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Wildfires Spread in Pacific Northwest; Massive Hurricane Churns in the Caribbean; Interview with Survivors Along Hurricane Harvey`s Deadly Path
Aired September 7, 2017 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Wildfires and wild storms are two of today`s subjects on CNN 10. My name is Carl Azuz and we`re happy to have you watching.
The U.S. Pacific Northwest is in the midst of what`s called wildfire season. The dry, warm summer is coming in the region, make conditions right for fires to flare up and the breezes that blow parts of Oregon in particular can cause the flames to spread. But that`s only one of nine states in addition to part of Canada that have had areas scorched by recent wildfires. There are dozens of them.
And despite the fact that tens of thousands of firefighters and those supporting are trying to get a handle on all of this, some of the blazes, like Oregon`s Eagle Creek Fire were out of control as of last night. Police believe at least one teenager started the blaze by setting off fireworks in the area.
It spread quickly and merged with another fire to destroy at least 22,000 acres. You can think of that like 20,000 football fields. At one point, 153 hikers in the area got trapped between two fires. The National Guard airdropped them supplies to help them get through the night and they were rescued the next day.
But again, that`s just one example. These disasters are charring hundreds of thousands of acres from California to Montana and every state between.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:
One the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, what category denotes a story with wind speeds of 157 miles per hour or higher?
One, three, five, or six?
The highest category on the scale is five when a storm`s wind speeds reach 157 miles per hour.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: And category-five Hurricane Irma had wind speeds of 185 miles per hour when it roared over the British West Indies Island of Barbuda yesterday. Early reports say the Caribbean islands that have been hit had been heavily damaged. Forecasters warned people in the Virgin Islands in the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico that Irma could bring tons of rain and dangerous storm surges, ocean water driven ashore by an incoming hurricane.
U.S. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency across Florida where Irma could make landfall, but its path is still uncertain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: There goes the eye, there goes the center and where it turns, I`m afraid by, you know, 120 hours, no one truly knows.
But this is the big question. We all know where it`s going for a while, but then, all of a sudden, it has to turn north. Does it turn over the Bahamas and just destroy some of these islands here? Or does it turn over south Florida at 140 or 150 miles per hour, with millions and millions of people in that path?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Schools and state offices were closed around Miami. Evacuations were being made, in southeast Florida, in the Keys. The state`s governor, Rick Scott, said Irma was bigger, faster and stronger than Hurricane Andrew, which destroyed 49,000 homes when it hit Florida 25 years ago.
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: If you live in Homestead, Florida, in 1992, Andrew is the name you will never forget. Just like in 2005, if you live in New Orleans area, Katrina.
SUBTITLE: What`s in a Hurricane`s Name?
GRAY: The military started naming storms after their wives, their girlfriends, but none of these names were made public.
So, 1950, everything changed. Several storms formed out in the Atlantic about the same time, it created a lot of confusion. So, the U.S. Weather Bureau said, OK, let`s start naming storms.
And they actually started by using the World War II alphabet, Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy. But this created confusion as well, because every year, the storm names were the same.
It wasn`t until 1979 that we started alternating male and female names. We recycle that list every six years. In the Atlantic Basin, we use English, Spanish and French names.
No storms are named after a particular person. In fact, you can`t request a storm to be named after you. That entire process is handled by the World Meteorological Organization.
A storm name will be retired if it is too costly or deadly and it would be inappropriate to use it in future years. In fact, since 1950, there had been nearly 80 storm names retired.
And what happens if we go through all of the storm names? Well, it happened in 2005. We ended up going to the Greek alphabet.
So, that`s what`s in a name. It took a long time to get here, but just like each individual name, each storm tends to have its own personality.
AZUZ: As Florida and northern Caribbean brace for Hurricane Irma, people in southeast Texas took stock of what was left after Hurricane Harvey. In addition to the damage it cost to coastal areas, the slow moving storm brought a record amount of rainfall to parts of Texas, almost 52 inches in
some areas, more than any other storm to hit the continental U.S. Congressional lawmakers move forward on a plan to send an initial $7.9 billion in disaster relief, but the region will need much more.
ED ZIEGLER, PORT ARANSAS RESIDENT: I`ve already lost close to $2 million, but at least I`m alive.
SUBTITLE: What Hurricane Harvey left behind.
A week after Hurricane Harvey made landfall, CNN drove from Corpus Christi to four other cities to see the destruction it left behind.
ZIEGLER: My family had already gotten out of here, so I decided it`d be best to shelter in place here on the island and I was making watermarks along my wall, as the water rose up, and I figured I was just to going to have to write goodbye to my wife and kids at the top mark.
Take a look at this. This boat floated through and tried to go out the backdoor. Look at that.
The amount of response from the people is just incredible. And at first, I was totally broken without any hope at all. But now that I`ve seen the actions of people I know, my hope is restored.
PEGGY BOURG, HOLIDAY BEACH RESIDENT: A friend of mine took pictures of my house and sent them to me and I was very optimistic. I thought it`s going to be OK, it`s going to be OK. And then when I saw the picture, it was sad. It was so many different emotions you go through.
This was our living room right here. You could tell I had one recliner here. I had a green leather coach against this wall. We can`t find it.
I don`t think I can cry anymore. I`ve gone through a lot of emotions, a lot of anger, a lot of, you know, sadness. A lot of, you know, even envy.
You know, why did my house have not, why didn`t it make it? I`m a good person. You know? But anyway, it`s going to be OK.
Here`s the car that doesn`t belong to me.
So, we would sit out here every day. The docks have come around and I feed them bird seed. But we`ll be back.
LINDA WOODS, VICTORIA RESIDENT: I just moved in last year. Yes. Now, Harvey. So many homes spared, lives spared.
Neighbors helping neighbors. Community helping the people. Our town is wonderful. The city has been great.
SHANE SINGLETON, WHARTON RESIDENT: It was probably this whole street was flooded, you know, all the way almost past those barriers, and as you can see that car right there. You know, I have a ex-coworker who lives out there on the west side of Wharton, she called me and said, you know, I need you to bring a boat over here.
And then as time progress, I realized other people`s houses were going underwater and that, you know, I had to help them. So, I went around the neighborhood and saw who needed help. And one by one, I started taking people out, family by family.
You know, Wharton, we all come together in Texas. I mean, as soon as the call went out after that night, the next night I saw 15 boats coming to Wharton.
With any natural disasters, it`s going to be anger and sadness. But at the same time, there`s happiness. They may have lost everything, but they still have their family, and, you know, that`s all that counts. You can replace a house but you can`t replace your family.
AZUZ: Our last story this Thursday -- taxi! That`s what a German startup hopes this will be. The company calls it an electric jet. They say it could take off and land vertically, sit up to five people, travel as fast as 180 miles per hour, have no emissions and cut both commute times and taxi fares.
That`s if it actually gets off the ground. It could only fly an hour on its battery and it`s not clear if the FAA would allow this in city skies, which could be a taxiing approval to get.
Does this hail advancements in transportation? It could be a pretty cool cab-mute, soaring Uber the city on the way to work could give anyone a Lyft. But with a future so up on the air, you can see why skeptics would have a battery of questions, even if they thought it was pretty fly.
I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10, wishing you happy landings.