ABC News Live Update: Hurricane Sally closing in on the Gulf Coast

Plus, toxic smoke cloaks western states as casualties rise from the wildfires and President Trump makes his case to undecided voters in a town hall tonight in Philadelphia.
28:47 | 09/15/20

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Transcript for ABC News Live Update: Hurricane Sally closing in on the Gulf Coast
But we begin with the new hurricane threat taking aim at the Gulf Coast right now tropical storm Sallie is forecast to become a hurricane today. The governors of Louisiana and Mississippi have already declared a state of emergency. And right now looks like the storm is headed for New Orleans and Biloxi Mississippi some there are already being ordered to evacuate. ABC news senior meteorologist rob Marciano is in Biloxi with the latest from. Tropical storm Sally beauty and strength and any penalty call. The storm all ready for no. For the rain in the keys causing major street flooding Saturday when the wettest days the area's seen in fifteen years. Residents in Mississippi and Louisiana bracing for impact. As a storm is expected to slow down right before landfall and torture the region for several days it's better to be safe than sorry did you vessel house. In Biloxi Mississippi long lines of boats waiting to evacuate to safer waters both states. Have declared states of emergency mandatory evacuations ordered for low lying areas of Hancock county Mississippi and grand isle Louisiana. Everybody should take this seriously. Please understand that you should beach moving now. Acting now to give you and your family ready for this storm. This storm taking a similar path as Hurricane Katrina fifteen years ago New Orleans expected to take up to twenty inches of rain. A life threatening eleven foot storm surge the city's levees will be tested. I got a first hand look at that improved levee system just a few weeks ago. And then there's this wall new since Katrina just east of New Orleans this oddity banning gold surged. Out of this city it is huge 4060 hide and nearly two miles across. And although this storm is likely not to be as strong as Hurricane Katrina is taking a similar track which means that there's going to be a persistent east and northeast win. Pushing water up against that surge barrier over multiple tide cycles of this thing slows down so. The entire Levy system it's going to be tested for sure. Here in Biloxi we expect at least a nine foot circle for but the water up and over my head it will surround that lighthouse once again which during Hurricane Katrina fifteen years ago. Was surrounded by 28 feet of water and that's one of the few things that was left standing after that storm. Unbelievable memory I was here during that storm mud Diane we're certainly not hoping for another one of those what we're seeing a similar action as far as this season and we saw on. 2005. We are running through the album that quickly already on the as storm. And we're just about halfway through this sees. Diane. So many parts of that raising concerns rob Marciano in Biloxi Mississippi thanks rob. And storm surge is always a major concern for the lower and city of New Orleans chief meteorologist ginger zee is there now ginger good morning. Hey good morning today and there are some good is that we're gonna move to the tasting get to Mississippi because I do think that that's his gonna take the brunt of the surge. In the heavy rain which could top out. Around two feet so I wanna take you to the map now and just show you what we have and the timing of this a should become a hurricane tonight. It should make landfall tomorrow whether that clips the mouth of the Mississippi there in Louisiana which if that does by the way it would be the fourth. Tropical cyclone to make landfall in. Louisiana just this year. But and a one and it goes up the pass Christy and somewhere between there and Gulfport. Don't pay attention necessarily right for the line because remember that northeast side at the site is where all of this lopsided storm it really has the heaviest rain in the strongest winds. Busier gonna end up with some of the strongest surge. East of there now that's sad when you start to push water over a solo where amount of time. You could see seven to eleven feet a storm surge anywhere and that a hot pink area that includes the eastern side of New Orleans if you zoom and a little Lake Pontchartrain. Especially as rob was saying with that northeast wind when it turns back around that we will be on the west side of it. That would be concerning for a lot of folks because it's been a push that water back toward the Marlins now. There are lots of levied areas I think that they should hold with this amount a surge but of course we'll be watching. Going into the next 24 hours thank. And did you what is kind of surging mean for people in that area for the Gulf Coast for the next few hours what do you what do you expect. There's just south it's hard not understand that you have to think about it like this right now. These to me by about 200 miles in the center of the storm hundred that is a bubble of water that bubble of water moves toward land. And what's gonna happen here especially along the Gulf Coast it's very different than how we have set up San East Coast East Coast looks like this the continental shelf for that. Right off the beach kind of falls off like that Clinton should. That clay when you've got to bubble of water coming at chest. We'll act as a wall and kind of deflect some of it or of the sport some of it before it gets inland and it kind of meat should not panic mill as far inland whereas on the Gulf Coast since you're here in New Orleans or your somewhere near Mississippi and Alabama. You have a much less steeped. Writes it's not a cliff it's more of this gradual incline and allow that bubble of water up and over in into the land much further and that finally starts talk about. In Lindsay potential for storm surged by ten sometimes thirty miles and that's why it's such a dip. Different set up here along the Gulf Coast and I know that he's our drone camera we've got that up. People talk about New Orleans being a bull and they say why do you think catalyst city under water under sea level what they didn't and that's something that I was learning just yesterday Diane. It that this city. Once the mountainous it being very low of course but it's the way that humans that we manipulated in battled. On the Mississippi and move that river and took away land that absorbs it how to access speed bum salute kind of got ourselves but not such a great favor changing the delta. Nine and now we built up those levees in hoping to stave off some of that and I know that day as rob showed us improve them dramatically after Katrina zone. Lot of people hoping that those levees can withstand. This storm and many more going forward but also ginger Anne or Sally isn't the only storm that you're watching right now so I'll tell us a little bit about a hurricane Paula and I know the I there engulf all of Bermuda overnight so. What kind of damage are we seeing there and where's that storm heading next. The Atlantic cat five tropical storms right now five plus the mostly seen in nearly that. Fifty years and one of them Paul and bad hurricane made its way over Bermuda this satellite image is just. Frightening I mean to be able to zoom in and this morning and seen the island of Bermuda. Through the eye of the hurricane that's not great is once they get communications sure we're gonna see a lot more of images of the impacts there. Gooding is though is is that Paulette turns away from land Cella aside from some you know higher surf along the East Coast you will not see that. Making its way there we are just as rob had mentioned. Midway just passed trying to logical peak and that's what the Atlanta looks like he'll also have Teddy now which could impact Bermuda again. And then we're watching tropical depression 21 so we'll keep on all of the is I have a feeling I'll be. Not home a lot in the next couple early Diane. Keeping you busy year boys will miss you we miss you here to ginger but I know you're doing important work to warn people to take these storms seriously. And we've already seen how important those warnings are so thank you ginger. And protect your lungs to stay indoors that's the warning from officials at or again as deadly wildfires out west continue. To spread several cities in Oregon a reportedly recording the worst air quality levels in the world. Over three million acres have already burned just in California so far this year. And as of now thing show no sign of letting up we'll car is in Orville California with a closer look. This morning new evacuations are underway is historic fires in thick smoke continue to plague the West Coast. At least 25 people have been killed and dozens are still missing. Did or didn't Mary Joyner is fighting back tears telling us that are beloved 92 year old aunt violet may not have made it out. She kept calling me on my cell phone. No word yelling at me to come get her and I kept kind of killer I can't convince you in mind they were living in essence is get the hell out of there. And but the flames come set toxic smoke that's blanketed the West Coast smothering several major cities. Blocking out the sun and posing serious health risk for millions of people. And San Francisco residents are urged to stay inside the air quality in Portland the worst in the world the debate is over. Or on climate says it's just come to the state. Of California. Observe it with your own allies. California senator Jeff Merkley describing what he's seen in California to George Sunday on this week the Georgia it is apocalyptic guide girls 600 miles up and down the state had never escape the smoke. Firefighters on the front lines are dealing with their own losses. Our chief Christie on a Rambo blues losing everything in the holiday farm fire her home and her fire station. Paula casualty of the on forgiving flames. Cal fire captain late in dried and moved into his new home just under three weeks ago. The creek fire said his neighborhood a blaze and all that remains of his house now is this chimney. Star when swinging. From trees were just scorched. California the north complex fire has destroyed 2000 structure. Trees sunlight spaceships taken off for every tree you're. And it is. Makes you sick to some. With tears in his eyes Daylon Cameron probably describes always lived in this neighborhood for 58 years and is the property is now survived the nearby camp fire which killed eighty by people in 2018 and the latest fire. Many of his neighbors have not been as lucky it do you want to stay here. Well we're Monroe. Everything's gone no housing no nothing. Diane these have been brutal record setting fires one veteran fire chief tells me this has been the worst fire season that he has ever seen and we still have a long way to go. As for the smoke the best way I would describe this is a choking smoke it is toxic that's why I'm leaving my mascot. Hopefully though we're gonna get a reprieve in the weather in the coming days and some of the smoke. Should move out of the area. Diane those people on us firefighters sure could use that break well we appreciate it thanks. And there are new questions now about the role politics and and the role that it might be playing in reports on the corona virus. Political reports the CDC has allowed trump administration officials to review. And in a few cases change the language and reports to avoid undermining the president's more optimistic messaging. In a statement to ABC news Michael Caputo the Health Department spokesperson said to have pushed for those changes. Says it our intention is to make sure that evidence science based data drives policy through this pandemic. Not ulterior deep state motives in the bowels of the CDC. Meanwhile college campuses are struggling to deal with rising cases. Temple University is switching to online classes after confirming more than 300 covic nineteen cases on campus. Many students are now leaving their dorms and heading home. And AstraZeneca is re starting trials of the Oxford vaccine in the UK. Trials were halted globally after a patient. How to potential significant adverse have reaction to the vaccine. Here in the US the CEO of Pfizer also says his company has already started manufacturing its vaccine. Even know it is still in late stage trials. The CEO says it's a financial risk but this way if all goes well with those trials on the vaccine is approved. They'll be ready to start distributing it by the end of the year. And now to the urgent search for the shooter who ambushed two Los Angeles sheriff's deputies. The shooting at a train station Compton was caught on surveillance camera the video is disturbing to say the least. The officers are now out of surgery in the sheriff says the department is putting every available resource into finding the person responsible. Matt Gutman is in Los Angeles with the latest. This morning that massive manhunt for the gunman who. Who ambushed two Los Angeles sheriff's deputies walking up to their cruiser in unloading multiple rounds before fleeing on foot. That by bridges WB is that to your calls. What a deputy was hit for higher tax the other I was at at least three times. So it's quite a few rounds. Deputy C 31 year old mother of a six rolled in a 24 year old were both sworn in only fourteen months ago. It somehow the sharp through the jaw the female deputy tends to her partner. And Eagles her own car. As attorney gets it is the bleeding she gets her radio she's calling for help she said and are being asked her. You're divorced and that. They're both rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Your pitcher since birth by sheriff's residues. Palace. Protesters gathered at the hospital. Heckled the deputies one protestor like streaming the event protesters were taunting the injured deputies I'll. Tensions have been soaring in south Philly since sheriff's deputy shot and killed this man the usual and cheesy on all these 31. Firing fifteen shots it. Since then have been nearly nightly protests at the local sheriff's station overnight gains Las Vegas rally praising trump responding to the issue. Hi Kyra Phillips a Whitney can sheriff's deputies who do essentially is a word. Fighting for their lives sort of vicious criminal walked up to their vehicle and shot them at point blank. This morning sheriff telling listener or the national. Officers look. Below boring certain. Hope leading pro vehicle or on the streets we editor pretty Eckerd and abandoned vehicles now. Randy watching out for each other's back out there on the streets. A day and both of those deputies are recovering after surgery in this hospital behind me both them. Are in stable condition. Both of them were shot in the face in the arm to help other areas it is well so everybody is grateful that they are well. Just give you sense of the tension here at this hospital. There about six or seven. Sheriff's deputies cruisers right behind at Yankee maybe it was even from defense. One just passing by security here is very high not only after the protests here at the hospital overnight but because tension in south LA. Has been so high for the past couple of weeks since the shooting of that is happening all this tension is happening at a time in which the LA sheriff's department which is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the country. He's on aids guard. Apprehensive of additional attacks. There's a lot of concern that this makes four a combustible combination. Now it's important to note that. Community members here in Compton and south LA have roundly condemned the shooting. Com they'd be mourn the loss of of any officers and the shooting is not acceptable. They say. It's also worth noting that found the border supervises it in LA county has approved a 100000 dollar reward leading to the apprehension of the gunmen. And or. Any accomplices Diane had not gotten in for us in Los Angeles that's even those officers are expected to be okay Matt thanks. And with the presidential election now just fifty days away 530 its national polling tracker shows former vice president Joseph Biden leading president trump. By an average of seven points and a new ABC news and it's those poll shows 51% of Americans trust what Biden has said about call that nineteen. Compared to 31%. Trusting trump. But the president is making a push on the campaign trail starting last night with his first indoor rally in nearly three months ABC's Mary Bruce has more. I overnight at a packed indoor rally president trump breaking Nevada is covic restrictions to court voters in the key battleground states going to win. Speaking to a throng of mostly Mascoll his supporters his first indoor rally in nearly three months. His state prohibits gatherings of more than fifty people but trump to science that the governor comes ask you which he shouldn't be doing. I'll be with you all the work. The president unloading on Joseph Biden declaring the gloves are off this van. And gently. In his statement Biden's campaign slammed the president's rally calling it is super spreader event saying if Donald Trump cared at all about curbing his virus and protecting the safety of his supporters. He wouldn't hold events lake this. The trump doesn't and he won't. Fighting is stepping up his own campaigning in key battlegrounds his former rival Michael Bloomberg now pledging to spend 100 million dollars to help him win Florida. I didn't heads to the critical state tomorrow but his campaign promising to put safety first three Elliott Vice President Biden is actively campaigning as if senator Harris. But it does -- we're doing so safely we are letting the science lead us we are listening to the experts the pandemic is taking a toll on the president politically our latest ABC news it's those poll shows 65%. Of Americans now disapprove of Trump's handling of the corona virus and he's still facing fallout from those explosive revelations in Bob Woodward's new book Tums defenders this weekend struggling to explain why the president knowingly downplayed the severity of the virus in the early months of the pandemic. Think of what would happen if he'd have gone out and said. This is awful we should all be afraid we don't have a plan it would have been a run on the banks it would have been an around on the hospital's it would have been around on the. Our tree stores. After eighteen interviews Woodward a veteran journalists taking the unprecedented step of issuing his own opinion the president is the wrong. Maine and for the job. Now the president continues his western swing today both president rob and Joseph Biden a really ramping up their campaign events between the two of them this week. They're hitting sixteen battleground states including Arizona Pennsylvania. And Wisconsin Dianne Trent neighbors and Washington forced thanks Mary. And to ensure those not. In person this election can do so at a safe social distance some sports Arenas are being transformed into voting supercenters. ABC's Devin Dwyer has more on that. ABC news got an inside look at Capital One arena in DC it's officials prepare for voting booths just steps from center court in Centre ice that are gonna check in right here. Under the Bud Light sign and I yeah. I'm never gonna pay. And their credit capital six and then they're sending these are going to be voting booths all the way down this kind of course you've got yet. What the typical precinct has often just a handful of voting machines. This super center will have dozens be able to process thousands of voters in the day with plenty of social distance. Once they voted. They will come further down the corridor. And who put their put their ballot in eight tabulating machine. Get there have voted sticker and they can exit from the one directional floating these people wondering particularly if you combed them in net debt that alone. We'll end up driving east. Patients and the efficiency of big sell for poll workers who've been harder to recruit this year because of health concerns the convenience. Potentially enticing to reluctant voters who might otherwise stay home. Our prayers are incredibly motivated she. Encourage people to use their voice have been OK and they have been fishing boat passes yeah employees to game day. Players across the NBA and other pro sports are pushing to make pulled into this is more accessible are forced to. We heard oh vote is being counted and you know incidents this a huge push for us as a nation. Two to take their right. NBA superstar LeBron James leading the effort. In part as a response to national protest for racial justice after the death of George Floyd. When you have the kind of presents. And success Sobel LeBron I'm sure his voice is a bit. More influential men others. But the good news is virtually every player in the NBA virtually every franchise in the NBA is trying to have a positive impact. Tony wrestler owner of the Atlanta Hawks was the first professional team. To open its 700000. Square foot state farm arena as a voting super center for an election racially good business Sam please understand. Our fans they overwhelming majority of their fan base is so excited we took this on Democrat or Republican such a success the arena is expecting huge turnout starting next month when you move to sixty processing stations. And 300 voting machines to give you a sense so it's going to be a much more substantial effort much larger and. He would many many more boaters anyone in Fulton County any registered voter in Fulton County. Will be able to come to our facility to vote. And debt into our joins me now DeVon with so many people expected to cast their votes in these supercenters how hard has it been to try to ensure. They can do so safely without getting or spreading covad nineteen. Yet and supercenters that people might seem counter intuitive during a pandemic but public health officials actually tell me. These large spaces will be significantly. Safer than those smaller polling locations like school gyms. And libraries of course besides social distance and that only she sought in the peace. Organizers are preparing these one directional flows of people to cast their ballots they will move. Very efficiently in keep their distance from people. Of course they do caution though there will. Bob be a lot of sanitize or on hand a lot of PPE is well we saw that firsthand here in DC hundreds of thousands of wipes stop. Piled ready for distribution to the super senators how they plan to wipe the machines down after each voter. Thank Matt and Adam one potential issue though when you get so many people in one place is long lines and wait times and we've seen in other circumstances that make all these great plans for what happens inside. And then you an obscene pack people packed outside waiting to get in so. What kind of backed the plans do they have in place if any. For that. Yeah and its supercenters are not going to be super quick necessarily this year. We've seen those lines before election officials tell me and emphasize keep your expectations in check you will wind up. I'll likely awaiting a line in fact the lines might look longer. Then they normally do because people have to space out at six feet apart so you may see even stretching down the block just to get into the arena. But if you're in line to vote you will be able to cast a ballot. But in just its importer remind everybody vote early you don't have to go wait in those lines on Election Day many of these places including here in DC these Arenas. We'll be O plane for weeks ahead of Election Day. So cast those ballots early the lines will be shorter than Diane so just to clarify if you're online at the time that that precinct is supposed to close they will stay open. That's right in most states. The secure online if election officials at the precinct point see people in line they will allow everyone in line in the door to cast a ballot. People go ahead and find out where they're supposed to cast their vote and is there any thought that having me supercenters might make that part of the process easier. Yes definitely I mean a lot of these arena has already opened their doors right now to registration drives it make a plan right now. In fact I you can go to vote dot org to nonpartisan one stop shop where you can check to see if you're registered. You can request a mail in value can find a polling location or super center. Near you to cast that ballot vote dot org make that plan right now bands like seven drier forests in Washington thanks. Evan and you can see more of Evans reports tonight on ABC news live prime with Lindsey Davis at 7 PM eastern. And Jeff pretty is back for its 37 season tonight at Allen Lester back will we back as its host. But there are few changes in place including new pandemic precautions. And a new role for all time champion Ken Jennings here's TJ Holmes with more. This crunch what is going what is WikiLeaks. America's favorite game show is back correct for a 37 season but we don't like any season we've seen before. I feel good and I feel excited. After an unprecedented hiatus because of the pandemic the show returns this week with Alex trip back at the hell we are. Are the first I believe. Quiz show to come back on the air in the cold that nineteen era. The game show taking precautions to keep everybody safe introducing a new socially distanced set with spaced out podiums as well as implementing disinfecting measures but the changes this season are just about spacing in cleaning. A familiar face is coming on board. 74 time champ and recently crowned jeopardy Joseph Ken Jennings is officially joining the show as a consulting producer. Who presents special video categories develop projects and act as an ambassador for the show. Jennings will also help with contestant outreach as casting goals virtual this season but all eyes will be on troop. Death on a personal level I'm excited because it gets me out of the house. It gives me something to do on a regular basis and I was missing that. Drawback was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. And I sit down with him in July to talk about his new memoir and his beloved show which he has in no planes ever leaving. But still as long as you can do the job you can find a reason you would ever want to stop. Correct the jobs. You're absolutely right so therefore. That you're never walk away from this show or enroll fewer and argumentative Sullivan and I've had you up to here. Let's go to work tomorrow. Or. Now this show actually ran out of new episodes back in June to they've actually been playing. Stuff from the jeopardy vaulted as they call it went back and show some of the episodes from thirty plus years ago people have enjoyed that but I and they are actually. Has a lot of people are just itching to see new episodes of jeopardy which of course we'll start. It. We share are itching for that TJ banks and Ken Jennings was on GMA this morning talking about his new role. Here's what he had to say she maybe. It regularly on the show presenting video categories and collaborating with the writers include use an important speaking contest and outreach arm finding the best trivia people where they hide its. It's a great gig being goodwill ambassador pursuant so much good will. Not. And how Q does Ken Jennings and again we are looking forward to that new season tonight you can check your local listings for when jeopardy airs in your area or if your dark like me you already have your DVR set and ready to go she. And a few more things to know the. Or you go Oracle has won the battle to acquire part of tick tock. Both Oracle and Microsoft were in the running to by the American operations of the video sharing out but Microsoft confirms its bid was rejected. The trump administration threatened to ban takes half due to its Chinese ownership calling it a national security risk. And the first NFL Sundays in the books for 20/20 with an over online message. Teams across the league acknowledged the fight for racial equality and social justice some linking arms other players kneeling during the National Anthem. This stands were noticeably quiet because of the pandemic some stadiums allowed a limited number of fans. Others had no fans at all. And American I only Osaka staged a comeback to win her second US open title. The 22 year old made headlines throughout the tournament for wearing masks at the names of different victims of alleged police are racist violence. Dionne also pay tribute to the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant by wearing his lakers Jersey credit tenants to Graham. I wore this Jersey every day after my matches I truly think it gave me strength always. And over on the men's side Dominic team won his first of the major in a five set thriller he is the first male player in more than seven years. To win that tournament final after losing the opening two sets we'll be talking about that big will win it's easy with him live at 11 AM. And that doesn't that is ABC news live update I'm Mendocino. Thanks for joining us and remember ABC news live as your free all day with the latest news context and analysis we'll see right back here at 11 AM eastern.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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