tv Yasmin Vossoughian Reports MSNBC August 29, 2021 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
of flooding at a house in grand isle, louisiana. the extreme conditions continue less than 20 miles west of new orleans. in this video, we will watch as two huge boats crash into each other. this is? st. rose on the mississippi river. new orleans ems crews counter already suspended operations. the governor just warned that help could not make it out under first flight tomorrow. >> no doubt we're going to see extreme definite administration in grand isle and elsewhere, but we'll likely be sometime after first light tomorrow morning before we can get up and get in the air and get vehicles down there. president biden is visiting fema headquarters last hour and making the last-minute plea for the 14 million people in the
path of this dangerous hurricane. >> this is going to be a devastating hurricane, a life-threatening storm, so please, all you folks in the mississippi and louisiana, and god nose, maybe even furse east, take precautions. listen, take it seriously. we have a team of reporters on this, but let's go ahead and go out to in accordance, where ali velshi is braves the elements. we've been watching a drive cam here, we've seen a lot of heavy wind and debris. are you seeing the same? >> we're seeing -- we're not at the worst of it here in new orleans. as you know, 16 years to the date that hurricane katrina pummelled this city. a lot has changed since then. they spend upwards of $16 billion to protect it from
flooding. it's a below sea level city, and some parts flood easier than others. they feel pretty secure about how the waterways will work. lake pontechartrais is over there. emergency response will not be out on the streets. i'm not going to ask my photographer to turn around, because i'm in front of a billing here, where you're starting to see -- bits the of roof come out you see guests
like that. these are not sustained winds. these are gusts coming through. i'm a sizable guy, so to have wind blows me like, means it's pretty serious. the risk is trees coming down onto power lines, things like that. the good news here is that, unlike katrina and other storms, this moves fast which may mean there won't be as much saturation in the ground, which may mean as many trees may not come down, but with 140-mile-an-hour winds you'll get trees and signs coming down, power lines coming down. right now a quarter of a million people, at least, in this city are without power. that was the last count. that's about half an hour old. lots and lots of people without power in the city.
the mayo has said stay in your homes, do not leave at this point. they don't think the city will flood in any serious way, but they do not expect a repeat of hurricane katrina. >> ali, thank you so much to you and your crew for braving these gusts of winds as we see you get blown away there. you may see kind of the rain jacket coming in and out. that's to protect the camera there. i want to talk about the evacuations. a lot of the news crews and weather crews have been going against the grain. have you seen anybody there on your street in the time there who didn't evacuate? >> reporter: well, i drove in overnight. imcame in from houston. i drove all the way east. i was a handful of cars driving east. gas stations out of gas, people getting out of new orleans into texas. as i go into new orleans, it was
raining. there were people walking around, walking their dogs. the bottom line is if you haven't evacuated and not under a mandatory order, in fact, officials said in most places, in new orleans, you probably will be fine. you probably won't need to evacuate, but then it became evident like now, this might be a bit unsafe. by the way, we take a lot of precautions. this is probably my 15n or 16th hurricane. we do learn about what to stand behind and what to not be in front of so we don't expose ourselves to danger. but the message is, don't play around. don't try it at home. some of the danger is minute. some will be power outages, but some of it is things falling,
things blowing, we do see tiles and shingles coming off the ceilings here. even if a generator is used incorrectly, that can be trouble, too. we want to go ahead and bring in meteorologist bill karins to talk about how long of a night we're talking about. the last we heard, this was really baseballing towards houma, baton rouge in a few hours, is it still tracking that way? landfall, threw hours ago, it was so swampy.
and so it hasn't really gone over significant land yet. that's where it will, dulac is posting some extreme wind damage there. morgan chessty is not -- they're hungered now. when this eye goes through, the inner eye goes through shortly, that's when they'll get their extreme winds. the west side will have the east side. anywhere to the south side will have more wind damage. so keep that in mind. we can show you though those
pictures. yes they'll constituent get gusts. galliano had a high of 84. that's the highest i've seen on the lakefront. the winds are starting to head towards gonzalez, hammond, and eventually baton rouge. charge year devices now while you can, stock the freezer of everything that's frozen and keep it shut. you never know when you'll lose power, so the storm winds, the red is the hurricane force, then tropical storm force winds to the north. specifically looking at new orleans, the storm surge have been held back by the levees. so the levees versus done their job.
>> that pumping will be responsible the max wind -- especially the west side of the city itself. that's actually slowed down. that will keep that heavy rain to the east of center. then, this system will go all the way through the tennessee valley to the east coast of the u.s. it may not be a tropical depression at that time, but -- we've been talking about it for days, the 10 to 20 inches around new orleans, the 5 to 10 inches in mississippi, but look at the rainfall totals possible all the
way through tennessee, west virginia, pennsylvania, new york, i mean, we're easily talking 3 to 5-inch heavy rain, and some just had to deal with hurricanes henri last weekend. so we'll be talking about this storm at least through wednesday the most significant wind damage is happening right now. we want to bring in guy mcginnis, the president of st. bernard parish. we know you are safe, huskered down, but we know the conditions are worsening. what are you seeing and hearing? >> the wind is just relent lieutenant right now. it doesn't sound like a whole
load, but when you have 245 for hours upon hours, it really does damage. the outside of the protection system, which includes our commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, all of their assets, we have about a nine-foot surge, so we know we'll be out couple weeks. last time when zeta came through with the same type of wind, not as much time but we were without power for about a week. we're hoping to assess this afternoon before dark. if not, we'll get up in the morning and assess, clean our roads off and people will try to get back to work here. right now in the upper right-hand corner, a few days
you could see the rocks, and now in the storks on the bottom of the screen, you can see that storm surge just surpause passing that dam there. >> you're april inside. you've been warning people of going on. i want to play some of that. you talk about the overtopping of levees in the parish. let's listen. >> we have significant water here already. we anticipates they levees being overtopped. it just goes to show you how much this win is blowing right now. we've got to get back 209 office.
>> so you posted that about four hours ago. obviously conditions have deteriorated. i believe you are showing us a look outside. >> yeah, you know, right outside right now -- can you hear some me? >> yeah, i can hear you. we've got getting some gusts. right now you're looking at sustained winds so this is the upper part of our parish. paid for a $14 billion system, and i apologize about that. >> that's okay. >> what i was doing earlier -- i apologize. what i was doing earlier was showing people who is happening outside of our levee system. we have a deteriorating coast if
i can explain, with the rock dam you saw, now it's not there, the water came over it. testify one of the major causes of flooding for katrina. when they closed that, it was the storm surge, and it really plays no surface. all of that water comes in, and when the tide goes out, we still have water in the fishing community and they can't get back to work for another seven days. that's to let citizens know the problems we have with some of these projects that have been
installed over the year. we just hear bill karins say he knows of no levees that have overtopped. do you know of any? >> our major protection, it will not overtop. the mississippi river levee and the system protecting us, that will not overtop. what you saw there, in my reporting was the outside of the protection system. those ring levees that protect fishing communities have been overtopped and irfilling in those communities. my last question is the governor said it won't bet under first light tomorrow when rescue crews can go out.
in new orleans they have stop emergency services. is that similar in your area? >> that's exactly right. that's what's going to happen, unless it gets below 45 miles per hour, we can get out there and do some assessment before nightfall. when this storm takes that easterly turn, as it comes in, we're going going to be on the bottom of it. it doesn't look like we'll be able to get out there day. >> thank you, and we wish are the best of luck to you and your community. thank you so much. we want to bring in jacob linker, a resident of the irish bayou. this is an area not protected by the leavee system in the florenz area. jacob, thank you for being with us on such a harrowing day. we know you and your family, you left your house.
you went back today to see how things were, and then left again. what did you see when you went back? >> i really just got back to a safer area. it was blowing 40 to 50 miles an hour it was drive away to have to my house, but it was getting to the point where you definitely should not be on the highway at all. >> nick constitutionality set his house is on 18 feet, so he doesn't think his -- but what about you and the rest of your neighbors and the community you hold so dear?
>> nick's house was actually built, you know, a few years before katrina. his house doesn't flood, so the homes out there should be fine. they still have a couple low lying homes where the structure portions they were able to rebuild. . the way we are said up. weave in a cove. the water doesn't reach hides
i'm going to let the water pass and i'll tried to get back out there so i can assess what's going on. thank you so much and stay safe throughout there. much more of our coverage of the tear through louisiana when we get back, but first we want to share the news that legendary actor ed asner passed away. the actor, activist and farther died peacefully surrounded by his family. he rose to fame as the gruff lou grant. younger generations may know him for an image you saw earlier. he was the grumpy man in "up." and also played santa claus with will ferrell in "elf."
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oh, that roof is coming off [ bleep ]. all right, everybody, that's just incredible video in houma, louisiana. the eye of the storm ant even reached this area. you can already see the devastating impacts. the roof is going ripped right off. it actually hit some power lines. this is what they've got worried about. >> close, man. >> oh, that roof is come [ bleep ].
let's head to baton rouge, which is about to feel those impacts of hurricane ida. nbc's sam brock is there. what can you tell you about the preparations, what if anything has changed since we last saw you? >> reporter: the video you saw out of houma, that has a population of about 30,000 or so people. in baton rouge there's 220,000 pop in this parish. so it's incredibly eerie that that storm is coming this way. you look over my shoulder, you see some dangling of the street lights here. the wind is picking up periodically. we have not seen that hammer fall down, which we know is coming. it's about 400,000 customers in
the state of louisiana with no power. over my how would, if you look carefully, you can see dozens and dozens of utility trucks back there that will be deployed. the bucket trucks, as soon as it's safe to get out, will start restoring power. they have the meals ready, as well as 2.5 million liters of water, 139,000 tarps. that's just fema right now. the concern at this point certainly will be not just electricity and not just the wind damage, but possible loss of life. therefore teams ready to jump into action when it's safe. gas is another potential issue. you asked about preparations, people were trying to get out of the town yesterday. all of the gas stations were empty. i luckily found one place this
morning where i could pop off. colonian pipeline, they shut down two lines from houston to greensboro, north carolina. other two lines from north carolina to new jersey remain operational. they say that will fuel supply in the southeast is fine because they have terminals a throughout the area, but also important to know type 12% of the refining capacity is in baton rouge and new orleans. this is an area so important to the country certainly as an economic engine and providing fuel for the rest of the united states, what impact this storm may or nay not have on is something to watch. we're expecting around 7:00, lindsey, to see this storm
barreling right through. the core is projected to go ove midnight. we'll be standing by to see what kind of punch that will deliver. but it's going to be extremely dangerous. we'll send it back to you. >> the image we're seeing it new orleans, and that's not even the eye, which is barreling your way. stay safe. a busy day, of course, at the white house, as president biden monitoring hurricane ida, as well as the rapidly changing situation in afghanistan. heidi? >> reporter: the president making an unscheduled stop at fema, where he is a message, which was essentially a warn to the people of the gulf coast
that this storm could be definite straiting and catastrophic. the devastation is likely to be immense, let's not kid ourselves, but also reassurance in going through the specific statistics of all the equipment and personnel that has been deployed, generator, also in touch, for instance, with a lot of the power supply companies. here is the message he had to the family of the gulf coast. >> to the people of the gulf coast, i want you to know that we're praying for the best and planning, prior pared for the worst. is not the storm passes, we're going to put the country's full might behind recovery. i'm no expert, but i've been for a lot of hurricanes. i don't think we've ever had as much preparation.
>> reporter: so tomorrow more may be the where we can assess the damage. and then the hospitals which is already lumbering under covid and some of the increased numbers they have seen there, given the death rate this week in louisiana. >> >> they're still letting people into the shelters, just sequester if they have symptoms. the president went to dover air force base as the bodies much the u.s. service men and women killed this week were brought home. what can you tell us about that? >> you see there the president becoming part of a scene that arguably was the kind that motivated him to get out of afghanistan in the first place with the bodies of our service members being transferred there.
he said, according -- i want to make clear that the media does not record audio out of respect for the families in these instances, but we do get read outside from our members of the media who were there. these are some things i can tell you that the president witnessed at certain points. at certain points sounds of anguished sobbing, coming from the area where the family members of the 13 fallen service members were gathered. in one case, lindsey, as the 11th case came out, carrying one of our armed services members, a woman did appear to faint. this is according to poolers who were there. at that point the first lady made her way over to the ambulance to check on her and make sure she was okay, so a difficult scene. >> very emotional.
thank you for that report. we want to turn back to hurricane ida and the federal response to the storm that's been on land for about 3 1/2 hours. well to go to craig fugate. let's talk about the response so far. we know that president biden has declared states of emergencies for the affected areas. ambulances are on standby. what do you make of the response so far, especially giving a lot of this rescue, recovery, reconnaissance can't happen until the light of day tomorrow? >> the thing that fema learned after katrina, you can't wait to find out how bad it was. when the national hurricane center started forecasting that this storm was likely to intensify, fema was planning for at least a cat 4 hurricane. so i think this is the thing we've learned. we can't wait to know it's bad to start a response.
it takes too long. >> and you still definitely put your safety hat on on twitter. i've been tweeting advice to people. the national weather service also encouraging people to go to interior rooms. >> danger doesn't end when the storm passes. if you're somewhere safe after the storm passes, stay there. we have downed power lines, a very dangerous situation.
the best thing to do if you're safe as the storm passes through, stay there. give it a day or so for things to start getting up and running before you try to get out. craig fugate, we appreciate your time and advice. thank you. as you've been talking, we've been showing video from houma, louisiana. this is where the eye of the storm is reaching here, this area is expected to get the brunt of the impact, but definitely -- new orleans, we have seen incredible damage there as well. high winds, heavy rain already. that's not even in the direct eye of the storm you can see debris here in the roadway, incredible wind gusts. this is are the conditions that people are dealing with. we want to go to a new orleans
family, chantal and david. -- are you guys state of, first of all? where are you? >> we are safe, in uptown new orleans, in an area called broadmoor. it's windy out there, and we're sitting -- we've got a lot of gusts, and we've heard that the rain is yet to come. it's raining, but not downpouring, right? >> we want you guys to be safe. if you do need to leave the bay window, please do so, and we won't hold you to it. talk to me about what you are seeing outside. talk to me about the winds. are you seeing any debris flying around? >> well, our neighbors fence went down, a tree branch went down, the trees are bending. the poles are flying around --, you know, like the cables.
what else do you see, dave? >> i see a lot of wind. it looks like our palm tree is holding up, but no real debris. i think everyone did a good job of battening down before he left town. >> why did you decide to stay and ride it out? >> we decided to stay, because at first all the models showed it going around new orleans, not hitting us, so we expected not the hurricane to go straight through us. it's going a little west. so far, like where we're sitting we are okay. so it's more the aftermath of all this, or maybe in a couple hours, this will be a different conversation, because i think more wind and rain is coming. >> how confident are you with of levee system? >> i think they're in good
shape. >> yeah. we've seen a lot of improvement, right? >> i think they're going to be fine there. >> especially on our street. we have a good street on broadmoor here. our house is lifted four, five feet up. our house was destroyed in katrina, and they raised it up. >> we certainly hope it will be in good shape. thank you so much for taking the time, and aiden, it sounds like you may have an interest in meteorology, maybe we can hook you up with someone we're going to next, our very own al roker, who's live in the area. we're going to continue to track hurricane ida right after the break. track hurricane ida right after the break. and one we explore one that's been paved and one that's forever wild
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welcome back. as we continue to monitor hurricane ida of its disastrous path, this is a live look at new orleans our crew is driving around, making sure they're as safe as possible, but sometimes they're running into this. you see debris in the road. can't tell. it looks like that might be part of a downed tree. this has happened several times. it looks lick somebody might be out there also potentially trying to warn people.
we'll try to get more information on that shot. heavy rain is still in the area. the guests are clearly -- let's go to al roker, who's in new orleans. what is the scene like right now? >> we kept the crew underneath a portico. this is the heaviest rain, lindsey, we have seen yet, combined with the strong wind. we've heard from transformers blow. we've seen some fire trucks go by, lights in the hotel have been flickering. there are a lot of power outages now, more than a quarter of a million people. even though this is now a category 4 storm, with 140-mile-per-hour winds, it's expected that later this evening, probably around 6:00,
6:00 to 7:00, here in new orleans proper, we could see wind gusts of 100 miles per hour, which could be devastating for the infrastructure, the power grid, things like that. as you look at the visible satellite picture, what is surprising a lot of people, it's over a marshy area, the hurricane ida is looking better now than it did a few hours ago. there's a phenomenon called the brown ocean. what that means is there's very, very very moist land surface that's very warm, almost like an ocean, and it drawing energy from that warmth. again, another problem, another byproduct of climate change. so there's some talk in tropical expert circles that this thing is holding together longer and staying stronger longer because of this brown ocean effect.
we're watching this very closely. we would like to see that now it's over land it's starting to lose punch, but it's going to stay stronger longer. it is slowing down. its forward speed only northwest at 11 miles per hour. it will probably slow down even more dropping more rain, 24 inches in some spots, and then will make i waits up into tennessee, where there are severe weather alerts right now for later this week. there's a risk of severe weather late this week, tuesday into wednesday, for parts of central tennessee. then it's going to make a right turn, move into the mid-atlantic northeast. so even if you don't lift on the gulf coast, if you're in the eastern half of the united states, odds are you will feel some effects from hurricane ida.
>> so important to mention. we hope you can get under that portico with your crew. shaq brewster is in gulfport, mississippi. >> we were about 150 miles away from where this hurricane made landfall. in the outer areas you're getting the tropical storm-force winds, the wind gusts that are increasing. we heard from the fire chief himself, he's warned residents, once the winds get above 45 miles an hour it will get to a point where he with will stop sending officers out to respond to emergency.
that's because of out of concern for their safety. he's telling everyone, all the residence to hunker down. i still see a couple police cars driving around, so that suggests we're not at that range, but i will tell you the gusts are getting aggressive. we know there's only more to come. this is the time period the mayor told us he was most concerned about, with the storm surge, about the possible flooding, the fact that you have the intensity of these storms, the threat from tornadoes sit you to listen to what the mayor told me about his fears with this storm system. >> complacency kills. these storms are unpredictable. every one is different. you have to take each differently. they can shift or have a torn spin up in the middle of this.
katrina was one of the worst on record. thousands of homes were just destroyed. businesses put out. we were on our back for a while. you see how quickly things change. when i started talking to you the rain wasn't coming down as much as it is now. we're expecting the rain to pick up even more. you heard that katrina reference. this is an area that was battered during hurricane katrina. where i'm standing right now, we're elevated, protected by a wall here that's stopping some of the wind. we're not seeing the full effects of things, but if i was standing here during hurricane katrina, it would be completely washed out. that gives you the sense of the trauma that folks are dealing with here, the folks that went to the storm shelters that are open now. they know in necessary low-lying areas, they now how quickly that
can right. they're expecting about 3 to 6 feet of storm surge here, but it gives you an idea of what they know could happen in places. >> yeah, i'm glad you guys for you a place. we can see that wind whipping you around. stay safe. so you around. thanks very much, stay safe. as these areas are struck by hurricane ida, louisiana, mississippi, the state of louisiana and the south, really, already experiencing a flood of covid-19 patients. how are hospitals preparing? i want to bring in the chief medical officer for university medical center in new orleans. doctor, i spoke to you earlier this morning. obviously, the storm hadn't hit right then. what is it like right now? >> i am sure you can hear some of the rain noise and the wind. it has been hitting us hard, especially over the last half an hour, hour or so. i think people are settled in from a patient and saf perspective. but the storm is really hitting
us now. >> are you guys prepared? how have you been preparing for something like this? we know you can just evacuate a hospital? >> exactly. this hospital facilities has been designed and hardened against these types of threats so the physical infrastructure is solid. we are hardened against the hurricane-force winds. we have plenty of water on tap, potable water and gray water. we have generators. and we did a planned switch over to generator power, which is more resilient for us. we have over 200,000 gallons of diesel fuel available. it keeps us powered. i think the variable here has been the covid pandemic which we prepared for and planned for as best as we can. but it is a challenge in this circumstance. >> let's talk about that. when so many hospitals in the area have so few beds because of covid patients how is it that if you have patients who come to your hospital that need help, maybe an emergency from the
storm, do you have beds for them? >> well, of course. we try to maintain beds at all times for these types of patients. we are a level one trauma center. we are the safety net hospital for region. for us it is critical to make sure that we can always provide that care. the challenge point as you mentioned is this pandemic, and the number of patients that have been impacted by covid. we struggled at times to maintain our after thing levels. again, we remain a solid resource for our community to address these situations. trauma, emergency, burns, that's what we do is this we are glad to hear you are there and fully stocked and prepared. hopefully you don't see an influx of patients. thank you for your time. i want to he show you video from houma, louisiana, this is where the eye of the storm is listening. oh, that roof is -- [ bleep ].
>> we are going to play it four again in just a moment. we are going to see the roof completely torn off listen. >> oh, the roof is coming -- [ bleep ]. >> the crashes there into power lines. this is what everybody has been worried about. there are already hundreds of thousands of -- more than 200,000 plus power out ans reported across the state in louisiana. these winds, this rain not something to be fooled around this. morgan sheskey filed this report from louisiana shortly ago. he and his crew now are hunkered down because it is no longer safe for them. this is what he said in the last hour. this is what he said as the weather was continuing to intensify. >> we know that the eye wall of ida is continuing to stay on that consistent track that should put it over houma this
afternoon. every minute as it gets closer the intensity of these winds only gets stronger because of the rain. we are seeing property damage in every direction to some degree here. we know as the winds stay strong, the hurricane that somewhat decreased since making landfall but not much -- it is going to be a long night ahead for everyone who chose to stay here. manned dairy evacuations across the parish the last couple of days but the fire captain tells me he estimates 60% of people were able to make it out before the hurricane moved in. the primary concern -- sorry i am watching potential trees making sure nothing blows down. the wind is going to be the main concern. power outages could last into the days and potentially weeks ahead. there are low lying areas here in houma. also in morgan city down the road. that's only seven feet above sea level.
so except some storm surge issues there. for the most part, the firefighters telling me their chain saws are out as soon as it gets safe enough for them to go out into the neighborhoods and start checking on people. they anticipate cutting trees off of homes, clearing roads of power poles that are going to be snapped by these incredibly powerful winds that ida looks to bring sooner than later. >> there is wind whipping debris around you morgan. we want to make sure you and your crew are safe. highlighting something you said, 40% of the residents of the parish have stayed, that means 40,000 people are riding out this storm just in that parish alone. are you seeing god forbid cars on the road, activity where you are? >> the only people on the roads right now look to be storm chasers at this point. that's an absolutely good thing to hear. >> right. >> because nobody has any business being out in this weather right now. it's only getting worse.
>> all right. that was morgan sheskey, a report he filed in the last hour. he also tweeted showing a garbage can that was loose, and the wind and rain looking like it was coming down even heavier than it was when i spoke with him. right now we are looking at a live shot right now from new orleans here. excuse me. this is houma, louisiana. this is where morgan sheskey is hunkered down. this is very similar to the video, in fact, that he did tweet, a very similar area. here you can see that wind prip -- whipping those trees around. the people walking around could be part of our crew, could be residents in the area. houma, louisiana, our thoughts are with you as you bear the brunt of this storm right now. i'm lindsey reiser. yasmin vossoughian will be back here next saturday and saturday at 3:p.m. catch me at 6:00 p.m. eastern next weekend.
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