President Obama Visits Tornado-Ravaged Vilonia, Arkansas; Says Federal Government Will Help Rebuild

President Barack Obama visits the tornado devastated town of Vilonia, Arkansas May 7, 2014. (AP / NBC News)
President Barack Obama visits the tornado devastated town of Vilonia, Arkansas May 7, 2014. (AP / NBC News)

President Barack Obama on Wednesday got a close-up look at the devastation wrought on Arkansas communities after deadly tornadoes struck late last month.

Obama met with families that lost loved ones, local officials and emergency personnel in Vilonia, Arkansas.

Fifteen people were killed in Arkansas from the April 27 tornado outbreak near Little Rock that destroyed hundreds of homes.

Throughout the South and Midwest, at least 35 people were killed by the same powerful storm system.

In Vilonia, Obama took a walking tour of Parkwood Meadows, where just six of its 56 homes have any part still standing.

He also met at City Hall with families, first responders and recovery workers.

“I could not be more impressed with the spirit of community that’s here,” Obama said at a stop in Vilonia.

The president said a lot of repair and rebuilding remains to be done, but that he came to remind residents they won’t be doing the work alone.

“I’m here to make sure they know that the federal government’s going to be right here until we get these communities rebuilt,” Obama said. “Because when something like this happens to a wonderful community like this it happens to all of us, and we got to be there for them.”

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SOURCE:  HASANI GITTENS
NBC News

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