tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC August 31, 2017 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
tonight, breaking news. hurricane harvey's brutal aftermath. a massive area still underwater. dramatic rescues from the sky. our matt gutman right there. first responders breaking through rooftops, hospitals evacuated, firefighters battling a blaze in the flood zone. the door to door search for survivors here in houston, as tens of thousands return home to find properties in ruin. also, the new explosions threat at a chemical plant. the fires erupting. fears of toxic fumes. homes nearby evacuated. more than a dozen officers treated. surveying the damage. the vice president in texas, comforting victims and helping pick up the pieces. jon karl with the one-on-one exclusive. and the day of giving, as the hard hit gulf coast begins its long recovery, americans
across the country opening their hearts and wallets to help their neighbors in need. and good evening. thanks for joining us on this thursday night. i'm tom llamas in for david, and tonight, houston is turning the corner, but as you can see just behind me, there are still so many rain-soaked neighborhoods, and now new dangers are emerging. take a look at this. extreme flooding and dramatic new rescues east of here. the sky filled with helicopters. an explosion and fire in a flooded chemical plant. the company expecting more to come. a hospital with no water and running out of supplies, all the patients there evacuated. and as the flood waters recede in some neighborhoods and families are coming back, a new assessment tonight. as many as 100,000 homes damaged by the storm. and tonight, clearly harvey
isn't done yet. abc's matt gutman with some of the storms latest victims in beaumont tonight. >> reporter: tonight, from the air -- beaumont and port arthur, texas, the hardest hit by harvey -- totally submerged. the u.s. coast guard hammering through a roof to get families out. some 200 patients on stretchers evacuated by helicopter at baptist beaumont hospital after the local water supply failed. in nearby port arthur, a nursing home flooded. teams evacuating the most critical patients, lifting entire beds into boats. this morning, we teamed up with the u.s. navy, aboard a navy search and rescue chopper and we surveyed the water world below. then an urgent call. a nearby dam is about to overflow. we touched down at pine forest elementary, just a few towns over, where families took shelter.
people, hands clutched over mouths. people don't know what's going on. all of them are stranded, congregating here because this is one of the few dry areas around here. basically nowhere for them to go, but up. time is short. we jog in with the navy rescuers. people everywhere. until just now, this was a shelter. the little they brought in those bags. now they are ordered to hurry. they can take even less. >> we're okay. we're okay. >> reporter: we helped them to scramble together their essential belongings, while they hold back tears. while other rescuers carry out dogs, the family takes what they can. there may be about 50 to 100 people here, and all of them trying to evacuate. nowhere for them to go here. they are taking their cogs, med sign, and phones. whatever they can. four members of the mitchell family, plus four dogs, pile in. these are just few of the thousands that have needed rescue over the past few days as harvey continues to wreak havoc. that navy rescue crew comforting
the families, frightened and shocked by their sudden displacement. the family grateful to have each other. right now, we're taking them to another shelter at drier air area and higher ground. rushing them away from the helicopter where they thank the rescuers with hugs. then it's a sprint back to the helicopter. and su >> and such an incredible rescue effort right there. matt gutman joins us from texas. and tonight, those first responders help those families get to dry land and into shelters, there are new new and major concerns over the city's water supply? >> reporter: that's right, tom. check out, this is the river. it is not forecast to crest until tomorrow. it's 7 feet above the record, and water is everywhere, but not a drop to drink. that water supply you mentioned, shut off city wide, and the lone operating hospital may have to
shut down in 48 hours. they are already evacuating shelters here. one official telling me she simply doesn't know where to put these people, tom. >> 48 hours. matt gutman with the crisis in beaumo in, t tonight. not far from where matt is, underwater with nearby rivers still rising. abc's gio benitez in texas with desperate people looking for higher ground. >> reporter: tonight, the city you haven't seen, and the new threat for vidor, texas, caught in an endless flow of water. this may look like a river, but this is actually a highway. you wouldn't know it, though, because there is so much water. next to an overflowing bayou, between two major rivers also overflowing. army rescue trucks racing in as floodwaters swallow these neighborhoods. that right there, that's a car. the trunk is open. they are grabbing their belongings right now. we are there as volunteers working with the local sheriff rescue stranded residents, even pets, livestock still in their pastures now covered by water. that is a boat full of people look at thatple all those
children. >> i'm going to check this one. >> reporter: jeff housley came from his home 3 1/2 hours away. you're just everyday people out here volunteering. >> yes, sir. i work at a plant. i don't do this for a living. >> reporter: our boats spot mike bedair out the window. he gets on with his wife brenda, suitcases, and their pet bird, taken to dry land. >> we thought it would never happen to us. we're probably like millions of other people that's happened to -- "oh, it'll never happen to me." it did. >> reporter: and tom, you can see the rescues under way right thousand. this town just got an evacuation order. the rivers and bayous are overflowing quickly, and they will reach their peak tomorrow. >> the new evacuation order there in vidor, texas. thank you. the storm triggering another intense situation tonight. explosions and a fire at a flooded chemical plant. overnight, that company saying it is still too dangerous to go back in. families within a mile and a
half have been evacuated. abc's clayton sandell is there in crosby, texas tonight. >> reporter: tonight, fire and water. flames burning through this flooded arkema chemical plant in crosby. two explosions already, and no way to stop any more. overnight smoke fumes sending fifteen sheriff's deputies to the hospital. worried residents here are getting mixed messages from the government. local officials downplay the danger. what does it mean for people's health? >> what does it mean for people's health? you don't want to stand in smoke, do you? so the sheriff says it's like a campfire. >> reporter: so the things burning there are no more dangerous than a campfire? >> i did not say that, sir. you don't want to inhale smoke. that's plain and simple. >> reporter: but from fema, the message was more alarming. >> the plume is incredibly dangerous. >> reporter: the chemicals used to make plastics are only stable if kept cold. this demonstration shows what happens if they're not. but under 6 feet of floodwater, the plant lost all power, killing the cooling system. when arkema alerted authorities an explosion was likely, they
evacuated everyone within a mile and a half. others nearby tell us they are ready to go. >> i am packed to leave. >> i'm worried and i'm hoping they are telling us. >> reporter: why are you worried? >> well, who would want to be breathing that, you know? bad on your lungs. >> and collate b san sell joins us from crosby, and what are you learning about the 15 officers you mentioned that were taken to the hospital? >> reporter: they were checked out by doctors and tonight, the sheriff says all of them have been released and as for the plume coming from that plant, tonight, the e-patels us that tests show it appears to be not toxic. >> good news, but a tense situation in crosby, texas. we piney point village tonight. the water is beginning to drain away here, but as you can see behind me, the homes are still underwater. families may return to find them severely damaged, and across the city, firefighters are going door to door, checking homes to
see if anyone was left behind. >> weav're coming back to here. >> reporter: tonight, first responders canvassing houston. the city's bravest checking on the city's residents. >> all we're doing is we're going by each house, checking door to door. >> reporter: they've rescued more than 7,000 from the floodwaters, working double shifts, while many of their own homes are flooded. fighting fires in chest-high water. >> watch that hydrant! >> reporter: going under to connect the hose. >> we're about a hose short right now. >> reporter: using a boat's engine to propel water onto the flames. one firefighter injured here. and tonight, we went back to where we were at during the height of the storm. this is incredible. the last time we were in this neighborhood it was filled with water. we could only get through this road on a boat. >> you can't see if it's a foot or 10 feet. >> reporter: that night, the jackson brothers helped us get a boat to yvette webb, who contacted us through social media. >> yvette?
>> reporter: she was inside her neighbor's flooded out home. >> hi. how are you? oh, manyy god. thank you so much. thank you so much. >> reporter: now back at home and piling up everything she's lost. >> we feel that we are very, very fortunate. and that we have each other, you know, stuff is stuff. >> reporter: on the same block we noticed another home with all this destruction outside, but the thing that struck us is there are several kids outside helping out. inside an entire home being gutted, the water line clearly visible. the kids -- students helping out their teacher. >> i didn't even have to call. they just showed up. >> reporter: the teacher, michele hayes, sharing video of her harrowing story. that's her home. >> it came up just so fast and we had nowhere to go. >> reporter: here's what it looked like when she opened her son's door. >> seeing the water at my son's mattress, and having to tell my children to put on bathing suits and life jackets because we had to leave our home.
something i see every time i look in the mirror. >> reporter: now michele is not even sure she can stay here. besides the water, she's now battling mold. >> it's unreal. i feel like this isn't even my home. it's -- it's something i never thought would happen. >> reporter: but amid all this destruction, superheroes cheering up the youngest evacuees. >> you made that? >> yeah. >> good job. >> reporter: and this video -- ♪ a father playing the piano for his son -- calming his fears about the future. >> an incredible moment. a strong father right there. many school wrs danged as well, and houston pushing back the start of classes to the second week of september now, and they will be serving students three meals a day when they get back. what's left of harvey is still packing a punch. a reported tornado destroying a home in pickens county, alabama. several people taken to the
hospital. action's senior meteorologist, rob marciano tracking it all. he is in richmond, texas tonight. rob? >> reporter: with harvey on the right side of what's left of this storm, take a look. a tornado watch now in effect in alabama, mississippi and much of western tennessee for the next few hours and we have warnings out for central alabama and flood warnings on the backside of this. heavy rain across mississippi now, and then across nashville tomorrow. getting into kentucky, and a lot of this moisture will eventually get into the northeast this weekend. but another 6, 7, maybe 8 inches of rain across the flood zone in the next 12 hours. this river will peak tomorrow, tom. >> rob marciano for us tonight. rob, thank you. the white house announcing today that president trump is pledging to personally donate $1 million to harvey relief, and he'll return to visit the storm zone this weekend. vice president mike pence was there today, comforting survivors of the storm and pitching in to help. abc's chief white house correspondent, jonathan karl
tonight, with an exclusive one-on-one with the vice president. >> reporter: vice president pence was hands on in texas today, helping haul away branches from a damaged home, while its emotional residents looked on. he hugged hurricane victims and prayed with people outside a battered church. its front wall ripped off. >> you've inspired the nation by your resilience and by your courage, and we just came here to commend you and to encourage you. >> reporter: we joined the vice president as he surveyed the damage from above in an osprey. as the vice president promised, texas will get everything it needs from the federal government. we asked about the president's threat to shut down the government if he doesn't get funding for his border wall. a shutdown would almost certainly impact recovery efforts. is he going to put that threat to the side now and concentrate on rebuilding here? >> president trump's made it very clear that we're gonna keep our promise to the american people. we've seen great progress in -- >> reporter: even if that means a shutdown? >> -- in reducing illegal immigration along our southern border and enforcing our laws. and the president's made it clear that we're going to stand firm. the priority right now for
president trump and this administration is these families. >> reporter: in other words, tom, the vice president is not ruling out a government shutdown. as for the president, he'll be back here in texas on saturday, meeting with victims of the storm, something he did not do earlier this week. >> all eyes on the president's trip to the region. thank you. and a programming note, if you want a way to help, all dayed too, our parent company, disney, has been holding a day of giving to help victims of the storm. the fund-raising drive includes all of our abc news programs and disney network partners. disney and our houston station, ktrk kicking it off with a $1 million donation to the red cross, and we are inviting you to join us now. text the word, harvey, to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the red cross, or you can visit abc news.com for other ways to contribute. so far today alone, contributions have reached $8.5 million, and we thank you
for that. there is much more ahead on "world news tonight" this thursday. the new hurricane threat. hurricane irma, just updated to a category 3, gaining strength over the atlantic. the latest on how this new storm could affect the east coast. also, the close call caught on cam are. deputies responding to one car accident when a second collision slams right into them. and more on our day of giving. from "good morning america" to all four corners of the usa. the outpouring across this country as americans give back. stay with us. [radio alarm] ♪ julie is living with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. she's also taking prescription ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor, which is for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor- positive her2- metastatic breast cancer as the first
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welcome back. as the flooding slowly recedes, thousands of hurricane harvey survivors are returning to homes in ruin. and from fears to concerns over the water, several new hazards may await. abc's eva pilgrim is in pearland. >> reporter: tonight, with flood waters starting to recede, so many are anxious to salvage what's left. a small army of friends, neighbors, and even strangers marching in, sifting through these soggy homes.
just yesterday, these streets were rivers, now breeding grounds for mold and mildew which can grow just 24 to 48 hours after contact with water. >> you didn't want to wait? >> no, no waiting. no time to wait. >> reporter: we caught up with cindy huber, who wasted no time gutting her home in pearland. >> we got here and we were like, wow, what do we do? where do we start? >> reporter: ripping out carpet, furniture and wet sheetrock, not much could be saved. it's messy and can be dangerous work. tonight, the government is urging residents to take precautions during cleanup. experts suggest wearing gloves, a mask, and eye protection. working in dirty flood water. abc news asked dr. terry gentry keep your shots up to date. we had another test water from a suburb of houston, they found high levels of e.coli. >> that water so toxic.
thank you so much. when we come back, the u.s. military sending a message to north korea in direct response to north korea's latest ballistic missile test. and the close call caught on camera. deputies responding to one car accident when a second collision slams into them. what happened? stay with us. how do you chase what you love with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis? do what i did. ask your doctor about humira. it's proven to help relieve pain and protect joints from further irreversible damage in many adults. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira has been clinically studied for over 20 years. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common,
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finally tonight, so many in need. so many answering the call to help. >> reporter: the day of giving kicking off this morning on "gma" with an all-star cast of volunteers manning the phones. >> we are right here at command central. we are calling it for our big day of giving. >> reporter: abc stations around
the country taking part as well. >> we are helping houston in our day of giving. >> reporter: and today's spirit of giving is contagious. children in communities coast to coast pitching in. in tallahassee, florida, ali, landon, and brayden whitaker made messages of hope. >> we have raised over $1,000, and i just hope that this will help them. >> reporter: this new york city family sold baked goods. they raised over $500 and sold out in a few hours. >> $2 for a pastry! >> how about i just give you a donation? >> get your lemonade here. >> reporter: outside portland, maine, adria byther and abby bartlett set up a lemonade stand. >> people were injured. all the homes were flooded and it was just really sad, so we kind of wanted to make a difference. okay. would you like your change back? >> no thanks. >> okay. here you go. have a nice day. >> it's great to see people actually, like, really caring about this subject as much as me, and and adria.
>> a day of giving. a day of hope. >> and there still is time to help on this day of giving. text the word, harvey, to 90999 to contribute $10 cross or visit abcnews.com to help. thank you so much for giving and thank you so much for watching. i'm tom llamas. we want to leave you with this image tonight as houston rises up from the flood waters. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow. good night.
now, hoomoving alonalonalonalon heat warning is in effect. heat advisory is in affect on saturday for the coastline from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. we have a red flag warning for high fire danger in affect from 9:00 tonight to 8:00 a.m. saturday for all these areas outlined in red. that would include higher elevations and inland valleys. the heat is on. it will be with us for several days. i'll look at the seven-day forecast in a few minutes. thanks so much. >> take a look at the haze enveloping the hills from the east bay to san francisco. >> pretty poor air quality.