tv America This Morning ABC March 19, 2019 4:00am-4:30am PDT
morning america." making news in america this morning, the massive inferno overnight that could burn for days. a texas refinery up in flames. plumes of smoke and toxic fumes billow into the sky. the impact it could now have on gas prices. the historic flood emergency. the vice president tours the devastation in the heartland today with more rain on the way. we have new images of before and after as rivers inundate neighborhoods. the death toll rising. hundreds of homes now underwater. another top hollywood executive loses his job because of sexual misconduct allegations. what the head of warner brothers allegedly did. the text message at the heart of the case and the fallout this morning. plus, tidy travel. the airlines ranked on cleanliness. see who has the cleanest
planes and who didn't even make the list. a new role for peyton manning. the offer tour out of retirement. and the intriguing new question about the characters on "sesame street" now setting off a vigorous debate. good tuesday morning, everyone. we begin with a raging refinery fire that could now affect gas prices across the country. >> that massive fire sending plumes of toxic smoke into the air near houston. officials fear it could take two days to burn itself out. and combined with recent refinery fires, it could soon drive up the prices at the pump. a raging infernovernight lighting up the night sky in texas. the flames from a gas and oil plant fire near houston sending plumes of toxic smoke into the air. >> it is a very dangerous and active event that's occurring, and it's still going on. >> reporter: several tanks
filled with components used to make gasoline, nail poll remover and glue are still burning after nearly 48 hours. residents were told to shelter in place for a time and keep their windows closed and their air conditioners off. abc's marci gonzalez is there.>e trucks all lined up here along the road and they are using foam to try to keep these flames from spreading even further, but officials here say they will likely have to let this fire burn out on its own, which could take a couple of days. >> reporter: the fire is the second in as many days at a houston area refinery. a blaze at this exxonmobil plant saturday has been contained. the fires in texas combined with a refinery fire near los angeles sunday could drive up gas prices even further. experts say with these refineries out of commission, supplies will shrink at a time when refineries shut down for maintenance ahead of peak summer demand. gas prices have already been rising for five consecutive weeks. they're up 21 cents in the last month alone, and with no indication of how long these
plants will be offline, there's no word just how much of an impact there will be on consumers. meanwhile back in houston the concern is air quality with tests so far showing no immediate threat to public health. >> by looking behind me you can tell that this is not normal. this is not fine. the only thing preventing this from being a major catastrophe is favorable weather conditions. >> but with that fire still burning, some environmentalists say the smoke could affect air quality around houston for weeks. to the other big story, the historic floods in the heartland and midwest. vice president mike pence will tour the devastation in nebraska today where more rain is expected. abc's stephanie ramos has the new images coming in. stephanie, good morning. >> reporter: janai, good morning. the devastating floods we're seeing across the midwest is a result of so much rain, warmer temperatures and snow melt. it's led to hundreds of evacuations but also loss of life. roads and bridges washed out as historic deadly floods take over the midwest. >> just unbelievable. i just never expected it to be this bad.
>> reporter: in nebraska, rescuers fighting against raging currents, high waves and strong winds saving hundreds of residents from the rising waters in the worst flooding to slam the state in three decades. the floods claiming three lives including an 80-year-old woman trapped in her home. >> they're telling everybody just grab what you can and get out. >> reporter: in lincoln, crews dropped sandbags to try to protect the city's water supply. stranded residents flown out by volunteer pilots. in northwest missouri, residents in craig bracing for the water coming their way. >> we will do anything we can to keep this town dry. >> reporter: the worst flooding taking place along the nebraska and iowa border. >> there goes the bridge. right there it just washed out. >> reporter: check out these satellite images. you can see flooding of the missouri and platte rivers south of omaha. here's the platte river before and during the flood and the town of pacific junction also
underwater. the flooding so severe in part because of the region's massive snow accumulations and then a sudden rise in temperatures. vice president mike pence is scheduled to visit the region today. there are so many towns that are cut off by these floods right now and more rain is expected to move in. officials say it may take up to a month for the region to recover from these historic floods. guys. >> and, stephanie, so many people left without homes now bracing for even more flooding. thank you. meantime, boeing's ceo has released a new statement as the company tries to address safety concerns surrounding its new 737 jet. french investigators now confirm that some black box data from last week's crash in ethiopia is similar to last october's crash in indonesia, and in light of that development boeing's ceo said, quote, we're taking actions to fully ensure the safety of the 737 max. now one major question is the safety of the plane's anti-stall safety system, which forces the
plane's nose down. it may have been a factor in both crashes. >> but you need the whole data set to go through and understand is the sensor bad, or is this just how the aircraft is being flown? you can't fix the airplane until you know what the issue is. we need the data to know what to fix. >> federal prosecutors are reportedly investigating how the plane was developed. boeing says the jet was certified in accordance with faa requirements, and the faa insists there was no pressure to speed up the plane's certification. now to the shooting on a tram in the netherlands monday that may have been the result of a family dispute. dutch police say the suspect in custody has a criminal record and his family back in turkey is quoted as saying he opened fire on a woman for family reasons and then shot people who tried to help her. three people were killed. police initially said it could have been a terror attack. and back here in this country, another hollywood ceo has lost his job in the me too movement.
sordid text messages with an actress show the chairman of warner brothers may have used his powerful position to score job opportunities for his lover. this morning a major hollywood executive ousted after stunning accusations of sexual misconduct. warner brothers' ceo kevin tsujihara announcing his resignation monday after he reportedly offered acting opportunities to a woman he was having an affair with reigniting criticism of hollywood's casting couch culture. >> so is this your cover? >> yeah, one of them. >> where are the others? >> reporter: tsujihara allegedly helped this actress, charlotte kirk, score auditions for small parts in "ocean's 8" and "how to be single." the two began their affair in 2017, and while tsujihara initially denied the claims, the sexual nature of the relationship was unveiled by "the hollywood reporter." the publication discovering sordid text messages between the two with the actress writing, you're very busy, i know, but when we were in that motel having sex, you said you would help me. that help according to the
article came in the form of meetings with studio executives on warner brothers film and tv projects. in a statement to abc news, warner brother says, quote, it is in the best interest of warner media, warner brothers, our employees and our partners for kevin to step down as chairman and ceo of warner brothers. and the company says it will continue investigating. tsujihara's attorney denies his client played any role in getting kirk hired. time now for a look at your weather forecast on this tuesday morning. good morning. unfortunately, more unwelcome rain for grand island, omaha and kansas city. that's going to add to local flooding. now, you combine the rain along with ice and snow melt and it's causing problems as far north as elkhorn river as well as towards platte river then that flows into the missouri river, thought kansas city, columbia
and st. charles and all that dumps into the mississippi river which will make flooding throughout the midsouth all the way to the deep south even worse. that's the reason why. i'm accuweather meteorologist paul williams. coming up, the social media star accused of a fitness fraud and the new fight over refunds. but first, new details who leaked neighborhooded photos of amazon's jeff bezos to "the national enquirer" and how much that tabloid paid for them. and later why the search for the serial killer known as jack the ripper may finally be over.
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she's charged with assault but her family is demanding that that officer be reprimanded. a new report details how "the national enquirer" obtained nude photos of amazon ceo jeff bezos. the pictures and racy text messages from bezos to his girlfriend lauren sanchez led to the end of his marriage. "the wall street journal" now reports the material was passed on to "the enquirer" by sanchez's brother. he was reportedly paid $200,000. the man accused of gunning down reputed mob boss francesco cali in new york has made his first court appearance. 24-year-old anthony comello raised his hand to show phrases written on his palm including make america great again and united we stand. sources say cali would not let comello date his niece, but the motive for that killing remains under investigation. congressman steve king of iowa is once again causing controversy after sharing a meme about a possible civil war in the future. king asked, i wonder who would win while sharing this image showing red states fighting blue states. the meme bragged that red states
have 8 trillion bullets while the other side doesn't know which bathroom to use. king has since deleted the post. the congressman recently lost his committee assignments after questioning when the term white supremacy became offensive. those comments denounced as racist. a social media star accused of running a fitness fraud is now facing new backlash. complaints filed with the attorney general of texas claim brittany davis failed to deliver on personalized diet and fitness plans after charging some clients nearly $300 each. davis has since apologized but her dissatisfied clients are now demanding refunds. before you book your next flight, you might want to check out the new list of airlines with the cleanest planes. a survey ranks japan's all nippon airways number one. passengers were asked about the seats, tray tables and bathrooms. the top six airlines were all from asia, and get this, not a single airline based in the u.s. made even the top 30. are you surprised? >> ah, i'm going to have to wear gloves.
oh, my gosh. germ boxes in the sky. >> in the sky 30,000 feet up. all right. coming up, a possible new job for peyton manning. but first violence erupts at a popular spring break location. two college football players are shot. what police are saying about the motive. and up next, new video of a shootout at the bellagio in las vegas and the robbery suspect's attempted escape. waterfall, hon. what do you think? ♪ woo! yeah! it's good! it's refreshing. ♪ at northwestern mutual, this is what our version of financial planning looks like. tomorrow is important, but she's only seven once. spend your life living. find an advisor at northwesternmutual.com. ♪ when you have nausea, ♪ heartburn, ♪ indigestion, ♪ upset stomach, ♪ diarrhea... girl, pepto ultra coating will treat your stomach right.
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we turn now to the brazen robbery and shootout on the las vegas strip. this at the famed bellagio hotel. >> almost unbelievable. overnight we obtained new and much clearer surveillance video of the wild scene when a robbery suspect exchanged gunfire with police. abc's danya bacchus has the new details. >> reporter: las vegas police releasing new surveillance video showing a heist that led to a shootout at the bellagio hotel. police say friday night the suspect, michael cohen, robbed a bellagio cashier at gunpoint and then ran outside to a packed valet area trying to carjack a vehicle but spotted by these officers already there on another call. as they confront him, he opens fire hitting one officer. >> the brazen criminal who showed no regard for his victims and was willing to use deadly force on a police officer in order to make his escape. >> reporter: that bullet strikes the officer in the center of his bulletproof vest. police returned fire. cohen was hit and died at the hospital.
>> we're fortunate that our officer's vest stopped that round. >> reporter: authorities say they now believe this wasn't his first time targeting the iconic casino. >> i think if you look at that image, there's bandages on the left side of the face. you see the hoodie as well as the glasses and a black beanie. >> reporter: they said this could be cohen wearing a disguise and bandage across his face robbing the bellagio poker case in 2017 and getting away. danya bacchus, abc news, los angeles. spring break in miami turned violent with the shooting of two college football players under arrest. police fights and bad behavior have been out of control with brawls on the beaches and clubs. but the chaos apparently reached a new high this weekend. police say the two football players from texas a&m commerce were robbed at gunpoint. >> you know, they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. they had come in on a red eye to start spring break and literally the first place they went was to
the grocery store, and, unfortunately, didn't quite make it back. >> at the grocery store. both players are in stable condition. police are still investigating the shooting while vowing to crack down on the chaos. a possible new job offer for peyton manning. "the hollywood reporter" says espn wants to bring peyton into the broadcast booth as an analyst on monday night football. it is still unclear whether the two-time super bowl champ even wants to be an analyst. the march madness women's tournament kicked off with a major hiccup. espn accidentally leaked the brackets hours before its selection show. the network has promised a complete review. the four -- top four seeds, though, are baylor, defending national champs notre dame, mississippi state and louisville. >> exciting times. up next in "the pulse," an embarrassing moment caught on google maps. also ahead, "sesame street" wants to know which muppet you'd take on a deserted island with you, and the debate is getting
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>> yeah. next, one man's unfortunate fall captured on google street view. >> face palm. it was driving through a new jersey neighborhood at the exact moment he took a tumble. the first image shows the man walking into the building. he already looks unstable. you see him starting to lose his balance at the top of the steps. >> and so the camera moves down the street, and then you now see him at the bottom of the steps. his feet in the air. nobody there to help him up. >> all contorted. >> all contorted up. let's hope he's okay. really that looks rough right there. okay, now to the heated debate on "sesame street." >> maestro, cue the music. ♪ the show's twitter account asked the simple question that lilt up the internet. the question is, if you're stuck on a deserted island, sunny day or not, and you can pick one of these "sesame street" friends to come with you, who are you picking? the choices are elmo, cookie monster, grover or oscar the
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tuesday march 19th. thanks for joining us. welcome back, reggie. >> thank you. nice to be back. what do we have in store today? >> dry during the daylight hours, not as warm as yesterday. here is a look at this morning, even milder, upper 40s to 50. 49 in livermore, 47 novato, some of the cooler spots. you can see the cloud cover increasing today. it will filter the sunshine and keep us cooler than yesterday from 59 at half moon bay, mid to upper 60s in the north bay and 70s in the east bay valleys and south bay. take a look at your 12-hour planner and then the timetable for the rain coming up. here is alexis. >> okay, mike. overall we're doing okay.
the bay bridge toll plaza, no surprise. a lineup in the cash lines on either side. no significant delays for anyone moving through here at 4:27 in the morning. we do have red on sunshine 880. the full closure was done. that was for the overhead sign installation, southbound 880 between pint on and state route 92. i just checked in with caltrans. they also have electrical work in the area. that was blocking two lanes. you can see heavy north. more coming up in several minutes. happening now construction on richmond san rafael bridge. caltrans replacing part of the bridge and it will impact your commute. >> amy is live with more. good morning, amy. >> reporter: hi. good morning, yenlg. we wanted to drive it for you. we're on the upper deck of the richmond san rafael bridge. you can see right now we're approaching a sign that says be
prepared. it says bump ahead. just keep watching. we'll take you through what you'll experience if you're going to drive it this morning. although, if you haven't left yet, you might not have to deal with it today. they are planning on only working to 5:00 a.m. so 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. the next three months. this is what you can expect in the upper deck in the overnight hours. they say you will be seeing some lane closures. here is a look at what they are doing, replacing 62 joints on both the upper and the lower decks. each one takes about four days. they are doing this because of what happened last month. pieces of the bridge fell onto the road, concrete chunks the size of footballs came crashing down, hitting a car driving on the lower deck. no one was hurt. they think an overweight truck caused pieces to shake loose but they still decided to replace all the joints.
>> the bridge is safe. it's open to traffic. it'spublic. the only reason we're replacing these right now is out of a precautionary measure. there's no physical or damage that can be seen at this time but we're replacig them just to be cautious. they predict the upper deck work will take about three months and the lower deck repairs won't start until next year. so keep in mind right now this is impacting the upper deck. these repair hours are going to be from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. every night. although, take a look right now, from what we've seen so far, we haven't seen a lane closure. possibly they wrapped up a little early. we wanted to give you the heads up to keep this in mind as you plan for the next few months. reporting live from richmond san rafael bridge, amy hollyfield, abc 7 news.