tv Florida Governor Holds News Conference on Hurricane Ian CSPAN October 1, 2022 7:43pm-8:04pm EDT
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gov. desantis: good afternoon, the last time i was here it was better, today we are surveying and incredible amount of flood. and i know the images on fort myers beach are the ones everyone sees on tv, and those are catastrophic, but this is a massive storm that had massive water dumped all over the state, the interior of the state all the way to the east coast of florida, so here, we came in, i saw some via air, and we were able to drive around and see some of the water. it was significant. i was able to meet with the resident whose entire home was underwater.
we were sensitive about not just the areas on the news all the time, but all the other areas throughout florida, so this whole thing here, this emergency vehicle, we dispatched to hardy county before the hurricane even hit, because they are having problems with their eoc, so we wanted to make sure they had the ability to conduct emergency operations should the need arise. it was interesting. sunday, i don't think hardy was even in the cone, then it shifted. people were trying to figure out bottom line is, you had this , here. you had a lot of great people on the scene helping, and you have done -- they have done a lot of water rescues here in hardy, big time, and that's been helpful for a lot of the residents to be brought to safety.
you have residents here who have gone through a lot of hurricanes. this one had more water than any of those by far. so in a situation -- so it is a situation where you had life-threatening flooding going on in neighborhoods in this part of four to -- of florida. we understand there working on connectivity and cell phone service, on getting the electrical back. we wanted to be helpful, as best we could, so we are working with elon musk, and he has the starling satellites. he's been repositioning those to be over this part of florida. i guess it comes from there to here that you can get the internet off this with your device. these are important things. we have been able to bring these for use in hardy county by the emergency personnel and however else they want to use it. we are also getting probably about 120, over the next when he four hours, and will provide them here, but you can put those in different parts of the community and people can connect if they are in close enough
proximity. you can get these things and less -- so it is coming from the space to hear and then onto your device, but you cannot get the connectivity straight from your device, your satellite, to let you have these things. they are important and we are happy to be able to have that here. hopefully that will assist with some of the connectivity issues. people have been working hard to get the services online, but in the intervening period, we want to make sure you have the support here. i want to thank everyone who has been involved in this effort. we have people from all over the state helping out here. we have had florida highway patrol from the state, but you have your local sheriff, police, first responders who have been important, and the support they've gotten. there are people from oregon here and hardy county helping out on this effort. so as much as you hate having to see this and go through it, people do come together and step up, and they've been doing that here in a big way, so we are proud of the resilience we've seen in harding county, and i know we've seen in some of the neighboring counties. i have your em director here. she's going to say a few things
-- we are proud of the resilience of hardy county, i have your em director here. she's going to say a few things and then we will have our director of education, nannie -- manny diaz, say a few things. >> hello. thank you so much for coming. i cannot express how much honor it is for me to step up and be a voice for harding county residents. hurricane ian definitely impacted our county, it was devastating impacts. we typically don't reach any type of serious flood stage, but we hit right over 27 feet, so that caused massive flooding. for people who typically wouldn't be affected by that type of rain. they definitely were, and we had to then reach into our contacts and the support they always give us. we were able to obtain teams
that would come in fully equipped with their own equipment and staff. we completed over 90 water rescues. our damage assessment team is currently out there doing the best that they can so we can get a good grasp on the entire impact for accounting, so we can start -- for our county, so we can start to plan for utilities. we hope by late next week we can get up a good portion of our utilities. we will be opening some points -- pods, points of distribution. those locations will be able to serve and provide food to our communities, not so much first responders. we know we have to get all this for our first responders but we don't want to forget our community, our residents, those who are impacted the most. we have a team of pio's diligently working together as a county government, municipality and first responder agencies.
we will be pushing out one press release. that way we have a streamlined process for information to get to our residence. whoever needs help, we are definitely here. we do want to ask that everybody be patient. be patient with each other. be patient with us. the patient with first responders. we are all here to serve you, to make sure that we can all get back to some sense of normalcy. that is what we all want. that is our ultimate goal. i cannot say enough. thank you. i wish i could stand here and identify every agency that has helped us. our oregon team, all of the resources, volunteers, people who have just stepped up and said, hey, i want to help. ultimately, i cannot think of florida division of emergency management enough. without hesitation, when we were going through the worst and new
are eoc would be impacted, director guthrie did not hesitate to send us the resources we needed. because of them, we can then push through and make our recovery effort better for our community. thank you so much. >> thanks manny. [applause] gov. desantis: thank you so much. i was able to visit schools in collier and lee yesterday and had an opportunity to meet with the superintendent in hardee and visit a couple schools. it's important for us to get our schools back as soon as possible. get our kids back into school, and i know there are certain fears for that. we have to deal with the shelter first. we have to make sure there's power and those buildings are able to be assessed. it's imperative to get kids back to school to return to normalcy so we can get back to teaching and learning and get them back in their regular routine. i'm proud of all or
-- all our superintendents in the state as we have been in constant communication, and day-to-day after the storm, and i'm proud to say a lot of the districts that were affected and some that were not our already -- are already rallying to provide support. there are assets and personnel being sent from some of the other districts into these, and i've had that conversation with the superintendent to assess what he needs to make sure the department is there and the rest of the district can provide that support, whether it be personnel, items, whatever it -- waivers, forms, whatever it is. we look forward to getting back to normal and i think governor desantis for his leadership, preparation and response to this storm. [applause] gov. desantis: i was able to look and see some of the structural damage. i saw the bridge collapsed. i have the florida department of transportation doing an assessment to see what the options are to get that going. these things are not easy
because you have to game it out, do the engineering and everything, but we want to make sure the infrastructure gets backup. i don't know what the timeline on that will be, but i know we can get it done eventually. and you saw a lot of the traffic interrupted here because you still have a lot of standing water, even on the roads, and that's something that's obviously posing a challenge. we are sensitive to some of the issues with the roads and bridges. we had a couple main bridges knocked out in southwest florida as well and it's something we will have to take it on. certainly, in the short term, to figure out if there's a temporary solution. and sometimes there's not. sometimes you have to rebuild it. we are happy to do that but we understand it's causing a lot of problems just in terms of the normal ingress and egress of traffic in this area. ok. does anyone have any questions? yes.
>> [indiscernible] what is your understanding of the power outages in hardee? it has been 80, 90% outages. gov. desantis: the question is about the power situation in hardee. the briefing i received is the actual infrastructure in hardee that is run by the utilities or the co-ops actually did pretty good. they do have, where they get their power from, their power is provided to them by duke energy, so there's going to be fixes that duke will do to get the energy to that point and then you can get it here. they feel good about what they are doing you -- locally, and
it's really a matter of getting those other pieces in place. i actually saw where the hook up is and i did see it down. so that -- they are not generating their own electrical here. they get it from these other companies and that is what you are seeing. hopefully we will be able to do that. i know that they felt that infrastructure did better than they did in charlie, which is obviously something that's good to see. there's also fpl -- was with us , in fort lauderdale or fort myers. they obviously have their customers. they have a lot of resources. they are available for some of the municipal utilities and electrical co-ops who may need some assistance, whether it's infrastructure or lineman, because they have human -- they have huge amounts here. i know they are working hard on it. if there's something you need, let us know. we can enlist them to help. it's a big company. they have a lot of access. yes.
>> [indiscernible] gov. desantis: fema just expanded some of the individual assistance to some of the northeastern florida counties. which we are appreciative of. we had the director of fema traveling with us yesterday and she's been very supportive. we have by and large worked well with them and also well with local partners. when you see us bring an emergency operation center to hardee county, that couldn't -- doesn't happen without close cooperation. that is a major asset for the state. the fact that you have these pods today opening for distribution of food and water, that's usually a 96 hour post storm event, and yet this morning, saturday, you are seeing pods when the storm didn't even leave florida until thursday afternoon, thursday evening, and you got massive amounts of water and food being given out at various points throughout the state, so you
don't do that without good coordination, and particularly, the people in florida and at the local level are experienced, our people at the state or experienced, and i think you are going to end up with the power situation, certainly on the private utility side, done quicker than they have for any other hurricane, which is great. obviously, we want our co-ops and others to do similar. in terms of fuel, there is fuel available. it is just you need the electric to run the gas stations. that is the issue there, but we have a lot of fuel staged in southwestern florida that can be put to use if people needed, but the reality is, the ports are open. the stuff is flowing again. it is just a matter of the gas stations that are running generators. they are able to offer fuel. that is great. the problem is, there will be long lines if you only have certain gas stations open, but even in lee county, we were at one of the bridges that got knocked out.
we were there, we met with folks, as i'm driving back through one of the communities, publix was open yesterday morning. you had the wawa and these gas stations that were open. i am trying to think, when has there been basically a category five hurricane that hit, and less than 48 hours later, you have the supermarket open in one of the areas most hardest hit? so i think that's what happened in florida is you have great state and local coordination, but then, over the years, utilities. -- the utilities have pre-staged so much for this storm. i was just at waffle house in charlotte. they have a whole emergency plan and disaster response plan that they execute because when the waffle house is open again, that means life may be getting back to normal. so they are doing that. they are feeding first responders. the fact that publix was doing that. i think almost all publix, there
are some publics that have not open but the vast majority have reopened. we are very proud of the whole effort, not just government but in the private sector as well. yes. >> [indiscernible] -- we don't have a generator in our building. is there any way that we can end the day with a generator in our building. gov. desantis: have you spoken to somebody? i would put in a formal request and speak to the county. we have generators here as well. if we can be helpful we want to be helpful. hopefully you get that power on
real soon. but it is a good thing to have during these circumstances. we are here to help. we want to make sure that we get our community back on our feet. we saw a lot of flooding, a lot of significant damage. you don't so we will continue to be here helping people out. thank you all. announcer: tonight on c up next democratic senator chris murphy with will hurd a former republican congressman discuss gun violence and how to reduce it. then from the mcconnell center in kentucky, democratic senator kiersten sinema talks about the importance of bipartisanship. and later, the senate judiciary committee examines what resources are necessary to hold war crime perpetrators accountable. announcer: c-span's washington journal every day we take your calls live on the air on the news of the day. and we discuss policy issues that impact you. coming up sunday morning,
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