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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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SCHULTZ: Governor Martin O`Malley has cancelled early voting in Maryland for today and tomorrow. However, the state has scheduled a makeup day for Friday.

Joining us now by phone is Governor Martin O`Malley of Maryland. He`s currently at the emergency operations center in Reisterstown, Maryland.

Governor, good to have you with us tonight. The storm has hit shore. What are you hearing at this hour with your state?

GOV. MARTIN O`MALLEY (D), MARYLAND (via telephone): Well, we have been in touch with Ocean City for the last several days. They seem to be holding up fairly well. This as you reported high tide. So, this is their dangerous time.

And those swells are real big. They are crashing over the boardwalk there. They have already lost the fishing pier that used to extend into the ocean.

So, they are getting a lot of damage. There will be a lot of water in the basements of the shops all along the boardwalk. Hopefully, that boardwalk will hold up and get us through the next couple of hours here.

SCHULTZ: Governor, have the people of your state done what you asked them to do?

O`MALLEY: I think, by and large, they have. This has been a strange day for us here, Ed. As a state, we`re called "America in Miniature". Today, we`ve been America`s weather in miniature.

I mean, we had two foot of snow in Garrett County in the west. We had the ocean current that you`re seeing on TV right now in the Atlantic. And then in the bay, we`re very concerned about the unpredictable winds and what that does to water levels and the surge of streams and creeks and the coastal bay.

So it`s going to be a very challenging night for us. I can almost hear the sound of trees cracking all around us. You know, it`s going to be a rough night. But people have stayed indoors for the most part today.

SCHULTZ: Governor, you cancelled early voting in Maryland for today and tomorrow. What impact is the storm going to have on this election in your state? It`s a week from tomorrow, obviously. But people`s lives are being displaced. Of course, there`s going to be power outages and people dealing with their personal situation. What`s it going to do with the election?

O`MALLEY: Well, we`re hoping to make up -- I mean, we know we can make up at least one of those two days by adding Friday to it. And, Ed, right now, we`re looking at whether we are keeping polls open longer or just how we manage to get as many hours of early voting as we can.I can tell you, in the two days before the storm, just like the rush on the stores for bread and milk and toilet paper, we had huge lines of people going out to vote early in this election. And so, we want to find a way to restore those hours lost by this storm if there`s any possible way we can.

You know, we have to turn around the voter rolls before Election Day on Tuesday and do that deconfliction, but I think people are motivated to vote and are anxious to get back to the early voting.

SCHULTZ: Governor, you`re coming to us from the emergency operation center. Are you hearing any word of any fatalities or any word of people being stranded? What is the situation?

O`MALLEY: You know, we`ve had one fatality so far that`s been attributed to the storm. That was an automobile accident involving some hydroplaning over high water in Montgomery County.

We had about 150 people that were stranded in Crisfield on the eastern shore when the tidal surge of the bay came up and put about three feet of water into the first floor of everybody`s home there in a small community called Summers Cove. So, many of those individuals have been evacuated. Some are sheltering through the night on the second floor there.

We have had great cooperation, Ed, from our federal government from the get go. It`s really a sign of the new, improved FEMA, that they all arrived before the storm and before the disaster and not after it. It`s a huge improvement that I think every governor, regardless of party, recognizes.

SCHULTZ: Well, to back your statement up there, governor, is just the fact that safety has been certainly provided. If you have one fatality on a storm that`s absolutely massive and certainly unusual in its nature, I`d say it was a pretty good day at the office.

The next big challenge is going to make sure to get people`s power restored. And that is going to be a heavy lift, no question about it.

O`MALLEY: Right. And we still have a long night to get through, as well. Let`s put a knock on wood on that, because we`ve got a long night to get through. The power restoration will take days and days and days.

SCHULTZ: OK. Governor Martin O`Malley with us tonight here on THE ED SHOW. Thanks so much.

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