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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Live coverage of Hurricane Rita

Aired September 24, 2005 - 04:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The police had a generator.
CATHERINE CALLOWAY, CNN ANCHOR: Yes.

O'BRIEN: And they told us that they would have power throughout. But the generator didn't work.

CALLOWAY: Well Miles we're going to interrupt just quickly. We have got to tell everyone what they are looking at. You are looking at a live shot from Houston now. We obviously have a fire burning. Do we know where this is in Houston?

HARRIS: Southeast Houston Catherine. Southeast Houston (INAUDIBLE).

CALLOWAY: This is the worst nightmare when people are not able - firefighters are not able to fully fight anything like this. This is what we saw earlier in Galveston.

HARRIS: In Galveston.

CALLOWAY: And now we're seeing it in Houston.

HARRIS: And Miles, where you are right now, did we lose Miles? Is he gone? And Anderson?

O'BRIEN: Say it again?

HARRIS: OK. Yes. I just wanted to make sure you were still there with us. We'll give you a moment if you want to sort of gather you know, some information on that family. That sounds like a pretty dramatic rescue effort that has to be undertaken by the authorities there.

O'BRIEN: Yes I am going to go talk to the chief right now. I'll get back with you.

HARRIS: OK. OK. Thanks Miles.

CALLOWAY: Let's go to - yes let's go to David Mattingly who is in Galveston Texas. David, can you hear us? Oh there you are.

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT, GALVESTON TEXAS: Yes, yes. We can hear you. And hearing about that fire in Houston, we had a similar incident like that here in Galveston earlier tonight. You would think with all this water flying around that fire wouldn't be a problem. But when the wind starts to damage these buildings, then electrical fires can start and catch these buildings on fire.

Here in Galveston there was a low-rise commercial building and two historic buildings next to it that were well involved. Firefighters actually had to leave the area that they were hunkering down for for this storm. They ran over to the Civic Center to where they had parked their equipment in the parking deck. They did that for the equipment's sake. Then they went over there.

By that time it was so well involved, they could only contain that fire. The wind was actually acting like a blast furnace. So feeding those flames and making it very hot, very difficult to contain. They worked very hard to make sure the buildings around that were not burning as well. Now if you turn this light off that is on me right now, this island is in pitch darkness right now.

The electricity went out about the middle of the night last night. And what we experienced here at this location, there is a high rise Holiday Inn next door about a half a block away. In the middle of the darkness you start hearing all these sounds of destruction of this metal, and of breaking material and things like that. At this location we had no idea what was going on.

And then we come to find out later that the roof on that high- rise hotel was being peeled back in the wind. Now this hurricane is not nearly as bad as what people had feared a couple of days ago for this island. But it is still having property damage and causing a great deal of problems for everyone who is living here.

The seawall, which is 17 feet high, is containing whatever storm surge there was. I was out - we were driving along the seawall earlier tonight. And we were looking and wondering where the waves were. We were fully expecting to see when this storm surge was coming in, we were expecting to see waves crashing against that seawall and spraying up into the air.

Well nothing at all like that was happening. Everything was pretty much flattened out. The water was up. It was against the wall. But nothing really really violent right here. We are continuing to watch things as they develop here. Apparently the storm is losing some of its steam here. You stand out here in the elements, and you start to think well, maybe it is going away. And then all the sudden, just out of the blue one good gust of wind will come and almost knock you off your feet at times.

So this storm is still packing a little bit of a punch here. There is flooding in areas. That seawall doesn't cover the entire island. But there is some minor flooding reported on all sides of the island right now. We are probably going to have to wait until morning with some light to actually asses the extent of it and find out exactly how bad the damage is on this island right now.

But this hurricane certainly being felt here. Not being felt as bad as they had feared a couple of days ago. And we are just wondering when the sun comes up how bad the damage is going to be here.

CALLOWAY: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE CORRESPONDENT: David, is the sense there that the worst of it at least right now is over?

MATTINGLY: I can only tell you what we are experiencing here. Because outside of the occasional news organization, you don't find too many people standing outside trying to test the elements right now.

HARRIS: Yes.

MATTINGLY: But what we're seeing here, it seems in the last hour or so, it seems to have been tailing off a little bit. But like I said, every once in a while there is still a gust that comes along.

HARRIS: Right.

MATTINGLY: And I can actually hear one brewing right now in the trees right now. But every once in a while one will come along and really jolt you and let you know that the storm is still here.

CALLOWAY: Well David stay with us.

HARRIS: OK.

CALLOWAY: Well David stay with us. We want to keep everybody up to date on the fire that we have been talking about in Houston. A (INAUDIBLE) fire. And in an apartment building in Southeast Houston in the Clear Lake area. It looks like they are able to fight that fire right now. And as we said earlier, this is what you don't want to have.

HARRIS: That's right.

CALLOWAY: And the town was failing electricity with not a lot of power to fire that.

HARRIS: Phone service.

CALLOWAY: Yes.

HARRIS: Sure.

CALLOWAY: To fight that fire.

HARRIS: Let's go back to Anderson Cooper now. And Anderson, we were watching you just a moment ago. And boy, I tell you what. You have got to give us a sense of what this has been like for you. And I know this moment gets a little strange because you are talking about your own experience.

But to be buffeted (ph) the way you are being hammered by these winds, at some point, it has to start to take a bit of starch out of you.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT, BEAUMONT, TEXAS: It does to be honest. You know, usually it goes through phases. About two hours ago I took a break for about 20 minutes, and you know, could have very easily fallen asleep. But really once you are back out in it, you know, the adrenaline sort of keeps you going.

And you sort of want to - once you have committed to it, you want to stay in it and you want to see it through. You want to see the height of the storm. And you want to try to be there to tell people exactly what is going on around them. You know. And when the worst is over. In moments like this, you sort of cling to things like Chad Meyers says about you know - it is amazing to me how you know, we see meteorologists on the air. And you see Chad at time you know, telling the weather and stuff.

But it sounds like this. I mean for him to be able to look at his map and tell us exactly what is going to be happening here in the next 20 minutes or the next hour, it is just a remarkable thing. And it really gives you a sense of just how comforting it is for people who have this information.

You know, I actually sort of - I think we're all - my crew here - we're all clinging to what Chad told us, which is that you know, within the next - I think the worst of it is going to be moved out to the next half hour. And then maybe we'll be on the down side of it. I think that's what I remember him saying. And frankly, even if that is not what I remember him saying ...

CALLOWAY: Well why don't we find out, and go right through Chad. Chad?

CHAD MEYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Thanks (INAUDIBLE). Anderson here, this is your western eye wall now right at Port Arther. Now I know you were there today. You know how far that is. It is moving north and northwest at about 13 to 14 miles per hour. So the western eye - the eye all itself will be right on top of Beaumont, right on top of you within 45 minutes or so.

The storm is tracking toward the north, northwest at about 13 to 14 miles per hour. The worst side of the storm is over here still in the Lake Charles area moving out of the Cameron Parish, back into (INAUDIBLE) Parish. And then back out here into parts of Texas. And from Orange all the way back down to - oh for the matter, bridge city and all the way down in to Groves getting hit very hard now.

And that weather that is so hard literally, 100 miles per hour. Maybe you are still not out of that 100 mile per hour gust Anderson for later on. Probably another 45 minutes. You might see your first 100 mile per hour gust of the night.

CALLOWAY: Chad, there is some information on the wire talking about the rainfall. I know we were saying somewhat, 25 inches expected.

MEYERS: Certainly.

CALLOWAY: But in Lake Charles, Louisiana rain falling at a rate of three to four inches per hour. MEYERS: Yes.

CALLOWAY: Is that what is happening right now along with those winds that are blowing away parts of buildings?

MEYERS: Yes absolutely. It is very hard to get a rain gage that works when the winds are blowing 100. Because it is rains going sideways.

CALLOWAY: Right.

MEYERS: But actually it does work. There are electronic rain gages now that will work at that wind speed. And the area there has picked up around eight inches of rain already. And this storm is set to stall over Texarcana and put down almost 24 inches of rain in parts of Texas before Tuesday and Wednesday come to an end.

Here is the rainfall totals here from Lake Charles. Here is the purple. This dark purple right in there now. That is 10 inches just on the south side of Lake Charles right along the lake. So that is one flooded area. And obviously now you have water coming up from the south with the storm surge. And we could see a lot of water all the way up to I-10.

CALLOWAY: Where are we with that storm surge right now? You know, the reports of a 20-foot - storm - what is the ...

MEYERS: There is no way to know. Hopefully there is no one there to report it.

CALLOWAY: Yes.

MEYERS: I mean that is the only thing I can tell you is that it was right along this area here into Cameron Parish as it pushed right on up into the Lake Charles area. A lot of this is very swampy land. I mean there is Holly Beach. There is Cameron. There is (INAUDIBLE). But not too many people live down here.

This isn't like million dollar ocean front property down there. The beaches just don't support that kind of property. And as you push it on up though, obviously a much larger populated and much more wealthy area up here toward Lake Charles getting heavily damaged. Heavily damaged (INAUDIBLE).

CALLOWAY: (INAUDIBLE) Lake Charles.

[crosstalk]

MEYERS: From Rick Sanchez yes.

HARRIS: Well Chad, we have been curious over the last half hour, 45 minutes as to what the conditions are really like on the ground there in Lake Charles. And we understand we have got Jason Carroll on line with us. Jason are you there?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT, LAKE CHARLES, TEXAS: I am here. And I have to tell you, the conditions her have deteriorated significantly over the past few minutes or so. We were initially standing outside and came into an inner corridor here at the hospital where we are. This is (INAUDIBLE) St. Patrick Hospital.

And debris started coming from a number of different directions. And so we sought shelter here in a spot where we feel a heck of a lot safer where we are right now. What we have been experiencing out here are winds so intense, there is nothing like I have ever experienced certainly before. Pounding rain. They are expecting flooding here in this area as well.

Most of the power is out. And is has been out for several hours at this point. What is so strange is when you stand outside, through all of that wind, and you know what that sounds like, how loud that is, you can hear cracking. You can hear things breaking up in the distance.

You can't see what it is. But you can certainly hear it. And I think that is probably one thing that is most frightening. Just from my vantage point, I can see pieces of debris that have broken off from something and that have (INAUDIBLE) here. And so that is why again why we are standing in this corridor if you will. Just so we can make sure we can talk to you from an area that is safe.

At this hospital at this point is operating on emergency power. The command center downtown, they are operating on emergency power at this point. Most of the people in Lake Charles (INAUDIBLE) mandatory evacuation which have been in place for 48 hours and got out. And that is a good thing. Because definitely from what we are experiencing now, this is what people were afraid of.

We did in fact though run across some people who were not able to get out. They are in their homes. And what police officials are recommending that people do at this point is you can't leave at this point because it is too dangerous to be outside. So you have got to be in your home. And as the situation gets bad, the water starts to rise, go the highest point in your house, attic possibly.

Bring something with you that you can poke a hole in your roof to get out. They are also saying what you should have done by this point is to indicate on the outside of your house with a number how many people are inside so if emergency crews do have to get to you, they know how many people they are looking for on the inside.

But the situation here very intense. Again, the debris flying every direction. We have seen transformers blow. We have seen trees toppling over. (INAUDIBLE) far from where we are. So at this point, we are just seeking shelter and waiting things out.

HARRIS: Wow. That is quite a story. Quite a picture you paint there for us Jason. In a hallway in a hospital. Ina corridor because they don't want to get close to any walls, any windows because debris is literally flying around them everywhere.

CALLOWAY: I believe we have Sheriff Tony Mancuso on the line with us now. Sheriff, can you hear me? We can't hear you. VOICE OF SHERIFF TONY MANCUSO, CALCASIEU, LOUISIANA: Hello?

CALLOWAY: Yes, can you tell us where you are calling from and what the situation is where you are?

MANCUSO: Sure. We're in Lake Charles Louisiana, which is in Calcasieu Parish. We - our parish borders the Texas line. So I think the eye of the storm - if we're getting our information correctly, we have obviously lost power and we're on generators. And you know we don't have anymore cable TV. We lost that about an hour-and-a-half ago.

CALLOWAY: Well what can you tell us about what Lake Charles has experienced over the last few hours?

MANCUSO: Heavy, heavy rains. Strong winds. We are probably having a sustained wind right now. We have some - we have actually the sheriff of (INAUDIBLE) parish and his OAPP (ph) people hunkered down with us. And they have some satellite link up. And it looks like we have some sustained winds of over 100 miles an hour. And that is on the east side of the parish.

HARRIS: Sustained winds.

MANCUSO: That is correct.

CALLOWAY: What about flooding?

MANCUSO: Not where we are at. We are pretty high. I am concerned about the western part of our parish, which is on the (INAUDIBLE) River. So that is a concern. We just called the police department in Venton (ph), which is the farthest city. A little small town to the west of us. And they felt like they were fixing to lose the roof on their police department. So they are going to the jail part right now. And we are going to try to get to them here as soon as we can get a break in the weather.

CALLOWAY: Yes, have you been able to get out at all? I would imagine with the phone lines down you are not even able to get 911 calls.

MANCUSO: We actually have not lost phone lines yet. I don't know about our 911 center. Because we have two 911 centers operating, meaning we have a back up. We have people at those locations. And we have received - I haven't checked in the last hour or so, but we were receiving some 911 calls. But no. There is so much flying debris that you know, a lot of metal buildings, a lot of tin (ph) falling. Obviously power lines and trees and limbs and things. So it is -

CALLOWAY: What have been your 911 calls? You said you have received - what are you hearing from people?

MANCUSO: People you know, basically now saying hey, we want to get out. And you know, we - that's why we asked for an evacuation. And fortunately about 90 to probably 95 percent of our parish evacuated. So we basically asked them to remain in their address and ask them if there was a way they could put a number on the outside of their house so we would know how many people were there.

You know, it is basically until the winds subside. It's around 40 miles an hour. It is just not safe.

HARRIS: So Sheriff, a couple of nuts and bolts here. How much - what percentage of your population do you believe you were able to get out of town?

MANCUSO: I would say about 90 to 95 percent.

HARRIS: Ninety to 95 percent. And how many people do you believe are still in that parish?

MANCUSO: Well we have close to 200,000. So I would say 10,000.

HARRIS: OK. Where are you now?

MANCUSO: I am at Miles (ph), which is on the Houston to middle part of the parish. We are - have my office and the jail office and the corrections facility. We had evacuated all of our prisoners. We hold about 1,300 prisoners.

HARRIS: OK. Now let me just ask you this. I am not asking you whether you are scared. But I am asking you if this is scary. What your going through right now with the flying debris, sustained winds of 100 miles an hour. Is this scary for you?

MANCUSO: Well I think we feel pretty safe. I mean I am going to be honest with you. We have the chief of police of Lake Charles, which is our biggest city. Like I told you, the sheriff of Cameron parish, which I am sure, is devastated. A lot worse than we are. And he is keeping his chin up. And he said hey look - and I do have some - a portion of my office that the roof is leaking.

So you know, no. We're calm. And you know I am concerned about my community. Obviously when we open those doors and we go out in a little bit, I suspect we're going to find extensive damage.

CALLOWAY: Sheriff I hope you will call us back as soon as you are able to get out there and tell us what the situation is. Because there is a lot of people that want to know. On the phone with us now is Rich Sanchez who is in Lake Charles. Rick, where are you now?

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT, LAKE CHARLES: We're right here and hunkered down in downtown Lake Charles. We are probably about less than a half a mile from the lake itself, where the flooding is something that is almost expected here because of what they have had experience of in the past.

Not far from the lake we have already seen some flying in some of the low-lying areas. So deep (ph) in fact that we were not able to cross it with our vehicle. Here in downtown, we are now seeing a consistent sustained wind that is going from east to west. And we are not talking anything like the winds that we were describing earlier in the night and perhaps that others were describing earlier in the night where you saw hurricane wind gusts.

Now we are seeing hurricane winds. Sustained hurricane winds. Don't know the measurements. Wouldn't venture to say. But I imagine they are quite strong. And they are consistently in one direction now, as opposed to what we have seen earlier where they would start to shift and go in different directions.

We are seeing considerable structural damage. We are seeing large trees of the oak variety that would probably be as high as three or four story buildings falling down on roadways and on houses. Many of the roadways are being blocked. And it is probably going to take some very large equipment and vehicles to be able to move them by the light of day at some point, which means many of the roads, are impassable at this point.

And I was just listening to your interview moments ago with that official who was saying that people who call now and say they want to get out - well even if they want to get out, there is no way to get to them. Because in many instances the roadways, at least from what I have seen here are closed.

One of those roadways if we were traveling on Broad Street and we were going east on Broad. And suddenly a large tree fell in front of us just as we were coming to it. And had we come by a little later, that tree would have fallen on top of our car. So it convinced us that the best thing for us to do is put hurricane one (ph) in a shelter. And we are just outside now.

The vehicle is - I am speaking to you from inside the vehicle. The vehicle is outside. And as the wind comes through it, literally is shaking the vehicle. And this is a large SUV. We're also being - seeing one of the tallest buildings here in the town on Lake Charles that is literally being taken apart by the wind. Glass pains are flying through the air. Parts of the roof are coming apart. The rain and the winds are now gotten inside the building and are swirling inside the building and stuff.

We can see debris inside the building actually flying around. In fact we have some pictures that we're hoping to get to you guys within the hour where you will be able to see some of that yourself. I guess the upshot here in Lake Charles is we are experiencing what I believe are sustained hurricane force winds. And those sustained hurricane forced winds are causing considerable damage to this town just in the small measure that we have been able to see.

I imagine over the next couple of hours it is only going to get much worse.

CALLOWAY: We'll be back with you in just a little bit and get more from you Rick. It does not sound good in Lake Charles. And Galveston, our David Mattingly has been all night long. David, you said you were expecting the surge on this storm, the waters to come a bit higher there. Do you feel Galveston has seen the worst of it?

MATTINGLY: Well from our standpoint at least in the last hour or so, the storm seems to be diminishing somewhat. It was about 12 hours ago actually; we first started seeing some of our first raindrops as the bands of rain were coming in. They were very, very light at the time. Very, very small drops. They'd blow in. The only would be here for a few minutes and then they were gone.

Now you can see what we have right now. The rain is constant. It is pouring all of the time now. There are no bands associated with this rain. It is one constant rainfall. But still very high winds. Before the storm came in, I was talking to some city officials and they said in storms past, back over in the middle of the island where you have the downtown areas, at times when they have had storm surges, the storm surge will push drainage water back up through the drainage system and out of the drains in the street.

And they will end up having street flooding more in the middle of the island. We don't know if that is going on right now. But they said that would be a possibility with this storm. So if that is going on, we continue to have this much rain falling on the surface already. That rain may have a hard time finding a place to go until the storm surge is completely out of here.

But again, I am completely speculating at the moment because these are problems they have had in the past. We have not been able to get over there to actually see what was going on. As we were telling you earlier, the fire turned out to be the biggest and most immediate problem they had. A couple of building downtown, not too far from here caught on fire.

Firemen had to come out of the shelter area where they were all gathering for this storm. They had to run over to the convention center where they had stashed their equipment. And in the middle of all this wind and rain, they drove over there. They found the three buildings well involved. And as it turns out, with this wind the way it is blowing, it acts sort of as a blast furnace.

It was really feeding that fire. Blowing flames and ambers over onto the neighboring buildings. So the firemen had to work very hard to keep neighboring buildings from catching on fire as well. But they were able to contain the fire to those three buildings that were burning. And at this point, everyone waiting to see if this storm might be through with them and to see what kind of damage there might be when we first start to see that first light of dawn here.

HARRIS: David Mattingly. David thank you. On the phone with us right now is Mickey Bertrand. And Mickey is the fire chief of Beaumont, Texas. Wow. Mickey, Good morning.

MICKEY BERTRAND, BEAUMONT TEXAS FIRE DEPT: Good morning Sir.

HARRIS: Give us a sense of what you are experiencing now. I think you have been following some of the coverage and you know that the winds are only going to pick up over the next 40 minutes or so.

BERTRAND: That really concerns me. I tell you; here at our fire headquarters we have had one window blown out so far. And we have been able to patch that up. We have got out operations center, our main command post about a half a block from us in the utilities building. And they have lost all their electricity. So looks like we're about the only ones that are still operating. Our generator is still on. We're still taking calls.

We have had three house fires here in Beaumont. One of them a few hours ago that actually caught the house next door on fire as well. So there were two that we couldn't do anything about. And you know, out firefighters just like police and EMS you know, we're just holding back everything we can to not go out there. And we can't until all this blows through. But we're real concerned.

HARRIS: Mickey, what is fueling those fires? Is this a case of gas lines snapping?

BERTRAND: I am sure that is a part of it. And you know, who knows without you know, investigating it. But if - that is more than likely what it is (INAUDIBLE).

HARRIS: Electricity lines, power lines down?

BERTRAND: Well, I wouldn't think so much electricity. I would think probably more gas and you know. And once that - once that gets going there, we just can't stop it at this point.

HARRIS: I can really hear the concern in your voice. You have got winds. You have got rain. You have got power outages. What of all of those concerns is at the top of your list?

BERTRAND: All our people. You know, we know that we have got I think everybody in this whole county and you know, all around here has done a great job on evacuating, warning our citizens, evacuating them, getting them out of here. There is always a few though that is held back.

HARRIS: Right.

BERTRAND: And we know that there is some out there. And we just don't know what the status is. From everything I have heard, all of our workers you know, our city workers, emergency personnel, everybody is OK. We're all hunkered down in different areas. Experiencing different problems.

Police departments in a couple of different buildings here in Beaumont. I know parts of the buildings are being you know, some debris flying off of some of the buildings. So we are a little concerned about that. But everybody is OK that we know of in our group. We're just concerned about our citizens and we can't see anything. We can't get out there.

We have lost most communications with everybody else. So we're just standing by waiting for this to blow through.

HARRIS: Mickey, how long have you lived in Beaumont?

BERTRAND: I have been here about 31 years.

HARRIS: Thirty-one years. So you know a lot of the people in this community.

BERTRAND: Oh I know so many. You know, just like anywhere else. There is a lot of great people. And we're going to take care of them too.

HARRIS: OK.

CALLOWAY: All right.

HARRIS: Mickey, thank you.

BERTRAND: Thank you.

CALLOWAY: And you can hear the frustration in the chief's voice of not being able to get out there and help people when they need help. We told you earlier about a rescue in Lumberton. Miles O'Brien bringing that story to us now. He has all the details on that. Miles, can you hear me?

O'BRIEN: Catherine, yes, I am with a good portion of the Lumberton Police Department and some of the city leaders here. As we told you about an hour ago, there was a tree down on a house. A family of five inside. They got a call here. And they went out in the midst of this into the teeth of this (INAUDIBLE) to literally cut them out. It was quite a scene. I am going to begin with the police chief, Norman Reynolds.

First of all, you got the call from them. Big tree down on the house. What did you do at that point?

CHIEF NORMAN REYNOLDS, LUMBERTON, TEXAS POLICE: Well we got our maintenance crew and two patrolmen, and the mayor and I went down the road. It is north of town about three miles down that road to try to get to a family of six out of the house. Had five trees that had to be cut up that had fallen over the road as we went in.

O'BRIEN: So (INAUDIBLE) five trees just to get there.

REYNOLDS: Yes.

O'BRIEN: Once you got there and saw the house, was it in pretty bad shape?

REYNOLDS: One end of it was crushed by a large tree.

O'BRIEN: The family I guess was pretty lucky to have (INAUDIBLE).

REYNOLDS: Very lucky and very shook up.

O'BRIEN: Mayor Don Surratt, when you drove through your town, try to describe what it was like tonight.

MAYOR DON SURRATT, LUMBERTON TEXAS: Well it is just an eerie feeling. Everybody - it is just all black. And wind blowing and things are flying around all in the area. O'BRIEN: It must have been hard just to even see the road.

SURRATT: It was hard to see the road. Looked like it was the trees and everything, and the little limbs, they were just growing out of the road.

O'BRIEN: And at one point, you even saw a kind of a scared deer.

SURRATT: Yes Sir, we saw a scared little doe deer running along side of the road.

O'BRIEN: Boy what an odd sight that must have been (INAUDIBLE). In the midst of all this, were you worried about your personal safety at all?

KENNY ROACH, LUMBERTON, TEXAS, POLICE: Oh yes you have to be concerned about your own self also. I mean if you get hurt out there you can't help anyone else in the process. And you are out there cutting those trees out of the middle of the road. And other trees are leaning over. It's pretty eerie.

O'BRIEN: Chief, you told me that there was a tree that actually fell down right in front of you.

REYNOLDS: Yes. As we approached it, it fell out in front of us.

O'BRIEN: And at this point, what goes through your mind?

REYNOLDS: Glad I hadn't gotten quite that far.

O'BRIEN: What - tell me, when you finally got to the family, what did they tell you about their ordeal?

REYNOLDS: They just didn't think it was going to get this bad. Realized they should have left earlier and were very, very grateful.

O'BRIEN: And you brought the family - you have an emergency shelter at a nursing home, which is just a couple of buildings down from here. I know they are safe and sound. Maybe they will talk to us in (INAUDIBLE). I imagine they are fairly shaken up by this ordeal.

REYNOLDS: Yes they are. It was two grandparents, a mother, and three children.

O'BRIEN: And you know, we don't want to - at this point, there is not much people can do. But this brings up the point of why it is dangerous to try to ride these things out.

REYNOLDS: Very, very true.

O'BRIEN: You've said - you told me before that you had about 90 percent compliance rate on evacuations. That still means we're getting some calls. There is 10 percent of your population that is out there. What kinds of calls are you getting? REYNOLDS: We're mostly getting calls of trees down. We have had to go out earlier and cut trees off the main highway. (INAUDIBLE) We have had to go and bring two or three more people in to the shelter. Most of our calls are just calls that don't involve dangers to persons, just property.

O'BRIEN: So you have about 10 (ph) people in that shelter now?

REYNOLDS: No actually I think we have eight.

O'BRIEN: Eight people. Mayor, the we're about 40 or 50 feet above sea level here. There was a concern about storm surge. But with this rain coming in, a lot of flooding that I am seeing right here. Did you see a lot of evidence of that as you drive around?

SURRATT: No, I didn't see a lot of evidence of flooding. But we have some low areas in the city. So we are expecting some.

O'BRIEN: Is this area pretty high where we stand right now?

SURRATT: It is pretty high. It sure is.

O'BRIEN: Did you get a chance - I know that some of the emergency and police personnel from the communities of Port Arthur further south down by the coast are staged here. Did you get a chance to see them, and see how they are doing over there at the high school?

SURRATT: I haven't seen them since about 7:00 this afternoon.

O'BRIEN: What in general - can you remember a storm like this one that has barreled through this area? I mean Carla in '61 maybe?

SURRATT: (AUDIO GAP) at that time. But yes I remember it. And it was devastation everywhere (INAUDIBLE).

O'BRIEN: At this point based on the damage you've seen, is this city going to take a big hit?

SURRATT: Oh yes. I think we will take a big hit. But we won't know until we can see. We get some daylight so we can move around and the weather improves where we can get out.

O'BRIEN: And (INAUDIBLE) at this point, what kinds of calls will you respond to? Because you have got to worry about the safety of your (AUDIO GAP).

REYNOLDS: Until the wind subsides, we will only respond to calls involving danger to the persons. After that we will get out and see what we have in the morning as far as property damage.

O'BRIEN: Now you just a call from the Sheriff's office saying get ready, right?

REYNOLDS: In the next 10 minutes, the winds at 110 miles an hour should be here. O'BRIEN: I'm amazed that the cell phones are still working in spite of everything else, no power, no nothing. You have to be concerned about your personal property too. Officer Roach, your family is safe I know. But are you concerned?

ROACH: Yes Sir. My family is safe. And you know, the majority of us police officers here in Lumberton live in Lumberton. So yes it is hard not to sit here and want to go to your house and check on your own stuff. So yes it is hard.

O'BRIEN: All right guys.

SURRATT: How about introducing some of the other guys here. Officer Chad Wilson.

O'BRIEN: Uh-huh.

SURRATT: This is Bryan Erwin (ph). He is the building maintenance. And we have Ernie Mason (ph).

O'BRIEN: All right. The entire team in Lumberton. Already once rescue. Let's hope you don't have to get out there again tonight. Because it is not getting any better here in Lumberton. All right. That's the story. One family saved. Tree down at their house. I suspect the are quite pleased to be in that nursing home a few doors down. We'll try to find them and get them on in just a little bit.

HARRIS: That would be great. That would be great Miles. Thank you.

CALLOWAY: Thanks Miles.

HARRIS: And I guess I want Anderson - he has made his way to a bit of safety we hope. And Anderson, I understand you are on the line with us in what is I guess the teeth of this storm right now.

COOPER: Yes. It is an extraordinary sight. We have actually moved indoors. A city manager saw us on the air and opened up a building for us that we happened to be right underneath. But the sight that I am seeing right now, I wish we could be broadcasting right now. It is a sight that I have rarely ever seen before.

At the height of hurricanes, I have described it before in hurricanes as a wall of white. There is literally it looks like a solid white - just a solid wall of white that is just sweeping across the entire region by the (INAUDIBLE) River here in Beaumont. There are just a few trees visible. There is one light, which is actually a car light from one of our vehicles. And it is casting an eerie glow to this wall of white wind and water, which is just a solid mass sweeping across the street.

A lot of the trees are still standing, which is surprising. And the leaves are staying on the trees. But it is eerie. It is beautiful. And it is horrible at the same time because you know the power behind this storm. And we don't have any reports of damage. We don't have any reports of any possible injuries. But when you see the power of this storm, when you feel the power of this storm, I fear for what the day will bring.

It is an extraordinary sight. It has knocked our final satellite - we had two satellites. The truck went down a while ago. It is finally knocked down. We just could not transmit through this wall of water and wind. It was just impossible to transmit the pictures anymore or we would still be standing out there.

It is a terrible sight. The power of this storm. It must be in it's full force. It is certainly the strongest it has been in this area in Beaumont Texas. And it is likely near it's peak - at least I hope that is the case because I cannot imagine it being any stronger than this.

CALLOWAY: Is Chad standing by? Can you tell us what the situation is?

HARRIS: Well until we get Chad, Anderson, just a quick question. Even if you were able - the technology would allow you to broadcast from outside, would you be able to stand? Based on what you are describing it is hard to imagine that you would be able to stand.

COOPER: You - one of our crew just ran to a vehicle to try to get something out of a vehicle. So I mean, yes you can stand in it. but it is you know, it is extremely dangerous at this point. You really - if our car light was off, you would not be able to see anything in front of you. So you would have no sense of what was coming at you . And there is no doubt you know, debris flying around.

Even the leaves and small tree branches which have been flying around can be very painful when they hit you. And obviously cause damage. So I am anticipating that this is - it is certainly the height of the storm. How long it will last, I don't know. I have certainly seen this before in just about all of the hurricanes I have covered. I don't know that I have ever seen it quite like this.

I was - in Katrina I was in Baton Rouge. And was missing the brunt of the storm. And while conditions there were certainly bad, it was not as bad as you know, we later learned it was in (INAUDIBLE). And Bay St. Louis and Mississippi and areas like that.

HARRIS: Sure.

CALLOWAY: Well I understand we have Chad now who is the man who knows exactly what the winds are there where Anderson is, Chad?

MEYERS: Ninety-two miles and hour, Anderson.

COOPER: Wow.

MEYERS: That was the peak gusts so far. Yes. And the storm itself obviously has wrapped around to you. It was in Port Arthur about 20 minutes ago. It has moved up to Beaumont now. And the wind really coming out now of the northeast. We can zoom in.

Here is your river you have been talking about all day. There is the heaviest band of rain. Back up to the north and northeast of there, Lake Charles almost out of the worst of it as the wind is still there. But the rain is not mixing down and making it worse. We always know that whenever there is a band of rain with the wind, you get that squall to come through, that is when the heaviest, heaviest rain comes through. And the heaviest wind comes through as well.

There is Houston. Seeing some rain showers to you as well. Here are the tornado warnings now in effect because of the wind itself. (INAUDIBLE) in Cameron Parishes in Louisiana. Newton, Jasper, Tyler, Hardin, Jefferson, and Orange Counties in Texas. And here is the latest and greatest 4:00 update -- 5:00 update, 4:00 Central.

Rita is moving to the northwest at 12, a gradual turn to the north and decrease in speed is expected. The latest automated station at Sea Rim (ph) Park reported a pressure of 28.09 inches with a wind gust to around 116 miles per hour.

CALLOWAY: Wow.

HARRIS: Wow. Wow. Wow. All right. Gentlemen thank you. Chad thank you.

MEYERS: You are welcome. To Randi Kaye now who is in Baytown Texas. And Randi, for the viewers just joining us, sort of orient the viewers to exactly where you are in relation to say, Beaumont.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT, BAYTOWN, TEXAS: Tony, we are about oh I don't know, 45-50 miles maybe or so west of Beaumont. So we're actually supposedly on the weaker side of the storm. And I can understand why - well I can understand why they tell you that you should still evacuate even if you are on the weaker side of the storm, or at least be careful and shelter inside, shelter at home. Because even a weaker side of the storm feels pretty awful.

The rain is still coming down, not nearly as much rain as we have been seeing in the last five or six hours that we have been out here. But it still feels - it (INAUDIBLE) your skin and even through your clothing when it hits you. The winds have certainly picked up. But the city manager here at Baytown told me they were expecting 85-mile an hour winds here.

And we just talked to our truck engineers running our satellite truck. And he said the winds have gotten so high that he may have to put our satellite dish down after this live shot. But just to give you an idea of how much damage just right here the wind has done, there is three flagpoles up thee. And they used to have three flags on them. Now the American flag and the flag for our hotel, the Comfort Inn are both gone. All that is remaining now is the Texas flag.

And if you look at how that Texas flag is blowing, it is all over the place. The wind is just all over the place. The wind is just all over the place. It is not in one direction. It is not in the other direction. It is just up and down and all around us.

This hotel has actually only been here since January. So there is some concern about this. But even more so in this area of Baytown sits right on the Houston ship channel. And that is a 50-mile stretch of waterway between the Port of Houston and the Gulf of Mexico. And what is critical about that is it houses about 200 refineries and oil plants. That's what lines the banks of that channel. And those refineries could take a pretty bad hit from Hurricane Rita. Especially with these winds.

So they shut those down - all of the refineries and oil plants closed down. They are hoping to get an assessment as soon as we see some daylight and the storm passes through. But if they do have any severe damage, they could be closed possibly for a week, possibly for a month. It all depends. It only takes 24 hours to shut it down. But it takes another week actually to get it back going. Tony, Catherine.

CALLOWAY: All right Randi. Thank you.

HARRIS: Randi Thank you.

CALLOWAY: Over to Beaumont now - videophone we have Gary Tuchman. Gary, you're an old pro at covering these hurricanes. What is this one bringing for you tonight?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT, BEAUMONT, TEXAS: Well thank you Catherine. And I can tell you right now that we are in the middle of the worst of it here in Beaumont Texas. There is lots of damage here in the downtown where we are standing right now. We're in the (INAUDIBLE) district of Beaumont where people would be stumbling out of bars at this hour on a typical Friday night.

Right now it has been abandoned and isolated the entire evening. It is obviously the scariest part of the hurricane when you get the heaviest winds and heaviest rains. But when it is combined with the other darkness, all you hear are the sounds, and you don't see the (INAUDIBLE) things all around us have been breaking all evening.

And we know first hand of some of the damage here in downtown because we have sought refuge in a restaurant. And the restaurant owners (INAUDIBLE) this restaurant to stay there. The restaurant is now undergoing some minor flooding. None of the windows are broken in the restaurant, but the ceiling is leaking and part of the roof is gone.

The building next to us have lost many of their windows. Canopies (INAUDIBLE) from nearby gas stations have gone down. Transformers have blown. The power is (INAUDIBLE) out for two-and-a- half hours. It's anybody's guess what Beaumont Texas will look like when the sun comes up in a couple of hours. But we are quite sure there is significant damage based on what we have seen on this one block.

We're using this video phone so we're able to get around Beaumont. But right now over the last hour-and-a-half it has been so bad, and we have had these hurricane force winds (INAUDIBLE). But the fact is, even if we did get around the city, it would be impossible to see because it is so dark. (INAUDIBLE) Two major hurricanes in this area in the last half century. Hurricane Carla in 1961. The you had in 1983, Hurricane Alicia 23 years later. And then 22 years later. And now 22 years since 1983 this hurricane. So its every 22 years they have had a major hurricane. And it sounds like right now we have military jets flying over us. But actually it's the sound of the hurricane. It is not the sound of hurricanes. It is the sound we are used to hearing in these (INAUDIBLE) storms.

Every once in a while (INAUDIBLE). Back to you (INAUDIBLE).

CALLOWAY: Gary, you were talking about seeking refuge there in a restaurant. Can you tell me who was there at the restaurant? Were these people who decided to ride the storm out?

TUCHMAN: This restaurant is called (INAUDIBLE). (INAUDIBLE) for oil. This is an oil town. And what (INAUDIBLE) do was stay open to see if anyone particularly police officers, fire officials, needed (INAUDIBLE), needed food, needed refuge. We're the ones who ended up seeking refuge in the restaurant. But it happened to be a great place for us. But we feel very badly (INAUDIBLE) because of the minor flooding. Because part of the roof is off and we're all standing away from the water. And we are relatively safe and (INAUDIBLE) this roof and walls surrounding us.

CALLOWAY: All right Gary. Stay safe. We'll check back with you in just a little bit.

HARRIS: Back to Lumberton now and Miles O'Brien. And Miles, a few moments ago Anderson Cooper was talking about describing this scene of this wall of wind and rain, and water. And I guess it is a bit of a preview of what is heading your way. And as we take a look at you now, I guess maybe it is actually closing in on you.

O'BRIEN: Yes. We're 15 miles north. So that is precisely the preview. And the reality right now as this wall of water - it is - Tony, I just can't get over the (INAUDIBLE) rainfall with this storm. Every other hurricane I have covered, the rain comes in (INAUDIBLE) holy cow. That is some wind.

In this case it is - it is not so much wind as it is just a - I feel like I am getting a fire hose out here. And it hasn't stopped. And the (INAUDIBLE) behind me just keep filling up. There is water all over the place. We were just talking to the mayor. He said there is some low-lying areas that they are concerned about here. We are about 40-50 feet above sea level. So we're not concerned about storm surge here.

The storm surge as we have been reporting is probably about 25 feet maybe. Obviously low lying areas down towards Port (INAUDIBLE) Lake Charles, that's a different story there. But this is tremendous. And just talking to the mayor and the police chief as they went and got those people, the family of six out of that house, just driving through the city, really unable to know where the road ends and the (INAUDIBLE) begins. And having to cut their way through five six pine trees and hardwoods just to get to the house (INAUDIBLE) in the roof. It is a (INAUDIBLE) scene. There is a structure over here, I still can't get enough light on it for you, it has completely been wiped out just a garage type structure with corrugated roof kind of thing.

Ands the buildings behind me there, signs missing, that kind of thing. So we still really haven't had the brunt of it. And this town is taking a beating. And we are as I say, 15 miles north of Beaumont. And it is a good 45-50 miles down to Port Arthur where the coast is. So we still (INAUDIBLE) I say that, I feel like it is about to arrive. And we are still awaiting the full force of the hurricane. But I think we're getting a little case of it right now Tony.

CALLOWAY: Miles you know, you brought us that great rescue story. Can you imagine those same officers going out and doing the same type of rescue now as conditions worsen where you are?

O'BRIEN: You know, and I asked them if they would go out again. And they said if lives were in danger they would. And you know, I have got to say, I mean when they talk about mandatory evacuations, the point is, you need to leave. Because you are not going to get any help when you call 911. The truth of the matter is these people are so dedicated that they are respondent. And what putting themselves at great risk.

The police chief said he was driving his car to get that family and right in front of him the tree (INAUDIBLE). He said I'm just kind of glad I wasn't there a few seconds early with a little bit of a smile and a wink and kind of a Texas kind of way. But this is serious business out here. And anybody who is at home right now, riding this out, (INAUDIBLE) probably shouldn't expect tog et help.

They probably will get help because people like the chief here Norman Reynolds and some of his officers are willing to truly risk their lives to help them out. It really is something.

CALLOWAY: It is something. A long list of heroes we have seen over the last few weeks. So we can add those officers to the list as well. All right Miles, we'll be back with you in a just a moment.

HARRIS: And Catherine, we're going to check in now with our CNN affiliate KHOH in Houston. And follow a bit of their coverage of Rita making landfall.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is one of the big concerns. I know that you have talked about the fire that happened here earlier. And they believe that it is a possibility that that was caused by some downed power lines. That is probably one of the biggest dangers right now as we try to take a look around and see what is happening.

There are downed power lines now. While the power is out that is not a problem. But even they can catch you. So you have to be very careful. Lots of - we think there is going to be lots of debris. We really haven't been able to make it very far at this point. I was trying to look over at the sea wall. In all the wind and darkness it is very hard to see. But at least from right here I don't see any great amount of debris rolling or blowing down Sea Wall Boulevard.

Now inside the (INAUDIBLE) itself, probably about 11:30 tonight they came and pounded on our doors and said get down to the second level. Get down to the conference level. And the reason they did that was because a couple of windows had blown out in the condo building next door. Just a matter of the pressure blowing out the windows.

So they came very afraid - sorry - very afraid that they were going to blow out more windows. And in this hotel tonight most of the Galveston police department, firefighters, including some who had come from Houston as part of (INAUDIBLE) and lots of lots of media people. And in the last few minutes we have seen a couple of other people here that we think just didn't leave the island and came here because it was open and they knew that it was a place that they could retreat to.

So as to whether this is the worst of it, I guess the only thing I can say to you Debra and Ron is, gosh I hope so.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes exactly. Because at first we looked at you, and it looked like it was a little bit less than what Reggie was going through. But then we saw that wind kicking up there. So it really depends on where you are standing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well I am trying to stand a little bit sheltered. But also the wind just flips around. It will die for a minute and you will think well it is getting better. And then this huge gust will come. And you can see what it is doing to the bushes and to the palm trees here. And if we got out into the open I think you know, those gusts would be even more powerful.

And then it will die for just a minute and you will think oh well you now. It is getting better. But the rain really (INAUDIBLE) boy those gusts right now. But the rain really has slacked off a lot. So that is hopeful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes I was going to mention that. Because we talked to Reggie probably about 20 minutes ago. And he was very wet. And you are real dry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh it has been pounding this evening. And then it stopped. So

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe it is getting better. We hope so. All right. Thank you Nick.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well hang in there Nancy Holland (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. Well we are keeping you up to date of -

CALLOWAY: Chad Meyers standing by in the weather center. You know, it sounds like Galveston is feeling like they may have dodged a bullet on this. But is it too early to say that? MEYERS: Well it really is because part of Galveston, especially what we call bayside, it could have been bayside flooding in Galveston. The wind was actually coming in from the opposite side that everybody expected. They built the 17-foot storm surge wall for the ocean side, or the gulf side. And that's not the way the winds were coming. They were coming in from the other direction. And there is no wall on the other side.

We'll take you to the radar here. Take you to the eye of the storm. And move you ahead here. Beaumont seeing the rain showers. Very heavy rain at times. This area here across the river. And the winds now picking up obviously knocking Anderson Cooper's satellite truck completely off the air. Heard from him on the phone but that's about it.

Otherwise rain showers into Lake Charles and also back out here toward the east of there seeing rain showers as well. A little farther to the west, another band that is going to get into Baytown where our Randi Kaye is. Also back into Houston and then farther off to the east. Just one more stop for you folks in New Orleans. You are probably seeing the lightening off to your west. And a few scattered showers right over New Orleans but not all that much.

We're very. Very happy that this band of heavy rain showers has been in the same area for a lot of the night. Has not worked its way eastward into New Orleans but has been just to the west of the city, west of (INAUDIBLE) by just a few miles. So there is weather all over Louisiana, Texas, and eventually by morning hours up into Arkansas.

HARRIS: Chad, question for you.

MEYERS: Yes? Am I sleepy?

HARRIS: You said a while ago that at some point this storm is going to get up to about Texarcana and it is just going to stall.

MEYERS: Yes.

HARRIS: Now here, I want you to explain that to us. But then I want you to explain to me why the winds (INAUDIBLE) those steering winds won't take that storm to the east and out of that area.

MEYERS: You know what a kidney bean looks like, right?

HARRIS: Yes.

MEYERS: It's kind of got this shape to it. Kind of this banana shape looking to us. That is the shape that the high pressure is in to the north of this storm. And if use this (INAUDIBLE) map that we made a little bit earlier, this area here in blue, this is Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The blue area here over 12 to 15 inches. And the X right there, that is the maximum. That is about a 25-inch rainfall total in the next five days.

Now picture this. Now picture a high with a lobe like a kidney bean way out to the west. Then up and then down again. And then back around.

HARRIS: Oh boy.

MEYERS: As the high blocks this hurricane from coming up, it can't go west. Out-of-pocket there is a lobe there. Out-of-pocket, can't go east there is a part there. And it can't go north because there is a part up there too. It is going to get stuck in this high. And then the high is actually going to push it back to the south. And many models take it back off shore and stop it for like 48 hours. And then push it back off shore and back into the Gulf of Mexico.

Not for reinvolvement. But just you know, as the days go on, we're going to have to see this very, very heavy rainfall as the week almost - probably up to Wednesday or Thursday.

CALLOWAY: Amazing.

MEYERS: Yes.

CALLOWAY: We have Anderson Cooper back with us who is in Beaumont. Anderson.

COOPER: Yes OK.

CALLOWAY: I cannot believe that you have found your way back out there. That looks like it is impossible to stand in.

COOPER: I'm sorry. Are you talking to me?

CALLOWAY: Yes we're talking to you.

COOPER: I'm sorry. It's awfully hard to hear you. But we did see if we could actually get back up on the satellite. But our engineers figured out a way to do it. For us, this is without a doubt the height of the storm. You probably - it doesn't really do it justice what you are seeing behind me. But it is literally this solid wall of white. And I mean when you are here it looks like you are in the middle of a snowstorm like it is just a blizzard of snow. But it is not. It's just water and wind.

I have never seen anything like this. And just about everyone who is here with me agrees that they have never seen a storm up close like this. And I am not quite sure how we are able to broadcast through it. I have no sense of how strong the winds are at this point. But they are without a doubt (INAUDIBLE) and I can't imagine that - if they could get much stronger than this (INAUDIBLE) sustained for much longer.

I certainly hope not. I would try to walk out there to show you, but frankly have done it twice now and have been blown - it is very easy to get blown over. So I am just not going to do it again. But it's an extraordinary site here. I mean it almost is hard to breathe at times when you are out in this. It sort of sucks the breathe right out of you.

And there is something actually - when you look at it from a distance that is beautiful. There is a photographer here who is taking pictures. And they look like paintings. But then of course you realize, I mean the deadly force of these winds - and what must be happening in other parts. We're completely cut off here. We have no sense of what else is going on in Beaumont. There are no lights anywhere except for this one light that we have.

So I am not sure how the rest of the city is doing. There is flooding in this area now that we are in. But it is not flooding from any storm surge. It is just rainwater that has collected. And it has just been this relentless constant pouring of rain. It's probably the wettest hurricane that I have ever been in. Everything is just completely soaked. And there is just about half a foot of water just on the ground in this area of Beaumont that I am in.

But we're not seeing any large-scale debris flying through the air. But we are seeing bits and pieces of trees. And I mean I don't know if you can see it. But it is literally this wall. And it is like a solid mass. And I mean it will just rip you up and blow you away. It's an extraordinary sight and I wish we could kind of show it to you on a grander scale because the only thing I can compare it to is sort of the special effects in a movie. It is sort of I don't know. I don't have words to describe it. It is an extraordinary sight.

And the power of this storm and it's full force here in Beaumont is an awesome - a terribly awesome sight to witness.

HARRIS: And Anderson, can you hear us? I have just a quick question. You have the light right in front of you to orient you if you. If you did not have that light, if you didn't have that light, is the storm of such a force right now where you would find yourself disoriented?

COOPER: You know, I am sorry. I can't hear you. I know you are saying something to me but there is so much water in my ear and everything.

HARRIS: OK.

COOPER: Sorry.

HARRIS: No problem. No problem. Let's bring Chad Meyers in. And as we do that Chad, that is the scene in Beaumont where Anderson is. And in just a few minutes, that scene will shift to where Miles is.

MEYERS: Oh I can see Miles and he seems to be hit pretty hard already. Yes. Let's not have him stand out there too long. Miles, can you hear us?

O'BRIEN: You know, that question you asked Anderson, I will take it. If there weren't lights here, and I was in the middle of this, I wouldn't know which way was up. This is unbelievable because it is so disorienting because you have got things tugging and pushing and pulling at you in so many directions. Well mostly one direction here. But nevertheless, it is very difficult just to keep your bearings. And if I was out here at the dock, it would be a very scary thing indeed. And I can only imagine what Anderson is (INAUDIBLE) with 15 miles to the south of me right now. But what we got going here is not good for man or beast. It is - Chad, what do you think the wind speed would be here now? Do you have any idea?

MEYERS: Well you are not quite to the eye wall itself. Anderson literally did get the western eye wall, although if you were in Lake Charles and got the eastern eye wall, you have to add 20 miles per hour on top of what Anderson got. I think you are probably in the sustained at 65 with gusts to 80. Because Anderson had just had a gust of 92. And you are really not that far away from him.

O'BRIEN: Yes it feels like I am getting acupuncture here.

MEYERS: Yes.

O'BRIEN: You know, it is just - Chad, I cannot remember. You tell me. You would know. You have the encyclopedic knowledge of these storms.

MEYERS: Right.

O'BRIEN: Do you remember a storm with this much sustained rain? (INAUDIBLE) a hurricane I have covered, you get rain, you get a band of rain and then it quits. And you get rain and - this has just been completely sustained the whole time.

MEYERS: Yes it is a little bit odd. Isabelle had an awful lot of rain and it did not have nearly the force. It certainly wasn't a category three hurricane at landfall. And winds now down near Anderson Cooper - where he was, we just got a report of the wind gusts there at 104. And that is in the rain.

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