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Tropical storm -- carved a path of destruction while making its way to Florida and now that -- is hammering the sunshine state with wins in rain.
Many -- not only fearing the human cost of the storm.
But also the cost to Florida's ravaged housing market.
You tell us how Florida plans on surviving -- at the State's Republican governor Charlie Crist good morning governor.
The morning Alexis are you this morning I -- I'm doing just fine how -- you doing how bad is the damage and thus far.
Well not too much damage thus far but it's as you said earlier it's just coming into the -- just about 5 o'clock this morning and made landfall for the second time.
First time of course -- in the keys last evening.
But now town in south west Florida moving across the state.
The winds are down slightly that's good news for us.
It's good news for Florida.
And the watch word today is -- for Floridians to stay calm if they don't need to be out on the roads to stay off the roads obviously stay stay off the water -- well.
But so far so good we're keeping our fingers crossed and we want.
Our fellow Floridians should just be safe.
To be Smart and utilize common sense.
You know governor we understand that you have called -- state of emergency just several days ago on Saturday and is AccuWeather just point it out you mentioned.
Isn't going across the state of Florida some concern.
That in the north eastern part of Florida we might see potentially the worst part of this storm as it heats up there in the ocean.
What do you doing to prepare.
For that possible risk.
Well exactly what we've been doing from the get go and that is to make sure our emergency management team is up and running their 24/7.
Working with our local officials which we have been doing since I signed the declaration of a state of emergency.
That gives us the opportunity to articulate better with local law enforcement local officials.
Gives us a chance to have better evacuation routes no tolls on the roads.
Fortunately that's not a necessity so much anymore there was a little bit in the keys earlier on but I I think what's really important Alexis is that.
Of Koreans understand there's going to be significant rain potential flooding.
And potential tornadoes it's important that they realize.
These storms since -- awful lot of tornadoes.
They need to stay tuned to their radio there -- there -- band radio and make sure they have plenty of batteries for them.
And just utilize common sense and be -- You know governor at a time when -- then it's been a rough -- certainly for the state of Florida in terms of the housing market I imagine this is probably the worst case scenario.
You know -- -- -- I guess -- to -- you know casualties associated with what it might mean for the housing market.
How do you handle that at a time like this one foreclosure rates continue to rise and the real estate market there hasn't really started to turn perhaps -- degree that you'd like to say.
Well actually it has started to turn as a matter of fact in fact we're getting reports from before realtors association.
That on the treasure coast with the saint Maarten love Lucie county.
Martin County what's happening there is that there's about a 43% increase in home sales.
We've also seen the same thing in Broward County.
Things are starting to turn around and that's very good news for Floridian so.
We we feel like we've already hit the bottom starting to turn around we've reduced our property taxes here Alexis in the sunshine state due to an amendment that passed back in January.
It doubles -- homestead exemption we have another opportunity we hope this November.
To continue to reduce property taxes were still the state that has no income tax reducing property taxes and it's Florida.
We get a storm once a while obviously but it's pretty hard to beat the climate of the sun -- All right well that's great news I am very thrilled to hear that you know asking about this because one of the things that people talk about when they talk about Florida as they talk a lot about offshore drilling.
As I'm sure you're very aware very much aware Nancy Pelosi just recently has practiced a couple of days it goes to had a change in tune.
On -- whether or not offshore drilling could in fact be -- possibility suggesting that she was open to it.
When congress goes back in session this may now become a reality how -- impact you in the state of Florida.
Well the same way it impacts Americans across the country and that is it gives us the opportunity to produce more domestic supply gives us a chance to.
Lower the cost of fuel at the pump and gives us a chance most importantly I think.
To be independent you know and the founding fathers.
Created this great country they signed a declaration of independents not a declaration of dependence on I think it's very important for all of us that we remain independent that we not be dependent on foreign oil.
You know where were sending about 700 billion dollars a year.
Overseas to the Middle East as some people who don't even like us very much that does make a whole lot of sense especially when we have such vast natural resources.
Right here in America from a Florida perspective.
As it relates to drilling specifically we want to make sure that if we exercised that option we do it far enough.
From our shore I was so that it's safe enough so that's clean enough for our tourist industry as well.
OK I was just -- ask -- that because I've talked to governor Corzine your New Jersey was very concerned.
About what it might mean for the -- -- and I imagine you have to be concerned as well.
You know it's one thing to do it it's one thing to do it for all the reasons that you talked about but also this is a tourist destination where people are going there.
Because of those beautiful beaches how do you deal with environmental.
As opposed to dealing with the issue that we're feeling our pockets and I'm sure most Floridians are feeling.
-- have to be Smart I mean you know pure and simple list you make sure that when you do it you do it no way that is technologically proven to be safe.
That it is in fact claimed that it is far enough off our shores and it doesn't affect this precious tourist industry that we enjoy in Florida you know.
Last year alone we had about 85 million people visit the sunshine state were already a state of almost twenty million people.
You know where the fourth largest America and I think it's very important that we understand from an economic point of view.
That we depend on this tourist industry wanna continue to have you know people from all over America and all over the world of this -- the sunshine state.
You know when we exercise this option to drill offshore we're gonna do what's Smart we're gonna do it safe we're gonna make sure it's clean.
-- -- you plan to be on August 20 ninth.
On August when he night.
I'll -- -- you know hundred Florida.
-- it's not how I am because they get better John McCain's 72 birthday.
I thought perhaps that you might had yet joining in a little soiree.
Well I'll certainly be wishing him happy birthday and factor -- done that he's a great man and a great leader and I couldn't be more proud to be supporting such a wonderful.
US senator and a great American patriot.
All right well governor Charlie Crist it was great having you on and best of luck -- in dealing with this we -- -- we send out of course are our very best to.
-- your thoughts and in your prayers are appreciated Alexis thank you are --
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