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MSNBC "Hardball with Chris Matthews" - Transcript


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SEN. KAY HAGAN (D), NORTH CAROLINA: Well, I think we are certainly as ready as anybody can be in a storm of the magnitude and size that we`re talking about. And that`s why we`ve certainly encouraged the evacuation of all of the tourists and the residents on the Outer Banks.

JANSING: You know, I`m sure you heard what Mark Potter just had to say. There are a lot of long-time residents there. They`ve ridden out a lot of storms, and they`re ignoring the evacuation. Are you worried about that?

HAGAN: Well, I am worried about that and I`m worried about it because of the fact that if this storm surge does happen, where the flooding could be very severe, and obviously, you add that into high, high, strong winds, it certainly could be a very difficult situation for many people.

JANSING: About 48 hours from now, what are we going to be talking about? What are your biggest fears?

HAGAN: Well, my biggest fears are, obviously, the health and safety of our citizens, and then, obviously, after that would be property damage. But that`s why we`ve got FEMA on the ground, ready to work. And emergency declaration has already been declared. And I supported our governor and went to the president asking for that. I`ve been talking to the governor on a regular basis, as well as other federal, state and local emergency managers. And I`ll tell you, people are definitely ready.

JANSING: And you`ve got National Guard at the ready, as well?

HAGAN: That we do.

JANSING: Tell me a little bit more about how you`re preparing, what you know about what`s going on and what particular areas do you think the most help is going to be needed. Obviously, right around the Outer Banks, but do you think it could go far beyond that area?

HAGAN: Well, I think people, obviously, need to have their emergency situations taken care of, and that is to be sure that they have food and water and battery-operated radio. People can go to and find out exactly what they should have in that case.

What the declaration of disaster actually does, it authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA to coordinate disaster relief, and specifically to identify whatever equipment and resources are necessary to
respond to the storm.

It was interesting. I was east of Greensboro earlier today, and as I was driving back on I-40, I saw truck after truck of electric utility bucket trucks heading east. So not only is FEMA prepared, but all of the
electrical companies in North Carolina are heading that way to station themselves in order to get electricity back on.

JANSING: Senator Kay Hagan -- Senator Hagan, thank you so much. It`s great to see you.

HAGAN: Great. Thank you


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