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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Rescuers Go Door to Door in Texas Disaster Zone; Harvey Dumped 102 Trillion Liters of Rain in Six Days; Power Restored to Corpus Christi Refinery Operations; EU, U.K. Express Frustration Over Brexit Talks; U.S. Military Deploys Thousands of Troops to Texas; White House: Disaster Relief Won't Be Tied to Debt Ceiling; Remembering "The People's Princess". Aired 4-5p ET
Aired August 31, 2017 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] PAULA NEWTON, CNN HOST: Fitting that today that AmeriCares draws the trading day to a close. The entire country and the world is
still gripped by the effects of hurricane Harvey. They're trying to raise certainly, the relief efforts for the victims of that hurricane.
Good evening, I'm Paula Newton in New York and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Tonight, disasters, inside the disaster, fires, chemical clouds and more infrastructure failures, as rescuers go door to door, trying to get people
out after hurricane Harvey. Here's what's happening on the ground in Texas right now. More fires are possible at a flooded chemical plant in Crosby.
The power went out, the cooling equipment stopped working. And then it ignited. Fifteen Sheriff's deputies were taken to hospital for treatment.
Meantime in Beaumont, Texas, after both of the city's pumps failed, there is now no running water. Hospitals have been shutting down and evacuating
and nothing can be fixed until the floodwaters recede. Nearly a week after the storm made landfall -- yes, incredible to believe it's been days and
days -- there are still new evacuation orders that are happening right now. Authorities are breathing a sigh of relief though. They say the Barker
Reservoir in Houston is finally going down.
Sadly, the death toll though now stands at 39. By boat and from air, rescuers are really raising to find anyone who might still be trapped. And
I'm telling you, they are still getting calls and on social media for people who still remain on the top of their roofs. Now more than 8,000
people so far have been rescued. It's estimated, this will be a $75 billion disaster in terms of the financial losses associated with Harvey.
And I caution everyone -- they are still the counting. The Houston Convention Center has become a temporary home for thousands of evacuees.
Scott McLean is there as you have been for several hours. Scott, we've been hearing that numbers there at the evacuation center have gone down.
Where is everyone going? Are they going to other evacuation centers? Or are some of them trying to get home?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's the latter, Paula. Surprisingly considering how many homes in Houston are actually underwater
or at least were under water. And now have water damage in them. So, I spoke to the shelter manager earlier today. A lot of people are trying to
make arrangements to stay with family or friends or in a hotel or in a motel. Obviously, the costs there can add up quickly. Some people are
returning home to homes that were in a flooded area. But actually, didn't get water in them themselves, even if their neighbors may have.
But then you have a couple people who are trying to go back into homes with mold damage. And that's really not a safe situation to be. The shelter
manager actually believes, Paula, that a lot of those people are going to end up back here. A latest count there are 2500 people who stayed here
last night, that's down from a peak of about 9,000. And so that's seems like good news, but we're obviously hoping that people aren't staying in
unsafe conditions inside their home.
What I can say is there is FEMA assistance here, the Federal Emergency Disaster funding. They've registered some 90,000 people already as of this
morning. And they've doled out $57 million in funding already. They can also help people with temporary housing. But the reality is, that because
so many homes in Houston were affected by this flooding, it's going to be an issue to actually get people in enough available rental housing spaces,
to accommodate all of the need. The expectation here is that a lot of people will have to migrate out to the outer suburbs or even out of town to
find a place to stay.
NEWTON: A lot of discomfort. But for many, many people there as they decide where they're going to go next and where they're going to live. And
Scott, as you're talking we continue to see rescues as different neighborhoods continue to flood in Texas. Scott who's there for us in
Houston, we appreciate it.
The storm has dumped 102 trillion liters of rained on Texas and Louisiana in a six-day period. We are going to go to Tom Sater at the International
Weather Center. Tom, you been tracking this for several days now. When we say 102 trillion liters of water, there have been many, many barometers
we've used. But trying to tell people how much water has fallen and how much is still on the ground there that's causing so much trouble for so
[16:05:00] TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's kind of hard, Paula, to fathom 102 trillion liters. But that would be equivalent to the amount of
water that flows over Niagara Falls for 400 days. 400 days -- it's hard to wrap you mind around it.
Homeland Security saying 100,000 homes have been compromised by wind damage or flooding. Making landfall of the category 4 wiping out Rockport. Let'
back up a little bit and go through this whole thing. Stalling, we knew it would coming out. Again, off land about 100 kilometers, back offshore,
regaining some strength. Second landfall, Louisiana moving out. Everything you see in purple is well over 250 millimeters, but most
locations well over a meter. This is greater than the size of Belgium or Greece, about the size of Switzerland. And it's impacted greatly now.
When it comes to the U.S. records, 1950 hurricane Hiki dropped 1321 millimeters. Here's Harvey, just three millimeters from the all-time U.S.
record. However, in the time we got this the rain gauge broke we know it picked up another 15, breaking the record. But it doesn't matter. There's
so much suffering going on right now. We finally see the system lift out of Louisiana, getting dry air. So, the rainfall rates are lower, not as
much rainfall. But the dry air is helping spawned tornadoes.
Since we had landfall with Harvey last Friday, the National Weather Service has issued nearly 250 tornado warnings. When we cover typhoons in the
Pacific or cyclones in the Indian Ocean or the Bay of Bengal, sure you get tornadoes. It's not unusual to maybe get 50, 60, 70 warnings, but 250. It
was a named storm for 117 hours. That's unheard of anywhere in the world. The old record in Texas was 54 hours.
Shoots up quickly to the north, there will be some flooding, but nothing like we've seen Louisiana and mainly into Texas, but again, something to
watch. The rivers, 29 are at flood stage. It was 53. But the problem here is most of the 29, Paula, are at record levels. And when you have
record levels anywhere in the world, a lot of time it sets a record for a couple of hours, maybe a day. These are going to be at record level most
of them for possibly a week. So, were watching that.
The other issue is, if you have Houston on the edge of your screen, this is Buffalo Bayou, we've been talking about the two levee systems, together
they hold 500 billion liters. And they've been flooding. They are made of earth, they're earthen levees. They are not made of concrete. Water has
been overtopping these. It's the first time since they've been built 70 years ago to be tested like this. So, yes, they're coming down a little
bit, but because of the pressure on the side of the levees and the overtopping, they could still give.
But you notice all the communities here. Let's show you what it looked like in 1953. It was ranchland. So, they built it to control the water
coming in through the rivers into the Buffalo Bayou, so they could control it going into Houston. But now with urban sprawl we now flooding which is
now we believe in this area, has put one to two meters of water into over 4,000 homes. They've evacuated 100 subdivisions.
Here's our next problem. See were Harvey is -- don't worry about Lidia moving up Baja, California. It is Irma. Irma yesterday was just became a
tropical storm and it was named. It's already a category 2 status. In about 12 hours or by tomorrow it will be a category 4. You can get an idea
where it is. Cape Verde Islands. The system is approaching the Windward Islands. And we're going to be watching this one. It's going to take
four, five, six days to get a better handle on it. But we do believe it could have its eyes just not on Caribbean but on the southeastern U.S. So,
to give you another indication, we're going to watch this one closely. The models could take it and bring it up into the Atlantic. Which would be
great. It could take it into the Bahama Islands, into the Carolinas, possibly Florida or some models speculating yesterday, bypassing Florida
and heading into the Gulf.
So, this is the next one to watch. But again, major hurricane status is a category 3, and it could be a 4 a little bit later on. But it's been
unbelievable. We're running out of adjectives really to describe this storm. Biblical proportions as far as rainfall. Never seen anything like
NEWTON: Yes, and it's true, when we say that, that's not hyperbole, we haven't seen anything like it. And you reminded everyone there we are
still in the peak of hurricane season and it's important to keep an eye on those storms. Thank so much for the size and scope of that. Again, all of
us trying to remember this was a record-breaking storm that hit a major Metropolitan area in the United States.
SATER: The problem, Paula, quickly if I can just add, the temperature is getting 32, 33 degrees for the next several days. Those who decided to
hunker into their homes, to hold out even though they have water and no power, the unbearable conditions are going to become oppressive. We may
see a second wave of 911 calls just because people can't handle it anymore.
NEWTON: Yes, no air conditioning. It's stuffy and the mold will begin to set in. Tom, will continue to keep an eye on this. We really appreciate
We've been talking about how it hit a major metropolitan area. Well, it hit a major energy hub in the United States as well. The U.S. energy
sector is struggling to get back on its feet, as you can imagine, after taking this direct hit. Now production at 13 oil refineries has been
knocked out. A pipeline that transports more than 370 million liters of gasoline and other fuels to the East Coast each day is hobbled. The
Colonial Pipeline and you see it run there, has been shut. It runs from Houston to near Lake Charles, Louisiana. The company says it's capable of
moving gasoline from Lake Charles to the Northeast if, if, the refined product is available.
[16:10:00] Now that's the problem. Those refineries have not been working. The Trump administration in response to this did tap into those strategic
petroleum reserves and they've sent it to that refinery over there in Lake Charles, which is still operating.
In the meantime, Europe is also exporting gasoline to the United States on a fleet of some 40 tankers, just to give you an indication, that's double
what they would normally be sending in week. Now the industry thankfully is showing some signs of recovery. Electrical power has been restored to
nearly all refinery operations at Corpus Christi. Deputy port director and chief operating officer, Sean Strawbridge joins me via Skype. I can only
imagine the kind of days you've been living through there. Give us an update exactly what's going on the ground now and the linchpin that is you
facility. What it means to the area if it is able to open in the coming days.
SEAN STRAWBRIDGE, DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PORT CORPUS CHRISTI: Paula, it has been a challenging six days. The port's been shut down since last
Thursday. Here in Corpus Christi, we have a million barrels of refining capacity. That's about 25 percent of the refining capacity on the Texas
Gulf Coast. Unfortunately, right now a significant amount of the refining capacity in Houston, Beaumont, Port Arthur has been shut down, due to the
flooding that they're seeing there. We were fortunate in that it probably came ashore right here in Corpus Christi. What we experienced was a lot of
wind damage, we did not experience the flooding. We were very fortunate.
Flooded refineries is not good. You've heard the term "oil and water don't mix," that's what you've got with those refineries up there. Our
refineries do have power back. And as of 20 minutes ago, our Coast Guard Captain of the port has signed a Marine safety information bulletin
authorizing the ship channel to open again, with restrictions, to be able to move that refined product to other markets here in the Gulf Coast.
First and foremost, to those first responders that need it so much while they're still in search and recovery efforts.
NEWTON: You make such a good point there, beyond the fact that you want to get gasoline to everyone East of the Rockies, you need to provide that
fuel, right, for the first responders who are on the ground right now trying to get people some help and also rescue still hundreds more.
STRAWBRIDGE: That's absolutely critical. We've got to serve the first responder partners first. And then we've got to make sure that the rest of
the community is in the Texas area, get the fuels that they need. Unfortunately, demand in this part, this region is about 1.3 million
barrels a day of transportation fuels. And our refining capacity right now is only 1.4 million barrels a day that's online with Corpus Christi. So,
we are significantly disadvantaged. We here in Corpus Christi did not experience the flooding so we're going to be serving the rest of the
markets in the near term until Houston and Beaumont and Port Arthur get back online.
NEWTON: And that's the unpredictability of the storm. Corpus Christi, thankful you had the winds but you didn't have the flooding. I mean, Sean,
two questions for you. When do you think you're going to be up to 100 percent operation? What are you hearing about the facilities around you,
in terms of the damage that they've suffered? And how many days, I dare to say it, weeks, it's going to take to get the energy sector backup and
STRAWBRIDGE: Well Paula, we are going to be running on limited operations, but I think we'll be able to get back to normal by hopefully sometime next
week. That's our goal. Is to get back to normal operations by mid next week. Unfortunately, the damage that's been inflicted here in this area,
Rockport and Port Aransas, those are residential areas and we do have employees that were affected by that. And we've got to make sure we're
taking care of our employees so they can be get back to work and not be worried about their loved ones and their personal challenges. We're going
to support them, but ultimately, we're going to get business back and going again, here in Corpus Christi. And I think we could be back up and
operational by mid next week. Barring any other weather challenges.
NEWTON: Yes, barring any other weather challenges, again, with all of the water on the ground. Sean, thanks so much. We wish you the best of luck
and we'll continue to follow exactly on how the energy sectors is getting back on its feet. Appreciate it.
Now after the break on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, Britain and the EU are out of step on Brexit, yes, surprise, surprise. The big divorce bill is still the
bone of contention. The CEO of Weatherspoon's tells me how much he would pay, that's after the break. And after that, lessons from Katrina 12 years
later the American Society of Civil Engineers says the U.S. has again forgotten to invest in infrastructure and is paying the price right now.
[16:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
NEWTON: The patients of a lack of progress in Brexit negotiations, well, they're letting it all hang out now. And positively undiplomatic language
the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, complained that there had been no -- in his words -- decisive progress on key issues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHEL BARNIER, EU CHIEF BREXIT NEGOTIATOR (through translator): As I've said before, time is pressing if we want to get what we want, which is a
global agreement. At the current state of progress, we're quite far from being able to say that sufficient progress has taken place.
DAVID DAVIS, BRITISH BREXIT SECRETARY: Discussions this week have exposed yet again, that the U.K.'s approach is substantially more flexible and
pragmatic than that of the EU. And that it avoids unnecessary disruption for businesses and consumers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Now the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, meantime, is having perhaps having a little bit more luck. Japan has agreed to offer Britain
the same trade deal that are currently has with the EU after Brexit. She also sought to silence her critics by doubling down on her promise to run
in the next general election in 2022. Now, the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson says he still backs Theresa May. He spoke with CNN's Nic Robertson
while on a trip to Nigeria. He will give us all the details in just a few minutes. But first I want to go to Erin McLaughlin who is following the
Brexit talks there in Brussels. They really disagreed on even what went on at the table there. Is the crux of the matter still that single market
issue? We might as well rewind the year. It seems to me the positions really haven't changed.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Really the issue here in this round of negotiations, remember, because of that EU mandate, this round of
negotiations are constrained to with the withdrawal issues, the financial settlement, the citizens' rights in Northern Ireland. That financial
settlement though, Paula, proving to be particularly problematic. Both sides are admitting that this week there was a presentation from the U.K.
outlining his legal analysis of the EU position. Something that Michel Barnier talked about during that press conference here in Brussels earlier
today. Take a listen to what he had to say with his main take away from what he learned from the U.K. on the financial settlement issue today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARNIER: After this week, it is clear that the U.K. does not feel legally obliged to honor this obligations after departure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[16:20:00] MCLAUGHLIN: And he said that he's referencing there, the obligation that exists between the EU and third parties. Specifically
mentioning as an example, the long-term loan guarantees between the EU and the current regime (INAUDIBLE) --
NEWTON: Sorry Erin, we are having trouble with your satellite signal. But we will moving on to Nic Robertson who is in Nigeria. He's going to pick
up the back end of this story. You know, a lot of the criticism, Nic, has been that how can the U.K. have a strong, united front at the negotiating
table, when they're arguing back home still on whether you have a hard Brexit or soft Brexit. Boris Johnson does he seem like he wants to put a
lot of that controversy to rest?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It seems like he's being marginalized from the debate about it. Look, he's here in Nigeria.
He's here sort of demonstrating Britain's support for the Nigerian government. Their fight against Boko Haram, 20,000 people killed. Boko
Haram violence in suicide bombings on an uptick, 1.7 million people displaced. That's what he wanted to talk about here. But look, obviously,
the Brexit issue, the support for the Prime Minister are all dominating issues back home and they're coming up while he's here unavoidably. You
know, it was Boris Johnson who just last week said that yes, Britain would settle the bill with the European Union. He didn't say how much. He was
the one famously a few weeks ago said about their high figures that the EE wanted, that they could go whistle. He's clearly backing down.
But you know, I put to him what Michel Barnier has said this week that Britain needs to speed up. That it needs to get serious. I say, are you
serious? But he said, look, you know, David Davis who's negotiating for Britain, every bit of confidence in him, he can do a good job. And I said
look, are you serious? And he nodded indeed, indeed we are, he said. But you know clearly, that's what how the European Union feels about it at the
moment. Then of course you have his position that the British Prime Minister has taken, that she is prepared and willing and wants to lead the
party in the next general election. But on this I found Boris Johnson had to say, it relates to Brexit, and it relates to what he's been saying over
there almost the past year now, that he supports the Prime Minister. He sounded a lot more convincing than he had in the past. This is what he
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY: I've made it clear, says June 8 or June 9 that I'm giving my undivided backing to Theresa May. We
need to get Brexit done. She's ideally placed to deliver a great outcome for our country. Again, a great negotiation done and then deliver what we
all want to see, which is this exciting agenda of global Britain. And I think she gets it. She really wants to deliver it and I'm here to support
ROBERTSON: Theresa May could win an absolute majority at a further general election.
JOHNSON: I certainly think she could, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: So, there you have it. Boris Johnson's unequivocal support therefore Theresa May. But you know, Theresa May, although as she was
saying in Japan, to Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has agreed -- the Japanese Prime Minister has agreed that Britain can get a similar trade deal with
the European Union. He also told Theresa May, look your sort of back of the line. Most important Japan wants to nail down this trade deal that
it's working out right now with the European Union. It's very valuable, very important to Japan and the European Union. Intercourse, it really
tells Theresa May what she doesn't want to hear. That leaving the European Union isn't particularly going down well even with Britain's friends. And
that you have to wait. You are the smaller partner in all of this now. So, the messaging for her is slightly distracting, that she's talking about
her leadership. That the message a lot of other people are reading in, Brexit isn't working. Even your friends are saying, yes will do a deal
with you, but it's going to have to wait.
NEWTON: Yes, and Nic, just wait to hear what we're going to have on the show next. About what Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said. You stay
tuned. Thanks, Nic, in the meantime appreciate it hearing from you from Nigeria.
In the Mayor of London has launched an unprecedented attack on the Prime Minister telling Theresa May to quote, get a grip. Sadiq Khan claims the
U.K. has no game plan when it comes to negotiating a Brexit deal with the EU. He spoke with Samuel Burke in London just a short time ago.
SADIQ KHAN, LONDON MAYOR: I think the British Prime Minister Theresa May, the British government are going to rale their game. One of my criticisms
of the British government is they have no game plan. They won't declare what their strategy was going to be, what their ends where going to be. An
extreme hard Brexit is no good for the U.K. and it is not good for the European Union. We need to have a government that's negotiating goodwill.
We need to have access to the single market and if the membership to the single market. I'm the firm believer and have been members of the customs
union. I'm also a firm believer in recognizing that we get far more out of the European Union then we lose.
Samuel Burke, CNN correspondent: So, if Theresa May were with us right now, what would you say to her? What would you advise that she needs to
change? Because she's saying the same things that she said before she lost the election. She said, no deal is better than a bad deal. And she said
that again in Japan. So, she's a broken record really. She is saying the same things.
[16:25:00] KHAN: Well, I think Theresa May needs to get a grip. She needs to recognize that no deal means we deal on WTO terms, which is bad for our
country. Her priority shouldn't be the Conservative Parties internal machinations. Her priorities should be what's good for our country, what's
good for jobs, with good for prosperity, what's good for the well-being of the U.K. and the European Union. Where a country that's always been a
trading partner of Europe. In my view, being a member of the single market is crucial for our country's prosperity going forward.
Nobody voted to leave the EU, voted for us to be poorer. They were promised all sorts of goodies. It's quite clear those goodies that were
promised are going to be delivered. And now what the Prime Minister is going to do is negotiate with the EU on equal terms, with a good spirit.
Making sure that we recognize that is not conceivable for us not to be a member of the club and to have better terms than those were members of the
club. So, we would negotiate with some concessions on our part, recognizing that the EU wants to do a good deal with the U.K. just like we
need to do a good deal with the EU.
NEWTON: OK, so, Theresa May needs to get a grip. That's what it sounds like in the political arena. Wait until you hear what it sounds like from
the bleachers. Tim Martin is a leave campaigner, as well as the founder and chairman of the Wetherspoon pub chain in Britain, which employs more
than 35,000 people. Now earlier, I put it to him -- that the U.K. has a lot more to lose than the EU.
TIM MARTIN, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN, JD WETHERSPOON: I think it's the reverse, because the EU exports twice as much to the U.K. As the U.K.
exports to the EU. Its tariffs were imposed by both parties, the U.K. would gain twice as much income from the tariffs. But the U.K. is a big
importer. It's the number one importer of champagne in the world. Wetherspoon alone, my company, is the number one seller of Swedish cider in
the world. At one stage, our company alone was selling more than the whole of Sweden.
NEWTON: The problem here though is that you're acting as if we're been talking about the size of the economies. The EU is a much larger economy
than the U.K. regardless -- that's why the trading relationship stands the way it is. And the bottom line is, if you stand back, what kind of
leverage can the U.K. use? It needs a deal. It absolutely has gone on the record as saying it will get a deal.
MARTIN: The key thing in the negotiating for anything is you have to be prepared to walk away. And I thank the EU -- the U.K. negotiators are
prepared ultimately to walk away, if the EU's demands get too silly.
NEWTON: In terms of walking away though, how much will it cost? How much would you pay to divorce the EU?
MARTIN: I'd pay -- the Japanese, you know, very big economy and important trader with the EU, have agreed in principle to deal with the EU. And I'd
pay exactly the same as them, zero. So that's what they've agreed to pay. And --
NEWTON: How do you get them to agree to that? Even Boris Johnson is now on the record as saying, yes, of course we're going to pay something.
MARTIN: Well, there may be some legal obligations in the divorce, as there are in a lot of divorces. So, I'm sure the U.K. will be, will be happy to
pay those. But I think I'm going to have to step up to the plate and carry on the negotiations with the EU myself if they agree to pay them anything
NEWTON: How much patience do you think people who voted to leave have, in order to see this thing through?
MARTIN: People are sensible. They know the economy goes up and down. Trees don't grow to the sky and all that stuff. But I think they think
like Australia, like New Zealand, like Singapore, like Japan, like the United States, being free and having Democratic controls of your own
economy, is the most important economic steroid.
NEWTON: Do you think you have the best candidates to negotiate this deal? In Brussels right now?
MARTIN: Since I'm not available myself, I think that David Davis and his team are pretty good, actually. Yes, he's a gnarly-looking guy, he looks
very like the guy who fought Mayweather in boxing the other day after the bout. So, I think he'll do well.
NEWTON: I told you, the view from the, bleacher is even more intense. Now we want to go back of course, to our top story. Once all the floodwater
recedes, the hard work to recover and rebuild is just beginning. We'll speak to Bill Clinton's FEMA director and be we will be back on the ground
[16:32:13] Good evening, I'm Paula Newton in New York and we will have the very latest on the devastation in Texas in a moment. But first, the
headlines this hour.
The U.S. has ordered Russia to close three diplomatic facilities, including its counsel in San Francisco. Now, it's a response to mandated staff cuts
at the U.S. Mission in Russia. Moscow says it will study the new measures and inform Washington of its reaction.
The Trump administration is taking the first tangible step towards building its controversial border wall with Mexico. The Department of Homeland
Security in the past hour has announced four vendors to build prototypes of the border wall. Congress hasn't allocated any money to actually build the
wall. But President Trump has threatened to shut down the government if that funding is not forthcoming.
Iraq is celebrating what it says is another major defeat for ISIS. Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi officially declared victory in Tal Afar, U.S.
backed Iraqi troops began their battle for Tal Afar just a week and a half ago. It was one of the few remaining ISIS strongholds in all of Iraq.
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has signed orders to send additional troops to Afghanistan. He wouldn't say how many troops he's actually
sending. The president refused to say so as well. Yesterday the pentagon revealed the total number of U.S. forces l the country is 11,000, 2600 more
than was previously disclosed.
And we want to get you back to the story still unfolding in Texas. Ryan Nobles is in Orange, Texas. You have been out there all day. I see now
you're in a boat, we still see these water levels so high and we are also hearing of more evacuation orders. If we take a big-picture look at this.
We see some people going back to their homes, how many people are still fearful they could see the floodwaters rise?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: The real problem is where we are now, Paula, in east Texas. We're in Orange, Texas, only about 20 miles
from the Texas border where Harvey made its second run. There are two major rivers here, the Sabine and Neches which they are worried could still
flood. And this are traditionally doesn't flood. We talked to people that have lived here for 20 years and have never seen this much water. You can
be on a boat and float through a neighborhood like we are doing right now.
There have been some mandatory evacuations of this community, in fact about a couple thousand people have been forcefully evacuated from their homes
because they're worried that there could be a second round of flooding.
[16:35:00] We just talked to guy in this neighborhood who has lived here for a long time. He said he feels pretty confident that he thinks these
water levels are going down. But I can tell you the emergency management officials that we've talked to all day, they're not as confident, they are
definitely in a wait-and-see mode here. They want to make sure that the worst is behind them before they can allow people to freely move back and
forth into their homes to get their belongings and assess how bad the damage is.
NEWTON: And the damage is bad, the White House saying at least 100,000 homes have been damaged. Some of them with more than eight feet of water.
Having said, Ryan, in terms of the rescues that are still going on. For hours on CNN we've been showing live rescues. Why is that still happening
in terms of people still getting caught on the rooftops of their homes?
NOBLES: Well, a lot of it is just the sheer volume of people that live in this part of the country, I mean you're talking about Houston which is one
of the top ten major metropolitan cities in the United States. It's also a matter of kind of two legs of this storm. So, it started out earlier in
the week. And then over the weekend, and then a second run of it. Which is why you see these communities dealing with this for the second time.
And there were some areas here they thought they were out of the woods, they thought the worst was behind them and then all of a sudden, the
floodwaters started coming. And basically, there's just so much water in this part of the world right now that it has to go somewhere, so even
though the rain may have passed, the rivers that are nearby. Where we are in Orange they are in a situation where they're taking in
water from other parts of the state. That's why they're concerned they could swell. You talk about an immense amount or people, an immense amount
of water and not many places for it to go. That is the reason there are so many people that still need to be rescued.
NEWTON: And those waterways may not crest in some cases for at least a week. So, Ryan, we'll stay on top of the story. I appreciate it. It's
nice to see the neighbors out in that neighborhood talking, and it seems like they are going to try and stick it out there for the time being.
Appreciate it, Ryan.
Now the U.S. vice president toured the devastated areas and met with some victims. Mike Pence promised that the federal government would stand with
the people of Texas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Trump sent us here to say we are with you. The American people are with you. We are
here today, we will be here tomorrow, and we will be here every day until this city and this state and this region rebuild bigger and better than
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Building better than ever before. I want to bring in James Lee Witt, he was the director of FEMA under President Clinton, he's now the CEO
of Witt Global Partners. You have literally seen hundreds of disasters in your time in your position in the United States and since quite frankly.
The vice president obviously wanting to be very confident in saying we will rebuild. Let's go first to the response, as far as you can see, I want to
remind everyone we're still seeing live rescues from rooftops. In terms of how it's gone so far, what would you say in terms of assessing this rescue
and the help that they've been trying to get to all of these people.
JAMES LEE WITT, FORMER FEMA DIRECTOR UNDER CLINTON: Well. Administrator Brock Long and FEMA and working with the local states and local governments
and providing the resources that they need to meet these challenges, I think they've done an outstanding job. The magnitude of this event is just
catastrophic. You will find glitches here and there, no doubt. But overall, I think they've done a great job. You know 39 people lost their
lives, probably it would be more than that. But considering the magnitude of this. That is amazing.
And I think they'll continue to do well, particularly in the areas that's already starting in the recovery side of it. And they need each of the
communities need to start thinking about the long-term and how they are going to approach it. And particularly, Paula, in those communities,
particularly in the 100-year flood plain and so forth, it's how are they going to build back, what is the best thing to do? And making sure that
this doesn't happen again because we have to break that damage repair cycle that has been going on for too many years.
NEWTON: So many people have been saying that. In many cases we don't see that happening in cities. I am curious to ask you though as we start to
talk about recovery, do you think people understand what they're in for? Especially, considering, some people are saying this could be the costliest
disaster in U.S. history.
WITT: I think it will be. I think it will cost probably more than Katrina and Sandy put together. Considering the size of this disaster. I mean
over 100,000 homes affected and all, no telling how many small businesses affected, so I think you're going to see at least $100 billion or better.
NEWTON: Is the hard work yet to come thought when we start to talk about recovery?
[16:40:00] WITT: It really is. I mean when you think about the all the infrastructure problems that they're going to have from water-served
streets, bridges, it's massive. And that infrastructure has to be functioning before people can get in there and get their lives together.
And you know, so many communities I've been in, from flooding, you know when that water goes down and the smell, when the building, the smell is
You know. And they have, I would encourage people to wear a mask. And I would make sure that I wore gloves. And protect the skin. Because the
contaminants that's in those homes and those office buildings is not good. And the mold that is going to be created, they don't need to be breathing
that. And so, you know there could be some health issues as they start tearing things out. And making sure they are protected and then you know
making sure, you may step on a nail. You may get a cut. Making sure that you have the right shots to take care of that as well.
NEWTON: And that could also be a problem. You know a lot of people have talked the cities have to be resilient. They have a chance to| rebuild
here in Houston to the point where they can make it more resilient. Is there anything top of mind for you? Is it the fact that perhaps they just
built on areas of Houston that should never have been built on?
WITT: Well, you know, there's a lot of areas in our country that was built years ago. That you know some of them were built before we had a more
stringent building code in place. Seeing the results of that in some areas. And I think that they need to reexamine where they can build and
how they build. Because now is the opportunity to build back better and safer. And you know, a Baptist minister from Argentina told me one time,
he said they had a saying in Argentina, said if you are not part of planting the trees of the future, you do not deserve the understanding the
trees that passed. They have an opportunity to plant the trees of the future and build them back better and safer.
NEWTON: And you and I know how tough that will get if you have to explain to someone that you can't rebuild your home where it once stood. We will
continue to watch this very closely. We appreciate your time.
Now, we do have some news just in to CNN. This is very significant. The governor of North Carolina issuing an executive order that declares a state
of emergency, he's anticipating gas shortages already as a result of hurricane Harvey's damage to refineries in Texas. Remember, when we were
looking at effect of Harvey on the entire economy we didn't think it would be that large. Things are progressing now. And we could start to see gas
shortages east of the Rockies for some days to come.
And he wants that emergency help which is why he's put that into place. Now, the White House though has just said that disaster relief funding will
not be attached to a debt ceiling increase, the U.S. needs to raise the debt limit by mid-November. The treasury secretary expressed some concerns
about that earlier Thursday, take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: I think there are two different issues, in terms of when it is going to hit the debt ceiling, again, I think there
could be some impact of a couple of days, but that would be most. But on top of that we do need more money for Harvey. We'll be working with
congress on that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you expect the debt ceiling to be raised by congress?
MNUCHIN: Absolutely. I think there's no question that both Democrats and Republicans intend to raise the debt ceiling. Nobody is going to let the
U.S. government default on its debt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: I'll take his word on that, Mnuchin also pledged to get tax reform done by the end of the year. That has been the key promise investors want
to see that from President Trump and they want to see him make good on it.
Here's the markets finished the day, this is the last day of August, can you believe it?
Up 55 points. The market interesting is still cheering even though there's revised GDP numbers, investors still piled in. The Dow is now in for the
fifth, climbing for the fifth month in a row. Up nearly 56 points.
After the break on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, remembering Diana. Most of us do have memories of her, even if it is just on TV, it's hard to believe though
two decades since she died.
[16:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
NEWTON: Those of us remember where we were. It's been 20 years, the world received the news of a horrific crash in Paris, one that resulted in a loss
that seemed unimaginable to most of us. It is the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. She shook the world. It had a profound impact on our home
country in particular, marking an historic shift in the relationship Britain's have with the royal family. Diana's death was so momentous that
people above a certain age still talk about where they were when they heard the news. I am certainly of that age and it wasn't just people in her home
country but all around the world. There are the stories, of the journalists who broke the tragic story. The occasion was no less
remarkable. CNN's Jim Bittermann covered the crash in Paris and looks back on his experience
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the world awaits word on the fate of Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales, seriously injured in a car accident. Hours ago, in
Paris along with companion Dodi Al Fayed who was killed in that accident. Let's go live to CNN's Jim Bittermann who is live on the phone from Paris.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, apparently the accident occurred after midnight.
News stories, especially the big ones, rarely happen at convenient times, rarely arrive with all the facts tied newspaper a neat bundle. That was
never, more true than the night Princess Diana died. I was sound asleep when I got the call about 12:40 a.m. there had been a crash at the Alma
tunnel in Paris, and they believe that Dodi Fayed had been in the car.
What's more since Princess Diana had been seen with Dodi Fayed recently they also believed that she might be in the car, too. I headed to the
scene reporting with beepers along the way. It was a Saturday night at the end of August a very sleepy time for Paris.
And the officials who were on duty at that hour weren't about to confirm anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was up against the wall. Debris was on both sides of the tunnel. Wouldn't you say?
BITTERMANN: But we did have some, witnesses, thanks to what I would call the CNN effect. Two groups of Americans, some lawyers who is happened to
be in town and a couple from the west coast, happened on the crash within seconds after it happened. And independently, they went back to their
respective hotels, and made an effort to get in touch with CNN so that they could tell us what they saw. Meanwhile, the first responders had taken a
decision, later, criticized, they were going to treat Diana at the scene. It was more than an hour before, they decided to move her to a hospital.
Cautiously, having to at one point stop to inject her with adrenaline to keep her heart going. But by 4:00 a.m., the confirmation came, Diana was
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are getting word that the French government has informed all of us that Princess Diana has died.
BITTERMANN: They're followed for those of us who covered the story weeks and months and years of investigations, suspicions and doubts about what
had happened that night exactly. How could this have happened to a princess? Were the paparazzi who stalked her responsible for the crash?
Was driver Henri Paul, who had drunk too much, the real culprit behind things? He certainly was speeding when he hit the tunnel. Because the
next day, the day after the crash, there were still skid marks on the pavement. That indicated the car was practically flying when it came down
And there was that mysterious white Fiat that came into collision with the Mercedes, parts of its broken tail light were found in the tunnel. Just
before the Mercedes rammed into the 13th pillar. And of course, there as that question that never seemed to go away, had somebody tried to kill
Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed.
[16:50:00] The best answer to that I heard a few days after the accident from an investigator. He said the most unreliable way to try to kill
somebody is with a car crash. You never know who is going to live or die. And he added, Princess Diana might be with us today, if she'd just chosen
to buckle her seat belt.
NEWTON: Still such a sad event. Especially for those close to her.
Now ahead on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, disasters as far as the eye can see, corporate America is stepping up to help. How corporate Canada is lending
a helping hand across the border.
NEWTON: Corporate America is writing help the victims and quite frankly they should they've got a lot of cash on hand. Businesses have pledged
more than 113 million. Including Verizon, Amazon, Bank of America with Verizon alone contributing 10 million. Now of course a story that I have
heard about just being from Canada we have so many cross-border relationships and here is one of them.
Obviously, Seth Kursman is vice president of communications for Resolute Forest Products, he joins me from Montreal. Seth, you are Canadian, but
also a Texan at heart. I'm sure you would like to say that. How difficult has it been for you to be sitting there in Canada and watching the people
from your state go through this? And apparently you decided to do something about it.
SETH KURSMAN, VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS, RESOLUTE FOREST PRODUCTS: Yes, moved here from Texas about 15 years ago, lived there for over a
decade. The ties are still strong. Been in touch with a lot of friends that are still there. Some have water in their homes. Some are stuck in
their homes without basic necessities and can't get out because roads have been turned into roaring rivers.
But Resolute is taking a step on Sunday. I called our CEO, Richard Garneau, never shy about leading. Said let's send a truck of materials
down, he said forget about a truck Let's send a rail car of lumber and let's challenge others across Canada to do the same. And since that time, we've also committed I think it's 31,000
or 32,000 rolls of toilet paper. Thousands of packages of towel, paper towel. Because we have a new tissue mill in the United States, so we're
revving up and we certainly encourage others to do the same.
NEWTON: In terms of encouraging others to do the same, a lot of people have been impressed this time the way corporate America, corporate Canada,
everyone has stepped up. You think there's a different posture these days, Seth? Obviously, it is close near and dear to our heart just having spent
that time in Texas. Do you think the attitude is different? We've been seeing a lot of this come out of the woodwork, very quickly and also a lot
that you don't hear about, right? Like Starbucks giving free coffee to all the first responders.
[16:55:00] KURSMAN: Absolutely. And you know, Paula, you're absolutely right. I think that the answer is twofold from my perspective. First,
there's such a partisan divide in the United States. When you think about what was in the news before this, and so, I think for the masses, this is
a, a break from, from the vitriol. And the other aspect is leadership, if you look at the leadership of Texas, whether it is Mayor Sylvester Turner
or Governor Greg Abbott or chairman of the house ways and means, Kevin Brady.
These folks in Texas aren't taking jabs at each other, forget about Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives. They're all working
in concert. You don't hear any negativity out of these folks, they're lock-step together. And people are following that. I mean you've seen the
outpouring of thousands of people coming with their personal boats to help in the rescue effort. It's the Dunkirk of our time.
NEWTON: Absolutely, it is and it has been impressive the way everybody has stepped up. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just spoke a few hours ago to
the president, saying he would offer his help. I want to tell you though they do have some contentious issues. NAFTA to speak of, and soft wood
lumber is the tip of the spear. Do you think this can help smooth things over? To remind everybody that look, the countries are locked like this
for better or worse.
KURSMAN: Also, a good point you raise, this is the largest bilateral trade relationship between any two countries in the world. The two countries are
always lock-step together. I don't want to get into the politics of it. And by the way, I could give you a longer list. It's not just soft wood
lumber. Another day. But like I said, it's, the politics is another day, right now we're dealing with human tragedy. The death toll, I'm so fearful
once the waters recede is just going to explode and hopefully that's not the case.
NEWTON: I have to leave it there, Seth, you're so right to bring us back to reality. Thanks so much that was QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for today, we'll
you be right here again tomorrow.