Transcript for Hurricane Dorian sparks preparations along East Coast
Yeah. Everybody welcome to the briefing her mom Devin Dwyer Washington great to have you with us on this Tuesday breaking news right now as hurricane Dorian. Slowly moves its way north skirting the Florida coast we have teams. Deployed in the area we'll get a live report coming up millions on alert they are now as tropical storm force winds are starting to hit the coast along with that surged. Meanwhile though we're getting a much clearer picture of just how devastating and catastrophic door Dorian was. To the Bahamas and then joined now via Skype by Theo nearly he's the Bahamian consul general here in Washington. Sir thank you so much for joining us that this are pretty difficult time I imagine if he had any contact. With your government on the island. I thank you for your time thank you for eyewitness on the show. I've been a Constant Contact as you can imagine with the head altars in the ministry had not sought. One of the challenges as you mentioned earlier with recovering it's because the storm is actually still. Oval Grand Bahama island we haven't been able to get in and officially access all the damages that are at this time. And it we had heard of from your government sir that at least five people had been confirmed dead I imagine you expect that number to go to go opt any updates on back. So don't have any new numbers on the out and brief. Hope it doesn't happen outside that you're reporting on cold sandwiches so. And all of that was affected and damaged. But that are incident damaged two year two days ago and yesterday as well. One of the biggest concerns is that the storm the hurricane Dorian is moving so slowly. And taking longer to get out of the Irian ticking longs for us get in and get dumb provide relief efforts. And you're here in in Washington. Mr. Neely you have undoubtedly have had contact with the trump administration we know a US disaster. Assistance team is on the ground there you are you receiving the help you need right now from the US. Certainly certainly the US is fully on board and providing information and I'm just waiting to see how best they can continue to assists. The US Coast Guard has been in two a goal and helped zone rescue person Syria yesterday and dumb by the effort continues. It it can be chaotic and desperate to on these islands as you know full well having lived through storms before when the when these storms hit how does the government plan to keep people safe keep that property secure as it as it passes do you. Gosh hello operating plan. One other sure you know one of the concerns this earlier. We earlier information is basically to get heated response an immediate relief on the and that's providing first aid providing water or by the ice providing. But attendance and providing this central Saddam and nearly a series and as a release are rebuilding later. But now we're looking forward immediate. Immediate issues of media dumb supplies be sent to abaco and Grand Bahama island. Sam what it what is your greatest concern greatest need right now in terms of supplies is that water and food is it. Air water and nonperishable food items. Also generated because of issues with electricity providing electricity in those areas up tents and charcoal. A person shall have lost their homes and lawless pretty much most of what they don't. And relief efforts continue but right now we need to get from the ground Ingraham arm assess the damages. And dumb move bullet struck minute we can expect don't damages be very suppress the primacy in its purchases. Yeah he sure did the Red Cross to as he is you said it is very early the Red Cross estimating more than thirteen thousand houses are believed to have been damaged. Or destroyed. Five. Chris yeah those numbers really liked to increase some. We know that people coming to be coming to rescue early regret constant calls here at the Olympics come. The outlook here in DC throughout the morning throughout the day trying to speak with persons prisons wanting to know how best they can out. And assist persons wanting to get on the ground and help already. Problem but it's a certain certain stages to. Go through a lumber are very thankful for the for the outcry to the persons that really want to assistant persons that are concerned. The government here in the United States and city councils and mayors and senators and so many other persons have been reaching out listen governments of other countries as well. And we know that helpful continue to pour pour in we are thinking of viewing your country right now Theo not only. The Bahamian consul general here in Washington sir thank you very much. Her time nights I accuse but you so much and continue to. Think of us and continue to which are it's one of the other items were looking for ought to be serious anyone who can help which shipping. We're receiving supplies and we're looking for persons who could miss this was shipping to. Thomas our consul general and you think you so much I want now ABC. Meteorologist injured dutrow he's in New York to put this storm into some context for us Greg great to see you. I'm even looking at the at the data about this thing that just passed over the Bahamas what is how bad is it is this the worst to ever hit it Obama's it is yet. It's without a doubt the worst tropical cyclone to ever hit the Bahamas a category five storm. And it's also the second slowest in recent history sense we've kept track of these things the first slowest. That was Betsy and 19654. Major hurricanes. This is second place a lot of folks not remembering Nancy 1965. This will be one that we will remember and it has horror rain we're talking feet of rain on top of twenty to 25 foot storm surges across the Allen a Grand Bahama. And things are finally turned to settle down as this moves off to North End that is a good sign and that is what we're going to track through the next couple days here is as it does move up the eastern seaboard of the United States as high pressure ridge starts to break down the steering flows come back we've already seen some forward momentum. Four not out of the woods in the United States just yet there's a chance here are some of the weather models still bring in that track. Over the outer banks or perhaps even into South Carolina something at net and we'll certainly inning yet could I am open and a couple innings. Proving that Freeport just over my last check was still around hurricane strength. Which probably feels a lot lighter than those winds when their Maxine out around 200 to 220 miles per hour. Things are starting to relax now the waters are starting to go down but now organs targeting a sense of the true damage that has occurred across but have a coast and also Grand Bahama. That is Fisher Greg dutrow thinks so much Noory and this time done it is moving very slowly can Graham. Over the National Hurricane Center has been on the show before he's the guy leading the charge on tracking. This storm for the federal government can take you so much give us the latest on the track is it still trending away from the Florida coastline. You know we got right off the coastline finally getting some of that movement moving at five miles an hour to the northwest so it was stationary for so long over the Bahamas or finally getting this movement. So yeah that's the track we have a right off the coast. But is close enough is the interior winds start to decrease they're spreading out as wells are hurricane force winds Spanish trail sixty miles from the center so it's close enough that we're keeping this hurricane warnings up for portions of the coast but the this is all week I mean this goes through the week right along the coastline. Up through Florida South Carolina North Carolina eventually Virginia. Now won't couldn't clear there are territory until next weekend it's hard to put your mind around that canned. Thank you so much I know you're tight on time thanks for comment on. A let's go now to Elizabeth Hershey's down in new Smyrna beach Florida tracking how a floor aliens are getting ready for that storm as can pointed out there Elizabeth. What's the mood like right now down there is is there a sense of relief for still but still people on edge. You know actually I just ran into a woman was walking her dog and I after what you were thinking at this moment looking at that hearing the very latest that Dorian may not be coming close to where we are and she said well relieved yes but she's. Still thinking we're not out of this a woods just yet and that's exactly what officials here want to hear because again we're talking about a hurricane and we never know what to do and so they're urging residents to be prepared. Just to give you an idea of what the conditions are like where we are. For perspective I'm gonna ask my photographer to view map to show you the luxury that we are still able to take advantage up. I'm standing on a box than we have the real life laughing at me so that we can at least make this TV will present a bold. This obviously will all be going away once Dorian does approach and gets closer to what. And so right now the condition it's a little windy overcast take a look over two at the trees you see there. Dancing with the breeze but it's still not too bad if you look at the waterways. Not be so very common in fact there are several both. Fill out there. I've felt. And I actually feel woman now cutting down on her bike. Of the mood here know what is panic thing. You name may be bringing. They have sigh of relief. Keeping their fingers crossed but again for the most part at least from what I'm gathering and I'm hearing. I've they're heeding the warning from officials and taking Dorian seriously still again there are mandatory evacuation orders in place and coastal area. And officials are urging them to if you haven't left of home. You better stay home especially tonight. Seven. ABC's Elizabeth her down there in new Smyrna beach Florida thank you so much Elizabeth for bringing that report does look like things are. Tenderly calm right now although as you said people on edge that's gonna FEMA headquarters now for an update. On federal preparations in storm slowly inches north James. By Joseph joins us now he's a senior FEMA administrator sir thank you for coming on is that. Storm appears to be bypassed seen the Florida coast a direct hit at least I imagine everybody. There FEMA is a little bit breathing SI relief on this as well. Yeah there's a sense of relief that it's not gonna impact Florida as as seriously as we anticipated to as a few days ago. But they're still not in the total clear yet we're still gonna see tropical force storm winds. We're still gonna see rain. In in various parts of the area which is why we ask everyone all of your listeners all of your viewers if your local officials are asking you to evacuate. Please heed those warnings and being so it. And FEMA. Mr. Jessup was aggressively prepositioning resources in Florida we heard about it and covered it here for the past week or so ahead of the storm. Had you guys had to redeploy now up to the Carolinas as well as the thing starts to look like it might hit up there. Yet and I think that's the most important thing is were being very. Nimble in how we have our operations because as the trajectory of this storm changes as the impacts changed even though we're seeing a weaker storm it's still gonna provide. Cause impact to those areas so we are moving resources for right now we have resources anywhere from Florida all the way up the coast. Georgia South Carolina North Carolina. We have a breath of resources throughout the southeast part of the US. And finally and know as Americans remain your top priority in preparing for what might come of the next week for herself. Is spew at all involved in their efforts down in the Bahamas he talk at all about what what sort of resources used for we are putting toward that recovery effort. Sheriff's of the leadership of department of the department of homeland security and FEMA. Are very working very closely with the State Department and USA ID the Agency for International Development. Those two agencies have the lead in working with the Bahamas they are in contact with them and if there's any resource requests we will look to assist. The US Coast Guard has a longstanding. Agreement have support with the Bahamas and they're ready to assume. As well. Our James Joseph senior administrator of FEMA really appreciate your time on this busy Tuesday thank you sir for coming on again. We'll continue to track hurricane during here on ABC news live 24/7 you can follow us. And our storm tracker live on the channel here of course continued a forecast from or meteorologist Greg dutrow. Through the hour as well that turned out of the race for Torre twenty in the countdown to the third democratic primary debate the ABC debate. On September 12 in Houston the candidates out over the weekend many of them now. Unveiling new climate change plans ahead of a climate change forum this week. I former vice president Joseph Biden looking to turn the page on a controversy that hit just before the holiday. Where he seemed to mix up some of the details about a story from his time in Afghanistan here's how he explained what happened. It pattern in terms of what good neutral in the sleepy. I was trying to mislead anybody. It was either me. I did it. It was another human being and openness. Ballot was heroic as well and turned out Rodriguez picked. But my point I was there fact it is what we are trying to keep. Our. Honor. The warriors. It's significant. And he workers ever. And our political reporter Johnny for Holbrook is here he covers the Biden campaign Johnny good to see is and the vice president they're trying to clean up from the story. And going a little further today in an interview and NPR he said the in terms of decision making trying to make the case that maybe he funneled up some of the details in the story he insisted was true but at the end of the day when an impact as sharp as. Pressed right and this is kind of been his central argument ever since the story broke last week was that the essence of the story is true that I was there and I felt the sentiment from the soldier who didn't want this battle. But I think what's really important turn to keep this in context. Is how people are kind of viewing Joseph Biden in this campaign. And he's never really had to sort of levels for neon and he's you know the front runner all the public polls. It's a when the story broke in earlier also looking at him in the context of is this person ready to be. President of states is he still he hasn't lost a step that sort of president Trump's argument but this story really you know has happened in the last couple days and he's had to respond to it and. You know any indication democratic. Voters actually care about this early the only ones talking about this his campaign seems to be implying that this is basically just a fabricated media controversy but. Any we have any dancing president trump Wayans rest yet. No and I think from voters that I talked to on the campaign trail I think that especially voters such opposite show up to Joseph Biden events. They've known him for a long time he's a known commodity trust him and that's kind of the campaign's argument that what yes. This is going to be sort of a media narrative it's gonna become a victim we're gonna have to message against that one when you get down to it voters actually feel like they know and since has been around for so long they know he's prone to verbal mess that's on subscribe gaffe machine exactly but again you would you're gonna see this higher level of scrutiny against Joseph Biden throughout this campaign Soes as long as he. Remains the front runner and muscle. All the front runner treatment as they call a meanwhile his campaign had a 45 minute briefing today with reporters on that the path forward we sort of turn the page into the traditional start of can't rain season now after Labor Day. What did you learn on that. Call it definitely feels like we are entering a new phase of the storm related they say they they say they're ramping up for you know obviously the first four primary states but they are prepared for this to be a long haul their very much prepared. For this to go beyond the first four states Iowa New Hampshire supper and Nevada and South Carolina. They're prepare for this go beyond just because they look at the resources that other campaigns have. They say that other asset Iowa as a must when state they say no obviously we'd love to win Iowa but. You know this should this nomination shouldn't be decided before more sort of diverse states as they putted like South Carolina. They saw last time Bernie Sanders is not gonna get out without a fight down to the wire maybe perhaps Elizabeth Warren as well they also openly acknowledge you were telling me. What they see as Joseph Biden's biggest weakness right now the news and honestly candid here. Absolutely there were asked if there are any sort of demographic groups of voters that they need to do veterans and they were very candidacy to let. We are not a strong with young voters a somebody's other campaigns are they acknowledge that. But the former vice president strength is with all the voters they say that's it that's a pretty solid base to house has its larger chunk of the electorate and a more reliably they turn out more reliably but they knows that but we need to do veterans younger voters in order to. Sustain that momentum and actually build a coalition decadent when the nomination and then. Defeat president and of course preparing very good intensely now for the next debate up to September 12. Hot here on ABC news on ABC news live on Univision as well be a big moment in part. He has an a B the first time that Joseph Biden the front runner shares the stage with Elizabeth Warren those two have not. In the two previous debates had a chance to sparring tangle that we centerstate ship right here on September 12 for the big moment I'd be concerned about. So you know they were kind of down playing bad matchup today they say look there's there's going to be in other people on that campaign stage we don't view this as a debate between Joseph Biden who was the point but. At a certain point they don't really control that narrative especially if senator Warren who is you know been rising in polls recently. Especially she kind of takes the fight directly to him which she has not gotten the chance to do yet since he hasn't been on the same debate itself to regardless of what they want that they are going to be just depend. What happens next week aren't going to be fun two weeks in the lead up to the September 12 debate here on ABC news nine Univision ABC news live you can catch it. From 8 PM to 11 PM on all your ABC news stations. Again and then the third democratic debate and much smaller field only ten candidates this time it's one night only some hope you'll join us for that Jenny republic thank you so much. Attorney not to another major story in the news this fall season as we head end to the congressional returned here in Washington DC today marks one month. Since that deadly shooting Rampage in el paso Texas at a Wal-Mart the cost 22 lives is injured two dozen of course one day later. A second massacre in Dayton Ohio claimed nine more lives. And over the past thirty days since that date and shooting. 39 more Americans lost their lives in mass shootings many of which receive far less attention. According to the gun violence archive. Says lawmakers return here to the capitol with a very narrow window to addressed on balance I caught up. With Dayton's mayor Nan Whaley a short time or go to talk about her plans to be here in Washington. To keep the pressure on. How are you doing how's the city doing right now. We're doing OK I mean that the process. Yeah trauma and greet for each person. I had the day goes by not reached out on the messenger or call my office. That they remember someone that was in the organ district. Just going through this process oh ops and so. We're really you know aiding and make sure people know that there's resources bill that date strong. 88 someone. And making sure that we have those resource available for your. You've also been so determined. Both as a mayor and leader of your community but also nationally that we not forget. Those who who gave their lives than nine who died in your city and that we do something in your words you ordered an op Ed recently said we owe it to them to do something. Congress is back in town here next week in Washington how confident are you right now that that this time will be different that they may actually get something done. Every student's hopes that their city is the difference maker. And others need us through these tragedies force army. Odessa and our party experienced. Yet another smash eating we experience you know less about your. Continue to happen. 250 want to think mass shootings. This year I don't even know what number were ups now but it's important to our calendar days. And so. The question for congress where it is not enough does. Actually that action. I know that mayors from across the you will be at DC. Start ups there session. And it is not the crowds will be meeting senator. And making certain that our voices heard because we don't want that diet. Not a are not acts. Yet and as you were alluding to their 39. Others have died in the intervening in thirty days since the Dayton shooting it's incredible courted the national. Gun violence archive. When you're in town I know president trump has talked a lot about. Putting together big package in fact over the weekend said he's got a big package of things. That he plans. To unveil are you of the mind that something is better than not being that it this town can at least. Take some small action of bipartisan compromise would be a good. Down payment earned earned gun violence reformer or are you somebody who would abdicate a big swing for the fences. Go for some of these these big issues you've been talking about. Well I think any action any movement is a positive one level. Based on how how art action. Certainly I think it get any sort of bipartisan support. Is that went because there's no audit by artists or for anything Washington does that get hot because. AA. A big portion of them are in the pockets gun makers and the got lobby so he sort of it. I think that that will be step and opposite direction we're seeing that Ohio. Partner Republican governor is making some steps. In the right direction or certainly not as large I would I would like to see they are steps at a Booth a boat that was going one direction out another way it. If you see it's well. And in the private sector's been stepping up as well justice for coming on the air with your air I don't know if you saw Wal-Mart has announced they're gonna band. The sale of short barreled rifle ammunition which can be used some of those high capacity clips also looks completely stop selling handguns in their stores Alaska. With sort of a last vestige of that and big step forward in your view. Yeah I think it's I appreciate you know the private sector. Leadership on this on this issue and not surprisingly doing it for congress does quite frankly. I think this Oakes and Washington honors clamored to understand what's going on our community. And a lot of times the private sector seats it beat or the people ever present us so. I just hope that we can go next week and it's action. To really honor masses that. I'm not rest until we need action to make sure those cities like Dayton. Are. And if finally marriages last year you've had some tents back and forth with the president on both on Twitter and he spoke to him personally can't. To your town. Do you have any expectation of meeting with the White House do you have any plans to reach out to them to it to do more here. I think conference games we are planning meeting outs. That is under way. But outlook I mean let that president typically does on these issues is. Says you're gonna like what you see aren't sick of it hopes that people for cats. And it goes and goes on so the NRA. I think what's happening now fortunately each these ash shooting are so regular and so much now art every day. Bet he can people are forgetting. And so I think that's the challenge that he has because. Every he's going to communities write this every single day which is really hard. Yeah we we cannot forget all those who died including nine in Dayton mayor Nan Whaley did Ohio think he's so much mayor for coming on today. Thank you. Any reaction to wal mart's action today at stopping to sell and certain amount of ammunition and certainly ceasing the sale of all handguns. Has been very well received on Twitter we should say that march for a lives co-founder Parkland graduate David Hogg just treated thanks to the company for. Quote taking a stand for peace were also hearing from a number of the 20/20 candidates as well better warp former congressman from El Paso where that. Nash and he took place at a Wal-Mart says loses step in the right direction and grateful at wal mart's taken this action. But we can't rely on corporations to stop gun violence he says he's calling for. A background checks red flag laws and a buyback of assault weapons also hearing from Elizabeth Warren today as well she's. Praising Wal-Mart for this step calling on more steps to be taken in Cory Booker New Jersey senator are active senator putting out this statement. I've seen the decision by one or only happened because employees and activists have been unrelenting. In their fight to combat gun violence at every level of course a nod to the. Activism particularly from young people on the march for our lives movement to get something down we will see starting next week. Whether congress can fulfill that promise that the mayor is talking about. Finally today an update on a story I that we cover here in the briefing room last week Harvard University freshman. Is now a job we from Lebanon is officially back at the school today beginning classes as. This semester gets under way this is two weeks after his visa was a row of revoked and he was sent back to Lebanon. Just as he was arriving at Boston airport to begin his time as a freshman and Harvard at the time immigration authorities or member said. He was deemed inadmissible for what they found in his cell phone and social media profile are searched at the airport after he of course have been granted a visa months earlier. But foul it's a protest by Harvard University the administration reversed course they allowed. A job we into the school into the United States. And he is there beginning classes. Today keeping a lower profile we reached out to them. But just wants to get into those books and we wish good luck to all college freshman beginning and their first semester where college which is getting under way this week. Thanks to you for joining us here in the briefing room on this Tuesday we'll have full continuing coverage of hurricane Dorian throughout the day and throughout the week journey BC news live you can download. By the ABC news app to follow those updates live there's a lot of button at the bottom. The screaming you go to that apt it is commercial freeing up and join us there on Devin Dwyer Washington. It's an actor or.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.