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tv   The Mehdi Hasan Show  MSNBC  August 29, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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we'll take you there, and hospitals across the gulf states are already overwhelmed by covid, thanks in large part to policies pushed by governors like florida's ron desantis. will they be able to withstand a surge in patients injured by the storm? i'll ask charlie crist. >> plus, the digniied transfer of 13 fallen service members at dover air force base today. along with family members of those killed in the terror attack thursday at kabul airport. we'll have the latest out of afghanistan. >> hurricane ida is -- >> hurricane ida is tied for strongest storm to ever strike louisiana. tonight, louisiana governor john bell edwards is requesting a presidential major disaster declaration due to the severe impact of the storm. and just this hour, we're hearing reports that the plaquemines parish levees have overtopped with
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150-mile-per-hour winds, hurricane ida made landfall as a category-4 storm near port fourchon this afternoon. the storm surge has reached four to seven feet in southeast louisiana and coastal mississippi. water has engulfed roads, homes, businesses, and marinas. right now, ida is holding strong as an extremely dangerous category-3, as it makes its way through louisiana. nbc news is continuing to obtain dramatic video out of the gulf coast. here is the roof being ripped off lady of the sea hospital in galliano. stream flow on the mississippi river by bell chase, louisiana, reversed for approximately three hours on sunday, according to data from the u.s. geological survey. in the past, the mississippi river has reversed flow locally during other hurricanes, including laura, isaac, and katrina. the eye of the storm is currently approaching baton rouge and should hit the state's capital city within the next few hours. tonight, roughly half a million
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louisianians are without power. and fema is preparing for what could be a catastrophic event through the state. the timing of the storm is particularly notable. today marks the 16th anniversary of hurricane katrina, which devastated the new orleans area, killing more than 1800 people and destroying hundreds of thousands of homes. this hour, nbc's richard lui and i will bring you the latest from the reporters on the ground and continue to follow this historic and dangerous storm. so let's begin with hurricane ida's current path. nbc meteorologist bill karins joins us with the latest. how are things looking in baton rouge as the eye of the storm approaches? >> yeah, they're one of the cities that we were most concerned with as we went throughout the evening hours, and we're watching the storm getting closer, and power outages are starting to occur in the baton rouge area. 46-mile-per-hour winds. my rule of thumb is anything above 45 miles per hour starts taking down tree limbs.
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60 to 70-mile-per-hour wind gusts, that's when you see power outages widespread. that's already happened in the new orleans and those winds are pushing to the north. we saw 60-mile-per-hour gusts in gulfport, 90 miles from the center of the storm. the wave height and the storm surge is still at its peak in bay state, st. louis, because the winds are starting to pile up. we still have numerous issues. 153-mile-per-hour gusts. the strongest at the airport in new orleans, 83 so far. this is as close as the storm will get to downtown new orleans. it's roughly 20 to 25 miles due west, and the winds will continue overnight and slowly come down as the storm begins to weaken. the 8:00 advisory from the hurricane center, we have taken 5 miles per hour off the storm again. landfall was seven hours ago,
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150 miles per hour. now we're at 120 maximum sustained winds. category 3, so we still have a major hurricane seven hours after landfall. you can thank all the warm swamp water after that. even on radar, it's starting to finally look a little more ragged. the forecast overnight takes it just to the east of baton rouge. that's going to be on the back side of the storm. those winds will be weaker than you were expecting earlier, and the storm will go up into areas of mississippi and eventually the tennessee valley. as we go throughout the next two to three days, we'll focus on the aftermath of the storm surge and also the wind. but we're going to have a flood story all the way to new england by the time we get to wednesday and thursday. we're not even close to being done with this storm. the rainfall predictions are easily 5 to 10 inches all through mississippi, northern alabama, tennessee, and then look at this. even pennsylvania, northern new jersey, and outside new york city could see five more inches from the storm in the days ahead. we had a lot of damage done. and we have a lot more to come.
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>> yeah, it's not over. we're nowhere near done. bill karins, thank you for the analysis and update. we'll check back with you later this hour. >> let me bring in richard lui who is checking in with team coverage. >> let's go straight to our reporters in the area and the field. only 7:00 local time. our team is spread out across the gulf today. ali velshi is in new orleans. morgan chesky in houma, louisiana. shaquille brewster in gulfport, mississippi. let's start with ali velshi, who is standing right in the middle of everything. as i was watching the reporting over the last couple hours in new orleans, you were noting that the power was going out in your location. it comes and goes. looks like also maybe wind and rain has gone down a little bit, too. >> yeah. yeah, in fact, an hour ago when bill karins was saying he thought he saw a gust at new orleans airport of 95 miles per hour and he thought i might be getting about 75-mile-per-hour
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winds, things have changed dramatically. the rain is generally speaking falling straight down right now. winds are lower. i will say there's pooling of water, which wouldn't be a big deal in a hurricane under normal circumstances. it's always a concern in new orleans because this is a city that is below sea level. but they have invested $16 billion since this very day 16 years ago when katrina hit to avoid floding. we're a little more conscious of water pooling in the streets. it does not seem flooding has been a major deal as of yet, but we're yet to see. the storm is only halfway done. the wind has come way down. does seem to be a transformer that blew in a power station next to me. we're still getting gusts, as you can see. but a transformer might have blown, because there's nothing but emergency power on downtown now. so about an hour ago, i knew that more than half a million louisianians were out of power. and more than a quarter million were right here in new orleans. i would suspect with the power
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outage now that i'm seeing around downtown, you can look at the buildings around me, there's nothing but emergency lighting on now. this is the harras casino, it's out of power. the hotel we're in is out. there will not be a restoration of power until tomorrow when the winds are below generally speaking well below 50 miles per hour. then they send these trucks out. these are all over the region, there are probably 10,000 around the region. there are these trucks that go up, they have the buckets in them. they can restore electricity lines and trees. around new orleans, not downtown, which doesn't have a lot of trees in it, around the city in areas that are more leafy, we're seeing a lot of trees down. there's one actually right across the road, a full tree that's come down. this is not trees getting uprooted as much as they have been in times when there's been a slow-moving storm where the ground is saturated. these are trees that have snapped and broken because of the force of this wind. finally, we're seeing lower
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winds here in new orleans, but still as you can tell, not as much rain as earlier, but it's still raining a lot. >> yeah, ida not much faster moving, if we can say that, than katrina was, which lumbered along. >> yes, much. >> absolutely. you know it so well, my friend. ali velshi in new orleans. let's go to morgan chesky, about 60 miles west. just a short time ago, houma was in the western eyewall, how rough has it become now? >> richard, for the first time since about noon today, we're finally starting to see a little bit of relief. wind wise and rain wise, but i have to tell you, we're only getting a glimpse of the damage that this storm has left behind. the reason we're still standing under this parking garage is it's still gusting strong enough to throw debris, and it's still too dangerous to stand out in the open at this time. but what we have essentially witnessed is this stalling of the eyewall over houma and the surrounding area that resulted in an incredible lashing of
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buildings, of trees, of power lines. and we know that there are countless people in the dark right now, not knowing when their power is going to be restored. and what's even more frustrating is getting around town may be incredibly difficult. we're hearing reports that there may be some low-lying bridges that are either under water and/or collapsed here in houma. that's only going to add to the frustration for trying to move forward from this. in the meantime, as you can see that wind still definitely a problem here. we watched buildings have their roofs ripped off whenever these winds were gusting upwards of 140 miles an hour. the residents here knew they were right in the middle of ida now for at least the past several days, and this was a devastatingly consistent path. it nearly went right over the top of us. as a result, we're seeing the consequences. what really hurts for these folks is they know all too well what the damage these storms can do. back in 2008, they suffered from
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gustav. everyone around here, of course, remembers hurricane katrina. and there is a feeling of, here we are yet again. and really, it will take daylight before we witness the true extent of the damage here. but richard, going to be an incredibly long night for so many people here in houma and southern louisiana. back to you. >> they're hoping for the best, certainly, as they have such a long history there. morgan chesky, thank you there in houma. let's go now east, about 150 miles. shaq, you're there in gulfport, mississippi. storm surging was one of the concerns there. a curfew has been issued as well. we saw you earlier showing some of the structural damage. a lot happening on the east side of the storm. >> that's exactly right. remember, we are well over 100 miles from where the storm actually made landfall. and you see me behind this column right here. i'm going to step over a little bit just so you can see the impact of this, because once i break from that impact of the storm, you'll see the winddying
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or from the protection of the column, you'll see the wind against my clothes and how aggressive the wind is. gusts are expected to reach about 60 miles per hour. and you have the wind, you have the rain. and those are not even the main concerns. you also have concerns about storm surge. you have concerns about river flooding. there's tornadoes threats. there was a tornado warning in the past hour. there are many concerns. that's why you have local officials telling people to abide by the curfew that was in place since 8:00 a.m. this morning saying stay off the street, stay away from the street, because they know how quickly these conditions can change. and despite that, i'll tell you, you see some of the shore over there. despite that, maybe five minutes ago, there were people who were out there taking pictures, playing in the wind. and that is the concern that officials have. they say stay inside. take this storm seriously, because this wind damage or this wind that you have now can easily cause damage. the flooding can come quickly,
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and that's why officials are saying stay inside until they make it through the storm. >> shaq, one of the differences from three hours ago, certainly, is that new shoreline is about three dozen feet closer to you now. shaq brewster, thank you so much there in gulfport, mississippi. >> we also have senior national correspondent tom llamas is also in new orleans. and tom, what are you seeing there? >> hey, richard. we're actually seeing the strongest winds so far from hurricane ida. if you can tell in the control room, i'm getting a mixed minus in my ear. i'll walk you through. i would say this is the peak of danger for new orleans. the eyewall approaching new orleans, if it's not already here from hurricane ida. these were the strongest winds, the heaviest rains. we're starting to hear the sounds of what sounds like transformers exploding. we're seeing the siding being ripped off some of the buildings and sort of being carried by the wind behind us, and hearing the howl of the wind.
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not sure if you can hear that, but it's picking up here as we see some emergency vehicles about to pass our live shot. it looks like some fire trucks are making actually a turn into our street here. even though the paramedics throughout new orleans decided to stay inside because it's too dangerous once the winds got too high, all ems services were suspended in new orleans. somewhat of a dire situation in the big easy right now as things are picking up and getting more and more dangerous every single minute. as we're seeing more emergency vehicles drive by us, i'm sure there's some type of situation around the corner right now. from what we're seeing, people aren't out and about, which is good, because sometimes in hurricanes in new orleans, people can be cavalier. they can try to challenge mother nature. we're not seeing that here right now. what we're seeing are people are inside. we're seeing a lot of rain, a lot of strong wind. i covered katrina 16 years ago in biloxi. those were pretty strong hurricane force winds. we're starting to feel some of that right now. i would still say katrina felt
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stronger in biloxi, but the wind is definitely picking up. it's knocked a couple of us over as we have walked around trying to cover the story. >> tom, what are you seeing in terms of water on the ground, something you know really, really well having covered katrina? that was the problem, we had all this water from the surge, and it was just soaking into the ground. i can see behind you that we're starting to see more water on the ground at this 7:00 hour. >> yeah, you know, i had a chance to interview the army corps of engineers and the flood protection authority yesterday. they're the ones overseeing all of the levees and barriers around new orleans. they said they had full faith in the system now 16 years later and $15 billion later. of course, the levees failed 16 years ago. they have two sort of barriers now, a primary and secondary. they re-enforced the levees, made them higher, made flood walls higher. they built stronger flood locks, and we're going to have to wait
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and see once ida passes new orleans, thankfully, this was on the west of the mississippi. it didn't sort of thread the needle between new orleans and mississippi like katrina. that's what pushed all the water from lake pontchartrain into the city. i had a chance to speak with someone named charles washington who lives in the lower ninth ward. his house was flooded 16 years ago. he said he has faith in the new system. sorry, we're getting some crazy sounds. want to make sure we're okay. i'm going to move in a little bit. yeah, anyway, he was telling me he showed us the marking on his house in katrina where his house was flooded, where the water level is. he says he has faith in the system and he's praying to god. he wasn't able to evacuate. a lot of people just ran out of time. it's not that they were irresponsible. it's not that they didn't have the means, though that did happen. there's always people around new orleans who don't have the means to evacuate, but the storm got so big so quick that even the mayor said she couldn't order a mandatory evacuation for the city because it would have made the traffic even worse. i have an uncle who lives here
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who is trying to get to mobile, alabama, 2 1/2-hour drive, it took him nine hours. and i have relatives and friends who have been driving to houston, to florida. the drives were absolutely insane. >> as we watch the tumbleweed of ida, if you will, rolling behind you, the debris from buildings, we have warning lights over your left shoulder. glad you're able to sense and duck that one. let's head over to miguel almaguer in baton rouge, louisiana. and miguel, ida's headed your way. what are you seeing right now? >> yeah, richard. as you mentioned at the top of this round robin and bill karins confirmed it, many officials in baton rouge fear that this city could take a direct hit from the storm. over the last hour or so, we began to feel those outer bands of the storm. the rain here is flying sideways. we can see sheets of it coming down in some areas. it's been a pretty persistent wind picking up here. as a matter of fact, the mississippi river, which is only a few hundred feet from where
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we're standing, started flowing in the opposite direction because of all of the storm surge in the area. officials are saying they're concerned about the quarter million people who live in this area. there were no mandatory evacuations. most people in this city, they believe, are staying here. and are hunkered down. this city does expect to lose power. all of those emergency services are going to be cut off when the wind speeds reach a certain rate, and officials say everyone who is here is going to have to simply buckle down for the night, and they're expecting it to get much more wild over the next few hours. we're expecting to have some localized flooding that could turn to severe, even catastrophic flooding. you may recall back in 2016, this area was hit by about 20 inches of rain over three days. they lost about a dozen lives across the state of louisiana. and 148,000 homes and businesses were destroyed. they're fearing we could have destruction in this area because of localized flooding similar to that. they're also saying, the mayor told us earlier today, they're worried about twin disasters
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here. local hospitals here are full because of the pandemic, so they're urging everyone to stay home and ride this out, richard. >> miguel, thank you for that. miguel almaguer there in baton rouge. finishing out our nbc news coverage down in the area of ida, and many, boy, you see all the different phases of what ida can do to each and every location as it makes its way inland. >> it is truly scary, and props to our reporters on the ground there standing in the middle of some of that stuff. we'll be returning to you and then as the hour progresses. thank you, richard. >> earlier this month, president biden held a meeting with fema to discuss how the current spike in covid-19 infections would complicate preparing for the next hurricane. >> let me be clear. if you're in a state where a hurricane often strikes, like florida or the gulf coast or into texas, a vital part of preparing for hurricane season is to get vaccinated now.
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everything is more complicated if you're not vaccinated in a hurricane or a natural disaster hits. >> yet as louisiana and parts of the gulf coast are right now being inundated with the winds, rain, and storm surge of a now category 3 storm, many of those states account for just about half of new covid cases and hospitalizations in the u.s. right now. half. here now to help us talk about this unprecedented mix of the delta variant, the unvaccinated, the hurricane season, is democratic congressman charlie crist, a former republican governor of florida, who is looking to get that job back as a democrat. challenging the current republican governor, ron desantis. thanks so much for joining me this evening. as a public official, i would imagine one of the biggest challenges when a storm approaches is convincing folks they are better off evacuating, leaving, going to a shelter even, than riding out a storm. yet, during covid, with florida's vaccination rates
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where they are, that's got to be a tough sell. i'm not sure i would want my family in a shelter with an unknown number of unvaccinated people right now. >> no kidding, mehdi. that's a great point. the fact of the matter is that the hospitals in florida are overwhelmed. you know, we're number one in the country in hospitalizations and cases, and sadly, in deaths. >> our hearts and thoughts and prayers go out to those being impacted because we have been subject of this many times in the past. it's a very difficult situation. if you're compounded by the fact you have covid patients that have really taken over the hospitals and very difficult for people to be able to go there if they have to because of this incredible storm.
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we all know what happened in hospitals in new orleans after the levees broke following katrina 16 years ago today. this time around, the hospitals aren't able to transfer patients away from the coast to inland areas due to covid-19. if ida were hampering the tampa area tonight instead of new orleans and you were back at governor, how would you have prepared for this unprecedented set of circumstances?
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whether you're talking about cancer or talking about the current pandemic, they haven't given us that kind of leadership. as a result, our hospitals are full. storm hitting tampa bay which is my home right now, we wouldn't have places to really send people if they had been adversely impacted by this storm, and it's -- as i said earlier, it's a scenario that we did not have to face that did not have to be the case but that's the lack of leadership we're suffering from from governor desantis on this issue. he's just wrong, and so much so it's on front page of the "new york times" today, talking about other states that are having some problems, you know, but asa hutchinson even in arkansas kind of recanted and said masks are important and really started advocating it, and then they said well, these other states are having a hard time and then there's florida. the worst in the nation because we have the worst leadership or lack thereof because of our governor, and it defies logic. it defies common sense.
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it's not the right thing to do. my niece the other day, mehdi, was just diagnosed with covid. my sister, a physician, was diagnosed with it two weeks ago. fortunately so far, knock on wood, their symptoms are not that bad, but, you know, we've had record numbers of new cases. record numbers of people having to fill our hospitals up. it's -- it's a sad situation, and now we've had to order 14 sort of standup morgues, if you will, because the morgues in the hospitals are being overrun. it's tragic, and it's heartbreak, and it's so sad to have to see this happen to my beloved florida. >> i do hope your sister and your niece are okay and they recover soon. one last question before i let you go, congressman. there's a chance that florida escapes this current hurricane season without a direct hit, but we know that we're seeing increasing amounts of hurricanes an increasing intensity with those hurricanes. we know that climate change is playing a role in all of this.
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how is this sustainable that we in the united states continue down this senate how long can states like florida carry on like this just trying to dodge intensely dangerous hurricanes? >> well, we can't do that, and you make a very good point. we need to address climate change. it is a real and present danger. when i was governor before in 2007, i think it was the first climate change summit that any florida governor held. i did it with governor arnold schwarzenegger, robert kennedy jr. and others because we had a focus on doing what's right to protect our environment and our people we're the state that's most susceptible to rights sea levels so as we get more of these powerful storms like michael that hit the panhandle of florida not long ago, we -- we don't need to be doing this. we can still turn this around, but we have to have people who actually believe in science and will listen to scientists and as my father a physician told my three sisters and me. god gave you two ears and one mouth. tea amazing if you respect god's ratio and listen twice as much
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us a talk how much you can learn, that's what we learn. good common sense people in leadership who understand that it's important to listen, important to learn and apply science to all these issues. >> appreciate those words, appreciate your time. congressman charlie crist, democrat of florida, thank you for your time tonight. still to come, the life-threatening evacuations in afghanistan and the threats from isis-k. what happens to the american citizens left behind? plus, our continuing coverage of hurricane ida and a look at hurricane katrina 16 years on. l hurricane katrina 16 years on. (vo) at t-mobile for business, unconventional thinking means we see things differently, so you can focus on what matters most. whether it's ensuring food arrives as fresh as when it departs.
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we are less than 48 hours away from the end of america's longest war in afghanistan. nbc news has learned that the remaining u.s. diplomatic personnel on the ground in kabul are now being evacuated. that's according to a state department memo obtained by nbc news. earlier today, u.s. central command confirmed that they carried out a drone strike on a vehicle controlled by isis-k. there are reports from other media outlets of civilians, including children, being killed in that blast. nbc news has not yet independently confirmed those reports. centcom has just released a statement acnoning those reports and saying, quote, we are still assessing the results of this strike. we know that there was substantial and powerful subsequent explosions resulting from the destruction of the vehicle indicating a large amount of explosive material
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inside that may have caused additional casualties. the strike comes after the u.s. embassy in kabul warned american citizens yesterday to leave the airport because of a specific and credible threat, and just days after a suicide attack by isis-k killed 13 american soldiers and more than 110 afghan civilians, earlier today president biden attended the dignified transfer to mark the homecoming of the 13 u.s. service members that were killed. but what happens now to the american citizens who can't make it to the airport or to america's afghan part fwhoers are going to be left behind? will there be any american presence on the ground to help them get out? here's nbc's secretary of state antony blink-in on "meet the press" today. >> first having a diplomatic presence on september 1st that's not likely to happen, but what's going to happen is our commitment to continue to help people leave afghanistan who want to leave and who are not out by september 1st, that endures. there's no deadline on that effort, and we have ways.
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we have mechanisms to help facilitate the ongoing departure of people from afghanistan if they choose to leave. >> joining me now is former clinton administration official david rothcop, a columnist for "the daily beast" and host of the deep state radio podcast and author of "traitor, a history betraying america from benedict arnold to donald trump." thanks for joining me on the show tonight. we know that more than 100,000 people have been evacuated from afghanistan since the middle of august, most of them afghans and we also knows that there are those who want to leave and dare to leave are being left behind. on a scale of 1 to 10 how would you scale the bidenp evacuation effort? >> i would give it a 7 or 58 in terms of the degree of getting the number of people out. i think the total is in excess of 115,000 people brought out in
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the past couple of week. the white house earlier today announced an agreement among 97 nations to ensure that flights continue even after the united states has left. you know, that's contrary to, you know, what some of the critics had said, that the u.s. isn't working with our allies or isn't able to lead. secretary blinken has indicated that the uss going to remain engaged, and, of course, we have many tools to do that beyond simply having an embassy presence there. so i think they have been very successful under very tough conditions. they estimated initially there were 6,000 americans there. i think at the last count there were just perhaps 300 of those 6,000 remaining and many of those may in fact have been remaining as a matter of choice,
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so given everything you've got to give them high marks. >> so you mentioned some of their critics. there have been a lot of critics and these are just republican or media critics. "the washington post" is reporting that even some house democrats have raised the prospect of whether secretary of state antony blinken and national security adviser jake sullivan should lose their jobs. david, this withdrawal has undoubtedly not gone according to plan but should a senior biden administration be forced to take the fall for that, do you think? >> absolutely no. that's just ludicrous. the amount of success that they have had in dealing with very difficult circumstances is enormous and frankly i think a lot of those critics are covering their own ground. many of those people are bush administration officials or obama administration officials. >> yes. >> or trump administration officials who created the circumstances that we're in. the problem is not all we've done in the past two weeks. the problem is what we've done
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in the mast 20 years. >> that's a very, very good point. i'm glad you made it. what do you say to the more hawkish critics of the president who say, look, leaving afghanistan, especially leaving afghanistan in this way whether we like it or not will embolden our enemies they say. will lead to afghanistan once again becoming a haven for al qaeda and other terrorist groups. what do you say to them? >> i would say a couple of things, that the drone strikes in the past couple of days have indicated the united states hats intelligence capability to identify threats and has the military capability to strike at them without troops. we have a lot of over-the-horizon capabilities and no doubt we will use them. you know, i also think that we have to be honest. the war on terror was not only a bad idea, it was a failure. when we started in 2002 we estimated there were 170 al qaeda operatives in the world. today there are tens of thousands and afghanistan is not the central haven for them, and
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if we want to fight violent extremism, i think we have to acknowledge that it resides elsewhere. >> david, one last quick question before we run out of time. you mentioned drone strikes. there are reports today that there may have been civilian casualties, kids among the drone strikes, against an isis-k combatant which nbc news hane yet confirmed. there's complete airbrushing of the fact that many lives were lost because of our presence killed by us either wittingly or unwittingly. why do so many politicians and pundits ignore that act? >> because it doesn't suit them politically. doesn't suit them politically that most of the lives lost women and children over the course of this war and 170,000 people died over the course of the past 20 years were lost because of the taliban. were lost because of the other side, were lost because of the support they got from other countries including pakistan so
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let's be clear. the united states -- over the past 20 years and do some introspection because we handled this badly from beginning to end but, you know, we're not the real wrongdoers here, and that remains the case 20 years later. >> david rothkopf, thanks for joining us tonight. appreciate it. >> next, a live update with meteorologist bill karins. we're tracking hurricane ida so stick around. ida so stick around e else... i appreciate that liberty mutual knows everyone's unique. that's why they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. oh, yeah. that's the spot. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ >> tech: every customer has their own safelite story. this couple loves camping adventures and their suv is always there with them. so when their windshield got a chip,
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why do nearly one million businesses choose to mail and ship? no more trips to the post office no more paying full price for postage and great rates from usps and ups mail letters ship packages anytime anywhere for less a lot less get our special tv offer a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale go to and never go to the post office again we're turning to follow that breaking news out of louisiana tonight. hurricane ida is making its way through the state with its eyes set on baton rouge. the storm made larnedful earlier near port fourchon with sustained is 50-mile-per-hour
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winds. tonight hundred of thousands are without power across the state. rescue crews are on the ground and officials want it to take up to 72 hours to reach some of the affected areas. nbc meteorologist bill karins is attracting hurricane ida. bill, where is the storm right now and how bad is this going to get in baton rouge? >> i think people in baton rouge are a little more encouraged now than they were today because the storm is a little closer and a little further east than it was expected to track this morning. not going to go right over the top of you. that is the baton rouge story. still gusts at 44 miles per hour. there are some power outages being reported. i'm happy to say i think we've hit the peak of the storm in new orleans, so if you're still one of the few people lucky enough to hit power you should be able to keep it through the rest of the night. winds at 56 miles per hour. earlier they were gusting at 80 to 80 and now they are lower than that. on radar this storm doesn't look as did did earlier. took forever for this storm to weaken and now we're finally
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seeing significant weakening. doesn't mean we won't get more damage but we ear no longer seeing the extreme damage like today. where do we go from here, the treads? tornadoes overnight are a possibility. a tornado watch until 6:00 a.m. in the morning from the western panhandle of florida, southern alabama, southern mississippi and a section here of northeastern louisiana so tornadoes are one threat and then the rainfall is a huge issue, so the rainfall risk. this map shows you where we have a moderate risk into nashville and kentucky and all the way to tupelo and hattiesburg and then the high risk of flash flooding in the new orleans area so the rainfall is the big problem out there from here on out. we have about 20, now we're town to 14 million people in flash flood watches. where you see mat reason colors, that's where there's flash flood warnings and there's the levee of being overtopped south of new orleans. that's not like a dire situation. the water is coming over the levee of and the pumps are working to pump it out so that's not a huge issue. the levee of itself is intact and that's one of the things
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that we're going to track. how much rainfall will we get out of this storm? it does look like the highest totals will be in southeastern, louisiana, but watch out mississippi tonight and tomorrow. just because the winds won't be that strong. we could see 5 inches of rain and then eventually look at this. this is 5 inches of rain all the way through pennsylvania, west virginia and maybe even headed for new york city, so, mehdi, this storm, you know, most of the wind damage has been done. the storm surge problems are just about over with. now it's going to be tracking tornadoes and rain flows and flooding over the next couple of days. >> the three most important words are the levees are intact. so good to hear. thanks for your analysis. appreciate it so much. earlier this morning the american red cross opened southern university's fg clock activity center in baton rouge, also known as the mini dome into a hurricane evacuation center. joining me now by telephone from baton rouge is nicole moll, spokesperson for the american
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red cross. nicole, i hear dome and louisiana and hurricane, and i immediately think of the new orleans superdome and hurricane katrina which leads me to ask what the red cross is doing to make sure some of those horror stories from 16 years ago don't emerge again. >> and you know today, thank you for having me. right now we have about 600 folks of red cross on the ground in preparation for this storm, right? we're sitting with fellow louisianians and riding this storm out, but really we've got rod crossers here operating evacuation shelters, and we're planning for what the next few days are going to look like. as the sun rises in the morning, what is the damage? what -- what do families need? what does the community need and for us the red cross is going to be there to help in this recovery. >> nicole in 2005, of course, the red cross wasn't also dealing with the coronavirus. what precautions do you have to put in place to try and contain the spread of the delta variant
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while you also help people in need? >> when you think about disasters, spacing is always going to be our priority. dangerous conditions exist because of this rain and wind and we recognize that safety as it relates to the pandemic is also going to be top of mind. it's doing things like, know, making sure that folks in shelters are wearing masks. that is a requirement now. we're doing extra distance. we have these cleaning protocols in place that all in line with our cdc guidelines. so when safety is always top of mind, it's something that our workforce can really push through because the people who come to us for care, for support during these disasters, we're keeping them safe at every level and doing what we can to slow the spread. >> nicole mall, appreciate the work that you guys are doing and appreciate you taking time out for us this evening. thank you so much. >> stay safe.
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>> you, too. stick around. we'll continue our coverage of hurricane ida, but next also the legacy of hurricane cart narks the storm that hit new orleans 16 years ago to the day changing that city forever. ago to the dg that city forever. (phone notification) where we've just lowered our auto rates. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ and savings like that will have you jumping for joy. now, get new lower auto rates with allstate. because better protection costs a whole lot less. you're in good hands with allstate. click or call for a lower auto rate today.
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age before beauty? why not both? visibly diminish wrinkled skin in... crepe corrector lotion... only from gold bond. as we watch the destructive rain and winds from hurricane ida hammer the gulf coast it's impossible to think of the devastation that hurricane katrina brought to the same region 16 years ago today. katrina made landfall about 60 miles southeast of new orleans on august 29th, 2005. it quickly became one of the worst natural disasters in u.s. history. a storm surge nearly 30 feet high in places led to widespread flooding leading thousands to flee their home. damage cost more than a billion dollars and more than 1,000 people died. for more on preparation for how
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the storm compares, we're joined by craig fugate of the obama administration and michael mann, a distinguished professor at penn state university and author of the"the new climate war." thank you for joining me. craig, after katrina, the federal government spent more than $14 billion on levees, pumps, seawalls, flood gates, and drainage which provided enhanced protection from storming in the new orleans area. it's early days, early hours of the night, but does that work appear to be making a big difference tonight? >> yeah, but the storms are also different. so i think it did its job. we also built a lot of structures elevated and hard, even outside of the levee protection zone. and so far, those buildings seem to be doing better. as you're watching, a lot of older homes, building codes not as strong, they're losing their roofs. we're going to have a lot of
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housing issues with this storm. >> that's a very good point. michael, in the 16 years since katrina, how significant -- how significantly has climate change altered the way these hurricanes operate? are things only going to get worse with each year? >> yeah, well, what's unfortunate is katrina felt like an unprecedented event. yet we have seen so many katrinas since then. hurricane harvey, hurricane florence, hurricane irma. this is now sort of a regular pattern where we see these monster category 4 and category 5 storms striking the east coast or the gulf coast of the united states. this is, make no mistake, this is an expression of the impacts of climate change. warmer oceans, more heat content. that's very important, with this latest storm, there was a very deep layer of warm water that fed the rapid intensification of
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that storm. it's a pattern we have seen in recent years, and we would not be seeing this in the absence of human caused climate change. the warming of the planet, the record temperatures of our oceans in recent years, has fueled these monster storms. >> yes, they have. craig, let me ask you this. you mentioned that these storms are different this time around. and they are. not everything is exactly the same as came before. but what's different this time around, which wasn't there in 2005 with katrina, is of course, covid. as someone who ran fema, how hard a task has it been for the federal government, for local officials, to plan for an impending hurricane knowing that hospitals in places like louisiana are already full because of covid-19 and the delta variant? >> well, this is why the messaging is so important that people understand. the hospitals are full. most dangerous time isn't always in the hurricane. our experience has been in florida and other places, we have more fatalities after the
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storm from accidents. carbon monoxide poisoning, falls, traffic crashes. one of the messages is if you're safe, stay there. when the storm passes, stay home. don't get out on the roads. let the emergency responders and utility crews do their jobs. our problem is going to be people are out there getting injured, the hospitals are already under stress from covid without adding trauma patients. >> yes. they certainly are. and that's one of the problems of having to deal with so many people who still won't get vaccinated, but that's a topic and a rant for another night. michael, at what point do we as a society look at the scenes on our tv screens, look at how once in a 100 year event are now once in ten or once in five-year events. and decide to take action on the biggest issue of our time? a lot of states have been pummeled by climate induced disasters are red states filled with or run by climate deniers. >> well, that's absolutely true, and it's very unfortunate that, you know, we really are seeing
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these devastating events now. they don't care about whether you're a red state or a blue state. the climate doesn't care about your politics. all of us are subject to these monster storms. we're seeing out east, you know, and in the gulf coast, but let's not forget out west right now, we're still seeing record wildfires burning right now. we still see the dixie fire, the second largest wildfire in california history, is currently burning. it is threatening to become the largest wildfire in california history. so we're subject to these multiple challenges, these multiple assaults, because of climate change. this is one of the things that the most recent report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change or ipcc warned about. the likelihood we will have to deal with simultaneous disasters playing out across our country. it's really going to test our adaptive capacity, our resilience, and it will get much
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worse if we don't act. the good news is right now, our congress is considering a reconciliation package that could provide the stimulus, that could provide the policies necessary to finally get us off this fossil fuel driven highway, because the more we drive down this highway, the more danger we encounter. >> craig, 30 seconds left. i want to ask you, michael mentioned the budget package and infrastructure. you're a former fema chief. we need to fix our infrastructure in this country, don't we, asap? >> yeah, and the problem is we built the infrastructure for the last 100 years, not for future risk. our response systems, our infrastructure were not built for climate change and the climate has already changed. so this is not something we have time for. and again, just think about it. everything we built was based upon the last 100 years of weather threats, not what's happening right now. >> well said, the last 100 years, not the next 100 or even the next ten. let's hope people are listening.
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craig fugate and michael mann, thank you for your time and analysis tonight. i appreciate it. that does it for us this hour. stay tuned for continuing coverage of hurricane ida next with joshua johnson, that's coming up after a quick break. stay tuned. ♪ ♪ and one we explore one that's been paved and one that's forever wild but freedom means you don't have to choose just one adventure ♪ ♪ you get both. introducing the all-new 3-row jeep grand cherokee l jeep. there's only one. as someone who resembles someone else...
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flooding. this storm is clearly far from over. tonight, louisiana's governor, john bell edwards, is requesting a presidential major disaster declaration due to the severe impact of the storm. this hour, we learn that the power is out in all of new orleans due to catastrophic transmission damage to facilities from entergy. the new orleans sewer and water district has lost three power lines from entergy to run some of its drainage pumps. we'll keep an eye on that as well. plaquemines parish, we're hearing the levees on the east bank have overtopped. this area is currently under a mandatory evacuation. but any remaining residents are urged to seek higher ground. again, they have overtopped. we do not have word they have been damaged or breached. as you know, this afternoon, ida made landfall as a category 4 hurricane near pourt fourchon. it was a strong category 4 with sustained winds of 150 miles per hour. tonight, ida remains extremely dangerous as it makes its way through the bayou state. we're seeing the kind of


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