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Hurricane Sally Makes Landfall; Hurricane Report From Pensacola Beach; Pastor Confronts Trump about Slogan; House Report on 737 Max Crashes; Champions for Change Wheels of Change. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired September 16, 2020 - 08:30   ET




ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, want to give you an update right now on the location of Hurricane Sally. The eye is over the Alabama/Florida state line.

And CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has the latest forecast track and the rainfall projections, which I know are huge, Chad. What are you seeing?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: They are unbelievable. They are numbers that you can't even put in your head and how some place like Pensacola Beach could have been 24.8, that's the naval air station. But two feet of rain since this thing started. Very heavy rainfall all the way from Apalachicola right through Panama City. Panama City just checked in with over 11 inches of rain there in that red zone, the big red zone, almost the entire panhandle area under flash flood warnings.

More rainfall still coming down. The eye went directly -- directly across from -- from -- here, from Gulf Shores to Pensacola. But Pensacola, so far, has never really gotten out of that eastern eyewall. They would love to get inside the eye and a little bit of calm wind for a change, but Pensacola, the last gusts from last hour, 92 miles per hour.

This is where the rainfall has come down, everywhere that you see white. Now, most of it is offshore. But everywhere that you see white there, that's 20 inches, radar indicated. We're still waiting for the -- the observers and the ASAS (ph) units to actually send the data in. And we'll send it to you as soon as we get it. But this is a tremendous storm still. A category two turned a little bit to the right overnight and so it did miss Alabama proper, on the west side of Mobile, but it hid Alabama proper on the east side right there at Gulf Shores, making landfall about an hour and maybe hour and 45 minutes ago, almost two hours ago.

Back to you, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, Chad, thank you. Thank you very much. All right, let's get right to CNN's Gary Tuchman. He is live in Pensacola Beach with what he's seeing.

So, Gary, we hear that you've just had a 92 mile per hour gust and what's happening with all of that rain and flooding?



Can you hear me?

TUCHMAN: Alisyn, if you can hear me, I'm going just start talking because we lost contact with you.


TUCHMAN: But the -- Escambia County, which is the western tip of Florida and the panhandle, is getting pummeled. And right now we have a situation where we have hurricane-force gusts consistently. The rain isn't stopping. It's been going since the afternoon.

And, right now, we see a lot of damage. As I looked down the road, it's daylight now, and I'm taking a walk around, just an incredible amount of damage. Power lines down. Transformers exploding. Roofs down.

But the big problem is the rain. As of now, I just took a walk a short time ago towards the beach. There has been a flash flood warning. There is flooding, it doesn't look catastrophic right here, but this is a big county. This is a barrier island. This was the most concerned because people here are isolated. They can't leave this island right now because the bridges are closed and they won't be able to leave until the winds go under 40 miles per hour.

So there is flooding. And you've seen so far, and this isn't the total look because we haven't been able to go around this entire island, but what we've seen so far is immense flooding but not catastrophic flooding.

That being said, we don't know what the rest of the day will bring out as they continue to search. The most important thing to find out as this day goes on if people have been hurt or if people have been killed. So far no reports. But it's still early. We hope for the best.


CAMEROTA: OK, Gary, I don't know if you can hear me, but thank you very much for all of that. Obviously, stay safe. We'll check back with you.

When Gary says he took a walk around, I think he means the wind pushed him towards the beach --


CAMEROTA: Because I don't know how you take a stroll during what Gary is experiencing.

BERMAN: No, the duration of this is really, I think, what's of concern right now. And you can see it with Gary. Gary's just being pushed around for hours and hours and hours. The rain coming down ferociously. And not about to stop. So we'll get back to him as soon as we possibly can.

All right, President Trump facing questions from undecided voters last night at a town hall in Pennsylvania. I want you to listen to the Philadelphia pastor confronting the president about the make America great again slogan.


PASTOR CARL DAY, CULTURE CHANGING CHRISTIANS WORSHIP CENTER: Under your administration, under the -- Obama's administration, under the Bush, under the Clinton, the very same things happened and the very same systems and cycles continue the -- continue to ensue. And we need to see -- because you say again, we need to see when was that great? Because that pushes us back to a time in which we cannot identify with such greatness. And, I mean, you've said everything else about choking and everything else, but you have yet to address and acknowledge that there's been a race problem in America.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: OK. So if you go -- well, I hope there's not a race problem. I can tell you, there's none with me because I have great respect for all races, for everybody. This country is great because of it.

But when you go back six months and you take a look at what was happening, you can't even compare that with past administrations.


BERMAN: Joining us now is that man, Pastor Carl Day.

Pastor, thanks so much for being with us. We do appreciate your time this morning.


Why was it important for you to ask that question of the president?

PASTOR CARL DAY, CULTURE CHANGING CHRISTIANS WORSHIP CENTER: Well, it was important for me -- good morning and thank you.

It was important for me because, as a black man growing up in America, consistently, just seeing the conditions of my communities, the plight of people, my people, just breading (ph) and being educated on the African-American experience, even before I was around or came into existence, this was an issue. So hearing that tag line and so many people running with it.

Now, to my understanding, President Trump did not start it, but he most certainly ran with it and championed it. So hearing that, it always just played in my mind, you know. And I would always ask people, when, you know, getting into these political squabbles and debates, when was that -- when was America really great for African- Americans? So when presented the opportunity to actually ask the president a question, legitimately just serving my community, seeing the plight, seeing the fight that we have to go through and really being on the side of fighting injustices and trying to help the oppressed, I had to ask that question to the president.

BERMAN: Yes, I get it. Tell me, Mr. President, when you think it was so great for African-Americans. And that could be a framework with which to judge him if he gave you an insight into what he was really thinking. So, how satisfied were you with his answer?

DAY: Well, I wasn't satisfied at all. But I'll say this, I know I had tons of people in my mentions and messages and more people were angry that he didn't answer it. To be honest with you, him not answering it was an answer for me, you know, so -- because I already knew that there was no direct era that he could point to. In fact, the fact that he said go back six months prior to Covid and he's saying that that's when it was greater than when it had ever been under any administration. So pretty much what he did was tell on himself, to sit here and run, you know, with this phrase, make America great again, in 2016, that was to allude that America actually was great at some point. But now he told us, just six months ago it actually became great or greater than it has ever been.

So with that being said, according to his logic, before six months ago, before the pandemic, that's when it was finally great. So both of that being said, he pretty much answered it by not answering it because they're -- it never really existed for African-Americans in these inner cities.

BERMAN: Well, you know, one of the things he did say, to your point, is he said that his administration constituted the single best moment for African-Americans, the African-American community, in the history of the nation. What did you think of that?

DAY: History of the nation. Man, I think that's laughable. Very, very comical.

What I do think and what I do believe President Trump himself and many others are actually doing is just showing their hand, that they really haven't journeyed through these inner cities of America, these same places and spaces that I speak about. When I asked about the ghetto, the hood, you know, they really haven't been on the grounds. They haven't really spoken to the people. They don't journey with the folks. And this is one of the reasons why so many people, especially African-American voters in these communities really feel their voices, really feeling as if they're not sure if their vote really matters at the end of the day because, again, there's no plan there. And to see a president fail to acknowledge racism all together, and even that we have a race issue, and also fail to really point to how the urban inner city where African-Americans live actually is experiencing any greatness, that's very troubling.

BERMAN: So you were an undecided voter going into the event last night. What were you undecided about and what's your process and decision making this morning?

DAY: I'm so glad you asked and I hope more people are watching this so I can be clear for the last time. But I went in undecided for a reason, because I have yet to really hear either candidate explicitly explain what will they do to help those who are living in these ghettos in America, help create (INAUDIBLE) for African-Americans I have yet to hear.

You know, people pointed me to Biden's website yesterday. Again, these guys campaign and spend billions to jump on TV and educate the voters. Get on here, use your platform and explain to the entire demographic, the majority of us are living in these impoverished areas, we need to hear a plan. We need to know that we count, that we matter.

So when I say I'm undecided, President Trump certainly made my mind up. He submitted everything yesterday, but before that, that I won't be going that way. But more importantly, I still need to hear -- I still need to hear in any other side.

So when people are asking me my choice, I'm not going to sit here and publicly make a choice for anyone that have yet to still give me a viable plan. So that's just why I'm stating that I'm undecided on that.

BERMAN: You voted for Jill Stein in 2016 in Pennsylvania, mind you, and there are people who will say that third party votes helped Donald Trump win the presidency in 2016 and could very well again. So how would you address those people?


DAY: I mean, well, I would address those people with this. You know, many of us tell people to get out and vote. I'm a -- I'm a pastor. I'm a black man. I'm a pastor in America. I'm also an activist in my community. I do the work. So my -- my appeals to those people would be this right here, we also need to challenge a system in which it continues to tell us it's a binary decision or we have to choose between these lesser of two evils.

We, as African-Americans in America need to ask ourselves, when will we position ourselves to not have to keep choosing from any lesser evil every four years? When will we sit here and decide to say, you know, I'll vote where my conscience sends me because, at the end of the day, that's what I do. I'm a man of faith. I pray. And I do what God leads me to do so that, guess what, I can wake up every day with a clear conscience knowing that I didn't support either person, regardless if people says it's a vote for Trump or not, that will potentially bring evil to my people. So that's where I'm at with that and that's how I stand.

BERMAN: Pastor Carl Day, we do appreciate your time. And I do want you to know, you had me with the Hulk poster behind you fighting with Wolverines there. So I appreciate your time this morning.


BERMAN: I appreciate your artwork. Thank you for being with us.

DAY: Thank you. All right. Good-bye.

BERMAN: All right, breaking this morning, we have a damning, new report on the two deadly Boeing Max jet crashes. Who does the congressional inquiry blame? We have the details, next.



CAMEROTA: This morning, a just released congressional report of an 18 month investigation slams Boeing and the FAA over two fatal crashes involving Boeing's troubled 737 Max jets.

CNN's Pete Muntean is live in Washington with the details.

What does it say, Pete?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: So many new details in this new report. Alisyn.

What's so interesting is that it doesn't focus much on the actions of the pilot leading up to those two 737 Max disasters, but rather in the years before at Boeing and the FAA.

What is so interesting here, that's one quote, more than 250 pages in this report. It says that there was a disturbing pattern of technical miscalculations and troubling management misjudgments made by Boeing. It also illuminates serious oversight lapses and accountability gaps at the FAA.

This report details two instances, one, a pilot at Boeing, a test pilot, in a simulator, struggling for more than ten seconds with the MCAS system. That's the system that's been at the heart of all of these investigations with catastrophic results. Also, e-mail exchanges between Boeing engineers where they tried to downplay the significance of that system, essentially trying to get it considered as part of an existing system rather than a new one in order to avoid additional scrutiny by the FAA.

Now, Sonya Stumo (ph) was 24-year-olds when she died in one of those crashes. I spoke to her father and he says that Boeing and the FAA failed.


MICHAEL STUMO, FATHER OF CRASH VICTIM: They're still hitting the ball, like they did before, like they did between the crashes when they kept the plane in the air when they knew the thing was a killer plane. Between the Lion Air crash and the Ethiopian crash that killed my daughter.


MUNTEAN: Now, Boeing continues to stand by its design. It says that one of the (INAUDIBLE) from recertification flights that are taking place right now, it will be one of the most scrutinized aircraft in history. Boeing is meeting with regulators right now in London. The FAA says that it continues to stand by its numerous design changes that it had mandated for the 737 Max and its process will not be rushed. That is not enough for House Chair Peter DeFazio, of the Transportation Committee, which released this report. He says that he wants the entire FAA process to be revamped.


CAMEROTA: Pete Muntean, thank you very much for explaining all of that. We've been awaiting for some results from that investigation.

All right, you're about to meet a teenager who is solving a societal problem that adults have wrestled with for decades. "Champions for Change" is next.



BERMAN: So CNN highlighting people making a difference in the world. We call them our "Champions for Change." And this morning we hear from a San Diego teenager who empowers homeless people to work their way to a better life by paying them to clean up the community. In just three years, the program has built an impressive record of safer streets and better lives.


KEVIN BARBER, CO-FOUNDER, WHEELS OF CHANGE: I think homelessness is just such a big issue that you can't try to tackle it all at once. And this program is very specific. It pays and empowers the homeless, and that's it.

We're on track to employ about 5,200 homeless individuals this year. We employ 20 people a day who make $52 at the end of their four-hour shift.

EDWARD BIDWELL, HOMELESS WORKER, WHEELS OF CHANGE: Everything you see here that I'm wearing is purchased. This is not donations. I bought it with the money from Wheels of Change. The hat, the shirt, everything, the shoes. By working for a living and having these stipends to give us dignity.

K. BARBER: The other biggest part of our program is the homeless peer to peer outreach aspect. Our homeless employees go up to other homeless on the street and they offer them services such as rehab, shelter, permanent housing.

DR. CAROLYN BARBER, CO-FOUNDER, WHEELS OF CHANGE: I'm an emergency physician. I've been working here in San Diego for the last 25 years. In the ER, you know, we see a lot of the homeless population. And you're just always trying to figure out, you know, is there something more you can do. You know, when Kevin came to me with this idea, I kind of thought it

was a knuckle head idea. I wasn't quite sure what we were doing. The non-profit we have running the program is called Alpha Project and they have 35 different programs.

BOB MCELROY, CEO, ALPHA PROJECT: You know, people come in and pitch to us all the time. Kevin, this youngster, you know he -- and he was three years younger then, so that made him, about, what, 14. I don't know.

K. BARBER: So I was 15 when I came up with the idea and I was 16 when we actually got the wheels rolling. And now I'm a sophomore at Santa Clara University.

MCELROY: You know, I'm cynical. I'm a cynical old guy, you know? But they were sincere about it and persistent. It fits in with what Alpha Project does perfectly.

K. BARBER: So before the coronavirus pandemic, we were running our two fans five days a week and going all across the city and county to different hot spots with trash that needed help. Now we're working out of the convention center where around 700 homeless individuals are being housed and they're walking all throughout the neighborhood and still cleaning up downtown San Diego.

I definitely love to challenge the conventional thinking that we see around, especially having a lot of people who don't really tend to engage with our communities.

CHERYL LOZANO, HOMELESS WORKER, WHEELS OF CHANGE: Just because we're homeless doesn't mean that we don't want to work or that we can't work.

KENNETH "K.B." ALLEN, SUPERVISOR, WHEELS OF CHANGE: Change is in everybody. We've got to give people, you know, another opportunity, another chance. You know, I'm a prime example. I'm a drug addict, former gang member, I changed my life around. I was homeless. And look at me now. You know, I'm -- I've got a beautiful family, three kids. This is pretty much where my miracle happened at.


You all did a good job.

MCELROY: People are coming out with pizzas, sodas, waters, thank you guys for being here. God bless you. We're so -- we're so proud of you. I mean that self-esteem goes through the roof. The best medication I have for our mental health issues down here is accolades from the community.

MAYOR KEVIN FAULCONER, SAN DIEGO: It's really helping the individual, it's helping to clean up the community. We've had a lot of other cities want to come to see how it works in San Diego so they can emulate it and help people across the country.

ALLEN: She went from homeless to a home. MCELROY: This is a true win-win.


BERMAN: We will share the stories all week long. And be sure to join Alisyn and me for a "Champions for Change" special this Saturday night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

CNN's breaking coverage of Hurricane Sally continues right after this.