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Tropical Storm Harvey`s Impact Widens Beyond Texas; More U.S. Retail Stores Announce Closings; CNN Hero Works to Help Children in Homeless Shelters
Aired August 29, 2017 - 04:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10, a cost-free online show that explains the news.
First today, an update for you on the situation in the U.S. state of Texas, following a powerful hurricane that has flooded much of its southeastern gulf coast. Texas Governor Greg Abbott says officials have just started responding to the storm. Though rainfall is usually measured in inches, several parts of the state are reporting it in feet.
The sheriff`s office in Harris County where the city of Houston is wants people who need to be rescued to hang towels or sheets from doors and windows so they can be spotted. Addresses are hard to find in all the water. Thousands of people have been rescued.
Civilians are volunteering time and boats to help officials get folks to safety. Rescuers say in some cases, panic-stricken people are rushing rescue boats as the waters continue to rise. The U.S. government estimates that Tropical Storm Harvey will drive 30,000 people to shelters and more rain is expected.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: When you think of the word hurricane, you think of the wind. It`s how we categorize a hurricane, cat one, cat two, cat three. Look at this terrible category four hurricane damage. That`s what we talk about.
But believe it or not, only 8 percent of all the fatalities in the U.S. over the past 50 years have been directly from wind.
More people are killed by water, either salt water flooding because of surge like Katrina, or fresh water flooding because of flash flooding, inland flooding like hurricane Matthew.
SUBTITLE: Many flash flood fatalities are preventable. Experts recommend moving to higher ground and avoiding walking or driving through water.
AZUZ: At least seven people have been killed by the storm. For ideas on how to help, by donating things like money, blood or clothing,
CNN.com/impact outlines ways to impact your world.
Harvey has prompted flood watches and warnings, as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana. U.S. President Donald Trump who plans to visit Texas on Tuesday has approved federal assistance for Louisiana as well. The effects of all this could be felt throughout the eastern seaboard.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Rain and flooding inundating the heart of America`s oil industry. A third of America`s oil refineries are on the Texas coast. Harvey forced oil rig evacuations and 10 key refineries to shut down. One of those refineries, ExxonMobil`s Bay Town refinery, the second largest in the country, this idles about 2.2 million barrels of oil per day offline.
Now, the disruption means higher gas prices. U.S. gasoline futures spiked 7 percent to a two-year high overnight. Expect prices at the pump to rise 5 cents to 15 cents over the next week, especially in the South, the Southeast, and the Mid-Atlantic. Higher gas prices are just one of the potential costs of Harvey. The storm also threatens the economy in Texas. The state`s unemployment rate just begun to fall after spiking last year in that collapse in oil prices and oil jobs.
Extended oil closures could hurt the state`s progress, so could rebuilding. Early estimates of property damage put a $40 billion price tag on Harvey, $20 billion worth in just Houston. It`s one of the most densely populated areas in the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:
Which of these retail stores was founded first?
The Limited, Wet Seal, Rue 21, or Payless?
You got to go back to 1956 to get to the first Payless shoe store, making that retailer the oldest on this list.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: But there`s something all those companies have in common. They`ve been closing stores nationwide.
In 2017, more than 300 retailers have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That doesn`t necessarily mean they`ll go out of business. Some will be able to stay open while they reorganize and come up with a new plan to pay their debt.
But the Limited no longer has any stores. In January, it closed the 250 that were left.
Wet Seal wasn`t able to turn its business around and closed its 171 stores in February.
RadioShack is another casualty. It`s been around since the 1920s, but it shut down most of its remaining locations in March.
Payless announced closures the very next month. That company closed more than 500 of its stores, though it still has thousands open.
And in May, Rue 21 said it would close a third of its stores.
So, why is all this happening? These retailers have the same problem, consumers aren`t shopping enough at traditional retail locations. They`re doing more and more of their shopping online.
And this change isn`t just affecting fashion or specialty companies. It`s hitting department stores, Macy`s, Kohl`s, JCPenney had been hurt, as competition increases from companies like Amazon and Walmart, which stepped up its online offerings over the past year.
Sears Holding said earlier this year that it`s not sure it can stay in business and this month, Sears announced plans to close 28 additional Kmart stores in the days ahead. That`s in addition to the 180 Sears and Kmart locations that have already closed in 2017.
But while things may look down for Sears, it`s definitely not out. Its leaders are still trying to turn things around. They`ve been selling or licensing their famous brands like Craftsman and Kenmore, and announcing plans to sell some products on Amazon.
Sears has been spinning off or creating independent companies from divisions like Lands` End. And Sears has less long term debt and more cash on hand than it did in January. Those are two hopeful signs for the historic American company.
According to the U.S. government, there are more than 100,000 children in America who lived in homeless shelters. When a teacher named Jennifer Cox started volunteering at one, she says she saw that the services they provided were mostly geared to adults and that kids weren`t really getting much chance to be kids. So, she started a non-profit group that`s helped more than a thousand kids living around Baltimore, Maryland.
And today, she`s a CNN hero.
SUBTITLE: More than 100,000 children in the U.S. live in homeless shelters.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: My family`s space is right here and those two beds right there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess we`ll make some grass.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: I live here with my mom, my two brothers and my sister.
The hardest part about living in the shelters, I get no privacy. I have a hard time falling asleep because everybody is too loud.
JENNIFER COX, CNN HERO: I`ve been a teacher for many years and I`ve noticed that some of my students live in homeless shelters.
How are you?
A lot of these kids are in survival mode and they don`t feel they`re deserving or worthy of being successful. It broke my heart.
So, I started a program that brings health and wellness activities and fitness education to children living in homeless shelters.
Shelter life is geared for programs and case management for adults. So, we wanted to be there to bring something to the kids.
Everything we`re doing today is for whom? You.
They are experiencing their stressful, turbulence situations and our goal is to make it better and more manageable for them.
I love that. That`s great. Good job.
We also provide weekly donation of healthy food and other necessities for the children.
Which one is your favorite? The marshmallow?
The biggest element that is missing from these kids` lives is a positive sense of self.
Why is it important to share?
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: It`s like you`ve shown them that you really care about them.
COX: We`re striving to teach children how to develop confidence and skills that will leave them to succeed in life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take a deep breath, so feel really big like --
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: They taught me how to do meditation. It clears my mind and relaxes my body and it gives away my anger or stress that`s happening over there.
COX: We show the children that they are worthy. They can be powerful as individuals and the path that they choose to take (INAUDIBLE) for
AZUZ: There`s bad coffee, good coffee, expensive coffee and at this cafe in South Korea, there`s artistic coffee. For a little less than seven bucks, Lee Kang-bin can turn a cup of joe into a coffee of a famous artwork. He calls it cream art and says he studied coffee more than he studied drawing. He only works with cold coffee because he says doing this week with a hot cup can cause the flavor to change. It takes him about an hour for his most intricate creations.
Now, some might say that`s a latte time, that waiting on that could mocha them cafe-o-late. But this artist keeps his cup (ph) tune up, after all, he`s making macchiarto and brewing up an incredible way to expresso himself.
I`m Carl Azuz, serving up news and puns on CNN 10.