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CNN10 2020-08-27

CNN 10

Hurricane Laura Bears Down On U.S. Gulf Coast; NASA Plans Search For Rogue Planets; Garage Conversions Find A Home In Parts Of Los Angeles. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired August 27, 2020 - 04:00:00 聽 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. Our first story takes us to the border between Texas and Louisiana because that's where Hurricane Laura was expected to make landfall on Wednesday night. Yesterday afternoon Laura was a strong Category 3 hurricane as it spun through the Gulf.

Its sustained wind speeds were 125 miles per hour but then it got more intense reaching Category 4 status as it approached the U.S. Gulf Coast. A Category 4 hurricane carries wind speeds of at least 130 miles per hour. This makes it capable of causing severe damage to well built homes, uprooting most of the trees where it makes landfall and flinging them across roadways, and that could knock out electricity for weeks or longer.

Hurricane Laura was the second storm system to strike the region this week. Tropical Storm Marco made landfall on Monday near the mouth of the Mississippi River but it had weakened enough beforehand that its main threat was heavy rain. This could be worsened considerably by Hurricane Laura.

It was expected to bring more rain to areas Marco had already soaked. Factor that in with Laura's destructive winds and very dangerous storm surge, a rise in seawater levels blown ashore by an approaching hurricane, and the damage could be catastrophic. Forecasters expect that Laura could cause sea levels to rise 10 to 15 feet higher along the coasts of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana.

The National Hurricane Center said tornadoes were also possible in the region. Mandatory evacuations went into effect some places. This doesn't mean that people were forced to leave their homes. It means that if they chose to stay, despite the order, rescue services wouldn't be available to them if they needed help.

The U.S. Gulf Coast isn't the only place to be impacted by Laura. It hit the Caribbean while it was still a tropical storm. Several deaths in the Dominican Republic and Haiti were blamed on this system.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tropical systems come in all shapes and sizes. You have tropical depressions, tropical storms and once it is strong enough to become a hurricane, you have five categories with Category 5 being the strongest. The states most frequently hit by a hurricane, Florida,

Louisiana and Texas.

But as much as we know about hurricanes, forecasting them is still a challenge. Just as we name each storm, each storm has its own personality, like Katrina in 2005 which intensified rapidly overnight going from a Category 3 to a Category 5. It became the fourth most intense hurricane on record as of that time.

And the forecast track can change dramatically, like Erika in 2015 or a system that can be viewed as relatively weak like a tropical storm could end up like Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. The remnants of the storm stalled over southeast Texas dumping 35 inches of rain over Houston in just five days. The storm became the first non-hurricane to have it's name retired.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Who was NASA's first chief of astronomy? Nancy Grace Roman, Edwin Hubble, Carl Sagan or Annie Jump Cannon. NASA's first chief astronomer who was known as the mother of the Hubble telescope was Nancy Grace Roman.

She's also the namesake of NASA's newest telescope, the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope is set to launch sometime in the middle of the 2020s. NASA estimates it will cost between $3.2 billion and $3.9 billion. It's viewing area is said to be 100 times larger than the Hubble telescopes.

NASA says this will help it observe more of the sky in less time and that's intended to help it hunt down rogue planets. Didn't they make a "Star Wars" about this? Scientists say rogue planets are found outside our solar system and they don't orbit stars like Earth does. The meander through the galaxy on their own.

There are a lot of ideas about how these planets form and why they go rogue. They're not easy to find since they don't give off light and they don't give off much heat either which makes them difficult to detect using infrared light. NASA hopes that the Roman Telescope will help scientists track down more rogue planets.

The reason they want to do that is because they hope this will help people understand more about how planetary systems work. NASA has a different space telescope set to launch next year. That one's named the James Webb Space Telescope. It's cost is estimated at $10 billion. It will be the biggest instrument of it's time and Webb's mission will be to study distant galaxies.

Back down to Earth, the city of Los Angeles, California has a housing crisis. It's not a new problem. It's been around for decades. Reasons include a low supply of available homes, high demand for the ones that exist and the soaring costs of living in the city. ADUs, Accessory Dwelling Units, could help.

They allow people to convert the garages on their property into rental units. Not every community wants to do this though. ADUs increase the number of people living in a given area. This could increase congestion, leading to more traffic and less parking space. Some residents are concerned it will make their neighborhoods less quiet, but ADUs come with a number of upsides as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prior to January of 2017, it would not have been possible to turn a detached garage into a home. But what the laws that have changed in California and also in a number of other areas do is let you repurpose incredibly valuable land.

We're in a wonderful neighborhood. All the infrastructure's here, the neighborhood's fully built out. And yet this particular piece of space on the lot is being used to store junk. So in Los Angeles County there are 290,000 detached two car garages that we could convert into a home like this.

We build and we don't charge the homeowner for it. There's no lien placed on the property. We pay for it and we share the rental income with the homeowner. And that rental stream, depending on the neighborhood, is between $4,000 and $10,000 a year. And at the end of our lease, typically 15 years, we leave and all this still belongs to the homeowner without any cost.

We build one thing and we do it in high volume. It's really manufacturing, not construction and that lets us get our cost per units down. So having achieved those two things we can deliver housing at a very low price and as a result we rent at a very low price. And we look for tenants who work in this community and can't afford to live here. They're otherwise commuting long distances.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I like about the program is the fact that I didn't have to do anything but (inaudible) sign on the dotted line in one respect and they came out and did all the work, got all the permits. Everything was, sort of, a complete project.

I know how hard sometimes it is to find a decent place to live, you know, in the Los Angeles area and I've (inaudible), you know, that I can do my part in helping with affordable housing by having them build the apartment in the back. That also brings up my property value as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I first started doing this, I really thought homeowners would be driven almost entirely by the economics. One of the most gratifying things in doing this has been learning that about a third or more of our homeowners are doing this for altruistic reasons.

They see the property. They recognize the challenge in their community for affordable housing and this is a way without them having to come up with money. That they can actually provide something, provide housing for people in the community who serve the community and who need a home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: Today we leave you with waves of blue. Bioluminescence is the reason for this beautiful site. It took place recently in southern California. The blue hue is caused by chemical reactions in plankton which produced the blue light. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute which posted this video, says this is a pretty common phenomenon. A study it conducted a few years ago concluded that 75 percent of deep sea organisms produce their own light.

Does that make them "ultramarine"? They certainly seem to "cerulean" or producing "jourly royal" site that makes the Pacific "terrific". Beneath the "periwinkling" stars at midnight. I'm Carl Azuz. Lima High School in Lima, Ohio knows how to get on CNN 10. Thank you for subscribing and leaving a comment at YouTube.cnn/com.

END