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South Korea Runs Simulated Strike on Nuke Site; Trump to End DACA; Harvey Heroes; Los Angeles under State of Emergency Due to Fire; China Strongly Condemns Nuke Test. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired September 4, 2017 - 00:00   ET



[00:00:06] CYRIL VANIER, CNN HOST: And ominous message from U.S. leadership after North Korea carries out its most powerful nuclear test to date.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children could soon be facing deportation from America.

VANIER: And the cleanup in Texas -- floodwaters recede after Harvey as authorize assess just how severe the damage is.

ALLEN: Thank you for joining us. We're coming to you, live from Atlanta.

I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: And I'm Cyril Vanier, live from the CNN NEWSROOM.

South Korea is responding to North Korea's claimed hydrogen bomb test with its own show of force. Seoul conducted a military exercise simulating a strike on the North Korean nuclear site. Reactions from the latest nuclear test have been coming in from around the world including an ominous message from U.S. President Donald Trump as he left church on Sunday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, will you attack North Korea?



ALLEN: "We'll see" was the response. The President also met with top officials at the White House. U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis briefed reporters and said the U.S. had many options to deal with North Korea.


JAMES MATTIS, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. We had a small group, national security meeting today with the President and the Vice President about the latest provocation on the Korean Peninsula.

We have many military options and the President wanted to be briefed on each one of them. We made clear that we have the ability to defend ourselves and our allies, South Korea and Japan from any attack. And our commitments among the allies are ironclad.

Any threat to the United States or its territories including Guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming.

Kim Jong-Un should take heed the United Nations Security Council's unified voice. All members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses and they remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula because we are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea. But as I said, we have many options to do so.

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.



ALLEN: Let's talk about these developments with CNN's Ian Lee, he's in Seoul, South Korea for us; and CNN military analyst, retired U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona. He's in Fort Orford, Oregon

Rick -- let's begin with you. We just heard Mr. Mattis saying there we have many options and there could be a massive military response. Certainly no talk of opening any diplomatic channels from this White House after what North Korea's saying it's done.

Still talk of preventive war. What would that look like? What's Mattis talking about.

LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I think what Mattis is telling is telling the North Koreans that there is a threat matrix that we're looking at. And where we are in that threat matrix we don't really know.

And he's talking about if North Korea poses an unacceptable threat to the United States then there will be a massive military action.

I didn't take this as too much of a threat of military action to North Korea. I think he's just putting them on notice that if they do something stupid, we have the ability and the will to act.

Now what defines a threat -- that he didn't tell us. You know, there are different threat levels in all -- you know, throughout the military and different units or different threat levels. So, I didn't take this to be as ominous as many people are making it out to be.

ALLEN: All right. With the latest tests it seems North Korea has no intention of stopping its nuclear goals. This brings the world to a dangerous place. What do you glean from this latest test from North Korea? FRANCONA: Well, I think now that the North Koreans have demonstrated a capability if they're not there yet, they're very close. I think everybody -- anybody that looked at this from an analytical point of view realizes that the North Koreans are going to achieve their goal.

This has been their stated goal. This has been the goal they've been working to for years. They've devoted a great portion of their GDP to acquire this capability. They believe it is what's going to guarantee the survival of the regime. It gives them a deterrence against the United States which they believe to be their primary threat.

So now we have to judge the capabilities and the intentions of the North Koreans. We're fast learning their capabilities. Boy, that intention part is really, really going to be difficult.

ALLEN: Right because, you know, Mattis saying -- stating that there would be a massive military response if the U.S. felt threatened. The question is when will the U.S. feel threatened? What might happen?

[00:05:00] And some analysts were saying when we were all here 24 hours ago that one misstep, one blunder could lead to something, you know, that could really be tragic.

FRANCONA: Yes. And of course, the onus now is on Kim Jong-Un. I think everybody realizes that the United States is not going to launch a preventative war. And I think we're beginning to realize that the United States is going to have to live with a nuclear-armed Korea at some point. And how do we do that.

And I think today was the first step by telling them that we're going to put you in the same category as the Russians. Except we're going to contain you and if you decide to start a war with us -- we're not looking at mutually-assured destruction, we're looking at the destruction of North Korea.

ALLEN: Rick Francona for us from Oregon. Thanks, as always -- Rick.

Now over to Cyril.

VANIER: Ian Lee is in Seoul, South Korea. Iran -- run us through the South Korean response. We saw -- we showed the pictures earlier of their military show of force. And also tell us whether you think the South Korean approach to North Korea might change after this latest nuclear test.

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, South Koreans have come out hard, Cyril against this latest nuclear test by North Korea. And then earlier this morning, we saw what part of that is going to look like. There were these tests that were carried out.

First you had this ballistic missile test which could hit the Pung Ri region which is where that nuclear test yesterday took place. It's in the northeastern part of North Korea. They also tested F-15 air to surface missiles, long-range missiles demonstrating that they could go after North Korea's nuclear infrastructure. But Cyril -- it really is a two-pronged approach here. They are talking tough saying that they want to have more military exercises, closer cooperation with the United States. But on the other side, they're saying they need to really rally the international community to their cause to put more pressure diplomatically and economically to isolate North Korea.

VANIER: So look, Ian -- South Koreans themselves, they're used to living in this context. Has this latest nuclear test rattle them or are they taking it in their stride?

LEE: I think when you initially hear the news and especially yesterday, we had two big developments. First you had North Korea saying that they can put a nuclear weapon on top of an intercontinental ballistic missile and then just hours later you had a nuclear test which according to North Korea was one of those hydrogen bombs that they would put on an ICBM.

And we know that North Korean missiles can reach anywhere in this region and the United States. So when you can't have that initial news, I think it makes people uneasy.

But South Koreans have been dealing with North Korean threats for years. They know the North Korean regime. So while you do have these big headlines, for them, you know, looking outside talking to people, it's business as usual. They know this regime and they don't think that the North Korean regime is dumb enough really to start a war which would eventually lead to the collapse of the North Korean regime.

So they believe that the North Koreans are more interested in sustaining what they have but the real wild card for Koreans here is the Trump administration. They don't know what President Trump is going to do.

And that, that is the point that makes them uneasy. They know the North Koreans. They don't know President Trump.

VANIER: Ian Lee reporting live from Seoul, South Korea. Thank you very much. We appreciate your analysis. Thanks.

ALLEN: We'll have more on North Korea in just a moment but first on another topic. We want to bring you some breaking news.

CNN has learned that President Trump is expected to end an Obama era program that allows hundreds of thousands of people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children to study and the work in the country without fear of deportation.

VANIER: And sources tell CNN the administration will give Congress six months to come up with legislation to allow the undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S.

Mr. Trump's decision won't be final, however, until it's announced and that's expected on Tuesday. We want to stress that. Now the program is known as DACA -- that's short hand for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. These people were also known that -- those you may have heard referred to as dreamers.

To qualify, they must have arrived in the U.S. before turning 16 and be under age 31 as of June 15, 2012. They also must have no felony convictions.

ALLEN: A study estimates there are nearly 800,000 participants in DACA. Losing it could cause employers $2 billion. GDP might take a hit of $280 billion over the course of 10 years.

VANIER: Joining me now is CNN political analyst and presidential historian at Princeton University -- Julian Zelizer.

Julian -- so how do you read this news? Do you read this as the end of DACA or a way to force Congress to find a solution to it?

[00:10:03] JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think President Trump has been very hostile to DACA in the campaign, in the early months of his presidency. Many members of the Republican caucus in the House has been dead-set against this program.

So I don't think President Trump is looking for this to be fixed or restored. I think this is a program that President Trump is happy to see go away and it's a way to really appeal to some of his core supporters who have seen his anti-immigration stance as a defining part of his presidency.

VANIER: But he does seem, based on the public signals and his own words on this, he does seem conflicted about this. The President reportedly wants to act with heart. He says, "We love dreamers, we love everybody".

His press secretary has echoed those thoughts saying the President loves people, which is a slightly strange quote but that's what she said just a few days ago.

So what's the psychology of Mr. Trump on this issue?

ZELIZER: I think it's hard to see those words as credible. I think for many Americans certainly who are watching those kinds of statements, they see a president who might now want to appear as harsh and some think that he is trying to soften his image.

But he's been really consistent when he talks about public policy. He opened his presidential campaign talking about immigrants and the threat they posed. He has never been open to any kind of immigration reform.

And DACA which is a pretty popular program has been in both parties is not something that he had to move forward in terms of eliminating. So I don't think the words of kindness and the words of sympathy carry much weight given the record that he has put forth.

VANIER: Is Mr. Trump acting under duress here? A number of states have set an ultimatum for the President to respond by September 5th on his immigration policy and specifically on the DACA program, or else they would challenge it in the courts.

ZELIZER: He's acting under duress but he's also acting willingly. I think this is a deadline he is happy to have. And it's created a circumstance for him to move forward with something he and his advisers understand is controversial. So I don't think he's unhappy about how this all unfolded.

VANIER: How is Congress likely to react to this? How is Speaker Paul Ryan himself just a few days ago said this is something I don't think a President should do, referring to possibly sunsetting DACA?

ZELIZER: Well, that's the most interesting part of this. You've heard more Republican voices opposing this in the past few months. And they are going to be under some pressure to respond, to try to restore that program in some fashion that is going to be viable.

But let's remember a lot of the Republican Party is not where Speaker Ryan is in these final statements. A lot of House caucus is pleased with President Trump's decision and have no interest in trying to restore this program.

So I think Ryan will not only find opposition from the President, they'll find opposition from many key members of his own caucus in what's called the Freedom Caucus.

VANIER: Look what's the likely impact on immigration towards coming in to the United States, especially for international viewers who are wondering how -- you know, how the U.S. -- a powerful country like the U.S. tries to regulate immigration.

ZELIZER: I think it's significant. You've heard a lot of opposition from the business community and from educational institutions. There are many people under this program who are pretty vital to our educational systems, our work force.

And so this will have a significant effect and that's why there's so much opposition. That's why there's a lot of Republicans who have said no to President Trump and then this sends a broader signal that if this program can survive, we're going to shift again away from any semblance of a liberal solution to immigration reform and more toward the hard line that President Trump has been promising since his campaign began.

VANIER: And just to be clear, ending DACA can just be done with a stroke of a pen, right? Because it was -- itself was created by the stroke of a pen?

ZELIZER: That is the vulnerability of all executive actions. Anything done through the executive rather than legislative branch is vulnerable in that way and that's why Presidents always prefer legislation. When they can't get it, they go through another route.

VANIER: Julian Zelizer, CNN political analyst -- thank you very much.

ZELIZER: Thanks you.

VANIER: And later this hour we will talk with a dreamer and get her reaction to this news. She came to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of three. And now she's in college and wondering what her future will be. She'll be joining us shortly.

ALLEN: We return to the North Korea story next -- what the U.S. President signals he might do to China after North Korea's claimed nuclear test.

We'll have a live report for you.

[00:15:01] VANIER: And China, the North's staunchest ally and trading partner also strongly condemning the test. More reaction and a live report after the break.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: On tap -- weather. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri for Weather Watch here.

And dry conditions finally beginning to persist across much of the state of Texas -- good news across this region while excessive heat build on the western United States into parts of British Columbia.

Of course, what is left of Harvey exiting off the Eastern United States coastline, but a lot of attention now looking back out towards the Atlantic Ocean, one area of disturbed weather near Africa but of course, Hurricane Irma sitting out there across portions of the central Atlantic Ocean at this hour.

So here's what we're watching. Sixty percent this will become Jose (ph), still ways out but Irma certainly in full force there, a Category 4 storm to some and models in very good agreement on a beeline here towards areas around the Turks and Caicos Island by the middle to the latter portion of this week, the Bahamas eventually.

Beyond that it gets a little gray as far as where we think the storm system will head. Of course, we want to see this begin to veer and pull away from the United States as it approaches a tremendous population across the eastern United States.

But the models do want to trend this slightly farther towards the south towards the latter portion of this week. If that is the case, of course, this storm system could go through the Florida Strait and eventually make its way into the Gulf of Mexico.

So we'll follow that over the next several days. And again the tracks, the persistence of the strength of this storm, do not look to be changing in any way -- in a significant way at least in the last several days.

If you have any photos, please share it with us using #CNNWeather.


ALLEN: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM.

U.S. President Trump isn't just considering military response to North Korea.

VANIER: On Twitter he signaled a trade war could be in the works and he called out China for its ties to Pyongyang.

For more on this here's Athena Jones in Washington.


This latest nuclear test by North Korea is prompting stern responses from the President and his national security team. The President convened that team here at the White House earlier on Sunday to discuss the situation and the U.S.' military options.

He also sent out a series of tweets starting early on Sunday warning, blasting North Korea saying their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States. And saying the country has become quote, "a great threat and embarrassment to China" which is trying to help but with little success.

And speaking of China the President also tweeted at one point on Sunday about a potential economic retaliation for this latest test writing, "The United States is considering, in addition to other options stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea."

[00:20:08] One potential problem with that approach is that North Korea's main patron and trading partner is China. China accounts for some 90 percent of North Korea's trade, but China is also one of the U.S.' biggest trading partners and cutting off that relationship would have huge ramifications.

So that is a very intense threat there.

The White House also put out a read out of the President's latest call with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In that call the two leaders condemned North Korea's continued destabilizing and provocative actions. The leaders confirmed their ironclad mutual defense commitment.

And statement says that President Trump reaffirmed the U.S.' commitment to quote, "defending our homeland, territories and allies using the full range of diplomatic, conventional, and nuclear capabilities at our disposal.

So a strong statement from the White House there. The goal of all of this, of course is to further isolate North Korea to try to pressure them to end their nuclear ambitions.

But so far, nothing has worked. Tough talk hasn't worked. Economic sanctions haven't worked. We could hear more about both of those at this emergency meeting of the United Nation's Security Council convening on Monday. We'll be watching to see what comes out of that meeting. Back to you.

VANIER: And in the Chinese city of Xiamen, President Xi Jinping has opened an annual meeting of the BRICS countries attended by leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

ALLEN: All eyes will be on Mr. Xi as Russian President Vladimir Putin -- and the Russian President and see how they might further respond to the latest developments in North Korea. So far both of their countries have condemned the nuclear test.

VANIER: So let's bring in Andrew Stevens who's at the BRICS summit in Xiamen.

Andrew -- North Korea poses a unique challenge to China. We know that. It gets support from Beijing, yes but it also defies Beijing often.

So run us through the Chinese response to this latest nuclear test.

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, China's response, Cyril, has been quite predictable. It strongly condemns that move by North Korea to test a nuclear weapon and it is warning against any type (ph) of what it describes as wrong actions by North Korea.

But it hasn't gone beyond that. It hasn't given any indication that it's going to change its policy towards North Korea at this stage.

What China does say and has said now for months is that it is abiding by all U.N. sanctions which had been imposed on North Korea. It is cutting back on imports and exports to North Korea. And it continues to do that in good faith. It is not taking any further (inaudible).

But it's interesting because some commentary from academia which has been quoted in the "South China Morning Post" which is actually a Hong Kong based newspaper but academics quoted on mainland China are saying that maybe the time has come for China to actually a little bit more.

One preferred to describe North Korea's move as fake provocation and that it was time China stepped up its game meaning it should now be looking at cutting back on oil supplies.

And oil is a critical part of the equation. China supplies virtually all of North Korea's oil. At the moment it has not pressed or turned the spigot off on oil.

Cyril -- it fears that it could result in massive (inaudible) stabilization of the North Korean state and could result in millions of refugees on China's border. We have been talking about this and China's been talking about this for a long time.

But others say what's happening at the moment is not working. China says it's lock step with the international community. President Xi speaking here as you said once again this morning did not mention North Korea by name but did say it was up to the international community to speak with one voice. They've got the U.N. Secretary Council meeting this Monday and China is saying that it will abide by U.N. resolutions.

VANIER: Andrew -- what about this? In a tweet, the U.S. President threatened to stop trade with countries who do business with North Korea. It's pretty transparent that that is aimed at China.

So stopping trade with China because it has failed to clamp down on North Korea -- is this realistic? We're talking about hundreds of billions of dollars.

STEVENS: I think those very number say that it is not realistic -- Cyril. If Trump took that measure, there would be a huge blowback on the U.S. itself. I mean the U.S. exports some $120 billion worth of products to China. What are you going to tell a U.S. soy bean farmer, a U.S. cotton farmer? A plane maker, et cetera, et cetera.

[00:24:58] It's the $600 million -- $600 billion trading partnership between these two. It would have ramifications right around the world. It would lead to a global recession. It would hurt the U.S. badly as well.

One quote which is floating around was that this tweet wasn't even in the realm of the plausible, just to give you an idea. So it's been pretty broadly dismissed. But it does raise the question what is Donald Trump trying to say? Is there a message inside this? At this stage it's just being basically dismissed -- Cyril.

VANIER: Andrew Stevens -- reporting live from Xiamen, China where the BRICS summit is being held. Thank you very much.

ALLEN: Speaking of President Trump he may be about to make one of the most controversial announcements of his term so far. Sources tell CNN he's expected to end the program that allows hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants to work in the U.S.

We'll have more about that as we push (ph) on here.

VANIER: And the floodwaters are receding in parts of Texas but the toxic threats are seeping to the surface. We'll find out what is in the water.

Stay with us.


VANIER: Hey, everyone. Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier.

ALLEN: And I'm Natalie Allen.



CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: An estimated 800,000 young people are protected from deportation under the DACA program. Let's talk to one of them.

Dulce Guerrero came to the U.S. from Mexico at age 3. She is now 24. She's now a university student in Delaware. She studies public policy there.

Thank you for joining us, Dulce.

What is your reaction?

DULCE GUERRERO, UNIVERSITY STUDENT: Thank you for having me. I think it's a very disappointing time in America right now with President Trump threatening to end DACA.

This is in a place 800,000 youth, that's obviously being at risk of deportation. So I think that's a very urgent matter.

VANIER: Tell me about you.

What do you think is going to happen to you?

GUERRERO: As of now were not exactly sure what's going to happen. We're definitely hoping that we have positive results on Tuesday. But if it doesn't happen then we know that we're going to at risk of deportation.

We're not going to be able to drive legally. We're not going to be able to work legally in the United States. So it's going to be a very difficult time for many students in my situation.

VANIER: So in your particular case, you have -- currently you have a student permit?

GUERRERO: Correct. It's a work permit that allows us to stay in the United States legally for a period of two years. We're able to drive legally and we're able to work legally in the United States.

VANIER: When does yours end?

GUERRERO: Mine actually recently got approved this August. So I have two years left.

VANIER: So that means that if this does go through, if the DACA program is sunset -- that is the word that is being used -- if it's gotten rid of, your thinking that in about two years' time you won't be able to renew your permit, is that correct?

GUERRERO: Correct. If President Trump decides to end the program, then I would not be able to renew in two years.

VANIER: You mean you wouldn't be able to stay in the U.S.?

GUERRERO: Correct. I wouldn't be able to drive legally. I wouldn't be able to work legally and I would be at risk of deportation.

VANIER: Have you been able to speak to your university, the University of Delaware, about this? GUERRERO: Yes. The University of Delaware is aware about what is going on and they've been supporting us every step of the way.

VANIER: What about your parents?

GUERRERO: My parents are definitely worried. They understand that it's politics and that it's very uncertain right now but they are hoping that we have positive results on Tuesday regarding DACA.

VANIER: What about you?

Do you understand that it's politics?

GUERRERO: Of course, (INAUDIBLE) it's politics but I also understand that the DREAM Act that has been in Congress 17 years definitely needs to pass. It's long overdue and because we don't have the DREAM Act, we're stuck in a situation that we're at now, where we could be placed in deportation proceedings.

VANIER: What would you to say to Americans who would support Mr. Trump policy on immigration and who would support the argument that people who came to the United States without the proper documentation, well, simply do not have the right to stay there?

What's your response to that?

GUERRERO: Right. A lot of these students, like myself, we come here as young children. We've been to school here. We've graduated. We're simply giving back to the community. We're giving back to the economy.

A lot of the people who were able to obtain DACA were able to build credit and buy their first home. They were able to contribute to the economy. They were able to pay taxes and do a lot of big things that they weren't able to do before.

And a lot of these people were able to buy their first car. So I think that we're contributing a lot to the economy and, therefore, that program should stay in order to continue helping (INAUDIBLE).

VANIER: Two questions in one here, do you even remember, do you have any memories of the country came from?

Do you have any memories of Mexico, number one?

And, number two, what is your dream?

What do you want to do in the U.S.?

GUERRERO: Right. I have very vague memories of Mexico. I was 3 years old when I came here. But I do remember just very small things, like my grandma's house and things like that.

And then the second question was what I want to do here. I want to finish my school year at Delaware State University and I want to go on to law school and become an immigration attorney. VANIER: dulce Guerrero, thank you very much for your time. Thanks for speaking to CNN.

GUERRERO: Thank you.

ALLEN: U.S. lawmakers are responding to the reports that President Trump plans to end DACA with a six-month delay for Congress to pass some form of replacement.

U.S. Democratic Congressman Jimmy Panetta (ph) tweeted, "Congress Republicans and Democrats must act immediately to protect DREAMers, young men and women who contribute to our communities and our country."

VANIER: Independent senator Bernie Sanders tweeted, "If Trump decides to end DACA it will be one of the ugliest and cruelest decisions ever made by a president in our modern history."



VANIER: All right. Let's bring you the very latest on what's happening in Texas and Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. At least 13 toxic waste sites in Texas have been flooded or damaged by Hurricane Harvey. The Environmental Protection Agency here, the EPA, says it hasn't been able to safely access the sites but it will as soon as floodwaters recede.

Some of the sites may have leaked petrochemicals, acids, solvents and pesticide into the floodwaters.

ALLEN: Meantime, Houston's mayor says his city is 95 percent dry and mostly operational. Many businesses are expected to open on Tuesday. The storm killed at least 53 people. It caused more than $100 billion in damage.


GREG ABBOTT, GOVERNOR OF TEXAS: The population size and the geographic size is far larger than Katrina and I think Sandy combined. We have over 5 million people who are affected by this. It's not just the flooding in Houston. It's the hurricane swath all the way from Corpus Christi over to Beaumont.

And so it is going to require even more than what was funded for Katrina, which was about $120 billion.


VANIER: People throughout Southeast Texas are returning to their homes to see the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. One woman in Houston got a welcome surprise amid all the devastation and CNN's Rosa Flores was there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Authorities say that they conducted more than 36,000 rescues. Now that doesn't include good Samaritans helping others. We caught up with one woman, who was rescued by her neighbor and our cameras were rolling when she reunited with her rescuer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a house right across the street. Those are the people who came and got me our of the water.

My son couldn't come get me. And they don't even know how to speak English. But they came and got me. And I want to thank them because I called for help and they couldn't get to me. But they're young men.

He said, "Don't worry, Mami, I got you."

And he don't even now me, don't even know my name. I don't even know his name. He pushed me on the walker from here all the way to Lay Road (ph), five block in the water, way up to his neck here and on my neck at the same time.

This is my hero right here.



Thank you so much because you didn't have to do it. But you did. I appreciate you so much.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And when they -- when I fell in the water, his baby say, "Oh, I'm so sorry."

She 4 years old.

"Mami, we didn't want to hurt you."

So I want to thank them for looking out for me. And they took me -- brought me to my pastor house. That's the only way I was able to get out this water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Spanish).

FLORES: He says that everyone is family. It doesn't matter what race you are. He says that everyone is family.

Take a look at these pictures. This is what that neighborhood looked like during this storm. Now we should also add that Javier Ramirez (ph) was also trying to take his pregnant wife and three daughters to safety -- Rosa Flores, CNN, Houston.


ALLEN: A lot of stories like that on. It's good to see it, isn't it?

Evacuation orders may have been lifted but firefighters are still battling the largest fire in Los Angeles has ever seen. We'll have the latest on it coming up here.





VANIER: The governor of California has issued a state of emergency for the Los Angeles area due to an ongoing brushfire. The La Tuna blaze is now the largest fire the city has ever seen, consuming more than 2,300 hectares.

ALLEN: Officials say the fire is only 25 percent contained. More than 1,000 firefighters are trying to knock this one down. The fire started Friday. It spread quickly because of hot temperatures and high winds.

Right there in Burbank, California. Let's get the latest on the fire conditions. Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now with that and more on perhaps another storm at sea.

Hello, Pedram.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, a lot going on, Natalie. This -- conditions across parts of California, really is impressive as it gets when take a look at what has been playing out here in the past couple of days of course.

And the gusty winds haven't helped, the extreme temperatures haven't helped. Anytime you talk about fires in the Los Angeles area, you've got to be dealing with mountains in this general region as well. Any sort of elevated terrain really exacerbates the firefighting efforts, as we seen in the past few years.

But here's what's going on across the western United States in particular. Over 130 active large wildfires but some 12,000 firefighters in the state of California. You heard a few hundred down there across Southern California but we're talking 12,000 certainly scattered about the state, much of it in the northern portion of the state.

In fact, about 100 firefighters were brought back from Houston after having been out there for the firefighting efforts, for the relief efforts of Harvey. They're being brought back to California for fire efforts there. So kind of put the perspective of what some of these folks are dealing with.


ALLEN: All right, Pedram, thank you very much. That will wrap this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: And I'm Cyril Vanier. "WORLD SPORT" is up next and we'll be back at the top of the hour with more news from around the world. Stay with CNN.