Sunday, May 29, 2011

Obama Visits Joplin As Tornado Death Toll Climbs

Updated 9 a.m. edt (Monday)

Sam Youngman of The Hill newspaper was the pooler yesterday traveling with President Obama to Joplin, Mp. He filed this report for The Hill:

"JOPLIN, Mo. -- Before landing to officially begin his visit, President Obama surveyed the damage as Air Force One flew over this town that was almost erased from the Earth by a massive tornado just one week ago.
"From the air, it looked as though a giant had taken a lawnmower right through the center of a miniature town. On the ground, the destruction was seemingly endless as fields of debris, once neighborhoods, stretched on as far as the eye could see."
end update

President Obama will get a chance today to see for himself the devastation caused by the monster tornado that struck and leveled much of Joplin, Mo., last week. His visit comes as the death toll in Joplin currently stands at 139 people dead and another 100 others still missing.

Obama plans to attend a memorial service, meet with victims and view the tornado's destruction. He is expected to arrive in Joplin around noon local time and plans to address a memorial service at 2 p.m. (cdt) at Missouri Southern State University's Taylor Performing Arts Center.

Obama returned to Washington this weekend from a four-day diplomatic trip to Europe before heading to the Missouri city of about 50,000 residents.

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