After tornado, Obama offers support to Oklahoma governor
WASHINGTON--President Obama called Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday evening to offer federal support for the communities hit by a devastating tornado, the White House said in a statement.
Obama expressed his concern for those affected and offered all available federal resources. He urged Fallin to be in close contact as the rescue and clean up effort continues.
In a news conference, Fallin, a Republican, told Oklahomans of the president’s call and said he had vowed to cut any red tape blocking federal assistance to the area.
A team from the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been sent to the state emergency operations center in Oklahoma City and more aid will be sent as needed, the White House said.
Details on the damage and death toll were trickling in Monday night, but early counts had at least 51 dead, including some children killed when a school collapsed. Emergency officials were working through the night seeking survivors at one elementary school.
A White House official said the president was receiving updates through FEMA and homeland security aide Lisa Monaco. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also spoke with Fallin on Monday, the official said.
“The people of Oklahoma are in his and the first lady’s thoughts and prayers,” the White House statement said of Obama’s call to Fallin.
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