Ga. Lt. Gov.: We are very concerned about the surge levels

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 7, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST:  Hurricane Matthew slamming the Florida coast, and it's barreling its way up the Eastern Seaboard.  

The worry over storm surge and flooding prompting Georgia's governor to order evacuations.  

To the lieutenant governor of Georgia, Casey Cagle.  

Sir, the governor has ordered evacuation of five counties.  And that's 500,000 people.  Do you think you might have a problem getting them to leave, because some people stayed behind on the barrier islands in Florida, and they were OK.  Do you think some of your people will be a little reluctant to leave?  
LT. GOV. CASEY CAGLE, R-GEORGIA:  Well, actually, it's six counties that are mandatory evacuation.  

And the agencies have done a very, very good job.  It is estimated right now that the total population in those six counties are about 521,000 individuals, and only about 120 of those remain.  

We obviously are sending out a very strong message that they can still seek shelter, and we very much encourage them to do so.  But all of the agencies-- I just left our state operations center -- they're on full activation levels.  And we're very, very pleased with where we are, but, obviously, it is not too late.  

VARNEY:  It is a mandatory evacuation, but you can't actually force people out of their homes, can you?  

CAGLE:  Well, you can't force people out of their homes, but, obviously, you can send a very strong message that this is best.  

And, as you have articulated, lives have already -- been caused as a result of Hurricane Matthew.  And we certainly don't want any of that occurring here in our state of Georgia.  

Those six counties are at risk.  And we're very concerned about the surge levels that are being talked about, possibly seven to nine feet.  The impact of that would put Savannah underwater.  So, individuals need to be mindful of that.  They need to be mindful of the 100-mile-per-hour winds potentially and the devastation that could occur as a result of that.  

VARNEY:  You really are facing a real catastrophe.  If you get a storm surge of nine feet, you say that Savannah would be underwater?  Is that accurate?  

CAGLE:  Well, that's exactly right.  

And we're very concerned.  That's why we're taking every precautionary measure possible.  Every one of our agencies are activating.  Currently -- I down was in the middle part of our state earlier today.  And we were seeing a lot of our first-responders already getting in position to be prepared for what's going to come tonight and really how we're going to take care of individuals in the community tomorrow after the storm.  

VARNEY:  Going to have a long night, aren't you?  

CAGLE:  It's going to be a long night, but, obviously, our thoughts and prayers are not only with citizens here in Georgia, but everyone that's been impacted by this horrific storm.  

We always have to be prepared for -- you know, for whatever may come, and obviously hope for the best.  And I believe the people of Georgia will respond very strongly, hopefully, in getting out of harm's way now, but, more importantly, will respond to ensure that our first-responders will be able to take care of our citizens.  

VARNEY:  And, to repeat, we have five confirmed deaths in Florida because of Matthew.  

Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, thank you very much for joining us today, sir.  Appreciate it.  

CAGLE:  Stuart, thank you very much.  Good to be with you.  


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