tv [untitled] September 7, 2017 2:07pm-2:22pm EDT
should get under way shortly here. president meeting with the emir earlier today. also we're expecting questions, these are typical of these joint news conferences, will there be two questions a side, i should say. it will be likely the president will be asked about the spending deal, reached with democratic leaders yesterday at the white house. that item is up currently on the senate floor includes over $15 billion in hurricane relief aid taking to account hurricane harvey, the oncoming hurricane irma set to hit florida as the weekend begins. so we're going to show you the joint news conference here with the president. later we will take you to a hearing, a house armed services subcommittee hearing looking at the naval accidents of the "u.s.s. fitzgerald" and u.s.s. john s. mccain" that should get under way in the half hour, we expect to have that live for you as well. speaking of the hurricanes, we've been watching the
briefings today of florida governor rick scott speaking about preparations being made in that state for the weekend hurricane that's expected. here's a look at the latest briefing from today from the florida governor as we wait to hear from president trump and the emir of kuwait. >> benita beach and florida keys. hurricane watch in effect for jupiter, southward around florida peninsula, florida keys, lake okeechobee and florida bay. right now the national hurricane center is reporting that hurricane irma remains a dangerous and life threatening category 5 storm with winds of 175 miles per hour. basically what we know now florida will have major hurricane impacts with deadly storm surge and life threatening winds. we can expect -- and we can expect this all along the east coast. the florida keys should be prepared to start feeling the effects of this storm as early as tomorrow night.
and look at the size of this storm. it is wider than our entire state and could cause major and life threatening impacts from coast-to-coast. regardless of which coast you live on, be prepared to evacuate. on the west coast cannot be complacent. the west coast will still have hurricane conditions. remember hurricane andrew is when the worst storms in the history of florida. this is much worse and more devastating on its current path. irma has already caused multiple fatalities in the caribbean. this storm is powerful and deadly. we are being very aggressive in our preparation for this storm. and every floridian should take this seriously and be aggressive to protect their family. possessions can be replaced. your family cannot. this is serious. and we cannot take chances. it is life threatening.
this is not a storm you can sit and wait through. one of our top priorities right now is fuel availability. we know there are problems with supply gas stations and working around the clock to get fuel to you. last i spoke with the fuel retailers, this morning i spoke with the oil companies and i just got off the phone with the fuel suppliers. i've been very clear to all of these groups, i have to know exactly what they need so we can work together to get it to families as fast as possible. and ask them to tell me exactly what any bottlenecks are and we'll do anything we can locally, at the state and federally to solve these bottlenecks. their issues as of now include fuel availability from reports, federal rules and regulations and getting fuel through traffic to gas stations. to address these concerns we are doing the following. i've talked to fema, the department of energy, epa, the department of transportation and the white house about waiving
federal rules and regulations to get as much as possible through our states and ports. escort services to gas trucks to get them through traffic so they can get to the stations faster. these escorts are happening right now. for gas stations in evacuation zones, we need you to stay open as long as possible. please stay open as long as possible so people can get out. we will arrange police escorts for your employees so they can get out safely. we need your gas station to stay open as long as possible. we know fuel's very important. and we are absolutely devoting every state resource to addressing this. while we are making progress, you will see lines or outages. i know this has to be very frustrating and we'll not stop working on this. if you are concerned that you do not have a way to evacuate because of a fuel issue, please call your local emergency management hot line or the florida emergency hotline at
1-800-342-3557. 1-800-342-3557. which is a dedicated emergency management hot line. we will get you out. but you have to call now if you're in an evacuation zone. we cannot save you when the storm starts, so if you're in an evacuation zone and you need help, you need to tell us now. if you know you're going to a shelter in your county, please take only the amount of fuel that you need. you don't need to fill your tank to the brim to stay in your county. i've said this many times, please take only what you need. we've got to be considerate of others so everybody can get out. the gas buddy app is a great resource to find open stations with fuel. yesterday i asked the governors of alabama, south carolina, georgia and north carolina to rescind weight and driver regulations so out of state resources can move expeditiously into florida. all of these states worked quickly to respond to our request. the epa just approved an emergency fuel waiver request
from the department -- florida department of environmental protection which will allow more fuel to quickly enter the state. all ports still remain open and operating to bring fuel and supplies in. we are laser focused on how we get as much fuel as possible to our ports while they are open. i've offered school buses for transportation needs in monroe, miami-dade and broward counties. at this time miami-dade is using these services to help evacuate those with special needs and broward has buses on standby. monroe said they do not need these buses right now because they are using city buses, but offer still stands. right now there's mandatory evacuation orders in effect for the florida keys. this means all residents, all residents and all visitors in the florida keys, there's a mandatory evacuation. we estimate about 31,000 people have already evacuated from the keys as of 6:00 p.m. last night. if you are in the keys and you do not have a way out, please call 1-305-517-2480.
this number is for monroe county residents. 305-517-2480. all other floridians can call the florida emergency hotline at 1-800-342-3557. which is a dedicated emergency management hotline for the entire state. if you are in the keys and still home, leave, get out. we can't save you once the storm starts. the entire lower keys hospital has been evacuated. all other hospitals in the keys will be evacuated today. i've been very clear with monroe county the state will provide whatever resources are necessary to get the hospitals back open quickly following the storms. we also have task force dedicated entirely to helping prepare and respond to the keys. for the remainder of the state waiting on evacuation orders, listen to your local officials. they will tell you if and when your area needs to be evacuated. if you're told to evacuate, do
not wait. get out quickly. the roads will fill up quickly, so you need to go immediately. we can expect additional evacuations as the storm continues to get near to our state. finally, already ordered mandatory evacuation zones a and b. if you live in these zones and you're still home, you should leave right now. there are involuntary evacuations in -- broward county issued evacuations of mobile homes and low lying areas. i cannot stress this enough, do not ignore evacuation orders. remember, you can rebuild your home, we cannot rebuild your life or your family. regardless of what coast you live on, be prepared to evacuate. floridians on the west coast cannot be complacent. this storm can still move west. traffic. i know many of you are stuck in traffic. i know it's frustrating, but please be patient. evacuations are not meant to be convenient, they are meant to keep you safe.
we've increased the number of troopers on florida highways to help with traffic and keep people going down the road safely. realtime traffic information and evacuation routes are available at fl511.com. we have traffic cameras on every major roadway in florida and are clearing traffic issues in realtime so we can keep people moving. fdot and law enforcement are working diligently. we are already seeing bottlenecks at major highway junctions which brings up an important point. you do not need to evacuate out of the state or hundreds of miles away to stay safe. find shelters in your county. we are coordinated with google's emergency response team to prepare close roads in google maps in realtime in the event that hurricane irma forces the closure of any roads in the aftermath of this storm. my direction all tolls have been waived across florida roadways. this should help families evacuate quickly and safely. again, if you're concerned you do not have a way to evacuate due to traffic in monroe, please call 305-517-2480.
or if you're outside monroe, the rest of the state, the state number is 800-347-3557. florida national guard. today i'm activating another 3,000 national guardsmen to help with shelter operations in evacuations. today, we will have more than 4,000 florida national guard members activated to immediately begin assisting with ongoing irma preparation. tomorrow, every member available 7,000 will be deployed. 13 helicopters and more than 1,000 tactical high water vehicles are on standby ready to be deployed. by using resources from other states we also have 30,000 troops, 4,000 trucks, 100 helicopters and air evacuation crews ready to support our state. i spoke with president trump multiple times. and he is assured me florida will get all the help from the federal government we need. he's assured me the federal government will be our partner and provide all the federal help
we need. so far we've requested a variety of things. disaster tarps, water, baby food supplies, supply trucks, search and rescue personnel and equipment and incident management teams. military water craft and aircraft with the capability to move fuel from the mainland to keys at marathon. a military vessel like marine and navy ship sustained several operations and complete ship-to-shore missions. this vessel would allow us to move crews, supplies and fuel to the mainland. also mention the major concerns with the florida keys to fema including any potential destruction of bridges. if we lose a bridge, people south of that bridge will be stranded. fema's looking at options to assist the state with this. the florida fish and wildlife commission preparing search and rescue teams for potential deployment. fwc has more than 200 officers standing by for the first wave of response based on potential storm impacts. 30 teams supporting resources with trucks, coastal and river
boat patrols, atv and shallow draft boats preparing for evacuation support, search and rescue operations and any additional needs. fwc is also working with partners in states such as texas, georgia, louisiana, arkansas, tennessee, in case additional officers or resources are needed. the florida highway patrol is monitoring road and safety traffic conditions to ensure roadways are clear. established 18 emergency response teams for deployment to impacted areas. utility providers, eric here with fpl, there are active throughout the state and neighboring states. we know from previous storms how incredibly important it is for power to be restored quickly. florida power and light has activated its emergency response plan and has thousands of workers preparing to respond to irma. they're one of the largest providers in our state. we're also working with out of state utilities and electrical contracting companies to secure additional resources.
they have opened more than 20 state sites throughout the service area where restoration crews, trucks and equipment are stationed. lake okeechobee. water levels in lake okeechobee are still being lowered and the lake is currently 13.67 feet. at this point we have no major concerns with the dike. we will immediately advise if any of that changes. we are staying up with the army corps of engineer and the south florida water management district. shelters, if you are evacuating from the keys, you can shelter at florida international university. there's absolutely no reason for anyone not to evacuate if you're ordered to evacuate. shelters are available and will be available and you should follow the directions of local officials to go to the shelter that fits your needs. if you need a hotel, go to expedia.com/florida. expedia's working on hotel occupancy in realtime. the florida restaurant and lodging association has encouraged all hotels to waive
pet policies, offer shelter and be compassionate with cancellations. families can go to floridadisaster.org/info to learn where shelters are open in their area. comcast, there will be more than 137,000 free xfinity wi-fi hot spots throughout the state for individuals in need including non-comcast customers. for a map visit xfinity.com/wifi. at&t, verizon and t-mobile also helping with hot spots. for deployment as needed. we will be prepositioned these goods to help everyone in the storm's path. we still need volunteers. we need more volunteers. we've had more than 6,800 volunteers sign up in the last 24 hours and that's great. i want to thank everybody for signing up. this includes more than 1,000 state workers. this is great, but we still need