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Obama calls Oklahoma tornado's toll 'hard to comprehend'

Standing by a pile of debris that once was an elementary school, President Barack Obama on Sunday called the destruction last week's tornado wrought in Moore, Oklahoma, "hard to comprehend" and vowed to provide long-term federal help in rebuilding.
obama
obama
Standing by a pile of debris that once was an elementary school, President Barack Obama on Sunday called the destruction last week's tornado wrought in Moore, Oklahoma, "hard to comprehend" and vowed to provide long-term federal help in rebuilding.

The tornado, rated at the top of a five-step scale used to measure the destructive power of twisters, killed 24 people - including seven children at the school site Obama visited. It ripped a 17-mile-long (27-km-long) corridor of destruction through the suburb of Oklahoma City, flattening entire blocks of homes, two schools and a hospital.

"Obviously the damage here is pretty hard to comprehend," Obama said, standing on a block where piles of boards, bricks and cinder blocks that used to be buildings and houses lined the side of the street. Rare items that survived the disaster - a television set, a pink baby carriage - stood in contrast to the wreckage.

The visit to the disaster-shaken town was one in a series of responses Obama has made in recent months to tragedies, including the Boston Marathon bombings last month; a December mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut; and the destruction that Superstorm Sandy caused along the Jersey Shore in October.

"Whenever I come to an area that has been devastated by some natural disaster like this, I want to make sure that everyone understands that I am speaking on behalf of the entire country," said Obama, flanked by officials including Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. "Everywhere, fellow Americans are praying with you, they're thinking about you and they want to help. And I'm just a messenger here letting you know that you are not alone."

Cars with their bodies dented and windows smashed lay under debris or twisted on their sides. Rising above the wasteland were at least three American flags that had been attached to the rubble, waving in the wind.

Caleb Sloan, 24, who lost his home in the storm, said Obama's words gave him hope that help would be forthcoming.

"He has no choice but to live by his word," Sloan said. "I hope and pray and think he will keep his promises."

SPATE OF STORMS

The May 20 tornado in Moore was the most powerful of a spate of 76 twisters that touched down in 10 states from May 18 through May 20, causing an estimated $2 billion to $5 billion in insured losses, according to disaster-modeling company Eqecat.

The Moore tornado, the deadliest such windstorm to hit the United States in two years, also injured 377 people.

While assuring that residents of the 1,200 homes the storm destroyed would receive extended federal help, Obama also urged lawmakers to maintain funding for the training and equipment that emergency responders rely on in the aftermath of disasters.

"We can't shortchange that kind of ongoing disaster response, we can't just wait until the disaster happens," Obama said. "That's how, in part, we're able to save a lot of lives."

After the president left, the town held its own memorial service at First Baptist Church of Moore that included a performance by the Oklahoma Strong Children's Choir, made up of Moore school children who were affected by Monday's storm.


Why the numbers game? 27.May.2013 08:19

The Lone Stranger

My deepest sympathies are with the victims of these disasters and their loved ones. The numbers keep changing, however, and I suspect this is to conceal the actual magnitude of the recent Moore tornado from the public. Per local TV, the death toll was first 20, then 51, then 90, then 24, and is now stated as "more than 24". The destroyed or damaged homes were first 2400, then 13,000, then 1200 (the figure in this article, btw), then 13,000 again. The tornado's path was reported as "17 miles long" and "1.3 miles wide", which is an area of around 20 square miles of suburban population density. The 13,000 figure is probably understated, and for there to be only 24 deaths in an area where storm cellars are rare because of the clay soil therefore must be HIGHLY understated. Why this would be the case is open for discussion.

it isn a "numbers game" 27.May.2013 18:48

Clyde

Like any disaster, the initial numbers that come out and are subsequently picked up by the media come from a number of sources. The media will try and grab any figure, regardless of reliability, and use that info. Some media outlets will copy it, some will go elsewhere.

So you will have one paper reporting the number of homes damaged based on a report by a mayor or city councilperson. Another paper will report ont the number of dead or injured based on a report from a police chief, or maybe a poll of hospitals. Obviously, these numbers will not all be totally accurate. That does not make it a conspiracy or a coverup. This is not an effort to "conceal the actual magnitude of the recent Moore tornado from the public". What in the hell would be the point of that? What, is there going to be statewide panic because of published figures regarding deaths and tornado size? that's just absurd.

The people who read this site are OBSESSED with conspiracies and coverups. Get a grip people.

weather modification is REAL 27.May.2013 22:25

rAT

They Chemtrail everywhere now in their crazed quest to control the weather (read: agricultural interests) But it's not just to ensure rain for farming the GMO bounty- it can also ensure droughts and even cause violent storms as the actual chemical content of the upper atmosphere is contaminated with aluminum and barium- the two main poisonous ingredients in chemtrails. The worst is yet to come for sure as we reap the ecological blowback of today's mad scientists. Clyde aside.
Not Googled- I took this myself right over my house-So don't give me any crap
Not Googled- I took this myself right over my house-So don't give me any crap

" people who read this site are OBSESSED with conspiracies and coverups " 27.May.2013 22:49

?

Maybe they're just Disinformed (cf. 'disinformation'),

thanks to folks such as Clyde and his Troll pals?

Or perhaps they simply don't trust the government (and who can blame some people for that)...

yes weather modification does exist. As does global warming, and climate change.


As to the recent Oklahoma tornado [QUOTE 'Clyde' "Obviously, these numbers will not all be totally accurate."] -

National Weather Service should have some more data out soon, they rated it an EF-5 with 200 mph winds.


sure 28.May.2013 21:30

Clyde

Yes, me, the one arguing against batshit conspiracy theories - I'm the one spreading disinformation.

Have fun outside this summer. Remember to check the chemtrail forecasts each morning and put on your anti-HAARP suit. We're in for some crazy June tectonics. Just ask VKD. You true believers should compare notes. Watch out for wifi hotspots too, they'll burn your retinas out if you stare at your Illuminati-phone too long.

" the one arguing against batshit conspiracy theories " 29.May.2013 03:32

magic bullet

which theories are those ?

Do you ever 'argue' anything - moreover, are able to robustly support/defend a specific point of view?

( Answer: No. )

seems you're here -- along with 'Garth', "...." , "@", "<>" etc. -- as PDX IMC's very own MST3K peanut gallery aka Snide Remarks Inc.

It is just a smoke screen 29.May.2013 18:32

fidelity

This is the government trying to distract us from the real issues.

They are using HAARP as a distraction for their involvement in the Boston Bombings.

 http://www.heavy.com/news/2013/05/oklahoma-tornado-conspiracy-theories/

hey Clyde, Garth, "...." , "@", "<>" 29.May.2013 22:25

-

did you Letter in any high school sports ?

no 30.May.2013 09:37

Clyde

I didn't play any sports, but I did letter in getting high before school and playing guitar.