tv NBC Nightly News NBC May 18, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
the only item to watch is the gusty winds. >> thanks for watching nbc bay area news at 5:00. on this saturday night, tornado watch. millions of people bracing for severe weather tonight as a massive storm system pushes across the country. we'll have the latest on where and when. collision course. a staggering scene of destruction after two commuter trains collide at rush hour, injuring more than 70 people. tonight, the search for what went wrong. hard landing. the dramatic finish to a flight that seemed so routine until the landing gear wouldn't come down. stroke risks. the warning signs for young people who may be more in danger than they realize. and feeling lucky? tonight, millions are, as the clock ticks down for tonight's drawing for a record powerball jackpot.
good evening. this could be a restless night for a lot of people in the nation's midsection as a severe weather system fires up unleashing damaging thunderstorms and the risk of a tornado outbreak. tornado watches are already in effect until late tonight for parts of nebraska, colorado, kansas, oklahoma and texas. and forecasters are telling us this risk of severe weather could be with us well through tomorrow as it moves east. folks in eliasville, texas, may have gotten a preview of what's to come last night when this tornado made a direct hit on a home. the residents hid in a closet and survived unhurt. we want to get right to kim cunningham at weather channel headquarters who is tracking this latest threat. kim? >> we are already getting a tornado warning now in parts of northwestern nebraska. dodds county under a tornado warning. this is just the beginning of it. we want everybody to be on alert
over the next several days, even through wednesday, we could see severe weather. here's where we have the watches right now. tornado watch until 11:00 for the central plains. a lot coming together. stuff that we haven't seen too much of this year. we have the dip in the jet stream that we need, cold air aloft, a lot of moisture coming up from the gulf of mexico. a dry line, a lifting mechanism. you put all that together, very unstable atmosphere, very warm temperatures. high humidity and you get severe weather and tornados and we're thinking we're going to see from that oklahoma city to fargo today into tonight as well. even shear in the atmosphere. the change in wind direction with height, we have that as well to help produce the supercells that will produce tornados. tomorrow, even a worse threat we're thinking. oklahoma city, kansas city, minneapolis includes you for the threat of tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds. and then monday as the front moves east, maybe a bit of a slight risk of tornados with this. a little less, but still, madison to oklahoma city, the
severe threat is there. lester, severe weather outbreak starting tonight all the way through monday. back to you. >> a lot of folks will be checking in with you for the latest. kim, thank you very much. another story we've been following all day, the collision of two commuter trains at the height of the rush hour last night in connecticut. there were many dozens of injuries and nbc's michelle franzen is in bridgeport, tonight, with the latest for us. michelle, good evening. >> good evening, lester. we've learned tonight the fbi is no longer involved here at the scene. meanwhile, the ntsb says it could take up to ten days for them to finish their investigation here on site and there was no estimate on when this damaged stretch of track in the northeast corridor will reopen to commuters. the ntsb on the ground today in bridgeport, connecticut. assessing the mangled mess of train cars after two trains collided. both trains packed, 700 passengers on board at the height of friday's commute. >> everybody went flying.
>> reporter: including frank who came back to see the wreckage today. >> nobody was really hurt in any area was hurt that bad, but they were shaken up, kids crying. >> reporter: preliminary reports show the metro north train was traveling east between bridgeport and fairfield when it derailed, and was struck by an oncoming westbound train. >> everyone was jolted forward. people fell out of their seats. >> reporter: immediate okay orks inside and a race for emergency workers to rescue hundreds of passengers. >> smash a window for us to get out. >> reporter: more than 60 people were transported and treated at nearby hospitals, and three remain in critical condition. >> the damage is absolutely staggering. the sides of cars are torn away like ribbons of cloth. tons of metal tossed around like toy things. >> reporter: the ntsb isn't speculating on a cause, but says it will examine the wreckage, interview witnesses and crew members and sort through the so-called black boxes for critical information.
>> data recorders were on board as far as we're aware and will provide us data. on speeds, braking parameters, throttle settings and other parameters. the initial download has been made and that data is being analyzed back in washington. >> reporter: meanwhile, the collision site remains closed, affecting local service and amtrak service between new york and boston. >> what is important to us is that the investigation be completed on site, that we begin the work of removing the trains and restoring the track and cat nar system, all of which is going to take some about of time. >> reporter: senator richard blumenthal is also calling one of the conductors a hero. her name is is helen and despite her own back injury, she continued to help passengers off the train. >> thank you. some scary moments on the air and then on the ground today when a landing gear failure forced a us airways express flight to make a belly landing in newark.
nbc's craig melvin has that story. >> reporter: rescue crews surrounded the plane after it made a belly landing at newark airport outside new york city early this morning. u.s. airways flight 4560 took off around 11:00 last night from philadelphia. bound for newark. it made a hard landing shortly after 1:00. the faa says the flight crew declared an emergency after the left main landing gear would not extend. 31 passengers and crew of three were aboard the plane. port authority firefighter units met the plane on the runway and evacuated passengers. amazingly, no injuries were reported. us airways says all passengers recovered their bags and left the airport shortly after the landing. experts say belly landings are uncommon because commercial planes carry a back-up system for lowering landing gear. >> the larger question is why was the alternate extension process not successful and that's where the investigators will focus.
>> a polish pilot is being hailed as a hero this morning. >> reporter: the last time a belly landing drew attention was in poland in 2011 when a polish airliner carrying 230 passengers was forced to land after experiencing problems with its landing gear. no one was injured. last year, a united airlines flight from atlanta landed in newark without its front landing gear. survivors of airplane emergencies say the memory is hard to shake. author noah gallagher shannon survived an emergency landing several years ago and coincidentally writes an account in this week's "new york times" magazine. >> one of the scariest parts is that you're not really able to control where your mind goes. >> reporter: for the passengers and crew this morning, a brush with danger, but a safe ending. craig melvin, nbc news, new york. and in southeast virginia, southwest virginia today, at least 50 people were injured during an annual parade
celebrating the appalachian trail. it happened in damascus, virginia, near the tennessee border. witnesses say an elderly man drove his car into a group of hikers marching in that parade. some of the injuries are critical. officials said the driver may have had some kind of medical emergency just before the accident. today, president obama tried to change the subject and repair some of the damage from a week of bruising controversies, but critics and pundits don't appear ready to let go so quickly. kristen welker is is covering that for us tonight. good evening. >> reporter: lester, good evening to you. according to one white house official, the strategy here is to spend 90% working on the president's second term agenda and only 10% on these latest controversies. but that could be a tough task. >> irs targeting anybody is very, very wrong. >> reporter: across the country, there is public frustration over the three controversies that rocked washington this week.
>> my feeling is that it's nixonian. >> it is just not what america was founded on. >> reporter: at the white house, president obama testing the weather before he hit the links today, but he's still in damage control mode, trying to pivot back to a safer topic, the economy. >> too often, our politics aren't focused on the same things you are. working hard, supporting your family and supporting your community. making sure your kids have every chance in life. >> reporter: but republicans are digging in, aiming to broaden the scope of the irs investigation. >> if we've learned anything this week it's that the irs needs less power, not more. >> reporter: may arguably be the president's worst week to date. it reached a pinnacle friday when outgoing irs acting commissioner steven miller apologized for not revealing for a year that tea party and other conservative groups applying for tax exempt status had been targeted for extra scrutiny. >> we provided horrible customer service here. i will admit that.
>> reporter: the tactic was a foolish mistake, miller said, but not a case of politics. republicans didn't buy it. >> if the targeting wasn't targeting, if the targeting wasn't based on philosophy, how come only conservatives got snagged? >> they didn't, sir. >> reporter: two other scandals royal roiled the administration, mounting criticism in the aftermath of the benghazi attack and this revelation that the justice department seized phone records from the associated press. some political analysts say the issues threaten to derail the president's second term agenda. but on the streets, it was the irs issue that had everyone talking. >> it's a pretty awful thing for them to have done. really corrupts our legal system. and the political system. >> reporter: now we're also learning that republican representatives darrell issa who criticized the obama administration for not taking action sooner, received a letter from the inspector general last summer alerting him to its investigation into the irs and
offering to brief him throughout that process. now, his office tonight maintains that it is the white house alone that didn't do enough. tomorrow, white house adviser dan pfeiffer will appear on all five morning shows including "meet the press." lester? >> kristen welker at the white house, thank you. for more on all these challenges facing the obama administration, let's turn to cnbc's chief washington correspondent, john harwood. john, clearly these are all controversies, kind of looked at as one thing, but as you separate them, which in your mind meets the standard of scandal and potentially most damaging to the administration? >> they're very different. the phone records case is a legal and law enforcement controversy over a policy judgment, may turn out to be a bad judgment. people in our business don't like it, but there's no evidence the american people are going to be that upset about it just as they weren't upset with some of aggressive tactics the bush administration used in the war on terror. benghazi was a terrible security failure, cost four american lives. but we knew that on day one,
and the more we learn about the aftermath, the less it looks like a scandal and more it looks like typical bureaucratic and public relations end fighting. the irs scandal is different. there's clear misconduct there. if it's tied to partisanship, that's a significant problem. if it's tied to the president, that is a major scandal for the administration. but even though many republicans assume and believe that those things are true, there's no evidence of it yet, lester. >> john harwood, thanks for your intight. appreciate it. a former philadelphia police officer who gained national attention for an act of bravery several years ago is under arrest tonight. police say richard decoatsworth was arrested early thursday after leaving a party with two women and then allegedly forcing them at gunpoint to take drugs and engage in sexual acts. four years ago, he was invited to sit with first lady michelle obama at the president's state of the union address. he was hailed as a hero for managing to chase down an attacker after being shot in the face during a traffic stop. later tonight, someone who felt lucky may turn out to be
the luckiest person in the w as they pick the numbers for the powerball jackpot now at the least $600 million. and as we hear from miguel almaguer, perhaps no place is feeling the fever more than a tiny california town near the nevada border. >> reporter: on the edge of the california desert, the line in the small town of nipton snakes along the highway before it reaches the front door of the prim valley lotto store. >> i'm here to win the money. >> you'd think it was a guarantee the winning powerball ticket was being printed here. the wait, up to nine hours. >> i had to come all the way across the desert to get here. >> reporter: in neighboring nevada, where there is no powerball, the vegas gamblers have ditched the strip for the streets of nipton. >> i know i'm going to win. >> reporter: with the jackpot soaring to $600 million, powerball fever has swept across the country. >> one ticket, that's all it takes. >> reporter: 43 states plus d.c. and the virgin islands play
powerball. new yorkers are spending the most. >> i just won $180 worth of powerball. >> reporter: but it's the recent addition of california, where 11% of the country's powerball players have helped generate a historic jackpot. in the golden state, they've shelled out over 100 million in green in the last month alone. the odds of winning tonight's jackpot, 1 in 175 million. to put that into perspective, she's got a better chance of becoming the next president and sadly to say, she's got better odds of being struck by lightning. but some winners are a guarantee. california schools raked in $1.3 billion for lotto sales last year. >> it is a small amount of the state funding for education, but everything helps. >> reporter: and tonight, keep in mind -- >> if you don't play, you don't win. >> reporter: -- if there's no winner, the next jackpot to close in on $1 billion.
>> a lot of money. a lot of money. >> reporter: that might just be enough money to make you stand in line in the middle of the desert. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. when we continue on this saturday, the warning signs that young people need to know about when it comes to strokes and an s.o.s. for a once grand ship fit for a president and now facing the scrap heap of history.
associate with young people, the risk of having a stroke, but it's there for some and it appears to be increasing. nbc's chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman has more tonight. >> excellent. hurry. >> reporter: kim was 32 and ready to go to work when she lost feeling in her arm. >> i could tell something was wrong and in that same instance, i was not able to, not able to speak. >> i love you. >> reporter: a pediatric nurse and mother of two was having a stroke. most likely the result of a heart defect she was born with. >> i was so afraid i was never going to be able to tell my family i love them. >> reporter: a recent study in the journal "neurology" found the proportion of young people who are having strokes increased from one in eight stroke patients in the mid '90s to one in five in just over a decade. and they're three times more likely to die within 20 years than people who haven't had them. paul was 28 when he had a stroke.
he exercised regularly, but was overweight. >> i was 5'11 inches and 235 pounds. >> reporter: and without knowing it, he was prediabetic, had high blood pressure, and cholesterol. and a predisposition to clotting, factors that likely led to his stroke. researchers aren't sure why cases in younger patients are on the rise, but believe that rising obesity and diabetes rates are at least in part to blame. >> when you have obesity and diabetes, you often have high blood pressure, the single biggest risk factor for stroke and high cholesterol, which is also an important risk factor. >> reporter: but some neurologists believe there may be another reason. >> we're doing more and more mris and it could be we're not finding more strokes, but we're detecting them better. >> reporter: whatever the reason for the numbers may be, doctors hope this study provides an opportunity for education. remember the word fast. drooping in the face, inability to hold up one arm, or slurred speech are all signs that time is of the essence.
an upset for orb, who won the kentucky derby two weeks ago. he finished fourth in today's race. almost seven months after hurricane sandy, a milestone today on the jersey shore. the famed board walk was officially reopened. the storm wiped out two big sections, while some smaller pieces of the board walk causing more than $3 million in damage. today's ceremony, a sign of renewal as many shore communities still struggle to recover. another kind of milestone tonight for our own tom brokaw. in rochester, minnesota, tom received an honorary doctor of letters degree at today's commencement ceremony for the mayo clinic college of medicine. he was cited for a distinguished career in journalism and his dedication to public service. it was the first time the mayo clinic has awarded an honorary degree. and up next, trying to save a piece of presidential history.
finally, it was once the pride of a president, a gleaming ship of state that served as a floating white house. today, it is still in the water, but just barely. our story tonight from jim maceda in italy. >> reporter: this man is spending his golden years trying to save an old rusty boat from a scrap yard. >> the style of the ship, i think it's a fine piece of naval architecture. >> reporter: in fact, the 240 foot steel hold wreck called the
williamsburg once looked like this, an american treasure. >> the u.s.s. williamsburg, president truman's new flag ship. >> it made history as truman's presidential yacht, easing him away from the stresses of washington during his seven tumultuous years in washington. >> the rebuilding of europe, of japan, all took place, his decisions were made aboard the presidential yacht williamsburg. >> reporter: but it wasn't all business. truman relished the comradery and straight talk. in the summer of '46, truman took his first vacation as president. a two-week cruise on the williamsburg. initially along the eastern seaboard, but heavy storms made him change course and head south to bermuda. every detail was front page news. >> this is probably the presidential living room. >> reporter: but the vessel that hosted winston churchill became a ghost ship. plants now grow from its floor boards.
the presidential fireplace, disappeared. the gally, barely recognizable. truman's favorite sun deck, twisted debris. after truman, the williamsburg fell on hard times. eisenhower didn't want it. it was mothballed, changed names, even became a floating restaurant in new jersey. shipped to italy in 1994 for repairs, the shipyard went bankrupt. it's been here ever since. he believes that the williamsburg with so much american history in it, must go home, and he's trying to get the message out. >> you have a certain number of millionaires, certain number of billionaires, if they would donate 25 euros each, you raise a lot of money. >> reporter: the current italian owners want to refit it as a vintage charter yacht for about $70 billion, but can't find any american buyers. >> we want the ship to be back in the united states because we think that's the place where it belongs.
>> reporter: and they can't hold out much longer. in just a few years, they say, the grandest of america's surviving presidential yachts will sink from decay. jim maceda, nbc news, italy. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm lester holt. have a good night, everyone. good evening. i'm diane dwyer. >> are you feeling lucky in evening? the jackpot for the power ball reached a near record, $600 million and then some. >> the fever is across the bay
area and the country. we are at a location that has a history of producing smaller jackpot winners. hello, george. >> reporter: it does have a history. we are inside a lucky store for the lottery. this is called the wall of winners. smaller jackpots from scratchers. they have had two $1 million winners here. they would like to add home of the power ballwiner to their resume. people are driving in from san francisco hoping the luck of the store will rub off. they sell an average or $3,000 of tickets per day, even when the jackpot is not high. you can imagine they will sell more than that today. california has only been playing power ball since april. we may see a little history tonight. the biggest power ballwiner ever