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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  August 29, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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go to stamps.com/try and never go to the post office again welcome to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. thanks for joining me. live from atlanta, i'm robyn curnow. at this hour, we're following breaking news out of louisiana. u.s. president joe biden has declared hurricane ida a major disaster and ordered federal aid to help with recovery efforts. and right now, this monster storm, though, is weakening after making landfall as one of the strongest storms to ever hit the state. but as the night progresses, the damage from the hurricane is becoming clearer. the levees have been breached in
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the little town of lafitte. and a flash flood emergency warning has been issued. the town's mayor spoke about the harrowing circumstances residents find themselves in right now. >> a whole bridge was taken out. our levees were topped. our surge levees were topped. t the school system, government buildings and hundreds of homes. it's never happened before. and all the outside areas were just hit so hard. we suffered storms before, but i've never seen water like this in my life, and it just hit us the worst way possible. it was such a massive storm that it just totally devastated us. >> so all of orleans parish, which includes the city of new orleans, is without power. statewide, more than a million customers have no electricity, and at least one person we know has died in the storm so far.
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pedram javaheri has been tracking this dangerous storm as it moves across louisiana. where is it right now, and what can you tell us about the strength? hi, pedram. good to see you. >> hey, robyn. good seeing you. the storm system is across northern portions of louisiana. still a menacing storm considering how far we moved we are since landfall, 12 hours. this system maintaining a strong category 1 intensity. again, it's going to be begin to move into portions of southern mississippi and within the next couple of hours, we do expect this to continue gradually we we weakening. at peak intensity, we saw a hurricane that produced gusts upwards of 150-plus miles per hour. this comes in tying hurricane laura as the strongest storm there for the state of louisiana and the first time in u.s. history a u.s. state has seen back back-
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back-to-back years with 150-mile-per-hour landfalling storms. you take a look. when it comes to this magnitude of a system, national hurricane center typically says the area that is impacted, which would be right along the southern tier of those parishes there where that area could be uninhabitable for a period of weeks or months. that's the concern when it made landfall, the concern into the overnight hours, the dangerous amount of rainfall still being observed in this region of northern louisiana and southern mississippi. now, the area has seen one of its wettest years on record prior to ida moving ashore. so any additional rainfall here going to lead to additional flash floods. we know plenty of flood warnings in place at this hour all around new orleans and points to the west, points to the north, and this is going to continue in the overnight hours with as much as maybe 8 to 10 inches in the forecast before it's all said and done out of this region. these are observed estimated rainfall totals there in louisiana, and areas indicated in pink, it's about 8 to
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12 inches that has already been estimated to come down in the last few hours. as the system departs this region, we do expect a few tornadoes. we know hurricane katrina produced at least 59 tornadoes when it made landfall. this system certainly has the potential to produce dozens of them into the overnight hours. tornado watches are in place there until at least 6:00 a.m. local time before we think conditions will stabilize just a little bit. but this is going to be a very, very tough night for a lot of folks in this region of the u.s. there. send it back to you. >> yeah, and the overnight hours are still very much going to drag on for many people. we're just unclear of the situation right now. pedram jaf hvaheri, thank you v much. hurricane ida may have weakened, but the danger is far from over. the risk of flash flooding is keeping people awake across the state as ed lavandera now reports from baton rouge. ed? >> reporter: hurricane ida continues to push its way north. it is now finding itself between
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baton rouge where we are and new orleans, and there are dozens of low-lying communities in these areas that are going to be spending a long night. these are low-lying communities, very susceptible to flooding. we spent the day traveling through many of those communities talking to people and trying to figure out how they were preparing for this moment. many folks said that they were planning on waiting out the storm in their homes and then getting ready to pack up their belongings and escape once the floodwaters started in the next day or so. so as this storm passes to the north, the rain continues to fall, and that water needs somewhere to go. and it's going to rush back south and through a lot of these low-lying communities. the other thing that many residents told us is that they'd never really experienced a storm of this magnitude, so strong this far inland. hurricane ida came ashore as a category 4. usually a lot of these storms lose much of its strength by the time it reaches this far inland. but many residents told us they're extremely worried about
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the wind damage that this storm can bring. a lot of tall trees in some of the neighborhoods that we were in, so many people inside their homes were telling us that they're worried about trees collapsing onto their homes. those are the kinds of things that residents are dealing with here in these overnight hours. and on top of that, these types of hurricanes that pass in the darkness just add another terrifying level of experience to what is already a horrible experience to have to endure. ed lavandera, cnn, baton rouge, louisiana. >> thanks to ed for that. now i want to bring in a louisiana state official who lives in new orleans, democratic state representative mandy landry joins me now. she's riding out the storm from her home. she joins us by phone. you heard ed lavandera there in baton rouge. what's the situation like where you are right now? he said it's terrifying. it's dark. there's no power. what are you feeling? >> it's all of the above. so the worst of the wind has passed new orleans thankfully. we had several hours of intense,
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terrifying wind today, branches flying around, outdoor furniture flying around that people didn't tie down. but that is over for now. but what's also scary is that we can't quite see all the damage because it's so dark. i wish i could join you by video but as you said, there's literally no electricity in the entire city. we're all sitting here in the dark just hoping for the best tomorrow. >> are you able to talk to anyone? we know in some areas there are rising waters, worrying about flash flooding. we heard pedram javaheri talking about 8 to 10 inches of rain as well. with the no power, what are residents telling you? >> so far from what i'm hearing from people and then also from other government officials is that the flooding seems to be limited right now to very low-lying areas of the state such as lafitte and laplace, louisiana, had some flooding.
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i have not heard of any flooding in the city or in the surrounding areas, so knock on wood, we're doing okay with that. but we have some low-lying areas in particular down in the bayou that are just suffering from catastrophic damage right now. >> and we really just have no idea the extent of the damage and also rescues can really only begin in the morning light. for all we know, many, many people are on their roofs right now just clinging on, hoping for the best. >> hopefully it's just a few. i've seen a little bit of that. most of the people in those low-lying areas did evacuate, but you're right. we can't see anything in the dark right now. i can't see beyond, you know, my front porch. that's how dark it is in the city. >> total power failure where you are. what is the impact on hospitals? i know you live near a hospital. i think some of them are running on generators, we understand. all of them are. but many of them were already near capacity because of covid. so patients couldn't be moved to
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safer areas. how catastrophic is this for hospitals and critical care and trauma services? >> for right now, most of our hospitals are doing okay. the one near me, i can hear the generators running. we've been told they have about ten days of generator backup. however, a couple of hospitals in very low-lying areas i told you about did have generator failures. they are going to be evacuating their patients but they can't do so until light tomorrow. we are very nervous about hospital capacity. like you said, our hospitals filled up again in the last month because of the delta variant. hopefully some of those people will be getting back on their feet. but we really need to make sure that the hospitals have enough to fill their generators in the next few weeks and that everything is in working order as well. >> it's almost unbelievable, but it's 16 years since katrina hit. is this a bit of a psychological blow as well as the physical terror of having to deal with
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these severe winds and severe rains and severe storm surges? just the anniversary in itself? >> yeah. i mean absolutely. you know, for an entire city and surrounding areas and, you know, all of the relatives around town to go through a trauma like that, have it televised, not be able to return to our homes, we have 100,000 people who never returned to norew orleans after that. just being in august and hearing there's a storm in the gulf is extremely triggering for so many people. that's definitely adding to it. everybody is worried about the water rising. i think we're okay with that this time. we have billions of dollars in new levees surrounding the city. but, you know, we didn't expect for that to happen in 2005 either. so everyone's on guard. >> mandie landry, thanks so much live from new orleans. stay safe. hunger down and we'll chat again in the coming hours. thank you. >> thank you so much. so cnn's darryl forge es
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joins us live from baton rouge, louisiana. i want to know what the situation is and what you're seeing and feeling right now on the ground. >> reporter: well, robyn, when it comes down to what we're seeing in baton rouge, it's a different story compared to what's happening in southeastern louisiana, especially in new orleans. the wind has really started to pick up here in baton rouge compared to the last couple of hours. there's no one outside and out and about. the main people we've been seeing is mainly police officers patrolling and driving around this area. we're getting a lot of wind and a lot of rain. we could expect some of those outer bands from that hurricane to really affect us. not really seeing a direct hit as of now as that storm continues to slow down at a category 1 hurricane now with wind speeds as high as 95 miles per hour. so at this point, it's still going to be a long night here in baton rouge. many are still holding their breath and praying for the best at this point. of course in new orleans, robyn, it is a whole different story. you just heard from representative landry about what they're dealing with in new
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orleans. we're talking about storm surges and other issues. at this point, it's going to be a long night not only for new orleans and baton rouge, but overall for the state of louisiana. >> we heard from pedram javaheri saying that many of these areas will be uninhabitable for weeks, possibly months. this comes after heavy rains, hurricanes last year, and then of course much of -- some of the infrastructure had not been improved in the years since katrina. >> reporter: yeah, robyn. that's right. actually, one local mayor said in louisiana when it comes down to the flooding, quote, i've never seen water like this in my life. the water just continued to surge all across southeastern louisiana. in laplace, louisiana, it is just devastating hearing the stories happening right now in laplace, robyn. i've been looking through tweets, seeing people actually tweeting out, hey, check on my loved ones. i'm hearing that there's flooding in their attic, and i have not spoken to them in a couple of hours from now.
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it's been really tough hearing these people's stories because they've been calling for help, but as state and local officials urged people the past couple of days, that 911 will not be dispatched to these locations across the state because the conditions to drive are just not favorable for first responders. so the governor says that when it comes down to what's going to happen in the next few hours into tomorrow, they're going to make sure that first responders will be out and about as soon as the conditions are favorable. so it's tough hearing those stories, and as a matter of fact, robyn, i have family who live in the west bank, in gretna, in harvey, and they still have ptsd from hurricane katrina. that's why they evacuated to florida. some also evacuated to houston, texas, and even atlanta, georgia. so at this point many heeded those warnings to evacuate, especially after what happened 16 years ago with katrina. >> thanks for sharing that with us. i hope your family managed to go back to their houses and that everything is relatively intact and rebuildable.
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thanks so much for your reporting there on the ground. we'll check in with you as well in the coming hours. you are watching cnn. to all of our viewers, we'll continue to monitor this story. but there's another story that we've been following here at cnn as well. ahead of tuesday's withdrawal deadline from afghanistan, the u.s. targets, quote, an imminent threat to kabul's airport. we'll have details in a live report. that story next. with skin-strengthening nutrients and moisturizers... ...that help rebuild your skin with every shower.
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welcome back. i'm robyn curnow. it's 18 minutes past the hour, and we continue to track this breaking news out of afrg. in just the last few hours in kabul, a u.s. official tells cnn as many as five rockets were fired at the airport. we're also told a defense system engaged with those rockets and there have been no reports of casualties. this comes after the u.s. said an air strike took out an imminent threat to the airport. this video here from social media shows people gathered at the aftermath of sunday's air strike. a u.s. official says the vehicle targeted contained one suicide bomber. the u.s. military says secondary
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explosions from the vehicle may have caused civilian casualties. anna coren is following these developments from hong kong, and white house reporter jasmine wright is joining us from washington. i want to again with anna. you have reported extensively from afghanistan over the years, and you are monitoring all of these latest facts on the ground. what more can you tell us about this rocket attack and the earlier air strike just outside the airport? >> reporter: robyn, i think it's fair to say that we can expect more of these attempted attacks in the coming hours as u.s. troops prepare to depart from hamid karzai international airport. the deadline, 31st of august, that being tomorrow. but as for this attack which happened at 6:45 a.m. this morning, it came from an improvised rocket launcher in the trunk of a sedan in an area in kabul. we believe that five rockets were fired towards the airport. now, the cram system, which is
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the counter rocket artillery and mortar system which is activated when there are attacks obviously was able to, you know, counter those rockets. it also took out the vehicle. we do have images. i'm not sure if we have them yet ready for cnn, but there are images of the car, the relics of this improvised rocket launcher which was taken out. now, robyn, this comes just a day after the pentagon confirmed that they also took out isis targets in kabul. you mentioned that car that was taken out by a drone. there was another vehicle next to it, and they believe that nine civilians were killed including six children. a few days before on the friday, there was another attack, a drone attack in jalalabad city in nangarhar province, this of
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course in retaliation for that thursday suicide bombing outside the airport where we saw those bloody and chaotic scenes. you know, more than 180 people were killed, including 13 u.s. service members. that was a bloody day. it was something that the biden administration had been warning about for over a week, these imminent specific threats aimed at u.s. forces. they are continuing to warn of those, and we know that the president has been briefed on these rockets which were fired just a few hours ago. he has said that they want to redouble their efforts to do whatever is necessary to protect u.s. forces on the ground. but according to the white house, they continue with the drawdown if you like. evacuations now are over, certainly for afghans. there will be no more afghans evacuated from kabul airport. now the focus purely on the u.s. soldiers at the airfield as well
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as the equipment. robyn. >> okay. anna, thanks poorfor that. let's go to d.c. jasmine, i want to come to you. it's certainly a somber day for the u.s. the bodies of the service members killed in that attack returned home. the president was there. again, a reminder of this deteriorating security situation on the ground in afghanistan. >> reporter: that's right, robyn. it was a sad day on sunday. president biden standing for the first time as commander in chief for this solemn movement. we saw him kind of react with anguish, right? it was silent, but we saw his body movements. at times, he put his hands over his heart as he saw those transfer cases being carried down off that c-17. we saw him bowing his head, potentially in prayer. we know that he's a deeply religious man. and it's a significant day for him because this is, as i said, the first time that he has presided over a transfer of cases, the solemn movement. as president, we know that he
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had done it at least once as vice president. but really this is something that is happening under his watch as a consequence of his actions, of his decision to withdraw from august 31st. that is something that weighs on him. we first saw him yesterday on sunday going to the airport where he privately met with families, really tapping into that empathizer in chief role that we have seen from him a couple times during that presidency. that feeling of anguish that you kind of saw from the president throughout the day is something that has been permeating around the white house since thursday, since we first learned of the attack that left 13 u.s. service members dead. and it's part of the reason why president biden is so adamant about withdrawing from afghanistan on august 31st, because he does not want to see more service members come home during those transfer cases. so this is an important thing
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for -- excuse me. this is an important thing for the country to see kind of the casualties of war, and this is something that president biden obviously really wanted avoid, but here we are now really counting down as the deadline really looms in the distance for that august 31st withdrawal. >> jasmine wright there, thank you very much for that update. so isis-k was quick to claim responsibility for thursday's deadly attack, and the u.s. warns they could cause more violence as we heard anna say. two separate air strikes have targeted members of the group of these evacuations and to the final phase is pretty much over. my next guest has done extensive research on the region and counter-terrorism. i just want to talk about isis-k. we're certainly seeing two air strikes targeting directly in
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kabul in the last 24 hours or so. but what are the capabilities of the people on the ground with this group? >> look, robyn, this is not a new group. this group has been around since 2015. after isis declared its caliphate in iraq and syria, this group emerged from di disgruntled members. the next few years, due to the global counter-isis campaign, isis in afghanistan was hit very hard and it suffered. it suffered losses due to surrenders, loss of territory as well as loss of battlefield allies. but over the last 18 months, this group has plotted somewhat of a comeback. one of the main things it has prioritized is outbidding of violence. so this attack of august 26th at the airport, it's not the first act this group has engaged in over the last 12 months or so,
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18 months or so. in may 2020, for instance, this group attacked a maternity ward, killing, you know, babies who were just born and some pregnant mothers-to-be. so this group has engaged in what political scientists call outbidding violence. and due to the taliban's takeover, there's been a massive jailbreak. lots of isis prisoners have been released, and due to that, there are estimates that the group's current strength is anywhere between 4,000 to 5,000 members today. >> and where does the taliban fit in with this because there has not been some sort of consolidation of power in terms of announcing a new government. what kind of jostling is going on behind the scenes? how much of a security and political vacuum is there, and what does that mean for the security situation? >> look, the taliban are in political consolidation mode, but they're moving slowly. there are reports there are some
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internal fissures within the movement. there is, as you noted, some jostling going on between southerners who have traditionally dominated this movement and, you know, some northerners which have done well on the battlefield as well as somewhat independent militant networks such as those of the haqqani network. those are also pushing for influence as well. due to that, the whole process of forging a government appears to have slowed down. the taliban are under some type of international pressure as well. the u.s. government appears to be telling them to include some of the former rivals like president karzai, former chief executive abdullah abdullah. so due to that, the taliban have not formed a movement, and this gives an opportunity to isis. isis in afghanistan has fashioned itself as a taliban rejectionist movement. it is telling disillusioned
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taliban constituencies that while the taliban may have moderated on a certain issue, may be ready to do business with the united states, they are there, you know, holding on to their hard-line positions, willing to take on the united states government. and that gives isis-k an opportunity to recruit in this uncertain time. >> president biden made the decision to leave afghanistan because he said it wasn't in the u.s.'s national interest anymore to be on the ground, that there wasn't the expectation of a direct threat to the u.s. homeland from afghanistan. has that changed in the chaos of the last few weeks? how will the security situation in afghanistan be ring fenced if possible on the ground, or do you see this met astasizing in some way, in ways that many people within the u.s. government didn't plan for? >> look, it's clear that the biden administration has understated almost all threats emanating from afghanistan,
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threats within afghanistan. the administration did not foresee the taliban taking control of the country so quickly. and now the administration is telling us that it still doesn't think there's much of an external attack threat from afghanistan. and you take the case of the islamic state. until a few months ago, the administration was portraying the islamic state as mostly a minor problem. you know, president biden, when he announced the u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan, he spoke of a number of threats but did not mention the islamic state. and that obviously was a mistake. i think we have to be very careful, very cautious about some of these threats that are starting to fester in afghanistan. there are groups in afghanistan which have -- to strike the united states definitely in the homeland but also u.s. assets and interests in the region. so my concern, my fear is that a lot of these threats are likely to grow, and the u.s. government should be watching these threats a lot more carefully.
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>> thank you so much for your analysis. appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. so you're watching cnn. still to come, hurricane ida may be losing steam, but the devastation is far, far from over. we have the latest on the storm's path and what you can expect in the hours ahead. and hurricane ida and coronavirus are wreaking havoc on new orleans. just ahead, i'll speak to a doctor who is treating covid patients in the absolute worst of conditions. >> we are staring down the eye of a monster category 4 hurricane, and it is unleashing its fury on homa, louisiana, as we speak.
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welcome back to all of our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm robyn curnow. it's 33 minutes past the hour. thanks for joining me. so hurricane ida has weakened to a category 1 storm but the damage left behind so far is widespread. the storm is moving slowly, and the heavy rain is causing flash flooding in southeastern louisiana. now, before night fell, the force of the storm was clear. high winds pushed power lines over. more than 1 million customers are without electricity in louisiana and mississippi. at least one person was killed by a falling tree. new orleans is now in complete darkness. people are calling for help, saying floodwaters are reaching chest level. but dangerous conditions are preventing emergency crews from reaching them. there is no doubt powerful and heartbreaking images of damage and destruction will follow ida as the storm continues. but here's the impact the hurricane has made so far after making landfall. take a look at this. >> we have breaking news on
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hurricane ida. this extremely dangerous storm just made landfall only moments ago as a category 4 storm with 150-mile-an-hour winds. >> my weather vane registered 168 miles an hour winds and then it broke. >> it almost feels like someone with giant hands has taken the wind and the water from behind me and is pushing it towards the city of new orleans. >> this is the time to stay inside. do not venture out. >> there's flying debris all over the place. you'll see my eyes dart back and forth because i've got to constantly watch out for me and my team. >> you can see these bands of wind and rain that have steadily been coming through here. it makes it very difficult at this point to stand up. just let these visuals play out. >> unbelievable. >> the reason i can stand here
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is only because of this concrete wall to my left. >> you've got to be prepared to stay for the first 72 hours on your own. nobody should be expecting that tonight a first responder is going to be able to answer a call for help. >> we're praying for the best and planning, prepared for the worst. as soon as the storm passes, we're going to put the country's full might behind the rescue and recovery. >> right now, just about all of new orleans and the surrounding areas are in the dark after the storm knocked out power across much of the region. that's bringing new threats for residents really trying to ride out the storm. brian todd is in new orleans, and this is his latest. brian. >> reporter: as we headed into the overnight hours from sunday into monday, all of new orleans was plunged into darkness.
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we're here on bourbon street. it is very, very dark out here. the only reason you can see some light on this building behind me is because our photojournalist, jake, who is going to zoom in, is throwing a light on that house from an independent power source. there's some lights on in a taller building behind it, but that's because of generator power. the only buildings that have any kind of power in new orleans right now are running on generator power. that presents yet another possible danger here because according to louisiana state officials, last year when hurricane laura came through here, of the 25 deaths recorded from hurricane laura, nine of them were due to carbon monoxide poisoning from people misusing their generators, bringing them inside and just operating them in a dangerous way, maybe not following the manufacturer's recommendations for how to operate those things. so people are being warned, be very, very careful about using your generators, especially as we get into some darkness here in new orleans. that is also, you know, just putting another point of danger
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here forward, because it's hard to see any water levels rising in your given neighborhood. we do know there was a flash flood emergency issued for about 20 different areas of new orleans in the south shore area. so people were asked to seek higher ground there very, very late on sunday night. the levees, though, and the floodgates seem to be holding. this was not necessarily an issue of storm surge causing flooding here in the new orleans area. this is just relentless rainfall that's causing flooding in some areas. but the good news is that according to the flood risk and flood management authority here in louisiana, the floodgates, the surge gates, those have been closed, but those are holding. the levees, which have been heavily fortified since hurricane katrina 16 years ago, including making them taller and extending them further out, those levees have been holding, and they expected them to hold indefinitely and be able to ride out this storm. but, again, power outages throughout new orleans and
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throughout the state of louisiana a huge issue now as crews will start to fan out in the coming hours to try to not only assess damage but see when and where they can restore power to some of these areas, including the whole city of new orleans. brian todd, cnn, new orleans. and just south of new orleans, the situation in jefferson parish is rapidly deteriorating. parish take a listen to this. >> right now my concern is we've lost contact with grand isle, so that is the island right on the gulf of mexico that i've been very, very concerned about. we lost contact with them. we've not been able to reach them. so i don't know what they're going through. then closer up here, still outside the hurricane protection system, an area called lafitte. in lower lafitte, crown point, the water is rising. people are in their homes, and we're getting reports of people
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with water up to their chest. they're asking to be rescued. so very, very dark situation, and we just can't get out yet. >> that is dire. what else are you hearing from people calling in? i mean that is horrific. >> it is horrific. we're almost -- the electrical grid is just almost out. we're probably at 95% out of electricity. a very large transmission tower came down that fed a lot of our community, so we're getting reports of roof damage, you know, trees down, tree roots pulling up and damaging water mains. so now our water pressure is going down. so, you know, we're also responding to an assisted -- actually a condominium where there's some elderly people living there and their roof partially collapsed. we're trying to get them out to a church across the street. so it is very, very busy here, and we just can't respond yet. >> right. i mean, so what are you doing in
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these cases? when you get a call like that with these senior citizens or the person who has, you know, water up to their chest, what can you do? >> well, people just -- you know, i got a text from a friend of mine, and she said a tree fell on her neighbor's house. she wants the neighbors to come to her house, but she said she can't walk outside right now. it's just the winds are so heavy, so high right now, we just can't get out. we were able to get one of the fire chiefs over to the assisted living center to see what it's like. it's not a dire situation, but they do have water in the building that's on the first floor. there is some type of collapse having water intrusion. so the real situation, i think, is very dire is the water that is rising in the areas of lower lafitte. coming up on cnn, another story we're following. north korea appears to be revving up its nuclear program. details and a live report on that straight ahead. you're watching cnn. le transportation
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i want to give you an update on the latest on hurricane ida, which has been slamming into louisiana. this is a monster storm. we're getting a number of reports of flash flooding, but we're now also getting information that a levee might have failed. i'm going to go straight to pedram javaheri. pedram, hi. if you can tell us, what is happening on the ground? it's middle of the night. it's difficult to assess the damage, but emergency services are issuing a warning that is very ominous in one area. >> it is very ominous. it is across the highway 23 region there in northwestern areas of louisiana, and this is an area that's been very hard-hit the last couple of hours. the levee failure being reported in this region by local police officers that have been patrolling the region, kind of seeing the damage take place. we have additional reports as well from trained weather spotters that we're getting here at the cnn weather center saying multiple houses on fire across
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the northwestern region of plaquemines parish in an area that frankly also reports put that there are people on rooftops because of the flooding, the rising waters pushing into the homes, pushing into the cars. it speaks to the incredible nature of this storm system. of course power lines come down. you have fires taking place. the rainfall that has been occurring, you have flooding taking place. all of it simultaneously across this region of northern louisiana and northwestern plaquemines parish. the region jeust -- reports putting a number of 18 wheelers that have pulled over to the side because water becoming prevalent on the interstate just west of interstate 55 on i-10, speaking to the intensity of this storm system. making landfall at 150 miles per hour in southern louisiana. still at this hour, 85-mile-per-hour category 1 hurricane pushing right around northern areas of louisiana.
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southern mississippi will begin to see the brunt of this storm here within the next couple of hours as the hurricane continues to move northward there. robyn. >> thank you for that update, pedram javaheri. we'll continue to monitor it. you are watching cnn. stick with us. more news after the break. that's why we created low cash mode, the financial watch out that gives you the options and d extra time needed to help you avoid an overdraft fee. it's one way we'r're making a difference. low cash mode on virtual wallet from pnc banknk.
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hurricane ida and sky rock itting covid cases, but no state is getting pummelled like louisiana. louisiana is suffering some of the highest covid case numbers in the u.s. hospitals there are packed with more than 2400 covid patients. one health care provider will have to move dozens of patients in the coming hours and reports of building advantage and water leaks at a medical center. joining me is dr. derick smith. doctor, thank you for joining us. i know you're having a hellish night. but if you could just tell us what you're dealing with there on the ground. >> so the general vibe in the
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hospital right now is just of weariness and overall anxiety. before going into this storm, our hospital was already almost at capacity with workers, you know, always strained. right now we are all locked in here with day shift and a night shift rotating with people to my left and right and the offices next to me sleeping on air mattresses and just working as hard as they can around the clock to manage, you know, the amount of patients we have. we have hospitals in our system, 35 miles southwest of here, which have patients that have structural issues in their hospital that need to be moved here. and we all anticipate that will happen as soon as the storm dies down. so within the next couple of hours, all those patient also arrive and we'll all have to step up our game once again. it's definitely a tough scene here. >> are you running on
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generators? because i understand that there's no power. >> correct, yes. the entire city, the entire parish, the entire metropolitan area is without power. from what i understand, the major transformer came down, meaning that the city is not likely to have power any time soon. i wouldn't say within the next few days. so that just adds to the -- you know, the complexity of the issue with patients coming in, with no power, causes more to seek refuge. we all know the coming hours are going to be more of a test. >> and has your hospital held up structurally? because as you said, we are hearing reports of some hospitals being damaged by this storm. you're going to get some of the overflow of patient. how has the structure held up where you are? >> correct. so our main hospital building is fairing quite well. all of our patients have the oxygen, the electricity they need on the backup generator,
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which is functioning very well. unfortunately, some of the corners for the staff, the roofs did have leaks. i don't know of anyone here working here that hasn't gotten wet at least once today from just walking through drips. but thankfully, the patient side of the hospital is holding up well, and we are still able to care for our patients. >> i understand that many covid patients couldn't be moved out of harm's way, because the hospitals in louisiana are so full. it just seems like one tragedy on top of another here. >> that's correct. ault of us in the hospital medicine department, the nurses, the respiratory therapists that work here, we're already working extra shifts to try and handle the patient loads, trying our best to make sure every single patient got the care they needed. we are, like you're saying, coming to a breaking point where we're losing other facilities,
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we're losing beds by the minute, because of the storm. as they come in, we're just going to have to deal with them and place them somewhere. >> do you have room for them? and if there are some casualties overnight, if you do wake up and the first light shows there needs to be some serious trauma, patients perhaps dealt with with a variety of other injuries, are you able to cope with that kind of influx? >> i can say we're going to try and do our best, you know, disastrous times call for the best we can do. if it comes to, you know, us not having room, i'm sure we'll do our best. but you're right. the hospital system was already under stress and it's likely that some patients won't get the care they need. this time i really feel for those people who are at home without power, without the oxygen concentration of power,
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that can't make it to the hospital. it's definitely a difficult situation to happen, especially, you know, in a city, in a country like america. >> so you think you're going to lose a lot of power just because of the power outage in new orleans and the extremely high rates of covid? >> i think people -- the difficult issue is that i know for a fact people are having medical emergencies out there right now or had medical emergencies while the storm was happening, and they didn't make it to the hospital. that's inevitable in any sort of disaster like this. as far as right now our generators are functioning okay and we are able to supply patients with ventilators. >> thank you, doctor. i'm going to have to leave it there. unfortunately, i am going to have to hand it over to my colleague rosemary church. but thank you for all the work you're doing under these very
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difficult circumstances. i'm going to hand you over to rosemary church. cnn continues, stick with us. oh no... i thought i just ordered tacos. nope!... ramen... burgers... milk from the store, and... ...cookies? wha, me hungry! here, i'll call some friends to help us eat. yeah, that good idea. get more from your neighborhood. hey yo, grover! doordash. with voltaren arthritis pain gel my husband's got his moves back. an alternative to pain pills voltaren is the first full prescription strength gel for powerful arthritis pain relief... voltaren the joy of movement ♪ ♪ ♪
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hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. i'm rosemary church. we are following breaking news on hurricane ida. hurricane ida has weakened to a category 1 storm, as it moves slowly over louisiana. but the widespread destruction left behind will be clear in a few hours when we have daybreak.

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