Florida Sen. Nelson praises authorities' "seamless cooperation" ahead of Irma

Senator Bill Nelson, D-Florida, praised authorities' cooperation while preparing for Hurricane Irma as "seamless."

"There is the cooperation between the federal level, the state, and the locals," Nelson said. "That has been seamless cooperation, unlike 25 years ago in Hurricane Andrew, when you did not have that cooperation, unlike even Katrina, when you didn't have the cooperation and the communication between the Louisiana National Guard and the U.S. military. That has been taken care of now."

Speaking Sunday on "Face the Nation," Nelson said that cleanup from Irma will be a "hard, hard slog."

"Given the fact that this is now moving so slowly, and it's virtually covered up the whole state, it's going to be a massive effort, not only at cleanup, but assisting people for the long term," he said.

But the senator, who voted in support of a hurricane aid package for Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and lent his support for additional funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), warned that money will again be running out in the coming weeks.

"FEMA would have run out of money last Friday. And that's why I flew back from Miami to Washington, to vote on that bill just in the nick of time, $15 billion, half of it to FEMA, half of it to local governments. But that's going to run out in a few weeks, so we're going to be back, doing a special emergency appropriations in the middle of October," said Nelson. 

As the state prepared for dangerous storm surge, which Nelson called a "very significant part of this storm," he credited the work of the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service for being able to accurately track the intensity of Irma.

"They have been right on, on this track and the intensity, so people are well aware. And what they have said is hurricanes like this, a lot of deaths can occur from the water instead of the wind."

"The wind is not as much, but the water coming up the west coast is going to be a problem," he added.

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital