- No mas: Principal bans Spanish language in intercom announcement
- Hacking software could put ‘zombie drone army’ in user’s hands
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
Obama’s vow to Oklahoma: We will be there ‘as long as it takes’ to recover from tornado
Calling the devastating tornadoes that leveled parts of Moore, Okla., Monday some of the most destructive in history, President Obama pledged to devote all the resources available for as long as needed to assist those who have lost homes and loved ones.
“Our prayers are with the people of Oklahoma today,” Mr. Obama said in solemn remarks in the White House’s East Room, “and the teachers who shielded their students…and all of those who, when darkness fell, searched for survivors throughout the night.”
At least 24 people, including many children, were among the confirmed victims of the massive tornado that roared through the suburbs of Oklahoma City Monday, tearing up entire city blocks and leaving behind miles of splintered homes and businesses, as well as shattered lives. Officials have warned that the death toll is likely to climb, making it one of the most deadly tornadoes in U.S. history.
As many as 91 people are feared dead, local affiliate KFOR reported.
Mr. Obama said he spoke to Oklahoma Gov. Fallin as well as Moore Mayor Lewis and made it clear to Oklahomans that they would have “all the resources they need” to support the governor’s team in the immediate response. FEMA already started deploying resources to the area Sunday and Monday, including search and rescue teams from Nebraska, Texas and Tennessee, and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate is headed to the Oklahoma “as we speak,” the president said.
“The people of Moore should know their country will remain on the ground, there for them, beside them as long as it takes for their homes and schools to rebuild,” he said, later adding “we are a nation that stands with our fellow citizens for as long as it takes.”
Although Mr. Obama acknowledged that it’s impossible to know the full extent of the damage of the storm right away, he said he will continue to receive updates as he did overnight.
He declared a Major Disaster Declaration for the state overnight, which will make federal funding available to support individuals, as well as additional federal assistance to support immediate response and recovery efforts. He thanked the Red Cross for stepping in quickly to open a shelter, as well as the University of Oklahoma, which opened some of its housing to displaced families.
Referencing a tornado that hit Joplin, Mo. Nearly two years ago, virtually wiping it off the map and killing 158 people, Mr. Obama also thanked Joplin city officials who said Monday they were sending a tea of 10 officers and three firefighters to Moore to help.
Beginning yesterday, FEMA deployed additional resources including:
• An Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) to the state emergency operations center in Oklahoma City to coordinate with state and local officials in support of recovery operations.
• Three national Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Teams and an additional Incident Support Team have been activated to support the immediate response efforts.
• A Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) Team is in Oklahoma to provide self-sustaining telecommunications, logistics, and operations support elements, to assist in the immediate response needs.
• Preliminary damage assessment (PDA) teams are on the ground and will begin assessments today, which will assist the state in identifying additional eligible federal assistance that may be warranted.
• Three Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams are scheduled to arrive later today to help impacted residents register for disaster assistance. Survivors can register for assistance right now by calling 1-800-621-3362 or by going to disasterassistance.gov.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP senators want IG probe of Sebelius' 'Obamacare' fundraising
- Teaming up with Christie, Obama says Jersey shore 'back in business'
- No Moore: Obama flubs name of Oklahoma city devastated by tornado, calls it 'Monroe'
- Obama to Okla. tornado victims: 'We have got your back'
- Amid his own challenges, Obama calls on Navy grads to hold themselves accountable
Latest Blog Entries
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- Scientists could unlock mystery of life beyond Earth within a decade
- House Democrats give grudging support to 10-year gun ban extension
- Extending plastic gun ban just first step?
- Obama hints at staying in D.C. after leaving office
Latest Blog Entries
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
Bad science puts rich nations on the hook for trillions in climate liabilities
- Angry NTSB ousts railroad union from N.Y. train crash site
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Puerto Rico caravan honoring Paul Walker ends in 6 drunken-driving arrests, 72 speeding tickets
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- Xbox One, Playstation 4 games penalize users for cursing in their own homes
- First Dog Sunny knocks down Ashtyn Gardner; Michelle Obama yanks leash
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- HURT: Postal Service misses address by a whole continent
- Allen West warns Obamas backdoor gun control is moving forward
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Does it take over 25 years in public service to really know what goes on in Washington?
Despite cynicism about the law, it can provide you justice, protection, and ensure your rights.