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tv   America This Morning  ABC  August 30, 2021 4:00am-4:30am PDT

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right now on "america this morning," hurricane ida's wrath. the historic category 4 storm slamming ashore with catastrophic flooding. up to 20 inches of rain, reports just coming in of a levee failing south of new orleans. hundreds of people in imminent danger. >> the entire city of new orleans losing power overnight. hospital patients being evacuated. towns completely cut off. >> reports of people stranded on their roofs. others in their home with water up to their chest. a barge taking down the bridge leading to one town. >> we felt stronger winds than i've ever experienced. >> we're live from new orleans and across the storm zone. plus, where the storm heads from here. the extreme flood threat through tomorrow.
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also breaking right now, the race to escape afghanistan. multiple rockets fired at the airport in kabul overnight. hundreds of americans still inside the country with tomorrow's withdrawal deadline fast approaching. the latest from our team on the ground. good monday morning, everyone. i'm mona kosar abdi. >> and i'm rachel scott. andrew is off today. we begin with that breaking news, hurricane ida making history overnight. the damage in southern louisiana being described as catastrophic. >> new orleans lost power last night and a flash flood emergency was declared in parts of the city but south of the city total devastation, a levee has reportedly failed in the town of lafitte where hundreds with the water chest high
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inside homes and west of new orleans in st. charles parish the 911 system went down overnight. >> heavy winds in new orleans ripping the roof off a hospital. dozens of patients have been evacuated in the region. a reminder this storm is hitting during the pandemic as louisiana deals with a record number of covid patients. >> looking at the storm right now, the storm has weakened, but the flood threat is a major concern at this hour and the devastation won't be fully known until after the sun comes up. abc's t.j. parker begins our coverage from new orleans. t.j., what's it like right now? >> reporter: yeah, good morning, guys. here in new orleans it is quiet now. you mentioned it. the power is out across the city and the damage is widespread across the area including at hospitals with covid patients. overnight the brunt of ida's fury slamming the louisiana coastline. emergency officials getting calls from people who did not evacuate the barrier island of grand isle saying water in their home is up to their chest. in nearby lafitte authorities warning that a levee is failing putting at least 200 people in, quote, imminent danger. >>e have many requests for
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rescue certainly in the lafitte area but also up here, people have had and sustained damage to their homes. we have a senior center of independent living but they had about a third of their roof get damaged. they were taking in water. >> reporter: earlier a barge that got loose slammed into a bridge that leads to lafitte making it nearly impossible for rescuers to reach people. >> i'm told the vessel has sunk so those folks, if that is the case and i've seen pictures, they'll have to use a ferry for a couple of months. >> reporter: the largest health system, oshner health, and video from one of those hospitals showing the fierce winds blowing off the roof. >> whoa! >> reporter: in houma, louisiana, tearing
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the roof off this building. congresswoman beryl amedee who represents houma describing the scene. >> we've felt stronger winds than i've ever experienced. there was major roof damage, downed trees, mobile homes being destroyed. there was debris flying everywhere. >> reporter: the storm surge and winds so powerful, they temporarily reversed the flow of the mississippi river near new orleans. the u.s. geological survey calling it extremely uncommon. overnight more than 1 million power customers in mississippi and louisiana were without electricity. cameras capturing the moment all of new orleans went dark. pumps to keep the city from flooding have been using self-generating sources of power and one hospital in the area experiencing partial failure of its generator forcing doctors and nurses to hand bag patients on ventilators until they could be transferred to another part of the facility. on sunday ida roaring ashore as
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a powerful category 4 storm, 16 years to the day after hurricane katrina. the storm now a major test for the city's hurricane protection system, which was not in place when the levees failed during katrina. >> will it be tested, yes, but it was built for this moment. >> reporter: and in nearby st. bernard parish, the parish president warns that recovery will take months, not weeks, mona. >> t.j. on the ground in new orleans, thank you. now let's get a closer look at where the storm is headed. >> meteorologist jeff smith from wabc is tracking it all. jeff. >> after causing tremendous amounts of destruction, the center of idol now approaching the louisiana/mississippi border weakening into a tropical storm as we head into the morning hours, but at the same time i mean a place like new orleans still going to be getting tropical storm force wind gusts hindering cleanup efforts around daybreak monday. the worst of the weather heading into mississippi during the day
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up toward jackson could be looking at 50 plus mile per hour wind gusts by later on in the afternoon and then the storm gradually weakens into a tropical depression but transports a tremendous amount of moisture in the tennessee and ohio valleys and appalachians. by the middle part of the week we could be looking at copious amounts of rainfall in areas and a lot of these places have had a lot of rainfall this summer so already saturated ground could mean a flooding threat. in terms of additional rain, maybe a half foot or more of additional rain on top of what you had over southeastern louisiana, parts of mississippi and eventually parts of the appalachians and maybe part of the i-95 corridor as well. mona, rachel, we'll send it back over to you. >> jeff, we know you'll stay on top of it. let's get more from lafitte. the small town is one hour south of new orleans. >> more than 200 people are in danger after water overtopped the levees and people are trapped in their attics. the mayor says town
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officials fought to save the town school and other buildings. >> the levee didn't necessarily fail its structural integrity, but it was overtopped and 30 minutes later the tide started going down, so lafitte, crown point was devastated and we thought we had a shot of saving the local school and government building and homes and the tidal surge but we fought like hell but within 30 minutes left of that surge, we lost it. a heartbreaking day. >> that was the mayor of lafitte, louisiana. meanwhile, new evacuation orders in plaquemines parish. the national weather service says a levee failed near highway 23 and heading north of plaquemines. >> a tornado warning was issued overnight and much more from the
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storm zone in a few moments. the other breaking news, several rockets have been fired near the airport in kabul, afghanistan, with hundreds of americans still inside the country ahead of tomorrow's withdrawal deadline. the u.s. military's anti-rocket system was activated to intercept the rockets. abc's andrea fujii has the latest. >> reporter: this morning, america's longest war is quickly coming to an end. the deadline to withdraw troops from afghanistan is less than 24 hours away and as of sunday, the state department says 250 u.s. citizens are still in the country. >> this is the most dangerous time in an already extraordinarily dangerous mission, these last couple of days, and so we will do everything possible to keep people safe, but the risk is very high. >> reporter: most of the mi members remaining in afghanistan are racing to evacuate americans and afghan allies from the airport in kabul hoping to escape the taliban. their mission, turning deadly last thursday when 13 u.s.
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servicemen and women were killed in a suicide bombing along with dozens of afghans. in retaliation, the u.s. carried out a drone strike against an isis-k planner and facilitator and an unmanned u.s. drone targeted a vehicle less than five miles from the airport. the vehicle believed to be carrying a substantial amount of explosive material, which caused powerful subsequent explosions, an afghan official telling abc news six civilians were killed. four of them children. and overnight as many as five rockets were fired at the airport. officials this morning assessing any casualties. in the meantime, a solemn scene in delaware sunday. u.s. servicemen carrying out the dignified transfer of the 13 service members killed last week. off to the side, president biden, the first lady and high ranking cabinet officials. all of those killed were children or even infants in 2001 at the start of the war including 20-year-old marine
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lance corporal bianca marroquin -- rylee mccollum, marine lance corporal david espinoza, ryan knauss, hunter lopez and 23-year-old marine sergeant nicole gee. days before her death she posted a picture as she cradled this baby at the kabul airport with a message, i love my job. we learned overnight that president biden has now directed the department of homeland security to take the lead in resettling those refugees who have been evacuated out of afghanistan as the clock ticks down to the withdrawal deadline. mona, rachel. >> our thanks to andrea fujii. coming up, the new covid-related travel restrictions being considered. also, the breaking news from california overnight. new evacuations around lake tahoe with a major wildfire on the move. and the bombshell just as the fraud trial of elizabeth holmes, the founder of theranos, gets under way. plus more live coverage of hurricane ida's historic damage. this is a live picture right now from biloxi, mississippi. we'll be right back.
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we're back now with a massive fire in northern italy. firefighters in milan went door to door making sure everyone escaped from this 20-story high rise. the flames burning more than three hours. 20 people were treated for smoke inhalation. the cause is under investigation. back in this country, evacuations have been ordered in northern california as the caldor fire approaches lake tahoe. a hospital is evacuating all patients as a precaution. the fire has spread to more than 168,000 acres. a cdc advisory panel meets to discuss covid-19 booster shots. booster shots should be given eight months after evacuation, dr. fauci says, but it could be
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changed with new data. europe is considering whether to reinstate a ban on nonessential travel from the united states. e.u. officials are expected to recommend new restrictions. a slidesing development as elizabeth holmes, the founder of thernos, goes on trial for fraud. she claims she was the victim of an abusive relationship with her ex-boyfriend. the court filings claim he controlled what she ate, how she dressed and how much money she could spend. he denies the allegations. the two are accused of misleading patients and investors with their blood testing technology. >> the prosecution will try to poke holes in this defense. they're allowed to have their expert interview elizabeth holmes and the expert will say she didn't suffer from this type of abuse or this syndrome. >> holmes is also expected to claim that she suffered from ptsd following that
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emergency crews say it's too dangerous to launch rescue efforts even with hundreds of people reportedly trapped. joining us is dr. katherine o'neal chief medical officer at our lady of the lake hospital in baton rouge. >> we've heard about patients being evacuated because of the storm damages. in the southern part of the state. what are you hearing and how are you preparing as it moves north. >> good morning. we know we have five hospitals south of us who are going to need to evacuate at least some patients, if not all patients once the weather clears. we heard just a few hours ago that there were several that they were going to start to try to move but so far we haven't seen any of those patients arrive here and from previous storms we know that movement can be very treacherous and that those vehicles won't leave the hospital until it's safe and so i expect the first transfers to take hours to arrive. >> we know that many of the hospitals in the state are already at capacity dealing with the surge of covid-19 patients. how do you think this is going
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to complicate the recovery effort? >> right now we have two teams sleeping in the hospital, a day and night team that will stay here till the weather clears and capacity to take some patients because we made capacity. the biggest challenge will be in the days ahead once everybody's lights turn on, people will start to become injured and realize they're not feeling well and come back to the er when it's safer. at that same time we'll see our team members see damage to their own homes and see them try to get their families who have been evacuated so we won't have the health care workers we usually have as they tend to their own personal needs and i think the next 72 hours will be critical. >> a lot of people are holding their breath waiting to see the damage from this storm much happening overnight. sounds like you're preparing for the worth here. >> i think we have to prepare for the worst. we saw the damage that happened during laura on the other side of the state, this hurricane
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obviously, a broader track and just as much if not more wind damage to expect. i think that our biggest concern is the amount of patients who were hunkered down and waiting until the storm passed to be moved and i think that we'll see more transfers of patients and more medical needs at a time when we don't have the capacity to take those patients, so we'll make it work because we need to make it work but it will be a difficult week. >> all right, dr. catherine o'neal in baton rouge. >> take care. the loss of a tv legend. the loss of a tv legend. we celebrate the olympics and paralympics are back. and watching our athletes will once again give the impression that america is the healthiest country in the world. we aren't. but we can be. our collective health is too important to take for granted ever again. the health of our nation cannot just be measured by the victories of our champions,
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career. >> you know what? you've got spunk. >> well -- >> i hate spunk. >> it's hard to separate ed asner from his character lou grant. he embodied the role of the rough but soft hearted news director on the mary tyler news show. it is ironic that he almost didn't get the part after a terrible first reading. >> what happened here? >> what happened was that he created one of the most successful supporting characters in a sitcom. by the mid 70s, he was winning awards for work in dramas like rich man poor man and roots. >> they're telling us to sleep lightly. >> it was the mary tyler show and its spindleoff lou grant that brought him the most acclaim. he was the only actor to win emmys for playing the same character in both a comedy and a drama. >> is that the question? or is that the problem? either way it's a hell of a story. >> this lou grant took on social
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checking the top stories, the search and rescue effort could last several days after hurricane ida battered louisiana with category 4 winds and drenching rain. more than 1 million customers have lost power including all of new orleans. the city says it's currently experiencing technical difficulties with its 911 system and south of the city hundreds of people are reportedly trapped in chest deep water. some are trapped in attics. the historic storm is blamed for at least one death. a man hit by a falling tree, the only road to the coastal town of grand isle has been flooded and officials say it could be cut off for weeks. as new orleans faces new crises, some areas still feeling the effects of hurricane katrina. >> our ginger zee looks at it. >> reporter: 16 years to the day after katrina and the infamous ninth ward has less than 40% of
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their pre-katrina population. there are still houses that are not back. >> yes. >> 16 years later, 16 years. >> when you look at this houser imagine what it looked like when it was fairly new -- >> reporter: arthur johnson knows the ninth ward's history and wants to change its future. >> this was the area historically that more white people lived in and were allowed to live and black people were allowed to build but on the other side. >> reporter: those inequities gave way to white flight in the 1960s and a suburban oasis in the city of new orleans was born. >> prior to katrina the lower ninth ward was one of the top communities in the country, communities of color per capita of home ownership. >> reporter: and then katrina. generational homes lost. when you rebuild and it takes 16
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years to rebuild, as you start to see newcomers come in who are pricing out the folks who lived here originally. >> right. so what happens when this starts to increase the property value then everybody's property value starts to go up. now these small cottages that ha instead of being what used to be under 50,000 now start to emerge to be 150,000 or more. >> reporter: beyond the property tax and beyond the lower ninth ward there was insurance injustice. fema's flood insurance recently updating because until now, no matter if you owned a mansion or a cat on you had to pay the same. >> we're going to be able to price it fairly going forward. currently lower value homes are paying more than they should and higher value homes are paying less than they should. >> our thanks to ginger with tat story from new orleans. she'll be live from the storm zone coming up on "good morning
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america. right now on "america this morning," hurricane ida's wrath. the historic category 4 storm slamming ashore with catastrophic flooding. up to 20 inches of rain, reports just coming in of a levee failing south of new orleans. hundreds of people in imminent danger. >> the entire city of new orleans losing power overnight. hospital patients being evacuated. towns completely cut off. >> reports of people stranded on their roofs. others in their home with water up to their chest. a barge taking down the bridge leading to one town. >> we felt stronger winds than i've ever experienced. >> we're live from new orleans and across the storm zone. plus, where the storm heads from here. the extreme flood threat through


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