tv President Biden on Hurricane Ian Response in Ft. Myers FL CSPAN October 5, 2022 2:54pm-3:15pm EDT
complain. who do they complain to? congress. people have been getting a pre-good deal on flood insurance they buy through fema. they do not want to give up that t c-span.org. we are going to talk about hurricane recovery efforts and servings storm damage. you are watching c-span. >> we are working to get power back on and we also have a bridge situation as well as the bridge in pine island, we are airlifting lineman on to both islands to serve the damage and plan for restoration. i was in the area today, and you go through with a helicopter,
and you see damage, but it does not do justice until you are on the ground and you see utility pole sawed in half, massive power lines everywhere, massive amounts of debris. it is a significant effort, but our view is we must do it as soon as possible. charlotte estimates school restoration very soon. we have been looking at 375 internet devices that elon musk provided. they reposition satellites, and we now have internet at all the pods and eoc's in key places. also throughout the community. our department of transportation has cleared 5000 miles of roadway. when it was severed from the mainland, we went out and met with those folks on friday of last week, and what they said was we need to get back and forth from the island. is there anything we can do with
ferry service or bridge. talk with the department of transportation, we said we could restore and provided temporary bridge. we did that, and it opened today. pine island is now restored to the mainland. there was some talk that they had to get off of the island. that is not to these people are. they are island people. they are not leaving. we also executed a contract for emergency repair to the causeway. that will take longer. we anticipated being done this month. and in the meantime, we have been airlifting some support access, and we will do that by boat. but we are optimistic to get at least a temporary fix so we can start to bring in even more support, and flowing from that, a provision of emergency management that has put commanding control elements into
all of these islands. they don't have to worry about going to a county or a state. they are there, and they are going to effectuate those operations, so major reconstruction of the power in sanibel will be necessary, and massive amounts of removal here. you can see here, a significance, and i want to thank the administration who approved 60 days of 100% reimbursement for debris removal. these communities here are built for to be -- debris removal, so it is significant help and we thank them for that. i also want to thank the first lady. we've raised over $35 million, and with all the state agencies, fema, based on regulation, with
law, you there are not fit in the private charities, and growing in tough circumstances. also, i want to say that responding, there is a various level of government, and the minister polities suggest boots on the ground, with involvement every day, and with these missions, police, fire, rescue, you name it, we manage and coordinate among various counties that have a federal government, and provide support, and i think we work as well across state, local, and federal of any disaster i've seen, so i want to thank our administrator from fema for being on the ground and supportive. one of the things you are seeing in his response, we are cutting through the bureaucracy.
we are cutting through the red tape, and that is from local government, state government, all the way to the president. we appreciate the team effort. this is something that the storms come, they are on the horizon, and you kind of project could be really bad, but often times it doesn't necessarily get to that level, but this is the full monty. we met an expectation, and you see what is significant and what it can do. we've got a lot of work to do, and i will tell you that the spirit of the people of this state in southwest florida has been phenomenal. when i am meeting with people who have lost everything and are 80 five or 90 years old and sheltered and all they can do is think the red cross and the fire in the state, fema for all of the support, that shows you that we are getting there to support,
so mr. president, we can work across various levels of government, and the floor is yours. pres. biden: governor, thank you for the hospitality. i want to thank the mayor and the county chair. cecil took me on a little helicopter ride out to sanibel island. i am sure it is worst on the ground but you can see a lot of damage from the air. i have been to a lot of disaster areas the last six months. more fires have burned in the west and the southwest, burned everything right to the ground. then the entire state of new jersey. as much room as that takes up.
the reservoirs out west are down to almost zero. we are in a situation where the colorado river looks more like a stream. there's a lot going on. one thing is this has ended the question of whether there is climate change and we said -- we should do something about it. folks, jill and i have had you in our prayers and i mean that sincerely and i am here today because we wanted to talk in person and we are not leaving until this gets done. i promise you that. you know, when you walk around here, down the fisherman's wharf, you do not have to have much of an imagination to understand that everything, everything is historic here. titanic, and unimaginable storm. just ripped it to pieces. you have to start from scratch. you have to move again. it will take a lot of time, not weeks or months. it will take years for
everything to get squared away. in the state of florida, and fully recovered and rebuilt. we are here today with governor desantis senator rubio, senator scott, and congressman donald. today we have one job only, to make sure that the people of florida get everything they need fully and thoroughly recovered. we are one of the few nations in the world that on a basis of the crisis we face, we are the only nation that comes out of it better than what we went into it and this is what we will do this time around, come out of it better because this is in the united states of america and i emphasize united. we have seen extraordinary cooperation at every level of government, as the governor said. the cooperation began before the storm hit. the number one priority was saving lives at the request of the governor. i signed an emergency declaration.
i signed an emergency declaration that pre-position federal assets including food, water, and generators, not only in florida, but other states to be ready of the worst happened, and it happened. we pre-positioned the largest number of search-and-rescue teams ever assembled in the u.s.. ever assembled in the u.s.. fema, the pentagon, the coast guard, other agencies were ready to respond immediately working with state and local officials. the search-and-rescue teams have knocked on nearly 70,000 doors and rescued over 3800 people. yesterday, in lee county alone the search-and-rescue teams examined 24 savo -- 24,000 structures just in that county, making sure we are accounting for everyone who still may be trapped. we have over 4000 federal personnel on the ground as i speak.
the army corps of engineers provided emergency power to hospitals across the state, nursing homes, water treatment plants, to make sure these facilities are able to continue to operate. tens of thousands of utility workers across america, not just in florida, across america, responded to the call from florida that needed help. thousands, thousands from across america. working around the clock to get power restored. this is amount america coming together and i mean it. america coming together. fema has delivered 4 million meals and millions of spotters -- bottles of water to make sure they have immediate necessities. we know from experience, i know from experience, how much anxiety, fear, and concern there is in people. we do not lose our whole home. lightning struck, and we lost about -- a lot of it about 15 years ago.
we had relatives nearby. it was not like everything was wiped out, but we know the feeling. the feeling, where will i put my head down on a pillow tonight? how will that work? will my kid be ok? will you be able to go back to school? will i rebuild my home? will insurance coverage? if i don't have insurance, god knows, what will i do? we are working to speak to those issues because they all warned immediate responses. i instructed my administration to bring every element, and i mean every element of the federal government together to help with the immediate needs and long-term rebuilding. yesterday, we opened a disaster recovery center in lee county. three more will be open in this part of the state by tomorrow and with more to come. the state is co-locating insurance villages at the same centers. so if you are not sure what your insurance circumstance is, if you are not sure what you can get, show up and determine in
one place, one place, meet with your insurance company and also apply for federal assistance at the same time. from fema to the small business administration and the department of housing and urban development, there are many ways we can help and we have already started. already 200,000 for radiance -- floridians, 200,000 families have registered for assistance like buying food, getting prescriptions, clothing, basics. how many of you lost businesses? insurance may not cover everything. it may not cover the full cost. we are in a position where some of the folks have lost homes as well. the question is, if you have insurance, will it cover the cost? i directed the small business administration to speed up the processing of low-interest disaster loans that can provide up to $2 million for small businesses and nonprofits and additional money for lost income.
and, $200,000 for homeowners to close the gap between what insurance will not cover and what their needs are. that is 1.5% interest rate. yesterday the state asked me, and we immediately agreed, to activate our hotel program so individuals that need hotel rooms will not have to pay for anything. i know there are not many around here, but they can go to the nearest hotel and not worry about paying anything and have coverage. if you do not have insurance, or if you are underinsured, and you have found a place to rent, or your car has been destroyed, you are entitled to up to $37,900 in federal funds. if you need to repair your home, you may be eligible for another 37 -- $37,900 to possibly get close to $80,000 for your needs available.
folks, the most important thing you can do is register so we can help figure out who is eligible for these things. hundreds of fema personnel are going door-to-door to help with that. you can call one 861 3362. -- 1-800 613 362. have patience for us to get it all done. so many people are contacting. go online to disasterassistan ce.gov to find out what you are eligible to receive, or sign up at one of the mobile disaster recovery centers, the one open here and many more that will be open. meanwhile, in the county's hardest hit, the federal government at the request of the governor at the very bear -- at the very beginning said we will cover 100% of the cleanup cost.
that is billions of dollars all over. we will pay 100% for 30 days. that was just extended for another 30 days. the governor and i talked advising he will have to ask for more beyond those 60 days because it is consequential. unless you clear the area, there is not much else you can do. folks, look, we have -- >> we seem to have lost signal from the live event. we will work to resolve the issue and we hope to resume life coverage shortly.
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