President tours tornado damage, Plaza Towers
Air Force One touched down at Tinker Air Force Base just before noon.
In the midst of total destruction, President Barack Obama assured affected Oklahomans that the federal government would support them.
“You can talk to the folks in Joplin who I know have sent volunteers down here to Moore,” Pres. Obama said. “If you talk to folks in New Jersey and New York they will tell you when we say we’re going to be there until you rebuild, we mean it.”
The president thanked first responders and hugged the principal of Plaza Towers Elementary, the site of perhaps the most heartbreaking loss, where seven students died.
“From the forecasters who issued the warnings to the first responders who dug through the rubble to the teachers who shielded with their own bodies, their students. Oklahomans have inspired us with their love and their courage,” President Obama said.
President Obama also personally spoke with many people who lost everything to the twister.
Governor Mary Fallin accompanied the president on his tour and says our state will need extensive support from FEMA.
She said the hard work is only just begun, with a debris field 17 miles long and a mile and a half wide.
“We have to get back to the rebuilding stage, get back to the nitty gritty of what do you do with all this debris,” Gov. Fallin said. “How do you get people into the communities, get the amount of construction people that you need in?”
Just before boarding Air Force One to leave Oklahoma, President Obama shook the hands of 10 members of the National Weather Service, thanking them for their early warning efforts.
It was a quick visit; the president was gone by 3 p.m.
State leaders said the visit gave them confidence that the federal government will stand behind our state.
“I think we’ll see some results here. I mean he is committed and I’m going to hold the feet to the fire that we’ll get the services that we need from FEMA,” Governor Fallin said.