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EXT BROLL PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA REMARKS FROM LITTLE ROCK, AK / HEAD ON / TRAVEL POOL AND INSPECTING DAMAGE / CUTS OF REMARKS Wednesday, May 07, 2014 President Barack Obama tours tornado damage & remarks in Little Rock, Arkansas; departs JBA; arrives Little Rock DC Slug: 1530 WH AR PATH1 RS33 73 AR: 16x9 Disc #672 NYRS: WASH3 (4523) President Barack Obama remarks after touring tornado destruction 15:30:42 PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, good afternoon, everybody. Obviously we just had a chance to tour some of the areas that were devastated by last week's tornadoes and had a chance to meet with some of the families who lost loved ones, also had a chance to thank some of the first responders and the recovery workers and members of the National Guard who have been working nonstop to help families and businesses pick up the pieces after this devastating tornado. I want to express my deep appreciation for Governor Beebe and his outstanding leadership; Senator Pryor, Congressman Griffin, Mayor Firestone. They all showed great leadership and were here, hands-on, on the ground throughout these difficult days. And I'm here to make sure that they know and that everybody who's been affected knows that, you know, the federal government's going to be right here until we get, you know, these communities rebuilt, because when something like this happens to a wonderful community like this one, it happens to all of us and, you know, we've got to be there for them. 15:31:54 You know, after the tornadoes touched down, I immediately approved a major disaster declaration to make sure every federal resource was available to help folks in Faulkner County and other areas affected by the tornadoes. At my direction, FEMA deployed incident management assistance teams to support local recovery efforts. Craig Fugate was down here the day after the storm, and a team of the Army Corps of Engineers has been helping search through the debris. Here in Vilonia, the recovery process is just beginning. It's especially difficult because this town has seen more than its fair share of tragedy. Almost exactly three years ago, another tornado leveled parts of Vilonia, and some families and businesses had just finished rebuilding when they were forced to start all over. But folks here are tough. They look out for one another, and that's been especially clear over the past week. Immediately after the tornado hit, about 200 people, including fire crews from other counties, were ready to go house to house searching for injured neighbors. Some survivors were driven to the hospital by complete strangers. And in the days that followed, thousands of volunteers showed up to help remove debris and hunt for belongings, pick up trash and deliver supplies and water. And one volunteer, 16-year-old Casey Williams, did such a good job coordinating relief efforts that Arkansas state troopers started taking orders from her. I had a chance to meet her, and she is extraordinarily impressive, so I don't know what she's going to be doing in the future, but I know it's going to be something great. You know, more than any disaster, it is that dedication and that commitment to each other that truly defines this town. As one resident said, we just say a prayer and then get to work. So the people of Vilonia and all the other towns devastated by the storm understand there's a lot of work that remains to be done, but I'm here to remind them that they're not doing this work alone. You're country's going to be here for you. We're going to support you every step of the way. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Mr. Mayor, thank you for the great leadership that you've shown. I know that you can count on your governor, and your senator and your congressman are here to make sure that every resource that we have available to you is going to -- going to be, you know, there. 15:34:15 And one of the things that the mayor expressed to me that we've got some concerns about is when this happens in a town like this, it's not just the infrastructure and the buildings that are torn down; you also lose part of your sales tax base, and so we're going to have to figure out how they can make sure that they get back on their feet, and I'll be sure to work with Congressman Griffin and Senator Pryor and Governor Beebe to see if we can do something on that front as well. But I could not be more impressed by the spirit of community that's here. We got this gentleman right here I just had a chance to meet who was in one of these homes, where he lives just -- when the storm hit. Thankfully, he and his 16-year-old son and wife are -- are OK. You know, it's a reminder, obviously, that as important as possessions are, nothing's more important than family. Those families that I had a chance to met -- meet with, they're still mourning those they lost, but they couldn't be more grateful and thankful for the way the community has responded. So this is testament to the strength of this community, the strength of Arkansas and the strength of America. And -- and I could not be more proud of everybody who's participated in the recovery process. 15:35:29 All right? Thank you very much. 15:35:39 Obama glad hands with those at podium behind him 15:39:08 motorcade departs President Barack Obama arrives & departs Joint Base Andrews 15:48:14 Marine One arrives 15:51:12 Obama emerges from Marine One, salutes and walks across tarmac 15:51:57 Obama jogs up steps to Air Force One 15:52:08 Obama turns, waves and boards Air Force One President Barack Obama arrives in Little Rock, Arkansas 15:52:19 Obama jogs down steps from Air Force One 15:52:48 Obama shakes hands with Colonel Patrick Rhatigan, Commander, 19th Airlift Wing & Little Rock AFB 15:53:06 Obama glad hands with dignitaries on the tarmac including Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, US Senator Mark Pryor, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola & US Representative Tim Griffin 15:53:30 men walk to Marine One President Barack Obama travels to tornado destruction site, tours site & remarks 15:54:36 Marine One lands in field 15:57:30 Obama and Arkansas dignitaries emerge from Marine One 15:57:58 motorcade 15:59:30 people gathered on the side of the road 15:59:39 tilt from American flag at half-staff to people gathered alongside road 16:01:00 sign plaque - 2006, Municipal Complex, City of Vilonia 16:01:50 flags at half-staff 16:02:22 people gathered awaiting Obama's arrival 16:02:53 motorcade 16:04:01 Obama gets out of SUV in the middle of tornado destruction 16:05:31 Obama chats with Arkansas dignitaries 16:05:42 pan from destruction to Obama walking with Arkansas dignitaries 16:06:08 Obama walking with dignitaries "So, I understand why the building codes don't necessarily require them, just because I'm sure it's an added expense. But it's hard to figure out. Because they've been hit just a few years ago almost as bad as the one that hit last year. They get hit pretty regularly." 16:06:51 Obama walks towards destruction "How you all doing guys?" 16:07:16 Obama talks to two men who survived the tornado "My goodness. We were just talking about. it sounded just like a freight train barreling down on you." / Man "30-40 seconds. It was over." / Obama "So, everybody by the grace of God." / Men "Yes." / Obama "Was there anybody else in the house?" / Man "My wife and my sister." / Obama "So, everybody was okay? / Man "Yes, sir." / Obama "It is something. So how. bits and pieces." / Man "It's going good." 16:08:06 father and two sons standing in front of tornado destruction 16:08:43 Obama "Hey guys!" / Father "Hey, how are you sir?" Obama "Who you got here? / Father "This is Gabriel and this is Garrett." / Obama " Good to see you guys." / Father "Man, it's wonderful seeing you, sir.? / Obama "What's your name, sir?" / Father "Dean Smith." / Obama "Good to see you, Dean. These are some good looking. I brought you something from the White House. Couple of M&Ms. I've got a coin here for you. I only give those to the good ones. How old are you guys?" / Boys "Nine" "I'm six." / Obama "Hey, what happened to your tooth?" / Boy "I lost it." / Obama "Somebody didn't take it? Is it going to come back?" "So, this was your home, huh?" / Dean "Well, we're just coming out. a couple houses." / Obama "Where were you when this happened?" / Dean "Well, they put in the new storm shelter behind the high school." / Obama "I was just hearing about it. About 300 folks went over there." / Dean "Yes, sir." / Obama "Well, thank goodness. You guys had some. at what point did you decide." 16:10:17 Obama (Pointing to two boys) "You got this precious cargo right here." / Dean "I've got two others." / Obama "You've got four?" "So, your home is gone?"(Pointing) "One of those?" "So, what's it look like inside?" 16:10:57 Obama "But obviously you knew all the neighbors around here." 16:11:13 ws Obama talking to father and two sons 16:11:54 Obama walks towards podium 16:12:03 pan from press corps to ws Obama 16:12:19 pan from smashed car to ws Obama 16:12:41 Obama takes the podium with Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, US Senator Mark Pryor, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola & US Representative Tim Griffin behind him 16:14:03 slow push in to Obama at podium 16:14:21 ms Obama speaking 16:14:51 ws Obama at podium with dignitaries behind him 16:16:04 ms Obama speaking 16:16:16 smashed car in fg / Obama at podium in bg 16:16:42 push in to Obama shaking hands with dignitaries President Obama in Little Rock President Obama traveled to Arkansas to view the devastation from tornadoes and severe storms that took place in April of 2014. He also met with the families affected by this disaster, as well as first responders and recovery workers.
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