Tawfiq President George Nadja Tawfiq Meyer Sylvester Louise Cooper Judge Emmett Judge Emma John Corning George Emmett Texas Houston York Washington Us Nat Harris County

Best Of Today 2017-08-29:12:40.00
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  • Listening to a podcast from the today programme on B.B.C. radio four, the disastrous floods in Houston, Texas, are going to have an impact on American politics and life for years to come.

  • That's that short term test, of course, of the President's ability to be presidential to bring the nation together in support of the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the storm, and, in the longer term, to have them looked after both of Texas is Republican senators Ted cruisin John Corning voted against disaster funding for new York or new Jersey in the wake of the twenty twelve superstorm sandy and, of course, the storm reintroduce is the subject of climate change in a steak.

  • That's dominated by the oil and gas industry.

  • President trump says, nobody knows if climate change exists, he has disbanded government Committee is looking into it.

  • And, of course, he's pulled the U.S. out of the Paris agreement in a moment, we'll hear how all of that feels from their point of view of a Republican, who's the most senior elected official in Houston, but first let's get a picture of what's happening in the city and the surrounding areas.

  • From our reporter Nadja Tawfiq is in the Grange, Texas, the lowest Irish statesman another side, a day wedding back the tides upstream and Harvey as the floods reached new heights.

  • They some, the roof was the only rescue missions were Launched into the air and onto the waters estate entire national guard, has been deployed to aid in the search and rescue still emergency responders, find themselves overwhelmed by the epic scale of this disaster fingers pointed quickly a Houston's Meyer Sylvester return her for not ordering evacuations, if it was a situation where we were going to be in the direct pair of hurricane Harvey, then that's a different situation, and we would have considered evacuation more so, but we were now in the direct path when it turns out to be, we were Nat.

  • So in this situation, the decision was to evacuate to difficult, we back away.

  • Six point five million people.

  • There's no escaping the last to do the Bingo serves as a brief distraction for these displaced seniors with recovery plan, still a distant, far pasta kid us on mirror worries about their wellbeing.

  • I think it's just gonna be finding a place for all these folks at a special needs and finding out what to do with them.

  • I think that's the biggest, that's the biggest concern, I'm going to have cos they're probably not very just move back in, but the nursing on without their home town of the Grange has now become an island, encircled by the swollen waters of the Colorado river at levels not seen for one hundred years on the main street residents gather in astonishment to view the devastation.

  • You know, I get sleep, they didn't expect For in there with them.

  • The quarter mile, and we've been told that there, we might be later on the circuit be as though they're great.

  • It's just the end out of its canvas cricket this steeple certain we faced years of rebuilding and before Harvey even made my own for the white House was keen to portray President trump as engaged and concerned, most he make the same mistake as George w.

  • Bush during hurricane Katrina.

  • But people, I'm going to be most of you when you watch the spirit, whose years of helping each other, but do you the Grange resident, then what's in likes what he had heard so far from the President, but worries that dysfunction in Washington, hereby relief efforts.

  • Well, I'd like him here, at least for the point where they're going to go through the long Horn that just a couple weeks cos a scum take along trying to clean up, he's going to have to work with Congress, yes, I am concerned about there only for the fact it seemed like there was a lot of turmoil in the Office.

  • Now in the government for of hopefully people can put their differences aside during it was Harvey has proved relentless and will batter, Texas, with more heavy rain in the coming days, the worst could still be yet to come.

  • That was a Tawfiq, I've been speaking to judge ed Emmett, who is the most senior elected official in Harris County, which Is home to four point seven million people here in here canny Texas', which includes Houston, the fourth largest city, the entire County has experienced rain in excess of twenty five or thirty inches, in some places, as much as fifty inches.

  • So there we have hair, tens of thousands of people flooded out of their homes rescues are ongoing.

  • This must be the third night, we've been conducting rescues we go thirty one shelters up.

  • Yeah, a lot of people are still in their homes are on the roofs.

  • We're desperately in a rescue operation at this time, you say, desperately, have you got the people and the equipment you need.

  • It's a short enters no, because this is an unprecedented Yvette as there are one in a thousand, we were worried about which neighbourhoods Mike flood, but in this case, neighbourhoods all over the region slighted him when the highways were an underwater, the state of Texas normally would send relief columns, and they were able to get them, so I put out a call for individual residents to bring their own boats bring their own high water vehicles and start going into these neighbourhoods and helping people get out, don't worry about the hairs are referred to at a bureaucratic inertia should people have been evacuated.

  • No, they couldn't have been him.

  • This was not a her cane down the evacuations for her canes in their case, you know, the storm surge is going to hear a Certain you know which coastal areas to evacuate, we had no idea where the rain was going before, which areas, we're going to be Ellen dated so for us to have told people, a relatively clear day three days before we're going to evacuate the whole County, simply because they rainstorm is coming would have almost been laughable.

  • What do you make a present transfers his visit is neither here nor there.

  • As far as I'm concerned, the response from the administration has been good.

  • The federal emergency management soaked us come down, and they're beginning to do what they do.

  • The several spots is, after the fact was providing housing in providing payments to people, so that they can get on the initial response status always local and state, the local governments were on the front line in the state's help in this case, the state hell will cause a hurricane had hit another part of the state, it was already see him in the state help that was scampering here couldn't get here, because the roads were for you say that the visit from the President is neither here nor there.

  • But, obviously, it is a very big deal.

  • And it's interesting that he's coming so early is he right to come at this stage, you know my more to keep people out of harm's way, rather than worry about who comes do, but you're not saying we're not saying to us very clearly, he should cut.

  • Well, No, I'm about to tell you, then, two thousand a President George w.

  • Bush came in and I had known him for years.

  • When I women greeted him.

  • And then I came back and started my work, while other people sort of hung out with it, it's more of a gesture, and I think it sends a gesture to the nation, but whenever a President travels into a scene that disruption, so I'm not sure exactly where he's coming.

  • He's not coming to my emergency operations centre, but I'm now off, so I'm her case will discontinue her work.

  • What's more relevant to your work, I suppose, is his view and the impact that it has on policy regarding climate changed.

  • Do you think that this event has anything to do with man made climate change.

  • Well, since you're head of the word, man made, I don't know, I am what I am one of those who find it, why a football that people deny that climate change is occurring in clearly ideas, all RI all you had to do was look at the mess, a scientist in the folders from space in the glaciers, even armour Republican climate changes clearly happening, and I think we need to deal with it.

  • If we do not, for those who don't want to admit it happening kid even get to the discussion of how it's caster, how to prevent it.

  • Would you like it if Donald trump was persuaded by this event To take climate change man made or not, but climate change as a thing.

  • More seriously, sure, I would like that, but I don't think this is going to be the trigger that causes final question, then, about what's happening next judge Emmett because you've obviously got a very serious situation still it.

  • Do you have a sense of are you being told in any way that's reliable about when the water's begin to recede.

  • And when you can absolutely, be sure that you have got to everyone.

  • You need to the waters have already begun recede in many areas, but I would, yes, it would be probably at least a week for helps to before we could be absolutely certain, we have now confirmed very many fatalities.

  • There will no doubt be more, but all, or nearly all of them will have occurred in people who were in the vehicles, who were driving, and those of the people who get trapped and waterways and are under repair scissors, so it's always safer to remain in her home, but people still get out and dry him so until we can get to all those cars that have been submerged, we won't know how many for tell these, there are, have you personally been shocked by this, because, as you've been telling me.

  • You've been in the area for a long time, you've been involved in in helping people out for a long time, Community ventures of various sorts how shocking Is this, it's beyond charting, this is, this is just cataclysmic and devastating we knew a lot of rain was coming, we have never seen anything like this.

  • This will probably go down as the worst flooding in its history judge Emma.

  • Thank you very much for talking to us, Hi, I'm Louise Cooper, before you go.

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