tv Texas Governor Abbott Hurricane Briefing CSPAN August 27, 2020 6:39pm-7:17pm EDT
open up their states . that them open. let them open safely and carefully. open up the schools and let them play football. we've got to open up. and we had a great number of doctors as you know in the office yesterday. the world's leading experts on this pretty there is great danger to shutdowns . in this in the form of suicides, in the form of alcoholism and drug use. and so many other things because it is a bigger problem. so whether it is north carolina, pennsylvania or michigan or others, they should open up. we have to get on with it. it is very sad. is very dangerous with their doing actually. reporter: video. pres. donald trump: there doing it for political reasons. we have tremendous passion for this country. we love our country and we run our country very well. i was see you all tonight. thank you very much.
reporter: . [inaudible]. >> texas governor greg abbott in response from hurricane after the category storm came to shore about 1:00 o'clock this morning. in neighboring louisiana. about 35 miles from the texas border paredes joined by senators and ted cruz. [background sounds]. >> i want to thank everybody for gathering with us here today. especially want to thank senators cornyn and chris for taking the time to join us today and being part of the aerial overview that we were able to take to get a better assessment of the entire region. as well as to work with here on the ground. also want to thank the two local
area congressman, and the congressman, as well as the governor dan patrick. in the state senator nichols, and local representatives stephen - think all of them for being here. of particular want to thank the county judge. thank you for hosting us and for being with us. it is been a pleasure. and working with you through this pretty so thank you for being here . >> of course . >> and mayor, i want to thank you for being here. and i want to express a special thank you to the admiral. for providing the coast guard that provided a very helpful tour. of the entire region. as we flew around the region and about 1000 feet. we could see the way that the
storm impacted different areas differently. and i will be candid with you, all the areas that we saw, the worst that we saw was orange. it seemed like the most significant damage and i was able to observe both from the sky as well as on the ground, in this region is an orange. you saw more rooftops ripped o off. you saw more shingles missing. you saw more trees down. we saw the big pieces of steel framing wrapped around some trees. you saw some roads there were still innovated. underwater and impassable at this particular time. that is just what i was able to see from the sky from driving down the street. and obviously people get closer and look at buildings or homes, there will be additional damages that the people have to deal with. as i ask everybody, how they
feel about working their way through this hurricane, everyone pretty much as the same frame. and that is we dodged a bullet. it can the men are course. we were anticipating, that there will be a storm surge could very easily exceed 10 feet. i was told oreo the storm surge was about 3 feet pretty now 7-foot differential makes all of the difference. we would not be gathering right now had we seen a 10-foot or higher foot storm surge. like what was anticipated earlier. so when you consider the magnitude of the damage that could have occurred here, we did dodge a bullet. and then of course doesn't help those whose homes had been hit. those businesses who had been hidden for this people, we want
them to know that we are already working on a process of helping them rebuild. there's a very important person here. tony robinson. he's with fema. he works very collaboratively with the administration for the time of hurricane harvey all of the way through today . tony we thank you in your leadership. i was selling both pecan or, they had a or administrator of fema. until the president . never before in my experiences governor have i ever seen in administration that responded to swiftly and effectively as with president trump and administrator has done. some details i want to get into is as you may want to clarify,
we declared a disaster and 62 counties. the president has similarly declared a disaster in each of those counties. hurricane laura made landfall near cameron, louisiana about 3s louisiana border. at 1:00 a.m. as a category four storm hurricane. when does it exceeded 80 mile-per-hour the storm surge was an estimated 2.5 - 3.5 feet and the pastorate. national wildlife refuge at about 34 miles per hour sustained winds with gusts up to almost 90 miles per hour. it was 38 miles per our was sustained wins. orange county airport, when does sustained a 20-mile or 29 miles per our with gusts up to 54 miles. and beaumont regional airport, 59 miles per hour sustained with gusts up to 66 miles per hour.
tree damage has been reported in jefferson county as well as the other surrounding counties around this region. i hear from some reports, that we would expect to see even greater tree damage as you go further up north into east texas. other damage reports will be coming in during the course of the day. we do have teams in this region already. whether beat search and rescue teams, law enforcement teams, the national guard. assessment teams, that are covering every city every county every region to make damage assessments but also to go about the process, to determine the safety of everybody who lives in this area. so do want to get one confirmation.
they are currently closed. >> in texas that is not true. >> is on the on the louisiana side of the border. we are all of the way through pretty. >> i ten is open. all the way to the border. and by the way and it did have the opportunity to speak with governor of louisiana this morning. he was his typical jovial self and was ready to be offering help to texas. so he is in good spirits. another people of louisiana are dealing with challenges themselves right now. in texas, stand ready to help our neighbors over and louisiana . several state agencies including the texas department of health public safety, that texas parks and as well as the texas military division are scouring every aspect, every
zone of all of the affected areas to provide search and rescue capabilities is needed . we will continue the process until we know for a fact there is no person was unaccounted for. as of now, they remain more than 160,000 power outages throughout the entire texas region affected by hurricane laura. we have almost any phone hundred people. your providing childhood throughout the states with more than 3000 hotel rooms, chattering evacuees. sheltering operations are occurring bear county, ellis county, travis county in harris county. those efforts will continue as long as needed and one very important point here is one thing that saved lives was
evacuation orders that were made by local officials rate. it was so important for the local residents who he those local warnings . and by people getting out of the harms way and an early time, that is one of the reasons why the loss of life was minimized. as well as the damages. i do just as people listen to local officials and knowing when to evacuate, it's equally important to listen to the local officials about when it is a good time to return. if you have no power, and other challenges on the ground, there will be different parts of a particular county that will have different levels of ability. so is very important to continue to listen to the local officials about when is the best time to go back as well as one of the challenges may be existing in a particular county.
one thing that we are continuing to look at, as we stand ready to watch and respond to potential flash flooding as well as potential tornadoes as the storms continue to go through the exiting process of exiting. i have one report unconfirmed about a death in sabine county. no that is completely unconfirmed. among point is this. that is the only report that i received it all about any potential loss of life. if we make it through a category four hurricane that ripped through the coastline all of the way to the text, area, and we have been able to have minimal or perhaps no loss of life, that
is a miracle. it shows that prayers were answered. so many people care so much about the neighbors and the preparations paid off. so i applaud the local officials for being so effective as they prepared the regions for the oncoming hurricane. i applaud what they were able to do to save lives in ways that led to saving lives in saving property. in will lead to a very quick recovery. one of those local officials pleasure county judge to whom i would like to turn the mic over to at this time. >> governor thank you. we think we have dodged a bullet definitely fills what we feel here in orange county as a whole. and about probably about 230 or 3:00 o'clock this morning, there was probably held across texas, huge sigh of relief. this thing started going east. with a sigh of relief was also
some sadness that it was going to our neighbors. we hate to see it go there. were going to do all we can to help those folks just as they came over and they helped us. louisiana helped us secure our folks over here and from the flooding. thank you for your efforts in all of the stuff that you have done. between us and what we need to hear and you responded extremely well to this cause. thank you for that . in the state level, cecily important that whenever we answer those resources and respond to those resources, everybody, we had a all of the one standing behind his throughout this . without the support, we cannot support our citizens which is now growth to actually giving them the support they need so that they can be safe and they did he'd known warnings to evacuate. in of god to take a lot of that is the fact that our local city officials as well as the city mayors and managers, that we all work together. our local counties, we have a
good six county region that will work together in. so we put out evacuation orders in different orders that we do it as a team. and that consistent message goes across our community spread i think that is a huge benefit i think that helps the citizens understand what we are trying to do in a trusted . that was our calls we move through the storm and once we knew that we were going to get the search, then we start focusing on the wind damage what would it was going to do . we did not get the 140-mile an hour wind but we still got enough went we have damage . this morning our assessment teams would help us as the god daily to get out safely. they're out first goal to get out of the runways find out what clearance we need together is because many of the people are going to want to get back into town. back to the homes and businesses so they were doing that. we should have those reports in the so that we can assess. that is a twofold approach. number one is that letter citizens come back safely is one
thing cannot get hard in a hurricane. but we don't want to get her coming back here. we could see nothing arteries and stuff, some of those have not completely deep fall and yet so you've got to be careful moving around but we also know have a lot of assets here. we may not need better neighbors well . we want to be able to get them in essence me know we are clear here, we will have that ability for you to send those assets of their help our neighbors. they have always helped us. and again thank you for everything that you've done. thank the city mayors and the managers throughout orange county. because without this, we work together. without them, we come up with good solutions as a team. that is what we try to do pretty thank you. >> of course. the mayor next . >> i would like to thank everyone for coming out. this is been a tremendous show of support . from all of the representatives from all of the senders, from all of the different organizations across the state of texas. this is truly a remarkable
situation that is been not one plus of life for the city of orange and surrounding counties. and so i want to think my emergency management coordinator. our fire to come our police chief, our manager, all the city staff are working diligently to evacuate. it's not always about policies and procedures. it is about loving people and letting them where they are for who they are. and this will be sent for peer in the city orange texas. i want to thank you governor for your support. it's definitely a to meet you. i look forward to seeing and working with you in the near future . god bless you all for your support. >> thank you mayor. >> judge we celebrate, this wonderful news that we dodged a bullet friend will be know this will be the last one.
one of the things that i would like to think that distinguishes texas from the rest of the country when they experience a national disaster, the coordination a different parts of the government. everybody at the state and local and federal levels. texas congressional delegation is working . one of the rules of them than i go by his five piece . prior pressurization practice because you had a lot of practice. but i just want to congratulate you and the commissioners court and stepping up on this project and senator chris in the texas get delegation . has worked on enhance storm surge system in this part of the state. there's a lot of attention given to the arctic which is very important. certainly a priority.
but we are one step closer as a result of your leadership in county commissioner stepping up the deal with an enhanced levee system that will cover 27 miles an orange county. but also help some of the surrounding counties to and do with us in the future. so congratulations. >> thank you. now sen. ted cruz. >> thank you governor and i will say texans all across the state, texans here in southeast texas are breathing a giant sigh of relief right now. this hurricane could've been much much worse. we just completed an aerial tour of the region. in the damages much more contained in prior hurricane's have been. obviously our hearts and our having for our neighbors in louisiana where we toured some of the damages well pretty it is
significantly greater. given that the magnitude of the storm, it could've been so much worse. several whole lot of prayers that were lifted out across texas and a whole other prayers across the country and we saw prayers being answered. we also saw testament to the leadership we have in the state, the local level in the federal level. one of the realities the texas when it comes to hurricanes is this was not her first rodeo. we have experience with natural disaster and at this point, we have county judges and mayors and state officials and federal officials who have come together and dealt with tragedy from hurricane harvey to milton to rita to ike. we have seen the devastation that can come from national disasters and we are grateful that this one did not bring the same level of magnitude. one of the reasons we limit some
of the damages because we have such terrific cooperation at the local level, the state level, the federal level. all of us have been talking to each other, talking to the governor repeatedly. talking to the white house yesterday . talk to the secretary of homeland security pretty that the federal government and state and local all working hand-in-hand. and for those who were impacted by this, the weepy resources and support and also from the community. from the churches, charity but i gotta say at this point, every time we face a disaster or even disaster, i'm inspired to see a texan step up to help each other print out texans, help their neighbors, help them out of harm's way, help clean up the mess and help them get back on their feet. and judge, it is powerful to hear but exactly the texas spirit that even though there folks hurting here, one of the first thought is we are going to
help our neighbors in louisiana . because that is who we are as a state. that is who we are as a nation. thank you . >> united states congress, local. >> thank you governor. i really appreciated. thank you for being here. ... ... his commissioners, our mayors here over in georgetown have done a bang up job trait just won't be the first time i've worked with tony robinson either. everybody in this room that is a hurricane veteran, raise your hands. a. [laughter] or law enforcement, our first responders, i just want to say thank you. it has been something that
people only -- back when they say you have it on survivable 20-foot storm surge and you have a 150 mile-per-hour winds. at category four. a lot of people evacuate. i evacuated and got out late last night. came in this morning. and i can tell you, it was ver very -- i can't say i take great pleasure in looking i saw a lot of roofs off. from what it would heat we have seen in the past, we have definitely dodged a ebola. so i just want to say thank you. for you being here. thank you to all the folks who have worked hard. we really appreciate it and god bless. i have a lot of kinfolk. [laughter] were over across the river. they come over here and help this numbers and numbers of times. this is an opportunity for us to go over and help them. >> brandy serving lunch? [laughter]
>> welt my wife knows how to cook that stuff i guarantee. we will have that range. >> will bring up your neighboring congressman, randy weber. >> will thank you governor. i don't have a lot to add. we've got district 14 to the east. on since brian is doing lunch and you were all invited. [laughter] i just want to make that clear. we need a name for a great texas spirit. we have the cajun navy command before. too that was an embodiment of the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors. in fact i coined the frames back than they did things that we did need to be done we called it cajun area. [laughter] we need a place in texas whether it's texas tough folks. my hat is off to all of you. our great governor, our great center, our great delegation come together. fema, locals people, cities, i will tell you what. my first hurricane is a 1961, it was hurricane carla. i was eight years old.
and i have been through a lot of hurricanes. i have never seen this much coordination. i have never seen this much fema help. thank you tony for jumping in. the president being ready to jump in for the governor working with the president, with the locals. we've got it going on in texas. we know how to handle these hurricanes. lord help relist think we don't need any more practice. for all of our first responders we think the world of you all. we really love being in texas, we really love what's happening right here right now because of the love poured out from the help we are going to give. thank you all very much. both the preparation for the hurricane. and someone heavily involved in the response. governor dan patrick. >> thank you governor. as everyone has said, nobody
does is better than texas. nobody works better than the government at all levels. you always prepare for the wors worst. a new hope for the best. this time, with some exceptions for sure, the best turned out. under scores importance of the dike. i want to yield my tight sheer great senator robert nichols who does a fabulous.job. robert if you'd like to say someone? >> i wasn't expecting to but i will. i watch this last night like i'm sure most of you all on the new news. he came on booktv. and said the lord is watching over orange. and he did. we have amazing cooperation
from all of the agencies in the city in the county in a staff i'm very proud to represent you. thank you governor. >> we will call pure local state representative. - thank you governor appreciate it. thank you for having a plan. the plan works. we need that plan down here. it happened during covid. we followed all of the cdc guidelines and evacuate and hopefully one sobering fact website. is watching the news and was reminded the gulf of mexico is the warmest body of water on the planet right now. which means will use that plan again probably. the law-enforcement mayor, county judge, thank you very much.
judge brannick the csc and everybody did a good job. [inaudible] well oiled machine. and then your neighboring representative, >> oh thank you. thank you governor, thank you for subbing so quickly. as you've always on the past when we have had emergencies. to work with this group, and even called me saying you need anything. it's coordinated effort that everyone has said it's a group that works well together. and it helps our community greatly. >> thank you and last achieve of texas emergency management. >> thank you governor. your words are very powerful this but sunshine this morn. two words i want to have courage and leadership right onto thank you for the courage and leadership it is not easy to mandate an evacuation for the state love texas but set
squarely on the responsibility of your mariner county judge. there's a lot that goes into that planning. the decision-making process is always the right decision to have a coordinated quarterly evacuation when you are faced with the circumstances you were faced with. my hands are off to. you had a great plan, had a good response, swift recovery. and it's a chairman said we are not out of hurricane season yet. this is not the time to high-five and go home. this is the time to double down and get ready for the next one. >> very good we will take few questions. [inaudible] see mcpherson tecumseh preparation, we housing to replicate what we did this time. preparation was planning in advance. under the leadership of the entire team would previously stage national guard, texas division of emergency managemen management, texas
task force one as well as the texas wildlife officials. as well as lining up 15000 people who can restore power to the region and the list goes on. the key was getting people located in advance and prepared for it also working in collaboration with local officials. in supporting those decisions and assisting them. and always, doesn't matter what type of storm, with its can happen today, next year next decade, that bind with planning in advance is what always leads to better results. as it concerns things like if you want to call it the eye dike or whatever, we've had many conversations about that just today. and someone who knows a lot about it is senator john cornyn. would you like to say more about at this time? >> just briefly.
the ike dike is perhaps the best known storm surge protection. and it is certainly very important. as a very complex process for very sophisticated storm surge area. but the army corps of engineers is not scheduled to release their proposed plant until march of 2021. and then it is really up to local officials and state officials to say what they want in terms of that plan and how to implement it. and then it's up to the texas delegation to support that plan. i would just repeat that we are close to turning dirt over, judge, right? on a $3.9 billion storm surge protection plan. with the work the lieutenant governor and texas legislature. the governor hopefully allow orange county to benefit from
basically 27 miles of enhanced levee system which will help. ike dike is important. from the army corps of engineers of march. we are ready to turn over dirt on that enhanced levee right here in orange county. subject next question. reporter: what is the next 2448 hours look like? >> for all of the community is impacted. first and foremost is to continue to assess whether or not any lives are at risk. saving lives is job number one. we will have teams in the entire affected region. making sure every life is safe. then clearing pathways such as roads for it i have heard that some roads are blocked off either by roads or by trees. we need to clear roadways and emergency vehicles can get through an powerline repair trucks can get through and
things like that. and restoring power. so it is step-by-step. returning communities to a sense of normalcy. and then, beginning today really it's what you typically see after a hurricane. getting prepared for debris removal. the others accessing the extent to which there having femur relief. otherwise deceived if the relief needed is provided. we do strongly urge everybody who has any insurance, please call your insured and trenton's insurance agent today, tomorrow, call very quickly. that is what they are there for. to make sure they will respond to your insurance claims. you and add to that? >> i know you're covering it all. but that's what looks like. >>. reporter: [inaudable question]
i with the cheap answer that. >> the power companies route during assessments now. power that goes typically from the generation station, from the power plant on the high wind take the longest to repair. they will assess those damages when him high-voltage transmission lines you can be several days before they get that infrastructure rebuilt. power coming from the distribution station of the houses is usually faster to go up. will be working several those at the same time. those without power do not use it inside your home. carbon monoxide is number one killer of families when it comes at times like this. be very careful how you're powering your home he do not have power. another excellent reason to listen to your local officials about what it is safe to come back. they're the closest to the ground where the work is being done in no best when it's opened up and people can come back inside. >> i would not through talking weeks yet. think we need to when the power companies convexity assessment of timeline.
but everybody hears committed to going as fast as humanly possible. reporter: [inaudable question] >> so we prepared in advance, dealing with covid in a hurricane before hurricane haner. this is her second experience several different strategies use different times. different from hurricanes, we did the best we could. we families want to evacuate, locate and hotel rooms instead of large congregate settings for the abuse setting with a wood more easily transmit covid-19. to assist evacuees as well as assist local communities. we provide a tremendous amount of ppe, hand sanitizer and things like that for people who were looking to other regions. if i understand correctly they
were provided what was needed to covid-19 test, is that correct? >> that was before we have a congregate shelter we will have covered testing available. everyone and make congregate shelter will have access to a covid test to make sure they have not been exposed. strategies that we have learned, have proven to be effective. because if you look in the aftermath of hurricane haner through the no aces county corpus christi all the way down to the valley, three weeks after that the number people testing positive as well as the number of hospitalizations began to decline. it showed the people in those regions handled well the combination of covid in a hurricane. and i have no doubt the same will be true here. >>. reporter: [inaudable question]
how did they get that what is the plan of when it's safe to come home how do we all do that? >> i have the cheap answer that question. thank you for letting us get the message out again pray when the local officials decided safe to come back for the same transportation methods used to evacuate will be used to return citizens to their home. it is the flipping of the process. it is how we move them will be the same of you bring them back pretty will be important to pay attention to the local government website. with communication on the facebook pages. that is when they will know it is safe to come back. over question. reporter: [inaudable question]. >> i turned to the mayor and the judge her. >> class i have to cut off time, the winds reach a certain level. we do not which is under officers and first responders out in the inclement weather. whitson called the midnight
hou hour. they were not able to respond today. since then we've not received maybe one or two they were having problems with breathing in that nature. but the biggest issue is no loss of life. that's the good thing i think my lord and savior jesus christ. because without him, none of this is possible. so i praise god for what he did for us. >> >> thank you all. thank you all. >> thank you again governor really appreciate it. [background noises] >> having a good team helps, i have a good one. >> it's good about having the experience. yes, sir. [screaming