tv CNN Newsroom CNN May 14, 2011 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
all right, we're going to begin with breaking news. look at that. water just pouring through the morganza spillway. that's a live picture from louisiana. they haven't done this since the 1970s. i remember the last time they did this. this is not an exact science. they don't know exactly where this water is going to go. thousands of people are going to be flooded. the governor has said evacuate, evacuate, evacuaevacuate. it's heart break in louisiana right now. this is what they're having to do to relieve pressure on a
swollen levee system, a taxed levee system, and they don't know if it's going to hold even with this. they're being inundated with water. people who have dealt recently with tornadoes just a couple weeks ago, and hurricane katrina and rita that hit the area and have done so much devastation to louisiana. you can't take your eyes off the pictures. imagine if this was happening in your community. this much water, knowing your homes, your hafarms, your livelihood would be flooding. wheler get to the players. ed lavendera on the ground. he'll join us in a second. look at inflooding. this is what is being flooded. this is all just moments ago. once they started to release the pressure on the morganza spillway and let that water out, look at the levees. water pouring across the levees. that's the mississippi river there. look at that. unbelievable. we're going to follow this breaking news story for you because we don't know what is going to happen here. we don't know how this is going to end up.
they don't even know if this is going to relieve the pressure and help the stressed levee system in louisiana which has bib inundated with so much water and heartache. jennifer is here as well. we'll get to her in a moment. i'm going to go to the ground and my colleague ed lavendera for this breaking news. this flood gates haven't been opened since the 1970s. and heart break. show us what and happening where you are. >> 1973, to be exact. this is just one of the gates. to give you a sense of just a little while ago, we were standing down hire where you see the gates on the ground here, and that water has already here in the last few minutes taken all of that over. we just had a chance to walk over on top of the morganza spillway structure and stand over the gate and get a sense of watching that water. this vantage point is impressive, but when you stand over it and see how wide and powerful the water is rushing through that one gate, it really is impressive. now, where we're standing, the
water begins the long, slow process of making its way toward the gulf of mexico, and with it heartache and pain for many people who live in the community who will be in the direct path of the water. so they'll be watching this close lar. we're about 45 mile s north of interstate 10, and officials say it will take about a full day for a lot of the water to make it to interstate 10. we don't anticipate any closings. it's suspended over the swamps and water there. and then it will take three days get to morgan city. as you mejzed off the top, it's all about the pressure on the levee system along the mississippi river between baton rouge and louisiana. anything over 1.5 million cubic feet per second of water is too much for the levee system to handle. it can cause problems and could be devastating for the levees. they had to relieve the pressure off that. the colonel here who is in charge of the army corps of
engineers described this as an off ramp of the mississippi river highway. this is one of the few places where water can come off the river. even though it has to come off the river basin, it makes its way to the gulf of mexico. >> i don't want you to go far away because we're going to come back toia. right there in louisiana, right where it's happening in morganza. stand by because you mentioned the army corps of engineers. i'm going to go to ed fleming. i know it's a difficult decision to open the morganza spillway after 40 years of not having to use it and the heartbreak for people who know they're going to get flooded. >> the amount of water that is coming down the mississippi river all the way from cairo, illinois, all the way through louisiana is record-setting, and we operate this as the system, this is one of those that ed mentioned, and we operated it started today, and we're thinking this is a successful operation going on right now. >> i have been telling our viewers here that this isn't an
exact science. there are about 2,500 people in direct path of the spillway and about 2,000200 others who are threatened by the swollen backwaters. the governor has urged people remaining in these areas to begin evacuating. you don't know how many people this is going to affect, do you? >> we have a sense of how many people will be impacted, but there are some of those folks you mentioned that live behind the levee. and there are communities that have ring lechbes around them, so they should be okay. we're also undertaken a flood fight with the city of morgan city and some of the other districts. we're doing the best we can do relieve pressure on the mississippi river, but we're also in morgan city and in amelia and berwick, with sand bags and pumps doing the best we can to support them. >> and you saw ed. we're going to get back to you, but if you can stay on the pictu picture, we would love to see it
as we talk to the colonel. people are watching from around the country. explain to them what you're going through and really the decision behind having to do this. this is a last-ditch effort. this is a decision you don't take lightly. >> no, absolutely. i don't take this lightly at all. when decisions get to my level, none of them are easy. we fall back on our science, our engineering. we look at the best technology that we have available. and in the end, with public safety at our number one priority, we make difficult decisions based on how we operate as a system. so again, when we look at the flow -- colonel, are you there? okay, i think colonel, are you there? we have lost the colonel, but we as we try to get him back, it's unbelievable. he said this decision he does cht take lightly. this happened about an hour ago. 3:00 p.m. local time, where they
opened this, and they're doing one bay at a time. wait until they start opening up more. ed is doing a report for one of or other affiliates. and cnn in espanol. we have a lot going on. chad myers is there. we can call your our chief mete meteorologist. stand by, listen to this, and we'll talk about it. >> it's worse than we thought. it's really worse than we thought. we thought maybe we might have water in our yard. this came into our homes. this is going to take every -- everything we've got. >> so this, as we say, this is about dash you think it's about land, but it's really about people. we're going to get to chad in just a bit. again, you know, unbelievable that this is happening, and that this area has had to deal with so much. we're going to look at new video now. this is the water as it's creeping up, begins to covering more land, more areas, more and
more by the minute, by the moment in louisiana. we want to thank our affiliates there that have been so great to us. they have been helping us out as well as a number of other aff affiliates because this is big news there. they don't know how many people, you heard the colonel saying they have a general idea, but having dealt with the hurricanes and the flooding and the wind and the damage, they are really at their wit's end there. chad myers, you heard the lady say we thought it was going to come in and cover a little bit of our hand and the water might get up high. this is going to wipe out many people's homes there. and as i have been telling the viewers. it's not an exact science here. talk to me. >> we had officials down in beaut larose standing in a building saying, listen to me, i'm going to be standing in 15 feet of water if this gate is opened all the way, and that's what we're planning.
that's what we anticipate. you absolutely must leave here. yes, it's not an exact science, and yes, the water may go left and right at a couple of the ditches in the bayous, but they have a very good idea of what they have to do to save the levees, don. the levees have begun to boil underneath them. i'm not alarmingly so, but boiling means with water pressure from the mississippi river is pushing down so hard that the water is tunnelling under the levees, tunnelling under the lechbes all the way to push the water onto the dry side of the levee. you cannot have that. you can't have that type of boiling. otherwise, the waters start to wash out the dirt. it gets the dirt to wash out, then all of a sudden, you can get a big tunnel under the levees, and then with the tunnel, it can wash the levee itself into a complete breach because the course of the water is tremendous. it will push the dirt away, watch it, and you have areas you thought were protected where people are scrambling because
the breach is immediate and in big-time danger. they have to let some of the water out for the people who are downriver. again, anywhere from baton rouge down so that the boils don't become catastrophic. >> any more pressure would put the levees behind their designed capacity. that was years ago. now, the levees have been stressed so much lately, we don't know what the design capacity is. how much they can hold. >> dha were nade to have a 500 year flood. at some point in time, this has been called a 100-year to 300-year flood. the numbers, that's a complete gray area. where you go from 100 to 300, do we even know because the last flood wasn't 100 years ago or 300 years ago that was this bad? the problem is you have the army corps, they look at the levees all the time. they look at thement r them, they mare sure there aren't animals burrowing there. but if you have a couple animals burrowing under, making gopher
holes, you can get soft spots, weak spots that aren't shown until the water guess to this pressure. water gueet to this level and those weak spots, it's the weakest link in the chain. right? the whole thing has to work. and if one part doesn't work, all of a sudden, you have flooded the other side of the levee, the levee has made to hold back. it has not been tested for a long time. the army corps did a wonderful job of walking these, driving these levees month after month, but sometimes you can miss something. >> chad myers, i want you to stand by and i want to tell our viewers, we'll get back to chad. we have complete team coverage. jennifer, our meteorologist is here, chad is on the phone. look at that, louisiana, you know the wildlife there, snakes, gators, whatever you can think of, water moccasins, all there. all there, and so that is danger to show as well. and the water is pouring out of that morganza spillway.
you remember the man who came in and some people say, i guess everybody would say rescued new orleans in the state of louisiana from an even -- from a disaster that could have been much worse. i don't know how, but if not for generalhonore, who knows where louisiana would have been. continuing coverage of the flooding in louisiana in just moments. as a manager, my team counts on me to stay focused. so i take one a day men's 50+ advantage. it's the only complete multivitamin with ginkgo to support memory and concentration. plus it supports heart health. [ bat cracks ] that's a hit. one a day men's.
it's worse than we thought. it's really worse than we thought. woo thought maybe we might have water in our yard. this came into our homes. this is going to take everything. . >> we're back now with our continuing coverage of the flooding in louisiana. the water, water everywhere, and where is it going to go? all over the state. i want to bring in the man who saved louisiana during hurricane katrina. all you can call it was a crisis. general russel honore is on the phone. my family is there. i remember back in the '70s when they opened this 40 years ago when water was getting close to the interstate. talk to us about the possibility of the human element there. what's going on, general? >> what we observed today was the death of all options because if we didn't do this, we could have lost the capital city of the state of louisiana, baton rouge, and our historic commercial center of the south of new orleans. this the best of all options.
the execution of the morganza bridge was by design. the way the corps did this, they played the playbook, and the playbooks worked. they released the pressure, the water will go through the ach atchafala atchafalaya. >> general, what a decision to have to make. you have to weigh -- you know, this is the best of all options, but still, a lot of people are going to be hurt by this and impacted by this. >> we're writing history. as of 3:00 today when they went into the process of opening that flood gate, we are writing history. the difference between this flood and previous floods in 1927 and 1937 and the fact that we had numerous numbers of infrastructures such as chemical flants and now nuclear power plants that are going to be in the threat of flooding. and the fact that we opened the
morganza spillway to reduce that threat, but those chemical plants are at risk. that's the difference between today and previous floods. we're writing history. >> general russel honore, stand by. as we look at these pictures, i want to show you the water is pouring into the atchafalaya basin in louisiana. it's filling up marshes. it's engeorging bayous. the network of federally belt levees. i want to knribring in chad andn we're going to go to jennifer. the general talked about the chemical plants and the other issues they have. things they didn't have back in the '20s and '30s when there was record flooding as well. these are maischer issues. >> certainly, they are.
they step up just what could be a flood to something that could turn into a bigger disaster. you stepped up the game by putting something else like that in the way. also, the people that have lived in this, the flood basin, the morganza flood basin, they knew when they built there. they know when they live there, they knew this could happen. they're not -- this is a process. this just isn't open all the gaelts and let the water flow. they're letting it out so slowly so that at least originally, right now, animals are fleeing because you know, the police can't come and say evacuate, you bear, you jaguar. so the animals are getting a chance. they're giving a chance for the wildlife to escape. the problem, you can't make the oysters escape. the wasters are going to get this freshwater. they want to get brackish, salt
ay. so there's nothing that is a perfect solution. something is going to be hurt one way or the other. some industry, some property is going to be hurt and damaged at some point in time. there is no perfect option in this, but they took the path of least resistance. what could possibly happen, what is the worst case scenario, and this is what they had to do. >> and chad, you know, as we're looking, i don't know if you can see the pictures, but it's starting to flood now, and as i grew up there, the only jaguars i know, the southern university jaguars. i hope they're -- there are a lot of alligators and crocodiles and all that in louisiana. chad, you bring up a good point, but i want you to stand by. i can't believe the video. it's amazing to watch. you can't take your eyes off it. general russel honore is here to try to get us through this, and some of it won't be realized for days, jennifer. tell us about how much of an
area is being impacted here. >> we're talking about, to give you an idea, about half the size of the state of connect connects. we're talking 3400 square miles. here is the area we're talking a. here is the morganza flood gates. they started to open that. this is necessary to alleviate some of the stress on the mississippi river. here is the mississippi river. the water is going to be pushed this way, to the west. it's also going to be bringing some of the heavier water into the atchafalaya river. as we go down more, this is interstate 10. it's a very heavily traveled roadway. we're talking if you go from laugh yet to baton rouge or go from new orleans into houston, we could see the water level rising there as well. for morgan city, we actually have a pretty good levee system there, but as ed said earlier, areas to the west, this might see some flooding problems
there. if the levee holds up, it looks like morgan city should be good. we talk a bit more, and on the wider view, you remember earlier this week, they opened up the bonnet carre flood gate. that's smaller than the morganza one. as i take this down and we go over, just to give you an idea of the flooding that we're expging, we're expecting the greenville location to crest as we head to monday. we're talking about greenville, mississippi. roughly about 15 meters above flood stage. major flooding there. as we go through the next several days and weeks ago, i said weeks ahead because may 23rd, getting toward new orleans at a moderate level. even still, areas near new orleans need to be cautious with this because right now all the levees are holding up, but certainly this is not an exact science, as you said earlier. >> and they have had a lot of pressure on the levees for a long time. 3,4
3,400 square miles. that's a lot. general russel honore are you still there? >> yes, sir. >> chad myers, are you still there? >> yes, sir. >> don't go anywhere. we'll see you on the other side of the break. we have a story of a financially savvy and frugal teenager who could teach us all a thing or two about how to save, how to save. christine roman has a segment right now. >> reporter: every other friday, florida high school freshman jordan palmer deposits at least $10 of his allowance and lunch money into one of his four, yes four, bank accounts. >> it's cash. there's ten. >> you can save up for something better. don't just spend it on something that really is worthless. just to spend money. >> sage advice for most adults, let alone teenagers. but jordan got started early. >> the first savings account was at the credit union. >> and maybe its rar that
financial acumen that helped him win a contest sponsored by the national foundation for credit counseling. he was 1 of 1,800 students across the country who submitted posters mapping out personal financial plans. this year's theme, be a superhero, save money. he traveled to washington, d.c. for the award and met ben ber nanky. a big day for the boy who started up small. >> i saved for action figures then. >> now he's saving for an ipod and definitely. >> we're putting money aside for going to college. >> jordan credits his mother and grandmother. >> his major account is for his college, then he has a savings aeblth and a checking account which is important because i want him to know what it's like to write a check. >> i don't think it's too early, but you take a 2-year-old to the store and let them know, you can only have this one thing instead
of five or six other things. or it's either/or. if you get this, you can't have this. >> lessons passed down from generation to generation and lessons jordan has learned well. >> it's important to create a budget. first of all. so you won't overspend. create different accounts like start saving from a young age. make goals. like if you start saving, what do you want to accomplish by when? >> christine romans, cnn, new york. ♪ what do you see yourself doing after you do retire? client comes in and they have a box. and inside that box is their financial life. people wake up and realize. "i better start doing something." we open up that box. we organize it. and we make decisions. we really are here to help you.
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70% of the people have packed up and gone already. >> it's going to be a ghost town pretty soon. >> yeah. >> you're sitting at home watching this on a saturday, enjoying your weekend, and people in louisiana are scrambling to safety. and they don't know when they're going to come back to their homes because the army corps of engineers are voluntarily flooding their homes because they have to. they have to relieve the pressure on that already taxed levee system in louisiana. all that water that has come from up north, this is a result of it showing up here. they're trying to relieve the pressure. the system is still under tremendous pressure, and this is going to remain for weeks, even with this opened up.
we have our chad myers with us. i call him our chief meet urologist. we also have dr. wendy walsh to talk about the human toll and how people feel about this, and the man who saved new orleans in hurricane katrina, retired general russel honore. to chad, it's going to relieve? pressure but not all of it. >> absolutely not. we don't actually know the number of gallons that will come out yet. the number is still up in the air. they have permission to open them. they don't know exact low how many they're going to need. without this opening, you're at 19.5 feet. that big levee in new orleans, you know, don, it's a big mound of dirt. from jackson square, you can't see the river for this big, giant mountain of dirt. the water will be a foot from topping that. so, with this water now coming out here, a little farther upriver, that number may come
down. there may be a foot and a half or two feet of freetboard above what the levee is. so you still have all of this tremendous pressure. i'm also a certified scuba diving instruction. you're talking about 30, 40 feet worth of water. there are double atmospheres, atmospheres of pressure pushing down from the top of the water to the bottom of the water and the water is trying to push itself under the levees because really all they are, in spots, they're walls, of course, and that could be concrete, but in many spots, they're just hills of dirt, and the hills of dirt are not perfect. they have been damped down. there's grass, greenery, root systems in there to keep everything going and keep everything solid. but we know, we know from what happened in katrina how the water can undermine the walls or the levees. the higher the pressure, the higher the chance of that. the lower the pressure, or the lower the level, the lower the chance of that. that's what they're doing right
now. they're lowering the chance of a catastrophic failure. >> general russel honore. you heard chad myers mention katrina. when you mention water or flooding, spaengz after katrina, people in louisiana get jumpy. their nerves are on edge. >> yes, sir, and all the right reasons. they should be dealing with an abundance of caution. anyone south of morganza including bartton rouge, new orleans, and the surrounding counties that they're in a flood zone and they should be prepared to move in a moment's notice. you can go from a boiling to a blowout of a levee system. people need to stay aware and have their weather radios standing by because you may have to evacuate. you need to study that now and see if you're in the potential flood zone. >> dr. wendy walsh, what do you do? you don't know if it's going to hit. you know it's coming.
you don't know how bad it's going to be. you heard the lady say this has the potential and probably is going to wipe out everything we have. >> this fear and anxiety can wear on someone because they don't know where it's coming, how much is coming, and how much it will destroy. what we're seeing is a well designed system of levees and spillways designed to save large areas, but at the same time, those who have farms and livestock, and have to rush to higher ground, this anxiety is hard to take, and i hope there's a way they can find a way to reassure themselves it's for there better good. it's for the bigger america and all the states that are suffering here. not just louisiana. >> here is my question because when i go back and talk to people on the phone, katrina is just, you know, it could be the next sentence. it's always in the back of people -- not even in the back of people's minds. it's on the tip of your tongue.
you talk about the traffic, more traffic in baton rouge. people don't go to new orleans as much because they're afraid of the ramifications of katrina. they don't have places to go. now they're having to deal with this. i know it sounds cliche, but how much more can people take, and what happens to people when they go through these dramas back to back to back like this? >> yeah, this is what you're talking about, symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. we have a couple states that are affected by it. then you add a new tragedy on top of it, double the level of anxiety. the thing i find most concerning to me about it is it can be intergenerational. that means grandchildren not even born yet will be in some system based on anxiety about the system. it's a matter of pulling together as a community, talking about things. all these emotions do better
when we get them out verbally and finding support groups. >> they say let the good times roll. new orleans is a place of happy times. a lot of drinking. a lot of drinking, a lot of eating. seriously, people cover up when you have depression and post traumatic dre iic stress, they through alcohol, through drugs. they self-medicate. >> they're self-medicating, exactly. but hopefully we can get back to a time of only revelry in new orleans because really, it's like the history of america. it's the only american art form, jazz. let's go there to its roots. can't wait for new orleans to come back. and it has been, but now we have this new tragedy to worry about. >> dr. wendy, i want to tell our viewers that you're looking at live pictures now. this is from our affiliate wdsu. this is right across the river from the french quarters.
jackson square, right. it points right across there? andreas is my executive producer. he's from new orleans. i'm from baton rouge. you take the ferry over or the bridge. there's two sets of levees, an old levee and a new levee. it's topped the old levee and it looked like it's going to top the new levee. this is about 90 miles downriver from the morganza swillway. algiers point. that's what everyone knows. since we're talking about that now, let's bring in general russel honore. if the water is already high here, what is going to happen when it comes down from the morganza? >> you know, that crest will have less than a foot to spare as the projecting stress. and they have done a superb job until this point, but they're working with nature. and they have engineered systems that help nature move the strength, like the event today
in morganza. if that spillway wasn't there, that would have been a natural event. that would have already happened. in new orleans, if the bonnet carre block wasn't there, the water would be flowing flow lake pontchartrain. the impact in new orleans, it's a low-lying area, heavy flooding. mother nature is going to have its way, and the corps is still fighting that. >> jergeneral, stand by. do we have chad there? you're looking at the pictures now, you see algiers point. the new levee is holding. it's dry on the other side, but that pretty close to the top. i'm going to be honest here. can we expect since the levees have had to deal with so much, since they're so taxed and stressed, can we expect some breaching, some topping, some sort of something that's not expected here? >> so far, we're doing okay. there are some areas where levees are being topped.
but the army corps knew that. in fact, they put down sheeting, they put down plastic sheeting on top of the levees so that when the water did go over the top of the levee, it didn't wash away, didn't erode all the dirt. they said we're going to lose a half a foot of water, it's going to eventually come back down, and we don't want to lose the infire levee. let's cover it up and not have a washout. that's already happening. and we knew that general honore has talked significantly about some of the boils. and it looks like boiling water. because it literally is coming in from the river under the levee, and then it boils up like a boiling pot of water on the other side, the dry side, which you don't want. and they're putting sand bags around it. all these things so far, the catastrophic events, have been savable. there's nothing so far that we have seen that can't be fixed. now that's not saying -- the
problem is that this isn't going to go down for weeks, don. i know we're talking about the pressure that we're seeing right now. it's the same pressure that's going to be there for seven days. sure, something can hold that's made of dirt for 24 hours, but can it hold for 124 hours? can it hold for 240 hours before something lets go? i think we're going to have some events. but hopefully, the army corps will be able to take care of those events and not have catastrophic failures and people scrambling at 3:00 in the morning with sirens going off and police driving through the towns saying you must evacuate not. the levee is broken. you can't have that. that's the panic. that's the -- could you think of the people on the other side of the levee, what they have to think about every night when they go to bed? you can't have that. the army corps is in control right now. and so far, this is a controlled disaster. and this is what they're doing right now. they're making another disaster for the people down the floodway
right now here, but they hopefully are relieving a disaster for the bigger population in bigger cities downriver. >> and chad, you have summed it up, while we're following this breaking news, because how long can a big piece of dirt hold this? this is just the beginning now, but this is going to going on for weeks and weeks and weeks. and here and what i find interesting. think about all this, all of this water, millions and millions and millions of gallons of water, all of it has to go new orleans, past baton rouge to new orleans, down to the gulf of mexico. what is going to happen when that starts to reach new orleans, 120 miles downstream. we don't know. in an area that has already been taxed. the old levee, the water has gone above that. the new levee is holding. you're looking at pictures now from the morganza spillway as the gallons of water rush, really, thousands of cubic feet per minute rush into the waterways and bayous in
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happened. as a matter of fact, this levee was probably the levee that was here in 1927. >> they opened one. just one of 125 flood gates in louisiana at the morganza spillway, spilling out at thousands and thousands of cubic gallons per second. this is at algiers point. the old levee has been topped, the new one is holding. this is 125 miles downriver from the morganza spillway. and that water is all going towards new orleans and then it will end up in the gulf of mexico and hopefully there won't be any big-time damage and there won't be much human toll. we're keeping our fingers crossed on that. as general russel honore said, we're writing history here. this hasn't been done since 1973, and they don't know if it's going to be entirely successful. i want to go to jennifer delgado
with new images and new information about this, as we say, disaster, that's being caused on purpose. >> that's right, and you really have to weigh the area that is actually going to be flooded. because potentially it could be worse, say, if they didn't alleviate some of the flooding along the mississippi river. let's give you a look at the new image. this coming in from the army corps of engineer. this is their forecast. we talked about how they opened up the morganza spillway. we're starting to see the water rushing in. and here is the morganza spillway. here is the mississippi river where we're seeing all that flooding and really the high level. with the water coming over towards the west and down towards the south, of course, that is going to cause the flooding. we're talking about thousands of structures in damage and thousands of people being evacuated. to give you an idea of the levels that we're expecting the water to actually climb down towards parts of louisiana, i want to show you this. this is coming in, and again, this is an estimate, not an
exact science. but you can see in the atchafalaya basin, we're talking 10 to 15 feet, 15 to 20. anywhere in the gold, that's the mississippi river, anywhere between 20 and 30 feet in some locations. down towards the south, a little lesdz amount of water, zero to 5 feet, but none the less, this is going to certainly really cause havoc on homeowners down there. as i zoom out for you, i also want to give you an idea of the size of it. this area equates to about half the size of the state of connecticut. a wide area that is going to be affected by this flooding that is being done intentionally. as i go to this graphic right here, we are expecting the river to crest in greenville, mississippi, as we head to early monday. we're talking about 15 feet above flood stage. major flooding. we're also talking about major areas as well, for vicksburg, 12.8 feet. and for areas including red river, 14.1, so many areas up
and down the mississippi, under the gun for major flooding. many areas affected by this. as chad mentioned earlier, with all that fresh water coming in from areas right in the basin, that is going to cause problems for the oysters. the farmers there because they're used to the saltwater. that's the other part of the story. >> let's see, katrina, rita, the oil disaster, and now this. >> can't get a break. >> the oysterman and fishermen in louisiana can't get a break. thank you very much. look at this new video into cnn of water just pouring into louisiana, and just ruining people's lives. many people's lives. unbelievable stuff here. and all of this is done, as general russel honore has said, to save the capital city and to save new orleans, the biggest city in louisiana, from an even bigger disaster. who knows, once all this water starts to reach there, what is
going to happen. the governor also weighing in on that. bobby jindal said the problem will linger for a while. listen to him just moments ago. >> this isn't going to be over this weekend. we're going to be facing week said of elevated water. some part of the state, the water is going to be higher than normal through july and even august. >> so even august. our chad myers has said it. our general russel honore has said it. this is just the begibeening. who knows what is going to happen from here? that's the reason we're covering this here. breaking news on the heartbreak in louisiana. the flooding going on. it's so far a purposeful disaster. let's hope it stays at that.
all right, we're followic breaking news here on cnn. just about an hour and a half ago, they opened the morganza spillway. really the biggest sort of release mechanism to relieve the flow and pressure on the levee system, the taxed levee system in louisiana. these are new pictures in of the water pouring onto land and pouring onto property. look at that, unbelievable. you can't take your eyes off it. and no one knows what is going to happen once it starts to flood and hit more ground in louisiana. we're going to continue to follow this breaking news story on cnn because we know thmalt t people here have been dealing with for so long, since katrina and even before, as a matter of fact. first we want to update you on
another important story that involved immigration. >> this isn't going to bow over this weekend. we're going to be facing weeks of elevated water. some parts of the state, the water is going to be higher than normal through july and august. >> obviously, that is not what we wanted to talk about. but we want to talk about a soccer star from georgia we want to talk about a soccer store from georgia leaving the country from mexico, preempting his deportation. his parents brought him to the country illegally when he was 6 years old. he joins us here. last year a friend gave him a stolen video game that led federal officials to his door. you probably wish that had never happened. to avoid being ed to leave, rengal has decided to leave on his own terms. he joins me with his coach, jamieson griffin and the attorney is brad davis. why did you decide to do this? most people would think you want to stay. you want to do it the right way
you say? >> i want to do it the right way. it would be better because -- it would be better for me to come back. that's why i did it the right way. >> did you ever think that you could maybe run and try to stay in the country instead of going and trying to do it the right way? >> oh, no. i'd take a look at the consequences and stuff like that. i wouldn't do that. that's not the right thing to do. >> what are you doing to do in the final hours? >> hanging out with the family and friends. yeah, family and friends. >> you thought about when you were detained. tell us about where you were detained and what you thought about. i know you said you were grateful for your education. what did you think about in those hours when you were detained? >> i was detained in stewart. all that could go through my mind is when i was going to go and stuff like that. it brought me closer to got and
the people that were there for me and stuff, the people that i would talk to and stuff. it brought me closer to them. >> you said it brought you closer to god. what do you think about your parents bringing you here? do you have any animosity? are you upset they brought you here? do you wish they had done things differently? >> no. i can't blame them, you know. better place, better education, free country you know. i believe that they brought me over here for a reason. for me it was better education. >> brad, you're the attorney. i'll bring you in. why is it better that he leave the country rather than just stay? if he leaves, doesn't he face a possibility of not being able to come back orr it's going to be a long time before he's allowed back into the country? >> don, you're definitely right about that. all along the strategy here for
us has been to follow the law as it stands, written right now. as part of the policy we've been working with in the existing framework of the law, and it doesn't provide a whole lot of good options for him. of the short, unappetizing list of menu options, voluntary departure will put him in the best position to start -- to go back to mexico, start the process to re-enter the united states with appropriate status. >> coach, you've done a lot to help him stay in the country. >> a lot of people have done a lot. >> why? >> i've been only the facilitator to ask for favors and ask people to help bear this burden. i wouldn't say that i've done a lot. i've just asked for a lot of favors. there's a lot of people involved in this. we just happen to be here today. >> we have to run here. do you think he's going to be a role model and set an example? he's trying to do it the right way. you don't hear it that often. most people just want to stay. he says he wants to do it role
model? >> he's already a role model obviously. as he's here today, he's sacrificing time with his family to create awareness and exposure to this issue. >> change the face of immigration, how people look at immigrants. do you think he has the possibility of doing that? >> that's certainly possible. ultimately we want to show people that bernabe is doing this the right way. >> you're confident you're going to come back? >> i have a lot of faith. >> first chapter. second chapter is coming later. >> thank you, gentlemen. we appreciate it. we want to get back to our breaking news on cnn. let's show the pictures of what's happening in louisiana. we're following it every single moment here. this new video is coming in. we had video of when it first occurred, from the army corps of engineers. they're on pins and needles in louisiana, not only the officials there but the people who live there of course because they don't know where all this water is going to go exactly. more of our breaking news after the break.
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like nature valley. granola bars made with crunchy oats and pure honey. nature valley -- 100% natural. 100% delicious. like every single american airlines flight. orbitz doesn't have them. but you'll find all 3,400 of them at aa.com. every day. welcome back to our breaking news. coverage of the flooding in louisiana. there you see the morganza spillway. the water is flowing out of that and going onto thousands and thousands of acres of farmland. residential areas in louisiana, they're trying to save baton rouge and new orleans, the
state's two largest cities. cnn's ed lavandera was there when they opened the spillway. he joins us now. you're trying to get ahead of the water to see where it's going and how people are reacting. how far have you gotten? >> reporter: it's going to be a slow-moving process. we're still at the spillway area. we've seen that wide open space of grass land that was just on the dry side of the morganza spillway here in the last two hours has really filled up. that water continues to gush through the one bay that has been opened. they will open up more bays here in the next 24 hours, all in the effort to diminish the pressure on the mississippi river and the levee system that keep baton rouge and new orleans dry. that's the focus. it will take some time for this water to make its way downstream. we're told it would take about a day to get down to interstate 10 which is about 40 -- we're about 45 miles north. it will take about three days to get down to morgan city. >> ed, thank you very much. i want to bring in sunny
hostin, our legal expert on this network and hln and our sister network, trutv as well. i want to ask you about the legal ramifications for this. did illinois set a precedent when they opened the levy to relieve pressure and flooded land? >> remember those 25 farmers in missouri did attempt to sue the federal government saying their property rights were taken without just compensation. the army corps responded to that, don, and said when you have farming property abutting these levees, there's flowing easement that allows the army cops to do this. i don't think there's civil liability for the army corps. they will reimburse farmers for the loss of their livelihood, there are insurance programs. there are other government insurance policies and programs available to them. i don't think you can sue the federal government over