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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  August 22, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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breaking news as we come on the air, tropical storm henri slams the northeast, the first to directly hit new england in 15 years. the storm making landfall near westerly, rhode island, today bringing wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour and 19-foot waves. flooding and power outages in new york, new jersey all the way up to massachusetts. transformers on fire. nearly 250 nursing home residents evacuated from four facilities. governors in connecticut and rhode island telling people to shelter in place. amtrak suspending service between new york and boston. more than 2,000 flights canceled or delayed. rob marciano tracking the storm. also developing tonight, catastrophic flooding in tennessee. the death toll there rising. at least 22 people dead including two 7-month-old twins. the frantic search for dozens
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still missing. in the last 24 hours record-breaking rainfall sweeping away homes, cars and roads. overseas tonight to the news in afghanistan, president biden in front of the cameras just a short time ago, the president saying the u.s. is evacuating about 11,000 people in the last 36 hours. the president warning the operation is going to be hard and painful. the u.s. extending the safety zone around the airport in kabul. new concern about a potential isis threat at the airport. the u.s. activating the civil reserve air fleet for just the third time in history, commercial airlines helping now to transport evacuees. and what president biden is now saying about screening afghans once they arrive in the u.s. here at home, the major headline, the fda now expected to give full approval to the pfizer vaccine as early as tomorrow. the u.s. reports more than 1 million doses administered in the last three days. civil rights leader reverend jesse jackson and his wife hospitalized after testing positive for covid.
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both are vaccinated. what we're learning tonight. the images coming in from northern california. the caldor fire burning out of control closing in on lake tahoe. and paying tribute tonight to a groundbreaking musician, a rock 'n' roll pioneer. good evening, everyone. thanks so much for joining us on another very busy sunday. i'm linsey davis. several major stories as we come on the air tonight, just moments ago president biden addressing the nation speaking to americans about the crisis in afghanistan. we're also monitoring the catastrophe unfolding in tennessee. the urgent rescue mission now under way. more than 22 people are dead and dozens more are missing in deadly flash floods there, but we begin with tropical storm henri. at least 40 million in the danger zone, the eye coming ashore this afternoon at the border of connecticut and rhode
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island. the storm is now heading northwest. coastal towns feeling the brunt of henri's powerful storm surge and 60 plus-mile-per-hour winds, trees coming down knocking out power lines, more than 100,000 currently without power. flash flood watches now stretch all the way into new england. these brothers and their dog rescued today in jamesburg, new jersey, and these images from the belt parkway in new york. throughout the region at least 1,000 flight cancellations. we have team coverage beginning with janai norman in springfield, massachusetts. >> reporter: tonight, the first tropical storm to hit new england in 15 years crashing ashore. henri lashing parts of the northeast and new england with heavy rain and storm surge slamming into coastal rhode island. in narragansett, a wcvb camera capturing the wind knocking this man over. >> i tried to take cover behind there just to get some photos. and a gus must have just taken me out.
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>> reporter: officials urging everyone to stay home. >> if you venture out, you are not only putting your own life at risk, but you're endangering our first responders. >> reporter: we are on the highway headed towards western massachusetts just outside of springfield. that rain is coming down. we can feel the wind as we're driving on the highway, and look at this, we are passing some utility trucks as we're heading towards areas where officials say some could be without power for a week or more. our rob marciano in connecticut as henri moved ashore. >> coastal connecticut is feeling it right now. look at this river. whitecaps on it. that surge looks like the ocean. >> reporter: henri passing dangerously close to new york's long island. our trevor ault is in montauk. >> the center of henri is passing about a dozen miles east of us right now, but we can still feel the power of this storm, these aggressive winds and the waves that are slamming into the shoreline. >> reporter: a mass exodus from there ahead of the storm. >> we were so fortunate with the track to the east in terms of
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wind and surge. we have not been fortunate at all with the rainfall track of this. >> reporter: in middlesex county, new jersey, roads submerged, first responders using boats to bring as many as 150 people to safety. and overnight henri turbocharging a separate system, funneling more than five inches of rain into parts of new york city. >> please seek shelter for your safety. >> reporter: the severe weather forcing officials to cut short the "homecoming concert" in central park. fans forced to take shelter. some 60,000 had been expected to attend. nearly two inches of rain falling there just between 10:00 and 11:00. the park's wettest hour on record. >> record-setting rainfall in several areas. janai joins us live from springfield, massachusetts. janai, power outages are certainly beginning to mount, and it seems that flash flooding is also a major concern at this point. >> reporter: and, linsey, this is the rain that's been coming down on and off all afternoon.
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up to two inches an hour in some areas and with wind gusts over 45 miles per hour knocking down some tree limbs. these utility crews are standing by ready to respond as power outages are already impacting thousands here and this storm far from over. more than an additional six inches of rain or more possible over the next 24 hours as this storm continues to move through. linsey. >> janai, stay safe. let's go straight to senior meteorologist rob marciano who is in westerly, rhode island. rob, what is next in store for henri? >> reporter: well, the wind and the waves are still up where henri came ashore. but this is transitioning into a rain event. we've already had a tremendous amount of rain including new york and new jersey. look at these numbers, nearly nine inches in new jersey, nearly eight inches in new york and it's still coming down in that area. the wind, that's a big story. gusting to 70 miles per hour and that's why we have over 70,000 customers without power. now it's going across and slowing down as it crosses
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connecticut but you see a western heavy rainfall, and that's going to continue. the winds will be gusty enough to take down trees and power lines over the next 12 hours, but in general the winds will be dying and rain continues over the next 12 to 18 hours, ground saturated here so we're looking for not just heavy rain but the likelihood of seeing more in the way of flash flooding. linsey. >> rob, thanks so much. we'll see you for an update later in the show. and now to the desperate search for dozens missing in deadly flooding in tennessee. we're now talking about a different storm system that is causing massive devastation. rushing water overtaking entire communities. helicopters searching for signs of life. at least 22 people now confirmed dead. abc's elwyn lopez is in waverly, tennessee. >> reporter: tonight, the desperate search for dozens of people still missing after catastrophic floods ravaged middle tennessee. >> look at that. this is from a creek that they tell me hardly flows normally. >> reporter: at least 21 people dead including two 7-month-old twins swept away from their
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father. about 60 unaccounted for. >> i would expect given the number of fatalities we have seen so far that we're going to see mostly a recovery effort at this point. >> reporter: the record rainfall pummeling the area with more than 17 inches in just 24 hours. washing away homes, submerging cars. the floods inundating this family's home. furniture floating in the murky water, sheds carried away in the floodwater. washed out roads littered with debris. furniture and appliances splayed across the roadways. cars flipped over. power lines toppled. homes ripped right off their foundations. within just 30 minutes of this couple being saved, their house swept away right into their neighbor's. >> scary moments. there were tears. >> reporter: first responders rescuing teacher bobbi jo scholes. trapped inside her school gymnasium after running in to help save some furniture standing on the bleachers as floodwaters rushed in.
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>> that's where our kids have gone to school. it's our home. >> reporter: scholes saying her community is devastated. >> we have people who've lost loved ones. it's just devastating in so many ways, you can't wrap your head around it. >> elwyn lopez joins us now from the scene in tennessee. elwyn, search crews still looking for survivors at this hour? >> reporter: linsey, local officials still combing the area going door to door checking houses like this one looking for the missing. linsey. >> elwyn, thank you. now to the race to evacuate in afghanistan. just moments ago president biden telling americans a lot could still go wrong. the u.s. extending the safe zone around the kabul airport and there are now discussions about if american troops will be there beyond the august 31st deadline. in the past 24 hours the u.s. and allies have flown 7,800 people out amid an increasing threat from isis militants. planes taking off using flares and performing corkscrew landings. the defense department is now
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ordering major u.s. airlines to help fly evacuees from bases abroad. they will not be going into afghanistan. abc's senior foreign correspondent ian pannell reports in again from kabul tonight. >> reporter: tonight, the race to evacuate kabul growing more urgent by the day. roughly 7,800 people flown out in the last 24 hours. the highest number so far. the president's national security advisor warning that the threat from isis at the kabul airport is "real, acute, and persistent." >> we have a long way to go, and a lot could still go wrong. >> reporter: today president biden addressing the challenges at hand. >> we know that terrorists may seek to exploit the situation and target innocent afghans or american troops. they're maintaining constant vigilance. to monitor and disrupt threats from any source. >> reporter: and under mounting pressure to extend the august 31st deadline. >> our hope is we will not have to extend, but there are going
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to be discussions, i suspect, on how far along we are in the process. >> reporter: the united states now activating the civil reserve air fleet, only the third time in its history. six u.s. commercial airlines will provide 18 aircraft to help move passengers arriving at bases outside of afghanistan. >> in short, we're not flying them directly to a country. we're flying to these processing stations where we're working with more than two dozen countries across four continents. at these sites where they're landing, we are conducting thorough scrutiny, security screening for everyone who is not a u.s. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. anyone arriving in the united states will have undergone a background check. >> reporter: it's been a week since the taliban took hold of the capital of kabul. the situation inside the city deteriorating faster than many expected. a nato official confirming that at least 20 people have died in and around the airport since last saturday, and among the
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seven afghan civilians that were killed just yesterday, we are now learning that one of them was just 2 years old. reports that she was trampled to death. her mother, a former interpreter for an american company, telling "the new york times," "i felt pure terror. i couldn't save her." >> hello. >> hello, assalamualaikum. >> reporter: today i met with mansoor ahmad khan, pakistan's ambassador to afghanistan. to discuss the state of affairs in kabul. how would you describe the situation in kabul? >> the most immediate challenge is the humanitarian one. many people want to go, want to leave this place. if this process was done in a more orderly manner, we could have maybe saved those precious lives, but having said that, it's never too late. it is important that we should bring our action together once again and try to work out the remaining part of the evacuation
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or humanitarian effort in a more coordinated and a more orderly manner, and this goes for all the sides. >> reporter: and for those afghans who have managed to leave the country, another challenge now awaits, adjusting to a new life in a foreign land. hundreds now seeking temporary shelter here in northern virginia. this young father, whose identity is concealed, saying he's grateful to america for keeping his family safe. >> now we are safe. now here, appreciated for your help, appreciated for your kindnesses, for everything. >> reporter: despite an increase in the numbers of afghans getting through to the airport and out of the country, there are still far more people waiting to be evacuated from afghanistan than have managed to flee. and tonight a serious warning from a senior diplomat here in kabul, who believes that not all afghans who are eligible to get out will be allowed to do so. linsey. >> so much uncertainty remains, ian, thank you.
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as president biden updates the nation on afghanistan, he is facing an avalanche of criticism for his handling of the crisis, still the president insists history will judge his decision was the right one. here's abc's white house correspondent maryalice parks. >> reporter: with president biden under fire, the white house tonight releasing this photo. the president huddling with his national security team again after canceling his trip home to delaware at the last minute. late today coming before the cameras insisting the chaos the world is watching was unavoidable. >> i think that history is going to record this was the logical, rational and right decision to make. >> reporter: as the white house rushes to finalize plans with thousands of americans and afghan partners yet to be rescued, the president is resolute that it was the time for u.s. forces to leave afghanistan ending america's longest war. >> the evacuation of thousands of people from kabul is going to be hard and painful no matter when it started, when we began.
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there's no way to evacuate this many people without pain and loss of heartbreaking images you see on television. it's just a fact. >> reporter: but republicans adamant afghanistan could now become the same haven for terrorists it was on 9/11. >> our mission in afghanistan was to deny terrorists sanctuary and the biden decision now to completely withdraw has handed them an entire country. >> maryalice parks joins us from the white house now. maryalice, how is the white house responding to congresswoman cheney saying the president's move makes america less safe? >> reporter: well, secretary blinken said today that al qaeda's capability in afghanistan has been vastly diminished and that if the group were to reconstitute itself there, the u.s. government would be able to see that. but after this last week, you can imagine the administration is going to face much more skepticism about their intelligence inside afghanistan. linsey. >> maryalice, thank you. now to the pandemic. a landmark decision from the fda
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is reportedly hours away with full approval of the pfizer vaccine expected. the surgeon general hopeful more people will get the shot, and civil rights icon jesse jackson and his wife both in their 70s and fully vaccinated are hospitalized with breakthrough infections. abc's marcus moore reports in from dallas tonight. >> reporter: tonight, as the nation battles against the surge of covid cases and deaths, "the new york times" is reporting the fda may grant full approval to pfizer's covid vaccine as early as tomorrow. currently it's only authorized for emergency use. >> the fda certainly has been evaluating the application for full approval from pfizer. i wouldn't be surprised if they issued full approval soon. >> reporter: the u.s.' daily case average has now risen to 137,000 cases a day, up by approximately 230% in the last month, overwhelming hospitals. >> it's chaotic. don't get sick because if you have a heart attack or if you have a stroke, you are out of luck. >> reporter: in edmond, oklahoma, 11-year-old
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cameron rice now home after fighting covid in the icu telling his mother he wants to wear a mask at school even though it's optional. >> he goes, i agree, mom, i need to wear a mask. >> reporter: here in texas, many larger school districts are bucking governor greg abbott's executive order banning mask requirements. and in florida, officials are now threatening to withhold state funds to school districts in miami-dade if they continue to enforce masks. this as breakthrough cases continue. civil rights leader reverend jesse jackson and his wife are hospitalized in chicago for covid after both being fully vaccinated. the couple's son saying doctors are currently monitoring the condition of both. the 79-year-old received his first dose of the pfizer shot in january, seven months ago. linsey, that pfizer fda approval is potentially hours away, and the u.s. surgeon general tells abc news that he anticipates that it will help convince those americans who are on the fence to finally get a shot. linsey.
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>> marcus, thank you. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this sunday. tracking tropical storm henri. we'll go back to rob marciano who is standing by and the wildfire emergency in northern california. the fire destroying hundreds of buildings. what authorities are now saying. all the time in the world. it's just a saying. but today, for women living with hr+, her2- metastatic breast cancer. more time is possible with verzenio. proven to help you live significantly longer when taken with fulvestrant. verzenio + fulvestrant is for hr+, her2- metastatic breast cancer that has progressed after hormone therapy. diarrhea is common, may be severe, or cause dehydration or infection. at the first sign, call your doctor, start and antidiarrheal, and drink fluids. before taking verzenio, tell your doctor about any fever, chills, or other signs of infection. verzenio may cause low white blood cell counts, which may cause serious infection that can lead to death. life-threatening lung inflammation can occur. tell your doctor about any new or worsening trouble breathing, cough, or chest pain. serious liver problems can happen. symptoms include fatigue, appetite loss, stomach pain, and bleeding or bruising. blood clots that can lead to death have occurred.
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now to the index. paying tribute tonight to a rock 'n' roll pioneer. ♪ wake up, little susie, wake up ♪ >> don everly, the elder of the two everly brothers, has died. the groundbreaking duo landed 19 top 40 hits in the '50s and '60s including "all i have to do is dream," "bye bye love" and "wake up little susie." the brothers inspired artists from the beatles to simon and garfunkel. don everly was 84. and when we come back, rob marciano with the latest timing and track for tropical storm henri. ector and i'm still working. in the kind of work that i do, you are surrounded by people who are all younger than you. i had to get help somewhere along the line to stay competitive. i discovered prevagen. i started taking it and after a period of time, my memory improved. it was a game-changer for me.
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finally tonight let's get back to rob and the storm's track. rob, what are you seeing? >> reporter: a potent storm, linsey, but thankfully we are in weakening mode but it's slowing down and rainfall as we mentioned will be the big issue crossing now the capital of connecticut and continues to weaken as it makes its way towards the berkshires. here's the track of what's left of henri, and it's going to hang around for quite some time. scoot through the berkshires and then eventually out to sea but not until early tuesday morning. because of that we've got flash flood watches that are posted across several states, already saturated in new jersey and metro new york, so we could see more in the way of flash flooding tonight. this is the second time this state has been hit by a tropical storm this year, and the hurricane season is still young, linsey. >> rob, thanks so much. stay safe, everyone. thanks so much for watching. david muir back here tomorrow. i'm linsey davis in new york. have a great night. >> announcer: thank you for making "world news tonight with david muir" america's most watched newscast. >> announcer: now with so much hope for a brighter tomorrow it's time to -- >> "rise & shine." >> announcer: we're traveling
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>> it is absolute chaos. nobody knows where to go. >> a military veteran shares his effort to get his former interpreter out of afghanistan. a new priority for crews battling the caldor fire near tahoe and the places closed due to wildfires. coast guard members swoop in to save a group of teenagers at muir beach. >> building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions, this is abc 7 news. pres. biden: we lifted 11,000 people in less than 36 hours. a lot could still go wrong. >> president biden updating the nation this afternoon on the u.s. led evacuation from kabul.
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we thank you for joining us this evening. i'm julian glover. you're abc 7 news watching live on hulu live and wherever you stream. we begin in afghanistan the president left open the possibility of keeping u.s. troops in afghanistan beyond the august 31st withdrawal deadline. we explain the effort to get people out of the country is now expanding. elizabeth: as the chaos continues to unfold outside the airport, president biden once again addressing the nation. pres. biden: the evacuation from thousands of people will be hard and painful no matter when it started, when we began it. there is no way to evacuate this many people without pain and loss of heartbreaking images you see on television. elizabeth: tens of thousands desperate. the embassy advising u.s. citizens and afghanistan to avoid the airport altogether. and seek shelter unless they have individual instructions from the u.s. government