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Driverless Cars In San Francisco Stall Causing A Traffic Jam; Hawaii Wildfires Continue To Burn In The Upcountry Maui Town Of Kula; Rafting Trip Down The Iconic Colorado River In Utah; New Snake Species Named After Harrison Ford. Aired 4-4:10a ET
Aired August 18, 2023 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hello, all you superstars rising in bright light shining, happy Friyay. Let`s finish this week strong and dominate before we
start dreaming and scheming for the weekend, two days of endless possibilities. Those were just around the corner. But today we`re going to
take you from Hawaii to Colorado, then to the Peruvian wilds, but first San Francisco for our futuristic roadblock.
California recently decided that some Robo taxi companies can operate driverless cars around the clock in San Francisco. The decision passed in a
three to one vote by regulators. Before the vote, the approved companies, Cruise and Waymo could only offer limited service to locals. But now you
can hail a self-driving taxi in the golden city at any time, but the venture already hit its first roadblock.
Literally over the weekend, self-driving cars owned by crews caused a traffic jam downtown. Witnesses say the cars blocked intersections for
about 15 minutes. Imagine if this happened and you were going to be late getting somewhere, you can run, but you can`t ride. Some are worried that
these types of conundrums might block emergency vehicles, too.
Local police, fire, and sheriff`s associations have all expressed similar concerns in letters to the California Public Utilities Commission. And the
San Francisco Fire Department, well, they told CNN it has recorded more than 50 incidents of driverless cars interfering with emergency responses
just this year alone. Cruise addressed the traffic jam on social media explaining that a nearby music festival had affected wireless bandwidth,
delaying the connection to the driverless cars. The company has told CNN though that it`s 24/7 driverless service is a major milestone. One that
could make transportation safer and more accessible. What say you sunshine? Is the world ready for self-driving cars? Are self-driving cars ready to be
self-driving cars? Or do you think we should just park this idea for a bit? I know, sorry. Car puns are exhausting.
Next up, we have a new report from CNN`s Chief Climate Correspondent, Bill Weir on the Hawaiian island of Maui where deadly fires continue to burn.
More than 100 people have lost their lives in the disaster. Many more still missing. In Maui`s upcountry, Bill met volunteer first responders who are
taking desperate measures to put out the flames and a family that`s still holding onto hope for a missing mother.
BILL WEIR, CNN CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With an upcountry fire, not fully contained Maui`s Fire Department stretched painfully thin and
winds kicking up once again, some residents around Kula are using sprinklers and hope to protect their homes.
(On camera): Whoa, careful, careful.
(Voice-over): And I met volunteer first responders trying to knock down hot spots with bottled water.
(On camera): Oh man, you can feel the heat.
MERILL KALOPODES, VOLUNTEER: Because there`s a smoldering pit over there.
KALOPODES: And all it needs is a good wind to -- to get it going. By the time we got there, it was already flaming.
KALOPODES: Yeah, it was -- it was started off with just a little smoke and then we said, OK, let`s get some water, haul it over there. And then by the
time we got over there, it started -- it started flaming already. So, you know, we`re going to go back and go put some more water on it.
WEIR: In this city, smokey brush one wrong step into smoldering ash means a burn foot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s what happened there. I went to go check that one. And the -- and the switch`s so deep, you can`t get through it.
WEIR: But they stay added until they`re spotted by a helicopter dropping water, scooped from swimming pools and they finally get the help they need.
WIRE: Ten second trivia. Located at the border of Nevada and Arizona, the Hoover Dam controls the flow of what water?
Yellowstone River, Colorado River, Rio Grande, or Missouri River?
This national historic landmark is located on the Colorado River. Let`s take a ride down the Colorado river now. It`s an important waterway that
has been shrinking steadily over the past century. For the first time in years, a strong snow pack has raised water levels on the river and federal
officials are easing water restrictions in response. The decision could restore billions of gallons of H2O to affected states. But as CNN
Correspondent, Lucy Kafanov found out, some people think it`s too soon to celebrate. Hold on As we join her in Utah on a raft ride down the iconic
SINJIN EBERLE, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, AMERICAN RIVERS: This river is iconic.
LUCY KAFANOV, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sinjin Eberle has spent much of his life on the Colorado River.
EBERLE: It`s a remarkable, remarkable area of the world.
KAFANOV: As an avid adventurer and Colorado River advocate, his mission in life is to protect it.
EBERLE: This is one of the most important places in the nation. And it`s one of the places that we need to be really diligent about taken care of
because it -- it does contribute so much to all of us.
KAFANOV: The Colorado River is the lifeblood of this region. Powering cities, watering farms, and quenching the thirst of some 40 million people.
It`s a critical refuge for wildlife and a playground that`s under threat.
EBERLE: It`s being overused. There`s more demand on the river. There`s more water being taken out of the river than the river can handle. If we
continue to over extract the bank account, we are going to run dry.
KAFANOV: An unusually wet and snowy winter brought some relief, replenishing snow pack and boosting water levels for the first time in
years. But with the rapidly changing climate experts are warning, it`s not enough.
EBERLE: It`s been so hot and so dry in the Southwest. That much of the benefit we got out of the snow pack is literally evaporated.
KAFANOV: The one or two extra wet winters is not going to solve this crisis?
EBERLE: My concern is that people will assume that the situation is getting much better and that we can take our foot off the gas in terms of
conservation. This system can crash and it can crash fast.
KAFANOV: Over the last century, the river has shrunk by roughly 20%. Those losses are more apparent in the lower basin states, but the impacts are
being felt across the entire waterway.
(On camera): Raft into Colorado is a breathtaking experience. It`s a slow and sometimes bumpy ride through ancient time at a moment when it seems
like the Earth`s clock is speeding up. Even here, the effect of climate change, rapid growth and water over consumption are threatening the very
existence of this river.
DAVIDE IPPOLITO, COLORADO RIVER RAFTING GUIDE: We boat through Cataract Canyon. It`s the best roller coaster in north America. Class IV Rapids all
the way down when it`s high water. And yet my most dangerous part of my job is when I get to this ramp, it`s extremely dangerous.
KAFANOV: The river has shrunk so much that it`s nearly impossible for Colorado River guides like Davide Ippolito to pull boats out of the water.
IPPOLITO: It`s kind of like pyramid building. You have guides putting roller tubes underneath boats, as that boat is pulled up, guides are
running and putting those tubes under until we get to flat land on top like ancient Egyptian technology, literally.
KAFANOV: It`s such a hassle that many tours now float an extra 50 miles downstream adding up to two days, not to mention cost to a trip. What
worries Ippolito more than the business impact is the threat to future generations.
IPPOLITO: So if we want to live out west and we want to protect our heritage out here and we want to have enough water for our kids and
grandkids, then we need to solve these issues now. It`s -- it`s no longer problem we can kick down the line.
KAFANOV: A sentiment echoed by Eberle.
EBERLE: It would be heartbreaking to lose this place.
KAFANOV: Lucy Kafanov, CNN on the Colorado River in Moab.
WIRE: For today`s story, getting a 10 out of 10 from Otishi National Park in Peru, a group of researchers making history, discovering a brand-new
species of snake. They named the yellow brown serpent after action hero, Harrison Ford, AKA Indiana Jones. And I`m rep telling you that`s witty,
because Indiana Jones was famously afraid of snakes. Tachymenoides harrisonfordi is the name. Now, I don`t know slither or not, you`re afraid
of snakes, but if you are, you just might have ophidiophobia or an extreme fear of snakes.
Special shout out to home of the Mustangs, New Washington, Middle and New Washington High School in new Washington, Indiana. Thanks for subscribing
in commenting on our CNN 10 YouTube Channel for a shout out. Let`s go out now and make this world a bit of a better place today. Shall we? Even if
it`s just making someone smile today. Remember you are more powerful than you know. I`m Coy Wire. It`s been a blessing to spend this week with you.