Florida Gov. Rick Scott says main concern amid Hurricane Irma is storm surge

Florida Gov. Rick Scott

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Sunday that "we're going to do everything we can to keep every person in our state alive and protected," as Hurricane Irma began to travel up the Florida coastline.

"I know the winds are going to be very devastating and life threatening. But I'm also very concerned about the storm surge," Scott said on "Face the Nation."

Speaking from Tallahassee, Florida, Scott said his hometown of Naples, Florida, is going to see a "10 to 15 foot above ground level of storm surge."

"People don't realize it's going to come into your house, it's going to fill up maybe your entire first floor, and then it's going to flow out. So I don't know how you're going to survive that. So you just have to think about, you know, you've got to get as high ground as you can and, and, and just pray," Scott said. 

He said the storm "is like" Hurricane Andrew, which hit South Florida 25 years ago. But he called Irma "Andrew for a whole state."

He said he's called up 7,000 members of the National Guard and that the moment first responders can get out to save people who are stuck, they will. But he highlighted a challenge. 

"It didn't just impact one coast where we could position assets on the other coast. And so it's going to ... take us a little bit longer to do everything we care to do after a storm because we have to bring the assets south. Some of them are even out of state because we couldn't ... pre-position them here," he said.

The Republican governor said volunteers will be needed to help clean up and distribute food and water after Irma. He also said he's been receiving regular updates from President Trump, FEMA Administrator Brock Long and Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke on how the federal government can best support his state. 

"They've committed all the federal resources. They know that it's going to be a big cleanup effort. So we're ready. You know, I worked hard, and I know a lot of people worked hard to get people to evacuate. And I hope they did," Scott said. 

He said he has spoken with Mr. Trump "almost every day," as well as received phone calls from every Cabinet member leading up to Irma's landfall. 

"He said, you know, he wanted to make sure we had all the resources. He said he was saying prayers for us," Scott added.

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    Emily Tillett is the digital producer at "Face the Nation"