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Rising floodwaters east of Houston; Rescue operations in Houston; Tropical Storm Harvey to Beaumont, Texas; Louisiana brace for the storm and flooding; Houston holds city council meeting; Shelters not spared from flooding; FEMA reports 30,000 people in shelters; Death toll rises to 11; Air National Guard saves baby. Aired at 11-12 ET
Aired August 30, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in for Kate Baldwin. This morning Tropical Storm Harvey makes new landfall and
floodwaters are now rising very quickly in areas east of Houston along the Texas-Louisiana border. Heavy rain is creating a dire situation. In Port
Arthur, Texas floodwaters have rushed into the makeshift shelter inside the Civic Center.
Evacuees now have to endure yet another scramble to higher ground. Port Arthur's mayor said the entire city is underwater and the nation's largest
oil refinery there is shutting down because of the flooding. Here is one breathtaking visual to underscore the record shattering amount of rain.
This is what Interstate 10 normally looks like near the Texas town of Winnie.
Today, that exact section of I-10 looks like seascape. And nearby Harris County about 30 percent of all land is underwater in square miles that's
bigger than New York City and Chicago combined. At any moment, we'll hear from Texas Governor Greg Abbott. He'll update the emergency response
intensifying across his state.
So, one of the hardest hit areas right now is Beaumont, Texas. In the last 24 hours, the city got 26 inches of rain and more is on the way. It's a
very dangerous situation for people taking to the roads. Watch what happened next to one of our team this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look at this. Get out, dude! You got a power cord?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Incredible. Our Drew Griffin and his crew ran over and was actually able to pull that man from the car. Drew Griffin joining me now
live from Beaumont. So Drew, give us an idea of what happened. I mean, how commonly are people having a difficult time telling which road and what's
GRIFFIN: It's why authorities tell us not to go out when it's this kind of environment because you can't tell the road from a ditch, from a river. And
this river ditch is right behind me. This fellow was actually trying to come across the parking lot of a fast food joint. He thought he would just
cross over onto this road. It looks like it's covered in water. It's not a road.
It's about 10 to 12 feet of current going down the drainage ditch. We tracked him all the way down until we're able to get a rope on, and as he
climbed out of his driver-side window, we threw the rope on. We pulled them over to the bank and we just a little bit of tape of what happened after
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to thank these guys for saving my life. Thank you.
GRIFFIN: Where are you from buddy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Winnie, Texas.
GRIFFIN: Winnie, Texas. So guys have been pretty hard in Winnie, Texas. What's your name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jerry Sumwell (ph).
GRIFFIN: Jerry, somebody needs come and get you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm staying at the motel rather dear.
GRIFFIN: Oh well, OK. Well, just take a breath and get some water.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: It's just a split second. The guy made a bad decision and if nobody was here, there would've been no way that he could of been rescued
because I can see just the top of his truck now visible in that ravine, in that swift flowing water. This is what's taking place all around Jefferson
County, Beaumont Texas, Port Arthur is 20 miles south of here. People needed to just stay in place.
As bad that as you think it is where you are, if you are anywhere near dry and it's not a life-threatening emergency, you just need to wait for the
water to go down because getting out here puts your life at risk and the rescuers lives at risk, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: So, incredibly frightening. Thank goodness you all were there. Very unfortunate. He's just staying at the nearby motel so thanks goodness
he wasn't too far away. All right, Drew Griffin we'll check back with you there. Thank you so much. Let's bring in CNN's Brian Todd who's in Houston
and on a boat and they continue to, as we see right there, rescue people. Extraordinary Brian, what's going on?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Fredricka, with me Lakeside Force neighborhood west of Houston and just a massive evacuation here all by
private boat. You see some Fire and Police units up there carrying people to trucks now. We're getting them loaded onto trucks and then out of this
We filled the boat now with about four dogs that we just pulled out of a house and (INAUDIBLE) with this private boat operator and some of these
truck drivers and some of these officials (INAUDIBLE)
TODD: I'm told this morning when the rain pretty much subsided late last night early this morning but the waters kept rising.
[11:05:00] TODD: See, local citizens told us that they believe it's from the Buffalo Bayou or from the Addicks reservoir that spilled over and so
this is a late stage flood here. As you see they're trying to get these dogs and everybody. The dogs ar a little fidgety right now and a little bit
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need you to get out and you can hand me the --
TODD: Yes, sure. They're asking me to help a good dog here. I'll hold him. So Fredricka, this is kind of the situation here. They're just trying to
get these people in an orderly way. Here's our producer David Schwartel (ph) helping with the dog here.
TODD: A little bit of a dog freak out there.
TODD: A lot of stress among the animals here but the people are fine and being evacuated. We see wide trucks and everything down the road taking
them to a safer place.
WHITFIELD: Well, it's all hands on deck clearly there Brian. So, give us an idea, I mean, we've seen such incredible mix of good Samaritans,
officials in this operation right here. Are these people who just happened to pitch in with their, you know, boats et cetera, to help people in the
TODD: Yes, I mean a lot of good Samaritans coming out here and there's a surprising amount of coordination among them. They communicate with each
other. We'll come upon another boat where they'll be going down one street and they'll tell us that well, we think there maybe people who need help
down this other street so why don't you turn down there. It's all a lot of informal communication of course but they are communicating.
And as you can see, you've got city officials coming in here at the same time trying to get a read on -- that's a constable truck right there. So,
it's a lot of inter-mixing of city officials and private boat operators helping out here.
WHITFIELD: So then Brian, as this boat and others kind of go down these waters -- what are now water ways, are people flagging them down? Are they
putting markers outside their homes to let people know that they want to be rescued? What's happening?
TODD: People are basically flagging them down, Fredricka. In one of the other neighborhoods where the water was even higher at the height f the
storm, they were telling people to put towels in everything out of their windows. We're not seeing that here. The people are coming out and flagging
them down if they want to be picked up. Some people are actually saying don't pick me up. I'm okay. I'm going to ride it out.
So, a lot of people like this gentleman over here seem to be willing to stay. A lot of people here just -- they're afraid now because this was,
again, this was a late event in the storm. The waters just rose this morning.
WHITFIELD: So for those who are saying that they want to stay, are they being asked any other additional followup questions from authorities there
like do you have food, is there anything you need?
TODD: WE haven't heard people asked them that. They're basically just asking them do you want to stay or go because they're just -- sorry, just
trying to figure out what's going on here. They're just in such a hurry to get people out who want to get out. These are private boat operators so
they're not really in a position to ask whether people have food or not. That's up to the search and rescue teams and the city officials to come out
here and ask that.
But it seems people here are in pretty decent shape but they're just really concerned about their homes and because this water rose so late, basically
early this morning, they just don't know if it's going to go higher or not so they're a little bit scared.
WHITFIELD: All right. Heroic work that so many of you are doing and all of those boaters, rescuers, et cetera. Brian Todd, thank you so much.
Appreciate it. All right, let's find out more about the biggest threats in Texas and Louisiana right now. Our meteorologist Chad Myers is following
all that from the CNN Weather Center, Chad.
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Biggest threat, still rising water in Houston and surrounding. I mean, you know, Silver Spring going to go up and
Rosenberg going to go up and the like. But tonight and overnight we're still watching and hoping that Beaumont and Port Arthur can dry out. They
have had 26 inches of rainfall in 24 hours.
Now, that doesn't compare to 52 inches in Cedar Bayou but really that has been over about 120 hours. It is the devastating flood happening right now
in Beaumont Port Arthur. They're not getting a lot of TV attention because all the crews are in Houston. But if you are in Beaumont Port Arthur, they
know you are flooded. Keep tweeting, keep calling and the boats are on the way as well there.
We've seen so many reports and pictures coming in. People sitting on their roof taking a picture and sending it on twitter saying please come save me.
There's a storm here in about 12 hours we saw right over Louisiana. It's still raining. There still be some showers in Louisiana but I think the
heaviest rain might even be over Mobile and east of Pensacola.
So let's get to this map of the reservoir. Two of them, Addicks and Barker. Our Brian Todd is right there. Addicks and Barker built back in the 40's,
hold back water from the farm and ranchland here. Maybe I'll show you a picture of what that ranchland looks like now. And the water comes on the
creeks and into Addicks and out into the Buffalo Bayou. It comes into Barker and out to Buffalo Bayou to Houston being right over here. So,
[11:10:00] some water out of Barker and also Addicks trying to relieve the pressure but it didn't work. They didn't leave enough pressure. The water
is now 109 feet high. Up here on the top of Addicks, the top of that levy is 108 feet high. So you know what's going to happen. The water is going to
come out of here and then down into the suburbs, down into these residential areas where our Brian Todd is now with the rescue crews.
1953, that's what this place look like, right here. Same levy, right there just being built right there. Here's Barker down here. Look at this,
there's no one here. No one lived there. All they were trying to do was to stop the flood from getting down here, into the bayou to Houston. Most of
these rains soaked in because there was no concrete, there were no buildings. There were no rooftops to get all that into these creeks and
So, never did they ever estimate how much water could run off and that's where we are now. Back your, a little zoomed in here, 1953 there's the top,
here's where Brian Todd is, right here. I get to show you again. Here's where the water is going around now. And down here where Brian Todd is
there are no -- there's nobody. There are not even businesses there yet.
Now let me change the picture and you can take a look what's happened over the past 50 years. Urban sprawl, urbanization and flash flooding, but never
could anyone consider 30 to 40 inches of rainfall over such a wide area spilling in to this reservoir. But truly on a normal day it's the city
WHITFIELD: Yes, what an incredible view. All of it now underwater. All right, thank you so much Chad Myers. Appreciate that. So as Chad address
that Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas are facing life-threatening floods. Many parts of Beaumont are already underwater. Officer Haley Morrow from
the Emergency Management Office of Beaumont, Texas is joining me right now on the phone. So officer, what are the current conditions in Beaumont right
now? How would you describe it?
HALEY MORROW, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE (via telephone): Well, right now, we are just -- for lack of a better term, treading water. We are
trying to get to all of the people who are calling in for emergency rescue not to mention the people who have called on a nonemergency rescue just
because of floodwaters that are rising.
Right now our neighbors in Port Arthur and the other surrounding counties are taking water in their shelters and so that's creating a bit of a
problem because our shelter is almost at max capacity and now we're having to deal with trying to help our neighbors as well. So, it's all hands on
deck and the Emergency Management Office is up and running and we're just continuously monitoring and trying to get logistic and planning going.
WHITFIELD: And how are you getting to people that you believe are in need. I mean you're using boats and you know, high water vehicles, and how do you
know which residents to go to?
MORROW: Well, we are continuing to tell people to call 911 or our nonemergency 311 lines, our police and fire are in zodiac boats and our
officers and our EMS personnel are in high water vehicles. We do know that Port Arthur is accepting volunteers with airboats and things of that nature
and so we are in a little better shape than they are so we are continuing to just use our official police, fire and EMS to respond to an emergency
WHITFIELD: And what are your options on shelters if you have some of your primary facilities taking on water? What are the options?
MORROW: Well we and the city of Beaumont, we are not taking water in any shelters. We are still dry. That footage from the shelter is from Port
Arthur and a lot of the footage that's being shared is out from Port Arthur. We do have flooding. We are in dire situations but our shelters are
OK. The only problem we're having right now is that they are almost at max capacity.
And so logistically we're trying to work out another facility especially because now that the shelters in Port Arthur are taking water, everyone's
looking to Beaumont to assist and we're really strapped with -- we're trying to get our citizens to safety as well.
WHITFIELD: And then Officer Morrow, it is so sad to hear this information about one confirmed death in Beaumont, a woman found with her toddler
daughter clinging to her. The mother was lost but the little girl survived. What more can you tell us about the circumstances there and how the little
girl is doing.
MORROW: We are now at two confirmed fatalities. Unfortunately, we had another one this morning but we don't have a whole lot of detail on that
one but yesterday at about 3:30, our officers responded to the southbound service road on I-10 in reference to a high water rescue where a vehicle
was flooded out the mother
[11:15:00] and child were swept into a canal. And so when the first responders got there they were about half a mile from the vehicle almost
underneath the (INAUDIBLE). Had it been a few moments later, they would've been swept underneath there and our boat could not have been able to get to
And they spotted the child who had a pink backpack on and she was clinging to the back of her mother who was already deceased and floating in the
water. And so that was devastating for our first responders. And just across the city, our first responders are just mentally and physically
exhausted, but that involving a child and just a true testament of a mother who put her own life at risk and sacrificed her life to save her child,
that was devastating news here in Beaumont.
WHITFIELD: It is devastating. All right, Officer Haley Morrow, thank you so much. All the best to you and your friends and neighbor and family there
in Beaumont. Appreciate it.
All right, coming up for us, they went there for safety only to get flooded again. Some evacuation centers in Texas now taking on several feet of
water. We'll see more about some of those places. The stunning images and where these folks go from here, straight ahead.
Plus the incredible displays of heroism keep coming out of Texas. Coming up, how these Texans formed a human chain to save a stranded driver.
[11:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Amid all the tragedy, Houston had more than 50 rescues by the fire department since midnight and there were also
remarkable stories of ordinary people jumping in to help each other, like we see in this heartwarming video. A group of people forming a human chain
on the interstate to try and rescue an elderly man who was being swept away by the floodwaters in his car.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go, go, go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grab him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you all right sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anybody got a blanket?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do me a favor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anybody got a blanket?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Wow. Isn't that something so touching, people helping people in such extraordinary ways right now? The person who actually took video,
Marissa Castillo, told CNN the man was taken to a local hospital and reunited with his son. All right. Joining me right now, Louisiana
Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. So good to see you Lieutenant Governor.
Seeing stuff like that happen in an extraordinary way in Texas is so heartwarming and I know the folks in Louisiana. I know exactly how to put
themselves into action if they are faced with the same kind of devastation so, give me an idea right now, you know, Harvey made landfall a second time
just west of Cameron, Louisiana and now it's moving northeast across southwest Louisiana. What can you tell us about the conditions there?
BILLY NUNGESSER, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA: Well, we're getting these rain bands but our concern will be after the storm comes well ashore
and those rivers start flowing south with the heavy rains, the unknown. Will they inundate neighborhoods in new areas that of yet to flood and
people tend to let their guard down after the storm comes to shore and we're going to have to watch this for several more days as those rivers
start to flow south.
WHITFIELD: And what are among your biggest concerns besides, you know, sometimes people taking a little bit too casually but what else do you most
NUNGESSER: Well, it's those people that will go to bed and not be watching as these rivers flow south and, you know, leaver their banks and head where
they want. Rescuing people at night, you know, the night before last 500 people in Lake Charles had to be rescued. Last night the sheriff's office
pluck six more people out of the floodwaters.
It's people not knowing where to go and whether to evacuate. And my site on a largest scale what's happening in Texas, just not knowing where that
water is going to go unlike when the storm comes to shore with storm surge you can see it. So, that's the scary part about the storm and the rainfall
just adds to it.
WHITFIELD: And of course people are taking upon themselves to help out one another in best ways they can, their instincts just kicking to high gear.
You've actually been asking for volunteers but in what capacity are you asking them t pitch in?
NUNGESSER: Well, we're asking to go to volunteerlouisiana.gov. You can click where to help to make donations or volunteer. This morning we started
providing fuel to the Cajun Navy. They're coming back to Lake Charles and fuel enough in going back to assist people in Texas and I'm sure after the
storm, (INAUDIBLE) of homes and helping neighbors, Texas is going to need a lot of help as well as those 500 people had flooded Louisiana and we are
great neighbors in Louisiana and Texas as across America.
The volunteer efforts will be greatly needed and I'm sure neighbors will be there to help out just like we just saw risking their lives to rescue
people. And that's the great thing about America.
[11:25:02] WHITFIELD: It is indeed. You mentioned the Cajun Navy and one has to wonder, there are going to be so many, I mean, millions of people
displaced for other portions of Louisiana and perhaps not touched by Harvey. How do you see that Louisiana will be taking in people from Texas
whether it being a temporary manner or perhaps even permanently.
NUNGESSER: We have a 2,000-bed shelter. The governor has ready in Shreveport and waiting for the call from Texas. If they need that, we will
open that immediately. It is ready to accept people as soon as Texas sees the need and we have many more shelters that we will make available,
keeping enough for our people as well.
But we're very good at this unfortunately, and we will be there for the lng haul to assist Texas and hopefully we can help them through the FEMA
process and getting people assistance immediately but it's going to be a long, long time before Texas recovers from this size of devastation.
WHITFIELD: All right, Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, thank you so much and all the best to you and everyone there in Louisiana.
NUNGESSER: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Right now, I want to go to Houston City Council meeting right there. Senator Ted Cruz is speaking and also there with him
congresswoman. Let's listen in.
(BEGIN LIVE VIDEO FEED)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: -- and we will stand as one and everyone of us even as we have our friends to the east in Beaumont Port Arthur that are
experiencing the storm. It is a wonderful thing in Houston to wake up this morning and see blue skies. It's been a long time since we've seen blue
And we will rebuild, we will be stronger and I just want to thank the incredible public service that have gathered here today united and standing
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Thank you senator.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS: There's a lot of love in this room and as I saw the emotion of my friend, Congresswoman (INAUDIBLE), I am at that
point and I'm trying to contain myself if I had to know that the mayor would give me this privilege I would have dressed up, but I got around my
neck my identification because I am part of the staff here with George R. Brown.
And I thank you for the privilege of being here to be able to be part of the dynamic unity that have been shown by council members listening to what
you have done across the city in your own districts overlapping the 18th congressional district. You are deserving as you have supported the captain
of the ship. And mayor, for the steadiness of your safety because so many times the heart is big and love is big.
But in times of tragedy and crisis, catastrophes, the mind needs to be able to embrace the right decisions. So many of you know that I have said across
the nation that you are not here and what would you have wanted to have. And the only thing I believe, mayor, that the tribute will come in the days
and months and years, is that we saved lives, you save lives. And you did it because firefighters were not eating or getting their medicine, police
officers were not eating or getting their medicine nor where they at home pulling out rugs and furniture and taking care of the dogs and cats and
moms and dads and children.
They were out. I saw that. And I had the, I don't know how to say it, the right to join them in getting 60 people out of a church. And it was
firefighters and police officers. And let me thank the United States Army Museum who brought their equipment out, old military equipment that did
work -- please don't -- it did work. And those firefighters haul them down and we let them got these people.
These are the times of episodes that happen in this catastrophic event. So I want to, one, say that the federal government is the umbrella on a rainy
day. We didn't have rain, we had a monsoon and nobody can understand what we're facing. So let me again thank Houston -- let me thank the brand of
this great city. We have a brand, get it done. And everybody put it on the table to get it done.
And I want to thank the United States Coast Guard who are working today as we speak, the
[11:30:00] Texas National Guard, the 12,000 of them here, a Marine unit that just came in that is going to continue to do some final sweeps. We
have an ATV cooking truck, maybe you'd go out and get some food right in the back of George R. Brown Convention Center. The Christian (INAUDIBLE),
the faith community, the (INAUDIBLE) community, the Muslim community, all these folks have been helpful.
Let me thank the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You may have just heard that they are going to waive the provisions and allow our children to have
any in (INAUDIBLE) three meals a day for the entire school year. That's what the federal government needs to do.
And with the Senator's leadership, Senator Cornyn and I'm so glad he said the Texas delegation, you had an unblemished record in dealing with FEMA
and dealing with the money we've set. Senator, I remember Senator Hutchinson in Hurricane Ike, we've got $400 million and we haven't heard a
word about any inappropriate use of funds. I think that should be clear to the citizens of Harris County in Houston, of the custodians, the judge,
Judge Emmett and all of you.
And so I'm not going to be shy about asking for upfront funding, a waiver, temporary waiver for upfront funding which I think is important. And
senator I hope is maybe we can help you know, we try to stay in our lane. We're the federal government, but I hope we can help with the state law
that's coming into effect on September 1st. I hope we can pray and ask for a waiver temporary stop six months -- I'm not in charge but I'd like to
collaborate so that folks can get their applications and be able to get what they are due.
That is so very important. I hope that we can do that. Mayor, my last point is that people need comforting and you've been the chief comforter. And so
I just encourage a faith community and just spoke (INAUDIBLE) a little bit more drive than others, hugs, love and expression that we're going to get
through this and I like the attitude of saying we're still the greatest city. We got -- you see that I'm one of the new recruits and the Rockets
play basketball better than I play football or baseball.
So we just need to make sure that we give that love and that comfort and as we try to make it back, I don't know whether we hook it in on a private
plane but just to open it up for us (INAUDIBLE) for us to get back to Washington, we'll be able to do this. I have one point to say. I want to
emphasize what the senator did. This is what the senator said, this is bipartisan effort. I've gotten calls from across the country from
Republicans and Democrats.
I want to thank the Democratic leadership for their calls (ph). What I think is important, I'm in the House to note that Speaker Ryan has called.
He's called me and I think the one point that he said that I want to make sure we all know, that there will not be one light of difference. We'll
have some talking points I'm sure but one light difference on getting the funding that we need here in this area --
(END LIVE VIDEO FEED)
WHITFIELD: All right, you're listening to Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee there together with Senator Ted Cruz and she's underscoring
there along with the senator there, saying that this will be a bipartisan effort. You heard a Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee say there that she is
not going to be shy at all about asking for a temporary waiver upfront funding. At the same time, she was applauding the dedication of the civil
servants and the police and fire departments and also praising the mayor, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, saying you saved lives.
All right, coming up for us, FEMA says 30,000 people escaping the flooding are now in shelters and now floodwater has even overtaken one of the
shelters in Texas. Details on that coming up.
[11:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WHITFIELD: All right, the human toll from Harvey is rising by the minute both in terms of those killed and left homeless. Take a look at this video
from an evacuation center in Port Arthur, Texas. People who had fled to the Bob Bauer Civic Center had to evacuate yet again when floodwaters came
rushing inside the building overnight. The person who shot this video says hundreds of people were there.
FEMA this morning reports more than 30,000 people are at shelters across Texas. That number is expected to rise. And two new mega shelters are now
open in devastated Houston to ease overcrowding at the city's largest emergency shelter, the George R. Brown Convention Center. And I want to get
an update now on conditions at that shelter. CNN's Rosa Flores is there. So Rosa, what is the situation there?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know the headline here Fred is that people are starting to leave not so much to go to their homes because a lot
of those areas area still flooded but they're reuniting with their family because remember, there were a lot of streets here in Houston that were
blocked off. The water was too high so even though people wanted to go with family rather than coming here to a shelter they couldn't because those
waters were so high.
Today, after a lot of pain, after a lot of drama we are starting to see some smiles, some reunions. I talked to
[11:40:00] one woman who reunited with her family and she said that her birthday is tomorrow, Fred, and she is hoping for some seafood and a
martini and she's going to be 66-years-old. So imagine just those -- yes, those are the sad stories that we're starting to hear today as people start
reuniting with family and they are just so grateful for the American Red Cross, for the city opening the shelter, for the rescue workers.
Well they know it's a long road ahead. They know that they probably lost everything but they are so grateful to be alive.
WHITFIELD: So Rosa, you know well, so many people are there at that convention center. Part of the problem for some of the relief items was
actually getting in to the convention center, you know, in terms of food, diapers, supplies et cetera. Have many of those trucks been able to make
their way through those impassable roads to finally get some of that relief there?
FLORES: You know, the American Red Cross told me this morning that when they saw blue skies and the sun rise, they knew that this was definitely
going to be a better day for supplies. Now, you probably remember there was 5,000 cots here to start off with and there was 10,000 people. There were a
lot of people sleeping on the floor. Those cots did arrive I'm told. Now, there are extra cots and of course you're seeing people behind me leave as
well, so that helps.
But the American Red Cross explained to me that now because a lot of the major roadways are open because some of the water has receded, they know
that now they're going to have the supplies that they need. They're going to be able to get more blankets and cots of course and food to make sure
that everybody can get more meals. So, that's the silver lining today, Fred.
The fact that some of the water has receded, my team and I were actually around town earlier today and we were able -- some roads are still closed
but you're able to maneuver around the city in better condition than a few days ago. So, when it comes to bringing supplies to people who need it,
that's quite a blessing for them.
WHITFIELD: A little bit of light at the end of that tunnel. All right Rosa Flores, thank you so much from Houston. All right, if you'd like to help
those impacted by the storm got to cnn.com/impact to find out how you can help.
[11:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WHITFIELD: Welcome back. A day after visiting Corpus Christi and Austin, Texas, President Trump there getting off Marine One. He's there at Andrews
Air Force Base going to get onto Air Force One. He'll be taking off and heading toward Springfield, Missouri. There he will be holding a tax reform
rally and speech there. Of course, we'll bring those comments to you live later on. Missouri Senator Roy Blunt also joining him as well. As we
understand the First Lady Ivanka Trump soon to be boarding Air Force One there and then on the way to Missouri.
And then this weekend, the president is expected to return to the flood zone in Texas and possibly Louisiana. We'll keep you posted. So meantime,
it is a storm that never seems to end, those words I'm quoting now from the mayor of Beaumont, Texas. The city facing the worst tropical storm Harvey
right now as it makes another landfall this morning. A catastrophic flooding now expanding to areas east of Houston.
Some spots getting 26 inches of rain in 24 hours. These people are taking shelter in Port Arthur, Texas. Well, guess what, they were forced to
evacuate the shelter after it began filling in with floodwater in the middle of the night. And then in Houston, county officials deliver very
grim news to people living near the Addicks and Barker reservoirs. Their homes will remain flooded for several weeks and they won't be allowed back
during that time. CNN's Miguel Marquez is live for us now in the Addicks reservoir area, and what are you finding Miguel?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the water is rising here unfortunately and it doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon. The problem
is the reservoir itself has flowed over and they are doing controlled releases which keep the water filling in to this area. There are thousands
of homes in the Addicks reservoir area. You can see people out there who are walking in trying to find people and trying to help the smaller boats,
like the personal watercraft.
The airboats we're seeing go in and out of here. I want to show you a little bit about what's happening here. They have tons of resources. You
can see the dump trucks that they can pull in there to pull boats out there are several. (INAUDIBLE)1, 2, 3 personal boats that are in line right now
to go in but the number of rescues has gone down dramatically. At this point, they're talking about getting in there and possibly doing some
recovery and try to get into houses to figure out if there are people in there or if perhaps there are people who have expired in some of those
houses in this area -- watch your back there, Ken.
There is concern for this huge armada, this navy of individuals across Houston that have come in. Overnight, there were three people who were
swept in their boats not too far from where we are right now. Two of them were missing as of couple of hours ago. One of them clung to a tree but it
is very dangerous. The currents, while it doesn't look it in this area, but the currents in these areas could be very, very -- they could rush very,
The airboats have a hard time operating and that the bigger boats have a hard time operating in this stuff you have a hard time operating in the
[11:50:00] it's also very, very shallow in many of these areas. So, we were on a boat in the last couple of days. This morning we're on a boat in a
different neighborhood and by the time within a few hours it was almost too shallow for that boat to operate so we had to get it back on his trailer
and get it out before it was too late for us. So just, you know, the sun is shining. We're seeing a little blue sky here so that is a the big headline
for people here, but it is the light at the end of the tunnel and they clearly have a very, very long way to go, Fred.
WHITFIELD: It's a long tunnel. All right, Miguel Marquez, thank you so much. All right, a new video just in to CNN, a baby plucked from the water
in Texas. More details on that amazing moment when we come right back.
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WHITFIELD: All right, every day for five days now unbelievable picture stories, video and look at this. This is a rescue of the New York Air
National Guard, the 106th Rescue Wing and in that basket, a little boy and a baby just one month old plucked from the waters near those rising waters
in Houston, and you can see that little guy is OK, thankfully. Thanks to this Air National Guard Rescue is here. This heroic moment, there are so
many of these moments many times over throughout south Taxes and now the floodwaters are ravaging Louisiana, the western portions as well along the
Texas-Louisiana border. We'll continue to show you extraordinary pictures and images like this and rescues all day long. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
Thanks so much for being with me. I'll be back tomorrow and we'll have much more straight ahead.
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