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CNN "State of the Union with Candy Crowley" - Transcript

Interview

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CROWLEY: Now Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas.

Governor, I know you're in Topeka getting ready to take a look at what has happened overnight in your state. But give me a thumbnail sketch of what you know now.

GOV. SAM BROWNBACK, KANSAS: 97 tornadoes touched down at various times throughout the state. About 40 percent of the state at one time or another had a tornado warning. But people heeded it, no fatalities that we know of as of now. There is quite a bit of damage. But god was merciful. It looks like we had made it through the initial look without a fatality.

CROWLEY: In other words, pretty remarkable, 97 tornadoes. To what do you attribute the fact that at the moment so far as we know there are no fatalities? Some injuries, I understand but no fatalities.

BROWNBACK: I really think people took the warnings and they took it very seriously. We had more notice on this system than you normally do. You normally are looking at a couple of hours notice.

Well, this one had really almost two days notice. It was remarkably accurate on the quality of the system as far as its ability to produce tornadoes. People took it very seriously, acted, prepared. And grace of god, and it really is just amazing to have that many tornadoes and hopefully looking like this right now, no fatalities.

CROWLEY: And when you're looking for -- what are your weather forecasters telling you in terms of what's ahead or is it over?

BROWNBACK: You know, the system still is around, the nature of it. But most of it has passed through. These developed because you get this mixture of high energy, moisture and then winds coming from directions that can produce the swirling. So you can get those indexes, but they do move through and this one by and large moved through.

But, we're at the time of year where these systems can develop significantly and quickly and we're in tornado season.

CROWLEY: And what happens now as far as your concerned? What's your next task? What's the task of the government? And what should people do who have perhaps had homes destroyed?

BROWNBACK: We're doing damage assessments even now to get first light and people are flying and looking at that. We will do damage assessments. We'll help people with debris removal. We'll see what all is needed for emergency shelters for individuals. And, you know, frankly too, just thanking, congratulate people for really acting prudently and preparing and showing that that's really the course to go when you get these tornado warnings.

CROWLEY: Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, a busy day ahead of you. Thank so you much for taking some time. Get back to us after you get your tour of the state to see what happened. Thank you.

BROWNBACK: Thank you, Candy.

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