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CNN10 2021-08-31

CNN 10

Rescue and Recovery Efforts Following Hurricane Ida; New Type of Cooling System for Buildings; New Baby at an Ohio Zoo

Aired August 31, 2021 - 04:00:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: The storm has passed, but recovery efforts are just getting going in Louisiana and Mississippi and that's where we start today's show. Thank you for watching. My name is Carl Azuz. When Hurricane Ida made landfall in southern Louisiana on Sunday and then moved inland, it ripped roofs off homes and buildings, flooded houses and roads, flattened trees and knocked power lines all over the place. Some of them reportedly wound up in the Mississippi River. We don't know yet how many people were killed in the storm, but the damage in some places was catastrophic. To give you a sense of the storm's strength, this is a shot from a fishing camp when the winds were calm in Port Fourchon, Louisiana and this is that same shot as the winds and waves of the Category 4 hurricane directly hit the port.

The man who sent us this video was not at the camp at the time. About 40 miles northwest of Port Fourchon, every road in the nearby parish was blocked on Sunday night and about 50 miles north of where Hurricane Ida made landfall, the entire city of New Orleans lost electricity. As did hundreds of thousands of other people throughout Louisiana and part of neighboring Mississippi. Tens of thousands of electrical workers from across the U.S. have been organized to go to the region and work on restoring the power there. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards requested that the Federal government approve a major disaster declaration for the state and President Joe Biden did that. What this means is that Federal assistance and money will be made more readily available to help with recovery efforts.

Hospitals were damaged and are running on back-up power generators. Rescuers are getting reports of people who climbed into their attics and onto their roofs, as flood waters rose around their homes. Louisiana has been hit by Category 4 hurricanes in the past. One time was last year, when Hurricane Laura roared into the community of Cameron and the other was in 1856, when the Last Island Hurricane struck. Along with Ida, these three storms are tied for the most powerful on record to hit the state.

Ida weakened as hurricanes tend to do after moving over land. Meteorologists say it's big threat now is rain. After dumping as much as 24 inches in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, the system is moving north through Tennessee toward Ohio and it's expected to soak several states in the region along the way. Houma, Louisiana is about 45 miles northwest of where Hurricane Ida made landfall. Jason Carroll gives us a sense of the destruction the storm left behind.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The best way to describe it is, no matter where you look in this section of Houma there seems to be some form of destruction. Take a look behind me. That particular house, just a few moments ago, I had an opportunity to speak to the man who grew up in that house. That was a house yesterday before Ida took her wrath and took her toll on this community. He says he grew up here. It's been his house --it has been in his family since his great-grandmother lived there. They came out there today to salvage what they could. It was heart wrenching.

He used to get his haircut right across the street there at that barbershop. You can see the roof is gone. The barbershop nearly destroyed. Right next to that though, that house still standing, spoke to the man who lives there. He rode out the storm, decided to stay there with his wife. He did not want to evacuate. He said he had ridden out storms in the past and thought he could ride out this one. Part of his roof is gone. The car part -- the carport is gone. He said at one point, it got so bad yesterday he got down on his knees and prayed.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these American inventors devised a method of air conditioning in 1902? Dave Lennox, Richard Rheem, James Trane, or Willis Carrier. While developing an apparatus to reduce humidity, Willis Carrier also found it cooled the air.

So here's something kind of cool, a new type of cooling system that aims to copy the way the Earth naturally cools itself. It's being used to make building's air conditioning more efficient, but it does have its downsides. For one thing, it doesn't work as well in places without a lot of sunlight.

So rainy climates or seasons could be a problem. Another is the price, it ain't cheap. The company didn't tell us how much its panels cost but it says they are more expensive than solar panels which also require a lot of sunlight. In some places with the right conditions and money though, the new tech is having an impact.


RACHEL CRANE, CNN INNOVATION AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT: Air conditioning accounts for 10 percent of all global electricity consumption and the demand for this type of cooling is expected to triple by 2050, which could strain already overworked electric grids.

ELI GOLDSTEIN, CEO OF SKYCOOL: As it gets hotter, air conditioners, refrigeration systems need more energy to run. The more electricity we use for cooling, the more challenging it is to operate and provide electricity reliably.

CRANE: That's why it's the company SkyCool's mission to make existing cooling systems run more efficiently, by taking advantage of a phenomenon that exists in nature. All objects give off heat in the form of invisible inferred radiation. As heat leaves an object, it becomes cooler a process known as radiative cooling. The plum (ph) objects can actually become colder than the air surrounding it. It's part of a reason frost forms on grass even if the air temperature is above freezing, but this only happens at night. Once the sun rises, the grass eventually warms back up. So SkyKool designed a new material with radiative cooling properties that work 24 hours a day.

GOLDSTEIN: The radiative cooling, in the sense that we're doing has really never been out there before. The effect is never observed during the day, and by enabling it with these films that we've developed you can now use this type of cooling even when its under direct sunlight.

CRANE: Developed using modern nanotechnology, the film has hundreds of tiny optical layers designed to emit the specific wavelength of radiation that maximizes cooling. But it's also highly reflective, absorbing little energy so it stays cool even under the sun.

GOLDSTEIN: That combination of properties has never been found in nature.

CRANE: They're incredibly reflective, like I'm -- they're almost blinding. Are they -- are they actually physically cool to the touch?


CRANE: Can I -- can I touch them? Are they going to -- blind and burn myself at the same time.


CRANE: Oh wow. Yes.

GOLDSTEIN: Any other surface on the roof, it will be much cooler.

CRANE: Yes, they're much cooler than I would expect. I mean, it's hot -- it's a hot day and that's cool to the touch.

GOLDSTEIN: Yes. This is an infrared image of the panels on our roof. You can see there's just a really stark contrast in -- in temperature between the surfaces that are -- these radiative cooling (inaudible) and the roof of the building.

CRANE: And what is that temperature difference?

GOLDSTEIN: It's going to be on the order of 40 Fahrenheit it looks like.

CRANE: And because the panels don't need any electricity to get cold, SkyCool says they can help a building's cooling system operate with less power. Here's how. First, the panels cool down water running through pipes embedded behind them. Then, that cold water flows into the refrigeration or air conditioning system to help chill refrigerant liquid. That takes some of the workload off the condenser. The less the condenser runs, the more money is saved in the energy bill.

GOLDSTEIN: Anything that we can do to take some of -- of the load off of the power grids, I'm all for it.

CRANE: In 2019, SkyCool installed this panel at this grocery store in (Inaudible), California, where it's hot and dry most of the year. The store says it saw a notable difference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After we had our SkyCool system installed, our electricity company increased their rates on us. We actually didn't see our bill go up at all. In fact, we saw it go just a little bit down. We've saved on average about $3,000 a month.

CRANE: SkyCool has since installed panels at a retail store in Southern California and a data center in Sacramento, helping to cool computer servers. Eventually SkyCool hopes to bring its energy saving panels to other commercial buildings and some day to the roofs of homes.

GOLDSTEIN: In the future you could imagine using this on the roofs of insulated buildings in Asia or Africa, India where's expected to be, you know, billions of air conditioners coming online in the next 30 years. I think we're just excited to -- to be able to use this new technology for good.


AZUZ: Before we head out today, we have a really sweet story about Phoebe and Frankie. Phoebe is the momma elephant. Frankie is her nine week old calf. They live and play together at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio. Frankie, which I think is the perfect name, was named after a woman called Francis.

She was the mother of the zoo supporter. The Asian elephant calf looks really cute but he would be handful to cuddle. At two months, Frankie weighed more than 460 pounds.

So Frankie, frankly, would be "frank fully" hefty to heft, but we're sure he does an "elephantastic" job of hoisting and hauling in visitors who "pacaderm" the place just to check out the "trunk" show. Hey, want to thank you for checking out our new show. Today's shout out goes out to Francis Howell High School. It is located in St. Charles, Missouri. If you don't go there and you want a chance to get your school mentioned, please subscribe and leave a comment at Youtube.com/CNN10. I'm Carl Azuz.