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Interview with Mayor John Tecklenburg; Governor Rick Scott's Press Conference on Hurricane Andrew; Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired October 6, 2016 - 10:30   ET


[10:30:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- first hand. It's 145-mile-an-hour winds, it's just almost unimaginable. We have not seen a storm like this in Florida for a very, very, very long time. So it is one of those things. I think it's easy for folks to forget, but this is not -- this is not a Boy Scout camping trip. People need to head west and be safe.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Mayor (INAUDIBLE), I'll let you get back to work and thank you for taking the time and stay safe there because I know that you're staying nearby for the sake of your city and for the people who live there and thank you very much for that.

All right, we're still awaiting this news conference from Governor Rick Scott. He's the governor of Florida. He's been warning people all day long since very, very early this morning to get out if there's an evacuation order.

The Florida National Guard has been activated. They're now prepping. 1500 National Guard troops are standing by to help in any way they can. I mean, keep in mind that this hurricane has already killed at least 25 people when it hit several Caribbean countries.

I'll be right back.


[10:35:31] COSTELLO: More than two million people from coastal Florida and South Carolina urged to leave their homes as Hurricane Matthew approaches. This is the largest mandatory evacuations in the United States since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Still, some people -- some people are refusing to leave.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since we checked in they said there was mandatory evacuation. Vacation spoiled.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of people down here kind of whopped it up and have a good time, so we think that we're going to stay put and be OK with it, hopefully.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More preparation, kind of prepare for the worst and hope for the best. We've got water. We've got adult beverages. We're going to hunker down and ride this thing out. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: OK. So Charleston, South Carolina, is under a hurricane watch right now.

Joining me now on the phone is the Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg.

Welcome, sir.


COSTELLO: Good morning. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me this morning. What are you advising your residents to do?

TECKLENBURG: Well, you know, the beauty of Charleston belies the fact that we have this serious storm approaching. It's about 48 hours away. And contrary to our nature, we're so hospitable here, we're asking folks to leave. So we're battening down the hatches, helping our citizens secure their properties, and if they haven't left yet we're asking them to go ahead and evacuate.

COSTELLO: So Charleston is under a mandatory evacuation order right at the moment?

TECKLENBURG: We are under an evacuation order from Governor Haley and we're facilitating that evacuation on the local level, but as I mentioned, also securing all our properties and watching out for our citizens and helping them get out of town. Yes, ma'am.

COSTELLO: I've been to Charleston and you have a beautiful city and it is right on the water which sounds scary to me. So how many people do you suppose will not leave Charleston?

TECKLENBURG: Well, we don't have an exact number on that, Carol. But we're urging everyone still to leave while there is time. It's time to get out of Dodge. Those who stay we urge them to give a secure and safe as possible. You know, we do believe flooding is going to be a primary concern. We have a convergence of possibly over a foot of rain, storm surge, and high tide all at one time together, so flooding could definitely be an issue and we're urging folks to evacuate for that reason.

COSTELLO: You know, forecasters are saying this could be one terrible storm. It could be historic and when you hear things like that, what goes through your mind as somebody who is in charge of the city, a beautiful city in the state of South Carolina?

TECKLENBURG: Well, our first concern of course is public safety and the lives of our citizens so that's why we're so strongly urging folks to get out of harm's way and secure themselves elsewhere if possible that's the number one concern. Next is property and our wonderful first responders are fire department and police department, we're going to stick around, we're going to watch over the store while folks are gone and make sure that things are safe here. But we're asking folks to go ahead and leave town. Yes, ma'am. COSTELLO: OK. So, Mayor, we're awaiting Governor Rick Scott, the

governor of Florida, to come out and speak at any moment, and when he does, I'm going to interrupt you again.


COSTELLO: But at what point will you tell those rescue workers, those first responders to, like, stay a safe in their own -- OK. Now the governor is coming. I apologize, Mister Mayor. Thank you so much for joining me.

TECKLENBURG: You all come back at Charleston next week, though. We'll be fine.

COSTELLO: We'll be there. Thanks, Mayor.

TECKLENBURG: All right. Thank you.

COSTELLO: So let's head to Florida live in Governor Rick Scott.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- we think get lost in the mail, and he's -- actually somebody right here in our EOC. So, Governor, thank you so much.

We know there's a lot on you and we give you our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for being here.

GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: The most important thing is we keep everybody safe. But we're going to send an individual down to sit right here in the EOC to make sure if there is any issues we resolve them quickly.

I just finished with the briefing with the state meteorologist. If you're watching and living in an evacuation zone you need to leave now.

[10:40:06] So if you're in an evacuation zone, get out. This is not something you should take a chance with. Time is running out, leave, there's no excuses. The roads are open. You should get out. Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate.

Our number one priority is protecting everyone's life. We don't want to lose one life. Our number one priority is protect everybody's life.

Matthew is strengthening near the northwestern Bahamas. It is forecast to be category 4 as it approaches forward. It's located about 250 miles southeast of West Palm Beach with winds of 125 miles per hour. On the forecast track the eye of Matthew should move very closely. East Coast of Florida peninsula tonight through Friday night.

These are hurricane warning. There are hurricane warnings and watches along the entire east coast. Tropical storm watches are in effect for Florida's gulf coast. So remember this is serious. 125 mile an hour winds is expected to strengthen. Only a small deviation in the forecast track to the left or to the west could bring the core of a major hurricane on shore, within a hurricane warning area.

With a small deviation to the right to keep the hurricane force winds offshore. A small boon could mean a lot. Could mean the difference between life and death. That's why we have to prepare for a direct hit, so if you are in the area that's low-flying like Gerber Island, you're in an evacuation zone, there is no reason to wait.

If you wait, that's when lines happen. That's when we have problems with fuel. And this is life and death. Again protected lives is our number one priority. The impacts of Hurricane Matthew could be as follows. Heavy rain. It's expected to produce rainfall 48 inches and even up to 12th along the east coast, and the keys 1 to 3 inches.

Now think about this. If you look at prior storms when there is a band that goes out there can be way more rain than that, with rain in the flash floods and things like that. Strong rip currents, beach erosion. The possibility of tornadoes, hurricane force winds, storm surge.

Now think about this. The storm surge of 5 to 9 not inches, but feet. 5 to 9 feet. Feet. From Sebastian Inlet to the Florida Georgia line. Three to five feet from (INAUDIBLE) Beach to Sebastian Inlet. But one to three feet from the upper keys to (INAUDIBLE) Beach. Now these are heights above ground, five to nine feet.

Now think about that. On top of that, you're going to have waves crashing. So you have storm surge and on top of that you're going to have significant waves crashing. Do not surf. Do not go on the beach. No one should be on the beach doing anything.

Remember all these things are projections and it can get worse. We are preparing for the worst. We're were hoping for the best and we should not be taken -- no one should be taking any chances.

Based on a continued strong track with Florida I'm announcing I am activating an additional 1,000 members of the Florida National Guard. That means 2,500 members are now activated. We have another 4,000 members that are ready to be activated if we need it. But we have 2500 activated now.

I had directed the National Guard to help with evacuations and with sheltering. The National Guard members will also make sure those who wait until the last minute to evacuate can do so as safely as possible. But don't take a chance that somebody's going to be there to make sure if you wait to evacuate.

And last night I suspended all tolls in the affected areas in the state. This includes the entire Florida Turnpike, Alligator Alley, Central Florida Expressway Authority, and Miami-Dade Expressway Authority. Again there is no reason not to evacuate.

About 1.5 million Floridians and visitors are under evacuation orders. Right now we're very focused on Palm Beach going north. It's the first big area that will be hit and conditions will arrive in just a few hours. This is game day. This is when we're going to -- this is going to hit. Intercoastal bridges have already been locked down in Palm Beach

County. If you're on the east coast from Palm Beach Northwest you will likely see winds between 100 and 150 miles an hour. Just think about that. 100 to 250 miles per hour. These catastrophic levels could completely wipe out well-built homes and destroy neighborhoods.

You're going to lose power if you're on the east coast. There's no question you will lose power. You're going to lose power. We just don't know how long. I've been talking to the utility companies. I just held a conference call with utility companies with the goal that they pre-position assets around the state and then if they know of any needs they tell us as early as possible.

[10:45:08] We're going to stay up with them every day, make sure we share resources as much as possible to get everybody their power back as quickly as we can. We are going to lose power. Millions of Floridians will be without power.

Go inland to a friend's home. Go to a shelter or find an accommodation. Partners like Airbnb are making room available for free. Go to Visit Florida and Expedia. They'll also have listings of open hotels.

You can live in the West Coast Estate. Call your friends on the east coast and offer them a room. If you're concerned about safe routes, please visit You can see traffic patterns and accidents. Anything you need to pick the best route. So our Department of -- our Florida Department of Transportation is tracking all the different evacuation routes. We have people ready to go make sure evacuation routes are open.

Again no excuses. Get out.

Floridians and visitors can go to or download the Florida Evacuates app to enter the location and see shelters available in their area. As of last either there were 58 shelters open. Today 84 more will open. We have doubled the number of available shelters. No one wants to sit in a shelter. The place way safer than a lot of the homes that we would be sitting in. So even though it might not be the best accommodation it's way better to sit in shelter and protect your life.

We have individual gas stations or (INAUDIBLE) took outages of fuel but they're being quickly refilled. We have plenty of fuel in the state right now. The current fuel supply in the state will last for six days, even if all the ports are closed.

Remember to take the fuel you need, you know, leave fuel for the next person, fill as much as you need to everybody has a chance to get as much fuel as they need.

We're evacuating hospitals along the east coast. There are no recorded at any -- at this time. Back in 1992 under Andrew during hostile company we evacuated two hospitals in Miami and the hurricane turns south, and hit a hospital we had evacuated to. We had to hand in patients, 154 patients, and all the windows blew in because Andrew. So we're going to do everything we can so evacuate in right facilities. And just remember this storm can change on a moment's notice.

Last night I requested President Obama to declare emergency declaration in 26 counties. I've also requested direct federal assistance to meet free landfall critical emergency needs of our communities. This includes resources from the federal government, including food, water, and tarps. That's what we need now. We'll need more later.

I hope the president approves it as early as possible. This morning I love to get it done early today. We will continue to be making requests to the federal government for assistance.

Text FLprepares. FLprepares, one word, to 877 -- I'm sorry. FLprepares to 8-8-8-7-7-7 for updates from the state emergency response team. FLprepares, one word, to 8-8-8-7-7-7 for updates from state emergency response team. This can be lifesaving information.

If you think someone -- you know someone is making a bad decision and not evacuating, call them. Plead with them to do the right thing. Don't let a family member, don't let a friend do the wrong thing. Let them know this is dangerous. Just think about the winds, the storm surge, the waves. All these things that can happen. The potential tornadoes.

Our number one priority, keep everybody safe.

To the press I want to thank you. You've done a great job getting information out. Anything more you can do to let people know the risk and the severity of this, please do. Our next briefing from the National Hurricane Center is going to be at 11:15.

I'll be glad to take any questions anybody has.


SCOTT: Thanks.

COSTELLO: All right. You heard Governor Rick Scott. He's very concerned about this massive storm that is approaching the Florida coast. He has even added a thousand -- he's even activated a thousand more members of the National Guard to help with evacuations, to make sure everybody is out and in a safe area. Making no bones about it he said this is a killer, killer storm.

I'm going to take a break. We will take you to Palm Beach next.


[10:53:36] COSTELLO: All right. We are waiting a White House briefing. Josh Earnest, Josh Earnest will take the podium there. We're not sure what the breathing is going to be about. If Hurricane Matthew will be mentioned. But we're keeping an eye on this and we'll keep you posted. You know, something else that Hurricane Matthew could, I don't know,

play havoc with is the -- it's sporting event. They could be postponed or moved.

Andy Scholes has more for you right now. Hi, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it could be college football game that could be affected by Matthew this weekend, Carol. On Saturday Florida is hosting LSU. They're going to have an announcement on the status of that game at 1:00 p.m. Eastern this afternoon. Miami-Dade will host Florida State and up the coast you've got North Carolina and South Carolina both in action at home. Those schools say they're monitoring the storm and they will move the game if necessary.

Now the NFL also keeping an eye on Matthew. The Dolphins are scheduled to host the Titans on Sunday afternoon and the hurricane could possibly hit North Carolina Saturday. NASCAR officials hoping that doesn't affect their race on Sunday in Charlotte.

Elsewhere in sports world, Giants' Madison Bumgarner may be the greatest post-season pitcher of all time. He's only 27 years old. Bumgarner absolutely dominating the Mets last night pitching a complete game shut-out. He's the only pitcher in baseball history to throw multiple shut-out in winner-take-all post-season game.

This one was very close. It was tied at zero all the way in to the ninth inning. That's when Connor Gillespie played hero for the Giants, crushing the three-run homerun to seal the win.

[10:55:06] San Francisco beat New York 3-0 in the National League Wild Card game. The Giants going to take the Cubs on Friday.

Today's Division Serious gets going. Blue Jays and Rangers, then Red Sox and Indians. You can watch both of those games on our sister station TBS.

If you drafted Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski on your fancy team this year, you're probably aren't doing too well. Gronkowski is one catch for letting go this season and he said he knows his fancy owners aren't happy with him.


ROB GRONKOWSKI, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS TIGHT END: Man, I know. I mean, I can't even go to the grocery story without getting yelled at. But why -- I mean, why did you drafted me?


SCHOLES: It should get better, though, for all those (INAUDIBLE). Tom Brady back at quarterback for the Patriots this Sunday against the Browns.

COSTELLO: Can't wait. All right, Andy Scholes, thanks so much.

All right. We monitored that White House briefing. Josh Earnest did mention Hurricane Matthew. Let's listen.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president was updated once again on the preparations underway to prepare for the likely landfall of Hurricane Matthew. The weather forecasters at the National Hurricane Center and at NOAA now anticipate that the impact of the storm in the United States is likely to be quite significant.

We strongly encourage people who live in the areas that are likely to be affected to heed the warnings and instructions of local officials, including evacuation orders. The instructions are being offered by local officials, are informed by information that they are receiving from scientists and federal officials, and those instructions are geared toward protecting people. And we believe that it's important people will listen to those instructions.

We also encourage people to stay up to date on the weather forecast. Those of you who been covering the story know that the weather forecast -- that the forecast track of the storm has changed multiple times just this week so it certainly is not outside the realm of possibility that could change once again. We want to encourage people to stay up to date on that.

But we did learn overnight is that it's unlikely that the storm could strengthen further before making landfall and that obviously is deeply concerning. So we want people to be prepared. A blessing I'd say about this is that there are those who doubt the intensity or severity of the storm. They need only to look at the images that are coming back from Haiti that clear this storm had a rather significant impact in Haiti, and that is a pretty good evidence of what people in the southeast could be facing.

For those Americans that are interested in offering up their assistance to Haiti, we encourage people to visit It's a place where you can get some more information about how you can help a country like Haiti that doesn't have the resources that we do to deal with such a significant storm. But, you know, obviously this is a pivotal day. People need to be making preparations and following orders today.

The storms likely to begin being felt this evening and certainly over the course of the day those of us who don't live in potentially affected areas will be sending our prayers to those who are potentially in harm's way but people could -- should take confidence from knowing that federal officials have been working very effectively with officials at the state and local level to prepare in advance of this storm.

We have developed an expertise and we intend to use our resources and that expertise to protect the American people, and that'll be put to the test in the next few days. So with that, Darlene, do you want to get it started?

COSTELLO: All right. We're going to wrap this up. Thank you so much for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello. Continue Hurricane Matthew coverage starts with "AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND BOLDUAN." It starts now.