This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," August 29, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
KATHERINE TIMPF, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Kat Timpf along with Eboni K. Williams and Pete Hegseth. "This is the Fox News Specialists."
President Trump finishing up his visit to Texas where he spent the afternoon with officials on the responds to Harvey's catastrophic flooding and devastation. President Trump commenting on those efforts during a briefing from state officials in Austin a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Great job that of all of you troops have done in getting along in terms of coordination has been really incredible. And everyone is talking about it. The sad thing is this is long-term. Nobody ever seen anything this long and nobody has ever seen this much water in particular. The wind was pretty horrific but the water has never been seen like this to the extent. It's may be some day going to disappear. We've keep waiting. We have four of our great congressman right here and we want to appreciate -- we really appreciate. We're going to be working with congress on helping out the state of Texas. It's going to be a costly proposition because, again, probably, Ted Cruz is here. And senator, thank you very much. Senator Cornyn. And we'll be working with these characters over here. I think we'll come through with the right solution. But probably there's never been anything so expensive in our country's history. There's never been anything so historic in terms of damage, and in terms of ferocity is what we've witnessed with Harvey.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TIMPF: The president is expected to depart Austin and head back to D.C. momentarily. Forty nine inches of rain and counting have now fallen in the Houston area. Shattering the all-time U.S. rain record for a tropical system. Across the city and southeast Texas, levees and reservoirs are overflowing around the brink. The floodwaters rising by the hour, and officials scrambling to rescue countless stranded residents. This has been going on since what? Thursday. It's almost unbelievable.
EBONI K. WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: Yeah. And it's not over.
WILLIAMS: And of course, that's the most devastating part, when you hear that president talk about the extent and just such an enormous capacity issue. And we know that when the levees break, as they did in New Orleans, that's really the entry of the grave devastation.
PETE HEGSETH, CO-HOST: Yeah, there's two right now. Even this morning on Fox & Friends, we're talking about one being exceeded it is now been fully overrun. Water is pouring in some of these areas and neighborhoods. I think an important trip by the president to go out there. Seeing is believing. His understanding is responding is pushing past partisanship where we know Washington, D.C. is flooding itself with partisanship and unable to get out of its way. But when you see the citizenship and the courage and the compassion of the people on the grounds who don't see a race or a gender or a creed or a class. They are just looking out for each other. It's the spirit of America. I mean, America lives in Texas. I mean, there's a reason Texas has its own pledge. In Texas, you believe in yourself, you believe in your name, you believe in your country, and I think we're seeing some great courage in there right now, too.
TIMPF: And we've got another very busy news day. So let's get straight to our specialists. She's a Washington Times columnist and was a surrogate for the Trump campaign during his 2016 presidential run, Madison Gesiotto is here. And he's the editor-at-large for Reason Magazine and Reason.com, Matt Welch is here. Matt, what did you think of the president remarks today?
MATT WELCH, REASON MAGAZINE EDITOR-AT-LARGE: They're great. I think -- I mean, they're as expected. We tend to over-presidentialize everything in America live. And Pete's absolutely right. I mean, even in thinking in terms of first responders, they're not even the courageous coast guards, and the cops doing great work. It's your neighbor. It's the guy in the cage and navy who's going down there with his boat. What we've seen this week from those people is amazing. And we're just now start to get into a phase two and hopefully it won't last too long. But with the levees kind of overflowing, this is when the feds come in and it becomes more politicized and bureaucratize. But the kind of spontaneous order that people engage in disaster relief is always surpasses expectations, and I'm glad to see recognition for that at this stage now which we didn't get as much at the time in Hurricane Katrina 13-years-ago.
HEGSETH: Spontaneous order.
TIMPF: Absolutely. Madison, we've seen a lot of private citizens risking their own lives to save other people and even pets.
MADISON GESIOTTO, WASHINGTON TIMES: Right. If my pet was there I hope someone would save it, first of all. But to really put this in perspective, we saw 1 trillion gallons of water drop from the sky because of the -- and more to come. So it's one of the things that just really puts things into perspective for people across this country what's important and it's not material things. It's not belongings. It's not a house. It's the people around you. And so you see people out there going to save their neighbors, it's just -- I think really heartwarming and bringing the sense of community back that we need to see across this country.
WILLIAMS: That's absolutely true, Madison. That said, you know, when you lose everything that takes a toll. And for many of these people, they've lost everything twice because a lot of the people in Houston were people that were displaced because of the wreckage of Hurricane Katrina. So this is their due over, so to speak. And so, to wake up, whether it was yesterday morning, the morning before, this morning, tomorrow morning, and know that you've got to start over yet again. The emotional gravity of that is just tremendous.
HEGSETH: And that's where this next phase becomes so important. The first phase is the rescue, and it is the spontaneous order of people helping people. But you've got 9,000 people in a convention center right now made for 5,000, and more to come. As they say, get out of the potential path of these levees. That's still -- everyone is hoping they hold and that they do. But they may not, and so this becomes a logistics issue. You've got FEMA. You've got 12,000 Texas National Guard members, but they may ask for up to 30,000 because you're going to need the ability to evacuate even more as the floodplain expands. People who thought they weren't going to have to leave because they're on their second story bedroom, now they're --first story anymore. They've got to go. So this is -- if you're going to get weary as a public and say, man, more flooding in Houston? This is now the time you've got to be even more vigilant as the water sort of quietly creeps. And if you're not vigilant more bad things could happen.
WELCH: And it's not just the public getting weary here it's actually the people who are on the ground. Michael Brown was talking to Neil Cavuto earlier, made a great point. These people gets tired on day 5, like they haven't -- in Houston, they were giving a press conference today. I mean, people eaten once in 37 hours. They need a little rest. And so, that's when you need a second wave of people coming from nearby states and elsewhere to come and give those people a break.
TIMPF: Absolutely. Well, let's go to Fox Business, Jeff Flock, who's in a middle of a drastic flooding situation in Houston. Jeff?
JEFF FLOCK, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: Water still rising, guys, out here. We are in a neighborhood where the release from those reservoirs has driven the water up, and people have been surprised. This wasn't supposed to happen. This is not coming from the rain. It's coming because they had to release water from the reservoirs that's flooding this neighborhood. You could see it behind me. We've got another rescue. And I'll tell you, just listening to what you had to say, this is personification of exactly what you have to say. You've got volunteers, you've got the police. You've got the church -- all coming to go through the neighborhood partner. You know, the first responders can't do all of this. There're too many people. There are too many situations. And so, Pastor Carlos here, by the way, as we see people's stuff coming out.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, these are stuff from the same church.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: This is Waldo, and he's Alex.
FLOCK: These are the people with the church.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: These are leaders. Leaders from the church.
FLOCK: The police officers said I don't have a boat but I need to get out there. They said come with us. He jumped in the water. This person you see over here, they're trying to pack their cats up so that she can leave. They got surprised by this. And as you point out, it's everybody working together here.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
FLOCK: The first responders would never be able to do this on their own, as great as they are.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. We try to working together, you know. We have to make a unit, everybody right here. It doesn't matter, you know, what kind of race you are. You know it doesn't matter if it's American. It doesn't matter if he's a Christian, you know, or China, or whenever, you know, we want to try to do the best we can to help the people, so that people don't die.
FLOCK: A guy in a wheelchair. Carlos, go ahead. If you've got to go, you've got to go. He's got to go. This young lady is coming on to the boat now. I just want to get a real word in her ear if can -- myself here. Again, police officer. He's a constable, Harris County. This young lady resisted leaving. She wanted to stay with her dad. Can you get in? She can. I want to ask her also if her dad -- is your dad staying, by the way?
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Huh?
FLOCK: Is your dad staying?
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: He wanted to, but he has to come now.
FLOCK: He's coming. He's coming. Oh, there he is. I'm sorry, I didn't see him. I got the sandal. Here you go. I got the sandal. I think he needs a guy in a wheelchair. There's a guy in a wheelchair over there who needs to go. I think we -- maybe better leave the boat here. Officer, you're going to go over? He's going over, OK. What a day. You know, it's been -- I want to say it's been an extraordinary day, but in some ways it's not because this has been going on all across Houston. I mean, just one little window into it. I'm trying to climb back in the boat here if I can. OK, we're in. Standby. Are you guys doing OK, by the way?
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we're doing very well.
FLOCK: Did you get the cat back?
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah. He wanted to leave them. I was like, no. I was so mad.
FLOCK: What made you finally decide to leave, sir?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: The police.
FLOCK: That's a good reason. By the way, this is -- you know, while they say mandatory evacuation, in the United States there's nothing as essentially as a mandatory evacuation. Nobody is going to drag people out, but they can persuade people, especially when the floodwaters are laughing at your door. This has been an extraordinary experience.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never knew this could even happen to the dam. I never knew.
FLOCK: Yeah. Nobody knew.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: They said -- this is the first time it ever happens, so I didn't even expected this to even happen. And it's just overflowing. I'm really scared now.
WILLIAMS: Jeff, a quick question for you. As you got into the boat there, for a long time you've been in the little traces, you are in that water several feet high. We know that's essentially the bayou region of the United States of America. Can you tell us a little bit about what is in that water by way of, I mean, I hate to be kind of creepy, but, you know, snakes, or are you feeling, you know, afraid around that stuff?
FLOCK: The better question is what isn't in the water, because pretty much everything is in this water. There is a sheen of oil on the water because, you know, everything floats. Everything from, you know, sewage to, you know, to be too graphic, but (INAUDIBLE). So this is a toxic soup essentially.
HEGSETH: Jeff, you say the water is still -- it's not raining, but the water is still rising because of those levees. Any sense of how long it will continue to rise? I feel like that's a key question for a neighborhood like that.
FLOCK: Here's the scary part about this neighborhood because it is in close proximity to the barker reservoir, which is just -- I don't, couple of hundred yards. Annex and Barker are up here. The two reservoirs. Because they're so full, they need to continue -- even though it's not raining, they still need to release because if they don't, potentially, you lose the dam, you lose the reservoir, and that could threaten another 3,000 homes with not just a flood like this that comes up slowly but one that rushes, and that would be a killer. So they have to release the water, but when they release the water, this is what you get. And it's been rising all day, and I can't tell you when it's going to stop. I don't know.
TIMPF: Jeff, have you talked to anyone who is still resisting leaving? Or is everybody getting out of there now?
FLOCK: Well, I want to tell you, these people resisted leaving. You resisted leaving for how long?
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: For a couple of days.
FLOCK: Was it your mom that left earlier?
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mom, right. My mom wanted the whole family to leave, but he didn't want to go.
FLOCK: Yeah, he had a hard head, huh.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, I don't know why. And I had to stay with him because I was worried.
FLOCK: Well, that's what she told me. She said that you wanted to stay with your dad. If he was going to be here, you're going to stay.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, I can't leave.
FLOCK: Yeah, she got OK, by the way. Have you talked to her?
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, I did.
FLOCK: He did, yeah. And the cats. Let's not forget the cats. That's the great thing about this one compared to Katrina. You know I've done a lot -- pretty every hurricane in the last -- since the '80s. They now are allowing you to take your pets to the shelter. They went through that in Katrina where people got separated. And it's been great. People have taken their animals.
HEGSETH: Jeff, those individuals, how did they know they were still there? Are they going house by house or are they waiting for calls through an emergency line? What's the procedure going on there?
FLOCK: We came in yesterday with a constable from Harris County, who we went through the whole neighborhood and there were some people staying, some people left, and that was it. We were good. Well, you know, these people said they were going to stay. Others have stayed. And then the water -- you know, then the power went out. Then the water started rising. Came into the houses. No air conditioning. Then the phones died. So people, one by one, decide, listen, I think we've got to do this. And we still -- there's a couple, an elderly couple, and she's got about the hardest head I've seen on anyone. She would not be moved, as much as being nice, telling her you've got to go. No, no. And that's -- you know, this is America. You can make that choice. And they'll be back. They will be -- volunteers back. Obviously -- oh, here they come with a guy in a wheelchair. Oh, wow. Get down here real quick. I want to see the guy. Here comes his wheelchair. I see the police officers over there. I probably can't make it all the way. You've got two people coming? One in the wheelchair. Is that his wheelchair there? Yeah, they got his wheelchair. They're bringing that out on a kayak, obviously. And I tell you, there's rushing water here because of the release. We're getting currents which these guys are fighting, big, strong guys there -- is OK and got it. But this is the guy's wheelchair. What a day. What a day.
TIMPF: All right. Well, thanks, Jeff.
FLOCK: Back to you guys.
TIMPF: Stay safe out there. When we come back, Houston's convention center overflowing with Harvey evacuees seeking shelter. We'll go inside with new info on what authorities are doing to handle it, next.
WILLIAMS: With rising floodwaters consuming many parts of Houston, Harvey's evacuees are streaming into the city convention center, but the building is pushing 10,000 people with thousands more expected. Officials had originally planned to house just 5,000 people there. Fox News correspondent Caroline Shively joins us with more from the scene. Caroline.
CAROLINE SHIVELY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, guys. They're well past 10,000 people. Honestly, they just lost track. People still streaming in. They're not taking buses anymore. But we're seeing people come in on foot. And when they do get here, this is what they see. Check it out. It is an army of volunteers. They have shirts, and bedding, and shoes, and umbrellas, everything that the people arrive here and did not have. Plenty of people here arrived dripping wet. Some people didn't have shoes. They didn't even have time to get the basics. They're met with a blanket, a smile, and a hug. And when they're here they are getting a hot meal.
We have some adorable little girls down here we met. It's Ellison, Andria, and April. They're very good friends right now. Some are donating and some are receiving here. We have the moms. We have Angela and Aston. Angela, you got here two days ago dripping wet. Your 3-year-old daughter in this shoulder. Your 4-year-old daughter in this shoulder. How did you make it here?
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got rescued through Red Cross. They brought the coast guard. Actually, we were in a boat from my apartment to the highway and then we're like in an army truck. We went to one facility, and we end up here Sunday afternoon. We've been here ever since. I'm starting to see people from my apartment complex here.
SHIVELY: Your husband is not with you, though. He stayed behind. His car floated away.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
SHIVELY: And you've lost everything.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
SHIVELY: And the clothes you're wearing came from donations.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, ma'am.
SHIVELY: And this is Aston. You've just met Aston. Your little girls have been playing together. I think we have a great video of them playing patty cakes and squalling and doing everything 4, and 5, and 3-year-old do. Aston, you brought toys.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: We did. We wanted -- we're very fortunate. And we wanted to come and bring friends and come together as one because this is about a community. And as you can see, the girls make friends and their just treating them as if they've known each other for the last four years.
SHIVELY: How hard is it to keep things for your 4-year-old and for your 3- year-old, you probably want to break down and cry but you can't. You've got a little -- two daughters, one in a tutu, one in a Cinderella dress.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have to be strong. And I just thank God that we're in a safe space and that we're alive. I heard a couple children had died during the storm. I'm glad that I have mine. I'm glad there's volunteers and a place like this to help us. So I thank God for that, you know. And material, we'll get it back eventually, you know. But you can't get back your life. So I'm just glad for like -- this nice lady here. She bought us a hot meal. Burgers and fries, thank you.
SHIVELY: Probably the best burgers and fries you have in your life. Now I'm going to crawl over here and talk to the girls. We've been playing. They have their crayons out. Hey, girls. Hi, Cinderella. What are you doing? Are you having a good time now?
SHIVELY: She drew an elephant. I love it. And they've been talking -- oh, I'm going to hop you up here. I'm going to pick you up. They need to get some folks through. You can talk -- oh, goodness. Do you want to talk on this. We've been making friends here. And this is April. Are you having a good time, April? Those are dimples. So it's not all bad here. We are making friends. We have the most adorable children, guys. They're making friends. These girls met about an hour ago. Now, they're best friends. We've got some activities, and the mothers have been bonding all afternoon. Back to you guys.
WILLIAMS: Yeah, absolutely. She is absolutely adorable. And, you know, as devastating as, in general, this is for the Houston area, and devastating it absolutely is. I got to tell you, what you are showing us, it looks so different, so incredibly beautifully different than the scene that it was in that superdome in New Orleans some 12 years ago. Can you talk a little bit about the energy? I know we've spoken to those two moms and those two little darlings, but in general it seems like the energy seems to be pretty up beat in the convention center.
SHIVELY: They're doing a great job. They're doing an amazing job. The Red Cross has been getting folks meals, hot meals when they can. Check out some of the clothes. She has a tutu. She was dripping wet. Literally, she had to sit on her mom's shoulder while she waded through chest deep water, and then she got a two tutu. Thanks to the donation of the people here in Houston. And the people who were donating on the national level. And check out Ms. Cinderella, her sister here. She has her Cinderella. Do you want come up and show us your pretty dress? Are you into coloring? She's got a project.
HEGSETH: Caroline, I've got to ask. Spirits seem to be high. They're there. They're safe. They're warm. They've got a hot meal. But it sets in day 2, day 3, what are they being told about how long they may be at this particular location?
SHIVELY: They have told us, the Red Cross says will stay open as long as the city will let us. This city says we are here for as long as we can. Plenty of folks here have lost everything. That's what's Angelo was telling us. Nothing is left in their apartment. Absolutely everything is ruined. So the next step I think will be when FEMA steps in, when the federal government steps in, and the money starts coming in to reconstruct parts of Houston. To get them back on their feet because literally they own nothing but a Cinderella dress and a tutu and the clothes on their mom back.
TIMPF: And as you've mention, it's about double or more what the capacity is supposed to be. So how are they dealing with that in terms of resources and space?
SHIVELY: They're good. Aren't you doing good?
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're doing great.
SHIVELY: It's hard. It's very different. Yesterday, there were two special rooms for cots. You had one room where you took your donations and you got your hot meals. That's not happening today. Today, you're sleeping on the floor. They have cardboard. Oh, you want to go to mommy? People sleeping on the floor. The elderly, families like this. Angela, do you have a bed?
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a cot.
SHIVELY: Oh, you want me? Oh, you're making me miss my babies from home. Oh, goodness. So it's not easy at all.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not easy at all. It's not easy at all.
WILLIAMS: Looks like she's got quite a bright reporting future there, Caroline. Thank you so very much for coming up.
WILLIAMS: Absolutely. Coming up, Harvey's wrath moving into Louisiana. We'll go live with the state from the very latest from the ground. Stay with us.
HEGSETH: Welcome back to "The Fox News Specialists," it's 5:30 here on the East Coast, 4:30 in Houston and Louisiana, where Tropical Storm Harvey bearing down on that state. But the state bracing for potentially catastrophic flooding and damage exactly 12 years after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. Fox News correspondent Rick Leventhal joins us live from Lake Charles, Louisiana, with more. Rick, what do you see in there?
RICK LEVENTHAL, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pete, we're outside the Lake Charles Civic Center, which is being reopened, opened this hour as a shelter. This area has been getting rain for the last seven days. It's completely saturated. And every time another squall blows through or they get a heavy piece of rain, thunderstorms, it's flooding streets, flooding neighborhoods and flooding homes, and people are being rescued.
We witnessed dozens of rescues last night. There were, in fact, nearly 500 people plucked from their homes and brought to shelters. One of the shelters that we visited earlier today at the Purple Heart Rec Center was surrounded by water. The floodwater was rising around the shelter itself. So some of those folks, all of those folks are being moved to this shelter. And, in fact, the governor of Louisiana is inside right now, touring this facility, Governor John Bel Edwards. And we're expecting him to come out any minute now, and we expect him to come over here and brief us on what's happening.
One other thing I want to tell you guys before I toss it back is behind us here, in this parking lot, you can see a lot of the boats on flatbeds behind pickup trucks. Those are members of the Cajun Navy you've heard so much about. They're going to Texas; they're affecting rescues. And they're coming back here to Louisiana to get fuel.
And we're told they're going to be given food, as well. They're bringing a truck in as another rain squall moves in. They're going to bring a big fuel truck in here to gas up those boats and the vehicles so that these guys can go back and forth between Louisiana and Texas.
Let's just step up here for a second. Want to get out of the rain. I think the governor's headed this way. Guys, back to you.
HEGSETH: Well, Rick, thank you very much. Rick, if you don't mind, a quick follow-up question. Do you anticipate -- how prepared do you feel like that region is, especially after Katrina? And, you know, the hurricane took a turn in Houston that made it -- it happened very quickly. Do you feel like it's -- they're pretty prepared on the ground there ?
LEVENTHAL: Absolutely. They knew it was coming. They pre-staged a lot of assets, including barricades for roads that need to be closed. They prepositioned boat in high water vehicles and National Guard-activated members in this parish alone and stages them at different areas where they thought they would be needed. And in fact, they were needed.
And they've been helping out with the rescues, with some of those big high- water vehicles that can carry as many as 16 people out of neighborhoods that are swamped. They also have boats that they pre-staged. And they have other resources. The fire department, the sheriff's department have been out there with their stuff, as well. And you see many of the local citizens have been coming out to do their part.
The governor, he's coming this way. All right. So if you guys can stand with us or hang with us for a minute or two. Or if you want to come back to us, the governor's going to be here very shortly.
WILLIAMS: We'll stay with you, Rick. I have a quick question for you. Undoubtedly, the comparisons with Hurricane Katrina and what's happening now with Harvey are there and present, especially today.
Can you articulate some of the specific lessons learned, so to speak, from people that obviously witnessed Katrina 12 years ago and are now going through Harvey right now?
LEVENTHAL: Well, one of the lessons, one of the obvious lessons is -- is knowing where to put your stuff and being ready. Including being ready with food, with shelter, with water, with provisions and with people. As you see some of the police officers, members of the National Guard, they've been having regular briefings out here, weather briefings and safety briefings at the facility right across the street, the emergency operations center.
And that's been a big part of this. You know, they were prepared. They had regular meetings. They've been discussing things twice a day in that building and briefing the local authorities that need to be briefed on what the action plan is.
And the fact that the governor is here today is helpful, as well. And it just -- it indicates the seriousness of the situation. You know, they realize that they're in danger. That they've had a ridiculous amount of rainfall here in Louisiana, as well, and of course, they're used to it. This area floods regularly when there is heavy rain, continuous heavy rain, as does New Orleans. And New Orleans is expecting more rain as this storm moves to shore.
You know, there are flash flood warnings across the state, as well as warnings for tornadic activity tonight into tomorrow because the remnants of Harvey are expected to come back ashore into Southwest Louisiana and towards the New Orleans area.
So again, I apologize for this big build-up, but the governor was inside touring this facility that's about to become or has now become a shelter for displaced residents. And there were some 500 residents displaced in Calcasieu Parish and surrounding towns just overnight. And because they're expecting heavy weather to come through again tonight, maybe six to 10 inches or more over the next two days, they wanted to be sure they had plenty of room for the residents who may be in -- this place tonight, in addition to the hundreds who have been forced out of their homes. As the governor approaches, we'll ask him about that.
HEGSETH: Absolutely, Rick. Yes, we'll hope you can nab him. Do you get the sense that there's as much federal attention being paid here in Louisiana as we're seeing in Houston? Obviously, nation folks in Houston, but a lot of attention there, as well.
LEVENTHAL: Yes, yes. Well, that's important. You know, we know Texas got hit a lot worse than Louisiana did. How are you doing, Governor? How are you?
GOV. JOHN BEL EDWARDS, D-LA.: Doing well.
LEVENTHAL: Rick Leventhal, Fox News Channel. We're alive right now. Our viewers are interested in how things are going in Louisiana.
BEL EDWARDS: Well, obviously we're getting prepared still, because even though we've been having rain bands associated with the storm in our state for a couple of days now, we're actually going to have landfall sometime overnight and before noon tomorrow.
A slightly reenergized Tropical Storm Harvey that is still drawing a lot of moisture off the Gulf and, quite frankly, we can't afford to have a lot more rain in Louisiana on top of what we've already had.
LEVENTHAL: But you're going to get it.
BEL EDWARDS: We're going to get it. And as a result, we're having to open shelters. We actually have some search and rescues last night. About 500 individuals from three locations in and around Calcasieu Parish that had to be rescued. And a number of them are still in the shelter, because they don't have anywhere to go.
BEL EDWARDS: Thankfully, most of them have found relatives or friends whose homes are dry. But we're going to have more of this, and so we're preparing. That's why we're here today, talking to local partners. We also have FEMA representatives with us, because this is like partnership. And making sure that we're staging assets at the right place and that communications are good so that we can protect life. That's the most important thing.
LEVENTHAL: These are lessons that have been learned over the years over multiple major storms.
BEL EDWARDS: Unfortunately, we have too much experience. But when we need to draw upon that expanse, it's a good thing. Because we have a lot of people who've been through this before. Leadership, whether it's the National Guard, whether state police or wildlife and fisheries, you name it.
But also, the parish-level folks, the sheriffs, the police sheriffs, the directors of the Office of Emergency Preparedness. They're all doing an excellent job to serve the people, not just here in Calcasieu Parish but around the state of Louisiana.
LEVENTHAL: And we've seen those efforts. We were out last night watching them rescue dozens of people from a particular neighborhood. And I know these civilians are pitching in as well. We see the Cajun Navy behind me that the civilians are pitching in, as well, and we see the Cajun Navy behind me with all those boats. And I understand that you're going to be providing fuel and food, eventually, for these guys.
BEL EDWARDS: Well, absolutely. And that's one of the things we're talking about. I did approve providing fuel for the Cajun Navy so that they can come back here, resupply, whether it's food or fuel, whatever they need so they can get back into Texas and get in the game of saving people.
And by the way, the folks in Texas are very appreciative of their efforts, because they're doing a great job. And the fact that they're willing to go out of state to do that says a lot about the people of Louisiana. We've always been really, really good at taking care of our own, and now we're being good neighbors to Texas, as well.
And by the way, they were great neighbors to us. Twelve years ago today, Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, and we could not have had a better neighbor than Texas.
LEVENTHAL: To that end, I'm told that you're welcoming refugees, evacuees from Texas into Louisiana if they need shelter here.
BEL EDWARDS: We actually have some here right now. But those are individuals. We are offering in the Shreveport area up to 3,400 shelter spaces for people out of Texas that we're trying to coordinate with Texas now. They're deciding whether they need shelter space outside the state. They're going through their analysis. But if they decide that they do, we're willing -- we're not willing, we're anxious to help out and take them in the Shreveport area, and we're working through that right now.
LEVENTHAL: Obviously, Texas got it a lot worse than Louisiana this time. How would you describe the situation in your state, as compared to Texas and the Houston area?
BEL EDWARDS: Well, first of all, we've got about 48 more hours before we know how much devastation is brought to us by the storm. As of right now, we've been very blessed, in all honesty. We've only had water in structures -- that means homes and businesses -- primarily here in Calcasieu Parish, a few elsewhere. But we don't know what the storm is going to bring.
And those rain bands, by the way, are all the way across Southeast Louisiana and into Mississippi and Alabama. So this truly is a statewide effort that we have. And the flooding can occur anywhere from here to New Orleans and then as the storm tracks northward, as well.
So as of right now, we're counting our blessings, because we actually had it much worse last March and last August in 2016 with those floods. But we're anxious to get these next 48 hours behind us.
LEVENTHAL: Governor, I know you've got a busy schedule. We really appreciate your time today.
BEL EDWARDS: Thank you. Appreciate you.
LEVENTHAL: Best of luck to and the state.
BEL EDWARDS: Yes, sir, thank you.
LEVENTHAL: I just want to reinforce that guy's -- I think the governor is going to be heading over to talk to some of these guys -- maybe not talk to some of these right now, talk to some of these guys with the Cajun Navy behind me.
Real quick, I just want to point out -- right here. I just want to point out that this area is saturated, and they are expecting heavy rains. And we went to some of these neighborhoods last night where roads, forgive me, became rivers. Because there was -- in some cases, one, two, three feet of water on the roads up to the bumpers and up to the hoods, preventing driving -- making it very dangerous. That water has receded.
We went to the neighborhoods where it was maybe six inches to a foot on some of these roads, and some of them were clear. But because the ground is so saturated, if they do get six inches, eight inches of rain overnight, they're going to have major issues again tonight. So all of these people who worked so hard throughout the night last night are doing, and expected to do the same thing again tonight.
HEGSETH: Well, Rick Leventhal, great timing, great work. Thank you very much for bringing us that interview in real time on the show. You get the sense, seeing that governor that they have been here before. Feel like you've got the A-team there, responding.
WILLIAMS: Absolutely. As tragic as it was, you heard the governor talk about the benefits, the reaping of that experience, and you see it there. In two words I heard it.
LEVENTHAL: Our viewers may get that.
WILLIAMS: I was there. I was a second-year student, 21 years old. And it's devastating. It's terrifying. It is traumatizing. But you see the lessons learned. And two words I loved hearing so much there, coordination and communication. Because that's what we didn't have 12 years ago. There was panic. It was pandemonium. There was absolutely no communication. And that's why we saw the devastation that we saw. This is certainly a very different scene.
TIMPF: Right, but there has to be an element of just, are you serious? If you're one of those people who went through this, and then 12 years later today, you're going through it again. I can't imagine emotionally how you would deal with that.
WILLIAMS: It is devastating, Kat, but it's also like a regional thing. My family is from South Louisiana, and Betsy to these hurricanes. And you're always kind of told these rumors of New Orleans flooding and going underneath water and sinking, really, so it's almost a mythical thing to it.
But when you're seeing it in real time 12 years later, like the governor said, last year Baton Rouge was basically underwater. So the rebuilding over and over and over again takes a toll.
HEGSETH: It sure does. Well, we'll continue to cover Hurricane Harvey here. But straight ahead, North Korea defied the world in launching a missile right over Japan. How should the U.S. respond as tensions boil yet again? Stay tuned. We're going to talk about it.
TIMPF: All options are on the table. That's President Trump's warning to North Korea today after its firing of a ballistic missile over Japan. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., echoed President Trump's response and condemned the defiant provocation from the rogue state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: No country should have missiles flying over them like those 130 million people in Japan. It's unacceptable. They have violated every single U.N. Security Council resolution that we've had. And so I think something serious has to happen. I think enough is enough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TIMPF: Well, what option does the U.S. have at this point to get North Korea in line? Matt, the issue is, if you do something serious, bad things happen to a lot of innocent people. What do you think should be done here?
WELCH: I have no idea. That's the problem here. And I think successive U.S. administrations also have no idea. They just pretend, especially on the campaign trail, that they do, that saying tough things can do it.
The Trump administration said that the era of strategic patience is over, but they haven't quite elucidated what the strategic impatience looks like. Aside from one interesting wrinkle -- and I think this is important -- President Trump has always emphasized, Japan, you need to do more. South Korea, you need to do more. China, you need to do more, as well. China hasn't really done much.
But now this is flying over Japanese airspace. And so I think Japanese and South Koreans are going to be taking the issue more seriously than they have. But there isn't a single red button that you can push -- at least, I hope not -- that can just make this thing stop and go away.
TIMPF: Madison, what are your thoughts on this?
GESIOTTO: You know, I think one thing that hasn't been talked enough about is the fact that North Korea made a huge mistake here, and I think they actually gave us a point of leverage when it comes to China. You know, Japan hasn't been -- they haven't had a military that's able to go on the offensive since World War II. They are a self-defense force.
If they feel threatened enough, they may militarize, and this could be a threat to China, which we could use, potentially, to make them help with North Korea, which is something they haven't been doing, even though, you know, North Korea has continued to just go against the U.N. Security Council resolutions, repeatedly.
HEGSETH: And Japan could pursue their own nuclear weapons, as well.
HEGSETH: You know what you've got to do. You've got to shoot one down. At some point, you have to -- you have to say, "We're not going to accept this." Otherwise, you live in a world where North Korea has miniaturized nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them to our homeland. You want to live under that perpetual blackmail, that's the choice you make.
It only gets worse the longer you wait, and they're only going to give this technology to Iran. I mean, Iran and North Korea are like brother and sister right now, sharing this technology. We want to live under the permanent blackmail of a nuclear-capable Iran, as well. That's how consequential this decision is. You don't want to be flippant about it. No one wants war on the peninsula, but at some point, you have to do more than say that the era of strategic patience is over.
TIMPF: Eboni, your thoughts?
WILLIAMS: Yes. I mean, we keep saying there are no good options. Right? Civilians are at risk either way. Certainly, anything that feels proactive from us is that. But also, to Pete's point, what is the alternative: to continue to, what, hope and pray that North Korea or Iran, for that matter, don't move forward in the direction that they're clearly showing us they're intentionally trying to move forward towards. That feels very terrifying, as well.
TIMPF: I was really hoping we were going to be able to solve it all all during that block. I didn't meet my goal.
All right. We've got to say goodbye to our specialists, Madison Gesiotto and Matt Welch. Thank you both for joining us.
Up next, more on the incredible relief and rescue efforts in Texas. We're back in a moment.
HEGSETH: Well, on account of everything today, no "Wait, What?" as things unfold in Texas and Louisiana. Instead, we want to shine a light on the incredible rescue and relief efforts throughout the region. And I will start things off. This photo caught my eye this morning.
This is a grandmother in the doorway of her own home, being rescued by a volunteer on his Jet Ski. And it was posted on social media. He came even with lifejackets. Pretty cool. I mean, that's just people helping people.
WILLIAMS: I love it.
TIMPF: I want to share a picture that I thought was pretty awesome. There's little kitties in cages. But I've also seen boogie boards. I've seen them putting cages on boogie boards. I don't know if we have a photo of that or not, to get them down.
And this is a lot different than Hurricane Katrina, where they were saying no pets. You have to leave pets behind. And I can't imagine, you know, what a huge difference it would make, as a pet owner myself, to get to bring -- to bring my, you know, little kitty chains and have him -- have him be saved. And just to see so many people who don't have to do this. It's not their job. Going out to do these things.
HEGSETH: It also, I think, shows you how orderly, really, it is and that they have the time and the ability to. If you don't -- if it's absolute panic, you're going for people and not pets. But in this case, it's very - - it's pretty orderly, and you're able to do that.
WILLIAMS: True. The communication is really -- really showing its value there.
Heartbreaking note here, one of the 15 fatalities that has been reported so far. That is Houston Sergeant Steve Perez. He was on the force for 34 years, just a few days shy of his 61st birthday. He's survived by his adult daughter and son and his wife. And his wife told him not to venture out into those waters and those heavy rains. But as, again, a veteran on the force, he felt that his duty and his responsibility to serve his community going above and beyond, as we heard the governor talking about, of the first responders and those first lines of dissent. So hearts out to Sergeant Perez and his family, just showing the level of risk and sacrifice that you, Pete, know all too well.
HEGSETH: Well, the police chief there in Houston did a very nice job of sort of memorializing him in real time at the press conference, acknowledging that this is a guy that's been on the force for 34 years. Went out in his patrol car against the advice of his wife and said, "I -- it's my job to save people." I mean, it gives me chills, just thinking about that.
And there's men and women like that across that region, and average citizens putting their lives on the line. It's the spirit of America. That's what it looks like right there, Sergeant Steve Perez.
WILLIAMS: God bless him.
HEGSETH: Certainly think about men like him today. So it puts the rain in New York City today in perspective.
HEGSETH: Don't be complaining about that.
TIMPF: Absolutely. Absolutely not.
WILLIAMS: No complaints from the concrete jungle to that, yes.
HEGSETH: No, but we were certainly going to continue to follow this, because I'll be on "FOX & Friends" in the morning. And as the lights turn on in Houston, you start to acknowledge and recognize that there may even be more devastation. So we hope that's not the case, but we're certainly following it. I know the prime-time schedule here on Fox will be.
WILLIAMS: And Louisiana, as the governor said, holding its breath, literally, I'm sure, to see what the next two days bring them.
TIMPF: Even after the immediate, there's the long-term rebuilding. People without homes.
WILLIAMS: Many years.
TIMPF: This is -- this is going to be a long, long struggle.
HEGSETH: This is not over.
WILLIAMS: But we're in it together.
HEGSETH: No, it's a reminder of what America is all about.
Well, that's all we have today. We thank you for watching. And make sure you follow the show on social media, @SpecialistsFNC on Twitter and Facebook. Remember, 5 o'clock will never be the same. "Special Report" is coming right up.
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