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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  August 31, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thanks for sharing your day with us. a chemical plant fire stirs evacuations and adds to public sayy and health questions in harvey's aftermath. >> what i know from doing research is these things are going to catch on fire. they're going to burn with intensit intensity. you don't want to stand in smoke, do you? >> those who can return home take count of the destruction and also of their blessings.
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>> my neighbors came over, gave me a hug, and whatever you need. you know? everybody is, whatever you need. you know? i guess they can't imagine going through something like this. you know? and like i told the sheriff, i said, i'm just so glad you saved my brother. >> many emotional stories. the vice president also on the ground in texas this hour. there to comfort victims and help sort out how much recovery money the president needs to request from congress. >> -- whether to put upon before congress next week to come up with funding for those affected. he wants to make sure people know that he is there that we are all there for them and put politics aside. >> urgency on the ground and in the skies. anderson cooper, take a look, sitting shotgun, propelled down
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from a helicopter to pull people off rooftops. keeping an eye on that, today in the houston area. yes, the sun is out. look at this. forecasters say the rain is done and the worst of the weather is over, but the worst of this ordeal for many really is just beginning. the water sitting on streets and in houses. lowering enough to trigary block-by-block search ongoing as we speak. rescue officials want to make sure no one was left behind and the grim task of finding those who did not, could not make it out. 37 died in the storm. that number likely to rise. beaumont, texas, cut off from its water supply, people waiting to buy bottles of water. the city forced to evacuate its hospital. a chemical plant in crosby burnt overnight and may burn again. already spewed big black rings of smoke into the night sky sending 15 sheriff deputies to the hospital. a 30-minute drive west of houston, the water is rising and
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more homes at risk of being ruined by flooding. there are signs of normalcy in these very abnormal days. houston's two major airports, operating again and plus trash pickup. the stark reality, uncertainty for millions. finality for others. that man we've talked about, one man escaped before the rest of the family sbeept a wept away. sadly, found yesterday, six victims. four children. and a boeheimith recovery effort is just getting started. a bird's-eye view of the disaster zone. in a helicopter above houston, miguel are the looking at what y -- >> reporter: you are looking at just west of houston. [ muted ] if you look down you
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can see [ muted ]. >> all right. we'll fix our communications. miguel marquez, our anderson cooper also is in the sky with the coast guard searching i believe in the beaumont area looking down on rooftops. anderson, what are you seeing? >> reporter: all right. so -- if you're just joining us, basically, we are now, the crew is -- the flight mechanic is lowering a cable. is lowering a rope down to the the diver, the safety swimmer, who is on a rooftop. we believe he's going to be bringing up a woman. we're not sure of her age, and some of her pets. they're going to be lowering this basket -- sometimes they
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can just bring an individual up without the basket, but because they have possessions with them, they're going to lower the basket as well. [ no audio ] >> if you just joined us, the coast guard rescue effort. cnn's anderson cooper is on that helicopter. lowering a basket down to the roof. a rescue diver went down moments ago to make contact.
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believed to be a woman and a pet, perhaps, coming up in this basket as we watch this dramatic rescue take place. you see the water throughout the home, throughout the neighborhood. >> reporter: the basket is now on the rooftop. so evan galant is the rescue swimmer. he is on the rooftop. he was lowered probably about ten minutes ago. we're told the person is now getting -- the person is now getting into the basket. there's a dog as well. eric, the flight mechanic, who's in the door, is relaying to the pilot exactly what's happening. explaining that the woman is in
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the basket. even telling him the size of the dog. obviously, a concern. they can fit as many as six to eight people. there's certainly enough space for whoever they bring up from this house. the basket is now clear of the roof. they're bringing it up slowly. they're slowly bringing it up. again, eric, the flight mechanic, who's in the doorway, he has a visual on this, and he's giving information to dan miller, and matt mayer, the pilot. they are hovering directly above this and can't see exactly what's going on. that's eric, the flight mechanic --
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[ no audio ] >> anderson, not sure if you can hear me. it's john king in washington. >> reporter: sorry? >> it's john king in washington wonders, is the basket going down for the swimmer or more
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people down there to rescue? >> reporter: so as you can see now they're sending the basket back down. i assume to bring one more person up. >> watching this scene play out you see the two dogs obviously unnerved by the noise of the helicopter, but happy -- happy to be in safety. remarkable scene. after so many days of struggle, good to see some happy faces including beautiful pets. continuing, the rescue basket lowered down again as anderson just told us. >> reporter: the basket is now back on the roof. now a second person is getting the basket. eric is telling the pilots of a second survivor in his words, is
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in the basket. and eric is also giving a word to the pilot to move a little bit to the right to hold position directly above where the basket is. eric has said the basket cleared the roof. still not clear of the trees. they have to be very careful that the basket, tries to stay steady. so obviously the basket doesn't hit any trees, and now a second person is coming back up.
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[ sound of the helicopter ] >> remarkable work by the united coast guard. you see the second woman brought into the helicopter. two dogs and woman brought up in the earlier drop. the engineer now trading the basket and cnn's enterson co 'sr watching this play out just over beaumont, texas. yet another remarkable scene we've seen in the past several days. several days, rescue operations playing out in so many ways.
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anderson, i believe the rescue swimmer is still down there. word there is additional or time to bring him up? >> reporter: the rescue swimmer will be coming back up himself in order to get back on, and then we'll -- then they'll go to drop off these two people, relatively nearby. as long as they don't have any medical needs. >> how long do you expect, anderson -- how long is this crew expected to be in the air continuing to look for more example of the heroism we've just seen? obviously it's difficult to communicate. the noise on the helicopter plus anderson monitoring radio communications between the crew as well and can't hear us all the time. >> reporter: they're trying to decide now where they're going to drop off these two people. there's a shelter nearby and think that's probably where they'll drop them off.
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>> again, the skies over a neighborhood in beaumont, texas. remarkable work by the united states coast guard. the engineer reaching down pulling up the cable. we expect any second now to see the rescue swimmer sent down to coordinate all of this. dropped a few moments ago. end of the last hour. into this neighborhood in beaumont as this coast guard team flies throughout the neighborhood, looking down, looking for people with a signal that they need help. >> reporter: i'm sorry? repeat that. so they still haven't brought back the rescue swimmer, eric galant. they're asking the second person they brought up to get out of the basket to sit here in order to move the basket, make sure
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there's enough room. put the basket up on the side. now it's a question of getting eric back up onboard the chopper, and then taking these two as well as their pets to shelter. these dogs are incredibly mellow, given what they've just been through. now -- so evan galant, the rescue swimmer, is -- evan galant, the rescue swimmer is still on the roof. he's obviously -- they've lowered the cable now to reattach, for him to reattach to the cable. they'll bring him up, and then this crew will bring these two survivors to a nearby shelter, we believe, as well, of course, their pets.
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>> reporter: so the flight mechanic is, again, just trying to tell the pilots, giving the pilots a little bit of direction in order to get to the exact spot to hover so it's directly up so evan galant has a straight line to come back up. no chance of him you know, hitting any trees or anything on the way up. this crew has plenty of fuel. so at this point, fuel is not an issue. they're able to stay in the air about three hours.
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prove been in the air already about an hour and a half. so they're watching fuel. a concern for other crews in the area today. they came out earlier and have been rescuing people earlier today. told that evan is now clear. clear of the roof. not clear of the trees but he's on his way up. >> as you watch this heroism unfold you get a glimpse of the neighborhoods down below. yes, the rain stopped but look at all of that standing water. >> reporter: it's hard to tell.
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i would say, you know, maybe 500 feet or so. i can't tell exactly. i'd say about 500 feet. so we're -- we're -- okay. so i've just been told we're going to go to a nearby field where a number of other people have been dropped off. another chopper wasn't able to take some other people to a shelter. so i believe we're going to go to a field. touch down, and get more people on this chopper, and then take them to a shelter. that's what the pilot just said. again, things could change quickly, depending on what other air assets are in the area, and -- and if there are any other rescues needed. >> well-deserved pat on the back
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there to the rescue swimmers from the flight mechanic who deserves one as well. the complexity of this is hard. and cooper in the helicopter -- >> reporter: how was that? >> it was good. felt good. it was a pretty high hoist, you know? at least 150 feet. you can see doubling up on the trail line. kind of a lot to keep up with that. once i got the woman in the house because the -- the wash from the helicopter is quite thick. you can see. other than that, everything went very smoothly. working well together as crew. giving out relay when needed. overall, a very successful hoist. >> reporter: so what's the plan now? >> i'm actually not sure. about to jump on the ibs unit and talk to some pilots. down on the roof i was talking to them and they said within the next hour or so, some boats come through this channel. a drop-off point. we might drop them there to get on a boat, or maybe go back to
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monitor their property. >> reporter: amazing to watch. >> i'm sorry. >> reporter: it was amazing to watch. >> it's a lot of fun. kind of surreal once you're doing it. >> a whole lot of fun. kind of surreal when you're doing it. that from the rescue swimmer you just heard there. anderson cooper aboard a coast guard helicopter. you watched on live television quite a dramatic rescue. two women and two dogs pulled from the roof of a house near beaumont, texas. they'll take them to a drop point, get them the attention and care they need. as a matter of fact, that was fun, from the rescue swimmer, but applause, applause to the men and women of the united states coast guard now part of the continuing search and rescue operations all around the houston area. you see a second helicopter there on the ground. also looks like a coast guard helicopter from my perspective here, and we'll watch this. >> reporter: i believe they have
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some people they picked up earlier. i think we're going to be landing in that field as well in order to pick up some of the people they had rescued and we'll take them, because we have more fuel. we'll take them on. so the -- for the two people we just picked up, they're not wet. they're not cold. so they don't have medical needs that need to be attended to immediately. so they've been asked to go to -- they've asked to go to a local shelter. that's the plan right now for these two people, and perhaps the other people should be dropped off in this field we're going to land in. okay. >> all right. you're watching one coast guard helicopter on the ground. the helicopter that you've been watching the last 20 minutes plus conduct a dramatic rescue over beaumont, texas, about to
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land to drop those citizens off, along with their two pets. a quick break on "inside politics." when we come back, more on the search and rescue efforts, more on the vice president being in the region to assess the need aids. stay with us. back in just a moment.
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offering them more precise and less invasive treatment options than before. that's what makes us cancer treatment centers of america. we're not just fighting cancer anymore. we're outsmarting it. the evolution of cancer care is here. welcome back. live pictures here. this is southern baptist hospital in beaumont, texas. evacuating patients because the hospital no longer has running water. you see military personnel on the scene there. helicopters parked off in the grass. medical personnel bringing out, you see the patients, wheelchairs, gurneys, otherwise here. again, this hospital forced to evacuate when they lost running water a bit earlier today. you see -- see the cameras. we're watching pictures as you are. but you see -- gurneys, medical personnel there. military personnel and medical personnel assisting a patient.
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watch this play out. again, a reminder. you just saw anderson cooper with a coast guard crew. these look like army or national guard helicopters on the ground here. military now part of the remarkable heroism playing out across the houston area in texas. five days after harvey made landfall, the aftermath still being felt despite the rain stopping. beaumont, southern baptist hospital, again, forced to evacuate patients because they lost running water. you see the military personnel coming in, preparing these people for the chopper ride. getting them to safety. one of the things we've seen throughout this, saw it again just now. coast guard rescue swimmer
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coming up, talking about it was fun, the calm, the poise everybody is showing. the military personnel, medical personnel getting the patients to safety, remarkable and then all the hardship to see the poise and dignity and calm of people helping those who most need help at this critical moment. again, this is beaumont, texas, outside of southern baptist hospital. those helicopter used to evacuate patients, because the hospital lost its running water.
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reminder of the scope of the logistical challenge here. who needs help, where are they? in this case, obviously, everyone at the hospital accounted for. the city of beaumont without water. a hospital can't function in those circumstances. this is one of the challenges, a big challenge, a known challenge, to authorities. hospital loses water. city loses water. get these patients to safety. part of the day in which you just saw another end of it from the coast guard and the sky perspective hovering over neighborhoods looking for people waving for help. people on top of proof tops, people who still need help on the ground, playing out again today and will play out several more days to come according to local officials. just in many place, the water, all the rain stopped. water slowly beginning to recede. again, just watch this scene play out. patient after patient being brought out as close as they can to the helicopter in the wheelchairs or gurneys and then assisted on to these choppers.
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>> again, you have to applaud. watching this play out. i'm guessing none of these medical personnel have to do this before but seem completely at ease and keeping their patients at ease as they wait. you see a gurney coming out, a stretcher, to help this patient. remarkable cooperation at every level. in a moment, a stretcher comes out and see additional help to help this one patient make her way on to a stretcher and then on to that helicopter.
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>> you see the helping hands there. again, secenes like this play out, military personnel, hospital personnel, any time they need a set of extra hands somebody steps up and helps out. evacuating a hospital in beaumont, texas, because the city has lost its running water and a hospital cannot operate in circumstances like that. the calmness and efficiency of this seems quite remarkable.
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cnn producer, he's on the ground. bri brian, our prospective watching the pictures remarkable the calm way they're going through this. tell us what you've sooner and are seeing for the moment? >> reporter: sure. arrived about a half hour ago and evacuating patients of this entire hospital. beaumo beaumont, the entire city the water supply cut off because of a pump going and being flooded. sorry. i've been running from the helicopter here. and taken by ambulance and air. currently there are two black hawk helicopters on the ground to evacuate dialysis patients. and a medevac helicopter landed to take more patients. >> brian, do we know, are these army helicopters? national guard helicopters, aware of that or just coming in and hard to figure it out? >> reporter: hard to figure it out. to me they're national guard. and those being evacuated now,
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dialysis patients, requiring more critical care. they're going by ground, by ambulances and more critical patients by helicopter. this is, since we've been here, more ambulances are coming in right now, actually. >> as we watch it play out on the ground, we're limited what we can see. is it as calm and methodical? >> reporter: very calm and methodical. doing a fabulous job. it's not every day two black hawk helicopters land on the ground in small city in texas. something they weren't expecting. to be clear, things were going quite well until last night. we've been here a few days. after the flooding, without water in hotels and found out
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the entire city was without water. the firefighting operations and things like that, at this point there's no idea when the water will return. a fairly major situation. >> to that point, a reminder. even though the rain stopped, the complications continue. a place that as of yesterday was doing reasonly well. relatively well considering its neighbors and the like, then losing its water and responding in the aftermath of harvey. the domino effect, if you will. brian, any indication where the patients are going or making those decisions based on the urgency of the need and the closest facility that meets those needs? >> reporter: exactly. the closest facility. outside of beaumont, they will have water. if you see the pictures, beautiful sunshine. blue skies. 85 degrees. the storm totally passed. no roads flooded around the city, right here you don't see the storm even happened with the exception of not having running water. >> no water.
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days after, the aftermath of harvey, as it continues to play out. watching this dramatic rescue. military personnel, law enforcement, medical enforcement combining in quite a methodical way. our producer on the ground there, brian rokus in beaumont, texas. patients evacuated more quickly aboard helicopters. brian, you've seen ambulances as well. obviously, patients who it be transported over ground, that is the preferred path for most? >> reporter: exactly. obviously, safer. more ambulances available than helicopters. helicoptering are also used for active rescues around the area. a key way to use resources. and i can tell you, this is a large hospital complex. our public affairs concierge waiting to see how many need evacuat evacuated. there are many, many people in this building and they're shutting down the emergency department here. not only evacuating patients but
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emergency services have to go elsewhere as well. for those outside the city, also running water, which it actually is. >> point. important point. beaumont, texas, now shut down. you see a stretcher being carried on to the black hawk helicopter. extraordinary work by the military in cooperation with law enforcement and most dialysis patients, we believe, who need to be transported more quickly because of the urgency of care needs and others transported on the ground. to facilities, we don't know exactly where. probably different facilities. brian, correct me if you've heard more based on particular needs of the patients. as you watch this play out, a reminder. days after the storm hit, the continuing challenges, search and rescue for people still in neighborhoods, and an adjustment made here in the community of beaumont, texas. this time yesterday doing relatively well. losing water overnight in the town. forcing this hospital to shut
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down and move its patients. >> reporter: that's correct, john. to be clear, the hospital here was never flooded. there is no water on the ground. this hospital is high and dry. the latest crisis occurred, overnight they've had to check on operations here. >> all right. begin, you're watching the united states military personnel. don't know if their active duty or national guard, either way, they're heroes. looks like they're about to close the door on that particular black hawk helicopter. we have seen from civilians, the military, first responders, police and fire departments in the community and people rushing in from neighboring cities and states and around the country sending supplies and personnel, sending in personnel. remarkable work. one of the black hawks up in the sky. brian, what are you seeing now? >> reporter: john, actually i couldn't actually hear you. near them is -- try to walk around the corner here. take a look.
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i believe one helicopter departed. yes. two on the ground before. one departed. the second departing now as you're seeing. kind of loud here. now we have both black hawk healths in the air departing with patients onboard and a third civilian air ambulance helicopter on the ground as well waiting for patients to evacuate. >> again, the coordination of all this, done on the fly. beaumont, texas, brian said, that hospital high and dry. no one anticipating this yesterday. water went out overnight. the hot decispital deciding to its doors because of no running water. authorities and coordination between the military and police to pull this off the professionalism of the medical staff to be applauded. this scene outside southern baptist hospital in beaumont, texas. we watched two black hawks take
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off a short time ago and watching anderson cooper live on a coast guard helicopter during a dramatic rescue. cnn's barbara starr is at the pentagon. help us understand this, barbara. talked about first responders and talked about civilians in the past 24 to 48 hours have seen more and more examples whether the coast guard, the army, the national guard, u.s. military personnel, joining in. search and rescue efforts and here getting patients who need critical care out of this hospital and to a facility where they cannish taken care of. >> reporter: yes, john. in fact, let me just go ahead and break a little news on your show right now. secretary of defense jam mattes mattis is talking to reporters in the hallway. i just asked him about the pace of military assistance for hurricane relief. what the defense secretary, less than five minutes ago, just told pentagon reporters is military assistance not only will keep flowing, but he said we will
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send a little more than they may need, and when the state asks for it, they will already be there ready to go. secretary of defense mattis, very much in the mode, he says, leaning forward and the pentagon, the u.s. military is going to send more than the texas state authorities may think that they need. so it will be there. you are beginning to see the medical portion of this, and these rescue helicopters, these crews, are very experienced in this. there are more than 100 helicopters in the immediate region. many of them specially outfitted for this kind of rescue. let's be blunt. this is not a combat operation but it is the same set of very technical skills they would use in a war zone to evacuate wounded troops off the front line. to get them into helicopters. to keep giving them medical treatment while they are flying, while they are under way, and
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get them to a safer point. they have to be able to provide them based on the condition of these patients, just like with wounded troops, continuing care as they are on these helicopters. what we know is brooke army medical center in san antonio already designated to receive some victims, people who need medical help from the hurricane. another military medical team arriving at houston international airport. a way station, if you will, there. so they can move people on to other medical facilities that are able to take them. this is now, if you will, in a way, we are simultaneously seeing the second phase of this effort already move into play. even as they continue to rescue people out of the water, these people can no longer be where they are, and they're having to move them on very rapidly.
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the military component of this, as secretary mattis told reporters is growing. within the next couple hours you will see two warships deploy from norfolk, virginia, 690 marines onboard. they will go down to texas. there is not a state request for them yet but they're going to be there and secretary mattis making it very clear. he expects everything that goes there is going to wind up getting used. the marines will be able to stay on their ships, fly back and forth on to land. help with rescues. provide food, water, medical assistance. water purification equipment. water is becoming a big problem down there, as some of these water systems are impacted. so you have 690 additional marines on their way. this is in addition to 6,300 u.s. active military duty troops in the immediate region.
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many of them engaging in these dramatic rescues that you are seeing. this is what the u.s. military can do to help the local responders there. people are getting exhausted. they can't stay out there for five days on mission after mission. so the military comes in. they can generate a high volume of continuous rescue, because these are people, as you see them being moved on stretchers, on wheelchairs, the elderly, the ill, these are people that can't wait. they have to be gotten out of there, and they have to get to proper medical care, which simply can't be provided for them anymore when the hospitals don't even have a water supply. john? >> barbara starr at pentagon. barbara speaking, on the right-hand side of your screen outside southern baptist hospital in beaumont, texas. the vice president, lost that
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now, his wife and cabinet member ace riving on the scene in corpus christi. greg abbott in a wheelchair, coming to greet the vice president. the vice president on the ground. part of the trump administration show of force, plain and simple. meeting victims in the rockport area today where harvey first made landfall as a hurricane friday night. again, the picture on your screen, medevac operation at the southern baptist hospital in beaumont. as that played out, pictures of the vice president arriving. showed the president arriving the other day. there's the vice president on the left side of your screen there. trump administration determined to show it is on top of this, of the defense secretary talking about sending more troops. the white house, the vice president in the region with a handful of cabinet members to meet victims and assess the recovery needs. how big of a recovery request the president needs to make next week to the united states congress. take a quick break. you're watching "inside politics." again, the separate screen tells you a lot of breaking news. the rain stopped.
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the aftermath for harvey continues across texas.
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welcome back to "inside politics." pictures outside baptist southern hospital in beaumont, texas. major operations underway. you see the helicopter in the foreground there to assist patients being evacuated from this hospital, because beaumont lost its running water. quite a scene. watching it play out. as it has been playing out, the sad news, the death toll from hurricane harvey has risen to 39. crews going into neighborhoods, that number likely, likely to grow in the days ahead. with us from southern baptist hospital right there in beaumont, texas, as you watch, this is moments ago, medevac operations. spokes porn mary poole. thanks for taking time to join
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us in the middle of all this. how many patients are having to be evacuated and how many have such critical care needs they need a helicopter? >> well, good morning from southeast texas. at midnight we had 193 patients in-house. we have started discharging some patients this morning. as the sun came up, the physicians started coming in. if we had an opportunity to discharge a patient home, that is always our first choice, but we began with 193. at this particular point i can't tell you exactly how many made it out, but we've had black hawk helicopters, memorial herman helicopters, we have several hospitals behind me and also used street buses. >> mary, a surprise, obviously. visiting with you this time yesterday your helicopter was high and dry, you had running water. with all the stress, all the logistical stressen at the equipment and stress on people in surrounding communities, i have to say watching this play out, how impressed one is to look at calmness of your medical personnel and the local law
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enforcement and the military personnel coming in to help. how was logistics of all of this, how has it worked out? >> well, this isn't our first hurricane, sad to say. we've had a lot of practice. we had a hurricane in 2005, 2008 and now 2017. so we practice this drill on a regular basis. we went to bed last night at midnight expected business as usual. pretty self-contained. our own generators, plenty of food and bottled water. we had no idea when we went to bed at midnight, at 1:00 we'd get a call saying the hospital would need think about the city's water being lost. did not imagine that and that's a game changer for us. >> and those who could be discharged have been sent home. take me to the other side of that. looking at people either on live support. we know here many patients we've watched in the helicopters need dialysis or our critical care treatment. how do you do that ranching a r
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how does that sequence out? >> we start with the highest priority. icu patients, nicu patients, highest of ambiguity. we get them established and transferred. even not out of here at least they have a place and start from the, go from the bottom up from there. we have many, many patients that still need transferred and on the phone now making those arguments. it is very, very organized. we have like i told you, we've practiced this many, many times before. >> when you say you practiced this many, many times before, i assume part of those contingency plans when you desktop this as the term goes, are you, because of the stress on the surrounding communities, some of these patients going a farther distance than one might anticipate, because option a. is not available? option a. can't handle it? >> well, we're trying to keep it as local as possible. we are already transfers to jasper and galveston. we cannot go to houston, because, houston received the
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same damage we did. we're trying to keep them as close as possible. part of the healing process is to be with your family. we want to make sure they're with family. trying to make the decision best for the patient. not financial. we need to take care of the patients first. >> as you watch this play out, mary, you're a witness as well as a spokeswoman for the hospital. it's remarkable to watch the people who don't know each other. your medical personnel. local law enforcement and the military integrate quickly and make this happen. just be the eyes on the ground more than a hospital spokeswoman and tell me what you've seen? >> well i have lived here all my life. been with this organization 24 years and you see this every dap. we work together as a team. a small community. only 125,000 people here. i know all the people around me. if i need a ambulance person, all standing right here behind me. all on my phone i'm in their phone. we're a team. southeast texas. that's what we do. >> mary poole outside of southern baptist hospital.
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thank you for your time today. i know it's a busy time there as this evacuation unfolds and congratulations at least what we've seen so far and hope it continues to go as smooth as we have been watching it play out here so far. appreciate your time. again, as we continue to cover this story you see an evac twlags. a flooded chemical plant catches fire sending black smoke shooting into the sky back in the houston area triggering new fare. cnn's nick valencia is in the arkema plant near crosby texas. >> reporter: in may sound lik c semantics, they say what happened in crosby texas at plant, they lost the ability to cool the vessels containing this organic peroxide, highly combustible. because it wasn't being cooled you saw what happened early this morning, 3:00 a.m. local, large plumes of smoke.
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i spoke to a resident nearby in the area who says the clouds, the sky is just very hazy. the plant officials say they created a 1.5-mile radius evacuation zone and are saying the public is not in danger. whether or not the public believes them, that's an outstanding question. the problem also, john is that there's a potential for this to happen even more later. nine vessels are still at risk. eight aren't being cooled. no surprise if another incident later today. >> nick valencia. thank you. injuries here? >> reporter: 15 deputies hospitalized. we understand released with non-life threatening injuries. >> nick valencia on the ground. the rain may have stopped but it will take weeks for the waters to recede. in texas, potential health problems that the water and other issues left behind. already delaired a public emergency. joining us, director of the national institute of allergies and infection diseases.
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thank you for your time. start with the chemical plant. authorities and the executives at the company saying 1.5 mile evacuation zone. they believe it's sufficient. we're talking about organic peroxides here. some sent into the air in a fire. some i assume will get into some of the waters there. is there a big risk or not a big deal? >> well, i wouldn't say it's not a big deal. i think what authorities are trying to do is try and safeguard the public to the best of their ability. when you have things like that, there's obviously, for those who get directly exposed, toxic chemicals, smokes that come out like that can certainly have an irritant, if not very damaging issue with regard to the lungs and that's what sthorauthoritie trying to avoid clearing out the area for those who could be vulnerable. that's what they're trying to do. >> anything people should be worried about these chemicals? one sheriff said, look, caught around the heavy smoke of a barbecue. is it that simple?
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>> well, you know, when you have toxic chemicals like that and breathe them in, obviously, it's an irritant to the lung and could be anything from just a mild irritant, just annoying, to some people who have pulmonary disease, chronic lung disease, or other conditions that can be really very serious and trigger other medical conditions. that's the reason why they're trying as best they can to protect the public by what they're doing. >> what's the broader public health urgency? nor mind looking at these pictures? hearing 50 inches of rainfall. when you hear some of this water may be here for weeks. hear about bacteria. worry about ma streesquiosquito. what is your economic list what to worry about and what the local medical experts in the community should be doing? >> john i think it's best to look at it for the immediate threats, kind of the intermediate and then long range. immediate ones we've seen on cnn. the tragedies of drowning. tragedies of trauma.
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the tragedies of what we're talking about right now with regard to having to evacuate people from the hospital. then you get the pictures we've seen dramatically on cnn of people shlogging through water sometimes waist high or more, that have sewage spillage in it. that's when you get into situations where you could have contamination where people can get diarrhea diseases and viruses. people with open wounds, even some, though, you might not note. things that might tear to be trivial can get infected. then a more intermediate longer range things. you have molds in the house after the water resides, can actually have people, trigger allergic reactions, hypersensitivity reactions. the thing i also worry about a little below the radar screen but important, people who get disconnected from their medical care. we saw a dramatic example of that with the having to evacuate the hospital, which they did in
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an amazing way. right before us. there are people who might be stranded, run out of medication. people who have tenuous medical conditions that could be exacerbated by the stress. those the kind of things to watch out for over the next couple days. >> and anything, as you lay out that list, intermediary, immediate, long term list when you look at this here, anything particular to this part of the country that makes it harder or easier? or is this wherever this would happen that would be your concern? >> well, wherever it happens it would be a concern. i know obviously when people get concerned are you going to have a big mosquito flux? you get a hurricane, water washes them away. later, standing water, you have to pay attention about mosquito control. an important issue. >> doctor, joining us today to understand pictures we're watching. appreciate your time and patience as we dealt with breaking news earlier in the program.
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thanks for joining us today on "inside politics." as you watch these pictures play out we continue our coverage. jim acosta continues that coverage after a quick break. i'm jim acosta in for wolf blitzer. it's almost 1:00 p.m., wherever you're joining us from, thanks for watching. and towns in texas underwater. one town residents told the loss of life and property is a certainty. we are seeing dozens of rescues carried out. you've seen it all morning long here on cnn. some of the pictures there right now. flooded neighborhoods throughout the area. the coast guard says they've helped out more than 6,000 people and even pets, you see in the video.
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anderson cooper was along on some of the coast guard helicopter rescues. we'll be bringing you some of those pictures throughout the hour. the u.s. military has more than 6,000 troops taking part in these efforts, and texas and louisiana with more on the way. this is the scene on the ground in beaumont, texas. we'll show thaw in a few moments. take a listen. all right. we'll bring thaw in a moment. flooding there has knocked out the city's water supply, which forced evacuations you see here. these are going to be flying out all morning long. these are patients, we'll show you the video in a few moments, moved out of a baptist hospital in beaumont in houston. crewing are prepared to go house to house. there are the pictures there. trying to find more people stranded by the storm. you're looking at boat right there making its way across sugarland, texas, earlier today. not far away a new mandatory evacuation orders in place. some because of rising floodwaters. others to keep peoplero

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