CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Officials Hold Press Conference in Jackson, Tennessee
Aired May 5, 2003 - 12:15 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I want to go to Jackson, Tennessee right now. Local authorities are briefing reporters on some of the damage done there.
Let's listen in.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... than in '99.
QUESTION: These search efforts right now, you're saying search and recovery. Is it search and recovery, or is it search and just recover at this time? Is it rescue or search and recovery?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're doing search and rescue right now. We think we've got everybody accounted for. We're just going back through the locations to make sure that we haven't missed anything.
QUESTION: Are there any people still reporting missing family members? Any families at all still with any missing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not that I know of.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Out in the Denmark-Jackson area, back in there, and then we had two in town.
QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) tornadoes that did rip through this area, correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. The National Weather Service is here now doing a survey of all of the damage, and they will brief us either late this afternoon or tomorrow.
QUESTION: Twenty-eight thousand people without power. And can you tell us about how you're going about restoring power? And there's an actual red zone that you have circled out. Talk about the hospitals, restoring power to the hospitals right now, and then restoring water pressure to the entire area, 30,000 people without water right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're under a boil water order right now. We lost our water facilities for a short time -- capability. It's back up, but it takes 24 hours to go through the testing and purification and making sure the water is all correct. And we have a red zone around the hospitals to restore power to them first, because that's where our life safety is at. And then we'll work out from there as the needs -- we have a tremendous job of rebuilding the power system in Jackson and Madison County.
QUESTION: We've seen a lot of people walking through the downtown area that really don't have any business being here. They're just coming to look. Police weren't really stopping them. They're just kind of walking through the area. I've heard there was concern about that. Are they going to be stopping those people? Is there concern because of the area the way the damage is right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have asked people to stay out of the area. We are in a curfew at this time. Unfortunately, some folks don't pay attention.
QUESTION: Tell us about looters? Have you had looters? Have you had any arrests at this particular time with regard to those looters?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was going through noon, and we're trying to keep the folks out of the immediate downtown area now.
QUESTION: Will there be a curfew tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to have a meeting this afternoon to discuss that.
QUESTION: Federal monies to the area, in '99 you had extensive damage, and you requested some federal monies. What about federal monies now? How much are you requesting? How much do you think you'll need to rebuild?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know. We don't know right now. We're still in the assessment stage, and it will take us a few days because the damage is so extensive.
QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) do you think that it could have been worse if there had been people in the downtown area?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it had been in the afternoon, yes, it would have been much worse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't even know yet.
QUESTION: Is it in the hundreds, dozens, what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Buildings in general, in the hundreds for sure. There's no doubt about it.
QUESTION: We're hearing of more severe weather tonight possibly. Are there concerns, because some of the systems are now weakened because of the prior storms?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're working on getting those replaced. We've got most of those systems back up and running, and should have all of them by this afternoon.
QUESTION: Do people feel safe still in the area?
QUESTION: But where did the deaths occurs? Just can you tell us that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All but two of the deaths occurred out in the county.
QUESTION: But where out in the county?
QUESTION: Those who are anticipating power, can you please let us know once again when -- those who are anticipating power -- excuse me. Those who are anticipating power...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got to go. That's all of the questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is Dan Vaughn (ph) with the Emergency Management Agency...
BLITZER: All right, that's it, a briefing from Dan Vaughn (ph) with the Emergency Management Agency in Jackson, Tennessee. That's a community that's been hit very hard, 10 dead, dozens hurt, 100 homes perhaps destroyed or at least badly damaged.
We're going to continue to follow these developments in Jackson, Tennessee, only one of many communities in four states devastated by this killer series of tornadoes that have affected these areas over the past 24 hours.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com.