tv NBC Nightly News NBC August 26, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. as we come on the air tonight, tropical storm isaac is lashing the florida keys, brushing past the islands with sustained winds of 60 miles per hour on its way to becoming a full-blown hurricane with the gulf coast directly in its path. tonight hurricane warnings are up from the florida panhandle to louisiana. isaac could churn ashore near new orleans as a category 2 storm overnight tuesday or early wednesday morning. wednesday would be exactly seven years to the day since katrina made landfall. the approaching storm is already forced big changes to the schedule of the republican national convention in tampa. oil rigs in the gulf are being evacuated, and folks living along the coast are being advised to pay close attention and be ready to heed he official
instructions. we have a team of correspondents stationed along isaac's path and we begin with al roker in key west. al, good evening. >> reporter: good evening. three people died on florida highways do isaac-related deaths. over 700 flights canceled at miami international airport. schools are closed throughout the miami area for tomorrow. all this in preparation for isaac, now just about on top of us really, the eye very disorganized. once it passes here, it has a clear shot on the its way in the gulf heading towards new orleans. tropical storm isaac gained strength today passing through the warm waters of the florida straits before slamming the keys with intense wind and heavy rain. thousands in florida are already without power. hundreds of flights have been canceled, and mandatory evacuations are under way in some coastal towns. >> we're very vulnerable. we're about 2 feet above sea
level. >> reporter: southern parts of the state in the panhandle could get up to 12 inches of rain. over the next few days, the majority of florida is expected to feel the massive system, which has tropical storm-force winds spanning more than 350 miles. >> everybody from louisiana over through florida needs to be watching this very carefully. >> reporter: in tampa the republican national convention was pushed back based on earlier pro jekjections of isaac's path. though it's not expected to hit it head on, florida's governor says you must be vigilant. >> we have rain and wind and storm surge and the risk of tornadoes. >> reporter: tropical storm isaac made landfall in eastern cuba yesterday. fortunately, no deaths or injuries were reported. sadly that was not the dmas haiti. at least 7 were killed. strong winds and heavy rains lashed tent cities where hundreds of thousands have lived since the devastating earthquake two years ago. as isaac approaches, it's starting to intensify. the rain and the wind all
picking up, and, of course, the big question, the storm surge. how much water is going to be piling up and pushing onshore? emergency crews and state officials along the gulf are still keeping a close eye on the tropical system, which forecasters expect to turn into a hurricane later tonight. >> the only predictable issue of these storms is the unpredictability. >> reporter: and that unpredictability has everybody on edge. of course, we'll continue to track this. we'll update you tomorrow morning starting on wake-up with al at 5:00 a.m. on the weather channel and on "today" at 7:00 a.m. eastern. lester. >> al rocker starting us off. let's bring in bryan norcross. he's tracking the storm. how much potential does it have and where is it going? >> it a potential to have a tremendous effect because of its size more than its expected strength. look at the satellite picture here and look at athe size. already rain from isaac is spreading north into central
florida, and here's the center. you see those purples there. that's an indication that an intensification process has begun. when we look at it generally, it's a huge circulation which is going to come into play as it moves north. we use computer models. this one the ecmwf is the european mplt look at it move north within the cone. here we are tomorrow evening, and outer banding are lashing tampa and ft. myers and the west coast of florida. this computer model takes it up near mobile, alabama. this would be devastating for the florida panhandle bringing tremendous water into the pensacola area. look at this. the american computer model takes it over to louisiana, and that's why there's such a range in the cone here. if this were to happen, this would bring tremendous water into eastern louisiana, up against those levees that are protecting new orleans. so this is a potentially extraordinarily serious situation. lester. >> bryan norcross, thanks for the update. new orleans is now in the path of a storm. a direct hit possible there on
wednesday morning, seven years to the day katrina changed everything. nbc's gabe gutierrez joins us from new orleans. how are they preparing there? >> reporter: lester, good evening. the mayor here just declared state of emergency, and tomorrow there's a mandatory evacuation of the east bank of plaquemines parish. the city known as the big easy is preparing for another big storm. new orleans is on high alert. >> because of the uncertainty of this storm, it is really hard to tell given the speed it's going and the uncertainty of the direction what the course of action is going to be in the next three days. out of the abundance of caution, we are asking everybody to begin to prepare. >> reporter: with hurricane warnings now stretching from east of morgan city, louisiana to the florida panhandle, isaac could become a category 2 hurricane strengthening over the gulf of mexico before it slams the northern gulf coast. >> it's battling dry air that inhibited the development thus far, and once it's out over the
gulf of mexico in this region, we think the environment more moist. also the water temperatures are very warm and will allow isaac to strengthen. >> reporter: potentially making landfall along the gulf and striking the city of new orleans, seven years to the day after hurricane katrina came across as a category 3 storm. it was the costliest hurricane in u.s. history with an estimated $108 billion in damages and one of the deadliest killing more than 1800 people askros the region. the death toll in new orleans rose sharply when the levees around the city failed, flooding most neighborhoods. today the mayor warned there will be some changes from seven years ago. >> neither the airport nor the superdome or convention center is going to be an emergency or shelter of last resort. >> fearing a powerful storm in the gulf, oil companies are evacuating rigs. isaac is bearing down on 16% of the nation's refine capacity and experts estimate 75% to 90% of
gulf oil production could be shut down. >> oil traders were going home on friday thinking it was a nonevent. with the change in forecast, we could see a spike in oil prices pretty quickly, and that can translate very quickly right now to higher prices at the pump. >> reporter: in anticipation of that potential spike, residents here in new orleans are not taking any chances and have already started lining up. the army corps of engineers says it will confident that an improved levee system will hold if isaac makes landfall here rs preventing lake pontchartrain behind me from spilling into the city. lester. >> gabe gutierrez in new orleans tonight. thank you. we want to turn to brian williams who joins us at the republican national convention site in tampa. brian, we both witnessed the devastation in new orleans firsthand seven years ago this week. you heard the mayor a moment ago. it sounds like these lessons are still very, very fresh in everyone's minds. >> reporter: well, lester, it's hard to believe the timing of this. in plain english wouldn't it be
nice if new orleans could catch a break. think of all the triggers as of tonight. the chopper pilots gog offshore rigs to bring loads of employees off the rigs onto land and repeating that all night tonight, all day tomorrow. now, this storm will encounter a different new orleans from years ago. on the downside a homeless population of 5,000 because of katrina. gabe mentioned the up upside, but where have we heard that brch before? the corps of engineers. this is the first test of a lot of new walls and gates and levees from seven years ago. this is worth repeating the water in the oions, 83 degrees in some places. storms can explode over places like that. in plaquemines parish, st. bernard's parish and jefferson parish, it doesn't take much to bring a 6 to 8 foot storm surge. this is a good time indeed for
new orleans and the region to catch a break. les. >> brian williams and as isaac moves towards the gulf coast, organizers at the republican national convention are watching the storm carefully. if the schedule has to change again, they'll take that under consideration. in the meantime mitt romney spent the day off the campaign trail as he prepares to give the speech of a lifetime. now from nbc's peter alexander. >> reporter: facing what's undoubtedly the most important week of his political career, mitt romney paused briefly today to attend church services aalongside his wife, ann, who just got secret service protection as is normal for the wife of a nominee. inviting fox news inside their private summer compound for an interview that aired this morning. >> it's a little early. i'm going to do it anyway. >> reporter: the rom knees tried to highlight the former business executive's warmth as a family man. >> i see how compassionate he is with me as a wife sxrazing these small children and how he always valued my work being more
important than him. >> reporter: analysts say it's a strategic effort to improve his likability gap, with recent polls saying the president cares more about average people. jeb bush on "meet the press." >> governor romney has a chance at this convention and going forward to reconnect with the people, to set the stage for the general election and show who he is, what's in his heart. >> reporter: this weekend in an interview with the associated press, the president warned voters to beware of what he calls romney's extreme positions. >> whether he believes in those or not, i have no doubt that he would carry forward some of the things that he's talked about. >> reporter: the 2008 gop presidential nominee, john mccain, says republicans must hammer president obama for the nation's still struggling economy. >> we have to give that message, and we have to repeat that message over and over again. >> reporter: romney spent his afternoon preparing his acceptance speech which aides say he'll out lined has he's
qualified to turn around the american economy. we want to turn now to our nbc news political team in place at the gop convention in tampa. chuck todd, andrea mitchell and david gregory. david, let me begin with you. i know a lot of opinions about this so-called speech of a lifetime, but stls some consensus on the basics of what mitt romney has to accomplish? >> well, i want to pick up on my interview with governor jeb bush. he talks about reconnecting. it's an important word because it raises the question whether did romney lose the connection or did he have it? these conventions still matter because it's an opportunity for a candidate to have an hour of primetime television to give a speech directly to the american people who are still making up their mind. many of them who are tuning in to conventions. he does have to give something of himself here. he can be a hard guy to get to know. there's a sense, i think, that the romney team has that he's coming from behind, that's one of the reasons he took a risky choice in selecting paul ryan. that he's got to try to deal with the fact that there's so
many attacks coming from the obama campaign both about whether he's out of touch or whether he's an extremist. he has to deal with some perceived weaknesses among womens, la feign ntinos and oth groups. >> let me pick up on women, and andrea the congressman akin flap didn't help republicans in terms of how they're perceived by women. how will this convention try and heal over some of those potential wounds throughout? >> they had always planned to spotlight prominent women. of course, led by ann romney, the lead person to try to fill in that gap. so these other women are going to have a very prominent role as speakers. now they have the additional problem of trying to deal with the uproar over todd akin controversial comments over rape. one of the things that mitt romney told fox news today in that interview, the interview that aired today, was that the reason he and other republicans are vehemently trying to get akin out of the race is that he
knows, they know it's hurting the party and damaging women. the first evidence of that came, lester, today in a poll which showed that there has been a 30-point swing among independent voters from todd akin to his democratic opponent, and even among akin's supporters by 16 points they want him to goit. no sign he's going to get out. he's still relying on conservatives to keep nipple this race. they have someone to try to replace him, but no sign he will quit. >> chuck, there's a sense of wanting to clean the slate after a rough ten days for republicans. you have this storm churning offshore. may not make a big deal in tampa, but is there some concern about the tone of the convention if we see communities along the gulf coast suffering heavy damage? >> look, there are folks with the romney campaign that think romney can't catch a break. ever since he named paul ryan and got momentum after the pick and he's interrupted by two storms, one a political snowstorm todd akin, which we just brought up but tan actual
storm. as this storm moves to and closer to louisiana, the specter, the sort of shadow of bush and katrina does hang over this convention. it is something organizers are concerned about. don't be surprised if tuesday gets changed again. they've already gotten rid of monday, but they could change it again and sdr to squeeze it into some form of two and a half days, lester, basically out of sensitivity. >> chuck, andrea, david, thanks. we want to let folks know our primetime coverage of the republican national convention starts tuesday night at 10:00 eastern/7:00 pacific here on nbc. still ahead as "nbc nightly news" continues on a sunday night, headaches on the airport security line. tonight why the tsa now says the number one security complaint of air travelers is likely to stay that way for a long time to come. if you have copd like i do, you know how hard it can be to breathe and what that feels like. copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms by keeping my airways open a full 24 hours.
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visit progressive.com today. frequent flyers know the routine by heart. belts off, laptops out, liquids in a beingy, and oh yes, don't forget to remove your shoes. that last one is a by-product of an actual show bombing attempt. that last one is bothersome to passengers and one the government thought with new technology they could do away with. that technology has turned out to be a giant disappointment. >> reporter: it is consistent lit chief complaint among travelers passing through tsa checkpoints, shoes must come off. >> i think going through security, taking your shoes off is disgusting. >> there's a lot of germs. people have foot fungus. >> it's part of security. i'd rather be secure. >> it's like taking shoes off, that's awful. >> reporter: the tsa has heard the complaints and tried to respond, no long rer senior citizens or kids 12 and under required to take their shoes off, and anyone who signs up for
tsa precheck can keep their coat, their belt, and their sho shoes on. the homeland security secretary said within the last year she was hopeful that new screening technology would soon arrive. >> as the software becomes better and better, we hope that we will be able to make it easier for travelers. you won't have to take off so much, your shoes and belt and everything as you go through the machine. >> reporter: the tsa says that could be many years ahead. the new scanning equipment the agency has been testing hasn't proven cost-effective oreliable. in a statement the agency says it will continue to, quote, seek viable technology that would allow all passengers to keep shoes on at airport checkpoints in the future without compromises safety. the tsa began requiring shoe removal after learning al qaeda was focused on putting explosives in street shoes several years after richard reid tried to light explosives in his
shoes. yet, today most passengers on u.s.-bound flights from europe are not required to take off shoes. still, domestic passengers are. the foremaner tsa chief says the threat posed by shoe bomb remains too real to stop the practice. >> you do owe it to the public when you ask them to do something hard, to pull it out as soon as you come up with a better way. >> reporter: unfortunately at the moment there may be no better way. tom costello, nbc news, washington. when we come back here tonight, remembering a giant of m mankind with some who knew him best. em? these are hot. we're shipping 'em everywhere. but we can't predict our shipping costs. dallas. detroit. different rates. well with us, it's the same flat rate. same flat rate. boston. boise? same flat rate. alabama. alaska? with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. dude's good.
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this would it be one of the worst massacres the long civil war in syria. now to more tributes coming in tonight for neil armstrong being hailed largely as a quiet american hero. the first man to walk on the moon died yesterday at the age of 82. tonight we hear from who knew him best of their own words. >> when i think of neil all of his life -- he'll be known for the lunar landing, of course, but all of his life was someone dedicated to this country to dare greatly. >> that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. >> the storms will write his event was the greatest event of the 20th century. can you imagine a person that traveled from planet earth to another world, a world three
days or 240,000 miles away? most importantly, he did it with dignity. >> it's different, but it's very pretty out here. >> neil was a great american, hard-working, and very humble, very quiet. he was one that could do great things but would never take credit himself. he'd always give credit to other people. >> through it all neil looks at himself as heading a big team. he didn't send out on self-gra self-grandois after this, and he went back to being neil which was great. we lost a good friend and the country loss a great patriot all. >> remembers neil armstrong tonight. when we come back an update on tropical storm isaac. had alway. until i got a job in the big apple. becoming a fulltime indoor cat wasn't easy for atti. but he had purina cat chow indoor. he absolutely loved it.
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and a 30-tablet free trial. we're back now. we want to update you on the path of tropical storm isaac. states of emergency declared in louisiana and mississippi tonight. hurricane specialist bryan norcross joins us once again from weather channel headquarters. bryan, what's up? >> reporter: here's the situation, lester. we have the hurricane warnings in effect on that northern gulf coast there from the middle of louisiana over to the florida panhandle. now, here's what's really important. the size of this storm has the tropical storm force warnings sn still in effect for the peninsula of florida. as we look out in time even though the system is well offshore, still the bands are
out that far. look why that's so critical. you look at the time period in the northern gulf of mexico with a hurricane approaching the gulf coast, this is tuesday afternoon. this is wednesday afternoon. and then it moves inland thursday slowly. so these folks on the gulf coast are going to be experiencing this from tuesday to wednesday into thursday, a long duration event. le lers. >> bryan norcross, i know you and everyone at the weather channel will stay on this. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. brian williams will be reporting the broadcast tomorrow night from the republican convention in tampa. i'm lester holt, and for all of in tampa. i'm lester holt, and for all of us at nbc news, good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
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