Moments before the Republican governor was headed to East Texas to survey the damage himself, he said the areas of Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Orange were “hit pretty hard” but the eye of the hurricane is 100 miles inland on the Texas-Louisiana border.
“The good news, Brian, is this,” Abbott told co-host Brian Kilmeade, “Early reports show that we have no loss of life, which was the primary goal.”
The governor said search and rescue teams are covering the area right now looking to see if anyone needs help
“Bottom line is there’s going to be some significant damage to homes and some buildings because of the wind and because of fallen trees, but hopefully no loss of life,” he said.
With the second hurricane hitting the Lone Star State during the coronavirus, Abbott said his state was more prepared, sending people to hotels instead of shelters, given the pandemic.
“We learned during the first hurricane that if you have families gathered together in hotel rooms, obviously it limits the ability to transmit COVID-19 and we replicated that,” he explained. “There were well over 5,000, maybe as many as 10,000 people who evacuated.”
Abbott believes the evaluations saved likely saved lives, but the storm is still battering the coastal areas.
“There are some regions of Texas that are still getting whipped around by heavy winds, by heavy rain, and by tornadoes,” Abbott said. “So many people in the northern stretches of East Texas need to still be vigilant.”
Reacting to anti-police protests in Austin, Abbott said his party has proposed legislation to “defund any city that defunds the police.”
“We are a law and order state,” he said, “and we’re not going to tolerate defunding police in Texas.”