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tv   America Reports  FOX News  September 29, 2022 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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out of power, but we have been able to restore over 700,000 customers before the storm has left the state and we are going to continue to work 24/7 to do so. i'm actually pleased with the systems i've seen further to the west of here is in good shape. at fpl, we did not lose one transmission tower, so backbone is up and operational, and now looking at the substations with flying debris into them and get them back online. there are essentials of the territory along the barrier islands that will require rebuilding. some areas cannot be repaired and they have to be rebuilt. and unfortunately, also homes and businesses will not be able to take the power once it's ready. but the 20,000 plus men and women who are already here are staging and getting out in the
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field currently. they will work 24/7 until we get the lights back on, again as the governor said, not our first rodeo, but every storm is also different, and always poses different challenges. appreciate all the support from the state, governor, thank you, from local law enforcement as well, the national guard, this is a team sport and a team effort and we are going to all work together until we get florida back up on our feet and where we all want to be. thank you. >> and when fpl and the other companies have crews in, the ex ten to which that infrastructure has remained is critical because it's a lot easier for them to reconnect an existing system than to have to rebuild it. so to see some of that that was able to withstand is encouraging. it's also just a testament. some of these folks put money into the resilience of the
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infrastructure, and this is like the ultimate test. you have a hurricane that's a massive hurricane coming in at 155 miles an hour, producing this type of storm surge, dumping rain, causing flooding. if you can make it through that, you probably did it pretty good. and so this is a 24/7 effort to stabilize and to restore, and so we are going to do whatever we can to assist with that effort. i'm happy to take a few questions. >> in our area of sanibel island [inaudible] the images are devastating. and we know that -- confirmed deaths -- [inaudible] what have you heard from the legal agencies about the scope of the tragedy? >> well, sanibel is destruction. this is -- those of you who have not been, it's a beautiful, beautiful place. a really neat community and it got hit with really biblical storm surge and washed away roads, it washed away structures
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that were not new and could withstand that. there have been a number of people that have been identified and brought off the island safely and those efforts are ongoing, not only with the coast guard involved with that, our usar teams and local law enforcement. i think most people have seen the images of the bridge, the causeway going out so sanibel, and you have destruction of that. that's something we will rebuild but will not happen overnight. most of what's done to assist is air operations, since you cannot get there on the ground. i think kevin will probably have more boats head over there as well, but the important thing is, i was able to speak to the mayor this morning and she and her key staff did evacuate and so they have been operating off more the mainland and lee county and many people did leave sanibel and did heed the call, which is good.
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obviously i think you know it's a very seasonal community. we are not quite in the high season yet, but i think she made the point, it's florida, more people want to be here year around, so there are some people who stay over the summer. it will require a lot of effort to get that back because they took a huge, huge wallop. and the span of 40, 50 miles, some places that got the storm surge versus some other barrier islands, much less, and that's kind of the way some of this goes. those were really difficult images to see, especially given that's a place i've been fortunate enough to go out and have some friends and do events there in the past and really a great part of the southwest florida community. but we are committed to restoring the infrastructure as needed. that is not an overnight task. it's going to require a lot of love and care and resources but
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we are going to do it because we understand how important it is. >> federal and state funds available to make that happen -- [inaudible] >> in terms of infrastructure, kevin, and also grace from fema is here, we have gotten approved for, what, 30 days approved us? >> 30 days -- [inaudible] >> and that's more of like the immediate -- >> this particular county is under individual assistance -- so we will set up the disaster recovery centers -- >> individual basis. somebody loses their house and needs hotel accommodations o are something like that, they are going to be able to do. jimmy is here, the cfo as part of the recovery centers, insurance villages. if you look at what lee county had to deal with, these are massive, massive flood events. and so most of these people who
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have mortgages and are in a flood zone probably had to have flood insurance so people could help with the flood claims. you also have wind damage with the traditional homeowner's insurance policy, so that's important. in terms of the overall infrastructure, obviously we will seek federal support for that, but also florida, we are well positioned financially right now to get through this. we have the largest budget surplus we have ever had, and we worked hard to keep the economy open and make this a state people wanted to be in, and so we are seeing historic reserve even as we have continued to break records with the revenue coming in with no income tax and low taxes, revised it in august saying florida is getting more revenue and then in september, 300 million over what they estimated. so we have put emphasis on infrastructure, partially because the state is growing but understand in a situation like this. we had a bridge knocked out with hurricane sally, because you had a barge let loose and rammed
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into the bridge. so we were able to fix that, but not something that happens overnight. so to me, i think the more issue is, we will have resources between federal and state and local, i'm confident of that but ok this is an island you are not going to be able to access by car until that is done. and so what's going to be the plan, and that's something we are going to consult with the local leaders, at the city level and the county level to try to figure out what the best is, but when you deal with these things, you stabilize, you provide the help with people but you want to get back to some semblance of normalcy as quickly as possible and it's going to be harder in some areas than others, but i want to you know, let's work on sanibel and bring it back to where it was as soon as we can. >> governor, the properties that were totally wiped out, how should it be determined if flood insurance or wind coverage should be appropriate and how would that determine -- [inaudible]
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>> kind of an age old thing on these storms. you have disputes. you have both policies, you have a flood claim, the flood claim wants you to file the wind claim, and the wind claim wants you to follow the flood claim. so when you have a surge that's 10, 14 feet, six feet of water in somebody's home, to me that's a flood claim and does not mean they did not also suffer wind damage, we know it was a significant thing, but you don't -- wind alone is not going to cause the six feet of water. that's a flood event. and it's not just in the barrier islands, which had a lot. you go in some of the places in lee county, you know, close to the river and inlets, you had massive, massive rising waters. that's what you do. that was happening with some of the folks who did not do the evacuation, they were hunkering down in their homes, i think, were totally fine to handle even a really strong wind event. the problem is, if the water is
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rising, you are in your living room, it's a foot, two feet, three feet, they are the ones calling saying hey, this is a big problem. of course it is. so i think at the end of the day in lee county, i think most of the claims are going to be flood claims. i think in charlotte, the mix may be different, i did see some winds damage and i think those claims will be appropriate. but clearly, you know, when you are in those flood areas and you have the water rising like that into your living room, that is a flood. >> governor -- [inaudible] sometimes insurance companies will shuffle their feet on a normal situation. now we have this, where everyone will be flooding the insurance companies. what's your message to the people who might be worried the insurance companies might not be acting fast enough? >> where is jimmy at? part of the disaster recovery are the insurance villages. he has done a great job, he's getting the carriers all together, they are going to have
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a footprint in all the affected counties. people are going to be able to go and they are going to file claims. there has already been things done with our insurance regulation agency, you know, go back ten days, none of the cancellations are valid and you cannot cancel going forward another couple of months, so already actions being taken. i'll let jimmy come up and do that. and look, at the end of the day, a lot of issues with property insurance but a lot is because of lawsuits and things that don't focus on the core business. this is the core business of paying these claims, and we understand time is of the essence. >> so we have a preliminary site set up, we'll make sure it's coordinated with kevin guthrie's team and the county, but probably take a large spot, initially insurance carriers will come in, between 20 and 25 carriers, and set up in rvs and start writing checks initially, living expense money. this will be the dollars to help people find a place to live, and
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then signed up where adjusters will inspect the damage. the most important thing to take away. predators will come up, try to sign up construction management contracts, public adjusters, they are going to come in like locust and hit the neighborhoods and people are vulnerable right now. they are going to look for a solution and their solution is always going to be important, but that solution is not going to be knocking on the door every time. if it sounds too good to be true, it is. so please, that first phone call that you are going to make needs to be to your agent, your carrier, or to my office at 877-myflcfo. if one of the first three phone calls to get the claim solved is one of those three, almost 0 chance you can be taken advantage of. panama city is my hometown, i lived through hurricane michael. we did 12 insurance villages there over a year. we are going to be here bringing the carriers back and they will write checks on-site, ok.
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but when you start complicating the claim because you have allowed predators to get involved with your claim, you are going to drag it out. so the best solution is between you, your carrier, and us. the more people you bring into it, the harder it's going to be toof the water line, four feet of water,
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bring that with you. if you have -- the water has gone down but you see where the line was, take pictures and document that so you can go in, present it, and there's not going to be any questions. but jimmy made a good point. you start signing up, some of these people will swoop in and want you to sign this stuff, it has not worked out well in the past in florida. unfortunately, when you have disasters, there are some people that want to prey on people in vulnerable situations, we don't want that. and looking at some of the images we have seen on tv, a lot of automobile insurance claims potentially. i can tell you, my wife, we lost a car in irma and thank god we had usaa, they cut us a check quickly, so, hopefully all the auto insurance will be able to do that, but we are seeing cars washed away, cars totally submerged, and so we understand that people are going to need to be able to get that claim. when we did it with irma, we got the check within like a week. they came out, gave us a check
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and honestly, you know, it's not like losing a car only is like the worst thing in the world, we were fine, but you know what you have to do, you need to buy a new car, so i appreciate what jimmy is doing. i think it's important to get the carriers in to let people go, you know, make these claims and get these things processed as quickly as possible. thanks, everybody, appreciate it. >> john: florida governor ron desantis saying it's going to take a lot of love and care to rebuild this. we have learned of the first death associated with this storm, 72-year-old man who lives in deltona, florida, he was trying to drain some of the water out of his pool to allow for the rain water to come in and fill it back up. he had a hose, and he had run the hose down the embankment to a canal, apparently, because it was slippery and wet, he slipped
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and fell into the canal and drown there. a long, long way away from where ground 0 was when the hurricane hit. let's bring in john kirby, the national security coordinator for strategic communications at the white house. you heard the governor says it's going to take care to rebuild, what's the most important thing for the federal government to do right now? >> i think there is kind of two things. first, is obviously making sure that the resources are available, financial resources and you heard the governor talk about the confidence he has in the federal government in coming through on that, and president biden said that as well at fema today. number two, is obviously making sure that we are contributing as necessary to the search and rescue, on going, and we are. our coast guard men and women, flying over florida, and making
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rescues who are on active duty in the state from four different states, not just florida. they are also conducting rescues and searches and helping clear debris. so it's going to be -- it's really a combination i think between the financial resources to get florida back up on its feet but also much more time, much more relevant, much more important were the lifesaving operations that men and women in uniform are now participating in. >> john, this is gillian turner. talk to us a little bit more about the cost sharing here. i understand the president gave fema today special authorization to do 100% of the cost sharing as i read it on removing debris and emergency protective measures. what does that mean in layman's terms? >> it's basically a vehicle through which we can provide more funding and do it faster so that it's not getting caught up
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in a lot of red tape before it gets to the people who need it. >> john: john, the president warned oil companies not to price gouge folks down there in florida, which i thought was a little curious, because gas pricing down there is going to be a function of global prices of oil and if anybody were to jack up prices it would be on a very local basis. and since the hurricane didn't really go through the oil producing area of the gulf, no reason to think we are going to see a dramatic storm-spawned spike in oil prices. so, why the warning to the oil companies? >> i think the president wanted to make sure, and you saw governor desantis do this a little bit in his press conference, just make sure that people know that we are being vigilant and don't want anybody to take advantage of the desperate straits so many florida citizens are in right now. we don't want them to fall prey to any unscrupulous business
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practices, and again he wants the focus to be helping the people of florida get back on their feet and recover from this, and do so in a way, unimpeded or damaged by anybody who might try to take advantage of that effort. >> john: i don't mean to belabor a point, has there ever been a case where the major oil companies have taken advantage of a storm like this to gouge people? >> i don't have the history, john, for it, i know the president feels strongly we need to stay vigilant to make sure the people can recover in a fair and equitable way. >> gillian: john, the president issued a disaster declaration that covers nine counties in florida. governor desantis and senator rubio really want that to extend across the state to cover all 67 counties. is that something the president or the white house is considering? >> i think we will obviously keep an open mind here going forward. and we know this is not over, so
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this is an initial declaration of emergency stature for these counties, but the storm is just now off the coast of florida. there is obviously still going to be more damage to that state and potentially georgia and south carolina and other states, maybe even north carolina as well. so, i think the president is going t keep an open mind, obviously. we are going to do everything we can do, the president said this today to make sure we support the people of florida. >> john: i was just about to go there with you, john, the storm is going to potentially turn into a hurricane again, hit somewhere between savannah and myrtle beach, looks like. charleston right now seems to be in the bull's eye, and then carolinas and tennessee, if it continues to produce as much rain as now, it could end up in catastrophic flooding in the mountain valleys. is the president prepared to extend disaster declarations to all of those states? >> he absolutely is prepared to
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do what's necessary in terms of declaring emergency states, additional states that could be damaged by ian. we are watching that very, very closely. he's represent abreast throughout the day and will continue to do so, and obviously we will do whatever we can at the federal level to support these states as they deal with the damage that has occurred and the damage as you rightly say that's about to occur. so we'll watch this very closely. >> gillian: john, i'm curious about what assistance and support the fed is providing to hospitals in the state. we heard the charlotte county sheriff say a couple hours ago that three of their four area hospitals are down without power, pretty much totally off line. does the fed have a role there helping to get these hospitals back up and running or helping to relocate patients? what's happening?
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>> we have heard from the fema director many times today talking about the effort that fema is involved in with state and local authorities to help them with these emergency services and there are teams on the ground working with local and state authorities to do what we can do to help them get some of these lifesaving capabilities back up where they need to be. we are certainly mindful that hospitals have been damaged here, many of them still obviously without power or at least partially without power. so there's a lot of work to be done. but as the administrator said earlier today, we are on the ground and working in lock step with state and local authorities, to do what we can to help get those capabilities where they need to be. >> john: john, notable occasions in past history with hurricanes where fema has fallen short, hurricane andrew comes to mind, hurricane katrina, both those times we are never going to let
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that happen again. can you assure the response from fema will be robust enough they will get what they need to recover from this? >> i can assure the people of georgia, florida, south carolina, north carolina, maybe even tennessee, watchful and vigilant throughout the next days and weeks and working in lock step with your local leaders and your state leaders to make sure they have the support they need from the federal government. whether that is from fema and clearly they are the lead agency here, or from the department of defense with our terrific national guard and our other active duty forces across the government, we are going to do what we have to do to make sure that the damage is repaired and that the lives are put back where they need to be put back, and clearly our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with all those who have sadly lost
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loved ones in the storm. >> the demographic realities in the counties hard of hit, by and large, they have a significant proportion of elderly residents. what are the kind of spaef -- special considerations that they are making when they respond to households with elderly people in them? >> you are right, southwest florida there are a lot of retirees, tends to be an older population, which means there will need to be special attention paid to the medical relief, medical services, emergency services to help them. fema have been on the grounds with state and local authorities. we urge anyone who did not evacuate and needs help to call 911. that's the right place to go first, so that you and your call can get logged in and can be triaged appropriately if you
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need that help. but yes, the demographics of the region could certainly tax more on the emergency first responders in this case than perhaps in other areas, but it does not make it any less important to continue to make sure we are focused on supporting these medical services, the emerging medical services as much as possible and we will do that, and if that requires additional resources, even from, say, the department of defense in support of medical services, then obviously the federal government will be there to help. >> john, just before we help, just wanted to go off of hurricane topic for a second and ask you what's expected to happen in russia tomorrow, vladimir putin is expected to officially announce the annexation of four regions in the eastern part of ukraine, donetsk, luhansk, zaporizhzhia and kherson, that would in his
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mind make them a part of russia, could change the calculation of using weapons against what he will say is russian territory. how will the u.s. respond to this? >> i beg to differ with the premise there, john. we are not going to recognize the sham referendum, the fake votes. this is another effort by mr. putin to put a fig leaf of legitimacy on areas of ukraine he has not been able to possess through military means, and we are not going to recognize that. most of the international community will not recognize that, and certainly president zelenskyy will not recognize that. what it won't do, john, it won't change our calculus in terms of the ukrainian armed forces, to not only defend the territory but take their territory back. >> john: see how putin responds. thank you for spending the time with us.
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will just arrived in a little island, just off of the western coast of cape coral, called matt lachey, and serves as -- it's a community there, it's almost, barely above the water, it is a lot of canals and it's part of the way along the causeway to pine island and it was right in the center of where the storm hit. and he's there now. will, what are you looking at? >> i'm looking at a coastline that has been shredded by the powerful storm. matt lachey is the last stop before you get to pine island, the southernmost tip of cape coral, you heard us mention that, and this is the scene, homes have collapsed into the water. i'm going to move around -- iep sorry, we are battling breeze, apologize it's hard to hear me at times. what we are seeing over here in terms of this waterway right here, there was land here, this was a lot, i just spoke to the owner of this lot a few minutes ago. by the way, the man inside that
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home is ok. i just spoke to him a few moments ago. but everything you are seeing right here was land, just collapsed, washed away under the powerful storm surge. indicative of what the rushing water, the storm surge can do. and the other problem they are battling in places like this, trying to get help to pine island. the roads have been washed away, bridges have been washed away. you may be able to hear over my head the sound of helicopters. that's how they are trying right now using helicopters and rescue boats to reach people and not only parts here, but also trying to get down to pine island as well. and so there are military resources, mobilizing out here, they are still in the early process of doing this house by house check to make sure that people are accounted for. and when you come up against scenes like this you can imagine how fragile the process, how difficult of a process, frankly, it is to make sure that anyone
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in this home like this would have survived. there was a seawall just constructed. it was not able to withstand the power of the storm. i spoke to the man who was in this home. he says for years we have been hearing about the storm, the storm that would come and do this type of damage and he said the storm they have been fearing for years has arrived. it is going to be a while before we have a calculation of, unfortunately, the human toll and the financial toll this very, very powerful storm has caused here, back to you. >> gillian: will, this is gillian turner. i'm wondering, curious if you have seen people in the vicinity. you mentioned a gentleman who you just chatted with who was returning to his home to assess the damage. when people are, you know, combing through piles of debris, are they getting assistance in general that you are seeing or left to their own devices -- it can be pretty treacherous as you
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know, curious if local officials are there. >> law enforcement has a heavy presence out here, yeah, law enforcement has a heavy presence here. there are rescue workers with boats making sure people can get out. i will tell you, it's a lot of neighbors helping neighbors. people who may have had a boat that survived this. the marinas are in terrible shape here, you can see a boat here in the background of neighbors kind of going around and surveying what has happened. so, it is a lot of essentially people helping people at this point. but i was here a moment ago and a lady named patty came, she tried to get over to her house, and she was just overcome with emotion. her house is still standing, but she could not help but cry, and she said i think this is it for us. we -- i don't know that we can go through this anymore in our lives. she said this may be the last that she lives, at least, you know, trying to get this close to the water. a beautiful place to be, but this is sometimes the price you
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pay for living in a hurricane-prone area. >> beautiful place to be as long as there is not a category 4 hurricane coming your way. so you are partway there, from the mainland, to pine island, and then beyond pine island there is boca grande, captiva island, sanibel, we saw some pictures. as we look on our screen from the international space station of hurricane ian, look at that storm. that gives you an idea how big this thing was. i know in boca grande, i've seen pictures of the south seas bar and grill that was just totally wiped out. what are you hearing about what happened on the barrier islands? >> more of the same. as a matter of fact, my photographer is just coming back from a little bit more of the marina areas of matt lachey island. buildings are collapsed, the boats are crunched on top of each other like they were toys, and the infrastructure is badly
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damaged. we just -- everything you have to try to go there by foot to a certain extent, then get in a boat and over the washed out roadways and then try to get to the rest of it. there are still people stranded there, so one by one you are hearing these coast guard helicopters come into the area to pick up people and take them out, that's the reality of the first, you know, steps of this process that we are still in, and we were waiting on the wind to die down for hours and hours it seemed. late into the night for the wind to die down enough for rescuers to begin the process, so this is very much still in the early stages of this. >> gillian: for the folks, the survivors of matt lachey that you are seeing in the area who previously had homes there, where are folks going? do you know where they are shepherded this hour? >> there are shelters, but they are full.
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you cannot find a hotel anywhere in southwest florida and maybe even south florida, frankly. not only the early waives of evacuees, but now everyone seeing how long they could be without power, they have left or booked rooms and the utility crews and the people coming in to help. so, it is still an emergency for fuel, desperation to find a hotel room. and also difficult to navigate. it took a while, almost two hours miami after hurricane andrew and i had just moved from miami to new york city, and i was totally disoriented, all the road signs were blown down and you did not know where you were. it was disoriented. you mentioned, you said the
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fellow in the house behind you is okay. did he ride out the storm there? >> he did not, he left. and his first comment to me when he walked up was i guess i made the right decision but what do i do now. and i think for everyone here who has property, that's the phrase in their mind, ok, i got out, made the right decision but if i come home to this -- what do i do now? >> paradise lost. will nunley, great work on matlacha. appreciate it. >> gillian: the entire carolina coast is under a warning. nancy mace, carolina congresswoman. the word prereceiving you, senator scott and rubio says their coordination with fema is the best it has ever been in their experience.
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how do you feel about the response from the biden administration so far and what are you prepping for there? >> so far i think the response has been good. we have seen in florida is absolutely devastating, 2.6 million people without power right now, the images of homes floating in the water, the storm surge, is deeply troubling, and scary for millions of people. here in south carolina, we have a hurricane warning along the entire coast. we only have a few hours to prepare, whether it lands as a cat 1 or a tropical storm, it does not really matter at this point because hurricane gusts of up to 80 miles per hour are expected, and when you have storm surge of seven feet during high tide, there is going to be flooding, and already in some of the streets in downtown charleston you are seeing water start to form and the next 30 hours are going to be critical for us. i spoke to governor henry mcmaster a little bit ago, declared a state of emergency. our charleston county here in moments will also declare a
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state of emergency. everyone is taking this storm seriously as we have to. with hurricane irma, just a few years ago, it landeds an a tropical storm but it had devastating flooding consequences for portions of south carolina's coast, and we have to take it seriously. >> you know, my first hurricane, congresswoman, was hurricane hugo in charleston in 1989, and the devastation brought by that. that's the last hurricane to really take a direct hit there on charleston and it seems to be in the bulls eye right now, and since 1989, so much development in the area, mount pleasant and the whole kiowa island community, billions of dollars of real estate, and what's the potential for damage along the coastline that has been built up so much because it is believed after hurricane hugo the gulf stream was taking all the hurricanes away from places like hilton head island and kiowa and
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charleston, but now you are kind of in the bulls eye. >> we are in the bulls eye on this one tomorrow, the next 36 hours are so critical and important. the winds gusts we are expect today v the pine trees that will come out of the ground, the water that will flood the streets, residents here only have a few hours left to move vehicles to higher ground. after 5:00 today, charleston will have the parking garages open for free. you have time to get sandbags. encouraging everyone to call on their neighbors, reach out to folks, especially if they are elderly, i sent my kids out a little bit ago to help their grandparents prepare for the storm that's coming tomorrow. i want to thank governor mcmaster, and let people know there are two websites to get information for the south carolina coast.
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first one is, and on our website we have information where to get sandbags, local resources, we have three shelters right now and how to follow the storm and best prepare in the next few hours. only a little bit of time before it hits us tomorrow. >> gillian: congresswoman, governor desantis asked president biden to grant fema the special authorization to do cost sharing with the state of florida in the aftermath that's now been granted. is your state considering making a similar request or have you done so already? >> i haven't talked to the governor about that yet. i think for us and our state right now, we are monitoring the storm and determining how bad it will be tomorrow if it goes east rather than north and east might be a better spot. i think it will determine when it hits, high tide, the kind of damage potential to be millions of dollars more or less. i think it will depend on what kind of damage we get, based on
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the storm surge that we are expecting tomorrow. >> so far, are you satisfied with what you are seeing from the federal government, i asked john kirby, and after hurricane andrew there were complaints the federal response was lagging, hurricane katrina the same thing, we all remember a quote from president bush and turned out he was not doing much of a job at all. are you satisfied by the response from the federal government so far? >> so far i am satisfied. look at what governor desantis's press conference, one of the most devastating storms to hit florida, and working with the biden administration, working with fema, making sure everybody has a voice and we have done similar here in having the open line of communication with the governor's office, i have spoken to almost every mayor and local officials, our sheriffs, police departments, coordinating with
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fema as well. everyone is working together as they should. unfortunately south carolina as you mentioned is no stranger to storms and we stand here ready and prepared to help anyone in need. >> gillian: congresswoman, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it and wish you the best going into the coming days and weeks. >> john: good luck, we hope it's not too bad there. >> gillian: fort myers, hundreds of patients are being evacuated from hospitals after damage from ian cut off the water supply there. winds from the category hurricane tore away parts of the roof from one area hospital. joining me now is the fire chief for fort myers. give us the lay of the land, sir. what are you seeing this hour, talk to us about the damage. >> yes, so we had an opportunity this morning to get out there, myself, the manager, and assistant manager to look at our city, the city of fort myers and see what kind of damage we have and obviously it's breathtaking. it's gasping to see what
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happened for us started early and lasted all the way almost to midnight as far as storm surge and things like that. to see the effects we are seeing at night and seeing it in the daylight, wow, it is different, seeing the palm trees bow to it, and boats on houses and roads, and we are thankful as to some other areas more coastal than us. >> john: chief, we saw some scenes in naples, florida, they had to push by hand one of the fire trucks out of the fire station down there because the electrical in the truck, always on, warmed up and ready to go, was beginning to smoke and pushed it out into four feet of water. how much water did you get in fort myers? >> we did aggressive mobilization of the units they are built up, and they are, you
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know, designed for this kind of thing. so we didn't actually have any damage to our stations and our mother stations, very big built up and designed for the apparatus, we were able to do aid and care because of that mobilization. >> gillian: what's your number one piece of advice to residents there as they, you know, come out of hunkering down, as they try and return from shelters, to where their homes once were. what's the biggest fire risk, the biggest fire hazard to folks on the ground as they are trying to traverse the terrain? >> yeah, a lot of it actually has to do with one, being thankful and patient. things we have to realize be patient, when we get out there and recover by being fast and move all the trees in one day or all this in one day, that creates a chance of injuries, creates a chance of actually having some fire damage.
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we don't want folks using generators inside, don't want folks to use handles for lighting, don't want to increase these things of hazards and wait for our power people to come through and actually fix the challenges that they have there, don't try to fix yourself, that would be electrical damage. the main thing is be patient. slow is fast. be thankful, patient and work through the process. when you start rushing and get impatient, that's when you have fires, have traumas, and that's when we have just people just being overcome and overwhelmed. >> john: between charlotte and lee counties, some 500 people have been rescued. where you were in lee county, what were the nature, high water rescues, collapsed structures, how would you characterize the rescues? >> absolutely. all that that you said. so, we were taking calls, a
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tough part of the whole response when we as responders could not get out because the wind speeds and the conditions were not safe for us. once we had the opportunity to get out there and go, that's what we were doing, getting to residents who were in structural collapses, folks who had to migrate to the second floor, who had water coming up, 4 and 5 and almost seven feet into their homes and shelter, a lot of the coordinated efforts of military vehicles, get down roads and get people loaded up and transported to shelters was all that we were doing. it was pretty crazy and over a couple hours to be able to get close to 200 folks actually into shelters as our crews, police, fire and public work, works worked last night. so it was interesting. >> gillian: chief, thanks so much for taking time out to join us, we hope it has been informative for our viewers and folks there in your neck of the woods. we wish you the best going
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forward into the days and weeks. >> john: thank you for all you do. we appreciate it. where is the picture we just saw, can we go back to the picture? that's fort myers, look at that. that's the type of damage that you would expect from a hurricane like this, and we saw it in grand isle, louisiana, and the island of palms in charleston, topsail beach outside wilmington, looks like the hand of god came along and wiped out the structures out. unbelievable. and what's really curious to me, too, we were talking with robert ray, who was in downtown fort myers and he was just down the street from the maria he's been reporting from all day today, and all the boats were tied up as the eye came ashore. so it was the back side of the hurricane that blew all the boats out of the water with the storm surge. so you know when the eye comes ashore, it's not over. let's check back in with jonathan live in atlantic beach
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outside of jacksonville, he was getting the microdermabrasion from the sand earlier today. how is it now? >> blustery out here, keeping an eye on the atlantic ocean on the oat side of the natural dune here. you can see the sea oats blowing in the wind. the natural dunes protect the island communities from more severe flooding and so far they have been doing a good job keeping the waves at bay. now, over here you see one of the boardwalks that people would of ordinarily be taking to the beach, but as you look over here, you can see that it's padlocked. the city is shut down, the public beaches, local authorities don't want anyone getting near the water, they are worried about the heavy surf and rip currents and so the public beaches will remain closed until they determine it's safe for
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people to go back. as you can see, we are dealing with some blustery winds. we began experiencing them and this time yesterday, even though the center of the storm at the time was essentially on the opposite side of the state from me. now it's getting even closer, expected to pass over the atlantic ocean but they are worried about the possibility of storm surge and also the heavy rain, so they are warning residents in this community and also throughout duvall county, which includes the city of jacksonville, people who experienced to take precautions if not all together, john. >> gillian: jonathan, it's
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gillian. have you seen since last hour when we checked with you, have you seen any more tourists out there trying to see the sights? >> gillian, i only heard bits and pieces of that. i think you were asking if people were out, maybe tourists were out. we have seen tourists occasionally go out to some of the dunes here. we are at one, what used to be a public beach access, temporarily closed and they had climbed over the dune and were on the beach. lifeguards came out, blew their whistles, summoned them back in, told them it's too dangerous to be out there, we need you to go back. but there is a lot of activity. surprising amounts of activity on the road, people conducting their business, getting food, even a pizza delivery car driving around delivering pizza. so, life does go on here in this part of florida. >> john: john, how long do they
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expect the wind to be at that intensity as the storm pulls offshore? we saw the picture from the international space station and this is a huge storm. >> john, i think you were asking about the wind intensity, what they are expecting in terms of the wind intensity. even if the storm strengthens to a hurricane, if the eye of the storm goes back out over the atlantic and skirts us along the side, we may not experience hurricane-force winds, maybe more like tropical storm-force winds. we are not even there yet, and you see me blowing around. we do expect the winds to get more intense. we are hoping that center of the storm stays far enough out to sea we don't get to experience full hurricane-force winds. keeping our fingers crossed. >> gillian: in addition to the pizza truck, are you seeing a
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lot of first responders out and about? we might be -- losing our connection. >> john: john, can you still hear us? >> i apologize, i can't hear you over this wind. >> john: no problem. getting reports as we bid farewell to jonathan on atlantic beach outside jacksonville, reports of a possible tornado in boca raton. this is what happens with the hurricanes, so much wind swirling around it spawns offer the tornadoes and they can be responsible for a lot of damage that we see. >> gillian: and again, we were talking with john kirby about the retirement population, the elderly population there, certainly boca raton is -- there's a lot of elderly folks there, a lot of extra special precautions need to be taken to make sure these folks have somewhere to go, they can stay connected to whatever medical care they need, it's a tough,
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tough scenario. >> john: we'll take a quick break and be right back. stay with us. ♪ pop rock music ♪ >> tech: my customer enjoys time with her family. so when her windshield got a crack... she scheduled with safelite in just a few clicks. we came to her house... ...replaced the windshield... and installed new wipers. that's service on her time. >> grandkid: here you go! >> tech: wow, thank you! >> customer and grandkids: bye! >> tech: bye! don't wait, schedule now. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪
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>> we heard a short time ago from ron desantis in punta gorda, florida. that's where phil keating is now. we're seeing a lot of damage. >> yeah, we're at adaline in punta gorda. one of the many neighborhoods ag on top of the charlotte rv storage. you can see the power line there. it's stuck in the standing water, this is a place where people would store their rvs when they're not on vacation.
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the whole rooftop was this aluminum. during hurricane ian, it turned into projectiles. this whole street is litters and blocked off down the street. at this house, a house belonging to angela nunez. she lives her with her mom and brother. they rode the storm out here. you can see the aluminum projectile crashed into the roof. that led to a water leak inside their home. clearly they'll need some roof repair. there's several holes on the roof as well. here's angela. so you rode out the storm. how intense was it? >> it was pretty intense to the point that we could sleep for two days. >> the wind and the rain, loud? >> yes. >> plus nerves. >> yes. >> well, you made it. are you regretting that you didn't evacuate? >> no, no regrets at all. >> you have your whole hurricane
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can it with water and food. >> yes. >> stay safe. >> you too. >> this is the tree damage. we saw huge trees that were toppled over with massive root systems taller than this. but john, this is one of many neighborhoods in punta gorda and the further we go south heading towards fort myers and sanibel island, the damage we see is going to be far, far worse. the governor confirmed earlier in the hour, there's one confirmed fatality so far out of this hurricane. a man in deltona, which is inland trying to drain his pool. he's wife said he apparently slipped in the pouring rain and went into the canal and was never seen again. the president met with fema today. he gave brief remarks. he says looking forward, this will be the deadly hurricane in u.s. history.
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everybody hoping for the best. >> might be the most expensive that will be spend to clean up the damage. driving down here from tampa, we passed several convoys of utility trucks. also another convey of ambulances from miami-dade and hialeah. florida fish and where
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everybody is stranded and of course sanibel island, the bridge, the only way in and out, a section collapsed in the water during the wind and storm. >> phil, i have about 30 seconds left here. how much of a storm surge was there in punta gorda? it's at the top of gasparilla sound there. did the water pile up there and spill in the neighborhoods or did they escape that? >> it did not get here. you can see there's still standing water from all the rain. a deluge of rain, up to 10 inches. the storm surge just barely south of here in fort myers with seven feet. so this probably would have been roughly the same. this is actually protected by a small forest of mangroves on the
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west. so that would have certainly helped out to keep that storm surge at bay. >> martha: that's what the mangroves are far, to absorb the water. thanks, phil. good spending a couple hours with you, gillian. >> you too, john. >> john: it's unbelievable. it's what we expected. >> it is. forecasters got it right unfortunately this time around. >> john: thanks for joining us. we'll see you tomorrow. i'm john roberts. martha? >> martha: thanks very much. good afternoon, everybody. i'm martha maccallum. as officials are now confirming the first fatalities, the president saying ian could turn out to be the deadliest hurricane in florida history. so right now what we are seeing is teams out everywhere they can reach looking for survivors at this hour in a very difficult environment to be sure. this is mount dora, emotiona


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