Gov. Nathan Deal on massive storm slamming the South

Georgia governor says 'we're ready as we can be'


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 12, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: It is already hitting Georgia.

To the Republican governor of that very fine state, Nathan Deal.

Governor Deal, how are you holding up?

GOV. NATHAN DEAL, R - GA: I`m doing good. We are doing the best we can. And this has been an unusual storm so far, but we -- we think we are ready as we can be.

CAVUTO: Now, the difference this time vs. the last storm a couple of years ago -- I`m sorry -- a couple of weeks ago -- I`m talking about the one in 2011, which was another doozy -- but to this one -- is that people had ample warning and you wanted to make sure they had ample warning to avoid this scene where you have people stuck on icy roads overnight and the kids stuck in gymnasiums.

How are things this go-round?

DEAL: Well, so far so good.

We have had a lot longer lead time to be able to prepare people and to prepare our resources, to be able to treat the roads and get out where there`s no traffic. We asked people to stay off the roads. And they have done that. And I thank them for their cooperation. It has made it a whole lot safer for everyone.

The storm is coming in waves. And we have endured the first wave. Tonight, we are afraid we are going to get some freezing rain. And then the problem becomes ice and the loss of power.

CAVUTO: And one of the issues is having enough salt, right? The salt trucks, I mean, that stuff is getting pricey and scarce, right?

DEAL: Well, we have used a good bit of sand and salt. And, fortunately, some of our neighboring states have helped us with that problem. And we have additional supplies that are coming in. We think we have enough to get us through this crisis.

CAVUTO: You know, in the last problem, in the last storm, Governor, everyone pointed a finger at you and said, well, you didn`t warn us, you didn`t warn us.

And I always thought that, whether it`s a Democratic governor, a Republican governor, there`s a lot on you, and that you`re -- you`re asked to play meteorologist, and hand-holder and traffic consultant.

But do you think that criticism was valid, that -- that you did not appreciate the magnitude of the storm, either that your advisers didn`t or your local meteorologists didn`t? What was the problem?

DEAL: Well, we have accepted responsibility. If it`s on our shoulders, we will accept it. I think the timing on this storm was a lot different. It did give us more lead time to ask the public to stay off the roads. School superintendents called off schools, so we did not have children in schools or on school buses. So, it is a very different situation from the standpoint of the weather itself and the timing on it.

We think we are going to set a great example of what we can do under very difficult circumstances. We have all of our people working together, everybody from the National Guard to our state patrol, to our emergency management people, as well as their counterparts at the local level. And we have seen great cooperation. We are as prepared as we can be.

CAVUTO: All right. I wish you well, Governor. I know it has not been an easy time for you or your state or anyone, for example, in the South, right through the Eastern Seaboard, the Midwest, where have you.

Thank you, sir.

DEAL: Thank you.