Transcript for Port Arthur mayor speaks out on flooded town, evacuations
Joining us on the phone is the mayor of Port Arthur, Texas, Derrick Freeman who we just saw keeping spirits up in his city even though his own home flooded with four feet of water. Mayor Freeman, thank you very much for joining us this morning. We saw the dramatic video that you posted. You know, floodwater there in your own home asking for prayers for your city. Tell us about what the situation is like this morning, mayor. Well, it's getting better. You know, two nights ago we had a lot of water, we got about 20 inches of water in 24 hours and it devastated our city. You know, there's some parts that has receipted and gone down but we still have people in three, four-foot water in some homes so we still have active efforts getting people out of their homes and first responders and emergency personnel all around the city making sure we're taking care of the public safety. Any idea how many people could be still stranded this morning? No, ma'am, but one thing that's awesome, we have a group of about 100 folks coming in from Louisiana. They just got here 5:00 this morning and they'll be going home to home knocking on doors doing welfare checks, so, you know, as we're doing some of the other things they'll be doing the door-to-door and we're so grateful to make sure we get to every citizen and make contact. Everybody is doing their part. Whatever they possibly can. We saw the video of the nursing home and our heart just went out. How are the folks there doing? They're well. You know, it was something that we weren't prepared for and we didn't know we would have to get them out of there while we were rescuing people out of four foot of water but, again, we were able to adjust and we're so thankful for the cajun Navy and the citizen help and volunteers. It was so awesome to see everybody come together as one as a community. And what is your biggest concern at this very moment? The rebuild. You know, we're going to bounce back. Port Arthur, we got hit with hurricane Ike, hurricane Rita. And hurricane Harvey and we've rebuilt every time so we're going to rebuild this time. We're going to be okay. And the way that you keep your spirit up and for your residents there, where does that spirit come from, mayor? God is good. God is good. All the time. All the time. So we're just making sure we stay grounded and do what we have to do to meet all the needs of our citizens right now and I think we've done a gre job, our first responders between the volunteers, the community leaders, we've had business leaders step up. Donating water, food, any blankets, Walmart, catholic -- it's just been an awesome experience to be part of a team that know that they're willing to give back. You know, we're all a firm believer. You can't get a blessing until you're a blessing to somebody else so they got a lot of people that need a blessing right now. You said for us to pray and the prayers are continuing. Mayor Freeman, thank you very much. All the best to you and your residents. Thank you. Everybody there. Thank you. Thank you. Y'all have a great day.
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