tv Texas Governor Briefs Reporters on Hurricane Harvey Preparations CSPAN August 25, 2017 7:37pm-8:01pm EDT
museum in dearborn michigan. then at 8:00 p.m. eastern on the presidency, her jan herbert hoover scholar talks about the relationship between the 31st president and calvin coolidge. >> just four days before the election, coolidge, ever a party regular finally gave hoover an extraordinarily public endorsement. in a prearranged telegram that evokes sensational newspaper headlines, he declared he had shown his fitness to be president. he said he was able, experience, trustworthy and safe. >> american history tv all weekend, every weekend only on c-span three. >> earlier this afternoon, greg abbott held a news conference with reporters as hurricane harvey approaches the texas coastline. he called for evacuations and warned the storm will likely bring severe flooding.
this is 20 minutes. >> good afternoon. i wanted to let you know about a status update. as you may know, we just had a statewide call, a call that involved more than 30 state agencies involved in helping to respond to this hurricane, a call that involved county officials, everyone around the entire state of texas that is involved in this process. we talked to people from the gulf coast region all the way up to north texas who were helping in their own way to respond to these challenges. let me make several points and then i will take your questions. first, i want to thank fema, the department of homeland security, the president for their commitment to helping texas respond to these challenges.
i want to think the red cross for all they are doing. i want to thank chief for his leadership as well as the director for all that he does in helping us respond to these types of challenges. as far as the situation that we are in, it's the situation that has been evolving, one from a fairly difficult to ascertain tropical storm and one that's turned into a very complex and dangerous hurricane. the hurricane will prove more dangerous than many hurricanes. not only are we going to be dealing with the high winds that typically come with what should be a category three hurricane, but we are going to be dealing with record-setting
flooding in multiple regions across the state of texas. as you know, this is a hurricane that will come inland and then we'll just hover for a long period of time. it could be days. during that time there will be a tremendous amount of rain dropped on miles and miles of texas. this will lead to what was described earlier as record flooding at multiple locations , ranging from a corpus christi area to the houston area. there are several stages of reaction that are needed right now. one is, in order to help texans best be able to deal
with and respond to these challenges, it is essential that while there is still time of the next few hours, texans who are in areas that have been declared as evacuation areas, could be your local official who declared an emergency evacuation, you need to heed that call. even if an evacuation order has not been issued by your local official. if you are in areas between corpus christi and houston and maybe some other areas, especially low-lying areas, you need to strongly consider evacuating because here's what's going to happen. you may think the initial surge is something you would be able to deal with. what you don't know nobody else knows right now will be
the magnitude of flooding occurring over the coming days in the aftermath of the initial surge. if you wait until you realize how serious this condition is, you likely will find it is too late for you to be able to evacuate. i urge everyone who has the possibility to consider evacuating as soon as possible. the second stage after that will be the search and rescue stage. we already have a large number of personnel, both helicopters and other facilities that will enable a multitude of state -based officials to be able to go through the search and rescue process. we will be there to help as many people as we possibly can. that search and rescue process will not begin until after the hurricane components have begun to die down.
of course, you don't put yourself into a situation where you could be subject to a search and rescue. you have the ability right now to avoid being stuck in a search and rescue situation if you make the decision to get out of harms way before it is too late. another challenge that people need to be aware of, there have already been reports of tornadoes. this is a natural component that comes with the hurricane. we anticipate the number of tornadoes will increase in the coming days. it's something you simply have to be vigilant about and remember that as you are trying to deal with these tornadoes that could arise, you may be doing that when you're already out of power or supplies. when your ability to listen to
the news or learn about what may be happening may be compromised. that's another reason why it may be better for you to go ahead right now and go through the process of evacuation. i have issued a request for a presidential disaster declaration, a major disaster declaration that i issued to the president moments go. this of course will trigger the additional help and assistance from the federal government. the state of texas is asking for. we can obviously tell already this is going to be a major disaster. i would like to run through several of the detailed reports that were provided by several of the many agencies that participated in the conference.
the military service for example have already activated more than a thousand personnel and will be adding 300 more. they are including the provision of providing a vehicle, aircraft and shelter. the texas task force one into. they are the organizations that will have a leadership role, and be involved in the search and rescue process. they have amassed 900 personnel available for participation in the search and rescue process. we have game wardens in the state of texas who are already at work in helping to respond to this precariously working with votes and multiple locations in the affected area. they pointed out that all state parks would be open to
evacuees at no charge. i'll be going through some back evacuation information in no particular order. one place people can go to, if they are considering relocating to evacuation location is a state park. no charge for that during this emergency. troopers have mobilized in the entire area ranging from san antonio to corpus christi and to all impacted regions. red cross is playing a vital role. they already have seven shelters open. they will be adding 47 more. they are on standby for a total of 54 shelters.
they are ready to aid anybody who needs any type of shelter assistance. the easiest way to get a hold of them is to call 1800 red cross. we have the state health services involved also. they have four shelters open, primarily in san antonio. the reality is anything like this, people will be displaced and there are people with acute or important health care needs and it's important that people understand that the state health services will be available to assist in any particular needs. the texas division of emergency management has deployed 500 buses for evacuation.
some people may wonder how are they able to evacuate because they don't have any mode of transportation. it's important they understand more than 200 buses will be available at most of the locations around the state of texas. if you're looking for one of those buses, perhaps the easiest thing to do would be to contact your local emergency management personnel anor local law enforcement can direct you to the location where you can find a bus for circulation. the texas health and human services is working with state living centers. more than 200 people have already been moved to living centers and that process will continue. we want to make sure the people across the state no if you have a friend or relative in one of the centers, the state is being very aggressive and active in ensuring that
their care is taking care of. once again, an entity that is always helpful is the salvation army. they have organized 32 mobile feeding units and that is on top of feeding units that are provided by the red cross as well as a multitude of other entities. right now we have the demonstrated ability to shelter more than 41000 evacuees if the need arises. the bottom line is the state of texas, working in partnership and collaboration with officials at the local level are responding to this hurricane in a very aggressive way. first to minimize any loss of life in second to ensure the needs of our fellow citizens will be addressed as swiftly and comprehensively as possible.
for -- with that i'll take a few questions. >> those are issues that local officials issue whether they be mayors or county judges who have a good feel for looney tunes. there are certain low-lying areas for evacuation orders were issued. in higher areas they were more volatile. those that know the topography of the region have the best idea about who needs to be subject to evacuation orders. >> the amount of money spent so far. >> you can take a couple zeros off that.
it is $9 million, but those are costs by state agencies, primarily focused on personal as well as other resources. it has nothing to do with the cost incurred at the local level or at the private level. you can expect that cost will be far higher than that. >> i have asked repeatedly, including during the conference moments ago as well as earlier today if it was necessary but i've been told every time it is not necessarily because the traffic lanes for evacuees have not gotten so congested that it needs to be done. they are completely aware of what the traffic flow looks like and they are able to move swiftly to make the swiftest
level of evacuation. >> i have no idea about either of those numbers. i haven't heard anyone articulate any number about those. [inaudible] >> have not heard anything about that other than the suggestion is they are not the evacuation effort or safety effort of anybody in any way. [inaudible] >> that's what i'm told. >> are you okay with that. >> our main focus in a situation like that is a safety and security of protection of lives. we will do everything we can to make sure everyone a safe.
let's be fair about this in an estimate. understanding the center force of this thing moves a little bi bit, but the primary problem is going to last the longest. it is going to be the rain and the flooding. it is something that is estimated that we will be dealing with for a week or two. people will remember tropical storm allison and we are hoping we are going to be able to escape something like that. if you look at the number of inches of rain we will be dealing with will be around the same amount that came down during allison. whether or not it will be concentrated over a particular region like it was in houston, it's hard to tell right now. all we know is it is already going to provide a record amount of flooding in multiple regions ranging from corpus
christi to houston and those are challenges we will deal with for at least a week, if not longer. >> 20 think you should be evacuating more areas. [inaudible] >> i missed the first part. >> are they learning a lesson from allison how quickly those highways and freeways flooded, people want able to get out of their home. should those low lying areas be included. >> as far as i understand it right now, and i could be wrong about this, but as far as i know there have been no mandatory evacuations from the houston area. right now it appears that the houston area will be spared the brunt of the hurricane force and the surge that goes along with it. that will minimize some of the danger. with the possibility of flooding.
again, i would urge people to strongly consider the evacuation process. there is the possibility that a lot of people are going to go a long time without access to basic necessities for access to water, power, food, and so, if you have the ability to evacuate and go somewhere else for little while, that would be good. it's also fair to say that with the range and rain, it will be hard for businesses to be open and for normal function to take place. i realize we have a weekend coming up and a lot of people who typically go to work may not be going to work. i wouldn't be surprised if work in school facilities like that are going to be compromised in their ability to be open on monday and maybe
the early part of next week. that's. guess right now. my point is this. that is, if you want to take charge of your life and ensure that you are providing the greatest possible safety for yourself and your family, i think it would be a good idea for you to take a few days off, get out of the houston area, be safe and you can always get back, get home and clean up later. [inaudible] what about the inland areas that could also see a lot of flooding spirit through.oh moments ago covered all of that. everyone in every single regents of the state of texas is on alert and prepared to deal with the consequences of
what may be coming their way. you mention san antonio. there is a prospect for a lot of rainfall in san antonio. history teaches that means a lot of the creeks and rivers likely will have substantial flooding. local county and state officials are prepared to respond to that as we speak. >> can they put less pressure on local officials to call for evacuation. >> i think it is important for the local officials who have the authority and responsibility for this to be the ones to make the call. i can be suggestive. what i would do and that is if i were living in the houston region as i once did, i would decide to head to areas north of their. listen, there's so many places where there are shelters that will be open in dallas in waco and austin and san antonio. and other parts of the state of texas that you can go to if
you want to go to a place where it won't cost you anything to stay. where food embeds and shelter will be provided to you. on top of that, there will be other places that will be open, especially in dallas-fort worth and parts of texas. think of your life first. the most important thing that we are dealing with right now is human life. my top goal is to be able to make it through the storm in a way in which we lose no lives and so my hope is that there are fellow texans who will follow that advice and put your life first and your property second. thank you all very much. we will have ongoing updates. i'm going to be departing and going to san antonio to the shelter and maybe some other places there this afternoon.
>> listen, at a traffic conversation with both the president and separately with the head of homeland security as well as the home of fema and washington d.c. all of them provided strong, of unequivocal assurances to their commitment to help texas in any way. we have the regional fema administrator right here who works hand in glove with the state of texas, not just on this but consistently, he has been around for about 30 years or so. this is not his first rodeo. he knows how this works and he knows how texas works. he and the hole teamwork very collaboratively together.