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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  October 2, 2022 8:30am-9:00am PDT

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i'm jane pauley. please join us when our trumpet sounds again next sunday morning. i'm margaret brennan in washington. this week on "face the nation," hurricane ian ravages parts of florida and the carolinas. we'll have the latest. the trail of destruction left behind by hurricane ian. extensive. the death toll, rising. the timeline for clean-up and rebuild, months, maybe years. >> it's not just a crisis for florida. this is an american crisis. we're all in this together. >> but for a country still struggling to recover from the pandemic and its economic aftermath, it's yet another task for exhausted americans, particularly for the millions directly affected by the hurricane. we'll look at what's needed most by those who are impacted by ian
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and from officials on the federal, state and local levels, including fema administrator deanne criswell, rick scott and the mayor kevin anderson. plus, how did climate change contribute to this national disaster? and vladimir putin and his war against ukraine. and the supreme court convenes with a new justice and some potentially blockbuster cases on their docket. we'll have a preview. it's all just ahead on "face the nation." . good morning and welcome to nau "face the nation." it's been four days since
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hurricane ian made landfall. the official death toll stands at around 44, but cbs news has contacted local sheriffs, and with their records, the toll stands at 77, directly or in part due to the hurricane. we begin our coverage with mark strassmann reporting from myrtle beach, south carolina. >> reporter: for days, even weeks to come, fort myers beach ismisery. >> everybody's tired. everybody's stressed. >> reporter: more than 800,000 floridans still have no power. more than 10,000 evacuees now stay in shelters. another crisis, drinkable water. in lee county, which includes fort myers, a water main break means the taps run dry for its 760,000 residents. in other communities, boil water advisories are tough to follow when there's no power. >> this is not just a 48-hour ordeal. this is going to be something that is going to be there for days and weeks. >> reporter: with ian's death
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toll climbing, a new blame game has its own fury. lee county leaders may have diterred before ordering evacuations last tuesday, a day later than neighboring counties. too late for many to leave before ian made landfall. a category 4 hurricane churning across central florida, with a wrath straight from the old testament. ian's second u.s. landfall, the sequel no one wanted to see, happened here in south carolina. that's the atlantic ocean right there, spilling here into the streets of myrtle beach. storm surge flooding this state's low country region, but no deaths state wide and a general feeling of relief. >> a lot of prayers have been answered, but i would ask people, don'tfl i for m meli fo causeway, sanibel island is now
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isolated from the mainland. returning evacuees feel disruption at every turn. >> we go now to florida republic senator rick scott, who joins us from naples. good morning to you, senator. >> good morning. it's really tough down here. the unbelievable loss of life. we still have people that they hope are alive they're trying to rescue. please pray for each and every one of those. >> we will. i know when you were governor of florida, there were four hurricanes on your watch. governor desantis has said what is happening now is biblical. how would you describe the impact? >> well, the storm surge was unbelievable. you know, the worst storm surge we had with irma was down in the keys, and it was 9 foot. it sucks everything in and out of a one-story house. as we had mexico beach with michael, my last year. but, you know, in lee county, they're talking they might have had 18 foot of storm surge at
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sanibel. you look at 12, 15 foot of storm surge at fort myers beach and pine island. that's hard to survive. you have to be -- you have to get up pretty high and your structure has to survive. unfortunately, some of it is older construction, so we lost a lot of -- a lot of buildings. >> the president said that he may need more money from congress to help with the response. and i know you and senator rubio have talked about more emergency relief being needed. if you're calling for an emergency supplemental, does it need to be paid for, offset? >> well, i've supported disaster relief. look, everything you do, you would love for it to be paid for, but we have committed -- we made commitments that we're going to help our families, our businesses, our states and local governments. as a federal government, we need to do our job. we have to watch how to spend our money. i'm very supportive of fema. my experience with fema when i was governor is they did their job. they were a good partner.
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they're not lead agency, they were a support agency and they acted like that when i was governor. >> but the disaster modeling firms have, you know, scale of damage here from $30 billion up to $100 billion. how much money is it that you think you need to go ask congress for? >> we're going to find out hopefully, most things are covered by insurance. that's what you hope. now, florida has had a problem the last few years with their property insurance market, so hopefully the insurance companies will be able to cover a lot of that. >> but not flooding. soat'sne ofthis has worked gover florida hasn a significant donor state to floodin. unfortunately, there's many people that don't have flood insurance because they didn't know you needed to buy flood insurance or it's gotten too expensive. we need to have insurance products that work and people can afford. that's one thing i try to build
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the private flood insurance market when i was governor, to make sure people get flood insurance and can afford flood insurance. you're right, a lot is not covered by a normal policy. it's covered by a flood insurance policy. i was in kissimmee yesterday and there was some flooding up there. they weren't in a flood plane. nobody was told to get flood insurance. they had probably a foot of water in their homes. they were just completely shocked. >> well, i mean, is the bottom line here, though, senator, that some of the communities have been so hard hit that you need to take a second look here. maybe some of them should not be rebuilt because of the risk level from extreme weather. >> well, i think you have to look at should you build in places? i believe these places are places where people want to live. they're beautiful places. so, what you really have to do is you have to say, i'm going to build but i'm going to do it aftedrew in changed its buildi
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codes, which has dramatically reduced the risk of damage. while i was governor we improved our building codes. i think after this, we're going to learn that -- we're going to i do have a bigger picture question because, you know, disasters are a time when people can come together. and our country is so incredibly divided. i know you know that. over this weekend we heard some pretty disturbing rhetoric from the former president who tweeted that senator mcconnell has a death wish. he said some racist things about his wife, the former cabinet secretary, lane cou. marjorie taylor greene made a false claim that republicans want democrats dead and they have, quote, already started the killings. given the level of security threat right now, would you rebuke those comments?
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>> well, i think what we've got to do is bring everybody together. i would also say that what vice president harris said yesterday -- or the day before yesterday, you know, if you have a different skin color you'll h president what we've got -- >> that's not what the vice president said. she talked about equity -- >> that's exactly what she meant. trump. >> femaase col fema has to provide support to everybody. now, here's what i -- here's what i'll tell you. i believe that we've got to do -- president trump has talked about this unbelievable spending talking about inflation hurting the poorest families. i grew up in a poor family. i watched inflation hurt my mom. we have to watch how we're spending this money. >> i know. sir, you're talking about substance. i would love to talk to you about that. but what i quoted you was a phrase saying, mcconnell has a death wish. he said, racist things about
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elaine, and they have already started the killings. that's not a policy dispute, senator. the language is what i'm talking about. isn't that dangerous? >> i think we all have to figure out how do we start bringing people together and have a common goal to give every american a great job, the kids to have an education they can be anything and live in a safe community. that's what i do every day. >> you would agree that language doesn't bring people together? >> i believe -- i believe what the president trump was talking about is the fact that we can't keep spending money. we're going to hurt our poorest families the most with this reckless democrat spending. we have to stop it. we can't cave into their spending. >> that's not what the former president said. and coco chow was the phrase he used to refer to a former
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cabinet secretary, elaine chao. >> look, he likes -- he gives people nicknames. i'm sure he has a nickname for me. you can ask him what he means by his nicknames. what i want to make sure is i -- what i can do, i can try my best to bring people together and i'm going to try to bring people together. >> okay. i know, senator, you know that democrats have not already started the killings of republicans as marjorie taylor greene has said. >> i didn't see what she said, but it's also not helpful what the vice president says when she thinks fema is going to treat people differently based on their skin color. >> we will have the fema administrator on the program to talk about equity. but already started the killings really stood out to me, so i wanted to make sure you responded to that comment. we'll leave it there. thank you and good luck. >> i didn't hear it. let's bring people together. please pray for our state. we go now to fema
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administrator deannesttor, i kn very busy. you've got states of emergency from virginia down to florida. you've got flooding and concerns, west virginia, tennessee. where is your area of greatest concern at this moment? >> good morning. our focus right now is supporting the people of florida that have the most significant impacts from this storm. but we also have teams that have been embedded pre-landfall, south carolina, north carolina, that if they had immediate needs, we were able to respond. right now, we have a lot of staff, a lot of resources that are embedded across the state in florida, making sure that we are continuing the first priority, which is saving as many lives as possible and getting the immediate assistance out to those that need it right now the most. >> governor desantis said, lee and charlotte counties were, quote, off the grid. that's where sanibel island, fort myers and other areas are
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located. when do you expect things like electricity and water to be back? and can those residents move back to places like sanibel island, this year? >> yeah, there's going to be a lot of issues, especially in those areas of the greatest impact.r 2min omer witut power immediately following the storm% and the power companies have done an amazing job of getting things restored as quickly as possible. but those hardest hit areas, they're going to take some more time. we know there's a water issue right now in lee county. we brought in support from the army corps of engineers to work with the state, to work with the county officials to assess the extent of that damage, and what is it going to take to help repair it or at least put some temporary measures in place. beside that, we know so many homes -- i saw firsthand when i was there friday and saturday, so many homes completely destroyed. and so we are going to make sure that we are getting the right
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people in there to help provide the temporary support right now, but the long-term needs to help these communities recover. >> so, on that point, the president said if someone doesn't have insurance, the federal government will provide just under 40 grand for home repairs and just under 40 grand for lost property. given costs right now, do you think that's enough for florida residents to rebuild their >> yeah, there's a couple of things that go into how a community or how an individual recovers. insurance is first, right? we know that many people are either underinsured or have no insurance. people can register for fema assistance. we have limits and the amount of money we can give. our programs are designed to really help jump start that recovery process. but then we bring in our partners like the small business administration, which can give low-cost loans to families. not just businesses, but families. and our partners at hud and we'll work together on what
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those unmet needs are, what their long-term needs are and make sure we're providing the resources and support to those communities, temporary and then long term to get these communities back on their feet while they're rebuilding. >> when you look at that question of rebuilding, i want to ask you something i asked senator scott, which is given the warmer weather, given the rising sea levels, there is concern in some of these coastal communities about rebuilding in the first place and whether it's sustainable or whether you should retreat. how are you going to decide if it's even safe or worth rebuilding in some of these parts of the state? >> those are really good questions, margaret. and when individuals are starting to make decisions about what they're going to do and what their next steps are, you really need to understand what their risk is. and as we rebuild, i think i heard the senator say that, you know, florida has done an amazing job of putting in place
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stricter and stronger building codes to make sure that as we rebuild, we rebuild more resilient. that's the key. we need to make sure that we have strong building codes, because we have risks all over. we've seen damage inland in the state. and we need to have building codes that can make sure that our properties can withstand the impacts that we're seeing from these severe weather events. >> you heard the interview with senator scott. he talked about your agency. he brought up comments from vice president harris. and i want our viewers and you to listen to what she said. >> it is our lowest income communities and our of color, that are most impacted by these extreme conditions, and impacted by issues that are not of their own making. and so -- and so we have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on
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equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity. understanding that not everyone starts out at the same place. >> yesterday florida governor's spokesperson said, don't cause panic. senator scott called on fema to be colorblind, really, insinuating you're not. >> yeah. look, margaret, i was on the ground, i was on the ground friday and saturday. i was assessing the damage personally and talking to survivors. there are a lot of people that are going to need assistance as a result of this. and one of the things that i have known and i have experienced responding to other disasters, that there are people that often have a hard time accessing our programs. there's barriers to our program and one of the focuses since i've been in office is to remove those barriers. so those that need our help the most can access the help we
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offer. i know the vice president and the president, they share these same values. again, i was on the ground friday and saturday. and i committed to the governor then that we are going to provide assistance to all floridans because we know that there are people that are just completely devastated from the storm. we are going to be there to support everybody that needs help. >> just to be clear here, the senator said the vice president's comments were about if you have a different skin color, you're going to get relief. how do you respond to that? >> again, margaret, our programs support everybody. i would say i believe some of the things the vice president are talking about are the long-term recovery and rebuilding these communities to be able to withstand disasters so they can have less impact. we're going to support all coies. i committed that to the
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at a fs wil get help available to them through our programs. >> all right. administrator, you will also be looking, i imagine, outside of florida at puerto rico as well? >> we have not left puerto rico. we know they're still responding to the impacts that they had from hurricane fiona, another very devastating hurricane that impacted the island just a few weeks ago. we have a strong team that's been there working. they're going to continu to work. and i'm going to be traveling with the president tomorrow to talk to people firsthand with him and make sure, right, we just want to make sure we're giving them everything they need to support their recovery efforts. >> administrator, good luck to you. "face the nation" will be back in one minute. stay with us. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ we turn to kevin anderson, the mayor of fort myers, florida. mr. mayor, the county that you are in was hit very hard. and we know county residents
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weren't told to evacuate until tuesday morning, a day after the do you think that was enough forewarning for your residents? >> well, you know, margaret, warnings for hurricane season start in june. so, there's a degree of personal responsibility here. i think the county acted appropriately. the thing is that a certain percentage of people will not heed the warnings regardless. >> some of them lost their lives as a result. i want to ask you about the governor's efforts to you. i know he was visiting the area. what do you know about when the water and the electricity will be fully functioning? >> now, i can only speak to fort myers, which is about 15 miles north of the beach and the island, the barrier islands. we already have electricity slowly returning as well as water service. we have crews that are working
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16 hours a day. they will work seven days a week until we get everything restored. >> senator scott and the fema administrator just spoke about the need to potentially change building codes because of just the incredible devastation that you've seen. is that the prime issue you've seen with impact, is it the buildings aren't up to snuff or is it that there's just incredibly different weather patterns? >> so, our -- most of our damage was right along the river, and it was caused by flooding. i was in one of the worst hit areas yesterday in the east side of town. you could see the newer houses are intact and they're fine, but the older homes, which were built lower and not up to the current codes, they suffered more damage. so, having solid, good building codes is a key to this issue. >> and is that one of the changes you'd like to see or do you need to have some tough
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conversations about pulling back from building near the water at all? >> we have good building codes. as i said, the newer homes, they withstood the storm. so, as people tear down and build new, they'll be subjected to the newer, tougher building codes, and in future storms they should be able to weather it a lot better. >> we'll be watching that recovery, mr. mayor. we wish you the best of luck. we'll be tracking this story. we'll be right back. c® tri-zone. in my ozempic® tri-zone, i lowered my a1c, cv risk, and lost some weight. announcer: ozempic® provides powerful a1c reduction. in studies, the majority of people reached an a1c under 7 and maintained it. ozempic® lowers the risk of major cardiovascular events such as stroke, heart attack, or death in adults also with known heart disease.
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lot more "face the nation" with a preview of the new supreme court session, that starts tomorrow. plus, we will share a good-bye to a good friend and colleague, bill plante. stay with us.
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