tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC December 13, 2021 3:30pm-4:00pm PST
statewide mask mandate for all indoor settings starting wednesday through january 15. much more tonight, a special edition of "world news tonight". authorities here on the ground have now confirmed, this is the deadliest tornado outbreak in more than a decade here in the u.s. tonight, they are still not giving up hope. rescuers digging through debris, looking for any signs of life. the devastation stretching for miles. authorities still reaching towns and communities destroyed. more than 80 americans killed in these tornadoes. many still missing tonight. deadly twisters hitting here in kentucky, arkansas, illinois, missouri and tennessee. at least eight dead at the mayfield candle factory. several others not accounted for. tonight, for the first time, we hear from a survivor trapped at the very bottom of that twisted steel, describing the screams,
the cries for help. and this evening, the remarkable story. the rescuers and what they did. how did he survive? hospitals across the region already facing a covid surge, now filled with victims from these tornadoes. tonight, kentucky's governor choking up as he revealed victims in his state ranged from 5 months old to 86 years old. tonight, the national weather service confirming one long-tractor nay doe was on the ground for at least 128 miles. a stunning distance. and they continue to assess how far that path continued in other states. tonight, fema teams now on the ground. president biden comes to kentucky on wednesday. and we take you to the small town of gilbertsville tonight, population just 300. what we found. they're now trying to salvage my meaningful belongings they can find. all of this tonight as we now track another cross-country storm. several feet of snow and high winds already. that system then sweeping east, potentially hitting this same
region again. meteorologist rob marciano tracking it all. and good evening tonight from kentucky. the epicenter of what authorities have now confirmed is the nation's deadliest tornado outbreak in more than a decade. just look behind me here tonight. you can see home after home. this is actually somebody's living room. that's a fireplace there, now completely exposed to the outdoors. the home completely torn apart. right behind it, massive trees coming down on the next home, also destroyed. and this is what you see in neighborhood after neighborhood here. homes have been leveled. more than 40 reported tornadoes pummeling nine states, leaving a path of destruction across more than 200 miles. tonight, thousands of americans are without homes and at least 88 lives have been lost in five states, most of them right here in kentucky, while many others
are still unaccounted for. and so, the search goes on. president biden will visit on wednesday, promising, quote, we're going to be there as long as it takes to help. our drone camera tonight capturing the damage right here in mayfield, kentucky. shattered homes and businesses all around us. the tornado that struck here on the ground at least 128 miles across kentucky alone. you'll remember the image of that flattened candle factory. crews are heavy equipment sifting through the wreckage, dismantfulling what remains there. crews also at the first christian church tonight, removing the rubble of those walls that stood for 100 years. that organ. before the tornado tore them down. in neighborhood after neighborhood across the storm zone, families are returning now to shattered homes, picking up the pieces. neighbors and strangers alike lending a hand. tonight here, the faces of some of the loved ones who have been lost, including a kentucky judge, a 94 wreerld korean war veteran at an arkansas nursing home and a 2-month-old baby.
we have witnessed so much heartbreak over the last couple of days here, but also resilience, including one man's remarkable survival after being trapped for hours under the rubble at that candle factory. in fact, for the first time tonight, he's describing what it was like to be trapped 15 to 20 feet below, covered with twisted steel and glass and what the rescuers did to get him out. he wanted the chance right here tonight to say thank you. tonight, the devastating images from above revealing the scope of the devastation, even more widespread than feared here. this is now the deadliest tornado outbreak in the u.s. in more than a decade. more than 40 reported tornadoes across nine states. and the death toll is rising. tonight, at least 88 people killed across several states. at least 74 dead here in kentucky. and tonight, the harrowing sight, what these tornadoes have done in town after town, where
authorities are just now assessing the damage. 70 miles northeast of mayfield, in dawson springs, kentucky, total destruction in this part of town. homes destroyed. in marshall county, kentucky, along kentucky lake, home after home reduced to piles of wood. trees sheared off, cars thrown everywhere. the entire neighborhood gone. these men standing on a home, the top sliced off. tonight, kentucky's governor describing it this way. >> the worst tornado event in the history of our commonwealth. our state was hit by at least four tornadoes. thousands of homes are damaged, if not entirely destroyed. and it may be weeks before we have final counts on both deaths and levels of destruction. >> the governor choking up when discussing the ages of the victims. >> i know like the folks in
western kentucky, i'm not doing so well today and i'm not sure how many of us are. >> everywhere we traveled, homes gone, cars crushed. you can see this trailer just completely flipped over. and all you hear are saups going off in the distance and then a few beeps here and there, alarms, detectors going off in the debris. and tonight, after seeing those devastating aerials of the candle factory, we now hear what it was like to be trapped at the very bottom. more than 100 borkers on the late shift filling those christmas orders. eight people confirmed dead. and we learned of a worker trapped at the bottom under 15 to 20 feet of twisted steel. he could hear the cries and the screams. he tried to stay calm. barely able to breathe with the steel on his chest. tim? how you doing, jim?
jim douglas, a father of two, trapped for four hours. jim, you were inside the factory. >> yes. >> and if i can ask you, what -- what do you remember? >> i remember everything. i could hear, like, some loud lu booms that i thought was big hail or something and then it was like the roof -- roof lifted up and i was right next to a wall and it was like the roof r slammed down and then the wall came down on top of me, hit me in the head. and knocked me on the ground people just screaming out for
help and terrorized. >> it was then jim realized he was at the bottom. >> i was -- i was at the bottom of the pile and all the rubble. i'm guessing it was, like, 15, maybe 20 feet deep. of rubble. so, it was -- it was cutting off my breathing. i was able to get my arm right like this, was the only thing i could move. everything else was pinned, so i could kind of push myself up and get a breath. >> you were at the bottom of the rubble, you said? >> i was at the very bottom. and my face was sideways. >> his coworkers began to call out. >> people were asking, where are you, where are you?
i'd call out over here. >> a colleague named shab nonnot far from him, talking to to him to keep him calm. >> she talked to me for probably, didn't know, maybe -- maybe the better part of an hour and then they got her freed. >> rescuers began to cut away at the steel. they were trying to save jim's limbs. they carefully went about cutting the pieces away from you so they were saving your limbs. >> i believe it was steel studs and door frames and maybe even some iron beams from -- from the roof. >> the rescuers then notice a door frame filled with glass. they would have to pull jim through it. they told him to close his eyes. >> he said, close your eyes as tight as you can get them and we're going to -- we're going to bust this glass and we're going to pull you through the door
frame. so, i closed my eyes and they busted it and then they just -- they pulled me straight up and i seen all them faces. >> when they lifted you up through that glass and you had your eyes closed and there was a human chain of rescuers helping to take you down that pile? >> both sides. they had me on a backboard and there were people on both sides and i'm just -- seeing these faces and thank you, thank you, thank you, i mean -- >> we could see the emotion in his face. and we learned one more thing while standing in his hospital room. they show me a photo. wow, this is incredible. right before we arrived, jim, with help from the team, standing for the first time. and it turned out jim had not seen the photo himself. not bad, huh? >> yeah.
>> it was a remarkable moment in that hospital room. a remarkable story of survive value and we were so moved by jim and the doctors and nurses at baptist health paducah, the physical therapists there, they have promised to send us images of his first steps. and we take note tonight that about 40 minutes from here in mayfield, the small town of gilbertsville, kentucky, almost completely destroyed by the tornado. home after home for miles turned to rubble. abc's linsey davis tonight with the families as authorities just now reach so many of these smaller communities to assess the damage. >> reporter: prior to friday, gilbertsville, kentucky, had a population of about 300 people, but now many say they likely won't be returning. >> this was the kitchen right here. >> reporter: like father and son wilbur and jerry niel, who rode out the storm in their basement. >> and the wind was, like, horrific. i've been through hurricanes and i never felt any wind like that before. >> reporter: we met them as they came back to see what they could salvage. >> right where my father's standing right now, that was our living room.
>> reporter: the house blown from its foundation. cars and belongings now submerged in a sea of debris. at 88 years old, wilbur says they don't know if they'll rebuild. >> this was the dream house for my wife. she loved it. she'll never see it. >> reporter: this was the family gathering place for the holidays. fond christmas memories, just like the house itself, now tattered and twisted across the front yard. these are two separate houses here? >> these are two separate houses. not quite sure how his is still actually standing, but it is. >> reporter: miriam miller says she's unsure how they will move forward. >> people are asking, "are you going to rebuild?" i can't even think past today. >> reporter: miriam had just finished renovating her house two weeks ago, just bought a new car a few months ago. it's all destroyed. but what the tornado did give her is a brand new perspective. >> we're just blessed that we are still alive and all of our neighbors and everybody are okay
and accounted for. so we're -- you know, we're more fortunate than some others. >> reporter: david, there's been so much focus on mayfield, but gilbertsville have just been devastated. there's a real concern at this point that the community could lose many of its longtime residents. david? >> linsey davis with us tonight. thank you. and we remain committed to getting to those smaller communities, as well. and in edwardsville, illinois, tonight, federal investigators have opened an investigation into that amazon warehouse, where six people died. it was an ef-3 tornado with winds up to 150 miles an hour that brought part of that relatively new warehouse down. it was less than two years old. most of the workers headed to a shelter on the north side of the building that remained nearly undamaged, but the casualties took place where workers were on the south side of that building. crews from the national weather service surveying the damage in illinois, in kentucky and so many other states.
tonight, they have now confirmed here in kentucky that long-tractor nay doe was on the ground for at least 128 miles straight. that's a staggering distance. but it could be even longer, as they now assess damage in other states, as well. and tonight, there is yet new concern over another storm sweeping from the west right into the east. and of course, the question in this community and in so many others in the region, could it hit again? let's get right to senior meteorologist rob marciano, outside that amazon warehouse in illinois for us tonight. what have you learned? >> reporter: well, we don't need another storm, that's for sure. we're learning that we're seeing more confirmed tornadoes, 30 now, six of which are ef-3s like the one that came through this facility and ten ef-1s. let's zero in on the long tractor n tractor nay doe, you mention ed the 128 miles. and to give you an idea how rare this is, the month of december across the mid south averages less than one tornado in the month. and yes, we do have a storm
coming into the west right now. we have to hit this, a winter orsnow, they need it in the west. too much is not a good thing, but that energy will get into the heartland come wednesday. by wednesday night, we could see more storms here. david? >> we're thinking about all the families across this region. they do not want to hear that. rob, thank you. and so many of the hospitals here in kentucky and across several states already, of course, taking in the tornado victims over the last couple of days. they are also struggling with the covid surge in this part of the country. tonight, a grim new toll in this pandemic. more than 50 million confirmed cases in the u.s. since this all started. we are now approaching 800,000 lives lost. new york state's indoor mask mandate now taking effect today. california will reimpose its mask mandate on wednesday. and from overseas tonight, the uk now reporting its first known death from the fast-moving omicron variant. the prime minister there has warned of a, quote, tidal wave coming. omicron doubling there every two
to three days. here's abc's stephanie ramos tonight. >> reporter: fighting back against an alarming spike in covid cases, new york state now mandating masks inside any business that does not require proof of a vaccine. >> this is a pandemic. people are sick. this thing keeps mutating. wear a mask, it's not a big deal. >> i just can't wait for this to end. i mean, i can't wait until i can take this off. >> reporter: and california today following suit, reinstituting its indoor mask mandate for the next month. it comes as the delta variant is driving a covid surge nationwide. and the country closing in on yet another horrific milestone -- almost 800,000 lives lost to covid. and with the omicron variant now in 30 states and washington, d.c., health experts insist a booster shot restores high antibody levels and is the best weapon to fight against it. early studies suggest just two doses of the pfizer vaccine take a hit from omicron but still protect from severe disease.
>> it appears to be able to evade some of the immune protection of things like monoclonal antibodies, convalescent plasma, and the antibodies that are induced by vaccines. that's the sobering news. >> reporter: tonight, the first reported death from omicron in the uk, where cases are doubling every two to three days. the new variant is expected to become dominant within the next two days. in london today, long lines as the government ramps up efforts to boost all eligible people by the end of the year. >> no one s rea tidal wave >> reporter: and back in this country, the air force says it's charged 27 service members for refusing to take the covid vaccine and did not seek a religious exemption. one official telling us we will likely see more discharges as the process continues. david? >> all right, stephanie ramos tonight. stephanie, thank you. on capitol hill tonight, the house committee on the january 6th riot is now set to vote to
hold former president trump's chief of staff mark meadows in contempt. after first turning over some documents, appearing to cooperate in part, but then changing his mind, now refusing to cooperate. here's our chief washington correspondent jonathan karl tonight. >> reporter: the january 6th committee voting tonight to hold former president trump's chief of staff, mark meadows, in contempt of congress. a vote of the full house could come as soon as tomorrow, and meadows, a former congress member himself, is fighting and insisting he's done nothing wrong. >> nothing i've done would rise to criminal contempt. >> reporter: meadows initially cooperated with the committee before abruptly refusing to show up for his deposition last week. but by that point, he had already turned over thousands of documents. according to the committee, one of the documents was a 38-page powerpoint presentation written by an outside adviser that urged the president to declare a state of emergency after the election and outlined a plan to overturn the results. meadows says he never acted on it.
the committee also says emails show that shortly before january 6th, meadows told an unnamed associate, quote, the national guard would be present to protect pro-trump people. the committee also has many of meadows' text messages from the day of the riot itself, including a desperate plea from a former white house employee urging him to do something to stop the violence, writing, "you should go to the cameras and say, we condemn this. please stand down, if you don't, people are going to die." david? >> all right, jon karl live in washington tonight. jon, thank you. and when we come back here, the major news tonight involving usa gymnastics, involving larry nassar, as well. and later here, how can you help in the storm zone. we give you more. ure's bo,
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>> building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions. this is abc 7 news. >> effective from the 15th of december to january 15, we will require universal masking in indoor public settings. >> the indoor mask mandate returns, california officials announce plans to require them once more starting this wednesday. >> and we're in storm watch as heavy winds and rains move across the area. it's downed treed a -- trees and knocked over trees. dan: rain is still coming down across the bay area. we have team coverage on the storm and we'll begin with spencer. spencer: it's been a stormy day, the storm continues to rage on across the bay area. let me give you a close up look
at some of the areas hard hit right now. over in vaccaville, down over to rio vista, looking a little farther south, around san leandro, castro valley, we have a wide area of heavy rain, reaching over to danville and points along interstate 680. and over on the pens lasm we have heavy down tour prs -- downpours from blirn game and points further south. this storm is still a strong storm ranking 3 on the impact list. it may weaken later tonight but until 6:00 p.m. it's a level 3. let's go to meteorologist >> we already. oakland has exceeded three inches of rain today. more than 2 1/2 inches in the city. we're close to an inch in san jose. parts of the north bay. you could cisse three if not more than four inches of rainfall. we have concerns with a lot of water on our roadways.