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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  August 30, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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reports," the shifting storm. what remains of hurricane harvey turns its unrelenting rains east to port arthur and beaumont, texas. flooding more homes, streets and shelters. nbc news is with the u.s. navy over beaumont right now as they rescue families from the floodwaters. the mayor there says this storm was hard to predict. >> this storm was so widespread and as you know, it hit in corpus christi, texas, first and that's quite a ways from here. so there was really no way to know that we would have this type of devastation that was not projected in any way, shape or form. >> texas welcome president trump as he visits the storm zone. but he takes heat for failing to mention the victims or the first responders. >> governor, again, thank you very much. we won't say congratulations. we don't want to do that. we don't want to congratulate.
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we'll congratulate each other when it is all finished. >> the coordination as much as anything else, everybody is talking about, the coordination has been beautiful to watch. so to the two of you in particular, i want to say congratulations, thank you very much. >> coming up, we'll talk to the mayor of corpus christi who was there with the president yesterday. and flood fight, the politics of disaster relief gets personal with texas senator ted cruz who voted against federal aid after hurricane sandy, something the governor of new jersey hasn't forgotten. >> so word association. >> that was, you know, he talked about playing politics, that's what he did, with people's lives in 2012, 2013. he was playing politics to make himself try to look like the most conservative -- >> but ted cruz -- >> good day. i'm casey hunt in for andrea mitchell. continuing our breaking news
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coverage of tropical storm harvey's push across the gulf coast and the damage left in its wake. the storm that first touched down friday night in corpus christi, texas, makes a third landfall early this morning in cameron, louisiana, covering a distance the size of kansas over that four-day period. there are now 11 confirmed storm-related deaths. some of the worst weather along the texas/louisiana border where nbc national correspondent miguel almaguer is with a rescue team. our entire team is in place. nbc's gabe gutierrez and garrett haak are in houston neighborhoods. philip mena at the george r. brown center. gabe, to you, you have been working tirelessly through all of this. describe what you are seeing and how it has changed as houston starts to move, it looks like the sun is out above your head, that, of course, must be very
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welcome there. what is the latest where you are? >> hi, casey. it stopped raining, the sun is out as you mentioned. but the water rescues really are not letting up. the water here is rising in this west houston neighborhood. you see it is really rushing down the street here. and trapping some homeowners in their homes. they have been here for several days. active rescue effort going on now, this air boat being led out. dwayne, if you can come over here, the reason i want to do that, i'm just seeing a man that we spoke with a few hours ago, during hallie jackson's hour, his name is john, he came back to his home today for the first time since this storm hit. you had been elsewhere. john, you finally went in and saw it, tell me how was it? >> so we had to go back about a mile over to the right and the neighborhood -- water up to here, the houses are built up so
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my house is still dry. >> your house is still dry? >> yes. >> that's incredible. >> the garage is a pit of everything. the couch is floating on the cere ceiling. it is pretty funny. the ac is still running. >> must have been a relief. >> absolutely. >> the cats are out. >> the cats are out. oh, my goodness. how are they doing? >> all right, i guess. not too happy to be on a boat. >> how was it to be on the boat and go around that corner and to -- >> there was a little -- pretty good current down there. but we got out and walked it across the bridge. >> what did it look like elsewhere, so our viewers understand, that's buffalo bayou. >> right on the other side is an apartment complex, and there is five or six boaters going in, still taking a few people out of the apartment complex. >> so, you know, right now there are other parts of the state, beaumont and parts of louisiana getting hit hard. the sun is out right here, right now. but there is still -- the flooding is still a concern here. looks like we moved past the worst of it here.
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how would you describe the mood here among the residents that are going back and, you know, some of them seeing their homes. >> we had a gentleman with us that we also took back to his house, and unfortunately i think it has a few inches of water in it. but probably general relief, you know, that it is kind of over, but you got to face cleanup and it is not going to be much fun. >> john, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. i'm so glad to hear your home is doing all right. casey, this is a happy ending for john here. not so much, though, for thousands of other families that have been in the houston area that have lost their homes, and this is something they're going to be dealing with for quite a while. back to you, casey. >> gabe, thank you. nice to hear at least a little bit of good news from that gentleman you just spoke to. now i want to go to stephanie gosk, she's on the phone, traveling across southeastern texas. and this, of course, following the bad news we have been tracking all week. she's making her way to
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beaumont. i know you had some trouble getting there, what are you seeing? what is the latest there? >> casey, well, i'm sure as you guys have been talking about, beaumont officials say that city has become an island and we certainly are seeing that out on the streets. we have been trying for close to 24 hours now to try to drive to beaumont and every route that we take ends in a flood. a significant flood. in a lot of places there are rescues, but the real crisis right now is in beaumont itself. over a 24-hour period, more than 26 inches of rain and concerns that the flooding there in that city is worse than what we saw in houston. and it is cut off. they can't get supplies in there. they can't get people in there. there was according to the police department there, an 18 wheeler they were hoping that they would get in overnight with at least some supplies for the
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city. that 18-wheeler stalled out in the water. so that city in a crisis mode, but also a city to its east, port arthur, and actually a shelter in port arthur where there are hundreds of people and the floodwaters actually rose up into the shelter and they have to now find another shelter on higher ground, it was the local civic center and now they got to find something else and i can tell you right now, the time we have been driving around here, it is not easy to move anything, let alone hundreds of people. >> stephanie, we have been looking at exclusive pictures from our miguel almaguer embedded with the u.s. navy over beaumont, texas, trying to perform rescues from what you just described as this island. i'm wondering from your perspective, you've been on the ground there for some time now. what is the difference in resources that the city of beaumont can bring to bear to try and rescue its people as
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compared to what houston was able to bring to the table? >> well, you know, obviously talk about the size of the cities themselves, houston is the city of millions of people. beaumont has about 100,000. and it is obviously going to have a much smaller, local force. but you can't overstate the importance of them being cut off from supplies and resources and if you think about it, the boats that came in, the state resources that came in, even the federal, though miguel had an opportunity with the military to do some incredible things there, they're limited by helicopters. you need boats and you need a lot of them and they just aren't -- they don't have access to those numbers of resources. so you can imagine a situation where they really have to prioritize between the kind of life and death emergencies that we heard officials talk about in houston first, and then move on to the less dire situations.
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>> stephanie gosk, thank you so much. stay safe out there as you and your team try to get to the latest sight of the disaster. i want to go back to houston, where the search and rescues are still under way, but at least the weather has gotten a little bit better. we see garrett haak there. you've been in houston all morning. garrett, very quickly, i want to read this new tweet that we have from the houston county sheriff's office, there was a van carrying a family now. the sheriff's office says that that van that plunged into green's buy yayou has been loca and dive teams are en route. a potentially difficult story to cover, that's the family there that was in that van, six people, again. what have you been seeing throughout the morning there in houston? >> yeah, casey, about that family, a lot of conflicting reports. i can tell you the bayous exploded over the last couple of days. even after the rain has stopped,
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where i'm standing right now, if you were standing in this same spot at this same time yesterday, the tops of your shoes wouldn't even be wet. all of this has come about after the rain has stopped and this part of western houston. i'm in the memorial area of western houston where right near buffalo bayou, two dams, two essentially retaining ponds almost if you will, that have been filtering out so much of this water, they just can't keep up. so even after the rain has stopped, they have been discharging water out of these dams and it has ended up in neighborhoods like this one, where i'm three and a half feet deep in the water. it goes back another couple of blocks behind me, where a man on a boat just came by, said his fish finder told him that the depth back there is at least seven feet. the good news if there is any in this particular neighborhood, these are mostly two story houses. the rescue efforts have been a little bit slower paced because they knew people had higher floors to go to. i can tell you, i've been in this neighborhood now for two
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and a half hours or so, i've not seen a single boat or high water vehicle from the harris county sheriff's office or from any other law enforcement or public safety body, what we have seen is this incredible influx of neighbors, of friends, of people from other parts of texas, the surrounding suburbs and houston who brought their trucks and brought their boats out here to make sure they can scoop up people from these houses back here that can't be reached by any other way, scoop up their belongings and pets and get them just the few blocks back out from this neighborhood where it is bizarrely, completely dry. so you've got kind of this patch work map of destruction out here, almost like you would see if you're covering a tornado, some parts of the neighborhoods are completely untouched and others like this, you got waters up to doorknobs and several feet deep in people's homes, casey, and this water, by the way, despite the fact it is not raining and it is perfectly sunny out here today, is probably not going anywhere for a while because there is plenty more of it, upstream, it has to
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cycle its way all the way down through this system of bayous here in houston to get back out into the gulf of mexico. >> still a long way to go there, it sounds like. thanks so much. i want to go now to philip mena, who is on the ground in houston. philip, i understand you are at one of the shelters where people are likely to be stuck for days. what is the scene there as everyone tries to grapple with this tragedy and what happens next? >> reporter: well, it is a very packed in here right now, the george r. brown convention center, where they brought the majority of displaced residents in the houston area. across texas, we know there are 32,000 evacuees so far. of that, 10,000 are here. so we have a third of all of the evacuees in the state right here in this building. and each of them with their own unique story of how they got here, a lot of them, we spoke with, they had to get rescued by boat. we met a gentleman, his family here, kendrick and beautiful
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little girls here, they actually -- you drove your vehicle over here. >> yeah. >> tell me about that. >> my vehicle. it was kind of flooded out at first. water came out, almost to my neck. >> your neck. >> almost to my neck, you know. it rained two or three days straight, nonstop. had to go upstairs, you know, go upstairs until the water recede, we called, the rescue team, they never came, too busy picking up other people on 45. it was pretty much a swamp. about a day later, the water started receding enough, i saw a gentleman, everybody's car was flooded. i started mine, it cranked, you know? it cranked. i pushed the gas, the water out as much as i can. got the kids, little clothes was dry that we had left, got in the car, we drove, drove 45, trying to find a shelter. >> the 45 is the freeway here
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that was flooded out, though. >> it was. three exits down, on the freeway, we could not get on the freeway anymore. we had to get off. had a big sinkhole. we had to make a u-turn on the other side of the street. >> now going the other way on the freeway, the opposite way, with the three little girls in the car. >> in the car. it was pretty much swamped, like a lake, couldn't see any freeway. i barely made it here. barely made it here. >> you were telling me how when you got there, you got in a bus and a bus had trouble getting going. >> yeah, once we got to the campus center, we got there, all the evacuees were there, the buses come here to the george r. brown. once we got on the 59 freeway, it was like a lake, could not -- could not go, we had to turn around on the bus, had to turn around on the opposite side. >> thankfully they're all okay now. everything is okay with your home? >> my vehicle is pretty much out
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of there. my vehicle, won't start. i tried to start it. nothing starting. not turning over. my house, i'm pretty sure it is out of there. i'm pretty her it is out of there. we're going to try to go by today and see what is going on in the neighborhood. >> sorry about your car and your house. you have three beautiful little girls to give you company while you're here. thank you very much. i appreciate it. >> his spirit is amazing considering he lost, casey, he lost his vehicle, he lost his home and he barely got out of here. and just like so many people here, it is a tough situation to just have that uncertainty. don't know what going to happen with your things, don't know when you can go back and yet you're here at the shelter, it is amazing they're still able to have that spirit despite all of these hardships. >> that's for sure. philip, thank you so much. thank you to all of our reporters for their tremendous
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work on the ground today. make sure to tune in to "nbc nightly news" to see more of miguel almaguer's exclusive reporting, embedded with the u.s. navy rescuing flood victims in beaumont, texas. tough pictures to watch. corpus christi mayor joe mccomb was at the briefing yesterday with president trump and he joins me now by phone. mr. mayor, thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. i want to ask you, your community was hit early on in this, and you've not seen maybe some of the levels of flooding in houston. clearly still a lot of work for you to do. how is corpus christi doing and what are your next steps in your community? >> thank you for having us. relatively speaking corpus christi compared to what you're seeing and describing, we dodged a bullet, but we did have some damage. we have got all our power plants, water treatment facilities back up and running.
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waste water facilities back up and running. so -- and we got, you know, power and about 95% of the city now. still a little bit. we ought to have power back to the whole city with maybe the exception of just isolated instances. but we're in the recovery and cleanup mode. a lot of trash, a lot of brush to be picked up in corpus christi. our local surrounding communities are ones that really took a hit, rock port, texas, port aransas, ingleside, those people are devastated and today they don't have power, waste water, water, cell phone service. and they're hurting. we're trying to help them as much as we can. but it is -- it is going to be a long haul. recovery, it is going to be -- i
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can't even think of the dollar figure that is going to be involved with this whole storm from corpus christi all the way to texas/louisiana border and further. >> absolutely. >> the spirit, people's spirit is good. we were fortunate in corpus christi that we had no fatalities. no serious injuries. and we're just now, like i said, we got a good spirit. but, you know, people are going to start getting tired if they're not already and having to just deal with the long recovery. right now, things are moving like they're supposed to be and like we got a plan, and then for me, personally, i've got a son that he's trapped in his house in houston. he's dry, but he can't get out. so i'm worried about my community here. i'm also worried about my son in houston. this is the storm that just keeps on giving unfortunately.
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>> mr. mayor, you mentioned your son and i know that you have experienced personal tragedy before around this. what do you have to say as somebody who went through losing loved ones in weather like this to those who are struggling anew with dealing with this kind of a tragedy? >> well, for me, if i didn't have a strong faith in god and just friends and family, i don't know how people get through these sort of things. but you just -- you got to -- you know, you got to live your life a day at a time and move forward. but it is a game changer. as i say, nothing will get back to normal, it will be a new normal, but you just have to have faith and you just keep plugging and you try to help others so they don't have the same experience you do and that was -- that was one of the
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driving factors for me, and the decisions we made in corpus christi, i wasn't -- you can replace your carpet, rebuild your house, repair your car, but you can't replace life. so my focus was we just want to be able to get through this, with no loss of life. and fortunately we were successful in that, and to my knowledge, in this area, we only had one casualty and that was a result -- i think that was over in rock port, that was a house fire. and i'm not sure what the cause of the fire was. but we have been extremely lucky here. and -- but it is going to be a long haul and the cleanup and recovery. >> mayor joe mccomb of corpus christi, texas, thank you for taking the time to be with us. coming up, leadership test. president trump is facing blowback over his remarks in storm ravaged corpus christi, texas, yesterday. we're going to break that down with our panel next.
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first, another presidential message, george w. bush visited football practice tuesday at smu in dallas and had this to say to team members from houston. >> i know you're going through a really tough time. and just know that there will be a lot of people that are going to help you. if you're from that area, you'll be amazed at the people who come down there to help. all kinds of people. and so the days are dark now, but they're going to get better. for your heart... your joints... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something for the most important part of you... your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is now the number one selling brain health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember.
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we're going to get you back and operating immediately. thank you, everybody. what a crowd, what a turnout. i will tell you this is historic. it is epic what happened. but, you know what, it happened in texas, and texas can handle anything. >> that was president trump in texas on tuesday, addressing a crowd that had gathered outside the firehouse where he met with local officials on hurricane harvey response efforts. joining me now to talk about this, msnbc political analyst michael steele, and ron klain, senior aide in the obama administration and former chief of staff to vice president biden. so, to both of you, this seems to be a little bit of a different take on disaster response from a u.s. president. ron, to you first. what do you make of how the president handled this yesterday? >> look, it is different than other presidents. most presidents go to the
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situation, they console victims, they talk about the loss, they talk about people who are grieving and president trump appeared to step out of the firehouse and address what looked like a rally crowd with -- talking about what a great crowd it was and so on and so forth. i think -- ironically yesterday's appearance was the easiest test for him in the recovery. he didn't do such a great job. i think we're going to see what happens after that. >> in some ways, we have seen instances where the first appearance has not gone very well. george w. bush struggled in his response to hurricane katrina. but michael steele, this is your party, is this how you think the president should be handling this? >> you know, it is a mixed grade at this point. i think the president is trying to do the right things, to follow the footsteps of his predecessors and how they approach this. the one piece that is missing is a sense of empathy. there is a sense of connection to the loss that is occurring there on the ground. you know, yesterday there was no
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mention of the individuals who lost their lives. there was no really words of consolation. i think that that's an expectation, not just for the political folks. >> you were planning trips for -- you worked for the vice president, was that something you thought about, what michael was alludingi into? >> when you worked for joe biden, you didn't need to think about that. it was natural. we're seeing how unnatural empathy is to president trump, to be honest about it, not just in this situation, but in other situations where we lost soldiers overseas, have seen other situations where a president usually is consoleer in chief, it doesn't come naturally to president trump. and seven months in, he still doesn't have it. >> congress coming back next week and turning to disaster response. i want to show you a little bit of a back and forth that is brewing between two other titans of the republican party. chris christie and ted cruz. they have gone back and forth with chris christie, the governor of new jersey, having tough words for cruz.
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take a look. >> the problem with that particular bill is it became a $50 billion bill that was filled with unrelated pork. two-thirds of that bill had nothing to do with sandy. >> you know, he talks about playing politics, that's what he did. with people's lives in 2012, 2013. he should just stand up now and say, i was wrong. i was wrong in 2012. it was the wrong thing to do. and now i hope that the people of new jersey and new york are willing to let bygones be bygones. >> this over the sandy aid bill that the texas delegation voted against. what should republicans do now in trying to help texas? >> republicans should help texas. and i think chris christie said that himself, that new jersey members of the delegation are big men and women and they will do the right thing for the people of texas. but it is not lost on them the words that were used at the time of the sandy disaster. and quite frankly, christie was right. two-thirds of that bill was not
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pork. if you go back and look at line-items, you saw that what it did was address the path of the storm. from the caribbean, up the coast, and the final, you know, landing in new jersey, new york. so all of those areas that were affected, parts of d.c., saint thomas, elsewhere, they all got a little piece to help to get back on their feet and recover, that was not pork for those people who needed that aid. it may not have gone necessarily to humanitarian effort, putting food on the ground or water on the ground, but it did go to restore some infrastructure and things like that. there was a lot of politics being played in 2012. it has come home to roost now. and everybody has a different tune. >> chris christie, after sandy appeared in that famous photograph with barack obama and some argued it took a little political heat for that, seemed to put politics aside. >> politics should be put aside. not just -- democrats support of course and will support response here. i think this is where this is
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going to get very hard for president trump. this is not a tweet and run situation. it is going to take months and years of work, not just one bill through congress, but multiple bills, disaster fatigue will set in. the real test is not how he handles the first 24, 48 hours but six months from now, when there is thousands of people without homes, schools closed, businesses shut down, will he still be focused, will he still care or will his twitter feed just have moved on to something else. >> tweet and run. that's something i'll stick in my -- for the future. thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today. coming up, we'll turn back to the other major stories of the week. president trump saying talking is not the answer in the wake of north korea's latest missile test. stay with us on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. i no longer live with
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you're looking at live pictures in brier forest, texas, where the rescues are still being taken place, under way, jet skis, boats trying to pull people out as we continue our coverage of hurricane harvey. i want to come back here, there are new threats today from north
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korea. the state run media is reporting that leader kim jong-un is so satisfied with his country's ballistic missile launch over japan that he'll carry out more. president trump tweeted, the u.s. has been talking to north korea and paying them extortion money for 25 years. talking is not the answer. here is what defense secretary mattis said last hour about the north korea threat. >> -- seek diplomatic solution with north korea. the president this morning tweeted that talking isn't the answer. are we out of diplomatic solutions for north korea? >> no. we're never out of diplomatic solutions. we continue to work together. and the minister and i share a responsibility to provide for the protection of our nations, our populations and our interests, which is what we're here to discuss today. and look for all the areas we can collaborate with, already very strong collaboration, we always look for more, we're never complacent.
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>> nbc's white house correspondent kristen welker is live in springfield, missouri, and courtney kuby joins me here on set. kristen, first to you, the secretary of defense is saying that we're not out of diplomatic solutions, but it really seems to contradict what the president tweeted earlier today. what happens now? >> well, look, bottom line, casey, the president's strategy has always been to talk tough when it comes to north korea. we saw that, remember, when he was on his working vacation in bedminster when the president really ramped up his rhetoric and threatened actions like the world has never seen in north korea, the reality is behind the scenes, if you talk to u.s. officials they still want to see a diplomatic resolution to north korea's nuclear provocations. president trump spoke with the prime minister of japan in recent days, other regional partners, really trying to get them to turn up the heat on
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north korea, china is a key focus, they see china as the link to getting north korea to stop its nuclear provocation, specifically they want china to essentially choke it out, economically, to stop doing business with north korea. they have made some gains, but clearly it is not enough. nikki haley was also quite clear, she's going to be working with her partners and allies to try to turn the heat up on north korea. casey, as we have been reporting, for so many weeks and months now, the administration is leaving all of its options on the table. and so nothing has changed. but, again, they want to see this resolved diplomatically, there are so many lives at stake if there were to be some type of military action in the region. >> courtney, i want to ask you about the secretary of defense's response here. it seems like he's stepping out a little bit in, i don't know if it is opposition to president trump, but it certainly is a remarkable level of pushback as a cabinet official. >> we heard all along that the
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diplomatic response is what needs to happen here. there is -- while there is obviously a very real military potential for what is going on with north korea, the tension has been high since april. ever since there was some real concern that they might test another nuclear weapon, back during one of their big annual celebrations, one of the big national days. but throughout that entire time, after the icbm launches earlier this summer, after this most recent test on monday, where they flew over japan, we continue to hear from the u.s. military and from the leadership that diplomacy is still the we forward in this case. >> remind us, we have been very rightfully focused on the hurricane going on here at home, but what is the military doing today about the north korea threat? what is the u.s. response here? >> there hasn't been any movement of additional assets to the area. anything like that. i think we will still see some kind of a show of force as we always do after any kind of north korean provocation. in recent times we have seen them test -- fly some b-1
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bombers over the korean peninsula. there have been some air exercises, they fired off some attack-ems, missiles they fired across the border. i think we'll see something like that coming in the next day or two, sometime this week. the u.s. military also tested their missile defense system earlier today off the coast of hawaii, a long planned test, but it was successful. they tested their ability to intercept and take down a medium range ballistic missile. what we saw on monday from north korea that flew over japan was an intermediate range, slightly longer. this is the u.s. military showing they have this missile defense capability. >> for sure. courtney, kristen welker in missouri, thank you both so much for taking the time to be with us today. coming up, we're going to take a look at some of those who are risking their lives to rescue animals from harvey's devastation. and some good news, what started out as an effort to raise $200,000 for the victims of hurricane harvey has turned into
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something much greater. houston texas star j.j. watt posted a video. as of this hour, over $5.6 million, that's million, has been raised for the houston relief fund. stay with us here on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. phone with our allstate agent, and i know that we have accident forgiveness. so the incredibly minor accident that i had tonight- four weeks without the car. okay, yup. good night. with accident forgiveness your rates won't go up just because of an accident.
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heri think i might burst..... totally immersed weekenders. whatever kind of weekender you are, there's a hilton for you. book your weekend break direct with hilton.com and join the summer weekenders. want to take you back to texas where nbc's maya rodriguez
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is monitoring the efforts in houston. what is the latest there? >> hey, casey. we're at the brier forest drive intersection. we have people being brought out on a dump truck. this entire neighborhood is flooded back here. we have seen scores of people, frankly, just coming out, either walking out, coming out on boats, an air boat here that was being used earlier, the sheriff's office has a boat back in here. this is a neighborhood that people here are telling us did not have water last night. this is all floodwater from what we understand from law enforcement that is coming from the addicks reservoir. a lot of that water overtopping the reservoir, far more than they expected with all of this rainfall and hence all of the floodwaters that you're seeing right now, we see some elderly people who are up there right now in that dump truck, some more folks behind them, really they're using any kind of high water vehicle they can possibly
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use to get people out of these areas. it is far more flooded from where we are standing right here, further down this road. you can see the cars are submerged further down. right now there is a lot of activity going on. they're trying to help people get out of this neighborhood. we saw people come out earlier, carrying their possessions, what they could on an inflatable mattress, kind of walking alongside the inflatable mattress and moving that along. right now it looks like this is some kind of medical equipment that they're trying to unload from this air boat right now. they're going to try to put it back here into this pickup truck, the cab of this pickup truck. all this as they're trying to make room for the people in the dump truck to be able to get further out to dryer land. there are buses, many buses further up this road that are taking people away from this area to shelters, but, again, there is a lot of activity going on out here. people in kayaks, people just trying to get out of these
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floodwaters that have been rising despite the fact it is not even running right now. it was sunny a minute ago. blue skies this morning. but, again, the water has continued to rise because of so much rainfall. >> maya rodriguez in the brier forest section of houston, with some difficult pictures as those emergency crews continue to try to work frantically to rescue people trapped in their homes. while that's going on, don't forget a number of animal activist groups are scrambling to save the pets who have also fallen victim to tropical storm harvey. overnight, dozens of animals seeking shelter arrived in new jersey, and many more are on the way. joe fryer reports from galveston county. >> reporter: these days bayou animal services is a shelter, a sanctuary for dogs and cats abandoned by harvey. >> got you something. >> reporter: animal control officer nadine perez is staying here around the clock to care for frightened pets, including
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litters of kittens. >> i've already cried i can't tell you how many times. we all need our five-minute cry break and get get back up and get back to work. >> reporter: some are strays, others dropped off by evacuees who will return when life is in order. >> it is very high stress right now. emotions are high. >> reporter: typically this shelter would have no more than 30 dogs and 60 cats. right now they have more than 100 dogs and 100 cats. so they're using the public works garage as an overflow space. >> good boy. >> reporter: more pets are on the way. the humane society arrived in dickinson to rescue animals still trapped in flooded neighborhoods. they have a list of homes to visit, and if needed, break-in with permission from the owners. here they save three dogs from a house where floodwaters reached waist high. >> pets an important part of pet's families, right now, people lost a lot. if we can get people's pets back into their hands and homes, we want to do that. >> reporter: as the stubborn
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storm drags its feet, images of animals are tugging at the country's heart. flood proof love for our loyal friends who need us now more than ever. and joe fryer joins me now. as i watch the pictures of those animals, you say they're coming up to new jersey. i think a lot of our viewer may be wondering what can they do to help pets stranded by this. are these dogs and cats that are going to need adoptive homes or what is next for all the animals that these people are working so hard to help? >> reporter: well, really depends on the animal. keep in mind, a lot of the pets were already in shelters for adoption before the storm hit. it is going to be hard to adopt those pets out right now. many of them are moving to northern states where there are no flood problems to improve their odds of adoption. it increases space down here for the pets that need a place to stay until their owners can figure things out and come and get them and take them back home. as for those who want to donate,
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sometimes the best bet is to donate to makes like the humane society or your local shelter to help them out, because a lot of these pet communities are really pitching in to try and help out here in texas. >> joe fryer, thank you so much. i want to go now because joining us on the phone is u.s. coast guard vice admiral carl schultz, director of operations for u.s. southern command. thank you so much for taking the time out of what has to be a very busy day to talk to us a little bit about what is going on. walk us through what your teams are doing now, especially in beaumont, texas. we have pictures from miguel almaguer of those ongoing rescues from the u.s. navy, of course, the new difficulty being that that area is essentially cut off. is that correct? >> yes, that is correct. beaumont is pretty challenging in terms of accessibility. we have a lot of folks responding. we have 24 helicopters that are in the area that are flying. we have got teams on the water, 20 plus teams on the water,
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working with state and local partners, some good samaritans helping out, about 11:00 last night, our phones started ringing off the hook, they're in beaumont. we pushed a couple of precluded getting on scene but more favorable conditions today yet very challenging conditions to get into air rescues. but we have a formidable force down there contributing to efforts to support the state and fema on responding to folks in need. >> vice admiral, thank you so much again for your time and best of luck on all of your rescue efforts today. i want to go now to austin, texas, where governor greg abbott is briefing the media. >> in the state of texas, while at the same time we are beginning the rebuilding process around the coastal bend region. and while we are dealing with what is now receding waters in harris county, and the ongoing
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evacuation, as well as safety rescue process in harris county, we're now also dealing with catastrophic conditions in southeast texas. and those conditions are a threat to life and property. and that is required that we take measures to do all we can to help protect them. and i will cover part of that in various different categories as i go through the discussion. first let me tell you, since i last announced the status of the national guard and the state of texas, i last announced we had 12,000 national guard members activated. that number has been increased to 14,000. the reason for that is because some members have come back from deployment overseas. others who were unable to participate because their own
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homes had been subject to flooding or damage, they are now able to help participate. bottom line, we are now up to our highest level of the number of texas national guard members who are deployed to help our fellow texans deal with these challenges. we are also, as we speak, coordinating with the national guard bureau to deploy an additional 10,000 national guard who are being deployed here from other states. so that will take us up to a total of approximately 24,000 national guard who will be deployed here in the state of texas. now some of those will be across the greater harris county area. we are immediately deploying far more to southeast texas, to deal with the emergency conditions that people are facing in southeast texas, and we will
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continue to deploy more west of the harris county area all the way through victoria to the coastal bend region. we are also getting immediately 200 boats and 200 vehicles from the department of defense to be assigned where needed. as you might imagine, the most urgent location for that is in the greater beaumont, southeast texas area, as well as ongoing needs in the greater harris county area. i have asked for and received an expansion of the number of counties added to the federal disaster declaration. it has gone from -- that's the increase. now the total is 33 counties are
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part of the federal disaster declaration. we have added 14 counties, and i want to list these counties so that people in these counties will understand that by being included in this federal disaster declaration, individuals as well as local governments are going to be eligible to receive aid from fema. first i'm going to list 11 counties that are -- have what i call a complete federal disaster declaration, which includes both individual assistance, as well as public assistance. these new counties include colorado county, fayette county, hardin county, jasper county, jefferson county, montgomery county, newton county, orange
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county, seguin county. there are four counties added to the federal disaster declaration where public assistance is available, but individual assistance is not. the reason for that is these four counties were not -- the subject of disasters in the way that these other counties are, but they are aiding in the support of the disaster. they include dallas, tarrant, travis and bexar county. these are all counties that are providing a tremendous amount of public assistance in dealing with these challenges, such as shelteri sheltering evacuees, providing law enforcement and other assistance to these efforts. i want to emphasize something very important. that i will come back to several times during my remarks.
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for the people in these counties i just listed, especially those 11 counties that are going to be receiving individual assistance, you need to write down this website address. it is disasterassistance.gov. disaster assistance.gov. if you are in one of the counties that's part of the federal disaster declaration, you will be eligible for immediate support from fema that you can register to receive at disasterassistance.gov. and i'll talk to you more about that later. let me talk to you a little bit about weather. where we are, and where we're going. first, as you know, the rain that was received in the greater
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harris county area has set an all-time record. now that rain has moved to the beaumont region in southeast texas. approximately 15 inches of rain have already fallen in the area. and there's more to come. the worst is not yet over for southeast texas as far as the rain is concerned. there will be ongoing challenges both during the time that rain continues to fall, as well as for approximately four days to a week to come. let me mention specifically flooding conditions that will continue to be a challenge for people in the area. it includes the sabine and inasmuch as rivers. record flooding in the lower nechs, and the flooding may last a week. major flooding will continue for a few days in the beaumont
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region and the lower brazos river region where there to be extensive flooding for about a week if not longer. in the lower colorado region, there should be flooding for the rest of the week. over in victoria and quarro flooding for a few days. it's important for all of these regions, as well as in every county that's affected by storms that you continue to listen to and heed local warnings about evacuation. so listen to, heat and follow evacuation notices. and then, of course, on top of that always please remember, and that is if there is flooding around your area, do not drive into that flooded area. many of the lives, if not most lives, have been lost in this devastating storm so far. lives that have been lost
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because of people who were driving vehicles into flooded waters. do not drive your vehicle into flooded waters. some information based upon certain categories. first, the texas national guard. they are active in 25 locations across the state. as i mentioned, we now have 14,000 state national guard deployed. with more than 600 vehicles, 500 boats, and 100 helicopters. they have been doing most recently air rescue missions in the beaumont region. and in the past week they have made more than 8,500 rescues, more than 26,000 evacuations and more than 1,400 shelter-in-place
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and welfare checks. they will continue in the most immediate time period search and rescue operations and aiding shelter operations across the state. some information about the puc and access to power. there is an urgent need to get power restored in the coastal bend region, in particular in aransas county, port aransas, aransas pass, places like that. the power provider there is aep, and the update for aep is there are still 107,000 outages. that is an improvement since the la of the time i reported, which i think was around the 138,000 level. but the good news is there are many new power

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