President Barack Obama visited tornado-devastated Moore, Oklahoma, today, consoling people staggered by the loss of life and property and promising that the government will be behind them "every step of the way." He offered moral and monetary support in the wake of the monstrous EF5 tornado that killed 24 people, including 10 children. "This is a strong community with strong character. There's no doubt they will bounce back," said Obama. "But they need help."
The White House said FEMA has already provided $57 million in rebates and incentives to help build about 12,000 storm shelters in Oklahoma. "These storm shelters can be the difference between life and death," a presidential spokesman said. He added that 450 FEMA personnel were working on the ground in Oklahoma and have delivered 43,000 meals, 150,000 liters of water and thousands of cots, blankets and tarps. He said 4,200 people have applied for disaster assistance, and $3.4 million in payments have been approved. Obama also urged the American people to make contributions, saying the damage was "pretty hard to comprehend." (Read more Moore tornado stories.)