North Carolina governor reacts to Hurricane Isaias damage

Gov. Roy Cooper speaks out on "GMA" about the damage caused by the hurricane and the recovery efforts now underway.
4:42 | 08/04/20

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Transcript for North Carolina governor reacts to Hurricane Isaias damage
As we know, North Carolina was hit hard overnight and the governor of North Carolina, Roy cooper, is joining us live right now and, sir, we really appreciate you taking the time to speak with us. As we were talking about earlier, a hurricane coming across at night is terrifying. Can you give us a sense of the damage that you're seeing this morning? Well, this slammed onto our shore a little after 11:00 last night as a category 1 hurricane. We have a lot of trees down, we have some storm surge flooding, particularly in southeastern North Carolina. A number of cars floating around. We have about 355,000 people without power. We've had a number of tornadoes, not sure of the count yet, up in the northeastern part of the we know we have at least one fatality, a number of people injured as the tornado hit mobile home parks and search and rescue teams there. North Carolina is ready for these kinds of storms, we had to get ready for it in a covid-19 environment, which means that we had masks and social distancing and the 24 shelters that we set up screened people for covid symptoms and made sure that ppe was distributed and that social distancing was maintained. But all in all, this storm got in, got out pretty quickly and that's a good sign for potential river flooding which we hope will not be serious. So we're, of course, saddened by the one fatality that we know at least that we have, but we know overall that this storm moving quickly, that the damage was not any ways as great as it could have been. As you said, over hundreds of thousands without power right now. Governor, what are your state's immediate needs? We think right now that we're able to handle those. We have American red cross volunteers who are here distributing to people who have had damages to the places where they're living. We know that there are a lot of trees down so we have crews out cutting trees and things are a little chaotic right now but we're assessing damages this morning. It should be a nice day for us to be able to do that and I think we'll be able to handle things. Obviously we've had a federal disaster declaration and will be getting help from the federal government and we always appreciate that, but I think that we're about as ready as any state can be for those kinds of storms and disasters and we were ready last night and things operated as they should from what we see so far. You're very strong as a state and your residents. Can you tell us more, to have to deal with this as you said in the middle of a pandemic, just the difficulty in planning for a hurricane under these conditions. Yeah, you know, our number, our qods numbers have stabilized in North Carolina. We have not seen the spikes of other states, I put in a mandatory mask order over a month ago and we have stayed in our face to too -- we have paused for about a month to try to drive our numbers down. Still, in a disaster, we know that when you have Kong Greg gant sheltering and a lot of people in one place you have the potential for spread of the virus so we had to make sure that we had extra precautions as we plan for evacuation shelters. We knew that we kneed a lot more of them because you have to have about 115 square feet per person in a shelter in order to be able to ensure social distancing along with the ppe that you need the masks and all that have to make sure that we keep people safe so we had to work extra hard this time to make sure we had a number of shelters identified to handle all of it's double trouble really when you're dealing with a hurricane and covid-19 at the same time. But we have been ready for this and we have been planning for we know obviously that we do get storms and hurricanes on the North Carolina coast in this time of year and so we were ready for it last night and let's just hope and pray that we don't have enough storm during this. This pandemic is hard enough to deal with, for sure. It is, amen to that. Governor Roy cooper, thank you very much and thinking of everyone in your state. Appreciate your time. Thanks very much. You're welcome.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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