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President Obama: ‘Our prayers are with the people of Oklahoma’

WASHINGTON, D.C- President Barack Obama said he doesn’t yet know the “full extent” of the damage after a powerful tornado slammed central Oklahoma on Monday. “We don’t know both the human and economic losses that may have occurred,” he said Tuesday.

During a news conference Tuesday morning President Obama said, “Oklahoma needs to get everything it needs right away to recover from the powerful tornado.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Oklahoma to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms and tornadoes beginning May 18, 2013, and continuing.

The president’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie counties.

*Click here for continuing coverage of the aftermath in Moore.*

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding is also available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie counties.

Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Meanwhile, flags are expected to be lowered at the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday morning in honor of the tornado victims, House Speaker John Boehner said.