tv Texas Governor Greg Abbott Briefs Media on Tropical Storm Harvey Response CSPAN August 27, 2017 2:43pm-3:11pm EDT
mean, the medoid. i am going to get rid of all tornadoes -- oops. ok. >> that is a new one. >> is it? anyway, not so important. what is important is that i was wrong about my hypothesis. this is the mean number of clusters. we're not seeing more. that is pretty flat. although it is going up, it is not significant. maybe there's a few more -- the, but it's not total area of clusters is flat.
>> we are leaving this program to take you live to a briefing with greg abbott. >> we had an extended briefing. during the briefing, i received a telephone call from the fema administrator as well as the secretary of homeland security. talked, in the phone call, about more ways in which the state of texas will be collaborating with fema and with the federal government. that will be part of the material i cover today. we had a long briefing that i will like to break out in a lot of detail because, as you know, there is a lot going on. i will be discussing what is going on in houston, but also covering the ongoing challenges
we are dealing with in other parts of the state. let me start with the weather. you all probably know at have seen a letter briefings about the weather. one thing we are dealing with is basically a triangle of ongoing rain. this stretches -- 12 but which would be the corporate mysterious up to travis county over to chambers county and then back to corpus christi. parts of those regions will continue to receive incredibly heavy rain that will lead to even more flooding and more danger for texans. and so many other areas in that region will sustain heavy rainfall. i realize there is a lot of focus on houston right now. it is important not to forget the challenges the people in the
counties outside and around houston are suffering because of the immense rainfall. that includes, in particular, liberty county and brazoria county. prepared foro be more rainfall tonight, on occasion very heavy rainfall. we want to emphasize the importance -- when there is heavy rainfall, when there is flooding, the importance of staying off the roads. if you drive into water, you are taking your life into your own hands. always try to seek the high ground, whether you are on ground or in a building. and tryigh as you can to avoid going outside if you don't need to. if you are dealing in a location that has rising water and heavy rain.
be anikely is going to historic rainfall, if not an all-time record in the amount of rain sustained in certain regions. also want to emphasize to our fellow texans that there will be locations today, tonight and tomorrow that will continue to have tornado action. constantly be to watchful and hopefully have the ability to stay tuned to information about tornado warnings and watches. down quite break agencies in the state of texas are doing. first, with the national guard and the state guard combined -- 3000ve now activated national guard and state guard
service members, serving all the way from houston to victoria over to corpus christi and parts in between. vehicles, six 500 shelters, and 14 aircraft. the texas department of transportation has the.400 -- has deployed 400 people. they are involved into cover it -- they are involved in recovery missions in corpus christi and victoria right now. those areas are involved in removing debris as well as repairing signs. so one positive about where we texdotht now is that and other city and local folks in the corpus christi region are in the early stages of the
rebuilding process. the texas department of transportation is working to restore the ferry service to port aransas. than are right now more 200 fifty hwy closures in the state of texas in that triangle region that i mentioned earlier. we have electronic message boards that are providing real-time information. if you are seeking information about road closures, you can go to drivetexas.org. drivetexas.org to find out if there are road closures. the report from the public utilities commission is that
there are 316,000 outages, which is less than i reported yesterday. but that does not include any updates from houston today. they are working as fast as possible to continue to reduce the decrease with of wind and the decrease of corpus in regions like christi, rockport, victoria, etc. that will enable them to move even more swiftly to reduce those outages. the texas commission on ,nvironmental quality, tc q is working most acutely on the corpus christi water samples to help them get off of boiling water, which they hope will be coming fairly soon. and they are also working swiftly with other communities
to help other communities get back to a reliable water source as quickly as possible. texas,, in the state of texas task force 1 and 2. these are emergency responders that are affiliated with the texas division of emergency management. 400 of their members who are engaged. primarily search and rescue missions, as well as other activities. but they are working in multiple laces, including -- multiple places, including in houston, christi, in the corpus single side, and rockport areas, search and rescue missions. along those lines, as far as search and rescue missions are concerned, but also as well as
other assistance is concerned, assistance is pouring in from across the country, both helicopters as well as other resources provided by at least the following states -- and hopefully i am leaving none out -- nebraska, tennessee, utah, california, missouri, ohio, arizona, and new york. and that is in addition to resources that are being provided by the federal government. i want to ask stand -- i want to extend my do gratitude to my fellow americans were pouring in support from other states and providing resources that are needed to help us deal with these challenges. from texas parks and wildlife, there are about 100 game wardens on water rescue
as well as other missions. they are receiving assistance also from louisiana and florida. vessels.using over 60 as one example, they performed about 19 water rescue missions around the bastrop area yesterday. they are continuing patrols in the rockport area and the in airborne --d airboat around the galveston area. that texas to permit the public safety -- -- the texas department of public safety has 150 -- 7150 ep officers between corpus christi, travis county, over to chambers county.
500 dpse close to officers currently assigned in the houston area to help deal with that situation. the report from the red cross is they are serving about 130,000 meals a day. they have heavy activity in the corporis, victoria, and his nares. there -- and houston areas. there are people even outside the country who are wanting to help. provide the you can help that can best assist texans in need is by providing that help through the red cross. there's two ways you can contact them. one is redcross.org. that is readcross the.org. 1-800-red-cross.
indicate that you are trying to provide help to the people of the state of texas and the red cross would be the best way to do that. health team, among the long list of things they are sending about 92 ambulances to the houston, texas, area to help them deal with challenges as well as sending a mobile medical unit to houston, texas, which, when fully implemented, is a sickly a standalone hospital facility. stillnsportation, we are moving hundreds of evacuees to safe locations. adding evacuation
routes from brazoria county, 25 buses. there are 60 buses at tully thatum in the houston area are staged for evacuation purposes. they will take assignments from the local authorities for the appropriate location to go to to evacuate people who need to be evacuated. from our committee case is -- a dpst, dps communications trailer has been set up in rockport for all first responders. as you may know, the ability to communicate electronically is very difficult in that region. it is essential in order to restore the type of order we for allhave the ability first responders to communicate. that trailer now does exist for
that purpose. that covers the entire rockport area as well as all of aransas county and ingleside. setting up a communications operation in brazoria county as well as in harris county. and working the best they can to restore communications. to give you a breakdown example of some activity in the coastal operatingoopers are in oasis county, in aransas county and san patricio county andrew furia -- and for furia and have assigned about 250 dps officers. in securityolved operations as well as any type
of rescue operations are needed. they have been in contact with local leaders, such as mayor mccombs in corpus christi, as well as dresses county judge. they are working to help out with porter ansys -- port aransas. their regionalp distribution centers, that are set up for food delivery purposes. food delivery locations will be set up by tomorrow. rockport, port-au-prince is, aransas pass, ingleside and portland, and there will be other areas also. regionseople in those in particular were looking for that type of help. and that type of help is coming.
as the officer who reported to us today from the region said he whotalking to someone pressed him in the citizen said they now know that the cavalry is coming. well, in addition to our efforts, we are proud to be joined today by vice admiral karl schulz. he is with the united states coast guard. i would like him to share a few words. i would like you to take the mic, say a few more, and then take a few questions. >> thank you, governor. thee are here as part of department of homeland security team to support the state of lead federal agency for the crisis response. the coast guard has been closely engaged with hurricane harvey and now tropical storm harvey for the good part of the week.
moved our assets from the immediate area to survive initial damage and have been repositioning throughout the south texas region into louisiana. we have resources from the entire coast guard, from california to maine, the eastern seaboard, here to support fema. we have eight helicopters flying this morning with another eight flying rescuing citizens. we remain down in corpus christi. we are pushing more votes on the water from all parts of the country. my partners have resources here. we are in the fight to support the state of texas with the full efforts of the entire coast guard. a couple of messages. storm, a very dangerous catastrophic consequence. folks need to not underestimate that. it is going to be a sustained challenge for the coming days. many times, folks wrongly
presume= the wind event will be the most challenging. it is actually water. we are in for a significant water even in the coming days. to the citizens helping other folks, we will need that capability. the response lines are overwhelmed. we are trying to attenuate the asks. men and women are flying helicopters around serious rain bands. folks on the water are dealing with challenges. understand patients is important. the united states coast guard is part of the federal team. we are all in on this and stand by the governor for questions. gov. abbott: thank you, admiral. once again, we are in a situation where we have priorities. our top priority is to protect
human life. from the state of texas side, we are working with local officials to do everything we can to protect our fellow texans. secondly, we are involved in the rebuilding process. that process has already begun. as these storms begin to depart the state of texas, we will be very aggressive in the rebuilding process. one of the most important aspects of my conversation with the fema administrator earlier today was to help people understand that the rebuilding process is going to be a long process. but it is something we will able to get done. we will be able to get it done because we have a very effective federal partner working with the state of texas which will serve as a strong partner to our local communities. i would be happy to take any questions. >> if you could speak specifically to houston, you have people being rescued off of rooftops.
there were conflicting reports in the beginning about evacuations. is this going to be hurricane katrina part two? gov. abbott: as far as the evacuations, now is not the time to second-guess the decisions that were made. what is important is that everybody work together to ensure we are going to first save lives, and second help people across the state rebuild. because of the effort we have been able to put together, i think and believe we will be very successful at both. >> we have learned they are running out of boats and high water vehicles in houston but the state has had trouble getting resources there. can you comment on that? gov. abbott: sure. whether it be by boat or air, we have provided to houston every asset. they have asked for. we have already had in the air something like 20 helicopters
involved in rescue missions. boats overut 60 there and countless high water vehicles. everything they have asked for has been provided and we stand ready to provide even more. and on top of that, we had both dps as well as national guard in full operation mode. is there trouble getting more resources in right now? gov. abbott: not at all. there have been reported fatalities but i am not in a position to confirm they are related to the storms. >> how many people have been evacuated? gov. abbott: we don't have that information. the number of rescues by
helicopter? gov. abbott: for our numbers? keep track of the number we are doing. toi would ask them to report me how many they are doing, it would take them away from doing the rescues. we will collect that later. let's can you put this on a scale of how this disaster compares to previous ones? gov. abbott: with it being a category four hurricane, it is the strongest storm texas has had since 1961. when you consider the larger population now, this is a very large disaster. and then you consider the fact of the size of it, ranging all the way from corpus christi to houston and north of houston. and you have not only the wind component but also the rain component and flooding. this will be a very large
disaster. one thing i am very proud of is the fact the federal government has so quickly responded to the statel of the aid of texas has needed. that helps us respond much more robustly. the federal government has conveyed to the city of houston that the city of houston asked for assets in the federal government is providing those also. >> [indiscernible] gov. abbott: i have called the mayor several times. i have his cell number. i left messages for him repeatedly to let him know whatever he needs, the state of texas will provide. >> [indiscernible] we want you to be safe. we want you to know that we are
working with harris county and the city of houston to ensure that we are going to provide you with the resources you need to first save your life, and then second, rebuild your life. a couple of days ago in this -- youe talked about talked about people evacuating. has there been a breakdown in communication with state and what weficials about saw coming 48 hours ago? gov. abbott: i have spoken with the county judge on a daily basis. first, to offer any help the state of texas can provide. but we have moved beyond whether or not there should have been an evacuation or not. we are at the stage where we just need to respond to the emergencies and necessities the people of houston have. it is not just the people around
houston. it is in this large triangle region. >> time for one more. >> how many choppers in the air? >> eight coast guard in the air with upwards of 15 plus helicopters. the coast guard is part of a much broader team. >> between the guard and dps? >> those are all deployed for rooftop rescues. >> you said on tv earlier today [indiscernible] federal disaster relief. gov. abbott: thank you for asking that. i missed that. dave, i can always count on you. i have made aent, state disaster declaration for and a federal disaster declaration for 19 counties. the federal disaster declaration
for the 19 counties has been granted by the president. i do anticipate adding more counties to that list. county?s that is the first time? it had not been on the list? gov. abbott: correct. thank you. >> that was texas governor greg abbott from fema headquarters in austin briefing reporters on the response to flooding. we will have continuing updates for you on c-span. tonight, the lives of winston churchill and george orwell. we talk about his book. >> churchill and orwell never
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