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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  August 29, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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heartwarming situations because we've soon so many people who left with just their lives but they did leave with their lives because of the bravery of the men and women out there who continued these ongoing rescue operations they expect will continue well into tomorrow and beyond. you saw a picture before that of ted cruz, the senator from texas, waiting for the arrival of the president. there is the president and the governor and we will continue to follow his visit there to the ravaged areas of texas. that's going to d it for me. i'm chris jansing in for andrea mitchell. craig melvin picks up our coverage. hello, my friend. >> good to see you, chris. good afternoon. we continue our breaking news coverage of now tropical storm harvey this hour. threatening new, new catastrophic flooding in houston there. live look there, left side of your screen. this is corpus christi, texas, where, again, president trump set to receive a briefing any moment now. he is -- we saw a few moments
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ago flanked by a number of federal fishes. there's texas senator ted cruz, also senator john cornyn there as well. we saw health and human services director, excuse me, hud director dr. ben carson a few moments ago there. president trump traveling to to corpus christi, texas weather first lady melania trump. after corpus christi we're told he is going to be spending some time in austin, texas, as well. meanwhile, in houston, officials there saying this is still very much a rescue operation. we have watched rescue after rescue after rescue play out over the last few hours in america's fourth largest city. houston police have rescued more than 3,500 people so far. the national weather service says the storm has dropped more than 25 inches of rain since thursday night, more than 2 feet since thursday night, another 10 to 20 inches is expected.
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now one of the two rez soirs there in that city designed to control flooding has overtopped its banks. the storm so far has been blamed for at least four deaths. that is a number that officials say they expect to rise. officials fearing that it's going to rise considerably higher. at this point still not clear how many people remain trapped by floodwaters. they don't know precisely how many people evacuated. some 9,000 houstonians have taken refuge at the city's convention center, many of them sleep ong the floor. there have not been enough cots to g around just yet. we heard from a news conference a short time ago, houston's mayor said that was one of the things they were working on getting more emergency supplies, including cots, 10,000 more cots was the request made to fema. houston's police chief said a short time ago they've made some robbery arrests. he went on to say they will not
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tolerate people victimizing people of our community. they've officially asked the federal government for help and everyone sized the enormity of the crisis. nbc's gadi schwartz is in baytown, texas, just east of houston's city center. gadi, we have been watching you over the last hour or two. rescue after rescue. a few moments ago you mentioned that there were some boats on the way to what had been turned into an evacuation center. >> reporter: that's right. this is a critical rescue mission unfolding as we speak. there are boats, loading these boats in the water and over here there are boats lining up on this bridge. there's boat here and over here another line of boats. basically 360 degrees of boats all coming here because on the other side of this overflowing bayou, an evacuation area, an elementary school where people
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had evacuated is now evacuating to here. so it's a lot of people that need to come over here very quickly. you've got people that are going out. we of soon a lot of people that have come in. they said that mandatory evacuation came before they could get out. the next thing they knew they had water up to their waists inside their homes. and so we've seen probably a dozen or so rescues so far in the last hour. we of been talking to people who have been out here for the last couple days and they've rescued anywhere from 200 people to 3 hurricane katrina people just within these particular boats out here. those rescues are not counted in the thousands we of heard from the authorities. those are rescues that are happening, neighbors helping neighbors out here. but you see boat after boat being loaded in. and in just a little while we'll start to see lot of the boats coming in, bringing people here so that they can be bussed to another evacuation shelter because the shelter over at that elementary school on the other side of this bayou that you see
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that's basically flooded out has now water encroaching on that shelter. so that's what we of got going on. back to you. >> gadi schwartz in baytown. we just saw the president of the united states, donald trump, enter the room there in corpus christi, texas. he is set to get a briefing from fema officials flanked by texas goc nor greg abbott as well. let's listen in if we can. >> welcome to president of the united states to great state of texas. i want to express my gratitude for our fellow texans and especially the people of corpus christi for giving the president such a warm welcome on his ride over here. showing the gratitude that we all have for the president. i want to express my deep gratitude to the president for him and his entire cabinet and staff for what they have done in the past couple weeks. a lot of people see what happens in front of the camera. i want to reveal in just one minute what's been going on behind the scenes, behind the
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counter for the past two weeks. about ten days in ood vanadvance hurricane even coming into the corpus christi area. members of the president's cabinet and the president himself were in contact with me and my office prepreparing for this catastrophe coming our way in every step of the way as the hurricane came across the shore, as the flooding began in houston, texas. the president and his cabinet remained in constant contact with me and my staff and they all had one thing to say -- texas, what do you need? how can we help? you can count on have learned count on the president of the united states and his staff for helping texas. texas has been tested, but our response to this challenge has been made much more effective because of the very effective way the president and his staff has helped texas respond to this challenge.
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so, mr. president, thank you. >> thank you. >> welcome to texas. >> i appreciate it. it's so nice, governor, and it's really my honor. this is a very special place and a special state, and senator cruz and senator cornyn, thank you very much, senator cornyn, for being here. we appreciate it. i know it was hard to get here for both of you. you were trapped in various locations, but we e appreciate you both p being here. i want to thank my staff, my cabinet. we have quite a few of our cabinet here, ben carson, obviously, from hud and tom price and linda mcmahon, small business, which is now big business because when you add them all up you'll be helping a lot of the people in texas and doing a fantastic job. thank you very much. we have had a tremendous group of folks, our acting director, thank you very much, for the job you've done. and a minute who's really become very famous on television in the last couple days, mr. long, we
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appreciate it very much. you have been just outstanding. i can tell you my folks are telling me how great your representatives have been in working together. it's real team. and we want to d it better than ever before. we want to be looked at in five years and ten years from now as this is the way to d it. this was of epic proportions. nobody's ever seen anything like this. and i just want to say that working with the governor and his entire team has been an honor for us, so governor, again, thank you very much. and we won't say congratulations. we don't want to d that. we'll congratulate each other whenitis all finished. but you have been terrific. and you've been my friend. and with that, maybe -- >> thank you, mr. president. so the whole community is coming together. you know, right here we e ear in
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the brunt of the category 4 came in, we're starting to effect recover. recover is a slow process, but rest assured we're doing everything we can to unify our efforts now to support the local responder, the first responders we have here. yesterday we put eyes on the ground down in rockport. we already have points of distribution flowing. we're working in conjunction with the governor's national guard where fema is supplying meals and water and the national guard is helping to run those distribution points. that's how this system works. all eyes are on houston and so are mine. we have a long way go. we'll have to set up expectation for the citizens and have to continue a unified effort down to help the state of texas ultimately recover. so very quickly, the objectives stay the same. the event unfortunately to north of us is not over. we're still in a lifesaving, life-sustaining mission. we're aware of the issues at the
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convent sent, but let me be clear. the convent center, we are sustaining food -- they have food. security. i have an incident management team inside the city of houston as we spook. and more and more people are being moved to shelters to stabilize the situation. the next thing is, is that we're pushing xholdies, once the water goes down, we'll continue the push not only commodities but also help to get people registered in the system to receive assistance from all of us. it's assistance doesn't just come from fema. it comes from many organizations who are represented here today by secretary price, secretary carson, and others. the next thing is we're looking at power restoration. we're maintaining security. mobilize the homeland security search capacity force. with that comes law enforcement to make sure we're overcoming and anticipating any security needs that we have. and also with secretary price over here, we're working with
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not only the governor's disaster medical teams but we're also sending federal disaster medical teams not only to the convention center today, there's already some on site, but there's going to be multiple areas, not only for crisis counseling but also to make sure that we're meeting access and functional needs. the access is a challenge to getting all the supplies in. once the roadway systems come out, we've amassed quite the federal force to be able to support the local and state efforts. for example, the governor moves 12,000 national guard troops in. we're pulling units out of fort hood at the federal government forces coming in as well. we pulled several hundred trucks and staff just from assets in the state of texas and there's how the system works. this recovery is going to be frustrating. we're going to be here with you to help you guide through it. it will be tough to navigate all of the programs that become available, but we're here to help. so with that, i'd like to pass it along to our friends at the
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coast guard. >> mr. president, good afternoon, sir. this is where your coast guard is at its best. we have a bias for action. we are here in the state of texas to support the state of texas, the federal emergency management agency. we have coast guard men and women from across the country, capabilities, response, management specialists and they're on deck, sir, to get after the task at hand. it would be remiss for me not to tell you that. you look at landfall, phase one, we've seen local folks. we'll speak more about that. up in houston, we are all ware of the challenge there. dealing with the weather in the next couple days will be a challenge. average rainfall for the year is 50 inches. we know what that looks like. i can tell you the coast guard, department of homeland security team, the dodd, national guard has e spent sunday and monday with the governor in different locations. we are getting better at every
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day. this is catastrophic proportions we've dealt with before but we're all in and i'm very encouraged. but obviously it's going to be difficult. with that, sir, i'd like to give captain tony hahn a couple moments here for perspective. >> good morning, mr. president. captain tony hahn. unified command. our unified command comprises over 150 federal, state, and local agencies and we also have partners in those covering all the bases. i want to walk through a time line of our activities that we've done over the course of hurricane harvey to let you know where we're at. tuesday the storm shifted and became a hurricane. our job is to assess the [ inaudible ]. that's what we started doing on wednesday. we started making preparations and lock down facilities, get
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vetsz vessels out to sea. thursday we pushed our force out of harm's way and our people so we could come back in after the storm to help as soon as we can. on friday, we moved our boats and aircraft away from the storm so we could immediately respond. so now harvey was upgraded to a category 4 hurricane, our team focused in texas, we have continuity of operations 20 miles or so from here. when harvey made landfall, several shifts were [ inaudible ]. at that point we had to wait for [ inaudible ] and sent our helicopters north and saved 19 lives that night. later on saturday morning conditions weren't good for boats on the water but among the damage we [ inaudible ].
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we continued over to respond to search and rescue calls on saturday. the weather conditions wouldn't allow us on the water but we're working on that. sunday now the storm shifted up to houston. so we put all our search and rescue resource out of dallas, texas, up to houston and helping everyone we can that effort. we're using our assets down here to run lo gist you cans all over the state to make sure the operations management teams continue. we brought our boats up from the south to start our operational activities here. so monday we started our water operations. it's a huge emphasis but we of made progress. our partners at the army corps of eng noors began their surveys, channel checking, constructions and starting evaluations of the buoys and channel markers just to make
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sure we opened safely. so far we've got over 180 ground vessels and our major concern is that large [ inaudible ]. last night the tide came up, the winds came from the storm and actually raised itself and drifted to the other side of the channel. additionally, we're working with texas general land office on all the pollution activities. the good news is we of not seen anything in terms of pollution nuisances. so in close, about one-third with our channel service with the army corps. once we complete the survey and salva salvage, we'll be in a good position to open port. right now our biggest challenge is [ inaudible ]. >> i want to tell you, and i can speak for the governor because we spoke about it here, very proud of the coast guard, the job they've tone, the lives they of saved. we're very, very proud of you.
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thank you very much. >> mr. president, a couple thousand rescues a day. we are in the border protection agency, in with the facilities owners, the pilots on the waterways. conditions right now are not amen to believe gettiable to ge. as soon as possible. >> fantastic. thank you. >> mr. president, at this time, before the press pool pulls out, there's information i'd like to share in regards to how citizen can get involved. the community, neighbor helping neighbor is going to be needed in helping texas overcome. very quickly, if you would like to register for assistance underneath the governor's declared county, there's 18 declared counties for individual assistance underneath the president's disaster declarat n declaration, that's disasterassistance.org. skutz me.
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disast disasterassistance.gov. i apologize. that's the fema individual assistance center -- system. there's also ways if you're looking to volunteer, also within the state of texas onestarfoundation.org. we'll leave it at that. or redcross.org as well. thank you, at this time this concludes the press briefing. >> all right. there you have it, president trump and a number of other federal officials there receiving that fema briefing. there was some information shared at the end of that briefing about how folks in texas who are covered under the emergency declaration, how those folks can get some help. we are efforting to get that information up on the screen for
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you. i can tell you that the first web address was disasterassistance.org. again, disasterassistance.org. if you or someone you know in texas needs help, we heard from brock long there, the fema administrator, that is where you should start. there were a couple other websites there. we'll get that information up on the screen. meanwhile, though, president trump flanked by the governor of texas, greg abbott. brock long, the fema head, saying at one point this is not the superdome, referring to convention center there in houston, promising food and security. in fact, saying that those things already existed there. and president trump, in classic trump fashion, if you will, saying at one point, with regards to the recovery effort, the federal response, quote, we want to it better than ever before, going on to acknowledge that texas is a special place and a special state as well.
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president trump there again in corpus christi. we heard from governor abbott earlier about precisely why it was that the president did not go to houston and he explained and it makes a great deal of sense if you think about it, that the president did not want to be in houston and serve as distraction and a number of people, the number of other officials that that would take away from the recovery and rescue effort. that would be problem mat toik s -- problematic to say the least. from corpus christi, he is going to be headed to austin. we also saw of course senator john cornyn, senator ted cruz as well, tom price with health and human services secretary, ben carson as well. acting secretary elaine duke. president trump also promising to return to texas later in the week as well. we heard from vice president
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mike pence's office a short time ago. the vice president was there -- the vice president says he is going to be there with his wife as well late nr in the week. maya rodriguez is stand big in houston. i believe we have maya. maya, are you there? if so, what do you see? >> reporter: hey, craig. yeah, we are near the addicks reservoir neighborhood called glen karin. as you can see, there is a ton of water here. people are coming out here with their private boats. we have the sheriff's office. we have national guard. everyone trying to get into this neighborhood, which is experiencing a severe amount of flooding. you can hear all the sirens in the background. people have been coming out here with their pets, with their belongings, any way that they can get out of here. a lot of the people have been coming here and basically walking out of the flood waters if they can after being dropped off. you can see over here in this parking lot, there's a makeshift area where people are being
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dropped off and boats are being launched. sorry. i'm a little out of breath because we had to run to kind of get over here. >> that's okay. that's okay. >> reporter: but the rain has been torrential. it's been raining here all morning long. so many of the roads leading into this neighborhood are flooded right now. and as you can see, a lot of these businesses, oddly enough, have somehow remained opened, but, again, this is an emergency situation. you have to sheriff's office out here trying to direct people who are bringing their private boats, bringing their water craft, trying to get into these neighborhoods. a lot of people tell us that water is up to ten feet in some areas in there. it caught them by surprise. it was not quite that high yesterday, but, again, we of been hearing about these reservoirs and how the levels in the reservoirs are at record levels at this point, which is part of the reason why we do have all of this flooding out here. craig? >> maya, the folks being dropped off behind you there, i think we saw a white van in front of that building, when they're dropped off there, where do they go?
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>> reporter: they're basically walking up the street. there are also a bunch of school bus, i don't know if you can see these over e hoar. we of soon some of these school buses taking people to shelters throughout the houston area. in fact, last night when we were at the george r. brown convention center in downtown we saw at least a dozen school buss with people on board. they had their possessions. many of them just in plastic bags. whatever they could carry. they're being take on the shelters that have been set up around the city and some of the drier areas obviously. just so they can be able to get a place to stay and get out of the rain. some of these people are wet, they are cold, they are just looking for some help at this point. but these school buses have been picking people up at this area and taking them to some of those shelters. craig? >> maya rodriguez there for us in houston. stand by for us if you can. right side of your screen, again, what appears to be another rescue effort under way. someone on top of what -- this
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is from earlier, excuse me. this is a man who was on top of what appears to be a pickup truck, what's left of a pickup truck there. the you look just a few feet away, what's left of an suv as well. rescuers able to get that man safely off the top of that truck. bill karins, meteorologist at msnbc, is joining me now. bill, the rain has been unceasing to say the least. any idea at this point when some folks -- when folks in this particular part of the southeastern part of texas are going to see some relief from the rain? >> yeah. throw up the radar, the houston area is looking a little better now. and we think we'll get our final landfall of harvey as we go throughout this evening here just to the northeast of galveston, a little sooner than what was expected previously. this is good. we want the storm to move ot quicker, want it to head to the north and kind of push out of the region. that's the good thing with this.
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maybe in the houston area, maybe another inch or two but obviously the damage has been done. we're concerned with the kings ford area on interstate 69 to the northeast of houston. that's where it's still raining hard. that's tw where two rivers meet, spring creek, san jacinto. that's where they're having the most concern with the high water in homes. the press conference earlier, that's where they're trying to save lives. other areas the water is rising slowly. in beaumont, flashflood warning there, a lot-heavy rain, and that is continuing to push up through area, beaumont, in the northeast of galveston, and that river is supposed to be at record crest in beaumont in about two or three days from now. you can tell problems we'll have there. and we'll continue the monitor the dams there. i'm going to g over the my weather one computer and have the director take that. still watching the water rising. it's unbelievable. here is addicks reservoir. maya is at the northern end of the addicks reservoir where it is flooding, a place called bear creek villages.
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they woke up this morning, it was dry, they had no issues whatsoever, they made it through most of the tomorrow, then they're seeing the water rise quickly as the reservoir topped, spilling over, and heading into the area. that's the addicks reservoir at the top. i want to come in and show you on my desktop here, this was a photo just sent out by the muft flood control people. this is bear creek village, this is an area that was dry this morning. this is on the northern end of that addicks reservoir. when it overtopped this morning at 8:00 a.m., the water started going in here and you can seeitis half wii up to some of these houses. a lot of cars, you can see only the top of them. when we had maya on the screen and she had the people coming out and being dropped off in boats, these are the houses that those people are coming from. and there are just a ton of those houses. i can show you a different image here. this is the actual reservoir that's completely covered in
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water, and this is up here is that same area, the bear creek village that the people are being rescued in that woke up this morning and were just fine. also an elementary school located here that like i has water in it too. you can see where the water was on a dry day and then the whole region is just flooded. so, craig, you want to g through a the rivers, about ten have record crests on them and each is causing headaches in their own areas. we heard from the bay area, one elementary school shelter being evaluated because the shelter is being threatened by floodwater. when you get to uncharted, unprecedented water heights, we're trying to figure out where to put people that is safe. houston is efx treatmently fext. this was a area maya was. chase bank off clay road. that's that bear creek vil annals. down that road where the boats are coming in and out of,
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there's probably a thousand homes back there and lot of those people are looking to get out. >> bill, to be clear, because you've got folks who are wat watching or listening right now saying gosh, these folks had to know this was coming, why didn't they get out. with these instances we're talking about hoim hopes that few hours ago were fine. >> they live near the reservoir is they know there's a threat just by doing that. they opened up the floodgates about 24 to 36 hours ago and they were probably hoping that the floodgates would control the height. but unfortunately with the additional rainfall and the water flowing in so quickly, this is what happened when it overflowed. one point last night, 3:00 a.m. in the morning, one of the flood control guys i follow on social media said it looks like we're going to top this and it will come out. the crazy thing is, these people are being evacuated from their homes. they woke up this morning, thought they would be fine and safe in their houses. the water comes up, they call
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for rescues, they're getting in these boats. here's what they don't know, just said at the press conference, it's going to continue to rise until august 31st, just a couple more days, it won't return back within the walls of the spillway until september 20th. that's almost four weeks from now. these people probably have no clue their homes are going to have water in them for four weeks in houston, and once the storm's gone, it's hot, it is humid, you can imagine the mold, imagine the damage that's going to be den by this water if it is still standing three to four weeks. people's lives in a matter of about ten hours just completely shattered. >> i want to make sure our viewers at home know what they're looking at here. these are live images from houston, texas. we just saw an older lady there lifted out of to a boat, what appeared to be just a good samaritan's boat, being ushered to safety. we have seen scenes like this play out literally hundreds of
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times over the last few hours. this is a scene that's been playing out a few thousand times over the last couple days in houston, texas. i want to correct some information we shared a few moments ago. i gave out two websites. it's disasterassistance.gov. if you are watching right now or listening and you are in one of these affected areas or you know someone who's in that area, they're asking very simply, how do i get help that is where you start according to the administrator from fema. also nvoad.org. if you are interested in volunteering in a small capacity or a lrcharge capacity, that is website that was also give b out as well. go ahead, bill. >> i want to point out what we're watching with the big video on the left of your screen, this is not fast-rising water. it's e stadly rising water.
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it has a little current to it there. the guy is at least waist deep. they're more concerned with the coast guard in doing the air rescues in the kings ford area because that water is rising more quickly and that's where they're more concerned with people getting stuck on second floors or attics or on rooftops. this water here, it's so flat and it's spreading out that people especially with second-floor story homes, we want to get these people out as fast as they can but they're not as concerned with them losing their lives. there are always accidents and people with medical conditions and the elderly and children, but that's why you don't see the coast guard or the national guard. you're seeing citizens from around the region bringing boats into this area and there's who's needed right here because this is the type of rescue your next-door neighbor could make or the next community that is safe. you can see some professionals in the water too but there's more nonprofessionals rescuing people than professionals. >> you made reference to these heroic civilians we have been watching, pitching in to help
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boost rescue efforts. in houston, there were three guys, they just arrived in the city and they spotted an elderly woman face down in floodwaters. right away they pulled her into their boat, resuscitated her, they saved the woman's life. one of those men, madisonville resident joshua lincoln, joins me now. joshua, i don't know if you know this, but we know this. the woman has been identified as 73-year-old wilma alice. can you tell us how you found her? >> we had turned down a couple of elderly women that were not medical emergencies, and we turned back to get a 93-year-old woman, pulled up to her house, talked to her for a bit, and decided that it was best that she stay in her house at that
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point, and as we pulled out of their front yard, took a right into extremely heavy current, fought upwards about 100 yards, i saw what i thought was a floating black trash bag and as we got closer we realized that it was a body. and instantly we thought it was just a floating body. but, you know, instinct set in, the other two guys jumped off the boat, grabbed her, pulled her up out of the current, and started resuscitate her as imaniman manned the boat. >> do you know where she is right now? >> she's safe and sound. i talked to one of her relatives about an hour ago just to get an address so that we could mail her her dentures, which i'm sure she'll be glad to get back.
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>> where are you? still conducting lifesaving missions? >> i am not. i am hunk eveered down in hum b texas. >> why were you out there? what possessed you to get out there? >> i've got a passion for emergency preparedness and i of been through some events. so anytime i see something like this, a storm into the gulf, it's just automatic in my head what can i do, what can i do, what can i do. so i just packed my bags and headed to houston. >> you were just moved to act. >> yes. so i am part of the cajun navy so, i knew all the efforts that were in place, and i just wanted do my part and that's what we all do. >> joshua lincoln, thank you so much for doing your part. thank you is much for spending some time with us this afternoon. be blessed. maya is still standing by for us in houston.
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again, these are live pictures. there is maya in the red. go ahead. >> reporter: hey, craig. we just had a whole group of people brought in from this neighborhood. people are unloading their pets, their belongings, just trying to get out of the dooeps of floodwaters. one of the people that just came out of here, jessica dotson, you just brought a boat out. >> yes. >> reporter: you went in there. tell me what the situation is like in there. >> a lot of water and a lot of people do not want to leave their homes and it's up to here to me so i had to wear my life jacket. but once you get in theritis just lot of debris everywhere but it's a lot of water and a lot-of people need help back there. >> reporter: your own home flooded in a different neighborhood but you decided to come to this neighborhood to help. why? >> i feel like we all need help and we have to come together as community because it shocked all of us. that's why. >> reporter: your aunt lives back in this neighborhood. how is she doing? >> she's out. we got her out and all her stuff that she wanted but it's pretty
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bad in there. >> reporter: why do you think people don't want to leave their homes even though the water appears to be rising? >> that's my question. i don't know why they don't want to leave their homes. if they feel safer in there, but i would advise everybody to km on out. when we went in originally it was like midwaist, but back for the second time it was up to my neck. it's a little rising and going down at the same time. >> reporter: you're about five feet tall. >> yes. >> reporter: so that's high. >> fre ye. pretty high. >> reporter: that's the situation out here. thank you for joining us. >> maya? >> reporter: yes. >> folks watching or listening, folks have asked on twiter, can you describe where you are? apparently some folks watching want to make sure their friends or neighbors or maybe even their house is okay. can you give us cross streets or something? >> reporter: yeah. >> neighborhood. >> reporter: we're near clay road, in the glen cairn neighborhood in north west
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houston near clay. this is where this to situation is unfold being they're going back out. they just came in with a boatload of people about five minutes ago but they're heading back into the flooded areas. we have another boat further ahead. they're going off. it looks a lot deeper than five e foot from where i'm standing especially the further back you go down this side street. this is an area that is a residential area, there are some office parks around here, but what's so interesting is the contrast because there's a main road up here and a couple businesses are open, some fast food places. outstanding you can -- so watch water around these areas yet still some semblance of functioning businesses and people going to the supermarket. meanwhile, a few blocks away, you have all of this unfolding. people are out here in their kayaks. we have inflatables, things you would expect to find in someone's pool as to flotation device, people are bringing anything they can out here, helping out the sheriff's
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office, helping out the national guard. again, this water has risen so quickly, it was not like this yesterday from what residents are telling us and now all of this is unfolding here and people are just doing whatever they can to sort of come out and help their fellow neighbor out. >> so many neighbors helping neighbors. maya rodriguez there for us in houston. do stand by. we have to pause for just a moment. when we come back, what happens next? how v thousands of evacuees at shelters around texas are wondering about missing family members, they're wondering if they'll have noig g back to once the floodwaters recede. they're wondering how to get help, how the get certain types of help. we're going to answer some of those questions when we talk to a former fema director about what's being done for the people hit hardest bihar vie and how these people move forward. >> toiletries. i think my girls washed their hair if the sink. and so, i mean, there's socks.
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snakes in the water. there's been alligators, spiders. so they feel like the best thing do is just wait and see what happens. >> we have seen moments like the one you just saw there throughout the past few days, tales of fear, tales of desperation, that 18-year-old mother there rescued by helicopter yesterday. today she and her child still waiting to find out what happened to rest of her family who were as you heard there left back at their flooded home. rescue efforts continue as harvey dumps even more rain on eastern texas as we spook. with me to talk about those efforts, james lee witt, former director of fema. thanks for your time. >> you're welcome. >> for folks joining us, the website if you need help disasterassistance.gov for james, folks who go to that
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website, what can they expect to find? >> they can go there and fill out the application for individual assistance and get registered, which is really important. and i'm sure that they'll have a fema team and a state team coming around to shelters passing out pamphlets of information and what do and how to do it. that'll be important too because that way they have all the correct information. >> you heard the news conference at the top of the hour there. we e hard from the new fema administrator during the course of that news conference. what do you make of fema's plan of action so far? >> i think that administrator brock long and fema has done an excellent job so far in coordination with the state. they of supplied the resources that the state's requested and local governments and, you know, i gave them an a-plus for the efforts they of already done. boy, this is a bad, bad catastrophic event and it's going to take a lot of hard work
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to -- over the next several years to get texas back where it should be. >> brock long said during the course of that news conference that one of the challenges is going to be access. i mean, the highways, the bridgbridge brid bridges there, many of them impassable. he admitted it will be frustrating for folks trying to get help. folks who are going to be trying to access help from federal government who face these frustrations, what would be your advice to them? >> well, you know, i've soon many of these and, you know, a lot of times you go through these and you have fear and then anger and then frustration. and, you know, it's a process and it happens. and, you know, there's not much you can do except provide information to all these victims every day, keep them informed, and i always found that the more information you provide, keeping them informed, helped low they're frustration level.
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and, you know, as soon as they can get registered for help for individual assistance, for temporary housing, you know, that will help and help get the families back together. but, you know, it's not going to happen overnight. it's going to take some time. >> fema insists that this is still very much a rescue effort. that is the focus right now. how will they decide when this mission goes from rescue to recove recovery? >> as this water goes down over the next few weeks and gets down to where they can e gt in there with vehicles and search and rest cue teams can get in there, you know, to make sure there's not any victims in cars, in homes, that will be important. and it will gradually as the water recedes start going from a rescue effort to the recovery part. just think about this. all of this water exe tending so
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many houses and think about the streets. when they start pulling out debris and those big trucks start running down those streets and the highways and the foundation of these highways and streets are going to be weak, it's going -- the infrastructure part of it is going to be really tough. and they of got sewer lines and waterlines and treatment plants and so, you know, it's going the take some time. it's not financigoing to just h quickly. >> james lee witt, former director of fema. mr. witt, thanks for your time this afternoon. >> thanks. >> gadi schwartz is still in baytown, texas. baytown is just east of houston's city center. >> reporter: hey, i don't -- >> gadi, do you have me? >> hi, phis. we're having some audio issues. i want to show you what's going on behind me. this is basically a flotilla of
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rescue boats. coming bab here to regroup. i want to introduce some of the heroes out here. this is patrick. this is enrique. you guys don't know each other but you both brought your boats out. tell me what have you been seeing out there? >> the worst thing is houses are up to the second story in some spots. people hanging out of windows trying to -- flagging us down with sheets. pets, pets is a big thing. i mean, we got pets out here, you know, in kennels. we rescued what looked to be like a 120-pound dog mastiff all the way town to the little purse carrier chihuahuas. >> reporter: we of soon people putting like white towels in their windows. >> we found some of those and we found a lot of babies too. and we rescue like a 9-month-old baby and she was crying, it was heartbreaking. >> reporter: let me ask you this. you guys have both been working for last two days basically nonstop. tell me how many people ballpark would you have rescued?
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>> so far i got a little over 200 people rescued. people in wheelchairs and people pregnant women, they needed help yesterday. >> on your boat alone. >> yes, sir. >> reporter: how about you? >> i don't even know how to calculate it. within the last couple hours 40-plus within the last two hours of us just now. probably 50 pets. so, i mean, the biggest thing people have to understand is we're out there running the waters and we're hollering at people and beating on doors but if they're stuck in a house they've got to flag us down. they've got to hang a sheet, hang something. we're carrying waters, food. we have everything on the boats. we have life jackets. but if we don't know you're there, you've got to flag us down somehow. >> reporter: perfect. >> we're all going to the next spot right now. >> right. >> all heading to rosenberg. >> reporter: strangers all koord nafting together. >> look, this is way it is. i mean, we have people fortunate like myself that we're not in a bind, not in the water. >> yes, sir. >> people have to understand if
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you're competent on a boat and you know how to operate your boat good, because this water is dangerous. the currents are nasty. please people help people. whetheritis just out there serving soup or people out here people. i know you're carrying people out and i'm carrying people out. >> we're carrying a lot of people. and we're asking people to hurry up and get their belongings together so we can help someone that's about to drown. >> if you can have them bagged and staged and ready, we'll load you up and get to the next ones. >> you're the best part of texas, thank you so much. >> i want to thank the people from louisiana down there, helping us too. the cajun navy, thank you. >> thank you so much. we're going to send it back to you. i lost ifb, i can't talk about back. i hope you heard, the best part of texas there. >> we most certainly did. gadi schwartz with two fantastic
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folks who are doing more than their part. talking about the number of people they have rescued so far. texas homeowners have been advised they should file claims with their insurance companies before friday. that's when a new law goes into effect making weather related claims more difficult. will the victim of one of the costliest storms in decades, will they get enough back to rebuild. julie is living with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. she's also taking prescription ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor, which is for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor- positive her2- metastatic breast cancer as the first
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kerry sanders is with me now from texas. this is just west of houston, he's joined by paul from the national weather service. i think a lot of folks may find it surprising you're some 60 miles inland if i'm not mistaken. folks suffering from devastating conditions? >> absolutely, i'm along the guadeloupe river here, you can see it's flooding. as you take a look down here, it runs right into what is now the overflowing banks of the guadeloupe river. we've been tracking harvey through the initial stages.
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now he's in the field looking at the rising rivers here. what is the level and is it continuing to rise? >> the latest level we have is 41.1 feet, and it's slowly rising. we are hoping in the next hour or two, it will slowly deaddy off and crest. >> if it crests? the prediction is 42 feet. how are you predicting such a very difficult thing to predict? >> each river point we have the measurements for can differ by how wide the basin gets. the land gets flatter and the water can spread out. even just small differences of elevation can mean the difference between water getting in a house or out of a house. >> paul, thank you very much. that is the big concern, water getting in a house, not getting in a house, these are models, they're predictions. people who live along the guadeloupe river have been told. and all you have to do is look right here to understand that
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this river is growing. and he says hopefully leveling off. >> a lot these folks, and one of the emerging story lines is insurance. and people who are in some of the hardest hit areas having insurance that's going to cover flood damage. what more do we know about that challenge. >> this is really important. especially for the people under water in places like houston. the water here that raises up, and you have homeowners insurance, everyone has that. that doesn't necessarily cover you in a flood event. there is a unique insurance which is it called flood insurance, it's the national flood insurance program, it's established by the federal government, the reason there's some confusion in all this. when your agent comes out and sells you the homeowners
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insurance, they will also sell you flood insurance. . the problem is, we have only one in six homes that has flood insurance. if you have homeowners insurance and your damage is damage from the flood, your homeowner's insurance will not cover you will the government will help you, you can get a loan from the small business association. let's say you have a home with extensive damage and you didn't have flood insurance. you're essentially carrying two mortgages as you rebuild your house and long into the future. that is a serious cost. and that's why you may find some people saying, i can't handle the idea of rebuilding. >> we heard that from so many during super storm sandy.
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>> this is the scene above cuero texas. this country's fourth largest city under water, feet of water, and this rain is going to continue for a few more hours, at least in parts of houston, not just houston proper, but surrounding houston as well. you can see the radar, louisiana also going to get their fair scherff rain as well. that's going to wrap up this hour. katy tur picking things up here. >> today the 12th anniversary of katrina, louisiana doesn't want to see that. president trump and first lady melania are on the ground in texas, they're in corpus christi, where they toured affected areas and met with fema and the national guard. we heard from the president and governor abbott just last hour.
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>> every step of the way, the president and his cabinet remained in constant contact with me and my staff, they all had one thing to say, texas, what do you need. >> we want to do it better than ever before. we want to look at this in five years, ten years, and say, this is the way you do it. this was of epic proportion. working with the governor and his entire team -- >> if the storms stop now, the toll would be ruinous. but it is not stopping. the rain is still coming down and the rescues are still ongoing. >> it's a situation of life and death. we have another crew, it looks like some people are being rescued right now coming in. >> the one on the little boat my neighbor had, and trying toet

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