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Catastrophic Flash Flooding in Texas; Arpaio Pardon Controversy; North Korea Conducts Three More Missile Tests; Storm Chaser Returns Dog to Owner via Twitter; Mayweather Beats McGregor. Aired 5-6a ET
Aired August 27, 2017 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Thanks for joining us, everyone. We continue our coverage of the devastating storm in Texas. I'm Cyril Vanier.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And I'm Natalie Allen. Yes, Tropical Storm Harvey is being blamed for two deaths as torrential rain and flooding continues to barrel down along the coast.
VANIER: In Houston, officials are warning of potentially catastrophic flooding. Up to 20 cm of rain, some 8 inches, have already fallen on the city. And police confirm that a woman was killed after being swept away by floodwaters on Saturday.
ALLEN: A flash flood emergency is now in effect for the Houston area. The city's mayor is urging people to stay home, stay off the roads.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SYLVESTER TURNER, HOUSTON MAYOR: And the streets are treacherous. It makes absolutely no sense for anyone to be out on the road unless it's an emergency.
The safest place is in your home. But be reminded, this is a four- or five- day event, not a one-day event. Not a two-day event. These rain bands will come and go and it's very important for everyone to do their jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Let's talk more about the situation people in Houston face. Danny Perez is a spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation. He's on the phone with us from Houston.
Thanks so much, Danny. We know you're busy for talking with us. We just heard the mayor urging people to stay in, stay off the roads.
Are they doing that? DANNY PEREZ, TDOT: Many people are. We had some instances early on, when folks were out on the roadways, I guess they thought that it was OK, it was clear, even though the storm, this was going, you know, an incoming system. But some folks were on the road and now we have folks that were either stuck on elevated places of our freeways but there's also folks that have run into the high water.
We've had multiple rescues throughout the city in the (INAUDIBLE) district for the Texas Department of Transportation. Thankfully, this county -- so we've had some actually pretty much in the Houston area.
But we've had issues in other parts of our district, including (INAUDIBLE) County, Galveston County, Fort Bend (ph) County. But this is a system that just keeps coming, keeps bringing a lot of rain. And we're just working really hard to keep folks safe, putting out messages on a sign (ph), on our message signs along our freeway.
Also letting people know that, turn around, don't drown, avoid high water but also to be safe. And best thing to do is to just stay off the roads.
VANIER: Sir, we just heard the mayor of Houston, saying that his timeframe, when he's looking at this, is some five days.
Just to be clear, are you asking people and expected people to stay at home for five days?
Because staying at home for a few hours while the rain passes is one thing. Staying at home for five days, it requires logistics, food, water, power, all that. That is a lot harder.
PEREZ: Yes, we have people and early on the mayor, all the partners involved in the Houston area, including the Texas Department of Transportation, we asked folks to get supplies, be prepared and have a plan.
So that was something that folks were urged to do early on because this was not going to be a short event, even though we didn't get the main impact of the hurricane like our friends to the south of us.
But we knew there would be major impacts to our area. So folks were urged to plan ahead and be prepared. And a lot of folks did that. But the thing is now is we're in a pattern where we have multiple days of rain.
The systems are overwhelmed as far as the flooding, the water systems that carry this water away. But our roads are obviously major corridors for folks not only for the traveling public but also for first responders.
So we're working with all our partners, whether it's transportation partners, our law enforcement partners, we're here at Houston TranStar in the center of the city and we're working with all our partners, regularly working with them. So it's a major effort and we'll get through it together. ALLEN: Absolutely. We can appreciate, when you talk about six counties and all the coordination you are having to do, with people under duress, there will be emergencies; people are calling 9-1-1 if they are having an emergency.
How prepared do you think you have the resources to get to people with all of this flooding?
PEREZ: Well, the thing is we're -- with multiple agencies, that's why we --
PEREZ: -- come together. All the different agencies come together early on. We were prepared for an event of this magnitude.
We have resources across the state; for instance, for the Texas Department of Transportation and working with the different -- not only within our agency but also with other agencies, partnering agencies, and agencies such as the Department of Public Safety and different agencies and coordinating early on.
We've had events in the past that we've learned from. And we've definitely implemented those policies to make sure that we're keeping folks safe.
But it's really important for the traveling public to help with that effort, to keep themselves safe right now. Even if you get high water in your area, it's probably best to stay put as opposed to getting on the road because the roads are extremely dangerous at this time.
ALLEN: We know you're very busy and you have a lot of work to do. We thank you so much for the information and encouraging people to cooperate the best they can. Danny Perez for us there. Thank you, Danny.
Let's turn now to our meteorologist, Karen Maginnis, to talk more about what they face in Houston and those outlying areas.
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All right. We just took a look at this in the weather department. We have got meteorologists galore that have been looking at these different computer models. And I want to show you this one, this is the European model. But the North American model is in fair agreement with this.
All right. Here is Austin, San Antonio, area of low pressure, the -- Harvey. It swings back around to Houston. We go from Sunday into next Saturday. Here we go again. Let's play it again.
Low pressure, swings out into the Gulf of Mexico, swings back again across Houston. We could see record rainfall, we already have in some areas, but epic. This looks to be a situation, where all the emergency management people in the world will be struggling to keep things together.
You can imagine all the resources that will have to be pulled in across this region to take care of things.
I want to point out one other thing. Look at this band. It's about to move into Houston, that has already seen record rainfall. We have another band, which is across the area right now. And then there is moisture being tapped from the Gulf.
And this area between Houston and Galveston, along Interstate 45, seems to be the key area that we're focusing in on, at least I am, as far as the heavy rainfall is concerned.
You are looking at flooded roads, flooded interstates, flooded subdivisions, all of the suburbs around Houston, like Katy, Sugar Land, Pearland, League City, Galveston are looking at monumental flooding.
They are saying the Middle and Lower Clear Creek, they have seen almost 21 inches of rainfall in 24 hours and we're not done. And record flooding along the Buffalo Bayou. I had to get those in. I know I'm out of time. Buffalo Bayou runs right through Houston and they are saying record flooding on that.
So I'll be back towards the bottom of the hour and give you another update.
ALLEN: Karen, I think we both can appreciate you were struggling for words to try to impress it upon -- you never struggle for words, what -- epic, we'll stick with that and what will happen. Thank you, Karen.
VANIER: Joining me now to share her story is Chantal Cleveland, she is a Rockport resident but she's currently in Corpus Christi. She sent into us pictures of her home that has been largely destroyed.
Chantal, can you describe to us what we're seeing on these pictures right now?
CHANTAL CLEVELAND, ROCKPORT RESIDENT: Yes. So I really didn't expect the storm to get as large as it was. It was originally projected to be a depression. Finally convinced my stubborn parents to evacuate to Corpus Christi. We came back into Rockport this morning at the crack of dawn.
I didn't know what to expect. I know that, as I was driving into Rockport, the homes were becoming more and are more destroyed. Finally, as I pulled into our driveway to see the roof of one of our homes gone. So we really couldn't get into the driveway because it was inundated with water.
VANIER: Yes, we see the water on the pictures.
CLEVELAND: Yes, so I just ran into my home. I thought I was going to need the key to open the door and I didn't even need it because it was broken. There was sheet rock, insulation everywhere, about two feet of debris. Our stuff was just covered in it.
We weren't expecting the storm to get this big, so we only packed a couple changes of clothes when we came to Corpus Christi. It quickly --
CLEVELAND: -- got stronger, it was a category 4. So you can see our homes, they have been demolished.
Sadly, we had tenants living in the other three. So they're have to come home to destroyed homes as well, completely gutted, you know, it's just debris upon debris. But we aren't the only ones that are experiencing this. Our whole town, community is.
VANIER: What is the prospect for your house?
It looks totally destroyed.
CLEVELAND: Yes. You know, I just didn't really expect that to happen. We have our casual routine, where I get home from work, Rockport is a beautiful community, a lot of people go and visit it. We rely heavily on tourists. So I'm kind of sad to see what is to come.
VANIER: How long have you lived there?
Have you experienced any weather events similar to this?
CLEVELAND: No. I've lived in Rockport my whole life. So 24 years. And my parents have lived there since the '70s and they have experienced hurricanes and tropical depressions. But they have never left. They braved them through and they wanted to brave this one through.
And I'm so glad they didn't because, as you can see in those pictures, there are just walls --
VANIER: That would have been dangerous. That clearly would have been very dangerous for anyone in that house.
CLEVELAND: -- yes, and it breaks my heart because a large percentage of our community stayed to brave it through. And just scrolling through my Facebook --
VANIER: Have you spoken to your neighbors?
CLEVELAND: Excuse me?
VANIER: Have you spoken to your neighbors?
CLEVELAND. They evacuated. Our tenants evacuated. But Rockport is such a small community. We all know each other. I know there are a lot of people asking for people to drive by their relatives' homes just to make sure they are still there, people that haven't spoken to their relatives in 24 hours.
So we're really going to need aid, we will need aid to come and help us find our family members and hopefully they are OK. This is catastrophic.
VANIER: Let me stop you right there.
Are you telling me there are family members that you have not been able to get in touch with yet?
CLEVELAND: Not personally. I've heard that from friends, that there are family members that might be -- that they just can't get a hold of and that might be because of the power or just -- I know when I was coming in, I couldn't get phone service.
And it's hard because we can't really get into Rockport. It's not safe for us to get into Rockport right now. So we definitely are going to need as much help as we can get to get back on our feet and make sure our loved ones are safe. I mean this is serious.
And we hear about these hurricanes happening in other coastal communities but I don't think we truly knew the magnitude of it until you're actually in it and you get home and all of your stuff is just gone, your home is gone.
And, I mean, those are just things. We're happy to be safe, we're happy to be alive but this is obviously going to be a lot of rebuilding. And I'm scared right now for what is to come.
But I'll tell you that our community is being very supportive and everybody is wanting to help. And so that is reassuring. But we're definitely going on to need help to rebuild our community and the surrounding areas.
VANIER: Yes, it shows. There's no doubt about that when we see those pictures. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with us. And I know as well you have power issues where you are now in Corpus Christi. Of course, a lot of the power lines are down --
CLEVELAND: Yes, I'm charging my phone in my car right now. So we are all just trying to get through this and it will take time. But if people can just help us in any way they can, that would be wonderful.
VANIER: We appreciate you putting your message out there. Thank you very much, Chantal.
CLEVELAND: Thank you, Cyril.
ALLEN: Very sweet young woman there. We wish her and her family and all of her neighbors the best as they push on.
And as we push on here, the controversial pardon of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio may have been in the works even before Arpaio went to trial. We'll have new details for you coming up here.
(MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ALLEN: We're going to turn to U.S. politics now. One day after President Trump pardoned the former controversial Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio, we're now learning Mr. Trump took a personal interest in this case before it even went to trial.
VANIER: That is according to "The Washington Post." The president reportedly asked the U.S. attorney general, Jeff Sessions, about dropping the case; however, Mr. Sessions told Mr. Trump it would be inappropriate to interfere.
ALLEN: Arpaio's pardon was just one of several major developments from the Trump administration this weekend, all of them overshadowed by the hurricane as it neared landfall. We get more now from CNN's Athena Jones.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there. Several big headlines coming out of the White House just in the last couple of days. Among them, the departure of White House aide Sebastian Gorka. He had served as a counterterrorism adviser to the president and he was dismissed on Friday.
Now he says he resigned. White House officials say otherwise. And Gorka now joins a list of White House aides who have left just in the last month or so. We're talking about press secretary Sean Spicer, chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon, now Sebastian Gorka joining that list.
I should note that, after departure of Bannon earlier this month, sources said that Gorka, too, was on thin ice. Gorka was part of the nationalist-populist wing of the West Wing led by Steve Bannon and so it is perhaps not too surprising to see him now out of the White House.
But perhaps the biggest, most controversial news coming out of the White House in the last couple of days is the president's decision to pardon former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona.
Now let's remind our viewers what Sheriff Arpaio was convicted of. He was convicted of contempt for ignoring a court order to stop racial profiling. He and his department had been stopping Latinos just on the suspicion that they might be undocumented.
Sheriff Arpaio was ordered to stop doing that. He continued to do so for more than a year longer and was convicted just at the end of July. He was set to be sentenced in October and could have faced up to six months in prison.
But the president has stepped in to pardon him and now "The Washington Post" is reporting that, even before Arpaio's trial began last spring, the president spoke with his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, to ask whether it was possible for the government to drop the case against Arpaio.
The president was advised that would be inappropriate and so he let the case go to trial.
But it seems clear now that the president, at least according to this report, had been thinking about pardoning his ally, Sheriff Arpaio, for some time. Here is how Arpaio responded to that news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE ARPAIO, FORMER ARIZONA SHERIFF: I know it came from his heart. Two years ago I supported him first rally and I always said --
ARPAIO: -- regardless of pardon or no pardon, I'd be with him to the end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: So there you heard a grateful Sheriff Arpaio. But the president's decision has received criticism, not just from Democrats but also from members of his own party, including Arizona's two Republican senators and Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, all raising questions about this move by the president, that could potentially send a message to Trump allies that it's OK to violate citizens' constitutional rights and to ignore court orders, if you are a Trump ally -- back to you.
ALLEN: Let's talk more about it now with Inderjeet Parmar. He's professor of international politics at City University of London to get an international perspective on this.
First of all, I want to get your reaction to the fact that President Trump allowed this pardon of this controversial former sheriff.
INDERJEET PARMAR, CITY UNIVERSITY LONDON: Well, he didn't allow it, he organized it. So I think that tells us a great deal, but two things I would say mainly. One is about the rule of law and what President Trump thinks of that. And the second is to do with the whole issue of race following Charlottesville and the Phoenix rally as well.
And I think in terms of rule of law, it suggests that President Trump has a very, very ambiguous idea about the rule of law. It doesn't appear to apply to him, his allies, possibly his family and friends and so on. And I think it's his definition of what is an American hero, is up at stake here, too.
And that is that this person has basically been found in contempt of court. But he has also been an ally in the birther movement, which President Trump -- candidate Trump was part of. And I think he's willing to see that as a kind of act of heroism and the courts have declared to be racist.
PARMAR: And I think that tells us something about his ideas about race in American today.
ALLEN: Yes, the birther movement was completely false as we know. And you mentioned the issue of race right after Charlottesville. Race is a contentious issue in this country right now. President Trump did this for his ally.
But bigger picture, what will it mean perhaps to his presidency beyond the base, which he so seems to protect above all else?
PARMAR: I think this really does what has been going on for quite some time now and that is, among every grouping within American society, within the American electorate, wherever you may be in terms of the Rust Belt or other, whether you are black or white or anything, or male and female and so on, he's -- basically his support is eroding amongst those people who are not particularly strongly supportive.
So the strongly supportive group is getting smaller and smaller. So he is leaking support but he's trying to cling on to it, if you like, as much as he can by playing this particular card. He knows it plays well. And what it does is also it sets the agenda of racism versus diversity.
And that actually aligns another part of what's been going on, which your package showed, that the economic nationalist part of the program appears on be dropped. So those tax rises for rich people, reductions for less rich people, poorer people, that is off the agenda now.
So I think that he's clinging on through the race card and I think that is not having a very good effect overall.
But yet the Republican Party leadership has yet to repudiate him, even though they passed the resolution this weekend about white supremacy being against Republican Party principles. It is quite something in 2017 to have to say that about your own political party.
ALLEN: Right. Speaker Ryan did come out and say he absolutely disagrees with this president pardoning Arpaio.
I want to ask you, it seems, no matter what the reaction is to the decisions President Trump makes, which so many disagree with, that he remains unfazed by the reaction.
PARMAR: Yes. I think he has a very powerful sense of self, that he is right, that he knows what is good for America and he knows what powers -- or generally speaking -- he seems to know what powers he has and he's willing to exercise them. He is, in many ways, quite a rare personality, I suspect.
He is able to be almost independent of so much. But I think he's -- this taps in to something really important, which I think is still being debated, about what does this presidency really aim to do and achieve?
What would there be idea -- their ideas be of success?
And I have a feeling that President Trump is actually building a mass base outside of the Republican Party, possibly to split the party or to create a new one. But --
PARMAR: -- I think his idea of success is to rally those forces outside and actually, sort if you like cohere them into a new block, which is probably going to be a sort of white identity, white power sort of politics, which is going to effectively be a permanent feature of the landscape, I suspect that that is the thing that is really holding him together.
And his administration appears to be principally focused around campaigning for that. That distracts from many things which he fought the election about. He fought the election about empowering ordinary people, taking power away from Wall Street, not having a global military policy of intervention.
All of that has been lost. He seems to now be saying, this is how I'm going to coagulate my base. It's around the race issue. It's about statues and "our history and culture."
And I think Sheriff Arpaio's pardon plays into all of those kinds of themes. I suspect this is what his presidency will really mean in the longer run.
ALLEN: Actions speak louder than words, don't they?
Thank you so much for your insight. We appreciate it.
PARMAR: Thank you very much as well.
ALLEN: Inderjeet Parmar in London, thank you.
VANIER: We'll take a short break but when we come back, the Houston, Texas, area still bracing for devastating floods as Tropical Storm Harvey continues to deliver a deluge of rain. Much more on the storm after the break. Stay with us.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Welcome back. Thanks for being with us. I'm Cyril Vanier.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And I'm Natalie Allen.
VANIER: Texas is reeling from what has become now a Tropical Storm Harvey as officials warn of potentially historic floods in the next few days. At least one person was killed in the town of Rockport. The city's mayor reports widespread devastation. ALLEN: One woman was killed after being swept away by floodwaters in Houston. A flash flood emergency has been issued in that area. And police say they are receiving multiple requests for high water rescues that has come in during the overnight hours.
Our meteorologist, who is usually here with us, is in Victoria, Texas, right now, Derek Van Dam is with us.
And, Derek, you were saying earlier that the language you're seeing from the National Weather Service is some of the most dire that you have witnessed before. Tell us about that.
DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, you're right, Natalie. In fact the National Weather Service using wording just like this, "Flash flood emergency for catastrophic, life-threatening flooding." That is for the Greater Houston area. Where I'm standing, Victoria, Texas, has also had a rough, rough past 24 hours.
What you are looking at behind me is the Guadalupe River, currently at moderate flood stage. But by Tuesday, this is going to be a different story. Once the rain starts to filter in across this region, it has nowhere else to go but up.
Remember water seeks its own level. We're expecting major flood stage by Tuesday afternoon of this week right where I'm standing.
Now across this area, it's not only the flooding, it's also been the strong winds. We know that Harvey made landfall as a category 4 hurricane. But we also know that, as it moves inland, it has strong winds as well. In Victoria, we're about 30 miles away from the shoreline from the Gulf of Mexico.
And the damage here is equivalent to roughly a category 1 hurricane. So we saw trees completely snapped over, awnings, roofs of houses damaged, some minor structural building collapses and certainly power lines and electricity has been lost across this area. Utility companies are trying to reassess that situation and bring back electricity to all of its customers across Victoria here in Texas.
But I want to get to Houston because some historic, record flooding is taking place there as we speak. And we have some incredible images coming in to CNN as well of some of the swift water rescues.
Dozens if not hundreds taking place as we speak right now as over 22 inches of rain have fallen in a 24-hour period. That is over 575 millimeters of rainfall. This is particularly southeastern sections of Houston. That is where we've been hit the hardest with those feeder bands, that just bring in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and produce significant amount of rain in a short period of time.
That is where we have the life-threatening flash flooding taking place. In fact, we have seen water levels surpass the 500-year level already. And just putting this all into perspective, there was one point, Natalie, where we had five simultaneous tornado warnings in and around Houston, an extreme flood emergency and all of this occurring at nighttime. How can one city cope with that?
Back to you.
ALLEN: Absolutely. Derek, thank you so much. And Houston will be in it for the next few days. People watching want to help those affected by the storm, you can visit cnn.com/impact.
VANIER: Let's move on to the other side of the world now. Tough talk from the U.S. doesn't appear to be stopping North Korea. The U.S. says Pyongyang fired three more missiles on Saturday as the U.S. and South Korea were holding war games.
ALLEN: North Korea also ran images of its own military drills on state media. They appear to show North Korean leader Kim Jong-un overseeing -- this isn't whatever you're seeing. This is from South Korea.
This is it now from North Korea. It appears to show him overseeing a special forces operation. The exercises look like they simulate a strike on South Korean islands. This is from North Korea. I was mistaken.
VANIER: CNN's Will Ripley is the only Western journalist currently in North Korea, a country he knows very well, having been there multiple times. He joins us from Pyongyang.
Will, from a military standpoint, the missile launch that we saw on Saturday was nowhere near some of the recent testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles, much longer range on those. But that recent launch on Saturday does come at a very sensitive time.
What is your read of it?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely right, Cyril, because, keep in mind, that launch on July 29th, right at the end of the month, was highly significant. It showed that North Korea has missiles in its arsenal that could potentially reach the mainland United States, possibly with a miniaturized nuclear warhead.
What we saw them test over the weekend, it was --
RIPLEY: -- shorter range ballistic missiles, the kind that they have fired dozens of times on the orders of their Supreme Leader, Kim Jong- un, they traveled 250 kilometers, just over 150 miles, falling into the waters off of Japan. That is a pretty typical trajectory for North Korean missiles.
But theoretically those short-range ballistic missiles could strike all of metropolitan Seoul, with millions of people there. Any major U.S. military bases in South Korea are within striking range.
And the North Koreans here in Pyongyang say they are still not ruling out that highly provocative test that they talked about when there was that back-and-forth, that war of words a few weeks ago with President Trump. He was threatening "fire and fury like the world has never seen."
They were talking about a detailed plan to fire an intermediate range missile over Japan and bring it down less than 30 kilometers from Guam, home to key military assets, including Andersen Air Force Base, and more than 160,000 U.S. citizens.
What this military activity right now indicates is simply North Korea's anger about the ongoing joint military drills that you talked about in the intro there, that are happening just miles from where I'm standing in South Korea.
Those drills always infuriate Pyongyang; they always make this regime very angry. And so you see these images that look very similar, from South Korea, military exercises, military drills happening in North Korea, like that special forces operation with those commandos simulating what looks like an attack on South Korean islands, islands that have been in the crosshairs of violence just within the last six or seven years.
And so the concern, Cyril, is that the rhetoric, combined with these military activities, could lead to some sort of a misstep that could really escalate the situation here on the peninsula.
VANIER: Will, great to speak to you. Thank you very much. We'll want to speak to you more over the coming days and get your assessment also of just the perception and how things are being understood and assessed in North Korea, after that war of words that you were describing between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump. Thank you very much for speaking to us. Thanks.
ALLEN: Coming up here, we will turn back to the storm in Texas and one particular story about a lost dog and a man trying to chase the storm. That is coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I stopped for gas up and this guy was following me down the road.
ALLEN: The hurricane that hit Texas on Friday is now a tropical storm but it slammed into the state Friday night as a category 4 and it's still causing issues.
VANIER: A flash flood emergency has been issued for the city Houston. And CNN affiliate KTRK has more on the massive flooding there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, KTRK: Wanted to show you here, we are just west of the Gulf Freeway on the Loop and it's pretty much the end of the road for us and a lot of other people because they have got the road essentially shut down.
But look at this neighborhood behind me, this is near Woodridge and Telephone Road. I can't tell you the name of the neighborhood but I can you the people who live there, a lot of them are evacuating on foot, some of them are sitting in a Metro bus right now that just happened to be parked nearby until they can get high-water rescue vehicles over here to get people out of their homes because you can see the water is rising.
And this rain is not helping at all. Those vehicles there, you can see the water up to -- halfway up the tire well. I imagine that water is getting into these homes; incredibly the power is still on in this neighborhood.
And if you look just to the right of that -- "no through truck" sign and you see -- I don't know if Rudy can see it or not but there is a little white piece of metal, kind of a rounded dome, coming out of the water just to the right of that "no through truck" sign.
That is a fire hydrant. That is the top of a fire hydrant. So I'm guessing the water is probably a couple feet deep at least in that spot right now.
And, again, this rain is a real problem. The Loop, you are unable to get by. They are not letting people onto 45 from here, so people are stuck; 18 wheelers, tow trucks, pickup trucks, people have been here -- one gentleman told me he'd been here for three hours just waiting, because he knows he can't get home and he doesn't want to risk it on the Loop.
Even though police tell me that, while they are stopping people and turning them around, some are still trying to get through. We're not going to do that. We'll just wait here and see how the rain fares and we'll keep you updated as the waters continue to rise.
VANIER: All right, so that gives you a sense of what they are seeing there. And Karen Maginnis is here to tell you if anytime you're thinking about trying to make it through floodwaters, this is not it.
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We've seen it over and over again. All the Houston TV stations where you see people come barreling down an interstate or a highway only to be abruptly met by maybe not a wall of water but enough to stop them in their tracks.
And they are getting a lot of calls through emergency services, wanting people to rescue them from their cars. They say, unless your life is in danger, don't call for that reason.
There is a tornado watch which is in effect for all of the Metro Houston area, all the way out toward Galveston, in a portion of Louisiana. We kind of fan out a little bit more to show you this radar imagery, the southern edge of this system has kind of eroded away.
But don't be fooled, there is still tons of tropical moisture that's being picked up from the Gulf of Mexico. And another aspect of this is all these bands coming up from the south, pumping in that moisture, sandwiching in Houston to League City, to Sugar Land, to Katy, to Pasadena, through the bayous, through Clear Creek. This is phenomenal.
And already Hobby is closed; Intercontinental is closed. It will be a mess. You may want to check with your work to see what happens, church events, all kinds of activities will probably be canceled because of this widespread flooding. Cyril and Natalie, we're staying on top of it. We have got constant updates, so keep it here at CNN.
ALLEN: Karen, thank you.
Of course, this is a time when people need to look out for their neighbor. There are always heartwarming stories during crises about people coming together. And we have got one for you.
VANIER: Yes, one man found a dog after the storm but he had no idea who or where the owner of the dog was. And that is when Aaron Jayjack turned to Twitter. We'll listen to how he reached out for help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AARON JAYJACK, STORM CHASER: Hey guys, I'm on my way back to Austin from Victoria, Texas. And I picked up a little passenger here. I stopped for gas and this guy was following me down the road. When I stopped, he jumped into the Jeep. I'm trying to get back to Austin by 2:00 pm so I can --
JAYJACK: -- pick up my own dogs.
They are being boarded and I'd like to get them so I have them for the rest of the weekend and not leave them at the boarder's.
So I really need help trying to find this guy's owner. We'll call him Harvey. But I need help trying to find his owner. So if you can share, tweet, whatever you got to do to help, I found him in Runge, Texas, R-U-N-G-E. Thanks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Aaron Jayjack is with us, he's a storm chaser based out of Austin, Texas.
Look, Aaron, it's great to speak to you. And, honestly, it brings a little bit of levity to the story. Your to Twitter bio says you're a storm chaser and experiencing severe weather is your passion. So you enjoy this stuff. JAYJACK: Yes, unlike most other people, as was quite evident yesterday as I headed down to the cast, I was the only person basically heading toward the coast. I love getting into it, getting into the severe weather.
VANIER: So tell me first about the dog, the dog who you originally called Harvey in your first video.
Is he back with the owner now?
JAYJACK: Yes, so I just actually -- I've only been home for about half an hour. I just made a trip down to Runge, Texas, to drop him back off to his owner.
VANIER: Well, social media worked on that one and congratulations to you. That is pretty impressive.
What's the back story?
JAYJACK: Yes, that's quite a -- I'm surprised at how -- you know, I knew that was probably the best way to get the word out, but I did not expect how viral that would go. And so I found the dog in Runge, I had to spend the night in Victoria, Texas, tracking the hurricane.
And I hid up against a parking garage to try and stay out of the debris and the wind and I was trying to conserve my gasoline all night. And once daybreak came and the hurricane kind of let up a bit, I needed to find a way out of Victoria because I was starting to get low on gas.
I did have some spare gas but I didn't want to dip into the spare gas unless I had to.
So I decided to try to find a way out of Victoria and I ended up only being able find basically one direction and that was west and that took me to Runge, Texas, where I met Cash.
VANIER: And he's now back with the owner. I'm sure the owner is glad to have him.
Look, this has been he very dangerous for a lot of people and will probably continue to be very dangerous.
So a couple questions packed into this, which is, A, why do you do this; B, how do you stay out of danger, how do you know where to go and where not to go, like how do you actually gauge that?
And, C, what have you been seeing?
What is the most impressive stuff that you've been seeing out there?
JAYJACK: Yes, so I've been chasing severe weather in general for quite a while. And you learn to read radar, essentially is what my main tool was when I was down on the coast. But like my Twitter bio says, I love severe weather, that is my passion, is experiencing it and feeling it and feeling the rain and the wind hitting you in the face.
And so I worked my way down to the coast. And I tracked where the hurricane was at. My goal was, actually, I didn't want to be on the actual -- one of the barrier islands or on the coast like in Rockport or places that got hammered pretty hard.
VANIER: Because that is unpredictable and too dangerous, is that right?
JAYJACK: Yes, I mean it's definitely a lot more dangerous. And the biggest thing that you are having to deal with there is the storm surge. And I didn't want to have to deal with storm surge. I like to chase tornadoes and storm surge actually scares me more than tornadoes do.
VANIER: And since you're a storm chaser, this is a good question to ask you, have you seen anything like this before in that part of Texas?
JAYJACK: Well, you know, I've been waiting 12 years or even longer since Andrew in 1992 to chase a hurricane. I haven't actually fully chased a hurricane like I did yesterday and today.
And it was incredible. The winds, the sounds, the desolation -- because you're the only one that's on the road and nobody else is around because, hopefully, most of the people have evacuated. I mean, it's a unique, crazy experience.
VANIER: Yes, I was going to say, you must be bumping into some people who are telling you you're crazy.
JAYJACK: Yes, you know, I don't disagree with them.
VANIER: Look, you've been a very different voice in this news coverage because a lot of people -- and you can well imagine this -- a lot of people have been the victims or hoping not to be the victims of this one way or another. And you're actually going out there and chasing this stuff down.
So it was great talking to you. Good luck to you. Thank you.
JAYJACK: Yes, no problem. Thank you.
ALLEN: All right. He loves severe weather and he loves dogs. So we love him.
VANIER: The storm is sitting there, so there you go. He's got days. He will have hurricanes to his heart's content.
ALLEN: Coming up here, one of the most hyped boxing matches ever is finally over --
ALLEN: -- and we have got some interesting news about the underdog and what his critics say about his fight against Floyd Mayweather. That's ahead.
VANIER: Hey, welcome back.
Let us show you the scene in Las Vegas, Nevada, a couple hours ago, as Floyd Mayweather beat UFC champion Conor McGregor by a technical knockout in the 10th round. The American is now the first boxer to reach 50 professional wins undefeated.
ALLEN: McGregor was the clear underdog but came out strong in the first few rounds. Our Don Riddell was there and tells us McGregor did better than expected.
DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it wasn't a circus, it wasn't a farce, it was a proper fight. And it was a lot more entertaining than many people thought it was going to be.
The headline is that the American, Floyd Mayweather, beat Ireland's Conor McGregor with a technical knockout in the 10th round.
After such an extraordinary on buildup and hype that had gone through the roof, the fear was that this fight was going to fall flat on its face, that the UFC star, McGregor, who was making his professional boxing debut, simply wouldn't be able to compete in any kind of meaningful way. But that was not the case at all.
RIDDELL: The Irishman came out strong, edging the early rounds, fighting in an unusual style, hitting Mayweather from angles that the far more experienced boxer wasn't expecting.
But in the end, McGregor burned himself out. Mayweather said his tactic was to see what McGregor could bring to the table, bide his time. And after 25 minutes or so up his game.
And at that point, Mayweather had the Irishman worked out and, in the end, the fight lasted 28 minutes, with the ref stepping in to spare McGregor further punishment. It remains to be seen what is next for the 29-year-old Irishman. He
remain a champion in UFC. He has said tonight that he doesn't think he will box again.
What next for Mayweather?
Well, remember he came out of retirement to fight tonight. He has now said he is retired for good, having reached the magical number of 50 professional fights, 50 wins, zero defeats. That is a new record and he will go into the Hall of Fame as one of the all-time greats.
It has been a fun week here in Las Vegas. It was a fantastic fight, all things considered. And I think both the sports of boxing and UFC will leave this arena with their respective heads held high -- Don Riddell, CNN, Las Vegas.
ALLEN: Thank you for watching. I'm Natalie Allen.
VANIER: And I'm Cyril Vanier. For viewers in the United States, "NEW DAY" is next. For everyone else around the world, stay tuned. "CULINARY JOURNEYS" is after this.