News / USA

Obama Visits Tornado-Hit Oklahoma Town, Promises Aid

President Barack Obama views the devastation at  Plaza Towers Elementary School caused by tornado and severe weather last week with school officials, May 26, 2013, in Moore, Oklahoma.
President Barack Obama views the devastation at Plaza Towers Elementary School caused by tornado and severe weather last week with school officials, May 26, 2013, in Moore, Oklahoma.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama has toured a tornado-ravaged town in the south-central state of Oklahoma, offering comfort and long-term federal aid for survivors of last week's storm that killed 24 people.

Speaking beside the ruins of an elementary school in the town of Moore on Sunday, Obama said it is "hard to comprehend" the damage from the unusual EF-5 tornado, the strongest category on the U.S. tornado scale. Ten of those killed were children, including seven students who were in that school when the storm hit.

The tornado also injured 377 people and destroyed 1,200 homes, a second elementary school and a hospital. The damage is estimated to be around $2 billion.

Path of tornado, click to enlargePath of tornado, click to enlarge
x
Path of tornado, click to enlarge
Path of tornado, click to enlarge
Flanked by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and other officials, Obama urged people to donate to the American Red Cross to help the town recover. He also promised that residents who suffered significant damage will receive assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

He also met with tornado survivors and visited a fire station that served as a command center for emergency workers, whom he praised for saving many lives.

Obama has visited several scenes of tragedy in the United States in the past year, offering support to Boston after last month's bomb attack on the city's annual marathon, to a Connecticut town hit by a shooting rampage in December, and to New Jersey coastal residents affected by Superstorm Sandy last October.

In his Sunday remarks, the president urged Congress to maintain funding for programs that provide training and equipment to emergency services, saying those resources help to save lives and cannot be "shortchanged."

  • President Barack Obama talks with Julie Lewis, her husband Scott Lewis, and their son Zack, a third-grader at the destroyed Plaza Towers Elementary School seen in the background, Moore, Oklahoma, May 26, 2013.
  • Rae Kittrell holds her son Rylan, who turned one-year-old two days after the tornado, a block away from her house in Moore, Oklahoma, May 22, 2013.
  • Chad Allcox, left, helps his friend Kevin McElvany, right, the home owner, clear debris away from his destroyed home from Monday's tornado, Moore, Oklahoma, May 22, 2013.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder NBA basketball player Kevin Durant walks past tornado-damaged homes in a neighborhood in Moore, Oklahoma, May 22, 2013.
  • Jordan Humphrey, a 6th grader at tornado-damaged Briarwood elementary school, shows his mother Mary and his brother Jacob his soggy yearbook after his backpack was retrieved for him by a firefighter in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, May 22, 2013.
  • A sign reads "God Bless Moore" as workers make repairs to the Warren theater in Moore, Oklahoma, which was left devastated by a tornado, May 22, 2013.
  • A soggy American flag hangs in a broken window at Wayne Osmus' home in Moore, Oklahoma. Osmus' family hid in a closet Monday after winds kept them from taking refuge in the storm shelter.
  • Charles Taber opens the two-week old storm shelter that saved his life in the May 20 tornado in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, May 22, 2013.
  • Farmers Insurance worker, Paul Gaipo, looks through tornado-damaged cars at a destroyed strip mall, May 22, 2013, in Moore, Oklahoma.
  • A search-and-rescue team from Tennessee searches a field, May 22, 2013, in Moore, Oklahoma.
  • Susan Kates salvages items from a friend's tornado-ravaged home, May 22, 2013, in Moore, Oklahoma.
  • Claudia Clark clears tornado debris from a cemetery, May 22, 2013, in Moore, Oklahoma.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dennis Sauve from: Windsor, Ontario
May 30, 2013 10:43 PM
Windsor Lifeline Outreach in Windsor Ontario responds to Oklahoma Tornado relief loading a 53 ft semi with 40,000 lbs of food and supplies headed of The Gate Church in Oklahoma City. U.S. Border has denied us entry because there has not been Presidential alert for humanitarian Relief. This has basically ceased our ability to ship this load. We need prayers and any help we can get.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid