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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  August 26, 2017 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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thank you for your time. tonight, breaking news. hurricane harvey, state of emergency. the images just coming in. one texas town nearly blown off the map. the view from above. home after home ripped apart, businesses destroyed, neighborhoods underwater. the deadly monster storm hitting the texas coast as a category 4, winds blasting up to 130 miles per hour. >> an incredible push. >> and our team in the storm zone as the most powerful hurricane in more than a decade hits the continental u.s. now emergency officials warn "catastrophic flooding" could be on the way, houston in the danger zone. at least four reported tornados already striking. plus, the search and rescue operations under way. the coast guard rushing in. and president trump
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monitoring the crisis -- caught in his own fire storm over who he just pardoned. good evening. thanks for joining us on this special edition of "world news tonight" this saturday. i'm tom llamas, and we begin tonight with breaking news as we come on the air. hurricane harvey, the state of emergency along the gulf coast. harvey coming to shore in texas as a category 4. the storm turning deadly. images of the devastation. coming in all day, you see them there. homes and buildings in rockport absolutely destroyed. you can see so many of the structures leveled. harvey also blamed for several reported tornadoes striking the region, including this one in cyprus, texas. and take a look at this video shot overnight as harvey hit with full force, winds up to 130 miles per hour, debris flying through the air near rockport. at this hour, harvey downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves inland towards its next target.
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we do have team coverage. our crews are positioned throughout the area. we start with abc's senior national correspondent, matt gutman, in rockport, and what's left of the town's high school, matt? >> reporter: good evening to you tom. this is the high school gym here in rockport. every single wall has been blown out. it seems as if a tornado has ripped through here. in fact, driving through this town, there's barely a single structure that hasn't suffered some sort of damage, and it's not just what you see. it's what you smell as well. there's the distinct odor of gas in the air here, and up and down this coastline, communities devastated tonight. tonight, harvey still pummeling texas with deadly force. transforming into a category transforming into a category 4 monster around 6:00 p.m., friday, the strongest hurricane to hit the lone star state since 1961. making landfall just four hours later, packing 130 mile per hour winds, mountainous waves and a
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wall of storm surge 6 feet. harvey's lashing winds have weakened into a tropical storm, but its relentless rain hasn't. over 15 inches of rain in some places. in aransas pass, a police body camera capturing the moment the roof lifted right off this building. windows shattering at this hair salon in corpus christi. winds snapping power lines, hundreds of thousands losing power. that storm, blowing transformers, fires destroying multiple homes. today, we drove to one of the hardest hit areas, the coastal town of rockport, just outside corpus christi. storm chasers here overnight, filming buildings here ripping apart. debris blown right in front of them. then at first light, the scale of the catastrophic damage emerging. homes obliterated. businesses gutted. trees ripped from the ground. everywhere we drove, power lines dangled over the road.
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rvs flipped like toys. the storm surge submerging whole sections of this town of 8,700 people. almost every building in town damaged as harvey sank its teeth into rockport. the city warned residents, staying could mean death. >> those that are going to stay, it's unfortunate but they should make some type of preparation to mark their arm with a sharpie pen. put their social security number on it. >> reporter: many stayed and tonight, police tell us there are hundreds of homeless here. we found 200 of them clustered in this elementary school. zach and mashon have banded together to help people out. what else do you need? >> we need beds, we need blankets, we need water. we need sanitary products. we need oxygen. we need medical supplies. we need a lot of things. >> reporter: inside, eerie darkness and misery. it's eerie walking down the hallway. there are cots everywhere you look. there's food.
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obviously, there's no electricity, so people are making do with what they can. but the darkness certainly gives us an eerie aspect here even though these folks are trying to make it as homey and comfortable as possible. tonight, the coast guard forging families to stay away. we saw leaving town is not easy. they are driving through a river. this is a four-lane highway. it is quickly being inundated by all this rain and flood water, and north of us is rockport. this entire place may be cut off as these waters rise. >> please do not come back into these affected areas until you have got an all clear from your county or city eocs. >> reporter: fema now pledging to bring the fire power of the federal government to aid the millions in the storm zone. tom, residents have come here asking us if we have seen fema, if we have seen the national guard. now officials say it could take months for this community to recover, and of course, the communities around here as well
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that have been so hard hit. that is how extensive the damage, especially to the infrastructure, has been here, tom. >> that community issuing an sos tonight. all right, matt. thanks so much. next tonight, harvey on the march further inland. families trying to protect their homes from the rising waters and thousands of other families in texas are wondering when they will be allowed home, and if their homes are still standing. abc's eva pilgrim in hard hit, victoria, texas, eva. >> reporter: hey, tom. victoria, texas is under a curfew tonight, and you can see why. there's debris here in the streets. this power line hanging dangerously slow to the ground. those trees, blocking the road, and now they are worried about flooding as this rain continues. people are told to shelter in place. if they have to evacuate, they will go door to door. tonight, harvey's wrath is just beginning in victoria, texas. 25 miles inland, the storm battering this community right now.
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>> i'm being told, 60 to 70-mile-an-hour winds. >> reporter: the wind pulled out the pole of this stop sign, tossed it to the ground like a toy before pushing over the top of this gas station. one of the pumps you can see is now leaning back. the big fear, relentless rain -- waves of water cascading down the street. homeowners rushing to sandbag. the downpour beginning to pool, creeping closer to homes. >> you can see that freshwater flooding is beginning. >> reporter: the clock ticking as the nearby guadalupe river rises tonight. >> to quote the national weather service, this is going to be life-threatening and catastrophic with the flooding. >> reporter: winds punching a hole through this lumberyard, destroying buildings. trees snapped in half. this one, pulled clear out of the ground. >> that is a big fire. >> reporter: a downed power line sparking this massive fire. almost half the town without power, residents forced to boil
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water, even the hospital taking a direct hit. >> and eva joins us live again. eva, the big fear there for your report is the guadalupe river. how high do they think it will go? >> reporter: well, it usually sits at about 6 feet. it's expected to crest at 32. that is five times its normal, tom. >> 32 feet. all right, eva. stay safe. now of course, harvey pounding the coast as it came ashore. the storm hitting one of its first targets, port lavaca, with brutal winds and rough surf. the storm surge flooding this coastal community. abc's senior meteorologist, rob marciano, in port lavaca, right now where harvey hit land. rob, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, tom. you can see behind me how high that storm surge came. it took the boats out of the marina, and tossed them on shore. the rain for now has finally stopped. for millions of residents across the texas coast last night, it was a long night. 12 hours in the path of a slow-moving hurricane.
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it's 7:00 local time. the center of the storm just 30 miles off the coast line. harvey barreling toward shore as night falls friday -- the rain and the wind really picking up. the storm surge continues to pour in. one of its first stops, port lavaca on the gulf coast, hitting in the dead of night. the power has finally gone out here at our hotel. rain pouring down sideways -- wind thrashing. the storm surge turning our hotel into an island. this stairwell flooded. when a storm comes in at night like this one did, there's a level of fear that is ramped up that is absolutely indescribable. the rain outside, blinding. i'm just going to take a couple of steps here, i can barely -- i'm actually sliding -- sliding without really trying here. by daylight, the worst of it is finally over, but the storm surge was relentless. now that the sun is up, we can give you a vantage point on what the storm surge looks like.
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this is the hotel pool covered now with salt water and debris from the hotel. look at that. that's part of the wall that was peeled off. >> rob marciano riding out that storm in front of cameras. as we saw in your report, an incredibly slow-moving storm. why is it staying put for so long? >> reporter: well, it's an area that the steering currents just kind of collapse. it was moving quickly when it hit shore, but now it's stuck between two systems. those big, blue "hs," you see on the map, it's right between those areas. we're not sure where it will go over the next couple of days. it will sit and spin, and that's not good news for people in texas and louisiana, potentially getting more moisture up the gulf of mexico and more heavy rain, tom. >> rob marciano. rob, thank you. at this hour, the concern is over potential catastrophic flooding. this is turn into a monster rain maker. let's get to abc chief meteorologist, ginger zee,
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tracking all of this. this is not over yet, right? >> reporter: look at this storm. it is all but stationary. the center of it there, just north and west of victoria. the threat regions with those outer bands keep hitting the same places, tom. you see the tornado watch. that's one of the threats tonight. that goes until 2:00 a.m. central time. the flash flood watch will stay with us for at least the next two days. that includes usa, centerville and houston, and there's the track as of now. this is our best bet as far as where it's going to go to try to drift back toward the bay, where it made its second landfall and then go north. what does that mean for you? if you are in houston, that means by sunday, 11:00 a.m., you say, i should go to church and get out the door. there will still be flooding. you could see another 10 to 20 plus inches of rain. just to give you an idea, we saw some of the bayous in houston.
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this is buffalo bayou expected to get to a 65-foot record tomorrow. >> more than 10 feet above the flood stage. that's incredible. ginger, thank you. as ginger mentioned, harvey tonight with houston in the crosshairs, several reported tornadoes in texas and louisiana already. a lot of families with a long night ahead. abc's victor oquendo is there. >> reporter: houston in the firing line again. this coming after the first wave of twisters striking early this morning. >> my camper is on its side. i'm basically homeless. >> reporter: we're standing in front of what's left of a storage facility in katy, texas, and just take a look around here. torn up wood, mangled metal, all over the place here. if you take a look around, you can make out a number of items. this is what's left of a chair. you look a little bit further up, that's an old tv, but here's the thing. this didn't all come from inside the storage facility. it came from across the street. >> we were out here yesterday with sandbags, probably 100 of them trying to prepare for the flood, but it ended up being a lot worse.
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>> reporter: in nearby sienna plantation, neighbors taking cover. more than 50 homes damaged. >> once we heard the big boom across the house, we just ran to safety. >> reporter: the ceiling caving in on the woman who lives here. the sky now visible from the living room. that all unfolding as harvey hit. this time lapse video showing it eclipsing houston. right now the big worry here is flooding. >> we are taking this storm very, very seriously. for us, it is a rainmaker. that's the main thing for us. it's a rainmaker. >> reporter: authorities are watching bayous bursting and ready to overflow. highways and major roads already closed. others hard to navigate, and this car already submerged as the rain just keeps coming. and so far, more than 1,400 flights canceled in houston. >> and victor joins us live now from houston. more than 9 million people under flash flood watches where you are right now, victor, and that spot is where officials are worried about? >> reporter: tom, this is
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a major area of concern. we're right in front of the buffalo bayou. this is an area that's prone the flooding. it's already up a few feet, and with about 2 feet of rain in the forecast, the officials are keeping a close watch on this unpredictable storm, tom. >> victor oquendo tonight. victor, stay safe. thank you. now to massive emergency response to harvey. the governor of texas declaring a state of emergency in about 50 counties. about 1,000 people involved in search and rescue operations. abc's clayton sandell is in austin with the latest. >> reporter: tonight, in texas military might helping the search and rescue mission. the coast guard saving 18 boaters today, including these four from a sinking tug near port aransas. near rockport, one couple stranded with their dog got a chopper lift to a nearby hospital. in houston, floodwaters turned this suv into a submarine. one man escapes out the back, another helps to tow it out. >> we're in the middle of hurricane harvey. >> reporter: the national guard force now battling harvey, up to
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1,800 troops. their effort, appreciated by even the smallest texans. >> thank you! >> thank you! >> reporter: and tonight, swift water rescue teams across texas are gearing up for what they believe will be a very busy night of water rescues as the remnants of harvey move inland, tom. >> looks like they will be busy for the next several days. all right, clayton, thank you. still ahead on this special edition of "world news tonight" saturday, with all eyes on texas, president trump issues a pardon. the massive backlash tonight. and blackhawk down. tonight, the desperate search for the american service member still missing. and later in the show, we head back to texas for an update on harvey and the latest damage. stay with us. over the course of 9 days sthe walks 26.2 miles,. that's a marathon. because he chooses to walk whenever he can.
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tand the alzheimer'sf association is going to make it happen. but we won't get there without you. visit to join the fight. back now with the political fire storm over president trump's pardon of former sheriff, joe arpaio. the president announcing the
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move in a tweet just as that hurricane harvey was bearing down on the country. here's abc's mary bruce. >> reporter: as hurricane harvey was hitting texas, the president getting briefed, but also at the center of a political storm of his own making. first friday evening, signing that directive, implementing his ban on transgender individuals from serving in the military. then hours later with little fanfare, the president pardoned controversial former arizona sheriff, joe arpaio. the 85-year-old was convicted of criminal contempt for ignoring a judge's order to stop using racial profiling to detain latinos. he hadn't even been sentenced yet. >> i have fought on the front lines to prevent illegal immigration. >> reporter: but critics accuse him of blatant discrimination. immigration advocates and human rights groups reacted swiftly. >> i'm angry. what trump did today was part in racism, white supremacy and
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okayed the terror that arpaio caused. >> reporter: in a statement, the white house praised arpaio's admirable service to the nation. but arizona republican, john mccain, says the president's pardon undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law, adding that arpaio has shown no remorse. on twitter, arpaio thanked the president for, "seeing my conviction for what it is, a political witch hunt." tonight, the timing of the president's move is raising eyebrows. senate democratic leader, chuck schumer, is accusing him of using the cover of hurricane harvey to avoid scrutiny, tweeting, so sad, so weak. and tonight, there has been yet another departure from the administration. controversial counterterrorism adviser, sebastian gorka. he has been a defender of the president's, but his role has been unclear. gorka says he planned to resign, but administration sources tell us he was forced out, tom. >> it was a busy friday night at the white house.
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all right, mary, thank you. up next right here, what these enormous crowds estimated at 500,000 people, want terrorists to remember. and the little leaguers bringing amazing news back home to texas. their neighbors could sure use a lift tonight. stay with us. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ find fast relief behind the counter with claritin-d. strut past that aisle for the steroid free allergy relief that starts working in as little as 30 minutes. and contains the best oral decongestant. live claritin clear with claritin-d.
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on the march, shouting, i'm not afraid. first responders leading the way. the attacks on august 17th killed 15 people. and a big win for a state that needs it right now. we head to the little league world series, where the team from lufkin, texas just moments ago, won the u.s. championship, advancing now to the world series matchup again japan tomorrow. when we come back, the breaking developments just in. we head back to texas for an update on harvey from our rob marciano. stay with us.
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rob? >> reporter: hey, tom. less than 24 hours ago, those winds came ashore. 130 miles an hour, rockport devastated just ferocious winds, and now that spiral is just in the northwest of victoria. just a tropical storm, but as long as that circulation is there, you will see it clearly, and we'll get a lot of rain, and for tonight, the threat for tornadoes persists north and east of the center. the tornado watch remains in effect. spiral bands and heavy rain potentially for south texas and south louisiana for the next several days, tom, so flooding will be an issue, tom. >> rob marciano who has been up for the better part of two days. our thanks to you and all our teams in the field. tomorrow, we'll be anchoring the show live from texas. i'm tom llamas in new york. "gma" first thing in the morning followed by "this week." have a great evening. good night. followed by "this week." have a great evening. good night.
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tonight on abc 7 news at 6:00, we're following breaking news as a rally shifted several times. and a resounding pushback against the rally as people pack counterprotests across san francisco. and a deadly storm in texas. abc 7 news at 6:00 starts now. live breaking news. >> a lot of innocent people were going to get hurt. >> to come together and agree to be respectful to one another. >> reporter: the so-collared patriot prayer call off their rally but still got their message out. at the same time thousands of people rallied in protests across san francisco. organizers of the patriot prayer rally arrived at crissy field,
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the spot it was supposed to be in before it got canceled. abc 7 news reporter, tiffany wilson is live with more. and things were tense, tiffany. >> reporter: they certainly were. it was very intense here. however, now if you take a look around me, a very different story. just in the past couple of minutes the crowd mainly disbanded. you can see just a few stragglers here and there but the counterprotesters and the people with patriot prayer all seem to have walked off and left crissy field within the past 10 minutes. earlier this hour the police presence increased with officers in riot gear standing by. there were heated conon foritations between a couple of individuals on either side. the leader of patriot prayer, joey gibson called off the official r


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