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tv   Pres. Biden Receives Update on Hurricane Ida Aftermath  CSPAN  August 30, 2021 9:16pm-9:37pm EDT

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tipping point in this nation. what we do matters. i believe that the 1776 project, this project is an important historical moment. we need people to get behind us, we need to make sure our message reaches white, black, asian, hispanic, everyone. america is a great country, we need to fight for it. live, carol flame on in-depth. her most recent book is how critical race theory is burning down the house. other titles include we the people and debating immigration. join the come first asian -- the conversation for carol swain live at noon eastern on in-depth on book tv. >> president biden held a virtual briefing today to discuss the federal government response to hurricane hideout,
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including where fema administrator as well as governors and local mayors of louisiana and mississippi affected by the hurricane.
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pres. biden: good afternoon. we are waiting for a couple people, we are going to get started. thank you for joining me. the fema director is on. i am here with my senior advisor . and senator from louisiana. what i'm going to do is make a brief statement and tell you what we are going to do for them, and hear from you. i know you're busy as the devil. you have a lot to manage in your states, the fact is, we both want to hear from you. we know hurricane ida has the potential to cause massive
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damage. is what we saw. we already know, at least one confirmed death, and that number is likely to grow. we've got a million people in louisiana without power. for time, ida caused the mississippi river to change direction. some folks are still dealing with the storm surge and flash flooding. the roads are impassable due to debris and downed power lines. people continue to shelter-in-place, if it is safe for them to do so. for those who lost their homes, the state is working with the american red cross, 50 shelters in infected areas -- affected areas across the both coast. we've begun search and rescue efforts. we are doing the best we can. more than 5000 members of the
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national guard have been activated from louisiana and mississippi, alabama and texas to support search-and-rescue and recovery efforts. fema has pre-positioned millions of liters of water. and other resources in the immediate area. we've deployed more than 200 generators, we already moved into the region ahead of time. the administrator and her team at fema is working at getting more of those into the area. we are in close contact with local electric providers to see what they need. there private per drive -- private providers, we don't control that. we've been working with the electric sector throughout the night and all through the day to assess and understand the full extent of the damage.
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to accelerate the process, i've asked the federal aviation administration to work today with louisiana and mississippi electric companies to authorize use of surveillance drones to assess ida's damage to infrastructure. i've also asked the pentagon and the department of homeland security to immediately make available any satellite imagery that can assist in assessing the damage in the states and cities and parishes. local utilities are going to begin restoration work, including prioritizing getting transmission lines into new orleans, back up and running. more than 25,000 debris crews, from at least 30 states are rolling into support you.
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summer prepositioned and hopefully already underway. we need to be prepared. we are as prepared as we could be for the early stage of this. there is a lot more to do. we know a lot of people lost their cell phone service. if a particular carrier or tower is down or damaged. this morning, the federal communications commission has worked with the southern providers to initiate their cooperative framework agreement. that allows customers on one line -- with one provider to go to another if there providers down. allows customers to use roaming carriers. that means you should be able to get a signal, a mother who your carrier was or is. the main thing i want to make clear, we are providing any help you're are going to need. i've got my senior advisor here,
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he is in new orleans native and was a congressman from louisiana's second district. he knows the area, he knows the people. he knows how to get things done in government. while fema is our lead for on the ground response, if there's something you need, needs my attention, send us a direct line to the white house throughout this recovery. whatever you need, but to me. the people of louisiana and mississippi are resilient. we can see the power of government and respond to the needs of the people if government is prepared and if they respond. that is her job, work together, if folks get knocked down we are there to help you get back on your feet. the most important element is
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coordinating all branches of government, state, local and federal. that is what we are trying to do -- were trying to do before this working hit. we are going to stand with you and the people of the both, as long as it takes for you to recover. i'm going to turn this over to john bell, governor edwards of louisiana. give us your assessment of what you have and are seeing out there? tell me what you're hearing and anything you need that we have not gotten to you? >> thank you, mr. president. you could not have picked a better person -- we look forward to working with him. let me thank you for signing our request for pre-lim for request for a declaration. hurricane ida came on shore with
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everything advertised. the surge, the rain, the wind. the good news first, all of our levee systems, particularly our federal levee systems and flood reduction systems worked. they were not overtopped, a number were breached. even some paid for with state and local funding performed extremely well. it will be a different story altogether had any of those levee systems fail. having said that, damage is still catastrophic. it was primarily wind driven, we know there are some areas that received tremendous rainfall as well. we are going to be dealing with this damage for quite a while. you mentioned the power outage, that is portable for us. -- critical for us. it is a million -- closer to 2
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million people without electricity right now. we are trying to prioritize the restoration so that our hospitals come back up first. they are on generator power, generators may fail after some time. we already have the corps of engineers on the ground identifying additional generators we can bring to these hospital locations, so should they have a failure before power is restored, they can switch. they are working on that. we had fema embedded before the storm. they haven't laughed. one disaster or emergency after another. they are doing really well. we look forward to visiting with the administrator, who i think is going to be able to come down
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tomorrow, mr. president. this is going to be a long haul. we are going to need assistance with a housing program, we are putting together preliminary information this week that could potentially drive and appropriation. i will work through cedric on that to make sure we can get the program up and running as soon as possible. i want to finish with the most important thing, we are still in a lifesaving phase here doing search and rescue. roads, highways into most of the affected area were completely clogged with debris, downed power lines, trees. we are making good progress, we started search-and-rescue this morning in daylight. we dispatch those forces.
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we already had search and rescue teams from 16 states in louisiana as of yesterday. it started moving to the affected areas at 3:00 this morning, 6:00 they were doing searches from 911 calls the came in over the night that could not be responded to. by 6:00 this morning, we were affecting rescues out of the air, as well. the last thing i want to say, the first rescues were at the hospital. by the u.s. coast guard, they are able to fly before any other assets could. they were able to move about seven patients from the hospital that had the roof taken off yesterday. your coast guard rescued and relocated those patients first
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thing this morning. we are very appreciative of that. >> pres. biden: thank you. we worked real hard to get the search and rescue teams in place. you say they have been able to respond? >> yes sir. they are everywhere we want them . they started responding first thing this morning. those 16 teams, does not include the national guard. i have all 5000 by national guardsmen activated. we are going to end up with 5000 more coming in from out-of-state through an enoch request. one of the reasons this is important, we have our infantry combat team deployed to the middle east. we are going to have to enoch request as early -- as early as tomorrow we are right have
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additional soldiers national guard from sister states. >> pres. biden: good. if there's anything else you need. just call. you have the team at the table there. who are we going to next? fire away. >> thank you, mr. president. when we spoke on friday you assured me that you would immediately sign that declaration and you did exactly that. i want to thank you for doing that. we are in a little bit different of a position right now that our friends in louisiana. this storm, the eye of the storm is currently west of jackson. we have some more hours of the
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eye of the storm being in the state of mississippi. because it is such a large storm, our largest threat in terms of tornadic activity remains along the coastline. the storm is really challenging. it has slowed down to about eight mile per hour. that is why it will stay in the state for so long. that leads to more and more rainfall. we will get even more rainfall then maybe we originally anticipated. because it is moving so slow, the wind speeds have not reached where we thought they would be. they are closer to 30-40 miles per. certainly still providing significant challenges, but not to the extent that it could then
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-- could've been. we know our greatest threats are in respect to rising water and power outages. the storm has been in the state for about 18 hours now. we have encouraged our fema
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counterparts to relieve those individuals over to louisiana to help with that search-and-rescue. as we progress over the next hours, he has already reached out to his counterpart in louisiana. we will be sending men and women in uniform from mississippi to help in louisiana. that is who we are. we have some tough hours ahead of us. when and lots -- wind and lots of rain. we are seeing more rain and more water but less wind. that is certainly helpful. thanks a lot. thank you for your generosity. and sending those search and rescue teams to louisiana. his mayor cantrell on?
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are you on? i don't think she was able to get connected. >> i don't think so, mr. president. pres. biden: you are hard-hit, weren't you? >> thank you you, mr. president. thank you. we have not had contact with grand isle. i talked to the mayor yesterday evening. some people could knock it off the island. we have not had contact with them since yesterday. i think she is on a helicopter to get him to the island. hopefully we will be able to communicate with them. it is very hard to not have any
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word from people on that island. the water was very high. they are doing search and rescue. we are sheltering people at a playground. the state will coordinate and move them out to alexandria. that is my understanding. our systems are down. we have no communication, no electricity, our water systems are down. we had to do a boil water advisory. our sewer system is based on electricity, so we will start having backups. we are encouraging residents out of the area to stay out. the people inside, we will have to be taking care of them.
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pres. biden: thank you, madam president. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are sponsored by these companies and more. >> it is our home. we are doing our part, so it is a little bit easier to do yours area. >> every day we are taking your calls live on the air on the news of the day. discussed policy issues that back to you. tuesday morning, a political


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