tv American Voices With Alicia Menendez MSNBC August 29, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
hello, everyone. i'm alicia menendez. a busy sunday of breaking news along the gulf coast where as we come on the air, hurricane ida remains a category-4 storm, maintaining its strength, slamming much of southern louisiana and mississippi. as the national weather service in new orleans put it moments ago, ida is not weakening. this is not what you want to see. ida made landfall near port fourchon, louisiana, in the afternoon. and by the hour, video like this from houma, louisiana, showing the power of this storm, entire roofs ripped away. then there's flooding from rain and storm surge. before it's all over, up to 20 inches could douse southern louisiana. higher than the total from katrina, which hit new orleans 16 years ago today. at this moment, some half a million people are without power
across louisiana. and that number grows by the minute. here's president biden a short time ago at fema headquarters. >> this is going to be a devastating, devastating hurricane. a life-threatening storm. so please, all you folks in mississippi and louisiana, mississippi and god knows, maybe even further east, take precautions. listen. take it seriously. >> while new orleans dodged a direct hit, the big easy is not out of the woods. right now, fears of storm surge, especially in communities where residents did not have a chance to get out. now hunkered down, waiting this storm out. as officials keep an eye on the new levee system, re-enforced after katrina, which as of this moment, are holding. we have a team of correspondents stationed across the storm zone. let's start with our own sam brock before us in baton rouge. sam, what are you seeing there? >> reporter: so here's what's
interesting now. as you were referring to a second ago, the fact that you would expect at this point the storm is over land, but it's behaving like it's still on water. so over in new orleans, about 60 miles from where i am, they're getting hit with hard 90 to 100 mind winds. here, it's going to be worse when ida finishes buzz sawing through the spine of louisiana, as you see the winds starting to pick up here. it's just a taste of what we're in for, but this doesn't make a lot of sense given historically what happens with hurricanes. but yeah, still seeing 130-mile-per-hour winds, and that likely means that's the low end threshold of a cat-4, we're probably talking about baton rouge, which is a much larger population center than any other place that's gotten hit so far, fueling ida, somewhere between 110 and 130 miles per hour, coming through an area with 400,000 people. you talked about the outages, alicia. there's about half a million of them so far. a lot of these trucks over my shoulder and across the street from here, hundreds of them,
getting ready to be deployed. intergy is the primary electric provider, and they issued a release saying the expectation for those in the pathway is probably three weeks, up to that, before electricity is restored again. that is an awfully long time. they're pulling people in from all over the country. some 16,000 linespeople to get out there and work. again, when it's safe to do so. but here's the most concerning part of all of it, the speed at which ida is now moving, it was going 15 miles per hour previously, now it's in the single digits, which our meteor meteorologists tell you makes them nervous. certainly, the more rain can accumulate. what's going on in new orleans and baton rouge, both of those areas are 20-plus inches surplus of what they would be. there's so much such saturation that this storm is staying stat whk it should be going down. once we get through the wind
side of the events, where is the flooding going to occur? is it here? georgia, mississippi? are we talking about the appalachian area, ohio river valley, tennessee? i was in waverly earlier this week with 20 people dying from historic flooding and now they're under watch. where is this going to reach an acute crisis stage? because it seems like it's an inevitability. all of these events going on as a confluence. we're expecting heightened activity around 7:00 to 1:00 in the morning. we'll keep our eyes peeled. >> as i watch you in that storm, i am also watching cars drive behind you. have you seen people out and about? >> reporter: yeah, that's the unusual part about this, is that not a lot of folks that i talked to were actually concerned. yes, this is not a major highway behind me, but i have seen minimal amounts of traffic. all of that congestion you saw on interstate 10, which was going on for the last couple
days, people here basically said, we're in louisiana. we see this kind of thing all the time. we're not overly concerned, and certainly, we're too far inland for this to impact us, so i haven't seen a ton of traffic on the road. the problem with saying we're too far inland is what i talked about a second ago. the wind power has not died down. we're looking at a potential catastrophic situation. don't see a lot of folks on the road now. i'm sure many folks wish they had gotten out when they could have. there's no flights out today and the highways were a mess when the window was open. >> you talked a little bit about the expectation of power going out for a pretty long period of time. how else have residents been told they need to prepare for the days and weeks ahead? >> food, nonperishables, flashlights, certainly, if you're talking about an extended period of time with no power. fema has ramped up, thankfully for louisiana and his mis, they gathered up 32 million meals, 2
million liters of water to be distributed. when you're talking about extended periods of time where you potentially cannot leave your home, because you're physically prevented from doing it, there's no power, you need supplies. that's the message we heard, you need to be prepared for disruption. there were no mandatory evacuations, so whatever you got right now, these are the last waning hours to try to find someplace to make sure you're property stockpiled and you're safe, because you do not want to be caught in the elements now, especially this evening. >> sam, i have kept you in the rain long enough. i'll see you a tew times in the next two hours. please stay safe. a way to look at this video taken earlier from inside the eye of ida. it was taken aboard noaa's hurricane hunter p-3 aircraft. let's turn to ken graham. what can you tell us about where this storm is currently and the areas we expect it to hit next?
>> hey, alicia. we're watching the storm staying strong. we still have 130-mile-per-hour winds. so you have a situation where moving, we expected a slight slowdown with time, and that's what's happened. as a result, there's still a lot of energy. there's still some swampy areas here where you can still gain some of that energy. you have houma, pourt fourchon. those areas took such a direct hit, and this is continuing. this is a problem because you still have a strong storm moving north, and donaldsonville, baton rouge, we could still see hurricane force winds including higher gusts in these areas. we have a ways to go. >> when you say there is nowhere close to being over, can you give us a sense of what it is you're watching for, like, is this something you expect to evolve over the next few hours, over the next 12 hours? what is it you're looking for? >> yeah, it's going to take some time. just looking at this forecast,
you know, we're still a hurricane with time overnight tonight. by monday afternoon, we get this system pretty close to vixsburg, overnight tonight into tomorrow morning, we can still see some of these winds. we could still see the rainfall and rain bands continuing with tornadoes in those as well. this system as it moves norlthd, the areas of rain bands don't move much west and east. as a result, you get repetitive rain. that's more wind damage, rainfall, and each one of these little waves coming out of the center, you're getting hurricane force wind gusts as far as new orleans in these waves. it's not just about the center. there's some big wind gusts well outside of the center. >> talk to me about the wind gusts. i think if you have not lived through one of these hurricanes or storms, it is hard to know what to make of this. what are you watching for when it comes to the potential impact of the winds? what are the greatest threats from here on out? >> yeah, the greatest threats are going to be with this wind, and you're putting more and more
rain on the soil, so the more you saturate the soil, the more trees you can knock down, the more power lines you can knock down. you're looking at debris. you start really getting this find of wind, structural damage, things blowing in the wind. that could be particularly dangerous. we're not even done with the storm surge. we have been talking about so much rain and wind. with this movement and this direction, you can still pile the water into some of these areas. wee talking some areas that got the storm surge early may still have yet to see their peak surge. this is still a life threatening situation. >> when you look at that, what is the point? what is it you see on those maps and projections that lets you know that you're finally in the clear? >> when this thing finally gets out of here, alicia, when we start seeing the system get well to the north, but there's another problem we have, too. this rainfall, all this moisture has to go somewhere. we look at these huge rainfall totals, 10 to 20 inches of rain. look what happens with time.
this moisture gets well north. we'll see places in tennessee, kentucky, ohio, into pennsylvania, all these areas could see tropical rains and flooding. this is going to be much of the week we'll continue to see impacts from the system. >> one of the things that is most interesting about the storms are the number of models we sometimes watch. we saw a number of different models. is this storm what you expected it to be at this point? >> it is. we have been talking about that rapid intensification. we predicted it, it happened. we talked about the slowdown, it happened, too. the models have been pretty on track. this is close to what our forecast was, even several days ago. >> all right, thank you so much for your time. great city you. we'll see you again in a little bit. >> with us now, msnbc's ali velshi. he's in new orleans with us. ali, i understand you're getting absolutely slammed there. i'm going to stay with you as long as we can. tell us what's happening? >> yeah, i know, the shot is
having problems because we're getting those gusts that you were just talking about here in new orleans. right now, it's perfectly fine, and that you see the gusts coming in like this, for instance. now, just so you're not thinking what is that idiot standing out there because you were talking about debris. we have a 20-foot concrete wall and the corner of the building between us and the water, and this is what you're still seeing. that's how strong the winds are in new orleans. we are worrying about new orleans, mostly for flooding as opposed to trees coming down. look at this kind of wind. this is where you get debris. that's harras casino across the road. we're seeing the roof coming off. in the foreground, trucks that are positioned, bucket trucks, so when the winds come down, they can go to the power lines -- >> and there you have it, ali said that our signal was not necessarily going to be as strong as we needed it to be.
that storm, of course, still threatening him. i believe we might have bill karins on standby. is bill with us? >> yes. you got me? >> hi, bill. talk us through what it is we're seeing, the ways in which this storm is moving. i know that you are doing the hard work of actually tracking the storm. so i'm going to pull you away from your monitor, move you over here where you can explain it to me and explain to the audience. >> a little break. i can get out and look at the data. and the big story that's going on right now is that the storm stopped going west. the storm was heading towards houma. it stalled out for almost like an hour or two, and now it's going due north. that's huge implications for the new orleans area. notice the winds. these are pretty strong now. new orleans international airport, 74-mile-per-hour gusts. reserve up to 74. baton rouge up to 47. my rule of thumb is like 45 and above, 50 and above, that's when tree limbs start coming down and power outages start. that's going to begin shortly in
baton rouge and for our folks in slidell. the extreme wind warning is issued when the center of the storm comes onshore. if you get winds above 115 miles per hour. they extended this and issued it closer to new orleans. it butts right up against the western portion of the city. and that extreme wind warning will go throughout the next couple hours as the eye heads northwards. we were thinking earlier today new orleans would be just outside of the eyewall. it wouldn't go through the heart of the storm, but because of this turn towards the north, it's going to bring this western eyewall very close to the city limits as we go throughout the next three hours. we easily could get the western portion of the city, 100-mile-per-hour gusts, 110-mile-per-hour gusts. you can see, this black line is the forecast path. it was going on a pretty much northwest track. looked like it was going right for houma. then it slowed down and stalled. and then look at that, due north, and the eye, it has to reposition this at the top of the next hour. it's a little even more east of that. when we take that up, this is
the area of concern. the area that had 136-mile-per-hour wind gusts, this band, you bring that northwards, and that's going to get very close to new orleans in the next couple hours. that's just one of the things we're watching. it is slowly weakening. it was 150 at landfall, which was now almost five hours ago, and now it's at 130. so still a strong category 3 hurricane. and they had it going north-northwest at about 10 miles per hour. i was doing some math from when it made landfall to where it is now, that's about 7 or 8 miles per hour. much slower than anticipated, and also, look how much rain is to the eastern side of the storm. the yellow is pretty much what we would call torrential downpours, tropical rain bands. they go all the way over to pensacola. all of these bands have to go northwards now because the storm is going north. so it just pulls all this moisture into mississippi. i mean, the rainfall totals in some areas are going to be astounding. then the forecast does take the storm over almost jackson, then it's going to head to starkville tomorrow.
it will be a weaker system by then. it turns into a regular storm by the time it gets to the mid-atlantic, but we have to deal with a big rainfall event. we're through wednesday in the northeast. the same areas that got hit a week ago from today by hurricane henri, so the rainfall totals, heaviest in mississippi, along the border of alabama, tennessee, watch out around nashville and you had a ton of flooding over the last couple months, and all of this mess goes to the northeast. this area of red in here, alicia, this is five inches of rain possible, even around the new york area. it's like, yes, all the destruction, the wind and the storm surge is happening now. not a lot of people with power left in the new orleans area. the seawalls, the levees did hold, everything we have heard, that was obviously after katrina, a huge concern. spent $14 billion to $15 billion. it looks like that worked. so that's good. but the wind is doing some extreme damage. you can't stop the wind. so you can block the water,
can't stop the wind. >> bill, you are going to be with me for the next two hours. we're going to be relying on you heavily. i do believe we have video of ali velshi for us in new orleans. i was told i'm not going to be able to speak with him. that signal is not strong enough, but i just want you to take a look at these visuals. bill, you should feel free to add any color. i mean, that, by all accounts, a powerful storm. >> we have been telling our crews, we try to update our crews and tell them what to prepare for and when. we have said all along that around 6:00 p.m. new orleans time is when we expect the worst of the winds. the peak of the winds to be, right around there. we're head nothing to that window now in the next 45 minutes to an hour. if that western eyewall goes through new orleans, they could have three to four hours of what you have been seeing now, maybe even a little worse. so the storm gets closer but weaker. >> we also have some live video from houma we can take a look at. you can see there. see the wind gusts there. >> this is it.
morgan chesky has been in houma. they were thinking, we were thinking the eye was going to go right over him. unfortunately for them, they were stuck in the western eyewall. the storm got to them, they got into the eye. it stalled and heads northwards. and they have been stalled in the eyewall for a couple hours now. that's relentless pounding of the wind from the same direction, which for them is out of the north. you can see him getting in front of the shot there. i'm not sure if the trees behind him -- they used to have leaves on them. you get a good idea of what they're dealing with. it's brutal when a powerful storm slows down over the same area and just sits there, just the effects of the water, the trees, it just magnifies. >> i'm grateful to be your colleague every day, but especially today. you're staying with me. more team coverage after this break. or displays. shopping malls can be a big trigger for young homeowners turning into their parents. you ever think about the storage operation
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into msnbc from golden meadow, louisiana. that's about 30 miles north of port fourchon where ida made landfall. you can see the intensity of the storm. all hands on deck for the men and women of fema as hurricane ida barrels through louisiana. joining us to discuss the response, david boba, thank you so much for being with us. talk to me about what fema is doing right now azida moves into louisiana. >> well, fema for the past several days in support of the states of louisiana and mississippi have been prepositioning specialized teams and resources. search and rescue teams, for instance, incident management assistance teams, meals, water, tarps, cots, blankets, to be ready to support the population being affected by hurricane ida. this is a ferocious storm. it remains a serious life safety event for folks throughout southwestern mississippi, southeastern louisiana, and it's
just getting started. as you can see in the videos you have been showing, the winds are up at the category-3 range, 130-mile-per-hour winds still. but there are other hazards that folks need to pay attention to here as well. flash flooding from 16 to 20 isolated areas of 24 inches of rain. and also the potential for tornadoes. now is the time for folks in the affected area to stay put, stay safe. and make sure that they're not ventuing out unnecessarily. >> president biden spoke this afternoon at fema headquarters. let's take a listen. >> the storm is a life-threatening storm. governor edwards, an old friend, has characterized it as one of the strongest hurricanes, strongest in louisiana history, since 1850. and its devastation is likely to be immense. we shouldn't kid ourselves. the most important thing i can say right now is that everyone, everyone should listen to the instructions from local and state officials. just how dangerous this is.
>> i want to read you something the governor said yesterday. he said it's very painful to think about another powerful storm like hurricane ida making landfall on that anniversary, talking of course about katrina. but i also want you to know we're not the same state that we were 16 years ago. do you expect that the infrastructure that has been built is going to help mitigate some of what we would have otherwise seen? >> yeah, i mean, the army corps of engineers has done an incredible work over the past 16 years in building up the defenses for new orleans and the area there. we are, like the governor said, they're not the same state, we're not the same fema. in fact, many of the people behind me were inspired to get into this profession as a result of hurricane katrina and are fully committed to doing everything we possibly can to support affected louisianians and mississippiens in the days ahead. that's what we're focused on
now. >> which brings into focus the time that has passed. i have to ask you, one of the things that makes this not an apples to apples comparison is the pandemic now, a major factor. is there any mitigation that is happen at this point and how are you expecting to have to contend with it on the other side? >> the pandemic makes all aspects of life more difficult, including disasters. you know, first and foremost, the advice we have for everybody is to take advantage of one of the safe and effective vaccines that's available and get vaccinated. if you're looking at ida and you may need to evacuate your home at some point to go to a shelter or if you have already evacuated, make sure you have masks for yourself and for your loved ones. as a father of three young kids who are too young to be vaccinated, my go kit includes masks for my kids and i would encourage people to make sure they're following cdc guidance to protect themselves not only from the potentially life-threatening effects of ida but also the life-threatening effects from covid. >> as a parent, i'm going to
take that advice to heart. david, thank you so much for your time. >> now to baton rouge where hurricane ida is expected to peak later this evening. joining me now, baton rouge mayor, sharon weston. thank you for your time today of all days. what kinds of hurricane damage are you seeing in baton rouge so far? >> so far, we have not experienced severe damage. what we have seen is an increase in terms of our wind taking place. as you said, we're expecting the impact for baton rouge to be around 6:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., so we're not letting our guard down. we're continuing to be in preparation mode. and of course, we're telling our residents to stay in place. >> we were speaking with our colleague, sam brock, a few moments ago about what he was seeing in baton rouge, and one of the big conversations you're having, i'm sure, is about the possibility of remaining without power for an extended period of time. what are you telling residents
about what they need to do in order to prepare for that eventuality? >> one of the things i'm telling our residents is to practice generator safety. if you do have a generator, please do not put it inside your house. it needs to be outside your house, and a distance away from your house. secondly, our facilitators of power here, intergy and demko, have revved up their workforce to help expedite the recovery process. we know that it probably will not be as quickly as we all would like it, but i will tell you, just as we have talked about improvements from the last weather event, we, too, in baton rouge, have improved with all of our partners, starting with city parish government. >> i understand that you started clearing out drains six weeks ago in preparation for this moment. can you help us understand the difference that can potentially
make? >> well, you know, water management is a way of life here in south louisiana. and we experienced severe flooding back in may. and then we went forward with some of the work that we had done with our storm water master plan, which gives us a diagnostic look, analytical look at all of our drainage areas so we began the work on it, investing $20 million in some of the results of our storm water master plan, which helped us clear out a lot of our drains, canals, et cetera. that already positioned us, while we do have a lot of work and drainage is a big issue here in our community, we started that work, and then we intensified it in preparation for hurricane ida. >> you didn't issue a mandatory evacuation order yesterday. do you have a sense of how many people stayed there? >> i don't have the numbers specifically, but i do think
that we had a strong majority of our people or should i say a strong percentage of our people that did remain in baton rouge and are certainly practicing what we call being red stick ready. as you know, baton rouge is known as the red stick, and we certainly encourage our citizens to be red stick ready. >> during hurricane katrina, so many people fled to baton rouge, it became the largest city in louisiana temporarily. how many evacuees are you anticipating this time? >> well, many of the individuals who left new orleans went through baton rouge this time onto other areas such as north louisiana or even texas. that's what we have heard. and so we have not had the influx that we did during katrina. but i will tell you, i have a great relationship with mayor cantrell. we're regional partners in this, and we both are looking out for
each other and our citizens during this hurricane. >> mayor, before i let you go, because i'm sure you have a lot of work you need to be doing today on behalf of your city, the thing that, of course, makes this moment different than katrina, beyond the infrastructure that has been put in place, is that we are now contending with covid-19. we're contending with a pandemic. what does that mean for a city like yours? what does that mean in shelters? what does that mean in hotels? how do we make sure one emergency doesn't lead to another? >> you're absolutely right. we have to make sure that as people go into shelters, specifically, that they get tested, and that any individual that is covid positive has to be put in an isolated area with others. but we also hope that this serves as another important signal for our citizens to go get vaccinated if they have not been vaccinated. and so here we are in the midst of a major hurricane weather
event, and against the backdrop of another major event, a pandemic. but it's all a part of our emergency management. we're prepared, but we're encouraging our residents, after we get past this, if you're not vaccinated, you need to go get vaccinated. >> mayor sharon weston broome of baton rouge, thank you for your time. >> and more new video to bring you now. this time from galliano, louisiana, showing the roof of lady of the sea hospital there. it's proof of what many officials fear along the gulf coast, that ida would put enormous strain on hospitals already struggling to keep up with covid patients. in new orleans, ems has stopped operating due to the high winds and hospitals are bracing for widespread power outages. joining me now, warner thomas, ceo of a health system. can you talk to me about how your hospitals have been preparing for the storm? >> we have been preparing over the last several days, making sure we have adequate supplies,
fuel, and then going to our team of essential personnel that stay on campus at all of our facilities. we came into the storm well prepared. we have had some damage to some of our facilities in the bayou area, down by lady of the sea, and there's been high winds so there's been some damage there, but overall across our system, we continue to operate well. and are taking care of lots of patients that have come to see us. >> can you tell us how health care workers have been preparing for this moment, what it is they're experiencing right now inside the hospitals? do you have a sense of that? >> i do. i have been rounding in our facilities all day today. and you know, throughout the week. and i can tell you, certainly, it's been a challenging 17 months for the covid-19 pandemic. but i can also tell you there's folks that are battle tested and ready. folks in southeast louisiana. we have been through these types of storms before.
ida is obviously a very dangerous hurricane and is bringing significant challenges to the region. but our teams are ready to go. we have been preparing for this for multiple days, and in talking to folks, i think staff are prepared and feeling good about where we are today. >> that's great to hear. i'm sure you, of course, have run through multiple scenarios. can you tell me, when do you make the call to evacuate a facility? >> so we did evacuate one of our smaller facilities this morning. there were about 35 patients at that facility, st. charles parish hospital. when we saw the track of the storm move a little bit to the east, we felt like this facility could be in a situation that could be in danger, so we did evacuate those patients this morning, preemptively. if you do see roof damage or significant damage to a facility, like you saw with lady of the sea, many times you'll have to evacuate those
facilities. we had some roof damage at one of our facilities in graceland, louisiana, where we may have to move patients tomorrow when it's safe, but we're keeping in contact with all of our facilities across the state and assessing the situation every hour. >> we have talked with fema, we talked with local mayors about how covid complicates all of this. you said earlier today, you have around 700 covid patients. how does that complicate the way that you proceed? >> it certainly is a complicating factor. first of all, for all of our team members and caregivers, who have to stay here, making sure we have adequate sleeping arrangements and can have folks spaced in the right way, have eating accommodations in the right fashion, so that's part of that work. but secondly, it's put a tremendous strain on the health system across the entire country, but certainly here in the louisiana area. we had 1190 covid patients just about three weeks ago. 950 a week ago. we're down to 750 now, so we're
coming down off the peak, but that's been a big challenge for our health care workers. i can tell you that if they were heroes last year, they're superheroes this year and doing an amazing job stepping up and taking care of patients. >> i can't imagine that anyone disagrees with that. i want to ask you sort of the long tale of this, especially as it relates to covid. are you expecting on the other side of this to see a spike in cases? >> i think we're concerned about that given shelters, given the fact that we had a lot of folks who evacuated and may be in group, kind of together in larger groups. i think we're absolutely concerned about that. we'll be watching it carefully when folks come back. i think the other tale we're concerned about is the tale and the impact of our employees. we have 32,000 employees across louisiana. we have thousands that are in the bayou area that are going to be impacted by hurricane ida, and we're working on those plans of how we can help those employees as we get through the storm and how they go through
the rebuilding process in their own personal lives as well. >> warner thomas, appreciate your time. thank you so much. >> next, bill karins with an update on ida's track. we're back after this. nope - c'mon him? - i like him! nooooo... nooooo... quick, the quicker picker upper! bounty picks up messes quicker and is 2x more absorbent, so you can use less. bounty, the quicker picker upper. an amusement park is like whooping cough, it's not just for kids. whooping cough is highly contagious for people of any age. and it can cause violent uncontrollable coughing fits. ask your doctor or pharmacist about whooping cough vaccination because it's not just for kids. subway®... has so much new it didn't fit it in their last ad. like this new and improved steak and cheese loaded with our new tender steak that's marinated and thicker sliced, on our new artisan italian bread. man, you covered up the footlong! the eat fresh refresh at subway®. it's too much new to fit in one commerc-
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coverage of hurricane ida. one of the strongest storms to hit louisiana since the 1800s. but on the minds of many this sunday, the fact that ida is hitting on the 16th anniversary of hurricane katrina's landfall in new orleans. nbc news meteorologist bill karins is back with us. national weather service a short time ago tweeted ida is not weakening, and quote, this is not what you want to see. what are they talking about? what's the danger the. >> it's been six hours since landfall. and usually, you get landfall, and then it's like this big buildup, and the storm made landfall, and what did the eye do, how much damage was done? then it moves inland and quickly
diminishes and you still have to deal with the rainfall impact, but you're done with the winds. this thing, i mean, i'll show you. in the last six hours, the loop will start over here in a second. and it made landfall. that was six hours ago. heading for houma. stalled. and then it's now been drifting northwards. that's it. in six hours. i can't believe it's still a category-4 storm six hours later. we have to go back in the record books to see what the longest is a storm has ever remained a category 4 or stronger after landfall, but this has to be close. one of the reasons why is all of southern louisiana if you go to google maps or google earth, it's all swarmy. that swamp water gets very warm. the hurricanes feast on warm water. that's one reason why it didn't really weaken that much. it's now finally over more solid land. not as much a swampy area once you get north of houma. now we'll start to see it weakening quicker, but the warm swamp water, it liked it, and it kind of feasted on it. what does that all mean?
>> right now the storm is as close as it's going to new orleans. the worst winds should have been in the last hour. it's 32 miles from new orleans downtown to the center of the storm. not that far away. especially when you consider hurricane gusts go out 45 miles from the center. you can confirm that because new orleans at the airport was 74 and lakefront was 84. now up to 70 in reserve. you can see once you get to about this part of the storm, that's where you start to get into the winds above 70 and that's when the power goes out. i was looking at the map for the downtown new orleans area. it looks like about 80% of the city is without power. a lucky few, especially on the east side, haven't seen the winds quite as strong. and more of them have power. we still have that extreme wind warning for the category 4 hurricane that's still sitting there. any of these bands right around the center could produce the winds gusting 140, 150 maybe, at most. we haven't seen any of those lately, but at least that's the potential. as we go throughout the rest of the evening as it weakens we'll
see high winds heading to the north. new orleans, this is the peak of the storm for the new orleans area. the levees, they protected the city. really no impact from that whatsoever. the rain is coming down in sleets right now. it's going to pour maybe the next 18 to 24 hours. up to 16 inches possible. we'll see how the pumps handle that. then the wind gust, that damage is being done now. we probably won't know, won't be enough time before sunset to see how much damage was done. you can see the live pictures there. we'll get a better idea early in the morning tomorrow how much damage the 80 to 100-mile-per-hour wind gusts have done in the city. as of now, minor roof damage, structural damage to awnings, things like that. the hurricane center, we'll wait for that next update to see if it finally drops down to a category 3, one more tick down to 125 would be a category 3. we had a couple tornado warnings. one for the gulfport area of mississippi, and that storm has moved inland away from the coast, but that's going to be the trend all night long
tonight, the possibility of these outer bands producing isolated tornadoes and even through the day tomorrow. the story for our baton rouge friends, happy to say this is going to track to the east. that means you get the backside winds which typically aren't as strong as the winds on the east side. what's beter for you is worse for hammond and slidell. max winds have been shifted out of there. that storm will be near baton rouge around midnight, and as we mentioned, we have to deal with this thing all the way through wednesday, maybe even into thursday. thursday over connecticut. >> incredibly long tail on that storm. >> yes. taking a week off after this one. >> we'll keep watching. i'll keep you with me, bill karins. thank you. today, louisiana's governor urging those at home to stay in place long after the storm passes through. >> once the storm has passed, you need to be prepared to
shelter in place for the first 72 hours. we have every possible resource ready to go to help you. we'll get there sooner than 72 hours if at all possible in order to rescue people across the state of louisiana. but this is the window of time that it may take in order to get first responders to you depending upon conditions. >> over in jefferson parish in southeastern louisiana, mandatory evacuations were in place for those living in areas outside of the levee system. as their president warned the expected storm surge there will be unsurvivable. with me now on the phone, jefferson parish president cynthia. thank you for your time, cynthia. tell me, how many people do you believe heeded your warning? >> well, as you said, you know, outside of our levee protection system in an area called grand isle, a beautiful town, the mayor told me that he believed
last night there were 40 people that remained on the island. and certainly, they have been on my mind and all of our minds up here all day long since this thing made landfall. then in the lafitte area, which is further north in grand isle, but again, outside of the levee protection center, i'm going to estimate a couple hundred. our sheriff, joseph lupinto, went out with a few of his officers la night, went door to door in the community to try to, you know, get an assessment of who stayed, where they live, how many people there are. probably trying to talk them into leaving, obviously, last night. but just, you know, to do that is a strategy to be really ready to do search and rescue when the storm passes us over. >> can you give us a sense, we have been asking this question all day, about why people choose to stay or feel they may not have the option to leave? >> well, you know, i think in a mindset, a lot of people, you know, they have -- they want to defend their home. you know, they're very proud of
their community. these communities are communities that, you know, when we need help, they're out laying sandbags themselves. they're not communities, and these are not people who wait for government assistance. they'll start rebuilding their homes, they'll tart doing whatever it takes to defend their property. that's not the way people are kind of in the greater new orleans area, but these are people who are fishermen, they love recreaction, they love living on the water so they're not so scared of the water maybe i should say, and i think it's a sense of they want to defend their home, and they have been through many, many storms before, and it's always been okay. so i think you kind of have that mindset going on. and it's difficult to, you know, of course we always warn for every storm, and sometimes, you know, they don't need to leave in hindsight, so they just figure, well, that's what they always say and we're going to stay, and that's the unfortunate situation. it's just a mindset that we could have tried to plead with them to leave. in fact, the first responders and firefighters were doing that
on grand isle, and some people just weren't going to leave. >> that's just the conversation about evacuations. i wonder what you make of the governor's assessment to stay inside up to 72 hours after the storm passes. are you concerned that as the storm starts to clear or starts to feel like it is clearing, people are going to try to get outside to assess the damage? >> yeah, this is -- we were always told this is going to be a long time in. we have been in for a long time. i think people kind of get that cabin fever and nervousness and want a change of environment when the storm passes. they want to get out. and really, the after-storm threats are very real. and in louisiana, we have had such an active hurricane season this past year, but we have had a lot of deaths with people touching downed lines and dying or generator issues or a lot of these post storm issues. we have flooding and our roads get filled with water.
they're right next to open canals. there are all kinds of dangers post storm. it's a dangerous storm. that is what i'm begging our citizens to do, support our first responders, support our firefighters, the national guard that's here to help us, our sheriff's office. they have teams that are ready to go out, assess the roads, move trees, look at the downed power lines. we want entergy to be able to get on the streets and have full use of the streets. so the last thing we need is other people getting on the road, getting in car accidents, breaking down. there's a ton of roofing nails that will cause a flat tire after a storm like this. now they're breaking down, they need assistance. that is not the extra stuff we need. we want our first responders to be able to deal with what happened during the storm and not have to deal with all these other incidents if people would just stay home. >> your main concerns at this moment for the residents of jefferson parish? >> our main concern and what's really upsetting to me is that we can't do anything right now. and i don't know what people are like right now.
you know, i had a phone call just now with all of our mayors, thankfully, most of them are located up kind of close to where i am. we're still able to call one another. they're reporting a lot of downed power lines, a lot of trees broken, some roofs off. some tree roots upset, you upse. dropping on water mains. we'll have some water issues. one of the sewer treatment plants has some damage. all of these things going on. my real concern is what the people in grand isle have been dealing with. i hope the structures they chose to ride it out in withstanding these winds for such a long period of time. we will rebuild and it will be messy and invent. the thought of 51 fighting for their life right at the gulf of mexico with wind and water so raw like that. it is really disheartening. and that is what bothers me
mentally. it is what is eating away at you all day. that's where my stomach is churning all day. >> thank you. so for your time. please stay safe. today this request from the mayor of new orleans. take a listen. >> this is the time to stay inside. do not venture out. no sight-seeing. this is very serious. we need you to stay in from this point forward. all morning. all afternoon. all evening. as it relates to monday morning, we should see some signs of, that we're moving out of this but you are not to come out until you receive more information from the city of new orleans. >> for natives of new orleans, perhaps a telling sign, this storm was not to be taken lightly is the fact these spotted cat music club closed ahead of the storm. which for locals is a big deal
given the music club has been known to stay open during storms. the general manager says, quote, we're not tempting fate this time. she joins me now on the phone. i have enjoyed your club many times. i am thrilled to be speaking with you. tell me about this decision. why do something out of the ordinary this time? >> well, thank you. i'm happy to see you guys at the other end of this storm. i think for the most part, we have a lot of staff and musicians who are locals and normally they will stay. this time has gotten them wary. i think everyone is evacuating, except for maybe one or two that couldn't leave because of one reason or the other. for the most part, we have evacuated. >> you told the "wall street journal," i feel some ptsd every year already and it is like the
very same feeling as i had before the storm. how much was katrina on your mind as you made this decision? >> oh, my gosh. every year, it is like an eerie feeling of trying to erase something from the past and hoping that we can move on from it. today is actually happening. i guess for years to come, august 29th is always going to happen. new orleans is known for being resilient. i think sometimes we get tired of being resilient. it would be nice to get a break. >> yeah. we keep hearing about infrastructure that has been put in place since katrina so that type of damage is damage we never see again. do you as a resident of new
orleans feel any safer than you did during katrina? >> there is a lot of unknowns living if new orleans. i would like to say the last 16 years, our army corps of engineers put in $15 billion levy protection and we hope that it will do its job. but every year, something happens to where whether it is the waterboard or another city infrastructure i hate to say it, in the system, and the ability to keep on going. >> sure. this has been tough for us. >> i hear that. your message to your patrons, your neighbors in new orleans during this time. >> stay safe. we will get tru this.
it may take years but we will get through one way or the other. >> our primary concern right now is people's safety, making sure we do not see loss of life. the long tale of this, of course, is making sure that anything destroyed is rebuilt. >> as someone who manages a business, what is it you're bracing for? >> definitely rebuilding. providing support to those who need support. >> the music communities, really resilient and push through trying to help out everyone that was touched. very important. >> from the spotted cat music club. thank you so much for being with us.
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to the day after the tragedy of hurricane katrina. it made land port shortly after noon today and this video shows the power of the storm. you can see the strong wind gusts and rising ocean floor in the small town of grand isle, louisiana. speaking of the strong winds, this new video within the hour showing ida ripping off the roof of this small hospital along the louisiana coast and it is not just strong winds wreaking havoc this evening. part of the region can get up to 20 inches of rain. a threat president biden warned of a short time ago. this afternoon, and promised federal resources. >> it's not just the coast, not just new orleans. i think north as well. the rainfall is expected to be exceedingly high. the people on the gulf coast, i want you to know we're praying