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Hurricane Florence is Now a Tropical Depression With Death Toll Still Climbing With A 16 Confirmed Dead In North Carolina; Woman Accusing Supreme Court Nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, of Sexual Assault When They Were In High School. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired September 16, 2018 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[18:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CN HOST: Right now the water is not going down. There's a very desperate situation unfolding not far from there where a levee made of sandbags and gravel is the only thing standing between a rising river and major disaster.
So straight to Eric Hill now.
Erica, where are you standing? And just how fast is the water coming up there?
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, it has been moving really quickly all day long. We are in what is called Little Park (ph) in downtown, Fayetteville. And the water that you see behind me is coming from the cross creek. This is one of the number of small creeks and waterways that feed into the Cape Fear River.
And since, we first got here a bit before 11:00 this morning. There's a lamp post way off in the distance behind my shoulder. We can see the base of that lamp post. We can see the little feeding area beyond it where there is a bench. There are trash cans that are now under water.
This has been steadily rising throughout the day. And that is a concern for officials here. Mandatory evacuations were put in place yesterday. Police and fire officials going door to door. We spoke with a woman earlier today. She says she answered the door when they came and said you are going to need to evacuate. She said she remembers what happened in her neighborhood during Matthew. And that's why she was packing up her car today.
That's what officials want to hear. The biggest concern is that folks become complacent. That in moments like this when the rain has stopped, Ana, here in Fayetteville, people will decide to go outside. They will decide that it's safe to be out driving around. That is not the case. We learned on our way here last night. You don't want to be driving in the dark. You can't tell if a roadway is flooded. And that's where the danger comes in.
Really quickly, the Cape Fear River which crested to 53 feet during Matthew, this part was covered in water well above my head at that point. The concern is when the river crests in the early part of this week, those numbers will likely be in the 60 foot plus range. So as you can imagine, that only broadens the scope of the potential damage. One area that we are also watching very closely is just a little bit
south that also endured significant damage during hurricane Matthew. That is Lumberton, North Carolina.
Polo Sandoval has been monitoring the situation there for the last couple of days and he joins us now with an update.
And Polo, there have been some tense moments there this afternoon.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Erica. That's because the river, the Lumber River is going to go up before it begins to go down. In fact, it is expected to crest tonight. So by tomorrow, by daybreak, officials here are expect the river will be at possibly at record levels. In fact, all this water is coming from that river. It's flooded. Parts of interstate 95 in front of me and this road behind me, one of many. And I can tell you that we have seen many rescues here. Hundreds of them throughout the state of North Carolina.
I witnessed one of them a little while ago here where a family of four with their four dogs was pulled by volunteers from their home. They are safe on dry land. They told me that they were hoping that it wouldn't get that bad. And when they saw that water slowly rising, then of course, they knew they had to get out.
Here is why officials believe that it is like going to get even worse. There's two levees here in the city of Lumberton. The first one, officials say, is still doing OK. It's right on the banks of the Lumber River. The second one is makeshift levee that was put together by volunteers, members of the community, the National Guard in part of town they identified as the source of the flood water during hurricane Matthew. They patched that up.
However, about three hours ago, we were with the U.S. coast guard and we watched as the levee brings this water, essentially begin to compromised that what have been created there. And now, as you continue to see here, the rain continues to come down which means that water will make its way into some of the communities, potentially into some of the infrastructure here.
Two years ago, the water plant was heavily damaged. It took them up to a month before they can get water to everybody in this town.
So Erica, I can tell you, though, many people have evacuated. There are some, however, that are staying put for one reason or another. Ultimately, they are the ones who have been through this before. And some of them are confident. But authorities are warning if you do feel that you are at risk, pick up the phone and call them. They will come get you if they have to.
HILL: Yes. And of course, while they still can.
You know, Polo, I think you may have touched on this just a little bit. But I know one of the other big concerns certainly in the last 24 hours in that area have been the roadways and sections of 95 being closed. Other roadways in the Lumberton area. We are seeing this across the state of North Carolina.
How much is that contributing or how much is that, you know, hindering in any, if it is at all, where people and how people are trying to evacuate?
SANDOVAL: It's certainly something that will get in the way of some of these school buses, for example, that are being used to evacuate people from neighborhood. However, they did establish certain dedicated roadways, mainly those overpasses on high ground that are being used to get people from one into the city to another. Because we have to keep in mind, as you mentioned there, interstate 95, a large portion of it, a major interstate is closed off. So that is certainly affecting people they are trying to head even north or south.
But most of the traffic, most of those evacuees that are on their way to the shelter are usually heading east or west which allows them to use those access roads. But as you see here, there's still many roadways that are still covered in water and the dangers only going to get worse especially as night falls.
[18:05:17] HILL: Yes, that's for sure.
Polo Sandoval with the latest for us in Lumberton. Polo, thank you.
I do also want to get you up to speed on some news that we are just learning. We have learned now of a 16th confirmed death that is related to this storm, a 3-month-old infant. This happened in North Carolina. We are told the 3-month-old succumb to injuries after the tree fell on the infant's home. So again, 16 now storm-related deaths, 11 of them in North Carolina. Five in South Carolina.
Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the CNN weather center for us with the closer look at what is to come, not just later tonight but in the coming days.
And Allison, it has been nice. We have a little bit of break here in Fayetteville. We are all wondering how long that can continue.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right. Yes, some of the breaks last 20 minutes. Some of them last two hours. At the end of the day, though, there are still more rain on the way.
We have that band, and you can see here stretching from west of (INAUDIBLE) beach to west of Lumberton. But that is going to eventually slide into places like Fayetteville and then gradually up towards Raleigh.
You have a lot of these areas that have already been inundated by rainfall. But a lot of places it really happened that are now really starting to get some of their heaviest bands of rain. And that is going to be the central portion of North Carolina which is why we really to see those flash flood warnings really expand in that portion. In fact, areas of Winston, Salem now under a flashflood warning. Charlotte, has been under a flashflood emergency for the last few hours. That southern portion of (INAUDIBLE) county which is what Charlotte is in. They have already had ten inches of rain in just the last several hours. That's a lot of rain. Maybe not compared to what some of the areas closer to the coast it have, but it's still a tremendous amount of rain.
The forecast radar does show all of that rain continuing to push off to the north. However, even as storm is a whole shifts north, you still have these additional bands of rain that want to continue to develop through the day on Monday.
So with that said, we can still expect an additional two to four inches of rain widespread. But there will be some places that could pick up in excess of six additional inches of rain. Rivers are going to be a big concern. We already have eight at major flood stage right now. Eleven at moderate. But that is going to change. That's going to spread out and a lot more of them are going to end up in major and moderate flood stage. By the time we hit Tuesday and Wednesday of the upcoming week when many of those rivers will finally crest.
One of those being the little river at Manchester. Already at major flood stage. Just about 26.5 feet. It's expected to crest at 34. That's important to note because 32 was the previous record. We are going to exceeds that by at least two feet. One of the other rivers we have been keeping an eye on is the Cape Fear River at Fayetteville. That right now is sitting at 43.5 feet. That's minor flood stage. We expect it to jump all the way to 62 feet before it finally comes down. And the reason for all of this, we said it before, is the amount of rain that we have had. We have brand new numbers in to talk about exactly how much rain has actually come in.
Some of the numbers have been impressive for a while but some of these others starting to creep up. Swing Borough has been above 30 inches for at least 12 hours now. But look at some of the other ones. Wilmington now nearing two feet. Marian, the first one of South Carolina to really hit a high number is now at 18 inches.
And again, Erica, I cannot emphasize enough, these numbers are going to keep going up because we still expect rainfall in a lot of those areas for at least the next 24 hours.
HILL: And that's why it's so important. Allison, thank you.
It is so important to reiterate what we heard from the governor earlier today. We are really only beginning to see the worst of the storm. It is just starting. Now is not the time to be complacent. Don't be fooled by the lull in the rain. It does not mean that you don't need to listen to the evacuate orders and you don't need to listen to your local officials. In fact, it's imperative that you do listen to them.
Ana, we are going to send it back to you now.
CABRERA: The experts saying those rivers are still rising and now we know the death toll is still climbing as well with a 16 confirmed dead in North Carolina.
Thank you very much, Erica. Breaking news out of Washington this afternoon. Brett Kavanaugh's
accuser is now speaking out, publicly identifying herself. Details next live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:18:37] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
CABRERA: Back to our storm coverage in just a moment. But right now, a major revelation sending shock waves through Washington this hour. The woman accusing Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, of sexual assault when they were in high school has come forward publicly. Her name is Christine Blasey Ford. And she is talking exclusively toe "the Washington Post."
Ford has shared some new details with the paper not only about the alleged attack but also potential evidence that could back up her story. The Post writes this about the night in question. While his friend watched, she said Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth. I thought he might inadvertently kill me, said Ford. Now a 51-year-old research psychologist in Northern California, he was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.
CNN's Supreme Court reporter Ariane de Vogue is joining us now.
Ariane, tell us more about Ford and this new evidence.
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Well, you are right. This is the first time she is now publicly come forward accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of assaulting her at a party more than 30 years ago. According to "Washington Post," as you said, her name is Christine Blasey Ford. And she is a professor in California.
It's worth noting that Brett Kavanaugh has vehemently denied her allegation. On Friday, he issued a statement. I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.
But in "the Washington Post," as you said, she attended this party in a suburban Maryland home. Kavanaugh and a friend she said, were stumbling drunk. She said she was corralled into the bedroom. And at one point, Kavanaugh tried to take her clothes off. And he put his hand over her mouth, she said. And she, at that moment, she said she thought he might inadvertently kill me. He was trying to attack me and removed my clothing. She did say she was able to get out of the room.
It is important to note, she only shared the details of this years' later with a therapist and with her husband. According to the article, the husband recalls his wife using Kavanaugh's name. But the therapist notes which were reviewed by "the Washington Post" do not mention Kavanaugh in them. So that's where we are now. CABRERA: Ariane, stay with me. I want to get to some of the reaction
we are seeing right now from Capitol Hill. So far, we have seen eight Democratic senators now calling for Kavanaugh confirmation to be delayed including Democratic senator Doug Jones from the deep red state of Alabama.
Now, Republicans on the other hand are questioning the timing of Ford's accusations and why Democrats chose to sit on them for so long. Judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley has released a statement and this is what he says in part.
It's disturbing that these uncorroborated allegations for more than 35 years ago during high school would surface on the eve of a committee vote after Democrats sat on them since July. If ranking member Feinstein and other committee Democrats took this claim seriously, they should have brought it to the full committee's attention much earlier. And we also are hearing from Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican on the committee who says he agrees with Grassley statement but also said he wants to hear directly from Ford herself.
His statement says in part quote "if the committee is to hear from Ms. Ford, it should be done immediately so the process can continue as scheduled."
And as we are just talking, Ariane, we are also hearing now from Senator Susan Collins saying essentially, she is noncommittal on whether the Judiciary Committee should delay this vote. So how do you see this playing out? Does this impact essentially the vote that was scheduled for Thursday?
DE VOGUE: Well, the thing is Republicans are furious, right, because they say that the letter, the very first letter was dated back in July. And they say that Dianne Feinstein had the opportunity to ask him about it, to ask about in hearings, talk about in it closed session and she didn't. And they question why it was only referred to the FBI days before the vote.
But Feinstein, as you see, she has come back and she said the woman did not want her name to be public. And now only after it is been public, Feinstein is supporting her. And she, in her statement, she says something interesting. She says, she supports Mrs. Ford's decision to share her story. And now that she has, it's in the hands of the FBI to conduct an investigation. Remember, Feinstein, she's the top Democrat on this committee.
I talked to a Republican source about an hour ago and that source said the vote is still going to happen on Thursday. But as you pointed out, there are a lot of voices going on right now looking into that.
CABRERA: Development are continuing to dribble out.
Thank you very much, Ariane De Vogue for your reporting.
Joining us now to discuss all of this is CNN political commentator and Republican Strategist Alice Stewart, CNN legal analyst and defense attorney Mark Geragos and former U.S. attorney for the middle district of Georgia Michael Moore.
Alice, I want to talk to you first. Because Kavanaugh's accuser is now on record. She has shared a detailed description of the alleged attack. She had therapy notes from 2012 where she talked about this alleged incident. And she even passed a polygraph test administered by a former FBI official. What do you think should happen with Kavanaugh's confirmation vote?
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it should move on as scheduled for mark up and vote this week. And my question is, more than anything, if senator Feinstein had this back in July, why didn't she say something about it at that time?
Since she received this notice or this letter, there have been 65 meetings with judge Kavanaugh and members of the U.S. Senate. Feinstein herself has had two phone calls with him. He has answered over 1300 questions on this. And not only that, even prior to this, he has passed six background checks by the FBI who have thoroughly vetted his background including talking to people in his high school. And this would have come out much sooner if there was more accuracy to this story, in my view.
In addition to that, just recently we had 65 women from judge Kavanaugh background who attest to his integrity. Many of them who went to high school with him. And all of that needs to be taken into consideration in this 11th hour character assassination on the heels of this vote. In my view, it raises a lot more questions.
[18:20:05] CABRERA: Alice, do you believe this woman?
STEWART: I think especially, Ana, in this Me Too movement, every woman needs to be heard. They need to be believed. But at the same time we have to look at the full story in context. I believe 100 percent in the accuracy and integrity of judge Kavanaugh and his adamant denials of this. I think there are a lot more holes in her story than I see anything that judge Kavanaugh did in relation to her allegations.
CABRERA: What's the harm of delaying the vote though so the investigation could maybe flesh out this story further now that the new element here is this woman is On the Record and publicly identified herself? Before she was anonymous. In fact, she was anonymous to the FBI even.
STEWART: I think the harm was two months ago when senator Feinstein had the letter and didn't raise it at this point. Did she not believe this woman? Did she not think there are holes in the story? Did she not feel it was worth raising red flags when she talked to him on the phone two times? That is where the harm is. Why did she wait all of this time to bring this to light and bring it to attention? That's where the question needs to be.
In my view, we need to move full steam ahead with this vote and this confirmation because this is, in my view, nothing more than senator Feinstein and member of -- Democrat members in the Senate trying to delay the inevitable which is to see Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee be confirmed.
CABRERA: Michael, as we mentioned, Ford talked to a therapist about this alleged attack. Not six weeks ago but six years ago. Does that make her more credible?
MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: You know, any time you have somebody, a victim or a witness who has made a statement that is either at the time the event happened or subsequent to that in a setting that's really not involving in the allegation that adds to their credibility. And that's just a fact.
And the fact is this was six years ago when she talked about it. Tells me that she won't making a statement just to sink Kavanaugh's nomination. You know, I think it's rich to suggest that the Grassley's indignation about these things just coming out. I mean, at least hundreds of thousands of documents and pages apparently that we still don't know about that they have held back. And my guess that Dianne Feinstein may have remember the need of hill. And this lady did not want to have her name put out. She did not want to be public. And at some point, now she has decided to come forward.
And that there's no reason not to delay a vote. I heard Mike Pence (INAUDIBLE). I heard him the other day talk about he was willing to take a polygraph on whether or not he was the leaker for "The New York Times" anonymous piece. And since he believes so strongly in the polygraph, I'm sure that he is going to encourage Judge Kavanaugh to take a polygraph as they move forward now this investigation.
But there is no reason not to delay it. We need to talk about - look. We want out Supreme Court to make decisions that are out from under a cloud. And if he is confirmed and they have not looked at this, and he goes in under a cloud. And when you got somebody making decisions or involved in a court who makes decision about women's rights and who controls their body, it's important to not have going under that cloud. Whether or not there was a secular soft (ph) in their past.
Let's not make any comment. I'm not saying that it happened or didn't happen. I'm just saying there's value in having the matter look into and there is no reason not to delay the vote.
CABRERA: Mark, what is your take? Because Ford also passed a polygraph test given by a former FBI official?
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Look. If I look at this through the prism of a due process or legal case, the polygraph is inadmissible. The therapist notes are inadmissible because they aren't what is called a fresh complaint. So they are not going to cut in because it is hearsay some decades later.
At the same time it is troubling that senator Feinstein had this letter. And even though she wanted to respect the confidentiality, the fact that she took it serious enough to turn it over to the FBI, leaves me to believe she should have brought it to somebody else's attention namely Grassley on committee to have said, wait a second here, we have something. I'm not going to bring it out in public. I can certainly understand that. I don't want to violate the confidential but you have to alert somebody to it.
At the same time, you know, I ran into Kavanaugh during when he was in - during the white water case and I was involved in the whitewater defense with Susan McDougal (ph). And he is probably the last guy you would ever expect to behave in this way. But that doesn't mean much in this kind of analysis.
I mean, the problem with this is it becomes political theater that really has very little mooring to any kind of legal due process analysis.
CABRERA: Alice, remember Kavanaugh's approval rating was already low before these accusations came out. Just 38 percent of the American people think he should be confirmed compared to 39 who don't. That was after his hearings last week that were before the American people. Republicans are going to need female voters in November. I know where you stand. I know you are among the people who believe he should be confirmed and that 38 percent. But would it be smart politically to delay this vote?
[18:25:21] STEWART: Ana, I think we need to look at Supreme Court justice nominations separate from politics. We need to view them and confirm them based on their fidelity to the constitution and their adherence to the law. And in my view, what we heard throughout the hearings is judge Kavanaugh has that. He has exactly the qualities needed.
Look, with regard to Donald Trump, he told the American people that he was going to nominate Scalia-like justices to the Supreme Court. And that is exactly what he has done in this case. And Kavanaugh is certainly no exception. And in my view, Democrats need to recognize the fact that Donald Trump is president. And he has the ability to nominate and seek confirmation of justices that he wishes and any attempts they are doing such as this should not work. And in my view, the American people spoke with regard to their support of this president's nominations for the Supreme Court when they voted for Donald Trump.
CABRERA: Michael, do these accusations merit a federal investigation?
MOORE: I think they probably do. I mean, and this is why. The Federal background investigation is detailed. Its federal agents, FBI is involved in that. And at some point Kavanaugh has been through that investigation. And it merits looking at this point of whether or not he gave truthful information and answers to the agents who were looking at that. But it probably also merits a committee investigation. That is council for the judiciary committee. They should probably look now and see if in fact these things are bear out and whether or not his answers both in the written questions that he submitted. And his testimony were truthful.
You know, I'm reminded and I appreciate Alice's comments about politics and Supreme Court but I immediately think about Merrick Garland. And I'm sure that he wishes that the confirmation process what political either. And certainly that was a time when the American people elected Barack Obama, his nomination sat. Again, and we are not here debating whether or not this is true,
whether or not this happened. That's something that needs to be done in an investigation if that's the way they want to go. My point is the American people, the reason we have public hearings, we want to get this stuff out in the open. Let's see (INAUDIBLE). Let's see confirm it and if the Republicans want to confirm him, fine. That's fine. And if he didn't do it, he doesn't need to be under this cloud. He deserves that. At the same time, that the American people deserve to have an answer and that's why we have public hearings and why we ask these judges and these candidates these questions that get to this process.
STEWART: And Ana, Senator Feinstein should have brought it up when we have four days of public hearings. And Michael is right. That's the time to air this and Senator Feinstein had the opportunity and for whatever reason she chose not to.
CABRERA: Let me ask you, Mark, because you talked about the polygraph test, the therapy notes not being admissible in a court of law. We also Kavanaugh has this letter from 65 women who have vouched for his character. Who wins in the court of public opinion?
GERAGOS: Well, it's apparent to me in the court of public opinion that he is a loser on a number of fronts. I mean, it took, anybody who has a memory of what happened during Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas knows that he was -- he literally, I don't know that he's ever gotten over it even though he was confirmed.
And I think the real loser are the American people in this sense. I mean the idea as was just pointed out that now we're supposed to confirm now and make sure we go forward. Don't press pause. Coming on the heel offense a lot of parliamentary to make sure Merrick Garland never got a vote seems to me to be hypocritical.
So the same Republicans who were arguing that Merrick Garland shouldn't be voted on who now want to kind of ramrod this vote through, it is exactly why people get disgusted by Washington. It's exactly why people tended kind of check out of these things because they always want to see who is that they do source criticism. Who it is - who is bringing it and who is saying it now as opposed to who said it later. I mean, I can go back on almost every one of these committee members. And if you want to say we are going to elevate this or elevate the dialogue as to make sure that it's, you know, whoever the president is, if the person is qualified, then do it when you are in the minority and not just when you are in the majority. And that goes for both the Democrats and the Republicans, and it's why people are so disgusted with Washington.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Alice, if Kavanaugh is confirmed, we will have two current Supreme Court justices accused of sexual misconduct. How should women in the country feel about that?
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, that's -- that would be a concern if the allegations prove to be true, but let me just make one point. Of course, Mark and Michael are the legal experts here, but let me
just clarify that Merritt Garland, that was close to a presidential election. And normally, such nominations are deferred until after that period of time so that's certainly not unusual.
But I think, more than anything, we need to take, in my view, the allegations from this woman and put that into context with the litany of people that have come forward to attest to the integrity of Judge Kavanaugh.
And it cannot go unnoticed, as I said, six FBI background checks with regard to his public service throughout his career and nothing of this nature has come forward with regard to this uncorroborated --
CABRERA: Right, but what if she's telling the truth? What if she's telling the truth?
STEWART: If she is, then that would be a concern. I won't deny that. But that being said, why did Senator Feinstein sit on this? Why did she not bring this up when she had the opportunity and let this fully be vetted? That's the question. That's what needs to be asked.
Why are Democrats doing this 11th-hour character assassination when they had the opportunity at the right time, when they had time to do something about it, and let this woman tell her story when it could be vetted? Now, they're just trying to delay and deflect and deny what certainly, in my view, will be inevitable, which is his confirmation.
CABRERA: Alice Stewart, Michael Moore, Mark Geragos. Got leave it there, guys. Thank you very much for the thoughtful conversation. I really appreciate it.
STEWART: Thanks, Ana.
GERAGOS: Thank you.
MICHAEL MOORE, PARTNER, POPE MCGLAMRY: Good to be with you.
CABRERA: But, first, I want to get a quick check on what you can expect tomorrow morning when Wall Street opens. Here's Alison Kosik.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN GENERAL ASSIGNMENT CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. First comes the human toll of hurricanes, then the financial one. Damage estimates will begin pouring in and ensuring stocks could take a hit, but Florence is not likely to hurt the overall market.
CFRA finds hurricanes usually don't typically trigger broad market declines. During the 15 most expensive hurricanes, the S&P 500 declined two-tenths of a percent the month after and rose almost 4 percent in the following three months.
Investors will also be watching for any developments on trade. Last week, China welcomed the Trump administration offer for a new round of talks.
New U.S. tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods could go into effect any time, and the President has also threatened an additional $267 billion on top of that. Investigators are hoping the escalation of trade war can be avoided.
In New York, I'm Alison Kosik.
[18:37:40] CABRERA: The rain, the flash flooding still pounding North Carolina. And take a look at this stunning video from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where our camera spotted a possible waterspout off the coast there. See in the distance.
Tornado warnings and evacuation orders in parts of that state have been lifted, and people will soon learn the fate of their homes and their communities.
Scott McLean is joining us now about Conway, South Carolina, about 15 miles from Myrtle Beach, again, where that video was shot.
Scott, what type of damage have you seen there?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Ana. So flooding is not widespread in the city of Conway just yet, but it is expected to be just a couple of days from now. This, where we are, is some of the first signs of flooding.
Check down this street. It's actually not a road. It's a driveway, and it looks more like a canal at this point. There's actually a house back there. It's unclear if it's flooded but it likely is.
Where I am right now is actually what should be a road. It actually looks more like a river. It goes all the way down to that bridge there that's supposed to have a little creek or swamp underneath it, and it's backed up into the spot that we are right now.
You can see this house over here. The water has been steadily rising over the last couple of hours. It's now just up to the door, just gone over the top step there. And then over to the left, you can see the swimming pool in the backyard is completely covered now with this floodwater.
And then this house over here, this red one, is likely to be flooded before this is all said and done.
This area, Ana, has gotten about 13, 13-1/2 inches of rain. It might get a little bit more. It's actually raining right now as I'm speaking to you.
But the big thing is that all of that water from this area and from others is going to collect in the rivers and streams, and they're going to start to rise. The Waccamaw, which is the local river in this area, it's already 11.5 feet above where it's supposed to be. It's expected to go up another six, seven feet but this is all over.
And we also know that there is a bit of a controversy brewing in the center of town. There's a main artery that connects Conway with Myrtle Beach. It is Highway 501.
And today, we saw the National Guard putting sandbags along it to protect it to make sure that emergency crews can get in and out of the city and that they're not cut off when those flood waters inevitably rise toward the end of this week.
[18:39:55] But the city of Conway, they're threatening to file an emergency injunction to actually have that sandbagging stopped because they believe that it'll back up some of that flood water. It'll stop it from flowing through where it's supposed to and cause, you know, additional flooding to homes that might not have had it otherwise.
They are billing this as sort of a, hey, you know, they are trying to protect access to Myrtle Beach and the beachfronts at the expense potentially of the city of Conway. So they are asking the county, Horry County, to provide proof that it's not going to cause additional flooding before they drop their threat of injunction.
So far, Horry County, though, they're saying, look, there's nothing to see here.
CABRERA: We still know, though, that this storm is not done, and we know that the cleanup and the recovery can take weeks, months, even years. Scott McLean, thank you for that reporting.
Now, as some residents will begin returning to their homes in the Carolinas this week, the NFL Foundation has just announced it will donate $1 million to Hurricane Florence relief efforts.
Commissioner Roger Goodell announcing the contribution will be distributed through organizations that focus on the immediate needs of areas impacted by the storm.
And by the way, the Carolina Panthers, they were away this week. They lost to the Atlanta Falcons, 31 to 24.
And if you want to help those affected by Hurricane Florence, you can go to cnn.com/impact. A lot of different organizations that we vetted are there.
[18:45:53] CABRERA: A stunning development now in a story out of Texas we first told you about last night right here on this show.
Authorities in Webb County say the U.S. border patrol agent arrested for allegedly killing four people has now confessed to their murders. The local sheriff called him a serial killer and officials say there may be more bodies.
Our Joe Johns is live in Laredo, Texas for us right now. Joe, what do we know about this agent, his victims, and how he allegedly chose them?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: You know, Ana, serial murder cases are always disturbing but this one, by any standards, is extremely unusual.
You have the normal investigative questions that go into it, things like what was the motive, and then there's the question of what was the trigger.
Why did this person appear to snap at a certain time and go off and kill -- now confessed -- four people, shot in the head, apparently driven out sort of to the outskirts of town? And why did he do that? Why did he do it at this time?
A lot for the state investigators here to consider but also for the federal government. There are systems questions, accountability questions.
The DHS Office of the Inspector General is involved, the Office of Professional Responsibility, because the other questions are about whether there were some signs about this 35-year-old man, a supervisory special agent with Border Protection who now is under arrest in this jail behind me, charged with this crime.
All of these cases sort of came to a head over the weekend when this man apparently picked up a woman he may or may not have known, took her to his home, and some type of disagreement occurred thereafter.
They were apparently talking about one of the women who had been shot here in Texas since September 3rd and, suddenly, he pulls out a gun. The woman jumps out and gets away, tells authorities. And that's how this man, Ortiz, is in jail tonight.
Back to you.
CABRERA: Wow, what a story. Joe Johns, thank you for that update.
And back to our breaking news out of Washington, Brett Kavanaugh's accuser now speaks. Up next, you'll hear from the woman who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school in her letter to Senator Diane Feinstein.
I'm going to read it to you in its entirety here in the CNN NEWSROOM. Don't go away.
[18:48:28] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Welcome back. We are following breaking news concerning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The woman accusing him of sexual assault when the two were both in high school has come forward. Her name is Christine Blasey Ford.
And we now have the letter she sent to Senator Diane Feinstein, and I'm going to read it in its entirety. Some names and places have been redacted where I indicate, but let me begin.
To Senator Feinstein. Dear Senator Feinstein, I am writing with information relevant in evaluating the current nominee to the Supreme Court. As a constituent, I expect that you will maintain this as confidential until we have further opportunity to speak.
Brett Kavanaugh physically and sexually assaulted me during high school in the early 1980s. He conducted these acts with the assistance of redacted, both were one or two years older than me and students at a local private school.
The assault occurred in a suburban Maryland area home at a gathering that included me and four others.
Kavanagh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stairwell from the living room. They locked the door and played loud music, precluding any successful attempt to yell for help.
Kavanagh was on top of me while laughing with redacted, who periodically jumped on to Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me.
In their highly inebriated state, with Kavanaugh's hand over my mouth, I feared he may inadvertently kill me. From across the room, a very drunken redacted said mixed words to Kavanaugh, ranging from "go for it" to "stop."
At one point, when redacted jumped on to the bed, the weight on me was substantial. The pile toppled and the two scrapped with each other. After a few attempts to get away, I was able to take this opportune moment to get up and run across to a hallway bathroom.
I locked the bathroom door behind me. Both loudly stumbled down the stairwell at which point other persons at the house were talking with them. I exited the bathroom, ran outside of the house, and went home.
I have not knowingly seen Kavanaugh since the assault. I did see redacted once at the redacted where he was extremely uncomfortable seeing me. I have received medical treatment regarding the assault.
[18:55:08] On July 6th, I notified my local government representative to ask them how to proceed with sharing this information. It is upsetting to discuss sexual assault and its repercussions, yet I felt guilty and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything.
I am available to speak further should you wish to discuss. I am currently redacted and will be in redacted. In confidence, redacted.
Now, important to note, Brett Kavanaugh has unequivocally and categorically denied the allegations made in this letter, and the White House says they are standing by their Supreme Court nominee.
Do not go anywhere. Much more on this breaking news just ahead live in the CNN NEWSROOM.