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Severe Flooding in Colorado; U.S., Russia Come to Agreement on Syria

Aired September 16, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET



LT. COL. MITCH UTTERBACK, COLORADO NATIONAL GUARD: I think what we have going on here, in the last 24 hours, is the greatest number of Americans rescued by a helicopter since Hurricane Katrina.


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Lt. Colonel Utterback talking about the severe flooding in Colorado. We`re going to have more on that in just a moment.

First today, though, the U.S. and Russia work out a deal - you`re seeing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the left and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the right. They met in Switzerland late last week to talk about Syria`s supply of chemical weapons. And they came up with steps for Syria`s to hand over control of those weapons.

Here`s the plan: step one: within one week, Syria has to offer a comprehensive list of all of its of chemical weapons. Step two, international inspectors must be in Syria no later than November. And step three, all of Syria`s chemical weapons materials must be destroyed by the middle of next year.

This deal could prevent a military strike against Syria, but Secretary Kerry says the threat of force is still an option to make sure Syria follows through.

Groups in Syria that are opposed to the country`s government aren`t sure if that will happen. They say the government has a long history of empty promises. And U.S. Senator John McCain says he and some of his colleagues don`t believe the deal over Syria`s chemical weapons will do anything to resolve that country`s civil war.

Back to the flooding in Colorado. Officials say, it is responsible for several deaths there so far. Yesterday, about 480 people were still unaccounted for. You can see in this YouTube video what some people in Colorado are dealing with. Water rushing by their homes up as high as some windows. Government agencies say flooding claims nearly 100 lives per year, that`s more than other types of severe weather, and most of those deaths involve vehicles. Officials say people try to drive through flooded areas without realizing how powerful the moving water can be. 12 to 18 inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, best advice is if you come to a flooded road, just turn around. Nick Valencia has more on the impact of this flooding in Colorado.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Days of intense rain have left swollen creeks, flooded roads and damaged bridges in the state of Colorado. Dealing with the weather and its aftermath is proven to be difficult and dangerous.

In Aurora, water and hail trapped drivers in a parking lot. Most people there were able to walk out, but for many others in the Boulder area the only way out, by helicopter. Hundreds have been picked up, many of those are trapped in towns where severe flooding shut down roads living them stranded.

It`s still a desperate effort to get people out of the inaccessible areas. The Boulder Country sheriff says, search and rescue resumes, but it will be difficult.

SHERIFF JOE PELLE, BOULDER COUNTY, COLORADO: The problem with this event is that it`s affected every drainage and every road in the country that goes west, and so, you know, it`s a sinking feeling when you realize that if someone above - or someone to (inaudible) to pick area calls 911, we`re not going to be able to help them.



GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R ) NEW JERSEY: And I said to my stuff, you know, I really thought I`m going to throw up. I mean just, you know, how much more are people going to be expected to take? And it`s an emotional toll that it puts on everyone. The people who live here, the business owners, the local officials. And those ones to the state government who have dedicated most of our lives over the last ten months to the rebuilding of the Jersey Shore.


AZUZ: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was talking about this: officials think it started in a frozen custard shop and strong wind combined with the tar roofs of many businesses caused several blocks of the Jersey Shore boardwalk to flare up and burn down on Thursday. Some of these businesses had just finished rebuilding after last year`s Superstorm Sandy. Dozens of them were damaged, some destroyed, thankfully no one was killed. The governor says state money, grants, loans will be made available to help people rebuild again.

Don`t forget about your chance to meet Malala Yousafzai, the girl who was shot by the Taliban, because she wanted to go to school. Students 13 to 18 in the 48 contiguous states can submit an essay explaining how they`ve been inspired by Malala`s work. Full rules for the contest can be found at the url you see below, and the entry form at But don`t wait - the deadline to submit essay is 8 P.M. on September 18th. That`s this week.

Here are five things to know about Hispanic Heritage Month, which starts every year on September 15th. Number one, it started as Hispanic Heritage Week. The national observation began in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson. It was expanded to a month long event 20 years later, under President Ronald Reagan. Number two, unlike Black History Month of Women`s History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month happens across two months on the calendar. It begins on September 15th and ends on October 15th. The reason why is number three in our list. September 15 is Independence Day for five Latin American countries, two others celebrate their independence right after that. Hispanic Heritage Week was always observed during the week that included September 15. So when it was expanded to a month, that significant date was established as its beginning. Number four, the meaning: Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the histories and cultures of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The event also spotlights the contributions of Hispanic Americans. And number five, some numbers: 53 million, that`s the Hispanic population in the U.S., according to the most recent census estimates. Hispanics make up 17 percent of the nation`s total population, which makes them the country`s largest ethnic or racial minority. And when it comes to global Hispanic populations, the U.S. ranks second behind only Mexico.

What do you call it when five people dance with five other people? A ten dance? It`s time for the "Roll Call." We`re starting in Dixie, but this one`s out west. Dixie High School in St George, Utah, home of the fliers. Today`s "Roll Call" gets to spark from the spark plugs at speedway schools in Speedway, Indiana. And we finish up in Vaguance, Mississippi, with this stone high Tomcats. Thanks for watching, everybody.

The voyages of the Starship Enterprise might have boldly gone where no man has gone before. NASA`s space probe Voyager 1 is making a similar, but non-fictional journey crossing a line in space to go beyond our Solar System. Scientists say Voyagers in this mysterious place called the Ort Cloud at the edge of the Solar System, but for practical purposes, Voyager has left the building. John Zarrella shows us how it all got started.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The primary mission was supposed to last five years or so, that`s it. A quick trip to check out the rings of Saturn, Jupiter`s chaotic giant spot and the Moon Titan along the way. Well, guess what? The Voyager 1 spacecraft just kept on going, further and further, out in the space. It`s been 36 years and 11.6 billion miles, that`s right, with a B., since it left Earth, and now NASA`s announced its little spacecraft that could is now in interstellar space. The scientists and engineers had always hoped that just maybe, with a little luck, Voyager might do it, make it out of the Solar System and into deep space, so just in case it runs across alien life, Voyager carries a gold record. On it, greetings in 55 languages.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Hello from the children of Planet Earth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking Spanish)

ZARRELLA: Sounds of Earth, too.

And if by chance, the aliens are not smart enough to figure out how to play it, there is a cartridge, a needle and, of course, instructions on board.


AZUZ: We`re talking about that gold record idea on our blog. If you`re sending a message out in the space, what would it say? What would you include? You have to be at least 13 years old to come in on the blog, it`s up at

Today`s "Before We Go" segment involves some hot dogging, some hot dogging douks (ph). What do you call them? Ducksons? Douchhounds or just winner dogs? They are all welcome at this competition in Canada. There are races, there is a fashion show. There is bobbing for - guess what - hot dogs. All of the proceeds go to local animal rescues, so if you think any of these events get too competitive, you`re barking up the wrong tree. Doggone it, and we`ve run out of time on CNN STUDENT NEWS. A quick heads up before we take off. Tomorrow is Constitution Day, and tomorrow`s show will have an awesome Constitution Day quiz for you, so please be sure to meet us back here on Tuesday for more CNN STUDENT NEWS. By now.