tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC August 30, 2021 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
much more on abc 7 news that :00 p.m. tonight, breaking news as we come on the air. america's longest war coming to an end. what the american general just revealed a short time ago and the heartbreak, he said, leaving some americans and afghans behind. and here at home tonight, the urgent search and rescue for victims of hurricane ida. the new images coming in tonight. the devastation. hurricane ida, wind gusts reaching a reported 172 miles per hour. the category 4 hurricane slamming into louisiana. the new images emerging tonight, the homes, buildings and roads washed away. more than a million customers without power. new orleans tonight, no electricity. when will it come back on? authorities saying some could be without power for many weeks. concern tonight abouthe families still inside their homes trapped, waving to the
coast guard in the air. and with no power, no way to call 911. some on rooftops signaling to rescuers. tonight, where this system is now moving next across the south and then right up into the northeast. matt gutman, victor oquendo and chief meteorologist ginger zee with the latest track tonight and now the new concerns heading into the events. and of course, the other major headline tonight, america's longest war now over. the final american c-17 taking off from the airport in kabul today, 3:29 p.m. eastern. the pentagon revealing every single u.s. service member is now out of afghanistan. more than 123,000 civilians airlifted since august 14th, including 6,000 americans. how many americans remain? and tonight, the american general saying there is heartbreak not every american or every afghan ally made it out. the dangerous final hours in kabul. isis-k claiming responsibility for firing several rockets at
the airport. after nearly two decades of war, dependcef afghanistan. ian pannell reporting from qatar tonight. martha raddatz with late reporting from washington. and tonight, alarming news on the pandemic. the number of child covid cases soaring across the u.s. more than 204,000 new pediatric cases in just a week. and the breaking headline tonight on those boosters. a special edition of "world news tonight." good evening and it's great to have you with us here as we start another week together and a profound moment late today. the american general declaring the nearly 20-year war in afghanistan is over. all u.s. troops are now out. and he said the heartbreak, with some americans and afghan allies not making it out. you'll hear from the general
here in just a moment. but we are going to begin tonight with the urgent search and rescue operation under way tonight after hurricane ida slammed into louisiana, into new orleans. one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to hit. hurricane ida making landfall as an extremely dangerous category 4 storm with ewinds 150 miles pr hour and those reported wind gusts reaching 172 miles per hour. and then remaining a category 4 storm for an astonishing six hours, tearing through southeast louisiana, ripping parts of the in new orleans, the new levees after katrina did hold. that was reassuring, but the city's reenforced power grid did not. tonight, more than a million customers across louisiana are without power and the utility now warning it could take weeks to restore. no way to charge phones, for many, no way to call for help. hospitals filled with covid patients have no choice but to shelter in place. this hospital, the roof torn
off. oxnard health system suffering damage. tonight, the images of the coast guard, the helicopters taking off as soon as they could to try to assess the damage, out searching for people who stayed in their homes. reports some trapped in their attics for many hours. some waving to the coast guard above. tonight, we know of at least two deaths. the governor saying tonight that we should be prepared for that number to rise. and this storm is still moving across the south and then right up into the northeast. there are real concerns going into tonight and, of course, the days ahead. ginger zee standing by to time it all out, but first, what's been left behind by this devastating hurricane. abc's chief national correspondent matt gutman leading us off tonight in houma, louisiana. >> reporter: hurricane ida slamming louisiana as a monstrous category 4 with reported wind gusts topping 170 miles per hour. and tonight, the scope of the destruction becoming easier to see, but harder to bear.
entire communities almost wiped off the map. more than a million customers now without power. the outages could last for weeks. and officials fear the death toll will rise. >> there's somebody in there, i think. >> reporter: the massive search and rescue operation ramping up. this woman pulled out of her flooded car. we traveled to hard-hit la mras, just west of new orleans. rescuers in boats and helicopters desperately trying to reach those trapped in flooded homes. where the town had been, now a lake. accessible only by boat and by aircraft. scenes defying the imagination. the hurricane toppling semitrucks, submerging cars. helicopters swooping down, landing on interstate 10 to scoop up the most vulnerable, including that woman in the wheelchair. as we arrived, we saw the storm's refugees walking off that caring whaasfhem t om all of them hoping to get to
safety. michael from the cajun navy offered take us in. this entire town is submerged. we're driving on the main street. and there we saw small boats on the water, carrying out the stranded and the exhausted. and those on dry land, we met these two. >> you didn't expect it would be this bad? >> we didn't expect it to be this way. we stayed because we were in a two-story home and we thought we would have been safe. the rain just kept coming, it wouldn't stop coming. the rain -- >> reporter: we pushed further, seeing entire neighborhoods submerged. the stranded flagging down anyone with a boat. >> that's where the water was at. >> reporter: jackie and denise's mother is ed andyorel get her down the stairs. michael had gone back to get help, needing more boats. sure enough, within a half hour, he was back. we then drove to houma. on the way, so much destruction.
that pair of helicopters flying low, looking for survivors. ida tearing across grand isle like a buzz saw. new pictures showing the barrier island under water. officials still have not been able to reach many of the dozens of people who stayed behind there in defiance of mandatory evacuation orders. just over 30 miles from there, the coast guard surveying the damage near galliano for the first time. homes shredded, roads flooded. this chopper flying a patient to a hospital. at least one levee was overtopped south of the city. and reports of people trapped in their attics in jefferson parrish. >> this is an area, if you want to think of it like swamp land, there's alligators out there. >> reporter: our ginger zee in jefferson parrish, just south of new orleans. >> the town of lafitte has one way in and one way out and that one way is covered by water.
their levees were overtopped during the stop. >> reporter: rescuers doing everything they can to reach survivors. >> from house to house, going past them and if people want to be evacuated, we put them on the boats to get them out. >> reporter: president biden declaring a major disaster in louisiana, promising a vast federal response. >> that's our job, if we work together, we're going to stand with you and the people of the gulf as long as it takes for you to recover. >> reporter: tonight, the concern in the hours ahead is the people still stuck in their homes without 911 and without power. many now turning to social me media. >> right now, we checking on everybody that we can. >> reporter: concerned families messaging vincent over facebook, asking him to check on their missing loved ones. and stranded residents reportedly giving a thumb's up to the coast guard, waiting to get out. >> and matt gutman, just extraordinary reporting all night long, all day long. he's with us from houma, and matt, more than a million customers without power and they said possibly for weeks.
and i know there are reports many people are still stranded tonight. you're learning new information about the rescue operation under way? >> reporter: it is breathtaking in scale, that rescue operation. already 5,000 national guard here. more on the way, virtually every local and state and federal agency sending personnel and vehicles. and of course, hundreds from the cajun navy with their high water vehicles and shallow draft boats. and perhaps what we saw in la mras encapsulates i'm told they're going to continue working until nightfall and then start right back up in the morning. hundreds, david, have been rescued so far. >> we're thinking about everyone there in louisiana tonight. matt, thank you. and of course, one of the major questions going into this hurricane in new orleans, was would the levees hold. they did, but what happened to the power grid. all eight transmission lines feeding the city failing.
abc's victor oquendo in new orleans tonight. >> reporter: tonight, with most of new orleans paralyzed without power, officials warning it could be weeks or more. the storm, the strongest to hit the city since hurricane kari karina, 16 years to the day. the winds keep picking up and this rain is just relentless. watch as it just whips down this street in downtown new orleans. orleans parish losing power. lights from emergency vehicles piercing the darkness on new orleans city streets. 1 million in the dark. the utilities rebuilt after katrina did not hold. this massive transmission tower mangled. power lines falling into the mississippi river. ida damaging all eight transmission lines that supply the new orleans area with electricity. here's a look at hurricane ida's aftermath. this power pole crashing right down on top of this also looksn half. downed power lines all along the block. if you look down the street, there's another pole on top of a house.
leah had power until 7:00 p.m. and then -- >> it was a big huge flash. and then there was traveling fire balls arcing up and down the lines. >> reporter: you saw this happening? >> yes, they were green and purple and orange. >> reporter: officials say the pumps that keep the floodwater out of new orleans are running on generators. and the levees built after katrina did not fail. >> the worst-case scenario, it did not happen. however, the impact is absolutely significant. >> reporter: high winds blowing off roofing and shattering hospital windows. ochsner health says they're transferring 165 hospital patients out of hard-hit zones. >> we got some of the water in the mechanicals. and that's why we're evacuating the facility until we can make sure we got everything tuned up and ready to go again. >> reporter: with hospitals in louisiana and much of the gulf coast filled with covid patients, they had to shelter in
place. and hospitals reenforced after katrina, largely held, too. generators keeping the power going. and tonight, we've checked in with many hospitals in the region. many have lost power, they're running off of those generators. some sustained external damage. and for those in the really hard-hit areas, they did have to transport some of their ptients, but other hospitals stepped in to help. and while the circumstances are incredibly difficult right now, it does seem like the plan they had in place is working. david? >> yeah, the vast majority of the hospitals held and we salute all of those front line workers. victor, thank you. this storm is still on the move tonight. major concerns over flooding as this now moves across the south and then right up into the northeast. chief meteorologist ginger zee live from new orleans with the latest track for us. hi, ginger. >> reporter: hi there, david. as we walk through the smashed vehicles and another collapsed building here in new orleans, you say, i hope it died down. and it has a bit, but i'm telling you, we've seen tornadoes throughout today from alabama right through mississippi. you can see that rotation of what is nowust a depression,
but was the third major hurricane to make landfall in louisiana within the time of a year. so, let's go ahead and see who is going to see all of this moisture next. that's going to be the problem. it will go right through hard-hit central tennessee tomorrow. we time it into west virginia and pennsylvania wednesday night into thursday, it makes it into the northeast. delaware, maryland, virginia, i'm telling you, david, we could see up to a half foot of rain with this, not just in about la what, but all the way over to the urban areas along i-95. going to be a problem by the end of the week. >> yes, we have to watch this all week long. ginger, thank you. our coverage of the hurricane and this storm system still on the move tonight. but we are going to move onto the other major headline this monday evening. the american general who late today declared america's longest war was now over after nearly 20 years. the last c-17 lifted off from kabul, afghanistan, at 3:29 eastern time, saying every single u.s. service member is now out of afghanistan. general frank mckenzie, the commander of u.s. central
command, saying there is a lot of heartbreak that they did not get everybody out. there are still some americans there and there are many afghan allies who had hoped to get out. more than 123,000 civilians were airlifted out since august 14th, including 6,000 americans. and flights taking off until the end. the last one taking off, as i said, 3:29 p.m. eastern, which in kabul was one minute to midnight before that august 31st deadline set by president biden. general mckenzie saying the final chapter is perhaps one of the most painful, with the loss of the 13 u.s. service members. abc's chief foreign correspondent ian pannell was in afghanistan when the taliban was pushed out in 2001. tonight, the taliban back in control and ian this evening and the american general who was asked to reflect on the reality that the u.s. now leaves behind and the potential threats ahead. >> reporter: frank mckenzie saying america's longest war was
over. after almost 20 years. >> the last c-17 lifted off from hamid karzai international airport on august 30th, this afternoon, at 3:29 p.m. east coast time. and the last manned aircraft is now clearing the air space above afghanistan. >> reporter: nearly 20 years since the attacks of 9/11 and the killing of osama bin laden in 2011, troops staying on the ground for another decade. the general speaking of the human cost of war, the american service members lost, too. >> it was not a cheap mission. the cost was 2,461 u.s. service members and civilians killed and more than 20,000 who were injured. sadly, that includes 13 u.s. service members who were killed last week by an isis-k suicide bomber. >> reporter: he spoke of this painful loss of the service members this week and was asked about the remaining americans and afghan allies and the interpreters who helped the u.s. over the years. >> look, there's a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure. we did not get everybody out
that we wanted to get out. >> reporter: the general saying this final chapter was perhaps one of the most painful. the crowds outside the gate and the loss of the 13 service members. when asked about the u.s. servicemen and women that were in afghanistan, he said this -- >> every single u.s. service member is now out of afghanistan. i can say that with 100% certainty. >> reporter: and general mckenzie, who did multiple tours in afghanistan, was asked about leaving this country to taliban control. >> very conflicted, actually. right now, i'm pretty much consumed with the operational task at hand. >> the general very matter of fact late today, but it is a profound day for this country, nearly 20 years later. ian pannell with us live from doha, qatar, tonight. the general mentioned the americans left behind is now in the low hundreds. he said there will be efforts to get americans out. he also said the efforts to get out afghan allies will continue, but of course, we know the taliban is back in control. how is this going to work in the
weeks, the months, perhaps the years to come? >> reporter: yeah, that's right. the taliban is in control of the country. but from the presence of icy-k, we've seen them from the airport, they issued a statement saying the americans have left, afghanistan is independent. the sound of gunfire in the air. the u.n. calling for safe passage for americans and afghans but few on the ground believe they'll honor that. david? >> ian pannell, our thanks to you. you've been with us for weeks now on this story and we appreciate it. and of course, america will reflect on this war and will certainly honor the bravery of all of our servicemen and women over these 20 years. i want to bring in our chief global affairs anchor martha raddatz, who has been to aghanistan so many times. martha, we've talked about trips to afghanistan here and what the leaders on the ground told us in recent years leading up to this moment. many of them predicting some of what we've seen transpire and we heard general mckenzie describe the equipment left behind in afghanistan today. 27 humvees, he said, 73 aircraft, the general saying they have been demilitarized,
that they'll never be driven again, will never be flown again. but he also noted something else that i know our viewers, the american people will be concerned about. one of the main missions here was to make sure afghanistan was never a safe haven for terrorists again and martha, you and i took note of the general talking about the 2,000 isis terrorists now out of prison in that country. >> reporter: exactly, david. hard core fighters. and the equipment general mckenzie did not talk about is the billions of dollars of military hardware abandoned by the afghan forces including 600,000 arms, tens of thousands of rockets, humvees, those are all operational. and the u.s. continues to say that the taliban is the enemy of isis but it was the taliban that let thousands of isis prison nerms free, so the threat from isis remains and al qaeda, as well, david. >> and martha, you've been with us every step of the way, too, and i really do appreciate it. martha raddatz again tonight. our coverage of afghanistan this
even pg. they'll have much more on "gma." in the meantime, the number of covid cases in children soaring across the u.s. nearly 204,000 new pediatric cases in a week. and there is that developing headline on booster shots. here's abc's steve osunsami. >> reporter: the government says there are more children in america tonight rushing into hospitals with covid-19 than at any other point in this pandemic. and that just last week, there were nearly 204,000 new cases reported of sick children, the second highest week on record. >> we are worried, you know, how are things going to be when kids go back to school if we're seeing this now? >> reporter: this worrying report card is frightening health officials just as students in chicago, for example, are heading back to school rooms for the first time in nearly 18 months. the department of education tonight, they're pushing for face coveri iings in schools. and they're taking a big step
with a new civil rights investigation into five states where republican governors have made it illegal for school districts to require masks. the feds are arguing that those states are discriminating against students with compromised immune systems and other issues. >> this is about protecting students and giving them the opportunity to learn in person where they learn best. >> reporter: on the issue of booster shots, an advisory panel just finished wrapping up debate on whether to support the president's plan to get these shots to unvaccinated americans. there was lots of discussion, no decision. the president is hoping to see widespread distributional of booster shots starting september 20th. david? >> all right, we await word on those booster shots. a lot of interest. steve osunsami tonight, thank you. when we come back, the new headline coming in on that massive caldor fire out west. 25,000 structures now destroyed. i earn all this cash back? oh, i gotta tell everyone. hey rita, you can earn 3% on dining, including takeout! bon appetit. hey kim, you earn 5% on travel purchased through chase!
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