least a thousand an hour coming in for people to be rescued. and here's the reality of what's going on. it is 10:38 central time in houston, texas. you see people now out there -- let's see if we can take it. tara, don't go anywhere. let's listen for a little bit if we can. >> you want to plug in? >> so, again, there you see some of the rescues. you see people trying to help folks out of the truck there, and just you know, this is what happens when you have an event like this. people pitch in to help. and you just see people who are displaced. what matters for the most part is the clothes on their back and
the loved ones they may have with them. and that's what they leave with. and luckily, these people are alive. those who made it have been so far we know three people have died because of the storm. there you go. you're looking at houston, texas and a live rescue. we've got tara on the phone. she helped save her neighbor and she's been helping people evacuate from the hospital. there are many stories to tell, tara, for people who are, you know, who are running away from the floodwaters and trying to get to safety. >> right, right. definitely. definitely. there's quite a bit out there. we've seen a few. we got to witness different ones with coast guard, in fact just coming down in a basket, picking up another pregnant woman they couldn't get to. i tried, over fences and everything. i couldn't get to her. luckily the coast guard about then pulled down a basket and
picked her right up, her and her husband and were able to evacuate her. yeah, we're -- it's crazy how much is going on right now, but a lot of people are pitching in and houston people are just really stepping up. it makes me pretty proud to live here right now. >> tara gower, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> thank you. for ways that you can help those affected by hurricane harvey, make sure you go to cnn.com/impact. cnn.com/impact. we'll be right back with more on the storm and what's ahead for those in the flood zone. plus north korea firing a missile today. we're going to bring you a live report from pyongyang. if you have medicare parts a and b and want more coverage, guess what? you could apply for a medicare supplement insurance plan whenever you want. no enrollment window. no waiting to apply. that means now may be a great time to shop for an
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breaking news. harvey still inundating the texas flood zone tonight as rescuers across the region struggle to save desperate residents. cnn's paul vercammen is live for us in houston. paul is where we saw the live rescues coming in. tell us what you're witnessing. what's going on at your location there? >> hey, don. communications are extremely rough because of all the cell service out. there's been about a thousand rescues in this part of east houston. you can see right now, people coming out of this neighborhood, basically all of them being rescued within the last, oh, four, five, six hours. they've been coming in with everything that they can. they've been using boats. they've been using these huge trucks. and obviously, a tremendous accepts of relief on the faces
of these people who were stranded by this historic flood. let's try to get you out into this a little bit here and show you. don, if you are going to try to talk to me, i advise you try to yell. it is really difficult to hear right now. what has happened here is for these people, nothing short of a miracle. they've been trapped. some of them for absolutely days in their houses. sealed off by these walls and sheets of water that just came pouring down. what you're looking at right now on this side, this is making use of a freeway underpass. there's one of those trucks that can ride rather high in the water. that helped to get some of the people out. then as you saw, they are taking off with another one these trucks in this direction. a very smart and coordinated effort. as we said right here on the ground, they're estimating they were able to be rescue at least a thousand people tonight. let he try to talk to somebody. excuse me, young man. real quick. how long had you been in there?
did you just get rescued? >> no, i delivered some water. i knew people were over here. >> you're helping out. another good samaritan in houston. what prompted you to do that? what inspired you to come down and deliver water. >> they need help. i know their houses got flood. they don't got nothing. i think they're tired. need some water. >> good for you. >> thank you for that. we're trying to find some people who obviously just came out of the water. we're going to come over here and see if we can talk to this family, don. as i said, no pun intended. very fluid situation. excuse me, did you just come out of these floodwaters? >> excuse me? >> did you just get rescued? >> we just got rescued right now. we've been at it since 10:00 in the morning. we called the choppers. we waved white flags, i mean our cell phones. we had to kind of like conserve everything. then our power went out around 3:00. waters were rising. we're like you know what? we have to go and priority was priority. so they got the woman first and we walked from hidden meadows
all the way to tidwell and from tidwell they told us coast guard, 7:30. we're done. so what happens is somebody came and told us that the middle school got broken into. c.e. king middle school. we got there the second floor because the first floor was flooded. we got there and they said that they sent a truck or something that they sent a truck. and so when we got to the store, the boats were just coming. we didn't know. we were going to wait till 5:00 in the morning. so we were like let's go. let's go. three kids and pregnant. i've got my 3-year-old over there. >> we're glad to see you and your whole family are okay. it's so good to hear you got out. >> we're hoping they're boating everybody in. >> right now, we can see the boats and these big rigs. they're doing the best they can. glad you made it out of there. i know it was a long day for you. that's what the scene looks like right now in the city of houston.
an ongoing situation. back to you now, don. >> oh my goodness, paul vercammen, thank you very much. one story among many. we've been hearing so many over the last few days coming from the texas area. just unbelievable. we'll continue to follow that. in the meantime, we have some breaking news i need to tell you about. north korea launching yet another missile. this one flew over japan. i want to bring in international correspondent will ripley, the only western correspondent in north korea. will, thank you for joining us. tell us what happened. >> well, what north north korea did, don, was a highly, hughley provocative missile test, the most provocative since at least 2009 which is the last time they launched something that went over japan. an immediate range ballistic missile launched from not too far from where i'm standing now at the airport in pyongyang. normally we see them in remote
locations. in this case it appears they used a missile launcher to launch from an airport american tourists use. it flew 1700 miles over the northern island of hokkaido coming down in the pacific ocean. this is significant for a number of reasons. one, the trajectory. the kind of missile they launched had they pointed to the south, this is the kind of missile north korea could use if they were going to launch missiles towards guam. as they threatened a few weeks ago. by launching it from a more populated area near pyongyang, they're telling the united states don't think about trying a preemptive attack or a preemptive strike because they can put missile launchers near people live, a lot of people. more than 3 million people live here which ups the risk for the united states if they were try to take military action to take out north korea's missile. something the united states has not ruled out. obviously a terrifying situation for people living in japan. they woke up around 6:00 local time this morning with their phones beeping, air raid sirens sounding.
even though the missile didn't pose a direct threat, it certainly does underscore the escalating situation here. there are indications rights now according to south korea's intelligence service, north korea could be making final preparations for their sixth nuclear test. for months the government has been saying they could do it at any moment with very little notice. we have to watch closely to see what else happens here. >> will ripley, appreciate your reporting. thank you so much. when we come back, president trump today defending his pardon of sheriff joe arpaio. we'll speak to a man who spent a year in arpaio's tent jail and see what he has to say about the pardon. 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. albreakthrough withyou back. non-drowsy allegra® for fast 5-in-1 multi-symptom relief. breakthrough allergies with allegra®. president trump, today, defending his controversial part pardon of former arizona sheriff joe arpaio. >> sheriff joe is a patriot. sheriff joe loves our country. sheriff joe protected our borders. and sheriff joe was very unfairly treated by the obama administration, especially right before an election. an election that he would have won. so, and he was elected many times. so, i stand by my pardon of sheriff joe. and i think the people of arizona who really know him best, would agree with me. >> joe arpaio tweeting, i
appreciate donald trump's support and comments about me today at his press conference. joining me michael keifer, a senior reporter at the arizona republic. thank you so much for joining us. michael, the president wasn't koy about his pardon of joe arpaio. today he reminded us how the people of arizona love him. so how are the people responding there? >> well, it depends on which side. i don't think the pardon have changed anybody's opinion. there were people that were strongly for, people who are very strongly against. the only difference, is they might be talking about it louder. >> you were with joe arpaio the day he got the news of the pardon. what was his reaction? >> he had gone out for dinner with his wife. it was his wife's birthday. they had spaghetti and calamari. we found out at the last minute that we could get in to have an interview.
he was his usual self. he's always very cordial. he's always very blustery. and it was, like any other interview with him, although he was grateful that he had been pardoned. and he did act as if that this is sort of an incentive for him to get back into public life. >> you covered him for many years. what is some of the most controversial actions -- his controversial actions? and why is he hated and feared by so many people? >> well, there was a period in which he and the county attorney, andrew thomas, who has since been disbarred, were investigated and pressing charges against political enemies and judges. that all ended badly. all of those lawsuits, criminal charges, all went away. and it resulted in numerous court settlements.
i think -- i tallied up a year and a half ago. and i've added in today, since 1994, when he first took office, the county has paid about $160 million in lawsuits. in settlements. among the other things, of course, are the immigration wars. you know, in arizona, they started passing state immigration laws. and around 2005, there were several of them. they were to prevent illegal immigrants from getting bail. they were -- they had to do with smuggling. they had to do with i.d. theft. nearly all of them have been thrown out by the federal courts because they were either unconstitutional or preempted by federal law. so, we have been through this immigration -- this immigration battle here in arizona. all of the main players are now gone. the county attorney was disbarred.
the president of the senate was recalled. and the sheriff finally lost election. enough was enough. >> yeah. thank you, michael. i appreciate it. and by the way, i need to tell our viewers, his team, the legal team for joe arpaio. thank you, michael, i appreciate that. released a statement. joseph m. arpaio, was not convicted for racial profiling. as certain news outlets have inaccurately reported. his conviction had nothing to do with race. he didn't say which news organizations. because he wanted to be correct. but he didn't say which organization. i want to bring in francisco charez. he spent a year in the tent jail. francisco, thank you so much. you were born in mexico. you moved to arizona at the stage of 14. you went to high school there. arizona state university. but you got in trouble. what happened? >> i was arrested for aggravated assault. i was under the influence and rear-ended another vehicle.
and i pled guilty to a charge of aggravated assault. and my sentence was one year of work furlough in the tent city jail. >> you wrote an opinion piece for "the washington post." i just want to read a little bit of it. i won't read the whole thing, but i'll put a little bit up. talking about after you turned yourself into authorities, they put me through something called the matrix, being moved from one cell to another, for about 12 continuous hours. it was cold. i was allowed to wear underwear. all i was allowed to wear was underwear. the striped uniform i was given was underwear and flip-flops. and you go on to talk about that. an i'll let the viewer read. you ultimately ended up in one of his tent cities. what was it like? why were you there so long? and what did you think the conditions were like? >> i was there for a year because that's what i pled to. under my plea agreement. the conditions were extreme. the weather was extreme. the heat.
there is no air conditioning inside the tents. there is no cold water. you had to buy food from a vending machine where the prices are outrageously high. sometimes the detention officers wouldn't let us buy stuff from the commissary, that's what it's called, because they were upset with one of the inmates or what not. so we would go hours without eating. the extreme weather conditions in the wintertime, we would have to put hot water in empty water bottles and put it in a plastic bag and put our feet inside a plastic bag and wrap it around our feet so we would be warm all night. you could only get a certain amount of blankets. the blankets were plastic bags. >> cruel and unusual? >> i think so. i truly believe that anybody who commits a crime deserves a punishment, deserves to serve time for whatever crime they committed, which is what i did. i owned up to what i did. but i think he took things way too far with his tent city. i really don't think it was necessary to even create this. i don't think it's a decent program. i think it's set up to make
criminals fail and commit other crimes. i don't think it's a successful program at all. >> by the way, temperatures as i don't know in arizona can get 115, 120 degrees. it gets really hot there. in the time we have left, the short time, you have been a court interpreter at the time of your arrest. and you witnessed how undocumented people were treated. tell me about that. >> yeah. people who were just caught crossing the desert outside of maricopa county, they were always charged. they were always -- he just wanted to make sure him and andrew thomas wanted to make sure they had a charge on the record. conviction. if they try to come back to the u.s., they would be sent to federal prison. it was a huge thing they had against illegal immigrants and latino people in our community. created huge issues and created racial tensions within maricopa county that were unnecessary. >> i've got about ten
>> what do you think about arpaio not serving his time? >> he should be serving his. he should have to do the same thing. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. that's it for us tonight. thanks for watching. i'm don lemon. i'll see you right back here tomorrow. the worst of mother nature and the best of human nature. rescues playing out across southeast texas. 13 million people living through flood conditions as harvey prepares to come back. president trump heads to texas today to survey the damage, but questions follow him. did he really pardon a controversial sheriff to get more coverage during this storm? and north korea launches another missile. this one over japan. it is