tv CNN Newsroom With Pamela Brown CNN August 29, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
i'm pamela brown in washington. you are live in the "cnn newsroom" on this busy sunday night. welcome to our breaking news coverage. hurricane ida is churning deeper into louisiana right now after slam ago shore just shy of a category 5 storm. it is proving to be every bit as devastating as feared. at landfall, ida's sustained winds were 150 miles an hour. officially tying the strongest storms to ever hit the state. ida has been even stronger than katrina, which in a cruel irony, devastated the state 16 years ago today. it is too early to assess ida's
huge path of damage, but the wrecking power is obvious. just look at this video. listen to the winds. flooding is widespread. some areas could get 20 inches of rain. more than a half million homes and businesses are without power. that number is sure to climb, and officials say it could take weeks to fully restore power. the levee system in new orleans was vastly upgraded after katrina and is holding as of now. south of new orleans, the rainfall and storm surge have pushed water over a levee in plaquemines parish. a flash flood emergency is in effect, and residents are urged to seek higher ground. let's begin our coverage with cnn's jason carroll. he's in houma, louisiana, not far from where the storm made landfall. what are you experiencing, jason? >> reporter: well, pamela, just within the past hour, we've seen emergency crews for the first time make their way through the parking lot beside me. so that's some indication that perhaps, you know, this storm -- the eye of the storm is finally making its way far enough away
from the center of houma where some of the emergency crews can finally make their way out. what we've been experiencing for the past several hours now are severe winds topping 100 miles per hour that have been just barreling down on houma relentlessly. around me you can see some of these downed trees. at the beginning when we were doing live reporting out here, pamela, i initially stood over there. then the trees started coming down in that direction. we started seeing debris coming from -- we can't even figure out coming from where, so we had to move from that particular position to where i'm standing now. so we've seen downed trees throughout the area. visibility still very difficult at this point because of all of the pounding rain and high winds that continue -- continue to barrel through this area even now at this hour. we're told, if you can believe it or not, as bad as things look now, that within the next hour
or so, the winds should start to diminish. so that certainly will be some encouraging news for those who have been in houma, waiting it out, waiting for this storm to finally pass. you know, when i was speaking to emergency crews and asking them what their next move is, they were basically telling me that they're going to have to wait for mother nature to take its course. they said after that's done, that will dictate when and how they make their way through houma to figure out what sort of damage has been done at the hands of ida. already there have been reports of damage to structures, downed power lines, and of course you can see all of the uprooted trees around us. so, again, at this point the eye of the storm has made its way past houma, and so at this point we should start to see the winds here finally start to diminish. pamela? >> that will be a welcome relief. this is epic where you are, jason. go get to safety away from those trees. thank you. next up, new orleans a city
painfully familiar with the devastation a hurricane can unleash. cnn's brian todd is there. what's going on there, brian? >> reporter: pamela, conditions here are deteriorating now. we're told the eyewall is just west of new orleans. the eyewall coming close to new orleans. conditions here deteriorating fast. you have also got the prospect of nightfall. it is getting darker now. within a few minutes, it's going to be completely dark. that's a particular problem now because power has just gone out in this section of new orleans. much of the city now without power, and people are going to start firing up generators. officials here really warning people about using their generators. go ahead and use them. of course you need it obviously for some source of power. but last year when hurricane laura came here, according to louisiana state officials, of the 25 people who died during hurricane laura, 9 of them died from carbon monoxide poisoning because they misused their generators. that is going to be a key danger as we head into the evening hours. look down here on bourbon street. no power down here. visibility getting worse by the
minute, and the pounding rain is just intensifying here. down here, here's another danger. another reason why you shouldn't venture out in a hurricane after dark when the power's out, things like this. this is a construction site that they had to leave obviously and leave a lot of equipment and debris and 2 x 4s and things here. you're not going to be able to see stuff flying around. there's been debris flying around and that's going to be a concern if people try to venture out in this. no visibility. you're not going to be able to see flying objects. that has been a particular concern of our team as well because one of our security guys got hit with a flying piece of glass. he's fine. it was like a bottle or something. he's fine, but, again, you know, you don't see this stuff coming very well, especially now when it's dark. now, one positive piece of news is from what we're told, the levee and floodgate system, the surge gate system is holding up
well. the flooding that you're going to see probably here in the french quarter and elsewhere in new orleans is going to be a rainfall volume type of flooding. it likely will not be because of storm surge because the levee system here has been really heavily fortified since hurricane katrina in 2005. i've been talking with people from the flood protection system authority here in new orleans all day today. they are very confident that the levees, surge gates, floodgates -- those gates are closed by the way now. the levees are much higher than they were before hurricane katrina. let's move over here. there's a vehicle coming down here. not a great idea to drive in this stuff, and emergency crews are not driving around right now. but some individuals have taken it upon themselves to drive in these neighborhoods. it's not a great idea at this point. anyway, we're talking about the levees and the surge gate system. they are confident that's going to hold up. the levees are much higher, much more fortified. they are armored right now. again, this is a much different city infrastructure-wise than it
was before hurricane katrina in 2005. i'm told that this is one of the most technologically advanced coastal protection systems in the world in place now. so storm surge is a problem, we've got a much bigger issue on our hands. right now it's holding. they're confident it's going to continue to hold. >> i'm glad to here the security guard is okay after being hit with flying glass. get to safety there, brian. you're right. it's getting more dangerous as night falls and those winds intensify in new orleans. thank you so much, brian todd. now let's go to the cnn weather senior and meteorologist tom sater. tom, is the worst behind us or is there more to come? >> it depends where you live. the worst is still to come ft. points north of the center and all of the rainfall that carries up through tennessee and the ohio valley all the way up toward new england. our winds are down to 120. so it's losing some strength. look at this satellite imagery
and notice how the eye collapses and the darker colors start to fade away. that means the eye, the fuel line for this system, is getting cut. remember it was feeding on those warm waters not only in the gulf, but once it made its way over those marshy lands, it's that brown ocean effect, it was feeding on all that water in the marshes and all the rainfall that's dropped. but this stayed at a category 4 for five hours. that's a much longer duration than hurricane michael, which moved in, losing the same amount of wind speed and only took three hours. so this is significant. the radar also is showing that, and i'll point that out. but i want to talk about port va shon. it's also home to one of the largest u.s. oil and gas facilities. large holding tanks. responsible for about 10%, 15% in the country. w will we have an environmental crisis?
will there be distribution problems? our wind warning is gone. great news there. we're still watching the flood warnings all the way across escambia county, florida, over towards southern mississippi. we're probably at our closest point now to new orleans. about 20 miles west-southwest. but we're also starting to see the effects of these tornadoes. this tornado watch is in effect until 6:00 in the morning. again, we've got a couple of warnings here. st. tammany county. that's in areas of louisiana, and then you're back to the same areas you're in the flood warnings in parts of hamilton county. this is going to be the story, pamela. we're going to be talking about this for the next couple of hours. also increasing are the power outages now in the state of louisiana. we're up to 700,000 or more. >> it wouldn't be surprising if those numbers go up. >> yes. >> hurricane ida was so powerful that it briefly reversed the flow of the mississippi river,
tom. how uncommon is that, and how does it happen? >> this is extremely rare, and there's a lot of dynamics to it. but i mean it's so rare, maybe it happened a little bit with katrina when it moved in. but if we go back and look at the wind field at landfall, you have to have the exact approach and angle of these strong winds and waves, and the force of the water to push up into the mouth of mississippi. plaquemines parish. this reverse flow, we call it, on the mississippi river lasted for four hours today. it's extremely rare. you go back to where we are now, and those winds are still impeding the system, but they're not as strong. so now that the stronger winds are well inland, we're not seeing that flow become negative. the last time we had anything major like this, i mean you have to think of dynamics of all the worldly environment and all the aspects of nature. it was in 1812 in the new mandarin earthquake in the boot heel of missouri. that reversed the flow of the mississippi, but this is extremely rare.
i'm sure we're going to find out more about this in the post-analysis of this storm. it is quite something. even the usgs put out a little bit of a forecast when it comes to the mississippi river. inundation for louisiana, 45% of the area. overwash for louisiana, 61% of the land. 41% in mississippi. then you look at dune erosion. again, that's all the force here. you're up to 67% of louisiana. 63% of mississippi. even 31% of alabama. so widespread effects with a circulation of ida moving in with the wind and the surge. inundation here but that negative flow in the mississippi river, that's very rare. >> very rare and just shows you just how powerful the storm has been. how dangerous would you say it still is at this hour for people who are in parts of louisiana, mississippi, and so forth? >> well, you've still got winds at 120. those are sustained winds. you have to think that of course
the wind gusts are going to be even stronger than that. it is good to see this eyewall collapse. but the concerns now, yes, the winds are strong, still strong enough to snap trees and knock out power. we'll probably see hundreds of thousands of more get added to this. but really this is all about rainfall right now. if we continue to see 8, 9, 10 inches and then you add another 10, 12 in this general area, then we're in a world of problems, especially for those who are going to be in need of evacuation or medical care tomorrow. again, now the system as it moves northward, we could have some problems well into the tennessee and ohio valley. it doesn't take much. four or five inches can flood many communities very easily. again, a slow mover. it should start to pick up speed, but at least it's positive news to see finally the fuel line get cut from ida and it will start to choke that engine somewhat in at hours ahead. >> tom, thank you very much. the baton rouge mayor is on the line next to tell us about
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the stronger, lasts-longer energizer max. oh, my god! y'all, y'all! >> stunning video from louisiana today. you are seeing winds from hurricane ida rip the roof off of a health clinic. fortunately the clinic was empty at the time. but it just shows you how powerful this storm has been. the storm is now a category 3 hurricane but devastating flooding and wind damage are still expected. a flash flood warning is in effect for much of the state. more than 700,000 homes are now without power, and the governor
is asking president biden for a major disaster declaration. joining me now on the line is mayor of baton rouge sharon weston broome. thanks for joining us, mayor. what are the conditions like in your city right now? >> well, right now, pamela, we have about 13,000 individuals who are without power in east baton rouge parish, and we have about 50 to 75-mile-per-hour winds and 90-mile-per-hour wind gusts of course. you mentioned the rain, and of course there is a chance of 6 to 10 inches of rainfall in our area. we are anticipating some of the most challenging times taking place between now and later this evening, or should i say early monday morning. >> and given that, what is your biggest concern as night falls?
>> well, we want our residents to be safe. that's my consistent message, be safe. so that means stay in. stay at home. now, if there are individuals who have challenges with their home and feel they are more comfortable or safer in a shelter, we do have two shelters available for citizens right now. but the best thing is to stay home. >> and are emergency services still running in baton rouge right now? >> presently, emergency systems are still running. of course, we have to monitor that as we monitor the wind because we certainly don't want to put our first responders at risk either. >> how are you preparing for possible rescues in case residents are trapped by floodwater? >> well, we have staged all of our emergency search and rescue teams, which includes all of east baton rouge parish fire and law enforcement agencies.
we have about 180 water rescue personnel across all of our agencies, which includes about 35 boats, seven high-water trucks, and our unified command for search and rescue is set up at our office of homeland security and emergency preparedness. >> have you been getting calls from residents? >> i believe the residents in our city at this time realize that it seems to be more of a wind event although we are not taking anything for granted. we do anticipate some rain. and our residents, of course, have a heightened sensitivity when it comes to flooding because we have experienced torrential flooding first in 2016 with the great 1,000-year flood and earlier this year. so our residents are primarily concerned with the impact of flooding and, of course, the impact of wind on their homes.
>> and you said the worst is likely yet to come for baton rouge. how bad could this be? >> well, you know, of course we can only speculate. but right now, as i said, we have some strong winds. it is a wind event for baton rouge. we do expect heavy rain, and the worst time for our community is expected from now until about 3:00 a.m. early tomorrow morning. so we just want everyone to hunker down, stay in place, and i believe that our citizens, as we often say, are red stick ready. >> they've been through hurricanes before, but this is especially powerful and packing a very powerful punch. as you noted, 13,000 residents in your city are without power. keep us posted, mayor sharon weston broome. best of luck with everything. thanks for joining us. >> thank you so much. up next, we're going to check in on a community just
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hours after coming ashore, hurricane ida is still a powerful category 3 storm. it is only slowly lumbering across much of southeastern louisiana, bringing catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds, and flash flooding. the storm surge and winds reversed the flow of the mississippi river near new orleans, something the u.s.
geological survey says is extremely uncommon. so far we know at least a half million homes have lost power, and that number is expected to increase. joining me now on the phone is cynthia lee shang. she's the jefferson parish president just south of new orleans. thanks so much for joining us, cynthia. first off, how are you doing right now? you're right in the middle of it. >> we are in the middle of it. you know, the weather is still very bad. but we're at the emergency operations center, and we're getting a lot of calls. it's been very, very busy the last couple hours where we're not able to go out, but we certainly can understand the needs of this community right now. and right now my concern is we've lost contact with grand isle, so that is the island right on the gulf of mexico that i've been very, very concerned about. we lost contact with them. we've not been able to reach them, so i don't know what they're going through. then closer up here, still outside the hurricane protection system, an area called laffit
and lower laffit. the water is rising. people are in their homes and we're getting ready of reports of people with water up to their chest. very, very dire situation, and we just can't get out yet. >> that is dire. what else are you hearing from people calling in? that is horrific. >> it is horrific. the electrical grid is almost out. we're probably at 95% out of electricity. a very large transmission tower came down that fed a lot of our community. so we're getting reports of roof damage, you know, trees down, tree roots pulling up and damaging water mains. so now our water pressure is going down. so, you know, we are also responding to and assisted actually a condominium where there's some elderly people living there, and their roof partially collapsed. we're trying to get them out to a church across the street. so it is very, very busy here,
and we're -- we just can't respond yet. >> right. i mean so what are you doing in these cases? when you get a call like that with these senior citizens or the person who has, you know, water up to their chest. what can you do? >> well, people just -- you know, i got a text from a friend of mine, and she said a tree fell on her neighbor's house. she wants the neighbors to come to her house, but she said she can't walk outside right now. so the winds are so heavy, so high right now, we just can't get out. we were able to get one of the fire chiefs over to the assisted living center to see what it's like. it's not a dire situation, but they do have water in the building that's on the first floor. there is some type of collapse that's having water intrusion. so the real situation, i think, is very dire is the water that is rising in the areas of lower laffit. also to get to that community, i forgot to mention we had a barge hit a swing bridge. so we were going to have to do
rescue anyway by boat to that area, and our fire service is prepared to do that. but we did have a runaway barge that we're very upset. it seems like it's the same company we've had issues with before did not tie up a barge properly from my initial -- i don't want to, you know, cast any -- i just want to be sure. but it seems like it's the same company with the runaway barge that hit a swing bridge. if that's the case, that community will be without access. they'll have to ferry for probably eight months. >> oh, my gosh. wow. and you have said that your parish was already in a crisis situation, cynthia, before the storm got there. how strained are your resources when it comes to first responders and medical care? >> well, our first responders are fine. you know, they're ready to go out. they want to go. they just can't right now. our hospital is concerned about, you know, you want electricity. you need electricity to the hospital, and certainly they're going to be the priority for our
electric company. but with this damage, it's going to take us some time to be able to clear the roads. those streets are going to be flooded. to clear the roads of trees, to get these crews here. so, you know, you're going to have hospital systems that are on generator power. very, very difficult time right now for us. i have no doubt we will come through, but it is a lot going on in our community right now. >> you have been through hurricanes before. how does this compare? >> this one, since i've been in office, is by far the worst case. this one is very difficult right now because i don't know how bad it is. you know, i'm getting these isolated reports. we're getting calls. but i've lost contact with the most -- some of the most vulnerable areas in the parish. so, you know, that's really bothering me. i have no idea what the situation is like there. we were able to radio contact them. we were actually able to use a cell phone several hours ago. but there is no communication there, and i know they just took a beating today for so many
hours. we have not got good news on this storm. it seems like it was far away from us. every new alert or new weather report seemed to not go in our favor, even up to recently, you know, to hear that this storm is slowing down. you know, we want this storm to move through, and we want to be able to get out onto the street. >> are you concerned as night falls that the worst is yet to come? >> well, we're going to see. i mean it's obviously difficult. i don't know when our teams are going to be able to get out. but, yeah, you would want to be able to get out at first time when you have the benefit of light and sunlight. so a dangerous situation for our first responders certainly becomes more dangerous in the dark. and they'll go out. you know, they're going to go out as soon as they can. these men and women are going to go out no matter what. they're anxious to get out now, and they're pre-positioned all over the parish. we have sheriff's office deputies, our firefighters are throughout the parish. so it's not like they're all
co-located in one area. they will be able to respond quickly, but we just -- the water and the trees in the roadways, it's just going to take us some time. people need to be patient. people need to understand what is happening to us, for how long it's happening to us. you know, this, i think, made landfall at 11:00 a.m. today. it's 8 1/2 hours later. our community has been taking a beating for that long, and the integrity of buildings just can't take it for that long period of time. so we're having a lot of, you know -- i saw the electrical transmission tower. it looked like the metal was bent, you know, and i think it either collapsed or stopped working. >> it's all taking a lashing. >> if it was quicker, it might have been different, but it's been a really long time. >> it's been a sustained lashing, and clearly that is why you issued that mandatory evacuation order yesterday. but people are still calling in, and as you pointed out, there is
one caller who had water up to their chest. and right now it's just not safe for the rescue crews to go out in your parish. we hope, cynthia, that you will keep us updated on the latest on what's going on there. we wish you the best of luck to get through this storm. >> thank you so much. thank you. >> cynthia lee sheng. i want to update you now for the u.s. exit from afghanistan. today the u.s. says it launched a defensive air strike. you are looking at the aftermath here as we're going to show you in this video in a residential neighborhood. the u.s. says the drone strike targeted a suspected isis-k suicide bomber who posed a major threat to the kabul airport. the threat level has remained high after a suicide bomber carried out an attack at the airport, killing 13 u.s. service members and at least 170 others. cnn national security correspondent alex marquardt is at the pentagon for us tonight. so, alex, we're learning new information about the strike? >> reporter: pam, that's right. central command says that this
strike on an isis-k target did disrupt what they say is an imminent threat to the kabul airport. we've heard repeated warnings from the biden administration, including from the president himself over the last several days, that there was a high likelihood that another attack could come. so at least part of that threat has been neutralized, but we don't have any sense, of course, that the overall threat has been largely diminished. but, pam, at the same time, we are learning that civilians were killed in this strike. a journalist working with cnn on the ground in afghanistan spoke with the brother of one of those who was killed, and he told cnn that nine members of a single family were killed by this strike. six of them were children under the age of 10. now, central command says that they are looking into this. they're investigating. they say that they don't know what happened. i want to read you part of their statement that they put out just a short time ago. they say, we know that there were substantial and powerful
subsequent plexplosions resulti from the destruction of the vehicle, indicating a large amount of explosive material inside that may have caused additional casualties. it is unclear what may have happened, and we are investigating further. pamela, the initial statement from centcom said that they had targeted a vehicle. it appeared that this was either what's known as a vehicle-borne ied or a suicide bomber inside the vehicle with a vest. but here you have centcom saying that these civilian casualties, which they did not confirm, may have come about as a result of the explosives that were inside the vehicle. this is yet another problem for the biden administration, pamela, because they have been keen to show that these over the horizon operations, that is drone strikes coming from outside of the country, could be an effective way to target terrorists. this strike today, while effective at neutralizing one isis threat, also leading to civilian casualties, shows how
complicated and tragic this can also be, pam. >> those eyewitnesses talking about the civilian casualties. centcom not confirming tonight. alex, thank you very much for bringing us the latest there. our breaking news coverage of hurricane ida continues tonight. one louisiana sheriff is standing by to update us on the destructive force they've been battling all day. balanced nutrition for strength and energy. whoo hoo! ensure, with 27 vitamins and minerals, now introducing ensure complete! with 30 grams of protein.
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the sound of ida's winds pul pulplum ling. it has slowed down and that increases flooding potential. tonight, more than 700,000 people are without power. emergency services are suspended across the state for the most mart part, for those who didn't evacuate, the governor said it would be days before help arr arrives. i spoke to a resident who was terrified. you can see ida's winds ripping off part of the roof of lady of the sea general hospital. people are inside and we're told evacuations will take place once the storm dies down. but this gives you an idea what
our next guest is dealing with tonight. craig weber is the sheriff where la rose is located. he joins us on the phone. sheriff, what is the latest at that hospital? is it safe for the patients and staff inside? >> the information we have is that the hospital is stable and there was only a small census of patients i think maybe ten total. so administrator and her staff are able to provide care for those patients and they just relocated to a lower floor of the hospital but you are correct, it did sustain moderate damage to the roof as did a second hospital located in louisiana there are three hospitals in the parish that sustained moderate damage. >> can you set the scene of the conditions in your parish? >> as early as 10:00 this morning, the lower part or
southern tip of the parish had the center of the parish, i'm listening to the winds outside. three hours ago we sustained roof damage and have buckets and garbage cans catching water and we had a brief break when the eye came over and relocated into another building. now we're on the backside of the hurricane. we're still getting a lot of wind gust and we still are not able to be able to respond to any calls for service. even if we had -- would want to every road is impassable. during the brief reprieve of the eye, i was able to travel a couple miles. i had to zigzag through downed power lines and debris and roofs
and there is no way at night with the parish completely dark that we could get on the highway and safely respond or for that matter with all of the physical barriers we would make very much progress. >> what are the residents saying when they call? >> we're giving very few calls surprisingly. however, we had one individual that needed to be taken to the hospital. he was pinned by a tree. other than that, we're not aware and have not yet documented any fatalities or serious injuries. there was at least one fire that the fire department was not able to respond to, no one was injured. we are hoping that in the next two to three hours and as i mentioned, we've been in this now for nearly eight to ten hours and in the next two or three hours, the storm will progress beyond the city of thibodeaux and outlying areas of
the pararace. we have a curfew in place so nobody endangers the public or other people by trying to travel in a life threatening situation. we may attempt to make a response but it's going to be doubtful we'll get very far. at daylight, first thing in the morning, we will take every man and woman here and we will canvass the parish and begin the process of identifying anyone injured that needs immediate assistance and start opening and clearing roadways so that we can get to critical structures and get the patients moved that need to be moved or get the hospital stabilized. >> and what is your concern moving forward over these next few hours, sheriff? >> the next couple hours are the fact that we just not are able to have emergency services, fire, ems or law enforcement. the storm made landfall during the day and the daylight hours,
it is still going on into the night hours and all of the electricity is out and so it has been no opportunity to clear any roadways to travel. so the ability to travel and get to people and provide services is completely hindered and we really won't get, make any progress until daybreak. >> sheriff, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> and just in, all of new orleans is now without power. the only power in the city is coming from generators. still ahead, the president honors 13 fallen heroes today killed in a mission to help save lives. we'll be right back. [grunts] ♪ ♪ [grunts] pnc bank believes that if a pair of goggles can help your backhand get better... yeah! ...then your bank should help you budget even better. (laughing)
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take a look at this. this is new orleans pitch black and that is because power is out throughout new orleans right now. in fact, the only power in the city is coming from generators. all of this happening in new orleans as it is getting the blunt of hurricane ida right now as we speak, brian todd is there. we'll check in with him shortly. first, we want to turn to the somber scene from today. as all 13 fallen u.s. service members made one final journey home today united states. president joe biden looking on as their flag draped transfer cases arrived at the dover air force base. last week they were simply doing their jobs getting americans and afghan allies out of harm's way.
but as suicide bomber cut their lives short, most of them so young under the age of 30. at least 170 other people were killed in the blast. cnn's jeremy diamond joins me from the white house. we understand president biden met with the families of the u.s. service members killed. >> reporter: he did, pam. he met with the families of these 13 service members before this digfnified transfer took place. president biden becoming the fourth commander in chief to provide over these didignified transfers in this nearly two-decade long war he's trying to bring to an end. the president spend time inside the hull of the c-17 military plane before those transfer cases carrying the remains of those 13 service members were taken off and brought into these mortuariiy vans waiting.
this up fnfolded in total silen. top cap cabinet members standing next to him and the transfer caskets were transferred. the president talked a lot about grief in his public life and we don't know the content of the conversations he had with families publicly, the president talked about his own experience with grief and these service members making that ultimate sacrifice. also expressing pride in the mission they under took in being able in the last week and a half to get out over 100,000 people evacuated from kabul but so young, ranging in age from 20 to just 31 and we also heard the secretary of state today describing these deaths as a punch in the gut. one thing to keep in mind, pam, there is still a serious terrorist threat in kabul. that is something the president, top white house officials and secretary of state made clear
today. today secretary blinken saying this is the most dangerous time in an already extraordinarily dangerous mission as the u.s. looks to complete the mission by this tuesday. pam? >> jeremy diamond live for us from the white house. thanks, jeremy. hurricane ida is slamming louisiana right now. new orleans completely without power. it is pitch black there. our brian todd is live on the scene for us in just a moment. we'll be right back. ♪ music playing. ♪ there's an america we build ♪ ♪ 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.
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i'm pamela brown in washington. welcome to the breaking news coverage. new orleans and the surrounding parish is completely without power tonight hours after hurricane ida slammed into louisiana just shy of category 5. ida has been every bit the monster feared. it was officially tied for the strongest storm to hit the state with sustained winds at landfall of 115 miles an hour. that is even stronger than katrina, which hit 16 years ago today. it's too early to assess ida's huge swath of damage, but the wrecking power i