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tv   Pres. Biden Receives Update on Hurricane Ida Aftermath  CSPAN  August 30, 2021 3:42pm-4:04pm EDT

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one in which we rallied to see consensus on several important issues within our purview. people have not done it alone. without the hard work and positive contributions of -- every delegation and representatives of the state including the conference service officers, interpreters, reporters and security staff. as we end, i know i speak on behalf of the -- in wishing the delegation of ireland good luck for the months of september. the meeting is adjourned. announcer: coming up at 5:00, secretary of state antony
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blinken will make a statement on afghanistan. watch live on c-span come online on, or listen with the free c-span radio app.
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pres. biden: i am here with my senior advisor who knows louisiana very well. and new orleans. what i'm going to do is make a brief statement here and then go through and tell you what we are doing and then hear from all of you if that's ok. i know you are as busy as the devil. i know you've got a lot to manage in your state. the fact is, i want to hear from you. we both want to hear from you. we know hurricane ida had potential to cause massive damage and that is exactly what
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we saw. we already know there has been at least one confirmed death and that number is likely to grow. we've got a million people in louisiana without power. for a time, ida caused the mississippi river to change direction. some parks -- something sir still dealing with flash flooding. there are roads that are impassable due to debris and downed power lines. we need people to shelter-in-place if it is safe for them to do so. for those who have lost their homes, states working with the american red cross have already opened 50 shelters in affected areas. we have begun search-and-rescue efforts and we have folks out there who need assistance and we are doing the best we can. more than 5000 members of the
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national guard have been activated from louisiana, mississippi, alabama and texas to support search and rescue and recovery efforts. literally millions of -- and liters of water are pre-positioned as well as other resources in the immediate area. we deployed more than 200 generators and we already moved in ahead of time. the administrator and her team at fema is working on getting more of those into the area. we are in close contact with local providers to see what they need. the private pirate -- the private providers we don't control but we are trying to minimize the amount of time to get power back up. we have been working with the electric sector throughout the night and all day today to assess and understand the full extent of the damage.
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to accelerate the process, i have asked the federal aviation administration to work today with louisiana and mississippi electric companies to authorize the use of surveillance drones to assess the damage day energy infrastructure. while i'm sure those flights do not disrupt aerial search-and-rescue operations. i will also ask the pentagon and the department of homeland security to immediately make available any satellite imagery that can assist in assessing the damage in your states and cities. local utilities will soon begin restoration work, including prioritizing getting transmission lines into new orleans and get them back up and running. a lot of them have been taken down. more than 25,000 debris crews and linemen from at least 30 states are rolling into support you.
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some are already close and some are underway. we need to be prepared. we are about as prepared as we could be further early stage of this and there is a lot more to do. we also know a lot of people lost their cell phone service. if a particular carrier tower is down or damaged. this morning, the fcc has worked with providers to initiate their cooperative framework agreement that allows customers with one provider to go to another provider if that provider is down. at allows customers to use roaming access carriers. that means you should be able to get a signal no matter who your carrier was or is. the main thing i want to make clear is we are providing any help you're going to need. i've got my senior advisor here with me you all know him, he is
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a new orleans native and a congressman from louisiana. for 10 years. he knows the area, he knows the people. and the people who have been affected and he knows how to get things done in government. while fema is our lead for -- if something needs my attention, cedric is your direct line. the direct line through the white house with -- throughout this recovery. i mean that. he will get you what you need if you can. the p silk -- the people of louisiana and mississippi are resilient. it's in moments like these we can certainly see the power of government respond to the needs of people if the government is prepared. that is our job if we work together. folks get knocked down, we are there to help you get back on your feet.
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the most important element is coordinating all the branches of government. state, local and federal. that is what we are trying to do . that is why we begun working together but we are going to stand with you and the people of the gulf as long as it takes for you to recover. i am now going to turn this over to john bell of louisiana. give us your assessment of what you are seeing out there. tell me what you are hearing and anything you need that we haven't gotten to. >> thank you mr. president. you couldn't have picked a better person than senator grisham. first of all, let me thank you for signing my request for a pre-landfall decoration, and then last night signing a major disaster declaration. that is going to be very helpful. hurricane ida came on shore with
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everything that was advertised. the surge, the rain, the wind. the good news is all of our levee systems, particularly federal systems and hurricane risk production systems performed magnificently. they were not overtopped. none of them were breached. even our systems that were paid for with state and local funding in lafourche and tara bone parish performed extremely well. it would be a different story altogether had any of those levee systems failed. having said that, the damage is still catastrophic. but it was primarily wind driven but we know there were some areas that were seeing tremendous rainfall as well. we are going to be dealing with this damage. you mentioned the -- that is critical for us. it is one million homes and businesses that are out and my best guess is you're getting
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closer to 2 million people without electricity right now. of course we are trying to prioritize restoration so that hospitals, first. generators typically fail after some period of time. we want to get them back up and in the meantime we already have the corps of engineers on the ground identifying additional generators we can bring to these hospital locations should be have a failure before power is restored, we switch them over. they are working extremely hard on that. and we have -- this year since before the storm. the truth of the matter is they have -- became governor. because of one disaster or emergency after another. they are doing well. we are looking forward to visiting with administrator griswold who i believe is going to come down tomorrow.
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this is going to be a long haul. we know we are going to need assistance with housing. we are putting together per luminary information this week that can potentially drive an appropriation. i will work through cedric richmond on that to make sure we can get a program up and running as soon as possible. i want to finish with the most important thing, we are still in a lifesaving boat during search-and-rescue. the roads, the highways into the most affected areas were completely clogged with debris, downed power lines, we are making good progress. we actually started our search-and-rescue this morning at daylight. by the way, we already had
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search and rescue teams from 16 states in louisiana as of yesterday. they started moving to the affected areas at 3:00 this morning. at 6:00, they were actually doing search-and-rescue's for 911 calls that came in overnight that couldn't be responded to. i 6:00 this morning, we were affecting rescues out of the air as well. the last thing i want to say is the very first rescues occurred at a hospital in lafourche parish. by the u.s. coast guard. they were able to fly before any other assets could. they were able to move about seven patients from a hospital down there, you probably saw the hospital that had the roof completely taken off yesterday. your coast guard rescued and relocated those patients first
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thing this morning and we are appreciative of that. pres. biden: thank you. we worked really hard with you to get the search and rescue teams in place, but you say they have been able to respond? >> yes sir. i can't tell you they are everywhere we want them but they started responding first thing this morning. those teams do not include the national guard or the officers here. i've got all my -- national guardsmen activated. we are going to end up with about 5000 more through the vac requests. one of the reasons this is important is we forgot 2400 soldiers and our combat team, they are deploying to the middle east. we are going to have requests as early as tomorrow. we're going to have additional soldiers coming from sister
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states and that is going to be helpful as well. pres. biden: good. if there's anything else you need, you note just call. you got the team at the table there, a lot of them. just holler. now cedric, who are we going to next? i understand governor, you are not on video, but you are on the telephone. fire away. >> thank you mr. president. when we spoke on friday, you assured me that when we asked for the pre-landfall decoration you would immediately sign it and you did exactly that. i want to thank you for doing so. we are in a different position right now than our friends in louisiana. the eye of the storm is currently west of jackson. we probably have between 18 and
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22 more hours of the storm being in mississippi. because it is such a large storm, our largest threat in terms of tornadic activity still remains along our coastline and in the counties just north. the storm, which really is challenging, has slowed down to about eight miles per hour. which leads to more rainfall. the bad news for us as we are going to get more rainfall than we originally anticipated. the good news is because it is moving so slow, the wind speeds have not reached where we thought they would be in the 65 to 75 mile an hour range here. they are closer to 30 or 40 miles per hour. it is still providing significant challenges, but not to the extent that it otherwise
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could have been. because of that, we know our greatest threat here in mississippi are with respect to rising water and power outages. the storm has been in the state for eight to 10 hours. we've got a hundred 35,000 plus dwellings that have not and cannot receive power right now. we are working on that period anticipate that number to significantly increase over the next 20 hours as the storm continues to move north. we have determined in meeting with our team, as well as your team, that the search and rescue teams from fema are not currently needed. we believe our state and local assess -- assets can meet the needs. we have encouraged fema
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counterparts to release those individuals over to the louisiana to help with the search-and-rescue. as well as, i have directed my general, as we progress over the next eight to 10 hours, he has reached out to his counterpart in louisiana and we are going to be sending men and women in uniform for mississippi to help in louisiana. that is who we are. we've got about 20 hours ahead of us. wind and lots of rain. all things considered, because the storm slowed so considerably , we are seeing more rain pres. biden: thank you governor. to i-4 your generosity -- thank you we are generosity and sending research on rescue team to louisiana. are you on?
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i do not think he able to get connected. >> i do not think so. we have a cynthia, vice president from jefferson parish. pres. biden: you were hit hard? >> yes, thank you. we have not had contact with grand isle. i talked to a gentleman yesterday evening, he thought 30 people were on the island, we have not had contact with them since yesterday. i am told that the governor had a helicopter get into the island. as long as there is communication we can make it with him and see what is going on there. it is hard to not have any word
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from that island and the people on it since that time. the water was high, our first responders, firefighters, some coast guard are there doing a search and rescue. they're having to get both in and out. we are still doing those people at a playground. the state is going to coordinate pickup and move them to ask andrea. -- alexandria. our systems are down, we have no electricity, no communication, our water systems are down. our scissors system -- sewer system is based on electricity, that is going to be a hygiene problem. we do not have the amenities to bring people back home. the people inside, we have to take care of them. some of the people in here who stayed during the storm and
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r.o.k., they may want to get out . and maybe the best idea to get out. it will be difficult. >> secretary of state antony blinken will make a statement on afghanistan. watch live on c-span, online at, or listen with the free c-span radio app. >> your opinion matters. let your voice be heard with the student cam video competition. create a documentary that answers the question, how can the federal government impact your life? your video will inform federal policy or programs that affects you or your community. the studentcam competition has $100,000 in cash prizes and a shot at the grand prize of thousand dollars.
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-- $5,000. for competition rules and more information, visit our website at ♪ >> putting rights advocates held a rally and march on saturday calling for the passage of federal voting legislation and statehood for the district o


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