Transcript for FEMA chief dismisses San Juan mayor's complaints as 'political noise'
So let's bring in FEMA administrator Brock long. Mr. Long, thanks for joining us this morning. Tell us what FEMA is doing right now. Good morning, so right now the focus is on supporting all of the governors from Louisiana to Florida with their life-saving missions. Over the past 48 to 72 hours we've been working with them around the clock to Prestage commodities and embed our incident management teams with the emergency management directors in their eocs. The most important thing about this storm is this is one of the fastest moving storms in the gulf coast since they've started to record tropical history. And so that's very dangerous for many reasons. One, while it's a 45-mile-per-hour tropical storm right now, you have to add to it the forward speed of 23 miles an hour so basically hurricane-force winds or just right at hurricane-force winds will pass through many portions of Alabama into Tennessee, and then also when it interacts with the mountains within western North Carolina, a lot of rainfall will occur from this as well. We know it's the fourth hurricane so far this year. We have about two months left in hurricane season. What are your concerns going forward? Do you have enough people? Do you have enough money? Money is not the issue. Congress has been on top of that working with us, back on October 1, we had another 6.7 billion added to the disaster relief fund and continue to update them and will ask for supplementals as needed. Resource, we're strained. Bottom line, over nearly 85% of my entire agency is deployed right now. We're still working massive issues in Harvey, Irma as well as the issues in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and now this one. But the bottom line is is that we're positioned to support Nate, you know, very well. The next thing is is that, you know, some of the failsafes we have through mutual aid agreements with states to be able to call possible emergency managers from other states and around the states if we continue to have more disasters. And Mr. Long, let's turn to Puerto Rico. The mayor tweeting again this morning saying power collapses in San Juan hospital with two patients being transferred out. Have requested support from FEMA, Brock, nothing. And she also says increasingly painful to understand the American people want to help and U.S. Government does not want to help. We need water. What's your reaction to that? We filtered out the mayor a long time ago. We don't have time for the political noise. The bottom line is that we are making progress every day in conjunction with the governor and in regards to the power failure we're restringing a system every day. It knocked the progress out. Rebuilding, rebuilding Puerto Rico is going to be a greater conversation for the congress in conjunction with the governor on how -- what the way forward is in the future of Puerto Rico but in regards to the power outages and hospitals we built an entire 911 system and monitor the hospital system daily so if there is a power failure at a hospital which we've seen two of, you know, over this past week, we're actually life flighting the icu patients out of those hospitals onto the "Uss comfort" and continue to stabilize that situation. As far as the political noise we filter that out, keeps our heads down and continue to make progress and push forward restoring essential functions for Puerto Rico. Okay, thanks very much for joining us, Mr. Long.
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