CNN NewsNight - Transcript
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
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BROWN: Thank you.
Rick Perry is the governor of the state of Texas. And I'm almost certain he spent the day looking at satellite maps and preparing for the worst.
Are you doing anything differently than you would have done because of the responses, local state and federal, successful or not, to Katrina?
GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: Well, obviously, Katrina gave a little extra emphasis to what can happen when a major Cat 4 storm comes in. We have had some models generated so that the mayors and the county judges in Galveston, Houston, Corpus Christi, can see exactly what that storm surge looks like and what's going to be under water in their cities.
So, between Katrina and between our preparation for this, people understand that this isn't something that you're going to play around with. When a Cat 3, 4, and 4 for sure, start making landfall in Texas, particularly in a major metropolitan area, we have got to get those people out and we have got to evacuate early on.
And that's why we have made this effort, and I think successfully so, starting to evacuate a substantial number; 1.3 million Texans are being asked to evacuate back inland. And it's working so far.
BROWN: Governor, where are they going?
PERRY: Well, we have a hub set up.
And these are places that we have prepositioned a lot of support into Huntsville and to College Station and to Austin, San Antonio, on all the way up into Dallas. A lot of people are going and staying with families. But one of the most important things, Aaron, is that people who still have needs to move, nursing home people...
PERRY: ... our elderly, that they yet haven't heard from a transportation company, I have got the Department of Public Safety on notice today with an 800 number, 1-800-525-5555. They call that number, and we will get transportation to them and to move those elderly or assisted living individuals to a place of safety.
BROWN: That was 800-525-5555, if you're in the state of Texas and you need transportation.
One of the things that we learned from Katrina is, some people simply -- some people are stubborn, frankly, but some people don't have the means to move. Will they be forced out?
PERRY: Well, the fact of the matter is, I can't help the hardheaded ones.
PERRY: But those who need transportation, we're going to get them and get them to safety. So, this is Texas and there's going to be some folks you could come in and threaten them and they're still going to say, sorry, we're going to ride this out. That's their business.
But, as the mayor of Galveston told them very clearly, and she told them right, you're on your own.
BROWN: Just quickly, do you know how many National Guard troops you have at your disposal, if you need them?
PERRY: We have got over 5,000 that are already prepositioned. We have got over 1,000 Department of Public Safety troopers that are ready to move in as soon as this makes landfall. So, we have a substantial number of not just National Guard, but also Texas State Guard. Our Texas State Guard is one of the finest in the country. They performed admirably for the Louisiana evacuees and they haven't had much of a time to catch their breath, but they're ready to go again.
BROWN: Governor, I think everybody who -- which is just about everybody who has watched -- the last three weeks, watched all of the sorrow caused by Katrina, are sending prayers your way and good thoughts your way tonight. It's obviously going to be a rocky few days. But if preparations are set, then it will be the best it can be.
Good luck to you.
PERRY: Well, it will be. Thank you, Aaron.
BROWN: Thank you, sir, Rick Perry, the governor of the state of Texas.
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