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CBS "Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer" - Transcript

Interview

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SCHIEFFER: We'll talk to him too, because this is Face the Nation.

ANNOUNCER: From CBS News in Washington, Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer.

SCHIEFFER: And good morning again and welcome to Face the Nation. What you are you seeing here is a map put out by the National Weather Service which shows where the 90 tornadoes hit Friday and Saturday. 38 people now dead in five states by the latest count, an unbelievable $27.5 million people put at risk by the storms.

The storms in Kentucky, the worst in 24 years. And in Indiana, the town of Henryville was hit by a twister packing 175 miles an hour winds and it stayed on the ground for more than 50 miles.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels was in Henryville and in other parts of his hard hit state yesterday. He is with us this morning from Indianapolis. Governor, thank you for finding time to talk with us this morning. Just bring us up to date. What's the latest?

DANIELS: Well, we think the fatality rate in Indiana -- the count we believe is final. We pray it's final at 12. The count of those who lost homes and businesses is smaller than it might have been based on where the powerful storms hit, but it doesn't ease the heartache, as you visit with people, who were in the path of them.

SCHIEFFER: Do you have any idea? Can you put any kind of a dollar figure on the damage out there, governor?

DANIELS: A little too soon right now, Bob. If there was any mercy in this incredibly brutal set of storms it is that it didn't hit more populace areas, but in the frame of reference, the kind of towns that got damaged in our state means everything. And so once again you can't really measure the sense of loss in dollars.

SCHIEFFER: But I noticed some of these towns like Henryville just wiped out. I mean, they weren't just hit hard, they were wiped out. Have you ever seen anything quite like this?

DANIELS: I've had more practice than I wish I had in severe weather and severe storms over these last seven plus years. But just from an educated amateur standpoint, I've never seen one quite this destructive.

The continuity of the storm as you followed its path. This one didn't -- as far as I could tell, pick up and come down very often, it just moved a lawn mower through some of the most beautiful countryside and some of the most beautiful towns that we have. So I will leave it to the experts what number to put on it. I'll just tell you that I haven't seen worse.

SCHIEFFER: Are you planning to ask the federal government for any help? Are you getting help -- have you heard from the president?

DANIELS: Sure did. I was standing in the New Beacon firehouse I guess when the president called. Secretary Napolitano called. Some of my fellow governors were nice enough to call. Governor Patrick and Perry and Scott.

The simple truth is, we know from experience, the first few days are really on with the state and local authorities, on the people and volunteer organizations of a state like Indiana. As tough as this is, Hoosiers are tough, too, Bob. And you just would not believe the resilience and the can do spirit I bumped into everywhere yesterday.

Everywhere I went I ran into people from elsewhere. And they weren't always friends or family, sometimes they were just folks who picked up and drove a distance to pitch in.

SCHIEFFER: Well, governor, this is very early in the tornado season. Are you prepared? What are you going to do to be ready for the next round, because there may well be one?

DANIELS: If you needed another way to keep your human pride under control these storms provided it. I think we were as ready as possible. The weather service and others gave lots of warning. I didn't talk to anybody who wasn't fully aware that terrible storms were on their way. People did the best they could to take shelter. Then the reaction afterward was the fastest we've ever done. With all of that, you know, when mother nature decides to work a wrath on we mere mortals, you remember how inadequate sometimes the best of human action can be.

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