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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
"Whole City" Now Underwater As Harvey Makes Another Landfall; Victims Forced To Evacuate Shelter After Floodwater Rush In Alteration At Nursing Home Where Boat Is Only Way Out; Major Highway Unrecognizable: Human Chain Battles Raging Waves To Save Man In Sinking SUV; CNN Crew Saves Driver From Sinking Truck; Officials Worried About Thousands Of Home Near Swollen Dams. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired August 30, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jong-un will respond to president Trump's latest tweet, Jim.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: A rare view inside North Korea. That's Will Ripley. Thanks very much. I'm Jim Sciutto. Thanks for watching us. CNN's Special coverage with the Texas flooding continues right now with Erin Burnett OutFront.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OutFront next, breaking news, city underwater, Harvey hitting again tonight slamming cities along the gulf coast. We're going to talk to one man stuck inside a motel, floodwaters rising beneath him. Plus, exclusive video of dramatic rescues by air and water, tonight we are aboard on meeting helicopter rescuing people on live television.
And as the floodwaters rise, the Texas doctor made his way to the hospital to perform an emergency surgery. He drove the canoe then walk a mile in waist deep water. That surgeon and his patient are our guest. Let's go OutFront.
Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, the breaking news, city underwater. I'll show you from miles to Texas. It is 100 miles east of Houston and now that city of 55,000 has been pummeled, more than two feet of rain in the past 24 hours.
Port Arthur's mayor posting a desperate message this morning on Facebook saying in a quote, "Our whole city is underwater right now, but we are coming. If you call, we are coming." Residents who took refuge overnight in the city civic center had to be evacuated again when the shelter flooded. The water rising literally under their cock as they were sleeping. Dozens of seniors at Port Arthur Nursing Home were stranded as you see there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is awful. Medication is floating on the floor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No food.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is terrible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Those residents, some of the most vulnerable stuck in knee high water for at least 24 hours. The only way out was by boat. And in Belmont, Texas which is just north of Port Arthur inundated with deadly flooding, with heavy rains overnight.
Moments ago, Navy helicopter crews staged a serious of daring search and rescue missing to try to help those desperately stranded in Belmont. They were air lifting some that they could not get out any other way. CNN was onboard on one of those choppers. These area rescues are incredibly dangerous, and of course, incredibly frightening. As you can see in one case here holding an infant in her arms rescued.
We're going to talk to the reporter who was on board. Our Martin Savidge was there. That's coming up later this hour. Right now, here's what we're looking at, 51 inches of rain. That is the equivalent of 11 trillion gallons of water. 30,000 people actually more than that are in shelters at this hour, at least 8500 rescues in Houston alone. The number of those missing right now, one of the great tragedies here, we simply just don't know.
And here is the scale, that's the before and that's the after. This is the major highway that cuts through Houston. As you can see, those are white trucks, that interstate 10. It's about 75 miles east of Houston. Also, on that highway, a group of people formed a human chain to rescue an elderly man who was stranded in his SUV. His truck was actually about to be swept away by. That truck there is flood water. Now, he's just one of more than 10,000 rescues over the past five days.
Our reporters are again band out across the entire storm zone. We begin with Miguel Marquez who was in Houston. And Miguel, I know you are on the water tonight. What's taking place?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is -- you won't believe it. This is a pine mountain drive in the cypress area in Northwest Houston. This is as bad as it gets. And step up to the front there. Look at these houses off to the right. The water in this particular area feed by Addicks reservoir has actually gotten deeper.
In many areas of Houston, the water has started to recede and recede significantly. In this area, it's up because there is so much run off in other reservoirs. They are letting -- doing controlled flooding and it is coming into this area. And you can see some of these houses the water goes right up to the top.
Rescuers have been through here many, many times. What we are finding now is that people who are in this neighborhood who refused to be rescued three, four times are now saying, yes, I'm ready to go because they now realize that this is not going to go away any time soon. The number of boats that are out here by private citizens, we are with one right now who has pulled dozens of people out of their homes.
This is Kenny Delgado (ph) and he is kind enough to let us go along on this little, what would be a pleasant ride on a nice afternoon in Houston. But it is absolutely depressing to see these homes destroyed, the cars that are in the water here. And just complete devastation that doesn't seem to be going away any time soon, Erin.
BURNETT: Miguel, you know, you talked about people who had wanted to wait out, if they could, right? And they said no. They said no. They said no. Now they're saying yes. They do indeed, of course, want to be rescued. What are they telling you about how they feel right now?
[19:05:03] MARQUEZ: Well, look, they had businesses. They had homes. They had lives. They had dogs. They had many, many reasons why they wanted to stay where they were. They also believe that the water would come and then it would recede fairly quickly.
The realization that it is not is really starting to set in. In fact, rescuers, while there may not be as many rescues ongoing right now in this particular area, it will start to become more a recovery mission, where they will want to get into every single one of these homes.
Many of the home that would gone by here today have a big C (ph) or a bit of tape on them indicating that they have been through the homes, checked them to make sure there was nobody there. They will want to go through the homes more finely in the days ahead as the water does start to recede and figure out just who is in there whether there is anyone alive or perhaps people who have expired. Erin.
BURNETT: That's our Miguel, thank you very much. I want to go to Ryan Nobles right now because he's in Orange, Texas. And Orange, Texas is by the Louisiana border. Ryan, right now, of course, center of the storm, you have a lot of people forced from their homes. What are you seeing?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Erin. And what's interesting about Orange, Texas is this is the area that was really hit by the second wave of hurricane Harvey after it came off the Gulf of Mexico and made it way back in land.
And we see here, this particular area of Orange, Texas is where the cage navy has come out in full force. This is predominantly a volunteer group of folks who brought their boats out with the goal of saving and rescuing people more in this neighborhood mind me. And what's significant about this neighborhood is that this is an area that normally doesn't flood.
In fact, I talked to a grandfather who rescued seven of his grandchildren who were staying with him in this neighborhood behind me. He said he's lived here since 2014 and he's never had to worry about flooding. Some of the guys that have been going out on boats just a few minutes ago told me that the flood waters are at least five feet high in parts of this neighborhood. And that's why, it became just too untenable for folks to live in this community.
The floodwaters starting creeping in at around 1:00 this morning and that really came as a surprise to many of these residents. Even though the rainfall was heavy, they never expected the flooding and they certainly didn't expect the flooding and the volumes that it came.
The big concerned now is while there have been many volunteers willing and able to bring these folks out, with folks on board, they are having a hard time getting these folks off the boats and then into shelters. That's the big crisis right now in Orange, Texas as the rescue effort continues, Erin.
BURNETT: Our Ryan, of course, in a race against times for so many of these people desperately trapped. Thank you, Ryan. And tonight, one man who's counting his blessings very shaken of course, but alive after a dramatic rescue was caught on tape, and our Drew Griffin is OutFront live in Belmont, Texas.
Drew, you and your crew were able to save that man. Tell us the story.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: It happened so quickly and it's a lesson for anybody who thinks they could just go out and take a look around. We were setting up for a live shot and then this just happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: Look at this. Get out, dude. You got a power cord? You got a rope? Hold on. I'm trying to get you a rope. All right, buddy, come on and get out of that water. No, don't go backwards. You're all right?
No ma'am. No ma'am, we got a car in a ditch. We just pulled the fellow out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: 66-year-old Jerry Sameral (ph). Erin, he was just out looking for food this morning. He had a hotel room high and dry. He should have stayed in it. But that is how quickly these things happened.
And if you take a look at where he drove into when we were there, it was moving water. I think we have video of what it normally looks like, it is a ditch. To Jerry Sameral this morning, this looked like pavement covered in water. That's what got him into trouble and that's what getting a lot of people in trouble especially when they're driving cars into water that they don't know what's on the bottom, Erin.
BURNETT: I mean Drew, that's the saying. I mean, you know, you have many communities in survival mode. Right now, I mean obviously the situation is getting more dangerous for many on the ground. You know, when you say people who are high and dry going out, they think it's OK. It is actually getting more dangerous.
GRIFFIN: That's right, the water is moving somewhere. We've got an emergency situation just outside of Belmont right now. A levee has breach its flooding and Gilbert Lake State subdivision, this is a subdivision that was dry a day ago. It's now filling up with water. And what these people are finding out is their escape route that flooded two days ago.
So there's nowhere for them to go and it's requiring more of these cage and navy style boats and rescues to go into this neighborhoods that are still being flooded now, days after this event. And of course, after the rain has stopped.
[19:10:01] People just need to just stay where they are and wait, wait until this emergency is over and despite the fact the rain has stopped falling here, the emergency is not over, Erin.
BURNETT: No, not at all with some of the water is still rising. Thank you so much, Drew. And many Texas officials are saying communities, as I said, are in survival mode and you got to wait it out because there's no way out because everything is blocked by water.
Jesse Wright is OutFront, he is the managing editor for the Port Arthur news, of course, right in the center of us right now. How are you? I know you are trapped on the second floor, I believed, of a hotel in Port Arthur. I see all the water behind you. First floor is already flooded, what are you dealing with you right now Jesse?
JESSE WRIGHT, TRAPPED INSIDE A FLOODED HOTEL, MANAGING EDITOR, THE PORT ARTHUR NEWS: Well, I tell you, there is no electricity up here, not any food, and I trapped in the hotel really, except for a few pastries. We have some water, so that's good, but it's too much water I guess. Again here is the chopper overhead doing water rescues in boats and the coast guard is out. There's a lot of scared people, little home is evil (ph) and a lot of people who may be rebuilding for months looks (INAUDIBLE).
BURNETT: Jesse, how many people are trapped in that hotel where you are? You say there's not really any food. How many people are with you?
WRIGHT: Well, today when we woke up, there were a few dozen folks, but over the hours there have been numerous boats that came to the hotel. And they got some choppers, they take the most of them to, you know, shelters.
We have churches opening the doors to shelters. We have the Red Cross that has facilities open and so on and so forth. So, you know, last I checked is more that you can't drive anywhere. Their cars are under water, they can't walk anywhere, but they were getting out. Thanks to the aforementioned cage and navy.
BURNETT: Do you think you're confident, you're confident, you're going to be able to get out? I mean that, you know, obviously it's concerning to a lot of people here. I know it's good, you got water, but you'd obviously don't have food.
WRIGHT: Sure. Sure, sure. Well, I mean, funny enough, our office is where are the news also flooded, so technically, you know, obviously hold on passengers. So we're in the process of getting a new home office and it's just kind of a logistical problem, shall I say, or our paper and for a lot of our employees? I don't think I'll wait it out until tomorrow and then figure out something. I was not hoping the water would go down. I know water keep on more (ph) open there and clearly having unknown. Let's see what happens overnight. And the skies are supposed to be clearing up. You might be able to see a little bit of sun behind me. It's not supposed to rain much tomorrow. So give me a second, still I don't know. We'll see.
BURNETT: I mean I know right now, you're obviously have a good attitude about it Jesse, but how high is the water right now? I know you're on the second floor. The first floor is flooded out. How close is it to you?
WRIGHT: Oh (INAUDIBLE) feet or so. Basically the water is maybe four feet, and flooded the first floor, you were telling. But it's still a good ways away from us. Again, assuming now the tragedy, you know, rain stopped. I think we'll be safe up here. Now, it's just a matter of waiting for the water to go down.
I can't say, water has begun, you know, lessening. (INAUDIBLE) we've got some streets clearing up. But there is a lot of (INAUDIBLE) that's really, really wet right now. So I don't really know.
BURNETT: And you feel confident with the structure of the hotel?
WRIGHT: Yes, it's really comfy at it. This thing is not going any where.
BURNETT: And what about the -- and of course, your family and everyone, everyone safe?
WRIGHT: Yes, it's OK. I can't believe pointing in properly. I slept with (INAUDIBLE) unfortunately. My girlfriend is with me, and so that's fine I think. But in terms of my house, I think the house flooded a little bit. We'll see, you know. It's just a matter of wait and see, I'm right here along with all of the other reasons right now. I mean some like this, it doesn't really explain to the tweet politician which mean reading on the tweeting zone. It's just -- it was everyone. The mayor's house got flooded. He was on facebook, I'm assuming it this morning which now it's awful.
BURNETT: All right, Jesse, well, we're rooting for you. I hope you get through the night there safely and get out of there quickly that those waters go down. Thank you.
WRIGHT: Thank you. I appreciate it.
BURNETT: All right Jesse Wright, as I said the Managing Editor for the Port Arthur news.
Next Houston, levee is dam, straining to keep trillions of gallons of water at bay. They are truly the barrier right now between unimaginable catastrophe. We're at the top of the reservoir. We're going to show you exactly how fragile that situation is at this hour. And more on board that the navy search and rescue team got pulling people from dangers flood waters to safety. Rescue is happening on live T.V. this hour. These rescues were going to go and show that with you. And then a doctor literally canoeing then walking to waist high water for a mile while its own home was flooding to perform an emergency surgery, the hero doctor and his patient are OutFront.
[19:18:13] BURNETT: Breaking new, new concerns at this hour, swollen rivers pushing levees and aging dams in Texas to the break of catastrophe. This is new exclusive video this evening of the destruction. You see, right, entire homes underwater, as far, as that I can see.
In some places, the water breaking their window and doors, it is a situation that will get much, much worse if the dams and levees break. Alex Marquardt is OutFront tonight live in Houston. And Alex, I know you're there and you spent the day with officials who are watching these dams every second. What is their biggest worry?
ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: They are indeed, Erin, 24/7. Their biggest worry is the 4000 homes in this area that have been flooded by the waters by these two major reservoirs in west Houston, Barker and Addicks.
We are standing at the top of Addicks dam stretching down there as far as I can see. And if you look over here, this is the Addicks reservoir. Look at all of this water. It is exceptionally high because of all the incredible amount of rain over the pass few days. So to prevent that water from flowing over its banks and in resulting in more catastrophic flooding, they have had to do what's called the controlled release.
You can see the gates of the reservoir right there. Those gates have been opened for the past several days. And if you look over here, down there, all of that gushing water, that is that controlled release going out into the open area. Back there is I-10. That water is going to flood into the Buffalo, Bayou affecting the neighborhoods around here.
And we spoke with a meteorologist, Jeff Lindner frontier in Harris County earlier today about what the people around here are going through. Here is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF LINDNER, METEOROLOGIST, HARRIS COUNTY FLOOD DIVISION: They will continue to experience this water for the next several days. And the neighborhood's deeper back against the reservoir. Some of those homes have three to five feet of water.
[19:20:00] And they will be inundated for the next five weeks or so.
MARQUARDT: Do you feel the worst has past now?
LINDNER: I feel like we -- in this particular area, we are at the worst. I don't want to say the worst is past, but I think we're at the worst right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: So still a lot of uncertainty is still very touch and go. The army corp of engineers, which manages these dams, as I mentioned, they watch them 24/7. They are very confident that they will not fail. The good news is that no more rain is expected here in the Houston area in the coming days. They are not expecting these flood waters to rise but they are at the same time asking people who were still at home to get out as soon as they can, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Alex, thank you very much, pretty incredible to actually see that, as you just showed us. Where that water is being released and what that looks like? And I know you had to walk about a mile and a half to get there, but thank you so much for showing us that.
OutFront now, the retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Russel Honore and thank you very much for being with us. I know you commanded the Military response during hurricane Katrina. You have been there. You know, as we look at this video, general, with homes, one after the other underwater, what is your biggest fear tonight?
LT. GENERAL RUSSEL HONORE (RET.), COMMANDED MILITARY RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA: That nights coming, there is -- it's going to get worse before it get better. And we have a lot of citizens out there that are hanging on by the thread of their life. Twelve years ago today I arrived in New Orleans. Most Katrina, we did extensive study, we -- just how we were going to do business.
We put a lot of emphasis on the states being first responders. The problem is we got 50 different solutions. The federal government took their hand off it and went off to fight terrorism and each time we have a Sandy or a now Harvey, the solution is different. It's cooked local by the state. They don't evacuate and they don't preposition troops where you leave 5000 million people there in San Antonio.
I know I'm sounding critical, but if we don't talk about this now, because the congress thought we fixed this.
HONORE: That's why Fifth Army got the mission to supervise on Homeland Army response to civil authorities under Northern command, a command you never hear off that's got a four-star general that's responsible for security in the United States. They come upon a time when their mission is too big for the state national guard and they need to get the hell over it and bring the big dolls in when you had a big mission.
BURNETT: So do you think they should have evacuated? Or have they been proven wrong on that decision or not?
HONORE: It will be proven wrong because that is not the doctrine of the Homeland Security. You take actions to protect the people. We put a lot of money on these state and county and parish organizations. We had command and control, so they could be predictive, so they have programs and their staff probably.
Every one of them have a Homeland Security office subsidized by the federal governments to make this analysis.
HONORE: You don't have to evacuate six million people. You evacuate the elderly and disabled. You evacuate the people that previously flooded and you allow people to voluntarily evacuate. So that's a bankrupt problem. I hope the guy in Miami and Tampa is not listening and watching this and think this is success because it is not.
HONORE: And the last week on the 27th, I wrote a twitter saying this whole operation didn't have scale. They didn't have the scale. They didn't -- Katrina, we had 40,000 national guard, 204 helicopters in the first four days. They just got 100 helicopters in Texas. Something is significantly wrong with our command and control. And they need to stop patting each other on the back while these whole people out here waiting to be rescued.
BURNETT: So let me ask you because, you know, what you, you know, it's important what you are saying here, that you think what could be coming could be much worse and prove that all this congratulation has been dead wrong.
HONORE: Right. We got to take --
BURNETT: I'm sorry. Let me ask you. But, I know in Katrina, some people waited two weeks to be rescued. I mean, are you concerned something like that could happen here? Something worst hat we could start to see a much worse set of headlines?
HONORE: This is a lot bigger. I went out in a boat this morning and this is very same community right here. This is huge. After Katrina, the air elements and air component to northern command created a significant grid system for search and rescue. I don't know where that is. It didn't look like nobody in Texas ever read the plan.
We need to get back and get back to that doctrine that was supposed to be supervised by Fifth Army in North Camp because now we've got 50 different state solutions as to how to mark the houses being cleared and whether we forward deploy assets or we wait until the storm is over. We got to fix that. The American people have put too much confidence in us.
[19:25:02] We've been too successful overseas deploy to come out in amateur hour and incrementally deploy the force. You got to come in big and you got to be there right at the edge of the storm so you could come in as soon and go in and rescue people. We don't have 100 helicopters here as of, I think last night.
BURNETT: All right, General. I appreciate your time. I mean I think it's important people hear what you have to say and I know you are using strong words, but you have considered them and obviously mean what you say and I thank you very much. Thank you.
HONORE: Thank you.
BURNETT: And you heard General Honore saying, he believes this is amateur hour. This self-congratulatory patting on the back is going to be -- seem to be extremely wrong in the coming days. We will see, so very sobering words.
Next, we'll going to show you the devastation of Belmont just in from an areal search and rescue mission up in a helicopter. The scope almost unbelievable, all these stunning images, they're going to be coming in next. And tens of thousands people right now are in shelters. So these people who have already been rescued. Some forced to evacuate for a second time.
BURNETT: Breaking news, multiple rescues right now underway in southeast Texas. Flash flooding devastating the city of Belmont at least two people have died there. Show you the streets right now, this is the images that we have just coming in from this helicopter. And our Martin Savidge flooding continuing more rain is coming there.
Martin savage as I said was on that helicopter, rare and exclusive access is with the U.S. Navy, during an aerial search and rescue mission. Martin, just gotten back on the ground just to refuel, that will be going back up. I want to grab you first Martin as you are waiting for that refuel on the phone. That helicopter where you were as 21 people just saved up in the air. Tell us what you saw.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm just getting an update from the crew here. So it is now up to 25 that actually were rescued that were young children while we've heard from the crew in a crowded cabin to do a final head count. But they were able to do that, 25 rescues by this team. It's the U.S. Navy team with a U.S. Air Force paramedic on board refueled on the ground here in Beaumont. And now, we're taking off again.
What's going to happen is that this crew has to fly back and the night crew is going to take over. They have different parameters for flying, and so they're going to do a crew swap out. They have spent the last three and a half hours flying over Beaumont, Texas. It is some of what the pilots will tell you, an all female crew, some of the most difficult flying in an urban environment.
You have to worry about the lives you are trying to save but the lives of the crew on board. They are flying in a very crowded, tight air space. So many other helicopters of all different kinds that are also hovering in the air. You've got strong winds still a result of the storm and on top of that, you got high power lines, high tension wires and ground objects and you are lowering and raising people.
So, it's a complex effort, but they did it well and 25 people are now rescued and back on dry land. You could just see on the faces of those saved, the results, just literally thanking the crew and thanking God. And the children, some of them, terrified, of course, but they will find out later just how lucky they were.
But this team is hovering down above the ground, just taking off, and they're ready to do it again. I said, are you flying tomorrow? They said, absolutely.
It's a mission that nobody wanted to have to do, but as this happened, they are glad to be a part of it, just being aboard the Navy rescue swimmers and now, they'll lift off again. It's their life and they're glad to do it, they're glad to do it for as long as it takes, they say.
BURNETT: Martin, what condition? I know we're seeing some of the -- the family here, the woman with her baby. I mean, these images are very moving. What is the condition of these people, these 25 people, that your crew has rescued in the past three hours?
SAVIDGE: It looks like everybody physically is fine. Emotionally, that is a much more difficult thing to gauge. The paramedics who went down for the rescued swimmers into triage and especially concerned about the children naturally, just because they're small (INAUDIBLE) and that's one of the reasons why these people were airlifted out, because the children were so young and it appears they were in an environment in an apartment building, which no one really (INAUDIBLE) or in charge.
So, a lot of these calls of who gets picked up are done on the fly. The very first group of people we picked up, the first seven, it responded by the crew of this helicopter in the air. It's a call that they made. They just looked down. They see people wavering and gesturing. They go down and investigate and then make the determination to move them out.
So, half of the people I would say that were rescued were pulled out as a result of the crew spotting them and making that call on the fly. The other half are rescued from (INAUDIBLE).
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Martin Savidge. I know you are about to go back up. Incredible images just to see and see that crew I think as Martin made the point, risking their lives without fear to try to help others tonight.
And there are tens of thousands homeless due to Harvey. Some of those people getting rescued, they're going to be having to go to a shelter. More than 32,000 people, in fact, have been forced to stay in shelters. Many others of course, as Martin showing, still stranded. One of those shelters, perhaps the biggest, the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.
OUTFRONT now from there, the CEO for the American Red Cross in the Texas Gulf Coast Region, David Brady.
And, David, of course, you are in all of our thoughts as you are trying to do so much good for this country. How is the situation inside the convention center right now?
DAVID BRADY, AMERICAN RED CROSS CEO, TEXAS GULF COAST REGION: Erin, today has been really a great day here in the convention center. The last few days here in Texas have been very tense. You know, disasters by their nature are chaotic and there has been so much of a challenge for our entire region to cope with and manage through this unprecedented historical storm. And for the last several days, people have been getting to shelters.
[19:35:02] We have been getting them comforted, fed, finding them that opportunity to settle down and settle in to hopefully only a few days away from their homes. And today, it feels like we turned a corner. When I walked into the convention center this morning, the first thing I saw was a group of Red Cross volunteers. They had been here all night and they were all smiling and excited to take on the day.
And then as I started walking around, again, the shelter and talking with some of the people staying here, they were all smiles and talking. I have heard singing this afternoon. And we have seen people that are starting to talk to one another like friends and they just met during this situation. So, it feels like today really was a turning point in terms of the mood and atmosphere here.
BURNETT: So I want to ask. I don't know if you just heard General Honore who led the military response to Katrina. It was a very sobering interview. He is concerned with the overall response, not talking about the Red Cross at all, but the military response, that there is not organization, that there aren't enough helicopters and this could get significantly worse.
My question to you, Hurricane Katrina, we all know, right, when it hit New Orleans, the Superdome became the symbol of a horrifically awry situation, right? Thirty thousand people were there, limited power, limited supplies. There was no plumbing. I mean, it was horrific to see.
Are you worried at all, David, that this could happen now?
BRADY: I don't have that concern at all in terms of what our leaders in this community have done. We partner with the city of Houston. We partner with Harris County. Mayor Turner for the city, Judge Emmett for the county, and there are plans in place for all of these people that we're comforting now and sheltering now and we'll start to transition as the recovery continues into hopefully not really long term, but the next step in the recovery process for these people.
And I certainly understand everyone has got concern because it's been a very tense week.
BRADY: You know, this is a unique storm. It was -- a week ago, it was not much of a storm at all and then, all of a sudden, it blew up into this historical type storm and a lot of chaos, as I mentioned. That's just the nature of disasters.
But I feel very comfortable in the leadership of our organization and the city and county and making sure we respond to our neighbors here. BURNETT: David, before we go, what do you mean? Do you -- Americans
looking to donate and help in some way, should they be giving money to the Red Cross? Do you still have needs?
BRADY: We do. And this is going to be a recovery that even once we get people out of shelters, this is going to be a long recovery. RedCross.org is a great place to go or volunteer. That's one of the things we're going to need. We're going to need volunteers for a while to help support this effort, and so many people have reached out and come and trying to offer their services and we're so appreciative of that.
This community has rallied around the community, the residents of Houston. So that and, you know, just get involved even with other nonprofits and organizations supporting this community. But, really, the Red Cross is so appreciative of all the things that have been done by their volunteers and the people have donated.
BURNETT: David, thank you very much.
BRADY: All right, Erin. Thank you.
BURNETT: And now, an update to the unimaginable and unbearable story that we brought you last night. The van swept away in raging flood waters was recovered today. Inside it were the bodies of all six members of the Saldivar family. Belia and Manuel were fleeing the storm. They were with our four beloved great grandchildren. Devy was 16. Dominic, 14. Xavier was 8 and little Daisy was 6. Belia and Manuel Saldivar's son Sammy, the driver, is the only survivor.
He's grieving brother said this to me about his parents.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told Sammy that. I said, I know -- I mean, they went together. They were holding hands.
BURNETT: And they were holding hands.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said, yes, they were holding when I was driving the van. Yes. They were holding hands when he was driving the van. I can already imagine dad, you know, holding mom's hand real tight, you know, as the water rushed in. So I know they went to heaven holding hands.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Miguel Marquez is back with me from Houston.
Miguel, it's an unbearable story. I think we knew what would happen here. I think, I don't know, sort of held out hope as I'm sure so many did that there could have been a miracle here.
What else have you learned from officials about what happened?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. There was a lot of confusion over this one because it was seen. It wasn't clear where it had gone and whether or not anybody survived.
But the Harris County sheriff, Ed Gonzalez, said today that they were able to find the van, that they found the bodies of all the grandkids in the back. They also had recovered the bodies of the 80-year-old grandparents. Just a sad story all around.
It does make one appreciate the power of water.
[19:40:01] They were trying to escape the storm. They were trying to escape the water. Their van was swept. It was seen but it took them -- it took officials a long time to find the van. And once they did, they took time to get into it, pull it out of the water and then the sad realization that all of them had perished -- Erin.
BURNETT: Miguel, thank you very much.
And our prayers are with the Saldivar family.
Next, a story of heroism. A Houston doctor going through the flood waters to perform surgery on a desperate patient. They are my guests. They're going to tell you their story this hour.
And breaking news on North Korea. We're live in Pyongyang this evening.
BURNETT: Breaking news: U.S. military now aiding in the rescue efforts in the rising flood waters in Texas. Dozens of rescues tonight. CNN exclusively went along on a mission with the Navy, witnessing the rescues, including this one. A woman and a child lifted from the water in Beaumont, Texas, amid the destruction from Harvey.
So many stories like this of heroism, including this one -- a Houston area doctor who braved the rising floodwaters in a middle of a night in a canoe to perform emergency surgery on the boy you see there, a 16-year-old suffering from a very serious condition that could have led to permanent damage. Dr. Stephen Kimmel got a call early Saturday morning that Jacob Terrazas needed immediate surgery. Dr. Kimmel's own home was beginning to flood, but he rushed to the hospital anyway. First on his car, there was then too much water. He had to turn back.
Two volunteer firemen came to help him with a truck and canoe. They ran, they drove, they paddled in the dark against heavy currents until the waters were calm enough for Dr. Kimmel then to get out and walk the final mile, a mile, through waist high water to the hospital and then do the surgery.
It's an incredible story. While Dr. Kimmel was at the hospital, in the meantime his family, his house flooded. His family had to be rescued from rising floodwaters in their home.
[19:45:03] BURNETT: Now, Dr. Stephen Kimmel and his patient, Jacob Terrazas, have an incredible story to tell and they are OUTFRONT.
And thank you both so very much. You both, of course, are safe tonight.
Dr. Kimmel, let me just start with you that story. After all of that, then trying to get to waist deep water to get there, tell us about that journey.
DR. STEPHEN KIMMEL, CANOED THROUGH FLOODWATER TO REACH PATIENT WHO NEEDED SURGERY: Well, I had a hard time getting there on my own. And the hospital was able to get a hold of the local volunteer fire department. So, Willy and Kevin knocked on my door and they said, we're going to run for a while, doc, so we ran through the flooded streets and it was pretty windy and rainy.
And then, as you said, we went by canoe and then by William's pick-up truck and by canoe again. And I felt that these guys knew what they were doing, so I didn't worry about myself at all the whole time. And we got there in pretty good time considering how we had to go.
BURNETT: And how long? Usually I know it takes you usually only, what,10 or 15 minutes to get to work. Took you a lot longer obviously.
KIMMEL: Yes, about 15 minutes. I'd say it took us probably about an hour, probably about an hour, all told.
BURNETT: And I know at that time, doctor, your own house was starting to flood. You obviously -- you didn't have any second thoughts. You, of course, went straight when you were called.
KIMMEL: Well, certainly, somebody had to take care of this young man and -- so, I thought, well, if I can do it I certainly should. He was on the way to our institution and I'm glad I was able to make it.
BURNETT: Jacob, I know you must feel so grateful to Dr. Kimmel. But you must have been afraid. I mean, you were facing an emergency. Were you scared?
JACOB TERRAZAS, PATIENT OF DOCTOR WHO CANOED THROUGH FLOODWATERS TO GET TO SURGERY: Yes. I was really scared.
BURNETT: And I know you didn't have an easy time getting to the hospital either, Jacob, with all the flood waters rising. Tell me how you got there.
TERRAZAS: Well, we were in the paramedic's truck and we were going down I guess the feeder and we were telling them -- well, they were telling us that they were -- like it was flooding and they were trying to make it.
But then I woke up and my mom was looking at me. She was saying that -- I saw the water and we had to get out and I was kind of lost, but tired. One of the paramedics carried me to the side of the highway.
And after that, we waited for a bit. It was raining. My mom and sisters, they were standing there wet, I was getting wet, cold. We were all cold.
And we waited for a truck to get here and we got in the truck and left the paramedics. And after that we went to the fire department, I think, and we -- we waited for big truck to get there and once the truck got there, we all went in there. And then we headed here.
And then I was happy. I was warm with the blankets. And after that I didn't really remember nothing.
BURNETT: Yes. I mean, Jacob, were you surprised that the doctor was there? I know you and your family must have had a worry that, as hard as it was for you to get there, it must have been just as hard for the doctor that was so crucial to you.
TERRAZAS: Yes. It was kind of weird because I got there and I didn't know who was the doctor because he got here. I thought he was just like some, I don't know, some dude. That's what my mom thought, too. And once he told me, I was like, oh, OK.
KIMMEL: I wasn't dressed like this.
BURNETT: Right. You had just come in yourself.
I mean, Dr. Kimmel, when -- you know, the context here. I mean, you left and then your home family had to be rescued from your home because the flood waters were coming up. I mean, did you know the storm was getting that dangerous for your family?
KIMMEL: No. And I think a lot of people were very surprised at just how quickly the water came up and in our city as well as in greater Houston. I don't think anybody really expected what we saw.
BURNETT: And, Jacob, I know you are obviously doing better. The doctor helped you. This was a crucial surgery and you're doing better. Since you are with him tonight, do you have anything you want to say to him?
TERRAZAS: Yes. I'm thankful and I'm really relieved from the pain. I feel way much better.
[19:50:00] BURNETT: Dr. Kimmel, that's got to be -- that's why you do what you do.
KIMMEL: Absolutely. You know, it's really a privilege to be able to take care of pediatric surgical patients and, you know, it's a very fulfilling day I have every day. It's great to take care of kids and see them get better.
BURNETT: Well, seeing doctors like you I think is inspiring and heart warming to all of us. Your family, Dr. Kimmel, and your home, has the water receded at all? How was your family?
KIMMEL: My family is fine. Thanks to the Coast Guard, they got out safely. Since then, the water has receded and they've been back to the house. It's salvageable, and we'll get it fixed up. It's certainly not the most important thing. I was just happy to see them.
BURNETT: I'm sure you were and, of course, for what you did for Jacob is incredible. Thank you both so very much. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us.
KIMMEL: Thank you.
BURNETT: And a good story, a heroic story.
Next, Trump saying one thing about North Korea, Secretary Mattis another. Whom should we believe? We're live from Pyongyang.
[19:55:01] BURNETT: Breaking news: mixed messages from the Trump administration on North Korea. The White House warning there could be military action after the country's latest military tests.
This is after President Trump tweeted and I quote: The U.S. has been talking to North Korea and paying them extortion money for 25 years. Talking is not the answer -- which of course, is an incredible threat.
Defense Secretary Mattis, though, says there is always time to talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: The president this morning tweeted that talking isn't the answer. Are we out of diplomatic solutions for North Korea?
JAMES MATTIS, DEFENSE SECRETARY: No, we're never out of diplomatic solutions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Never out of diplomatic solutions. Well, Will Ripley is there in Pyongyang tonight.
And, Will, how is North Korea responding, right? You have a secretary of defense of the United States saying really the opposite of what the president of the United States is saying.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's still early morning here in Pyongyang, Erin. And so, no official response yet. But we need to watch closely to see what Kim Jong-un does in response to President Trump's latest tweet.
But I can tell you, the language that he's using is almost identical in many ways to the language we've been hearing on the ground here in North Korea, from officials to people on the streets saying the time for talk is over, and it's time for action. And North Korea took action with this latest missile launch.
They released video of it going up, an intermediate range missile. In their news release, they said that, in fact, this is just a prelude of more military action to come, action aimed at the U.S. territory of Guam. And, in fact, Kim Jong-un is promising, Erin, to fire more missiles towards the Pacific.
BURNETT: Obviously, he's promising to do that. He said -- obviously, the missile that they tested towards Japan could have struck Guam. The United States has now tested a missile defense system. Obviously, there have been a lot of failures in that system. Last night, it worked. It shot down a ballistic missile in a test.
Does this deter North Korea at all?
RIPLEY: I don't think it does, Erin. There was no mention on the North Korean news bulletin yesterday. We had a chance to go down just a couple of hundred meters to the central train station. We were with North Koreans as they watched the news of their government's announcement, 24 hours late, by the way, of the missile launch. And they talked all about the glorious achievements of their leader. It didn't mention the fact that the United States had a successful missile interception test.
But from the North Korean perspective, they have been able to get away with these launches, a very bold and provocative launches without military intervention from the United States. And so seeing -- they know that the U.S. has the capability. There are missile defense systems in place in Japan and they were not used on this latest launch. So I think the North Koreans will continue to push forward here.
BURNETT: It certainly seems that way.
All right. Thank you very much. Live from Pyongyang, Will Ripley, again.
And we'll be right back.
BURNETT: And thanks to all of you for joining us tonight. Our breaking news coverage of hurricane Harvey continues now with "AC360."