May 7 - President Obama toured tornado-damaged Arkansas, saying; ''The Federal government's going to be right here, until we get these communities rebuilt.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Barack Obama traveled to central Arkansas on Wednesday (May 7) to tour communities that were hit by deadly tornadoes earlier this week. The tornadoes were part of a storm system that blew through the Southern and Midwestern United States earlier this week, killing at least 35 people, including 15 in Arkansas. "The Federal government's going to be right here, until we get these communities rebuilt," Obama said as he spoke among the damage. Obama has already declared a major disaster in Arkansas and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. "One of the things the Mayor expressed to me that we've got some concerns about is when this happens in a town like this, it's not just the infrastructure and the buildings that are torn down. You also lose part of your sales tax base. So we're going to have to figure out how they can make sure that they get back on their feet. And I'll be sure to work with Congressman Griffin, Senator Pryor and Governor Beebe to see if we can do something on that front as well," Obama said. Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor, who invited Obama to tour the damaged area, said 150 people in Arkansas were injured and more than 260 homes destroyed. Some of the communities hit by the tornadoes had only recently finished rebuilding from twisters that hit three years ago. Tornadoes from the storm system also killed people in Oklahoma, Iowa, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. = Obama pledges to support Arkansas in recovery efforts President Obama toured tornado-damaged Arkansas, saying; "The Federal government's going to be right here, until we get these communities rebuilt." Rough Cut (no reporter narration).