Obama Tours Arkansas Tornado Zone

The president visits counties turned into disaster areas after tornadoes killed 15 people.
8:18 | 05/07/14

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Obama Tours Arkansas Tornado Zone
This is a special room. I'm Michelle Franzen in New York we want to take you Arkansas where President Obama is touring the devastation there of from the tornadoes let's listen in. -- -- -- Obviously we -- just -- some of the areas that were devastated. By last week's tornadoes and had a chance to meet with some of the -- who lost loved ones. Also had a chance to thank some of the first responders. And the recovery workers members the National Guard. Who have been working nonstop to help -- -- and businesses. Pick up the pieces after this devastating. Tornados. How I want express. My deep appreciation for governor -- and his outstanding leadership. Senator Pryor and congressman Griffin. Mayor Firestone. They all showed. Great leadership and we're here hands on on the ground. To -- These difficult days and I'm here to make sure that they know and that her body who's been affected knows. That. The federal government's gonna be right here until we get. You know these communities rebuild. Because. When something like this happens a wonderful community like this one an -- installs. And you know we've got to be there for. You know after the tornadoes touchdown I immediately approved a major disaster declaration to make sure every federal resource was available. To help folks in Faulkner county and other areas affected by the tornadoes. At my direction -- deployed. Incident management assistance teams to support local recovery efforts. -- few gate was down here the day after the storm and a team. The Army Corps of Engineers has been helping search through the brief. Here in -- -- the recovery process is just beginning. It's especially difficult because this town has seen more than its fair share tragic. Almost exactly three years ago another. Tornado leveled parts of polonium and some families and businesses had just finished rebuilding when -- -- forced to start all over. But folks here -- tough. They look out for one another and that's been especially clear over the past week. Immediately after the tornado hit about 200 people including fire crews from other companies. We're ready to go house to house searching for injured neighbors. Some survivors were driven to the hospital by complete strangers. And in the days that followed thousands of -- showed up to help remove debris and hunt for belongings and pick up trash. Deliver supplies and water. And one volunteer. A sixteen year old Casey Williams -- such good job coordinating relief efforts that. Arkansas strict state troopers start taking orders from -- just -- and she is extraordinarily impressive so I don't know. Which is -- -- future but and those numbers something great. You know more than any disaster. It is bad dedication. That commitment to each other that truly defines this town. As one resident said we just say a prayer and then get to work. So the people -- -- all the other towns. Devastated by the storm understand there's a lot of work the remains to be done but I'm here to remind them that they're not doing this work alone. Your country's going to be here for you we're gonna support you every step. -- you -- in our thoughts and prayers mr. mayor thank you for the great leadership you've shown I know that you can count on your governor. To your senator or congressman here to make sure -- Every resource -- we have available through it is gonna. Going to be you know -- -- one of things that the mayor expressed to me that we've got some concerns about his when this happens in the town like this. It's not just -- infrastructure and and the buildings. That are torn down you also lose part of your. Sales tax base and so we're gonna have to figure out how they can make sure that they give back on the feet and I'll be shorter work with. -- congressman Griffin. Senator -- governor -- to see if we can do something on that front as well but. I could -- be more impressed by the spirit of community groups here. We get this gentleman just right -- deception estimate who was in one of these homes. Where he lives just when the storm hit thankfully and a sixteen year old son and wife for her okay. You know it's a reminder obviously that is important as possessions are -- more important family. Those families that I had a chance to -- will meet -- there's there's still morning. Those they lost but they couldn't be more grateful and thankful for the way the communities responded so. This is testament. The strength of this community of strength Arkansas on the strength of America and and and I could not be more proud. Everybody who's who's participated the recovery process. Thank you very much. That was President Obama speaking from -- in the Arkansas all just outside Little Rock. Fifteen people were killed hundreds of homes destroyed in an April 27 tornado outbreak in the region. Who want to -- and out of the White House were ABC's Mary Bruce is standing by Mary President Obama spent more than an hour on the ground and Polonia. Give me an idea how important it is for this community to get a visit from the president. After all the president is there as you heard him say to offer his support to tell this community that they are not alone. And it's been on the ground for over an hour he got a chance to view the destruction both from the air and on foot getting a firsthand look at just the massive. Destruction there's -- mention it's -- -- ten days since fifteen people were killed by these massive tornadoes. They struck -- torture over 41 miles in this county absolutely devastating the president -- Got a ride along -- helicopter viewing the destruction from the air and of course. He went to visit one of these neighborhoods where -- -- the numbers just unbelievable only a handful of the homes are still standing there -- Fifty some homes that are now almost completely leveled and then of course he spent an hour meeting privately. With families the victims and those key first responders who were on the scene immediately afterwards helping their community. To respond and act now to help them rebuild from this horrific tornado. Percent of course -- the president's visit comes one day after his administration released a new report on climate change. That attributed a lot of the severe and extreme weather to global warming. Climate change do you expect -- touch on the issue during his remarks this afternoon. Well course the timing is interesting this report put out by the administration yesterday noting that. The effects of climate change are already being widely felt widely felt -- me across. The country and -- attributing climate change for a lot of these. Really you know incredible weather events that we're seeing in particular hurricanes and drought but it didn't mention in particular. Tornadoes which is something that the report found there's not a direct link yet between climate change in this increase in tornadoes so. Summit the president didn't mention directly but certainly interesting timing as he. Seems to be visiting these sort of sites more and more frequently after these just devastating natural events job and we understand that this is the first stop on a three to eight day trip where's the president headed next. That's right the president stopping Arkansas on his way to California he's spending the next three days essentially fund raising for democratic candidates he does have a few public events including one. Highlighting energy in his administration's efforts trying curb climate change that's not -- Friday. After he -- wheels up from Arkansas he's headed to Los Angeles where tonight he'll receive an award from a foundation that was started by filmmaker Steven Spielberg so. Quite a diverse and that very day here for the president Michel. ABC's Mary Bruce thank you for joining us from the White House. This is that an ABC news digital special report keep up with the president in real time by downloading the news -- And star in this story for exclusive updates on the go for now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":23628695,"title":"Obama Tours Arkansas Tornado Zone","duration":"8:18","description":"The president visits counties turned into disaster areas after tornadoes killed 15 people.","url":"/International/video/arkansas-tornado-zone-obama-tours-counties-turned-disaster-23628695","section":"International","mediaType":"default"}