12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Hurricane Ian pummels Florida, heads for Carolinas

Hurricane Ian damage
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP
Joe Dalton, on vacation from Cleveland, Ohio, checks out beached boats at Fort Myers Wharf along the Caloosahatchee River Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Fla., following Hurricane Ian. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.* 

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically. 

TALK OF THE MORNING 

Florida is getting pummeled: 

More than 2.5 million Floridians have lost power as Hurricane Ian hit the state as a powerful Category 4 storm.  

Where is the storm headed?: Northeast Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Forecast from The Weather Channel 

Live blog of storm updates 

The Weather Channel’s storm tracker 

If you don’t have a good connection to the internet: Here’s a stripped-down version of storm updates, via USA Today 

GETTING TRACTION:

A hurricane hunter *flew* through Ian: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Nick Underwood flew through the storm to collect data. Underwood spoke with NBC10 Boston about his experience

^ Footage of the flight through the hurricane: Underwood tweeted: “When I say this was the roughest flight of my career so far, I mean it. I have never seen the bunks come out like that. There was coffee everywhere. I have never felt such lateral motion.”  Watch – this video has more than 1.2 million views so far 

If you’re wondering why the flight was performed: Underwood added some context: “Want to stress we don’t this for fun. It’s a public service. We go up there to gather data on the storm that can keep folks on the ground safe. Those forecast models? A lot of the data comes from what we do. I’m a very small part of a large team. Incredible teammates.

It’s Thursday. Stay safe and dry, everyone! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS ACROSS FLORIDA:

This is terrifying: The Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes tweeted video of the storm surge moving through a street in Fort Myers. Watch — it has more than 9.5 million views so far

This time lapse shows the storm surge moving into Fort MyersWatch 

Oh my gosh: The Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel tweeted, “We were in the eye wall of Cat. 4 [Hurricane Ian] for over 5 hours and the back side was the worst. I haven’t experienced anything close to this in over 30 years.”Watch 

Jim Cantore is an MVP, as per usual: Here is a video of the Weather Channel meteorologist  standing in the storm in Punta Gorda. Watch him try to walk

The flooding in KissimmeeVideo from WFTV’s Nick Papantonis 

Sanibel Island has had livestreams of the storm: NOAA’s Amy Butler tweeted two screenshots of an intersection, taken 20 minutes apart. Photos 

The only bridge to and from Sanibel Island was severedPhoto from Fox 13’s Paul Dellegatto 

The storm flooded a fire station in Naples: Video from CBS News 

Wow, check out this time lapse of a hotel in Fort MyersFrom ABC News 

Another photo of the damage in Fort Myers: From meteorologist Chris Bouzakis 

Footage of driving through Fort Myers this morningVideo from storm chaser Aaron Jayjack 

Cars are submerged in Vanderbilt Beach: Video from CBS News

🌊 Response to the storm 

Help is on the way:

AP/Evan Vucci

President Biden on Thursday authorized federal disaster funding in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

Specifically: “The move allows access to federal grants to help affected residents and businessowners secure temporary housing, repair homes, get low-cost loans for uninsured property losses and otherwise recover … ” Details from Reuters 

And at a press conference this morning, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said the water levels of this storm are “basically a 500-year flood event.”  

KEEP IN MIND — BIDEN IS AT FEMA RIGHT NOW
President Biden is visiting the FEMA headquarters today to receive a briefing on the storm. Livestream of Biden’s 12:45 p.m. remarks 

THIS MORNING — BIDEN AND DESANTIS HAVE NOW SPOKEN TWICE THIS WEEK
President Biden spoke with Gov. DeSantis again this morning to discuss the response to Hurricane Ian.  

TIDBIT — LOCAL OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN HARD TO REACH
The Associated Press’s Seung Min Kim tweeted, “Tough for even the president to get a hold of local officials amid a hurricane: ‘Messages were left for the Mayors of Cape Coral and Sarasota, as well as the Chair of Charlotte County.’” The full message from the White House

📍 The latest with Russia

Vladimir Putin is really worrying everyone:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin is becoming more dangerous and desperate as he faces growing pressure at home over the flailing war effort in Ukraine, observers of the conflict and Moscow say.”  

Just in the last week: “[Putin] has renewed his threats of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine and moved to annex territories from Ukraine, while arguing attacks on that territory would amount to an attack on Russia. His government is also suspected in leaks to a pipeline under the Baltic Sea that carries fuel to Europe, although the gas flow was earlier suspended.” 

Plus: “The new threats come after a mobilization effort of 300,000 reservists in Russia, announced in response to criticism of Putin’s war effort, received blowback across the country. Images of lines of cars seeking to get across the border into neighboring states have circulated, underscoring internal tensions over the war.” 

How the U.S. and its allies are reacting, via The Hill’s Laura Kelly and Brett Samuels

🌴 In Mar-a-Lago 

Trump is in Mar-a-Lago for a very specific reason:

CNN’s Katelyn Polantz reports that “There’s a reason Donald Trump is riding out Hurricane Ian at his Florida beach club: He was scheduled to be deposed at Mar-a-Lago on Friday as a defendant in a class-action lawsuit.”  

How this happened: “John Quinn, one of the lawyers representing a group of people accusing Trump, told a federal judge on Wednesday that Trump refused to move his deposition out of Palm Beach, even as the hurricane approached. Quinn and his team didn’t want to fly into Florida this week given the severity of the storm, and they said Trump’s side wouldn’t move the deposition to Bedminster, New Jersey, where Trump has a golf club.” 

Timing — it has to be this week: “The court had set a Friday deadline for lawyers to be able to question Trump and others in the case under oath.” 

What Trump’s team is saying: “But Trump’s lawyers responded in court Wednesday night that they had flown to Palm Beach this week, with Trump ready to testify. And, they said they would have rescheduled the deposition, if only Quinn’s team had asked.” 

The full back and forth

🦠 Latest with COVID 

 THE COVID-19 NUMBERS 

Cases to date: 95.9 million 

Death toll: 1,051,949 

Current hospitalizations: 22,892 

Shots administered: 616 million 

Fully vaccinated: 67.8 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 

It’s that time!

@TheDemocrats’ Sam Alleman tweeted a screenshot of the texts he received yesterday. This is how you know it’s election season.

On tap 

The House and Senate are in. President Biden is in Washington, D.C. Vice President Harris is in South Korea.

  • Today: Harris is in South Korea. She met with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, followed by a meeting with women leaders. Harris then visited the Demilitarized Zone. 
  • 8:30 a.m.: Biden received his daily briefing. 
  • 10 a.m.: The Senate met. Today’s Senate agenda 
  • Noon: Biden receives a briefing from FEMA on the impacts of Hurricane Ian. 
  • 1:30 ­– 5 p.m.: First and last House votes. Today’s House agenda 
  • 6:40 p.m.: Biden welcomes Pacific Island leaders to the White House for a photo and dinner. 

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch 

  • 12:45 p.m.: Biden delivers remarks on Hurricane Ian. Livestream 
  • 3 p.m.: Biden hosts the U.S.- Pacific Island Country Summit at the State Department. Livestream

☕️ In lighter news

Today is National Coffee Day! USA Today has a list of coffee specials today to celebrate, including a free medium-sized coffee at Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme, Panera, etc. Coffee specials today 

And to leave you on a happier note after all the scary news today, here’s a baby laughing hysterically at a piece of ripped paper.

Tags 12:30 Report Biden DeSantis Emergency Florida Hurricane damage Hurricane Ian Mar-a-Lago power outage putin Ron DeSantis Trump Vladimir Putin
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