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Trump surveys disaster relief efforts in Texas; Record rainfall reported in areas around Houston; How climate change could impact hurricanes. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired August 30, 2017 - 02:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell live just outside of Houston, Texas.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: I'm John Vause live in Los Angeles where it has just gone 11 pm here on the West Coast.

Our breaking news coverage continues this hour with the disaster zone embracing for a second hit from this monster storm. At least nine people have been killed since Harvey struck Texas as a Category 4 hurricane on Friday night.

Flooding has left huge parts of Houston and surrounding cities underwater and now those same areas will be hit with even more rain.

There have been more than 9,000 rescues in the Houston area alone and countless others are still stranded.

The US president visited Texas on Tuesday, meeting with officials in Austin and Corpus Christi. He praised relief efforts, but said it's not time for congratulations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I can tell you that my folks just telling me how great your representatives have been in working together. It's a real team. And we want to do it better than ever before. We want to be looked at in five years, in ten years from now as this is the way to do it.

This was of epic proportion. Nobody has ever seen anything like this. We won't say congratulations. We don't want to do that. We don't want to congratulate. We'll congratulate each other when we're all finished.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: US President Donald Trump there speaking to city officials and other who've been working around the clock now, what, for five days now, George, and there is no end in sight.

HOWELL: No end in sight indeed, John. I have to say - I know a lot of these neighborhoods. A Texas native. Driving in, you see some of these gas stations, you see some of these homes, these neighborhoods that are submerged. Some underwater.

It's going to take a long time. It's going to take months. It's going to possibly years to see recovery because when you look back here and you get a sense of what's happening - and here's the thing. This river, it's still rising.

A lot of these rivers are still - they are swollen and they're still rising, the water rushing down toward the Gulf, and that's the concern with a lot of these neighborhoods.

I want to bring in our meteorologist Derek Van Dam to tell us more precisely about what's happening. So, Derek, this is the Brazos River. And since we've been here, we've watched this river creep up.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: We've had to move our live shot a couple of different times because the water continues to rise. Ultimately, the sun came today in Houston and parts of Galveston.

I think it's a bit of a deception for people because they think, hey, the storm is winding down, the threat may be starting to wind down as well, but that's not the case because rainwater, river water needs to drain from upstream into larger rivers.

Remember, water seeks its own level. And, ultimately, these rivers, like the Brazos River behind us here in Richmond unless Houston is going to crest here within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Believe it or not, since Saturday morning, this river has risen by 40 feet. Astounding. Astounding to think that it still has another 5 to 7 feet to go.

HOWELL: Really, it's heartbreaking to see. The drive in here was really sad. You look at these places that you know, that you remember, and you think about how long is it going to take people to recover from this.

It's widespread. A lot of people are affected. And even one of your own relatives here got into the mix helping people here in the Houston area. Tell us about it.

VAN DAM: There are so many personal experiences of heroism and volunteers. My cousin got in touch with me. She had just moved here with her husband and her family just a few weeks ago near the Buffalo Bayou region where significant flooding has taken place.

They were forced to evacuate. There was mandatory evacuations for their particular neighborhood. Once they were safe, her husband decided that he was going to take the opportunity to volunteer his efforts and time to save other people.

So, maybe some of the footage that we have on the screen here is clips from that particular region. It's actually a very critical section of Western Houston because there are two reservoirs that are set up there, the Barker and Addicks reservoir.

They're meant to prevent the most catastrophic flooding across Houston, but those have been tested to their extremes. They've had water that is over-topping the reservoirs, ultimately failing in some sense, and flooding certain areas, including the Buffalo Bayou within that region. And that's exactly where my cousin's husband was today helping people, taking them out to dry ground.

HOWELL: That's the thing. As these waters continue to rise, people have to be concerned about the infrastructure that's designed to withstand this, but some of it's not holding up.

[02:05:01] VAN DAM: Think about the threats that are still coming. We still have the threat of disease after the water slowly starts to recede. You take water samples of water like this behind us. E. coli, all kinds of things found in this water. Very dangerous.

HOWELL: Derek, thank you so much. So, there are two stories at play here. So, in the Houston area, it's these rivers that are still rising, these communities that are still under water.

And Karen Maginnis joining us now, our meteorologist at the International Weather Center to tell us about what's happening, Karen, right there along the Texas-Louisiana border because, again, what we saw here, this storm is reloading and packing another punch.

KAREN MCGUINESS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It certainly is, George. Perfect way to kind of describe what is happening here because technically Tropical Storm Harvey is located still out over the Gulf of Mexico.

It will probably make a second landfall in the next several hours, local time between about 5 and 7 am.

It has now picked up some speed. It's moving towards the northeast at just about 7 miles per hour, has supporting winds of 45 miles an hour. But something we really haven't talked about a lot has been that the deep convection really has shifted from Houston.

The good news is that there is some light rainfall scattered around Houston, but now it has shifted off more towards the north and towards the northeast, right along the Louisiana and Texas border.

Right around Beaumont, Port Arthur, that's very near the state line, has recorded a one-day rainfall record of nearly 18 inches of rainfall and unofficial total, three-day totals of about 40 inches. Now, that still has to be verified.

But what happens with Harvey? Looks like it's going to track right smack through Central Louisiana, making its way into the vicinity of Memphis. So, over the next several days, we'll watch as it just kind of wrings itself out right across the Mississippi River valley and, in some cases, some of that heavy precipitation could affect the Tennessee River valley, central Mississippi valley as well.

There's going to be a storm surge and, yes, a good portion of the coast of Louisiana could be affected by 2 to 4 feet.

All right. We go into the next 48 hours or so. This is called - we call it the (INAUDIBLE). It is kind of a forecast look at what the radar will produce. And there you can see it, right along the Texas- Louisiana border, all the way from Lake Charles, Beaumont-Port Arthur (INAUDIBLE), all the way up towards Shreveport.

We could see an additional 6 to 10 inches, maybe 8 to 12 inches. So, there are flood potential there as well, flood emergency, and we're looking at the forecast very quickly for Houston. It does dry out, but that's only for people who still have - who can kind of regroup and see what's happening beyond the next three to four days. Back to you, George.

HOWELL: All right, Karen. So, that will be the next phase of our coverage, clearly, what happens there along the Texas-Louisiana border.

But, again, back in this part of the state, what we're talking about, again, we're watching these rivers rise, we're watching these rescues continue to take place, we're watching some infrastructure crumble, but there are a lot of people who survived the storm.

We'll talk a lot about the damage, but we're also going to talk about the people who survived and the people who are out there helping people.

One of them Dion Laurent joining us now to tell us about the situation. Dion, so you were a storm survivor as well and you've taken time to go out and try to help people.

DION LAURENT, STORM SURVIVOR: Yes. We actually live near downtown Houston and watched both of the White Oak Bayou and the Buffalo Bayou rising around us and it was pretty horrifying actually.

HOWELL: Right there in the center of the city. So, tell us about what it was like for you, first of all, before we talk about all the good work that you've been doing out there. talk to us about your situation. How was it for you to escape dangerous rising waters?

LAURENT: Well, we've been through - I'm from Houston. And all my life, actually, I was raised on the Buffalo Bayou further west, kind of between the Addicks reservoir and the Barker reservoirs and downtown.

Now, we are living downtown right between both the White Oak Bayou and the Buffalo Bayou. So, I was fully aware that we were at risk of rising waters and all of that. But this was beyond anything we could ever imagine.

And each day we'd get up and see that both of the bayous were rising, and I can hardly keep up with the days, but certainly by Saturday morning we could see that it was getting serious.

[02:10:12] My wife really didn't comprehend how quickly the waters were going to rise or to what degree. And by Sunday, it was very evident, that this thing was getting out of control.

HOWELL: Dion, tell us about the work you've been doing out there, just helping people, who have been in a similar situation. LAURENT: Well, we're just a little bit south of the Heights, which is on the Houston area known as the Heights, and it's aptly named so because it didn't flood or not - most of it didn't. But we went out every day to just check on things and monitor what was going on with the rising waters. And we carried around ropes and life jackets and extra supplies in case we did run into anybody that needed help.

And throughout all of it, I took photographs and little video clips. And you can see through some of those, the difference between the day to day.

We didn't actually rescue anybody, although we did see somebody that wanted to cross the bayou to get to family on an inflatable mattress. And actually, I had to forcefully stop him from trying to get across that little White Oak Bayou on a mattress.

We went out to the Memorial Area today, which is just along the edge of the Buffalo Bayou. And we had no idea that we were going to come up on a live high-water rescue operation that was taking place.

Actually, in the community that I was raised in, and that is between the beltway or west belt and Gessner Road on Memorial Drive. There are particular communities there that were flooding and that they were evacuated.

HOWELL: You know the thing about it, Dion, what you saw is going to continue for days, if not weeks, just given the dire situation around here.

We really appreciate you being with us today and sharing your story. Dion Laurent, thank you.

And to our viewers around the world, just want to give you again a sense of what we're looking at as we go to break here.

But, again, this is Richmond, Texas. And look at this neighborhood. You see these homes that are underwater. That water is still rising. Look, the sun came up today, but people throughout the Houston Metro area, they are concerned about rising waters.

Stay with us as our breaking news coverage continues right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(WORLD SPORT HEADLINES)

[02:16:51] HOWELL: Welcome back to our breaking news coverage here on CNN. I'm George Howell live in Richmond, Texas where you see the scene here.

Quite frankly, there are two stories in play this hour. The first is on the Texas-Louisiana border. That's where we're seeing this storm, Tropical Storm Harvey. We're seeing it reload quite frankly and we're seeing it again batter that part of these two states. So, we're watching, waiting to see exactly what happens with that. Our meteorologists are on that. The situation here in the Houston metro area, so people saw the sun today. That's a big deal. But at the same time, the rivers, like the Brazos River that you see here, these rivers are rising. Many of them will crest soon. Not now, but they're still rising.

That's the problem because a lot of these neighborhoods where we've seen floodwater at one point, it's still rising. So, that's another problem that many people in this area will have to deal with until these waters start to recede.

So, what we're seeing around the state quite frankly are people that are going to all kinds of length to help. Brittany Barreto is one of those people. Joining us now live, Brittany, a PhD student for Baylor College of Medicine, it's good to have you with us.

So, Brittany, you went out of your way here to raise money to help people who, at this point, have nothing. Tell our viewers about it.

BRITTANY BARRETO, RAISED MONEY FOR FLOOD VICTIMS: Yes. I live in the Medical Center here in Houston. It's the biggest medical center in the world. And a lot of my friends know I'm a PhD student and an entrepreneur here in town.

And people have relatives that are in the hospitals or my friends that are nurses or doctors and they packed bags to only be there for a day or two and they ended up being there for five.

And so, the hospital had to ration food and to the point that they ran out of food for NICU parents. And so, I put out a plea on Facebook, and so far I've raised $2100. And today, I went out to Walmart and got a lot of supplies and brought it into the NICU center and they were super grateful.

HOWELL: That's amazing, Brittany. Just to hear that you went out of your way to make this happen for people. So, where does your money go? What will it do for people at this point?

BARRETO: Yes, definitely. So, the money is going towards food because they've run out of food in the hospitals and they can't get supplies in, but also just hygiene products for the nurses, pajamas. They've been sleeping in their scrubs for five days. So, just comfortable clothing and fresh fruits.

HOWELL: Brittany, there've been so many people that have been affected. I think about friends here throughout the area who - they're dealing with flooding at their homes, some of it worse than others.

But for yourself, just to give our viewers a sense of how widespread this is, do you have friends, family - hope not, just how deeply is this affecting you?

[02:20:03] BARRETO: Yes. It's really bad. I actually have someone staying in my place as an Airbnb neighbor stuck here. And so, we're now family. And they've been here a week longer than they were supposed to be. So, now we're family and we're going out and volunteering together downtown at shelters. I'm on the second floor, and so I wasn't flooded, but we're having really bad roof leaks, but I'm just so grateful that that's the only issue.

Right now, the really big issue is that the ground is so soaked that trees are falling over. So, today, a tree fell out in our front yard and smashed through my neighbor's windows. So, that's a new concern. The water has gone, but now the trees are falling down.

HOWELL: Brittany Barreto, thank you so much for your time and thank you for what you're doing for people who have been affected by this.

BARRETTO: Thank you. My pleasure. Thank you so much.

HOWELL: It's going to take some time, John - long time before - obviously, the waters to recede and then for these crews to get back to - to make sure the infrastructure is in place because that is also a big concern out here.

VAUSE: This is a long-term project. But just on what - on the issue of need and what people can do, it's great to give stuff, but all the aid agencies say the best thing anyone can do is give money. Cash is the best thing that anyone can do right now. Thanks, George.

There's really no way to make sense of Harvey, but after every recent weather disaster like this, there's always the same question. Was it caused by climate change?

There's no definitive answer, but there is widespread agreement that the planet is getting warmer, ocean temperatures are rising, the ice caps are melting, all contributing to a growing number of extreme weather events.

Here are some facts. Every 1 degree Celsius of global warming can increase atmospheric moisture by up to 7 percent. In other words, more rain.

When it comes to flooding, even a small rise of sea levels can result in bigger storm surges and, on average, sea levels have risen about 7 inches in the last century. That's almost 18 centimeters.

Well, for more science and tech, reporter Jacob Ward is live in Oakland at this hour. By way of credentials, Jacob is the former editor-in-chief of "Popular Science". What is it? Twenty-two past eleven here. So, Jacob, thank you for staying up.

VAUSE: Harvey has been devastating for two reasons. There's been this incredible amount of rain combined with the fact that it hovered over the region for so long. It seems there is little doubt about climate change being blamed for all that rain, but the science it seems less certain as to why Harvey moved so slowly. Is that pretty much it in very basic terms?

JACOB WARD, FORMER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "POPULAR SCIENCE": Yes. That's exactly right, John. The science is not as conclusive on that third point, but it is very different on the fact that the rising temperatures worldwide are causing evaporation, as a result seas are being evaporated up into the sky and turning into rain. That creates heavy rainfall. And as you mentioned, sea level rise in oceans creates heavier storm surge.

But this question of then, does it slow down storm system is sort of the latest science. A new study suggests that that may be the case, that especially with summer storms, the prevailing winds that would have otherwise perhaps pushed Harvey out of this region instead have slowed down to almost nothing and it just sits there and sits there.

And a storm that would've been bad enough on its own just continues to sit over the Houston metro region and just pound that place. And so, that is sort of where the latest science is looking. It's not quite as conclusive as the other pieces, but certainly as a background condition for creating all of the sort of necessary ingredients for something like Harvey, it definitely seems to be involved here.

VAUSE: There also seems to be agreement that the frequency of these extreme weather events is increasing, and there's zero doubt they're becoming a lot more costly.

WARD: Yes. A lot more costly. Right now, we're looking back at 2016 and global surveys of just the worldwide damage caused by the big three - severe weather, flooding and earthquakes - shows that 2016 was the seventh most costly year in the history of - basically in all of recorded history.

Now, this isn't just a function of climate change. This is also because the population is growing. And as we push toward 11 billion people as the projection worldwide, a lot of those people are just moving into those flood, earthquake, and severe weather prone areas.

Here in the United States, you have to think of it as 168 million people, 50 percent of the US population, lives in coastal counties.

You and I, we think of - when we think of the perfect place to live, you want to live near the ocean. It's just a natural human instinct. And every year, 1.2 million people are moving to coastal counties here in the United States, so that just means that whatever disagreement there may be about the specific effects of climate change, we definitely know the weather is becoming more severe, it's hitting coastal counties harder and almost now a majority of Americans live in those places. So, this is just going to go on and on.

[02:25:08] VAUSE: You mentioned the disagreement about climate change. A research paper released last week by two researchers at Harvard found that Exxon, which is the biggest mac daddy oil company of them all, deliberately created doubt about the science of climate change and they've been doing this for 37 years.

They looked at the public paid-for statements as opposed to the company's own research. This is the finding's - a very brief part of it. ExxonMobil's advertorials in "The New York Times" overwhelmingly emphasized owing to the uncertainties, promoting a narrative inconsistent with the views of most climate scientists, including ExxonMobil's own.

How much of impact does something like that have not just when it comes to the question of what caused the disaster, but more importantly how to prepare for the next one?

WARD: Yes. That's absolutely right. John, it's a great point. And I want to be clear. I do not mean to suggest that there is any substantive doubt about climate change or its existence or its connection to events like these.

There is almost total scientific certainty about the facts of climate change on the ground and the effects that it's having. The truth is, you'll never hear a scientist, any self-respecting scientist will never say I am positive or I am 100 percent certain.

The whole nature of science is to constantly, constantly question everybody else's findings and try to build toward consensus. But the truth is that you never quite get there and the problem is that companies like Exxon, as you mentioned, and this used to be the playbook of the cigarette companies, was to inject just the tiniest little notion of doubt into that, to take advantage of the natural skepticism that's built into the scientific process and blow it out of proportion.

They take this kind of thing, make it sound doubtful and then suddenly everyone begins to believe, well, maybe I haven't seen with my own eyes, there seems to be some doubt here and perhaps the whole thing is not true.

If we can take science's word for it that there's going to be a massive solar eclipse, as we all did, and millions of people built their lives around it, I think we can probably take their word for this one. So, that's right. Don't let big companies sow doubt in that way. That's the most lesson here.

VAUSE: If 99 doctors say you have cancer and you're going to die if you don't get chemotherapy and one says, no, you're fine, who do you believe?

Jacob, good to see you.

WARD: Exactly.

VAUSE: Well, coming up after the break, President Trump visited Texas to survey the damage, but there is criticism he struck the wrong tone.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHN VAUSE, CNN HOST: Coming up to 30 minutes past the hour, you're watching CNN's live coverage of Tropical Storm Harvey. Hello everybody, I'm John Vause in Los Angeles.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN HOST: I'm George Howell live in Richmond, Texas. The scene out here, you see water rising here in this neighborhood. What you see here is indicative quite frankly of what you will find throughout the metro area here around Houston. A lot of neighborhoods are dealing with a lot of water. And then just to the east of us right along the Texas-Louisiana border, that's where we're watching this storm continue to wreak havoc on people there in the Beaumont area, Lake Charles area.

So a lot of things still happening. But, again, as we see daylight tomorrow, we'll see more water rescues, these water rescues are happening throughout the region. Our Martin Savidge gives us a look at what he saw in Sugar Land, Texas just north of Houston.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: By the time the mandatory evacuation was ordered at the sprawling Riverstone Subdivision in Sugar Land, Texas it was too late. High waters had already cut off escape leading hundreds trapped in their own homes.

TONY NORTON, TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE: As we're going through, people are starting to scream for help out of their houses, so that's when we realized how many people were in here.

SAVIDGE: Nearly a third of Fort Bend County is under a mandatory evacuation order, meaning it's either already flooded or threatening to.

All night long anxious residents watched the waters rise all around them. By morning, families were being rescued by the boatload.

What was it like coming out by boat?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: It was very scary. We -- this is a neighborhood that we walk with our children, we ride bikes, we -- this is a very safe environment and to go through that area on a boat and have it kind of wobbling with the children very scared was just unnerving.

SAVIDGE: We joined a volunteer boat crewed by two oil rig workers and a pediatrician.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: I know these communities because I run back in here and I used to live back in here.

SAVIDGE: The team passes by waving at anxious homeowners wanting first to get to those deeper in the subdivision who are at greater risk.

There's a growing sense of urgency both for the rescuers and those waiting to be rescued as the waters continue to rise. Many people have been sending out their SOS on social media connecting with strangers all across the country who then relay their addresses to rescuers.

At this house we load three generations of the same family. They tried to drive out the day before but their car stalled in high water forcing them to retreat and wait.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: They told us yesterday afternoon, and so we tried getting out like right after that and we got stuck on LJ --

SAVIDGE: You tried to drive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Yes, we tried driving out. It wasn't this bad.

SAVIDGE: Back on land at the entrance of their own subdivision, residents suddenly find themselves homeless. Relieved to be rescued and now worried by something else, what do they do next?

(END VIDEO TAPE)

HOWELL: All right. That's CNN National Correspondent, Martin Savidge in Sugar Land, Texas. To the southwest of Houston, I'm getting my suburbs little confused, I was thinking about the Woodlands, John but, again, a lot of these suburbs are dealing with a lot of water and a lot of problems. John, back to you.

VAUSE: There's a lot of confusion there George, it is understandable given everything that has happened.

President Donald Trump went down to Texas on Tuesday for a firsthand look at relief efforts, joining meetings with officials in Corpus Christi and Austin, he talked about the size of the storm and his hope that the government's response would be a model for future disasters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Elaine, fantastic job and Brock has been incredible. And from your standpoint, Nim and the whole group have been. And Steve, I just met Steve, at the job that they've done getting along.

Number one, they like each other, very important. Number two, they respect each other and the job that all of these groups have done getting along is in terms of coordination has been really incredible and everyone's talking about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Joining us now, Wendy Greuel, Former City Councilwoman here in Los Angeles and CNN Political Commentator John Phillips. The only thing missing was you're doing a heck of a job around here I think.

Wendy, the president really seemed to relish being the cheerleader and chief, (INAUDIBLE) cabinet ministers but there was something that was missing, a lot of people have noted it, here's the Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There was something from what President Trump said, I hope he will say it later today, but that's the empathy for the people who suffer.

That in my opinion should have been the first thing he should have said was that his heart goes out to those people in Houston who are going through this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So Wendy, why didn't he mention that? Why was there no empathy?

WENDY GREUEL, LOS ANGELES FORMER CITY COUNCILWOMAN: Well it's unfortunate, because we all want him to be able to go out there and to bring people together. But it was more of him talking about the crowds that were there and the people that were sitting next to him versus the individuals that you've seen here in CNN all night who are the victims.

And about going out to the general public and saying, "Here's how you can help" or "Here's what you need to do if you're living in Houston and where you can get assistance." They want a president that shows empathy and leadership at this time.

VAUSE: John, did President Trump fail the comforter in chief test? We've seen it from Bush, we've seen it Obama, Reagan, they all did it very well.

JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. President George W. Bush had tons of empathy when he flew over Katrina and that was a complete --

VAUSE: Great empathy on that level.

PHILLIPS: And you know what, the empathy isn't the most important part, he's down there, he's flying the flag, and he's getting them what they need.

And Wendy and I were speaking about this off camera before we started the segment, if you really looked at government, you look at who has most influence, most control over your life, it's people at the state and local level.

And if you're the federal government right now and you've got a disaster like this that's just wreaking all of this havoc on Texas, what you should be doing right now is organizationally giving the local people what they want, what they need.

And right now we've seen the Trump Administration doing that. He appointed a lot of generals in very sensitive positions, those guys are very good at this and I think we're going to be okay.

VAUSE: But Wendy, should -- we have heard a lot more from the president in terms of what the plan will be. I mean obviously not all the details, but at least an indication of where this is all going, what the future will hold?

GREUEL: Absolutely. And a timeline of two when funds are going to be released, that he's going to have Congress adopt legislation that's going to be able to give the dollars that are necessary to be able to help Texas. And for some of those senators who voted against providing these resources to Sandy and New York, now it's going to be in Texas. I think we're looking to him to be able to address issues that are going to come forward.

This is not just about today and tomorrow, which is a tragedy, it's really about the future of these places where the work is just beginning on how they're going to clean it up.

VAUSE: And John, that raises a question, how will this president who has such bitter divisions right now with so many in Congress, clearly there is a common need here and a common purpose, but this will require both sides, for the White House and Congress to leave that animosity at home and come together and work together. Are we going to see that?

PHILLIPS: I think you will. And I think that a lot of what needs to be done also is done behind closed doors. I mean you don't necessarily have to play all of this out on television, it doesn't have to be done at a press conference.

And clearly you saw Governor Greg Abbott sitting at the table with President Trump, he's been on the phone with the feds nonstop since this storm hit. And from his point of view, he's getting everything he needs.

VAUSE: Okay. A short segment to that. We thank you so much for being with us. There's a lot in play right now and obviously the president and other officials have got a lot to deal with. Thank you both.

North Korea says more missile launches are on the way as U.S. President Donald Trump is warning all options are on the table. When we come back, a lot more on where the North Korean missile crisis is heading.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Time Life video showing how quickly the floodwaters have been rising in Houston. This was taken at an apartment complex over the weekend when Harvey first hit as a major hurricane. When the video started, you could actually see pavement, 15 hours later, cars in the parking lot there almost completely underwater.

Much more on Tropical Storm Harvey in a moment. But now the latest on the growing threat from North Korea and its missile program. The U.N. Security Council is demanding North Korea to stop all further missile launches and unanimously condemned Tuesday's test as an outrageous action.

North Korea's state-run newspaper has published new pictures of Tuesday's missile launch which flew directly over Japan and Pyongyang says there will be many more to come.

Joining me now from San Francisco, Paul Carroll, a Senior Advisor at N Square, a group dedicated to nuclear security. Paul, in many ways, this missile launch by Kim Jong-un seemed perfectly calibrated. It shows that he won't back down but it was just enough not to provoke a U.S. response.

PAUL CARROLL, SENIOR ADVISOR, N SQUARE: Thanks John. I think you're exactly right. They really threaded the needle this time. If you recall in the wake up their last missile test and then extremely gruff rhetoric from the U.S. president and matched only by Pyongyang itself, North Korea specifically said, okay, the next time we're going to practice, we're going to aim toward Guam. And so it was a very nervous time and they didn't, and people thought, well, they're backing off, they're stepping back.

Well it turns out not so much they in fact did calibrate this test quite -- nicely is not quite not the right word but in just the right way that no territory was actually hit in Japan, but the message is clear, we know what we're doing, we can hit things at will.

VAUSE: Well, for weeks there has been sort of this high fiving within the administration in the U.S. The president called out Kim Jong-un, he stared him down and used the tough language that the North Koreans understand, fire and fury. In some ways, did that almost guarantee that we would have something like this missile launch?

CARROLL: I think it helped. I think it helped nearly guarantee that. Let's also keep in mind the other context here, the South Korean and U.S. militaries are engaged in very large exercises in the region and this is something that very clearly North Korea has said again and again, it provokes them.

They feel very threatened by these exercises and in fact in the past, they have been done in such a way that it is a direct threat on the leadership itself. So I'm not excusing North Korea's behavior, but it's important to walk a mile in the opponent's shoes if you will.

VAUSE: Yes. Well two weeks ago the now former Senior White House Advisor Steve Bannon, he made headlines to this interview he gave to American Prospect magazine part of it read:

TEXT: Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me 10 million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about. There's no military solution here. They've got us.

Would that have played into North Korea's calculation here to carry out this missile launch and then to follow-up with what we've seen over the last 24 hours of threats of more missile launches to come?

CARROLL: Well I think this is a great question and this is something that Korea watchers are sort of puzzling over, was this test really a technical test? Was it something more that the North Koreans needed to learn?

Well, certainly they always learn when they test a missile whether it's a huge success or a failure. You learn from that. But this does seem to be more politically calibrated. In fact, it may be the opposite. It may be that North Korea continues to do these tests so frequently because they want attention. They actually want to come back to the negotiating table, but from a position of strength or at least equality with the other parties at the table.

They don't want to come had and hand and say, okay, we'll talk now. They want to come into the room on an even playing field.

VAUSE: Yes, it was often said, Kim Jong-il, the father played a weak hand very well and it appears the son has inherited that ability as well. Paul, good to see you. Thanks.

CARROLL: Thanks so much John.

VAUSE: Well, more on Tropical Storm Harvey in just a moment including the incredible search and rescue efforts which seem to continue without a pause hour after hour, day after day.

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KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hello everyone, I'm CNN Meteorologist, Karen Maginnis. This is your weather watch.

You're looking at an image coming out of Houston, Texas and thousands and thousands of people have been displaced from their homes due to the severe flooding thanks to the effects of what used to be category four Hurricane Harvey, now at tropical storm intensity.

You can see the field of rainfall has really begun to shrink quite a bit. It's going to be picking up some speed after making a second landfall during the early morning hours right along the Louisiana and Texas Gulf Coast region where we have flashflood warnings that are out.

Heavy rainfall, maybe an additional 200 to 300 millimeters expected across this region. Here, as we go through time by - looks like by about Wednesday all the way from Little Rock towards Shreveport, Louisiana, that seems to be the area that will accumulate the heaviest precipitation, in this purple shaded area estimates of as much as 250, possible some isolated areas of as much as 500 millimeters. So as we go through time by Friday, it is through the Tennessee River Valley region but it's going to be a much weaker system, not produce quite the rainfall that we've seen over the past few days but then, hardly anything could compare to that.

HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM, breaking news coverage, I'm George Howell live in Richmond, Texas.

So just looking up a few moments ago -- well there's a cloud covering it now I think but you could see the moon which means very likely people here in the metro area will see the sun again. It's good news, but it can be deceptive because the story n many of these neighborhoods is exactly what you see back here.

This is the Brazos River and it is still on the rise, many of these tributaries all flowing down toward the gulf, many of them swollen and still rising. So what that means is we'll still see neighborhoods that are in peril, we'll still see many of these water rescues play out.

CNN's Gary Tuchman shows us one example of that in Southwest Houston. Here's his story.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rising water surrounds an upscale neighborhood in southwestern Houston. Firefighters from the small town of Weimar, Texas have brought several boats and joined by Houston police officers and us going to rescue.

Just a few minutes into the search, a woman opens her door and yells that she and her husband want to be taken out but can't find their cat. Brenda Norwood and her husband Steve have lived here for decades, raised their children here. They say it has never flooded before, it's all shocking. A police officer spots their cat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: That cat back there? And what's his name?

BRENDA NORWOOD, HOUSTON RESIDENT: Moochie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Moochie. Come on out Moochie. Oh, there's Moochie.

NORWOOD: Oh, he's very scared. Come on, Moochie.

TUCHMAN: There is little time to bring much outside of the house. Pets and valuables are pretty much it. The home is heavily damaged. The Norwoods hope they're able to come back soon but for now, they board the fire department boat and evacuate like so many other Houstonians.

This neighborhood symbolizes how volatile the situation is, it wasn't even underwater 24 hours ago and now you see what's happened here. Minutes later, another family makes it clear they too want out. Opening the door of their house, they don't want to wait for the water to get any higher.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: There we go. Okay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Are you okay?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Okay.

TUCHMAN: A father, mother, and daughter live here and they too say they've never seen flooding on their street before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: I'm a little devastated, but we'll get by.

TUCHMAN: Word of the rescue boat's arrival brings other residents out of their houses with pets and belongings. This couple is engaged to be married. And now very grateful they're okay. But wondering what will happen next.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Like yesterday morning we were dry and I really thought we were home free.

TUCHMAN: In this neighborhood, the flooding from Harvey kicked in to high gear days after the tropical system first arrived. Gary Tuchman, CNN Houston.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

HOWELL: Gary Tuchman, thank you for the report. So just to give you a sense again, this flooding is widespread and these homes that you see back here, each home represents a family, I don't know where those families are.

We hope the very best but you get a sense. These homes are destroyed and that's what you find throughout the area. So it is going to take some time for this region to recover. If you'd like to help, you can. You can go to our website, it's cnn.com/impact.

That's where you can find links, you can find information to get involved and help so many people out who quite frankly are in a dire situation at this point. That is the very latest here from the Houston metro area. I'm George Howell.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause in Los Angeles. CNN's live coverage of Tropical Storm Harvey continues after the break with EARLY START. You're watching CNN, the world news leader.

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