tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC August 28, 2017 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
a few days. >> up next nbc nightly news with lester holt. we'll see you back here tonight at 11:00. tonight, a deepening flood disaster here in texas. a rising toll, a family feared dead while trying to escape. also a race against time to save people trapped in their homes. dramatic rescues on live television as the nation's fourth-largest city is paralyzed. >> this is a landmark event for texas. texas has never seen event like this. >> the entire texas national guard now activated. with no end in sight, an epic storm expected to make landfall again bringing a massive amount of rain on top of already historic devastation. >> the house is flooding and it's raising way too fast. >> and tonight, banding together. the worst of times bringing out the best of humanity deep in the heart of texas. "nightly news" begins right now.
this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt, reporting tonight from houston. good evening. it just won't stop. the heavy rain from tropical storm harvey that has swamped the city of houston and beyond. neighborhoods, highways under water in a disaster unlike anything we have seen. there are at least three confirmed fatalities from harvey and late word of six more possible deaths. amid the misery, remarkable moments of bravery and caring as people, neighbors and first responders answer the cries for help. at least 2,000 people rescued in an urban boat lift as coast guard choppers lift others to safety. scenes reminiscent of new orleans 12 years ago. tonight the storm at the center of the disaster, harvey, is not done yet. on track to make an incredible third landfall, weakened but persistent. and tonight possibly increasing its deadly
toll. a family of six now missing and feared dead after their van was swept away by floodwaters including four children under 16 years old and their great-grandparents, according to two relatives. more tragic news in a growing disaster. tonight houstonians are still under siege in a city still under water. the texas national guard now fully activated. 12,000 deploying to help the stranded for whom there are few ways out. helicopters plucking people from their homes. boats taking residents out of inundated neighborhoods. >> the rescue people came and took us. the water was here. >> firefighters alone responding to 5500 calls. residents clinging on to whatever they can carry. rose eat ta's family was rescued by boat this afternoon. >> the house was flooding and it's rising way too fast. >> they live west of
houston where the army corps of engineers is doing controlled releases from two reservoirs before the storm even moves away. it's an effort to reduce the risk of destructive flooding and lessen is chances of dams bursting. >> we were fine until they released the reservoirs. everything started happening really fast this morning. >> you weren't flooded before then? >> not yet, no. the waters were rising, but we weren't flooded before that. i understand they have to do what they have to do to save houston, but that really triggered and accelerated the process. >> where is the truck? >> jean wilkey traveled with her family to help. >> we bought this raft in san antonio and came out here. those rafts are going into the cul-de-sacs where the outboards can't get in. >> in the houston area some places seeing over three feet of water and counting as first responders struggle to keep up, 75,000 911 calls already and those are just the people who could get through. >> what citizens were experiencing was a
constant ring and thinking that our system was down. our system hasn't been down. just a lot wait of calls. >> many who didn't get through took to social media pleading for help. a lot of people are frustrated. >> the sheriff's office is telling those still waiting to be rescued to hang a sheet from a window so rescuers can find them. over the past 24 hours the images have been stunning. emotionally wrought families wading through waist-deep water in search of dry land. those who try to drive do so at their own peril. a traffic camera captured this suv submerged with the driver still inside. firefighters fight the swift current and hoist him on to a raft. meantime, a pair of photographs remind people how harvey has altered this city. these are the faces of harvey, a displaced father holding his child pap an elderly couple forced from their home. families with nowhere to go. but these, too, are the faces of the
storm. volunteers from far and wide. neighbor helping neighbor. stranger helping stranger. keep in mind a lot of those small boats you've seen involved in rescues, they have to be driven at least close by as we discovered in trying to shoot this story today. some places you simply can't go. you're on a highway and suddenly there before you is water like this. there's no alternative but to turn around and try to find another route to where you're going. and sometimes it just doesn't exist. well, there was no evacuation ordered for houston before the storm hit, this unprecedented catastrophe has forced thousands to flee their homes in and around the city to seek safety and shelter. many leaving everything behind. for more on the urgent evacuation efforts we turn to nbc's jacob rascon. jacob. >> reporter: this is now a mass evacuation. tens of thousands of houstonians suddenly displaced. how bad is this flooding compared to
other flooding? >> bad. >> this is awful. >> reporter: in ft. bend county, south of houston, they arrive by the truck load at a kroger, shaken, even terrified, and heartbroken. this infant had trouble breathing but is expected to survive. many flocked to the city's primary evacuation sherlt, the george r. brown convention center. >> they had t-shirts and blankets and stuff for us here. we're very happy for it. >> reporter: but the need so massive private businesses are stepping up. gallery furniture, which housed evacuees during hurricane katrina, now a temporary home for hundreds of harvey survivors who sleep on display beds. >> whatever we can do to help these people in time of need, that's what we're going to do. >> reporter: makeshift evacuation centers are everywhere. the halls of this elementary school lined with displaced families plucked from rooftops and doorways
nearby. fed and clothed here by volunteers. >> the water started rising really high. >> reporter: jessica miller and her 3-week-old daughter addison have nothing but their lives and a large plastic bag they carried out. >> everyone is doing really good. we're very blessed and grateful. >> reporter: what may be the worst catastrophe this city has ever seen. was houston ready for this? >> well, the answer is that houston was as ready for this as any city could be ready for this, but you cannot foresee the future. >> reporter: and the evacuation centers will continue to fill up as neighborhoods where homeowners say it's never flooded do just that. the rescues have been nonstop all day and the evacuees just hope they have somewhere to go. lester? >> jacob rascon tonight, thank you. in southeastern houston an evacuation order is in effect for the community of bay city where the rush was on to clear out of
the approaching floods which are expected to affect every structure there and could leave the community under as much as ten feet of water. nbc's gabe gutierrez is there and has the latest. >> reporter: it's a race against time. in bay city, texas, a frantic rush to evacuate this senior center. the worst flood in memory is coming. what's your name? monica carpenter told us she had nowhere to go after she barely missed the last bus of evacuees. you missed the bus? >> yes. whatever they have, whatever they have to go on. so now i'm just stuck. >> reporter: her panic overwhelming. >> i don't have a phone, i don't have anything. >> reporter: how desperate is your situation right now, ma'am? >> it's bad. really bad. >> reporter: he ignored bay city's mandatory evacuation order till now. local authorities say harvey could ravage this town with as much as ten feet of water. this is the colorado river expected to overflow its banks very soon, possibly
flooding the entire downtown just miles away. county judge nate mcdonald estimates a third of the town is choosing to stay. how serious is this situation right now? >> it's completely serious. it's potentially catastrophic serious. we've got the colorado river about a half mile that way that is expected to come up to potentially record flooding. >> reporter: but hundreds of residents did heed the warnings and escaped on the last buses out to nearby rosenberg this afternoon. >> i was cauglling the storm a bluff from the beginning, but it made a believer out of me. >> reporter: but this town's future is in limbo. but as we spoke with monica carpenter, someone she knew recognized her and gave her shelter just in time. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, bay city, texas. nbc news meteorologist dylan dreyer has been tracking every step of this storm. as you've been warning, this thing is far from over including another
landfall. i had to shake my head at that. walk us through the next days, hours, if you will. >> we are going to see a third landfall, most likely near galveston, texas and we're looking for that to happen early wednesday morning. this whole system is still dumping tons of rain in houston area, bay city, victoria we're starting to see it lighten up a bit. now it's shifted over to louisiana. it's still meandering east-southeast and will pass out over the water. that will maintain strength as a tropical storm. it's going to make its way as a third left-handfall wednesday morning, then move up into arkansas and eventually up into kentucky where it could bring four to six inches of rain. around here we're still looking at an additional 10 to 15 inches of rain putting storm totals up around 50 inches. because of that we have flash flood warnings all across the area because, as you've noticed, the rain comes down heavy at times and it doesn't let up. that's why we're continuing to see the nuding. >> this is still coming down. walked out here 20
minutes before the broadcast. i was standing on the side but the water is coming up. our team is also on the coast in rockport, a city that took a direct hit when hurricane harvey made landfall. another round of flooding expected amid the devastation. much of that community is wiped out. the mayor estimates 30% to 40% of the structures are destroyed or uninhabitable. power and water services are out. communications remain down. and a curfew is in place between 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. because there are no street lights on around that city. president trump is preparing to head here to the storm zone tomorrow to monitor this situation on the ground. this natural disaster a major test for how his administration will respond. the president taking questions late today during a news conference at the white house. our chief white house correspondent hallie jackson is there. >> reporter: president trump promising help for houston and beyond after harvey. >> they're saying it's the biggest
historic -- it's like -- really like texas, if you think about it. >> reporter: a point he made again at a press conference with the finnish president. >> i've already spoken to congress and everybody feels for you and feels for what you're going through. >> reporter: even while the hurricane battered the texas coast late friday, president trump created a storm of his own by pardoning controversial former sheriff joe arpaio. >> actually in the middle of a hurricane even though it was a friday evening i assumed the ratings would be far higher than they were normally. the hurricane was just starting. >> reporter: the president clearly prepared to defend the move today pulling from his suit pocket a list of other presidential pardons and commutations. >> president clinton pardoned mark rich, susan rosenberg. president obama commuted the sentence of chelsea manning. >> reporter: arpaio, who got to know the president during the so-called birther movement, has been accused of treating prisoners too harshly and was recent convicted of contempt of court for ignoring a judge's order to
stop profiling latinos. >> he was loved in arizona. i thought he was treated unfairly. >> reporter: paul ryan rebuking the president for that pardon and both arizona senators, both republicans, also disagree. despite that, defiance from donald trump. >> sheriff joe is a patriot. sheriff joe loves our country. sheriff joe protected our borders. and sheriff joe was very unfairly treated by the obama administration. >> reporter: and late tonight new reporting now on russia. nbc news has learned from three sources familiar with robert mueller's russia inquiry that investigators are very focused on the president's role in crafting a response in that article. lester? >> hallie jackson tonight at the white house, thank you. there's breaking news this evening from north korea firing a ballistic missile that flew over northern japan prompting the japanese government for a time to warn its citizens to take
cover. it was the first time a north korean projectile crossed over japan in nearly a decade. it was the second launch from the north in four days. defiant moves in the face of president trump's threats of fire and fury should kim jong-un fire a missile at the u.s. or its territories. still ahead as we continue here tonight, the impact from harvey all across the country. how much more you may have to pay at the pump as the storm reeks havoc on refineries here. a whole new whole foods. the big savings that shoppers are already seeing today now hi. looks like verizon hooked the whole fam. they sure did! guy-who-used-to-ask-if-you-could -hear-him-now-with-verizon? ...or just paul. we've been up here for ages. you should switch to sprint like i did. nowadays, every network is great! but with sprint, you're not paying a ton for unlimited or overages. thanks, paul. works for me! daddy, can we switch to sprint? i don't feel too good. don't get hooked by verizon and let a 1% difference in network reliability cost you twice as much.
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we're back now from houston with more on the economic ripple effect from this epic storm which is hitting right at the heart of the nation's oil and gas production and that could hike the price you pay for gas in places far from the flood zone. our national correspondent miguel almaguer is here in houston and has the potential impact at the pump. >> reporter: tonight, under sheets of rain and rising floodwater, some of the biggest refineries in texas supplying gas to service stations across the country are stalled. >> there's nobody here, guys. this place is shut down. >> reporter: the gulf coast produces 5 million barrels of oil per day. home to nearly a third of the nation's refining capacity. now, the department of energy says 2 million barrels a day are not being processed. what does that mean for you? pain at the pump.
>> we'll be facing very quickly the nation's highest price for gasoline so far this year because of harvey. >> reporter: the forecast nationwide, in the east, rockies and west, prices could climb 15 cents a gallon. in the midwest drivers could pay a quarter more per gallon. and in the gulf, prices could surge another 35 cents a gallon. in houston, some stations are under water. many have already run dry. >> i am making sure that i have at least half a tank. >> reporter: in los angeles, giselle jimenez is worried. >> i'm concerned about it. >> reporter: after the storm is over, the thousands of employees who work at refine ris like this might not even be able to get to work. roads everywhere are flooded and major freeways like this one are deserted. tonight harvey's impact being felt not just in texas but at pumps across the country. miguel almaguer, nbc news, houston.
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we'll have more coverage of this epic storm in a moment, but we want to check some of the day's other big headlines including the mega merger that's the talk of dinner tables all across the country. amazon closing its deal to buy whole foods and immediately making moves in the grocery wars. our business correspondent jo ling kent has details on how a fight for your money means you can save. >> reporter: on its first day running whole foods amazon slashes prices by as much as 43% on more than a dozen staples to start. bananas that once sold for 79 cents a pound are 49 cents a pound today. organic fuji apples once 3.49 a pound, now 1.99. and lean ground beef
6.99 a pound last week, today 4.99. amazon is also pushing its own echo, the voice activated digital speaker. for its 85 million prime members nationwide whole foods is planning to offer special savings and a customer rewards program. all shoppers can already buy whole foods branded products on amazon.com. grocery analysts say the idea is to bring in younger customers who already shop on amazon. >> they are not afraid to take a hit on their bottom line for a long period of time so they can grow. and i see this as a move to try and get into the grocery business as quickly and fast as they possibly can. >> reporter: this bold move will probably not lead to a grocery price war for now. the goal, bring whole foods closer to the competition and shake infamous nickname, whole paycheck. jo ling kent, los angeles. when we come back, the kindness of strangers. for adults with advanced non-small cell lung cancer,
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downdownhouston. they say everything is bigger here in texas and there are certainly some big hearts among those we've met here as this unprecedented disaster continues to unfold. we've seen so many neighbors helping neighbors, strangers helping strangers and some of those strangers arriving from different parts of the country. we get more on that from nbc's joe fryer. >> reporter: with floodwaters rising to new records, volunteers are rising to the challenge. from boats to tractors, all types of machines are descending upon this disaster captained by everyday folks who simply want to help. >> today everyone's family. >> reporter: these guys are from the cajun navy. they drove through the night. >> when louisiana gets in a bind, we have problems, texas responds. we're not going the leave our brothers behind. >> reporter: help is pouring in from across the country. helicopters from arizona, red cross teams from philadelphia, police and firefighters from new york. and sometimes the best help comes from home. beneath an interstate
bridge, the pleasant family anxiously waiting for mom michelle who has been stranded by the storm for two days. what's it been like for her? >> she's been crying. and worrying how she's going to get to her five children. >> reporter: but now she's in sight. michelle was picked up by good samaritans with a boat. strangers now delivering her to a relieved family. >> i'm just ready to get home to my babies. >> reporter: she's grateful to the young texans who saved her. >> thank you! >> thank you! >> we're no heroes or anything. we're just here to help people, you know. >> god is good, you all. god is amazing. >> reporter: a flood of emotions and gratitude. >> thank you, all. >> reporter: joe fryer, nbc news, dickinson, texas. >> a lot of good folks here. a lot of you watching may be wondering how to help, we've got a list of charitable organizations on our
facebook page. i want to thank you for being with us. we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news" for this monday night. from houston, i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching . the stars take sides in the katy-taylor feud. pink texting her little girl. harris jackson gets political. >> all the headlines from the mcas. >> new video. katy perry behind the scenes.
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