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tv   Craig Melvin Reports  MSNBC  December 13, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PST

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spirit of solidarity, and jodie, thank you for being with me. as i look around here at what was this bustling downtown of an extraordinarily beautiful and historic city, much of it in ruins, and yet, people say they will rebuild. it's important that we all do what we can to help these people. there are so many people here who just want to rebuild. that wraps up the hour for me. i'm jose diaz-balart. thank you for the privilege of your time. chris jansing picks up with more news right now. >> our thanks to jose for his reporting on the ground. good morning, i am chris jansing in for craig melvin. an already weary nation tired from this pandemic, from polarization, and growing economic pressure points.
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now having to push through the pain of devastating tornadoes that have brought death and destruction at what should be the most joyous time of the year. towns like bowling green, kentucky. that's what you see there on your screen. they have been flattened. and there are desperate searches through rubble and thrown debris to find people who are missing at this hour, including eight people at a candle factory in mayfield. right now dozens are dead across at least five states. kentucky's governor just said it could be a week before there's a final count for the number of lives lost. he just spoke about who we've lost so far. >> 18 are still unidentified. of the ones that we know, the age range is five months to 86 years. >> an understandably emotional
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governor who also said that president biden will come to the state in the near future. and any moment now president biden will be briefed on the federal response to these tornadoes which will bring you once it happens. these are tornadoes, of course, that will severely challenge the response and the resources of government at every level. ungodly tornadoes that didn't care who or what was in their path, look at the st. james missionary baptist church in barnesfield, kentucky, or what remains of it as the pastor picks through. >> here's my pulpit. lord, jesus have mercy. >> at carter's restaurant in mayfield, employees and customers got out just before it was completely flattened. as the storm tore at this home, a woman barricaded herself and her daughter in the bathroom
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using every ounce of her strength to keep that door shut as debris threatened to breakthrough. we're going deeply into all of these harrowing stories this hour with the people who lived through them and also look ahead to what's next. we want to start with our reporters on the ground there in hard-hit kentucky. kathy park is in mayfield. nbc's mike memoli at the white house following the president's response and the briefing he's supposed to be getting any minute now. kathy, let's start so far with where you are, at least eight confirmed deaths. eight people unaccounted for after that candle factory collapsed. that's according to the governor this morning. the mayfield mayor told my colleague on the "today show" earlier the entire city has no water, no power, no natural gas. can you even begin to give us a sense of what it's like on the ground there? >> well, chris, this community of about 10,000 residents, well, it was in the direct path of the outbreak of tornadoes, and
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everywhere you turn, you see devastation. right behind me is what used to be a post office, only a handful of vehicles are still left standing. there are others probably in other parts of this town. when you drive through mayfield, turn after turn you have homes completely levelled. you have power lines scattered just about everywhere, and then trees toppled. you have mountains of debris. in fact, you mentioned that steak house. i'm in front of it. there's nothing left. and then you mentioned that candle factory. it has been the headlines all weekend long. 110 people were inside the factory when the tornado went through. 30 people were rescued but eight people confirmed dead. several people still unaccounted for. we spoke with the owner of the candle factory yesterday. we asked him what does this business mean to him and this community. here's what he told me. >> my mom started this business
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26 years ago, and we come from humble beginnings, and we were fortunate enough to grow this business into a decent size. the building can be rebuilt. it's these family's lives and everything that's going to be changed forever. but this town is resilient. kentucky as a state is resilient. but at the same time, we just need prayers and support. >> reporter: now, chris, i'm in the downtown area. that candle factory is about two miles away from here. you have emergency responders pretty much coming in from all across the state lending a helping hand. they're combing through the rubble. one firefighter described to me this weekend they're literally walking on the roof of the candle factory, going through the rubble in hopes they will find anyone alive. chris? >> kathy park, thank you so much for that. and just about an hour's drive east of where kathy is, i want to bring in ellison barber who
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just got to dawson springs, kentucky. we're getting our first look today at the area you're in, ellison. it's the governor's father's hometown, and yesterday when the governor was talking to chuck todd on "meet the press" it was gasp worthy when he said the list of unaccounted people there was eight pages single spaced. tell me what's happening on the ground. what that search is like. >> reporter: hey, chris. i met one woman who said she was in this basement. her neighbor's home, when the storm came through, when the tornado crossed over. she said she was down here huddled and looked up. all she saw was black, and the entirety of her neighbor's home completely destroyed. it physically shifted about ten feet off of what would be, right here, the kitchen. that woman, she lived just across the street here. she said once she was able to get out, she ran over to her home and tried to go inside. her steps to get in her house were literally in her front
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yard. this house right over here, or what would be a house, if you look over this way, they started screaming for their neighbors in that home. they went to the next house looking for them there. they pulled their neighbors out of a small window in the basement. all of them then running down the street to get to one of the few structures standing here, a bank. that woman worked in the bank. she was able to get inside. you look over here, and you see even more of all of what would be homes just completely flattened. we met one woman who said three of her neighbors died. listen. >> in just seconds, it was over. and so that's the hardest thing probably to get your head wrapped around is that everything is gone so fast. that. we're just grateful. we're grateful. god is good. >> reporter: when you look at all of the cars here.
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there are some cars when you look inside that are filled with things almost like someone was trying to hurry and get out of the area. we spoke to another woman a couple blocks over who talked about one of her neighbors still missing. we met a woman yesterday afternoon walking by us saying do you know anything about the people who are unaccounted for? she told me she was looking for two friends. the coroner says at least 12 people have been confirmed dead in this county. but as you said, when you talk to people about the unaccounted for, the people who are presumably missing or someone is still looking for them just in dawson springs, it's hard to get a sense of how many people are missing, because it seems like almost everyone knows someone that they're still looking for. >> ellison, thank you so much for that. so mike, president biden is set to get a briefing any moment now from homeland security and fema officials. obviously the federal response is going to need to be enormous. what do we expect from that?
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>> chris, for the president who is about to meet as you mentioned with the secretary of homeland security, the fema administrator as well as his homeland security adviser, this is one of those moments at a time when this country is so divided politically, and where it can often seem in washington even the basics of government functioning can take a lot of work and effort and brinksmanship. it's a moment where the president wants to highlight the ways in which government can work as it's intended to do. that's why we saw the president on saturday speak to the american people while he was in delaware for the weekend talking about the scale of the loss, the unbelievable loss of life and loss of valuables, property as well. he's been in regular contact with some of the governors of the affected states not just in kentucky but across the region where these storms hit. and his message to the country was that whatever it takes, we will do. and if that requires asking congress to fund more disaster relief appropriation, that's what he'll do. in the meantime, the federal government is trying to work as closely as it can with its state
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and local partners in order to make sure all their needs are being met. we've seen as the president laid out over the weekend, a number of natural disasters that this government has had to deal with since president biden has taken office so far. and he's emphasized the nonpartisan nature of this as well. also acknowledging the fact that some of these severe weather events are linked to climate change. something his administration is working to deal with. >> mike memoli, kathy park, thanks to both of you. i want you to take a look at some heart breaking video. this is what is left of a baptist burj in kentucky. this used to be the pulpit. now it's a pile of rubble. this is what the pastor at the church had to say about the devastation to his house of worship that it faced on sunday. >> my heart is broken. but i'm still here. i tried my best to talk myself
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into being strong and not crying, but my emotions have taken over. but that's okay. god is still in control. he is still able. and we will win. we will prevail. >> joining me, that pastor from st. james missionary church. i'm so moved by you saying i'm still here. and i want to start off with how you and the members of your congregation are coping this morning. >> we're doing fine. i did have one member that lived around the corner from the church that lost her house also. but, you know, in a harrowing effort from her mother, miss ruth, she went and got her. me and my wife was up there the
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night of the tornado, and we were told the church is gone. i was heart broken. we had no idea what to do, but we are still here. we will win. we will prevail. >> obviously this storm was like nothing that most people have ever seen or we hope will ever see in their lifetimes. there was this photo in the new york times showing one of your deacons sifting through the rubble. is there'ven much left that's even salvageable, pastor? >> we had a few things that were -- he was specifically looking for a filing cabinet that had church and personal information in it, and we did find that. it was still intact. amazingly, my desk was still in the spot where it was at with rubble all on top of it, and i was able to get some of the contents out of that desk, and i was able to get the robes also. i found those. we pulled the carpet over and found the robes. me and a few members. and we found a few things, and
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my wife, she had just taken a christmas presents up to the children, put it under a christmas tree right in front of my office, and all that was lost, we were going to be able to replace those things. god is good. in spite of this situation, we will make it through. >> you know, when i saw that new york times photo, the thing that first comes to mind is resiliency. whenever you talk about a church, the way congregations and communities come together in faith and in support of each other. and i know it's really soon, but are you already having conversations about ways to rebuild, how even just to come together maybe next sunday? >> yes. i have a church that's right up the road from us in kentucky, the pastor is going to allow us to use a hall that they have
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next door to be able to have our worship services. i did do it yesterday virtually. but we're going to come together. we are having conversations, you know, just light conversations but like i said, we were over at our member's house, trying to help her recover all that she could recover. she has two grandsons that live with her. we were there all day and temporarily went up to the church and tried to find what we could that could be recovered. >> for people who are watching at home right now, what do you and your congregation need? how can people help? >> well, right now you know, because the building is a total loss, there's not anything that we are in desperate need of right now. i've had calls from pastors, i'm sorry, i'm getting emotional now. i've gotten calls from pastors and people all over the country that are people that are trying
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to send us money, and so that we can try to help those people, because see, there were -- this church is in a rural area, but there were other people that lived in that area. and their houses are gone. they have nowhere to live, and even a little man across the railroad tracks, and i know you can't see it there, but there's derailed train cars right in our frond yard. you can see it right there. he was found under the rubble, and he's still alive. nobody on that hill in that valley lost their lives. and we just thank the lord for that. so there's not just -- just pray for us, and we will get some information out for people to -- who want to help to help us and get our community back together. >> can you even put into words what it's meant to you to have those folks reach out, to call,
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to offer? >> it is an incredible feeling that i -- you know, it's really hard to explain, but it's a feeling of knowing that even in the midst of how things are in dismay, in certain forms in our country, that now people are coming together. that it took a disaster for people to come together, and not just in our community. i mean, i also have a full-time job and most of the communities that we -- that you hear about mayfield, princeton, dawson, we have -- i go to customers there in my job, and it's just -- but our people here in kentucky, and all around in the mid south, we are very resilient. we come together, and we're just going to come together and just do what we have to do to put our communities back together. it's just -- but it's an amazing feeling to know that there are
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people calling over, and even you here at msnbc wanting to hear a story about a little small church in barnsly, kentucky, is quite moving. >> well, i can say that we appreciate with all that you have to do. you've been willing to share it, and it's so wonderful at a time of such devastation to have a little message of hope, to remember that people can come together in a time when there is so much polarization. i know pastor, there's a lot of people out there heeding your call for prayer. thank you. and we'll be thinking about you and praying for you. much appreciated. >> thank you, chris. we'll have much more on this hour -- in 24 hour on the recovery efforts from the devastating storms. up next, i'll talk to a mom from kentucky about how she barricaded herself and her daughter in a bathroom to survive. plus startling new numbers about the toll of the covid pandemic. according to "the new york times," one out of every 100 older americans has now died.
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in bowling green, officials say it will take weeks to get power back on after the devastating tornado. this captures the nature of the disaster. a lot of homes levelled to their foundation while some across the
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street, even next door, left mostly unscathed. some 500 homes and 100 businesses are damaged or destroyed in that area alone. nbc's dasha burns is in a neighborhood decimated by 155 miles per hour tornadoes. i know you've been speaking with a lot of folks there. many lost everything. what are they telling you? >> reporter: chris, 12 people have died in warren county, and we have seen businesses toppled, completely. roofs blown off of homes like this one you see here. this shed over here lifted up off the ground, set back down again. and chris, right now where i am standing, this was once a garage. right here. this belongs to a woman named nermina, a mother of two. she says this was filled with her children's toys. there's nothing here anymore. you see these little remnants
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everywhere. you see a wagon that belonged to one of her children. and she tells me that she called her mother in bosnia. she's from bosnia and has been living here for 21 years. in a moment of desperation, she called her mom because she wasn't sure she was going to move it because of the overwhelming force that she experienced when this thing hit. take a listen to what she told me. >> i told the kids to go in the closet. they were look agent me like why. confused. i said please, just get in the closet. they did. then i heard a loud, loud noise, like, a lot of trains coming toward you. when the shaking started happening, i held onto the frame of the closet, and then we started feeling pressure. >> the people on the roof, i guess. yeah. most people i've been talking to said it only lasted a couple
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minutes. look at the damage that a couple of minutes can do. damage that will take not weeks, not even months, but years to clean up. the cleanup effort has begun here. we can see people coming through from all over the state, all over the country, really, to help out. people bringing chain saws. people bringing trucks. everything that they can to help people out here. but as i talk to residents, and watch them look at their neighborhood that will never be the same, they are just daunted by this task of moving forward from this. >> thank you for your reporting. i want to now bring in a woman who spent terrifying moments barricaded in her apartment with her seven-year-old daughter as the tornado tore through bowling green. thank you so much. how are you and your daughter doing this morning? >> we're doing good. >> i can't even imagine what those moments were like, but talk us through it. what happened?
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what you saw and heard. and what you were doing just to try to save your life and that of your daughter. >> i just remember getting the alert on my phone to take shelter. first i'm thinking it's not real. it's not really going to happen, but something in my gut told me to get my clothes on, grab my child and get to safety. so i just told my child, get your clothes and run downstairs and hide in the bathroom. and i just remember putting my foot up on the door and holding the door handle so that way it didn't move, because i'm just feeling the door shake really bad, and i'm seeing debris right up underneath the door, and it's like hitting us hard and everything. i'm hearing glass shatter everywhere. and i'm hearing this loud knock against my apartment, and it's like the wind at first is so
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low. there wasn't nothing to think about. but it was starting to pick up louder and louder. it was to the point where the whole building is shaking. i remember screaming oh my god, oh, my god, and my child is screaming, too, and i'm holding her, trying to hold her back. we're wedged between the toilet. i just started screaming jesus, jesus, and all the sudden it stopped. it slowed down. and then i keep hearing a slamming noise. i'm running out. my neighbor is running out. she's screaming too. are you okay? are you okay? and i just look across the street, and i'm just seeing flashlights everywhere. there's people krieg. it's like i'm hearing sirens, chain saws. it's just -- powerlines are down everywhere. we just try our best to get to safety. we have a friend that lives down the street from us. we were able to get to him safely. we had to jump over some power cords, but we were able to get to safety. >> so even after, obviously, you
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were facing danger, but during those moments when you were holding onto your daughter and holding onto that door, and you could hear everything that was going on, the power of this tornado, was there a moment when you thought we might not make it? >> i did. i really did. the louder it got, i'm thinking it took the roof. it's getting closer. i'm just trying to get down as far as i can between the toilet. at this point there's a lot of things that are running through my mind, but my child, i don't care if i get hurt. my child is what matters. and i just keep pushing her further down and away from the door. i know she's probably squished, but as long as my child is okay -- it was a lot running through my mind. >> one of the things i know from covering tornadoes in the past is that no matter what you see from a drone or all the television pictures, it can't
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quite reproduce the impact of when you see it in person, and when you look and you see what has happened in your community, what goes through your mind? >> it's so surreal. it's like i'm in a movie. it's just too hard to believe. seeing people, bodies out everywhere, i had a friend who actually pulled a child and a mother out. they didn't make it, but just seeing everybody pulling babies and grown people out and i actually had a co-worker who lived down the street from me that i was unaware of, and just to find out they passed away from the storm as well. and it's just -- seeing all the damage is too hard to believe. it is. it doesn't feel real. >> we are so sorry for your loss, for the community's loss. so glad that you and your daughter came through it okay. i know you have a long road ahead, but thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us,
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and our best thoughts and prayers are with you. we appreciate it. >> thank you. i appreciate it. >> thank you so much. and a reminder. any moment we expect to see president biden. he's being briefed on this storm by the fema administrator and the secretary of homeland security among others. we'll bring you that live once we have it. until then, coming up, one in every 100 older american has now been killed by covid according to a new tally from the new york times. up next, why doctors and nurses are worried about the new rise in cases just before the holidays. firefighter maggie gronewald knows how to handle dry weather... ...and dry, cracked skin. new gold bond advanced healing ointment. restore healthy skin, with no sticky feeling. gold bond. champion your skin. riders, the lone wolves of the great highway. all they need is a bike and a full tank of gas. their only friend? the open road. i have friends. [ chuckles ]
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this morning we've reached a grim new milestone in the covid pandemic. more than 800,000 americans have died from the virus. and according to "the new york times," that means one out of every 100 americans age 65 and older has been killed. experts worry about new trends we're seeing in this fight including rising cases in 40 states. many of them tied to thanksgiving and with more holiday gatherings ahead. nbc's antonia hilton is in worcester, massachusetts outside of u-mass memorial center. antonia, massachusetts is one of the most vaccinated states in
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the country. they've got what, 80% of residents with at least one dose. but the hospitals there are getting crowded again. they're seeing more breakthrough cases. what are folks there telling you about what's happening, and what are they recommending? >> well, chris, physicians and nurses here describe the situation across massachusetts as very worrisome because just as you said, this is a state that led the way in terms of vaccination and even they are now seeing this crisis and the up tick as we head back into another holiday season. so look, here in massachusetts there are about 1,200 people currently hospitalized. here at u yn mass, i was told by doctors there are about 40 patients waiting around in the hallways hoping to get a bed. across the state people are waiting at times for 24 to 48 hours to get beds. that's people who may or may not have covid-19. and this is all coming just as there is this unprecedented
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crisis of burnout and exhaustion among the frontline health care workers who have been doing this since the very first wave. i actually spoke to a nurse here at u mass memorial earlier today. i asked her you know, do nurses feel like they're still the heros people told them they were during the first wave. listen to what she had to say. >> i think down at the vaccination center, i feel more of that. i feel more of a sense that i'm trying to help the community than i do in here. i wish i did. i mean, we need more support. it's hard to see it happen over and over again that we're back in this place again. it's exhausting. they are short on beds across the state. they're short on staff. she told me that more than 50% of the people that she's working with are traveling nurses or techs or radiologists, so she's
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doing this critical work and often interacting with people she has never met before and having to readjust. so there is exhaustion here among the people and it seems to be fatigue in the population in terms of continuing to wear a mask, knowing that people need to come out and get their booster shots ahead of the holidays. they're putting the message out right now. governor baker announced that more than 2 million at-home covid tests are going to be dispersed around the state and targeting areas that are most hard hit right now. in the hopes that they can get some of this under control over the next couple weeks, but doctors are bracing here in massachusetts for what's to come over the next 30 to 60 days. >> oh, boy. we were calling these folks heros a year ago and here we are again. antonia hilton, thank you for your ongoing coverage. we appreciate it. this morning former president donald trump's dheef of staff mark meadows is closer to potentially facing federal charges. tonight the january 6th committee plans to recommend the house vote to hold meadows in con demt of congress, and then refer him to the doj for
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prosecution. a new report by the committee alleges meadows sent an email one day before the riot saying national guard troops would, quote, protect pro trump people. but meadows refused to appear for a deposition to answer questions about that, and other events leading up to the riot. the full house is expected to vote on that contempt charge tomorrow. in just about 30 minutes officials in mayfield, kentucky will give us an update on the recovery efforts. we'll talk to jose diaz-balart on the ground in mayfield next. first, this was moments ago. vice president harris talking about the storms. take a listen. >> i do want to say a few words about this weekend's devastating storms. our hearts, of course, go out to the communities that have been impacted. you lost so much, and so quickly. so we are committed, the president and i and our administration, to helping you and to helping to heal the
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in about 20 minutes we're expecting to hear from emergency management officials on the deadly candle factory collapse. right now according to the mayor, they don't have any power in that town. nbc's jose diaz-balart is on the ground in mayfield covering the damage as he has been, and jose, you've got more than 200 years of history in that town which is basically reduced in large part to rubble. tell me what you're hearing and seeing there. >> reporter: yeah. chris, good morning. take a look at the 200 years of history. these are bricks that are a mountain of debris now. in the second floor of what was a bodega that was ruined.
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the family saved to open it. [ speaking spanish ] >> reporter: five months ago this was a dream and hope for so many of you. >> translator: we all came from guatemala with the dreams to go forward. you do this for the children. they have their two children. these are good people. they are good with me, with me, because it hurts me so much what happened to them. they're such good people. we share so much. the woman and the man, they're good friends. and i always buy through them. >> reporter: what did you think when you first drove up after this? >> translator: tornado hit at 9:00 p.m. friday. i was just finishing work. at 7:00 in the morning, saturday. i came in my car.
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>> reporter: what did you think? >> translator: i thought that i lost my friends. the two of them, his brother, the wife and the two kids. i saw this devastation. i said to myself, i'm not happy until i see their bodies. on the thursday, we brought merchandise from atlanta and we went to georgia to get merchandise to help in this, but -- >> reporter: i'm going to speak with them, the survivors. thank you very much, jonathan. thank you. i'm going to take you into what is left of this bodega. opened up five months ago. just over the friday we're here bringing merchandise from atlanta. look, these are the children that survived this horrific incident. this is the only part that remains standing. take a look at the rooms. this is what is left, but this family was fortunate enough.
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you were here during the tornadoes. >> translator: this was a corner where we were refugees. we were on top of our two little children who are our priority to cover them from all the things that were flying around us. >> reporter: come over here. this is the husband. look at this. take a look outside. this is what they were receiving. how do you explain that that wall saved five of you?
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>> translator: there's no explanation, because the magnitude of the winds, of the tornado, the weights of things until -- nothing remained. everything was destroyed except this. >> reporter: how are you going to go forward? >> translator: start over. from zero. from zero. as we're immigrants, it's going to be very complicated. >> reporter: thank god that you're all alive, and that's what gives us faith, they say. thank you very much for being with us. this is a photograph of part of what is going on here. yes, chris? >> i just want to ask quickly, where will they sleep tonight? how are they feeding their children? >> reporter: they're staying
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with louise at his house. there's another family. these are guatemalan migrants, who have been here. their entire life, their entire savings, everything they've worked for was here, and thank god that that wall saved the family of five where everything else was destroyed. and yet, as they say, where there is life, there is hope. >> jose diaz-balart, thank you for your reporting. we really appreciate it. you can watch jose every day at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on msnbc. just feet from where jose was standing is the wreckage of a mayfield steak house. up next, i'll talk with one of the restaurant's owners about how they'll try to rebuild and their plan to help feed the community.
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♪♪ it only takes a second for an everyday item to become dangerous. tide pods child-guard pack helps keep your laundry pacs in a safe place and your child safer. to close, twist until it clicks. tide pods child-guard packaging. one of the hundreds of businesses destroyed by these tornados was car steakhouse in mayfield, kentucky. this was carrs before the storm. this is what it looks like now. daniel carr's family has run restaurants in the mayfield
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community since the '50s, and he joins us now. thank you so much for being with us. how are you, your family, your staff doing today? >> my family and i, we were safe and doing as well as we can. the whole town has no power or heat. water is trying to be restored. they're trying as fast as they can. i talked with all my staff, we got with them that night to make sure everybody was safe, you know, and we had more discussions today. several of them lost their homes, lost -- >> it looks like daniel's shot obviously has frozen. we will try to get back to him if we can. in the meantime, let's take a quick break and we'll be right back. a quick break and we'll be right back
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(upbeat music) - [narrator] this is kate. she always wanted her smile to shine. now, she uses a capful of therabreath healthy smile oral rinse to give her the healthy, sparkly smile she always wanted. (crowd cheering) therabreath, it's a better mouthwash. at walmart, target and other fine stores. take a look at this photograph in the massive unseasonal storms that flattened
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dawson springs, kentucky. this picture flew 130 miles in the force of the winds. just one example of how strong this storm system was. msnbc meteorologist bill karins is here to help us understand just what happened. bill, these massive storms seem to be happening over and over and over again. what do we know about what laid the groundwork for this unique storm and the role climate change might have played? >> yeah, i mean, chris, typically when we talk about tornados our peak tornado month is may, and then april and june. we usually call that our tornado season before we get into like hurricane season, but in each fall there's typically a week or two that we will get severe weather events. but you know, usually they're smaller than this, and usually they're not this deadly either. you know, sometimes you just get unlucky. you get a big huge tornado and it goes through a town. this one was on the ground for possibly over 200 miles. we know from the press conference this morning that
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kentucky's had at least 64 deaths. this one already is the third deadliest tornado in kentucky's history. look at all the other months, may and march dates are on that list. we don't yet know how strong the one tornado was that went through mayfield. they've out doing the damage surveys. you can imagine they have to go along the entire 200 mile path and try to see what the peak was because that's what they'll rate it. the one that hit the amazon facility was rated at ef-3, 165 miles per hour winds. that's severe damage on our scale, almost into the extreme damage category. when you see the pictures from mayfield and bowling green and dawson springs, which is pretty much destroyed, you know you're in the ef-4 range and maybe if they see enough evidence we could possibly get our first ef-5 tornado since 2013, over eight and a half years ago was the last time in this country we officially had a tornado that strong on the ground. and it can happen in areas like illinois and kentucky. at least it has happened before. the last one in december was in
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illinois going back 64 years ago. so how can this happen in december? well, if you've been paying attention to the weather this month, it hasn't felt like december. i mean, we've had a lack of snow, a lack of cold. i'm talking record highs each and every day. on friday before the storms hit, it hit 80 degrees in memphis. we didn't have december weather. the atmosphere could care less what time of year it is. it felt like it was october. we had an october severe weather outbreak. the only climate connections we really can relate to this is the possibility that tornado alley is moving a little bit, more towards the southeast and away from oklahoma and texas. but the research is still pretty young on this. the sample size not big enough to make that connection yet. >> bill karins, thank you so much. i want to go back to daniel carr now, we told you about his family owning a steakhouse that was destroyed in mayfield, kentucky. what do you do now, what do you do for yourself, your business,
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your employees, your community? >> exactly. the building was just a building. we're focused on our people, on our community at large, but it gets over a thousand people without homes right now, no electricity, no heat for thousands in our overall community. the people need basic supplies, you know, we've been hunkered down, real chilly. other than that we're great. before we focus on the restaurant, we're going to focus on our community and the people around us and do everything, every moment of the day to help those people hurting and suffering, and struggling just to survive. >> inspirational, and good luck to you. good luck to everybody in your community. our thoughts are with you. we appreciate it, daniel carr. you have a great day. as you work forward with that incredibly community-focused attitude. that's going to do it for me this busy hour. "andrea mitchell reports" continues our coverage next.
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good day, everyone. this is "andrea mitchell reports" in washington, we're tracking new revelations from the january 6th investigating committee on why they do plan to hold former trump chief of staff mark meadows in contempt of congress tonight. plus, the nation marking a grim pandemic milestone of 800,000 u.s. covid deaths, but of course our big focus today, the disaster in the wake of historic tornados and the desperate search for survivors in kentucky. president biden at this hour approving a disaster declaration for eight kentucky counties and update ed by top officials in a meeting that is continuing with fema administrator dee ann dean nne kriswell. and governor beshear emotional when talking about the loss of life in his state. >> i believe this is the most rapid response by federal government in the history of the


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