Interview with Former Secretary of State Powell

By Face the Nation, Face the Nation - August 28, 2011

Below is a rush partial transcript of "Face the Nation" on August 28, 2011, hosted by CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer. The guest is former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. General Powell is in the studio with us this morning. Good morning, General.

First, we're going to talk about the storm, no the hurricane is now Tropical Storm Irene but she is barreling into New York at this hour and there's still concern of flooding and high winds and our team of correspondents is deployed all along the path of the storm. We are beginning this morning though with the man we've been depending on since the beginning of this storm, meteorologist and CBS News hurricane consultant David Bernard in Miami. Well, Dave, just bring us up to speed where are we on this thing and what happens next.

DAVID BERNARD (CBS News Hurricane Consultant): All right. Good morning, Bob. This is the latest that we have from the National Hurricane Center, as you mentioned a tropical storm now--sixty-five miles hour per winds, generally right over New York City, moving north-northeast at twenty-six miles per hour. Now the heaviest rain has left the north of New York and Philadelphia, New England and also Upstate New York--that's where the heaviest rain is probably going to be for the rest of the day. And, in fact, that's where we're likely to see some more flooding problems. Some areas could still get an additional six inches rain between now and tomorrow morning, as the storm finally moves out to the Northeast. Now since midnight, we've had some wind gusts that were around sixty in New York City, also in Bridgeport, Connecticut; Baltimore, fifty-one; Montauk, forty. And so far in Boston, only a wind gust of around forty miles per hour. But look how big the wind field is right now. A lot of tropical storm force winds, Bob, are still going to be spreading across newly-- New England throughout the day, so the danger is not quite over yet.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Okay. Well, thank you very much, Dave. And we appreciate all the good work you've been doing our way. Thank you so much.

Byron Pitts is in Long Beach, New York, which is out on Long Island. Well, Byron, this has been downgraded to a tropical storm but it looks like you still got a pretty good breeze out there.

BYRON PITTS (CBS News 60 MINUTES Correspondent): Hey, Bob, that's absolutely right. We've had wind gust up north of fifty miles an hour this morning. We got our first taste of Irene at about six o'clock this morning and it's got steadily worst. This is actually bit of a wall now. We've had-- moments where there have been downpours. The-- the beach is over that way. There's this beautiful pristine beach about a hundred yards wide. It normally separates the-- the ocean from the boardwalk. Now that ocean has covered with water. One of the concerns here, Bob, is flooding because of storm surge. The Long Beach is only about three feet-- three feet above water. This, so far today, we've heard about a hundred and sixty thousand power outages along-- in-- along Long Island. In-- in Long Beach it hasn't been as bad. I've talked to the city manager who said they had a few trees down. Now you'll see this kind of debris on the ground scattered about, but nothing major. I saw a motorcycle turned over. We've seen our share of looky loos this morning. There's a guy over here who's on his bicycle riding around.

Hey, man.

MAN: What's up, brother.

BYRON PITTS: What's up? What brings you out on a day like this? Man, I'm not here because I have to be? Where are you headed?

MAN: Just going to check it out. Once in a lifetime chance to see that.

BYRON PITTS: Once in a lifetime chance to see this stuff. All right. Thank you so much. We've heard that kind of comments from a lot of the young people we've talked to out here today. In New York City, conditions are about the same at this hour. About forty thousand people in New York are without electricity. There's been a storm sturge-- storm surge in New York Harbor of about four feet. New York evacuated about a hundred thirty-seven thousand people in low-lying sections of Manhattan and the other Burroughs because concerns about flooding. And, Bob, that's the big worry at this point. As for folks on the street, people are-- most probably looking around, seeing what they can see. In New York, we saw people playing slip aside. This point it hasn't been as bad as predicted. But again, the big concern for the rest of the day will be flooding.

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