President Obama to Oklahoma: Every Resource Is at Your Disposal

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 As responders, including at least 250 National Guardsmen, sifted through debris looking for tornado survivors, President Barack Obama on Tuesday morning told Oklahamans that they did not walk their path of grief alone.

“Our prayers are with the people of Oklahoma today,” Obama said, flanked by Vice President Joseph Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. “Our gratitude is with teachers, first responders and with all of those who searched to find the survivors through the night.”

He summarized the devastation and acknowledged the educators who had saved their charges’ lives at two devastated elementary schools. He said he had already spoken to Oklahoma’s top officials and assured them that “they would have all the resources that they need at their disposal,” he said.

“In an instant, neighborhoods were decimated,” he said. “Among the victims were young children who tried to take shelter in the safest place they knew, their school.”

At least seven children were killed at the Plaza Towers School when a wall collapsed on them during the storm, according to numerous media reports. Nine children in total were among the dead, including those seven. Many others were still missing. The death toll of 51 was revised downward overnight, to 24, as it emerged that some victims may have been counted twice