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New Day Saturday

At Least 16 People Killed In Catastrophic Flooding In Kentucky; Families Struggle To Make Ends Meet Amid Rising Costs; Six Children Killed, Unknown Number Of Missing In Kentucky Flooding; More Rain Over Weekend Expected To Add to Flood Misery. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired July 30, 2022 - 07:00   ET



SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: Notice the Gators mouths were taped though. He's no cool. He knows what happened if you leave those mouths open. We come for you.

Coy, thank you so much.


SIDNER: The next hour of NEW DAY starts right now.

Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Sara Sidner.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Sara. I'm Boris Sanchez. This morning, 16 people are confirmed dead after devastating floods hit Kentucky. The governor there believes the death toll could potentially double. This morning, we're hearing from survivors as the state braces for even more rain in the coming days.

SIDNER And the January 6th committee is zeroing in on former President Trump's inner circle. The former high-level officials now willing to testify and how significant those discussions could be in the investigation.

SANCHEZ: Plus, we have new details on that proposed prisoner swap to get two Americans out of Russia. How a convicted murderer can be the key to getting Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan home?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't want to go bankrupt. I don't want to lose my house. I don't want to lose my independence, or the little moral, or spirit that I have.


SIDNER: Families are really struggling, plus the life changes some people are being forced to make as inflation continues to squeeze budgets.

Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. It's Saturday, July 30th. SANCHEZ: Good morning, Sara. Great to be with you. Even though we have to start with some tragic news as our top story, the catastrophic flooding that we've seen in Kentucky. At least 16 people are dead there including six kids. Authorities there are warning the death toll is also almost certain to rise.

SIDNER: Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says it's hard to get a fix on the exact number since cell service is out in many areas. Rushing waters ripped homes off their foundation and wiped-out roads across parts of Eastern Kentucky. Rescue efforts have also been slowed by power outages. More than 17,000 homes and businesses remain in the dark this morning.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Animals are without people. Homes are destroyed. We just need help. We need as much help. Please, I'm begging anyone who sees this. Help my town. Help my people.


SIDNER: Hear that desperate call for help and so many people there do need at the fast-rising floodwaters forced many people to evacuate but the storms caught so many people by surprise it happened in the middle of the night.

SANCHEZ: And this heartbreaking anecdote from Notts County, four children died when they and their parents were forced to climb onto the roof of their home to escape rising water. Neighbors say the parents tried to hold on to the kids but the young ones were swept away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a house there and this trailer, with this family of six, and it just washed him away.


SIDNER: CNN's Mike Valerio joins us now live from Hazard, Kentucky. Mike, now we are seeing some of the devastation very clearly as the sun has risen there. Can you give us a sense of just you know how bad it is where you are?

MIKE VALERIO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure, Sara. Good morning to you. Boris, good morning as well. It's catastrophic, Sara, to simply put, and this is the home that we were talking about in the last hour, swept clear off its foundations. 200 yards down the Grapevine Creek right here, crashing into this bridge only coming to a stop because this is a relatively sturdy bridge.

And you can see in our backdrop that the roof over here almost cleaved in two and furthermore, it crashes into this bridge and is now cutting off two homes on the upper ridge line, leaving people to try to cart in water, just cases of water during the daylight hours yesterday, even though as the sheriff of Hazard and Perry County was saying yesterday, the water infrastructure guys here are all up and down the road is just simply obliterated.

Now, we want to go to our tower camera just a couple of yards away showing you the elevated picture of the foundations. You can see about seven or eight white lines of the concrete strips showing you where the home was swept just so clearly off as the ferocious floodwaters push this home just several 100 yards, again about 200 yards downstream right here. But guys, three points that we want to get to as you mentioned, the death toll is now standing at 16.

Governor Beshear saying yesterday it is possible within certainly, the set of possibilities that they are hoping to avoid that, that death toll could expand by a factor of two, there are 27 hospital workers here in Hazard who are still missing. And finally, guys, this will be the best weather day of the next 72 hours until conditions certainly deteriorate, Monday into Tuesday. The fear is that this could happen again. That more floodwaters could encroach here in Hazard. Guys, we'll sent it back to you.


SANCHEZ: Mike Valerio live in Hazard, Kentucky. Mike, thank you. Let's bring in Jerry Stacy now, he's the Emergency Management Director for Perry County, which includes Hazard, where we just saw Mike. Jerry, we're grateful to have you this morning. It's unfortunate that it's under these circumstances. I'm wondering how are folks in your area holding up?

JERRY STACY, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR: Well, it's really tough right now. We're just taking it many, many (INAUDIBLE) day by day.

SANCHEZ: I understand that there are still a lot of folks that are missing. And it's hard to get a clear number on unjust how many. Walk us through that difficult process. I understand the landscape, the weather conditions, it's all making it very difficult for you.

STACY: Yes, it's extremely difficult. And one of the issues is, you know, you got communities that, that they don't have any communication there, you know, and so it's hard to receive reports from areas that there's no communication. So, you know, road -- and we're just now getting into some of those communities. So, they've been cut off for a few days. So, hopefully, as we get in there, we don't -- you know, things don't turn worse.

SANCHEZ: Sir, have you heard from representatives with the federal government in terms of getting assistance to where it needs to go? Have you had any conversations like that so far?

STACY: Yes, we're beginning really, right now we're so focused just on search and rescue, you know, we still have missing people. So that's, that's where we are, are solely focused. But we, I have had beginning conversations of what that process is going to look like. So, hopefully, by the time we get through the initial search and rescue stage, then get into recovery, then I would expect that we will have assistance from the federal level, I'm sure.

SANCHEZ: Jerry, I can tell that this is emotional for you. We've heard a lot of painful stories from the awful things some folks have experienced. And I'm just wondering if you could, help our viewers understand what Perry County is like.

STACY: It's, it's hard to -- I'm sorry. It's hard to put into words, just the amount of devastation that we've seen, you know, you -- you're talking about some really, really good people here in Eastern Kentucky. You know, don't have a lot, and a lot of have lost everything they've got. It's tough to watch, you know, your friends and neighbors go through this, but we'll get through it.

SANCHEZ: And what's your message, Sir, to folks around the country that might be watching wondering how they can help.

STACY: Yes, there's -- if you can donate, that would be great. There's a foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, it's a great organization that really gets money directly into the hands of people that need it. So, if you can, if you can donate, that would be outstanding. You know, it's just, we're going to we're going to go at this every day and, and do everything that we can to help our people recover.

SANCHEZ: We're going to make sure we put that link online and get it to folks so they can lend a helping hand. Jerry Stacy, we appreciate you taking time to chat with us. We know you have a difficult journey ahead. And we want to keep the lines of communication open. So, please let us know if there's something we need to, a message we need to get out there to the world. Jerry, thank you so much.

STACY: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Of course. We want to turn over to CNN Meteorologist Alison Chinchar now. She's live for us in the CNN Weather Center. And Alison, it sounds like there's some immediate relief for these communities. But later on, down the week, there's more rain on the way.


ALISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, there is relief and they need it. The problem is, it's just going to be in the very short term and the short term, I mean, today, and that's pretty much about it. Here's a look at the live radar, you can see Eastern Kentucky dry at the moment, and likely expected to stay that way for the remainder of the day today. Now, you do have rain elsewhere across Southern Missouri, moving into portions of Tennessee and other southeastern states. But that system is going to lift. We're going to start to see more rain returned to areas of Kentucky in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Now, you do still have flood warnings. And the confusing part is, you say OK, well, it's not raining, why do they still have flood warnings. And that's basically for the rivers, the creeks, and the streams, because those take time to have the water recede -- it does not recede as quickly through that is it does say on the roadways or within homes. Take for example, the Kentucky River. This is one of the gauges we have here. Notice it's still cresting at this moment, it has yet to come back down. We expect it to do so later on today, finally allowing that water to begin to recede and that will really improve a lot of the cleanup conditions to being able to get to spots that they have yet been able to go to.

But again, it just kind of goes to show you that these things take time. So, you need several dry days to really allow that water to go back not just simply 24 hours. This is a look at the flood threat for today. Again, more of the focus is out in the western U.S. and then a little bit farther south. But this system in the West, it's going to start to push a surge of that moisture back into the same spots that had the flooding earlier this week. And that includes not only Eastern Kentucky, but also the greater St. Louis area. Both of these regions expected to start to see rain return, most likely tonight into tomorrow, and then it's likely going to continue, Sara and Boris, as we go into Monday and Tuesday of next week as well.

SIDNER: Alison Chinchar, thank you so much for that. Now, to the January 6th investigation. We're now learning exclusive new details about text messages by Secret Service agents that may have been deleted at about the time of the U.S. Capitol riot. Multiple sources tell CNN that the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security was aware of the missing texts in May 2021, more than a year before he informed the January 6 Select Committee. It doesn't stop there.

CNN has also learned the text leading up to the January 6th incident are also missing from Trump's acting Homeland Security Chief Chad Wolf, and his Top Deputy Ken Cuccinelli. Now, the Justice Department is preparing for a legal fight with former Trump White House officials, as it looks to compel several members of Trump's inner circle to testify about the former President's actions and conversations surrounding January 6th.

Joining me now is Former Federal Prosecutor and Defense Attorney Shan Wu. Shan Wu, thank you so much for being here with us.


SIDNER: Let's first talk about this fight that is being prepared, court battle by the DOJ. They are preparing to deal with the issue of executive privilege. What is the chance that they can win that battle?

WU: I think it's a very good chance they will win that battle. The precedent is on their side, starting with the landmark case of Nixon's proceeding back in Watergate with the Supreme Court specifically said that a generalized assertion of executive privilege is going to fail as compared to a particularized need in a criminal case. And that's what the situation would be facing them here. I think also, the issue on executive privilege, is really, it's really a question of delay.

That's the big problem for the Justice Department. I think that Garland is uniquely suited to lead the department on the legal battle, he's a former Federal Court of Appeals judge, but it's going to take time and the other side's going to try to run out the clock. They'll go District Court, Court of Appeals, and then Supreme Court. And I think they would win. DOJ should win in the Supreme Court, but it's not going to be quite the slam dunk that it was during the Nixon era, either. SIDNER: Can I ask you about timing? Because you've said you know, the wheels of justice tend to turn pretty slowly. And we're getting closer and closer to the big 2024 election. How much of this plays a role? People always say, you know, politics shouldn't play a role in this, but this is political. How much of this timing plays a role in how they move forward and how quickly they move forward?

WU: Well, I think the big issue that I've been worried about and a lot of former DOJ people have been worried about is it's really commendable that the attorney general is worried about looking at their partisan, but the problem here is, as others have said, the failure to take steps will end up having a terrible political effect as well.

From a pragmatic standpoint, one issue is if the house turns over, if the Republicans are in the majority, then they can try to put up a lot of impediments through hearings and other types of obstruction with the DOJ's work. I think ultimately, DOJ can proceed forward. I don't think Garland will be influenced by that, but they certainly can put up a lot of roadblocks if they take control.


SIDNER: I'm curious what you think about something that Mr. Garland said about this investigation? I think he was asked about whether or not he was investigating former President Trump himself, and of course, those surrounding him. And he didn't say the normal line that you often hear, which is we can't discuss any kind of investigation that we're in the middle of. He said something to the effect of no one is above the law. Was that a mistake? Because people read that to be that he was in the midst of this investigation into President Donald Trump's, you know, activities before and after January 6th?

WU: That's a great point. I think it's really important to distinguish between the fact that we now have reporting that there's questions about Trump's behavior, which I would have expected. That's a no brainer that they'd ask those questions. Distinguish between that versus Garland saying that they're actively investigating Trump himself. Those are enormously different scenarios.

I think Garland is trying to be a little bit more transparent. He feels there's a lot of public need to know of, I personally, if I was doing his communications, I'd say other stick would be we're not talking about it or be specific and say, of course, we're looking at his conduct. That doesn't mean we decided he's a target or opening an investigation on him, because the Justice Department usually doesn't investigate people. They're investigating crimes.

I think that's what he was trying to say. I think we certainly can read into this that the department has begun to wake up, if you will, and they are taking steps. We see the usual indications there is now an active investigation. That's the good news. The bad news is, I think they slept in a little bit.

SIDNER: Shan Wu, always great to talk to you. Thank you so much for that. WU: Good to see you.

SANCHEZ: Still ahead this hour, a CNN exclusive: Russia request adding a convicted murderer as part of a potential prisoner swap to free Americans Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan. We have the latest on high stakes negotiations.

Plus, President Biden's domestic agenda getting revived on Capitol Hill with his latest string of legislative wins, give Democrats a boost heading into the midterms.

And you better check those lottery tickets. Someone out there could be waking up a billionaire this morning. We have the latest on the winning numbers and where things stand now.



SANCHEZ: So, CNN has learned new details about a possible prisoner swap to get two imprisoned Americans out of Russia. Russian government officials have requested that a spy convicted of murder be included in that proposed swap. That's according to sources familiar with the discussions.

SIDNER: The original deal being floated would exchange notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout for Americans Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan. The State Department says both are wrongfully detained. CNN White House Correspondent Natasha Bertrand joins us live now. Natasha, what more do we know about this new request by Russia?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Sara. So, sources are telling me and my colleague Fred Pleitgen that after the U.S. proposed this swap to the Russians earlier this month, the Russians made a surprise encounter. They said that they wanted this former FSB Colonel Vadim Krasikov to be included in that prisoner swap. Now, there were a number of problems with this.

The first being that Vadim Krasikov is currently in German custody, and he was actually sentenced to life in prison in December of 2021, for murdering a former Chechen soldier that the Russian government had deemed to be a terrorist. So, the Germans obviously accused the Kremlin of having a very direct hand in that assassination. The U.S. government did make some quiet inquiries, we are learning to the German government to see if they might be willing to include Krasikov in this trade.

But so far, the German government has not taken that bait, they have said that they are not interested in releasing Krasikov early. And they have not really seriously considered this proposal, because this was such a massive case in Germany, and it costs such a huge rupture between Germany and Russia. So now, what we're learning is that the U.S. officials that, you know, received this request by the Russians through these back channels, never really thought that it was serious.

They did not think that it was a serious offer by the Russians seriously engaging with that proposal that the U.S. put forward because, frankly, of how unrealistic it was. Take a listen to what the National Security Council Spokesperson, John Kirby, told CNN's Jim Sciutto last night about this.


JOHN KIRBY, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESPERSON: Holding two American citizens hostage in exchange for an assassin in a third-party country is not a serious counteroffer, Jim. It's a bad faith attempt to avoid a very serious offer and proposal that the United States has put forward, and we urge Russia to take that offer seriously.


BERTRAND: So, what we're told is that this is how U.S. officials are perceiving this "offer" by the Russians. That it's really just an attempt to stall to buy time to avoid putting forth a serious counter proposal to the U.S. offer until Brittany Griner's trial is over. At which point, they then believe they will have potentially more leverage to get even more concessions from the United States in exchange for a potential prisoner swap. Boris and Sara.

SANCHEZ: And Natasha, in your conversations with folks at the White House and across the administration. How would you describe the sense of urgency they have to bring Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan home?

BERTRAND: It is really all consuming. They're under so much pressure here to bring these two Americans back onto U.S. soil. And I think that's really underscored by the fact that they reached out to the German government. U.S. officials did to see whether they will be willing to include Krasikov in this swap, knowing that it probably would not go anywhere, knowing that the Russians were probably just putting this offer out there to stall and to buy time. But still, the U.S. government released this information earlier this week saying that they had made this offer to the Russians precisely because they wanted the American people to know that they're doing everything possible to bring Griner and Whelan home.


SIDNER: Natasha Bertrand, thank you so much for your reporting.

SANCHEZ: President Biden's agenda getting a boost in a flurry of activity ahead of the August recess, especially when this summer it looks like it had stalled. Here are some of the most recent wins: there's the passage of the Chips Act to boost U.S. production of semiconductors. The deal on the climate change and tax package that was reached by Senator Joe Manchin and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. And the passage late yesterday of an assault-style weapons ban in the house.

SIDNER: CNN Congressional Reporter Daniella Diaz joins us with more. Daniella, the President got an unexpected boost from the deal between Senator Joe Manchin and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. I think there was a lot of folks that were surprised that this finally went through. How significant is it? DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Sara, some folks were so

surprised, including senators, they didn't even know that Schumer and Manchin were negotiating had restarted those negotiations on a climate package. But this is so, so significant, Sara, because, of course, this was the goal of the administration to have some sort of climate deal this Congress. Now, this is an economic bill that could pass along party lines.

So, it only needs Democratic support. It includes $369 billion for Energy and Climate Change programs, making it the biggest climate deal in history. If it were to pass, it would slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030. So, huge, huge achievement, a lot of climate activists really praising this deal. And of course, it also includes health care provisions, including it would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices and extend Affordable Care Act subsidies and to raise this revenue to pay for this deal. Sara and Boris, it would impose a 15 percent minimum tax on corporations.

A lot of democratic, Democrats really praising this deal between Schumer and Manchin. Now, Manchin needed to get behind this deal because all 50 Democratic senators need to support it to get it over the finish line. We still don't know where Kyrsten Sinema stands, stands on this. But really major achievement for the Senate Democrats who were hoping that this deal could come together and they're really hoping to pass this before they break for August recess. Boris and Sara.

SANCHEZ: It caught a lot of Republican senators off guard too, many of them angry even being accused of lashing out by blocking burn pits legislation that they had previously voted for. Daniella, how much of this is likely to get done by that August recess?

DIAZ: Just as you said, Boris, that burn pits legislation was expected to pass this past week. Now, it's going to be set for a vote on Monday, expected to pass with huge bipartisan support. They're also trying to get that economic deal I just discussed pass before they break for August recess. And then, also, they passed a U.S. semiconductor production legislation that we expect President Joe Biden to sign very, very soon. So, lots of achievements that Senate Democrats are praising these past couple of days that are really a boost to the Biden administration's agenda. Sara, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Daniella Diaz reporting live from Capitol Hill. Thank you so much.

California, families looking to save money are moving away from the coasts, but that new influx is creating problems in their new communities will explain just minutes away.



SIDNER: 32 minutes past the hour. Here are couple of top stories we're following for you. In New York, as lines for the monkeypox vaccine grow, the governor has declared a disaster emergency over the virus. It will allow for more state funding to fight it.

This, after the CDC reported almost 5,000 cases in 47 states -- New York has the most.

Meanwhile, cases are increasing across the globe with more than 22,000 reported globally. The United States still with the most cases of any country.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maya, Maya, Maya, Maya, Maya, Maya.



SANCHEZ: We're having been many --

SIDNER: The final patient remaining in the hospital after the Robb elementary massacre that killed 19 children and two teachers has finally been released.

10-year-old Maya Zamora walks down a hospital hallway. You see her outside. She is being handed roses. She handed roses to nurses and other staff. As she left, the hospital said in a tweet, she is our hero, and we cannot wait to see all she accomplishes in the future.

Maya was hospitalized for 67 days.


SANCHEZ: So, one of the states seeing the cost of living skyrocketing is California. That is for some who lives on the coast to move inland to save money.

SIDNER: But between inflation and an influx of new people, prices are skyrocketing.

CNN's Natasha Chen takes a look at the impact it's having on longtime residents.


ANA DURAN, STRUGGLING TO PAY BILLS: I was not expecting this, you know?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An unexpected car accident, an unexpected loss of her full time job just before an unexpected rise in food and gas prices have all created an entirely different life than what Ana Duran was used to.

She now turns in recycling for cash.


SIDNER: You can hear Natasha there, but we are clearly having a few technical difficulties. We'll try to fix those up for you.

But we will move on now to the record heat and concerns over drought conditions. They are prompting cities in New England to ration water.


Up next, we'll hear from one town manager in Massachusetts where the situation is so dire. Even firefighters are being forced to cut back on their water usage.


SANCHEZ: We want to go back now to the recession and how it's impacting families across the country. Here's CNN Natasha Chen on the sacrifices that people are being forced to make, just to make ends meet.



DURAN: I was not expecting this, you know?

CHEN: An unexpected car accident, an unexpected loss of her full time job just before an unexpected rise in food and gas prices have all created an entirely different life than what Ana Duran was used to.

She now turns in recycling for cash.

DURAN: You get 137 a pounds.

CHEN: And works part time as a caretaker for a resident of a senior center to add to her unemployment check. But that barely covers the bills.

DURAN: This is my mortgage, $825.24. And this is my car payment of $482.99.

CHEN: And those are just some of the fixed costs. She lives in Riverside County, where the metro area's annual inflation rate in June was likely around 10 percent, higher than the national average. That's because people move to the relatively more affordable Inland Empire during the pandemic, driving up population and demand for goods and services.

LEO FELLER, SENIOR ECONOMIST, UCLA ANDERSON FORECAST: Not only have price has gone up, but folks in the Inland Empire can't really shift to saying well, I guess I'll be able to work from home a little bit more in response to higher gas prices, right?

They are the types of workers that generally have to actually commute into their workplaces.

CHEN: And Duran needs to drive for her work as a caretaker, filling up her car a month ago cost her $94. And groceries?

DURAN: I don't buy meat anymore. I just eat tuna.

CHEN: She had to take out money from her 401(k) to cover credit card debt, and sold jewelry that she bought for herself when times were better.

DURAN: They don't want to go bankrupt. I don't want to lose my house. I don't want to lose my independence, or the little moral or spirit that I have to make my own payments.

CHEN: But it's hard to keep up good spirits when she has to rely on weekly charity.

DURAN: Normally, I tend to get here in like 20 minutes until 7:00, so that -- that's why I can be in line.


CHEN: Duran is not the only one trying new things to make ends meet. The CEO of Feeding America's Riverside San Bernardino branch which supplies most of this food knows that high prices may affect donor's ability to give over the next year. So, the organization has moved up the start of its gleaning project.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today, we are picking beets, onions, carrots.

CHEN: To pick produce from a local urban farm and from neighbor's backyards.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then there are some babies,

ANNISSA FITCH, COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR, FEEDING AMERICA: Gleaning does provide a relief for our organization, and for recipients that do depend on just receiving access to produce.

CHEN: Shoppers are also finding new ways to get deals in the grocery store.

Riverside resident Lily Yu is a brand ambassador for Flashfood, an app that lists discounted grocery items nearing their sell by date.


CHEN: With a sign language interpreter, Yu showed us how much she saves.

YU: You know, from mangoes and apple, and all of this fruit was $5. It also helps reduce food waste. So, I'm able to help like with the climate, which was wonderful, as well as save money.

CHEN: For now, Yu has to drive an hour to certain (INAUDIBLE) to supermarkets where Flashfood is available. But the CEO says they're aggressively trying to reach more parts of California.

While Yu is happy to drive her hybrid car, Duran has to stay close to Riverside because of fuel cost. She's applying for jobs that don't require a long commute, and that would allow her to still look after her 82-year-old mother at home.

DURAN: I still have to be strong enough for my mom, my girls, and the person that I take care of.


SANCHEZ: Our thanks to Natasha Chen for filing that report.

SIDNER: Right now, around 14 million Americans are under heat alerts today due to dangerously hot temperatures this weekend. But in New England region, there is another major concern this morning -- severe drought.

SIDNER (voice-over): Most of Massachusetts is suffering from moderate to severe drought conditions, with more than 100 cities in the state currently under mandatory water restrictions.

SIDNER: Like the town of Pembroke where water levels are so low that firefighters aren't even allowed to use fire hydrants and have to call in for backup if they run out of water from their trucks.

Joining me now is Pembroke's town manager, William Chenard.

William, this sounds dire the situation that you are in and you have called it scary. Have things ever been this bad before?

WILLIAM CHENARD, TOWN MANAGER, PEMBROKE, MASSACHUSETTS: Not, not certainly not for a very, very long time. In fact, I don't recall it ever being this bad. As you said, you know, 93.75 percent of Massachusetts is under drought condition right now.

Last year, at this time we were at 2.5 percent. And drought in Massachusetts is relatively uncommon, you know, and it doesn't last a very long time, you know, over the last 20 years or so that we've only a very short periods of drought in limited time. So, it is a little bit scary.

SIDNER (voice-over): We're showing them out there of the situation. You know, I've spent a lot of time and lived in California where we're sort of used to hearing about drought in California.


SIDNER: But in Massachusetts, this is just, you know, so -- seemingly unusual. What are the restrictions that people are having to adhere to? And are they adhering to them?

CHENARD: So, in Pembroke, we were forced to put a complete -- water being on for any outside water use. People are adhering to them. We are recovering, but slowly, and it's not likely that we'll be able to lift that water band for a bit, probably more than a month, perhaps.

SIDNER: Climatologists have been talking to us for a very long time about what is going to happen when it comes to climate change. And they're calling it a climate emergency as it is, do you believe that this drought that you're experiencing and the extreme weather can be attributed to human induced climate change?

CHENARD: Well, it's difficult for me to say. What I can say for sure is that over -- if we look at drought conditions over the last 20 years in Massachusetts: 2002, we had a moderate drought, we had 12 years without any drought conditions.

2012, we had a drought for about a month. 2016, a drought again. 2020 again. And now, in '22 again.

So, if you -- if you look at that trend, we went 10 years, 12 to 16, four years, 16 to 20, four years, and now two years.

So, certainly the amount of drought that we're experiencing is increasing.

SIDNER: Yes, this is exactly what scientists have been warning of. Is there anything more that the state officials can do to help towns like yours prepare?

CHENARD: So, the state's been very good. I mean, we've been in contact with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. They have offered whatever resources we need, you know, with potential interconnects, and other resources, if we get to absolute, absolute dire straits.

We're in a scary situation, but we're not in dire straits, we're -- we still have water within our system, we just can't -- if residents returned to the use of where we're at a week, we won't be able to maintain the water supply or supply system won't be able to keep up with demand, and that's the key.

People in New England aren't used to drought, you know. And when things get warm, we had several days with heat indexes above 100 degrees. And it gets that you know, people use water. They are filling pools for the children. They are -- they are filling pools. They are, you know, watering gardens that typically would have rain and not have to be watered.

So, it is -- it is -- I understand the frustration they're not used to it. It's kind of like Atlanta with a snowstorm. They just don't use to -- not used to it.

So, when they're asked to stay off the roads, when they -- when they have a snowstorm so that they can be safe, they get frustrated.

So, the residents are somewhat frustrated, but they're complying. I want to thank them, and you know, it's allowing the system to recover.

SIDNER: William Chenard, thank you so much. And I'm sorry that the citizens are going through this. Climatologist have been warning this might not just be Massachusetts, this could be across the country at some point. We appreciate your time.

CHENARD: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: A quick programming note to share with you. CNN's original series "PATAGONIA: LIFE ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD" continues further south near Antarctica, where humpback whales and leopard seals have found a safe haven in some remote southern fjords.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Flying against the wind, the drone's battery is running out of juice. If the whale doesn't surface soon, they'll have to give up.

One last chance. Got it.


SANCHEZ: You can see more of "PATAGONIA: LIFE ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD" tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.


Stay with NEW DAY. We're back in just moments.


SANCHEZ: Pope Francis is back in Rome after six days in Canada, where he apologized for the role the Catholic Church played in the historic abuses of Canadian children.

SIDNER: The pontiff speaking to reporters on the way back to Italy this week, and acknowledging that the church's treatment of the indigenous population was a cultural genocide when generations of children were stolen from their families and forced to live at Catholic residential schools.

CNN's Vatican correspondent Delia Gallagher joins us now from Rome.

Delia, thank you so much for joining us. Can you give us some idea of the significance of this?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: So, Sara, cultural genocide was a term that many indigenous people wanted to hear from the pope. It had been used in the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report.

The Pope did not use it during his visit. So, he was asked about it on the plane. And he said, it -- I didn't think to use it, but I have no objection to the term. He said, what I was talking about the whole week and asking forgiveness for, and apologizing for amounted to cultural genocide, because he was speaking about children being forcibly removed -- and removed from their culture.

The pope was also speaking about his health on the flight because of course we saw him for six days in a wheelchair because of a knee problem. And he said the doctors had offered to operate on his knee, but he -- last year when he had an operation on his intestine, he had a difficult time with the anesthesia. He said he's still feeling the effects of that.


And so, he doesn't want to go through another operation. He said he will probably slow down the pace of this future trips though.

And finally, Boris and Sara, the pope put paid to any suggestion of a resignation. There have been some rumors just last month that he might resign, and he said, you know, he leaves it open as a possibility for the future. But for the moment, he has no intention of resigning.

Sara, Boris?

SIDNER: It was quite a significant trip for a lot of the indigenous people there, especially in Canada.

Delia Gallagher, thank you so much joining us there from Rome.

SIDNER (voice-over): Coming up at our next hour, rescue workers continue to work around the clock in Kentucky, following devastating flooding in the eastern part of the state.

But amid that devastation, communities are rallying to help their neighbors. We'll hear from one man and his efforts there, next.