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Severe Weather Ravages Wisconsin Lake; Midwest Hit with Flooding; Congress to Vote on Extending Unemployment Benefits; McCain Trails Obama in Fundraising

Aired June 11, 2008 - 13:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is what Wisconsin's Lake Delton used to look like. This is what it looks like now. A dam burst, a lake empty. Houses get washed away. Now, desperate people are taking desperate measures to keep this from happening again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's the place I grew up. I love this town, and I'd do anything for it.

LEMON: Sandbagging saved the town. But how long will it hold? We're watching the water, watching the dam and watching the forecast. Misery in the Midwest.


LEMON: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon, live here at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.


You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

LEMON: The rivers, they are rising. The levees, they are straining. And lots of people in Iowa, well, they're simply getting out of the way. And the exhausted people of America's flooded Midwest, well, they don't need one more drop of rain.

Now, here's what it looks like. Check this out. This is from Minnesota. As far south as Missouri, the amazing unstoppable power of too much water.

The most urgent news this hour: evacuations in Iowa and Indiana, with residents urged to get to higher ground as rivers swell to the tipping points, wiping away bridges and covering exit routes.

Now the most dire forecast predicts the worst flooding there is in 15 years. The worst flooding in 15 years.

Want to take you to -- check out these new pictures. These are some pictures -- are from downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Check it, this. Check this out. Look how it's just bubbling up. I guess that's through a sewer cap there. And you're looking at this new video just as I'm looking at it, just coming in to the CNN NEWSROOM. This is all spilling over from the banks of the Des Moines River. And we've been seeing lots of situations like this, lot of pictures like this, all over the upper Midwest and Midwest. And we have seen dams bursting, homes going down, rivers and also, lakes that were once there that are not even there anymore.

One of the most bizarre scenes we have been telling you about is the emergency, this emergency. It's in Lake Wisconsin. The word flood, well, it means too much water. So the question is, if floods mean -- if that means too much water, then why is Susan Roesgen in the middle of a place that's supposed to have water, and now it's dried out?

Susan, tell us about that.

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boy, Don, I'm sitting here in the seats where normally 300,000 people a year come to see a water skiing show.

Now, right now, we've got people cleaning up and getting ready for some entertainment on a stage on dry ground. But take a look at Lake Delton, what was Lake Delton. The highlight of the show is supposed to be water skiers. But as you can see, the water is gone. The ramps for the skiers out in the open. Too much water in some places and not enough right here.


ROESGEN (voice-over): For 55 years, water skiers have been wowing Wisconsin tourists at the Tommy Bartlett Show. But what happens when the water is gone?

(on camera) It took just a couple of hours for a 300-acre lake to drain out like water in a bath tub.

(voice-over) The heavy rain this week washed out part of the lake's embankment, creating a huge hole that let the water run out and into a nearby river. Now businesses that surround the lake are watching their income dry up, too.

TOM DIEHL, OWNER, THE TOMMY BARTLETT SHOW: If we don't play to people this summer, it's going to be catastrophic.

ROESGEN: Tom Diehl runs the waterskiing show, and he says the show will go on without the skiers. He's got a magician and some other entertainment lined up that he hopes will fill the seats.

DIEHL: If we fail, it wasn't for lack of trying.

ROESGEN: This whole area is aimed at families. Tourism here is a billion-dollar-a-year industry. The man-made attractions are fine, but businesses that depend on the lake are in serious trouble.

(on camera) What are your customers saying?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. What are they saying?

ROESGEN: You didn't know about this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, we didn't know at all. Not at all.

ROESGEN (voice-over): Many tourists booked their trips here months in advance. And many are just now finding out that the amphibious duck boats won't be taking them into an empty lake.

Places like the Aloha Beach Resort are kind of empty, too. Eliza Shiktoua's (ph) family owns this resort. She says she cried when she saw there was no water under the dock.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yesterday we had ten cancellations. Today I would say probably another dozen.

ROESGEN: Can this area survive a summer without the lake? Right now there are no plans to refill the lake until after the season, hoping tourists will come back next year.


ROESGEN: Now, Don and Brianna, here's one reason that they might come back this year: the possible pirate booty that you can find on the bottom of this basically muddy lake bed.

I found this. This is a bottle of Inglenook White Zinfandel, still full, circa 2003. I don't know if that was a good year or not for Inglenook White Zinfandel.

But I'm going to get a metal detector out here and see what I can find. You never know. There might be a diamond ring out here for somebody who's going to come look.

LEMON: You know what? More than likely you're probably going to find a lot of people's belongings out there, but you know, from this lake that was once there. And it's really sad. We're having a little bit of fun here, and you're finding all these things, but can you imagine, Susan, what these people are going through? Everything they have, gone.

ROESGEN: Absolutely. I mean, you know, again, they're going to have this show here, the dry part of the show. No water skiers, obviously.


ROESGEN: But what about all the employees? What are they going to do? The employees at the restaurants that line the lake around me? The marinas, those amphibious duck boats. There's got to be at least half a dozen of those companies here.


ROESGEN: And you saw, Don, they go toward the edge of the lake, and then they turn it around. And when the word gets out that the lake is gone, the businesses are just hoping that loyal customers, repeat customers, will come back to help them at least generate a little bit of revenue and drink some White Zinfandel, circa 2003.

LEMON: 2003. Susan Roesgen, great work out there today. Appreciate that. And be careful. We don't want you to fall down. I've been watching you all day and holding my -- crossing my fingers, making sure that you're OK and that you don't fall down. So make sure you take care of that. Thank you, Susan.

We want to get now to these pictures, these new pictures just in from Des Moines as I toss over here to Chad Myers.

Chad, that's downtown. And basically the river overflowed its banks.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: And it's still going up. Probably another three feet to go before it's done, Don. Yes, this is a bad situation.

And to make another bad situation worse, we're going to see rainfall today. There's already rain on the map right now. That first batch of rain will actually go away. But we're going to see significant flooding come in again from the pictures you're seeing here. But there's moisture and there's a cold front. And there's heavy weather from Omaha through Sioux Falls, Sioux City, Storm Lake. And yes, even back into Des Moines again.

Look at this. This is what the computer generates for how much precip is going to come down in the next 48 hours. There's some pinks and purples in there. Go up to the scale. That's six or -- inches or more in much of western and west central Iowa, all the way down to about Nemaha and Fall City, Nebraska, in places that certainly don't need another drop, Don.

We're just -- let's go back to those pictures in Des Moines, because we also have -- we have a couple different sources, too. We were showing you bridges before, bridges over the water, over the river. Right up to the bottom of those bridges. And this water still has another couple of days to rise before it goes up. So you can see the sandbagging that they've done. The downtown buildings just in the back of that shot.

There is our wide shot. Almost to the bottom of the bridges. And then you start getting debris flowing down these rivers and hitting those bridges and possibly make them structurally unsound. And then you've got a -- then you've got a city that can't get across from one side to the other.

LEMON: And you know what? A good perspective, someone called and -- e-mailed me and said, you know, when you're looking at the pictures of those bridges, Chad, usually barges go under those bridges. And there's no way a barge or anything is going to make it under that bridge. So the debris and all that stuff, absolutely right.

MYERS: The good news is we haven't seen houses floating down. That's when you just -- you start to cry, when you actually see the tops of houses being crushed by the bridges, as it's floating down.

LEMON: Chad Myers, thank you very much.

And also, just getting some new information here that the governor in Iowa, Chet Culver, is going to hold a press conference soon, if the governor's not doing it now, to talk about the state's response to all of this flooding. As soon as that happens, we'll bring it to you, right in the CNN NEWSROOM.

KEILAR: How long are we going to be paying through the nose for gas? Well, a grim government warning today: $4 a gallon gasoline is here to stay, at least through next year.

That Energy Department prediction came as the average price of regular unleaded gas hit its latest record, topping $4.05 a gallon. And as crude oil prices soared more than $6 to more than $137 a barrel.

Stock prices fell sharply as investors worried about how the fuel crisis is affecting the economy.

We should have a better answer to that question at 2 p.m. Eastern when the Federal Reserve releases its latest Beige Book economic report.

Times are getting so tough Congress may vote to extend unemployment benefits. In fact, many Republicans are deserting President Bush and joining with Democrats to support extended benefits.

CNN's Kate Bolduan joining us now from Capitol Hill to tell us more about this -- Kate.


Well, jobs are issue No. 1 for many Americans. And today, the House is set to vote a little later this afternoon on a bill that aims to extend unemployment benefits across the country. But it's still unclear if the bill has enough votes to pass.

But here is what the bill offers: an extension of 13 weeks of unemployment benefits in states -- in every state across the country. And an additional 13 weeks on top of that in states with high unemployment: states like Michigan, Alaska, and California.

Now, the House Committee on Ways and Means estimates that up to 4 million people would be eligible for -- for this assistance in the coming weeks.

Now, Brianna, this comes as Congress rushes to respond to the struggling economy and its impact on the American consumer. It also follows that disappointing jobs report coming out last week, showing that the unemployment rate jumped to 5.5 percent.

At the same time, Democrats see this, also, as a political opportunity they could use against Republicans critical of this measure. By forcing a vote on a hot-button issue, they could use that in their favor, they think, when campaigning in the fall. Now, here is one of the bill's sponsors, Congressman Jim McDermott.


REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (R), WASHINGTON: We are coming to a moment of truth in a few hours for every member of the House of Representatives. The truth is that every congressional district across the country, individuals and groups of people are struggling to find jobs in an economy cut down by a senseless, wasteful war, overwhelming energy prices, rising food prices and just bad business fundamentals. People can't find jobs because there aren't enough of them.


BOLDUAN: Now, critics of this bill, they say, "Well, wait a second. They -- they don't know yet. We haven't seen yet if an economic -- another economic stimulus is quite yet needed," which this, these unemployment benefits would offer.

They also -- critics say, they support some assistance, but only more targeted to states with very high unemployment rates, which -- instead of across-the-board extensions like this bill offers, Brianna.

KEILAR: It could be an interesting change here, because Democrats does want this on that first economic stimulus package.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

KEILAR: They had to give up that demand.

Kate Bolduan for us on Capitol Hill. Thanks so much.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Brianna,

KEILAR: Well, back to our top story -- Don.

LEMON: All right. Thank you very much for that, Brianna.

This is one main cause of concern for the people in Iowa today. Take a look at this video. The Des Moines and the Raccoon River, well, they're full to the edges of their banks. You can see it just flowing there, and this water has been flowing all over the Midwest.

And people who live in that area, well, anywhere near that river, they are concerned. And they're nervously watching them very closely.

There's a bigger problem up in the direction of the Wisconsin state line. Again, all over the Midwest. And that's where we find our Sean Callebs. He joins us now from Cedar Falls in Iowa and -- to tell us about the latest from there.

Now, Sean, I know that you just made your way there this morning. What have you noticed in your commute, and what are you seeing now?

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually, we are in the capital city here, in -- excuse me, Des Moines. And we're looking at the river that really winds its way through the city. Anybody who has been here, you know, the river carves its way -- the Des Moines River -- right through the heart of this city. And the water is at the very top of the bridges. And they're very concerned in this area, because the worst is yet to come.

They're worried about what's been going on to the north of them. Water coming down the Raccoon River and the Des Moines River here. There are dozens of people out on the levees, looking at this water that's lapping up to the very top of the bridges.

We just got off the phone with emergency -- emergency management authorities. And they are concerned, but right now they are not in crisis mode. They said they've learned a tremendous lesson from those who can remember back to the summer of 1993, the serious Midwest flooding that just put Iowa under water for weeks on end. They were able to put in a very upgraded levee system. And so far that has been holding up, Don.

We know that the Army Corps of Engineers and a number of other people have been going up, monitoring that levee throughout the past 24 hours.

But really, what happens in the next 48 hours, that is going to determine just how bad the flooding is in this city.

There are a number of streets closed. About 57 homes had to be evacuated last night. They're releasing water from a dam that's about 12 miles to the north of the city to prevent spillover from that area.

So it's bad here. It's raining right now, and it's raining to the north. And this water has nowhere to go, Don.

LEMON: Yes. And we need to move on. Real quickly, those two bridges that we saw, those twin bridges in Des Moines, did you see that on your travels, Sean?

CALLEBS: Yes, well, in fact, I'm right on one of those bridges. We were on the Grand -- Grand Street Bridge earlier. And water there is up pretty high. But there are a number of older bridges, and the water is basically right at the top of the bridge. It's coming very close to actually coming over the bridge.

And the emergency management folks tell us that this is not supposed to crest for another two days or so.

LEMON: Oh, my gosh.

CALLEBS: So it is going to get worse.

LEMON: Yes. All right, Sean Callebs in Des Moines now. Sean, we're going to be relying on you throughout the hours this afternoon in the CNN NEWSROOM. We appreciate your reporting -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Don, it takes money, lots of it, to win the White House. We're going to go live to Washington for a look at Barack Obama's formidable fundraising machine and what John McCain is up against as the two battle for the Oval Office.

And in Austria, an emotional new twist in the so-called monster dad case. A young woman whose mother was allegedly held as a sex slave by this man begins a new life.


KEILAR: Punch-counterpunch. The two men who hope to be president are locking horns again today over some key issues.

In Pennsylvania, Republican John McCain is pushing his energy and environment plans and he's hitting Barack Obama on economic issues. In a town-hall speech seen live here on CNN, the Arizona senator went on the attack over taxes.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Why in the world would anyone consider raising your taxes in difficult economic times? Senator Obama wants -- wants to raise the capital gains tax.

My friends, there's 100 million people that have some kind of investment that is affected by capital gains. Why would we want to take more of the people's money and send it to Washington to spend on a bridge in Alaska to an island with 50 people on it?


KEILAR: Well, in that Philadelphia speech, McCain again called on Obama to meet him face-to-face in a series of town halls across the country.

LEMON: Barack Obama is enjoying the benefits of a hometown crowd today. He is in Chicago, where he held a round table a short time ago.

In his speech seen live here on CNN, the presumptive Democratic nominee talked about the credit crunch facing millions of Americans and he pointed his finger at, guess who? John McCain.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: John McCain has been part of the problem, not part of the solution.

When he had a chance to help families avoid falling into debt, John McCain sided with the credit card companies. When he had the chance to protect teenagers and college students from deceptive credit card practices, he sided with the credit card companies.

And when I fought against the credit card industry's bankruptcy bill that made it harder for working families to climb out of debt, he supported it. He even opposed exempting families who are only in bankruptcy because of medical expenses they couldn't pay.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Barack Obama kicked off a two-week economic tour across America on Monday.

KEILAR: The race for the White House might come down to one key factor: who can raise the most money? This year's spending is breaking records, and John McCain has his work cut out for him as he takes on the Barack Obama fundraising juggernaut.

More now from CNN's deputy political director, Paul Steinhauser, in Washington.



OBAMA: I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this message.

MCCAIN: I'm running for president to keep the country I love safe.

STEINHAUSER: ... to campaign travel, to staff and advisers, it costs a lot of money to run for president. And that's why both John McCain and Barack Obama are spending a lot of time raising cash.

Obama has raised more than double what McCain has. The senator from Illinois's is a fund-raising machine, bringing in a quarter of a billion dollars since jumping into the race for the White House a year and a half ago. Much of it comes from small donors.

OBAMA: When you've got a million and 300,000 donors, or a million and a half donors, who have been giving $25 a month or $50 a month, they're in the position to sustain a campaign a lot longer than somebody that has a smaller group of donors who are giving $2,300. And I think that -- that bodes well for our ability to compete in November.

STEINHAUSER: McCain trails, raising around $100 million since he declared his candidacy. The senator from Arizona's campaign nearly went broke last year, but his advisers say McCain brought in $21.5 million in May, their best month to date.

MCCAIN: We're doing well. I am confident we will have sufficient amount of money to buy the media that we need to. We have a lean and mean operation.


STEINHAUSER: And now McCain is getting help from his own party. He's teaming up with the Republican National Committee, which has vastly out-raised its Democratic counterpart. That will help, but McCain still trails in the money race to Barack Obama -- Brianna.

KEILAR: And Paul, how much time are McCain and Obama spending on fundraising right now? STEINHAUSER: A lot. In fact, John McCain yesterday, he had an event during the day, and then he had two fundraisers in New York City last night.

Today, as you just showed, he was in Philadelphia talking about the economy and gas prices and the environment. Tonight he's in Boston. He's got a fundraiser, as well.

Barack Obama, fundraising quite often, as well. You know, maybe averaging one a day. And you're going to see a lot of that through the next couple of weeks as they both try to raise a lot of money for the rest of the summer.

KEILAR: All right. Paul Steinhauser for us. Thanks so much, Paul.


KEILAR: All the latest campaign news at your fingerprints at We also have analysis there from the best political team on television.

And a nice long look there at Paul Steinhauser. He's a good- looking guy, so that's OK.

LEMON: I think it's all right. He's all right. Paul, you're all right.

All right. We have a very serious story to tell you about. And so far no suspects. There's only questions in this case. Why would someone shoot to death two young girls out for a quiet walk? The latest from Oklahoma coming up.

KEILAR: A nightmare is over, and a new life begins for an Austrian woman saved from a monster father by a life-threatening illness. The next chapter in her life is ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.


LEMON: All right. We have some new news in the business front to tell you about. A new government report sends oil prices sharply higher. Our Susan Lisovicz working the story from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Susan, what are you hearing about this?

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, we are seeing a major sell-off because of a huge rally we're seeing in oil prices.

Right now, Don, crude is up nearly $6 a barrel at $137.20. And that's only $1 in change from the all-time high. And that -- those kinds of levels affect us all.

Case in point, American Airlines. If you don't succeed the first time, try, try again. American Airlines raised air fares $10 one way, $20 round trip over the weekend. Couldn't stick because not all its rivals went along. But guess what? American Airlines tells CNN this afternoon that it is instituting a fuel surcharge. Whatever you call it, it means air fares are going up, $10 one way, $20 round trip.

And by the way, we've got a government report today, Don, that said gas prices should peak at $4.15 a gallon in the near term. They're at $4.05 today, which of course, is another record -- Don.

LEMON: OK. So all of this not good, not good for gas prices. So what are automakers going to do? Are they scrambling to cope with soaring gas prices? What's the latest on that front?

LISOVICZ: Well, you are seeing, of course, major changes as the American automakers try to revamp their lines, which have been so heavily dependent on SUVs and pickup trucks.

And a case in point, today is Ford -- "The Detroit News" saying that Ford is moving on a plan to retool some of its plants to make cars that are being made in Europe.

LEMON: Oh, boy.

LISOVICZ: Believe it or not, Ford is a leader in small-car production in Europe. And it's trying to make a lot more of them to sell here, as well.

An auto analyst says the old Ford is down -- is gone. And just remember last week Ford said that the company...


LISOVICZ: ... won't return to profitability next year. Not expected.

LEMON: Hey, Susan?


LEMON: Hey, we've got -- we've got to run. But real quickly, you said there's a sell-off. And can you just real quickly tell us the numbers again?

LISOVICZ: Well, the Dow right now is down 156 points. NASDAQ is down 37. Any company that has anything to do with transportation is under tremendous pressure. Continental Airlines, for instance, down 9 percent. GM down nearly 3 percent.


LISOVICZ: You get the picture.

LEMON: All right. We'll check back, seeing there's a sell-off on Wall Street. Susan Lisovicz, we appreciate it.

LISOVICZ: You're welcome.

KEILAR: Lakes in Wisconsin, rivers in Iowa, they are just washing away. There is too much water, and the sky is darkening yet again. We are live from the flood zone.


LEMON: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon, live from the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.

KEILAR: And I'm Brianna Keilar.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



KEILAR: And if you've been moved by what you see, you know, a lot of houses that have just been going down stream, people living in those homes that couldn't even have gotten flood insurance if they wanted to, so if you want to help those who are affected by the flooding, you can go to and Impact Your World. Just add your name to the growing number of CNN viewers grabbing this chance to take action. Again, that's

LEMON: Smalltown Oklahoma turned upside down by the murder of two young girls, and some news just in on this case. We want to tell you about investigators today saying two guns were involved. So they're now looking for two shooters. They already revealed that their killer is probably a local. Now parents are keeping their kids inside. America's Most Wanted is coming by, and the girls' families, well, they are struggling.

More now from Sophia Reza (ph) of our affiliate KOCO.


DONNA CLEVENGER, TAYLOR'S COUSIN: I would just like to tell then thank you, that, you know, we greatly appreciate it, and you know, keep the family and friends and thoughts and prayers.

SOPHIA REZA (ph), KOCO REPORTER (voice-over): Flowers, a bear, a rosary now lie in the spot where Taylor Paschal-Placker and Skyla Whitaker were found, best friends who walked down this dirt road in Oakfusty (ph) County almost every day to this bridge. Now Taylor's uncle walks the same road, remembering his 13-year-old niece.

CLEVENGER: She was just bright, loving, caring, you know, everybody loved her, a beautiful little girl. It's just (INAUDIBLE) do it like this.

REZA: Investigators say Sunday June 8, someone shot Taylor and Skyla multiple times. They were taking their usual walk. When Taylor's grandfather got worried, he went to look for them and found the girls on the side of the road.

BEN ROSSER, OKLA. STATE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: There's been no solid suspect information. We interviewed a number of people over the last couple of days. But so far there's been no persons of interest. CLAUDIA FARROW, SKYLA'S GRANDMOTHER: Her spelling certificate. So yes, she will be missed.

REZA: Skyla's grandmother looks through her pictures and her awards.

FARROW: No grand parent should have to suffer with the loss of one of their grandkids. It's bad enough if they ever have to suffer with the loss of one of their kids. I don't want it to happen to nobody else. So I want him caught, and I pray it'll be soon.

REZA: Until then, families and friends have memories of two girls who lost their lives too soon.

CLEVENGER: It's hard.


LEMON: And that was Sophia Reza from our affiliate KOCO. There is a $14,000 reward being offered in this case.

KEILAR: Take a real good look at this face. It's been four months since he barged into a clothing store in Tinley Park, Illinois and killed five women there. Police have just released this new, more lifelike composite sketch. Now they worked closely on this with the lone shooting survivor to create this computer image. The suspect is described as a husky African-American man, average height, age 25 to 35. And if you do know the guy, you should know there is still a $100,000 reward out there.

LEMON: Now this is one main cause for concern for people in Iowa today, the Des Moines and Racoon (ph) rivers full to the edges of their banks. Most of the bridges in Des Moines are closed, and people who live in sight of the rivers are nervously watching them very closely. There is a bigger problem up in the direction of the Wisconsin state line as well, and that's where we find CN's Sean Callebs. He joins us now. He's in -- I think you're on the ground. Are you in Des Moines, Sean? I know you just got there. Yes, I see the rivers behind you that are very close to being overtaken by that water.

CALLEBS: Yes, without question. Look how high this is. You can see it lapping up to the top of the bridges. And anyone who's been through this city knows the Des Moines River really runs right through the heart of the city. Look how high it is, and it's not expected this river's going to crest for at least a couple of days. But there's a hint of good news, the sun's coming out right now. But I want to show you what's going on in Des Moines. If you look -- bear with us, this shot's going to break up a little bit because we're coming to you over broadband, not over satellite.

But this is the story with all the bridges that connect the two sides of the city. They are closed right now because the water is so high. There's also a very extensive levee system in this area that was really upgraded after the '93 Midwest flood. We know the Army Corps of Engineers is out right now. They have been out monitoring that levee to make sure it is solid, its integrity has not been challenged in any way, because that is of major concern here. Emergency management officials, Don, tell me that they're really worried about what's going to happen over the next 48 hours, because all the rain that's come to the north of this area really has nowhere to go, and there's a dam 12 miles from where I'm standing, and they've been letting water out of it periodically because that water has been building up so much. They're trying to avert any kinds of concerns with the spillover problem there.

They have had to evacuate some people, about 57 homes. There are some businesses in low-lying areas here in Des Moines that have been affected. Their basements have been flooded. We know we saw a hotel here that was pumping water out of a garage area. But like I said, the worst is yet to come in this area, and all they can do is hope no more rain to the north. But that's a big if -- Don.

LEMON: Hey Sean, I know that you're on broadband and it's tricky. But, if you can just direct your camera person to push into those bridges behind, so our viewers can see exactly how close that water it to the bridges where barges usually go under that bridge. And then talk about that for a second.

CALLEBS: Well, I'll step out of the way and I'll get Ken Tills (ph), here to zoom in on those bridges. And usually, water comes nowhere near the area it is now.

They don't know how high the river is going to get here. That is a major concern. We can tell you to the east of here, Cedar Falls, they said the river was going to crest at 21 1/2 feet. Now they say it's going to crest at 24 feet. So this is something that's really changing, almost by the hour.

If we can move the cameras a little bit to the left actually. And see the people who are gathered, looking at what could be various sources of flooding in this area. This is really going on up and down the Des Moines River. We have seen seas of people Don, out taking pictures, looking at this. Very few people saying anything. It's just an awesome sight to behold for the folks who live in this area. And obviously, they're very concerned about what the future holds.

If indeed, this water that came to the north, even if it doesn't rain anymore, Don, we know it's going to get higher. The question is just how high is it going to get? Is it going to threaten the levees? Is it going to swamp the bridges? Is it going to jump the banks? And those are questions hopefully they'll going to be able to figure out, the next 12 to 14 hours or so, as they get the latest estimates from the north of here.

LEMON: All right. Appreciate that reporting.

Sean Callebs, joining is via broadband, from Des Moines.

Thank you, Sean.

KEILAR: When the story broke the horror of it was beyond description. No doubt you remember it. An Austrian woman allegedly held captive in a cellar and sexually abused by her father for 24 years. This came to light in April when one of the woman's daughters was rushed to the hospital with a life-threatening condition. Well, today the young woman's health and her future are much brighter.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen, reports.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kerstin Fritzl won't have to come back here ever. The dungeon, where she was held her entire life. She only got out when she fell gravely ill in April and was finally brought to hospital with multiple organ failure. Now 19-year-old Kerstin, has awoken from an artificially induced coma.

DR. ALBERT REITER, AMSTETTEN-MAUER HOSPITAL (through translator): On the 15th of May, for the first time at midday on that day, she opened her eyes and she showed emotional reactions. She smiled at us and we smiled back at her.

PLEITGEN: Since then, Kerstin's health has been improving, supported by her mother Elisabeth Fritzl, the woman who was kidnapped by her own father Josef, in 1983 and held as a sex slave for 24 years. Kerstin has now finally been united with her family.

REITER: She was taken from our clinic to the regional clinic in Amstetten. And this -- on those days, it was for us, it was a particular special moment, where walking, we were able to support her and to let her cross into the door of her new house and also cross the threshold into a new life.

PLEITGEN: The case shocked Austria and the entire world. In late April, police in the town of Amstetten, discovered a dungeon under this house. For more than two decades, Josef Fritz kept his daughter kept his daughter Elisabeth, locked up in this cellars rooms, beating her, raping her and fathering seven children with her.

One child died shortly after birth. Josef Fritzl took three of the kids upstairs into his apartment. And three children remained underground with their mother. From police drawings, CNN has created this graphic of what the dungeon might look like. Those locked up here never saw daylight. The air is damp and stuffy, police say. And a TV set was their only means of communication with the outside world. Kerstin Fritzl was one of the children in the dungeon. And her admittance to hospital was what brought Josef Fritzl's dark secret to light.

In this hospital compound, the Fritzl family members held in captivity and those kept above ground are now learning to live together. Doctors say the family is uniting more every day, even though there are setbacks.

GERTHOLD KEPPLINGER, DIR. AMSTETTEN-MAUER HOSPITAL (through translator): For some of them, an event such as seeing a cloud go by is a great event. And of course for the others, obviously don't really notice such things.

PLEITGEN: Doctors say they are confident Kerstin can make a full recovery. Meanwhile, her father is in jail awaiting charges.


And Brianna -- the doctors there in Austria are really calling this something like a medical miracle. Of course, we said she suffered from multiple organ failure. Also, she had blood in her lungs, they said, for a very long time it wasn't looking very good for Kerstin Fritzl. Now of course, she's on the road to at least physical recovery. And they say they are overjoyed because of course, this family suffered so much in the past two decades. And now at least, they won't have to go through another loss -- Brianna.

KEILAR: It certainly is good news to hear with such a tragic story, really.

Frederik Pleitgen, live for us in Berlin.

LEMON: Hitting the nail right on the head. Ouch. Forget about aspirin. The guy's remedy and the injury as well, came right from the tool box.


LEMON: Health alert, as consumers hold a tomato, authorities try pinpointing the stores of the nationwide salmonella outbreak that has sickened dozens. The FDA's commissioner says, he hope to have an answer soon, as restaurants and grocery stores pull the suspect produce from the food chain. Now, Florida and California grown tomatoes have been cleared by the FDA. But warnings for red roma, round and plum tomatoes remain. More than 160 people have contracted the same strain of salmonella poisoning in the last two months.

KEILAR: It was too much for the family to watch. Their home being swallowed by the rising waters of an overflowing lake in Wisconsin. This couple, the couple who owns that home or owned that home will join us next.


KEILAR: It's really one of the most amazing pieces of video that we've seen if a long time. This beautiful, big family home on the shore of a flooded lake -- a flooded Lake Delton in Wisconsin. You can see it, it goes into the lake, crashes in, it crumbles. And if there is an upside to these horrible images, it is that the family that lives there was not inside at the time.

In fact they are with us here live right now. Tim and Liz Fromm, in Lake Delton, Wisconsin.

Thank you guys for being with us. I know it must be very difficult for you right now.

TIM FROMM, LOST LAKE HOME IN FLOOD: Yes. It's a very tough time right now, to say the least.

KEILAR: Has it really sunk in, what happened? T. FROMM: You know, it really hasn't. We did get a chance to go back to the property tonight, or yesterday I should say. And what was left of it. And that's when it sunk in because we maybe have about 5 percent of our property left. And what used to be you know, a level lot that went right into the lake, which was level, you know, you kind of look over the edge and it's 60 feet down and it's about 250 yards across. So it's like you know, almost you know, looking down at a cavern now. I mean, it's unbelievable, the most incredible thing I've ever seen.

KEILAR: And Liz, you have three daughters. You guys have three daughters ages 9, 6 and 2.

Do they really understand what's happening here? Because this is your primary residence. Some people have vacation homes in this area, but this was your primary residence. Do they understand?

LIZ FROMM, LOST LAKE HOUSE IN FLOOD: Oh yes, they understand. Their big concern is their friends, you know, the things that they had to let go of. That they won't see their friends as often. It's going to change their life. They miss the house. My 6-year-old just had her birthday party. All her toys, her presents gone. But yes, they -- the 2-year-old doesn't, but rest -- the other two do.

KEILAR: And where are guys going to be staying until you can figure out what the next step is?

T. FROMM: Well, right now my father has a place that's about 15 miles, or 15 minutes out of town. So in the short term, my main concern right now is just trying to figure out what the next steps are. We don't have any information at this point on anything. But, in the longer term, we are going to be going down to St. Charles, Illinois, to live with a brother and sister-in-law.

KEILAR: I think one of the worst things about this is that so many people in your situation, they don't have flood insurance. In fact, you say you couldn't even get it if you wanted it. Tell me about that.

T. FROMM: Sure. Yes, that's been the biggest topic of discussion, especially with all my neighbors that are in my same position. Nobody on the lake could qualify for flood insurance. And the rational behind that, I guess, is that FEMA and the village of Lake Delton could not come to an agreement. Therefore, no one was eligible for flood insurance.

So, the only thing at this point, there's two things that can save us. Number one is this being a federal disaster. You know, once that decoration is made and hopefully the president will understand the severity and the governor and help us through with that. And then after -- if and when that happens, I've been told that the village of Lake Delton needs to work quickly with FEMA. And if they do and they can get the whole agreement worked out that everybody basically can be grandfathered into it that lost their houses like us.

And you know, not only did we lose our houses, me and all my neighbors, but we also lost all of our property. So, really we no longer have lake property and we don't have a house and in our case we have nothing because everything that we owned since this was our primary residence, is gone.

KEILAR: I know you put some things on the top floor thinking it would be safe. Obviously it wasn't. So you guys lost so much. I know so many people are in your situation and we are thinking about you and certainly appreciative that you took the time to talk us to. I know it's a hard time for you guys.

Liz and Tim Fromm, we appreciate you being with us.

T.FROMM: Thank you.

L. FROMM: Thank you very much.

KEILAR: And if you'd like to make a donation to the Fromm family, send it to the Bank of Wisconsin Dells, that's PO Box 448, Lake Delton, Wisconsin, 53940. Just make it to Attention Fromm Family Flood Victims.

LEMON: Sad story, all the way around there.

Hitting the nail right on the head. Well, forget about the aspirin. This guy's remedy? It came right from the tool box.