Full video: Gov. Greg Abbott holds press conference after touring Hurricane Laura damage
Moreno, here in the kxan. Live studio, we hope you're doing great today. We are coming to you right now with as we await, a, press conference. From governor, greg, abbott, as he, makes his way, there to, orange city texas, that's, the easternmost. City, in the state. To survey, damage, left behind, from hurricane, laura, overnight. It swept through made its landfall, around 1am, or so. Through that area. Through that easternmost. Part of texas, and we're waiting for him now he's gonna be joined, by. Lieutenant, governor, dan patrick, and senator, john cornyn, this, afternoon. Just after, he. You can see um, our partners, walking around out there waiting for him. We, he, went out there this morning to survey, damage, and we. Got. Footage. Fed back by our crews that are out there this afternoon. Of him checking out the damage out there he was in a plane they got to be in that plane with him, as he checked out how it looks out there. What we're dealing with on the texas, side and also. Right near us on the louisiana. Side, what they faced out there. And of course as you know we've had crews out there tracking, this, since, monday we've had our meteorologist. David yelmans, out there tracking the storm our whole storm team jim spencer, kristen curry sean kelly. Tracking the storm for you out there, along with our photojournalist. Todd bailey, and we've also had our crew alex capriello. Our reporter. With his photographer. Andrew, choat, checking out the damage, they rode out the storm, in on the louisiana. Side overnight. When it hit. And of course that came through as a category. Storm. Category, 4 storm excuse me through that area, for those folks out there so good idea for people to get out, but. Unfortunately. Some. Weathered the storm, some stayed out there they chose, not to leave they figured they would hunker down, stay through there and unfortunately, we got news this morning, from the, louisiana. Governor. Giving news the reports. Of, a 14, year old girl. Died, unfortunately. A tree. Fell on her home, and that was the first fatality, that we got reports, of from this storm. That swept, through, east texas, and. Louisiana. Louisiana, seeing, most, of that. So, again if you're just joining us thank you so much. As we await for governor greg, abbott he's expected, to, hold a joint, press conference. This afternoon. With senator, john cornyn, and lieutenant, governor. Dan, patrick. About what they saw out there after their meetings, with city officials. Checking out what damage. It was done, what aftermath. What's left, after these storms swept, swept through the area, and also, to see, what's next, how can the state help what the state's response, is they've already. You know responded, lots of ways, put in efforts, as far as here in austin.
There Have even. Been designated, evacuation. Centers. For people, to, head inland head to central texas. And seek shelter for the storm, as we know circuit of the americas. Was one of those locations. Where they were able to take in thousands, of evacuees. Um. I believe it's around the 3000. Number or so. That, sought shelter, there, and then we heard yesterday, evening, that they also, opened, up areas, of the austin, convention, center. That was expected, to help out with sheltering. People. Evacuees. Coming into austin, seeking shelter here it's very common. And, so. Of course all of this is going on. With coven 19 restrictions. They're trying to follow. All the protocols. To keep people as safe as possible. Mask wearing social distancing. Making sure they have a place to stay they have food shelter, water. But also, it's in the middle of the pandemic, so that's just another, factor, that they've had to. Go through. During this difficult, time and so, of course we've had our thoughts on everybody, in louisiana. And on that east texas, part where storms. Hit, overnight. Our thoughts are with you if you're watching and you were affected by the storm and you evacuated. Our thoughts are with you and we hope all of your family is safe and okay. So we're going to continue, following, this as we await governor, abbott. So just to recap, as well you know, our reporter, candy rodriguez. Gave her, a testimony. Of her family. What her family, faced, and her boyfriend, had to leave lake charles louisiana. We're getting reports, of course of lake charles. Bearing the brunt, and the worst, of. That, storm, overnight. Damage. Seemed pretty bad out there, that's where her boyfriend came into austin to seek shelter, from with her thankfully. Thankfully, her parents are okay as well they came into town and, sought shelter. From the storm. That way as, well. And so, we're just going to keep on continuing, to keep an eye on this, as we await governor, abbott, it looks like he might be making his way in now. And all those officials, coming in, and preparing, to give an update on what they saw. And what the state's response, is here again they're in orange city texas, if you don't know where that is that's near. That. Texas. State line and louisiana. Line it's right it's the easternmost. City. In the state of texas. So it's right on the edge there it was in the storm's, path, and that is exactly, where governor greg abbott, lieutenant, governor, dan patrick, and senator, john cornyn, are, this afternoon. That's where they got to have a look, at the damage. That was done out there left behind from hurricane, laura again, came in. Landfall, as a category. 4 storm. And, now he's there you see senator john cornyn's, right there. So, they're gonna, let us know what they saw. What. Needs to be done what resources, the state can offer, as, help, for. All of these, people, that evacuated. That even, chose to stay behind. Hopefully. Um we'll get an update on rescues. And. Learn more about what is to come for help, for these evacuees. You know they're, i'm sure they're wondering, when can we go back. When, is it safe to go back. So hopefully, we'll hear more about. States. States response, states help. And, more of what. Lieutenant, governor, dan patrick, senator, john cornyn. And, governor. Greg, abbott learned, from their tour this morning, they got an aerial, view our crew was with them. As they.
Hopped On a plane, and went over through that area. To check out what was left, from hurricane, laura. Pretty strong winds out there, our crews, even reported, seeing a lot of damage where they were, they were on the louisiana. Side, thankfully, our crew. That, wes rappaport, our reporter, and maggie glenn they were out there in galveston. They didn't see, much of the damage, but, they are the ones, in orange. City right now. Bringing us this press conference, as we await governor greg abbott they got to be on the plane, with him as, he. Surveyed, that damage. So. It looks like governor abbott, is preparing, to give his remarks, and give an update, so, let's go ahead and have a listen. In. I especially, want to, thank, senators. Cornyn, and cruz. Uh for taking the time to join us today and. Being part of the aerial, overview. That we were able to, take to get a better assessment. Of the entire region. As well as to work with us here on the ground. I also want to thank. The two, local area congressmen. One for this district. Is congressman. Babin. For an adjacent district, congressman. Randy weber. As well as, lieutenant governor dan patrick. And, state senator, nichols. And. Local representatives. Phelan, and deshotel. Thank all of them for being here. Particularly, want to thank. Your, county judge. Judge. Thank you for hosting us and for being with us and it's been a pleasure. If you want to put it that way. We're working with you through this yeah well thank you for being here of course. Uh, and and mayor, who i think is, here there you go mayor thank you, for being here, and i want to, express, a, uh special, thank you, to the admiral. Uh for, uh providing. The coast guard that provided, a a. Very helpful, tour. Of the entire region. As we. Flew around, the region, at about one thousand, feet. We could see. The way that the storm, impacted. Different areas differently. And, i'll be counting with you, of all the areas that we saw. The worst that we saw. Was orange. It seemed like the, most, significant. Damage, i was able to observe both from the sky. As well as on the ground. In this region. Is in orange. You saw. More rooftops. Ripped off, you saw more shingles, missing you saw. More trees, down you saw. Big pieces, of. Steel framing, wrapped around. Some trees. You saw. Some. Roads, that were still inundated. Underwater. Impassable. At this particular, time. And, that's just what i was able to see either from the sky or from driving down a street. Obviously as people get closer, and look. At buildings, or homes. There will be additional, damages. That people have to deal with. That said as i ask everybody. How they feel. About. Working their way through this hurricane. Everyone, pretty much had. The same, phrase. And then as we dodged a bullet. It could have been far worse. We were anticipating, and it was prognosticated. That, there would be a storm, surge. That could very easily exceed. Ten feet. I was told earlier that the storm surge was, about, three feet. And that seven foot differential. Means all the difference, we would not be gathering, here right now. Had we seen a. 10 foot or higher foot storm surge. In this region like what was, anticipated. Earlier. And so. When you consider. The magnitude, of the damage that could have occurred here. We did dodge a bullet. Now, that of course doesn't help. Those, whose homes have been hit. Those whose businesses. Have been hit. And, for those people we want them to know. That, we are already. Working on the process. Of helping them rebuild. We have a very important person here the man on the end most important person in the room. His name is tony robinson. Tony robinson, is with fema. And, he worked very collaboratively. With me and my administration. From the time of hurricane, harvey all the way till today. And tony we thank you and your leadership, and and i was. Uh telling, both. Pete gainer pete gainer is. The. Head of or the administrator, of fema. And i told the president. Never before. In my experience, as governor. Have i ever seen an administration. That responded, as swiftly, and as effectively. As what president trump and administrator, gainer have done, this time and we really appreciate, their tremendous, effort.
Some Details, i want to get into one is. Uh. As as you. Uh may not want to clarify, i have declared, a disaster. In 62, counties. And the president, has similarly, declared, a disaster. In each of those counties. Hurricane, laura made landfall. Near cameron, louisiana. About 30 miles, east. Of the texas, louisiana, border. At 1am, as a category. 4. Storm, hurricane. Winds exceeded, 80 miles per hour and the storm surge was, an estimated, 2.5. To 3.5. Feet. At the sabine, pass, area. Texas, point national wildlife, refuge, had about 74, mile per hour sustained, winds with, gusts up to almost 90 miles per hour. Port arthur. You could see was less it was 38 miles per hour sustained, winds with gusts up to 51 miles per hour. Orange, county airport. Winds, sustained, at 20 mi, 29 miles per hour with gusts. Up to 54, miles. And beaumont regional airport, 59. Mile per hour sustained. With gusts, up to, 66, miles per hour. Tree damage has been reported, in jefferson, county. As well as the other surrounding, counties around this region. I, hear from some reports. That we would. Expect to see even greater, tree damage. As you go further, up north. Into east. Texas. Other damage reports will be coming in during the course. Of the day. We do have teams. In this region, already. Whether it be search and rescue teams law enforcement, teams the national, guard. Assessment, teams. That are covering. Every city, every county, every region. To make damage assessments. But also, to. Go about the process. To determine. The safety. Of everybody, who lives, in this area. Uh, and so i do want to get one confirmation. Uh chief kid. Now i have, uh, from you. That interstate, 10. Is currently closed. At the texas that's not true, exactly the highway patrol it's open all the way to the border on the louisiana, side of the border they knew we had some damage and we'll have to check the louisiana, side we were open all the way through to the border. I-10. Is open. All the way to the border. Uh, by the way and and i did have the opportunity, to speak with, governor edwards, of louisiana, this morning. Uh, and. Uh, he. Uh is, was, his typical, jovial, self and uh was, ready to be offering help to texas. And so he's in good spirits, and. I know the the people, of louisiana. Are dealing with challenges, themselves, right now and texas, and texans. Stand ready to help our neighbors. Over in louisiana. Several state agencies, including the texas department of public safety.
Texas Task force one. The texas parks and wildlife, as well as, the texas military, division, are. Scouring. Every aspect. Every zone of all of the affected, areas to provide. Search and rescue, capabilities. As needed. We will continue, that process, until we know for a fact. That there is, no. Person who is unaccounted, for. As of now. There remain. More than, 160. 000, power outages. Throughout the in the entire texas, region. Affected. Uh by. Uh hurricane, laura. We have. Almost 8 500, people. Who are provided. Shelter. Throughout the state. With, more than 3 000 hotel rooms, sheltering, evacuees. Sheltering. Operations, are occurring, in bear, county, ellis county tarrant county travis county. And harris county. And. Those, efforts, will continue. As long as needed. One very important, point here and that, is. One thing that saved. Lives. Was. Evacuation. Orders that were made by local officials. And. It was so important, for local residents. To heed. Those. Local warnings. And by people getting out of harm's way. At an early time, that's one of the reasons, why. The the loss of life was minimized. As well as the damages. That were minimized. I do want to emphasize however, just as people listen to. Local officials. In knowing when to evacuate. It's equally important to listen to local officials. About, when, it is a good time to return. If. You have no power. If there are other challenges, on the ground there will be, different parts of a particular, county, that will have different levels of operability. And so it's very important to continue. To listen to local officials. About. When is the best time to come back. As well as what are the challenges, may be existing. In any particular, county. Uh. One thing that we are. Continuing, to look at. Is we stand ready. To. Watch, and respond, to, potential, flash flooding. As well as potential, tornadoes. As the storms, continue. To go through the exiting, process. Of exiting, the state of texas. I have, one report. Unconfirmed. About a death. In sabine, county. Know that that is completely, unconfirmed. But, my point is this.
That Is the only, report. That i received, at all. About any potential, loss of life. If we make it through. A category, 4 hurricane. That ripped through. The coastline. All the way up to the texacana, area. And. We have. Been able to. Have minimal or perhaps no. Loss of life. That is a miracle. It shows that. Prayers, were answered. That so many people cared so much about the neighborhood, and that, preparation. Paid off. And so i applaud, the local officials. For. Being so effective. As they prepared, their regions. For the oncoming, hurricane. I applaud what they were able to do to stabilize, their communities, in ways that. Led to. Saving, lives. In saving property. And will lead to a very quick recovery. One of those local officials. Is your county judge to whom i would like to turn, the mic over to at this time. Uh well well governor thank you, we uh, you know, i think that dodge the bullet, definitely, fits, fits what we feel here in, orange county as a whole. Uh, you know at about probably about 2 30 3 o'clock this morning there was probably, it probably felt across texas a huge sigh of relief. As that thing started going east now, with that sigh relief was also, some uh some sadness that it was going to our neighbors. You know we hate to you know we hate to see it go there and we're going to do all we can to help those folks just as they came over, and they helped us during, during harvey and amelda, you know louisiana, turned out in force to help us secure our folks over here and from the flooding. The uh, like thank you for your, efforts and and all the stuff that you've done whenever you know all the phone calls between us and talking about what we needed here and you've responded, extremely, well thank you for that at this, you know at the state level it was uh that's so important, that whenever, we ask for those resources, and you respond with those resources, chief kid. As well you know everybody we've had a lot of benefit talking to all the ones that are standing behind us throughout this. That without that support, we can't support our citizens, which is our goal. Is to make sure that we're giving them the support they need so that they can be safe. They did heed. The warnings, to to evacuate. And i got to think a whole lot of that is due to the fact that our local. City officials, as well as city mayors and managers. That we all work together, our local counties, we have a good. Six county region that we work all together in and so when we put out. Evacuation. Orders in different orders that we do it as a team. And that that consistent, message, goes across our communities and i think that's just a huge benefit, uh, and i think that helps the the citizens. Understand, what we're trying to do and they trust it, when they hear it coming from everybody so, you know that was our goal, as we moved through the storm, and then once we knew that we weren't going to get the storm surge within of course we started focusing on what the wind damage was going to do and, you know we didn't get the 140, mile an hour winds thank goodness but we still got enough winds that we have some damage. So this morning. Our assessment, teams. Went out as soon as it got daylight, to get out safely. They're out and their their our first goal was to get them on the roadways, to find out what clearance, we need to get on roads because we knew that people are going to want to get back into town, back to their homes back to their businesses, and so they were doing that we should have those reports soon, so that we can assess what we need to move to the next day, and uh, when, that has a two-fold, approach number one is it lets our citizens come back safely, because we you know it's one thing to, not get hurt in a hurricane. But we don't want you to get hurt coming back either because, even though there's trees and stuff there some of those haven't completely failed yet, so you got to be cautious we got to be careful moving around. But we also know that we have a lot of assets here that we may not need but our neighbors will, and we want to be able to get them as soon as we know that we're clear here we want to be able to have that ability for you to send those those assets over there and help our neighbors because like i said they've always helped us.
Again Thank you for everything that you've done thank you to my, the city mayors and the managers. Uh, throughout orange county because without, we work together, and without them that, we come up with good solutions, as a team, and that's what we try to do but thank you, of course. The mayor next. Come on up. Got you right here thank you. Like to thank everyone for coming out uh this has been a tremendous, show of support. From all of the representatives. From all of the senators. From all the different. Organizations. Here across the state of texas. This is truly a remarkable. Situation. That, there has been not one, loss of life, for the city of orange and for surrounding, counties. Um and so, we i want to thank my emergency management, coordinator ms lee ann brown, my fire chief our police, chief, my city manager mike conest. All of city staff for for working diligently. To evacuate, our citizens. It's not always about policies, and procedures, or ordinances. It's about loving people. And loving them where they are for who they are, and that's what we stand for here in the city of orange texas so i want to thank you governor for your support. It's definitely, a pleasure to meet you, as well as all these other fine gentlemen up here, and i look forward to continue to work with you in the near future, and god bless you all for your support, thank you mayor. Now i'd like to invite senator cornyn, up. Well um. Judge we celebrate, with all of you. This uh this, wonderful. News that, we've dodged a bullet but we know this won't be the last one. And. One of the things i like to think distinguishes. Texas, from some of the rest of the country when they experience, natural disasters, is a level of cooperation. And, coordination. By different, uh different parts of the government, there's obviously a role for everybody, to play the local. The state. And then the federal level, where uh. Texas congress. Texas congressional, delegation, is working but, one of the rules of thumb i go by is, the five ps. Prior, preparation. Prevents, poor performance. And i should ask. Add another, p, judge. Practice. Because you've had a lot of practice. And. But i just want to congratulate. You and and uh and, commissioners, court, and stepping, up on this project, that senator cruz and the texas delegation. Has worked on to enhance the levy system and storm, surge system in this part of the state, there's a lot of attention, given to, the ike dike which is very important, and that's certainly. A priority, but, we're. One step closer. As a result of your leadership, and county commissioners, stepping, up to, to deal with that enhanced. Levy system that will cover 27, miles, in. In orange county, but also help, some of the surrounding, counties, to, deal with this in the future so. Congratulations. And thank you, thank you thank you thank you senator. Now senator, ted cruz. Well thank you governor, and and i will say. Texans, all across the state. Texans. Here in southeast, texas, are breathing a giant sigh of relief right now. Um, this this hurricane, could have been much much worse. Uh we just completed, an aerial tour of the region. And and the damage, is much more, contained. Than, than prior hurricanes, have been. And. Obviously, our hearts, are are heavy for our neighbors in louisiana. Where. And we toured some of that damage as well the damage in louisiana. Is, significantly. Greater. But given the magnitude, of this storm. It could have been so much worse. And, there were a whole lot of prayers that were lifted, up, across, texas a whole lot of prayers across the country, and we saw. Prayers being answered. But we also saw a testament. To the. Leadership, we have, in the state, at the local level at the federal level. One of the realities, in texas when it comes to hurricanes. Is this was not our first rodeo. We, have. Experience. With natural disaster. And at this point we have. County judges, and mayors, and state officials, and federal officials, who who have come together, and dealt with. With tragedy. From, from hurricane, harvey, to imelda, to rita to ike. We've seen the devastation, that can come from natural disasters, and then we're grateful.
That This one didn't bring that same level of magnitude, but one of the reasons. That that. We limit some of that damage, is because, we have such. Terrific, cooperation. At the local level the state level the federal level. All of us have been talking to each other talking to the governor repeatedly. Talking to the white house, yesterday i talked to the secretary of homeland security, you've got the federal government state and local all working hand in hand. And for those who were impacted, by this there will be resources. And support. And support, also from the community. From the churches, from charities, i've got to say at this point. Every time we face a disaster, or even a, disaster, somewhat averted. I'm inspired. To see how texans, step up and help each other how texans. Help their neighbors. Help them out of harm's, way help. Clean up the mess and help them get back on their feet and and judge it's it's it's, powerful, to hear but it's exactly the texas spirit. That even though there are folks hurting here that one of the first thoughts is, we're going to help our neighbors in louisiana, because i think that's who, who we are as a state, and that's who we are as a nation. Thank you. Now we'll call up, your, local. Member from the united states congress. And that is brian babbitt, yeah, okay. Thank you governor i really appreciate, it thanks for being here absolutely, uh when the chips are down, you bring your team. And like. Like was just said this is not our first rodeo. Uh orange county has uh. Uh borne the brunt. Of a lot of hurricanes. Our, our county judge, and, his uh his commissioners. Our mayors. Over here in orange county. Have done a bang-up, job and, this won't be the first time i've worked with tony robinson, either. Everybody in this room that's, a hurricane, veteran raise your hands. Just about everybody, here. Our law enforcement, our first responders, just want to say thank you. Uh it's been uh, uh it's been something that uh. People, when they say you have an unsurvivable. 20-foot. Storm surge. And you've got 150. Mile an hour winds for a category, four. A lot of people evacuate, i evacuated. I got out, late last night and came back in uh this morning. And, i can tell you that. It was very. You know i can't say i take great pleasure in looking because i saw a lot of roofs off a lot a lot of damage out here. But let me tell you something from what we've seen in the past. Uh we have definitely. Dodged, a bullet. And, so i just want to say thank you, for you, you being here thank you to all the folks that have worked hard and, uh we really appreciate it god bless and we're going to help our, you know i've got a lot of ken folks so babin's a cajun name and i've got a lot of headphones, over there across the sabine, river. And uh we they've, come over here and helped us numbers and numbers of times. And uh so this would be an opportunity for us to go over there and help them, brian if you're a cajun you're serving lunch. Well my wife knows how to cook that stuff i guarantee, we'll have that, arranged. Speaking of neighbors, we'll bring up your neighboring, congressman, randy weber. Well thank you governor i don't have a lot to add i'm here to support, you know we've got district 14, to the east.
And Since brian's doing lunch y'all are all invited. Clear. We need a we need a name for our great texas, fair you know we had the cajun navy come in during harvey how many of you all remember that. And so that was the embodiment, of the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors in fact that coined the phrase back then they did things we didn't think could be done governor, i called it cage and earring. So. We need a phrase for texas whether that's texas, tough folk or whatever. I'm here to support with hats off to all of you, i've watched our great governor, our great senators, our great, delegation, come together, fema. The county people the local people cities, and i tell you what. My first hurricane was in 1961. Hurricane carl i was eight years old i'm almost as old as dr babin. And i've been through a lot of hurricanes. I've never seen this much coordination. I've never seen this much fema help thank you tony for jumping in. The president being ready to jump in. The governor working with the president. With the locals. We've got it going on in texas. We know how to handle these hurricanes. Lord are you listening we don't need no more practice. So, i want to say thank you to all for all of you done our first responders. We really think the world of y'all, we really love being in texas we really love. What's happening right here right now because, of the love poured out and the help we're going to get thank you all very much we appreciate, you. And now coming up is someone who helped both in the preparation. Uh. Both in the preparation. Uh for the hurricane, as well as someone who'll be heavily involved in the response. Is lieutenant governor dan patrick. Thank you governor, um. As everyone has said. No one. Does this better than texas. No one works, better together. Than government, at all levels. And. You always prepare for the worst. And you hope for the best. This time. With some exceptions, for sure. Um. The best, turned out, uh i think it underscores, the important. Importance, of the ike dike, coastal spine, whatever name you want to give it. And, actually, i want to yield. My time, to your great senator, robert nichols, who does a fabulous, job this is his area he drove down. Say something. I wouldn't expect him to but i'll be happy to. Um, i watched this last night like i'm sure most, most of y'all, on the news, and uh, at midnight.
I Was listening, to, mayor. Uh, come on. Came on the tv, and he said. The lord is watching over orange. And and he did. And you had, amazing, cooperation. As everyone has said through all the, agencies. And, the city and the county and staff. And i'm very proud, to. Represent you and thank you governor for being here thank you of course and. We'll call up your, uh local state representative, dave feeling. Thank you governor i appreciate it um thank you all for being here, i just want to thank. Chief kid, for having a plan. Plan works. Um. We've we're getting used to that plan down here, uh, and. It happened during covet. And we were able to follow all the cdc guidelines. And. Evacuate. And hopefully, come back come back stronger as usual uh, one sobering. Fact last night i was watching the news i was reminded, that the gulf of mexico, is the warmest. Body of water on the planet right now. Which means we'll. We'll use that plane again probably before the season's over so. Local law enforcement, mayor county judge thank you all so much, and i echo that to jefferson county as well with judge branick and all the eocs, that just did a phenomenal, job and it was a, well-oiled, machine, unfortunately, because, we got so good at this but, thank you again for being here and i appreciate the support sure and then your neighboring representative. Representative, that shalltal. Oh thank you uh, uh governor, thank you for coming, so quickly. As you always have in the past when we've had these emergencies. We've got to, work together with this crew and, uh. Chief kid, it's just right there he even calls me, to say do you need anything, i mean that's really, a coordinated. Effort as everyone has said this is, a group, that has worked well together. And it benefits, our community, greatly, thank you thank you and then last, is the chief of the texas. Division, of emergency, management, nimkid. Thank you governor. Uh, mayor your words are very powerful this morning, two words i'd like to add to it courage and leadership, and i want to thank you and the judge for the courage and the leadership. It is not easy to make the decision to mandate an evacuation. State law in texas, puts that squarely, on the responsibility. Of your mayor and your county judge, there's a lot that goes into that planning that decision making process. It is always, the right decision, to have a coordinated. And orderly evacuation. When faced with the circumstances. They were faced with, my hat's off to you we're here to support you, we had a great plan, we had a good response, we will have a swift recovery. And as chairman phelan said, we're not out of hurricane, season yet. This is not the time to high five and go home this is the time to double down and get ready for the next one, very good we'll take a few questions. A little bit about preparations. For the next forum. Any other, coastal, protections, for our communities. First when it comes to preparation, we need to always replicate. What we did this time, preparation, means, acting in advance. And under the leadership, of chief nem kidd. As well as an entire team. We had. Previously, staged. National, guard. Texas, division of emergency, management. Texas task force one. As well as the texas parks and wildlife officials. As well as. Lining up, fifteen. 000. Uh, people who can restore, power, to the region and the list goes on. The key was getting, people like that. Located, in advance, and prepared. But also it was, working in collaboration. With local officials. Uh and having the local officials, make the key decisions, and then, supporting, those decisions. And assisting, them, uh and. Always it doesn't matter what type of storm. What's going to happen whether it's today or next year next decade. That type type of combined. Planning, in advance. Is what always, leads to better results. As it concerns, things like, if you want to call it the coastal spine the itac, whatever. We've had. Meaningful conversations, about that just today. And someone who knows a lot about it uh is senator john cornyn senator would you want to say more about it at this time, or so feel free, if not just. Just briefly, i don't.
The Ike dyke is perhaps, the. Best known storage. Uh storm surge protection. And it certainly is very important but it's a it's unfortunately, is a very complex. Process, for a very sophisticated. Um storm, surge. Barrier. But the, karmi corps of engineers, is not scheduled, to release their proposed, plan until march of 2021. And then it's really up to local officials, and state officials. To say what they want. In terms of that, that plan and how to implement it and then it's up to the texas delegation, to support. Um, that um. That plan. I would just repeat that. We, we are close to turning dirt over, judge right yes, 3.9. Billion. Storm surge protection. Uh plan, which uh with the, good work of the lieutenant, governor and, the texas legislature, and the governor. Hopefully. Will allow, orange county to benefit from an additional, i think maybe basically, 27, miles. Of an enhanced, levee system which will help so. Ike dyke is important. Report from the army corps of engineers, in march 21. But in the meantime. We're ready to start turning over dirt, on that enhanced levee, and storm surge system right here in orange county. Great nice question, governor what's the next 24 to 48 hours look like for this community. For. All of the communities, impacted. First and foremost, is to continue, to. First and foremost, is to continue, to. Assess whether or not any lives are at risk. Saving lives is job number one. And we will have teams. The entire affected, region. Making sure that every life is safe. Then, clearing. Pathways, such as roads. I've heard some information, not yet confirmed. That some roads are blocked off either by water or by trees, and so we need to clear roadways, so people. In emergency, vehicles can, get through and. Power line repair trucks can get through things like that, and then restoring, power so it's. Turning, communities, to a sense of normalcy. And then. Beginning. Today, really. But accelerating, in the coming days. Is what you typically, see after a hurricane. One is. Getting prepared for debris removal. The other is assessing, the extent to which. Damages, may qualify, for, fema relief. If not using other strategies, to make sure that, the relief that's needed is provided. We do strongly, urge. Everybody. Who has any insurance. Please call your insurance, agent today. Tomorrow. Uh. Call very quickly, that's what they are there for is to make sure they will respond, to your insurance, claims, did you want to add to that look like you did, oh no no i'm good, you're covering it. Off. But that's what it looks like. I'll let chief kid answer that. So the power companies are out doing assessments, right now power that goes, typically, from the generation. Station, or the power plant. On the high and heavy transmission, lines those take the longest to repair. They'll assess those damages, and when you have your high voltage transmission, lines, you can be several days before they get that infrastructure, rebuilt. Power coming from the distribution.
Station Of the houses, is usually faster to go up so they will be working on several of those at the same time. Very important though for people that are without, power please do not use a gas powered generator, inside your home, carbon monoxide, is the number one killer of families, whenever it comes to times like this. So, be very careful, about how you're powering your home if you do not have power, and again another excellent, reason to listen to your local officials, of when it is safe to come back, they are the closest, to the ground before the work is being done we'll know best of when it's time to open back up and allow people to come back inside. I would not say we're talking weeks yet i think we need to wait until the power companies come back and give us the assessments, of the timeline. But everybody, up here is committed to make it go as fast as humanly, possible. Governor copeland's obviously a still a big issue can you talk about anything that you guys learned. Preparation, for, kobe, and hurricane, at the same time. So, we, we prepared, in advance. Of dealing with coveting, a hurricane. Before hurricane, hannah. And so, this was our second experience, of dealing with both a hurricane. As well as covet, and there were several strategies, that were used, both times. Different, from. Hurricanes, and non-coveted, times. We did, the best we could, to have families who had to evacuate. Locate, in hotel rooms, as opposed to large, congregate, settings, so they would not be in a setting where, they would more easily, transmit cover 19.. To assist, evacuees. As well as to assist local communities. We provided, a tremendous, amount, of additional, ppe. Hand sanitizer. Things like that. For people who. Were located, to other regions, if i understand it correctly they were provided. If needed a cover 19 test is that correct. Yes governor everywhere we had a congregate, shelter we will make covent testing available in that so, everyone, in a congregate. Shelter. We'll have access to, a covid, test. To make sure that, they have not been exposed, but. Strategies, that we've learned. Have proven to be effective. Because if you look in the aftermath. Of hurricane, hannah, through the nueces, county corpus chris, corpus christi region all the way down to the rio grande valley. Three weeks after that. The number of people testing positive, as well as the number of hospitalizations. Began to decline. So it showed that the people in those regions. Handled, well, uh the combination, of covet and a hurricane. And i have no doubt the same will be true here. Governor. As far as those industries. That were transported. By. City governments, and the county, and are in these. Outside the county now in these uh, shelters. How will they know how how do they get back what's the plan as far as returning, at home and obviously. It's when it's safe to come home but how will you all do that sure i'll have chief kid answer that question yes sir so thank you for letting us get this message out again when the local, officials, make the decision that it is safe to come back the same transportation. Methods that were used to evacuate. Will be available, to return or repatriate. Those citizens, back to their homes, it's just a flipping of the process it'll be the same buses or however we moved them, will be the same way that we bring them back, and it'll be important that they pay attention to their local government websites, and in communication, on their facebook pages, because that's when they'll know that it's safe to come back. Two more questions. Any rescues, any fire call outs law enforcement, action, anything like hospitalization. I'll turn to the mayor of the judge here. Last night, after, the, cutoff time when we went. The winds reached a certain level. We did not want to send, our officers and first responders, out into inclement, weather, we had a few that called in in the in the midnight, hour, but we, weren't able to respond, to that, since then this morning we have not received. But maybe one or two, that that we're having, problems with breathing, and things of that nature but, the biggest, issue is that right now. No loss of life that's the greatest thing and, and i think i think my lord and savior jesus christ. Because without him. None of this was possible. So. Thank i praise god for what he did for us. Great, thanks everyone, thank you all. Thank you again. Governor. All right governor greg abbott, finishing, his remarks. There. With, lots of state officials, you see senator. Ted cruz, there you see, chief name kid you see. You saw, senator, john cornyn there you saw lieutenant governor dan patrick, lots of state and local officials, there in orange, texas, this afternoon. Just after governor greg abbott, got to.
Survey, The damage, left behind hurricane, laura. He, definitely. Gave an account of what he saw out there. Lots of roots, roofs, ripped off there in orange he says, that was the area that got the. The most of that damage left behind from hurricane laura trees, down, he noted, still framing, he saw steel framing, wrapped around trees. Some roads, heavily, covered with water. And. You know the, main thing that he talked about here in texas, thankfully, he said we dodged, a bullet and it could have been. Far worse of course, definitely. For our neighbors, there in louisiana. Far worse damage, that has still yet to be looked at, more and more uncovered, as the day goes on today. But. He, gave, praise, to lots of state. Local officials, and also federal officials for their response, to. This, hurricane, that swept through texas, and louisiana. Overnight, tonight. He noted that there was a, disaster, declaration, declared, for many texas, counties. And, lots of, state agencies, involved, in providing, support, in different ways. He said that, there, was notes about, greater, tree damage, further, up north, there also deeper into east texas. That he didn't get a chance to see but he was told about that. And, lots of people out there determining. Safety, when it's safe to for folks to come back, out there, um to check out, uh what it looks like get back to their homes get back to. Their livelihood. And see what is left. So he definitely said um, the note that he wanted to make clear for everybody. Is to, listen to local, officials. A big part of, the response, and keeping people safe in this storm he said, was due to. Evacuation. Orders. He said loss of life was minimized. And, he, gave praise to local officials for taking that step. To try to keep people safe and wanted to get the message out there for people waiting back to go in, to, please listen to local officials, state and local officials, about when it's actually safe to return. To make sure that you are going to be as safe as possible, and that you will not be, faced with any damage out there but we'll continue, to follow developments, of hurricane, laura. As it. We check in with what, other damages, left behind, also getting, reports. Of it. Diminishing. To tropical, storm status now from our meteorologist. Kristen, curry. So, definitely, weakening, uh in its path now. But we will keep you updated, on air and online, here, at. Kxan.com. And for now in the kxan. Live studio, chelsea moreno, we'll see you back here. Another time, thank. You.