Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

May 28, 2013

Partisan politics take back seat after disaster

MOORE —

President Barack Obama singled out the strength and resiliency of Oklahoma tornado victims Sunday and pledged the federal government’s help rebuilding the community. 
“There is no doubt they will bounce back, but they need help,” he said while standing before the ruins of  Plaza Towers Elementary, where seven children died beneath the crush of rubble.
“You are not alone,” Obama said. “You’ve got folks behind you.”
Federal help has already come with 450 federal employees who remain in the state, assisting recovery efforts. Additional support will come from FEMA dollars.
Obama said FEMA teams have completed searches of more than 1,200 buildings and helped register more than 4,200 for disaster assistance. Feds have already approved more than $3.4 million in direct aid.
“The world now knows Moore is OK. We are strong; we are resilient; we will fight our way back,” Superintendent Susan Pierce said following the president’s visit. “We are all Moore Public Schools and there is no place like home.”
Plaza Towers Elementary and Briarwood Elementary were destroyed in the May 20 tornado. Highland East Middle School was heavily damaged and other MPS facilities suffered damage, as well. Oklahoma’s cold war with the White House took a day off Sunday when the president walked streets laid waste by an EF-5 tornado. United in their support of the victims, Gov. Mary Fallin and Obama put political differences aside in an effort to console those most affected by the EF-5 twister that carved a 14-mile path through Moore.
The president is well known for showing compassion in response to tragedy. He has visited the sites of school shootings, hurricanes, bombings and the Joplin tornado.
“If you talk to folks in New Jersey and New York, they’ll tell you that when we say we’re going to be there until you completely rebuild, we mean it,” Obama said. 

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