CNN "Lou Dobbs Tonight" - Transcript
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PILGRIM: An estimated 25,000 people who took refuge at the New Orleans, Superdome, will be bused to the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. Now the Superdome is being evacuated because of a number of problems, including lack of power and a deteriorating roof. And my next guest gave Louisiana the go-ahead to use the Astrodome in Houston.
Texas Governor Rick Perry said his state wants to do its part and help refugees get through this tragedy. And Governor Perry joins us now from Austin, Texas. Thanks for being here, sir. Any estimate on the timetable on this evacuation?
GOV. RICK PERRY, (R) TEXAS: Yes. They should be arriving at the site in New Orleans at approximately 6:00 p.m. Central Time. We expect a relatively quick turnaround with the first ones arriving back in Houston at the Astrodome around midnight, Texas time. So it's going to be a long process, and -- but we're going to be ready for them. We can handle upwards of 27,000, the way that the Astrodome is now set up. So we suspect that it will be completely full.
PILGRIM: And what's the duration of time they're expected to be in the Astrodome?
PERRY: Well nobody knows that. As you heard from some of your earlier people that you've had on your show, this is all relatively new for all of us. No one's been through a disaster of this scope and we just know that by the grace of God, this could be Houston, Texas that's facing this rather than New Orleans and we're going to take care of our neighbors the best we can.
PILGRIM: You know, by the grace of God, it could have been Houston. Does this change the way you assess your preparedness plans?
PERRY: Well, obviously, we have been looking at these types of eventualities with a substantial number of exercises. We have in place, both through the legislative process and through a substantial amount of work with the local authorities and the federal authorities, processes in place.
The fact of the matter is when you see a Cat 4 or Cat 5 hurricane coming at you, there are certain things that you're not going to be able to stand up to. But evacuating those people out of Houston, Texas, for instance, or anywhere along the Gulf coast has been a real high priority in setting up these types of evacuee stations away from the Gulf Coast. We hope we're ready. We know some day it's going to happen to us. You know, as we said earlier, by the grace of God, we've dodged the last few years.
PILGRIM: Well thank you very much for joining us this evening, Texas Governor Rick Perry. Thank you, sir.
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